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United States

Submission + - Declassified LBJ Tapes Accuse Richard Nixon of Treason

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "After the Watergate scandal taught Richard Nixon the consequences of recording White House conversations none of his successors has dared to do it. But Nixon wasn't the first. He got the idea from his predecessor Lyndon Johnson, who felt there was an obligation to allow historians to eventually eavesdrop on his presidency. Now David Taylor reports on BBC that the latest set of declassified tapes of President Lyndon Johnson's telephone calls show that by the time of the Presidential election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence the Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks — or, as he put it, that Nixon was guilty of treason and had "blood on his hands". It begins in the summer of 1968. Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war that he knew would derail his campaign. Nixon therefore set up a clandestine back-channel to the South Vietnamese involving Anna Chennault, a senior campaign adviser. In late October 1968 there were major concessions from Hanoi which promised to allow meaningful talks to get underway in Paris. This was exactly what Nixon feared. Chennault was despatched to the South Vietnamese embassy with a clear message: the South Vietnamese government should withdraw from the talks, refuse to deal with Johnson, and if Nixon was elected, they would get a much better deal. Meanwhile the FBI had bugged the ambassador's phone and transcripts of Chennault's calls were sent to the White House. Johnson was told by Defense Secretary Clark Clifford that the interference was illegal and threatened the chance for peace. The president gave Humphrey enough information to sink his opponent but by then, a few days from the election, Humphrey had been told he had closed the gap with Nixon and would win the presidency so Humphrey decided it would be too disruptive to the country to accuse the Republicans of treason, if the Democrats were going to win anyway. In the end Nixon won by less than 1% of the popular vote, escalated the war into Laos and Cambodia with the loss of an additional 22,000 American lives, and finally settled for a peace agreement in 1973 that was within grasp in 1968."
EU

Submission + - Decade-old espionage malware found targeting government computers (arstechnica.com)

alancronin writes: Researchers have unearthed a decade-long espionage operation that used the popular TeamViewer remote-access program and proprietary malware to target high-level political and industrial figures in Eastern Europe.

TeamSpy, as the shadow group has been dubbed, collected encryption keys and documents marked as "secret" from a variety of high-level targets, according to a report published Wednesday by Hungary-based CrySyS Lab. Targets included a Russia-based Embassy for an undisclosed country belonging to both NATO and the European Union, an industrial manufacturer also located in Russia, multiple research and educational organizations in France and Belgium, and an electronics company located in Iran. CrySyS learned of the attacks after Hungary's National Security Authority disclosed intelligence that TeamSpy had hit an unnamed "Hungarian high-profile governmental victim."

Submission + - NASA: Voyager-1 has not yet left the solar system (nasa.gov)

skade88 writes: From the JPL's Voyager's team blog: "The Voyager team is aware of reports today that NASA's Voyager 1 has left the solar system," said Edward Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. "It is the consensus of the Voyager science team that Voyager 1 has not yet left the solar system or reached interstellar space. In December 2012, the Voyager science team reported that Voyager 1 is within a new region called 'the magnetic highway' where energetic particles changed dramatically. A change in the direction of the magnetic field is the last critical indicator of reaching interstellar space and that change of direction has not yet been observed."

To learn more about the current status of the Voyager mission, visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2012-381

The Voyager spacecraft were built and continue to be operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, Calif. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. The Voyager missions are a part of NASA's Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Science

Submission + - 3D TV, Without the Glasses (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: If you've pondered whether to sink a cool couple of grand into a fancy new three-dimensional TV but didn't want to mess around with those dorky glasses, you may want to sit tight for a few more years. Researchers at Hewlett Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, California, report that they've come up with a new 3D technology that not only doesn't require viewers to wear special glasses, but it also can be viewed from a wide variety of angles. The advance could propel the development of mobile 3D devices as well as TVs.
DRM

Submission + - Defend the Open Web: Keep DRM Out of W3C Standards (eff.org)

jrepin writes: "There's a new front in the battle against digital restrictions management (DRM) technologies. These technologies, which supposedly exist to enforce copyright, have never done anything to get creative people paid. Instead, by design or by accident, their real effect is to interfere with innovation, fair use, competition, interoperability, and our right to own things. That's why we were appalled to learn that there is a proposal currently before the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML5 Working Group to build DRM into the next generation of core Web standards. The proposal is called Encrypted Media Extensions, or EME. Its adoption would be a calamitous development, and must be stopped."
NASA

Submission + - Amazon's Jeff Bezos Expeditions recovers pieces of Apollo 11 rockets (bezosexpeditions.com)

skade88 writes: So Jeff Bezos has been spending his time lately fishing up old parts of the Apollo 11 rockets. Neat stuff! I will let y'all read his words, I do not think I could be so elegant.

From his blog "What an incredible adventure. We are right now onboard the Seabed Worker headed back to Cape Canaveral after finishing three weeks at sea, working almost 3 miles below the surface. We found so much. We’ve seen an underwater wonderland – an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo program. We photographed many beautiful objects in situ and have now recovered many prime pieces. Each piece we bring on deck conjures for me the thousands of engineers who worked together back then to do what for all time had been thought surely impossible."

News

Submission + - UK Public O.K. with creating babies from 3 people (usatoday.com)

skade88 writes: USA Today is running a story saying the UK public is cool with creating babies from 3 different people after Britain's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority began a public discussion of the topic at the government's request last year. The technology will be used to cure children of disorders before the child is even born. Even better, Britain's fertility regulator did not find evidence to suggest the techniques were unsafe.

From the article: "There are two procedures to avoid passing on faulty mitochondria. The first involves using an egg from one woman with mitochondrial defects and the sperm of the father. Scientists then put that embryo into an emptied egg from a second woman with healthy mitochondria. The DNA from the second woman amounts to less than 1 percent of the embryo's genes.

In the second technique, scientists transfer nuclear DNA out of a day-old embryo with defective mitochondria. The DNA is implanted into another single-cell embryo with normal mitochondria. The nuclear DNA from the donor embryo is discarded, leaving the healthy mitochondria."

Google

Submission + - Google Fiber expands to Olathe Kansas (forbes.com)

skade88 writes: If you are one of the lucky 125,000 people who live in Olathe, Kansas, the rest of us congratulate you on your new amazing $70.00/month, 1 GB Google fiber service. Google also announced they will be letting us know about further cities that will be wired up with Google Fiber service soon. This shows that Google Fiber is not just a sandbox they are going to keep in Kansas City, Google Fiber is a real business they will keep expanding. In other exciting news, the FCC wants to see at least one community in each state with 1 Gigabit home service by 2015.
The Media

Submission + - Could Twitter Have Prevented the War In Iraq? 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "On the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, Eric Boehlert writes that if Twitter had been around during the winter of 2002-2003 it could have provided a forum for critics to badger Beltway media insiders who abdicated their role as journalists and fell in line behind the Bush White House's march to war. "Twitter could have helped puncture the Beltway media bubble by providing news consumers with direct access to confront journalists during the run-up to the war," writes Boehlert. "And the pass-around nature of Twitter could have rescued forgotten or buried news stories and commentaries that ran against the let's-go-to-war narrative that engulfed so much of the mainstream press." For example, imagine how Twitter could have been used in real time on February 5, 2003, when Secretary of State Colin Powell made his infamous attack-Iraq presentation to the United Nations. At the time, Beltway pundits positively swooned over Powell's air-tight case for war. "But Twitter could have swarmed journalists with instant analysis about the obvious shortcoming. That kind of accurate, instant analysis of Powell's presentation was posted on blogs but ignored by a mainstream media enthralled by the White House's march to war." Ten years ago, Twitter could have also performed the task of making sure news stories that raised doubts about the war didn't fall through the cracks, as invariably happened back then. With swarms of users touting the reports, it would have been much more difficult for reporters and pundits to dismiss important events and findings. "Ignoring Twitter, and specifically ignoring what people are saying about your work on Twitter, isn't really an option the way turning a blind eye to anti-war bloggers may have been ten years ago," concludes Boehlert. "In other words, Twitter could have been the megaphone — the media equalizer — that war critics lacked ten years ago,""
Cloud

Submission + - MA Proposed Expansion Of Cloud Computing Tax (wbur.org)

lmw94002 writes: So Gov. Patrick is trying to add two billion to the budget by adding taxes everywhere. Can taxing cloud services really work? If I'm a business man that accesses the cloud services primarily when out of state on travel, do I have to pay taxes on them?
NASA

Submission + - Voyager 1 officially exits our solar system (agu.org)

An anonymous reader writes: A new study released today indicates that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has become the first man-made object to exit our solar system. Instrumentation data sent back to NASA indicate the historic event likely occurred on August 25, 2012, evidenced by drastic changes in radiation levels as the craft ventured past the heliopause. What remains to be seen, however, is whether Voyager 1 has actually made it to true interstellar space, or whether it has entered a separate, undefined region beyond our solar system. Either way, the achievement is truly monumental. "It's outside the normal heliosphere, I would say that. We're in a new region," said Bill Webber, professor emeritus of astronomy at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. "And everything we're measuring is different and exciting."
Government

Submission + - CIA to hand over Drone Program to Pentagon (heavy.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Obama administration has decided to give the drone program to the Pentagon, taking it away from the CIA. It could lead to increased transparency for the program and stricter requirements for drone strikes.
Government

Submission + - Laser pointers produce too much energy, pose risks for the careless (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "Commercial grade green and red laser pointers emit energy far beyond what is safe, posing skin, eye and fire hazards. That was the conclusion of a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) study on the properties of handheld laser devices that tested 122 of the devices and found that nearly 90% of green pointers and about 44% of red pointers tested were out of federal safety regulation compliance."
Power

Submission + - Fukushima cooling knocked offline by...a rat

necro81 writes: The cooling system at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, responsible for keeping the spent fuel pools at an appropriate temperature, lost power early on March 18th. During the blackout, the temperature in the spent fuel pools gradually increased, although TEPCO officials indicated the pools could warm for four days without risking radiation release. Power was restored earlier this morning, and the pools should be back to normal temperature in a few days. During the repairs the charred remains of a rat were found in a critical area of wiring, leading some to believe that this rodent was the cause of this latest problem. At least it wasn't a mynock — then we'd really be in trouble.

Submission + - V&A scraps Napalm Death gig for fear decibel levels will damage the Ming vas (standard.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: "The Victoria and Albert Museum has cancelled an âoeexperimentalâ concert by a death metal rock band amid fears that the high decibel levels could destroy some of its most treasured artefacts, including Ming vases and priceless sculptures.

The British band planned to play inside a specially-constructed ceramic sculpture with the idea that the piece would explode under the force of hits such as Order of the Leech and Fear, Emptiness, Despair"

Submission + - French Prime Minister instructions on the usage of Free Software (april.org) 2

An anonymous reader writes: In September, 2012 was published a circular, signed by the French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, which presents "Orientations and Recommendations relative to the Use of Free Software in French Administration". This document is the result of an interdepartmental work carried out by the DISIC ("Direction interministérielle des systèmes d'information et de communication", Interdepartmental Direction Directorate of information systems and communication).

Back then, April, French advocacy association devoted to promoting and protecting Free Software, published a press release "Ayrault Circular: progress for the use of Free Software in the French administration, pending the legislative part".

April has published an English translation of the document : "French Prime Minister instructions on the usage of Free Software in the French administration"

Microsoft

Submission + - Making a Case for Security Optimism (net-security.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The information security industry is known for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. We are bombarded with depressive statistics and buzzwords on a daily basis and those can overshadow the real progress that's being made. Jeff Jones, Director at Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, takes a broad view of the industry and talks about making a case for security optimism.
Cloud

Submission + - Apple Hires Former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, Destroyer of iPhones (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: "Why did Apple hire former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch as vice president of technology? Adobe and Apple spent years fighting a much-publicized battle over the latter’s decision to ban Adobe Flash from iOS devices. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was very public in his condemnation of Flash as a tool for rich-content playback, denigrating it in an April 2010 letter posted on Apple’s Website as flawed with regard to battery life, security, reliability and performance. Lynch was very much the public face of Adobe’s public-relations pushback to Apple’s criticism; in a corporate video shot for an Adobe developer conference in 2009, he even helped run an iPhone over with a steamroller. (Hat tip to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber for digging that video up.) As recently as 2010, he was still arguing that Flash was superior to HTML5, which eventually surpassed it to become the virtual industry standard for Web-based rich content. It’s interesting to speculate whether Steve Jobs would have hired someone who so publicly denigrated Apple’s flagship product. But Jobs is dead, and his corporate successors in Cupertino—tasked with leading Apple through a period of fierce competition—obviously looked at Lynch and decided he’d make a perfect fit as an executive."
Botnet

Submission + - Botnet uses default passwords to conduct "Internet Census 2012" (bitbucket.org)

An anonymous reader writes: By using four different login combinations on the default Telnet port (root/root, admin/admin, root/[no password], and admin/[no password]), an anonymous researcher was able to log into (and upload a binary to) "several hundred thousand unprotected devices" and run "a super fast distributed port scanner" to scan the enitre IPv4 address space.

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