In answer to a question published on his website, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, one of the country’s highest clerical authorities, issued a fatwa, stating “All third generation [3G] and high-speed internet services, prior to realization of the required conditions for the National Information Network [Iran’s government-controlled and censored Internet which is under development], is against Sharia [and] against moral and human standards.”
IF people would be able to get information from another source, his power will evaporate, and he knows it.
Full-time American workers labor the equivalent of nearly an additional day each week, averaging 47 hours instead of the standard 40, according to Gallup poll results released Friday.
Just 42% of full-time employees work 40 hours a week, the traditional total based on five 9 a.m.-to-5 p.m. workdays, Gallup said of findings it released ahead of the Labor Day weekend.
Nearly the same percentage — 39% — say they work at least 50 hours a week. And almost one in five Americans, or 18%, said their workweek stretched 60 hours or more.
“The 40-hour workweek is widely regarded as the standard for full-time employment, and many federal employment laws — including the Affordable Care Act, or ‘Obamacare’ — use this threshold to define what a full-time employee is,” Gallup said.
“However, barely four in 10 full-time workers in the U.S. indicate they work precisely this much,” Gallup said.
Salaried employees work an average of 49 hours a week, compared with 44 hours for people paid by the hour. A quarter of salaried workers said they spend 60 or more hours a week on the job.
116 million full-time employees times 7 hours per week over the 40-hour normal = 20,300,000 40-hour jobs. So, the 116-million full-time employees in America are now doing the work of 136 million people. There are 10.5 million people unemployed.
Do the math.
ection 215 of the Patriot Act is rather explicit:
the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the Director (whose rank shall be no lower than Assistant Special Agent in Charge) may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to obtain foreign intelligence information not concerning a United States person or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution.
Seems clear, right? But, of course, what seems clear in the statute and how the intelligence community and the rubber-stamping FISA Court will view things often seem to differ by a wide margin. The FISA court has now released yet another heavily redacted opinion, given by Judge John Bates, concerning just such a request. You may recall Judge John Bates from his recent letters in which he pretends to represent the entire judiciary, in fighting back against any attempt to limit the NSA and the FISA Court’s ability to spy on American people. Bates seems absolutely sure that doing so will let the terrorists win, which gives you a glimpse into his mindset.
Thus, while depressing, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find out that when a Section 215 request came to him concerning activity of a US person that was entirely protected by the First Amendment, Bates figured out a way to give the FBI the go ahead to spy on the person anyway. Because terrorism.
What good are rights, especially those that allow you to be critical of your government, if they can be stripped away from you on a whim?
Not a US citizen? Rights don’t apply.
Within 100mi of the US Border? Rights don’t apply.
3 degrees of separation from someone who is a suspected terrorist? Rights don’t apply.
State of Emergency? Rights don’t apply.
Leak something that makes the government look bad? Rights don’t apply.
Cop on a bad day? Rights don’t apply.
Fasion a poptart in the shape of a weapon? Rights don’t apply.
Yell something that offends someone across a campus? Rights don’t apply.
Why even bother having rights if they’re such a joke.
The Tacoma Police Department apparently has bought — and quietly used for six years — controversial surveillance equipment that can sweep up records of every cellphone call, text message and data transfer up to a half a mile away.
You don’t have to be a criminal to be caught in this law enforcement snare. You just have to be near one and use a cellphone.
Known as Stingray, the device — small enough to be carried in a car — tricks cellphones into thinking it’s a cell tower and draws in their information.
If you want to build your own, it’s called an IMSI catcher.
Build your own for about $1500
I’ve heard of that boolean arithmetic. Let’s give it a try.
js> true+true===2Ah. It looks like true is equal to one. I’ll just check.
This is the first time in three years that the level has been so high, just one notch below the top of the scale ['critical']. Prime Minister David Cameron said the decision was made by an independent government commission because the rise of the group in Iraq and Syria once called ISIL or ISIS, which now calls itself the Islamic State, poses a threat to Britain.
“What we’re facing in Iraq now with ISIL is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before,” said Cameron.
Those that forget history are condemned to look like dumb asses.
“When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.”
– Winston Churchill
For the occasion, it appears that Apple has been building a massive structure on the campus, which has been kept under tight wraps with a white barricade. A MacRumors reader has sent in images of a mysterious structure at the Flint Center, which appears to span three stories and is protected by “scads” of security people. Administrators had previously declined to comment on what the structure is for, stating only “We are not at liberty to discuss that due to client wishes.”
Apple has not held an event at the Flint Center in many years, so the company’s return to the site of the original Mac unveiling suggests its upcoming announcement will be a major one. The Flint Center has a much higher seating capacity than other venues where Apple has unveiled products in the past, including the Yerba Buena Center and its own Cupertino campus.
Could be just a “here’s a new iPhone model, and it has NFC” but somehow it feels different. I’m going to keep a spare set of pants on standby.
As Burger King heads north for Canada’s lower corporate tax rate, we speak to Rolling Stone contributing editor Tim Dickinson about his new article, “The Biggest Tax Scam Ever.” Dickinson reports on how top U.S. companies are avoiding hundreds of billions of dollars by parking their profits abroad — and still receiving more congressionally approved incentives. Dickinson writes: “Top offenders include giants from high-tech (Microsoft, $76 billion); Big Pharma (Pfizer, $69 billion); Big Oil (ExxonMobil, $47 billion); investment banks (Goldman Sachs, $22 billion); Big Tobacco (Philip Morris, $20 billion); discount retailers (Wal-Mart, $19 billion); fast-food chains (McDonald’s, $16 billion) – even heavy machinery (Caterpillar, $17 billion). General Electric has $110 billion stashed offshore, and enjoys an effective tax rate of 4 percent – 31 points lower than its statutory obligation to the IRS.”
And small business is not benefiting from all these tax games that multinationals are able to play, and they’re having to compete with these companies here.
So, Apple has this amazing deal, where they’ve got essentially a shadow company in Ireland. And it’s incorporated in Ireland, but for Irish purposes, it’s an American company, and for American purposes, it’s an Irish company. And so you end up with this black hole of taxation where in fact this Apple subsidiary files a tax return to no government in the world. And so, it can use all kinds of accounting tricks to funnel money to this company, and they sit there essentially absolutely untaxed. Just there’s no tax return. And so you have billions of dollars sitting there. And again, when Apple needs billions of dollars to fund its American operations, it has bond offerings, and its cost of borrowing here in the United States is incredibly low. Just investors are virtually paying Apple to raise this money, because it’s secured by these massive piles of cash, technically abroad, although they’re actually banked reportedly in Manhattan.
And any international company NOT doing this would be facing shareholder lawsuits over it.
Hundreds of mysterious engraved trails have been stumbled upon at the Racetrack Playa of Death Valley in California. There’s almost always a rock sitting at the end of the track, but no one has actually seen a rock — not a pebble nor a boulder — sliding on this nearly flat, dry mud surface. What gives? Several decades of speculation range from powerful winds and ice flotation to dust devils and slick films.
Now, for the first time ever, researchers have observed the sliding rocks in action. Finally! Under just the right conditions, thin sheets of ice blown by light winds push the rocks across the dry lake. The work, which turned out not to be “the most boring experiment ever,” was published in PLoS ONE this week.
Returning students at Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Fla. found 20 new armed officers in the elementary schools in the first year of a plan costing about $1 million.
The school board also approved security training for employees, the hiring of a safety consultant and more measures to control school access, such as fencing and buzzers.
Meanwhile, all 16 schools in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, public school district have been enclosed in security fencing and each school limits visitors to a single entry point, officials said. This September, for the first time, two police officers will patrol elementary schools, at a cost of roughly $68,000 from the district’s state funding.
…officials continue to allow four anonymous employees to carry firearms on school property. Bulletproof glass and panic buttons have been installed, and officials held schoolwide assemblies for security training.
Because, clearly, the solution to “too many weapons in society” is “more weapons!”
Online sources confirmed Wednesday that every piece of 34-year-old Mark O’Connell’s personal data is currently protected by a reference to the third season of long-running NBC political drama The West Wing. Reports indicate that the reference, derived from the name of a guest character in an early-season episode of the Aaron Sorkin drama that went off the air in 2006, is, at present, all that stands in the way of strangers gaining total access to intimate details of the automotive insurance agent’s personal, professional, and financial life. In particular, sources noted that the security of everything from O’Connell’s banking and credit card accounts, to proprietary documents from his work, to his social media profiles, to all of his email correspondence, rests solely on the wry nod to a scene during the Emmy-nominated episode “On The Day Before,” in which the White House staff hosts a dinner for several Nobel laureates while President Bartlet works to veto an estate tax bill. Those close to the situation, however, noted that some of O’Connell’s most sensitive information is safeguarded by a secondary layer of protection in the form of a security question about his favorite character from Sports Night.
Archbishop Hart told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Father Michael Glennon was first convicted and jailed in 1978 but it was not until 1998 that he was laicised.
He was convicted five times on multiple charges and died in jail in January this year.
Archbishop Hart, who was vicar general of the Melbourne diocese before being appointed archbishop in 2001, replacing George Pell, told the hearing it was very difficult before 2001 to get approval from the Vatican to defrock a priest.
“The difficulty would be a serious concentration on procedure,” he said.
“If every I wasn’t dotted and every T crossed in the way that they wanted, then there was a leaning in favour of a priest who might have been accused of something.”
It’s like you’re looking for John Coltrane and you get Kenny G in brown skin.
Why does an idiot like this have 9.44 million followers on Twitter?
British actor and film director Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90.
He died at lunchtime on Sunday, his son told BBC News.
Earlier this week, the Chicago Cubs grounds crew experienced a disaster. As rain poured onto Wrigley Field, they were unable to cover the playing surface with a tarp in time. They were booed. The game was called. Because of the mismanagement, their opponents, the San Francisco Giants, protested the game after it had been called as a win for the Cubs. They succeeded. It was the first successful protest in Major League Baseball in 28 years, according to Deadspin.
But the whole bizarre episode was cast in a new light Thursday when the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Cubs had slashed worker hours to keep them under 30 hours a week to avoid paying health benefits under Obamacare.
Citing “numerous sources with direct knowledge,” the Sun-Times reported that the Cubs had sent home 10 grounds crew workers early the night of the Tuesday game that ended in disaster. And at least part of the reason, per the newspaper’s sources, is that the team has been trying to keep seasonal workers under 30 hours per week as the Affordable Care Act takes effect.
This is a problem much bigger than Facebook. It reminded me of what can go wrong in society, and why we now often talk at each other instead of to each other. We set up our political and social filter bubbles and they reinforce themselves—the things we read and watch have become hyper-niche and cater to our specific interests. We go down rabbit holes of special interests until we’re lost in the queen’s garden, cursing everyone above ground.
But maybe worse than the fractious political tones my feed took on was how deeply stupid it became. I’m given the chance to like a Buzzfeed post of some guy dancing, and another that asks Which Titanic Character Are You? A third Buzzfeed post informs me that “Katy Perry’s Backup Dancer is the Mancandy You Deserve.” According to New York magazine, I am “officially old” because Malia Obama went to Lollapalooza (like!) and CNN tells me “Husband Explores His Man-ternal Instincts” alongside a photo of a shirtless man cupping his nipples. A cloud that looks like a penis. Stop what you’re doing and look at this baby that looks exactly like Jay-Z. My feed was showing almost only the worst kind of tripe that all of us in the media are complicit in churning out yet should also be deeply ashamed of. Sensational garbage. I liked it all.
And the opposite:
Give the Like a rest and see what happens. Choose to comment with words. Watch how your feed changes. I haven’t used the Like on Facebook since August 1st, and the changes in my feed have been so notably positive that I won’t be liking anything in the foreseeable future.
We show that the MEMS gyroscopes found on modern smart phones are sufficiently sensitive to measure acoustic signals in the vicinity of the phone. The resulting signals contain only very low-frequency information (<200Hz). Nevertheless we show, using signal processing and machine learning, that this information is sufficient to identify speaker information and even parse speech. Since iOS and Android require no special permissions to access the gyro, our results show that apps and active web content that cannot access the microphone can nevertheless eavesdrop on speech in the vicinity of the phone.
Researchers have pinpointed the environmental source of fungal infections that have been sickening HIV/AIDS patients in Southern California for decades. It literally grows on trees.
The discovery is based on the science project of a 13-year-old girl, who spent the summer gathering soil and tree samples from areas around Los Angeles hardest hit by infections of the fungus named Cryptococcus gattii (CRIP-to-cock-us GAT-ee-eye).
Cryptococcus, which encompasses a number of species including C. gattii, causes life-threatening infections of the lungs and brain and is responsible for one third of all AIDS-related deaths.
If a 13-year old can make basic discoveries like this…. we have plenty of things we still need to learn..
A police officer involved in the protests over Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, has been relieved of his duty after video surfaced of him making racist and derogatory remarks.
Dan Page was recorded in April giving a speech in which he described President Barack Obama as an illegal immigrant, and railed against Muslims and gay people. “I’m into diversity – I kill everybody,” he said.
Comcast’s proposed $45.2-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable has been criticized by angry customers, consumer advocacy groups, and even some members of Congress.
But Comcast has plenty of support, too, much of it from politicians and organizations that benefit from its political and charitable donations.
BOA Logo (2014)Bank of America will pay roughly $4 billion less to the government after-tax than the $16.65 billion it agreed to in a settlement over soured mortgage securities, because parts of the settlement will be tax deductible, the bank said Thursday.
The bank has already taken some of the savings from the settlement’s tax deductions in previous quarters, so the savings won’t all come in the current third quarter. But tallying the total tax savings to roughly $4 billion “would be fair,” a bank spokesman said.
Federal law allows companies to deduct large portions of the costs of settling with federal agencies on their tax returns. But that effectively shifts part of the settlement’s burden to taxpayers, and some lawmakers and consumer advocates have expressed concerns that the public can be misled when regulators tout giant settlement amounts that companies aren’t fully paying. …
Fines and penalties imposed as part of a settlement can’t be deducted, so that knocks out the $5.02 billion in fines Bank of America agreed to pay. But other amounts paid can be deducted as ordinary business expenses—including the $4.63 billion in compensatory payments that Bank of America agreed to pay, and the costs it incurs in providing $7 billion in mortgage modifications for struggling homeowners and other consumer relief.
So there you go – fines are just a business expense.
A report issued just last week by the nonprofit lawyer’s group ArchCity Defenders notes that in the court’s 36 three-hour sessions in 2013, it handled 12,108 cases and 24,532 warrants. That is an average of 1.5 cases and three warrants per Ferguson household. Fines and court fees for the year in this city of just 21,000 people totaled $2,635,400.
The sum made the municipal court the city’s second-biggest source of revenue. It also almost certainly was a major factor in the antagonism between the police and the citizenry preceding the tragedy that resulted when Wilson had another encounter with a subject six months after he got his commendation.