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  • Partial Nudity Delays Halo 2 for Vista

    May 31, 2007

    Halo 2 for Vista was found to have a hidden part of the code containing a character which moons the player. Much like GTA's hidden Hot Coffee code, this "Easter egg" is a piece of the code, likely a joke from one programmer to another, is only accessible by someone who is very familiar with programming and has a lot of time on their hands. This should not be confused with unlockable levels or characters, which are common to many games and a completely kosher part of game design.

    That said, after the fallout from the Hot Coffee controversy, the ESRB did change the terms of the contracts that it signs with software makers to mandate disclosure of...

  • Ethanol mandates: The straw the broke the camel's back

    May 30, 2007
    Ethanol mandates already made my steak cost more. Ditto my bacon, my eggs, and my cheese. In fact, the market ramifications of government-imposed demand for ethanol have made virtually all my groceries more expensive. Of course it stinks, but I have persevered, confident that Congress enacted ethanol mandates with the American consumer in mind, and not at the behest of an army of lobbyists employed by some huge multinational corporation, like, say, Archer Daniel Midland. After all, each gallon of ethanol produced by ADM gets us that much closer to energy independence, and...
  • More Problems With Senate Immigration Deal

    May 30, 2007
    Earlier, I wrote about how the Senate immigration deal supported by Ted Kennedy and George Bush has been criticized for doing little to increase the supply of high-skilled immigrant labor, even as it opens the door to 12 million mostly low-skilled illegal immigrants ultimately becoming citizens (and thus receiving retirement and welfare benefits at taxpayer expense). Today, The Wall Street Journal has an editorial on how "the Senate bill is worse than current law for skilled immigrants," who are badly needed in a number of American industries. In a recent column, George Will...
  • Bureaucrats Block Voluntary Mad Cow Testing

    May 30, 2007
    Amazingly enough, the Agriculture Department is fighting a meat packer's plan to voluntarily test all slaughtered cattle for mad cow disease. The government doesn't need to test all slaughtered cattle for mad cow disease, since the danger of mad cow disease from any given cow is extremely, astronomically low, verging on nonexistent. It would be a waste of taxpayer money and limited agency resources. Other food-borne illnesses are more of a reality and thus merit priority in screening. But a small number of Americans won't eat beef because of their mad cow fears, however irrational such fears may be. The market for beef would thus increase slightly if a meatpacker were allowed to cater to such idiosyncratic people by carrying out voluntary mad cow testing. Moreover, the image of the government...
  • Department of Pre-Regulation

    May 30, 2007
    One of the highlights of our big annual dinner last week was our faux public service announcement from a future where nanny-state regulators have taken over. Behold, the terrifying possibilities of the Department of Pre-Regulation:

    Binary Data
    Credits (in no particular order) include: Erin Wildermuth, Cord Blomquist, Ivan Osorio, Brooke...
  • Limbaugh reads CEI letter on the air

    May 30, 2007
    A little bird tells us that earlier today Rush Limbaugh read John Berlau's letter urging the head of the Nobel Peach Prize committee to bestow the award, not on Al Gore, but on Rush Limbaugh. Mr. Limbaugh was nominated by the conservative Landmark Legal Foundation. As John Berlau argues in the letter:
    I can say without reservation that on one of the most important issues facing the world -- a threat far more immediate than global warming -- Mr. Limbaugh has made the greater contribution to public health. In fact, Mr. Gore's contributions regarding this issue, by contrast, have been detrimental to public health. This issue I'm speaking of is the epidemic of malaria in third-world countries. As you know (or should know), malaria kills more than one...
  • Crying Wolf: Demagoguing About Discrimination

    May 30, 2007
    Yesterday, by a vote of 5-to-4, the Supreme Court actually enforced the 180-day statute of limitations contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, dismissing an employee's claim that she had been subject to sex discrimination years earlier that affected her pay. For enforcing the plain language of the statute, the justices in the majority were denounced by the dissent, which speculated that they were "indifferent to the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination." Press accounts about the decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. have ...
  • Future Fred Greets You from 2107

    May 30, 2007
    For all of you who were unable to make it to CEI's annual banquet/gala/extravaganza last Thursday, here's the opening video. Fred greeted the crowd from the future, and gave us a few clues as to what we can expect from the next century.

    Binary Data
  • And we're the well-funded ones?

    May 30, 2007
    Banking firm HSBC is to give $100 million to various environmental groups to "respond to global warming." According to the HSBC press release, much of the money is to expand the size and influence of the environmental organizations:
    HSBC's US$100 million partnership - including the largest donations to each of these charities and the largest donation ever made by a British company - has significant programme targets and offers transformational support for the environmental charities. The donation will help to deliver increased capacity, help the charities to expand across new countries and research sites,...
  • Coburn's House friends also said no to Rachel

    May 30, 2007
    Angela, nice post and op-ed. But I've got some good news for you. Coburn isn't all alone in his crusade to stop Congress from honoring Rachel Carson. He has some good friends in the U.S. House of Representatives. There, in April, 53 representatives voted against naming the post office after Carson. Another 3 voted "present," which also often signals symbolic opposition to a bill. The bill passed the House anyway. Unlike the Senate, where a minority of Senators or even one Senator has tremendous power to block a bill, the House is pretty much run by majority rule. Still the fact that there were a good number of dissenters in the House may embolden some more Senators to join Coburn and just...

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