Showdown in Crazytown, featuring Steve Ballmer, Congress, and Cooks Source

(Speaking of broken intellectual property laws, I got a slew of great responses to my post "RIAA vs. the rest of us: The same old song," but I'm saving them for a separate installment of this blog down the road.)

In "Election 2010: Geeks go down to defeat," I noted that the last geek to run for governor before Meg Whitman was dishy 26-year-old software engineer Georgy Russell. Reader G. O. points out that former Gateway president and COO Rick Snyder was just elected governor of Michigan. When I wrote that post, I was only thinking of geeks who ran for governor of California, but point taken just the same.

Finally, I feel compelled to add an update to my item about obscure foodie journal Cooks Source and the Internet brouhaha that erupted over its dubious definition of "public domain" ("Plagiarism 101: Cooks Source and the Internet response").

After (ahem) stewing over it for a few days, the anonymous entities behind Cooks Source issued an apology (kinda/sorta) for taking food blogger Monica Gaudio's copy and reprinting it without permission. They also honored her request to donate money to the Columbia School of Journalism in lieu of author payment. As for the other 167-plus articles they lifted? It's not exactly clear, but it appears Cooks Source editor Judith Griggs is blaming her contributors for submitting materials to the mag without appropriate permissions. (And if you believe that, I have a set of stainless steel Ginsu knives I'd like to sell you.)

The statement on the Cooks Source home page is one of the oddest items I've ever read. My favorite line: "Please know that none of the statements made by either Cooks Source or Judith Griggs were made by either our staff or her" -- which, I suppose, may or may not include the document featuring that very same line.

This wasn't the "we screwed up, we understand how we screwed up, and it won't happen again" statement Cooks Source really should posted, but it's about as close as we're likely to get. May it now fade back into well-deserved obscurity.

Got any high-tech bones to pick? Scatter them below or toss me an email: cringe@infoworld.com.

This article, "Google vs Facebook: Adult supervision desperately needed," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringeley's Notes from the Field blog, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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