Around the web: Chicago city-subsidized hotel, plastic shopping bags, Craigslist sex ads, Windows 7 boot time

A regular roundup of stuff that wouldn’t necessarily make it on the blog, but is worth noting:

• A city-subsidized hotel is causing a stink in Chicago, where Mayor Richard M. Daley wants to give the project another $12 million — on top of more than $40 million the city has already guaranteed. A city spokesman said that without the money, Loews Corp., which will operate the hotel, will probably back out of the deal. And who says we get to have all the fun?

• New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to charge shoppers six cents for every plastic bag they use, in another attempt to reduce plastic bag use. If the proposal passes, reports the New York Times, the city would  become one of the first places in the United States to assess a plastic bag tax. It’s already popular in Europe, where several countries have the tax. In Ireland, the fee is 33 cents a bag. The Dallas city council decided against a plastic bag ban in October, though the Times says we’re considering the tax idea.

• If you want to put a sex ad on the usually-free Craigslist, you’re going to have to pay for it. That’s the settlement reached by the Internet classified ad service and 40 states, which said the sex ads were soliciting illegal services. But what struck me as even more interesting is that Craigslist has fewer than 30 employees.

• And this is for all of us who have to turn the computer on 10 minutes early every morning because the damn thing takes so long to boot up: Microsoft says it will quicken the boot time and try to speed up the way the next generation of Windows works. The company acknowledged that Windows Vista slowed down computers with features that most of us never used.


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