Taking Questionable Sides In A Foreign Civil War

It’s official, we’re no longer hiding behind the fictitious fig leaf of “responsibility to protect” civilians (R2P), we’re now showing our true colors. We’re in Libya for regime change. I’m not quite sure when the United Nations approved that?

US, allies formally recognize Libya rebels

The United States granted Libyan rebel leaders full diplomatic recognition as the governing authority of Libya yesterday, after five months of fighting to oust longtime ruler Moammar Khadafy.

The decision at a meeting here of more than 30 Western and Arab nations is the first step in giving the rebels access to Libya’s frozen US assets, worth more than $30 billion.

“I am announcing today that, until an interim authority is in place, the United States will recognize the TNC as the legitimate governing authority for Libya,’’ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, referring to the rebels’ Transitional National Council, prompting other ministers to break out in applause.

Who, exactly, are we now in bed with?

Rights group: Libyan rebels looted and beat civilians

Libyan rebels have looted and burned homes and abused civilians, a human rights group said Wednesday.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said that, in “four towns captured by rebels in the Nafusa Mountains over the past month, rebel fighters and supporters have damaged property, burned some homes, looted from hospitals, homes, and shops, and beaten some individuals alleged to have supported government forces.”

See also:
U.S. recognition of the Libyan rebel government leaves many questions unanswered
US Formally Recognizes Libyan Rebels
United States recognizes Libyan rebels as legitimate government
U.S. recognizes Libyan rebels as ruling authority
Libyan Rebels Get U.S. Recognition, Await Cash
Libyan rebels win recognition and promise of financial support
Libyan Rebels Get U.S. Recognition Yet Must Wait for Cash
Mary E. Stonaker: What formal recognition given to Libyan rebels means for the oil markets
Rights Group: Libyan Rebels Loot Seized Towns
Rights group accuses Libyan rebels of abuse
Libya rebels loot seized towns, says rights group
Human Rights Watch criticizes Libyan rebels
Rights group exposes Libyan rebel abuses

Lets recap: The United States has now formally aligned itself with accused war criminals we hardly know, in a foreign civil war that we have absolutely no business being militarily involved with in the first place, and our mission creep to regime change isn’t even authorized or approved under international law. Is that about it?

/well played Obama administration, what are we now, a rogue nation?

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Meet Doctor Watson

Is there anything Watson can’t do?

IBM Watson supercomputer turns to medicine

After battling the flesh-and-blood know-it-alls on “Jeopardy!,” IBM supercomputer Watson is getting ready for its next big challenge – helping doctors navigate the increasingly complex world of medicine.

Watson is being groomed to be a bedside medical tool – digesting medical textbooks, journals, treatment guidelines as well as information from patients’ blogs to diagnose illnesses quickly and accurately.

IBM says Watson, with its ability to understand language, can absorb questions about a patient’s symptoms and medical history and quickly suggest diagnoses and treatments. They envision several uses, including a doctor speaking into a handheld device to get answers at a patient’s bedside or to serve as a second opinion. Watson could also link to electronic health records that the federal government wants hospitals to maintain.

See also:
IBM’s Watson Makes the Move From Answering Trivia Questions to Making Medical Diagnoses
IBM’s Watson leaves Jeopardy to become a doctor (Morning Read)
Jeopardy-Winning Supercomputer Watson Turns Its Sights To Medicine
IBM’s Watson supercomputer to help diagnose hospital patients
‘Jeopardy!’-Winning Computer Delving Into Medicine
Researchers Preparing IBM’s Watson Computer for Medical Applications
Watson (computer)
Watson homepage
Watson Wins!

Well, if Watson is anywhere near as good at medicine as it is at Jeopardy!, it should be a better doctor than most. Seriously, if Watson doesn’t make mistakes and gets the diagnosis right, does it really matter if it’s man or machine?

/I, for one, welcome our new doctor machine overlords

Health Care, Conficker Style

This is certainly a disturbing development.

Conficker worm hits hospital devices

A computer worm that has alarmed security experts around the world has crawled into hundreds of medical devices at dozens of hospitals in the United States and other countries, according to technologists monitoring the threat.

The worm, known as “Conficker,” has not harmed any patients, they say, but it poses a potential threat to hospital operations.

“A few weeks ago, we discovered medical devices, MRI machines, infected with Conficker,” said Marcus Sachs, director of the Internet Storm Center, an early warning system for Internet threats that is operated by the SANS Institute.

Around March 24, researchers monitoring the worm noticed that an imaging machine used to review high-resolution images was reaching out over the Internet to get instructions — presumably from the programmers who created Conficker.

The researchers dug deeper and discovered that more than 300 similar devices at hospitals around the world had been compromised. The manufacturer of the devices told them none of the machines were supposed to be connected to the Internet — and yet they were. And because the machines were running an unpatched version of Microsoft’s operating system used in embedded devices they were vulnerable.

Normally, the solution would be simply to install a patch, which Microsoft released in October. But the device manufacturer said rules from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required that a 90-day notice be given before

“For 90 days these infected machines could easily be used in an attack, including, for example, the leaking of patient information,” said Rodney Joffe, a senior vice president at NeuStar, a communications company that belongs to an industry working group created to deal with the worm. “They also could be used in an attack that affects other devices on the same networks.”

Joffe, who is scheduled to testify before Congress on Friday, said he will ask lawmakers to remove the barriers to coordination between federal agencies so that cyberthreats like Conficker can be addressed.

In addition to the medical-imaging machines, Joffe said the working group has seen thousands of other machines located in hospitals reach out to the Conficker mastermind by contacting another computer on the Internet for instructions. Researchers have not determined the function of these machines. They could be a personal computer sitting on a secretary’s desk or more sensitive medical devices linked to patient care.

See also:
Conficker infected critical hospital equipment, expert says
Conficker Worm Hits U.S. Hospitals, Infecting Computers and Equipment
Conficker spotted in critical medical equipment
Hospital devices face threats from Conficker computer worm
Conficker infected critical hospital equipment
The Microsoft Tax: Windows Conficker worm hits hospital devices; Macintosh unaffected
Report: Conficker in attack mode
Conficker adds new weapon: spam
Conficker virus begins to attack PCs
SANS Internet Storm Center
Internet Storm Center
SANS Institute
SANS Institute
NeuStar
NeuStar
W32/Conficker.worm
Conficker
Protect yourself from the Conficker computer worm
Conficker Worm: Help Protect Windows from Conficker

Like with the swine flu, if everyone would just take basic, common sense precautions, they won’t have any problems with Conficker and won’t play a part in helping spread it to others.

/do your part, keep your Windows PCs up to date with the most current Microsoft patches and always run currently updated anti-virus and firewall software