Morning Media Summary


Privacy Commissioner slams data retention:
“The Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has slammed the Federal Government’s proposed data retention law and called for an inquiry to ensure data is not mishandled if the plan goes ahead.”

Cloud, meet Rainbow:
“At Mozilla Labs, we’re constantly trying to push the boundaries with respect to what the browser can do. We’ve experimented with audio recording in the browser as part of the Jetpack prototype earlier, and want to revisit the idea. There have been great strides on video playback recently, but there’s still some work to be done before users can create multimedia content for the web, on the web.”

Verizon Wireless Pays FCC $25M for years of false data charges:
“The Federal Communications Commission said Thursday that it has reached a record $25 million settlement with Verizon Wireless over the company’s false charges of “mystery” Internet fees over the past several years.”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

Indonesia tsunami death toll hits 408:
“The death toll from a tsunami that struck western Indonesia earlier this week rose to 408 today, as hopes dimmed for another 303 still listed as missing. ”

Gore leaves car idling for one hour during speech; Opts for Swedish government jet over public transportation:

“Recently, Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore toured again. Or maybe he does that all the time. This time, he turned up in Gothenburg (Sweden) for the usual alarmist talk. In advance, all distinguished guests were politely advised to – if possible – use any form of public transportation to go to the event, in order to minimize CO2 emissions.”

Video: Canadian citizens with giant carbon footprint pretty opinionated about California green initiative:

“I wish I could tell you this is the most irritating Cameron-related news of the day, but … it gets worse. Much, much worse. Exit question: How tedious does your sci-fi franchise have to be to make another round of “Star Wars” movies sound good by comparison?”

US man pleads guilty to illegally trading elephant ivory:
“A Florida man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to illegally selling and exporting African elephant ivory, a violation of the Endangered Species Act.”

Vans drive themselves across the world:
“Four driverless electric vans successfully ended a 13,000-kilometre test drive from Italy to China which mirrored the journey from East to West carried out by Marco Polo in the Middle Ages.”

Insurance / Gambling:

Legal Online Poker for US Players from PokerStars and Fox Sports:
“PokerStars runs the largest internet poker network on the net, and is responsible for running some of the richest land-based poker tournaments in the history of poker. FOX Sports, run by news conglomerate FOX News, is one of the most popular sports news websites in the United States. The two have teamed up to offer free online poker games to US players through the FOX Sports website.”

Health / Safety:

F.D.A. Rejects Qnexa, a Third Weight-Loss Drug:
“The Food and Drug Administration rejected another new diet pill on Thursday, the latest setback in the quest to develop treatments for overweight Americans amid the nation’s obesity epidemic.”


Elizabeth Warren has office at an agency where she doesn’t work:

“Congress created an agency that will have a director the Senate needs to confirm. The Senate is unlikely to confirm Warren. Pretending like the Senate doesn’t matter in this is sort of like pretending that the agency itself doesn’t exist either.”


New Zealand passes law to keep the Hobbit films:
“The New Zealand government has passed legislation clearing the way for two Hobbit films to be made in the country despite stiff protest by opposition MPs, who said it was a “day of shame”.”

Audit resolves voting irregularities questions County registrar calls allegations of voter fraud ‘unjustified’:
“Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said Wednesday that he has “reconciled” five discrepancies in early voting alleged by Republicans this week.”

A Case of Supply v. Demand:
“During the recession, the logic was ubiquitous: The economy is terrible—better to wait it out! It is a three-year fast track to a remunerative, respectable career! It’s not just learning a subject—it’s learning how to think! Law school, always the safe choice, became a more popular choice. Between 2007 and 2009, the number of LSAT takers climbed 20.5 percent. Law school applications increased in turn.”

Tribe to Obama: Sotomayor Is “Not Nearly As Smart As She Seems to Think She Is”:
“I’ve obtained a copy of an interesting letter that Harvard law professor Larry Tribe wrote to his protégé, President Barack Obama, in the immediate aftermath of Justice Souter’s announcement of his decision to retire from the Court. I will post a PDF of the letter shortly. [Update: Here’s the letter.] In the meantime, I’ll call attention, in this post and two or three others, to some of its highlights.”

Syracuse’s Lords of Political Correctness Hunt Down Law Student Bloggers:
“In the above photo, you’re looking at the front of the newest addition to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. It’s hard to imagine a more permanent salute to freedom of speech and the press than plastering the entire text of the First Amendment in 10-foot high letters across the enormous facade of one of your university’s best-known schools.”


Sarkozy moving on from pensions as protests flag:
“Workers at a northern oil terminal which serves a third of France’s refineries, as well as at Total’s Gonfreville plant and at the Ineos Lavera plant voted to end strikes that have squeezed petrol pump supplies this month.”

SEIU looks to boost female vote for Titus:
“The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is gunning for the woman vote in Nevada.”

Transportation/ Land Use:

Tippah settles eminent domain suit for $675K:
“Tippah County has shown a profit from land it bought in 2007 in anticipation of Toyota locating the area and highway officials needing to build a bypass for Mississippi Highway 15.”

High-Speed Pork:

“Somehow, it has become fashionable to think that high-speed trains connecting major cities will help “save the planet.” They won’t. They’re a perfect example of wasteful spending masquerading as a respectable social cause. They would further burden already-overburdened governments and drain dollars from worthier programs—schools, defense, research.”