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News of the World phone-hacking whistleblower found dead

Posted on July 18th, 2011 at 20:21 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned.

Hoare, who worked on the Sun and the News of the World with Coulson before being dismissed for drink and drugs problems, is said to have been found dead at his Watford home.

[..]

“The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing.”

Well, just to be safe – you won’t hear me say anything at all about Andy Coulson.


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  1. “Unexplained” but not “suspicious”? Oh…sounds like David Kelly all over again. Perhaps they need Lord Whitewash…er…Hutton, on this inquiry.

ISS and Atlantis seen in broad daylight!

Posted on July 18th, 2011 at 18:08 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Ferguson used a 20 cm (8 inch) telescope and a video camera optimized for astrophotography. He also used software that predicted the position and path of the two orbiting spacecraft; though the ISS can get about as bright as Venus, it’s very hard to see during the day, so having a solid prediction was critical. He used guiding software which he had to assist by hand, which is remarkable. As he told me, he was hoping to get a night-time pass, but there weren’t any at his location. Rather than give up, he saw an early morning pass, so gave it a shot… and wound up with this astonishing footage.


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Genetic research confirms that non-Africans are part Neanderthal

Posted on July 18th, 2011 at 15:56 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Some of the human X chromosome originates from Neanderthals and is found exclusively in people outside Africa, according to an international team of researchers led by Damian Labuda of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center. The research was published in the July issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution.

"This confirms recent findings suggesting that the two populations interbred," says Dr. Labuda. His team places the timing of such intimate contacts and/or family ties early on, probably at the crossroads of the Middle East.

Neanderthals, whose ancestors left Africa about 400,000 to 800,000 years ago, evolved in what is now mainly France, Spain, Germany and Russia, and are thought to have lived until about 30,000 years ago. Meanwhile, early modern humans left Africa about 80,000 to 50,000 years ago. The question on everyone’s mind has always been whether the physically stronger Neanderthals, who possessed the gene for language and may have played the flute, were a separate species or could have interbred with modern humans. The answer is yes, the two lived in close association.


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  1. Seems like an affront to a god in who’s image they were made?

70 Year-Old Grandma Threatened Over BitTorrent Download

Posted on July 18th, 2011 at 11:51 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

[Quote]:

As the mass-BitTorrent lawsuits continue to pile up in U.S. courts, more stories of what appear to be wrongfully accused persons hit mainstream media. A 70 year-old retired widow from San Francisco falls into this category. The grandma was recently ‘caught’ sharing porn on BitTorrent and was offered a $3,400 settlement, or the option to risk a $150,000 fine in a full court case.

[..]

Like many other defendants the 70 year-old doesn’t have the money to defend herself, but unlike others she’s not planning to settle the case either.

“It smacks of extortion,” she told SFGate in a comment, a conclusion that was reached by many others in the past.


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  1. Hmm…tricky one for the lawyers. On the face of it, it brings their whole slimy racket into public view. And if this lady gets her day in court, a judge might make a ruling that will set a precedent.

  2. This one will quietly go away. They’ll “choose” not to pursue it. It will all be a big misunderstanding. Frivolous lawsuits are effective. The old mantra “millions for defense but not one cent for tribute” is dead in most cases these days.

The Clash of Generations

Posted on July 18th, 2011 at 10:47 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Indeed, if there is one sentiment that unites the crises in Europe and America it is a powerful sense of “baby boomers behaving badly” — a powerful sense that the generation that came of age in the last 50 years, my generation, will be remembered most for the incredible bounty and freedom it received from its parents and the incredible debt burden and constraints it left on its kids.

It is no wonder that young Greeks reacted so harshly when their deputy prime minister, Theodoros Pangalos, referring to all the European Union loans and subsidies that propelled the Greek credit binge after 1981, said, “We ate it together” — meaning the people and the politicians. That was true of the baby boomer generation of Greeks, now in their 50s and 60s, and the baby boomer politicians. But those just coming of age today will never get a bite. They will just get a bill. And they know it.

[..]

I was struck by one big similarity between what I heard in Tahrir Square in Cairo in February and what one hears in Syntagma Square today. It’s the word “justice.” You hear it more than “freedom.” That is because there is a deep sense of theft in both countries, a sense that the way capitalism played out in Egypt and Greece in the last decade was in its most crony-esque, rigged and corrupt deformation, letting some people get fantastically rich simply because of their proximity to power. So there is a hunger not just for freedom, but for justice. Or, as Rothkopf puts it, “not just for accounting, but for accountability.”


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Inside Al Qaeda’s hard drives

Posted on July 18th, 2011 at 9:33 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

When Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden at his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound on May 2, the ensuing coverage focused on how the death of Al Qaeda’s leader might undercut terrorism worldwide. But the raid accomplished more than bin Laden’s removal: It yielded several computers, nearly a dozen hard drives, and about 100 other data-storage devices.

[..]

The group was self-financing. In fact, the core organization of Al Qaeda in Iraq in Anbar province was so profitable that it sent revenue to associates in other provinces of Iraq, and perhaps even further afield. The group raised millions of dollars annually through activities such as simple theft and resale of valuable items such as cars, generators, and electrical cable, and hijacking truckloads of goods, such as clothing. And their internal financial record-keeping was diligent, with all the requirements of expense accounts in regular businesses. A central unit of Al Qaeda in Iraq’s hierarchy required operatives to keep records of even the smallest outlay and to turn over their “take” to upper-level leaders, who made the spending decisions.

So, as a lot of people said shortly after 9/11, they should have been treated (and searched for, prosecuted, etc) as common criminals. Police work would have done it cheaper and faster than the military.


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Comments:

  1. Ah, but where would be the fun in that for the military-industrial complex?

  2. Pie in the sky. Americans were never going to see the 911 attacks as crimes.