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Comment Re:and yet Amazon is raising prices now (Score 0) 383

The NYT article is about dead tree books. The whole case is baffling though, given the unchallenged dominance Amazon enjoyed in the ebook market at the time, which Apple, B&N, etc have barely chipped into since. Also, most people who even casually follow developments in the field would tell you Amazon intends to run the publishing industry into the ground as soon as its convenient.

Comment Re:Streisand Effect (Score 1) 131

Thing is the only people who care (PRC) have their own satellites, probably more of them than anyone but the US and Russia. And you can bet they've photographed every inch of Taiwan. China's problem, then, is NOT to get images but to identify locations worthy of further attention. It could save them a lot of time to go on google maps and scan for areas with blurring or just suspiciously low resolution. Note that this is a different situation from not wanting to let non-state actors i.e. terrorists get a look at what's on the roof of the White House. That may be misguided as well, but it's probable that Al-Qaeda has no other way to get that information. Also, it's no secret at this point that there's SOMETHING up there poised to shoot down any incoming plane, so we're not giving anything away by hiding it.

NASA's Space Balloon Smashes Car In Australia 174

Humunculus writes "Of more worldly issues, NASA's latest multimillion-dollar stratosphere-bound balloon launch has gone horribly wrong and crashed into a car, turning it over and narrowly missing two elderly people who were observing the launch. The payload fared worse, reportedly being smashed into a 'thousand pieces.'"

Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn 819

Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for replacing the grass on their lawn with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants, reducing their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009. The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their front yard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water — and hundreds of dollars — each year. 'We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future,' said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book. But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require that 40% of residential yards to be landscaped predominantly with live plants. Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery — lavender, rosemary, horsetail, and pittosporum, among others. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards. At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court. The couple could face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for their grass-free, eco-friendly landscaping scheme. 'It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money,' says Quan Ha."

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