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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

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Stupid laws

This is from our friend Mike Pinto
Bill Banning iPods In Crosswalks Slated For Albany
State Sen. Kruger: Electronic Devices Put Many In Danger

"We all seem to have one -- an iPod, a BlackBerry, a cell phone -- taking up more and more of our time, but can they make us too distracted to walk safely? Some people think so. If you use them in the crosswalk, your favorite electronic devices could be in the crosshairs. Legislation will be introduced in Albany on Wednesday to lay a $100 fine on pedestrians succumbing to what State Sen.Carl Kruger calls iPod oblivion."

Please contact your State senator and ask them to turn down this legislation:

Also please help me get this story on the front page of Digg by casting your vote:

Here are my talking points as to why this legislation is a bad idea:

- Laws Don’t Replace Common Sense
The proposed law is a good example of a “Nanny State” mindset, it plays into the false idea that passing a law can make people more alert before crossing the street. If this is the case wouldn’t we be better off spending our efforts on education instead?
- This Law Could Lead to Unchecked Racial Profiling
This legislation will take “Driving While Black” to the next level. Corrupt law enforcement officials will now be free to harass any minority member who is sporting headphones. And at $100 per fine, this legislation will disproportionately impact working class New Yorkers.

- Is the Real Issue iPods or Automobiles?
You read a story almost every other day of a New Yorker being killed by a careless truck driver, yet in many of those cases the cause of the death is a careless driver, not the pedestrian. In fact the concept of “an epidemic of iPod pedestrian deaths” is a straw-man issue as Senator Kruger hasn’t produced an scientific studies to back up his anecdotal evidence. In fact for all that we really know the wearing of sunglasses might cause more people to be killed, so should we then also ban sunglasses?
- Don’t Police Have More Important Things To Do?
Will the next terrorist attack slip by because there’s a police dragnet for people wearing iPods who are approaching stree corners? Shouldn’t we be focusing on crime and quality of life issues?
- iPods Encourage Exercise
New York City is facing an obesity crisis, so we need to do everything that we can to encourage people to take a stroll or a jog instead of hailing a cab. If iPods are making people get out more that can only improve the health of New Yorkers.
- New York State Needs to Embrace Technology
Music and media are essential to the economy of New York, and the fact is that this new medium generates much needed job growth. Perhaps Senator Kruger would gain a better understanding of this new medium if he took the step of adding podcasts to his website.

Michael Pinto
Very Memorable Design

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