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08-29-2015 Science&Technology
HTC Vive launches this year, but the bulk will be released in 2016

Taiwan-based electronics maker HTC will be launching its Vive virtual-reality headset this year, but the company is limiting the total number of units it'll initially offer, according to a report. HTC's Vive will launch in late 2015 in "limited quantity," the company said in a statement without specifying an actual date. HTC said that the early launch will be available to parts of its "community" and developers. A wide launch "with larger quantities" will ship in the first quarter of 2016.

Virtual reality headsets are worn over the eyes and provide a full, 3D virtual environment for gamers to explore. A connected controller provides additional functionality. Gaming has been a driver for virtual reality, and most devices will launch with support for several titles. Over time, some market analysts believes that virtual reality could also prove to be a desirable option for the film industry, though only a few filmmakers have taken to the technology so far.

The jump to virtual reality is a big one for HTC. The company, which made a name for itself in smartphones, has watched its business decline in that space as competitors such as Apple and Samsung have continued to prove difficult to deal with. In an effort to boost its business, HTC is looking at other markets, including virtual reality. It isn't alone. While HTC and Valve, best known for its Steam online gaming platform and HTC's partner on the Vive, have promised to launch the Vive later this year, Facebook's Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus are slated for a 2016 launch.

It's unclear why HTC may have decided to hold off on a full-scale launch until 2016, but it may be in part due to its competition waiting until then. Indeed, while HTC has previously said it wants to get Vive into some customer hands in 2015, it's next year that will ultimately prove critical for virtual reality.

"The industry needs a successful first year," HTC's head of marketing Jeff Gattis told CNET in July. "Next year is critical." Gattis went on to say in the interview that a successful first year would see the virtual reality industry sell through 2 million to 3 million headsets.

Whenever the Vive launches, the device may prove popular. CNET Editor Scott Stein took the headset for a spin in March and called it "amazing." Unlike many other other virtual reality headsets that let you move your head to view things around you, the Vive allows you to freely walk in a (limited) space, adding extra depth to the gaming experience.

HTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: CNet

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08-29-2015 Science&Technology
Ashley Madison CEO Steps Down in Wake of Hacking

The CEO of the company that runs adultery website Ashley Madison is stepping down in the wake of the massive breach of the company's computer systems and outing of millions of its members.

Avid Life Media Inc. says Noel Biderman's departure is effective immediately and was a mutual decision.

"This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees," Avid Life's statement reads. "We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base."

Biderman didn't immediately return an email sent to his work account seeking comment.

Biderman, who touted himself as "the king of infidelity," made millions off the philosophy that cheating is a natural part of married life. The site charges a fee each time a member sends a potential lover a message.

Biderman has written books espousing his views on adultery, including one published in 2011 titled: "Cheaters Prosper — How Infidelity Will Save The Modern Marriage." At the same time, the married father of two has claimed to be a devoted husband and that his wife of 12 years would be heartbroken if he ever broke his vows to her.

Privately held Toronto-based Avid Life grossed $115 million in earnings last year, according to tax documents and figures shared by Biderman with Forbes.

Avid Life's statement released Friday went on to say that it's "actively adjusting" to the fallout from the hacking and continues to provide access to its services. The company, which has offered a $500,000 Canadian (U.S. $378,204) reward for information leading to the arrest of the hackers, adds that it continues to cooperate with international law enforcement in their investigations.

Hackers originally breached Avid Life's systems in July, accusing it of filling the site with fake profiles and charging fees for wiping profiles that were never truly deleted. The hackers posted the information online a month later after the company didn't comply with their demands to shut down.

The posting of the data — including names, emails, home addresses, financial data and message history — has so far resulted in a flurry of lawsuits throughout the U.S. There also have been reports of extortion attempts and two unconfirmed suicides, according to Canadian police.

The credit-card information of U.S. government workers — some with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress and the Justice Department — also was revealed in the breach. And hundreds of email addresses in the data release appear to be connected to federal, provincial and municipal workers across Canada.

Ashley Madison, whose slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair," purports to have nearly 40 million members.

Source: ABC News

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08-29-2015 General
Nazi gold train's existence revealed in deathbed confession

The remarkable tale of the legendary Nazi gold train took an astonishing twist on Friday, when a Polish minister said that the train's existence was confirmed in a deathbed confession. Piotr Zuchowski, head of conservation at the culture ministry, said the location of the train was divulged to the train’s finders by one of the men who hid it "A man on his deathbed gave the people looking for the train the information they needed to find it," he said. Mr Zuchowski described the find as “unprecedented”. Since the end of the Second World War rumours and legends of a Nazi gold train that disappeared without trace in the dying days of the conflict have swirled around the town of Walbrzych, in south-west Poland. Stories put the train in the hills around the town, but despite many attempts to track it down it was never found – until now, it seems. Mr Zuchowski told a press conference on Friday that the dying man was involved the operation to hide the train 70 years ago. The identity of the man, and the two treasure hunters – believed to be a Pole and a German – who made the find has not been revealed, and remain part of the mystery still surrounding the train. The minister said he is now “99 per cent” that the train has been found, after seeing photographs of an object taken with ground penetrating radar. “This is unprecedented. The train is over 100 metres long, and is armoured. We do not what’s inside but its armour indicates it has a special cargo,” said Mr Zuchowski. “There is probably military equipment but also jewellery, works of art and archive documents which we knew existed, but never found.” And the suggestion that the train carried stolen personal items, rather than solid gold blocks, has sparked a keen interest among specialists in returning looted property to their lawful owners. "We are still very keen to establish the facts surrounding the content of this train, but certainly the discovery alone is of great interest," said Mary Kate Cleary, Art Recovery Group’s research and due diligence director. "The Nazis engaged in a systematic campaign to loot works of art and cultural property from public and private collections in Europe with close to 80,000 objects confiscated in Poland alone. If even a fraction of that number can be recovered from this train then we could be witnessing one of the most significant finds in modern history." The authorities and the finders have kept the exact location of the train secret, owing to fears that it could be booby trapped and that any explosives on it could have become unstable, and so pose a danger to other treasure hunters who have reportedly descended on Walbrzych in the hope of getting to the train first.

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Source: The Telegraph

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08-29-2015 Entertainment
Netflix set to double its L.A.-area office space with move to Hollywood

Netflix is loading up its truck and moving to Hollywood.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company will move its SoCal operations from Beverly Hills to the center of action in Hollywood by 2017. The video streaming service signed a long-term lease at 14-story Icon Building at Sunset Bronson Studios, a deal The Times reported last month was in the works. The marquee high-rise office tower, being erected by Hudson Pacific Properties Inc., is under constuction on the studio lot on Sunset Boulevard. Netflix is expected to occupy just over 200,000 square feet — the deal, according to the companies, is the largest office lease signed in Hollywood in terms of square feet. And it doubles Netflix's L.A.-area office space. A Netflix spokesperson declined to comment on length of the lease and financial terms of the deal.

The high-profile move is indicitive of Netflix's ambitions to establish itself as a key player in the entertainment industry. The company has made impressive strides in the TV world with its slate of original programming and will soon see how its deals in the film world will shift business models. All the while, it has amassed more than 65 million worldwide subscribers. “Icon is a state-of-the-art facility that places Netflix squarely in the middle of Hollywood’s creative culture to support our next stage of growth and content creation,” said Netflix CFO David Wells in a statement. “The property’s combination of office, stage and production space provides an ideal setting.”

Icon is at 5800 W. Sunset Blvd. and will encompass 323,000 square feet total upon completion.

Netflix currently occupies about 100,000 square feet of offices in Maple Plaza in Beverly Hills, according to real estate brokerage Cushman Wakefield. Four hundred of its 2,000 global staff operate out of that space. As its business continues to expand, the need for more elbow room was inevitable. The move to Hollywood from Beverly Hills comes as the Internet TV company is beefing up its production presence in Los Angeles and surrounding communities with its original projects.

Among the upcoming Netflix originals shot in or near Los Angeles are series "Fuller House," "The Ranch," "Lady Dynamite," "Flaked," "Love," and "With Bob And David" and the Netflix original film "Pee-wee’s Big Holiday." Past productions also shot in the area include "Arrested Development" and "Grace and Frankie."

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Netflix's decision to relocate its SoCal operations to Hollywood "reaffirms that Los Angeles remains the nexus for innovative tech and creative companies and that the future of the entertainment industry will call Hollywood home."

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Source: Los Angeles Times

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08-29-2015 Health
New drug could dramatically reduce cholesterol

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the second in a new class of cholesterol drugs that promises to dramatically lower cholesterol, although at a very high price.

Amgen's Repatha, also known generically as evolocumab, belongs to a new class of injectable cholesterol fighters called PCSK9 inhibitors, which are man-made antibodies. The FDA last month approved the first of these drugs, Praluent, made by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Both drugs will cost more than $14,000 a year.

That's far more than statins, the dominant cholesterol drug, which can cost only $250 for generics. The costs of the new cholesterol fighters is compounded by the fact that patients would be expected to take them for the rest of their lives.

The FDA granted both Repatha and Praluent broad approval, allowing it to be prescribed along with statins to people with cardiovascular disease, such as those who have had heart attacks or strokes, who need to lower their LDL.

In a clinical trial, patients who combined Repatha with statins lowered their cholesterol by 60%, compared to placebo. Side effects include sore throats, upper respiratory tract infections, flu, back pain and bruises or sore where the injections are given, according to the FDA.

"Cardiovascular disease is a serious threat to the health of Americans, and the FDA is committed to facilitating the development and approval of effective and safe drugs to address this important public health problem," said John Jenkins, director of the Office of New Drugs at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

But there's no evidence yet that Repatha actually prevents heart attacks, strokes or death, said cardiologist Cam Patterson, chief operating officer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Doctors also don't yet know what side effects Repatha will cause when it's taken by millions of Americans, not just the small number of patients in a clinical trial.

"The FDA is really setting a new norm" by approving cholesterol drugs that have no evidence of actually preventing heart attack, Patterson said.

Doctors won't really know the best drugs to prescribe for their patients, Patterson said.

Up to 11 million Americans could be eligible for the new class of cholesterol medications, according to Amgen.

This class of drugs "have the potential to grow over the next several years to become the costliest therapy class our country has seen," said Steve Miller, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Express Scripts, a leading pharmacy benefit manager, in a statement.

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Source: Detroit Free Press

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08-29-2015 Environment
Tropical Storm Erika drenches Puerto Rico after devastating Dominica; Florida next?

Tropical Storm Erika lashed Puerto Rico early Friday with heavy rains and wind after killing at least four people and causing devastating floods and landslides in the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, where several people remained missing.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency ahead of the approaching storm, which could impact the state by Sunday or Monday. It will likely remain at tropical storm strength as it nears Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The latest forecast from the center said Erika is expected to weaken and could even dissipate in the next 12 to 24 hours.

"If the center of Erika survives the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola (the island on which the Dominican Republic and Haiti is located) it should slowly reorganize back into a tropical storm this weekend, just northeast of Cuba," AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said.

"If Erica does not survive the interaction with Hispaniola, it may never reorganize into a coherent tropical storm again and impact on Florida would be reduced," he said.

A portion of South Florida is in severe or extreme drought, according to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, so some rain would be welcome there. However that may not be the case elsewhere in Florida.

For example, the Tampa area is already soaked from a bout of historic rain in late July and early August, the Tampa Bay Times reports, and a significant strike from Erika would almost certainly cause flooding.

In the Caribbean, Ian Pinard, Dominica's minister of works and ports, told CCN TV6 that 25 people were killed in one community alone on the tiny Caribbean island because of flooding and landslides. He said 14 bodies have already been recovered. The report could not be immediately confirmed.

"There are still persons missing," he told the Trinidad and Tobago TV station. "The country's infrastructure has been devastated."

Photos and videos on social media showed floodwaters inundating streets and causing buildings to collapse on Dominica. Up to 15 inches of rain fell there between late Wednesday and early Thursday, the Antigua Weather Service said.

New tropical storm warnings have been issued for parts of the Bahamas as Erika approaches. As of 11 a.m. ET, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. It was centered about 65 miles east-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and was moving west-northwest at 18 mph.

In the Pacific, two hurricanes — Ignacio and Jimena — continue to spin in the open ocean. Ignacio could impact Hawaii by Monday and Tuesday. It's now over 800 miles away from Hilo, Hawaii, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Source: USA Today

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08-29-2015 Environment
Avalanche carrying 30,000 tonnes of ice tumbles into Mt Ruapehu's crater lake

The earth shook when an avalanche of more than 30,000 tonnes of ice and snow fell into the crater lake of Mt Ruapehu in the central North Island. The "moderately large avalanche" on Tuesday night caused ground vibration and the temperature of the lake dropped rapidly to 8C from 15C, GeoNet says. During the next few hours the lake reheated to 15C and appeared unaffected by the avalanche. Although the lake has been relatively cold for several weeks at about 15C, heat is always being added to the lake from the vents on the lake floor. "Because of this sustained heating, the lake quickly recovered from the sudden inflow of cold snow and bounced back up to its pre-avalanche temperature," said volcanologist Brad Scott. The temperature of the crater lake typically ranges between about 15C and 40C. On August 21 the Department of Conservation warned people to stay away from the crater lake because cooler temperatures were creating uncertainties about the state of the vent system. Three ski areas on the mountain have continued to operate. There is currently a Volcanic Alert Level One for Mt Ruapehu. The level ranges from zero to five and one indicates minor unrest. A volcano gas team flew over the volcano last Friday and measured typical amounts of volcanic gas from the crater lake, confirming no unusual level of activity. The lake was removed during the 1995 and 1996 eruptions and took several years to refill and become established. The nearby Tongariro volcano erupted in November 2012 but the alert level of it is currently zero.

Source: One News Now

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08-29-2015 Politics
Australian Border Force under fire from MPs after campaign of fear in Melbourne

IT’S less than two months old but the Australian Border Force today became well known for all of the wrong reasons today. The force had planned to spot check people’s visas on the streets of Melbourne this weekend as part of its Operation Fortitude, but the crackdown was cancelled at the last minute amid angry protests in the Victorian capital. The furore has left the combined Customs and Immigration unit accused of being “uniformed goons” by one senator and an MP has likened it to a Stalinist operation. The Australian Border Force (ABF), founded on July 1, had its officers shoved into the spotlight by an overeager press release, which hinted at activities as dark as the organisation’s quasi-military uniforms. An announcement this morning made clear that ABF personnel would patrol the Melbourne CBD with police “speaking with any individuals we cross paths with”. Visas would be demanded and checked. And the aim was to “target crime in and around the Melbourne CBD to make the city a safer place for everyone”. This was startling news for the many who might not have heard of the ABF, except perhaps as the officials who stamp passports at international terminals. The idea they could roam city streets pulling up and threatening people was deeply disturbing. “Either the Border Force are doing racial profiling, in which case they should stop it, or they are hassling everyone, and they should stop that as well,” Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm said. “We do not need any more uniformed goons. “This indicates that the Border Force should be radically downsized and its workers allowed to do something useful for a living.” By early afternoon a cooler announcement was made by the ABF. Its officers would only be talking to people referred to it by police and other authorities. “To be clear, the ABF does not, and will not, stop people at random in the street,” the statement said — a little too late. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie was not impressed. “Joseph Stalin would be proud of (Prime Minister) Tony Abbott. Just as East Germany’s Stasi would be delighted with the Australian Border Force. Why, even General Pinochet would be impressed,” he said. “The decision by the federal government to cancel this weekend’s security operation in Melbourne is a welcome respite, for now at least, but the government has shown its hand by planning the operation in the first place.” Formation of the ABF began while Scott Morrison was immigration minister and the announcement was made by the Prime Minister and current Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. But there was little attempt to explain to taxpayers why they were being charged $10 million just for newly-designed uniforms and signage for a unit they never knew was needed. Well, they have heard of them now, although some might still be puzzled as to why.


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08-28-2015 Science&Technology
Google Denies Europe’s Antitrust Accusations

Google on Thursday rejected claims from the European Union’s top antitrust official that the company favored some of its own search results over those of rivals, saying there was significant competition in the region’s online search market and that the company’s services increased choice for local consumers.

The company’s response, which was submitted to the European Commission on Thursday afternoon, is the latest chapter in a long investigation into the Silicon Valley technology giant, which would face fines worth billions of dollars if it is found to have broken the European Union’s antitrust rules.

Margrethe Vestager, the Europe Union’s antitrust chief, laid out charges against Google in April, highlighting how the region’s authorities believe that Google has abused its dominance in web searches to benefit some of its own services. The company holds a roughly 90 percent share in Europe’s search market, compared with around 65 percent in the United States.

Ms. Vestager, a Danish politician who has been in the post for less than a year, has also said that the European Union is investigating Google over the dominance of its Android smartphone software, which is used by almost three-quarters of Europe’s smartphone users, according to the data provider IDC.

In a blog post on Thursday, Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, rebuffed accusations that the company’s activities had reduced online competition.

He said that multiple rivals — including big American companies like Amazon and eBay — continued to compete against Google for online search requests. He added that instead of reducing competition, Google sent roughly 20 billion referrals to other Internet companies in Europe over the last decade, leading to a 227 percent increase in web traffic to those sites.

Mr. Walker also said Google’s searches provided individuals with tailored — and specific — results for their online queries. Any attempt to alter how the company offered its search results could harm the quality and relevance of these queries, he warned. He did not comment about Europe’s investigation into Android.

“We believe that the statement of objection’s preliminary conclusions are wrong as a matter of fact, law and economics,” said Mr. Walker, in reference to the European Commission’s official charge sheet, or statement of objections. “Our search engine is designed to provide the most relevant results and most useful ads for any query,” he added. “Users and advertisers benefit when we do this well. So does Google.”

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Source: The New York Times

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08-28-2015 Environment
New NASA research points to an “unavoidable” rise of several feet for the Earth’s oceans

New satellite research from NASA shows that not only are global sea levels rising quickly, but they could rise even more drastically than previous reports estimated. According to the US space agency, seas around the world have risen an average of three inches (7.6 cm) since 1992, and as much as nine inches (23 cm) in certain places. “It’s pretty certain we are locked into at least 3 feet of sea level rise, and probably more,” said Steve Nerem, head of NASA’s Sea Level Change Team. “But we don’t know whether it will happen within a century or somewhat longer.” Sea levels are rising for three main reasons: The melting of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, the melting of mountain glaciers, and the expansion of oceans as they absorb heat and become warmer. All three causes can be directly attributed to global warming. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in 2013 that global sea levels were likely to rise between one and three feet over the next century. But after studying 23 years of satellite information—the entire record of data available—NASA warns that those estimates are probably too conservative. “The data shows that sea level is rising faster than it was 50 years ago, and it’s very likely to get worse in the future,” Nerem said. The question now, NASA says, is “how that range might shift upward.” This NASA visualization shows how much the Greenland ice sheet has melted over the last decade:

“The Greenland ice sheet, covering 660,000 square miles—nearly the area of Alaska—shed an average of 303 gigatons of ice a year over the past decade, according to satellite measurements,” NASA said. “The Antarctic ice sheet, covering 5.4 million square miles—larger than the United States and India combined—has lost an average of 118 gigatons a year. All that melted ice has to go somewhere. Rapidly increasing sea levels could have drastic consequences for human populations, especially the hundreds of millions of people who live in coastal areas or on islands. Coastlines will erode, storm surges will rise, and some areas could become completely uninhabitable.

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Source: Quartz

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08-28-2015 Politics
Immigration minister blames business for record net migration

James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, has blamed British business for hiring too many foreigners, as net migration hit an all-time high. Net migration – the difference between those arriving and those emigrating – rose by 94,000 last year to 330,000, smashing a record set under Labour. The Home Office minister said business was “overly reliant” on foreign employees, and was therefore partly to blame for what he described as “deeply disappointing” figures. Business groups responded by describing the Government’s target to reduce net migration to “tens of thousands” as “bizarre and unachievable”.

Mr Brokenshire said: “While these figures underline the challenges we need to meet to reduce net migration, they should also act as a further wake-up call for the EU. “Current flows of people across Europe are on a scale we haven't seen since the end of the Second World War. "This is not sustainable and risks the future economic development of other EU member states. “It reinforces the need for further reform at an EU level as well as within the UK." He said the Government had slashed student fraud, struck off nearly 900 bogus colleges and toughened access to welfare and housing. "But with nearly 100,000 non-EU students remaining in the UK at the end of their courses and British business still overly reliant on foreign workers in a number of sectors, there is much more to do," the minister said. "That's why our new Immigration Bill will further address illegal working, the pull factors that draw migrants to Britain and the availability of public services which help them to remain here unlawfully." Seamus Nevin, head of employment and skills policy at the Institute of Directors, retaliated by criticising the minister’s policies and accusing successive governments of failing to deliver an adequate education system. “It is imperative we fix this, but until that has been achieved, many businesses will continue to need access to international skills,” he said. “Other countries welcome top talent. Britain makes it difficult and artificially expensive for students to enter and stay, and now the minister has called for them to be ejected. “The idea appears to be that rather than encouraging the best international talent to stay here we train them up and immediately kick them out, so it is our competitors who benefit. “This is an abrupt departure from the government’s expressed claim to be ‘business friendly.’”

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Source: The Telegraph

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08-28-2015 Politics
Poll gives Biden edge over Clinton against GOP candidates; VP meets with Trumka

WASHINGTON – A new national poll shows Vice President Biden faring better than Hillary Clinton in match-ups against top Republican presidential candidates, as the VP weighs jumping into the race -- and meets Thursday with a top labor leader.

Fox News has learned that Biden is meeting later in the day with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. This comes after he met last weekend with liberal icon, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

He's making the rounds amid a flurry of polls showing Clinton potentially vulnerable. The latest Quinnipiac University National Poll shows Clinton polling better than Biden – who is not a declared candidate – in the Democratic primary race. But the poll gives Biden the slight edge when squared against leading GOP contenders.

"Note to Biden: They like you, they really like you, or they like you more than the others,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement.

The poll shows Biden leading Republican front-runner Donald Trump, 48-40 percent. He also leads former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 45-39 percent.

The former secretary of state also edges those candidates, but not by as much. She leads Trump 45-41 percent; she leads Bush 42-40 percent.

Both candidates narrowly lead Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. The survey comes on the heels of another showing Biden running strong in head-to-head match-ups against Republicans in key swing states.

Biden continues to weigh a potential bid, as Clinton struggles with the controversy over her personal email and server, and faces eroding poll numbers. The Quinnipiac poll showed her with her worst favorability rating yet – with only 39 percent holding a favorable view of her, compared with 51 percent who don’t.

Clinton weighed in on the Biden rumors Wednesday, saying in Iowa that, “He should have the space and the opportunity to decide what he wants to do.”

“I’m going to be running for president regardless,” she added.

The Quinnipiac poll of 1,563 registered voters was conducted Aug. 20-25. It has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

Source: Fox News

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08-20-2015 Science&Technology
Hackers claim to have leaked Ashley Madison data trove online

Cheating spouses beware: Hackers claim to have released data stolen last month during a breach at Ashley Madison, a dating site for people looking for affairs.

A roughly 10-gigabyte file that purported to contain several points of personal data, including e-mails, member profiles, credit-card transactions and other sensitive information about Ashley Madison's millions of users became available Tuesday, according to numerous media reports.

The download was initially posted to a site on the dark web only accessible by using the anonymous browsing tool Tor, according to Wired. One file appeared to contain credit card transaction data, but did not appear to include billing addresses or full payment card numbers, according to Ars Technica.

Another site, Established Men, was also swept up in the data dump, according to various media reports. Established Men is aimed at women hoping to connect with wealthy men.

Both sites are owned by Avid Life Media. A spokesperson for Avid Life said it was investigating whether the sites were the source of the data.

"Last month we were made aware of an attack to our systems," the company said in a statement. "We have now learned that the individual or individuals responsible for this attack claim to have released more of the stolen data."

Avid said it is working with Canadian law enforcement and the FBI to investigate the incident. "This event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality," Avid Life Media said in its statement. "The criminal, or criminals, involved in this act have appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society."

In July, a group of hackers calling themselves the Impact Team appeared to post some data from the company's sites online. The hackers claimed that Ashley Madison didn't delete users information even after they paid for a special fee to do so. The company rebuffed that claim and made the service, which previously cost around $20, free after news of the breach.

In a statement at the time of the breach, the hackers demanded Avid Life "take Ashley Madison and Established Men offline permanently in all forms" or they would release all customer records.

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Source: The Washington Post

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08-19-2015 Politics
Donald Trump Leads in New Poll Despite Electability Doubts

Republicans worry he wouldn't do well in the general election

Donald Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in the latest CNN poll, though many voters worry he wouldn’t be the best candidate in the general election.

The real estate mogul was backed by 24% of Republican voters nationally, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 13% and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 8%.

Another candidate who has never held elected office, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, saw a bump since the last CNN poll, which was taken before the Aug. 7 Fox News debate in Cleveland. Fiorina, who had previously never gotten more than 2% in a CNN poll, received 5% support.

That was enough to bring her into the third tier of candidates, alongside Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Still, Republicans remain skeptical about Trump’s chances, with 58% saying the GOP would have a better chance of winning the White House with someone else as the nominee, and only 38% saying it would do better with Trump on the ballot.

The poll of 506 voters who described themselves as Republicans or independents who lean Republican was taken Aug. 13-16 by CNN and ORC International and included both landline and cell phones. The margin of error for the Republican voters was plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Source: Time

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08-17-2015 Politics
Donald Trump: It Would Be a 'Miracle' if Hillary Continues Run

Donald Trump said it would be a "miracle" if Hillary Clinton is able to continue her run for president in the wake of the controversy surrounding her use of a private email server to conduct official business as Secretary of State — but if she does, he'll beat her.

"I think [Clinton] may not be able to run, to be honest, because this whole email thing is a horrible thing," he said in an interview conducted by NBC's Chuck Todd.

Trump likened her situation to that of General David Petraeus, who resigned as director of the CIA after his affair with his biographer was uncovered, and later accused to have shared classified materials with her. The controversy surrounding Clinton's email use intensified this month as reports revealed the FBI was investigating the security of her private server. "General Petraeus, his life has been destroyed. And he did 5% of what she did," Trump said. "So assuming she's able to run — which would be absolutely, to me, a miracle at this point — I will beat her."

The GOP frontrunner offered that as evidence he hadn't conspired with the Clintons, as some skeptics believe, to enter the race to undermine the GOP's chances of taking back the White House. Trump said he had made up his mind to run before Bill Clinton phoned him and encouraged him "to play a larger role in the Republican Party," according to the Washington Post. "And I think he's very disappointed that I'm running," Trump said of Bill, "because I'm the one person that's going to beat her."

The real-estate mogul holds a lead in nearly every poll of the Republican field, but over the past month he's openly floated a contingency plan in case he doesn't win the nomination: Break off from the GOP and make a third-party run for the White House.

In his interview on "Meet the Press," however, Trump said he could drop his threat to make a third-party bid for the White House "in the not too distant future" — but hinted he was keeping the option over for "leverage."

"I'm not prepared to close that door yet," he said, when asked about his third-party threat. "But I wouldn't be surprised if someday in the not too distant future it happens."

The GOP frontrunner has been floating a potential independent bid for weeks over what he said was initially a lack of "support" from the Republican National Committee. Many party leaders, including RNC Chairman Reince Preibus, criticized Trump's controversial rhetoric and blustery style, and Trump said if party leadership were "not fair" towards him, the likelihood of his running third party would increase.

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Source: NBC News

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08-17-2015 General
Villagers saw Indonesian plane crash into mountain, officials say

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN)The Trigana Air Service plane that went missing Sunday has been found, Indonesia's director general of air transportation, Suprasetyo, said during a news conference.

The wreckage was found in the Oktabe district of Papua province, he said. Details are still being verified, Suprasetyo said, but villagers reported seeing the plane, which was carrying 54 passengers and crew, crash into a mountain.

Search and rescue teams that suspended their efforts Sunday will conduct aerial and ground searches Monday to confirm the villagers' reports, he said.

The domestic flight lost contact with air traffic control in Papua province Sunday afternoon, the nation's search and rescue agency said on Twitter.

The flight left Sentani Airport in Jayapura at 2:22 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Oksibil at about 3:16 p.m., officials said.

The plane lost contact at about 2:55 p.m., Transportation Ministry spokesman J.A. Barata told CNN Indonesia.

Barata said there was no indication that a distress call was made from the plane. Officials received reports Sunday afternoon that villagers had seen the plane go down, he said.

The plane was carrying 44 adult passengers, five children and five crew members. The search, which involved forested and mountainous terrain, was called off because weather and lack of light made an already dangerous landscape more problematic.

"A search was launched earlier today, but was called off because of bad weather, and it's also now dark there," Barata said.

Barata said he would be flying from Jakarta to Papua along with investigators and search and rescue officials. Thunderstorms in the mountains There are many possible reasons for the apparent lack of a distress call, CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo said. It could indicate that flight crew members were too busy dealing with whatever situation arose to have time to send one, or that they simply didn't realize they were in trouble.

Officials said the weather was clear when the plane took off in Jayapura, but CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera said there were some thunderstorms over a mountainous area in the flight path.

The weather could get worse in the coming days, possibly impeding rescue efforts in an area with mountain peaks as high as 3 kilometers (10,000 feet).

"The terrain is going to be an issue as well, as we have some pretty steep slopes here," Cabrera said.

Trigana banned from flying in Europe The Trigana Air Service plane is at least the third aircraft to go missing in Asia in the the past 18 months.

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Source: CNN

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5 The Washington Post / United States 6 The People's Daily / China 7 The Daily Telegraph / United Kingdom 8 USA Today / United States
9 Los Angeles Times / United States 10 El Mundo / Spain 11 La Repubblica / Italy 12 The Times of India / India
13 Bild / Germany 14 Corriere della Sera / Italy 15 The Examiner / United States 16 The Independent / United Kingdom
17 El País / Spain 18 The Financial Times / United Kingdom 19 The Sydney Morning Herald / Australia 20 Daily News / United States
21 Chicago Tribune / United States 22 Le Monde / France 23 Marca / Spain 24 Hürriyet / Turkey
25 Die Welt / Germany 26 Asahi Shimbun / Japan 27 The Sun / United Kingdom 28 New York Post / United States
29 The Age / Australia 30 Gazeta Wyborcza / Poland 31 The Philadelphia Inquirer / United States 32 The Washington Times / United States
33 Die Zeit / Germany 34 Yomiuri Shimbun / Japan 35 The New Zealand Herald / New Zealand 36 The Onion / United States
37 Milliyet Gazetesi / Turkey 38 Il Sole 24 Ore / Italy 39 The Chicago Sun-Times / United States 40 Al-Ahram / Egypt
41 Le Figaro / France 42 Süddeutsche Zeitung / Germany 43 The Hindu / India 44 Houston Chronicle / United States
45 The Seattle Times / United States 46 Libération / France 47 The Globe and Mail / Canada 48 De Standaard / Belgium
49 The Irish Times / Ireland 50 The Toronto Star / Canada 51 Le Nouvel Observateur / France 52 Mercury News / United States
53 The Australian / Australia 54 The Denver Post / United States 55 The Christian Science Monitor / United States 56 The Dong-a Ilbo / Korea
57 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / United States 58 Aftonbladet / Sweden 59 Kommersant / Russia 60 Bangkok Post / Thailand
61 Star Tribune / United States 62 The Hollywood Reporter / United States 63 Daily Mirror / United Kingdom 64 Dawn / Pakistan
65 El Universal / Mexico 66 The Miami Herald / United States 67 Mladá fronta Dnes / Czech Republic 68 DNA - Daily News & Analysis / India
69 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / United States 70 Sports Nippon / Japan 71 L'Equipe / France 72 Die Presse / Austria
73 Detroit Free Press / United States 74 Neue Zürcher Zeitung / Switzerland 75 Clarín / Argentina 76 Chosun Ilbo / Japan
77 The Sacramento Bee / United States 78 China Daily / China 79 Nihon Keizai Shimbun / Japan 80 AS / Spain
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85 Boston Herald / United States 86 The Dallas Morning News / United States 87 The Times / United Kingdom 88 Newsday / United States
89 Orlando Sentinel / United States 90 St. Louis Post-Dispatch / United States 91 Taipei Times / Taiwan 92 The Hindustan Times / India
93 The Economic Times / India 94 Kompas / Indonesia 95 The Observer / United Kingdom 96 Jornal de Notícias / Portugal
97 South Florida Sun-Sentinel / United States 98 ABC / Spain 99 Le Soir / Belgium 100 The Kansas City Star / United States

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