Protesters Flying Grumpy Cat Banner Around Comcast Center

Above: The banner behind a plane flying around the Comcast Center today. Inset: A closeup of the message.

Above: The banner behind a plane flying around the Comcast Center today. Inset: A closeup of the message.

UPDATE: The activists behind the Grumpy Cat banner explain why they spent $7,000 on the stunt.

ORIGINAL: The group Demand Progress and two other organizations are flying a banner with Grumpy Cat on it around the Comcast Center today to gloat over yesterday’s FCC vote that affirmed new net neutrality rules.

The banner has a photo of Grumpy Cat and reads, “COMCAST: DON’T MESS WITH THE INTERNET.” The protest was organized by Demand Progress, Fight for the Future and Free Press. Read more »

You Can Own Guns Mayor Frank Rizzo Used to Own

Baby Hammerless .22 short caliber revolver previously owned by Frank Rizzo, via Stephenson's Auction

Baby Hammerless .22 short caliber revolver previously owned by Frank Rizzo, via Stephenson’s Auction

Stephenson’s Auction, a Southampton based auction house, is currently selling numerous firearms and Nazi war memorabilia at auction. Also included in this collection? Three pistols once owned by Mayor Frank Rizzo.

The guns come with certificates of authenticity that call Rizzo “A True Larger Than Life Legend in the History of a Great City.” They’re signed by Rizzo’s son, Frank Rizzo Jr., and were previously sold to a collector. Rizzo died in July 1991 while attempting another run for mayor.

Cindy Stephenson, who owns the auction house, told NBC 10 the guns came from the estate of a man who was “a big Rizzo admirer.” They certificates of authenticity came from a previous sale of the three guns. Read more »

Gov. Wolf to Obama: Help Prevent Oil Train Accidents

Photo Credit: AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma

Photo Credit: AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma

Every week, as many as 70 trains carrying crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken formation pass through Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf says. Many are en route to Philadelphia.

Wolf wrote a letter to President Barack Obama Friday, asking him for help preventing a tragic accident involving the trains. Here’s the letter:

Read more »

Man Robs Cosi Three Times, Gets 35 Years In Prison

Cosi at 235 South 15th Street, via Google Maps

Cosi at 235 South 15th Street, via Google Maps

Some people rob liquor stores. Others rob banks. And still others rob Cosis, the publicly traded restaurant chain with over 100 locations throughout the country. Such is the case with 29-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man Ramon Martinez, who robbed Cosi twice and attempted to rob the restaurant once more. Read more »

Why Net Neutrality Is Good for Comcast

COMCAST-TWILIGHT-jeff-fusco-940x540

So what if Thursday’s net neutrality vote by the FCC isn’t that big a deal for Comcast?

Yes, we know that Comcast wasn’t happy with the outcome. We know that lawsuits will ensue. We know that maybe (maybe) the Time Warner Cable merger is in question.

But  could the conventional wisdom be wrong?

The Christian Science Monitor says yes:

Despite the outcry, however, nothing about the way companies like Comcast and Verizon currently do business will change, at least in the near term. No ISP actually offers a “fast lane” for premium content, nor do they block or slow down certain websites. Financially, the specter of regulation hasn’t had much of an impact, either. A group of telecommunications CEOs sent the FCC a letter in May warning that governmental overreach could have an “investment-chilling effect.” But as Tim Wu pointed out in the New Yorker Thursday, stocks for broadband providers actually jumped after Mr. Wheeler first announced net neutrality rules on Feb. 4, and they’ve stayed high.

This is all par for the course when it comes to regulating communication, says Chip Pickering, CEO of COMPTEL, a lobbying group for Internet content providers, in a phone interview. He argues that the biggest telephone and cable companies have always opposed regulations that would create a more competitive field, from the breakup of AT&T in the 1980s to the overhaul of the Telecommunication Act in 1996. “Incumbent [companies] always oppose it,” he says, “but in every case their values increased and their services got better.” In five years, he argues, companies like Comcast and Verizon will have benefited as much as start-ups.

Read more »

Pa. Senate Eyes Low State Vaccination Rate

flu vaccine

Remember that Pew study showing Pennsylvania has the second-lowest vaccination rate in all the 50 states? The news didn’t go over so well in the Pennsylvania Senate.

The chamber’s Committee on Public Health and Welfare this week gave approval to a resolution calling for a study on how to increase youth vaccinations in the state. “According to the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition, approximately 23 percent of 2-year-olds in Pennsylvania are not up-to-date for the currently recommended vaccines,” Sen. Shirley Kitchen, a Philadelphia Democrat, said in a memo sponsoring the resolution. “The goal of this staff study is to improve public health by addressing issues that affect youth vaccination within our Commonwealth.
Read more »

Man Steals Desktop PCs From Port Richmond Walmart For Some Reason

Police are looking for a man who stole from a Port Richmond Walmart. Soon, they hope to tell him, “Dude, you’re getting a cell.”

Cops say the man twice went into the Walmart, at Butler Street and Aramingo Avenue, and stole two Dell desktop computers. Like it’s 1999!

One has to wonder why, exactly, this is his plan. Not to give any criminals any plans, but not only could you fence a laptop computer for more money, it would be much easier to carry out! But perhaps laptops are under heavier guard, or this dude is just a serious PC gamer and needs his fix. Read more »

Company That Tried to Purchase PGW Is Itself Sold

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

UIL Holdings, the Connecticut company that last year attempted to buy PGW from the city, has itself been sold to a Spanish firm.

UIL officials said the $3 billion deal with Iberdrola materialized only after the PGW sale fell through. But the timing of the deal raised questions at City Council, and Council President Darrell Clarke suggested the move vindicated Council’s concerns about selling to PGW. Council let the proposed sale of PGW to UIL collapse last year without ever holding a hearing — or vote — before a deadline for the deal’s completion.
Read more »

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