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Proposed California Law Would Mandate Smartphone Kill Switch 252

alphadogg writes "Kill-switch technology that can render a lost or stolen smartphone useless would become mandatory in California under a new bill that will be proposed to the state legislature in January. The bill will be introduced by Senator Mark Leno, a Democrat representing San Francisco and neighboring towns, and George Gascón, the district attorney for San Francisco. Gascón has been spearheading a push by major law-enforcement agencies across the U.S. for more to be done to prevent smartphone theft. The proposed law could reach well beyond the borders of California. Because of the difficulty and added cost of producing handsets solely for sale in California, it could serve to make kill-switch technology a standard feature on phones sold across the U.S."

Comment This is only one tree in a big forest (Score 0, Troll) 439

The larger impact of all of this NSA spying is going to be pushing countries like Colombia and Brazil over the edge, where they will distance themselves from the US and align instead with Bolivarian Socialist states in SA.

Brazil has already been moving that way for some time, but this may be the final nail in the coffin for any hope of avoiding becoming another despotic socialist state.

Comment Use Cash (Score 1) 191

I stopped using credit cards at retail a long time ago because I was sick and tired of having my credit card numbers stolen every few months. And, these days there are always the privacy implications, knowing that government is collecting every transaction you make with a credit card.

Biotech

Police Pull Over More Drivers For DNA Tests 562

schwit1 sends this news from the Washington Times: "Pennsylvania police this week were pulling people to the side of the road, quizzing them on their driving habits, and asking if they'd like to provide a cheek swap or a blood sample — the latest in a federally contracted operation that's touted as making roads safer. The same operation took place last month at a community in Texas. Then, drivers were randomly told to pull off the road into a parking lot, where white-coated researchers asked if they'd like to provide DNA samples for a project that determines what percentage of drivers are operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol at given times. With uniformed police in the background, the researchers also offered the motorists money — up to $50 or so — for the blood or saliva samples."

Comment Diesel is a better solution (Score 2) 314

Diesel engines are twice as efficient at extracting energy from fuel as are gas engines. The US should do what Europe has done and basically fully embrace diesel fueled vehicles for their efficiency.

No, you won't be breaking any 0-60 records, which might make it difficult for the MURKA! FUCK YEAH! crowd to accept, but when you can drive from Bakersfield to Baltimore on 100 gallons of diesel, it's worthy of serious consideration.

I am dismayed that this administration is so openly hostile towards diesel technology when it would seem to be a very simple, very clean, very cheap, and very easy solution both in the short and long term. You can buy a Jetta TDI cheap and get 55mpg on the highway. That beats the snot out of any Hybrid in overall cost.

Businesses

Amazon Workers Strike In Germany As Christmas Orders Peak 606

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "The Washington Post reports that in Germany, Amazon's second-biggest market behind the United States, hundreds of Amazon.com workers went on strike just as pre-Christmas sales were set to peak, in a dispute over pay and conditions that has raged for months. Amazon, which employs 9,000 warehouse staff members in Germany plus 14,000 seasonal workers at nine distribution centers, says that 1,115 employees joined the strike at three sites. 'Amazon must realize it cannot export its anti-union labor model to European shores. We call on the company to come to the table and sign a global agreement that guarantees the rights of workers,' says Philip Jennings of the global trade union UNI. Verdi organized several short stoppages this year to try to force Amazon to accept collective-bargaining agreements ... The union says Amazon workers receive lower wages than others in retail and mail-order jobs and that other retailers pay overtime, but Amazon does not. 'What Amazon is doing is taking this American race-to-the-bottom roadshow to Germany and trying it out on our German brothers and sisters,' says David Freiboth. Amazon has defended its wage policies, saying that employees earn toward the upper end of the pay scale of logistics companies in Germany. Amazon also says it prefers to address employment issues with worker councils at individual sites rather than through negotiations with the union. Amazon says that there have been no delays to deliveries ... adding that Amazon uses its whole European logistics network during the Christmas period to ensure delivery times. A delegation of German workers was set to rally at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle along with U.S. unions. 'We're standing in solidarity with them. We are asking that Amazon respect the union there in Germany and negotiate in a way that is acceptable to Verdi,' says Kathy Cummings of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, which was also attending the protest in Seattle."

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