Thursday, 31 October 2013

'Green Dave’ Cameron as much to blame as 'Red Ed’ Miliband for energy crisis

Christopher Booker,Telegraph
"But what few people yet realise is how far this catastrophic mess we are in was not only predictable, but has also been quite deliberately brought about, through the Government’s own policies. Their central aim, though never openly explained, has been twofold. One leg has been to build, by 2020, some 30,000 wind turbines, so ludicrously expensive that we must pay double or treble the market rate for the power they so inefficiently produce. The other leg is that, to make this seem competitive, we should also eventually be made to pay twice the going rate for all other forms of electricity: hence the “carbon tax” on coal and gas, and the colossal price we are to pay for power from Hinkley Point and other new nuclear power stations (four times the cost of nuclear, estimated by a Royal Academy of Engineering study only nine years ago)."

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say

Washington Post

"According to a top secret accounting dated Jan. 9, 2013, NSA’s acquisitions directorate sends millions of records every day from Yahoo and Google internal networks to data warehouses at the agency’s Fort Meade headquarters. In the preceding 30 days, the report said, field collectors had processed and sent back 181,280,466 new records — ranging from “metadata,” which would indicate who sent or received e-mails and when, to content such as text, audio and video.
The NSA’s principal tool to exploit the data links is a project called MUSCULAR, operated jointly with the agency’s British counterpart, GCHQ. From undisclosed interception points, the NSA and GCHQ are copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants.
The infiltration is especially striking because the NSA, under a separate program known as PRISM, has front-door access to Google and Yahoo user accounts through a court-approved process."

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

US to curtail spying on allies

"The snooping scandal is a direct result of disclosures of US secrets made to media organizations by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor now living in asylum in Russia. ....After Obama and Merkel spoke by phone last week, the White House said the United States is not currently tapping her phone and will not in the future, begging the question of whether it had been done in the past....The Wall Street Journal reported the NSA ended the program that involved Merkel after the operation was uncovered in the White House review that began in the summer. The program also involved as many as 35 other world leaders, some of whom were still being monitored, the report said. ....."

Monday, 28 October 2013

Obamacare Website Violates Licensing Agreement for Copyrighted Software

TheWeeklyStandard, the federal government's Obamacare website, has been under heavy criticism from friend and foe alike during its first two weeks of open enrollment.  Repeated errors and delays have prevented many users from even establishing an account, and outside web designers have roundly panned the structure and coding of the site as amateurish and sloppy.  The latest indication of the haphazard way in which was developed is the uncredited use of a copyrighted web script for a data function used by the site, a violation of the licensing agreement for the software.
The script in question is called DataTables, a very long and complex piece of website software used for formatting and presenting data.  DataTables was developed by a British company called SpryMedia which licenses the open-source software freely to anyone who complies with the licensing agreement.  A note at the bottom of the website says: "DataTables designed and created by SpryMedia © 2008-2013."  The company explains the license for using the software on that website [emphasis added]:

DataTables is free, open source software that you can download and use for whatever purpose you wish, on any and as many sites you want. It is free for you to use! DataTables is available under two licenses: GPL v2 license or a BSD (3-point) license, with which you must comply (to do this, basically keep the copyright notices in the software).

Friday, 25 October 2013

Foreign aid can pay for cut in energy bills

Daily Mail
"Why not take the money to fund the cut in green taxes from the swollen £11billion-a-year overseas aid budget, which is being lavished on corrupt kleptocracies and nations with their own space programmes? With average energy bills close to £1,500 a year, nothing could be more strongly in the ‘national interest’ than preventing our elderly and vulnerable from freezing to death this winter."

Monday, 14 October 2013

The sun is setting on dollar supremacy, and with it, American power

"Serious alternatives to the dollar, such as a global reserve currency, are still a long way off, but the latest shenanigans on Capitol Hill have given the search for them renewed and added momentum. The US is wrecklessly throwing away its future."

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Financial Apocalypse Is Due Next Week

Now I don’t want to worry you unduly, but apparently the United States is running out of money.
To cut a long story short, American politicians can’t agree on their country’s spending and whether they should increase the level of their so-called debt ceiling…
…so the US Treasury may become unable to borrow any more cash and then have to default on its debts.
Default Day is in fact set for Thursday 17th October. Circle the date in your diary, just in case, as the market might be in for a rough time between now and then.
To give you a flavour of what could be in store, here is an extract from a recent Bloomberg article:
“Failure by the world’s largest borrower to pay its debt – unprecedented in modern history – will devastate stock markets… blow up borrowing costs for billions of people and companies, ravage the dollar and throw the US and world economies into a recession that probably would become a depression.”
Apparently the US debt is 23 times the liabilities owed by Lehman Brothers when the investment bank went under during 2008. (The Motley Fool UK)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Charge of the Referendum Light Brigade

Autonomous Mind
"Having been derided for his aspiration of leading the Conservative Party, Adam Afriyie, has now determined how he plans to exact revenge – declaring via the Daily Mail’s RightMinds section that he will force David Cameron to hold an in-out referendum on EU membership ‘now’. This really is a new charge of a light brigade, misguided and doomed to failure. While it may elicit excitement among Eurosceptics, an early referendum would almost certainly be lost and the UK would be shackled to the twitching corpse of the EU, for decades to come or until the whole ediface comes crashing down under its own weight. The facts are these. The Eurosceptics are in appalling shape and nowhere close to ready to fighting the kind of campaign required to win public support for an ‘out’ vote. We would face a biased and distorting media where the selected voices on our side will be those who will undermine us with undecided voters and where, with the exception of the Express, even the supposed Eurosceptic press like the Mail and the Telegraph will support continued EU membership and push the false ‘renegotiation’ meme. Add in to this the fact that Afriyie is not really pushing an early referendum to hasten UK withdrawal from the EU, but for narrow party political considerations."

Thursday, 3 October 2013

There's a reason British youngsters aren't working, Dave. It's called immigration

"Cameron's desire to bar under-25s from claiming unemployment benefit once again sees the British government turn on our abandoned youth. We are already the generation set to inherit the colossal debt piled up firstly by Labour and now the Coalition and that's bad enough in itself. But the more immediate issue is the one of mass uncontrolled immigration and just how badly it has hurt the prospects of our young – something I've never heard Cameron speak about, let alone act upon."