After 54 years of production, Boeing rolled out its last 747 this week. The 747 was so big they called it “jumbo jet”, yet so elegant they called it the queen of the sky.
Breaking Records In Heat and Inflation
I thought this was newsworthy. The US is going to fry this weekend, and it’s going to cost a lot more to eat, sleep, travel, and cool down. The high temperature forecast for my area in Texas on Saturday is 99F, but we’ve already topped 100F this year, and we’ve been hot since early May. It’s the I-10 corridor that is really going to cook.Continue reading
Britain’s exit from the European Union is finally here. At the stroke of midnight, Brussels time, 5 PM Central US, on Friday, January 31, 2020, the deed is done.
Britain formally exits the European Union on Friday night, casting off from the Continent after nearly half a century and ending a debate that had convulsed the country for more than three years.Source: New York Times: Britain’s Brexit Shrug: Let’s Just Get On With It
By the sounds of it – and going by how long it has dragged on – Britons are tired of it all and just want to get on with life. Not so fast. For all this time – time supposedly used to negotiate trade deals and legal separation agreements – it seems like very little was done: for the next 11 months they’ll work out trade relations.
YouTube’s Dear John Letter
Well, I finally got my Dear John letter from YouTube. They’re raising their monetization requirements and kicking little guys to the curb if they don’t have the numbers. The new threshold is 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time in the past 12 months.
The Great YouTube Demonetization Controversy Continues
Folks want to blame Logan Paul for this latest policy change. He’s a popular (15 M subscribers) YouTube creator who posted a video where he showed a dead body in a Japanese forest known for hosting suicides. A YouTube spokesperson had this to say, “Sometimes our systems get it wrong, which is why we’ve encouraged creators to appeal.” (Source: The Guardian). I say sometimes they don’t get it at all, but I don’t blame Logan Paul. I blame YouTube: adopting weak business practices and morphing into a traditional media outlet replete with ass-kissers for advertising dollars.
I guess there’s Vimeo…
FCC Thinks You Should Pay for How Much Internet You Use
FCC Boss: You Should Pay for Internet By How Much You Use [POLL]. Source: mashable.com
As of May 22, 2012, 69% said “It’s price gouging”; 14% said “It’s a free market, event if I don’t like it” and 14% said “Depends on the price.”
This sounds like the best way to shut down free market and small business and lower-than-middle income consumers. The Internet is my livelihood and my entertainment. I can’t live without it and I can’t live with higher prices.
I can understand higher prices for more bandwidth limits, but a per byte charge will change my life for the worse.
I hope internet companies lobby/fight this. Like Neal Bloome says, would you pay $200 per YouTube video? How about $50 to play Mafia Wars for 1 day on Facebook? No? Well Mr. Genachowski doesn’t care, but I hope Mr. Zuckerberg cares or Mr. Kamangar cares.
The Day the Internet Went Dark
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a move that heightens the growing tension between Silicon Valley and Hollywood, Wikipedia and other websites went dark Wednesday in protest of two congressional proposals intended to thwart the online piracy of copyrighted movies and TV programs. Source: Protest exposes Silicon Valley-Hollywood rivalry – Yahoo! News.
SOPA Getting Makeover But Still Alive #stopSOPA
I wrote the following on the PopVOX website.
I oppose H.R. 3261: Stop Online Piracy Act because…it will punish every Internet consumer. First, everyone should know that the Internet removed barriers to both legitimate and illegitimate business around the globe. Second, America is a large part of the global economy and the Internet. If Hollywood or US pharmacies want to fight piracy and fraud they need to do that on their own terms and not punish the global economy. I can sympathize that they loose billions, but every industry looses to global competition – that is a consequence of globalization. America can no longer put up barriers to global commerce.
There is a link at the bottom of the Huffington Post article, “SOPA, PIPA Headed For Major Makeover“, that goes to PopVOX.
Aging Air Traffic Control UPDATED
Thirty years ago today air traffic control was changed forever.
On August 3, 1981 nearly 13,000 of the 17,500 members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) walked off the job, hoping to disrupt the nation’s transportation system to the extent that the federal government would accede to its demands for higher wages, a shorter work week, and better retirement benefits. At a press conference in the White House Rose Garden that same day, President Reagan responded with a stern ultimatum: The strikers were to return to work within 48 hours or face termination. As federal employees the controllers were violating the no-strike clause of their employment contracts. Source: http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id296.htm
Fast forward to 2011 and we face a crisis. More than half of the replacement controllers are due to retire because of mandatory retirement rules. There is a mandatory retirement age of 56 for controllers who manage air traffic. And the minimum age (now) is 30. Do the math and all of the controllers they hired in 1981 were forced to retire by 2007. They made some exceptions and they replaced several controllers early, but the fact is we’re in desperate need of more air traffic controllers.
I find it a little ironic that this year the FAA ran out of money and furloughed 4,000 workers. Today the FAA got funding to re-open. They were loosing an estimated $30 million per day of airline ticket taxes.
Since authorization for FAA funding expired in late July, the agency has also been unable to collect federal taxes on airline tickets — leading to a revenue loss of approximately $30 million a day. If the dispute had continued until Congress returned in September, the federal government would have lost over $1 billion in revenue. Source: Senate passes bill ending partial FAA shutdown – CNN.com.
Sad days for Texas education, public services
This practice is reverberating around the country. As good as Texas is, as well as it weathered the recession, public services are not immune to budget cuts.
The Texas Education Agency is laying off 178 employees this week as part of budget cuts ordered by the state Legislature. via KBTX Texas Education Agency to Lay Off 178 Employees.
The Texas Legislature had to cut something, unfortunately education was a big looser when the budget was finalized.
Media is reporting many local job cuts. College Station is cutting 27 positions. Bryan is cutting 20 jobs. Texas A&M already cut more than 150 jobs and more may be on the way.
“This Legislature will go down in the history books as the worst for public education in a generation,” said Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio. “Now it’s time for legislators to go home and explain to their communities why they voted for or against these historic education cuts. via The Three Way Attack on Texas Public Education; Part One: Fiscal Responsibility « Education in Texas.
The Hammer Falls on Texas Budget
So, we knew it was going to be bad before we elected this legislature, and here it is, the hammer driving the first nail in the coffin that is the Texas budget.
Public schools, college students, Medicaid hammered in Texas House budget plan
AUSTIN – Texas would slash support for public schools, cut at least 60,000 college students from financial aid and decrease Medicaid fees by 10 percent to doctors, nursing homes and hospitals under a budget plan that House leaders unveiled late Tuesday. Source: Dallas Morning News
Mark these words…
No taxes would be increased, as GOP leaders have pledged. Nor would the state tap any of $9.4 billion in the state’s rainy-day fund.
I’ll hold on to that quote so I can pull it out when cigarette taxes or gas taxes go up.
This article goes on to articulate cut after cut. Legislators have until May to finalize the bi-annual budget, and I think it’s going to be a very lean 2012-13. Don’t forget we have to pay forward the debt of 2010-11. Those cuts are still being felt. Also, remember we are in a supermajority so there is a 99% chance of passing whatever lands in the budget.