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Get your free “Prosecute BP” bumper sticker.

all you need to do is to send us a LEGAL SIZE envelope s.a.s.e. otherwise we have to fold your sticker to this address:Sticker Robot / ProsecutePO Box 1189Woodacre, CA.94973-1189 subject to availability.We will gladly send you a sticker or two, depending on the response to this offer.

via Free Prosecute BP Sticker from Sticker Robot!.

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Of course, he most likely will get his life back, unlike, say, Gulf shrimpers. And with salary and bonus at about $4.5 million, it’s not such a bad life.

via Eschaton.

At the very least, Tony Hayward has committed multiple 10b-5 violations by misrepresenting the volume of oil escaping from his company’s failed drill project and by telling outright lies about the likelihood of success attached to the various schemes that have been attempted in order to patch the leak.
Of course, telling lies to the public also makes Tony criminally liable for securities fraud.  Next time he steps on shore, someone should arrest his ass in anticipation of the inevitable criminal charges.

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well, not really. I’ve been avoiding comment on the whole guns-in-Starbucks question because it seems like giving it more attention will just make it worse. But this is amusing because it involves the CEO of the company:

During a Q&A session at a Wednesday meeting with Starbucks shareholders, CEO Howard Schultz tried to mollify concerns some shareholders had about customers being allowed to enter Starbucks with guns in open carry states.

“I do want to clarify something you said that is not right,” he responded. “You can’t walk into Starbucks with a loaded gun. So that’s not the issue. The issue is, the law allows you to walk in with a weapon that people can see that is unloaded.”

Not exactly.

The fact is that, among the states permitting open carry, almost none require that the gun be unloaded. In Starbucks home state of Washington, for instance, it’s well within a customer’s rights to carry a loaded gun into their local Starbucks.

Well, now you have to wonder if it’s going to change. The only sure thing is that even though he was trying to end this dust-up, Schultz has just fanned the flames…

Stay tuned for the inevitable anti-Brady response from the NRA.

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chia-obama-animated-21.gif

BBgadgets points out this lovely Obama chia pet.

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On Friday, a judge in California issued an order to remove the DNS listing for the Wikileaks server.  Wikileaks is a public internet site that functions on the wiki model, where any person can post content.  Wikileaks purported to specialize in hosting incriminating documents that could do damage to their owners if they became public knowledge.

It turns out, that old chestnut is still true:  the internet interprets censorship as damage, and routs around it.   So a note to future plaintiffs and judges: unless you can take physical possession of the server before it goes online, you might as well just not bother.  The attention generated by your takedown order will guarantee that millions of additional people will not only see copies of the information you are trying to suppress, but that they will make their own copies and republish them in other places.

This is today’s reality.  It would be nice if the American legal system would try to keep up.

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Never mind that MySpace is stupid, and that Facebook is for people who don’t have real websites.  And never mind that if you don’t like ads on the internet, YOU CAN BLOCK THEM.  Ad-blocking is not new or surprising.  I’ve been using it on every computer we own for at least the past six years.  Some people still argue that using an ad blocker on your web browser is ethically tantamount to stealing.  They are wrong.  But Businessweek seems to simply ignore the whole phenomenon:

Trouble is, the boom isn’t booming anymore. . . . [M]any people are spending less time on social networking sites or signing off altogether. The MySpace generation may be getting annoyed with ads and a bit bored with profile pages.

It’s my screen.  My eyes.  My internet connection.  I have every right to exercise absolute control over what content my computer displays.  The minute that a corporation or a web host crosses the line from respectful, unobtrusive advertising to flash-based or animated gifs, I block all of the ads on their site.  And this is a one-way street to 100% ad-free: I’m never going to unblock, and all of those blocks apply to every other site I visit.

Businessweek ignores this fact and blames the ads for driving people away.  I think the user churn they’re describing is a deeper issue with the market: MySpace and Facebook are reaching the saturation point.  The problem they’re missing is that MySpace is the AOL of this decade, full of users who are ignorant about their options and just don’t know any better.  It’s training wheels for the internet.  But as AOL has demonstrated so convincingly, once people realize that there is a better option they abandon the training wheels and move on.

MySpace is a success because they’ve used viral marketing and peer pressure to attract lots casual web-surfers who are unsophisticated about their internet use.  Unfortunately, as new users become more sophisticated, they realize that MySpace is a waste of time.  Users who were already sophisticated at the time MySpace was introduced have either simply ignored the site, or joined and then abandoned  in favor of venues that provide more interesting and meaningful interactions.  People only have so much time to spend online, and eventually people begin to realize that pictures of intoxicated teens vomiting on each other just aren’t very entertaining.

If Businessweek honestly doesn’t get that, it’s no wonder they don’t understand anything about the dynamics of internet social networks.

[updated to repair link on 7/22/209]

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The Dow closed down 180 230 points today. The Dow is down over 1000 points (7.6%) over the last month.

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