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The Military

WikiLeaks Publishes Afghan War Secrets 966

A number of readers submitted word on the massive WikiLeaks release of Afghanistan war documents. "The data is provided in CSV and SQL formats, sorted by months, and also was rendered into KML mapping data." WikiLeaks provided the documents in advance to the New York Times, Der Spiegel, and the UK's Guardian — the latter also has up a video tutorial on how to read the logs. From the Times: "A six-year archive of classified military documents... offers an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal. The secret documents... are a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year. The New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian, and the German magazine Der Spiegel were given access to the voluminous records several weeks ago on the condition that they not report on the material before Sunday. The documents — some 92,000 reports spanning parts of two administrations from January 2004 through December 2009 — illustrate in mosaic detail why, after the United States has spent almost $300 billion on the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban are stronger than at any time since 2001."
Wireless Networking

Survey Says Most iPhone Users Love AT&T 490

Hugh Pickens writes "In a report sure to raise eyebrows, CNN Money claims that despite a very vocal group of detractors, the vast majority of iPhone users love AT&T. A survey released this week by Yankee Group reports that 73% of iPhone owners scored their satisfaction with the carrier as an 8, 9, or 10 on a 10-point scale. The results seem surprising, given the pounding AT&T has taken in the media and on the blogosphere about its service-related issues with the iPhone and AT&T's recent iPad-related security glitch. For its part, AT&T says its network really isn't as bad as many people think. 'There's a gap between what people hear about us and what their experience is with us. We think that gap is beginning to close,' says Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman. 'It doesn't mean we're perfect; we still have work to do. But that's no surprise to us, because we have a great network.'" Buried in the penultimate paragraph is the somewhat alarming note that "77% of iPhone owners say they'll buy another iPhone, compared to 20% of Android customers who say they'll buy another Android phone."

Comment One Example (Score 1) 453

Cool article. I just wrapped up work on my undergrad, music education. I spent the entire fall semester student teaching in my city's public fine arts magnet school (I teach band). These kids all had to audition into the school in specific art areas (band, strings, art, drama, creative writing, dance, ballet, etc) and their minds are all running at about a mile a minute. Even though these kids were all there for the arts, I knew that at least a few of them would end up as programmers for Google, Sun, or whatever in the future. With that in mind, I created a hybrid music/computer programming project with the free, open source program LilyPond ( With the teachers' assistance, we had 5th graders composing music by hand onto manuscript, which they then transferred into LilyPond on the computer. They were successful in producing beautiful manuscript in a computer-programming-oriented way. I had a fun, though nerdy semester.

US Life Expectancy May Have Peaked 1053

Hugh Pickens writes "Live Science reports that although life expectancy in the United States has risen to an all-time high of 77.9 years in 2007 up from 77.7 in 2006, gains in life expectancy may be pretty much over, as some groups — particularly people in rural locations are already stagnating or slipping in contrast to all other industrialized nations. Hardest hit are regions in the Deep South, along the Mississippi River, in Appalachia and also the southern part of the Midwest reaching into Texas. The culprits — largely preventable with better diet and access to medical services — are diabetes, cancers and heart disease caused by smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. What the new analysis reveals is the reality of two Americas, one on par with most of Europe and parts of Asia, and another no different than a third-world nation with the United States placing 41st on the 2008 CIA World Factbook list, behind Bosnia but still edging out Albania. 'Beginning in the early 1980s and continuing through 1999 those who were already disadvantaged did not benefit from the gains in life expectancy experienced by the advantaged, and some became even worse off,' says a report published in PLoS Medicine by a team led by Harvard's Majid Ezzati, adding that 'study results are troubling because an oft-stated aim of the US health system is the improvement of the health of "all people, and especially those at greater risk of health disparities.'"

Submission + - US Report: NASA Can't Track Deadly Asteroids ( 1

xp65 writes: "A new U.S. government report says the U.S. space agency does not have enough money to find asteroids that could destroy life on Earth. The National Academy of Sciences said Wednesday that Congress has yet to give NASA the money it needs to build telescopes to track the potentially deadly space objects. Congress passed a law in 2005 ordering NASA to find 90 percent of asteroids bigger than 140 kilometers by 2020. The academy report says NASA cannot meet this goal under its existing budget."

Submission + - Voting Machine Attacks are Practical

An anonymous reader writes: Every time a bunch of academics show vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines the critics complain that the attacks aren't realistic, that attackers won't have access to source code, or design documents, or be able to manipulate the hardware, etc. So this time a bunch of computer scientists from UCSD, Michigan and Princeton offer a rebuttal. They completely 0wn the AVC Advantage using no access to source code or design documents and deliver a complete working attack in a plug in cartridge that could be used by anyone with a few private minutes with the machine. Moreover, they came up with some cool tricks to do this on a machine protected against traditional code injection attacks (the AVC processor will only execute instructions from ROM). Paper from this weeks USENIX EVT here.

Submission + - Mursoch's Gamble: We'll Charge For All Our Sites (

Oracle Goddess writes: "In what appears to be a carefully planned suicide, Rupert Murdoch announced that his media giant News Corporation Ltd intends to charge for all its news websites in a bid to lift revenues, as the transition towards online media permanently changes the advertising landscape. "The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive methods of distribution, but it has not made content free. Accordingly we intend to charge for all our news websites," Murdoch said. Is this the last desperate move of a media mogul who is desperately out of touch with reality?"

Submission + - Weaponizing The Apple iPod Touch 1

ancientribe writes: It turns out the Apple iPod Touch makes a handy hacking tool as well as a music/movie player and browsing device: a security expert and author was able to easily convert the device into a stealthy attack platform. After "jail-breaking" the iPod Touch, Thomas Wilhelm outfitted the device with the popular Metasploit hacking software as well as various password-cracking and Web app hacking applications. The main attraction for using the iPod Touch for attacking is it's portable and doesn't arouse suspicion while a hacker sniffs traffic and hacks passwords with it.
Social Networks

Submission + - ESPN Bans Employees from Facebook and Twitter

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo writes: The hammer just came down, tweeps: ESPN memo prohibiting tweeting info unless it serves ESPN," Bucher wrote, capping it with a choice of words that conjures memories of a certain Twilight Zone cookbook. "Kinda figured this was coming." And then Bucher acknowledged the distinct possibility that he has stepped into a pile of, um, trouble. "I'm probably violating some sort of policy just by telling you," Bucher wrote. "In any case, stay tuned."

Submission + - Britain wants to ban airbrushed images (

dougrun writes: "Britain is continuing its battle against Photoshop. Liberal Democrats are in an uproar over recent Oil of Olay ads featuring Twiggy with glowing, almost perfect skin. Amazing for a woman of her age. But then photos of the model shopping at Marks & Spencer surfaced, and she looked — dare we say it — her own age, with actual wrinkles and jowls, making the image in the ad seem downright silly. Lawmakers are getting their brows furrowed worrying over what effect this could have on young girls."

Submission + - Pirate Bay's IPREDator not a place to hide (

schliz writes: The Pirate Bay's new IPREDator anonymity service could be insufficiently secure for several use cases — for example, political activism in countries like Iran. The service uses PPTP, which has several known vulnerabilities, and according to IPREDator co-founder Peter Sunde, "can probably be broken by someone that can eavesdrop on the traffic".

The service was announced as a political statement in April and entered beta testing last week.


Submission + - SPAM: NASA and Goodyear build tire that won't go flat 3

coondoggie writes: "Flat tires can be a serious problem whether you are tooling down the interstate or crunching across a foreign planet. In developing what could be the next cool technology for those of us here on earth, NASA and Goodyear have developed an airless tire let large, long-range vehicles transport heavy loads across the surface of the moon. The "Spring Tire" has inside 800 load bearing springs and is designed to carry much heavier vehicles over much greater distances than the wire mesh tire previously used on the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV). According to Goodyear, NASA requires tires that can handle vehicles that will weigh ten-times what Apollo required. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Solar Cycle Linked to Global Climate ( 2

Matt_dk writes: "Establishing a key link between the solar cycle and global climate, new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) shows that maximum solar activity and its aftermath have impacts on Earth that resemble La Niña and El Niño events in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The research may pave the way toward better predictions of temperature and precipitation patterns at certain times during the Sun's cycle, which lasts approximately 11 years."

Submission + - What's In an Educational Game? (

Anonymous Coward writes: "I work at a non profit who's mandate is to increasing science literacy and awareness. One of the methods that we've started exploring is in making free online educational games. Our targeted demographics for the games are kids aged between 8-12, however there is no reason the games could not also appeal to a broader age range. What would you look for in an educational game? Does length and depth of game play matter to you or would you rather play a trivial game with subconscious educational value?"

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