Tag Archives | California

‘Do Not Track Me Online’ Privacy Bill Introduced

Photo: Nokia Releases (CC)

Photo: Nokia Releases (CC)

Tired of spam e-mails and unwanted pop-ups? This bill will create regulations as to how marketers obtain information about you without your knowledge. The bill still allows web users the option to be tracked by advertisers, just in case you enjoy having marketing companies target you.  Los Angeles Times reports:

The first “do not track” legislation was introduced in Congress on Friday, raising the possibility that Web users will be able to prevent advertisers from recording their online behavior for marketing purposes, similar to the Do Not Call Registry created in 2003.

The bill, called the “Do Not Track Me Online Act of 2011,” would give the Federal Trade Commission the right to create regulations that would force online marketers to respect the wishes of users who did not want to be tracked.

“Failure to do so would be considered an unfair or deceptive act punishable by law,” noted a statement from the office of Rep.

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The New Breed Of Pot Entrepreneurs

joint_300x200Welcome to a world in which suburban, big-box superstores sell all things marijuana-related. With pot nearly decriminalized in California, will the burgeoning retail chain weGrow become the Wal-Mart of weed? From Mother Jones:

On a Sunday in early October, Dhar Mann threw a party at weGrow, his hydroponic marijuana superstore in Oakland, California. Trailed by a three-person video crew from Hempire, the reality-show pilot he’s costarring in, Mann gave sound bites to a pack of reporters as he strutted past Ikea-style displays showcasing products for every stage of indoor cannabis cultivation—from Sun Pulse lightbulbs to $700 grow tents and Bud Candy plant nutrients. “It’s the whole supply chain,” said the fauxhawked 26-year-old, self-assured in a tailored gray suit and red silk tie.

Two years ago, Mann says, he had never seen a pot plant. Today, he envisions weGrow becoming the “Wal-Mart of Weed,” a vertically integrated chain of big-box stores perfectly positioned to cash in on California’s booming marijuana industry as it moves from the shadows to the mainstream.… Read the rest

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San Francisco Bans McDonald’s Happy Meal

San Francisco has enacted a law prohibiting restaurants from giving toys away with high-fat and sugary meals, including the American staple: the Happy Meal. This was done in hopes that children won’t opt for unhealthy food just because they receive a toy as well. The New York Daily News reports:

The McDonald’s Happy Meal went the way of Prop. 19 in San Francisco Tuesday when the city’s board of supervisors voted to forbid restaurants from offering toys with meals that contain too much fat and sugar.

Restaurants would also need to provide fruits and vegetables with meals that come with free toys. The city said the measure was an effort to combat childhood obesity.

“We’re part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice,” Supervisor Eric Mar told the Los Angeles Times. “From San Francisco to New York City, the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country is making our kids sick, particularly kids from low income neighborhoods, at an alarming rate.”

The rule, scheduled to take effect in December, says that restaurants may include a toy with a meal it contains fewer than 600 calories – food and drink combined — and if less than 35% of the calories come from fat, The Times reported.

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California: Legalize Marijuana … on Tuesday!

From Kevin Booth, director of How Weed Won the West:
Californians: Are you voting no on Prop 19? We're not preaching to the choir. Don't be willfully ignorant and vote against your best interests this Tuesday. Prop 19 does NOT interfere with Prop 215 and the current medical marijuana laws. Cannabis will never be legalized by the general public without a tax attached to it. VOTE YES ON PROP 19!
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Zach Galifianakis Smokes a Joint on Bill Maher’s Show (Video)

Zach GalifianakisOn last night's Real Time with Bill Maher, the panel discussed the lack of Democratic support forCalifornia's Proposition 19 (Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010). "It's a tricky thing, politically, to jump on that bandwagon because I think that maybe people see it as taboo still," Zach said, and then pulled a cigarette from his jacket pocket and lit it. He took a drag and then passed it across the table to Fox News correspondent Margaret Hoover, who smelled the cigarette, laughed and nodded, and handed it back. Galifianakis then took a couple more puffs and shouted, "Oh my God, look at those dragons!"
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Dictionary Contains Dirty Words: SoCal Parents Move to Protect Children After Shocking Discovery

Source: Booksworm (CC)

Source: Booksworm (CC)

This from Alison Flood at The Guardian:

Dictionaries have been removed from classrooms in southern California schools after a parent complained about a child reading the definition for “oral sex”.

Merriam Webster’s 10th edition, which has been used for the past few years in fourth and fifth grade classrooms (for children aged nine to 10) in Menifee Union school district, has been pulled from shelves over fears that the “sexually graphic” entry is “just not age appropriate”, according to the area’s local paper.

The dictionary’s online definition of the term is “oral stimulation of the genitals”. “It’s hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we’ll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature,” district spokeswoman Betti Cadmus told the paper.

While some parents have praised the move – “[it’s] a prestigious dictionary that’s used in the Riverside County spelling bee, but I also imagine there are words in there of concern,” said Randy Freeman – others have raised concerns.

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The Cult Of Indoor Weed

Female cannabis flower. Photo: Alapoet (CC)

Female cannabis flower. Photo: Alapoet (CC)

Is marijuana grown indoors really worth double the cost of plants grown outside? Sam Quinones reports for the Los Angeles Times from Arcata, California:

About the time the wholesale price of pot hit $4,000 a pound, Tony Sasso bought a bulldozer and an excavator and dug a massive hole on his ranch in eastern Mendocino County.

Then he bought four metal shipping containers and buried them in the hole. Inside the containers, Sasso installed 32 1,000-watt lights, a ventilation system and plumbing – all of it powered by a 60-kilowatt generator. His subterranean plantation produced 60 pounds of pot every 56 days, the time it took to turn a crop. They were popular strains, with names like Blueberry, Herojuana, White Widow and Big Red.

He’d begun growing pot as a teenager in the mid-1980s, when police helicopters forced growers to hide their plants indoors. Going underground was the next logical step, to shield the lights from the infrared sensors of law enforcement.

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Gubernatorial Candidate Arrested Outside Debate Tuesday Night

Laura Wells in Sacramento

Laura Wells in Sacramento

From the San Jose Mercury News:

As gubernatorial hopefuls Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown sparred off on stage at Tuesday night’s debate, another candidate for California’s top post was arrested for trying to enter the debate using another person’s ticket, San Rafael police said.

Oakland resident and Green Party candidate Laura Wells, 62, attempted to enter Dominican University’s Angelico Hall at 5:20 p.m. when she presented a ticket that police said was not issued to her.

For security reasons, tickets to the event were numbered, coded and checked by campus security before ticket holders were admitted to the debate hall.

Police said Wells refused to cooperate with campus security when they requested she surrender the ticket.

Wells became argumentative and refused to leave the area, police said, even after she was warned that if she persisted she would be subject to a citizen’s arrest because she was on private property.

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Google’s Self-Driving Cars Are On California Roads (Now!)

While it's entirely possible that Google's AI cars are actually better driven than many of the human-controlled vehicles they are sharing the roads with, I'm kind of glad I'm not in California! John Markoff reports on the latest scariness from Google for the New York Times:
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Anyone driving the twists of Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles recently may have glimpsed a Toyota Prius with a curious funnel-like cylinder on the roof. Harder to notice was that the person at the wheel was not actually driving. The car is a project of Google, which has been working in secret but in plain view on vehicles that can drive themselves, using artificial-intelligence software that can sense anything near the car and mimic the decisions made by a human driver...
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