Getting hacked at the Olympics

U.S. athletes, journalists, public officials and tourists attending the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing are at risk of Chinese hackers — most likely with Chinese government approval — infiltrating their laptops, Black Berrys and other electronic devices, security experts are warning.

While attention focused this past week on the cyber warfare Russia employed during its incursion into the Georgian republic, it is the Chinese who are the recognized global masters of cyber spying.

Last year, bugs reportedly were planted in electronic gear belonging to U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez during his trade mission there. This year, several congressmen reported that Chinese operatives had accessed their computers, and appeared to have stolen sensitive information about Chinese human rights whistle blowers. The Pentagon suspects China repeatedly has tried to attack U.S. military sites for years.

Congressional leaders have advised lawmakers on ways to avoid breaches when in China, but no similar warning has been issued for others attending the Games. 

It’s bipartisan pain for a pol to appear on the comedy cable show "The Colbert Report," but a new study shows Dems generally benefit more from enduring the awkward moments induced by pundit-host Stephen Colbert. Political scientist James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego reports that Democrats appearing on the show receive about a 44 percent increase in campaign donations in the month following the appearance on the show, compared to similar candidates who weren’t on the show.

Published in the journal Political Science and Politics, the study found no such bump for Republicans. In fact, the few GOP candidates who did guest shots actually raised less money in the month following their appearance than the month before. 

Men aged 18-44 are more than twice as likely as women the same age to adopt a child, according to results of a 2002 survey recently released by the federal government’s National Center for Health Statistics. As of that year, 1.2 million men and 613,000 women in that age group had adopted children.

The researchers didn’t ask about the parents’ motivation, but said they suspect the disparity is due in part to men who marry and adopt their spouse’s kids from a previous relationship.

The figures include 100,000 adoptions by women who never married, and 73,000 by men in the same category.


Work started this past week on constructing the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which will stand on a prime spot along the Tidal Basin near some of Washington’s most famous monuments. Project organizers said the estimated price tag for the memorial, which is slated to be finished by 2010, has risen from $100 million to $120 million because of higher design and construction costs. So far, about $99 million has been raised. 

The pace of life may be faster in the United States than in more laid-back countries in Europe and elsewhere, but our average Internet speed is way lower.

According to a study of 230,000 Internet users, the median real-time download speed in the U.S. is just 2.3 megabits per second. Japan users download at 63 mbps, South Koreans at 49 mbps and the French at 17 mbps, said the report by the Communications Workers of America’s Speed Matters Speed Test.

The union called on the presidential candidates to make it a priority to promote universal, high-speed Internet access to help us catch up. 

You can relive some of those historic — not to mention histrionic — moments of the August 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, a defining event of that tumultuous era. Carefully restored audio of broadcasts by the "counterculture" Pacifica Radio station can be heard at Among the selections: The late poet Allen Ginsberg telling a Pacifica reporter about police brutality, Black Panther Bobby Seale at a demonstration, and Pacifica reporter Bill Watson reporting while getting gassed.