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A scheduled House Rules Committee hearing on the GOP leadership’s plan to reopen the government and avert the debt ceiling deadline was postponed Tuesday evening, signaling that support for the measure within the GOP caucus was in jeopardy.
My sources tell me House Republicans will likely postpone tonight’s vote on their plan to end the fiscal impasse. “The votes aren’t there,” says a leadership aide. “We’ve been amending the bill all day, but we’ve been unable to get people around this strategy.”
This development leaves Speaker John Boehner with few options as Thursday’s debt-ceiling deadline nears, and it throws the action back toward the Senate, which has been working on a bipartisan package.
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President Barack Obama spoke with House Speaker John Boehner on Friday but did not wholly accept the House Republican plan to open government, raise the debt ceiling and open budget talks, sources said.
“The President and the Speaker spoke by telephone a few minutes ago. They agreed that we should all keep talking,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner.
Senior Republican sources say Obama is amenable to changes to mandatory and discretionary spending, but needs Republicans to commit to increasing governmental revenue.
NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenyan officials said security forces controlled nearly all of an upscale mall on Monday, two days after it was seized by members of a Somali terrorist group who invaded with guns blazing, killing at least 62 people.
Four thunderous explosions reverberated through a Nairobi neighborhood in the morning, raising fears for the lives of any remaining hostages still being held by al-Shabab, a Somali armed Islamic group linked with al-Qaida, in the Westgate Mall.
Three attackers had been killed in the fighting Monday, officials said, and more than 10 suspects arrested. Eleven Kenyan soldiers were wounded in the running gun battles. By evening, Kenyan security officials were claiming the upper hand.
Kenya’s interior minister said the evacuation of hostages “has gone very, very well” and that Kenyan officials are “very certain” that there are few if any hostages left in the building.
Six of the world’s top 10 universities are in America, the U.S. has the most gold medals, and Americans make the most money per year, notes BuzzFeed. But if you want the fastest Internet speed around, you’ll need your passport to go overseas. While some countries make Internet access a right and speed a priority, Internet speeds in the U.S. rank anywhere from ninth to 27th in the world. So, where can you find the fastest connections?
Most observers agree Hong Kong has the fastest Internet connections. Its average speed is reported to be as high as 64.6 megabits per second (mbps) – three times faster than the world average. There’s some variety among the lists that rank nations by Internet speed, but all agree Asian nations are doing quite well. Japan (44.2 mbps), South Korea (48.8 mbps) and Singapore (30.7 mbps) deliver faster Internet connections than the U.S.
Smaller European Nations Deliver Fast Connections
Several smaller European nations also appear on top 10 lists, including Romania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria. In Northern Europe, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Sweden offer super-fast Internet speeds. Unlike the Asian nations, these are not countries particularly noted for high tech dominance. So why are they leaving the U.S. behind?
Private Internet Access Versus Public Support
Simply put, Internet service is sort of like healthcare. It needs sound support and maybe some nudging from government to work for more, if not most, people. Plus, the U.S. is much larger than the top 10 nations, making access and speed far more challenging.
Many of the top 10 nations consider Internet access an actual right of the people, an intriguing view on democracy. Their governments encourage Internet Service Providers to enter local markets and compete with one another on price and speed. And these nations have far less geography to cover than the U.S.
Internet Speed and Global Competition
Remember the last time you dealt with a slow Internet connection? Think about how this impacts a large global business. Could slow Internet kill some business opportunities? Would a high-tech or financial powerhouse prefer South Korea, which offers faster and cheaper Internet speed, to the U.S.?
If we really want faster Internet connectivity, perhaps we need something similar to the 1935 Rural Electrification Act that brought electricity and telephone service to 98 percent of all Americans, as Internet specialist and former Obama advisor Susan Crawford suggests. In fact, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $7.2 billion to support broadband improvements.
The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, a nonprofit that researches ways for technology to support the economy, suggests that internet service providers should focus on to delivering moderate speed Internet to private homes, rather than try to meet the high-speed service for which businesses have a stronger need.
Richard Bennett, an analyst with the Foundation, also points out that American consumers and businesses are accustomed to wireless Internet access, and recommends focusing efforts here, as well. Mobile platforms developed by cell phone providers are growing steadily and increasing in speed. “The battle,” he notes, “isn’t just about faster networks, it’s about more kinds of networks that let us do more things.”
In the meantime, can anyone recommend a nice Internet cafe in Hong Kong?
Creative Commons image of Hong Kong by Zachary Baumgartner
Affleck said he spotted JT making half-court shots on the basketball court in suits and that he was invited to go golfing with the singer, but he politely declined because he didn’t want to take the risk of embarrassing himself.
Be careful what you do in front of your baby monitor, TV and other seemingly innocent household appliances. You never know who is watching you through them. Long gone are the days when you could expect reasonable privacy within your own home. These days, hackers and the government can watch you through just about anything that’s electronic. How is a concerned mom supposed to keep her family safe if even the microwave can report what you’re doing? First, arm yourself with knowledge of which items in your home are most vulnerable. These are the top four household appliances that could be spying on you as we speak.
1. Your Television
Today’s modern TVs are very intuitive. They keep a record of what shows you watch and guess which ones you will probably enjoy. Some of them even record shows for you without you asking, just because your previous viewing habits suggest the show is something you’ll appreciate finding on your DVR. It’s convenient, yes, but it’s also kind of creepy.
What’s even creepier is the potential for spying involved in all of this intuitive programming. Intuitive TVs connect to the Internet.This makes them vulnerable to hacking. ReVuln, a computer security company, recently demonstrated how easily Samsung’s new TVs could be hacked. The company showed how it could go through Internet connections and access user settings, change them, and collect personal data on users.
Most disturbing of all, the company showed how hackers could turn on the cameras that are included in each TV and use them to watch people as they watched their TVs. Other TVs presumably have this same vulnerability.
2. Your Kitchen Appliances
Yes, kitchen appliances now connect to the Internet. This makes things like your dishwasher, refrigerator and even your coffee maker potential spying tools. Why would appliances need to be online? Manufacturers say the internet connectivity helps them troubleshoot problems for you without having to send out a technician. Internet connectivity for appliances also enables you to operate your appliances remotely from any mobile device.
Criminals who hack your appliances could learn your schedule from your use of them and rob you when they know you’re not likely to be home. Think twice before deciding the convenience of telling your coffee maker to brew you a cup while you’re on your way home from work is worth the risk of Mr. Coffee being a double agent. If you’re going to connect any of your home appliances to the Internet, at least give yourself a fighting chance against hackers by installing wireless home security from Lifeshield.com.
3. Your Baby Monitor
How’s this for scary? A couple in Texas was recently horrified to learn that their two-year-old daughter’s baby monitor had been hacked by a stranger. The anonymous hacker was able to call out the girl’s name through the monitor. How did he know her name? He was able to see it on the wall of her bedroom (and likely the baby herself) through the monitor’s camera.
This was all made possible because the monitor was connected to the couple’s wireless service in their house so it could be controlled from remote locations. In this case, the remote location turned out to be that of a very scary hacker. This gives a whole new meaning to the term “stranger danger.”
Hacking could actually be fatal in some cases. Last year, professional corporate hacker Barnaby Jack (who gets paid to discover security holes in electronics) proved he could hack an electronic insulin pump. With that ability, he could theoretically kill the person with the pump from as far as 300 feet away by directing the pump to deliver extra insulin. This year, he did the same thing with implanted defibrillators and pacemakers. Presumably, this ability could extend to other electronic medical devices that have internet connectivity so medical companies can monitor them from distant locations. It’s a good thing Barnaby Jack is one of the good guys.
Photo used with permission via Flickr user OliBac.
Author : Tracey Thomson
Tracey is a blogger who covers the tech industry.
Smith is recovering from offseason knee surgery and might not be ready for the beginning of the regular season.
The NBA says Smith’s suspension will begin with the first game for which he is eligible and physically able to play.
The Knicks re-signed Smith in July to a three-year contract worth approximately $18 million, with a player option for the third year.
Shortly after he re-signed, Smith underwent patellar tendon surgery and an arthroscopy for a tear in the lateral meniscus of his left knee. He could miss all of training camp and the first two weeks of the regular season, according to a timetable provided by the team.
The 27-year-old averaged 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season and won the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award. He played an integral role in the Knicks’ regular-season success but struggled mightily in the playoffs, making just 33 percent of his field goal attempts.
Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, a player loses 1/110th of his salary for each game he is suspended, so the five-game ban will cost Smith approximately $252,000.
The NBA declined to comment specifically on Smith’s violation. According to a summary of the program provided by the league, a third positive test for marijuana results in a suspension that is “five games longer than the player’s immediately-preceding marijuana suspension.” That is the sole scenario in which a five-game ban is administered.
(Reuters) – Vodafone’s exit from the United States in a $130 billion deal expected to be sealed on Monday will give it a war chest to make acquisitions even after it rewards its shareholders.
The board of Verizon Communication will meet on Monday morning New York time to vote on buying out Vodafone from its joint venture, meaning a full announcement could come after the London market close, sources said.
Assuming Vodafone receives $116-132 billion from the sale of Verizon Wireless, analysts at Citigroup estimated it could distribute $40 billion in cash and Verizon common stock to shareholders, and still have $30-38 billion in deferred proceeds after paying tax and reducing debt.
With that cash pile, Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao will have to build a new future for the world’s second-biggest telecom operator now that it can no longer rely on its U.S. unit to drive growth and provide billions in cash for dividends.
Investment bankers and analysts are already speculating. They say it’s too early to know whether Colao will beef up in Europe, look at new countries such as Brazil or even attempt a re-entry to the U.S. market via acquisition.
Some fans are just too eager.
Justin Bieber had to deal with one such overzealous fan last night at a nightclub in Toronto, Canada, reports TMZ. The website obtained a couple photos that show Bieber with an expression of shock and/or disgust on his face, being moved aside by his security as an unidentified flailing arm tries to reach him.
According to TMZ, around 3 a.m. a male party-goer tried to tackle the Biebes but the crooner’s bodyguards stopped him in his tracks. Bieber was thankfully unharmed.
A request for comment made to Bieber’s reps was not immediately answered.
Just last May, Bieber suffered another “attack” when an adoring fan managed to climb on stage in Dubai and touch him. The unwanted guest was quickly removed from the premises.