There’s a rumor floating around via email, to the effect that Christmas has been cancelled for lack of interest. What’s more, this time there’s photographic proof:
Retailers are expected to increase discounting in the final days before Christmas after a late-buying binge failed to materialize during the last weekend before the holiday. And that’s fueling worries that industry profits could be hurt in the fourth quarter.
“You will really see some dramatic desperation discounting” this week, said Burt Flickinger III, managing partner at Strategic Resource Group, a New York-based industry consultant. He estimated that profit margins will be cut by 3 percent to 5 percent in the fourth quarter as a result.
Accused of being insensitive to U.S. soldiers in Iraq and their families, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld received a fresh endorsement Monday from President Bush, who called him “a caring fellow.”
To quote a recent comment on this weblog about another Bush remark:
The U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Neah Bay is framed by ice covered trees along the shore of Lake Erie as a flock of ducks fly overhead Monday, Dec. 20, 2004. The day before the official start of winter brought brisk winds and sub-freezing temperatures following a snowstorm that dumped up to a foot of snow on parts of northeast Ohio. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Every year, thousands of news stories get overlooked, lost in the welter of major international events.
They are, for the most part, simple tales of a human dimension, not involving war, disaster or political unrest, just stories which illustrate the extraordinary in the everyday, the amusing, the absurd, the often lurid and the downright bizarre.
Here, then, is a selection of some of those “offbeat” stories which offered an insight into human nature in 2004
SuprNova.org, the most popular BitTorrent file-sharing site, is to stop hosting torrent links.
In a message posted on its website, the site operators say it “is closing down for good in the way that we all know it. We do not know if SuprNova is going to return, but it is certainly not going to be hosting any more torrent links. We are very sorry for this, but there was no other way, we have tried everything.”
SuprNova’s IRC channel and forums will remain open.
SuprNova’s demise as a BitTorrent clearing house coincides with increasing legal pressure in America and Europe against P2P-enabled piracy. In the last week the Movie Picture Ass. of America signalled its intention to pursue the P2P server operators in a new front in its war internet movie pirates. Also, a popular BitTorrent site in Finland was raided by police, and an eDonkey site in the Netherlands was raided and shut down.
There are conversations to be had about the morality of file sharing, but until those stern words are able to project a “morality field” that causes those in their radius to behave honorably such dialogues fall into the “adorable but irrelevant” category. The muscular responses to the phenomenon have made it worse, and greater consumer throughput has put movies and television on the menu. The Internet represents a user definable broadcast spectrum that makes the notion of a “television network” almost incoherent. That is the actual issue obscured by this site going down or that service going under: the ice age has arrived for massive conglomerates. They can adapt to this shift, or they can become museum exhibits. Up to them.
I point y’all to torrentspy.com and elitetorrents.org.