I.B.M. sues to block executive’s move to Apple

I.B.M. has sued one of its top executives in an attempt to prevent him from taking a position at Apple.

The company said that the executive, Mark Papermaster, who until last week had been manager in charge of the company’s blade server business, had signed a noncompete agreement with I.B.M. that would prevent him from accepting a job with a competitor until one year after leaving I.B.M.

The company said that Mr. Papermaster had been one of its top 300 managers and that he had access to a wide range of the company’s intellectual property and trade secrets.

Until leaving the company last week, Mr. Papermaster was vice president of I.B.M.’s Blade Development unit, an organization that sells computers for corporate data centers. In the past he has also headed technology development for the company and has played a major role in the design of its Power microprocessors.

Mr. Papermaster has also held other positions at I.B.M. Apple may also be interested in Mr. Papermaster’s processor design expertise. Earlier this year, Apple purchased PA Semi, a small microprocessor design firm that was developing microprocessors based on the I.B.M. Power design. At the time Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, said that Apple would use that expertise to create hardware for its iPhones and iPods.

Who thought there was anyone left at Big Blue worth headhunting?

Safe sex ideas that raise eyebrows

Condom Tree

Most people know that condoms prevent the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Unusual campaigns to promote condom use are being launched in places where condoms are less popular.

Here are five novel campaigns launched by nonprofit organizations and condom companies to encourage wider use.

A ring tone to remember

In India, people stigmatize condoms and refuse to wear them because they believe only prostitutes must use prophylactics. Leave it one of the world’s richest men to find a solution — the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated money for a national condom ring tone.

An a cappella group sings “Condom, Condom” — in the style of doo-wop like the contagious pop song “Barbara Ann” — when one receives a phone call. Despite its bubblegum sound, officials hope that the people who have the condom ring tone appear smart and responsible.

Since the ring tone’s August launch, more than 60,000 people downloaded it.

Read the article. The rest are as innovative/silly/useful/productive/absurd as the first.

Death with Dignity on Washington State ballot

In the 11 years since Oregon became the first state to allow physician-assisted suicide, the worst fears have never been realized, even some of the law’s staunchest opponents say. Large numbers of people have not moved to Oregon to take advantage of the measure; through last year, 341 people had used it to hasten their death. And yet no other state has followed Oregon’s lead.

On Tuesday, however, its neighbor to the north, and in many ways its cultural reflection, will decide whether to adopt its own assisted-suicide law, the Washington Death With Dignity Act. The ballot initiative, modeled on Oregon’s, would let mentally competent, terminally ill adults obtain a doctor’s prescription for a lethal dose of medication.

Polls have shown that more Washington voters support the initiative than oppose it, but, like the Oregon measure, it is controversial and closely contested. Religious groups, along with some advocates for the disabled and some doctors, aggressively oppose it, raising questions about ethics and the way the Oregon law has been carried out.

Oregon’s measure has withstood legal challenge; in 2006, the United States Supreme Court rejected an effort by the Justice Department to stop doctors from writing lethal prescriptions…

Under the Washington proposal, two doctors, each making an assessment independent of the other’s, would have to determine that a patient had less than six months to live before that patient could receive a lethal prescription.

It’s a beginning. Generally, supporters of such laws feel their right to choose is what counts.

I know I do.

Just when you thought your crotch was safe…

Last time around

Three of the biggest laptop computer makers are recalling certain batteries because of a risk they may overheat and catch fire. Sony made the batteries and the recall mirrors — yet appears a lot smaller than — a similar one that occurred two years ago.

This time, around 100,000 batteries are affected, a fraction of the 9.6 million recalled in 2006. Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba have already issued recalls for the batteries that were used in their products and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said “consumers should stop using recalled products immediately.”

The batteries in question were manufactured between October 2004 and June 2005 and to date there have been about 40 incidents reportedly globally of overheating, said Sony.

Of the 100,000 batteries affected, around 35,000 were used in laptops shipped in the U.S. By far the greatest number, about 32,000, were shipped with HP laptops.

Identifying codes are in the article. Click the link above to see if you’re one of the lucky ones.

Do you think the Web is slow, today, eh?

Sprint-Nextel has decided to sever its Internet connection with Cogent, another Internet service provider, according to a statement from Cogent.

Internet health data supplied by Keynote Systems indicates that Cogent and Sprint are no longer exchanging traffic.

As a result, it is no longer possible for many Sprint customers and Cogent customers to directly communicate across the Internet.

The two ISPs are currently engaged in litigation over their exchange of Internet traffic, so-called peering. In shutting down the peering between the two, Sprint violated a contractual obligation to exchange Internet traffic with Cogent on a settlement-free peering basis, according to Cogent…

In the short term, Sprint and Cogent costumers are stuck in middle, but in the end Lindqvist thinks they will be forced to work out their differences. “It’s usually a question of who chickens out first,” he said.

Grown-up corporate dispute resolution in action.

Japan general says WW2 military acts not aggression. Fire him!

The head of the Japanese air force is to be sacked after saying the country was not an aggressor in World War II, Japan’s defence minister said.

Yasukazu Hamada said Gen Toshio Tamogami’s views, written in an essay, ran counter to the government’s position on the war. “Therefore it is inappropriate for him to remain in this position and I will swiftly dismiss him,” he said.

China, North and South Korea and other Asian nations still have traumatic memories of Japan’s aggression and colonial rule.

In his essay on the theme of “true views of modern history”, he wrote: “Even now, there are many people who think that our country’s ‘aggression’ caused unbearable suffering to the countries of Asia during the Greater East Asia War.

“But we need to realise that many Asian countries take a positive view of the Greater East Asia War.

“It is certainly a false accusation to say that our country was an aggressor nation.”

Just might be a few folks, Stateside, who recall Pearl Harbor as part of that Greater East Asia War, eh?

Jesus Freaks pray that False Idol will save God’s economy

Wonkette operative hero “Dan the Man” sent us a powerful/artistic photo yesterday of a bunch of Christian nuts praying over a false bronze idol, the Wall Street Bull (or Bowling Green Bull for you dandies out there), asking God to nationalize the economy under the state of heaven so that they could pay for their porn subscriptions and fried NASCAR-themed dildos for a few more months.

Well, “Dan” has come through again and sent us a video and a few more hilarious photos, such as the one above featuring, whoa, is that the Regina of Phoenician-Based Symbols Created To Represent Sounds, Madam Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journalshire? Scandal!

They consoled each other after they realized that they were just as poor as they had been after praying to the bull as before. Do they know that this bull is an Artistic Joke that actually mocks the greed of those who come to worship it? That is not a question worth asking.

Here’s Meghan leading a paean to this “America” she supposedly wants God to nationalize. Run around the bull with those flags three times, kids, and the bull’s eyes will glow emerald green; it will snarl, utter a gutteral, ancient demon roar, “RRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRRR,” and fucking kill all of you with nose-fire. Do not anger this sleeping monster.

Ghostbusters rules!

Colorado must reinstate purged voters

Daylife/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of Coloradans who had been removed from the state’s voter rolls will be allowed to vote in next week’s election and given extra protections so their ballots are counted, under an agreement reached late Wednesday in federal court here.

The voters’ names had been removed by Mike Coffman, the Republican secretary of state, who said he did so because the voters had moved out of state or were listed more than once on the rolls. But Mr. Coffman was sued by a coalition of voting rights and other groups who said such purges were generally prohibited by federal law within 90 days of an election.

Under the agreement, voters removed from the rolls will be permitted to cast provisional ballots, and those ballots will be counted unless election officials can prove the voters were not eligible. To strike such ballots, county election officials must conduct an extensive records review on each one, a decision that must then be reviewed by Mr. Coffman’s office.

Edward B. Foley, a law professor at Ohio State University and an authority on voting litigation nationwide, said the settlement was noteworthy because many states had put the onus on voters to prove that their provisional ballots were legitimate before they could be counted. The settlement shifts this responsibility to the state.

The wrap on all of this is that the Help America Vote Act is what state after state is using to keep people from voting. Does the hypocritical model of the so-called Patriot Act work at every level of American government?

You call your crappy law one thing when the intent is the exact opposite.

Two Blue Angels members yanked from team

Two members of the Blue Angels, the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, have been “removed” from the team due to an alleged inappropriate relationship.

The two members of the squadron — one of them an aviator — were pulled from the unit by commanding officer and flight leader Capt. Kevin Mannix on Sunday, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity since he was discussing a personnel matter. The names of the people involved were not released.

For the remainder of the season, the team will be flying five jets during its shows rather than the standard six, the official added.

According to the Blue Angels’ Web site, the team does not maintain a “spare” pilot who could fill in when another member can’t fly.

Uh, OK. If you’re in the military, sex is probably one of the most important activities in your life.

If you’re a prude in the military, sex is one of the most important activities in everyone else’s life.