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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"When Obama took office in 2009, he met regularly with the security officials working to destroy the nuclear centrifuges. 'They would explain to the president what the latest version of the worm had done or had not done, what they were aiming for, and at the end of these sessions, he would essentially authorize them to move forward,' says Sanger. 'He would say, 'You can move to the next step,' and these attacks grew bolder and bolder until one day, at the end of 2010, when they made a big mistake.' That mistake allowed the computer worm — nicknamed Stuxnet — to spread to an Iranian engineer's computer, after he connected the computer to a centrifuge. When that engineer then went online, the virus began replicating — and spreading all over the world. 'The worm did not detect that its environment had changed,' says Sanger. 'So all of a sudden it thought the whole Internet — the whole world — was that same environment [as the plant], and it began propagating itself.' Initially Sanger and his colleagues at The New York Times thought Stuxnet had been released on the Internet by intelligence officials hoping to get the worm inside Iran's nuclear facilities. 'In fact, we had it backward,' he says. 'It had started in Natanz and escaped like a zoo animal.' When U.S. and Israeli officials learned that Stuxnet had escaped, they met with Obama in the Situation Room. The president asked if the code could damage computers outside the plant. After security officials assured him that was not the case, the Obama decided the program could go forward. A week later, another iteration of the code brought down 1,000 centrifuges within Iran. 'The official internal estimate is that [this code] delayed Iran's progress and weapons capability by 18 months to two years,' says Sanger." (NPR Fresh Air)


"Sen. John Cornyn’s prospects of becoming the second-ranking Senate Republican leader could face a challenge if Republicans fail to win the majority in the chamber, say current and former Senate GOP aides.Cornyn (Texas) is the only declared candidate for the post of Senate Republican whip, which is being vacated by the retiring Jon Kyl (Ariz.). Aides say that if Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), helps deliver a Senate Republican majority on Election Day, he would have a firm grip on the No. 2 leadership job. But if Republicans fumble what was seen last year as an all but certain takeover of the upper chamber, it could open Cornyn to a challenge from Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.) or another colleague. 'Any time you make a prediction, if you’re wrong, you get dinged,' said a senior Senate GOP aide." (TheHill)



"Ex-Viacom chief Tom Freston and his wife, best-selling author Kathy, are separating after 14 years of marriage, Page Six can confirm. But sources close to the power couple — who’ve been fixtures in high-flying New York and Hollywood social circles — say they have no current plans to divorce. 'They’re friends; this is not a war,' said a source close to the couple. 'And there’s been no decision for divorce.' The Frestons, who’ve been known to rub elbows with Harvey Weinstein, Graydon Carter, Oprah Winfrey, Brian Grazer, Russell Simmons and other A-listers, issued a joint statement, saying, 'We’ve been together for 17 years, 14 of them married. We’ve mutually agreed to a period of separation. We love each other very much, and are moving forward with good will and kindness.' Kathy’s books, ironically, include, 'The One: Finding Soul Mate Love and Making It Last' ...Tom walked away from Viacom in 2006 with an $85 million package." (PageSix)


"BETTE MIDLER'S gigantic gift to New York City in the matter of her organization's revitalizing the parks and public places of the five boroughs, brought in over $900,000 from pre-sales and a live auction at the beautiful Fort Tryon Park up on the Hudson last Thursday night.It was a green festival with many diverse personalities showing up to support the comic genius of our time as she picks up garbage and makes things gogeous. Bette knows from 'beautiful' because she grew up poor in the beauty of Hawaii. And her fellow comic Judy Gold noted that Bette might have to issue her real birth certificate to go on doing good works against the whims of Donald Trump. (Big laff from the VIP crowd!) The New York Restoration Project is multi-faceted. Along with this annual picnic and Bette's infamous Hula-ween party at the Waldorf, millions are raised to keep New York from falling apart ... Bette's easy informality and charm and willingness to "get down" and say hi to anyone who will help the Restoration Project is legend. She had applauding her co-workers and helpers — actor Adrian Grenier whose reading was slightly interrupted by a passing airplane ... the great actress Susan Sarandon ... my costar from the latest 'Smurfs' movie, fashion's Tim Gunn ... designer Michael Kors ... theater's new parents of twins, Margo and Jimmy Nederlander ... the Central Park society star Gillian Miniter ... philantropist shrinks Elizabeth Peabody and Jane O'Keefe ... decorator/philanthropist Mica Ertegun ... philanthropist Anne Ziff ... archaeologist Iris Love, who volunteered to dig for Bette anywhere she was needed ... and others" (NYSocialDiary)


"At most fashion events, an enthusiastic embrace consists of two cheek kisses — three if folks are really overjoyed to see each other — and some awkward fluttering that could be construed as a hug. So it was particularly adorable at last night's CFDA Awards when Billy Reid, blushing and stammering after winning the prize for Menswear Designer of the Year, greeted us backstage with a crushing bear hug. As our face was unexpectedly smushed against his jacket, we had a moment of panic that we might smear lip gloss on his lapels, but to our great relief, his clothes emerged unscathed from our embrace. (The award is particularly notable for him, as just a year and a half ago he was a relatively little-known, Alabama-based designer who became the dark-horse winner for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award.) Without further ado, here are all of the 2012 CFDA Award winners and honorees: Womenswear Designer of the Year Award: Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for the Row ... Other highlights (and otherwise amusing and/or weird moments) from last night, in chronological order ... Seeing Grace Coddington lunge through the crowd, red hair streaming behind her, during the reception so that she could get her hands on a chicken-salad-on-toast hors d'oeuvre (literally, she sprinted after the caterer). Yes, we tried one to see what the fuss was about, and no, they were not all that great. Seeing Grace Coddington again outside of Alice Tully Hall after the reception, when she trotted right past the line of Town Cars and headed towards the subway. Not that we were following her or anything." (NYMag)


"Howard (Stern) said that Jenny McCarthy is there to promote her new show ''Love In the Wild'' that premieres this week. Howard said that Jenny is dressed pretty hot. Robin asked if Jenny is doing another Playboy shoot. Jenny said she is. Howard said Jenny is one of the most beautiful women ... Howard asked if it's true that Jim Carrey set up a $50 million trust fund for her. Jenny said that's not true and she's pissed about that story. She said she basically walked out with what she had when she went into that relationship. Howard said if he was Jim he would have given her some money. Jenny said if he had offered money she would have asked him to give it to her to put toward her son's schooling. She said that's very expensive. Jenny said that she didn't get any money. She said that Jim doesn't even see her son. She said that she's kind of upset about that too. Howard said you'd think that Jim would stay in touch because he did develop a father-like relationship. Jenny said her son still asks about Jim and it's pretty much weekly. Jenny said she hasn't been able to talk to Jim directly but she does send messages to him. Jenny said that she does play Jim's movies for her son and she tells him that maybe some day he'll come around." (Marksfriggin)




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