Monthly Archives: April 2011

Wi-Fi privacy dangers

Lying on his family room floor with assault weapons trained on him, shouts of “pedophile!” and “pornographer!” stinging like his fresh cuts and bruises, the Buffalo homeowner didn’t need long to figure out the reason for the early morning wake-up call from a swarm of federal agents.

That new wireless router. He’d gotten fed up trying to set a password. Someone must have used his Internet connection, he thought.

“We know who you are! You downloaded thousands of images at 11:30 last night,” the man’s lawyer, Barry Covert, recounted the agents saying. They referred to a screen name, “Doldrum.”

“No, I didn’t,” he insisted. “Somebody else could have but I didn’t do anything like that.”

“You’re a creep … just admit it,” they said.

via NY case underscores Wi-Fi privacy dangers – Yahoo! News.

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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in technology, think


Is Three Cups of Tea Writer Greg Mortenson a Fraud

A bombshell 60 Minutes report has left the writer’s Three Cups of Tea memoir—which earned him millions and made him a humanitarian folk hero—in tatters. 

When 60 Minutes was finished with superstar philanthropist and U.S. military adviser Greg Mortenson on Sunday night, the author of Three Cups of Tea—a 2006 bestselling memoir of adventures and good works in Afghanistan and Pakistan—was in a million little pieces.

Notably false, Kroft reported, were Mortenson’s heartwarming tale of how the simple mountain villagers in Korphe, Pakistan, saved his life after he got lost during a perilous descent of K2, the world’s second highest peak; how he repaid their kindness by returning to build them a school; and how he was subsequently kidnapped for eight days by the Taliban.

“It’s a beautiful story, and it’s a lie,” best-selling author Jon Krakauer, a former friend and financial supporter of Mortenson’s, told 60 Minutes, which offered strong evidence that Mortenson was never lost or separated from fellow mountain climbers during his 1993 descent, that he never visited or even heard of Korphe until a year afterward, and that the men he identified as Taliban kidnappers were actually his tour guides.

via Is Three Cups of Tea Writer Greg Mortenson a Fraud? – Yahoo! News.

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Posted by on April 23, 2011 in education, humanity, money


Vasa maiden journey

Vasa (or Wasa) was a Swedish warship that was built from 1626 to 1628. The ship foundered and sank after sailing less than a nautical mile (ca 2 km) into her maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. Vasa fell into obscurity after most of her valuable bronze cannons were salvaged in the 17th century. She was located again in the late 1950s, in a busy shipping lane just outside the Stockholm harbor. She was salvaged with a largely intact hull on 24 April 1961. She was housed in a temporary museum called Wasavarvet (“The Wasa Shipyard”) until 1987, and was then moved to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. The ship is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions and has since 1961 attracted more than 28 million visitors.

via Vasa (ship) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in education, think


The dark side of Dubai

Thirty years ago, almost all of contemporary Dubai was desert, inhabited only by cactuses and tumbleweed and scorpions. But downtown there are traces of the town that once was, buried amidst the metal and glass. In the dusty fort of the Dubai Museum, a sanitised version of this story is told.

In the mid-18th century, a small village was built here, in the lower Persian Gulf, where people would dive for pearls off the coast. It soon began to accumulate a cosmopolitan population washing up from Persia, the Indian subcontinent, and other Arab countries, all hoping to make their fortune. They named it after a local locust, the daba, who consumed everything before it. The town was soon seized by the gunships of the British Empire, who held it by the throat as late as 1971. As they scuttled away, Dubai decided to ally with the six surrounding states

via The dark side of Dubai – Johann Hari, Commentators – The Independent.

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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in economy, humanity, immigration, money, think


U.S. credit rating

S &P, which assigns ratings to guide investors on the risks involved in buying debt instruments, slapped a negative outlook on the country’s top-notch credit rating and said there’s at least a one-in-three chance that it could eventually cut it.

A downgrade, which would leave Germany and France with a higher rating, would erode the status of the United States as the world’s most powerful economy and the dollar’s role as the dominant global currency.

via S&P threatens to cut U.S. credit rating on deficit – Yahoo! News.

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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in banks, economy, investing, money, think


Obama tax return

President Barack Obama is making less money than he used to, though it’s still a lot: He and wife Michelle reported income of $1.73 million last year, mostly from the books he’s written, according to his just-filed tax return. That was down from the $5.5 million of a year earlier.

via Obama’s tax return: Income down — to $1.7 million – Yahoo! News.

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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in money, politics, taxes


A Golden Tipping Point: University of Texas Takes Delivery Of $1 Billion In Physical Gold | zero hedge

“The University of Texas Investment Management Co., the second-largest U.S. academic endowment, took delivery of almost $1 billion in gold bullion and is storing the bars in a New York vault, according to the fund’s board.”

via A Golden Tipping Point: University of Texas Takes Delivery Of $1 Billion In Physical Gold | zero hedge.

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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in economy, gold, money, trends

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