Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The premise is simple: Most of what we call "news" is absurd so why not have a few laughs about it?
The setup is simple (at least from the outside): My production team and I select the best jokes submitted by pro comedy writers and we have our comedian Mark Ellis deliver them.
Here's the premier:
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Further proof that technology is no respecter of persons:
Nassau County has made more than 70 arrests since it began focusing on Craigslist last year, one of numerous crackdowns by vice squads from Hawaii to New Hampshire that have lately been monitoring the Web site closely, sometimes placing decoy ads to catch would-be customers.
“Craigslist has become the high-tech 42nd Street, where much of the solicitation takes place now,” said Richard McGuire, Nassau’s assistant chief of detectives. “Technology has worked its way into every profession, including the oldest.”
Augmenting traditional surveillance of street walkers, massage parlors, brothels and escort services, investigators are now hunching over computer screens to scroll through provocative cyber-ads in search of solicitors.
In July raids, the sheriff of Cook County, Ill., rounded up 43 women working on the streets — and 60 who advertised on Craigslist. In Seattle, a covert police ad on Craigslist in November resulted in the arrests of 71 men, including a bank officer, a construction worker and a surgeon.
And in Jacksonville, Fla., a single ad the police posted for three days in August netted 33 men, among them a teacher and a firefighter. “We got hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hits” in phone calls and e-mail messages, said John P. Hartley, the assistant chief sheriff there.
Sex and the Internet have been intertwined almost since the first Web site, but the authorities say that prostitution is flourishing online as never before. And while prostitutes also advertise on other sites, the police here and across the country say Craigslist is by far the favorite. On one recent day, for example, some 9,000 listings were added to the site’s “Erotic Services” category in the New York region alone: Most offered massage and escorts, often hinting at more.
Law enforcement officials have accused Craigslist of enabling prostitution. But the company’s president, Jim Buckmaster, said its 24-member staff cannot patrol the multitude of constantly changing listings — some 20 million per month — and counts on viewers to flag objectionable ads, which are promptly removed.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Microsoft Corp. has failed in its attempt to have its Office Open XML document format fast-tracked straight to the status of an international standard by the International Organization for Standardization.
The proposal must now be revised to take into account the negative comments made during the voting process.
Microsoft expects that a second vote early next year will result in approval, it said Tuesday. That is by no means certain, however, given the objections raised by some national standards bodies.
A proposal must pass two voting hurdles in order to be approved as an ISO standard: it must win the support of two-thirds of voting national standards bodies that participated in work on the proposal, known as P-members, and also of three-quarters of all voting members.
OOXML failed on both counts, ISO announced, as the working day ended in its Geneva offices.
The proposal won the support of 74 percent of voting members -- just shy of the required number. But only 53 percent of the voting P-members supported the proposal, well short of the required 67 percent.
Many of the national standard bodies voting against the OOXML proposal accompanied their votes with comments on what must be changed before they will vote in favor. ISO committee JTC1 must now reconcile those objections with the text, and find a compromise that will win enough votes to get through.
That will be difficult, as the French Association for Standardization, Afnor, wants to tear the proposal into two parts: a "core" part, which it wants to see converged over the course of three years with the competing Open Document Format (ODF), already an ISO standard, and an "extensions" part dealing with compatibility with legacy documents in proprietary formats.
France is not alone in suggesting modifications to the standard: Brazil raised over 60 objections, including issues of support for different languages and date formats, while the standards body in India was concerned that OOXML is incompatible with the ODF standard.