Daily Archives: December 9, 2006

GPS technology tracks employees

Denver Post | Dec 8, 2006

 gps_slaves

Chips using the technology can even be inserted into a human body

Larry Overley, president of Landtech Contractors, doesn’t have to wonder whether his employees are where they are supposed to be during the work day. Global Positioning System transmitters in each of the 50 trucks the landscaping company operates let him know where they are.

“It cuts down on guys leaving the job site. It helps us with our payroll costs because guys can’t fudge on their time sheet. We know when they get to the job, and we know when they leave the job,” he said.

The system, in use for six years, cut labor costs at the Aurora-based commercial landscaping company by about 3 percent in the first year.

The company is one of a growing number using GPS to keep track of workers, said Chad Orvis, an attorney with the Mountain States Employers Council, which advises businesses on human-resources practices.

Employers who use the technology, developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, rely on it to track employees who are off site, help lower fuel costs and increase productivity, Orvis said.

Beside GPS, companies track other work-related functions – e-mail and Internet use, for example. Radio-frequency identification technology is used in ID tags that make it possible for an employer to know when a person walked through a security door. Chips using the technology can even be inserted into a human body – but that’s unusual and used primarily in high-security environments.

The growing use of the technology causes concern among some privacy advocates.

McKinney introduces bill to impeach Bush

AP | Dec 9, 2006

In what was likely her final legislative act in Congress, outgoing Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney introduced a bill Friday to impeach President Bush.

She accused party leaders of kowtowing to Republicans on the war in Iraq and on military mistreatment of prisoners.

She has hosted numerous panels on Sept. 11 conspiracy theories and suggested that Bush had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks but kept quiet about it to allow friends to profit from the aftermath.

The legislation has no chance of passing and serves as a symbolic parting shot not only at Bush but also at Democratic leaders. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has made clear that she will not entertain proposals to sanction Bush and has warned the liberal wing of her party against making political hay of impeachment.

McKinney, a Democrat who drew national headlines in March when she struck a Capitol police officer, has long insisted that Bush was never legitimately elected. In introducing her legislation in the final hours of the current Congress, she said Bush had violated his oath of office to defend the Constitution and the nation’s laws.

In the bill, she accused Bush of misleading Congress on the war in        Iraq and violating privacy laws with his domestic spying program.

McKinney has made no secret of her frustration with Democratic leaders since voters ousted her from office in the Democratic primary this summer. In a speech Monday at George Washington University, she accused party leaders of kowtowing to Republicans on the war in Iraq and on military mistreatment of prisoners.

McKinney, who has not discussed her future plans, has increasingly embraced her image as a controversial figure.

She has hosted numerous panels on Sept. 11 conspiracy theories and suggested that Bush had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks but kept quiet about it to allow friends to profit from the aftermath. She introduced legislation calling for disclosure of any government records concerning the killing of rapper Tupac Shakur.

China has most jailed journalists

Associated Press | Dec 8, 2006

China encourages Internet use for business and education but tightly controls Web content, censoring anything it considers critical of — or a threat to — the Communist Party.

China, which jails more journalists than any other nation, is challenging the view that information on the Internet is impossible to control, and the implications for press freedom could be far-reaching, a New York-based rights group said.

At least 31 journalists are behind bars in China, making it the world’s leading jailer of reporters for the eighth year in a row, the Committee to Protect Journalists said in its annual survey released Thursday.

Three out of four of the journalists were convicted under vague charges of subversion or revealing state secrets, and more than half were Internet journalists.

China encourages Internet use for business and education but tightly controls Web content, censoring anything it considers critical of — or a threat to — the Communist Party.

Blogs are often shut down, and those who post articles promoting Western-style democracy and freedom are routinely detained and jailed under subversion charges.

Brazil fears for tourism in wake of latest Hollywood horror

The Guardian | Dec 4, 2006

· Backpackers drugged and organs sold in gory movie

· Tourist chiefs hire PR firm to counter reaction

Sun, sand, kidnap and organ removal. If you believe the latest horror movie to come out of Hollywood, this is what to expect from a holiday in Brazil.

After US film executives launched Turistas, Brazilian tourist chiefs were weeping into their caipirinhas (a Brazilian cocktail), fearful that the movie will scare off visitors.

The film, by a Fox Films subsidiary, follows a group of US backpackers whose holiday at a Brazilian resort turns into a nightmare when they are drugged with caipirinhas, kidnapped and set upon by a gang of organ traffickers.