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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 92061 times)
Swamprat
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« Reply #9960 on: Jan 31st, 2014, 1:05pm »

They also serve.....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEecPOyKGKc
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« Reply #9961 on: Feb 1st, 2014, 09:51am »

on Jan 31st, 2014, 1:05pm, Swamprat wrote:
They also serve.....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEecPOyKGKc



"Mom what are you doing here?" LOL! Teenage angst until she sees Dad!

These are wonderful. Thank you Swamprat.

Crystal


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« Reply #9962 on: Feb 1st, 2014, 10:08am »

Times of Israel


Maximillian Schell, ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’ Oscar winner, dies at 83

Austrian actors’s family fled the Nazis, then he became a Hollywood favorite playing them; also starred in several Jewish roles

By AP and Times of Israel staff
February 1, 2014, 5:52 pm


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William Shatner on the left



VIENNA — Austrian-born actor Maximilian Schell, a fugitive from Adolf Hitler who became a Hollywood favorite and won an Oscar for his role as a defense attorney in “Judgment at Nuremberg,” has died. He was 83.

Schell’s agent, Patricia Baumbauer, said Saturday he died overnight at a hospital in Innsbruck following a “sudden and serious illness,” the Austria Press Agency reported.

It was only his second Hollywood role, as defense attorney Hans Rolfe in Stanley Kramer’s classic “Judgment at Nuremberg,” that earned him wide international acclaim. Schell’s impassioned but unsuccessful defense of four Nazi judges on trial for sentencing innocent victims to death won him the 1961 Academy Award for best actor. Schell had first played Rolfe in a 1959 episode of the television program “Playhouse 90.”

Despite being type-cast for numerous Nazi-era films, Schell’s acting performances in the mid-1970s also won him renewed popular acclaim, earning him a best actor Oscar nomination for “The Man in the Glass Booth” and a supporting actor nomination for his performance alongside Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave and Jason Robards in “Julia.”

He also played Jewish characters in several films, including Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, in 1980′s “The Diary of Anne Frank,” a modern Zionist father in 1981′s “The Chosen,” and an Auschwitz survivor in 1996′s “Through Roses,” a German movie.

The son of Swiss playwright Hermann Ferdinand Schell and Austrian stage actress Noe von Nordberg, Schell was born in Vienna on Dec. 8, 1930 and raised in Switzerland after his family fled Germany’s annexation of his homeland.

Schell followed in the footsteps of his older sister Maria and brother Carl, making his stage debut in 1952. He then appeared in a number of German films before relocating to Hollywood in 1958.

By then, Maria Schell was already an international film star, winning the best actress award at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in “The Last Bridge.”

Maximilian made his Hollywood debut in Edward Dmytryk’s “The Young Lions,” a World War II drama starring Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Dean Martin.

Schell later worked as a producer, starting with an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s “The Castle,” and as a director.

“First Love,” adapted from the Igor Turgenev novella — which Schell wrote, produced, directed and starred in — was nominated for an Oscar in the best foreign film category in 1970. “The Pedestrian,” another movie under Schell’s direction and production, received the same nomination three years later.

Perhaps Schell’s most significant film as a director was his 1984 documentary on Marlene Dietrich, “Marlene,” which was nominated for a best documentary Oscar. Dietrich allowed herself to be recorded but refused to be filmed, bringing out the most in Schell’s talent to penetrate images and uncover reality.

Schell was also a highly successful concert pianist and conductor, performing with such luminaries as Claudio Abbado and Leonard Bernstein, and with orchestras in Berlin and Vienna.

In the 1990s, Schell made appearances in films including “The Freshman,” ”Telling Lies in America” and “Deep Impact.” In 1992, he received a Golden Globe for his supporting role as Lenin alongside Robert Duvall in the 1992 HBO miniseries “Stalin”.

In a documentary entitled “My Sister Maria,” Schell portrayed his loving relationship with his sister, who died in 2005.


http://www.timesofisrael.com/maximillian-schell-judgment-at-nuremberg-oscar-winner-dies-at-83/

Crystal


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« Reply #9963 on: Feb 1st, 2014, 10:12am »

Examiner

Triangle UFO reported dipping below tree line in Michigan town

By Roger Marsh
January 30, 2014

A Kalamazoo, MI, witness reports watching a low flying, triangle-shaped UFO with three white lights that appeared to drop below the tree line and disappear just after midnight on January 30, 2014, according to testimony in Case 53804 from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness reporting database.

The witness was driving home from work, noticed a bright light over nearby trees and then began moving toward it.

"I did record it on my phone till I got so close the trees obstructed, but I got one last look as I had to turn and it was about 75 degrees to my east. It tipped a bit and I noticed three round, white lights under it as it descended below the tree line."

A video clip was submitted with the case, but the file is currently not readable. If the witness submits a usable file, I will add it on this page.

The object was not seen again.

"I made multiple passes by where I last saw it, but it was no longer visible and no lights emitted from the woods. Very rural out there and it was in an area that was cleared of trees for power lines. Between north 33rd Street and N 35th Street as they run parallel."

Kalamazoo is the county seat of Kalamazoo County, population 74,262. Michigan is a current UFO ALERT 5 rating, with a low number of UFO sightings nationally. Michigan had 12 reports in December 2013 - while California had 68 reports - the highest reporting state in the nation.

You can read more details about other recently reported cases at the UFO Examiner home page.

The above quotes were edited for clarity. Please keep in mind that most UFO reports can be explained as something natural or man-made. If Michigan MUFON investigates and reports back on this case, I will release an update. Please report UFO activity to MUFON.com.

http://www.examiner.com/article/triangle-ufo-reported-dipping-below-tree-line-michigan-town

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« Reply #9964 on: Feb 1st, 2014, 1:46pm »

OY MATES & G'DAY cool

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« Reply #9965 on: Feb 1st, 2014, 2:03pm »

ZETAR,

SHALOM.

HAL smiley
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« Reply #9966 on: Feb 1st, 2014, 2:09pm »

THERE'S MY PAL HAL....

AS~SALAMU~ALAYKUM wink

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« Reply #9967 on: Feb 1st, 2014, 7:45pm »

http://www.space.com/24496-universe-alien-life-habitability-big-bang.html

y Katia Moskvitch, Space.com Contributor | January 31, 2014 06:20am ET

Earthlings may be extreme latecomers to a universe full of life, with alien microbes possibly teeming on exoplanets beginning just 15 million years after the Big Bang, new research suggests.

Traditionally, astrobiologists keen on solving the mystery of the origin of life in the universe look for planets in habitable zones around stars. Also known as Goldilocks zones, these regions are considered to be just the right distance away from stars for liquid water, a pre-requisite for life as we know it, to exist.

But even exoplanets that orbit far beyond the habitable zone may have been able to support life in the distant past, warmed by the relic radiation left over from the Big Bang that created the universe 13.8 billion years ago, says Harvard astrophysicist Abraham Loeb. [The Big Bang to Now in 10 Easy Steps]

For comparison, the earliest evidence of life on Earth dates from 3.8 billion years ago, about 700 million years after our planet formed.

'Warm summer day'
2013 map of background radiation left from the Big Bang
A 2013 map of the background radiation left over from the Big Bang, taken by the ESA's Planck spacecraft, captured the oldest light in the universe. This information helps astronomers determine the age of the universe.
Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration.
View full size image

Just after the Big Bang, the cosmos was a much hotter place. It was filled with sizzling plasma — superheated gas — that gradually cooled. The first light produced by this plasma is the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) that we observe today, which dates from about 389,000 years after the Big Bang.

Now the CMB is freezing cold — around minus 454 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 270 degrees Celsius; 3 degrees Kelvin). It cooled down gradually with the expansion of the universe, and at some point during the cooling process, for a brief period of seven million years or so, the temperature was just right for life to form — between 31 and 211 degrees Fahrenheit (0 and 100 degrees Celsius; 273 and 373 degrees Kelvin).

It is the CMB's heat that would have allowed water to remain liquid on ancient exoplanets, Loeb said.

"When the universe was 15 million years old, the cosmic microwave background had a temperature of a warm summer day on Earth," he said. "If rocky planets existed at that epoch, then the CMB could have kept their surface warm even if they did not reside in the habitable zone around their parent star." [Gallery: Planck Spacecraft Sees Big Bang Relics]

But the question is whether planets — and especially rocky planets — could already have formed at that early epoch.

According to the standard cosmological model, the very first stars started to form out of hydrogen and helium tens of millions of years after the Big Bang. No heavy elements, which are necessary for planet formation, were around yet.


But Loeb says that rare "islands" packed with denser matter may have existed in the early universe, and massive, short-lived stars could have formed in them earlier than expected. Explosions of these stars could have seeded the cosmos with heavy elements, and the very first rocky planets would have been born.

These first planets would have been bathed in the warm CMB radiation, and thus, Loeb argues, it would have been possible for them to have liquid water on their surface for several million years.

Loeb says that one way to test his theory is by searching in our Milky Way galaxy for planets around stars with almost no heavy elements. Such stars would be the nearby analogues of the early planets in the nascent universe.

Infographic: how cosmic microwave background radiation reveals the universe's secrets
The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation tells us the age and composition of the universe and raises new questions that must be answered. See how the Cosmic Microwave Background works and can be detected here.
Credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Infographics Artist
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Constant or not?

Based on his findings, Loeb also challenges the idea in cosmology known as the anthropic principle. This concept attempts to explain the values of fundamental parameters by arguing that humans could not have existed in a universe where these parameters were any different than they are.

So while there might be many regions in a bigger "multiverse" where the values of these parameters vary, intelligent beings are supposed to exist only in a universe like ours, where these values are exquisitely tuned for life.

For instance, Albert Einstein identified a fundamental parameter, dubbed the cosmological constant, in his theory of gravity. This constant is now thought to account for the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Also known as dark energy, this constant can be interpreted as the energy density of the vacuum, one of the fundamental parameters of our universe.

Anthropic reasoning suggests that there might be different values for this parameter in different regions of the multiverse — but our universe has been set up with just the right cosmological constant to allow our existence and to enable us to observe the cosmos around us.

Loeb disagrees. He says that life could have emerged in the early universe even if the cosmological constant was a million times bigger than observed, adding that "the anthropic argument has a problem in explaining the observed value of the cosmological constant."
Habitable Zone Illustration
An artist's representation of the 'habitable zone,' the range of orbits around a star where liquid water may exist on the surface of a planet. A new study unveiled Nov. 4, 2013 suggests one in five sunlike stars seen by NASA's Kepler spacecraft has potentially habitable Earth-size planets.
Credit: Erik A. Petigura
View full size image

Edwin Turner, a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University, who was not involved in the new study, called the research "very original, stimulating and thought-provoking."

Astrophysicist Joshua Winn of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who did not take part in the study either, agrees.

"In our field, it has become traditional to adopt a definition of a 'potentially habitable' planet as one that has a solid surface and a surface temperature conducive to liquid water,” he said. "Many, many papers have been written about the exact conditions under which we might find such planets — what type of interior composition, atmosphere, and stellar radiation field. Avi has taken this point to a logical extreme, by pointing out that if those two conditions are really the only important conditions, then there is another way to achieve them, which is to make use of the cosmic microwave background."

Loeb's paper is available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.0613
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« Reply #9968 on: Feb 2nd, 2014, 09:45am »

GOOD MORNING Z, HAL, WILD HORSE, SWAMPRAT AND ALL CASEBOOKERS grin

HAPPY SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!

CRYSTAL


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« Reply #9969 on: Feb 2nd, 2014, 09:51am »

Science Daily

Teaching young wolves new tricks: Wolves are considerably better imitators than dogs

January 31, 2014

Although wolves and dogs are closely related, they show some striking differences. Scientists from the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have undertaken experiments that suggest that wolves observe one another more closely than dogs and so are better at learning from one another. The scientists believe that cooperation among wolves is the basis of the understanding between dogs and humans.

Their findings have been published in the online journal PLOS ONE.

Wolves were domesticated more than 15,000 years ago and it is widely assumed that the ability of domestic dogs to form close relationships with humans stems from changes during the domestication process. But the effects of domestication on the interactions between the animals have not received much attention. The point has been addressed by Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi, two members of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) who work at the Wolf Science Center (WSC) in Ernstbrunn, Niederösterreich.

Wolves copy other wolves solving problems

The scientists found that wolves are considerably better than dogs at opening a container, providing they have previously watched another animal do so. Their study involved 14 wolves and 15 mongrel dogs, all about six months old, hand-reared and kept in packs. Each animal was allowed to observe one of two situations in which a trained dog opened a wooden box, either with its mouth or with its paw, to gain access to a food reward. Surprisingly, all of the wolves managed to open the box after watching a dog solve the puzzle, while only four of the dogs managed to do so. Wolves more frequently opened the box using the method they had observed, whereas the dogs appeared to choose randomly whether to use their mouth or their paw.

Watch closely …

To exclude the possibility that six-month old dogs fail the experiment because of a delayed physical or cognitive development, the researchers repeated the test after nine months. The dogs proved no more adept at opening the box than they were at a younger age. Another possible explanation for the wolves' apparent superiority at learning is that wolves might simply be better than dogs at solving such problems. To test this idea, the researchers examined the animals' ability to open a box without prior demonstration by a dog. They found that the wolves were rarely successful. "Their problem-solving capability really seems to be based on the observation of a dog performing the task," says Range. "The wolves watched the dog very closely and were able to apply their new knowledge to solve the problem. Their skill at copying probably relates to the fact that wolves are more dependent on cooperation with conspecifics than dogs are and therefore pay more attention to the actions of their partners."

The researchers think that it is likely that the dog-human cooperation originated from cooperation between wolves. During the process of domestication, dogs have become able to accept humans as social partners and thus have adapted their social skills to include interactions with them, concomitantly losing the ability to learn by watching other dogs.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140131083410.htm

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« Reply #9970 on: Feb 2nd, 2014, 09:55am »

Japan Times

Tokyo election goes nuclear

by Masaaki Kameda
Staff Writer
Feb 2, 2014

Whether the powers that be liked it or not, nuclear power took center stage in a debate involving four major candidates for the Tokyo gubernatorial election that was streamed live on the Internet Saturday.

Three of the candidates came out firmly against atomic power.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration has done its best to keep the issue out of voters’ minds ahead of Sunday’s race, framing it as a national, rather than local, concern.

Packed with Abe allies, public broadcaster NHK appears to be downplaying the matter. A noted economics professor resigned last week as a commentator after being told not to discuss the nuclear issue until after the election on Sunday “to ensure fairness.”

But the debate, hosted by seven online firms including Dwango Co., Ustream Asia Inc. and Yahoo Japan Corp., has shown that nuclear power is very much an issue outside the mainstream.

“We have to break away from the system that depends on nuclear energy in the long run, considering the dismal state (caused by the Fukushima crisis),” former health minister Yoichi Masuzoe, 65, said during the 90-minute debate, which, according to the organizers, was seen by some 170,000 people.

Previously noncommittal on the issue, Masuzoe said new energy sources, including shale gas and renewables, could be developed to reduce Japan’s dependence on atomic power.

Former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, running on an anti-nuclear platform, stressed that the issue is relevant to Tokyo residents.

“The principal duty of the Tokyo governor is to protect the lives of its citizens. . . . The nuclear issue would directly affect the people’s lives,” Hosokawa, 76, said.

If elected, Hosokawa said the metropolitan government would ask Tokyo Electric Power Co. to start using more renewable energy sources to replace nuclear power.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is the fourth-largest shareholder in the utility, with a stake of 1.20 percent.

Another opponent is Kenji Utsunomiya, former chairman of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.

“Nuclear power generation is not suitable in Japan, which has been hit by many earthquakes and tsunami,” the 67-year-old said. “We should not restart the idled reactors.”

Utsunomiya warned of the possibility of huge expenditures being needed to compensate nuclear accident victims and the high cost of decommissioning any reactors involved in a nuclear power plant accident.

Taking the opposite view, Toshio Tamogami, a former chief of the Air Self-Defense Force, said that nuclear power has been made sufficiently safe and was vital to Japan from an economic perspective.

The higher electricity rates stemming from the cost of importing fuel for the traditional power plants being used to offset the absence of atomic power is weighting heavily on small and midsize firms, the 65-year-old Tamagami said.

“I think many of those firms would go bankrupt” if the reactors are kept offline, Tamogami argued. “We could provide enough energy with the use of nuclear power plants and it could contribute to growth of the nation’s gross domestic product.”

Another issue the candidates debated was the proposal to legalize casinos. Some lawmakers want to build casino resorts in time for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Hosokawa and Utsunomiya are firmly against the idea, citing the detrimental influence they would have on young people and the threat of gambling addiction.

Tamogami, on the other hand, said casinos would attract wealthy tourists from around the world.

Masuzoe hedged, saying only that the matter needs further study and debate.

Turning to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, Masuzoe said he would like the Olympics and Paralympics to be the best and most hospitable ever and urged all citizens to cooperate.

“I’d like participating countries to hold training camps in the Tama area (west of the 23 wards). . . . I also urge citizens to learn English so that all can be a guide (to visiting athletes and guests),” he said.

Tamogami said by holding a “lavish” Olympics he would like to hear foreign athletes and guests say they want to return to Tokyo.

“Japan has been suffering from deflation, and spending on public works projects could contribute to the economic recovery. I’d like to hold the best-ever Olympics in history by investing heavily (in key facilities),” he said.

Hosokawa said he would like to hold a “sustainable” Olympics, indicating plans to review the extravagant facilities being planned, and bring about a successful Olympics that makes use of renewable energy instead of nuclear power.

Hosokawa also said he would like to share the benefits from the Olympics and Paralympics with the people of Tohoku.

Lawyer Utsunomiya said he sees the need to make the Olympics simple and environmentally friendly without spending large amounts of money and by refurbishing existing facilities.

Utsunomiya also pointed to the need to make the city easier for the disabled to live in to have a successful Paralympics. Efforts should be made to make the city more barrier-free, he said.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/02/02/national/tokyo-election-goes-nuclear/#.Uu5puZDTm1s

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« Reply #9971 on: Feb 2nd, 2014, 09:59am »





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« Reply #9972 on: Feb 3rd, 2014, 08:12am »

Wired

Judges Poised to Hand U.S. Spies the Keys to the Internet

By Kevin Poulsen
02.03.14
6:30 AM

How does the NSA get the private crypto keys that allow it to bulk eavesdrop on some email providers and social networking sites? It’s one of the mysteries yet unanswered by the Edward Snowden leaks. But we know that so-called SSL keys are prized by the NSA – understandably, since one tiny 256 byte key can expose millions of people to intelligence collection. And we know that the agency has a specialized group that collects such keys by hook or by crook. That’s about it.

Which is why the appellate court challenge pitting encrypted email provider Lavabit against the Justice Department is so important: It’s the only publicly documented case where a district judge has ordered an internet company to hand over its SSL key to the U.S. government — in this case, the FBI.

If the practice — which may well have happened in secret before — is given the imprimatur of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, it opens a new avenue for U.S. spies to expand their surveillance against users of U.S. internet services like Gmail and Dropbox. Since the FBI is known to work hand in hand with intelligence agencies, it potentially turns the judiciary into an arm of the NSA’s Key Recovery Service. Call it COURTINT.

Oral arguments in the Lavabit appeal were heard by a three-judge panel in Richmond, Virginia last week. The audio (.mp3 http://coop.ca4.uscourts.gov/OAarchive/mp3/13-4625-20140128.mp3) is available online (and PC World covered it from the courtroom). It’s clear that the judges weren’t much interested in the full implications of Lavabit’s crypto key breach, which one of the judges termed “a red herring.”

“My fear is that they won’t address the substantive argument about whether the government can get these keys,” Lavabit founder Ladar Levison told WIRED after the hearing.

The case began in June, when Texas-based Lavabit was served with a “pen register” order requiring it to give the government a live feed of the email activity on a particular account. The feed would include metadata like the “from” and “to” lines on every message, and the IP addresses used to access the mailbox.

Because pen register orders provide only metadata, they can be obtained without probable cause that the target has committed a crime. But in this case the court filings suggest strongly that the target was indicted NSA-leaker Edward Snowden, Lavabit’s most famous user.

Levison resisted the order on the grounds that he couldn’t comply without reprogramming the elaborate encryption system he’d built to protect his users’ privacy. He eventually relented and offered to gather up the email metadata and transmit it to the government after 60 days. Later he offered to engineer a faster solution. But by then, weeks had passed, and the FBI was determined to get what it wanted directly and in real time.

So in July it served Levison with a search warrant striking at the Achilles heel of his system: the private SSL key that would allow the FBI to decrypt traffic to and from the site, and collect Snowden’s metadata directly. The government promised it wouldn’t use the key to spy on Lavabit’s other 400,000 users, which the key would technically enable them to do.

The FBI attached a Carnivore-like monitoring system at Lavabit’s upstream provider in anticipation of getting the key, but Levison continued to resist, and even flew from Texas to Virginia to unsuccessfully challenge the order before U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton.

Levison turned over the keys as a nearly illegible computer printout in 4-point type. In early August, Hilton – who once served on the top-secret FISA court – ordered Levison again to provide them in the industry-standard electronic format, and began fining him $5,000 a day for noncompliance. After two days, Levison complied, but then immediately shuttered Lavabit altogether. Levison is appealing the contempt order.

The SSL key is a small file of inestimable importance for the integrity of a website and the privacy of its users. In the wrong hands, it would allow malefactors to impersonate a website, or, more relevantly in this case, permit snoops to eavesdrop on traffic to and from the site. Levison says he was concerned that once the government had his SSL key, it would obtain more secret warrants to spy on his users, and he would have no opportunity to review or potentially challenge those warrants.

“The problem I had is that the government’s interpretation of what’s legal and what isn’t is currently at its apex, in terms of authority and scope,” Levison says. “My concern is that they could get a warrant – maybe a classified warrant – that I wouldn’t even have knowledge of, much less the opportunity to object to … My responsibility was to ensure that everybody else’s privacy was protected.”

That was Levison’s thinking even before Snowden’s revelations showed us how pervasive and ambitious the NSA’s internet monitoring has become.

The judges in last week’s 4th Circuit hearing, though, weren’t interested in hearing about encryption keys. At one point, Judge Paul Niemeyer apologetically interrupted Levison’s attorney as soon as raised the subject, and made it clear that he accepted the government’s position that the FBI was only going to use the key to spy on the user targeted by the pen register order.

“The encryption key comes in only after your client is refusing to give them the unencrypted data,” Niemeyer said. “They don’t want the key as an object. They want this data with respect to a target that they’re investigating. And it seems to me that that’s all this case is about and its been blown out of proportion by all these contentions that the government is seeking keys to access others people’s data and so forth.”

“There was never an order to provide keys until later on, when [Levison] resisted,” Niemeyer added later in the hearing. “Even then, the government was authorized to use the key only with respect to a particular target.”

On that last point, Judge Niemeyer is mistaken. Neither the July 16 search warrant nor the August 5 order imposing sanctions placed any restrictions on what the government could do with the key. Without such a protective order, there are no barriers to the FBI handing the key over to the NSA, says a former senior Justice Department attorney, speaking to WIRED on condition of anonymity.

“You sometimes see limitations, or what’s referred to as minimization procedures: The government can only use this for the following purpose. There’s nothing like that here,” says the former official. “I’d say this is a very broad order. Nothing in it would prevent the government from sharing that key with intelligence services.”

more after the jump:
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2014/02/courtint/

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« Reply #9973 on: Feb 3rd, 2014, 08:19am »

Japan Times

Jade Rabbit rover enters lunar night, leaving Chinese fans in suspense

AP
3 February 2014


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One small hop: China's first moon rover, Jade Rabbit, touches the lunar surface on Dec. 15 in this photo taken by the onboard camera of the lunar probe Chang'e-3 and shown on the big screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center. | AP



BEIJING – The Jade Rabbit did not go quietly into that long lunar night, and may yet function when it is next able to communicate with its home planet, Earth.

China’s troubled robotic moon rover — given voice by a government news agency — melodramatically pondered the meaning of its perhaps-fleeting existence, measured its contribution to humanity and, finally, said goodbye.

Then it shut down for the lunar night, which lasts about 14 Earth days, with its operational status still unclear.

The Jade Rabbit’s fans in China sent Lunar New Year’s greetings to the robot Friday, wishing it a speedy recovery from a malfunction it reported before going into hibernation.

“Chinese people have been worried about the Jade Rabbit,” wrote a microblogger with the username Yang Huiyan. “Hope the new year will bring good luck to him.”

The official Xinhua News Agency had carried what it described as a diary entry the rover “wrote” before it shut down.

Despite being usually staid in their coverage of national events, Chinese state media tend to put a folksy touch on certain stories that help drum up national pride. State news outlets are especially fond of giving cutesy personalities to nonhuman actors playing key roles in propaganda efforts, whether they are pandas returning from zoos abroad or, in the Jade Rabbit’s case, the stars of its military-backed space program.

In the Xinhua diary entry, the Jade Rabbit takes on the tone of a heroic adventurer who has encountered an obstacle that might prove insurmountable, and who is trying to put on a brave face as it pens what might be its final farewell.

“If this journey must come to an early end, I am not afraid,” said the six-wheeled, solar-powered rover.

“Whether or not the repairs are successful, I believe even my malfunctions will provide my masters with valuable information and experience.”

The personification of the rover has been a hit with the Chinese public. Parts of the Xinhua report were quoted by an unofficial Chinese microblog account written with the Jade Rabbit’s voice, and the blog was flooded with tens of thousands of sympathetic comments.

As for the rover’s fate, a report Thursday by the state-run Science and Technology Daily newspaper said that would only be clear at the end of the lunar night.

On Jan. 26, the rover said its “masters” — the space program’s engineers, presumably — had found an abnormality in its control mechanism and were working to fix it. It provided no details on what the problem was, but hinted that it was serious.

“Even so, I know I may not make it through this lunar night,” it said, striking a somber note.

The Jade Rabbit began operating last month after making the first soft landing on the moon by a space probe, Chang’e 3, in 37 years. The moon lander is named after Chang’e, a mythical goddess of the moon, and the rover is named after the goddess’ pet Yutu, or Jade Rabbit in English.

In the diary entry, the Jade Rabbit recounted its achievements in the 42 days it spent on the moon, saying it traveled more than 100 meters and collected a large amount of scientific data with a panoramic camera, radar and other equipment.

But in a line clearly written with the aim of tugging at heartstrings, the Xinhua report had the Jade Rabbit appealing to its readers to take care of the spacecraft that brought it to the moon, Chang’e, in the rover’s absence.

“If I really cannot be fixed, when the time comes, I hope everyone will remember to help me comfort her,” it said.

The rover was designed to roam the lunar surface for three months while surveying for natural resources and sending back data. Then it ran into problems as it was shutting down in preparation for the lunar night when the temperature drops to minus 180 degrees Celsius.

“The sun has already set here and the temperature is falling very quickly. I’ve said a lot today, yet still feel like it’s not enough,” the rover said in its concluding paragraphs.

“I’ll tell everyone a secret. Actually, I’m not feeling especially sad. Just like any other hero, I’ve only encountered a little problem while on my own adventure.

“Good night, planet Earth. Good night, humanity.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/02/03/world/jade-rabbit-rover-enters-lunar-night-leaving-chinese-fans-in-suspense/#.Uu-kIJDTm1s

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9974 on: Feb 3rd, 2014, 09:25am »

on Feb 3rd, 2014, 08:19am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Japan Times

Jade Rabbit rover enters lunar night, leaving Chinese fans in suspense

AP
3 February 2014

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Good morning Crystal.
There's no stars in that picture and I swear I see the head of a dead grey poking out of the sand.
Why is the picture such low quality? shocked
Just joking. laugh
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