2012 YEAR IN REVIEW
The standout news & pop obsessions gleaned from your search habits
Top tweets of 2012
Obama, Justin Bieber and Green Bay Packers' TJ Lang have garnered the highest number of retweets this year.
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- What not to buy on Amazon
- Internet privacy service Tor warns users it was attacked
By Joseph Menn and Jim Finkle BOSTON Reuters - Tor, the prominent system for protecting Internet privacy, said on Wednesday many of its users trying to reach hidden sites might have been identified by government-funded researchers. In a note on the nonprofit's website, Tor Project leader Roger Dingledine said the service had identified computers on its network that had been quietly altering Tor traffic for five months in an attempt to unmask users connecting to what are known as "hidden services." Dingledine said it was "likely" the attacking computers, which were removed on July 4, were operated on behalf of two researchers at the Software Engineering Institute, which is housed at Carnegie-Mellon University, but funded mainly by the U.S. Department of Defense.
- 2014 Winners of the “Fattest” Fast Food Chains
Of the many fast food chains in this country, the Cheesecake Factory stands out for selling dishes with the most calories and the highest concentrations of sodium, saturated fat and sugar, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit health-advocacy group. “The Cheesecake Factory may have reformulated a few dishes in response to being named a ‘winner’ of Xtreme Eating Awards in years past,” noted CSPI in a press release Wednesday. Keep in mind that the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion estimates a daily caloric need of 2,600 for a moderately active man between the ages of 26 and 45, while a moderately active woman between the ages of 26 and 50 needs roughly 2,000 calories a day to maintain a current weight. The chain’s Bruléed French Toast, which consists of a plate of custard-soaked bread topped with powdered sugar and served with maple-butter syrup and bacon, would require a person to swim laps for seven hours to burn off its head-spinning 2,780 calories, CSPI noted.
- GOP-led House approves lawsuit against Obama
- Guy's Wife Didn't Pose for Maternity Photos, So He Posed for 'Manternity' Photos
Maternity photos capture a unique time in the life of any family, or family-to-be. They also, of course, usually feature pregnant women — until now. Reddit user DruishPrincess69 wanted to celebrate the new addition to his family with some portraits, but his wife wouldn't go for it. So, rather than photograph her pregnant belly, he decided to feature his beer belly. He hired a photographer, dubbing the resulting album "manternity photos." Each one parodies photos seen in conventional maternity albums. There's the use of hands to highlight his belly, as he sports classic Superman undies. Another spotlights his killer ice cream craving. In another image, he inserts himself twice to create the classic "dad kisses baby bump," except it's him kissing his own beer bundle of joy.
- Thai junta sets plan for fast rail links to China
- US slams Gaza strike, 'crazy' Israeli attacks on Kerry
Amid the escalating death toll in Gaza, US officials finally sharpened their tone Wednesday condemning an attack on a UN school as patience with "crazy" Israeli criticism of would-be-peacemaker John Kerry snapped. "Obviously nothing justifies the killing of innocent civilians seeking shelter in a UN facility," deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf acknowledged, in some of the toughest US comments since the start of the 23-day fighting in the Gaza Strip. National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan also condemned "those responsible for hiding weapons in United Nations facilities in Gaza" and warned of rising fears that thousands of Palestinians who have been told by Israel to leave their homes increasingly had nowhere to go in the blockaded narrow coastal strip. Relations between Israel and its staunch ally the United States have plunged in recent days after Kerry returned from a mission to the Middle East to try to broker a ceasefire between the Israelis and Hamas militants.
- N. Korea may be closer to full ICBM test: US think-tank
Fresh satellite images suggest North Korea might be wrapping up engine trials on an intercontinental ballistic missile, fuelling speculation of a full-scale flight test to come, a US think-tank said Wednesday. Development of a working ICBM would be a game-changing step, bringing the continental United States into range and adding a whole new threat level to the North's regular nuclear-strike warnings. "The rocket engine test program may wind down by the end of this year," The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said on its closely followed 38 North website. Regular satellite analysis has shown a major construction programme underway at North Korea's Sohae Satellite Launching Station since mid-2013, focused on upgrading facilities to handle larger, longer-range rockets with heavier payloads.