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13 May 2010 22:37


Tech: So, yeah, now there’s a Facebook protest on the table. Hoo-ray

See, if we were Facebook, we would’ve registered @facebookprotest on Twitter (and the corresponding domain name) knowing the odds someone would get to it first. source

13 May 2010 22:02


U.S.: Should we trust the numbers we’ve been hearing from the oil spill?

  • The government has a responsibility to get good numbers. If it’s beyond their technical capability, the whole world is ready to help them.
  • Florida State University oceanographer Ian R. MacDonald • Regarding the numbers the government has been using to explain the growth of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. MacDonald and others claim that the spill has spewed forth far more than 5,000 barrels a day (still very high), and suggest that the method that they used to measure the spill was not designed for spills the size of the uncontrollably-spewing Gulf spill. For its part, oil company BP suggested that the leak could spew as much as 60,000 barrels a day – in other words, an Exxon Valdez worth of oil every four days. Scared yet? source

13 May 2010 21:46


Music: Andy Rooney of “60 Minutes” officially the oldest man alive

  • “How come I don’t know any of the bands on the Billboard chart? Who’s Lady Gaga?  Where’s my oatmeal? Get off my lawn! And change my Depends!”

13 May 2010 20:59


Biz, U.S.: The Senate wants to take the bite out of debit-card “swipe fees”

  • 64 senators voted to add the amendment to the financial reform bill
  • 65% of debit transactions
    will be affected by
    the changes
  • yes the bill will allow incentives for those who pay with cash source
  • » The addition, explained: Banks and other financial institutions charge fees for consumers to use debit cards. The fees aren’t significant for big-ticket retail chains but can hurt the bottom line of small businesses or those that specialize in selling lots of inexpensive items (say, 7-Eleven or McDonald’s). These fees can get passed down to the consumer as a result. The bill limits how much those fees can be, but leaves exceptions for banks with less than $10 billion in assets. Credit unions, by the way, are complaining loudly about these changes, in particular.

13 May 2010 20:41


U.S.: “Law and Order” possibly canceled? Say it ain’t so, guys!

  • The show may or may not survive after its 20th season. It’s a show you can seemingly make new plots for without even trying. That’s a characteristic that’s served it well through two decades and multiple spin-offs. But NBC may be ready to move on, according to a Deadline Hollywood report (which NBC is currently keeping mum about). Above, we put the cast of the most classic era. Let’s face it, Jerry Orbach was born to be on this show! While Anthony Anderson and Jeremy Sisto are great, they just can’t hold a candle to this fabulous foursome. source

13 May 2010 11:25


Tech: Is Research in Motion working on an iPad-competing tablet?

  • YES and it tethers to your phone,
    unlike the iPad source

13 May 2010 11:19


Politics: Some bizarro hippie has been ripping on Roger Ebert’s cancer

Ebert has long been a critic of the bizarro hippies who gives as hard as he gets, but let’s face it guys, making fun of his condition (as Caleb Howe did) is below the belt. source

13 May 2010 11:11


Biz: Payrolls have increased, but jobless claims are still high; why?

  • People aren’t getting laid off, but jobs aren’t getting created. With a decrease in new jobless claims by less than 4,000 (there were 444,000 new jobless claims this week) against a backdrop of increasing payrolls, many are wondering why job growth isn’t faster. Some are suggesting it’s tied to the high unemployment rate. “There are more jobs being created, but the general trend is that businesses are still reluctant to hire,” said analyst Gary Shilling of A. Gary Shilling & Co. The data show that the issue is more a lack of hiring and not people getting laid off.” source

13 May 2010 10:57


U.S.: The new housing trend? Walkable neighborhoods, not suburbs

  • Ten years ago, conventional large-lot housing in wealthy suburbs was the highest-priced housing, per square foot, in nearly all metropolitan areas. Today, housing in walkable neighborhoods is typically the most expensive; the lines crossed in the 2000s.
  • The Atlantic writer Christopher B. Leinberger • Noting the evolution in housing from the suburb back to the city. As housing values have gone down significantly, cities have started to come out back on top again. In particular, Leinberger notes the example of the D.C. metro area: The Metro system largely paid for many of its stations by having property owners pay more in taxes for a handful of years, then watched as their neighborhoods flourished. As a result, housing values in those areas have decreased at a much lower rate than that of the suburban areas which used to cost more. This should be a major hint for even mid-sized cities that they should invest in mass transit. (Hat tip to The Awl, which focused on the auto end of this argument.) source

13 May 2010 10:40


U.S.: Bad sign: Murder is up in many major cities this year

  • 149 murders in New York City so far this year, versus 134 at the same point last year; 13 were kids
  • 120 murders in Chicago
    (111 last year); a major leap in murder last month was a root cause
  • 104 murders in Philadelphia (101 last year); crime is mostly down in Philly this year
  • 103 murders in Los Angeles (100 last year); violent crime is otherwise down this year source