Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Child Care Doesn't Make Grade in Mass.

A story from the Associated Press highlights Massachusetts' failing efforts to protect children under state care:

BOSTON (AP) — A federal watchdog group gives Massachusetts a near failing grade for its efforts to protect children from abuse.

Only nine states fared worse than Massachusetts, which got a D-minus in the study by the Children's Advocacy Institute and the watchdog group First Star.

The report said the state has failed to report on near-fatal child abuse and operates under a shroud of secrecy.

It cited several high-profile examples of alleged Department of Social Services failures, including Haleigh Poutre's case.

The girl was beaten into a coma while in foster care after DSS dismissed more than a dozen allegations of abuse.

It also mentioned Rebecca Riley, the 4-year-old whose parents are charged with manslaughter after she died from a prescription drug overdose

Also, check out this Boston Herald story on the DSS (referencing the same report).

An excerpt:
The explosive report, scheduled to be released today, singles out the Department of Social Services as “dysfunctional and in critical need of comprehensive reform” and slams the state with a D- grade.

“It’s extremely disappointing to receive such a mark, but tragically not surprising,” said state Rep. John H. Rogers, the House majority leader and a member of the legislative committee on child abuse and neglect.


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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Couric, Gumbel Out

NFL play-by-play impostor Bryant Gumbel is reported to be leaving the NFL Network after two years. The report says it was apparently Gumbel's decision, but isn't that the way these things always seem to go.

Meanwhile, so-called "media sweetheart" Katie Couric is a goner over at CBS News. In Miss Katie's situation, it seems more of a forced retirement, with ratings for the CBS newscast plummeting during her tenure as the evening anchor. Couric currently rates a distant third-place out of the major broadcast networks. She is reportedly scheduled to depart after this November's elections.

I just wanted to point out these two oustings since a.) Bryant Gumbel is a race card-issuing snob (how did he end up so terribly different than his brother, nice guy Greg Gumbel?), and b.) Miss Katie is a liberal schmoozer in the mold of Dan Rather. Better CBS rid themselves of her now before she eventually ends up embarrassing them while on some crusade against the Evil Right.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wordpress 2.5 Evaluation Time

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since "upgrading" to the all-new version of Wordpress, version 2.5, and I can now settle in on my overall conclusion to this latest incarnation:


Where to begin? I'll start with the interface, which is cluttered and confusing, although with time I'll probably get used to it in time.

On the Theme design side, where once I could add plugins to either of my two sidebars in version 2.3, I can now only add plugins to one of them. Why is that?

The visual editor (WYSIWYG) still sticks. Doesn't come close to rendering the page as it would be with me doing it up in scratch HTML - which I now have reverted back to doing.

The image uploader/editor: Why in the name of The Three Stooges did the Wordpress open source folks mess with this utility? It worked just fine in all the previous versions, yet for some reason the developers saw a need to play around with it, and in so doing, they have succeeded in creating perhaps the most frustrating, ill-conceived, non-workable image uploader I have ever used. I get errors uploading and continue to be unable to transfer images into the post editor. This is all thanks to the software's all-new Flash animated uploader utility, which simply does not work.

I cannot for the life of me understand why the Wordpress folks can't just get the most basic of things - like visual editing and file uploading/transferring correct when companies such as Blogger managed to get the process down correctly years ago.

I now agonize over my decision to upgrade from Wordpress version 2.33. Editing and updating/inserting images using Wordpress 2.5 is about as pleasurable as pulling a sliver from my fingernail.

Thanks a lot, Wordpress. Please, please tell me you guys are working on fixes for the above failings for version 2.5.2

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