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    Saturday, February 28, 2009

    CNN - Rush Limbaugh calls on conservatives to take back nation

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    Rush Limbaugh calls on conservatives to take back nation

    Rush Limbaugh brought a cheering crowd to its feet several times Saturday in Washington as he called on fellow conservatives to take back the country in the keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

    "We conservatives have not done a good enough job of just laying out basically who we are because we make the mistake of assuming that people know. What they know is largely incorrect, based on the way we're portrayed in pop culture, in the drive-by media, by the Democrat party," the conservative talk show host told a mostly-young crowd of energized supporters.

    "We want every American to be the best he or she chooses to be. We recognize that we are all individuals. We love and revere our founding documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independent. We believe that the preamble of the Constitution contains an inarguable truth, that we are all endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, freedom. And the pursuit of happiness," he said, pausing several times for enthusiastic applause.

    Looking ahead to the 2012 election, Limbaugh said conservatives will have to choose the right candidate to take the country back.

    Limbaugh's impassioned remarks, punctuated by chest-thumping, fist-pumping and chants of "USA" from the crowd, capped off three days of talk at CPAC focusing on rebuilding the Republican Party.

    "He played to his crowd here," CNN Political Editor Mark Preston said. "And this crowd is now energized, something we haven't seen from Republicans, certainly not conservatives, since the November election."

    Limbaugh used his self-described "first national address," which ran more than hour longer than his allotted 20 minutes, to criticize President Barack Obama for inspiring fear in Americans in order to push a liberal agenda of "big government."

    "He wants people in fear, angst and crisis, fearing the worst each and every day because that clears the decks for President Obama and his pals to come in with the answers which are abject failures, historically shown and demonstrated. Doesn't matter. They'll have control of it when it's all over. And that's what they want," Limbaugh said.

    "They see these inequalities, these inequities that capitalism produces. How do they try to fix it? Do they try to elevate those at the bottom? No, they try to tear down the people at the top. "

    Limbaugh praised Obama as one of the most gifted politicians he has seen, but said, "It just breaks my heart that he does not use these extraordinary talents and gifts to motivate and inspire the American people to be the best they can be. He's doing just the opposite."

    Limbaugh also dismissed the notion of bipartianship as a "false premise" given the diverging views of the Democrat and Republican parties on a variety issues, among them, the recent $787 stimulus package signed by Obama.

    "Bipartisanship occurs only after one other result. And that is victory," he said. Watch Limbaugh discuss bipartisanship

    "What they mean is we check our core principles at the door, come in, let them run the show, and then agree with them," he said.

    Limbaugh's rollicking speech came the day after Obama supporters put out a political ad implying that the conservative radio host has become the de facto head of the Republican Party in the absence of a clear GOP leader.

    The ad argues that the Republican leadership in Congress is following Limbaugh's lead in opposing the Obama administration's $787 billion stimulus package.

    "So who are Republican leaders listening to?," the announcer asks before the 30-second ad cuts abruptly to footage of Limbaugh saying, "I want him [Obama] to fail."

    It was paid for by Americans United for Change and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union, two groups that supported Obama during the election and are advocating for his agenda.

    Limbaugh doesn't speak for all Republicans or conservatives. Copies of the American Conservative magazine with the headline, "How radio wrecks the right," were distributed to CPAC attendees, Preston said.

    "There is some criticism of Rush Limbaugh. Some people think he is a reactionary," Preston said.

    Comparing the remark to his desire to see the Arizona Cardinals "fail" in this year's Super Bowl game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Limbaugh defended his comment without denying it. Watch Limbaugh explain failure remark

    "This notion that I want the president to fail, folks, this shows you a sign of the problem we've got," he said.

    "What is so strange about being honest and saying, I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation? Why would I want that to succeed?" he said, bringing the crowd once again to its feet.

    "Did the Democrats want the war in Iraq to fail? Well, they certainly did. And they not only wanted the war in Iraq to fail, they proclaimed it a failure."

    Reuters - U.S. charges Stanford with massive Ponzi scheme

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    U.S. charges Stanford with massive Ponzi scheme

    Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 1:38AM UTC

    By Anna Driver

    HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators on Friday accused Texas billionaire Allen Stanford, his college roommate and three of their companies of carrying out a "massive Ponzi scheme" over at least a decade and misappropriating at least $1.6 billion of investors' money.

    Meanwhile, a Houston judge ruled on Friday that Laura Pendergest-Holt, the only person arrested in the $8 billion Allen Stanford fraud investigation, could walk free after she posted a $300,000 bond.

    In an amended complaint filed in a federal court in Dallas, the Securities and Exchange Commission increased its civil charges against Stanford to include a Ponzi scheme where early investors are paid with the money of new clients.

    Along with his former Baylor University roommate James Davis, the 58-year-old golf, cricket and polo promoter "misappropriated billions of dollars of investor funds and falsified" financial statements issued by Antigua-based Stanford International Bank, the SEC charged.

    Stanford and Davis could not be reached immediately for comment and have yet to name their legal representatives in the case. The company is directing all inquiries to the SEC.

    It was the second high-profile alleged Ponzi scheme revealed by U.S. regulators, after charges that Wall Street veteran Bernard Madoff carried out a $50 billion fraud that allegedly involved a giant Ponzi scheme.

    In the amended complaint, the SEC alleged that by February, Stanford and Davis - who have not been charged with criminal wrongdoing - had misappropriated at least $1.6 billion in investor money through "bogus personal loans" to Stanford. The funds were invested in "speculative, unprofitable private businesses controlled by Stanford," it said.

    Every month, Stanford and Davis set a predetermined rate of return for certificates of deposit issued by their Antigua bank, then bank accountants reverse-engineered financial statements to "report investment income that the bank did not actually earn," the SEC charged.

    The $1.6 billion in loans first came to light in a criminal complaint filed by the Justice Department against Pendergest-Holt, the 35-year-old chief investment officer for the Stanford Financial Group who was arrested by the FBI on Thursday.

    The criminal complaint referenced a $1.6 billion loan from a Stanford account labeled "Loan to Shareholder," which was the focus of the SEC's questions to Pendergest-Holt.

    After spending a night in a Houston detention center Pendergest-Holt faced U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy in court on Friday.

    U.S. prosecutors had asked the judge to set bond at $1 million, an amount that Pendergest-Holt's attorney, Dan Cogdell, called "outrageous."

    While agreeing it was a serious case, Milloy lowered the amount to $300,000 and ordered Pendergest-Holt, who appeared in court dressed in a dark pants suit and heels, to wear an electronic tracking device after her release.

    The tall, slender brunette appeared grim for most of the hearing but occasionally turned in her chair to smile at her husband, equity fund manager Jim Holt.

    FBI agents had arrested her at Stanford's Houston-based headquarters and accused her of obstructing a probe into what the SEC called "massive ongoing fraud" by Stanford and his companies.

    Under questioning from Pendergest-Holt's lawyer, FBI agent Vanessa Walther said there is no arrest warrant for Stanford, who was served with the SEC's earlier civil complaint last week.

    Meanwhile, Stanford's assets are under the control of a court-appointed receiver -- Dallas attorney Ralph Janvey -- who must sort out dozens of claims by Stanford account holders who have seen their funds frozen indefinitely.

    A Dallas judge is expected to rule on Monday on whether to extend a temporary restraining order that gives Janvey control of Stanford's assets -- pegged by the company at $50 billion.

    Pendergest-Holt's criminal case also moves to U.S. District Court in Dallas, where the charges were filed, lawyers said.

    The receiver thus far has identified only about $90 million in actual assets, the FBI's Walther told the judge on Friday. That does not include a Credit Suisse account containing about $160 million that Pendergest-Holt had access to and signed over to the receiver shortly before her arrest.

    "There are billions missing in this case," Justice Department attorney Paul Pelletier told Judge Milloy on Friday.

    Meanwhile the Antigua and Barbuda's Senate on Friday approved a government takeover of more than 250 acres of Stanford-owned land before Janvey moves to seize it.

    Pendergest-Holt's lawyer Cogdell said his client was innocent of the charges, and will "fight these accusations with every ounce of energy she has."

    "They set her up like a bowling pin," Cogdell told reporters after the court hearing, "My suspicion is by Mr. Stanford and Davis." He was referring to James Davis, Stanford's one-time roommate at Baylor University who serves as the company's chief financial officer.

    "I see a billionaire who has not been charged," said Cogdell. "I see a semi-millionaire who has not been charged. I see a multi-thousandaire who is being charged. That's just wrong."

    The FBI's Walther said Pendergest-Holt's salary in 2007 and 2008 was near $1 million, including bonuses.

    (Additional reporting by Eileen O'Grady, writing by Chris Baltimore; Editing by Gary Hill and Carol Bishopric)

    Reuters - Combative Obama vows to fight for his budget

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    Combative Obama vows to fight for his budget

    Saturday, Feb 28, 2009 11:2AM UTC

    By David Alexander

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A combative President Barack Obama warned on Saturday he was bracing for a fight against powerful lobbyists and special interests who sought to pick apart the $3.55 trillion budget he wants to advance his agenda of reform.

    Obama's spending blueprint, with its massive $1.17 trillion deficit and tax hikes on the wealthy, seeks to squeeze billions of dollars in savings out of current spending through competitive bidding among health insurers and ending subsidies and tax breaks for banks, agribusiness and oil companies.

    "These steps won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business," the president said in his weekly radio address.

    "I know they're gearing up for a fight as we speak," he said. "My message to them is this: So am I."

    Republicans, in their radio response, warned that Democratic spending priorities threaten to destroy the American dream that hard work can build a better life for each successive generation of citizens.

    "This week, the president submitted to Congress the single largest increase in federal spending in the history of the United States, while driving the deficit to levels that were once thought impossible," said Senator Richard Burr.

    He said Obama's budget commits the government to a billion dollars a day in interest on the debt over the next decade.

    "Now, instead of working hard so our children can have a better life tomorrow, we are asking our children to work hard so that we don't have to make tough choices today," Burr said.

    Obama said his budget blueprint delivered on the changes he promised in his election campaign: tax cuts for 95 percent of working Americans, a rollback in tax breaks for people making over $250,000, lower healthcare costs, education reform and an expansion in the use of clean, renewable energy.

    The president said his budget also reflected the fact the United States faces a financial crisis, a costly recession and a trillion dollar deficit.

    "Given this reality, we'll have to be more vigilant than ever in eliminating the programs we don't need in order to make room for the investments we do need," he said.

    He said a page-by-page examination of the federal budget had already identified $2 trillion in potential savings over 10 years.

    "I realize that passing this budget won't be easy," Obama said. "Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington."

    The insurance industry would not like having to bid competitively to participate in the Medicare coverage program for the elderly, but it is needed to protect the program and reduce costs, Obama said.

    He said banks and big student lenders would not like losing their taxpayer subsidies, but it would save nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable.

    And he said oil and gas companies wouldn't like losing $30 billion in tax breaks, but it was needed to fund renewable energy research.

    "The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long, but I don't. I work for the American people," Obama said.

    "I didn't come here to do the same thing we've been doing or to take small steps forward, I came to provide the sweeping change that this country demanded when it went to the polls in November."

    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Portfolio Mobile - The Astonishing Budget Deficit

    The Astonishing Budget Deficit

    Now I see what he was talking about. I was worried about Barack Obama's plans to cut the budget deficit in half by the end of his first term: I thought they implied undue optimism about the economic future of this country. As it turns out, they just implied an almost unimaginably-large deficit at the beginning of his first term: $1.75 trillion. I should hope that's cut in half by 2013. If it isn't, then no politician will be able to save us.Related Links
    Will Obama Really Raise Taxes?
    44, Day Three
    The Clock is Ticking

    (c) 2007 Portfolio. Powered by mLogic Media, Crisp Wireless, Inc.

    CNN - Growing hate groups blame Obama, economy

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    Growing hate groups blame Obama, economy

    Don Black says he despises Barack Obama. And he says he believes illegal aliens undermine the economic fabric of our country.

    Black, a 55-year-old former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, isn't the only person who holds such firm beliefs, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which today released its annual hate group report.

    The center's report, "The Year in Hate," found the number of hate groups grew by 54 percent since 2000. The study identified 926 hate groups -- defined as groups with beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people -- active in 2008. That's a 4 percent jump, adding 38 more than the year before.

    What makes this year's report different is that hate groups have found two more things to be angry about -- the nation's first African-American president and an economy that is hemorrhaging jobs. For the past decade, Latino immigration has fueled the growth of hate groups.

    "We fear these conditions will favor the growth of these groups in the future," said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project. "In the long arch of history, we are definitely moving forward, but these kinds of events can produce backlashes."

    Black claims the number of registered members and readers on his white nationalist Web site surged to unprecedented levels in recent months.

    On the day after Obama's historic election, more than 2,000 people joined his Web site, a remarkable increase from the approximately 80 new members a day he was getting, Black said. His Web site, which was started in 1995, is one of the oldest and largest hate group sites. The site received so many hits that it crashed after election results were announced. The site boasts 110,000 registered members today, Black said.

    "People who had been a little more complacent and kind of upset became more motivated to do something," said Black, who also said he joined his first hate group at age 15.

    Hate groups cited by the law center include white nationalists as well as neo-Confederates, neo-Nazis, skinheads, Klansman and black separatists. Skinheads and Klansman saw an increase in membership, while neo-Nazi groups saw a slight decline, according to the law center's report.

    Most of the hate groups are located in the South, but the state with the highest number of documented hate groups is California with 84.

    Obama serves as a "visual aid" that is helping respark a sense of purpose in current supporters and lure new members, said neo-Nazi David Duke, the former Klan leader who was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in the 1980s. Duke said he fears "the white European-American" heritage will soon be destroyed. He added that his Web site sees around 40,000 unique visitors a day, up from 15,000 a day before Obama won the election.

    Racist anger toward Obama was evident even before he became president. Two weeks before Obama won, authorities said they foiled a skinhead plot to assassinate him. The two suspects, based in Tennessee, also apparently planned to shoot and decapitate dozens of African-Americans, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.

    Police say a man in Brockton, Massachusetts, allegedly targeted minorities after President Obama's inauguration. They say the man raped a woman, killed her sister and another man after several months of researching white supremacist groups on the Internet.

    White supremacist groups have gained traction, a reversal from the decline the groups experienced since 2000, according to the law center report. One of the smaller Ku Klux Klan groups, the United Northern and Southern Knights, more than doubled its chapters, widening its geographic reach from eight to 24 states, according to the report.

    The image of a black man in the White House angers white racists, who fear nonwhites gaining too much power, said Jack Glaser, associate professor of public policy at the University of California-Berkeley.

    But racist fears can also be more mundane and personal: Nonwhites in the White House could lead to nonwhites in their neighborhoods, which could lead to interracial dating, a great taboo among hate groups.

    "Obama poses a large cultural threat to white racists," Glaser said. "This may explain some of the uptick in hate groups."

    Immigrants are another target of hate groups, according to the report. In a deteriorating economy, illegal immigrants have been blamed by hate groups for allegedly taking subprime loans, according to the report.

    Scapegoating occurs most often in times of economic distress, according to experts studying hate crimes. From the Holocaust in Europe to abuses against Irish Catholic immigrants in the 1830s in the United States, people are most likely to lash out against others when they feel vulnerable or need to displace their economic frustrations on others, psychologists say. In the city of Detroit, Michigan, where the weak economy has taken a particularly devastating toll, Jeff Schoep serves as the commander for the National Socialist Movement, one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in the United States.

    Schoep said he has seen membership grow by 40 percent in recent months, mostly because of the dire economic circumstances. It is the "most dramatic growth" he has seen since he joined the movement in the mid-1990s. The group does not reveal membership numbers to the media, he said.

    "You have an American work force facing massive unemployment," Schoep said. "And you have presidents and politicians flinging open the borders telling them to take the few jobs left while our men are in soup kitchens."

    Experts studying hate crimes say there is no reliable way to link the growing number of hate groups with an increase in hate crimes, since many of the attacks go unreported.

    The FBI's uniform crime report found 7,163 hate crime incidents in 2005. However, a special report by the government that same year said the number could be 10 times higher because many of the crimes aren't reported.

    The most recent FBI statistics in 2007 saw a slight uptick in hate crimes to 7,624.

    Some hate groups such as the National Socialist Movement do not publicly condone violence or terrorist acts."Violence is absolutely counterproductive," said Duke, the former Louisiana legislator and neo-Nazi.

    But experts say there is a link between joining a hate group and committing violent crimes. Last week in New Orleans, Louisiana, a grand jury indicted four people in the alleged shooting of a woman who tried to leave a Ku Klux Klan initiation, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported. More commonly, members of hate groups engage in vandalism such as an incident in Los Angeles, California, this month where vandals slashed tires and sprayed the word "Nazi" on two cars and a house, according to the center. The attack occurred in a neighborhood with signs displaying support for Obama.

    Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School who studied the issue of hate crimes, said people in hate groups can feel paranoid about a specific group of people. This panic leads them to feel threatened, and they may react with violence, he said.

    Alternately, individuals in a hate group may sometimes transplant their own personal rage onto a particular group that has no real connection to the cause of that rage, he said.

    "Their thinking is very distorted," Poussaint said.

    Reuters - Nokia considering entering laptop industry: CEO

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    Nokia considering entering laptop industry: CEO

    Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 5:39AM UTC

    By Tarmo Virki

    HELSINKI (Reuters) - The world's top cellphone maker Nokia is eyeing entering the laptop business, its Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said in an interview to Finnish national broadcaster YLE on Wednesday.

    "We are looking very actively also at this opportunity," Kallasvuo said, when asked whether Nokia plans to make laptops.

    Industry has rumored about Nokia's possible plan to enter the PC industry since late last year, but Kallasvuo's comment was the first official admittance of such plans.

    "We don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a cellphone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging," Kallasvuo said.

    "Today we have hundreds of millions of people who are having their first Internet experience on the phone. This is a good indication," he said.

    Nokia's comments come a week after No 3 PC brand Acer launched a foray into the phone business with eight cellphone models, joining leader Hewlett-Packard and No. 4 Lenovo in the high-growth space.

    While strong profit margins in the smartphone industry attract PC brands, the attraction of the low-margin computer industry is less obvious.

    "Nokia maybe nervous about entering a market segment that is already heavily commoditized, but it would be in a position to exploit its enormous scale in manufacturing, supply chain and distribution," said Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight.

    "All leading mobile network operators and retailers are adding connected notebooks and netbooks to their portfolios alongside mobile phones. On this basis it comes as no surprise that Nokia is evaluating this segment," he said.

    The global PC industry was resilient for most of last year when other technology sectors were ailing, but it too has now been caught up in the deepening economic downturn that has hit demand from consumers and corporate buyers.

    (Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Brian Moss, Bernard Orr)

    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    obama speech to congress

    this vp smiles a lot. dick cheney never smiled. not really. cure for cancer? really? healthcare reform this year? hillary you been trumped. education! you go boy. dropping out of high school is no longer quiting on yourself, but quiting on your country. amen. 2 trillion in savings. damn. cuttin no bid contracts, cold war defense going down. cuttin education and tax breaks. wow. long road. iraq. afghanistan. go away. leon addess. what a guy! that 8th grade young lady from north carolina. you go girl. we are not quitters indeed. God bless you. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Col Allan, Editor in chief of the nypost is a dinosaur!

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    Portfolio Mobile - 'NY Post' in Obama-Chimp-Stimulus-Racism Flap

    'NY Post' in Obama-Chimp-Stimulus-Racism Flap

    America's most simplistically offensive editorial cartoonist strikes again! The New York Post's Sean Delonas took some time out from his usual pursuit of ridiculing gay people to ink a panel that is being decried as a piece of unreconstructed racism. This is it:

    The dead chimpanzee, of course, references the great ape that police shot dead after it mauled a woman in Connecticut Monday. But critics -- including Official Black People Spokesman for Life Al Sharpton -- say it's also meant to evoke Barack Obama, the prime mover behind the stimulus bill. "Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama (the first African American president) and has become synonymous with him it is not a reach to wonder are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?" said Sharpton in a statement.

    Did Delonas mean to say Obama is a crazed monkey? It's hard to say; his cartoons seldom make much sense, and he almost never speaks up to defend them . My guess: He'll celebrate the "controversy" tomorrow with a cartoon lampooning Sharpton.

    Update (via Romenesko): Post editor Col Allan actually addressed the issue, saying the cartoon is a "clear parody of a current news event" that "broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy," and nothing more. Related Links
    Finally, Drama! A Geithner vs. Bair Clash?
    44, Day 23: Happy for an Almost Win
    44, Day 22: On the Road Again

    (c) 2007 Portfolio. Powered by mLogic Media, Crisp Wireless, Inc.

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    Nintendo to sell revamped DS in April

    Nintendo is making it official: a new version of the popular DS handheld, the Nintendo DSi will go on sale in the U.S. on April 5.

    The new system will sell for $170 ($169.99) and come in black or blue - and with a lot of added functionality beyond the current model.

    Other upgrades include a slimmer, sleeker profile with slightly larger display screens. The DSi has two cameras -- an outward-aiming camera for taking pictures of others, as well as an internal one for taking pictures of the person holding the system, a feature incorporated into some current games available for the Japanese DSi (on sale since November).

    Pictures can be taken with several effects and effects can be added after pictures are taken. (In the attached image, you can add cat ears and whiskers; you can also draw graffiti or add voice balloons.) Photos can be transferred wirelessly between DSi systems.

    An SD card slot allows for additional picture storage beyond the internal memory and for digital music files (iTunes' standard AAC format) that can be played back on the system. An audio player lets you tinker with speed and pitch of songs and of recorded sounds (using the built-in microphone). Songs can be broken down into vocals and instrumentation for use in karaoke games.

    Downloadable games will be available through a DSi Ware shop, similar to the current Wii Ware game store.

    One subtraction from that the current DS: the DSi will not include a slot for inserting Game Boy Advance games. (DS Lite sales will continue despite the arrival of the new DSi handheld.)

    The Nintendo DS has been a hit since launching in November 2004 with more than 28 million units sold in the U.S.

    By Mike Snider

    Photo: The Nintendo DSi

    Reuters - Cinematographers use tech to bring visions to life

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    Cinematographers use tech to bring visions to life

    Wednesday, Feb 18, 2009 3:36PM UTC

    By Carolyn Giardina

    LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Anthony Dod Mantle remembers racing through the slums of Mumbai, desperately trying to keep up with the 7-year-olds who ran ahead of him.

    There they were, "armed with life's energy and a world of hope and wonder; and me, overladen with 14 kilos of state-of-the-art equipment and a normal dose of middle age! What more can I say, except that I lost 11 kilos," quips the "Slumdog Millionaire" cinematographer.

    Like his fellow Oscar nominees, he had to juggle high-tech equipment with the realities of capturing performances in a sometimes hostile environment. To record the energy of the densely populated streets of India, Mantle chose to shoot with a combination of 35mm and lightweight SI-2K digital cameras. The digital camera helped him to move quickly and discreetly through the slums, and to shoot while running alongside the child actors, getting him into the action without being obtrusive. It's a camera he never could have turned to a few years ago.

    "The tools we use in the industry are developing and being re-evaluated all the time," he says. "This is how it should be." Keeping up with them, he says, is "one of my main responsibilities as a cinematographer."


    Taking advantage of the latest technology, "The Dark Knight" is the first narrative studio feature to be lensed, in part, using Imax film cameras.

    Wally Pfister, director Christopher Nolan's longtime collaborator, lensed six key action sequences of "The Dark Knight" with 65mm Imax film cameras and the rest of the film in anamorphic 35mm. His goal was to create the epic imagery of Gotham, from breathtaking aerials to high-octane chase sequences, in the highest possible resolution. The Imax sequences included the bank heist that opens the film and the chase through the Chicago streets during which the filmmakers literally flipped an 18-wheel truck.

    Pfister was unwilling to compromise on camera movement and setups with the heavy 100-pound Imax camera, so he hung the camera off a car, helicopter and an 18-wheeler.

    Claudio Miranda, a longtime collaborator of director David Fincher, lensed "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" primarily with a Grass Valley Viper digital cinematography camera, which he had used on a number of the director's award-winning television commercials. For portions of the film, he also used a Sony digital cinematography camera and film. Film, for instance, was used in the sequence when Benjamin and Daisy take a trip to the Caribbean.

    The use of the Viper has a lot to do with the way Fincher works. With the digital camera, Miranda is able to roll for a longer period of time, without having to pause to reload -- something Fincher likes when working with his actors.

    Miranda's creative objective was to give a natural look to each period as the story follows the title character through the decades. "In the early years, the lighting is a lot warmer, with gas lamps and tungsten light," he says, adding that the lighting grows cooler and clearer as it approaches the present decade.


    If "Button" combined cutting-edge technology with top-rate performances, Clint Eastwood's "Changeling" simply was about the actors.

    "Clint's priorities come from the acting side," says director of photography Tom Stern, who lensed "Changeling" in anamorphic 35mm. "It's about (framing lead actress) Angelina Jolie in the appropriate '20s environment that didn't distract from her work."

    This doesn't mean Stern wasn't concerned with the images he created. "I always try to involve the audience's imagination," he notes. "Things aren't always fully lit. Sometimes Angelina will play in and out of light. Clint likes black. That gives a realistic atmosphere. It's more or less as you might perceive something in a real situation."

    Capturing performance also was critical to "The Reader," shot partly by Roger Deakins and partly by his friend Chris Menges.

    "We like to improvise, and we like to work with the actors and director and live in the moment," Menges says. "We tried to make the photography very natural, very simple, to catch the performance. Roger and I both have big respect for performance."

    Menges replaced Deakins when "The Reader," lensed in 35mm 3-perf, had to take a hiatus in the middle of filming: Nicole Kidman had dropped out because of a pregnancy, and the crew had to wait until Kate Winslet came onboard. Deakins was unable to complete the film because of a commitment to shoot "Doubt."

    Regardless of credit or methodology, "everyone involved was fighting to make something important of the screenplay," Menges says. "'The Reader' is a story, not of redemption or forgiveness, but of how the subsequent generation comes to terms with what happened during the Third Reich ... Roger and I tried to create something very believable."

    (Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

    filthy rag.

    call this # to protest this filthy cartoon. # for nypost office. 212 930 8000

    do not support this filthy rag. nypost.

    this was today, in the nypost. do not support this filthy rag.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    SI swimsuit 2009.

    Keith's Notes. SI swimsuit edition winter 2009. GMC add talks about less. talk about your pandering. Direct TV. coucha sutra. I like. Danica Patrick looks hot. like Yu Tsai. shot Cappadocia for SI 2009 also did the title sequence 4 the Supranos. PROPS. buy this rag. the girls are HOT as always.

    Keith's notes GQ. Jan 2009.

    GQ. Jan.2009. piece on tokyo design/retail by kevin sintumaung with accompanying illustration by zohar lazar.,,, go there for goodies. chiaki murata is the head designer at metaphys. did the look for x box 360. 'nother cool mention 'Naoto fukasawa'. cool word, 'fob': the medallion on the other end of a pocket watch. fob pocket: the pocket on the waistband of three piece suit trousers. from glen o'brien, the style guy.

    section: the verge, author believes as i do that Valkyrie was a pretty good movie. illustration by john ritter ain't half bad either.

    Keith's Notes. Time Magazine, Jan.2009.

    michael grunwald, time magazine, one trillion dollars, a piece on Obama.time .agazine editor in chief, john huey, managing editor, james kelly, ann s. moore, susan kim, 'standup economist' yorum bauman, the moment, a releftive on bush, by david von drehle,a brief history of swearing in by francis romeo, a person loss by yoti thottam/columbo, death of sri lankan time freelance reporter lasantha wickermatunge, james poniewozik, tuned in column on obama's white house robert gibbs and the press,michael grunwald, one trillion dollars, report on Obama. with reporting by Sophia Yan. no time to waste, a story on new secretary of the treasury tim geithner by bill powell with reporting by massimo calabresi/washington. obama photogtraph by todd plitt of getty, geithner photograph by mike mcgregor of time magazine.

    Monday, February 16, 2009

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    End of an era? Brett Favre tells Jets he'll retire after 18 seasons

    Brett Favre's time with the New York Jets and his NFL career are over.

    Favre's agent, Bus Cook, confirmed in an email to USA TODAY Wednesday morning that his client plans to give up the game after 18 seasons, the best of which were spent with the Green Bay Packers.

    "My time with the Jets was short, but I'm honored to be given that chance," Favre said in an e-mail to ESPN, which was the first to report Favre's intent to retire.

    PHOTOS: Favre career retrospectiveIN THE ARCHIVE: Favre's top 10 Packers moments (March 4, 2008)

    Attempts to reach Favre by telephone were unsuccessful.

    The Jets confirmed that Favre has told them of his plans and spoke with team owner Woody Johnson. The team held a conference call at noon ET.

    "I had a great conversation with Brett this morning," Johnson said in a statement. "Considering that he came from a totally different environment and joined our team during training camp, his performance last season was extraordinary.

    "As I spoke with people throughout the organization, they all told me how much they enjoyed working with him. Brett Favre is a Hall-of-Fame player, but he is also a Hall-of-Fame person. Brett, Deanna and his family will always be a part of the Jets family."

    Favre, 39, retired last March. Then, after a change of heart and a short struggle with the Packers over whether he could return to them during training camp, he was traded to the Jets in August.

    Favre made the Pro Bowl, his 10th, but led the NFL with 22 interceptions last season. Shoulder and elbow injuries hampered him late in the season after he had suffered a earlier sprained ankle.

    The Jets started 8-3, but spiraled to a 9-7 finish and missed the playoffs.

    Favre threw two touchdown passes and nine interceptions in the Jets' 1-4 stretch to end the year. Coach Eric Mangini was subsequently fired after his third season and then hired by the Cleveland Browns.

    Favre was a three-time Most Valuable Player and three-time All-Pro with the Packers, with whom he played from 1992-2007. The Packers won Super Bowl XXXI by defeating the New England Patriots and were beaten three following year in the title game by the Denver Broncos.

    Favre's retirement would save the Jets $13 million against the salary cap, which will be about $123 million for 2009.

    Favre has often flirted with retirement before. Barring another change of mind, he retires as the most prolific passer in pro football history. His 169 wins as a starter, 464 touchdown passes, 65,127 passing yards, 5,720 career completions and 9,280 passing attempts are all records. He also started 269 consecutive games at his position (291 including playoffs), never missing one once the Packers installed him as the starter early in the 1992 season after incumbent Don Majikowski was injured.

    Ever the gambler, Favre's 310 career interceptions are also the most in league history.

    "He truly was as gifted a player as I have ever seen," said Mike Holmgren, who coached Favre in Green Bay.

    Favre's divorce from the Packers was nasty. He asked for his release and was denied it by the club, which had committed in the offseason to making Aaron Rodgers the starter. The trade to the Jets was made on Aug. 6 and the Jets then released Chad Pennington, who signed with the Miami Dolphins and led them to the playoffs.

    Favre said he was "mentally tired" when he first told the Packers he would not return. "I don't think I've got anything left to give," he said at a news conference last March.

    Later, he said he had felt pressured to give the Packers an early decision about whether to not to play another season and then changed his mind. By then the Packers had installed Rodgers, their No. 1 pick in 2005, as their quarterback, though he had not yet started a game.

    Favre's season with the Jets had its moments. He threw six touchdown passes in a win against the Arizona Cardinals and seemingly had turned around a team that was 4-12 the previous season. He finished with 22 touchdown passes.

    "When Brett Favre walked in the locker room, 52 other guys said, 'We've got a guy now and we can win,' and the whole level of confidence came up," said Jim Fassel, the former New York Giants coach and a radio analyst for Westwood One.

    But Favre wore down, talked about feeling his age and his performance declined as the Jets slipped from the AFC East lead in the final month.

    "When we acquired Brett, we knew we would get everything he had," said Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

    "He took the time to mentor younger players and his competitiveness and enthusiasm at practice and during games was contagious. I spoke with him this morning and told him that he will be a friend of the Jets for years to come and it was an honor to work with him."

    Tannenbaum and new Jets coach Rex Ryan must now weigh their options under center. Kellen Clemens, who started eight games in 2007 while splitting time with Pennington, heads into his fourth season and is the most experienced quarterback on the roster. Youngsters Brett Ratliff and Erik Ainge are also options.

    The Jets, who hold the 17th pick in the first round of the draft, could also consider players like Georgia's Matthew Stafford and Southern California's Mark Sanchez.

    The NFL scouting combine to evaluate incoming college players begins next week. The market to sign free agents and broker trades officially opens Feb. 27.

    Despite the uncertainty at the quarterback position, Ryan and Co. can now be certain who won't be starting for them in 2009.

    "It was an honor to coach against Brett over the years," Ryan said. "If he's not the best quarterback ever, then he's certainly in the conversation. I have great admiration for him as a player and a person.

    "I wish him only the best in his life after football."

    Contributing: Nate Davis

    Portfolio Mobile - Goldman Tries to Be Frugal, but...

    Goldman Tries to Be Frugal, but...

    Saving money evidently is harder than making it, at least when you're Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

    The famously successful investment bank -- er, bank holding company -- chose to relocate a Technology and Internet Conference from Mandalay Bay Las Vegas to a San Francisco Marriott in a move to burnish its image as a thrifty recipient of heaps of TARP money.

    The only problem is that Goldman doesn't know if it will save money in making the change -- or wind up spending more because of it. A Mandalay Bay employee who requested anonymity told the Associated Press that the cancellation fee to move the February 25-27 conference was $600,000.

    Goldman spokesman Ed Canady suggested that actual savings were less important than the appearance of savings. "The decision to relocate the conference is based on our best efforts to operate according to the requirements of the new landscape of our industry," he told the AP.

    Canady's comment comes after an announcement last week that Goldman would postpone a March conference for hedge fund clients and investors, and shifted an annual event to New York from Miami.

    Goldman's actions reverberate across the financial industry, as companies that have received taxpayer help have endured added pressure and wariness about how they spend the money.

    Most notably, AIG was the target of widespread vitriol in the autumn for spending $440,000 on a luxurious trip for top insurance agents shortly after the government lent it a life-saving $85 billion.

    Others affected include Wells Fargo & Co., which collected $25 billion, and Morgan Stanley, a recipient of $10 billion in bailout funds. Wells Fargo canceled a conference in Las Vegas last week, and Morgan Stanley put the kibosh on a trip to Monte Carlo for "top employees," after much public criticism.

    Goldman's Canady insisted nonetheless that the conference would remain almost the same other than the move to San Francisco.

    by Joan R. MageeRelated Links
    The Man Who Made Too Much
    Saving Citi
    Future of Wall Street: Boring-Banker Syndrome

    (c) 2007 Portfolio. Powered by mLogic Media, Crisp Wireless, Inc.

    Reuters - Google tool helps consumers reduce energy usage

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    Google tool helps consumers reduce energy usage

    Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009 3:4AM UTC

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Google Inc on Tuesday said it would use its software skills to help consumers track their home energy usage and thereby lower demand and the global warming emissions that come from producing electricity.

    The move is part of Google's effort to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into renewable energy, electricity-grid upgrades and other measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The company has already invested in several fledgling solar, wind and geothermal companies, as well as two "smart grid" companies.

    Smart grid describes a more efficient, less costly method of moving electricity along long-distance transmission lines to local power lines and end-users in homes and businesses.

    On its official company blog, Google said it is developing a smart grid tool called Google PowerMeter that will show home energy consumption almost in real time on a user's computer.

    The company cited studies showing that access to home energy information typically saves between 5 percent and 15 percent on monthly electricity bills.

    "It may not sound like much, but if half of America's households cut their energy demand by 10 percent, it would be the equivalent of taking eight million cars off the road," Google said.

    Google PowerMeter is currently being tested by employees and is not yet available to the public.

    The company hopes to develop partnerships with utilities so it can roll PowerMeter out to consumers in the next few months, spokeswoman Niki Fenwick said.

    Google's investments in smart grid companies include Germantown, Maryland-based Current Group and Redwood City, California-based Silver Spring Networks.

    (Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Gary Hill)

    Monday, February 9, 2009

    Reuters - Microsoft to launch cell phone software store: paper

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    Microsoft to launch cell phone software store: paper

    Monday, Feb 09, 2009 3:29PM UTC

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is planning to offer new programs and services for mobile phones, including an "online bazaar" for software, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

    The online bazaar would be for phones running Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

    Microsoft will also soon offer its latest version of Windows Mobile, which the report said would have a "more sophisticated interface."

    On Friday, the company started a limited release of its "My Phone" service, which syncs information like contacts and calendar appointments on a cell phone to a password protected website.

    A representative for Microsoft was not immediately available to comment.

    (Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Valerie Lee)

    Friday, February 6, 2009

    Portfolio Mobile - The Blog Stigma

    The Blog Stigma

    Today marks a small step in the acceptance of blogs as legitimate news sources: Mayor Bloomberg took two questions from Gothamist's Jen Chung during a press conference about a mysterious maple syrup smell. But more than four years after Gothamist first applied for official press credentials, neither Chung nor anybody else associated with the website has received any.

    Gothamist is a hugely popular, and highly credible, website. It gets 4.8 million pageviews a month, compared to 1.9 million for the New York Observer and just 15,000 for the Brooklyn Paper -- both of which have no difficulty at all getting credentials.

    Over the six years since Gothamist launched (February 2003, it seems like yesterday), it has become a much-relied-on news source for New Yorkers of all stripes. Yet in order to get into today's press conference, Chung had to be specifically invited, met outside, and escorted in to City Hall by the mayor's press secretary.

    Press credentials in New York are given out by the NYPD, which is incomprehensibly sticking to its determination that a website, pretty much by definition, cannot be working press. And evidently the mayor's office, rather than simply telling the NYPD to wake up, finds it easier to just circumvent the NYPD entirely.

    "Before the MSM bitches about the poor quality of blogger reportage, they should ask if the bloggers have access to any of the tools and resources they take for granted," notes Gothamist's publisher Jake Dobkin, not unreasonably. In any case there is still clearly a stigma which attaches itself to online publications, and which can only be erased by appearing on paper. It won't last forever, but I'm astonished that it's lasted as long as it has.Related Links
    No Third Term for Bloomberg
    Why Local Government is Unrepresentative and Uncreative
    David Plouffe

    (c) 2007 Portfolio. Powered by mLogic Media, Crisp Wireless, Inc.

    Thursday, February 5, 2009

    Portfolio Mobile - First Bytes: Lenovo, Obama and Copyrights, iPhone

    First Bytes: Lenovo, Obama and Copyrights, iPhone

    Chinese computer maker Lenovo, which is reeling from the effects of the global economic crisis, announced it will replace its American CEO, William Amelio, with its chairman. [New York Times]

    Did Shepard Fairey need to get permission for the photograph of Obama used as the basis for his widely imitated "Hope" poster? The Associated Press, which owns the copyright on it, thinks so. [Wired]

    Speaking of copyrights, President Obama is evidently a big fan of protecting them. His latest appointment to the Department of Justice is Donald Verrilli, the lawyer who shut down Grokster, sued Google on behalf of Viacom, and represented the RIAA in a file-sharing case against a Minnesota woman. [CNet News]

    Finally, you no longer need to speak to a human being to order General Tsao's chicken from your local takeout restaurant. A few clicks on your iPhone will work instead. You'll still need to interact with the delivery guy, however. [Techcrunch]Related Links
    First Bytes: AT&T, Obama, Filttr, Skype
    NYT Co. Execs Under Fire at UBS Conference
    'NY Times' TV Critic Embellishes Debate Drama

    (c) 2007 Portfolio. Powered by mLogic Media, Crisp Wireless, Inc. Digital Pirates Winning Battle With Studios

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    BUSINESS   | February 05, 2009
    Digital Pirates Winning Battle With Studios
    Widely available broadband access and new streaming sites have made it easy to watch pirated video online.

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    VideoSurf rides surging Web video wave

    And the boss couldn't be happier.

    "When I see that, I know they're doing their job," says Lior Delgo, CEO of VideoSurf, a new website with a singular mission: to make finding and consuming online videos faster and more intuitive.

    Say you're eager to see Kate Winslet cry at the Golden Globes. Punch her name into most video search engines and you'll get clips of that teary acceptance speech, which you'll have to troll through to find the moment of her unraveling.

    Search with VideoSurf which has been in development for more than a year and launched a public beta version in October and you get that same clip with a detailed timeline stretching across the screen like an unrolled piece of 35mm film. Want just the weepy part? Find it in the timeline, click, and Winslet bawls.

    Powering VideoSurf's technology are facial recognition algorithms (developed by the team's Israeli-born founders) that map and store the distinguishing characteristics. The profiling is so detailed "it can easily tell the difference between Sarah Palin and Tina Fey impersonating Sarah Palin, based on things such as the measured distance between the eyes," says Eitan Sharon, VideoSurf's chief technology officer.

    Among other benefits of this approach is that searches won't be thrown by phony videos with tags bearing the only subject's name the typical way search engines find videos, which allows scammers to draw consumers to unrelated footage.

    "The current user experience is claustrophobic," says Delgo, who previously sold a travel search-engine company to Yahoo. "People are consuming more and more video, but they want a less frustrating and more targeted experience."

    Those innocent days of 2005, when the boys at YouTube dared suggest that people might want to screen the occasional online video, now seem quaint. In November, 12.7 billion videos were watched, up 34% over November 2007, according to research firm comScore. The length of time we watch each is creeping up as well, from 2.7 to 3.1 minutes. "That's due to a trend toward long-form, professional video, namely network shows found online," says Andrew Lipsman, comScore's director of industry analysis.

    "That's the new trend, because by showing such programming online, you have a chance to get that 18- to 34-year-old demographic, which is getting tougher to reach on television," he says. "For anyone working in video search right now, the potential is tantalizing."

    Among the companies in this burgeoning field are North Carolina-based Digitalsmiths (whose technology, which is used exclusively to power searches on sites such as, also uses visual recognition software) and San Francisco-based Blinkx (whose site presents the findings of searches in an innovative wall-of-TVs format for easy scanning).

    "The problem with YouTube (search) is that the uploader has complete control of how the clip is tagged, which can be misleading," says Blinkx founder Suranga Chandratillake. "We're still trying to find the very best way to present the results of video searches to consumers. But at least we know that the interest is there."

    All the clip-watching going on at VideoSurf, whose investors include the likes of Al Gore, is linked to efforts to broaden the number of offerings on the site. Currently, 23 staffers have indexed videos from about 80 sites, from YouTube to Hulu.

    Fiddling with VideoSurf is habit-forming. For one, there's the ability to not just e-mail clips to friends, but to select the precise minutes or seconds you want to share, although the recipient has the option to catch the rest of the clip.

    VideoSurf also offers a feature called Fan Pages, which showcases videos of searched subjects, related news and blog posts and wide filtering options.

    Delgo says he is close to figuring out how to turn a profit off his service, but remains coy. "It won't be ad-supported in the traditional sense," he says. But one thing is certain: Clips will not be interrupted by ads. "Our philosophy is you can't get in the way of the user's video experience."

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    Reuters - Google launches software to track mobile users

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    Google launches software to track mobile users

    Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 3:21AM UTC

    BANGALORE (Reuters) - Google Inc released software on Wednesday that allows users of mobile phones and other wireless devices to automatically share their whereabouts with family and friends.

    Users in 27 countries will be able to broadcast their location to others constantly, using Google Latitude. Controls allow users to select who receives the information or to go offline at any time, Google said on its website.

    "Fun aside, we recognize the sensitivity of location data, so we've built fine-grained privacy controls right into the application," Google said in a blog post announcing the service.

    "You not only control exactly who gets to see your location, but you also decide the location that they see."

    Friends' whereabouts can be tracked on a Google map, either from a handset or from a personal computer.

    Google's new service is similar to the service offered by privately-held Loopt.

    Companies including Verizon Wireless, owned by Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc, already offer Loopt's service, which also works on iPhone from Apple Inc.

    Latitude will work on Research In Motion Ltd's Blackberry and devices running on Symbian S60 devices or Microsoft Corp's Windows Mobile and some T-1 Mobile phones running on Google's Android software.

    The software will eventually run on Apple's iPhone and iTouch and many Sony Ericsson devices.

    In 2005, Google acquired, but subsequently shut down, a location-finding service that used text messaging to keep mobile phone users aware of their friends' proximity.

    (Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran, editing by Dan Lalor)

    Reuters - Nine-year old whiz-kid writes iPhone application

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    Nine-year old whiz-kid writes iPhone application

    Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 2:46AM UTC

    SINGAPORE (Reuters) - While most children his age sketch on paper with crayons, nine-year old Lim Ding Wen from Singapore, has a very different canvas -- his iPhone.

    Lim, who is in fourth grade, writes applications for Apple's popular iPhone. His latest, a painting program called Doodle Kids, has been downloaded over 4,000 times from Apple's iTunes store in two weeks, the New Paper reported on Thursday.

    The program lets iPhone users draw with their fingers by touching the iPhone's touchscreen and then clear the screen by shaking the phone.

    "I wrote the program for my younger sisters, who like to draw," Lim said. His sisters are aged 3 and 5.

    Lim, who is fluent in six programing languages, started using the computer at the age of 2. He has since completed about 20 programing projects.

    His father, Lim Thye Chean, a chief technology officer at a local technology firm, also writes iPhone applications.

    "Every evening we check the statistics emailed to us (by iTunes) to see who has more downloads," the older Lim said.

    The boy, who enjoys reading books on programing, is in the process of writing another iPhone application -- a science fiction game called "Invader Wars."

    (Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

    Portfolio Mobile - Google Execs on Trial in Italy

    Google Execs on Trial in Italy

    Ars Technica reports: Google's global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer is about to go on trial in Italy thanks to a questionable video uploaded by an Italian teenager in 2006. He and three other Google executives will appear before the Criminal Court of Milan Tuesday in order to face the charges, which include defamation and failure to exercise control over personal data. If the court finds them guilty, Fleischer and his colleagues could face prison time, all because of a video that was uploaded to their company's servers by someone else.

    It all began in 2006 with a group of bored teenagers who had a video-capable cell phone. The teens decided to harass another youth with Down Syndrome, both verbally and by hitting him on the head with a box of tissues. They recorded video of the abuse and then put the video online using Google Video Italia.

    The three-minute video itself had an extremely short lifespan on Google Video Italia; complaints were quickly lodged and it was pulled within a couple of hours. But an Italian Down Syndrome support group called Vivi Down apparently decided that it should never have appeared in the first place. The group filed a complaint that resulted in a two-year investigation; eventually, Milan public prosecutor Francesco Cajani agreed that the Google execs had violated Italian law by allowing the video to be uploaded in the first place.

    At the time, the next series of events was just rumor, but Fleischer confirmed to the International Association of Privacy Professionals (via /.) that he was approached by law enforcement officials while he was en route to a speaking engagement at the University of Milan in January of 2008. The officers, who had been waiting for him, allowed him to do his talk before taking him to a deposition about the case.

    According to Italian law, Internet service providers are not liable for content posted by users. However, Internet content providers are, in fact, held responsible for the content that they "publish"?this category includes TV and newspapers, and now, according to Cajani, Google. Obviously, Google disagrees with this differentiation. "We cannot agree with the concept that a tool can be blamed for the use that is made of it," a spokesperson told the IAPP.

    Google has zero interest in letting this case set what would be a chilling precedent. The company is protected by safe harbor provisions in the US, but clearly faces a patchwork of local regulations overseas. The company will undoubtedly try to find something in EU laws that will both clear it in the Italian case and ensure that other countries in the Union can't hit it with similar charges.

    For now, however, Fleischer and the three other executives are in for several months of proceedings before the court makes a decision on their fate. Google, for its part, has been compliant with Italian law and has responded to requests in a timely manner, and appears confident that things will go well. "We are confident the process will end in our favor," Google Italia's public policy counsel Marco Pancini said. If it doesn't, we could be looking at a chilling reality, one where operators of user-generated video sites could be held liable for videos posted by their users, possibly necessitating human screening of each upload.
    by Jacqui ChengRelated Links
    Italy May Go After Google Execs for Teen Vid
    Google Fighting YouTube Blackout in China
    Daily Brew: The Kremlin's Internet, "Dear Steven Jobs," Google's Maka-Maka...

    (c) 2007 Portfolio. Powered by mLogic Media, Crisp Wireless, Inc.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    the importance of hubris

    the importance of hubris. the imbibititous nature of failure. the words write themselves. the sleave cannot help itself.

    Reuters - Electronic Arts playing spy games with Ludlum books

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    Electronic Arts playing spy games with Ludlum books

    Tuesday, Feb 03, 2009 6:53AM UTC

    NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Electronic Arts has won an exclusive worldwide license from Ludlum Entertainment to create video games based on the works of author Robert Ludlum, including the popular Jason Bourne franchise.

    The first game set to be released under the arrangement is based on the Bourne series and is in development at Uppsala, Sweden-based Starbreeze Studios, which worked on the "Chronicles of Riddick" games. Financial details of the multiyear deal were not disclosed.

    A previous Bourne game was published by Sierra Entertainment.

    Video game veteran Matt Wolf, the Ludlum estate's interactive creative adviser, will work with EA to oversee development of Ludlum games. He played similar roles with Gracie Films on a "Simpsons" game and with the Roald Dahl estate on a "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" game.

    Ludlum, a prolific author of thriller novels, died in 2001.

    Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

    CNN - Daschle withdraws as HHS nominee

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    Daschle withdraws as HHS nominee

    Former Sen. Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a statement Tuesday from the White House.

    Daschle had been fighting to save his nomination as HHS secretary following controversy over his tax records and questions over his work in a field that some consider lobbying.

    In a statement announcing his withdrawal, Daschle said it was an honor to be chosen to lead the reform of America's health care system.

    "But if 30 years of exposure to the challenges inherent in our system has taught me anything, it has taught me that this work will require a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people, and without distraction," he said.

    "Right now, I am not that leader, and will not be a distraction. The focus of Congress should be on the urgent business of moving the president's economic agenda forward, including affordable health care for every American."

    The Obama administration had stood by his side, and fellow Democrats lined up behind him, but Daschle's problems, coupled with other nominees' issues, gave critics ammunition to question President Obama's call for a "new era of responsibility."

    The president said Tuesday he accepts Daschle's decision "with sadness and regret."

    "Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not excused it, nor do I. But that mistake, and this decision, cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country, from his years in the military to his decades of public service. Now we must move forward, with our plan to lift this economy and put people back to work," Obama said in a statement.

    Daschle's resignation came hours after Nancy Killefer's withdrawal as Obama's chief performance officer, a new post in the administration.

    Officials said privately the reason for Killefer's withdrawal was unspecified tax issues. The much-touted post was designed to scrub the federal budget.

    Daschle, the former Senate majority leader, apologized Monday for failing to pay his taxes in full. He said earlier he was "deeply embarrassed" for a series of errors that included failing to report $15,000 in charitable donations, unreported car service and more than $80,000 in unreported income from consulting.

    Daschle recently filed amended tax returns and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest for 2005-2007.

    A New York Times editorial on Tuesday called for Daschle to withdraw.

    The paper's editorial board particularly took issue with Daschle saying he identified the unpaid taxes in June but did not pay them until his nomination for the top post at the Department of Health and Human Services.

    The editorial also criticized Daschle for generating a sizable income from health-related industries while working in the private sector.

    "Mr. Daschle is another in a long line of politicians who move cozily between government and industry. We don't know that his industry ties would influence his judgments on health issues, but they could potentially throw a cloud over health care reform," the editorial said.

    Shortly after news of the tax quandary broke, a number of Democratic senators released statements expressing their support for Daschle, including Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts, Charles Schumer of New York, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. In their opinions, Daschle identified the problem and corrected it.

    Daschle's supporters said that given his record of three decades of public service, he was still the right man for the job.

    "One cannot underestimate how widely admired Tom Daschle is in Washington for his integrity, for his public service. And many, many Democrats look to him as one of the favorite people. He's got a lot of support in this White House, starting with the president," said David Gergen, a senior political analyst for CNN.

    Obama and Daschle have a longstanding relationship. Daschle endorsed Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination in February 2007 -- nearly 11 months before the first contest. Daschle was also considered to be a contender for Obama's No. 2 spot.

    Daschle also has a history with members of Congress. He represented South Dakota in the House of Representatives for four terms, and he served in the Senate for three terms. He was the Senate majority leader from June 2001 to January 2003, and was the minority leader before losing his re-election bid in 2004.

    Daschle's work in his post-Senate years was also a point of contention on his path to confirmation.

    After leaving the Senate, Daschle went on to serve as a special public policy adviser at the law firm Alston & Bird.

    According to the firm's Web site, Daschle advised clients on "issues related to financial services, health care, energy, telecommunications and taxes."

    His work, for which he reportedly made millions, seemed to contradict Obama's strict rules on lobbyists working in his administration.

    Promising "a new era of openness in our country," Obama signed executive orders relating to ethics guidelines for staff members as one of his first acts in office.

    "If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied during the previous two years," the president said.

    The administration had defended its choice of Daschle, pointing out that he was not technically a lobbyist.

    "If you're not registered to lobby, you can't be a lobbyist," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, according to When is a lobbyist not a lobbyist?

    Daschle and Kellifer were not the first of Obama's nominees to come under scrutiny.

    Before Tim Geithner was confirmed as treasury secretary, he was questioned over concerns involving his personal taxes and the immigration status of a former housekeeper.

    New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson also withdrew his nomination to be commerce secretary, citing the distraction of a federal investigation into ties to a company that has done business with his state.

    Given Obama's pledge for "unprecedented transparency, rigorous oversight and clear accountability," some said the controversy surrounding Obama's appointments are calling into question the president's vetting process.

    "Mr. President, your picks to help run the federal government don't have to be perfect, but is it too much to ask that they pay like everyone else, to keep that same government functioning? And more importantly, that they don't wait until everyone, including you, is watching?" CNN's Campbell Brown wrote in a commentary. Read the commentary

    Asked if the president is embarrassed by the slew of appointment problems, Gibbs was quick to negate that idea.

    "No, I don't think that -- that we believe there's any problem in the vetting," Gibbs said Monday.

    Reuters - Obama budget official withdraws for tax reasons

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    Obama budget official withdraws for tax reasons

    Tuesday, Feb 03, 2009 4:23PM UTC

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's choice to oversee budget and spending reform, Nancy Killefer, withdrew her nomination on Tuesday because of tax reasons, according to a letter released by the White House.

    "I recognize that your agenda and the duties facing your Chief Performance Officer are urgent," Killefer wrote in the letter to the president, asking for her nomination to be withdrawn.

    "I have also come to realize in the current environment that my personal tax issue of D.C. Unemployment tax could be used to create exactly the kind of distraction and delay those duties must avoid."

    Tax problems are plaguing Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader selected by Obama to spearhead U.S. healthcare reform.

    (Reporting by David Alexander and Jeff Mason; Editing by Eric Walsh)

    Reuters - IBM computer will have power of 2 million laptops

    This article was sent to you from, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:

    IBM computer will have power of 2 million laptops

    Tuesday, Feb 03, 2009 1:36PM UTC

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Seven months after IBM delivered the world's fastest supercomputer, it has announced an even speedier one with the computing power of 2 million laptops.

    IBM said on Tuesday it is developing the technology for its new Sequoia computer, with delivery scheduled in 2011 to the Department of Energy for use at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    Sequoia will chug along at 20 petaflops per second and is one order of magnitude quicker than its predecessor. The earlier machine, delivered in June to the Energy Department, broke the 1 petaflop barrier.

    Peta is a term for quadrillion and FLOP stands for floating point operations per second.

    Sequoia, and a smaller computer called Dawn, are being built in Rochester, Minnesota, for use in simulating nuclear tests. IBM says they can also be used for complex tasks like weather forecasting or oil exploration.

    IBM says Sequoia will be highly energy-efficient for the job it does but even so will occupy 96 refrigerator-sized racks in an area the size of a big house -- 3,422 square feet (318 square meters).

    (Reporting by David Lawsky, Editing by Sandra Maler)

    Monday, February 2, 2009


    how is it they catch Phelps smokeing the ganja and not yardman bolt. c'on bolt, represent, don't let the yankee outdo you on this one!

    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    I would like to thank president Obama

    Joe Namath still looks sharp. 40 years. come on jets, get it together. dan patrick is very tall. i'm guessing he is six five or better. u must watch tv in HD. ok he's about 6' 3. good night super geeks.



    the holmes syndrome? THE HOLMES SYNDROME! YESS*SSSSS*!

    the comeback?

    looks like pittsburg needs something to hold on to. budwiser must have a shitload of money.

    the kurt warner show

    dman y'alll. they bout 2 score again. defense, defense, i'm afraid of docket. i'm afraid of fitzgerald.

    super blog

    fitzgerald cannot be stopped. he's got hops. u thought u were cool cause u knew about hulu? not anymore. the world knows about it now. find a new trendy site to tell your friends about. geeks. steelers bets r panicking. mcgruber? richard dean anderson? wtf? pepsuber baby yeah!

    come on it!

    this is it the twist, palamalu get's a highlight thans to, coke zero, ed mcmahon get's work. so does hammer. steel gold, mail it, get money. arizoni is makein a comeback. fitzgerald will not go down. he's scary. tacobelll makes you fast, ain't that right mike? if gmc and ge had a brain, we wouldn't b on a recession.

    blog me back

    transformers 2 looks unreal. it's gold career builder. heroes, enough already. move the fuck on and get off my tv. coco cola tastes really good when u r on acid. : ) kurt warner's wife is shell shocked. kurt warner wears gloves, because like mj, he has vitilago. hey, heineken guys, john tuturo is old enough to be.....your DAD.

    the super bowl

    monster sign me up. I amnot an ass now. keep makeing them kiddie movies rock. u lookin kinda slim there too. love swinging guitar bruce. put in frankinstein knee 4 a first down plessiree. thou shalt not rough a 6'6 250 lb. qtr. back. Coco cola. Jump around bridgestone. U rock. Denny's makes good pancakes. If u live in the bush. Monst

    This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T Coco cola. Jump around bridgestone. U rock. Denny's makes good pancakes. If u live in the bush. Monst

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    Love that winging guitar bruce.

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    Bruce, enough with the phallus already. Go max weinberg. Love that girl in the red top. Nice touch with the ref bos

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    Bruce, enough with the phallus already. Go max weinberg. Love that girl in the red top. Nice touch with the ref bos

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    Thank god that '3d' stuff is o'er. What is it1987 alreay? I:now the heroes producer's r luvin this.

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    Sobe in 3d. Yeah baby. Now it's time 4 the boss.

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    Bu as wyclef and the rock says, IT DOESN'T MATTER.

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    Go cheetos. Polamalu isn't haveing his best superbowl so far.

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    Up? What the? Me not think sonny bono like that bod lite ski commercial.

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    Polamalu missed a tackle? G is from gatorade. C'mon. A ball point pen?. That jerome bettis clotheline i

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    Budweiser must have a shitload of money . Startreck looks hot.

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    That will farrell movie looks good. I'm good. I give my dog diet pepsi.

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    Bridgestone. Good move with mr. Potatoehead. Lol. The f and the f4 looks supercule.

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    I call this the 'hotstep' (big ben) followed by the 'wildflop' (parker).

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    Jack blacks year one looks year dumb.

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    If 'warner can't start, 'zona won't go.

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    Arizona wants it blood back. ain't no bob dylan Pepsi . Wus up with the violence Doritos?

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    Do not give up on bud light. Tom hanks cut his hair. Audi loves loves us and so does jason jason statham.

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    Big ben draws first blood. A lil help from hartwig. But of course, they must challenge.

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    The frankenstein knee rules all.

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    Willie colon is from hofstra? Go LI.

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    Gen patreaus doing he coin toss? And whats with the nfc winning the toss 4 12 years. Heinz ward has frankensteins knee.

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    Gijoe looks good. Since when does avon and amway advertise?

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    Jhud lost a lot of weight! And she looks good. And sounds good too.

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    There is a guy named colon on th steelers

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    Dont b an asterisk.

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    New Reggae Riddims for 2009

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