Daily Archives: January 18, 2012

Galactic Views (20)


The Eagle Nebula
NASA – Combining almost opposite ends of the electromagnetic spectrum, this composite of the Herschel in far-infrared and XMM-Newton’s X-ray images shows how the hot young stars detected by the X-ray observations are sculpting and interacting with the surrounding ultra-cool gas and dust, which, at only a few degrees above absolute zero, is the critical material for star formation itself. Both wavelengths would be blocked by Earth’s atmosphere, so are critical to our understanding of the lifecycle of stars. Image Credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/Hill, Motte, HOBYS Key Programme Consortium


Obama’s tax dilemma: $1M or $250k?

English: Humorous flags of "commie" ...

Image @Wikipedia

By Bernie Becker – President Obama faces a difficult choice in his upcoming budget: Stick with his policy of raising taxes on families making more than $250,000 annually or boost that threshold to $1 million.

The president’s decision has major political ramifications, as Democrats and Republicans are expected to clash repeatedly this election year over taxes.

Congressional Democrats believe they have had success in recent months pounding Republicans for siding with millionaires and billionaires over the middle class— leading some to claim that the $1 million threshold offers better messaging opportunities than the $250,000 mark. more> http://is.gd/SnFPQ4

Private Equity Is a Force for Good

By Kevin Hassett and Steven J. Davis – Private equity firms make investments in a wide range of businesses. Most of the investments are in privately held companies, but some involve the acquisition of publicly traded companies. The goal in each case is to create a thriving business so the private equity firm can sell its investment stake at a profit. This simple fact undercuts the claim that private equity firms systematically destroy jobs and loot companies. It’s hard to take a company public or sell it at a profit when it’s been looted.

Labor costs are a large share of total costs for the typical firm, and are often at least ten times larger than the profit a firm makes on a given sale. That is, a firm might sell something for a dollar that cost 93 cents to make, and make a 7 cent profit. If most of the 93 cents is labor cost, then small errors in labor management can have an enormous impact on profits. more> http://is.gd/hZaSD9

What anti-SOPA sites look like this morning

By Paul McNamara – Here’s what a few familiar corners of the Internet look like this morning, a day dedicated to protesting antipiracy legislation currently before Congress.



more> http://is.gd/xTxywx

Bandwidth Hogging on Corporate Network Grows as Workers Post to Facebook

By Dina Bass – A growing proportion of the capacity on corporate networks is being taken up by employees actively using social networking applications and file-sharing services, according to Palo Alto Networks Inc.

Active usage — referring to people who play, post and share, rather than just passively watching a scrolling feed of posts on Facebook Inc.’s site, for example — took up 28 percent of total network bandwidth used on social sites. That’s an increase from 9 percent in the preceding six months. Facebook applications took up 13 percent of social bandwidth, about triple the previous period. more> http://is.gd/lcpsGx


CONGRESS WATCH A 2012 Republican Strategy for Congress, Ron Johnson, Wall Street Journal Rep. Ed Royce (CA-40): The Folly of “Managed” Taiwan Ties; The Diplomat, January 11. Rep. Sandy Adams (FL-24): The Great Divide – the Lack of Progress When … Continue reading


CONGRESS WATCH Task for New Year: More Jobs, Balanced Deficit Reduction, US Senate New Data Show Corporate Offshore Funds Not “Trapped” Abroad: Nearly Half of So-Called “Offshore” Funds Already in the United States [pdf], US Senate Summary of Detainee Provisions … Continue reading