City Desk

The Needle: Washington Bullets Edition

This is Not a Test: District residents who are so inclined can sign up for emails or text messages about emergency alerts. (Yes, sometimes the system announces things like the mayor's State of the District address.) Soon enough, though, the alerts will come automatically, unless you opt out; D.C. and New York are the first cities to get a new federal alert system running. Because we live in the future, you'd only receive an alert while you were in D.C. or New York—go out of town before an emergency, and you won't hear anything about it. At least, not automatically; Twitter and cable TV will be sure to keep you updated, anyway. +2

House Call: The last time Mayor Vince Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown showed up on Capitol Hill, they got arrested. So Capitol Police may be a little wary about a hearing scheduled for Thursday, when the two are set to testify on the District's budget before a subcommittee chaired by our real mayor, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. No word on whether the GOP will be looking into any fictional taxes. -3

Off to See the Wizards: Teal seemed to be the official color of pro sports teams in the 1990s—just ask the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Carolina Panthers, the San Jose Sharks, and yes, of course, the Washington Wizards. The team went back to what ESPN's Gregg Easterbrook likes to call the most successful color scheme in history today, unveiling a logo that nods to the former look ditched in 1995. But they kept the silly name! The good news: The team is still not named the Washington Sea Dogs. The bad news: It's also still not named the Washington Bullets. -2

Hot for Teacher: The dark art of SEO—search engine optimization—gets a lot of attention from people who run websites, and not a whole lot from anyone else; the idea is to figure out ways to get people who search the Internet for information to wind up on your page. In the case of one site, that task appears to have been made easier by a mistake at Bing, where searching for Friendly High School in Fort Washington, Md., accidentally directed visitors to pgpcs.com, which features links to porn, instead of pgpcs.org, the actual domain name of the school's site. That's why we stick to InfoSeek for all our search needs. -1

Yesterday's Needle rating: 81 Today's score: -4 Today's Needle rating: 77

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