Donald Trump sources $6M worth of campaign expenditures from companies he and his family own

Reuters

When billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Steve Forbes get into politics, they firewall their own companies off from their campaigns, demonstrating a basic care about the appearance of conflict of interest -- not so Donald Trump, who rents himself office space, sells himself private jet time, and supplies water, booze, and country club ballrooms.

Read the rest

Samantha Bee puts the NRA before a firing squad

animation (4)

The NRA -- tone-deaf, intransigent, monied -- are seemingly unstoppable, but if anyone can shoot 'em down, it's Samantha Bee, whose tight, funny, rage-filled 5:30 on America's gun lobby is practically armor-piercing. (via Rolling Stone) Read the rest

Space botanists are beneficiaries of Canada's legal weed boom

1465847403772991

It's hard to fund space exploration research -- the commercial applications are speculative and far-off -- but there's never been a better time to study super-efficient, closed-loop botany of the sort that will someday accompany human interplanetary missions, thanks to the need to develop better grow-ops for the burgeoning legal weed market in Canada. Read the rest

Employees spanked for incompetence

chbank

Inept employees at a business in China were publicly spanked for their poor performance, reports People's Daily.

In video captured on cellphone, a manager is seen upbraiding staff, lined up on stage before their colleagues at Chinese Rural Commercial Bank. Then he produces a baton and begins spanking them on the buttocks.

Though the employees are clothed, the manager's form is robust and the thwacks sharp. Read the rest

Air Force tried harder, now says that giant database can be recovered

giphy

Last week, the Air Force announced that it had lost 12 years' worth of records of whistleblower reports, freedom of information requests, and corruption investigations because of unrecoverable database corruption that not even its contractor, Lockheed-Martin, could unsnarl. Read the rest

Supreme Court ruling is a blow to copyright trolling business-model

Picture-20.png

In 2013, the Supreme Court heard Kirtsaeng, a copyright case brought by the publisher Wiley, who argued that legal books became illegal when brought into America, because their copyright licenses were nation-specific. Read the rest

Report from the prison-industrial complex's leading trade show

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1089

The Guardian's Rupert Neate attended the 35th annual American Jail Association conference in Austin, and came back with a report on the way that the contractors for America's carceral state talk about their business when they're among themselves. Read the rest

18% of the world's cargo ships are sitting idle

Container_ship_Hanjin_Taipei

In the aftermath of the 2008 crash, international shipping sank to record lows -- but container ship companies kept on building, turning out some of the biggest ships the seas have ever seen. Read the rest

Your cable operator is spying on you and selling the data from your set-top box

TV-T&PC (1).svg

As the fight over the FCC's Unlock the Box plan heats up, the cable and satellite TV companies have pulled out all the stops in a bid to force you to continue spending more than $200/year to rent an insecure, power-hungry, badly designed set-top box, rather than introducing competition by letting you buy your cable-box on the open market. Read the rest

Paramount tells judge that they're still suing over Star Trek fan-film

animation

Nearly a month after producer JJ Abrams and director Justin Lin went public with their call for Paramount to drop its litigation against the crowdfunded Star Trek fan-film Axanar, Paramount's lawyers have told a judge that its suit is still a live issue. Read the rest

All the startups Yahoo bought in the last few years, and what happened to them

DE-BI224_yahoo_G_20140722012601

After 20 years at the heart of the web, Yahoo is all but done, with a sale expected soon and talent fleeing as fast as it can. CEO Marissa Mayer's plan to turn things around involve buying 50 startups. What happened to them? Read the rest

Canadian trade policy expert calls TPP a "threat to democracy"

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1119

Gus Van Harten is a law professor at York University's Osgoode Hall and a well-respected expert on trade law; he's published a damning report on the Trans Pacific Partnership deal. Read the rest

Massachusetts bill would force employers to pay half-salary to laid off employees for duration of noncompetes

Massachusetts_Locator_Map

Massachusetts is one of the few places in high-tech America where non-compete agreements are enforceable, a factor that scholars have pointed to in explaining why the state's tech industry has stayed so small relative to California, where the best workers can always move to the best companies. Read the rest

Goldman Sachs bribed Libyan officials with hookers, private jet rides, then lost all their money

Flag_of_Libya.svg

In 2006, western leaders decided that Gaddafi's oil was more important than his human rights record and complicity in terrorism and lifted sanctions against Libya, creating a massive pool of cash for the country that it turned into a sovereign wealth fund whose business was aggressively courted by Goldman Sachs. Read the rest

Cable industry wants you to know that competition is bad for its customers

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1097

Charter is trying to buy Time-Warner for $79B, and the FCC says the merger is conditional on Charter expanding its service to compete with existing cable operators in various markets around America. Read the rest

Microsoft will buy Linkedin for $26.2B

linkedin-911794_960_720

The all-cash deal is expected to close by the end of the calendar year, and will be one of the largest acquisitions in tech business history. Read the rest

It's getting harder and harder to use gag clauses to silence laid off workers in America

6812903962_2d7a4dd744_b

In America, it's common practice to make severance pay for laid-off workers contingent on signing a "nondisparagement clause" that prohibits workers from ever speaking ill of their former employers -- some contracts I've seen even prohibit revealing the existence of these clauses, combining silence with secrecy. A winning combination if you're a rapacious corporation engaged in legally questionable labor practices. Read the rest

More posts