More Facebook Security Problems?

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On Wednesday, the list was rapidly spreading across the internet being distributed and downloaded by more than 1,000 users, the BBC reported. One user described the list as “awesome and a little terrifying”.

But its publication provoked concern from privacy experts who said it proved Facebook's 'confusing' privacy settings were still apparent.

But the company defended its privacy settings and denied any 'private data' had been made available or comprised, saying the information was already available.

Last week Facebook reached 500 million members ' the equivalent of connecting with eight per cent of the world's population. If it were a country, its 500 million members would make it the third-largest country in the world.

The list was 'leaked' to the site by Ron Bowles, an online security consultant, who reportedly used a simple piece of code to collect the data from the site.

He told the broadcaster that he published the data to highlight privacy issues.

Simon Davies, of Privacy International, a campaign group, said:”Facebook should have anticipated this attack and put measures in place to prevent it,” he said.

“It is inconceivable that a firm with hundreds of engineers couldn’t have imagined a trawl of this magnitude and there’s an argument to be heard that Facebook have acted with negligence.'

He added: “This highlights the argument for a higher level of privacy and proves the case for default nondisclosure.

“There are going to be a lot of angry and concerned people right now who be wondering who has their data and what they should do.”

In a statement to the BBC, Facebook said the list's information was already freely available online.

“People who use Facebook own their information and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want, and when they want,” a spokesman said.

“In this case, information that people have agreed to make public was collected by a single researcher and already exists in Google, Bing, other search engines, as well as on Facebook.

“No private data is available or has been compromised.'

He added: 'It is similar to the white pages of the phone book, this is the information available to enable people to find each other, which is the reason people join Facebook.

“If someone does not want to be found, we also offer a number of controls to enable people not to appear in search on Facebook, in search engines, or share any information with applications.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's founder and chief executive, has said he believes the company has got its privacy settings right 'on the whole'.

The site recently faced a storm of international protest over its over-complicated privacy settings, which users said led them unwittingly to make personal information public.

It forced the social networking site to announced last month that it would 'drastically simplify' the controls that let users set how much of their personal information is visible to other users.

Union soldier's headstone corrected after decades (AP)

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1 hr 35 mins ago

VALLEJO, Calif. – The headstone of a former slave and Union soldier no longer identifies him as a member of the Confederate army, after his family failed to notice the error for years.

More than 100 of Samuel Brown Sr.’s surviving descendants and Civil War buffs in period dress gathered at Vallejo’s Sunrise Memorial Cemetery on Saturday for the dedication of his new headstone.

Brown was born into slavery in Georgia in 1833. He joined the Union Army after he was emancipated and served for about one year. How the 90-year-old was buried under a Confederate headstone at the Northern California cemetery remains unknown.

A cemetery employee spotted the mistake and contacted the Sons of Union Veterans.

The memorial organization held the dedication with the American Civil War Association, a war-reenactment group.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, Original article

Chinese fan karate kicks ref after double red (Reuters)

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Mon Jul 26, 5:05 am ET

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese fan enraged by two quick red cards shown to the Qingdao Chinese Super League club at the weekend registered his annoyance by launching a karate kick at the referee and shoving a linesman.

The incident dealt another blow to the image of Chinese soccer, which is widely considered to be corrupt and riven with violence both on and off the pitch.

Slovenian forward Aleksander Rodic was the first Qingdao player given his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card for diving in the 67th minute of the 2-0 loss to Shanghai Shenhua on Sunday.

Croatian midfielder Stjepan Jukic followed him for an early shower three minutes later after being shown a straight red card for a nasty foul.

The tackle sparked a melee during which the unidentified man raced onto the pitch and attacked the two officials, Chinese media reported on Monday.

Yu Tao, general manager of the Qingdao club, denied that the man, who was wearing branded shorts and trainers, was a club employee.

“The man was definitely not on the staff of our club. He was just an emotional fan,” he told the Xinhua news agency. “The referee failed to control the game well — perhaps he was too young.”

Around 100 Qingdao fans smashed up a car they believed belonged to referee Wang Zhe after the match, Xinhua reported.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Alastair Himmer)

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Letters frozen in time arrive after 60 years

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It took them three days, but their search proved in vain. There were no survivors from the 40 passengers and eight crew of the Malabar Princess, an Air India Lockheed Constellation bound for a stopover in Geneva on its way to London.

However, the story lived on. In the popular French film Amelie, Audrey Tautou’s character creates a fictional letter — from a lover who had died in the crash — for a lonely female concierge after hearing about mountaineers finding similar letters. Now a British student on a field trip to the Alps to examine global warming has added to the legend after stumbling upon a mailbag from the Malabar Princess.

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Remarkably, some of the letters it contained have survived sufficiently for Freya Cowan, a third-year geography student, to embark upon a project to reunite about 75 letters and birthday cards with the senders or intended recipients.

While walking away from her University of Dundee colleagues for a lavatory break Miss Cowan, 22, discovered the mailbag, which, due to rock falls and melting snow, had descended about 8,000ft over the years.

She found four bundles inside and the postmark on the letter at the top read: “Bombay, 1950”.

“I thought it was a joke, given that only moments before I had been talking about the crash,” she said.

A few letters from the Malabar Princess have been recovered previously but nothing on this scale. It would seem that none of the mail found by Miss Cowan was written by passengers on the plane, who were seamen bound for a new ship in Sunderland. The bag was destined for the US and the Dundee team has already succeeded in finding the owners of some correspondence.

Tim Reid, a glaciologist who was also on the trip, will be forwarding a letter to the daughter of Captain Hank Smith, a US pilot who died in 1999 but wrote a colourful account of his time working in India. “Hank’s letter tells a fantastic story about how he was working in Bombay and the Middle East,” said Mr Reid.

“He had a charter to Basra but had trouble with the aircraft and came down near a British Army encampment. They didn’t have much fresh water so he drank a lot of beer.

“He was there for three or four weeks while the plane was fixed, but needed the help of the Army to fend off Bedouin tribes looking to steal the plane’s equipment.”

It is not known to whom the letter was sent, but Mr Reid traced Mr Smith’s daughter in Texas. “She was absolutely astonished,” he said.

He aims to send her the letter after work to preserve it.

David Barratt, another student on the trip, traced the intended recipient of a letter sent by D Jones, a Salvation Army officer, to her brother, Harlan Cleveland and his wife, Ethel. He is understood to be in his 90s and living in a Salvation Army retirement home in St Petersburg, Florida.

Dated the night of Oct 30, 1950 — just five days before the crash — the letter describes her missionary work in India and asks her brother for money for a camera.

Miss Cowan is keen to deliver two typewritten letters and two handwritten ones, all in the same envelope from “Myra”, who also appears to be a missionary. They were sent to a Mrs Georgianna Roadaswel in Ohio, possibly the village of Haskins.

One, dated Oct 30, 1950, was intended for a Lady Moore. Ironically, considering the letter never arrived, it starts: “I do not often take the time to answer a letter in less than an hour after it arrives but there are some things in yours that I want to talk about with you.”

Later she discussed the problems of her work in India. “There is a growing anti-missionary feeling among some of the folks,” she wrote.

“I feel it is all from one source entirely and I have prayed so often that she might be led into the Light.”

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French nuns seek chart run after record deal (Reuters)

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Sun Jul 25, 2:02 pm ET

PARIS (Reuters) – Benedictine nuns from a secluded convent in southern France have had their prayers answered after beating 70 other religious orders to a deal with Universal Music and aim to create a chart-topping album.

“We never sought this, it came looking for us,” said Reverend Mother Abbess at the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation near Avignon. “At first we were worried it would affect our cloistered life, so we asked St. Joseph in prayer. Our prayers were answered.”

The nuns, whose album of Gregorian chants is set to be released in November, belong to an order that dates back to the sixth century.

The sisters are neither allowed to leave the convent or receive guests and only communicate with visitors through a grill. “I passed the contract through the grill, they signed it and passed it back,” said Dickon Stainer, chief of Decca Records, a unit of Universal, in a statement.

To keep their privacy the sisters will also film their own television advert and photograph the album cover.

The nuns, who beat convents from North America and Africa, join a label that includes the likes of Elton John, The Rolling Stones and convent-educated chart topper Lady Gaga.

The abbess said the nuns decided to record the album hoping it would touch people’s lives.

(Reporting by John Irish)

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