Cow/Cabbage: The US, which turns a blind eye to banks laundering drug money and corporate tax evasion, insists that Microsoft – and everyone else – has to turn over all of the information it has on everyone, no matter where that information is stored. In this case, Dublin. The Obama administration claims that all of the information on all of the Internet servers in the world is subject to its beck and call, and that the US has the right to issue warrants for that information even if it is outside the US. Curious how the priorities match up.
Oil, Peeking: BP says that the world will run out of oil in 53.3 years. Exactly. Guess they don't buy the fracking cornucopia thing.
Paying the Piper: Nomura, the Japanese financial holding company, is demanding Portugal's Espirito Santo group repay over €100 million of outstanding loans. Which the bank cannot do, which could lead to a chain reaction of defaults in the Espirito Santo group. There is no government bailout coming (Portugal has no money), so confiscation of bank accounts seems more than possible. Yes, the euro problem is fixed. They say. But this is not going to end well, nor just in Portugal.
Crime, Paying: Citigroup has agreed to bribe the federales $7 billion to go away, leaving the banksters with their profits and their bonuses. No, they don't get a Get Out Of Jail Free card – they're bankers and not a damned one of them is ever going to go to jail.
Shuffling Off: William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary has abruptly resigned. Most likely to spend more time with his family or some such. There is no suggestion that this is in any way connected to the current uproar over child abuse by politicians dating back to Maggie Thatcher's days. Coincidences do happen.
Plastic, Plastic Everywhere: Plastic, that handy, lightweight, nearly indestructible stuff is... well, indestructible. We throw a lot of it away, but for plastic there is no 'away'. Most of it ends up in landfills, where it will sit for a few thousand years. A tiny bit, about 9% of the US share, gets recycled. A lot of it ends up in the ocean, about a million tons so far. Of that vast amount, about 35,000 t ons has ended up in those swirling garbage patches – every ocean has at least one of them. But the 965,000 plus other tons of seaborne plastic has just 'disappeared'. But plastic doesn't simply disappear. It'll be back. Shut up and eat your fish.
Protecting And Self-Serving: Cops in Durham, NC do not need warrants to enter private homes. All they need is to pretend a 9-1-1 call was made from that address. A cell-phone 911 hangup worked best.
De Rerum Natura: Physicists were delighted to finally 'discover' the long theorized missing bit of the quantum picture, the Higgs boson/field. But if the theory behind the Higgs is right then the essential finagle factor that lets physicists pretend they know everything – the cosmological inflation that purportedly occurred immediately after the big bang – can't be true. If the Higgs and the cosmological inflation are both valid explanations of reality, then reality – the universe as we experience it - shouldn't exist. Back to the drawing board.
Be Prepared: Qatar, with a population of 2 million and an area about one-third the size of Vermont, is buying $11 billion worth of Patriot missiles and Apache attack helicopters. Apparently the neighborhood is going to hell.
Hope: The FBI spent a billion dollars developing facial recognition software to help them identify and catch the bad guys. It misidentifies folks one out of seven tries. Facebook's 'you've been tagged' system is right 97% of the time. The private sector invades your privacy better than some of the feds, which is not overly reassuring.
Porn O'Graph: Let us count the waves.