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Submission + - Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: John Sutter writes at CNN that as Swiss citizens vote on November 24 to consider capping executive pay at 12 times what the lowest-paid worker at a company makes in a referendum, which is called the "1:12 initiative," some say the idea of tethering top executive pay to some sort of concrete metric might stop American execs from floating further into the stratosphere. "Here in America, the land of unequal opportunity, the CEOs of top-500 companies make in a single day about what it takes an average "rank-and-file" worker a year to earn, according to the AFL-CIO, the federation of unions," writes Sutter. "Democracy starts to unravel if a few people become wildly, ethereally successful, while the rest of a country struggles." A $1 million salary worked for American CEOs from the 1930s to 1980s, says Lynn Stout. But CEO pay, including options realized that year, jumped about 875%, to $14.1 million, from 1978 to 2012, according to the Economic Policy Institute. "What we've got is basically an arms race," Stout says, "where the CEOs are competing on pay because they each want to have higher status than the others." Peter Drucker, the father of business management, famously said the CEO-to-worker salary ratio should not exceed 20:1, which is what existed in the United States in 1965. Beyond that, managers will see an increase in "resentment and falling morale," said Drucker. Stout has suggested that the IRS make CEO pay a non-deductible business expense when it's higher than 100 times the minimum wage. "Limiting CEO pay to 100 times the minimum wage would still allow top execs to be millionaires," concludes Sutter. "And here's the best part: If the fat cats wanted a pay increase, maybe the best way for them to get it would be to throw political weight behind a campaign to boost the minimum wage."

Submission + - The gamification of life (

nk497 writes: "Techniques developed in computer games are finding their way into shopping, education and the workplace. Gamification is one of the major tech buzz words lately, but systems like Foursquare show it's catching on. Are we moving to a world where we get points for brushing our teeth or cycling to work instead of driving, or are such motivational techniques actually counterproductive — and what happens when people work out how to cheat?"

Submission + - Microsoft Drops Use of 'Supercookies' on MSN (

Trailrunner7 writes: In response to work by Stanford University researchers who found that Microsoft and several other high-profile companies were using a controversial technique to keep persistent cookies on users' PCs to track their movements, Microsoft says it has discontinued the practice of using so-called "supercookies."

In July, Jonathan Mayer, a graduate student at Stanford, revealed that some companies were still employing techniques that enabled browser history sniffing, which give the companies information on what sites users have visited and what links they've clicked on. The research also found that some companies were using cookies that re-spawn even after users have deleted them. Microsoft was using this technique on one of its sites,, and now the company said that it is no longer doing so.

Submission + - Assange handed Sydney peace medal (

hihihihi writes: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation's Gold Medal for ''exceptional courage in the pursuit of human rights". It is only the fourth time in the organisation's 14-year history that the prize for extraordinary achievement in promoting peace with justice has been given out. Previous winners are Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda.
Foundation director Professor Stuart Rees accused the Australian government of demonising Mr Assange and aiding US efforts to behave like a totalitarian state.


Submission + - China Rigs Electric-Car Taxes Against Chevy Volt ( 2

thecarchik writes: Over in China the local government has drafted its own ‘New Energy Vehicle Development Plan’ designed to promote the proliferation of green cars, specifically electric cars and plug-in hybrids. The plan calls for the investment of up to $15 billion in R&D spending, as well as the development of electric car infrastructure and buyer incentive programs similar to tax credit rebates offered here in the U.S.

However, where China’s program differs significantly to the one here in the U.S. is that eligible vehicles will have to be manufactured in China, either by a Chinese firm or in a joint venture with a Chinese firm. Additionally, the Chinese firm must also have intellectual property rights and "mastery" of one of three key components: the motor, battery or power electronics. This specifically excludes the Chevy Volt (and the Nissan Leaf too).


Submission + - Twitter discards client UI community (

Antique Geekmeister writes: Twitter has just decided to discard the community of developers who've created interesting, innovative, and exciting to start-up company applications. The announcement at shows that they intend to switch from the "bazaar" model of development to the "cathedral", with much tighter control of user interfaces for "security" and "consistency".

Submission + - Spanish government to subsidize IPv6 ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Spanish government will initiate a plan to incorporate IPv6 starting in april, initially the Ministry of Industry with other ministries to follow. The biggest part of the plan is a program of subsidies for small and medium sized enterprises that will cover projects involving, among others, pilot testing, network reconfiguration, purchase of software and equipment replacement. The plan will revise registration procedures for the .es TLD to include IPv6 addressing.

Submission + - Flickr Censors Egypt Police Photos (

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday Flickr removed a photoset of Egyptian Secret Police photos which had been posted to an Egyptian journalist's Flickrstream. The photos were obtained when the journalist acquired them from what he called "one of Mubarak's largest torture facilities." Flickr cited the fact that the photos "were not the user's own work" as justification for the censorship, even though Flickr staffers themselves frequently upload work that is not "their own" to their personal photostreams.

Submission + - Why we should buy music in FLAC (

soodoo writes: "We have plenty of HDD space and broadband internet. Why don't we demand full CD quality audio in an accessible format from online music stores?
The advantage of lossless is not only the small audio quality improvement, but better future proofing and converting capabilities. FLAC is a good, free and open format, well suited for this job."


Amazon Bulk-Email Service Could Lure Spammers 71

snydeq writes "Amazon Simple Email Service and Amazon Web Services look to be a potent combination for businesses and developers, no matter which side of the law they're on, InfoWorld reports. The newly announced bulk email service, which will enable Amazon customers to send 100 emails for a penny, could prove enticing to those seeking a cheap way to bombard inboxes with spam, malware, and phishing lures. Amazon claims its in-house content filtering technology should assuage anyone thinking SES will be used by scammers. 'Those assurances aren't entirely heartening, though, unless Amazon is way ahead of the curve with content-filtering technology. Email services and software vendors have tried for years to keep spam and other unwanted messages from showing up in users' viewing pane, but the crud keeps slipping through.'"
The Courts

Newspaper May Have Given Implicit License To Copy 175

An anonymous reader writes "Following up on the story of Righthaven, the 'copyright troll' that is working with the Las Vegas Journal Review to sue lots of websites (including one of Nevada's Senate candidates) for reposting articles from the LVRJ, a judge in one of the cases appears to be quite sympathetic to the argument that the LVRJ offered an 'implied license' to copy by not just putting their content online for free, but including tools on every story that say 'share this' with links to various sharing services (including one tool to 'share' via Slashdot!)."

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.