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Showing posts from August 17, 2015

Amazon Chief Says Employees Lacking Empathy Will Be Instantly Purged

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[Satire by Borowitz. *RON*]
By Andy Borowitz, New Yorker, 17 August 2015

SEATTLE (The Borowitz Report)—Saying that he was “horrified” by a New York Times article recounting callous behavior on the part of Amazon executives, company founder Jeff Bezos warned today that any employees found lacking in empathy would be instantly purged.

In an e-mail to all Amazon employees issued late Sunday evening, Bezos said that the company would begin grading its workers on empathy, and that the ten per cent found to be least empathic would be “immediately culled from the herd.”

To achieve this goal, Amazon said that it would introduce a new internal reporting system called EmpathyTrack, which will enable employees to secretly report on their colleagues’ lack of humanity.

The system will allow Amazon employees to grade their co-workers on a scale from a hundred (nicest) to zero (pure evil), resulting in empathy-based data that will be transmitted directly to Bezos.

Registered clinical trials make positive findings vanish

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[A far more important piece than the rather bland title would lead you to suspect. "A 1997 US law mandated the registry’s creation, requiring researchers from 2000 to record their trial methods and outcome measures before collecting data. The study found that in a sample of 55 large trials testing heart-disease treatments, 57% of those published before 2000 reported positive effects from the treatments. But that figure plunged to just 8% in studies that were conducted after 2000." *RON*]

Chris Woolston, Nature, 13 August 2015

The launch of the clinicaltrials.gov registry in 2000 seems to have had a striking impact on reported trial results, according to a PLoS ONE study1 that many researchers have been talking about online in the past week.

A 1997 US law mandated the registry’s creation, requiring researchers from 2000 to record their trial methods and outcome measures before collecting data. The study found that in a sample of 55 large t…

Liverpool fascist march cancelled after barely anyone turns up

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[Good news for once! *RON*]
Siobhan Fenton, The Independent, 16 August 2015
Neo-Nazis have called off a march in Liverpool, amid reports that they were vastly outnumbered by anti-fascist protesters.

The far-right group National Action had planned a ‘White Man March’ through the streets of Liverpool yesterday.

They had claimed that 150 of their supporters would be attending the rally and had written to the local council threatening to unleash “a National Action-packed weekend of ethnically enriched chaos and mayhem” if they were not given permission to march.

However, the Liverpool Echo reports that few members materialised and the group cancelled the event yesterday afternoon.

Here’s where every single presidential candidate stands on Keystone — except Hillary Clinton

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[When asked about her views on Keystone at a New Hampshire event earlier this month, she said, “If it is undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.” So there. *RON*]

By Lisa Hymas, Grist.org, 16 Aug 2015
Rumor has it that President Obama will officially reject the Keystone XL pipeline in the coming weeks. But whatever he decides, you can be sure the issue won’t go away. All of the presidential candidates will keep on talking about it. Well, all of them except the one who’s been avoiding the topic like Ebola. Here’s where theother candidates stand:
Republicans

Most Republican politicians, just like most Americans, had never heard of the Keystone XL pipeline until climate activists starting fighting it in 2011. But once that happened, the GOP rushed en masse to defend it, and they’ve been ranting and raving about its critical importance ever since, making delusional claims about its potential to create jobs and super-charge the …

Data-Crunching Is Coming to Help Your Boss Manage Your Time

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[The corporatocracy is watching you. This kind of micro-employee surveillance has become increasingly common in areas like warehouse work, where employees have to swipe a card-key to use the bathroom so their time spent excreting can by monitored by their employer. *RON*]

By David Streitfeld, New York Times, 17 August 2015

You might be at work, but that hardly means you are working.

Mitesh Bohra thought that projects at his software company, InfoBeans, were taking too long. “Something was supposed to be done in a thousand hours and it would end up taking 1,500,” he said. “We were racking our brains to figure out where the time went.”

Increasingly, bosses have an answer. A new generation of workplace technology is allowing white-collar jobs to be tracked, tweaked and managed in ways that were difficult even a few years ago. Employers of all types — old-line manufacturers, nonprofits, universities, digital start-ups and retailers — are using an increa…

'Stop Harper' Sign Removal Plagues Prince Rupert, B.C.

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["The anti-Harper materials are available on the website StopHarperStickers.com, which claims to have reached 'over 150 cities [and] towns' in Canada." Leave it to CBC to post the web site address so you can get your own stickers! :-) *RON*]
By Joanna Adams, Huffington Post, 16 August 2015


Anti-Harper vandalism is costing a B.C. city.

Stop signs in Prince Rupert, B.C. have been changed to read "Stop Harper" with stickers, and the city has had enough.

#PrinceRupert replaces stop signs to remove "STOP HARPER" stickers, calls them "vandalism" + "safety issue". #cdnpolipic.twitter.com/GteMR7sIzd
— Betsy Trumpener (@BetsyTrumpener) August 14, 2015

Operations manager Garin Gardiner told CBC's Daybreak North that the modified signs pose a safety risk for both drivers and pedestrians.

"They are obstructing the signs or affecting the coating that is on there to make it less reflective and they a…

Stephen Harper pledges expansion of military reserves

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[The politics of fear and xenophobia. This comes hot on the steps of Harper Leaves Door Open For Canada To Join Ballistic Missile Defence Program. Also note: he had "plans" and "proposals" for military bases in the North prior to the last election that evaporated after he was re-elected. *RON*]

CBC News, 17 August 2015
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper unveiled a plan to boost the number of military reservists to 30,000 in the next four years during a campaign stop in Fredericton on Monday.

Under the proposal, the Conservatives would expand the primary reserve to 30,000 personnel from 24,000.

Harper appeared with Fredericton Conservative candidate Keith Ashfield on Monday morning at the Fredericton Inn, where he announced six new measures to assist reservists or help more Canadians participate in the Canadian Armed Forces reserves.