Month: November 2007

Another piece of my childhood dies

Evel Knievel dies at 69


I didn’t think it was possible for Evel to die. Considering all that he’s survived, it’s particularly stunning for him to be brought down by disease.


I remember those outlandish stunts, and the crazy costume, and being fascinated. All us boys were Evel Knievel lunging our BMX bikes over tires and Matchbox cars.


Godspeed, good sir

Sears Profits Obliterated –

Sears Profits Obliterated –

A 99% profit plunge…OUCH! Retail may be haggard, but nobody’s this weak. One lesson I take from this is that you can only shore up profits with cost cuts for a limited time. There comes a point where you lose your ability to function. I think of all the lame, outdated (and damn depressing) Sears stores out there, and clueless sales staff, and am not at all surprised. I do hope they pull it together, for Sears is a venerable brand and it would be a loss for them to vanish.

Wired News – AP News

Wired News – AP News

Rather weird, and scary. However, I can’t imagine a cell phone battery having a strong enough chemical reaction to injure someone that severely. That would require quite a bit of force, and I don’t see how a standard battery could generate that. It would need to be an abrupt, rapid and fully contained reaction, and (again) I can’t imagine a commercially produced battery would have that capability. Odd…

Hidden crime of ‘wi-fi tapping’: only 11 arrests but most of us are guilty – Times Online

Hidden crime of ‘wi-fi tapping’: only 11 arrests but most of us are guilty – Times Online

Well, one piece of the “is using someone else’s unsecured wireless internet account ethical” has been answered. In the UK (at least) it’s apparently illegal. Interesting…

Though I’ve always been adamant about locking down my account, I don’t see someone else surfing using my account a crime, per se, especially if the account is unencrypted. I can think of several times that my computer had logged onto a neighbor’s network without my knowledge (when my network had dropped, generally). And I think that viewpoint’s more prevalent. The analogy of leaving my front door open doesn’t really hold water. I’ve known several people over the years who are rather communal about their service, and are happy to let others use their access point. Perhaps the articles alarmist rhetoric about being held culpable for someone else’s downloading of illegal content will inspire more people to upgrade their network’s security. However, I think the apathy around this, and the ignorance, will still prevail. Perhaps producers of this technology should default to the highest security setting, and then force people to choose a lower setting?

Brave New Medium

This fine medium, our blogosphere, is still in being birthed. Its power is only at the initial "fleshing out". Anti-corporate protests and political campaigns are just the beginning, I'm sure. We have two things combining.

Greater numbers of people, globally, are coming online every day. The vast majority of western school children are well versed in web issues, and most in the global south have a real awareness if not intimate experience. And the rest of the population is getting drug into this world, if for no other reason than to be able to fill out job applications.

This, meshes nicely with the media's desperate need for conflict. They have a ready supply of well thought out critique of -name-your-issue-here-. Anyone who hates something can build a blog or full blown website, and others can coallece about the orbit, via the power of the Google, et al. And the media can easily find these folks, and the might of the Google.

Yes, some of these folks are crack-pots and crazies. However, many (most?) are not. Many have well thought out, and documented, grievances. The media can find these folks without working anywhere nearly as hard as in my youth. Yes, many in the mainstream media hate the blogophere, even they see their power growing.

Any corporate type charged with issue and brand management who wants to ignore this medium is foolish. This realm is only going to grow. This is no "fad", nor simply the purview of chatty teenagers. Real issues are debated, and real information is discussed. Deliberately ignoring this realm, minmizing its influence, or otherwise hiding your face, is foolishly reckless. This will bite anyone in reputation management. I guess I don't feel a great deal of pity for them, though I do for those who will be picking up the pieces.

Sent via my Blackberry

Homeland Security slams FEMA for staging fake wildfire news conference – On Deadline –

Homeland Security slams FEMA for staging fake wildfire news conference – On Deadline –

Not just unethical, but plain dumb. Anyone with an iota of Public Relations/Public Affairs knowledge would have nixed this early on. Mike Widomski, FEMA’s deputy director of public affairs really should be sacked for gross incompetence. There are plenty of ways to have spread this information without, well, this. Sheesh!

Adrants has a cute take on this.