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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
February 13, 2014

MIT Mistakenly Tells Some Applicants They’ve Been Admitted

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology sent an e-mail to prospective students, erroneously telling them in a line at the bottom that they had been admitted.

The university doesn’t know how many people received the e-mail, although the number who noticed the line was probably “very small,” Chris Peterson, an admissions officer at the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based school, said on the admission department’s blog last week.

The mix-up happened when MIT combined two separate lists for an electronic mailing about financial aid. At the bottom was a footer that said “You are on this list because you are admitted to MIT,” according to Peterson. By merging the lists in a program called MailChimp, admissions officers mistakenly imported the footer from a list of students accepted under early admissions.

The note at the bottom was supposed to say “You are receiving this e-mail because you applied to MIT and we sometimes have to tell you things about stuff,” according to the blog.

Such mistakes are occurring more often across the country as university and college admissions offices rely more on electronic communication with prospective students.


February 13, 2014

It’s official: Apple sells more computers than all Windows PCs combined

Apple’s Mac desktops and laptops may still count for a fraction of the global market for PCs, but when you tally up all the computers (iPhones, iPads, etc.) on which people actually get things done, the number of computers sold by Apple exceeds the number of Windows-based PCs shipped worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Or as Andreessen Horowitz mobile analyst Benedict Evans put it:
This is a pretty good illustration of the scale of mobile: Apple limits itself only to the high end of the mobile market but still sells more units than the whole PC industry.
There are two ways of looking at this: One is to say, well, so what? What does it mean to compare these two very large numbers (mostly, how many iPhones Apple is selling) to the number of Windows PCs sold worldwide, when these are somewhat arbitrary device categories?
But the counter-argument is that the tasks we used to conduct on PCs are now being carried out on an ever-expanding variety of other devices, pretty much all of them mobile. And this trend will only accelerate: What share of the world’s “computers” will Apple ship when it unveils its (still rumored) iWatch?


February 13, 2014

Scarborough won't rule out 2016

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Wednesday that he hasn't closed the door on a 2016 presidential bid.

Asked by radio host Hugh Hewitt if he had ruled out running for president, Scarborough said he "won't rule anything out" and later added, "we'll see what happens."

"No, I won't rule anything out. I've always said and I've always been open about the fact that the greatest job I ever had and the greatest honor I've ever had was being in the House of Representatives," the former Florida congressman said. "It was an absolute thrill and I had to get out because I had young children to raise and I wanted to be back home in Pensacola. No, I've always said I wanted to get back in. It's just a matter of time. We'll see what happens."

Though Scarborough has floated the idea before, his name wasn't on anyone's shortlist until Bill Kristol, the founder of The Weekly Standard, dropped his name in a recent survey for POLITICO Magazine.

Few took Kristol's suggestion seriously -- "Scarborough will get a kick out of being on the list, but almost certainly won’t pull on the snow boots for a trip to Iowa or New Hampshire," the magazine's editors wrote -- except for The Daily Caller, which cited "sources" who said it was "widely believed at MSNBC" that Scarborough was "mulling a presidential bid."


February 12, 2014

Which credit card should I pay down with my tax return?

I've been back to work for less than a year after after being unemployed and racked up a sizable, though not gargantuan credit card balance, which I've been willing down for some time. And, it turns out, I am getting a decent tax return. Right now I have two card balance of roughly equal amounts. Card one has a 10.9% APR, but the balance is not large enough for it to hurt me. Card two currently has a 0% APR, but will hit as high as 18% if I don't get to work on it. Which one should I try to dent?

February 11, 2014

Wendy Davis' opponent compared Rio Grande Valley to 'Third World'

Offering unflattering comparisons of the heavily Hispanic Rio Grande Valley to the “third world” may not be the best way to cultivate Texas’ Latino vote.

The Republican candidate for Texas governor ruffled feathers across the state last week when he said that instances of law enforcement corruption in the Valley resembled “third-world country practices that erode the social fabric of our communities” -- a comment that drew immediate criticism from Democrats and Latino groups, who viewed the remark as based on an ethnic stereotype. A majority of the Rio Grande Valley’s residents are Mexican-American.

The controversy continued to simmer over the weekend. The Monitor, a newspaper in the border town of McAllen, published an editorial on Friday saying Abbott should apologize for his comments. The editors wrote that the paper was tired of seeing Hispanics portrayed “as the bogeymen of Texas.” They went on to issue a challenge:

[W]e view this incident as a potential defining moment in this year’s election. We call on all campaigns for statewide elective office -- especially Abbott’s probable rival in November, Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis -- to denounce these words or embrace them. Our numbers in the Valley dictate that we have a seat at the table in which public policy is fashioned. We demand to know the attitude of those with whom we are seated.


February 11, 2014

Another Florida Republican joins the Democratic Party

Less than two months after the Republican National Committee announced a multi-million dollar campaign to improve minority outreach, one of its state Hispanic directors is leaving the Republican Party altogether.

In a letter released by The Florida Nation on Monday, RNC State Director Of Florida Outreach Pablo Pantoja announced that he is changing his political affiliation to the Democratic Party.

"It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today," he wrote. "I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them."

Back in March, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced that the organization was investing $10 million to send hundreds of workers into Hispanic, black and Asian communities to improve standing with voters. Here in May, questions continue to linger whether a line of amendments proposed by Republican voices will derail immigration reform, and subsequently dampen chances for improving relations with minority voters.


February 11, 2014

Black Man in Jasper, Texas Found With Cut Throat And Missing Ear - Ruled ‘Accidental Overdose`.

Alfred Wright was a 28-year-old physical therapist, a “man of great faith,” and father of three sons. He grew up in Jasper, Texas along with four siblings, and a father who was both the town’s pastor and gym teacher. Friends described him as ambitious, clean-living, hard-working, fun-loving, brilliant and a wonderful father. He went missing for 18 days. He was found by volunteers and his father, stripped down to his shorts and one sock, with his throat cleanly slit and one ear missing.

he police recorded the cause of death as “accidental drug overdose.”

Alfred Wright was also a black man married to a pretty white woman…in small-town Texas.

Alfred’s truck broke down in a package store parking while he was on his way to see a patient. He called his wife Lauren, who called her parents; by the time they got there, he was gone. Lauren attempted to call him back, but all she heard when he picked up the phone was heavy breathing. The store clerk, who remembers Wright because he was dressed in scrubs, said he saw him tuck his phone into his sock (where it was later found) and take off jogging “of his own free will.”

Four days later, the Sherriff’s department called off the search for Alfred, saying they had “exhausted all of their resources.” His wife and family maintained that there was no way he’d just take off into the woods for no reason, especially in a town as racially tense as Jasper. Doubtless, they had in mind another incident that had taken place in 1998 about 45 minutes away, when a black man by the name of James Byrd was abducted, dragged behind a pickup, chopped to pieces and left in the Jasper cemetery — by three white men.


February 11, 2014

Nevada Officials Won't Defend Gay Marriage Ban

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada's attorney general and governor said Monday that they won't defend the state's gay marriage ban when it goes before a federal appeals court, saying that a recent court decision makes the state's arguments supporting its constitutional amendment "no longer defensible."

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, in a motion filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said Nevada's legal arguments defending the voter-approved prohibition aren't viable after the court's recent ruling that potential jurors cannot be removed from a trial during jury selection solely because of sexual orientation.

"After thoughtful review and analysis, the state has determined that its arguments grounded upon equal protection and due process are no longer sustainable," Masto said in a statement.

Nevada's move comes as the federal government and courts around the country in recent months have chipped away at laws the prohibit marriage and benefits for same-sex couples. In a one-month span from December to January, two federal judges struck down state bans on gay marriage for the same reason, concluding that they violate the U.S. Constitution's promise of equal protection under the law.


February 10, 2014

Candy Crowley, Guest: Blaming Hillary for Bill’s affair gives Republicans on Wall Street confidence

CNN host Candy Crowley and The Hill Associate Editor A. B. Stoddard on Sunday agreed that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was playing “smart politics” by blaming former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the affair her husband had while he was president.

Looking toward the 2016 presidential race, Paul began hammering the Clintons several weeks ago, saying that Hillary Clinton was unqualified to defend women’s rights because her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had cheated on her with an intern in the White House.

In one interview, Paul went as far as to accuse the former president of “violence” against women. And more recently, the Republican presidential hopeful declared that Bill Clinton should “return any contributions that Bill Clinton’s either raising for people or giving to people.”

“This is smart politics it seems to me,” Crowley told Stoddard on Sunday. “Here’s Rand Paul kind of expanding what his dad had, he’s got the libertarian side of him: He’ll take on drones, he’ll take on privacy, he’ll do that. Then, he’s got the social conservative side of him. I think that’s where this comes in.”

“He’s actually more in tune with the needs and the demographic liabilities Republican Party than most wannabe 2016 contenders,” Stoddard asserted. “He’s actually speaking right now to the Wall Street managerial wing of the party. It’s very worried that Chris Christie collapsed.”


February 10, 2014

Police: Teen Tricked Oklahoma Walmart Managers Out Of Nearly $30,000

NORMAN, Okla. (CBS Houston) – A 17-year-old scammed 3 Oklahoma Walmart stores out of nearly $30,000, reports KFOR-TV.

Police say the teen, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, conned the managers of those stores into thinking he was an employee.

At a Walmart in Moore, the teen “acted as if he was a general manager from another store,” says the police report. He told the managers he was doing an inventory before corporate higher ups came to inspect them after the holidays.

Surveillance cameras recorded the teen all alone in the cash room where he took “multiple bundles of cash, stuffing them inside his pockets and clothes,” says the report.


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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.
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