Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Late afternoon (west coast time) news briefs: Piano Media get funding to expand paywall services; Warren Buffett reveals prostate cancer; one man campaign for a little truth; who can you blame for complex taxes?

I'm done for the day – cooked, fried, burned out, whatever. But there were a number of items that caught my attention this afternoon while the Klipsch were belting out Sonny Stitt choruses:

I almost wrote about this Slovakian startup several times, Piano Media. The first time was when I heard that Slovakian media properties wanted to put their sites behind a unified paywall. At that time I wondered if such a thing would be considered legal in the U.S. Then I heard of Piano Media and they were working on the paywalls.

This afternoon Ars Technica and other sites have posts up about the company and money they've raised to spread out globally (tech sites love to talk about $$). Frankly I'm a little torn by the idea of them going global – after all, what government doesn't destroy (an open web) commerce might.

Piano Media Scales Up With €2 Million Series B Investment from 3TS Capital Partners

I'm sure you've heard by now that Warren Buffett has announced that he has Stage I prostate cancer. The prognosis is good, Buffett stating that "I’ve been told by my doctors that my condition is not remotely lifethreatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way."

To the Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway

The Senate on Monday voted 51 to 45 to move the "Buffett rule" proposal forward for consideration. Of course, it is the Senate which means that one actually needs 60 votes to move legislation on. In the old days, when one party refused to allow consideration of a bill it was called a filibuster. But now few people want to use that word, especially the media. The Washington Post's own story does say the "F" word in its second paragraph, but basically most media newspapers get lazy and say the bill was defeated (even though a majority voted for it). One person is not happy with the media's practice of avoiding the term "filibuster.

Jonathan Bernstein, writing on The Plum Line blog, is a little peeved by it all:

"CNN’s web story was particularly awful, reporting simply that “the Democrats fell nine votes short.” There was no mention of a filibuster, or that the “nine votes short” added up a 51 vote majority — so no one reading the story could deduce that a majority of the Senate favored the policy."

Dear media: Tell readers the truth about GOP filibustering

Finally: Happy Tax Day! You realize your taxes are due today, right? (In the U.S. anyway.) Here is an article guaranteed to make you a little angry, especially if you are using software to complete those tax forms:

Corruption Is Why You Can’t Do Your Taxes in Five Minutes