Home' Greymouth Star : February 10th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 5
Technology giant Samsung has warned
customers against discussing personal
or sensitive information in front of its
Smart tv sets advises users of the voice
recognition feature that their spoken
words will be “among the data captured
and transmitted to a third party”.
Privacy campaigners have branded
the policy “outrageous” and made
comparisons to George Orwell’s
description of telescreens, which spied
on citizens in his novel 1984.
According to reports, Samsung’s policy
states: “Please be aware that if your
spoken words include personal or other
sensitive information, that information
will be among the data captured and
transmitted to a third party through
your use of voice recognition.
“ While Samsung will not collect your
spoken word, Samsung may still collect
associated texts and other usage data so
that we can evaluate the performance of
the feature and improve it.”
Emma Carr, director of privacy
campaign group Big Brother Watch,
said the company needed to understand
that not everyone wanted to be spied on
by their tv.
“It is outrageous that the company
that if the tv ’s owner does decide not to
share their private information, then the
company may still take the information
“This leaves users with no knowledge
or control over where your information
goes or who has access to it and that is
simply unacceptable. ”
Samsung has insisted it takes customer
privacy “very seriously” and any
gathering of users’ information is carried
out with the “utmost transparency ”.
“ Voice recognition, which allows
the user to control the tv using voice
commands, is a Samsung Smart tv
feature, which can be activated or
deactivated by the user,” a spokeswoman
said. — PA
Chinese mining tycoon executed
A Chinese mining billionaire
said to have links with disgraced
former security tsar Zhou Yongkang
and who once launched a bid for
Australia’s Sundance Resources has
been executed for multiple murder.
Liu Han, his younger brother Liu
Wei and three accomplices were
condemned to death in May for
“organising and leading a mafia-style
group”, murder and other crimes.
Their appeals were unsuccessful and
all five were put to death yesterday,
the Xianning Intermediate court in
the central province of Hubei said
on its verified account on China’s
Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
The five met with their “close
relatives” before the execution, the
court said in a separate posting.
“The executed criminals’ legal
rights were fully protected,” it
Liu Han led private company
Hanlong, which is based in the
south-western province of Sichuan
and launched a takeover bid of more
than $1.29 billion for Sundance, a
listed Australian iron ore firm, in
But the deal collapsed in 2013 after
the Chinese firm failed to follow
through. Chinese media reports said
at the time that Liu Han had been
Sichuan is one of the power bases of
Zhou, who once enjoyed vast power
as China’s security chief but whose
targeting in a corruption investigation
was announced in July.
The influential business magazine
Caixin has reported that Liu
Han once had dealings with a
businessman believed to be Zhou’s
State media have also hinted that
the gang had connections to central
Zhou was handed over to
prosecutors in December.
The official announcement of the
long-rumoured probe into Zhou
made him the most senior member
of the Communist Party to be
investigated since the infamous Gang
of Four — a faction that included
the widow of founding leader Mao
Zedong — were put on trial in 1980.
The Serbian army has
announced a fire sale of military
surplus, including a fleet of
Soviet-era tanks and thousands
of rocket launchers, in order to
raise funds for new equipment.
The defence ministry in
Belgrade overnight launched the
tender to sell 282 T-55 tanks, 68
armoured personnel carriers and
1283 guns of different types and
calibre to raise money “exclusively
for development, research and
purchase of modern weapons”.
But not any weekend enthusiast
hankering to create a garage
arsenal overnight will be able to
bid for material on the block.
“Companies licensed for arms
trade can contact the ministry to
obtain information on the status
of weapons that are for sale,” the
ministry noted in a statement
published on its website.
Also listed for sale to arms
professionals are 16,780 pistols,
3500 automatic rifles, 5200
rocket launchers, more than
115,000 7.62mm and 12.7mm
rounds of ammunition and
120,000 rifle grenades.
The military did not put a value
on the weaponry nor say how
much it hoped to raise in the
auction. The novel bid to raise
funding for upgrading Serbia’s
arsenal is the latest in a series of
moves to modernise the nation’s
army. — AFP
Serbia selling old army
gear to fund new arms
One person has been killed and two
injured in Casablanca after part of
the city’s historic but derelict Hotel
A 34-year-old man died in the
dawn incident at the hotel, which is
technically a listed building despite
being derelict for two decades.
The local Economist news site said
another two people were injured in the
Parts of the Lincoln, of which only
part of the original facade remains
standing, have been occupied by
However, authorities said all those
living in the building at the time of the
collapse were found “safe and sound”.
Built in 1917 by French architect
Hubert Bride, the hotel came to
symbolise the art deco era that shaped
several buildings in the heart of
Morocco’s economic capital.
Development and property
speculation have since reshaped the city
and preser vationists are increasingly
concern about what the fate of the
crumbling French colonial facades, neo-
Moorish details and art deco hotels.
The president of a local conser vation
group, Rachid al-Andaloussi, said there
were plans to save the hotel but that
the issue “needs to be made a priority”.
This month, a Casablanca court jailed
seven people for two to five years for
their role in the deaths of 23 residents
when three apartment blocks in the
city collapsed in July last year. — AFP
Casablanca hotel collapse kills man
The ruined facade of the Hotel Lincoln, in the centre of Casablanca.
Hackers can access
most ‘connected’ cars
Virtually all ‘connected cars’ on the
road are vulnerable to hackers who could
steal data or gain control of the vehicle, a
United States senator ’s reports says.
The report, prepared by the staff of
Senator Ed Markey, said the wireless
connectivity and internet access available
on the vehicles opens up security gaps
that could be exploited for malicious
The study found these security
weaknesses in “nearly 100% of cars on
the market ” and noted that most car
manufacturers were unaware of or unable
to report on past hacking incidents.
The senator’s staff, which collected
data from 16 major car manufacturers,
cited earlier studies on some vehicles
which showed how hackers can get into
the controls of some popular vehicles,
causing them to suddenly accelerate,
turn, de-activate brakes, activate the
horn, control headlights, and modify the
speedometer and gas gauge readings.
The report also noted that many of
these connected cars collect data on
driving that could be kept in violation of
It said that the “alarmingly inconsistent
and incomplete state of industry security
and privacy practices” raises questions
about the need for new US rules from
the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration or other Federal
The report pointed out that hackers
can gain access to a car via Bluetooth
wireless connections, the On Star system
for remote assistance, malware in an
Android smartphone which is paired
with the vehicle, or even an infected CD
in the car sound system.
“These findings reveal that there is
a clear lack of appropriate security
measures to protect drivers against
hackers who may be able to take control
of a vehicle or against those who may
wish to collect and use personal driver
information,” the report said.
The report obtained responses from
BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors,
Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover,
Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi,
Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota,
Volkswagen and Volvo. — AFP
Two Japanese men riding a scooter and
a bicycle along a seawall while clad only
in their under wear for a prank video
have gone missing after being swept into
More than 50 police officers and
rescuers, two helicopters and several ships
were searching for the men off the coast
of Hyogo prefecture, a police spokesman
said, 24 hours after they disappeared.
The two “went missing when they
jumped into the sea from a breakwater for
the purpose of filming an entertainment
video for a friend’s wedding ceremony ”
the spokesman said.
Seven other friends were involved in
the filming, private broadcasters Fuji
Television and Nippon Tv said, adding
the two missing men were in a state of
undress at the time of the incident.
Japan has been lashed by powerful
winter storms over recent weeks, and
meteorologists had warned of strong
winds and a big swell over the weekend.
Two swept out to sea making prank video
A week after Harper
Collins stunned the literary
world with news that
Harper Lee is to publish a
second novel, controversy
rages about whether the
novelist is of sound mind.
More than half a century
after the mesmerising
success of her book To Kill
a Mockingbird, fans and writers were
both delighted and taken aback to hear
that Lee was releasing another novel.
They were even more taken aback to
learn that it was a manuscript written 60
years ago and hidden away after an editor
told the young novelist to recast the
book into what become Mockingbird.
Go Set a Watchman features many
of the same characters as Mockingbird
and was discovered among her papers by
lawyer Tonja Carter.
But could Lee, who had a stroke in
2007 and so often said she would never
publish again, really be happy that a
manuscript, long since discarded, was
going to see the light of day?
Friends acknowledge that Lee has poor
eyesight and is deaf. She has lived in a
nursing home since 2007.
Gossip blog Gawker quoted Carter as
saying last July her client
sometimes signed things
“she did not understand”.
Tongues wagged and
Carter has been on the
defensive, saying that Lee
is “extremely hurt and
humiliated” by allegations
she has been manipulated.
“She is a very strong,
independent and wise
woman who should be
enjoying the discovery of her long lost
novel,” Carter said by e-mails and text
“Instead, she is having to defend her
own credibility and decision making.”
Last week, Carter released an earlier
statement telling fans that Lee is “happy
as hell” about the new book.
US media has fallen on the story,
quoting alleged friends and associates of
Lee as attesting to her excitement and
lucidity, or raising doubts and speculation.
Lee, who rarely speaks to the media,
said via Harper Collins, that she was
“ humbled and amazed” the manuscript
was to be published after so many years.
Go Set a Watchman is already No 1 in
the best seller list at on-line bookstore
Amazon, where the 304-page hardback
is available for pre-order ahead of its July
release. — AFP
Controversy rages over
‘new’ Harper Lee novel
Chilean find ends 54-year puzzle
Chilean mountaineers have found
the wreckage of a plane that crashed
in the Andes 54 years ago, killing
24 people, including eight members
of a professional football team.
The group said they chanced on
the wreckage at an altitude of about
3200m about 360km south of the
Expedition member Leonardo
Albornoz said they are keeping the
site secret to prevent looting.
The disappearance of the DC-3
carrying members of the top-
division Chilean team Green Cross
on April 3, 1961 was one of the
great unsolved mysteries in the
South American country and at the
time stunned the sporting world.
The team had played an away
match in Osorno in the Copa
de Chile and were returning to
Santiago. The team and staff were
spread over two flights. One of the
planes reached the Chilean capital
but the other never turned up.
Searchers spent weeks looking for
the missing plane.
The mountaineers said they could
see a good part of the fuselage
without needing to dig it out and
found scattered debris and bones.
A group of Chilean mountaineers pose for a photo on what they say is
the wreckage of a plane that crashed in the Andes 54 years ago.
Rocker Beck was targeted by a
disgrunted wordsmith in the hours
after his Grammy Awards triumph
when his Wikipedia page was
edited to accuse him of stealing the
coveted album of the year trophy
acclaimed record Morning Phase
was the surprise winner at the
ceremony in Los Angeles, seeing off
competition from Beyonce’s chart-
topping self-titled pop album.
However, the win divided both
fans and the star-studded audience,
with rapper Kanye West storming
the stage as Beck picked up the
prize, and later giving an inter view
in which he branded the rocker
“disrespectful to inspiration” and
ordered him to hand the trophy
over to Beyonce.
It has now emerged Beck’s
Wikipedia page was rewritten
to name the star as “a stealer/
thief from hell” and accuse him of
“stealing of best album of the year
awards from Beyonce at the 2015
The page was later edited to
remove the mean messages.
Disgruntled fan edits Beck ’s Wikipedia page
Australian scientists say fat is
the sixth taste.
comprehensive and over whelm-
ing enough to call fat a taste,”
University in Melbourne said.
For many years, scientists
agreed on the four primary tastes:
sweet, salt, sour and bitter, and
in 2002, they added umami, a
In the latest issue of the Flavour
Journal, a team from Deakin
University writes that the sixth
addition is fat.
Despite fat being classified
as a taste as early as 330BC by
Aristotle, more recently it has
been associated with texture,
flavour release and thermal
properties in foods, but not the
sense of taste.
For fat to be considered a taste,
it must meet five criteria.
In the paper titled Is Fat the
Sixth Taste Primary? Evidence
and Implications, Professor
Keast describes how fat meets
these criteria, which includes
that the tongue has taste buds
that can detect the presence of
The researchers believe their
findings could help in the battle
to curb the world’s growing
obesity problem. — A AP
Fat declared sixth taste
ROADTRIP LXE BBQ
GAS FIRE BOWL
EVERYTHING FOR YOUR HOME
LIFESTYLE 3 BBQ
LIFESTYLE 4 BBQ
MULCH N CATCH
Links Archive February 9th 2015 February 11th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page