MATA HARI - Story of kisses and bullets
For most of human history, people serving in combat were overwhelmingly male. It is only recently that women are getting a more prominent role in armed forces.
But there is a long history of female involvement in espionage, even in ancient times. Espionage knows no gender and in fact being female could provide less suspicion and a better cover. There is extensive documentation of the role of women undercover and otherwise involved in intelligence work in the two world wars and some very interesting characters emerge from those two conflicts. Of them, Mata Hari is surely the most prominent. The very name of Mata Hari has become synonymous with spying, espionage, intrigue, and sensuality.
Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, on August 7, 1876, to father Adam Zelle, a hat merchant who went bankrupt due to bad investments, and mother Antje Zelle, who fell ill and died when Mata Hari was 15. Following her mother's death, Mata Hari and her three brothers were split up and sent to live with various relatives.
At an early age, Mata Hari decided that sexuality was her ticket in life. In the mid-1890s, she boldly answered a newspaper ad seeking a bride for Rudolf MacLeod, a bald, moustachioed military captain based in the Dutch East Indies. She sent a striking photo of herself, raven-haired and olive-skinned, to entice him. Despite a 21-year age difference, they wed on July 11, 1895, when Mata Hari was just shy of 19.
She quickly bore him two children and followed him when he was assigned to Java in 1897. The marriage proved rocky. The couple returned to the Netherlands in 1902 with their daughter (their other child, a son, had died mysteriously in Java). Margaretha's husband obtained a divorce and retained custody of his daughter.
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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Google has patented a smart contact lens that could see its Glass wearable computer fit inside a smart lens.
The firm has already developed a contact lens for diabetics analyses their tears, warning them if their glucose levels are low.
Now it has revealed plans for a lens with a camera built in - opening the possibility of its Glass system being shrunk down significantly, offering features such as 'superzoom' to wearers and even helping the blind see.
According to PatentBolt, the system could even be used to help the blind see.
'For example, a blind person wearing Google's contact lens with a built-in camera may be walking on a sidewalk and approaching an intersection,' it says.
'The analysis component of the contact lens can process the raw image data of the camera to determine processed image data indicating that the blind person is approaching intersection with a crosswalk and establish that there is a car approaching the intersection.'
The lens also has wireless capabilities allowing it to link to a smartphone, which can be used to process data and give the user audio commands.
Google also says the system will be able to detect faces, potentially allowing the blind to recognise people.
The firm has already developed a smart lens capable of measuring the glucose level of diabetics.
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Friday, April 4, 2014
On July 24, 2013, a Microsoft vendor employee working at the company's RedWest campus in Redmond had a piece of good fortune—he found a Muvi USB video camera just lying in the footpath between buildings. He picked up the camera, only later taking a look at the footage on the device, which revealed that his good fortune was actually evidence of a crime. The Muvi camera contained "upskirt" video footage of women climbing stairs or escalators—or sometimes just standing in checkout lines—and some of it had been shot on Microsoft's campus.
The vendor employee reported the incident to Microsoft Global Security, who took possession of the camera on July 26. To find the camera's owner, two Global Security investigators pulled up Microsoft's internal security camera footage covering the RedWest footpath. They began by locating the moment when the vendor employee walked into the frame, paused, and bent down to retrieve the camera off the ground. Investigators then rewound the footage to see who had dropped it.
At the 11:24am mark, they saw a man in a collared shirt and reddish pants walk out of a RedWest building and walk along the footpath. Then, at 11:25am, the vendor employee appeared and picked up the camera. At 11:26am, the man in the reddish pants suddenly returned to the picture. According to a later report from the Redmond Police Department, he was "rushing" back to the RedWest building he had just left and appeared "nervous, frantically looking around." He eventually used a keycard to re-enter the RedWest building.