he Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved flight training for 25 illegal aliens at a Boston-area flight school that was owned by yet another illegal alien, according to the Government Accountability Office.
The illegal-alien flight-school attendees included eight who had entered the country illegally and 17 who had overstayed their allowed period of admission into the United States, according to an audit by the GAO.
Three of the illegal aliens were actually able to get pilot’s licenses.
The president of Tea Party Nation declared on Thursday that if Mitt Romney is to release his tax returns, President Barack Obama should release medical records to prove he’s not a drug addict who smoked crack and had gay sex with a lifelong con-man.
It will come as no surprise to anyone who follows the technology world that CEOs at major corporations make a ton of money. Often their bonuses are even more than their yearly income. The CEO of Lenovo, Yang Yuanqing, recently received a fat bonus of $3 million. Rather than stuffing that big bonus away in his own bank account, Yang Yuanqing gave it away.
The CEO took the $3 million bonus and distributed it among 10,000 junior level employees. Among the employees to receive a piece of the pie were receptionists, production line workers, and assistants. Each of those 10,000 employees received a bonus of 2000 yuan, which works out to about $314 USD.
Hundreds of millions of people use Skype for its free voice over IP (VoIP) services every day. Indeed, Skype claims that in March 2012, 35-million people were all talking at the same time on the service. But, how many of them are going to stick with it when Microsoft, Skype’s owner, sticks ads in your face?
Microsoft announced that “While on a 1:1 audio call, users will see content that could spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences. So, you should think of Conversation Ads as a way for Skype to generate fun interactivity between your circle of friends and family and the brands you care about.” Oh yeah, I always like having an ad pop-up when I’m talking to a friend or co-worker.
American conservatism has come to be dominated by conspiracy-crazed clowns. This presents a problem for the Romney team as they schedule speakers for the upcoming Republican National Convention. How can they keep from giving a few of these cranks a speaking role? Bachmann, after all, was a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, at one point. Another firebrand who adopts the conspiratorial tone with regularity is Sarah Palin. She holds no office and was not a candidate this year, but she is hugely popular in the party. Can she be denied a prime time rant?
The quandry Romney faces and has faced throughout the campaign is that the conspiracy clowns include not just a few members of Congress and a bunch of conservative pundits and celebrities. Their ranks extend to all the folks who believe the same crazy stuff as Bachmann; a broad segment of voters that just happens to be the base of the party Romney is trying to lead.
When I moved to Canada in 2008, I was a die-hard conservative Republican. So when I found out that we were going to be covered by Canada’s Universal Health Care, I was somewhat disgusted. This meant we couldn’t choose our own health coverage, or even opt out if we wanted too. It also meant that abortion was covered by our taxes, something I had always believed was horrible. I believed based on my politics that government mandated health care was a violation of my freedom.
I started to wonder why I had been so opposed to government mandated Universal Health care.
My guess? Ignorance.
It was a rare show of bipartisanship — President Barack Obama, flanked by Democrats and Republicans in April, signing into law a bill that would ban insider trading on Capitol Hill. The measure, known as the STOCK Act, had passed the House and Senate at warp speed.
“The powerful shouldn’t get to create one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everybody else,” the president said at the time.
Lawmakers proclaimed that the bill, officially called the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, would restore trust in government. It also applied new rules to some employees of the executive branch.
Its 14-page memo notifies House members and aides covered by the law that their spouses and children aren’t covered. The Office of Government Ethics, which oversees all federal executive branch employees, sided with the House, informing its employees that their spouses and children don’t need to file these periodic reports.
So, no change whatsoever.
The South Korean government is investigating unconfirmed intelligence reports that a gun battle, leaving between 20 and 30 soldiers dead, broke out when the North Korean regime removed army chief Ri Yong-ho from office.
The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean daily newspaper, reported that some intelligence analysts believe Mr Ri, who has not been seen since his abrupt sacking earlier this week, was injured or killed in the confrontation.
Citing South Korean government officials, it said the gun battle erupted when vice marshal Choe Ryong Hae, director of the People’s Army General Political Bureau, tried to detain Mr Ri while carrying out North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s order to sack him.
Guards protecting Mr Ri, who was a vice marshal, apparently opened fire.
We’ve gone from a society where if something wasn’t prohibited then it was legal to a society where if something isn’t explicitly permitted it’s illegal. In the early days of aviation, you could do anything you wanted as long as it wasn’t illegal. Now the laws are so extensive that they say, “Show me where it’s allowed.”
Wired has a troubling story of how the Senate Armed Services Committee is pushing a bill that would likely kill off an open source NoSQL project that came out of the NSA calledAccumulo. Like many other such NoSQL efforts, the NSA basically took some Google white papers about its BigTable distributed database setup, and built its own open source version, with a few improvements… and then open sourced the whole thing and put it under the Apache Foundation. It’s kind of rare to see such a secretive agency like the NSA open source anything, but it does seem like the kind of thing that ought to be encouraged.
Unfortunately, the Senate Armed Services Committee sees things very differently. As part of a 600-page bill that’s being floated, it actually calls out Accumulo by name, and suggests that it violates a policy that says the government shouldn’t build its own software when there are other competing commercial offerings on the market. The reasoning is basically that the government shouldn’t spend resources reinventing the wheel if it can spend fewer resources using existing code. You can see the basic reasoning behind that, but applying it here makes little sense. As the article notes, here we’re talking about software that’s already been developed and released — not a new effort to rebuild existing software. In fact, those who follow this stuff closely note that Accumulo did “break new ground” with some of its features when it was being built. To then kill it afterwards seems not just counterproductive, but could also create a chilling effect for government open source efforts, which seem like something we should be encouraging, not killing.
Microsoft, the once-dominant computer software giant that has seen its fortunes wane in recent years, posted its first quarterly loss since emerging as a public company in 1986 Thursday as it took a huge charge for a failed acquisition.
The Redmond, Wash.-based company reported a net loss of $492 million as its operating income was wiped out by a $6.2 billion writedown related to its acquisition of advertising company aQuantive in 2007. Microsoft wrote down almost the entire $6.3 billion purchase price.
A cross-disciplinary team of US neuroscientists and cryptographers have developed a password/passkey system that removes the weakest link in any security system: the human user. It’s ingenious: The system still requires that you enter a password, but at no point do you actually remember the password, meaning it can’t be written down and it can’t be obtained via coercion or torture.