Showing 1 - 10 of 202 posts found matching keyword: news

I'm watching Atlanta Tech Edge at 1:30AM on WXIA (though I suppose it must air some other time, because who other than me watches technology news magazines at 1:30AM Sunday morning?), and the hostess just admitted being surprised when her guest, a tech podcaster, informed her that "free" apps use data mining to strip our privacy and sell our information to other companies.

Well, duh. (Side note: paid apps do it too.)

Who is this show for? If you didn't know that, most of what Tech Edge talks about is probably going over your head. If you did know that, you didn't need to hear that the hostess has no idea what she's talking about.

(I should admit that the use of the phrase "data mining" up there in the first paragraph was mine, not hers. If she doesn't know they are doing it, she sure doesn't know what it's called.)

It's not exactly fake news, more a case of the blind leading the blind. I shouldn't complain. That's better than some "news" organizations manage these days. (I'm looking at you, Newnan Times-Herald.)

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Saturday was Donald Trump's 100th day in office. Even friendly Fox News reported that President Trump failed pretty badly at implementing candidate Trump's "100-day action plan to Make America Great Again." Governing is hard.

I was prepared to write a post about what a failure Trump is according to his own professed metrics, but I'm not going to. Not only have you probably heard it a hundred times elsewhere already, but I'm no longer certain that Trump is such a loser. Recent news reports agree that the man has accomplished something no other president has ever done: Trump installed a Coca-Cola dispensing button on the White House Resolute Desk.

The Resolute Desk is 138 years old. Built from the timbers of the H.M.S. Resolute, the desk was a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes. It was placed in the Oval Office by Jackie Kennedy, and has been used by most commanders-in-chief since. However, it took master builder Trump to perfect it.

Technically, the button isn't new, and it doesn't dispense Coke by itself. (We're talking about the White House, not a 7-11.) It's the butler call button. All Trump has done is issue specific instructions that when a taxpayer-paid manservant responds to his summons, he should always bring a glass of ice-cold liquid perfection. That's true leadership.

Frankly, I'm glad to hear that our president has a Coke dispensing butler. I doubt Trump knows how to open a pop-top can, and I sure wouldn't want him to cut himself. He's got to play golf this weekend.

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Yesterday, Coca-Cola Company tried to offset the bad news that sales were flat by promising to roll out new "functional" beverages to augment their product line. To Coke, "functional" apparently means crappy.

Introducing Coca-Cola Plus, a drink that the company describes as "a sugar-free and calorie-free beverage" with 5 grams of dietary fiber per 470-ml bottle. So, it's a Diet Coke that helps you take a poo? I have to admit that sounds like an improvement over standard Diet Coke. That stuff makes me puke.

So far, the product has only been unleashed on Japan with no announcement when we might see it in the Americas. Apparently, Japan is the Mikey of soda consumers. If the drink takes off there, Coke thinks it will sell anywhere.

Among current popular Coca-Cola products in Japan are Aquarius, a fancy water Coke calls "The No. 1 selling sports drink" in Japan, Georgia Coffee ("The No. 1 ready-to-drink coffee brand in Japan"), ILOHAS ("one of the most popular mineral water brands in Japan"), and Ayataka ("authentic green tea taste just like consumers regularly brew at home, but available on-the-go"). None of those sound like anything Americans want to drink. At least not yet.

Coke is hurting, and we all have to do our part. So suck it up, people. I'm sure ready-to-drink canned coffee can't possibly be as bad as it sounds.

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Today is the University of Georgia's annual G-Day game practice, the unofficial start of the 2017 hype season. This marks Kirby Smart's second year as head coach. You may recall he was hired to take the team to the next level after Athletic Director Greg McGarity lost faith in Mark Richt. Let's just say that year one wasn't everything Bulldog Nation hoped it would be.

So how does Smart kick off year two? By demanding that the media not report on injuries unless he gives permission. Even if the player breaks his leg in front of a television camera.

What the fuck, Kirby?

Hey, man, I get it. You're a tin-pot dictator who gets paid millions of dollars a year to boss around children. That shit goes to your head. Last year, you somehow convinced the Georgia State legislature to pass a law allowing you to extend delays in responding to open records requests from three days to three months. It's only logical that the next step in your plan for world domination would be to refuse the release of any information at all.

The only question I have is how is this media gag order supposed to help UGA win football games? Did the Bulldogs go 4-4 in SEC games last year because our opponents knew Jacob Eason was a Freshman? Did Vanderbilt get its 3rd win versus Georgia in 22 tries because reporters told them ahead of time that the Bulldogs couldn't stop a 75-yard drive in the final quarter? Did Tennessee's Hail Mary to defeat Georgia with only zeroes showing on the clock happen because they'd read news reports about the secondary's practice habits in the week prior to the game? As I recall, it was Nick Chubb's mother who released information about the extent of his knee injury in 2015, by the way. Good luck stopping her from talking to the press in 2017, Coach.

Hey, sports reporters, if you see something, say something. I have a hunch you'll still have a job in two years. Coach Smart I'm not so sure about.

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A man was run over by a deer on April Fool's Day. This is not a joke. I never joke about deer.

The man, one Cary McCook, had just gotten out of his truck and was minding his own business when he was hit by the deer. He wasn't in the middle of a forest, either, but was standing in front of a hotel. Nowhere is safe from the Great Deer Uprising, people!

However, this wasn't a premeditated mugging. It happens that this time, the deer was fleeing man's best friend. Good dog! That means that Mr. McCook wasn't a target as much as he was collateral damage. There's friendly fire in all wars.

First bigfeet joined humanity's opposition to our deer oppressors (as we learned last month), and now, dogs. That's both ends of the animal kingdom. What's next? Ticks?

The tide is turning against you, deer. Give up while you still can.

Their fight would be adorable

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Six Flags, the United Airlines of theme parks, is getting an early start this year. It's still spring, and already they've got trouble. This time, the broken ride was the Joker's Jinx at Six Flags America leaving 24 riders stuck for 3 hours.

It seems like just last year that I was railing against Six Flag's themed rides that glorify a psychopathic serial mass murderer. My opinion hasn't changed. You mess with the Joker, you get murdered. Or stuck 100 feet in the air for hours, whichever comes first.

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Given that earlier this week we saw the Republican majority in the Senate change their own rules to allow them to steal a seat on the Supreme Court, it might be interesting to note that the 17th Amendment to the Constitution became law on this day in 1913. The 17th Amendment calls for Senators to be elected by the people, not appointed by the state legislatures. Try and imagine something like that passing in 2017.

Amending the Constitution requires a 2/3 vote in both houses of Congress. These days, votes are taken almost strictly down party lines. Unless one party or another gains 2/3 of both the House and Senate, modifying the Constitution is impossible. (Perhaps that's why the Republicans deny global warming exists. If they can stall long enough, the liberal coasts will be underwater, and they'll be free to do whatever they want.)

The last Constitutional Amendment to be successfully ratified was the 27th, adopted in 1992. That might seem kind of recent until you realize that the amendment was first proposed as part of the original Bill of Rights in 1789. It had to wait 202 years before final adoption. What does the 27th Amendment do? It prevents Congress from doing the only thing it's likely to agree on: giving itself a pay raise.

At the current level of partisanship in this country, it might be 202 years until we see them agree on anything else.

It's true what they say: Rome didn't fall in a day.

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Cherry Coke finally reached China last month, and Coca-Cola promoted its launch with cans featuring a caricature of billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

Stop and think about that. If you put Warren Buffett's face on something in America, no one would even know who the hell he was. ("Steve Martin sure got old!") Name one person from China whose face might influence you to buy a product. Take your time. I'll wait.

The reason I mention this is not to denigrate Americans — they don't need me for that; they're doing so well themselves — is because of how Bloomberg News reported it.

At his company's annual meeting last year, [Buffett] said his happiness from drinking soda outweighs health benefits from eating more vegetables.

That must have been painful to publish. Bloomberg's founder and owner, Michael Bloomberg, is behind the nationwide push to tax sodas. According to Warren Buffett, that's the same as taxing happiness. (I bet nobody's taxing broccoli.) Whose word are you going to take for that? I know who the Chinese trust.

Science backs up Bloomberg. Sugar overconsumption is a nationwide problem. However, I doubt anyone with a net worth of $75 billion worries much about healthcare. But then, neither do the Chinese, 95% of whom have basic health insurance coverage. That just one more thing they're doing better than us.

So drink up, China. You can afford it, and America sure could use the help.

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Earlier this week, a woman in Idaho hit a deer with her car. That's not much of a news story. People hit deer with their cars all the time. StateFarm considers Idaho a high risk state, with a 1 in 147 chance that a driver will collide with a deer. Yet this particular story appeared in newspapers and television broadcasts across the country. Why?

Because the driver said that a sasquatch made it happen.

According to the original report in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News:

A 50-year-old Tensed woman driving south on U.S. Highway 95 reported seeing a sasquatch chasing a deer on the side of the road late Wednesday night near milepost 367 north of Potlatch, according to the Latah County Sheriff’s Office. She told the sheriff's office she checked one of her mirrors to take a second look at the 7- to 8-foot tall “shaggy” object and after she refocused her eyes onto the road the deer ran in front of her. She struck it with her Subaru Forester.

Part of the beauty of this report is the level of detail. This story must be true. A Subaru Forester wouldn't lie.

Obviously, we can draw only one possible conclusion. Humanity has found another ally in our war against deerkind. The enemy of our enemy is our friend. Got get 'em, Bigfoot!

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I make fun of newspapers a lot, but they're not always the problem. For example, today I read this Newnan Times-Herald lede:

"Coweta County Crooner Richard Hawk is now officially a member of the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel."

Yes, I thought it was odd that a singer would be appointed to such an important sounding government position, but this is 2017. We have a brain surgeon running government housing, a movie producer directing the treasury, an anti-science lawyer scuttling the EPA, a bespectacled idiot in charge of a department he can't remember the name of, and a game show host in the White House (on weekdays — on weekends he pretends to be an amateur golfer in Florida). In that light, a singer taking a state government position doesn't seem so strange.

But that's not what the paper really said. After I had my breakfast and was thinking more clearly, I realized that the man wasn't a "crooner" but a "coroner." Appointing a professional coroner makes way more sense for a Fatality Review Panel.

If only the federal government was so rational.

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