Jeff Bezos
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Some Advice to the Washington Post’s New Owner

Today, in the Guardian, former CIA analyst John Kiriakou accuses the Obama Administration of abusing the 1917 Espionage Act, claiming that “only 10 people in American history have been charged with espionage for leaking classified information, seven of them under Barack Obama”.

From Day One, the Obama Administration sought to plug any leaks. What’s said in the Oval Office stays in the Oval Office. That’s context for understanding the aggressive approach to whistleblowers. It’s philosophical. The current White House sees leaks as betrayals, so why not view whistleblowing as treason?[Read more]

Toilet Flush
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Toilet Training

If you’re one of those offensive people who talk on the cell phone in bathrooms—particularly public loos—your behavior stinks more than your poop. There may not be more appropriate place to assert that you’re on my shit list, bud. Bathroom phone calling is bad etiquette by just about any measure.

I cringe when walking by a public toilet stall and hearing someone talking into their cell phone. I’ve heard men taking what clearly are business calls. Oh, please! I’d fire your ass, for sitting it on the toilet seat and talking to me (your client or boss). Could toilet talking be the real reason for noise-cancelling cell phones or Bluetooth earpieces? Surely someone will hear you doing your toilet business—or that of the person in the next stall—while you’re taking the call.[Read more]

Outdoor Girl
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Non-Top-10 List for Journalists

I have come to loathe top-10 lists, and I have stopped writing them. They are a sucker’s play for pageviews, although I have always used top-10s mainly for their presentation value. Now that they’re everywhere and displacing original content, I’ve got something of a personal boycott going (hence, why there have been none from me recently at Betanews). It’s with that introduction I come to maim a top-10 list posted last week. “The truth about the newsroom—straight-up!” offers 10 things reporters “want from [public relations] pitch to coverage”.

Deanna White tweeted about the post, to which I responded after reading: “My list would look nothing like this. If that’s what my peers want, someone pull out journalism’s obituary & run it” (News organizations generally keep prewritten obituaries ready to run the second someone famous enough dies).[Read more]

AT&T is keeping secrets. I called to change my U-verse service and discovered 24Mbps Internet is available in my area for same price as 18Mbps. That was a brainless upgrade. AT&T calls the 24Mbps service Turbo Charge. OK, so it’s marketing speak, but the service delivers. I’m topping 22Mbps over WiFi. What’s not to like about that?