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Facebook

FB Reveals Woeful Diversity Numbers 256 256

theodp writes: There's more work to do," said Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams, who issued a straight-out-of-How-to-Lie-With-Statistics diversity update on Thursday that essentially consisted of a handful of bar charts labeled with only percentages for select measures of the social networking giant's current demographics. In search of real numbers, the Guardian turned to Facebook's most recent Equal Employment Opportunity report filing, which showed that the ranks of black employees swelled by a grand total of seven (7) (1 woman) in the year covered by the filing, during which time Facebook saw an overall headcount increase of 1,231. Comparing Facebook's new bar charts of US tech employees to those issued last year shows the proportion of Hispanic and Black employees remained flat at 3% and 1% respectively, while a decline in the proportion of white employees from 53% to 51% was offset by an increase in the proportion of Asian employees from 41% to 43%.
Earth

Judge Orders Dutch Government To Finally Take Action On Climate Promises 242 242

New submitter Errol backfiring writes: Although the Dutch government has promised to make sure carbon emissions are lowered considerably, they have consistently failed to take action. Dutch climate group Urgenda and Dutch citizens have gone to court to force the government to take action, and the verdict (linked page is in Dutch) is that the government must reduce emissions by at least 25% compared to 1990 leves.

This 25% cut is seen as the minimum effort needed to keep the people safe from climate change dangers. 25% to 40% is the norm in international climate policy. The verdict is also important for similar climate groups in other countries.

Comment: Netcraft Confirms It (Score 1) 371 371

It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: recycling is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered environmental community when IDC confirmed that recycling market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all waste. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that recycling has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *Recycling is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent urban priorities poll.

You don't need to be the Amazing Randi to predict recycling's future. The hand writing is on the wall: recycling faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for recycling because recycling is dying. Things are looking very bad for recycling. As many of us are already aware, recycling continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

/Obligatory

Comment: The Trailer Was Astoundingly Awful (Score 0, Redundant) 205 205

I have to agree with this decision, since the trailer they did release looked amazingly bad and amateurish. They leads don't seem to be good actors, have no charisma and no chemistry, what little dialog seemed uninteresting and full of cliches, and the scenes seemed badly done.

I watched this with a friend, and at the end she went "Wait, that was a real trailer? I thought it was some sort of ad!"

If that was what the film was going to be like, then best it's dead.

Comment: Greece's Welfare State is Unsustainable (Score 4, Insightful) 743 743

I've been following the Greek debt crisis for at least five years, Greece's problem is that they absolutely refuse to stop spending money they don't have. Remember: Greece has never practiced real austerity (cutting deficits to match receipts) since they joined the Eurozone. Not once. (By contrast, Estonia did eliminate their deficit, and as a result started recovering from The Great Recession quicker than other EU economies.) Greece merely slowed the rate at which they were going more broke (or at least pretended to). Despite being right at the edge of complete national bankruptcy, Greece continues to insist that there will be “no wage or pension cuts” for government workers.

Greece lied about their economic situation to get into the Eurozone, lied about it before the crisis broke, lied after it broke, and continue to lie now.

Keep in mind that the past four years of bank loans from the ECB have not been to save Greece. What they were really designed to do was to keep the card game running long enough to let EU insiders and favored national banks unload Greek bonds, and to reduce their exposure to Greek default risks long enough to put European taxpayers onto the hook in the inevitable event of a Greek default. They pretended to save Greece, and Greece pretended to reform. And now here we are.

The adoption of the Euro hastened and deepened Greece's crisis, but was not the central cause, which was their refusal to stop spending money they didn't have to prop up their extravagant (even by European standards) welfare state. This modern welfare state has now become more sacred to voters than the capitalist economics that make it possible. As Mark Steyn put it, "People’s sense of entitlement endures long after the entitlement has ceased to make sense."

The problem is that with declining demographics, the cradle-to-grave European welfare state is unsustainable. Greece and the rest of the PIIGS are discovering that first, but birth rates are declining all across Europe, and modern welfare states are unsustainable without a new generation to stick with the bill. Most economists believe that Greece will never be able to pay back what they've already borrowed.

Syriza was elected on a platform of ignoring basic economic reality, but they've finally run out of people willing to loan them money to spend. The risk of a Grexit is already priced into all the European markets, But leaving the Eurozone doesn't provide relief for any of the Euro-denominated debt Greece already owes, and there's no guarantee European markets would even be willing to exchange refloated drachmas for real(er) money. And since it's hard to see any sane institution buying Greek debt after a default, Greece's government would undoubtedly start printing drachmas like mad and trigger hyperinflation.

If Greece was willing to pare back its welfare state to much saner levels, they might have a chance to slowly dig their way out of the crisis. Since they refuse to, they're in for a whole lot more economic pain...

Comment: The European Welfare State is Unsustainable (Score 0) 396 396

Since the UK wisely kept its own currency, disruptions from a "Brexit" would be relatively minimal. It's far more likely that will see Greece exit the Euro, because they absolutely refuse to stop spending money they don't have. (Note that despite talk of "austerity," not once since the European debt crisis started has Greek cut government outlays to match receipts.) To Greece (and to a lesser extent the other PIIGS), the welfare state benefits have become more sacred than the capitalist system underwriting them.

The problem with the modern welfare state is that eventually you run out of people to stick with the tab. It both discourages work and generates declining demographics, a dynamic that is unsustainable in the long run.

Well, Greece is starting to reach the long run. They can't afford their own welfare state, but it's become so entrenched that politicians refuse to significately pare it back even on the brink of national bankruptcy.

The UK, like Germany, has a strong enough economy to avoid this fate for quite a while, but it too will get there eventually...

Crime

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Gets Death Penalty In Boston Marathon Bombing 649 649

mpicpp writes with a link to the New York Times's version of story that a Boston jury earlier today returned a verdict of death in the Boston Marathon bombing. From that report: A federal jury on Friday condemned Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a failed college student, to death for setting off bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured hundreds more in the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001. The jury of seven women and five men, which last month convicted Mr. Tsarnaev, 21, of all 30 charges against him, 17 of which carry the death penalty, took more than 14 hours to reach its decision. It was the first time a federal jury had sentenced a terrorist to death in the post-Sept. 11 era, according to Kevin McNally, director of the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project, which coordinates the defense in capital punishment cases.

Comment: They took the Tea Party seriously... (Score 2) 405 405

...because the Tea Party took scalps . They defeated Republican incumbents in primaries. They ended political careers. That's what forced Republican office-holders to take them seriously.

As far as I can tell, an Occupy-backed candidate (if there even is such a thing) hasn't defeated a single Democratic incumbent. As such, the Democratic Party can continue to ignore them the way they ignore black voters.

Comment: No, it's the SJW Crowd Who Defends Islam (Score 0, Troll) 494 494

Indeed, criticizing Islam is a sure way to get attacked by Social Justice Warriors. Given that Sabeen Mahmud was almost certainly killed by radical Islamists, your comment is nonsensical.

Just how Islam became so sacred to radical feminists is an interesting question...

Earth

Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient 442 442

An anonymous reader points out that a long held goal of keeping the Earth's average temperature from rising above 2 degrees Celsius might not be good enough. "A long-held benchmark for limiting global warming is 'utterly inadequate,' a leading U.N. climate scientist declared. Keeping the Earth's average temperature from rising past 2 degrees Celsius – a cap established by studies in the early 1970s – is far too loose a goal, Petra Tschakert, a professor at Penn State University and a lead author of an assessment report for the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, said in a commentary published in the journal Climate Change Responses. Already, with an average increase of just 0.8 degrees Celsius, she wrote, 'negative impacts' are 'widespread across the globe.' Tschakert called for lowering the warming target to 1.5 degrees Celsius."

Comment: It will have an effect all right... (Score 4, Interesting) 349 349

It will encourage high tech companies in general and venture capital firms in specific to:

A). Locate their businesses in a state (like Texas) where Social Justice Warrior-type lawsuits have little chance to succeed.
B). More carefully screen potential employees for Social Justice Warrior tendencies so as to minimize the chance of future lawsuits.

Businesses exist to make money, they don't exit for believers in victimhood identity politics to wage politics and cash in at their expense.

Toys

Dad and Daughter Recreate Jurassic Park With $100,000 In Lego Pieces 52 52

mpicpp writes Animator Paul Hollingsworth and his daughter Hailee, along with some help from a few "master builders" — decided to Jurassic Park using only Lego pieces. More than $100,000 in Lego were used, according to the video's description. The result is a surprisingly stunning and hilarious version of the 1993 dino-thriller. The team behind the film also released an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the production.

There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak

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