Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Diebold voting machines hacked with $10 in parts.


Anyone with about $10, physical access to a Diebold voting machine and rudimentary knowledge of electronics can remotely hack into the device, according to experts at the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. A hacker could potentially change a person's votes without them ever knowing about it.

"We believe these man-in-the-middle attacks are potentially possible on a wide variety of electronic voting machines," said Roger Johnston, leader of the assessment team. "We think we can do similar things on pretty much
every electronic voting machine."


Vote on Paper Ballots



Protesters Bare All Over a Proposed San Francisco Law

A proposed law would put some restrictions on public nudity in San Francisco, and a "Nude-In" on Saturday became a tourist attraction. "This is about body acceptance, not politics," the organizer said.

SAN FRANCISCO — Perhaps it should not be a surprise that San Francisco does not have a law against being naked in public, nor that a small, unselfconscious segment of the city’s residents regularly exercise that right.

That tiny minority was joined this weekend in the autumn fog and cold by unclothed sympathizers at a “Nude-In.” One of their objectives was to draw attention to a proposed law — introduced by Scott Wiener, a city supervisor — that would prohibit nudity in restaurants and require unclad people to put a towel or other material down before sitting bare-bottomed on benches or other public seats.
Mr. Wiener said the law was introduced in response to an increase in nakedness in parks, streets and restaurants.
“It used to be that there would be one nude guy wandering around the neighborhood and no one thought twice about it,” said Mr. Wiener, who represents the city’s Castro district. “Now it’s a regular thing and much more obnoxious. We have guys sitting down naked in public without the common decency to put something down underneath them.”
Mr. Wiener’s effort was destined to grab headlines, but he probably did not anticipate that his legislation would inspire even more people to disrobe.
“Wiener might as well have shot lasers and fireworks into the sky announcing that public nudity is legal,” said George Davis, 65.
A self-described “urban nudist” who once ran for mayor and often campaigned in the buff, Mr. Davis now spends most afternoons lounging in his birthday suit in a public plaza in the Castro.
Putting a towel between your backside and a seat is “basic nudist etiquette,” said Mr. Davis, adding that the legislation requiring it was “totally unnecessary.”
Still, Mr. Davis said, the publicity about the proposed law could be credited for the new faces at the Nude-In, which was held Saturday at the Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro.
Other nearby cities like Berkeley and San Jose have passed laws prohibiting public nudity, but in San Francisco it remains legal. In accordance with state law, public nudity is only illegal when accompanied by “lewd thoughts or acts” or “where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed.” But since state law prohibits police officers from being the offended party, it takes a citizen’s arrest— a rare occurrence in a city that prides itself on its open-mindedness and tolerance — to take a naked person into custody. 

"butt guardians" were given out free so nudists could comply with proposed bill

Many of the people who took part in the Nude-In said that they already used towels when they sat down, and that they thought Mr. Wiener’s legislation was pointless. The event itself was originally organized not as a protest but as a curtain-raiser for the Folsom Street Fair, which spread over 13 city blocks on Sunday. “This is about body acceptance, not politics,” said the Nude-In’s organizer, Mitch Hightower, 50, who runs a pornographic Web site.
Nowhere is brazen public nudity more evident than at the Folsom Street Fair, which is billed as the largest leather and fetish event in the world. The gathering attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year, many of them wearing black leather chaps and nothing else.
“In San Francisco, public nudity is a big part of a lot of social street events, and that’s a good thing,” Mr. Hightower said.
Businesses in the Castro are divided over the role that naked people play in the neighborhood’s economic and cultural appeal. Despite receiving some complaints about nudity from business owners, Steve Adams, president of the Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, says he often sees tourists posing for photographs with the nudists.
“Nudity really doesn’t impact business,” said Mr. Adams, whose group represents about 300 businesses. “In fact, it is kind of a draw for tourists. As long as the people who come to look spend money in the neighborhood, that’s all I care about.”
At the Nude-In, bystanders in sweaters and jackets circled the cluster of several dozen naked people, gawking and snapping photos with their smartphones. Two teenage girls posed with a man carrying a “Nude Is Not Lewd” sign and wearing nothing more than a white cowboy hat and a pair of worn leather boots.
“I brought my out-of-town guests here to show them an ‘only in San Francisco’ experience,” said Maggie Cahill, 53, a technology manager at a bank who stood scrunching her nose at the scene with friends from Los Angeles. “Where are the supermodel types?” she asked. “We want to know why it’s always the people who should not be naked who get naked.”
Some of the nudists at the rally seemed to already be adhering to the sought-after decorum by sitting on newspapers. In fact, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, 
one of the city’s weeklies, explicitly advertised its usefulness for just that purpose, printing a special clip-out page in last week’s issue. The page pointed out that newsprint was a 100 percent recyclable seat guard, and in bold type it said: “If you go bare, 
put ’er there.” 


Anonymous WARNING to NYPD 


The "hacktivist" group Anonymous has directly threatened to attack the NYPD.

"The inhumanity and brutality the NYPD has shown will not be let free," a computerized voice warns in a video released Sunday, referring to recent clashes between #OccupyWallStreet demonstrators and cops. "Learn about what happened to the police force in Egypt when they disregarded human rights. Their end was the people's beginning."
Protesters, entering the eleventh day of their 'occupation' of Zucotti Park near Wall Street, have claimed excessive police force and brutality.
Just yesterday, Anonymous publicly identified a police officer who they say pepper-sprayed female protesters (see video here) marching through Union Square.
Anonymous, who helped spread word of the protests, is giving the NYPD an ultimatum.
"We, as it is our duty to uphold the freedoms of the people will constitute a declaration of war against the NYPD if the brutality does not stop. If we hear of brutality in the next 36 hours then we will take you down from the internet as you have taken the protesters voices from the airwaves."
It's unclear when this 36 hours was supposed to start. According to YouTube, the video was uploaded around 4:30PM on Sunday, putting it at 48 hours and meaning the threat has passed.

It's also unclear what a cyber-attack on the NYPD would look like. An attack on the NYPD website? Does anybody read that thing? (The NYPD's anti-aircraft abilities would be useless against an online onslaught.)
We'd make fun of the video's minute-long Matrix-inspired intro and the over-the-top music, but we don't want to get hacked.
The hackers collective has successfully taken down the websites of MasterCard, Visa, Gawker and The Westboro Baptist Church, and first gained notoriety for their prolonged attack on the Church of Scientology.


Anonymous Calls On Protestors To “Occupy The Planet” 


It wouldn’t be utterly shocking to find that you are unaware of the Occupy Wall Street protests currently underway in downtown Manhattan. The mainstream media coverage of it has been shockingly minimal, but it’s real, it’s happening, and apparently it’s spreading. And who, you might ask, has been the mouthpiece for this uprising? None other than the infamous hacktivist group Anonymous, who plans to expand the protest to the far reaches of the globe (or so says their new video).
Early last week, the group declared September 24 a “Day of Vengeance,” wherein protesters would unite in their stance, followed by a “series of cyber attacks.” Well, September 24 came around and it looked as though the police were practicing more vengeance than the protesters, as a march toward Union Square ended in over 80 arrests, and some female protesters getting maced in the face for no apparent reason (slow-motion video). Anonymous really didn’t like that.
Today, the Anonpress has posted a video to YouTube, reports the Inquirer, calling for protesters to “Occupy The Planet” in the usual robotic voice over a score of redundant music. Their one demand is that “we do not forgive, we do not forget, we are silent no more,” which is really more of a mission statement than a demand, but you can get the jist from the video. It’s tough to tell, given the computer-generated voice of the speaker, but it seems as though this latest video is meant to inspire more activism on the West Coast, and in other nations.
This is now bigger than you or me. It is about us, a collective 99 percent, that will no longer stand for the corruption, greed, and inequality that is rampant within our governing bodies. Spread this message like the plague. On this memorable occasion, we will carry forth our own passive resistance against the machine which keeps us down.
Anonymous has pulled off some pretty impressive hacks in the past, but a global takeover does seem a bit overreaching. At least our masked hacktivists dream big, right? 

Video below.


Which Telecoms Store Your Data the Longest? Secret Memo Tells All

The nation’s major mobile-phone providers are keeping a treasure trove of sensitive data on their customers, according to newly-released Justice Department internal memo that for the first time reveals the data retention policies of America’s largest telecoms

The single-page Department of Justice document, “Retention Periods of Major Cellular Service Providers,” (.pdf) is a guide for law enforcement agencies looking to get information — like customer IP addresses, call logs, text messages and web surfing habits – out of U.S. telecom companies, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
The document, marked “Law Enforcement Use Only” and dated August 2010, illustrates there are some significant differences in how long carriers retain your data.
Verizon, for example, keeps a list of everyone you’ve exchanged text messages with for the past year, according to the document.  But  T-Mobile stores the same data up to five years. It’s 18 months for Sprint, and seven years for AT&T.
That makes Verizon appear to have the most privacy-friendly policy. Except that Verizon is alone in retaining the actual contents of text messages. It allegedly stores the messages for five days, while T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint don’t store them at all.
The document was unearthed by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina via a Freedom of Information Act claim. (After the group  gave a copy to, we also discovered it in two other places on the internet by searching its title.)
“People who are upset that Facebook is storing all their information should be really concerned that their cell phone is tracking them everywhere they’ve been,” said Catherine Crump, an ACLU staff attorney. “The government has this information because it wants to engage in surveillance.”
The biggest difference in retention surrounds so-called cell-site data. That is information detailing a phone’s movement history via its connections to mobile phone towers while its traveling.
Verizon keeps that data on a one-year rolling basis; T-Mobile for “a year or more;” Sprint up to two years, and AT&T indefinitely, from July 2008.
The document also includes retention policies for Nextel and Virgin Mobile. They have folded into the Sprint network.
The document release comes two months before the Supreme Court hears a case testing the government’s argument that it may use GPS devices to monitor a suspect’s every movement without a warrant. And the disclosure comes a month ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Electronic Privacy Communications Act, an outdated law that the government often invokes against targets to obtain, without a warrant, the data the Justice Department document describes.
“I don’t think there there is anything on this list the government would concede requires a warrant,” said Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “This brings cellular retention practices out of the shadows, so we can have a rational discussion about how the law needs to be changed when it comes to the privacy of our records.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) has proposed legislation to alter the Electronic Privacy Communications Act to protect Americans from warrantless intrusions. Debate on the issue is expected to heat up as the anniversary nears, and the Justice Department document likely will take center stage.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Angry Birds movie trailer

An Angry Birds movie is in the works, and we have an exclusive behind-the-scenes look! Will you see it when it comes out...or are you too busy playing Angry Birds?


If You're tired of Messing up your Oven, Try Cooking in Your Mailbox ***



Anonymous sensitive police data released


Latest coup by the Austrian hacker group Anonymous Austria: Thousands of records released by Austrian police via Twitter.

The Austrian hacker collective Anonymous left in the night from Sunday to Monday via Twitter stir with a mystery, who seems highly explosive. It was linked on a list of nearly 25,000 records, the first one could not unambiguously assigned. It soon turned out, however, that it is indeed in the tweet to the private data of Austrian police officers concerned that the hackers were able to publish quite simple: including name, complete address and date of birth of the affected persons. Once again, the hacker collective that makes a drastic kind attention to shortcomings in the safety precautions.

Police data was the hacker collective "made available"

The massive criticism of the access to these private data encountered Anonymous with the remark that no one did so to hide something and most of the published data also find in the phone book. Nevertheless, they admitted on Twitter that they were the data "made available". As the Interior Ministry announced via the APA now, come from the sensitive data to a nearby police association. The Interior Ministry itself is not betroffen.Die inquiries about where the vulnerability lies, currently running at full speed.
Anonymous , already in July with a hack of the data from the data of the Austrian Information Service fees GIS had caused a stir in August against Facebook has had advanced to another coup succeeded, which is guaranteed to provide plenty of excitement.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Is Having Autism A Defense For Hacking?


In his new memoir released Thursday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sought to explain what he called "the hacker's disease": long hours in front of a computer fueled by intense focus, endless curiosity and meticulous attention to detail.
"I am – all hackers are, and I would argue all men are - a little bit autistic," Assange wrote, according to an excerpt from his autobiography, which was published without his consent.
For hackers who run afoul of the law, claiming to have a form of autism has become a popular defense. It has support from some autism experts who say people with the condition are often both computer-savvy and naive, and thus should receive special legal consideration. But others are skeptical of suspected hackers claiming to be autistic -- typically after they have been arrested -- and say the condition should not be an excuse for committing a crime.
In June, suspected hacker Ryan Cleary, who is alleged to be a leader of the hacker group LulzSec, was granted bail after he claimed he has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism characterized by social difficulties and obsessive or repetitive behavior. Adrian Lamo, who was arrested in 2003 for breaking into the network of The New York Times, was also diagnosed with Asperger's. So was Gary McKinnon, who has been fighting extradition to the United States since he was caught breaking into computer networks of NASA and the Pentagon in 2002 in what authorities called "the biggest military hack of all time."
Experts say the American legal system is just starting to look at whether people with autism who commit crimes should be viewed differently under the law. They note that Asperger's was not recognized as an official diagnosis until 1994 and that people with the condition suspected of committing crimes should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis like people with other disorders.
"Unfortunately law enforcement and the justice system do not have a grasp of this group yet," said Ruth Aspy, co-founder of the Ziggurat Group, a private practice in Plano, Texas, that specializes in autism assessment.
Experts say people with high-functioning forms of autism often spend long hours on computers as a way to reach out to the world and acquire information about a particular interest, a habit that can border on obsession. McKinnon, for example, claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs when he hacked into U.S. government computer networks. 

People with the condition often have a strong sense of right and wrong, autism experts say. But they could also become so obsessed with researching their interests that they do not stop to consider the legal ramifications of, say, breaking into a computer network. Or they may be too naive to realize that they're committing a crime.
"There are individuals with Asperger's syndrome whose only window into the social world is their computer screens, and they bring their naivety and gullibility to that medium," said Ami Klin, director of the Marcus Autism Center.
But as society has gained more awareness about autism, the term has been used too broadly to describe anyone who lacks social skills, said Rhea Paul, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center. People with the condition are often very literal-minded and have trouble being deceptive -- a trait that may not make for successful computer hackers, she said.

"It's understandable that someone accused of hacking might use that as a defense because they think they can get away with it," she said. "But I would personally be a bit skeptical of that claim."
McKinnon was diagnosed with Asperger's by Simon Baron-Cohen, one of the world’s leading experts in autism and director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Baron-Cohen has said McKinnon's Asperger's has given him "extreme difficulties with social awareness and empathy."
"In terms of criminal responsibility, it might be more appropriate that he be judged as having the mind of a child who inadvertently breaks a rule ... unaware of how his behaviour will be viewed by others," he wrote in a 2009 medical report, according to the Daily Mail.
McKinnon's extradition case, which is still pending, has become a human rights cause in Britain. There's a "Free Gary" website, and many British politicians and celebrities have argued against him being tried in the United States, including former U.K. prime minister Gordon Brown, pop star Sting and Pink Floyd member David Gilmour.
But while claiming to be autistic may generate sympathy from the public, it should not be an excuse for committing a crime, said E.J. Hilbert, a former FBI cyberinvestigator and president of the cybersecurity firm Online Intelligence.
"I know a number of hackers who are not autistic in any way shape or form," Hilbert said. "It does not discount the fact they're doing something illegal."
In some cases, the defense has garnered a measure of sympathy from a judge. In 2009, a Los Angeles hacker named Viachelav Berkovich, 34, received a reduced sentence for his role in a multimillion-dollar computer-fraud scheme after the judge considered he was diagnosed with Asperger’s.
But in other cases, the claim has not been effective. In 2009, an attorney for Albert Gonzalez, who pleaded guilty to one of the largest credit and debit card thefts in American history, asked a judge for a minimum sentence after a psychiatrist determined Gonzalez's criminal behavior was consistent with Asperger's disorder. The judge rejected his defense and sentenced Gonzalez to 20 years in prison. Lamo has even said his Asperger's diagnosis should not be seen as an excuse for his criminal behavior.
For his alleged crimes, McKinnon faces a stiff sentence -- up to 70 years in prison. If he is extradited to the United States, Baron-Cohen has said he fears McKinnon will commit suicide.
Other experts have similar concerns about incarcerating people with autism. They say they are particularly vulnerable to harm in prison because they have trouble picking up on body language and facial expressions of other inmates.
"They live in a naive world where they're isolated," said Pat Schissel, executive director of the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association. "Incarcerating them is a hundred fold worse."


Social media to curb 'rumors' in China


That was's message to millions of micro-bloggers recently, when China's leading content portal warned it will penalize users if they find them spreading false rumors on their Weibo account.

Weibo is Sina's Twitter-like social media service, 
which boasts of 200 million registered users

Don't post rumors -- or else.
That was's message to millions of micro-bloggers recently, when China's leading content portal warned it will penalize users if they find them spreading false rumors on their Weibo account.
Weibo is Sina's Twitter-like social media service, which boasts of 200 million registered users.
Speaking at the China Digital Media Summit recently,'s CEO Charles Chao pledged to curb irresponsible rumors. "Weibo is a microcosm of a big society and a society needs to be properly managed by regulations," he said.
Chao said Sina has been working to set up a "credibility system," which would rate Weibo posts. This, Chao said, will "spread the real valuable information and punish those who make up rumors." The punishment includes imposing a temporary freeze on Weibo accounts, from one week to one month.
Observers of China's new media industry say this is another attempt by Beijing to tighten the control of the internet.
Earlier this year, Chinese bloggers battled through targeted internet censorship in the wake of dissident artist Ai Weiwei's release after nearly three months in police custody.
On Weibo words with the slightest linkage to Ai were banned, including "release," "AWW" and "the fat guy." The phrase "love the future," which looks and sounds like his name in Mandarin, was also blocked.
"There has been government concern about the way the internet spreads information for years," says Beijing-based media observer Jeremy Goldkorn. "Sina, like all internet companies, has no choice but to work with the government, which is something they have always been good at doing."
In August, Sina sent out "notices" to all users citing reports circulating in cyberspace that were untrue. One claimed that the Red Cross Society has been selling blood to Chinese hospitals at 200 yuan per pack even though it had been donated for free.
Weibo also set up an account intended to refute malicious rumors circulating among netizens. In a public statement issued in early September, said Weibo Piyao would "ensure the authenticity" of information across the site.
"After the Wenzhou train accident, which saw a frenzy of angry posts on Weibo, the government wants internet companies to make sure that their websites do not pose any threat to social stability," said Goldkorn.
The high-speed train collision killed 39 people and sparked a massive outpouring of anger directed at officials for their handling of the crash. Much of that outrage played out on Weibo.
Weibo has long played host to fierce online debates about corruption and social injustice in China -- a delicate balancing act between meeting the expectations of a Web audience accustomed to speaking their minds and not offending the Chinese government to the point of a shut-down.
"Sina and other companies will have to regulate themselves and decide, in real time, what kinds of information to police," said Goldkorn.
But he said it is unclear what criteria would be used to identify the rumors to censor.
In a recent interview with CNN, the founder declined to offer specific numbers about how many Sina employees were managing and censoring Weibo content, but he conceded that "there are people working in terms of looking at the content itself and the message itself.
"There are a lot of rumors on the micro-blog itself, a lot of fraud on the micro-blog. There are a lot of things we need to take care of."
As if to reinforce that point, Beijing Communist Party chief Liu Qi recently visited Sina and, China's leading video sharing website. According to the Beijing Daily, he urged them to "firmly end fake and harmful information" and to use new technology to "solve problems of online video management."
He added: "Internet companies should work to get rid of damaging or untruthful information and help to create a healthy positive online environment."


The Starbucks Rant Song 


YouTube video goes Venti after singing Starbucks employee fired  

Christopher Cristwell, 25, pictured outside his former work place Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, is making national headlines after he posted a video of himself on YouTube singing about his job at the Starbucks in Chowchilla, Calif.

YouTube's latest rising viral star just lost his job. Christopher Cristwell, 25, is making national headlines after he posted a video of himself on YouTube singing about his job at the Chowchilla Starbucks.
In the video, he sings the song while playing guitar and wearing nothing but a green apron and his underwear: "It's just a cup of coffee / Give me a break / I shouldn't have to put up with this, making minimum wage."
Well, now he won't have to. 

He was fired Tuesday.
The video was picked up by a popular Starbucks blog last week, which quickly caught the attention of the corporate honchos. After several meetings with managers, he was sent packing.
"They were really cool about it. The regional manager complimented me on my creative ability — not on that specific song — and then asked me why I did it. They were really trying to find out about my intent behind the videos."
The intent, he says, was strictly satire. He said he never actually did any of the shortcuts he sings about, such as filling a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with whipped cream because most customers can't tell the difference. "I'm not trying to say it's a healthy song, but it's definitely satire," he said.
A few of the lyrics are scatological and possibly profane, but if the song were a movie, it would probably get a PG rating.
Starbucks released a statement through company spokesman Alan Hilowitz on Wednesday afternoon that said: "While Christopher was expressing his own views in the video, the disparaging remarks about our customers and company are unacceptable and out of line with our commitment to our customers and partners (employees)."
Cristwell got the idea for the song after one particularly stressful shift. He was searching YouTube for rants about Starbucks and found plenty of customer complaints — but none by employees. He uploaded the video in July with the hopes of causing a few laughs.
"I understand some people could get offended by some of the lyrics, and I don't want people to think they won't get quality beverages from Starbucks," he said. "But there are moments when you're working for Starbucks that it's so stressful; if you mess one drink up, it can back everything else up."
He hopes the video becomes a "teachable moment" for the company. "Starbucks should probably realize this is a mentality for many of their employees," he said.
At first the video got a few hundred views a day. Then a few thousand. It started going viral after it was posted to the front page of, a popular blog about the coffee chain. By Wednesday, it had more than 40,000 views and was featured on national news websites, including the Boston Herald and CNBC.
Cristwell, who was born in KeflavĂ­k, Iceland, but has lived in Chowchilla since he was a toddler, is studying to become an emergency medical technician — but he says he wouldn't mind if his life took another direction because of the video: "I really enjoy singing and songwriting. If it turns into something, that would be a dream job for me. I'll just take it as it goes, I'll roll with it."
But his more immediate interest is finding a new job. He was passing out resumes Wednesday afternoon. "I have bills to pay and I hope the video doesn't affect my ability to get hired. It's just a comedy song. I really am a good employee."
For someone who just got fired from the job he's held for five years, Cristwell comes off as confident, cool and collected — qualities that will no doubt ease his search for a new daily grind.


crazy monkey sexually assaulting a GOAT



SVP urges referendum over Zurich sex stalls


The Swiss People’s Party (SVP) is calling for a referendum to be held over the erection on the outskirts of Zurich of controversial new drive-in sex stalls for prostitutes and their clients.

The far-right party is one of a small minority of parties opposed to the construction of ten garage-like booths on derelict land in an industrial area in Alstetten to the west of the city. 
Last week, the city parliament voted 74 to 30 in favor of seeking a 2.4 million franc ($2.8m) loan to finance the scheme, which proponents argue will expedite the closure of the unpopular Sihlquai red light district in the city center. 
The so-called “performance stalls”, set to be kitted out with parking spaces and alarm buttons, will be the first of their kind in Switzerland if the project goes ahead.
But the SVP believes the plan is too expensive and has expressed doubts that the sex stalls would be accepted by punters or pimps, local party leader Mauro Tuenu told the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper.
If the SVP collects the 2,000 signatures needed to call a cantonal referendum, which it is confident of doing, then Zurich voters will be called on to decide whether or not the new red light district can go ahead.
The party has calculated that the sex stalls could devour 7 million francs ($7.8m) of taxpayers' money during the development's expected ten-year operational lifetime. 
Arguing against the project, SVP Alstetten councilor Ruth Anhorn said prostitution is a private business that should not be supported with taxes.
“It is about the oldest profession in society. The taxpayer should not co-finance a bordello,” she told the newspaper.
Police and social services have opposed the idea of a referendum, arguing that a popular vote would likely prolong the lifespan of the seedy Sihlquai kerb-crawling district by at least three more months.
Zurich residents will only be called to vote in early 2012,” said Reto Casanova from the city police department.
Zurich city council plans to open the new district in Spring 2012, while at the same time ending prostitution on the banks of the Sihl river in the city center.
Politicians, police, social workers and members of the public have all raised concerns about unregulated prostitution in the city center, which they say has led to sex trafficking, safety issues, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

 Previous story;


Vettel Triumph in Singapore: Only one item is missing from title


The coronation is postponed, but will almost certainly be done with in two weeks in Japan. Sebastian Vettel on Sunday and the formula- 1- Grand- Prix ​​dominated by Singapore.

The 24 - year-old German celebrated in the night race in convincing fashion, his ninth win of the season for Red Bull, his World Cup Party prevented the second-placed Jenson Button and McLaren, however, by one point.

Five races to go is Vettel's first and only remaining World Cup
Competitor 124 meters back. Thus satisfies the Saisondominator on 9 October in Japan a tenth place in order to defend his title from last year successfully. Even he needed only when all outstanding Button wins five races. "The cards are good that we have a chance in the next race for the title," Vettel had to recognize themselves.

For now, Vettel was pleased with his 19th Career victory, the first in Singapore. The pole
Man skipped out of the competition already in the initial phase. The same he did as a safety Car- Phase, which had a spectacular departure of world champion Michael Schumacher triggered shortly after half of the race. The Finish button was approached again because Vettel had backed off. The defending champion took 1.7 seconds on the line.

"Winning here is not easy. There is no room to make mistakes," said Vettel after the two-
Hourly Race on the street circuit in Marina Bay. "I sweated a lot, but our heads are still clear." With his ninth win of the season Vettel already equaled the third-best mark of all time. More races in one year only Schumacher won. He triumphed in 2002 and 2004, eleven times even 13 - times. "It takes a lot of things, so you can have such a good run," said Vettel.

Third place went to his red-
Bull Team-mate Webber, who had dropped back after a weak start in fourth place. Behind them followed Ferrari Star Fernando Alonso and McLaren's ex- World champion Lewis Hamilton. The trio is so well constructed without World Cup final Chance. "We're just not as fast as Red Bull," Button admitted as the only theory remaining World Cup Rival. "Second is thus currently the maximum."

Hamilton once again made his reputation as a "runway
Rowdy "credit. Victims of the Englishman, who had fallen behind Schumacher at the start was in eighth place, this time Felipe Massa. Hamilton drove the Ferrari Pilot during his comeback in the car, damaged his front wing and conceded also taking a drive through penalty. "He should use his brain," said Massa, who had already clashed with Hamilton after qualifying.

For the second scene caused much attention Schumacher, who rose through the rear of rookie Sergio Perez (10), but remained unharmed. Almost tore the old star also his Mercedes
With teammate Nico Rosberg, who finished behind Paul di Resta man sensation in the Force India at number seven. The Scot Paul Di Resta, in the meantime through pit stops, even in third, sixth, drove the best score of his young F1 A career.

Most wins in a season - Schumacher chases Vettel

Despite the postponed World Cup Title Party is formula- 1- World champion Sebastian Vettel continues to thrive. Presented with his ninth victory of the season 24 - year-old German on Sunday in Singapore is already the third-best mark of F1 History.
More races in a year has won only his compatriot Michael Schumacher. The world champion, who retired after a spectacular flight in Singapore triumphed in 2002 and 2004, eleven times as much as 13 - times. In the five-flyer lack can race could break the record yet Vettel.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange protests unauthorized publication of biography

WikiLeaks chief denies sex allegations in memoir

LONDON (AP) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says in a new memoir that he did not sexually assault two women who have accused him of rape, and he claims he was warned the U.S government was trying to entrap him.
"Julian Assange: The Unauthorized Autobiography" went on sale in Britain Thursday - against the wishes of Assange, who condemned his publisher for releasing it.
In the book - written by a ghostwriter who conducted 50 hours of interviews with the WikiLeaks chief - Assange says "I may be a chauvinist pig of some sort but I am no rapist."
He calls the rape allegations "ludicrous and sinister" and says his two accusers "each had sex with me willingly and were happy to hang out with me afterwards."
Assange, 40, claims a Western intelligence contact warned him that the American government, angered by WikiLeaks' release of secret documents, was considering dealing with him "illegally" through rigged drug or sex allegations.
But he also says the sex charges may be the result of "a terrible misunderstanding that was stoked up" between his accusers.
WikiLeaks and its silver-haired frontman shot to worldwide prominence with a series of spectacular leaks of secret U.S. material, including the publication of about 250,000 classified State Department cables.
Assange has also become enmeshed in financial and legal woes, including the allegations of rape and sexual misconduct made last year by two Swedish women.
Assange was arrested and briefly jailed over the allegations in Britain in December. He is currently out on bail and living at a supporter's mansion in eastern England as he awaits a judge's decision on whether he will be extradited to Sweden. A ruling is expected within weeks.
The book, for which Assange says he agreed to advances of more than $1 million, was intended to help salvage WikiLeaks' precarious finances.
But after seeing the first draft, Assange got cold feet. Attempts to renegotiate the book deal were unsuccessful.
Assange accused his British publisher, Canongate, of "opportunism and duplicity" for publishing the unfinished book without his approval.
In a statement released to The Associated Press, he said the publisher had acted "in breach of contract, in breach of confidence, in breach of my creative rights and in breach of personal assurances."
Canongate said that since Assange had not repaid his advance - which was handed over to lawyers to help pay his legal fees - it had decided to publish the book.
Assange's U.S. publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, said it had canceled its contract with Assange and would not be releasing the memoir.
Canongate said it used extensive secrecy measures, including encrypted laptops and a ban on Internet communication, to ensure the news did not leak. Retailers were only told about the book a day in advance, and Assange said he was unaware it was being published until Wednesday afternoon.
"We have had books delivered under a level of security before, but not to this height," said Jon Howells, spokesman for the Waterstone's book store chain. "In publishing terms this is real 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' stuff."
The book traces Assange's life from his Australian childhood as the son of roving puppeteers through his time as a teenage computer hacker to the founding of the secret-spilling website and its release of war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan and other secret documents.
It also recounts Assange's fallout with media partners including The Guardian and New York Times newspapers, which had helped edit and publish the site's trove of secret documents.
News York Times editor Bill Keller, Assange says, turned from "hungry collaborator to ungrateful avenger." The Guardian staff are described as "lily-livered gits hiding in their glass offices."
Assange notes angrily that WikiLeaks' former media partners "thought of us as a bunch of weird hackers and sexual delinquents."
The book includes an account of Assange's nine days in London's Wandsworth Prison in December, where he reads Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and muses about prison predecessor Oscar Wilde while enduring "a Kafkaesque miasma of passive aggression and hindrance."
Canongate publishing director Nick Davies defended the book as a "nuanced and balanced portrait" of a complex individual.
"He has been portrayed as this Bond villain or a character from a Stieg Larsson novel ... but what comes through here is this very human portrait of Julian, warts and all," he said.


Lloyd's insurer sues Saudi Arabia for 'funding 9/11 attacks'

A Lloyd's insurance syndicate has begun a landmark legal case against Saudi Arabia, accusing the kingdom of indirectly funding al-Qa'ida and demanding the repayment of £136m it paid out to victims of the 9/11 attacks.
The Brighton-based Lloyd's 3500 syndicate, which paid $215m compensation to companies and individuals involved, alleges that the oil-rich Middle Eastern superpower bears primary responsibility for the atrocity because al-Qa'ida was supported by banks and charities acting as "agents and alter egos" for the Saudi state.
The detailed case, which names a number of prominent Saudi charities and banks as well as a leading member of the al-Saud royal family, will cause embarrassment to the Saudi government, which has long denied claims that Osama bin Laden's organisation received official financial and practical support from his native country.
Outlined in a 156-page document filed in western Pennsylvania, where United Airlines flight 93 crashed on 9/11, the claim suggests that the nine defendants "knowingly" provided resources, including funding, to al-Qa'ida in the years before the attack and encouraged anti-Western sentiment which increased support for the terror group.
The legal claim states: "Absent the sponsorship of al-Qa'ida's material sponsors and supporters, including the defendants named therein, al-Qa'ida would not have possessed the capacity to conceive, plan and execute the 11 September attacks. The success of al-Qa'ida's agenda, including the 11 September attacks themselves, has been made possible by the lavish sponsorship al-Qa'ida has received from its material sponsors and supporters over more than a decade leading up to 11 September 2001."
The Lloyd's syndicate is known as a "run-off", meaning that it does not accept new premiums on the Lloyd's of London insurance market and instead deals with historic claims. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, its members settled a raft of multimillion-pound claims from affected businesses, including airlines, airports and security companies, as well as injured individuals and relatives of those killed.
Its complaint, which quotes heavily from US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks detailing investigations by the US authorities into al-Qa'ida, attempts to establish funding links between some Saudi charities, and the terror group, and implicate the Saudi government in that funding through its support of the charities.
The case singles out the activities of a charity, the Saudi Joint Relief Committee for Kosovo and Chechnya (SJRC), which was alleged by UN officials to have been used as a cover by several al-Qa'ida operatives, including two men who acted as directors of the charity. It is alleged that at the time the SJRC was under the control of Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, half-brother of King Abdullah and the long-standing Saudi Interior minister. The claim states: "Between 1998 and 2000, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the SJRC, diverted more than $74m to al-Qa'ida members and loyalists affiliated with SJRC bureaus. Throughout this time, the Committee was under the supervision and control of Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz."
The Saudi embassies in London and Washington did not respond to requests from The Independent for a response to the allegations in the claim. The 9/11 Commission, America's official report on the attacks, found that there was no evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi officials individually funded al-Qa'ida.
Diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks showed that American officials remained concerned that the Saudi authorities were not doing enough to stop money being passed to the terror group by Saudi citizens. 



Penis enlargement operations on the rise


Doctors say increasing numbers of German men are paying for surgery to their genitals, surprising even plastic surgeons with their demand for enlargement operations.

“Penis enlargements are now in seventh place among aesthetic surgery procedures for men,” said Sven von Saldern, the president of the German Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. “That surprised even us.”

Yet he was at pains to emphasis that the operation increases size but does not necessarily improve function. “It is a purely aesthetic procedure,” he said.

The most popular procedure for men remains
liposuction, he said, referring to a survey of 1,100 plastic surgery patients.

Although genital operations have not yet reached the top ten among German women, demand has been increasing among them too, von Saldern said.

“It must have something to do with the trend toward intimate shaving,” he said, although he said that in contrast to the men, women often opt for surgery to correct functional problems rather than for aesthetic reasons.

“For men, there is only the desire for more volume,” he said. “It’s an especially sensitive subject because high expectations may not always be fulfilled.”

Botox injections to remove wrinkles remain popular among both sexes, and while men have a particular interest in liposuction to make them thinner, women are also still plumping for breast enlargement operations.

But though cosmetic procedures can make people feel more confident, they also carry risks.

Penis enlargement surgeries – which may involve the injection of silicone into the penis and scrotum or the cutting of ligaments – can result in impotence and nerve damage.

Vaginoplasty, in which a women’s vaginal region is reconstructed, carries risks of bleeding, infection and scarring.

Reliable numbers on the number of
cosmetic surgeries done each year in Germany are not available and von Saldern said the number of patients fluctuates from year to year.