The paper writes that Google News hasn’t changed much since it was launched, but contradicts that down low in the story when it rattles off several new features. It says the service can be slow, as when it was an hour behind everybody else on Tim Russert’s death with its computer-generated news-placement algorithm. That algorithm is pretty much why it’s so feared and loathed in the news business.
The Times quotes “people close to the company” saying Google doesn’t put ads on the site so as not to tick off news companies. It notes Europe has ruled the company has violated copyright laws by publishing links to news without permission and that Tribune owner Sam Zell has said it steals his company’s content.
Green Houses for gray heads
The Journal on A1 reports on a move to end the nursing-home business in favor of smaller facilities. It says the $10 billion Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is “throwing its considerable weight” behind the cause, dropping $15 million.
The so-called Green Houses have up to twelve residents compared to up to two hundred in regular nursing homes, and are meant to be more homey.
Green Houses face a host of hurdles. Many Green House builders say they’ve encountered a thicket of elder-care regulations. It takes enormous capital to build new homes from scratch. Plus, experts say the concept faces stiff resistance from many parts of the existing nursing-home system. Traditional nursing homes, many of which care for 100 to 200 patients, are predicated on economies of scale—the larger the home, the cheaper it is to care for each individual resident.
The WSJ says a five-year-old survey understandably found that just 1 percent of disabled Americans over fifty wanted to move into a nursing home.
USA Today reports that more Americans are getting their utilities shut off for not paying. The paper says shutoffs are up more than 15 percent over last year “in several states”, and some utilities report their rates have doubled.
An NEADA survey this month shows 8% of four-member households earning $33,500 to $55,500 have had their power turned off for non-payment. “It’s hitting people in the suburbs with two cars and two kids,” Wolfe says.
The disconnects are rising as warm-weather power bills increase, some state moratoriums on winter shutoffs expire, and rates are climbing in many states.
Flacking for Home Depot
The Times for some reason thinks it should flack for Home Depot on its Business Day cover with a story about how the retailing giant is going to start recycling the newfangled compact fluorescent bulbs. This press release surely could have run inside.
Andrew Ross Sorkin makes up for that with a great column on Tom Wolfe’s thoughts on the latter-day “Bonfire” on Wall Street.