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Bears vs People

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 17:14 by John Sinteur in category: News


Back in the 1980s, Yosemite National Park was having a serious problem with bears: They would wander into campgrounds and break into the garbage bins. This put both bears and people at risk. So the Park Service started installing armored garbage cans that were tricky to open — you had to swing a latch, align two bits of handle, that sort of thing. But it turns out it’s actually quite tricky to get the design of these cans just right. Make it too complex and people can’t get them open to put away their garbage in the first place. Said one park ranger, “There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists.”

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Apple – Report on iPod Manufacturing

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 17:05 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


Like many of you, we were concerned by reports in the press a few weeks ago alleging poor working and living conditions at a manufacturing facility in China where iPods are assembled. Our Supplier Code of Conduct mandates that suppliers of Apple products follow specific rules designed to safeguard human rights, worker health and safety, and the environment. We take any deviation from these rules very seriously.

In response to the allegations, we immediately dispatched an audit team comprised of members from our human resources, legal and operations groups to carry out a thorough investigation of the conditions at the manufacturing site.

[..skipping lots of details about working conditions..]

Recognizing that some aspects of workplace auditing (such as health and safety) lie beyond our current expertise, we’ve engaged the services of Verité, an internationally recognized leader in workplace standards dedicated to ensuring that people around the world work under safe, fair and legal conditions. We are committed to ensuring compliance with our Code of Conduct and will complete audits of all final assembly suppliers of Mac and iPod products in 2006.

We recognize that monitoring compliance is an ongoing process requiring continual progress reviews. When violations are discovered in any supplier, we will require corrective action plans, with a focus on prevention and systemic solutions. We will also ensure that action plans are implemented and in cases where a supplier’s efforts in this area do not meet our expectations, their contracts will be terminated.

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Northwest advised workers to see treasure in trash

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 16:40 by John Sinteur in category: What were they thinking?


Bankrupt Northwest Airlines Corp. advised workers to fish in the trash for things they like or take their dates for a walk in the woods in a move to help workers facing the ax to save money.

The No. 5 U.S. carrier, which has slashed most employees’ pay and is looking to cut jobs as it prepares to exit bankruptcy, put the tips in a booklet handed out to about 50 workers and posted for a time on its employee Web site.

The section, entitled “101 ways to save money”, does not feature in new versions of the booklet or the Web site.

Northwest spokesman Roman Blahoski said some employees who received the handbook had taken issue with a couple of the items. “We agree that some of these suggestions and tips … were a bit insensitive,” Blahoski told Reuters.

The four-page booklet, “Preparing for a Financial Setback” contained suggestions such as shopping in thrift stores, taking “a date for a walk along the beach or in the woods” and not being “shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.”

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Indian TV crew ‘aided’ suicide to get footage

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 14:06 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, News


A group of Indian television journalists allegedly gave a man matches and diesel to help him commit suicide in order to get dramatic footage which was later broadcast on the news, police said on Thursday.

The man died from severe burns to his body in hospital in Gaya town in the eastern state of Bihar on August 15, India’s Independence Day.

Footage of the man, screaming and writhing in pain as he ran with his back on fire, was aired on several television channels. Police identified the man as Manoj Mishra.

“We have seized footage clearly showing a group of journalists handing over matches and some inflammable substance – which we later verified to be diesel – to the victim,” acting Gaya police chief PK Sinha said.

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  1. This week the media did turn my stomach about twelve times.
    I propose to execute every journalist.

    That would be big news on TV.

right turns on Flickr

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 13:05 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture



from a busy corner in Oakland.

For those who aren’t familiar with this area, the “Right Turn Only” sign is supposed to be angled towards a drivethrough that goes with a bank on the corner, and comes out onto a busy road. The “No Right Turn” sign is supposed to be angled towards the busy road, so they don’t turn into the drivethrough, thinking it’s a street. But for some reason, both signs always end up facing approximately the same direction…

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Mummies in Northern Japan

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 12:26 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture



Estimates of the number of self-mummified priests in Japan range between sixteen and twenty-four priests. Impressive though this number is, many more have tried to self-mummify themselves; In fact, the practice of self-mummification — which is a form of suicide, after all — had to be outlawed towards the end of the 19th century to prevent Buddhist priests from offing themselves this way… and yet the grand majority of priests who have tried to do this have failed.

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Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 12:15 by John Sinteur in category: Nederland is Gek!

Vroeger werd de arbeidstijdverkorting ingevoerd met als argument dat dan meer mensen aan het werk zouden kunnen. In het nieuwe CDA programma wil het CDA meer mensen aan het werk hebben. Een van de maatregelen: terug naar de 40-urige werkweek.

En aangezien het goed gaat met de economie en iedereen daarvan moet meegenieten, kan die 40 uur volgens het CDA best zonder aanpassing in het salaris – oftewel, iedereen die werkt gaat er 5 tot 10 procent op achteruit.

Ook pleit het CDA voor een opmars van het twee-jarige arbeidscontract. De manier waarop ze dat in het programma zetten en vertalen naar een maatregel tegen werkloosheid: werkgevers moeten de gelegenheid krijgen om personeel gedurende twee jaar tegen het minimumloon van een 21-jarige in dienst te nemen zodat mensen met weinig kans op de arbeidsmarkt aan de slag komen. Dat die mensen vervolgens hun hele leven elke twee jaar een andere werkgever moeten zoeken en altijd op het minimumloon van een 21-jarige blijven plakken deert kennelijk niet.

Ik heb bij het CDA een beetje het idee dat ik in de omgekeerde wereld ben beland…

Ze weten overigens wel wie hun doelgroep is – ze zijn tegenstander van het verhogen van de pensioenleeftijd en het meebetalen van de AOW door ouderen, omdat dat “maatschappelijke onrust” zou veroorzaken. Onrust in hun achterban, bedoelen ze.

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1 suspect in foiled airliner plot released, London police say

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 11:32 by John Sinteur in category: News, Security


A district judge ruled Wednesday that British investigators have until next week to investigate the suspects arrested in an alleged plot to blow up as many as 10 trans-Atlantic jetliners, saying they could be kept in custody without charge.

Scotland Yard later said a person arrested on Tuesday as part of its investigation into the foiled plot was released without charge. Another detainee was released without charge Friday.

Well, that was fast. But note no “Breaking News” flashes on this from CNN, most people are not going to hear about it, and happilly lap up new “security measures”. For example look at this lady pouring her liquid that is not safe enough to bring on the plane because it could be mixed into a bucket full of all the other liquids not safe enough to bring on the plane because they could be mixed…


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…Failure to Communicate…

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 10:51 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Great War on Terror shall be won with Powerpoint.

[Army Lt. General David] McKiernan had another, smaller but nagging issue: He couldn’t get Franks to issue clear orders that stated explicitly what he wanted done, how he wanted to do it, and why. Rather, Franks passed along PowerPoint briefing slides that he had shown to Rumsfeld: “It’s quite frustrating the way this works, but the way we do things nowadays is combatant commanders brief their products in PowerPoint up in Washington to OSD and Secretary of Defense…In lieu of an order, or a frag [fragmentary order], or plan, you get a bunch of PowerPoint slides…[T]hat is frustrating, because nobody wants to plan [img] against PowerPoint slides.”

(Here’s briefing standards *.ppt, clipart, and some earlier governmental [pdf] uses of PowerPoint [Cryptome], FAS, along with one from ABCNEWS making the case against Iran.)


“One of the things I admired most about Col. H.R. McMaster — [one of the] smaller things, but it pleased me as a writer — he banned PowerPoint in his command. If you wanted to talk [about] something, if you wanted to make a briefing, you were to write it out in plain, understandable English that had verbs and connective tissue inside it.”

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Why couldn’t he just hide it in the freezer like everybody else?

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 10:10 by John Sinteur in category: News


In a soon-to-be-published interview with Kitty Kelley, the estranged wife of Randy “Duke” Cunningham says that, on the night before he was sentenced on corruption charges, the disgraced Republican congressman tried to save some of his illegal loot by dumping a duffel bag in her driveway. Inside: dirty underwear and $32,000 in cash.

He probably wanted her to do his laundry, too.

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Ditch US in terror war, say 80pc of Britons

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 9:49 by John Sinteur in category: News


A majority of British people wants the Government to adopt an even more “aggressive” foreign policy to combat international terrorism, according to an opinion poll conducted after the arrests of 24 terrorism suspects last week.

However – by a margin of more than five to one – the public wants Tony Blair to split from President George W Bush and either go it alone in the “war on terror”, or work more closely with Europe.

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  1. In view of the events in West Virginia last night, and the ban on bottles, jars and cans on planes, this short film seems even more topical:


    Short satire on “The War on Terror”

    Enjoy, and share.

Bush out to Luncheon in Iraq

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 9:46 by John Sinteur in category: Mess O'Potamia


ow out to lunch is Bush?

On Monday, he held a luncheon with a bunch of academics to discuss Iraq.

And, according to some of the participants quoted in the Aug. 16 New York Times, he couldn’t figure out why the Iraqi people aren’t more grateful for all that he and the U.S. troops have done for them.

Dear W, I’d suggest checking out the World Press Photo awards site:


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Woman in jet alert had banned items

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 7:58 by John Sinteur in category: Security


The US experienced its second terror alert in two days yesterday when 100 passengers were evacuated from an airport in West Virginia after explosive residue was found on two bottles in a passenger’s hand baggage.

Authorities evacuated Tri-State airport in Huntington after sniffer dogs confirmed initial suspicions that explosives were present on the bottles. The bottles belonged to a 28-year-old woman of Pakistani descent who was understood to have moved to the area from Jackson, Michigan. The incident caused delays for about 50 passengers, although only one flight was thought to have been delayed by the disruption.

The security alert came a day after a flight from Heathrow to Washington was forced to make an emergency landing at Boston airport following a “passenger disturbance”. Catherine Mayo, 59, of Braintree, Vermont, appeared in federal court yesterday charged with interfering with a flight crew on a United Airlines flight.

According to an affidavit, Ms Mayo passed several notes to crew members, urinated on the cabin floor and made comments which the crew too to be references to al-Qaida and the September 11 attacks. The captain grew so concerned by her behaviour that he notified the authorities, who dispatched two fighter jets to escort the plane into Boston’s Logan airport.

Ms Mayo’s attorney, Page Kelley, said her client was “just barely” lucid when they spoke, adding: “She’s got some very serious mental health problems.”

One story, and both false positives and false negatives are shown. The testing equipment is pretty much useless this way…

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Retroactive war crime protection drafted

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 7:31 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Bush administration drafted amendments to the War Crimes Act that would retroactively protect policymakers from possible criminal charges for authorizing any humiliating and degrading treatment of detainees, according to lawyers who have seen the proposal.

The keyword is, of course, “retroactively”

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NSA eavesdropping program ruled unconstitutional

Posted on August 18th, 2006 at 7:28 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government’s warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency’s program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

Onwards to the next appeal level.

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