Sunday, July 22, 2012

Exclusive: Prosecutors, regulators close to making Libor arrests | Reuters

Exclusive: Prosecutors, regulators close to making Libor arrests | Reuters: (Reuters) - Prosecutors and European regulators are close to arresting individual traders and charging them with colluding to manipulate global benchmark interest rates, according to people familiar with a sweeping investigation into the rigging scandal.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Multitouch floor would detect your heart attack - Technology & science - Tech and gadgets - Digital Home - msnbc.com

Multitouch floor would detect your heart attack - Technology & science - Tech and gadgets - Digital Home - msnbc.com: A future smart home will need a way to sense who its residents are and what they're doing. One way to do so may be through the floor.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted a patent to IBM for a security system that would turn a floor into a multitouch surface that recognizes who's standing on it. The floor senses different shapes and weights, so it would know the difference between adults, children and pets by weight and shape and number of feet on the floor. It has a database of registered identities to which it could match the shapes and weights it detects. Once it senses an unauthorized person standing on it, it can sound alarms or call the police, just like traditional house alarms. IBM received the patent, No. 8,138,882, on March 20.

With the home security systems people have today, they can accidentally trip their own alarms if they forget to disarm them when they come home, IBM researchers wrote in their patent proposal. The new idea ensures that as long as people are registered in the system as an authorized person, they'll never trip their own security system. In fact, if the floor senses registered residents are home, it can turn on lights or unlock doors for them.

Union Pension Underfunding Time-Bomb Soars By 75% In One Year, Nears $400 Billion | ZeroHedge

Union Pension Underfunding Time-Bomb Soars By 75% In One Year, Nears $400 Billion ZeroHedge: The shortfall in US labor union pension funds is huge and growing rapidly. The latest data, from 2009, from the PBGC showed that these multi-employer plans were 48% underfunded with $331bn of assets to support $686bn of liabilities - and it has hardly been a good ride for those asset values since then. Critically, as the FT notes today, recent changes by FASB has enabled Credit Suisse to estimate shortfalls more accurately and it paints an ugly picture.

Check out the link for a great visualization.

Strip-Search Case Reflects Death of American Privacy - Bloomberg

Strip-Search Case Reflects Death of American Privacy - Bloomberg: To be the swing voter, you have tobe willing to swing. In the last three weeks, U.S. Supreme CourtJustice Anthony Kennedy has shown how it’s done.

First he wrote the majority opinion in a landmark 5-4 caseestablishing a constitutional right to an adequate lawyer inplea-bargaining negotiations. Liberals were enthused. Yet in histough questioning during the Obamacare arguments, he shook upthe conventional wisdom that mandatory coverage would be upheldcomfortably. Liberals were not enthused. Then, as a coda, hewrote the majority opinion in a 5-4 case allowing jails tostrip-search anyone being put into the general prison population-- even without suspicion, and even after the most trivialmisdemeanor arrest. The same liberals who loved him in March areprepared to loathe him in April.

Friday, March 23, 2012

MF’s Corzine Ordered Funds Moved to JP Morgan, Memo Says - Bloomberg

MF’s Corzine Ordered Funds Moved to JP Morgan, Memo Says - Bloomberg: Jon S. Corzine, MF Global HoldingLtd. (MFGLQ)’s chief executive officer, gave “direct instructions” totransfer $200 million from a customer fund account to meet anoverdraft in a brokerage account with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM),according to a memo written by congressional investigators.

New counterterrorism guidelines permit data on U.S. citizens to be held longer - The Washington Post

New counterterrorism guidelines permit data on U.S. citizens to be held longer - The Washington Post: The Obama administration has approved guidelines that allow counterterrorism officials to lengthen the period of time they retain information about U.S. residents, even if they have no known connection to terrorism.

The changes allow the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the intelligence community’s clearinghouse for terrorism data, to keep information for up to five years. Previously, the center was required to promptly destroy — generally within 180 days — any information about U.S. citizens or residents unless a connection to terrorism was evident.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Microsoft seeks patent on monetizing buttons of TV remote - GeekWire

Is this a sign of things to come? I wonder if this may get baked into the XBox Zune experience in the future.

Microsoft seeks patent on monetizing buttons of TV remote - GeekWire: For example, if a user initiates a navigation control input to advance past (e.g., skip over) an advertisement, the cost of a requested on-demand movie may be increased. Similarly, if a user initiates a replay of a sporting event, the user may be charged for the replay control input and for each subsequent view control input. This provides an advertisement revenue model that reflects user viewing choices and selections during playback of requested on-demand media, and enables targeted advertising and media content delivery, while maintaining consumer privacy. …

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center

Great article on Wired about the latest use of technology.

The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) Threat Level Wired.com

"Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy."