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Sunday Morning Reading: March 16, 2014

2014-March-16
By Martie Hevia | Blue Beach Song™

One of my great pleasures is waking up early on a Sunday morning, sitting in my favorite big comfy chair with a hot cappuccino and reading an eclectic collection of articles from all kinds of magazines and newspapers. (And if you can throw in some soft skies on a drizzly cool day, with a warm fire in the fireplace, I am in heaven.) Whatever your rituals may be, here is my Sunday morning’s reading list. I hope you find these articles informative, interesting or entertaining. Enjoy! -Martie


Sunday Morning Reading: March 16, 2014

(Click on the Article’s Title)

  • Vladimir Putin and the Lessons of 1938” | by GARRY KASPAROV, Politico, March 16, 2014 | It’s been a busy few weeks for Vladimir Putin. In the last month, the Russian president has hosted the Olympic Games, invaded a neighboring country and massed troops along its border. Back in Moscow, the Kremlin has cranked up the volume of hysterical anti-Western propaganda to a roar while cracking down on the last vestiges of the free media. All the while, he proclaims he wants peace and accuses Western leaders of hypocrisy and anti-Russian sentiment. If Putin wanted to do a better imitation of Adolf Hitler circa 1936-1938, he would have to grow a little mustache. Equally troubling is that the leaders of Europe and the United States have been doing a similarly good impersonation of the weak-kneed and risk-averse leaders who enabled Hitler’s rise in the 1930s.
  • As U.S. Looks for Terror Links in Plane Case, Malaysia Rejects Extensive Help” | by MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and SCOTT SHANE, The New York Times, March 16, 2014 | With malicious intent strongly suspected in the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, American intelligence and law enforcement agencies renewed their search over the weekend for any evidence that the plane’s diversion was part of a terrorist plot. But they have found nothing so far, senior officials said, and their efforts have been limited by the Malaysian authorities’ refusal to accept large-scale American assistance.
  • Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science” | by WILLIAM J. BROAD, The New York Times, March 15, 2014 | As government financing of basic science research has plunged, private donors have filled the void, raising questions about the future of research for the public good.
  • Missed Alarms and 40 Million Stolen Credit Card Numbers: How Target Blew It” | by By Michael Riley, Ben Elgin, Dune Lawrence, and Carol Matlack, Bloomberg Business Week, March 13, 2014 | Intentional or Careless? – How Target ignored warnings that their system was hacked before any data was stolen.
  • How the NSA Plans to Infect ‘Millions’ of Computers with Malware” | by Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, March 12, 2014 | In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target’s computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.
  • Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem” | by YIREN LU, The New York Times, March 12, 2014 | In start-up land, the young barely talk to the old (and vice versa). That makes for a lot of cool apps. But great technology? Not so much.
  • My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Poor” | by JOSEPH WILLIAMS, The Atlantic, March 11, 2014 | After veteran reporter Joseph Williams lost his job, he found employment in a sporting-goods store. In a personal essay, he recalls his struggles with challenges millions of Americans return to day after day.
  • A Relentless Widening of Disparity in Wealth” | by Eduardo Porter, The New York Times, March 11, 2014 | Glancing back across history from the present-day United States, it looks as if Kuznets’s curve swerved way off target. Wages have been depressed for years. Profits account for the largest share of national income since the 1930s. The richest 10 percent of Americans take a larger slice of the economic pie than they did in 1913, at the peak of the Gilded Age.
  • Dianne Feinstein Calls Out the C.I.A.” | by AMY DAVIDSON, The New Yorker, March 11, 2014 | Dianne Feinstein accused the Agency of sabotaging the oversight efforts of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which she chairs, and thus the separation of powers; engaging in “a potential effort to intimidate this staff,” by accusing them of “hacking”; breaking its word; and maybe breaking the law. “Besides the constitutional implications, the C.I.A. search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the C.I.A. from conducting domestic searches or surveillance,” she said.
  • An online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee calls for bill of rights for web” | by Jemima Kiss, The Guardian, March 11, 2014 | The inventor of the world wide web believes an online “Magna Carta” is needed to protect and enshrine the independence of the medium he created and the rights of its users worldwide.
  • Eight Pronunciation Errors That Made the English Language What it is Today” | by David Shariatmadari, The Guardian, March 11, 2014 | Error is the engine of language change, and today’s mistake could be tomorrow’s vigorously defended norm. There are lots of wonderful examples of alternative pronunciations or missteps that have become standard usage. Here are some of my favourites, complete with fancy technical names.
  • The ‘Boys’ in the Bunkhouse” | by DAN BARRY, The New York Times, March 9, 2014 | For more than 30 years, he and a few dozen other men with intellectual disabilities — affecting their reasoning and learning — lived in a dot of a place called Atalissa, about 100 miles south of here. Every morning before dawn, they were sent to eviscerate turkeys at a processing plant, in return for food, lodging, the occasional diversion and $65 a month. For more than 30 years. Their supervisors never received specialized training; never tapped into Iowa’s social service system; never gave the men the choices in life granted by decades of advancement in disability civil rights. Increasingly neglected and abused, the men remained in heartland servitude for most of their adult lives.
  • New Ozone-Destroying Chemicals Found in Atmosphere” | by Damian Carrington, The Guardian, March 9, 2014 | Mysterious compounds undermining recovery of giant ozone hole over Antarctica, scientists warn. Newly discovered greenhouse gas ‘7,000 times more powerful than CO2.’
  • The Data Brokers: Selling Your Personal Information” | by Steve Kroft, 60 Minutes, March 9, 2014 | Over the past six months or so, a huge amount of attention has been paid to government snooping, and the bulk collection and storage of vast amounts of raw data in the name of national security. What most of you don’t know, or are just beginning to realize, is that a much greater and more immediate threat to your privacy is coming from thousands of companies you’ve probably never heard of, in the name of commerce. (VIDEO: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/the-data-brokers-selling-your-personal-information)
  • Victims’ Families: Release Secret ‘Saudi’ 9/11 Report” | by Paul Sperry, The New York Post, March 8, 2014 | Some information already has leaked and it points back to Saudi Arabia, home to 15 of the hijackers. Riyadh denies any role in 9/11, but the CIA in one memo reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi government officials helped the hijackers both financially and logistically. Intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy and its consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an attack by a foreign state presumed to be an ally.
  • The Top of America” | by Josh Sanburn, TIME, 2014 | After 12 years of anticipation, the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere is ready for its close-up. How 10,000 workers lifted 104 floors, gave new life to an international symbol and created one spectacular view.
  • I’m Being Followed: How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Me on the Web” | By ALEXIS C. MADRIGAL, The Atlantic, February 29, 2012 | Who are the companies following and tracking us on the Internet and what do they want from us? A voyage into the invisible business that funds the web. (Worth a re-read.)


And in case you missed it, for a little humor, here is President Obama’s appearance on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis that has gotten so much publicity: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/18e820ec3f/between-two-ferns-with-zach-galifianakis-president-barack-obama.


Happy reading and I hope you enjoy the articles. -Martie




Martie Hevia (c) All Rights Reserved

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