The stories of the men who flew to the moon (Blog Post)

 

I just watched this film, and it was brilliant. Two big thumbs up!

A not very active scene group COALiTiON released a fairly interesting documentary In The Shadow Of The Moon. This could be a nice download for people interested in space exploration, as it offers stories of Apollo 11 astronauts on their way to the Moon. Few black and white scenes in this screener.

Between 1968 and 1972, nine American spacecraft voyaged to the Moon, and 12 men walked upon its surface. They remain the only human beings to have stood on another world. IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON brings together for the first, and possibly the last, time surviving crew members from every single Apollo mission that flew to the Moon, and allows them to tell their story in their own words. This riveting first-hand testimony is interwoven with visually stunning archival material which has been re-mastered from the original NASA film footage – much of it never used before. The result is an intimate epic that vividly communicates the daring, the danger, the pride, and the promise of this extraordinary era in history when the whole world literally looked up at America.

In.The.Shadow.Of.The.Moon.LIMITED.DVDSCR.XVID-COALiTiON

1 CD, 700 MB, coalition-itsotm.dvdscr.xvid
sample #1, #2, #3
IMDB (8.6), trailer, nfo, torrent soon

http://www.videosift.com/video/In-The-Shadow-Of-The-Moon-Documentary-Full-Film

Mozilla rolls out Firefox 3.0 Beta 1 (Blog Post)

Mozilla Corp. lat Monday released the first beta of Firefox 3.0, but continued to warn most users to stick with production Version 2.0. “We do not recommend that anyone other than developers and testers download the Firefox 3 Beta 1 milestone release,” Mike Beltzner, Mozilla’s interface designer, said in a note posted to the company’s development center. “It is intended for testing purposes only.” But while the official word was for users to stand clear, Beltzner’s personal recommendation was a lot less intimidating. “It’s a preview release, so use with caution and don’t expect your add-ons to work without some magic; but between you and me, I’ve been running on this ‘developer preview’ for at least three months, and have never looked back,” he said in a post to his own blog.

Beltzner also touted several of the improvements in Firefox 3.0, including new security features and tools, a redesign of the bookmarking and browser history and numerous back-end platform enhancements, but he said they all require more testing and user feedback. The company has posted a more complete list of new features in the release notes it added to its Web site Monday. On the security side, Firefox 3.0 adds malware check, a phishing filter-like feature that warns users attempting to reach a URL blacklisted for suspected malicious code hosting; one-click site information that displays site ownership; fixes for vulnerabilities in plug-in updating; and integration with antivirus software and Windows Vista’s parental control settings.

Mozilla also claimed that it has fixed more than 300 individual memory leaks and added a new cycle collector to eliminate other memory issues. Firefox has a reputation for leaking memory consuming large quantities the longer it’s left running, and ultimate slowing down its host computer although some of its developers have contested the claims, and even pegged the problem as one of perception. Most current Firefox plug-ins Mozilla calls them extensions will not work with Firefox 3.0, a stumbling block for some who might otherwise want to test the preview. “Users of the latest released version of Firefox should not expect their add-ons to work properly with this beta,” the beta’s release notes read. Firefox 3.0 Beta 1 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux in 21 language versions from Mozilla’s site.

Source: Wired, NY Times

For the fans of Bill Maher (Blog Post)

A popular stand-up comedian Bill Maher goes beyond borders of his own show and releases his own film called “The Decider”. You can expect the exactly same kind of political humour, only with little more adult language and even more evil comments. Released on 1 CD with 2 channel AC3 audio.

Comedian, writer and politically incorrect HBO talk-show host Bill Maher takes time off from his regular hosting duties to perform a hilariously scathing stand-up set in this comedy special. Airing live from the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, this one-hour special features Maher’s acerbic takes on a wide range of social and political issues, including the follies and foibles perpetrated on America by President George W. Bush.

Bill.Maher.The.Decider.DVDRip.XviD-DIMENSION

1 Cd, 700 MB, the.decider.dvdrip-dimension
60 min, 1427 kbps, 640 x 352, AC3 192 kbps
IMDB (7.5), Amazon, nfo, torrent


New MSN trojan spreading quickly (Blog Post)


Disturbing news appeared few hours ago at eWeek: A new Trojan is introducing malware into thousands of computer systems worldwide, and the number is growing by the hour. The malware is being introduced by MSN Messenger files posing as pictures, mostly seeming to come from known acquaintances. The files are a new type of Trojan that has snared several thousand PCs for a bot network within hours of its launch earlier on Nov. 18 and is being used to discover virtual PCs as a means of increasing its growth vector.

The Trojan is an IRC bot that’s spreading through MSN Messenger by sending itself in a .zip file with two names. One of the names includes the word “pics” as a double extension executable—a name generally used by scanners and digital cameras: for example, DSC00432.jpg.exe. The Trojan is also contained in a .zip file with the name “images” as a .pif executable—for example, IMG34814.pif. The files are infiltrating new systems by using either known contacts from which the Trojan has harvested instant messaging names, as well as from the systems of unknown users. Doublecheck every file you receive through your MSN or your computer could easily end up as a zombie in some huge botnet…

IRAQ,a genocide that threatens to outstrip the horrors of Rwanda in the numbers killed and displaced (Blog Post)

The forgotten fallen

John Pilger

On Remembrance Day 2007, the great and the good bowed their heads at the Cenotaph. Gen erals, politicians, newsreaders, football managers and stock-market traders wore their poppies. Hypocrisy was a presence. No one mentioned Iraq. No one uttered the slightest remorse for the fallen of that country. No one read the forbidden list.

The forbidden list documents, without favour, the part the British state and its court have played in the destruction of Iraq. Here it is:

 

1 Holocaust denial


On 25 October, Dai Davies MP asked Gordon Brown about civilian deaths in Iraq. Brown passed the question to the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, who passed it to his junior minister, Kim Howells, who replied: "We continue to believe that there are no comprehensive or reliable figures for deaths since March 2003." This was a deception. In October 2006, the Lancet published research by Johns Hopkins University in the US and al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad which calculated that 655,000 Iraqis had died as a result of the Anglo-American invasion. A Freedom of Information search revealed that the government, while publicly dismissing the study, secretly backed it as comprehensive and reliable. The chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence, Sir Roy Anderson, called its methods "robust" and "close to best practice". Other senior governments officials secretly acknowledged the survey's "tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones". Since then, the British research polling agency, Opinion Research Business, has extrapolated a figure of 1.2 million deaths in Iraq. Thus, the scale of death caused by the British and US governments may well have surpassed that of the Rwanda genocide, making it the biggest single act of mass murder of the late 20th century and the 21st century.

2 Looting


The undeclared reason for the invasion of Iraq was the convergent ambitions of the neocons, or neo-fascists, in Washington and the far-right regimes of Israel. Both groups had long wanted Iraq crushed and the Middle East colonised to US and Israeli designs. The initial blueprint for this was the 1992 "Defence Planning Guidance", which outlined America's post-Cold War plans to dominate the Middle East and beyond. Its authors included Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Colin Powell, architects of the 2003 invasion. Following the invasion, Paul Bremer, a neocon fanatic, was given absolute civil authority in Baghdad and in a series of decrees turned the entire future Iraqi economy over to US corporations. As this was lawless, the corporate plunderers were given immunity from all forms of prosecution. The Blair government was fully com plicit and even objected when it looked as if UK companies might be excluded from the most profitable looting. British officials were awarded functionary colonial posts. A petroleum "law" will allow, in effect, foreign oil companies to approve their own contracts over Iraq's vast energy resources. This will complete the greatest theft since Hitler stripped his European conquests.

3 Destroying a nation's health


In 1999, I interviewed Dr Jawad Al-Ali, a cancer specialist at Basra city hospital. "Before the Gulf War," he said, "we had only three or four deaths in a month from cancer. Now it's 30 to 35 patients dying every month. Our studies indicate that 40 to 48 per cent of the population in this area will get cancer." Iraq was then in the grip of an economic and humanitarian siege, initiated and driven by the US and Britain. The result, wrote Hans von Sponeck, the then chief UN humanitarian official in Baghdad, was "genocidal . . . practically an entire nation was subjected to poverty, death and destruction of its physical and mental foundations". Most of southern Iraq remains polluted with the toxic debris of British and American explosives, including uranium- 238 shells. Iraqi doctors pleaded in vain for help, citing the levels of leukaemia among children as the highest seen since Hiroshima. Professor Karol Sikora, chief of the World Health Organisation's cancer programme, wrote in the BMJ: "Requested radiotherapy equipment, chemo-therapy drugs and analgesics are consistently blocked by United States and British advisers [to the Sanctions Committee]." In 1999, Kim Howells, then trade minister, effectively banned the export to Iraq of vaccines that would protect mostly children from diphtheria, tetanus and yellow fever, which, he said, "are capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction".

Since 2003, apart from PR exercises for the embedded media, the British occupiers have made no attempt to re-equip and resupply hospitals that, prior to 1991, were regarded as the best in the Middle East. In July, Oxfam reported that 43 per cent of Iraqis were living in "absolute poverty". Under the occupation, malnutrition rates among children have spiralled to 28 per cent. A secret Defence Intelligence Agency document, "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities", reveals that the civilian water supply was deliberately targeted. As a result, the great majority of the population has neither access to running water nor sanitation - in a country where such basic services were once as universal as in Bri tain. "The mortality of children in Basra has increased by nearly 30 per cent compared to the Saddam Hussein era," said Dr Haydar Salah, a paediatrician at Basra children's hospital. "Children are dying daily and no one is doing anything to help them." In January this year, nearly 100 leading British doctors wrote to Hilary Benn, then international development secretary, describing how children were dying because Britain had not fulfilled its obligations as an occupying power under UN Security Council Resolution 1483. Benn refused to see them.

4 Destroying a society


The UN estimates that 100,000 Iraqis are fleeing the country every month. The refugee crisis has now overtaken that of Darfur as the most catastrophic on earth. Half of Iraq's doctors have gone, along with engineers and teachers. The most literate society in the Middle East is being dismantled, piece by piece. Out of more than four million displaced people, Britain last year refused the majority of more than 1,000 Iraqis who applied to come here, while removing more "illegal" Iraqi refugees than any other European country. Thanks to tabloid-inspired legislation, Iraqis in Britain are often destitute, with no right to work and no support. They sleep and scavenge in parks. The government, says Amnesty, "is trying to starve them out of the country".

5 Propaganda


"See in my line of work," said George W Bush, "you got to keep repeating things over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."

Standing outside 10 Downing Street on 9 April 2003, the BBC's then political editor, Andrew Marr, reported the fall of Baghdad as a victory speech. Tony Blair, he told viewers, "said they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right. And it would be entirely ungracious, even for his critics, not to acknowledge that tonight he stands as a larger man and a stronger prime minister as a result." In the United States, similar travesties passed as journalism. The difference was that leading American journalists began to consider the consequences of the role they had played in the build-up to the invasion. Several told me they believed that had the media challenged and investigated Bush's and Blair's lies, instead of echoing and amplifying them, the invasion might not have happened. A European study found that, of the major western television networks, the BBC permitted less coverage of dissent than all of them. A second study found that the BBC consistently gave credence to government propaganda that weapons of mass destruction existed. Unlike the Sun, the BBC has credibility - as does, or did, the Observer.

On 14 October 2001, the Observer's front page said: "US hawks accuse Iraq over anthrax". This was entirely false. Supplied by US intelligence, it was part of the Observer's staunchly pro-war coverage, which included claiming a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, for which there was no credible evidence and which betrayed the paper's honourable past. One report over two pages was headlined: "The Iraqi connection". It, too, came from "intelligence sources" and was rubbish. The reporter, David Rose, concluded his barren inquiry with a heartfelt plea for an invasion. "There are occasions in history," he wrote, "when the use of force is both right and sensible." Rose has since written his mea culpa, including in these pages, confessing how he was used. Other journalists have still to admit how they were manipulated by their own credulous relationship with established power.

These days, Iraq is reported as if it is exclusively a civil war, with a US military "surge" aimed at bringing peace to the scrapping natives. The perversity of this is breathtaking. That sectarian violence is the product of a vicious divide-and-conquer policy is beyond doubt. As for the largely media myth of al-Qaeda, "most of the [American] pros will tell you", wrote Seymour Hersh, "that the foreign fighters are a couple per cent, and then they're sort of leaderless". That a poorly armed, audacious resistance has not only pinned down the world's most powerful army but has agreed an anti-sectarian, anti al-Qaeda agenda, which opposes attacks on civilians and calls for free elections, is not news.

6 The next blood letting


In the 1960s and 1970s, British governments secretly expelled the population of Diego Garcia, an island in the Indian Ocean whose people have British nationality. Women and children were loaded on to vessels resembling slave ships and dumped in the slums of Mauritius, after their homeland was given to the Americans for a military base. Three times, the High Court has found this atrocity illegal, calling it a defiance of the Magna Carta and the Blair government's refusal to allow the people to go home "outrageous" and "repugnant". The government continues to use endless recourse to appeal, at the taxpayers' expense, to prevent upsetting Bush. The cruelty of this matches the fact that not only has the US repeatedly bombed Iraq from Diego Garcia, but at "Camp Justice", on the island, "al-Qaeda suspects" are "rendered" and "tortured", according to the Washington Post. Now the US Air Force is rushing to upgrade hangar facilities on the island so that stealth bombers can carry 14-tonne "bunker busting" bombs in an attack on Iran. Orchestrated propaganda in the media is critical to the success of this act of international piracy.

On 22 May, the front page of the Guardian carried the banner headline: "Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq". This was a tract of unalloyed propaganda based entirely on anonymous US official sources. Through-out the media, other drums have taken up the beat. "Iran's nuclear ambitions" slips effortlessly from newsreaders' lips, no matter that the International Atomic Energy Agency refuted Washington's lies, no matter the echo of "Saddam's weapons of mass destruction", no matter that another bloodbath beckons.

Flying car to take off in 2009 (Blog Post)

A company called Terrafugia is currently developing a plane that transitions into a car. For a mere $148,000 you too can own a Transition. When completed in late 2009, it will have an average cruising speed of 115 mph, gets over 25 mpg in the air. It’s classified as a Light Sport Utility vehicle and weighs only 1320 lbs. It will be powered by a 100 hp, 4-stroke Rotax 912 ULS. This engine is FAA certified to run on both 91+ octane autogas as well as 100LL. The same engine is used to power the rear push-prop and front wheels, using a clutch-based transmission for power selection. The Rotax engine is certified to allow a 5% ethanol mixture.

Cargo and dimensions
The vehicle will have 550 lbs of usable cargo weight in a 20 cubic foot space, which can be divided up among people, bags or fuel. It has a 20 gallon fuel tank which consumes about 120 lbs of fuel. Its maximum range is 460 miles (400 nm) when operating at 75% power, which is required to sustain 115mph cruising speed. When in folded position, the vehicle measures just 6.75 feet high, by 7.5 feet wide, by 18.75 feet long. No data on the wingspan was given, however it could not exceed approximately 35 feet due to the stated dimensions and mechanical operation of the wing through a single central hinge. The internal cabin space is 50 inches wide.

Transition’s wing loading is approximately 8.8 lbs per square foot, which is comparable to light sport or general purpose aviation aircraft. They currently have a working prototype wing design, however it is machine mounted and is not part of the actual aircraft. All of the pictures and images seen are either from a 1/5th scale prototype that was built and flown, or from computer generated animation.

Image

The vehicle goes from 1-2-3, or from 3-2-1 via the push of a button. It must be stopped, engine off, to make the transition. The vertical stabilizers double as rear taillights and indicators. A pilot’s license is required to operate the vehicle, which will have a price tag of approximately $148,000. It will be available in late 2009, with a full-size prototype completed in late 2008. A 1/5th prototype has already been created and flown.

In order to operate the vehicle, the pilot (not the driver) will have to be FAA certified and hold a pilot’s license. Currently only a visual flight rating (VFR) ability is planned, as the on-board instruments will not be sufficient for a full Instrument Rating.

File shareing helps small films (Blog Post)

Piracy isn’t THAT bad and they know it

 

I received a very pleasant mail today. My inbox is usually full of stupid cease & desist messages from various antipiracy organizations, but it’s mails like this one which make you happy. It’s good to see that some people realize that internet piracy isn’t just evil…

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Eric D. Wilkinson and I am the producer of a small independent film called “Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth” (our review).

I am sending you this email after realizing that our website has had nearly 23,000 hits in the last 12 days, much of it coming from your website. In addition, our trailer, both on the www.manfromearth.com site and other sites like YouTube, MySpace and AOL has been watched nearly 20,000 times AND what’s most impressive is our ranking on IMDb went from being the 11,235th most popular movie, to the 5th most popular movie in 2 weeks (we are also the #1 independent film on IMDb & the #1 science fiction film on IMDb). How did this all happen? Two words: Torrent / File Sharing sites (well, four words and a slash).

More specifically, RLSLOG.net. Our independent movie had next to no advertising budget and very little going for it until somebody ripped one of the DVD screeners and put the movie online for all to download. After that happened, people were watching it and started posting mostly all positive reviews on IMDb, Amazon and other places. Most of the feedback from everyone who has downloaded “The Man From Earth” has been overwhelmingly positive. People like our movie and are talking about it, all thanks to piracy on the net!

Am I upset… surprisingly no. Thanks to everyone who has downloaded this torrrent and watched the film, our awareness level is through the roof. For that I say, “THANK YOU”!

What you guys have done here is nothing short of amazing. In the future, I will not complain about file sharing. YOU HAVE HELPED PUT THIS LITTLE MOVIE ON THE MAP!!!! When I make my next picture, I just may upload the movie on the net myself!

This guy really deserves support from the file shareing community! You can support producers of The Man From Earth by buying the retail DVD, which should be available in the US stores from tomorrow.

Nintendo new #1 in console sales (Blog Post)


Nintendo displaced Sony as the leader of video game sales this past quarter said a new market report published on Tuesday. According to iSuppli, combined game sales of both Wii and DS totaled US$1.2 billion dollars during the third quarter of 2007, up 31 percent from the second quarter of this year and more than double the amount sold a year prior. By comparison, combined PS3, PS2, and PSP game sales totaled $1 billion for the same period while Microsoft reached $318 million in total Xbox 360 and Xbox 1 games sales.

The news marks the first time that Nintendo has accomplished the feat since first being displaced by Sony in the mid nineties with the release of the original and much more popular PlayStation 1 when compared to the Nintendo 64. Nintendo is expected to maintain its lead as it ships about 200 additional titles by the end of the year, bringing the number of games to more than 350, many from outside publishers, iSuppli analyst David Carnevale said. In addition, game sales could get a further boost by the expected introduction of a new flagship title for the Wii, called Wii Fit. The game encourages players to engage in full-body exercises using Wii Balance Boards, performing activities including yoga, push-ups, aerobics, and stretching.

Impact of filesharing on CD sales (Blog Post)

Canadian Study: Piracy Boosts CD Sales

Written by Ernesto on November 03, 2007

A recent study on the impact of filesharing on CD sales shows that the more music people download on P2P-networks, the more CDs they buy.

University of London researchers, Birgitte Andersen and Marion Frenz surveyed a large group of Canadians to find out what the effect of piracy is on music sales. The results are surprising, at least, for the music industry.

The researchers conclude that that people who download more music actually buy more CDs. They report: “We estimate that the effect of one additional P2P download per month is to increase music purchasing by 0.44 CDs per year.”

This basically means that if someone downloads 270 songs a year via BitTorrent, he or she will buy 9 CDs more than someone who only downloads 27 songs. So, in a way illegal downloads actually convert into more CD sales.

Overall the researchers found no difference between pirates and other people in the number of CDs they buy. They did not find a positive or a negative relationship between filesharing and CD sales. So, at worst, filesharing isn’t the cause for a drop in CD sales. It might even be a boon to it.

This study once again confirms that piracy is not as bad as the recording industry content “owners” want us to believe. Filesharing gives people the opportunity to discover new music for free. It makes it easier to try new music before you buy. Right now, downloading songs off P2P networks is pretty much the only way to listen to complete tracks before deciding to buy them.

It is worth mentioning that there are legal alternatives, like Soundpedia and Lala.com’s upcoming service, which will let you stream entire songs for free. However, most people will still prefer pirated music because the quality is much better and they can transfer it to their MP3 player.



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