Headlines from around the world: 2/24/14

Stephen Bax, Professor of Applied Linguistics at University of Bedfordshire has decoded part of the Voynich Manuscript. The Voynich Manuscript is a 600 year-old cryptically coded document that since its discovery had not been decoded or had its purpose determined. After using techniques similar to those used to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs, Professor Bax believes the document to be a treatise on nature originating in Asia.

A Florida woman was made to spend a night in jail after using her cellphone camera to record a deputy of the Broward Sheriff’s Office during a traffic stop and is now readying to sue the office. The deputy insisted she had committed a felony and had to surrender her phone, and she refused. Filming an officer of the law performing their duties has been declared to be part of a citizen’s first amendment rights in 2011 with the case of Glik vs. Cunniffe.

Comcast has announced plans to do an all-stock purchase of Time Warner Cable at $159 per piece of stock, an 18% premium. If this deal is allowed to pass through, it would create the largest television service at 35 million subscribers. The next two largest services are DirecTV at 20 million subscribers, and Cox Cable at 4.5 million subscribers. The deal is expected to face heavy scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commision and the Justice Department.

Following weeks of protests in Kiev, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signed an agreement which will limit his power, restore the 2004 constitution, and an early election will be had before the end of the year after reformation of election laws. The agreement was signed by opposition leaders soon after. Despite the deal, thousands of protesters remain on Independence Square.

The crowd-funding website Kickstarter has a security breach which resulted in hackers acquiring large amount of personal information from Kickstarter users. Credit card information, however, was not taken by hackers as that information is not kept by the company. Passwords were also not fully displayed, but Kickstarter advises its users to change their passwords as they can be guessed because of the information that was revealed.

Security researchers have discovered a vulnerability in Linksys routers that will allow hackers to remotely control computers using an infected route. A malware program known as TheMoon has been known to try an exploit Linksys routers through a remote controlling script that can be injected through web pages. This also instructs infected computers to infect other computers which can result in a large number of computers which can be taken over remotely known as a botnet.

In a response to a decrease in the number of monarch butterflies over the past few years, a summit meeting of the North American Free Trade Agreement countries has announced that the countries will be making an effort to help increase the number of the species which has dropped from 1.1 billion in 1996 to 33 million this last year. The cause of this decrease is thought to be both increasingly extreme climate conditions as well as the spraying of herbicide in North America resulting in the death of monarch butterfly’s only source of food, the milkweed.

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