12.22.2015

Savoy considering 9 percent increase in property-tax rate

SAVOY — The Savoy Village Board is seeking a 44 percent increase in its total property-tax levy this year. Last year, the village levied $1.25 million, a 5 percent increase over the previous year.

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12.14.2015

The First Trailer For Star Trek Beyond Is Both Fast and Furious 

When Justin Lin signed on to direct the third Star Trek film, Star Trek Beyond, you knew the action was going to be bigger. But in the first trailer for the film, it really does feel like a Star Trek version of the Fast and Furious.

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Remix this dance track by clicking samples—and listen to random variations

madeon

Adventure Machine is an online music-remixing widget by Madeon, whose album Adventure came out earlier this year. Similar to Novation's Launchpad gadget, you click different buttons in the grid to turn different loops on and off, thereby creating your own remix of the tracks. (more…)



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12.12.2015

Disney Decides To Be Evil Again, Re-Sends Copyright Takedown For Star Wars Figure Pic

This morning, it seemed like Disney had realized that sending copyright takedown notices for legally obtained and posted photos of Star Wars action figures was maybe not a good idea. But the Dark Side apparently has Mickey in its grips, as Disney continues to send takedown notices for copyright claims the company had already retracted. Ars Technica reports that …

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11.23.2015

MS Paint revived with JavaScript

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12 Winning Sides & Appetizers for Your Thanksgiving Potluck — Recipes From The Kitchn

Not hosting Thanksgiving this year? Sounds like a plan. But if you're still looking to bring something that will make a splash at Friendsgiving or at your in-laws', look no further. We've pulled together a few of our crowd-pleasing sides and apps to ensure your contribution to the Thanksgiving spread is an absolute win.

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Here Are the Isolated Vocals From Adele's Legendary SNL Performance

There are few of us out there who watch Saturday Night Live solely for the show’s musical performances (unless it’s Ashlee Simpson), but Adele’s amazing performance on the show last night are making a bigger splash than the show itself. And there’s a very good reason for that.

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11.11.2015

UI warns students they might be on the hook for MAP grants

"Education is very unaffordable without government aid if you don't come from a very comfortable family."

URBANA — University of Illinois students who receive need-based financial aid from the state could wind up being billed for part of their grants next semester if lawmakers fail to fund the program.

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11.10.2015

Betamax Tapes Going Off The Market: This Post Was Not Written In 1988

You may remember the videotape format wars of the 1980s, where VHS eventually triumphed over Betamax, making that one family on your street who couldn’t borrow videos from everyone else feel very silly. After the format wars ended, Betamax didn’t vanish. Players were still manufactured until 2002, and Sony was still making tapes until very recently. You can’t wander down …

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11.06.2015

If a cop says she believes you have a weapon, you have one

If a cop says she believes you have a weapon, you have one

by digby

This is unbelievable. A police officer is filmed torturing an unarmed citizen with a taser and then executing him. And she was acquitted.


On Thursday, a jury acquitted Officer Lisa Mearkle for shooting David Kassick in Pennsylvania, who was pulled over for an expired inspection sticker. The same day, video of the deadly encounter was released by the local D.A., showing Kassick face down on the ground and obeying Mearkle’s orders before being shot twice.

The fatal traffic stop happened back in February. When Hummelstown Borough Police Department officer tried to pull over Kassick, the man escaped to his sister’s home nearby. A brief foot chase ensued, and the video begins with the officer yelling for Kassick to get on the ground. Mearkle fires her taser — 50,000 volts — into his back, and he writhes in pain in submission. Complying with Mearkle’s commands, Kassick makes his hands visible. As he lays face down on the ground, Mearkle shoots him with her gun, twice.

[...]

Mearkle has maintained that she was acting in self-defense. Kassick was unarmed, but during her trial, Mearkle explained that she believed Kassick was holding a weapon. “There was no reason for him to reach into his frigging jacket,” she said.

She also criticized prosecutors for charging her with murder.

“I’m a good police officer. This [arrest] should not have happened to me. I believe I could continue to be a police officer,” Mearkle testified. “I was only charged for political reasons. That’s how I feel.”

After the not-guilty verdict, President Les Neri of the local police union applauded the decision and slammed the public for criticizing cops.

“The demonizing of police officers who are forced to make split-second decisions unfairly tarnishes the work done by good police officers. It ignores the unreasonable actions or crimes committed by those who created these situations in the first place,” he wrote in a press statement.

I just don't know what to say. There is, evidently, nothing you can do to not be killed by a police officer if he or she "feels" that you are a threat.

It is very, very, very dangerous to be pulled over by a cop in the United States of America now. They believe they have a right to kill you for any reason and they know it's unlikely they will be held accountable for doing it. Even with a video they can get away with it.




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Scan a Book In Five Minutes, With a $199 Scanner?



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11.03.2015

Champaign OKs Tasers by 6-3 vote

More than a decade after they were originally requested, Tasers are coming to Champaign.

CHAMPAIGN — More than a decade after they were originally requested, Tasers are coming to Champaign.

The city council approved the purchase of 25 Tasers by a 6-3 vote on Tuesday night after listening to more than an hour of public comment, almost entirely against the use of Tasers. The Tasers carry a price tag of about $93,000 for a five-year contract.

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10.26.2015

Updated: Salvation Army closing men's shelter during day

New 11:46 a.m. Monday:

The Salvation Army of Champaign County is facing a $200,000 shortfall in its men's shelter program. So it has closed the shelter during the day.

The Salvation Army Stepping Stone men's shelter is now closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No staff is on duty during that time.

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S.C. cop caught in school attack being sued for ‘recklessly’ accusing black students of gang activity

Richland County, South Carolina Deputy Ben Fields — who was filmed throwing a female high school student to the ground on Monday — is already being sued in federal court for allegedly targeting black students, Heavy reported. The suit, which is scheduled to go to trial in January, stated...

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WATCH: S. Carolina cop brutally throws high school girl to the ground for ‘not leaving class’

A Columbia, South Carolina sheriff’s deputy can be seen throwing a female student to the ground in video posted online by New York Daily News writer Shaun King. The footage shows the officer approaching the student at Spring Valley High before grabbing her and wrapping an arm around her head a...

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10.24.2015

The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black

An examination of traffic stops and arrests in Greensboro, N.C., uncovered wide racial differences in measure after measure of police conduct.











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10.23.2015

Court by Court, Lawyers Fight Policies That Fall Heavily on the Poor

Rights groups are waging a guerrilla campaign to reverse what they call unconstitutional but widespread practices such as jail time for failing to pay fines.











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10.21.2015

Food trucks return to Urbana

Back in downtown by popular demand for the fifth and final time in 2015: gourmet food trucks.

URBANA — Back in downtown by popular demand for the fifth and final time in 2015: gourmet food trucks.

The city is dubbing Tuesday's 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. event "Truck or Treat." Seven trucks have signed up to participate: Bento, Burrito King, Chester's BBQ, Dragon Fire Pizza, Fusilli Tony's, Maui Wowi and ROK'S Korean BBQ Tacos.

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10.16.2015

Cops are asking Ancestry.com and 23andMe for their customers’ DNA

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Google's book-scanning project legal: U.S. appeals court

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that Google's massive effort to scan millions of books for an online library does not violate copyright law, rejecting claims from a group of authors that the project illegally deprives them of revenue.


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Ebola is now an STD | Ars Technica



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10.14.2015

One of Your Favorite 2TB External Drives is Down to $70

If you’re in the market for a reliable portable hard drive, the ever-popular WD My Passport Ultra 2TB is down to $70 right now, which is one of the lowest prices we’ve seen on a 2TB external. [Western Digital My Passport Ultra Black 2 TB, $70]

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10.13.2015

Banking while black: College students handcuffed after ‘uncomfortable’ white customers complain

A black man identified by his Twitter name @darealbighomiee claims he and his companion were assaulted and handcuffed by District of Columbia police officers because a white couple said they made them feel “uncomfortable.” According to WJLA, the man and his friend — both identified...

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