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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Another Creepy Intrusion by the Internet


Facebook buys Israeli facial recognition firm Face.com

Screenshot of Face.comFace.com is a 11-person start-up based in Tel Aviv, Israel
Social networking giant Facebook has decided to buy an Israeli startup specialising in facial recognition technology - Face.com.
BBC - The firm already provides software that allows Facebook's members to identify and tag photos of their friends.
The terms of the deal are not known, but Reuters quotes estimates of $55-60m (£35-38m).
Tagging is a popular feature on Facebook, but privacy advocates have raised concerns about the technology.
Face.com's software scans photos Facebook users upload, and suggests friends they may wish to tag with just one click.
According to the social network, the acquisition does not mean there will be changes to Facebook's current face detection and recognition systems for photos.
"People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends, and Face.com's technology has helped to provide the best photo experience," said Facebook's spokesperson in a statement to the BBC.
"This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in house."
Privacy issues
But UK campaign group Privacy International warned of what it described as the potential pitfalls of the technology.
"Facebook are in the process of building the largest and most accurate facial recognition database in the world, and with great power comes great responsibility," the organisation's head of communications, Emma Draper, told the BBC.
"We would hope to see very strict safeguards on how this information is stored and who has access to it, particularly if - as seems increasingly likely - Facebook is going to start making money from it."
Face.com is an 11-employee startup located in the heart of Tel Aviv's startup community on Rothschild Boulevard, locally known as the Silicon Boulevard.
The firm could not be reached for comment, but in a statement on its website it said that "by working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we'll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers - that's all we've ever wanted to do".
Face.com launched its first product in 2009, and also supports third-party apps such as Photo Finder, Photo Tagger, and CelebrityFindr, which allows Twitter users to search for photos of celebrities.
Facebook has recently been expressing great interest in mobile and photo-sharing - in April, it bought Instagram for $1bn, and weeks later launched a photo sharing smartphone app called Camera.
Both apps allow users to add filters and make other tweaks to photographs.

61 comments:

  1. When the East German Communists lost control of power, the Germans were shocked at the records being kept by the state security service, Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS, (Stasi). At its peak, it employed 85,000 security officers full-time, using hundreds of thousands of informers who gathered information and photographs of over one-third of the population. Over 1.5 million Germans were so horrified that they demanded and received access to these secret files.

    Today, Americans are so docile that there is hardly a peep of protest about the intense pernicious assault on personal privacy, conducted by internet privateers. All this information can be used for good or evil by the highest bidder including every governmental agency.

    You can’t have freedom without privacy. I do expect to hear the moronic response that there is no harm done if you have nothing to hide. Really?

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    1. Ah! I agree with this 100%.


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  2. It's da Jews... again...

    evil joos...

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  3. What solution do you propose regarding limiting the ability of private corporations to track internet usage? Government regulation?

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    1. How about a public law that says any citizen can sue the socks off any private corporation at their expense if you find them tracking your usage and selling your stuff along with incentives for whistle blowing and some kind of 'Freedom of Information Act' that pertains to private corporations to root out that kind of behavior, for starters? There are solutions.

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    2. We have a behavior here in our fair city that has finally ticked the Council off to the point of doing something about it. If you don't like the Shopper thrown on your lawn each week, now all you need to do is sign the no ads list and if the behavior recurs you can - sue the socks off the advertiser with a Big fine attached.

      It's not that big a problem to stop this stuff if big money is at stake, whether it's the Shopper or spooking and selling your internet stuff.

      b

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    3. And of course the dreaded Class Action Lawsuit against internet spookers and sellers could be made draconian and specifically available.

      b

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    4. .

      I have to agree with the Big Wazzoo on this one.

      CIA and Facebook


      The only part I disagree with is "It's not that big a problem to stop this stuff if big money is at stake".


      Example: The "no-call" list. Who hasn't received numerous calls from Rachel?

      .

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    5. The people over at Wazoo are idiots. They hire a new hot shot football coach, who enters town in a big limousine, to the adoration of crowds, and firecrackers going off, then they go spend millions upon untold millions to enlarge and fancy up the football stadium, high tech broadcasting booths, VIP sections and the rest, but they don't put a dome on it so the fans will still freeze their fannies off bgin November and December and decide to say the hell with it and stay home and watch the proceedings on ESPN.

      We have an education problem in this country, folks.

      b

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    6. http://thecougarfootballproject.org/

      Oh well, it's only $80,000,000.

      b

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    7. I see no reason why there should not be an opt-out button. If I want to make a loan or apply for something, I should have the right to do so by providing the information requested. When I pick up my telephone, I do not expect my calls to recorded because the technology exists to do it.

      If this particular technology is left to be unimpeded by law within a short period of time your photo can be attached to your home and place of business. it could be attached to numerous credit reports, your family, your telephone numbers and social security card, your children and your associates. A woman with a restraining order against a dangerous ex can be found through a friend’s harmless birthday party photo, a wedding photo or a random photo taken on the street.

      Since when do private corporations have the right to infringe on private individual’s personal privacy? Web sites like ancestry.com, classmates.com, and many other types of organizations are misrepresenting the uses of what appears to be harmless data.

      Photos could be taken at airports to track when people are out of town. The ability to cause criminal mischief is compounded by this dreadful technology.

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  4. Solar expected to hit "grid parity" by the end of 2012 in 105 Countries.

    Map

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  5. Solar, Wind, and Geothermal did a nice job in California, yesterday, delivering about 15% of Total Electricity.

    Ca. ISO

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  6. Replies
    1. And that's why we huddle here where Truth Prevails and Alternative Narratives are valued!

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  7. This technology needs to halted in its tracks. It could be used by stalkers, rapists and pedophiles to identify potential victims and find their place of work and home address. It is a nightmare.

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    1. Isn't that a similar argument to what gun control folk use? It isn't the technology but rather what is done with the technology.

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    2. No Ash, there is nothing remotely similar between the second amendment and this technology that would allow a pedophile to take random photos on a public beach and allow him to search the address of the children and their parents.

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    3. On the other hand, the pedophile's photo would be being taken, also.

      I'm afraid you're railing against the incoming tide, Deuce.

      It seems likely that, given a bit of time, certain "opt-out" provisions will become available (to all but law-enforcement, and government agencies, of course.)

      If I were a pedophile wanting to use this technology, I would want to cross-reference the information with things like "gun registration, NRA membership, etc" thus making the Rufie household a no-go zone. :)

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    4. I do not accept that. Rights do not follow technology. One doesn’t have privacy because of the limits of technology, to be reduced to none as technology advances and makes it so. I will state again, you cannot have freedom without privacy.

      I will accept that if I cannot find indignation here, it is surely in short supply in this country. Hopefully there are other societies that are far less sanguine about the loss of personal privacy and dignity to internet twenty somethings, commercial privateers and intrusive government.

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    5. Maybe (probably) I just don't understand the technology, Deuce, but I don't think you have recourse, today, if someone takes your picture as you're walking on the beach, and puts said picture in the newspaper, or on TV.

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    6. As for whether this could play into the hands of a high-tech stalker, I guess it would. However, it will, also, be a boon to the cops that are trying to catch said thief, or pedophile.

      You know, I came from a small town. Everyone knew everyone, and everyone's business. That didn't seem to lead to "more" crime. (I doubt that it necessarily led to less crime, either.)

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  8. Rufus needs to tell Obama to begin to take credit where credit is due for his one positive accomplishment on the economy in four years -

    Gun manufacturing is the one private-sector industry “doing fine” on Mr. Obama’s watch. Sturm, Ruger & Co. sold 1 million firearms in the first quarter of 2012 - an amazing 50 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011. The jump was so steep that the company stopped accepting orders from March to May to catch up with demand for its products.

    Due solely and entirely to The One him self, and fear of him.

    AND, the dropping crime rate because of it -

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/18/gun-ownership-up-crime-down/

    Not even an act of Congress needed.

    That's what I call real leadership.

    b

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  9. I'm looking to a little more civilized decorum around the White House myself. No more of these disco parties.

    We'll have 'horse ballet' instead -

    http://gawker.com/5917976/stephen-colberts-new-favorite-athlete-is-mitt-romneys-dressage-horse

    New First Lady of the United States Sport of the White House.

    b

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  10. There will be no more behavior like this -

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/19/exclusive-secret-service-agents-partied-like-rock-stars-on-obamas-vineyard-vacation/#ixzz1yFl6r5sZ

    around the Vineyard or the Rose Garden, in a Romney Administration. They will be at the stables, shoveling, otherwise.

    b

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  11. As reported here before, the US and Israel have provided Iran the justification and demonstrated the need for nuclear deterrence.

    U.S., Israel developed computer virus to slow Iranian nuclear efforts, officials say

    By Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller and Julie Tate, Tuesday, June 19, 3:07 PM

    The United States and Israel jointly developed a sophisticated computer virus nicknamed Flame that collected critical intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage attacks aimed at slowing Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, according to Western officials with knowledge of the effort.

    The massive piece of malware was designed to secretly map Iran’s computer networks and monitor the computers of Iranian officials, sending back a steady stream of intelligence used to enable an ongoing cyberwarfare campaign, according to the officials.

    The effort, involving the National Security Agency, the CIA and Israel’s military, has included the use of destructive software such as the so-called Stuxnet virus to cause malfunctions in Iran’s nuclear enrichment equipment.

    The emerging details about Flame provide new clues about what is believed to be the first sustained campaign of cyber-sabotage against an adversary of the United States.

    “This is about preparing the battlefield for another type of covert action,” said one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, who added that Flame and Stuxnet were elements of a broader assault that continues today. “Cyber collection against the Iranian program is way further down the road than this.”

    Flame came to light last month after Iran detected a series of cyberattacks on its oil industry. The disruption was directed by Israel in a unilateral operation that apparently caught its U.S. partners offguard, according to several U.S. and Western officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

    There had been speculation that the United States had a role in developing Flame, but the collaboration on the virus between Washington and Israel has not been previously confirmed. Commercial security researchers last week reported that Flame contained some of the same code as Stuxnet. Experts described the overlap as DNA-like evidence that the two sets of malware were parallel projects run by the same entity.

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  12. Bullshit.

    "We are muslims, not Iranians. If Iran must burn for islam to triumph in the world, let Iran burn." Ayatollah Khomeini

    What a crock.

    Things were going along all right when the Shah was around. They didn't have any problem with Israel and Israel didn't have any problem with them.

    b

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    1. The only bullshit is that on your shoes.

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    2. Bob, you need to take a time-out, and go read up on the Shah, and his police. The man had No support from the people. He was bound to fall.

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    3. The Shah was supported by a large minority...

      Just as large that supported Obama.

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    4. Ruf, he wasn't a 'great guy'. But they have worse now. Same situation applies in Egypt with Mubarak. If the Muslim Brotherhood gets a grip. They are moslems, you know.

      b

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    5. The question being, Bob, "Why should I give a shit?"

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  13. If Iran had one tenth the nuclear weapons of Israel, this would not have happened. All this does is that it makes it an imperative for Iran to acquire or build nuclear weapons, which it will and in no small thanks to the assaults by the US and Israel on Iranian infrastructure.

    Stupidity. About as effective as flaunting your gun collection against a neighbor and then breaking into his house to steal his credit cards because you heard that he was thinking of buying a gun. Of course that would dissuade him from purchasing guns to keep you off his property.

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    1. Stupidity. About as effective as flaunting your gun collection against a neighbor and then breaking into his house to steal his credit cards because you heard that he was thinking of buying a gun. Of course that would dissuade him from purchasing guns to keep you off his property.

      getting dumber by the day....

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  14. We never would have played such a dangerous stupid game against the Soviets.

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    1. Uh, well . . . . Ronald Reagan/Bill Casey/Nat Gas Pipeline . . . . :)


      They said the explosion was visible from space.

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  15. “Should we shut this thing down?” Mr. Obama asked, according to members of the president’s national security team who were in the room.

    Told it was unclear how much the Iranians knew about the code, and offered evidence that it was still causing havoc, Mr. Obama decided that the cyberattacks should proceed. In the following weeks, the Natanz plant was hit by a newer version of the computer worm, and then another after that. The last of that series of attacks, a few weeks after Stuxnet was detected around the world, temporarily took out nearly 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges Iran had spinning at the time to purify uranium.

    This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.

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  16. DeuceTue Jun 19, 03:49:00 PM EDT
    As reported here before, the US and Israel have provided Iran the justification and demonstrated the need for nuclear deterrence.


    Nonsense.

    But you keep rooting for Iran....

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  17. Iran threatens israel on a daily basis with extermination.

    supplies israel's mortal enemies with support, money, training, weapons, shelter

    and you are concerned about Iranian "justifications" for Iran violating the NPT.

    Iran also has been in a state of war with the USA.

    Supporting an sworn enemy of the USA while they are at war with us?

    sounds treasonous.

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  18. DeuceTue Jun 19, 04:00:00 PM EDT
    If Iran had one tenth the nuclear weapons of Israel, this would not have happened.

    If Iran crosses the nuclear red line and acquires ONE weapon?

    Iran will be destroyed.

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  19. Wear an aluminum foil dunce hat and you will be fine.

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  20. Microsoft Corp.'s first personal computer, the Surface tablet, provides further evidence that Apple Inc.'s strategies and success continue to shake up the tech sector.

    The software giant is for the first time emulating Apple's longtime practice of managing both elements in a computing device—one that will directly compete with products from its biggest customers.

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  21. Over the weekend, Mark Blumenthal of the Huffington Post published a lengthy review of the Gallup poll’s methodology. It is a technical read, but I encourage you to give it a careful look.

    ...

    What to make of this? I have five points to offer.

    1. Blumenthal’s technical analysis appears sound. Basically, there are a series of difficult choices that need to be made about how to sample non-white adults. Blumenthal argues that the sum of Gallup’s choices results in fewer non-whites being sampled than in other polls, according to the most up-to-date demographic information about America.

    ...

    2. Gallup hasn’t done anything wrong. This is where I start to diverge from Blumenthal. To be clear, he does not accuse Gallup of doing anything unethical.


    Biased Against Obama?

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  22. It said the control of the military over the panel tasked with drafting the constitution allows it to reject any attempt to restrain the military, put it under civilian oversight or hold it accountable for human rights abuses.

    Hoda Mahmoud, a 32-year old human resources manager, was out protesting at Tahrir Square on Tuesday. A member of a youth group known as the Revolutionary Socialists, she said her real fight is with the military and predicted that the Brotherhood may eventually back down.

    "The fight is in the street, not one about political settlements," she said, alluding to the Brotherhood's reputation for political opportunism and appetite for back-room deals.

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  23. As the 2012 race for the Republican Party presidential nomination winds down, the last runner-up standing is Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. This time around, Paul has managed to snag about 10 percent of the overall primary vote (as of late April), up from 4 percent total in his 2008 campaign.

    ...

    The Ron Paul Revolution’s relationship with the Republican Party is fractious. From local meetings to the national convention in 2008, many activists nurture tales of disrespect or even abuse from GOP regulars, such as cops called in to break up meetings overwhelmed by Paulites in Missouri, parliamentary rule abuses aimed at limiting Paulite chances in Louisiana, and a generally unwelcoming vibe everywhere from Texas to Oregon.

    ...

    The rise of Ron Paul and the rise of the Tea Party are no mere coincidence. In 2007, long before the national Tea Party movement had taken shape, Paul held a one-day fund­raising event that pulled a record $6 million on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party—one of his famous “moneybombs.”

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  24. On this day in 1934, the Federal Communications Commission was created.

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  25. An older couple were lying in bed one night.

    The husband was falling asleep but the wife was in a romantic mood and
    wanted to talk.

    She said: "You used to hold my hand when we were courting."

    Wearily he reached across, held her hand for a second and tried to get
    back to sleep..

    A few moments later she said: "Then you used to kiss me."

    Mildly irritated, he reached across, gave her a peck on the cheek and
    settled down to sleep.

    Thirty seconds later she said: "Then you used to bite my Neck..."
    Angrily, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of bed. "Where are
    you going?" she asked..

    "To get my teeth!"

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  26. More on crime dropping the last five years -

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/06/19/fbi-report-violent-crime-down-for-the-fifth-straight-year-in-a-row/

    Come on now, we must give Obama credit for this.

    The gun banner and his gun running Justice Department have done wonders for crime fighting in USofA!

    Bwaahahahahahahahahhaha!

    Gotta love it!

    And the dividends from those gun manufacturers!

    b

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  27. New political ad -

    (((((VOTE OBAMA FOR SAFE STREETS!)))))




    b

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    1. All the SWAT teams in the US, beginning from Nixonian times, could not 'take a bite out of crime' but Mr SuperCool has done it, with the ease and nonchalance of a rose blooming in spring.

      What a man!

      b

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  28. Replies
    1. The only way out is arm everyone up to the teeth saving trillions on law enforcement which can be used to patch up our long term feenances. As an old cowboy Alan knows this, he just didn't want to say cause he's being interviewed on TV and children may be present.

      b

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    2. I see someone's learned how to Articulate an Attitude.

      In some tribes that's all that counts.

      Delete
  29. Vietnam, meanwhile, is struggling with slow growth and high inflation (though it has eased some lately), and unlike India, it relies heavily on exports to Europe, which make up 13% of its GDP. Its banks are weighed down by a huge increase in lending in 2009 that makes new stimulus hard to pull off.

    China, while it has deep pockets to launch another round of big-bang stimulus, has indicated it may not want to be so bold, preferring slower, more sustainable growth. If China doesn't open the stimulus floodgates, that would mean less of a boost for its neighbors, including commodity exporters such as Australia and Malaysia.

    Of course, a euro disaster could be averted, as the Greek elections illustrated. The euro lives, the uncertainty remains, Europe continues its recession and the world avoids a financial apocalypse.

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  30. Ann Romney is going to make a lovely First Lady -

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/06/to_the_olympics_for_ann_romney.html


    b

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  31. You want to see violent crimes, and crimes against property go WAAaaay down? Legalize Pot, and Coke, and sell it pre-packaged down at the Walmart.

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  32. Good idea! But we should provide it for free, that way nobody would have to steal to get the Wal-Mart bucks. Would that be a voter getter, or what! Every pot and coke head in the country would rouse themselves from easy dreams for an hour to vote at least absentee.


    Another Obama green tech company going down

    A123 to Z3210

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/06/19/another-green-tech-stimulus-recipient-going-under/

    b

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  33. We will have to factor in the funeral expenses for the Whitney Houstons of the world though. Don't forget about that.

    I know. Government provided burial insurance. No pre-existing conditions either.

    b

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  34. As the Los Angeles Times reports, for every $1 that President Obama’s campaign has spent in support of Obamacare, his administration has spent another $65 in taxpayers’ money. The Times writes that the Obama administration has spent $46 million of taxpayers’ money in support of Obama’s centerpiece legislation, while the Obama campaign has spent only $703,000.

    ...

    Repeal, anyone?

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  35. Julia Onslow-Cole, head of global immigration at PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal, said she had already encountered a case of Britain losing out on substantial investment because of the restriction. "There are countries in the world with immense economic growth like Singapore.

    They are relaxing immigration laws for these senior managers."

    A UK Border Agency spokesman said: "The cooling-off period is designed to prevent intra-company transfers becoming a loophole in our limit on economic migration."

    ReplyDelete