Wednesday Morning: Whip It Good
When a problem comes along you must whip it
Before the cream sits out too long you must whip it
When something’s going wrong you must whip it
— excerpt, Whip It by Devo
Can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of this song in the last couple of days.
Panama Papers fallout
Still not as much reporting showing up in global media as one might expect from a collaborative effort the size of that mustered by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and German news outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) around the leaked Panama Papers. But there is a slowly building debris field accumulating in the leak’s wake.
- Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned after ~7.5% of the population showed up at a protest rally (Channel NewsAsia) — But you probably know this much already, right? Icelanders don’t mess around with even so much as the appearance of conflict. Hope somebody will tell us if bananas are a thing at protests in addition to eggs, yogurt, and tissue paper. (see photo).
- Chair of Transparency International’s Chile chapter resigned (Transparency.org) — Oops. But kudos to Transparency for the prompt and direct reaction after the leak revealed the Chilean chair had been involved with
- China squelched reporting ties to leadership and revelations in Panama Papers (SCMP) — The suppression includes redirecting search engine queries to stories about sports figures involved in the scandal.
- Amazon’s cloud now home to the Panama Papers source documents (Forbes) — And tiny Australian software firm Nuix has been helping with sifting through the documents.
What will today bring?
Related? Pfizer and Allergan nix their merger
Proposed changes to Treasury Department rules are blamed for the breakup of this corporate marriage, in which Pfizer would have moved its headquarters to Allergan’s location in Ireland to avoid U.S. tax rates. Public sentiment about offshoring after the Panama Papers leak may have clinched this split.
- Heat pump technology could reduce energy use in clothing dryers by 40% (Phys.org) — Here’s a great use of our tax dollars, this research by U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratories. Dryers are the largest consumer of electricity in households equipped with them. As much of U.S. energy is produced by fossil fuel, this could have a dramatic impact on CO2 output. Let’s hope Congress encourages more of this kind of research as well as tax credits for related corporate R&D and consumer purchases.
- Orbeus, a photo-recognition software company, has been acquired by Amazon (Business Insider) — Imagine getting this message the next time you upload your personal photos to your Amazon Prime Photo account: “People who purchased your spouse’s belt on Amazon also purchased this underwear/lubricant/sex toy.” Just, no.
- STARZ premium cable channel will now offer a direct streaming service for cord cutters (Ars Technica) — The offering will work much like HBO Direct. But will ISPs that offer STARZ (like Comcast and Charter) attempt to throttle this service as it cuts into their bundled sales? Net neutrality is going to get a work out as more cable channels offer their content straight to consumers.