zen.org Communal Weblog

December 24, 2007

It started with Candlestick…

Filed under: — brendan @ 09:51 IST

Up at 5am with an awake 1 year-old, you find ways to keep yourself amused. Watching the NASN cable channel in Ireland, they had a college football game between Cincinnati (the victor) and Southern Miss (the defeated). But it all went wrong when the announcer said, “…here on the PapaJohns.com Bowl…”.

Back in 1996, Candlestick Park was whored out by the city of San Francisco to 3Com under the guise of a money-raising marketing campaign. The phenomenon has happened all over the place: in 2006 Wired did a great article tracing the lineage of US Cellular Field, Mellon Arena, HP Pavilion, and the rest.

Now we’re being thrown into a world of registered trademark bowl games. Poinsettia, Holiday, Rose, we’ve still got some. But they’ve got a short life to live before they’ll be the Intel UPS Micro$oft Samsung AT&T festivals of the future. Renaming actual sports events is a step further into a marketing abyss where we live surrounded by logos and posters and billboards.

Perhaps Blade Runner deserves more credit; New York and Tokyo, among other cities, are well on their way.

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December 15, 2007

They can't force you to give up your encryption key

Filed under: — brendan @ 19:17 IST

http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9834495-38.html

A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can’t force a
criminal defendant accused of having illegal images on his hard drive
to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier ruled that a man charged with
transporting child pornography on his laptop across the Canadian
border has a Fifth Amendment right not to turn over the
passphrase to prosecutors. The Fifth Amendment protects the right
to avoid self-incrimination.

Niedermeier tossed out a grand jury’s subpoena that directed Sebastien
Boucher to provide “any passwords” used with the Alienware
laptop. “Compelling Boucher to enter the password forces him to
produce evidence that could be used to incriminate him,” the judge
wrote in an order dated November 29 that went unnoticed until this
week. “Producing the password, as if it were a key to a locked
container, forces Boucher to produce the contents of his laptop.”

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December 5, 2007

Bush, Cheney and Iran

Filed under: — alice @ 01:25 IST

Busted!

At least this time their lies were exposed before the shooting started. It should be interesting to see how long it takes them to fabricate a different excuse to start the new war they are so obviously hell-bent on instigating.

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December 4, 2007

Beaujolais Nouveau

Filed under: — Sven @ 18:47 IST

I try to drink wine local to me, Crossing Vineyards and Winery does a great job, and is my wine of choice when at home. Now grᴉst tells me I can enjoy European wine with less eco-guilt then west coast wine. I wonder if my state store still has any Beaujolais Nouveau left. Gotta get the big bottle!

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December 3, 2007

Ways to make your birthday a little more…

Filed under: — brendan @ 15:00 IST

Your 37th birthday is something of a unique event. You’re that much closer to 40, which just realigns your target to worry about 50. You’re way past your 20s, so day-to-day craziness is imitating a logarithmic curve approaching but, you insist, never reaching zero.

Two things so far have made today unique amongst birthdays. Well, three, but the first was cool: our eldest made me a great birthday card and had chosen what he wanted to give me for my birthday. He’s definitely growing up.

Another part of the feeling of truly living your age: I finally went into our local insurance broker and set up life insurance. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while now (since the birth of our first son, in fact), but seemed to never actually make the effort. At long last, I’m accepting some reality and making sure my wife and kids are suitably taken care of should I be suddenly attacked by rabid squirrels while walking down the street.

Then there’s the discovery this morning in one gift. My mother doesn’t live in Ireland, so she ordered my gift from someone in Cork and had it sent to me through the post. In it was a nice card:

Card JPEG

Creative! If I didn’t know he made it up himself, I’d be convinced some online form completion was taken literally. 🙂

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