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Newark airport nuisance not a thug, just wanted a hug

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

The Chinese graduate student who snuck through a Newark Airport checkpoint to steal a kiss from his girlfriend – sparking a massive security scare – was described Saturday as a hopeless romantic.

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Heene Family — Guilty of Bad Acting

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

Filed under:

Just in time for Oscar season, the Heene family released a video that shows them reacting as the balloon they thought (not really) their son was in floated away. The family gave the video to CNN, which aired it during “The Situation Room” …

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Categories: Gossip Tags: ,

Inbrics M1 is the thinnest Android slider we’ve seen, probably everything we ever wanted

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

We don’t know what everybody else in the phone business has been doing lately, but Inbrics has just unveiled what looks to be the near-ultimate Android phone. The Inbrics M1 is a slider handset with a (great) 3.7-inch WVGA OLED display, 3 megapixel camera, front-facing VGA camera, 16GB of built-in storage, microSD slot and all the other usual trimmings, but what’s particularly stunning is that the phone is not only half an inch thick, but it has a full QWERTY keyboard that’s surprisingly clicky and typable. The phone is running Android 1.5 right now, but it should be up to Android 2.0 by the time it hits the market in March. The biggest concern is the 800MHz Samsung processor, the same chip that’s in the Samsung Moment, but the interface (as demonstrated in the video after the break) is smooth as butter, and they demo’d it playing back 720p video just fine.

Inbrics actually has a lot of custom UI and software running on top of Android, but the most interesting part is what they’re doing with video calling and beaming media from handset to videophone to TV to laptop over DLNA or through an access point device that plugs into the TV over HDMI. Inbrics also has a Cover Flow-style media browser that isn’t super deep in functionality, but still puts the stock Android stuff to shame, and some rather sexy custom widgets.

The plan is apparently to get a carrier to bite and rebrand this phone in the US, so price and availability are still pretty hard to pin down, but if this phone can hit the market soon it sure could give the rest of the QWERTY Android sliders out there some body image issues.

Continue reading Inbrics M1 is the thinnest Android slider we’ve seen, probably everything we ever wanted

Inbrics M1 is the thinnest Android slider we’ve seen, probably everything we ever wanted originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 09 Jan 2010 21:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Vuzix Wrap 920AR face-on: reality just got weird

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

CES 2010 is awash in a sea of ridiculous 3D glasses, but that’s nothing compared to the insanity of the Vuzix 920AR, an $800 set of augmented reality specs with cameras built into the lenses. Sadly, the 1504 x 480 display just isn’t very impressive: we certainly saw a stereo 3D image, but it was grainy, dark, and generally unusable for anything apart from the augmented reality maze game on demo. Walking down the street with these things on your face would be incredibly dangerous, as far as we can tell. That said, the maze game did work seamlessly — you hold a pre-printed cardboard sheet in front of you, and in the glasses you see a 3D maze with a ball and puzzle elements that respond to “gravity.” That’s it, though — there’s no other software involved here, and unless you’re deep into developing augmented reality applications or extremely interested in looking like a killer robot from the planet Nerdotron, your $800 is better spent elsewhere. Check a Joanna Stern Video Event after the break.

Continue reading Vuzix Wrap 920AR face-on: reality just got weird

Vuzix Wrap 920AR face-on: reality just got weird originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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RED Scarlet and Bomb EVF surprise hands-on!

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

We just got a terrific surprise at the Engadget CES trailer: Ted Schilowitz from RED popped in with a RED Scarlet and the Bomb EVF for a quick hands-on! Our video producer Chad Mumm basically attacked him, as did the rest of the crew — pretty much everyone surrounded him as he pulled the Scarlet out of its pack. Chad actually shot video and did a little interview — we’ll get that up ASAP, but check out the pics in the gallery below.

Continue reading RED Scarlet and Bomb EVF surprise hands-on!

RED Scarlet and Bomb EVF surprise hands-on! originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 09 Jan 2010 20:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cyber Clean smears our keyboards, fills our nostrils as we go hands-on (video)

January 10th, 2010 admin No comments

You know that snotty, slimy stuff that you can get in vending machines for a quarter? The stuff that comes in the little, clear plastic bubbles and stains wallpaper and carpet instantly? Ever wonder what would happen if you gave it a refreshing lemony scent and then smeared it into your keyboard? We certainly never did, but Cyber Clean gave us the opportunity to find out anyway, handing us (and nearly everyone else at the show) a sample of the stuff. How does it work? How does it feel? How does it sound when it’s thrown at a camera and slimes the microphone? We’ve got the answers after the break.

Gallery: Cyber Clean

Continue reading Cyber Clean smears our keyboards, fills our nostrils as we go hands-on (video)

Cyber Clean smears our keyboards, fills our nostrils as we go hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 09 Jan 2010 17:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Coke FRIDAY!

January 9th, 2010 admin No comments

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

This Late Night Snark Has Been Patted Down:

“Hear about the guy [who] tried to get his underwear to explode? … He was wearing a pair of Fruit of the Lunatic.”
—David Letterman
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“Legal experts are saying that if he’s convicted, the underwear bomber could be sentenced to life in a federal prison. But even worse, for the rest of his life he’ll be known as ‘The Underwear Bomber.’”
—Conan O’Brien
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“America is executing fewer prisoners. Oh my god! That means Texas has seceded!”
—Stephen Colbert
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“No one knows what caused Rush Limbaugh’s chest pains, but if you’re Rush Limbaugh, it could be any number of things: The economy is getting better, the healthcare bill is going to pass, the Republicans are having trouble raising money…”
—Jay Leno
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“In Taiwan, marine biologists have discovered a crab they say looks just like a strawberry. And by marine biologists, I mean two guys on mushrooms.”
—Jimmy Fallon

And this from The Daily Show:

Jon Stewart: Two elected Democratic senators out of their caucus of 60 are stepping down, and 11 Democratic congressional representatives will be retiring, compared to 6 out of the 40 Republican Senators and 14 House Republicans. So I think we know how the media is going to play this:

Campbell Brown: Congressional Democrats dropping like flies…
Andrea Mitchell: Democrats reeling from a recent string of retirement announcements…
Sean Hannity: Democrats all around the country are running scared…
Rush Limbaugh: They’re running for the hills!

Stewart: It’s less! The other party has more people leaving! How are those figures not even like a wash, or a little bit in the Democrats’ favor? Boy, you fuckers can make controversy out of anything, can’t you?  Why do you have to have everything sound more interesting than it is? Y’know, if Congress made it rain cookies, the headline would read: DEMOCRATS LEAVE MILLIONS MILKLESS

Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts in There’s Moreville… [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]


Categories: Politics Tags: , , ,

Late afternoon/early evening open thread

January 9th, 2010 admin No comments

What’s coming up on Sunday Kos ….

  • Dante Atkins will introduce himself and try to remind us of just how far we’ve come in his initial essay, (by way of reintroduction).
  • With Ellen Malcolm, the president of EMILY’S List, announcing her retirement, Angry Mouse will examine whether the nation’s largest feminist advocacy organizations are still effective or even necessary.
  • exmearden will stir the dust with thoughts on life, death, health insurance, and, well, dinnerware.
  • Meteor Blades will discuss why progressive activism, both the idealistic and pragmatic kind, is essential for transformative change and always has been.
  • If you’re always looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, or if you’ve ever been woken up by the noise of a garbage truck, Laura Clawson will tell you about something you’ll wish they had in your town: The Pedal People collect the trash on bicycles.
  • In many ways, 2010 could turn out to be a year that will see unprecedented changes in the national security landscape. One of the areas in which President Obama has the potential to make history is in the area of arms control, specifically with respect to nuclear weapons. Plutonium Page will go beyond the rhetoric and the headlines to show you how.


Categories: Politics Tags: , , ,

Televising the conference

January 9th, 2010 admin No comments

I happened to catch Eric Boehlert of Media Matters on the “Montel Across America” radio show this morning, and wanted to address something that came up during the discussion interview.

Montel entered into the following exchange after playing clips of then-candidate Obama saying he’d opt for open, transparent and televised negotiations on the health care bill, including the conference committee on the bill:

WILLIAMS: How can you argue this? The President said it over and over and over again: this will be on C-SPAN. Now we get down to the short strokes, and it’s in the closed room.

BOEHLERT: Yeah, you know, I mean, Brian Lamb, the CEO of C-SPAN sent a letter over to the Congressional leaders asking that the reconciliation be televised, and things like that. And, you know, I think that’s an interesting and could be potentially a good idea. I don’t think it’s ever been done. We’ve never seen the reconciliation process between the House and Senate televised. And I guess the only point I’d make about what Obama was saying on the campaign — I don’t think he was talking about the reconciliation process. He was comparing the Clinton in ‘93, when sort of the White House, well, was accused of writing the legislation and leaving Congress out of it. I think, clearly, those comments from Obama on the campaign trail were talking about formulating the legislation. I certainly don’t think he was talking about when, you know, there’s a bill passed by the House and the Senate, they meet to sort of make ends meet — that that would be on C-SPAN. But he certainly opened the door to having a debate about a transparent process.

WILLIAMS: I mean, he opened that door, and you know, Igor Volsky was on a little earlier in the show today, from the Center for American Progress, and he made a good point about the fact that, yeah, you know, it’s good for the process in some ways. All it does though is help hamper the process and slow it down, because most of the politicians use it as a free opportunity to grandstand and politicize the process rather than actually utilize the process for what it was there for, which is to come up with a decent bill. But it does kind of, you know, come back and bite you. You’ve got to look at yourself in the mirror when you say eight times, I’m gonna be transparent, I’m gonna be transparent on health care, on health care, on health care, on health care. When you do it eight times, the public may expect you to follow through with what you said.

BOEHLERT: Yeah, and when you talk about C-SPAN a lot, and when C-SPAN comes up and says, oh by the way, we want to air the reconciliation process — so, yeah, there’s always things you say on the campaign trail which can come back to haunt you. I would argue that this is not as direct as some critics are trying to make it. Again, I don’t think anyone was ever discussing the reconciliation process. And again, I don’t think that has ever been televised in the history of C-SPAN. It certainly wasn’t televised when Republicans were running Congress. And I think there is something to be said for once you do televise it. This reconciliation process, in any bill it’s difficult and complicated. For health care, it’s even more difficult and complicated. And the idea that you’re going to televise it and then make the process somehow any better — there’s an argument to be made that that will just complicate things. Of course, there’s an argument to be made that all transparency is a good thing in government.

OK, I’ve got some issues with this. But because I’ve said a number of times now that when the question deals with Congressional procedure, the answer is almost always “yes and no,” you won’t be surprised to learn that the answer is the same in this case, too.

First of all, the minutia: the conference process is not the same thing as reconciliation. We’ve been over this. Though a conference reconciles competing versions of a bill, “reconciliation” also refers to a specific budgetary procedure that’s also come up a lot in the context of the health insurance reform bill, and it just confuses things needlessly to refer to the conference process as the reconciliation process.

With that out of the way, we could come to the question of whether or not candidate Obama meant to include the conference process in his definition of the “negotiations process.” On the one hand, I hope so, because it’s really not helpful in transparency terms to say that the preliminary stages of the process will be open, but the rewrite will be closed. Conference is often where the rubber meets the road, and to exclude it — without explicitly saying so — from your definition isn’t exactly fair.

On the other hand, I guess I hope that Obama didn’t include the conference process in his working mental definition of the negotiations process, because the President, while naturally a powerful player in the process, really has no business dictating legislative procedure to the Congress. One branch per person, please.

But to me, at least for the moment, that’s kind of a lesser point too. Basically, I’ve come to expect overpromising and blurring the lines on the campaign trail. That’s probably part of why I dislike the primary campaigns so much. It seems a waste of time to me to fight with one another so intensely over the contents of campaign position papers, when I know so much of it is going straight out the window when it gets to Congress, anyway.

That does, however, bring me to the other point, which is the one where I pivot to the “yes and no” answer.

Has there ever been a Congressional conference committee televised on C-SPAN? Yes there has. As a matter of fact, C-SPAN televised the February 2009 conference committee meeting on the stimulus bill, and you can watch it on the C-SPAN web site. And if you do, you’ll hear Harry Reid say that there hasn’t been an open conference like that for 15 years.

So, “yes and no.” Yes, there have been televised conferences before. And no, it doesn’t happen very often and never happened when Republicans were in charge, as Boehlert points out.

But there’s more. Go ahead and watch the whole conference, but you’ll never see any of the negotiations. Why not? Because they weren’t conducted in that room. They were conducted elsewhere, and then the conferees came into a nice conference room with a big, broad table and some TV cameras in it, and proceeded to read speeches to each other — Democrats praising the bill and the process, and Republicans condemning it.

What was in it? Oh, you heard a little about that. How did it get in there? Not so much about that.

So again, “yes and no.” Yes, you can put a conference committee on C-SPAN. But no, you can’t make them actually do their deals in front of the camera. And so you get the “steak sauce” answer: You asked for an open and transparent conference. We just showed you everything covered by the definition of “conference” on C-SPAN.

But you didn’t learn anything.

And that’s part of the value of learning about the process — and the gap between what the rules say and how things are actually done. Ask for a televised conference and you may very well get it. But you won’t necessarily get what you were after, and you’ll instead spend your time arguing with one another over something more akin to what the meaning of “is” is.


Categories: Politics Tags: , , , , , , ,

NY-SEN: Horald Ford to seek GOP nomination

January 9th, 2010 admin No comments

Braking newz:

Focksnews.com — At a press conference in Washington, DC today, former Tennessee Rep. Horald Ford today announced he would seek the GOP nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the 2010 election.

“I’m a life-long conservative who has dedicated his political capital to weakening the Democratic Party,” Ford said.

Ford said teabaggers would just love him.

“For starters, I’m to the right of most New York Republicans,” Ford said. “Dede Scozzafava? HA! I’m to the right of that Doug Hoffman dude, and he didn’t even run as  Republican.”

Asked for specific examples of his conservative record, Ford rattled off a comprehensive list.

“Well, I’m pro-life,” he said. “I want to outlaw abortion. I said so in 2006 — live, on national TV. It’s up there on YouTube if you want to see it.

“But that’s not all, folks. I am for the Iraq War. I’m against immigration. I thought Congress should have intervened in the Terri Schiavo case to stop her socialist husband. And I’m for permanent repeal of the Nazi estate tax.

“I’m the teabaggers’ sweetest dream and the Democrats’ worst nightmare.”

Asked about whether his support for the bailouts and his career as a Wall Street consultant might hurt his reputation amongst teabaggers, Ford muttered something about the looming Communist menace and stormed out of the press conference.

Rumor has it Glenn Beck is looking to serve as the Ford campaign’s spokesbagger.


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