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Restoring the Media Latifundio: The Bitter End of Argentina’s 678


Sources | Carta Maior, Blue Bus (Brazil)

Restoring the media latifundio in Argentina: This is apparently one of the first priorities of the shock politics the new conservative administration intends to establish in Argentina over the next 100 days, along with other repressive measures in the areas of politics, economics and the administration of justice.

One of the first announcements of the government, even before the swearing in of Mauricio Macri … was that the television program 678, broadcast in prime time by state-owned TV Publica and competing with commercial media groups, would be discontinued.

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PT | Sue You Too


Source:  PT (Brazilian political party)

The national president of the Workers’ Party,  Rui Falcão, announced today (February 11), that the party will sue former Petrobras manager Pedro Brausco, who accused the finance secretary of our party, João Vaccari Neto, of acting as a go-between in illegal fundraising for the party, without presenting any proof of this accusation.

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Deep Float | Petrobras Underwater, Fire

A napkin outline of the Pasadena scheme

A back of the napkin outline of the Pasadena scheme


There is curiosity today as to the identity of a “deep throat” witness in the Petrobras corruption megascandal.

One month after Operation Car Wash was carried out, in the middle of this year, a career public servant with 30 years of service approached federal agents in charge of the task force and denounced Petrobras for ignoring “signs of criminal behavior” and “intentional mismanagement” inside the state-run petroleum giant “in order to divert funds without awakening the suspicions of auditors and inspectors.”

Together with the acquisition of the Pasadena Refinery in the U.S. – the most emblematic of the charges involving the case — the witness named former Mines and Energy minister Edson Lobão as the “godfather” of one of the suspects and [alleged that] current Petrobras CEO Graça Foster was responsible for the nomination of two other senior executives in the foreign trade division, supposedly responsible for a sale of assets to Nigeria that had led to losses for the company.


Was it a note with awful grammar from some General Nigeriano Ubuntu offering you a handsome sum for laundering some huge amount of cash through your account?

This is the Nigerian Third World Corruption scam. Purge it from your e-mail client. A variant is the wealthy but oppressed damsel in distress, for those more responsive to an emotional stimulus, and might be called the Rwandan Woman in Fear for her Life gambit.

During a four-hour closed session held on April 28 in Rio de Janeiro, – the transcript was appended to the Car Wash case file on Tuesday — the «informant», whose name will not be released during continuing investigations, described six cases of alleged criminal misconduct, chief among them the acquisition of  Pasadena, initiated in 2005. The deal, valued at US$ 359 million at the outset, wound up cost US$ 1,2 bilhão, causing Petrobras to suffer a US$ 793 million, according to the federal accounting tribunal (TCU).

[ … translation to come …]

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SEO | A Triple-Click on Google & Bing


As Diane Wong of the Australian iProspect SEO shop noted earlier this year, a newborn, all-Aussie Yahoo-MSN ad alliance pits  Bing Against Google and Yahoo! in Search Advertising.

It got me thinking, but not necessarily thinking straight. Bear this in mind in perusing the following.

It’s now been 4 months since Mi9 launched Bing Ads in Australia & New Zealand. In Australia, Google has around 93 per cent search market share and still remains the most obvious choice of platform for paid search advertisers. So as the Google versus Bing debate continues, will Google’s dominance continue to grow or is Bing’s entry to the Australian market going to overtake Yahoo’s previous market share?

Screenshot from 2014-07-28 11:05:01

A Web crawl of the Brazilian publishing and multimedia sectors demonstrates how central ad servers are to the Brazilian Web, and which, and how, they function.

This is happening in Brazil as well, as when the two ur-portals signed off on an online marketing partnership with an eye to slicing off a piece of as a yet underdeveloped market. This was in April 2013. I wondered whether channels of connectivity observable in the field might explain some inconsistencies. The trade-off with sociometric institutional analysis is often that jobs and those who do them do not follow the organization chart. The result can be a VNO, a “virtual networked organization” in which links in the value chain do not correspond to how things really get done … a clever strategy for the giant institutions — academia, government, civil society — to pursue ends they would rather not be seen as pursuing.


Not long ago, Prisa and Santillana, the Spanish publishing treasure galleons, were beginning their run for the gold, burning to achieve market share comparable to the multimedia empire of Televisa (75% of the national market!)


Yahoo! and Bing share a network, after Yahoo! signed on the dotted line with Microsoft Advertising.

On Friday, August 2,  Microsoft will launch a sponsored link service called Bing Ads, to be run by Microsoft Advertising. The service allows the user to manage both Yahoo! and the Bing search engine, in a single central office. The company hopes to stimulate competition among equals with Google, which operates in advertising through the AdWords program.

What can lay reader understand about the whys of this competition and all these strategic gambits, I wondered? Anything? I have collected — so far — a sample of 12,869,601 from 800,000 sites — using a Web crawler developed at the University of Chile — then used SNA techniques to focus on results from the .br TLD.

That data can be sorted somewhat intuitively — the coal has been carted away so the diamonds are more likely still here.  I have begun trying various ways of interpreting these data.

Screenshot from 2014-07-29 08:44:32

[To be continued]

I am curious, for instance, about content provision agreements among the major metro dailies and the mega-portals: the Estado de S. Paulo and Folha de S. Paulo and Globo. Estado now feeds national news to the Yahoo! Brasil site, and there seem to be such convenants to take into account. Much of the foreign news comes from EFE.

The selection of the Editora Abril as the Brazilian franchise of the Huffington Post, after conversing on the subject for the past couple of years. There are several other portals in the space as well — iG, Terra, and R7 (Rede Record) who have displayed signs of rethinking their presence to the reader.

Also curious is the case of Universal Online, a Web portal married not many years ago to the output of the Folha de S. Paulo

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Espionage | The John le Carré of Guanabara Bay



Today, the Folha de S. Paulo published one of those cheap little spy novels you can get in any book store, new or used, to help you endure a long and arduous bus journey, stuck in traffic all the way.

I am referring to that story about the CIA agent who worked under some sort of cover story at  the Embassy. Once he realize he was being watched, he called the police, asserting diplomatic privilege. And when the local police, ready to lower the boom on those responsible for the espionage, discovered the surveillance was being carried out by the Brazilian secret service, ABIN.

The Folha article, however, had nothing to say other than that it would it make a fine plot for a novel to read on the bus, if it not for the fact …  Continue reading

Globopar and the Virgins | Material Events


Source: Blog da Cidadania

Between 2001 and 2002,  Globo Comunicações e Participações Ltda. (Globopar) organized a financial scheme to acquire the transmission rights to the World Cup of 2002. The federal tax authority found the scheme to be fraudulent and criminal. The company was punished  with heavy fines and other penalties.

Globopar had acquired a company in the Virgin Islands that was dissolved just one year later. The funds traced to this company by the tax authority were used by the Marinho family holding company to pay for the transmission rights.

The tax authority brought charges against the company, finding that the transaction had resulted in the evasion of the Income Tax for Corporations [IRPJ] and demanding the payment of the principal, together with adjustment for inflation and a fine. In all, the company was presented with a bill for some R$ 600 million.

All of this took place at a time when news of Globo’s financial problems were widely reported in Brazil and around the world.

In October 2002,  Globopar, a shareholder and operator of the NET cable TV network — an asset it would later sell to the Mexican group Telmex — announced it would renegotiate the deadlines for settling the debt generated by its participation in NET.

At the time, market experts viewed the manuever as a sort of  [“blank  settlement”] by Globo.

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Hack Attack on IstoÉ | Veja Só!


Topic: Hacker Wars

Source: Blog da Cidadania

Author: Edu Guimarães

Translation: C. Brayton

On Saturday, July 20, the  Web site of IstoÉ  magazine — hosted on the Terra portal — published  harsh accusations against the PSDB of São Paulo over its involvement in an international corruption scheme involving the multinational Siemens and the São Paulo subway construction project.

The introduction explains the topic at hand:

“A bribery pipeline created to divert millions from subway and commuter rail projects was organized during São Paulo’s  PSDB governments. Lobbyists and officials with ties to the Toucans operated using front companies.”

The article soon spread like fire across the social networks and blogs.  And lo! thoughout the day, the site was attacked. More specifically, the hack attack targeted the article in which the accusation was made.

Readers attempting to access the story that Saturday could not get in. Clicking on the article redirected the internaut to the Web site of Veja magazine.


Whoever launched this attack is not well-versed in technology — according to the developer who services Blog da Cidadania, the attack was so simple that any kid with a little computer knowledge could unleash attacks of this kind.

Later on Saturday, the IstoÉ site was repaired, and in the late afternoon the article on the PSDB was accessible again. Another attack, however, was launched on the Terra portal at 22:29 of the same day.

The section  of the site chosen for the fresh attack was the blog of Paulo Moreira Leite, who left Época and went to work for IstoÉ after angering Globo during the “big payola” trial, when he dissented from the Marinho family and criticized the political bias of the Supreme Court in a book he wrote on the subject.

This nlog was informed by readers that they had attempted to reach the blog of Moreira Leite from a link on this site, but were being directled to Veja.

My technical support guy managed to decipher the methodused by the hacker that attacked Below the rudimentary technique used.

The malicious script was inserted in the Moreira Leite blog by a simple method — it was posted as a comment.

Even I can see basically how it works. I see so much of it in my own blogs that I have basically despaired of the comment system. Send me an e-mail, please.

Clicking the link to the Moreira Leite blog hosted  by Terra, IstoÉ, or the link provided on this page, as of 11:39 hs. on Sunday, redirected the internaut to the Veja Web site …

Ironically, my tech advisor says, it would be very simple for IstoÉ to eliminate the problem. On line 654 of the script on Moreira Leite’s blog, there is a comment reading: “value 11120493”. Deleting this comment fixes the problem.

The tech advisor to this  Blog da Cidadania was shocked by the fragility of site security at  IstoÉ and  Terra. Most Web sites, he said, can withstand attacks like this. The attacker, however, if not very adept at programming, may understand something of politics — Veja and PSDB are joined at the hip in the world of São Paulo politics.