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How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

Nova Express Stopped reading after two big errors (296 comments)

1. "In 1991, Andrew Rapport declared Microsoft the winner in the PC contest because Microsoft and Intel had harnessed the Asian supply chain and dramatically undercut the cost of the eccentric Steve Jobs’s Apple Mac." No, by 1991, it was John Scully's Mac, as Jobs was ousted in 1985.
2. "When Apple’s first notebook, the Macintosh 100, wasn’t embraced by consumers because it was two big, too heavy, and too expensive" No, that would have been the original Mac Portable (1989), which was all of those things. The Powerbook (not Macintosh) 100 was actually a very light ultra-portable.

Since author Steven Max Patterson and his editors couldn't be bothered to perform basic fact-checking, I stopped reading at that point...

about a month ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Nova Express Your forgot the part where they... (352 comments)

...funnel money to donors who then go bankrupt shortly after...

about a month ago
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Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

Nova Express Another Advantage for State Level Control (279 comments)

Without a top-down bureaucracy calling the shops, states can try 50 different methods to control the pandemic, and compare results to see who has the best one. They're not stuck mindlessly doing what Washington has dictated, even if it's wrong.

The CDC is swearing up and down Ebola can be transmitted by airborne infection, but what if they're wrong about this strain?

The federal government is much more likely than the states to continue a wrong course of action long after it's been proven a bad idea than the states. See also: Welfare, agribusiness subsidies, the food pyramid...

about a month and a half ago
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It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

Nova Express The Gulag Archieplago (410 comments)

Unlike the above books, it's non-fiction, and people were actually killed for the crime of reading it. ("In Soviet Russia...")

about a month ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Nova Express Did you go outside tourist Havana? (540 comments)

Michael Totten did, and he found a police state overseeing wrenching poverty, complete with shortages for essentials and goods of retched quality.

In short: Communism.

about 2 months ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Nova Express Overall death toll under communism: 100 Million (540 comments)

Let's not forget that the best estimates for the death of communist regimes killing their own people is right around 100 million people. Both The Black Book of Communism and R.J. Rummel's Death by Government come up with roughly the same number of people killed.

Communism is incompatible with both human rights and a healthy economy, and never has, never can, and never will meet the needs of its own people or offer better lives than those under capitalism.

Embargoes have nothing to do with it...

about 2 months ago
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Nova Express Postal is an Ideological Fanatic (454 comments)

The way he defines success and failure is framed to say all missile defense fails.

Iron Dome uses a combination of a proximity (radar activited) fuse and fragmentation. Sometimes the interceptor destroys the warhead. Sometimes it causes an explosion of the propellant which destroys the warhead. Sometimes it simply breaks the incoming missile or rocket into segments or destroys its ability to follow its planned ballistic path. According to Lloyd and Postol, if the warhead isn’t destroyed the interceptor failed.

You don’t need a Ph.D. to see the immense flaw in this logic: if someone fires a missile at you and you aren’t hit that is good news.

about 4 months ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

Nova Express Conservatives have been making the case... (474 comments)

...to end drug prohibition since at least 1996, on both practical and 10th Amendment grounds. Statists love the "War on Drugs" because it gives them more ways to control people.

Meanwhile, President Obama, the first president who openly admitted to using illegal drugs, has cracked down harder on medical marijuana and other uses of "choom" far harder than Bush ever did.

about 4 months ago
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One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

Nova Express Not if you're the IRS... (396 comments)

...and you want to prevent those nosy congressmen pawing through your emails looking for felonies...

about 5 months ago
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Tech Worker Groups Boycott IBM, Infosys, Manpower

Nova Express I'd be more impressed if I heard of any of them (234 comments)

"Bright Future Jobs, the Programmers Guild and WashTech."

Who, who, and who?

As of August 1999, the Programmers Guild had 400 members. Mighty important organization there, if you can't be bothered to offer membership numbers from this century. Which, to be fair, looks to be the last time their web page look was updated.

As far as I can tell, "Bright Future Jobs" is one person Donna Conroy.

WashTech is a union. No thanks.

I suspect that IBM, Infosys and Manpower won't even notice their "boycott."

about 6 months ago
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The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence

Nova Express Translation (255 comments)

"People didn't like my original piece and had points of view that disagreed with my own. Therefore they're wrong. Now I'll just double-down by calling my critics idiots whose ideas are based of science fiction stereotypes. Then I'll just wait for my critics to admit they were wrong and finally get around to praising my obvious genius."

about 6 months ago
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Swedish Fare Dodgers Organize Against Transportation Authorities

Nova Express Turnstile Jumping and Broken Windows Policing (389 comments)

New York City's crackdown on turnstile jumping was part of the Giuliani Administrations implementation of broken window policing. But reducing low level disorder and misdemeanor crime, broken windows policing makes the law abiding residents of neighborhoods feel safer.

"A government’s inability to control even a minor crime like graffiti signaled to citizens that it certainly couldn’t handle more serious ones."

Stopping and arresting turnstile jumpers in particular frequently turned up wanted felons, parole violators, and gangbangers with illegal guns. Arresting them not only took criminal predators, off the streets, it encouraged other criminals to leave their guns at home for fear of having them confiscated. This further reduced their abilities to commit criminal acts in places like subways, and reduced criminal gun incidents when members of rival gangs would bump into each other.

about 6 months ago
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AMD Preparing To Give Intel a Run For Its Money

Nova Express Because fabs can run $10 billion each (345 comments)

Actually running your own fab can give you tremendous economies of scale if you know you'll be running you part (or its die shrink successors) 24/7/365. The per chip costs are going to be lower.

But to build a state-of-the-art, 300mm, 14-nm fab with all the latest process technology can run you $10 billion. AMD doesn't have enough mnoney to make those bets anymore, and few companies do.

Going with a foundry means you earn less profit per chip sold, but it also let's you avoid that $10 billion up-front investment.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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The Film Event of the Year: SHARKNADO

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  about a year ago

Nova Express (100383) writes "Tonight, the long wait is finally over, as one of the most anticipated movie events of the year, if not the century, makes it's debut. I'm speaking, of course, about Sharknado . It premiers tonight at 9 PM ET on the SyFy Channel, though its direct to TV debut will deprive it of all its rightful Oscar nominations. In other Sharknado related news, Moe Lane wonders if people have prepared themselves spiritually for the glory that is Sharknado ("After 100 years of filmmaking, we’ve reached the summit...recognize the divine when you’re in its presence"), and here's a look at the geniuses at The Asylum who produced this masterpiece of modern cinema. Trailer below the fold."
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SF Writer Sees The Hobbit Dressed as Galadriel for Charity

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  about 2 years ago

Nova Express writes "Science fiction writer John Kessel declared that "nobody could pay me enough money to go see The Hobbit. Well, maybe someone could, but nobody is going to.” The Internet being what it is, different levels of challenges were quickly instituted to raise funds for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's of America's Emergency Medical Fund. $2,500 later, Kessel saw the movie. Dressed as Galadriel. And yes, there are pics."
Link to Original Source
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Margaret Atwood Launches SF Magazine

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Nova Express writes "Today Margaret Atwood, with financial backing from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Scotiabank Giller Prize, announced she was launching a new science fiction magazine, Loquacious Cephalopod. . “I’ve always been gratified by the unconditional love I’ve received from the science fiction community for works such as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin," she said, "and Loquacious Cephalopod is a way to return that love." The first issue has already lined up some very big SF writers, including Greg Egan and Jerry Pournelle."
Link to Original Source
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SOPA Sponsor Lamar Smith Gets Primary Challenger

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Nova Express writes "Though general public outrage caused the House shelve consideration of SOPA (and the Senate to shelve PIPA), SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) continues to support the bill, saying that "The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store" and saying SOPA just needs to be reworked. Further, Smith is still sponsoring another bill, the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (HR 1981), which would impose fairly onerous Internet data retention and tracking provisions for ISPs. In light of that, several Republican groups opposed to SOPA have been calling for a primary challenge to Smith for the Texas 21st Congressional District. Now a primary challenger has come forth in the person of former Sheriff Richard Mack, most famous in the gun rights community for his role in a lawsuit that got key provisions of the Brady Bill overturned. But Mack will have an uphill race, since Smith has more than $1.3 million in campaign funds on hand."
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Obama Nominates RIAA Lawyer for Solicitor General

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Nova Express writes ""President Barack Obama nominated former Recording Industry Association of America lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. on Monday to serve as the nation’s solicitor general." Verrilli's most notable cases have been killing Grokster and fighting YouTube on behalf of Viacom. I would say "Meet the new boss, same as he old boss," but since Bush never nominated an RIAA Lawyer for Solicitor General, I'd have to say that in this instance he's actually worse."
Link to Original Source
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Project Gutenberg Pirating In-Copyright SF

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Nova Express writes "Recently a lot of science fiction stories from the 1950s and 60s (including work from still-living authors like Frederik Pohl and Jack Vance) have been showing up on Project Gutenberg as being in the public domain. However, according the science fiction writer Greg Bear and his wife Astrid Anderson Bear (daughter of Poul Anderson, some of whose works were among those put up) Project Gutenberg has made a mistake: 'After conducting legal research on the LEXIS database of legal cases, decisions, and precedents, we have demonstrated conclusively that PG was making incorrect determinations regarding public domain status in many, many works that originally appeared in magazine form...In general, Project Gutenberg is doing a tremendous service by making available texts that have truly long since fallen out of copyright, but they are clearly overstepping their original mandate. They are not merely exploiting orphan works, but practicing a wholesale kidnapping of works that are under copyright protection.'"
Link to Original Source
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Congress to Consider Domain-Blocking COICA Bill

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  about 4 years ago

Nova Express writes "If you thought Congress was finished doing the bidding of copyright holders, guess again. "Congress is set to once again consider the Sen Leahy's Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeit Act, a truly awful bill (with the appropriately awful acronym 'COICA'...The bill would allow the Attorney General to institute an in rem action against the domain name of any Internet site 'dedicated to infringing activities,' defined to include any site that 'engages in' copyright or trademark-infringing activities where those activities, 'taken together,' are 'central to the activity' of the site. The court would then be authorized to issue injunctions, not against the offending website, but against 'the domain name' itself, ordering the domain name registrar where the target site's domain name was registered, and the domain name registry responsible for maintaining the authoritative database of names for the target site's top-level domain, to 'lock out' the domain name (and therefore prevent access to the site through use of the domain name). The court could also enjoin any of the thousands of Internet Service Providers, or any 'operator of a nonauthoritative domain name server' (a category that includes virtually all ISPs or operators of networks linked to the Internet), ordering them to 'take technically feasible and reasonable steps designed to prevent [the] domain name from resolving to that domain name's Internet protocol address'""
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WisCon disinvites Elizabeth Moon as GoH over Islam

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Nova Express writes "WisCon, a Wisconsin science fiction convention, has disinvited next year's Guest of Honor Elizabeth Moon over comments about 9/11 and the Ground Zero Mosque she made on her blog. Moon is a popular Nebula-award-winning author, as well as an ex-Marine. WisCon states that their convention "encourages discussion, debate and extrapolation of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class." Evidently certain types of debate are not allowed."
Link to Original Source
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Apple Overtakes Microsoft in Market Cap

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Lawrence Person writes "In one of the most remarkable turnarounds in business history, Apple has overtaken rival Microsoft as both the largest tech company in the world, and as the second largest company in the world in market capitalization, trailing only ExxonMobile. "As of Wednesday's close, Apple's market capitalization was $222.12 billion, slipping past Microsoft's $219.18 billion value." Also, observations that Microsoft is a far more profitable company than Apple are badly out of date: "Apple has almost caught up with Microsoft in terms of revenue. In fiscal 2000, Microsoft's revenue of $22.9 billion was roughly three times Apple's. This fiscal year, Microsoft is expected to generate revenue of $61.65 billion and Apple $59 billion." This reversal of Apple's fortunes under Steve Jobs must irk not only Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, but also pro-Microsoft tech pundits, many of whom have repeatedly predicted Apple's outright demise."
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The Science (or lack thereof) of Iron Man 2

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Nova Express writes "Howard Waldrop and I reviewed Iron Man 2 over at Locus Online. Though we enjoyed the film, I spent a fair amount of time explaining how it not only strains scientific plausibility, but breaks it and stomps on the pieces until they're kindling. For example: the particle accelerator Tony Stark builds in his basement in about a day, which includes an optical prism to bend the beam, despite the fact prisms bend light, not streams of accelerated matter. I also go into more detail on the issue in my blog, where I talk about the inherently looser scientific underpinnings of comic book heroes, and how the "anything goes" ethos of something like the sprawling Marvel Universe strains credibility further. "If you’re watching a film about a man who can build a miniature fusion reactor the size of a smoke detector out of scrap metal, at what point can you really step off Mr. Toad’s Deeply Unlikely Ride?""
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Stross, Doctorow to pen sequel to Atlas Shrugged

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Nova Express writes "Locus Online is reporting that Prometheus Award-winning SF writers Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow have been selected to write Atlas Rebound, an authorized sequel to Ayn Rand best-selling novel Atlas Shrugged. "Atlas Rebound features the teenage children of the founders of Galt's Gulch rebelling against their elders and traveling out into a world devastated by John Galt's strike, where they develop their own political philosophy with which to rebuild.""
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SF Writer J. G. Ballard dead at 78

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Lawrence Person writes "The BBC is reporting that science fiction writer J. G. Ballard has died at age 78. Ballard had been fighting terminal prostate cancer since 2006. His is probably most famous to the public at large for his autobiographical novel The Empire of the Sun, which told the fictionalized story of his growing up in a Japanese internment camp near Shanghai during World War II, and was made into an acclaimed Stephen Spielberg film. His controversial novel Crash was also made into an equally controversial David Cronenberg film. Before finding mainstream success, Ballard was best known as probably the most influential writer in the British New Wave of science fiction, which incorporated many experimental literary techniques and tackled many topics (such as sex) that had generally not been touched on in "golden age" science fiction. He published several acclaimed novels in the field, including The Crystal World, The Drowned World, The Wind from Nowhere, and High Rise, as well as numerous influential short stories, many of which were published in the Michael Moorcock-edited New Worlds. His autobiography, Little Miracles of Life: From Shanghai to Shepperton, came out last year."
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FBI Raids Data Centers for AT&T, take Wii, iPo

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Lawrence Person writes "Tuesday the FBI carried out raids on two Texas data centers, carrying off millions of dollars in co-lo equipment. What triggered the raid wasn't child porn or terrorism, but unpaid VoIP bills to Verizon and AT&T. "Companies affected by the raids say they've lost millions of dollars in equipment and business after the FBI hauled off gear belonging to phone and VoIP providers, a credit card processing company and other businesses that housed equipment at the centers. Nobody has been charged in the FBI's investigation." It gets stranger: "Authorities also raided his home, where they seized eight iPods, some belonging to his three children, five XBoxes, a PlayStation3 system and a Wii gaming console, among other equipment. Agents also seized about $200,000 from the owner's business accounts, $1,000 from his teenage daughter's account and more than $10,000 in a personal bank account belonging to the elderly mother of his former comptroller.""
Link to Original Source
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Mashup Frenzy Sweeps SF Publishing

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Lawrence Person writes "The forthcoming publication of Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has set off a mashup frenzy, with publishers buying up similar books left and right. Books to be published include Henry James and Laurell K. Hamilton's The Portrait of a Lady and Vampires, which the publisher describes as being "exactly like the original, but with several hundred additional pages of kinky sex," Feodor Dostoevsky and Stephen King's Crime and Punishment and Werewolves, George Eliot and Paul Di Filippo's Silas Marner vs. The Lizard Men, Leo Tolstoy and Jeff VanderMeer's War and Peace and Alien and Predator, James Joyce and Aaron Allston's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Terminator, and Herman Melville, H. P. Lovecraft, August Derleth and Brian Lumley's Moby Dick vs. Cthulhu. A Creationist publisher is also bringing out The Bible, Now With Added Dinosaur Attacks. "Since the earth is only 6,000 years old, it's obvious that several biblical characters must have fought dinosaurs.""
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Difficult Times for SF Magazines

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Lawrence Person writes "Another speculative fiction magazine folds: Realms of Fantasy is ceasing publication. This comes hot on the heels of the announcement that the venerable Fantasy and Science Fiction will be moving from a monthly to a bimonthly schedule, and underscores what a tough environment this is for science fiction and fantasy magazines, all of which have suffered declining circulation for quite some time. This is a real problem, since short fiction is generally where new writers cut their teeth, appearing in print alongside their more famous peers. Given that a one-year subscription costs less than the average video game, those with an interest in science fiction might want to consider buying subscriptions to Asimov's , Fantasy and Science Fiction , and Analog . (Those in the UK might want to consider subscribing to Interzone and/or Black Static and Postscripts as well.) The genre you save may be your own!"
Link to Original Source
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Red Dwarf to Return, Find Earth

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Lawrence Person writes "Everyone's favorite live-action science fiction comedy series will finally return to TV, with Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and the Cat all making it to Earth. The new two-part series Red Dwarf: Back to Earth will appear on digital channel Dave, will be written and directed by Red Dwarf co-creator Doug Naylor, and will reunite the line-up. Personally, I think this is pretty smegging fantastic."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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eBay jacks up fees, removes negative buyer feedback

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 6 years ago Last week, in response to widespread complaints from users, incoming eBay CEO John Donahoe promised lower listing fees. Now eBay has released their new fee schedule for 2008, and listing fees for items under $25 have been lowered by a whopping nickel. Meanwhile, final value fees in the same range have been increased by 3.50%, from 5.25% to 8.75%. So, to put it in concrete terms, if you sell an item for $20, instead of paying $1.65 ($.60 listing fee + $1.05 final value fee), you'll now pay $2.30 ($.55 listing fee + $1.75 final value fee). Wow, thanks a lot for that "price break," John. Listing fees have been decreased more for higher-priced items, but not nearly enough to offset the price hike. Moreover, there have been additional changes made to the feedback structure as well, including this gem: "Buyers will only be able to receive positive Feedback." What could possibly go wrong?

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eBay Forcing Sellers to Upgrade Paypal Accounts

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 9 years ago I don't know why Slashdot rejected this submission, so here it is:

Paypal (which is owned by eBay) is now forcing all eBay sellers to accept credit cards through Paypal. "Beginning August 19, 2005, if you sell on eBay and offer PayPal, your PayPal account must accept all forms of payment including payments made via credit card, regardless of whether you display the PayPal logo with credit card icons. You must have a Premier or Business PayPal Account or be willing to upgrade from a Personal PayPal Account to a Premier or Business Account if you receive a credit card payment. You may not communicate to eBay buyers (e.g. via your eBay item description) that you only accept, or will not accept, specific forms of PayPal payment." Because Business and Premier accounts charge a fee to receive any funds, this means eBay/Paypal will receive a chunk of every Paypal transaction payment you receive going forward, no matter whether it was for eBay or a credit card, and no matter whether the seller already had another (possibly cheaper) way to process credit cards. Frankly, eBay sales have been on such a steady decline over the last two years, a lot of sellers have been considering switching to selling through Amazon or using using Google adwords. I susect this will make the choice to leave eBay a lot easier for many people.

And of course, I continue to sell books directly through Lame Excuse Books.

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An Astroturfing Story Slashdot Rejected

Nova Express Nova Express writes  |  more than 10 years ago Evidently, Astroturfing is only important if done by Microsoft; when it's carried out by Slashdot's darlings on the left, it ceases to be news.

Moveon.org has been Astroturfing for Michael Moore's Farenheit 911:

http://jcrue.blogspot.com/2004/07/read-what-moore-supporters-said-and.html

In fact, you can reach the Astroturfing page yourself. What's even more amusing: You can use it to send letters to newspapers telling them they've been Astroturfed!

http://www.moveonpac.org/lte/

And just in case it disappears, here's the Google cache confirming its existence: http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:vYVyXcWc2VYJ:www.moveonpac.org/lte/lte.html%3Fi%3D3004-3347291-3fIxrHkoVHPIERwEN8WIxA%26lte_campaign_id%3D2%26zip%3D06118++%22You+can+counter+their+spin+and+encourage+others+to+see+the+film+by+writing+a+letter-to-the-editor+that+gives+your+perspective+on+the+movie.%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8.

Props to National Review Online's always great The Corner for point out the story:

http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/corner.asp

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