How to Get Out From the Invasive PRISM Surveillance Program

Thanks to the brave efforts from Edward Snowden we are now aware of something long suspected: that the USA (and many other nations including Canada) are reading our communications. The program is called PRISM and it monitors your communication. Basically, if you connect to the internet or use a mobile phone you can, and may already, be tracked by various entities.

This shouldn’t be acceptable to anyone. With the pervasiveness of the internet it may seem like an overwhelming task to not be monitored. PRISM Break is a guide to open source and secure technology that you can easily implement on your own.


Check out PRISM Break.

Car-Addicted LA is Getting on the Bike-Train

Los Angeles is known to be a car-addled and car-addicted place but not for much longer. They have consciously set out to make their city more pedestrian and bike friendly. LA as also put efforts to make their transit better. The results are clear: people love to ride bicycles rather than put up with car traffic.

Angelenos have been among the most car-dependent U.S. commuters, with 67 percent getting to their jobs driving alone in 2009, compared with 24 percent for New York and 51 percent for Chicago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In Detroit, home of the U.S. auto industry, the figure was 71 percent.

Villaraigosa, a 60-year-old Democrat elected in 2005, championed a 2008 ballot measure that raised sales taxes in Los Angeles County by half a percentage point for 30 years, with the projected $40 billion in proceeds earmarked for rail lines, expanded rapid bus service, widening highways and adding carpool lanes. Twenty percent of the revenue was devoted to highways, with the largest share, 35 percent, for rail and bus rapid-transit lines.

Read more at Bloomberg.

Do You Make the World Better? There’s an App for That

By now most people have heard what a carbon footprint is, but have you heard about your gloabl ‘handprint‘? The notion is that it’s the opposite of a negative counter of your impacts on the planet. Handprints are recorded online or on your phone as you make little (or big) improvements to the world around you.

You can create a handprint in three ways. First, you simply cut your footprint: say, by cycling to work, rather than driving. Second, you can champion an action suggested on the platform (carpooling, say). Or, third, you can come up with a completely new idea. In each case, Handprinter calculates the benefit and your part in bringing it about. If, for example, you share a link and someone clicks on it, you get credited with that action. Everything is subtracted from your footprint, which you calculate at the beginning.

Read more at co.Exist.

Bike Delivery Business on the Rise

Red Riding Goods is one of a few companies in Toronto that deliver goods via bicycles. In other cities from Mumbai to San Francisco bike-based delivery is nothing new and not all that newsworthy. Here in Toronto, where a crack-smoking mayor who thinks cyclists deserve to die advocates the destruction of sustainable transit solutions, seeing new business built around bicycles is great!

“My original idea for the business was to replace vehicle trips with bike trips. There’s a huge amount of money to be saved there, but to do that you have to change policy and behavior. It’s a lot harder than shipping coffee by bike.”

Featherstone is an independent franchise and one of the most well known faces of Toronto’s cargo bike scene. Abbiss likens her to the mailman. She bikes more than 600 km a week in bike deliveries alone using a beat up mountain bike and an old trailer, equipment she hopes to replace with a soon-to-be-launched IndieGoGo campaign.

Read more here.

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