WikiLeaks Archive – Iran Armed by North Korea – NYTimes.com

Secret American intelligence assessments have concluded that Iran has obtained a cache of advanced missiles, based on a Russian design, that are much more powerful than anything Washington has publicly conceded that Tehran has in its arsenal, diplomatic cables show.Iran obtained 19 of the missiles from North Korea, according to a cable dated Feb. 24 of this year. The cable is a detailed, highly classified account of a meeting between top Russian officials and an American delegation led by Vann H. Van Diepen, an official with the State Department’s nonproliferation division who, as a national intelligence officer several years ago, played a crucial role in the 2007 assessment of Iran’s nuclear capacity.The missiles could for the first time give Iran the capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe or at Moscow, and American officials warned that their advanced propulsion could speed Iran’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.There has been scattered but persistent speculation on the topic since 2006, when fragmentary reports surfaced that North Korea might have sold Iran missiles based on a Russian design called the R-27, once used aboard Soviet submarines to carry nuclear warheads. In the unclassified world, many arms control experts concluded that isolated components made their way to Iran, but there has been little support for the idea that complete missiles, with their huge thrusters, had been secretly shipped.The Feb. 24 cable, which is among those obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations, makes it clear that American intelligence agencies believe that the complete shipment indeed took place, and that Iran is taking pains to master the technology in an attempt to build a new generation of missiles. The missile intelligence also suggests far deeper military — and perhaps nuclear — cooperation between North Korea and Iran than was previously known. At the request of the Obama administration, The New York Times has agreed not to publish the text of the cable.

More at…..via WikiLeaks Archive – Iran Armed by North Korea – NYTimes.com.

WikiLeaked Diplomatic Cables Confirm China’s Politburo Was Behind Google Hacking Incident

Details about the U.S. State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks are starting to come out. Although WikiLeaks itself may be under a denial of service attack, it provided several newspapers around the world acces to the raw documents it is preparing to release later today. The New York Times just posted it’s first article summarizing the contents of the cables and highlighting the most newsworthy ones.Among the 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks, there is one set which deals with the massive computer attack on Google and other companies which was first revealed last January. At that time, Google went public with its contention that the attacks came from the Chinese government, and resulted in Google temporarily pulling out if China. They returned in a more limited way last summer.According to the NYT, some of the new leaked cables point directly at China’s Politburo for instigating the original attacks:A global computer hacking effort: China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They have broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.The cables should shed some more light on why the White House and State Department backed Google so vociferously at the time.

via WikiLeaked Diplomatic Cables Confirm China’s Politburo Was Behind Google Hacking Incident.

Hell Freezes Over As MySpace Fully Surrenders To Facebook

LOL Awesome.

It was just a couple of years ago that MySpace wasn’t all that concerned about the fast growing Facebook. Fast forward two years and a handful of CEO changes, and everything has changed.

Last summer MySpace found a way to get MySpace status updates into Facebook. And today at noon at a special press event that everyone was invited to except us, they’ll announce more integrations. And it’s ok that we weren’t invited, because we now know exactly what they’re announcing.

The event is less of a partnership announcement and more of a formal surrender ceremony.

MySpace is sending CEO Mike Jones for the announcement. Facebook managed to rustle up a vice president – Dan Rose. Our sources say MySpace is a little more than embarrassed that Facebook isn’t making someone more senior available for the event.

Here’s at least part of what they’ll announce. Facebook Connect integration so that users can associate their MySpace accounts with their Facebook accounts and then log in to MySpace via Connect. Part of that is already live. MySpace will suck in as much profile information as possible and use it to help with advertising and the interest graph (bands you like, etc.)

And they’ll also announce that Facebook users will now be able to push all their Facebook status updates to MySpace. So your Facebook stream will appear on your MySpace profile.

Now all MySpace has to do is figure out how to get at least some of those users to hang out at MySpace occasionally, not just at Facebook. Their recent redesign is that effort. In a few months, we’ll all know if it worked and if there is any long term business for MySpace.

via Hell Freezes Over As MySpace Fully Surrenders To Facebook.

Microsoft\’s Ballmer kills call for break-up – Computerworld

Computerworld – Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer yesterday dismissed a call that he should do what the federal government failed to do more than 10 years ago: break up the company.

“Is it time to break up Microsoft?” a self-described “frustrated” investor asked Ballmer during the company’s annual shareholders meeting Tuesday.

Ballmer quickly nixed the idea.

“It’s not in my natural genetic makeup to think that way,” Ballmer said. “I obviously don’t think it is time. I don’t think it would be useful.”

“There’s a lot of synergy across the company, and it’s been a real strength,” said Gates. “I don’t think there’s a line where you’d find net simplicity by trying to create a new company.”Bill Gates, who handed the operational reins to Ballmer a decade ago but remains Microsoft’s chairman, backed the current CEO in one of the two times he spoke at the meeting.

Questions about Microsoft’s business organization have come up irregularly, but the most recent demand for a break-up largely stems from an October note by Goldman Sachs, said Rob Helm, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash. research firm that focuses on Microsoft.

“Part of it stems from Friar’s analysis,” said Helm, “although investors are also unhappy with the stock’s performance over time. They’re starting to ask if there should be fundamental changes to the business.”

In early October, Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar downgraded her position on Microsoft from “buy” to “neutral,” and along the way, suggested that the company would be worth $52 billion more if it broke into several entities.

“There’s a distance to Microsoft’s offerings, who they’re targeting and also their financial performance,” said Allan Krans, an analyst with Technology Business Research, explaining why investors and Wall Street are asking questions. “When you look at Microsoft, it’s not as cohesive as other companies, like HP. There, printing is a big part, but it’s not carrying the company.”

Three weeks after Friar’s note to her clients, Ballmer called the idea of breaking up “nutty” and “the second most crazy idea I have ever heard.”

On Tuesday, Ballmer used more measured words.

“All of the people we compete with in devices will be in phone, PC, and TV, which in our case means Xbox, Windows, and Windows Phones. It’s Apple, it’s Google, it’s us,” said Ballmer. “Divesting something only means creating a harder time competing for all relevant parties.”

via Microsoft\’s Ballmer kills call for break-up – Computerworld.