Lots of interesting news this morning, so here’s a quick rundown of some stories I’m watching:

  • Of course, Caroline Kennedy has withdrawn her name from appointment to Clinton’s Senate seat. I think this is the right way to go. Here’s to hoping Andrew Cuomo gets the job.
  • Sony has posted it’s first annual loss in 14 years today. The CEO is vowing swift action including executive pay cuts and newer, trendier gadgets in development to deal with the downturn. One wonders how much good snappier products are really going to be. I’m thinking cheaper and more accessible would be a better choice, under the circumstances.
  • Here’s something you don’t see every day: death sentences for milk contamination. China has sentenced three high-ranking executives at a milk company to death. In the many get-rich-quick schemes that predominate Chinese manufacturing, there is an over-abundance of highly-questionable chemical mixes that produce these scandals. Kind of reminds me of early American meat-packing cruft that simply could not be sold abroad for the same reasons. Boom days of young economies are remarkably similar, it seems. China needs to figure out that it must *regulate* these industries, not punish people for its own malfeasance.
  • The bad economy is forcing Google and Microsoft back to their core-competencies and away from some of their more outlandish schemes. Can you imagine that Google wanted to sell print ads? Google, the company most directly responsible for the near death experience of print media, going into the print ad business? WTF?
  • A well-duh announcement from the scientific community: improving air quality substantially improves life expectancy. Sometimes, science needs to provide documentarian proof of shit we already knew. Now the question is, does this move policy on federal, state and local levels?
  • For those of you who can’t get enough, here’s some satellite pictures of the inauguration. It’s worth it just to get a sense of the sprawl of humanity in attendance for this inauguration. And even with all those people, you could barely hear any applause at all for Bush and Cheney when they came out. Hysterical.
  • More on climate change. This time, an interesting discussion of the role NASA can play in leading the fight against global climate change. NASA’s been studying the changes in the Earth’s atmosphere for thirty years, and now with the strangle hold of the Bush Administration gone, they can finally get down to the business of telling us how truly fucked we really are.