Area 51 An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base

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In her new book "AREA 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base," which goes on sale May 17, Annie Jacobsen offers for the first time an inside look at the history of America's top secret military base. It is the first book based on interviews with the scientist, pilots, and engineers -- 74 in total -- who for the first time reveal what really went on in the Nevada desert, from testing nuclear reactions to building super-secret supersonic jets to pursuing the war on terror.
Jacobsen, a contributing editor and investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times Magazine, interviewed the former Area 51 employees in 2008 and 2009, shortly after the CIA declassified much of the work they had done, including countless pages of redacted memos and declassified reports. Area 51 is still officially a military secret, unmentioned by name, Jacobsen notes. 
In this exclusive excerpt, Jacobsen reveals some of the wild research that went on in the 1970s at Area 51 -- where the military built the U-2 spy plane, rather than harboring crashed UFOs.
Chapter 20: From Camera Bays to Weapons Bays
By 1974, the Central Intelligence Agency had ceded control of Area 51. Some insiders say the transition occurred in 1979, but since Area 51 does not officially exist, the Air Force won’t officially say when this handover occurred.
Certainly this had to have happened by the time the stealth bomber program was up and running; the F-117 program was the holy grail of Pentagon black projects — and, during that time period, the Air Force dominated Area 51.
Having no business in bombs, the CIA maintained a much smaller presence there than historically it had before. During the 1970s, the Agency’s work concentrated largely on pilotless aircraft, or drones. Hank Meierdierck, the man who wrote the manual for the U‑2 at Area 51, was in charge of one such CIA drone project, which began in late 1969.
Code-named Aquiline, the six-foot-long pilotless aircraft was disguised to look like an eagle or buzzard in flight. It carried a small television camera in its nose and photo equipment and air-sampling sensors under its wings. Some insiders say it had been designed to test for radiation in the air as well as to gather electronic intelligence, or ELINT. But Gene Poteat, the first CIA officer ever assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office, offers a different version of events. 
“Spy satellites flying over the Caspian Sea delivered us images of an oddly shaped, giant, multi-engine watercraft moving around down there on the surface. No one had any idea what this thing was for, but you can be sure the Agency wanted to find out."
"That is what the original purpose of Aquiline was for,” Poteat reveals. “To take close‑up pictures of the vehicle so we could discern what it was and what the Soviets might be thinking of using it for. Since we had no idea what it was, we made up a name for it."
"We called it the Caspian Sea Monster,” Poteat explains. Project Aquiline remains a classified project, but in September of 2008, BBC News magazine produced a story about a Cold War Soviet hydrofoil named Ekranopian, which is exactly what the CIA’s Aquiline drone was designed to spy on.
At Area 51, Hank Meierdierck selected his former hunting partner Jim Freedman to assist him on the Aquiline drone program. “It flew low and was meant to follow along communication lines in foreign countries and intercept messages,” Freedman says. “I believe the plan was to launch it from a submarine while it was waiting in port.” The Aquiline team consisted of three pilots trained to remotely control the bird, with Freedman offering operational support.
“Hank got the thing to fly,” Freedman recalls. Progress was slow and “it crash-landed a lot.” The program ended when the defense contractor, McDonnell Douglas, gave a bid for the job that Meierdierck felt was ninety-nine million dollars over budget. McDonnell Douglas would not budge on its bid, so Hank recommended that the CIA cancel Project Aquiline, which he said they did.
After the program was over, Hank Meierdierck managed to take a mock‑up of the Aquiline drone home with him from the area. “He had it sitting on his bar at his house down in Las Vegas,” Freedman recalls.
Project Aquiline was not the CIA’s first attempt to gather intelligence using cover from the animal kingdom. Project Ornithopter involved a birdlike drone designed to blend in with nature by flapping its wings. And a third, even smaller drone was designed to look like a crow and land on windowsills in order to photograph what was going on inside CIA-targeted rooms.
The tiniest drone program, orchestrated in the early 1970s, was Project Insectothopter, an insect-size aerial vehicle that looked like a dragonfly in flight. Insectothopter had an emerald green minifuselage and, like Ornithopter, flapped its wings, which were powered by a miniature engine that ran on a tiny amount of gas. Through its Office of Research and Development, or ORD, the CIA had also tried turning live birds and cats into spies.
In one such program, CIA-trained pigeons flew around Washington, DC, with bird-size cameras strapped to their necks. The project failed after the extra weight tired out the pigeons and they hobbled back to headquarters on foot instead of in flight. Another CIA endeavor, Acoustic Kitty, involved putting electronic listening devices in house cats.
But that project also backfired after too many cats strayed from their missions in search of food. One acoustic kitty got run over by a car. The Agency’s pilotless-vehicle projects were forever growing in ambition and in size. One robotic drone from the early 1970s, a project financed with DARPA, was disguised to look like an elephant —ready to do battle in the jungles of Vietnam.
Reprinted from the book AREA 51 by Annie Jacobsen. Copyright © 2011 by Annie Jacobsen. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company. All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ANNIE JACOBSEN is a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine and an investigative reporter whose work has also appeared in the National Review and the Dallas Morning News. Her two-part series “The Road to Area 51” in the Los Angeles Times Magazine broke online reader records and remained the “most popular/most emailed” story for ten consecutive days. 
Learn more at the Area 51 website.

Download the book on PDF format

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Star Trek and The Real Life Technology

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"When Star Trek debuted in the 1960′s it exposed people around the world to a bright future full of high tech gadgets. 45 Years, 6 different television series and 11 movies later, Star Trek has undoubtedly had a large impact on the world around us, inspiring scientists, artists and inventors to develop the technology that shaped their childhood."

From smartphones, tablet computers, 3D printers and large screen displays, our daily lives have begun to resemble what just a few decades ago was only science-fiction.

The following infographic illustrates the some of the technology used in Star Trek, where we are today, and which missing components of them are yet to be realized.

What technology used in Star Trek would you like to see become reality?

Download RedSnow 0.9.9b6, the iOS 5 Jailbreak

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The iPhoneDev-Team has released RedSn0w 0.9.9b6 for Windows and Mac to jailbreak iOS 5 firmware. Previous RedSn0w release was Mac only. You can download RedSnow 0.9.9b6 to jailbreak iOS 5 from the links below…

RedSn0w 0.9.9b6 not only jailbreaks iOS 5, it also lets you preserve iPhone4/3GS baseband for UltraSn0w or Gevey SIM unlocking. You can also flash iPhone 3GS with Baseband 06.15.00, the iPad baseband.

  • Here’s what’s new in this RedSn0w release:

“We’ve released version 0.9.9b6 of redsn0w, with both a functional fix and cosmetic fix for iOS5 jailbreakers. For iPhone3GS owners with the 06.15 baseband, this redsn0w eliminates the network crash you saw when using Location Services in iOS5 (in fact, you don’t even need to disable Location Services anymore during the initial setup). The cosmetic fix is to the visual countdown you see when going into DFU mode. It’s okay to re-run this redsn0w over an existing device jailbroken at iOS5. Just choose “Jailbreak” again and de-select Cydia (in other words, all the checkboxes will be unchecked). If you are lucky enough to have an old-bootrom iPhone3GS, please pre-select the IPSW first (redsn0w can’t yet auto-detect the FW version of your old-bootrom 3GS if it’s already been jailbroken).”

Download RedSnow 0.9.9b6
RedSn0w 0.9.9b6 download is available for both Windows and Mac.

RedSnow 0.9.9b6 for Windows

iOS Firmware Collection

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Download Official Apple Firmware

Direct Download Links for iOS 5 IPSW

(Official from Apple)

iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4 GSM

iPhone 4 CDMA

iTunes 10.5 for Windows and Mac
Released with iOS 4.3 Support
[Safe for Jailbreak Users]

iOS 4.3.5

(Official from Apple)

iPhone 4 GSM

iPhone 4 CDMA (iOS 4.2.10)

iPhone 3GS

iOS 4.3.4

(Official from Apple)

iPhone 4 (GSM)

iPhone 4 (CDMA) (iOS 4.2.9)

iPhone 3GS

iOS 4.3.3/4.2.8
(Official from Apple)
iPhone 4 (GSM)
iPad 2 WiFi
iPad 2 GSM
iPad 2 CDMA

iOS 4.3.2 Firmware
(Official from Apple)

iOS 4.3.1 Firmware
(Official from Apple)
iPhone 4 GSM
iPhone 3GS
iPod Touch 3G

openIPSW: Download Official iOS Firmware through your PC

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Windows IPSWDownloader Now Called openIPSW
OpenIPSW is a Windows based application that allows you to download IPSW firmware files without the use of a website. Previously, this application was released as IPSWDownloader, but since there was already a program called IPSWDownloader for Mac, the creator of OpenIPSW, Ryan Burke, decided to change the name in version 2.0
OpenIPSW Changelog:

  • Fixed division by zero in download speed
  • Changed text in Help menu
  • Small bug fixes
  • Added pause download functionality
  • Added download time remaining
  • Various bug fixes
  • Added download progress information
Version: 2.7
  • Bug fixes
  • Simpler user interface
  • Removed tray notifications, added taskbar flash on download completion
  • Added links to tools in information
  • Added extended firmware information
  • Added tray notifications
Version: 2.5
  • New user interface
  • Added SHSH blob information
  • Added menus > option to hide information
Version: 2.0
  • Added remote database, automatically updates information
  • Added jailbreak and unlock information
  • Added Windows 7 taskbar-progressbar
  • Auto updating

Perbedaan iPhone Factory Unlock dan Software Unlock

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Jika Anda mencoba membeli iPhone di gerai-gerai penjual handphone maka seringkali Anda akan ditawarkan dua tipe harga. “Mau beli iPhone SU (software unlock) atau FU (Factory Unlock)”, adalah pertanyaan yang biasa terlontar dari penjaga gerai handphone tersebut. Sudahkah Anda tahu apa arti dari software unlock maupun factory unlock? Kenapa harga kedua tipe tersebut berbeda? Yang mana sebaiknya yang Anda pilih? Beribu-ribu pertanyaan akan muncul di kepala Anda karena jangan sampai Anda salah membeli bisa-bisa nanti Anda tidak tidur-tidur. Berhubung iPhone adalah gadget kelas menengah ke atas maka ada baiknya Anda mendalami arti dari SU dan FU tersebut sehingga Anda dapat menentukan iPhone tipe mana yang paling baik Anda pilih.

Pengertian iPhone Factory Unlock (FU) dan Software Unlock (SU)

Pada awal-awal dirilisnya di Amerika, sekitar pertengahan tahun 2007, untuk dapat menggunakan iPhone maka Anda harus membelinya secara bundle dengan kartu SIM dari provider setempat. Dengan adanya kesepakatan penjualan secara bundle antara Apple dengan provider jaringan telepon seluler ini mengakibatkan ketidakleluasan pengguna untuk mengganti kartu SIM-nya. Dengan kata lain, jika iPhone yang Anda beli dibundle dengan kartu SIM provider A maka Anda tidak dapat begitu saja menggantinya dengan kartu SIM dari provider B. Tentu saja hal ini sangat memusingkan buat Anda yang suka bergonta-ganti kartu. Bayangkan berapa uang yang harus dikeluarkan jika tiap ganti kartu Anda harus membeli satu buah iPhone baru.

Nah, untuk menjawab persoalan tersebut maka hacker atau apalah namanya mencoba untuk memodifikasi software di iPhone tersebut untuk dapat menerima semua kartu SIM sehingga tidak hanya bergantung pada satu provider saja. Inilah yang dinamakan dengan software unlock: iPhone yang telah dimodifikasi sehingga dapat menerima berbagai macam kartu SIM. Apakah ini ilegal? Menurut pihak Apple dan provider yang diajak bekerja sama tentu saja hal ini dikatakan sebagai menyalahi aturan. Akan tetapi pada perkembangannya Apple tidak berbuat banyak karena semakin hari semakin banyak iPhone yang di-unlock menggunakan software. Disamping karena tekanan dari konsumen, pihak pengadilan di Amerika juga memihak konsumen sehingga memaksa Apple untuk mengeluarkan iPhone yang dari pabrik sudah dapat diisi kartu SIM apa saja. Ini yang disebut dengan factory unlock. iPhone factory unlock ini resmi keluaran dari Apple dan dapat diisi kartu SIM sesuai dengan keinginan dari pemiliknya. Dari segi harga tentu saja iPhone factory unlock lebih mahal dari software unlock. iPhone factory unlock juga mendapat garansi resmi dari pihak Apple sedangkan software unlock tidak.
  • iPhone FU atau SU?
Setelah mengetahui pengertian software unlock dan factory unlock, mana yang Anda pilih? Melihat kelebihan-kelebihan yang ditawarkan maka saya dengan tegas menyarankan Anda untuk membeli iPhone factory unlock.
  • Cara membedakan iPhone FU dan SU
Setelah memahami perbedaan pengertian iPhone factory unlock (FU) dengan software unlock (SU) maka ada baiknya Anda tahu cara membedakan iPhone factory unlock dengan software unlock. Hal ini sangat penting jika misalnya Anda akan bepergian ke luar negeri dan ketika akan kembali Anda memutuskan akan membawa iPhone sebagai oleh-oleh kepada ayah, ibu, istri ataupun sanak keluarga yang lain. Tapi jika Anda tidak bisa membedakan iPhone factory unlock dengan saudaranya si software unlock maka ada kemungkinan bahwa iPhone yang Anda bawa dari luar negeri tidak akan bisa dipakai di sini. Walaupun memang iPhone factory unlock masih bisa di-”jebol” dengan software khusus (sehingga menjadi software unlock), ada baiknya Anda sedari awal sudah membeli iPhone factory unlock. Disamping iPhone factory unlock menawarkan kelebihan di sisi garansi (iPhone factory unlock garansi internasional dapat diklaim dimana saja), membeli iPhone factory unlock juga menghindari resiko jika terjadi kegagalan ketika Anda meng-”unlock” iPhone Anda menggunakan software.

  • Membedakan iPhone FU Melalui Situs

Jika skenario Anda adalah sama seperti yang saya ceritakan di atas (membeli iPhone di luar negeri) maka ada baiknya sebelum melakukan perjalanan Anda mengunjungi situs resmi Apple. Cari negara yang Anda tuju, jika tidak ada maka pilih negara atau wilayah yang berdekatan. Misalnya saja Anda akan bepergian ke Italia, maka yang Anda pilih adalah Europe – Italy. Disana dapat dilihat berbagai macam penyedia layanan telpon yang bekerja sama dengan Apple dalam memasarkan iPhone. Lihat pada kolom “Locked to carrier”. Jika ada tanda centang atau rumput di kolom yang bersesuaian dengan negara Italy, maka artinya semua iPhone yang dijual disana bukanlah factory unlock. Klik disini. Masukkan nomor seri pada kolomnya dan pilih "(Re)query". Cara ini dapat membantu menentukan apakah iPhone benar-benar unlock atau tidak. Bila tertulis "Result: Your IMEI Number is currently unblocked", maka iPhone anda factory unlock.
Jika memang ada iPhone yang bisa dimasukkan kartu SIM apa saja berarti iPhone tersebut adalah software unlock. Sederhana bukan?

  • Membedakan iPhone FU untuk iPhone BNIB (Brand New In Box)

Jika Anda baru saja membeli iPhone baru alias baru dikeluarkan dari boxnya di depan Anda, maka coba masuk ke Settings. Apabila di menu Settings ada sub menu Carrier maka iPhone Anda adalah factory unlock. Sub menu inilah yang membedakan iPhone factory unlock dengan software unlock, karena pada iPhone SU sub menu tersebut tidak akan ada.

  • Membedakan iPhone Factory Unlock Khusus untuk iPhone 2nd

Membedakan iPhone factory unlock dengan software unlock untuk kasus iPhone bekas sangat mudah. Ambil sembarang kartu SIM dan coba masukkan ke iPhone tersebut. Jika Anda langsung mendapatkan sinyal untuk provider dari kartu SIM yang dimasukkan maka selamat iPhone Anda adalah factory unlock. Jika Anda tidak mendapatkan sinyal maka kemungkinan besar iPhone Anda adalah software unlock. Pastikan lagi dengan menggunakan kartu SIM lain, jika hasil yang didapat sama maka iPhone Anda harus di-”unlock” menggunakan software khusus.
Satu hal lagi yang Anda dapat lakukan untuk memastikan bahwa iPhone tersebut software unlock adalah dengan melihat apakah ada aplikasi dengan nama Cydia. Jika ada maka coba masuk ke Cydia – Manage – Packages. Pastikan apakah di sana terdapat aplikasi Ultrasn0w. Jika aplikasi tersebut ada maka iPhone Anda adalah software unlock. Hal ini dapat dipastikan karena Ultrasn0w adalah salah satu aplikasi yang digunakan untuk meng-”unlock” iPhone sehingga dapat diisi dengan kartu SIM apa saja. Nah, itu untuk kasus dimana aplikasi Ultrasn0w ada pada paket Cydia. Bagaimana jika tidak ada? Coba masukkan kartu SIM bebas, jika dapat sinyal maka iPhone Anda adalah factory unlock. Perlu diketahui bahwa aplikasi Cydia digunakan untuk melakukan “jailbreak” iPhone. Apa itu “jailbreak” nanti akan saya jelaskan pada postingan selanjutnya.
Kesimpulan dalam membedakan iPhone FU

Dalam membeli iPhone Anda harus selalu ingat kata pepatah bahwa teliti sebelum membeli. Membedakan iPhone factory unlock dengan software unlock adalah sangat mudah jika Anda telah mempelajari terlebih dahulu caranya.

cFosSpeed: The Internet Accelerator - New Version Update!

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cFosSpeed increases your throughput and reduces your Ping. 

Whenever you access the Internet with more than one data stream cFosSpeed can optimize the traffic.

  • Improve your Ping for online games
  • Keep your internet fast during heavy upload/download
  • NEW: Improve mobile Internet
  • Reduce audio/video streaming problems
  • Improve VoIP speech quality


  • cFosSpeed prevents one application (e.g. sending email) from choking all others, like telephone calls, chat, etc.
  • cFosSpeed keeps your ping times low, so you can play online games and download files simultaneously.
  • All important data packets are automatically prioritized over unimportant ones. With the cFosSpeed program and protocol prioritization you can configure your applications ideally and/or add new Programs.
  • Real-time analysis of your data: With the new status window you can easily recognize which data streams you are currently transfering. 
    Screen shot of TA Insight skin
  • cFosSpeed runs with DSL, Cable, WLAN, CDMA2000, UMTS, WCDMA, Modem, ISDN, broadband mobile (2G / 3G).

What is cFosSpeed?

cFosSpeed is a network driver, which attaches itself to existing Internet connections. It then optimizes data transfer by means of Traffic Shaping.
Traffic Shaping is a method for optimizing the Internet traffic. It allows maximum speed while ensuring minimal Ping.
You can use cFosSpeed with a router and/or a DSL-modem or cable-modem. You can also use cFosSpeed with other types of Internet access, ie. whenever you already have an existing Internet connection.
cFosSpeed supports a wide variety of connections, like DSL, cable, ISDN, UMTS, WIMAX etc.

cFosSpeed has two goals

  1. Keep network delays (ping times) small, in order to make Internet applications as responsive as possible. 

  2. Improve data throughput by avoiding network congestions.
You can use cFosSpeed with an Internet connection you use exclusively or which you share with several PCs.

System requirements:

  • Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7, but also Windows 2000
  • 32bit / 64bit (x64)
  • existing Internet connection
New 6.61 Build 1886+TR 

Beta 6.61 1877+TR