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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 11:55 PM
Number of posts: 27,509

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VTech Hack Exposes 6.4 Million Children's Profiles

Source: NBC

Electronic toymaker VTech said Tuesday that the hacker or hackers who infiltrated the company's computer systems gained access to data from nearly 6.4 million profiles belonging to children.

The Hong Kong-based firm said the security breach was discovered on Nov. 24, more than a week after it occurred. Hackers were able to access email addresses, passwords, mailing addresses and more, as well as the names and birth dates of some children who used VTech's toys and tablet computers.

Overall, nearly 4.9 million parent accounts were compromised, which were connected to 6.37 million related children's profiles, VTech revealed on Tuesday. The largest number of accounts accessed were created in the U.S. (more than 2.2 million), followed by France (868,650) and the U.K. (560,487).


VTech said Tuesday in a FAQ that it could not confirm a Motherboard report that the hacker obtained children's photos as well as audio and chat logs from VTech's Kid Connect messaging service, because its "investigation is ongoing."


Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/vtech-hack-exposes-6-4-million-childrens-profiles-n472011

Scientists seek ban on editing human-embryo DNA

Source: Reuters

A group of U.S. scientists and activists on Monday called for a global ban on the use of new tools to edit the genes of human embryos, in a report issued a day before a major international meeting in Washington to discuss the ethical and policy issues surrounding the technology.

A technological innovation that can edit out specific stretches of DNA could lead to the genetic modification of children, and should be halted before it starts being used, scientists at the Center for Genetics and Society and the activist group Friends of the Earth argued.


The report was released on the eve of a summit convened by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and its counterparts from China and the United Kingdom.

In March, a group of scientists led by one key developer of the CRISPR technique called for a voluntary research ban on the use of the technology for germline editing. Shortly after that, Chinese scientists reported carrying out the first experiment to alter the DNA of human embryos.

Read more: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/national_world/2015/11/30/ban-sought-on-editing-human-embryo-dna.html

Internet Provider Gagged for Decade Reveals What FBI Wanted Without Warrant

Source: US News & World Report

For years after receiving a national security letter from the FBI, he was an anonymous litigant and unnamed op-ed writer, barred by a gag order from revealing that he had received a warrantless demand for customer information. Now, Nicholas Merrill’s gag order has been lifted in full, and – apparently for the first time – an NSL recipient can speak openly without fear of punishment.

Merrill, owner of now-defunct Calyx Internet Access, provided Internet service to about 200 customers when he received the order in February 2004. He refused to turn over the records of the targeted customer and went to court with American Civil Liberties Union representation.

Merrill won the right to identify himself in 2010, but could not say what the ultimately withdrawn letter said. In August, a federal judge ordered the associated gag order lifted, with a 90-day pause to allow the Justice Department time to appeal, which it chose not to do.

Victory in hand, Merrill said Monday that the NSL he received demanded his customer’s full Internet browsing history, records of online purchases, a list of Internet Protocol addresses for the target's contacts and location information. A copy of the document with more technical language was released.

“I am happy that the government decided to finally stop appealing every time they lost,” says Merrill, who now runs a nonprofit called the Calyx Institute. “I honestly didn't expect them not to appeal.”


Read more: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/11/30/internet-provider-gagged-for-decade-reveals-what-fbi-wanted-without-warrant

Charlie Brown and Alice's Restaurant 50th Anniversary specials tonight (Monday Nov 30)

on ABC and KPBS, check your local schedule for time.
Also a Yanni special on KPBS tonight.

"Alice's Restaurant 50th Anniversary Concert" tonight KPBS 9:30pm

No link, just saw this on the tv schedule.

"It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown" special 7pm tonight (Monday)


'A Charlie Brown Christmas' At 50

Updated November 30, 20152:13 PM ET

Tonight (Monday), ABC will air a special at 7 p.m. called It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown, to mark the half-century since A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired in 1965. Then at 8, it will air the special itself.


Exposed: 'Full Range of Collusion' Between Big Oil and TTIP Trade Reps


Exposed: 'Full Range of Collusion' Between Big Oil and TTIP Trade Reps

New documents underscore 'the corporate nature of the deal and its devastating consequences for climate change'

by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer
Published on Friday, November 27, 2015

Amid warnings that the proposed TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could undermine global attempts to rein in runaway climate change, new documents reveal that EU trade officials gave U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil access to confidential negotiating strategies considered too sensitive to be released to the European public.

The documents, obtained by the Guardian, offer "an extraordinary glimpse into the full degree of collusion between the European commission and multinational corporations seeking to use TTIP to increase U.S. exports of fossil fuels," said John Hilary, the director of the UK organization War on Want. "The commission is allowing the oil majors to write the proposed energy chapter of TTIP in their favor."

The Guardian explains that the EU is pressing for a guarantee in the enormous "trade" deal that the U.S. will allow free export of oil and gas to Europe—an undertaking that would require a $100 billion infrastructure investment, according to the heavily redacted documents.

In particular, wrote War on Want campaigner Mark Dearn on Friday, "a key aim of TTIP has been to destroy regulations that prevent high-polluting tar sand crude oil from entering Europe."


The Bathtub Curve, Nuclear Safety, and Run-to-Failure

The NRC’s Operating Experience Branch issued a report on component failures from 2007 to 2011. More than 75% of the failures examined in this study involved components used longer than their recommended service lifetimes. The NRC’s report referred to it as being “run-to-failure.”


Deliberately running safety components beyond service lifetimes until they fail is not only irresponsible, it is illegal. The NRC must not run away from its charter and obligation to protect public health and safety by failing to stop this lawbreaking nonsense.

Read the rest: http://allthingsnuclear.org/dlochbaum/the-bathtub-curve-nuclear-safety-and-run-to-failure

Pope Francis delivers stern warning ahead of Paris climate conference

Source: CNN

Pope Francis celebrated a historic Mass in Kenya Thursday before delivering a stern environmental warning to the world, just days ahead of a potentially pivotal climate change conference in Paris.

"It would be sad, and I dare say even catastrophic, were particular interests to prevail over the common good and lead to manipulating information in order to protect their own plans and projects," the Pope said, urging nations to reach agreement over curbing fossil fuel emissions.


But it was Francis' comments on the pillaging of African resources that drew a louder response from the crowd. He said Africans cannot afford to remain silent on the illegal trade in precious stones and the poaching of elephants for ivory, which "fuels political instability, organized crime and terrorism."


Kenya declared the day a national public holiday as throngs of jubilant Catholics flocked to Nairobi to hear the Pope.


Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/26/africa/kenya-pope-francis-trip-main/

Venezuela Investigating Opposition Politician's Death, US Interfering

Source: Telesur TV

The U.S. has again interferred in domestic affairs following the death of opposition politician Luis Manuel Diaz, while government leaders have rejected “defamation” around the case.


"I have asked the authorities to convene a press conference once they have accurate information in order to let people know the facts,” Maduro said Thursday. The Venezuelan leader said however that preliminary investigations point to the murder, which occurred while Diaz was at a campaign event for the Democratic Action party, may have been carried out by criminal groups whom Diaz had dealings with.


United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) leader Jorge Rodriguez also announced on Thursday that his party would take legal action against the leader of opposition party Democratic Action, Henry Ramos Allup, for defamation. Within minutes of the murder, Allup blamed the PSUV.

“Luis Manuel Diaz was unfortunately well known for his long record of criminal activity in the start of Guarico. He was the last member of a criminal gang called the Plateados (silver plated), which was involved in extorsion, contract killings, and kidnapping in that state,” Rodriguez said.

“(Diaz’s) involvement in that gang was known to everyone … as were his links to trade union mafias in the construction industry, which were in dispute with the mayor of Chaguaramas, who certainly isn’t a member of the PSUV. In fact, Mayor Giovany Salazar, who was fighting with this man, Luis Diaz, for control of those union mafias, is a member of another opposition party, Justice First.”

Finally, on Thursday the U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the killing of Diaz, something it has never done following the murders of hundreds of indigenous activists, rural leaders, and pro-government unionists, as well as various PSUV leaders, such as legislator Robert Serra last year.


Read more: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Maduro-Addresses-the-Killing-of-Venezuelan-Opposition-Leader-20151126-0012.html
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