lpsrocks's Blog


Rockville, Maryland,
web developer, NOLA native, mom of two, concerned citizen living apparently waaaayyy too close to the Beltway, as I have become part of the "chattering classes"... just a political junkie, I guess...concerned about the environment, the wetlands, and keeping the world safe for democracy... no wonder we can't sleep at night...


DECEMBER 12, 2008 9:03PM

Friday Lagniappe*: News you may have missed & more

Rate: 6 Flag

News you may have missed & Nuggets from the Wired World

*lagniappe – in Louisiana, lagniappe refers to "a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase" (such as a 13th beignet when buying a dozen), or more broadly, "something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure." From Creole French.


What with all the Hair stories & Hair-shirting here, you might have missed some actual news, so I offer some News stories you may have missed this week & some interesting nuggets from the world of technology & gadgets…

Item #1 - On GM & the auto-industry bailout

Ok, so you probably have NOT missed this story. But, here’s an interesting take on it that is worth a read, plus the latest news on the Senate/White House front.

So Long GM, See Ya’ Chrysler — Hope America Enjoys The Second Great Depression from the L.A.Progressive

Charley James writes –

In the 1950s, “Engine” Charley Wilson – then chairman of General Motors – said “What’s good for GM is good for America.”

We’re about to find out that the reverse is also true.

Thanks to a handful of Republican Senators whose twofold purpose of trying to bust the United Auto Workers while simultaneously protecting their home state, non-union, foreign-owned car manufacturers who received tens of millions of taxpayer subsidies, the loan deal passed by the House died in the Senate last night because, the GOP knuckle-draggers maintain, the auto industry shouldn’t receive government help.

Auto Bailout: White House to the Rescue?

In the latest news from Business Week, President Bush indicates he won't let the auto companies collapse. Treasury may tide Detroit over with remaining bank-bailout funds.

The White House and Treasury Dept. said they are likely to help U.S. automakers avert bankruptcy after Republican senators defeated a bill late Thursday, Dec. 11, that would have provided $14 billion in taxpayer loans to the companies.

Item #2 – SNOW in New Orleans…and in Austin, TX

Snow descended upon the New Orleans area the morning of December 11, 2008

Maybe not a big deal for some; but quite a big deal for others. In my memory, it’s snowed a measurable amount in NOLA exactly twice in my lifetime – once in 1974, I think and once a few years ago, on Christmas Day. I won’t presume to say it has anything at all to do with global climate change, it’s just fun.

Snow Family in the 'Hood


Snow Baby Daddy drinking a brewski

For more photos, visit nola.com

Item #3 - Al Franken gets boosts in Minn. Senate recount

from the Associated Press
& this from The New York Times

Minnesota Panel Asks for Recount of Wrongly Rejected Ballots

Still, no outcome and Franken is still behind. However, recounting ballots that were improperly rejected has the potential to change the outcome in this very tight race.

Items 4, 5, and 6 come to us from the online & technology world. Just when you were getting comfortable with Web 2.0 (whatever that means, I’m still waiting for Kent or Rob to explain it to me) come these headlines –

Item #4 - How to Safeguard Against the IE Vulnerability

According to PC Magazine, Internet Explorer has sprung a leak, and Microsoft advises that you batten down the hatches. Here's how to do it, in plain English.


Microsoft confirms that all versions of IE have critical new bug

Item #5 - Facebook Virus Turns Your Computer into a Zombie

If you’re on Facebook, you should have already heard about this one. If you’re using a computer, you should know the following:

  1. NEVER, EVER click on a random link sent to you in an email, especially one ending in .exe (an executable) file.
  2. You should have VIRUS PROTECTION software on your PC and you should keep it current with updates/patches.
  3. This did not affect Apple/Mac computers (I’m told – I didn’t click on it anyway!)

Item #6 - 5 Reasons I Hope Classmates.com Gets Sued Into Oblivion

Another golden nugget from PC World. Speaks for itself. Down with the spam!

Item #7 – Meltdown in the News Business

I’m assuming you’ve heard about The Chicago Tribune declaring bankruptcy and The New York Times taking a second mortgage out on its building.

Now, we also hear that Newsweek has announced layoffs.

For some interesting takes from the blogosphere, check out the following:
Newsweek Dies

This Story Can’t Be Told

Random & mildly politically & technologically related 

Item #8 - Fire Sale on All McCain-Palin Campaign Equipment

Above from the Washington Post

And, from Keith Olbermann, ”no word yet on where to buy Palin’s wardrobe”

Item #9 -The Flip Video Camera

Flip Video Camera

Apologies, folks, I’m not sure how, but I seem to have missed this season’s hottest new gadget in my Holiday Shopping Guide.

No less than Business Week, Fortune, and the New York Times have hailed this nifty little item.

For some background on its business strategy, read Business Week’s Pure Digital Flips the Script - How the Flip—a bare-bones digital camcorder—grew from a simple idea to a contender among giants like Sony.

And finally, in case you’re curious about what’s happening in Iraq –

Item #10 - "We've Won The War"

or, in other words, William Kristol is an even bigger idiot than we (some? of my fellow OSers and myself) thought he was -

see pretend_farmer’s Ten Worst Predictions for 2008 - via Politico

saturn smith’s Chin Up, Mr. Kristol

And Calling All Interesting Conservatives

well, then, Mr. Kristol, when are our troops coming home?

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New Orleans must be beautiful in the snow.
I got emails all day yesterday from boyfriend's sisters in NOLA. They were snow crazy. We got snow as well, but they got a lot more south of here (!!!) including in New Orleans.

I like your round up here, especially since I was completely unaware of some of these things. Thanks.
You had me with "lagniappe", Lisa, a word I heard first during my only visit to New Orleans back in 1999, and never again. Thanks for the summary of the week!
Dorinda - it is!

Susan - yep, I've been getting email pics & Facebook notices all day. It's so fun. My best friend called, "I'm calling to tell you something I never get to say - my kids are home from school for a SNOW DAY!"

Rob - isn't it a fabulous word?!

thanks for the comments!
p.s., SHOUT OUT to my friend (college friend & Facebook Friend) Anita in So. Cal for pointing out the LAProgressive article. THANKS!
The Spawn got so excited when they saw snow in NOLA. Too bad it took a sharp left turn before it got to Florida. PFFT!

Great roundup!

(thumbified but it's still 60 (!) here!)
WE'VE WON THE WAR!!!!! OH MY GOD, IT'S ABOUT FUCKING TIME!!!!! Hehe, I was getting worried with all those soldiers dying and stuff, but as long as it WASN'T ALL FOR NAUGHT! Thank you Jesus for giving us the strength to win the war, you fucking awesome son of a god you!

By the way, I grew up in Israel and my town never got snow. In fact most of the country never did but occasionally it would snow in Jerusalem because it is higher. And once I remember a very strong winter and it snowed alot in Jerusalem, and trucks filled up with snow and brought little snow mounds to town centers so the kids could play in the snow!!! It was a big deal! :)
david - I'm glad you appreciated that charming nugget as much as I did.

jodi - wanna trade? mine thought it was coming here (to MD) but all we got was a bitter, wet, cold rain.
Great round up! That Flip camera, by the way, is pretty awesome -- my pretty untechie mother has one and has found using it a breeze. The videos are pretty good, too.
Thanks for the roundup and the shout out I missed a few of these. I definitely missed the flip video camcorder and want one. $229 for the HD, not too shabby. If I hadn't already blown my Christmas budget, I'd get one. And I might still.

BTW, I'm really glad I switched over to Google Chrome.