look, PCs are better than Macs. That is not something that can be debated.
Another company is giving up on the idea that American Internet providers should be able to watch where their customers surf and sell that information to advertisers. This time it is Adzilla, a start-up in Brisbane, Calif., that is closing its North American operations. Its chief executive, Toby Gabriner, has resigned.
Mr. Gabriner insisted that the company had developed ways to respect the privacy of the people from whom it gathered information. But the series of Congressional hearings on the topic created too much pressure for the Internet providers who might adopt the company’s system.
“The threat of legislation got them all freaked out,” Mr. Gabriner said, noting that Internet providers didn’t want to do anything that might encourage Congress to revive legislating network neutrality. “They said, ‘We can only battle on so many fronts, and we don’t want to have a massive consumer backlash on privacy.’”
For a few months, Adzilla considered whether it could adopt an approach in which customers explicitly agreed to have their surfing monitored. But it couldn’t find some goodie to offer users that it felt would attract enough people to be worth the bother.
“Without massive consumer value proposition, I think this fails,” he said. “I don’t think consumers want to opt in simply to get better ads.”
No shit, sherlock!
McCain’s tracking numbers against the S&P 500 over the past two weeks, with a two-day lag to let the market results filter through Gallup’s rolling average:
McCain’s floor hovers around forty percent, accounting for the divergence at the end, but regardless, the correlation between the two data sets is a robust 0.77.
As Pollster’s Steve Lombardo says, “The economic situation has virtually ended John McCain’s presidential aspirations and no amount of tactical maneuvering in the final 29 days is likely to change that equation.”
It may sound spooky, but a national Halloween costume retailer says it can predict the outcome of the presidential election based on the number of candidate masks it sells.
Spirit Halloween said it has picked the winner in the past three presidential elections days before the general election results were in, WCVB-TV in Boston reported.
The Spirit Halloween Presidential Index measures sales of the masks, and in 2004, sales were 65 percent to 35 percent for George W. Bush over John Kerry.
In 2000, more revelers purchased Bush masks, with Bush sales at 57 percent to 43 percent for Al Gore.
In 1996, Bill Clinton masks were snapped up 71 percent to Bob Dole’s 29 percent.
What’s the forecast this year? Spirit says that so far, the mask factor is looking good for Sen. Barack Obama. After the first month of Halloween sales this year (Aug. 30 to Oct. 3), Obama was leading sales 67 percent to Sen. John McCain’s 33 percent.
Gezinnen beginnen thuis bankbiljetten te bewaren, omdat ze hun bank niet meer vertrouwen. Dat blijkt uit cijfers van de Europese Centrale Bank (ECB). De escalatie van de bankencrisis heeft het vertrouwen van de gezinnen in hun bank geschokt. Verscheidene regeringen moesten banken ondersteunen om een bankroet te voorkomen. In de eurozone steeg de biljettenomloop vorige week met 11,5 miljard tot 693,2 miljard euro.
John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as “not one of us,” I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.
At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, “Kill him!” At one of your rallies, someone called out, “Terrorist!” Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee – an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.
The above is written by Frank Schaeffer, who campaigned for McCain in 2000.
I offer up the following words to describe people based on their beliefs. M, I would be most curious which of these labels describe you…
Paschalepist — one who believes that on the Sunday following the full moon closest in time to the vernal equinox, a fluffy white mountain hare (of the species lepus timidus) hides chocolate eggs.
Apaschalepist — a person who does not believe that the Easter Bunny is real.
Vampirist — one who believes that pale, fanged immortals stalk the night, sometimes in the form of bats.
Avampirist — a person who thinks that un-dead, bloodthirsty demons are mythical.
Pastafarian — one who believes that the universe has been created and tended by the great Flying Spaghetti Monster, blessed be His name.
Antipasta – a person who doesn’t believe that the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists.
So are you indeed an apaschalepist, avampirist, or antipasta? If so, how can you be so sure of yourself? How can you be so dogmatic? Wouldn’t it be more polite to just profess agnosticism about the Easter Bunny?
Now how would you feel if people derided you for being one of those arrogant militant avampirists? You’d probably think, “Huh? I don’t think I’m arrogant. I know I’m not militant. And I’m certainly not trying to distinguish myself as an avampirist. I just don’t buy supernatural fairy tales, and frankly I’m surprised that avampirist is even a word.”
M, welcome to my world.
The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study.
It puts the annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion.
The figure comes from adding the value of the various services that forests perform, such as providing clean water and absorbing carbon dioxide.
The study, headed by a Deutsche Bank economist, parallels the Stern Review into the economics of climate change.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s last name is spelled “Osama” on some 300 absentee ballots mailed out this week to voters in Rensselaer County hilltowns.
Is it a Freudian slip, intentional gaffe or a mistake? Voters are sure to have opinions, and one politician pointed out that the letters “s” and “b” are not exactly keyboard neighbors.
“I don’t wish to spread alarm on the line people but the big issue confronting the market is I’m afraid the health and sustainability of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs,” Hugh Hendry, Partner and CIO at Eclectica, told CNBC early Friday. “It is unimaginable that they can be allowed to go, I suspect that they will be nationalized at some point today or over the weekend,” he add.
A study published in the Lancet shows that between 1995 and 2003, the global rate of induced abortions fell from 35 per 1,000 women each year to 29. This period coincides with the rise of the “globalised secular culture” the Pope laments. When the figures are broken down, it becomes clear that, apart from the former Soviet Union, abortion is highest in conservative and religious societies. In largely secular western Europe, the average rate is 12 abortions per 1,000 women. In the more religious southern European countries, the average rate is 18. In the US, where church attendance is still higher, there are 23 abortions for every 1,000 women, the highest level in the rich world. In central and South America, where the Catholic church holds greatest sway, the rates are 25 and 33 respectively. In the very conservative societies of east Africa, it’s 39. One abnormal outlier is the UK: our rate is six points higher than that of our western European neighbours.
I am not suggesting a sole causal relationship: the figures also reflect changing demographies. But it’s clear that religious conviction does little to reduce abortion and plenty to increase it. The highest rates of all – 44 per 1,000 – occur in the former Soviet Union: under communism, contraceptives were almost impossible to obtain. But, thanks to better access to contraception, this is also where the decline is fastest: in 1995 the rate was twice as high. There has been a small rise in abortion in western Europe, attributed by the Guttmacher Institute in the US to “immigration of people with low levels of contraceptive awareness”. The explanation, in other words, is consistent: more contraception means less abortion.
It’s not secularism, secular ethics, or atheism which causes increases in abortion rates; instead, it’s the heavy hand of puritanical, patriarchal religion in a society where women are gaining power, equality, and wealth. Regardless of how religious a society is or what the religion is, increasing affluence and increasing female equality leads to desires for lower families. What male religious leaders can’t seem to understand is that women don’t want to spend all their days pregnant, nursing, and/or caring for children. Women actually want careers, autonomous lives, luxuries, and free time — you know, those things which so many men take for granted already.
Patriarchal religion resists the drive towards female autonomy — women must not be allowed to live lives not devoted to being baby factories — and so opposes sex education, contraception, or the right to control one’s reproductive health. This leads to more unwanted pregnancies and, naturally also an increased demand for abortions. Religious and political leaders who merely want to reduce abortion rates should jump at the chance to follow the lead of the Netherlands, where abortion rates are lowest in the world.
The fact that religious and political leaders not only don’t want to emmulate the Netherlands, but in fact condemn what is done in that country and then proceed to recommend those policies which demonstrably increase abortion rates, proves that something more is going on. That “something more” is the desire to control sexuality, especially female sexuality, and women generally. What patriarchal religious leaders are unable to understand, though, is that women will find a way to end unwanted pregnancies.
Advert: free OUT-LAW Breakfast Seminars – 1. Making your contract work: pitfalls and best practices; 2. Transferring data: the information security issuesResearchers Aleecia McDonald and Lorrie Faith Cranor of Carnegie Mellon University looked at online privacy policies and how long it would take to read them. While one policy they looked at was just 144 words long, they found one policy on a popular site that ran to 7,669 words, around 15 pages of text.
What a hughes asshole – you don’t read the policy to see what the organization promises to do, you read them to see what the organization doesn’t promise to do, like keep your data secret.
I went to a supermarket this morning.
I didn’t need to license the right to walk around and view the “product label prices” content, nor did I need to agree not to sue them for being out of Pepsi.
Why can’t visiting a web site on-line be that simple?
Following the problems in the financial markets around the US and Europe, uncertainty has now hit Japan.
In the last seven days Origami Bank has folded. Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.
Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today, shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.
While Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.
Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.
For you Obama supporters out there: Don’t stop now. Keep donating, keep volunteering, keep making arrangements to volunteer those last few days of the campaign. Keep talking to your friends and family members and informing them of what is going on. Don’t think it’s going to be a victory – Make it a victory.
Awarded jury price at the Dutch Film Festival
Sarah Palin unlawfully abused her power as governor by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, the chief investigator of an Alaska legislative panel concluded Friday. The politically charged inquiry imperiled her reputation as a reformer on John McCain’s Republican ticket.
The report was made public the same day an Anchorage judge issued a temporary restraining order forcing the state of Alaska to preserve any government-related e-mails that Palin and top aides sent from private accounts in what critics contend was an effort to conceal that they were doing political business while working at state government jobs.
Hundreds of card swipers used by retail stores across Europe are believed to have been tampered by organized crime syndicates in China and Pakistan, according to US National Counterintelligence Executive Joel Brenner.
Brenner told The Daily Telegraph that criminals have doctored chip and PIN machines either during manufacturing in China or shortly after leaving the production line in order to send shopper credit card account details overseas. The devices were then expertly resealed and exported to Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium.
“Previously only a nation state’s intelligence service would have been capable of pulling off this type of operation,” Brenner told the publication. “It’s scary.”
“We are very happy that America’s economy is in jeopardy and they are paying the price for their misdeeds. God is punishing them.”
That is the verdict from Ayatollah Jannati, one of the most senior clerics in Iran.
President Ahmadinejad has pronounced on the collapse of global capitalism, and announced that Iranians should stand ready to manage the world.
If there is a Persian word for “schadenfreude”, this is it.
Don’t worry, they’re just being stupid:
This is the only economy in the world – indeed possibly in world history – in which you can borrow money from the bank and then receive a higher rate of interest by depositing it in the same bank.
Mr Ahmadinejad, who says he is proud of his ignorance of economics, also seems to believe the laws of supply and demand do not apply to the Islamic republic.
He insists the excess amounts of cash in the economy, excess liquidity, is in no way to blame for the spiralling rate of inflation – 25% and counting.
According to the consulting firm Innovest StrategicValue Advisors, banks will charge off nearly $96 billion in delinquent credit card debit in 2009, nearly twice the amount charged off in 2008. Many customers who very recently had access to home equity lines of credit, business lines of credit, or unsecured bank loans are now seeing these sources dry up due to the credit crunch. As a result, they are leaning on the option of last resort: credit cards. Credit card issuers are falling all over themselves trying to get ahead of the problem.
In a worst case scenario, a good customer (as in, a customer who pays on time and has been doing so for years) could see his or her credit limit arbitrarily lowered and then exceeded before even realizing that had happened. Sometimes, just the interest accruing on a large balance will exceed a lowered credit limit before a customer has any time to do anything about it. Once the limit is exceeded, the credit card issuer can and will hike the interest to 32%, charge over-limit fees, and push the customer even closer to default.
Why would credit card companies do this?
Because credit card companies can’t just close an open line and demand payment in full; what they are doing instead is encouraging customers to transfer their large balances elsewhere. Look for balance transfer fees to jump dramatically as well in coming months (or weeks) as banks and other financial firms look to discourage these balances from hopping aboard their own sinking ships.