Daily Archives: July 27, 2016

MH370 Pilot Flew a Suicide Route on His Home Simulator Closely Matching Final Flight

MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah.

New York has obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances. The revelation, which Malaysia withheld from a lengthy public report on the investigation, is the strongest evidence yet that Zaharie made off with the plane in a premeditated act of mass murder-suicide.

The document presents the findings of the Malaysian police’s investigation into Zaharie. It reveals that after the plane disappeared in March of 2014, Malaysia turned over to the FBI hard drives that Zaharie used to record sessions on an elaborate home-built flight simulator. The FBI was able to recover six deleted data points that had been stored by the Microsoft Flight Simulator X program in the weeks before MH370 disappeared, according to the document. Each point records the airplane’s altitude, speed, direction of flight, and other key parameters at a given moment. The document reads, in part:

Based on the Forensics Analysis conducted on the 5 HDDs obtained from the Flight Simulator from MH370 Pilot’s house, we found a flight path, that lead to the Southern Indian Ocean, among the numerous other flight paths charted on the Flight Simulator, that could be of interest, as contained in Table 2.

Taken together, these points show a flight that departs Kuala Lumpur, heads northwest over the Malacca Strait, then turns left and heads south over the Indian Ocean, continuing until fuel exhaustion over an empty stretch of sea.

Search officials believe MH370 followed a similar route, based on signals the plane transmitted to a satellite after ceasing communications and turning off course. The actual and the simulated flights were not identical, though, with the simulated endpoint some 900 miles from the remote patch of southern ocean area where officials believe the plane went down. Based on the data in the document, here’s a map of the simulated flight compared to the route searchers believe the lost airliner followed:

MH370’s presumed flight path is in yellow. Zaharie’s simulated suicide flight is in red.

Rumors have long circulated that the FBI had discovered such evidence, but Malaysian officials made no mention of the find in the otherwise detailed report into the investigation, “Factual Information,” that was released on the first anniversary of the disappearance.

The credibility of the rumors was further undermined by the fact that many media accounts mentioned “a small runway on an unnamed island in the far southern Indian Ocean,” of which there are none.

continue http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/mh370-pilot-flew-suicide-route-on-home-simulator.html

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Robomintoner Badminton Bot To Defeat Amateur Humans


continue https://hackaday.com/2016/07/21/robomintoner-badminton-bot-to-defeat-amateur-humans/

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Monkeys Raid Polling Place, Tear Up Voter Lists

A Japanese macaque (or so called Snow Monkey) takes a rest on rocks near a hot spring at a valley in Yamanouchi town, Nagano prefecture, Japan, November 30, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino  - RTX1WGZP

A Japanese macaque (or so called Snow Monkey) takes a rest on rocks near a hot spring at a valley in Yamanouchi town, Nagano prefecture, Japan, November 30, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino – RTX1WGZP

Election officials in northern Thailand think they can buy off a gang of monkey vandals with fresh fruit and vegetables, after about 100 macaques tore up voter lists publicly posted ahead of next month’s referendum on a proposed constitution.

Phichit election official Prayoon Jakkraphatcharakul said if feeding the monkeys did not deter them, then newly installed sliding glass doors might – if they don’t figure out how to open them.

continue http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/07/27/band-monkeys-raid-thai-polling-place-tear-up-voter-lists.html

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WASHINGTON: #HIPAA The federal patient privacy law has not kept pace with tech.

WASHINGTON: #HIPAA The federal patient privacy law has not kept pace with wearable fitness trackers, mobile health apps and online patient communities, leaving a gaping hole in regulations that needs to be filled, according to a much-delayed government report released recently – @AceNewsServices

The federal patient privacy law known as HIPAA has not kept pace with wearable fitness trackers, mobile health apps and online patient communities, leaving a gaping hole in regulations that needs to be filled, according to a much-delayed government report released.

The report, which was supposed to be complete in 2010, does not include specific recommendations for fixing the problem, even though Congress asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide them.

HHS’ findings largely mirror those in a ProPublica story from last November. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the landmark 1996 patient-privacy law, only covers patient information kept by health providers, insurers and data clearinghouses, as well as their business partners. Falling outside the law’s purview: wearables like Fitbit that measure steps and sleep, at-home paternity tests, social media sites, and online repositories where individuals can store their health records.

Health privacy and security law experts have a reasonably clear idea of where HIPAA protections end, but the layperson likely does not,” said the report written by HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, in conjunction with other agencies. “Moreover, even entrepreneurs, particularly those outside the health care industry … may not have a clear understanding of where HIPAA oversight begins and ends.”

continue https://tinyurl.com/h5thdzg

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The Rise And Fall (And Rise Again) Of Frances Farmer

The life of actress Frances Farmer has been subject to dramatic fictionalization. But the truth of her life is much darker.

Frances Farmer

In 1935, Seattle native Frances Farmer made an incredibly consequential decision: The 22-year-old moved to New York, where she hoped to launch her theater career. While more interested in stage acting, Farmer ended up signing a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures, and from 1936 to 1958 appeared in 15 films alongside stars like Bing Crosby and Cary Grant.

She still wanted to be taken seriously as an actress, however, and thus traveled to upstate New York to participate in summer stock, where she caught the attention of playwright and director Clifford Odets.

He offered her a part in his play, Golden Boy. Reviewers on the play’s national tour praised Farmer, and she continued to work in the theater, spending only a few months out of the year in Los Angeles making movies.

Things Fall Apart

In 1942, however, Farmer’s life began to fall apart. In June, she and her first husband divorced. Next, after refusing to take a role in Take A Letter, Darling, Paramount suspended her contract. On October 19, Farmer was arrested for driving drunk with the car’s headlights on during a wartime blackout.

Police fined Farmer $500, and the judge forbade her from drinking. But Farmer still hadn’t paid the rest of her fine by 1943, and on January 6, a judge issued a warrant for her arrest. On January 14, police tracked her down at the Knickerbocker Hotel — where she had been sleeping naked and drunk — and forced her to surrender to police custody.

According to the Evening Independent, Farmer admitted she had been drinking “everything I could get my hands on, including Benzedrine.” The judge sentenced her to 180 days in jail.

Newspapers captured the gritty details of Farmer’s violent behavior. Wrote the Independent: She “floored a matron, bruised an officer, and suffered some rufflement on her own part,” when police refused to let her use a telephone after her sentencing. Matrons then had to remove Farmer’s shoes as they carried her off to her cell, to prevent injury as she kicked them.

Farmer’s sister-in-law, who was present at the sentencing, decided that committing Farmer to a psychiatric hospital would be preferable to imprisonment. Thus Farmer was transferred to California’s Kimball Sanitarium, where she spent nine months.

Farmer’s mother, Lillian, then traveled to Los Angeles, where a judge awarded her guardianship over Farmer. The two returned to Seattle. Things didn’t get much better for Farmer: On March 24, 1944, Lillian had her daughter committed yet again, this time to Western State Hospital. Farmer was released three months later, supposedly cured.

Her freedom was short lived. Farmer’s mother sent her back to the hospital in May 1945, and though she was paroled briefly in 1946, Farmer would remain institutionalized at Western State Hospital for almost five more years.

It was Farmer’s time here — and author William Arnold’s 1978 book on it, Shadowland — that contributed most to her enduring legacy, however factually flawed. In the book, which Arnold claimed was a biography, he writes that Western State doctors performed a lobotomy on Farmer.

But in a 1983 court case over copyright infringement related to the book’s film adaptation, Arnold admitted that he made the story up, and the presiding judge ruled that “portions of the book were fabricated by Arnold from whole cloth despite the subsequent release of the book as nonfiction.”

But the damage was done. Frances, the film adaptation starring Jessica Lange, included Farmer’s lobotomy. Fiction, for all intents and purposes, became fact.

continue http://all-that-is-interesting.com/frances-farmer-lobotomy-true-story

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The Jihadists’ Digital Toolbox: How ISIS Keeps Quiet on the Web

As the world dives deeper into the digital age, jihadist groups like ISIS and the Taliban have taken increasingly diverse measures to secure their communications and espouse their actions and ideas across the planet.

Propaganda has been a key measure of any jihadist group’s legitimacy since at least 2001, when al-Qaeda operative Adam Yahiye Gadahn established the media house As-Sahab, which was intended to spread the group’s message to a regional audience throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Over the years, jihadist propaganda has taken a broader and more sophisticated tone. Al-Qaeda published the first issue of its digital newsmagazine, Inspire, in June of 2010. Inspire was aimed at an explicitly Western audience, and intended to call to jihad the would-be mujahideen throughout Europe and the United States.

When ISIS first took hold in Iraq and Syria, and formally declared its caliphate in the summer of 2014, the group capitalized on the groundwork laid by its predecessors and established an expansive, highly sophisticated media network to espouse its ideology. The group established local wilayat (provincial) media hubs, and members of its civil service distributed weekly newsletters, pamphlets, and magazines to citizens living under its caliphate. Billboards were posted in major cities under its control, including in Raqqah and Mosul; FM band radio broadcasts across 13 of its provinces were set up to deliver a variety of content, from fatwas and sharia lessons to daily news, poetry, and nasheeds; and Al-Hayat Media Center distributed its digital newsmagazine, Dabiq, in over a dozen languages to followers across the world.


As the group expanded its operational capacity and declared new wilayat throughout the Middle East and South Asia, secure communications became an increasingly valued necessity. Secure messenger apps like Telegram were widely reported to be used for communication and coordination, both among ISIS fighters and the fanboys who have taken to task the mission of propagating their message. But ISIS has also embraced numerous other methods of keeping its communications secure, and hidden from the prying eyes of intelligence agencies seeking to snoop on its web traffic.

Secure Browsers

According to deep web intelligence and cybersecurity firm Flashpoint, which conducted extensive analysis on “the jihadists‘ digital toolbox”, militants have been evaluating secure browsers for use in disseminating propaganda and communicating via email since May of 2007.

During the summer of 2008, Tor’s popularity grew sharply within jihadist Deep and Dark Web forums. This time frame also marks the inception of the first proprietary jihadist encryption tool, Asrar Al-Mujahideen. Shortly thereafter, a top jihadist web forum was abuzz with deeper discussions of encryption, privacy, and naturally ― Tor. In particular, one forum member distributed guidelines describing Tor’s implications and best practices for jihadists.

The guidelines suggested that jihadists download the Tor browser on a portable flash drive, for use at internet cafes and across multiple computers – a method also embraced by journalists and activists who seek to hide their online actions.

While Tor remains the dominant browser for use among jihadists, ISIS has also taken to using the free VPN service built into Opera, a popular alternative web browser marketed to internet users for its slew of privacy and security tools. In April of 2016, an ISIS member posted on a web forum with detailed instructions for mujahideen to use the browser and hide their digital footprint.

continue https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2016/07/22/the-jihadists-digital-toolbox-how-isis-keeps-quiet-on-the-web/

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US Navy Accused of Pirating $600M Worth of Software

Bitmanagement Software

Germany-based Bitmanagement Software has sued the US Navy for nearly $600 million for copying “hundreds of thousands” of pieces of content in its 3D modeling software BS Contact Geo.

The suit, filed in the US Court of Federal Claims and reported by The Register, says Bitmanagement inked a deal with the Navy in 2011. During a pilot, Bitmanagement installed 38 copies of its software on Navy computers. By 2013, Bitmanagement says it was in negotiations with the Navy to expand its use of the software, so it disabled copy-protection to allow the Navy to use the software as it wished.

However, the lawsuit claims that the negotiations ultimately went nowhere and additional licenses were not purchased. But the Navy deployed the software to nearly 560,000 government computers in violation of the company’s licensing policies; it only paid for 38.

continue http://www.pcmag.com/news/346290/us-navy-accused-of-pirating-600m-worth-of-software

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