China cheats on ages, spy controversy rages

China cheats on ages, spy controversy rages

Notes from the field

But officer, she told me she was 16: Among the many technological marvels on display at the recent Beijing Olympics, the Chinese added yet another: The magical age extender. It can instantly make anyone several years older; the catch is that it only works on members of the Chinese Olympic gymnastics team. Per The Register:

“Search engine hacker, Stryde Hax, has unearthed copies of offi cial registration documents by Chinese sporting authorities [the General Administration of Sport] that show the age of a Chinese double gold medal winning gymnast to be 14 – two years younger than the age that appears on her governmentissued passport. The Excel fi les, purged by censors from the offi cial site and from Google’s document cache, were found in the document translation cache of Chinese search engine, Baidu.”

Note that a) the Chinese women’s team won a gold medal thanks to its ultra-limber adolescents, and b) no, high schoolers can’t use this technique to get a fake ID so they can buy beer.

The funniest part is that the Chinese remembered to purge Google’s cache but forgot about their own home-grown search engine. To quote the ancient Tao philosopher, Ho Ma Simpshuan: “Doh!”

If it’s Tuesday, you must be a terrorist: Planning to travel out of the US soon? If you’re lucky the Feds won’t seize your laptop or smartphone at the border, but they may log your comings and goings in a new federal database, if the DoJ has its way. According to a report in the New York Times, US Senators briefed on the plan:

“... said the new guidelines would allow the FBI to open an investigation of an American, conduct surveillance, pry into private records and take other investigative steps ‘without any basis for suspicion’.”

The guidelines, which don’t require Congressional approval, would exempt the database from the 1974 Privacy Act, which was created to keep Uncle Sam from maintaining a database on ordinary law-abiding Americans.

The Feds plan to maintain the records for 15 years for a citizen, and 75 years for those that are not (because there’s nothing more dangerous than a geriatric terrorist).

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