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TMZ idol worship

Politico:

David Mark

When Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) admitted that he had indeed sent suggestive photos and tweets, he apologized to Andrew Breitbart, who first published the material. The blogger has in the past criticized major news organizations for ignoring news of consequence to conservatives, while journalists have long harbored suspicions about Breitbart’s motives and methods.

Have mainstream news organizations denied Breitbart his journalistic due because his targets have largely been on the political left? Will the Weiner episode – arguably Breitbart’s biggest political scalp yet – make journalists take his work more seriously?

(Go ahead and look at the responses if you have the stomach for it.) But merely by asking the question in this, Politico has framed the argument as a matter of partisanship not journalistic integrity.

This was a big, big win for Breitbart. And he will always be successful despite his record of hoaxes and lies not because even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but because the so called liberal media just loves the stuff he does.

This is the key, you know. It's not about his ideology --- it's about his ability to provide them with the fetid, adolescent, lizard brain, tabloid dreck they crave. In their heart of hearts they all want to be TMZ.

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Guest Post: In search of a sand crab [Observations of a Nerd]

Today's post is by the fantastic and phenomenal Zen Faulkes. Be sure to check out his blog after you read it!

Note; I'm writing this guest post because this week, I'll be a visitor in Christie's current stomping grounds, Hawaii, attending the summer meeting of The Crustacean Society. Christie, meanwhile, is on the mainland. Since we are sort of switching places, we thought it might be fun to switch blogs. So here I am at Observations, and she's promised me a guest post for my blog, NeuroDojo.

Hawaii is famous for its beaches. When most people see a beach, they think of relaxation. Tanning, swimming, bikinis, maybe a little Frisbee or beach volleyball.

When I see a beach, I think of shovelling and sweating.

Doing a doctorate changes you, man.

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Also check out the featured ScienceBlog of the week: Inside the Outbreaks on the ScienceBlogs Book Club


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So much for “nothing will change for the vast majority of workers”

Oh heck. It doesn't look as if this is going to go quite the way it was planned:

McKinsey, which based its projection on a survey of more than 1,300 employers of various sizes and industries and other proprietary research, found that 30 percent of employers will "definitely" or "probably" stop offering coverage in the years after 2014, when new medical insurance exchanges are supposed to be up and running.

"The shift away from employer-provided health insurance will be vastly greater than expected and will make sense for many companies and lower-income workers alike," according to the study, published in McKinsey Quarterly.

"While the pace and timing are difficult to predict, McKinsey research points to a radical restructuring of employer-sponsored health benefits."

Colbert on Paul Revere:

The great American tradition of warning our enemies that we are about to attack them ...

Well, if you just started paying attention around 2003, that would be what you think, right?

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IBM puts Watson’s brains in Nintendo Wii U

Nintendo's new console, the Wii U, was finally unveiled to the world today at E3 2011, and we got a glimpse of its graphical prowess at the company's keynote. Details were scarce about the IBM silicon Nintendo's new HD powerhouse was packing, but we did some digging to get a little more info. IBM tells us that within the Wii U there's a 45nm custom chip with "a lot" of embedded DRAM. It's a silicon on insulator design and packs the same processor technology found in Watson, the supercomputer that bested a couple of meatbags on Jeopardy awhile back. Unfortunately, IBM wouldn't give us the chip's clock speeds, but if it's good enough to smoke Ken Jennings on national TV, we imagine it'll do alright against its competition from Sony and Microsoft.

IBM puts Watson's brains in Nintendo Wii U originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 07 Jun 2011 14:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Looxcie 2 wearable camcorder slims down, adds some accessories

The original Looxcie may not have quite made wearable camcorders as ubiquitous as Blueooth headsets, but the company's not giving on that dream, and it's now back with its all new Looxcie 2. As you can see above, things have slimmed down considerably this time around -- the new Looxcie is about half the size and 20 percent lighter than the original -- but the camera still packs all the same "lifecasting" capabilities you'd expect, including support for Looxcie's iOS and Android companion apps. You'll also get the same Bluetooth hands-free support as before, plus 480p video recording, a promised four hours of battery life, and support for some new accessories that will let you attach the camera to a cap or helmet. Look for this one to set you back $179 for the basic five-hour model, or $199 if you want enough space for ten hours of video.

Continue reading Looxcie 2 wearable camcorder slims down, adds some accessories

Looxcie 2 wearable camcorder slims down, adds some accessories originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 07 Jun 2011 14:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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“Hey Adolph! Here’s a warning shot! Ding Dong ya bastard!”

Colbert on Paul Revere:

The great American tradition of warning our enemies that we are about to attack them ...

Well, if you just started paying attention around 2003, that would be what you think, right?

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Nintendo Wii U controller, first hands-on! (video)

We just elbowed our way through the crowds and managed to get our first hands-on time with Nintendo's revolutionary new controller, the Wii U. As you can see in the images, it's a rather different thing than even the company's typically unusually styled contraptions. The dominant feature is the center-mounted 6.2-inch touchscreen, which actually looks really good. We'd expected Nintendo would cheap out to keep costs low, but that doesn't appear to be the case, at least not in our first impressions. Join us after the break for more details.

Continue reading Nintendo Wii U controller, first hands-on! (video)

Nintendo Wii U controller, first hands-on! (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 07 Jun 2011 13:58:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Redistricting + Top Two Means An Uncertain 8 Days for the Budget

Jim Sanders and Kevin Yamamura of the Bee take on the theory that redistricting maps due out Friday could shake free a few votes:

To secure Republican votes for the state budget, Democrats have enlisted business leaders, police officers and teachers.

Now they're hoping for a boost from cartographers.

An independent mapping panel will release its first draft of new legislative boundaries Friday, shuffling incumbents into new districts and threatening some members' best-laid political plans.

Democrats hope the redistricting maps will help shake free the necessary Republican votes for a budget that relies on taxes to bridge the remaining $9.6 billion deficit. (SacBee)

This isn't an altogether unreasonable hypothesis.  But, that's all it is right now, an untested guess.  And as Tony Quinn points out, it is just too hard to game out right now.

However, all that being said, I think a critical point might have been missed here: Top 2 is going to change pretty much everything from the last time around.  Beyond the citizens redistricting commission, which might be more likely to lump two (or even three) legislators into one new district, the element of this new voting system makes next year even more of a wild card.

Just from numbers, this is more likely to be of some import in a district with two Republican legislators, but it could make a difference in a race of two Democrats in the opposite fashion.  So, say you have two somewhat strong legislators of one party as well as a no-name or two of the other party.  While it is far from clear that you will have two Rs or Ds in that general election (see Bowen, D), a sizeable chunk of the smaller party could shift allegiance to a partisan of the other, more powerful party in the region. So, if a bunch of Democrats decide to back one of the Republicans over the other, that could make a difference in creating the Craig Huey situation.  In other words, the weaker party will still get one of its nominees into the general election.

Basically, at this point this is all speculation, but come next June, we could have some very interesting contests on our hands.  And over the next 8 days until the June 15 budget deadline, there will be some squirming legislators.


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This Time They’ve Gone Too Far!


And other jokes...

For the record, many, many on Left have been saying exactly this for years, over and over again and to no effect.

Not just parsing the general psychopathy of Randism (Digby, for one, has been on that beat for as long as I can remember) but for years (hell, for decades) we have been asking how in the fuck anyone on the Right could possibly reconcile their love of the anti-religion, no-rules capitalist bloodlust of Ayn Rand with their round-the-clock yapping about Jebus!Jebus!Jebus!

I mean, the fundamental incompatibility of these two ideologies is so shotgunning-fish-in-a-teacup obvious, how is it that no one in our Elite Media ever asks these clowns to climb off the giant pile of Bibles atop which they have spent their political careers screaming at 120 decibels and explain the contradiction? (Hell, I'd like to know why Paul Ryan gets a free pass on any inquiries about whether or not he either urges or requiring his staff to read the works of a radical pro-abortionist like Ayn Rand. Seems to me like a very legitimate question to ask of the new, young princeling of the Party of God.)

Then, gradually, a lot of us stopped asking, because we noticed that the Right never bothers to reconcile anything with anything. "Word", "facts", "history" and "faith" on the Right are just wingnut madlibs tossed out by the fistful like radar chaff to camouflage the reality that they are a tribe of seethingly hateful, often bigoted nihilists who have nothing but contempt for this country.

And no one in the Elite Media cares.

If Randism is 100% existentially incompatible with and hostile to Christianity, well then the Ministry of Righteousness will just pull a completely fake Parable of the Talents "Prosperity Doctrine" Jebus right out of their ass and the Pig People will sop it up with a biscuit.

And no one in the Elite Media cares.

So will this commercial make the slightest difference?

Nah.

These queries have never been put to the Right because our Elite Media deems that since certain categories of questions (Example: How do you reconcile these ridiculously obvious ideological contradictions? Why aren't the people who lied us into war going to jail? Hey, are you sure we aren't torturing people? How did a gay male Conservative prostitute masquerading as a reporter go undetected at the heart of the White House Press corps for two years?) are obviously being asked by dirty, America-hating hippies for the sole purpose of being be rude and shrill and embarrassing our Elite Media in front of their Republican friends, lovers and party guests, such questions are therefore irrelevant.

Oh it might induce some young-gun reporter looking to make a name to fling the question in the general direction of, say, Rand Paul the next time he leaves Galt's Gulch to pick up another gallon of Geri Curl or whatever the fuck he uses to make his hair (pigtail? deadlock? piglock? dreadtail?) like that, but I'm sure people like Paul have a stock answer that uses phrases like "aspirational", "thought-leader" and "What about those Commies on MS-NBC?" on-hand just in case anyone should ever bring up any such unpleasantness? And no, the Senator will not ne taking any further questions.

However, given Sarah Palin's groundbreaking work on transforming the act of cowering from the press into a sign of Special Grace, I wouldn't place to much faith in creating even that much of a ripple in our big, dumb pond.






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The Wii U controller, revealed! (video)

Woah! The rumors turned out to be true: a 6.2-inch screen will be built into the controller for Nintendo's next-generation Wii U console. It'll also feature a microphone, a gyroscope, dual analog controls, two shoulder buttons and two triggers, a front-facing camera, a stylus, and yes, it's a touchscreen, too! Satoru Iwata was careful to forewarn that the Wii U's controller was "not designed to be a portable game machine," even if it shares some characteristics with handhelds. You will, however, be able to game and video chat even without a TV. The Wii U controller is backwards compatible with all current Wii accessories. Check the video after the break while we go try to hunt down some hands-on time with this multifunctional new beast of a controller.

Continue reading The Wii U controller, revealed! (video)

The Wii U controller, revealed! (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 07 Jun 2011 12:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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