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July 10 2013

L'Eau ne paiera plus seulement l'Eau | C'est absolument scandaleux !

L’Eau ne paiera plus seulement l’#Eau | C’est absolument scandaleux !

L’Eau paie l’Eau. C’est la règle à laquelle l’Etat s’est toujours officiellement attaché. Elle est pourtant aujourd’hui clairement mise en question par l’arbitrage du budget 2014. Et en mettant en cause cette simple règle écologique, les populations les plus défavorisées en seront les premières victimes.

Le gouvernement a décidé de ponctionner les Agences de l’eau pour l’année 2014 à hauteur de 10% de leurs recettes provenant des redevances sur l’eau. C’est 210 millions d’Euros qui iront directement au #budget général de l’Etat. Le motif évoqué est la situation financière saine des Agences avec un fonds de roulement qui leur évite pour la plupart de s’endetter. Mais cette situation est une simple situation d’équilibre qui permet d’agir.

cc @marclaime

Tags: Eau budget

July 02 2013

Four short links: 3 July 2013

  1. Mobile Email Numbers (Luke Wroblewski) — 79% use their smartphone for reading email, a higher percentage than those who used it for making calls and in Feb ’12, mobile email overtook webmail client use.
  2. ProperSSLa series of best practices for establishing SSL connections between clients and servers.
  3. How We Are Losing the War for the Free and Open Internet (Sue Gardner) — The internet is evolving into a private-sector space that is primarily accountable to corporate shareholders rather than citizens. It’s constantly trying to sell you stuff. It does whatever it wants with your personal information. And as it begins to be regulated or to regulate itself, it often happens in a clumsy and harmful way, hurting the internet’s ability to function for the benefit of the public.
  4. The Amazingly Low Cost of PRISM — breaks down costs to store and analyse the data gathered from major Internet companies. Total hardware cost per year for 3.75 EB of data storage: €168M
Sponsored post

March 07 2013

Science Podcast - Quantum spintronics, economics of saving, the fate of oceanography, and more (8 Mar 2013)

David Awschalom explores the potential of spintronics in quantum processing; Shlomo Benartzi discusses workplace interventions that may help employees save for retirement; Eli Kintisch describes a crossroads facing U.S. oceanography; and more.

October 03 2012

Four short links: 3 October 2012

  1. Mil-OSS 4 — 4th military open source software working group conference, in Rosslyn VA. Oct 15-17. Tutorials and sessions will cover: Linux, Geospatial, LiDAR, Drupal, cloud, OSS policy and law, Android and many other topics. The last day will have a 1/2 day unconference for up-and-coming issues.
  2. State of Internet Slides (Business Insider) — Apple could buy Disney using cash at hand. Boggle. This presentation has plenty of numbers for those who like them.
  3. See Penny Work — an open source (GPLv2) toolkit for budget visualizations, from Code For America. (via Tim O’Reilly)
  4. libimobiledevice — LGPLed open source library which talks the protocols to support iPhone®, iPod Touch®, iPad® and Apple TV® devices. Unlike other projects, it does not depend on using any existing proprietary libraries and does not require jailbreaking. It allows other software to easily access the device’s filesystem, retrieve information about the device and it’s internals, backup/restore the device, manage SpringBoard® icons, manage installed applications, retrieve addressbook/calendars/notes and bookmarks and (using libgpod) synchronize music and video to the device. Runs on Linux, OS X, and Windows.

February 17 2012

Visualization of the Week: Four ways to look at Obama's 2013 Budget

This week, President Barack Obama submitted to Congress his budget for the 2013 fiscal year. You can wade through the entire budget here, or you can get a different look at the budget data through the New York Times' interactive visualization. The Times visualization offers four different ways to examine the budget proposal: all spending, types of spending, changes, and department totals.

Screenshot of New York Times Budget Visualization
Screenshot from the New York Time's 2013 budget visualization. See the full interactive version.

The visualization opens on the "all spending" tab where you can see circles whose color and size represent the size and changes in spending. The size of the circle depends on the amount of spending, and the colors show change — green for more money proposed, red for less.

The transition between the tabs is animated. For example, when you click between the "all spending" and "types of spending" tabs, the circles reposition and regroup.

The full visualization can be seen here.

(Hat tip to Flowing Data.)

Strata 2012 — The 2012 Strata Conference, being held Feb. 28-March 1 in Santa Clara, Calif., will offer three full days of hands-on data training and information-rich sessions. Strata brings together the people, tools, and technologies you need to make data work.

Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR20

More Visualizations:

September 21 2011


Die Erwartung von privaten Stiftungen oder öffentlichen Förderprogrammen ist meist, dass nach einer Anfangsfinanzierung – typischerweise für fünf Jahre – der Professur durch die Stiftung oder das Förderprogramm die Hochschule aus eigenen Mitteln die Professur dauerhaft unterhält. Da aber die Hochschule – in Deutschland und Europa – finanziell nicht selbständig sind, sondern von lang- und kurzfristigen Entscheidungen der Regierungen abhängig sind, können sie kaum planen. Anfangsfinanzierungen führen folglich zu hochschulinternen Mittelumschichtungen, die nicht unbedingt sinnvoll sind. So derzeit an einigen Hochschulen, die von Exzellenzinitiative beglückt worden sind.

Gefahren fremdfinanzierter Professuren | erlebt 2011-09-21

July 27 2010

Merkel and IMF: Budget cuts - Austerian Germany with Misleading Economic Means for Europe’s Future

Germany’s efficency and house wife mentality in European and international economic relations seems first of all (starting already with Helmut Kohl’s 2nd term during the late 80ies) economically asymetrically motivated by its own interest, but more than that it ransoms obviously an underlying segregation process within Europe, which is to expect to aggrevate continiously by future similar biassed social and fiscal means.

Chancellor Merkel showed during the lattest Euro-Zone meetings and at the G8/G20 in Toronto no endeavours, which could send any signal of hope, to find a way out of this multilateral disequilibrium. The austerian IMF course is a part of the German consolidation strategy which has similarly to be followed by the other Euro-Zone members. Referring to this see more details in the article. Here an excerpt.

oanth - muc - 20100727


The excerpt is taken from an article by Paolo Manasse,
Professor of Macroeconomics and International Economic Policy at the University of Bologna

published 20100724 on

Clipped from

Budget cuts across Europe: Coordination or diktat?

Paolo Manasse
24 July 2010

Despite the lack of formal mechanisms for fiscal coordination across Europe, this column suggests that the planned exit strategy seems to support convergence among European countries aiming to cut deficits. Yet it argues that the budget cuts do not reflect the unemployment situation of member countries and appear inspired by Germany’s fiscal orthodoxy.

Predictably, the recent G7/G20 summits in Canada sanctioned a compromise. On one side was the US-backed position that the fiscal stimulus should not be removed too prematurely and kill the recovery, on the other the EU-backed requirement that markets ought to be reassured on Europeans’ solvency (see Baldwin and Gros 2010 for the Eurozone). 

Many observers have noted the “European” position, which focuses on fiscal discipline, mainly reflects the economic interests of Germany, a country that in recent years has witnessed strong gains in competitiveness and has managed to maintain a large external surplus in 2010 without compromising fiscal discipline (the debt ratio is currently at 79.6% and the primary budget at -3.5% of GDP). While German output fell by almost 5% between 2009 and 2010, the unemployment rate has actually dropped. It is therefore understandable that Germany, in order to stimulate the economy, would rather rely on productivity gains and on the depreciation of the euro, rather than footing the bill of fellow Europeans’ stimuli (and possible defaults).
In order to set a “good example”, the government of Angela Merkel recently introduced a constitutional rule requiring, from 2016, the federal structural deficit not to exceed 0.35% GDP, and constraining the German states to run balanced budgets. Similarly, budget “cuts” are on the agenda almost everywhere in Europe. The fiscal exit strategies differ from country to country, in terms of their size, their implementation horizon, their composition (spending cuts versus revenue increases), the nature of short- or long-term savings they generate, and the degree of institutional reforms that accompany them. Table 1 describes the size of budget cuts in relation to GDP of different national programmes for the period 2010-2015.

They range from the large adjustment’s of France, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and the UK, to the modest cuts of Austria, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, and Slovakia (Ireland made large cuts prior to 2010 and therefore these do not appear fully in table). 

Coordination or diktat?

These adjustment programmes pose an important question about fiscal policy in the Eurozone. To what extent are national policies the result of “policy coordination” in Europe and therefore meet, at least in part, “European” interests? Or do they obey the diktats of “fiscal dominance” from Germany, possibly under the implicit threat of leaving weak Southerners to their own destiny?

At this juncture, the “exit strategies” should strike a balance between three goals. The first one is the solvency of sovereigns. The second is the need to calibrate the exit strategies so as not to aggravate unemployment, the so-called “internal equilibrium”. The third, “European”, objective is the reduction of current-account imbalances within the Eurozone. Let us consider them in turn.

The solvency of sovereigns

If cuts are intended to ensure solvency, countries with lower primary surpluses should implement stronger manoeuvres. Figure 1 shows, on the y-axis, the magnitude of the cuts announced for 2010-15, and, on the x-axis, the primary balances in 2009. The figure shows that indeed a negative relationship seems to hold. 

Figure 1. Budget cuts in 2010-15 (y-axis) vs. primary balances in 2009 (x-axis), % GDP

Figure 4. Budget cuts in 2010-15 (x-axis) and current-account balance 2009 (y-axis), % GDP

Source: Author’s calculations

Policy coordination or German diktat?

In conclusion, the fiscal exit strategies that the major European countries have planned for 2010-15 seem to respond to the need to ensure the solvency, being related to the levels of deficits and national debts. Despite the lack of formal mechanisms to implement fiscal coordination in the Eurozone, the planned exit strategy seems also consistent with the objective of promoting convergence among European countries, through the reduction of current-account imbalances. Thus, the view that fiscal consolidation in Europe merely responds to the interests of Germany seems excessive. Yet, the evidence also suggests that consolidation efforts do not reflect the unemployment situation of member countries, and appear inspired by a fiscal orthodoxy of Teutonic branding.


Baldwin, Richard and Daniel Gros (2010), New eBook: Completing the Eurozone rescue: What more needs to be done?, A Publication, 17 June.

June 23 2010

Battersea power station fires up for London stock market listing

• Irish owners refinance and want to list the project on Aim
See our gallery of previous redevelopment plans

The troubled owners of Battersea power station have unveiled plans to float the building on the stock exchange in the latest in a string of attempts to redevelop the derelict London landmark.

Despite numerous plans for the 40-acre site, it has stood empty for more than a quarter of a century while the rest of the Thames waterfront around it has undergone huge change.

Now Irish property group Real Estate Opportunities (REO), which bought the Battersea site in 2006 for £400m, wants to spin it off and possibly float it on London's Alternative Investment Market (Aim). It is also looking for a partner to take a 50% stake in the project and provide the financial firepower.

REO has been hit hard by the Irish property slump. It reported an underlying loss before tax of nearly £1bn for the 14 months to 28 February, reflecting an £811m drop in the valuation of its property portfolio.

The firm has drawn up a shortlist of possible investors after being approached by a number of international real estate groups, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds from around the world, including the Middle East.

REO hopes to get permission to redevelop the site in September after submitting the largest ever planning application made in central London, in terms of financial value, last autumn. If it gets the go-ahead, the site's value is expected to soar from the current valuation of £388m.

"It's an opportunity to turn the power station into a cultural icon for London," said Robert Tincknell, who runs REO's parent firm, Treasury Holdings. "A year ago, people were saying 'it's not going to happen'. That's changed enormously over the last 12 months, with the planning permission having gone in and the support we have [from the London mayor, Boris Johnson, English Heritage and Wandsworth Council]." The Conservatives launched their election manifesto at the power station in April.

Treasury Holdings was forced to tear up its plans for the imposing building, one of London's most recognisable landmarks, and start again after Johnson decided that a proposed tower would ruin the view from Waterloo Bridge to the Palace of Westminster. The original plan, drawn up by the New York-based architect Rafael Viñoly, included a futuristic 300m glass funnel and atrium, rising from an enormous transparent dome.

Viñoly and Treasury Holdings came up with a new blueprint a year ago that is capped at a height of 60m, as stipulated by the mayor. It includes 3,700 homes, office space, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities, at a cost of £4.5bn. Treasury Holdings also hopes to co-fund an extension of London Underground's Northern Line to the site.

The high cost means the company needs a partner – "someone who can bring big financial strength to it to make sure it happens," said Tincknell. Building work could start at the end of 2011.

When the power station was decommissioned in 1983, its then owners, the Central Electricity Generating Board, wanted to tear down the building and replace it with housing, but it had been given a Grade II listing in 1980. For developers, the real prize is the land around it; most have little interest in its heritage status.

REO said today it had negotiated new lending terms for Battersea with Lloyds Banking Group and Nama – Ireland's "bad bank" – which means its existing bank facility will be extended and all outstanding breaches waived. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

June 22 2010

Cutswatch: you tell us where arts are feeling the squeeze | Paul MacInnes

The arts community is expected to feel the impact of government austerity measures in the coming months, but we want you to help us paint a detailed picture of where the axe strikes

Last week, Arts Council England announced how it plans to effect the £19m of cuts imposed upon it by the coalition government. The announcement occasioned a sigh of relief among many arts professionals as, thanks to the deployment of reserve funds, cuts will currently be limited to 0.5% of funding for all the 880 organisations the Arts Council supports. As Lyn Gardner writes today, this is unlikely to be the end of the matter, so reliant are many organisations on local funding that could well dwindle as a result of today's budget and this autumn's spending review.

It's a complicated situation and one that will result in some organisations being hit much harder than others. This is where Cutswatch comes in. We're setting up this page to allow you, the professionals and the punters, to share with us the details of cuts as they are implemented. When jobs are lost or investment scrapped, we want you to tell us about it. Our reporters will be updating it with their own information too, making this – we hope – a one-stop shop for information on arts cuts.

So share your news below the line or make suggestions as to areas we should be investigating. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

June 21 2010

Solstice setback at Stonehenge

Summer solstice revellers disappointed that coalition government will cut funding to new Stonehenge visitor centre

Sometimes the police come in for criticism, while at other times English Heritage attracts the ire of the druids, ravers, hippies and sun lovers who turn out for the summer solstice at Stonehenge.

At today's celebrations there was a political target – David Cameron and the coalition government – following the announcement that government funding for a visitor centre at the ancient monument was being cut.

The outcry from solstice revellers was led by the unmistakeable figure of Arthur Pendragon, a druid who believes he is an incarnation of the once and future king.

Pendragon, who rejoices in the title of battle chieftain of the council of British druid orders, said he was not surprised that the £10m funding was dropped.

"I knew the writing was on the wall. I knew the new government wouldn't stump up the money. It's no surprise but, still, it's a disgrace. This wouldn't happen anywhere else in the world."

Pendragon has campaigned for 20 years for a new visitor centre at the World Heritage site and to close at least one of the busy roads that surround the stones.

Tourists are often shocked at the state of the centre and amazed that traffic is allowed to roar past so close.

Last year Gordon Brown promised £10m towards a £25m scheme to build a glass and timber centre and to shut the nearby A344. The scheme was expected to win planning permission soon and the project was due to be completed in 2012 to coincide with the staging of the Olympics in the UK.

Last week the government announced the funding would be pulled. English Heritage, which manages the site, said it was "extremely disappointed", arguing that transforming Stonehenge was "vital to Britain's reputation and to our tourism industry". It said it would try to find the funding from elsewhere.

Pendragon said he was worried about how the shortfall would be met: "I don't want to see them making up any shortfall with a public-private partnership. I don't want to see Americans going home with T-shirts reading: 'I've been to McDonald's Stonehenge'.

"All they've got to do is go to an investment banker with a decent proposal. Nearly a million visitors come through here every year. Any investment bank will see that it's a money spinner.

"It's not as if they aren't good for the money. Being English Heritage, they've got a castle or three they can put up as collateral.

"We've been 20 years waiting for this visitor centre, faffing about. They can borrow the money and build the bloody visitor centre. That's what I intend to make sure they do."

Rollo Maughfling, archdruid of Stonehenge and Britain, greeted the rising of the sun with a blast on his trumpet – which sounded not unlike a vuvuzela. "It's been a wonderful, warm night," he said.

Around 20,000 people turned up to mark the solstice and by dawn there had been 30 arrests for minor offences. It was also the first time the solstice sun had peeped from behind the clouds since 2003.

While campaigning tends to be left to Pendragon, Maughfling said it was a druid's duty to get involved in politics when the need arose – and it had now arisen.

"You have to tangle with politics to make sure that, for example, our national shrines and temples are looked after," he said.

"Look at any of the stories of druids in ancient British literature and ancient Irish literature, there have been times when the security of the land has been in the hands of druids as well as kings. Druids have taken sides in all kinds of matters. We can't stand apart from it all."

Peter Carson, head of Stonehenge for English Heritage, said he was pleased at how the solstice went but disappointed at the withdrawal of funding.

"But it's not over yet," he said. "Let's see what we can do. Maybe there is a way forward. The project has a great deal of support. It will ensure a suitable setting for Stonehenge and it will upgrade considerably the very poor facilities we currently have."

Sky, a pagan from Devon, broke off from a drumming session to explain how crucial it was that Stonehenge was improved. "It's the most wonderful place and it's a disgrace that we're still waiting for a new visitor centre and for improvements to the roads. I bring people here from abroad sometimes. They're amazed by the stones – but also amazed at how crummy the facilities are. I'd like that David Cameron to come down here and tell us why Stonehenge, our national treasure, is being treated so shabbily." © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

April 09 2009

April 08 2009

April 06 2009

Play fullscreen
Obama should save the banks, not the bankers Pt.5

February 15 2009

Play fullscreen
Weapons programs re-branded as jobs programs

February 14 2009

Play fullscreen
Will Obama slash the military budget?
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