Items tagged with CIA

An accountability board overseen by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) cleared the spy agency of any wrongdoing after investigating the search of Senate computers that were used to review the agency's alleged use of torture tactics during Bush's presidency period. That might be fine and dandy under different circumstance, but in this case, the review panel looking into the CIA's actions was put together by… the CIA. Conflict of interest, anyone? The board released a 38-page report in which it found that a handful of agency officials made a "mistake" by searching for files used by the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating the CIA, but that it wasn't done in "bad faith" or with the... Read more...
Even when the government conducts secret activities, those ventures have to be funded, and a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives last night took a swipe at the NSA’s domestic spying practices by cutting some of its funding. According to Ars Technica, Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) authored an amendment to a defense appropriations bill that “none of the funds made available by this Act may be used by an officer or employee of the United States to query a collection of foreign intelligence information acquired under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1881a) using a United States... Read more...
A new comprehensive writeup at The Intercept claims to reveal additional details of the NSA's plans to infiltrate and conquer the Internet -- as well as its desire to bring virtually all data, everywhere, within its reach. A year ago, this kind of claim would've sounded like hyperbolic conspiracy theory, but no longer. Whether the NSA could ever effectively analyze that information is very much an open question, but the organization has launched a huge number of programs to pursue these ends. Own The Web What The Intercept report details is the NSA's plan for infiltrating target networks, right down to individual PCs. There are a dizzying number of codenames -- TURBINE is the automated system... Read more...
The CIA is paying AT&T some $10 million a year for access to certain customer call data that includes international-to-international calls as well as some domestic-to-international calls, according to a New York Times report citing information from “government officials”. The CIA’s involvement is part of an overseas counterterrorism effort, and AT&T’s participation is voluntary. The way it works is that the CIA gives AT&T the phone numbers of foreign terrorism suspects, and then AT&T checks the numbers against its vast database (which includes calls handled by its network and not merely those of its own customers) and pulls up records that can help identify... Read more...
During a speech to the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC on cybersecurity, former NSA and CIA chief Michael Hayden confessed that if whistleblower Edward Snowden is captured by the US and brought back for trial, cyber-attacks by his defenders can be expected. While I find it hard to agree with most of what Hayden says, it's hard to disagree with the fact that this could happen. Not long after activist Aaron Swartz' death a couple of months ago, Anonymous struck MIT's websites and the US Federal Reserve to help send a message. It seems reasonable to believe, then, that with a mega-case like Snowden's, for which there are many defenders, the impact could be much greater. With some of his... Read more...
It's beginning to feel like we're unable to go even a single week without learning of a public official caught in an affair, but last week's discovery of the affair of CIA Director David Petraeus came as a shock for a couple of reasons. David wasn't some mere politician, but a decorated war hero who most recently sat at the helm of one of the United States' most important agencies. His decisions made things happen, and with that sort of power comes a lot of risk. It's since been discovered that it was Gmail that managed to expose the affair, proving that when you're an important asset to the government, the term "personal" gets heavily skewed. While you and I might be able to remain confident... Read more...
Besides being a low-ranking Marvel Comics super-villain, Trapster is a free application that went live on the App Store last Friday, allowing users to share information real-time on speed traps.Besides the iPhone (naturally the highest-profile device in the bunch), the app runs on GPS devices like Garmin and TomTom, as well as on smartphones such including Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Nokia S60 and N95 and other Java/J2ME phones.   How does it work? You click on button in the app or call a toll-free number to report a speed trap. Other user's phones will alert them as they approach the trap. Trapster learns the "credibility" of traps based on how many users agree with the report. Trapster... Read more...
A new commercial PC game came out two days ago from a brand new game development and publishing company. The game is called CellZenith and the company is called Faramix Enterprises. What make this a unique story is not actually the game (full disclosure: we've not played the game, so we cannot comment intelligently about it), but the story behind the game's making and the genesis of the company... Credit: Faramix Enterprises Three young men in their twenties, from three different states, enrolled in the online bachelor's degree program for Game and Simulation Programming (GSP) with DeVry University. Their mutual interest in games development quickly clicked with each other and they not only decided... Read more...
Social music networks are like college. You all meet up there for a while, make friends, maybe a few enemies, share all sorts of things, and then scatter to other places and make new friends. The overriding constant is that nobody has any money in either place. Social.FM, which until recently was known as Mercora, was launched in 2005, and on July 31st, shut happened. To our Valued Customers,We regret to inform you and apologize for this inconvenience, but Social.FM will be shutting down the system on July 31st, 2008.The Company is unfortunately no longer in business and therefore cannot continue its service to you.Regards,Mercora, Inc. Microsoft inked a deal with Mercora to offer the service... Read more...
In case you don't know, an upskirt photo is one taken surreptitiously by pointing a camera upwards and ... well, we're hoping you can figure it out on your own, as well as the analogous downblouse photo.For some reason, with the advent of high-resolution camera phones, the practice of upskirt and downblouse photos have become very popular in Japan.  According to freelancer Nobuyuki Hayashi, the iPhone omitted this "feature," - a silent shutter sound - possibly explaining its wild popularity in that country.  All right, all right, it's popular everywhere.  Sue us.At any rate, the iPhone 3G has restored such functionality. This gives tne Japanese version an exclusive feature, though... Read more...
Facebook and MySpace perform important functions for their users. But when you get right down to it, they exist and are popular because they are amusements. Serious business is not discussed on a page with glitter fonts and Linkin Park music videos that auto-play. There is a social site that's all business --LinkedIn-- and it's received an infusion of $53 million dollars from Bain Capital, who've valued the company overall at a cool $1 billion. Not bad for a site with no videos and hardly any pictures on it. LinkedIn gives professionals, even the most hopeless wallflower, a painless way to follow the advice of every career counselor: build a network. Users maintain online résumés, establish links... Read more...
If there was any doubt that brainy women could be sexy too, this week's Newsweek article, Revenge of the Nerdette, should set naysayers straight. The article features a group of brilliant, confident, and attractive women who call themselves the Nerd Girls. Here's a snippet of self-promotion from their own Nerd Girl Web site: They're "Beauty and the Geek" all in one package! Meet the NERD GIRLS - an impressive team of female engineering students, just one year away from landing top jobs with $70,000 salaries. They turn heads when they enter a room - they're stylish, self-possessed, ambitious and confident. Whether buliding [sic] a solar car or harnessing wind power on a remote island, these girls... Read more...
YouTube may rule supreme in the melded world of online video and social networking, but Microsoft has a new trick up its sleeve that it hopes might steal some eyeballs away from the competition. Launching today in 20 countries and 12 languages is Microsoft's Messenger TV service, integrating online video directly into Microsoft's Live Messenger application. "Watching online video is no longer about one person in front of their computer, it's now a social experience. Users can now share a selection of free content and watch it at the same time as their friends through Messenger TV."Microsoft has partnered with a number of popular content providers, such as MTV, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, National... Read more...
Only a demotion? My, they're certainly lenient in Japan.  A Japanese civil servant was demoted for logging more than 780,000 hits on pornographic websites on his office computer over nine months, an official said Friday.The man, a Kinokawa city government employee in western Japan, visited porn sites from June 2007 to February 2008, city official Tomiko Waki said. The man's name was withheld.City officials said the number of hits discovered on his computer's internal log was so high in part because one click on certain types of pornographic sites registers multiple hits.Ah, I see.  So multiple clicks registered for one?  That's why they're so lenient. Possibly he only clicked about... Read more...
OCZ Technology Introduces Special Ops Edition DDR3 Series for Gamers and System Builders in Need of the Ultimate StabilitySunnyvale, CA—April 29, 2008—OCZ Technology Group, a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory, today announced the Special Ops Edition DDR3 Series, available in both PC3-8500 and PC3-10666 kits featuring the high densities and stability gamers demand. These DDR3 kits are ideal for users advancing to the next generation of memory platforms, offering the speeds, density, and reliability required for the latest DirectX 10 PC titles. Featuring a unique camouflage motif heatspreader design, the DDR3 Special Ops Edition Series was designed... Read more...
If Toshiba has its way, fingerprint authentication is about to become passé. Toshiba Satellite laptops with Toshiba's "Fusion finish" (the Satellite U400, M300, A300, and P300 models) will all come standard with "Toshiba Face Recognition" software. Instead of logging in with a traditional typed password, Satellite users can get access to their systems by having their faces scanned by the Satellite's integrated webcam and then compared against a database of stored images of the users' faces. A press release from Toshiba stated:“Toshiba prides itself on making laptops that stand out in the marketplace,” said Jeff Barney, vice president of marketing, Digital Products Division, Toshiba America Information... Read more...
Your computer memory is magnetic affair of one sort or another. (We're assuming you've stopped using Punch Cards by now)Your processor is an electrical festival. The two have developed into a very powerful computing/storage machine indeed, but they have essentially always run on two separate tracks, one relying on the other to handle any increased capacity. Now researchers at the University of  Copenhagen have come up with a way to blur the line and combine electricity and magnetism into a new transistor concept. Jonas Hauptmann, PhD student, has carried out the experiments under supervision of Professor Poul Erik Lindelof.Jonas Hauptmann says: "We are the first to obtain direct electrical... Read more...
Anyone ever watch the movie The Cheyenne Social Club? Well, this ain't that kind of social club. Thursday Rockstar Games announced the Rockstar Social Club, scheduled to launch (drum roll) on the same day as Grand Theft Auto IV, April 29th (go figure).Today Rockstar announced a new website called the Rockstar Social Club. Essentially a high tech leaderboard, the first supported game will be (drum roll) Grand Theft Auto IV (surprise!).Compatible with Xbox LIVE and PSN, players can register starting April 15th to track all sorts of neat stuff they do in GTA IV when it's released April 29th.We now return you to the drama of Take-Two vs. EA, in 5, 4, 3, ...... Read more...
In a somewhat surprising move, AOL has shelled out $850 million dollars to acquire social networking site Bebo. If you add Bebo's 40 million users worldwide to AOL's customer base for AIM and ICQ, AOL can now boast 80 million unique users. And AOL can show those 80 million users advertising while they're on their service. I imagine it's a little gloomy at both Facebook and Google this morning.  “Bebo is the perfect complement to AOL’s personal communications network and puts us in a leading position in social media,” said Randy Falco, Chairman and CEO, AOL. “What drew us to Bebo was its substantial and fast-growing worldwide user-base, its vision of a truly social web, and the monetization... Read more...
Although as early as Saturday NHK had reported the decision by Toshiba to drop HD-DVD had already been made by Toshiba, the company did not publicly announce it - until today. "We carefully assessed the long-term impact of continuing the so-called 'next-generation format war' and concluded that a swift decision will best help the market develop," said Atsutoshi Nishida, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation. "While we are disappointed for the company and more importantly, for the consumer, the real mass market opportunity for high definition content remains untapped and Toshiba is both able and determined to use our talent, technology and intellectual property to make digital convergence a... Read more...
Over the course of the past few months, we've brought you detailed analysis on Intel's forward-looking products based on their 45nm Penryn core architecture.  At the time, these products were not officially launched in the various sales channels.  Today Intel has announced official full availability of a number of new processors based on their bleeding-edge 45nm High-k metal gate silicon process technology that offers both lower power consumption and higher clock speeds... INTEL’S FUNDAMENTAL ADVANCE IN TRANSISTOR DESIGN EXTENDS MOORE’S LAW, COMPUTING PERFORMANCE Sixteen Eco-Friendly, Faster and ‘Cooler’ Chips Incorporate 45nm... Read more...
INTEL’S FUNDAMENTAL ADVANCE IN TRANSISTOR DESIGN EXTENDS MOORE’S LAW, COMPUTING PERFORMANCE Sixteen Eco-Friendly, Faster and ‘Cooler’ Chips Incorporate 45nm Hafnium-Based High-k Metal Gate Transistors SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 11, 2007 – Built using an entirely new transistor formula that alleviates the wasteful electricity leaks that threaten the pace of future computer innovation, Intel Corporation today unveiled 16 server and high-end PC processors. In addition to increasing computer performance and saving energy use, these processors also eliminate eco-unfriendly lead and, in 2008, halogen materials. Called the biggest transistor advancements in 40 years by Intel Co-Founder Gordon Moore,... Read more...
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