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December 03, 2009

Scapegoating bicyclists

The Bike Pittsburgh Blog Archives | Can Philly’s bicycle woes affect us in Pittsburgh?
It appears that unfortunate circumstances in Philadelphia have created a ripple that could affect us on the other side of the state. In separate incidents in October, two pedestrians were killed after cyclists hit them. These terrible events have caused an uproar within Philadelphia’s knee-jerk lawmakers as well as an increase in tension on the street and a “rising anti-cycling sentiment,” according to locals. Locals feel that targeting bicyclists is an easy way to win political points, and that cyclists are being scapegoated for the chaos in the streets, instead of dealing with the real dangers on the road. The recent events lead two Philadelphia City Council members to propose three different pieces of legislation that would increase penalties for sidewalk riding and riding with headphones, riding without an “approved” brake, and to mandate registration and bicycle license plates.

November 17, 2009

Microsoft store employees are forced to dance for your amusement

What the hell? Are they a computer store or a Chuck E Cheese? Did they seriously *stop* helping customers so they could all do the whitest hustle I've ever seen for four minutes? Awkward Microsoft Store Dances Are Why I Shop Online - MICROSOFT STORE dance - Gizmodo

November 15, 2009

Chinese Drywall is now officially a pre-exisiting condition

Insurers dropping Chinese drywall policies - Consumer news- msnbc.com
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida - James and Maria Ivory's dreams of a relaxing retirement on Florida's Gulf Coast were put on hold when they discovered their new home had been built with Chinese drywall that emits sulfuric fumes and corrodes pipes. It got worse when they asked their insurer for help — not only was their claim denied, but they've been told their entire policy won't be renewed. Thousands of homeowners nationwide who bought new houses constructed from the defective building materials are finding their hopes dashed, their lives in limbo. And experts warn that cases like the Ivorys', in which insurers drop policies or send notices of non-renewal based on the presence of the Chinese drywall, will become rampant as insurance companies process the hundreds of claims currently in the pipeline. At least three insurers have already canceled or refused to renew policies after homeowners sought their help replacing the bad wallboard. Because mortgage companies require homeowners to insure their properties, they are then at risk of foreclosure, yet no law prevents the cancellations.

Apple takes a long hard look at the dark side

Warren Ellis -- Apple Files Patent On Evil
Apple has filed for patent on a technology they call an "enforcement routine," that’ll display ads on pretty much any device with a screen and demand that you view them — or else you don’t get your device back: Its distinctive feature is a design that doesn’t simply invite a user to pay attention to an ad — it also compels attention. The technology can freeze the device until the user clicks a button or answers a test question to demonstrate that he or she has dutifully noticed the commercial message. Because this technology would be embedded in the innermost core of the device, the ads could appear on the screen at any time, no matter what one is doing.

November 12, 2009

Homophobe beauty pageant winner Carrie Prejean storms off Larry King

And it wasn't because anyone asked her about her recent sex tape that surfaced. Duh Aficionado Magazine: Carrie Prejean Is An Asshole - Awkward Live TV - Videogum

November 11, 2009

Supreme Court Justice dmands prior approval of high school newspaper writing an article on him

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Asks School Paper to 'Tidy Up' Remarks - NYTimes.com What a bizarre request to make of a high school newspaper.
“We are not able to cover the recent visit by a Supreme Court justice due to numerous publication constraints,” the note said. It promised “an explanation of the regrettable delay” in the next issue. It turns out that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, widely regarded as one of the court’s most vigilant defenders of First Amendment values, had provided the newspaper, The Daltonian, with a lesson about journalistic independence. Justice Kennedy’s office had insisted on approving any article about a talk he gave to an assembly of Dalton high school students on Oct. 28. Kathleen Arberg, the court’s public information officer, said Justice Kennedy’s office had made the request to make sure the quotations attributed to him were accurate. The justice’s office received a draft of the proposed article on Monday and returned it to the newspaper the same day with “a couple of minor tweaks,” Ms. Arberg said. Quotations were “tidied up” to better reflect the meaning the justice had intended to convey, she said.