Morning Media Summary


Starbucks launches largest mobile payment program in the US:
“Starbucks has started accepting mobile payments. Customers can use the Starbucks Card Mobile app on their iPhone, iPod touch, or BlackBerry at nearly 6,800 company-operated Starbucks stores in the US plus more than 1,000 outlets inside Target stores. To pay with their phone, app users simply select “touch to pay” and hold up the barcode on the screen to the 2D scanner at the register. The app also lets users manage Starbucks accounts and find nearby stores.”

Hackers steal $150,000 with malicious job application:
“Scammers can move hundreds of thousands of dollars in a matter of hours using this technique. They often target small businesses that use regional banks or credit unions, which often don’t have the resources to identify and block the fraudulent transfers.”

The Companies Who Support Censoring the Internet:
“A group of companies sent a letter to to Attorney General Eric Holder and ICE boss John Morton today (with cc’s to VP Joe Biden, Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano, IP Czar Victoria Espinel, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. John Conyers, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Charles Grassley), supporting the continued seizure of domain names they don’t like, as well as the new COICA censorship bill, despite the serious Constitutional questions raised about how such seizures violate due process and free speech principles. While many reporting on this letter refused to actually post a copy of the full letter, kudos to Greg Sandoval over at for doing so (full text also included after the jump on this post).”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

Breakthrough solution for power plants – pump the CO2 into the sea…oh, wait:
“From the EPA might have something to say about that department…this press release from LNL suggests dumping tons of Calcium Bicarbonate as a byproduct of CO2 scrubbing into the oceans instead. Only one teeny little problem – most coal fired power plants (at least in the USA), aren’t anyway near the ocean.”

Insurance / Gambling:

New Jersey First to Regulate Online Gambling:
“The signature of Governor Chris Christie is all that remains now for New Jersey to become the first state in United States to regulate online gambling.”

Health / Safety:

Bedbugs evolving to defeat insecticides:
“A genetic study of bedbugs, whose numbers have recently exploded, suggests they are evolving to withstand pesticides used against them, U.S. scientists say.”

House passes health law repeal:
“House Republicans passed a bill to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care plan Wednesday, taking their first major step toward rolling back the massive overhaul that has dominated the American political landscape for almost two years.”


Higher Taxes Wouldn’t End Some Deficits:
“As state governments struggle with the fiscal damage caused by the recession, an income tax increase has become a rarely used remedy.”

House GOP conservatives set to unveil $2.5 trillion in deep spending cuts:
“A number of the House GOP’s leading conservative members on Thursday will announce legislation that would cut $2.5 trillion over 10 years, which will be by far the most ambitious and far-reaching proposal by the new majority to cut federal government spending.”

World needs $100 trillion more credit, says World Economic Forum:
“This doubling of existing credit levels could be achieved without increasing the risk of a major crisis, said the report from the WEF ahead of its high-profile annual meeting in Davos.”


Legislation seeks TSF money to combat smoking:
“State Representative Andy Fleischmann, who represents West Hartford in the Connecticut General Assembly, has introduced legislation requiring monies from the Tobacco Settlement Fund and cigarette taxes be used for smoking education and prevention programs, as well as for expansion of access to quality health care.”

US Supreme Court says NASA background security checks do not go too far:
“In a long-running dispute about privacy and security, the US Supreme Court today sided with NASA saying its background checks were not invasive and that the information required for not only NASA but most government positions was a reasonable security precaution and that sufficient privacy safeguards existed to prevent any improper disclosures.”

D.C. expanding public surveillance camera net:
“Big Brother may already be watching you in the District, and he will soon have a lot more eyes trained in your direction.”


AFL-CIO protesters attempt to break up MBA conference:
“A swarm of demonstrators crashed the Mortgage Bankers Association summit on the future of mortgage servicing in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to protest the government’s bailout of the financial system. At the heart of the protest is the demand for jobs. Union protesters are claiming that, due to relaxed tax laws, homebuilders aren’t doing their part to share the wealth.”

Transportation/ Land Use:

High-Speed Rail is a Fast Way to Waste Taxpayer Money:
“Where can the new Congress start cutting spending? Here’s one obvious answer: high-speed rail. The Obama administration is sending billions of stimulus dollars around the country for rail projects that make no sense and that, if they are ever built, will be a drag on taxpayers indefinitely.”