Call Me Fishmeal.: "Piracy reduction can be a source of Windows revenue growth":
Thus spake Ballmer.
First off, someone kill me if I ever talk about "sources of revenue growth" intead of "making really cool products that people actually, you know, like and stuff."
Second, how freaking out of touch is this guy? He told analysts 'the company might "dial up" the intensity of antipiracy technology baked into Windows Vista as part of an effort to squeeze more revenue from China, India, Brazil, Russia and other emerging markets.'
Damn, that's a fine idea, Steve! Those freaking Chinese are sitting on piles of gold! They pirate your software because they are a greedy, greedy people, not because Windows Vista Basic costs $295 in China and laborers rake in about $160 a month.
Elizabeth Daisey (nee Borthwick) 1814-1864:
His descendants understand that Michael Daisy came to Australia in 1834 and that the Daisy / Daisey family originally came from Sutherland in Scotland and moved to Ireland. We don't yet know, however, what ship Michael Daisey arrived on or what he did when he first embarked in this country.
Nor do we know exactly when and where Michael Daisey was born. His birth year was given as follows: Age at 1st marriage was 30 = born circa 1814. Age at 2nd marriage was 52 = born circa 1815. Age at death was 67 = b. circa 1815.
Frederick Morrison, MA, MD, in Aldine's History of Queensland, Volume II, 1888, p.530, says the following about Michael Daisey:
The late Michael Daisey, as one of the early pioneers, may fairly claim a place of recognition in this work. He was in every sense of the word a self-made man, and well made at that. He was born in Ireland in the year 1815, and arrived in New South Wales about 1836, and was employed by the late Peter McIntyre, in whose service he saw some rough life, overlanding, etc. He soon acquired a good knowledge of stock generally and their management. He, with two others, came from Maitland to the New England district, and took up the well known runs of Byron and Auburn Vale. In 1858 he went into the Maranoa district to inspect Coogoon, which he purchased from the late Sir J. P. Bell. The following year he took sheep and cattle there, and formed the station on which he carried on successfully until the year 1873, when he sold it. He became a landowner and resident of the West Moreton district in 1861, and resided there until his death in 1881. The Coogoon run is situated in what was known as the "Never Never" country, Talavera being on the one side and Mount Abundance on the other.
The sources for this information are not given however, making research difficult.
Is Whole Foods Straying From Its Roots? - New York Times:
The food may have been more expensive, but for many shoppers it was worth it. Since opening its first store in Austin, Tex., in 1980, Whole Foods has grown from a small business to a mega-chain with 193 stores, capping its rise last week with a deal to acquire the 110 stores of its largest rival, Wild Oats.
The newer stores are getting bigger, too: 60,000- to 80,000-square-foot supermarkets, they have extensive prepared food offerings, along with in-store restaurants, spas, concierge shopping services, gelato stands, chocolate fountains and pizza counters.
While many shoppers find the new stores exhilarating places to shop, the company also faces critics who feel it has strayed from its original vision. In angry postings on blogs, they charge that the store is not living up to its core values — in particular, protecting the environment and supporting organic agriculture and local farmers. In interviews, some of the customers who describe themselves as committed to these values say they have become disillusioned and taken their business elsewhere.
What's weirder: De Barge, these lyrics, the inexplicable courtroom, the involvement of the film SHORT CIRCUIT or the cardboard Steve Gutenberg?
Answer: all of them at once!
Brooklyn Record: Coney Island: Funky T-Shirts Out, Condos In:
Dianna Carlin, owner of Lola Staar Souvenir Boutique, has been selling her Coney Island-themed tees on the boardwalk for seven years and she was planning on sticking around — but after she signed a lease (that was never executed) with Thor Equities, she was evicted. The lease also included a confidentiality clause — which was seemingly meant to stop local businesses from complaining about watching their neighborhood get knocked down. “Thor has forced everyone to sign the confidentiality clause, so when people go to the businesses and ask about it, all you can do is shrug your shoulders,” Carlin said. “They’re trying to deceive everyone into believing they will create amusements. They just want to play hardball with the city to get the zoning changed so they can build condos on the boardwalk.”
We have no paucity of good young playwrights, and good older playwrights; we don't have the happiest environment for them to work in. Like in the art world and in literature, the theater's just as trendy, as dangerous and corrupt. The big problem is the assumption that writing a play is a collaborative act. It isn't. It's a creative act, and then other people come in. The interpretation should be for the accuracy of what the playwright wrote. Playwrights are expected to have their text changed by actors they never wanted. Directors seem to feel they are as creative as the playwright. Most of these changes are for commercial reasons. I know a lot about it because I'm on the council of the Dramatists Guild, but of course the pressures are on all of us. I'm in the lucky position where I just say, "Go fuck yourself; if you don't want to do the play I wrote, do another play." The forces of darkness would back down if everybody said that. Theater wouldn't go away and Disney wouldn't go away. It's all because people believe that entertainment has to be superficial.
Where the Coffee Shop Meets the Cubicle:
In the earliest stage of his startup Darius Roberts, 27, shared the de facto office of many a San Francisco techie: a coffee shop.
Working out of a Wi-Fi-enabled java joint in the Mission district was infinitely more pleasant and productive for him than flying solo in a home office at his Oakland apartment. And it provided the opportunity to meet other developers he might even be able to hire one day, as his Web-based car-sharing company, DartCar, grew.
But when Roberts picked up a flyer about a "community office space" called the Hat Factory, he realized there was an even better option. For $10 a day or $170 per month, the Hat Factory could provide him with a desk, standard office amenities, and access to a shared kitchen, private meeting room, and lounge. And something else—community spirit. "You can meet people at a coffee shop, but it's harder to have meaningful interactions," Roberts says. "Co-working lends itself to that."
America tortures (yawn) - Los Angeles Times:
Thanks to Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, "extraordinary renditions" and "black sites," many people now take for granted the image of the American as torturer. At least 100 prisoners have been killed while in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many more have been beaten, humiliated and abused. Still others have been secretly handed over to our even less-scrupulous friends in various Middle Eastern intelligence services. And though the vast majority of our troops and officials abide by both the spirit and the letter of U.S. and international laws, such abusive tactics have been authorized by officials at the highest level of the U.S. government.
In November 2001, 66% of Americans said they "could not support government-sanctioned torture of suspects" as part of the war on terrorism. And when photos of abuses at Abu Ghraib surfaced in the spring of 2004, the U.S. news media treated it — rightly — as a major scandal. In October 2005, the U.S. Senate voted 90-9 in support of legislation prohibiting the inhumane treatment of prisoners, sponsored by Arizona Sen. John McCain.
But over the last year, we seem to have lost our former sense of outrage, though prisoner abuse has hardly ended.
MODEL'S BEEF WITH DELI By PATRICK WHITE - Regionalnews - New York Post Online Edition:
He had a dust-up with the muscle at Katz's Deli - and says he wound up with a black eye from their knuckle sandwich because of it.
Manhattan model Darren Gough, 35, yesterday told The Post he went to the famed deli on East Houston Street early on Sunday to order a hot dog with onions after drinking with a buddy at the nearby Spring Lounge.
But the chisel-jawed model - whose face has appeared on a billboard in Times Square and in print ads for everything from Verizon to Nabisco - said he decided to leave empty-handed after waiting in line 10 to 15 minutes to order.
That's when deli security stepped in, thinking he might be skipping out on his bill, and demanding to see a payment ticket, Gough said.
Boing Boing: Vancouver cops hate WiFi:
Kevin R. West, a federal agent who oversees the computer crimes unit in North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation: "Free wireless spots are everywhere, and it makes it easy for people . . . to sit there and do their nefarious acts. The fear is that if we talk about it, people will learn about it and say, 'I can go to a parking lot, and no one will catch me.' But we need to talk about it so that we can figure out how to solve it."
Kids, the Internet, and the End of Privacy: The Greatest Generation Gap Since Rock and Roll -- New York Magazine:
Talking to her the night before, I had liked Kitty: She was warm and funny and humble, despite the “nonuglies” business. But reading her Livejournal, I feel thrown off. Some of it makes me wince. Much of it is witty and insightful. Mainly, I feel bizarrely protective of her, someone I’ve met once—she seems so exposed. And that feeling makes me feel very, very old.
Because the truth is, at 26, Kitty is herself an old lady, in Internet terms. She left her teens several years before the revolution began in earnest: the forest of arms waving cell-phone cameras at concerts, the MySpace pages blinking pink neon revelations, Xanga and Sconex and YouTube and Lastnightsparty.com and Flickr and Facebook and del.icio.us and Wikipedia and especially, the ordinary, endless stream of daily documentation that is built into the life of anyone growing up today. You can see the evidence everywhere, from the rural 15-year-old who records videos for thousands of subscribers to the NYU students texting come-ons from beneath the bar. Even 9-year-olds have their own site, Club Penguin, to play games and plan parties. The change has rippled through pretty much every act of growing up. Go through your first big breakup and you may need to change your status on Facebook from “In a relationship” to “Single.” Everyone will see it on your “feed,” including your ex, and that’s part of the point.
Crazy Apple Rumors Site » Blog Archive » Apple and Cisco Settle.:
Apple and Cisco announced late today that they had reached an agreement over the use of the iPhone trademark.
According to the terms of the deal, both companies get to use the “iPhone” name on their products and the firms will “explore new opportunities to work together”.
Other terms of the agreement include:
* Apple gets to the use the iPhone trademark on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and every other weekend. Cisco gets it the other days. This arrangement will be renegotiated when the iPhone trademark goes off to boarding school.
* Apple may declare the contract invalid if Cisco uses the word “irregardless”* in a non-ironic context.
* Cisco may invoke an escape clause at any time by yelling the “safe word”, which is “banana”.
* Apple is allowed to name products with any arrangement of the letters in “iPhone”. Look for the Apple Phonie coming soon.
* Apple is allowed to roll its eyes anytime anyone mentions the partnership with Cisco and say things like “Pff. Cisco. Don’t get me started on that bitch.”
* Cisco gets to say it contributed technology to at least three Apple products a year, even if it isn’t true.
* To demonstrate their continued commitment, representatives from both companies must meet every year at a large flat rock on the top of Mt. Ararat and reenact the final scene from the 1995 New Port Richie FL Dinner Theater production of A Streetcar Named Desire - staring Joe Piscopo and Cyndi Lauper - using marionettes.
Researchers condense entire image into single photon - Engadget:
A team of researchers has managed to find a way to store a large amount of data in a single photon of light. Although the first stored item -- an image of the characters "UR" -- implies that the inventor was a 13 year old girl dealing with an extremely low text messaging limit, the image was in fact intended to signify the institution which developed the technology, the University of Rochester (either that or it's the shortest example of the "UR IN MY ... " meme that we've seen in the while.) Apparently the system works because "instead of storing ones and zeros" (a la binary code), the team has figured out how to store an entire image in a single photon, which sounds sort of impossible to us. Funny, because that's exactly what John Howell, the leader of the team said about the system.
Gawker Underminer: Come To Graydon Carter's Warm Inner Thighfold. Or Not. Whatever. - Gawker:
My favorite place is right smack dab back where it all started on 42nd street. It doesn't have a name but it's a nondescript doorway in the back of the Cold Stone Creamery. You just have to push past the angry girl mopping the floor for minimum wage and walk through the kitchen.
The other day I was at a table there with Salman Rushdie, Carolina Herrera, Lou Reed, Bob Costas, and the cast of Coast of Utopia still in their period garb, and we all suddenly let out this unanimous super exclusive exhale of utter depressed defeat at our lives, our country, our souls. We realized we were so sick of these exclusive spaces so we all grabbed our jackets, cloaks and capelets and went to Astor Place and spun that big cube around.
Sarah Vowell Dreams of Bill Nighy and Grange Hall - New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer:
What makes someone a New Yorker?
Daydreaming of L.A.? An inexplicable soft spot for Regis? Jaywalking in front of an ambulance? Sure. But especially: recognizing that the all-time most hopeful and hilarious title in the history of broadcasting is WNYC's annual holiday special "The Jonathan Schwartz Christmas Show."
An announcement about tomorrow night's OCCURRENCE:
Things you will see at Monday's OCCURRENCE:
-- Reggie Watts tearing up the Line 6 sampler
-- fine comedy from Todd Levin
-- master storyteller Mike Daisey telling a short tale
-- singing and dancing extravaganza from Lady Rizo & co.
-- royal rhymes by Ramiz Monsef and Ian Merrigan
-- perucssionist Quilken beating on some junk
-- comic-absurd films from Tommy Smith and Reggie Watts
All for six bux!
You have no excuse:
Monday, February 26
10:00p doors / 10:30p show
See you there?
Heading over to the Warhol now--if you're in Pittsburgh, here's the place.
Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - theatre: Theatre of the absurd:
I will doubtless be accused of elitism. But all I am arguing is that there is a risk of treating popular opinion as the deciding factor on everything. One of the most dismal public statements made in British life was by Richard Luce, a Thatcherite minister, who said of the arts that "the only test of our ability to succeed is whether we can attract enough customers". By that token, most fringe theatres would have been shut down and The Mousetrap was the greatest play of the 20th century. While ultimately the arts are answerable to the public, I think it highly dangerous if creators and critics surrender to the capricious tyranny of popular opinion. As George Bernard Shaw said, when accused of disliking an immensely successful Gallic boulevard comedy: "Forty million Frenchmen can't be right."
Wonderful feature in the NYT today on Ars Nova, the venue that supported the development and production of TRUTH last fall--a great group of people doing real, substantive work that helps artists immensely.
A Week In The Life Of Ars Nova:
Something felt very unusual about the first public reading, earlier this month, of Brooke Berman’s “Out of the Water.” It wasn’t just that the play was good; that sometimes happens. Nor was it so rare to find, even on a bitter Monday night in February, an enthusiastic audience of 40 and a top-notch cast of young theater names. But it seemed almost suspicious that a hip new play by a writer not widely known was being presented in a room with comfortable seats. Also, the heat worked. And what had become of the rats and pigeons that usually attended such readings? Who printed the nice programs? Why were the bathrooms so lovely?
The answer to all of these questions was Ars Nova, the mighty little uptown-downtown theatrical venture on far West 54th Street, which was presenting “Out of the Water” as part of its Out Loud play-reading series. In a landscape defined by stately institutional behemoths and youthful but impoverished start-ups, Ars Nova has designed something new from the best elements of each. That night, and in different, surprising ways every night that week, the young theater focused on the necessary middle, valorizing emerging art and artists by putting them in an environment usually reserved for grandees.
Let Them Eat Foie Gras (Gift Bags Are So Last Year) - New York Times:
BY the glow of candlelight, the Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg and 10 friends dined on foie gras and New York strip steak this week as they looked out over the lights of Los Angeles.
The meal was gratis, and so was the Champagne, elegantly poured by silent, liveried servers at Soho House, a British-style private club practically created overnight in an empty mansion for the week leading up to Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony. It caters to the whims of Hollywood celebrities while marketing an upscale lifestyle to discerning consumers on its guest list.
This is the new swag, a twist on the widespread practice of giving to the already rich and famous. In the wake of a crackdown by the Internal Revenue Service on award seasons gifts, often worth tens of thousands of dollars, Hollywood marketers are relying on a different sort of giveaway: the “branded retreat,” an invitation-only, luxury destination where free products are just a corollary to the more subtle (and possibly tax-free) pleasures of food, drink, entertainment and spa treatments, on the house.
Boing Boing: RIAA declares war on open WiFi:
The RIAA is asking a judge to rule that anyone who provides bandwidth should be responsible for all the activities of his users. This would doom open WiFi -- and all other public networking efforts. But who needs anonymous speech, anyway? After all anonymity fuels irresponsible behavior, like when some anonymous flamer wrote The Federalist Papers and fomented the American Revolution?
The RIAA just wants to stand up for freedom. First they convinced Russia to force licensing and 24-hour inspection of presses, now they want to eliminate anonymous speech here at home.
Record companies are quick to cite the First Amendment when someone suggests banning music with "suggestive" lyrics, but they're not so big on free presses and anonymous speech. It's like they love free speech, but not enough to share it with the rest of us.
Stain Teacup: Age is Beautiful? - Gizmodo:
The interior surface of the cup is treated so as to stain more in predetermined places. The more the cups are used, the more the pattern is revealed. Over time they will build up an individual pattern dependent on the users personal way of drinking tea.
In a culture that prizes the new, I'd love to see such principles applied to popular electronics. Instead of the constant fear of scratching your beloved iPod, the only user who could reveal intricate designs would be be long-term user.
Red Velvet Cake « Trench Doc:
Trenchy: “and you have been off your medicines?”
Patient: (dead serious) “I don’t like them thangs, they make my mouth dry and my p***y dry too… (embarrassed laughter).”
Trenchy: “okaayy” (to patient’s mother) “hello mam, is this how she usually gets when she is off her medicine?”
Mother: “Lawd No, she’s like this even with the medicine… but what worried us so was she said she was gonna poison us, and she’s got a baby at home that I’m worried she might hurt it… she’s been real bad since she’s had that baby. She just can’t handle it.”
Patient: “I aint hurting my baby… I just said I’m gonna poison them rats (more impish laughter) and I did poison them rats, haha, and then they all ran off.”
Mother: “What do you mean… we don’t have rats?” (to me) “she keeps talking about rats but we don’t have no rats… I think she is seeing things this time.”
Patient: “NO MAMMA, them rats at the reunion… I killed them all.”
Medieval Muslims made stunning math breakthrough | Science | Reuters:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Magnificently sophisticated geometric patterns in medieval Islamic architecture indicate their designers achieved a mathematical breakthrough 500 years earlier than Western scholars, scientists said on Thursday.
By the 15th century, decorative tile patterns on these masterpieces of Islamic architecture reached such complexity that a small number boasted what seem to be "quasicrystalline" designs, Harvard University's Peter Lu and Princeton University's Paul Steinhardt wrote in the journal Science.
Only in the 1970s did British mathematician and cosmologist Roger Penrose become the first to describe these geometric designs in the West. Quasicrystalline patterns comprise a set of interlocking units whose pattern never repeats, even when extended infinitely in all directions, and possess a special form of symmetry.
Behind the walls of Ward 54 - Salon:
Perhaps most troubling, the Army seems bent on denying that the stress of war has caused the soldiers' mental trauma in the first place. (There is an economic reason for doing so: Mental problems from combat stress can require the Army to pay disability for years.) Soto-Ramirez's medical records reveal the economical mindset of an Army doctor who evaluated him. "Adequate care and treatment may prevent a claim against the government for PTSD," wrote a psychologist in Puerto Rico before sending him to Walter Reed.
"The Army does not want to get into the mental-health game in a real way to really help people," said Col. Travis Beeson, who was flown to Walter Reed for psychiatric help during a second tour with one of the Army's special operations units in Iraq. "They want to Band-Aid it. They want you out of there as fast as possible, and they don't want to pay for it."
From the Pittsburgh City Paper, on newsstands today--we arrive in town today, and the show is Saturday. Check here for tickets and show details
Go Drink It On The Mountain:
This weekend, the wife and I are driving up to Cle Elum, a dinkish little town near the pass for a couple days of snowy recreation! I'd love to say this was all my idea, but it was totally the wife. She set it up, and a bunch of other friends are coming up there with us to stay in our three-room room-thing complete with a hot tub! And ping-pong table! And we're gonna go sleddin'! And inner-tubin'! And hypothermia-gettin' and pelvis-crunchin'! And of course, drinkin'!
There's something very rejuvenating, I hope, anyway, about spending a couple days with good friends behaving as if we were twenty years younger than we are. There might actually be genuine youngsters there to give us the scornful laughs that we surely will deserve as we drunkenly careen into trees, or snow plows, or bears. Or, even worse, they might laugh at the bunch of nervous drunks who are worriedly scanning the landscape for potential disasters.
However things turn out--DANGER DRUNKS? OR COWARDLY SOTS?--it promises to be a good time. After all, there will be cider! And pie! And that sort of uncomfortable good cheer that comes with sitting too close to your nearly naked friends in a hot tub!
Awesome scene from Pulp Fiction built from motion enhanced typography.
Gothamist: Na Zdorovje! Gothamist goes to Vostok:
For the uninitiated, the term Bukharian refers to a community of Central Asian Jews originally coming out of the city of Bukhara in Uzbekistan. When the Soviet borders loosened, a rush of Bukharian Jews arrived stateside, settling mostly in Queens and localized Brooklyn neighborhoods. They brought with them a centuries-old culinary tradition that includes an eclectic range of grains, an emphasis on braised or grilled meats, kosher-inspired foods and a cache of iconic seasoning gleaned from the historic Byzantine spice routes that once traversed the area.
The cultural fiber of Bukharian cuisine is delightfully intact at Vostok, located just off the 55th street stop on the D train. We began our meal with a deep plate of plov (pilaf to the layman’s tongue) tossed with bits of carrot, chickpeas and dense hunks of slow cooked lamb. Samsas and Manti came next—buttery pastries and fist-sized dumplings respectively, each stuffed with seasoned forcemeat and softened onion. Salad Tashkent, a plate of shredded radish mixed with mayonnaise and black pepper was a mild interlude when spooned onto a heel of nigella-flecked non, baked on premises into its characteristic hub shape.
Corporate Support for the Arts - New York Times:
Over the last decade, the portion of corporate philanthropy dedicated to the arts has dropped by more than half, according to the Giving USA Foundation, an educational and research program of the American Association of Fundraising Counsel. In 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, support for the arts was 4 percent of total corporate philanthropy, compared with 9.5 percent in 1994 — part of a general shift in giving toward health and social services.
When companies do support culture, they are increasingly paying for it out of their marketing budgets, which means strings are attached to the funds: from how a corporation’s name will appear in promotional materials, to what parties it can give during an exhibition, to the number of free or discounted tickets available to its employees.
Marat/Sade - Theater - Review - New York Times:
The chain-link enclosure occupies most of the room. It is filled with naked men. They struggle to put on their clothes, muttering to themselves, barely kept under control by three tough guards. The audience is seated all around the central enclosure; those at the sides are trapped between it and two holding pens at either side of the room.
As the evening continues, the men erupt, hurling themselves against the mesh, inches from the onlookers’ faces and backs. There is spit, and realistic-looking vomit and feces. The hoses that the guards use to restore order spatter the spectators with antiseptic-smelling water.
Watching the new production of “Marat/Sade” that opened on Thursday night at the Classical Theater of Harlem was a harrowing experience, a reminder that theater is not always a safe place.
Computer age brings sun to village in shadow of the Alps - International Herald Tribune:
VIGANELLA, Italy: From mid-November to early February, Viganella lives in the dark shadow of a steep mountain that blocks the sun from casting direct rays on the village, a stone's throw from the Swiss border. For centuries, its citizens have celebrated the sun's return Feb. 2 with a solemn religious procession and a lively auction of local delicacies in the main square.
But this year the guest of honor never really left: Since December, a 40- square-meter, or 430-square-foot, mirror placed on a mountainside above Viganella has been deflecting the sun's rays into the town square, bringing sunlight, of a sort, in winter.
"That had never happened since the time the world began," said Giannino Broggio, Viganella's deputy mayor, who like others deemed the occasion "historic."
Very clear blog entry of one actor's experiences in the industry, talking about what it took her to get where she is. Link
The audacity of cynicism | Radosh.net:
But I have a greater concern about her 2002 vote that is more expansive than Hitch's reductive sneer about "an activist base that essentially believes that you cannot really be a Democrat without being solidly anti-war," and that also rejects Clinton's current efforts to spin her refusal to repudiate her vote as a mark of integrity.
I came to this after re-reading her pre-vote speech, which now seems creepily calculated to have it every possible way all at once. Particularly galling is her claim that she cast her vote "Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely." Was there a person alive in October, 2002 — when bombing had begun and troops were already shipping out — who thought that this could possibly be the case? Besides, how does this square with her current claim that she wouldn't have cast the same vote if she'd known the intelligence was misleading? If all she was really voting for was UN inspections, why should knowing that those inspections would have revealed that Saddam had disarmed change anything? Wouldn't that, in fact, have justified her vote?
Her vote at the time angered me not just because it was in support of the war, but because she was pretending that it wasn't. Can you imagine if the war had gone well — would Clinton now be saying anything other than that she supported it from the beginning?
All politicians lie, of course, but Clinton's shamelessness is precisely the opposite of what we need after eight years of Bush/Cheney. It's not just the vote for the war, it's what it says about her character.
Boing Boing: Justice audit shows data flaws for anti-terror cases:
A Department of Justice data audit released today shows that federal prosecutors listed immigration violations, marriage fraud and drug trafficking as anti-terror cases in the four years after 9/11 -- despite the lack of evidence linking those activities to terrorism.
Boing Boing: Guy mistakes porn DVD sounds for victim, appears with sword:
Dude in Wisconsin hears woman shrieking for help in apartment upstairs. Said dude rushes upstairs, wielding an antique sword, kicks down the door to save the damsel in distress, and discovers another dude sitting alone, watching a porn DVD.
Gothamist: Ethics of Latte Shortcutting:
Call it a ghetto latte, call it bootleg latte - the real question is whether or not ordering a cheaper Starbucks item and then jazzing it up at the condiment station is right. The topic has been debated on Starbucks Gossip, after a reader noted that a customer managed to turn her iced grande and venti Americanos with shots into an "Iced Quad Venti Breve Latte and an Iced Triple Grande Breve Latte," saving almost $5! Now, people have most certainly encountered empty milk and cream carafes - now we know what's afoot!
Starbucks issued a statement that was basically a blessing for milk hogs:
"Customization is a fundamental attribute of the Starbucks Experience. We provide condiments to our customers so they can make their drinks to their liking and we appreciate their patronage. We trust our customers to make the choices that are right for them." That's a very Howard Schultz approach. At any rate, given that the stores are making bank on regular coffee drinks, a little condiment station over-indulgence isn't that bad. Just remember to tip your barista with some of your savings.
This is an actual program--someone actually designed this:
Wired News: Steve Jobs, Proud to Be Non-Union:
"I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way," Jobs told a school reform conference in Texas on Saturday. "This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy."
Jobs knows a lot about schools; he's been selling computers to them for more than 30 years. But don't you love it when a billionaire who sends his own kids to private school applies half-baked business platitudes to complex problems like schools? I'm surprised Jobs didn't suggest we outsource education to the same non-union Chinese factories that build his iPods.
As someone who sends his kids to a struggling San Francisco public school (where 60 percent of the students are eligible for free lunches), I know for a fact that Jobs' ideas about unions are absurd, he's-on-a-different-planet bullshit.
Flame First, Think Later: New Clues to E-Mail Misbehavior - New York Times:
Flaming has a technical name, the “online disinhibition effect,” which psychologists apply to the many ways people behave with less restraint in cyberspace.
In a 2004 article in the journal CyberPsychology & Behavior, John Suler, a psychologist at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., suggested that several psychological factors lead to online disinhibition: the anonymity of a Web pseudonym; invisibility to others; the time lag between sending an e-mail message and getting feedback; the exaggerated sense of self from being alone; and the lack of any online authority figure. Dr. Suler notes that disinhibition can be either benign — when a shy person feels free to open up online — or toxic, as in flaming.
Mexican businessmen break kebab record - Yahoo! News:
MEXICO CITY - A group of businessmen in the northern Mexican City of Chihuahua broke a tasty record Friday, making a hunk of meat on a skewer big enough to serve 24,000 tacos.
In the Friday event dubbed as the "Tacoton," the meat for a pastor taco, a variety of the Mexican dish that consists of pork squashed onto a stake, weighed 3.9 tons and was 13 feet high, Mexican government news agency Notimex reported.
The Widening Spell of the Leaves
Once, in a foreign country, I was suddenly ill.
I was driving south toward a large city famous
For so little it had a replica, in concrete,
In two-thirds scale, of the Arc de Triomphe stuck
In the midst of traffic, & obstructing it.
But the city was hours away, beyond the hills
Shaped like the bodies of sleeping women.
Often I had to slow down for herds of goats
Or cattle milling on those narrow roads, & for
The narrower, lost, stone streets of villages
I passed through. The pains in my stomach had grown
Gradually sharper & more frequent as the day
Wore on, & now a fever had set up house.
In the villages there wasn't much point in asking
Anyone for help. In those places, where tanks
Were bivouacked in shade on their way back
From some routine exercise along
The Danube, even food was scarce that year.
And the languages shifted for no clear reason
From two hard quarries of Slavic into German,
Then to a shred of Latin spliced with oohs
And hisses. Even when I tried the simplest phrases,
The peasants passing over those uneven stones
Paused just long enough to look up once,
Uncomprehendingly. Then they turned
Quickly away, vanishing quietly into that
Moment, like bark chips whirled downriver.
It was autumn. Beyond each village the wind
Threw gusts of yellowing leaves across the road.
The goats I passed were thin, gray; their hind legs,
Caked with dried shit, seesawed along--
Not even mild contempt in their expressionless,
Pale eyes, & their brays like the scraping of metal.
Except for one village that had a kind
Of museum where I stopped to rest, & saw
A dead Scythian soldier under glass,
Turning to dust while holding a small sword
At attention forever, there wasn't much to look at.
Wind, leaves, goats, the higher passes
Locked in stone, the peasants with their fate
Embroidering a stillness into them,
And a spell over all things in that landscape,
Like . . .
That was the trouble; it couldn't be
Compared to anything else, not even the sleep
Of some asylum at a wood's edge with the sound
Of a pond's spillway beside it. But as each cramp
Grew worse & lasted longer than the one before,
It was hard to keep myself aloof from the threadbare
World walking on that road. After all,
Even as they moved, the peasants, the herds of goats
And cattle, the spiralling leaves, at least were part
Of that spell, that stillness.
After a while,
The villages grew even poorer, then thinned out,
Then vanished entirely. An hour later,
There were no longer even the goats, only wind,
Then more & more leaves blown over the road, sometimes
Covering it completely for a second.
And yet, except for a random oak or some brush
Writhing out of the ravine I drove beside,
The trees had thinned into rock, into large,
Tough blonde rosettes of fading pasture grass.
Then that gave out in a bare plateau. . . . And then,
Easing the Dacia down a winding grade
In second gear, rounding a long, funneled curve--
In a complete stillness of yellow leaves filling
A wide field--like something thoughtlessly,
Mistakenly erased, the road simply ended.
I stopped the car. There was no wind now.
I expected that, & though I was sick & lost,
I wasn't afraid. I should have been afraid.
To this day I don't know why I wasn't.
I could hear time cease, the field quietly widen.
I could feel the spreading stillness of the place
Moving like something I'd witnessed as a child,
Like the ancient, armored leisure of some reptile
Gliding, gray-yellow, into the slightly tepid,
Unidentical gray-brown stillness of the water--
Something blank & unresponsive in its tough,
Pimpled skin--seen only a moment, then unseen
As it submerged to rest on mud, or glided just
Beneath the lustreless, calm yellow leaves
That clustered along a log, or floated there
In broken ringlets, held by a gray froth
On the opaque, unbroken surface of the pond,
Which reflected nothing, no one.
And then I remembered.
When I was a child, our neighbors would disappear.
And there wasn't a pond of crocodiles at all.
And they hadn't moved. They couldn't move. They
Lived in the small, fenced-off backwater
Of a canal. I'd never seen them alive. They
Were in still photographs taken on the Ivory Coast.
I saw them only once in a studio when
I was a child in a city I once loved.
I was afraid until our neighbor, a photographer,
Explained it all to me, explained how far
Away they were, how harmless; how they were praised
In rituals as "powers." But they had no "powers,"
He said. The next week he vanished. I thought
Someone had cast a spell & that the crocodiles
Swam out of the pictures on the wall & grew
Silently & multiplied & then turned into
Shadows resting on the banks of lakes & streams
Or took the shapes of fallen logs in campgrounds
In the mountains. They ate our neighbor, Mr. Hirata.
They ate his whole family. That is what I believed,
Then. . .that someone had cast a spell. I did not
Know childhood was a spell, or that then there
Had been another spell, too quiet to hear,
Entering my city, entering the dust we ate. . . .
No one knew it then. No one could see it,
Though it spread through lawnless miles of housing tracts,
And the new, bare, treeless streets; it slipped
Into the vacant rows of warehouses & picked
The padlocked doors of working-class bars
And union halls & shuttered, empty diners.
And how it clung! (forever, if one had noticed)
To the brothel with the pastel tassels on the shade
Of an unlit table lamp. Farther in, it feasted
On the decaying light of failing shopping centers;
It spilled into the older, tree-lined neighborhoods,
Into warm houses, sealing itself into books
Of bedtime stories read each night by fathers--
The books lying open to the flat, neglected
Light of dawn; & it settled like dust on windowsills
Downtown, filling the smug cafés, schools,
Banks, offices, taverns, gymnasiums, hotels,
Newsstands, courtrooms, opium parlors, Basque
Restaurants, Armenian steam baths,
French bakeries, & two of the florists' shops--
Their plate glass windows smashed forever.
Finally it tried to infiltrate the exact
Center of my city, a small square bordered
With palm trees, olives, cypresses, a square
Where no one gathered, not even thieves or lovers.
It was a place which no longer had any purpose,
But held itself aloof, I thought, the way
A deaf aunt might, from opinions, styles, gossip.
I liked it there. It was completely lifeless,
Sad & clear in what seemed always a perfect,
Windless noon. I saw it first as a child,
Looking down at it from that as yet
Unvandalized, makeshift studio.
I remember leaning my right cheek against
A striped beach ball so that Mr. Hirata--
Who was Japanese, who would be sent the next week
To a place called Manzanar, a detention camp
Hidden in stunted pines almost above
The Sierra timberline--could take my picture.
I remember the way he lovingly relished
Each camera angle, the unwobbling tripod,
The way he checked each aperture against
The light meter, in love with all things
That were not accidental, & I remember
The care he took when focusing; how
He tried two different lens filters before
He found the one appropriate for that
Sensual, late, slow blush of afternoon
Falling through the one broad bay window.
I remember holding still & looking down
Into the square because he asked me to;
Because my mother & father had asked me please
To obey & be patient & allow the man--
Whose business was failing anyway by then--
To work as long as he wished to without any
Irritations or annoyances before
He would have to spend these years, my father said,
Far away, in snow, & without his cameras.
But Mr. Hirata did not work. He played.
His toys gleamed there. That much was clear to me . . . .
That was the day I decided I would never work.
It felt like a conversion. Play was sacred.
My father waited behind us on a sofa made
From car seats. One spring kept nosing through.
I remember the camera opening into the light . . . .
And I remember the dark after, the studio closed,
The cameras stolen, slivers of glass from the smashed
Bay window littering the unsanded floors,
And the square below it bathed in sunlight . . . . All this
Before Mr. Hirata died, months later,
From complications following pneumonia.
His death, a letter from a camp official said,
Was purely accidental. I didn't believe it.
Diseases were wise. Diseases, like the polio
My sister had endured, floating paralyzed
And strapped into her wheelchair all through
That war, seemed too precise. Like photographs . . .
Except disease left nothing. Disease was like
And equation that drank up light & never ended,
Not even in summer. Before my fever broke,
And the pains lessened, I could actually see
Myself, in the exact center of that square.
How still it had become in my absence, & how
Immaculate, windless, sunlit. I could see
The outline of every leaf on the nearest tree,
See it more clearly than ever, more clearly than
I had seen anything before in my whole life:
Against the modest, dark gray, solemn trunk,
The leaves were becoming only what they had to be--
Calm, yellow, things in themselves & nothing
More--& frankly they were nothing in themselves,
Nothing except their little reassurance
Of persisting for a few more days, or returning
The year after, & the year after that, & every
Year following--estranged from us by now--& clear,
So clear not one in a thousand trembled; hushed
And always coming back--steadfast, orderly,
Taciturn, oblivious--until the end of Time.
Boing Boing: America's superstar cities - is NYC becoming a trustafarian resort-town?:
In the wake of NYC Mayor Bloomberg declaring that New York's staggering real-estate pricing makes it into a "luxury product," not a "Wal-Mart," Joel Kotkin has written a superb piece for the Wall Street Journal on the poor value for money to be had in the "superstar" cities of America, as compared to the fast-growing B-list cities like Phoenix.
I know what he means -- I think of Europe's B-list cities, like Florence, as having the best of all worlds: relatively cheap housing, lots of weird, experimental activity, cosmopolitanism, beauty and culture. Go to a superstar city like NYC or London and check out how similar all the restaurants, stores, and galleries are. When you need to make $[RIDICULOUS] per square foot every month, there's not a lot of room for a crazy, experimental bookstore or a funky, marginal cafe. Compare that to cities like Melbourne, Montreal, Austin and many other "second cities" and you find a flourishing alternative culture.
BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Cargo cult lives on in South Pacific:
At the base of a sacred volcano in an isolated corner of the South Pacific young men play the "Star Spangled Banner" on bamboo flutes.
Every February they parade in old US army uniforms with wooden weapons.
Others go bare-chested with the letters "USA" painted in bright red letters on their bodies.
Nearby, a giant Stars and Stripes flutters in the breeze from the main flagpole.
This is the heart of John Frum country on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu.
Villagers at Sulphur Bay worship a mystical figure who they believe will one day bring them wealth and happiness.
Back Stage: What do you have against groups like the Royal Shakespeare Company?
O'Toole: Apart from the fact that they're very bad? There was a period -- a generation, indeed -- 30-odd years in which the Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre and the Royal Court, all that lot, they were mediocre, which is unforgivable. Mediocrity is just disgusting. Within the last five, 10 years, they've become bad. And that is such a relief.
Back Stage: Do you think they know they're bad?
O'Toole: No, they've got a very high opinion of themselves. They live in an isolated little community. All it is, is a young bunch of mediocrities who are being exploited because they get no money; all the money goes into production or some director's pocket when it's transferred to London.
Boing Boing: MPAA rips off freeware author:
This reminds me of Warner Music chief Edgar Bronfman, Jr's admission that his kids downloaded infringing music. He shrugged it off, saying that he'd dealt with the matter privately. Other parents are not so lucky: when their kids get caught downloading music, the RIAA sues them for every penny, through a thuggish boiler-room operation.
Copyright law is hard. It used to only govern relations between giant industrial players. Copyright didn't regulate reading an interesting tidbit from the newspaper for a friend. It didn't regulate watching movies. But now, sharing a newspaper article with a friend (by blogging it) involves copying, and so triggers copyright. Now watching a movie (by downloading it) involves copying, so it triggers copyright. The rules that are supposed to be interpreted by lawyers at Fortune 100 companies now apply to every single kid working on a project for her class's website.
This is like having to file with the SEC every time you loan a buddy $5 for lunch.
The science of love:
And finally … how to fall in love
Find a complete stranger.
Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.
Then, stare deeply into each other’s eyes without talking for four minutes.
York psychologist, Professor Arthur Arun, has been studying why people fall in love.
He asked his subjects to carry out the above 3 steps and found that many of his couples felt deeply attracted after the 34 minute experiment. Two of his subjects later got married.
Bog Face: Here's your food:
He's directing two plays at once and today was his first day off since the beginning of January. When I got home from rehearsal, he was taking a nap but he indicated in his half-asleep state that he was very hungry, so I ordered some Thai food for us and when it arrived I put it on the breakfast-in-bed tray my mom gave us and carried it into the bed. Unfortunately, he was now fast asleep. "Do you want this food?" I said, "Are you still hungry?" He indicated he was by biting my hand, so I turned on the lamps and tried to prop him up against some pillows. Then I put the tray down next to him and said, "Here's your food."
He looked irritated. He said, "What do you say when you put that down?"
"What are you supposed to say?"
"WHAT'S YOUR LINE?"
His eyes were wide open, but clearly he was dreaming. And I, just having come from rehearsal, was uniquely susceptible to this particular tone of voice. This tone of voice meant I was fucking up the play.
Pure Pedantry : Chimps have been cracking nuts for a long time:
Researchers have found evidence that chimpanzees from West Africa were cracking nuts with stone tools before the advent of agriculture, thousands of years ago. The result suggests chimpanzees developed this behaviour on their own, or even that stone tool use was a trait inherited from our common ancestor. Julio Mercader, Christophe Boesch and colleagues found the stones at the Noulo site in Cote d'Ivoire, the only known prehistoric chimpanzee settlement. The stones they excavated show the hallmarks of use as tools for smashing nuts when compared to ancient human or modern chimpanzee stone tools. Also, they found several types of starch grains on the stones; part of the residue derived from cracking local nuts. The tools are 4300 years old, which, in human terms, corresponds to the Later Stone Age (PNAS, February 2007).
Ukraine Burglar Locks Self In Church For Five Days, Lives On Wine - World News - Playfuls.com - Business & World:
A Ukrainian burglar who accidently locked himself inside a church survived for five days on sacramental wine before surrendering to police, Sehodnia newspaper reported on Friday.
Boing Boing: Blu-Ray AND HD-DVD broken - processing keys extracted:
Arnezami, a hacker on the Doom9 forum, has published a crack for extracting the "processing key" from a high-def DVD player. This key can be used to gain access to every single Blu-Ray and HD-DVD disc.
AACS took years to develop, and it has been broken in weeks. The developers spent billions, the hackers spent pennies.
For DRM to work, it has to be airtight. There can't be a single mistake. It's like a balloon that pops with the first prick. That means that every single product from every single vendor has to perfectly hide their keys, perfectly implement their code. There can't be a single way to get into the guts of the code to retrieve the cleartext or the keys while it's playing back. All attackers need is a single mistake that they can use to compromise the system.
There is no future in which bits will get harder to copy. Instead of spending billions on technologies that attack paying customers, the studios should be confronting that reality and figuring out how to make a living in a world where copying will get easier and easier. They're like blacksmiths meeting to figure out how to protect the horseshoe racket by sabotaging railroads.
The railroad is coming. The tracks have been laid right through the studio gates. It's time to get out of the horseshoe business.
Neatorama » Blog Archive » The Naked Truth: Authors Who Write in the Buff.:
Writing takes a lot of focus - here are a few authors who got rid of all sorts of distractions, including their clothes, while writing.
A Finale, Frozen in Time - New York Times:
THIS is a story about a man who ran out of time, and a place where time has stood still.
The man died in his daughter’s arms at 1:17 a.m. His physician waved a handkerchief from the window, signaling the news to the crowd gathered outside his third-floor room in the Players Club on Gramercy Park South. It was June 7, 1893, and Edwin Booth was dead.
History often recalls Edwin Booth by a shameful association — his younger brother, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated President Lincoln, whose birthday is tomorrow — but in his day Edwin was revered as one of the greatest actors ever. In 1888, seeking to elevate the place of the actor in society, he established the Players Club in a handsome town house, remodeled by Stanford White to accommodate its new role as a gentlemen’s club. On the third floor of the building, which faces Gramercy Park, Booth established living quarters, where he could reside when in the city.
Upon his death, the door to his quarters at the Players Club was closed. As club lore has it, the room has stood virtually untouched for the last 114 years. Now, the space is known simply as the Booth Room, and kept behind lock and key. Turn past the grandfather clock in the club’s Great Hall, climb a set of creaky stairs beyond a row of sketches, oils and photographs, including several of Booth, his lips pursed, his hair black and shiny, and there, behind a door, are two adjoined rooms, frozen in the 19th century.
My good friend Karney's film, OVERDRAWN, a documentary about overdraft fees that fuel and feed the banking industry, has a trailer up on the Web. I appear alongside Ralph Nader and a number of other august personages, telling their stories and sharing what is known about how banking fucks people in America. I appear in the trailer at the very end of the credits, holding forth in a loud and irascible fashion.
I am still on the islands, far from my normal life, living in a solar-powered quonset hut on the side of a volcano in the middle of the Pacific. Updates and all other correspondence will continue to be sporadic until this situation changes.
The Blind Leading the Blind
Take my hand. There are two of us in this cave.
The sound you hear is water; you will hear it forever.
The ground you walk on is rock. I have been here before.
People come here to be born, to discover, to kiss,
to dream, and to dig and to kill. Watch for the mud.
Summer blows in with scent of horses and roses;
fall with the sound of sound breaking; winter shoves
its empty sleeve down the dark of your throat.
You will learn toads from diamonds, the fist from palm,
love from the sweat of love, falling from flying.
There are a thousand turnoffs. I have been here before.
Once I fell off a precipice. Once I found gold.
Once I stumbled on murder, the thin parts of a girl.
Walk on, keep walking, there are axes above us.
Watch for the occasional bits and bubbles of light
Birthdays for you, recognitions: yourself, another.
Watch for the mud. Listen for bells, for beggars.
Something with wings went crazy against my chest once.
There are two of us here. Touch me.
Gothamist: Helvetica, the Prim Juggernaut:
The typeface that defined high modernity and thrives today as something "at once populist and authoritarian," according to graphic designer Steven McCarthy, is getting its own cinematic biography. Helvetica, the film, will survey the panorama of “typography, graphic design and global visual culture” that has evolved since Max Miedinger unveiled the bedevilingly sleek Helvetica typeface fifty years ago.
Lawrence Wright - My Trip to Al-Qaeda - Theater - New York Times:
Lawrence Wright is not an actor, nor is he a monologuist; he has even struggled with a fear of public speaking. So what’s he doing in a one-man show that has a six-week run at the Culture Project?
Apple - Thoughts on Music:
With the stunning global success of Apple’s iPod music player and iTunes online music store, some have called for Apple to “open” the digital rights management (DRM) system that Apple uses to protect its music against theft, so that music purchased from iTunes can be played on digital devices purchased from other companies, and protected music purchased from other online music stores can play on iPods. Let’s examine the current situation and how we got here, then look at three possible alternatives for the future.
Many thanks to everyone who came out to the show last night in Seattle--we had a beyond-capacity crowd, and I appreciate your time and attention greatly. I board a plane in a few hours for Hawaii, a mysterious and unknowable land from which I hope to return in time. If posting, IMing, and emailing is light it's because I am OUTSIDE trying to have some VISCERAL, IMMEDIATE, UNMEDIATED experiences. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm on vacation, but this may be as close as I ever get.
Taking Andersen Literally | Slog | The Stranger's Blog | The Stranger | Seattle's Only Newspaper:
The secretary of state has approved a proposed ballot measure that would require married couples to have children within 3 years of marriage.
In response to last year’s state Supreme Court ruling, Andersen v. King County, which upheld the state’s Defense of Marriage Act on the grounds that the state leigislature had the right to see marriage as nothing more than a tool for procreation, I-957 was filed by the reclaim-your-oppression-named Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance. The initiative needs 224,800 signatures by July to make the November ballot.
According to WA-DOMA: “This initiative is the first of three that WA-DOMA has planned for upcoming years. The other two would prohibit divorce or separation when a married couple has children together, and make having a child together the equivalent of marriage.”
Gizmodo Exclusive: Wicked Lasers Spyder II Hands-On Review - Gizmodo:
My wife is curious.
"So what do you do with it?"
"It's a laser."
"Very powerful, and fits in your hand."
"So, you can use it giving presentations and stuff."
"Not really. The beam is so bright, you could hurt someone if it reflected into their eye."
"So what do you do with it?"
I am not a laser expert, unless you count watching Real Genius five times as any sort of real world schooling. Sure, I've done my fair share of field-testing with a magnifying glass and the sun, but tagging a massive green dot on a building from 100 yards away is a different beast entirely. I'm just a simple guy who wanted to hold what may be the most powerful consumer laser in the world - and burn something with it.
Thank you, Seattle!
Tonight's performance of STORIES FROM THE ATLANTIC NIGHT CAFE is sold out--there are a limited number of tickets available at the door, and they will go on sale 30 minutes before showtime. Directions and details for the performance are here.
Lies, Damned Lies, and Bill Gates:
Vista is no more of a dastardly rip-off of the Mac OS than previous versions of Windows were. But it’s true that Apple beat Microsoft to market with many of these features by several years. Judging by the internal emails from Microsoft coming out of the Iowa anti-trust case, however, it really does seem like Microsoft’s executives believe that Apple is taking ideas from Microsoft.
That seems to be their way of dealing with the fact that Apple is implementing and shipping major new features in Mac OS X far more quickly than Microsoft has been able to do with Windows. I.e., in Microsoft’s view, it’s not that Vista now offers features that appeared in Mac OS X in 2003; it’s that Mac OS X has features that Microsoft talked about in 2001. Spotlight, in this view, is a rip-off of WinFS — even though WinFS didn’t even actually make it into Vista.
MAKE: Blog: 500+ GB, 10 years - poof:
A couple weeks ago a flood hit my apartment/office area and soaked the desktop system, monitors, equipment *and* back up drive (along with a ton of other stuff) - luckily I have a daily back up on a Powerbook. But, of course the Powerbook decided to completely stop working while at our ETSY event before that could be backed up too. Zapping the PRAM revealed the hard drive failed, so the usual steps of Disk Util, TechTool and then finally drive removal and DiskWarrior were attempted - for the most part the drive seems completely dead - there might be a chance to recover some data under linux, or from a data recovery shop, but it's not looking good. So, years of work, designs, presentations, papers, scans of my artwork, electronics schematics, source code from projects, book drafts, articles, contacts, finance records, 40k emails, videos, photos, articles, jeez everything really - gone, poof.
Julie Atlas Muz - Theater - New York Times:
With wide-set eyes, blond hair and a carved physique, Ms. Muz, 33, is a towering goddess in the cabaret and night-life world. When she takes the stage in her pasties and five-inch platform heels (without them, she is only 5 foot 3), the audience gets titillation with an edge. In one number a fake bloody hand, shackled to her own, has its way with her, to the tune of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s “I Put a Spell on You.” In another, she escapes from a truss as Lesley Gore sings “You Don’t Own Me.” In one subterranean bar Ms. Muz was bludgeoned as Italian opera played. She emerged from the piece nude and covered in fake blood. It’s one of her favorites.
“She has a Grand Guignol aesthetic,” said Kate Valentine, a friend and longtime collaborator who directed “Exquisite Corpse.” Intended as a reflection on suicide, terrorism and fear, it offers a sly meditation on the power of femininity in the face of aging and death. At one moment, Ms. Muz is unhappily examining her few lumpy bits in an enormous mirror; at another, she is shoving a naked baby doll in the freezer, pouring a shot of (real) tequila and handling a (fake) AK-47 with the panache of a sexy villain. It’s not just a tease; it’s a kiss-off.
‘Utopia’ Is a Bore. There, I Said It.:
Coming from someone who earns his living writing about theater, this may sound like madness, heresy or facile provocation. Even nonprofessional critics — which is to say any member of the audience — may hesitate to register a negative opinion about a play so widely regarded as evincing all the virtues serious theatergoers look for: intelligence, eloquence, sophistication, ambition and, of course, a good dose of medicinal seriousness alongside a balm of wit. Mr. Stoppard’s plays have long been celebrated for all of these qualities, and rightly so.
Some may fear, as my new acquaintance from the plaza did, that to admit dissatisfaction or outright dislike is to advertise one’s intellectual obtuseness or philistinism. The coercive reasoning goes something like this: Everyone says it’s brilliant; I am bored; therefore I am not smart enough to appreciate its brilliance. The play isn’t a failure: I am. I am rushing home to read Isaiah Berlin’s “Russian Thinkers” right now. I mean reread it.
It's like so many other things in life
to which you must say no or yes.
So you take your car to the new mechanic.
Sometimes the best thing to do is trust.
The package left with the disreputable-looking
clerk, the check gulped by the night deposit,
the envelope passed by dozens of strangers
all show up at their intended destinations.
The theft that could have happened doesn't.
Wind finally gets where it was going
through the snowy trees, and the river, even
when frozen, arrives at the right place.
And sometimes you sense how faithfully your life
is delivered, even though you can't read the address.
Among the Savages: 500 Slices of Raisin Toast:
A couple of lifetimes ago, when my friends and I were running this six person theatre group in the woods on Maine (note - if one ever decides to be crazy enough to run a six person theatre group, the woods of Maine is not the best location unless one enjoys performing for squirrels and mosquitos), and living in a cabin with no heat or electricity and with running water hooked up from an outdoor hose...
Anyway, one of the cabins at this place was used for storing junk - not the cabin we were sleeping in, but another cabin, which was also used for storing junk. And someone had spray painted something like "David McNeil sat here and ate 500 slices of raisin toast." And for some reason that was one of the funniest phrases in the world, along with "hand painted dogs."
Boing Boing: Verizon terrorizes YouTube with bullshit DMCA notices:
Viacom did a general search on YouTube for any term related to any of its shows, and then spammed YouTube with 100,000 DMCA take-down notices alleging that all of these clips infringed its copyright and demanding that they be censored off the Internet. YouTube made thousands of clips vanish, and sent warning notices to the people who'd posted them, warning them that they were now on a list of potential copyright infringers and telling them that repeat offenses could lead to having their accounts terminated.
This is shockingly bad behaviour on the part of both Viacom and Google, YouTube's owner.
Wifi Liberator is an open-source toolkit for a laptop computer that enables its user to "liberate" pay-per-use wireless networks and create a free, open node that anyone can connect to for Internet access. The project is presented as a challenge to existing corporate or "locked" private wireless nodes to encourage the proliferation of free networks and connectivity across the planet. The project was inspired by the ongoing "battle" between providers broadcasting wireless signals in public spaces, in particular: corporate entities, wireless community groups, individual users, and proponents of open networks. Like my Wifi-Hog project, the Wifi-Liberator critically examines the tensions between providers trying to profit from the increasingly minimal costs associated with setting up a public network and casual users who simply want to see the Internet transform into another "public utility" and become as ubiquitous and free as the air we breath. The project targets pay-per-use wireless networks as often found in airports, other public terminals, hotels, global-chain coffee shops, and other public waiting points.
Seattlest: Seattlest Interview: Mike Daisey, One-Man Story Machine:
Barack Obama has hope, but Mike Daisey has the audacity to sit down just one hour prior to his one-man show, Stories from an Atlantic Night Café, and write an outline that will be his only guide when he steps on stage. Seattlest chatted with Daisey via e-mail as he made the cross-country trek from his home in Brooklyn to Seattle prior to his performance at CHAC on Sunday night.
WINDOWS VISTA: WHY NOBODY CARES:
To sum up: Vista is a perfectly respectable new iteration of Windows. They've even, finally, come up with a decent way to make laptops sleep and wake up again, which XP was never very good at. The fact that it took Microsoft over five years and $6 billion dollars to create Vista is - and I mean this quite seriously - an embarrassment to the good name of American innovation, but it's perfectly fine.
Culturebot.org: On Producing: Aisling Arts Works a 12 Step Method:
My theater company, Aisling Arts, has just opened a work of staggering staggering-ness called FORCE (a trilogy) at the Chocolate Factory in Long Island City which I am ostensibly writing this epistle to promote. It’s an original play told in three segments (Wanderlust, Threshold, Convergence) and is about six hours long, although you can see it in more humane stretches if you so desire. It’s been called “the best new American play of the season” which is mighty flattering, especially given its grand scope. But setting out to make over six hours of theater isn’t exactly something I went into the project knowing how to do.
So here’s the fundamental question: how does a theater company run by two women (one of whom is due to give birth five days after we close) make six hours of theater on a budget of about $2500?
Dark Reading - Desktop Security - Schneier: In Touch With Security's Sensitive Side - Security News Analysis:
Schneier says the goal of his talk at RSA is not to discuss security technologies or tactics, but to explain how people think, and feel, about security. "A lot of the time at RSA, we are just puzzled why people don't secure their computers, and why they behave irrationally. Psychology has a way of explaining this," he says. "If we in the [security] industry expect to build products, we need to understand our customers."
The focus of Schneier's latest research -- which he says could culminate in his next book -- is brain heuristics and perceptions of security. He says security is both a reality and a feeling, with reality based on probability and risk, and feeling based on your psychological reaction to risk and "countermeasures" to security threats.
Often, our perception of risk doesn't match reality, and neuroscience can help explain this, he says. Perception of risk is often seared into our brains. Schneier says people are typically more afraid of flying than driving, for instance, even though statistically it's safer to take the plane. The brain's two systems of assessing risk -- the amygdala (in charge of processing senses like anger, avoidance, fear), and the neocortex, which gives us analytical processing -- don't really work in concert when it comes to perception versus reality of security.
Two plead not guilty to Boston hoax charges - CNN.com:
Two men pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges they created panic by placing electronic light boards that caused a bomb scare Wednesday in Boston.
The boards depicted a cartoon character making an obscene gesture at passing motorists.
Assistant Attorney General John Grossman called the light boards "bomb-like" devices and said that if they had been explosive they could have damaged transportation infrastructure in the city.
Asked by the judge to describe what the figure on the light box was doing, Grossman said, "Colloquially, he was flipping the bird, your honor."
At a news conference after the hearing, Stevens and Berdovsky stepped to the microphones and said they were taking questions only about 1970s hairstyles.
When a reporter accused them of not taking the situation seriously, Stevens responded, "We're taking it very seriously." Asked another question about the case, Stevens reiterated they were answering questions only about hair and accused the reporter of not taking him and Berdovsky seriously.
Reporters did not relent and as they continued, Berdovsky disregarded their queries, saying, "That's not a hair question. I'm sorry."
Susan Orlean Thinks You're Fat - New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer:
. We were most interested, however, in a less well-known work that made the cut. New Yorker scribes Patricia Marx and Susan Sistrom — that's Susan Orlean to you — apparently once interrupted their careers to author the compelling The Skinny: What Every Skinny Woman Knows About Dieting and Won't Tell You!, which, according to Amazon commenters, is a "sick book by unhealthy women" filled with "tips on self-destruction." We'd love to ascribe this detour to youthful desperation, but the book was published in 1999 — one year after The Orchid Thief and while Marx was firmly ensconced in a career as a novelist and Saturday Night Live writer. The book's money quote? "Eat all you want, but never swallow. Spit always." And to think of all the money Si Newhouse has wasted on their expense accounts.
Erections Out, Invincible Summer In At ART. - The Boston Globe:
The April run of "Elections and Erections: A Memoir of Fear and Fun," by Pieter-Dirk Uys, will be postponed. In its place, Mike Daisey (below) in "Invincible Summer."
This from the ART's executive director Rob Orchard: "Mike Daisey is a a consummate story teller. Like Pieter-Dirk Uys, his work is fueled by both the personal and political with a blend of humor and outrage. We are thrilled to be able to introduce Mike to New England audiences."