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24 September 2013

by ceebs Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:45:32 PM EST

Your take on today's news media


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  • EUROPE - the public affairs of the European continent and the EU.
  • áECONOMY & FINANCE - with a focus on the economic crisis.
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  • LIVING OFF THE PLANET - what we extract from the planet and the effect we have: environment, energy, agriculture, food...
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EUROPE


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 03:33:16 PM EST
BBC News - Labour ready to cancel HS2 'if costs rise'

Labour is questioning whether the HS2 rail project is "the best way to spend £50bn for the future of our country".

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls told the party conference they still backed the idea of a new north-south rail link, but there could be no blank cheque.

Supporters say the project will provide much needed extra rail capacity.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:07:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A pledge which was contradicted this morning by the shadow transport secretary.

Still, so long as £50b is spent on upgrading existing links badly in need of it or even re-building the old GCR as an express link to provide relief for the other two, both of which are under severe pressure due to unavoidable bottlenecks

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 10:05:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Germany's Angela Merkel faces tough coalition talks

Chancellor Angela Merkel's triumphant conservative party is considering who to team up with to form a new German coalition after their election victory.

Her conservative bloc got 41.5% - their best result since 1994, but just short of a clear majority.

The election was a shock for their liberal partners, the Free Democrats (FDP), who failed to get any seats.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:12:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Greek police generals resign after neo-Nazi killing

Two senior police officials have resigned following last week's killing of an anti-fascist activist by a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

The authorities say they quit for "personal reasons". Another two senior policemen were suspended.

But it is thought they are blamed for failing to search a Golden Dawn office last week in which weapons were found.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:12:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm still doubtful that the elites have the will to really address Golden Dawn. Nor do I believe that either the police or the military would co-operate with any directive to do so

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 10:06:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Costa Concordia captain blames helmsman for crash

The captain of the Costa Concordia has blamed his Indonesian helmsman for the accident which caused the ship to sink off the coast of Italy last year.

Francesco Schettino told a court the helmsman failed to obey orders to slow down and steered the ship onto rocks.

Thirty-two people died when the cruise ship capsized in January 2012



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:13:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a new one.

Even so, why was he the first one off the ship ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 10:07:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He slipped and fell into the lifeboat. Could happen to anyone.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 10:21:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was the sensible thing to do. He knew his career was over, and that he would take the heat for doing what the company wanted him to do, and that he might die if he stayed on the ship. Show trial.
by asdf on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 11:08:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fernando Alonso's £5m Euskaltel-Euskadi cycling team rescue collapses | Sport | theguardian.com

Fernando Alonso's plans to buy the Spanish cycling team Euskaltel-Euskadi have collapsed, sponsors Euskaltel said in a statement on Monday.

"We could not reach a definitive agreement. Euskaltel is now obliged, regrettably, to return to the process of an orderly and responsible closure of the project," they added. "For Euskaltel and the team this is sad news after the hope generated by the initial agreement reached at the end of August and public declarations at that time by Alonso and his representatives."

The Formula One driver Alonso, a keen bike rider, had been set to purchase the company that owns the Basque team's WorldTour licence to enable them to continue racing in professional cycling's top league in 2014.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:17:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU ministers meet to condemn racism aimed at Italian minister Cécile Kyenge | World news | The Guardian

Representatives of 17 European Union countries have gathered in Rome to condemn the "unacceptable" stream of racist insults directed at Cécile Kyenge, the Italian minister for integration, and call for a new pact to stamp out discrimination across the bloc.

Speaking after integration ministers from countries including Britain signed a declaration urging greater pan-European action to promote diversity, Kyenge thanked her counterparts for the "strong and important response" to the string of jibes and threats that have blighted her first five months in office.

"[The declaration] is Europe's response to the attacks and insults directed at me since my appointment, to remind Europe of its founding values," she said, the AdnKronos news agency reported.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:18:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Debate triggered on whether to allow Dutch merchant vessels hire private protection against piracy - Xinhua | English.news.cn

The Netherlands is one of the last European countries that doesn't allow Dutch ship owners to involve private security contractors for the protection of their merchant vessels against piracy.

The issue has triggered a debate in the country and there might be some change along the way.

"Put your hands up and kneel down on the floor!" In the port of Rotterdam, four Dutch pirates climb up on a small fishing boat that is crowded with passengers.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:27:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
áECONOMY & FINANCEá


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 03:33:29 PM EST
Markets fall as Angela Merkel faces 'difficult' coalition talks - as it happened | Business | theguardian.com

As expected, there's no sign of a Merkel rally in Europe's stock markets after her historic election win over night.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index is up a measly 0.1%, as is the French CAC in Paris. In London, the FTSE fell 8 points at 6592.

Traders may be waiting to see how the coalition negotiations progress, and there's talk that Merkel might struggle to strike a deal with the Social Democrats.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:19:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Swiss village gives extra tax from GlencoreXstrata to affected countries | Business | The Guardian

A Swiss village has voted to donate 110,000 Swiss francs (£75,000) of taxes paid by Ivan Glasenberg, the billionaire chief executive of GlencoreXstrata, to charities in countries where the London-listed mining and commodity trading company is accused of exploiting people and resources.

The people of Hedingen, a village near Zurich, voted 764 to 662 in favour of donating the money in a "clear sign of solidarity with those suffering the consequences of the extraction of raw materials". The village will donate 10% of the "commodity million" Swiss francs it received out of taxes paid by Glasenberg in relation to Glencore's flotation in London in 2011.

Samuel Schweizer, a member of the citizens' committee that proposed the donation, said the villagers felt obliged to give back some of the "extraordinary wealth to the people who should have received it in the beginning".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:20:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Billy blog: More public infrastructure means higher taxes - False, go to bottom of the class (September 24, 2013)
Metaphors! They are more than a fancy way of emphasising some point - that is, their power goes beyond meagre linguistic construction. The research suggests they are part of our deep mental or neural capacity, which we draw on to sort out facts and ideas. They are conceptual devices intrinsically linked to the way we think abstractly. Metaphorical language reinforces our ideology (worldview) and so it is no surprise that political parties have become very interested in framing their messages using simple and common metaphors which resonate with the way we feel about things. George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist, considers we do not make our political choices on the basis of rational dissection of competing facts and arguments but rather respond to central (or grand) metaphors with reinforce our worldview. We thus consider facts or argument within that framework of thought. I am doing a bit of work in this area as a way of understanding why central Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) propositions (which are so patently obvious and have strong explanatory capacity) evade acceptance among people, even those who express liberal perspectives (in this context meaning - are open to new ideas).

...

It is clear that MMT proponents have to work harder on the terminology we use and the frames we create. If Lakoff is correct, and I am currently designing an experimental project (which I will probably invite blog readers to participate in once the research design is complete), then all the operational insights MMT has to offer will not break through unless we find a way to de-activate the conservative frames that have been embedded in the neural networks of our brains and which frame the way we respond to "facts" and "ideas".

Lakoff thinks that the conservatives have worked out that once their message (frames) are supplemented with suitable metaphorical vehicles, the task is to repeat these metaphors ad infinitum until they become everyday expressions, which are used by the media to headline news stories and by us as opening lines at dinner party repartee.

The conservative right have a well advanced understanding of the use of language and how to frame language appropriately to elicit support for some policy, even if the policy proposed ultimately undermines the position of the person supporting it.

...

A sovereign government, such as Australia, is never revenue constrained because it is the monopoly issuer of the currency. We might have erected an elaborate array of voluntary institutional and accounting structures to make it look as though tax revenue backs spending but these are meagre neo-liberal chimeras.

Please read my blog - On voluntary constraints that undermine public purpose - for more discussion on this point.

So why might we still have to increase taxes to build the new metro systems (as an example)?

To understand that you need to understand the role of taxes in a modern monetary economy with a sovereign national government (which excludes the Eurozone, for example).

...

Taxes do not fund government spending. Taxes drain private purchasing power. Why do that?

Cue Abba Lerner and his notions of functional finance. Here is a useful Biography of Lerner.

Lerner's objective was to advance economic policy debate beyond what he called "sound finance" (which is the precursor of modern mainstream (neo-liberal) thinking). So he juxtaposed the his "economics of control" policy thinking with the dominant laissez-faire approach that prevailed during the Great Depression.

...

But just mindlessly rehearsing the logic that "we need a new metro system therefore we need to pay more taxes" not only reinforces a societal dislike of public transport systems (which has obvious environmental and social equity consequences) but also leads to the maintenance of damaging fiscal rules which perpetuate the sort of data we have been seeing on a daily basis since the crisis began.

Indeed, it perpetuates the whole Eurozone debacle - the introduction of a system that can never deliver sustained prosperity to its citizens.



In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 04:18:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áWORLDá


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 03:33:43 PM EST
BBC News - Nairobi attack: Kenya forces 'clearing' Westgate centre

Kenyan security forces say they are in the final stages of clearing the Westgate shopping complex in Nairobi, and ending the deadly three-day siege.

Explosions and heavy gunfire were reported earlier as soldiers stormed the mall, where suspected al-Shabab militants are thought to be holed up.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) said three "terrorists" had been killed and all escape routes sealed off.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:08:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, in terrorism news, over the 3 days of the Westgate siege, 240 people (average) died as a result of gunfire in the USA. In the next 3 days, 240 more will probably die.

And on and one. Every 3 days, 240 men, women, children, mothers, fathers, lovers, brothers, sisters, cousins. Dead from terorrism, US approved terrorism.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 10:14:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Israel 'to act' over West Bank diplomats scuffle

Israel has threatened to take action against a French diplomat after video emerged of her pushing or hitting an Israeli soldier.

The incident took place on Friday near the Bedouin village of Khirbet al-Makhul in the West Bank.

Israeli forces had prevented European and UN diplomats from delivering aid to residents whose homes were demolished under a High Court order.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:14:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Assad says Syrian rebels may block access to chemical weapons sites | World news | theguardian.com

The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, says his government will allow international experts access to its chemical weapons sites but that rebels might block them from reaching some of the locations.

In an interview with Chinese state TV, Assad said Damascus was dedicated to implementing the Russia-US agreement to surrender its chemical weapons to international control.

Assad also said the Syrian government had already handed over a list of chemical weapons to an international agency policing chemical weapons.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:20:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rebels might block them from reaching some of the locations.

Does this imply that rebels control some of the stockpile locations?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 05:08:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well it could, orit could imply that government areas are not entirely conected

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 08:42:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Egypt court bans all Brotherhood activities - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

An Egyptian court has banned all activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, and ordered authorities to seize all of the group's assets, state television has reported. 

The court also banned "any institution branching out from or belonging to the Brotherhood," the official MENA news agency reported on Monday, possibly restricting the movement's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.

The ruling comes amid a crackdown on the Brotherhood and more than a month after hundreds of Islamist protesters died in a police operation to disperse their Cairo sit-ins, sparking a wave of nationwide violence.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:22:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Factories ablaze as Bangladesh workers rally - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

Thousands of workers in Bangladesh have protested to demand a $100-a-month minimum wage, forcing hundreds of garment factories to shut down for the day.

Workers took to the streets for a third day on Monday, blocking major roads and attacking vehicles in the Gazipur and Savar industrial zones, on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka.

Abdul Baten, police chief of the Gazipur industrial district, which is home to hundreds of factories, told the AFP news agency that "up to 200,000 workers" had joined the latest demonstrations.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:23:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
HIV transmissions down dramatically, says UN report | Al Jazeera America

Transmissions of the human immunodeficiency virus have dramatically decreased over the last decade, but there are still widespread challenges to further reducing that number, according to the United Nations' annual report on HIV and AIDS released Monday.

Globally, new HIV infections are down by 33 percent since 2001 and have been more than halved among children. But HIV is far from being a problem of the past.

Last year 2.3 million people, including 260,000 children, contracted the virus. The pandemic is still especially prominent in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90 percent of the world's 3.3 million infected children live.  



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:23:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Iran's Rouhani leaves for New York to attend UN General Assembly - Xinhua | English.news.cn

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani left here for New York on Monday to attend the UN General Assembly, state IRIB TV reported.

The Iranian president is scheduled to deliver a speech on the Tuesday session of the assembly.

Prior to leaving Tehran, Rouhani told reporters that he intends to introduce the "real image" of the Iranians to the world.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:26:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LIVING OFF THE PLANET
Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 03:33:57 PM EST
BBC News - Human role in warming 'more certain' - UN climate chief

Scientists are more certain than ever that greenhouse gases from human activities are heating the planet, the head of the UN's climate panel says.

Rajendra Pachauri made the comments in an interview with BBC News.

The panel is due to deliver its latest report on the state of the climate later this week in Stockholm, Sweden.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:10:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a vision of someone wearing a white coat and broken glasses sweating in the middle of a parched field surrounded by the bleached bones of cattle saying 'See - told you so.'
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 04:47:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and another one saying:

"bbbbut we never had definitive proof, did we?"

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 08:32:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or even Who Could Have Predicted?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 10:17:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TransCanada Whistleblower Evan Vokes Details Lack of Confidence in Keystone XL | DeSmogBlog

Evan Vokes never gave any thought to whistleblowers before realizing he would need to blow a shrill blast against his former employer, TransCanada, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. As an engineer he takes his oath to protect public safety seriously.

Like Jeffery Wingand, the former tobacco industry insider-turned-whistleblower, Vokes is motivated by the consequences that industry's reckless actions can have on society, rather than by any personal vendetta against TransCanada. But Vokes hasn't had the satisfaction of seeing the insider information he shared have an effect on the pipeline industry, so his work is not yet done. 

Environmental groups have been pressuring President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, a high capacity, high pressure line that would transport diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico. Tar sands crude is more carbon intensive than conventional crude oil, as well as more corrosive, creating the potential that dilbit will erode pipelines faster. Spills can cause irreparable damage to water supplies, land values and ecosystems



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:35:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
very fine catch, ceebs.


In June, Vokes visited Texas to attend the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHSMA) pipeline safety awareness conference and to investigate reports of anomaly repairs on the Keystone XL southern route. He still had hope that the U.S. regulatory agency might act more aggressively than the Canadian National Energy Board. He left the conference discouraged after listening to representatives mislead concerned citizens about the real dangers they will face by having a defective pipeline run through their communities.  

PHSMA spokesperson Jeannie Layson told Vokes that PHMSA will no longer be able to refer to the code they are currently tasked with enforcing. President Obama signed the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011 into law. Public Law 112-90 says, "Section 24 of the Act requires, within one year of enactment (January 2013), that PHMSA no longer incorporate, in whole or in part, voluntary consensus standards by reference into its regulations unless those standards have been made available free of charge to the public on the Internet."

This  new law goes into effect in January 2014 and essentially deregulates the entire pipeline industry. Since the American Society of Mechanical Engineer code is not available at no cost online, PHSMA cannot insist on currently mandated standards. In 2014, the pipeline industry will have sole responsibility for determining and monitoring their own quality standards in construction.

"The risks they could take for every pipeline in the United States are staggering" Vokes says.

Governments have indeed been drowned in a bathtub.

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

by Crazy Horse on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 05:18:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Arctic sea ice: What's really going on?

As I've been writing about all week, a lot of baloney misinformation is being spread about the ice at the north pole. Yes, the amount of area covered by ice this year is more than last year at this time, but the critical things to know are that a) last year was a record low, with the minimum extent blowing way down below the previous record, so comparing this year to just last year is grossly misleading, and 2) this year's minimum is way below average, so far from being in recovery, the Arctic sea ice is anemic indeed.

Together with the good folks at Climate Desk, I did a video explaining this, showing just how perfidious the climate change deniers are with spreading what can kindly be called misinformation, but what would be more accurately described as utter bunk.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:39:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RSPCA delight as Hampshire councillors vote against badger cull « RSPCA News

We are delighted to learn that Hampshire County Council has voted to ban badger culling on its land, and calls on the Government to listen to this clear rejection of the cull.

Councillors overwhelmingly backed a motion to ban badger culling on county-owned land at a full council meeting in Winchester on Thursday, 19 September. The motion argued that culling was not a scientifically proven solution to the TB problem.

The meeting came after pilot culls have been launched to kill 5,000 badgers in Somerset and Gloucestershire to curb the spread of Bovine TB in cattle.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:45:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Five things you need to know about: the return of direct current

How the idea of channeling direct current electricity using circuit breakers could give rise to supergrids.

  1. What is it?
    In the early era of electrification, the distribution of electricity by direct current (DC) ruled. Thomas Edison's first electricity utilities in the late 19th century used DC, but Westinghouse Electric Corporation championed alternating current (AC), developed by Nicola Tesla, which transmits more power more efficiently over longer distances than direct current. Edison did his best to smear the new technology, developing the electric chair as a means of demonstrating the danger of AC and going as far as to electrocute dogs and an elephant, to further illustrate its danger. But to no avail - AC's superiority was evident and it was soon widely adopted.
  2. Why the renewed interest in DC?
    DC has been used since the 1950s to transport electricity at high voltages over distance. In the right application it is more economical and efficient, and suffers fewer power losses. But conversion equipment at terminal stations (transforming high voltage direct current (HVDC) back to AC) is complex and costly, and controlling the flow of power where there are multiple terminals in an HVDC-only network is tricky.These drawbacks have limited HVDC to specific and relatively simple applications that, for example, transfer power between nations using undersea cables or carry power from China's remote hydropower schemes. But companies including ABB, Alstom and Siemens are competing to show that a much wider application of HVDC is possible. These companies believe an application with new circuit breakers and powered by renewables can be developed. ABB was the first to demonstrate an HVDC circuit breaker in late 2012.


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 08:28:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áLIVING ON THE PLANETá
áSociety, Culture, History, Informationá


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 03:34:13 PM EST
BBC News - Blackberry in $4.7bn takeover deal with Fairfax

Struggling smartphone maker Blackberry has agreed in principle to be bought by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial for $4.7bn (£3bn).

Blackberry said in statement that Fairfax, its largest shareholder with about 10% of the stock, had offered $9 a share in cash to buy the company.

Trading in Blackberry shares was temporarily halted in New York pending the announcement.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:10:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Eurovision announces rule changes

Eurovision organisers have announced changes to the song contest's jury rules, amid allegations of bribery.

From next year, the names of each country's jury will be revealed ahead of the competition in an effort to increase openness and accountability.

For the first time, individual juror scores will also be published immediately after the final.

The changes come after it was alleged votes had been bought for the Azeri contestant at this year's contest.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:14:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Private Cygnus cargo ship delays rendezvous with ISS - Xinhua | English.news.cn

U.S. space company Orbital Sciences Corp. said Sunday that the rendezvous of its Cygnus cargo ship with the International Space Station (ISS) was delayed for at least 48 hours due to a computer data link glitch between them.

The unmanned Cygnus spacecraft was originally expected to be captured by a robotic arm operated by astronauts inside the space station at 7:25 a.m. EDT (1125 GMT) before the issue appeared.

"This morning, at around 1:30 a.m. EDT (0530 GMT), Cygnus established direct data contact with the ISS and found that some of the data received had values that it did not expect, causing Cygnus to reject the data. This mandated an interruption of the approach sequence," Orbital wrote in a status update on its website.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:28:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'The press release is dead,' declares the Government's comms chief

He said the "cosy" process of writing a press release and sending it out to journalists was "just telesales". 

Instead, he argued press officers should be content producers: "You should not start with three pages of A4, but a tweet, an infographic or a video. If you are writing more than 200 words on any subject, you're probably in the wrong place."

He used an example of Defra's work during the badger cull, when it tweeted 350 times and only distributed one press release.

"I hope this is an example of future government comms - we should go where the audience are rather than use the old mode of broadcast," he said. 



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 06:44:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The triumph of form over content.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 05:13:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More like an excuse to hire illiterate cronies for government PR.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 05:23:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of the elites do this, they believe tht being early adopters and moving content to newer platforms makes them influential.

The BBC used to suffer from it terribly, expending millions to develop content for platforms used by perhaps 10K - 50K people. But the Hods were all early adopters, so it was a priority.

kin idiots

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 10:23:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Schneier on Security: Metadata Equals Surveillance

Imagine you hired a detective to eavesdrop on someone. He might plant a bug in their office. He might tap their phone. He might open their mail. The result would be the details of that person's communications. That's the "data."

Now imagine you hired that same detective to surveil that person. The result would be details of what he did: where he went, who he talked to, what he looked at, what he purchased -- how he spent his day. That's all metadata.

When the government collects metadata on people, the government puts them under surveillance. When the government collects metadata on the entire country, they put everyone under surveillance. When Google does it, they do the same thing. Metadata equals surveillance; it's that simple.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 09:09:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well.

Yeah.

Where you live, how you go to work, what work you do, what you do in your spare time, what places you hang out in, where your children go to school, what their grades are, what your medical history is, your expected life span, your expected financial future, how you are most likely to vote, what you do on the internet, who you talk to - and how often - on your telephone, and anything that has ever been put into a computer database, which today is everything ... including your typical traffic pattern in the stores you enter and how your eyes scanned the shelves.

There's some creepy shit happening and nobody seems to care.

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

by ATinNM on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 11:10:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in 1973, when taking the oriental express from venice to istanbul, i got odd at sofia to buy a sandwich and watched horrified as my train left the station while i was still paying for the snack.

i had to wait on the platform 3 hours for the next train, and it was educational, to say the least...

80% of the people were staring at their shoes or into mid-space, all out-competing each other for the blandest demeanour and appearance, all looking like they were trying to disappear, basically.

19% were looking aquiline, supremely confident, watching everyone...

except the 1% which were gypsies.

the whole atmosphere was surreal, koestler-ish, depressingly drab and lacking in any human feeling.

...but the most surreal part was how freely the gypsies behaved, their kids were running around bare-assed in rags, brightly tattered, shrieking in glee about nothing, like kids everywhere like to do. i don't remember what sort of vibe their parents were expressing, but i will never forget how the only people who looked utterly unfazed by the atmosphere were those families, a handful of people next to all the others.

after thinking a lot about all this, i came to the conclusion that the gypsies were so for down on the food chain as to be as good as invisible, or so hopelessly reprobate as to be unteachable, it didn't matter.

they were of no more account than sparrows, you could feel it...

i made it onto the next train, and all my belongings, including travel documents, guitar and a suitcase were waiting for me at the station after, where the trains shared some time between trips.

nothing had been taken.

takeaway? learn to be invisible, the bland way or by becoming irrelevant.

 wait peacefully for the idiocracy to implode.

   because they always do... it is a mixed blessing to be ahead of one's time.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 08:50:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
after thinking a lot about all this, i came to the conclusion that the gypsies were so for down on the food chain as to be as good as invisible, or so hopelessly reprobate as to be unteachable, it didn't matter.

Or so routinely discriminated against that the state no longer had the power to intimidate them.

I see that even in the UK. However much we offer (or don't offer) the supposed comforts of conformity, they know that our freedoms are illusory and theirs are real.

They are real because we no longer have the power to intimidate them. We can inconvenience them, upset them temporarily. But they know that they can be far more in our faces they we can be in theirs.

I saw that in the Dale Farm standoff. My sister, the magistrate, would report their misdemeanors, their deceptions, their ability to ignore the law simply it didn't challenge them, their flagrant breaching of any and all rules of society. And their certain knowledge that nothing could be done. They were never going to be jailed and no fines would ever be collected, no penalty points on their driving would impede them.

So, yea, in the 2nd worst communist state, they were free. Only Romania mostly tamed them, by trying to destroy them. Along with the rest of Romania

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 12:59:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect there's a difference between caring and being able to do something about it.

I'm British and we're probably the most heavily spied upon people in the West, which has been true since the British secret services lost face with the defection of so many spies in the 50s and 60s.

I remember seeing a programme in the mid 70s where "a man in the know" explained how pattern recognition on words and meta data worked when they checked phone calls, cheerfully admitting that practically all calls in the UK were trawled. I remember the bland assurances the man from the Ministry gave, I remember the lies the Home Office told. I remember the visits to GCHQ and elsewhere where it was explained to me, as if to a child, how such things were necessary.

And there's nothing I can do. But I've never trusted a word they've said since.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 10:31:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
áPEOPLE AND KLATSCHá
 

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 03:34:31 PM EST
Charles Craig - Telegraph

He also wrote a monumental history of the industry, tracing its origins back to 1494 when, in the first known reference, Friar John Cor of Lindores Abbey on the banks of the River Tay took eight bolls (about five bushels) of malted barley and made 35 cases of the hard stuff.

Craig concentrated on the way successive grasping governments have sought to squeeze more and more revenue out of distilleries, and the equally ingenious ways which the distillers found to circumvent them.

As a distiller and blender, Craig was known simply as "the Nose" and possessed a highly-developed sense of smell that could distinguish not only the bouquet but also the body and flavour of any malt or grain.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:29:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Baseball archaeologist David Block - Grantland

Do you think anybody will find this interesting?"

David Block was being painfully modest. I'd gone all the way to San Francisco to meet the Robert Langdon of baseball's Da Vinci Code, and here was Block trying to suppress my interest. His wife, Barbara, knows the drill. David will flip through an old book and find a secret about the ancient game of baseball. At dinner, he'll casually tell Barbara, "Oh, by the way, I found this interesting thing today ... "

The Blocks live on the top two floors of a blue house in the Mission District of San Francisco. Block is 69 years old, with a bald head and neatly trimmed beard. One afternoon, Block was pulling old books off his shelf. They are volumes with disintegrating covers and foxed pages and the labels of long-dead booksellers. "I have tons of stuff," Block said. "It literally takes hours to look at all my stuff. And I never have the opportunity to show it to people."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 04:37:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wow, Danke ceebs. who knew? an amazing detective story, taking base ball back to it's own game in the 1700's... even in Germany.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 05:01:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thought you'd like that one :)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 23rd, 2013 at 06:38:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and of course, the San Francisco connection.

I'll bet a guy I played with, who's written books on baseball records and history, David Nemec, knows him because of this research.

many thanks.

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

by Crazy Horse on Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 04:04:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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