Due to the high level of attempted SPAM messages, bogus account creations as well as direct hacking against the site I have had to change the comment and new user access pages. If you have trouble adding a comment or are trying to create a new login and get redirected to the FBI then sorry but your actions looked suspicious to the server.
May 13 2013
Dec 14 2012
U.S. Counterterrorism Agency Can See All Your Files
mashable.com | Dec 14th 2012 1:15 AM
At a secret White House meeting last March, the Department of Homeland Security argued against a sweeping change in rules covering the way the government collects information on American citizens. The DHS lost.
That’s the gist of a cracker of a story from the Wall Street Journal‘s Julia Angwin today.
Angwin pieced together heavily redacted documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, plus information gleaned from unnamed sources, to establish that the National Counterterrorism Center now has clearance to examine any federal government file on any U.S. resident or citizen and to retain that information for up to five years.
The NCTC will also allow foreign governments to look at the information it collects on U.S. citizens.
Previously, the NCTC could retain information only about people it could prove were connected to a terrorism investigation.
It wasn’t an easy battle. The NCTC faced strong opposition to the rule change, partly from the Department of Justice, but mostly from DHS, which, according to Angwin’s story, has 100 people devoted to civil-rights and civil-liberties issues.
Despite the objections to the new rules, which one DHS officer called “a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public,” the DOJ overruled the DHS’ objections and approved the changes.
The DOJ and DHS staffers who opposed the rule change have since left government service.
Now, the NCTC can request information from any other federal agency — be it Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services or the Internal Revenue Service — on any “U.S. person,” which in this context means a citizen, permanent resident, corporation or association.
That means, for example, that the National Counterterrorism Center right now could be looking over your mortgage information, health records, tax returns, grant applications or any other document produced when you interacted with the federal government in any way.
Because every federal agency has its own rules for handling sensitive personal data, each one will negotiate, or already has negotiated, a separate agreement with the NCTC about how its information will be handled and retained.
Information collected by state and local governments does not appear to be subject to the new rules.
This article originally published at TechNewsDaily here
Nov 21 2012
Listening to a broken record? Just maybe as Winston-Salem has approved $2.25 million in incentives to Herbalife is they decide to move into the old Dell plant. The County and State are looking at adding at least another $10 million to that pot. I guess there is some logic to paying another company to come move into a building vacated by the last major business you paid to move here considering that last one, Dell, did not ever meet it’s hiring projections and closed within no time as the PC market was already dying long before the plant even opened up.
I will give Herbalife credit that as a business it has remained stable for a pretty long time but do we really need to pay businesses to open businesses? If we do isn’t there some major flaw in the environment you have have created to begin with and maybe that should be addressed?
Oct 17 2012
Bankruptcy Trustee Edwin Allman III asked for and received permission to destroy some 1,300 boxes of employee records as part of the bankruptcy proceedings. The records which contain employment records were used to determine pay and benefits owed by the bankrupt company.
The records themselves were apparently removed from the company location in the final days by Lee Booth which we have mentioned before and were recovered after Allman took over as trustee.
The Employment benefits portion of the bankruptcy have been closed with the rest of the case to close later this month and a final hearing to be around the end of the year.
Aug 12 2012
Primo Water Corporation released their Second Quarter 2012 numbers and to say the least the stock market nor the analyst were impressed. The stock hit a 52 week low by breaking the $1 mark trading as low as 0.96 before recovering by the end of the week to $1.20. Primo did report advancing water and dispensers sales however took almost a one million dollar loss on it’s Flavorstation product, a carbonated flavored water dispenser.
Since it’s IPO the stock has not any major upswing in price and gone nowhere but down since August 2011. It continues to face strong pressure as analyst have not been impressed and even made a rather negative comment during the conference call which is all but unheard of. In reference to Prim’s comments during the conference call that Primo was going to concentrate on it’s core water business through the dispensers and refill locations analyst Jim Duffy responded, “I look forward to that flawless execution, because we haven’t seen it yet, Billy.” Primo also still faces a Class Action by investors claiming the company or it’s executives made false and misleading statements about the company’s financials.
Jul 14 2012
In a spat over money Time Warner has dropped WXII from your cable lineup. If you did not notice on Tuesday WXI was replaced by WBRE out of Wilkes-Barre, PA. This boils down to Time Warner being unable to negotiate a new contract with Hearst Television over rebroadcast fees. Time Warner of course says the fee increase wanted by Hearst is unreasonable while Hearst says it is inline with cost and other contracts they have.
If you have a digital TV with a Digital TV Antenna you may be able to watch WXII “over the air” but due to the changes from old school TV signals we have used for decades to the new digital spectrum your reception could vary greatly depending on where you live. Digital signals do not travel as far and are very line of sight so putting a small digital antenna on that basement TV is probably not going to work. The other problem is most TV’s must be set to “cable” or “antenna” requiring you to switch your TV to antenna, search for channels then finally view the available channels and repeating the whole process when you switch back to cable.
Of course now we have Nexstar Broadcasting which owns the Wilkes-Barre station is now saying Time Warner has misappropriated their broadcast and is threatening to take action against Time Warner for using it’s signal for viewing in the Winston-Salem market. One has to remember who gets to view what content is governed by a host of contracts between the various cable, TV, broadcasting companies and so forth. Just because WBRE is an NBC affiliate does not mean the money has changed hands to allow another market (Winston-Salem) to view a professional basketball game being broadcast in Pennsylvania’s market. There are other money considerations right down to the commercials being broadcast, those drug advertisements are very targeted to specific markets and they pay huge sums of money to air their adverts to specific, agreed upon market segments, do they get a free ride to now be broadcast in Winston-Salem or does the rebroadcasting of the Wilkes-Barre station require new contracts. These are the types of things being discussed and argued in these negations and in the meantime local citizens are in general unable to view local content and news.
Jun 30 2012
Who didn’t see this coming. Winston-Salem wants Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Novant to help cover the cost of running city buses. The city has bent over backwards for these two groups as they have expanded year after year but as they do so you must remember they are tax-exempt. When you have your two largest businesses in town not paying huge chunks of taxes, well who couldn’t see the end result of that? If you haven’t noticed Novant for one has been buying up property all over the town and that takes more and more land out of the property tax base. Currently the two have combined property worth over $1.2 Billion which basically takes $14.3 million out of tax coffers.