News stories the mainstream media missed : 08/28/10

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

* An AdWeek poll asks if a genie appeared and gave you the choice of being Richer vs. Thinner vs. Younger vs. Smarter, which would you choose? Dude! That’s easy. Richer! With money you can hire the best trainers in the world to get you in ridiculously ripped shape, and you can also hire a corporate-sized “think tank” to whip out solutions for anything you dream of. And as for Younger? Unless it’s permanent “younger”, as in I can stay one age forever, that’s only a temporary fix. Next survey! [AD WEEK]

* I think I’ve come up with an amazing book-series title. Just use “Putin” and add any High Testosterone Manly Activity after it. Check it out.. “Putin. Boar Hunter.” “Putin. Firefighter.” “Putin. KGB Agent.” “Putin. Whale Hunter.” See? Awesomeness ensues! [SPIEGEL]

* This next bit won the coveted “infuriate the blogger” award for the week. Apparently, “Police can walk onto your driveway and stick a GPS device on your car without a warrant, according to a federal appeals court ruling in California.” The bozo judge who granted this said “…a person cannot automatically expect privacy just because something is on private property. You have to take measures — to build a fence, to put the car in the garage” or post a no-trespassing sign, he said. “If you don’t do that, you’re not going to get the privacy.”” OOOOOOH REAAAAALLLY? So just because I have an item on private property, MY private property, I STILL need to “take measures”? So, by that logic, if I don’t lock my doors at night, it’s OK for a burglar to come in and rob my home because I didn’t “take measures”? If I don’t have a sign that says PRIVATE PROPERTY, trespasses will be ALLOWED because there was “no measures” taken? And since when is a driveway public property? Can’t I tow a vehicle that’s parked in my own driveway if it doesn’t belong? Can’t I arrest people who are in my driveway that don’t belong there? There’s far more coherent write-ups on why this is all kinds of “4th-amendment-be-damned” bad at [CNN] and [GIZMODO] and [TIME].

* The runner up for the gold plated “infuriate the blogger” award for this week was this little gem that was trying to sneak by while everybody was looking at the driveway ruling… “a federal appeals court ruled that the covert recording of a phone conversation using a mobile phone is not a violation of the Wiretap Act if done for legitimate purposes.” Well, that’s just peachy! So who gets to define “legitimate purposes”? [INTOMOBLE]

* The headline says it all… “Blockbuster tells Hollywood studios it’s preparing for a mid-September bankruptcy.” There’s quite a few things I never understood about this company…

  • Late fees? In this day and age? At the very least they need to adopt Netflix’s policy on “one price per month for X amount of movies” strategy!
  • Redbox should have been bought the moment they appeared on the radar. If it is not too late, grab them, convert them to block-boxes, trash the current crap Blockbuster kiosks, let Redbox management continue their expansion without interference, and voila!
  • Blockbuster has movies to throw in the air, so obviously they had all the major hollywood studios’ attention. Why not play hardball and sign “exclusive” deals with them so only Blockbuster would carry their movies on the first month of release?
  • Look to the future and invest in tech for storing and streaming movies immediately. Build an app for every platform and partner up with HP, Dell and Apple. Offer five free streaming movies with the purchase of every hardware and a easy signup for streaming. Or better yet, get friendly with Amazon!
  • Get IN the “actual” movie theaters. That’s where all the movie fans are! Offer discount prices on Blockbuster rentals on the back of every movie ticket stub. Put kiosks in movie theaters for “related” movies and discounts from the theater. (Example : Someone goes to see a Sylvester Stallone movie. On the back of each movie ticket is a “half off” coupon for any Stallone movie at Blockbuster. And in the theater itself, offer promo material from the current Stallone movie that’s only available at Blockbuster brick and mortar stores.)
  • Point the dinosaurs to the tar pits. Clean house. Fire every manager and upper-tier corporate moron at Blockbuster that got them into this mess.

Right now, I think Blockbuster needs to copy the profitable tactics of Netflix and Redbox and, here’s the hard part, do them better. Then completely pass them both by getting in tight with the movie studios and getting into “real” stores that Netflix and Redbox haven’t (or can’t). Oh, and it’s loooong past time to rebrand the company. Damn, if I can whip all this out at 2 AM on a Saturday morning, maybe I should apply for CEO of Blockbuster! [LA TIMES]

* I’m going to try my hardest not to be a wiseass with this one… “Men could reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer through regular masturbation, researchers suggest”. Ah. Well then. May I suggest that, based on this study, men everywhere should see if scorching hot sex will be able to, in fact, cure other kinds of cancer. Hey, it kind of follows! Sort of. Maybe. Kinda. Not really. But we must find out for science!! [BBC]

* Three words : Ginormous. Cat. Ranch. Part “awwwwww”, part “DAMN, DUDE!! WTF!!” [ANIMAL TALK]

* Speaking of cats, a psycho beyotch pushed a cute little cat into a trash bin for no damn reason. This nutbag got caught on tape, and now she’s saying “it was just an animal!” and is overtly worried she will lose her job because people are upset for some strange reason! The good news is that the cat is perfectly fine. The bad news is that there’s no “stuff a wacko in a old trashcan for 10 hours” facility at the local jail. [AOL NEWS]

* Apparently some pentagon computers were “attacked with flash drive” and had a lot of secrets that walked out the door on good old fashioned sneakernet. A flash drive? A frigin’ $5 flash drive compromised the Pentagon? Dammit! I’ve got better security measures at the company I work for, and we don’t have a $104.8 billion budget! I know you should never give anything away you’re good at for free, but all you IT idiots in the Pentagon might want to click this link and see how to DISABLE flash drive access on every single PC with sensitive information on it (or access to sensitive information)! Send me any piece from the SR-71 and I’ll call it even. [YAHOO]

* OK, how would you (1) mobilize the NRA for a “cause”, (2) give Obama another headache (3) cause a run on ammo and ammo prices and (4) give the Republicans another talking point to use in the upcoming elections. The answer? Get the EPA to seriously consider “a ban on lead ammunition” right now. Nice going EPA! So if lead ammunition is banned, that leaves… that leaves… uh oh. [WASHINGTON EXAMINER]

* WANNA LOSE WEIGHT? FAST AND SAFE? WITH NATURE’S MOST NATURAL INGREDIENT? FOR JUST FIVE EASY PAYMENTS OF $59.99, I’LL SEND YOU THE LINK ON HOW TO DO IT! Wait… the big secret is on the Economist? Front page? Crap. OK, fine. Just drink a big glass of water before eating a meal and you’ll lose weight. [ECONOMIST]

* Tell me if your phone does all of this… take a no-flash, undetectable photo of your face and multiple photos of the surrounding location without telling you. THEN record your voice regardless of whether you are making a phone call! THEN monitor your internet usage and record your heartbeat and “vibration signature”! THEN, if it looks at all that information and decides you are “unauthorized” to use the phone you paid for by any arbitrary criteria they have, they can remotely lock, wipe out, or completely shut down your phone! Welcome to APPLE’S NEW IPHONE AND NEW IPAD!!! Go Steve-J! Go Steve-J! It’s yo’ birf-day! It’s yo’ birf-day! [NEWS.COM.AU]

* The US military’s top secret X-37B shuttle ‘disappears’ for two weeks, changes orbit, then reappears. Um, guys? It’s not a top secret anything if you have a bajillion photos of it! Maybe it just went out to get some of that space ice cream they sell at the NASA website. BTW, that NASA space ice cream tastes like refried chankla. I’d rather eat a burnt MRE. [NEWS.COM.AU]

* Troops overseas are apparently becoming telepathic! They’ve all picked up on my thoughts! Specifically, they’re wondering what the fucking hell are we doing in Afghanistan! Amazing! [WIRED]

* By the way, how’s things going over in Iraq-a-palooza? Much worse than before the US invaded, thanks for asking! [COUNTER CURRENTS]

* A home is a home, of course of course, unless you want your home to invest the most. In other words, fughtaboutit! [CONSUMERIST]

* Jupiter is like the ideal big brother of the solar system. It’s always standing up to anything that comes to try and mess with us, and spends the rest of the time just standing there ignoring everyone and looking big and badass. [UNIVERSE TODAY]

* You know those squeaky helium voices you get when you inhale one of those floaty kinds of balloons? It turns out the Earth is actually running out of helium! In addition to the super critical balloon problem, there’s apparently a lot of scientific doohickeys that need helium to work. Medical scientific doohickeys. Seriously. This might end bad. [NZ HERALD.CO.UK]

* Philly says you gotta pay $300 to have a blog in their fine city. Next up should be the air tax, the walking tax, the sunlight tax and the tic tax. [CONSUMERIST]

* A lot of 20 year olds just ain’t growing up. I betcha’ it has a lot to do with “modern” parents wanting to be “buddies” with their kids instead of growing a pair and making some hard decisions. Then again, looking at how the world is now? Those 20 year olds juuuust might have the right idea! [NY TIMES]

* File this in the big yellow “DUH!” cabinet. “People Don’t Really Like Unselfish Colleagues, Psychologists Find… unselfish colleagues come to be resented because they “raise the bar” for what is expected of everyone. As a result, workers feel the new standard will make everyone else look bad.” This, unfortunately, explains a great many things… in work as well as society. [SCIENCE DAILY]

* A traffic jam that lasts for weeks? “with cars moving little more than a half-mile (one kilometer) a day at one point”? Welcome to China! Man, what do you do if you’re stuck in your car for a week on the freeway? [ASIAN CORRESPONDENT]

* And finally, something fairly deep. John Shelby Spong, a former bishop, says “God is not a christian. God it not a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu or a Buddhist. All of those are human systems which human beings have created.” He continues on about how when you’re born again, you’re still a child, and the problem is people need to grow up. Dude! Don’t take this wrong, but Hallelujah!!

That’s all I got! Back Monday!

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