Friday afternoon news dump

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• Are Crocs headed toward bankruptcy? Ezra Klein opines:

Looking back, the fact that people bought 100 million pairs of the ugliest footwear ever made, and then began buying charms in order to add additional gaudiness to what were essentially pastel hospital slippers, should have been evidence that the amount of money sloshing through the economy had made us lose our minds.

Presented without comment -- Douglas Bailey's Boston Globe editorial on certain kinds of newspaper Web site commenters:

But as satiated as I am with the enormous and varied flow of available information, I’ve concluded there’s one outlet that should be abandoned: those comment forums at the end of articles on newspaper websites.

I realize these forums have their advocates. Publishers apparently believe forums help drive people to their website and provide opportunity for interactive exchanges of ideas, comments, corrections, and expansion of debate and topics.

Instead, these forums are insidiously contributing to the devaluation of journalism, blurring the truth, confusing the issues, and diminishing serious discourse beyond even talk radio’s worst examples. ...

I feel sorry for today’s reporters and columnists, who work hard gathering information dutifully trying to raise the debate on issues or inform the public on a burning topic only to have some agenda-driven bonehead who doesn’t have the courage - or need - to identify himself or herself and isn’t bound by the same ethics or policies tear down the work product the moment it appears.

Amazon magically erases e-books off people's Kindles at the request of the publisher. Irony alert: the titles were books by George Orwell ...

Futurama fires all its voice actors.

Have a good weekend.

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