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United States

America's Second-largest Employer Is a Temp Agency 541

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-a-job dept.
cold fjord writes "From the Examiner: '...the second-largest employer in America is Kelly Services, a temporary work provider. ... part-time jobs are at an all-time high, with 28 million Americans now working part-time. ... There are now a record number of Americans with temporary jobs. Approximately 2.7 million, in fact. And the trend has been growing. ... Temp jobs made up about 10 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, but now make up a tenth of the jobs in the United States. In fact, nearly one-fifth of all jobs gained since the recession ended have been temporary.' The NYT has a chart detailing the problem."
Social Networks

Ex-Marine Detained Under Operation Vigilant Eagle For His Political Views Sues 279

Posted by timothy
from the within-his-rights dept.
stry_cat writes "You may remember the story of Brandon Raub, who was detained without due process over some Facebook posts he made. Now with the help of the Rutherford Institute, he is suing his captors. According to his complaint [PDF], his detention was part of a federal government program code-named 'Operation Vigilant Eagle,' which monitors military veterans with certain political views."
DRM

New Humble Bundle Is Windows Only, DRM Games 553

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-the... dept.
jbernardo writes "After all the indie, multi-platform (including 4 for android) and DRM free releases, the latest Humble Bundle release is a polarizing one. It features non-indie games, it is Windows only, and the games are saddled with DRM. There is already a very vocal discussion on the Humble Bundle Google+ thread, but it seems it is selling well."

Comment: Re:Mass Mail (Score 5, Informative) 473

by chartreuse (#42003353) Attached to: USPS Reports $15.9 Billion Loss, Asks Congress For Help

Gilbert, meet Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usps

"The USPS has not directly received taxpayer-dollars since the early 1980s with the minor exception of subsidies for costs associated with the disabled and overseas voters. Since the 2006 all-time peak mail volume,[5] after which Congress passed the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act",[6] (which mandated $5.5 billion per year to be paid into an account to pre-fund retiree health-care, 75 years into the future—a requirement unique to this agency), revenue dropped sharply due to recession-influenced[7] declining mail volume,[8] prompting the postal service to look to other sources of revenue while cutting costs to reduce its budget deficit.[9]"

I’m sure that like most of us in the country the USPS also benefits from using roads and sidewalks and highways and water and electricity systems that were built for us by all those socialists between the 1930s and 1980, back when the personal tax rates were three times higher. (No doubt you have built your own alternative transportation system, perhaps jetpack-based.)

Security

Will It Take a 'Cyber Pearl Harbor' To Break Congressional Deadlock? 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-perhaps-a-cybertsunami,-or-a-cyberarmageddon dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "For years lawmakers had heard warnings about holes in corporate and government systems that imperil U.S. economic and national security. Now Ward Carroll writes that in the face of what most experts label as a potential 'Cyber Pearl Harbor' threat, Republicans have stalled the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 with a Senate vote of 51–47 against the legislation. This drew a quick response from the staff of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: 'The U.S. defense strategy calls for greater investments in cybersecurity measures, and we will continue to explore ways to defend the nation against cyber threats,' says DoD spokesman George Little. 'If the Congress neglects to address this security problem urgently, the consequences could be devastating.' Many Senate Republicans took their cues from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and businesses that framed the debate not as a matter of national security, but rather as a battle between free enterprise and an overreaching government. They wanted to let companies determine whether it would be more cost effective — absent liability laws around cyber attacks — to invest in the hardware, software, and manpower required to effectively prevent cyber attacks, or to simply weather attacks and fix what breaks afterwards. 'Until someone can argue both the national security and the economic parts of it, you're going to have these dividing forces,' says Melissa Hathaway, a White House cyber official in the Bush and Obama administrations. 'Most likely, big industry is going to win because at the end of the day our economy is still in trouble.'"
Communications

USPS Reports $15.9 Billion Loss, Asks Congress For Help 473

Posted by Soulskill
from the write-a-letter-to-your-representative-but-don't-mail-it dept.
New submitter Gaildew2 writes with news that the embattled United States Postal Service has posted a $15.9 billion loss over the past fiscal year, more than three times the amount it lost the previous year. "The USPS, which relies on the sale of stamps and other products rather than taxpayer dollars, has been grappling for years with high costs and tumbling mail volumes as consumers communicate more online. In September, the Postal Service hit its $15 billion borrowing limit for the first time in its history. That leaves it with few options if it suffers an unexpected shock, such as a slowdown if lawmakers are unable to prevent the year-end tax increases and spending cuts known as the 'fiscal cliff.' ... Postal officials want Congress to pass legislation that would allow the agency to end Saturday mail delivery and run its own health plan rather than enrolling USPS employees in federal health programs, among other things."
Republicans

Nonpartisan Tax Report Removed After Republican Protest 555

Posted by Soulskill
from the information-wants-to-trickle-down dept.
eldavojohn writes "On September 14th a report titled 'Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945' (PDF) penned by the Library of Congress' nonpartisan Congressional Research Service was released to little fanfare. However, the following conclusion of the report has since roiled the GOP enough to have the report removed from the Library of Congress: 'The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. As measured by IRS data, the share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession. At the same time, the average tax rate paid by the top 0.1% fell from over 50% in 1945 to about 25% in 2009. Tax policy could have a relation to how the economic pie is sliced—lower top tax rates may be associated with greater income disparities.' From the New York Times article: 'The pressure applied to the research service comes amid a broader Republican effort to raise questions about research and statistics that were once trusted as nonpartisan and apolitical.' It appears to no longer be found on the Library of Congress' website."
Software

The Struggles of Getting Into the App Store 329

Posted by Soulskill
from the man-vs-machine dept.
itwbennett writes "You've heard the horror stories about the App Store approval process driving developers away, but what really makes it so bad isn't the 6-8 day waiting period or even rejection. What make it so bad is the lack of access to a human problem-solver at who can loosen the stranglehold of Apple's protocol machine, says Matthew Mombrea, who recounts in excruciating detail his company's experience publishing iOS apps, and, worse, updates to iOS apps."
Internet Explorer

Microsoft Issues Workaround For IE 0-Day 101

Posted by timothy
from the we-call-these-o'houlihan-patches dept.
Orome1 writes "Microsoft has issued a security advisory with advice on how to patch a Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability recently spotted being exploited in the wild by attackers that might be the same ones that are behind the Nitro attacks. News that there is a previously unknown Internet Explorer vulnerability that is actively being misused in the wild by attackers that are believed to be the same ones that are behind the Nitro attacks has reverberated all over the Internet yesterday."
Earth

Judge Preserves Privacy of Climate Scientist's Emails 345

Posted by timothy
from the you-can't-see-my-exculpatory-email dept.
ananyo writes "Climate scientist Michael Mann reported Monday that he and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville have prevailed in a court case against the conservative American Tradition Institute (ATI), which had sought access to emails he wrote while serving as a professor at the school from 1999-2005. Now at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Mann says the ruling supports the University of Virginia's argument than an exemption to the state's freedom-of-information law 'applies to faculty communications in furtherance of their work.' The Prince William County Circuit Court ruling came directly from the bench in and was not immediately available online. The Virgina Supreme Court tossed out a case against Mann in March. The state's conservative attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, had, among other things, demanded access to the climatologist's emails, arguing that Mann might have manipulated data and thus defrauded the government in applying for scientific grants."
Databases

Google Spanner: First Globally Scalable Database With External Consistency 49

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the all-while-ironing-your-clothes dept.
vu1986 writes with this bit from GigaOm: "Google has made public the details of its Spanner database technology, which allows a database to store data across multiple data centers, millions of machines and trillions of rows. But it's not just larger than the average database, Spanner also allows applications that use the database to dictate where specific data is stored so as to reduce latency when retrieving it. Making this whole concept work is what Google calls its True Time API, which combines an atomic clock and a GPS clock to timestamp data so it can then be synched across as many data centers and machines as needed." Original paper. The article focuses a lot of the Time API, but external consistency on a global scale seems to be the big deal here. From the paper: "Even though many projects happily use Bigtable, we have also consistently received complaints from users that Bigtable can be difficult to use for some kinds of applications: those that have complex, evolving schemas, or those that want strong consistency in the presence of wide-area replication. ... Many applications at Google have chosen to use Megastore (PDF) because of its semi-relational data model and support for synchronous replication, despite its relatively poor write throughput. As a consequence, Spanner has evolved from a Bigtable-like versioned key-value store into a temporal multi-version database. Data is stored in schematized semi-relational tables; data is versioned, and each version is automatically timestamped with its commit time; old versions of data are subject to configurable garbage-collection policies; and applications can read data at old timestamps. Spanner supports general-purpose transactions, and provides a SQL-based query language." Update: 09/20 17:57 GMT by T : Also in a story at Slash BI.
Microsoft

Microsoft Wants To Nix Data Center Backup Generators 141

Posted by timothy
from the more-and-bigger-flywheels dept.
1sockchuck writes "Data centers operators often tout their diesel backup generators as a symbol of their reliability. So why does Microsoft want to get rid of them? Microsoft says diesel generators are 'inefficient and costly' and is looking at alternatives to supply emergency backup power for its server farms, including fuel cells powered by natural gas. One possible option is the 'Bloom box,' which both Apple and eBay are using in their data centers (albeit with biogas as the primary fuel). Bloom is positioning its fuel cells as a way to forego expensive UPS units and generators, using the Bloom box for primary power and the utility grid for backup. It's a pitch that benefits from the current low price of natural gas." (Microsoft would like to stop using so much water, too.)
Programming

The Perils of Developers Hooking Up 278

Posted by timothy
from the like-with-like-among-their-own-kind dept.
jammag writes "Who better for a developer to love than another developer? Yet as a veteran coder describes, it's not always a good idea for a programmer to fall for another programmer. He describes his experience observing — and getting partially pulled into — a romance within a development team. Part of the problem, perhaps, is that some developers spend so much time buried in code that, well, they quickly find themselves out of their league. Then again, why not love among the code?"

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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