Oct 11, 2013, 9:53 am EDT
The ramifications of a political fight among lawmakers in Washington, D.C., could spill over into the technology industry, affecting consumers in ways many probably never imagined.
New electronics products, including smartphones, gaming consoles, TVs and other mobile devices, must receive certification from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before they can hit store shelves. The FCC evaluates radio signals emitted by about 16,000 devices every year to ensure that they comply with regulations and will not interfere with other radio transmissions, Bloomberg notes.
But the government shutdown — now in its second week — has forced the FCC to furlough 98% of its workforce. While private testing firms complete most of the certification process, the FCC must still provide the final approval on devices. Read
Oct 11, 2013, 9:44 am EDT
Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz is asking Americans to sign a petition that will be delivered to Congress by October 17.
The petition’s goal is to have Congress end the government shutdown, pay its debts on time and pass a long-term budget deal by the end of the year. Starbucks will be running ads in several national newspapers that will have the petition in them. People are asked to sign the petitions and turn them in at any Starbucks location over the weekend. Petitions are also available at Starbucks’ stores starting today. Those who don’t have a Starbucks nearby can choose to sign the petition online at www.ComeTogetherPetition.com. The petition can also be “liked” on Starbucks’ Facebook page. Schultz is also asking his fellow CEO’s to join him in signing the petition. He said that no company is safe from customers cutting back due to the uncertainty of the government shutdown. He also said that this petition isn’t about making profit, but that it is a genuine concern, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Newspapers that will be carrying the Starbucks petitions include: USA TODAY, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Read
Oct 10, 2013, 8:09 pm EDT
With Congress as unpopular as it is in the wake of the current government shutdown, it’s probably no surprise that plenty of people are angry at the legislature. A newly created web site offers ticked-off citizens a way to blow off steam at their elected officials: drunk dial their office.
Drunk Dial Congress lets users input their phone number into a form, push a button, and call a random member of Congress. The site helpfully suggests having a drink first, and throws out some recipes for cocktails ranging from the Southern Congressman (Jack Daniels, lime juice, sour mix) to the Sleepy Senator (absinthe, tonic water, sugar syrup, and lime juice).
The site also trots out several talking points to use when calling, each of them helpfully linked to a news article about the effects of the shutdown. Read
Oct 10, 2013, 11:04 am EDT
Chris Cox just wanted to make sure that the Lincoln Memorial continued to look its best, even if the U.S. government was shut down due to a political impasse.
The resident of South Carolina hauled his lawnmower to Washington, D.C., and began cutting the grass around the monument to the nation’s iconic sixteenth president. But his efforts were halted by U.S. Park Police, who ordered him to leave, ABC News notes.
Personnel from the National Park Service normally keep the lawns cut at the Lincoln Memorial and other monuments and buildings around the capital. However, the service has seen large numbers of staff furloughed during the government shutdown. Read
Oct 10, 2013, 10:03 am EDT
Because what this country needs is yet another fiscal standoff in another couple of weeks or months, the Associated Press is reporting that GOP leaders are considering a short-term debt limit hike.
The move would push back the deadline but it’s unclear how long that would be.
The Associated Press quoted unnamed officials close to negotiations. Read