Two congressmen filed separate House bills on Friday that together would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana at the federal level, effectively ending the U.S. government’s decadeslong prohibition of the plant.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act’s schedules, transfer oversight of the substance from the Drug Enforcement Administration over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and regulate marijuana in a way similar to how alcohol is currently regulated in the U.S.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) introduced the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act, which would set up a federal excise tax for regulated marijuana.
Draven Rodriguez, the Schenectady High School senior who gained national attention last year for his attempt to have his yearbook photo include his cat with a laser background, committed suicide, the Daily Gazette and the Times Union reported today.
He was 17.
It’s tragic news after what was an uplifting story that grabbed national interest for Rodriguez’s unique and creative photo and his effort to get it into the yearbook.
It’s not news that reruns of Friends aren’t what cable TV really wants you to be watching. Networks make money by showing ads, and for years those networks have been looking for ways to pack in more and more quick spots to get you to buy Charmin, Tide, and Viagra. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that many networks are desperately trying to increase the number of commercials you watch per hour, sometimes resorting to subtly speeding up older shows and reruns in an effort to recapture the revenue from tanking ratings.
The Journal notes that TBS used compression technology to speed up the Wizard of Oz during its airing last November, causing pop-culture writer Stephen Cox to notice that the munchkins’ voices were pitched higher than normal. TBS, TNT, and TV Land have also sped up shows including Seinfeld and Friends.
Speeding up shows isn’t the only way networks are trying to fit in ad time. On TNT, reruns of Law and Order have truncated opening credits—once a minute and 45 seconds long, the introduction is now just 24 seconds. “It feels wrong,” Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman told the Journal about the show’s “squashed” opening and closing credits. “It is not how it was shot, written, or imagined. It wasn’t meant to be that way, so don’t make it that way.”
Upper-right is a live feed from my tuner card from tonight’s Seinfeld rerun. Lower-right is a digital recording from Fox Chicago about 10 years ago on the same hardware. TBS’s broadcast gained 15 seconds in 3:22. This amounts to almost 2 full minutes for the entire episode.
AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.
The company targeted by the intelligence agencies, Gemalto, is a multinational firm incorporated in the Netherlands that makes the chips used in mobile phones and next-generation credit cards. Among its clients are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and some 450 wireless network providers around the world. The company operates in 85 countries and has more than 40 manufacturing facilities. One of its three global headquarters is in Austin, Texas and it has a large factory in Pennsylvania.
In all, Gemalto produces some 2 billion SIM cards a year. Its motto is “Security to be Free.”
I love it how you can always look at a motto for a company and immediately know the biggest problem they have even if they don’t know it themselves. Remember when Philips used “Let’s make things better”? – it’s almost as if they knew they were producing crap.
Need the perfect expandable storage solution for your $1,200 Walkman? Sony might have a bridge to sell you.
The company is now selling a 64 GB Micro SDXC card “for Premium Sound” in Japan. At $160, it’s four or five times more expensive than a typical 64 GB card, but as the Wall Street Journal reports, it’s supposed to produce “less electrical noise.”
Now, the idea of audiophiles obsessing over barely-perceptible details is nothing new. The speaker market is filled with products whose frequency response exceeds the 20 Hz to 20 kHz range of the human ear, and you can spend thousands of dollars on audio cables in pursuit of eliminating noise.
But while those expenses at least have some technical justifications behind them, the case for audiophile storage is flimsy at best. As writers at The Register and PC Perspective have pointed out in the past, a storage device couldn’t affect digital sound quality without actually changing the actual data being transferred. And if that happened, it be a much bigger problem for all kinds of applications—not just music.
Still, that hasn’t stopped some people from believing the storage device makes a difference, perceiving “more organic” tones in some products and “edgy grain” in others. So when Sony tells the Journal that “we thought some among people who are committed to great sound quality would want it,” it might be onto something.
A Southern District of Texas judge sentenced Salinas earlier this month to six months in prison and a $10,600 fine after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of computer fraud and abuse. The charge stemmed from his repeatedly scanning the local Hidalgo County website for vulnerabilities in early 2012. But just months before he took that plea, the 28-year-old with ties to the hacktivist group Anonymous instead faced 44 felony hacking and cyberstalking charges, all of which were later dismissed. And now that his case is over, Salinas is willing to say why he believes he faced that overwhelming list of empty charges. As he tells it, two FBI agents asked him to hack targets on the bureau’s behalf, and he refused.
Over the course of a six-hour FBI interrogation in May, 2013, months after his arrest, Salinas says two agents from the FBI’s Southern District of Texas office asked him to use his skills to gather information on Mexican drug cartels and local government figures accepting bribes from drug traffickers. “They asked me to gather information on elected officials, cartel members, anyone I could get data from that would help them out,” Salinas told WIRED in a phone interview before his sentencing. “I told them no.”
“Fundamentally this represents the FBI trying to recruit by indictment,” says Salinas’ lawyer Tor Ekeland, who took the case pro bono last year. “The message was clear: If he had agreed to help them, they would have dropped the charges in a second.”
Vice President Joseph R. Biden has once again raised the eyebrows of social media commentators, who saw his beckoning of Stephanie Carter — the wife of the new defense secretary, Ashton Carter — and subsequent grab of her shoulders and close-eared whisper as little more than America’s “creepy uncle” at work.
Mr. Biden, at the swearing-in ceremony of Mr. Carter, motioned for Mrs. Carter to join him across the room. When she did, he then put both hands on her shoulders and let them linger there for a good 20 seconds, as he leaned in close to whisper in her ear, The Telegraph reported. It’s not known what he whispered.
But shortly after, Mr. Carter reached out and put his own hand on her shoulder and thanked her — his “perfect wife Stephanie,” he said — for her support, The Telegraph reported.
Social media was quick to respond.
The killing of John Geer is probably the clearest and most compelling example of what amounts to police impunity in recent American history.
Governor Walker has never been shy about flashing his religious credentials, regularly telling audiences about the nondenominational evangelical church he attends, the Baptist preacher who raised him, and his belief that he only runs for office when “called” upon by God to do so.
As he told the bankers in January, “[a]ny major decision I’ve made in my life, politics or otherwise, I’ve tried to discern God’s calling on.”
His reliance on the role of the Lord in his political decision-making process goes back to his aborted college years, when in an interview published in the Marquette University yearbook, he said that “I really think there’s a reason why God put all these political thoughts in my head.”
More recently, Walker even went so far as to “punt” on the question of whether evolution is real, claiming that it is “a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another.”
It is statements such as these that led FFRF member Edward Susterich to file an official records request demanding the governor “provide a copy/transcript of all communications with God, the Lord, Christ, Jesus or any other form of deity.”
The Office of the Governor quickly, albeit briefly, replied his request, saying that “[p]ursuant to the Public Records Law, we are responding to let you know that this office does not have records responsive to your request.”
Maybe his hairdryer broke?
“The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.”
― Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation
The Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator has resigned and launched a blistering attack on the paper’s management and owners over its lack of coverage of the HSBC tax story, which he described as a “fraud on its readers”.
Peter Oborne, associate editor of the Spectator and a familiar face on Channel 4 Dispatches documentaries, claimed the paper deliberately suppressed stories about the banking giant, including last week’s revelations that its Swiss subsidiary helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars in assets, in order to keep its valuable advertising account.
He said it was a “most sinister development” at the broadsheet title, which he described as “the most important conservative-leaning newspaper in Britain”, but where he alleged the traditional distinction between the advertising and editorial departments had collapsed.
Oborne claimed it was a pattern that could be seen elsewhere in the paper’s reporting, including its coverage of last year’s protests in Hong Kong.
Oborne said the Telegraph’s coverage of HSBC, by putting the interests of a major international bank above its duty to report the news, was a “form of fraud on its readers”.
Before the latest HSBC revelations were published, and while discussions were continuing over the material, the bank put its advertising with the Guardian’s parent company, Guardian News and Media, “on pause”.
danakersonAmid rumors that Apple is developing an electric vehicle, former General Motors CEO Dan Akerson has shared his opinion on Apple’s plans, suggesting the Cupertino company avoid getting into a business with such low margins.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Akerson said that Apple may be underestimating the difficulty of operating in the car business, as it’s hard to navigate regulatory and safety requirements. “A lot of people who don’t ever operate in it don’t understand and have a tendency to underestimate,” he said
Okay… Here’s Ed Colligan, Ex-Palm CEO on November 16 2006:
We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.
If history repeats itself on this one I will laugh soooo hard…
The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.
Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.
Nevertheless, I am still a bit proud to say I have installed Linux on my hard disk.
If that sounds tame, he means the disk controller on the hard disk is running linux, seperate from the OS on the computer the hard disk is connected to.
A DeSoto County state representative said Monday that comments he made to The Clarion-Ledger newspaper in a Sunday story were taken out of context as state officials condemned his remarks.
Republican Rep. Gene Alday made the remarks about the DeSoto County town of Walls, where he was formerly police chief and mayor before winning election to the Legislature in 2011.
“I come from a town where all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call ‘welfare crazy checks.’ They don’t work,” Alday was quoted as saying by the Jackson newspaper.
He had to go to the emergency room for pain, he said. “I liked to died. I laid in there for hours because they (blacks) were in there being treated for gunshots.”
Alday now says he didn’t intend the remarks for publication and bears no ill will toward anyone, citing past actions to help black people.
Note that he doesn’t retract his words… all he says is “he didn’t intend the remarks for publication”….
An Australian learner driver who stitched his own chainsaw wound and drank gin for the pain before driving to hospital has lost a Supreme Court appeal against a drink-driving charge.
Timothy Withrow, from Port Willunga near Adelaide, had a blood alcohol reading three times the legal limit.
He was challenging an earlier ruling by a lower court that refused to consider the matter “trifling”.
By law traffic offences deemed trifling can result in a lighter punishment.
Withrow sustained a gaping wound to his hand while using a chainsaw at his residence in February last year.
He phoned two emergency departments, but was told that they were very busy and would not be able to treat him for more than 10 hours.
Withrow then used a large sewing needle and some fishing line to sew up the wound and washed it with gin to prevent infection. He also drank gin to help with the pain.
He later decided to drive to the hospital for treatment after not being able to contact his wife. He said he could not afford an ambulance.
He was pulled over by police after failing to stop at a sign, and charged with several driving offences as well as being issued an immediate licence disqualification. Though he had previously held a driving licence in the US he did not have a full Australian licence.
In court he had pleaded guilty but before sentencing asked for the matter to be dealt with as trifling.
But Justice Kevin Nicholson agreed with the earlier ruling that Withrow had had options other than driving himself, including calling an ambulance or taxi, or approaching a neighbour for help.
“He posed a clear danger not only to himself but to other road users,” Justice Nicholson said, according to local media.
“I admire [his] courage and his tolerance to pain but I do not admire his judgment.”
So wait… you’re fully expected to make level headed decisionn just after suffering a chainsaw wound?
And they had a couple of cops sitting around watching for people rolling through a stop sign, but no available ambulances?
Is the country more stupid than usual when it comes to “priorities”, or is it just me?
From my perspective as a reporter, Koch Industries is the most hostile and paranoid organization I’ve ever engaged with — and I’ve reported on Fox News.
The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.
That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.
Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists, Kaspersky said.
MI5 is facing allegations it was complicit in the sexual abuse of children, the high court in Northern Ireland will hear on Tuesday.
Victims of the abuse are taking legal action to force a full independent inquiry with the power to compel witnesses to testify and the security service to hand over documents.
The case, in Belfast, is the first in court over the alleged cover-up of British state involvement at the Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. It is also the first of the recent sex abuse cases allegedly tying in the British state directly. Victims allege that the cover-up over Kincora has lasted decades.
But perhaps the most interesting thing inside Jony Ive’s office is a motivational poster.
Former CSIS officer Francois Lavigne is alarmed by the Conservative government’s new anti-terror bill.
He believes the measures proposed in C-51 are unnecessary, a threat to the rights of Canadians and that the prime minister is using fascist techniques to push the bill.
Mr. Lavigne started his career with the RCMP security service in 1983, before the CSIS was established.
“I was hired by the barn burners,” he said in an interview last week. “I went to work for the FIU unit, the foreign interference unit. And that was where the barn burners came from.”
The barn burners were the off-the-leash Mounties whose law-breaking ways led to the McDonald Commission, which led to the establishment of Canadian Security Intelligence Service in 1984.
Mr. Lavigne, who went from the Mounties to CSIS and later worked overseeing spies in the solicitor general’s office, likes CSIS’s design. It was set up as an intelligence-gathering body, not an enforcement agency, actively overseen by an inspector general and reviewed by the Security Intelligence Review Committee.
Mr. Lavigne, 55, left government in 1999, but follows intelligence news closely.
He spent years tracking dangerous radicals without the powers the government wants to give to CSIS.
“I find it a little convenient that in the past few years that these radicalized people are the biggest threat to ever hit us,” he said. “There are more people dying because of drunk drivers or because of gang violence.”
The changes in C-51 will give CSIS broad powers to take action to disrupt plots and reduce threats, in Canada and abroad. This is a recipe for trouble.
“If you give them more powers, if you lower the threshold, if you allow them to collect even more information, follow more people, detain people, inevitably it’s going to lead to lawsuits, to embarrassment. It’s not if it will happen. It’s when.”
Resentment has mounted so much in South Korea against what has come to be known as “gabjil”, high-handedness by the rich and powerful, that parliamentarians are proposing legislation to punish some of the worst abuses.
A legislator in Montana wants to expand the state’s indecent exposure law to ban both male and female nipple exposure and outlaw clothing that “gives the appearance or simulates” a person’s buttocks, genitals, pelvic area or female nipple.
Republican Rep. David Moore, of Missoula, proposed the bill in reaction to a group of naked bicyclists who pedaled through Missoula in August 2014.
His bill would also ban tight-fitting beige clothing, and he has strong feelings about yoga pants of any color.
Next ban: airport bathroom stalls
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday spoke and fielded questions at a forum at the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution. He gave a detailed and spirited account of his political career, which early on included several defeats in Vermont races, and then detailed his vision for the future of our country.
During a recent visit to the Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, Sanders and a friend read the Gettysburg Address, in which President Abraham Lincoln spoke of his hope of a “new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Today, however, Sanders said, this vision of American is perishing and “we are moving away from our democratic heritage into an oligarchic form of society — where were are experiencing a government of the billionaires, by the billionaires and for the billionaires.”
He added, “Today, the most serious problem we face is the grotesque and growing level of wealth and income inequality.”
About two and a half years ago an odd email dropped into my inbox out of nowhere. It seemed to be a quickly written email from someone in Ireland. The writer, Liam, said he was asking if I had any stories that I thought might be worth filming. In particular, he was trying to find something under fifteen minutes long that he, and a crew of others from his village in Ireland, could enter into a film competition. And they needed it, like, yesterday.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone sparked a protest last summer when he ignored pleas from public officials to cancel his plans to march in Washington, D.C., against same-sex marriage.
Now Cordileone has prompted fresh outrage in the liberal Bay Area by imposing morality clauses on teachers, staff and administrators at the four high schools under his control in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties.
A newly released handbook asks the nearly 500 school employees to “affirm and believe” that “adultery, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of pornography and homosexual relations” are “gravely evil.” Artificial-reproductive technology, contraception and abortion are described similarly.
Cordileone’s stand has elicited opposition at the high schools, especially from students, who have taken to Twitter with the hashtag #teachacceptance and on Monday wore white in solidarity with teachers.
Listen guys, here’s an idea. How about you write up a list of everything wrong with the church and then maybe nail it to the front door of their church so everyone can read it.