Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Response for George Rebane

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(The following was written in response to a hacked story posted as a comment on George Rebane's blog.)

What isn't in The Union newspaper is that Lucas himself had no beef with amateur stills. Within 3 weeks a search for Sith on, show 70,000 different pictures from the movie posted. Obviously no other patrons of theaters were arrested, once the bounty was claimed.

What else isn't in the Union and Getz isn't mentioning is that the MPAA had set up a bounty for the first "filmer" caught. So well oiled was the machine that it was not The Union that scooped the story, but rather an AP reporter out of San Francisco.

There is no doubt in my mind that Getz called MPAA immediately and they called the reporter, and he had it on the wire across 300 outlets before The Union could even get a reporter to give me a call. What did Getz do with his bounty, and how come he goes around begging the public for money to repaint the mural? Seems to me it would be a good use of the cash.

BTW, case diverted, 30 hours community service at a non profit I volunteer for anyway. Big Deal, no mugshot, camera and photos returned intact, guess they could see where they might have been sued, I've got better things to do.

Like enjoy the investment in our home theater, since we no longer go to any Getz theaters. Should I ever get an apology, we'll reconsider. We are neighbors on the North San Juan Ridge (3 air miles, but there's only 3,000 people up here).

Lemme Guess, AR or AlwaysRyghty of The Union posted this story. BTW, check the GVPD logs, I surrendered myself to them, after the movie was over, 3 blocks away. No use of video was ever found.

My wife adds that the new laws (1996, I think) for teachers allow for "fair use," and I am still active in my profession, as is she.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Racism Alive and Well in Modern Germany

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Germany's Prime Minister and the head of another "Christian" party there have come out against letting Barack Obama make a speech at the Brandenburg Gate, Fortunately many other groups are welcoming him, including the City Fathers of Berlin.

When I was 11 years old, in the winter of 1955, I attended German schools as the son of a Fullbright (sp?) Exchange professor. When Christmas rolled around, it was time for the Christmas play. My teacher, a kindly man, (amazing, I haven't thought about him in 40 years, but I can see his face now, can't quite get the name yet) asked me, somewhat gingerly, if I would play the part of the "Schwartziger Koenig" (sp?) or the black king or wise man. I agreed, saw nothing unusual in the request, but did note that many of the other children were quite relieved and laughing about the situation. Came the night of the play, we were all dressed up and I was made up in blackface for the part. Again much tittering, and "Er ist die Schwarziger Koenig" (He is the black king)

In thinking back later on, I realized that this was my introduction to the world of racism. I'm proud to have been the Black King, and I've always chosen black when playing chess. As a partially deaf person, I've experienced plenty of discrimination first hand, even though I am white, except on the days when I am AmerIndian. (Keachie, K'itsai tribe in Lousiana, related to Pawnee)

In this case I have no doubt that racism is present, and I wonder if the new Germany will beat out the old Germany I knew... Would they have complained about McCain? I doubt it. Thin excuse about him not bringing down the wall, he was hardly old enough to be involved. If they want to make it off limits to one of freedom's most precious process, electioneering, on the grounds that it is vulgar, they might as well go back to a dictatorship. You know who was a class "A" racist, but died in his bunker not far from the Gate (Tor). I know. I went to both places as a child (special permission to cross to East Berlin for the bunker, then a non-descript pile of rubble and cobbles).

Friday, July 11, 2008

Unscrambling the Latest Microsoft "Upgrade" and ZoneAlarm

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I use ZoneAlarm as a firewall. I pay for it, It's supposed to be better than the native Windows Firewall. On July 8th Microsoft upgrades my computer. When I go to use it again, via tethered cell phone to USB cable, it slows to a crawl, useless. I call Verizon, they don't have a clue. I shut down the Zonealarm, and speed picks up, and I implement Microsoft native firewall. Next time I start the machine, ZoneAlarm kicks in again, and I'm back to square one. This is not all as obvious as it seems. I've been having issues with PCTools Spyware doctor that will involve messing around in the registry. That's where I'm thinking the problem may lie.

Eventually I do the right thing. I go to the Zone Alarm website and discover that, low and behold, they know of the issue, and have a cure. Did ZoneAlarm bother to tell me via email??? Nooooo! Did Microsoft say anything??? Noooo! Bad service from both of them. How much productivity did the country lose over their inattention to customer service? Probably a million man hours, easily.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Unattended Mailbox" Let the Revolution Begin with Me!

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Got another email from some stupid survey group, that wound up with, "don't try to reply, the mailbox is unattended.."

Sort of the ultimate in your face note. Guess what? I just created a filter in Eudora, my mail client, that looks at the body of the text of every incoming email. If it detects the word "unattended" it transfers the email to a folder called "zzz_unattended" because 99.9% of the time such emails put me to sleep, and are a waste of time. Now a quick glance and they are trashed as a group, without wasting my time. I won't even see them unless I open that folder.

You give me an unattended mailbox, I give you an unattended folder to sleep in. What's fair is fair.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Winston Churchill Says It Best

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"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."

Sir Winston Churchill