2) Good article by Deb Aoki: http://manga.about.com/od/bookreviews/a/Mangastream-Vs-Shonen-Jump-Alpha.htm
I'll take issue w/what she says about "leaked scans" being the source of early scanlations. Some issues of Shonen Jump are legally sold in certain areas in Japan before the "official" release date on Monday and these are purchased and given to scanlators. The illegal activity is the giving of the magazines to scanlators for illegal use, not the purchase of the magazines before the official release date. In the US and elsewhere, magazines are often sold before the official release date-- it you're a home subscriber, you're aware of this because you get your magazine before it hits the newstands.
I subscribe to VIZ ALPHA and have been a longtime supporter of VIZ despite my unhappiness with many aspects of their censorship and catering to a kiddie audience. More of my comments in the BA thread here.
3) Something pretty and fun. Our dear dear pikeish drew an IchiRuki IshiHime drawing for
Ishikawa Tomomi, the Bleach animator who is no longer going to be drawing for Bleach because she's gone on to bigger projects. Not only did Tomomi-san put Pike-chan's drawing in a frame on her desk, she also drew a pic back, one of Rukia (Pike's favorite character) waving goodbye. *cue tears* Here it is--so lovely!
Note watermark. Please do not re-post anywhere else, modify or use for your own graphics.