October 17, 2007

Phone carriers quiet on U.S. surveillance program

Oct 15, 2007 5:27:00 PM

 

Major U.S. telephone carriers refused to answer questions from the Democratic-led Congress about their possible participation in President Bush's warrantless domestic spying program, according to documents released by lawmakers Monday.

 

At issue are reports that surfaced last year that some big telephone companies allowed the U.S. government access to millions of telephone records for Bush's antiterror efforts following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

 

Officials from AT&T, Verizon Communications and Qwest Communications International told the House Energy and Commerce Committee they could not discuss specifics about their companies' roles in any such effort.

 

The phone companies said it would be illegal for them to discuss the kind of program lawmakers were asking about without permission from the Bush administration.

 

AT&T "essentially finds itself caught in the middle of an oversight dispute between the Congress and the executive relating to government surveillance activities," AT&T General Counsel Wayne Watts said in a letter to the committee.

 

"Unfortunately, under current circumstances, we are unable to respond with specificity to your inquiries," Watts added in the letter to the panel headed by Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat.

 

Bush has demanded retroactive immunity from liability for telecommunication firms that participated in warrantless surveillance as part of any new bill to revise the laws governing the tracking of suspected enemy targets.

 

House Democratic leaders have refused, saying the administration must first explain what these firms did before they will even consider granting immunity.

 

The phone companies' responses to Dingell were sent to the committee on Friday.

 

The companies said they had policies in place to protect customers' privacy, but also said federal law authorized them to help the government investigate criminals and terrorists.

 

Verizon said phone companies had been targeted in a number of class action lawsuits filed after the government program was revealed in news reports.

 

"In the context of this litigation, we have been informed by the Department of Justice that we cannot confirm or deny Verizon's role (if any) in the alleged programs," said Verizon executive Randal Milch.

 

Democrats vowed to push the administration for answers.

 

"I look forward to meeting with representatives of the administration in short order, and I am hopeful that they will be forthcoming with the information Congress needs to properly evaluate this program," Dingell said.

 

Also on Monday, House cialis 20mg tablets Judiciary Chairman John Conyers said he had sent a letter to administration officials asking for details about "potentially unlawful surveillance activities before 9-11" and allegations that the government had retaliated against Qwest earlier for refusing to participate in the surveillance program.

 

Former Qwest chief executive Joseph Nacchio refused the government's request up until he left the company in 2002, his lawyer has said.

 

In his request to the phone companies earlier this month, Dingell asked them to describe how government requests for customer information are made and how the records are disclosed. He also asked if the government tried to install equipment on phone networks to intercept Internet traffic or presented a subpoena ordering the companies to install or permit such equipment.

 

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires the government to obtain orders from a secret FISA court to conduct surveillance of suspected terrorists in the United States.

 

After the September 11 attacks, Bush authorized the interception without warrants of communications between people in the United States and others overseas if one had suspected ties to terrorists. Critics charge that program violated the FISA law, but Bush argued he had wartime powers to do so.

 

In January, Bush put the program under the supervision of the FISA court. Terms of the oversight have not been made public. In August, Congress, under pressure from Bush, expanded the power of federal authorities to conduct warrantless surveillance in the tracking of enemy targets.

 

Democrats want to tighten that law with additional oversight by Congress and the secret court created by FISA.

 

Pasted from <http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-6213653.html?tag=nl.e550>

 

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OK, I admit it, Leopard has more “Wow!” than Vista … in theory anyway

Posted by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes @ 4:01 am

 

October 17th, 2007

 

Follow-up post: Yeah, but where are the “Top Secret” Leopard features that Steve Jobs promised?

 

Now that I’ve given in and decided that the PC Doc HQ is to get at least one Mac (what exactly I’m going to do with it remains a mystery, but that’s not the point) I’ve been spending some time checking out what new features I can expect from Leopard.  Apple has conveniently listed 300+ new Mac OS X Leopard features on a single page, and I have to say, Leopard sounds compelling … in theory anyway.

 

Browsing through the 300+ new feature (well, OK, let’s first admit that “new features” is marketing hyperbole, some of the features have just been re-tweaked and modified a little) I have to admit that I went “Wow!” more than once.  In fact, I might as well come clean and admit that Leopard looks like it beats Vista in the “Wow!” department. 

 

In case you missed that, let me repeat it again:

 

“Leopard looks like it beats Vista in the “Wow!” department.”

 

There, I said it again.

 

Here are just some of the features from the listing that caught my eye:

 

  • Google Map Addresses
    View a detailed map of any address in Address Book. Just hold down the Control key while clicking any address and select “Map of” and Safari will show you its location in Google Maps.
    [
    Note that this is one of those re-tweaked features – I believe that this is already in OS X Address Book but uses MapQuest instead of Google Maps.  But yeah, it’s cool.  Why can’t Outlook have this?]
  • Scriptable System Preferences & Applications
    Do more with AppleScript. A number of system preferences in Leopard are now scriptable, including the Dock, Security, Exposé, Accounts, and Networking — as well as a number of features in iChat.
  • Updated Folder Action Support
    Enjoy greater reliability with folder actions, which are triggered by the file system instead of the Finder. Folder actions now have their own server, and each folder action now runs its own copy of the new Folder Actions Dispatcher application.
    [
    This sounds like a really awesome and highly useful feature.]
  • UI Recording and Playback
    Add even more capabilities to your workflows. Use a new action called Watch Me Do that lets you record a user action (like pressing a button or controlling an application without built-in Automator support) and replay as an action in a workflow.
  • Copy Files Between Mac OS X and Windows
    Copy, open, modify, or delete files in Mac OS X that you saved to your Windows partition. Leopard understands the Windows FAT32 disk format.
    [
    I was hoping that this feature would appear because otherwise having two OSes was pretty useless.]
  • Microsoft WHCL-Certified Windows Drivers
    Enjoy the unique hardware features of your Mac including the iSight camera, trackpad scrolling, keyboard backlighting, and volume keys using fully compatible Windows drivers.
    [
    When I last used Boot Camp, the Windows drivers for the Mac hardware were, well, putting it kindly, execrable.  Also, as ShadeTree points out, Apple has made a mistake here – the drivers are WHQL-certified, not WHCL.  Hey, don’t blame me, I didn’t write the marketing material!  😉]
  • Improved Full-Screen Interface
    Enjoy DVD Player’s dramatic new full-screen interface, which puts all your DVD’s features right at your fingertips. Mouse over the top or bottom regions to access onscreen semitransparent displays for a wealth of controls and settings.
    [
    Sounds like this hands-down beats Vista.]
  • Time Skip
    Skip ahead or skip back five seconds to replay that moment you missed or just see something one more time.
    [
    Nice, very nice!]
  • Scratched Disc Recovery
    Smoothly play back even DVDs that may be damaged. New technology in Leopard can locate and avoid scratched areas of the disc.
    [
    Another cool feature.]
  • Icon Preview
    See files for what they really are. Leopard displays icons that are actual thumbnail previews of the documents themselves.
    [
    Believe it or not, this sounds like a really useful feature, especially if you’re like me and don’t always give files meaningful names.]

 

I’ve limited myself to ten features here but I could have easily picked a couple of dozen more features that sound interesting and useful and that made me utter a low “Wow!”  It seems that being in a distant second place in the OS market is actually making Apple work hard to come up with new ideas and innovative features.

 

Sure, I’m reading a web page here and I’ve been exposed to enough marketing material to know that there can be a huge cialis 20 mg tadalafil gulf between what something says it will do in theory and how it behaves in practice and that there’s a good chance that while these features will exist in Leopard that not all will operate or behave the way I expect them to.  I’d be a total bozo if I didn’t expect some level of compromise or disappointment (*cough* … Safari … *cough*).  But at least these features are there and I feel that Apple is trying to build an all-inclusive OS and that in order to get what I want I don’t have to choose from a bouquet of OS options.

 

Pasted from <http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=861&tag=nl.e539>

 

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Skype Equips MySpace Users to Make Free Calls

Starting in November, MySpace’s 110 million active users will be able to make free phone calls using Skype-enabled cialis 20 mg dosage version of MySpace’s instant messaging client, MySpaceIM.

This marks the first time that Skype has allowed its technology to be integrated into a 3rd-party application, thereby disassociating the Skype service from the Skype client.

Skype has provided a developer program through which others could build applications that make calls to the Skype client, but the company never before allowed for seamless integration with its VoIP network.
MySpace users will be able to make calls using MySpaceIM without needing to download any additional Skype software or even to sign up for a Skype account. They will also be able to initiate calls through MySpaceIM by clicking a link that will be displayed under the portraits on MySpace profile pages.

In addition, the integration of MySpace and Skype will allow MySpace users to transfer information, such as portraits, from their profiles to their Skype accounts.

MySpace claims that MySpaceIM currently has over 25 million installed users. MySpaceIM with Skype will be launched in 20 countries.

Yesterday 20:10

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Keep Word headers and footers from overlapping your document’s text

Date: October 16th, 2007

Author: Mary Ann Richardson

 

When you find that your header is almost overlapping the first line of text in your Word document, you do not need to make your header smaller; you need to increase the distance of the header text from the rest of the content on the page. To do so, follow these steps:

 

  1. Go to View | Print Layout.
  2. If the page ruler is not visible, go to View | Ruler.
  3. Go to View | Header And Footer.
  4. Move your mouse along the white area of the vertical ruler until it becomes a double-headed arrow and a ToolTip appears that reads cialis 20 mg cost italic”>Bottom Margin.
  5. Click and drag the bottom margin until your header text is the desired distance from your document text.

 

Sometimes a header or footer overlaps the margin so that it prints too close to the top or bottom edge of the paper. When this happens, you need to increase the distance of the header or footer text from the edge of the page. You could use your mouse to adjust the top margin as you did to adjust the bottom margin in steps 4 and 5 above, or you could use the Page Setup dialog box, which lets you adjust the header and footer at the same time. For example, to adjust the header and footer so that both are one inch from the edge of the paper, follow these steps:

 

  1. Go to File | Page Setup.
  2. Click the Layout tab.
  3. Click the up arrow of the From Edge: Header box until you reach 1″.
  4. Click the up arrow of the From Edge: Footer box until you reach 1″ and then click OK.

 

Miss a Word tip?

Check out the Microsoft Word archive, and catch up on our most recent Word tips.

 

Pasted from <http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/msoffice/?p=288&tag=nl.e056>

 

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