US tech firms fear China could be spying on them using power cords, report says

This is one of the silliest things I’ve read, and CNBC just seems to accept without questions that there is a way power plugs can be used to spy on us. Sigh. Paranoid much?

U.S. technology companies asked their Taiwanese suppliers to shift production of some components out of mainland China on fears that Beijing could be spying on them using power cords and plugs, reported Nikkei Asian Review.

Source: US tech firms fear China could be spying on them using power cords, report says

It’s Time to Have (Another) Talk About Distracted Driving

Wow! Wow! Wow! The story is disturbing, to say the least. But the Trump Administration is provably pro-industry, anti-regulation. What is the solution then? Anyone?

94% of Americans support a ban on texting while driving, but on any given day in America, an estimated 660,000 people will operate their phone and their vehicle simultaneously. It’s time to …

Source: It’s Time to Have (Another) Talk About Distracted Driving – A Claim Services Blog

Facebook’s anti-vax problem

No. No, no, no, that’s not how any of this works. It’s 2019. You are 18. Facebook didn’t exist until 2006. Your mom could NOT have learned it on Facebook, if you weren’t vaccinated during your first 5 years.

If it weren’t for the misinformation his mother saw on Facebook, Lindenberger told The Washington Post, “my entire family could’ve been vaccinated.”

Source: Ethan Lindenberger: Facebook’s anti-vax problem intensified in Congressional testimony – The Washington Post

Fox Rocked by $179M ‘Bones’ Ruling | Hollywood Reporter

I was all prepared to cut and paste the most interesting paragraph from the story, and here it is, right below, already quoted:

In coming to a decision, (DC Circuit Court of Appeals Judge) Lichtman describes how some of Fox’s top executives, including 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice and Fox TV CEO Dana Walden (soon to be top executives at Disney) plus Fox TV chairman Gary Newman (leaving Fox) “appear to have given false testimony in an attempt to conceal their wrongful acts.” According to the ruling, Fox has taken a “cavalier attitude toward its wrongdoing” and exhibits a “company-wide culture and an accepted climate that enveloped an aversion for the truth.”

Source: Fox Rocked by $179M ‘Bones’ Ruling: Lying, Cheating and “Reprehensible” Studio Fraud | Hollywood Reporter

Why Napalm Is a Cautionary Tale for Tech Giants Pursuing Military Contracts – The New York Times

This article encourages me somewhat about the current younger generation. If all the smartest AI engineers stay away from the military contractors, and instead work to make the world safer, cheaper, smarter, then I’m all for that.

Dow Chemical stopped making napalm for the military in 1969, just four years after it began. But the reputational damage haunted the company for decades.

Source: Why Napalm Is a Cautionary Tale for Tech Giants Pursuing Military Contracts – The New York Times


I worked at the Great Lakes Naval Base in North Chicago Illinois for about five years. That place was originally staffed in equal amounts of Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and civil service employees. A couple years later, the Marines stupidly pulled like 80% of their staff out of the project, reducing their later ability to influence decisions. I hope they came to regret that by now.

US Civil Servants are not rewarded anywhere near what the equivalent private market place pays. On the other hand, while it’s not exactly a union, it’s pretty hard to fire a civil service worker. I used to joke that one had to murder their BOSS to get fired. Anything else was either tolerated, or worked around.

Because the US Government pays it’s own employees shitty salaries, and no bonuses, so they end up with lots of mediocre employees, lead by deep staffing charts of mostly mediocre management. It makes sense they outsource so much these days, but it’s also kind of weird. They outsource because their staff can’t do it, because they don’t pay enough to attract lots of good talent. But they’re willing to pay outrageous contract fees for years, which ends up paying all those higher priced private employees. How does that win?

I’ll bet the USG could save money if they revamped the job reviews system, did what companies do, and realign pay scales with the industry, so they can start attracting better management and technical talent. Right now, I figure anyone you know who works for the government, settled for that job. If only they actually honored the deal they offered people, work for charity or any public service job for 10 years, pay the standard rates on your college loans for 10 years, and the government will forgive any remaining college loan balance. In 2017, over 30,000 people filed the paperwork for that program, having completed the requirements, and submitted all the paperwork. A grand total of 96 were approved. Maybe they should require civil servants get pre-approved for the loan forgiveness program as soon as they start their public service career, so they don’t get screwed 10 years later. One guy said he was told he had the wrong kind of public service job. All he could do is work another 10 years, into his 70s, and try again. Sigh

Wouldn’t company profits and shareholder value rise, and product prices fall, if the government mandated all the corporate boards around the country would revamp their executive rewards, to get senior leadership pay scales back into the realm of reality.

Nobody will ever convince me that every company must pay multiple millions of dollars to attract a talented enough executive team. Corporate Executives, as a whole, are holding companies hostage, and refusing to do a good job unless they are excessively rewarded, like 1,000 times their companies median salary, and also they deserve a golden parachute, which is just a HUGE bonus if they get fired from their job or if they ruin the company. Actually, I’d love that deal, where do I sign up?

Most executives act like they are special, the new Lords and Ladies of the realm, the modern upper class. They live in elite neighbors, they can afford all the toys, their kids are often spoiled. All worship the Executive Class, because they make more money every year than the sum total of all their employees paychecks.