Blog Rolls

'Super Mario Maker 2' Is A Loving Ode To Fan Communities

In 'Super Mario Maker 2,' Nintendo loosens its grip on a beloved property and embraces its hardcore fans.

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Categories: Just News

Our Taste For Turtle Soup Nearly Wiped Out Terrapins. Then Prohibition Saved Them

By the turn of the 20th century, America's love affair with Diamondback Terrapin soup — a subsistence food turned gourmet fare — had left the turtle's population teetering. Booze ban to the rescue.

(Image credit: Jesse D. Eriksen/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

For The 'Nickel Boys,' Life Isn't Worth 5 Cents

Colson Whitehead's harrowing new novel is based on a true story about a brutally abusive reform school in Florida where the grounds were pocked with the unmarked graves of the boys who died there.

(Image credit: Doubleday)

Categories: Just News

Everyone Wants Facebook's Libra to Be Regulated. But How?

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 07/18/2019 - 07:00
Facebook's planned blockchain-based currency poses nettlesome questions: Is it money? Is the Libra Association a bank?
Categories: Just News

Pumpsie Green, 1st Black Player On The Boston Red Sox, Dies At 85

The Boston Red Sox were the last Major League Baseball team to integrate, some 12 years after Jackie Robinson played his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

(Image credit: Harry L. Hall/Associated Press)

Categories: Just News

In Rome, Uncollected Trash Festers In Scorching Heat

Doctors have warned of health risks from tons of garbage rotting in the Italian capital's streets during the summer's hot spells.

(Image credit: Sylvia Poggioli/NPR)

Categories: Just News

Homeland Security Chief To Face Off With Democrats On Border Crisis

Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan will appear before the House Oversight and Reform Committee amid a heated debate between the GOP and Democrats about the administration's immigration policies.

(Image credit: Alex Brandon/AP)

Categories: Just News

Trump Administration Turns To South America For Help With Anti-Iran Coalition

As the U.S. has struggled to build support among its traditional allies in Europe to combat what it calls Iran's aggression, it has been forced to look elsewhere for support, such as Latin America.

(Image credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Puerto Rican Police Fire Tear Gas At Huge Protests Over Governor's Texts

Some of Puerto Rico's biggest stars attended, and tensions ratcheted up later when protesters burst through a barricade at the governor's mansion and security forces fired tear gas at the crowd.

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Democrats Issue Warnings Against Viral Russia-Based Face-Morphing App

FaceApp's surge in popularity has driven Sen. Chuck Schumer to call for a federal investigation into the St. Petersburg-developed app over potential "national security and privacy risks" to Americans.

(Image credit: FaceApp)

Categories: Just News

Court To Decide If Jeffrey Epstein Will Remain Behind Bars Ahead of Sex Crimes Trial

The financier's lawyers want him on house arrest at his mansion. Prosecutors say he should stay in a Manhattan jail. Epstein faces sex trafficking charges and 45 years in prison if convicted.

(Image credit: Patrick McMullan/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Have We Hit Peak Podcast?

The New York Times – If past experience (cough, blogs) is any indication, a shakeout is nigh. – “…Call him cynical, but Jordan Harbinger, host of “The Jordan Harbinger Show” podcast, thinks there is a “podcast industrial complex.” Hosts aren’t starting shows “because it’s a fun, niche hobby,” he said. “They do it to make money or because it will make them an influencer.”

…It’s no wonder that the phrase “everyone has a podcast” has become a Twitter punch line. Like the blogs of yore, podcasts — with their combination of sleek high tech and cozy, retro low — are today’s de rigueur medium, seemingly adopted by every entrepreneur, freelancer, self-proclaimed marketing guru and even corporation. (Who doesn’t want branded content by Home Depot and Goldman Sachs piped into their ears on the morning commute?) There are now upward of 700,000 podcasts, according to the podcast production and hosting service Blubrry, with between 2,000 and 3,000 new shows launching each month. In August William Morrow will publish a book by Kristen Meinzer, a co-host of the popular “By the Book” podcast. Its title: “So You Want to Start a Podcast.”…”

Categories: Law and Legal

It Just Got Easier for You to Suggest New Emoji

Wired: “If you wanted to send a tweet using Mayan hieroglyphics, or call upon the Phaistos disc symbols to craft the perfect email reply, you would have the Unicode Consortium to thank. The nonprofit encodes languages for the digital age, preserving them in amber for their onscreen afterlife. They have rescued, for the internet, Meroitic cursive, Canadian syllabics, the Lydian scripts, and those most esoteric creatures, emoji. “From English and Chinese to Cherokee and Rohingya, Unicode is committed to preserving every language for the digital era,” says Mark Davis, Unicode’s president and cofounder. Thanks to the adoption of emoji, Unicode’s star has been steadily rising for the past decade. Its web design, however, has been stuck in biblical times. Or, at least, the biblical times of the web: the 1990s…”

Categories: Law and Legal

CRS – Medicare Financial Status: In Brief

EveryCRSReport – Medicare Financial Status: In Brief – June 24, 2013 – July 2, 2019 R43122. “This report provides a brief overview of the financial status of the two Medicare trust funds (Hospital Insurance and Supplementary Medical Insurance) based on the findings of the 2019 Medicare Trustees Report. It includes an overview of Medicare and its financing, summary data on the program’s 2018 operations, current estimates of the insolvency date of the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, and estimates of spending growth. These estimates include measures of Medicare spending as a portion of GDP, unfunded obligations, and alternative projections.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Google’s Tool to Tame Election Influence Has Flaws

WSJ [paywall] – Mistakes have occurred in the Google Transparency Report for both Democratic and Republican presidential and congressional candidates – “Google set up a searchable database of political ads last summer, following calls for greater transparency in the wake of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Nearly a year later, the search giant’s archive of political ads is fraught with errors and delays, according to campaigns’ digital staffers and political consultants. The database, the Google Transparency Report, doesn’t always record political ads bought with Google’s ad tools and in some instances hasn’t updated for weeks at a time, they say. Several campaigns, including those of Democratic presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have run ads in recent weeks that didn’t appear in the Google archive, people familiar with the campaigns’ ad-buying said. Such mistakes have occurred for presidential and congressional candidates in both parties. A Google spokeswoman said in a statement, “We are constantly working to improve the report and appreciate feedback on how we can make it better.”…

Categories: Law and Legal

Trump Attacks Congresswomen At N.C. Rally, As Crowd Chants 'Send Her Back'

President Trump piled on four freshmen congresswomen of color after tweeting this weekend that they should "go back" to the countries they came from, even though three were born in the U.S.

(Image credit: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Rhinos come to the bond market, and other species may follow

The Hindu BusinessLine: “If the rhino impact bond is successful, the world could see the creation of a new market to support environmental and social programmes. The planned sale of a rhino impact bond, aimed at growing the population of the endangered black rhino, is seen by its backers as a test for the creation of a conservation debt market that could be used for everything from protecting species facing extinction to preserving wildlife areas. The sale of the $50 million bond, which will take place next year, is the first financial instrument for species conservation and it is being run by the Zoological Society of London and Conservation Capital. The company was founded in Kenya about 15 years ago seeking to create business and investment finance tools for conservation. Under the programme, the five-year bond will cover conservation efforts at five sites in South Africa and Kenya where about 700 black rhinos, or about 12 per cent of the world’s population of the animals, live…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Civilians And Military Leaders Sign Power-Sharing Deal In Sudan

There is considerable disagreement over terms of the deal, which will be detailed in a second agreement yet to be signed.

(Image credit: Mahmoud Hjaj/AP)

Categories: Just News

Libraries Must Draw the Line on E-books

Publishers Weekly – Recent developments suggest a grim future for digital content in libraries, writes Sari Feldman, unless library supporters find a way to respond. “Until now, I’ve been inclined to give publishers the benefit of the doubt. As co-chair of the ALA’s Digital Content Working Group from 2011 to 2014, back when libraries were working to get basic access to e-books, I came to recognize that some of the restrictions publishers place on libraries in the digital space are business decisions that, to some degree, reflect an economic reality the library community must learn to accept. But recent changes imposed by some of the major publishers have gone too far. A year ago, Macmillan placed a four-month embargo on new-release titles from its Tor imprint—part of what the publisher characterized as a “test.” In a series of recent meetings, Macmillan representatives told librarians that the test has validated its belief that library e-book lending depresses consumer e-book sales and author payouts. Speculation is that Macmillan will soon announce new digital terms and pricing for libraries that will include some version of an embargo on new-release titles across more of Macmillan’s imprints.

Despite holding meetings with librarians (including me), as well as with representatives from the American Library Association, it does not appear that Macmillan has listened to our concerns. Embargoing new releases in libraries is unacceptable. Windowing digital content will place libraries at a true disadvantage at a time when they are already under increasing pressure to serve digital readers and audiobook listeners. Further, libraries are already limited in the digital space. We often pay three to five times the consumer price for two-year access to e-books: terms that dramatically limit the number of copies we can afford to purchase, resulting in long wait times for readers—often many months for the hottest, buzziest titles. Adding an additional embargo period will only extend these already-long wait times for digital readers…”

Categories: Law and Legal

New York Landlords Call Rent Control Laws An 'Illegal Taking' In New Federal Lawsuit

Last month, housing advocates in New York celebrated sweeping new laws that established rent control permanently. Now, landlords say rent limits are unconstitutional.

(Image credit: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

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