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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 43299 times)
Swamprat
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« Reply #1575 on: Oct 17th, 2010, 2:04pm »

Fox News

The Future Today: Robot Jetpacks in the Works


By Jeremy A. Kaplan

Published October 17, 2010
FoxNews.com

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Richard Lauder / Martin Aircraft Co.
The Martin Skyhook on a test flight over the company's facilities in Australia. Martin CEO Richard Lauder told FoxNews.com he has this picture set as the desktop on his laptop computer.


Jetpacks are so last year. The real vehicles of the future are robotic jetpacks. And the future has arrived.

The Martin Aircraft Company, makers of the world's only commercial jetpack, has built an unmanned version of the device that can be launched from the back of a pickup truck, ferry supplies to troops, monitor a battlefield, and even scan a war zone for improvised explosive devices.

It sounds and looks like a far-future idea ripped from a 1950s comic book -- but it's very much a reality, company CEO Richard Lauder told FoxNews.com.

"With the potential to reach heights of up to 10,000 feet or more, and lift loads of up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds) -- while taking off and landing vertically -- the potential applications for the unmanned version are large and varied," Lauder said in an interview with FoxNews.com.

"DARPA has a program called Transformer," said Mason, who developed three robotic ground vehicles for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. "They want something that can both drive around as a car and fly -- which sounds goofy, but forget that part. What they're trying to get at is something that's as easy to drive as a car yet can fly. So an automated thing that would fly things around? The military is definitely interested in that."

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http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/10/13/future-today-robot-jetpacks-coming/
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« Reply #1576 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 08:43am »

I want a Robotic Jetpack!!! Thanks Swamprat! grin

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« Reply #1577 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 08:53am »

New York Times

October 17, 2010
U.S. Companies Are at Risk of Spying by Their Own Workers
By CHRISTOPHER DREW

Huang Kexue, federal authorities say, is a new kind of spy.
For five years, Mr. Huang was a scientist at a Dow Chemical lab in Indiana, studying ways to improve insecticides. But before he was fired in 2008, Mr. Huang began sharing Dow’s secrets with Chinese researchers, authorities say, then obtained grants from a state-run foundation in China with the goal of starting a rival business there.

Now, Mr. Huang, who was born in China and is a legal United States resident, faces a rare criminal charge — that he engaged in economic espionage on China’s behalf.

Law enforcement officials say the kind of spying Mr. Huang is accused of represents a new front in the battle for a global economic edge. As China and other countries broaden their efforts to obtain Western technology, American industries beyond the traditional military and high-tech targets risk having valuable secrets exposed by their own employees, court records show.

Rather than relying on dead drops and secret directions from government handlers, the new trade in business secrets seems much more opportunistic, federal prosecutors say, and occurs in loose, underground markets throughout the world.

Prosecutors say it is difficult to prove links to a foreign government, but intelligence officials say China, Russia and Iran are among the countries pushing hardest to obtain the latest technologies.

“In the new global economy, our businesses are increasingly targets for theft,” said Lanny A. Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division. “In order to stay a leader in innovation, we’ve got to protect these trade secrets.”

Mr. Huang, 45, who says he is not guilty, is being prosecuted under an economic espionage provision in use for only the seventh time. Created by Congress in 1996 to address a shift toward industrial spying after the cold war, the law makes it a crime to steal business trade secrets, like software code and laboratory breakthroughs. The crime rises to espionage if the thefts are carried out to help a foreign government.

Economic espionage charges are also pending against Jin Hanjuan, a software engineer for Motorola, who was arrested with a laptop full of company documents while boarding a plane for China, prosecutors said. Over the last year, other charges involving the theft of trade secrets — a charge less serious than espionage — have been filed against former engineers from General Motors and Ford who had business ties to China. And scientists at the DuPont Company and Valspar, a Minnesota paint company, recently pleaded guilty to stealing their employer’s secrets after taking jobs in China.

In two past espionage cases involving American computer companies, defendants said they saw a chance to make money and acted on their own, knowing that the information would be valuable to Chinese companies or agencies. In several cases, Chinese government agencies or scientific institutes provided money to start businesses or research to develop the ideas; that financing is what gave rise to the espionage charges.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, appointed by Congress to study the national security issues arising from America’s economic relationship with China, said in a report last year that even in instances without direct involvement by Chinese officials, China’s government “has been a major beneficiary of technology acquired through industrial espionage.”

China has denied that its intelligence services go after American industries. China’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the subject, but spokesmen for the Chinese foundation and the university that worked with Mr. Huang said they were not aware of any espionage.

“If it’s true, we will start our own investigation into it,” said Chen Yue, a spokesman for the Natural Science Foundation of China, which gave Mr. Huang grants to conduct research there.

American officials and corporate trade groups say they fear economic spying will increase as China’s quest for Western know-how spreads from military systems to everyday commercial technologies.

After focusing for decades on low-cost assembly operations, China “feels it really needs to turn the corner and become a technology power in its own right,” said James Mulvenon, the director of the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis in Washington, which tracks Chinese activities for federal agencies and corporate clients.

Mr. Mulvenon said China is trying to woo back thousands of ethnic Chinese scientists who have trained or worked in the United States. “They basically roll out the red carpet for these guys,” he said.

As economic crimes become easier to commit — in some cases as simple as downloading data and pressing “Send” — security analysts say some American companies must share the blame for thefts because they do not adequately monitor employees.

At Motorola, for example, court records show that Ms. Jin, the software engineer, downloaded company documents during two sick leaves and tapped into the company’s computers from China, where, prosecutors say, she met with a company linked to the Chinese military. Ms. Jin, a naturalized United States citizen who was born in China, says she is not guilty, and is awaiting trial in Illinois.

Catching and prosecuting wrongdoers is also made difficult by the refusal of some companies to report breaches.

“When you have public companies with their stock values tied to their assets, the last thing they want the buyer of that stock to think is that their assets are compromised,” said Michael Maloof, the chief technology officer of TriGeo Network Security, a company that provides computer monitoring systems.

The first economic espionage case, filed in 2001 against a Japanese scientist, collapsed when Japan refused to extradite him. The six other cases have involved China, and the Justice Department won the first three.

In one case, two Silicon Valley engineers admitted to stealing secrets about computer chips, then arranging financing from Chinese government agencies to start business. In another case, a retired Boeing engineer was convicted after a search of his home found documents on United States military and space programs, as well as letters from Chinese aviation officials seeking the data.

The Justice Department lost a case involving two California engineers. The government focused on documents showing that the engineers were working with a venture capitalist in China to seek financing for a microchip business from China’s 863 program, which supports development of technologies with military applications.

But the men were arrested before they filed the grant application. The judge in the case concluded in May that the government had needed to prove that the men had “intended to confer a benefit” on China, “not receive a benefit from it.”

In Mr. Huang’s case, according to the indictment, he had received money from the Natural Science Foundation of China, a government organization, to conduct insecticide research.

Mr. Huang grew up in China, and has lived in the United States or Canada since 1995. While working for Dow’s farm chemicals unit, Dow AgroSciences, he also took a job as a visiting professor at a Chinese university and made eight trips to China, court records show.

Besides directing research at the university while at Dow, he later smuggled samples of a bacterial strain from Dow to China in his son’s suitcase, the authorities said.

Mr. Huang’s lawyer, Michael Donahoe, said at a recent hearing that the case was “hypothetical.” But Cynthia Ridgeway, an assistant United States attorney, said that with Dow’s Chinese patent due to expire in 2012, Mr. Huang had “the full recipe” needed to try to take its business to China.

Last week, a judge denied Mr. Huang’s request for bail. He is awaiting trial in federal custody in Indiana.

Sarah Chen contributed research.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/18/business/global/18espionage.html?_r=1&hp

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« Reply #1578 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 08:56am »

New York Times

October 17, 2010
French Report New Threat of Terrorist Attack in EuropeBy SCOTT SAYARE and ERIC SCHMITT

PARIS — Saudi intelligence officials have informed France that Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen may be planning an attack in France or Europe, the French interior minister said Sunday.

The minister, Brice Hortefeux, said in an interview broadcast on French radio and television that France had received the information “just a few days ago.”

Mr. Hortefeux described it as “a new message from the Saudi services telling us that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was without doubt active, or planned to be active” in Europe, “and notably, France.”

“The threat is real and our vigilance is total,” he said, noting that he met last week in Paris with the Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

An official in Washington familiar with Mr. Hortefeux’s broadcast remarks confirmed on Sunday that Saudi intelligence officials had in the past few days sent information to Paris warning of possible attacks in France by Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen.

Like other recent reports of plots to attack targets in Germany, France and Britain, many of which emanated from Pakistan and North Africa, the Saudi alert warned of threats that were credible but not specific.

It was not clear if the Saudi warning suggested an imminent attack.

The new warning came at roughly the same time that a former Saudi detainee at Guantánamo Bay who went through Saudi Arabia’s militant rehabilitation program and then joined Al Qaeda in Yemen turned himself in, the government said.

The former detainee, Jabir Jubran al Fayfi, contacted Saudi authorities from Yemen to express his regret and readiness to surrender, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in statement on Friday, The Associated Press reported.

Yemeni authorities arranged for his return. Mr. Fayfi joined Al Qaeda in Yemen sometime after his December 2006 release from Guantánamo and his participation in the rehabilitation program and rose to become one of the group’s top dozen leaders, the official in Washington said.

The official said it was unclear if the information provided to France came from Mr. Fayfi, communications intercepts and other intelligence sources, or some combination.

A United States counterterrorism official declined to comment specifically on the report, but said on Sunday that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remained a danger.

“They’ve made clear their intention to attack the United States and our allies,” the official said. “The terrorist threat to Europe unfortunately remains quite real.”

European officials did not discount the threat. “If this information is coming indeed from the Saudis, one can expect that it is serious and reliable,” said Raphael Perl, the head of antiterrorism for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

A European intelligence official called the warning “serious stuff” and added that “it is easy to plan operations in France because it is easy for attackers to fit into the population.”

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as Yemen’s Qaeda cell is known, has caused growing alarm among American and Western intelligence services since the airliner bombing plot last December, for which Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took credit.

C.I.A. officials have privately said recently that the Yemeni cell posed an even more dangerous immediate threat to the United States than the Qaeda headquarters in Pakistan.

Scott Sayare reported from Paris, and Eric Schmitt from Washington. Souad Mekhennet contributed reporting from Frankfurt, and Elisabeth Bumiller from Washington.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/18/world/europe/18france.html?ref=world

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« Reply #1579 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 08:59am »

Telegraph

Cyber attack threat 'could be next Pearl Harbor'
Terrorist cyber attacks on government computer systems and businesses could be “the next Pearl Harbor”, the head of Britain’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has warned.

By Murray Wardrop and Duncan Gardham
Published: 10:02AM BST 18 Oct 2010

The claim comes as a Government report identifies the “growing threat” of computer hackers to Britain as a key priority for the security and intelligence services.

The National Security Strategy, to be unveiled by David Cameron, lists cyber attacks alongside violent terrorism as the most important challenges faced.

It is named ahead of natural disasters and military attacks from other countries in a list of the four most pressing concerns to national security.

The strategy is a key precursor for the Strategic Defence and Security Review, to be published tomorrow, which will explain how Britain will defend itself against such attacks.

It will also form the basis for spending decisions to be announced this week, including a £500 million boost to cyber defence, sources told The Daily Telegraph.

Speaking ahead of the Prime Minister’s announcement, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the ISC, said cyber attacks could pose “very massive problems”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s not people hacking into private citizens’ computers.

“What we’re talking about is terrorists being able to actually use cyber methods, for example, to interrupt the National Grid to prevent proper instructions going to power stations, which are under computer control.

“I was in the United States a few months ago and a very senior intelligence figure said to me that cyber attacks, he feared, were going to be the United States’ next Pearl Harbor.

“That’s the kind of severity that could happen if we don’t get it right.”

The security and intelligence services and counter-terrorism police are to escape major cuts in this week’s public spending review due to the threats identified by the strategy.

The primary threat remains al-Qaeda in Pakistan and its associates in Somalia, Yemen and North Africa, who continue to plan attacks against targets in Britain, the security strategy will say.

That is likely to mean that MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism command will escape the worst of the cuts. But the document will also highlight the threat from cyber attacks on government infrastructure.

While not naming individual states, GCHQ, which is responsible for cyber defence, has been concerned for some time that states such as China and Russia are unlikely to use conventional or nuclear weapons in an attack on Britain and are more likely to attempt to shut down essential systems used to run the country.

Similar attacks have been seen when Russia has been in disputes with Estonia and Georgia, leading to problems with their internet and even cash machines.

A third risk that will be highlighted is the threat of small-scale wars in foreign countries that may escalate out of control, drawing in neighbouring countries and creating havens for terrorists.

That threat is likely to have a major bearing on the defence review tomorrow, which is likely to emphasise the need for mobile forces involving a combination of aircraft carriers and special forces.

The fourth element will be the risk from natural disasters such as pandemic flu, where strategies have been developed over recent years.

Iain Lobban, the head of GCHQ, said in a speech last week that the Government was receiving 20,000 malicious emails a month, of which 1,000 were deliberate attacks.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, insisted that the four threats were not listed in any particular order, however, in interviews on Monday, she stressed the seriousness of terrorist and cyber attacks.

"We are absolutely clear that we do have a very serious threat from international terrorism – that is why the threat level here in the UK is at severe," she told ITV1's Daybreak.

"That means that an attack is highly likely, so everybody does need to be vigilant.

"What we see today is more diverse sources of threat, but we are absolutely clear that we do have that very serious threat from international terrorism."

Speaking on Today, she later added: "Cyber security is a very growing threat. It's a threat to government, to business and indeed to personal security.

"We have identified this as a new and growing threat to the UK and you just have to look at some of the figures.

"In fact, about 51 per cent of the malicious software threats that have ever been identified were identified in 2009."

The expected focus on terrorism of the strategy will underpin moves towards mobile military units, intelligence-gathering and special forces and away from the tank brigades and jet fighters which dominated defence thinking in the Cold War.

This strategic shift is certain to be reflected in the SDSR, which is expected to pave the way for manpower cuts in all three services, the closure of RAF bases and the withdrawal of Army tanks and RAF jets.

A personal intervention by Mr Cameron spared the MoD the 10 -20 per cent cuts demanded by the Treasury, and a £5 billion project to build two new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy will go ahead.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/8070236/Cyber-attack-threat-could-be-next-Pearl-Harbor.html

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« Reply #1580 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 09:04am »

Wired


Oct. 18, 1985: Nintendo Entertainment System Launches
By Chris Kohler October 18, 2010 | 7:00 am | Categories: 20th century, Business and Industry, Games

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1985: Nintendo releases a limited batch of Nintendo Entertainment Systems in New York City, quietly launching the most influential videogame platform of all time.

Twenty-five years ago today, the American videogame market was in shambles. Sales of game machines by Atari, Mattel and Coleco had risen to dizzying heights, then collapsed even more quickly.

Retailers didn’t want to listen to the little startup Nintendo of America talk about how its Japanese parent company had a huge hit with the Famicom (the 1983 Asian release of what became NES). In America, videogames were dead, dead, dead. Personal computers were the future, and anything that just played games but couldn’t do your taxes was hopelessly backwards.

But Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi, whose grandfather had started Nintendo as a playing-card company almost a century earlier, believed strongly in the quality of the NES. So he told his American executives to launch it in the most difficult market: New York City. If they could make it there, Yamauchi thought, they could make it anywhere.

They couldn’t make it there. Retailers wouldn’t take the NES. So Nintendo of America head Minoru Arakawa, Yamauchi’s son-in-law, took a huge gamble that he didn’t share with the president. He told stores that Nintendo would provide them with product and set up all the displays, and they only had to pay for the ones that sold and could return everything else. For the stores, it was a no-risk proposition, and a few agreed to sell NES.

Nintendo knew it had to get away from the term videogame. So it took its marketing emphasis off of the traditional games played with a controller — even though these comprised the vast majority of Nintendo Entertainment System games — and focused on two accessories that it had released for Famicom in Japan.

The Zapper light gun played the target-shooting game Duck Hunt. And R.O.B. the Robot Operating Buddy whirred and spun around, taking commands from the television, helping you play complex games like Gyromite.

This was light-years ahead of Atari, went the message: It has a robot!

The stench of Atari’s collapse wasn’t the only thing working against Nintendo. In 1985, Japan was not seen as the purveyors of cultural cool. They were the invaders, swallowing up good old homemade American technology with their cheap knockoffs.

“You’re working for the Japs? I hope you fall flat on your ass,” said a security guard to a Nintendo employee as he loaded Nintendo Entertainment System bundles into a store late at night.

Nintendo launched the system with 17 games:

•Duck Hunt (included with console)
•Gyromite (included with console)
•10-Yard Fight
•Baseball
•Clu Clu Land
•Donkey Kong Jr. Math
•Excitebike
•Golf
•Hogan’s Alley
•Ice Climber
•Kung Fu
•Mach Rider
•Pinball
•Stack-Up
•Tennis
•Wild Gunman
•Wrecking Crew

What it didn’t have was its trump card: Super Mario Bros., although it had just been released in Japan, was not yet ready for America.

The games were in some cases assembled so hastily that many of them were simply the Japanese circuit boards slapped into an American case: Put a copy of Stack-Up into an NES and the first screen just displays the Japanese title Robot Block.

At this point in the story, you’re expecting to hear that the Nintendo Entertainment System was a huge surprise hit, flew off the shelves and sent retailers into a frenzy begging for more. But that’s not quite what happened. In fact, Nintendo only sold about 50,000 consoles that holiday season — half of what it had manufactured.

But it was enough to convince Arakawa to soldier on, and to convince retailers that Nintendo had a viable product. In early 1986, Nintendo expanded into Los Angeles, then Chicago, then San Francisco.

At the end of that year, Nintendo Entertainment System went national, with Mario leading the charge. Videogames were back.

Source: Game Over, by David Sheff; The Ultimate History of Video Games, by Steven Kent; others

Photo courtesy Jeremy Parish

http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2010/10/1018nintendo-nes-launches/

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« Reply #1581 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 09:09am »

LA Times

The case of the 20 missing Mexican tourists doesn't add up
Relatives insist they are ordinary guys. The government focuses on their unusual travel arrangements. Police have little to offer, and Acapulco expresses skepticism about what the travelers were up to.

By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
October 18, 2010
Reporting from Mexico City

It's one of the more puzzling episodes in a drug war heaped with unsolved cases: 20 Mexican men travel to Acapulco together and are kidnapped en masse as soon as they arrive.

Two weeks later, there has been no trace of the men. Investigators have yet to announce any good leads, even though two others from the group were not taken.

Against the backdrop of Mexico's extraordinary drug violence, it's tempting to write off the Sept. 30 disappearance as another grim skirmish between rival traffickers. Group kidnappings have been a common feature of the feuding, though generally with fewer victims.

But in the Acapulco case, the pieces don't add up neatly.

Relatives back in the western state of Michoacan insist they were no drug henchmen, but ordinary guys: mechanics, students, deliverymen, an accountant, a physician. Loved ones said the friends and co-workers saved up for months for an annual, guys-only weekend in the seaside resort.

"None of them had any ties or relationship with any group that is involved in illicit acts … and had no conflicts with anyone, or threats of any kind," the relatives said in a joint statement issued shortly after the men disappeared.

Family members listed the men's names and ages — 17 to 58 — and jobs. Nine of the missing worked in the same wheel-alignment shop in Michoacan.

Still, it's hard to explain why 20 law-abiding men would be seized at gunpoint on the way to beach-side relaxation. Authorities have made comments casting doubt that the men were mere tourists, but have not specified a motive for the disappearances.

The outcome of the mystery matters to Acapulco, which is struggling to recover some of its former cachet and can hardly afford the image of gunmen seizing innocent visitors.

Sensitive to the effect of violence on the country's crucial tourism industry, Mexican officials have said the rising bloodshed nationwide is not aimed at travelers. That has been largely true: Even though drug-related violence has killed more than 300 people in and around Acapulco since 2006, for instance, most of it has been far from the main tourist zone.

The missing men arrived in four cars from Michoacan, itself a violent, drug-trafficking hot spot, and were apparently heading to or hunting for a hotel when seized. The kidnappings were reported by one of two members of the group who had split off to go to the store when the others were taken.

A state police commander first raised an eyebrow, saying it was unusual for a group of men to go on vacation without family members. And Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo, governor of the state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, was also quick to express skepticism.

"We assume it has to do with organized crime," Torreblanca said a day after the news broke. "I don't think anyone comes to deliberately carry out an attack on 20 tourists."

When the families complained that officials appeared to be blaming the victims, the authorities backed off, announcing that checks showed that none of the missing men had criminal records.

When the men's vehicles were recovered, investigators found signs of a road trip — suitcases, beer, cookies — but no weapons or contraband.

But last week, Mexico's tourism minister, Gloria Guevara, reignited tensions when she said the missing men "didn't fit the usual profile" of a tourist.

"A tourist usually travels with family, has a hotel reservation, arrives directly at his hotel and fits certain profiles," she told a congressional committee when a question about the case came up. Guevara stopped short of tying the men to criminal activities, but the implication seemed clear.

Families of the men fired back, accusing Guevara of a "lack of responsibility" and offering papers showing the group had reserved rooms for the three-day stay in a hotel they did not publicly identify.

"We're very worried about our family members because we don't know anything about them, and now we are angry that [officials] keep insisting that they weren't tourists," a relative who identified herself only by her first name, Katia, said during a radio interview.

Early this year, President Felipe Calderon came under fire and apologized to grieving survivors in Ciudad Juarez after he initially said gang revenge was behind a fatal shooting attack that killed 15 people at a teen party. It turned out that none of the victims had anything to do with gangs.

The Michoacan families say they don't want the mystery of the missing men to be brushed aside. "What we want is to have news about them and for our suffering to end," Katia said.

On Wednesday, Guerrero's state prosecutor, David Augusto Sotelo, announced that investigators were following two possible leads. But he refused to say what they were.


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mexico-missing-20101018,0,6320337.story

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« Reply #1582 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 09:16am »

Wired Danger Room

Danger Room What's Next in National Security Doc of the Day: WikiLeaks Didn’t Blow U.S.’ Afghan Intel Sources
By Spencer Ackerman October 18, 2010 | 10:02 am | Categories: Info War

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We’re still waiting for WikiLeaks to make good on its pledge to reveal hundreds of thousands of U.S. military documents on the Iraq war. But if the past is any prologue, the impact of the might be less severe than the military fears. Its last big military document dump didn’t botch the U.S.’s intelligence sources in Afghanistan, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Gates wrote to Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that a preliminary Pentagon review “has not revealed any sensitive intelligence sources and methods compromised” by WikiLeaks’ July release of 77,000 “tactical” military reports from Afghanistan. Gates penned his August 16 letter a few weeks after Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accused the anti-secrecy organization of endangering the lives of U.S. troops and the Afghan civilians who work with them. You can read Gates’ full letter, first reported by Reuters and the New York Times, below.

But the military’s continued access to its Afghan intelligence sources “in no way discounts the risk to national security” from WikiLeaks, Gates added, which he said was likely to be “significant.” In a hint of what’s to come from the impending Iraq disclosures, Gates wrote that the Defense Department is developing unspecified “courses of action” to deal with “additional military documents [that] may be disclosed by WikiLeaks.”

Continue Reading “Doc of the Day: WikiLeaks Didn’t Blow U.S.’ Afghan Intel Sources”
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/doc-of-the-day-wikileaks-didnt-blow-u-s-afghan-intel-sources/#more-33426

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/

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« Reply #1583 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 10:43am »

Good morning Crystal smiley

I saw this today and thought it would interest you.

Pentagon braces for huge WikiLeaks dump on Iraq war

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/10/18/worldupdates/2010-10-17T232159Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_-522525-1&sec=Worldupdates
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« Reply #1584 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 1:09pm »

on Oct 18th, 2010, 10:43am, Luvey wrote:
Good morning Crystal smiley

I saw this today and thought it would interest you.

Pentagon braces for huge WikiLeaks dump on Iraq war

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/10/18/worldupdates/2010-10-17T232159Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_-522525-1&sec=Worldupdates


Good evening Luvey!
Thank you. Great article.
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1585 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 4:39pm »

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"Let's see what's over there."
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1586 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 4:51pm »

Thanks Swamprat, that says it all.
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« Reply #1587 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 5:29pm »







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« Last Edit: Oct 18th, 2010, 5:32pm by WingsofCrystal » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #1588 on: Oct 18th, 2010, 9:33pm »

Phantoms and Monsters

Monday, October 18, 2010
Recent UFO Events: A Viral Campaign For 'Skyline'?

Click for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDJfue-Aanw

Skyline Movie Official Site: http://www.iamrogue.com/skyline

For your consideration....NYC UFOs, Chinese village disappearance and sightings that look strangely similar to events in the trailer for the upcoming sci-fi movie 'Skyline'. Are these events a viral campaign for this film?

At Comic Con, the first footage from a small sci-fi thriller called Skyline, written and directed by the Strause Brothers was presented. The alien invasion film was made on a small budget, but has fairly large-scale ambitions. Many small independent thrillers conduct viral marketing in order to receive notoriety. Is this what we are seeing? Read the plot lines:

A series of blindingly bright lights appear all over Los Angeles, mesmerizing the citizens of the city while luring them to an uncertain fate in this sci-fi thriller from sibling filmmakers Greg and Colin Strause. As speculation regarding the origin of the mysterious lights runs rampant, a Los Angeles entrepreneur (Donald Faison), his best friend, Jarrod (Eric Balfour), and Jarrod's frightened girlfriend (Scottie Thompson) struggle to resist temptation as they seek out the source of the luminous threat. - Fandango.com

In the sci-fi thriller Skyline, strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame where an extraterrestrial force threatens to swallow the entire human population off the face of the Earth. Skyline is directed and produced by the Brothers Strause (Alien vs. Predator: Requiem), whose company Hydraulx has provided visual effects for Avatar, Iron Man 2, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and 300. - IAmRogue.com

After a wild night of partying with friends, Terry (Donald Faison) awakens to discover that he's one of the few remaining people on Earth. Banding together with a small group of survivors (Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, David Zayas, Brittany Daniel and Crystal Reed), Terry sets out to solve the mystery of what happened to the human race. - Fflick.com

These viral campaigns have been effectively used before...why not now? Your thoughts...
Labels: aliens, extraterrestrials, new york city, skyline movie, UFO, unexplained phenomena, USO, viral

http://naturalplane.blogspot.com/2010/10....mpaign-for.html

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« Reply #1589 on: Oct 19th, 2010, 09:04am »

New York Times

October 18, 2010
U.S. Pushes to Ease Technical Obstacles to Wiretapping
By CHARLIE SAVAGE

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, citing lapses in compliance with surveillance orders, are pushing to overhaul a federal law that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure that their networks can be wiretapped, federal officials say.

The officials say tougher legislation is needed because some telecommunications companies in recent years have begun new services and made system upgrades that caused technical problems for surveillance. They want to increase legal incentives and penalties aimed at pushing carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast to ensure that any network changes will not disrupt their ability to conduct wiretaps.

An Obama administration task force that includes officials from the Justice and Commerce Departments, the F.B.I. and other agencies recently began working on draft legislation to strengthen and expand a 1994 law requiring carriers to make sure their systems can be wiretapped. There is not yet agreement over the details, according to officials familiar with the deliberations, but they said the administration intends to submit a package to Congress next year.

Albert Gidari Jr., a lawyer who represents telecommunications firms, said corporations were likely to object to increased government intervention in the design or launch of services. Such a change, he said, could have major repercussions for industry innovation, costs and competitiveness.

“The government’s answer is ‘don’t deploy the new services — wait until the government catches up,’ ” Mr. Gidari said. “But that’s not how it works. Too many services develop too quickly, and there are just too many players in this now.”

Under the 1994 law, the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, telephone and broadband companies are supposed to design their services so that they can begin conducting surveillance of a target immediately after being presented with a court order.

To bolster their case that telecom companies should face greater pressure to stay compliant, security agencies are citing two previously undisclosed episodes in which investigators were stymied from carrying out court-approved surveillance for weeks or even months because of technical problems with two major carriers.

The disclosure that the administration is seeking ways to increase the government’s leverage over carriers already subject to the 1994 law comes less than a month after The New York Times reported on a related part of the effort: a plan to bring Internet companies that enable communications — like Gmail, Facebook, Blackberry and Skype — under the law’s mandates for the first time, a demand that would require major changes to some services’ technical designs and business models.

The push to expand and the 1994 law is the latest example of a dilemma over how to balance Internet freedom with security needs in an era of rapidly evolving — and globalized — technology. The issue has added importance because the surveillance technologies developed by the United States to hunt for terrorists and drug traffickers can be also used by repressive regimes to hunt for political dissidents.

An F.B.I. spokesman said the bureau would not comment about the telecom proposal, citing the sensitivity of internal deliberations. But last month, in response to questions about the Internet communications services proposal, Valerie E. Caproni, the F.B.I.’s general counsel, emphasized that the government was seeking only to prevent its surveillance power from eroding.

Starting in late 2008 and lasting into 2009, another law enforcement official said, a “major” communications carrier was unable to carry out more than 100 court wiretap orders. The initial interruptions lasted eight months, the official said, and a second lapse lasted nine days.

This year, another major carrier experienced interruptions ranging from nine days to six weeks and was unable to comply with 14 wiretap orders. Its interception system “works sporadically and typically fails when the carrier makes any upgrade to its network,” the official said.

In both cases, the F.B.I. sent engineers to help the companies fix the problems. The bureau spends about $20 million a year on such efforts.

The official declined to name the companies, saying it would be unwise to advertise which networks have problems or to risk damaging the cooperative relationships the government has with them. For similar reasons, the government has not sought to penalize carriers over wiretapping problems.

Under current law, if a carrier meets the industry-set standard for compliance — providing the content of a call or e-mail, along with identifying information like its recipient, time and location — it achieves “safe harbor” and cannot be fined. If the company fails to meet the standard, it can be fined by a judge or the Federal Communication Commission.

But in practice, law enforcement officials say, neither option is ever invoked. When problems come to light, officials are reluctant to make formal complaints against companies because their overriding goal is to work with their technicians to fix the problem.

That dynamic can create an incentive to let problems linger: Once a carrier’s interception capability is restored — even if it was fixed at taxpayer expense — its service is compliant again with the 1994 law, so the issue is moot.

The F.C.C. also moves slowly, officials complain, in handling disputes over the “safe harbor” standard. For example, in 2007 the F.B.I. asked for more than a dozen changes, like adding a mandate to turn over additional details about cellphone locations. The F.C.C. has still not acted on that petition.

Civil liberties groups contend that the agency has been far too willing on other occasions to expand the reach of the 1994 law.

“We think that the F.C.C. has already conceded too much to the bureau,” said Marc Rotenberg, the president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “The F.B.I.’s ability to have such broad reach over technical standard-setting was never anticipated in the 1994 act.”

The Obama administration is circulating several ideas for legislation that would increase the government’s leverage over carriers, officials familiar with the deliberations say.

One proposal is to increase the likelihood that a firm pays a financial penalty over wiretapping lapses — like imposing retroactive fines after problems are fixed, or billing companies for the cost of government technicians that were brought in to help.

Another proposal would create an incentive for companies to show new systems to the F.B.I. before deployment. Under the plan, an agreement with the bureau certifying that the system is acceptable would be an alternative “safe harbor,” ensuring the firm could not be fined.

The proposal may also modify how the “safe harbor” standard is established. Five years ago, the F.B.I. drafted legislation that would have given the Justice Department greater power over the standard while requiring the F.C.C. to act more quickly on petitions. That bill, however, was not ultimately filed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/us/19wiretap.html?_r=1&hp

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