Newspaper Guild Votes to Begin Strike Preparations

Newspaper Guild leaders Regina Medina and Diane Mastrull, left, count paper ballots for strike authorization, while Bill Ross and Howard Gensler, right, tally up e-mailed votes. The action took place  Wednesday night on the 33rd floor of the Loews Hotel. (Picture: Joel Mathis)

Newspaper Guild leaders Regina Medina and Diane Mastrull, left, count paper ballots for strike authorization, while Bill Ross and Howard Gensler, right, tally up e-mailed votes. The action took place Wednesday night on the 33rd floor of the Loews Hotel. (Pictures: Joel Mathis)

The Newspaper Guild on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to begin preparations for a strike against Philadelphia Media Network, the parent company of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.

There were two votes — one by employees of the newspapers, and one by workers for Philly.com, who have a separate but similar contract with PMN. Neither vote was particularly close: 263-19 in favor of strike preparations by so-called “main unit” employees; 24-7 in favor by Philly.com workers. Sixty-nine percent of guild membership voted.

“It wasn’t unanimous,” said Howard Gensler, the guild’s president and a gossip columnist for the Daily News, “but it was a very strong, supportive vote we hope sends a message to the company we’re not fooling around.” Read more »

20 Teens Charged in Cape May Sexting Scandal

Photo by "Smallbones" via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by “Smallbones” via Wikimedia Commons

Ah, Cape May, that idyllic Jersey Shore town that’s usually associated with bed-and-breakfasts, wine bars, and salmon-colored Bermuda shorts and generally not associated with anything approaching a scandal. But thanks to a group of high school and middle school students, Cape May is now the epicenter of a sexting scandal. Read more »

WATCH: Cops Chase Cow on New Jersey Highway

Philly highways may be a mess, but at least they’re generally free of livestock. New Jersey commuters have it tougher: Around 8:30 this morning, motorists on I-295 in Hamilton had to contend with a cow.

The cow was on the northbound side of I-295 in Hamilton near exit 60B, said Arcadio Rivera (who captured the video above). The cow on the highway also led to this tremendous sentence from Action News: “Moments later, video from Chopper 6 showed the cow surrounded by nearly a dozen police vehicles.” Read more »

4 Biggest Mother’s Day Social Media Missteps

As far as holidays go, Mother’s Day is traditionally in the minor leagues.

It’s an important one, yes, but it barely takes up an entire aisle in CVS. No long weekend, no dead deity, no big deal.

Unless, of course, you’re going by social media standards. Because on Facebook and Twitter, Mother’s Day is apparently a High Holy Day of Sharing (and, possibly, caring).

Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. After months of stalking your bar selfies and whiny status updates, your mom was probably delighted to spot herself in your new profile picture. If your partner granted you a tiny human over the past year, it’s more than appropriate to send a shout-out. You gave life to those kids and got them dressed for a family photo shoot before noon? Go ahead, lady — blow up my feed with your tiny army of brunch terrorists. You earned this.

That said, there was also some pretty questionable Mother’s Day posting this year. Do mom a favor and remember the following next time around. Read more »

I Was in No Hurry to Open My New iPhone

About four years ago, my husband started telling me I could get a free iPhone whenever I wanted to. A couple of weeks ago, I finally did.

You can probably tell I’m no early adopter. It took me a really long time to get used to my flip phone. It’s partly because I didn’t use it much. I don’t like to talk on the phone, so I mostly used it for texting my kids and my husband. I did like to take photos of my garden and occasionally post them to Twitter, which is what made me finally break down and get the iPhone. The camera on my flip phone stopped working. I didn’t mind so much in winter. But when the full panoply of my tulips came out this spring and I couldn’t share it, I was bummed.

By then, I had an iPhone. When my son was home for spring break, he took the bull by the horns and, over my protests, ordered me one. He went back to school, and my iPhone arrived at the house a few days later. I didn’t bother to open the box. I knew that learning how to use it was going to be a huge pain in the ass, and except for the camera that didn’t work, my flip phone suited me fine. I didn’t need any apps to help me figure out what restaurant to eat at or what wine to pair with lamb chops or what dress would match my nice new apricot-colored sweater. Fifty-eight years of life experience was taking care of all that just fine.

So the phone just sat in its unopened box on the dining room table. Meantime, one day I was using the flip phone and noticed a piece of fuzz stuck in the camera lens. I extracted it with an X-acto knife, and suddenly the camera was working again. That made me even more unhappy that my son had ordered the iPhone, which I now didn’t need for anything. Read more »

WATCH: This Is Why the Philly.com Comments Are Changing

Here are reporters from the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com reading comments on their stories at Philly.com. It’s funny and sad and, well, watch:

That actually seems tame and merely insulting, instead of dangerously racist and idiotic, but still: It’s a sampling of the stuff reporters at the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com deal with every day. Read more »

What I Learned About Philly Through My Google Search History

google

Shutterstock.com

 

I realize that I’m late to the Google search download game.

The option to download your search history – as in, your entire search history – has been available since January, when Google quietly rolled out the feature. It came to the attention of the Internet masses last week, when a third-party blog spelled it out: Everything you have searched for while logged into Google has been saved, and you can take a peek if you want.

I did not want. Read more »

(Update) #PhillyIsBaltimore on Social Media

[Update 9:15 p.m.] The crowd appears to have dwindled down to about 150 people now, still marching through Center City:

[Update 8 p.m.] A brief scuffle was being reported between police and some protesters:

[Original] The #PhillyIsBaltimore protest is under way at City Hall, and we’ll highlight some of the most interesting social media we see from the event — check back, as we’ll continue to update throughout the afternoon.

Read more »

These Are the 20 Stupidest Computer Passwords

You know you ought to change the passwords you use online more often. You hear about it, you read about it, you even know that lady in accounting who got hacked and is still trying to straighten out her finances six months later. But your passwords are like your slippers — cozy and comfortable. It’s so hard to remember the passwords you already have. You just can’t face the prospect of changing them again. Right?

Well, good news. We’re not here to try to get you to change your computer passwords. We already tried that, and besides, the Wall Street Journal just tried it, too, in an article by Punam A. Keller, a professor at Dartmouth’s school of business. Well, actually, her article was on how businesses can encourage password-changing amongst their clientele. But even Keller admits she hasn’t changed her password — she uses the same one for her computer, iTunes, PayPal, and lots of online shopping sites — in three years.

Doesn’t that make you feel better — knowing that an Ivy League professor who’s getting paid to tell companies how to get their customers to change their passwords doesn’t change her password? That’s the business we’re in today, my friend — making you feel good about yourself.  Read more »

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