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January 14, 2014

D.C. Court of Appeals strikes down FCC net neutrality regulations

  • 2010 The Federal Communications Commission adopted the Open Internet Order, a set of rules dictating how internet service providers could/couldn’t prioritize web traffic; fulfilling a campaign promise from President Obama to continue protecting net neutrality during his time in office.
  • 2014 A federal judge in Washington D.C. struck down the rules adopted under the Open Internet order, saying that the FCC over-stepped its boundaries by implementing the new regulations on ISPs and that Congress would need to formally classify companies like Verizon and Comcast as “common carriers” if it believed the FCC should have the same ability to regulate ISPs as it does telecommunications providers. source
16:16 // 7 months ago
January 13, 2014

Rich people fighting, basic cable edition

  • courting Earlier today, Charter Communications made public a letter its CEO sent to Time Warner Cable’s CEO, asking to buy the company for a cool $61 billion. “We are fully prepared to finalize a deal on an extremely expedited basis. We believe that time is of the essence to prepare our companies to meet the challenges of the industry, which is why we have decided to announce the status of our discussions to date to both sets of shareholders,” Charter CEO Tom Rutledge wrote. The company has tried multiple times to make this merger happen.
  • denying Soon after that letter showed up, Time Warner Cable released a letter of its own, turning down the offer—again. “We gave Charter our bottom line, but rather than pursuing this path, Charter has chosen to go public with its third low-ball offer trying to pressure TWC’s Board into selling the Company at a grossly inadequate price,” TWC CEO Rob Marcus said in a statement. Dude, she said no.
19:21 // 7 months ago
January 9, 2014

History repeats itself, McDonald’s coffee edition.

  • 1994 A jury awarded $2.9 million to a woman who suffered third-degree burns after spilling a cup of hot coffee purchased from a McDonald’s in Albuquerque, NM. The ruling drew global media attention, and ultimately lead McDonald’s to begin printing a warning on all its coffee cups going forward.
  • 2014 A California resident is clearly hoping history will repeat itself, having filed suit against the burger franchise after spilling a cup of coffee she purchased at the McDonald’s on Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles. Thursday’s filing doesn’t include any specific information on the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, but does claim the lid for the woman’s coffee cup was “negligently, carelessly and improperly” attached. Anybody think this will work?
15:14 // 7 months ago
January 8, 2014

U.S. Military reports two helicopter crashes in as many days

  • Yesterday A U.S. military helicopter crashed on the eastern coast of England, killing all four of the crew members on-board, during a low-level training exercise taking place near RAF Station Lakenheath.
  • Today A U.S. Navy helicopter crashed off the coast of Virginia. Though it was originally believed all five of the air transport’s crew members were alive and accounted for, updated reports have confirmed one crew member died several hours after being rescued and that another is still missing at this time. The military has yet to identify a cause for either crash at this time.

Editor’s Note: We’ve updated the post to reflect the latest information on Wednesday’s crash, and will continue to monitor the situation throughout the day. — Scott @ SFB

15:45 // 7 months ago
January 2, 2014

Destruction of Syrian government’s chemical weapons already behind schedule

  • Last Month A new plan was unveiled that would see a number of countries join together, under the supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, to oversee the complete destruction of the Syrian government’s chemical weapons. The process would begin in January, and was expected to take no longer than sixty days to complete.
  • Today A new report from The Guardian reveals the process is already several days behind schedule, and destruction of Syria’s chemical agents is unlikely to be completed by the originally proposed deadline. A variety of bureaucratic delays have held up GPS tracking devices and other technology at the Jordanian border, and many of the weapons have apparently not even been prepared for transportation.
15:14 // 8 months ago
December 16, 2013

Pope Francis drops a conservative Cardinal like a bad habit

  • Last week American Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said this about Pope Francis and the culture wars: “One gets the impression, or it’s interpreted this way in the media, that he thinks we’re talking too much about abortion, too much about the integrity of marriage as between one man and one woman. But we can never talk enough about that.”
  • This week Pope Francis removed Cardinal Burke from the Congregation for Bishops, a powerful Vatican committee, replacing him with the more moderate American Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who isn’t known for stepping in the middle of the culture wars very often. Some are taking it as a sign that Francis wants a more inclusive Church. source
23:00 // 8 months ago
December 14, 2013

Two countries doing interesting things in spaceflight that aren’t the United States

  • China In the first landing of its kind in more than three decades, China just dropped a fresh probe onto the Moon, according to recent reports. The Soviet Union last did a soft landing on the moon way back in 1976.
  • Iran Not to be outdone, Iran sent another monkey into space today. It’s their second, and part of an ambitious plan to launch human spaceflight from the country.
10:39 // 8 months ago
December 11, 2013

Latest Healthcare.gov stats look better, still not great

  • June Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters that the Obama Administration was looking to have at least 7 million consumers enrolled in new health insurance plans by the end of March 2014.
  • December The White House has admitted that getting 7 million people enrolled by March 2014 is basically impossible, revealing that only 365,000 applications have been filed via Healthcare.gov during the site’s first two months of operation. That’s still not even 50 percent of the 800,000 people that the Obama Administration was hoping to have enrolled by the end of October. source
15:44 // 8 months ago
December 5, 2013

New information has emerged on yesterday’s theft in Mexico

  • Yesterday Dozens of nations took notice when a truck carrying radioactive waste was hijacked in Mexico, leading to fears that an unknown party now had the means of creating a so-called “dirty bomb”. Fortunately, local authorities recovered the radioactive materials on Wednesday, after it was ditched in a field by those who stole it.
  • Today Authorities released a bit more information about the heist, revealing that the truck was stolen at a gas station where its drivers were passing time until the waste could be delivered to the proper facilities. The thieves have not been found/arrested yet, but were apparently exposed to so much radiation during their time in possession of the truck that authorities say they are either already dead or don’t have long left. source
15:14 // 9 months ago
December 4, 2013
  • September 2013 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to hand over his government’s stockpile of chemical weapons and sign the Geneva convention as part of an agreement that would prevent the U.S. military from carrying out airstrikes inside the country.
  • January 2014 A team of 36 technicians will begin neutralizing Syria’s recently surrendered chemical agents from all of the confiscated weapons, under supervision of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, with hopes of completing the process no longer than 60 days after work begins. source
17:48 // 9 months ago