Government Shutdown Could Delay New Gadgets

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 

Starbucks CEO Wants You to Sign This Petition

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 

Web Site Lets You “Drunk Dial” Congress

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 

Shutdown Madness: Volunteer Told to Stop Mowing Lincoln Memorial Lawn

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 

Report: GOP Considers Short-Term Debt Limit Hike

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 

Chris Christie Won’t Deny a 2016 Presidential Run

Oct 9, 2013, 2:22 pm EDT
Chris Christie Won’t Deny a 2016 Presidential Run

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won’t deny a 2016 presidential run.

Christie is telling voters that he may not be able to complete his second term if he is voted into office again after the election. During a debate on Tuesday, Christie was asked about his political future. Christie responded that he wasn’t going to declare that he was running for president, but that he also wouldn’t declare that he isn’t. He later told a skeptical moderator that he could “walk and chew gum at the same time,” and that he could “do this job and also deal with my future.” Christie’s team has been collecting support from groups of Democrats, union workers, women and minorities. Other Republicans have had trouble attracting these groups, reports The Washington Post.

“The fact is there have been people talking about me running for president since 2010 and they all said I would do it in 2012 and I said I wouldn’t and I didn’t,” Christie told ABC News. “And the fact is after 2017 I’m going to be looking for another job anyway.” Read 

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