longwing: (Default)
I will repost what was sent to me, verbatim:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Air Force One Subject of Internet Hoax
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 07:10:07 -0500
From: Ted Bridis <ap@telecom-digest.org>p
Organization: TELECOM Digest
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom

By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer

A startling Internet video that shows someone spraying graffiti on
President Bush's jet looked so authentic that the Air Force wasn't
immediately certain whether the plane had been targeted.

It was all a hoax. No one actually sprayed the slogan "Still Free" on
the cowling of Air Force One.

The pranksters responsible for the grainy, two-minute Web video -
employed by a New York fashion company - revealed Friday how they
pulled it off: a rented 747 in California painted to look almost
exactly like Air Force One.

"I wanted to do something culturally significant, wanted to create a
real pop-culture moment," said Marc Ecko of Marc Ecko
Enterprises. "It's this completely irreverent, over-the-top thing that
could really never happen: this five-dollar can of paint putting a
pimple on this Goliath."

The video shows hooded graffiti artists climbing barbed-wire fences
and sneaking past guards with dogs to approach the jumbo jet. They
spray-paint a slogan associated with free expression.

After the video began circulating on the Web on Tuesday, the Air Force
checked to see whether the plane had been vandalized.

"We're looking at it, too," said Lt. Col. Bruce Alexander, a spokesman
for the Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, which operates Air
Force One. "It looks very real."

Alexander later confirmed that no such spray-painting had occurred.

Ecko acknowledged Friday that his company had rented a 747 cargo jet
at San Bernardino's airport and covertly painted one side to look like
Air Force One. Employees signed secrecy agreements and worked inside a
giant hangar until the night the video was made. Ecko declined to say
how much the stunt cost.

"It's not cheap," he said. "You have to be rich."

On the Net:

Hoax video: http://www.stillfree.com
Air Force One: http://public.andrews.amc.af.mil

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

----

This. This disappointed me. I suppose I should've expected this, something this ballsy really was out of character for Marc Ecko. I wanted to believe that the guy had stood up for something, that he'd parlayed his fame for a more noble purpose. As flawed as the message was, I wanted to believe that a pop icon had actually done something.

Even cynics hope every now and again. It's what keeps us cynical. If it weren't for stunts like this, we'd build up an unhealthy faith in humanity.

...Gods and I FELL for it!
longwing: (Default)
I really think that LOST is going to be the last television show I watch. Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of the constant give/take between consumers and "Old Media". There's a lot of really good entertainment out there. Battlestar Galactica, which should be a favorite of mine, leaps to mind. I loved the original series, and I've heard incredibly positive things about the new version, but I just can't bring myself to invest in it. It takes too much money and time to really enjoy old media anymore. Single seasons of shows cost more than I can afford, and I despise advertisements too much to truly enjoy the broadcast versions of anything. (Not to mention that I'm not willing to shcedule my life around when a network decides to show something.)

The networks understand this too, which is why they fight so hard to limit the availability of non-broadcast entertainment. We've seen it time and again, people really hate ads, and advertisers really like people. They're like an annoying yapping dog, they don't yap out of spite, they yap out of love (and no matter how nice you are, you still want to kick them for it). The networks figured out long ago that people watch shows together, not by themselves. LOST is a social phenomenon as much as it is a drama. Americans can't get enough television because we can't get enough of each other. TV is a really convenient excuse to gather, to pay attention to a mutual interest, to be entertained... and I want that. Does anyone here watch LOST and not talk about it with their friends? The networks realized that a show is most valuable when it's topical. No one talks about shows from 1995 except those who've aready seen them. Geting people you know to watch an old movie or an obscure film is like pulling teeth. I know this, I'm part of the problem. So I endure the adverts and buy the DVD's...

but I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the constant barrage of "buy our crap!", and the equally constant barrage of "watch our not-so-crap!". I can't help but feel that there's some way to break the cycle, I just don't know what it is.
longwing: (Default)
How do you explain the difficulties of Dyslexia to someone who is deaf? The concepts are easy, sure, but every time I write them down I sound like a spoiled dandy who's never encountered real hardship. In the course of my day today, I encountered exactly that problem. I became increasingly embarrassed as I attempted to read the handwriting of someone who can't speak or hear. Here's someone with a major disability which impacts every part of their life, and they're patiently trying to empathize with my inability to read what they're saying or write my replies on a sodding piece of paper.

In the end I just came across as an ass who doesn't understand the definition of "disability". I've never figured out how to deal with these situations, and I always botch it when it comes up. The way to bridge the gap between hearing and deaf is to write the conversation out, and I can't seem to bypass that long enough to explain my inability to, well, write the conversation out. If you turn away, they get offended (and reasonably so) so you're stuck using their pen and their paper to describe your shortcomings. Even when you finally get it written out what have you communicated?

I have symbol recognition problems, I can't spell, wah wah.

Sod.

%$*%^#!

Nov. 30th, 2005 04:35 pm
longwing: (Mad)
Wednesday, and that means LOST is on tonight. Though it's fairly unlikely to be on my projector, as I've managed to break yet another part of that pile of junk. Sometime last night, I managed to convert my current bulb ballast into an arc-welder, frying the contacts of every bulb it touches within a matter of minutes. I have a spare ballast, and one spare bulb, so I'm going to try and cobble together a working system before 9, but heavy modding and a bit of cussing will probably be involved.

With the breaking of this part, only the LCD and the focusing lens are from the initial incarnation of this project. I'd already ordered a new focusing lens in the hopes of setting up the projector as a long-throw device, leaving only the LCD. By the time I'm done, I'll probably replace that as well. I will have literally purchased every part in this rig twice.

On the one hand, I've learned a lot about optics and projection. On the other hand, all I ever wanted was a big screen (is that so wrong?). It's still cheaper than purchasing a commercial system, and I completely control the configuration. I can upgrade and maintain this device from here till judgment day, while many commercial solutions get relegated to the junk heap.

But at this point, I'm ready to trade all of that for a screen that works without trouble for at least one month.

Anyway. LOST, either on a big screen or a small one, my place, 9pm. 15 minute moment of silence at 7pm if you're interested in that as well.
longwing: (Default)
On the extremely off chance that anyone here actually witnessed my journal this morning (rather than conglomerated entries on their friends page), I sincerely apologize. I was toying with LJ's style sheets and visual formatting, much to the detriment of my poor LJ's appearance.

I oftentimes check my LJ during lunch at work, and while it is my spare time, I have had more than one half-joking comment about the use of the associations resources for personal benefit. I wanted a style that looks more formal, one that would fit in better in an office environment, and thus not glare out of my monitor from fifteen feet away. I'm not trying to disguise my jornal, it's my time and I'm allowed to use it, but I think my boss fells uncomfortable because it makes me look unprofessional. We don't get many visitors, but appearance is everything when they arrive. When I open the door, I am the face of the Organization. It helps if that face seems to be doing something "very important"(tm). As I'm not actually trying to disguise my journal, I ran into a number of challenges when coming up with an acceptable look. I wanted each entry to have it's icon beside it, as I use them to designate different kinds of entries. I also wanted a look which possessed at least a modicum of style. I finally settled on "A novel approach" as my default format.

"A novel approach" has a lot going for it, but I really hate how it co-opts the spacing methods I normally use. I understand the logic, by eliminating blank lines, it attempts to mimic the style of a novel. I just wish I could toggle the option. I use spacing in my formatting, for emphasis, and to designate separate sections of a single entry. The new format looks fine when you're just typing a lot of text, but when (like me) you want to create link or image heavy entries, it gets in your way. I could simply compensate for the style shift, but everyone else would wind up seeing a bunch of blank lines.

So I find myself, yet again, pouring over CSS docs. I need to do this for work anyways, but I was putting it off. I was putting it off because I hate CSS. There is practically nothing CSS does that tables couldn't do with half the code. I find the waste annoying, and I find the "designers who want the web to work like inDesign" factor a pain in the ass. HTML, the language I know, is dying. It's dying because everyone wants information to be pretty. I want information to be convenient and uniform. This puts me at odds with the prevailing thoughts on how to build the information super highway. Some day, I'll have to learn this stuff. Really learn it. Not because I need to, but because no one will hire a web guy who doesn't think in CSS.

To make matters worse, I'm pretty much doing this for myself. We only see someone else's style settings when commenting on their journal, and I'm thinking about setting it to show each user's configuration instead of my own. The problem boils down to an issue of personality, and the cult of individuality. We're all so determined to showcase our personal style in an online format that any given journal becomes an argument between appearance and function. Reading through a friends page requires skipping across a dozen different interfaces and formats, and while those formats tend to be pretty, it slows the actual purpose of the journal to a crawl.

Right, end rant. This is my brain on CSS, be warned.
longwing: (Default)
Some artists in Berlin put together an extremely odd art project, they combined a portable battery with a computer projector and a Mac Mini. They then crammed all of it into a suitcase and bolted industrial suction cups to the back. The project, dubbed "parasite" was then slapped onto the side of a Berlin subway car, where it projected strange and unusual images on the tunnel walls while the train was in motion. The projector threw up images of fish and sharks, root systems, fireflies, and other odd objects. The images make it appear as though the train is moving through some otherworldly environment.

More behind cut )

Well Fuck

Oct. 14th, 2005 01:55 pm
longwing: (Human)
Schwarzenegger, bless his heart, has signed a law banning the sale of violent video games to minors. As of now, selling a violent game in California to someone under the age of 18 is punishable by a $1000 fine. I'll ignore the obvious jibes from the gaming media about the Terminator terminating violence, because this isn't really about Schwarzenegger. Keep in mind that this bill passed the House and Senate of California with an overwhelming majority, Democrats, Republicans, the Governor, there is no good guy here. Obviously, this is an issue that hits really close to home for me, so bare with me while I hash out all my observations and conclusions regarding this development. I'll try to keep things concise, but I may wind up rambling, so be patient.

Right, the rest is behind a cut, because it's long and annoying. )

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