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Airbus A320 – From Cold and Dark to Ready for Taxiing

Posted on March 16th, 2012 at 23:05 by John Sinteur in category: News

IF you ever need to quickly steal an A320…

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  1. Neat! I wonder what one of those simulators costs, and whether it would fit into my basement? 🙂

  2. There are some nice exterior shots in this Mythbusters clip. Is your basement big enough?

  3. Sigh…you really know you’re old when pilots look this young.

Inside the Matrix

Posted on March 16th, 2012 at 20:49 by John Sinteur in category: News


In “Inside The Matrix” James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace and The Shadow Factory, reports about the NSA’s new US$ 2 billion data center being built in a remote corner of Utah. A follow up of sorts to last year’s “Post-9/11, NSA ‘Enemies’ Include Us”, “Inside the Matrix” marks the first time a former NSA official has gone on the record to reveal details of the scope and scale of the NSA’s domestic intercept program, codenamed Stellar Wind.

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We’ve learned that Mike Daisey’s story about Apple in China – which we broadcast in January – contained significant fabrications.

Posted on March 16th, 2012 at 19:52 by John Sinteur in category: Apple


I have difficult news. We’ve learned that Mike Daisey’s story about Apple in China – which we broadcast in January – contained significant fabrications. We’re retracting the story because we can’t vouch for its truth. This is not a story we commissioned. It was an excerpt of Mike Daisey’s acclaimed one-man show “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” in which he talks about visiting a factory in China that makes iPhones and other Apple products.

The China correspondent for the public radio show Marketplace tracked down the interpreter that Daisey hired when he visited Shenzhen China. The interpreter disputed much of what Daisey has been saying on stage and on our show. On this week’s episode of This American Life, we will devote the entire hour to detailing the errors in “Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory.”

Daisey lied to me and to This American Life producer Brian Reed during the fact checking we did on the story, before it was broadcast. That doesn’t excuse the fact that we never should’ve put this on the air. In the end, this was our mistake.

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  1. [quote]Some of the falsehoods found in Daisey’s monologue are small ones (…) Others are large. In his monologue he claims to have met a group of workers who were poisoned on an iPhone assembly line by a chemical called n-hexane. Apple’s audits of its suppliers show that an incident like this occurred in a factory in China, but the factory wasn’t located in Shenzhen, where Daisey visited. [/quote] – still haven’t figured out how to post quotes accurately here, sorry John.
    But seriously, a LARGE FALSEHOOD is when you bring up news about workers being poisoned, and you say you spoke to these people. The falsehood here being he didn’t speak to them, but AN INCIDENT LIKE THIS OCCURRED… I would say he got carried away, but that is still miles from ‘significant fabrications’. Later on the same thing happens in this article:
    [quote]Daisey’s interpreter Cathy also disputes two of the most dramatic moments in Daisey’s story: that he met underage workers at Foxconn, and (…)[/quote] of which it is said later [quote]those parts of his story were true, except for the underage workers, who are rare.[/quote]
    underage workers are rare. I did not read: non-existent, just rare. How rare is ‘rare’? Rare enough not to meet with them? Rare as compared to other Chinese factories?
    It’s virtually impossible to avoid buying things made in China, especially on the electronics front, so I’m not into bashing one company for it’s use of Chinese product lines. But the wrongs being played down here are not something to be ignored. Not by anyone.
    I wonder what sort of forces are in play here making the retraction so dramatical.

  2. I don’t find their retraction dramatic. News stories must not contain deliberate fabrications, regardless of how large or small you judge them to be.

  3. There are documented problems. Now we have Apple on the one hand, saying there have been minor problems and they’re working on fixing them. And we have Daisey on the other hand, saying there are significant and unaddressed problems.

    Now, by admitting that he fabricated elements of his story, Daisey has destroyed our trust in him. If the problems are as significant as he claims, he has enormously set back the cause of those he thought he was helping.

    Maybe Apple, or the Chinese Government, or other American corporations applied pressure. This doesn’t negate the fact that he has admitted to lying.

    For better or (more likely) for worse, the average person will now look at this situation and say “oh, yeah, I heard the guy who reported all the problems turned out to be a liar. It’s probably not that bad.”

  4. Both responses prove my point. By focussing on Daisy’s lies, we can go back to blissfully ignoring the truths of the story – the problems in the factories, the inhumane situations in which workers put together devices we so love and pay more than double the value for, none of which profits are used to make their situation better, although this could easily be done.
    Let’s say your kid comes home and says: my teacher raped me, beat me and called me names, Billy was there too. You ask Billy, and he says the teacher never called your kid any names. Would you then also focus on the lying part, or on the other parts of the story which could very well still be true?

  5. Exactly. The problems are still real, and we need to pressure Acer, Amazon, Apple, Asus, Barnes & Noble, Cisco, Dell, Intel, IBM, Logitech, Microsof, Netgear, Nintendo, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Toshiba, Vizio, and quite number of other electronics companies to start fixing this. Apple has said they will work on it, others have as well, and we cannot let up because of Daisey.

  6. Jim, neither of the responses said that there are no problems or that we should ignore them, so I’m missing how they prove your point.

    The TAL crew is being “dramatic” about the retraction because they want to take responsibility for not having done their jobs to they extent they’d like to in producing high quality journalism, and want to be transparent about it so that they’re out in front of people who might otherwise bash them for blindly championing lefty causes. I think that’s all to be commended. I don’t think there’s anything in the retraction that belittles the issues.

    The retraction is getting a lot of air time largely because the story itself got a lot of attention (note it was the most downloaded version of a well known show, and was widely reported on in the media), and partly because the people who care about things like sweatshops are the kind of people who listen to This American Life and who would take note of an incident like this.

    Sorry Jim, seems like you’re barking up a non-existent tree here.

  7. Well Jim’s point appears to be that we should consider the source of our news and the source of the incredibly cheap products that we can buy. Who gets the benefit when we close our eyes and open our wallets?

  8. No, Jim isn’t saying we should consider the sources, he is saying we should focus on the most important story, i.e. ignore the lying in favor of the bigger picture and the truth about factories in China. That’s a reasonable position to take, and we should continue to care about working conditions there, but he’s distorting the reactions from others.

  9. I’m glad my point came across, and yes John, this is about *all* those companies, and about *all* their customers – so likely about just about everyone that posts comments here too.
    @ Desiato: I’d have to disagree on the ‘distorting the reactions’ part, both reactions put a lot of focus on something that is true (the lying part), and do not put it in perspective with the main issue. I do not condone the lies – it’s lame, dumb, and has backfired on his purpose – but I am worried the new focus being put on this news serves a purpose. Sue W said it well.

  10. I’m going to beat the dead horse some more.

    Jim, you attacked the retraction for its wording. The retraction does not in fact minimize or deny the underlying issues. It *explicitly* confirms that some workers did in fact suffer poisoning and that there are sometimes underage workers in the factories.

    You then go on to imply in the end of your first comment (“I wonder what sort of forces are in play here”) that there’s more going on here than the TAL staff being pissed off that they were lied to and that the quality and trustworthiness of their journalism was compromised.

    So you’re accusing these people of distracting from important issues, which they aired in the first place, AND of having questionable motives to do so.

    You may be passionate about the factory workers’ issues, but this is not fair on your part. I say once again it’s you who is distorting things and blowing them out of proportion.

  11. I just read the transcript of the retraction episode that most of the retraction quotes came from. It’s 25 pages, but a pretty quick read. I think it’s really worth reading to put all this in perspective.

    In the middle part, Mike Daisey admits that at one point he realized he should have told the TAL staff the truth but that he was scared to hurt his goal of getting this story about worker conditions out there:

    He wanted to explain the context for what he did, and he said the context was this: when he was in China in 2010, there was a lot of coverage of workers’ conditions at Foxconn because of a series of suicides there. And then he says, while he was there, the coverage stopped – in China, and internationally the coverage stopped, the news cycle moved on. And he says that made a strong impression on him, seeing the coverage vanish like that, seeing people suddenly not interested in the workers there anymore.
    And he wanted to make a monologue that would make people care. That was his goal.

    They spend a third of the retraction show talking with a NYTimes journalist about the actual conditions and problems at the factories, and Apple’s track record in reporting problems and the lack of change in the number of incidents.

    Jim, if you want to maintain that the retraction had the motivation to distract from the issues, you need to at least read that last section, pages 20 and onwards, or listen to the podcast it transcribes. I think you’ll find there was no such intent.

N.Y. archbishop fights child abuse legislation

Posted on March 16th, 2012 at 18:10 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


In a meeting with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Democrat, Cardinal Timothy Dolan stressed that he was resolutely opposed to the proposed Child Victims Act, which, he says, “unfairly” targets the Catholic Church.

“We feel that this is terribly unjust. It singles [out] the church and it would be, and I use the word purposefully, devastating for the life of the church,” Dolan told reporters.

In actuality, the bill neither explicitly targets nor mentions the Catholic Church. However, due to the church’s ongoing abuse scandals, the bill would likely cost Cardinal Dolan’s diocese and others a good deal of money by making it easier for victims of pedophile priests to bring charges. The Catholic Church has been fighting to stem the losses of huge sums of money it has spent in litigation fees and payouts to victims as the ongoing abuse scandal continues to unfold in New York and around the world.

Here’s a thought, Timmy. It would help a lot if you stopped raping boys.

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CNN: Global Warming Breeds SUPER SHARKS! Dun! Dun! Dun!

Posted on March 16th, 2012 at 16:32 by John Sinteur in category: News

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  1. What a stupid cow/broadcast. (At least some American media admit that climate change is a reality).

    In fact, as any fule kno, because of the insatiable appetite humans have for shark fins, sharks are now endangered world wide.

RIAA chief: ISPs to start policing copyright by July 12

Posted on March 16th, 2012 at 16:29 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


The country’s largest Internet service providers haven’t given up on the idea of becoming copyright cops.

Last July, Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and other bandwidth providers announced that they had agreed to adopt policies designed to discourage customers from illegally downloading music, movies and software. Since then, the ISPs have been very quiet about their antipiracy measures.

But during a panel discussion before a gathering of U.S. publishers here today, Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, said most of the participating ISPs are on track to begin implementing the program by July 12.

Supporters say this could become the most effective antipiracy program ever.

And for those of you who believe that, they also have a few prime bridges for sale.

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Bain Capital Tied to Surveillance Push in China

Posted on March 16th, 2012 at 13:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


As the Chinese government forges ahead on a multibillion-dollar effort to blanket the country with surveillance cameras, one American company stands to profit: Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Mitt Romney.

In December, a Bain-run fund in which a Romney family blind trust has holdings purchased the video surveillance division of a Chinese company that claims to be the largest supplier to the government’s Safe Cities program, a highly advanced monitoring system that allows the authorities to watch over university campuses, hospitals, mosques and movie theaters from centralized command posts.


Representative Frank R. Wolf, Republican of Virginia, who frequently assails companies that do business with Chinese security agencies, said calls by some members of Congress to pass stricter regulations on American businesses have gone nowhere. “These companies are busy making a profit and don’t want to face realities, but what they’re doing is wrong,” said Mr. Wolf, who is co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

In public comments and in a statement posted on his campaign Web site, Mr. Romney has accused the Obama administration of placing economic concerns above human rights in managing relations with China. He has called on the White House to offer more vigorous support of those who criticize the Chinese Communist Party.

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