Screwing with Echelon

This is definitely old news, as I remember taking the forty-seven words (or whatever it was) that a New York Post reporter had put in an article as “keys” that would be picked up by the “Echelon” project that swallows all transmissions and scans it for possible terrorist activity, crime, etc., and putting it in like 1pt font as a footer in all of my emails. I probably ended up on a hotlist somewhere, but no one ever came knocking on my door, so whatever.

This morning, MetaFilter has a post about adding these so called “spook words” to your meta tags on your web page in order to “drive” traffic to your site. I’m not sure that’s an optimal idea, but amusing nonetheless, in a sort of fill a highway with high-bouncy balls way.

Bush Timeline

Eric Alterman at The Nation. has a good writeup that asks “Where was George?” that details the specific timeline on 9/11/01, and the incongruence of statements that Bush and then-spokesman Ari Fleischer made about where Bush was, when, what he knew, and what happened. Based on various video that is out there, plus statements by others, we have a pretty good idea what happened. Now obviously there is the potential for error when making statements about such things, but it is interesting to read once again that Bush did say he watched the first plane crash into the WTC before going into the classroom. Let’s be honest here, why is no one asking this another questions? It’s very fishy, to be honest. Left wing leaning in the media? I’m going to have to say no.

NY Institution Gets (Temporary) New Lease On Life

New York City’s The Bottom Line nightclub might just stick around a little longer. Apparently, reports of its demise are greatly exaggerated – okay, perhaps just a little too early. They’re in danger of getting booted by their NYU landlords, but Sirius satellite radio has put up the $185K that is owed to see if a new agreement can be reached. If it happens, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing Sirius’ logo, Mongo the dog, more often in the club.

“Underworld” comments

I was happy to get to see the Len Wiseman-directed “Underworld” last night, and was also pleasantly surprised by its content. Typically movies that get promoted in a big way end up #1 at the box office for at least a week, but this movie was actually good. While watching, I realized that people are stuck watching movies about characters that are fluffy, and not “fantastic” at all – that’s why a movie like “The Lord of the Rings” can be so successful because it’s not like anything else you’re seeing. You’re used to love stories, cop movies, blah blah blah. They’re all somewhat realistic, at least on what most people consider the “real world”. It’s good to see something that has some background, some interesting story/plotlines, and quality use of past events as the basis for the plot. Quality foreshadowing by use of memories, if you will.

Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbor, Brokedown Palace) plays Selene, a vampire “death dealer”, who is struggling with her experiences as a child when her family was killed by the Lycans (werewolves), or so she thinks. She was taken in by Viktor, who’s the vampire boss at the time, and someone she looks up to and treats like her father.

The movie discusses the somewhat epic struggle between the Lycans and Vampires, with a few plot twists, all revolving around finding Michael, played by Scott Speedman (you’ll recognize him from the WB’s “Felicity”). With a decent amount of action, some pretty cool effects, and Matrix-like fight scenes that aren’t dragged out for ten minutes, I definitely enjoyed the film. If you like really really big magazines in your handguns, then this is the film for you – at least they attempted to reload in this flick, though.

I won’t get too in detail, but if you like dark films with some cool characters and decent action, you’ll enjoy this film. See, no spoilers!

Do Not Call Registry “illegal”?

Just read on techdirt that a federal judge in the great state of Oklahoma has declared the “Do Not Call” list illegal. MSNBC.com is also reporting the same thing, with a little bit of depth. I’m not very pleased by this happening, to be honest. It’s just about to start working in a couple days, and I would really like to see it happen. Now there’s no way it’ll start by 10/1. Sometimes I really really wonder if legal persons are actually human, to be honest. I just don’t get it. I think I have the right to tell people not to call my house and sell me stuff – sorry, but that’s just me. Same for my mobile phone – if I ever start getting spam text messages like in Asia or voicemails with ads, I’m going to drop.

End of an Era

MSNBC.com is reporting that Indian Motorcycle, one of the better names in the industry, has stopped production and laid off its work force. Claiming financial trouble, the company halted business as of today, and hopes to straighten themselves out, although bankruptcy is a possibility. The Indian brand is one of the more recognizable logos around, and will hopefully either return to stability or be picked up by another corporation willing to take a chance. You can learn more about Indian at indianmotorcycles.com.

Verisign Gives the Finger

Looks like Verisign really doesn’t care that ICANN came out against their SiteFinder b-s, nor do they seem to care that there are other companies out there who aren’t using some sort of monopoly power to redirect all traffic to their site. There’s a big difference between registering all the names yourself and redirecting to your site and just doing so because you can. Apparently, V/S doesn’t care and doesn’t seem to be budging on the subject. If you’re interested in topics like this, apparently there’s a service called ICANNWatch which is a blog type deal where you can read up on this stuff.

Verisign is going to get the big smackdown on this, I have a feeling. They keep quoting chapter and verse about how they’re basically masters of the universe, but even Al Gore didn’t go this far. And he INVENTED the Internet, don’tcha know.

[via MetaFilter]

Safety: Key or not Key at NASA?

It was reported today that all nine members of NASA’s safety panel resigned yesterday amid issues of a “lack of influence” and the frustration with the “complacency” that NASA seems to have.

The team is made up of experts from outside of NASA, and was founded in 1967. This comes amid the recent reports about the accident on February 1st of this year, when the space shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.

Capitalism

So I almost downloaded “Guerilla Radio” by Rage Against the Machine for my cellphone, from my favorite service Zingy, but then I realized, in a moment of “what would Zach de la Rocha do?” that that would just be wrong. So I downloaded 50 Cent’s “If I Can” instead. That seemed more logical.

I think that Morello and the boys would be very upset with me that I managed to obtain their lovely song and put it on my cellphone for person amusement. It’s probably against something they believe in, but I can’t figure out what yet, considering they’re in the business of making money. Even in the post-RATM world. Speaking of Zach, what the heck is he doing these days?