Reporters say White House sometimes demands changes to press-pool reports

The decades-old White House press pool was created as a practical compromise between the news media and the nation’s chief executive: Instead of having a mob of journalists jostling to cover the president at every semi-public function, a handful of reporters are designated to act as proxies, or “poolers,” for the entire press corps. Poolers are chosen on a rotating basis from among regular White House correspondents, and they typically…

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BP Lawyers Cheat by Adjusting Line Spacing in a Legal Brief

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier was not amused. In his ruling Monday, Barbier issued an order and then reminded BP’s lawyers that their brief was supposed to be limited to 35 pages, double-spaced: “BP’s counsel filed a brief that, at first blush, appeared just within the 35-page limit. A closer study reveals that BP’s counsel abused the page limit by reducing the line spacing to slightly less than double-spaced.…

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A Prof Debunks Standardized Testing & Pearson Strikes Back

All this emphasis on standardized testing in the schools sure makes lots of sense to the purveyors of standardized tests. Stroup testified that for $468 million the Legislature had bought a pile of stress and wasted time from Pearson Education, the biggest player in the standardized-testing industry. Lest anyone miss that Stroup’s message threatened Pearson’s hegemony in the accountability industry, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen) brought Stroup’s testimony to a…

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Should your grieving mum see your digital secrets?

A US state has passed a law that will give the family of a deceased person access to their Twitter, Facebook and email accounts just as if they were physical assets. Delaware’s “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act” grants heirs and the executor of the will the same powers over digital accounts or devices as over physical assets like a house or cash. The law grants access…

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In Ferguson, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery gives account of his arrest

Comedian Robin Williams and actress Lauren Bacall died. That news made me sad. Reporters from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post were arrested last night by police who refused to provide their badge numbers. The reporters were covering the ongoing tension between police and crowds protesting the death of an unarmed teenager, who police say resisted arrest, but who witnesses say was shot in the back with his hands…

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Why Hoboken is Throwing Away All of its Student Laptops

Untrained teachers. Damage-prone machines. OS bogged down with ineffective security software. The whole town clogged the school’s WiFi. What an expensive disaster! “There is no more determined hacker, so to speak, than a 12-year-old who has a computer,” said Crocamo. All this security software also bogged down the computers. Teachers complained it took 20 minutes for them to boot up, only to crash afterwards. Often, there was too little memory…

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Russia Conspiracy Theories Trap Putin Malaysia Airlines MH17

An old journalism joke suggests that, during the Cold War, the USSR state-run news agency reported the results of a two-car race this way: “Soviet car finishes second; Americans next-to-last.” In a culture without a free press, the official story is the only story. Did you know that the crash of MH17 was all part of an American conspiracy to provoke a big war with Russia? Well, it’s all true—at…