Thousands of Chinese spent their “best years” making Nike shoes and now have no pensions

Nikohl Vandel:

huh, i thought it was a communist country where the people are cared for birth to death?! wtf?!

Originally posted on Quartz:

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For the past week, as many as 30,000 workers have been on strike, disrupting work at plants in the southern China that make shoes for Nike, Adidas, and Puma. Their grievances are the same as those of many workers across the country: they’ve spent decades working for manufacturing plants and now that they want to retire, they don’t have enough money.

One of the biggest changes in Chinese society since its reform and opening is that the two traditional sources of social welfare, especially for the elderly, have diminished because of privatization and population controls: state-owned enterprises and the children of aging parents. To help, officials passed a social insurance law in 2011, requiring that all employers in the country enroll staff in pensions, medical insurance, worker’s compensation, unemployment, and maternity insurance.

But because of weak oversight of the system, employers often don’t keep up with their obligations. In over 400 factory probes, none…

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California moves to curb solitary confinement

Originally posted on Moorbey'z Blog:

by George Lavender

ò°@
In a forest clearing on the storm-swept Pacific coast near the California-Oregon border in the town of Crescent City, whose 7,394 inhabitants used to be lumberjacks and fishermen and now are prison guards, lies the infamous Pelican Bay State Prison, housing 2,753 amazing men the state calls the “worst of the worst” in conditions of incessant torture. It was here that prisoners who’ve spent decades in solitary confinement hatched the mass hunger strikes of 2011 and 2013, the last, involving 30,000 California prisoners at its peak, the largest prison hunger strike in history. Forty prisoners refused food for 60 days. – Photo: CDCR

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Turn your Instagrams into a business: Snapwire, a new mobile stock photo website, opens to public

Nikohl Vandel:

best idea I’ve seen in a while

Originally posted on Gigaom:

For a generation obsessed with selfies and taking pictures of any meal set before us, mobile photography has become second nature. We reach for the closest camera — normally our phones — and take photos of everything from sunsets to coffees, posting them to Instagram to see how many likes we can get. Snapwire , a Santa Barbara, Calif.-based startup emerging from beta mode, wants to connect the new photography generation with clients who need their talents and are willing to pay for it.

“This new generation of photographers did start out on mobile and they are the ones who have the most passion for their photography. They’re the ones who are assembling in San Francisco to do Instameets and to really get that validation on the photographs,” said Chad Newell, founder and CEO. “So we built Snapwire to give them the opportunity to sell their work, the ultimate validation really.”

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Vladimir Putin is now pushing around the markets, as well as his neighbors

Nikohl Vandel:

I wonder what the script is in his had that’s running right now. seems a bit outdated for 2014.

Originally posted on Quartz:

It's as good as gold. In fact, it's much better this week.

It’s as good as gold. In fact, it’s much better this week.

The prospect of outright war between Russia and Ukraine seemed a real possibility this week (though the tensions have eased a bit), and that made for some interesting dynamics in the markets.

Ukraine is a substantial supplier of the grain, and wheat prices surged to the top of Quartz’s weekly look at how different asset classes fared. Russia’s OAO Norilsk Nickel is the world’s largest producer of that basic ingredient for stainless steel. And prices for that raw material also surged during the week. Nickel prices hit 14-month highs this week (paywall) amid concern that Russian producers could face sanctions that disrupt supplies.

Of course, Russia wasn’t the only market mover. Japan’s Nikkei rose as the yen weakened against the US dollar. The US S&P 500 posted its best week since July on solid outlooks from companies reporting earnings, including GE

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Counterforce Protests Tech Using Tech

Nikohl Vandel:

why we occupy … we are all responsible. #togetherwerise, #waveofaction

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

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Rising income inequality is quickly becoming the most prevalent issue of our century, “the defining challenge of our time,” according to President Obama. No where is this more acute than in San Francisco, where rents growing at 3 times the national average are squeezing out the lower and middle classes in favor of tech workers who can pay astronomical housing prices.

This widening gap between the haves and the have nots is leading to protests, and the tech industry, though not responsible for all these ills, has proved itself an easy target. Some protest groups like Heart of the City have targeted Google Buses and their routes, while the ominous-sounding Counterforce has gone the route of earmarking accessible members of the tech community in order to leverage these people’s media reach.

There is probably no tech employee more accessible than Google Ventures’ Kevin Rose, and thus the Counterforce…

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ESA’s shiny new Sentinel-1A satellite returns first Earth photos

Originally posted on Eideard:


Click to enlarge – Image of a transect across the northern section of the Antarctic Peninsula

ESA’s Sentinel-1A satellite has returned its first images of Earth from space in its second week of achieving orbit. The satellite, having been launched on Apr. 3. has only recently undergone a complicated maneuver to extend its 10 meter solar wings and 12 meter radar imaging array.

There are due to be six constellations of two Sentinel satellites designed to image the Earth, in part to observe climate change as a part of the Copernicus program. The satellite is not yet positioned in its operational orbit, nor is it fully calibrated to supply true data to the mission. However, the images taken on Apr. 12 are a truly stunning example of the observational capabilities of the cutting-edge satellite…

Over the next three months, the satellite will run through its commissioning phase, during which it…

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