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10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free - The Washington Post

It seems rather disingenuous of Obama, a Constitutional law specialist, to claim that the powers are there, but he just won't use them.
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Contagion is a very effective, realistic movie about one possible way an epidemic could happen. At the end of the movie, in the credits, there was a URL listed. So I grabbed my iPad and tried to call it up to see what it said.

The primary content is graphics of information that could have been presented as text, but because they're graphics, when I try to zoom in on them to be able to read them, they're so blurry it's impossible.

This is when web design matters.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

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We've startled this bird three times today. Twice with a squirrel in his/her clutches. I think she's got a nest somewhere around here.

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I know you're working today, but have a great day anyway!
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My Cisco wifi USB widget has decided it was jealous of the iPad I got for Christmas and stopped working. Once we get the car back from the oil change this afternoon, it's off to Best Buy!
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I seem to be having problems with Live Journal's new interface. I'm unable to comment.
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Patrick Leahy and Lamar Smith: We'll shepherd piracy bill through like patent law

'Stealing is stealing,' Sen. Patrick Leahy said about online piracy on Tuesday. | John Shinkle/POLITICO Close

Judiciary Committee Chairmen Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Lamar Smith said Tuesday they intend to use the same method to push online piracy bills through Congress that they used to successfully pass the first major overhaul of the U.S. patent system in six decades.

The two lawmakers, named POLITICO and POLITICO Pro's Technology Policymakers of the Year, said the proliferation of online piracy causes serious risks to public safety and costs American jobs.

"Stealing is stealing. I don’t care if it’s on the Internet or you're breaking into a warehouse somewhere — it’s theft," Leahy (D-Vt.) said at POLITICO and POLITICO Pro's Policy+Politics event.

But the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act in the House are no strangers to controversy. Major Web companies — including Google, Twitter and Facebook — have argued the bills would hamper future innovation online and encourage censorship on the Internet.

Smith said he's working to address these concerns with SOPA before the bill is marked up next week. But his goal to is make "70 percent" of people happy with the final product.

"We think we can address these concerns, but not all of these concerns," Smith said.

The camaraderie between the Democrat and Republican was evident on Tuesday evening. The two joked over their skills on the shooting range, with the Texas Republican commending Leahy's sharp shot.

The Judiciary Committee leaders credited their close working relationship to the successful passage of the patent reform bill this year.

"I didn’t make a move on whatever I was doing without letting him know, and vice versa," Leahy said.

Read more:


Dec. 3rd, 2011 06:59 pm
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I love Christmas
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The hearing in the Senate is coming up soon. The bill's not dead yet. Please help keep the pressure on.
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Remember the big stink over the House's version of the Internet Censorship bill? Enough people made noise about that one that support is eroding. Now, the Senate version is coming up for a vote in this coming week. This bill's been around longer, and has more support than the House version had. We've got to make even more noise about this one than the House version.

Please let your representatives know how you feel about this bill.
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From the Passive Guy blog:

It’s difficult to find anyone with a significant stake in traditional publishing who has much good to say about indie authors and Amazon.

None of these folks ever seem to slam Nook, however. It’s as if the Amazon critics share a secret knowledge that if Seattle suddenly disappeared, all the Nooks would go away and charming little bookstores would sprout everywhere like daisies in the spring.

PG thinks Kindles and Nooks and iPads and Kobos will be the salvation of books. Given the increasing prices of paper books from major publishers over the last twenty years, without inexpensive readers and ebooks, books sold for reading pleasure would be in a long period of decline. Paper books were losing the battle with the web before the first Kindle popped out of a factory in Taiwan in 2007.

In 1995, the American Booksellers Association had 5,500 members. In 2002, it had 2,191 members. In 2010, that number was 1,410.

“Here’s the reality of the book industry: in 2004, 950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book in America sells about 500 copies” (Publishers Weekly, July 17, 2006).

Passive Guy understands the floodgate sentiments, but doesn’t buy them. These worries always seem to reflect a subconscious fear that readers are too stupid or helpless to find the books they want to read if a tasteful gatekeeper isn’t around to dole them out like mints sitting on doilies.

The floodgates have been open for anyone who wants to publish a blog for years and somehow blog readers seem to find what they want to read. Does anyone think shutting down all blogs is a step forward for readers or writers?

Regardless of anyone’s sentiments, Amazon is not going away. Should Seattle suddenly disappear, a dozen would-be Amazons would sprout overnight, each more aggressive than the next on pricing.
laurierobey: (Default)
Melville House Books » Good news/bad news: B&N expands its non-book business

I am concerned. Hopefully some independent BOOKstores will make it through the changes in the industry and help fill in the gap.

I love to have options. There are some books I want to read electronically, and some I want to read in print. Hopefully print will still be available, at least from an online store, if not in real life.

I remember the days before the huge bookstores, when the (comparatively tiny) Waldenbooks and the library were magical because I was surrounded by books. Then the huge bookstores came along.

Now, they have to change or perish, and it seems I'll be lucky to have something the size of Waldenbooks stocking paper books.
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Now is the best opportunity in 10 years to close a legal loophole that's allowing the exploitation of tigers. If you log in to at the URL below and put in your comment, you can help close this loophole and help protect "generic" tigers from abuse and exploitation. Comments close tomorrow (the 21st).

Most Important Comment Period Ever to End the Trade in Generic Tigers!
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Today is [ profile] the_gneech's birthday, and I hope it's a good one, even though we're at work!


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