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Category Archives: economy/social issues

Joseph Schmitz, named as one of five advisers by the Trump campaign in March, is accused of bragging when he was Defense Department inspector general a decade ago that he pushed out Jewish employees.

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If you find yourself in need of a ride in Hangzhou, China, you can waltz up to a multi-story garage, punch a few buttons, and have a fully charged electric vehicle deposited in front of you.It’s a new car-sharing scheme launched by Kandi Technologiesthat takes the hyper-successful bike-sharing model in China and puts it onto four electrically powered wheels.For a little over $3 an hour, these ultra-compact, Chinese-made EVs can get about 75 miles on a charge and max out at 50 mph, and when the driver is done, they can drop off their rented ride at another Kandi station near their destination.

The U.S. uses its digital surveillance capabilities to commit industrial espionage, Edward Snowden has claimed in an interview with German network NDR. The NSA whistleblower suggested German industrial giant Siemens was a target, with information being taken by the intelligence agency even when it had nothing to do with national security. When the agency was previously shown to have spied on Brazil’s Petrobras, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper insisted it never used that information to give U.S. firms an unfair advantage. Australia’s intelligence agency, an NSA partner, has reportedly spied on Japanese firms for the benefit of Australian companies, and France is generally seen as a world leader in that regard.

The fully automated fast food restaurant may not be commonplace in the U.S. just yet. But with the industry terrified of union organizing and a potential $15 minimum wage, you can expect to see a lot more stories about robot workers.

Six months after the first revelations appeared in The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Snowden agreed to reflect at length on the roots and repercussions of his choice. He was relaxed and animated over two days of nearly unbroken conversation, fueled by burgers, pasta, ice cream and Russian pastry.

Snowden offered vignettes from his intelligence career and from his recent life as “an indoor cat” in Russia. But he consistently steered the conversation back to surveillance, democracy and the meaning of the documents he exposed.“For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished,” he said. “I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.”

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Business Insider Reports: The National Security Agency described for the first time a cataclysmic cyber threat it claims to have stopped On Sunday’s ’60 Minutes.’ Called a BIOS attack, the exploit would have ruined, or ‘bricked,’ computers across the country, causing untold damage to the national and even global economy. Even more shocking, CBS goes as far as to point a finger directly at China for the plot — ‘While the NSA would not name the country behind it, cyber security experts briefed on the operation told us it was China.’ The NSA says it closed this vulnerability by working with computer manufacturers. Debora Plunkett, director of cyber defense for the NSA: One of our analysts actually saw that the nation state had the intention to develop and to deliver — to actually use this capability — to destroy computers.

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News stories that are really big unfold over months or years, and tackling them can take almost constant media coverage. But all of that distilled information can start to feel overwhelming in itself, and that’s where the infographic recap comes in really handy.

And now there’s one for Bitcoin, which was just incredibly necessary. Having everything you need to know in a sort of visual map makes the info less intimidating and acts as a good memory aid for working things out. With Bitcoin there are so many areas to misunderstand, such as what Bitcoin is, how it works, where it came from, what its implications are for different markets and the international economy etc., that you may not know that you know nothing about it. Or you may be acutely aware. No worries! Brush up on the history aspect here so you at least have a solid foundation in place.  Read More »

KlearGear’s non-disparagement clause is a contemptible, unethical, and un-American. I say that whether or not KlearGear is defrauding customers by citing the clause to customers who didn’t even agree to it. You should not — youcannot — trust a company that hides in its small print a clause saying you can’t criticize it for bad service. Only a dishonest and amoral company would insert such a clause into its terms of use. Only amoral and dishonest people, deserving of our contempt — owners, officers, employees, and company lawyers — would create and attempt to enforce such language.KlearGear has begun to reap what it has sown.Techdirt, Simple Justice, Consumerist, and more sites have written about it. KlearGear deserves to fail as a business based on this conduct, and hopefully will. But that’s not enough. Somebody needs to use public records to identify the owners and decision-makers behind KlearGear who countenanced this conduct, and any lawyers who participated in the threats to consumers. Their identity should be published, and they should suffer social consequences. Their communities, and their future potential employers or customers, should see them for what they are: scum.

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While the feds consider Jeremy Hammond a criminal hacker, thousands of others think of him as an altruistic political activist.Hammond, 28, is accused of leading the massive Stratfor hack, which resulted in the alleged theft of 200GB worth of data from companies and government agencies like the US Army, Department of Defense, Lockheed Martin, and Bank of America.While Hammond pled guilty to conspiracy, he also claims that this hack was fueled by his need to protest and expose the secret actions of the government and private corporations.”People have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors,” Hammond wrote in a statement last May.

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Newly declassified materials reveal that the US National Security Agency spied on two prominent Congressmen — Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker — along with high-profile figures such as civil rights leader and antiwar voice Martin Luther King and heavyweight champ andconscientious objector Muhammad Ali. New York Times journalist Tom Wicker and Washington Post humor columnist Art Buchwald were also surveillance targets.

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