• OTT - A Shower of Sparks

    posted by Keito
    2013-07-27 15:00:04
  • Ott - Splitting An Atom

    posted by Keito
    2013-04-03 20:48:31
  • Cambodian Authorities Confirm Pirate Bay Founder, Gottfrid Svartholm, Will Be Deported

    posted by Keito
    2012-09-05 20:40:32
    'Following his arrest last week, it has now been confirmed that Gottfrid Svartholm will be deported from Cambodia. Following a meeting this morning with Swedish authorities, Cambodia’s deputy police commissioner said a decision was taken to kick the Pirate Bay co-founder out of the country. “Wherever he goes, we don’t know,” he said.

    Last week, police arrested Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

    Svartholm was arrested in his $750 per month rented apartment above the Cadillac Bar on the riverfront. Some early reports suggested that perhaps he had been arrested for something unrelated to his activities with The Pirate Bay, but by Sunday that notion had all but disappeared.

    “His arrest was made at the request of the Swedish government for a crime related to information technology,” a police spokesman confirmed.

    With no standing extradition treaty between Cambodia and Sweden, some observers questioned how easy it would be to get Svartholm sent back to Sweden to face his jail sentence. But as explained in our article on Sunday, such matters aren’t an issue in Cambodia. There are few Kim Dotcom-style extradition battles there – when authorities want you out, that’s what happens.

    Today we have confirmation that Svartholm will indeed be leaving Cambodia, sooner rather than later.

    According to a report from the local Phnom Penh Post, this morning a meeting took place between National Deputy Police Commissioner General Sok Phal and Swedish authorities. Due to the lack of an extradition treaty, Sweden made a request for Svartholm to be deported. Cambodian authorities appear to have agreed.

    “We will use the Immigration Law against him to deport him out of our country and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng will sign on the deportation request letter from the police commissioner soon,” said Phal.

    In what TorrentFreak is informed is typical of the way issues like this are handled in Cambodia, General Sok Phal said although Svartholm would be deported, he didn’t know where the Swede would end up.

    “We will have to just deport him, wherever he goes, we don’t know, but he has to be out of Cambodia,” he said.

    Unless special arrangements are made it’s likely that Svartholm will end up at Cambodia’s deportation jail, 7 km west of Phnom Penh opposite Pochentong Airport. He is currently being held at an unknown location by the Ministry of Interior’s immigration department.'
  • The Billionaires Bill of Rights

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-28 20:39:33
    'California's Proposition 32, on the ballot this November, would severely limit unions' election spending while leaving corporations free to spend as much as they like.

    Billionaire corporate interests and other well financed anti-labor forces are waging a major drive to stifle the political voice of workers and their unions in California that is certain to spread nationwide if not stopped - and stopped now.

    At issue is a highly deceptive measure, Proposition 32, on the state's November election ballot, that its anti-labor sponsors label as an even-handed attempt to limit campaign spending. But actually, it would limit - and severely - only the spending of unions while leaving corporations and other moneyed special interests free to spend as much as they like.

    Unions would be prohibited from making political contributions with money collected from voluntary paycheck deductions authorized by their members, which is the main source of union political funds.

    But there would be no limits on corporations, whose political funds come from their profits, their customers or suppliers and the contributions of corporate executives. Nor would there be any limit on the political spending of the executives or any other wealthy individuals. What's more, corporate special interests and billionaires could still give unlimited millions to secretive "Super PACs" that can raise unlimited amounts of money anonymously to finance their political campaigns.

    The proposition would have a "devastating impact" on unions, notes Professor John Logan, director of labor and employment studies at San Francisco State University. As he says, it would likely all but eliminate political spending by unions while greatly increasing political spending by business interests and wealthy individuals.

    Anti-labor interests are already outspending unions nationwide by a ratio of more than $15 for every $1 spent by unions. Between 2000 and 2011, that amounted to $700 million spent by anti-labor forces, while unions spent just a little more than $284 million.

    Proposition 32 would even restrict unions in their communications with their own members on political issues. That's because money raised by payroll deductions pays for the preparation and mailing of communications to union members, including political materials.

    Unfortunately, there's even more - much more -to Proposition 32. It also would prohibit unions from making contributions to political parties and defines public employee unions as "government contractors" that would be forbidden from attempting to influence any government agency with whom they have a contract.

    That restriction applies not only to unions. It also would cover political action committees established by any membership organization, "any agency or employee representation committee or plan," such as those seeking stronger civil rights or environmental protections.

    Proposition 32 seeks to weaken, that is, any membership group which might seek reforms opposed by wealthy individuals or corporations and their Republican allies. It's no wonder the measure is actively opposed, not only by organized labor, but also by the country's leading good-government groups, including Common Cause and the League of Women Voters.

    Yet the proposition's sponsors have the incredible gall to bill their measure as genuine campaign finance reform. They obviously hope that claim, which Common Cause accurately describes as a "laughable deception," will win over the many voters who have been demanding reforms and who, in their eagerness, will fail to recognize the measure's true nature.

    "This is not genuine campaign finance reform," as San Francisco State's John Logan says, "but a bill of rights for billionaires."

    The losers would include teachers, nurses, police, firefighters and other union members and those who benefit from the essential services they provide - students, the elderly, and the ailing, the poverty stricken, those who work and live in unsafe conditions and other needy citizens, and consumers, environmentalists and others who also are neglected by the profit-chasing corporate interests that dominate political and economic life.

    Make no mistake: Lots of money is being funneled into the Proposition 32 campaign by some of the same wealthy backers who bankrolled such anti-labor efforts as the campaign that blocked the massive attempt to recall virulently anti-labor GOP Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin this year.

    Should the anti-union forces also prevail, it will undoubtedly lead to what Logan says "will promote a tsunami of ballot initiatives in 2013 at the local level and in 2014 at the state level designed to drive down working conditions in both the public and private sectors."

    Logan adds, "Lacking the ability to oppose these reactionary measures under the new election rules, California's workers could soon face the weakest labor standards in the country". But if the measure is rejected, it "may slow the momentum behind other attempts to increase the corrosive impact of money in politics."

    It's true that some states already have laws and regulations seriously limiting labor's influence. But it's certain that victory by the anti-labor forces in California will slow any attempts at reform in other states and lead as well to attempts to impose anti-union measures elsewhere, as well as expanding those that already exist.

    The stakes are huge. If the 1 percent have their way in California, the country's largest state, other states are certain to follow.'
  • Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-15 14:47:02
    Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure -- and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.