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Posted on November 19th, 2012 at 22:55 by John Sinteur in category: News


Their effort is a serious critique of misguided development, and of the Western media coverage which often accompanies it. What they want:

1. Fundraising should not be based on exploiting stereotypes.

2. We want better information about what is going on in the world, in schools, in TV and media.

3. Media: Show respect.

4. Aid must be based on real needs, not “good” intentions.

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Gotta love that SURFACE!

Posted on November 19th, 2012 at 21:43 by Paul Jay in category: Funny!

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  1. Gruber mentions a few posts earlier that Win8 does not have an official Twitter client yet, but somehow fails to connect the dots…

  2. Where are the developers, developers, developers!!!

Phone patents: An absurd battle

Posted on November 19th, 2012 at 20:04 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


Apple blocks Samsung sales. Samsung blocks Apple sales. Apple ban overturned. Samsung ban lifted. On any given day it’s hard to keep track of which company’s smartphones, tablet computers or other products are temporarily banned in which countries.

And it’s not just Apple and Samsung which are at each other’s throats – it seems that every week brings new stories of alleged patent infringement involving companies ranging from household names like HTC to more obscure outfits like VirnetX. (In case you’re wondering, Apple was recently ordered to pay $368 million to Connecticut-based VirnetX after a US court ruled that its Facetime video chat tool infringed two of VirnetX’s patents).


A recent study found that if every software producing firm in America wanted to check just the new software patents issued in a given year, about two million patent attorneys working full time would be needed to do the job.

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Petraeus scandal puts four-star general lifestyle under scrutiny

Posted on November 19th, 2012 at 15:12 by John Sinteur in category: News


Of the many facts that have come to light in the scandal involving former CIA director David H. Petraeus, among the most curious was that during his days as a four-star general, he was once escorted by 28 police motorcycles as he traveled from his Central Command headquarters in Tampa to socialite Jill Kelley’s mansion. Although most of his trips did not involve a presidential-size convoy, the scandal has prompted new scrutiny of the imperial trappings that come with a senior general’s lifestyle.

The commanders who lead the nation’s military services and those who oversee troops around the world enjoy an array of perquisites befitting a billionaire, including executive jets, palatial homes, drivers, security guards and aides to carry their bags, press their uniforms and track their schedules in 10-minute increments. Their food is prepared by gourmet chefs. If they want music with their dinner parties, their staff can summon a string quartet or a choir.

The elite regional commanders who preside over large swaths of the planet don’t have to settle for Gulfstream V jets. They each have a C-40, the military equivalent of a Boeing 737, some of which are configured with beds.

Since Petraeus’s resignation, many have strained to understand how such a celebrated general could have behaved so badly. Some have speculated that an exhausting decade of war impaired his judgment. Others wondered if Petraeus was never the Boy Scout he appeared to be. But Gates, who still possesses a modest Kansan’s bemusement at Washington excess, has floated another theory.

“There is something about a sense of entitlement and of having great power that skews people’s judgment,” Gates said last week.

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  1. Cripes, the man had an affair with a hot woman who was close to him for an extended period of time. Yes, it’s bad judgment for a man in his position, but there’s nothing difficult to understand about it, is there?

    Also, I think I’d “settle for” a Gulfstream over a C-40, thanksverymuch.

  2. I generally prefer my Gulfstream over my C-40. The C-40 is more of a Weekend Flyer, when you’re flying with the kids and all three wives.

  3. @florian: You’re lucky, my three husbands won’t stay in the same town much less fly together.

Daily Kos: Inside the Hostess Bankery

Posted on November 19th, 2012 at 15:08 by John Sinteur in category: News


In July of 2011 we received a letter from the company. It said that the $3+ per hour that we as a Union contribute to the pension was going to be ‘borrowed’ by the company until they could be profitable again. Then they would pay it all back. The Union was notified of this the same time and method as the individual members. No contact from the company to the Union on a national level.

This money will never be paid back. The company filed for bankruptcy and the judge ruled that the $3+ per hour was a debt the company couldn’t repay. The Union continued to work despite this theft of our self-funded pension contributions for over a year. I consider this money stolen. No other word in the English language describes what they have done to this money.

After securing our hourly cash from the bankruptcy judge they set out on getting approval to force a new contract on us. They had already refused to negotiate outside of court. They received approval from the judge to impose the contract then turned it over to the Union for a vote. You read that right, they got it approved by the judge before ever showing to the Union.

What was this last/best/final offer? You’d never know by watching the main stream media tell the story. So here you go…

1) 8% hourly pay cut in year 1 with additional cuts totaling 27% over 5 years. Currently, I make $16.12 an hour at TOP rate of pay in the bakery. I would drop to $11.26 in 5 years.

2) They get to keep our $3+ an hour forever.

3) Doubling of weekly insurance premium.

4) Lowering of overall quality of insurance plan.

5) TOTAL withdrawal from ALL pensions. If you don’t have it now then you never will.

Remember how I said I made $48,000 in 2005 and $34,000 last year? I would make $25,000 in 5 years if I took their offer.

It will be hard to replace the job I had, but it will be easy to replace the job they were trying to give me.

That $3+ per hour they steal totaled $50 million last year that they never paid us. They sold $2.5 BILLION in product last year. If they can’t make this profitable without stealing my money then good riddance.

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  1. A very clear example of the ultimate results of financial engineering. Once a company gets parasitized by this kind of disassociated management it becomes a zombie husk that gets more and more abusive. You have to hope that people can choose to work elsewhere.

  2. Well I hope the management gave themselves a handsome bonus for cooking up such a magnificent deal. Victorian values are alive and well in the land of the free.

  3. Pete, your wish is coming true:


    Hostess Brands, the maker of sweet snacks like Twinkies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, will ask a bankruptcy judge today to approve a plan that will allow it to pay $1.75 million in bonuses to 19 of its executives.

  4. That’s disappointing. I read that the private equity company that owns^H^H^H^H has the largest stake in Hostess actually bought it specifically because the majority shareholder wanted to invest in businesses with a strong union presence and show that they can be healthy and successful:

    The behind-the-scenes tale of Hostess and Ripplewood may be the opposite of a project to buy it, strip it and flip it. When Mr. Collins originally looked at Hostess, he was trying to make investments in troubled companies with union workers. He was convinced that he could work with labor organizations to turn around iconic American businesses, and he hoped Hostess would become a model for similar deals.

My name is..

Posted on November 19th, 2012 at 14:38 by Paul Jay in category: Funny!, Great Picture

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Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Viagra Patent

Posted on November 19th, 2012 at 2:27 by Sueyourdeveloper in category: News


A Supreme Court of Canada decision that invalidates a company’s multimillion-dollar monopoly on the impotence drug Viagra has sent a tough warning to corporations about playing fast and loose with patent applications.

Ruling unanimously against Pfizer Canada Inc., the court said that judges will not tolerate patent-seekers attempting to conceal the key ingredients of their discoveries.

Patent legislation amounts to a quid pro quo that offers inventors an exclusive monopoly in return for the forthright disclosure of all the ingredients of their product in their patent applications, Mr. Justice Louis LeBel said, writing for the court.

“If there is no quid – proper disclosure – then there can be no quo – exclusive property rights,” he said.

A stiff penalty, I’d say.

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  1. The Supreme Court has balls! I hope this erects a wall against bad patents, and that the message will penetrate the minds of these patent abusers.

  2. @Desiato – your choice of words makes me think you are guilty of articulated rape. 🙂