Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
When it comes to making news, WikiLeaks is going it alone — and in a crowd.
Last week, the whistle-blowing organization dropped 120,000 more diplomatic cables, apparently drawn from the cache of 250,000 first tapped last November. But whereas the group previously collaborated with newspapers such as the New York Times and the Guardian — and redacted potentially sensitive information — the new batch of documents is unredacted. Government sources worry that personal information might jeopardize the safety of diplomatic sources. Human rights activists worry that applicants for political asylum may face reprisals.
Instead of partnering with senior editors in London and Washington, WikiLeaks is now engaging in social media crowd-sourcing — asking for recommendations of interesting cables at #wlfinds on Twitter. While the editorial process is slow, the new documents are yielding news stories such as:
WikiLeaks is also crowd-sourcing the redaction issue, by polling its Twitter followers on whether they favor releasing the remaining cables from its cache without any redaction. Respondent have “favored disclosure at a ratio of of 100 to one,” according to the Guardian.
The unexpected info dump was apparently triggered after WikiLeaks discovered that an encrypted file has been floating around the Internet for months containing the entire database of U.S. diplomatic cables. The password necessary to unlock the files was apparently the same one mentioned by the Guardian in a book published about WikiLeaks in February. (The Guardian has a more complete explanation of the snafu here.)
Peter Finocchiaro is a senior editor at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @PLFino.More Peter Finocchiaro.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.