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U.S. bill seeks to rescue faltering newspapers

Cardin’s Newspaper Revitalization Act would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits for educational purposes under the U.S. tax code, giving them a similar status to public broadcasting companies. Under this arrangement, newspapers would still be free to report on all issues, including political campaigns. But they would be prohibited from making political endorsements. Advertising and subscription revenue would be tax exempt, and contributions to support news coverage or operations could…

Aviary – Terms

“We love you, but signing this agreement doesn’t make us legal partners.” — Aviary EULA That’s from the “summary” column, on the right side of a page that has the equivalent legalese on the other side.  It’s an example of a human way to present an end user license agreement (EULA), one of those legal documents that you have to assent to when you sign up for an online service.…

Oxford Literary Festival: George Orwell's son speaks for the first time about his father

What would it have been like to be brought up by George Orwell? Pretty grim, you might think. But you would be wrong. In June 1944, Orwell and his wife Eileen adopted a three-week-old boy whom they named Richard Horatio Blair (Eric Blair being Orwell’s real name). Now a retired engineer living happily in an immaculate house in a picture-book Warwickshire village, Blair has never publicised the fact that he…

TinEye Reverse Image Search

I generally discourage my students from delivering PowerPoint presentations, in part because they typically grab images from everywhere and anywhere, which is a practice I don’t want them to retain if they should start working for the student paper.  I prefer instead for students to post a richly linked blog entry (with links pointing directly to online sources, rather than copying chunks of online material into their own presentations).  My…

Dallas Police Department dropping police code for plain English

A minor disturbance is a 6, while a major disturbance is a 6X. A major accident is a 7X. An officer wanting to grab something to eat? That’s a 50. Got that? 10-4. (Understood.) Dallas police acknowledge there could be a slight learning curve for some officers and dispatchers. But they don’t anticipate issues, especially because the department already has practice using plain language. When Dallas housed Hurricane Katrina evacuees,…