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Moon landing anniversary: 10 reasons the Apollo landings were ‘faked’

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 16, 2009

THE TELEGRAPH

Below is a list of ten of the most popular reasons given by conspiracy theorists who believe the Apollo Moon landings that began 40 years ago were faked.

Moon landing anniversary: 10 reasons the Apollo landings were 'faked'

Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969 Photo: AP

1) When the astronauts are putting up the American flag it waves. There is no wind on the Moon.

2) No stars are visible in the pictures taken by theApollo astronauts from the surface of the Moon.

3) No blast crater is visible in the pictures taken of the lunar landing module.

4) The landing module weighs 17 tons and yet sits on top of the sand making no impression. Next to it astronauts’ footprints can be seen in the sand.

5) The footprints in the fine lunar dust, with no moisture or atmosphere or strong gravity, are unexpectedly well preserved, as if made in wet sand.

6) When the landing module takes off from the Moon’s surface there is no visible flame from the rocket.

7) If you speed up the film of the astronauts walking on the Moon’s surface they look like they were filmed on Earth and slowed down.

8) The astronauts could not have survived the trip because of exposure to radiation from the Van Allen radiation belt.

9) The rocks brought back from the Moon are identical to rocks collected by scientific expeditions to Antarctica.

10) All six Moon landings happened during the Nixon administration. No other national leader has claimed to have landed astronauts on the Moon, despite 40 years of rapid technological development.

What do you think? Were the Moon landings faked? What evidence is there to support or defend your view?

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China: Filtering Software Challenges Computer Industry

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 21, 2009

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

Technology Companies Should Resist Censorship Attempts

The government’s order to install censorship software represents a grave threat to freedom of expression in China. The Green Dam technology highlights Beijing’s ongoing efforts to intensify its chokehold on Chinese citizens’ internet access and the need for computer software and hardware firms to resist complicity in those efforts.

Arvind Ganesan, Business and Human Rights Pogram director

(New York) – The computer industry should make it clear to the Chinese government that it will not cooperate in efforts to curtail access to information on the internet through government-mandated or provided filtering software such as the “Green Dam Youth Escort” program, Human Rights Watch said today.

Despite domestic and international criticism, the Chinese government has apparently not reversed its initial demand that companies pre-install Green Dam on all personal computers by July 1. This week, a Washington-based group representing leading information technology companies issued a brief statement urging the Chinese government to “reconsider implementing its new mandatory filtering software requirement,” but to date has received no response indicating the new requirement would be rescinded.

“The government’s order to install censorship software represents a grave threat to freedom of expression in China,” said Arvind Ganesan, Business and Human Rights Program director at Human Rights Watch. “The Green Dam technology highlights Beijing’s ongoing efforts to intensify its chokehold on Chinese citizens’ internet access and the need for computer software and hardware firms to resist complicity in those efforts.”

Green Dam is ostensibly designed to filter out pornography and other “unhealthy information” from the internet, but reportedly is also programmed to censor content ranging from political information to websites catering to the needs of China’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Green Dam is not transparent and does not facilitate users choosing which sites or terms to block or allow. Numerous commercial parental-control software packages are already widely available in China, including products sold by Microsoft.

Human Rights Watch said that instead of providing the promised protections, the Green Dam software could instead pose a serious new threat to free expression if industry leaders do not actively oppose any new efforts by the Chinese government to reintroduce mandatory pre-installation of Green Dam or other filtering software in the future. In addition to the censorship threat, the software could further intrude on user privacy, undermine user choice, and have the potential to make multinational companies complicit in those efforts.

According to the Open Net Initiative and other research institutions, Green Dam has serious security vulnerabilities that leave users vulnerable to hacking and could ultimately allow the government to track users’ browsing habits and communications. While the Chinese government has recently announced that it would issue security patches to fix some flaws in the software, it is not a sufficient step to address all the problems that the software creates for human rights.

“The controversy over Green Dam is just the latest attempt to make computer, software and internet companies complicit in China’s attempts to censor the internet,” said Ganesan. “It is critical for the industry to draw a line and make it clear to the government that it won’t sacrifice ethical principles and international human rights standards for profit.”  

In a letter to major computer makers, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo, Human Rights Watch expressed concern about the May 19 directive, “Notification Regarding Requirements for Pre-Installing Green Filtering Software on Computers,” and its human rights implications for companies in China and abroad.

Human Rights Watch called on the computer industry to address in a systematic manner the problems posed by the Green Dam directive in China and other efforts to curtail online freedoms in other countries. A meaningful next step is to adopt and implement robust policies and procedures to safeguard human rights, such as those promoted by the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder effort created in 2008 to protect freedom of expression and privacy online.

“This episode shows how vital it is for the technology industry to stand together on principle, implement standards to protect human rights, and oppose government requirements that could force them to aid censorship in China,” said Ganesan.

The Chinese government has already developed the world’s most advanced system of internet censorship and surveillance, known as the “great firewall.” Chinese citizens who post content considered by the government to be “sensitive” on overseas websites are liable to severe official reprisals. For example, the journalist Shi Tao is serving a 10-year sentence for “divulging state secrets abroad” after he was arrested in November 2004 for posting notes from a directive issued by China’s Publicity Department (formerly known as the Propaganda Department) on how to handle the 15th anniversary of the 1989 military crackdown in Tiananmen Square. Shi’s conviction followed Yahoo!’s disclosure of his identity to Chinese security officials.

According to an analysis of Green Dam 3.17 by the Open Net Initiative, the software sets its defaults at a high level of filtering and presents difficulties in customizing. The default setting does not just block sites, but kills all applications running on the computer. The software auto-update function can add new sites and terms to block, and could potentially be used to enable the software to monitor users.

“When the government mandates software that blocks political and religious sites and hampers user choice, it is not providing a service but a government censor by proxy,” Ganesan said.

Has Malaysia lost the battle to become a developed nation and entered the cycle to become a failed state?

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 3, 2009

LIM KIT SIANG

The collapse of the roof of the RM300 million 50,000-capacity Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak within a year of completion provoked disbelief, shock and outrage with a whole spectrum of unflattering comments and reactions.

One reaction is that the shocking collapse of the RM300 million stadium within a year of completion is a disaster waiting to happen. An engineer, A. Mohamed who often jogged in the area, has told the media that he had noticed that the space frame which held the roof was getting bent out of shape but his efforts to warn government agencies and the media of the stadium defects were ignored.

Another is that the collapse is the inevitable consequence of a system which gives premium to “know who” than “know how”, the curse of Umno cronyism hiding under the guise of New Economic Policy. Will the Umno cronies responsible for the infamous collapse of the RM300 million stadium roof within a year of completion be exposed and fully penalized?

I was told this morning that the collapse of the Gong Badak Stadium symbolizes the collapse of the “1Malaysia” slogan of Datuk Seri Najib Razak marking his second month as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Another opined that it marked the fulfilment of the most famous Malaysian political prophecy, RAHMAN, with Najib as the last Umno Prime Minister.

From the larger national macro perspective, the collapse of the roof of the RM300 million stadium within a year of its completion is the latest warning of the serious and quite terminal breakdown of standards and benchmarks of excellence with the consequence that far from realizing Vision 2020 and becoming a developed nation, Malaysia risks entering the cycle of being a failed state.

There is no shortage of such shocking examples in recent months, viz:

  • The collapse of the five-storey portion of the Jaya supermarket in Petaling Jaya during demolition work, killing seven, when in developed countries the implosion of skyscrapers without mishap has become a routine.
  • The Universiti Sains Malaysia Apex University fiasco where 4,574 university students suffered emotional havoc when they were told that they had been mistakenly informed that they had been successful in their applications for admission;
  • Universal broadband complaints, such as the complaint in Penang since last evening of sheer inability to access Internet even when trebly insured, having Streamyx, Maxis 3G and Celcom 3G.
  • Ah Longs having parallel system of underground IGP, CPOs, OCPDs and prisons, with endemic crime and police inability to ensure that Malaysians, tourists and investors are safe in the streets, public places and the privacy of their homes.

The list can go on. As if these signs are not bad enough, Kuala Lumpur has been named No. 4 as the riskiest locations in the world for outsourcing by the “Black Book of Outsourcing”. in a survey of 50 international locations. Singapore tops the list of the world’s safest location in the world for outsourcing.

On “Personal Crime Rate & Police-to-citizen ratio”, Kuala Lumpur is ranked the fourth worst of 50 locations while Singapore is ranked the top best!

Cabinet and Parliament must focus on the issue whether Malaysia has lost the battle to become a developed nation and has entered the cycle to become a failed state under Najib as Prime Minister.

Britain sold weapons to help Sri Lankan army defeat Tamil Tigers

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 2, 2009

TIMES ONLINE

Britain and other EU countries sold military equipment worth millions of pounds to the Sri Lankan Government in the last three years of its bloody civil war with the Tamil Tigers, The Times has learnt.

Britain approved commercial sales of more than £13.6 million of equipment including armoured vehicles, machinegun components and semiautomatic pistols, according to official records.

Slovakia provided 10,000 rockets worth £1.1 million, while Bulgaria approved sales of guns and ammunition worth £1.75 million, according to EU documents and officials.

It is impossible to verify whether all the approved sales were delivered as the governments involved do not publish those details. Only Slovakia has confirmed delivery of the rockets.

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The approval of the sales still raises the question of whether weapons from the EU were used in the last five months of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, during which UN officials estimate that 20,000 civilians were killed.

“I think we need answers about what these were used for,” said Mike Gapes, a Labour MP who chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee and is a member of the Committee on Arms Export Controls.

The sales were cleared despite the 1998 EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, which restricts transfers to countries facing internal conflicts or with poor human rights records and a history of violating international law.

They were approved while the EU called for peace talks in Sri Lanka, saying that it did not support a military solution, and expressing concerns about human rights abuses after the collapse of a 2002 ceasefire.

The US also sold Sri Lanka millions of pounds of military equipment in 2006-07 but suspended all military aid and sales early last year because of concerns about alleged rights abuses.

British MPs and MEPs, as well as activists against the arms trade, said that the EU should have done the same as early as 2006, when the ceasefire began to unravel.

“The EU had an obligation not to supply these things,” said Malcolm Bruce, a Liberal Democrat MP who visited Sri Lanka last month. “There were too many unanswered questions. With hindsight, Britain’s sales did violate the EU code of conduct.”

John Battle, a Labour MP, former Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister and now a member of the Committee on Arms Export Controls, said: “We should have been sharper off the mark and so should the EU.”

He called for an immediate suspension of EU arms sales to Sri Lanka until it lifted all restrictions on journalists and aid workers.

Several MPs and MEPs also called for the EU code of conduct, which became legally binding on December 8, to be strengthened to ensure consistency and transparency across the 27 member states.

The code says: “Member states will not allow exports which would provoke or prolong armed conflicts.” It also says that member states should “not issue an export licence if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression”.

Until December 8, however, it was up to member states to decide whether the criteria applied to any given arms sale.

Slovakia said that its rocket deal was justified because there was no UN arms embargo on Sri Lanka, the island had a right to defend itself and the Tigers were banned in the EU as a terrorist organisation.

Britain disputed Slovakia’s position at the time but approved its own arms sales out of concern that countries, such as China, would take its place.

Arms deals

Arms sales approved by the British Government include:

2008 £4 million of equipment including military sonar detection items and components; components for aircraft military communications equipment and military communications equipment

2007 £1 million of equipment including ejector seats, grenades, ground vehicle military communications equipment, military parachutes

2006 £8.6 million of equipment including 50 semi-automatic pistols, components for combat aircraft, military aircraft communications equipment, armoured all-wheel-drive vehicles, components for general purpose and heavy machineguns, small arms ammunition

Source: Times research

North Korea ‘planning to launch long range rocket’

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 1, 2009

THE  TIMES ONLINE

Richard Lloyd Parry in Seoul

The United States insisted that it would not tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea, as reports suggested that the isolated regime was planning to launch another long-range rocket capable of striking the US.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted unnamed intelligence sources saying that a missile-like object has been spotted on satellite photographs being removed from a missile factory near the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.

Similar reports in February were followed two months later by the launch of a long-range rocket which was fired into the Pacific, drawing condemnation from governments around the world and the censure of the UN Security Council.

An even stronger protest from the UN is expected this week in response to North Korea’s underground test of a nuclear weapon last Monday, followed by a spate of short range missile tests.

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On Saturday, the US defence secretary, Robert Gates, told an audience in Singapore that the US will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state, although he gave no concrete details of how the Obama administration intended to prevent this.

“I think that the combination of their progress in developing nuclear technology, and their progress in developing multistage long-range missiles, is a harbinger of a dark future,” he said.

“What is now central to multilateral efforts … is to try to peacefully stop those programs before they do in fact become a ’clear and present danger’.”

He said that the transfer of North Korean nuclear technology to foreign countries or terrorist groups would be regarded as a “grave threat”, and that there would be no reward for threats.

“We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state,” he said. “Everyone … is familiar with the tactics that the North Koreans use. They create a crisis and the rest of us pay a price to return to the status quo ante. As the expression goes in the United States, ’I am tired of buying the same horse twice.’”

But if Pyongyang is already rolling out a new long range rocket, it confirms the growing conviction among North Korea-watchers in Seoul that, rather than tactical provocations intended to compel the attention of a new US government, its recent actions are part of an accelerated drive to perfect a strategic nuclear deterrent.

“In the past, these kind of actions have been separated by a few months, and so the US has time to react and respond,” says Choi Jin Wook, of the Korea Institute for National Unification. “But this time they are playing all their cards at once. It suggests that something new is taking place.”

North Korea insisted that the long range rocket which it fired in April was the vehicle for a communications satellite. But the US, South Korea and Japan say that it also has the potential to carry a missile warhead across the Pacific, potentially putting Alaska and Hawaii within range.

The Yonhap source said that the process of preparing and fuelling the rocket could be completed in as little as two weeks, with the projectile ready to go up in mid-June at around the time of a planned summit meeting between President Obama and the South Korean president, Lee Myung Bak.

China on the rise once more across the East

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on May 26, 2009

Telegraph.co.uk

If any more evidence of China’s steady ascent towards Asian regional dominance was needed, the climax of Sri Lanka’s war has provided the proof.

By David Blair, Diplomatic Editor

Hambantota: China on the rise once more across the East

Hambantota Chinese construction workers bore a hole in the harbor bed at the construction site of the new Hambantota harbor Photo: AP

An ally of Beijing has fought a bitterly controversial conflict to a final victory, while shrugging off international protests along the way. India, the other Asian giant, is only 50 miles from Sri Lanka across the waters of the Palk Straits, yet it has been shown to have far less influence on its neighbour than China.

Through a combination of strategic investments in seaports and pipelines, along with direct financial and military support for friendly governments, China is building a web of influence across South Asia. Many of Beijing’s immensely ambitious projects are years away from fruition, yet the repercussions of these ventures are already being felt.

 In Sri Lanka, Beijing began constructing a port in Hambantota in 2007 and the scheme is scheduled for completion in 2022. This forms the basis of China’s alliance with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government and helps explain the diplomatic support Beijing gave Sri Lanka during the war against the Tamil Tigers.

The official line is that Hambantota is only a “commercial” trading venture and the facility will handle civilian shipping and nothing else. “Any attempt to distort the facts would be invalid,” said Ma Zhaoxu, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.

But the appearance of a new Chinese port on Sri Lanka’s southern coast would allow Beijing the option of using the facility as a naval base in the future. Other projects under way at strategic points across the Indian Ocean raise the same possibility.

China is building another port at Gwadar on the Pakistani coast and at Kyauk Phyu on Burma’s island of Ramree. Taken together, these and other facilities may allow China to extend its growing naval strength well beyond its traditional coastal waters and into the Indian Ocean. It would mark a crucial stage in the country’s rise to become Asia’s hegemonic power.

“China is marching towards regional dominance and that brings it into conflict with India on one flank and Japan on the other,” said Kerry Brown, a senior fellow at the Asian programme of the Chatham House think tank. “It will at some point become much more active as a military power in the region.”

China’s ambitions are of deep concern to its Asian rivals, especially India which shares a 2,100-mile disputed border with its neighbour. Countries as far away as Australia have also shown they are worried. Kevin Rudd’s government in Canberra is hugely expanding the Australian navy with the unspoken aim of balancing China’s growing strength.

These fears may, however, be exaggerated. China is bidding to become Asia’s foremost power, but not a global behemoth to rival the United States. Moreover, all the evidence suggests that its prime aim is securing its economic growth and domestic stability.

“The Chinese are not seeking conflict. They are seeking a stable international environment within which they can continue their economic development,” said Mr Brown. “The key imperative is to preserve internal security within China.”

There is no sign of China becoming an overtly threatening, expansionist power. Far from having designs on other countries’ territory, China has resolved all border disputes with 12 of its 14 neighbours. In the case of Russia, where the People’s Liberation Army fought bloody frontier skirmishes in the 1960s, and Vietnam, where Chinese forces waged a full scale border war in 1979, Beijing chose to make big concessions and give away large areas it had previously claimed.

If a future Chinese government decides to use the string of new ports as naval bases, this does not necessarily mean Beijing is out to intimidate its neighbours and overawe the region.

Instead, China’s economy is largely dependent on energy supplies brought from the Middle East and Africa along vital Indian Ocean shipping lanes. Guaranteeing the safety of these arteries is an understandable aim and does not, of itself, show an aggressive intention.

In particular, China imports about 80 per cent of its oil through the Strait of Malacca, where the Indian Ocean joins the Pacific. President Hu Jintao has called this dependence the “Malacca Dilemma” and China’s naval planning seems geared towards ensuring this passage remains open, while developing alternative routes where possible.

Whatever the motives behind the inexorable extension of China’s influence in Asia, however, the balance of global power has already changed dramatically.

Crooks Trick Your Caller ID for Identity Theft

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on April 14, 2009

ABC News

Many of us rely on caller ID to screen our calls and protect our privacy, but maybe you shouldn’t trust that little digital display. It turns out that when you pick up the phone, you can’t always believe your eyes — or ears.

caller id phone scam

Every year, millions of Americans fall victim to phishing scams over the phone and online. By posing… Expand

(ABC News/Getty)

Why? Because of a technological trick called “Caller ID Spoofing” that allows callers to change the name and number that come up on the display when they call someone.

It used to take sophisticated technology and expertise to “spoof” a number, but commercial spoofing services have brought the trick to the masses. Now, for as little as $10 an hour, customers can dial into a spoofing service that gives them the ability to change the number they appear to be calling from.

Spoofing services even offer you the ability to disguise your voice. A man can choose to sound like a woman, and vice versa.

 

Lancaster, Pa., Gets Spoofed

Crooks using their own spoofing equipment recently contacted hundreds of Lancaster, Pa., residents — including Gail Gray, the mayor’s wife. They pretended to be with a local bank and asked for sensitive account details.

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Malaysia has potential to become major agrobio player

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on April 1, 2009

Businesss Times

MALAYSIA should focus on growing agriculture-based technologies to achieve the biotech industry’s dream of contributing 5 per cent of the country’s economy, said a biotech industry player.

“I don’t think we can become big pharmaceutical players overnight …, but we can easily become a major agrobio player due to the natural resources we have in Malaysia.”

“This crisis may be an excellent opportunity to rethink the whole approach on biotech,” Holista Biotech Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Dr M Rajendran said.

He said despite being a strong agro-based country, Malaysia has more biotech companies involved in the healthcare sector than in agriculture.

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Experts: Britain may be at mercy of Chinese technology

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on March 31, 2009

The Malaysian Insider

LONDON, March 30 – China has the ability to shut down Britain’s vital services, including food or power supplies, because its companies are involved in upgrading telecommunications systems, according to intelligence officials.

Ministers have been warned that a new £10bn communications network being developed by BT is vulnerable to a potential attack from within the Communist state because it uses equipment supplied by Chinese telecoms firm Huawei.

Although the risk of anyone in China exploiting the capability is currently low, intelligence experts believe the impact of any such attack would be very high. Computers at the Foreign Office and other Whitehall departments were attacked from China in 2007 and the threat from foreign governments and big companies is believed to be greater than that posed by terrorists.

Alex Allan, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), it thought to have briefed members of the ministerial committee on national security about the threat from China at a Whitehall meeting in January. Ministers were told steps to curb the potential threat have made little difference.

Huawei is China’s biggest phone company and a major world supplier. Under a multi-million pound deal signed in 2005, it is providing key components for BT’s new 21CN network which will use internet technology to speed up communications on behalf of thousands of public agencies and businesses.

Among those who will be relying on the new network are the government’s own intelligence agency GCHQ, Whitehall departments and the military.

BT would not comment on the issue and a Cabinet Office spokesman would only say the that government was working on ways to improve the security of Britain’s key systems. Huawei, whose UK division is based in Basingstoke, Hants, was unavailable for comment.

Ministers have been reluctant to replace Huawei with a British supplier, citing the cost and the government’s policy on competitive tendering for contracts.

The Whitehall meeting heard that Huawei components that form key parts of BT’s new network might already contain malicious elements that could be activated by China and which could “remotely disrupt or even permanently disable the network”, according to a report. Such action would have a “significant impact on critical services” such as power and water supplies, food distribution, the financial system and transport, which were dependent on computers using the communications network to operate.

An attempt by Huawei to merge with United States company 3Com, which provides computer security systems for the Pentagon, was blocked last year after US intelligence officials warned that it would not be in national security interests. The Pentagon is reported to believe Huawei is a key part of the potential threat from China and has close ties with the People’s Liberation Army.

However, a telecom industry source said: “There must be millions of systems containing Chinese technology all over the world the BT network wouldn’t be more or less vulnerable than any other.” – Daily Telegraph

 

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