Wikileaks-The Leak That Can’t Be Shut

“There are hundreds of mirrors of WikiLeaks now,” he said. “It’s a test for Internet censorship. Can governments take something off the Net? I think not. There are copies of the website everywhere.”

GENEVA – WikiLeaks’ elusive founder, his options dwindling, has turned to Switzerland’s credit, postal and Internet infrastructure to keep his online trove of U.S. State Department cables afloat.

Supporters say Julian Assange is considering seeking asylum in Switzerland. He told a Spanish newspaper that he faced “hundreds of death threats,” including some targeting his lawyers and children, aside from the pressure he is getting from prosecutors in the U.S. and other countries.

After a number of web companies dropped WikiLeaks, much of the site’s traffic was coming through the wikileaks.ch Web address Sunday. The address is controlled by the Swiss Pirate Party, a group that formed two years ago to campaign for freedom of information. The site’s main server in France went offline but it remained reachable through a Swedish server.

The site showed Assange had begun seeking donations to an account under his name through the Swiss postal system in Bern, the Swiss capital, while also using a Swiss-Icelandic credit card processing center and other accounts in Iceland and Germany. He lost a major source of revenue when the online payment service provider PayPal cut off the WikiLeaks account over the weekend.

Assange has been widely praised and criticized. Supporters view him as a savior of the media and free speech; critics vilify him for brazenly unleashing diplomatic secrets, as well as for earlier leaks involving the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called Assange “a high-tech terrorist.” He told NBC’s “Meet the Press” he hopes Assange will be prosecuted for the “enormous damage” the disclosures have done to the country and to its relationship with its allies.

via Yahoo

It’s Your Lucky Day

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Three teens who have been missing in the South Pacific for 50 days — and were already eulogized in a memorial service — have been found alive by a New Zealand fishing boat.

The boys — two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old — disappeared while attempting to row between two islands in the New Zealand territory of Tokelau in early October and were given up for dead after an extensive search involving New Zealand’s air force.

Their craft had drifted 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) to a desolate part of the Pacific northeast of Fiji, when the crew of a tuna boat saw them frantically waving for help on Wednesday afternoon.

“All they could say was `thank you very much for stopping,'” Tai Fredricsen, first mate of the San Nikuna, said.

“In a physical sense, they look very physically depleted, but mentally … very high,” told New Zealand’s National Radio on Thursday.

The boys, Samuel Pelesa and Filo Filo, both 15, and Edward Nasau, 14, will be taken to a hospital in the Fiji capital of Suva on Friday.

via Yahoo

Have You Lost Your Soul?

Last night in front of an audience of hundreds at a presentation at the University of Southern California, TV personality Bill Nye — popularly known as the “Science Guy” — collapsed midsentence as he walked toward a podium. Early indications are that Nye is OK, but what’s odd about the incident isn’t so much Nye’s  slight health setback as the crowd’s reaction. Or, more precisely, its nonreaction, according to several accounts.

It appears that the students in attendance, rather than getting up from their seats to rush to Nye’s aid, instead pulled out their mobile devices to post information about Nye’s loss of consciousness.

Alastair Fairbanks, a USC senior in attendance for Nye’s presentation, told the Los Angeles Times that “nobody went to his aid at the very beginning when he first collapsed — that just perplexed me beyond reason.” The student added, “Instead, I saw students texting and updating their Twitter statuses. It was just all a very bizarre evening.”

[Rewind: Joe Biden’s quick response to onstage fainting]

Indeed, a cursory search on Twitter revealed a virtual play-by-play account of the incident. One student wrote, “Bill Nye tripped on his computer cord while speaking at USC, was out for abt 5 secs, got back up, spoke w/ slurred speech and fainted.”

via Yahoo

I think it’s obvious that people are completely desensitized now. How did it happen? Media. Let’s look at the bigger picture. You can still break free from the illusion.

Flier Refuses Body Scan

 – What happens if you refuse both a full-body scan and the alternative grabby pat-down the Transportation Safety Administration demands? One libertarian blogger trying to fly through San Diego was not only barred from boarding his flight, he was threatened with a civil suit and a $10,000 fine, Gawker reports. The blogger, “Johnny Edge,” says he was pulled out of line and asked to go through a backscatter X-ray machine. He refused and was told he’d therefore have to be patted down, to which he replied, “if you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.”

He was informed that the patdown did involve “running hands up the inside of my legs until they felt my groin.” He offered to go through the metal detectors and stressed to TSA officials that the airport wasn’t listed as one using Advanced Imaging Technology. Things got messy, with several agents, a security manager, and a supervisor arriving on the scene. After eventually being barred from the flight, getting a refund on his ticket, and leaving the secure area, he says officials tried to stop him from leaving the airport and told him he “could be sued civilly and face a $10,000 fine and that my cooperation could help mitigate the penalties I was facing.” Click here for his full story, and here for another airport mess … involving a three-year-old.

via Newser

Virtual Real Estate: A Cool Half-Million

Think the rent is, in fact, too damn high? Then stay as far away from online world Entropia Universe as possible, because its real estate prices will drive you insane.

Take, for instance, what just went down on Planet Calypso, where one of Entropia’s wealthier players has sold off his interests in a “resort asteroid” for an eye-popping $635,000.

The seller is Jon Jacobs, also known as the character ‘Neverdie’. He originally purchased the asteroid in 2005 — eventually converting it into the extravagant resort ‘Club Neverdie’ — for the then-record price of $100,000. For those keeping score, that’s a gain of over $500,000 in just five years. In nerdier terms, that’s an ROI of 535%. Match that, Citibank.

via Yahoo

For Employees: Facebook = Free Speech

A federal agency has declared Facebook posts are legally protected speech, even for employees who write negative things about their employers.

In a lawsuit that probably won’t sit well with most employers trying to enforce social media policies, the National Labor Relations Board said that a recent Facebook()-related termination was unlawful.

The employee in question, Dawnmarie Souza, used some vulgar language to deride her boss on Facebook when he denied one of her requests. Several of Souza’s co-workers joined in on the thread, also making negative comments about the supervisor. Souza made these comments on her own time and on her own computer.

An NLRB representative told The New York Times that company social media policies that prohibit making negative remarks about one’s boss or company online are actually in violation of labor laws that protect employees’ right to talk about things like wages and working conditions.

via Mashable

Alert: Unknown Missile Launch (Update)

Surely by now you’ve heard about the “mystery missile” that darted across the Southern California sky. Military officials and other federal authorities don’t appear to have a clue as to what the flying object could have been. But some outside experts have a simple explanation for the uproar: What appeared to be a projectile spreading across the sky in the video was simply a contrail, the plume of smoke that airplanes typically leave in their wake.

(UPDATE: The Pentagon is now also saying that it was a plane.)

“This thing is so obviously an airplane contrail, and yet apparently all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t find someone to stand up and say it,” John Pike, a defense and aerospace expert, told the Washington Post’s John Pomfret. Pike noted that the projectile was moving much slower than a missile would, adding that “there’s a reason that they’re called rockets.”

via Yahoo

Oh, of course. It was a plane. Nothing to see here, move along…