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Iran hangs 29 drug traffickers, murderers, rapists

Iran hangs 29 drug traffickers, murderers, rapists - Yahoo! News

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran on Sunday hanged 29 men convicted of offences including drug trafficking, murder and rape in the largest mass execution in years as the country says it is fighting increasing crime.

The hangings were carried out inside the notorious Tehran's Evin prison at 5:10 am (0040 GMT), the state broadcaster said.

The latest hangings bring to at least 155 the number of executions in Iran this year, according to an AFP count.

Amnesty International reported that in 2007 Iran applied the death penalty more often than any other country apart from China, executing 317 people.

July 25, 2008

An oral history of Dr. Horrible

'Dr. Horrible': An oral history | 1 | Web Video | News Notes | Comic-Con 2008 | Entertainment Weekly

Joss Whedon, director, producer, co-writer More than a year ago — one of those vague ideas that float around in my head — I thought it would be fun to do a sort of podcast musical diary of myself as a supervillain. Then, during the [writers'] strike, everybody said ''Okay, I guess we have to create Internet content, to show that it can be done, sans studio,'' which also involved the desire to do something other than picketing. The Guild, [Felicia Day's] web show, was an inspiration.

Felicia Day, Penny Yeah, I don't like to claim too much credit for it. I was basically making [a series] and putting it on the Internet without any permission, or funding for that matter. So, when I saw Joss on the picket line, doing the whole circle in front of [the] Fox [studios], of course I was giving him a business card with The Guild on it. ''Watch my Web series!'' He was like, ''I already saw it. It's fantastic. And I'm thinking of doing something for the Internet.''

Joss Whedon For a long time [during the strike], people would try to create [Web] content with partners: ''There are billions of dollars with this hedge fund and this dotcom. Billions of dollars!'' Which they still have because they never gave any of it to us to make things. After taking a lot of meetings and stuff, I just thought, ''I think I have to do this myself.'' And by ''myself,'' I mean with the help of everybody I know. The money [came from] me: Low six-figures is the phrase that I feel comfortable using. . . .

July 24, 2008

Gawker Media traffic up 40% since introducing new pay rate based on page views

Bloggasm -- Gawker Media traffic up 40% since introducing new pay rate based on page views

My concern here is that this means Gawker media sites are posting more articles that are just Digg-bait (lists are great for this) or are straight-up trolling.

At the beginning of the year Gawker Media announced it would start paying writers based on the number of page views their posts generated. In other words, on top of their base rate writers would get an additional “bonus” that would directly correlate with how many page loads were generated for posts with their bylines. Some were skeptical when this new pay system was introduced, arguing that this would encourage the writers to engage in gimmicks that would pump up page views but would do little to improve the blog’s brand.

So now that six months have passed, has the new system resulted in increased traffic? To find this out I analyzed Site Meter statistics for 11 Gawker Media blogs (I didn’t include Io9 since it only recently launched). Overall, traffic for all Gawker blogs combined saw a 40% increase in page views. Each individual blog experienced an average increase of 49%.

Valleywag and Jezebel saw the highest percentage increases, both with 83%. Deadspin saw the lowest percentage increase with 23%.

*Thanks to Simon Owens for the tip*

Mojonaut Mike has a Brand New Bag

Take one part Gary Larson, blend with one part leftist...

In Russia, starving packs of bears eat you!

Bears eat two men in Russia's eastern wilderness | World news | guardian.co.uk

A sloth of up to 30 hungry and desperate bears have attacked and eaten two men in Russia's wild eastern region of Kamchatka and trapped a group of geologists at their remote site.

The bears - apparently starving and looking for food - killed the men last Thursday, Russian agencies reported. They surrounded a local platinum mining company, where both victims worked as security guards.

About 400 geologists and miners are now refusing to return to work, afraid of further attacks. Attempts by local officials to fly to the scene by helicopter and shoot the bears have so far failed due to bad weather, agencies reported.