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+ - MS handing NSA access to encrypted chat & email->

Submitted by kaptink
kaptink (699820) writes "Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new portal. The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on, including Hotmail. The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide. Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in that allows users to create email aliases. Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio. Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport"."
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+ - Computer mouse inventor Doug Engelbart dies at 88->

Submitted by kaptink
kaptink (699820) writes "Technology visionary Douglas Engelbart, who revolutionized computing with the invention of the mouse, has sadly died at the age of 88.

After studying electrical engineering at Oregon State University and serving as a radar technician during World War II, Engelbart first demonstrated his invention along with video teleconferencing at a computer conference in San Francisco in 1968 where other experts gave him a standing ovation. Two years later, he won a patent on the mouse, a wood box with two metal wheels in its earliest design. He then worked at Nasa's predecessor, Naca, as an electrical engineer, but soon left to pursue a doctorate at University of California, Berkeley.

His interest in how computers could be used to aid human cognition eventually led him to Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and then his own laboratory, the Augmentation Research Center. His laboratory helped develop ARPANet, the government research network that led to the internet.

He was intensely driven instead by a belief that computers could be used to augment human intellect. In talks and papers, he described with zeal and bravado a vision of a society in which groups of highly productive workers would spend many hours a day collectively manipulating information on shared computers.

"The possibilities we are pursuing involve an integrated man-machine working relationship, where close, continuous interaction with a computer avails the human of radically changed information-handling and -portrayal skills," he wrote in a 1961 research proposal at SRI.

His work, he argued with typical conviction, "competes in social significance with research toward harnessing thermonuclear power, exploring outer space, or conquering cancer.

The mouse patent had a 17-year life span and in 1987 the technology fell into the public domain — meaning Engelbart could not collect royalties on the mouse when it was in its widest use. At least one billion have been sold since the mid-1980s. But the mild-mannered Engelbart played down the importance of his inventions, stressing instead his bigger vision of using collaboration over computers to solve the world's problems.

"Many of those firsts came right out of the staff's innovations — even had to be explained to me before I could understand them," he said in a biography written by his daughter. "They deserve more recognition.""

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Comment: Does anyone remember room 641A in AT&T's basem (Score 4, Informative) 568

by kaptink (#43929601) Attached to: The NSA: Never Not Watching

This has been going on at least since 2005 and its more than just phone call records -

"Room 641A is located in the SBC Communications building at 611 Folsom Street, San Francisco, three floors of which were occupied by AT&T before SBC purchased AT&T.[1] The room was referred to in internal AT&T documents as the SG3 [Study Group 3] Secure Room. It is fed by fiber optic lines from beam splitters installed in fiber optic trunks carrying Internet backbone traffic[3] and, as analyzed by J. Scott Marcus, a former CTO for GTE and a former adviser to the FCC, has access to all Internet traffic that passes through the building, and therefore "the capability to enable surveillance and analysis of internet content on a massive scale, including both overseas and purely domestic traffic. Former director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, William Binney, has estimated that 10 to 20 such facilities have been installed throughout the United States.[2]"

Comment: This all looks to now be resolved (Score 5, Informative) 143

by kaptink (#41987089) Attached to: CyanogenMod Domain Hijacked

This all looks to now be resolved -

From the cyanogenmod blog -

(ciwrl wrote this, I’m just posting on his behalf so this is resolved)

So earlier today we put up a post on what prompted us to transition to our new domain. We refrained from identifying the ex-member out of respect for his privacy and career outside of CM. Suffice it to say you guys aren’t slouches, and figured it out on your own.

With that said, the ex-member in question contacted us and has agreed to hand over control of the domain. This was done as amicably as these things can be, and CM did not pay the fee he requested.

We will still be using as our primary domain, and the .com address will simply redirect to this new domain. Ironically enough, ‘.org’ is better than ‘.com’ as we are not a commercial entity, and is far more in line with how CyanogenMod is structured.

We received a common question, that we’d like to take a moment to answer. Some of you contacted us mentioning that you had previously donated to a different address. When the forum began, up until about 3 months ago, the forum utilized this other address as the mechanism for forum donations and establishment of the ‘Donator’ badge. Donations made to this address prior to three months ago were used for the CyanogenMod forum IPB licence and forum related costs and were not misappropriated.

On a side note, we have also gone through internal restructuring to make sure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. Nobody has control over everything, and there is no longer such a large single-point of failure. Our lessons have been learned.

We ask that you please not perform any vigilante actions, we do not condone any such thing; just let this fade.

We want to move on, get you the builds you expect from us, and not mess around with distractions.


+ - Microsoft's appologises for epic fail presentation in Oslo ->

Submitted by kaptink
kaptink (699820) writes "Microsoft has gone on the defensive this week after a clip from their latest developers conference started making the rounds featuring classy lyrics such as "The words MICRO and SOFT don't apply to my penis". The audience of programmers were not amused, and naturally turned to Twitter to get their hate on.

"For those not here, we had flashing disco lights, bad lyrics about penis, disco beats and dancing azure girls, so cringeworthy," one programmer tweeted.

"Wow #microsoft this music thing is probably the most embarrassing I've ever seen and heard," tweeted another.

See it all here —"

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+ - MPAA CEO warns "Politicians should remember who bo->

Submitted by kaptink
kaptink (699820) writes "The now ex-US senator and current CEO of the MPAA, Chris Dodd, may face a White House investigation after he made an extraordinary outburst that appeared to threaten politicians who had the audacity to take the entertainment industry’s money and then abandon SOPA/PIPA online-piracy legislation.

“Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake," Dodd told Fox News. "Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”"

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+ - Iran ex-president's website censored and then shut->

Submitted by kaptink
kaptink (699820) writes "A website ( belonging to Iran's former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has criticised the current regime, has been shut down, his brother told the ISNA news agency yesterday. Rafsanjani has come under attack for his backing of opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi in the 2009 presidential election and also for criticizing the postelection crackdown.

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's office manager and younger brother, Mohammad Hashemi, confirmed today in an interview with Iran's ILNA news agency that the website of the former president and head of the Expediency Council has been blocked after officials intervened over the site's content.

The company providing services to Rafsanjani's site called and said they've been ordered to cut services to the site. "Fifteen minutes later, the site was out of service" ISNA quoted the brother as saying.

"We are going to see on Saturday who gave that order." — He explained that Iran's internet surveillance commission sent an email several days ago requesting that some of the content posted on the site be taken down, specifically speeches made by Rafsanjani during prayers. Hashemi said the request was denied.

Since the election, Iran has blocked dozens of opposition websites, including the website of former reformist President Mohammad Khatami. Opposition members believe Ahmadinejad’s re-election was fraudulent.

A conservative website accused Rafsanjani’s website of seeking to create rifts within the hardline camp ahead of March 12 parliamentary elections.

“Rafsanjani’s site is making efforts to create differences among (conservatives),” the website,, said late Thursday.

Registration of candidates for the election ends Friday. The country’s major reformist groups are staying out of the race, claiming that basic requirements for free and fair elections have not been met.

In their absence, the poll for the 290-seat assembly is likely to pit candidates who remain staunchly loyal to the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei against those who support Ahmadinejad.

Hashemi says that after the webmaster of the ex-president's website failed to obey authorities' demand to remove the sermons, the website was blocked. He says the order came in an e-mail.

He calls the decision "illegal."

"It wasn't a legal order. In addition, it is not clear who ordered it," Hashemi says."

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+ - Stephen Hawking looking for personal techie->

Submitted by kaptink
kaptink (699820) writes "One of the great grandmasters of space, time and the history of our existance is seeking an assistant to help develop and maintain the electronic speech system that allows him to communicate his vision of the universe.

An informal job ad posted on Stephen's website said the assistant should be computer literate, ready to travel and able to repair electronic devices "with no instruction manual or technical support".

Hawking has long struggled against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that left him almost completely paralysed.

He lost his real voice in a tracheotomy in 1985, but has something based on NeoSpeech's VoiceText speech synthesiser mounted on his wheelchair that helps synthesise speech by interpreting the twitches of his face. The synthesiser's robotic monotone has become nearly as famous as Hawking himself, but the computer — powered by batteries fastened to the back of Hawking's wheelchair — isn't just for speaking.

It can connect to the internet over mobile phone networks and a universal infrared remote enables the physicist to switch on the lights, watch television, or open doors either at home or at the office.

It's a complicated, tailor-made system, as the ad makes clear. A photograph of the back of Hawking's wheelchair, loaded with coiled wires and electronic equipment, is pictured under the words: "Could you maintain this?"

"If your answer is 'yes', we'd like to hear from you!" the website says.
Hawking's website says that the job's salary is expected to be about $38,500 a year."

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The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.