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Attention, hackers: Uncle Sam wants you

Posted By Andrea Shea King On 08/08/2011 @ 6:10 pm In Diversions | Comments Disabled

Wanted: hackers. Preferably those with experience in penetration, a knack for locating security weaknesses and ability to harden networks. Requirements: Must be drug free, be able to pass a lie-detector test and enjoy geeky cyber puzzle making and solving. Benefits include dazzling technology, personal satisfaction of fighting – and winning – cyberwars, a shoeless dress code, geek environment and never having to bring work home. Interested hackers may apply to the National Security Agency. Applications available at Defcon Annual Hacker Convention in Las Vegas.

Could this hacker have future with federal intel agencies?

We’ve been reporting for the past few weeks about the hacking group LulzSec and its computer hacking of Sony Corp, financial institutions and various government sites.

So now, in the “It was just a matter of time” department, one of the Lulz Security hackers has been caught. The captured British teen awaiting trial is not allowed to use the Internet, must wear an electronic tag, observe an overnight curfew and live at home with his mum.

LulzSec is a spin-off from a collection of Internet hackers calling themselves Anonymous. We previously reported that the FBI, the Brits and the Dutch had already made 21 arrests. No doubt more to come. A farm team for the NSA?

This hacker-enabler probably won’t be available for work for a while

News Corp.’s defunct News of the World’s 71-year-old former managing editor Stuart Kuttner was released on bail following his arrest on conspiring to intercept hacked phone messages and paying off police for insider scoops. Recently returned from the U.S. for medical treatment, Kuttner is reported to be in ill health. He was implicated in the scandal through allegations made by Rebekkah Brooks, the former News of the World editor and ex-News International chief executive who is facing the same charges. I bet Kuttner appreciated it when she told authorities it was the managing editor’s responsibility to make the payments.

Congress turned to social media during debt crisis negotiations

Taking a page from the Casey Anthony trial jury consultants, members of Congress turned to social media to present their case. Whether it’s to rally support or get feedback, Congress is fast becoming an Internet trend setter in using Facebook and Twitter to get the job done.

“Over the past week, our team has seen a marked increase in the number of members of Congress speaking directly to constituents through their official Facebook pages,” said Andrew Noyes, manager of public policy communications for Facebook, in an interview with CNN.

Did it help? One thing is for sure. It allows elected politicians to communicate directly with constituents.

“They [lawmakers] aren’t letting the dialogue be created by someone else. They’re creating the dialogue,” said Brad Fitch, president of the Congressional Management Foundation. “And they are very excited about avoiding the pesky media.”

Smart phone data hogs to be throttled by AT&T

Are you downloading full length movies, videos or music files onto your tablet or smart phone? Are you streaming remote camera feed for hours at a time? If you’re using AT&T, you will soon find your broadband usage temporarily slowed down, and with your next bill, you’ll be offered a tiered payment plan.

AT&T will begin “reducing data throughput speed”, or “throttling” back the top 5 percent of its data consumers as of Oct. 1.

“These customers can still use unlimited data, and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle,” AT&T said. “Before you are affected, we will provide multiple notices, including a grace period. This change will never impact the vast majority of our customers, and is designed to create a better service experience for all.”

AT&T explained: “There will be no changes for the vast majority of customers. It’s not how much time you spend using your device, it’s what you do with it. You can send or receive thousands of emails, surf thousands of Web pages and watch hours of streaming video every month and not be in the top 5 percent of data users.

“Typically what puts someone in the top 5 percent is streaming very large amounts of video and music daily over the wireless network, not Wi-Fi,” the company clarified.

T-Mobile and Verizon customers are already on a similar payment schedule. Sprint is now the only major U.S. carrier still offering unlimited and unthrottled data.

New generation iPhone rumored for release very soon

Apple’s latest iPhone is rumored to be coming out this fall. And it has tech publications buzzing. Rumored to be thinner, have a larger screen, a better camera, dual-core processor, a tapered shape, and a digital wallet functionality, tech writers and consumers are waiting with rapt anticipation the next iteration of Apple’s darling.

Apple sold a record 20.3 million iPhones, a nearly 150-percent increase over the same quarter a year earlier, and almost 2 million more than the previous quarter.

Fair to say the iPhone (and iPad) are consumers’ most coveted items? Apple is valued by the stock market at nearly $348 billion, closing in on ExxonMobil, the last remaining firm with a higher market value, at $414 billion.

Hey kids! What would you like to do next on the Internet?

In what has been described by one reporter as “one of the cutest studies ever,” a international research and consulting company called Latitude has spent the last year asking more than 200 kids under 12 years of age, “What would you like your computer or the Internet to do that it can’t do right now?”

Their answers might predict where this “digital generation” will take the Internet in the future. Check out these drawings of the future by some children living around the world.

Babies leapfrogging into the future

In a related story, children under the age of 10 and as young as babies can now play with their own computer tablets. LeapFrog, a company that produces educational toys for tots, and Vinci have come out with touch pad tablets.

LeapFrog’s new LeapPad is a 5-inch tablet designed with 4- to 9-year-olds in mind, and comes with a built-in camera and a library of 100+ games and activities. Priced at $99, pre-orders are already sold out!

The Vinci, targeted for babies through toddler age, is a 7-inch Android-based touch-screen suspended in a soft-cornered case easy for little hands to grasp. It comes with an interactive storybook, game and music videos. Parents can add apps, like a 3-megapixel camera, as the child progresses in his technology learning curve! The Vinci sells for $389.

Neither tablet has Wi-Fi functionality.

It’s the BookieMonster!

Here’s software that teaches you how to read. It’s “BookieMonster,” software that acts as a reading coach. Simple idea using technology to teach.

Teachers, students can’t be Facebook friends, Missouri law says

In the classroom? Totally appropriate. But on Facebook? Not so much. The state of Missouri has passed a law prohibiting teachers from fraternizing with students on social media, making it illegal for students and teachers to be friends online.

Part of the bill reads: “Teachers cannot establish, maintain or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child’s legal custodian, physical custodian or legal guardian. Teachers also cannot have a non-work-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.”

It’s the law.

Will mobile make us more? Developer thinks so

Smarter, healthier and more efficient. That’s what at least one tech financial expert says the mobile computing revolution will make us. Here’s a fascinating interview with Chi-Hua Chien of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who focuses on investments in the iFund (mobile applications), consumer Internet and digital media infrastructure.

Miss the Twin Towers? iPhone app will return them through “Augmented Reality”

Are you among the many who see the Manhattan skyline and still feel that something is missing? With the 10th anniversary of the attack on America to be observed next month, an iPhone app has been developed by New Yorker Brian August that will resurrect the 110-story twin towers of the World Trade Center, at least in the virtual world.

The “Augmented Reality” app would orient the viewer towards the site of the World Trade Center, then augment the view with a silhouette of the Twin Towers or shafts of light when “viewed” at night. Viewers can then snap a picture and post it online with comments.

Read what Brian August has written about this project.

Where’s that coming from?

I operate with several tabs open at any given time. I’ll be working or reading something and all of a sudden I’m jarred by the unexpected sound of chatter or music emanating from my computer. What the heck?

It’s a mad scramble to open various tabs in an effort to track the culprit. Evidently I’m not the only one bothered by unexpected and unwanted audio. Someone has figured out how to fix it. But you have to be in the Chrome browser to access the feature. It’s called Mute Tab, a Chrome extension. All the details are here.

The time capsule

1945 – Japan hit with second atomic blast; Nagasaki destroyed

1961 – Berliners wake to divided city after Soviet crackdown

1966 – China moves forward with “Cultural Revolution”

1969 – Actress Sharon Tate, four friends found murdered

1974 – Nixon announces his resignation as 37th President of the United States

1974 – Gerald Ford sworn in as the 38th President of the United States

Now playing at the Princess Theater in Urbana, Ill.

Congratulations to WND readers Barb Henry of Huachuca City, Ariz., and Karl W. Randolph of San Francisco, Calif., who correctly guessed actress Marilyn Monroe in her portrayal of the character Roslyn Taber in the 1961 film “The Misfits.”

Directed by John Huston, and starring Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift, the film depicted a sexy divorcée who fell in love with an aging cowboy during the early-60s Reno, Nevada. This was the final film for Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, who both died shortly after filming it. Gable died of a heart attack, and Monroe died of an alleged drug overdose a year later.

The quote was: “We’re all dying, aren’t we? We’re not teaching each other what we really know, are we?”

This week’s quote: “I want three stories. The first, if we succeed. The second, if we fail. The third, if we disintegrate.”

Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Please be sure to add your town and state. Good luck!


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