Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Today's Only $e$$ion

See: Today's Final $e$$ion

"Stocks rose for the fourth day in a row Tuesday as they continued to recover the ground they lost last week. Major indexes again approached record highs. Most of the gains went to banks, which surged as bond yields jumped. That will allow them to charge higher rates on loans. Banks took steep losses Wednesday, when stocks had their worst day since September. Scientific instrument companies and drug makers also rose. Auto parts companies were hammered after poor third-quarter results from AutoZone, and home builders fell after sales of new homes sank in April. The four-day rally has restored most of the market’s losses and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index is almost back to record highs. ‘‘The market was simply reminded that there’s political risk out there, and it reacted to that reminder,’’ said Matthew Peterson, chief wealth strategist for LPL Financial. Peterson said he doesn’t think long-term investors have made big changes to their portfolios in response to last week’s drop, which followed allegations President Trump asked the FBI to end an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Peterson said high stock prices and the calm market make stocks more vulnerable to surprises from the political arena...."


Trump’s $4 trillion budget arrives on Capitol Hill

It relies on overly optimistic assessments.

"The truth is more than half of federal spending is Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Another 16 percent was defense and homeland security in 2015. Nonmilitary international spending (the State Department, USAID, contributions to international organizations, plus buildings, security, and salaries — which isn’t foreign aid) is together not much more than 1 percent of the $3.9 trillion budget. That’s chump change in budgetary terms.... That’s not to say all of this will happen — or that any of it will. Congress makes the final decisions on funding the government. But.... the  budget process was broken before Trump."

The problem is Trump’s proposed defense splurge flunks basic mathBilmesy!

Study says GOP plan would be blow to Mass.

Hope you have a good doctor and hospital.

"A prominent Boston neurosurgeon was illegally forced out of his previous job at a New York hospital for strongly objecting to a policy that allowed another surgeon to perform complex spine surgeries on two patients simultaneously, a judge ruled. Double-booking, as the practice is sometimes called, triggered a fierce dispute among doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in recent years, leading to the 2015 dismissal of an orthopedic surgeon who opposed it. But Dr. James Holsapple may be the first doctor to win a lawsuit alleging he faced retaliation for challenging the practice...."

Calling Dr. Obama, STAT!

Also see:

The perils of trusting Team Trump
Jeff Sessions’ multiple personas
Sessions wants to revive the war on drugs

Doesn't he have better things to do?

"Goldman Sachs reins in mobile perks, irking bankers" by Aaron Kirchfeld and Dakin Campbell Bloomberg News  March 02, 2017

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bankers are grumbling when making those extra calls to chase deals after the Wall Street giant introduced stricter rules for reimbursing phone bills.

As part of the firm’s efforts to cut costs and shift employees from BlackBerry devices to personal mobile phones, it announced a new companywide data and voice reimbursement policy that began March 1 and will take full effect in coming months, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs will now chip in $10 for data charges on US phone bills, 10 pounds in the UK, 10 euros in Germany, and HK$100 in Hong Kong, according to the memo. It also spells out conditions for reimbursing costs for phone calls.

The new plan is rankling some dealmakers, who spend much of their day on the phone calling and e-mailing clients to advise on transactions or drum up new business. They asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. In the past, Goldman Sachs generally issued BlackBerry work phones and covered full bills, one of the people said.

Previously, Goldman Sachs didn’t have a firm-wide policy for how to reimburse employees for using personal devices, giving managers across different teams and divisions more leeway, according to a person familiar with the policy.

The firm chose the $10 figure because that’s typically what it costs for a gigabyte of data, and an application used by employees for work e-mails doesn’t usually consume more than that, the person said.

The policy is the latest step in a sweeping effort to reduce expenses. In early 2016, chief executive Lloyd Blankfein embarked on the firm’s biggest cost-cutting push in years, limiting airfare, hotels, and entertainment unless it served clients and spending less on printing pitch books or brochures, people with knowledge of the policy said at the time. The belt-tightening helped shave $900 million from annual expenses and, with fewer legal and regulatory fines, drove 2016 noncompensation expenses to the lowest level in a decade.


"Wall Street bonuses continue to skyrocket; $138,210 average exceeds total income of 85 percent of US households" by Matt Rocheleau Globe Staff  March 16, 2017

You probably make less each year than Wall Street bankers get in their bonus checks alone.

Wall Street bankers took home an average of $138,210 in bonus pay in 2016.

That was more than 85 percent of US households took home in total income during 2015, according to the most recent year of data available from the US Census Bureau.

Another way to look at it: The average total household income in 2015 was $79,263, or about 57 percent of the average Wall Street bonus, and keep in mind that those Census figures are incomes for entire households, while the number for bankers is for individuals.

Yeah, and....?

Altogether, the major banks set aside $23.9 billion for bonuses in 2016, the Associated Press reported, citing data from the New York State Comptroller’s Office. That was a 2 percent increase from a year earlier, though the bonuses remain well below the levels they were in their heydays before the financial crisis, when the average bonus reached as high as $191,360 in 2006.

Poor babies!

While most Wall Street bankers make a salary, the vast majority of their compensation comes in the form of annual bonuses which reflect how the firm did that year, plus the worker’s contribution.

Some bonuses can be as small as a few thousand dollars for low-level support staff, while high-profile traders and investment bankers can bring in bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars.

Roughly 177,000 people were employed by Wall Street securities and brokerage firms in 2016, according to the comptroller’s office, the highest level since 2008.

Industrywide profits in New York State were $17.3 billion, the highest for the industry in New York State since 2012. 



Check out the bottom line....

"Boston teens given a Cinderella moment" by Akilah Johnson Globe Staff  March 23, 2017

A sea of taffeta, lace, and sequins lined a table in the Boys & Girls Club in South Boston, destined for nearly two dozen teenage girls in need of a party dress.

“It’s all poofy,” 17-year-old Raquel Laskowski squealed Thursday as she grabbed the champagne-colored cocktail dress that had been hand-selected for her. “It’s so cute.”

The dresses came thanks to a charity called Believe in Yourself Project, an idea that sprang from UsTrendy, a Boston-based website featuring fashions of emerging designers that was founded by Sam Sisakhti.

Initially, Sisakhti said he would take excess samples from designers and give them to celebrities, but “they have enough clothes.” So he started donating them to organizations that work with young people in need.

In January, he created the charity, which has held giveaways in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. This was the first in Boston.

The Boys & Girls Club selected 21 young women — leaders with good grades — from its teen program to receive dresses.

“When you know you have a nice dress in your closet, it makes you a lot more likely to say yes to something,” said Emma Kennedy, a social worker at the club.

For the girls, it was like having a personal shopper. They were asked their size and color preference, and Sisakhti selected the dresses. They were red, navy, tangerine, baby blue, and, of course, black.

Mumina Ali, 14, requested a dress that hit below the knee.

“I’m not the person for short dresses because it’s not in my religion,” said Ali, who was wearing a purple hijab and holding a new wrap-style dress that will be worn at her 8th-grade graduation.

Or at least she hopes to wear it. Mom must approve it first.



I don't know, princess.

Here's your pap smear.

Related: Jewelry Store


UK raises terror threat, believes another attack may be imminent

In Manchester, a loud bang, silence, then ‘loads of girls screaming’

Bia joins family and fans offering condolences to Manchester victims

In Manchester, facing insidious trauma with communal strength

A ‘hate crime’ meant to sow terror

Attacks on soft targets likely to get worse

‘We will step up patrols, but there is no threat to the city of Boston,’ Evans says 

They say that before every attack.

Mansfield police said they would strictly enforce bag checks and arrest underage drinkers and urged concertgoers attending the Future: Nobody Safe Tour to be vigilant about their safety. “The world we live in. If you see something, say something,” police wrote on Facebook, just hours before various hip-hop artists were to perform. “We’ve got a whole bunch of people very well trained, many of whom are wearing brightly-colored shirts and would happily speak to you about something or someone you find suspicious.”

Wow, how odd the timing -- as if it were some Grande plan.

"Grande, who started her career as a star on a Nickelodeon TV series, expressed her sorrow on Twitter. “Broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words,” she wrote. “I don’t think it has hit us,” said Jane McCluskey, of Hartlepool, England, who had attended the concert with her daughter, Charlotte. With her daughter still wearing a sweatshirt with the logo of Grande’s “Dangerous Woman Tour,” McCluskey sounded plaintive. “We just want to go home,” she said...."


May Days in the U.K.

Britain Slams US For Leaking Details About Suicide Bomber Who "Did Not Act Alone", Had "Proven Links To ISIS" 

Disturbing Manchester Blast Aftermath

UK flash-bang

"UK Government Harbored Terrorists Linked to Manchester Blast for Decades" (Cartalucci).  All these guys are 'known' as they are sent off to fight in Western proxy armies in, um, Wars For The Jews.  If you tire of terrorism you might consider electing politicians who promise to stop doing that.  Like Corbyn. -- xymphora


Crisis Actors Rehearse Terror Attack in Manchester, UK

Then they went live.


"California engages the world — and fights D.C. — on climate change" by Coral Davenport and Adam Nagourney New York Times  May 24, 2017

LOS ANGELES — California has stood as the leading edge of the Democratic resistance to the Trump administration, on a range of issues including immigration and health care. Trump lost to Hillary Clinton here by nearly 4 million votes. Every statewide elected official is a Democrat, and the party controls both houses of the Legislature by a two-thirds margin. Soon after Trump was elected, Democratic legislative leaders hired Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general, to represent California in legal fights with the administration.

Then why is it in such poor shape?

But of all the battles it is waging with Washington, none have the global implications of the one over climate change. 


The aggressive posture on the environment has set the stage for a confrontation between the Trump administration and the largest state in the nation. California has 39 million people, making it more populous than Canada and many other countries. And with an annual economic output of $2.4 trillion, the state is an economic powerhouse and has the sixth-largest economy in the world.

Maybe Trump will call back that emergency disaster money after the spring flooding.

California’s efforts cross party lines. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who served as governor from 2003 to 2011, and led the state in developing the most aggressive pollution-control programs in the nation, has emerged as one of Trump’s biggest Republican critics.

Schwarzenegger is sore because he got fired from "The Apprentice."

Trump and his advisers appear ready for the fight.

Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency chief, whom Trump has charged with rolling back Obama-era environmental policies, speaks often of his belief in the importance of federalism and states’ rights, describing Trump’s proposals as a way to lift the oppressive yoke of federal regulations and return authority to the states. But of Brown’s push to expand California’s environmental policies to the country and the world, Pruitt said, “That’s not federalism — that’s a political agenda hiding behind federalism.”

Especially when they ignore the fouling of air, sea, and soil by corporations and the war machine.

“Is it federalism to impose your policy on other states?” Pruitt asked in a recent interview in his office. “It seems to me that Mr. Brown is being the aggressor here,” he said.

Even before Trump took office, California’s tough regulatory rules had stirred concern among business leaders, who said it had increased their costs. “Washington will create a less competitive environment for California businesses here because businesses in other states will not have to meet the same mandates,” said Robert C. Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable. “There is no question that businesses are going to move out.”

For now, the critical questions are whether the United States will withdraw from the Paris agreement, an international compact to reduce greenhouse pollution, and whether the Environmental Protection Agency will revoke a waiver issued by President Richard M. Nixon that permits California to set fuel-economy standards exceeding federal requirements -- forcing the state to lower its tough fuel-economy standards, which are also intended to promote the rapid spread of electric cars.

Beyond pushing to maintain its state climate laws, California has tried to forge international climate pacts. In particular, Brown’s government helped draft and gather signatures for a memorandum of understanding whose signers, including heads of state and mayors from around the world, pledged to take actions to lower emissions enough to keep global temperatures from rising over 2 degrees Celsius.

They can still do that regardless of Trump.

That is the point at which scientists say the planet will tip into a future of irreversible rising seas and melting ice sheets. That pact is voluntary, but California, Canada, and Mexico are starting to carry out a joint climate policy with some teeth.

There are so many other problems on this planet before that possibly non-existent one.

It's all to get a carbon tax on you so bankers can literally create $ecurities out of thin air.

In April, a delegation from California traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese counterparts to help them craft a cap-and-trade plan. The Clean Power Plan was central to the US pledge under the 2015 Paris agreement. Now that Trump has moved to roll back the plan, it will be almost impossible for the United States to meet its Paris commitments. That has resonated powerfully in China. The heart of the Paris agreement was a 2014 deal forged by Obama and President Xi Jinping of China in which the world’s two largest economies and largest greenhouse polluters agreed to act jointly to reduce their emissions....


Related: "Also Wednesday, the state legislative analyst’s office warned that tens of billions of dollars are needed for repairs and updates for projects in California’s flood-management system. There is no time for delay...."

Instead they are $pewing hot air about climate change!


US sues Fiat Chrysler, alleging cheating on emissions tests

Turns out they all did.

German prosecutors raid offices of Daimler

Time to hit the brakes.

"Federal law enforcement officials executed a search warrant Thursday at three central Illinois facilities of Caterpillar, one of the largest construction equipment manufacturers in the world. Caterpillar spokeswoman Corrie Heck Scott said in an e-mail that the company is cooperating with law enforcement but did not provide any further details. Sharon Paul, a spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office in Springfield, said ‘‘federal law enforcement activity’’ was being conducted at three Caterpillar locations, including the corporate headquarters in Peoria and facilities in East Peoria and Morton. Paul said the agencies involved included the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation unit, the US Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s office of inspector general."

"Boeing is shrinking its Seattle-area workforce by at least 1,800 jobs this year as the company streamlines operations in a brutally competitive commercial-aircraft market. The plane maker approved voluntary layoffs for 1,500 mechanics, according to a person familiar with the situation who asked not to be named because it hasn’t been made public. Another 305 engineers and technical workers are leaving voluntarily, Bill Dugovich, a spokesman for their union, said Thursday. Boeing told employees in December that it would seek buyouts as part of an effort to cut costs and match employment to market requirements, company spokesman Paul Bergman said by e-mail."

So much for going to the mall:

"Sears Holdings Corp. gained some breathing room in its comeback effort thanks to deals with some of the biggest names in finance. Lenders including billionaire Bill Gates’s Cascade Investment LLC agreed to give the struggling retailer more time to repay debt. And MetLife Inc. will take on pension obligations for about 51,000 retirees, Sears said Tuesday in a statement. Once the country’s largest retailer, Sears has racked up billions of dollars in red ink over the past five years amid a broader department-store slump as shoppers opt for discounters and Inc. Chief executive Eddie Lampert has shut stores and raised cash by selling or spinning off assets, including the Craftsman tool brand and Lands’ End clothing business."

Hang on Snoopy, Snoopy hang on!

Fox news is whining, and for good reason.

‘‘Food is a noble thing to trade.’’

Did you $ee who $aid it, and do you know on whom's behalf it was said?


That reminds me, time for lunch:

Harvard ordered to reveal financial records of influential donor He is Charles C. Spackman, a Hong Kong-based businessman who leads the Spackman Group, a global investment holding company with $1.5 billion under management. The holdings of Charles Spackman’s company include the Spackman Entertainment Group, which produced the 2013 science fiction movie “Snowpiercer,” starring Tilda Swinton and Octavia Spencer.

So where is Zuckerberg today?

Rachel Skerritt named headmaster at BLS 

She is a proud alumni, and the problem is with the unions.

Related: Marching Backward Briefly

Radcliffe Institute to honor journalism trailblazers

Milton Academy students hold sit-in over bias concerns

Bish family commemorates state’s missing children in last ceremony

Looking like an elite pedophile ring kidnapping to me.

Superior Court judge at center of St. Paul’s scandal

Maybe they should switch to single-sex schools.

"Mississippi accused of unequal schooling for black students" by Jeff Amy Associated Press  May 24, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi is denying good schools to African-American students in violation of the federal law that enabled the state to rejoin the union after the Civil War, an advocacy group alleged Tuesday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center wants a federal judge to force the state’s leaders to comply with the 1870 law, which says Mississippi must never deprive any citizen of the ‘‘school rights and privileges’’ described in first post-Civil War constitution.

Seems a bit of a reach to me.

That law still obligates Mississippi to provide a ‘‘uniform system of free public schools’’ for all children, but the state has instead watered down education protections in a white supremacist effort to prevent the education of blacks, the group said.

As opposed to other places, including Ma$$achu$etts, where the real determiner is CLA$$!!!

Mississippi’s public schools have consistently ranked at or near the bottom of national measures of academic achievement and progress. But Governor Phil Bryant and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves said Mississippi’s education system is improving under their leadership.

‘‘This is merely another attempt by the Southern Poverty Law Center to fund-raise on the backs of Mississippi taxpayers,’’ the governor said. “While the SPLC clings to its misguided and cynical views, we will continue to shape Mississippi’s system of public education into the best and most innovative in America.’’

Related: The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a Mossad front.

Also see: 

Condemned church shooter Roof seeks appellate court mercy

At least Cosby is on his side.

"A white supremacist with felony convictions in South Carolina bought a gun from an undercover FBI agent, telling the agent he planned an attack in ‘‘the spirit of Dylann Roof,’’ authorities said Thursday. Benjamin McDowell, 28, didn’t have a specific target in mind, once telling the undercover agent he might just shoot at a party of black people, FBI agent Grant Lowe wrote in an affidavit...."

Dylann Roof’s friend, in a deal with prosecutors, gets over 2 years for hindering FBI 

While they were helping him!

All 19 Mississippi school districts rated ‘‘F’’ by the Mississippi Department of Education have overwhelmingly African-American student bodies, while the state’s five highest-performing school districts are predominantly white, the SPLC says.

The schools attended by the plaintiffs’ children ‘‘lack textbooks, literature, basic supplies, experienced teachers, sports and other extracurricular activities, tutoring programs, and even toilet paper,’’ the SPLC said....

No toilet paper is a real problem.


Would it surprise you that the named defendants are all Republican elected officials?

Related: 21st Century Mississippi Burning

Some survived.

Some didn't:

"Black caucus: White rep should resign over lynch comment" by Emily Wagster Pettus Associated Press  May 24, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. — Black lawmakers in Mississippi are demanding the resignation of a white colleague who said Louisiana leaders should be lynched for removing Confederate monuments.

Republican state Representative Karl Oliver of Winona apologized Monday for referring to lynching in a Facebook post Saturday. Oliver also removed the post from Facebook.

On Tuesday, the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus issued a statement saying Oliver’s continued presence in the Legislature would impede efforts for lawmakers to work across lines of race and party.

‘‘Rep. Oliver’s apology for using the word ‘lynching’ does not mitigate the sentiment behind the statement, and his presence will continue to be a sore spot on the work of the Mississippi Legislature,’’ said Democratic state Representative Sonya Williams Barnes, chairwoman of the Black Caucus.

Fifty-one of Mississippi’s 174 state lawmakers are black, and 50 of them are in the caucus. The state’s population is 38 percent black.

Oliver made his Facebook post as three Confederate monuments and a monument to white supremacy were removed in New Orleans.

‘‘The destruction of these monuments, erected in the loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific,’’ Oliver wrote. ‘‘If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, ‘leadership’ of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED! Let it be known, I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening in our State.’’

He has a point about the politically-correct censoring of history; however, how is he helping the situation with the tirade? He's playing right into their hands.

Lynching was used in Mississippi and other states not only to kill people by hanging but also to intimidate African-Americans who sought equal treatment under the law.

In a public statement apologizing Monday, Oliver asked for forgiveness and said he regrets his choice of words.

‘‘I acknowledge the word ‘lynched’ was wrong,’’ Oliver said. ‘‘I am very sorry. It is in no way, ever, an appropriate term.’’


What an airhead.

RelatedNeil Armstrong’s storied lunar bag could fetch $4 million


Better get on my Gameface:

"Gameface Media raises $2.6m from investors, easing cash crunch" by Shelby Grebbin Globe Correspondent  March 02, 2017

Gameface Media set out to disrupt a small corner of the photography market: capturing amateur athletes as they compete in marathons, triathlons, and mud runs. Race participants typically pay $15 to $30 for such photo packages, but Boston-based Gameface gives them away for free, striking deals with sponsors and event coordinators to cover the costs.

The startup has enjoyed some success, raising $10.1 million from investors since 2013, including $2.6 million in a fourth round completed this week. Some rivals have adopted its advertising-driven model. Some of the money Gameface recently raised from angel investors and wealthy families will go to photographers, many of whom have been waiting months to get paid for events they worked.

In an e-mail to the company’s network of 1,600 freelance photographers, Gameface said it got caught in a bind: The independent contractors were promised payment within 15 days of their assignments, but sponsors weren’t required to pay for 120 days. The problem was compounded by delays in raising more money from investors.

Cofounder and CEO David Lavallee said the freelancers will all be paid in full within the week. The former investment banker declined to say how much the company owes contractors.

Jeff Young is one of the freelancers waiting on a paycheck from Gameface. Young said he began seeing late payments in May but was paid in full after he threatened to take the company to small-claims court.

“They told me that they felt our working relationship had deteriorated to the point where it was no good for either of us,” Young said. “That was likely the result of me continually pestering them for my money.”

Young said his current tab with the company is around $2,400. According to complaints on professional forums, most Gameface freelancers are owed between $200 and $2,500.

Still, Lavallee said service to sponsors and event organizers has continued without interruption. For the 2017 race season, Gameface has partnered with Tough Mudder and Rugged Maniac. The company hosted a slew of corporate sponsors in previous seasons, including Nike, Jeep, Reebok, and Skechers. 

They can't afford to pay?

Nick Sutton is waiting on $700 from Gameface photography assignments last year. He said he’d consider working for the company again, but won’t rely on prompt payments.

“We all just want to be paid whatever they told us they would pay us,” Sutton said....

So do I.



WHO elects new director general

Nothing about the travel $ickne$$

Or did I mi$$ the E-Mail?

A real turf war is brewing in Southie

Bulger is back in town?

"Man who died police standoff in Chelsea had chased wife out of home" by Andy Rosen Globe Staff  May 23, 2017

CHELSEA — Some on Warren Avenue hit the floor when they heard the gunshots. Others peered out the window nervously, watching as a man allegedly chased a woman and child into the street, exchanged gunfire with police, and eventually set his house ablaze.

The confrontation that set the area on edge Monday night finally ended early Tuesday, when authorities found Kelly Pastrana, 38, dead with a gunshot wound to his stomach and injuries from the fire that destroyed his home, authorities said.

As neighbors sought to return to normal, family members of Pastrana and law enforcement officials were trying to make sense of what had happened....



"The stage is nearly set for one of Boston’s most bruising spectator sports. The Pats? The Bruins? Boxing at the House of Blues or mixed martial arts at TD Garden? No. We’re talking about municipal elections...."

See any other names you recognize?

"A Stoneham dog walker was arrested Friday for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars of jewelry, clothing, and other items from her clients. Andrea Sharby, 38, was the co-owner of Walk-About Animal Care Services, a company that would walk or otherwise take car of pets while the owner was away or at work, Stoneham police said in a statement. The investigation into Sharby began in March when a Stoneham resident called police because clothing and other items were going missing, police said. The woman said she had been using Sharby’s company to walk her dog for about a year and was missing about $10,000 worth of clothes, police said. Before she contacted police, the resident allegedly discovered that Sharby was selling the clothes online, police said. Another client, this one in Winchester, called police to report that jewelry was missing from his home. Officers were able to track the items to several local pawn shops where records confirmed that Sharby had allegedly sold the pieces. She was arrested at her home without incident and several bags of fentanyl were found on her during booking, police said. She is scheduled to be arraigned at the Woburn District Court on charges of larceny under false pretenses, receiving stolen property, and possession, police said."

She $cooped more than the poop.

"A Boston man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly led Weymouth police on a high-speed chase that ended with an officer and his dog tracking him through waist-deep swampland Monday night. Michael Rudder, 23, was taken to South Shore Hospital for treatment of a police dog bite he suffered in the chase, which started at about 10 p.m. during a routine traffic stop on Main Street, according to Weymouth police. Officer Kevin Malloy was patrolling when, he alleges, Rudder committed a traffic violation. Malloy tried to pull the car over, but the driver sped off, police said. Rudder allegedly attempted to flee by turning his lights off and driving as fast as 70 miles per hour. Rudder sped down Main Street, ignored a stop sign, and turned onto Columbian Street; he continued driving erratically and crashed into a guardrail as he turned onto Forest Street, police said. The car was heavily damaged, but Rudder was able to continue down Forest Street and turn onto a small residential road before stopping the car, police said, and running into the woods. Police set up a perimeter around the woods while they waited for Officer Ken Murphy and his dog, K9 Zekk, police said. A short time later, Rudder was seen running across Columbian Street and into woods behind VCA South Shore Weymouth Animal Hospital, they said. Murphy and Zekk set off to find Rudder, slogging through waist-deep swampland and thick, thorny underbrush. Zekk found Rudder hiding on the ground and bit him on the shoulder. Rudder was arrested and taken to the hospital, police said. The police dog suffered minor face cuts from going through the brush. Rudder was charged with myriad traffic violations, including reckless operation of a vehicle, speeding, and failure to stop for a police officer." 

Made me think of Doherty.


Time to party:

"Months after agreeing to the nation’s first background checks of its drivers, Uber is pressing Massachusetts to rewrite those rules, saying too many drivers are being disqualified for relatively minor offenses. The state has rejected more than 10,000 drivers who previously passed separate background checks by Uber and Lyft. While hundreds had serious crimes on their records, many others were disqualified for minor violations that resulted in license suspensions, or for an incident well in their past...."

Not only that, the pay sucks.

"Google making big gains in schools" by Natasha Singer New York Times  March 03, 2017

NEW YORK — Apple is losing its grip on American classrooms, which technology companies have long used to hook students on their brands for life.

Excuse me, can I use the restroom?

The rise of Google’s Chromebooks has disrupted the momentum of Apple, which has been marketing its computers to schools for 40 years. The shift toward Google-powered devices is hurting Apple’s revenue because Chromebooks store documents in the cloud, they can be shared among students, who can grab any school device to access their class work. Google also provides school administrators with an online dashboard to remotely manage thousands of the laptops at once.

Then there is the keyboard issue. While school administrators generally like the iPad’s touch screens for younger elementary school students, some said that older students often needed laptops with built-in physical keyboards for writing and taking state assessment tests.

Related(?)Amazon’s huge cloud computing outage tracked to bad keystrokes 

Or is the real problem being brokered in the shadows?

The public school system in Eudora, Kan., for instance, used to have rolling carts of iPads for elementary school classrooms and MacBook carts for older students to share. But last year, when administrators wanted to provide a laptop for each high school student, the district bought 500 Chromebooks at about $230 each.

“At the end of the day, I can get three Chromebooks for each of the Mac devices I would have purchased,” said Steve Splichal, superintendent of Eudora’s public schools. He said Eudora students continued to use MacBooks for certain creative courses, and first graders and younger students still used iPads.

To compete with Chromebooks, Microsoft announced last month that it had worked with Acer, HP, and Lenovo to develop low-cost Windows laptops for schools, with prices starting at $189. The company also introduced an app called Microsoft Intune for Education, to enable schools to more easily set up and manage their Windows devices.

You said Windows?

Google, for its part, announced last month that it had worked with Asus and Acer to develop new Chromebooks that can also convert to tablets....


No Apple for teacher?

"Abby loves bitcoin: Fidelity chief touts digital currency in first major speech" by Beth Healy Globe Staff  May 23, 2017

Abigail Johnson, in her first major speaking engagement since becoming chairman of Fidelity Investments, spoke Tuesday in New York at a tech conference — not on mutual funds or retirement plans, but about bitcoin and blockchain technology.

It was a deep dive into the world of digital transactions, and a rare public speech for Johnson. Johnson acknowledged upfront that it was an unusual appearance for the head of the Boston investment giant. “Some of you might be wondering why I’m here today,” she said, in a casual TED Talks-style presentation. “I can tell you plenty of my colleagues back in Boston are asking the same question.”

Johnson, who has embraced technology in her rise to the top job at Fidelity, went on to say, “I love this stuff,” along with thinking about what the future holds. She was sporting a “Vote Nakamoto President” lapel pin, an inside joke referring to the pseudonym used by the mysterious founders of bitcoin.

It turns out Fidelity Labs, the company’s research group, has a team dedicated to working on bitcoin and the technology that makes it work. So-called blockchain technology is about sharing electronic data. It could change the way billions of financial transactions are handled, with uses such as settling securities faster and cheaper, with less human intervention.

Blockchain is all about channeling bitcoin into the control of the Wall Street banks.

Fidelity also has allowed customers to contribute bitcoin to their charitable giving accounts, Johnson said, using an intermediary later to convert the currency into dollars. Clients have donated $8 million worth so far, she said to applause at the Consensus 2017 conference.

Johnson said the company has heard from customers who want to be able to track their digital currency holdings through Fidelity’s website, where they have records for their other financial accounts. The company tested it with employees, she said, and will soon roll out the capacity to all of its customers.

Fidelity also has made venture investments in companies exploring digital currencies, Johnson said in the speech, and has partnered with other firms and university efforts, including the MIT Digital Currency Initiative.

Blockchain technology isn’t just a more efficient way to settle securities. It will fundamentally change market structures, and maybe even the architecture of the Internet itself,” she said, but Johnson also challenged the conference attendees to make the technology better, easier to use, and more practical for people’s lives.

“I am still a believer,’’ she said. “It’s no accident that I’m one of the few standing before you today from a large financial services firm that hasn’t given up on digital currencies.”

Just getting people to understand bitcoin is complex. The currency has recently been trading at record highs and was valued at $2,227 Tuesday at Coinbase, a website where people can buy and sell the digital currency. Under the bitcoin system, there is a finite amount of currency. Its value fluctuates, depending on demand, but it’s not linked to gold or some other physical thing.

These are hard concepts for people to get their minds around, Johnson said. They key is not to forget humans in the development of these technologies, she said. “Too often we see them as solutions in search of a problem.”

Fidelity has tested letting employees use bitcoin in the company cafeteria, Johnson said, though fewer than 100 workers have tried it. She recalled the experience of one employee, Alex, whom she called a “bitcoin Viking.” After buying a beverage in the cafeteria using bitcoin, he then tried to return the drink.

But the bitcoin network was being spammed that day, Johnson said, and the return process was taking hours. Alex gave up in despair.

“It’s like the matrix — I can’t actually use it in real life,’’ Johnson recalled Alex saying.

In addition to cracking a number of techie jokes, with varying degrees of success, Johnson urged the audience to collaborate and to speak with people who don’t share their points of view, saying, “Come talk to us — we need to hear your voice.”

As long as you say the right things.


"Target pays $18.5 million to settle 2013 data breach case" by Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff  May 23, 2017

Target has agreed to pay states, including Massachusetts, a total of $18.5 million to settle a case over a 2013 data breach that exposed the private information of millions of customers.

The breach occurred during the Christmas holiday season and compromised credit and debit card data of nearly one million shoppers in Massachusetts. Cyber thieves exploited weaknesses in the giant retailer’s systems, gaining access to a customer service database and installing malware.

The breach, one of the largest of its type, affected 60 million customers nationwide. It also led to the ouster of Target president Gregg Steinhafel. The settlement requires Target to maintain appropriate encryption policies; house its cardholder data separately from the rest of its computer network; and implement other security and network control measures, according to Attorney General Maura Healey’s office....


Never caught the hackers, huh?

Also see:

Biogen spinoff will pay $400m for Calif. drug developer
Allston apartment development approved by ZBA
Bain Capital raises $720 million for life-sciences fund

I hope you didn't drive home drunk:

"Wrecks cutting into Liberty Mutual profits at the end of 2016" by Deirdre Fernandes Globe Staff  March 03, 2017

Still, the insurer ended the year with more than $1 billion in profits, nearly double what it made in 2015, as a result of shedding its troubled Venezuelan operations, but for many insurance companies, auto accident claims are starting to squeeze profits.

Distracted driving and more people on the highways in an improved economy are increasing the number of accidents, and pricier high-tech safety equipment in cars is making repairs more expensive when crashes occur, David Long, the chief executive of Liberty Mutual, said during an earnings call.

“The increase in distracted driving . . . is leading to more serious accidents,” Long said. “And second, repairs to cars with advanced driver assistance systems involve a higher number of parts replaced per claim and an increase in labor hours per claim.”


The company estimates that a minor fender-bender for an entry-level luxury car in 2014 cost $1,850 in repairs, while a similar accident last year cost $3,550. As a result, Liberty has been raising auto insurance rates on both individuals and businesses, Long said. The company has been raising rates between 4 and 9 percent on drivers as their auto insurance policies renew.

Illinois-based State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the country’s largest auto and home insurer, earlier this week announced that its profits had dropped by 94 percent, to $400 million from $6.2 billion in 2015, for the same reasons cited by Liberty Mutual. The Travelers Companies Inc., based in Connecticut, announced in January that it will start raising auto insurance rates.

According to the US Department of Labor, the cost of auto insurance rose 7.5 percent in January over the previous year, compared to just 2.5 percent for all goods and services. Liberty Mutual officials said they expect rate increases to continue into next year.

The company announced its earnings just one week after reporting that Long earned a $17 million pay package in 2016, an 8 percent increase over the previous year.

Thus the need for a rate increase despite the billion in profit.


Time to put this post to rest:

Roger Moore, at 89; played James Bond 007 times

Sean Connery will always be James Bond to me. Moore was more like a Saint.

Cortez Kennedy, 48, dominant lineman

In an age before Tom Brady and fantasy sports.

Artist identified as Everett homicide victim
State Police release photo of Everett suspect
Man arraigned for Everett artist’s killing

May he Rest in Peace

Have you ever seen any of his paintings?