Vertu, Phone-Maker To the Rich, Says It’s Broke

A British-based luxury phone maker which made its name selling $ 50,000 smartphones decked out in alligator leather and titanium and fitted with sapphire screens, has applied to the courts to be placed in administration after running of out money to pay staff and suppliers, reports British outlet The Times. In a witness statement filed in the High Court in London yesterday, the report adds, the company’s last remaining director Jean-Charles Charki, said that Vertu was insolvent and unable to meet its June 30 payroll obligations of about 500,000 euros. From an earlier report: According to a juicy new report in the Telegraph, employees are worried about the future of the company after noticing that production had been running at reduced capacity. Employees are apparently worried about their unpaid wages, as well as pension contributions taken out of their paychecks without being added into the company’s retirement fund. Sources inside the company also told the Telegraph that Vertu has unpaid debts with suppliers such as Qualcomm and Microsoft, and bills from waste management, pest control, and other property services.

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China’s All-Seeing Surveillance State Is Reading Its Citizens’ Faces

China’s government is using facial-recognition technology to help promote good behavior and catch lawbreakers, reports the WSJ. From the article: Facial-recognition technology, once a specter of dystopian science fiction, is becoming a feature of daily life in China, where authorities are using it on streets, in subway stations, at airports and at border crossings in a vast experiment in social engineering (alternative source). Their goal: to influence behavior and identify lawbreakers. Ms. Gan, 31 years old, had been caught on camera crossing illegally here once before, allowing the system to match her two images. Text displayed on the crosswalk screens identified her as a repeat offender. “I won’t ever run a red light again,” she said. China is rushing to deploy new technologies to monitor its people in ways that would spook many in the U.S. and the West. Unfettered by privacy concerns or public debate, Beijing’s authoritarian leaders are installing iris scanners at security checkpoints in troubled regions and using sophisticated software to monitor ramblings on social media. By 2020, the government hopes to implement a national “social credit” system that would assign every citizen a rating based on how they behave at work, in public venues and in their financial dealings.

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China Landslide: at Least 15 Dead, 140 Buried in Sichuan Mountain Village

China Landslide: at Least 15 Dead, 140 Buried in Sichuan Mountain VillageAfter days of torrential rains, nearly 300 million cubic feet of rock and soil — equivalent to some 3,000 Olympic-sized pools —covered the village and a hotel in the worst landslide to hit the region since 2008.



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The People GoFundMe Leaves Behind

citadrianne shares a report from The Outline: President Donald Trump’s proposed budget seeks to slash $ 54 billion from social services including programs like Medicaid and Meals on Wheels. As these resources dry up, crowdfunding websites will further entrench themselves as extra-governmental welfare providers in order to fill the gap. For a lucky few, these sites are a lifeline. For most people, they are worthless. Crowdfunding’s fatal flaw is that not every campaign ends up getting the money it needs. A recent study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine found that more than 90 percent of GoFundMe campaigns never meet their goal. For every crowdfunding success story, there are hundreds of failures. “As many happy stories as there are in charitable crowdfunding, there are a lot of really worthy causes when you browse these platforms that nobody has given a cent to,” Rob Gleasure, professor at the business school of the National University of Ireland, Cork told The Outline. “People haven’t come across them.”
Feller and Gleasure’s report highlighted how fickle crowdfunding can be. Of all the Razoo campaigns started in 2013, they found, more than a third didn’t receive any funding at all. According to their report, donors are more likely to give to campaigns that feature lots of pictures and accompanying text.

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Buoyant Trump spouts boasts, proposals — and falsehoods — at Iowa rally

Buoyant Trump spouts boasts, proposals — and falsehoods — at Iowa rallyPresident Trump recapped his campaign's greatest hits and offered new policy ideas as well as blatant misstatements during a rally Wednesday night in Iowa.



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White House blames Democrats for not cooperating in repealing Obamacare

White House blames Democrats for not cooperating in repealing ObamacareAmid complaints about the secrecy with which Republicans are drafting a health care bill, the White House Tuesday put the blame on Senate Democrats for refusing to cooperate.



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