Jul 25, 2016

MMMM # 545 -- The Not Really News News Site

Back to the The "Alabama News Center" again!

     I posted previously ---on July 11---about a web site that poses as a "news site" but is really a PR page.
     I reported that the site originally had a grayed-out reference to Alabama Power as a sponsor, but it had been changed to a more clearly visible "Alabama Department of Commerce".

    UPDATE: Now it has changed back to the original hidden producer name...Alabama Power. But  you would never know that unless you look carefully. It is again grayed out, top right on the main page.
     Utilities have the right, and maybe the obligation, to inform  customers about issues.
     But why hide behind a name like "Alabama News Center". Why not call it "Alabama Powers's News Center" so visitors know they are reading a biased report on the news? And what was up with the oh so brief Alabama Commerce Department sponsorship?


     How did the media get the name D.B. Cooper within hours of the celebrated skyjacking? The Columbia Journalism Review has the story. "Cooper" hijacked a passenger plane in 1971 and parachuted out it with his hijack money. And he was never seen again. Now we at least know how he came to be identified (falsely) as D.B. Cooper.


[The Monday Morning Media Memo is a longstanding regular feature of www.TimLennox.com] 


Jul 24, 2016

Sunday Focus: An Alabama Lottery.

     When Montgomery's founders established the first public school in the city, they paid for it by using proceeds from a lottery.
     These days Alabama is one of the few states with a ban on lotteries.
     Every now and then, a constitutional amendment allowing a state lottery somehow gets through the Alabama House and Senate and is sent to the people for a vote. 

   That's when the real battle begins. Anti-lottery forces---usually a strange coalition of preachers and people already running some form of gambling in or near the state--- will pay for ads that warn Alabamians to vote against it, with a sudden concern for the poor and less-educated who, they say, will spend their baby food money buying the tickets.
      But Gallup came out with a poll on Friday showing the poor are less likely than the wealthy to buy lottery tickets, and people with less education are also less likely to play the lottery.

HERE is the poll.

     The Alabama House Minority Leader says he will introduce two gambling bills in the 2017 Regular Session in February. One is a lottery bill.

[Sunday Focus is a regular feature of www.TimLennox.com]

Jul 23, 2016

SOON from Medicare: Your Hospital's Ratings.

"The government says the ratings, which will award between one and five stars to each hospital, will be more useful to consumers than its current mishmash of more than 100 individual metrics, many of which deal with technical matters. The hospital industry, however, fears the ratings will be misleading and oversimplify the many types of care at the institutions." (KHN Medical)

 KHN has the full story HERE.

Duke Running for U.S. Senate in Louisianna

“I believe my time has come,” he said after submitting his paperwork. He added: “The people of this country, the patriotic, decent, God-fearing people of this country are now right with me.”
Duke said he’s espoused principles for years that are similar to the themes Republicans are now supporting in Donald Trump’s campaign, on issues such as immigration and trade.
                                                                                          Former KKK leader David Duke
                                                                                                             The Washington Post


Do You Own a Home or Condo on the Gulf Coast?


  The Alabama Insurance Commissioner's office is offering a free guide to property insurance on the coast. 
   That's been a challenge as prices have risen significantly in recent years, with some policies limiting water/storm coverage.


Saturday Data: The Translation is RIP VHS Tapes.

VHSビデオ機の生産に幕 国内勢最後の船井電機、月内終了

日本経済新聞 朝刊
 船井電機はVHS方式の家庭用ビデオテープレコーダー(録画再生機)の生産を7月末で終了する。パナソニックなど国内の主要家電メーカーは生産を 終えており、船井電機だけが続けていたという。市場の縮小に加え、部品の調達が困難になったため、撤退を決めた。これまで中国…

     Funai Electric, the last remaining Japanese company to make them, announced they will stop producing VCR machines because of lower sales. In addition, they say it is too difficult for them to get parts.

     One reviewer commented that what he misses about the old format tapes is the experience of looking at them in a video store, guided by the clerks, some of whom became experts in odd genres and rare films. 

    Mental Floss reports there is a booming market in collecting VHS movies....so don;t be too quick to toss them out!