politics

The map is not the territory: Fluid borders in Google Maps

The map is not the territory: Fluid borders in Google Maps

Not for nothing has Google Maps become one of the most relied-upon navigation services around, but the ways in which Google tailors geographical information to satisfy territorial disputes could prove surprising. Unseen by most - since the details only change when viewed from a different location - the tweaks to border lines can grant vast swathes of land to different countries, something a new Google Maps project has highlighted.

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NASA issued Space Station challenge after Russian threats

NASA issued Space Station challenge after Russian threats

NASA has been challenged to come up with a way to use the International Space Station without relying on the Russians, as US lawmakers grow concerned that access to the orbiting research platform could be cut off amid sanction threats. Russia proposed effectively locking NASA out of the ISS earlier this week, after the US blocked high-tech exports as a sales scolding for allegedly supporting Crimean unrest.

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NATO sites hacked by Ukrainians over Crimea row

NATO sites hacked by Ukrainians over Crimea row

One of the most popular forms of online protest against authoritative action is to bring down the official website and make life chaotic, and NATO is the latest to fall victim over controversies in the Crimea. NATO's primary website, along with the pages for its online cyber defense center, were allegedly forced offline by Ukrainian hackers aiming to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with plans to relinquish a part of Ukraine to Russia, based on the NATO voting system.

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Venezuelan government shuts down internet in wake of protests

Venezuelan government shuts down internet in wake of protests

Don’t expect one whole heck of a lot of tweets coming out of Venezuela in the immediate future as President Nicolas Maduro’s government has shut down the internet and select TV channels. Having shut down Twitter access for the area this past week, Venezuela’s state-run ISP CANTV has been cut in areas such as San Cristobal. This area is a regional capital in the west of the country and CANTV controls the vast majority of internet connectivity in the area.

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BlackPeopleMeet PR agency IAC “parts ways with” Sacco for racist tweet

BlackPeopleMeet PR agency IAC “parts ways with” Sacco for racist tweet

A PR agency that handles CollegeHumor, OkCupid, the Daily Beast, Vimeo and other high-profile web properties has "parted ways with" a corporate communications officer over a tweet deemed offensive by the company and some of the grassroots public. The tweet came from one Justine Sacco's personal account, not a company account. It informed her followers that she was about to fly to Africa, commented on the AIDS epidemic on that continent -- and implied that she thought her being white inoculated her against the deadly disease.

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NSA and GCHQ targeted 1,000 allied individuals: latest Snowden drop

NSA and GCHQ targeted 1,000 allied individuals: latest Snowden drop

The latest installment of the ongoing slow release of the whistleblower Edward Snowden's cache of 1.7 million stolen NSA documents has revealed over 1,000 targets of the NSA's and GCHQ's international spying efforts between 2008 and 2011. The targets include high-ranking officials in allied nations, economic regulatory bodies, humanitarian aid agencies, and -- seemingly as an afterthought -- individuals being watched for hypothesized ties to terrorism. These particular documents were reported Friday by the American newspaper New York Times, Britain's the Guardian and Germany's Der Spiegel.

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Apple/Google Busses stopped by protesters in San Francisco

Apple/Google Busses stopped by protesters in San Francisco

After stopping a Google bus two weeks ago, a group of protesters from what appears to be the same organization has stopped a bus full of Apple employees. This set of employees are (or were) on their way to work on a bus that's part of Apple's free bussing project. This project has busses run throughout the city and pick up employees, using public bus stops to do so - Google and Facebook run similar routes.

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US telecoms sold 1.1 million cell records to law enforcement in 2012

US telecoms sold 1.1 million cell records to law enforcement in 2012

The major US telecoms delivered at minimum 1.1 million cell phone records to law enforcement at all levels of government in 2012. The records include voicemail and text content. The telecoms earned $26 million from the transactions. Many of the fulfilled information requests legally required no warrant, no subpoena, and no probable cause. These and other irresistible revelations come compliments of US Sen. Edward Markey, whose voluminous correspondence with the involved telecoms revealed the information. They include US Cellular, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, Leap Wireless/Cricket Communications, MetroPCS, Verizon, AT&T and C Spire Wireless.

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