20110411_item

Mobile users ‘overpaying by £200’
Three-quarters of mobile phone subscribers are wasting an average of nearly £200 a year because they are on the wrong contract, research suggests.
Old Media Says Google Will Destroy Film & Music Author: samzenpus
SirWinston writes “A Daily Mail editor has written perhaps the most Luddite attack on Google ever, reading just like a 19th-century manifesto against looms and factories. ‘Google has become a global predator ruthlessly gobbling up potential rivals such as YouTube and ‘stealing’ the creative work of writers, film makers and the music industry… Google has granted these piracy sites a licence to steal… It undermines investment in the very creative industries that have become such an important part of our national prosperity, and employ hundreds of thousands of people.’ The article lionizes brick-and-mortar business and traditional media, and reads as a funny anachronism–except that these may be the attitudes of European regulators now shaking down Google and new media.”Read more of this story
Nitrogen pollution ‘costs £280bn’
Nitrogen pollution from farms, vehicles, industry and waste treatment costs the EU up to £280bn (317bn euros) a year, a report says.
Zimbabwe’s rhino rescuer honoured
A conservationist who has protected the Critically Endangered black rhino is awarded the 2011 Goldman Environmental Prize.
The most massive distant object known
Galaxies often occur in groups. Our own Milky Way galaxy, for example, and its local neighborhood with about fifty galaxies are at the edge of the Virgo Cluster, a collection of somewhere between 1200 and 2000 galaxies. Galaxy clusters are the most massive objects in the universe, and their formation is thought to have begun from small spatial variations in the density of matter in the early universe. Clusters are therefore powerful probes of the growth of structure in the early universe, and their numbers and masses help astronomers test cosmological models including galaxy formation.
Australian Labour Party leader worked for Soviets, claims historian Author: intelNews
One of Australia’s leading intelligence historians has said that Herbert V. Evatt, who led the Australian Labour Party in the 1950s, operated as a secret agent for the Soviet Union. Continue reading
Al Qathafi Forces Reach Gates of Key Rebel-Held City
In the mid-afternoon, as rebels were searching cars at the city’s northeastern checkpoint and the fighting continued, they dragged a man from a vehicle, rushed him to far shoulder of the road and shot him. The man’s detention, and his hasty burial, could be viewed by binoculars from a few hundred yards away, though the execution was not visible because the crowd around the man at that moment was too thick. Journalists from The New York Times who attempted to interview the executioners were chased away by gunfire, apparently coincidental, that swept over the checkpoint and its environs. The bullets scattered the gathered crowd.
Qaddafi Agrees to Accept Cease-Fire Plan, Start Talks, African Union Says
Qaddafi agreed to “the immediate cessation of all hostilities,” and to negotiations “with the view to adopting and implementing the political reforms necessary for the elimination of the causes of the current crisis,” according to the statement.
As Qaddafi’s Troops Move In, a Seesaw Battle for Rebel City
(9.April) In the midafternoon, as the rebels searched cars at the city’s northeastern checkpoint and the fighting continued, they dragged a man from a vehicle, rushed him to the far shoulder of the road and shot him. The man’s capture, and his hasty burial, could be seen through binoculars from a few hundred yards away, though the execution was not visible because the crowd around the prisoner was too thick. Journalists who tried to interview the executioners were chased away by gunfire that swept the checkpoint and the area nearby, apparently by coincidence. The bullets scattered the gathered crowd.
First Proof that Birds Eat Stingrays; Heron Eats Stingray for Breakfast (+ video)
A longtime camera buff focused on the bird and started shooting, unaware that he was capturing an event so rare that scientists were unsure it was even possible until they saw his pictures.
How The Wild Hamster Was Tamed : NPR
The little rodent with big cheeks was rare in the 1930s, when one biologist set out to find them. What he found set the wheel in motion for medical researchers and grade-school classrooms everywhere.
Survey: One in Three Workers Wants to Quit Job
As the unemployment rate, currently at 8.8 percent, has started to decrease, employers should be cautious that workers don’t jump ship for new opportunities.
Mediators due in Benghazi as Gaddafi accepts peace plan
Ramtane Lamamra, AU commissioner for peace and security, said in Tripoli Sunday that the plan agreed envisaged an immediate ceasefire, US broadcaster CNN reported. Lamamra also said that under the deal, the Libyan authorities would help in the delivery of humanitarian aid, protect foreigners and hold talks with the opposition to set up ‘an inclusive transition period.’ The deal would also reportedly allow outsiders to monitor its implementation. The plan does not deal with the question of whether Gaddafi would remain as Libyan leader. The agreement also does not include a timeframe regarding the ceasefire or the transition.
Study: Smartphone Users Wasting Hundreds Of Dollars Per Year On Unnecessary Contracts
A new study says that smartphone users are overpaying for their service by several hundred dollars every year. Average smartphone user eats up some 133MB/month
Reporters Detained in Libya Remain in Government Custody
Clare Morgana Gillis, a U.S. citizen who has been writing as a freelancer for TheAtlantic.com and USA Today, was detained along with James Wright Foley, also American and a writer for GlobalPost; Spanish photographer Manuel Varela de Seijas Brabo; and South African photographer Anton Lazarus Hammerl. On Thursday evening, CNN’s Nic Robertson and others in Tripoli reported that the Libyan government had acknowledged that the four journalists are in their possession. Reports indicate that the journalists are en route to Tripoli, but these accounts cannot be confirmed.
French burka ban: police arrest two veiled women
On Saturday police arrested 59 people, including 19 veiled women, who turned up for a banned protest in Paris against the draconian new law, the first of its kind to be enforced in Europe.
Too Close to Fukushima: Inside the Exclusion Zone [Photos]
Photographer Athit Perawongmetha ventures into the highly dangerous “exclusion zone” a deserted wasteland within a 12-mile radius of the beleaguered Japanese reactor
The Five Horniest Presidents America Has Produced
The Reelz channel finished up its Kennedys mini-series last night, the production that was chased from the History Channel because JFK fans hollered about inaccuracies or too many dramatic liberties. It did offer a lot of scenes of the President taking shots from Dr. Feelgood, and made clear that Kennedy had a loose interpretation of the marriage vows. But was Kennedy the horniest U.S. President ever? Let’s see.
Europe’s future lies under Africa
The birth of a new subduction process could see Europe starting to burrow its way under Africa, geologists suggest – reversing the pattern seen over many millions of years.
Älteste Insektenspur gefunden
Forscher in den USA entdecken die älteste fossile Spur eines Fluginsekts. Der 3,6 Zentimeter lange Abdruck stammt höchstwahrscheinlich von einem frühen Vorfahren der Eintagsfliege.
French burka ban: police arrest two veiled women
On Saturday police arrested 59 people, including 19 veiled women, who turned up for a banned protest in Paris against the draconian new law, the first of its kind to be enforced in Europe.
Inside CERT Australia Author: samzenpus

mask.of.sanity writes “The Australian Government has a list of software holes that are so sensitive they’re kept hidden from the public. These weaknesses are being used by criminals to steal our money and our data. They may even be a cornerstone to planned attacks on critical infrastructure, like energy, water and transport. But in the murky battle between those that protect us and those who seek to harm, these vulnerabilities are also the bait with which cyber-criminals are caught.”Read more of this story

Null Effekt auf Aufklärungsquote: Vorratsdaten helfen kaum
Die umstrittene so genannte “Vorratsdatenspeicherung” (VDS) ist kein effizientes Mittel der Verbrechensbekämpfung. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt einem Bericht zufolge der wissenschaftliche Dienst des Bundestages.
Korea calls Japan’s disaster handling “incompetent” – enenews [EN]
Source: XML Crisis_Manager’s bookmarks
Author: Crisis_Manager
Japan’s incompetent government and electric companies are not only causing death and devastation in Japan, but also the ongoing ignorance is leading to a worldwide nuclear posening of historic dimensions.
Wüstenstrom soll aus Tunesien kommen
Tunesische Übergangsregierung hält an Desertec-Plänen für großflächige Solaranlage in der Wüste fest
Darpa’s Hologram Goggles Will Unleash Drone Hell Author: Noah Shachtman
The Pentagon’s mad science arm wants robotic death-from-above, on demand. And the key to getting it done just might be holograms.
Dentists to be paid for ‘quality’
From this summer, dentists in England will be paid for the quality of the treatment they give rather than the quantity, the government has confirmed.
NATO: Any Libya ceasefire must be credible, verifiable
“Any ceasefire must be credible and verifiable… there must be a complete end to violence and a complete end to all attacks and abuses of civilians,” Rasmussen told a news briefing, adding that any ceasefire in the North African country would need an effective monitoring mechanism.
Kleine Anfrage an die Bundesregierung: Hintergründe des bewaffneten Angriffs auf Libyen
Wir fragen die Bundesregierung: 1. Wie viele Fälle von flächendeckenden und systematischen Angriffen der libyschen Luftwaffe auf Zivilisten, die als Grund der ausländischen Intervention angegeben wurden, sind der Bundesregierung bekannt (bitte nach Datum, Ort, Anzahl der Toten bzw. der Verletzten, Geschlecht und Todesursache auflisten)? 2. Aus welchen Quellen hat die Bundesregierung die Kenntnisse über die in Frage 1 genannten Fälle bezogen? 3. Welche Kenntnisse besitzt die Bundesregierung über die Nichteinhaltung des Waffenstillstands durch die libysche Luftwaffe in Form von flächendeckenden und systematischen Bombardierungen von Zivilisten, seit der Verabschiedung der Resolution des Sicherheitsrates vom 18. März 2011? 4. Welche Kenntnisse besitzt die Bundesregierung über die zivilen Opfer der militärischen Maßnahmen der intervenierenden Staaten (bitte nach Datum, Ort, Anzahl der Toten bzw. der Verletzten, Geschlecht und Todesursache auflisten)? 5. Kann die Bundesregierung bestätigen, dass die Resolution der Arabischen Liga Nummer 7360 vom 12. März201 1, welche maßgeblich zur Legitimierung der Einrichtung einer Flugverbotszone in Libyen beigetragen hat, unter Abwesenheit einer bedeutenden Anzahl der Mitgliedstaaten der Organisation verabschiedet wurde, und der Beschluss – ohne eine Abstimmung – allein auf Grundlage einer Erklärung des Vorsitzes auf eine Initiative des Generalsekretärs Amr Mussa zurückgeht?
Libya update: AU leaders ‘mobbed’ in Benghazi
Representatives from the African Union have been greeted by protesters as they arrived in the northern Libyan city of Benghazi.
The German “Way of Drive”
Sieht man einmal von Somalia, Bhutan, Afghanistan oder Haiti ab, ist Deutschland das einzige Land der Welt, in dem kein Tempolimit gilt. Ein klarer Fall von Politikversagen. Genau wie bei der Einführung des Agrosprits E10. Ein Kommentar von Nick Reimer
TJX Hacker Claims US Authorized His Crimes Author: samzenpus
doperative writes “Convicted hacker Albert Gonzalez is asking a federal judge to throw out his earlier guilty pleas and lift his record-breaking 20-year prison sentence, on allegations that the government authorized his years-long crime spree. From the article: ‘The government has acknowledged that Gonzalez was a key undercover Secret Service informant at the time of the breaches. Now, in a March 24 habeas corpus petition filed in the US District Court in Massachusetts, Gonzalez asserts that the Secret Service authorized him to commit the crimes. “I still believe that I was acting on behalf of the United States Secret Service and that I was authorized and directed to engage in the conduct I committed as part of my assignment to gather intelligence and seek out international cyber criminals,” he wrote. “I now know and understand that I have been used as a scapegoat to cover someone’s mistakes.”‘”Read more of this story
EU warns of arrest warrant misuse
The European Arrest Warrant has netted some top criminals but is too often used for minor offences, the European Commission says.
Kleine Anfrage an die Bundesregierung: Psychologische Gutachten bei Erwerbslosen im Bezug von Leistungen nach dem Zweiten Buch Sozialgesetzbuch
Wir fragen die Bundesregierung: 1. Was sind die generellen Rechtsgrundlagen und Ziele psychologischer Gutachten bei Beziehende von Leistungen nach dem Zweiten Buch Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB II)? 2. Welche Rechtsgrundlagen haben die Einleitung psychologischer Gutachten bei Arbeitslosengeld-II-Beziehenden? 3. Aus welchen Gründen werden für Arbeitslosengeld-II-Beziehende solche Verfahren eingeleitet?
African Leaders Urge Cease-Fire in Libya
The city’s morgue presented another chilling site – the remains of a man whose wrists had been bound and whose torso had bullet wounds. The attendants at the morgue said the man had been executed while helpless. Who he was, and who had killed him, was not immediately clear. Colonel Qaddafi’s forces have been credibly accused of executing detainees during the uprising. But on Saturday, journalists for The New York Times observed a man accused of being a Qaddafi agent being summarily executed by rebels at Ajdabiya’s northeast checkpoint.
Two activists die in Bahrain jail
Two Shia activists detained after anti-government protests die in a Bahraini prison, amid a crackdown against opposition and rights campaigners.
Zweifel an militärischer Libyen-Lösung wachsen
Ob der EU-Beschluss dazu so rechtzeitig kommt, dass diese Woche schon der Bundestag über eine deutsche Beteiligung entscheiden kann, ist fraglich. Ein Kabinettsbeschluss am Mittwoch sei “unwahrscheinlich”, hieß es im Auswärtigen Amt. In diesem Fall dürfte eine Sondersitzung des Parlaments notwendig werden, da die nächste reguläre Sitzung des Bundestages wegen der Osterpause erst in der zweiten Mai-Woche stattfindet.

Wisconsin isn’t ‘broke’, Republicans gave huge tax breaks to corporations and created their budget issues. [link]

REPORT: U.S. Military Spending Has Almost Doubled Since 2001 Author: Judd Legum

A new report released today by SIPRI, a Swedish-based think tank, reveals that U.S. military spending has almost doubled since 2001. The U.S. spent an astounding $698 billion on the military last year, an 81% increase over the last decade.

U.S. spending on the military last year far exceeded any other country. We spent six times more than China – the second largest spender. Overall, the world expended $1.6 trillion on the military, with the United States accounting for the lion’s share:

As a percentage of GDP, U.S. military spending has increased from 3.1% in 2001 to 4.8% last year.

The report notes that, “even in the face of efforts to bring down the soaring US budget deficit, military spending continues to receive privileged treatment.” Indeed, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and others on the right are passing legislation increasing defense spending. At the same time, they are insisting on massive cuts to social programs that provide vital assistance to the elderly, the poor and the middle class.

Here’s a weird idea to balance the budget: tax the rich. [link]

Stickstoffschäden kosten 320 Milliarden
Europäische Wissenschaftler haben erstmals eine umfassende Stickstoff-Studie vorgelegt
Egypt blogger jailed by military
A military court in Egypt jails blogger Maikel Nabil for three years for criticising the armed forces in the first such case post-Mubarak.
IMF eyes recovery as risks remain
The global economic recovery has “solidified” but risks to growth still remain, the International Monetary Fund says.
Indian PM Singh heading for China
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh travels to China as the two Asian economies look to increase economic ties.
Kleine Anfrage an die Bundesregierung: Psychologische Gutachten bei Erwerbslosen im Bezug von Leistungen nach dem Zweiten Buch Sozialgesetzbuch
Wir fragen die Bundesregierung: 1. Was sind die generellen Rechtsgrundlagen und Ziele psychologischer Gutachten bei Beziehende von Leistungen nach dem Zweiten Buch Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB II)? 2. Welche Rechtsgrundlagen haben die Einleitung psychologischer Gutachten bei Arbeitslosengeld-II-Beziehenden? 3. Aus welchen Gründen werden für Arbeitslosengeld-II-Beziehende solche Verfahren eingeleitet?
NYPD Anti-Terrorism Cameras Used For Much More Author: Soulskill

An anonymous reader writes with an excerpt from the NY Times: “The Police Department’s growing web of license-plate-reading cameras has been transforming investigative work. Though the imaging technology was conceived primarily as a counterterrorism tool, the cameras’ presence – all those sets of watchful eyes that never seem to blink – has aided in all sorts of traditional criminal investigations. … ‘We knew going into it that they would have other obvious benefits,’ Mr. Browne said about the use of the readers in the initiative. ‘Obviously, conventional crime is far more common than terrorism, so it is not surprising that they would have benefits, more frequently, in conventional crime fighting than in terrorism.'”Read more of this story

Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System

A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy.

Manning, Obama and U.S. Moral Leadership
On December 15, when I first reported the inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention, I did not assign any blame to — or even mention — Barack Obama. Although, as Commander-in-Chief, Obama was technically responsible for Manning’s treatment, there was no evidence that he even knew about it, let alone planned it.
Bradley Manning: top US legal scholars voice outrage at ‘torture’
More than 250 of America’s most eminent legal scholars have signed a letter protesting against the treatment in military prison of the alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, contesting that his “degrading and inhumane conditions” are illegal, unconstitutional and could even amount to torture.
Ägypten: Armee lässt Blogger ins Gefängnis werfen
Ein ägyptischer Blogger ist wegen seiner Kritik an der Armeeführung des Landes zu drei Jahren Haft verurteilt worden. Ein Militärgericht habe das Urteil gegen Maikel Nabil am Montag verhängt, berichtete sein Anwalt Gamal Eid. Weder er noch die anderen Anwälte hätten bei der Urteilsverkündung anwesend sein können, diese sei “beinahe im Geheimen” über die Bühne gegangen.
Dubai-Blogger Mansur verhaftet
Die Behörden der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate (VAE) haben den bekannten Blogger und Menschenrechtsaktivisten Ahmed Mansur in seinem Haus in Dubai verhaftet. Die Massnahme erfolgte «im Zusammenhang mit Strafvorwürfen der Staatsanwaltschaft», zitierte die in Abu Dhabi erscheinende Zeitung «The National» den Polizeikommandanten von Dubai, General Dahi Chalfan Tamim.
EU-Staaten uneins über Weitergabe von Flugpassagierdaten
Übermittelt werden den Vorschlägen der Kommission vom Februar zufolge etwa Name und Adresse des Passagiers, Reisedaten, Art der Buchung und Bezahlung, Angaben zum Gepäck und auch die Sitznummer. Keinen Zugriff sollen Sicherheitsbehörden auf sehr persönliche Angaben haben, die auf die politische Einstellung, die Religionszugehörigkeit, Sexualität, Gesundheit oder die Ethnie des Reisenden schließen lassen.
UAE arrests democracy activists
The authorities in the United Arab Emirates arrest three political activists who have called for democratic and economic reforms.
This Is What Resistance Looks Like
The phrase consent of the governed has been turned into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. Civil disobedience is the only tool we have left
Veiled women detained in France
Police in Paris detain at least two women wearing Islamic veils across their faces, after a law banning the garment in public comes into force.
New Medical Camera the Size of a Grain of Salt Author: Soulskill

kkleiner writes “The German Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration recently reported the development of a camera with a lens attached that is 1 x 1 x 1.5 millimeters in size, which is roughly as big as a grain of salt. At about a cubic millimeter in size, this camera is right at the size limit that the human eye can see unaided. The camera not only produces decent images but is also very cheap to manufacture – so cheap, in fact, that it is considered disposable.”Read more of this story

Major CEO Donor To Walker Charged With Two Felony Counts Of Illegal Campaign Contributions Author: Lee Fang

A top donor to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) gubernatorial campaign has been charged with multiple violations of campaign finance law, reports the Associated Press. Prosecutors today have charged William Gardner, the CEO of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Company, with one count of excessive political donations and another related to unlawful political contributions. Prosecutors claim Gardner used his employees and family members to funnel $44,000 to Walker during the GOP primary. He is accused of then illegally reimbursing the donors with company money. Walker has returned the contributions. Notably, prosecutors charged Gardner because the law prohibits direct donations from corporations to candidate committees. However, the Citizens United decision allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts in support of a candidate for office. If Gardner had funneled the company donations through a group like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or another front group, or if his company had taken out ads in support of Walker, his actions would not have attracted legal scrutiny.

Libya rebels reject AU truce plan
Libya’s rebels reject a ceasefire plan put forward by an African Union delegation and reportedly accepted by Col Gaddafi.
Personal Info of 3.5 Million Texans Was Publicly Accessible Author: Soulskill

SpaceGhost writes “The Houston Chronicle reports, ‘Personal information of about 3.5 million Texans – including names, mailing addresses and Social Security numbers – was posted on a publicly accessible server at the state comptroller’s office, much of it for more than a year.’ Many of the records were for retired teachers and the unemployed, and they sometimes included DOB and drivers license numbers.”Read more of this story

New Medical Camera the Size of a Grain of Salt Author: Soulskill

kkleiner writes “The German Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration recently reported the development of a camera with a lens attached that is 1 x 1 x 1.5 millimeters in size, which is roughly as big as a grain of salt. At about a cubic millimeter in size, this camera is right at the size limit that the human eye can see unaided. The camera not only produces decent images but is also very cheap to manufacture – so cheap, in fact, that it is considered disposable.”Read more of this story

Stop Libya ‘becoming new Somalia’
Libya’s former foreign minister Moussa Koussa speaks publicly for the first time since his defection, to call for help to stop civil war taking hold in Libya.
News you may have missed #495 Author: intelNews
Nazi who arrested Anne Frank became a spy for West Germany. Kremlin rejects Russian spy’s proposal to ban Skype, Gmail. Iran expels Kuwaiti diplomats in spying dispute. Continue reading

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