16 Oct

links for 2009-10-16

  • "More than 30,000 single mothers have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army, the most heavily deployed branch of the military, gives women just four months to stay stateside with their newborns before deploying to the war zone, leaving them little time to bond with or nurse their infants. The divorce rate for female soldiers is nearly triple that of the men who wear the same uniform. These are just a few of the unsettling statistics contained in a new report published Wednesday by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America , the nation’s first and largest organization representing Americans who’ve served since Sept. 11, 2001."
  • "Untested rape kits, and closed cases, can mean lost justice for some rape victims, and lost opportunity for a Chicago community that cares about preventing sexual violence."
  • "The 30 Senators who signed the letter in support of the public option received an average of $15,937 in campaign contributions from the health insurance industry between January 2003 and June 2009, 57% less than the $37,322 received by the 70 senators who did not sign the letter. Omitting the 40 Senate Republicans, the numbers are similar: the 30 Senators who signed the letter in support of the public option received an average of $15,937 in campaign contributions from the health insurance industry between January 2003 and June 2009, 54% less than the $34,400 received by the 30 Senate Democrats (or Independents that caucus with Democrats) who did not sign the letter." More evidence in special interest v. Congress.
  • I so wish I could go.
  • "While that might sound like a welcome prospect, it raises some serious concerns about political vendettas and federal interference with local matters. More generally, the statute does seem dangerously broad. As Liptak notes, civil liberties attorney (and Reason contributor) Harvey Silverglate, in his new book Three Felonies a Day, cites honest services fraud as a catch-all charge that, like mail fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering, invites abuse by ambitious or vindictive prosecutors." Well intended laws can still be abused.
  • "Already, Google is teasing at what may be in store. During the call, Google executive mentioned at least three times that mobile searches on Google were up 30 percent from the second quarter. Of course, they wouldn’t say how many total mobile searches there were or what percentage of all searches they represent (probably still a very small subset), but they are very bullish about the company’s mobile prospects." Good for Google.
  • "The average in-state tuition, room and board at U.S. four-year public colleges and universities was $14,915 for the 2007-08 academic year. That’s more than double the cost in 1990."
  • "Sublime Text is a sophisticated text editor for code, html and prose. You'll love the slick user interface and extraordinary features." More than just a little cool.
  • "Put another way, the idea that Windows 7’s quality will spur upgrades from XP is predicated on the fact that the people holding out on XP make their computing choices based on quality. But if that’s the case, why exactly are they still running Windows XP? Why are they still using Internet Explorer? I think it’s hard to overstate the fact that, with the explosion of the Internet as a universal communication medium, hundreds of millions of PCs have been purchased around the world by people who don’t care about computers or software at all." Lots of people who buy computers don't really care about them, it's just a tool.
  • "Lebanese group Hezbollah has broadcast a video which it says disproves Israeli claims that it removed munitions from the scene of an explosion on Monday. The Hezbollah footage suggests the objects in Israel's spy-plane video were debris from the blast not weapons. Pending an investigation, it is impossible to verify either claim. Israel says its film shows violation of a ceasefire deal banning armed activity in the area. Hezbollah says overflights by Israel's spy-planes are a violation. "
  • "One is that YouTube is now monetizing over a billion video views a week. Last week, YouTube announced that it was serving over 1 billion video views a day, so if you do the math there, it means that YouTube is monetizing one every seven video views. The company also noted that 90% of the top 50 advertisers according to AdAge have now run ads on YouTube. And of its homepage ad inventory, 90% of it sold out for the quarter in the U.S., with lower, but still impressive sale rates for the rest of the world. Google also noted that YouTube was just starting to unleash its pre-roll inventory and let its salesforce have a go at selling that to advertisers, which should bring in more money." Always nice to see a company make money on a product.
  • "Afghanistan's ambassador to the US says a run-off vote to settle the country's presidential election is likely. Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad said the run-off should be held within a month. A spokesman for President Hamid Karzai said earlier a run-off was unlikely. Initial results suggest Mr Karzai won the first round outright with about 55% of the vote, with his nearest rival, Abdullah Abdullah, on 28%. But the August election has been dogged by allegations of massive fraud. The UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission has been investigating the allegations, auditing about 10% of votes cast, and is expected to rule within days." I think they need a runoff for the vote to look legit to the international community.
  • "Twitter has just rolled out its new Lists feature to a huge portion of its user base right now. The feature allows you to group users you follow together and then lets you share those for others to also follow." Hazziah people.
  • "Wow. Amazon.com is now offering same day shipping – same day shipping — in seven major cities across the U.S. with more on the way in the near future. If you live in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Las Vegas, or Seattle then you’re already in one of the same day delivery zones." Neat.
  • "But there's pretty compelling evidence a couple of particularly inflammatory quotes that have been attributed to Limbaugh on CNN and at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch are things he simply never said. There's no audio file, there's no YouTube, there's no transcript — there's no sourcing of any kind to speak of, and given that Rush is one of the most listened-to and tape-recorded people in the history of the world, you'd certainly think that there would be. There's not even some kind of half-assed backstory — "Oh, he said these things off the record at a fundraiser for Alexander Haig" — or anything like that. The quotes appear, in other words, to have been completely made up."

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