I think we’ve got a winner for the coolest business card ever.
When Professor and media researcher Roger Wallis left the stand yesterday, the court asked whether he wanted to be reimbursed for his appearance. “You are welcome to send some flowers to my wife,” he responded. In the hours that followed, many Pirate Bay supporters took this suggestion to hand.
Jim the Realtor makes sardonic videos documenting his work . . .
According to a new Harvard Business School study, eight of the top ten states in terms of online porn consumption were ones where McCain won in the presidential election.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), fighting continues among various rebel armies, tribes, the Congolese army and U.N. forces. The dire situation has prompted the government of DR Congo to ask for help, and invite the armies of neighboring South Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda to enter their territory on several joint operations, to hunt down and pacify or dismantle at least two major rebel armies operating in the lawless border region. Rebel leader Laurent Nkunda was captured in January by Rwandan forces, but his army is still active – and Ugandan troops are seeking out the rebel Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army, which has taken refuge in eastern DR Congo. Once more, caught in all of this are the local civilians, terrorized by fleeing and advancing troops of all kinds. Reuters photographer Finbarr O’Reilly has been traveling through the area, capturing some amazing photographs of the people involved. (38 photos total)
War-orphan Faustin Mugisa, 8, who has machete scars on his head and body, stands at the Kizito orphanage in Bunia in northeastern Congo February 24, 2009. Mugisa was left for dead in a pile of corpses when ethnic Lendu militiamen hacked to death his mother and seven siblings in 2003. Mugisa’s father discovered him alive and took him to the bush to recover, but his father was later hacked to death by the same militia group. (REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly) #
Really, RIM, guys… if your product were any good, you wouldn’t need to compare yourself to your competition.
Oh, and is “nothing can touch it” really the best tag line for a touchscreen device?
How very Microsoft of you.
The U.S. government ratcheted up its effort to save Citigroup Inc., agreeing to a third rescue attempt that will cut existing shareholders’ stake in the company by 74 percent. The shares fell as much as 48 percent.
And no, it’s still not called a nationalization. But, according to the article, there’s more that’s wrong with my vocabulary. For example, I was always thought that the word “dividend” meant “a sum of money paid to shareholders of a corporation out of earnings.” Or perhaps it’s not the word “dividend” I’ve got problems with, but the word “earnings”, because I always thought of that as “profit”. Now check the following two sentences from the article, and explain them to me:
Citigroup also boosted its record 2008 loss 48 percent to $27.7 billion as it took an accounting charge for the value of acquired businesses whose value fell.
Citigroup, which today suspended its dividend of a penny a share…
Harmless, right? Actually it’s not. It turns out that Mozilla Firefox treats window.sun as a magic LiveConnect property. (I tested with Mozilla Firefox 3.0.6 on Windows.) What’s LiveConnect? It was introduced in Netscape 4 to allow plugins to be scripted. Accessing any magic LiveConnect property will start the Java plugin — even if your code has nothing to do with Java. And starting the Java plugin will load a JVM. Oh, and did I mention that all of this will happen synchronously? As in, Firefox will stop loading your page and wait for the JVM to start up. And all you did was access window.sun.
“But, but, but…” I hear you sputter. “I’m not accessing the window.sun property!” Ah, but you are. Declaring a global function is like assigning a property to the window object. (The property’s value is the function itself.) In order to assign that property, Firefox first looks up the slot before reassigning it, and that lookup… launches a JVM. Synchronously.
Laughter filled The Pirate Bay trial here Wednesday when John Kennedy, the chief executive of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries, testified that people would have purchased every music track they got free file sharing.
Kennedy answered an affirmative “Yes” to Pirate Bay defense attorneys when asked whether that was true. Bursting laughter could be heard from the audio room beside the courtroom where the trial’s sound was being broadcast.
For those of you keeping score at home, add another major policy shift by the Obama administration to the tally. Breaking with precedent set under former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the Department of Justice will not raid medical marijuana dispensaries allowed under certain state laws.
President Obama had promised this during the campaign, but a recent raid — conducted before new officials were in place — led some to question whether that promise would be kept. On Wednesday, Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim reports, Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that it would be.
An Israeli doctor says “Medicine in my country is so advanced that we can take a kidney out of one man, put it in another, and have him looking for work in six weeks.”
A German doctor says “That is nothing; we can take a lung out of one person, put it in another, and have him looking for work in four weeks.
A Russian doctor says “In my country, medicine is so advanced that we can take half a heart out of one person, put it in another, and have them both looking for work in two weeks.”
The Texas doctor, not to be outdone, says “You guys are way behind, we took a man with no brains out of Texas, put him in the White House for eight years, and now half the WORLD is looking for work.”
“Oh my god,” Cindi Leive, the editor of Glamour magazine, exclaimed while watching the address, she said via email. “The First Lady has bare arms in Congress, in February, at night!”
(title shamelessly borrowed from here)
Just when you thought this ‘Octomom’ thing couldn’t get any more f**ked up, this happens: Vivid Entertainment, one of the largest porn distributors in the world, has now offered Nadya Suleman, aka ‘Octomom’, $1 million to star in an adult movie.
The Government’s plan to introduce mandatory internet censorship has effectively been scuttled, following an independent senator’s decision to join the Greens and Opposition in blocking any legislation required to get the scheme started.
The Opposition’s communications spokesman Nick Minchin has this week obtained independent legal advice saying that if the Government is to pursue a mandatory filtering regime “legislation of some sort will almost certainly be required”.
Senator Nick Xenophon previously indicated he may support a filter that blocks online gambling websites but in a phone interview today he withdrew all support, saying “the more evidence that’s come out, the more questions there are on this”.
The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has consistently ignored advice from a host of technical experts saying the filters would slow the internet, block legitimate sites, be easily bypassed and fall short of capturing all of the nasty content available online.
This week Senator Conroy said there was “a very strong case for blocking” other legal content that has been “refused classification”. According to the classification code, this includes sites depicting drug use, crime, sex, cruelty, violence or “revolting and abhorrent phenomena” that “offend against the standards of morality”.
And last month, ACMA added an anti-abortion website to its blacklist because it showed photographs of what appears to be aborted foetuses. The Government has said it was considering expanding the blacklist to 10,000 sites and beyond.
Sen. Dave Schultheis, of Colorado Springs, on Wednesday opposed a bill requiring pregnant women to be tested for HIV so that if they are infected their babies can be treated to prevent the virus’s transfer.
“This stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part, and I just can’t go there,” he said.
“We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior, unacceptable behavior, quite frankly. I’m not convinced that part of the role of government should be to protect individuals from the negative consequences of their actions.”
“What I’m hoping is that yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that. The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years … begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior.”
And this asshat dares to call himself “pro-life”. It isn’t about a baby’s life, or he wouldn’t have said what he just said. It’s all about punishing women who have sex they disapprove of.
The House is on the verge of taking up a mortgage aid proposal that would, for the first time, allow judges to modify the terms of primary mortgages for individuals facing bankruptcy — a reform known as the “cram-down.”
In a letter sent today to every House member, a group of financial lobbying giants urges Congress to reject the cram-downs bill. Lobbyists are especially concerned about language in the bill “provid[ing] that even minor violations of the Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA) could result in a home equity loan or even a mortgage being disallowed in bankruptcy.”
You read that right: K Street is asking Congress to permit lenders to get away with minor violations of the TILA, a 40-year-old law that was passed to protect consumers from banks that hide punitive terms in the fine print of loans.
And how “minor” are we talking about, exactly?
As a white-collar criminologist and former financial regulator much of my research studies what causes financial markets to become profoundly dysfunctional. The FBI has been warning of an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud since September 2004. It also reports that lenders initiated 80% of these frauds.
The lie was so blatant that the banks even pooled loans that were known in the trade as “liar’s loans” and obtained AAA ratings despite FBI warnings that mortgage fraud was “epidemic.” The supposedly most financially sophisticated entities in the world — in the core of their expertise, evaluating credit risk — did not undertake the most basic and essential step to evaluate the most dangerous credit risk. They did not review the loan files. In the short and intermediate-term this optimized their accounting fraud but it was also certain to destroy the corporation if it purchased or retained significant nonprime paper.
Best quote from that article is probably “The FBI correctly identified the epidemic of mortgage control fraud at such an early point that the financial crisis could have been averted had the Bush administration acted with even minimal competence.”
Instead, they re-assigned a huge number of FBI agents to fight “terrrists” instead.
Japan’s exports plunged 45.7 percent in January from a year earlier, resulting in a record trade deficit, as recessions in the U.S. and Europe smothered demand for the country’s cars and electronics.
The shortfall widened to 952.6 billion yen ($9.9 billion), the biggest since 1980, the earliest year for which there is comparable data, the Finance Ministry said today in Tokyo. The drop in shipments abroad eclipsed a record 35 percent decline set the previous month.
Bank of America (BoA) will launch a legal battle to keep secret the details of $3.6billion (£2.5billion) in bonus payments after John Thain, the former chief executive of BoA’s newly acquired Merrill Lynch business, was questioned for a second time by the New York attorney-general’s office.
It is the latest chapter in a tit-for-tat fight between Mr Thain and BoA over the bonuses, which were rushed through by Merrill Lynch in December, weeks before Merrill’s disclosure of a $15.3billion fourth-quarter loss.
Mr Thain, who was ousted from Merrill three weeks after its $50billion takeover by BoA, completed last month, yesterday gave the attorney-general’s investigators information on payments made to individuals in the investment bank.
BoA must now submit legal arguments to the New York State Supreme Court to prevent Andrew Cuomo, the attorney-general, from making public the details of the multimillion-dollar bonuses.
You’ve got to give the Republicans this: they stay on message, regardless of context or logic. Society could be in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and the GOP would be wringing its hands over the government giving out shotguns rather than giving tax cuts to shotgun makers.
Somebody had a camera-phone and used it shortly after the crash. Emergency services haven’t arrived yet, and you can see passengers leaving the aircraft.
And here is early helicopter footage:
I heard a fire chief tell this morning there was about 3000 kg of fuel left in the plane. It looks like all engineering efforts in fire-prevention are paying off. This plane was built in 2002.
Ana Maria Tavarez reacts after being crowned the Tenerife Carnival Queen 2009 during a carnival gala in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife, late February 18, 2009. (REUTERS/Santiago Ferrero) #
(more pictures at the link)