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Audio indicates kid directed planes at NY airport

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 22:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


An air traffic controller at New York’s Kennedy Airport was suspended for allowing his young son to radio instructions to several pilots. The few quick exchanges between the elementary-school-aged child and jets waiting to take off from JFK, one of the nation’s busiest airports, appeared to delight pilots at the time.

Naturally, it was recorded:

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McDonald’s Signs Weight Watchers Diet Deal

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 18:32 by John Sinteur in category: What were they thinking?


In a world-first, McDonald’s has signed a deal with Weight Watchers to promote some of its meals, such as Chicken McNuggets, as ideal for dieters.

Three meals marked with the Weight Watchers logo will go on sale in New Zealand today and are expected in Australian outlets later this year, as part of a six-year push by the fast-food giant to change its image.

The move comes three years after McDonald’s paid $330,000 to put the Heart Foundation’s tick on seven meals, including burgers and nuggets.

In the new deal, McDonald’s will use the Weight Watchers logo on its menu boards and tray mats. Weight Watchers will promote McDonald’s to dieters.

How’s that for a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” deal? The more people Weight Watchers sends to McD, the more people will require Weight Watchers services!

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  1. There’s an interesting post over at the Health Journal Club that makes the case that people should just not eat anything that wasn’t a food 100 years ago. Gets rid of the aspartame, bleached GM flour, high fructose corn syrup garbage they try to pass off as food these days. If interested you can read on it here,

  2. I have always thought that the category “If you’re in marketing, kill yourself” in this blog had a rather harsh title, but I’m beginning to agree with it more and more each day….

NSA threatened Qwest CEO with repercussions if he didn’t cut a surveillance deal

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 18:05 by John Sinteur in category: News


WMR has learned from sources who worked in senior positions for the telecommunications company Qwest that its former chairman and CEO, Joseph Nacchio, was threatened with retaliation after he refused to participate in an unconstitutional and illegal National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping program after he met with NSA officials on February 27, 2001, some six months before the 9/11 attacks. Nacchio refused to turn over customer records without a court order — something NSA did not possess at the time it made its request.

After Nacchio refused NSA’s request on the grounds that it was illegal, sources close to Nacchio reported his legal problems with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission began in earnest. First, Qwest lost out on several lucrative federal government contracts and second, Nacchio was indicted and convicted in 2007 of 19 counts of insider stock trading. Nacchio was sentenced to six years in the Schuykill federal prison camp in Minersville, Pennsylvania, where he is now assigned prisoner number 33973-013.

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Best NYT photo caption blunder ever: La Pequeña Hilary Clinton

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 17:16 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 17:13 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Pakistan seizes Taliban and Al Qaeda cave network

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 17:13 by John Sinteur in category: News


Pakistani security forces declared victory on Tuesday after a weeks-long offensive in the northwest, retaking control of Bajaur tribal area and seizing a Taliban and Al Qaeda cave network that was a final militant holdout.

More hiding places remain for militants in the vast range of mountainous territory along the Afghan-Pakistani border. But at a press conference held in the rugged mountain village of Damadola, Maj. Gen. Tariq Khan, commander of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, stressed the strategic importance of reclaiming the militant stronghold. “We have concluded operations up to the Afghan border. We think the Bajaur operations have now more or less ended as dedicated military operations,” Khan said.

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45 Creative Resumes to Seize Attention

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 13:34 by John Sinteur in category: News

“If a potential employer doesn’t ‘get’ this, I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway.”

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Atheist Bibles-For-Porn Swap Riles Campus

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 12:02 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


A college atheist group is offering students pornography in exchange for Bibles.

Atheist Agenda calls the exchange “Smut for Smut,” prompting prayers and protests from Christian students at the University of Texas San Antonio campus.

Student Monica Cornado says it’s offensive to compare pornography to “the Word of God.”

University officials say the atheist group has the right to conduct the swap.

UTSA spokesman David Gabler says, “As long as students are not violating laws or violating the Constitution, they have the freedom of speech and assembly.”

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Red with embarrassment

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 11:48 by John Sinteur in category: News

They’re just waiting for an Opportunity to shame us all…

Maybe if they had more team Spirit….

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To Isengard!

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 11:40 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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  1. Isn’t that Darth Vader? To Isengard? That would make an awesome sequel… anyway; Run Kitteh Run!!!

OK Go – This Too Shall Pass

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 11:38 by John Sinteur in category: awesome


The video was shot by a single Steadicam, but it took more than 60 takes, over the course of two days, to get it right. Many of those takes lasted about 30 seconds, Sadowsky said, getting no further than the spot in the video where the car tire rolls down a ramp.

“The most fiddly stuff, you always want to put that at the front, because you don’t want to be resetting the whole thing.”

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  1. Rube Goldberg is alive and well in the music video universe! Great find.

An Eyewitness News investigation talks to a police officer who reveals the pressure they are under to make quotas

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 11:27 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ


An Eyewitness News investigation talks to a police officer who reveals the pressure they are under to make quotas.

When Officer Adil Polanco dreamed of becoming a cop, it was out of a desire to help people not, he says, to harass them.

“I’m not going to keep arresting innocent people, I’m not going to keep searching people for no reason, I’m not going to keep writing people for no reason, I’m tired of this,” said Adil Polanco, an NYPD Officer.

Officer Polanco says One Police Plaza’s obsession with keeping crime stats down has gotten out of control. He claims Precinct Commanders relentlessly pressure cops on the street to make more arrests, and give out more summonses, all to show headquarters they have a tight grip on their neighborhoods.

“Our primary job is not to help anybody, our primary job is not to assist anybody, our primary job is to get those numbers and come back with them?” said Officer Polanco.

Eyewitness News asked, “Why do it?”

“They have to meet a quota. One arrest and twenty summonses,” said Officer Polanco.

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Inschrijving bel-me-niet-register heeft gevolgen

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 10:47 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


Wie denkt, na zich te hebben opgegeven bij het ‘bel-me-niet’-register, dat hij niet meer wordt lastiggevallen, komt van een koude kermis thuis. Dat schrijft het AD.

Het is volgens de krant gebleken dat verkopers aan de deur de lijst met adresgegevens van het register gebruiken.

Translation: the Dutch do-not-call register is being used by door-to-door salesmen to compile lists of places to visit.

I gave up my land line a long time ago, because sales calls were about 75% of my call volume, so I never had a need to register, but these bloodsuckers don’t seem to learn.

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Chile Earthquake May Have Shortened Days on Earth

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 9:54 by John Sinteur in category: News


The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth’s rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday.

The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

“Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth’s axis,” NASA officials said in a Monday update.

The computer model used by Gross and his colleagues to determine the effects of the Chile earthquake effect also found that it should have moved Earth’s figure axis by about 3 inches (8 cm or 27 milliarcseconds).

Drat, now my next few days are going to be dominated by attempts to use “milliarcseconds” in regular conversation…

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  1. You should go to NASA — the correct time change is 1.26 microseconds. Space.com got it wrong (what’s a factor of 1000 among friends?) and the bad information keeps spreading.


  2. a milliarcsecond is an angular measurement, so it doesn’t have anything to do with the change in time…

  3. Honestly, I’d rather say: “Hunny, you won’t be sorry if you take me home, I have 27 milliarcseconds with your name on it.”


Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 9:07 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, If you're in marketing, kill yourself


(you also wouldn’t believe how many advertising networks have contacted me asking me if I want to “monetize” my apps…)

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Microsoft: Don’t press F1 key in Windows XP

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 9:00 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft


Microsoft told Windows XP users today not to press the F1 key when prompted by a Web site, as part of its reaction to an unpatched vulnerability that hackers could exploit to hijack PCs running Internet Explorer (IE).

No word on the “any” key.

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  1. As far as I’m concerned, Windows itself is a virus…

  2. …an ethical response would be to tell people to stop using IE.

Chile, three days later – The Big Picture

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 8:54 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


Three days after one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded struck the South American nation of Chile, the massive extent of the damage is becoming clearer, and the number of known victims has climbed to 723 deaths so far, many thousands still missing, and nearly 2 million displaced. World governments made immediate pledges of aid after Chilean President Michelle Bachelet requested mobile bridges, field hospitals, satellite phones, electrical generators, disaster assessment teams, water purification systems, field kitchens and restaurants, UN officials said. Collected here are recent photos from areas in Chile damaged by Saturday’s 8.8-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami. (37 photos total)

A woman climbs over the debris of her destroyed house in Dichato, Chile, Monday, March 1, 2010. (AP Photo/ Natacha Pisarenko) #

A boat left stranded inland after a tsunami in the Chilean city of Dichato, some 30 km from Concepcion, on March 1, 2010. (CLAUDIO SANTANA/AFP/Getty Images) #

(meanwhile, Apple has approved my free iPhone map of Conceptíon – if you know somebody in the area who could use it, tell them!)

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The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs : We’re not litigious — we just like to sue people

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 8:38 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Intellectual Property


Everyone is going nuts because we just sued HTC for violating several hundred of our patents, including our patent for the 12-box keypad (1-9 plus * and #) which we introduced on the iPhone and are now seeing copied everywhere, and our patent on the “audible tone to indicate an incoming call on a telephonic communication device,” which also is just showing up everywhere.

Naturally there’s a risk when you start suing people that people will view you as a kind of bully, but we’re trying to make clear that we are just attempting to defend our rights and protect the innovation and invention that we’ve spent years innovating on inside our incredibly innovative invention labs. Gizmodo says the patents we’ve got are “incredible!” and that HTC had no idea we were going to sue them. AllThingsD provides complete copies of court documents which I recommend you go read, from front to back, right away. TechCrunch says that the suit is actually an attack on Google and Android, which is true. It’s war, people.

Quite. Here is a breakdown of all the claims.

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  1. Well, just to add the latest news – Google is backing HTC in this fight:
    Did anyone actually check btw, because Apple really might own the 12 digit software keypad patent.

  2. Skype was using a “12 digit software keypad” back in 2002, and lots of fax/phone software were using that even before.

    ATMs use touchscreen “12 digit software keypad” since a couple of decades.

    It’s obvious that Apple has no right to a patent on preexisting technology.

  3. Apple patented the visual representation of a sliding lock. Why not the visual representation of the keypad? 🙂

German convent raided in child abuse case

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 8:01 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property, Pastafarian News


German justice officials investigating child abuse within Roman Catholic establishments have raided a convent. They were looking for evidence of abuse in a Benedictine convent in the town of Ettal, located in the state of Bavaria. Twenty former students of the convent’s boarding school have accused priests there of abusing them.

It’s a big issue in the Netherlands as well – lots of people are suddenly coming out with stories of abuse, sometimes up to 50 years ago.

Most of the abuse can no longer be prosecuted, it’s too long ago. However…. there’s also a law in the Netherlands that allows prosecution for “membership of a criminal organization”. I wonder if the cover up policies used by the church fall under this statute.

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E.U. Clears Biotech Potato for Cultivation

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 7:20 by John Sinteur in category: News


The European Commission began a new push Tuesday to allow farmers in Europe to grow more biotech crops, clearing a genetically modified potato for cultivation despite persistent public opposition to the technology.


The commissioner “only needed weeks in his new position to show such flagrant support for industry interests ahead of his own portfolio,” said Martin Häusling, a German member of the European Parliament for the Greens.

Opinion polls have consistently shown that a majority of European consumers are apprehensive about such technology.

Politicians listening to lobbyists instead of voters seems to be a world-wide problem these days…

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  1. John, what’s the problem in cultivating the Amflora potato?
    Most of Europe is using it right now, importing huge quantities (million of tons) of OGM potatoes from Argentine and Brasil, since while it’s forbidden to cultivate it, it can be imported and used.

    This potato is not for human consumption, is a source of starch for industrial use: this rules out all the bullshit about the hypothetical “increment in disease vulnerability”, provided that your genes are not influenced by the genes of a plant that once was boiled to obtain starch later mixed with fibers used to produce the piece of paper you are holding.

  2. John, what’s the problem in cultivating the Amflora potato?

    As i said: “Politicians listening to lobbyists instead of voters”. That in itself has nothing to do with the potato,

    But to get technical – what has happened in the past with genetically modified crops, (especially from monsanto, but there’s no reason not to expect the same here) is this:

    1. farmed A plants modified crop.
    2. modified crop spreads to nearby fields, from farmer B, who doesn’t want the crop in his field but cannot stop the wind from blowing.
    3. monsanto sues farmer B for intellectual property rights violations.
    4. farmed B loses lawsuit and has to pay monsanto

    As long as IP laws suck as much as they do, that alone is enough reason to not allow this shit, and I won’t even bother investigating any other aspects of this potato.

  3. I am not known for being a nature loving panic freek, but I do have strong reservations towards genetic manipulated crops. Even if they are not for direct or indirect human consumption. I don’t believe in conspiracies that say: starch potato now, mashed potato tomorrow. Basically a modified anything is a new breed, new breeds can introduce unexpected problems. There are ample examples, ranging from salmons that escaped to the introduction of rabbits in Australia. I find it hard to believe that there are no alternatives to making starch. We are having problems enough as it is already with what nature has to offer. What if the “new” potato develops a diseases that spreads to Ireland? What if some bacteria picks up some genes from this “new” potato and develops into something resistant against what ever this OGM potato is resistant to? Etc. etc. It’s a bull ride, there is no control. These modified organisms are designed to have one (or more) “unnatural” properties, and you can not introduce properties in isolation in our ecosystem. I am weary. Especially if I am told I should trust science because they thought it out real good, and anticipated every thing for the hole eternity. To me it’s like opening Pandora’s box for a brief moment to let out only the good stuff…

  4. I think Jan-Mark is absolutely correct. Furthermore, genetically modified rice has reduced the genetic variety substansially. We have become more dependant on the few. I can’t think of an easier way to bring about famines.

  5. @John
    The “monsanto scenario” you cite here is not very correct. It actually turned up that no “contamination” happened, and the seeds were effectively stolen. While Monsanto is one of the companies I strongly despise, they got unmerited bad publicity in the case.

    Please, don’t fall into the traps of those “pseudo environmentalist”. The economic interests behind the anti-OGM groups are the same, if not stronger, than Monsanto’s…
    Moreover, most of the anti-OGM spokespersons show a dismaying ignorance on the scientific aspects involved in the discussion.

    Yesterday the president of a big italian association stated that, even if the potatoes will be used mainly in the paper business as source of starch, they are a danger for human health, since the paper will eventually be burned, the ashes will go in the air, will be deposited on crops and the crops will be genetically modified by the ashes.

    That’s pure bullshit, as you can clearly understand, and that’s not even the biggest bullshit around on the matter in these days.

  6. @Jan Mark
    “I find it hard to believe that there are no alternatives to making starch. ”

    There are.
    The easiest one is to use “standard” potatoes. You just need, let’s say, ten times the soil and water, meaning that pollution, costs and resource consumption will be higher.

    The solution used right now is to cultivate OGM potatoes in places where it’s not forbidden, load 100 thousand tons of potatoes on a cargo ship and have them delivered at your country’s harbors. That means you still have the presumptive “risks”, and the pollution from transport.

    The most advanced solution will be to use bacterias (genetically modified them too) to convert “something” into starch. It’s a technology available right now, but is very expensive and, of course, “not OGM free” 🙂

    > What if the “new” potato develops a diseases that spreads to Ireland?

    Why it should? The discriminant between the “new” and the “old” potato is a bunch of genes: if the new disease attacks those genes, that will hit only the “new” potato. If not, it’s a disease that could start right now from your old crop. Moreover, those potatoes are cultivated since 1998 by some of the biggest producers of crops.

    What if some bacteria picks up some genes from this “new” potato and develops into something resistant against what ever this OGM potato is resistant to?