Thursday, March 27, 2008

George Carlin: The Reason Education Sucks

Fingerprint Scanners In the Workplace

Fingerprint Scanners Help Companies Track Workers

Some workers are doing it at Dunkin' Donuts, at Hilton hotels, even at Marine Corps bases. Employees at a growing number of businesses are starting and ending their days by pressing a hand or finger to a scanner that logs the precise time of their arrival and departure—information that is automatically reflected in payroll records.Manufacturers say these biometric devices improve efficiency and streamline payroll operations. Employers big and small buy them with the dual goals of keeping workers honest and automating outdated record-keeping systems that rely on paper time sheets.

Bell "Shaping" Internet Traffic

Bell Irks ISPs With New Throttling Policy

Rocky Gaudrault wants Bell Canada to take its hands off his customers' data. The chief executive officer of Teksavvy Solutions Inc., an Internet service provider (ISP) based in Chatham, Ont., says a new plan from Bell to "manage" the Internet traffic on his network is compromising the service he offers his customers. For more than a year, Bell and other Canadian ISPs have utilized "shaping" techniques, essentially slowing down certain kinds of Internet activity on their networks while giving priority to other data. Most of the traffic being shaped is peer-to-peer traffic, which is used to transmit large files, such as movie files.

Rogers To Charge For Bandwidth

Heavy Web Downloaders Face Broadband Fees
Rogers Communications Inc. is gearing up to make Internet use more expensive for consumers who have a penchant for chewing up bandwidth by downloading movies or playing video games online. The telecommunications giant already regulates the flow of traffic on its networks by giving priority to certain content; however, the changes are part of a blueprint to introduce tiered Internet service plans in June that will not only charge users for a designated connection speed, but also cap how much bandwidth they can use in a month. Bandwidth hogs who exceed their allotted limits on Rogers's networks will face service-fee penalties of up to $5 a gigabyte, to a maximum of $25 a month.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

1.2 Trillion Down The Drain

Goldman Sees Credit Losses Totaling $1.2 Trillion

Goldman Sachs forecasts global credit losses stemming from the current market turmoil will reach $1.2 trillion, with Wall Street accounting for nearly 40 percent of the losses. U.S. leveraged institutions, which include banks, brokers-dealers, hedge funds and government-sponsored enterprises, will suffer roughly $460 billion in credit losses after loan loss provisions, Goldman Sachs economists wrote in a research note released late on Monday.

Cheney: Iran Seeks Weapons-Grade Uranium

Cheney: Iran Seeks Weapons-grade Uranium

Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday said Iran was developing a uranium enrichment program for military purposes. "Obviously, they're ... heavily involved in trying to develop nuclear weapons enrichment, the enrichment of uranium to weapons grade levels," Cheney said in an interview with ABC television transcribed by the White House. Cheney, however, did not mention on what he based his accusation.

10 Finger ID

U.S. Increases Fingerprints IDs

International visitors flying into New York now face being identified by all ten fingerprints, part of a heightened security system aimed at identifying potential terror suspects and visa fraud, officials said on Tuesday. The upgraded system, part of the U.S. government's Homeland Security program and its war on terror, increases the chances of catching illegal or potentially dangerous entrants into the country, officials said at a media briefing at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday. The system expands the digital fingerprinting of international visitors to ten fingers from two.

Spy Drones


Miami police could soon be the first in the United States to use cutting-edge, spy-in-the-sky technology to beef up their fight against crime. A small pilotless drone manufactured by Honeywell International, capable of hovering and "staring" using electro-optic or infrared sensors, is expected to make its debut soon in the skies over the Florida Everglades.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thomas Jefferson 1743 - 1826

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs"

Jim Rogers On The US Dollar

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Feds And Bear Sterns

Hypoallergenic Cats For Sale

'Hypoallergenic Cats' Go On Sale

What are claimed to be the world's first specially bred hypoallergenic cats have gone on sale in the US. US biotech firm Allerca says it has managed to selectively breed them by reducing a certain type of protein that triggers allergic reactions.

Iraq By The Numbers

Iraq By the Numbers
Is Iraq better off? Five years on, key indicators paint a picture of a country trying to rise from the rubble.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Reality Of The Subprime Meltdown

Bear Stearns Almost Worthless

'A Brutal Wakeup Call'

Canadian banks moved to tighten their credit belt as Wall Street was rocked by the fallout from the near collapse of Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. The U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates in a rare weekend intervention aimed at encouraging lending in the wake of the bank's implosion. Yet the rate that banks charge one another for short-term loans surged yesterday. Financial institutions are increasingly concerned that other banks will fail, and increasingly reluctant to lend to peers.

Israel's Largest Emergency Dill

Israel To Hold Massive Emergency Drill

In the face of a possible escalation with Syria and Iran's efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, parts of the country will shut down next month in what security officials say will be the largest emergency exercise in Israel's history.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oil Hits New Record $109

Oil Close To Breaching $110 A Barrel

Oil came close to breaching $110 a barrel, boosted by signs that demand in China remained robust and investors were seeking protection against further weakness in the US dollar. The rise in oil prices came after the International Energy Agency, the western countries’ energy watchdog, said that global oil demand growth in 2008 was relatively robust in spite of record prices and an economic slowdown in the US.

Federal Reserve Injects 200bn

Federal Reserve Leads World Central Bank...

The Federal Reserve injected $200bn (£100bn) of fresh funds into the US banking system yesterday as it orchestrated fresh action among the world's central banks to ease the worsening credit crunch. Amid concerns that the financial turmoil that began eight months ago had entered a new and dangerous phase, the US central bank said it would allow institutions to offload a wider range of mortgage-backed securities in the hope that it would kick-start lending in the world's biggest economy.

Middle East Chief Resigns

Fallon Resigns As Mideast Military Chief

The Navy admiral in charge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan announced Tuesday that he is resigning over press reports portraying him as opposed to President Bush's Iran policy. Adm. William J. Fallon, one of the most experienced officers in the U.S. military, said the reports were wrong but had become a distraction hampering his efforts in the Middle East. Fallon's area of responsibility includes Iran and stretches from Central Asia across the Middle East to the Horn of Africa.

Top Runner Wont Run Due To Bejing Smog

Beijing's Smog Forces Champion Out

The world's fastest long-distance runner said yesterday he will not compete in the marathon at the Beijing Olympic Games because of the city's choking air pollution, a move that is prompting runners of all levels to reassess the net health benefits of going for a jog in the smog. "The pollution in China is a threat to my health and it would be difficult for me to run 42 kilometres in my current condition," Haile Gebrselassie, the 34-year-old Ethiopian who many enthusiasts call the best distance runner of all time, told Reuters.

1 in 4 American Teenage Girls Have An STD

Sex Infections Found in Quarter of Teenage Girls

The first national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases among girls and young women has found that one in four are infected with at least one of the diseases, federal health officials reported Tuesday.Nearly half the African-Americans in the study of teenagers ages 14 to 19 were infected with at least one of the diseases monitored in the study — human papillomavirus , chlamydia, genital herpes and trichomoniasis, a common parasite.

Camera That Can See Under Clothes

Britain Makes Camera That "Sees" Under Clothes

A British company has developed a camera that can detect weapons, drugs or explosives hidden under people's clothes from up to 25 meters away in what could be a breakthrough for the security industry.

Food Prices Rising In America

Surging Costs Of Groceries Hit Home

American families, already pinched by soaring energy costs, are taking another big hit to household budgets as food prices increase at the fastest rate since 1990. After nearly two decades of low food inflation, prices for staples such as bread, milk, eggs, and flour are rising sharply, surging in the past year at double-digit rates, according to the Labor Department. Milk prices, for example, increased 26 percent over the year. Egg prices jumped 40 percent.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Oil Closes At Record High $105

Oil Hits New Record Above $106
Oil prices jumped to a new record above $106 (U.S.) Friday but settled lower, extending their recent pattern of choppy trading after a weak U.S. jobs report convinced many traders that the Federal Reserve's interest rate cutting campaign will continue. Employers cut 63,000 jobs in February, the biggest drop in five years, the Labour Department said. Investors can react to such news in one of two ways: by selling on the prospect that the economy, and demand for oil, is cooling, or by buying on a conviction that bad economic data makes it more likely the Fed will cut rates.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Zero Equity

U.S. Homeowners Equity Drops
Americans' percentage of equity in their homes fell below 50 per cent for the first time on record since 1945, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board said Thursday. Homeowners' portion of equity slipped to downwardly revised 49.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2007, the central bank reported in its quarterly U.S. Flow of Funds Accounts, and declined further to 47.9 per cent in the fourth quarter — the third straight quarter it was under 50 per cent. That marks the first time homeowners' debt on their houses exceeds their equity since the Fed started tracking the data in 1945.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water

Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water
Remember the drinking fountain, that once ubiquitous, and free, source of H2O? It seems quaint now. Instead, bottled water is everywhere, in offices, airplanes, stores, homes and restaurants across the country. We consumed over eight billion gallons of the stuff in 2006, a 10 percent increase from 2005. It's refreshing, calorie-free, convenient to carry around, tastier than some tap water and a heck of a lot healthier than sugary sodas. But more and more, people are questioning whether the water, and the package it comes in, is safe, or at least safer than tap water—and if the convenience is worth the environmental impact.