Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November 18, 2012

Trying to Keep Your E-Mails Secret When the C.I.A. Chief Couldn’t

By  Published: November 16, 2012 If David H. Petraeus couldn’t keep his affair from prying eyes as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, then how is the average American to keep a secret? Megan Piontkowski
Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times "Everyone is reading everyone else’s e-mails," says Dan Kaminsky, an Internet security expert, "because it’s just so easy to do." In the past, a spymaster might have placed a flower pot with a red flag on his balcony or drawn a mark on page 20 of his mistress’s newspaper. Instead, Mr. Petraeus used Gmail. And he got caught. Granted, most people don’t have the Federal Bureau of Investigation sifting through their personal e-mails, but privacy experts say people grossly underestimate how transparent their digital communications have become. “What people don’t realize is that hacking and spying went mainstream a decade ago,” said Dan Kaminsky, an Internet security researcher. “They think hacking is some d…

THE BLACK SITES

A rare look inside the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program.BY 




In March, Mariane Pearl, the widow of the murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, received a phone call from Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General. At the time, Gonzales’s role in the controversial dismissal of eight United States Attorneys had just been exposed, and the story was becoming a scandal in Washington. Gonzales informed Pearl that the Justice Department was about to announce some good news: a terrorist in U.S. custody—Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Al Qaeda leader who was the primary architect of the September 11th attacks—had confessed to killing her husband. (Pearl was abducted and beheaded five and a half years ago in Pakistan, by unidentified Islamic militants.) The Administration planned to release a transcript in which Mohammed boasted, “I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to co…

Navy Seals Embark on a Hellish Literary Adventure

Since its announcement last week, the book “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden,” written by a pseudonymous member of that Navy SEAL team mission, has stirred up unintended controversies over its author’s right to disclose the details of the operation; his identity; and any perceived political motives behind its publication. Meanwhile, a fictional counterpoint to that book is deliberately trying to catch hell. A new novel by Weston Ochse, called “SEAL Team 666″ and being published by Thomas Dunne Books on Dec. 11, is positioning itself as “SEAL Team 6 meets Stephen King,” according to the publisher’s catalog copy, in which a cadet named Jack Walker is brought into a special-ops squad that fights “demons, possessed humans, mass-murdering cults and evil in its most dark and ancient form.” Mr. Ochse, whose book “Scarecrow Gods” won a Bram Stoker Award in 2005 for best first novel, said that he was inspired to write “SEAL Team 666″ last May, when…

Assange Needs to Leave Ecuador´s Embassy - Lawyer

RIA Novosti 03:01 11/11/2012 MEXICO, November 11 (RIA Novosti) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, sheltering inside Ecuador’s embassy in London, should not remain there any longer as his health condition might begin worsening, his lawyer Baltasar Garzon said. Assange, 41, has been hiding at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June to avoid his extradition to Sweden, where he faces a case in a rape trial that he calls politically motivated. “If his stay at the embassy continues we will encounter with [Assange’s] serious health and psychological problems,” said Spanish ex-judge Garzon, who is currently on a visit to Brazil. Assange stays in a studio room that has space for little more than a mattress on the floor, a rickety shelving unit, a small round table with leatherette chairs. There is also a running machine and he runs between three and five miles each day. He maintains a strict exercise regime, seeing a personal trainer every other day, but his health condition, according to…

Autonomous Aerial Robot Maneuvers Like a Bird

November 02, 2012 by Matthew Hilburn Researchers at Cornell University have developed a flying robot they say is “as smart as a bird” because it can maneuver to avoid obstacles. They say it eventually could be used in search-and-rescue operations because of its ability to maneuver through forests, tunnels or inside damaged buildings. “Most previous robots assumed perfectly known location of obstacles,” said Ashutosh Saxena, assistant professor of computer science who led the team developing the robot. “Some of the recent ones used 3-D cameras to navigate indoors. However, these techniques did not apply to outdoor environments with unstructured obstacles like trees, branches and poles. In that sense, this is a first one that can learn to avoid such obstacles.” Miniature Aerial Vehicles are commonly used today for a variety of tasks, but they are mostly guided by humans using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. Saxena’s team wanted to program the robot to recognize obstacles an…

China Unveils Yi Long UAV

RIA Novosti 10:35 14/11/2012 BEIJING, November 14 (RIA Novosti) - China has unveiled for the first time its Yi Long unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) local media reported on Wednesday, which its makers claim is far cheaper than its Israeli and American analogs at less than $1 million. The UAV, which was unveiled at the Air China aerospace show in Zhuhai on Tuesday, has been under development by the Chengdu aircraft-building institute since 2005, and made a first test-flight in 2008, and has only been previously shown in model form. Yi Long can be used for military or civil tasks, the makers say, including geophysical or post-disaster survey work. The aircraft has a length of 9.34 meters, a wingspan of 14 meters and a mass of just over a ton. It has a ceiling of 5,300 meters and a range of 4,000 kilometers, with an endurance of up to 20 hours. Pictures shown on Sky News show it has having a similar configuration to the US-made MQ-9 Reaper, with a pusher engine, V-tail, long-span straight w…

CIA Declassifies Secret Spy Satellite Capsule

Navy News Service Story Number: NNS121105-10
11/5/2012 By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Scott A. McCall, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- More than 400 people from around the Pacific Northwest attended a declassification recognition event at the Naval Undersea Museum's Jack Murdock Auditorium in Keyport for the deep sea vehicle Trieste II (DSV 1), Nov. 3. The event was sponsored by the Historical Collections Division (HCD) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in partnership with the museum and an independent publication called Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly. The information released was on a salvage operation conducted April 25, 1972 by Lt. Cmdr. Malcolm Bartels, Lt. Cmdr. Phil Stryker Jr., and Lt. Richard Taylor describing the recovery of a satellite film capsule from a depth 16,400 feet below the Pacific Ocean. "I think it was very significant because it's just a really great story," said …

Can California save the planet?

National Geographic News Published November 16, 2012 The state that has instigated every key U.S. effort to curb fossil-fuel emissions since the 1960s now will tackle the greatest challenge of all—reining in greenhouse gases—with a cap-and-trade system launched this week. In a closed three-hour auction conducted online Wednesday, California's energy companies and large manufacturers placed their bids for 62 million permits that essentially give them the right to pollute. Using these chits and a healthy number of free permits California has allocated them, the businesses begin in January operating in a market-based program that officials hope will cut the state's carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent over the next eight years. (Related: "Pictures: Nine Surprisingly Gassy Cities") The aim is ambitious, and for advocates of action on climate change, there is a larger goal still. They are hoping that California will lead the way to the kind of broader action on global wa…