“This Should Trouble Us All” – Auto-Snitching COVID-Tracking Bracelets Flood Market

“this-should-trouble-us-all”-–-auto-snitching-covid-tracking-bracelets-flood-market

27-05-20 06:15:00,

Authored by Sam Biddle via The Intercept,

Surveillance firms around the world are licking their lips at a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cash in on the coronavirus by repositioning one of their most invasive products: the tracking bracelet.

Body monitors are associated with criminality and guilt in the popular imagination, the accessories of Wall Street crooks under house arrest and menace-to-society parolees. Unlike smartphones, de facto tracking devices in their own right, strapped-on trackers are expressly designed to be attached to the body and exist solely to report the user’s whereabouts and interactions to one or more third parties; they don’t play podcasts or tell you how many steps you took that day to sweeten the surveillance.

But a climate of perpetual bio-anxiety has paved the way for broader acceptance of carceral technologies, with a wave of companies trying to sell tracking accessories to business owners eager to reopen under the aegis of responsible social distancing and to governments hoping to keep a closer eye on people under quarantine.

Take AiRISTA Flow, a Maryland-based outfit that helps corporations track their “assets,” breathing or not. In an April 21 press release, the company announced it would begin selling Bluetooth and Wi-Fi trackers to be worn on an employee’s wrist like a Fitbit — or around their neck like a cowbell.

“When people come within six feet of each other for a period of time,” the company wrote in a press release, “the device makes an audible chirp and a record of the contact is made in the AiRISTA Flow software system.”

But the tracking goes far beyond audible chirps: AiRISTA’s platform allows employers to continuously upload a record of close encounters to a corporate cloud, providing an up-to-date list of presumed social distancing violators that would double as a detailed record of workplace social interactions.

The company’s marketing language is explicit in talking up the nonviral benefits of tracking your workers’ every move: By helping companies “Locate people and things in real time” (the two are seemingly treated interchangeably), they can expect a “Reduction in unplanned downtime,” “Improved asset utilization rates, [and a] reduced need for spares.”

In a press release published just a day after AiRISTA Flow’s,

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Why California Is In Trouble: 340,000 Public Employees With $100,000+ Paychecks Cost Taxpayers $45 Billion

why-california-is-in-trouble:-340,000-public-employees-with-$100,000+-paychecks-cost-taxpayers-$45-billion

22-05-20 07:46:00,

Submitted by Adam Andrzejewski,

Despite California’s $54 billion budget deficit and $1 trillion unfunded pension liability, there are 340,390 government employees bringing home six-figure salary and pension checks. Recently, though, Gov. Gavin Newsom asked U.S. taxpayers for a bailout.

The governor wrote a letter to Congress requesting $1 trillion in coronavirus 50-state aid. Then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi obliged by adding $500 billion for the states into the HEROES Act – the bill passed and now awaits action in the Senate.

Here, in part, is why California is asking for taxpayers help.

Our auditors at OpentheBooks.com found truck drivers in San Francisco making $159,000 per year; lifeguards in LA County costing taxpayers $365,000; nurses at UCSF making up to $501,000; the UCLA athletic director earning $1.8 million; and 1,420 city employees out-earning all 50 state governors ($202,000).

Using our new interactive mapping tool, quickly review (by ZIP code) the 340,390 California public employees and retirees who earn more than $100,000 and cost taxpayers $45 billion (FY2018-9). Just click a pin and scroll down to see the results rendered in the chart beneath the map.

Here are a few examples of what you’ll uncover:

  • 109,627 teachers and school administrators – including the CEO of Summit Everest charter schools Diane Tavenner ($450,115); and superintendents Michael Lin ($443,875) at Corona-Norco Unified; Polly Bove ($395,257) at Fremont Union High; Christopher Hoffman ($351,885) at Elk Grove Unified; and Al Mijares ($348,276) at the Orange County Dept. of Education.

  • 66,403 college and university employees – including the athletic director at UCLA, Daniel Guerrero ($1.8 million), who is retiring amid criticisms that his teams lost too frequently. The school’s football coach, Charles (Chip) Kelly ($3.3 million), compiled a 7-17 record during his first two years and is the most highly compensated public employee in the state. Furthermore, there are 11,310 college and university employees making more than $200,000.

  • 62,204 State of California employees – including a nurse, Ito Chikako, at the University of California, who made $501,391 – paid through the state system. David Winsor Sirkin, Sr.

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Trouble in the Balkans: Greece risks losing their history to EU and NATO pressure (Video)

Trouble in the Balkans: Greece risks losing their history to EU and NATO pressure (Video)

14-06-18 09:56:00,

Hours after the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his FYROM counterpart Zoran Zaev declared that they had reached an agreement that would see the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia rename itself the “Republic of North Macedonia”, the nation’s president refused point-blank to sign the deal.

“My position is final and I will not yield to any pressure, blackmail or threats,” president Gjorge Ivanov, who is backed by the nationalist opposition, told a news conference in Skopje.

In Athens, Alexis Tsipras faces immense criticism, from both the political right and left, for wiping out thousands of years of historical fact in a matter of days. Public opinion in Greece is strongly opposed to forfeiting the name “Macedonia” and the heritage of Alexander the Great to a non-Hellenic entity.

Meanwhile in Brussels, EU and NATO leaders are eager to swallow up the newly minted “Republic of North Macedonia” so as to strangle Serbia, and further remove “Russian influence” from within the region.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris break down recent developments in the 27 year name dispute, that could potentially destabilize the entire Balkan region.

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