Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

16 June 2008

Showcase (story) Showdown

Time's short today, so here's a rapid-fire roundup of interesting nuggets from the weekend papers.

Click, click, clickclickclickclick: "After decades languishing in the trunks of squad cars, the Taser, the handgun-shaped device that incapacitates people with a pulsating electrical current, is getting a chance at a higher profile in the New York Police Department." [NYT]

Ah, Key West, how I miss ye: "More than 30 years ago, Mallory Square was just a wooden dock where the locals would come to drink, do drugs and perform as the sun dipped to dark. The nightly Sunset Celebration, as it is known, 'was just one of those island parties you happened to stumble into,' said Will Soto, who has been juggling here since the early 1970s." [NYT]

Their prices will be in-sayayayaya-ne: "Comcast said that it would expand on a strategy it uses to manage Internet traffic: slowing down the connections of the heaviest users, so-called bandwidth hogs, at peak times." [NYT]

So, we need to lie to the kids in Iraq then, huh?: “'The biggest factor in a man’s ability to perform credibly as a prisoner of war is a strong belief in the correctness of his nation’s foreign policy,' Mr. McCain wrote in a 1974 essay submitted to the National War College and never released to the public." [NYT]

Yet they still voted for his puppet candidate. Strange world, indeed: "The head of Pennsylvania's Ethics Commission says the allegations against State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo (D., Phila.), if true, amount to wrongdoing 'grossly exceeding in scope' any past misconduct examined by the panel." [Inquirer]

More from the Obama event Bride and I attended: "On Saturday, Mr. Obama shed his tie for a campaign event near Philadelphia, where he first met privately with a local family struggling to pay its bills, and then spoke to supporters about rising gasoline prices. 'This is good, this is a relatively small group,' Mr. Obama said, his eyes scanning the room approvingly, 'which means I can get through a decent percentage of the questions that are asked.'" [NYT]

Michael Nutter, union foe?: Judging by his comments on Day One of the since-resolved SEPTA transit police strike, answer's yes ... "The transit officers mostly patrol the Broad Street Subway and the Market-Frankford Line. They want the same pay as officers in the Philadelphia Police Department; city police officers start at about $39,000 a year, compared to $30,752 for a transit officer. 'If you want to be paid like a Philly police officer, join the Philly police force,' Nutter said." [Inqurier]

And finally...
It's Tubes!: Vanity Fair put together a comprehensive oral history of the Internet's creation. You might not have heard about it on account of the fact that everybody was paying attention to Billy Boy Clinton's gripes with the (rather compelling and probably more accurate than he'd care for you to believe) piece about him in the same issue. As with any story about the Tubes, it takes its shots at the newspaper landscape...

Vinod Khosla created Sun Microsystems with Stanford classmates Scott McNealy and Andy Bechtolsheim, and Bill Joy. He later joined the venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Silicon Valley’s premier investment shops.
Vinod Khosla: The media people essentially did not think the Internet would be important or disruptive. In 1996, I got together the C.E.O.’s of 9 of the 10 major newspaper companies in America in a single room to propose something called the New Century Network. It was the C.E.O.’s of The Washington Post and The New York Times and Gannett and Times Mirror and Tribune and I forget who else. They couldn’t convince themselves that a Google, a Yahoo, or an eBay would be important, or that eBay could ever replace classified advertising.


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