Settle with us or we’ll bankrupt you

From the annals of the RIAA’s war against the American people, via Mike Daisey:

Tammy Lafky has a computer at home but said she doesn’t use it. “I don’t know how,” the 41-year-old woman said, somewhat sheepishly. But her 15-year-old daughter, Cassandra, does. And what Cassandra may have done, like millions of other teenagers and adults around the world, landed Lafky in legal hot water this week that could cost her thousands of dollars.

Lafky, a sugar mill worker and single mother in Bird Island, a farming community 90 miles west of St. Paul, became the first Minnesotan sued by name by the recording industry this week for allegedly downloading copyrighted music illegally. The lawsuit has stunned Lafky, who earns $12 an hour and faces penalties that top $500,000. (…)

A record company attorney from Los Angeles contacted Lafky about a week ago, telling Lafky she could owe up to $540,000, but the companies would settle for $4,000. “I told her I don’t have the money,” Lafky said. “She told me to go talk to a lawyer and I told her I don’t have no money to talk to a lawyer.” Lafky said she clears $21,000 a year from her job and gets no child support.

Read the whole thing.

Bangor’s Bachelorette

This is sort of sweet, but mostly funny. A tantalizing snippet:

And the “getting to know” was much tamer than reality TV. Michaels and her dates went to local restaurants, roller rinks, sports centers and pool halls – often in groups. For one memorable date, she and six of the finalists, two on-air contest winners and Butler piled in a schoolbus and headed north to Saint John, New Brunswick, for a 50 Cent concert.

Anyone else wondering how 50 Cent keeps his street cred up at a concert in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada?

Just caught what I believe is the latest Bush/Chen…

Just caught what I believe is the latest Bush/Cheney campaign ad, with the tagline “John Kerry’s problem isn’t that people don’t know who he is…it’s that people do.”

Besides the fact that it’s a great line- could some of these bright Republican ad men go to work for The New York Times and/or CNN please- it seems surprising to me, in that it goes beyond the almost-tired “John Kerry flip-flops” line and makes reference to a newer idea: that Kerry does much better when he lays low (whether vacationing or having surgery).

This is an idea which has played much longer throughout the blogosphere, and much less in the major media- and even then, the MM’s cues were likely taken from blogs.

Stopdesign re-designs

Stopdesign– one of the two original inspirations for my argous transition into standards-compliant design practices- has scrapped their world-famous design in favor of a clear, leaner, whiter look.

Bowman’s new look is shocking, especially for him. While it may seem confusing for one of the early inventers of the rich, stylized capabilities of CSS to be “backtracking” towards a simplified design, he offers up some interesting behind-the-scenes that led to his decision.