Archive for October, 2003

 

Lobot

Friday, October 31st, 2003

Stuck without a Halloween costume and you need one at the last minute? How about considering being a lobot for Halloween!

That’s right, you can be Lando Calrissian’s semi-human semi robotic slave! Here’s what you need to do to make the costume.

1) Shave your head bald.
2) Get an old pair of earmuffs.
3) Glue some old Christmas lights and diodes to the sides of the earmuffs.
4) Put the earmuffs on, so that the go around the back of the head, instead of over the top.

That’s it! Then, make sure you never say a word, but always act like you’re always under someone else’s command. It may help to have a non-lobot partner to pull this off effectively.

Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

 
 

Nudity Is NOT A Halloween Costume

Friday, October 31st, 2003

This sounds like something out of a Monty Python sketch:

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (Reuters) — A man described by authorities as a known sexual predator was chased through the streets of South Philadelphia by an angry crowd of Catholic high school girls, who kicked and punched him after he was tackled by neighbors, police said Friday.

They actually beat him so badly that the cops had time to arrive and arrest the guy. Personally, I doubt the thing was real at all. Sounds like some sort of wierd S&M fetishistic fantasy to me.

Read the lurid details here.

 
 

Can You Hear Me Now

Friday, October 31st, 2003

Alternatively titled, “Look Ma! No Hand”

Man drops cell phone in train toilet, jams arm

NEW YORK (Reuters) — Cell phone users have been known to complain about poor service, but one New York man’s mobile literally went down the toilet.

The man was on a suburban train from Grand Central Station on Wednesday night when he went to the bathroom to make a phone call, dropped the phone into the toilet bowl and then his hand and arm became stuck trying to retrieve it, officials said.

They had to rip the toilet apart with Jaws of Life equipment, delaying commuters by 90 minutes. I wonder if it was a camera phone, and if there are pictures of his hand reaching into the septic tank, covered with sewage.

Read the story here.

 
 

Lexmark is Evil

Friday, October 31st, 2003

So you may remember the Lexmark Prebate case I wrote about earlier. Well, they’re at it again, but this time they lost. The case involves SCC, a company that makes clone tomer cartrides, and Lexmark. Lexmark cartridges have a tiny chip in them that enables the printer to authenticate that the toner is form Lexmark. SCC reverse engineered it, and Lexmark sued under the DMCA.

Without taking a position on whether SCC’s chips illegally incorporate Lexmark code, the Copyright Office ruled that the DMCA does not block software developers from using reverse engineering to circumvent digital protection of copyright material if they do so to achieve interoperability with an independently created computer program.

The SCC had asked the Copyright Office to recommend several DMCA exemptions that would protect its efforts to defeat Lexmark’s protection technology. Those requested exemptions are unnecessary because existing DMCA statutes already allow the kind of reverse engineering that SCC could have used to thwart Lexmark’s protections, the agency said in a lengthy memo of recommendations about exemptions to the DMCA.

This is a pretty big undercutting of the DMCA. But truth be told, I have to wonder about Lexmark at this point. I mean, are they now on teh forefront of obnoxious legal menauvering in teh technology world? My current printer is an HP, but I tell you, I’m not exactly inclined to make my next one a Lexmark after seeing the way the company has been behaving.

Read the story here.

 
 

Porn Week

Friday, October 31st, 2003

It’s still not noo late to celebrate Porn Week!

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 26 through November 1, 2003, as Protection From Pornography Week. I call upon public officials, law enforcement officers, parents, and all the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs and activities.

I will celebrate by giving you the link below. Not safe for work.

Porn Week Celebration

 
 

Silly Globe

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

The Boston Globe is a decidedly silly newspaper. Owned by the New York Times and completely divorced from reality, they are, unfortunately, the only broadsheet in town. Because of this fact, many Bostonians believe that it’s the local paper of record, and that it must be a quality read because it wouldn’t be possible for Boston to have as its main broadsheet, a paper that is at its best, an inconsequential rag.

I remember once sitting around with a number of friends of mine, most of them from Boston, and one a transplant from Pueblo, CO. The subject of the Globe came up, and the transplant, a Harvard graduate with relatively liberal political views, said dismissively, “Ugh, the Globe is such a rag.” Everyone else in the room looked, surprised, but it really takes forcing yourself to read other papers to see just how awful the Globe really is.

Growing up, my father would sit at the breakfast table every morning, and just fume over how illogical, contradictory, and inaccurate the Globe could be, reading stories out loud and pointing out the problems point by point. Well, I no longer live with my father, but I’m happy to report that the blog Silly Globe is doing much the same thing. Their daily fisking of Globe reporting is a must read for anyone from the Boston area, especially if you’re tired of dealing with people who read the Globe as if it were a source of factual news. I’ve added them to the blogroll. You may want to check them out for yourselves.

 
 

New York Next Year

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

Ted Rall’s last column was pulled. Strange. His column this week is very telling:

“Next year in New York” is already the rallying cry of more than 150 groups planning to protest Bush’s coronation. United for Peace and Justice, which organized some of the biggest demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq, has applied for a 250,000-person permit to march past Madison Square Garden, where the convention is being held, on the event’s first full day…

Activists are talking, some with barely hidden glee, about the possibility of violence. “It’ll be Chicago 1968,” a well-connected progressive leader predicts, referring to the “Days of Rage” riots during that year’s Democratic National Convention. “Things are gonna burn, people are gonna die.” Harsh new NYPD tactics, like using horses to trample protesters, could throw gas on an already combustible situation. “Angry protesters have claimed police are meeting [antiwar] demonstrations with new heights of repressiveness, amounting to a pattern of unfounded arrests and abuses,” reports The Village Voice.

Ted Rall goes on to say he’s against potential violence, but then like a typical cowardly liberal, advises the Republicans to hold their convention elsewhere. Go read his entire column here. When you’ve returned, allow me to point out a few things:

1) The Democrats lost in 1968.
2) Attitudes towards crime have changed since 1968. As bad as the conflicts with the police were then, they will be worse now. People will get hurt. There won’t be much sympathy.
3) The 1968 riots were, at root, an internecine fight. They were Democrats against Democrats. A fight where Democrats show up to disrupt a Republican convention will be seen as bad sportsmanship, and will not win sympathy.
4) It is entirely proper for a major political party to hold its national convention where it wants. We are one country, and it is entirely un-democratic to to imply that there are certain “neighborhoods” that might be “dangerous” for a party to tread in. It doesn’t matter that 81% of New Yorkers voted for Gore. This should be an opportunity for Republicans and local Democrat voters to engage eachother on ideas, ideas which it is entirely likely the average New Yorker isn’t exposed to in a personal way, given that 81% of his neighbors all voted alike.
5) It’s entirely proper for a President to be involved with activities at Ground Zero. That’s because he’s President. President Clinton went to Oklahoma City, and there isn’t a political analyst in the country who will tell you that that event didn’t turn around his otherwise then glim political porspects. So was he playing politics, or doing what a President does in times of crisis and grief?
6) Ribbon cutings and other ceremonial functions are typically attended by politicians. Laying the cornerstone for the new construction at Ground Zero is something that probably should be attended by our head of state, given the NATIONAL importance of the reconstruction.
7) The convention is being held in New York, a city that otherwise wouldn’t likely be chosen by Republicans, as a means of providing an economic boost to a city which, after 9-11, desperately needed it. It’s a gesture that will bring millions of dollars to the city’s economy, even if the locals do act towards their Republican visitors as French do to American tourists. If it gets worse than that, expect the same sort of backlash against the ungrateful liberal New Yorkers as the French receive today.
8) It strikes me that the Democrats have a credibility problem here. Remember what happened at Paul Wellstone’s funeral? How when Republicans came out to honor the man, they were booed? How Clinton et. al. turned the memorial service into a political rally?

If the Democrats want to misbehave in New York City, then fine. That kind of behavior will only bite them in the ass.

 
 

Wahabbism Is Evil

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

If you’re in Boston, you undoubtedly saw the cover of the Herald yesterday, which said that a new $22 million mosque is going up in Boston. Guess who’s behind it:

Many mosques and Islamic institutions in the U.S. are funded by wealthy individuals and foundations in Saudi Arabia. Those financiers are almost without exception followers of Wahhabism, a harsh Saudi-based fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, and they make sure the American mosques they bankroll adhere to the sect’s anti-Western ideology.

“Saudis and Gulf financiers are strongly nationalistic and therefore will not give money to those who do not support their line of reasoning,” said Dr. Khaleel Mohammed, an assistant professor of religious studies at San Diego State University who studied for eight years in Saudi Arabia and taught at Brandeis University.

The result, said some Muslim activists, is that many mosques in the U.S. are disconnected from the majority of the American Muslims they supposedly serve.

“It has created this phenomenon of Muslims without mosques, and I would say the Islamic Society (of Boston) is no exception,” said one Muslim activist who declined to be identified. “The mosque is being paid for with money from the Middle East and it’s connected to a larger agenda.”

That agenda is “fundamental Islamist politics, anti-Semitic and anti-American in many ways,” the Muslim activist said.

But they’re not the only ones who funded it:

In May, the BRA sold the 1.9-acre lot to the group for the bargain price of $175,000, but construction has yet to begin. The Islamic Society of Boston’s own newsletter said the land is worth $2 million.

That’s right. The City of Boston in effect gave $1,825,000 to these wackos. So not only are Saudis funding an invasion of America on a massive scale, but we’re subsidizing it. That’s really bright. We’re not going to win this war, or move the front fully overseas, until we defund the Saudis. We should be talking about it explicitly at this point. I’m disgusted.

Any locals want to join me in holding “Wahabbism is Evil” banners across the street from the construction site? Maybe we should talk to the construction company, see if we can’t shame them out of doing business with these guys.

The Herald article was in two parts. You can read it at the links below.

Part 1
Part 2

 
 

WTF is AOL thinking?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

My AIM window just suddenly started playing this obnoxious advertisement for that new Elf Movie, that actually hijacked my computer and started playing an audio commercial for the movie without my permission. Goddamnit, I don’t have time for that shit! I think it may be time to try Trillium again.

Oh, and as for the movie? I won’t see it now. Not after that obnoxious affront.

UPDATE: Found a tool to kill the AIM ads. Perfect. No more intrusive movie previews playing on my desktop. If you’re having the same problem I had, you can find the ad remover I used here.

UPDATE 2: That previous ad remover didn’t work, it came back. This one worked fine. Get it here.

 
 

MMMMMmmmm Dolphin Meat…..

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

Bring me some…

(via Drudge)