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Brazil does away with laws to protect large swathes of rainforest

Posted on May 27th, 2011 at 23:17 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Brazil’s powerful agricultural sector has scored a major victory, with the approval by the lower house of Congress of a reform that would open up some protected forests to cropland and ranchers.


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Comments:

  1. Well, that’s not going to help climate change. We are a stupid species. I guess that expecting elites to behave better than other people is silly as well.

HTC Pays Microsoft $5 Per Android Phone, Says Citi

Posted on May 27th, 2011 at 23:08 by John Sinteur in category: Google, Microsoft

[Quote]:

Microsoft gets $5 for every HTC phone running Android, according to Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, who released a big report on Microsoft this morning.

Microsoft is getting that money thanks to a patent settlement with HTC over intellectual property infringement.

Microsoft is suing other Android phone makers, and it’s looking for $7.50 to $12.50 per device, says Pritchard.


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Saudis often warned U.S. about oil speculators, cables show

Posted on May 27th, 2011 at 23:05 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons

[Quote]:

When oil prices hit a record $147 a barrel in July 2008, the Bush administration leaned on Saudi Arabia to pump more crude in hopes that a flood of new crude would drive the price down. The Saudis complied, but not before warning that oil already was plentiful and that Wall Street speculation, not a shortage of oil, was driving up prices.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi even told U.S. Ambassador Ford Fraker that the kingdom would have difficulty finding customers for the additional crude, according to an account laid out in a confidential State Department cable dated Sept. 28, 2008.

"Saudi Arabia can’t just put crude out on the market," the cable quotes al-Naimi as saying. Instead, al-Naimi suggested, "speculators bore significant responsibility for the sharp increase in oil prices in the last few years," according to the cable.

[..]

According to the cable, al-Moneef said Saudi Arabia suspected that “speculation represented approximately $40 of the overall oil price when it was at its height.”


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Boffins tail bees with tiny radio tags

Posted on May 27th, 2011 at 22:43 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Bees with radio tags glued onto their backs have been busily demonstrating just how long it takes them to get home, and how much easier it is to travel west.


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The 18 Senators Who Approve Breaking The Internet To Protect Hollywoo

Posted on May 27th, 2011 at 15:21 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

Last fall, we noted that the Senate Judiciary Committee had unanimously voted to approve COICA, a bill for censoring the internet as a favor to the entertainment industry. Thankfully, Senator Ron Wyden stepped up and blocked COICA from progressing. This year, COICA has been replaced by the PROTECT IP Act, which fixes some of the problems of COICA, but introduces significant other problems as well. A wide cross section of people who actually understandtechnology and innovation have come out against PROTECT IP as written — including librarians, human rights groups, public interest groups (pdf) and various technology groups (pdf), including CEA, CCIA and NetCoalition. Most significantly, a group of internet/DNS specialists have made a strong case that this would break the internet in significant ways:

  • The U.S. Government and private industry have identified Internet security and stability as a key part of a wider cyber security strategy, and if implemented, the DNS related provisions of PROTECT IP would weaken this important commitment. DNS filters would be evaded easily, and would likely prove ineffective at reducing online infringement. Further, widespread circumvention would threaten the security and stability of the global DNS.
  • The DNS provisions would undermine the universality of domain names, which has been one of the key enablers of the innovation, economic growth, and improvements in communications and information access unleashed by the global Internet.
  • Migration away from ISP-provided DNS servers would harm efforts that rely on DNS data to detect and mitigate security threats and improve network performance.
  • Dependencies within the DNS would pose significant risk of collateral damage, with filtering of one domain potentially affecting users’ ability to reach non-infringing Internet content.
  • The site redirection envisioned in Section 3(d)(II)(A)(ii) is inconsistent with security extensions to the DNS that are known as DNSSEC.
  • The U.S. Government and private industry have identified DNSSEC as a key part of a wider cyber security strategy, and many private, military, and governmental networks have invested in DNSSEC technologies.
  • If implemented, this section of the PROTECT IP Act would weaken this important effort to improve Internet security. It would enshrine and institutionalize the very network manipulation that DNSSEC must fight in order to prevent cyberattacks and other malevolent behavior on the global Internet, thereby exposing networks and users to increased security and privacy risks.

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House Passes Authority for Worldwide War

Posted on May 27th, 2011 at 15:19 by Paul Jay in category: News

[Quote]:

The House just passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including a provision to authorize worldwide war, which has no expiration date and will allow this president — and any future president — to go to war anywhere in the world, at any time, without further congressional authorization. The new authorization wouldn’t even require the president to show any threat to the national security of the United States. The American military could become the world’s cop, and could be sent into harm’s way almost anywhere and everywhere around the globe.


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Comments:

  1. If we had a good Supreme Court they’d toss it as unconstitutional. There are exact procedures set forth in the Constitution for declaring war. Of course, several of the last wars have all been done without following protocol using loopholes and dissembling. If correct, the Wikipedia page on the subject is unsettling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_war_by_the_United_States

    In any case, with our present Court, I have serious doubts as to whether they’d do the right thing. After all, the Right is all about Strict Constructionism except when it’s contrary to their agenda (e.g., “when the Constitution said you’re protected against unreasonable search and seizure, it means you’re protected except when the police have some vague impression you might possibly be doing something that could be construed as destroying evidence.”)