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Current Affairs Posts - Page 9

Delta says no cellular or internet based in-flight calls for 2014

Even though the FCC is considering giving clearance for in-flight cellular usage, and possibibally allowing the use of electronics during takeoff and landing, Delta seems to be sticking to their guns about the matter. Delta's CEO, Richard Anderson, sent out a memo to 80,000 delta employees this morning stating that the company would not allow in-flight cellular or internet-based calling.

 

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"Delta will not allow cellular calls or internet-based voice communications onboard Delta or Delta Connection flights," the memo read. The memo did say that it would allow the use of texting, email and other "silent" features if the FCC says they are ok. "If the FCC lifts its ban on cellular use in flight, Delta will move quickly to enable customers to use text, email and other silent data transmission services gate to gate."

Edward Snowden writes an open letter to the Brazilian people

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is still living and working in Russia, though has penned an open letter to the people of Brazil, while politicians ask Snowden for help following reports of NSA spying on Brazilian lawmakers.

 

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In his open letter: "If Brazil hears only one thing from me, let It be this: when all of us band together against injustices and in defense of privacy and basic human rights, we can defend ourselves from even the most powerful systems."

 

Snowden said he would like to help the Brazilian people get their rights back, but cannot as long as he is wanted by the United States. In return for helping Brazil lawmakers, Snowden has requested asylum and safe passage to the country. No formal legal documents have been submitted to the Brazilian government to begin proceedings.

 

Although the NSA is considering granting Snowden amnesty if he agrees to stop discussing his activities, the former IT manager seems content to remain in Russia. Realistically, Snowden's ability to help other countries is limited unless he is eventually granted permanent political asylum - and is able to travel to the host country - without being intercepted by US officials.

No, Apple has not installed Bitcoin mining software into its devices

Rumors about secret hidden software in tech devices are as old as tech itself, and since the beginning of personal computing people have been devising clever ways to trick others into formatting their machines. Unfortunately, a new rumor has popped up that has tricked Mac owners into doing just that.

 

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A new infographic is spreading like wildfire around the internet that claims that Apple has been installing Bitcoin mining software into their Mac devices since 2009. The infographic informs users that they can unlock this feature by opening up the terminal and entering the command "sudo rm -rf/*" Unfortunately, this command does not unlock any hidden programs, apps, or features, but actually tells the users Mac to format itself, which causes a loss of all data, and a bricked device.

Continue reading 'No, Apple has not installed Bitcoin mining software into its devices' (full post)

Edward Snowden was Time's second runner up for person of the year

Before Edward Snowden blew his whistle, the average American had no idea that the NSA was watching every move we make in our daily lives. Like him or not, we have him to thank for cluing us in on the illegal actions taken by big brother to "ensure our safety."

 

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Time Magazine has just released its Person of the Year announcement and surprisingly Edward Snowden was runner up for the top spot which was claimed by Pope Francis. While some Americans despise Snowden, there are many who champion him as a hero for leaking the information he did. Time's decision on why it chose Pope Francis is still unclear as it has in the past named whistle-blowers as persons of the year. Who do you think deserved the top spot? Pope Francis? Edward Snowden? Or someone else entirely? Let us know in the comments.

Samsung launches a vessel that is 12x the size of the Titanic

You probably thought I was smoking something exotic when I wrote that title, but no - this isn't bait - Samsung has just launched the Prelude, the world's largest floating vessel. Samsung, a company known for its Galaxy devices and various electronic devices, will use its Prelude for offshore gas extraction.

 

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The Prelude is truly massive in scale, where it is 12x the size of the already-gigantic Titanic, nearly as big as the Taipei 101 - which is a massive building in its own right. The Prelude is 488m long, and is the first platform on Earth that can liquefy natural gas on-board, and then pipe it directly into liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships for delivery into neighboring countries. It will be stationed just north of Australia, where it will be parked for 25 years.

 

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Liquefying natural gas isn't easy, but the Prelude can do this - and shrinks it up 600x, which requires an incredible amount of energy to get the gas to -260F, which makes it nice and compact for easy transportation. Samsung has reportedly spend $12 billion to create the Prelude, and was built for Shell, by Samsung Heavy Industries, a Samsung affiliate. Samsung Heavy Industries has an annual revenue of around $13 billion, so this is quite the investment.

 

The Prelude can withstand hurricanes that are up to Category 5, which goes to show the engineering efforts Samsung put into this behemoth.

Continue reading 'Samsung launches a vessel that is 12x the size of the Titanic' (full post)

Guardian editor threatened with terrorism charges over Snowden leaks

Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, is being threatened by British police over "potential" terrorism charges for publishing the incriminating NSA and GCHQ documents that NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, leaked.

 

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Rusbridger testified in front of a British parliamentary committee on Tuesday, where lawmakers pushed the suggestion that the Guardian helped terrorists, just because the British paper revealed UK and US spy agency 'secrets'. Rusbridger stood his ground, stating that the government spying going on all around the world should be of public knowledge.

 

The Guardian editor said: "We have published I think 26 documents out of the 58,000 we've seen, or 58,000 plus. So we have made very selective judgments about what to print. We have published no names and we have lost control of no names."

 

Critics are comparing the current spy scandals and "terrorism" charges against the infamous anti-communism hearing which were conducted by US Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Cold War. Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism, said: "The astonishing suggestion that this sort of journalism can be equated with aiding and abetting terrorism needs to be scotched decisively. Attacking the Guardian is an attempt to do the bidding of the services themselves, by distracting attention from the real issues. It is the roles of a free press to hold government to account, and yet there have even been outrageous suggestions from some conservative MPs that the Guardian should face a criminal investigation."

Cyber Monday has arrived and here are some of the web's best deals

Some people thrive on the adrenalin rush that comes from fighting the hoards of turkey stuffed shoppers on Black Friday, but there are those of us who play it smart and enjoy the weekend after Thanksgiving and never enter a store. That is because we know that the biggest deals of the year come with the massive online sales that Cyber Monday brings.

 

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I took a few moments this morning to round up what I think may be some of the best deals on the web today. Everything from mobile phones to tablets, and even 3D Printers are listed, but some of the sales have limited stock and are a first come first serve kind of thing. Check out my picks for the best Cyber Monday deals after the jump.

Continue reading 'Cyber Monday has arrived and here are some of the web's best deals' (full post)

The code to US nuclear launch codes, until 1977, was just 00000000

ry thought: the combination to start an all-out nuclear war with the world, killing billions, up until 1977 at least, was 00000000. The stupidly simple code was chosen by Strategic Air Command, in an effort to make weapons as quick and easy to launch as possible.

 

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John F Kennedy pushed for PAL (Permissive Action Link) encoding in 1962, which is a security device for nuclear weapons that is meant to prevent unauthorized arming or detonation of the nuclear weapon itself. JFK signed the National Security Agency Memorandum 160 in 1962, which required that all nuclear weapons be fitted with the security system.

 

Problem was, nuclear experts claim the military was worried that command centers and communication lines would be destroyed in a true nuclear war, which would stop soldiers getting the codes to launch nuclear missiles when they were actually needed. This forced the action of reducing the code to something that is very simple: 00000000.

Continue reading 'The code to US nuclear launch codes, until 1977, was just 00000000' (full post)

GameStop unveils Black Friday deals, includes Battlefield 4 for $25

Black Friday is quickly approaching and information on various retailers sales is beginning to pour in. Today GameStop announced that it has hired 17,000 more people to help staff its stores on Friday, and has also released its Black Friday sale list. The list may not be very large, but for those of you lucky enough to get into a GameStop early enough, massive savings await.

 

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Unfortunately none of the next-generation consoles are on the list, but you could score an Xbox 360, or PS3 both with 250GB HDDs for just $250 each. Alternatively, Battlefield 4 will be on sale for just $24.99 which equates to more than half off of its MSRP. A Sophix 7-inch Android tablet will be on hand for just $70 as well.

Continue reading 'GameStop unveils Black Friday deals, includes Battlefield 4 for $25' (full post)

PDXLAN November charity event sponsored by Thermaltake

PDXLAN is a West Coast Mecca of LAN parties, usually with 500 PC gamers from all across the United States and Canada. They come together and game for four days straight. On November 8, 2013, 400 PDXLAN gamers donate over 37,000 Lbs of food to local charities thanks to a sponsorship from Thermaltake for the November charity event.

 

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Gamers are always considered to be aggressive or violent by the media because of the games they play, but thanks to PDXLAN many unfortunate families can receive meals this holiday season. Matt "Vector" Conwell the PDXLAN Owner and Organizer says "Gamers Give Back." This act of kindness demonstrates that the gaming community is full of amazing people that care.

Continue reading 'PDXLAN November charity event sponsored by Thermaltake' (full post)

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