g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
Tal G in Jerusalem
Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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Friday, May 4, 2007
11:10 - The downfall of civilization proceeds apace
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/05/03/virgin-atlantic-loose-change-update/

(top)
Although the "We did it, folks—we successfully bullied them into accepting our viewpoint" tone bugs me, I'm with a number of the commenters here—the biggest problem I have with the Virgin-Atlantic-showing-Loose-Change flap is not that they would choose such a divisive and intellectually dishonest "documentary" as inflight entertainment (though that's obviously pretty bad), but that they apparently didn't see anything wrong with showing a movie about hijackings and plane crashes and collapsing buildings.

I don't care if they were going to show United 93—it still would have been ridiculously inappropriate material to show skittish airline passengers, particularly those on New York-based flights. Did this not occur to them?

I mean, who's running the show there? Just looking at their statement:

We will not be showing Loose Change 2 on our aircraft. We don’t show movies or documentaries that cause mass offence and there is a danger with this movie that viewers, although they have the choice over what to watch and when on our flights, may be offended. Virgin Atlantic is known for showing the latest movies and media trends on its multi award-winning inflight entertainment system and we believe travellers have the right to choose from as wide a choice as possible.

There is a danger that viewers may be offended, huh? You don’t show movies or documentaries that cause mass offence? Then why the blithering hell did you plan to show Loose Change in the first place, you tools? You wouldn't show Reservoir Dogs in-flight either, I'll bet. But hey, that one's an equal-opportunity offender or something; doesn't require you to divide yourselves across the aisles into conspiracy-believer and willing-fascist-stormtrooper camps.

But I seem to remember that once upon a time, airlines wouldn't show stuff like Airport or even Airplane. Why? Some forgotten FAA regulation that Virgin isn't subject to? Or perhaps something archaic like... a sense of decorum about discussing and showing airline disasters while the captive audience is flying on an airline?

Virgin seems utterly clueless about why anyone would possibly be upset about this; but their statement takes this petulant "Well, fine, if you're going to be a baby about it, we'll just put on a nice Adam Sandler film for you, hmm?" tone. That right there tells me that this was no isolated screw-up—it was a result of institutionalized deafness to customer needs that's evidently part of Virgin's culture. Someone up there feels the need to "educate" people rather than to transport them safely, comfortably, and calmly to their destinations. An airline with those priorities—no matter what their predilections—is not one I want to fly on.

And though, again, the "we control the media" tone of the "activism" documented here isn't something I feel comfortable associating with, I've got to agree with this:

Wouldn’t it have been better to start the media firestorm after the movie had been playing for a couple of weeks? I’m just thinking that the movie would discredited even more if people have a chance to see it then have it throughly debunked and castigated in the national media.

Yeah. Loose Change does its damage best while remaining an underground, "alternative" thing. If it draws too much attention to itself, it'll itself become the subject of History Channel documentaries and 60 Minutes stories that will debunk it. I'd like to see its bluff get called, and this would have been a good opportunity to do it. South Park kinda jumped the gun on it last season; if it had waited until the 9/11 conspiracy theory was the flavor of the month on every talk show, it could have put the final nails in it with a few well-placed hammer strokes. As it is, I'm afraid we're in for another six weeks of this particular mental winter.

I'm off to New York tonight, though. And not on Virgin.


10:30 - Prying open the hood
http://www.davidglover.org/2007/05/diy-slingbox.html

(top)
A lot of people don't realize they've got a serviceable DV bridge right in their cheapo camcorders. And oh, the things you can do with a DV bridge...

David Glover demonstrates by turning his Mac network into a Slingbox workalike.


10:27 - They're always watching

(top)
Here's something I hadn't noticed before...



Apple uses this circular shiny OS X-y thing for the flags in their localizations of things such as iTunes. Until seeing it on the .Mac "temporarily unavailable" page, though, I hadn't realized that the Japanese flag turns into this creepy HAL eye thing.

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© Brian Tiemann