links for 2009-08-04

  • Iranian television said Saturday that Tehran arrested three Americans who crossed the border from northern Iraq.

    The Americans, two men and a woman, were arrested Friday after they entered Iran while hiking in the semiautonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, a Kurdish security official said.

    A U.S. official in Baghdad said the United States asked the Swiss, who represent U.S. interests in Iran, to investigate the reports. Iran and the United States broke off diplomatic ties shortly after the Islamic revolution in 1979.

    (tags: iran Politics)

  • More than 100 political activists and protesters went on trial Saturday on charges of rioting and conspiring to topple the government in the turmoil surrounding Iran's presidential election, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported.
    This Story

    100 Iranians Tried for Disputing Election

    The defendants included several prominent politicians — former members of parliament, first-generation revolutionaries and an ex-vice president — who have been locked in a decades-long power struggle with Iran's hard-line clerics and Revolutionary Guard Corps.

    Wearing gray prison uniforms and appearing thin after weeks in jail, some defendants gave lengthy confessions, saying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the disputed June 12 election free of fraud.

    (tags: Politics iran)

  • Coin tosses are a classic metaphor in economics for randomness. For instance, in his book about market efficiency, "A Random Walk Down Wall Street," economist Burton Malkiel compares the price movements of the stock market to the random outcome of a flipped coin: "[S]ometimes one gets positive price changes for several days in a row; but sometimes when you are flipping a coin you also get a long string of 'heads' in a row." According to Malkiel, mathematicians' term for a sequence of numbers produced by a random process is a random walk. To him, this is exactly what stock-price movements look like, hence the title of his book.

  • An attack on the service shows how convoluted some hacks can become.

    A group of researchers from security firm SensePost just revealed a hack of Apple's MobileMe service. Rather than demonstrating a weakness in the service, the feat is a model of the sheer doggedness on the part of some hackers.

    The three researchers–Haroon Meer, Nick Arvanitis and Marco Slaviero–wanted to find a way to break into the service and attack other users. Here are the steps that they took:

    (tags: apple mobileme)

  • Google Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!goog/quotes/nls/goog (GOOG 449.24, +6.19, +1.40%) Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple Inc.'s /quotes/comstock/15*!aapl/quotes/nls/aapl (AAPL 165.06, +1.67, +1.02%) board of directors, Apple said Monday. In a statement, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said Schmidt's "effectiveness" as an Apple board member would be increasingly diminished as Google "enters more of Apple's core businesses," as Schimdt would have to recuse himself from portions of meetings due to possible conflicts of interest. Among the Google products competing with Apple are the Android mobile operating system and the upcoming Google Chrome operating system.

    (tags: Google apple)

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