Weekly Roundup – 3/25/12

Victory for Mitt Romney in Republican Primary
Mr Romney has won 47% of the votes, compared with 35% for Rick Santorum, with nearly all votes counted.

Ron Paul polled 9% in Illinois and Newt Gingrich was on 8%; neither candidate campaigned extensively in the state.

“I’m running for president because I have the experience and the vision to get us out of this mess,” said Mr Romney, as his victory became evident.

It’s really hard for anyone to beat Romney at this point.

Mississippi teen gets two life sentences after pleading guilty to hate crime
Dedmon, a slight, blonde man wearing a blue jumpsuit, looked down as prosecutors described the killing. Dedmon admitted that he and a group of white teens were partying in Puckett, a small town outside the capital city, when he suggested they find a black man to harass and went to Jackson because of its majority-black population. They found Anderson before dawn outside a hotel. He was beaten before Dedmon ran over him.

Why can’t everyone get along? Dedmon deserves the life sentences.

Future iPhone May Be Made Out of Glass
Some problems immediately come to mind. While the glass material used in modern smartphones is quite tough, a smartphone made entirely out of glass could easily be damaged in a fall. Furthermore, the iPhone is chock-full of sensors, some of which might have problems functioning in a (transparent) glass enclosure – though Apple’s application addresses this problem by suggesting some parts of the glass case can be made opaque.

Great… iPhones are fragile enough as it is. This is a stupid idea.

Florida Protesters Could Deny Justice for Trayvon Martin
The case is as follow; Trayvon Martin was walking back from the store when Zimmerman spotted him. Zimmerman called 911 and told the operator he saw someone suspicious in the neighborhood. A police car was dispatched. A physical confrontation ensued, causing more 911 calls, this time from neighbors. At some point Zimmerman shot Martin, who died at the scene. Zimmerman told the police he shot Martin in self-defense, and the police took a report, but did not arrest Zimmerman.

Because Martin is black, and Zimmerman white, the claim of racism began almost immediately, both aimed at the police and Zimmerman. But in the rush to declare a racial bias, within two hours of the incident, the snowballing of racially motivated protests, the true issues at hand has not been thoroughly examined by many in the African-American community.

The first issue is that Zimmerman was not arrested, claiming self-defense. In the state of Florida exists the “Stand Your Ground” law. This law states that you can use deadly force if you believe that your life is in danger. African-Americans have dismissed the self-defence claim as a poor excuse because Martin was not armed, but this is the result of unfamiliarity with the law.

Under ‘Stand Your Ground’, you do not have to be physically attacked — you just have to believe that your life is in danger. If I’m walking home after a night on the town and someone stops me and demands my wallet, I can shoot them. If they turn out not to be armed, I’m not going to be arrested. In this case, Martin did not approach Zimmerman, but we do not know what occurred immediately before he was shot. Without witnesses accounts, Zimmerman’s word did not serve the police with grounds for arrest.

Which brings us to the second issue; The protesters are confusing the police with the district attorney. In the days that followed the shooting, the 911 call was released. Here are an outtake of Zimmerman’s words:

“This guy looks like he is up to no good. He is on drugs or something […] These a**holes always get away.”

Zimmerman was told not to pursue Martin, but did so anyway. As a neighborhood watch member, Zimmerman was not supposed to be carrying a gun, and he was known to have made 41 911 calls at different times—usually about a black person he suspected of ill intent. The victim, on the other hand, did not have a weapon, had no record, and had every right to be in the neighborhood. All this adds up to suspicion of bias in the police. But that is the wrong assumption.

This is very messed up. Zimmerman should be charged because he shot someone who had no intention of shooting him. If Martin wanted to walk around the neighborhood at night, he should have the right to.

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Weekly Roundup – 3/18/12

Yahoo Sues Facebook For Patent Infringement
The lawsuit, filed in a San Jose, California federal court, marks the first major legal battle among technology giants in social media and a major escalation of patent litigation that has already swept up the smartphone and tablet sectors and high-tech stalwarts such as Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.

Seems like Facebook is under fire lately.

Full Titanic wreck site mapped
Researchers have pieced together what’s believed to be the first comprehensive map of the entire 3-by-5-mile (5-by-8-kilometer) Titanic debris field and hope it will provide new clues about what exactly happened the night 100 years ago when the superliner hit an iceberg, plunged to the bottom of the North Atlantic and became a legend.

I’d like to see this map. It’s interesting to see all of this unfolding.

Virginia’s jobless rate hits 3-year low
The unemployment rate declined in January even though non-farm payroll employment fell, which normally happens from December to January, particularly in the trade sector as retailers cut back on holiday staffing, the Virginia Employment Commission reported. All of the state’s major industry sectors saw declines from December to January as payroll employment dipped by about 64,500 jobs to 3.65 million.

Ugh.

VCU dances past Wichita State into NCAA third round
VCU Mania is officially back in session, thanks to the Rams’ thrilling 62-59 upset victory against No. 5 seed Wichita State Thursday in Portland’s Rose Garden arena. A No. 12 seed has won in 22 of the last 24 tournaments.

I wish they didn’t lose to Indiana. Sigh…

10 things the internet killed
The book-form of Encyclopaedia Britannica has been in print since 1768, but will stop being available when the current stock runs out. Digital versions of the encyclopedia will still be offered. Is it a bad sign that we’ll no longer have the heavy books to consult? Look on the bright side, now you’ll have extra room on your bookshelf for more books…err…iPads.

The world is changing as we know it. I miss the old days.

New iPads hit stores Friday
It will cost the same as the iPad 2 — from $499 to $829 based on storage capacity and Wi-Fi capability. Apple also will be slashing the prices of the iPad 2 by $100, making a 16GB Wi-Fi only model $399 and putting it closer to the price point of some less expensive tablets, such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire, that have hit the market in the past year.

Is it really worth all that $$$ to purchase an iPad? I can get a laptop/desktop PC with 3x the amount of storage, a CD drive, and USB ports for that money. Geez.

Afghanistan massacre: Hamid Karzai chides US on probe
Men, women and children were shot and killed at close range as the soldier apparently went on a rampage in villages close to a Nato base in the remote Panjwai district of southern Kandahar province.

This is so sad. Something should have been done to prevent this.

George Clooney arrested in Sudan protest
“We are protesting to make sure the Sudanese government knows that the world is watching,” McGovern said. “The United States Congress is watching. And we will be back again and again until they stop using food as a weapon; stop slaughtering innocent men, women and children; and stop spitting in the face of the world community.”

I support those protesting the Sudanese government. It’s just not right.

New Pinterest Profile Pages
In this grab, there four centered columns vs. the former five, although if you stretch your browser’s window, you can accommodate more. The tab on the left detailing who is following you and who has recently repinned your photos and videos is gone. Instead, a horizontal bar on the top of the page details that information. You’ll also note that there’s more blank space on the side and top, giving the page a less cluttered look. In another change, the default for the profile page shows recent pins, rather than Pinboards.

I really like the new look. Very clean.

How Iceland is building its economy with social media
Overall, the Internet has played a big role in modern day Iceland. The government recently asked citizens to post online comments and feedback about what they thought of its new constitution proposal. And although the president actually said he wouldn’t be running for re-election earlier this year, he changed his mind after Icelanders gathered thousands of signatures online as a part of an effort to keep him in office.

This seems like a good idea. I wish we could do that here.

KONY 2012: How Social Media Fueled the Most Viral Video of All Time
Just watch the video.

Kony 2012 Director Is Detained and Hospitalized
“Police said they received several calls Thursday at 11:30 a.m. of a man in various stages of undress, running through traffic and screaming,” the NBC affiliate reported. A police spokeswoman, Lt. Andra Brown, told reporters: “During the evaluation we learned we probably needed to take him to a medical facility because of statements he was saying.”

I’m not sure what to think. Either all the stress has gotten to him or he got extremely drunk the night before.

Weekly Roundup – 3/4/12

Sorry for being a week late on this. I recently started a new job and have been very busy.

Pentagon Report: Partial Remains Of Some 9/11 Victims Went To A Landfill
Partial remains of several 9/11 victims were incinerated by a military contractor and sent to a landfill, a government report said Tuesday in the latest of a series of revelations about the Pentagon’s main mortuary for the war dead.

The surprise disclosure was mentioned only briefly, with little detail, in a report by an independent panel that studied underlying management flaws at Dover Air Force Base mortuary in Delaware. A 2011 probe found “gross mismanagement” there, but until Tuesday there had been no mention of Dover’s role in handling 9/11 victims’ remains.

It’s sad to see that some of the victims’ remains are going to a landfill.

Gas Prices Rise
Gas prices are averaging $4.32 in California and $3.73 a gallon nationally, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. But as tensions with Iran and Syria continue and demand from countries like China rises, the price of gasoline has remained high. With summer approaching, prices are expected to go up around another 20 cents a gallon, the Times reported.

This really stinks. It might as well cost an arm and a leg.

Without Internet, Urban Poor Fear Being Left Behind In Digital Age
“The cost of being offline is greater now than it was 10 years ago,” said John Horrigan, vice president of policy research at TechNet, a trade association representing high-tech companies. “So many important transactions take place online. If you don’t have access to high-speed Internet, you’re missing out on a lot.”

About 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies — including Target and Walmart — only accept job applications online. High school students who have broadband Internet at home have graduation rates 6 to 8 percentage points higher than students who don’t, says a 2008 study by the Federal Reserve. Consumers can save almost $8,000 a year by using online resources to find discounts on essentials like apartment rentals, clothes, gasoline and food, according to an analysis last fall by the Internet Innovation Alliance.

Pretty much everything is done online now, especially searching for jobs, networking, transactions, and research. There needs to be resources for those who don’t have the luxury.

Limbaugh: Contraception advocate should post online sex videos
Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, already under fire from Democrats over his language in discussing a Georgetown University law student who testified about contraception, ratcheted up his rhetoric on Thursday, saying the student should post an online sex video if taxpayers are forced to pay for contraception.

Rush Limbaugh is a(n) [insert insult here]. Many people use contraceptives due to irregular balances in hormones or irregular periods. Fluke said nothing about having sex.

Twitter to sell users’ old tweets to marketers
Twitter, however, has decided to make it easier for these companies to mine billions of messages for valuable marketing data. The company will open its archives and sell its old tweets.

I am not surprised at all. More ads… oh joy…

Kirk Cameron defends views on gay marriage
When Piers Morgan asked the actor what he’d tell his kids regarding gay marriage, Cameron responded, “I’d tell my children what I believe myself…I believe that marriage was defined by God a long time ago. Marriage is almost as old as dirt and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part. I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage, and I don’t think anyone else should, either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don’t.”

I can see where Kirk is coming from, but times are changing. If two people are in love and want to get married, then they should be allowed to.