Friday, 31 October

02:00

David Graeber and Thomas Piketty on whether capitalism will destroy itself [Boing Boing]

Graeber wrote the magisterial Debt: The First 5,000 Years; Piketty, of course, wrote the essential Capital in the 21st Century -- in a must-read dialog, they discuss their differences and similarities and offer views on whether capitalism will collapse. Read the rest

FCC reportedly close to reclassifying ISPs as common carriers [Ars Technica]

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler speaking to the cable industry in April 2014.

The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reportedly close to proposing a "hybrid approach" to network neutrality in which Internet service providers would be partially reclassified as common carriers, letting the commission take a harder stance against Internet fast lane deals.

However, the proposal would not completely outlaw deals in which Web services pay for faster access to consumers.

As reported Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, the broadband service that ISPs offer to consumers would be maintained as a lightly regulated information service. But the FCC would reclassify the service that ISPs offer at the other end of the network to content providers who deliver data over Internet providers' pipes. This would be a common carrier service subject to utility-style regulation under Title II of the Communications Act.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

01:00

Denmark Plans To Be Coal-Free In 10 Years [Slashdot]

merbs writes "Earlier this year, Denmark's leadership announced that the nation would run entirely on renewable power by 2050. Wind, solar, and biomass would be ramped up while coal and gas are phased out. Now Denmark has gone even further, and plans to end coal by 2025.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








00:00

Three ways fearful parents are ruining Hallowe'en [Boing Boing]

It's the safest night of the year for your kids: no kid has ever been poisoned by a stranger, and the 31st usually has fewer assaults on children than other days of the year (but more kids do get hit by cars!).

Lenore Prepares for Halloween — Heh, Heh, Heh

No. The customer is NOT always right [CNN.com - Top Stories]

In business, it might pay to keep the customer happy, but how far should you go just to keep the peace?

The Devastating History Of Midterm Elections [News]

Over the past century, midterm elections have been pretty rough on the party that holds the White House.

» E-Mail This

France doesn't know who's flying drones over its nuclear power plants [The Verge - All Posts]

The French government is investigating a series of unidentified drone flights recently conducted over state-owned nuclear power plants. Unmanned aerial vehicles were spotted over seven different nuclear power plants around the country in a two-week period between October 5th and October 20th. The drones were reportedly commercial models, available for purchase by the general public, but it's not yet clear who was behind the controls.

Continue reading…

Thursday, 30 October

23:00

France Investigating Mysterious Drone Activity Over 7 Nuclear Power Plant Sites [Slashdot]

thygate writes In France, an investigation has been launched into the appearance of "drones" on 7 different nuclear power plant sites across the country in the last month. Some of the plants involved are Creys-Malville en Bugey in the southeast, Blayais in the southwest, Cattenom en Chooz in the northeast, Gravelines in the north, and Nogent-sur-Seine, close to Paris. It is forbidden to fly over these sites on altitudes less than 1 km in a 5 km radius. According to a spokesman of the state electric company that runs the facilities (EDF), there was no danger to the security and production of the plants. However these incidents will likely bring nuclear safety concerns back into the spotlight.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








22:00

USPS usage declines, but sloppy postal surveillance is way, way up [Boing Boing]

Surveillance requests for "postal metadata" climbed 600% in recent years, often undertaken with badly formed or expired warrants. Read the rest

What happened to them? [CNN.com - Top Stories]

Rafael Romo investigates "The Children of Silence," babies taken from their parents during the Chilean dictatorship.

Researchers Claim Metal "Patch" Found On Pacific Island Is From Amelia Earhart [Slashdot]

An anonymous reader writes Amelia Earhart disappeared in 1937, but scientists may have now uncovered where she ended up. Researchers have identified a piece of aluminum, which washed up on a remote Pacific island, as dated to the correct time period and consistent with the design of Earhart's Lockheed Electra. From the article: "The warped piece of metal was uncovered on a 1991 voyage to the island of Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has spent millions of dollars searching for Earhart's plane in a project that has involved hundreds of people. 'We don't understand how that patch got busted out of (the plane) and ended up on the island where we found it, but we have the patch, we have a piece of Earhart's aircraft,' TIGHAR executive director Ric Gillespie said."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Amazon exec says 'we didn’t get the price right' on the Fire Phone [The Verge - All Posts]

Hindsight is 20-20, something Amazon now has about the launch of its first smartphone. Amazon debuted the $199 Fire Phone in June, though trimmed the price of the device to 99 cents (with a two-year contract) just two months after it went on sale, without explanation. Speaking to Fortune, Amazon's senior vice president of devices David Limp now says the company simply whiffed on the pricing. "We didn't get the price right," Limp said. "I think people come to expect a great value, and we sort of mismatched expectations. We thought we had it right. But we're also willing to say, ‘we missed.' And so we corrected."

"We thought we had it right."

That correction — as Amazon calls it — also hit its bottom line, as the company revealed last...

Continue reading…

21:00

At the round table [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

Lellegh has added a photo to the pool:

At the round table

Alright, my apologies for reusing this view! Just couldn't resist it.

" Beauty Of Nature " [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

Jeremiah Photography has added a photo to the pool:

" Beauty Of Nature "

Leica M Summarit 35mm 2.5

Married Yesterday For 38 Years. Thank you very much my dear.

Working with the tonal transitions [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

Gerner Christensen has added a photo to the pool:

Working with the tonal transitions

Just experimenting a bit with obtaining as smooth tonal transitions as possible under the given light situation. The object and the shallow DOF is though an easy challenge if not even a banal one?

rock & stream [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

charliepeek has added a photo to the pool:

rock & stream

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yellowstone [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

dasar has added a photo to the pool:

Yellowstone

get-IMG_8384

Hotel Il Palazzo [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

Tuomas | Kivinen has added a photo to the pool:

Hotel Il Palazzo

Rossi’s design integrates the hotel to the surrounding city through an elevated piazza in front of the main entrance, giving an image of public space to this private, commercial building.

Please check out more pics in my Tumblr:
tuomaskivinen.tumblr.com/post/101320089175/hotel-il-palaz...

Crowned pigeon [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

george.pancescu has added a photo to the pool:

Crowned pigeon

Budapest zoo

IMG_0116 copy [mingthein.com: the reader portfolio Pool]

vjrtruong has added a photo to the pool:

IMG_0116 copy

Reflection

Five Black Sci-Fi Writers You Should Know [Bitch Blogs]

 October is Black Speculative-Fiction Month. The month is drawing to an end, so it's time to stock up your bedside table with titles by Black women authors that you can spend the next 11 months reading. Here's my short list of great authors to introduce you to Black speculative-fiction. 

the cover of octavia butler's book

read more

Who knows about divorce laws in countries other than the U.S.? [Philip Greenspun's Weblog]

This is crowd-sourced appeal to readers… I’m looking for divorce litigators to interview outside of the U.S. One restriction is that they have to be able to speak English. This is for a book project on which I am a co-author. We’re particularly interested in the following countries: Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan. However, we would be happy to learn about other places as well.

This draft chapter shows what we’ve got so far (England, Denmark, Iran, Switzerland).

One thing that we’re trying to figure out is how many countries worldwide make having a child following a casual encounter potentially more profitable than going to college and working. (Easily done in California, Massachusetts, New York, and Wisconsin, for example.) How many other governments set up these kinds of economic incentives?

We want to know if other countries have large variations in the profitability of children across provincial boundaries, comparable to the Wisconsin/Minnesota border for example (the child who yields a $20 million profit in Wisconsin will yield only about $200,000 in profit over 18 years, above USDA-estimated child-rearing expenses, across the bridge into Minnesota).

We want to know which other countries assign different cash values to children from the same parent. [From our book: New York can serve as a simple example. Consider a married couple with three children. The wife goes away for a few weeks to help a sick relative. The husband goes to the neighborhood bar, drinks too much, and, by the time the wife returns he has gotten three women pregnant. The first woman to sue gets 17 percent of his gross income. The second woman gets 17 percent of the 83 percent remainder (14 percent). The third plaintiff gets 17 percent of 83 percent of 83 percent (about 12 percent). Roughly 43 percent of his pre-tax income will thus go to satisfy these court orders. Roughly 50 percent of his income will go to pay local, state, and federal income taxes. The three children and the wife of the marriage will thus be living on 7 percent of his income while each extramarital child gets a larger, but different amount.]

We’re curious to know if selling abortions is a standard practice anywhere outside of the U.S. [In case you're not familiar with the practice, here are some excerpts from our draft book:

"The Supreme Court made abortion legal with Roe v. Wade in 1973 and Congress made abortion profitable in 1988 with the federal Family Support Act [that required states to develop child support guidelines],” is how one attorney summarized the evolution of law in the last quarter of the 20th century. The new state guidelines made an out-of-wedlock child just as profitable as the child of a marriage. Our interviewees report that it did not take long for people to put these two legal innovations together and thus began the age of women selling abortions to men. “If the child support guidelines make having a baby more profitable than working,” a lawyer noted “it only makes sense that 5-10 years of the average person’s income is a fair price for having an abortion.”

In many of the jurisdictions where child support is substantially more than the $9,000 per year that the USDA estimates as the actual cost of caring for a child we learned about the practice of selling abortions. From the Massachusetts chapter:

Due to the $40,144 number at the top of the guidelines, the 23 years over which child support is payable, and the convention whereby a defendant must pay a plaintiff’s legal fees, Massachusetts is one of the most lucrative states for the marketing of abortions. In our interviews we learned about a 40-year-old entrepreneur who was dating a seemingly carefree 25-year-old. Two months later, the young woman presented the man with a positive pregnancy test result, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet showing the $923,312 in child support that he would owe over 23 years, plus a likely $300,000 college budget and additional amounts for health insurance, day care, etc. Her attorney offered to sell her abortion for $250,000 plus legal fees and the cost of the abortion itself. The man paid the $250,000, which was tax-free to the woman. Could that be considered extortion? “It is not extortion nor illegal to threaten to have a baby,” responded Harvard Law School professor Jeannie Suk, when asked to consider the facts of this incident. Asked to comment on the prevalence of abortion transactions in Massachusetts, another attorney said “This is a good state in which to work your mind and education, but it is a great state in which to work your body and child.”

Attorneys report that one issue in abortion sales is establishing paternity. “When I’m involved in an abortion transaction on the father’s side,” noted one lawyer, “I recommend a paternity test if there is any possible doubt. The person who sells an abortion is not necessarily the most reliable source of information.” Is it possible to do a paternity test on a fetus? “Absolutely,” the lawyer continued. “They can do it after a couple of months using the mother’s blood and a blood sample from the father. It’s called ‘NIPP’ [Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity] and relies on the fact that some of the baby’s DNA makes its way into the mother’s blood.”]

We want to find out which countries have administrative procedures, as opposed to litigation, for ending a marriage and what the typical costs are if the person initiating the divorce does choose to litigate.

We are interested in whether a country has a custody presumption(e.g., 50/50 if the parents don’t agree on something else, mom always wins, mom always wins until the kids are Age X, etc.) and, if favoring one parent with primary custody is common, whether there is a statutory schedule for the child to see the other parent (or if the schedule itself can be the subject of litigation; see the Texas Standard Possession Order for a unique U.S. jurisdiction where parents can’t fight over the details).

We want to know the extent to which it is possible to obtain a de facto divorce via a domestic violence complaint (see “Criminal Law Comes Home” from the Yale Law Journal for how this works in the U.S.; also this more consumer-friendly article by David Heleniak in the Rutgers Law Review).

Basically we need to be put in touch with English-speaking working divorce litigators in other parts of the globe. Thanks in advance for any help.

Pirate Bay co-founder convicted in Denmark’s “largest hacking case” ever [Ars Technica]

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg (center) could be barred from entering Denmark at his sentencing hearing on Friday.

One of the co-founders of the notorious Pirate Bay website was convicted (Google Translate) Thursday in a major hacking case in Denmark, and could face up to six years in prison.

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, better known by his nom de hacker "anakata," was found guilty of "hacking and gross damage" after being accused of illegally accessing the country’s driver’s license database (Google Translate), social security database, the shared IT system across the Schengen zone, and the e-mail accounts and passwords of 10,000 police officers and tax officials. All of that data was managed by CSC, a large American IT contractor.

Under Danish law, even after conviction, the defendants are only officially known by anonymous monikers: Svartholm Warg was dubbed "T1," while his still-unnamed 21-year-old Danish co-defendant was named "T2."

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google ordered to pay a woman $2,250 for Street View image showing cleavage [Ars Technica]

Earlier this month, a Quebecois court in Montreal decided that Google owed a woman $2,250 for picturing her with “part of her breast exposed” in a Street View image. The woman was sitting in front of her house, and although her face was blurred out, she was still identifiable by her coworkers, especially as her car was parked in the driveway without the license plate blurred out.

As GigaOm writes, “Maria Pia Grillo suffered shock and embarrassment when she looked up her house using Google Maps’ Street View feature in 2009 and discovered an image that shows her leaning forward and exposing cleavage.” Grillo complained to Canadian authorites and Google, but when she had no response from Google after several weeks, she wrote a letter to the company saying:

I have informed myself as to my rights concerning this situation through the office of the privacy commissionars of Canada. Under the law my lisence plate should not appear. Moreover, from a safety and security standpoint, the information shown constitutes a total violation. This puts me, my house, my vehicule and my family members that I live with at the mercy of potential predators. I feel very vulnerable knowing that the information is available to anyone with internet access. The damage has been done.

Google never responded—it later told the court that it never received the letter and could not find it in a search. Grillo filed a complaint in 2011 asking Google to blur out more of the image, including most of her body and her license plate. She also asked that Google pay her CAD $45,000 for the depression she suffered when her coworkers “at a well-known bank” found the image and mocked her for it. According to Canadian tabloid Journal de Montreal, Grillo eventually quit her job.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The Floating Cards Home Screen [Lifehacker]

The Floating Cards Home Screen

If old-timey cartoons taught us anything, it's that monochrome color palettes go pretty well with a dash of red. My Color Screen user JRS takes this approach with today's home screen design.

Read more...








Save Face When You're Angry with a "Discomfort Caveat" [Lifehacker]

Save Face When You're Angry with a

Anger has a way of getting the best of us. Most of the time, it's better to walk away and take a few minutes to cool off, but you may not always have the time or space to do so. A "discomfort caveat" can inform the other party that you're not thinking as clearly as you'd like to and help keep the conversation under control.

Read more...








ZIP Lookup Provides Cultural Information for Different ZIP Codes [Lifehacker]

ZIP Lookup Provides Cultural Information for Different ZIP Codes

If you're planning to make a move to a new area or city soon, it might be a good idea to know what the area is like. ZIP Lookup gives you detailed descriptions of the types of people and cultural lifestyles you'll find within each ZIP code.

Read more...








Convicted mayor wants 'final rodeo' [CNN.com - Top Stories]

Tuesday's election in the littlest of states is causing the biggest of stirs.

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