Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pirates win 9th in row, top Brewers in 14th inning

Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado, right, reaches for the throw as Pittsburgh Pirates' Gaby Sanchez, left, scores from third on a pinch-hit by Russell Martin in the fourteenth inning of the baseball game on Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Pittsburgh. The Pirates won 2-1, in 14 innings. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado, right, reaches for the throw as Pittsburgh Pirates' Gaby Sanchez, left, scores from third on a pinch-hit by Russell Martin in the fourteenth inning of the baseball game on Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Pittsburgh. The Pirates won 2-1, in 14 innings. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of the baseball game on Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Kyle Lohse throws against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first inning of the baseball game on Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes, top, hops as the ball gets away while Milwaukee Brewers' Carlos Gomez steal second base in the first inning of the baseball game on Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A young baseball fan wears a yellow poncho as he waits out a rain delay in the baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, June 30, 2013, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(AP) ? Pinch-hitter Russell Martin singled home the winning run in the 14th inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates earned their ninth straight victory, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Sunday.

The Pirates extended their longest winning streak since 2004, when they took 10 in a row. Pittsburgh reached the midpoint of its season with the best record in the majors at 51-30.

Gaby Sanchez led off the 14th with an infield single. With one out, he stole second for his first steal in more than a year. After a walk, Martin hit a soft liner to center off Francisco Rodriguez (1-1).

Sanchez chugged around third and slid home ahead of the throw by Carlos Gomez.

Vin Mazzaro pitched five perfect innings. He was among six Pirates relievers who combined for 11 scoreless innings after Charlie Morton was pulled following a rain delay of 2 hours, 20 minutes.

Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon each pitched a scoreless inning following Mazzaro ? allowing a total of two hits and no walks.

Tony Watson (2-1) struck out four in three hitless innings.

Andrew McCutchen hit a tying single in the Pittsburgh eighth.

Bidding for the franchise's first winning season or playoff berth in 21 years, surprising Pittsburgh enters July with the most wins in the majors. The crowd of 35,351 was about three 3,000 shy of capacity, snapping the PNC Park-record sellout streak of five games.

The vast majority of those on hand waited out a downpour not long after Milwaukee scored an unearned run in the second inning off of Morton, making his fourth start since returning from 2012 elbow surgery.

The Pirates trailed for roughly the next four hours ? after the delay, Tyler Thornburg and Mazzaro traded shutout innings ? until tying it in the eighth against Jim Henderson. Marte walked with one out, advanced on a groundout and came home on McCutchen's single.

The Pirates almost won it in the ninth, loading the bases against former Pittsburgh pitcher Michael Gonzalez. But pinch-hitter Brandon Inge struck out swinging to end the inning.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases again in the 13th with one out, but Rodriguez got Pedro Alvarez to ground into a 3-6-3 double play. Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke utilized five infielders ? all playing in ? for the sequence.

Martin Maldonado had three hits for Milwaukee, which got its only run when Yuniesky Betancourt came home on Logan Schafer's bunt in the second.

NOTES: LF Schafer robbed Sanchez of a home run by reaching over the left-center field wall for a catch in the seventh. ... After a team off-day Monday, Pirates LHP Jeff Locke (7-1, 2.06) carries a personal seven-game winning streak into Tuesday's series opener against Philadelphia. The visiting Phillies counter with rookie RHP Jonathan Pettibone (3-3, 4.17). ... After the Brewers begin a four-game series in Washington on Monday, the lone NL team they will have yet to face will be the New York Mets.

Associated Press


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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gay Nuptials Resume in California (WSJ)

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BlackBerry still promising BBM for iOS before the end of the summer

We're still getting asked this all the time, so just in case you were wondering, BBM ? aka BlackBerry Messenger ? is still coming to iOS, and it'll be with us by the end of the summer. BlackBerry CEO, Thorsten Heins, used this mornings earnings call to let us know, but didn't provide any other, more specific details. And, since we're only just at the beginning of summer, it's not likely its just around the corner. Ah, well. Who's waiting, oh so patiently, for BBM?

More: CrackBerry earnings call live blog



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NFL says no to promoting Obamacare (Washington Post)

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Startup Plans Constellation of Tiny Monitoring Satellites

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INSIGHT: From remote Mauritania, hacker fights for Islam worldwide

By Elise Knutsen

DAKAR (Reuters) - In Nouakchott, a dusty city wedged between the Atlantic ocean and western dunes of the Sahara, a young hip-hop fan coordinates a diverse group of hackers targeting websites worldwide in the name of Islam.

Logging on to his computer, he greets his Facebook followers with a "good morning all" in English before posting links to 746 websites they have hacked in the last 48 hours along with his digital calling card: a half-skull, half-cyborg Guy Fawkes mask.

He calls himself Mauritania Attacker, after the remote Islamic republic in west Africa from which he leads a youthful group scattered across the Maghreb, southeast Asia and the West.

As jihadists battle regional governments from the deserts of southern Algeria to the scrubland of north Nigeria, Mauritania Attacker says the hacking collective which he founded, AnonGhost, is fighting for Islam using peaceful means.

"We're not extremists," he said, via a Facebook account which a cyber security expert identified as his. "AnonGhost is a team that hacks for a cause. We defend the dignity of Muslims."

During a series of conversations via Facebook, the 23-year-old spoke of his love of house music and hip hop, and the aims of his collective, whose targets have included U.S. and British small businesses and the oil industry.

He represents a new generation of Western-style Islamists who promote religious conservatism and traditional values, and oppose those they see as backing Zionism and Western hegemony.

In April, AnonGhost launched a cyber attack dubbed OpIsrael that disrupted access to several Israeli government websites, attracting the attention of security experts worldwide.

"AnonGhost is considered one of the most active groups of hacktivists of the first quarter of 2013," said Pierluigi Paganini, security analyst and editor of Cyber Defense magazine.

An online archive of hacked Web sites, Hack DB, lists more than 10,400 domains AnonGhost defaced in the past seven months.

Mauritania, a poor desert nation straddling the Arab Maghreb and black sub-Saharan Africa, is an unlikely hacker base. It has 3.5 million inhabitants spread across an area the size of France and Germany, and only 3 percent of them have Internet access.

Much of the population lives in the capital Nouakchott, which has boomed from a town of less than 10,000 people 40 years ago to a sprawling, ramshackle city of a million inhabitants. In its suburbs, tin and cinderblock shanties battle the Sahara's encroaching dunes and desert nomads stop to water their camels.

In the past six months experts have noted an increase in hacking activity from Mauritania and neighbouring countries. In part, that reflects Mauritania Attacker's role in connecting pockets of hackers, said Carl Herberger, vice president of security solutions at Radware.

"This one figure, Mauritania Attacker, is kind a figure who brings many of these groups together," Herberger told Reuters.


Mauritania Attacker says his activities are split between cyber cafes and his home, punctuated by the five daily Muslim prayers.

Well-educated, he speaks French and Arabic among other languages and updates his social media accounts regularly with details of the latest defacements and email hacks. He would not say how he made a living.

His cyber threats are often accented with smiley faces and programmer slang, and he posts links to dancefloor hits and amusing Youtube videos. But his message is a centuries-old Islamist call for return to religious purity.

"Today Islam is divisive and corrupt," he said in an online exchange. "We have abandoned the Koran."

Mauritanian Attacker aims to promote "correct Islam" by striking at servers hosted by countries they see as hostile to sharia law. "There is no Islam without sharia," he said.

Mauritania is renowned for its strict Islamic law. The sale of alcohol is forbidden and it is one of only a handful of states where homosexuality and atheism are punished by death.

The quality of Mauritania's religious scholars and koranic schools, or madrassas, attract students from around the world. Mauritanians have risen to prominent positions in regional jihadist groups, including al Qaeda's north African branch AQIM.

As hackers from the region organise into groups, the Maghreb is emerging as a haven for hacktivism as it lacks the laws and means to prosecute cyber criminals, Herberger said.

"There's a great degree of anonymity and there's a great degree of implied impunity," he said.

Security sources in Nouakchott said they were not aware of the activities of Mauritania Attacker.

He says he supports Islamists in Mauritania but opposes his government's support for the West, which sees the country as one of its main allies in its fight against al Qaeda in the region.

With tech-savy young Muslims in the Maghreb chafing under repressive regimes, analysts anticipate a rise in hacktivism.

Hacking is a way for young people to express religious and political views without being censored, says Aaron Zelin, fellow at the Washington Institute.

"These societies are relatively closed in terms of people's ability to openly discuss topics that are taboo," he said.

For disillusioned youth in countries like Mauritania, where General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz seized power in a 2008 coup before winning elections the next year, hacking has become "a way of expressing their distaste with status quo," Zelin said.


AnonGhost's global reach is its greatest weapon, but it has yet to stage a major attack on a Western economic target.

Most of AnonGhost's campaigns have simply defaced Web sites, ranging from kosher dieting sites to American weapon aficionado blogs, with messages about Islam and anti-Zionism.

It has attacked servers, often hosting small business websites, located in the United States, Brazil, France, Israel and Germany among others.

Mauritania Attacker and the AnonGhost crew say these countries have "betrayed Muslims" by supporting Israel and by participating in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We are the new generation of Muslims and we are not stupid," read a message posted on the Web site of a party supply business in Italy. "We represent Islam. We fight together. We stand together. We die together."

The team has also leaked email credentials, some belonging to government workers from the United States and elsewhere.

As part of a June 20 operation against the oil industry, carried out alongside the international hacking network Anonymous, Mauritania Attacker released what he said were the email addresses and passwords for employees of Total.

A spokesperson for the French oil major did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

One security expert said AnonGhost's attacks exploited "well-known vulnerabilities in configurations of servers" in target countries rather than going after high-profile companies.

Carl Herberger, vice president of security solutions at Radware, remains unconvinced AnonGhost has the technical skills to wage full-scale cyber terrorism by harming operational capabilities of companies or government agencies.

"The jury is still out," he said, but cautioned against underestimating the emerging group. "You're never quite sure what they're going to do on the offensive, so they have to be right only once and you have to be right always."


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Student debt stalemate will hammer millions of undergrads


58 minutes ago

Boston College students walk across the college campus in Boston, March 29, 2005.


Boston College students walk across the college campus in Boston, March 29, 2005.

Time is running out for Congress to act. And low-income college students will pay a high price if a deal can't be reached by Monday's deadline.

Interest rates on many new subsidized Stafford loans will skyrocket?from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent?on Monday, unless the Senate reaches a compromise.

Read More: Senate Can't Save Student Loan Rates

More than 7 million undergraduates receive these loans, for which the federal government pays the interest while the students are enrolled in school.

But the nation's student debt crisis affects so many more.

More than 38 million Americans have student loan debt, totaling nearly $1 trillion, a staggering number that has quadrupled in 10 years and keeps rising. Student loan debt now surpasses credit card and auto loan debt in this country?and it's only expected to get worse before it gets better.

Most in Congress agree the loan rates should to stay lower than 6.8 percent, at least for the subsidized Stafford loans used by the country's lowest-income students. But they're stuck on how to get there.

Republicans want to let the rates fluctuate with the markets every year and use the proceeds for deficit reduction. Democrats say that's unreasonable and want to cap how fast rates can rise.

"I see the debate about interest rates as a distraction from the real problem, which is the amount of debt," said Mark Kantrowitz, founder of and senior vice president and publisher of

"Each year the average cost of graduation goes up by about $1,000 or more. And having less expensive debt is going not going to make much of a difference if the total amount owed keeps on going up."

A study done this spring by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that the share of 25-year-olds with student debt has increased from just 25 percent in 2003 to 43 percent in 2012. The average student loan balance among those 25-year-olds with student debt grew by 91 percent over that time, from $10,649 in 2003 to $20,326 in 2012.

The amount of debt has risen as tuition, room, board, fees and other college expenses have soared. The cost of attending college has risen about 4 percent in the past year alone?and has far outpaced the rate of inflation in recent years.

Total charges for a full-time undergraduate at an in-state public college rose from $17,136 in 2011-2012 to $17,860 in 2012-2013, according to the College Board. Private college costs for one year totaled $39,518 in the past year, up from $37,971 the previous academic year.

"Grants are not keeping pace with the increases in college costs," Kantrowitz said. "When grants are relatively stagnant or even going down that causes students to borrow more."

But many families don't plan or try to calculate the total cost of attendance for a student's college and graduate studies?and that may be at the crux of the student debt crisis.

Sallie Mae CEO Jack Remondi said poor planning exacerbates a borrower's burden, regardless of the rate on the loan. Sallie Mae is the largest provider of private student loans.

"If you overborrow, whether the rate is 4 percent or 7 percent, you're still going to encounter difficulties," Remondi said. "A plan that takes into consideration what your income potential is going to be when you graduate and what that debt burden is going to be is critical."

Unfortunately, many students and parents have failed College Planning 101.

Less than a third of low-income parents said they knew how they would pay for their child's college education before they enrolled, according to a Sallie Mae study. Only 37 percent of middle-income families had a plan. Among high-income families, only slightly more than half said they had a plan to pay for college before their children enrolled.

Yet this critical lesson can significantly cut borrowing costs: As long as your total student debt at graduation is less than your annual income, you should be able to pay back your student loans in 10 years or less, Kantrowitz said.

Keeping that formula in mind when choosing a college, graduate school and course of study can help students significantly cut borrowing costs.

?By CNBC's Sharon Epperson. Follow her on Twitter @sharon_epperson.


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Thursday, June 27, 2013

The FDA Has Shuttered 1,677 Illegal Prescription Drugs Websites

The FDA Has Shuttered 1,677 Illegal Prescription Drugs Websites

We've all seen those pop-up ads peddling discount prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies. Ohhhh! Cheap Xanax! They always seem a little dubious, but as of this week, you're probably going to see fewer of them. In partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, the FDA has just shut down 1,677 illegal online pharmacies, and seized a whopping $41,104,386 worth of illegal drugs.

A lot of these websites looked legal from the outside?many claimed to be Canadian pharmacies offering "brand name" or "FDA-approved" drugs. They would show fake licences and certifications so U.S. buyers would think they were okay, when in reality, many of these sites were pushing fake 'scrips. Seized sites have been marked very clearly with a banner identifying them as illegal, like the one seen above. Any doubts you ever had that a URL like c-v-s-pharmacy dot com was legit can be put to rest. [FDA]


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iMore weekly photo contest: Sunsets!

iMore weekly photo contest: Sunsets!

Alright iPhoneographers, our weekly photo contest is back! This week, the topic will be sunsets. It's summer time and we know lots of you are out and about whether it's on a beach, hiking, or doing other fun summer activities. Sunsets are one of the most beautiful things in nature and summer is a perfect time to catch lots of them. We want to see what kind of sunsets you're seeing where you're at.

The contest begins today and ends Tuesday, July 2nd, at 10pm Eastern time.

The prize: A 4-pack of 5x5" DeepSquare Prints of your own photos

In addition to a thumbs up from the iMore crew and all of us yelling about how great of an iPhoneographer you are, you'll also win a 4-pack of 5x5 inch DeepSquare Prints from our friends over at Static Pixels who were nice enough to sponsor this week's photo contest.

Static Pixels will allow you to turn any four of your photos into beautiful DeepSquare prints to hang on your own walls.

The rules

The rules of entry are very simple. The photo must have been taken with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (we'll check the EXIF data of the original file to verify) and any edits must have been done with an iPhone or iPad app. No Photoshop, Lightroom, or other external editing programs! If you have external lens accessories such as an Olloclip or other snap-on lens, you are more than welcome to use them.

You can submit as many photos as you'd like, but remember, this is a contest, so make sure you submit your best work!


Now, before you run off to take your photo, remember that it's not technical skill alone that will claim this prize. Even if you're not the best photographer (yet!), a great eye and a great subject can still get you the win.

However, a little help can never hurt, so make sure you check out our iPhone photography series for some tips.

How to submit

Submitting your photos is easy. just head over to the iMore Photography Forum and post your photos to the official contest thread. Don't forget to state which apps, if any, you used to edit your photo!

That's it! Now go out and shoot!




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FACTORY78: Free Media and business networking conference 24th ...

MBW to bring together UK Black leading entrepreneurs in what has been described as the first of a kind Conference.

Free media and business networking conference 24th August 2013 at University College London.

MBW PR and creative agency is a new approach created by the African super woman Faustina Anyanwu to help African women and other women of colour in business and entertainment to take their place in the global branding. MBW which simply means My Black Woman was born over a 2 year close observation and experience in the media and business. Having started her own business from scratch without a prior experience in the industry, Faustina who (is) was a Nigerian Nurse Midwife, has proven that dreams do come true by self training herself and publishing one of the best African magazines ever in the UK, has over the few years in the industry discovered the loop hole for which African women have fallen behind in global branding.

Understanding the importance of approaching the media appropriately as a medium to get your business in the global scene, and having seen that African enterprises at this moment have not realized this important strategy in adding value to their worth. Speaking of the need for African women to embrace the media as a powerful tool in putting themselves forward, Faustina says, ?There are businesses and there are brands, these are two different things by mile. There is not going to be total liberation until we embrace reading and the media as an essential tool?.?

Our people are yet to understand the real power of the media in pushing brands and setting trends. This is what we want to share with the entrepreneurs. This time it is free for all to attend but in the years to come people may have to pay tens of pounds to get a ticket to the now annual conferenceThe event has been designed to be fun, educational, interactive and relaxed to enable all who attend to have something to take home from it.?

?We want to see more and more Black owned businesses taking coming up especially here in the UK, I know we can do it says Engr VCA the publisher of C.Hub magazine and one of the key speakers at the conference?. Also giving the keynote lecture is one of London?s most powerful business consultants ? Morton Patterson of mortonpatterson consulting .?

Also speaking is the women4Africa Co-Founder and media icon Tola Onigbanjo, Beverly Andrews who is an established name in the Jewish community and a PR guru who used her know how to push her film making to the top of UK?s film lists. We also will have Nena Ubani of Duchess TV , we also are lucky to have Obi Emelonye Last Flight to Abuja Director and first Nollywood global star coming to grace the occasion, media houses confirmed to attend the conference are Tropics Magazine editor Valerie. We also have some more surprises in stock to wow the audience making it an unforgettable event of their lives.?

There will of course be refreshment for all attendants. Those with VIP tickets will however be treated to free copies of latest C.Hub magazine .

This conference will be hosted by Dr Page Ben of University College London and Faustina who will also be speaking. It is also expected that MBW will unveil her plans for the Black woman and Black businessmen and women come 24th August 2013. It is a bank holiday that can not be wasted.?


For more information and or interviews please contact

Gayle- 07908769102


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This Photo Makes Me Want to Go to Mars Right Now

This Photo Makes Me Want to Go to Mars Right Now

NASA just has released this photo captured almost two weeks ago during spacesuit check tests at the Orion Crew Module mockup. I cannot stop staring at it in awe - it is almost the real thing, it gives you a heavy deja vu, because you saw such scenes billion times when you crawled through the NASA image archives of the Apollo missions.

It is good to see the almost final version of the Orion mockup, in 2011 I visited the Building 9 at Johnson Space Center, where I was lucky to take a look at the mockup being under construction:

This Photo Makes Me Want to Go to Mars Right Now

Photo: Attila Nagy

I strongly wish the bold plans that NASA is dreaming about come true. Against all odds. Here is the full photo and caption:

Stepping into the Orion Crew Module NASA astronauts Cady Coleman and Ricky Arnold step into the Orion crew module hatch during a series of spacesuit check tests conducted on June 13, 2013 at the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at the agency?s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The Orion crew module will serve as both transport and a home to astronauts during future long-duration missions to an asteroid, Mars and other destinations throughout our solar system.

This Photo Makes Me Want to Go to Mars Right Now

Photo: NASA


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Paula Deen Loses Major Endorsement Deal Over Ham-Handed Remarks


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Websites in 2 Koreas shut down on war anniversary

A man walks by a gate at Cyber Terror Response Center of National Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. South Korea said multiple government and private sector websites were hacked on Tuesday's anniversary of the start of the Korean War, and Seoul issued a cyberattack alert warning officials and citizens to take security measures. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A man walks by a gate at Cyber Terror Response Center of National Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. South Korea said multiple government and private sector websites were hacked on Tuesday's anniversary of the start of the Korean War, and Seoul issued a cyberattack alert warning officials and citizens to take security measures. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A man walks by a gate at Cyber Terror Response Center of National Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. South Korea said multiple government and private sector websites were hacked on Tuesday's anniversary of the start of the Korean War, and Seoul issued a cyberattack alert warning officials and citizens to take security measures. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A man walks by a gate at Cyber Terror Response Center of National Police Agency in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. South Korea said multiple government and private sector websites were hacked on Tuesday's anniversary of the start of the Korean War, and Seoul issued a cyberattack alert warning officials and citizens to take security measures. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Members of Korea Freedom Federation wave their national flags during a ceremony to mark the 63rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. The three-year Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950, when Soviet tank-led North Koreans invaded South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

South Korean elementary school students participate in a ceremony to mark the 63rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. The three-year Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950, when Soviet tank-led North Koreans invaded South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(AP) ? Major government and media websites in South and North Korea were shut down for hours Tuesday on the 63rd anniversary of the start of the Korean War, and Seoul said its sites were hacked and alerted people to take security measures against cyberattacks.

It was not immediately clear if the shutdown of North Korean websites, including those belong to Air Koryo and the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, was due to those sites being hacked. Rodong Sinmun, Uriminzokkiri and Naenara websites were operational a few hours later.

South Korean National Intelligence Service officials said they were investigating what may have caused the shutdown of the North Korean websites, and North Korea didn't make any immediate comment.

Seoul said experts were also investigating attacks on the websites of the South Korean presidential Blue House and prime minister's office, and some media servers.

Tuesday's attacks in South Korea did not appear to be as serious as a March cyberattack that shut down tens of thousands of computers and servers at South Korean broadcasters and banks. There were no initial reports Tuesday that banks had been hit or that sensitive military or other key infrastructure had been compromised.

It wasn't immediately clear who was responsible, and North and South Korea have traded accusations of cyberattacks in recent years.

Operators of several Twitter accounts who purported to be part of a global hackers' collective claimed that they attacked North Korean websites. The Associated Press received no answer to several requests to speak to the Twitter users. Shin Hong-soon, an official at South Korea's science ministry in charge of online security, said that the government was not able to confirm whether these hackers were linked to Tuesday's attack on South Korean websites.

South Korean officials blamed Pyongyang for the March attacks and said in April that an initial investigation pointed to a North Korean military-run spy agency as the culprit.

North Korea in recent weeks has pushed for diplomatic talks with Washington. But tensions ran high on the Korean Peninsula in March and April, with North Korea delivering regular threats over U.N. sanctions and U.S.-South Korean military drills.

Investigators detected similarities between the March cyberattack and past hacking attributed to the North Korean spy agency, including the recycling of 30 previously used malware programs ? out of a total of 76 used in the attack, South Korea's internet security agency said.

The March 20 cyberattack struck 48,000 computers and servers, hampering banks for two to five days. Officials have said that no bank records or personal data were compromised. Staffers at TV broadcasters KBS, MBC and YTN were unable to log on to news systems for several days, although programming continued during that period. No government, military or infrastructure targets were affected.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service said North Korea was behind a denial of service attack in 2009 that crippled dozens of websites, including that of the presidential office. Seoul also believes the North was responsible for cyberattacks on servers of Nonghyup bank in 2011 and Joongang Ilbo, a national daily newspaper, in 2012.

North Korea also blamed South Korea and the United States for cyberattacks in March that temporarily disabled Internet access and websites in North Korea, where a small number of people can go online.

Experts believe North Korea trains large teams of cyber warriors and that the South and its allies should be prepared against possible attacks on key infrastructure and military systems. If the inter-Korean conflict were to move into cyberspace, South Korea's deeply wired society would have more to lose than North Korea's, which largely remains offline.

Associated Press


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Sanofi plans late-stage diabetes combo drug tests in 2014

A 19-year-old Michigan man celebrated his birthday for the first time late last year after spending the first 18 years of his life not knowing when he was born, reports "It was pretty awesome to have a birthday," said Noah Boyce of his special day?Dec. 10, 1993. His father, David Boyce, had repudiated his [...]


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You Can Finally Buy the Magical Spray That Waterproofs Everything

We first heard about Rust-Oleum's liquid-repelling product, NeverWet almost two years ago. It looked absolutely magical, and now you can finally buy it.

Home Depot is carrying NeverWet for $20 a can. Spray the silicon-based coating on electronics, clothing, or almost any surface and it'll become almost completely impervious to moisture. Of course, we're skeptical until we try it out ourselves. But in the convincing demo you see liquid hit a surface and immediately scurry away without leaving any damage. Spill mustard on your white shoes? Don't worry about it. Drop your iPhone in the toilet? It will survive. We've all had accidents with our expensive gadgets, so a $20 waterproofing solution is hard to disagree with. Just, you know, try not to inhale it. [NeverWet via LancasterOnline]


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Monday, June 24, 2013

Egypt court: Brotherhood members planned jailbreak

CAIRO (AP) ? An Egyptian court on Sunday said Muslim Brotherhood members conspired with Hamas, Hezbollah and local militants to storm a prison in 2011 and free 34 Brotherhood leaders, including the future President Mohammed Morsi.

The court statement read by judge Khaled Mahgoub named two members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood ? Ibrahim Haggag and Sayed Ayad ? to be among the alleged conspirators in the attack on Wadi el-Natroun prison on Jan. 29, 2011.

It is the first statement by a court that holds members of the three Islamist groups ? the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian Hamas, and Lebanon's Hezbollah ? responsible for a series of jailbreaks during the chaos of Egypt's 2011 uprising. Two other prisons in which Hamas and Hezbollah members were held were also attacked.

Morsi and other Brotherhood leaders have maintained that they were freed by local residents. Hamas, the Palestinian chapter of the Brotherhood, has denied involvement in the attacks on prisons.

The court statement is likely to further fuel opposition to Morsi's rule just a week before his opponents are scheduled to stage massive protests to force him out of office. The planned June 30 demonstrations mark his first anniversary in office as Egypt's first freely elected leader.

The past year has seen growing polarization as Egypt struggles with a host of problems that many accuse Morsi of failing to effectively tackle. They include surging crime, rising prices, power cuts, fuel shortages and unemployment.

Morsi has not spoken publicly about his escape from Wadi el-Natroun since he gave an account of what happened in a frantic phone call he made to Al-Jazeera Mubasher TV moments after being freed.

"From the noises we heard ... It seemed to us there were (prisoners) attempting to get out of their cells and break out into the prison yard and the prison authorities were trying to regain control and fired tear gas," Morsi said in the call.

By the time they got out, the prison was empty, and there was no sign of a major battle, he said.

The prison breaks took place during the 18-day popular uprising that toppled the 29-year regime of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The breaks led to a flood of some 23,000 criminals onto the streets, fueling a crime wave that continues to this day. Among those who escaped were around 40 members of Hamas and Hezbollah as well as the 34 Brotherhood leaders.

A total of 26 top police, prison and intelligence officials have testified before the court, which held its hearings in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia. Some gave their testimony in closed session.

The case began in January when a former inmate appealed a three-month sentence passed by a lower court that convicted him of escaping Wadi el-Natroun. The defendant was acquitted by judge Mahgoub, who on Sunday referred to prosecutors the testimonies and evidence gathered during the trial on the jailbreak at Wadi el-Natroun in order "to reveal the truth and honor the state's right to mete out justice."

There was no immediate word from the office of the country's top prosecutor on whether his office planned to take up the case.

In Egypt's polarized political climate, Morsi's opponents have been using his escape from Wadi el-Natroun against him, saying friends of the Brotherhood violated the country's security and fed its instability. The eagerness of some in the intelligence and security agencies to blame Hamas could in part reflect resentment of the Brotherhood's ties with the militant group, which they have long seen as a threat.

The Wadi el-Natroun prison in which Morsi and his Brotherhood comrades were held is part of a four-jail complex northwest of Cairo. A total of 11,171 inmates were released from the complex. Thirteen inmates were also killed, according to Mahgoub, who said the attackers used machine-guns mounted on pickup trucks and SUVs as well as huge earth-moving vehicles that demolished parts of the walls and gates.

The last two hearings of the trial witnessed scuffles between supporters and opponents of Morsi. Sunday's hearing was held amid tight security with stringent control over who gets to enter the tiny courtroom.


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Sharapova beats Mladenovic in Wimbledon's 1st Rd

Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after winning the first set against Kristina Mladenovic of France during their Women's first round singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Monday, June 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after winning the first set against Kristina Mladenovic of France during their Women's first round singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Monday, June 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Maria Sharapova of Russia serves to Kristina Mladenovic of France during their Women's first round singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Monday, June 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

Kristina Mladenovic of France serves to Maria Sharapova of Russia during their Women's first round singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Monday, June 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

(AP) ? Done with her pre-tournament verbal volleying with Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova improved to 11-0 in first-round matches at Wimbledon by beating 37th-ranked Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-6 (5), 6-3 Monday.

The third-seeded Sharapova, who won her first Grand Slam title at the All England Club in 2004, struggled through the opening set. But at 5-all in the tiebreaker, Sharapova hit a cross-court backhand winner to earn a set point, which she quickly converted with an over-the-shoulder backhand volley winner off Mladenovic's lob.

Sharapova drew attention over the weekend by delivering a sharp news-conference rebuke to Williams over critical comments attributed to the top-seeded American in a recent magazine article.

Williams has won their last 13 head-to-head matches, including the French Open final this month.

Associated Press


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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wing walker, pilot die in crash at Ohio air show

CINCINNATI (AP) ? A plane carrying a wing walker crashed at an air show and exploded into flames Saturday, killing the pilot and stunt walker, authorities said.

The crash of the 450 HP Stearman happened at around 12:45 p.m. at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton in front of thousands of horrified spectators. No one else was hurt.

A video posted on WHIO-TV shows the plane turn upside-down as the performer sits on top of the wing. The plane then tilts and crashes to the ground, erupting into flames as spectators screamed.

Ian Hoyt, an aviation photographer and licensed pilot from Findlay, was at the show with his girlfriend. He told The Associated Press he was taking photos as the plane passed by and had just raised his camera to take another shot.

"Then I realized they were too low and too slow. And before I knew it, they hit the ground," he said.

He couldn't tell exactly what happened, but it appeared that the plane stalled and didn't have enough air speed, he said. He credited the pilot for steering clear of spectators and potentially saving lives.

"Had he drifted more, I don't know what would have happened," Hoyt said. He said he had been excited to see the show because he'd never seen the scheduled performer ? wing walker Jane Wicker ? in action.

On the video, the announcer narrates as the plane glides through the sky and rolls over while the stuntwoman perches on a wing.

"Now she's still on that far side. Keep an eye on Jane. Keep an eye on Charlie. Watch this! Jane Wicker, sitting on top of the world," the announcer said, right before the plane makes a quick turn and nosedive.

Federal records show that biplane was registered to Wicker, who lived in Loudon, Va. A man who answered the phone at a number listed for Wicker on her website said he had no comment and hung up.

One of the pilots listed on Wicker's website was named Charlie Schwenker. A post on Jane Wicker Airshows' Facebook page announced the deaths of Wicker and Schwenker and asked for prayers for their families.

A message left at a phone listing for Charles Schwenker in Oakton, Va., wasn't immediately returned.

Dayton International Airport spokeswoman Linda Hughes and Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston confirmed that a pilot and stunt walker had died but declined to give their names. The air show also declined to release their identities.

The show was canceled for the rest of the day, but organizers said events would resume Sunday and follow the previous schedule and normal operations. The National Transportation Safety Board said it is investigating the crash.

Another spectator, Shawn Warwick of New Knoxville, told the Dayton Daily News that he was watching the flight through binoculars.

"I noticed it was upside-down really close to the ground. She was sitting on the bottom of the plane," he said. "I saw it just go right into the ground and explode."

Than Tran, of Fairfield, said he could see a look of concern on the wing walker's face just before the plane went down.

"She looked very scared," he said. "Then the airplane crashed on the ground. After that, it was terrible, man ... very terrible."

Wicker's website says she responded to a classified ad from the Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton, Va., in 1990, for a wing-walking position, thinking it would be fun. She was a contract employee who worked as a Federal Aviation Administration budget analyst, the FAA said.

She told WDTN-TV in an interview this week that her signature move was hanging underneath the plane's wing by her feet and sitting on the bottom of the airplane while it's upside-down.

"I'm never nervous or scared because I know if I do everything as I usually do, everything's going to be just fine," she told the station.

Wicker wrote on her website that she had never had any close calls.

"What you see us do out there is after an enormous amount of practice and fine tuning, not to mention the airplane goes through microscopic care. It is a managed risk and that is what keeps us alive," she wrote.

In 2011, wing walker Todd Green fell 200 feet to his death at an air show in Michigan while performing a stunt in which he grabbed the skid of a helicopter.

In 2007, veteran stunt pilot Jim LeRoy was killed at the Dayton show when his biplane slammed into the runway while performing loop-to-loops and caught fire.

Organizers were presenting a trimmed-down show and expected smaller crowds at Dayton after the Air Force Thunderbirds and other military participants pulled out this year because of federal budget cuts.

The air show, one of the country's oldest, usually draws around 70,000 people and has a $3.2 million impact on the local economy. Without military aircraft and support, the show expected attendance to be off 30 percent or more.


Thomas reported from Philadelphia. Associated Press writers Kerry Lester in Chicago and Randy Pennell in Philadelphia contributed to this report.



Raw video of crash:


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Diverse faith leaders unite over religious freedom concerns ...

.- Religious leaders from a variety of faith backgrounds are speaking out against the declining role of religion in society, as well as threats to religious freedom for all faith groups.

?Our biggest challenge is coming from those who want to challenge the role of religion in society,? said Rabbi Abba Cohen, vice president for federal affairs and Washington director of Agudath Israel of America.

?We live in a world now where threats to one religion could certainly affect others,? he told CNA.

Rabbi Cohen was one of numerous religious leaders to attend the 2013 National Religious Freedom Conference in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center?s American Religious Freedom Program, the event featured presentations and discussions by Catholic, evangelical Christian, mainline Protestant, Latter-day Saint, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish Orthodox, Seventh-day Adventist, Muslim and Sikh speakers.

The speakers join a growing number of religious freedom advocates who have voiced fears over increasing threats to religious liberty within the United States. The second Fortnight for Freedom ? announced by the U.S. bishops with the participation of those from a variety of faith backgrounds ? is currently underway as a special time of prayer, education and action on behalf of religious freedom, particularly in the areas of health care, marriage, immigration and social aid.

Among the concerns raised by the bishops and members of other faiths is a new mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services to require employers to offer health insurance covering contraception, sterilization and some early abortion drugs, even if doing so violates their firmly held religious beliefs.

Rabbi Cohen explained that while the HHS mandate does not require his community to violate their beliefs, ?nonetheless, we have weighed in very strongly? on the issue ?because it might create general principles, general perceptions of religion that could affect all religions.?

?If there?s hostility towards religion, that?s going to result in bad regulation, and if there?s bad regulation, that in turn is going to result in more hostility towards religion,? he explained.

?That has an effect on the American psyche.?

The rabbi also noted that ?a lot of the rhetoric that surrounds that dispute is one of compromise,? in which the government will provide some accommodations if religions give up some of their terms.

?That belittles the right of religion, but also the role of religion,? he said.

The Very Reverend Dr. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, echoed the Rabbi Cohen?s statements, telling CNA that ?I think that there is a clamp-down on religious liberty in this country, but it?s so incredibly simple that we aren?t catching the signs.?

?If one religious identity?s freedoms are taken, then all suffer,? he added.

He warned, however, against over-correction, such as moves by the Russian Orthodox Church to establish Russian Orthodoxy as the official state religion.

?There is a problem when the Church relies on the fist of Caesar to protect it rather than the loving hand of Jesus,? he cautioned, although he noted that ?the government should guarantee us our freedom to express ourselves.?

Shaykha Reima Yosif, who started an organization to empower Muslim women through the arts, noted the threat in the U.S. posed by ?small groups trying to dictate what is religion, and small groups trying to infringe upon people maintaining their particular religious identity and practicing their faith in their own way.?

The disrespect of religious freedom leads to discrimination as well as other ill effects on society, she explained, saying that? ?we are really debilitating the economic wellbeing of society? with restrictions on religious practice.

Tags: Religious freedom

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2 Lebanese soldiers killed in clashes in south

BEIRUT (AP) ? A Lebanese security official says clashes have erupted in the south between Lebanese factions supporting opposing sides in the Syrian civil war. Two Lebanese soldiers were killed.

It's the latest spillover from the civil war next door.

The official says supporters of a radical Sunni cleric and Shiite gunmen fired machine guns and rocket propelled grenades in fighting that broke out Sunday in Sidon, a port city in southern Lebanon.

Two soldiers were killed and four others were wounded, the official said. He spoke anonymously in line with regulations.

The fighting began when followers of Sheik Ahmad al-Assir opened fire at an army checkpoint. Al-Assir is a critic of Hezbollah, which is fighting in Syria alongside President Bashar Assad's army. Al-Assir's followers support Sunni rebels fighting to topple Assad's regime.


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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Volvo demos smartphone-enabled self-parking car prototype (video)

Volvo demos smartphoneenabled selfparking car prototype video

Volvo's no stranger to autonomous vehicles -- it's been working on SARTRE for several years now -- but yesterday the company shared some info about a new self-parking concept it plans to demo next week. The prototype car (a V40) is able to find a space and park in it without a driver on board, all while avoiding pedestrians, vehicles and other obstacles. What's most interesting is the level of integration Volvo is showcasing here -- sensors, electronics and controls are seamlessly built into the car, making the tech look production-ready. Vehicle to infrastructure communication is used to alert the driver when the service is available, and the car is smartphone-enabled for easy drop-off and pickup. You'll recall that Audi showed a similar self-parking concept at CES, so it certainly looks like the space is heating up. Hit the break for Volvo's video and PR.

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Via: Autoblog

Source: Volvo


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