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Comment Re:Huge audience driver? (Score 3, Interesting) 171

Most newspapers still run free obituaries as well as paid death notices. But the free versions are generally limited in the types of information contain, and as newspapers have cut back on their size they've also reduced the amount of detail the obits contain. At the newspaper where I work, it's pretty much name, age, where the person lived and when and where the funeral is. (Some of the really big papers have eliminated the free ones altogether).

The paid death notices, on the other hand, function more like classifieds: You can write it any way you want, and you pay by the line or the word.

What most people don't realize, though, is that the funeral homes charge a hefty free even for providing the newspaper with the barebones information for a free obit. And some funeral homes do an appalling job. One major home in my city seems to pick the employee with the most God-awful penmanship to scrawl the information by hand; names are hard to read and details like place names are often misspelled. One of my first newsroom jobs largely consisted of fact-checking the info the funeral homes frequently got wrong (incorrectly putting two t's in "Paterson, NJ," stuff like that). Of course, the papers have pretty much cut all those jobs as well.


Submission + - LatLng Is The New Address 1

theodp writes: With the location land rush in full swing, TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld declares it's time for an open database of places and calls on the Big Dogs of location — Twitter, Google, Foursquare, Gowalla, SimpleGeo, Loopt, Citysearch, etc. — to make it so. An open database that maps latitude and longitude coordinates to businesses, points of interest, and even people's homes should just be part of the basic fabric of the mobile Web. Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley was enthusiastic about the idea, says Schonfeld, while Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was a little bit more lukewarm and cautious. Time for Larry and Sergey to invite the Families to a sit-down at 37.423021,-122.083739?

Palm's Software Chief Quits 98

alphadogg writes "Michael Abbott, the head of Palm's software and services team, will leave the company at the end of next week, according to a regulatory filing Palm made on Friday to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. He submitted his resignation on Monday and will leave the company on April 23, Palm said. The resignation came as reports surface that the struggling handset maker is seeking a buyer. Last month Palm reported disappointing results for the quarter that ended Feb. 26. Its Pre and Pixi smartphone lines, which run the WebOS operating system, are up against a growing number of smartphones using Google's Android platform as well as Apple's popular iPhone."

Submission + - Recording a judge for YouTube is a felony?

Let's Kiosk writes: A Florida woman faces three felony charges after covertly videotaping a judge she once dated and then posting a clip on YouTube. In the video, the judge is on an island popular with swimmer and boaters and comments on the "nice breasticals" of woman nearby, according to the article in The Palm Beach Post. The woman is charged with one count of intercepting oral communications and two counts of publishing those communications. The circuit's chief judge comments: "Judges like everyone else are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy, especially when they are out of the courthouse not performing judicial duties." But how much privacy can anyone expect at the beach?

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"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.