November 29, 2014

Top News Stories –

Did North Korea order hack on Sony Pictures computers? –
Sony Pictures Entertainment is said to be investigating whether North Korea was behind a hack of its computer network, over a Hollywood film depicting a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un. The hermit state’s anger over the comedy about CIA plans to kill its leader may have been behind the attack on the company’s system, according to tech news website Re/code. A group calling itself #GOP (Guardians of Peace) posted a warning on employees computers on Monday saying “If you don`t obey us, we’ll release the data shown below to the world”, giving a deadline of 11:00 the same day and listing five data links. #GOP said Sony Pictures had been warned before but did not detail its demands. North Korea had threatened “a strong and merciless countermeasure” against the US if it released the Sony Pictures’ film The Interview.

Angelina Jolie ‘set to become a peer’ –
The dusty old House of Lords has been considerably enlivened in the past few weeks when a number of half-famous people have been officially sworn in as members of Parliament’s second chamber. But the most excitement came last week when Arminka Helic – best known as a highly-regarded special adviser to former foreign secretary William Hague – was formally welcomed into the House of Lords as Baroness Helic of Millbank. Elderly Parliamentarians dozing off a good lunch were startled to glance up to the public gallery and spot actress Angelina Jolie, an old friend of Lady Helic, gazing down benignly. Now tongues are wagging in Westminster that Miss Jolie is being lined up herself set on a seat in the House of Lords. The idea is not so far-fetched. Last month Miss Jolie was made an honorary dame by the Queen for her campaign work fighting sexual violence and for services to UK foreign policy. And last week it emerged that Miss Jolie has decided to retire from acting and focus her energies on her humanitarian work.[Daily Telegraph]
Angelina_JolieAngelina Jolie

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Sounds of Paragliding from shams on Vimeo.


October 28, 2015

Top News Stories –

Google’s Project Loon internet balloons to circle Earth –
Google believes it is on course to have enough internet-beaming balloons in the stratosphere to form a ring over part of the world next year. It told the BBC the move would let it trial a continuous data service to people living below the balloons’ path. The declaration coincides with the announcement that three of Indonesia’s mobile networks intend to start testing Project Loon’s transmissions next year. One expert said the plan had benefits over other solutions. Sri Lanka previously signed a separate agreement signalling its wish to be another participant in the giant helium balloon-based scheme. [BBC]

Biscuit that survived the Titanic sells for $23,000 –
A cracker that survived the Titanic and lives on, unmunched, today has been sold for $23,000 (£15,034). The biscuit was saved by James Fenwick, a passenger on the Carpathia vessel that saved Titanic passengers at sea, and was kept intact in a Kodak film envelope by Fenwick along with the following notation: “Pilot biscuit from Titanic lifeboat April 1912.” The 103-year-old biscuit was used as part of a survival kit on one of the Titanic lifeboats. [Daily Telegraph]

Apple reports biggest annual profit in history with net income of $53.4bn –
Apple has recorded the biggest annual profit in corporate history, with record sales of the iPhone helping it to make $53.4bn (£35bn) in the last 12 months. The world’s biggest company surpassed the $45.2bn made by ExxonMobil in 2008, after the release of its latest smartphones increased profits by 31pc in its fourth quarter. However, Apple warned that growth is likely to slow down significantly in the crucial Christmas period, and sales of the iPad fell by a fifth to their lowest level since 2011. The company predicted that sales in the current quarter would be between $75.5bn and $77.5bn – as little as 1pc up on the same period last year – partially due to a strong dollar. [Daily Telegraph]

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