Saturday, October 23, 2010

Clinton lost launch codes...

  • 22 October 2010, 9:05

Clinton 'lost nuclear launch codes'

Bill Clinton /PA
Bill Clinton managed to lose the nuclear launch codes - for months - during his time as US President, a new book claims.
General Hugh Shelton, who served under Clinton as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, claims the card bearing the top secret codes were missing during 2000.
"At one point during the Clinton administration the codes were actually missing for months. That's a big deal - a gargantuan deal," General Shelton says in his memoir, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior.
US presidents are supposed to keep the card - known as "the biscuit" - close to them at all times, reports The Sun.
Another senior military firgure linked to the Clinton administration, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Patterson, claims in another book that the President's memory lapse caused a huge panic in the White House.
"He thought he just placed them upstairs," Lieutenant Colonel Patterson said.
"We called upstairs, we started a search around the White House for the codes, and he finally confessed that he in fact misplaced them. He couldn't recall when he had last seen them."
Before a president can launch a nuclear attack, he has to input the codes to arm the warheads.
White House spokesman Joe Lockhart confessed in 1999 that Mr Clinton had once left a NATO summit in such haste that he left behind his briefcase that contained the codes.
There have long been rumours that former President Jimmy Carter left the card in a suit which was sent to the dry cleaners. That story has never been confirmed or denied.

Villagers sick of prank callers-Austria

F***ing sick of telephone pranksters

F***ing /Europics
Angry residents in the Austrian village of F***ing are complaining about drunken English-speaking telephone pranksters.
They say callers ring at all hours, demanding to know "Is that F***ing" - before bursting into laughter and then hanging up.
The problems began after tricksters noticed residents of the village could be found by typing the word 'F***ing' into the online Austrian telephone book.
Also suffering thanks to the service are the locals of the Austrian villages of "Oberf***ing" "Windpassing", "W***ham" and "Rottenegg" - although it seems F***ing is the most popular among pranksters.
And now random callers have been making life miserable for the villagers.
Johann Maier, 56, told local media: "It's true - we get calls and a voice in English asking if we are in F***ing or is that F***ing - then there is laughter or something - and then they hang up."
Mayor Siegfried Hauppl said: "I don't know why they have to go on about it all the time the English - we are always in the news but we are just a little village - we want to be left in peace."
And he rejected any suggestion that the village change its name.
Last year locals in the Swiss village of W*** urged the F***ing residents to lighten up - open a few guest houses and sell postcards to cash in on their fame.
The W*** Guest House, they pointed out, was full all year round.

Undercover traffic wardens pounce....

Drivers beware, traffic wardens have now gone undercover

Last updated at 2:27 AM on 23rd October 2010

It took Derek Anderson only 60 seconds to walk to a parking ticket machine  -  but in that time undercover officials had already given him a fine. 
As the electrician, 54, headed to pay his fee, two council staff leapt out Sweeney-style from their unmarked patrol car.
Mr Anderson fought the £60 charge imposed by the South London borough of Merton and it has now been ruled unfair by a traffic adjudicator. 
parking meter
Merton council has admitted using civil enforcement officers in unmarked cars to catch drivers
But the council admitted using civil enforcement officers in unmarked cars to catch drivers is spreading to other local authorities.
By law, the parking officials who struck at 8.11am should have worn 'readily distinguishable' uniforms to show who they were and what they were doing. They were also supposed to use a car only to get to their beats. 
Their behaviour was condemned as ' underhand' by adjudicator Joanne Oxlade, of the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service. She said Mr Anderson had committed no offence.
He had told her he was targeted by two men who had been waiting in an 'old banger'. One looked at his car, then the other appeared to hand out the ticket.
Daniel Hamilton, of Big Brother Watch, said: 'Some of these people think they are James Bond. You can't have undercover hit squads going round spying on people parking.'
But Chris Lee, Merton's director of environment, said the council could appeal.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

US man tattoos his eyeballs...

Tatt's painful: The Human Chequerboard tattoo nut who injected ink into his eyes

Last updated at 3:59 PM on 22nd October 2010
A tatto freak known as the Human Chequerboard has taken his obsession to an agonising new level by having ink injected into the whites of his eyes.
Matt Gone, from Portland, Oregon, boasts that 98 per cent of his body is now covered in tattoos.
The bizarre chequerboard pattern covers his head and face. Now his eyes are permanently coloured - one blue, the other green.
Socket set: Matt Gone's right eye is gree and his left is blue
Socket set: Matt Gone's right eye is gree and his left is blue
And he carried out the risky operation by himself at his home, according to the website Nine News.
Mr Gone told the US television station Fox12: 'I patch-tested it and was successful. I had to take the risk. I've done that a lot of times before. 
'I'm not crazy. I'm trained. I have a lot of experience. I picked different colours because I like mutations because I have birth defects.'
Eye pad: He injected the ink while alone at home
Eye pad: He injected the ink while alone at home
Tattoo much: Matt Gone reckons 98 per cent of his body is covered in designs
Tattoo much: Matt Gone reckons 98 per cent of his body is covered in designs
Mr Gone said he began tattooing his body 20 years ago to disguise physical deformities, but did not give any further details.
Doctors have warned that injecting ink into the eyes could lead to blindness or serious infection.

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UK worst at giving lessons in 3Rs.

UK is worst in the West at giving lessons in 3Rs

Last updated at 10:40 PM on 22nd October 2010
english pupils
British pupils aged 12 to 14 spend fewer hours on English lessons than any other industrialised nation. (Picture posed by models)

Pupils in England spend less time learning the 3Rs than almost anywhere in the Western world, an international league table has revealed.
Children aged between 12 and 14 spend fewer hours on English lessons than any other industrialised nation  -  leading to a situation where one in five teenagers leaves school functionally illiterate.
Despite the billions poured in by Labour to improve literacy, they actually spend less time on it now than they did when Tony Blair entered Downing Street.
The report also shows that secondary schoolchildren in England spend much less time learning about mathematics than in most other European countries. 
The revelation that England still treats basic educational attainment in core subjects as such a low priority were seized upon last night by critics of Labour's 13-year stint in charge of schools. 
They blame the party for making headteachers fill timetables with subjects such as citizenship and sex education, rather than getting the basics right.
The league table was compiled by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which represents industrialised nations, as part of its Education at a Glance report published earlier this month. 
No data was collected for Scotland and Wales.
How we fare.jpg

It shows that in 2008, English 12-to 14-year-olds spent just 11 per cent of their time on reading, writing and literature, down from 12 per cent a decade before.
The 2008 figure compares with 16 per cent in France and 28 per cent in Ireland, and is the lowest across the entire OECD, below countries such as Mexico and Hungary.
England's pupils fare little better on maths, spending just 12 per cent of their school time studying the subject, one of the lowest levels in the OECD.

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Oldest siblings 474 years old and still going strong...

Meet the world's oldest siblings who have racked up an astonishing 474 years between them

Last updated at 1:17 PM on 22nd October 2010

Together they have seen off 19 Prime Ministers, five Monarchs and two World Wars.
Today Kathleen, 102, Gladys, 100, Lillian, 94, Leonard, 92, and Courtney, 86, are still around to witness the online revolution and birth of 3D television.
The quintet, who currently have a combined age of 474 years, are now preparing to enter the record books as the world's oldest living siblings.
Four of the five oldest living siblings in the world. Left to right Leonard Bartlett, 92, Kathleen Clark, 102, Gladys Hill, 100 and Lillian Cullings, 94. They have an incredible 474 years between them
World record: Four of the five oldest living siblings in the world. Left to right Leonard Bartlett, 92, Kathleen Clark, 102, Gladys Hill, 100 and Lillian Cullings, 94. They have an incredible 474 years between them
 Kate and Ernest Bartlett with four of their six children. (left to right) Kathleen, Courtney, Gladys and Leonard Bartlett. Doris and Lillian are not pictured
As they were: A 1930s photograph of Kate and Ernest Bartlett with four of their six children. From left to right, Kathleen, Courtney, Gladys and Leonard Bartlett. Doris and Lillian are not pictured
Their family put the achievement down to decades of hard work.
Gladys' daughter Lucille Ademante, 68, of Bristol, said: 'They are truly remarkable.
'They have all been pretty active for most of their lives but I would not say their lives have been easy.
'Our whole family is really proud of them - everyone thinks they are fantastic.'
Oldest daughter Kathleen Clark was born in 1908 - the year Herbert Asquith took office in Downing Street - and went out to work as a maid the age of 12.
She retired after years of factory work in her 70s and celebrated her 100th birthday two years ago with her family at her nursing home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
 Leonards' five sibblings
All together now: The wedding of Leonard Bartlett and Dorothy (centre) with friends and family including Leonard's five siblings pictured at St Barnabas Church, Knowle, Bristol in 1945. The Bartlett siblings are numbered as follows 1, Kathleen, 2, Gladys, 3, Doris, 4, Lilian, 5, Leonard, 6, Courtney
Gladys Hill, a former Cadbury's chocolate factory worker from Bristol, received her card from the Queen last month - and popped straight round to see her 102-year-old sister for a cuppa to mark the achievement.
Their 94-year-old sister Lillian Collins also worked at chocolate factories in the Bristol area and now lives in sheltered accommodation in the city.
Brother Leonard, 92, fought in Europe during the Second World War and went on to become colour checker at a magazine business.  He is now happily retired in Watford.
Herbert Asquith (1852-1928). He became the Liberal Prime Minister in 1908, the year oldest sister Kathleen Bartlett was bornA worker is seen dripping the chocolate at the Cadbury factory
Herbert Asquith, right, 1852-1928, became the Liberal Prime Minister in 1908, the year oldest sister Kathleen Bartlett, now 102, was born. Left, a worker at the Cadbury's factory in 1930, where Gladys Bartlett, now 100, worked in her youth
Youngest Courtney, 86, is living in Australia after emigrating as a 'ten pound pom' after the Second World War.
The five siblings had eight children between them and now have 11 grandchildren - as well as scores of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Their sister Doris, who would have been 97 this year, died when she was 75.
Longevity obviously runs in the family's genes - their father Earnest Bartlett lived until he was 98.
Lucille added: 'He worked on the docks full time until he was 75, and that was when workers were handpicked each morning and the rest sent home - so you had to be fit.'
    'All his children have had their ups and downs. My mother now has dementia and she survived rheumatic fever when she was younger. But they are not going to let anything get them down.
    'I think our family's secret to long lasting life is hard work - and I hope it continues.'

    Guinness World Records confirmed the Bartletts will qualify as the oldest living siblings once their claim is verified.
    Three sisters in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, were previously classed as the oldest ever siblings - with a combined age of 325 years.
    All three died within a few weeks of each other, with Maggie Lee Thornton, the final surviving sister, passing away on January 22 this year.

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    The name's ASIO, and we need you!

    EVER dreamt of ordering a martini, shaken not stirred? Well, ASIO might be dreaming of you.
    In the past 12 months the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation has struggled to hire staff.


    Spy chief David Irvine says it's difficult to hire spies off the street because so many of the skills of espionage need to be taught inside the building.

    Parliament has now been handed the organisation's annual general report, and one of the concerns it raises is finding the right people to spy.

    "ASIO did not reach its ambitious recruitment targets for the year,'' Mr Irvine said.

    It left the organisation with a rare budget surplus.

    In the public service, departments try to finish the year with little cash left over because the cash returns to consolidated revenue rather than staying with the organisation itself.

    The agency spent $7.9 million on its intelligence development program in 2009-10.

    New spies spend six months in internal training modules and another six months helping out with real work.

    It's only after the initial year of education that ASIO confirms employment.

    Terrorism remains the biggest of ASIO's worries.

    In the latest financial year the agency cancelled eight Australian passports.

    Details of why it took the step remain secret, but the reasons may be linked to fears of so-called "homegrown" terrorism, an increasing concern for western intelligence agencies.

    "A number of Australians have been drawn to extremist figures in Yemen, including via the internet," the report says, referring to the nation where Osama bin-Laden has longstanding connections.

    "Australian residents in Yemen have also participated in terrorism-related activity."

    One of the continuing good news stories for ASIO is its business liaison unit (BLU).

    Created in 2005, the unit aims to keep the private sector informed on security issues.

    More than 200 reports are available through the BLU website and almost 800 subscribers have access to them.

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    Interesting clip from 1920's Chaplin film... explain this!

    Google street view cars get lost - Netherlands

    Google Street View camera cars get lost

    Thousands of people use its Street View service every day but, as these pictures seem to show - even Google's own mapping team get lost sometimes.

    Google street view: Google Street View camera cars get lost
    Launched in 2007, Google Street View allows 'armchair explorers' to virtually travel the world with a click of a mouse button
    The trio of cars appears to be stranded on a remote stretch of road, while a confused man on the left of the photo looks to be frantically checking a roadside map while he calls for help.
    The 'Street Viewmobiles', each equipped with nine, 2.5 metre-high multi-directional cameras, silently cruise the streets, taking pictures of city centres, side streets and even residential areas.
    They have previously captured sunbathing girls, children fighting and even a man dressed as Paddington Bear waving at the camera, raising concerns about invasion of privacy.
    But these potentially embarrassing snaps, taken in Elsrijkdreef, near Amsterdam, are the first time that the lens has been turned on the company and its fleet of black cars.
    Launched in 2007, Google Street View allows 'armchair explorers' to virtually travel the world with a click of a mouse button.
    It features locations on all seven continents, and its makers claim that 95 per cent of the UK has been mapped out on the company's servers.
    Some users of the service, who accused the company's Google Maps mobile phone application of being unreliable, said that the picture showed that you can't always rely on technology.
    One said: "This is why I still have an A to Z in my car. I often use Google Streetview, but I never rely on it completely or use it to plan routes."
    Another added: "It told me to drive straight through a petrol station forecourt on one occasion."
    A Google spokesperson denied the claims. She said: "It doesn't look to me like they're lost. The drivers undergo training so they know how to use the equipment and it looks like this might more likely be what they're doing".

    China launches rival mapping service to Google-China

    Map World: China launches its own online satellite mapping service to rival Google Earth

    Last updated at 12:55 PM on 22nd October 2010
    China has launched its own online satellite mapping service designed to compete with Google Earth.
    'Map World' was unveiled by the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping yesterday and features a home page showing a picture of the Great Wall of China, capped by clouds in the shape of the continents.
    Google and China have been at odds since last year, when a serious hacking attack originating from China prompted Google to withdraw its search service from the mainland.
    A snapshot from Map World which shows China from above
    At least some of Map World's high-resolution images of central Beijing appear to have been taken on October 1st, 2009, when streets were cleared for the tanks and floats of the National Day Parade, which are visible on the street.
    Map World only provides high-altitude images outside China, with the other side of the Chinese-North Korean border a stark white blank once a certain resolution is passed. Other countries also turn up a blank page at close resolution.
    Taiwan, which China claims as a renegade province, cannot be viewed at the same resolution as the mainland.
    Google had not applied for a web mapping licence in China but Google's mapping service is accessible from computers on the mainland.
    Regulations issued by the bureau in May required companies providing online map and location services to apply for a licence. In order to apply, firms would have to keep map servers storing data within the country.
    Map World's homepage
    Map World's homepage shows the Great Wall of China with clouds in the shape of the world's continents
    Google said at the time that it was studying the new rules, which gives China the right to shut down providers that fail to qualify for a licence.
    Google's video-sharing site YouTube and photo service Picasa are both blocked in China, and its Google docs application is sometimes difficult to access.
    Searches originating in China are now directed to its search engine based in Hong Kong. Google does not keep servers in mainland China.
    Much mapping in China is still subject to state-secrecy restrictions, creating headaches for mining companies unable to source high-resolution deposit maps, and even for hikers.
    'Map World' can be accessed via

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