The survival of a woman shot in the head during the Colorado cinema massacre has been hailed as a miracle after a shotgun pellet traversed the precise course of a brain defect she was unaware she had.
Her remarkable story came as another woman who survived the mass shooting on Friday gave birth in the same hospital where her critically injured husband is in a medically induced coma.
According to her family, Petra Anderson, 22, a musician, lived because she had a rare genetic condition that left her with a small channel of fluid running from the front to back of her brain.
When she was shot in the face the projectile followed the exact course of the defect, avoiding vital areas and lodging in the rear of her head. Doctors removed it after five hours of surgery.
Her sister Chloe Anderson, 25, said: “It entered right through her nose. It went all the way through her brain and to the back of her skull. It did little damage which is a mystery to many people, including the doctors.”
Ms Anderson, a violinist, had recently graduated from the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific in California, and is due to start a master’s degree in Maryland. She had gone to the cinema with two friends to see the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises and was among the victims when a gunman dressed in body armour began spraying the audience with bullets.
Twelve people were killed and 58 injured. Suspect James Holmes, 24, who later identified himself to police as “the Joker,” made his first appearance in court on Monday.
Ms Anderson’s mother Kim Anderson, who has terminal cancer, said her daughter was expected to make a full recovery.
“I believe that she was not only protected by God, but that she was actually prepared for it,” she said. …
Archive for July 26th, 2012
Posted by Xeno on July 26, 2012
Posted by Xeno on July 26, 2012
A team of Austrian archaeologists has discovered four bras from the 1400s. It reveals that women wore the garment some 500 years before fashion historians thought it was invented.
About 2,700 textile fragments were found in Castle Lengberg in Tyrol, Austria, by researchers from the University of Innsbruck. The garments were discovered stuffed inside a vault in the building’s south wing. Alongside fragments of a male codpiece, lots of shoes, and some shirts, archaeologists discovered four linen bras.
They resemble modern bras because they have distinctly cut cups. One of the most well-preserved pieces of underwear looks like the longline bra of the 1950s, as it has an extra piece that extends down to the bottom of the ribcage. Like a corset, six eyelets on the left side of the body would be used to fasten the garment with lace.
Another bra has two broad shoulder straps and a possible back strap (it hasn’t been preserved, but partially-torn edges suggest its existence). It’s elaborately decorated with needle-lace, sprang-work (an early form of knitting), and finger-loop-lace.
Two of the more fragmented specimens appear to be a combination of a bra and a short shirt, as they have additional cloth above the cups to cover the décolleté. They also have lacework for decoration.
Until now, historians placed the invention of the bra with either French corset-maker Herminie Cadolle in the late 1700s, or Mary Phelps Jacob who was awarded an US patent for the “technology” in 1914.
There were some medieval texts that referred to bra-like garments — sometimes mentioning pockets for the breasts or shirts with bags — but until now, there has been no physical evidence for the underwear.
Fibre samples of two of the bras were sent to the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zürich to be Carbon-14 dated. All results confirmed that the lingerie is from the 1400s. They were most likely sealed in the vault in around 1485, when renovations were made to the castle. …
Why the WikiLeaks Grand Jury is So Dangerous: Members of Congress Now Want to Prosecute New York Times Journalists Too
Posted by Xeno on July 26, 2012
For more than a year now, EFF has encouraged mainstream press publications like the New York Times to aggressively defend WikiLeaks’ First Amendment right to publish classified information in the public interest and denounce the ongoing grand jury investigating WikiLeaks as a threat to press freedom.
Well, we are now seeing why that is so important: at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on July 11th, some members of Congress made it clear they also want New York Times journalists charged under the Espionage Act for their recent stories on President Obama’s ‘Kill List’ and secret US cyberattacks against Iran. During the hearing, House Republicans “pressed legal experts Wednesday on whether it was possible to prosecute reporters for publishing classified information,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
In addition, the Washingtonian’s Shane Harris reported a month ago that a “senior” Justice Department official “made it clear that reporters who talked to sources about classified information were putting themselves at risk of prosecution.”
Leaks big and small have been happening for decades—even centuries—and the most recent are comparable to several others. No journalist has ever been prosecuted under the Espionage Act and it has generally been accepted, even by Congress’s own research arm, that the publication of government secrets by the press is protected speech under the First Amendment. Yet the government is actively investigating WikiLeaks and now threatening others for just that.
The mainstream media may see little in common with Assange’s digital publication methods or his general demeanor, but what he is accused of is virtually indistinguishable from what other reporters and newspapers do every day: poke, prod, and cajole sources within the government to give up classified information that newspapers then publish to inform the public of the government’s activities.
It’s clear the WikiLeaks and major newspapers can’t be distinguished in their critics’ own statements. House committee witness Army Col. Ken Allard, echoing the claims by multiple members of Congress during the WikiLeaks controversy, called the ‘kill list’ and cyberattack leaks “unprecedented” in American history. And much like previous comments about Julian Assange, Allard likened New York Times reporter David Sanger to a spy, saying he was “systematically penetrating the Obama White House as effectively as any foreign agent.”
Similarly, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s recent comments advocating the prosecution of WikiLeaks under the Espionage Act in no sense apply to one media organization but not the other. Salon’s Glenn Greenwald demonstrated this by replacing phrase “Mr. Assange” with “New York Times” in Sen. Feinstein’s statement to the Australian paper The Sydney Morning Herald:
”I believe [The New York Times] has knowingly obtained and disseminated classified information which could cause injury to the United States,” the chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinstein, said in a written statement provided to the Herald. ”[It] has caused serious harm to US national security, and  should be prosecuted accordingly.”
In this case, like many others, Congress has invoked the vague, catchall phrase “national security” in an attempt to curtail rights that have existed for decades. As we’ve previously pointed out, “national security” has been used as an excuse to weaken constitutional protections in laws such as the Patriot Act and CISPA, but it’s also been used in attempts to threaten press freedom.
In 2006, shortly after the New York Times first exposed the NSA’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told ABC News he was contemplating charging Times reporters under the Espionage Act because of the perceived harm to “national security.” Of course, the investigation didn’t hurt national security, but it did inform the American people of an unconstitutional program that later sparked Congressional hearings, and many ongoing lawsuits (including EFF’s). It also won the New York Times the Pulitzer Prize. …
Posted by Xeno on July 26, 2012
In addition to the accomplice in the first row who got a cell phone call then propped the emergency exit door open for him, reports of multiple shooters (anyone have a first hand source for one or more of those?), the Tennessee license plates on the supposed shooter’s car, the question of how he could afford $20,000 worth of gear, why his mother’s statements were misused to make it seem like she thought he was the shooter, why the hell he was drugged out of his mind in the first court appearance, and why they will now be keeping the rest of the court appearances secret, this is another thing that makes no sense:
…questions remain. One was pointed out to me this morning in an email from Andrew Griffin, Editor at Red Dirt Report. According to a news items in the Toronto Sun: “MSNBC reports that public records show Holmes lived with two roommates at the apartment, which is reserved for students, faculty and staff from the medical campus.”
But if you go to the original MSNBC account, oops, the mention of Holmes’ alleged two roommates has disappeared.
What is going on here?
… when you google “james homes two room mates” there is a link to the feed of time.com, which mentions this in the teaser on the google search listing. But when you go to the link, and look for the word “room mates”, there is none.
And what a coincidence, the google cache for that page does not work either. ….
The mother was quoted out of context by ABC News according to this:
A criminal-defense attorney hired by the family of shooting suspect James Eagan Holmes says his mother was portrayed inaccurately by national media reports that implied she knew her son was troubled. Lawyer Lisa Damiani said her client Arlene Holmes knew nothing about the mass murder in Denver when she was awakened about 5:45 a.m. PDT Friday by ABC News. Damiani said the reporter asked whether she was Arlene Holmes and whether her son was James Holmes. Reading a statement from Arlene Holmes, Damiani said: “I said ‘Yes, you have the right person.’ But I was talking about myself.”
Arlene Holmes: “I did not know anything about a shooting in Aurora at that time. He asked if I was Arlene Holmes and if my son was James Holmes who lives in Aurora, Colorado. I answered, ‘Yes, you have the right person.’ I was referring to myself.
In theses screenshots you don’t get the full effect of the video. If you watch him on the video it seems that he is not hearing any of the words said in the room. He looks completely drugged out. When the judge asks him a question, someone interrupts so it does not become obvious that he is checked out. Then the judge reads an absurd list of things he should not do, such as contacting the victim’s family. How is that supposed to happen? There is no way he will be out of prison. What is really scary is that he looks like Jason Mraz. I’ve watched the video of him giving a presentation when he was 18. Seems like a very normal slightly nervous guy. My gut says he didn’t do it, that he was framed. The problem is in today’s system, if someone powerful enough wants to frame you, you are screwed. He was not given a chance to say anything yet.
YouTube has the full video but someone edited in photos of the victims when we should be noticing how drugged out Holmes is. Why is the unedited RAW Full Video unavailable now? Notice at the end of the YouTube video that “Motion 6″ is to allow confidential Defense experts to be present for scientific testing of evidence. Why would the experts be confidential? I’m glad I watched the whole thing. My previous statements are that he appeared to not hear a single word. Indeed looked like the case when I watched it a second time, until the very end. He does stand on his own, understanding at least when it is time to leave.
i’ll bet he is wondering what happened and why he is being framed.
This is really crazy… from watching him, it looks like his mind has been taking over by someone and he is fighting to regain control. I know that is reading a lot into his facial expressions, but it just seems very strange…
even drudge has up this morning: “Joker turned Zombie”
Posted by Xeno on July 26, 2012
Reverse Engineering Iris Codes into Iris Images that Pass Biometric Tests Javier Galbally viaThreat Level
There’s more to iris scans than meets the eye, and that could end up being their undoing. New academic research coming out at the Black Hat Security conference this week shows a way to recreate iris images from the digital codes underlying iris-scanning security protocols–images that are so good that they can trick commercial-grade iris-scanning security devicesinto thinking they’re the real thing.
When iris-scanning biometric security systems create a digital imprint of an iris, they don’t actually store that image of the iris for future comparison to the real thing. Rather, when a person scans his or her iris into a biometric system for the first time, the system turns the iris into a code consisting of about 5,000 bits of data. This code is based on about 240 points that are measured in the actual iris image, and is for all intents and purposes a unique digital analog of the iris.
The actual iris image is then discarded. The next time the person needs to authenticate himself or herself, he or she scans the iris again. The device converts this scan into an iris code as well, and the two codes are compared. If the digital codes match–within a reasonable margin of error–then identity is authenticated and access is granted.
But researchers at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and West Virginia University have found a way to reverse-engineer an iris image from the digital code itself using genetic algorithms–an iris image so good it can fool a biometric scanner. Genetic algorithms are those that improve results each time they process data. Like generations of a species over time, they adapt; each iteration of the algorithm produces an iris image with an iris code that is a little more similar to the code being reconstructed. After 100-200 iterations, the algorithm generates an iris image with an iris code that is adequately similar to the original code.
That should worry those relying on biometric security measures. What this essentially means is that if a database containing iris codes were hacked, the hackers could construct iris images that would dupe scanners, and they would never even have to get near the actual owner of that iris. Moreover, the hackers wouldn’t even necessarily have to hack the database of the entity they wish to compromise. Consider a defense contractor whose iris can access both facilities at his firm as well as restricted areas of a military base. Someone wishing to access the military base could hack the defense contractor, steal the iris code, reconstruct the iris, print it to a contact lens, and access the military facility. It’s all veryMission Impossible, but according to the research, it’s not so very far-fetched.
Posted by Xeno on July 26, 2012
Reinventing the Wheel Courtesy Bridgestone
Since the Scottish inventor Robert Thomson patented pneumatic tires in 1845, they have become standard on every vehicle with two, four or 18 wheels. Pneumatic tires are now so durable that many drivers never even bother to check their air pressure. But the tires still have weaknesses, not least of which is the tendency to go flat.
Engineers at Bridgestone say their Airless Concept Tire could eliminate flats for good. The tire consists of a band of rubber tread wrapped around a dense web ofthermoplastic spokes that radiate from a central aluminum wheel. To mimic the firm, springy feel of a pneumatic tire, engineers had to make the spokes stiff enough to avoid vibration (which wastes energy) yet soft enough to provide a comfortable ride. Guided by computer models, they wove the spokes into a lattice pattern that can bear the weight of the vehicle but will still give when the tire rolls over obstacles. Bridgestone says its design reduces rolling resistance, thus saving fuel. The tires are also easier to recycle: Unlike rubber, thermoplastic can easily be melted and remolded.
Bridgestone engineers are currently testing eight-inch-diameter airless tires for low-speed industrial applications such as carts and forklifts and developing a larger test version for passenger cars, but plenty of challenges remain. The engineers have to ensure that the tires are durable in extreme heat and cold. They will have to find a way to keep rocks, mud and snow from collecting in the spokes, which could unbalance the tire. Then the company must convince drivers to accept them. Not surprisingly, Bridgestone won’t say when the tires might appear in showrooms. But if they do reach the market, drivers could save fuel, never again change a flat, and start cutting down the heap of 300 million pneumatic tires that are scrapped in the U.S. every year.