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Old 04-20-2012, 07:33 AM   #3301
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/mutan...-bp-oil-spill/

Mutant Fish From The BP Oil Spill


Two years later, scientists say they have never seen anything like the creatures swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, Al Jazeera reports:

“I’ve never seen this,” he said, a statement Al Jazeera heard from every scientist, fisherman, and seafood processor we spoke with about the seafood deformities. Given that the Gulf of Mexico provides more than 40 per cent of all the seafood caught in the continental US, this phenomenon does not bode well for the region, or the country.

“The dispersants used in BP’s draconian experiment contain solvents, such as petroleum distillates and 2-butoxyethanol. Solvents dissolve oil, grease, and rubber,” Dr Riki Ott, a toxicologist, marine biologist and Exxon Valdez survivor told Al Jazeera. “It should be no surprise that solvents are also notoriously toxic to people, something the medical community has long known”.

The dispersants are known to be mutagenic, a disturbing fact that could be evidenced in the seafood deformities. Shrimp, for example, have a life-cycle short enough that two to three generations have existed since BP’s disaster began, giving the chemicals time to enter the genome.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:40 AM   #3302
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:41 AM   #3303
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:43 AM   #3304
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/black...-class-videos/



The April 2012 issue of Harper’s Magazine includes “The Warrior Class,” a feature by Charles Glass on the rise of private-security contractors since 9/11. The conclusion to the piece describes a series of videos shown to Glass by a source who had worked for the private-security company Blackwater (now Academi, formerly also Xe Services) in Iraq. Clips and photos from the videos are shown below, introduced by Glass’s descriptions:

The first [video], identified as “Baghdad, Iraq, May–­September 2005,” showed Blackwater convoys racing through town. Suddenly, the door of a Blackwater SUV opened and a rifle fired at passing traffic. “They opened the door,” my companion said. “You should never break the seal.”

http://harpers.org/archive/2012/04/hbc-90008515
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:48 AM   #3305
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/words...-an-obsession/

Words With Friends: Another Stupid Game – Or An Obsession?




The New York Times Magazine ran a fascinating cover story on April 4, 2012 written with wisdom, humor and insight by Sam Anderson.

Anderson’s basic premise is that the concept of gaming has changed. For decades, a special class of teen or young adult gamer would use specialized systems, to play complex multi-player, multi-level games that might last from a few hours to many days or even weeks. Now, however, anyone can play a quick game — what Anderson terms a “stupid game” — any time of the day or night right there on their smartphone that rests somewhere next to their body 24/7. And this, Anderson argues, has changed the world of gaming to

” . . . not just hard-core gamers, but their mothers, their mailmen and their college professors. Consumers who never would have put a quarter into an arcade or even set eyes on an Xbox 360 were now carrying a sophisticated game console with them, all the time, in their pockets or their purses.”

For decades I scrupulously avoided video games even when my four children delighted in playing them. I think that I once played Pong and perhaps Donkey Kong in a bar somewhere but that was under duress and the influence of a few beers. I have never played a video game that resides on a console although I have watched, fascinated, as young children seem to understand intuitively what actions to take to make the next level or win the game. Just last night I watched my friend’s 9-year-old son sit down at a game console in a restaurant as we were waiting to be seated and without even glancing at the instructions, he popped in two quarters and played.

I have, however, always enjoyed card games and board games, particularly those that required thought or cunning to win the game. I consider myself a pretty good Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit player and delighted in winning nearly every Monopoly game with my children (I used a unique strategy that I refuse to divulge as I plan to use it with my grandchildren!). My iPhones (I have owned four of them) have always come with a hefty game center in the App Store, which, as you might guess, I have avoided like the plague. Until someone pointed out Words With Friends!

Arghhhh! I shall mark that day on my calendar as the day that my life — and my brain — changed. And I am pretty sure that it changed for the worse.

As soon as I downloaded WWF I was hooked. Now I am playing a dozen games with multiple players (all of my opponents are personal friends, as I think it is a bit bizarre to play with people you don’t know, although it is a good way to meet new people). In his NYT article Sam Anderson relayed a similar situation with his wife:

“My wife, who had never been a serious gamer, got one and became addicted, almost immediately, to a form of off-brand digital Scrabble called Words With Friends. Before long she was playing 6 or 10 games at a time, against people all over the world. Sometimes I would lose her in the middle of a conversation: her phone would go brinnng or pwomp or dernalernadern-dern, and she would look away from me, midsentence, to see if her opponent had set her up for a triple word score.”

That is so true! Anderson’s wife sounds like me, and like everyone else that I play with. I am beginning to see patterns in my WWF friends (I call them that even though two are colleagues, one is my partner, one is a student in my lab and two are other people that I know very well). At first I said that I was going to “just play at night” after watching Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper but before The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Pretty soon I found myself pausing the news and jumping in and making a few plays, and then returning to the news. Then, I think I said “to heck with it” and left the news on and played WWF with the news as background. Now, who cares about the news. Who cares about anything. WWF RULES!

I confess that I am now addicted. But is it truly an addiction or is there more to it? I don’t feel like an addict. I am not shirking my responsibilities at home (I still cook every night although one night I had to grab a cooked chicken because I got into a vicious back-and-forth WWF game with someone — and I WON!) nor is my work suffering. I still teach, still write, but something is happening and I think that I know what it is. What I am feeling, I believe, is a compulsion. Somewhat like Jack Nicholson in “As Good As It Gets,” I feel as though if I don’t do a certain behavior — i.e., play WWF — I will meet with some dire consequence. I am not washing my hands constantly or locking and unlocking my doors, nor am I avoiding cracks when I walk in the neighborhood. But I feel anxiety much as Jack did when I spot my smartphone. And the anxiety is “I wonder if so-and-so played a word and I better check and play one, too.”

As I sit and stare at my phone wondering about WWF, I am not feeling the discomfort that someone feels when he or she has a true psychological addiction. I am not even hoping that playing will bring me pleasure. What I am feeling is an intense NEED to play or rather to check in to see who has played. And when I do play I don’t feel that rush of dopamine, which feels like pleasure. What I feel is . . . nothing. But then my phone beckons to me and I slide to the last page of apps (I made myself put the WWF app on the last page to make it more difficult to get to. What a fool! It must take me all of a second to flick a few times and it literally pops out at me when I get to that page) and press my finger on the icon and, voila, my games appear!

So, what do I think is happening? I had some time to think about this the other day. I was at public radio studio, waiting to go on a noontime radio broadcast followed by a TV taping. Since I always arrive early I had lots of time and only my phone to keep me busy. I knew that I was going to talk about this on the air so I spent some time with my phone in front of me trying to analyze what might be going on in my brain. Wow! After just a few minutes of “thinking” I somehow found myself looking at a WWF screen of 12 ongoing games. How did I get there? Well, partially I think it was a habit and partially I think I was compelled to do so in a way that resided just below the surface of conscious activity. Sure sounds like a compulsion to me.

How do I plan to break this compulsion? I have started giving myself “WWF Time” where I grant myself the option to play for 15 minutes and no more and then put my phone away, out of sight, and do something else for 45 minutes. I set a timer (on my phone, of course) and when it rings I play and when it rings again I stop. Not sure if it will work as I have only been doing this for a week but I am finding that the 45 minutes is going by pretty quickly now compared to the crawling seconds and minutes that appeared to barely move the first few times I waited for my WWF Time.

Do you feel compelled by your technology? Do certain games or activities that you do on the phone beckon to you? This is one of the main points of my new book, iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us, where I devote two chapters to obsessions and compulsions surrounding technology. Let me know what you think.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #3306
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http://demonocracy.info/infographics..._exposure.html

Derivatives: The Unregulated Global Casino for Banks
SHORT STORY: Pick something of value, make bets on the future value of something", add contract & you have a derivative. Banks make massive profits on derivatives, and when the bubble bursts chances are the tax payer will end up with the bill. This visualizes the total coverage for derivatives (notional). Similar to insurance company's total coverage for all cars.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:39 AM   #3307
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http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Quant...sness-20120418

Quantum Physics and Consciousness

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A few weeks ago popular science news outlets ran a story about scientists claiming to crack the “brain memory code” (e.g. here and here). The article about this story was published in PLoS Computational Biology on the 8th of March 2012. Scientists have known for quite a while that calcium signaling plays an important role in long-term potentiation, a fancy way for saying the generation of memories. This study suggests that the calcium-calmodulin dependent kinase II (CaMKII) plays a role and it does so by interacting with microtubules. What are microtubules and what do they have to do with memory you may ask?
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:43 AM   #3308
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http://www.realitysandwich.com/how_spiritual_person_act

How is a "Spiritual Person" Supposed to Act?

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Finally, spiritual misconceptions can obstruct spiritual progress. First, yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as spiritual progress. Like anything else, as you practice, you get better at it -- and not just in terms of brute skills, but in terms of observable changes to the mind, and maybe even the brain. In my experience, that progress is a lot like making progress at the gym. If you do the work, it happens at its own pace. You can't rush it, but you needn't supervise it either. From what I understand, meditation increases the neural activity in the pre-frontal cortex, leading to more connections and more "strength" for that self-regulating part of the brain. That results from doing the work, not hoping for certain results.

As a result, you may be doing just fine, even if you don't (yet) feel different, and even if you haven't bought any Yanni CDs. "What's wrong?" you might ask, "I'm doing all this work, but I still get pissed off at my mom!" Well, sure, welcome to being human. Maybe, over time, you'll notice that your anger lasts for less time, that you're less immediately reactive, that you pick fewer fights (or take the bait less often). But that may be all you can hope for. Meanwhile, the practice is doing its work, if you just stay with it in some form or another.

For what I'll call karmic reasons, I'm sincerely appreciative of the many delights in the world, and as Lou Reed said, "for me to miss one, would seem to be groundless." I'm also mindful that spirituality that doesn't include some form of serious social/political engagement is, at least for me, empty. So I get involved in things that will necessarily invite some anger (politics) and lust (food and sex), even though these are problematic on several spiritual paths, including my own. This karma -- by which I mean the social constructions of my particular Western subculture, which seem as much a part of 'me' as anything -- may well be holding me back from further advancement. But it's the karma that there is. And each time I re-ask whether it wouldn't be better to give up the fleshpots for the cloister, I hear a clear, humanistic No in response.

Let's set ourselves free of this idolatry of the spiritual life. The spiritual path has far too many manifestations for us to be reductive about it, and far too many directions for us to subsume them all into one. Just setting these clichés aside may be a significant step toward freedom.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:54 AM   #3309
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http://www.neatorama.com/2012/04/19/...-a-police-car/



Bad: Stealing gas
Worse: Stealing gas from a police car
Neatorama-worthy: Stealing gas from a police car, and posting a photo of the crime in progress on Facebook!

Michael Baker, 20, was swiping the gas last month from a Jenkins Police Department squad car, he made sure to flip the bird as his girlfriend snapped a picture.

While the siphoning photo has been removed from his Facebook page, Baker yesterday updated his 380 friends on his legal problems. “just got out of jail,” he wrote in one post, adding later that “yea lol i went too jail over facebook.” Responding to a friend who had not seen the image before it was yanked, Baker assured, “yea lol u would just have to seen it it was funny as hell tho.”

See the photo in its full uncropped glory over at The Smoking Gun: Link

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documen...phoning-764512
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:59 AM   #3310
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/the-n...ve-liberalism/

The New (Conservative) Liberalism


Charles Davis, on liberalism in America, and how it fails to provide systemic solutions to the problems faced in an increasingly conservative world. Via Al Jazeera:

Once upon a time — say, three years ago — your average Democrat appeared to care about issues of war and peace. When the man dropping the bombs spoke with an affected Texas twang, the moral and fiscal costs of empire were the subject of numerous protests and earnest panel discussions, the issue not just a banal matter of policy upon which reasonable people could disagree, but a matter of the nation’s very soul.

Then the guy in the White House changed.

Now, if the Democratic rank and file haven’t necessarily learned to love the bomb – though many certainly have — they have at least learned to stop worrying about it. Barack Obama may have dramatically expanded the war in Afghanistan, launched twice as many drone strikes in Pakistan as his predecessor and dropped women-and-children killing cluster bombs in Yemen, but peruse a liberal magazine or blog and you’re more likely to find a strongly worded denunciation of Rush Limbaugh than the president. War isn’t over, but one could be forgiven for thinking that it is.

Given the lamentable state of liberal affairs, Drift, a new book from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, is refreshing. Most left-of-centre pundits long ago relegated the issue of killing poor foreigners in unjustifiable wars of aggression to the status of a niche concern, somewhere between Mitt Romney’s family dog and the search results for “Santorum” in terms of national importance. So in that sense, it’s nice to see a prominent progressive at least trying to grapple with the evils of militarism and rise of the US empire. It’s just a shame the book isn’t very good…

Read more here
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:54 PM   #3311
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http://www.sovereignman.com/wp-conte...S_Revenues.png
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:27 AM   #3312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkemical View Post
http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/the-n...ve-liberalism/

The New (Conservative) Liberalism


Charles Davis, on liberalism in America, and how it fails to provide systemic solutions to the problems faced in an increasingly conservative world. Via Al Jazeera:

Once upon a time — say, three years ago — your average Democrat appeared to care about issues of war and peace. When the man dropping the bombs spoke with an affected Texas twang, the moral and fiscal costs of empire were the subject of numerous protests and earnest panel discussions, the issue not just a banal matter of policy upon which reasonable people could disagree, but a matter of the nation’s very soul.

Then the guy in the White House changed.

Now, if the Democratic rank and file haven’t necessarily learned to love the bomb – though many certainly have — they have at least learned to stop worrying about it. Barack Obama may have dramatically expanded the war in Afghanistan, launched twice as many drone strikes in Pakistan as his predecessor and dropped women-and-children killing cluster bombs in Yemen, but peruse a liberal magazine or blog and you’re more likely to find a strongly worded denunciation of Rush Limbaugh than the president. War isn’t over, but one could be forgiven for thinking that it is.

Given the lamentable state of liberal affairs, Drift, a new book from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, is refreshing. Most left-of-centre pundits long ago relegated the issue of killing poor foreigners in unjustifiable wars of aggression to the status of a niche concern, somewhere between Mitt Romney’s family dog and the search results for “Santorum” in terms of national importance. So in that sense, it’s nice to see a prominent progressive at least trying to grapple with the evils of militarism and rise of the US empire. It’s just a shame the book isn’t very good…

Read more here
Chris Hedges wrote a book with a similar theme - "The Death of Liberal Class." The book started out well, but it got so depressing that I couldn't get more than 2/3 of the way through it. I still love some of his articles, but I can only take some of that stuff in small doses.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:44 AM   #3313
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:00 AM   #3314
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http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/a...d-by-the-devil

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A perceived demonic possession in Saskatoon has caught the Catholic Church there off guard since it has no one trained to perform an exorcism.

The Saskatoon Archdiocese is investigating after a priest was called to a home in late March where a 41-year-old man had carved the word Hell on his chest and was talking in the third person, saying, “He belongs to me. Get out of here.”

Church officials told CBC the priest did his best to calm the man down, including blessing him, before the man was taken to Royal University Hospital for a voluntary assessment.

Bishop Don Bolen told CBC it was not clear if the Saskatoon man was possessed or experiencing a mental breakdown.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:07 AM   #3315
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http://www.disinfo.com/2012/01/natio...-and-adderall/

Shortage of ritalin & adderall here

but here:

http://www.disinfo.com/2012/04/is-th...-ritalin-went/

According to an op-ed entitled “Why Are We Drugging Our Soldiers?” in the New York Times by Richard A. Friedman, “the number of Ritalin and Adderall prescriptions written for active-duty service members increased by nearly 1,000 percent in five years.” Might this explain, in part at least, the shortages of Ritalin and Adderall that have plagued students nationwide?

Since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been a large and steady rise in the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among our troops. One recent study of 289,000 Americans who served in those countries found that the rates of the disorder jumped to 22 percent in 2008 from just 0.2 percent in 2002.

Given the duration of these wars and the length and frequency of deployments, when compared with other wars, perhaps such high rates of PTSD are not so surprising. Prolonged exposure to a perilous and uncertain combat environment might make trauma common.
Adderall 10mg
But there is another factor that might be playing a role in the increasing rates of the disorder, one that has escaped attention: the military’s use of stimulant medications, like Ritalin and Adderall, in our troops.

There has been a significant increase in the use of stimulant medication. Documents that I obtained in late 2010 through the Freedom of Information Act, and have recently analyzed, show that annual spending on stimulants jumped to $39 million in 2010 from $7.5 million in 2001 — more than a fivefold increase. Additional data provided by Tricare Management Activity, the arm of the Department of Defense that manages health care services for the military, reveals that the number of Ritalin and Adderall prescriptions written for active-duty service members increased by nearly 1,000 percent in five years, to 32,000 from 3,000.

Stimulants are widely used in the civilian population to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder because they increase focus and attention. Short of an unlikely epidemic of that disorder among our soldiers, the military almost certainly uses the stimulants to help fatigued and sleep-deprived troops stay alert and awake. (A spokesman for Tricare attributed the sharp rise to “the increased recognition and diagnosis of A.D.H.D. by medical providers.” However, while there is greater recognition of the disorder, the diagnoses are concentrated in children and adolescents.)…

[continues in the New York Times]
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:39 AM   #3316
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Solar poles to become quadrupolar in May
The Yomiuri Shimbun

Magnetic field polarity at the solar poles will reverse and become quadrupolar in May, meaning positive fields will emerge in the North and South poles and negative fields will emerge on the equator, according to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and other institutes.

When a similar phenomenon occurred about 300 years ago, the Earth’s average temperature fell slightly.

A research team led by Saku Tsuneta, a professor at the observatory, analyzed solar magnetic fields data using Hinode, an observational satellite, and confirmed that the polarity of the magnetic field at the North Pole began to reverse in July last year.

The researchers also found the magnetic field at the South Pole, which was expected to reverse along with the North Pole, maintained a positive polarity, ensuring the formation of a quadrupole magnetic field.

The cause behind the shifts in polar fields is not understood. However, it is known that the shifts coincide with the increase and decrease in the number of sunspots over an about 11-year cycle.

The current sunspot cycle has stretched for close to 13 years. A similar situation occurred in the 17th to 18th century, when the average temperature of the Northern Hemisphere decreased by 0.6 C. The research team believes the quadrupolar pattern also emerged at that time.



http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/features...0420005829.htm



http://earthsky.org/tonight/high-tid...-2012-on-may-5

According to U.S. clocks, May 5, 2012 features the closest and largest full moon of this year. Calendars say May 6, by the way, for this same close full moon as seen from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. We astronomers call this sort of close full moon a perigee full moon. The word perigee describes the moon’s closest point to Earth for a given month. But last year, when the closest and largest full moon occurred on March 19, 2011, many used a term we’d never heard: supermoon. We’ll probably hear that term again at this 2012 close full moon. What does it mean exactly? And how special is it?
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:40 AM   #3317
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http://www.neatorama.com/2012/04/21/...-eating-stars/

Black Holes Grow by Eating Stars
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:41 PM   #3318
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz1shFdun7X

Is this the Loch Ness Monster? Sonar picture shows 'serpent-like creature' at bottom of mysterious loch

New sonar image described by monster hunters as totally unexplained
Experts have ruled out the ‘sighting’ being any other fish, seal or debris


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz1stVJMoy7


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Old 04-24-2012, 08:11 AM   #3319
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http://www.informationweek.com/news/...cing/232900773

U.S. Suspends Controversial Outsourcing Training Program
Funding stopped for USAID program that trained students in the Philippines to work in offshore, English language call centers serving U.S. companies.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:12 AM   #3320
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http://www.macworld.co.uk/apple-busi...pe=allchandate

Apple and Google face salary fixing lawsuit
The companies are accused of making agreements not to poach each other's employees
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:14 AM   #3321
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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...man-s-car.html

Italian Police Seize $1.5 Billion U.S. Securities From Ma
By Chiara Remondini - Apr 21, 2012 6:06 AM ET

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Italy’s financial police seized U.S. government securities with a nominal value of $1.5 billion from an unidentified man in his 70s, they said in an e-mailed statement.

The police said they also took certificates of deposit for about 1,000 tons of gold, which together with the U.S. bonds are worth more than 3 billion euros ($4 billion). The assets were found in a briefcase in the man’s car in Viterbo near Rome because of their “doubtful origin,” according to the statement.

The man has previous convictions for robbery, extortion, drug trafficking and money laundering, according to the police statement.

The probe, dubbed “Million Dollar,” is being carried out in and around the capital in cooperation with officials from the U.S. Embassy. Police said they’re evaluating “the authenticity, the nature and the origin” of the securities, some of which may date from the 1930s.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Remondini in Milan at cremondini@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:13 AM   #3322
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:24 AM   #3323
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...rface-sun.html

Did Nasa satellite capture giant UFO surfing the hellish surface of the sun?

Object sems to be alien 'craft' with jointed metal arms
Appeared in footage from Nasa's sun-watching SOHO satellite
UFO-watchers hail find as evidence of alien 'visitors'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz1tFr24hyk




OR - a camera glitch:

http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/...iting-sun.html
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:26 AM   #3324
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http://feeds.boingboing.net/~r/boing...e-amendme.html

Sneak attack: surprise amendment makes CISPA worse, then it is voted and passed a day ahead of schedule. Congress just deleted the Fourth Amendment


In a sneak attack, the vote on CISPA (America's far-reaching, invasive Internet surveillance bill) was pushed up by a day. The bill was hastily amended, making it much worse, then passed on a rushed vote. Techdirt's Leigh Beadon does a very good job of explaining what just happened to America:

Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for "cybersecurity" or "national security" purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.

Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a "cybersecurity crime". Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government's power.

Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:28 AM   #3325
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http://www.pixiq.com/article/connect...-approves-bill

Cops Would Be Liable Arresting Citizens For Recording Under Approved Conn. Bill

The Connecticut state senate approved a bill Thursday that would allow citizens to sue police officers who arrest them for recording in public, apparently the first of its kind in the nation.

As it is now, cops act with reckless immunity knowing the worst that can happen is their municipalties (read: taxpayers) would be responsible for shelling out lawsuits.
Senate Bill 245, which was introduced by Democratic Senator Eric Coleman and approved by a co-partisan margin of 42-11, must now go before the House.

The bill, which would go into effect on October 1, 2012, states the following:

This bill makes peace officers potentially liable for damages for interfering with a person taking a photograph, digital still, or video image of either the officer or a colleague performing his or her job duties. Under the bill, officers cannot be found liable if they reasonably believed that the interference was necessary to (1) lawfully enforce a criminal law or municipal ordinance; (2) protect public safety; (3) preserve the integrity of a crime scene or criminal investigation; (4) safeguard the privacy of a crime victim or other person; or (5) enforce Judicial Branch rules and policies that limit taking photographs, videotaping, or otherwise recording images in branch facilities.

Officers found liable of this offense are entitled, under existing law, to indemnification (repayment) from their state or municipal employer if they were acting within their scope of authority and the conduct was not willful, wanton, or reckless.

Although the bill does include exemptions, opponents, including a police officer, wanted to tack on three more exemptions, according to The Day.

The first, offered by Sen. Kevin Witkos, a sergeant in the Canton Police Department, called for an additional liability exemption if a person intended to “inconvenience or alarm” an officer in the performance of duty.

Witkos said he supported the underlying principle of the bill but wanted to make sure there were safeguards against ill-intentioned videographers who seek to interfere with police.

“I do believe that the public has a right, if they’re not in the way of a police officer doing their job, of filming all they want,” he said.

But Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said the Witkos amendment would create too large a loophole. “It really would render the bill without meaning,” he said.

Looney also noted that interfering with an officer is already a crime and would remain so.

The other failed amendments would have exempted Capitol building police from liability and would have shifted the burden of proof onto the person bringing a lawsuit.

According to the Hartford Courant, the bill was inspired by the 2009 incident in which a priest was arrested for video recording cops inside a store shaking down immigrants, which led to a Department of Justice investigation and the arrest of four officers.
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