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Blogger Fined By French Court Because Negative Restaurant Review Was Too Prominent In Google

Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 20:44 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

There are two contexts in which this story can be analyzed: 1) the futility of trying to use the courts to attack or quash negative reviews and 2) European courts’ increasingly bold attempts to blunt the impact of or censor specific search results that are perceived to cause harm (whether or not the information at issue is truthful or factual).

On the first point the restaurant has gained much more unwanted attention for itself through the action and subsequent coverage. I wouldn’t be surprised now if it went out of business. However, the food and service appear to be mediocre; so perhaps it’s inevitable anyway.

On the second matter, I’m sure the BBC coverage fails to elucidate some of the nuances of the case but the judge’s actions and decision appear to me to be pretty outrageous. I could perhaps understand the decision if the review were totally defamatory and not supported by the weight of opinion from other sources. But it seems very consistent with other reviews.

The only “crime” here, then, was ranking too high in search results.


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The World Health Organization calls for the decriminalisation of drug use

Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 20:20 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

The United Nations’ leading health agency, the World Health Organization, has called on countries around the world to end the criminalisation of people who use drugs. The call was made in a report published this month that looked at policy responses for dealing with HIV among key populations – men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people in prisons and other closed settings, sex workers and transgender people. The WHO’s unambiguous recommendation is clearly grounded in concerns for public health and human rights. Whilst the call is made in the context of the policy response to HIV specifically, it clearly has broader ramifications, specifically including drug use other than injecting.

In the report, the WHO says:

  • “Countries should work toward developing policies and laws that decriminalize injection and other use of drugs and, thereby, reduce incarceration.
  • Countries should work toward developing policies and laws that decriminalize the use of clean needles and syringes (and that permit NSPs[needle and syringe programs]) and that legalize OST [opiate substitution treatment] for people who are opioid-dependent.
  • Countries should ban compulsory treatment for people who use and/or inject drugs

The report also highlights Portugal’s success in decriminalising personal drug possession and treating drug use as a health, rather than a criminal justice, issue.


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Construction of New CYBER/ISR Facility

Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 19:44 by John Sinteur in category: Do you feel safer yet?

[Quote]:

The 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, located at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Baltimore, Maryland, intends to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to award a single firm fixed-price contract for Construction of a CYBER/ISR Facility. Project to be LEEDR Silver Certified. Construction services will consist of the construction of a new CYBER/ISR Facility. The purpose of this facility is to house a Network Warfare Group and ISR Squadron. The Cyber mission includes a set of capabilities, expertise to enable the cyber operational need for an always-on, net-speed awareness and integrated operational response with global reach. It enables operators to drive upstream in pursuit of cyber adversaries, and is informed 24/7 by intelligence and all-source information

[Quote]:

Let’s get real, how many guardsmen speak Farsi, Chinese, Russian, Swahili or Hindi?

Virtually none.

How many know anything about NZ, Australia, GB or Canada worth knowing in a cyber context.

Virtually none.

So who does that leave for adversaries?

Right. You and me.


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Денис Пушилин ушел в отставку

Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 19:33 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Председатель Верховного совета самопровозглашенной Донецкой народной республики Денис Пушилин отправлен в отставку по собственному желанию. Об этом сообщает «Интерфакс» со ссылкой на Владимира Маковича, вице-спикера парламента ДНР.

По словам Маковича, Пушилин в настоящее время находится в Москве.

«Он прислал на мое имя письмо с просьбой об уходе с занимаемой должности по собственному желанию. На сессии совета этот вопрос был поставлен на голосование. Депутаты поддержали отставку Пушилина», — рассказал Макович.

Denis Pushilin, self-declared Chairman of the Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, has submitted a letter of resignation (from Moscow).

Rats off a sinking ship.


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Microsoft layoff e-mail typifies inhuman corporate insensitivity

Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 18:37 by John Sinteur in category: Microsoft

[Quote]:

As a veteran of the aerospace industry, I’m very familiar with layoff notices. During the almost-decade I spent working for Boeing, I survived probably a dozen major reductions in force, and they all had two things in common: a plainly stated promise of an open and transparent process and a hilariously terrible lack of actual transparency.

Well, congratulations to Satya Nadella and the Microsoft HR and communications teams, because you’re stealing from the best—or maybe you all took the same course in corporate doubletalk and truthiness as part of your MBA programs. Microsoft this morning announced far and away the largest round of layoffs in its history, and Nadella’s e-mail drips with that familiar mixture of faux sympathy and non-information that is so typical of carefully managed corporate communication.

There’s a name for this kind of uninformative spin-talk: it’s known as “ducking and fucking.”

[..]

This, sadly, is not a Microsoft-specific issue; it’s standard all across not just the tech industry but essentially every large American company.

The first sentence of any story sets the tone—and look at the robo-sentence the Microsoft layoff notification e-mail starts off with:

Last week in my email to you I synthesized our strategic direction as a productivity and platform company.

Leading off with a sentence like this immediately creates distance between the reader and the speaker—the kind of distance necessary to dehumanize both parties so that the big blow to come hurts less. The corporate-speak continues with creaky euphemism after creaky euphemism, including using the phrase “workforce realignment” instead of simply saying “staff reduction” or “layoff.” People and corporations both use euphemisms to cloak unpleasantness; however, it’s much more honest and personal to simply speak the unadorned truth when dealing with people’s livelihoods. “We’re going to realign our work force” might sound a lot better than “we’re firing 18,000 people,” but the latter more properly informs employees that jobs are going to be lost and lives are going to be affected.

“synthesizing a strategic direction”, right? If you were up until that minute the person responsible for corporate strategic direction, that is the very last thing you care about. Because it has instantly become completely irrelevant to you. Forever. So, yeah, great way to start.

and don’t get me started on how you talk about Microsoft’s strategy is focused on productivity and our desire to help people “do more” and then listing XBox as an example.


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Comments:

  1. [Quote]:

    Think of it this way — since Elop took over as Nokia CEO, the company has cut over 50,000 jobs (if you include today’s announcement.) That is just mind boggling. That bumbling strategy which was the hallmark of Elop’s Nokia tenure still continues — in other words, Microsoft doesn’t really have a Nokia strategy. From Elop’s memo today: “In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia.” That is precisely what Nokia guys used to say — we have the low end and we can grow our share. How did that work out?

  2. The job of so-called Human Resources (motto: “Our people are our most important resource!”) is hiring, firing, keeping angry employees out of the way of management and avoiding lawsuits.

    They usually use large numbers of women. Apparently they have the reputation of being able to fake empathy and sincerity more convincingly.

  3. Nokia was in deep trouble before Elop got there. They had featurephone marketshare and no momentum in smartphones. The Lumias are excellent phones, but the Nokia brand did not help sell them.

Verizon made an enemy tonight

Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 18:00 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ

[Quote]:

On a flight back to New York I read Level 3’s assessment of the latest round of the Netflix vs Internet Provider debacle.

The summarized version is that basically Netflix is slow because Verizon refuses to add capacity to peer with Level 3. Fixing the situation would cost Verizon on the order of a few thousand (that’s right thousand) dollars. Level 3 is even willing to foot the bill. But Verizon refuses.


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Ukraine’s intelligence agency, the State Security Service, known as the SBU, just released what it said was audio from intercepted phone calls between separatist rebels and Russian military intelligence officers on Thursday, in which they appeared to acknowledge shooting down a civilian plane.

Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 14:53 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Ukraine’s intelligence agency, the State Security Service, known as the SBU, just released what it said was audio from intercepted phone calls between separatist rebels and Russian military intelligence officers on Thursday, in which they appeared to acknowledge shooting down a civilian plane.


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Snowden: NSA employees routinely pass around intercepted nude photos

Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 11:21 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Further Reading

LOVEINT: On his first day of work, NSA employee spied on ex-girlfriend

New letter from NSA oversight to senator details 12 instances of obvious abuse.

Edward Snowden has revealed that he witnessed “numerous instances” of National Security Agency (NSA) employees passing around nude photos that were intercepted “in the course of their daily work.”

Makes you wonder how many of those pictures were for underage girls… but then again, if those teens don’t want the NSA looking at their nude photos they just shouldn’t have become terrorists, right?


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Comments:

  1. Everyone’s a terrorist if they potentially threaten your job.

  2. Baby, you so fine we’re gonna classify that body as a weapon.

Crash claims top AIDS researchers heading to Melbourne

Posted on July 18th, 2014 at 11:19 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

About 100 of the 298 people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash were heading to Melbourne for a major AIDS conference, conference attendees have been told.

Delegates at a pre-conference in Sydney were told on Friday morning that about 100 medical researchers, health workers and activists were on the plane that went down near the Russia-Ukraine border, including former International AIDS Society president Joep Lange.


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