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Reddit founder Swartz dead at 26

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 13 Januari 2013 | 23.08

Internet activist Aaron Swartz had been due to face trial on hacking charges in a few weeks. Picture: AP Photo/The New York Times, Michael Francis McElroy Source: AP

INTERNET prodigy Aaron Swartz, the co-founder of the social news website Reddit and an activist who fought to make online content free to the public, has been found dead.

Swartz, 26, committed suicide in his Brooklyn apartment weeks before he was to go on trial on accusations that he stole millions of journal articles from an electronic archive in an attempt to make them freely available.

If convicted, he faced decades in prison and a fortune in fines.

He was pronounced dead on Friday evening at his home in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighbourhood, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for New York's chief medical examiner.

Police went to the apartment after receiving an emergency services call from Swartz's girlfriend, who found him.

"Aaron's insatiable curiosity, creativity, and brilliance; his reflexive empathy and capacity for selfless, boundless love; his refusal to accept injustice as inevitable - these gifts made the world, and our lives, far brighter,'' Swartz's family said in a statement.

"We're grateful for our time with him, to those who loved him and stood with him, and to all of those who continue his work for a better world.''

Swartz was a prodigy who as a young teenager helped create RSS, a family of web feed formats used to gather updates from blogs, news headlines, audio and video for users.

He co-founded Reddit, which was later sold to Conde Nast, and directed the political action group Demand Progress that campaigns against Internet censorship.

Aaron Swartz, an internet genius who co-developed Reddit and RSS, has taken his own life. He was 26.

In the past, he had hinted at a battle with depression, the Daily Mail said.

In 2011, he was arrested in Boston and charged with stealing millions of scientific journals from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Swartz pleaded not guilty. His federal trial on computer fraud charges was to begin next month. If convicted, he could have faced decades in prison and a fortune in fines.

News of Swartz's tragic death prompted an outpouring of grief from friends and supporters.

Swartz was "an extraordinary hacker and activist,'' the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international non-profit digital rights group based in California wrote in a tribute on its home page.

He "did more than almost anyone to make the Internet a thriving ecosystem for open knowledge, and to keep it that way,'' the tribute said.

Among internet gurus, Swartz was considered a pioneer of efforts to make online information freely available.

"Playing Mozart's Requiem in honour of a brave and brilliant man,'' tweeted Carl Malamud, an internet public domain advocate who believes in free access to legally obtained files.

Swartz aided Malamud's own effort to post federal court documents for free online, rather than the few cents per page that the US Government charges through its electronic archive, PACER.

In 2008, The New York Times reported, Swartz wrote a program to legally download the files using free access via public libraries.

About 20 per cent of all the court papers were made available until the government shut down the library access.

The FBI investigated but did not charge Swartz, he wrote on his own website.

Three years later, Swartz was arrested in Boston and charged with stealing millions of articles from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Prosecutors said he broke into a computer wiring closet on campus and used his laptop for the downloads.

Experts puzzled over the arrest and argued that the result of the actions Swartz was accused of was the same as his PACER program: more information publicly available.

The prosecution "makes no sense,'' Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal said in a statement at the time. "It's like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library.''

Swartz pleaded not guilty to charges including wire fraud. His federal trial was to begin next month.

According to a federal indictment, Swartz stole the documents from JSTOR, a subscription service used by MIT that offers digitized copies of articles from academic journals. Prosecutors said he intended to distribute the articles on file-sharing websites.

He faced 13 felony charges, including breaching site terms and intending to share downloaded files through peer-to-peer networks, computer fraud, wire fraud, obtaining information from a protected computer, and criminal forfeiture.

JSTOR did not press charges once it reclaimed the articles from Swartz, and some legal experts considered the case unfounded, saying that MIT allows guests access to the articles and Swartz, a fellow at Harvard's Safra Centre for Ethics, was a guest.

Criticising the government's actions in the pending prosecution, Harvard law professor and Safra Center faculty director Lawrence Lessig called himself a friend of Swartz's and wrote Saturday that "we need a better sense of justice. ... The question this government needs to answer is why it was so necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a felon.''

JSTOR announced this week that it would make "more than 4.5 million articles'' publicly available for free.

Swartz's family blamed prosecutors for his suicide.

"Aaron's death is not simply a personal tragedy,'' the family statement said. "It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.

Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death.''

If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide contact Lifeline 13 11 14, beyondblue 1300 22 46 36, or Salvo Care Line 1300 36 36 22.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Miss America crown goes to Miss New York

Miss New York, Mallory Hytes Hagan, reacts as she is crowned Miss America 2013. Source: AP

A WOMAN from Brooklyn, New York, is the new Miss America, winning the title after tap dancing to a James Brown tune, deftly dealing with a question about guns, and raising the issue of child sexual abuse in her contestant platform.

In addition to dancing to Get Up Off of That Thing, 23-year-old Mallory Hagan strutted down the runway during the Las Vegas pageant Saturday night in an asymmetrical white gown and donned a revealing black string bikini.

She won a $US50,000 ($47,000) college scholarship and a year as an instant celebrity and role model to many girls as she defeated Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers, who took second, and Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton, who finished third.

Ms Hagan told The Associated Press in an interview after her win that it was her mother who encouraged her to tackle the issue of child sex abuse in her platform - the issue she will promote during her reign.

Miss Maryland and Miss Tennessee congratulate the winner, Miss New York.

She said that sexual abuse had "rippled through" her family, touching her mother, aunt, grandmother and cousins. Her mother had trouble at first convincing others of the trauma she had faced.

"That kind of sent her into a whirlwind of anxiety and depression. So as a teen I lost my mom kind of for a couple years," she said. "She was dealing with her own issues, and that's something that now as an adult I understand, but then I certainly did not."

During an interview backstage, Ms Hagan's mother Mandy Moore wiped tears away as she spoke.

Contestants compete in the swimsuit portion of the Miss America 2013 pageant on Saturday.

"It's very overwhelming," she said. "It's all hitting me so fast."

Hagan said she will work to make child abuse education mandatory in all 50 states.

"It's something I can hopefully change for the next generation," she said.

Miss Illinois, Megan Ervin, competes in the talent competition during the 2013 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas.

Hagan left her native Alabama for New York at 18 with less than $1000 in her pocket. She tried for the Miss New York title in 2010 and 2011 before winning last year.

She studied communications at the Fashion Institute of Technology and has been living in the Park Slope neighbourhood of Brooklyn.

Hagan, who aspires to be a global cosmetic company executive, ends a long dry spell for New York in the competition. The previous winner from that state was actress Vanessa Williams, who became the first black winner when she took the crown in 1984. Hagan is the first Brooklyn-dweller to claim the title.

During the competition, she survived the cuts as the contestants competed in swimsuit, evening wear, and talent events.

In the final moments of the show, Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion asked her if schools should hire armed guards in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

"I don't think the proper way to fight violence is with violence," she replied. "I think the proper way is to educate people on guns and the ways we can use them properly. We can lock them up, we can have gun safety classes, we can have a longer waiting period."

Hagan defeated titleholders from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Several of her competitors had grabbed headlines this year because of their backstories.

Miss District of Columbia plans to undergo a preventive double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer, which killed her mother and grandmother.

Miss Montana was the pageant's first autistic contestant. Miss Iowa has Tourette's syndrome. And Miss Maine lost more than 50 pounds (23 kilos) before winning her state crown.

During the opening number at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, when all the queens gave short quips about their states, Hagan referenced last year's superstorm, saying, "Sandy may have been swept away our shores but never our spirit."

The pageant, which started as little more than an Atlantic City bathing suit revue, broke viewership records in its heyday and bills itself as one of the world's largest scholarships programs for women.

But like other pageants, the show has struggled to stay relevant as national attitudes regarding women's rights have changed.

Hagan's boyfriend Charmel Maynard said he thinks that pageants are dismissed by some, but he hopes Hagan's willingness to take on the sexual abuse issue will lend legitimacy to her new role.

"I don't think it's taken seriously, but I think she's going to be a great ambassador and it could change," he said.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Arthur slams rotation critics

Australian debutant Kane Richardson was banned from bowling out his overs after receiving three warnings by the umpire for running across the wicket. Picture: Sarah Reed Source: The Advertiser

AUSTRALIAN coach Mickey Arthur has blown up at critics of team rotation led by former Test stalwarts Brett Lee and Ian Chappell after Sri Lanka levelled the one-day series in Adelaide.

Lee has railed against the handing out of cheap national caps and confusion over what the best one-day side with David Warner and Matthew Wade rested from the opening games of the one-day series along with skipper Michael Clarke.

All will return for game three in Brisbane.

Mitchell Johnson (ribs) and Mitchell Starc (calf) were rested owing to minor ailments affording debuts to Kane Richardson and Ben Cutting in the eight wicket loss to Sri Lanka in Adelaide

It was criticism of resting Starc in the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka and in Adelaide last night that riled Arthur who revealed the 22-year-old left-armer is battling the pain of bone spurs in his ankle each time he bowls.

"Starc has ankle spurs which will give in at some stage. We didn't want to risk him for the Boxing Day Test and lose him for the one-day series then tours of India and England," said Arthur with Chappell questioning the handling of the boom bowler.

"I have been annoyed and frustrated by some of the articles that have been going around. Common sense prevails.

"We are picking the best side possible to win. It is either very naïve or stubborn that people don't understand what we are doing."

Lee says Australia doesn't know its best side as it is chopping and changing too much while the resting policy is flawed with Ben Hilfenhaus breaking down in the Hobart Test after rested.

Arthur countered saying he and skipper Michael Clarke made calls in the best interests of players – not so called sports science boffins.

"We are very clear on who the best team and attack is. When Black Caviar is to run a horse race, if they don't feel he is 100 per cent right they don't release it," said Arthur, also lamenting veteran Brad Haddin's hamstring strain in Adelaide that will end his international comeback.

"We had had only three examples of fast bowler being rested, Ryan Harris in the West Indies, Mitch Starc in Boxing Day and Peter Siddle in Perth. We have done that because we think they are at risk, with the amount of cricket we play it is impossible to keep the guys on the park in every game.

"The thought that sports scientists pick the team is so far off the mark it is frightening. Michael, myself and selectors on duty make the decision when the information is given."

However, Arthur did concede batsman Usman Khawaja was forced out of the side after his Melbourne debut to give all-rounder Steve Smith a game, which backfired as Australia needed more recognized batsman in folding for 170 in Adelaide.

Johnson and Starc will be available for selection with the squad for games three and four to be announced today.

Arthur said Starc's calf ailment and Johnson's lingering side discomfort meant playing in Adelaide was unwise.

"The calf is a separate problem. Starc will join the squad and be available to play in Brisbane," Arthur said.

"Mitch Johnson has pain in his side which started at the Sydney Test and we played him through. It flared up in Melbourne. He will be available again come Friday – if it was a semi final in a World Cup both would have played."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Kids injured in mud race horror

The crowd scatters as the 4WD careers off the track, hitting several bystanders. Picture: Chris Nicholls

BRAVE bystanders lifted a four-wheel-drive off injured children after the airborne mud racing ute ploughed into spectators in Gippsland.

The terrifying incident left a nine-year-old girl with leg injuries and a 15-year-old girl with pelvic and leg injuries following the spill during the Mud Run at Dalyston, near Wonthaggi.

The pair were flown to the Royal Children's Hospital.

Witnesses said the car lost control on a corner and flew through the air about 4pm.

An eight-year-old boy, who suffered arm and knee injuries, was also taken to Wonthaggi Hospital, and a 15-year-old girl with leg injuries was taken to Dandenong Hospital.

The racing car ploughs off the track and into the horrified crowd. Picture: Chris Nicholls

A 40-year-old man was taken by road ambulance to The Alfred hospital with multiple injuries.

Ambulance Victoria spokesman John Mullen said a 13-year-old boy was treated at the scene for shock and was taken to The Alfred in a private car to be with the 40-year-old.

The event was a fundraiser for the Dalyston Football and Netball Club.

Quickly on the scene, football club first aider Stacy said one of the 15-year-old girls had moved to the small town last year.

The crowd rallies to push the car off the victims. Picture: Chris Nicholls

"I'd be trying to help one person and then another person would be crying for help," Stacy said.
Witness Amanda Evans said the smash was "absolutely terrifying".

"I had friends that were actually in that area at that time, so I automatically ran around, concerned about them and their families."

Photographer Chris Nicholls said he turned around after hearing screams and saw a car mounting the embankment.

He said it looked like there was at least one person underneath the vehicle, as spectators banded together to push the race car off.

After the shock, racegoers band together to help the injured. Picture: Chris Nicholls

"They were pushing the car off and it looked like there were people underneath. Not just one person, maybe two or three," Mr Nicholls said.

"The driver obviously was extremely distraught as well. Afterwards he just got out and knelt with his head on his hands. It was a fraught situation."

SES incident controller Joe Borg said the car "flew" into the group of spectators after the driver lost control.

"The car landed on the crowd," Mr Borg said.

An injured child is taken to hospital by helicopter. Picture: Channel 7 News

"It cleared the bank and flew into the crowd. The spectators pushed the car back on to the track."

Dalyston vice-president Peter Hill said the club provided the venue and spent two weeks making it as safe as it could be. He said most members spent the day behind the scenes, organising food and drink.

"We're just really devastated as a football club to have done the best we can do to try and put on the safest event and for something like that to happen," Mr Hill said.

"It was a fantastic day except for five minutes of the day."

An injured child is taken to hospital by ambulance. Picture: Channel 7 News

The Australian 4WD Mud Racing Association, which ran the event, declined to comment when contacted by the Herald Sun.

Police spokesman Melissa Seach said officers were not investigating the smash.

Paramedic Eddie Wright said the first crew arrived to find shocked spectators still hanging around the scene.

''The first crew were met with a bit of confusion and a lot of anxiety about what had happened,'' Mr Wright told radio 3AW.

''With the assistance of Victoria Police and the organisers they were actually able to quickly bring that into control, sort out what needed to be done and actually move some people out of the area and that actually helped them manage.''

Mud racing involves modified 4WDs competing on specially built tracks with jumps, mudholes, waterholes and corners.

Vehicles are separated into six classes, based on engine capacity, before competing for points.

The association's next event is scheduled for Edenhope, near the South Australian border, on February 10.

- with Amelia Harris


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Kunis and Kutcher 'to wed in April'

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher starred on That 70s Show together. Picture: supplied Source: Supplied

MILA Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are reportedly planning to wed in Los Angeles this April.

The couple has apparently decided to tie the knot in the spring if the details of Ashton's divorce from Demi Moore are finalised by then.

The 34-year-old actor officially filed to end his marriage to 50-year-old Demi in December last year after a battle over finances.

Sources have revealed that following Ashton's year-long monetary disagreement and after a romantic Christmas and New Year with Mila, he's hoping for a 2013 wedding.

"Ashton took Mila to his hometown in Iowa over the holidays to meet his family, and to announce in person that they're planning a small LA wedding this April," a source revealed to British magazine more!

"At this point he's ready to fully let go and start the New Year afresh."

Ashton is also reportedly hoping to start a family with Mila, which insiders have stated is the reason behind his push for a spring wedding.

Actress Mila has allegedly laid down some ground rules with Ashton before she starts having children, with a ring on her finger being number one.

"Mila has told Ashton she wants to be married before getting pregnant," a source revealed. "He filed for divorce so he can marry Mila and have the child he's always wanted."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Teen's moving tale for big screen

Shaun Wilson-Miller before his death with his father, Cameron Miller, and Cameron's partner, Sally Devers. Source: Herald Sun

THE Melbourne boy who won hearts around the world with his inspirational death-bed YouTube video looks set to inspire a Hollywood movie.

Shaun Wilson-Miller's father, Cameron, says his son's story is in the process of becoming a multi-million-dollar movie directed by Rod Hardy, who also made December Boys starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Part drama and part fantasy, Mr Miller said the film would be based on An Awesome Ride, the autobiography the 17-year-old wrote before his death from heart disease in May.

Mr Miller plans to take the script to Cannes to market it to studio heads.

Mr Miller said he hoped Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) would play his son.

The actor, who has just wrapped shooting Romeo and Juliet, went to primary school with Shaun.

"I have already had interest from ... major studios who've likened Shaun's story to Shine.

"This movie will let Shaun live out some of his dreams."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Federal compo payouts double to $1bn

COMPENSATION costs for stressed and injured federal public servants have doubled in a year to nearly $1 billion.

Comcare, the Federal Government's workplace compensation insurer, has recorded its first loss, a $564 million for 2011-12.

It blames the blow-out on a surge in claims and public servants "not recovering as quickly as they should".

The effect of lower interest rates on earnings and higher forecasts for inflation also contributed.

Comcare has been dealing with a rash of controversial compo claims, many for bullying and "adjustment disorder", a type of psychological injury due to work-related stress.

It will announce today its High Court appeal against a Federal Court order that it pay compensation to a public servant injured during sex in her motel room while on a business trip.

The case will set a national legal precedent, drawing the line between injuries sustained at work and in private.

Comcare's latest annual report reveals the cost of ongoing workers' compensation claims soared from $459 million in 2011 to $994 million last year.

The government-owned agency will increase premiums by 25 per cent this year to try to claw back the $564 million loss.

Comcare's acting chief executive, Cathy Skippington, said yesterday the record $994 million expense included the "estimated future costs of claims or liabilities".

"These increased due to economic factors and because some injured workers are taking longer to get back to work," she said.

"As a result, we've had to increase our scheme premium rates substantially to return the scheme, over time, to a fully funded position."

A Comcare spokesman said the operating loss would have "no fiscal or cash impact on the Government's Budget".

But government departments and agencies will have to find the money to pay higher premiums for their workers' compensation coverage, which has jumped to 1.77 per cent of payroll costs this financial year.

Ms Skippington said Comcare had dealt with a "moderate increase" in mental health claims during 2012.

"People are much more aware of bullying now and the fact they don't have to put up with it," she said.

Mental health claims made up 8 per cent of Comcare claims during 2011-12, with bullying accounting for nearly half the mental stress cases.

Three in every four claims related to "body stressing", with 15 per cent caused by slips, trips and falls.

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has ordered a review of the government's snowballing Comcare scheme. 

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

No, really, put the smoothie down

There can often be more calories in a smoothie as in a full meal, says consumer group Choice who recommend people eat two pieces of fruit each day. Source: news.com.au

FRUIT smoothies and frappes sold at well-known food and drink outlets can contain more kilojoules than a full meal, an analysis by consumer group Choice has found.

Choice analysed 95 drinks sold at a variety of popular chains including Boost Juice, Donut King, Wendys and Gloria Jean's, finding 81 were high in sugar - at least 7.5g per 100ml.

Thirteen of the drinks were more than 1900 kilojoules, or 454 calories - about three times the amount dieticians recommend for a snack.

Five were high in saturated fat, with each drink containing more than 11g of saturated fat per serve, most likely because they were made with ice-cream.

Although fruit smoothies have a healthy image, Choice spokeswoman Ingrid Just said some were packed with "hidden sugars", containing fruit juice concentrates and high-fructose syrup.

"It's always preferable to have the whole fruit," Ms Just said. "With the whole fruit, you get the fibre, you get the added nutrients from the skin and the fibre in the fruit, plus you're not consuming as many kilojoules as quickly.

"You should be having roughly two pieces of fruit a day. Some of these smoothies have many, many more times the kilojoules of that amount of fruit."

The Choice review found that Baskin and Robbins' yoghurt smoothies contained between 29 and 31 teaspoons of sugars, including concentrated fruit puree, high-fructose syrup and added sugar.

Boost Juice's Super Smoothies are made with real juice but they are also energy dense, at close to 2000kj (478 calories) per regular serve - about the same as a full meal.

However, the franchise's Skinny Minny Melon, rated by Choice as the best Boost Juice option, is 549kj (131 calories) for a medium size.

Ms Just said people should be aware that consuming some of the smoothies was the equivalent of having a meal.

"You may not necessarily have that concept in your mind," she said. "You generally think you're having a healthier drink but it's not necessarily the case.

"You have to navigate your way through the menu board and ask some questions when you're deciding which smoothie is a better one.

"Ask whether it's made with real fruit and ask for it to be made with yoghurt rather than ice-cream."

To keep kilojoules down, Ms Just suggested a smaller serving size was preferable.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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