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Gee, these banks are rough!

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 23:27 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons

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The Pumpkins « Looking for inspiration?

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 23:06 by John Sinteur in category: awesome


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Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 22:30 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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Why Companies Can’t Find the Employees They Need

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 21:34 by John Sinteur in category: News


Even with unemployment hovering around 9%, companies are grousing that they can’t find skilled workers, and filling a job can take months of hunting.

Employers are quick to lay blame. Schools aren’t giving kids the right kind of training. The government isn’t letting in enough high-skill immigrants. The list goes on and on.

But I believe that the real culprits are the employers themselves.

And then she goes on to say

Bring back aspects of apprenticeship: In this arrangement, apprentices are paid less while they are mastering their craft—so employers aren’t paying for training and a big salary at the same time. Accounting firms, law firms and professional-services firms have long operated this way, and have made lots of money off their young associates.

So blaming the employers results in shifting the financial burden of on-the-job training to the employee and longer probationary periods with lower pay?

I know this is the WSJ, but come on!

Let me make this simple for you: Henry Ford had difficulty finding the employees he needed. After he doubled the wages of his workers, he didn’t have that problem any more.

Companies used to have “personnel”, now they have “human resources”. Personnel are like farmland, they need to be tended. Human resources are like mineral resources — and what do you do with mineral resources?

You exploit them, of course.

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  1. Excellent analogy. You could also say that personnel are farmyard animals and human resources their carcasses. Meaning companies that were once nurturing and protective farmers have become butchers.

  2. The next logical step from “human resources” is “numerical dispersions”. Let’s get the human factor out of there! It only makes sense. After HR stepped into Personnel’s shoes we started seeing the extended use of interns; free or very low paid labor.

  3. At the same time, some companies appear to be firing their qualified personnel in order to hire new people at a lower rate. This results in them losing the people who could provide the training that apprentices would need.

Olbermann Puts In Perspective The “WHORES” At FOX & Friends That Called Protesting Mom Disgusting!

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 18:08 by Paul Jay in category: News

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  1. “Plan 9-9-9 from Outer Space”, ha ha ha ha!

Who are the millionaires?

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 17:35 by Paul Jay in category: News

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  1. 104%???????

  2. 1% of Americans are Millionaires, 99% are not!
    47% of the members of the House or Representatives (a part of the US Congress) are Millionaires, 53 % are not!
    56% of the members of the Senate (the other part of the US Congress) are Millionaires, 44 % are not!

General Motors’ Anti-Bicycling Advertising Campaign

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 17:33 by Paul Jay in category: News


Clearly GM has heard from a lot of cycling folks, including BikePortland who first alerted GM through twitter that all hell was breaking lose about these ads. According to the LA Times and from the GM Twitter feed, hey have been very busy responding to all the messages they got via facebook and twitter – and have basically apologized and said they are going to change the campaign and drop the ads, which is good.


If you are a student looking to add tens of thousands of dollars of long term debt, care little about the environment, and want to lump two tons of steel around campus while paying through the nose for insurance, gas, and parking…General Motors has got a perfect deal for you. Bonus: it’ll make you fat and unhealthy! All you have to do is give up that dorky bicycle that’s easy to use, practically free, gets you some exercise and is actually fun to ride.

In one of the more remarkably ill-conceived car ad campaigns of all time, good corporate citizen GM is heading to campus to actively stop you from riding a bike by trying to make it look like it sucks. Obviously it’s been a while since GM execs and their creative teams set foot on campus. Anyway, I’m sure the campus facilities people will love having to add thousands of extra car parking spaces on campus at $30,000 a pop (who needs more buildings to learn in anyway, lets fill campus with parking structures); and University Presidents will have a little bit of explaining to do when it comes to those end of year climate and greenhouse gas targets… Maybe it’ll generate more business in the gym where students can drive in to go and ride on stationary bikes. Hope there’s enough parking.

In case you were wondering, GM has a fine-sounding corporate responsibility statement – carefully crafted by the best in the business, I’m sure. One sample quote: “As a responsible corporate citizen, General Motors is dedicated to protecting human health, natural resources and the global environment.

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Facebook Ireland accused of creating ‘shadow profiles’ on users, nonusers

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 17:24 by Paul Jay in category: News


Facebook Ireland is under fire for allegedly creating “shadow profiles” on both users and nonusers alike.

The startling charges against the social-networking giant come from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (IDC), which, Fox News reports today, is launching a“comprehensive” investigation against Facebook Ireland for extracting data from current users–without their consent or knowledge–and building “extensive profiles” on people who haven’t even signed on for the service.

Names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, work information, and perhaps even more sensitive information such as sexual orientation, political affiliations, and religious beliefs are being collected and could possibly be misused, Irish authorities claim.

Interestingly, Facebook users living outside of the United States or Canada are contracted with Facebook Ireland. Facebook users living inside the United States and Canada are contracted with Facebook Inc., headquartered in California. Running afoul of privacy laws is much more likely for companies operating outside of the United States, especially in Europe, where privacy laws are much more stringent.

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Government Could Hide Existence of Records under FOIA Rule Proposal – ProPublica

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 17:21 by Desiato in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, News


A proposed rule to the Freedom of Information Act would allow federal agencies to tell people requesting certain law-enforcement or national security documents that records don’t exist – even when they do.

Under current FOIA practice, the government may withhold information and issue what’s known as a Glomar denial that says it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of records.

The new proposal – part of a lengthy rule revision by the Department of Justice – would direct government agencies to “respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist.”

Open-government groups object.

Change, as brought to you by Mr. Obama.

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Happen sto me all the time…

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 16:11 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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God dammit…my office has suddenly been invaded by little elves chopping onions. I’ll brb.

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 16:03 by John Sinteur in category: Apple

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I AM NOT MOVING (Hypocrisy has its own elegant symmetry)

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 13:28 by Paul Jay in category: News

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How Valve experiments with the economics of video games

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 10:57 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


One thing that we have learned is that piracy is not a pricing issue. It’s a service issue. The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates. For example, Russia. You say, oh, we’re going to enter Russia, people say, you’re doomed, they’ll pirate everything in Russia. Russia now outside of Germany is our largest continental European market.

Music and movie industries could have made kickass services very early on that offered good downloads for a cheap price and beat piracy before it even got going. Music got it only because of Apple, the film industry still doesn’t get it.

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  1. Didn’t Apple start offering DRM-free MP3s in response to the fact that Amazon had started doing so?

  2. Yes. The Amazon move made it possible for Apple to finally put enough pressure on the industry. I guess credit goes to Amazon when it comes to getting rid of DRM on music. But here we’re talking about the entire “get music easy” digital industry, of which DRM is just a part.

  3. I suspect Amazon was able to talk the record labels into it because they were desperate to have someone become a credible competitor to Apple.

  4. Very likely, yes.

  5. Let’s not forget they are now both obsolete because of Spotify.

Mission Creep: This Tennessee Highway Is Now Patrolled by TSA

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 9:40 by John Sinteur in category: Security


Most air travelers now endure naked scans or genital pat-downs by gloved agents of the government without surprise or complaint. But before invasive security became normal, there was a backlash. And at its height, Transportation Security Administration boss John Pistole said something revealing. "I see flying as a privilege that is a public safety issue. So the government has a role in providing for the public safety and we need to do everything we can in partnership with the traveling public, to inform them about what their options are," he told reporters. "I clearly believe that passengers have a number of options as they go through screening. But the bottom line is, if someone decides they don’t want to have screening, they don’t have the right to get on the plane."

You don’t really have to drive your car either, right?


You’re probably used to seeing TSA’s signature blue uniforms at the airport, but now agents are hitting the interstates to fight terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR).

"Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate," said Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons.

Tuesday Tennessee was first to deploy VIPR simultaneously at five weigh stations and two bus stations across the state.

Agents are recruiting truck drivers, like Rudy Gonzales, into the First Observer Highway Security Program to say something if they see something.

"Not only truck drivers, but cars, everybody should be aware of what’s going on, on the road," said Gonzales.

Feel safer yet?

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  1. Well it is “Transportation” and there are 30K to 40K fatalities on U.S. roads every year…

  2. And fondling your genitals is going to solve that… how, exactly?

  3. It’s a test case. The “routine search” and “checkpoint” process will get shut down on Constitutional grounds.

    The situation is just waiting for someone to sue, and the ACLU to sign on to the case. It’ll take some time, but that’s the process. Oppression always marches on freedom, and freedom fights back. The TSA is like a toddler testing limits with its parents — and in this case, it’s due for a spanking.

The Sins of the Flash

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 9:32 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


Recent news stories (based on research by Stanford student Feross Aboukhadijeh) state that an Adobe bug made it possible for remote sites to turn on a viewer’s camera and microphone. That sounds bad enough, but that’s not the really disturbing part. Consider this text from the Register article:

Adobe said on Thursday it was planning to fix the vulnerability, which stems from flaws in the Flash Player Settings Manager. The panel, which is used to designate which sites may access feeds from an enduser’s camera and mic, is delivered in the SWF format used by Flash.

Because the settings manager is hosted on Adobe servers, engineers were able to close the hole without updating enduser software, company spokeswoman Wiebke Lips said.

That’s right — code on a remote computer somewhere decides whether or not random web sites can spy on you. If someone changes that code, accidentally or deliberately, your own computer has just been turned into a bug, without any need for them to attack your machine.

From a technical perspective, it’s simply wrong for a design to outsource a critical access control decision to a third party. My computer should decide what sites can turn on my camera and microphone, not one of Adobe’s servers.

The policy side is even worse. What if the FBI wanted to bug you? Could they get a court order compelling Adobe to make an access control decision that would turn on your microphone?

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John McCarthy

Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 9:13 by John Sinteur in category: News


John McCarthy, the creator of the Lisp programming language and a pioneer in artificial intelligence, has died. He was 84.

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  1. R.I.P. John McCarthy

  2. > (CDR '(MCCARTHY))