Thursday, October 31, 2013

US taps links to Google, Yahoo data centers: report

Washington (AFP) - The US National Security Agency has tapped into key communications links from Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The Post, citing documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with officials, said the program can collect data at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, including from Americans.

The report said the program dubbed MUSCULAR, operated jointly with NSA's British counterpart GCHQ, indicated that the agencies can intercept data flows from the fiber-optic cables used by the US Internet giants.

The Post report suggests this is a secret program that is unlike PRISM, which relies on court orders to obtain data from technology firms.

According to a top secret document cited by the newspaper dated January 9, 2013, some 181 million records were collected in the prior 30 days, ranging from metadata on emails to content such as text, audio and video.

The document shown by the Post indicates that the NSA intercept takes place outside the United States, and that an unnamed telecommunications provider allowed the secret access.

A graphic in the document suggested that the interception at Google came at a point between the public Internet and Google "cloud" servers.

Acting outside US territory would give the NSA more latitude than within the United States, where it would require court orders, the Post noted.

The NSA, Google and Yahoo did not immediately respond to AFP queries on the report. The Post reported that Google and Yahoo indicated they had not authorized any such access.

NSA chief General Keith Alexander, asked about the allegations during a Washington conference, said he was unaware of the report but argued that the allegations appeared to be inaccurate.

"That (activity) to my knowledge, this never happened," he said.

"In fact there was this allegation in June that the NSA was tapping into the servers of Yahoo or Google, that is factually incorrect."

He added that NSA gains access to data "by court order" and that it would not be "breaking into any databases."

The report comes amid a storm of protest about NSA surveillance both at home and overseas of phone and Internet communications.

On Tuesday, US officials said reports that American spy agencies snooped on millions of Europeans were false.

Alexander told lawmakers that in many cases European spy agencies had turned over phone call records and shared them with US intelligence.

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World Headlines: China Calls Tiananmen Attack Terrorism

A vehicle from the Chinese police special tactical unit guards the sidewalk Tuesday where it is believed a car drove up before it plowed through a crowd and crashed and burned in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Ng Han Guan/AP

A vehicle from the Chinese police special tactical unit guards the sidewalk Tuesday where it is believed a car drove up before it plowed through a crowd and crashed and burned in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Ng Han Guan/AP

China, CCTV

We start this morning with more news on that deadly crash in Beijing's Tiananmen square.

Authorities say they've arrested five people in Beijing in connection with Monday's crash that killed two people and injured nearly 40. They labeled the incident a terrorist attack.

Police said the attack was "carefully planned, organized and premeditated."

The driver of the vehicle that crashed into a crowd of people was identified as Usmen Hasan, a Uighur from China's Xinjiang Province. Passengers included his mother and his wife. All three were also killed in the incident. Police said they found gasoline, two knives and steel sticks as well as a flag with extremist religious content in the jeep.

The five people arrested were also identified with names typically associated with Uighurs. Knives and a "jihad flag" were found in their homes.

The BBC adds that police were originally looking for eight suspects.

Israel, Haaretz

Now to Israel where the head of Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world's largest manufacturer of generic drugs, stepped down Wednesday. Just two days ago, Jeremy Levin denied media reports that he would do so.

"Since I joined Teva, we have made tremendous progress in setting a new course for the company," Levin said following his resignation. "I wish the company and its people, who I respect greatly, every success. I look forward to pursuing new opportunities where I can continue to apply my experience and contribute to the evolution of the global pharmaceutical industry."

Eyal Desheh, the firm's CFO, was named interim CEO.

The company had been criticized over plans to lay off 5,000 workers worldwide and over its tax incentives in Israel – both of which had created a rift between Teva's management and its board.

Argentina, Clarin

Finally, a ruling by the Supreme Court clears the way for the breakup of large media groups in the country.

Critics in the media, including Clarin, the biggest broadcaster and newspaper company, say the law silences the opposition. But supporters say it will reduce the influence of large corporations.

In a statement the Clarin Group said while it respects the court's decision, it is examining further appeals, including to international tribunals. The ruling will likely force it shed many media holdings.

The Supreme Court ruled that the 2009 law was constitutional.

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Michael Jackson 'still loves me,' says freed doctor

Los Angeles (AFP) - Michael Jackson's former doctor Conrad Murray said Wednesday that the late pop icon still loves him, and would be appalled by fans who attack him over the star's 2009 death.

In his first public comments since being released from jail on Monday, Murray said he never harmed the "Thriller" icon, who died from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol administered by the medic.

"I loved Michael very much. I'm a fan of Michael probably more than most," he told the celebrity news website TMZ.

The 60-year-old, who was interviewed through the window of his car, had noticeably darker and thicker black hair than in the first photos of him shortly after he left jail, in which he looked significantly grayer than during his 2009 trial.

Murray, who was looking after Jackson as he rehearsed in Los Angeles for a series of comeback concerts in London, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and jailed for four years. He served two, let out early for good behavior and due to prison overcrowding.

Asked Wednesday about criticism he has faced, he said Jackson "would be appalled, absolutely appalled .. to see what has happened. All of his fans who judge me .. I think Michael will basically tell them to take a look in the mirror."

And he added: "Not that he doesn't care about them. But I don't think he would say that you should judge lest ye be judged. Because Michael knows the truth. The truth is, I never harmed him.

"Michael loves me no less than he loved me then, and I know he loves me today like I love him. He was a man of love, like I am a man of love. And I'll continue to give love.

"For all of those who try to fester hate in their hearts, I'm not going to go there. I don't need to do that. I will give love. I will give respect and I will remain dignified."

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Bellator 106: Pat Curran vs. Daniel Straus Video Preview

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Victorino returns to lineup, dropped to 6th

Boston Red Sox's Shane Victorino answers questions during a media availability Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox are scheduled to host the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of baseball's World Series on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Boston Red Sox's Shane Victorino answers questions during a media availability Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox are scheduled to host the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of baseball's World Series on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Boston Red Sox's Shane Victorino grimaces after being hit by a pitch during the eighth inning of Game 3 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(AP) — Shane Victorino is back in the lineup for the Boston Red Sox for Game 6 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Victorino is batting sixth and playing right field after missing two games because of back tightness. Victorino was available to pinch hit in Monday night's game, but he did not come off the bench in the Red Sox's victory that gave them a 3-2 lead in the series.

The 32-year-old Gold Glove winner batted .294 in the regular season and .429 against Tampa Bay in the first round. But he was 3 for 24 in the AL championship series and is 0 for 10 so far in the World Series.

He spent most of the regular season batting second, hitting from the No. 6 spot just twice.

Associated PressSource:
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Red Sox Win World Series In 6-1 Rout Of Cardinals

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara (19) and catcher David Ross celebrate after Boston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of World Series Wednesday in Boston.

Charlie Riedel/AP

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara (19) and catcher David Ross celebrate after Boston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of World Series Wednesday in Boston.

Charlie Riedel/AP

The Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 Wednesday to win the World Series, using timely hits by outfielder Shane Victorino, a gritty pitching performance by starter John Lackey, and the feared bat of 37-year-old designated hitter David Ortiz to capture its third world championship in a decade.

Victorino, 32, who had missed two games with a bad back, started the scoring in the 3rd with a bases-loaded double that brought in three runs. He drove in another run an inning later.

Ortiz scored twice, after being walked in his first three at-bats (twice intentionally). He had gone 11-for-15 for a .733 average through five games. He struck out in the 6th inning, and was walked again in the 8th. For the series, Ortiz reached base 19 times in 25 plate appearances, had among the highest batting averages ever in a series, and was named the Most Valuable Player.

Lackey took a shutout into the 7th inning, despite having allowed six hits.

Lackey gave up three more hits in the 7th inning — and his second wild pitch of the night — and St. Louis got its only run on a two-out single by Carlos Beltran.

St. Louis starting pitcher Michael Wacha, a 22-year-old rookie who had been sensational throughout the playoffs, was hit hard and took the loss.

Boston won its eighth World Series dating to baseball's first, in 1903, when it won under the name the Boston Americans. It also won in 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004 and 2007. This was the first time Boston clinched a series at home since 1918.

Ortiz is the only Red Sox player remaining from the 2004 team championship team, which broke an 86-year drought for the franchise.

This year, the Red Sox and Cardinals were the league's best teams, with identical 97-65 regular-season records.

The Red Sox were just 69-93 in 2012 under manager Bobby Valentine, who was fired. This year, with manager John Farrell, they became the second team to win the World Series a year after finishing in last place.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sprint announces their first 'Spark' tri-band LTE phones: LG G2, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Mega


Sprint Spark network is a go, phones coming November 8

Sprint has sent out a note to the press, chock full of news plenty of folks are going to love. They are about to officially kick out Sprint Spark — what they've named their tri-band LTE technology — and have three phones in the works to use it.

Spark is Sprint's attempt to get some serious LTE speeds for their customers by utilizing the three different wireless spectrums they use and hold licenses for. The network and devices capable will use active hand off between 800MHz, 1,9Ghz and 2.5GHz frequencies to cover three needs. The 800MHz bands will offer great building penetration, the 1.9GHz bands are good for general purpose LTE connections in more populated (and slightly congested) areas, while the 2.4GHz frequency allows Sprint to cover long distances with maximum capacity. There are five markets officially live today — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami — and 100 of America's largest cities will be covered during the next three years.

You're going to need phones that support this, and Sprint has three new ones coming.

read more


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An Iranian Oil Tanker Hacked Its Own Tracking System to Avoid Detection

An Iranian Oil Tanker Hacked Its Own Tracking System to Avoid Detection

Lately, we've seen how hackers can cause havoc on the high seas, but the shenanigans have been limited to security researchers for the most part. They wanted to prove that it was possible to do things like take over a ship's navigation system so that it doesn't happen in real life. Welp, too late for that now.



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Republic Wireless running contest to give away Moto X prize pack

Republic Wireless Moto X

Win a phone, 12 months of free service and various accessories

You can pick up a Moto X on Republic Wireless for the low price of $299 unsubsidized, but getting it for free would be better. The scrappy upstart carrier is currently running a contest on its Facebook page that is giving away what it calls "Moto X Prize Pack," including a device, 12 months of service from the carrier and a nice package of accessories  — you'll pick up a wireless speaker, car charger, Motorola Skip, case and set of earbuds.

In order to enter you'll first need to head to the Republic Wireless Facebook page (linked below), then "like" their page and enter a little bit of identifying information so that you can be contacted if you've won. If you end up referring more friends to enter the contest, you'll also get more entries for yourself to up your chances.

It's not hard to enter and you could win a free Moto X — we don't see much wrong with that equation. You can enter at the source link below.

Source: Republic Wireless


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Awards Roundtable: 6 Top Actors' Uncensored Tales, From Worst Auditions to Leg Waxing

This story first appeared in the Nov. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Huddled together just before the first of this year's awards-season roundtables got underway at the historic Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake, the six invited actors were eager to discuss one thing: Christopher Nolan. "Is he a big guy?" one of the participants asked Matthew McConaughey, who was taking a break from shooting the director's Interstellar on the Sony lot. Queried another, "Does he talk a lot?" McConaughey, 43, demurred as he joked with his Dallas Buyers Club co-star Jared Leto, 41, who had flown in the night before from Michigan, where he performed with his band 30 Seconds to Mars. The duo joined Josh Brolin, 45, Jake Gyllenhaal, 32, Michael B. Jordan, 26, and Forest Whitaker, 52, in a candid discussion about everything from flubbed auditions to Brazilian waxing.

PHOTOS: Awards Roundtable: 6 Actors on Mistakes, Sacrifices, and Strange Auditions 

Let's start with a question about reinvention. How do you not get stale?

JARED LETO: Panic. Desperation.


JOSH BROLIN: Fear -- there's always fear. You re-create yourself in every movie, don't you?

FOREST WHITAKER: There's a good fear, and there's a negative fear. There's a thing you confront when you're going into something new and you come to this sort of abyss, and then you push yourself. It makes you try different things.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: You mentioned two types of fear, and the one that's good is when you're scared. You don't know what's on the other side, but you're like: "I'm gonna dive in. I know there's something there; I don't know how to define it yet. I don't know the equation, but I'm gonna come up and I'll understand it." It takes you to the cliff, and you should be scared because the cliff drops, and you don't have a net.

BROLIN: I've never had that feeling in any movie where I actually feel like I'm nailing it.

WHITAKER: You don't feel the magic of it once in a while?

BROLIN: Never ever.

LETO: I get a terminal dissatisfaction on films. If I was bad in one scene, it's impossible to let go. And it can make or break my day. If I drank, I would probably drink a lot.

Q&A: Forest Whitaker on Evading Oscar's Curse, Rediscovering the Magic on 'The Butler'

Have you ever said no to something because you're afraid?

LETO: Oh yeah. I've talked myself out of auditions a hundred times. I auditioned for [Robert] De Niro seven times, years and years ago. I remember auditioning for Terrence Malick, and the casting director upended a couch, and we were supposed to hide behind it and shoot imaginary guns! [Laughter.] In that audition, I literally stood up, took a few imaginary bullets and shoved [the casting director]. I said: "I can't do this. This is like a bad high school play," and I walked out. And then Terrence called me -- you guys I'm sure have met him; he's the most gentle and amazing guy in the world -- and he's like: "Uh, Jared? I'd love you to be in my film."

Have you ever thought of quitting?

LETO: I did for six years, almost.

BROLIN: Six years you didn't work? Wow.

GYLLENHAAL: [Smiles.] It's only appropriate as an indulgent actor to think about quitting 'cause it's such an intense job.

WHITAKER: It takes a lot from you.

LETO: I was focusing on other passions, and time kind of flew by. But it can be heartbreaking. You make these little movies -- most of the time they don't work.

BROLIN: That goes back to what we were saying about feeling like you're [not] really nailing something. I remember [1996's] Flirting With Disaster -- I did the movie and never felt like we were nailing it at all. And then I saw the movie …

GYLLENHAAL: You killed that movie!

MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Exactly. Exactly.

STORY: Matthew McConaughey: Why I Rejected a $15 Million Paycheck 

Matthew, what went into your reinvention? I think you turned down $15 million for a Magnum, P.I. movie.

MCCONAUGHEY: I heard that number. I don't think I ever saw that in the offer.

BROLIN: Makes for a better story.

MCCONAUGHEY: Let me just throw this at you: That same script with that number really is a whole lot funnier than [when they gave it to] me.

So not quite true?

MCCONAUGHEY No, it may be true. [Smiles.]

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This Game Boy Flask Gives You the Courage Mario and Link Never Could

This Game Boy Flask Gives You the Courage Mario and Link Never Could

All the unlimited lives, ammo, and health in the world won't make it easier to deal with your boss at that meeting you've got later today. But you know what will? Some straight-up liquid courage. And that's why this Gamebooze is infinitely more useful to a gainfully employed adult than a Game Boy. For just $20 it promises to make everything more enjoyable: from your daily subway commute, to waiting in line at the bank, to your kid's piano recital. Just don't forget to 'charge' it every night if you know what we mean. [ThinkGeek]



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