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News Roundup: Fresh Prints Edition

April 9th, 2007 · 2 Comments · Activism, Advertising, Apple, Business, Climate Change, Culture, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, iTunes, Labor, LGBT, Media, Music, News, Politics, Science


  • Newt Gingrich calls on Abu Gonzales to resign.
  • Trying to sound like a big, butch hunter to please the NRA, dreadfully amusing little joke of a candidate Mitt Romney says he likes to hunt rabbits and refers to them as “varmints.” Tell it to the Easter bunny, Mitt. I hope he left a gaily decorated rotten egg under your pillow.
  • New report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that the poorest parts of the world will be hit hardest, but no one will escape its impact.
  • America in the 21st century: Participating in peace marches is enough to get you placed on the Terrorist Watch list and banned from flying. So is giving a lecture critical of GWB — even if you’re a retired Marine colonel who fought in the Korean War, decorated for heroism.
  • Meanwhile, some public schools are apparently planning to use a fingerprint ID system as a way for students to pay for their lunches. The always eloquent James Carroll uses this as a starting point for a meditation on privacy and the legacy of J. Edgar Hoover in the age of Google. He goes the whole column without ever mentioning the name Orwell, probably because he knows he doesn’t have to. Here’s a quote, but you should go read the whole thing:

    Privacy, the dictionary says, is the state of being free from unsanctioned intrusion. But that definition seems anachronistic, with ubiquitous intrusion a new fact of life. For security, or mere efficiency, we Americans are sanctioning the end of our right to deny sanction to such invasion. Now, of course, it is not just law enforcers in the mode of J. Edgar Hoover who have the capacity to intrude, but also MasterCard, the credit bureaus, the Google user, the phone company, the e-mail provider, the airport screener — and the lunch room cashier in the local school.

    (Hat tip to Norm Sloan.)

  • New York City health officials consider encouraging circumcision for men at high risk of contracting HIV.
  • A new protease inhibitor called Darunavir is significantly better at attacking highly resistant HIV than other drugs, according to a just-released study. This may be especially important to patients for whom existing drugs aren’t working — the study focused on patients who had already failed to respond to at least three different kinds of HIV drugs.
  • Author says new evidence suggests Alger Hiss wasn’t a spy.
  • Federal judge rules that a local school board in Florida can’t prohibit the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance from meeting.
  • Microsoft spins frantically and flails around wildly in the wake of Apple and EMI’s deal to sell music without DRM restrictions.
  • AfterElton reports that a video for Erasure’s new single “I Could Fall in Love With You” includes shocking scenes of heterosexual people kissing each other. What’s next, a movie about straight cowboys? As if anyone would go see that! Click through to see the video.
  • Most people don’t think of cities as being environmentally friendly, but in terms of energy efficiency, they may be the key to sustainable living.
  • Can an inherited disease causing tumors of the adrenal gland be the key factor behind the legendary Hatfield-McCoy family feud?
  • Facing the awful tooth: Dentist found guilty of urinating in surgery sink, and cleaning his fingernails with same dental tools he used on patients.
  • This is genius PR: Rental retail company Aaron Rents swoops in on the 3,400 employees Circuit City is laying off.

    Just one day after the electronics chain Circuit City Stores (CC) announced that it would lay off 3,400 workers and replace them with lower-paid employees, Charles Loudermilk, chief executive of the rental retail company Aaron Rents (RNT) began posting advertisements on recruiting Web sites: “Attention Circuit City employees: So they say you make too much and are laying you off to hire lower paid employees? Aaron’s doesn’t lay off our highly paid employees…. We put them on a pedestal, and show others how they can make more.”


2 Comments so far ↓

  • Sonya

    Fingerprinting kids for school lunches is so very disturbing… ” Let’s fingerprint all the poor kids because we all know they’re going to commit a crime eventually, this way we can catch them faster.”
    Just one more way they are trying to stigmatize the poor, and at a time when more people than ever are falling into poverty.

  • Aaron

    It does seem we’ve slowly been ceding our privacy in the name of convenience for decades now, because after all, “we have nothing to hide.” But since discrimination is sliced so many different ways now, who’s to say what the information is used for? The lady at the self-checkout at Dominick’s at 53rd and Pulaski tried to get me to sign up for the thumbprint ID thing when I was buying wine last year, because “then it’s on file and you don’t have to get carded again.” That’s when it finally hit me and I realized what, for me, was too far. And that was it.