European Space Agency suspends contact with USA over NSA crisis

The European Space Agency (ESA) said Thursday that it is suspending all contact with the US government representatives. In a memorandum sent out to ESA members, the agency said that the suspension includes travel to US, teleconferences, and visits by US government officials to ESA facilities.

The agency said that collaboration over the International Space Station (ISS) is exempted from this communication break-up. The directive came from ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain.

The memorandum clearly states NSA’s continuous spying on European leaders and citizens.

Given NSA’s ongoing violation of EU’s privacy, until further notice, the EU has determined that all ESA contacts with US government representatives are suspended, unless the activity has been specifically excepted. This suspension includes ESA travel to USA and visits by US Government representatives to ESA facilities, bilateral meetings, email, and teleconferences or videoconferences. At present, only operational International Space Station activities have been excepted. In addition, multilateral meetings held outside of EU that may include US participation are not precluded under the present guidance.

US Government objected strongly to the move and accused ESA for engaging in political issues compromising the common and grander goals for science.

US President Barack Obama is expected to call Dordain today to discuss how to end this situation. NSA is assisting the President in formatting his response to EU, based on the communication EU members had with each other over phone.

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WhatsApp users reporting they are not getting important messages

Not all acquisitions go well as the acquiring company takes over the infrastructure and makes major changes to it. We still remember Skype outage as Microsoft changed the technology to make it more NSA friendly. All Android users are reporting that Skype drains their batter as it keeps the camera running in the background. Google is working on a fix but now talking about why Skype needs the camera activated when a user is not in a conversation – everything points to Microsoft-NSA relationship where they can spy on users via the web-cam.

Now WhatsApp users are reporting missing or delayed reception of messages. Facebook has denied any foul play or NSA intervention and said they fight ferociously against NSA spying on their users.

According to Danny Sullivan of MarketingLand, Facebook has changed its algorithm for Whatsapp in line with the algorithm used for Facebook Timeline. He explains, “Facebook has tweaked Whatsapp to use the same algorithm that they use for Timeline and it makes sense.”

Facebook engineer Robert Adkins explained on a Facebook blog, “Each WhatsApp user gets over 100 messages per day from relatives and friends which makes it almost impossible to keep up with the conversation, so Facebook promotes the messages from those with whom you interact frequently and demotes from those who you interact once in a while. So you will get message from your wife, your kids and your near and dear immediately.”

Many users reported missed messages from doctors and other such services or even distant relatives. “My wife had a minor accident and the hospital tried to contact me over WhatsApp and I never got their message. This is not acceptable,” said Tarun Sharma from India – one of the largest markets of WhatsApp.

Facebook responded to such concern and said that this week they are introducing ‘promoted message’ feature which will allow users to ensure that their message will reach the recipient at a nominal fee of $.99. We have seen great results from ‘promoted post’ feature of Facebook and we are confident that ‘promoted message’ feature will help WhatsApp users to great extent.

Adkins said, “Soon you will never miss a WhatsApp message again.”

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US to sue Turkey for intercepting Internet traffic to spy on users

US Department of Commerce is suing the government of Turkey for intercepting the Internet services provided by the US companies to spy on Turkish citizens. Penny Pritzker, the Secretary of Commerce, said that Turkey has infringed upon US Intellectual Properties by intercepting the Web traffic.

“Turkey is one of the worst violators of the US IP as it blatantly copies the means used by the National Security Agency (NSA) to provide safety and security to the US citizens by tirelessly monitoring the billions of communications that take place between the US citizens. We have forged treaties with other agencies from the UK and Australia to offer safety to our citizens where the constitution comes in our way. But Turkey has shamelessly imitated all the techniques being used by the US government and is implementing it in the same fashion within the country,” said Pritzker.

He added, “This breach and imitation of American exceptional-ism will not be tolerated and we are working on global sanctions on Turkey for this IP theft.”

Bill Or Riley said, “We should have shown our leadership and responsibility that God has given us and attacked Turkey to free it from tyranny, but our President is too busy to provide health-care to those suffering here in America instead of offering a helping hand to those who are dying there. This is the first time the US has displayed cowardice and selfishness by preferring its own people over the Muslims. This is shameful and make it look bad in the world.”

The discloser that Turkey is spying on its citizen was made by Google, the world’s top supporter of freedom of speech. While Google was able to learn within weeks that Turkey was spying on its own citizens it was clueless that NSA had been running a similar program for almost a decade.

Noam Chomsky said in a TV interview, “There is nothing surprising here. The scale has shifted and now ‘freedom and democracy’ have become a privilege of non-US citizens and the US is determined to ensure that the rest of the world is not deprived of it.”

US is working on WPO, word political organization on the line of WTO, where US will have more say in political decision of UN recognized countries.

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Oculus purchase was a 1st April joke: Facebook

Facebook has revealed that their Oculus purchase was a 1st April joke which went public before time. Facebook was trying to out-do Google which is known for such elaborated jokes. Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook Blog: “We are a social networking company and not a hardware company. A gaming console makes as much sense to us as a bicycle to a fish. Our vision is to get rid of a social evil called privacy where people still think there are things which should remain private. The less you hide the less you will have to hide has been our vision and Oculus just doesn’t fit in that grand vision.”

The Oculus purchase met with a very strong reaction from its backers on the Kickstarter as well as from the general geek community.

Oculus Rift creator posted on his blog: “We apologize for this untimely joke, but there is no way we get acquired by a social networking company. We have a grand vision for gaming and virtual reality where Facebook is all and all about selling space and then ads for that space, we just don’t fit there.”

Mark further wrote in his blog, “VR is at a very early stage at the moment and there is no guarantee that it will ever become successful, especially when you have to wear a huge goggle, like a facehugger on your face. We have already seen the failure of once-hyped 3D technology. All major TV companies have discontinued their 3D TVs. People just don’t want fake experience. We are not blind, we have huge data on what people want and what they don’t and average Facebook user is not yet ready for VR. I will be interested in VR when you don’t have to wear any heavy gear and that technology is still 10-20 years away. Facebook definitely doesn’t invest in science-fiction projects.”

The news has brought a sense of relief to the Oculus community.

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Oil found on Saturn’s moon Titan, Republican Party wants to know if there is life

A group of scientists from the Washington University have found huge resources of fossil fuel on Titan, the moon of Saturn. The discovery was made after years of analysis from the data sent by Voyager which collected data from Titan.

Crude OIL is buried deep under the surface of Titan and it could fuel North America for the next 300 years and more.

GOP today passed a bill in congress to switch some funds from NSA to NASA so that they can intensify the search of life of the ‘rich’ moon.

“We do believe that there is some kind of life on Titan,” said Ted Cruz, “As Carl Sagan said if there is no life on Titan is awful waste of all that oil.”

The bill was drafted and introduced by Cruz who reportedly received $800 million in bribery (sorry, it’s legazlise and called campaign funds) by the Koch Brothers to divert all NASA resources in finding life on Titan.

Bill O Riley supported the move and stated on FOX News, “Pinhead argue what has oil to do with life. Tell me a single place, I repeat, a single place on Earth where you can find oil but no oil. None. It doesn’t happen that way. If there is Oil, there has to be life. And our experience with life here on Earth has not been very pleasant. Everywhere there is life and oil there is conflict, there are tyrants trying to destroying American way of life. Freedom. That’s what happens so if there is oil on Titan, it’s clear indicator that there is some conflict, some tyranny – people suffering under suppression and we can’t help those people unless we find them. So we should fund NASA so they can find those life forms which need our help. We, Americans are ready to help them.”

Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks refuted GOP’s NASA funding. “GOP knows that it’s going to be extremely expensive for companies to bring oil from Titan from Earth. Only way to reduce that cost is by using taxpayers money. A military invasion of Titan would shift that cost from companies to taxpayers and that’s what is their agenda.”

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Microsoft working on ChromeOS fork BingOS

Microsoft is secretly working on it’s own Chromebook competitor aptly named Bingbook. The details are sketchy at the moment as we are waiting for more leaks, but from what The Verge has discovered these low-end devices are running a forked version of Google’s Chromium OS. Microsoft has customized the Linux-based OS to run Internet Explorer as the sole application. Bingbook will be tightly integrated with Microsoft services. Obviously Bing will be the default search engine. The device will come preloaded with cloud-based Office 365, Paint Brush, Xbox Live, Skype, Facebook, Microsoft Maps, and Windows Media Player.

Microsoft’s stocks hit all time high after the news hit the Wall Street. MSFT was trading at 789.76 at the time of reporting.

After Nokia’s move to use Android, as Windows OS is gradually becoming the Symbian of mobile world, it was quite Obvious for Microsoft to embrace Chromium OS.

The high sales of Chromebooks give a clear indication that there is a huge demand of inexpensive and Linux-based devices. The reason Microsoft chose to use Chromium instead of Windows was to cut costs. An internal Microsoft study showed that corporations around the globe are saving billions of dollars by switching from Windows to GNU/Linux.

According to a leaked conversation between Satya Nadella and Bill Gates, Nadella strongly recommended the move from Windows to Chromium. “The only way for us to cut the cost of our OS development is by switching to Linux. We would save over $300 million per year in developmental cost. Companies around the globe are cutting costs, why shouldn’t we?”

Bill Gates has reportedly supported the decision, “We have pioneered the adoption of the best technology available; back in those days it was Mac now it’s Chromium.”

The news got mixed response from the free and Open Source community. Richard M Stallman said, “Microsoft is Tivoizing Chrome and Android, that’s the price you pay by not using GNU GPLv3; Linus Torvalds should have listened to us.”

Canonical chief Mark Shuttleworth was full of praise for Microsoft and said, “It’s a substantial improvement on the past. Even on netbooks, it will be an credible release. I am delighted that BingOS is out. Now that it is out, we can compete head to head.” He added, “We need more Open Source players to break the duopoly of Google and Apple and BingOS is as bold a move as was Unity.”

He also promised that Ubuntu One will be available on Bingbook from the very first day.

Microsoft is reportedly working on a series of Bingbook vs Chromebooks video campaigns where the company will highlight how businesses and home users can do everything in Microsoft cloud without needing any of the desktop applications.

First Bingbook is expected to be released before Christmas to hit the holiday season.

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Linus Torvalds Awarded Arch Linux As The Most Consumer Friendly Distribution

Arch Linux has won the Free Software Award for the Most Consumer Friendly Linux Distribution. Aaron Griffin received the award from Richard M. Stallman and Linus Torvalds at the LibrePlanet conference at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

“The purpose of a GNU distribution is to make it easy for users to use GNU systems. It’s a stupid idea when you have to compile everything from scratch,” said Linus Torvalds at the event.”The reason I never liked or used Ubuntu was that you have to compile everything from scratch.”

Arch Linux beat Gentoo this year. Last year Gentoo won the coveted ‘Most User friendly Linux Award.”

“I think Arch was the best choice this year as it respects user’s freedom and keeps its repositories free from any proprietary or non-free packages. Arch-GNU/Linux was our first choice because it discourages practices like DRM or Tiviozation. I think other distributions must follow this practice. If you can’t respect freedom, go release your sex-tapes or commit suicide, please leave the morbid GNU/Linux world alone.”

When someone from the crowd asked Linus Ubuntu, he said, “I think Ubuntu crowd is a bunch of masturbating monkeys obsessed with KISS principle, forcing users to use the stupid command line.”

Richard M Stallman congratulated Arch for their achievement but also pointed out the areas where he thinks Arch needs improvement, “Arch’s lack of support of DRM is the only area where I see hurdles in the wide-spread adoption of Linux. We have elevated the DRM implementation project at FSF to boost work on it. Today Arch is the second most popular operating system and this gap is only due to Arch’s bad philosophy of pure Free software. I think they should start offering proprietary and patented applications in their repositories.”

Gentoo Linux won the second spot and CRUX Linux grabbed the 3rd spot as the most user-friendly distribution of the year. Ubuntu and Linux Mint could not qualify for the award due to their overly complicated Unity and Cinnamon interfaces.

Note: This is the 3rd post under our humor section c2050. Under this section our journalists travel to the future to report how the world will be. He sets his time machine randomly so we can’t predict where he will go next, maybe he will visit the past too. If you like the story, post a comment to encourage the time traveler.

This is satire. If you want to read more satire by Swapnil Bhartiya under ‘Damn-O-Crazy’ section, you can circle him and Damn-O-Crazy page on Google+, Twitter and Facebook. We also have an RSS Feed in case you are interested.