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Friday Open Thread

by afew Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 10:59:27 AM EST

Here comes another one


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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 11:01:32 AM EST
Spotify boosts sales for Swedish music industry | The Raw Story

Music sales in Sweden rose last year thanks to the growing popularity of music streaming service Spotify, the country's music industry body said, offering hope to a sector battered by file-sharing.

Last year was the best year for music sales in Sweden since 2005, according to data from the Swedish Recording Industry Association (GLF).

"This is a clear sign that more consumers are paying for their music consumption than for some time," the chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Sweden, Ludvig Werner, said in a statement.

"We hope that a recovering market for music will encourage artists and music companies to release more music," he added.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 11:33:19 AM EST
Yes, you can compete with free if you have a better service. But no matter, sales are up or sales are down, the record industry will always call for more internet surveilliance to protect their position.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:55:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus your records are yours. Your digital songs are theirs and they do you the favor of listening them--until they change their mind or go out of business...
by asdf on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 06:12:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain: `Spanish, the world's second language' | Presseurop (English)
According to a report published by Instituto Cervantes, Spanish is the world's second most popular language - after Chinese - with 495m native speakers in 2012. After English, it is also the most popular international communication language, with 7.5 per cent of the global population expected to speak it by 2030.
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 11:39:25 AM EST
European Commission: The drug the EU decided to ignore | Presseurop (English)

"Is the European Commission more concerned with promoting the interests of a US pharmaceutical firm than in ensuring the survival of several dozen patients suffering from a serious and rare liver disease?" asks French daily, Libération. The paper explains that -

for the past three years, it has fought tooth and nail against authorising European sales of Orphacol. Produced by small French laboratory CTRS, the drug would save those suffering from the fatal disease. This relentless bureaucratic assault cannot be explained by reasons of public health since the advice of the experts - and of the 27 member states - is unanimously in favour of a medicine that has proved its worth.

However, this refusal by the Commission to authorise Orphacol works in favour of a US firm, Asklepion Pharmaceuticals, a laboratory controlled by the Church of the Seventh Day Adventist, which has also requested an authorisation to market a competing drug - non-existent as yet - from the London-based European Medicines Agency.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 11:45:21 AM EST
Incredible story.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 03:03:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Generation Europe: Young Brits who back EU | Europe | DW.DE | 18.01.2013

Just when it seemed as if the momentum was firmly on the side of the euroskeptics in Britain, a new survey has revealed a generational divide in attitudes towards the EU.

Two thirds of 18-24 year olds in Britain would vote "yes" to European Union membership - that's according to a new poll conducted by the British-based market research agency YouGov.

However, overall, the survey revealed a 12-point lead for those who wish to leave the EU. Among Brits over 60, that figure is particularly high, at 61 percent.

So why is euroskepticism so prevalent among older people in Britain? And why is the younger generation more likely to back the European project?

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 11:46:21 AM EST
Migeru's Erasmus generation.
by Bernard on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 03:48:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
10 years too early for it to make a difference, also in the UK.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 04:15:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, I can't disagree with you.
by Bernard on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 01:48:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany to repatriate gold from US and France | EUTimes.net

Germany's central bank is set to reclaim some of its vast gold reserves held in the US and France, a German daily reported. The move follows an audit criticizing Bundesbank for mismanagement, stating the funds had never been "verified physically."

Bundesbank voiced plans to withdraw its entire 450-ton store of gold bullion from the Bank of France in Paris, and a portion of the 1,500 tons currently held by the New York Federal Reserve, Handelsblatt reported.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 11:48:53 AM EST
Great timing, right after a spectacular robbery using a tunnel of safe deposit boxes in Berlin....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 01:06:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you see my personality in this picture? Artist Pol Úbeda Hervàs' thought-provoking images of his own shadow are supposed to show you who he really is | Mail Online
  • Pol Úbeda Hervàs explores constant transition of self through photography
  • He photographs his shadow wearing his shoes in various locations
  • He believes shadow and shoes are most honest reflection of who he is

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 11:55:20 AM EST
... Are You?



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 12:07:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah yes, the mysterious question: "Who am I?"
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 12:22:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
5 years before Armstrong "confessed" to ms. forgiveness.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 12:21:58 PM EST
ESPECIALLY Dr. Phil.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:11:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I won't search dr. phil to find out what i don't want to know, having no idea is likely better.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:28:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Think Geraldo with a veneer of psycho-babble.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:39:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More information is becoming available about the Red October malware:

Why Red October malware is the Swiss Army knife of espionage:

Its operators had more than 1,000 modules at their disposal, allowing them to craft highly advanced infections that were tailored to the unique configurations of infected machines and the profiles of those who used them. Most of the tasks the components carried out--including extracting e-mail passwords and cryptographically hashed account credentials, downloading files from available FTP servers, and collecting browsing history from Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera--were one-time events. They relied on dynamic link library code that was received from an attacker server, executed in memory, and then immediately discarded. That plan of attack helps explain why the malware remained undetected by antivirus programs for more than five years.

The malware was also capable of using more traditional Windows EXE files to carry out persistent tasks when necessary. One example was modules that waited for an iPhone, Nokia smartphone, or USB drive to be connected to an infected computer. There were also extensions for the Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader programs that watched for specially crafted documents. When they arrived in e-mail, the modules immediately reinstalled the main malware component, ensuring attackers could regain control of a machine in the event that it had been partially disinfected.

Article contains a link to the technical analysis.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 12:42:17 PM EST
So pay attention to the new Wiki...
Wikivoyage

yup, a wiki travel guide. i wonder if they've discovered greater downtown Bremen yet. oops, not yet.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 01:53:12 PM EST
When I read Galbraith's The Affluent Society last year I noted that he saw the idea of social darwinism as a logical effect of the wealth inequalities at the turn of the century. If so, we ahouls see it make another appearance as the times demad it. I have therefore toyed with the idea of writing it myself - Why the rich are better in order to be able to disown it once the right wing circus had lapped it up. Sort of a gargantuan Yes Men project. I can drop that idea now, as I find out that it already has arrived.

Charles Murray - S.H.A.M.E. Profile

In 2012, Murray published his newest variation on eugenics, Coming Apart, arguing that wealth and poverty are a product of breeding, and that the poor are poor because they're genetically inferior types who interbreed with each other, while the rich are getting richer because they are genetically superior types who are increasingly interbreeding with each other. New York Times columnist David Brooks, author of Bobos in Paradise, gushed: "I'll be shocked if there's another book this year as important as Charles Murray's Coming Apart. I'll be shocked if there's another book that so compellingly describes the most important trends in American society."

Maybe should re-read Dickens to check what will come into fashion next.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:06:54 PM EST
David Brooks is a major reason why I refuse to register to the NYT.
Until they stop giving money to that kind of guys, I won't, as I would not want to contribute to their income.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 04:06:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Real Report on the Last Chance to Save Capitalism in Italy

in August 1975, Sanguinetti wrote a pamphlet titled Rapporto veridico sulle ultima opportunita di salvare il capitalismo in Italia (Eng: The Real Report on the Last Chance to Save Capitalism in Italy), which (inspired by Bruno Bauer) purported to be the cynical writing of "Censor", a powerful industrialist. The pamphlet was to show how the ruling class of Italy supported the Piazza Fontana bombing and other covert, false flag mass slaughter, for the higher goal of defending the capitalist status quo from the communist claims. The pamphlet was mailed to 520 of Italy's most powerful individuals. It was received as genuine, and powerful politicians, industrialists and journalist praised its content and guessed on the identity of its high profile author. After reprinting the tract into a small book, Sanguinetti revealed himself to be the true author.


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 08:10:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pre-scientic Social Darwinist blatherskite.

Prenatal nutrition and nurture have as much to do with intelligence (whatever that is,) and arguable more, than genetic inheritance.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 11:01:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And prenatal nutrition and nurture are also obviously impacted by wealth distribution, but that thought might too excessively afflict the comfortable for David Brooks.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 11:27:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Alleles have to express in a supportive environment to be effective, meaning the genetic inheritance of a phenotype is only potential.  The fact Brooks doesn't know this, which is Genetics 101, demonstrates his intellectual incompetence.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 12:22:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The effects of environment on brain development are well demonstrated - on the expression of alleles for skin color, eye color, etc. not as much or as clearly. For many genes one or another of the alleles must express or the fetus dies.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 01:33:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had started to collect links on nonsense epigenetics based blatherskite. Oh, my blatheskite would have been much more blattery.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jan 20th, 2013 at 04:23:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that the English version of Sarrazin? They are two years late.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 11:25:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say it is Sarrazin that is almost 20 years late. Murray made his claims on the genetiv inferiority of under-privileged minority groups almost twenty years ago.

Charles Murray - S.H.A.M.E. Profile

Murray's most famous -- and notorious -- book, The Bell Curve (1994), co-authored with Richard Herrnstein, promoted racial eugenics theories claiming that whites and Asians are genetically superior in intelligence to blacks and Latinos. Like his previous book, The Bell Curve was also made possible by the generous support of ultra-rightwing foundations, including the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation which dished out $100,000 per year as he worked on his book at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Murray's home since the early 1990s.

The difference here is starting to argue that the rich are rich because they are genetically superior. This seperates the white middle class from the upper class and is in the end more about arguing the privileges of the upper class then about the subordinate position of the under class. Same spectrum for sure, and maybe Sarrazin will get there too.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jan 20th, 2013 at 04:38:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT Alphaville - 2007 FOMC transcripts: a few more excerpts

The quotes below speak for themselves, and if you're on Twitter then check out the #FOMC hashtag, where the gang at the NYT and a few others have rolling updates as they make their way through the statements.

Our earlier post is here, and emphasis ours in each excerpt...



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 02:49:56 PM EST
None on the FOMC likely expected the overall economic situation to have remained so fragile and so unresolved five years later. Horrors! Their revealed stupidity still matters.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 11:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beppe Grillo's Blog
If it were Germany leaving the Euro instead of the PIGS countries, who would benefit? The first response is Germany but that's the wrong answer. The explanation is given in the article in Zeit Online (translated into Italian by Voci dalla Germania - a blog revealing the German debate about the Eurozone).

"And if Germany were to listen to the eurosceptics and leave the euro? What would happen if Germany were to leave the euro?"
With a two thirds majority, the German parliament approves the exit from the Euro and the reintroduction of the D-Mark. Only the Greens vote against. The exchange rate is one to one. The president of the Bundesbank steps down from the ECB's Governing Council with immediate effect.
Financial markets and exchange rates react immediately on the news of the German exit. From the rest of the monetary union there's an inflow of liquidity into Germany. The new currency increases its value by 50% in relation to the Euro. One Mark now costs 1.5 €. At the same time, there's a sharp decrease in the value of the State guarantees offered for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). The same thing happens for the debts and credits with the ECB's TARGET system: the Bundesbank asks for these to be immediately settled. At least at the start, the risks for the public accounts seem to go down. About 200 economists celebrate Germany's new found freedom. On TV, Thilo Sarrazin states: "Germany doesn't need the Euro."
In the rest of the Eurozone, the financial markets are in difficulty. After Germany's exit, the ECB immediately moves its headquarters from Frankfurt to Paris. Meanwhile it announces the unlimited purchasing of bonds. In this way, the central bankers manage to control stock prices. The New European Central Bank reimburses all the Bundesbank`s TARGET credits with freshly printed money. Calculated in Marks, they've lost a third of their value. The Bundesbank is obliged to record a massive loss in their accounts. The same happens with the reimbursement of German funds with the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). German public debt grows by an equivalent amount. After a few weeks of respite due to the exit from the Euro, many car manufacturers declare that their income from sales in the rest of Europe has collapsed. German cars are too expensive for the rest of Europe. Vehicle manufacturers ask for a fund for laid off workers and they start to let staff go. Shortly after that, the employers association states that the German economy is no longer competitive because of the increase in the value of the Mark and they plead with the German trades unions to accept a reduction in wages. After just three months, the Federal Statistics Office says that the surplus in the balance of payments has halved and there has been a collapse in the exports to the rest of Europe. In another TV talk show, Thilo Sarrazin says that he feels very good even without the Euro. In fact his income hasn't gone down. In the rest of Europe, the other countries have more time to reach their savings objectives and decide to increase their ESM deposits, to compensate for Germany's exit.
Germany goes into recession. The European Fiscal Compact is suspended and replaced with a Stability Pact.

...

Two years after the exit from the Euro newspapers say that Greece and Spain are booming, whereas the German economy is in difficulty. In a TV programme Thilo Sarrazin says: "I never suggested an exit from the Euro, at most I said that we don't need the Euro.""


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jan 18th, 2013 at 03:03:04 PM EST


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