What Whoppers Are Coming Tomorrow?

Heading East: Lies I’ve told my 3 year old recently

The moon and the sun had a fight a long time ago.
Everyone knows at least one secret language.
When nobody is looking, I can fly.
We are all held together by invisible threads.

/via waxy.org

And that last one is actually true. And the first one used to be a popular theological explanation of the true nature of nature.

If you take those lies (nice, soft, white lies) and multiply them by the 200 or so generations, you get modern theology.

King of Gore on Video Game Violence

Stephen King on videogames | Videogames | The Pop of King | News + Notes | Entertainment Weekly | 1

What really makes me insane is how eager politicians are to use the pop culture — not just videogames but TV, movies, even Harry Potter — as a whipping boy. It’s easy for them, even sort of fun, because the pop-cult always hollers nice and loud. Also, it allows legislators to ignore the elephants in the living room. Elephant One is the ever-deepening divide between the haves and have-nots in this country, a situation guys like Fiddy and Snoop have been indirectly rapping about for years. Elephant Two is America’s almost pathological love of guns. It was too easy for critics to claim — falsely, it turned out — that Cho Seung-Hui (the Virginia Tech killer) was a fan of Counter-Strike; I just wish to God that legislators were as eager to point out that this nutball had no problem obtaining a 9mm semiautomatic handgun. Cho used it in a rampage that resulted in the murder of 32 people. If he’d been stuck with nothing but a plastic videogame gun, he wouldn’t even have been able to kill himself.

Case closed.

Nice argument there, scary-writer man.  Really.

Matrix .01 Coming Soon

I Saw The Future Of Social Networking The Other Day

But it’s coming. A few years from now we’ll use our mobile devices to help us remember details of people we know, but not well. And it will help us meet new people for dating, business and friendship. Imagine walking into a meeting, classroom, party, bar, subway station, airplane, etc. and seeing profile information about other people in the area, depending on privacy settings. Picture, name, dating status, resume information, etc. The information that is available would be relevant to the setting – quick LinkedIn-type information for a business meeting v. Facebook dating status for a bar.

That requires a social network that has presence, location and contextual information about you. It needs to know where you are (via GPS or triangulation), if you are in business or personal mode, and similar information for the people around you. It also needs, at a basic level, the ability to sort and browse the people around you based on their picture and name, and what they are looking for (dating, investments, job, friendship). Once this network is established, you’ll know everyone’s name who’s around you (if they choose to share it), and enough basic information to jog your memory if you know them, or meet them if there’s mutual interest. Poking someone on Facebook is great, but “poking” them when you’re in the same bar as them can result in much more immediate social gratification.

If you would like a novel-lenght exploration of some of the potential for the tech here,  I would recommend reading “Halting State” by Charlie Stoss. Tease yourself here.

Prologue: We know where you live, we know where your dog goes to school

Chapter 1: Grand Theft Auto

Chapter 2: Stitched Up

Chapter 3: Steaming

The Eye In the Sky Don’t Lie

Google maps give close-up view of U.N. refugee camps – Yahoo! News

Rebecca Moore, head of Earth Outreach for Google, said the browsable, high-definition pictures of humanitarian crisis zones stood to captivate a mass audience that may not otherwise see them.

Many of the 350 million people who have downloaded Google Earth use it to scan for holiday destinations or to see what other corners of the world look like from above. The sharp satellite images are updated about every month, though in some places they are older and in others no public shots exist.

Moore told a packed audience of aid experts at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) headquarters that they could add video interviews of refugees, photographs of displacement crises and educational text to the satellite backdrop to educate even casual users about unfolding crises.

“Use Google Earth to tell your story,” she urged.

We are moving slowly, inexorably, towards a globally available view of the globe.  Now we just need to get something close to real-time info, get rid of tribal mentalities, and eat the rich and everything will be fine an dandy…until the aliens come.

Throw Away A CD : That’s the Stocks For You

Universal Music: it’s illegal to throw away the promo CD we sent you without your permission – Boing Boing

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Fred von Lohmann sez, “In a brief filed in federal court yesterday, Universal Music Group (UMG) states that, when it comes to the millions of promotional CDs (‘promo CDs’) that it has sent out to music reviewers, radio stations, DJs, and other music industry insiders, throwing them away is ‘an unauthorized distribution’ that violates copyright law. Yes, you read that right — if you’ve ever received a promo CD from UMG, and you don’t still have it, UMG thinks you’re a pirate.”

It’s becoming easier and easier to becomes a pirate nowadays.   If you are going to be called one anyway, might as well do it right.

The Joys of Combatting Propaganda

The Associated Press: Foreign Media in China Harassed on Tibet
BEIJING (AP) — Western reporters in China have received harassing phone calls, e-mails and text messages, some with death threats, supposedly from ordinary Chinese complaining about alleged bias in coverage of recent anti-Chinese protests in Tibet.

The harassment began two weeks ago and was largely targeted at foreign television broadcasters, CNN in particular. But the campaign broadened in recent days after the mobile phone numbers and other contact information for reporters from The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today were posted on several Web sites, including a military affairs chat site.

“The Chinese people don’t welcome you American running dog. Your reports twist the facts and will suffer the curse of heaven,” said one e-mail received by the AP. One text message said: “One of these days I’m going to kill you.”

My guess is that this is probably some slave labor camp where people are given the choice to do this or be executed.  Yea, China, that’s what we think you do sometimes.

Chinese Propaganda At Its Saddest

The Canadian Press: China condemns Olympic protests, disputes reports officials doused torch

“We express our strong condemnation to the deliberate disruption of the Olympic torch relay by Tibetan separatist forces regardless of the Olympic spirit and the law of Britain and France,” spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement posted on the ministry website.

“Their despicable activities tarnish the lofty Olympic spirit and challenge all the people loving the Olympic Games around the world,” she said in the statement.

Media reports about the relay in Paris had said the security detail protecting the torch extinguished it several times along the route and retreated to the safety of a bus.

But Jiang said those news reports were wrong and that the torch was never extinguished.

“The reports by foreign media are false in claiming that the Olympic torch was forced to be extinguished during its relay in Paris,” she said in a separate statement.

Umm, pretty much everyone is the world is reporting this factual occurrence.  China is doing itself no favors with its continued insistence that nothing is wrong and everyone is happy in Tibet.