A letter to Obama will ask him to abandon McKinnon extradition


A letter to Barack Obama signed by MPs and Peers will call on the President not to extradite British hacker Gary McKinnon who faces up to 60 years in a maximum security prison if found guilty.

The 43-year-old UFO obessive who suffers from Asperges syndrome, a mild form of Austism, carried out the ‘largest military hack of all time’ in 2002 – hacking into the computer systems of NASA, The US Army, Department of Defence and US Air Force.

McKinnon, who was looking for proof of UFOs, was originally indicted in 2002 and in 2006 the UK agreed to extradite him for trial. Subsequent appeals to the House of Lords and European Court of Human Rights have failed.

Mr McKinnon’s local MP, David Burrowes, said: “We need to take it further and call upon Barack Obama himself to take action as the pleas have fallen on deaf ears so far.”

The letter from The National Autistic Society calls for Obama to allow McKinnon to face trial in the UK on the grounds that extradition might lead to a deterioration in his health.

Legal experts have said that if McKinnon were to face trial, it should be in the UK regardless, as any crimes he committed were committed in British territory.

The case highlights the unbalanced Bush era US – UK extradition treaty which was designed to facilitate the fast extradition of Islamic fundamentalist, not eccentric Scottish systems administrators.

(Via Guardian)

Is MySpace dumping Tom?


Tech industry website TechCrunch reckons that the founders of MySpace might soon be scanning the jobs pages, as owner News Corp’s CEO of Digital Media, Jonathan Miller, is looking to replace the CEO, CTO and President of the service.

It’s claimed that a decision has already been made to terminate co-founder Chris DeWolfe, the current CEO of the service. Apparently the senior executive team will soon follow, which includes Tom Anderson (President and default friend for any new signups on the site) and Aber Whitcomb (CTO).

What this means for the site is still unclear, though it’s been struggling to compete with upstarts Facebook and Twitter and only really holds ground in the music sphere. Apparently a new CEO has already been recruited and is in the final stages of contract negotiations. Whether he or she will be able to reverse MySpace’s terminal decline remains to be seen.

(via TechCrunch)

Obama gives the Queen an iPod


On Barack Obama’s official visit to Buckingham Palace last night, he handed over an iPod to the Queen as a gift, stuffed with video of her 2007 visit to the U.S. and a bunch of tracks from Broadway musicals including “Cats”, “South Pacific” and “Oklahoma!”.

Not that impressive, really, is it? It wasn’t even engraved with the Royal Seal. She’s already got one, too – a 6GB iPod Mini, which Prince Andrew suggested she buy in 2005. Her Maj was a little more classy – giving Obama her traditional gift of a framed photograph of herself and Prince Phillip.

(via Telegraph)

Eavesdrop on a conversation between the Nintendo President and a Ninty designer

The next best thing to actually having a conversation with the head of Nintendo must be being a fly on the wall, listening to a conversation between the Nintendo Prez Satoru Iwata and Shigesato Itoi (Japanese writer and designer of Nintendo’s Mother RPGs), as they discuss Ninty, and Shigeru Miyamoto in full detail.

Thanks to Itoi, we don’t need to buy expensive spy-microphones to make that dream a reality, as he’s only gone and published the whole conversation on his website! Yup, in English – either he’s brilliant…