Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Around the Word

Two prominent speechwriters are in the news today, plus a tip on protecting your laptop from rogue "wireless":
  • Speechwriting solidarity! Speechwriter and PunditWire co-founder Bob Lehrman is in the running to be declared America's "Next Great Pundit." Lehrman ranks among 50 finalists (culled from an initial 4,000) in the Washington Post's pageant of pundits. The winner gets to write 13 op-eds for the Post under his or her own name. Simply click the green button to add your vote by 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 14.
  • Anyone who's marveled at President Obama's riveting rhetoric might want to pick up a book released yesterday, Power in Words: The Stories Behind Barack Obama's Speeches, from the State House to the White House. Historian Mary Frances Berry and former Clinton White House speechwriter (and Gotham friend) Josh Gottheimer draw the curtain to reveal the work behind the wizardry, including historical context, political analysis, and commentary from Obama's speechwriters themselves. The book reproduces 18 of the President's orations, with heavy-hitters like "A More Perfect Union" appearing beside lesser-known but revealing addresses.
  • From the annals of "if it sounds too good to be true…": the enticing—and ubiquitous—"Free Public Wifi" network that's been taunting laptop devotees everywhere.  In fact, "Free Public WiFi" is a decoy that does not access the internet at all. Rather, as NPR warns, it is an "ad hoc" network that connects you directly to someone else's computer in the area—and opens the door for hackers to enter your files. The bad news? It's spreading like wildfire, especially in airports. The good news? It only affects Windows (go ahead and gloat, Mac-users), and Microsoft has released a patch—Service Pack 3—to fix the bug. If you've got any more tips on avoiding this and other "zombie networks," let us know!

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