April 17th, 2012

The ahem gesturing

Oh god. After having to endure all those idiots “gesturing” at their “look how cool I am and I can afford it” iWhats looking like wannabe Harry Potters with a handicap, we soon will have a crammed in crowd of wavers, touchers and worse at 35.000 ft soon.



December 1st, 2011

The sweet taste of justice

Let me make a little sidestep first. In my country a sort of state-authorized semi tax office operates called BUMA/STEMRA. They “tax” radio stations, websites, pub owners, employers and whatnot for playing music, on behalf of the producers and writers. It is of course a big scam covered under a blanked of fairness. They have been coming under more and more pressure as they are sitting on huge amounts of cashed money, but somehow are “unable” to redistribute that money to the legitimate owners.

Double sidestep: the same goes, but irrelevant for this story for another “foundation” that “taxes” media like CD-R’s, DVD-R’s and in the old days cassette tapes, as we, the public, are obviously using them to illegally copy music and movies. They even tried to get their hands on mp3 players, memory sticks and media boxes. That failed. So far.

Anyway…. Too funny! In some international score cards (too lazy to dig them up) my country is supposed to be at the very top when it comes to absence of corruption. A composer complained to BUMA/STEMRA about them having used his work on an anti-copy clip that is forced on us every time we play a DVD or go the cinema. His complaint was rejected. But when he called one of the board members, that guy he said, he could get the subject back on the agenda. Of course he wanted some compensation. One third to be precise. Of more than a million Euro’s (1.4 mln US dollars). Unfortunately, the conversation was taped. He even claimed the composer now had nothing and when he would have helped him out, at least he would have received 2/3rd. The gentleman has “temporarily stepped down to concentrate entirely on his defense”.

Don’t we LOVE the the media industry!!

April 20th, 2010

BBC: Human technology vs. nature

Updated below.

Here in Anchorage we have to listen to BBC on Public Radio for most of the late night hours. The eruption of a volcano in Iceland has disrupted human activity that is reliant on recently developed technologies. The folks at the BBC don’t seem to get it. Simply, nature trumps man. How ironic that the BBC can’t seem to mention that we humans have built an unworkable system. Rather than focus on the cascading technological failures caused by a natural event in Iceland the BBC can’t go beyond reporting effects. How odd.

We have created for ourselves some unreal views of nature and our relationship to nature. Technologists hate to say they got it wrong. We have convinced ourselves, and our media trumpets the view that our technology has outdone nature. Nothing could be further from the truth.

See for example:

Winner, Langdon. Autonomous Technology: Technics-out-of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1992.

Ellul, Jacques. The The Technological Society. New York, NY: Random House, 1964.

Update: 2010 April 28

I think Joe Bageant’s take is grounded in reality,

Thanks to technology and layers upon layers of mediation by TV, movies, the Internet, etc., gadgets and manufactured imagery, we all live many steps removed from reality. Collapse is symbolized to each of us in different ways. To some it would be the sustained malfunction and lack of access of the Internet, which is surely coming……

I have come to think the price of admission anywhere in the world, (except in America and Europe, where enough dough will get your ass kissed in any circles) is service to others. We have been indoctrinated by an earth devouring capitalist system to believe otherwise. Believe that giving only depletes. And that mankind and civilization came about through kings and warriors and “great men.” But the essential glue of man the social animal has always been on cooperation and sharing. That an endless stream of elite thieves have always managed to steal the fruits of that cooperation does not matter. And the best that is in man still rests on the same fundamentals — cooperation for the greater good of all.

Most of the folks here in the U.S. can’t imagine a “cooperative economic model.” I think it’s been “programmed” out of most folks here in the U.S. – cooperation is a model that few U.S. citizens have ever encountered over the course of their lives. Too bad for all of us.

September 20th, 2009

The little error

I have blogged about my country being the most wiretapped in the world before. Now often when I discuss privacy issues, the response is: “I don’t care, I have no secrets, and I rather have a government keep an eye on the bad boys”. Erm, right. History will tell a different story, as well as actuality.

There was a fatal stabbing. The police could not crack the case, but was pretty convinced Mrs X was a witness to the crime. Therefor a wiretap was requested and granted. Later on she decides, on her own account, to cough up what she saw and heard to a recently introduced governmental agency called M, that guarantees anonymity. You can call their number, report crime and through a series of rather well publicized measures they ensure it is forwarded anonymously to the crime fighting authorities. And here, oopsie, things went wrong. As she was wiretapped, the conversation was transcribed and put in the file of the prosecutors against the suspect. And that file is now public, including her identity. Nice, really nice.

The prosecutors office is hardly sorry and even stated Mrs X should have been more careful than to call M (WTF?!?!?!?). The director of M is furious, but the damage is done. Nothing to hide eh?

Next in line: other than all other countries in the EU, my country decided to not only put fingerprints in the new passport (required by European legislation), but also store those fingerprints in a centralized database. Court filings by a Dutch privacy organisation were dismissed by the European courts, as that is only an appeal court. Big brother isn’t coming. It’s already here. TBC.

August 20th, 2009

This makes the 6th or 8th time?

POOF, its gone!

Ed’s home page was updated Thu, 20 Aug, 2009 00:15:56 PST

As I post, the chat room is gone, the forum is still there, and the Lone Ranger is still kicking bad guys bottoms.

I’ll have to go and find my last offer I made Ed the last time he was selling out. $7500 is way too much, and I’ll bet Ed hasn’t refiled his corporation status in Nevada.

FYI – The last time Ed closed up shop was just last month, July 6th.

August 3rd, 2009

Just a bigfoot kinda day for birfoons

Once upon a time, a Bigfoot sold a document to Ed hale.


Ed hid it until he could find someone reputable to present it in court.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

And then Ed got mentioned on Countdown.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

June 13th, 2009

Lawyer up!

A couple of days ago, I posted on The Regulator that Ed Hale had finally lawyered up in his battle with Phil Berg and Momma E.  The astute reader may remember that Ed called his Eagle Scout lawyer one of the best.”

So, he’s got “one of the best” defending him, at a cost of thousands of dollars to his listeners, in a suit with potential damages of well over a million dollars. And what does Ed go and do?

Read the rest of this entry

October 11th, 2008

The 419

Connections. 419 spam or “Nigerian spam” comes from Nigeria right? Wrong. The vast majority of 419 originates from Amsterdam. Although precise numbers are not known, rough estimates state that approximately 800 people, mostly from Africa, operate 419′s on a non-organized, non-hierarchical and ad-hoc way, which doesn’t mean some of them are not professionals. They even rigged a fake ABN-AMRO bank office where they would meet with their potential victims.

The largest group of the victims are Americans, 22%, followed by the Brits, 6%.

In case you have no idea what I am talking about it’s the following scheme:

  1. The email: you receive an email from say the widow of the former president of some never heard of African state, asking you to help siphon $25 million locked money to a western bank. You can keep the 25% as commission. Utmost discretion, and speed is required.
  2. The bite: Greed is a strong motivator. Whoever responds is lured into a trust relation. Often official documents by local banks or governments are used.
  3. The reeling in: unfortunately, some money is needed to bribe an official or to wire the sum, and well, the rich widow is loaded, but she can’t get to it. You pay the expenses, or bring the money yourself. In the latter case, you are invited to a local bank office, greeted by a white, classy receptionist. All fake of course.
  4. The end: your money is gone.
October 9th, 2008

The bankruptcy of a country (no kidding)

Ok, so banks are tumbling in the US, and here too. Dutch-Belgium Bank-Insurer Fortis has been split and the Dutch part nationalized. The invoice for the tax payer, that’s me, is 16 billion Euros (22 billion USD. On 17 million inhabitants that is, babies included). But that is not what this entry is about. You know I like to write about connections between my “old world” and the US. Literally in between is Iceland. Iceland had an exploding growth of it’s bank system in the last couple of years, using a very (simplified) two step business model:

  1. Lend out money to the credit-hungry US.
  2. Acquire that money in Europe by bidding 0.25% more interest than EVERY competitor in the market.

Easy. Until, oh what a surprise, these contracts with the US banks proved less than rock solid, no repayments were made and darn, those people we promised that 5.25% would actually like to really receive that money. The #1, #2 and #3 banks have been nationalized in the last few days. The European guarantee legislation requires the member states to ensure at least the first 20.000 Euro ($28.000) per bank per person. Guess what? The Iceland economy has collapsed and there is no way they can cough up the money. The Icelandic administration has already indicated that yes there is a treaty and no there is no money. I bet if they are arm twisted in it, they will stall the process, pay out in Icelandic krones and then implode the currency. Wikipedia:

In October 2008, the Icelandic parliament passed emergency legislation to minimize the impact of the financial crisis of 2007-2008. Iceland may face national bankruptcy, because its bank assets are nine times annual gross domestic product of 14 billion Euros ($19 billion). On October 6, Prime Minister Geir Haarde gave an unprecedented address to the nation where he stated that the economy of the Icelandic banks were several times the size of Iceland’s GNP, and if they should collapse, a definite possibility, the entire nation could go bankrupt.

I have no sympathy for people who put all their apples in one basked, being a bank of a minute country that consistently promises more interest than the market. Banks can fail, d’uhhh. I have no sympathy for people who believe another countries administration will put their interests before those of their inhabitants. I have no sympathy for banks, period.

Added: An IMF delegation is on it’s way to Iceland, need I say more?

Added: From my country in this debacle alone: 1.6 billion Euro ($ 2.2 billion), 120.000 accounts

September 14th, 2008

The last night of the proms

Ok, I fully admit, I am an idiot and a lazy bastard, but here we go again, as both are so fueled by corporate stupidity. Here we go.

Yesterday evening, I missed BBC’s “last night of the proms”, which is fully broadcasted here. Actually we do have BBC1 and BBC2 (that is the UK channels, not the world channels) on our cable. So. I wanted to watch it on the BBC website right? Wrong! Only UK IP addresses can watch it. Oh but wait, at least I can listen (which unfortunately is less than half the fun on the last night, but alas). Wrong: needs Real (shrudder) Player nagware, no thanks, or BBC’s Microsoft technology DRM crippled iPlayer (payed for by the British taxpayers), no thanks.

Anyone got a better link?

I am already downloading the 2007 proms through bittorrent to Miro. But wait……