Sunday, December 29, 2013

Recovery or Reinflate a Bubble?

In the world of central bankers, it's hard to tell the difference --

How UK wonder substance graphene can't and won't benefit UK | Science | The Guardian: "... this recovery – built on house prices and mountainous personal debt and all the old vices – isn't the one Osborne and David Cameron wanted. When the pair moved into Downing Street, they swore that austerity would 'rebalance'' the economy towards manufacturing and business investment and exports. In other words, this was meant to be a recovery made of graphene. And the way to get it was to stop a bloated state "crowding out'' businesses. "Ministers thought the problem was the government spending too much," says Duncan Weldon, senior economist with the TUC. "And that if they simply lowered corporation tax and cut the cost of capital, companies would invest more." On that score, Osbornomics has been an undeniable failure. According to official forecasts from June 2010, business investment should have risen 35% by now; it's only increased 1%. Nor has the promised export boom turned up, despite the pound's plunge making our goods much cheaper abroad...."

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tory MPs, Lies

UT Documents: The lie of MP Julian Smith: "... When MP Smith stated that I "confirmed" to MP Kirkhope that the Guardian gave me files that I didn't originally have, he lied. The opposite is true: I expressly rejected the right of government functionaries to invade the journalistic process by demanding answers to those questions, and thus explicitly refused to address any of the speculation from Kirkhope which Smith falsely claimed I "confirmed". I realize that expectations for the veracity and ethics of Tory MPs is exceedingly low, but this sort of lying - which he refused to acknowledge or apologize for once it was brought to his attention - descends well beneath even that low bar. An eagerness to see the Guardian criminally prosecuted for its journalism doesn't justify public fabrications of this sort from public officials...." (read more at link above)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Whitest Jobs in America, Union Jobs

A dirty secret of the Democratic Party in the US -- one of its main special interest groups, Unions, use their protected status under Federal law to not only constrain commerce and raise costs for public projects, but are the main residual source of institutional racism in the USA --

The 33 Whitest Jobs in America - Derek Thompson - The Atlantic: "Looking over this list, you might have noticed that many of the occupations are skilled construction jobs, such as electricians and carpenters. That's not a coincidence. Trade unions have had a complicated, and often ugly, history with race that's helped shut blacks and Hispanics out of these highly coveted lines of work. In 2005, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote about the impact on Chicago's South Side: "Chicago is a union town. But in Mitts’ ward–and among many poor blacks–some unions rank only a couple of notches above the Ku Klux Klan. Black leaders in Chicago have repeatedly charged that the building-trades unions, traditionally controlled by whites, are keeping a grip on jobs. While 37% of Chicago is black, only 10% of all new apprentices in the construction trades between 2000 and 2003 were black, according to the Chicago Tribune."" (read more at the link above)

Notice that the current occupant of the White House has done nothing to reform Union racism?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Twitter IPO, Social Media, wrong people end up with the money

Using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn? -- are you getting paid?

Twitter IPO: why the wrong people ended up with the money | Aditya Chakrabortty | Comment is free | The Guardian: " . . .  look at Twitter's business. Or rather, look at its own assessment of its business, as stated in its S-1 stockmarket filing. Early on comes the delicious admission: "Our success depends on our ability to provide users of our products and services with valuable content, which in turn depends on the content contributed by our users." Read that again: Twitter is in the business of selling us to us – our news and views and idle banter. Without those, without us, it is nothing. As with Facebook and Tumblr and all the other social media, we're also part of Twitter's workforce. But I bet you haven't seen any stock options, either." (read more at the link above)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Conjugal visits, Prisons, Reducing Recidivism

America and Britain, the leading incarcerators in the world, do not allow conjugal visits -- however the civilized world does --

Conjugal visits: No laughing matter | The Economist: "Prisons increasingly allow conjugal visits. But not in Britain and America . . . . evidence does suggest that conjugal visits not only reduce prison violence but also reduce recidivism by preserving family ties. In Canada inmates are allowed every two months to spend up to 72 hours in a flat with their spouses, partners, children, parents or in-laws. “We get to cook together, play cards and bingo, and be a family...The children get to know their father,” remarks a female relative of an offender in Ontario. The visits, says an inmate, “let us know that someone still cares about us”. Canada’s Correctional Service has advised the Trinidadian government on creating a similar programme. Perhaps America and Britain, the leading incarcerators in the world and western Europe respectively, will one day be open to similar counsel." (read more at link above)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Over 3,000 US prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent crimes, Rule of Law?

Or the Law is an Ass?

Over 3,000 US prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent crimes | World news | "At about 12.40pm on 2 January 1996, Timothy Jackson took a jacket from the Maison Blanche department store in New Orleans, draped it over his arm, and walked out of the store without paying for it. When he was accosted by a security guard, Jackson said: “I just needed another jacket, man.” A few months later Jackson was convicted of shoplifting and sent to Angola prison in Louisiana. That was 16 years ago. Today he is still incarcerated in Angola, and will stay there for the rest of his natural life having been condemned to die in jail. All for the theft of a jacket, worth $159. Jackson, 53, is one of 3,281 prisoners in America serving life sentences with no chance of parole for non-violent crimes. . . ." (read more at the link above)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Encrypting the Web

EFF graphic on web encryption
EFF graphic on web encryption

UPDATE: Encrypt the Web Report: Who's Doing What | Electronic Frontier Foundation: EFF: "We’ve asked the companies in our Who Has Your Back Program what they are doing to bolster encryption in light of the NSA’s unlawful surveillance of your communications. We’re pleased to see that four companies—Dropbox, Google, SpiderOak and—are implementing five out of five of our best practices for encryption. In addition, we appreciate that Yahoo! just announced several measures it plans to take to increase encryption, including the very critical encryption of data center links, and that Twitter has confirmed that it has encryption of data center links in progress. See the infographic (above)....." (read more at link above)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Meaningless Data, Police Crime Statistics

There's an old saying in data collection and statistical analysis: garbage in, garbage out --

Police crime figures are meaningless. Ban them | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian: "MPs have no excuse for being shocked. Police statistics have been a conspiracy against truth for decades and they know it. Already in the early 1990s the Home Office warned that "police statistics are an unreliable guide to the extent of crime". The documentary maker, Roger Graef, recorded in his book Talking Blues that police were shifting crimes between categories." (read more at link above)

Reuters: World News

Top Stories - Google (UK) News

Reuters: Technology News

The Register articles by Kieren McCarthy

Altucher Confidential

BuzzMachine - Jeff Jarvis


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