TheGift73 writes with a link to (and this excerpt from the beginning of) a brief description at TorrentFreak of recently signed agreements between the U.S. and Australia: "Figures.... File-sharing was firmly on the agenda when the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security touched down in the Australian capital last week. The four new agreements – promptly signed before Secretary Janet Napolitano flew back out of Canberra – were less about sharing season two of Game of Thrones and more about sharing the private, government held information of Australian citizens with U.S. authorities."
First time accepted submitter wokie78 writes "The PlanetSolar, a Swiss solar powered catamaran, has just arrived to Monaco (French original), its initial port of departure, after finishing its voyage around the world which it started in September 2010. Its five-member crew completed a 60,006 km trip fully powered by 537 square meters of solar panels, which produced from 500 to 600 kw/h in fair weather — which meant it could go for 300 km on a single charge. Everything on the boat was solar powered."
longacre writes "Suzy Harriston wanted to be friends on Facebook. The profile said she was from Clayton [Missouri] and had more than 300 friends, many of them from Clayton High School. No one seemed to question who Harriston was. That is, until the night of April 5, when a 2011 grad and former Clayton quarterback posted a public accusation. '"Whoever is friends with Suzy Harriston on Facebook needs to drop them. It is the Clayton Principal," wrote Chase Haslett.' Suzy Harriston quickly disappeared from Facebook, and Louise Losos, the principal, subsequently took a leave of absence, and then resigned."
AmiMoJo writes "Japan's last active reactor is shutting down today, leaving the country without nuclear energy for the first time since 1970. All 50 commercial reactors in the country are now offline. 19 have completed stress tests but there is little prospect of them being restarted due to heavy opposition from local governments. Meanwhile activists in Tokyo celebrated the shutdown and asked the government to admit that nuclear power was no longer needed in Japan and to concentrate on safety. If this summer turns out to be as hot as 2010 some areas could be asked to make 15% power savings to avoid shortages, while other areas will be unaffected due to savings already made."
choongiri writes "Canada's election fraud scandal continues to unfold. Elections Canada just matched the IP address used to set up thousands of voter suppression robocalls to one used by a Conservative Party operative, and a comparison of call records found a perfect match between the illegal calls, and records of non-supporters in the Conservative Party's CIMS voter tracking database, as well as evidence access logs may have been tampered with. Meanwhile, legal challenges to election results are underway in seven ridings, and an online petition calling for an independent public inquiry into the crisis has amassed over 44,000 signatures. The Conservative Party still maintains their innocence, calling it a baseless smear campaign."
skipkent writes "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared global warming a national security threat [Wednesday] during a speech before an environmentalist group in Washington, D.C. 'The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security,' Panetta told the Environmental Defense Fund last night. 'Rising sea levels, severe droughts, the melting of the polar caps, the more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.'"
yyzmcleod writes with this excerpt: "A research team at Queen's University has created a human-scale 3D hologram pod that allows people in different locations to videoconference as if they are standing in front of each other. Called TeleHuman, the technology is the creation of professor Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab, and his graduate team at the Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Similar to the Star Trek holodeck, participants can walk around the 3D hologram of the remote person they're talking to and view them from all sides. More importantly, the system captures 3D visual cues that 2D video miss, such as head orientation, gaze and overall body posture."
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft researchers have analyzed a new piece of Mac malware that uses a multi-stage attack similar to typical Windows malware infection routines. In a post titled 'An interesting case of Mac OSX malware' the Microsoft Malware Protection Center closed with this statement: 'In conclusion, we can see that Mac OSX is not safe from malware. Statistically speaking, as this operating system gains in consumer usage, attacks on the platform will increase. Exploiting Mac OSX is not much different from other operating systems. Even though Mac OSX has introduced many mitigation technologies to reduce risk, your protection against security vulnerabilities has a direct correlation with updating installed applications.'"
daria42 writes "Looks like Apple isn't the only company with interesting offshore taxation practices. The financial statements for Google's Australian subsidiary show the company told the Australian Government it made just $200 million in revenue in 2011 in Australia, despite local industry estimating it actually brought in closer to $1 billion. The rest was funnelled through Google's Irish subsidiary and not disclosed in Australia. Consequently the company only disclosed taxation costs in Australia of $74,000. Not bad work if you can get it — which Google apparently can."
jjslash writes "It has been six years in the making, with the original goal of the project intending to reignite computer programming in schools across the country. Despite those honorable intentions, the $35 ARM-based credit-card sized computer has captured the imagination of programmers, consumers and tinkerers alike, resulting in unprecedented demand for the product. Last month the first 10,000 credit-card sized computers were set to make their way to those who pre-ordered them back in February. TechSpot takes a look at the Pi Model B, covering the basic steps for setting up the computer, as well as basic post-installation tasks those first using it might encounter."
suraj.sun writes "Bloomberg is reporting on Google's negotiation with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over 'how big a fine, which could amount to more than $10 million, it will have to pay for its breach of Apple's Safari browser. The fine would be the first by the FTC for a violation of Internet privacy as the agency steps up enforcement of the Web.' Last year, Google agreed to a settlement in which the FTC would monitor Google's privacy practices for an extended period of time. 'The 20-year settlement bars Google from misrepresenting how it handles user information and requires the company to follow policies that protect consumer data in new products.' This February, Google was found to be bypassing privacy controls in Safari by making the browser think a user was submitting a form, when they actually weren't. '(The code used by Google was part of its program to place the "+1" button in advertisements.) At the time, the company issued a statement saying that the circumvention wasn't intentional, but privacy groups were still quick to file complaints with the FTC over Google's actions. That was quickly followed by a class-action lawsuit and an investigation by European regulators.'"
Overly Critical Guy writes "British Prime Minister David Cameron will announce network-filtering plans targeted at porn websites, possibly requiring users to 'opt-in' with their ISP to access such content. The idea has support from MP Claire Perry, who said, 'There is a "hands off our internet" movement that sees any change in how access is delivered as censorship.'"
An anonymous reader sends this followup to news we discussed in 2009 of a CERN physicist who was arrested for allegedly being in contact with al-Qaeda. The physicist, Adlene Hicheur, has now been sentenced to five years in prison. "He came under suspicion when threatening messages were sent to President Sarkozy in early 2008. The security services uncovered a series of email exchanges between Hicheur and an alleged al-Qaeda member called Mustapha Debchi. After his arrest in 2009 police found a large quantity of Islamist literature at his parents' home. At the start of his trial the 35-year-old scientist admitted that he had been going through a psychologically 'turbulent' time in his life when he wrote the emails. He had suffered a serious back injury, for which he had been taking morphine. But he always denied he intended to carry out any attacks."
suraj.sun quotes from Politico: "Rand Paul has a reform plan for the Transportation Security Administration: Scrap the whole thing. A personal message from Paul (R-Ky.) came atop emails this week from the Campaign for Liberty Vice President Matt Hawes, asking for readers to sign a petition in support of Paul's 'End the TSA' bill. A Paul spokeswoman said that legislation is being finalized next week. 'Every inch of our person has become fair game for government thugs posing as "security" as we travel around the country. Senator Rand Paul has a plan to do away with the TSA for good, but he needs our help,' reads the petition, which also asks signers to 'chip in a contribution to help C4L mobilize liberty activists across America to turn the heat up on Congress and end the TSA's abuse of our rights.' 'The American people shouldn't be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane. As you may have heard, I have some personal experience with this, and I've vowed to lead the charge to fight back,' Paul wrote at the top of a C4L fundraising pitch, according to blogs that received the email. 'Campaign for Liberty is leading the fight to pressure Congress to act now and restore our liberty. It's time to END the TSA and get the government's hands back to only stealing our wallets instead of groping toddlers and grandmothers.'"
An anonymous reader writes "You may already know that Microsoft plans to sell Windows Media Center as a separate, paid pack, but now the company has revealed that Windows 8 will also stop default support for DVD playback. You'll only be able to play DVDs and Blu-rays if you upgrade to the Media Center pack. 'Acquiring either the Windows 8 Media Center Pack or the Windows 8 Pro Pack gives you Media Center, including DVD playback (in Media Center, not in Media Player), broadcast TV recording and playback (DBV-T/S, ISDB-S/T, DMBH, and ATSC), and VOB file playback. Pricing for these Packs, as well as retail versions of Windows 8, will be announced closer to the release date. To give you some indication of Media Center Pack pricing, it will be in line with marginal costs.'" In a comment, Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky elaborates: "(marginal is small, honest, and we just haven't determined the final prices yet based on ongoing work but we are aiming for single digit dollars but we don't control the truly marginal costs). We wanted to include Media Player for everyone without everyone incurring the cost even if they don't even have an optical drive."