TPM News

China is set to take a historic step in its space exploration efforts with the launch of the Tiangong-1, the country's first "space station module," later this week.

According to China's state news agency Xinhua, the unmanned spacecraft will remain in space for two years to test docking procedures with Chinese crew capsules, first the unmanned Shenzhou-8, then the crewed Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10, which are set to be launched in subsequent years.

The docking tests are the necessary precursor for China to achieve its goal of getting its own crewed space station up into orbit by 2020 or shortly thereafter.

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In its weekly “State Of The Nation” poll conducted by Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos and SEIU, pollsters asked a sample of 1,000 registered voters if they would support raising taxes on millionaires, the so-called Buffett Rule after the billionaire investor. President Obama has proposed it as part of a deficit reduction package.

It wasn’t close. 73 percent supported the idea, with only 16 percent against, and 11 percent unsure.

Jon Stewart has lately been a proponent of Ron Paul's presidential bid, openly criticizing the media for writing off his candidacy. And during an extended interview on Monday, Stewart asked Paul why people think he's unelectable?

"Some people don't want to hear the message," Paul said, "because it's a threat to them. I'm a threat to the establishment."

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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley [R] on Tuesday ordered state employees to answer the phone with this peppy greeting: “It’s a great day in South Carolina.”

As the AP points out, the state’s unemployment rate — 11.1 percent — is not so great.

Former White House financial reform adviser Elizabeth Warren, who is now running for the right to challenge Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, is consolidating national progressive support in her Democratic primary. The Huffington Post reports that Warren has now picked up the endorsement of former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), who was a major liberal voice in the Senate until his defeat in the 2010 Republican wave.

Feingold writes in an e-mail going out to his Progressives United PAC supporter list:

"In 2005, she stood up against the Wall Street wish list of a bankruptcy bill -- a huge corporate giveaway I opposed in the Senate. And after the big banks drove us into a recession, Elizabeth proposed a new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and then fought tirelessly to make sure the Obama administration created it. So when Elizabeth announced her decision to run for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts this month, to keep fighting for middle class families on Capitol Hill, I couldn't have been happier."

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Last week Mark Zukerberg showed off the new Facebook Timeline during the company's f8 keynote. Announced as a new way of presenting yourself on Facebook, the Timeline is an autobiography of your Facebook-shared life. But how Facebook is securing that life could surprise you.
While hacking is usually looked upon as a means to bring a company down, Facebook seems to using it for good. They're not just hiring hackers to work at the company, they're asking hackers in the wild to find vulnerabilities--for cash. Last year Pedram Keyani, an engineering manager at Facebook, issued a challenge to his staff, crack Facebook security. The team was able to gain access to Keyani's account, by hacking his home W-Fi network. What they weren't able to do was access Facebook's corporate and administrative systems.
This probably wasn't the first, or the last time Facebook did this. Keyani regularly hosts hackathon events at Facebook and has stated that, "Facebook is run by Hackers." Considering Zuckerberg's hacking past, it's not that big of a surprise.
While Facebook has been guilty of allowing third-party apps to gather information from its users and the phishing/lifejacking scams on the site continue to have an impact on users individual accounts, the site itself has not been the victim of a system-wide security breach. In other words, while Sony and credit card companies are sending out emails warning their users that their accounts may have been hacked, Facebook has so far steered clear of this phenomenon.
Unsurprisingly Facebook won't talk about their security or give me access to their security team. They did issue the following statement. "Security is a top priority for us, and we invest lots of resources in protecting our site and the people who use it from attacks."

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Word comes from the Democratic Whip's office that the House of Representatives will quietly extend government funding on Tuesday, and then again, for a longer stretch, when the House returns from recess next week.

No muss, no fuss. Though House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will lose a big chunk of his caucus on the vote, the fight, for all intents and purposes, appears to be over.

On the Senate floor Monday night, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the whole exercise a "fire drill [that] was completely unnecessary."

But a Senate Democratic aide suggests McConnell knew full well who'd caused the fire drill, and it wasn't Democrats.

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