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Paul E Ester

Profile Information

Member since: Tue Jan 13, 2009, 12:46 PM
Number of posts: 952

About Me

When I clicked this thread, I said to myself, \"I wonder who said the inevitable stupid thing.- You did not disappoint.\" - WilliamPitt Hmmm. InterestingÖnt - SidDithers What the hell is going on here, anyway? -Hekate This is one of the most hilarious threads I have read on DUÖ - defacto7 \"That has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever read on DU.\" - AsahinaKimi

Journal Archives

CISPA passes House vote, faces Senate and possible veto

Source: NBC News

CISPA, the controversial bill intended to let Internet companies share information about users more freely with the government, has been passed by the House of Representatives. The bill has been touched up since its first appearance last year, but many remain suspicious after what they view as years of misguided tech legislation. Both outside critics and the White House have said CISPA is fundamentally unsound.

Lawmakers are seen as being out of touch with the realities of technology and the Internet, as widespread protest last year of bills like SOPA and PIPA attests. It comes as no surprise, then, that a bill derided by privacy advocates last year should face similar opposition when it is brought back now with only minor changes.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is meant to let Internet companies share information with the government for cybersecurity purposes. A company like Facebook or Twitter, for instance, may have info the government wants, like when a user logged in or where they were at a certain time.

The bill would facilitate sharing that data, but many believe it throws privacy protections out the window in the process. Critics say it amounts to the government deputizing private companies to do their surveillance for them.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/cispa-passes-house-vote-faces-senate-possible-veto-1C9357282

Cops shoot at and detain cameramen

Since they uploaded the video, we can assume they survived.

DHS Sec. Napolitano at a Full Committee hearing following the attack at the Boston Marathon.

The Business of Phish

Over the past four years, the rock band Phish has generated over $120 million in ticket sales, handily surpassing more well known artists like Radiohead, The Black Keys, and One Direction. Since their start 30 years ago, Phish has consistently been one of the most popular and lucrative touring acts in America, generating well over a quarter billion dollars in ticket sales.

Yet, by other measures, the band isnít popular at all. Only one of their original albums has ever made the Billboard top 10 rankings. None of their 883 songs has ever become a popular hit on the radio. Theyíve made only one music video to promote a song, and it was mocked mercilessly by Beavis and Butthead on MTV.

If the traditional band business model is to generate hype through the media and radio airplay, and then monetize that hype through album sales and tours, Phish doesnít fit the model at all. For a band of their stature, their album sales are miniscule and radio airplay non-existent. And so when the ďmusic businessĒ cratered in the 1990s because of file-sharing and radioís importance declined because of the internet, Phish remained unaffected and profitable as ever.

Phish doesnít make money by selling music. They make money by selling live music, and that, it turns out, is a more durable business model. This wasnít some brilliant pre-calculated strategy by the band or its managers; itís the business model that sprung forth from the kind of music the band makes. The band developed the kernel of this musical style during their first five years when they played almost exclusively in bars in Burlington, Vermont, and slowly, but organically, grew their audience.


Syrian opposition to establish moderate form of Sharia law

The main opposition to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad will begin establishing what it calls a moderate form of Islamic law in all rebel-held areas of the country, as part of an effort to prevent chaos and stop hardline interpretations of Islam from becoming entrenched.

The legal code was drawn up by Muslim scholars, judges and top anti-Assad politicians in advance of meetings this week in Istanbul convened by the Syrian National Council (SNC), where transitional justice arrangements are being discussed.
The opposition hopes that an interim government, as yet unformed, will apply a version of the new legal system nationwide, after it goes into effect in areas currently controlled by the insurgents.

Different systems of Sharia now govern pockets of Syrian territory controlled by the rebels. Some are enforced by Jabhat Al Nusra, a militant group affiliated with Al Qaeda, prompting fears that its interpretation of Islamic law is filling the legal vacuum.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/syrian-opposition-to-establish-moderate-form-of-sharia-law

West, TX Explosion Scanner Audio

What Americans donít know about H-1B visas could hurt us all

The H-1B visa program was created in 1990 to allow companies to bring skilled technical workers into the USA. Itís a non-immigrant visa and so has nothing at all to do with staying in the USA, becoming a citizen, or starting a business. Big tech employers are constantly lobbying for increases in H-1B quotas citing their inability to find qualified U.S. job applicants. Bill Gates and other leaders from the IT industry have testified about this before Congress. Both major political parties embrace the H-1B program with varying levels of enthusiasm. But Bill Gates is wrong. What he said to Congress may have been right for Microsoft but was wrong for America and can only lead to lower wages, lower employment, and a lower standard of living. This is a bigger deal than people understand: itís the rebirth of industrial labor relations circa 1920. Our ignorance about the H-1B visa program is being used to unfairly limit wages and steal ó yes, steal ó jobs from U.S. citizens.

There are a number of common misunderstandings about the H-1B program, the first of which is its size. H-1B quotas are set by Congress and vary from 65,000 to 190,000 per year. While that would seem to limit the impact of the program on a nation of 300+ million, H-1B is way bigger than you think because each visa lasts for three years and can be extended for another three years after that.

At any moment, then, there are about 700,000 H-1B visa holders working in the USA.

Most of these H-1B visa holders work in Information Technology (IT) and most of those come from India. There are about 500,000 IT workers in the USA holding H-1B visas. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 2.5 million IT workers in America. So approximately 20 percent of the domestic IT workforce isnít domestic at all, but imported on H-1B visas. Keep this in mind as we move forward.

H-1B is a non-immigrant visa. H-1B holders can work here for 3-6 years but then have to return to their native countries. Itís possible for H-1Bís to convert to a different kind of visa but not commonly done. The most common way, in fact, for converting an H-1B visa into a green card is through marriage to a U.S. citizen.


Exclusive photos: Boston Marathon bomb

Source: Fox Atlanta

The bomb that exploded at the finish line of Monday's Boston Marathon sent shock waves across the country. Crime scene photos obtained exclusively by FOX 5 Atlanta are the first look at what is left of the first deadly device.

The investigation into the explosion is already well underway, as agents sift through the remaining pieces of the bomb-- hoping to draw a clear picture of how it was built, where it was built, and ultimately, who built it.

The Associated Press has reported that the device was a pressure cooker bomb-- common cookware throughout the world. The crime scene pictures obtained by the FOX 5 I-Team show pieces of a stainless steel pressure cooker with an Underwriters Laboratory number. One picture shows the imprint: Gas and Electric.

Another picture shows what appears to be a black, padded knapsack or duffel bag. Various news outlets have reported that the bomb was carried in a black bag.

Read more: http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/21996004/exclusive-photos-boston-marathon-bomb

Boston hero Carlos Arredondo describing what happened

Youtube deleted the one I linked to, you can watch it here.

Iran Earthquake Leaves Scores Dead

Source: Atlantic Wire

Original Post: A powerful seismic event occurred near the Iran-Pakistan border on Tuesday, and some are expecting it may cause hundreds of deaths. At least 40 people are dead in Iran and seven more people in Pakistan, but those numbers are thought to be on the rise, according to multiple outlets. "It was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead," an Iranian government official told Reuters.

Iran's geological survey measured the quake to be a 7.5 magnitude, while the U.S. Geological Survey put it at 7.8 with a depth of 15.2 kilometers. The quake was centered in a sparsely populated mountainous and desert area in Iran, but the quake was so strong it could be felt as far away as Peshawar, Pakistan, and Dubai. The closest cities to the quake's epicenter, Saravan and Khash, have a combined 400,000 people. The phone lines in some areas near where the quake struck have been cut.

Read more: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/04/iran-earthquake/64263/
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