GOOGLE lets outside developers read your email

❝ Just over a year after promising to no longer scan user emails in Gmail for personalized ads, Google is allowing outside developers to do just that

❝ According to a Wall Street Journal report published Monday, Google continues to allow outside software developers to “scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for email-based services offering shopping price comparisons, automated travel-itinerary planners or other tools.”

Vetted app developers that are part of Google’s Gmail program are allowed to read these emails to create new services or app features. Normally, the bulk of emails are scanned electronically by computer software, but in some cases human employees are doing the reading.

Same as it ever was.

Don’t blame Health Law for high part-time employment – because Republicans are lying

Don’t blame the health law for high levels of part-time employment. In fact, using the law’s definitions, part-time work isn’t increasing at all as a share of employment…

Nearly 8 million American were working part-time in September because they couldn’t find full-time work. Overall, 27 million people — nearly a fifth of all employees — are working part-time, well above historical norms.

Many critics of the Obama administration have pointed the finger for the prevalence of part-time jobs at the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law better known to some as “Obamacare.” The law’s so-called “employer mandate” requires most midsize and larger companies to offer health insurance to their full-time employees. That, critics argue, provides companies with an incentive to hire part-timers instead…

But a closer look at the data provides little evidence for the notion that the health law is driving a shift to part-time work…

First of all, over a longer time frame, part-time work has actually been falling as a share of employment in recent years. Before the recession, about 17% of employed Americans worked 35 hours or less, the standard Labor Department definition of “part time.” During the recession, that figure rose, briefly hitting 20%. It’s been trending down since then, but only slowly, hitting 19% in September.

If the health law were driving employers to cut employees’ hours, the most vulnerable workers would likely be those working just above the 30-hour cutoff. That means the data would show a decline in those working 30 to 34 hours and an increase in those working less than 30 hours.

That isn’t what’s happening. The share of part-timers who say they usually work between 30 and 34 hours at their main job has been roughly flat over the past three years, at about 28%. (September data aren’t yet available.) If anything, it’s actually risen in the past year, though the change has been minor. The share working just under 30 hours has indeed risen somewhat, but the share working under 25 hours has fallen—suggesting that employers are giving part-timers more hours, rather than cutting full-timers’ hours back.

Other data tell a similar story. Average weekly hours—a measure that comes from companies, rather than workers themselves—have been flat for the past year, and are near their highest level since the recession. Restaurants, one of the sectors most often cited as likely to shift to part-timers, haven’t cut workers’ hours over the past year.

None of this, of course, means that employers won’t cut workers’ hours in the future…But there’s little evidence they’ve done so yet.

Editing this down to fit on the blog for commentary was a trip. The WSJ crew has never been noted for smiling over good news for American workers. Now that Rupert Murdoch owns the paper, the swing to the Right has only increased.

So, if you compare my copy to the original linked to above – you’ll see I’ve cut away the conservative crystal ball add-ons. Every time there’s a good news paragraph the WSJ plugs in an extra sentence or two to say – “this can all come crashing down and bad news might return”. Fracking hilarious if it wasn’t just repetitious ideology.

Meanwhile, if your stomach can take it don’t mute the sound when CNN or your local TV channel puts up the required clips of Tea Party know-nothings or Republican “leaders” saying exactly the opposite of the labor statistics. You’ll hear what you’re supposed to believe in – along with the Easter Bunny.

Wall Street Journal says Egypt needs a Pinochet – heartwarming to hear financial flunkies endorse murder, rape and torture!


Nothing new about a Murdoch newspaper endorsing a criminal

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial entitled “After the Coup in Cairo”. Its final paragraph contained these words:

Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, who took over power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.

Presumably, this means that those who speak for the Wall Street Journal – the editorial was unsigned – think Egypt should think itself lucky if its ruling generals now preside over a 17-year reign of terror. I also take it the WSJ means us to associate two governments removed by generals – the one led by Salvador Allende in Chile and the one led by Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. Islamist, socialist … elected, legitimate … who cares?

Presumably, the WSJ thinks the Egyptians now have 17 years in which to think themselves lucky when any who dissent are tortured with electricity, raped, thrown from planes or – if they’re really lucky – just shot. That’s what happened in Chile after 1973, causing the deaths of between 1,000 and 3,000 people. Around 30,000 were tortured.

Such quibbles notwithstanding, I’m presuming the WSJ envisages that the Egyptian general or generals will then be allowed to retire, unmolested. Possibly to Wentworth, where the golf’s good. But if any molestation does occur, perhaps by some uppity human rights lawyer, they will receive further assistance from the governing classes of Britain and America. He or they will then retire and, unlike his or their victims, die a free man – or men – in bed.

Yup. A newspaper run by the same sort of pigs who say that “Mussolini made the trains run on time” or “Hitler provided full employment”.

Starbucks adding free Wi-Fi, free access to subscription sites

Starbucks’ coffee drinks have become synonymous with the high costs consumers are cutting back on these days, but at least the Wi-Fi connections in its stores will no longer require a credit card.

Starting July 1, Starbucks will let anyone connect to its WiFi network for free. This fall, the company will add a content network called Starbucks Digital Network, in partnership with Yahoo and other sites, which will include local content you won’t be able to read anywhere else. Both offerings will be free.

Free Wi-Fi is in my mind just the price of admission — we want to create … new sources of content that you can only get at Starbucks,” chairman and president and CEO Howard Schulz told the Wired Business Conference. “This is a thing that doesn’t exist in any other consumer marketplace in America.”

Starbucks hopes to make money from these initiatives indirectly, by “enhancing the experience” and making the content “so compelling that it drives incremental traffic,” said Schulz…

McDonalds has free Wi-Fi too, of course, as does just about every other coffee place in the country other than Starbucks. Schulz admitted that both of those stratas have been competing with Starbucks on coffee as well as internet service, with McDonalds stealing bargain-oriented customers and boutique independent coffee shops in urban areas grabbing some of its loyal epicures…

The network will include free online access to the Wall Street Journal, with a percentage of subscription revenue generated when coffee drinkers decide they want to access those articles elsewhere, too.

Good for a frugal geek like me. There are two Starbucks coffee shops within the broad pairing of shopping centers where we shop for most everything but groceries. I access AT&T nothing.

My style is to cop one of whatever barista treat catches my eye – and park my butt in the pickup with beverage and iPad at hand – while my wife is off shopping. She will call me on the cellphone when she needs me to roll up and pack the month’s worth of Target/Lowes/PetSmart goodies into Ruff Boy.

Meantime, I surf and suck down caffeine.