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quarta-feira, 8 de dezembro de 2010

#news : US drops settlement freeze as precondition to peace talks

ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS - MIDDLE EAST: US drops settlement freeze as precondition to peace talks
US officials working to restart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians will drop their demand for a freeze on Israeli settlements in the West Bank as a precondition for negotiations.


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WikiLeaks Ally Anonymous Launches Cyber War

By Mark Phillips

(CBS) WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is still in jail, but his battle is still being fought.

The same internet power that's been used to attack WikiLeaks is now being used in its defense. A cyber war has broken out, reports CBS News London correspondent Mark Phillips.

The targets: commercial websites which have withdrawn services from WikiLeaks -- including Mastercard and Visa, which have refused to process payments to the site -- and the Swiss bank PostFinance, which froze Assange's account.

CBS News Special Report: WikiLeaks

It's being called Operation: Payback.

Hackers secretly infiltrate thousands of other online computers, whose owners are unaware of the process. They form a so-called Zombie Army of robo or slave computers that bombard the mainframes of the target companies with so many messages, the target computers slow down or crash under the onslaught.

"The group that is taking credit for this is a group called Anonymous, which is a very well-known dark side hacker group that does it for sport, that do it for retribution, they do it for attention - and that's what they're doing now," said John Abell, New York bureau chief of Wired.com.

Mastercard says its services to consumers were not affected, but the attack is a warning to other companies like Amazon and PayPal, which have also severed ties with WikiLeaks and which are being singled out on the Hacktivist internet forums.

As is the Swedish lawyer - Claes Borgstrom - who represents the two woman who have accused Julian Assange of sex offenses.

WikiLeaks itself says it is not directly behind the attacks and will continue to release secret documents. Its supporters, though, appear to have joined a cyber war they've vowed to continue and expand.



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#news: India to skip Nobel Peace Prize ceremony?

With just two days to go before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, India is still in a fix whether to attend or not. We at NDTV debate should India heed to China's boycott call or not?


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#Lula deixa os juros mais altos do mundo — pior: precisariam ser elevados!

Leia primeiro o post abaixo

Todo mundo já sabia que seria essa a decisão do BC. Conforme se apontou aqui quando o BC decidiu restringir o crédito, tratava-se de um aviso de que não se elevaria a Selic. O BC, nesse caso, foi, sem dúvida, independente para fazer política — só que não a monetária. O pensamento foi mais ou menos este: “Elevar a taxa na primeira reunião depois da eleição e último da era Lula produz certo cheiro de estelionato; deixemos para a próxima rodada, o primeiro Copom da era Dilma. E todos dirão — PORQUE DIRÃO — que se trata de um governo corajoso, que não tem medo de parecer e de ser responsável”. Um BC realmente independente, como se vê.

Os juros foram mantidos, sim. Como estão, já são os mais altos do mundo, e isso explica, em parte, a enxurrada de dólares que entra no Brasil, jogando ainda mais para baixo a moeda, o que é ruim para as exportações e para a indústria. Ocorre que a inflação está bem acima da meta, o consumo continua aquecido, e tudo isso pediria uma elevação da taxa. O momento está conjugando dólar desvalorizado com inflação em alta: uma péssima combinação. Que tal baixar os juros para frear a entrada de dólares e desvalorizar o real? Aí a inflação tende a subir mais. Que tal elevar os juros para dar uma porrada na inflação? A tendência é entrar mais dólares, fortalecendo o real. Como diria o poeta, que tal dançar um tango? Aí pode ser…

Alguma saída? Cortar gastos do governo. Creio que será a opção de Dilma, junto com a elevação dos juros. E já ouço com a antecedência o alarido: “Que mulher responsável! Vejam como ela tem coragem de fazer o contrário do que prometeu durante a campanha!”

Afinal, gente, petistas são assim mesmo: tanto mais elogiáveis quanto mais fazem o contrário do que prometem!

Por Reinaldo Azevedo


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#news : #WikiLeaks controversy sparks cyber war

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, may now be sitting in a UK prison, but it has not stopped his website and supporters from causing more chaos and controversy.

One of the world's biggest credit card websites, Mastercard, has been hacked in what appears to be a revenge attack for blocking donations to WikiLeaks, along with a number of other sites that have recently distanced themselves from the whistleblowing website.

Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan reports from London.


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It's been 30 years since former Beatles founder John Lennon was gunned down on the streets of New York and it still remains shocking to this day.


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#news: Iran raps GCC's claim over disputed islands

TEHRAN, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast rejected on Wednesday a Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) communique which supports claims by the United Arab Emirates to three disputed islands, the English language satellite Press TV reported.

"Such statements and declarations would not affect Iran's sovereignty and authority over the islands whatsoever and repetition of such phony claims would not contribute to the restoration of peace and stability in the region," Mehmanparast was quoted as saying.

Refuting the move as unfounded, the spokesman emphasized Iran's permanent sovereignty over the three islands, Greater and Lesser Tonbs and Abu Moussa.

Mehmanparast, however, declared the Islamic Republic's readiness to hold positive and constructive talks with the UAE with the aim of fostering and broadening bilateral relations, according to the report.

Leaders of the six-member GCC on Tuesday wrapped up their two- day summit in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi with a support to the UAE's claims to three disputed islands that have been under Iran's control since early 1970.

The dispute over the islands should be solved via direct negotiations or international arbitration, the leaders said in the communique.


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#news : U.S. vows to resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict in one year with changed tactic

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The United States is changing its approach to handle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but remains committed to a framework agreement reached within one year, U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said on Wednesday.

He told reporters that U.S. "intensive discussions" with Israel over its extension of a moratorium on West Bank settlement building over a couple of weeks "had in a sense become an end in itself rather than a means to an end."

The Palestinians have insisted on the moratorium on all occupied lands as a precondition for its return to direct talks with Israel, which have been stalled since mid-September after restart in Washington in early September.

Last month, U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, offering incentives including sale of 20 next-generation stealth fighter planes and U.S. pledge to veto anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council in exchange for a 90-day extension of settlement freeze in the West Bank. But the proposal met fierce opposition from the hard-liners in Netanyahu's cabinet.

"We have determined that a moratorium extension will not at this time provide the best basis for resuming direct negotiations, " Crowley said at a press briefing at the State Department. "We're going to focus on the substance and try to begin to make progress on the core issues themselves."

"I would describe this as a change in tactics, not a change in strategy, it's not a change in our objectives at all," the spokesman added.

He said in the coming days and weeks, the United States will engage with both sides on the core substantive issues at stake in this conflict as well as with Arab states and other international partners to create "a firm basis" to work toward "our shared goal of a framework agreement on all permanent status issues."

The core issues include security, borders, refugees, the status of Jerusalem and water. When relaunching direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians in Washington, the Obama administration intended them to resolve all the core issues and reach a peace settlement within one year.

"We continue to pursue a framework agreement on the permanent status issues," Crowley said. "We continue to believe that, in order to resolve those core issues, direct negotiations will be required. And we will be consulting with the parties on the best way to achieve that share goal."

He stressed that "We're shifting our approach, but we're still focused on the goal of a framework agreement within a year, and we believe that's still achievable."

"We're looking to find a way to make progress on the core issues, to move toward that framework agreement, and move toward the point where we end the conflict once and for all," he told reporters.

Though the United States has given up efforts on the settlement issue, "Our position on settlements has not and will not change. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements, and we will continue to express that position, " Crowley added.

About 430,000 Jews live in well over 100 settlements built across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on land that Israel captured in a 1967 Middle East war. The international community condemn the settlements as illegitimate.


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Reinauguração da Praça Madeira-Mamoré 2010 【S.RÏVER】


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#DILMA T é contra a que clientes de planos de saúde particulares atendidos em hospitais públicos tenham que pagar

O PT está no poder no governo federal há 8 anos, vai ficar pelo menos mais 4 e já governou, governa e governará mais de uma dezena de Estados e centenas de prefeituras. No entanto, parece que não aprende: continua a fazer oposição por oposição.

Veja-se o caso de São Paulo, onde o partido está obstruindo na Assembléia Legislativa um projeto do governador Alberto Goldman (PSDB) que permite aos hospitais públicos cobrar pelo atendimento de pacientes que tenham plano de saúde particular.

Não parece a você, amigo do blog, minimamente justo que o dinheiro público seja gasto com pacientes que só dependam do poder público para atendimento médico e hospitalar? Por que raios o governo estadual — e os contribuintes de São Paulo, como aliás ocorre também em outros estados — têm que arcar com os custos de atendimento dos cidadãos que poderiam perfeitamente estar recorrendo a hospitais e/ou dinheiro de seu próprio convênio?

Coluna do

Ricardo Setti


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#NEWS : Ahmadinejad sets nuclear red lines for January talks

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad listens to a question during a news conference in Tehran November 29, 2010. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad listens to a question during a news conference in Tehran November 29, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Caren Firouz

TEHRAN | Wed Dec 8, 2010 10:43am EST

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran is prepared to discuss a possible nuclear fuel swap at talks that resume next month, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday, but he ruled out any slowdown of its atomic program.

A day after the conclusion of a two-day meeting with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1), Ahmadinejad told those countries to drop any idea of curbing Iran's quest for nuclear technology and instead invited them to help build the 20 nuclear power stations it plans.

"We are in favor of cooperation and they should come and cooperate with us and build us 20 nuclear plants," he said in a speech to students quoted by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

The West is concerned Iran is seeking nuclear weapons capability under cover of a declared civilian atomic energy program and wants it to curb uranium enrichment.

Iranian chief negotiator Saeed Jalili told reporters after Tuesday's meeting in Geneva that: "Iran will not discuss a uranium enrichment halt in the next meeting in Istanbul.

Ahmadinejad reiterated that point and specified three red lines that Iran would not cross. "Our nuclear rights, including the continuation of enrichment, making 20 percent uranium and building nuclear plants are not negotiable," he said.

Ahmadinejad indicated Iran might be interested in reviving a fuel swap deal, agreed in principle in the 2009 talks, which would have seen Iran export some of its stocks of low-enriched uranium in return for higher enriched material for a medical research reactor for which it cannot yet manufacture fuel.

That pact soon unraveled in disputes over conditions and Iran embarked on refining uranium up to 20 percent fissile purity itself, which it says will eventually be converted into special fuel plates for the medical reactor.

"Cooperating in different fields like a fuel swap, and political, economic and security issues of the world are topics for negotiations," he said.

The Geneva meeting -- the first of its kind in over a year -- ended with the head of the P5+1 delegation, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, saying the January talks would focus on "our core concerns about the nuclear issue."

Iran says it is not involved in "nuclear talks" and insists the negotiations are aimed more generally at discussing global problems. A French diplomatic source told Reuters the Geneva meeting was an "exchange of monologues."

Esmail Kowsari, a member of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, said Ashton's summary of the talks, focused on the nuclear issue, was "immoral ... As we said many times Iran will not accept negotiations under pressure, threats and sanctions," he said.

(Writing by Robin Pomeroy; editing by Mark Heinrich)


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#NEWS : Blue-sky beauty: the Astrum Meera concept

By Grant Banks

15:39 December 6, 2010

3D rendered with backgrounds

Sublime or ridiculous? John Baltazar's Astrum Meera concept car is probably a little bit of both. The beautifully rendered four-seater design combines smooth lines and sporty, low-down fatness with some very ambitious future-tech ideas such as wheels that use magnetic levitation rather than bearings to improve smoothness of ride and fuel efficiency.

The Astrum Meera would also employ carbon dioxide sensors built into the twin rear exhausts for constant real time monitoring of engine emissions, plus retractable side rear-view mirrors armed with cameras coupled with an in-cockpit display.

We're not sure that this idea will ever float, but with the fantastic 3D renderings by Hussain and Ali Almossawi it's almost possible to imagine the Astrum Meera levitating in your garage.

Via Yanko Design.


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#NEWS : Krugman: Obama's Tax-Cut Compromise 'Enormously Self-Indulgent'

President Obama held a press conference where he defended his decision to compromise with Republicans on tax cut extensions for all, including the wealthy. To discuss the impact the agreement may have on the economy Paul Krugman of the New York Times and Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal joins us.


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#NEWS : S.Korean parliament passes next year's budget bill

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's ruling Grand National Party on Wednesday rammed next year's budget bill of 309.5 trillion won (274.5 billion U.S. dollars) through the plenary session of the National Assembly despite opposition lawmakers' strong resistance.

The plenary meeting, attended by 160 ruling party members and only 6 opposition lawmakers after a physical clash between the two camps, approved the budget plan 165 to one.

The approved budget is 495 billion won less than the one proposed by the government. The defense budget was increased by 142 billion won to deploy more weapons systems on the islands in waters off the west coast to strengthen combat capabilities and to improve evacuation facilities for residents there following the recent artillery skirmish between South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), while 270 billion won has been cut from the disputed development project of the nation's four main rivers.

The parliament also approved a government plan to send about 130 combat troops to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to help train special forces there. The troops will be dispatched in January next year on a two-year mission. Seoul's government said the move will help strengthen military and other ties with the Middle Eastern nation. Of the 157 lawmakers who voted, 149 approved the dispatch, two voted against it and six abstained.

Seoul's parliament was in chaos Tuesday night as the opposition camp, led by lawmakers of the main opposition Democratic Party and their aides, staged a sit-in protest at the main lobby to stop ruling Grand National Party members from unilaterally passing the bill. Scuffles reportedly left one ruling party lawmaker slightly injured.

The governing party holds a solid majority with 172 seats in the 299-member parliament.


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Site de promotoria sueca é alvo de hackers


Supostos ataques de hackers que apoiam o fundador do WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, bloquearam o site da promotoria sueca e o do advogado responsável pelas alegações de crimes sexuais cometidos por Assange, disseram autoridades nesta quarta-feira.

A promotora, cujo mandado de prisão resultou na decisão de um tribunal britânico, na terça-feira, de manter Assange detido, disse que havia informado a polícia sobre o ataque.

"É claro, é fácil pensar que há uma ligação com o WikiLeaks, mas não podemos confirmar isso", disse Fredrik Berg, editor do site da promotoria, falando à Reuters Television.

O site ficou fora do ar durante a maior parte da noite de terça-feira e parte desta quarta-feira.

Segundo um comunicado, o órgão apresentou uma queixa à polícia depois do incidente.

A promotoria não disse de onde surgiu o ataque, mas uma informação do site Operation Payback, colocada 16 horas antes no Twitter, dizia que a promotoria seria um de seus alvos.

O site Operation: Payback, que diz lutar pela liberdade na Internet, também declarou ter como alvo o site da MasterCard, em aparente retaliação por ter bloqueado doações para o WikiLeaks. O site da MasterCard também ficou fora do ar.

(Reportagem de Patrick Lannin)


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Dois são presos em Santos-SP acusados de pedofilia


Dois homens foram presos hoje em flagrante com material de pornografia infantil em suas residências, em Santos (SP). Foram apreendidos discos rígidos de computador em outras duas residências, que após perícia também poderão gerar novos indiciamentos.

As prisões fazem parte da Operação Tapete Persa, deflagrada em julho deste ano pela Polícia Federal (PF), com a coordenação do Grupo Especial de Combate aos Crimes de Ódio e Pornografia Infantil na Internet, em cooperação com a Interpol e a Polícia Criminal de Baden-Württenber, localizada no sudoeste da Alemanha.

No dia da deflagração da Operação, em 27 de julho, foram presas 20 pessoas em posse de material de pornografia infantil. Desde então, ainda decorrente de investigações, foram presas mais 16 pessoas. As investigações continuam, podendo gerar novas prisões.


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Site da MasterCard é atacado por hackers após romper com #WikiLeaks

Início do conteúdo

A MasterCard informou, porém, que o ataque virtual não afeta a capacidade de seus clientes usarem seus cartões


Um grupo anônimo de hackers afirmou nesta quarta-feira,8, que lançou uma série de ataques online para fechar sites da MasterCard e de um banco na Suíça. As duas instituições romperam nos últimos dias sua relação com o site WikiLeaks, que tem divulgado documentos diplomáticos secretos dos Estados Unidos.

A MasterCard informou, porém, que o ataque virtual não afeta a capacidade de seus clientes usarem seus cartões.

O grupo de hackers, autodenominado Anon_Operation, informou em uma mensagem no site Twitter que "o www.mastercard.com está derrubado" e que o site da gigante do setor de cartões de crédito não podia ser acessado em Genebra.

O braço bancário do serviço postal suíço, PostFinance, confirmou nesta quarta-feira que seu site estava sofrendo um ataque virtual, desde que fechou uma conta bancária do fundador do WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, na segunda-feira. O banco argumentou que Assange havia fornecido um endereço falso em seu cadastro. As tentativas de entrar no site do Postfinance.ch nesta quarta-feira geravam mensagens de erro. A Visa informou na terça-feira que suspendeu todos os pagamentos para o WikiLeaks.

O banco suíço afirma que qualquer depósito pertencente a Assange e o dinheiro que estava na conta podem ser transferidos para uma conta determinada por ele. Assange se entregou à polícia britânica na terça-feira, pois era procurado por acusações de estupro e outros crimes na Suécia. Ele não teve direito a pagar fiança e segue preso.

Há também informações de que hackers estejam atacando o site e o e-mail da advogada que representa as duas mulheres suecas que acusam Assange. "Nosso e-mail e site foram alvos de hackers na noite passada e nesta manhã", disse nesta quarta-feira a advogada Claes Borgstroem, que representa as mulheres. Segundo ela, aparentemente são as mesmas pessoas que atacaram o site da promotoria sueca, que ficou fechado na terça-feira, mas voltou a funcionar nesta quarta-feira.

O WikiLeaks busca divulgar documentos secretos de governos e empresas. Desde a semana passada, está divulgando um lote de cerca de 250 mil documentos diplomáticos secretos dos EUA.

As informações são da Dow Jones.


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Rita Lee abre o sótão em bazar de moda e instrumentos musicais

Objetos da cantora sessentona estarão à venda; peças mais relevantes ficam só em exposição

08 de dezembro de 2010 | 13h 0



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#NEWS : 2 killed, 17 wounded in central Iraq car bombing

Firefighters hose down burnt vehicles after a bomb attack in the outskirts of Baghdad December 8, 2010. A parked car bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol killed two civilians and wounded 17 others when it went off in the town of Taji, 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


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#NEWS : Oil production in Russia to hit record high

MOSCOW, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Russia's oil production in 2010 is set to hit a record high this year, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said Wednesday.

For the first 10 months of 2010, oil production in Russia rose 7 percent year-on-year, and the country currently produces 1.4 million tons of oil per day, which is the highest daily production in the past 20 years.

By the end of 2010, Russia's total oil output for the year is expected to reach 504.8 million tons, Shmatko said.

Shmatko forecast that for the next few years Russia would produce 500 million tons of oil annually.

He linked the rise of production to lowering oil export duties, saying that it helped oil production to grow even amidst global crisis.


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NEWS : U.S. Government Misprints $110B USD in "High Tech" Currency

Listen to this article. Powered by Odiogo.com

The new U.S. $100 bill is so complex apparently even the government can't print it! (Source: NewMoney.gov)

Announced in April, the bills have been delayed indefinitely after $110B USD worth of notes were misprinted. (Source: NewMoney.gov)
Printing process was so complex apparently even the government couldn't figure it out

It was the "bill of the future". The new American $100 bill had 3D security ribbons and threads. Microprint text and watermark images were disguised across its surface. And the numbers changed color depending on the light and viewing angle. Lauded to the press in April, the bill was so sophisticated that no counterfeiter could hope to reliably print it.

The only problem, though, was that apparently the U.S. government couldn't reliably print it either. During the initial printing run, a flaw in the printing process was encountered, which led to a layer of the paper folding over after inking, revealing an uninked portion.

Approximately 30 percent of the the approximately $366B USD printed, or roughly $110B USD worth of bills, carry the flaw. That's a whopping 1.1
billion botched bills.

An official close to the process confided with CNBC, "There is something drastically wrong here. The frustration level is off the charts."

The new bill is badly needed. The $100 bill is the most frequently counterfeited bill and modern printing technologies have helped give would-be counterfeiters a fighting chance. The most sophisticated of these counterfeits, dubbed the "supernote", is rumored to come from America's adversary North Korea. That counterfeit model is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, without expert analysis.

While the current generation currency was expected to stay in circulation for a little while after the new run, it would help reduce the number of older style bills available. In April, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner promised to launch the bill in February 2011, stating, "As with previous U.S. currency redesigns, this note incorporates the best technology available to ensure we're staying ahead of counterfeiters."

Now that release has been pushed back to an indefinite date.

News of the delay first broke in early October when the Treasury Department revealed that a printing error had held up the process. A statement read that the problem involved a "a problem with sporadic creasing of the paper."


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#NEWS : Internet Explorer 9 gets new anti-tracking privacy feature

Microsoft has revealed a new feature that will ship with Internet Explorer 9 to help users avoid the online tracking that is now widespread on the Web and is used to power behavioral advertising. The new Tracking Protection Lists will tell the browser which third-party content to permit and which to prohibit.

Tracking Protection Lists will be an opt-in feature, and Microsoft says that it will not provide any lists itself. Instead, third parties can provide lists to end-users. As such, the lists may come from privacy advocacy groups, ad-blocking advocates, or individuals who want to block certain content. The lists will update themselves automatically on a weekly basis.

Internet Explorer already contains a feature, InPrivate Filtering, that attempts to block third-party scripting and tracking devices. However, InPrivate Filtering operates on a heuristic basis. It can both fail to block certain tracking devices, and it can also block too much third-party scripting, leaving sites inoperative. Tracking Protection Lists, in contrast, will be curated, and so should be less susceptible to these issues.

The announcement comes not long after the FTC called for browser vendors to include a "do not track" button in order to block any kind of third-party usage tracking. Tracking Protection Lists would potentially be a finer-grained equivalent, allowing users to opt out of some or all tracking systems depending on their preferences. The lists might also be useful to prevent the kind of spying that YouPorn is being sued for.

Specifics of the Tracking Protection Lists are not yet finalized. Microsoft has proposed a file format for the lists, and it promises that the final specification will be available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Support for Tracking Protection Lists will first arrive in a release candidate of Internet Explorer 9. Redmond did not give a date for this, but it is likely to be early next year.


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#NEWS : 4chan rushes to #WikiLeaks' defense, forces Swiss banking site offline

The forces of Anonymous have taken aim at several companies who are refusing to do business with WikiLeaks. 4chan's hordes have launched distributed denial-of-service attacks against PayPal, Swiss bank PostFinance, and other sites that have hindered the whistleblowing site's operations.

A self-styled spokesman for the group calling himself "Coldblood" has said that any website that's "bowing down to government pressure" is a target. PayPal ceased processing donations to the site, and PostFinance froze WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's account. The attacks are being performed under the Operation: Payback banner; Operation: Payback is the name the group is using in its long-running attacks on the RIAA, MPAA, and other organizations involved with anti-piracy lawsuits.

The initial attacks against PayPal were substantially ineffective; the PayPal blog was taken offline, but the main PayPal site wasn't harmed. The attacks against PostFinance, however, have resulted in the bank's website being unavailable for more than 16 hours. It remains unavailable at the time of writing. The latest target is the site of the Swedish prosecutors in Assange's sexual misconduct trial. This too appears to be offline. Twitter has also been named as a future attack target, due to its claimed censorship of the #wikileaks hashtag.

The companies being attacked deny that their behavior is a result of government influence. Rather, they are claiming that WikiLeaks and Assange have failed to adhere to the terms of use of various services. Amazon, which for a time hosted the site, said that WikiLeaks was failing to ensure that it "wasn't putting innocent people in jeopardy." PostFinance said that Assange lied on an application form.

In a case of tit-for-tat, unknown forces have since launched a denial of service attack against Anonymous' own site (one that took it offline shortly after publication), though the IRC channel used for coordination is still operational, and its denial-of-service software, LOIC, is still functioning properly.

WikiLeaks was itself the target of massive denial of service attacks in the wake of its release of thousands of US embassy cables. The source of these attacks remains unknown. In addition to making the main WikiLeaks site hard to access, DoS attacks against DNS provider EveryDNS resulted in the company cutting WikiLeaks off, as it was unwilling to tolerate the excess traffic.

In spite of this, hundreds of mirrors of the site have popped up across the globe, with Anonymous claiming to have created many of them. An "insurance file"—an encrypted torrent of the entire cable dump—has been widely distributed, along with the promise that the decryption key will be published should anything bad happen to WikiLeaks.

Assange himself is currently remanded in custody in the UK. Swedish prosecutors are seeking to have him extradited to face sexual misconduct charges. He surrendered to police in London and was arrested. Bail was refused over fears that he might flee, and also due to some fear that he was at risk from "unstable persons." With widespread calls for his murder, this might not be too far-fetched.


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#NEWS : A very 'Glee' Christmas: We watch so you don't have to

By Lisa de Moraes

Merry Christmas, from the glee club. They won't let anyone take away their holiday spirit.(Fox)

WaPo Team TV's Emily Yahr writes:

Sabotage, heartbreak, deception, gifts -- sounds like a Christmas episode of "Glee." Sudden, random dispensing of all sad plotlines to hurriedly wrap things up happily ever after -- sounds even more like a Christmas episode of "Glee"!

"Glee," where plot consistency goes to die, wrapped up the first half of the season with one of its more nonsensical episodes, once again trying gamely to wrap a storyline around songs that will be sold on iTunes and in an album. This should have been easy this week, given that the tunes all had a Christmas theme -- but, turns out, not so much.

On to the episode:


Guess who doesn't love Christmas? If you said Sue Sylvester, you'd be correct. The forever track-suited cheerleading coach does not enjoy holidays in which the main themes are "cheer" and "joy" and "giving to others." So Sue rigs the McKinley High School staff's Secret Santa program, and all the staffers draw a slip of paper with her name on it. When the other staffers discover her crime, Sue refuses to return the presents, or give them to homeless kids. Glee club coach Will and the other staffers take back the gifts anyway while she's not around, but then stupidly leave them under a tree in the glee club room -- because, hey, this is "Glee." Sue disguises herself as the Grinch who stole Christmas and she and faithful Becky break into the glee club room and destroy their tree, decorations, sheet music and even the piano. Vandalism of school property apparently is not a crime in Gleeville.

Anyway, Sue-as-Grinch also steals the presents from under the tree that were intended for homeless kids -- of course she does! Because, you see, she hates the glee club and glee club coach Will's hair. You had to be there.


In case you've forgotten the place in the Rachel-Finn saga, they are currently "off" because she made out with Puck last week, and Finn's not pleased. Even after Rachel sings "Merry Christmas, Darling," especially for him, and they duet with "Last Christmas" while shopping for Christmas trees, Finn tells her he simply can't forgive her for what she and Puck did. And yet, soon thereafter, Finn is seen walking down the hall at school prattling merrily with Puck. Once Finn gets one foot on the ground, he's really quite a jerk, isn't he? Anyway, Finn and Rachel are through. Forever. Until the next sweep.

Also, Emma and Carl are still married after their quickie Vegas wedding. Will, devastated, decides to spend Christmas alone, wearing truly heinous sweater vests.

Kurt's at his new school, and in a scene totally removed from the other storylines at hand, performs the duet "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Blaine, in a fancy private-school study room with leather couches and a roaring fireplace. It's the highlight of the episode, on so many levels. Blaine is now officially the object of Kurt's affections, but Blaine has not returned Kurt's love, so ... heartbreak.


Meanwhile, Brittany -- who thinks that dolphins are just gay sharks and her cat reads her diary -- still believes in Santa Claus, who is sometimes a white guy, sometimes a black guy, sometimes Coach Beiste. Brittany's boyfriend, Artie decides to play along and persuades the glee club to play too. Brittany tells Santa all she wants for Christmas is for wheelchair-bound Artie to be able to walk. The glee guys ask Coach Beiste to break into Brittany's house and give her the harsh truth about Artie not being able to walk, ever. If it weren't so creepy, it would be sweet. But it is so creepy. Anyway, Coach Beiste does that little thing and Brittany is crushed to learn Santa may not be magical after all.

But after all this, guess what? It's nearly time for the episode to end and its many holiday tunes to go on sale. So, some mystery person (Coach Beiste?) suddenly gifts Artie a mechanical contraption, allowing him to stand up and walk. Brittany believes in magic again. The glee kids sing for McKinley High teachers, who donate money so the gang can still give something to the homeless kids after Sue stole their presents. And Sue is so touched by it all, she breaks in to Will's house and returns all the gifts, and decorates Will's Christmas tree with the help of the glee club. That she hates.

And we heard Fox exclaim, ere "Glee" vanished from sight,

"Buy these songs on iTunes and to all a good night."

Christmas set list:

"The Most Wonderful Day of the Year"
"We Need a Little Christmas"
"Merry Christmas, Darling"
"Baby, It's Cold Outside"
"Last Christmas"
"Welcome Christmas"

[Note: "Glee" will be on hiatus until Feb. 6, when it will air after the Super Bowl. Get excited for a Katie Couric guest appearance! Seriously.]

Rachel Berry sings "Merry Christmas, Darling":

Kurt and Blaine sing "Baby, It's Cold Outside":



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#NEWS : Jeter signs, takes a pay cut with the Yankees

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Derek Jeter can acknowledge it: He was definitely getting steamed at the New York Yankees.

While Jeter tried to keep talks quiet as the sides negotiated, the Yankees went public with suggestions his increasing age and decreased numbers should result in a pay cut.

At one point, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said Jeter, 36, should explore other options.

"I was pretty angry about it, and I let that be known," Jeter said Tuesday after finalizing a $51 million, three-year contract that cut his salary. "I was angry about it because I was the one that said I didn't want to do it. I said I was the one that wasn't going to do it."

At a news conference at the team's spring training home to announce the agreement, Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and Cashman maintained there will be no lingering fallout.

"A big happy family," Jeter said. "You move past it. It's over with, and I won't bring it up again." . . .

Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, his second such procedure on his non-throwing shoulder in a year.

Sanchez is expected to be in the lineup come opening day.


Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg announced that sophomore Ben Boggs will transfer at the end of the fall semester.

Boggs, a 6-foot-4 guard from Roanoke, appeared in the first four games this season, accumulating five points, one rebound and one assist.

"I have enjoyed my time at Virginia Tech and would like to thank Coach Greenberg and the coaching staff for all they have done for me," Boggs said in a statement.

- Mark Giannotto


Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said Derrell Johnson-Koulianos has been suspended from team activities following the wide receiver's arrest on drug charges. Johnson-Koulianos was released from Johnson County Jail after posting $8,000 bail. The 23-year-old was expected to make a court appearance Wednesday on charges including possession of controlled substances, keeping a drug house and unlawful possession of a prescription drug.

Ferentz said in a statement that he's "highly disappointed to learn of the charges." . . .

Dave Wannstedt is out as Pitt coach following a disappointing season in which the team was big favorites to win a weak Big East Conference, only to finish 7-5 and qualify for a minor bowl.

He stepped down under pressure from Athletic Director Steve Pederson. Wannstedt, highly respected by Pitt's administration, is expected to stay with the school in a non-coaching position.


FC Copenhagen became the first Danish team to reach the Champions League knockout stage; meantime, holder Inter Milan missed out on top spot in its group by losing, 3-0, at Werder Bremen.

Copenhagen beat Panathinaikos, 3-1, to clinch second place in Group D behind Barcelona.

"It's fantastic, really fantastic," Copenhagen winger Jesper Gronkjaer said.

It was a special night too for Tottenham after a 3-3 draw at FC Twente saw the Champions League newcomers beat Inter to first place in Group A.


Manchester United conceded its first goal of the group stage in a 1-1 draw with Valencia, but still secured top spot in Group C at the expense of the Spanish side. . . .

Ghana's fraud and organized crime unit raided the headquarters of the country's national soccer federation, taking away eight computers. Last week, FIFA threatened to ban Ghana if the government kept interfering with the running of the federation.


Mike Tyson, whose meteoric rise to the pinnacle of boxing and stunning fall from grace was legendary, was selected for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum. . . .

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is due in court in Las Vegas on a misdemeanor battery charge alleging he poked a security guard in the face during an argument last month. Court officials say Mayweather is scheduled to appear Wednesday before a Las Vegas judge on a charge that could get him a six-month jail sentence.



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#NEWS : #WikiLeaks: Britain feared Colonel Gaddafi could 'cut us off at the knees' unless Lockerbie bomber was freed

Britain feared that Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi could “cut us off at the knees, just like the Swiss”, unless the Lockerbie bomber was released, leaked WikiLeaks cables show.

Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi
Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi Photo: EPA

Sir Vincent Fean, the UK's ambassador to Tripoli at the time, also warned that continuing to hold Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi in a prison in Scotland could have “disastrous implications for British interests in Libya”.

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, 57, was jailed in 2001 for the atrocity which claimed 270 lives in 1988. He was freed on compassionate grounds in August 2009.

The warnings were contained in secret communiqués sent from US embassy staff in Tripoli in August 2009, and produced in Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.


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#NEWS :Colin Firth 'did not think Mr Darcy was much of a role'

Colin Firth has disclosed how he almost turned down the role that made him a household name because he did not think it was much of a part.

Colin Firth has disclosed how he almost turned down the role that made him a household name because he did not think it was much of a part.
Firth thought himself 'wrong' for the role of Mr Darcy in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Photo: BBC

The actor revealed that he thought himself “wrong” for the role of Mr Darcy in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Speaking at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts on Tuesday night Firth said: “I couldn’t see there was anything to play because the character doesn’t speak most of the time. I thought this is just a guy who stands around for hours driving people to despair.”

In conversation with the film journalist Francine Stock as part of the Alfred Dunhill BAFTA: A Life in Pictures series, Firth disclosed how he repeatedly turned down the role before realising that it would mean someone else would do it.

He accepted the part after becoming “struck by a bout of jealously”. I suddenly felt very territorial about it,” he said at the Princess Anne Theatre, Piccadilly, Central London.

Firth, 50, also explained how friends and family “pleaded” with him not to take the part which gave him his first BAFTA Television Award nomination for best actor.

“The producer was the only person on the planet who was convinced that I could play the role,” he said. “I was bombarded with pleas not to take the part.

"People said 'no you can’t because he’s supposed to be sexy and dark,” the star of Love Actually added.

“But if you read the book there is no physical description of him except that he is tall.”

Firth was named Best Actor at the Moët British Independent Film Awards this week for his portrayal of George VI in the King’s Speech.

On Monday the Alfred Dunhill BAFTA: A Life in Pictures series paid tribute to the work of the director Peter Weir.

The Daily Telegraph is an official media partner to the Orange British Academy Film Award


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