Archive for June, 2009

Neverland at Night

Not that I care, or cared, for or about Michael Jackson, but I have to admit these surreptitious nighttime photos of Neverland are damned cool. I’ve always wanted to explore an abandoned amusement park; the closest I’ve ever gotten has been the one in Hove Beach in GTAIV, alas.

Published in: General, History, Urban Exploration | on June 30th, 2009 | No Comments »

Metadatasharing: The Wave of the Future?

So, forgive me if this is an old idea, but I’m not really a big geek where file-sharing technology is concerned. However, I did have a cunning idea…

So, rightly or wrongly, in a large portion of the world, it’s illegal to copy and share copyrighted works, be they music or video or whatever. However, I wonder just how legally defensible the sharing of metadata is?
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Published in: Geekiness, General | on June 29th, 2009 | 3 Comments »

Follow the Money

Consider for a few moments, if you would, the Hells Angels, the Warlocks, the Outlaws, and all the other outlaw motorcycle gangs throughout North America and elsewhere. Despite infrequent protests otherwise, they’re all involved quite heavily in a wide variety of criminal enterprises – smuggling and distributing drugs, illegal cigarettes, and guns; in some cases even human trafficking and prostitution, to say nothing of the inevitable money-laundering that tries to disguise the origin of their ill-gotten gains.

And, what gains they are! Just in North America, the various “one percenter” biker gangs are evidently moving several million dollars a month. Crime pays, doesn’t it?
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Published in: Geekiness, General, Security | on June 26th, 2009 | 2 Comments »

Draft Dodgers, Deserters, and Resisters: A Blast From the Past

In these jingoistic days of hyper-patriotism, where the anti-war movement is all but dead, it’s easy to forget that there was a time, not so many decades ago, when things were any other way. The Viet Nam war was (for good or bad) the high point of the anti-war movement, a national – even international – achievement that has not been, and probably never will be, replicated.

When I went through school, the Viet Nam war was barely covered in history classes, and opposition to it received little more than an offhand mention somewhere in a brief discussion of the civil-rights movement. The truth, of course, is a bit more involved.

I can’t do anything about the shortcomings of the American educational system, but if you’re interested in learning a bit more about the folks who fled the United States to escape compulsory military service during Viet Nam, I strongly suggest you check out this collection of archival recordings from the Canadian Broadcasting Corportation (25MB, 55-minute MP3 file), which is a truly fascinating look at who dodged the draft or deserted from military service, how they did it, and why.

Published in: General, History | on June 25th, 2009 | No Comments »

Who Else is Going to Bring You… A Broken Arrow?

The BBC have not only produced a retrospective on Col. Howard Richardson (USAF, Ret.) and the hydrogen bomb lost off Tybee Island in 1958, one of the world’s more famous Broken Arrows.

Happily, for the next couple days, at least, you should be able to listen to the quite excellent Radio 4 programme on the incident by clicking right here. It’s a quite fascinating account of the incident, revolving around interviews with the pilot who jettisoned the nuclear weapon…

Published in: Geekiness, General, History | on June 23rd, 2009 | 1 Comment »