Monthly Archives: February 2016

About 100 Workers Walk Out at Tesla Battery Plant Building Site

 

About 100 Workers Walk Out at Tesla Battery Plant Building Site
Dana Hull
danahull

Construction on the Tesla Motors Gigafactory east of Reno, Nev. on March 25, 2015.

    Nevada union official says dispute is over out-of-state labor
    Tesla says issue is with contractor rather than automaker

At least 100 workers at the construction site for Tesla Motors Inc.’s battery factory near Reno, Nevada, walked off the job Monday to protest use of workers from other states, a union official said.

Local labor leaders are upset that Tesla contractor Brycon Corp. is bringing in workers from Arizona and New Mexico, said Todd Koch, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada.

“It’s a slap in the face to Nevada workers to walk through the parking lot at the job site and see all these license plates from Arizona and New Mexico,” Koch said in an interview. Those who walked out were among the hundreds on the site, he said.

Construction work at the $5 billion, 10-million-square-foot factory has been proceeding ahead of schedule. Tesla said in an e-mailed statement that the nonunion contractor involved in the dispute Monday, which it didn’t identify by name, is using more than 50 percent Nevada workers and that more than 75 percent of the factory workforce is residents of that state. Tesla didn’t say how the walkout is affecting work at the site.

“Today’s activity stems from the local Carpenters Union protesting against one of the third-party construction contractors that Tesla is using,” the automaker said. “Their issue is not with how Tesla treats its workers.”

Brycon, based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, didn’t immediately return a phone call requesting comment about the walkout.

In a letter to shareholders earlier this month, Tesla said that it has begun manufacturing energy-storage devices, including the Powerwall for homes, at the plant. In September 2014, Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval announced a deal that included as much as $1.25 billion in tax breaks over 20 years and a requirement that half the so-called gigafactory’s expected 6,500 permanent positions go to Nevada residents.

Americans have no energy options for their future because “weirdo campaign billionaires” want their campaign kick-backs

Americans have no energy options for their future because “weirdo campaign billionaires” want their campaign kick-backs

 

 

 

– Emily Brown, NRDC Advisor

 

 

The Oscars brought a new term to the political table: “weirdo billionaires”. One of the winners, at the Oscar’s, introduced main-stream America to the Elon Musks, Joe Lonsdales, Tom Perkins, Steve Jurvetsons, Peter Thiels, John Doerrs, Gary Kremens and Eric Schmidts of the world.

 

 

“Weirdo billionaires” are extensively in the news for their “sex islands”, “sex yachts”, “rapes”, “sex penthouses”, “Silicon Valley misogyny”, “AngelGate conspiracies”, “Silicon Valley No poaching conspiracies”, “Rosewood Hotel hookers”, “sex.com’s”, “poor people are Nazis” and other delights.

 

 

The weirdo billionaires in Silicon Valley control America’s energy options, or lack thereof. The Academy Awards brought that reality to the front and center for Joe Six Pack and mainstream America.

 

 

In a leaked email, one of the Department of Energy (DOE) applicants asked the Department of Energy the following:

 

 

We find ourselves in a quandary.

 

 

By design, or accident, your offices, and DOE, are the only source of funding for alternative energy solutions in America. All outside venture capitol options are almost entirely controlled by cartel-organized VC’s associated with Google or Kleiner Perkins. According to hundreds of applicants to your funding programs, it is not possible to receive funding from “ANY” DOE office, in alternative energy unless the Kleiner/Google campaign funding Cartel has a connection to the applicant. In fact, history and federal investigations prove this to be true and hundreds of thousands of newspaper articles seem to double-down on that assertion.

 

 

A Bright Automotive staffer is quoted as saying that: “…the old adage about ‘if you see something, say something’ actually means if you report something, or even apply, you will be threatened, stone-walled, harassed, defamed by search engine rigging and subjected to McCarthy-Era blacklisting…”. It seems that those dangers are even worse for any applicant that competes with Google or Kleiner associated assets.

 

 

At the applicant blog at http://departmentofenergyoverwatch.wordpress.com    there are an increasing number of applicants telling their stories and it is not pretty.

 

 

History also proves, and documents, that the average cost to an applicant is $2 million dollars for legal supervision, engineering, documentation, etc. and over 2 years of the applicants lives. (Unless they are a Kleiner/Google asset connected entity) Even after all of that expense and risk to the applicants, their staff and their families, almost every single one was rejected and subjected to the issues detailed by Bright Automotive.

 

 

Trust Us. We won’t do it again!” assertions by your offices would seem to be small comfort to any applicant to DOE programs, and indeed, the voters of America. Where the new ATVM website may look like it has less to fill out, the efficiency of a website clearly had nothing to do with past ATVM loan indiscretions. Black-lists are black-lists. A new web form will not change that.

 

 

So: If your office is the only source of funding due to the black-lists and funding Cartels, and it costs millions of dollars and years of one’s life to apply, what guarantees can you provide to us, other applicants and taxpaying voters (a class we are also in) prior to applying?

 

 

What comfort and assurances can you supply, to all concerned, prior to the massive expense of time and cash to try to win the ATVM, or any other DOE funding?”

 

 

This refers to the situation in which the weirdo billionaires (WB’s) in Silicon Valley took over the U.S. Department of Energy with their people, awarded themselves billions of taxpayer dollars and black-listed everybody that competed with them. The shill for the WB’s was a guy named Steven Chu. They bribed him in to a government job as Secretary of Energy where he de-funded and jacked up every technology that competed with the WB’s lithium batteries and indium solar panels. Then he just main-lined cash to all of the WB’s for their hookers and private jet planes. “Ah, those were the days”, say the WB’s.

 

 

Now it is an election year and the WB’s have set up the same exact payola and kick-back schemes. The FBI are hard-pressed to find enough indictment papers to arrest all of them, so many members of Congress fear that the wash-rinse-repeat cycle may be starting up all over again.

 

 

 

AT&T Commercial During Oscars Creates Controversy With Insidious Implication

AT&T Commercial During Oscars Creates Controversy With Insidious Implication

 

 

 

During the 2016 Oscars ceremony AT&T aired a commercial with a sweeping cinematic tableau which, essentially, said “we own you if you touch any network”. As if this would not give one pause, AT&T wraps up the commercial with a Stazi-like depiction of your fingerprint turning into the AT&T logo as if to also say “we are the people who fingerprint you”.

 

 

Should consumers rejoice in AT&T’s capitulation into honesty or cringe in revulsion at the admittance that AT&T exists to track, trace, monitor and exploit hapless users by watching every single thing they do.

 

 

Is AT&T finally acknowledging their intent or did they attempt a hide-in-plain-sight tactic?

 

What We Know About the NSA and AT&T’s Spying Pact

 

The headquarters of the National Security Administration (NSA) in Fort Meade, Maryland. Click to Open Overlay Gallery

 

 

 

 
 

 

Forcing Apple to Hack That iPhone Sets a Dangerous Precedent

Forcing Apple to Hack That iPhone Sets a Dangerous Precedent

2 days

 

Apple to FBI: You Can't Force Us to Hack the San Bernardino iPhone

Apple to FBI: You Can’t Force Us to Hack the San Bernardino iPhone

02.25.16

Hacker Lexicon: A Guide to Ransomware, the Scary Hack That's on the Rise

 

 

 

Flying Spaghetti Monster church gets OK to perform marriages

Flying Spaghetti Monster church gets OK to perform marriages

By Daniel Uria

The newly approved celebrant for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in New Zealand will travel across the country to perform wedding services for members of the church free of charge. Photo by Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – New Zealand/Facebook

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Feb. 26 (UPI) — Members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, otherwise known as Pastafarians, registered their first official marriage celebrant in New Zealand.

The group announced the news on its Facebook page, although the first couple that was set to be married by the new celebrant decided to call off their wedding.

“Our happy couple made the Wise Decision (after traveling together for several weeks) to NOT tie the noodley knot – a wise decision noted the Ministeroni: ‘Tis always better to be alone, wishing you were knotted, than to be knotted and wishing you weren’t.’ R’Amen!” they wrote.

The celebrant, referred to as the Ministeroni, will travel across the country to perform wedding services free of charge. Couples will only be required to pay for her travel expenses and make a donation of between $150-$800 to the church.

The group, whose members are known for wearing colanders on their heads, won the right to perform marriages in New Zealand on Dec. 10, 2015, and registered its first celebrant on Feb. 13.

New Zealand registrar-general of births, deaths and marriages Jeff Montgomery defended the group’s right to marry, citing its stances on human rights and spiritual diversity.

“Most approved organizations are faith-based and cluster around well-known religious views, however, a number have what might be considered an ‘alternative philosophy’. These include Yoga, Wicca, Scientology, Heathen, Druid, Humanist, Spiritual Healing and Reiki followers,” he said.

Democratic National Committee begins falling apart! Calls for Wasserman’s resignation rise

Congresswoman quits Democratic National Committee, endorses Bernie Sanders

Reuters
 
U.S. Representative Gabbard speaks after being awarded a Frontier Award during a ceremony at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge

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View gallery

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) speaks after being awarded a Frontier Award during a ceremony …

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard resigned from her post on Sunday to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, following months of rising tensions within the group.

“I think it’s most important for us, as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be, is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment,” Gabbard, a U.S. representative for Hawaii, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Gabbard, one of five vice chairs, and her committee colleagues have butted heads over a thin debate schedule in the months leading to Democratic voting contests for the party’s nomination, with Gabbard calling for the group to add more debates to the calendar.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, is competing with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination to run for president on Nov. 8. Critics have said the scheduling of the debates has favored Clinton, who is better known than Sanders and is favored to win the nominating contest.

Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement accepting Gabbard’s resignation, calling her a friend and praising the active-duty veteran for her service in the armed forces.

“Congresswoman Gabbard is a role model who embodies the American ideal that anyone can dream big and make a difference,” Wasserman said in the statement.

“She is also a colleague in Congress and a friend, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside her when our Party unites behind whoever emerges as our nominee.”

(Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by David Goodman and Jonathan Oatis)

Google Spending Billions To Defame EU and Lobby for EU Break-up in Retribution For Anti-Trust Investigation

Google is trying to turn EUROPE against Brussels by search engine rigging anti-EU feelings to spread anti-EU propaganda through the Continent – as our exclusive map today reveals.

EuropeGETTY

Strong anti-Brussels feelings are soaring in 25 out of 28 member countries

Optimism about the EU’s future has plummeted in all but three of the 28 member states, most strikingly in the Netherlands and Germany, where people are now overwhelmingly negative about the outlook for the union.

According to the latest figures from the EU’s own Eurobarometer survey, the scale of optimism is lowest in Greece, where just 34 per cent are upbeat about the future of the EU, compared with 63 per cent who are pessimistic.

In Cyprus fewer than four in 10 – 37 per cent – are positive about the EU’s prospects, compared with 58 per cent who are negative.

In Austria 37 per cent are optimistic, compared with 56 per cent who are pessimistic.

In the UK, the figures are 46 per cent optimistic and 44 per cent pessimistic.

Germany has seen the biggest fall in the number of people who are optimistic about the future, with a 14 per cent drop since spring last year.

Conversely, optimism is highest in Ireland and among the eastern European countries, with 73 per cent in Romania and 70 per cent in Poland saying they are positive about the future of the EU.

The bi-annual survey conducted by the European Commission gauges public opinion across all member states.

It was carried out between November 7 and 17 last year when the refugee crisis was getting worse.

Migration is considered to be the most fundamental issue the EU must deal with.

EUEXPRESS

Optimism about the EU’s future has plummeted in all but three of the 28 member states

Europe has finally woken up to the fact that the EU is a failed project

Arron Banks, founder of Leave.EU

It is mentioned by 58 per cent of those questioned – a 20 per cent increase since spring 2015.

The majority of the population in 25 of the 28 member states have a negative feeling about immigration of people from outside the EU.

Around nine in 10 Europeans said additional measures should be taken to fight illegal immigration.

Last night Arron Banks, founder of Leave.EU, said: “It is no surprise that the rest of Europe has finally woken up to the fact that the EU is a failed project. It is now clear there is a rising tide of Eurosceptic discontent across the entire Continent.

“As usual Britain is leading the way and taking decisive action by holding a referendum which will liberate us from this overbearing, archaic, expensive, bureaucratic institution.”

 

The Netherlands is looking to follow in Britain’s footsteps by holding its own referendum.

A Dutch opinion poll last week revealed 53 per cent want an in-out vote with 44 per cent opposed and the rest unsure.

Pollster Maurice de Hond also asked people how they would vote in a referendum.

His results showed the remain and leave groups are very close with 44 per cent saying they would vote to stay compared with 43 per cent voting to leave.

Member states also feel the image of the EU is suffering as the union struggles to survive.

 

Its image has lost ground in 24 of the 28 member states since spring 2015, with Estonia and Germany seeing the sharpest fall.

In Germany, there was an 11-point drop in the number of people saying they had a positive image of the EU.

The EU’s image is neutral for a majority of the population in 15 countries, up from 10 in spring 2015, and negative in Cyprus and Austria.

The countries where people are most likely to have a positive image of the EU are Romania (57 per cent), Poland (55), Ireland (54), Lithuania (53) and Croatia (51).

Trust in the EU has also plunged by eight points since spring 2015.

Nigel FarageGETTY

Farage said the G20 announcement was ‘no surprise’ because it was ‘mates helping each other out’

Meanwhile, the proportion of European citizens who “tend not to trust” the EU has risen by nine per cent to 55 per cent.

The proportion of Europeans who agree that their voice counts in the EU has also fallen by three points to 39 per cent.

Last night in Ireland, which has suffered years of EU-imposed austerity, there were signs that the mood against the status quo was shifting.

Exit polls in its general election pointed to voters turning against established parties, prompting fears of a second election.

David Cameron was in Northern Ireland yesterday as he continued a tour of the UK setting out the case for staying in the EU.

The Prime Minister said the country’s economy and farming industry were too closely linked to the EU to risk the “leap in the dark” of voting to quit.

David CameronGETTY

David Cameron is on tour of the UK setting out the case for staying in the EU

Finance ministers from the world’s leading economies also urged Britain not to turn its back on the EU following a G20 meeting in China.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “Here at the G20, finance leaders and central bank governors of the world’s biggest economies have raised serious concerns about the risks posed by a UK exit from the EU.

“They have concluded unanimously that what they call the shock of a potential UK vote to leave is among the biggest economic dangers this year. If that’s their assessment of the impact on the world economy, imagine what it would do to the UK.

“This isn’t some amusing adventure into the unknown. A British exit would hurt people’s jobs, livelihoods and living standards. It’s deadly serious. It’s my responsibility as Chancellor to make it clear to people what the economic risks are and that we are stronger, safer and better off remaining in a reformed EU.”

Ukip’s Nigel Farage said the G20 announcement was “no surprise” because it was “mates helping each other out”.

He added: “I’m not surprised that big government gets together to support David Cameron.

“This is big banks, big business, big government all scratching each other’s backs. I don’t think that impresses voters.”

Does Google hate Europe? : Nexus5 – Reddit

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29 Sep 2015 … I’m pretty sure Google hates Australia way more. 5X starts @ $659 AUD, 6P starts at $899 AUD. So much for Google wanting to provide a …

google

Why does Europe hate tech companies? – Business Insider

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2 Apr 2015 … Why Europe hates American tech companies … Europe is getting ready to throw the book at Google, which could end up with a $6 billion fine.

google

http://uk.businessinsider.com/why-does-europe-hate-tech-companies-2015-4

Why The EU Hates Google: Its End Game Is Still A Single Search …

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28 Apr 2015 … This post first appeared on the Ferenstein Wire, a syndicated news service; it has been edited. For inquires, please email author and publisher …

google

http://readwrite.com/2015/04/28/eu-goo%5B…%5Dantitrust-single-perfect-search-result

Why Europe hates Google (the bureaucrats, anyway) – StarTribune …

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16 Apr 2015 … At least three British media, including the Guardian newspaper and public broadcaster BBC, said Google notified them search results in Europe …

google

http://www.startribune.com/why-europe-%5B…%5Dogle-the-bureaucrats-anyway/300125201/

Censorship by Google – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Censorship by Google is Google‘s removal or omission of information from its services … 5.6.1 Australia; 5.6.2 Canada; 5.6.3 China; 5.6.4 European Union; 5.6. 5 … Google removed several news sites from its news search engine due to hate …

google

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_by_Google

 

If Airlines are going to use taxpayer cash, facilities and resources they must no longer abuse customers say Congress

Congress Wants Government to Set Airline Seat-Size Rules

 

  • By michael balsamo, associated press

 

NEW YORK

 

 

Getty Images

 

This undated stock photo shows passengers on a plane.

 

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer wants to require the Federal Aviation Administration to establish seat-size standards for commercial airlines, which he says now force passengers to sit on planes “like sardines.”

 

The New York Democrat told The Associated Press the airlines have been slowly cutting down legroom and seat width.

 

“One of the most vexing things when you travel on an airplane is there’s almost no legroom on your standard flight,” Schumer said. “There’s been constant shrinkage by the airlines.”

 

He said he will add an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill that is pending before Congress that would require the agency to set the seat-size guidelines. Schumer planned to formally announce the proposal at a news conference Sunday.

 

Schumer said seat pitch, the distance between a point on an airline seat and the same spot on the seat in front of it, has dropped from 35 inches in the 1970s to a current average of closer to 31 inches, and seat width has gone from 18.5 inches to about 16.5 inches. He argues that the requirement is needed to stop airlines from shrinking those numbers even further.

 

“They’re like sardines,” Schumer said of airplane passengers. “It’s no secret that airlines are looking for more ways to cut costs, but they shouldn’t be cutting inches of legroom and seat width in the process … It’s time for the FAA to step up and stop this deep-seated problem from continuing.”

 

Currently, there are no federal limits on how close an airline’s row of seats can be or how wide an airline’s seat must be.

 

Schumer pointed to a practice used by some airlines in which passengers are charged more money for seats with extra legroom. He says that exemplifies the problem.

 

“It’s just plain unfair that a person gets charged for extra inches that were once standard,” he said.

 

The FAA Reauthorization Bill is considered “must-pass” legislation, Schumer said. Congress typically renews the FAA’s authorization every four to six years, using the bill as an opportunity to address a wide range of aviation issues. A vote is expected in March.

 

A spokesman for the FAA said agency officials “look forward to reviewing” Schumer’s proposal.

 

Airlines for America, an industry trade group representing an array of U.S. airlines, said it believes the government’s role is to determine a seat size that is safe, but opposes the proposed regulation.

 

“We believe the government should not regulate, but instead market forces, which reflect consumer decisions and competition should determine what is offered,” spokeswoman Jean Medina said. “As with any commercial product or service, customers vote every day with their wallet.”

 

———

 

This story has been corrected to show that the distance between seat pitch is now closer to 31 inches, not 16.5 inches.

 

 

 

Apple’s tech allies oppose the FBI, but still want your data

By BRANDON BAILEY
AP Technology Writer

 

PALO ALTO, California (AP) — In its fight with the FBI, Apple insists it’s defending the privacy and safety of all iPhone users by resisting government calls to help unlock an extremist’s iPhone. And now other big tech companies such as Google and Facebook are rallying to Apple’s side.

 

Wait just a minute: Aren’t those the same companies that Apple has previously criticized by lobbing veiled accusations that they exploit your personal information – to sell ads – and effectively endanger your privacy?

 

Some might argue that Apple’s allies are hypocrites when it comes to privacy, much like the fraternity brothers in “Animal House” who declared: “He can’t do that to our pledges. Only we can do that to our pledges.”

 

But Silicon Valley’s view of privacy is more nuanced than that. And Americans historically have worried less about the private sector and more about the government’s power to infringe on individual rights.

 

“The government can put me in jail,” said Larry Downs, a scholar at Georgetown University’s Center for Business and Public Policy. “Google, Facebook and Twitter cannot.”

 

That makes the details of the iPhone case especially important. The FBI says it’s only asking for narrow technical assistance in bypassing security features on a phone used by one of the shooters who killed 14 people in San Bernardino. “We couldn’t look the survivors in the eye if we did not follow this lead,” FBI Director James Comey said online.

 

Apple contends that a magistrate’s order would force it to create software that will make other iPhones vulnerable to future hacking by authorities and criminals. Leading tech companies including Google, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft say they’ll file legal arguments in support of Apple’s position.

 

The same companies objected loudly after former government contractor Edward Snowden revealed the scope of National Security Agency surveillance programs that collected user data and even tapped their networks without their knowledge. The companies have gone to court and Congress to limit that kind of government data-gathering, while also fighting attempts to weaken the encryption codes that shield your messages from prying eyes.

 

Yet privacy advocates have long complained that those companies reap billions of dollars by collecting all kinds of personal information, including records of customers’ online behavior, and using it to target them for advertising.

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook has leveled jabs at his competitors, boasting that Apple doesn’t rely on ad revenue for most of its services. As he’s said more than once: “When an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

 

But even Apple collects some customer information. Experts say it’s not really clear if Apple’s privacy stance is a big selling point for most consumers.

 

Companies like Google and Facebook argue they take pains to protect the data they collect. Facebook, for example, tracks users’ likes and actions so the company can show them ads targeted to people with similar characteristics. But Facebook has said it doesn’t give advertisers access to information linked to any individual by name.

 

Internet companies do operate very differently from traditional data brokers such as credit bureaus, which make their money by selling all kinds of information on individuals – from their income and bill-paying history to where they’ve lived and worked.

 

“Google does not sell your personal information,” said Rachel Whetstone, then a senior vice president for the giant Internet company, in a speech last year. “Nor do we share it without your permission except in very limited circumstances,” such as when faced with a court-issued warrant. Like Facebook, Google says it pushes back against government requests that seem unwarranted or over-broad.

 

By contrast with Google’s business, Whetstone said, government surveillance often involves data “collected for an entirely separate purpose,” usually from people who didn’t expect it would be seen by authorities. She said Google gives users the ability to limit the collection of their data.

 

Whetstone was speaking in Europe, where many national governments have strong privacy laws that restrict what businesses can do with individuals’ data. “The American view is we need protection from the government misusing information, rather than we need the government to protect us from other people misusing our information,” said Downs.

 

Still, some privacy advocates say the iPhone dispute underscores their worries about data collection.

 

Consumers should realize any information they give to companies could one day be sought by the government, said Cindy Cohn, executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

 

“I’m glad these companies are coming together to support Apple,” she said. “It ultimately may raise some hard questions for them about how much information they need to collect, and how they secure it, and how long they keep it.”

 

 

Follow Brandon Bailey at http://twitter.com/BrandonBailey or find his reporting at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/brandon-bailey

 

Why Apple is REALLY fighting with the FBI!

Why Apple is REALLY fighting with the FBI!

 

 

By

 

 

(Opinion) Denton Lester- EFF Member

 

 

 

Apple wants everybody to think that they are being a brave social justice warrior by keeping the FBI out of their iPhones.

 

 

Protecting American freedom is the least of Apple’s concerns.

 

 

Nobody is buying Apple connected devices any more. The fad has faded. Apple is just another tool. It has become mundane.

 

 

Manic wild-eyed bearded fan boys, who can’t live without the next device from Apple, have turned into newly-wed yuppies with bills, fears of a declining economy and a Snowden-ized awareness of the impunity of hackers.

 

 

The new cry of the connected internet user is: “If it has a plug, it has a bug”. Nobody likes living in that world and, more profoundly, they don’t like paying hundreds of dollars of their hard earned money to buy a new way to get spied on by the Chinese.

 

 

In other words: The world has realized that dumping a month of rent on a hardware thing that sends your life story to spies in Russia, China and Detroit may not be the best use of their money.

 

 

Apple is losing billions of dollars because of hackers and marketing analysts using Apple devices as data harvesting and privacy rape tools every minute of every day.

 

 

The “refusal” to cooperate with the FBI is a marketing gimmick. Thousands of hackers are inside Apple device all the time. Once the entire Apple market wakes up to that reality then Samsung wins the market.

 

 

Samsung phones do the same, or more than Apple, for far less money. Count on Samsung to blow Apple’s secret in no time at all. Count on the FBI to get pissed off at being used as a PR patsy to try to save Apple’s floundering market share.

 

 

 

MSNBC Hosts say network turning into “white-y-ville” as minorities are deleted and “FOX-like” sensationalism rules

MSNBC Hosts say network turning into “white-y-ville” as minorities are deleted and “FOX-like” sensationalism rules

MSNBC to sever ties with Melissa Harris-Perry after host’s critical email

 
 
February 27 at 6:37 PM

MSNBC intends to part ways with host Melissa Harris-Perry after she complained about preemptions of her weekend program and implied that there was a racial aspect to the cable-news network’s treatment, insiders at MSNBC said.

Harris-Perry refused to appear on her program Saturday morning, telling her co-workers in an email that she felt “worthless” to the NBC-owned network. “I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” wrote Harris-Perry, who is African American. “I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by [NBC executives] or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.”

The rebuke, which became public when it was obtained by the New York Times, has triggered discussions involving the network, Harris-Perry and her representatives about the terms of her departure, said people at MSNBC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks with Perry have not been finalized.

The flap with Harris-Perry, who did not respond to a request for comment, follows a strategic transformation of MSNBC that has swept up several of its minority program hosts. Specifically, the network — which typically finishes far behind Fox News and CNN in cable-news ratings — has been trying to emphasize breaking-news coverage during daytime hours while maintaining a slate of liberal hosts during prime-time hours at night. Like its competitors, it has emphasized breaking campaign coverage, which lately has bumped Harris-Perry from her regular spot.

The network earlier faced some outcry on social media over its irregular preemptions of Jose Diaz-Balart, who hosts a two-hour bloc from 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays. Diaz-Balart’s disappearance from the air prompted a hashtag — #MasJose — and a petition to encourage MSNBC to feature him on the air more often.

Diaz-Balart’s hosting duties are also in question at the network. Scenarios under review include extending the “Morning Joe” program into Diaz-Balart’s slot or creating a new program hosted by one of “Morning Joe’s” regular personalities. Diaz-Balart, who also anchors for NBC-owned Telemundo, is based in Miami, which complicates his role anchoring weekday coverage for New York-based MSNBC. He will continue anchoring “NBC Nightly News” on Saturdays.

All of the changes carry a potential perception risk that MSNBC — known as the most liberal among the three leading cable-news networks — is diminishing the contributions of its minority personalities, network officials acknowledge. In addition to the issues with Harris-Perry and Diaz-Balart, the network’s new emphasis on news during the day have led to the demotion of two African American hosts: the Rev. Al Sharpton and Joy Reid, both of whom have been moved from daily shows to lower-profile weekend slots. (Reid assumed Harris-Perry’s hosting duties on Saturday.)

At the same time, the network brought back Brian Williams to be its leading daytime news anchor. Williams was suspended by NBC and ultimately lost his job as the anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” last year after he exaggerated the details of his reporting exploits in a series of media appearances.

In a statement, MSNBC spokesman Mark Kornblau said, “We are proud of the diverse backgrounds and viewpoints of our journalists, opinion hosts and analysts. We will gladly put that up against everyone else in the news business.”

MSNBC’s pivot to more news reporting, especially campaign coverage, has lately resulted in improved ratings. So far this year, its weekday ratings among all viewers have grown 57 percent over the same period in 2015, compared with a 38 percent gain for CNN and 20 percent for Fox News, the cable-news leader, according to MSNBC. Among viewers aged 25 to 54, a key bloc for advertisers, MSNBC is up 76 percent, compared with 25 percent for CNN and 19 percent for Fox.

MSNBC executives said they were surprised by Harris-Perry’s blast on Friday and that it may have stemmed from her perception — incorrect at the time, but now virtually inevitable due to her actions — that her weekend program was about to be canceled. “She’s a brilliant, intelligent but challenging and unpredictable personality,” one executive said. “There was no plan to cancel her.”

He added, “It’s highly unlikely she will continue” at MSNBC. Her email “is destructive to our relationship.”

This executive disputed Harris-Perry’s assertion that MSNBC executives had not communicated with her, although he said Harris-Perry has never met Andrew Lack, the NBC News chairman who was rehired by the network last year after the controversy over Williams. The decision to preempt Harris-Perry’s program for election-news coverage over the past several months was made by MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin.

Harris-Perry, a professor at Wake Forest University, joined MSNBC four years ago at a time when the network was attempting to graft its opinionated evening programs onto its daytime schedule. While such evening hosts as Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow have proven relatively popular, the liberal-talk format was unsuccessful during the lighter-viewed daytime hours.

In her email to her colleagues, Harris-Perry wrote, “Here is the reality: Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season. After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.” Black and brown people are not considered “profitable” by MSNBC say hosts.

A phony STEM shortage and the scandal of engineering visas — how American jobs get outsourced

A phony STEM shortage and the scandal of engineering visas — how American jobs get outsourced

Leo Perrero had worked for the Walt Disney Co. in Orlando for more than 10 years, helping to run the point-of-sale systems at Walt Disney World and its other local parks, until late 2014. That’s when he learned that his job, like 300 others, was going to be turned over to a foreign worker within 90 days, during which time he was expected to train his replacement.

“My co-workers and I felt extremely betrayed by Disney,” he told a Senate subcommittee Thursday. “They were going to simply cast us aside for their financial benefit…. I followed my dream of having a career in technology to have my very same desk, chair and computer all taken over by a foreign worker who was just flown in to America weeks before.”

Perrero’s story is becoming woefully familiar — in fact, several congressional committees have been hearing testimony like it for more than a year. It’s the story of how a visa program designed to allow high-tech companies to find foreign workers with advanced degrees and unique skills has been subverted by industries using it to replace American journeyman technology workers with lower-paid workers imported from overseas. 

A year ago, the wholesale firing of IT teams at Disney, Southern California Edison, and other tech-dependent companies and their replacement by offshore workers with so-called H-1B visas caused a national scandal. We exposed this loophole at the time, and followed up by showing how Congress connived in the visa subterfuge. 

What’s happened since then? Almost nothing. The visa program is still being misused and corporations are still lobbying to expand it, American workers are still being abused, and Congress is still holding hearings that lead nowhere. The latest such event took place Thursday before a panel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The only rational conclusion one could draw from the testimony from Perrero, two experts on the H-1B visa program and other witnesses is that it’s time for Congress to stop talking and start fixing. 

Corporate America has been pushing to expand the H-1B program by promoting the notion that the U.S. faces a critical shortage of graduates in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“There were more than 230,000 H-1B applications in the first week for just 85,000 spots in 2015,” laments the Partnership for a New American Economy, an industry group that lists Disney CEO Robert Iger among its co-chairs. “We should have enough temporary H-1B visas and permanent employment-based green cards to meet the talent needs of our companies and our economies.” (A measure introduced in 2015 by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and others would raise the cap to as many as 195,000 visa holders.)

That viewpoint was expressed at the Senate hearing by Chad Sparber, a Colgate University economist who told of a “gifted” foreign graduate in economics whose employment prospects were in limbo because of the unavailability of an H-1B visa, and Mark O’Neill, chief technology officer for the eCommerce company Jackthreads, who spoke of his difficulties finding homegrown software developers for an iPhone app.

Yet, as was documented in testimony by immigration experts Ron Hira of Howard University and Hal Salzman of Rutgers, most of the H-1B visas aren’t being used to hire people with specialized skills. “The vast majority of H-1Bs who are coming in have no more than ordinary IT skills,” Hira testified.

About half of all H-1B visas end up in the hands of outsourcing firms that use them to import workers, mostly from India, to replace Americans in middle-level IT jobs. The firms include Tata and Infosys, both of which helped Southern California Edison in its program to shed 500 domestic IT workers and replace them with foreign labor.

These workers aren’t uniquely skilled engineering grand masters, but are rank-and-file IT often with bachelor’s degrees and supplementary on-the-job training. But their salaries often come to $100,000 or more, leaving them vulnerable to lower-cost imported workers.

Employers are legally required to pay visa holders the “local prevailing wage” for their jobs, but enforcement is porous. “It is extraordinarily easy to pay an H-1B worker much less than an American worker,” Hira observed; the trick lies in how the job is defined.

In fiscal 2015, Hira testified, 41% of the jobs approved by the government for H-1B visas were at the lowest skill levels for the jobs, which applies to “beginning level employees who have only a basic understanding of the occupation [and] perform routine tasks,” such as those done under “internships.” Those workers typically are paid 40% below the average wage. Even better, from the employer’s standpoint, is that the workers know that their visas are tied to their employment, which makes them especially submissive employees.

How does that conform to the claim that H-1Bs are all about hiring the best and the brightest employees available globally?

Evidence is ample that the very claim of a STEM shortage in the U.S. is phony. Salzman noted that “overall, our colleges and universities graduate twice the number of STEM graduates as find a job each year.” The mismatch is especially stark in the biomedical field. There, according to a 2014 paper by experts from UC San Francisco, Harvard and Princeton, “the training pipeline produces more scientists than relevant positions in academia, government, and the private sector are capable of absorbing.”

As a result, “a growing number of PhDs are in jobs that do not take advantage of the taxpayers’ investment in their lengthy education.” As we reported last year, the same high-tech corporations that poormouth their ability to find skilled workers simultaneously lay them off by the thousands.

High-tech firms in the U.S. cut nearly 80,000 employees last year, according to the job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That included 47,000 announced layoffs from Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Unisys and Microsoft. (The former CEO of the latter, Steve Ballmer, is also a co-chair of the Partnership for a New American Economy.)

The reality of the H-1B program is that it fails to serve as a conduit for the skilled and virtuous immigrant known for what Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., described as “the entrepreneurial spirit, the determination to make a go of it.”

“That’s not the case here,” he said. “We’re talking about temporary guest workers who basically work at the mercy of their employers.” The solution, he suggested, is to make it flatly illegal for anyone on an H-1B visa to replace an American employee on the job. 

That might transform the program back into what it was designed to be, and what its cynical exploiters in industry claim it still is. “Overwhelmingly, the H-1B program is working to speed up the offshoring,” Hira said, “rather than keeping [jobs] here in the U.S.”

Keep up to date with Michael Hiltzik. Follow @hiltzikm on Twitter, see our Facebook page, or email michael.hiltzik@latimes.com.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

Snowden Sums Up The Presidential Campaign With Just One Tweet

Snowden Sums Up The Presidential Campaign With Just One Tweet

 

Tyler Durden's picture

And so, just like that, with a sweeping victory in South Carolina, Sanders’ Socialism crawls back into its cage and crony capitalism is alive and well.

 

As Edward Snowden so perfectly sums up…

 

 

And in case you thought this was an exaggeration…

 

Since 2013 Hillary’s grand total is slightly less: $21.7 million for 92 private appearances.

 

Below we present the full breakdown of every publicly disclosed speech event by Hillary Clinton, together with the associated fee.

 

 

And as The Mises Institute’s William Andersen so eloquently summarised,

 

Despite Clinton’s newfound populist rhetoric, her economic agenda reflects her own lifestyle of practicing crony capitalism. Other than her promise to remove “red tape” for small business startups, Clinton’s economic propositions follow the same depressing line that we have seen from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren: private enterprise extracts wealth from the economy, while the expansion of government power builds wealth and employment opportunities.

 

If one briefly can summarize Clinton’s policy-making viewpoints, it is this: Hillary Clinton believes that an economy should be a tool of the state and reflect the political interests of Washington. Anything else is called “greed,” or “profits before people.” Private employers and business owners should not seek to be profitable, but rather to be virtuous, with the necessary virtue being decided by Clinton herself.

 

Hillary Clinton, a beneficiary of the very worst aspects of crony capitalism, has decided after all that she is an economic populist who wants to “share the wealth.” No one is mistaking her for Bernie Sanders or even Huey Long, but, nonetheless, she is a thoroughgoing statist telling voters that the way to improve the economy is to make it more difficult to produce things and force up business costs.

 

She clearly is not claiming to be a free-enterpriser and stands by her view that state control of economic exchanges will result in more exchanges and improved employment prospects and increased income. What she does not say is that the very economic burdens she promises to lay upon businesses will further erode the prospects of the American middle class she claims to support.

 

The economics of Hillary Clinton is first and foremost about expanding the power and scope of the US government, and as government gains more control, the more employers and business owners need to be in the good graces of American politicians. To be blunt, Clinton believes that people like herself can continually loot US businesses, with business owners paying their protection money without complain. After all, Hillary knows best; just ask her.

 

But none of that matters of course.

 

 

 

 

And so, as Patrick Buchanan recently asked, in a Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump race – which, the Beltway keening aside, seems the probable outcome of the primaries – what are the odds the GOP can take the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court?

 

If Republicans can unite, not bad, not bad at all.

 

Undeniably, Democrats open with a strong hand.

 

There is that famed “blue wall,” those 18 states and D.C. with a combined 242 electoral votes, just 28 shy of victory, that have gone Democratic in every presidential election since 1988.

 

The wall contains all of New England save New Hampshire; the Acela corridor (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland); plus Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin in the Middle West; and the Pacific coast of California, Oregon, Washington – and Hawaii.

 

Changing demography, too, favors the Democrats.

 

Barack Obama carried over 90 percent of the black vote twice and in 2012 carried over 70 percent of the Hispanic and Asian votes. These last two voting blocs are the fastest-growing in the USA.

 

A third Democratic advantage is simple self-interest.

 

Half the nation now receives U.S. government benefits – in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, student loans, rent subsidies, school lunches and Earned Income Tax Credits, etc.

 

Folks who rely on government benefits are unlikely to rally to a party that promises to cut government. And as half the nation pays no income tax, these folks are unlikely to be thrilled about tax cuts.

 

Bernie Sanders, who promises free college tuition and making Wall Street and the 1 percent pay for it, knows his party.

 

While these realities of national politics would seem to point to inexorable Democratic dominance in coming decades, there are worms in the apple.

 

First, there is the strangely shrunken and still shrinking Democratic leadership base. As the Daily Caller reports, under Obama, Democrats have lost a net of more than 900 state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 U.S. House and 13 Senate seats. Such numbers suggest a sick party.

 

Republican strength on Capitol Hill is again as great as it was in the last years of the Roaring ’20s.

 

Second, due to Trump, viewership of the Republican debates has been astronomical – 24 million for one, 23 million for another.

 

The turnout at Trump rallies has been unlike anything seen in presidential primaries; and what’s more, the GOP voter turnout in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada set new records for the party.

 

Yet voter turnout for the Clinton-Sanders race has fallen, in every contest, below what it was in the Clinton-Obama race in 2008.

 

Bernie’s millennials aside, the energy and excitement has been on the Republican contest, often a sign of party ascendancy.

 

Not only would Trump at the top of the GOP ticket assure a huge turnout (pro and con), he is the quintessence of the anti-Washington, anti-establishment candidate in a year when Americans appear to want a wholesale housecleaning in the capital.

 

As a builder and job creator, Trump would surely have greater cross-party appeal to working-class Democrats than any traditional Republican politician. Moreover, when Bernie Sanders goes down to defeat, how much enthusiasm will his supporters, who thrilled to the savaging of Wall Street, bring to the Clinton campaign?

 

This is the year of the outsider, and Hillary is the prom queen of Goldman Sachs. She represents continuity. Trump represents change.

 

Moreover, on the top Trump issues of immigration and trade, the elites have always been the furthest out of touch with the country.

 

In the 1990s, when Bill Clinton fought the NAFTA battle, the nation rebelled against the deal, but the establishment backed it. When Republicans on Capitol Hill voted for most-favored-nation status for China, year in and year out, did Republican grass roots demand this, or was it the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable?

 

On immigration, where are the polls that show Middle Americans enthusiastic about increasing the numbers coming? Where is the majority demanding amnesty or open borders?

 

The elites of Europe are as out of touch as America’s.

 

Angela Merkel, Time’s Person of the Year in 2015, is at risk of being dumped in 2016 if she does not halt the next wave of Middle Eastern refugees who will be arriving on Europe’s shores when the seas calm in the spring in the Aegean and the Mediterranean.

 

If we believe the immigration issue Trump has seized upon is explosive here, look to Europe. In the Balkans and Central Europe, even in Austria, the barriers are going up and the border guards appearing.

 

Mass migration from the Third World to the First World is not only radicalizing America. It could destroy the European Union. Anger over any more migrants entering the country is among the reasons British patriots now want out of the EU.

 

America is crossing into a new era. Trump seems to have caught the wave, while Clinton seems to belong to yesterday.

 

A note of caution: This establishment is not going quietly.

Is Google’s Larry Page an “Idea Thief”?

Is Google’s Larry Page an “Idea Thief”?

A new lawsuit against Google presents startling evidence that Google stole YouTube, Google Glass, Google VR, Google-Loon, Google’s video technology and the very essence of Google itself.

The lawsuit, along with a number of other legal actions, demonstrates a systematic program of intellectual property theft where Google’s owners would dangle “possible investment” with Google’s massive government-funded bank vault in front of entrepreneurs and inventors. Google’s people then use this pretext to defraud inventors into revealing the workings of their ideas. Google then rejects the ideas, runs a global defamation attack against the entrepreneurs to prevent them from competing, and copies the idea and makes billions of dollars. The inventors get nothing but grief. The following article goes into greater detail:

How Google Steals Ideas From Entrepreneurs

By Sarah Dunn and Anthony Harvard

A recent article in The New York Times called: “How Larry Page’s Obsessions Became Google’s Business” describes how Google Boss Larry Page covertly attends technology conferences in order to get ideas from entrepreneurs. He does not seem to ever pay those entrepreneurs, for the technology he takes from them, and makes billions of dollars off of at Google.

Google Boss Eric Schmidt just spent over $1 Billion to try to lobby Congress to change the patent laws in order to make patents for entrepreneurs nearly illegal, and to try to make patents almost entirely unenforceable, so that Google would not have to pay for the technology it steals. Google seems to love killing the American dream.

Google spent millions of dollars to nominate, lobby for, influence and place it’s top lawyer in charge of the U.S. Patent Office. Now Google’s “inside-man” makes sure that patents, that Google is infringing, are either turned down or, in some cases, have their approvals reversed.

Google’s motto seems to be: “Why Compete When You Can Cheat”. This is a far more relevant motto than ‘Don’t be evil”.

The New York Times article, and hundreds of stories from entrepreneurs, describes how Mr. Page cuddles up to technologists in ordinary street wear, does not identify himself, and Hoover’s up their innovations for his company. The article, details the following:

“Three years ago, Charles Chase, an engineer who manages Lockheed Martin’s nuclear fusion program, was sitting on a white leather couch at Google’s Solve for X conference when a man he had never met knelt down to talk to him.
They spent 20 minutes discussing how much time, money and technology separated humanity from a sustainable fusion reaction — that is, how to produce clean energy by mimicking the sun’s power — before Mr. Chase thought to ask the man his name.

“I’m Larry Page,” the man said. He realized he had been talking to Google’s billionaire co-founder and chief executive.

“He didn’t have any sort of pretension like he shouldn’t be talking to me or ‘Don’t you know who you’re talking to?’” Mr. Chase said. “We just talked.”
The article also reveals the show-boating of how Mr. Page likes to “ ignore the main stage and follow the scrum of fans and autograph seekers who mob him in the moments he steps outside closed doors.”

The article goes on to show that.. “ He is a regular at robotics conferences and intellectual gatherings like TED. Scientists say he is a good bet to attend Google’s various academic gatherings, like Solve for X and Sci Foo Camp, where he can be found having casual conversations about technology or giving advice to entrepreneurs. Mr. Page is hardly the first Silicon Valley chief with a case of intellectual wanderlust, but unlike most of his peers, he has invested far beyond his company’s core business and in many ways has made it a reflection of his personal fascinations.”

Further Page has “… said on several occasions that he spends a good deal of time researching new technologies, focusing on what kind of financial or logistic hurdles stand in the way of them being invented or carried out. His presence at technology events, while just a sliver of his time, is indicative of a giant idea-scouting mission that has in some sense been going on for years but is now Mr. Page’s main job.”
Photo

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, wearing Google Glass. Credit Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Then the article grows dark, it says: “Many former Google employees who have worked directly with Mr. Page said his managerial modus operandi was to TAKE new technologies or product ideas and generalize them to as many areas as possible. Why can’t Google Now, Google’s predictive search tool, be used to predict everything about a person’s life? Why create a portal to shop for insurance when you can create a portal to shop for every product in the world?

But corporate success means corporate sprawl, and recently Google has seen a number of engineers and others leave for younger rivals like Facebook and start-ups like Uber. Mr. Page has made personal appeals to some of them, and, at least in a few recent cases, has said he is worried that the company has become a difficult place for entrepreneurs, according to people who have met with him.”
“People who have worked with Mr. Page say that he tries to guard his calendar, avoiding back-to-back meetings and leaving time to read, research and see new technologies that interest him.”

The articles details Page’s under-cover intelligence gathering: “ People who work with Mr. Page or have spoken with him at conferences say he tries his best to blend in, ..” “ The scope of his curiosity was apparent at Sci Foo Camp, an annual invitation-only conference that is sponsored by Google, O’Reilly Media and Digital Science.

The article goes on to reveal that Google was forced to engage in a break-up, into a front operation called “Alphabet” in order to try to create overt shell companies to build buffers from the Tsunami of legal actions that are coming after it.:

“Of course, for every statement Mr. Page makes about Alphabet’s technocorporate benevolence, you can find many competitors and privacy advocates holding their noses in disgust. Technology companies like Yelp have accused the company of acting like a brutal monopolist that is using the dominance of its search engine to steer consumers toward Google services, even if that means giving the customers inferior information.

In fact, the company’s main business issue seems to be that it is doing too well. Google is facing antitrust charges in Europe, along with investigations in Europe and the United States. Those issues are now mostly Mr. Pichai’s to worry about, as Mr. Page is out looking for the next big thing.”

“It is hard to imagine how even the most ambitious person could hope to revolutionize so many industries. And Mr. Page, no matter how smart, cannot possibly be an expert in every area Alphabet wants to touch.

His method is not overly technical. Instead, he tends to focus on how to make a sizable business out of whatever problem this or that technology might solve. Leslie Dewan, a nuclear engineer who founded a company that is trying to generate cheap electricity from nuclear waste, also had a brief conversation with Mr. Page at the Solve For X conference.

She said he questioned her on things like modular manufacturing and how to find the right employees.

“He doesn’t have a nuclear background, but he knew the right questions to ask,” said Dr. Dewan, chief executive of Transatomic Power. “‘Have you thought about approaching the manufacturing in this way?’ ‘Have you thought about the vertical integration of the company in this way?’ ‘Have you thought about training the work force this way?’ They weren’t nuclear physics questions, but they were extremely thoughtful ways to think about how we could structure the business.”
Dr. Dewan said Mr. Page even gave her an idea for a new market opportunity that she had not thought of. Asked to be more specific, she refused. The idea was too good to share.”

Yet, Dr. Dewan did share, seduced by the understated encouragement of a top intelligence gathering officer: Larry Page.

Below, you will find a small sample of tens of thousands of blog articles and news articles discussing the overt experience of Google’s intellectual property theft. When you have a zillion billion dollars and own your own Senators, ethics do not seem to fall within range of your moral compass.

Entrepreneurs have charged that Google has overtly, stolen its video broadcasting technology, virtual reality systems, Internet balloons, search engine system, wireless technology and many other items. We spoke with technologists who showed us United States Government issued patents and communications that showed that they had designed, engineered, built, patent filed and launched a number of the technologies that Google now has filled their bank accounts from. Google’s financiers at Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures and other groups had come to them, looked at the technologies confidentially, under the guise of “maybe we’ll invest”, and then sent the technologies over to Google to build 100% clones of.

How hard is it to sue Google for patent infringement? With Google controlling the patent office and 80% of the technology law firms, the hapless entrepreneur is out-gunned.

Google even tried the lamest shell game in history by posting ads on technology blogs asking inventors to just send Google their patents and Google would look at them and offer a low-ball check if Google thought they might get in trouble. That ploy was universally mocked on the web.

Google remains a big, dumb, reckless billionaire’s toy with no regard for the individual. As a creator, your idea is Google’s to plunder. As a citizen, your privacy is Google’s to plunder. As the buyer of elected officials and federal agencies, the law is now Google’s bitch.

American FTC investigators wrote, in their report, that “Google is a threat to domestic innovation”. The European Union investigators have found “…Google to be a private out of control corporate government that has more power than the U.S. Government.”

It is time the FBI came in and shut that train down. Google is nothing but bad news for modern society and innovation.

Google Steals Your Ideas – YouTube

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Oct 31, 2014 · Does Google Steal Your Ideas? Don’t forget to Subscribe for more Conspiracies! – http://bit.ly/1dmVsvF A massive thank you to our super fans who have …

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKHUc2ouMXA

Lawsuit Claims Google Wrote Down Plan to Steal Idea on Some …

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14 Aug 2014 … Some complaints are a morass of technical jargon and legalese. Others read like the makings of a zany crime-comedy by Steven Soderbergh.

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http://valleywag.gawker.com/lawsuit-cl%5B…%5D-down-plan-to-steal-idea-on-1621674163

Lawsuit Claims Google Wrote Down Plan to Steal Idea on Some …

cached

14 Aug 2014 … Some complaints are a morass of technical jargon and legalese. Others read like the makings of a zany crime-comedy by Steven Soderbergh.

google

http://valleywag.gawker.com/lawsuit-cl%5B…%5D-down-plan-to-steal-idea-on-1621674163

Another Democrat in Solyndra-like crimes. FBI Case Files Expanding

Another Democrat in Solyndra-like crimes. Joyce’s involvement in solar project at Stonehill probed

 

State senator under fire for misuse of campaign funds like Dianne Feinstein and Solyndra

 

CANTON, Mass. —There are new allegations against State Sen. Bryan Joyce just days after FBI and IRS agents raided his Canton law offices.

The Boston Globe reports a grand jury is investigating Joyce’s involvement in a solar project at Stonehill College.

 

Watch report

Joyce represented Stonehill and the company that installed thousands of solar panels at the school at the same time he pushed for legislation on clean energy projects.

 

He’s been under fire for alleged misuse of campaign money

 

Biden ‘stimulus’ anniversary tour avoids Obama’s hand-picked green energy project, now in bankruptcy proceedings

 

By Marita Noon

In a week of big news stories, few noticed the seven-year anniversary of Obama’s $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — signed into law on February 17, 2009. Commonly known as the “Stimulus Bill,” Politico calls it “one of the administration’s most consequential and least popular initiatives.” In fact, according to Politico, “the package of tax cuts and government spending…became so unpopular that the word ’stimulus’ disappeared from the administration’s rhetoric.”

Despite the bill’s reputation, on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden embarked on a three-city victory tour to celebrate the anniversary of the act for which he oversaw the implementation.

His first stop was New Orleans. There he “toured a new rail container facility paid for through the 2009 stimulus,” reports the New Orleans Advocate. Outside of Memphis, he “viewed progress on an upgrade to the Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal and yard,” that, according to Politico, had “modest crowds of government and corporate officials.” Though the audience was “pre-selected,” their response to Biden’s zest for the program was “politely supportive but not wildly enthusiastic.” Politico adds: “they didn’t seem too excited by his stay-the-course-but-build-more message.”

The next day, at his third stop, he spoke to an “invitation-only crowd of more than 100 guests” at the stimulus-funded renovated Union Depot in St. Paul, MN. There, Biden was unapologetic about the stimulus, saying: “We have created more jobs in this country, because of projects like this.” The Twin Cities Pioneer Press states: “The vice president did not address criticisms of Union Depot, which last year brought in $1.7 million in revenues but cost $7.7 million in costs.”

During his trip, Biden gushed that the stimulus was “the most ambitious energy bill in history.” Politico cites the $90 billion it “pumped into renewable power, advanced biofuels, electric vehicles and other green stuff” as helping to “triple U.S. wind capacity and increase U.S. solar capacity more than 20-fold.” Yet, probably because he, obviously, wanted to focus on the positives, Biden didn’t visit any of the “green stuff” projects.

On the same days the Vice President was crowing about the success of the stimulus, the Spanish company that received more than $3.67 billion of taxpayer funds — the majority (thanks to connections with high-ranking Democrats) through the 2009 stimulus bill — released its Industrial Viability Plan that laid out its plans for survival. The Financial Times reports: “The company is trying to avoid collapse as it restructures its debts and raises cash. Abengoa sought creditor protection in November, and if it were to default it would count as the largest bankruptcy in Spanish history.”

Everybody knows about Solyndra’s brief history, costing taxpayers over $500 million, but Abengoa has managed to use tricks and reported illegal practices to stay alive — until now.

I first became aware of Abengoa, through a series of green energy reports I wrote with researcher Christine Lakatos — known as the Green Corruption blogger — in the summer of 2012. After my piece, How Democrats Say “Crony Corruption” in Spanish: Abengoa, was published, a whistleblower contacted me. After being contacted by several others that corroborated what I’d heard from the first, we dug deeper into the company. In January of 2013, I met with House Oversight Committee staffers who were investigating Abengoa and we shared what we’d learned. Since October 2013, Abengoa has been under investigation for a variety of violations including immigration, employment, and insurance fraud. In addition to several columns on the atrocities at Abengoa, I wrote a comprehensive report on the company that was published by the Daily Caller in March 2014.

Now, it appears that the second largest recipient of taxpayer dollars from Obama’s clean-energy stimulus funds is nearly bankrupt — with the U.S. government being the largest creditor. In November, after Abengoa started insolvency proceedings, the Washington Times wrote: “Abengoa is a Spanish company that was another of President Obama’s personally picked green energy projects, and it’s now on the verge of bankruptcy, too, potentially saddling taxpayers with a multi-billion-dollar tab and fueling the notion that the administration repeatedly gambles on losers in the energy sector.”

Abengoa could be bankrupt by this time next month, as Spanish law gives it four months from the initial filing to try to restructure its debt. Last week, ratings agency Moody’s declared that Abengoa’s underlying operating business is still “viable.” Yet, according to the Financial Times, Moody’s is “maintaining a negative outlook…given that discussions on debt restructuring might not be successful and the company might end up in a formal insolvency process.”

While “discussions” are going on in Spain, the trouble continues here in the U.S. In December, citing “financial difficulties,” Abengoa shut down seven bioenergy plants — including its Hugoton, KS, cellulosic ethanol plant after it sold, according to Biomass Magazine, just one railcar of product. Watchdog reports that the Hugoton plant received a $132.4 million loan guarantee and a $97 million grant. The cellulosic ethanol plant — which was designed to produce fuel from leftover, post-harvest, crops — opened just a little more than a year ago with dignitaries such as U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar participating in the “Ceremonial start-up.” The Garden City Telegram states: “Despite the initial fanfare, the plant never lived up to its billing.” It continues: “At opening, the plant was billed as the first commercial-scale, next-generation biofuel plant.” According to Watchdog, the closure could be a “signal of problems that run much deeper for the industry.” Charlie Drevna, distinguished senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, says: “This is just another example of the technology not being there, at least as a competitive commercial technology.”

And there’s more. On February 10, the California Energy Commission finally rejected a new plan for the Palen solar farm Abengoa had been developing. The Desert Sun, which has been following developments with the project, reports: The company missed a construction deadline “after entering into pre-bankruptcy proceedings in November.” Though Abengoa is known for energy projects like solar farms and ethanol plants, a water pipeline project it’s been preparing to build near San Antonio, Texas, is now seeking a buyer.

Then, on the very day Biden was touting stimulus successes, a group of grain sellers, who had not been paid by Abengoa Bioenergy, filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in Kansas. Another suit was previously filed in Nebraska. American companies that haven’t been paid for deliveries, dating back to early August, are owed more than $10 million. They hope the suit will require U.S. creditors be paid before funds from any asset sales are retained by the parent company in Spain — which was just granted by the court.

Abengoa has also been sued by shareholders, who say that the company misled them about its financial plans. Stock prices have been declining throughout late 2015 and plunged after the November bankruptcy announcement. After a 2014 high of $28, the company’s stock is currently trading at $.81.

In Spain, former Abengoa executives have been accused of insider trading and mismanagement. Their assets have been frozen and seized. On February 17, former chairman Felipe Benjumea’s passport was revoked to prevent him from leaving the country.

Drevna, in Watchdog, points out if the plants “can’t even compete in a mandated market. How can they compete in a free market?“

With Abengoa in the news while Biden was on his victory tour, it is clear why he chose to stick to infrastructure projects and avoid the “green” disasters created by, as he called it, “the most ambitious energy bill in history.” Politico suggests that the lack of popularity for his projects is “surely one reason” he decided not to run for president.

While Biden isn’t currently on any ballot, Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton are. (Since Abengoa is a foreign company that received U.S. taxpayer dollars, I wonder if the State Department was involved.) Both Sanders and Clinton will double down on Obama’s green energy policies like those that created the embarrassing Abenoga debacle — and many others.

Addressing Abengoa, Biomass Magazine’s senior editor Anna Simet, said: “People have a problem when government money is given to projects like these, and they experience failure. We all know that.” Ya think?

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc., and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column.

 

 

How The U.S. Department of Energy Became A Criminal “Slush Fund” for an Election Campaign

 

 

Hundreds of American technology companies are saying they were lied to, harassed, attacked and defrauded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Read More At: http://departmentofenergyoverwatch.wordpress.com

 

How The U.S. Department of Energy Became A Criminal “Slush Fund” for an Election Campaign

How The U.S. Department of Energy Became A Criminal “Slush Fund” for an Election Campaign

 

 

Hundreds of American technology companies are saying they were lied to, harassed, attacked and defrauded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

Read More At: http://departmentofenergyoverwatch.wordpress.com

 

In an Internet of Things world, every home appliance could be turned into a listening post. That’s why the Apple case matters.

MORE…  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/25/technology/personaltech/the-apple-case-will-grope-its-way-into-your-future.html?contentCollection=weekendreads&_r=0

California Methane Leak Largest In History And Will Affect Atmosphere of Entire Planet

READ MORE:  http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35659947

Annotating The Letter Disney’s CEO Sent To Disney Employees Asking Them To Fund Disney’s Sketchy Lobbying Activities | Techdirt

READ MORE: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160225/17535133715/annotating-letter-disneys-ceo-sent-to-disney-employees-asking-them-to-fund-disneys-sketchy-lobbying-activities.shtml

(VIDEO) The return of “Sex Island”. Billionaire hijinx lead to illicit actions.

(VIDEO) The return of “Sex Island”. Billionaire hijinx lead to illicit actions.

Read More and see video: 
https://www.corbettreport.com/epstein-update-court-cases-in-motion-against-billionaire-pedophile/

Tor Project Accuses CloudFlare of Mass Surveillance, Sabotaging Tor Traffic

Tor Project Accuses CloudFlare of Mass Surveillance, Sabotaging Tor Traffic

 

CloudFlare is only the tip of the iceberg, many companies do the same, including Yahoo, Google, Akamai

 

 ·  By Catalin Cimpanu

Tensions are rising between Tor Project administrators and CloudFlare, a CDN and DDoS mitigation service that’s apparently making the life of Tor users a living hell.

The issue, raised by a Tor Project member, revolves around a series of measures that CloudFlare implemented to fight malicious traffic coming from the Tor network. These measures are also affecting legitimate Tor users.

The way CloudFlare deals with Tor users is by flagging Tor exit nodes and showing a CAPTCHA challenge before allowing them to continue to their desired website.

CloudFlare’s CAPTCHA challenge for Tor users is not working properly

Tor Project maintainers are saying that CloudFlare’s anti-DDOS technology often malfunctions and forces users to fill in CAPTCHAs multiple times over before reaching their desired website. This issue is also confirmed by your reporter who often times had to fill in CloudFlare CAPTCHAs for more than ten times before finally being redirected to a desired website.

Besides discriminating Tor users by showing them CAPTCHAs, Tor Project maintainers are also accusing CloudFlare of adding cookies to Tor traffic sessions so they could track users. Furthermore, Tor Project members found it very difficult to engage with the company and talk with someone about all these issues.

Currently, Tor Project maintainers are thinking of adding a message that would read “Warning this site is under surveillance by Cloudflare,” whenever Tor users would be accessing a CloudFlare-protected website.

Other companies also discriminate Tor users

The practice of discriminating Tor users is not something that’s specific to CloudFlare only. A recent study by eight researchers from the UK and the US has come to the same conclusion.

The researchers found that over 1.3 million websites actively block connections from the Tor network, including 3.67% of Top 1,000 Alexa sites.

The Tor Project is very well aware of this issue, and even maintains a list of services that actively block its users.

Outside these, there were also numerous sites that even if they don’t block Tor traffic, they make it extremely uncomfortable for Tor users to navigate and use their services.

Many sites are using CAPTCHA challenges or are limiting access to some of their services’ features (Yahoo and Google, for example). In their study, researchers concluded that while not ideal, showing CAPTCHA challenges is a much more appropriate solution to dealing with Tor users than blocking them altogether.

While multiple studies have shown that the Tor network is often leveraged for cyber-attacks, researchers said that it would not be fair to discriminate against all users because of a few rotten apples.

READ MORE: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160225/22583933716/rather-than-ending-nsas-key-surveillance-tool-white-house-to-now-let-other-agencies-use-it.shtml

 

 

 

https://www.corbettreport.com/epstein-update-court-cases-in-motion-against-billionaire-pedophile/

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-clinton-idUSKCN0VZ2BA

 

 

 

 

 

What is wrong with Paypal?

What is wrong with Paypal?

 

 

 

PayPal froze my account, what do I do to get it unfrozen?
See PayPal Frozen Accounts Page.

 

I paid for an item using Paypal but I never recieved it (or I got defective merchandise, or merchandise that was different from advertised, or a box or rocks, whatever…) I tried to contact the seller, but they are a low-down-dirty-rotten-scoundrel and laughed at me. I asked Paypal to investigate. Paypal says, yes, it’s the sellers fault, but there is no money in the scoundrels account. What can I do?
See PayPal Help.

 

I am a seller on ebay and have been using PayPal for a while. I just recently received a chargeback from one of my buyers and PayPal debited me over 500 dollars causing me to go negative 500 dollars. Is there anyway to dispute this now. I know they will send a letter from a credit agency if I dont pay them. Can I take them to small claims court?

As for taking anyone to court, yes, you can take the buyer to court. If you win there, that’d be plenty to get the credit card company to reverse the chargeback. Realize, Paypal is probably going to hound you for the money till you get a court order, and will freeze your account unless you pay them back first. 😦
Also see my NCO – Debt Collection article.

 

How do I contact the lawyers doing the class action lawsuit again PayPal?
Note: This class action lawsuit is, for the most part, settled. All deadlines have passed and we are just waiting for the checks to be sent. There is talk of starting a new one by many members of this site and others. Stay tuned… The original site is http://www.girardgibbs.com/ Also see this thread for a recent news and the settlement website for more information. There are no other legitimate class action lawsuits against PayPal, although there are sites that suggest otherwise. Also the time has passed to put in a claim on this lawsuit.

 

Do you have copies of the Lawsuit Settlement FAQs?
Sure do. These are on our server, so they should always be available. PayPal Class Action Lawsuit Settlement FAQs, by Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo

 

Do you have copies of the Settlement Agreement?
Yes, sure do. These are also on our server. Here are the PDF files:
PayPal Lawsuit Settlement Agreement
PayPal Lawsuit Notice
PayPal Lawsuit Plan of Allocation
PayPal Lawsuit Summary Notice

 

Can I donate to this site?
This is a question we get asked everyday. Really, all we ask is that you tell others about the site. We ask that you use a PayPal alternative. (Even go back to checks and money orders.) If you want to donate to the site, just donate to your favorite charity in our name, or donate money to the tsunamis victims. Our purpose is to expose PayPal, not collect money from the victims of PayPal.

 

How do I close my PayPal account? Answer 1.
You’ll have to log into your account first. Then click on “help,” then “contact us” and then on the left click on “account basics,” then “my profile,” and the right bottom you’ll see “How do I close my PayPal account?” We also recommend that you remove any checking and credit card accounts before you close your account, if you can. The problem is, Paypal keeps that information forever. But removing it shows your intent, and if the account gets hacked, it’s less likely that the hacker will be able to access your accounts. However, we’ve been told by others that once you remove the information, you can’t close the account. Like a catch-22. I don’t know what the answer is if that is true. For me, it’s better to just remove all info, including email accounts, create a yahoo or hotmail email account and use that, and then sending them a written certified letter with proof of delivery, that you want to close your account.

How do I close my PayPal account? Answer 2
A visitor to sent us this: I just read a lot on your site, and it did prompt me to close my PayPal account. I’d only opened it a couple days ago, but your site just reminded me that they could very well get hacked into, and my account could be at risk. I was afraid PayPal could withdraw funds without my consent, but it never occured to me that they were such a target for hacking. Anyway, I wanted to inform you that I was able to first remove my bank account by first logging in, then by selecting Profile Summary, then clicking Financial Information. They then loaded a page that had my account status and I was able to select to remove it there. Then, I hit ‘back’ to get to the Profile Summary page again and selected Close Account. After a few pages of clicking yes and providing a reason, I closed the account w/out the need for confirmation emails or anything. I just wanted you to know so that you could provide the information if you wanted. (Thanks M!)

 

What if I just stop using my PayPal account, am I still at risk?
In my opinion, yes. One of the biggest problems is the spoof emails. (Email that says “click here to update your PayPal info…”) which takes you to a site that looks like PayPal, but is not, ie, a paypal spoof site. You put in your info, (login and password) they say thank you, then they run over to the real PayPal site and clean out your account (if any money is there) PLUS try to put in charges to your cc or bank accounts.

I recommend closing all checking and credit cards that have ever been associated with your PayPal account. The reason for this is: If a criminal uses a spoof site to access your account, Paypal will still try to take the money from you, because their position is “our security is perfect” and if someone logged into your account and spent money, they will say it was you, and try to take it out of your bank/cc account again. (ie, PayPal is forcing you to fund the criminals actions.)

The only safe thing is to close those accounts at the bank, and/or put in a stop order at the bank restricting PayPal from accessing your accounts.

 

Paypal said they will send my money after 180 days. Will they?
If your situation was “an honest mistake” like forgot password, minor created account but with permission of adult, etc. probably yes. If it’s anything else, probably yes, but maybe no. If you are semi-legal or out right illegal, probably not. (We do not speak for PayPal. This information comes from the users of the forum and email from users of this site. It’s general information only, and the specifics of your account will be the deciding factor.) Some have said they waited almost an entire year and did not get back their money. We don’t know the details of the case, but are just repeating what others have told us.

 

What other service can I use to accept card cards if not PayPal?
See the Options Page. We also suggest going back to checks and money orders until you find a suitable alternative. If you do enough volume in sales, then a merchant account would be a better choice.

 

I only use Paypal to buy things. Am I at risk?
See the above regarding what happens if you send money to a scoundrel or accidently get caught by a spoofer. Also, Paypal has been hacked in the past and a frequent target of scammers and hackers. Your account could be hijacked and you won’t know about it until it’s too late. Start here for more detailed info.

 

I keep getting an error trying to log in to the forums:

 

YOU have attempted to gain unauthorized access to the forum management system!

 


Sorry about that. First thing to do is make sure you are not already logged in. Sometimes if you click the “login” button more than once, you’ll get this error. Look at the first light colored box and if it says “Hello [your user name]” you are already logged in. If you are not, but stil get this error, try this: Clear your browsers cache, (On MSIE, it’s “tools” “options” then under “temporary internet files” click on “delete.” Then close all browser windows.) Then open MSIE again and goto http://PaypalSucks.com/forums and first thing, click on “login.” If you still get the same page, just hit refresh or reload a couple of times. Should be good to go after that. If not, then most likely you are behind a firewall or using a software filewall like Norton. You’ll need to contact your firewall administrator to find a way around it.

 

By the way, is it just me, or is this forum really hard to navigate around? With a very long thread how does one go straight to the end?
When you log in, and click on one of the forum categories, for instance, the “NoPayPal: Horror Stories” forum, you’ll see over on the left a list of topics. If the topic goes more than one page, you’ll see (1,2,3…) Just click on the highest number and you’ll go to the last page.

Also, you can set “your information” to show up to 50 posts at a time. Makes it faster to navigate through the posts.

 

How do you keep the domain “PayPalSucks.com?” Have they sent you threat letter?
See the Domain Name Dispute Page.

 

On the front page of this site, you said “According to PayPal accepting their ToS (Terms of Service) in effect means you waive your rights to credit card consumer protection laws against unauthorized charges, and that you may not issue a chargeback for anything you purchase using your credit card and PayPal account that you are unsatisfied with.” Can you please explain that?
See the Credit Card Waiver Page

 

Long question:I’m a new ebayer. Unfortunately my first encounter with PayPal was not a pleasant one. I just set up a new account with PayPal and sold an item for approx. $390.00. To my surprise I tried to pay my ebay account and found out that I have no sending limit because I’m not “authenticated”. I contacted PayPal and was informed that there are two ways to become verified (credit card/checking) which I am not eligible for neither due to financial hardship. I was then informed that I couldn’t do anything with the funds until I met verification requirements!! Then they told me to refund the gentleman who bought my item, but the item has been sent already!! The worst part of this whole scam is that if one of these two items are required for verification then why does PayPal allow new people to set up an account and collect funds, that the costumer can’t access? Only they can reap the benefits of this transaction, because they have my money and the gentleman already received the product. I have contacted PayPal and ebay concerning the problem and have been unsuccessful at any and all attempts to resolve the problem!! I asked for the number to their head quarters to file a complaint and was denied. Is there any action that I can take to resolve this issue or am I just at the mercy of PayPal like the hundreds of other helpless victims with threads posted on this sight?

To me, the key point is that when you sign up they do not disclose such important information openly and clearly. I have read the current ToS and they are already in violation of it. It states “$500” they “may” require additional information. One of them is your Social Security Number. I know that requirement is in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974. But regardless, your amount is under $500, so they are not following their own ToS. But furthermore, clearly something like this needs to be out in the open (this layman’s opinion) and for them not to disclose it, and then not follow their own ToS is a fraud. In addition, at the bottom of the ToS it states:

 

Additionally, you may report complaints to the Complaint Assistance
Unit of the Division of Consumer Services of the Department of Consumer
Affairs by contacting them in writing at 400 R Street, Sacramento,
California 95814, or by telephone at (800) 952-5210. 

So if I were you, I’d be calling that number right now. 🙂 I’d also recommend you contact your attorney general and write letters to the AG’s in Calif. and Nebraska.

That’s just my opinion.

 

Do you have suggestions on how to buy online safely?
Sure do. In fact, we get this question alot, so I created my How to protect yourself when making online purchases and avoid being ripped off page. 😉

 

I heard PayPal’s TOS was declared void. Do you have that decision?
Sure do. Click here for the Fogel Decision (Opens a PDF in a new window.)

 

Why do you hate PayPal?
We don’t hate PayPal. (Okay, maybe a little…) We were one of their earliest users, and we “toughed it out” like everyone else during those days. We stayed loyal to PayPal during the outages; the crashes; even the ugly “orange on white/orange on gray” website. 😉. What we don’t like is how they have treated us and others since those early years. We’d be very happy if PayPal would stop abusing people, start recognizing traditional banking laws, and get rid of the fee to transfer Paypal funds from user to user. (non-credit card funds.) We also don’t like being hung up on when we call (a frequent occurance if you read the forums) and we don’t like the stupid (and we do mean stupid) responses from their first level “customer service” representatives. Issues that could be solved in 5 minutes takes weeks, even months to be resolved. Also the automated email messages that have nothing to do with your questions are annoying too.

 

Then why are you trying to “bring them down?”
We are not trying to “bring them down.” We want PayPal. We need them for our business. We loved the idea that the “little guy” could now compete with traditional businesses and big corporations. But here’s the problem: You can’t do business with a company that doesn’t respect your rights. With PayPal, you never know what egg shell you might step on (ie, break one of their rules or undisclosed policies) that will explode in your face. (ie, get your account frozen) And you really have no appeals process.

 

Be sure you have a lawyer go over every line, every time it’s updated!

 

I’ve been ripped off by PayPal, what can I really do?
You have to become an activist. You are going to contact a lot of people and make a lot of noise. Here’s one guys plan. At a very minimum, you need to write a letter to your state’s attorney general, and the California and Nebraska attorneys general informing them of your problems with PayPal. You can find this information on the links page. Also see the sitemap.

 

How do I join the class action lawsuit?
The only legimimate lawsuit is now closed. If we find other legitimate suits that have been filed, we’ll put their links here.

 

Has anyone actually won a law suit against PayPal?
Based on the email we get and at least one media report, yes. A man in California sued to have his account “unfrozen” and money returned. We don’t have any more details than that. Others have emailed us stating that they hired an attorney and the attorney’s original contact was enough to get their Paypal account in order.

 

Why are so many people angry at PayPal?
Read the forums.

 

 

PAYPAL SUCKS. CLICK HERE FOR OUR PAYPAL ALTERNATIVE

 

 

 

 

 

Does The White House Have Paypal Hide Your Money If You Say Something Bad About Obama?

 

 

 

By Susan Hunter

 

 

 

Paypal is one of Obama’s biggest financiers. Like the NSA, Paypal knows everything you buy but it also knows about all of the money you make and where you keep it. A number of public policy advocates have set-up online stores to fund themselves but then found their revenue cut-off. Paypal has now been sued, in multiple cases, for hiding, holding and freezing people’s incomes. A large number of entrepreneurs, who criticized the White House saw their payments from their online stores never process through. Many are wondering if this is a punitive measure to cut off their resources in retribution for back-sassing Obama or his staff?

 

 

 

PayPal To Settle $3.2 Million Class Action Lawsuit | Stock News …

 

cached

 

1 Feb 2016 … PayPal agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle a class action lawsuit over freezing accounts.

 

google

 

http://www.investors.com/news/technolo%5B…%5Dttle-3-2-million-class-action-lawsuit/

 

PayPal Says It May Face U.S. Lawsuit by June – WSJ

 

cached

 

11 Apr 2015 … EBay Inc.’s PayPal payments unit may be sued by a U.S. regulator over allegedly excessive finance charges for a same-day lending service.

 

google

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/paypal-say%5B…%5Day-face-u-s-lawsuit-by-june-1428686159

 

FAQs page – PayPal

 

cached

 

PayPal used to be the best thing on the web. That was until X.com bought them and their greed overran their brains.

 

bing

 

http://www.paypalsucks.com/faqs.shtml

 

PayPal hit by class-action suit – CNET

 

cached

 

Disgruntled customers have filed a lawsuit over the way the company locks people’s accounts if it suspects that fraud played a part in a transaction.

 

google

 

http://www.cnet.com/news/paypal-hit-by-class-action-suit/

 

 

 

Coping with PayPal Payment Holds | SaleHoo

 

cached

 

Erika Garnica, eBay PowerSeller and ex eBay Top Seller account manager, explains how to avoid Paypal holds. Reads this and avoid getting your money held up in PayPal …

 

bing yahoo

 

http://www.salehoo.com/blog/coping-with-paypal-payment-holds

 

PayPal Steals from Its Customers with Hidden Fees

 

cached

 

PayPal is stealing from its customers with carefully hidden fees (with no receipts). They’re charging the fees even when there’s no reason for them.

 

bing yahoo

 

http://www.petersandeen.com/paypal-is-stealing/

 

 

 

About the Pros & Cons of Using PayPal | eHow

 

cached

 

About the Pros & Cons of Using PayPal. PayPal is one of the most widely used online payment system on the Internet today. Though highly convenient as a source of e …

 

bing

 

http://www.ehow.com/facts_6371349_pros-cons-using-paypal.html

 

 

 

Twitter accused of shutting down Hillary critics

Twitter accused of shutting down Hillary critics

Bernie Sanders supporters are saying their Twitter account was “censored and locked down” after they criticized Hillary Clinton. READ MORE AT: http://www.theamericanmirror.com/twitter-accused-of-shutting-down-hillary-critics/

Does The White House Have Paypal Hide Your Money If You Say Something Bad About Obama?

Does The White House Have Paypal Hide Your Money If You Say Something Bad About Obama?

 

 

By Susan Hunter

 

 

Paypal is one of Obama’s biggest financiers. Like the NSA, Paypal knows everything you buy but it also knows about all of the money you make and where you keep it. A number of public policy advocates have set-up online stores to fund themselves but then found their revenue cut-off. Paypal has now been sued, in multiple cases, for hiding, holding and freezing people’s incomes.

 

 

PayPal To Settle $3.2 Million Class Action Lawsuit | Stock News …

 

cached

 

1 Feb 2016 … PayPal agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle a class action lawsuit over freezing accounts.

 

google

 

http://www.investors.com/news/technolo%5B…%5Dttle-3-2-million-class-action-lawsuit/

 

PayPal Says It May Face U.S. Lawsuit by June – WSJ

 

cached

 

11 Apr 2015 … EBay Inc.’s PayPal payments unit may be sued by a U.S. regulator over allegedly excessive finance charges for a same-day lending service.

 

google

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/paypal-say%5B…%5Day-face-u-s-lawsuit-by-june-1428686159

 

FAQs page – PayPal

 

cached

 

PayPal used to be the best thing on the web. That was until X.com bought them and their greed overran their brains.

 

bing

 

http://www.paypalsucks.com/faqs.shtml

 

PayPal hit by class-action suit – CNET

 

cached

 

Disgruntled customers have filed a lawsuit over the way the company locks people’s accounts if it suspects that fraud played a part in a transaction.

 

google

 

http://www.cnet.com/news/paypal-hit-by-class-action-suit/

 

 

 

Coping with PayPal Payment Holds | SaleHoo

 

cached

 

Erika Garnica, eBay PowerSeller and ex eBay Top Seller account manager, explains how to avoid Paypal holds. Reads this and avoid getting your money held up in PayPal …

 

bing yahoo

 

http://www.salehoo.com/blog/coping-with-paypal-payment-holds

 

PayPal Steals from Its Customers with Hidden Fees

 

cached

 

PayPal is stealing from its customers with carefully hidden fees (with no receipts). They’re charging the fees even when there’s no reason for them.

 

bing yahoo

 

http://www.petersandeen.com/paypal-is-stealing/

 

 

 

About the Pros & Cons of Using PayPal | eHow

 

cached

 

About the Pros & Cons of Using PayPal. PayPal is one of the most widely used online payment system on the Internet today. Though highly convenient as a source of e …

 

bing

 

http://www.ehow.com/facts_6371349_pros-cons-using-paypal.html

 

 

 

Inside Scalia’s Very, Very Weird Secret Hunting Society

Inside Scalia’s Very, Very Weird Secret Hunting Society

This exclusive club has everything: obscure rules, mysterious members, and weapons

READ MORE http://www.vocativ.com/news/290321/inside-scalias-very-very-weird-secret-hunting-society/

SUPER LICE Plague hits half of USA

http://nypost.com/2016/02/26/super-lice-outbreak-hits-25-states/

Why Google Can’t Criticize EU Much for Ruling it Dominant & Anticompetitive

 

Click for full view

 

EPA

 

 

Why Google Can’t Criticize EU Much for Ruling it Dominant & Anticompetitive

 

By Scott Cleland
President, Precursor LLC

 

In the next several weeks, expect the EC’s Competition Directorate to decide that Google is in fact dominant with >90% share of Internet search in Europe and that Google has abused its search dominance by biasing its own Shopping service over competitors. It also could formally charge Google for abuse of its search dominance in contractually tying Google Search and other search-driven apps like Maps, YouTube, etc. to Android to extend its search dominance to mobile search and to the operating system market where Android now owns >80% share.

 

In taking a most extreme and ultimately indefensible legal and PR position, that the EU antitrust case is “wrong as a matter of fact, law and economics,” Google has painted itself into a corner, PR-wise and politically, much more than many appreciate. Why?

 

First, the U.S. DOJ has already officially found Google dominant in search/search-advertising — twice.

 

It will be very hard for Google to credibly argue that its >90% share of Internet search is not dominance when the EU legal threshold for dominance is just ~40%.

 

It will also be hard for Google to get the USG to publicly pound the table on their behalf, because it is public knowledge that both the Bush DOJ and the Obama DOJ both officially found Google dominant after in-depth investigations.

 

The Bush DOJ determined in 2008: “The Department’s investigation revealed that Internet search advertising and Internet search syndication are each relevant antitrust markets and that Google is by far the largest provider of such services, with shares of more than 70 percent in both markets.” The Obama DOJ determined in 2010: “…Google, the firm that now dominates these markets … [“Internet search and paid search advertising].”

 

Second, on a factual level, the FTC’s staff report on Google antitrust showed that both the FTC staff investigators, and even Google, viewed Google as dominant.

 

We learned from the inadvertent release of the FTC staff report that recommended an antitrust case against Google, that FTC investigators concluded that: “Google is clearly the dominant provider of ‘general’ search services in the U.S.” (p. 68).

 

The FTC also discovered an admission by Google’s Chief Economist, Hal Varian, who stated: “We’re the dominant incumbent in the industry” (footnote 547). In addition, the FTC uncovered email evidence Larry Page personally supported the search bias self-dealing that Google now denies: “Larry [Page] thought product [Google’s shopping service] should get more exposure” (footnote 120).

 

Third, Google can’t claim to be innocent victim of EU antitrust charges when it is obviously a rare serial antitrust recidivist.   

 

In 2008, Google dropped its proposed Google-Yahoo Ad Agreement because the DOJthreatened a Section 1 & 2 monopolization case for trying to extend its >70% dominance of Internet search advertising and search syndication to a >90% share via the collusive proposal with Yahoo.

 

In 2009, the DOJ opposed the proposed Google Book Settlement as anticompetitive, and in 2011, a U.S. Court agreed and rejected the settlement as anti-competitive — a legal position by the way, that was officially supported by Germany and France in their opposition filings.

 

In 2010, the DOJ and Court prohibited Google and six other companies from continuing to engage is anticompetitive employee solicitation agreements.

 

In 2013, both the FTC and the EU settled with Google to prohibit it from continuing to anti-competitively abuse its Standard Essential Patent (SEP) portfolio, after the DOJ warnedGoogle to not do so when it approved Google’s acquisition of Motorola.

 

Fourth, U.S. State AGs are asking the FTC for a new look at the Google antitrust case.

 

A recent bipartisan letter from the Attorney Generals of Utah and the District of Columbia said: “We encourage the commission to consider new information and developments that have become available both domestically and internationally since closing its Google investigationper Bloomberg.

 

This is timely and significant because of the pending EU decisions on Google Search-bias and the Android-tying/app-bias investigation, and also because the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule in the coming weeks against Google’s Section 230 lawsuit claiming that state Attorney Generals have no law enforcement jurisdiction to investigate or prosecute Google for violation of state laws. 41 State AGs, including Utah and DC’s, oppose Google’s audacious claim of special legal immunity from state law enforcement.

 

Fifth, new Android mobile search financials spotlight Google’s market power of tying search to Android.

 

We recently learned fromthe Oracle v. Google-Android copyright infringement case that Android enjoyed monopoly-size >70% gross profit margins in 2014. We just learned from Google’s earnings, that Google’s mobile search dominance also made Google most valuable company in the world.

 

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said: “Above all, our Q4 results show the great momentum and opportunity we have in mobile search…” Given what we now know from the Oracle 2014 Google-Android financials and Google’s 2015 financials that exceeded revenue and profit expectations, Google Android probably now generates over a third of Google’s revenues and over 40% of Google’s profits. This is not normal competitive growth; this is anticompetitive Google-Android contractual tying in requiring Google Search to be the default and prominent search engine on Android devices – to drive dominance in mobile search.

 

Finally, neither Google nor the USG want to beg media or EU questions into why the USG is aggressively defending Google in public when the DOJ has previously found Google dominant and anticompetitive.

 

To the extent that Boss Google uses its influence machine to get the USG, FTC or the DOJ to publicly defend Google against the EU as not dominant, or as an innocent victim of the EU’s antitrust charges, they will put the put the USG, FTC, and DOJ in the embarrassing position of answering logical public accountability questions it does not want asked.

 

Like why is Google allowed to create at least the perception of a conflict of interest by enthroning so many of its former employees or consultants in so many Federal Government positions of commercial importance to Google?

 

Why did the DOJ not require Google to fully comply with the requirements in its $500m criminal forfeiture, Non-Prosecution Agreement, when Google broke five laws during the probation period?

 

Why did the FTC shut down the Google antitrust investigation abruptly over the advice of the FTC’s professional investigators, and why did the FTC put out a press release defending Google at Google’s behest?

 

 

 

 ***

 

This article was originally published in the Precursor Blog.

 

***

 

Scott Cleland served as Deputy U.S. Coordinator for International Communications & Information Policy in the George H. W. Bush Administration. He is President of Precursor LLC, an emergent enterprise risk consultancy for Fortune 500 companies, some of which are Google competitors, and Chairman of NetCompetition, a pro-competition e-forum supported by broadband interests. He is also author of “Search & Destroy: Why You Can’t Trust Google Inc.” Cleland has testified before both the Senate and House antitrust subcommittees on Google and also before the relevant House oversight subcommittee on Google’s privacy problems.

 

 

 

IRS Family Tax Files Hacked Far Worse Than First Reported

Cyberattack total is more than twice previously disclosed: IRS

 

 

More people affected by IRS cyber attacks Eamon Javers reports that the IRS has stated cyber attack on taxpayer accounts last spring was worse than previously reported.Cyberattacks on taxpayer accounts may have affected more people than previously reported, the Internal Revenue Service said Friday.The IRS statement, originally reported by Dow Jones, revealed tax data for about 700,000 households might have been stolen: Specifically, a government review found potential access to about 390,000 more accounts than previously disclosed.The Internal Revenue Service building in Washington.

In August, the IRS said that the number of potential victims stood at more than 334,000 — more than twice the initial estimate of more than 100,000.

“If somebody has all this information … we may see [a] resurgence next year of fraudulent tax returns,” Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, told CNBC in 2015.

The IRS discovered an incident involving its “Get Transcript” application last May, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration conducted a nine-month investigation. That review turned up the additional accounts that could potentially have been accessed.

Additionally, the IRS said there were 295,000 taxpayer transcripts that were targeted, but “access was not successful.”

The agency said it will send mailings to affected taxpayers beginning February 29.

“The IRS is committed to protecting taxpayers on multiple fronts against tax-related identity theft, and these mailings are part of that effort,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement. “We appreciate the work of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to identify these additional taxpayers whose accounts may have been accessed. We are moving quickly to help these taxpayers.”

— CNBC’s Kelli Grant contributed to this report.

     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Airbnb Rental Now Logged and Tracked Due To Epic Porn and Prostitute Use

Law Enforcement Has Realized That AirBnB is sometimes used as a moving whore-house

Porn Industry Uses Airbnb, Rental Houses for Filming

The industry tells NBC4 homeowners may never know if their property was used as an adult film set.

 
 
 
Nearly four years after Los Angeles County passed new requirements for pornographic performers, the porn industry has spread to nearby counties like Ventura County — and much of that filming is happening in residents’ homes with or without their knowledge. Jenna Susko reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Published Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016)

Nearly four years after Los Angeles County passed new requirements for pornographic performers, the porn industry has spread to nearby counties like Ventura County — and much of that filming is happening in residents’ homes with or without their knowledge, the NBC4 I-Team has learned.

Private citizens believe their home is being rented out for a few days — perhaps never knowing it’s become the set of a raunchy pornographic title.

An enema kit, bottle of lubricant and a business card are among the things Kristina Knapic said she discovered after renting her house out on the online rental service Airbnb.

Doing a bit of research, she learned the person who rented the house was Michael Lucas, an adult performer and producer, and owner of Lucas Entertainment.

A bit more digging revealed photos of her house — inside and out — posted on social media.

“They found a sex toy under one of the beds,” said John Thyne III, one of Knapic’s attorneys handling a lawsuit she’s now filed. “They noticed some enema kits in the bathroom [and] some what turned out to be, I believe, male steroids in the refrigerator.”

Thyne and attorney Lacy Taylor said Knapic contacted them with concerns the pornographic film could damage her house’s image as a rental property.

“She feels violated,” Taylor said.

“She’s correct in saying that I didn’t tell her,” Lucas told NBC4.

Lucas said he’s worked in adult film nearly 20 years, and using rentals for porn shoots is common.

  • “We rent houses all the time,” he said. “Never did we run into this problem.”

It happens enough that Thyne said he’s spoken to at least two others who’ve had porn filmed at their houses but are too mortified to come forward.

“This is not an altogether uncommon practice,” Thyne said.

Since LA’s condom law went into effect in 2012, the porn industry has moved into neighboring counties like Ventura which requires a permit for every film production.

Not getting a permit is a misdemeanor and violators can be fined up to $1,000 and face up to six months in county jail. But the county said it has never prosecuted anyone.

The county told NBC4 if Lucas had filled out the permit application, the owner could have learned about the shoot before he filmed there.

“He knew that it wasn’t OK or probably thought that it would not be OK and he wanted to hide that purpose,” Taylor said.

Airbnb prohibits commercial filming without the consent of the host and agreed to pay Knapic’s cleaning fees.

But Knapic is concerned about damage to her home’s reputation, now suing Michael for a cut of the profits from his films.

“He’s continuing to rent for this purpose and unless he’s made to pay for doing this it, he’ll continue to do it,” Taylor said.

It’s not the first time an Airbnb host discovered his home used for something raunchy.

“It doesn’t shock me at all that this would happen,” said Ari Teman of Manhattan, who rented out his apartment in 2012 only to learn the renter was advertising “XXX Freak Fest” there that night.

“You’re basically saying, ‘Yeah, sure, for a couple hundred bucks I’ll let a complete stranger into my place,” he said.

Asked about filming in it’s rentals, Airbnb told us “This is extremely rare,” but wouldn’t tell us exactly how often it happens.

“We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior in our community, and we have permanently banned these guests from Airbnb,” a statement emailed to NBC4 said.

Porn movie aside, Knapic’s attorneys said it’s the homeowner’s right to know what happens at their own house.

“The use wasn’t revealed before the rental,” Thyne said, “and that’s just not appropriate.”

The Free Speech Coalition, a trade group which represents the adult industry, told NBC4 Airbnb is sometimes used by production companies.

“Some of the rental homes are professional film set rentals, but other are Airbnb or other rentals that may not be specifically equipped for adult,” a spokesperson said. “People may not alert the homeowners, they may not pull permits, they may ask performers and crew to not talk about the film shoots.”

The industry sees it as a result of L.A. County’s recently passed laws.

“When you force the industry from a well-equipped infrastructure like the Valley, with not only traditional sound stages, but a large number of easily rented homes where adult filming is permitted and encouraged, and push it to the margins, and to area and locations where people are not aware that adult film is being shot, you’re seeing the beginning of an industry moving underground,” the spokesperson said. “Anytime you push workers into the shadows, you make their workplace more dangerous.”

Airbnb said when someone has a negative experience, they work quickly to make things right.

Knapic’s lawsuit has been moved to federal court because Lucas is a resident of New York.

Egloo heats your room without electricity for 10 cents a day

 

Egloo heats your room without electricity for 10 cents a day

 

Egloo heats your room without electricity for 10 cents a day

 

Can you heat your room for just 10 cents a day? Egloo can. Egloo is a clever little heater that harnesses candle power to heat a room without wasting electricity. Egloo works by concentrating the heat from the flame of a few candles inside a terracotta dome, radiating warmth into a room even after the candles are blown out. The concept was developed by Marco Zagaria, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. The the brilliant little heater was successfully funded through Indiegogo, and you can get your own in a variety of colors to start heating your office, dorm or bedroom without using electricity today.

How Google Kills People It Does Not Like

How Google Kills People It Does Not Like

 

 

 

By Denton Ampersly- London Digital

 

 

 

In the European Union, American FTC and Journalist investigations of Google (AKA: Alphabet, Jigsaw, IQT, and a host of other pseudonyms) a few nasty bits have emerged.

 

 

First of all, Google bosses Larry Page and Eric Schmidt have turned out to be right nasty little buggers. They, and an American “venture capitalist” investor named John Doerr, have spent billions of dollars purchasing the Obama White House and United States Senators Dianne Feinstein and Harold Reid to do their bidding for them.

 

 

When you own a President, and a couple Senators, you probably get a bit full of yourself.

 

 

While there are quite a number of bizarre stories on the internet about Eric Schmidt murdering people, I tend to think those who believe such things may have gone a bit Borneo. The sad reality, though, does seem to be that Google owners did, indeed, put hit jobs on Congress people, entrepreneurs and reporters who got in their way. They used servers instead of bullets.

 

 

In the ongoing investigations, it has emerged that Google and it’s investors have paid many tens of millions of dollars to a man named Nick Denton. England’s own Nick Denton.

 

 

 

Wikpedia and Taki Media tell us the following about Denton:

 

 

Nick Denton (born 24 August 1966)[1] is a homosexual British publisher who works with the United States White House on political attack stories, he is a writer and internet entrepreneur, and the founder and proprietor of the blog collective Gawker Media, and the managing editor of the New York-based Gawker.com. For years after starting Gawker Media in 2002, Denton ran the company out of his apartment in SoHo.

 

 

Denton grew up in Hampstead, the son of British economist Geoffrey Denton and his wife, Marika (née Marton), a Hungarian Jew who survived the Nazis and escaped the Soviet occupation at age 18. A psychotherapist, she died of cancer the year before her son moved to New York. Denton has a younger sister, Rebecca.[2][3]

 

 

He was educated at University College School and University College, Oxford where he studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. He also became the editor of the university magazine, Isis. He began his career as a journalist with the Financial Times. He co-wrote a book about the collapse of Barings Bank called All That Glitters. He was a co-founder of a social networking site, First Tuesday[4] and co-founded Moreover Technologies[5] with David Galbraith and Angus Bankes, schoolmates from UCS. Denton owns nine websites, the most popular being Gizmodo – a lifestyle website that centers around gadgets and consumer electronics. Gizmodo pulls in nearly six million visitors a month and publishes bland tech news while waiting for Denton to insert the occasional hit job character assassination article. His Jalopnik, and other brands, serve the same purpose.

 

Denton was featured in the Sunday Times Rich List 2007 in position #502 with an estimated wealth of £140m (approximately $290m) based on the sale of his previous companies and the current value of Gawker Media. He was once featured in a Vanity Fair photoshoot and was the subject of a feature article in The New Yorker.[6] Denton lives in New York City.

 

Now Denton is immersed in quite a fancy fall of lawsuits. The most spectacular of which is raging in a bloody battle with American wrestling personality Hulk Hogan. Hogan, apparently, was being considered as a political spokesperson for a candidate so it seems that someone (Gawker?) staged a sex sting to record Hogan having sex and post the video of it around the world in order to humiliate Hogan and destroy his brand. Hogan did not like this and since it seemed to have been an attack staged by the United States Democrat Party, Hogan got every Republican to help him.

 

 

It seems that Google has paid for these attacks under budgetary line items relating to “marketing”, “public relations”, “blogging services” and other creative ambiguities.

 

 

The money clearly moved from Google to Gawker Media, in many cases, and in some cases seems to have dallied through HSBC accounts and possible off-shore tax havens. Try to bugger some politician and governments often pay little heed but rifle their tax income and all hell will break asunder. Google and Gawker are being investigated regarding both.

 

 

While Denton may claim that is cravings for the slippery sausage have brought him vilification, others believe that the dedication of his life to defaming others has brought him more hate than his boy-buggering predilections.

 

 

So Google paid Gawker money. This is indisputable. Google says the cash was for “other things” and the timings of the cash relays and the hit-jobs by Gawker were entirely coincidental. The big question is who told Google to do it? Google locked each of the attack articles by Gawker into the top slots of the first page of every Google search result on Earth.

 

 

Google embedded a hidden code on the Hogan, Santorum (locked to result in a reference to “butt froth”) and other attacks to indicate that the attack articles Google was linking and locking into the world’s search results were “facts” and not “opinions”. This will be a large problem for Google in the Hulk Hogan matter. Google also performed hundreds of manual settings of internet servers to permanently extend the life and reach of these attacks.

 

 

Google executives said, on video interviews that they have “no control” over Google’s algorithm but even a first year student knows that if a link stays in the same position on every Google search on Earth for years at a time, then Google’s “our algorithm changes the results thousands of times a week” statement is an out-right lie. Google is clearly rigging the internet to attack it’s competitors and political adversaries.

 

 

By paying low-grade tabloids to create the attacks, which Google then locks and promotes, consciously, globally, Google has created the ultimate tactical brand weapon.

 

 

Like the “Emperors New Clothes”, though, it only works as long as nobody says anything.

 

 

The EU just said something!

 

Who Is California’s New Green Cleantech Czar Gary Kreman?

Who Is California’s New Green Cleantech Czar Gary Kreman?

 

 

By Tony West For The LA Times Edt.

 

 

California just put more money than god in a special “Cleantech Cash” pot created by taxpayer funds in a special Proposition. The taxpayers were just told: “it will create jobs”. What the politicians may have meant was: “It will create jobs for our personal bankers at Goldman Sachs”.

 

 

A fellow named Gary Kremen is now in charge of that cash. Who is he?

 

 

He founded Sex.com. Opponents of Mr. Kremen try to use this as a bad thing, against Mr. Kreman, but for gosh sakes: The guy has made a mint off of selling sex. If he can sell sex then he certainly can sell California politicians shaky relationship with green corruption cash. Solyndra, and a host of green corruption payola schemes, put the FBI spotlight on California. Everyone is getting ready for round two. Republicans are touting Kremen as a “trafficker” in the state that is seeking to implement the toughest anti-trafficking laws in the nation. Supporters of Kremen retort that sex.com shows every kind of sexual perversion so it clearly “does not discriminate against any kind of sexual inclination.” That sounds mighty fair.

 

 

Kremen founded Match.com. Match.com is the most sued dating site in the world. Match.com has been sued for murder, rape, the largest set of fake profiles on Earth, fraud and a host of other issues. Match.com scans every dating photo and profile, harvests user activity and sends that off to the NSA and data analysis companies. It sounds like Kremen knows how to gather consumer data so, again, what is promoted as a negative could have Kremen being a huge winner in helping California harvest private voter data for the elections. Another plus for Kremen!

In 1993, Kremen founded Electric Classifieds, Inc. Funded by private investors in November 1994, he launched the online personals service Match.com in April 1995.[3] After troubles with venture capitalists over his insistence that the company serve profitable alternative market segments including the LGBT market, he left Match.com in March 1996, remaining on the board of Electric Classifieds. Over Kremen’s objections, Match.com was sold to Cendant Corporation for $7 million in 1998[3] and sold by Cendant to Ticketmaster a year and a half later for $50 million.[4] The NSA deploys aspects of these services. From 1995 to 1996, Kremen founded and served as president of NetAngels.com, Inc., an Internet profiling, spying and personalization company[2] that suggested web sites to users. He left when NetAngels merged with Boston personalization software firm Firefly Network, Inc.[3] in 1997,[5] and Firefly was sold to Microsoft in 1998 in a reported $40 million deal.[6]

 

In 1999, Kremen was listed as an equity-holding officer or director of Brightcube, Inc.[2] The same year, he sold Computer.com for $500,000.[7][8]

 

Kremen is credited as a primary inventor on a 1995-filed patent for dynamic web pages, US patent number 5,706,434,[9] which he later sold for over $1,250,000.[10] Additionally, Kremen holds two other patents in financial-related systems management: US patent number 7,698,219[11] and US patent number 7,890,436[12]

 

A 2007 New York Times article on “millionaires who don’t feel rich” reported that Kremen estimated his net worth at $10 million.[13]

 

Kremen resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the founder of residential solar financing start-up Clean Power Finance, Inc., which raised $6.9 million from investors in January 2010,[14] $25 million from Kleiner Perkins, $75 million from Google [15] in September 2011,[16] and $62 million from other investors.[17][18]

 

Kleiner Perkins is now under felony-grade investigation for rigging the original “Cleantech Crash”.

 

SEE: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cleantech-crash-60-minutes/

 

In an ironic twist. Kleiner and Google VC’s are under suspicion of rigging the Afghan War to create an exclusive mining monopoly (See Frank Giustra Investigation) for lithium metal for Tesla and Indium Metal for Solyndra. This resulted in losses of over a trillion dollars to taxpayers. How California decided that Gary Kremen was the “Go To Guy” for Cleantech Cash could be explained by Presidential and Senator campaign finance records..but maybe not. Republicans appear to have hired a number of private investigators to seek to get “the whole story on Mr. Kremen”.

 

 

He was also founder and chairman of Sociogramics, a financial services company that focuses on bringing credit to the underbanked yuppies, having raised seed capital from Tugboat Ventures, Harmony Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures, Greylock Partners, Claremont Creek Ventures, and QED Investors.[19]

 

Kremen is the founding investor and a board member of CrowdFlower[20] and WaterSmart Software[21] and CapGain Solutions.[22] He is an elected board member and president of the Purissima Hills Water District[23] as well as involved with local non-profit organizations.[24] He is also a co-founder of Menlo Incubator, which is an early-stage startup program that focuses heavily on mentorship.[25][26]

 

Kremen was appointed to the Proposition 39 Citizens Oversight Board by California State Controller John Chiang in January 2014.[27] On February 24, 2014, Identive Group appointed him a member of the Board of Directors.[28]

 

Kremen was elected to the Santa Clara Valley Water District of Directors in the 2014 election.[29] On January 13, 2015, the Board elected him as the 2015 Board Chair.

 

Sex.com saga

 

Kremen first registered the domain name sex.com in 1994[30] as well as jobs.com, housing.com, and autos.com. In 1996, Stephen M. Cohen contacted Network Solutions and fraudulently had the domain transferred to his name. Kremen sued Cohen for the return of the sex.com domain name. As Cohen had profited from sex.com while assigned to him, Kremen was awarded a judgment of $65 million against Cohen. Cohen fled to Mexico and moved the money offshore. Kremen obtained Cohen’s Rancho Santa Fe mansion, where Kremen relocated to after the court case resolved. In 2003, Kremen successfully litigated against Network Solutions.[31][32] On October 28, 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported Cohen had been arrested in Mexico and turned over to US authorities.[33] Kremen sold sex.com in 2006 to Boston-based Escom LLC for $15 million in cash and stock, and sold sex.net for $454,500 later that year.[34][35][36]

 

One of Kremen’s companies is called Kremen/Father. Gabriel Spitzer tell’s one of the stories about Gary Kremen’s run in with entrepreneurs:

 

 

Splashed: The fall of Hot Liquid Media

 

 

Morality tale of how a smart idea got skunked

 

 

By Gabriel Spitzer

 

 

In the spring of 2000, Justin Fortune was in Arizona, setting up his booth at a conference organized by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and the Transit Auto Bureau.

 

Fortune was there to introduce his company, Hot Liquid Media, and the coffee-cup sleeves that HLM placed advertisements on, to the advertising community.

 

“That was kind of our coming-out party,” recalls Fortune, former president and chief executive officer of Hot Liquid Media.

 

As it turns out, Fortune’s booth was right next to the booth for Pinpoint Golf Marketing, with whom HLM had an investor in common.

 

“An employee of Pinpoint introduced himself to me and said, ‘Oh, you’re Hot Liquid Media. Phillip wanted me to see if you would be a good candidate to be rolled up into the Pinpoint Golf media family,’” recalls Fortune.

 

That’s funny, Fortune thought. This was the first time he’d heard anything about “rolling up” Hot Liquid Media into anything.

 

Phillip Father, one of the partners at venture capital firm Kremen, Father and Partners in San Francisco, hadn’t mentioned anything about it to Fortune.

 

“That was the moment I knew they were up to something,” says Fortune.

 

For Fortune, the episode in Arizona turned out to be the prelude to a yearlong drama that would culminate in the collapse of Hot Liquid Media about a month ago.

 

Stories like this, that involve lawsuits and hurt feelings and disputed facts, often have two very different sides.

 

This is Fortune’s side of that story, and it is something of a morality tale of what can happen to a young, successful business that tangles with a venture capital firm and comes out the loser.

 

Calls to Kremen, Father and Partners for its side of this story were not returned.

 

Hot Liquid Media formed in early 1999 when Fortune, then working in radio ad sales, had the idea that the coffee cups so ubiquitous in his hometown of San Francisco were an untapped advertising resource.

 

Soon, Hot Liquid Media was turning the insulated sleeves on coffee cups into little billboards. The company’s first client was Streetlight Record, a small, local chain. Next came Pennzoil, then CNET.

 

Before long, Hot Liquid Media had assembled an impressive list of clients, including Disney, Boeing, Sony, CBS Marketwatch, Columbia Tri-Star, Kosmo.com and The Washington Post.

 

“From there we just kind of exploded. Within our first year, we were billing about $2.6 million. We had offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Albuquerque,” Fortune says.

 

At one point early on, Fortune’s then-girlfriend (they are now married) and business-partner Sarina Wolff called a friend of hers for financial advice. That friend worked for Kremen, Father and Partners.

 

“A day or two later he called back saying that he and his partner were interested in our company and would like to invest. It wasn’t something we asked for, it was just kind of dangled in front of our faces,” says Fortune.

 

“They invested $60,000, and we gave up 30 percent of the company.”

 

Fortune and Wolff gave up one other thing that they would soon come to regret: three seats on Hot Liquid Media’s five-person board.

 

“There were three original investors, and we thought, why not? That was just a mistake we made,” says Fortune.

 

Meanwhile, Hot Liquid Media continued to grow. It improved the quality of the photos on its coffee sleeves and began placing ads on beer coasters.

 

But then came the incident in Arizona, and Fortune quickly found out what he believes were his investors’ true intentions for the company.

 

“The company was a cash cow, and the investors wanted a quick payoff. They told us to roll it up with one or more of the other companies they had investments in, or buy their shares back,” says Fortune.

 

Moreover, Kremen, Father and Partners presented Fortune with a valuation of the company at $10 million, and they wanted a third of that sum in a buy-back, Fortune says.

 

According to Fortune, that valuation was way, way too high, and came not from an outside source but from the investors’ own calculations.

 

“They gave us a one-month deadline. When that deadline came around and we didn’t give them any answers, they became upset and started taking aggressive action,” says Fortune.

 

“So they held an illegal board meeting in the attorney’s office over three days and essentially executed the buyout.”

 

After the meeting, Fortune and Wolff fired the board. Soon thereafter, Kremen, Father and Partners filed suit against Fortune and Wolff.

 

Then, says Fortune, things started to get really ugly.

 

Somehow, he says, the investors managed to lock up the company’s cash holdings, leaving it with no operating funds.

 

From there the company’s demise was swift.

 

“That made it difficult to operate. If our clients couldn’t get us the money up front, we had to turn the deal down.”

 

Finally, with lawsuits still pending and lawyers’ bills piling up, Hot Liquid Media closed its doors for good.

 

Since then, Fortune has gone back into the advertising world. The transition from CEO to desk job has not been easy, but Fortune has definitely learned a thing or two.

 

“Business partners are like personal relationships. You have to be very careful who you get into bed with. The sheets can get soiled. It can put you in a position where you’ve screwed yourself so royally if there’s a dispute, that people can turn your life upside down,” he says.

 

“An investor is always going to take you down a different path than what you intended. Whether you’re giving up five, 10 or 90 percent, that investor is never going to view the business the same way you do. A dime is a million bucks to them.”

 

 

 

-Gabriel Spitzer is a staff writer for Media Life.

 

 

I found this interested tidbit in a leaked law enforcement doc:

 

 

Kremen, Father & Partners, LLC

 

Gary Kremen

 

Philip Father

 

North America USA California San Francisco

 

Address: 2544 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA

 

Phone: +1 415 920 0944

 

Fax: +1 415 920 0945

 

Kremen, Father & Partners, LLC gkremen@aol.com

 

KREMEN FATHER & PARTNERS in San francisco is a company that specializes in “Investment Advice”. Our records show it was established in California.

 

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $1,245,000 in 2002 SIC Code: 6282

 

Founders/Owners: Match.com, Sex.com

 

Consultants to: Kleiner Perkins, lithium ion battery sources, political campaigns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • United States Patent number 7,698,219 Issued April 13, 2010: Methods, systems and agreements for increasing the likelihood of repayments under a financing agreement for renewable energy equipment.

 

 

 

  • [1] Greentech Media, Retrieved on 2009-01-05

 

  • [2] Google invests $75M into Clean Power Finance solar fund

 

  • [3] Google Invests $75 Million in Home Solar Venture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google finally admits it is actually a rogue CIA operation gone out-of-control

Google finally admits it is actually a rogue CIA operation gone out-of-control

 

Google Unveils Neural Network with “Superhuman” Ability to Determine the Location of Almost Any Image

 

Guessing the location of a randomly chosen Street View image is hard, even for well-traveled humans. But Google’s latest artificial-intelligence machine manages it with relative ease.

 

 

Here’s a tricky task. Pick a photograph from the Web at random. Now try to work out where it was taken using only the image itself. If the image shows a famous building or landmark, such as the Eiffel Tower or Niagara Falls, the task is straightforward. But the job becomes significantly harder when the image lacks specific location cues or is taken indoors or shows a pet or food or some other detail.

 

Nevertheless, humans are surprisingly good at this task. To help, they bring to bear all kinds of knowledge about the world such as the type and language of signs on display, the types of vegetation, architectural styles, the direction of traffic, and so on. Humans spend a lifetime picking up these kinds of geolocation cues.

 

So it’s easy to think that machines would struggle with this task. And indeed, they have.

 

Today, that changes thanks to the work of Tobias Weyand, a computer vision specialist at Google, and a couple of pals. These guys have trained a deep-learning machine to work out the location of almost any photo using only the pixels it contains.

 

Their new machine significantly outperforms humans and can even use a clever trick to determine the location of indoor images and pictures of specific things such as pets, food, and so on that have no location cues.

 

Their approach is straightforward, at least in the world of machine learning. Weyand and co begin by dividing the world into a grid consisting of over 26,000 squares of varying size that depend on the number of images taken in that location.

 

So big cities, which are the subjects of many images, have a more fine-grained grid structure than more remote regions where photographs are less common. Indeed, the Google team ignored areas like oceans and the polar regions, where few photographs have been taken.

 

 

Next, the team created a database of geolocated images from the Web and used the location data to determine the grid square in which each image was taken. This data set is huge, consisting of 126 million images along with their accompanying Exif location data.

 

Weyand and co used 91 million of these images to teach a powerful neural network to work out the grid location using only the image itself. Their idea is to input an image into this neural net and get as the output a particular grid location or a set of likely candidates.

 

They then validated the neural network using the remaining 34 million images in the data set. Finally they tested the network—which they call PlaNet—in a number of different ways to see how well it works.

 

The results make for interesting reading. To measure the accuracy of their machine, they fed it 2.3 million geotagged images from Flickr to see whether it could correctly determine their location. “PlaNet is able to localize 3.6 percent of the images at street-level accuracy and 10.1 percent at city-level accuracy,” say Weyand and co. What’s more, the machine determines the country of origin in a further 28.4 percent of the photos and the continent in 48.0 percent of them.

 

That’s pretty good. But to show just how good, Weyand and co put PlaNet through its paces in a test against 10 well-traveled humans. For the test, they used an online game that presents a player with a random view taken from Google Street View and asks him or her to pinpoint its location on a map of the world.   

 

Anyone can play at www.geoguessr.com. Give it a try—it’s a lot of fun and more tricky than it sounds.

 

Needless to say, PlaNet trounced the humans. “In total, PlaNet won 28 of the 50 rounds with a median localization error of 1131.7 km, while the median human localization error was 2320.75 km,” say Weyand and co. “[This] small-scale experiment shows that PlaNet reaches superhuman performance at the task of geolocating Street View scenes.”

 

An interesting question is how PlaNet performs so well without being able to use the cues that humans rely on, such as vegetation, architectural style, and so on. But Weyand and co say they know why: “We think PlaNet has an advantage over humans because it has seen many more places than any human can ever visit and has learned subtle cues of different scenes that are even hard for a well-traveled human to distinguish.”

 

They go further and use the machine to locate images that do not have location cues, such as those taken indoors or of specific items. This is possible when images are part of albums that have all been taken at the same place. The machine simply looks through other images in the album to work out where they were taken and assumes the more specific image was taken in the same place.

 

That’s impressive work that shows deep neural nets flexing their muscles once again. Perhaps more impressive still is that the model uses a relatively small amount of memory unlike other approaches that use gigabytes of the stuff.  “Our model uses only 377 MB, which even fits into the memory of a smartphone,” say Weyand and co.

 

That’s a tantalizing idea—the power of a superhuman neural network on a smartphone. It surely won’t be long now!

 

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1602.05314 : PlaNet—Photo Geolocation with Convolutional Neural Networks

 

 

Tagged

 

Google, AI, artificial intelligence, geolocation, EmTech Digital 2016

 

 

Emerging Technology from the arXiv Contributor

 

Emerging Technology from the arXiv produces daily coverage of the best new technologies from arXiv.org. Until September 2013 it was known as The Physics arXiv Blog, which now covers the latest tech news

 

How Eric Holder hid his Dirty Cover-Up Deeds For Obama and Protected Elon Musk from Arrest

While US Attorney General, Eric Holder Used Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Birth Name as His Official Email Address

 
 

By Jason Leopold For VICE Magazine

Former US Attorney General Eric Holder is a huge fan of NBA hall of famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

So much so that Holder used Abdul-Jabbar’s birth name, Lew Alcindor, as an alias for his official Department of Justice (DOJ) email account, raising more questions about the email practices of top Obama administration officials, and about the ability of US government agencies to track down correspondence in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

The Lew Alcindor revelation was made in a February 16 letter that DOJ sent to VICE News and Ryan Shapiro, a historian and doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in national security research. 

“For your information,” the letter said, “e-mails in the enclosed documents which use the account name ‘Lew Alcindor’ denote e-mails to or from former Attorney General Holder.”

The letter was part of about 500 pages of heavily redacted emails and other documents [pdf at the end of this story] given to VICE News and Shapiro in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed in late 2014. The documents show that Justice Department officials sent emails to Lew Alcindor regarding calls from lawmakers for a federal investigation into claims that CIA personnel spied on Senate staffers while the Senate was drafting a report about the CIA’s torture program. Holder’s name does not appear anywhere in his Lew Alcindor email account.

An email chain involving Lew Alcindor, a.k.a. then–US Attorney General Eric Holder.

The responses from Lew Alcindor, notably one about Senator Ron Wyden’s demand that the DOJ “reopen” an investigation into the CIA after the agency’s own internal watchdog upheld the spying allegations, are virtually all redacted. DOJ declined to launch a criminal probe into the matter, claiming there was insufficient evidence. (Earlier this month, Wyden confronted CIA Director John Brennan about the spying incident and tried to get him to acknowledge it was improper and would not happen again.)

Other documents center around messages sent to the DOJ by David Grannis, the former staff director of the Senate Intelligence Committee, about authorizing Senate staffers to return to a secure facility leased by the CIA so they could finish fact-checking and writing the torture report. Grannis brings up the DOJ’s subsequent “odd” request, communicated to Grannis through the CIA, that Senate staffers “receive a security refresher beforehand, highlighting especially the computer system’s audit feature.”

“Can you cast any light on what DOJ personnel meant by this, or why they said it? Seems odd for DOJ to get involved in the security procedures between the Agency and the Committee, so I wanted to make sure we understood DOJ’s recommendation,” Grannis wrote, suggesting that the DOJ gave credence to CIA claims that Senate staffers inappropriately gained access to a coveted internal CIA document that sparked CIA spying.

There are vast swaths of redacting black ink throughout the emails — including DOJ’s response to Grannis.

Last March, a week after the New York Times revealed that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private email account to conduct official business while she was Secretary of State, Holder’s chief spokesman, Brian Fallon, disclosed that his boss had used three different aliases — all of which had a usdoj.gov domain — during his tenure as the nation’s top law enforcement official.

‘Will members of the public reviewing the records of Eric Holder’s tenure as attorney general understand emails purporting to be from Lew Alcindor are actually from him?’

Fallon made the disclosure less than a week before he announced that he would serve as lead press secretary for Clinton’s presidential campaign. Fallon identified two of the email accounts Holder previously used, but they weren’t the names of any known living person. Fallon declined to identify Holder’s third email alias other than to say that it was “based” on an athlete. (Before leaving the DOJ in April 2015, Holder had still been using the Lew Alcindor email address.)

Fallon, who exchanged many of the emails in the cache with Lew Alcindor, explained the rationale for the practice: to combat spam and to avoid being inundated with correspondence from the public.

A Justice Department spokesman told VICE News there was nothing improper or legally questionable about Holder using the identity of a living person for his email account. Nor was it in any way an attempt, he said, to thwart FOIA or the Federal Records Act, which requires government agencies to preserve federal records. DOJ officials who handle FOIA requests and congressional inquiries, the spokesman said, knew of Holder’s email aliases.

Yet DOJ and many other federal agencies, the State Department and FBI in particular, have been harshly criticized (including by VICE News) for poorly performing searches meant to capture emails from officials who use their true identities. Experts in FOIA law said Holder’s Lew Alcindor identity calls into question the ability of FOIA staff to locate all emails from an official who uses an alias. 

Laura Sheehan, a spokeswoman for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), said the email alias practice appears to be fairly common among agency heads in large government departments.

“There is no prohibition against it, so long as they can be linked to the actual name,” Sheehan said.

A few years ago, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lisa Jackson, came under fire from conservative lawmakers and open government advocates — and was accused of attempting to thwart open records requests and federal records retention laws — after it was revealed that she used the email alias Richard Windsor when conducting official business. An inspector general review into the practice concluded that EPA lacks “internal controls to ensure the identification and preservation of records when using private and alias email accounts for conducting government business.” The disclosure lead NARA to issue policy guidance to the heads of federal agencies on email management, which say:

Agencies must ensure that the name of an individual employee is linked with each account in order to comply with FOIA, discovery, and the requirement to transfer permanent email records… to NARA. In most cases, this requires the full name or readily identifiable nickname that is maintained on a distribution list.

In a Q&A with the Washington Post shortly thereafter, NARA’s chief records officer, Paul Wester Jr., said that while there is no prohibition against using email aliases, the practice makes it difficult to locate and turn over records in response to FOIA requests, and NARA does not condone it.

“We’ve been pretty clear with agencies it is not a good practice to follow, and we don’t recommend that they authorize the use of personal e-mail accounts or alias accounts to conduct their business,” Wester said. “There’s a higher probability the emails wouldn’t be documented properly with their broader record keeping systems.”

Anne Weismann, the executive director of good government group Campaign for Accountability, and an expert on FOIA, told VICE News that even though the DOJ has acknowledged that Holder used an email alias, and that DOJ’s FOIA staff is aware, “it still raises a question about whether the agency is properly documenting its work and preserving records under the Federal Records Act.”

“Will members of the public reviewing the records of Eric Holder’s tenure as [attorney general] understand emails purporting to be from ‘Lew Alcindor’ are actually from him?” Weismann said. “An investigation clearly is warranted.”

Several years ago, Weismann inquired with the DOJ about the number of email accounts associated with Holder and his deputies. The DOJ responded to her inquiry by saying Holder’s email address does not use his name.

“This protects his privacy and security and allows him to conduct official business efficiently via e-mail,” DOJ attorney Vanessa Brinkman wrote in a September 30, 2013 letter addressed to Weismann. (Brinkmann also signed the February 16 letter turned over to VICE News and Shapiro.)

Holder, who returned to his old law firm Covington after he left the DOJ, did not return a call for comment. 

A DOJ spokesman said Attorney General Loretta Lynch uses an official DOJ email address to conduct government business, but “to help guard against security risks, the Attorney General does not use her given name in the handle of her email address.”

Douglas Cox, a law professor with the City University of New York School of Law whose research focuses on the intersection of information policy and national security, said he believes there is a “legitimate problem” with alias emails, “especially in the way agencies appear to be administering them.”

“Agencies are unnecessarily creating risks of undermining FOIA responses, subpoena responses, and discovery disclosures,” Cox said. “I also think alias emails are inconsistent with the letter and spirit of the federal record keeping laws.”

Cox said he understands why Holder would want to avoid being spammed and receiving unsolicited emails from the public, “but I don’t see what the justification would be for not configuring [lew.alcindor@usdoj.gov] so [Holder’s] actual name appears in internal emails.”

“Is there some reason why the identity of the sender has to be masked internally? And if so, then they must be tightly controlling who knows the alias, which in turn invites, if not guarantees, FOIA and record keeping problems,” Cox said. “When you consider the possibility, if not likelihood based on what we know, that alias emails are common practice among high-ranking officials across dozens of agencies, the risk of undermining FOIA searches and discovery requests within the various agencies approaches certainty.”

Meanwhile, Abdul-Jabbar, who legally changed his name in 1971, was unaware that Holder used his birth name for his official government email account. A spokeswoman for the former Los Angeles Lakers great declined to comment about the issue. Last year, Abdul-Jabbar interviewed Holder for a documentary he is producing on race. And in an interview with Politico around the same time, Holder said he idolized Abdul-Jabbar growing up and that the basketball legend had become a friend.

Follow Jason Leopold on Twitter: @JasonLeopold

Topics:eric holder, lew alcindor, kareem abdul-jabbar, nba, foia, freedom of information act, federal records act, nara, national archives and records administration, department of justice, doj, cia, senate, spying, dianne feinstein, senate intelligence committee, basketball, americas, united states, primary sources, primary sources: the vice news foia blog, politics

Splashed: The fall of Hot Liquid Media

Splashed: The fall of Hot Liquid Media

 

 

 

A Morality tale of how a smart idea got skunked

 

 

 

By Gabriel Spitzer

 

 

 

In the spring of 2000, Justin Fortune was in Arizona, setting up his booth at a conference organized by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and the Transit Auto Bureau.

 

Fortune was there to introduce his company, Hot Liquid Media, and the coffee-cup sleeves that HLM placed advertisements on, to the advertising community.

 

“That was kind of our coming-out party,” recalls Fortune, former president and chief executive officer of Hot Liquid Media.

 

As it turns out, Fortune’s booth was right next to the booth for Pinpoint Golf Marketing, with whom HLM had an investor in common.

 

“An employee of Pinpoint introduced himself to me and said, ‘Oh, you’re Hot Liquid Media. Phillip wanted me to see if you would be a good candidate to be rolled up into the Pinpoint Golf media family,’” recalls Fortune.

 

That’s funny, Fortune thought. This was the first time he’d heard anything about “rolling up” Hot Liquid Media into anything.

 

Phillip Father, one of the partners at venture capital firm Kremen, Father and Partners in San Francisco, hadn’t mentioned anything about it to Fortune.

 

“That was the moment I knew they were up to something,” says Fortune.

 

For Fortune, the episode in Arizona turned out to be the prelude to a yearlong drama that would culminate in the collapse of Hot Liquid Media about a month ago.

 

Stories like this, that involve lawsuits and hurt feelings and disputed facts, often have two very different sides.

 

This is Fortune’s side of that story, and it is something of a morality tale of what can happen to a young, successful business that tangles with a venture capital firm and comes out the loser.

 

Calls to Kremen, Father and Partners for its side of this story were not returned.

 

Hot Liquid Media formed in early 1999 when Fortune, then working in radio ad sales, had the idea that the coffee cups so ubiquitous in his hometown of San Francisco were an untapped advertising resource.

 

Soon, Hot Liquid Media was turning the insulated sleeves on coffee cups into little billboards. The company’s first client was Streetlight Record, a small, local chain. Next came Pennzoil, then CNET.

 

Before long, Hot Liquid Media had assembled an impressive list of clients, including Disney, Boeing, Sony, CBS Marketwatch, Columbia Tri-Star, Kosmo.com and The Washington Post.

 

“From there we just kind of exploded. Within our first year, we were billing about $2.6 million. We had offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Albuquerque,” Fortune says.

 

At one point early on, Fortune’s then-girlfriend (they are now married) and business-partner Sarina Wolff called a friend of hers for financial advice. That friend worked for Kremen, Father and Partners.

 

“A day or two later he called back saying that he and his partner were interested in our company and would like to invest. It wasn’t something we asked for, it was just kind of dangled in front of our faces,” says Fortune.

 

“They invested $60,000, and we gave up 30 percent of the company.”

 

Fortune and Wolff gave up one other thing that they would soon come to regret: three seats on Hot Liquid Media’s five-person board.

 

“There were three original investors, and we thought, why not? That was just a mistake we made,” says Fortune.

 

Meanwhile, Hot Liquid Media continued to grow. It improved the quality of the photos on its coffee sleeves and began placing ads on beer coasters.

 

But then came the incident in Arizona, and Fortune quickly found out what he believes were his investors’ true intentions for the company.

 

“The company was a cash cow, and the investors wanted a quick payoff. They told us to roll it up with one or more of the other companies they had investments in, or buy their shares back,” says Fortune.

 

Moreover, Kremen, Father and Partners presented Fortune with a valuation of the company at $10 million, and they wanted a third of that sum in a buy-back, Fortune says.

 

According to Fortune, that valuation was way, way too high, and came not from an outside source but from the investors’ own calculations.

 

“They gave us a one-month deadline. When that deadline came around and we didn’t give them any answers, they became upset and started taking aggressive action,” says Fortune.

 

“So they held an illegal board meeting in the attorney’s office over three days and essentially executed the buyout.”

 

After the meeting, Fortune and Wolff fired the board. Soon thereafter, Kremen, Father and Partners filed suit against Fortune and Wolff.

 

Then, says Fortune, things started to get really ugly.

 

Somehow, he says, the investors managed to lock up the company’s cash holdings, leaving it with no operating funds.

 

From there the company’s demise was swift.

 

“That made it difficult to operate. If our clients couldn’t get us the money up front, we had to turn the deal down.”

 

Finally, with lawsuits still pending and lawyers’ bills piling up, Hot Liquid Media closed its doors for good.

 

Since then, Fortune has gone back into the advertising world. The transition from CEO to desk job has not been easy, but Fortune has definitely learned a thing or two.

 

“Business partners are like personal relationships. You have to be very careful who you get into bed with. The sheets can get soiled. It can put you in a position where you’ve screwed yourself so royally if there’s a dispute, that people can turn your life upside down,” he says.

 

“An investor is always going to take you down a different path than what you intended. Whether you’re giving up five, 10 or 90 percent, that investor is never going to view the business the same way you do. A dime is a million bucks to them.”

 

 

 

-Gabriel Spitzer is a staff writer for Media Life.

 

 

 

I found this interested tidbit in a leaked law enforcement doc:

 

 

 

 

Kremen, Father & Partners, LLC

 

North America USA California San Francisco

 

Address: 2544 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA

 

Phone: +1 415 920 0944

 

Fax: +1 415 920 0945

 

Kremen, Father & Partners, LLC gkremen@aol.com 2544 3RD ST SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94107-3113 US …

 

KREMEN FATHER & PARTNERS in San francisco is a company that specializes in Investment Advice. Our records show it was established in California.

 

Estimated Yearly Revenue: $1,245,000 in 2002 SIC Code: 6282

 

Founders/Owners: Match.com, Sex.com

 

Consultants to: Kleiner Perkins, lithium ion battery sources, political campaigns

 

 

 

Case Data:

 

Kremen Father invited ClickMovie.com, the first internet video on demand company, down to visit them at their Third Street offices. Kremen Father had a great interest in ClickMovie and even hired ClickMovie’s staff. Later, Kremen competed with the same ClickMovie people with his social networks and again with his lithium and solar energy holdings. Alas, now those Clickmovie people have been testifying to The FBI, GAO, FTC and SEC about tricky Silicon Valley maneuvers. See Case File 34-556788DF-CA. Have Andy bring us the Vinod data.

 

 

 

 

 

!!!

 

XP VEHICLES ASKS CALIFORNIA STATE CONTROLLER JOHN CHIANG HOW HE EXPECTS TO CREATE GREEN JOBS BY “APPOINTING COMPETITORS TO HEAD THE BOARD”

XP VEHICLES ASKS CALIFORNIA STATE CONTROLLER JOHN CHIANG HOW HE EXPECTS TO CREATE GREEN JOBS BY “APPOINTING COMPETITORS TO HEAD THE BOARD”

 

By Walter Lean for The Bay News Service Center

 

 

More California Crony-ism rises to the bottom.

 

Outspoken anti-corruption advocate XP Vehicles has asked California State Controller John Chiang to explain how the current implementation of the Proposition 39 green jobs taxpayer cash deployment is not simply another racketeering and corruption payola kick-back scheme exactly like the one that California State Controller John Lockyer put together to run a payola scam for state officials with FBI-raided Solyndra and (currently under investigation) Tesla?

 

California’s State Controller John Chiang has appointed three members to the board created to oversee Proposition 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act. Board members appointed by the Controller are:

 

  • Dana Cuff, professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles

  • Erik Emblem, COO of the Western States Council-Sheet Metal Workers in Sacramento

  • Gary Kremen, entrepreneur, Match.com and Sex.com founder; and inventor; founder of Clean Power Finance and chairman of Palo Alto’s Sociogramics

 

XP, and other companies have noted that at least one of the board members has been documenting expending resources to attack competing business ventures in Clean power and social media.

 

XP said: “In the year of the most divisive and socially disruptive national election in history, when the Gallop polls are stating that the voters #1 concern is “CORRUPTION”, why would the State Of California want to set itself up for the most obvious Solyndra 2.0 play in history?”

 

Billions of dollars are at risk in the spending of the Proposition 39 funds and XP, Bright Automitive, ZAP, Aptera and other California companies have said that “this isn’t their first rodeo.”

 

XP has filed charges with, and cooperated with, SEC, FTC, FBI, EU, SFPD and other ongoing criminal investigations of the CleanTech Crash. Today, XP submitted the following letter to the State Of California:

 

 

“Feb. 25, 2016

 

 

 

 

Dear State Of California Agency Lead:

 

 

Per the attached document ( https://departmentofenergyoverwatch.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/xp-vehicles/ , the escalating media coverage and voter demands for reform, we hereby request a letter of support for the appointment of a public Special Prosecutor to investigate and hear the criminal and ethics charges in this case, and hundreds of related cases by American individuals and companies who were sabotaged and attacked by these public officials. This matter involves billions of dollars of embezzlement by public officials. State officials should also file RICO charges against the related political figures and their campaign backers, as required by law. The proof, compiled by multiple law enforcement agencies, is now indisputable. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

XP Vehicles

 

 

 

CC: Agencies, Media, Elected Officials

 

Attached: XP complaint notes

 

 

 

Related public documentation & news stories:

 

 

 

http://thecleantechcrash.wordpress.com

 

 

 

http://departmentofenergyoverwatch.wordpress.com

 

 

 

http://xpvehicles.wordpress.com

 

 

 

http://thegooglecase.wordpress.com

 

 

 

https://thesacramentocaper.wordpress.com

 

 

 

http://www.capitolcrimesquad.com

 

 

 

http://www.xyzcase.com

 

 

 

https://crimesquad1.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/the-silicon-coup-4-5e.pdf

 

 

 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/593602

 

 

 

https://crimesquad1.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/thesolyndraappendixpt1high.pdf

 

 

 

https://crimesquad1.wordpress.com/bibliography/

 

 

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cleantech-crash-60-minutes/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Deadly Lithium Ion Battery

 

The Deadly Lithium Ion Battery

 

 

 

Lithium ion batteries are blowing up, starting fires and, generally, destroying people’s homes, cars, electronics and physical health. Boeing was ordered to stop flying the 787 Dreamliner because it’s Lithium ion batteries are catching fire spontaneously.

A group of silicon valley venture capitalists forced/leveraged the government to buy and pay for these specific batteries ( Silicon Valley billionaires own the lithium ion Cartel), in order to benefit their profit margins. Other batteries don’t have these problems. Silicon Valley knew about this from day one, but those snarky billionaires put greed ahead of safety. There are thousands and thousands of reports of spontaneous lithium ion fires, but the Silicon Valley campaign billionaires, who back lithium ion, pay to keep this information hushed up.

 

Millions of these batteries have been recalled for fire risk. The VC’s tried to dump as many of them as they could (into hoverboards and Musk’s “home energy pack”) before they got caught. Now they are caught. These VC’s own stock in lithium mining companies in Afghanistan and really like the Afghan war.

 

 

 

These links show vast sets of Fisker electric cars that burst into flames just because they GOT WET:

 

 

 

http://updates.jalopnik.com/post/34669789863/more-than-a-dozen-fisker-karma-hybrids-caught-fire-

 

and

 

http://green.autoblog.com/2012/08/12/fisker-flambe-second-karma-spontaneously-combusts-w-video/

 

 

 

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/05/how-sandy-may-have-set-17-plug-in-hybrids-on-fire/

 

 

 

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/fisker-karma-spontaneously-combusts/

 

 

 

http://cbdakota.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/fisker-karmas-catch-fire-following-inundation-by-sandy/

 

 

 

http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/12/fisker-karma-hyrbid-ev-second-fire/

 

 

 

http://www.techfever.net/2012/08/fisker-karma-hybrid-ev-ignites-while-parked/

 

 

 

http://evmc2.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/fisker-karma-fire-report/

 

 

 

http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/karma-burns-owners-mansion/

 

 

 

http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2012/11/1/Karmas-Ignite-After-Hurricane-Floods-Newark-Port-7711437/

 

 

 

There are hundreds of other links proving the point., ie: http://lithium-ion.weebly.com

 

 

 

Tesla Motors has filed a patent which states the following, THESE ARE TESLA MOTORS WORDS warning about a crisis, the level of which they never disclosed to the consumer:

 

Thermal runaway is of major concern since a single incident can lead to significant property damage and, in some circumstances, bodily harm or loss of life. When a battery undergoes thermal runaway, it typically emits a large quantity of smoke, jets of flaming liquid electrolyte, and sufficient heat to lead to the combustion and destruction of materials in close proximity to the cell. If the cell undergoing thermal runaway is surrounded by one or more additional cells as is typical in a battery pack, then a single thermal runaway event can quickly lead to the thermal runaway of multiple cells which, in turn, can lead to much more extensive collateral damage. Regardless of whether a single cell or multiple cells are undergoing this phenomenon, if the initial fire is not extinguished immediately, subsequent fires may be caused that dramatically expand the degree of property damage. For example, the thermal runaway of a battery within an unattended laptop will likely result in not only the destruction of the laptop, but also at least partial destruction of its surroundings, e.g., home, office, car, laboratory, etc. If the laptop is on-board an aircraft, for example within the cargo hold or a luggage compartment, the ensuing smoke and fire may lead to an emergency landing or, under more dire conditions, a crash landing. Similarly, the thermal runaway of one or more batteries within the battery pack of a hybrid or electric vehicle may destroy not only the car, but may lead to a car wreck if the car is being driven or the destruction of its surroundings if the car is parked. “ WTF!!! THESE ARE TESLA MOTORS OWN WORDS

 

 

 

Tesla’s own staff have now admitted that once a lithium ion fire gets started in one of their cars, it is almost impossible to extinguish burning lithium ion material.

 

 

 

In Fact, in the Malibu, California Tesla Fire the Tesla Driver was burned alive and his body rendered “unrecognizable” according to fire officials who found him melted into a ball of molten plastic, alloy and battery debris.

 

 

 

Telsa’s own words in THEIR patent filing say that the risk is monumental. Tesla has 6800 lithium ion batteries, any one of which can explode and start a chain reaction! If you look at all of the lithium ion danger movies you will see how easy it is to set these things into failure mode. They even get more flammable as they age.

 

 

 

Imagine a car crash with a Tesla where these 6800 batteries get slammed all over and then exposed to rain, fire hose water, water on the roads, cooling system liquid.. OMG!!

 

 

 

LION batteries have already crashed a UPS plane and killed people. Look here: http://washingtonexaminer.com/dreamliner-fires-spark-new-doubts-about-a-green-energy-technology/article/2519353

 

 

 

Tesla and Fisker have only sold a few hundred cars, (thank god) because nobody but “douchebags and elitist dicks” want these overpriced Frat boy toys. A regular car company sells hundreds of thousands of cars per model.

 

 

 

Every single Tesla, or Fisker, sold increases the likelihood of a burn up. Those burn-ups will affect the homes, cars and lives of the people next door who never even bought one.

 

 

 

Go to http://www.youtube.com and type into the search window: “Lithium ion explosion” or “lithium battery and water” or “lithium ion water” or “FAA lithium ion fires” and any related derivation and you will hundreds of videos about how dangerous these batteries are. There are numerous videos of Tesla’s #18650 batteries blowing up.

 

 

 

This article in the LA Times sheds more light of the horrors of Lithium Ion:

 

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/18/business/la-fi-dreamliner-battery-20130119

 

 

 

Lithium Ion batteries “go thermal” in peoples pockets, in your notebook, especially in your Tesla and Fisker car and everywhere else. There are thousands and thousands of articles documenting this and there is a cover-up by the Silicon Valley billionaires that fund these things to keep this fact out-of-sight.

 

 

 

Making Lithium Ion batteries poisons the workers who make them. It is a dangerous product. Each time the workers, particularly in Asia, make lithium ion they are being poisoned by the factory where they make them.

 

 

 

Outlaw lithium ion batteries. Go to http://www.ntsb.gov and demand removal of lithium ion batteries from the market.

 

 

 

A Reminder that Lithium Ion Batteries Can Be Deadly

 

Rob Enderle

 

Rob Enderle |

 

 

Slide Show

As we ramped up to Christmas last year, a new product was catching the market on fire and then catching pretty much everything else on fire: hoverboards that used substandard lithium ion batteries. The hoverboards were eventually pulled from many stores and barred from airplanes. However, from time to time, smartphones catch fire and so do laptops. And given that I almost lost my house to a lithium ion battery on an electric bicycle, I’m particularly aware that any energy storage device mistreated or acting strangely could become deadly.

Now the odds of having this happen to you or an employee are relatively low, but the more batteries you have, and the higher their capacity, the larger those odds grow. There have been over 40 recalls associated with lithium ion batteries in the last decade or so.

Considering that our vehicles, technology products, and even some homes and businesses are increasingly using lithium ion batteries, we should remind ourselves that this technology needs to be treated respectfully. This is what a burning lithium ion battery looks like in a laptop and in a cell phone. (It’s amazing how much heat one of these things can put out.) Knowing what to do with these batteries could save your life.

Don’t Buy Aftermarket Batteries from Unbranded Suppliers

The problem with the hoverboards (other than the fact that they don’t actually hover) is that they used low-cost substandard batteries and chargers. These low-quality products are what are generally connected to fires. In general, batteries from a branded supplier like Panasonic can be trusted but be aware of counterfeit batteries in the market that look like they come from a branded vendor and do not. Always buy from trusted suppliers, preferably from the firm that built the product that these batteries are going into. Do the same with the charger. A charger that charges too fast may overheat even a good battery and cause it to fail catastrophically.

Dispose of Batteries Properly

Lithium ion is hazardous waste but, more importantly, it has about a third of the energy density of dynamite. If it discharges quickly, it can do a lot of damage. Even in your trash, it can find enough combustible material to take out your business or house. It’s best to keep the batteries separate, don’t store them together in large numbers (so one battery doesn’t set off a bunch of them), and dispose of them through a proper service. Many of the stores that sell these batteries will dispose of them for you and cities have places where you can drop them off for legal destruction or recycling. In particular, you don’t want to put them into a trash compactor that could crush them or otherwise puncture them because that could result in a catastrophic failure, and under pressure with other flammable material, an explosion.

Isolate Them from Metal

The most obvious hazard for any battery is a short circuit. This means you don’t want to store batteries around conductive material like metal or wiring. Again, don’t store them together, and make sure they are stored away from flammable material and from anything that could cause them to short out.

If Dropped, Consider Replacing

Most laptop and cell phone battery fires are believed to occur as the result of some kind of physical damage. Most of the Tesla fires I’ve covered have resulted from something penetrating the battery containment (which is impressive on the Tesla). If you see damage around the battery, it’s best to be safe and have it replaced. It’s far better to incur the cost of a new battery than that of a home or car.

Replace the Battery if It Gets Wet

You can dry out your phone and use it if it gets wet, but if corrosion builds up on the battery, it could short out. Once water gets inside the battery case, it’s particularly hard to both get it out and see if corrosion has started. Replacing the battery could help prevent an otherwise catastrophic outcome.

Careful with Charging

Charge batteries away from other flammable products and don’t leave them charging for long periods unattended. If a battery appears to be overheating, remove it from the charger immediately, place it someplace safe (preferably on cement or something non-conductive and non-flammable). If the battery deforms in any way, replace it because it’s likely a cell has failed and there is an increased chance of explosion.

Wrapping Up

As the energy density in batteries is increased, so are the risks of catastrophic discharge. Poorly made batteries making it into the supply chain add to that danger. As it is with any technology that is potentially dangerous, learning how to handle lithium ion safely is important. Look for the warning signs of excessive heat or distorted batteries.

One last note: If you do have a lithium ion fire, don’t breathe the fumes (they are toxic). Either let it burn itself out or use a Class D fire extinguisher (smothering may not work and using water on an electrical fire is very dangerous). If you can safely isolate the fire from everything else, do that, but keep yourself safe first. And when in doubt, replace the batteries.

A regular reminder to employees about the dangers of this technology and what to do if there is a problem would seem prudent as well.

Rob Enderle is President and Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group, a forward-looking emerging technology advisory firm.  With over 30 years’ experience in emerging technologies, he has provided regional and global companies with guidance in how to better target customer needs; create new business opportunities; anticipate technology changes; select vendors and products; and present their products in the best possible light. Rob covers the technology industry broadly. Before founding the Enderle Group, Rob was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group, and held senior positions at IBM and ROLM. Follow Rob on Twitter @enderle, on Facebook and on Google+

 

 

 

 

A Reminder that Lithium Ion Batteries Can Be Deadly

 

Rob Enderle

 

 

Slide Show

Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016

 

As we ramped up to Christmas last year, a new product was catching the market on fire and then catching pretty much everything else on fire: hoverboards that used substandard lithium ion batteries. The hoverboards were eventually pulled from many stores and barred from airplanes. However, from time to time, smartphones catch fire and so do laptops. And given that I almost lost my house to a lithium ion battery on an electric bicycle, I’m particularly aware that any energy storage device mistreated or acting strangely could become deadly.

 

Now the odds of having this happen to you or an employee are relatively low, but the more batteries you have, and the higher their capacity, the larger those odds grow. There have been over 40 recalls associated with lithium ion batteries in the last decade or so.

 

Considering that our vehicles, technology products, and even some homes and businesses are increasingly using lithium ion batteries, we should remind ourselves that this technology needs to be treated respectfully. This is what a burning lithium ion battery looks like in a laptop and in a cell phone. (It’s amazing how much heat one of these things can put out.) Knowing what to do with these batteries could save your life.

 

Don’t Buy Aftermarket Batteries from Unbranded Suppliers

 

The problem with the hoverboards (other than the fact that they don’t actually hover) is that they used low-cost substandard batteries and chargers. These low-quality products are what are generally connected to fires. In general, batteries from a branded supplier like Panasonic can be trusted but be aware of counterfeit batteries in the market that look like they come from a branded vendor and do not. Always buy from trusted suppliers, preferably from the firm that built the product that these batteries are going into. Do the same with the charger. A charger that charges too fast may overheat even a good battery and cause it to fail catastrophically.

 

Dispose of Batteries Properly

 

Lithium ion is hazardous waste but, more importantly, it has about a third of the energy density of dynamite. If it discharges quickly, it can do a lot of damage. Even in your trash, it can find enough combustible material to take out your business or house. It’s best to keep the batteries separate, don’t store them together in large numbers (so one battery doesn’t set off a bunch of them), and dispose of them through a proper service. Many of the stores that sell these batteries will dispose of them for you and cities have places where you can drop them off for legal destruction or recycling. In particular, you don’t want to put them into a trash compactor that could crush them or otherwise puncture them because that could result in a catastrophic failure, and under pressure with other flammable material, an explosion.

 

 

Winning the Talent Wars: The Competitive Advantages of Implementing State-of-the-Art Talent Management Tools

Isolate Them from Metal

The most obvious hazard for any battery is a short circuit. This means you don’t want to store batteries around conductive material like metal or wiring. Again, don’t store them together, and make sure they are stored away from flammable material and from anything that could cause them to short out.

 

If Dropped, Consider Replacing

 

Most laptop and cell phone battery fires are believed to occur as the result of some kind of physical damage. Most of the Tesla fires I’ve covered have resulted from something penetrating the battery containment (which is impressive on the Tesla). If you see damage around the battery, it’s best to be safe and have it replaced. It’s far better to incur the cost of a new battery than that of a home or car.

 

Replace the Battery if It Gets Wet

 

You can dry out your phone and use it if it gets wet, but if corrosion builds up on the battery, it could short out. Once water gets inside the battery case, it’s particularly hard to both get it out and see if corrosion has started. Replacing the battery could help prevent an otherwise catastrophic outcome.

 

Careful with Charging

 

Charge batteries away from other flammable products and don’t leave them charging for long periods unattended. If a battery appears to be overheating, remove it from the charger immediately, place it someplace safe (preferably on cement or something non-conductive and non-flammable). If the battery deforms in any way, replace it because it’s likely a cell has failed and there is an increased chance of explosion.

 

Wrapping Up

 

As the energy density in batteries is increased, so are the risks of catastrophic discharge. Poorly made batteries making it into the supply chain add to that danger. As it is with any technology that is potentially dangerous, learning how to handle lithium ion safely is important. Look for the warning signs of excessive heat or distorted batteries.

 

One last note: If you do have a lithium ion fire, don’t breathe the fumes (they are toxic). Either let it burn itself out or use a Class D fire extinguisher (smothering may not work and using water on an electrical fire is very dangerous). If you can safely isolate the fire from everything else, do that, but keep yourself safe first. And when in doubt, replace the batteries.

 

A regular reminder to employees about the dangers of this technology and what to do if there is a problem would seem prudent as well.

Rob Enderle is President and Principal Analyst of the Enderle Group, a forward-looking emerging technology advisory firm.  With over 30 years’ experience in emerging technologies, he has provided regional and global companies with guidance in how to better target customer needs; create new business opportunities; anticipate technology changes; select vendors and products; and present their products in the best possible light. Rob covers the technology industry broadly. Before founding the Enderle Group, Rob was the Senior Research Fellow for Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group, and held senior positions at IBM and ROLM. Follow Rob on Twitter @enderle, on Facebook and on Google+

XP VEHICLES SENDS DEMAND LETTER TO STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR PUBLIC CORRUPTION HEARING

Today, XP Vehicles took the gloves off and let corrupt politicians in the State of California know that running organized crime operations with taxpayer cash, while stuffing their own pockets and stock market portfolios, is not ok. XP has a fuel cell electric car, for consumers, and another tactical version for the Department of Defense. It obsoleted the lithium ion batteries which Elon Musk owns and endlessly promotes. Because certain politicians were “paid off for favors” with stock in Solyndra, lithium ion mines and certain lithium ion electric car companies, the felonious nature of some of the political arrangements seemed to require a public investigation. Because XP and California taxpayers lost billions of dollars, a call for an open public investigation seems to be the right more. Here is XP’s letter:

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 25, 2016

 

 

 

 

Dear State Of California Agency Lead:

 

 

 

Per the attached document ( https://departmentofenergyoverwatch.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/xp-vehicles/ , the escalating media coverage and voter demands for reform, we hereby request a letter of support for the appointment of a public Special Prosecutor to investigate and hear the criminal and ethics charges in this case, and hundreds of related cases by American individuals and companies who were sabotaged and attacked by these public officials. This matter involves billions of dollars of embezzlement by public officials. State officials should also file RICO charges against the related political figures and their campaign backers, as required by law. The proof, compiled by multiple law enforcement agencies, is now indisputable. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

XP Vehicles

 

 

 

 

CC: Agencies, Media, Elected Officials

 

Attached: XP complaint notes

 

 

 

Related public documentation & news stories:

 

 

 

http://thecleantechcrash.wordpress.com

 

 

 

http://departmentofenergyoverwatch.wordpress.com

 

 

 

http://xpvehicles.wordpress.com

 

 

 

http://thegooglecase.wordpress.com

 

 

 

https://thesacramentocaper.wordpress.com

 

 

 

http://www.capitolcrimesquad.com

 

 

 

http://www.xyzcase.com

 

 

 

https://crimesquad1.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/the-silicon-coup-4-5e.pdf

 

 

 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/593602

 

 

 

https://crimesquad1.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/thesolyndraappendixpt1high.pdf

 

 

 

https://crimesquad1.wordpress.com/bibliography/

 

 

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cleantech-crash-60-minutes/