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Where Should I Put My Wi-Fi Router?

Some useful information for increasing speed and coverage of your wi-fi.

Cool, huh?

How Real Is Fake News?

A TEDx talk by author Sharyl Attkisson.

Was the effort to focus America’s attention on the idea of “fake news”—itself a propaganda effort? Connect the dots and learn who’s behind it and why. It’s not what you think. Sharyl Attkisson is a five-time Emmy Award winner and recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting and author of two New York Times bestsellers: “The Smear” and “Stonewalled.” Attkisson hosts the Sunday national TV news program “Full Measure,” which focuses on investigative and accountability reporting. For thirty years, Attkisson was a correspondent and anchor at PBS, CNN and CBS News, where the Washington Post described her as “a persistent voice of news-media skepticism about the government’s story.” She’s a fourth degree blackbelt in TaeKwonDo. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Evolution Of Windows Startup Sounds.


(And frankly, who cares what a Mac does or sounds like?)

How Many Galaxies Are There?

Short answer: a lot.

We’ve been trying to count the galaxies in the universe since the mid ’90s, but our estimates change as our tools improve. So what does our current estimate really mean?

They Knew.

The federal government has released the internal memo on from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence concerning the Steele Dossier used to obtain FISA warrants against the Trump campaign.

In short, the FBI and the DOJ knew the dossier was fake or at the very least not trustworthy, but never presented that information to the courts. In other words, they lied.

The memo and cover letter is below so you can read it for yourself, but here are some of the highlights, or rather, the low lights.

1) 1) The “dossier’~ compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed’ an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law.firm Perkins Cole and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
a) Neither the initial application in Oct9ber 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or. any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.
b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named u.s. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Cole) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actor~ were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of-and paid by-the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

2) In an Yahoo! article cited in obtaining a warrant and used to collaborate the Steele dossier, it was known and not disclosed that the source of the Yahoo! article was Steele himself. In short, the dossier was said to be accurate because the person writing the dossier said it was accurate to the media and the DOJ / FBI failed to disclose this. This means that they knew there was no collaborative source on the dossier and yet presented to the FISA Court that there was.

3)Steele himself was terminated by the FBI for unethical behavior. That fact was not disclosed to the Courts.

IRS: Evading Oversight.

Cause of Action, a advocacy group in Washington DC has released a very interesting report entitled “Evading Oversight: The Origins and Implications of the IRS Claim That Its Rules Do Not Have an Economic Impact.”

Under Congressional oversight and Executive Orders, agencies such as the IRS are required to disclose the economic impact of rules the agency creates. The IRS is claiming that they are not subject to those requirements. Frankly, it is difficult for us to imagine a Federal agency that does not impact the pockets of people and companies more than the IRS.

The report is an interesting read and at only 50 pages, it doesn’t take long. You can download the report here for free.

To whet your whistle, we’ve copied the Executive Summary and the findings below.

Executive Summary

A tension exists in federal administrative law. Agencies are tasked by statute with executing delegated functions, and the president is assigned by the Constitution to head the Executive Branch and take care that laws are faithfully executed. This creates tension because agencies can make controversial, burdensome, unwise, or unaccountable decisions that may conflict with statutory mandates or the president’s chosen governing course. This tension has heightened over the past one hundred years as the size and scope of the administrative state has dramatically increased. Disputes over how to control administrative agencies and the validity of their actions have also sharpened during the same period.

In an attempt to alleviate these tensions, Congress and the president have installed various regulatory-oversight mechanisms. The mechanisms, embodied in statutes and executive orders, seek to mitigate the worst agency abuses, while also reinjecting constitutional actors into the agency decision-making process. When agencies act to subvert these oversight mechanisms, they undermine legitimate checks on their power and raise concerns about the propriety of their decisions, thereby exacerbating concerns about lack of control over the administrative state.

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) is one such agency. It has systematically constructed a series of exemptions from certain aspects of three important oversight mechanisms: the Regulatory Flexibility Act, White House review pursuant to Executive Order 12,866, and the Congressional Review Act. The IRS purports to base these self-made exemptions on the claim that any economic impact of the rules that it issues flows from the underlying statute and is not attributable to its regulatory actions, for the purpose of triggering economic-impact analyses and information sharing under these three oversight mechanisms. The IRS, however, has not provided any detailed, public explanation to justify its position. Further, the IRS position, if correct, would apply to any regulation promulgated by any agency, as hopefully all regulations are based on a statute.

All three oversight mechanisms are designed to: (1) increase information sharing between agencies and the constitutional actors that oversee their actions, and (2) disclose to the public the economic significance of agency decisions. By claiming an exemption from these mechanisms, the IRS is denying Congress, the president, and the public important information about how IRS rules impact the economy and how different administrative choices could alleviate that impact.



The Good And The Not So Good News.

There is good news on the wage front and not surprisingly, it has to do with the recent tax cuts:

More companies are hiking wages and salaries than at any time over the last 18 years, according to a survey of business economists released Monday.

The National Association for Business Economics said the net percentage of those companies which have increased wages and salaries over the last three months rose to 48 in January, up from 37 in October and the third-highest reading since April 1982.

Not a single respondent said their wages have dropped, according to the NABE survey.

No matter how you look at it, that’s significant.

More people getting more money because of less governmental burdens on businesses is always a good thing.

The survey shows several things:

The Amazing Ways Plants Defend Themselves.

Plants are constantly under attack. They face threats ranging from microscopic fungi to small herbivores like caterpillars, up to large herbivores like elephants. But plants are ready, with a whole series of internal and external defenses that make them a less appealing meal — or even a deadly one. Valentin Hammoudi explains some of the fascinating ways that plants defend themselves.

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