Wikinews interviews U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wikinews held an exclusive interview with Cynthia McKinney, one of the candidates for the Green Party nomination for the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

McKinney is a former Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 and held her seat for ten years until being defeated by Denise Majette in 2002. She was the first ever African American woman from her state to be elected to Congress.

We asked her why she made the recent switch to the Green Party. She replied, “Due to the importance of environmental issues, Green issues are the issues of today. The Ten Key Values of the Green Party stress us getting along with each other in harmony with the planet that gives us life.”

When asked about how she would handle Iraq she replied, “I would instruct the Joint Chiefs to draw up a plan for the orderly withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the country. I would dismantle our military bases in the area, and I would also demand that U.S. and other international corporations relinquish any claims to Iraqi oil or other resources and withdraw as well.”

McKinney is running for president because, basically, she thinks that “it’s time that the people win”.

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19 February

Israel elects 18th Knesset

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The centrist Kadima Party won a plurality of the seats in Knesset, the Israel parliament, in Tuesday’s election beating out the right-wing Likud Party by a single seat.

The ninth and current Israel President Shimon Peres will call on Tzipora Malka “Tzipi” Livni, Kadima party leader to attempt to form a government through a coalition. This will be difficult for Livini as Hard line parties including Likud won a majority of the seats in the Knesset. Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu might be tapped to form a coalition government if Livni fails. 65.2% percent of the voting population voted on Tuesday.

The key issue which has faced some 5.3 million registered voters, in 9,000 polling stations nationwide is which leader can best assure the security of the state while chances of a peace deal seem remote amid a campaign that generated little enthusiasm.

Political analysts are predicting that Mr. Netanyahu, not Ms. Livni, will be asked by Israel’s president to form the next government.

Both Ms. Livni and Mr. Netanyahu are courting the third-place Yisrael Beitenu Party, headed by Avigdor Lieberman. Yisrael Beitenu party which won 15 seats is seen as critical in securing the 61 seats required in the country’s 120-seat parliament.

Another possible political scenario would be a power-sharing government between Ms. Livni and Mr. Netanyahu, in which each leader would serve as prime minister for two years, rotating midway through the four year term.

“Netanyahu and Livni complement one another. You have the common sense of Livni and the broader strategic vision of Netanyahu. Bibi needs her and she needs him,” said Daniel Schueftan, a senior Israeli academic and deputy director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa, where he also serves as a senior lecturer in the School of Political Sciences.

The Knesset (????) is the legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem. It was first convened on February 14, 1949, following the elections held on January 20th 1949. As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, it enacts laws, elects the president and prime minister (although s/he is ceremonially appointed by the President), supervises the work of the government, reserves the power to remove the President of the State and the State Comptroller from office and to dissolve itself and call new elections.

I believe in the right of the Jewish people to the entire land of Israel. But I was also raised to preserve democratic values.

The composition of the current Knesset was determined by the 2006 election, the Seventeenth Knesset. Though it has not yet happened in the current session, in every Knesset to date (save the remarkably stable 1955 Third), parties have split up during the Knesset’s term, leading to the creation of new parties or resulting in MKs sitting as independents.

Last December, a record 43 parties had registered with the parties registrar, compared to 31 for the 2006 elections, although in the end, only 34 parties submitted a list of candidates. On 12 January 2009, Balad and the United Arab ListTa’al alliance were disqualified by the Central Elections Committee on the grounds that they failed to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and called for armed conflict against it. Balad and Ta’al were also disqualified from the 2003 election, but won a Supreme Court case which allowed them to run. On January 21, the Supreme Court, by a vote of 8 to 1, again revoked the ban.

Every 4 years (or sooner if an early election is called, as is often the case), 120 members of the Knesset (MKs) are elected by Israeli citizens who must be at least 18 years old to vote. The Government of Israel must be approved by a majority vote of the Knesset. 120 seats are allocated by party-list proportional representation, using the d’Hondt method. The election threshold for the 2006 election was set at 2% (up from 1.5% in previous elections), which is a little over two seats.

After official results are published (on February 18, in this election), the President of Israel delegates the task of forming a government to the Member of Knesset with the best chance of assembling a majority coalition (usually the leader of the largest party.) That designee has up to 42 days to negotiate with the different parties, and then present his government to the Knesset for a vote of confidence. Once the government is approved (by a vote of at least 61 members), he/she becomes Prime Minister.

Kadima leaders believe that Livni can form a coalition with at least Labor, Meretz and Israel Beiteinu. Livni and Netanyahu have started meeting with potential government coalition partners, Livni with Avigdor Lieberman of ultranational party, Yisrael Beiteinu and Netanyahu with Eli Yishai of the Shas, an ultra-Orthodox party.

Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu (??????????? “????” ???????????) was the 9th Prime Minister of Israel (June 1996 to July 1999) and is Chairman of the conservative Likud Party. He is the first (and to date only) Prime Minister of Israel to be born after the State of Israel’s foundation.

Netanyahu was Finance Minister of Israel until 9 August 2005, having resigned in protest at the Gaza Disengagement Plan advocated by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He retook the Likud leadership on 20 December 2005.

As of December 2006, he became the official leader of the Opposition in the Knesset and Chairman of the Likud Party. In August 2007 he retained the Likud leadership by beating Moshe Feiglin in party elections.

On May 4, 2006, Ehud Olmert (???? ??????) became the 12th and current Prime Minister of Israel. He was the mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003, was elected to the Knesset and became a minister and an Acting Prime Minister in the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

On January 4, 2006, after Sharon suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke, Olmert began exercising the powers of the office of Prime Minister. He led Kadima to a victory in the March 2006 elections (just two months after Sharon had suffered his stroke) and continued on as Acting Prime Minister.

On April 14, 2006, Sharon was declared permanently incapacitated, allowing Olmert to legally become Interim Prime Minister. On 4 May, 2006, Olmert and his new, post-election government were approved by the Knesset, thus Olmert officially became Prime Minister of Israel.

Olmert faced corruption charges amid a challenge for leadership from Kadima by Foreign Minister Tzipora Malka “Tzipi” Livni (?????? ???? “????” ????), age 50, the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel. Livini is a lawyer, mother-of-two and former agent for Mossad Israel’s foreign intelligence agency who has moved from a strongly Zionist nationalist background to become a leading Israeli advocate of a two-state solution with Palestinians.

On July 30, 2008, Olmert announced that he would not seek re-election as party leader and that he would resign from his position as Prime Minister immediately after a new Kadima leader was named. On September 17, 2008, Livni won the election and became the new leader of the Kadima party. She sought to form a new government that would gain support from a majority of the Knesset.

After failing to reach agreement with various parties, Livni’s attempts at forming a new government were unsuccessful and instead an election was scheduled for February 10, 2009. Aside from Livini and Netanyahu, the other candidates were Ehud Barak, the 10th Prime Minister of Israel, and current Minister of Defense, deputy prime minister and leader of Israel’s centre-left Labor Party, and Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the far-right party Yisrael Beiteinu.

The hiatus allowed Olmert to cling to his Prime Minister post for at least a further five months as head of a caretaker government. On December, 2008, Operation Cast Lead was launched on Gaza. The February 10 election came three weeks after a 22-day Israel–Gaza conflict, where Israeli military offensive in the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

Meanwhile, Avigdor Lieberman, whose Yisrael Beiteinu faction received 15 Knesset seats, thereby holding the key to the makeup of the 18th Knesset, has on Thursday unexpectedly departed for vacation abroad, leaving his suitors from Kadima and Likud — as well as the Israeli public — in the dark about his intentions.

“Our position is already clear and I know exactly what I am going to tell President Shimon Peres. [But] in order to know whom we are going to recommend, we will wait six more days,” Lieberman said. “I think it is too early and there is no point saying whom we support. I have met with both Livni and Netanyahu and with additional people in the political system but my position is already clear and solid. When we go to the President we will say very clear things,” he added.

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19 February

18-year-old charged for Thanksgiving lesbian assault

Monday, November 26, 2012

An 18-year-old man, Travis Hawkins Jr., was charged yesterday by police in Mobile County, Alabama, for allegedly beating a woman who is romantically involved with his sister. Hawkins was bailed following a charge for second-degree assault.

Mallory Owens, 23, the victim of the attack, is in the USA Medical Center in Mobile, recovering from the injuries. Owens has had to have facial reconstructive surgery and had a broken nose from the assault during Thanksgiving. Owens’ family have told reporters they believe it to be a hate crime and called for the prosecutors to upgrade the charges against Hawkins.

The father of the arrested man, Travis Hawkins Sr., has said they have hired a lawyer for his son, Hawkins Jr.

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18 February

Clinical study supports pollen tablets as hay fever treatment

Friday, September 1, 2006

A large clinical trial found that grass pollen tablets under the tongue (sublingual) are an effective treatment option for hay fever sufferers. The results have been published in this month’s edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Tablets with grass pollen that dissolve quickly under the tongue may provide doctors with a better tool to fight the illness. The patient could take the pills at his own home, and after a while the symptoms may disappear completely and treatment can be ceased. Contrary to the current standard treatment, this therapy targets the immune system in such a way that it treats the cause and not just the symptoms.

634 patients from 8 countries participated in the trial. Half received Grazax® tablets (a product of ALK-Abello, Hørsholm, Denmark), the other half placebo pills. The group receiving treatment showed fewer symptoms during hay fever season and consequently cut down on their medication use. Grazax® also caused few and tolerable side effects such as itching and swelling in the mouth.

Combined with several earlier papers, these results provide a basis for ALK-Abello to apply for European approval of their drug. It has already been approved in Sweden, and the company will follow a Mutual Recognition Procedure hoping to get their product in European pharmacies by the end of 2006. The company will continue to fund further inquiries into Grazax® and will keep collaborating with scientists from several European countries.

During hay fever season, patients develop a runny nose, swelling of the mucous membranes of the nose, sneezing and teary eyes, a condition doctors call allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. The condition seems to be increasingly frequent, with approximately 10% of the population suffering from grass pollen allergy. First-line treatment includes antihistaminics (like cetirizine or Zyrtec®/Zyrlex®) and steroid sprays, but results are often disappointing.

Long term results have been demonstrated for weekly shots with pollen extracts (a procedure called desensitization), but too many visits to the doctor make the process troublesome. Also, the patient has to wait some time before leaving the doctor’s office, due to the risk of developing a kind of shock state termed anaphylactic shock.

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18 February

Where To Sell Jewellry}

Where To Sell Jewellry

by

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The better jewellery to trade in this manner are the ones that possess no resale value as jewelry, like hand-me-down class rings (take out the stone), unwelcome simple wedding bands from an ex husband or wife, or thrown-away dental gold.

There may be any number valued items at the nethermost region of your jewelry boxes and dresser drawers. Maybe you forgot you possess them! A lone earring, damaged chain, or even old sterling silver flatware.

Will your selling scrap gold work be worth your time? To work out what your jewelry are valued at, without giving an appraiser $50 to $200 per hour, utilise these rules of thumb about gold prices:

First, look for the karat stamp of your jewellry. Then, go to goldprice.org to check todays price for a troy ounce (31.1 grams) of 24 karat pure gold. If your jewellry is less than 24 karat, discount it accordingly. 18 karat is worth 75%, 14 karat is priced at 58.3%, 10 karat is 41.7%.

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Then subtract 10-20% for the refining fees, and add whatever net income the middleman buyer needs from reselling it.

To present to you a general idea: when gold values were recently at their all time historic heights of $1,160 an ounce, you could’ve obtained roughly $85 for a 14K wedding band.

How can you find a scrap gold buyer who is not only responsible, but will give you the optimal price for your gold or other precious metals?

Some individuals will not consider where to sell jewellery too much, and will only go to the nearest pawn shop to figure how much immediate payment they can receive when theyre interested in selling scrap gold.

Or they may respond to a TV or newspaper ad from a local jeweller or national gold purchasing company.

Since gold values are at a record high level, and the amount of individuals who need to get cash quickly is increasing every day, various companies have come along to try to cash in on this tendency. Numerous of these companies prey upon the regular persons ignorance of the true worth of their gold.

Irrespective of who you sell your scrap gold to, it needs to end up with a precious metal refiner. They own the equipment and permits to purify the gold and recycle it into gold bars acceptable for industrialized use.

And so to receive the most cash, its better to eliminate the pawn shop or other middleman, and sell directly to a time-tested refinery. They are not in the jewellery business or a intermediary.

You can request that they send out to you a postage paid, insured envelope that you can track online when you mail it. Be sure to fill in your thorough description of what you’re sending off. Photocopy your description, and snap a photo of the items youre sending off. Do not forget to remove gems and any non-gold parts that are of value to you.

The company employs non-damaging examinations to figure out the current market price of your jewellery.

The most trustworthy companies telephone you with their offer first of all, and if you accept their terms mail you a check or direct deposit your money immediately. If youre not happy with the number, theyll return mail (insured) your piece at their expense.

Where to sell jewelry

? I discovered an online refinery which offers the most, and isn’t going to play games to try to rip you off.

Article Source:

Where To Sell Jewellry}

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18 February

ACLU, EFF challenging US ‘secret’ court orders seeking Twitter data

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Late last month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed objections to the United States Government’s ‘secret’ attempts to obtain Twitter account information relating to WikiLeaks. The ACLU and EFF cite First and Fourth amendment issues as overriding reasons to overturn government attempts to keep their investigation secret; and, that with Birgitta Jonsdottir being an Icelandic Parliamentarian, the issue has serious international implications.

The case, titled “In the Matter of the 2703(d) Order Relating to Twitter Accounts: Wikileaks, Rop_G, IOERROR; and BirgittaJ“, has been in the EFF’s sights since late last year when they became aware of the US government’s attempts to investigate WikiLeaks-related communications using the popular microblogging service.

The key objective of this US government investigation is to obtain data for the prosecution of Bradley Manning, alleged to have supplied classified data to WikiLeaks. In addition to Manning’s Twitter account, and that of WikiLeaks (@wikileaks), the following three accounts are subject to the order: @ioerror, @birgittaj, and @rop_g. These, respectively, belong to Jacob Apelbaum, Birgitta Jonsdottir, and Rop Gonggrijp.

Birgitta is not the only non-US citizen with their Twitter account targeted by the US Government; Gonggrijp, a Dutch ‘ex-hacker’-turned-security-expert, was one of the founders of XS4ALL – the first Internet Service Provider in the Netherlands available to the public. He has worked on a mobile phone that can encrypt conversations, and proven that electronic voting systems can readily be hacked.

In early March, a Virginia magistrate judge ruled that the government could have the sought records, and neither the targeted users, or the public, could see documents submitted to justify data being passed to the government. The data sought is as follows:

  1. Personal contact information, including addresses
  2. Financial data, including credit card or bank account numbers
  3. Twitter account activity information, including the “date, time, length, and method of connections” plus the “source and destination Internet Protocol address(es)”
  4. Direct Message (DM) information, including the email addresses and IP addresses of everyone with whom the Parties have exchanged DMs

The order demands disclosure of absolutely all such data from November 1, 2009 for the targeted accounts.

The ACLU and EFF are not only challenging this, but demanding that all submissions made by the US government to justify the Twitter disclosure are made public, plus details of any other such cases which have been processed in secret.

Bradley Manning, at the time a specialist from Maryland enlisted with the United States Army’s 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, was arrested in June last year in connection with the leaking of classified combat video to WikiLeaks.

The leaked video footage, taken from a US helicopter gunship, showed the deaths of Reuters staff Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen during a U.S. assault in Baghdad, Iraq. The wire agency unsuccessfully attempted to get the footage released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 2007.

When WikiLeaks released the video footage it directly contradicted the official line taken by the U.S. Army asserting that the deaths of the two Reuters staff were “collateral damage” in an attack on Iraqi insurgents. The radio chatter associated with the AH-64 Apache video indicated the helicopter crews had mistakenly identified the journalists’ equipment as weaponry.

The US government also claims Manning is linked to CableGate; the passing of around a quarter of a million classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. Manning has been in detention since July last year; in December allegations of torture were made to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the conditions under which he was and is being detained.

Reports last month that he must now sleep naked and attend role call at the U.S. Marine facility in Quantico in the same state, raised further concern over his detention conditions. Philip J. Crowley, at-the-time a State Department spokesman, remarked on this whilst speaking at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; describing the current treatment of Manning as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid”, Crowley was, as a consequence, put in the position of having to tender his resignation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Despite his native Australia finding, in December last year, that Assange’s WikiLeaks had not committed any criminal offences in their jurisdiction, the U.S. government has continued to make ongoing operations very difficult for the whistleblower website.

The result of the Australian Federal Police investigation left the country’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, having to retract a statement that WikiLeaks had acted “illegally”; instead, she characterised the site’s actions as “grossly irresponsible”.

Even with Australia finding no illegal activity on the part of WikiLeaks, and with founder Julian Assange facing extradition to Sweden, U.S. pressure sought to hobble WikiLeaks financially.

Based on a State Department letter, online payments site PayPal suspended WikiLeaks account in December. Their action was swiftly followed by Visa Europe and Mastercard ceasing to handle payments for WikiLeaks.

The online processing company, Datacell, threatened the two credit card giants with legal action over this. However, avenues of funding for the site were further curtailed when both Amazon.com and Swiss bank PostFinance joined the financial boycott of WikiLeaks.

Assange continues, to this day, to argue that his extradition to Sweden for questioning on alleged sexual offences is being orchestrated by the U.S. in an effort to discredit him, and thus WikiLeaks.

Wikinews consulted an IT and cryptography expert from the Belgian university which developed the current Advanced Encryption Standard; explaining modern communications, he stated: “Cryptography has developed to such a level that intercepting communications is no longer cost effective. That is, if any user uses the correct default settings, and makes sure that he/she is really connecting to Twitter it is highly unlikely that even the NSA can break the cryptography for a protocol such as SSL/TLS (used for https).”

Qualifying this, he commented that “the vulnerable parts of the communication are the end points.” To make his point, he cited the following quote from Gene Spafford: “Using encryption on the Internet is the equivalent of arranging an armored car to deliver credit card information from someone living in a cardboard box to someone living on a park bench.

Continuing, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) expert explained:

In the first place, the weak point is Twitter itself; the US government can go and ask for the data; companies such as Twitter and Google will typically store quite some information on their users, including IP addresses (it is known that Google deletes the last byte of the IP address after a few weeks, but it is not too hard for a motivated opponent to find out what this byte was).
In the second place, this is the computer of the user: by exploiting system weaknesses (with viruses, Trojan horses or backdoors in the operating system) a highly motivated opponent can enter your machine and record your keystrokes plus everything that is happening (e.g. the FBI is known to do this with the so-called Magic Lantern software). Such software is also commercially available, e.g. for a company to monitor its employees.
It would also be possible for a higly motivated opponent to play “man-in-the-middle”; that means that instead of having a secure connection to Twitter.com, you have a secure connection to the attacker’s server, who impersonates Twitter’s and then relays your information to Twitter. This requires tricks such as spoofing DNS (this is getting harder with DNSsec), or misleading the user (e.g. the user clicks on a link and connects to tw!tter.com or Twitter.c0m, which look very similar in a URL window as Twitter.com). It is clear that the US government is capable of using these kind of tricks; e.g., a company has been linked to the US government that was recognized as legitimate signer in the major browsers, so it would not be too large for them to sign a legitimate certificate for such a spoofing webserver; this means that the probability that a user would detect a problem would be very low.
As for traffic analysis (finding out who you are talking to rather than finding out what you are telling to whom), NSA and GCHQ are known to have access to lots of traffic (part of this is obtained via the UK-USA agreement). Even if one uses strong encryption, it is feasible for them to log the IP addresses and email addresses of all the parties you are connecting to. If necessary, they can even make routers re-route your traffic to their servers. In addition, the European Data Retention directive forces all operators to store such traffic data.
Whether other companies would have complied with such requests: this is very hard to tell. I believe however that it is very plausible that companies such as Google, Skype or Facebook would comply with such requests if they came from a government.
In summary: unless you go through great lengths to log through to several computers in multiple countries, you work in a clean virtual machine, you use private browser settings (don’t accept cookies, no plugins for Firefox, etc.) and use tools such as Tor, it is rather easy for any service provider to identify you.
Finally: I prefer not to be quoted on any sentences in which I make statements on the capabilities or actions of any particular government.

Wikinews also consulted French IT security researcher Stevens Le Blond on the issues surrounding the case, and the state-of-the-art in monitoring, and analysing, communications online. Le Blond, currently presenting a research paper on attacks on Tor to USENIX audiences in North America, responded via email:

Were the US Government to obtain the sought data, it would seem reasonable the NSA would handle further investigation. How would you expect them to exploit the data and expand on what they receive from Twitter?

  • Le Blond: My understanding is that the DOJ is requesting the following information: 1) Connection records and session times 2) IP addresses 3) e-mail addresses 4) banking info
By requesting 1) and 2) for Birgitta and other people involved with WikiLeaks (WL) since 2009, one could derive 2 main [pieces of] information.
First, he could tell the mobility of these people. Recent research in networking shows that you can map an IP address into a geographic location with a median error of 600 meters. So by looking at changes of IP addresses in time for a Twitter user, one could tell (or at least speculate about) where that person has been.
Second, by correlating locations of different people involved with WL in time, one could possibly derive their interactions and maybe even their level of involvement with WL. Whether it is possible to derive this information from 1) and 2) depends on how this people use Twitter. For example, do they log on Twitter often enough, long enough, and from enough places?
My research indicates that this is the case for other Internet services but I cannot tell whether it is the case for Twitter.
Note that even though IP logging, as done by Twitter, is similar to the logging done by GSM [mobile phone] operators, the major difference seems to be that Twitter is subject to US regulation, no matter the citizenship of its users. I find this rather disturbing.
Using 3), one could search for Birgitta on other Internet services, such as social networks, to find more information on her (e.g., hidden accounts). Recent research on privacy shows that people tend to use the same e-mail address to register an account on different social networks (even when they don’t want these accounts to be linked together). Obviously, one could then issue subpoenas for these accounts as well.
I do not have the expertise to comment on what could be done with 4).
((WN)) As I believe Jonsdottir to be involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), what are the wider implications beyond the “WikiLeaks witchhunt”?
  • Le Blond: Personal data can be used to discredit, especially if the data is not public.

Having been alerted to the ongoing case through a joint press release by the ACLU and EFF, Wikinews sought clarification on the primary issues which the two non-profits saw as particularly important in challenging the U.S. Government over the ‘secret’ court orders. Rebecca Jeschke, Media Relations Director for the EFF, explained in more detail the points crucial to them, responding to a few questions from Wikinews on the case:

((WN)) As a worse-case, what precedents would be considered if this went to the Supreme Court?
  • Rebecca Jeschke: It’s extremely hard to know at this stage if this would go to the Supreme Court, and if it did, what would be at issue. However, some of the interesting questions about this case center on the rights of people around the world when they use US Internet services. This case questions the limits of US law enforcement, which may turn out to be very different from the limits in other countries.
((WN)) Since this is clearly a politicised attack on free speech with most chilling potential repercussions for the press, whistleblowers, and by-and-large anyone the relevant U.S. Government departments objects to the actions of, what action do you believe should be taken to protect free speech rights?
  • Jeschke: We believe that, except in very rare circumstances, the government should not be permitted to obtain information about individuals’ private Internet communications in secret. We also believe that Internet companies should, whenever possible, take steps to ensure their customers are notified about requests for information and have the opportunity to respond.
((WN)) Twitter via the web, in my experience, tends to use https:// connections. Are you aware of any possibility of the government cracking such connections? (I’m not up to date on the crypto arms race).
  • Jeschke: You don’t need to crack https, per se, to compromise its security. See this piece about fraudulent https certificates:
Iranian hackers obtain fraudulent httpsEFF website.
((WN)) And, do you believe that far, far more websites should – by default – employ https:// connections to protect people’s privacy?
  • Jeschke: We absolutely think that more websites should employ https! Here is a guide for site operators: (See external links, Ed.)

Finally, Wikinews approached the Icelandic politician, and WikiLeaks supporter, who has made this specific case a landmark in how the U.S. Government handles dealings with – supposedly – friendly governments and their elected representatives. A number of questions were posed, seeking the Icelandic Parliamentarian’s views:

((WN)) How did you feel when you were notified the US Government wanted your Twitter account, and message, details? Were you shocked?
  • Birgitta Jonsdottir: I felt angry but not shocked. I was expecting something like this to happen because of my involvement with WikiLeaks. My first reaction was to tweet about it.
((WN)) What do you believe is their reasoning in selecting you as a ‘target’?
  • Jonsdottir: It is quite clear to me that USA authorities are after Julian Assange and will use any means possible to get even with him. I think I am simply a pawn in a much larger context. I did of course both act as a spokesperson for WikiLeaks in relation to the Apache video and briefly for WikiLeaks, and I put my name to the video as a co-producer. I have not participated in any illegal activity and thus being a target doesn’t make me lose any sleep.
((WN)) Are you concerned that, as a Member of Parliament involved in the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), the US attempt to obtain your Twitter data is interfering with planned Icelandic government policy?
  • Jonsdottir: No
((WN)) In an earlier New York Times (NYT) article, you’re indicating there is nothing they can obtain about you that bothers you; but, how do you react to them wanting to know everyone you talk to?
  • Jonsdottir: It bothers me and according to top computer scientists the government should be required to obtain a search warrant to get our IP addresses from Twitter. I am, though, happy I am among the people DOJ is casting their nets around because of my parliamentary immunity; I have a greater protection then many other users and can use that immunity to raise the issue of lack of rights for those that use social media.
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Do you believe the U.S. government should have the right to access data on foreign nationals using services such as Twitter?
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((WN)) The same NYT article describes you as a WikiLeaks supporter; is this still the case? What attracts you to their ‘radical transparency’?
  • Jonsdottir: I support the concept of WikiLeaks. While we don’t have a culture of protection for sources and whistleblowers we need sites like WikiLeaks. Plus, I think it is important to give WikiLeaks credit for raising awareness about in how bad shape freedom of information and expression is in our world and it is eroding at an alarming rate because of the fact that legal firms for corporations and corrupt politicians have understood the borderless nature of the legalities of the information flow online – we who feel it is important that people have access to information that should remain in the public domain need to step up our fight for those rights. WikiLeaks has played an important role in that context.I don’t support radical transparency – I understand that some things need to remain secret. It is the process of making things secret that needs to be both more transparent and in better consensus with nations.
((WN)) How do you think the Icelandic government would have reacted if it were tens of thousands of their diplomatic communications being leaked?
  • Jonsdottir: I am not sure – A lot of our dirty laundry has been aired via the USA cables – our diplomatic communications with USA were leaked in those cables, so far they have not stirred much debate nor shock. It is unlikely for tens of thousands of cables to leak from Iceland since we dont have the same influence or size as the USA, nor do we have a military.
((WN)) Your ambassador in the US has spoken to the Obama administration. Can you discuss any feedback from that? Do you have your party’s, and government’s, backing in challenging the ordered Twitter data release?
  • Jonsdottir: I have not had any feedback from that meeting, I did however receive a message from the DOJ via the USA ambassador in Iceland. The message stated three things: 1. I am free to travel to the USA. 2. If I would do so, I would not be a subject of involuntary interrogation. 3. I am not under criminal investigation. If this is indeed the reality I wonder why they are insisting on getting my personal details from Twitter. I want to stress that I understand the reasoning of trying to get to Assange through me, but I find it unacceptable since there is no foundation for criminal investigation against him. If WikiLeaks goes down, all the other media partners should go down at the same time. They all served similar roles. The way I see it is that WikiLeaks acted as the senior editor of material leaked to them. They could not by any means be considered a source. The source is the person that leaks the material to WikiLeaks. I am not sure if the media in our world understands how much is at stake for already shaky industry if WikiLeaks will carry on carrying the brunt of the attacks. I think it would be powerful if all the medias that have had access to WikiLeaks material would band together for their defence.
((WN)) Wikinews consulted a Belgian IT security expert who said it was most likely companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, would have complied with similar court orders *without advising the ‘targets*’. Does that disturb you?
  • Jonsdottir: This does disturb me for various reasons. The most obvious is that my emails are hosted at google/gmail and my search profile. I dont have anything to hide but it is important to note that many of the people that interact with me as a MP via both facebook and my various email accounts don’t always realize that there is no protection for them if they do so via those channels. I often get sensitive personal letters sent to me at facebook and gmail. In general most people are not aware of how little rights they have as users of social media. It is those of uttermost importance that those sites will create the legal disclaimers and agreements that state the most obvious rights we lose when we sign up to their services.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
((WN)) Has there been any backlash within Iceland against US-based internet services in light of this? Do you expect such, or any increase in anti-American sentiments?
  • Jonsdottir: No, none what so ever. I dont think there is much anti-American sentiments in Iceland and I dont think this case will increase it. However I think it is important for everyone who does not live in the USA and uses social services to note that according to the ruling in my case, they dont have any protection of the 1st and 4th amendment, that only apply to USA citizens. Perhaps the legalities in relation to the borderless reality we live in online need to be upgraded in order for people to feel safe with using social media if it is hosted in the USA. Market tends to bend to simple rules.
((WN)) Does this make you more, or less, determined to see the IMMI succeed?
  • Jonsdottir: More. People have to realize that if we dont have freedom of information online we won’t have it offline. We have to wake up to the fact that our rights to access information that should be in the public domain is eroding while at the same time our rights as citizens online have now been undermined and we are only seen as consumers with consumers rights and in some cases our rights are less than of a product. This development needs to change and change fast before it is too late.

The U.S. Government continues to have issues internationally as a result of material passed to WikiLeaks, and subsequently published.

Within the past week, Ecuador has effectively declared the U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges persona-non-grata over corruption allegations brought to light in leaked cables. Asking the veteran diplomat to leave “as soon as possible”, the country may become the third in South America with no ambassadorial presence. Both Venezuela and Bolivia have no resident U.S. ambassador due to the two left-wing administrations believing the ejected diplomats were working with the opposition.

The U.S. State Department has cautioned Ecuador that a failure to speedily normalise diplomatic relations may jeapordise ongoing trade talks.

The United Kingdom is expected to press the Obama administration over the continuing detention of 23-year-old Manning, who also holds UK citizenship. British lawmakers are to discuss his ongoing detention conditions before again approaching the U.S. with their concerns that his solitary confinement, and treatment therein, is not acceptable.

The 22 charges brought against Manning are currently on hold whilst his fitness to stand trial is assessed.

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17 February

Israel undergoes major emergency drill

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Israel has tested its readiness for a state of war and emergency by testing its emergency services and shelters on a national scale.

The drill is to be analyzed in order to determine the elements which need to be corrected and fixed, and Israel’s emergency readiness is to be assessed.

Israeli school children were told to hide under their school tables as part of the drill, which officials claimed to be the biggest drill ever in Israeli history.

Syria has claimed, in return, that the drill is intended as a battle readiness exercise and claims that Israel is preparing for war.

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17 February

Solar Panel Cost

Solar Panel Cost by Antwan CaskeyThey must also be able to provide you with accurate figures on the rough system repayment time. Thin film solar panels need a bigger roof area for the exact same output. For those who have feeble roof, look at ground – mounting your panels or utilize thinfilm sections. One misconception is that you need constant sunlight for a solar cell to perform – actually solar panels will convert any kind of light that strikes it and will still be effective even on overcast or boring times. Recent data implies that these methods are anticipated to survive for more than 25 decades. There are a lot of different types of solar power systems available in the marketplace today. This option will further rely on the room you have available in your roofing. Most solar power systems (properly called “solar modules”) are framed in metal, topped with tempered-glass, and sealed by a water-proof backing. Generally speaking solar panel are joined to a home’s water-supply and the energy is used to heat water, but it’s also possible to make use of for other functions, like heating a pool. Throughout those “peak” sun hours, your solar power panels will produce power at their maximum capacity. The electricity the solar panels create is then passed through an inverter which alters the direct-current into an ac, which can be employed while in the dwelling. Roof mounting can be done on several kinds of roof, but simplest on shingle rooftops. In total, bright sun, solar panels receive optimum amounts of sunshine. If section of the crystalline solar panel is ruined, the whole solar panel will stop working while a thin film solar panel will go on functioning. Thin-film solar panels are low-wattage and need more space than conventional solar panels and they are more prone to degradation. Almost every installer will get a pack of motives as to why they use one over the other and why theirs would be the finest out there. Thin-film solar panels are bendable, unlike polysilicon tissues seen in normal crystalline solar panels. Having a solar panel system at house essentially decreases your monthly electricity bill and your carbon foot print at the same time. This results in an amazing sales as you can earn revenue from promoting excess electricity. Solar energy panels are generally installed into an already-existing hot water system, and have an automatic switching system that changes on the normal hot water boiler if the solar-panel hasn’t generated enough energy to warm the water to the perfect heat.Additionally, it has been proven the panels can keep enough warmth to reduce the need for heaters throughout winter or chilly nights. It can be opened to access the electric terminals where cables can be attached with conduct the produced electricity far from the module, in case the junction container does not have any cables. As a way to counteract several of the competitive disadvantages they have versus conventional solar panels, manufacturers offer better warranties for thin film panels. Closed junction boxes are more common. Thin film solar panels are imprinted onto the backing, eliminating a lot of the steep energy and chemical-intensive procedures that are normal in traditional PV making. This kind of cell is simply capable to produce electricity when sunlight is shining onto them, and they’re not able to store electricity to be used at a later time. They’ll observe complete sunlight “plus” reflected light from the clouds! They’ll drink in more power than they could on a cloudless day!. You ought to make your selection on the basis of the true size of your home and the space you’ve got available. This is useful as a more delicate and aesthetically pleasing choice, however can workout more costly. Brightness levels are lowered, when clouds cover the sunlight. That is a thin-film solar panel. Occasionally our ever so sure neighborhood utility companies are no so trustworthy in the slightest nowadays because unforeseen power outrages were more common. The Photovoltaic impact was devised with a nineteen year old named AlexandreEdmond Becquerel in 1839, and it is mainly the procedure of converting the sunlight into electricity inside unique solar panels. The drawback to thin-film panels is that solarpanels they don’t ingest as much energy because they are so thin. Solar panel kits are an additional well-liked choice. Home solar power panels have been dropping in cost over the last couple of years, as demand has jumped a good deal. It is really easy for homeowners to receive its full power demand kind residential solar energy system. At that time constructing a power plant was not at all economically viable since the cost them was about $300 per watt, method above the $50 per watt cost required to operate a power plant. Solar power panels can already appropriately claim to become the sole home improvement that actually pays for itself, which current research simply facilitates that additional. PV methods are progressively getting more well-known due to its success in price and advantages – reductions. You do get what you pay for, and settling for cheap solar power systems & components will normally establish bogus economy in the longer term. Electrons inside the plastic paneling are stirred by contact to the solar through the day. It helps to lower houses over the time of function for a workplace or house. hink of the solar cell you’ve got in a solar calculator. Every installed method will account for savings not simply for your home solar panels owner but also for non users and if Australia’s solar power capacity might achieve anyplace near 3000 megawatts through large-scale projects and private investments possibly from households and small businesses the state will likely be considering savings up to $1 million on energy charges cutting back the overhead cost of electricity from every sector.The functionality of the solar power table is regarded when it comes to its skill of turning sunlight into energy. The solar panel systems will operate most efficiently if you would face them towards north, they need to even be established at the right position to point directly at the sunshine.PV segments could also be used in systems without batteries in grid tie systems.If you have any type of inquiries pertaining to where and the best ways to use solarpanels, you can call us at the web-page.Article Source: eArticlesOnline.com

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16 February

Stanford physicists print smallest-ever letters ‘SU’ at subatomic level of 1.5 nanometres tall

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A new historic physics record has been set by scientists for exceedingly small writing, opening a new door to computing‘s future. Stanford University physicists have claimed to have written the letters “SU” at sub-atomic size.

Graduate students Christopher Moon, Laila Mattos, Brian Foster and Gabriel Zeltzer, under the direction of assistant professor of physics Hari Manoharan, have produced the world’s smallest lettering, which is approximately 1.5 nanometres tall, using a molecular projector, called Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) to push individual carbon monoxide molecules on a copper or silver sheet surface, based on interference of electron energy states.

A nanometre (Greek: ?????, nanos, dwarf; ?????, metr?, count) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre (i.e., 10-9 m or one millionth of a millimetre), and also equals ten Ångström, an internationally recognized non-SI unit of length. It is often associated with the field of nanotechnology.

“We miniaturised their size so drastically that we ended up with the smallest writing in history,” said Manoharan. “S” and “U,” the two letters in honor of their employer have been reduced so tiny in nanoimprint that if used to print out 32 volumes of an Encyclopedia, 2,000 times, the contents would easily fit on a pinhead.

In the world of downsizing, nanoscribes Manoharan and Moon have proven that information, if reduced in size smaller than an atom, can be stored in more compact form than previously thought. In computing jargon, small sizing results to greater speed and better computer data storage.

“Writing really small has a long history. We wondered: What are the limits? How far can you go? Because materials are made of atoms, it was always believed that if you continue scaling down, you’d end up at that fundamental limit. You’d hit a wall,” said Manoharan.

In writing the letters, the Stanford team utilized an electron‘s unique feature of “pinball table for electrons” — its ability to bounce between different quantum states. In the vibration-proof basement lab of Stanford’s Varian Physics Building, the physicists used a Scanning tunneling microscope in encoding the “S” and “U” within the patterns formed by the electron’s activity, called wave function, arranging carbon monoxide molecules in a very specific pattern on a copper or silver sheet surface.

“Imagine [the copper as] a very shallow pool of water into which we put some rocks [the carbon monoxide molecules]. The water waves scatter and interfere off the rocks, making well defined standing wave patterns,” Manoharan noted. If the “rocks” are placed just right, then the shapes of the waves will form any letters in the alphabet, the researchers said. They used the quantum properties of electrons, rather than photons, as their source of illumination.

According to the study, the atoms were ordered in a circular fashion, with a hole in the middle. A flow of electrons was thereafter fired at the copper support, which resulted into a ripple effect in between the existing atoms. These were pushed aside, and a holographic projection of the letters “SU” became visible in the space between them. “What we did is show that the atom is not the limit — that you can go below that,” Manoharan said.

“It’s difficult to properly express the size of their stacked S and U, but the equivalent would be 0.3 nanometres. This is sufficiently small that you could copy out the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the head of a pin not just once, but thousands of times over,” Manoharan and his nanohologram collaborator Christopher Moon explained.

The team has also shown the salient features of the holographic principle, a property of quantum gravity theories which resolves the black hole information paradox within string theory. They stacked “S” and the “U” – two layers, or pages, of information — within the hologram.

The team stressed their discovery was concentrating electrons in space, in essence, a wire, hoping such a structure could be used to wire together a super-fast quantum computer in the future. In essence, “these electron patterns can act as holograms, that pack information into subatomic spaces, which could one day lead to unlimited information storage,” the study states.

The “Conclusion” of the Stanford article goes as follows:

According to theory, a quantum state can encode any amount of information (at zero temperature), requiring only sufficiently high bandwidth and time in which to read it out. In practice, only recently has progress been made towards encoding several bits into the shapes of bosonic single-photon wave functions, which has applications in quantum key distribution. We have experimentally demonstrated that 35 bits can be permanently encoded into a time-independent fermionic state, and that two such states can be simultaneously prepared in the same area of space. We have simulated hundreds of stacked pairs of random 7 times 5-pixel arrays as well as various ideas for pathological bit patterns, and in every case the information was theoretically encodable. In all experimental attempts, extending down to the subatomic regime, the encoding was successful and the data were retrieved at 100% fidelity. We believe the limitations on bit size are approxlambda/4, but surprisingly the information density can be significantly boosted by using higher-energy electrons and stacking multiple pages holographically. Determining the full theoretical and practical limits of this technique—the trade-offs between information content (the number of pages and bits per page), contrast (the number of measurements required per bit to overcome noise), and the number of atoms in the hologram—will involve further work.Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, Christopher R. Moon, Laila S. Mattos, Brian K. Foster, Gabriel Zeltzer & Hari C. Manoharan

The team is not the first to design or print small letters, as attempts have been made since as early as 1960. In December 1959, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, who delivered his now-legendary lecture entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” promised new opportunities for those who “thought small.”

Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the parton model).

Feynman offered two challenges at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society, held that year in Caltech, offering a $1000 prize to the first person to solve each of them. Both challenges involved nanotechnology, and the first prize was won by William McLellan, who solved the first. The first problem required someone to build a working electric motor that would fit inside a cube 1/64 inches on each side. McLellan achieved this feat by November 1960 with his 250-microgram 2000-rpm motor consisting of 13 separate parts.

In 1985, the prize for the second challenge was claimed by Stanford Tom Newman, who, working with electrical engineering professor Fabian Pease, used electron lithography. He wrote or engraved the first page of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, at the required scale, on the head of a pin, with a beam of electrons. The main problem he had before he could claim the prize was finding the text after he had written it; the head of the pin was a huge empty space compared with the text inscribed on it. Such small print could only be read with an electron microscope.

In 1989, however, Stanford lost its record, when Donald Eigler and Erhard Schweizer, scientists at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose were the first to position or manipulate 35 individual atoms of xenon one at a time to form the letters I, B and M using a STM. The atoms were pushed on the surface of the nickel to create letters 5nm tall.

In 1991, Japanese researchers managed to chisel 1.5 nm-tall characters onto a molybdenum disulphide crystal, using the same STM method. Hitachi, at that time, set the record for the smallest microscopic calligraphy ever designed. The Stanford effort failed to surpass the feat, but it, however, introduced a novel technique. Having equaled Hitachi’s record, the Stanford team went a step further. They used a holographic variation on the IBM technique, for instead of fixing the letters onto a support, the new method created them holographically.

In the scientific breakthrough, the Stanford team has now claimed they have written the smallest letters ever – assembled from subatomic-sized bits as small as 0.3 nanometers, or roughly one third of a billionth of a meter. The new super-mini letters created are 40 times smaller than the original effort and more than four times smaller than the IBM initials, states the paper Quantum holographic encoding in a two-dimensional electron gas, published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The new sub-atomic size letters are around a third of the size of the atomic ones created by Eigler and Schweizer at IBM.

A subatomic particle is an elementary or composite particle smaller than an atom. Particle physics and nuclear physics are concerned with the study of these particles, their interactions, and non-atomic matter. Subatomic particles include the atomic constituents electrons, protons, and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are composite particles, consisting of quarks.

“Everyone can look around and see the growing amount of information we deal with on a daily basis. All that knowledge is out there. For society to move forward, we need a better way to process it, and store it more densely,” Manoharan said. “Although these projections are stable — they’ll last as long as none of the carbon dioxide molecules move — this technique is unlikely to revolutionize storage, as it’s currently a bit too challenging to determine and create the appropriate pattern of molecules to create a desired hologram,” the authors cautioned. Nevertheless, they suggest that “the practical limits of both the technique and the data density it enables merit further research.”

In 2000, it was Hari Manoharan, Christopher Lutz and Donald Eigler who first experimentally observed quantum mirage at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. In physics, a quantum mirage is a peculiar result in quantum chaos. Their study in a paper published in Nature, states they demonstrated that the Kondo resonance signature of a magnetic adatom located at one focus of an elliptically shaped quantum corral could be projected to, and made large at the other focus of the corral.

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16 February

Auto Parts Classifieds

Auto Parts Classifieds by EfraimGershom

Everyone wants genuine auto parts but do not know how to go about it. There may be many ways to get auto parts but auto parts classifieds is the best way to find the desired auto parts. You can hit the best bargains using the auto parts classifieds.

There are umpteen auto parts that you may need when your car has some problems. You may go directly to the authorized dealer and have these parts but sometimes it very tiresome to contact the dealer for small parts and at such times you need some merchant who will give you quality auto parts. The best way at such moments is to resort to the auto parts classifieds.

The classifieds are usually text based ads and usually consists of ads of little items. These ads are accompanied by a phone number where you can get further information about the product or the service offered. These ads are designed to carry the message in short but very clearly. Instead of saying just “spark plug” the ad would read something like “1989-2000 NGK Spark Plug.” This allows the buyer to pinpoint the part he needs.

The classifieds had been always an economical and efficient way to advertise the products. There are many headings like automobiles, accounting, clothing, for sale, farm produce, for rents, etc. Since these advertises are classified according to the types it becomes very easy to find out the item one wants. This makes the classifieds a way different from the display advertises.

Over the years the classifieds have changed their form. Previously the classifieds were used only the sense of the print advertisements those appear in the newspapers or periodicals. With advent of computer services, television, and radio the meaning of classifieds also broadened.

The auto parts classifieds are the best places to find the used but reliable auto parts. These parts will not be advertised anywhere else. The used parts are convenient if you are low on budget. The auto parts classifieds usually advertise the best used parts and you can capitalize this fact if you have something to buy or sell your used goods.

The auto parts classifieds are very helpful to have the parts you want within budget and with quality. The classifieds offers a good way to choose the parts you want from the sellers that offer the various products. The classifieds are preferred by such small scale sellers because of the cost of advertisement. In spite of the low costs the classifieds are known to attract attention of many people and also fetch a good business.

As the online classifieds sector started developing an increasing emphasis is laid on the specialization. The general marketplace has given rise to the specialized vertical market. Classified websites are usually vertical in nature and provide the best places for niche market where one can sell the specialized products such as auto parts to a group of targeted customers. The auto parts classifieds is one fine example of niche marketing and exposes your products to the “right market”

Shop online for auto body parts, bumpers, headlights, taillights, wheels, rims & engines. Locate used auto parts, salvage yard parts and recycled truck accessories. Connect to salvage yards and used car parts dealers instantly. Search for automotive businesses near you.For additional information for auto parts classifieds, contact Efraim Gershom at 913-236-9629 or visit automotix.net/autopartsclassifieds.htmlArticle Source: eArticlesOnline.com

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15 February