Daily Archives: February 19, 2017

US court confirms Snuggies are blankets, not clothes

The US Court of International Trade has ruled that the Snuggie should officially be classified as a blanket. It’s a tax thing. Sorry to anyone who considers a Snuggie their special robe.Bloomberg reported on the ruling, in which the court dismissed the massive wad of fabric as being anything other than a blanket because it lacks “closures.” Were you hoping to wear it as a clerical robe or for some other ceremonious outing? Tough luck. For it to officially work in that capacity, “At a minimum, one must wear the Snuggie backwards,” the court says.Snuggie maker Allstar Marketing Group and the US Department of Justice have clashed about this classification since 2010. This is great news for Snuggie makers, who will only pay a 8.5 percent tariff to import into the US, instead of the 14.9 percent they’d be saddled with under a garment classification. This is bad news for people who put on our — I mean, their — snuggies and stare longingly into the mirror while whispering, “Yer a wizard, Harry.” I mean, that would be very sad to do with a blanket and not a real robe.

Source: US court confirms Snuggies are blankets, not clothes – The Verge

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‘1984’ headed to Broadway – CNN.com

George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel “1984” is marching toward the Broadway stage.

The stage version of Orwell’s dark vision of a totalitarian state will open on June 22 at the Hudson Theatre.
It’s the first announced production of the 2017-2018 Broadway season.
“1984” tells a harrowing story within a world of government surveillance, propaganda and “newspeak.”
This production was first staged in London in 2013 and 2014, and the producers of those shows, Sonia Friedman and Scott Rudin, are in charge of the Broadway staging.

Source: ‘1984’ headed to Broadway – CNN.com

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‘Evil does in fact die,’ family says in man’s obituary

GALVESTON, Texas – A Galveston man’s obituary is getting a lot of attention. It’s what his family wrote about him that is raising eyebrows.His family members apparently did not like him very much, and they wrote an obit that reflected that.More News HeadlinesKaty Perry debuts new single ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ with bizarre lyric videoAmal Clooney is pregnant with twins, George Clooney to become a dad in JuneWho’s watching who? Vizio caught spying, FTC saysFlorida woman sues Mexican restaurant after falling off donkey statue”Leslie Ray ‘Popeye’ Charping was born in Galveston on November 20, 1942, and passed away January 30, 2017, which was 29 years longer than expected and much longer than he deserved. Leslie battled with cancer in his latter years and lost his battle, ultimately due to being the horses ass he was known for.”

Source: ‘Evil does in fact die,’ family says in man’s obituary

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Captured by Punjab Police, ‘spy’ pigeon escapes, flies towards neighbouring country

A “spy” pigeon, which was caught earlier this week in Punjab, has escaped. (File Photo)A pigeon that was captured earlier this week after “infiltrating” India from across the international border escaped on Wednesday afternoon. The bird reportedly managed to escape due to the negligence of the police in Srivijaynagar segment in Sriganganagar district, Punjab. The police claim the bird managed to escape when the head constable opened the cage out of curiosity, The Tribune reported. The pigeon is said to have flown back towards the neighbouring country. Authorities have been alerted.

Source: Captured by Punjab Police, ‘spy’ pigeon escapes, flies towards neighbouring country | The Indian Express

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Parkour mishap leaves tall, thin man stuck in downtown Denver chimney 

A 26-year-old man who was rescued after getting stuck in a downtown Denver chimney on Thursday afternoon told police he had been practicing parkour, authorities say.

Dustin Hinkle was booked into jail on suspicion of trespassing after firefighters freed him from the chimney in a building at 1742 Champa St.

Source: Parkour mishap leaves tall, thin man stuck in downtown Denver chimney – The Denver Post

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YouTube will kill unskippable 30-second ads next year

Google has announced that in 2018, it will end non-skippable 30-second ads that appear before a YouTube video. In a statement first given to Campaign then confirmed by The Verge, a Google spokesperson said the company will focus on commercial formats that are more engaging for both advertisers and viewers.

We’re committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers,” Google said.

continue http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/17/14649018/youtube-ending-unskippable-30-second-ads-2018

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Chinese students at UC San Diego want a safe space from Dalai Lama’s graduation speech


The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has decided to invite the Dalai Lama to be its graduation speaker, hurting the feelings of some of its Chinese students who consider him a dangerous separatist.

Writing for Quartz, Josh Horwitz notes a fascinating phenomenon in how some students are voicing their discontent by appropriating the rhetoric that has become popular for on-campus protests these days. Spicing up the tired, old debate over the Dalai Lama with new words like diversity, political correctness and safe space.

For example, here’s what the university’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association had to say only hours after UCSD announced its decision earlier this month:

UCSD is a place for students to cultivate their minds and enrich their knowledge. Currently, the various actions undertaken by the university have contravened the spirit of respect, tolerance, equality, and earnestness—the ethos upon which the university is built. These actions have also dampened the academic enthusiasm of Chinese students and scholars. If the university insists on acting unilaterally and inviting the Dalai Lama to give a speech at the graduation ceremony, our association vows to take further measures to firmly resist the university’s unreasonable behavior. Specific details of these measures will be outlined in our future statements.

On Facebook, Quartz also found that Chinese students have protested the decision to invite the Nobel Peace Prize winner with comments like:

continue http://shanghaiist.com/2017/02/16/dalai_lama_ucsd_speech.php

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Google Pressure Cookers and Backpacks, Get a Visit from the Feds

Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which begs the question: How’d the government know what they were Googling?

Catalano (who is a professional writer) describes the tension of that visit.

[T]hey were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked. …

Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren’t curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.

continue https://www.yahoo.com/news/google-pressure-cookers-backpacks-visit-feds-140900667.html

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Techdirt lawyers ask judge to throw out suit over “Inventor of E-mail

Michael Masnick, who founded the popular Techdirt blog, filed a motion (PDF) today asking for a defamation lawsuit against him to be thrown out. Masnick was sued last month by Shiva Ayyadurai, a scientist and entrepreneur who claims to have invented e-mail in 1978 at a medical college in New Jersey.

In his motion, Masnick claims that Ayyadurai “is seeking to use the muzzle of a defamation action to silence those who question his claim to historical fame.” He continues:

The 14 articles and 84 allegedly defamatory statements catalogued in the complaint all say essentially the same thing: that Defendants believe that because the critical elements of electronic mail were developed long before Ayyadurai’s 1978 computer program, his claim to be the “inventor of e-mail” is false.

The motion holds that Techdirt’s allegedly defamatory statements are actually constitutionally protected opinion. “This lawsuit is a misbegotten effort to stifle historical debate, silence criticism, and chill others from continuing to question Ayyadurai’s grandiose claims,” write Masnick’s lawyers.

continue https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/techdirt-lawyers-ask-judge-to-throw-out-defamation-suit-over-inventor-of-e-mail/

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