Breitbart strikes again. Conservative media activist and propagandist Andrew Breitbart made news again this week, bringing to light apparent video evidence of racism among the NAACP’s ranks, in the form of USDA official Shirley Sherrod, who was allegedly caught on tape in a speech to the NAACP, admitting that race had influenced her decisions not to provide assistance to white farm workers. But despite the fact that Sherrod was summarily dismissed from her USDA post as a result of Breitbart’s accusations, the complete, unedited footage of the speech reportedly confirms Sherrod’s claims that “her comments were taken out of context… that the anecdote was part of a larger story, one in which she explains how she overcame her initial prejudice” and that in fact, the reported incidents took place before Sherrod worked for the USDA, when she worked for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund. The white farmers described in the story have since confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, in fact, Sherrod saved them from bankruptcy.
I don’t get it. In any civilized country, after a fuck up like the acorn hoax, no media outlet would talk to this guy again, simply because the public would roast such a media outlet out of existence. Fool me once, shame on.. eh… well, you know.
Only in the USA can people fall for the same fake crap twice.
“Under the government’s theory, anyone who disregards — or doesn’t read — the terms of service on any website could face computer crime charges,” said EFF civil liberties director Jennifer Granick in a press release. “Price-comparison services, social network aggregators, and users who skim a few years off their ages could all be criminals if the government prevails.”
And next month, they’ll be called terrorists!
Remember Republican Rep. Joe Barton, who famously apologized to BP because the mean ‘ol government wants the oil company to pay for its own oil spill?
Well, perhaps Barton should ask BP to apologize to him. Personally.
As MoneyLine reports, Barton’s campaign war chest is more than $150k lighter thanks to bad investments. Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to try to earn interest on your campaign funds through investments in British Petroleum
Scientists from the Beijing Genomics Institute last month discovered another striking instance of human genetic change. Among Tibetans, they found, a set of genes evolved to cope with low oxygen levels as recently as 3,000 years ago. This, if confirmed, would be the most recent known instance of human evolution.
Apparently BP is no more adept at doctoring photos than it is at plugging deep-sea oil leaks.
A blogger has noticed that the oil giant altered a photograph of its Houston crisis room, cutting and pasting three underwater images into a wall of video feeds from remotely operated undersea vehicles. The altered photo is displayed prominently on the company’s Web site.
An enlarged version of the photograph reveals flaws in the editing job. One of the 10 images sticks down into the head of one of the people sitting in front of the wall, while another piece of the image is separated from the other side of the head by jagged white space. The right side of the same image also hangs down below the area on which the video feeds were projected.
BP has now posted the "original" photo, they claim. Except – surprise – they are refusing to post the high-resolution version of the new "original" photo. They posted the high-res version of the altered photo earlier, and in fact, that version is still live via a link below the new photo. Why not post the high-res version of the new "original" photo? Afraid someone is going to enlarge it and find out it’s fake too?
I’m a student of how language influences people. Apple’s response to the iPhone 4 problem didn’t follow the public relations playbook because Jobs decided to rewrite the playbook. (I pause now to insert the necessary phrase Magnificent Bastard.) If you want to know what genius looks like, study Jobs’ words: "We’re not perfect. Phones are not perfect. We all know that. But we want to make our users happy."
Jobs changed the entire argument with nineteen words. He was brief. He spoke indisputable truth. And later in his press conference, he offered clear fixes.
Did it work? Check out the media response. There’s lots of talk about whether other smartphones are perfect or not. There’s lots of talk about whether Jobs’ response was the right one. But the central question that was in everyone’s head before the press conference – "Is the iPhone 4 a dud" – has, well, evaporated. Part of the change in attitude is because the fixes Apple offered are adequate. But those fixes easily could have become part of the joke if handled in an apologetic "please kick me" way.
If Jobs had not changed the context from the iPhone 4 in particular to all smartphones in general, I could make you a hilarious comic strip about a product so poorly made that it won’t work if it comes in contact with a human hand. But as soon as the context is changed to "all smartphones have problems," the humor opportunity is gone. Nothing kills humor like a general and boring truth.
Almost as soon as the first iPhone was introduced in 2007, the carrier realized it might run short of bandwidth. Within just a few months, the first wave of iPhone customers was already sucking down about 15 times more data than the average smartphone customer and 50 percent more than AT&T had itself projected. In a bid to avert the looming problem, a team headed by senior vice president Kris Rinne met with Apple to ask for help. Of course AT&T was planning to upgrade its network to handle the increased demand, Rinne’s team told Apple executives, but that was going to take years. In the meantime, would Apple take measures to help throttle back the traffic? Perhaps Apple could restrict its YouTube app to run only over Wi-Fi. Maybe the iPhone could feature a smaller, lower-resolution videostream or cut off YouTube videos after one minute. Rinne, who had already met with Apple’s iPhone team at least half a dozen times, fully expected the company to play along. After all, manufacturers agreed to such restrictions all the time. It didn’t make sense to build phones and offer features that carriers couldn’t support.
But in meetings with Apple engineers and marketers over the subsequent year, Rinne and other AT&T executives discovered that Apple wasn’t playing by traditional wireless rules. It wasn’t interested in cooperating, especially if it meant hobbling what had quickly become its marquee product. For Apple, the idea of restricting the iPhone was akin to asking Steve Jobs to ditch the black turtleneck. “They tried to have that conversation with us a number of times,” says someone from Apple who was in the meetings. “We consistently said ‘No, we are not going to mess up the consumer experience on the iPhone to make your network tenable.’ They’d always end up saying, ‘We’re going to have to escalate this to senior AT&T executives,’ and we always said, ‘Fine, we’ll escalate it to Steve and see who wins.’ I think history has demonstrated how that turned out.”
They have even fought about wardrobe: When an AT&T representative suggested to one of Jobs’ deputies that the Apple CEO wear a suit to meet with AT&T’s board of directors, he was told, “We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits.”
A collection of manual pages