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Firefighters Let House Burn Because Owner Didn't Pay Fee 2058

Posted by samzenpus
from the deadly-serious-homeowner's-association dept.
Dthief writes "From MSNBC: 'Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee. Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat. "They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.'"
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New York To Spend $27.5 Million Uncapitalizing Street Signs 322

Posted by samzenpus
from the beware-the-big-letters dept.
250,000 street signs in New York City feature street names in capital letters only, which is not the national standard. Having no other issues on the table, The New York City Department of Transportation has decided to fix the problem and put up proper signs featuring both capital and lower-case letters at a cost of $27.5 million. The Transportation Department hopes to have the job completed by 2018 with 11,000 of the most important improperly capitaled signs fixed by the end of the year. Catastrophe averted.

Comment: "Often reliable" (Score 5, Insightful) 233

by remove office (#33278676) Attached to: 7-Inch iPad Rumored

The often-reliable Chinese language newspaper -- which correctly predicted the first coming of the iPad when everyone else on the planet was carping on about a sub-$500 netbook from the Cupertino company

Oh please. This is the same "often-reliable" newspaper that predicted that Apple was going to release an iPhone nano earlier this year.

Also, the idea that anybody expected Apple to release a "sub-$500 netboook" is sheer lunacy. Nobody seriously expected that-- the iPad was widely anticipated by just about everyone for months before it was released.

Communications

+ - Belkin's President Apologizes for Faked Reviews 1

Submitted by
remove office
remove office writes "After I wrote about how Belkin's Amazon.com sales rep Mike Bayard had been paying for fake reviews of his company's products using Mechanical Turk (Slashdot story here), hundreds of readers across the web expressed their umbrage. As a result of the online outcry, Belkin's president Mark Reynoso has issued a statement apologizing and saying that "this is an isolated incident" and that "Belkin does not participate in, nor does it endorse, unethical practices like this." Amazon moved swiftly to remove several reviews on Belkin products it believed were fraudulent, although now fresh evidence of astroturfing has surfaced. Now I'm curious: what steps do Slashdotters think that online retailers can do to protect themselves and their customers from fake reviews?"
The Internet

+ - Belkin's Amazon Rep Paying for Fake Online Reviews-> 2

Submitted by remove office
remove office (871398) writes "I recently discovered that that Belkin's lead online sales rep, Michael Bayard, has been secretly paying internet users to review his company's products favorably on Amazon.com and other websites like Newegg, whether or not they've ever used them. Bayard instructed the people he was paying to "Write as if you own the product and are using it... Mark any other negative reviews as 'not helpful' once you post yours." Ironically, he was using Amazon's own Mechanical Turk service to hire his fraudsters (did he honestly think he wouldn't get caught?). Are Slashdotters aware of other examples of other such blatant astroturfing on behalf of a large tech company like Belkin?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:hypocrisy (Score 4, Informative) 479

by remove office (#24626661) Attached to: McCain Releases Technology Platform
Actually, both the McCain campaign and the RNC have gotten itself in hot water several times for using copyrighted music or video clips without permission during this cycle.

A few examples:

McCain was served with a cease and desist letter from Fox News after he used their broadcast footage in a commercial without buying it...

McCain was sued by Mike Myers after he used a clip from a skit from SNL without purchasing it or getting permission from Myers himself (Myers isn't the copyright owner, but that's irrelevant).

McCain got yelled at by copyright owners for using the "Rocky" theme song in an ad without permission.

One of McCain's YouTube videos have been hit with a copyright infringement claim by Warner Music Group after the campaign used a song by Frankie Valli without permission.

Of course, all of this is not to mention McCain's little plagiarism issue with Wikipedia...
Movies

+ - Michael Moore Boosts Piracy of "SiCKO"-- H

Submitted by
remove office
remove office writes "Self-described muck-raking filmmaker Michael Moore has embraced an internet leak of his new health care documentary "SiCKO," even before the film hits theaters on June 29th. Moore, who has been a harsh critic of the MPAA in the past, said "I'm just happy that people get to see my movies. I'm not a big supporter of the copyright laws in this country." He also said piracy ultimately helps artists, and recalled how he was introduced to one of his favorite bands (The Clash), after somebody gave him a pirated casette tape (he says he later bought all their albums and attended paid to attend their concerts). Still, Moore hoped people would see the film in theaters anyways: "I wanted to do something for your laptop or your iPod, I would go do that. But I've chosen obviously to make things that I want seen on a big screen.""
Announcements

+ - Dems Partner with YouTube & Google for '08 Deb

Submitted by
remove office
remove office writes "Earlier this month, Slashdotters read an article I wrote about how CNN plans to release its upcoming Democratic presidential debate under a Creative Commons type license that would allow people to reuse the footage without restriction. Now the Democratic National Committee has gone one step further and announced that their CNN debate will be cosponsored with YouTube and Google, raising the possibility that debate footage will be made available online for free. Previously, both Fox News and MSNBC have made short clips from the debates they sponsored available in streaming Flash and Windows Media formats, interrupted by more commercials than they were originally broadcast with."
Announcements

+ - CNN to Release 2008 Debate under Creative Commons

Submitted by
remove office
remove office writes "After calls from several prominent bloggers and a couple of presidential candidates themselves, CNN has agreed to release the footage from its upcoming June presidential debates uncopyrighted. Senator Barack Obama was the first candidate to call for all presidential debates to be released under Creative Commons, with fellow Demcoratic hopeful John Edwards following shortly afterwards. CNN will be the first to do so with their June 3rd and 5th Democratic and Republican debates. The NBC-Microsoft co-venture MSNBC hosted the first presidential debates recently but refused to release it under Creative Commons, opting instead to post only commercial-ridden clips online in Windows Media format."

10 to the minus 6th power Movie = 1 Microfilm

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