Sunday, December 28, 2014

162 passengers feared dead after AirAsia flight QZ8501 goes missing

An AirAsia plane with 162 people aboard went missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore on Sunday morning shortly after the pilots requested a change of flight plan because of weather, the third major aviation incident this year involving a Malaysian carrier.

AirAsia Flight QZ8501 with 155 people on board -- including one British, one Malaysian, one Singaporean, three Koreans, -- and seven crew members lost contact with air traffic control at 07.24 am local time Indonesia.

Sixteen children and one infant were among the passengers on board the AirAsia Airbus A320-200 that went missing on the flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.

At a press conference this morning, Indonesian officials said the plane was several hours past the time when its fuel would have been exhausted.

There were unconfirmed media reports that a aircraft crashed in the waters of East Belitung, off the east coast of Sumatra.

The exact location of the crash site has not been identified, media reports said.

The aircraft was in the Indonesian flight information region, more than 200 nm southeast of the Singapore -- Jakarta FIR boundary, when contact was lost, civil aviation authority of Singapore said.

Contact with the plane was lost 42 minutes after takeoff. There were no Indian nationals on board.

The plane took off from Surabaya (Indonesia) at 5:20 am local time and was scheduled to land at Singapore's ChangiAirport at 8.30 am.

A statement on AirAsia's Facebook page said: "AirAsia Indonesia regrets to confirm that flight QZ8501 from Surabaya to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control at 07.24 am."

"At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available," the Malaysia-based carrier said in a statement.
The aircraft was an Airbus A320-200 with the registration number PK-AXC.
"At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service," the statement said.


Indonesian Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa said the plane had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact, local media reported.
Air Asia said the pilot had requested "deviation" from its flight plan because of bad weather.
"The aircraft... was requesting deviation due to en route weather," it said.
Indonesia's national search and rescue agency bangka belitung said it has dispatched one vessel to search for AirAsia flight QZ8501.
"We received information from Basarnas in Jakarta that contact had been lost with an AirAsia flight over Bangka Belitung waters...We then dispatched a vessel with a search and rescue team of 22 members to check the information," Febi Imam Saputra, an information official at Basarnas Bangka Belitung, was quoted as saying by the Indonesian Antara news agency.
"If we look at the map, these coordinates refer to an area around 20 nautical miles from East Belitung," said Febi.
Search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities from the Pangkal Pinang Search and Rescue office.


Indonesian authorities have mobilised search and rescue operation near BelitungIsland, deploying five ships and a surveillance aircraft carrying 15 Indonesian Air Force personnel.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore has confirmed that it is linking up with Indonesian authorities to help locate the missing plane. Australia and Malaysia have also offered assistance.

A massive search is underway for the missing plane. The last detected position of the missing AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 is believed to be between Tanjung Pandan on BelitungIsland and Kalimantan, Indonesia, according to Indonesia's Director of Air Transport, Djoko Murjatmodjo.

"The position where contact was lost was between Tanjung Pandan and Pontianak, about 100 nautical miles south-east of Tanjung Pandan," said Djoko.

The pilot Captain Iriyanto has an experience of 6,100 flying hours.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes has asked his company to stay strong. "Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. We must stay strong," tweeted Fernandes, an ethnic Indian, who set up the budget airlines which now flies to several countries.

Fernandes has said that he is heading to Indonesia.

Malaysia has also offered assistance in the search operation.

AirAsia is popular in the region as a budget carrier. It has about 100 destinations, with subsidiaries in several Asian countries.

The loss of contact with the AirAsia plane comes nearly 10 months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing on March 8.

Searchers are yet to find any debris from Flight MH370, which officials believe crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

Another Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July, killing all 298 on board. 

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Monday, December 8, 2014

How to Prevent Viewing Objectionable Television Programs

Background

Cable television companies typically encrypt or scramble the signal of channels that the subscriber hasn't purchased so that only persons who have paid for the service will be able to receive and view it. Some scrambling techniques employed by cable operators, however, may not always fully block the video and audio of each channel. The result may be “signal bleed.”

What is "Signal Bleed?"

Signal bleed is the ability of a cable subscriber to access the audio and/or the video of a channel that the subscriber hasn't purchased. For example, if a subscriber has not purchased a certain cable station, but is able to see or hear the programming on that station for brief periods, there is signal bleed. Signal bleed may result in an individual cable subscriber viewing programming that contains objectionable content or material. To address this specific concern, Congress enacted Section 504 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

How Does Section 504 Address a Signal Bleed Problem?

Section 504 requires that, upon the request of the subscriber, a cable company must fully scramble or block the audio and the video of a programming service that a consumer doesn't subscribe to at no charge to the subscriber. This law applies to any type of programming that you do not wish to view and to which you don't subscribe. For example, the programming must be on a channel that isn't included in the programming package that you purchased from your cable company.
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Section 504 doesn't require the cable operator to fully block the channel unless the subscriber requests blocking. To take advantage of Section 504, contact your cable company and request that the channel you don't wish to view be blocked.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Row between Wikileaks and Guardian over security breach

A row has broken out between Wikileaks and one of the newspapers it collaborated with to leak US diplomatic cables.
The whistle-blowing group said unredacted versions of the 251,000 diplomatic cables had been leaked on the internet.
Wikileaks blamed the disclosure on the Guardian newspaper and said it had started legal action against the paper.
The newspaper has strongly denied the claims, blaming a "security breach".
In a short statement on Twitter, Wikileaks said: "A Guardian journalist has, in a previously undetected act of gross negligence or malice, and in violation of a signed security agreement with the Guardian's editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, disclosed top secret decryption passwords to the entire, unredacted, Wikileaks Cablegate archive.
"We have already spoken to the State Department and commenced pre-litigation action."
Stories based on classified US diplomatic cables - allegedly leaked by US soldier Bradley Manning - have featured in the mainstream media since December 2010 after Wikileaks partnered with the papers including The Guardian and New York Times to release the information.
An unredacted version of the cables is reported to be circulating on the internet and Wikileaks says that a book, published by two Guardian journalists in February, reveals the password to open the file.
Password 'temporary'
The Guardian admits the book contains a password, but says it does not reveal the location of the file and that it was previously told by the Wikileaks' founder, Julian Assange, that the password was temporary and "would expire and be deleted in a matter of hours".
The paper said it "utterly rejects" the suggestion it was to blame for the unredacted version appearing and that it had gone to great lengths to ensure "potentially vulnerable sources" were protected.
The Guardian added: "No concerns were expressed when the book was published and if anyone at WikiLeaks had thought this compromised security they have had seven months to remove the files.
"That they didn't do so clearly shows the problem was not caused by the Guardian's book."
Wikileaks claims the disclosure could have serious consequences and that "revolutions and reforms are in danger of being lost".
"Every day that the corrupt leadership of a country or organisation knows of a pending WikiLeaks disclosure is a day spent planning how to crush revolution and reform," said a statement from the whistle-blowing site.
American officials said on Wednesday that the disclosures could also have serious consequences for informants, human rights activists and others quoted in the cables.
"What we have said all along about the danger of these types of things is reinforced by the fact that there are now documents out there in unredacted form containing the names of individuals whose lives are at risk because they are named," said US Defense Department press director Col David Lapan.
"Once WikiLeaks has these documents in its possession, it loses control and information gets out whether they intend [it] to or not."
The files were originally sent to the Guardian in July 2010 via a secure server which was then wiped, but it says that - unknown to anyone at the paper - the files later ended up on the BitTorrent filesharing site.
It has long been known that WikiLeaks lost control of the cables even before they were published.
One copy of the secret documents was leaked to the New York Times in autumn 2010 and other media organisations have since received copies independently of Wikileaks.
The organisation was also criticised this week for not redacting names as it released another 133,000 US State Department cables.
Australia's Attorney General, Robert McClelland, said the publication of one such cable, naming Australian terror suspects and marked "secret", was "incredibly irresponsible".
Wikileaks denied that any "informants" had been identified in the newly-released files and said the material was "unclassified and previously released by mainstream media".

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However, other sources claim the release does contain some classified files where names have not been withheld.