Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hey, Congress! What the Hell?

Posted By on Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Something I will never think is a good idea: requiring internet service providers to keep track of everything anyone visits online and keeping those records for a year.

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee voted 19-10 for H.R. 1981, a data-retention bill that will require your ISP to spy on everything you do online and save records of it for 12 months. California Rep Zoe Lofgren, one of the Democrats who opposed the bill, called it a “data bank of every digital act by every American” that would “let us find out where every single American visited Web sites.”

Sure, the title makes the bill sound like something no reasonable person would oppose ("Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011"), but is creating an insane information police state regarding the internet the best way to keep porn away from children? If anyone thinks this database would only be used to fight child pornography, they're insane (RIAA, anyone?) I think I'd prefer law enforcement agencies get a warrant before snooping through my browsing history, but thanks anyway.

In Arizona news, both Arizonan members of the committee, Trent Franks (R) and Ben Quayle (R) voted to move the bill out of committee. You'd think Quayle would be sensitive to privacy issues concerned online behavior, but I guess he's moved on from the stage of his life.

For more information about this terrible, terrible proposal, visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation's site.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Here's a Pug Dressed As Paula Deen

Posted By on Sat, Jul 30, 2011 at 12:03 PM


Happy Saturday! If you feel compelled to mention the typographical error on the sign, you're missing the point.

[Pugs in Costume, officially the second best website ever]

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Al Melvin Was Right! Mexico Invaded America!

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 5:00 PM

They say it was an inadvertent border crossing, but that's what Mexico would like you to believe. It's time for drastic legislative measures, I say:

More than 30 soldiers in the Mexican Army crossed the border into Texas in Humvees on Tuesday before being processed and allowed to return to Mexico.

According to Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Rick Pauza, the accidental invasion occurred when 33 soldiers in four Humvees started crossing a bridge across the Rio Grande at Donna, Texas, and then realized they couldn't turn their vehicles around without entering the U.S.

A local newspaper, the Monitor of McAllen, Texas, reported that the Mexicans were chasing a resident of South Texas when they drove onto the bridge.

Without addressing the reason for the crossing, Pauza confirmed to ABC News that the incident had occurred and called it "inadvertent."

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Idiot Boksen - The Best Show On Television

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 4:00 PM

A couple weeks ago, Chuck Klosterman wrote a piece for Grantland arguing Breaking Bad is actually the best of the four most highly-regarded cable dramas (the others being Mad Men, The Sopranos, and The Wire).

Continue reading »

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Oursourcing the Star - Friday Arts Edition

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Solid day for the Star today, partially thanks to Cathalena E. Burch, who wrote most of the Arts section. No giraffe coverage, however.

Section A: Star, 10; Not Star, 23
Sports: Star, 3; Not Star, 8
Arts: Star, 6; Not Star, 1

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Groupon Just Making Numbers Up as They Go

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 3:00 PM

I don't know much about accounting, but it would seem that if you're keeping track of how much money you're making versus how much your spending, you don't get to selectively choose which expenses count. But then again, I'm not getting ready to go public and raise a gazillion dollars (estimated) like Groupon:

Because it loses tons of money, Groupon is promoting its IPO using an inflated income number that excludes marketing and customer acquisition costs. Why would you do that? Well, that's exactly what the SEC is now asking.

Groupon's calls its inflated income number "CSOI," or consolidated segment operating income, and no one else has heard of CSOI before. So the Securities and Exchange Commission has begun asking the company about this weird bizarre world it has constructed in which two of its biggest expenses do not count, a source tells the Wall Street Journal. This is a very good thing to ask about, given that Groupon's 2010 operating loss of $420 million was driven by $481 million of the very expenses excluded from CSOI. If you look at Groupon's accounting by generally accepted principles the online coupon firm spends $1.43 to make $1, has losses that are mounting rather than improving, and desperately needs cash from its IPO because it spent most of its last funding round on bonuses for CEO Andrew Mason and his backers.


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Peggy and Ted’s Birthday Party Is Tomorrow

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 2:00 PM

I love this woman like a mother. Happy birthday Peggy!!!
  • I love this woman like a mother. Happy birthday Peggy!!!

Buffet Bar and Crockpot’s daytime bartender Miss Peggy Barclay and former owner Ted Bair are celebrating their birthdays tomorrow at the bar. It promises to be quite the shindig, and generations of Buffet patrons are expected to attend.

This is a good time for me to propose my theory of “bar-as-family.” While many people call the Buffet a dive bar with a hint of a snicker — heck, the bar’s website celebrates the designation - it serves as much more to some. One could nearly call the relationships forged there "familial," although there's a lot more beer and a better juke box than any family gathering I've been to.

When a good friend I met at the Buffet died a couple years back, his mother sent some of his ashes to Miss Peggy. It’s been a meeting place and hangout for everyone from business professionals to bikers for more than 70 years. Some people go to church for community, others go to the Buffet and some go to both. To each their own.

Anyway, stop in tomorrow and say happy birthday to Ted and Peggy, and you’ll get to see what I’m talking about. The party runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Oh, and if you haven’t gotten Peggy a gift yet, she likes earrings. That is all.

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Believe It or Not: The New George Lucas Film Looks Great

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 1:00 PM

It's been a long time since Lucasfilm released a movie that wasn't related to Star Wars or Indiana Jones (1994's Radioland Murders, which you likely have blocked from your memory, if you heard of it at all) and he's been working on this since 1988, so there's instantly a bit of anticipation for Red Tails, which focuses on the Tuskegee Airmen. While I've been burned before anticipating something George Lucas was in charge of, the trailer for Red Tails is definitely promising. Mostly, I'm just excited that two of my favorite modern R&B singers, Ne-Yo and Jazmine Sullivan, are in the cast. We'll see in 2012, I suppose.

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Tour of the Mission Garden at Tucson's Birthplace

Tours of a re-creation on the original site of the Spanish-colonial-era walled plot that was part of… More

@ Mission Garden Saturdays Corner of Grande Avenue and Mission Lane.

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