Commentary

The conventional wisdom used to be that cultural trends in the United States emerged on the west or east coasts and spread across the country. In the digital age, social media has consigned that notion to the dustbin of history, with full immersion now taking days or even hours, not weeks or months. 

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Over the past several years, I have written columns praising Google for its Herculean efforts in digitizing and compiling massive amounts of historical data, digitizing and archiving millions of pages of old newspapers, creating an outstanding historical resource that could be searched as easily as today’s Web pages. In more than one column, I documented the enormous library of millions of old books and magazines that had been digitally preserved by Google, making them freely available to the public.

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The South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) is underway in Austin through March 22.

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Run All Night

Starring: Liam Neeson, Ed Harris

Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra

Rated: R

 

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Q. My apartment lease was up in December. Since that time we have had a month-to-month agreement. I am now moving out. I gave proper notice. I am afraid my landlord will not return my security deposit. Can I require the landlord to use my security deposit for the last month’s rent?

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Three groups involved in legislative efforts to drastically limit abortion rights to the extent that the Roe v. Wade decision will allow are back on the battle lines in Austin this week, but their opponent is not Planned Parenthood or NARAL.

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Always on the lookout for interesting new security software, I recently came across an interesting new security concept. SecureAPlus, currently available as a free download with a one year license, is unusual in that its cloud-based malware scan utilizes up to a dozen different scan engines rather than the single-cloud based scanners used by its major competitors.

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The weather here in Southeast Texas has been rainy and a bit dreary for the past several days. Clouds overhead are gray and threatening, and we’ve had a good bit of rain. The inclement weather has kept folks from doing much of what they love. Getting fishing gear ready, travel trailers roadworthy, boats checked, lawns trimmed and manicured for spring viewing, some outside painting, and work in colorful flowerbeds has been put on hold.

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Q. I hope you can assist me with this problem. I purchased a car from a dealer that purchases vehicles from auctions for re-sale. The vehicle was purchased under a contract that said it was “as is” and did not come with a warranty. It has been two days since the date of purchase, and this vehicle now has major problems. What are my rights as a consumer wanting to return this vehicle and get a refund? Don’t I have three days to change my mind?

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Over the past two weeks, I have taken two long road trips. I purposely and concurrently tried several of the popular and not-so-well-known Android road routing apps, and arrived at some conclusions that may be helpful as we approach the upcoming summer travel season. I found is that what may be an excellent app under some travel circumstances approaches uselessness under other road situations.

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