Monday, November 16, 2009

News Nits

"All the news that's fit to reprint."

President Obama is lighting the place up for better or worse. The "unintended consequences" of representing our president in the fashion (depicted on the right) by Chinese artist Liu Bolin perhaps outweigh his actual sentiment, which is completely lost on Occidental cultures. However, the phrase "unintended consequences" probably will end up best representing President Obama's legacy, as the gigantic federal programs he has continued from the Bush era and greatly expanded in his own way will leave a huge footprint on the backs of the American middle class. News Nits credits our president with his first good move of reversing the missile shield slated for the Czech Republic and Poland. Although some experts have critiziced him for his lack of tact in an area that demands diplomacy and delicacy, it is at least the right move strategically. Otherwise, it is business as usual in the nation's capital. [N.B. News Nits knows that the missile shield reversal was old news, but we are constantly trying to find positive things about the current administration and are willing to be redundant when faced with a vacuum.]

The internet is freaking out. First off, speaking of freaking out, Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State, revealed her complete lack of composure and tact (despite her obvious intelligence) by insulting the people we are both bombing and fighting for. This now seems to be a pattern with Mrs. Clinton, who earler freaked out immaturely as she was horrified that someone might ask a question about her husband, the former president.

Now back to something much more interesting, the internet, er, freaking out. A district judge has ruled that email is not protected by the fourth amendment, which restricts the government from conducting unlawful search and seizures of property. Although we at News Nits are constantly hawking over any government infringements of civil liberties for you, dear reader, it is tough to disagree with this ruling. Email resides on a third-party server and is their property, not yours. We shudder to think of the implications, though, that companies like Google and Facebook literally own so many parts of us. It does beg the question that there might be a business opportunity here though... email that functions more like letters or phone calls than like, well, email.

Also, internet addresses are set to change from their Latin base only to accepting other character bases, like Chinese or Arabic. I smell opportunity again. Facebook has won a lawsuit against super-spammer Wallace to the tune of $711 million. And in a weird move yesterday, Mark Cuban announced a plan he has to kill Google. (News Nits wishes he would focus his brilliance on the Mavericks.)

Time for the News Nits wrap up. Wired remembers the death of Leon Theremin with a nifty little piece about him and an almost touching video of him playing his bizarre instrument. Here are six really cool(?) things you can do with electricity. As the energy/oil/military/foreign policy/gas prices/climate change debate heats up[sic], it's perhaps more interesting to focus on some of the simpler aspects of reality, like that currently, about 10% of the energy in the U.S. comes from recycled nuclear warheads, many of which come from the old USSR. And in an ongoing thread here at News Nits that examines the effects of sports technology designed to increase the safety of athletes while possibly actually causing harm (re: expensive running shoes...), the WSJ writes about a link between football helmets and concussions. Talk about unintended consequences.

If anyone can figure out what the Frank is going on with Iran, News Nits wants to know. When Russians aren't busy selling us their fissional material, they're selling chopped up humans to kebab houses. And the Post Office announced it lost $3.8 billion last year. If you work for the USPS don't worry about layoffs, a bunch of jobs are about to open up in the government healthcare sector. Finally, we think this picture is funny and would be appreciated very much by contributor Roller.
You know how Congress is. They'll vote for anything if the thing they vote for will turn around and vote for them. Politics ain't nothing but reciprocity. -- Will Rogers

1 comment:

Roller said...

Still digging through the rest of the Nits, but really liked the Wired story on Theremin. The video of Clara Rockmore playing the Theremin was classic. They should make a calendar of Thereminists.

And how great of a magazine/site is wired? Such great content. At the bottom of the article I found a link to an article about playing Super Mario Bros. with a Theremin. Hackers are great (as long as they use their power for good).