onegreenplanet:

Why You Should Keep a Very Close Eye on the FDA

onegreenplanet:

Why You Should Keep a Very Close Eye on the FDA

"Specifically, the ACLU fears “jurisdictional overreach,” which under the new rules would allow a magistrate judge in any district to impose a “remote access search warrant” in any other district. The memo is authored by Nathan Freed Wessler, Chris Soghoian, Alex Abdo, and Rita Cant, who are attorneys and fellows at the ACLU. “Unlike terrorism investigations (for which out-of-district search warrants are currently authorized, Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(b)(3)), remote searches of electronic storage media are likely to occur with great frequency. The proposed rule is not a minor procedural update; it is a major reorganization of judicial power.” The ACLU also raised the troubling implications of granting the power of a single warrant to conduct vast digital searches."

As gov’t discusses expanding digital searches, ACLU sounds caution | Ars Technica (via infoneer-pulse)

(via infoneer-pulse)

(Source: grafini)

Anonymous asked: Sorry if this a weird question but how does one go about making a unique fictional group hierarchy? I'm sort of thinking along the lines of what the Warrior Cats series did with their "clans".

characterandwritinghelp:

Power-based hierarchies are systems that ranks members above or below one another according to status or superiority. Broadly speaking, there will be a sparsely populated top tier, with each progressively lower tier holding more and more members. Most hierarchical structures aren’t inherently unique, since a lot of hierarchies look more or less like this.

[…stay tuned while headless quickly researches warrior cats…]

My impression of the way Warrior Cats structures its clans is that each clan is its own self-contained faction that serves its own needs. A lot of administrative power appears to reside in the leader, where physical power and protection is in the warriors who make up the bulk of the clan. Each individual position is vital to the survival of the clan in different ways, but the overwhelming majority of clan members are warriors due to their way of life. (Far be it from me to dissect the balance of power in a clan structure whose specific politics I don’t understand, though. Let’s move on.)

A hierarchy demands flow and structure. Where yours can differentiate from other systems is in how it is organized and in how the balance of power is distributed (not to mention the specific terminology and labels you give the differing branches and ranks).

Some things to think about in creating a power structure:

  • Balance of power. Is there one leader, or many? Are the lower tiers of the faction unquestioningly obedient, or are they free to make their own decisions? Is leadership determined by the will of the many or the few?
  • Dominance/subservience. Who answers to who? Who holds power over what? Are there different chains of command for different branches of the faction (consider: the United States government has executive, judicial, and legislative branches that all balance against each other and are responsible for different things).
  • Cultural differences. How do members of this faction respond to members from other factions? Are certain factions exclusive and revered where others are more open and commonly entered?
  • Admission/expulsion. How does one join a faction? Are members born into it, or are there entry requirements or tests that must be observed by new members? Can members leave at any time, or are members bound to the faction for life? What would cause someone to be kicked out or refused entry?
  • Succession. Supposing your hierarchy has a (few) leader(s), and keeping in mind that people do quit, retire, and/or die, what will happen when the faction must undergo a change in power? Who takes over when the leader(s) can no longer lead? What happens if the leader(s), for some reason, cannot be present for a major decision?
  • Security. Suppose your faction is a secret or heavily influential/incredibly wealthy/otherwise targeted group. How do they stay safe? What is standard procedure for an attack or raid on the faction? What happens in the event that the chain of command is broken, or if communication between branches is lost?
  • The rest of the world. How do outsiders view the faction? How does the faction influence life for non-members? Are members stigmatized or revered, or are they treated like normal citizens?
  • Guild wars. (Not THAT Guild Wars.) Factions routinely oppose each other, be they friendly rivals or deadly foes.
    • History. How did they come to oppose each other? Were both factions involved in the feud, or did one faction decide (for whatever reason) that another faction needed to go away?
    • Current events. Does the faction as a whole agree with the feud, or is it a unilateral decision of the leader to wage war against another faction?
    • Actions. What does opposition mean? Does it mean openly striking down a rival faction’s operations and members, or taking the route of subterfuge to undermine them? Is the faction trying to upset the rival faction, or destroy them entirely?

I hope this starts you off in the right direction. Let us know if you have other questions.

-Headless

newsweek:

How to Cheat on Your Taxes
Curnutt can show people how to cheat on their taxes and not get caught. His trick won’t work if you are a wage earner, but those rich enough to invest in real estate partnerships have escaped paying billions of dollars in the past decade by using this technique.
Curnutt knows this because he is a tax detective. He retired from the Internal Revenue Service in 2000 as one of its top snoops, overseeing all investment partnerships. Using his desktop computer, Curnutt discovered a simple way to cheat that no one at the IRS had noticed.
Call it Curnutt cheating. For his brilliant sleuthing, the IRS gave Curnutt commendations and multiple cash awards, each for about $1,000. It sent him around the country to conduct 64 training sessions so IRS auditors could learn how to efficiently spot these cheats.
He also trained state tax auditors from California, Indiana, New Jersey and New York.
But the IRS never put Curnutt’s insights into practice and never cracked down on the cheaters, allowing them to escape paying tens of billions of dollars in federal and state taxes.
Now Curnutt’s mission in life, at age 76, is to get states and the IRS to go after these cheats.

newsweek:

How to Cheat on Your Taxes

Curnutt can show people how to cheat on their taxes and not get caught. His trick won’t work if you are a wage earner, but those rich enough to invest in real estate partnerships have escaped paying billions of dollars in the past decade by using this technique.

Curnutt knows this because he is a tax detective. He retired from the Internal Revenue Service in 2000 as one of its top snoops, overseeing all investment partnerships. Using his desktop computer, Curnutt discovered a simple way to cheat that no one at the IRS had noticed.

Call it Curnutt cheating. For his brilliant sleuthing, the IRS gave Curnutt commendations and multiple cash awards, each for about $1,000. It sent him around the country to conduct 64 training sessions so IRS auditors could learn how to efficiently spot these cheats.

He also trained state tax auditors from California, Indiana, New Jersey and New York.

But the IRS never put Curnutt’s insights into practice and never cracked down on the cheaters, allowing them to escape paying tens of billions of dollars in federal and state taxes.

Now Curnutt’s mission in life, at age 76, is to get states and the IRS to go after these cheats.