A Philadelphia Inquirer article, when rendered for their website, has an interesting artifact of (I suspect) a simple-minded automatic URL recognition algorithm. Is it okay to assume that three consecutive w’s won’t occur in English, and need not be lexically distinct to start a URL?
Perfect picture reply when someone comes running with a piece of toast with an image of the “virgin” Mary.
The embargo has been lifted on the newest research on growing internet infrastructure insecurity. Using an army of Playstations, researchers have managed to forge a RapidSSL (owned by Verisign) CA certificate in a couple hours due to known flaws in MD5.
A few days ago, a friend of mine called me to ask if I had any idea how to figure out which banks would be the next to fail. Some extensive googling revealed that while lists of troubled banks obviously exist, none of them seem to be readily available to the public. Why? Because the bankers do not want you to have this. Just watch the president of the American Bankers Association in this interview talk about how important it is to keep this private.
This is a list of all of the banks in the United States and the corresponding Texas Ratio for each one. Developed by Gerard Cassidy, the Texas ratio is a measure of a bank’s credit troubles. Basically, the higher the ratio, the worse the situation is for that particular bank. Banks with a ratio of 100 and higher are in very serious danger of collapse, and banks with a ratio of 50 or higher are vulnerable.
This is the formula I used:
100 * ((Non-performing Assets – U.S guaranteed loans) + Other REO) / (Equity + Loss Reserves)
Mind you, I had packed the stuff safely. It was in three separate jars: one of charcoal, one of sulphur, and one of saltpetre (potassium nitrate). Each jar was labeled: Charcoal, Sulphur, Saltpetre. I had also thoroughly wet down each powder with tap water. No ignition was possible. As a good citizen, I had packed the resulting pastes into a quart-sized “3-1-1″ plastic bag, along with my shampoo and hand cream. This bag I took out of my messenger bag and put on top of my bin of belongings, turned so that the labels were easy for the TSA inspector to read.
The departing head of ABN Amro Nederland, Jan Peter Schmittmann, is leaving his post with an 8 million euro golden handshake.
A judge ruled on Monday that Schmittmann was entitled to a bigger pay-out than the 2.4 million euros which ABN Amro wanted to pay. In his contract, the golden handshake totalled 16 million euros, but the former CEO had already agreed to halve that amount.
The 8 million euro pay-out is notable because the bank has been nationalised since October. It was bought by the state as part of its rescue of financial services group Fortis which was on the point of collapse.
Where is the government’s bank-bailout money going? In part to pay for Wall Street banker Peter Kraus‘s $37 million Park Avenue spread.
Kraus had excellent timing. He signed on as a top executive at Merrill Lynch in May, negotiating a $50 million pay package, with much of that guaranteed if the company was sold. He didn’t officially start until September. A couple of days later, Merrill CEO John Thain sold the company to Bank of America for $50 billion, triggering a $25 million payout under Kraus’s contract.
Bank of America got a $25 billion capital injection from the government. Kraus resigned and collected his cash, taking a job as CEO of AllianceBernstein, a money-management firm. And then he bought, for an estimated $37 million, an apartment at 720 Park Avenue from Democratic fundraisers Carl Spielvogel and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel.
It is an Israeli Shock and Awe (and you remember how that turned out). Ehud Barak has prepared a veritable 12 course feast of blood, gore, and mayhem for Gaza. It is Barak’s ultimate political play for the coming elections. If he wins, then he helps Labor maintain its ever-fainter role in Israeli national politics. If he fails, then he and Labor sink together.
The Israeli government had seemed to be preparing Israelis for a tactical short-term operation meant to punish Hamas for recent rocket barrages against southern Israel. But Operation Solid Lead seems anything but that. It may fall short of the full-scale invasion and reoccupation of Gaza which some had feared, but it won’t fall short by much:
Ehud Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Sky News on Saturday that he would not rule out widening the offensive in the Gaza Strip to include a ground invasion.
“There is a time for calm and a time for fighting, and now the time has come to fight,” he said.
…Asked whether Israel would follow up the air strikes with a ground offensive, Barak said, “If boots on the ground will be needed, they will be there.”
“Our intention is to totally change the rules of the game,” he said.
How many times have we heard this delusional thinking before? Lebanon 1982, Lebanon 2006, countless Gaza operations, and on and on. And how many times has the IDF changed the rules of the game? Not once. It has never eradicated opposition whether in Gaza or Lebanon, and it never will by military means. In fact, as George Bush discovered in Iraq, instead of eliminating a terrorist threat, by taking the fight to the “enemy” (whether Iraqi or Gazan) you actually create enemies you never had before.