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The Roundup June 27 & 28

Third planet from the sun gets sweeping legislation in its favor from the United States Congress in a Republican-free 219-212 vote. At an additional $175 in extra energy bills each year, the average household is being asked to contribute about forty cents a day (one-tenth of a Starbuck’s cup of coffee) to keep New York City and other coastal towns on the non-wet side of the world’s oceans. Too expensive, say critics of the bill, while sipping their Starbuck’s coffee. Meanwhile, with any luck, inaction in the Senate will keep us on track to converting Maine into a Caribbean beach resort by 2030.

Fincher, David
Director of Zodiac, Fight Club, and Se7en is the top contender to direct the new Facebook movie, called — I swear, I’m not making this up — “The Social Network.” Unless there’s a Palo Alto psychopath gruesomely taking out Zuckerbergs one at a time, don’t expect long lines at the theaters. What next? Michael Bay directing “Larry and Sergey Google White Castle”?

Search engine giant learns a few hard lessons about doing business in China. The company that “does no evil” meets evil.

Michael Jackson searches on Google.

And on Thursday, Google runs for the hills when the system thinks it’s being attacked by “Michael Jackson” searches and shuts down those searches.

Madoff, Bernie
Defense lawyer pursues the 1/2 off special. Madoff’s attorneys ask for twelve years in jail (as opposed to 150 being demanded by the prosecution). Here’s how the math works: six months of jail time for every one year he spent ripping people off and living off the his ill-gotten fortune. Or, put another way, that’s one year of jail time for every $4.1 billion he made off with; one month of jail time for every $350 million he stole; one day for every — get this — $11 million he robbed. I’m definitely deterred, what about you? (Meanwhile, California a few years ago slammed a guy with a life sentence for stealing a slice of pizza — apply that math to Madoff and you come up with something like a 25 quintillion year sentence.)

Continues to create empty space where there used to be employees. Taking an axe to a rapidly fading business is, in News Corp Orwell-speak, “refining their growth strategy.” Kind of like cutting your legs off is “refining your height strategy.”

The iPhone killer gets killed by iPhone. In it’s first month, Palm sells about 150,000 Pre’s while Apple sells one million new 3Gs in the first weekend. Pre-dictable. Pre-ventable. Pre-tty bad.

Savage, Adam
The mythbuster himself gets busted with an $11,000 AT&T bill for using his iPhone for a few hours in Canada. Starting a Twitterstorm to rival the Iranian one, Savage manages to get AT&T to back down. Coming on top of the innumerable problems with activation on the new iPhones, AT&T decides it needs the good press more than it needs the eleven thousand bucks. Meanwhile, no-one seems to have a problem with the evil geniuses at Apple for saddling us with AT&T in the first place. Whenever you get the chance, skim through Machiavelli’s Prince — I direct you to the chapter about hiring some schmoe to do all your dirty work so that he gets pasted with all the blame . . . and gets the hanging, too.

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