“There are big, big holes in that Wall Street financial reform act — holes big enough for Wall Street traders to drive their Ferraris through. … I think we’re going to be left with a Wall Street that continues to grow more and more powerful and richer relative to the rest of the United States economy.”—Economist (and Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor) Robert Reich • Regarding the economic recovery and financial reform, which he says has not succeeded in helping the middle-class, but has succeeded in allowing the financial industry to get richer. It’s created a disparity that, according to Reich, hasn’t existed since the Great Depression. ”[The middle class] can’t go deeper and deeper into debt. They can’t work longer hours. They’ve exhausted all of their coping mechanisms,” he says. source
WebP: Google wants to upgrade, shrink your JPGs for some reason
What the heck is this? It’s Google’s attempt to replace the venerable JPEG format on the Web with something else. Nobody supports this format at the moment, so it’s a halfway-between PNG, but you get the idea, right? Think of this as an image-only extension of their already-well-regarded WebM open-source HTML5 video format. We like the idea behind it and think the Web could use an upgrade from JPEG, but these things load very slowly on Chrome right now. source
If Democrats were smart, they’d plaster this graph on billboards in swing districts around the country. This calculation is based on an analysis by the Center for American Progress, which used estimates by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office as their starting point (methodology here). Economics whiz Ezra Klein adds, “the treatment of the GOP’s vague spending cuts is extremely generous.” Any Tea Partiers care to comment? source
everyone, meet gliese 581g! Despite the ugly name, it’s actually a friendly, Earth-like planet in the Libra constellation. “Glee-G,” as we like to call it, is 20 light years away, so we won’t be visiting any time soon; however, the “conditions on the ground” (heh, military humor) are perfect for sustaining water. Here are a few more tidbits about our newest planetary sibling. source
No night and day One side of the planet is always facing it’s “sun,” while the other is permanently looking into the abyss of space. So, if it’s freezing and you can’t wait for summer, just cross on over to the other side!
3X bigger than earth So you probably won’t be able to cross on over to the other side. However, despite its size, it has similar gravitational and atmospheric conditions to our beloved blue orb.
aliens exist!"The chances for life on this planet are 100 percent," says Steven Vogt, an astronomer at the University of California. You’d think this sort of thing would have made the news rounds a bit more heavily, no? source
“Eli Yishai, Israel’s minister of the interior, wants his ministry’s computers to rest on the Sabbath. Specifically, he wants to prevent people paying their bills online on a Saturday.”—As an alternative, the minister in charge of government efficiency, Michael Eitan, suggests that the computers be programmed to receive online requests from citizens on the Sabbath but to respond to them only after the Sabbath. But what about requests from Muslim or Christian citizens? Israel struggles to maintain the balance between religion and politics. (via theeconomist)
Tyler Clementi may have posted cry for help online before suicide
People have commented on his profile with things like ‘how did you manage to go back in there? are you okay?’ and the fact that people he was with saw my making out with a guy as the scandal, whereas I mean come on… he was SPYING ON ME…do they see nothing wrong with this?
A quote reportedly from Rutgers student Tyler Clementi • Posted on an online forum not long before he committed suicide. The quote was from Cit2mo, and he described a situation very much like the one that Clementi suffered. While there’s no independent confirmation, the situation matches Clementi’s almost exactly. According to a friend of Clementi’s roommate Dharun Ravi, it was merely in good fun. ”He’s very, very open-minded,” Michael Zhuang said, “and he, like if it had been a girl in the room it wouldn’t have been any different.” Tell that to Tyler. He seemed not to appreciate the gesture. source
“People have commented on his profile with things like ‘how did you manage to go back in there? are you okay?’ and the fact that people he was with saw my making out with a guy as the scandal, whereas I mean come on… he was SPYING ON ME…do they see nothing wrong with this?”—A quote reportedly from Rutgers student Tyler Clementi • Posted on an online forum not long before he committed suicide. The quote was from Cit2mo, and he described a situation very much like the one that Clementi suffered. While there’s no independent confirmation, the situation matches Clementi’s almost exactly. According to a friend of Clementi’s roommate Dharun Ravi, it was merely in good fun. ”He’s very, very open-minded,” Michael Zhuang said, “and he, like if it had been a girl in the room it wouldn’t have been any different.” Tell that to Tyler. He seemed not to appreciate the gesture. source
Bailout bonanza: AIG brokers a payback deal with the U.S.
92.1%taxpayers’ upcoming stake in AIG
what The U.S. government will receive $62 billion in common shares of AIG stock to replace the $49 billion in preferred shares it currently has floating around.
why Because, over time, the government will be able to sell these shares and hopefully make back some of the billions it paid AIG during bailout-o-rama. source
» But wait, there’s more: AIG also plans to pay back $20 billion that it received from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York credit facility. An end result of all of this is that taxpayers will see an instant paper profit of $10 billion along with the long-term profits from the sale. Who wants to say “screw all those future generations” and grab a piece?
My work is done here: Prop. 8 judge Vaughn Walker retiring
He’s only going to be remembered for that one case. Vaughn Walker had a long career as a judge in California, but it’s a decision he made in August that made him famous. Walker, the chief judge of the Northern District of California, struck down Proposition 8 using a tightly-written decision that law scholars are going to be reading for decades to come. Walker’s second act? He doesn’t have one. He’s retiring at the end of the year. Might as well go out on top. Bravo, dude. Have fun playing golf. source
» What Roger Ebert says: If you only trust Roger Ebert like us, you can feel free to know that this is in fact the movie of the century: “David Fincher’s film has the rare quality of being not only as smart as its brilliant hero, but in the same way. It is cocksure, impatient, cold, exciting and instinctively perceptive.” So yeah, we’ll be at the theater on Friday wearing a “Free Zuckerberg” shirt.
Did Meg Whitman ditch her undocumented housekeeper?
I was shocked and hurt that Ms. Whitman would treat me this way after nine years. I realized at that moment that she didn’t appreciate my work. I felt like she was throwing me away like a piece of garbage.
Meg Whitman’s former housekeeper Nicky Diaz • Showing up a couple days before October to prevent herself from becoming an “October surprise.” See, Diaz, an undocumented immigrant, was the California gubernatorial candidate’s housekeeper for nine years, only to be unceremoniously fired in an attempt by Whitman to hide the fact for political reasons. “From now on you don’t know me and I don’t know you,” Diaz claims Whitman said to her back in 2009. Whitman, who is generally very free-spending, reportedly didn’t pay some of Diaz’s wages. And who’s Diaz’s lawyer? That’s right. Gloria Allred. If this is true, Meg’s so screwed. source
Rutgers student caught on webcam, later jumps off bridge
Guy on the left asks for some privacy. Guy in the middle leaves his webcam on and goes to visit girl on the right. Guy on left, thinking he has privacy, makes out with his boyfriend. Guy in center tweets about what he found. Three days later, guy on left jumps off of bridge and kills himself. Rutgers student Tyler Clementi’s death is very postmodern and sad. Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei should be totally ashamed, if not more. source
James O'Keefe tries to punk CNN reporter, fails miserably
I never intended to become part of the story. But things suddenly took a very strange turn.
CNN correspondent Abbie Boudreau • On nearly getting punked by @((&!) (@&!(!( James O’Keefe. O’Keefe apparently wanted to meet the reporter, alone, and pretend to hit on her in an overtly sexual way in a room complete with props (“condom jar, dildos, posters and paintings of naked women, fuzzy handcuffs”), then tape the whole thing for a hit piece. Boudreau was doing a piece on O’Keefe and other conservative activists, by the way. Is it us, or did this guy get lucky once (with completely inaccurate information) and is now just a piece of scum on the American culture? Seriously, James. Go away. source
A Canadian judge just made prostitution a lot more legal
Pimpin’ ain’t easy, but it beats being on the streets. That’s the decision an Ontario judge made in legalizing prostitution, pimping, soliciting and running brothels. The decision came at the behest of three prostitutes who went to court claiming that being on the streets put them in danger. The judge agreed, suggesting the laws on the books didn’t guarantee ”the right to life, liberty and security.” You know, Judge Susan Himel, they could NOT DO IT and still have those rights. Anyway, the decision legalizes prostitution in Ontario within 30 days, but the Canadian government is thinking about appealing. source
Bishop Eddie Long accuser: "You Are a Monster." Whoa
That man cannot look me in the eye and tell me we did not live this pain. While you can sit in front of the church and tell them that you categorically deny it, you can’t say that to our face. And you know this. You are not a man. You are a monster.
Accuser Jamal Parris • Choosing to go forward to the media in the wake of the lawsuit. A reporter traveled all the way from Georgia to Colorado to talk to Parris, and well, there is A LOT HERE. This 23-year-old sounds like he’s been through the wringer. ”I cannot get the sound of his voice out of my head,” he said. “I cannot forget the smell of his cologne and I cannot forget the way that he made me cry many nights when I drove in his cars on the way home.” Whether or not he’s telling the truth, this has to make it harder to stick behind Long. source
TechCrunch sells to AOL: Now they can focus on writing
They run the largest blogging network in the world and if we sold to them we’d never have to worry about tech issues again. We could focus our engineering resources on higher end things and I, for one, could spend more of my day writing and a lot less time dealing with other stuff.
Techcrunch founder Michael Arrington • Explaining why he agreed to let AOL buy his company. Simply put – he thinks AOL’s content vision is really compatible with what the company already does. But the really interesting part? TechCrunch will be ensured editorial freedom from AOL. Arrington says that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong thought “was important that we feel free to criticize AOL when we think they deserve it. And the agreement we signed with AOL fully reflects this.” That’s a big deal. Who knows how much TechCrunch sold for? Who cares? Having such a strong backbone of support makes the whole thing worth it. source
University of Texas on lockdown, warning in wake of shooting
It’s still early, but there’s no word of any other victims. The University of Texas at Austin is currently in lockdown because of a gunman who fired eight to ten shots in short bursts. He was reported to be wearing a black ski mask, and police have confirmed that he has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Thoughts and prayers to the University of Texas – every time there’s a school shooting, it doesn’t get any less scary. source
Kindle for the Web: Amazon figures out how to turn e-books into embeds
Hey, it’s like Hulu! This impressive little embed right here brings the joy of reading to a blog near you, and works as a great form of advertising. Amazon has proven time and time again that while they sell the Kindle, they’re really platform-agnostic. They just want readers. source
Pentagon-censored author can't believe his book was burned
The whole premise smacks of retaliation. Someone buying 10,000 books to suppress a story in this digital age is ludicrous.
Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer • Regarding the Pentagon going out of its way to censor his memoir, “Operation Dark Heart” – by destroying thousands of copies. By the way, in case you’re wondering, it’s on the Kindle in digital form, but heavily redacted. Way to stand up for free speech, federal government! source
thenWeeks ago, Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer seemed perilously close to losing their respective races for Governor and the Senate.
now Brown is now ahead of Meg Whitman for the first time in weeks, and Boxer has extended her lead over Carly Fiorina to eight points.
FOR A supposedly blue state, California was looking uncharacteristically hostile to Democrats as recently as last week. However, the latest USC/LA Times poll puts both Democrats ahead of their GOP opponents (Boxer more comfortably so). Possible reasons for the turnaround include Whitman’s over-saturation of the ad market (she’s spent $119 million so far on the race), and this brutal attack ad from Barbara Boxer. Whatever the reason, it’s a good day for Democrats in the Golden State. source
Chicago's next mayor? Rahm Emanuel probably leaving White House
We see nothing that will stop a run. But you don’t announce a campaign for mayor of Chicago in Washington, D.C. You leave and go home and finish your business there.
A White House staffer • Regarding Rahm Emanuel’s expected departure to make a run for mayor of Chicago. Come on, you knew it was coming, guys. The writing has been on the wall for a while. Emanuel is reportedly putting together his own team and making stuff happen. Emanuel will be missed – he’s the most-well-known figure in Obama’s staff and the brother of Jeremy Piven … kinda. source
Tough crowd: Obama's toughest town hall question today
Wow. That stings. At Obama’s town hall today, the president took a couple of questions like this one, which seems really pointed for a town hall. That said, Obama’s answer to the question was effective and not one bit pandering. Still though, you have to wonder if he’s going to be able to bounce back from a sluggish recovery in one piece. source