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11 Jul 18:14

Every Dutch citizen will live within 31 miles of an electric vehicle charging station by 2015

by Amar Toor

The Dutch government plans to roll out a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations within the next two years, as part of a push to facilitate more environmentally-friendly transport. ABB, a Switzerland-based power and automation company, announced this week that it is teaming up with Dutch startup Fastned to install EV chargers at more than 200 stations across the Netherlands, with at least one station every 50 kilometers (31 miles). With more than 16 million inhabitants, the Netherlands is, to date, the most populous country to implement a nationwide EV charging network.

According to ABB, its 50 kilowatt Terra fast chargers are capable of charging an electric car within 15 to 30 minutes. The first chargers will be...

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10 Jul 11:44

Vergewaltigungen auf Tahrir-Platz - Im Revolutionsgetümmel werden Frauen zu Freiwild

10 Jul 11:28


10 Jul 10:24

Die Leiden der Yakuza - Japanische Mafia startet Anwerbeoffensive

Nachwuchssorgen bei der japanischen Mafia: Wegen schärferen Gesetzen sind den Yakuza tausende Anhänger weggelaufen. Nun startet der größte Clan eine Mitgliederoffensive.
10 Jul 09:54

Raummodul kann an ISS andocken: Astronauten schließen Außeneinsatz ab

Schneller als gedacht, bereiten zwei Astronauten die Internationale Raumstation ISS auf die Ankunft eines russischen Raummoduls vor. In nur sechs Stunden schließen sie ihren Außeneinsatz ab. Für einen der beiden Astronauten war der Weltraumspaziergang ein besonderes Privileg.
10 Jul 09:53

Nur noch zwei Stufen über Ramsch: S&P stuft Italiens Bonität herab

Italien befindet sich in der längsten Rezessionsphase seit dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs. Dazu kommt eine Rekord-Arbeitslosigkeit und ein Schuldenberg, der von der Wirtschaftskraft des Eurozonen-Landes nicht mehr aufgefangen wird. Nun droht eine weitere Verschärfung der Finanzlage.
10 Jul 09:53

Von wegen "Altes Medium": Deutsche hören täglich drei Stunden Radio

Trotz starker Konkurrenz wie Smartphone, Tablet-Computer und Fernsehen: Nach wie vor schalten die meisten Menschen in Deutschland regelmäßig und stundenlang das Radio ein, wenn sie Musik hören oder sich informieren wollen. Allen Unkenrufen zum Trotz: das angeblich alte Medium hält sich wacker.
10 Jul 09:52

Monsters University: what's it like to work at Pixar?

by Chris Bell
Are Pixar's films as much fun to work on as they are to watch? Chris Bell visits the company's California HQ to find out.

10 Jul 09:48

Pirate Bay founder creating surveillance-free messaging app

by Dara Kerr
Looking to develop a way to block the government and private companies from monitoring people's messages, Peter Sunde is working on an app called Hemlis "where no one can spy on you, not even us." [Read more]

10 Jul 09:46

Hackers Attacked Microsoft Computers Using An Exploit A Google Engineer Made Public Months Ago

by Reuters

Microsoft Build Event Windows 8.1 Multiple displays

BOSTON (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said hackers have attacked some computers by exploiting a bug in Windows first disclosed two months ago by a Google Inc researcher, who came under fire at the time for publicizing the flaw without going to the software company first.

Microsoft provided few details about the attacks. In an advisory on Tuesday, it said hackers had launched "targeted attacks," a term generally used by security experts to refer to cyber attacks on corporate or government targets, with espionage and sabotage as the motive.

Google security engineer Tavis Ormandy's disclosure in May was controversial because he posted technical information on the Web that described the bug in the Windows operating system, which some experts said could help malicious hackers launch attacks, before Microsoft had released software to fix it.

Officials with Microsoft declined to comment when asked if they believed Ormandy's disclosure of the vulnerability had led to the attacks.

Ormandy also drew attention because he lashed out in a blog posting at long-time Google rival Microsoft, saying that its security division was difficult to work with. He advised other researchers to use pseudonyms and anonymous email when communicating with the software maker.

"It leaves a slightly bad taste in the mouth to see somebody who is a Google security researcher have a pop at Microsoft," said Graham Cluley, an independent security researcher.

Ormandy could not be reached. A Google spokesman declined comment, saying that Ormandy's Windows project was personal and not related to his work for the company.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

Copyright (2013) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions

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10 Jul 09:45

The 10-Year Yield Is A Whopping 4 Standard Deviations From Its Long-Average

by Lance Roberts

liberty bonds crowd rally

I have been very vocal since the beginning of June that now is a great time to be adding bonds to portfolios.  (See here and here There are several fundamental reasons for my belief that the recent rise in interest rates was more related to a short term liquidation cycle rather than a shift in global economic sentiment.

1) Domestic economic strength remains very weak (growing at just 1.8% annually since 2000)

2) Four years into the current "recovery" the economy is already past the average length of most growth cycles.  Interest rates fall during down cycles.

3) Geopolitical unrest makes U.S. Treasuries an attractive "safe haven" for foreign capital flows.

4) Global economic weakness (China, Euro-zone and Japan) will likely drive buying of U.S. Treasuries.

5) Upcoming "debt ceiling" and budget debate in September likely to drive inflows into the safety of bonds as we saw in 2011.

6) If the Federal Reserve begins to extract liquidity by slowing bond purchases - financial markets are likely to come under selling pressure pushing money flows from equities into bonds.

7) Declining rates of inflation which are representative of economic weakness.

8) Ultra-low interest rate policies by the Fed continue to push investors to seek yield over cash.   The recent rise in rates makes bond yields much more attractive.

However, even if you disagree with the fundamental arguments, it is hard to argue against one of the most compelling reasons for buying bonds which has 35 years of history supporting it.   I discussed this particular reason during a Fox Business interview recently stating that: 

"Interest rates are now 4-standard deviations above their long term moving average."

As shown in the chart below the driving force behind the long term decline in interest rates has been the ongoing slide in both economic activity and inflationary pressures.  Interest rates track the direction, and trend, of economic activity as does inflation.  Less demand in the economy leads to declines in prices (deflation) and interest rates.


There are two important things to take away from the chart above.  The first is that, as I have notated with blue arrows, is that each time interest rates have spiked it has led to a peak in economic activity.  You can already see that economic growth has peaked for the current economic cycle which has led to a subsequent decline in inflationary pressures.  Secondly, most of the commentary surrounding the reason that rates are on track to go higher is based on the the similar spike seen in 1994.  First, that spike in rates led to a sharp slowdown in economic activity and rates quickly fell.  Secondly, the economy was in the midst of a secular growth cycle due to the "Internet/financial boom" which currently does not exist today. 

The next chart, however, is the "technical" reason as to why I think now is the time to start acquiring bonds.  Again, you can argue the fundamental story, depending on how you want to selectively build your economic "case", however, it is difficult to argue with 35 years of interest rate history.  The chart below shows the 10-year treasury rate on a weekly basis with bands set at 4-standard deviations above and below the 50-week moving average.  The green shaded area is the current downward trend that has remained intact post the interest rate spike in the late 70's.  

Interest Rate BuyHistory 070913.PNG

What is important to notice is that there have only been a few times in history that rates have gotten to 4-standard deviations above the long-term moving average.  Every single time, as noted by the vertical red dashed lines, such extreme movements in rates has been a peak in rates for the intermediate term.  Most recently these extreme spikes were witnessed prior to the recession following the "technology bubble" in 2000 and the "housing bubble / financial crisis" in 2008.

The blue shaded area at the bottom of the chart shows the current range of interest rates that are likely to occur given the context of the downtrend.   The peak of that range is 3% on the 10-year treasury and the bottom of that downtrend would suggest rates on the 10-year during the next recession to fall below my current estimate of 1%.

There are many reasons to own bonds in portfolios as they have a capital preservation function by returning principal at maturity, creating an income stream and lowering portfolio volatility.  However, there are three reasons to add bonds to portfolios currently:

1) As discussed recently investors tend to do the opposite of what they should investment wise by panic selling market bottoms and buying market tops.  Currently, unlike the stock market which remains extremely overbought on an intermediate term basis, bonds have had a substantial correction in price which now makes them technically very attractive in the short term for a trading opportunity.

2) The "quest for yield" isn't over as long as the Federal Reserve continues to keep "accommodative rate policies" in place that keep money market rates near zero.  With "baby boomers" rapidly heading into retirement, following two nasty bear markets that took away 50% of wealth, the allure of "safety" and "income" are the keys to their current psyche.

3) Money flows into U.S. Treasuries will likely increase as the slowdown in European, and Asian, economies seek safety and stability of the U.S.  As pointed out by Jeff Gundlach, manager of Doubleline Total Return Bond Fund, recently reiterated the same call stating:

"The liquidation cycle appears to have run its course with emerging market bonds, U.S. junk bonds, muni's and MBS—all of which substantially underperformed Treasuries during the rate rise—now recovering sharply,"

With the reality that the economy has likely peaked for this current economic cycle, deflationary pressures rising and the potential for less monetary interventions in the quarters ahead the catalysts for higher bond prices are tilted in investors favor currently.  As I stated previously:

"Investors are panic selling what is likely an intermediate term bottom in bond prices and holding onto to equities in what is clearly one of the most overbought, valued and extended markets since 2000 or 2007. While the mainstream market analysis continues to tout 'buy and hold' strategies - statistical evidence clearly weighs in favor of a rather significant correction at some point in the not so distant future. While timing of such an event is difficult at best, given the extreme amounts of artificial intervention by Central Banks globally, the impact to investors portfolios devastate retirement plans."

For all of these reasons I am bullish on the bond market through the end of this year. Furthermore, with market volatility rising, economic weakness creeping in and plenty of catalysts to send stocks lower - bonds will continue to hedge long only portfolios against meaningful market declines while providing an income stream.

Will the "bond bull" market eventually come to an end? Yes, it will, eventually. However, the catalysts needed to create the type of economic growth required to drive interest rates substantially higher, as we saw previous to the 1980's, are simply not available currently. This will likely be the case for many years to come as the Fed, and the administration, come to the inevitable conclusion that we are now in a "liquidity trap" along with the bulk of developed countries.

While there is certainly not a tremendous amount of downside left for interest rates to fall in the current environment - there is also not a tremendous amount of room for them to rise until they begin to negatively impact consumption, housing and investment. It is likely that we will remain trapped within the current trading range for quite a while longer as the economy continues to "muddle" along.

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10 Jul 09:43

Neuer Spitzenreiter - USA sind nicht mehr die fetteste Industrienation

Die Amerikaner sind nicht mehr die dicksten unter den Bewohnern entwickelter Länder, sondern ihre Nachbarn aus Mexiko. Auf Platz drei hingegen liegt ein Land, das man dort nicht erwartet hätte.

10 Jul 09:43

Radioaktivität wieder gestiegen - Held von Fukushima an Krebs gestorben

Nach dem verheerenden Tsunami in Fukushima hat Reaktorchef Masao Yoshida noch versucht, eine Katastrophe zu verhindern. Jetzt ist der 58-Jährige tot. Unterdessen meldet der Kraftwerksbetreiber Alarmierendes.

10 Jul 09:41

7 People Who Were Arrested Because Of Something They Wrote On Facebook

by Alyson Shontell

Cameron D'Ambrosio

Many people exercise poor judgement on Facebook, a site where Freedom of Speech may no longer apply.

Recently, young Facebook users that have posted controversial status messages have ended up in jail. 

Sometimes the messages they typed were actually offensive. Other times they were jokes gone terribly wrong. One teen was even arrested for posting violent rap lyrics.

Most of the time, the Facebook offenders are impulsive. They think before they type, and lately they've had to pay serious consequences.

Justin Carter is a 19-year-old who is currently in jail for leaving a "sarcastic" comment on Facebook about "shooting up a kindergarten."

Justin Carter is a 19-year-old who has been in jail since February 2013.

The reason: he was allegedly insulted by a fellow League of Legends gamer who questioned his mental state and retorted:

"I think Ima shoot up a kindergarten / And watch the blood of the innocent rain down/ And eat the beating heart of one of them."

The comment worried a Canadian woman who tipped authorities. Carter's house was searched, his computer was taken, and he was arrested. He's currently awaiting a trial even though he and his family maintain that the Facebook messages were meant to be sarcastic.

Last October, another 19-year-old, Matt Woods was sentenced to three months in jail for making sick jokes about missing children on Facebook.

A teenager in England, Matthew Woods, was sentenced to three months in jail after making numerous inappropriate comments about a five year old, April Jones and a four year old, Madeleine McCann, who disappeared, according to The Daily Mail.

The offensive comments stemmed from Sickipedia, a site that encourages the swapping of tasteless jokes.

Woods' Facebook messages included: "I woke up this morning in the back of a transit van with two beautiful little girls, I found April in a hopeless place." and "Who in their right mind would abduct a ginger kid?"

Woods' mother wasn't pleased. Daily Mail says she wrote a follow up message, "You should stop and think things out before opening ya gob," at which point Woods wrote an apology and said he had been drunk while writing the messages.

Still, an angry mob showed up at Woods' house and the court was notified of the offensive comments. Woods was told at the time of his sentence, "This was a disgusting and despicable crime which the bench finds completely abhorrent...We felt there was no other sentence which would convey the abhorrence that many people have for this sort of crime."

Jordan Blackshaw and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan were given a 4-year jail sentence after they created a Facebook event encouraging a riot.

Jordan Blackshaw, 20, and Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan, 22, used Facebook to try and encourage a riot in England and they were sentenced to four years in prison. Blackshaw created a Facebook event for "Smash Down in Northwich Town." Sutcliffe-Keenan used a Facebook account to create a page for The Warrington Riots.

From The Guardian:

 "Sentencing Blackshaw to four years in a young offenders institution, Judge Elgan Edwards QC said he had committed an 'evil act'. He said: 'This happened at a time when collective insanity gripped the nation. Your conduct was quite disgraceful and the title of the message you posted on Facebook chills the blood.'"

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

10 Jul 09:40

30,000 California Prisoners Launch The Largest Hunger Strike In State History

by Rory Carroll, The Guardian

california prison overcrowding readingAn estimated 30,000 inmates in jails across California are participating in a hunger strike to protest against solitary confinement and other conditions they say amount to torture.

Prisoners refused meals for a second day on Tuesday in about two dozen jails, signalling what was thought to be the biggest protest of its kind in California's history.

The campaign is a ramped-up sequel to hunger strikes in 2011, which shone international attention on the state's troubled penal system but failed to wring significant concessions from authorities.

A group of inmates at the maximum security Pelican Bay state prison in Crescent City has organised the protest, saying they will starve themselves unless the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) agrees to meaningful negotiations.

At any one time, California holds about 12,000 inmates in extreme isolation, including some who have been in windowless boxes known as security housing units (SHUs) for decades. They are allowed out for an hour a day to exercise – some in a yard, others in a kennel-size cage.

Supporters say the strike is a legitimate response to cruel and inhumane conditions. "The use of prolonged solitary confinement is a form of torture," said Laura Downton, director for US Policy and Program at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. "We stand with them in their call for five core demands."

The strikers have issued a number of demands, including the end to group punishment, an overhaul to the policy of identifying suspected gang members, an end to long-term solitary confinement, better education and rehabilitation programmes, and the provision of adequate and nutritious food.

The principal grievance is California's unusual policy of indefinitely putting suspected gang members in solitary and moving them back into the regular jail only if they identify fellow gang members.

The protest has united black, Latino and white inmates, including members of racist gangs. "It's phenomenal. They are coming together because they know in unity is where ultimate victory lies," said Dolores Canales, co-founder of California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement.

"The mood is hopeful, but this also shows how hard things are. They are sacrificing the one thing that is given to them to keep them alive." Many family members on the outside have joined the strike, she said.

The Pelican Bay leaders had defied their isolation, and the supposed mutual loathing between racial groups, to organise the mass protest, said Laura Magnani of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker advocacy group. "Prisoners have to communicate and find ways to do it. They have a grapevine. It's amazing."

Inmates in two-thirds of the state's 33 jails, as well as four out-of-state jails, started refusing meals on Monday, said corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton. Inmates are deemed to be on hunger strike if they skip nine meals. Authorities said that about 30,000 are classified to be taking part on the action.

Meanwhile, around 2,300 prisoners also refused to turn up for work or classes, some citing illness.

At its peak, the 2011 hunger strike, also led by Pelican Bay inmates, drew about 12,000 inmates in about 11 jails. It ended after authorities promised to consider reforms.

The California assembly held hearings, and the gang validation procedure was tweaked so an inmate would be deemed a gang member based on behaviour, not on association with other inmates.

But what inmates saw as insufficient change and follow-up prompted the new protest, which has been planned for months.

"Our decision does not come lightly," said a June 20 letter from the Pelican Bay leaders. "For the past two years we've patiently kept an open dialogue with state officials, attempting to hold them to their promise to implement meaningful reforms, responsive to our demands."

It said its leaders had participated in a mediation session – ordered by a judge in their class action lawsuit – but that authorities acted in bad faith.

"Thus we are presently out of alternative options for achieving the long overdue reform to this system and, specifically, an end to state-sanctioned torture, and now we have to put our lives on the line via indefinite hunger strike to force CDCR to do what's right.

"We are certain that we will prevail … the only questions being: How many will die starvation-related deaths before state officials sign the agreement? The world is watching!"

The start of the protest, though more than double the size of the previous one, has generated some local media attention but not made national headlines as yet.

The use of solitary confinement spread from federal to state penitentiaries, especially in California, which said gang violence behind bars required isolation cells to separate the "worst of the worst".

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association, a union representing 27,400 members, has defended their right to select inmates for solitary confinement and to determine the punishment's duration, saying it helps to tamp down violence.

Terry Downton, of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, said the policy caused psychological harm and worsened violence. "After 15 days in isolation the chemistry of the brain begins to change … leading to increasing rates of hallucinations, paranoia and self-mutilation. It has become a default management tool rather than a tool of last resort."

This article originally appeared on

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10 Jul 09:40

Man catches 2,011 fish in 24 hours, not enough to beat world record

LAGRANGE, Ill., July 9 (UPI) -- A LaGrange, Ill., fisherman missed the world record for fish-catching in a 24-hour period, catching only 2,011, but says he'll be back for another try.
10 Jul 09:38

A Colorful Breakdown Of US Drug Seizures By State

by Michael Kelley

Recently we've provided illustrations on how the drug war has been a total failure and reported on America's massive meth problem.

Now, with this interactive study by, we have an idea of which states correspond most closely to which drugs.

Using, researchers mapped the last 5,000 drug busts in the U.S. to create the American Drug Landscape.

While not a definitive representation of drug use, the resulting infographic provides an interesting nationwide view of which drugs arise where.

For instance, we learned that Delaware and Pennsylvania are partial to smack. Also, meth is surprisingly prevalent in California — although the crazy spike in meth labs seems to be on the eastern side of the country.

The biggest takeaway: a total of 780,000 lbs of marijuana were reportedly seized in 2012, and weed-related busts accounted for 70.5% of the last 5,000.

Combined with the fact that domestic marijuana production is rising, what does this tell us? 

Essentially, the war on drugs is largely driven by marijuana busts.

So if more states (and/or Latin America) go the way of Colorado and Washington by legalizing weed — or the government simply stops classifying marijuana as a schedule I drug — the amount of taxpayer money spent incarcerating drug offenders would plummet overnight.

A big thanks to for sharing this vibrant graphic with us. Check it out:

Explore America's Drug Busts
find more here.

SEE ALSO: World Drug Report Reveals The Staggering Extent Of North America's Meth Problem

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10 Jul 09:37

A New Kind Of Battery Technology Could Make Gas-Powered Cars A Lot More Efficient

by Alex Davies

ford fusion times square mulally seacrest

As American automakers prepare for stricter, federally-mandated fuel efficiency standards, anything that can take a car farther on a gallon of gas is welcome news.

That's partly why start-stop technology, which saves fuel by shutting down the engine when the car stops for more than a few seconds (like at a red light), is finally picking up in the United States.

Start-stop has its problems, but a new way of making batteries could make the technology a lot more viable.

The Problems With Start-Stop

Last year, AAA predicted that 8 million cars in North America would be equipped with start-stop by 2017. That's not a huge number: Americans bought 7.2 million new passenger cars and trucks in 2012 alone. The technology is more common in Europe and Japan, where it's included in some 40% of new cars, AAA says.

While there's no doubt it saves fuel — by as much as 12% — start-stop is not good for battery life. Things like air conditioning and the radio are powered by the engine, and if it turns off at red lights, the battery has to pick up the slack — that's why the battery dies if you leave your headlights on when your car is off.

The "key limiter" of start-stop technology "has always been the performance of the battery and the cost," said Chad Lewis, Chief Global Strategy Officer of Texas-based Molecular Rebar Design (MRD), a maker of carbon nanotube technology that can be applied in cars.

In February, Panasonic released a battery system that powers the car's electronic components with energy generated by braking, which is recovered and stored in a nickel metal hydride battery that's separate from the lead acid battery under the hood.

But MRD says it has found a solution that goes to the root of the problem, by making the lead acid battery itself better. The company has published a patent for a technology, which it says will dramatically improve battery life for a variety of applications, starting with acid lead batteries.

A New Solution

carbon nanotubesThe breakthrough is a new way of using carbon nanotubes, microscopic cylinders of carbon molecules that are both extremely strong and conduct electricity. They have a lot of potential that "wasn't able to be unlocked," Lewis said, because they form in convoluted bundles (see photo at left).

Lewis compared those bundles to cotton balls, which are no good for making clothing. But in 2010, the company found a way to make them discrete — untangle them into individual pieces of thread — and much more useful.

The result is nanotube wiring that "functions just like rebar," the reinforcing steel used to make concrete stronger. 

MRD found that adding individual nanotube wires to a paste used in the production of lead acid batteries improved ion transport within the battery, making it last 50% to 70% longer, allowing it to hold a larger charge, and cutting charge time in half.

The resulting battery can also be used in addition to advances like Panasonic's system, to provide even great advantages.

The lead acid battery manufacturing process, conducted by MRD subsidiary MRLead LLC, is already underway at some offshore facilities and should start in the U.S. in the next few months, on a large-scale basis. Batteries with the technology come with a 15% to 20% markup in price, but the huge benefits in how they can be used make them a no-brainer, Lewis said.

The Best Is Yet To Come

The immediate benefits will be for lead acid batteries, and could make start-stop technology more viable. But, Lewis said, this is a "core technology that is applicable in any battery space."

That sets up MRD for its next, much more significant challenge in the auto industry: Revolutionizing the lithium-ion batteries that are the most serious obstacle keeping electric cars down.

SEE ALSO: Breathtaking Photos Of Classic Rolls-Royces On A Road Trip Through The Alps

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10 Jul 09:36

Neuer Erreger in Deutschland aufgetaucht - Gefährliche Stechmücken breiten sich aus

Forscher haben bei Mücken in Brandenburg einen gefährlichen Erreger nachgewiesen, der sonst nur in Afrika, Asien und Südeuropa vorkommt. Der Hundehautwurm kann Hirnhautentzündungen auslösen.
10 Jul 09:33

Google Play - Gutscheinkarten in Deutschland verfügbar - Mobile

Gutscheinkarten in Deutschland verfügbar weiter
09 Jul 19:25

Laser and optical glass can store data for millions of years

SOUTHAMPTON, England, July 9 (UPI) -- British researchers say a system based on lasers and optical memory glass could create a data storage system with a practically unlimited lifetime.
09 Jul 19:22

Что-то мне подсказывает, что это будут семена табака :)

Сигаретные фильтры с семенами цветов внутри.

09 Jul 19:17

This Map Of Countries That Believe Corruption Is Rising Will Depress You

by Adam Taylor

Transparency International, a non-governmental organization that publicizes official and corporate corruption, has released its Global Corruption Barometer 2013.

To create the barometer, Transparency International surveyed 114,000 respondents in 107 countries. One question these participants were asked was about whether corruption in their country had increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the past two years.

It's a depressing read. Here's the map which shows the countries where respondents believe corruption is has increased:

Corruption IncreasedAs you can see, it's a sea of red, with too many countries to list.

The U.S., almost all of Western Europe, all of South America, Russia, China, all believe that their countries have become more corrupt in the past two years.

Here's a map of the countries that believe corruption has stayed the same:

Corruption Stayed The SameIt's a very small crowd; Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Norway, Switzerland. Other than a cluster of countries known for their stable modern cultures (Switzerland, Japan, the Scandinavian nations), again not much ties them together.

Now, here's a map that shows the countries that believe corruption has decreased:

Corruption DecreasedJust 11 countries are featured on this map (Azerbaijan, Belgium, Cambodia, Fiji, Georgia, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Taiwan) and little seems to tie them together. A number have troubled modern histories, which could perhaps explain why things appear to be "getting better."

That's very disheartening.

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09 Jul 18:44


09 Jul 15:37

'Grand Theft Auto V' gameplay finally revealed in new trailer

by Andrew Webster

Up until now, most of what we've seen of Grand Theft Auto V has been about the story and the trio of new characters that dwell within. With its latest trailer, Rockstar has finally provided a better look at how the upcoming blockbuster will actually play. The nearly five-minute-long video provides a good look at the fictional city of Los Santos, which looks to have a nice amount of variety, with everything from urban locations and beaches to what Rockstar describes as "untouched wilderness."

The video also details how having three main characters will influence the structure of the game, and shows off some of the many diversions you'll be able to partake in when you're not pulling off heists, including, golf, hunting, and, um, yoga. You...

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09 Jul 15:26

Bubble Soccer Is About To Become Your New Favorite Sport

by Spencer Althouse

It’s sumo wrestling mixed with American soccer.

This is bubble soccer.

This is bubble soccer.

"Boblefotball" first appeared on Golden Goal, a Norwegian TV show, in 2011.


The sport might look familiar because Jimmy Fallon tried bringing it to the states.

The sport might look familiar because Jimmy Fallon tried bringing it to the states.


And he was a total boss at it.

And he was a total boss at it.


To play, teams of 10 wear typical soccer uniforms.

To play, teams of 10 wear typical soccer uniforms.


View Entire List ›

09 Jul 15:16

Bayern-Boss bestätigt Wechsel - Robert Lewandowski wechselt 2014 nach München

BVB-Coach Jürgen Klopp hatte es schon angedeutet, Bayern-Boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge hat es nun bestätigt: Robert Lewandowski wird ab Juli 2014 für die Münchner spielen. Den Vorwurf der Dortmunder, Bayern habe keine Offerte abgegeben, wies er zurück.

09 Jul 14:20

Fire Caused By Quebec Train Explosion Was So Big Satellites Could See It

by Adam Taylor

This weekend's derailment of a train carrying 72 cars of crude oil in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, is a true disaster, with an entire swath of the scenic town destroyed, 13 dead and 37 still missing.

Anyone who has seen pictures of the blaze has seen that the fire was huge, but new images from NASA's Suomi NPP satellite shows just how big it was.

The image below was shot with Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on July 4, a normal night before the blaze.

July 4 Quebec FireThe bright light in the very center of the image is Quebec City, the largest city near the town of Lac-Megantic. Lac-Megantic, located directly below, is just a mere blip of light in the image. That's understandable, as the town has less than 6,000 residents compared with Quebec City's 500,000 or so.

Here's the same image from the night of the derailment, July 6. Note that the image is slightly less crisp due to cloud cover:

July 6 Quebec Train FireIf you look for Quebec City again, you will notice a bright light just below it. That light is the fire caused by crude oil catching alight after the train cars derailed and piled up, creating sparks, and ultimately destroying a large part of the town.

NASA's Earth Observatory website has created this side by side image to help compare:

NASA Quebec Train Derailment

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09 Jul 13:06

We Tried the 1080p Oculus Rift VR Headset, and It's Absolutely Stunning

by wired

09 Jul 13:04

If Your Ad Agency Offers These Social Products To Clients, You'll Make More Money

by Cooper Smith

Social Media Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that collects and delivers the top social media news first thing every morning. You can sign up to receive Social Media Insights here or at the bottom of this post.

20 Social Products Your Ad Agency Can Offer To Make More Money (Salesforce) 
Salesforce has published a guide to the top 20 social products that agencies might think about offering their clients. You can learn more about each product by checking out the guide, but we'll list them here for you:

  1. Industry Insights Landscape: Understanding Social Media Opportunities
  2. Competitive Assessment: Analyzing The Climate
  3. Relevance Audits Or Listening Benchmarks: Understanding Client Efficacy
  4. Social Shifts Business Strategy: Helping Clients Adapt To Change
  5. Community Asset-Sizing: What And Who Are You Working With?
  6. Social Measurement Center of Excellence: Reporting What Matters
  7. Brand Humanization Practice: Tempering Corporate-Speak
  8. Culture Transfusion Frameworks: Becoming Inherently Social
  9. Distributed Brand Architecting: Learning How to Earn Media
  10. Collaborative Innovation Process Design: Fostering Customer Feedback
  11. Marketing Spend Migration Planning
  12. Prospecting Connections Consulting: Using Information In Front of You
  13. Networked Awareness Building Consulting: Empowering Employees to Engage
  14. Engagement Playbook Architecting: Defining The Workflow of Conversation
  15. Real-Time Campaigns
  16. Community Management
  17. Social Content Strategy
  18. Editorial Planning and Content Calendar Creation
  19. Command Center Creative & Design: Building Today’s Newsroom
  20. Social CRM: New Age Customer Data Acquisition and Relationship Management
bii social commerce revenue shareWhy Social Commerce Is Set To Explode (BI Intelligence) How do you convert a "like," a "tweet," or "pin" into a sale? In a recent report from BI Intelligence,we look at successful examples of businesses generating commerce via social media-based strategies, analyze Pinterest's success as a social commerce platform, look at Facebook's potential as a social commerce contender, and examine the e-commerce conversion and order value gap. Read >

Facebook Has Launched Its New Graph Search (Business Insider) 
Yesterday, Facebook launched its new Graph Search feature. The new search tool uses your Facebook connections and interests to come up with socially-relevant results for people, photos, places, and interests. Read >

Consumers Choose E-mail Over Social For Referrals (SocialTwist)
Among consumers who became advocates (by referring products or services to friends) of a brand, 55% chose to use e-mail as they sharing channel, with Facebook following (42%) and Twitter (3%) mostly ignored. These findings are according to a study of social referral marketing, which spanned 18 months, 119 social marketing campaigns, and 3.2 million particiapting consumers. Read >

What Types Of Emotions Evoked By Content Sparks Sharing? (HootSuite) 
Evoking certain emotions — whether positive or negative — can help increase the chance of a message being shared. HootSuite resurfaced a study from 2010, in which researchers discovered eight emotions most likely to drive someone to share content, and examined how it can be applied to the social Web today. 


  • Amusing
  • Inspiring 
  • Cute 
  • Illuminating 


  • Shocking
  • Fearful
  • Anger 
  • Controversial 

Facebook's 'Sort Comments' Feature Gets Early Thumbs-Up From Users (Mashable) 
Although Facebook's 'sort comments' feature is still under limited release, page managers have "found sorting [by activity or chronologically] to be beneficial for quickly moderating real-time comments." Read >

Starbucks Reveals 'Secret Menu Item' On Facebook (Ignite Social Media) 
Starbucks proved once again why it has some of the most engaged customers on social media. The company posted to Facebook about how a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, with three pumps of Raspberry syrup, could be transformed into a cotton candy-like treat. Starbucks recommended that its Facebook followers order it in-store. The confusion began when customers began arriving at Starbucks locations and asking for a Cotton Candy Frappuccino, which doesn't exist. Read >

[INFOGRAPHIC] Why Your Business Needs A Social Media Presence ( 
Having a social media presence is one of the first things you should tend to when starting your business. The sooner you can cultivate a community of followers and advocates for your brand, the sooner you can begin closing sales. 

BII advantages social media presence infographic

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