Wednesday 28 November 2012

What A Shame!

EU officials: We were hacked at Web conference

A European official says her staff members were hacked when they joined her for a conference on Internet security in Azerbaijan.
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said in a blog post Saturday that her advisers' computers were compromised as they attended a meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Baku, the Azeri capital.
Her spokesman, Ryan Heath, said the attack occurred while they were in their hotel.
Heath said he and a colleague got messages from Apple Inc. warning them that their computers had been accessed by an unauthorized party, something he said he believed was an attempt to spy on him.
"I'm presuming it was some kind of surveillance," he said in a telephone interview. "What we're going to do is to get the computers forensically analyzed to see what if anything was taken out of them."
He declined to say who he thought might be responsible.
Kroes was critical of her hosts when speaking before the forum on Wednesday, attacking the Azeri government for allegedly spying on activists through the Internet and "violating the privacy of journalists and their sources."
In her blog post Saturday, Kroes cited the hacking as one of several violations which she said highlighted the "harsh" reality of political life in Azerbaijan, an oil-rich nation on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
Kroes said that Azeri authorities reneged on a deal to allow her to see political prisoners, and she claimed that activists at the Internet conference were harassed.
"So much for openness," she wrote.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Get A Life!!

Lord of the Rings fan builds life-size Hobbit hole out of 2,600 balloons

Lord of the Rings fan and dad-of-three Jeremy Telford has built a spectacular Hobbit hole out of 2,600 balloons, a feat that's taken him 40 hours over three days.

Mr Telford, 34, inflated the balloons using a hand-pump to bring JRR Tolkien's world to life in his living room.
The Utah father-of-three's children can be seen helping the professional balloon artist, who is part of the group Balloon Guy Entertainment, in a YouTube video as he creates his own version of Bag End.
After carefully planning with his wife, they set up a camera to take pictures every 18 seconds for a time-lapse video.
The detail of the creation can be seen right down to a fireplace with balloon lamps, a pantry with working doors and a fruit bowl filled with balloon apples.
Mr Telford, from Pleasant Grove, Utah, said: ‘I've been wanting to build something from The Hobbit for a while now.
'My wife and I sat down and picked out a few days to set aside for the build.
‘We figured out how to get most of the furniture out of our living room and planned out how to build around the rest.’
He said all three children - aged seven, five, and two - helped him along the way.
Mr Telford says he has been a Tolkien fan since he first read The Hobbit in Junior High School.
He spent hours Googling 18th-century English furniture to find the right style, then he designed the layout and estimated how many balloons he would need.

Once finished, it stayed up for three days.

'After three days we let the kids demolish it for another two,' said Mr Telford.
'They were sad when it was finally time to reclaim the living room for living.'
Mr Telford has also created life-size replicas of a stegosaurus, a complete T-rex skeleton, and a motorcycle.
He also performed his balloon act during the 2002 Winter Olympics and wrote a book about his skill, called Balloonology.

Monday 26 November 2012


Teen Used 'Old Man' Disguise In Armed Robbery

Sixteen-year-old Miles Alura used Hollywood-style facial prosthetics, make-up and a hair piece to commit an armed raid in Kent.

Brandishing two handguns and dressed up as an old man, 16-year-old Miles Alura and his two teenaged accomplices were caught following a raid on a Kent jewellers.
The trio used handcuffs and a dog lead to tie up terrified staff, before making off with £50,000 worth of jewellery. But an onlooker called the police and all three boys were arrested.
Alura was found in a nearby garden having dumped the gang's haul and removed his facial prosthetics, make-up and hairpiece.
Following their capture, detectives from the Met's Flying Squad linked the July 3 robbery to an earlier raid on June 7 at a jewellers in Mayfair, central London.
Alura had committed that robbery along with one of the two boys - who cannot be named - and while wearing false waist-length dreadlocks.
They jumped over the counter and threatened the staff, intimating they had a gun. Workers were tied up and they escaped with jewellery worth £100,000.
Fingerprints belonging to both boys was found on paperwork - including school history coursework and a drawing of the plan of the store - left at the scene.
Alura was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court to a total of five years in prison. His accomplice in the Mayfair robbery, 'Boy A', also 16, of Stoke Newington, was jailed for three years.
Fifteen-year-old 'Boy B', of Holloway, received a 12-month detention and training order. Reporting restrictions were lifted for Alura, but not for the other two boys.
Detective Constable Vicky Bailey, from the Met's Flying Squad, said: "These were violent armed robberies during which innocent members of staff were terrorised and genuinely feared for their lives.
"It is even more shocking to know that this level of violence was inflicted by three schoolboys who went to extraordinary lengths to research, plan and get away with these offences, demonstrated by Alura's sophisticated disguise."
All three defendants had earlier pleaded guilty at Kingston Crown Court to conspiracy to rob relating to the Kent robbery.
Alura and 'Boy B' had pleaded guilty to possession of an imitation firearm regarding that raid. Alura and 'Boy A' had also pleaded guilty to the Mayfair robbery.

Sunday 25 November 2012

A Real “Dead Drop” Perhaps??

Denver mailman mistakes corpse for Halloween decoration

The United States Postal Service acknowledged on Friday that one of its mail carriers did not report a corpse at a Denver home because he mistook the body for a Halloween display.
"We do know the carrier delivered mail to the house that day, and he remembered seeing something he thought was related to Halloween," the postal service said in a statement. "When the carrier learned that was not the case, he was shocked and extremely upset."
The local ABC News affiliate reported that the dead man, Dale Porch, 46, collapsed and died November 2 on his porch steps after returning home from his night shift job.
Relatives of Porch could not be reached for comment by Reuters.
The postal service called the incident "an unfortunate situation" that probably would not have happened any other time of year.
"Our carriers have a long history of assisting customers in neighborhoods across the country each and every day, and that holds true for our letter carriers here in Denver," the statement said.
The unidentified carrier is a "conscientious and dedicated employee" who remains on the job, the post office said, and any action that may be taken against him will be handled internally.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Dotcom Never Defeated?

Kim Dotcom to Support Pacific Fibre Cable

Apparently, Kim Dotcom’s defeat hasn’t forced him to stop his business. Actually, the shut-down of MegaUpload file-hosting service only drove Dotcom to fight back and defeat a corrupted system which can only undermine innovation and free speech. Thus far, Kim has already announced his plans to restart the cyberlocker under a new name, and went further to encourage the relaunch of a failed project named The Pacific Fibre Cable.
The latter was under management of Chairman Sam Morgan and Director Rod Drury. Dotcom has offered them to restart the project of a fiber link cable, which would connect Australia, New Zealand and the US. Moreover, it seems that Dotcom is going to chip in with an impressive amount of money. This past summer, Sam Morgan had to admit that the project in question would be dropped because of the insufficient funds. They needed $400 million to set up 13.000 km of cable, which would be able to provide an impressive speed of 12.8 TB/sec and connect Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles. However, Dotcom isn’t all happy with the result, particularly taking into account that he is going to open an entirely new service.

The project’s chairman might b? hyped about the idea, but it is next to impossible to imagine that the US would approve this plan, particularly if Dotcom’s name appears on the papers. In fact, American authorities are still trying to deport Dotcom.

But it seems that Dotcom’s will can’t be easily broken – the speculations are that he is going to finance the subsea cable project, saying that since ISPs control the last mile and provide routers, they would still charge a small fee, but it might be 5 times less than the current price, with 5 times faster speeds.

If Dotcom pulls this off, it would prove that nothing can stop him from going back into the business. Still, his biggest problem remains the US, which would never agree with the project’s restart, despite the fact that the country would really benefit out of this move. Taking into account the stance of the RIAA or the MPAA, it is impossible that the United States would somehow give the thumb up.

The industry experts agree that the only thing we can do is wait and see what happens. Some of them believe that Dotcom is planning on a rightful vendetta, but the others claim that this project would change a whole lot of things online.

Friday 23 November 2012

Twitter Tows The Line!!

Twitter Started Filtering for Content Industry

One of the most popular social networking websites in the world – Twitter – has recently started taking down tweets that are in breach of copyright legislation.

It seems that the content industry has been leaning on the social service to pull messages that violated copyright. It is still unclear how it can be technically possible, as a 140-character message would be well within what any court would regard as “fair use”.

Apparently, the tweets are targeted where people provide links to content which the entertainment industry says is pirated. Twitter has published a new policy, saying that it isn’t actually censoring the publications – it is just “withdrawing” them and revealing why they go missing. In fact, this puts some handy spin on the microblog’s actions – instead of standing up to the content industry’s insane censorship campaign, the website can argue that it’s just bringing in new transparency to the DMCA process. The matter is that earlier the complaints caused posts to disappear without a trace, and now users can see where the tweet used to be.

However, thus far Twitter hasn’t provided any explanations to the users, so they are still wondering how the tweets could actually be taken down under the DMCA legislation. The matter is that the DMCA grants online entities like Twitter or Google immunity for copyrighted content posted by their users. Nevertheless, the companies have to remove their members’ content if they receive a notice from a rights holder. In response, the target of the notice can send a counter-notice and demand to reinstate their tweet. Microblog is supposed to withhold the post until it gets a valid counter-response from its author. Previously, Twitter just removed the tweet without any explanation, and then manually reposted it in case of receiving a valid counter response.

Thursday 22 November 2012

There’re At It Again

Anonymous Launched Attack

Hacking group Anonymous has recently started the attack it pledged for the 5th November. The group promised to target Australian government portals and big hitters like PayPal.
The hacktivists have embarked on a hacking spree which has threatened Facebook, NBC, PayPal and others. Local media reported that this spree was launched against systemic, global surveillance systems like TrapWire. The latter was the focus of a recent Wikileaks file drop earlier in 2012.

The experts point out that the vigilante-style nature of the hackers’ attack could be regarded by technologically un-savvy world governments as the event supposed to justify boosting surveillance and reducing civil liberties on the Internet, though that’s exactly what the hackers are fighting against.

The list of the companies allegedly victim to the attack includes ImageShack, PayPal, and Arcelor Mittal Steel. In addition, the Greek City website and the Ghana Consulate sites were also targeted, and VMware's ESX Server Kernel source code leaked. In the meantime, an attack against antivirus software developer Symantec is believed to be unrelated.

PayPal has made an announcement, saying that the company is currently investigating the issue, but thus far there’s no evidence that account details of any user have been compromised. However, the @AnonymousPress Twitter account claimed the opposite and linked to a post on PrivatePaste (which has since been taken down). In the event that the hack did happen, PayPal will face around 28,000 details being compromised.

The allegations are part of the hacktivists’ day of action on the 5th of November to coincide with Guy Fawkes Night. The suspicions were that the hacking collective will manage to take down the largest social network in the world in response to the social-games spammer Zynga’s plans to lay off its workforce. Hackers were also outraged by company’s actions against numerous developers which they see as devastating to the gaming industry. Anonymous urged Zynga to change its mind or face the consequences.

Anonymous has endured despite multiple attempts from the United States to shut the collective down. They also plan to coincide a march on Parliament with the Internet activism. By the way, “V for Vendetta” author Alan Moore supports the movement and has even released a single in support of the Occupy and Anonymous actions.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Bill’s TV dream??

Microsoft to Launch Cloud TV?

Well-known software giant seems to be drawing up the plans to launch its own cloud-based television service. According to job listings spotted by the media, Microsoft is looking for a development lead, senior software engineer, and software development engineer. The personnel is being hired to work on a “new Cloud-based TV platform”.

The software giant wants applicants to be experienced in different web technologies like HTML5, Javascript, C#, as well as frameworks, including .NET framework and jQuery. In addition, it’s clear that any cloud telly should be geared for mobile applications outside Windows 8, with listings demanding experience in mobile application development for iOS and Android aside from development with Windows 8, Windows RT and IE.

In the meantime, the press reports say that it isn’t the first time Microsoft is talking about television. Last time, the company’s ambitions have been postponed due doubts about such things as “core competency”. However, now, with Microsoft’s decision to copy Apple business model, a cloud-based TV operation pushing content to personal computers and mobile devices makes a lot more sense. This move would provide much needed content from behind a walled garden that the software giant would control.

In addition, it’s obvious that the Xbox system is proving to be its test bed. As the experts remind, for the last year Xbox has been offering expanded on-demand material and entertainment applications. Microsoft has even introduced the Xbox Music streaming service. However, no details about what the TV service will entail exactly are provided by the company thus far.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

We Don’t Like You!

FBI against Private Sector ?

Federal agents are currently frustrated because a number of private companies keep getting in their way when the FBI is snooping – and are noticed to be holding back introduction of more sweeping surveillance of the Internet.

According to media reports, the FBI is seeking Homeland Security’s help to discover cases which they claim were “negatively impacted” by private sector. Some of the private companies are said to delay investigations inadvertently or fail to immediately bend over to surveillance requests by the Feds. For instance, Cricket Communications has irritated federal authorities because the company allegedly hindered an investigation due to technical problems on its network. They got in the way of a wiretap and location tracking.

In response, Cricket claimed that if requested disclosure was lawfully permitted, it would hand over data to the police, but otherwise it denies the request. In the meantime, the anxiety of the police about the efficiency of its information collection refers to its wider plan to appeal for major Internet companies to set back doors solely for the government surveillance.

As for the Homeland Security, they acknowledged that other private companies had also caused some problems for information gathering. The list of the mentioned companies includes T-Mobile, Comcast and MetroPCS. For instance, in Honolulu, Homeland Security complained that there are delays of up to 4 months from Cricket and T-mobile. The only company the Feds aren’t worrying about is Microsoft. The latter has been getting on the FBI’s good side by going as far as to finance “fusion centres”, i.e. hubs for the US surveillance.

Monday 19 November 2012

Now….That’s A Pub-Crawl!

Herd of elephants go on drunken rampage after mammoth booze up

Fifty wild elephants went on a drunken rampage after downing 18 containers of mahua, a powerful alcoholic brew, in India.

The trunk and disorderly mammals ransacked a shop, three houses and ruined crops in the eastern village of Dumurkota, India.
Police say the gang of over-the-limit tuskers downed more than 500litres of  moonshine alcohol, managing to drink the place dry in a matter of minutes.
The unruly mob demolished dozens of houses in their desperate hunt for more booze after hoovering up the hard stuff in record time.
Local police officer Asish Samanat said the drunken elephants were more 'aggressive' than usual after their mammoth drinking session.
'Unfortunately these animals live in close proximity to man and they recognised the smell of the drink,' he explained.
'They were like any other drunk - aggressive and unreasonable but much, much bigger.'
Police and villagers eventually restored order by herding the elephants over a local river back to their normal migration route.
Officer Samanat added: 'They'll have one heck of a hangover.'

Sunday 18 November 2012


Car stolen in Edinburgh with owner in boot

A 62-year-old man thwarted a car theft by jumping into the boot as it was being stolen.

The Vauxhall Astra was targeted by two teenage thieves while the man unloaded the boot in Lochend Road, Edinburgh.

BBC News reports that the owner quickly jumped inside before the pair drove off at high speed. The vehicle was then involved in a number of collisions with other cars.

The man managed to call the police from the boot of his car before the thieves abandoned it near a school and ran off.

The pair were described as being white and in their mid-teens. One was wearing a black, long-sleeved T-shirt, while the other was wearing a white T-shirt.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: "The youths responsible for this vehicle theft put not only their own lives in danger, but the lives of other motorists and pedestrians and we are keen to trace them as soon as possible."

Saturday 17 November 2012

Bad Luck???

Man has heart attack, confesses murder, survives

A man who confessed to a murder on his deathbed has survived and will now serve a life prison sentence.

James Washington from Nashville, thinking he was going to die as he was suffering a heart attack, was clearing his conscience.

He confessed to killing Joyce Goodener in July 1995, reports

However, Washington - who was already in prison for a different crime - survived the scare and has since been found guilty of the murder.

Prison guard James Tomlinson recalled to the jury: "He kind of got as best as he could, motioned and said, 'I have something to tell you. I have to get something off my conscience and you need to hear this'.

"He said, 'I killed somebody. I beat her to death'."

Washington had tried to retract his statement in court before the verdict was delivered.

Friday 16 November 2012

You Can’t Eat That….Neigh!!

Facing court, man who fed a sausage roll to police horse

A man who fed a sausage roll to a police horse has been accused of behaving in a “threatening or abusive manner”.

In a rare case, Francis Kelly was charged with causing a breach of the peace in Glasgow earlier this year.
Authorities say the 41-year-old broke the law when he ignored police warnings and gave the pastry to the animal.
But friends of Mr Kelly said tonight that he had done nothing wrong. He gave it a sausage roll because he thought the animal “looked hungry”.
Critics said the case was a waste of money and questioned why it was being brought before the courts next year.
Prosecutors will allege that Mr Kelly behaved in a “threatening or abusive manner” by attempting to feed meat to the horse.
The court will also be told that he “adopted an aggressive stance” towards officers when told to put the food away.
Court papers say the incident occurred in the city’s south on Sept 26.
It was, however, unclear tonight why the police horses were in the area or when he initially came into contact with the animals.
Mr Kelly, from the Govanhall district of Glasgow, was unavailable for comment tonight.
He is said to deny the charge. A source close to the case insisted that he would be fighting the accusation.
“His view is simply that he thought the horses looked hungry — daft as that sounds,” the source said.
Critics tonight took to social networking internet sites to express their anger at the case.
Many said the case was a “waste of money” and showed the world had “gone mad”.
“Seriously, is a man to stand trial for feeling a police horse a sausage roll … the world has gone mad,” Michelle McLaughlin said on the Twitter microblogging website.
Another user called “Lorraine M”, said: “Meanwhile in Glasgow.. Man stands trial for trying to feed sausage roll to a Police Horse. Yes you read right.”
Jack Harvey added: “Apparently the officer who charged the man said he heard the horse clearly say 'neigh' when offered the sausage roll. #SausageRollGate.”

Unemployed…Get A Tan!!

Free spray tans for the unemployed

Jobless people in the worst unemployment blackspot in Wales are being offered free spray tans to help boost their confidence.
Under the scheme in Aberdare, Job Centre staff are sending candidates for tans and makeovers at the town's Well-being and Training Academy.
The town suffers from an unemployment rate of 9.6% - but critics have questioned whether a free fake tan is the best way of helping.
Sarah Sweeden, director of the Academy, said they were happy to give the makeover and free spray tans to genuine jobseekers.
She said: "We want to give people that extra confidence - or that Gok Wan makeover - to give people the incentive to find work.
"It will recognise those who are doing their utmost to find unemployment by giving them a beauty treatment."
Job Centre staff will only send candidates for the treatment if they are seen to be serious about finding work. It is not paid for by the Job Centre or council.
The Academy is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company which aims to help people get back to work by improving their fitness, appearance, nutrition and confidence.
But Plaid Cymru councillor Pauline Jarman complained: "I don't know any employer that would be impressed if you turned up tanned.
"They'd be more inclined to be impressed if you had the skills and experience to undertake the job that's been advertised."

Thursday 15 November 2012


Pizza delivery man urinates on woman's door after no tip

A pizza delivery man has been fired after urinating on a woman's door when he wasn't tipped.

The man was delivering a Pizza Hut order to Chloe Teply in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday night (November 1) when the customer claimed she couldn't afford to tip.

Teply told KCCI: "It's just one of those things where unfortunately I don't have the money."

After the delivery, the man was then caught on security cameras unzipping his trousers and peeing on her door.

Teply continued: "I was like, 'Hmm, who was at my door that might be upset with me?' and it kind of hit me that it was the pizza delivery guy."

The delivery man, having been let go by his manager, later called Teply to apologise, and then on Saturday morning (November 3) cleaned her door.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Stripper Fight??

Flying shoe injures man during 17-stripper brawl

A strip club patron almost lost his eye during a brawl involving 17 strippers
It happened in Austin, Texas, as most stripper riots do. The woman who hurled the shoe may be charged with wielding a deadly weapon, according to police.
According to KXAN-TV, the fight between the strippers began in the dressing room at Hot Bodies in Austin on Oct. 26. That’s when authorities say 21-year-old Victoria Perez threw her high-heel shoe, hitting a man in the eye.
She is being held on $50,000 bail.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Ringing The Changes!!

Almighty ding-dong at bell-ringer's tangle

A church bell-ringer was rescued by fire crews after becoming entangled in ropes in a belfry, it emerged tonight.

Helen Springthorpe was knocked unconscious in the tower of St Nicholas Church, Bathampton, near Bath, Somerset on Monday night.
Authorities said the campanologist, who had only been in the job for three months, was "thrown around the belfry" after tripping and becoming "entangled in a bell ringing rope".
The 58 year-old, who had hit her head on the belfry wall, was on her first "pull" of the night with six other campanologists, during regular bell-ringing rehearsals.
At least 20 firemen and paramedics spent more than an hour on a delicate rescue operation that involved raising part of the bell-ringing gallery floor.
Mrs Springthorpe was taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath with a suspected pelvic injury, but only suffered heavy bruising and was released.
As she recovered at home in Bath tonight, she described herself as “just a bit unlucky” and could recall very little of the incident.
"I don't really remember very much about it," said the mother-of-one.
"The other bell ringers all had a go because I am new. I have only been doing it for three months and I am learning.
"I was having a go with one other person showing me how it is done."
Mrs Springthorpe, an administrative worker and typist for an architect, added: "I then tripped and hit my head on the wall
"I don't recall much more, and next thing I know I open my eyes and there are paramedics looking at me. I'm still trying to get myself together now. I remember lots of people around.
"The bell tower was full of firefighters and paramedics. It was an amazing sight."
She continued: "I remember being strapped to a stretcher and lowered through the trap door, seeing all the plaques on the wall in the church as I was lowered down."
Her 30 year-old daughter found out after it was reported in the local press, and "laughed very hard when I told her about it".
She had only recently taken up bell ringing because one of her near neighbours was a member of the tower bell ringing group.
Fire crews were called to the tower at 9.45pm after the six campanologist, two of whom were nurses, raised the alarm.
Authorities then spent more than an hour in a delicate operation to lower her more than 20 feet, which included forcing to up part of the bell-ringing gallery floor located at the top of the towers’ tiny spiral staircase.
Fire crews had to access the tower through a trap-door, which had not been opened for 60 years.
Asked if she would continue with her hobby, she replied: "I will see. Not immediately. Maybe in a week or two."
Initially nine firefighters from Bath responded to the emergency call, and they were joined by 11 more from Temple, in Bristol.
The tower captain, Peter Powell, 79, said: "Helen was just taking her first pull of the evening and she changed hands, and pulled the rope off the stay and it went all right for the first stroke, then all of a sudden she just lost the rope and it went all round her and she collapsed on the floor.
"It all happened so quickly. Whether she fell off the box at the same time or what, we can't say.
"Everybody was just sitting around very worried, not quite knowing what to do, but left the two that did know what they were doing to carry on."
Choking back tears, Mr Powell, who lives in the village, said: "I do care. She was learning to ring, had just started, and then this happened."
The church's Rev Paul Burden said: "It's not nice when it happens and it's a reminder that bell-ringing is a very skilled hobby and there needs to be careful training on it."
A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue Service said Mrs Springthorpe was lucky to escape serious injury after being ''thrown around the belfry for a bit before landing awkwardly''.
He added: ''Fire crews were alerted by the ambulance service, who had administered morphine and made her comfortable while awaiting rescue.
''Special rope rescue lines and equipment, including a stretcher, were used.
''A section of the bell-ringing gallery floor was lifted up and the woman was then safely lowered about 20ft to the ground, where she was taken into the care of ambulance staff who took her to hospital with a suspected pelvic injury.''
A church spokesman was unavailable for comment.

Saturday 10 November 2012

Ja…We’re Watching You!!

Germany Spying on Its Citizens

Everyone knows that Germans are a bit sensitive about digital privacy, but now it appears the German government has no problems with spying on its citizens. Many Germans were very surprised to know that they are being constantly monitored.

Recently the German authorities admitted that the police monitor such communication services as Skype and Facebook chat, along with major mail services, including Yahoo Mail, Google Mail, and MSN Hotmail. According to the government, the services are monitored “as and when necessary”, but still very precisely.

The information about such activity of the police force was released in frames of a move towards financial transparency of the government. The matter is that the authorities had to release figures of expenses incurred by the Federal Ministry of the Interior under a parliamentary inquiry.

The expenses for spying were hiding in pile of the facts and figures provided by the government. The annalist blog found them, which decided that investigating a shedloads of financial data was better than everything else on German TV. They were digging through the financial reports, when they ran into the page where cost for decoding software for the mail services, including Google Mail, MSN Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail, was listed. The purpose of the expenses on software said “for prevention and investigation”.

It was later that a mention of monitoring system for Skype was found. It turned out that the Ministry of the Interior has spent a lot of money on Trojan viruses and IMSI catchers. This kind of software is being used for “man-in-the-middle” attacks on cell phones widely employed by German police. In other words, the belief that the police are constantly monitoring people is quite real.

Friday 9 November 2012

Pirate Bay On The Move!!

The Pirate Bay Moved to the Cloud

The largest BitTorrent tracker has been operating for almost a decade now. Within these years, The Pirate Bay faced endless line of problems and copyright owners were doing their best to make it disappear. However, the tracker managed to not just surpass them, but also to thrive. Now The Pirate Bay has moved from physical servers to the cloud.
Earlier in October, Swedish authorities have raided PRQ – a company that used to host the servers of The Pirate Bay – and seized a few of them. Although it is still unclear who exactly had suffered after this move, it is known that the TPB wasn’t amongst them. However, the portal wasn’t so lucky 6 years ago, when Swedish authorities seized some of its servers and kept the site offline for 3 days. From now on, it won’t happen any more. This move came as no surprise, taking into account that earlier this year the portal started a project based on flying drones. Industry observers made a conclusion that the file-sharing service was planning to go into the air soon.

The representatives of the tracker explain that their information now flows around in many clouds, encrypted and ready to be used any time. So, any efforts to attack the tracker will now be “an attack on everything and nothing”. From now on, The Pirate Bay’s new infrastructure will be hosted by a few cloud-based providers that don’t even know who their client is. So, if one of the providers cuts the website off, the TPB can just use new virtual servers from another one. All they will have to do is upload the VM-images and reconfigure the load-balancer in order to resurrect the portal.

The tracker also ensured that the location of its cloud providers is secure and all traffic is encrypted. The operators of The Pirate Bay are completely confident with their decision. In the meantime, the news about the tracker moving to the cloud led to various debates, both optimistic and less positive. The positive ones approve of the decision, because using several cloud hosting firms is very beneficial. But some believe that taking the tracker offline is still possible, since the load balancer will be hosted with a major Internet service provider, who can usually be easily dealt with for the government. Anyway, all experts agree that moving to the cloud makes The Pirate Bay more reliable than ever.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for the source of the article

Thursday 8 November 2012

One Step Ahead??

The British couple who live in the future

A British couple live their lives one hour ahead of the rest of the country because they claim it's good for their health.

For the past six years Janys and John Warren have lived by British Summertime all year round.
The retired couple from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, who are members of St George's parish council began the experiment to see if it would have any effect on Mr Warren's cluster headaches.
The painful condition is thought to be triggered by a change in the clocks.
Six years on, the couple claim they both feel healthier.
Mrs Warren, 68, said: "We tried this because my husband's cluster headaches had moved from being episodic to chronic but still seemed to be triggered by the clock change.
"We heard that someone who suffered from them went to Australia and did not change his clocks and did not have an episode. It's worked for us too."
Living in a time warp has not made them psychic but it has saved the pair money on heating and lighting bills.
"We have lower fuel bills and far more usable daylight hours with evenings not seeming endless," added Mrs Warren.
"Even if the UK stayed on British Summertime we would be closer to European Time which has got to be an improvement for trade and tourism.
"The couple, who get up at 9.30am-10am, which for the rest of the world is an hour earlier, say the winter doesn't seem so long living in another time.
"We don't put the heating on until we get up and by then it is warmer anyway," said Mrs Warren.
"We've saved about one third of our heating and lighting bills. The winter doesn't seem so long and I don't feel so tired in the evening. It's nice to be wide awake later.
"Our children have grown up so there are not so many things that we do that need to fit in with the rest of the world.
"It takes them a couple of weeks each year to get used to the fact that it's a different time for us- but it's not inconvenient.
"People who come to the house sometimes look at the clock and say, 'Goodness, it's time to go,' and we explain.
"Of course one of the things it makes a difference is parish council meetings. They don't start for us until 8.30pm, but it means they can sometimes go on until 10.30pm or 11pm."
The couple are usually fast asleep when New Year comes in - but are woken up by fireworks at what for them is 1 am.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Phew…That’s A Load Off!!

Weighty memento: war veteran's secret revealed after his death

The family of a war hero only discovered the full weight of his bravery after his death when his cremation left behind a huge pile of shrapnel.

Ronald Brown stepped on a land mine while on a mission in France in August 1944.
The blast peppered his left leg with red-hot fragments and he was forced to crawl two miles to safety.
But because of medical conditions of the day it was thought safer to leave shrapnel in his body.
He survived the war but only ever told his family the basic story and said the accident had left him with a 'bad knee'.
Mr Brown told loved ones he still had a 'bullet' in his leg and asked his grandchildren not to sit on his knee because of the pain it caused.
But when he died last week aged 94 his family had him cremated and were stunned when staff handed them back a big bag of shrapnel.
The bag contained a whopping 6oz of bomb shrapnel that he had been carrying around for 60 years.
Daughter Jane Madden, 55, of Exeter, Devon said her father told her there was a bullet in his knee from the war, never mentioning the pile of fragments.
She said: "I don't think he ever realised all that was in his leg - it weighed about six ounces.
"He'd said there was a bullet in his leg but I was imagining one romantic piece of metal.
"But when we went to scatter his ashes we asked whether the bullet had been found and they gave us this bag full of metal.
"It's just macabre really and amazing because he never used to complain about the pain. It just shows how brave he was."
Mr Brown, of Exeter, joined the East Yorkshire Regiment at the age of 21 and was a quartermaster when he suffered his injury.
He stepped on the booby trap while on manoeuvres in August 1944, two months after D Day.
Following his death of a chest infection last week workers at Exeter and Devon Crematorium carefully sifted through his ashes and found the metal pieces.
His granddaughter, Holly, 22, said her grandfather "never spoke much about the war".
She said: "When we were very young he used to tell us not to sit on his knee because of the wound.
"He would travel overseas to Australia and America and he was always setting off scanners as he walked through.
"We always thought it was a bullet in the knee but when the funeral directors gave us this bag of shrapnel they had taken out we were shocked at how much there was.
"We are all very proud of him and what he did for all of us. The bits of metal in him just show how horrible the war was.
"I suppose it's a bitter-sweet memory for us because it symbolises everything he did and how he suffered."
After the war grandfather-of-five Ronald became a tax inspector. His wife Gwendoline died 24 years ago.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Dog Gone It….

French dog poisoned and buried alive survives

A Jack Russell terrier has survived after being poisoned and buried alive — and he can thank the man who saw the ground wiggle.
Ethan came back to life on his third birthday after someone tried to kill him. He had a whole chain of saviors: the man who dug him up, the firefighters who rushed him off and a veterinarian who nursed him back to life.
Sabrina Zamora, president of an animal association in Charleville-Mezieres, 200 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Paris, said Friday the little white dog with a black ear was "flat as a pancake" when he was dug up from his grave Tuesday near a lakeside pedestrian path.
"It's extraordinary. We only see this in TV movies," said veterinarian Philippe Michon. "He came back to life and without a scratch. It's rather miraculous."
The vet said when firemen brought the dirt-covered terrier to his office "he was completely cold, he was barely breathing."
Michon used hot water bottles to warm up Ethan's seemingly lifeless body. The dog was so cold his veins had collapsed and it was hard to find one to hydrate him but within 24 hours the dog was back on his feet.
According to the veterinarian and Zamora, a man walking by just happened to see the ground moving — an apparent result of convulsions from the dog's poisoning. The man then got a shovel and dug the dog up.
Ethan was identified through a microchip that showed all this happened on his third birthday.
His owner says he had given the dog away but police are investigating, Zamora said.
"(Ethan) had an unbelievable chain of luck," Michon said. "If the ground hadn't trembled, no one would have taken a shovel to it."

Monday 5 November 2012


Urban fox spotted trying to break into upstairs window

A homeowner was stunned when he spotted this urban fox trying to break into his neighbour's house - through an upstairs window.

A wily urban fox was spotted trying to break into a house in south London.
The crafty animal was spotted clawing at the frame of a bathroom window at a terraced house in East Sheen.
Local resident Paul Aynsley snapped the fox as it stood on the roof of his neighbour's extension.
Retired Mr Aynsley, 61, said: "We have a lot of foxes round here, but I was surprised to see one on the roof - I didn't know foxes climbed.
"It was like it was trying to break in or stare through the bathroom window."
The fox was snapped around 9am on Thursday morning close to opera superstar Katherine Jenkins' £6m home.
Paul added: "The fox went round the corner and then disappeared. I don't know how the hell it got up there in the first place.
"It really is strange."
Complaints of urban foxes invading gardens have been growing as they lose their fear of humans, pest controllers have warned.
New fortnightly bin collections, leaving rubbish bags piling near houses, are being blamed for helping bring the once-shy creatures closer to people's homes in search of food.
Pest control companies warned that call-outs from members of the public to deal with foxes had surged in recent years.
In 2012 feral foxes attacked two twin baby girls who were mauled in their cot at their home in Hackney, east London.
Britain’s urban fox population is widely estimated to be about 30,000 but some experts believe it could be as high as 50,000.
At present local authorities have no legal requirement to control urban foxes even when residents complain.

Sunday 4 November 2012

An Intelligent Geordie??

Sunderland is UK's 'brainiest city'

A survey of intelligence has found that Sunderland is the UK's 'brainiest city'., the UK's largest quiz site, undertook the research by asking residents of each city 30 questions from a variety of categories. They included: Sport, Art & Literature and History & Politics.

Questions included 'How many points are scored for a converted try in Rugby Union?', 'What is the smallest planet in the solar system?' and 'What is the collective noun for a group of emus?'.

The results found that the cleverest city was Sunderland, who got 71% of answers correct. Exeter and Preston secured second and third place respectively with 68% and 65%.

However, residents of Norwich only scored 35%, meaning they came at the bottom of the table. Peterborough and Edinburgh completed the bottom three with 43% each.

Rick Eastman, marketing director of, said: "This was the definitive general intelligence test for the UK; Sunderland did very well to come out on top."

The survey also proved that hair colour has no reflection on intelligence. Blonde, black and red-haired people all scored 54% whilst brunette and grey-haired scored 53%.

Over 5,000 UK residents from 30 cities took part in the survey.

Saturday 3 November 2012

Caveman On The Loose!

'Naked caveman' accused of terrorising Texan mountain walkers

A 'naked caveman' has been accused of terrorising a small Texan community amid reports he chased a group of hikers away from his mountainside home in the nude.

Residents living near McKelligon Canyon in El Paso say they live in fear of the mysterious man who claims to have been lodging in a remote cave on the mountain for the past three years.
One local told KVIA they 'didn't feel safe' around the bearded occupant, while another claims to have regularly seen him bathing in the laundry room of an apartment complex at the foot of the canyon.
Last week, a group of mountain walkers who stumbled across the shelter claim a naked man sprang from the cave and chased them down the mountainside.
The man has denied the accusations however, claiming 'busy bodies' made up the stories about him running around naked.
'If that's true, where's the pictures?' he told KVIA. 'If that's true, what tattoos does he have? What is he built like? It's stupidity.'
He claims he is not the only resident on the mountain, saying: 'People come out here to barbecue; people come up here to sleep and camp out.'
The cave dweller supports himself by donating blood plasma and through gifts from the public.
Local authorities have said they would investigate the claims to see if his mountainside home is legal.

Friday 2 November 2012

All In A Name??

Man named Thomas Cook gets free holiday

A man who shares the same name with travel agency Thomas Cook has received a free holiday to France.

However, it wasn't Thomas Cook who provided the trip to Paris but a competitor.

Cook initially posted on
Thomas Cook's Facebook, saying: "Seeing as I share the exact same name as your huge company, and because of this I have been ridiculed for as long as I can remember, I think it's only fair that you help compensate for this by giving me one of your lovely holidays.

"A weekend to Paris would do just fine."

The Thomas Cook agency - despite being encouraged by other Facebook users - declined.

Instead, competitors emailed Cook and offered him the holiday.

They told Cook: "Here at, we completely sympathise with your suffering and if your name was '', we would certainly have accepted your request to be sent away on a weekend in Paris.

"So how about we send you on that weekend in Paris?"

Cook accepted the offer.

Thursday 1 November 2012

Unlucky For Some??

David and Joanne are the unluckiest names

Research has found that David and Joanne are the unluckiest names in the UK and that people with those monikers are most likely to suffer personal injury.
So according to case data released by a UK-based firm of personal injury solicitors anyone named David or Joanne should take extra care when leaving the house in the morning.

The data, released by the team at Edwards Hoyle, aimed to discover trends amongst personal injury claims, and looked into the most common names, ages and occupations of personal injury claimants they’ve dealt with over the past two years.

A spokesperson for Edwards Hoyle said: "We thought we’d take a look at who is most likely to claim based on names and years of birth. David and Joanne topped our charts as the most likely names to suffer some form of personal injury."

And it's extra bad news if you are a Fishermen called David … that's the unluckiest profession.
The most common names of male victims of personal injury:
1) David
2) James
3) Stephen
4) Andrew
5) Chris

The most common names of female victims of personal injury:
1) Joanne
2) Emma
3) Clare
4) Karen
5) Lisa

The top 5 most risky professions
1) Fishermen
2) Farming
3) Oil/ Gas Workers
4) Construction
5) Lorry Driver