Jun 13, 2009

German Kids Are Scary And Tough And Would Like Another Meteor Hit, Please, Sir [Space Rocks]

Some kid got pegged by a 30,000MPH meteorite and he's fine. So toughen up.

Technical Difficulties [Computer Problems]

We're having some issues with images and posts popping up on the site. Just because they're only headlines doesn't mean they're real! Also: Hortense at Jezebel is having them too, so it isn't just me. Stay calm, people. This will all be over shortly. We'll get through it together.

Jun 12, 2009

What's Up With the Albany Coup? [Local Politics]

New York's fate rests in the open palms of a guy who lives in Westchester but represents the Bronx and who works in a little shithole 130 miles up the Hudson from here. And the guy who slashed his girlfriend.

So Pedro Espada Jr, a State Senator from the Bronx, and Hiram Monseratte, the Queens Senator who is on trial for glassing his lady friend, organized a coup. Remember? They handed the State Senate back to the Republicans. And the Democrats sued. But a judge told them to just deal with it themselves without getting the courts involved. (He will still maybe take up the case on Monday, though!) And Espada has promised that there will be no resolving this thing over the weekend, at all. And then his "home" in Mamaroneck (because he does not actually live in his district) got "broken into," he claimed. He also said the Governor called him to congratulate him, which the Governor denied.

So here's where we are, today:

  • Espada is trying to lure Democrats into his "coalition" by promising, now, to actually try to get bills progressives like to the floor, for a vote. Like the gay marriage, and rent control! And so Espada tried to drive a wedge between Tom Duane, who would like there to be a vote on the Gay Marriage, and Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, who, some claim, promised not to bring the Gay Marriage to a vote in exchange for the support of Ruben Diaz Sr., who, along with Monseratte, threatened to caucus with Republicans a couple months ago. This does not seem to be working.
  • Meanwhile: the Democrats are most likely going to throw Smith under the bus and strip Smith of his leadership as part of their attempt to bribe Monseratte back into their caucus. What this would mean is a deadlocked, evenly divided Senate. And no Lt. Governor, because Paterson is not authorized to appoint one, and therefore no tie-breaking votes. Also: the scumbag asshole who slashed his girlfriend's face would be welcomed back to the party fold with open arms and money.

So basically we can have a Republican-led Senate partially led by a corrupt liar that would gerrymander redistricting next year but maybe actually vote for thing people would like voted on, or we can have a deadlocked Senate that includes the violent asshole as a prominent Democratic leader.

But at least we don't have California's state government! They're really screwed!

[Photo: AP]

Porn Industry HIV Scare Causes Non-Fun Facts to Come Out [Health]

After a female porn actress tested positive for HIV this week, health officials in LA disclosed a bunch of other previously unreported HIV cases in porn, and now people are getting vaguely freaked out.

Los Angeles County health officials said Thursday that at least 16 additional unpublicized cases of HIV have been confirmed in adult film performers.

The newly released data bring the number of HIV cases in porn performers in the last five years to 22, including the case disclosed this week.

In 2004, a porn star named Darren James shut down the entire porn industry for a month after he infected three of his co-stars with HIV. Health advocates are using this new disclosure as an opportunity to push for mandatory condoms in all porn shoots. The porn industry responds, collectively, "No." Although:

Since 2004, 2,378 people who identified themselves as adult film industry performers have tested positive for chlamydia in Los Angeles County. An additional 1,357 tested positive for gonorrhea and 15 for syphilis, according to data released Thursday by the county's health department.

What is porn about if not safety and health?

New MySpace Regime Lowers Expectations [Valleywag]

MySpace chief Own Van Natta is a consummate dealmaker; at Facebook he helped sweet talk Microsoft into a critical ad buy. MySpace is a trickier case: insiders at the social network are spreading word it faces "horrendous" user disengagement.

A deal with Google is about to shrivel, and now MySpace is facing layoffs and needs a new sales chief, sources "close to" Van Natta and fellow News Corp. newcomer Jon Miller tells Business Insider.

Expectations for MySpace's future were pretty low to begin with; the company's new leaders and their associates have now pushed them so low that the barest gains will make them look like heroes.

(Pic via All Things D)

Twitter, Facebook Just Actively Ignoring Business Opportunities Now [Startups]

Who can afford to be blasé about making money in this economy? A hot Web 2.0 startup, it turns out.

It turns out Dell sold $3 million worth of computer gear through its Twitter feed alone, meaning it has made $3 million more off Twitter than Twitter itself. Shouldn't Twitter be charging these guys? The revenueless microblogging service insists any moneymaking schemes must be sufficiently "interesting" and "innovative."

Enterprising Facebook employees, meanwhile, wanted to charge users a nominal fee for those custom short URLs that go on sale tonight ("facebook.com/whoever"). But the company reversed this decision, Business Insider reports. Bizarre. Is earning revenue at the nickel and dime level so shameful? It might be tougher than depositing a check from a Russian hedge fund, but the money is also free of money related complications.

(Pic by Joi Ito)