Lighting up your reading page with more links - 13-22 March 02013
The comment system Disqus has violated several important tenets of user-friendliness - they updated people without an option to refuse, they required one specific interface and offer no others, they went backwards on standards-compliance, and they closed down several ways of using their system, including openID. Despite significant outcry, they seem uninterested in remedying their wrongs. (And thus, we like Dreamwidth, who are actively interested in such things as accessibility. Thanks, DW!)
There is a new Pope, who takes for himself the name Francis. But much like the last Pope, the new Pope has a checkered past involved with a repressive regime.
PFC Bradley Manning pled guilty to some charges leveled against him with regard to his release of information to Wikileaks, an act for which he should be lauded as a hero and whistleblower, not charged, detained in a cell that is barely large enough to live in, and repeatedly subjected to inhumane treatment. PFC Manning read a statement constructed in his confinement, the transcript of which is available.
A CNN reporter, on the sentencing of the Steubenville rapists, chose to focus on how awful it is that the rapists had their future destroyed. Instead of, y'know, about how awful the rape was. Or focusing on providing comfort and support to the victim.
Jon Scalzi savages a contract offered from Random House that basically ensured an author would pay for everything and receive nothing in return. Now, afterward, Random House changed their contract terms, but not necessarily in a way that was still favorable to an author.
The Dead Pool's Health Department salutes C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the United States, at 96 years of age. And we remember Fred Rogers, Presbyterian Minister and neighbor to millions on a regularly televised show. Fred was such an iconic figure that he returned from retirement to do ad spots for kids after the 11 September attacks, because if Mr. Rogers said something, you paid attention.
Out in the world today, two Candians commandeered a tour helicopter, had it flown over a prison, and then jailbroke two prisoners in broad daylight. Freedom didn't last long for them.
Sir Ian McKellan will officiate the wedding of Patrick Stewart and his fiancee. There are so many ways to make those headlines...
The General Electric corporation stashes more than $100 billion USD overseas to avoid hacing to pay United States taxes on their earnings. More than a few other corporations also practice this tax avoidance. We could certainly use the revenues here, to get the economy going again.
If women want good jobs and better wages, they should be joining unions and organizing. That will help more of them, in addition to having to fight off the glass ceiling.
Domestically, a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) attempting to convince Republicans to not say so many racist things was derailed by a white supremacist, and then a black woman was booed when she tried to point out that even what the panelist was suggesting wasn't going to go very far.
A paper ran an apology for using an entirely accurate descriptive word, backed by ample amounts of evidence. Because they felt it might prejudice their readers.
A New York State judge threw out New York City's ban on large amounts of sugary drinks being sold.
A conservative Senator reversed his position on marriage equality - because his son came out to him. Which is good. Although late. Hopefully the next sets of Senators who change don't need family members coming out to them to do so. Elsewhere, an Arizona state Senator believes the government should be able to check your birth gender before you can use a bathroom, if you don't present well enough, in much the same vein as their previous law that says law enforcement should be able to stop you and demand proof of citizenship if you look too much like an undocumented worker.
A middle school demanded access to a Facebook page of one of their students so as to get evidence of a rule-breaking. Which is a violation of the student's privacy - and the school then gave the impression that the student had betrayed a trust, so the student started getting bullied.
The United States Senate abandoned their previous idea of passing separate pieces of legislation for a comprehensive package, and is instead rolling up all the bills into one. Without an assault weapons or extended magazine ban. Which is pretty well as slap in the face for all the people who thought, apparently wrongly, that the death of children and teachers might be enough of an argument against the NRA and the gun lobby.
Richard Nixon interfered with a peaceful end to the Vietnam War in 1968. President Johnson knew this...because his office illegally wiretapped the South Vietnamese ambassador's phone. And thus, Richard Nixon got away with what could have been classed as treason, because he thought it would help him in his political aspirations.
Last out, the Library of Congress have selected 25 songs of the 20th century for for long-term preservation in their archives.
In technology - all the major browsers and Java failed the Pwn2Own tests this year - which means a lot of pataches coming from this, but also there's the problem of what exploits are unknown</a>.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a musical could use a copyrighted Ed Sulllivan clip as fair use, and awarded costs against the people suing the musical as a deterrent to others trying to do the same thing.
There's a new system in place to try and persuade people to not upload copyrighted material - but it's not exactly the kidn of system that is difficult to evade.
A San Francisco company believes they have an alternative to factory-farmed eggs, composed of plant products.
In opinions, games that achieve impressive depth without requiring large amounts of complexity.
Last for tonight - 100 songs from the SXSW conference, an excellent counterpoint to abortion protesters, a great note from dad to son about coming out, a great answer to potential conflicts of religion and writing, and why Elementary is fast becoming a favorite show for feminist watchers.
Oh, and did we mention Eric Idle has a blog?
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