Morning Media Summary

by Lee Doren on October 18, 2010

in Economy, Energy, Environment, International, Legal, Regulation

Tech:

Facebook in Privacy Breach:
“Many of the most popular applications, or “apps,” on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people’s names and, in some cases, their friends’ names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.”

Digg: A Cautionary Tale for Facebook:
“It wasn’t that long ago that Digg was a thriving online community. Publishers longed to be on Digg’s coveted front page because it translated into many page views, but over the last couple of months something went terribly wrong with Digg.”

Set Sights for Windows: Linux Moving Beyond Unix Migration in the Enterprise:
“For years, Linux has enjoyed much of its success as a replacement for Unix. Companies turned to Linux to replace Unix servers, or for new deployments within a Unix-heavy environment. Linux is still king there, but it’s starting to encroach on Microsoft as well.”

Microsoft’s fake validation of OpenOffice.org:
“A recently released OpenOffice.org marketing video from Microsoft tries to highlight prospective issues for companies considering alternatives to Microsoft Office. Although the video suggests OpenOffice.org is increasingly becoming a viable alternative to Microsoft Office, the video also presents insights into Microsoft’s business growth strategy.”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

China mine death tolls rises to 30: government:
“The death toll from a gas explosion in a coal mine in central China has risen to 30, with seven workers still trapped underground, the country’s work safety watchdog said Monday.”

In Climate Denial, Again:
“Former Vice President Dick Cheney has to be smiling. With one exception, none of the Republicans running for the Senate — including the 20 or so with a serious chance of winning — accept the scientific consensus that humans are largely responsible for global warming.”

Toyota To Pay Tesla $60 Million For RAV4 Electric Components:
“Tesla, in turn, would pay Toyota $42 million for the shuttered Fremont, California, assembly plant that had previously build Toyota Corollas (and Pontiac Vibes) in a partnership with General Motors that was dissolved following GM’s 2009 bankruptcy.”

Blotting out the Sun to slow down global warming could be outlawed:

“The United Nations’s Convention on Biological Diversity is expected to either ban outright or limit research into space sunshades. Although NASA and other organizations are looking into these sunshades as a possible way to slow climate change, environmental advocates have criticized this research as providing only a short-term fix that wouldn’t affect the underlying issues, like humanity’s overuse of fossil fuels. There are also serious questions about how blocking out part of the Sun’s rays could affect weather patterns, ecosystems, and agriculture.”

TIME responds to GOP Attacks on Stimulus Wind Power Money:

“The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has borrowed a populist Democratic theme for its latest round of attack ads, featuring red flags, menacing-sounding songs, and Asian calligraphy fonts to accuse vulnerable House incumbents are outsourcing jobs to you-know-where.”

‘Humans will need two Earths by 2030’ (alternative headline: People need to read more Julian Simon):
“According to the Living Planet Report, human demands on natural resources have doubled in under 50 years and are now outstripping what the Earth can provide by more than half; and humanity carries on as it is in use of resources, globally it will need the capacity of two Earths by 2030.”

Insurance / Gambling:

New Approach to Washington Online Gambling Ban:
“John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, has advised that the action group for the legalisation of online poker is to change its strategy in Washington state, lobbying lawmakers to change the state’s draconian anti-online gambling laws rather than fight cases through the courts.”

Health / Safety:


FoodPolitik: Controlling Your Food, the Trojan Horse of ‘public health’:

“With the election barely two weeks away, the nation is focused on what will happen if (when?) control of Congress swings rightward. While some far-reaching elements of Barack Obama’s agenda will face great — perhaps impassible — hurdles on Capitol Hill, that won’t stop the administration from implementing them via regulation, the ultimate end-run around Congress.”

Ramapo College Bans Alcoholic Energy Drink:

“The ban comes after 16 students having been hospitalized with at least half of dozen involving the drink known by the nicknames “liquid cocaine” and “blackout in a can,” reports CBS 2 HD’s Kathryn Brown.”

Warning over cheap alcohol: Youngsters can get drunk for half the cost of a chocolate bar:
“Youngsters can get drunk for half the price of a bar of chocolate, a worrying new study has found.”

Economics:


10 questions with British politician and ‘New Road to Serfdom’ author Daniel Hannan:

“Hannan recently agreed to answer 10 questions about his new book and other issues of interest from The Daily Caller. ”

Change. Top 400 Charities See Billions Less in Donations:

“The top 400 charities showed donations declined by 11 percent last year- the worst decline in 20 years.”
Sandy Levinson’s Challenge:
“In a recent post at Balkinization, Sandy Levinson argues that the recent mostly government-funded rescue of the trapped Chilean miners proves the need for a large welfare state. He also issues a challenge to the Volokh Conspiracy:”

U.S. says Chinese businesses and banks are bypassing U.N. sanctions against Iran:

“The Obama administration has concluded that Chinese firms are helping Iran to improve its missile technology and develop nuclear weapons, and has asked China to stop such activity, a senior U.S. official said.”

Two Fed officials favor aggressive easing options:
“Two top Federal Reserve officials argued for further aggressive action by the central bank, with one saying the economy needs “much more” help and the other pointing to Japan’s painful lessons.”

Legal:

Woodpecker could alter California logging laws:
“California’s logging policy may hang on the fate of the black-backed woodpecker if environmental advocates have their way, a petition says.”

Inside the Lawsuit That Could Ground Deadly CIA Predator Drones:
“Al Qaeda and the Taliban haven’t been able to bring down the CIA’s Predator drones. But a new lawsuit alleging parts of their targeting software are pirated (and faulty) could.”

Tobacco Settlement Seen as No Windfall for Colleges The Harvest From Tobacco Lawsuits: Payments Due to the States Over 25 Years:
“Many state legislators want to use the money to promote public health, not higher education.”

The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification And Community Revitalization Commission:
“In June the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission made payment on more than 45,000 Phase I flue-cured and burley quota owner and producer claims totaling over $19 million dollars.”

Labor:

French Asks Airlines to Cut Flights Ahead of Strikes:
“As confrontation mounted over a contentious plan to reform the retirement system, the French civil aviation authority said on Monday it was asking airlines to cut flights into French airports by up to 50 percent on Tuesday because of possible strikes by airport personnel.”

Oil workers defy French govt demand to open depots:
“French oil workers on Monday defied the government’s demand to get back to work and end scattered fuel shortages, stepping up their fight against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age to 62.”

SEIU Spent 200k in One Week Attacking Republicans:
“Over the last week, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) spent at least $200,000 on billboard signs, direct mail and radio ads, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records. Those funds were for attacks against Republican opponents of several vulnerable House Democrats as well as against Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who is running for retiring Sen. Kit Bond’s (R-Mo.) seat.”

Transportation/ Land Use:

Stop dithering on eminent domain:
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the state Legislature isn’t interested in updating its eminent domain laws to better protect property owners against unwarranted seizure by the government.”

California High Speed Rail – Governor’s Veto may be Illegal:
“In his final days as Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger bestowed a goodbye gift to the High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA), he used a line item veto to remove most performance requirements for the HSRA to obtain budget funding. Bottom line what Schwarzenegger is proposing is to skip the planning and go straight to doing.”

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