Whatever Next? Amazon Makes A Profit!
Having lost $3 billion so far, Amazon Books has just posted its first-ever profit of $5 million. Perhaps it was thanks to the new machines
they bought to replace more workers.(this last link req. NYT reg.
) How would you
spend it if you were Jeff Bezos? And what does it mean: has the tide turned or not?
man protests prison construction by burying buses
This is one of the more original methods of protest I've seen. The "artist", an excavator by trade who is trying to protest what he sees as an unlawful zoning change that will lower the value of his property, says his inspiration came from Cadillac Ranch
Will his protest be successful? Do you think this was an appropriate way to catch the attention of the local authorities? I, for one, think this was clever.
Even Safire is getting sick of Bush
in today's NY Times op-ed piece writing about the bogus executive privilege order he signed re: FBI missteps in Boston: "Why is Bush, so early in his term and with little to hide, going down this road to upset our system of checks and balances?...It's another mistake that will come home to haunt the Bush presidency." (nytimes.com Member ID: metafi, password: metafi) And with Lieberman and Levin opening up the Enron investigation
("Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., the full committee's chairman, promised Wednesday `a search for the truth, not a witch hunt.' But he did not rule out an examination of Enron's relationships with the Bush administration.") does anyone not think the Dems are getting fired up for the fall elections, war or no war?
Another excellent editorial by Thomas Friedman.
"I have no problem with nation- building in Afghanistan, but what I'm really interested in is nation- building in America — using the power of Sept. 11 to make our country stronger, safer and a better global citizen in the world of Sept. 12, beginning with how we use energy." (nytimes.com Member ID: metafi, password: metafi)
Small World Research Project
After all the work we've done training newbies not to use the Internet for their chain letters (via this New York Times article
at+t broadband cable units to be bought by comcast. this means chicago cable service will shift to its third owner in two years (at+t broadband having purchased prime cable just last year, and having just gotten cable modems back online from the excite@home failure two weeks ago). anyone have any clues about the ramifications of this purchase?
"What is your name? Do you have a claim against me? Does anyone have a claim against me? I demand, or request, that the order of the court be released to me immediately."
(NYT link) 12 Michigan (natch) nutcases shout the same four questions over and over during their fraud, conspiracy, and tax evasion trial. Seems they believe the four questions shield them from government authority. They also believe the U.S. Constitution was invalidated when FDR took us off the gold standard, and the federal government has no power over them. I wonder if they'll come to feel differently after a few years in the federal penitentiary?
"Be accurate, be fair, be American"
is the Fox News mantra. Apparently, news with a moral slant is not only helping the Fox News ratings but many Americans report
wanting their news to be "Pro-American." When did it become unpatriotic to at least want news that attempts objectivity? Are "accuracy" and "fairness" always possible if Fox journalists must also subscribe to News Corporation's prescription as to what it means to "be American?"
Microsoft gets Xbox tunes for a song.
"We said, `Hey, we really want to promote these artists and promote who they are and what they stand for.'" All Your Bass Are Belong To M$ (for free). [nytimes]
"retail spending soars in october (nytimes)."
huh? frankly, i've cut my spending by about 60%. is anyone really shopping more, or is this a spin job?
While the cat's away the mice will play. When the cat is driven out by the Northern Alliance the mice will shave off their beards and watch TV.
makes the new anti-terrorism bill
seem not unreasonable.
From a piece in the NYTimes today, Home Front Is Minefield for President
: "The lesson we're learning," one administration official said today, "is that you can bomb the wrong place in Afghanistan and not take much heat for it. But don't mess up at the post office."
Leave it to the White House to come away with exactly the wrong interpretation. But the facts are there, too -- most Americans are more concerned about the (relatively slight) risk of getting Anthrax than the rather significant risk that, if we screw up in Afghanistan, we might lose the current coalition against terrorism, Bin Laden, and any hope for "homeland security" for a long time to come....
Why do they (our goverment representives) do this? Do they think that no one pays attention or do they know
that there is nothing we can do about it? Don't buy the war bonds.
A European Dragnet
captures new clues to bin Laden's network. They believe that for the sake of Jihad, or holy war, they can jettison the usual practices of devout Muslims. They call on adherents instead to burrow into the cultures they seek to eradicate. Let's have a block party.
NYC Mayor Returns $10 Million Check From Saudi Arabia For Anti-Israel Position
Mayor Giuliani is magnificent. What else is there to say (I'm sure something...)
Startlingly beautiful girl
. What is her life like? Does she resent it? How uncomfortable must life be for this girl's boyfriend? Why do restaurants give her a 75% discount if she sits at a window table? Rhetorical questions all, but sometimes you gotta ask. Be sure to click the slideshow thingie. (NYtimes link)
"All the writers are co-plaintiffs in a well-known class-action lawsuit by the Authors Guild and the National Writers Union against the Times over electronic rights and royalties disputes." The case reached the Supreme Court. NYTimes published an article
25 Sep about the accusation though its now a "pay-per-view" article. Response to NYT from one the plaintiffs here (slow server)
. Freelancers had expressed fear this would happen
"In a town full of soldiers, on the edge of Fort Bragg, there could be worse names for a restaurant these days than Osama's Place, but it is hard to think of any."
Behind the scenes of the "war council."
The New York Times has a fascinating, behind-the-scenes story about the administration's struggle to develop a plan of attack. The story quotes highly-placed sources around Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, et al. The most interesting revelation? GWB himself may actually be calling the shots.
European leaders trying to bring balance to American response.
"...Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has offered Mr. Bush his full support, insisted on Friday that any retaliation "must and will be based on hard evidence," and his spokesman has said that the support does not amount to a 'blank check.' "
Senator Biden says
that yesterday's arrests at NY airports were NOT connected to Tuesday's attacks, and those arrested were not carrying knives.
NY Times: Taliban Plead for Mercy to the Miserable in a Land of Nothing
Perhaps they should have thought of this when they sheltered so many "un-Islamic" murderers such as bin Laden. The perpetrators, co-conspirators, and accomplices of this massacre will receive no quarter from the U.S. whether they are Afghani, Iraqi, Saudi, or even American.
Operating on a fetus
to elicit further commentary on an earlier posting as to what is and is not human life, this article might raise some interesting observations.
He sees dead people.
(NYT link) John Edward, host of Sci Fi channel's "Crossing Over", can "read" his audience and pass messages from the deceased. Or is it just like a game of 20 questions? After a few questions he can make guesses and be close enough to right that people believe it. Have you ever seen the show, and do you believe him? Have you ever been read by a psychic? Do you have psychic powers yourself?
This NYT article
on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), written by Prof. Lawrence Lessig (author of an excellent book
on copyright law and policy in the digital age), raises concerns that were academic prior to the recent arrest
of a Russian software programmer at a Las Vegas computer security convention for violation of the act's Sec. 1201(a)(1)(A)'s anticircumvention provision
Is Lessig right that Sec. 1201 essentially makes coders (and their employers) into de facto
lawmakers and, if so, is this a bad thing? If Sec. 1201 is bad policy, are there any more reasonable alternatives for effectively protecting access to software and/or providing negative incentives for the unauthorized use of software? (NYT article, registration required)
Staten Island postal people prevent posting of posterior postcards.
Um, I mean, they wouldn't allow postcards of guys' butts to be sent. The cards were advertising short films to be shown at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. (NYT. Login: imaguest; password: imaguest)
AMTRAK still off-track
(NY Times link) Even before living in France I loved trains. So it pains to read that AMTRAK is still
heading towards its last run. Do you progressive, SUV-hating Mefi people have any thoughts on how AMTRAK might get its act together (or whether it's all SUV-futile)?
Dan Rather vs. The World
(NY Times link) -- While the conspiracy theorists
and much of the mainstream media were jumping down Gary Condit's throat, Rather and company held firm and kept the "news" off the Evening News. Despite airing a few reports, they intend to keep a comparatively low level of coverage in the future. Is this how we'd like to see the media behave, or is this just a more notable example of The Media's Liberal Bias™ showing through?
Edison electrocutes an elephant at Coney Island.
I never knew this horrifying bit of history until I read about it via rscharm's MeFi post.
Underground marketing shills "put it in your life".
Big Fat co. sends 18-34yr olds into the world to act out ad dramas promoting products. "I feel so great, so real." (I'm not sure what the writer means by "facially attractive, in that asymmetrical sort of way," though.)[via null device
, NYT reg. req.]
Ten-day Ubik deodorant spray or Ubik roll-on ends worry of offending, brings you back where the happening is.
Is "me-zine" the new 'blog?
Or is it just when traditional
journalists do it? And is this whole thing now "legit"? [via medianews]
Intellectualism's Hottest Ticket?
(New York Times link; my apologies) According to the cultural arbiters at the NYT, this book
is picking up heat as one of the most important philosophical works of the new century. As near as I can tell, it's about the cultural and sociological impact of globalization, creating the new political state they call "Empire." Anybody heard of this, or read it yet? Wank or insight?
The movie censored in France opens in the US this week. Base-Moi
is being translated by the newspapers as "Rape Me" but a better translation would be "Fuck Me," which better indicates that sexual power that the main female characters have. They use sex as a weapon, as the gateway firearm to murders and massacre. Violent, bloody, aggressively sexual, even pornographic, filled with "chic amoralism," as the New York Times
says, and perhaps difficult to redeem. Gratuitous everything.
Review of Nissan Car Loans Finds That Blacks Pay More
A statistical study of more than 300,000 car loans arranged through Nissan dealers from March 1993 to last September — believed by experts to be the largest pool of car loan data ever analyzed for racial patterns — shows that black customers in 33 states consistently paid more than white customers, regardless of their credit histories.
(Need free sign up access to NYTimes.com
As the expression goes: what one person finds sexy is vulgar to another.
This piece form the NY Times (you'll need $#%$#% password!) explores films that contain explicit sex, but have merit beyond their sex appeal. I think it’s refreshing that these directors are not afraid to unapologetically use sex as part of artistic filmmaking and interesting story telling.
Has The Entire American Media Been Bought and Gone To Sleep?
United has decided to call off merging with US Air for fears of Antitrust (competition) objections (from the USDOJ; perhaps the EU as well?). This sort of obvious realization came after months and months of, presumedly, attempting to work around the problem. What I want to know is, when the proposed deal was first announced, where were the objections from commentators and consumer advocates? It's sort of pathetic that United is the first one to speak up on the issue, no?
Guess who's coming to breakfast?
The most rapidly syndicated comic strip since Calvin & Hobbes. Not bad for a cartoon
that has the relatively narrow purpose of "telling jokes about black people to black people." Is it doing so well because of
the politics or in spite of
the politics? Or is it just that it's pretty damn funny and well-drawn? In any case, if it gives people even a glimpse of otherwise absent diversity, I love it.
Death with Commercials
is how the ever apposite Frank Rich
sums up the media-saturated McVeigh execution, the ultimate reality show.
Rich thinks all the hoopla my have served to turn more people away from punishment by death.
Studies Show That Children Are Solicited Online
(from the NY Times, free registration required) -- "One in five children who regularly go online is approached by strangers for sex, according to a new study."
A success for gene therapy
to help hemophiliacs is announced. This is a first, but only time will tell if the treatment has a lasting effect and can be repeated. So far it's worked for only four of the six patients in the trial. The NY Times
explains the research.
Let the American Boycott of CO2-Denying Corporations Begin
Great Op-Ed Piece in the NYTimes by T. Friedman: Using the Market to Defeat Republican's Kyoto Dismissal: Mega-dittos Rush!
Audio spotlight directs sound as precisely as, well, a spotlight
What an amazing idea, although as the article says "Most of the uses of sound involve spreading it around."
See-through electronics as prison-chic [NYTimes link]
The see-through iMac and other transluscent and transparent appliances turn out to have a practical uses in at least one segment of the population.
question your science professional
MD, PhD, specialist. I've always thought you should seriously question their input on all their advise but most ppl don't.
He gives a whole new meaning to the word "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." NY Times
Oh sure, once again, this "theory" proves nothing
. Nothing more than another failed attempt to dismiss God's work. When are these morons, with such an imagination, ever going to admit it, that their theory is nothing more than that. I could ramble on and on like these suppose "scientists" about nothing, and make all these supposed "patterns", milarky, lies, and made up falsehoods on how the universe was just made from some wild explosion. Oh sure, that is how it was made.....just some big bang, then the next thing you know, man walked out of the swamp, got in his Mercedes, and drove away....haha
Just keep on believing such crap about this big bang "theory". But just like before, this will fail again and prove that God did create the world, and he has been, is, and always will be the creator, not the "big banger". And that is a FACT, not a "theory".....