Het kabinet vindt unaniem dat de burgers volgend jaar niet gecompenseerd hoeven te worden voor de gestegen energiekosten, omdat de koopkracht voor iedereen beter blijkt uit te vallen dan eerder gedacht.
Minister Zalm van Financiën heeft dat vrijdag gezegd na de ministerraad. Donderdag werden premier Balkenende en de meest betrokken ministers het hierover al eens.
The spyware wars are over – and spyware has won.
As P.J. O’Rourke would say, “What the fuck, huh?! I mean, what the fucking fuck?!”
I don’t know what the fuck Wired is smoking these days.
Nevertheless, the article nicely demonstrates you cannot trust commercial anti-spyware software. And that advertisers are still the scum of the earth.
A federal judge says the name “Sambuck’s” above a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop is too similar to Starbucks Corp. — the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world — and must be changed.
Owner Sam Buck named the store after herself. She opened it in 2000, before Astoria had a Starbucks. She got a cease-and-desist letter from the Seattle-based company in March of 2002.
Buck said Thursday that she had few details of a ruling Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Ancer Haggerty of Portland. She faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawyers’ fees.
“The judge said I willfully infringed on (Starbucks’) trademark, that I diluted their trademark,” she said.
Hello my name is Simon. I write and sing my songs with the band Steadman.
If you’ve come to this page you’re possibly thinking about contributing to Steadman. I want to begin by saying “Thank you!”
I want to tell you why we’re giving away our entire catalogue up to this point. Please don’t read this and think I’m a bitter artist whining about getting dropped. I’m merely passing on what I’ve learnt and giving you an artists insight into the workings of the music industry. I have had SO many wonderful experiences, I’ve traveled the world and I’ve met and worked with some amazing and good people. I regret nothing. Honest.
When a music fan finds a band they like, they will normally want to support that band. If the band continuously makes the effort to connect with their fan base, the fans loyalty will grow and they will likely be a listener for life as long as the quality of the songs remains the same. The listener who couldn’t care less about you or your band is going to find a free and easy way to get your music whatever silly laws and rules are out there to try and scare them.
It is perceived that it’s the musicians are suffering from illegal downloading and trading etc but other than Lars Ulrich in 1997 do you see many other musicians, particularly the new acts kicking up a fuss? Their music is being heard and enjoyed by people and in the beginning of a career that’s the most you could ask for. It’s interesting that the labels are the ones most afraid and most pro-active to stop illegal downloading. They’re not protecting the artists they’re protecting their investment. It’s the labels that are losing money. The artist wasn’t getting any to begin with.
The most provocative document is a 2001 article [PDF] in which an agency historian argued that the agency’s intelligence officers “deliberately skewed” the evidence passed on to policymakers on the crucial question of whether North Vietnamese ships attacked U.S. destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964. Based on the mistaken belief that such an attack had occurred, President Lyndon Johnson ordered air strikes on North Vietnam, and Congress passed a broad resolution authorizing military action.
It is interesting to note that LBJ died depressed and alone in his Texas ranch, his reputation destroyed and his name stained forever — he spent his (very few) twilight years surrounded by all those ghosts, bitterly cursing “that bitch of a war”
While the United States spends billions on troop support in Iraq, the people serving the meals, scooping the ice cream, and washing the dishes make as little as 50 cents an hour.
The U.S. military has paid Halliburton subsidiary KBR about $12 billion so far for so-called logistics support to U.S. military personnel in Iraq, the largest contract of its kind ever. Around 80,000 troops are served meals at dining facilities every day under the contract — the other 60,000 or so fend for themselves in field kitchens or by eating military issue “Meals Ready to Eat.”
KBR in turn hires that work out entirely to subcontractors whose job it is to recruit, transport, house, feed and pay “third-country” nationals to stock, prepare, serve and clean up at the dining facilities at 43 bases across Iraq.
Those workers are recruited from countries with already low wages, where jobs are scarce. And as pressure to keep the logistics contract cost down has increased, subcontractors have moved from country to country in search of cheaper labor markets.
That is what brought around 770 workers from Sierra Leone, Africa, to Iraq in July to work for ESS Support Services Worldwide, A British-based food service company specializing, according to its Web site, in “remote site, defense and off-shore locations.”
Most of the workers are deemed unskilled and work seven days a week for 12 hours a day, according to their contracts, one of which was obtained by United Press International. In practice, workers said in interviews, most only work six days a week.
There is no provision for sick leave. Any employee who threatens a strike or attempts to organize is subject to immediate dismissal and the employee required to pay for his return plane ticket.
For this they are paid $150 a month, roughly 45 cents an hour.
“What we don’t do is pay them less than what they earn in their own country,” Kelly said. “We take employee welfare very seriously.”
Sierra Leone is an extremely poor country, with a market-based economy and a per capita income of less than $100 per year. For the last decade a violent insurgency has destroyed the local economy. The government approved a minimum wage of about $4 a week for a 40-hour work week, according to the State Department’s 2004 human rights report.
Kelly added that even mid-level government officials in the country earn only about $40 a month, although that would be a for a 40 hour week.
Apple is planning to unveil a robust new content distribution system in January at Macworld Expo alongside its revamped media-savvy Mac mini, Think Secret has learned. The new content system and related media deals, which will include feature-length content, expanded televisions offerings, and more, will further cement Apple’s increasing lead in digital media delivery.
“I think there is clearly a need for someone to facilitate the digital distribution of content. When I’m looking at the TV and home entertainment sector it’s very clear that all of this content is available illegally and too easily,” Richard Greenfield, an independent media analyst told Think Secret. “There needs to be legal high quality ways to access content online, especially as your making more and more methods of transporting content around.”
An eccentric billionaire wanted a mural painted on his library wall. He called in an artist. Describing what he wanted, the billionaire said, “I am a history buff, and I would like your interpretation of the last thing that went through Custer’s mind before he died. I am going out of town on business for a week, and when I return, I expect it to be completed.”
Upon his return, the billionaire went to the library to examine the new mural. To his surprise, what he found was a painting of a cow with a halo, surrounded by hundreds of Indians in various stages and positions of making love. Furious, he called the artist in.
“What the hell is this?” screamed the billionaire. “Why, that’s exactly what you asked for.” said the artist smugly. “No. I didn’t ask for pornographic filth! What I asked for was your interpretation of the last thing that went through Custer’s mind!” And there you have it,” said the artist. “I call it ‘Holy Cow! Look at all those fucking Indians!’”
(From the UK Guardian)
“California Congressman Duke Cunningham resigned from office after admitting he broke the law by taking $2.4 million dollars in bribes. It’s kind of ironic. The only time you can be really be sure that a politician is telling the truth is when he’s admitting that he’s a crook.”
In the last two years, the RIAA has filed 14,800 lawsuits against individuals for illegally downloading and distributing copyrighted music on the Internet.
While the RIAA holds that most suits settle, attorneys note that many defendants have started fighting back.
In New York, a single mother of five has hired a lawyer to fight her copyright infringement suit, claiming a kid’s friend may have downloaded copyrighted material without her knowledge.
In Seattle, another parent is challenging the RIAA, adamantly denying any illegal downloading. In Oregon, a defendant with an 8-year-old daughter is fighting claims that she downloaded “gangster rap” music at 4:30 a.m.
And in Michigan, three other RIAA lawsuits are facing opposition, including a case against a 14-year-old girl, and another action against the owners of a daycare center. “The cases are just starting to trickle through the court system and as a result we’re starting to see objections,” said Hermann, a solo in Berkley, Mich., who is handling the Michigan lawsuits.
Hermann and other defense attorneys allege that the RIAA is using “scare tactics” to force settlements, intimidating defendants into paying up before they can seek legal help, or dispute the charges. So far, about 3,400 of the RIAA suits have reached settlement.
But RIAA officials deny using any strong-armed tactics, saying they give defendants every chance to settle rather than litigate.
And as for those who claim they didn’t download any music, the RIAA says that if defendants got a letter in the mail saying they or someone in their house illegally downloaded music, chances are it is true.
“The chances of it not being the right person or someone in that household are slim,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, senior vice president for legal affairs at the RIAA. “Let’s face it, what we’re doing is on the right side here. What these users are doing is violating the copyright laws.”
Gotta love the logic on that one.
“It was probably you because, let’s face it, copyright infringement is illegal!”
Zo, jongeman, is dat een Breezah? Boete! Hé, je hebt geen identiteitsbewijs bij je? Boete! Oh, wat zeg je nou? Ik een nazi? Boete! En nu hup, naar huis. Ho, stop maar weer, je achterlicht doet het niet. Boete! Jullie staan hier trouwens met zijn vieren, dat is samenscholing. Boete! En wat doen jullie daar zo dicht bij de vensterbank? Boehoetuh!
The Obelisk of Buenos Aires is covered with a giant condom to commemorate World AIDS Day December 1, 2005. According to a report issued by ONUSIDA (UN AIDS), the number of people infected with the HIV virus in Latin America had risen over the last year from 1.6 to 1.8 million. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Af en toe is het lezen van het nieuws erg gemakkelijk. Neem nu bijvoorbeeld deze headline:
De nieuwste cijfers van het Centraal Planbureau (CPB) laten zien dat volgend jaar de koopkracht voor alle groepen in de samenleving verbetert.
Dan krabbel je je even achter de oren. Hoe komen ze daar nou weer bij? En dan lees je de tweede regel…
Het kabinet besluit aan de hand van de berekeningen of er een extra maatregel moet komen om de koopkracht voor volgend jaar op te krikken.
Aha! Ze willen gewoon geen extra geld uitgeven!
Maar hoe manupileer je nu de cijfers zodanig in je voordeel dat je dat kan roepen? Wel, dat wordt ook al snel duidelijk:
De Tweede Kamer had daarop aangedrongen in een motie van CDA-fractievoorzitter Verhagen. Hij vreesde in september dat de hoge energieprijzen de koopkracht volgend jaar zouden aantasten.
Het kabinet wil een eventuele maatregel niet alleen laten afhangen van de hoge olieprijzen, maar van het totale koopkrachtbeeld.
Het CPB stelt nu dat de olieprijs volgend jaar niet uitkomt op 50 dollar, maar op 55 dollar. Toen Verhagen zijn motie indiende was de actuele prijs 65 dollar.
Ik ben toch zo benieuwd hoe de berekening zou uitpakken met een prijs van 65 dollar… maar ik vermoed dat ik het antwoord eigenlijk wel weet…