Wednesday, October 1, 2014

These Times demand...

r>0, to put it in Pikettyese. That's the actual story of capital in the 21st century, produce value or go broke;
The New York Times Co said on Wednesday it would cut jobs to lower costs and invest the savings in its "digital future" as advertising revenue from its print business dwindles, sending the company's shares up 7 percent.
Up from it's $12 per share embarrassment.
The New York Times will invest heavily in mobile, audience development, digital product portfolio, advertising and targeted areas of print over the coming months, it said.
Just trying to keep up with the in crowd.

A pocket full of posies would be better than this

Ringelringelreihen,
Wir sind der Kinder dreien,
sitzen unter'm Hollerbusch
Und machen alle Huschhuschhusch!
Hush, hush, hush...whose money?
The EU Commission said on Wednesday that financial aid worth 456 million euros ($575 million) granted mainly by the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate to the Nürburgring racetrack, which hosts Formula One races, was in violation of EU rules.
When it should have been against Germany's rules?
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said that financial assistance was only allowed if they serve to "restructure a company and help it to become viable again, not keep them afloat artificially." In the case of the famous German racetrack "the aid clearly violated the [EU] rules."
 Putting aside how silly that rule sounds, what's this supposed to mean;
The state of Rhineland-Palatinate has been ordered to pay the money back.
To whom?

A more tangled web

is what San Francisco needs?
Supervisor David Campos, working with the nonprofit San Francisco Heritage, is finalizing legislation that would create a registry of legacy businesses, defined as restaurants, retailers and manufacturers that have been around at least 30 years and have contributed to their neighborhoods in a meaningful way. The program, which he says is the first in the United States, would create financial incentives that would encourage property owners to retain those kinds of businesses.
And it would also create incentives for landlords not to allow such businesses to remain in place for 30 years. To replace them before they become dangerous;
Consultant Phil Lessor, who works with developers and retailers in the Mission District, said the proposal “will limit the number of uses and opportunities for the building and the building owner. It’s giving monopolistic power to the tenant when you have just one buyer. It shifts the power to the tenant. When you have a monopoly, you have inferior product at a higher price.”
He said whatever city entity is charged with creating the registry — most likely the Office of Small Business — would be “handed an enormous amount of power.”
Which is the hidden agenda?

What is, 'That's not funny!'

Maybe the feminists should ponder why there are so few female Jeopardy Champions, rather than get all hissy fitting about a game show with questions anyone can answer;
The answers to the questionable clues implied that the only things women want in life are a pair of jeans and husbands to help with the vacuuming. It was like we were tuning into a replay of an episode from the 1950s.
("What are Levi's?")

Chile: 'A la izquierda, no hacia adelante.'

To the Communists and President Bachelet, children are legitimate hostages;
These proposed regulations are part of a sweeping education-reform package. Beyond restrictions on elementary-school exclusivity, the House committee has approved a ban on for-profit status in all educational organizations that receive government funding. The levers of regulation and state funding will, for example, challenge schools that participate in the prevailing voucher program.
That is, the proposed legislation is to keep poor kids from attending schools where they might not be subject to left-wing propaganda, but only lectura, escritura, aritmética. And they might not be hounded with anti-Pinochet diatribes.

Some Chileans see what the government is up to;
Hernán Herrera, president of Independent Schools of Chile (CONACEP), has spoken out in a newspaper op-ed with the headline “Maximum Segregation,” published in La Tercera. His organization has united representatives of private and subsidized schools, as they express their fears that these reforms are a step on the road to destroying the nontraditional schools in Chile.
.... Herrera says “Equity includes the right of every student to access the same subsidies from the state, and not to be distinguished by the school they attend.”
All the children are now equal under education law. Bachelet wants those who attend her preferred schools to be more equal than the others.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What the Ello?

When you sign onto Ello for the first time, you feel alone. The design is minimalistic, and you cannot import your friends from Facebook or Twitter. You have to start from scratch. You search for new contacts, and your internal compass needs to adjust to navigate its way around.
Still, many people are hopping on board. Thousands of them are signing up every hour, says Ello founder Paul Budnitz. But registering requires an invite from an existing user. Now, invitations to join are so sought after that people are selling them on Ebay for up to $100 (78 euros).
Facebook? Nobody goes there anymore it's too crowded with transparency;
This is quite enticing for many who don't want to adhere to Facebook's real-name policy. The latter's rule means that several drag queens who use performance names on Facebook could be blocked. Several American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) activists have threatened to leave Facebook.
Just don't get together on Uber or Lyft to go someplace.

Luftwollte

Too bad they didn't have this problem in 1939;
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has acknowledged major shortfalls in equipment for the Bundeswehr's military, especially in the air force. She said Germany is unable to deliver its defensive NATO promises.
Nor is Germany the only US slacker-ally;
At the last count, only three European NATO members - Estonia, Greece, and the UK - were reaching NATO's defense budget benchmark: two percent of GDP.
The end of the Cold War has clearly paid a part - in 1989, the European average was 3.1 percent, by 1996 this plummeted to 2.3 percent - but that is natural enough, considering that defending European territory has not been a priority in the intervening years. But the pressure has increased now with the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Barack Obama may have given the impression he wasn't interested in war, but war is interested in his allies.