The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics Blog, By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, October 16
Chelsea, MA —Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Thursday visited a nonprofit group here that helps unemployed people find work, and posed a question at the heart of the central bank’s debate over when to start raising interest rates.
“I’d be interested in any observations about what happened when you looked for jobs,” Ms. Yellen told current and former participants of the group’s programs. “Is it that you just couldn’t find things that were available, that the job market seemed weak, or is it particularly that your skills or things that you felt you needed to do in order to qualify for jobs that were there?”
Don’t they have an army of statisticians looking into this? Ms. Yellen – have you no training in optics?
Resolution holds that presidents have 60-day window to conduct hostilities without an act of Congress blessing the conflict
The Guardian, By Spencer Ackerman, October 16
New York – The White House on Wednesday said a timetable that expired over a week ago limiting its ability to continue a war unauthorized by Congress does not apply to the operation against the Islamic State (Isis) militant group.
The 1973 War Powers Resolution holds that presidents have a 60-day window to conduct hostilities without an act of Congress blessing the conflict. Absent such an explicit authorization, wars are supposed to lose their legal force.
The White House repeatedly cited the War Powers Resolution throughout the summer, as it notified Congress about troop deployments and airstrikes that inaugurated the war. Initial troop deployments for the war began in mid-June, although some legal scholars doubted that the ostensibly non-combat deployments started the clock.
Guardian – The US Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked key parts of a 2013 law in Texas that had closed all but eight facilities providing abortions in America’s second most-populous state.
In an unsigned order, the justices sided with abortion rights advocates and health care providers in suspending an October 2 ruling by a panel of the New Orleans-based US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that Texas could immediately apply a rule that would force abortion clinics statewide to spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
NYT – For the first time, researchers have created what they call Alzheimer’s in a Dish — a petri dish with human brain cells that develop the telltale structures of Alzheimer’s disease. In doing so, they resolved a longstanding problem of how to study Alzheimer’s and search for drugs to treat it; the best they had until now were mice that developed an imperfect form of the disease.
The key to their success, said the lead researcher, Rudolph E. Tanzi of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, was a suggestion by his colleague Doo Yeon Kim to grow human brain cells in a gel, where they formed networks as in an actual brain. They gave the neurons genes for Alzheimer’s disease. Within weeks they saw the hard Brillo-like clumps known as plaques and then the twisted spaghetti-like coils known as tangles — the defining features of Alzheimer’s disease.
The work, which also offers strong support for an old idea about how the disease progresses, was published in Nature on Sunday.
BBC, October 12
Typhoon Vongfong, the strongest storm to hit Japan this year, is moving north towards the country’s main islands, leaving at least 30 injured in Okinawa.
Flights were cancelled amid pounding winds and rain, while hundreds of thousands had to evacuate their homes.
The storm is due to make landfall on Kyushu island on Monday morning. Kyushu’s bullet train services were suspended on Sunday due to the wind.
Continue reading Typhoon Vongfong injures dozens in Japan
BBC, October 11
A mass evacuation is taking place in India’s south-eastern coast a day before Cyclone Hudhud is expected to hit land.
Around 150,000 people have already left their homes in the coastal state of Andhra Pradesh. The cyclone, classed as “very severe” by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), is expected to hit Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states on Sunday. The IMD predicts the storm will bring winds of up to 195km/h (120mph).
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NYT, October 12
A powerful cyclone crashed against the eastern coast of India on Sunday, uprooting trees, lashing the area with heavy rain and wind, and disrupting power and communication lines.Close to 300,000 people were evacuated from their homes in parts of the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh as of Sunday evening, according to disaster and relief officials in each state.
Consumerist, By Laura Northrup, October 10
Let’s say that you’re a brand, like Nabisco or the North Face, and you want to see what people are saying about you online. You could do a text search of Facebook and Twitter, but that’s soooo 2009, and you can’t guarantee that people will always label the photos they take. Instead, third-party companies are slurping up every public photo that you upload online and scanning them to see what you’re eating, drinking, and wearing.
Continue reading Brands Are Scanning Your Selfies And Party Photos To Look For Their Logos
Last week’s theme sank like a stone….time to give imitation a shot.
Part of this week’s theme is from an old Guardian “readers recommend” list – they have hundreds. (extra points for not using that as a crutch).
Or post any song that you can’t keep out of your head…
Betty Wright: “The Cleanup Woman”
Continue reading Weekend Jukebox: Cleaning and clearing up
NYT – Carolyn Kizer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose verse, overtly political and bitingly satirical, came, as she fondly put it, with “a sting in the tail,” died on Thursday in Sonoma, Calif. She was 89. The cause was complications of dementia.Ms. Kizer’s first collection, “The Ungrateful Garden,” published in 1961, left little doubt that to her, the poetical was the political. In a poem from the volume, “The Death of a Public Servant,” about McCarthyism, she wrote:
This is a day when good men die from windows,
Leap from a sill of one of the world’s eyes
Into the blind and deaf-and-dumb of time …
Dead friends, who were the servants of this world!
Once there was a place for gentle heroes.
Now they are madmen who, scuttling down corridors,
Eluding guards, climb lavatory walls
And squeeze through air-vents to their liberation.
more at the link
In 1995, the US government tried – and failed – to categorise encryption as a weapon. Today, the same lines are being drawn and the same tactics repeated as the FBI wants to do the same. Here’s why they are wrong, and why they must fail again.
The Guardian, By Cory Doctorow, October 9
Eric Holder, the outgoing US attorney general, has joined the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in calling for the security of all computer systems to be fatally weakened. This isn’t a new project – the idea has been around since the early 1990s, when the NSA classed all strong cryptography as a “munition” and regulated civilian use of it to ensure that they had the keys to unlock any technological countermeasures you put around your data.
Continue reading Crypto wars redux: why the FBI’s desire to unlock your private life must be resisted
1. Twitter News Head Vivian Schiller Out in Media Unit Consolidation –
Vivian Schiller, the high-profile NBC and NPR exec whom Twitter hired to run its news unit, is leaving the company. Adam Sharp will now be in charge of both news and government at the social messaging company, as part of a larger consolidation by its new head Katie Jacobs Stanton. Sharp previously ran the government unit.
The tweets on the shuffle are at the link.
Government and news, why not merge them?
2. The New York Times’ App Plan Isn’t Working So It’s Laying Off Staff
The New York Times is looking to cut about 100 newsroom jobs, or close to eight percent of its news staff, the Times reported this morning. Part of the reason for the cutbacks: The paper’s new subscription strategy, based on the idea of multiple apps, isn’t working.
The memo, from publisher Arthur(Sulzberger) and CEO Mark (Thompson) is at the link.
The old subscription strategy, based on one app for people who subscribe to the Times for that reason, however,is still working…
(Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)
more at : Vox