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Pension fund stops payments to dead

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 21:51 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Greece’s biggest pension fund has stopped payments to 1473 pensioners over the age of 90 after finding out they are no longer alive.

The state-run Social Security Fund also says it will sue people who were illegally pocketing such pensions and try to recoup 1.9 million euros ($2.66 million) that has been paid into the accounts of the deceased.

Todayy’s announcement follows a continuing fraud investigation after officials found that some 9000 Greeks aged over 100 are receiving pensions. The latest census, in 2001, listed fewer than 1700 people as aged over 100.

Greek authorities also are probing suspected disability and welfare fraud after noticing suspiciously high numbers of beneficiaries.


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  1. I have no problem with dead people voting or running for office but collecting benefits goes too far. :)

  2. It’s standing behind them in queues that really bothers me…

  3. So state pension funds should be checking up on their pensioners. My dear mother (81 years) is asked annually by her private pension fund to prove her existence by getting a notary to fill in a form. The British public pension does not do this.

I’m sure you can’t

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 21:24 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture


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A social media crackdown is the wrong response to riots

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 21:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

The government is contemplating tactics against the UK riots that set dangerous precedents.

In parliament today, prime minister David Cameron said authorities and the industry were looking at "whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality". Well, at least he did post it as a question of right and wrong.

[..]

Beware, sir. If you take these steps, what separates you from the Saudi government demanding the ability to listen to and restrict its BBM networks? What separates you from Arab tyrannies cutting off social communication via Twitter or from China banning it?


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  1. I agree with Jarvis, for once. The smarter play would have been to not even acknowledge what they know about any criminal planning. Saudi Arabia and China can start counting their days. I seriously doubt Chinese rulers could pull off another Tiananmen Square today.

Nickel and Dimed, 10 years later.

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 21:16 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

"In what has become a familiar pattern, the government defunds services that might help the poor while ramping up law enforcement. Shut down public housing, then make it a crime to be homeless. Generate no public-sector jobs, then penalize people for falling into debt. The experience of the poor, and especially poor people of color, comes to resemble that of a rat in a cage scrambling to avoid erratically administered electric shocks. And if you should try to escape this nightmare reality into a brief, drug-induced high, it’s “gotcha” all over again, because that of course is illegal too."


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  1. So they throw all these people in prisons/workhouses. Where is our modern-day Dickens who can make society ashamed of this? Oh right, Thatcher said there was no such thing as society.

Apple deleted a galaxy

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 21:05 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Great Picture

No, not a Samsung Galaxy. Well, actually… anyway, have a look:

[Quote]:

Apple has once again altered the Universe according to their whim. They moved/removed many stars, and got rid of a whole galaxy. This is M110, which is one of M31’s [Andromeda's] satellites. The other big satellite, M32, is still there.


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Comments:

  1. You say altered, I say redesigned, perfected.

  2. The galaxy was too independent…. and liked Android.

Mitt Romney, helping people, one CEO at a time.

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 20:57 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. I wish the protester had asked “Ah my friend, are Labor Unions people, too?”

  2. We are going to have such fun in the upcoming election. I’ll be in my room with the lights off.

Pa. judge gets 28 years in ‘kids for cash’ case

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 20:44 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

A longtime judge has been ordered to spend nearly three decades in prison for his role in a massive juvenile justice bribery scandal that prompted the state’s high court to toss thousands of convictions.

Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in federal prison for taking $1 million in bribes from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as "kids-for-cash."

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed about 4,000 convictions issued by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008, saying he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles, including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea.

prisons for profit are a crime against humanity.


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Comments:

  1. Two individuals were involved with bribing the Judges, Robert Powell and Robert Mericle

    Mericle case:

    Mericle pleaded guilty in September to withholding information on a crime for taking actions that prosecutors said helped former judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan conceal the source of $2.8 million Mericle and Attorney Robert Powell had paid them.

    The changes, which must be approved by a judge, increase the sentencing guideline range from four to 10 months in prison, to 12 to 18 months

    Source

    Powell case:

    Robert J. Powell. The former co-owner of a for-profit juvenile detention center testified he was the victim of shakedowns by Mr. Conahan and Mr. Ciavarella, who, as the county juvenile court judge, controlled placements at his facility.

    Mr. Powell, who faces up to 5½ years in prison on failing to report a felony and tax charges, is to resume his testimony this morning.

    Source

  2. Crikey…even cynical old me was creeped out by this.

Actually Looked at the Apple Patent? They Could Stop ANYONE from Building a Tablet

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 17:43 by Desiato in category: Apple, ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Commentary, Intellectual Property

[Quote]:

A German court on Tuesday granted Apple a preliminary injunction blocking the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union, excluding the Netherlands.

(…) Back in 2010 Apple filed for a design patent for a screen with a bezel and a back…a tablet. They called it the handheld computer.

Take a look at the above design and tell me that doesn’t look like EVERY TABLET on the market. Apple has just chosen the most competitive Android tablet on the market and taken it down.


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Comments:

  1. Also, I think the patent covers the brilliant innovation of a main screen that shows… a grid of icons of applications! Never done before!

  2. It actually reminds me of some old toys where you were drawing with magnet and iron dust. The guy who let this thing be patented should be locked up for sheer incompetence, or, more likely, corruption.

  3. The question is: Is Apple really this afraid? Is the iPad really this awful a product, that they have to resort to such tactics to stay alive?
    This is the behaviour of a desperate, scared company. Not a confident one.

  4. Yeah, it’s pretty funny how all the reviewers are saying that none of the competing tablets have “what it takes” to compete for real with the iPad… and yet Apple isn’t secure in that judgment.

  5. Heck, put two knobbles on it and it is an etch-a-sketch

  6. Reminds me of some old Star Trek series. Can’t remember which one. The held these small tablets that showed all kinds of information. Ow, and they could control it by touching the screen.

What Business is Wall Street in ? « Mark Cuban

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 12:08 by Desiato in category: Commentary

[Quote]:

Wall Street has nothing to do with creating capital for businesses, its original goal. Wall Street is a platform. It’s a platform to be exploited by every technological and intellectual means possible.

The best analogy for traders  ? They are hackers. Just as hackers search for and exploit operating system and application shortcomings, traders do the same thing.  A hacker wants to jump in front of your shopping cart and grab your credit card and then sell it.  A high frequency trader wants to jump in front of your trade and then sell that stock to you. A hacker will tell you that they are serving a purpose by identifying the weak links in your system. A trader will tell you they deserve the pennies they are making on the trade because they provide liquidity to the market.

I recognize that one is illegal, the other is not. That isn’t the important issue.

The important issue is recognizing that Wall Street is no longer what it was designed to be.

There is more interesting commentary in the article. I recommend reading the whole thing.


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Boat Owners Call BP’s Cleanup Program a Corrupt Conspiracy

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 11:12 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Nearly 100 Gulf Coast boat owners who let BP hire their ships for its "Vessels of Opportunity" oil spill cleanup say BP’s program was a corrupt conspiracy that left "thousands of participants … holding the bag for millions of dollars of unpaid services, equipment, materials, repairs and decontaminations" – and that BP intended it that way.


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4G and CDMA reportedly hacked at DEF CON

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 11:08 by John Sinteur in category: Security

[Quote]:

At the DEF CON 19 hacking conference, which took place between August 4 and 7, it seems that a full man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack was successfully launched against all 4G and CDMA transmissions in and around the venue, the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. This MITM attack enabled hackers to gain permanent kernel-level root access in some Android and PC devices using a rootkit, and non-persistent user space access in others. In both cases, whoever launched this attack on CDMA and 4G devices was able to steal data and monitor conversations.

Call me silly, but if I were to attend DEF CON, I’d leave my phone, and likely my laptop as well, at home.


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Patent-infringement lawsuit against Fark settled for zero dollars. Also, patent trolls suck hairy donkey balls

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 10:43 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

[Quote]:

Their patent had nothing to do with Fark. The patent troll realized we were going to fight them instead of settle, so they asked for our best offer. I said how about you get nothing and drop the lawsuit? They accepted.


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Comments:

  1. Very good news.

Why are Treasury prices rising after the S&P downgrade? – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 10:39 by Desiato in category: Commentary

[Quote]:

Despite the hysteria that the downgrade of US debt would lead to US funding costs rising and Treasuries crashing, instead we’ve had stocks crashing and Treasury prices rising sharply. That’s completely rational. The policies being implemented as a result of this contrived budget crisis are deflationary. For non-economists, as much as inflation has been touted as a major financial problem over the last 30 years, deflation is widely acknowledged to be Economic Enemy Number One. And high quality bonds like Treasuries are the place to be in deflation.


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Google Admits Handing over European User Data to US Intelligence Agencies

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 9:51 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security

[Quote]:

Enlarge pictureGoogle has admitted complying with requests from US intelligence agencies for data stored in its European data centers, most likely in violation of European Union data protection laws.Gordon Frazer, Microsoft UK’s managing director, made news headlines some weeks ago when he admitted that Microsoft can be compelled to share data with the US government regardless of where it is hosted in the world.At the center of this problem is the USA PATRIOT ACT, which states that companies incorporated in the United States must hand over data administered by their foreign subsidiaries if requested.Not only that, but they can be forced to keep quiet about it in order to avoid exposing active investigations and alert those targeted by the probes.


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LinkedIn pulls Facebook-style stunt

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 7:09 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy

[Quote]:

LinkedIn has become the latest social networking site to decide that new features can be added and switched on by default, and users don’t have to be notified.

The feature allows LinkedIn to use profile information like names and photos in third-party advertising, and seems to have been first noticed by blogger Steve Woodruff here.

The feature – hidden away in the Orwellian-named “Manage Social Advertising” option – has to be switched off through a user’s account settings. Permission for this is tucked away in a new condition in LinkedIn’s Terms of Use, which makes it an opt-out feature.


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Cartoons

Posted on August 11th, 2011 at 7:07 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon


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