"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson

Utility Fog Banner

Gold Lame is a Drug
Willow Don't Cry
Via WFMU's Beware of the Blog

Targets
" It is a chilling, dystopian account of what Britain will look like 10 years from now: a world in which Fortress Britain uses fleets of tiny spy-planes to watch its citizens, of Minority Report-style pre-emptive justice, of an underclass trapped in sink-estate ghettos under constant state surveillance, of worker drones forced to take on the lifestyle and values of the mega-corporation they work for, and of the super-rich hiding out in gated communities constantly monitored by cameras and private security guards.

&nbsp This Orwellian vision of the future was compiled on the orders of the UK's information commissioner - the independent watchdog meant to guard against government and private companies invading the privacy of British citizens and exploiting the masses of information currently held on each and every one of us - by the Surveillance Studies Network, a group of academics.

&nbsp On Friday, this study, entitled A Report on the Surveillance Society, was picked over by a select group of government mandarins, politicians, police officers and academics in Edinburgh. It is unequivocal in its findings, with its first sentence reading simply: "We live in a surveillance society." The information commissioner, Richard Thomas, endorses the report. He says: "Today, I fear that we are, in fact, waking up to a surveillance society that is already all around us."

&nbsp The academics who compiled the study based their vision of the future not on wild hypotheses but on existing technology, statements made about the intentions of government and private companies and studies by other think tanks, regulators, professional bodies and academics.

&nbsp The report authors say that they believe the key theme of the future will be "pervasive surveillance" aimed at tracking and controlling people and pre-empting behaviour. The authors also say that their glimpse of the future is "fairly conservative. The future spelled out in the report is nowhere near as dystopian and authoritarian as it could be.""

UK 2017: under surveillance
Via Cryptome

Mental Diet
Ladies and Gentleman, The Reverend Bruce Howard:

The Reverend was one of the high points of Seattle Cable Access TV in the 90's. He went through 3 stylistic phases: The slooooow vampiric talking head, then the giddy "Buddy Love" featuring pastel backgrounds and his nervous dog, and finally the dark cultish ranter complete with on-screen disciples. Many was the time that an innocent dive bar was terrorized by my co-workers and I demanding our friday night after-work fix of Bruce. Via MetaFilter

Actor, Director, Hambone

10 Classic Death Scenes of Su Chen Ping
Via VideoSift

Zombie Leftovers
Abandoned laboratory of studying a human brain
Via ectoplasmosis

Well, I Hope You're Happy Now
Mankind 'shortening the universe's life'
Via Slashdot

Bear Bones House
Ever since I blogged about Penn Jillette's unique house I wondered what Teller's house was like.

Via Boing Boing



Ping
" Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of drug traffickers, fugitives and other criminal suspects, according to judges and industry lawyers.

&nbsp In some cases, judges have granted the requests without requiring the government to demonstrate that there is probable cause to believe that a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime. Privacy advocates fear such a practice may expose average Americans to a new level of government scrutiny of their daily lives. "

Cellphone Tracking Powers on Request
Via MetaFilter

Compare and Contrast
" As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

&nbsp Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information. "

Definition Changing for People's Privacy

" Two computer discs holding the personal details of all families in the UK with a child under 16 have gone missing.

&nbsp The Child Benefit data on them includes name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and, where relevant, bank details of 25 million people."

UK's families put on fraud alert

Crypto
" Animal rights activists are thought to be the first Britons to be asked to hand over to the police keys to data encrypted on their computers.

&nbsp The request for the keys is being made under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).

&nbspPolice analysing machines seized during raids on activists' homes carried out in May have asked for the keys.

&nbspThe activists could face jail if they do not comply and snub a further formal request to hand over the keys."

Campaigners hit by decryption law

Travel Is Fun!
british travel questions
" Travellers face price hikes and confusion after the Government unveiled plans to take up to 53 pieces of information from anyone entering or leaving Britain.

&nbsp For every journey, security officials will want credit card details, holiday contact numbers, travel plans, email addresses, car numbers and even any previous missed flights.

&nbsp The information, taken when a ticket is bought, will be shared among police, customs, immigration and the security services for at least 24 hours before a journey is due to take place.

&nbsp Anybody about whom the authorities are dubious can be turned away when they arrive at the airport or station with their baggage."

Sweet Electic Jezus! Hijacking a plane would be easier than filling out that form

Terror crackdown: Passengers forced to answer 53 questions BEFORE they travel



Rinji news o moshiagemasu!
Lego Mecha Godzilla
Via Widgett's Bookmarks on Del.icio.us And Needcoffee.com

Better Late Than Never
Farside Animated Halloween Special

Cloverfield
J. J. Abram's new movie is due 1-18-08. There have been developments.

Laugh-a While You Can, Monkey-Boy
Buckaroo Banzai Returns

Great Flick
Overlooked Movie: Point Blank
Search Results "Marvin Boorman" (YouTube)
The real thing: Marvin and Point Blank

Waterboarding is Not a Sport
" It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed: The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush.

All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity; all the invocations of World War III, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists...

All of it is now, after one revelation last week, transparently clear for what it is: the pathetic and desperate manipulation of the government, the refocusing of our entire nation, toward keeping this mock president and this unstable vice president and this departed wildly self-overrating attorney general, and the others, from potential prosecution for having approved or ordered the illegal torture of prisoners being held in the name of this country."
The presidency is now a criminal conspiracy
Keith Olbermann, "Countdown" Special Comment, 11/5: Torture is criminal, and Bush is guilty (Alternate Transcript)
KEITH OLBERMANN SPECIAL COMMENT ON WATERBOARDING NOV 5, 2007 (YouTube)
via MetaFilter

King Corn
" Americans have begun to ask why the farm bill is subsidizing high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils at a time when rates of diabetes and obesity among children are soaring, or why the farm bill is underwriting factory farming (with subsidized grain) when feedlot wastes are polluting the countryside and, all too often, the meat supply. For the first time, the public health community has raised its voice in support of overturning farm policies that subsidize precisely the wrong kind of calories (added fat and added sugar), helping to make Twinkies cheaper than carrots and Coca-Cola competitive with water. Also for the first time, the international development community has weighed in on the debate, arguing that subsidized American exports are hobbling cotton farmers in Nigeria and corn farmers in Mexico.

On Capitol Hill, hearings on the farm bill have been packed, and newspapers like The San Francisco Chronicle are covering the legislation as closely as The Des Moines Register, bringing an unprecedented level of attention to what has long been one of the most obscure and least sexy pieces of legislation in Congress. Sensing the winds of reform at his back, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, told a reporter in July: “This is not just a farm bill. It’s a food bill, and Americans who eat want a stake in it.”

Right now, that stake is looking more like a toothpick. Americans who eat have little to celebrate in the bill that Mr. Harkin is expected to bring to the floor this week. Like the House bill passed in July, the Senate product is very much a farm bill in the traditional let-them-eat-high-fructose-corn-syrup mold."
Weed It and Reap
Via The Frontal Cortex

Good Times
I love Chic as much as the next middle-aged white guy, but wtf is Nile Rodgers doing on a list of Top 100 living geniuses?
Via dy link blog

Take That, Despotic Thugs
" The Burmese military is facing an unexpected threat from female opponents to its regime - a deluge of panties dispatched to the country's embassies in a "culturally insulting gesture of protest" against its recent crackdown on protestors.

According to AP the Panties for Peace initiative is not merely symbolic, since the the group behind the campaign - Lanna Action for Burma - claims "superstitious generals, especially junta leader General Than Shwe... believe that contact with women's underwear saps them of power"."

Women's panties threaten Burmese Junta
Via Eyebeam reBlog

"I Can Kill Catering With a Thought"


YouTube: Death Star Canteen
Via SF Signal

I Like Dogs

I ran into one of these guys today one the way to the corner market. He was tied to a little tree in a little raised front yard while his owners were installing new front steps. At first it was hard to tell if he wanted anything to do with me, which is fine-it's his yard and he's entitled to his opinion. What gave him away was one of those little front leg hops. It turned out that "Tank" was just bored and wanted something or someone to play with-like a beer keg, or a small bear, or maybe a herd of elk. He seemed to be made out of superball rubber instead of plain muscle, and had a intense obsession with licking my face. He was a great dog, and now I have some idea of what it would be like to interact with a very friendly baby rhino.

Giant Barking Spiders
" Strangely, Hitler was unfazed by the fact that this high-fiber diet was having the opposite effect on his digestion than what he had intended: His private physician, Dr. Theo Morell, recorded in his diary that after Hitler downed a typical vegetable platter, "constipation and colossal flatulence occurred on a scale I have seldom encountered before.""
Scent of a Führer
Via MetaFilter

"Ordinary F****** People, I Hate 'Em"

" We've opened up a new front on the war on terror. It's an attack on the unique, the unorthodox, the unexpected; it's a war on different. If you act different, you might find yourself investigated, questioned, and even arrested -- even if you did nothing wrong, and had no intention of doing anything wrong. The problem is a combination of citizen informants and a CYA attitude among police that results in a knee-jerk escalation of reported threats.

This isn't the way counterterrorism is supposed to work, but it's happening everywhere. It's a result of our relentless campaign to convince ordinary citizens that they're the front line of terrorism defense. "If you see something, say something" is how the ads read in the New York City subways. "If you suspect something, report it" urges another ad campaign in Manchester, UK. The Michigan State Police have a seven-minute video. Administration officials from then-attorney general John Ashcroft to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff to President Bush have asked us all to report any suspicious activity.

The problem is that ordinary citizens don't know what a real terrorist threat looks like. They can't tell the difference between a bomb and a tape dispenser, electronic name badge, CD player, bat detector, or a trash sculpture; or the difference between terrorist plotters and imams, musicians, or architects. All they know is that something makes them uneasy, usually based on fear, media hype, or just something being different.

Even worse: after someone reports a "terrorist threat," the whole system is biased towards escalation and CYA instead of a more realistic threat assessment.

Watch how it happens. Someone sees something, so he says something. The person he says it to -- a policeman, a security guard, a flight attendant -- now faces a choice: ignore or escalate. Even though he may believe that it's a false alarm, it's not in his best interests to dismiss the threat. If he's wrong, it'll cost him his career. But if he escalates, he'll be praised for "doing his job" and the cost will be borne by others. So he escalates. And the person he escalates to also escalates, in a series of CYA decisions. And before we're done, innocent people have been arrested, airports have been evacuated, and hundreds of police hours have been wasted."

The War on the Unexpected
Via Slashdot

Re: Your Brains

Warning: Zombie Goodness

Via Kung Fu Monkey



You Can Hug It and Love It and Squeeze It and...
computer mouse made from real mouse
" Hacked travel-size (hardware) mouse + taxidermied (wetware) mouse = Mouse Mouse!

Fully functional, and furry!

Warning: this project involves taxidermy, dremels, and sometimes graphic pictures of dead animals. While there are no guts in this tutorial, viewer discretion is still advised."

Mouse Mouse!

Woohoo
Joss Whedon coming back to TV
Via Robot Wisdom auxiliary