What happens when a film studio and a fanbase get into bed? Fans of Joss Whedon’s Firefly, and the movie by Universal Studios — Serenity — are not amused. After being encouraged to viral market Serenity, the studio has started legal action against fans (demanding $9000 in retroactive licensing fees in one case and demanding fan promotion stop), and going after Cafepress. The fans response? Retroactively invoice Universal for their services
Quixtar is a multilevel marketing setup like amway. MLM is disgusting enough, but when you start creating vomit-inducing crap like this ad you know it is only a matter of time before it is spoofed. Here’s a parody calling Quixtar a pimp that whores dreams. It even includes a message for future generations: “Our god is money, and he treats us very well. You will join our land someday, and then you will understand the frozen smiles.”
You would think after the Brownie debacle during Katrina last year the President would be eager to appoint someone with qualifications exceeding Arabian horse show judge to lead the nations emergency response efforts. Sadly, no.
“Davis hopes the White House isn’t saying they don’t understand the need for minimal qualifications, or that they might bypass them. If indeed they are, then we haven’t come very far from the days of ‘Heck of a job, Brownie,’ ” Davis spokesman David Marin said, in a reference to Bush’s early praise for Brown. “Good luck getting someone confirmed who doesn’t meet these standards.”
David, ever heard of recess appointments?
The CIA tried to persuade Germany to silence EU protests about the human rights record of one of America’s key allies in its clandestine torture flights programme, the Guardian can reveal.
According to a secret intelligence report, the CIA offered to let Germany have access to one of its citizens, an al-Qaida suspect being held in a Moroccan cell. But the US secret agents demanded that in return, Berlin should cooperate and “avert pressure from EU” over human rights abuses in the north African country. The report describes Morocco as a “valuable partner in the fight against terrorism”.
The classified documents prepared for the German parliament last February make clear that Berlin did eventually get to see the detained suspect, who was arrested in Morocco in 2002 as an alleged organiser of the September 11 strikes.
He was flown from Morocco to Syria on another rendition flight. Syria offered access to the prisoner on the condition that charges were dropped against Syrian intelligence agents in Germany accused of threatening Syrian dissidents. Germany dropped the charges, but denied any link.
So on Tuesday I joined about 1,000 citizens and members of the local and regional media in the Windsor High School Auditorium to hear the debate and try to get an answer to my question from Congresswoman Musgrave.
About twenty minutes before the debate started and after speaking to several reporters about how Musgrave had voted to transform her values into our laws, I took a seat in the front row. As it turned out, I was seated next to the timekeeper who held up yellow and red cards to signal time to the candidates.
But just minutes after taking my seat, I noticed a flurry of activity around my seat including about four uniformed police officers who were – I would learn later – called in by Musgrave staffers and asked to remove me from the building.
At this point, I had made no speeches, I had no signs, had made no attempt to disrupt or cause any commotion. I only came into the auditorium, spoke to a dozen or so reporters and took a seat.
To their credit, the police refused the Musgrave campaign’s appeal to have me removed.
There’s more to come, but I still can’t get over even that part. A sitting member of Congress asked the police to remove me – a taxpaying citizen – from a public debate. Obviously, I misunderstand the concept of a political debate. I thought a debate was a place to share ideas, answer questions, defend your record and tell citizens what you’ve done and what you will do. Marilyn Musgrave believes, I have to gather, that debates are places to have the police remove people who don’t agree with you.
After the police talked with obviously irritated Musgrave staffers and the debate organizer, the Musgrave campaign complained that my seat, next to the timekeeper, was inappropriate because – get this – Marilyn Musgrave would have to look at me. In an effort to appease the Musgrave camp, the debate organizers moved the timekeeper to the other side of the stage – about 15 seats away.
If you need to re-read that again, it’s okay. A member of Congress who took to the floor of our Congress to speak about my wife, my family and my values made the debate timekeeper move so she wouldn’t have to look at me. Just amazing.
As if the evening weren’t already strange enough, as the clock wound down on the debate I noticed about half a dozen Musgrave staffers and supporters gathering near the stairs to the stage. They were whispering and forming a line. It stuck me as odd but I soon discovered why they were there.
As soon as the moderator wrapped-up the evening, they rushed in front of me forming a human shield for Congresswoman Musgrave – trying to keep me from speaking to her.
I called out, “Marilyn, why won’t you answer my question?” and “It’s just one question.” But, like before, she ignored me. And as I approached the stage with other debate watchers, Musgrave staffers surrounded me trying their best to shout over me silly things like, “We love you Marilyn” and “Way to Go! Marilyn!”
It was really lame.
And, no kidding, within seconds of the debate ending, three or four other Musgrave staffers ran on stage, took the Congresswoman by the arms and whisked her through a side door and into a waiting car. She not only avoided my question, she didn’t take a single comment from a single voter or shake a single hand.
I will give her credit, though, Marilyn Musgrave may have been the first member of Congress with the courage to actually demonstrate for all of us what “cut and run” really looks like.
Former Hong Kong governor politician Chris Patten has said that a fundamental lack of understanding in government is to blame for a rash of ill-thought-out technology projects and related legislation in recent years.
Lord Patten of Barnes was especially critical of the government’s ID card scheme, which is heavily reliant on technology. Speaking at the RSA Conference Europe on Wednesday, Patten said the scheme would not achieve one of its possible objectives of making borders more secure.
“Politicians have no sound grasp of technology issues — but politicians don’t necessarily have a profound grasp of any issue. They rely on advisors for information on how to implement their broad intentions,” Patten told ZDNet UK after the press conference. “You have to hope they’re well advised.”
Aw, come on, Chris! I know that America’s Fearless Leader has been using the google on the internets for years. I hear he looks up maps. And Republican Congressmen seem to be able to use instant messenger quite well.
PC manufacturers that expected to get their hands on the final version of Windows Vista today will have to wait a couple more weeks for the operating system, according to sources familiar with Microsoft Corp.’s plans.
Microsoft originally targeted today for Vista’s release to manufacturing, but a last-minute bug that “took most of the Vista team by surprise” caused an unexpected delay, said Ethan Allen, a quality assurance lead at a Seattle high-tech company that tests its products for Vista.
Crap. Now I have to wait another two weeks to not buy it.
A 24-year-old computer security student working on his doctorate at Indiana University Bloomington has created a Web site that allows anyone with an Internet connection and a printer to create and print fake boarding passes for Northwest Airlines flights.
“The Bush administration must immediately act to investigate, apprehend those responsible, shut down the website, and warn airlines and aviation security officials to be on the look-out for fraudsters or terrorists trying to use fake boarding passes in an attempt to cheat their way through security and onto a plane,” wrote Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a senior member of the Committee on Homeland Security, in a statement.
Absolutely, congressman! Anybody exposing what frauds you all are for creating this crap security theater must naturally be thrown into a habeas corpus-free zone right away!
Oh, and Ed, how about getting Senator Schumer in jail as well?
Thirty-year-old Smita Narang is rapidly becoming one of India’s hottest Web designers. Her method: applying vastu shastra, the Indian counterpart of feng shui, to the online realm. The process entails mapping page attributes – HTML, colors, graphics – to elements like fire, water, and air. “Any disturbance of these established elements can cause an imbalance in the site that directly affects its business,” Narang says. Thanks to her book WebVastu and her own vastu-ed up homepage, clients are clamoring for her advice.
I guess we can now officially call this the second internet bubble.
Three Blondes were all applying for the last available position on the Texas Highway Patrol.
The detective conducting the interview looked at the three of them and said, “So y’all want to be cops, huh?”
The blondes all nodded.
The detective got up, opened a file drawer and pulled out a folder. Sitting back down, he opened it and pulled out a picture, and said, “To be a detective, you have to be able to detect. You must be able to notice things such as distinguishing features and oddities, such as scars and so forth.” So saying, he stuck the photo in the face of the first blonde and withdrew it after about two seconds.
“Now,” he said, “did you notice any distinguishing features about this man ?”
The blonde immediately said, “Yes, I did. He has only one eye!”
The detective shook his head and said, “Of course he has only one eye in this picture! It’s a profile of his face! You’re dismissed!”
The first blonde hung her head and walked out of the office.
The detective then turned to the second blonde, stuck the photo in her face for two seconds, pulled it back and said, “What about you? Notice anything unusual or outstanding about this man?”
“Yes! He only has one ear!”
The detective put his head in his hands and exclaimed, “Didn’t you hear what I just told the other lady? This is a profile of the man’s face! Of course you can only see one ear!! You’re excused too!”
The second blonde sheepishly walked out of the office.
The detective turned his attention to the third and last blonde and said, “This is probably a waste of time, but…” He flashed the photo in her face for a couple of seconds and withdrew it, saying, “All right, did you notice anything distinguishing or unusual about this man?”
The blonde said, “I sure did. This man wears contact lenses.”
The detective frowned, took another look at the picture and began looking at some of the papers in the folder.
He looked up at the blonde with a puzzled _expression and said, “You’re absolutely right! His bio says he wears contacts! How in the world could you tell that by looking at his picture?”
The blonde rolled her eyes and said, “Well, Helloooo! With only one eye and one ear, he certainly can’t wear glasses.”
Pope Benedict XVI reached out yesterday to secular intellectuals who share his fear Europe is losing its Christian roots, calling this convergence of views a “great opportunity.”
Addressing a congress of the Italian Roman Catholic Church in the northern town of Verona, the Pope warned of the dangers facing societies that abandon their roots, saying they are unable “to dialogue with other cultures where religion is a much stronger presence.”
Benedict said he was pleased that more and more intellectuals, especially in Italy, agreed with this stance, including “those who do not share our faith or do not practise it” — an apparent reference to Italy’s “devout atheists” gravitating toward the Catholic Church because it defends European values.
“It is a great opportunity” for the Church and Catholics, the 79-year-old pontiff told 2,700 delegates to the congress.
Let me translate that last statement for you: “it’s our only chance to stay relevant in the long term.”