Friday, May 19, 2017

History: The Year is 2007

I've uploaded year 2007 to the TSP Wiki...

As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.

* Little Brother and the Escape from Homeland Security -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* A Guerilla Ad Campaign Panics the Public -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* Notable Births -- See below.

* This Year in Film -- See below.

* This Year in Music -- See below.

* In Other News -- See below.


Little Brother and the Escape from Homeland Security

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
Today Cory is really, really pissed off. He needs to get his "mad" out, and since he is a writer, he is doing that by writing a book. He can't eat. He can't sleep. The words fly from his fingertips as he types. In 27 days his work is done, and it is frickin' great! The book is entitled, "Little Brother" which is a reference to the book 1984 and "Big Brother is watching you". It is the story of a high school student who has been playing an online game with his friends, but one day he is caught in the city during school hours when a terrorist bomb goes off. He looks guilty, so agents of Homeland Security take him into custody without benefit of a lawyer, nor much of anything else. He soon realizes that Homeland Security has been monitoring him, so he decides to monitor them back. Thus Little Brother is now watching Big Brother. It is an exciting story with a lot of detail on ways to avoid being tracked. Some of those anti-tracking methods are totally fictional, but others are entirely correct. A bibliography with hyperlinks is included. Unfortunately, Cory Doctorow is infected by the left. Nevertheless, the Left and the Right meet on issues like oppressive government surveillance. "Little Brother" is an intelligent book, and it is FREE for download! (click here.) I also recommend Steve Gibson's Security Now! episode 607 "Proactive Privacy, Really!". [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Apparently, Cory Doctorow was reacting to the Bush Administration's NSA warrantless wiretapping. The NSA electronically monitors international communications to catch terrorists, but after 9-11 they began sweeping up everything. They were not necessarily looking at everything. They were analyzing the data stream. Credit card companies do the same thing. By analyzing the data, they know who is going on a trip, who is pregnant, who is gay, and who is voting Republican. They also know when a credit card is stolen because purchases often veer out of the norm. But after 9-11 the data was analyzed to find terrorists, and it worked. Homeland Security has sweeping powers, and they were doing secret things inside the USA without proper warrants, so in 2008, under pressure from the public, Congress extended the authority of the FISA courts to issue warrants for mass data collection. (Yeah. Secret courts issuing hidden warrants and instant gag orders against US citizens. That'll fix it!) These secret warrants cannot be challenged, so you are trusting that your government knows what is best. After all, it checked with the government first. Dear God, what is next? Judge Dredd? Just make every police officer a judge too, and you'll never have another problem... that you know of. [4] [5] [6] [7]


Contributed by Southpaw Ben
My Take by Southpaw Ben

A Guerilla Ad Campaign Panics the Public

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
Aqua Teen Hunger Force is a late night cartoon series on the Cartoon Network. It is a spinoff from the campy cartoon talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast. In order to sell it to the corporate suits, Aqua Teen Hunger Force began as a detective agency located in a South New Jersey neighborhood. The main characters are talking fast food products: a meatball, a shake, and a bag of fries, but soon the creators drop the idea of solving crimes and do strange, random stuff with the characters. Now the show has produced an animated film, so in order to promote it they hire a small ad agency to create magnetic signs that light up similar to a lite-brite toy of the 1960s, but what do they put on the sign? The show has two recurring characters, the Mooninites. They are boxy, pixelated characters who freely flip off the audience. Perfect. Signs with a Mooninite extending the middle finger are distributed around Boston. They hope the signs will generate a lot of talk. They certainly do that. Most of the public has never seen the cartoon series, so they have no context. Many fear that the pixelated characters might be bombs! (Yes. Every mad bomber places lights on his bomb, so that the police are sure to find it.) Panic ensues. The show's creators are brought to justice. They seem strangely unrepentant. Eventually, they are forced to apologize for endangering the public with signs. Boston has become a laughing stock. [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... this gives you an idea of the mind set of the time. People were still worried over suicide bombers and retaliations over the War in Iraq. Although it was a reasonable worry, if they had just stopped to think for a moment, the whole thing would have blown over in a day. Instead officials dragged it out for a week, making everyone in Boston look like fools except the people who created the guerilla ad campaign in the first place. They were delighted. Their audience was made up of young adults who needed a good laugh, and they got one. If it was at the expense of their elders... even better.

Notable Births

None that I can find as yet.--alexshrugged

Notable Deaths

  • Yvonne De Carlo (age 84, heart failure): Lily Munster on The Musters. [11]
  • Dan Fogelberg (age 56, prostate cancer): Singer/Songwriter. (Best known to me for "The Leader of the Band", a tribute to Fogelberg's father.--alexshrugged) [11]
  • Anna Nicole Smith (age 39, prescription drug overdose): Actress and TV personality. Her overdose is considered an accidental combination of prescription drugs. [11]
  • Ike Turner (age 76, cocaine toxicity): Musician/songwriter. His ex-wife and singer, Tina Turner, accused him of domestic violence. His crack cocaine addiction, and prison time killed his career. (And him, apparently.--alexshrugged) [11] [12]

This Year in Film

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: . [13]
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: . [13]
  • And...: Transformers, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and The Bourne Ultimatum. [13]

This Year in TV

  • Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?: Jeff Foxworthy hosts a comedy quiz show. [14]
  • The Big Bang Theory: Sit-com. Two physicists from Caltech share an apartment with a waitress. Comedy ensues. [14]
  • Private Practice: A spin-off from Grey's Anatomy. (I watched it for a while. It was good.--alexshrugged) [14]
  • Jon & Kate Plus 8: Reality show starring the Gosselin family and their 8 children made up of sextuplets and twins. It will be renamed Kate Plus 8 after their divorce. (I stopped watching at that point.--alexshrugged) [14]

This Year in Music

  • Irreplaceable: BeyoncĂ©. "Don't you ever for a second get to thinking / You're irreplaceable." [15]
  • Not Ready to Make Nice: Dixie Chicks. (Good song. Natalie Maines is still reacting to the criticism she and the band received for disrespecting President Bush overseas.--alexshrugged) [15] [16]
  • Gimme More: Britney Spears. "It's Britney Bitch / I see you / And I just wanna dance with you." [15]

This Year in Video Games

  • Xbox 360 sucks!: Hardware quality control is poor. Many systems are bricked during updates. Microsoft apologizes and replaces bad systems. (Good move. Xbox was on the verge of being shunned by the fans.--alexshrugged) [17] [18]
  • Halo 3 on Xbox 360: It rakes in $170 million in 24 hours, the highest grossing opening day to date. [17]
  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade: An expansion set for World of Warcraft on the PC. [17]
  • Madden NFL 08: (Yet again.--alexshrugged) [17]

In Other News

  • Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female Speaker of the House: . [19]
  • The Apple iPhone launches: . [20]
  • Microsoft releases Windows Vista: (It has problems, but the security upgrades are vital for the future. Windows 7 is better. I am avoiding Windows 8 and 10.--alexshrugged). [21] [19][22]
  • A mentally ill Virginia Tech student goes on a shooting spree, killing 32: A debate on selling guns to the mentally ill ensues. (Generally speaking, the insane should not own guns, but how does one determine who is insane? Those individuals who are legally found to be incompetent by a court are a very small group.--alexshrugged) [19][23]
  • Cyclone Sidr hits Bangladesh, killing 3,000 to 10,000: (The death toll depends on how you attribute the cause of death. Death from disease in the aftermath could legitimately be attributed to the cyclone, although the deaths would be an indirect result.--alexshrugged) [24] [19][25]
  • The I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minnesota collapses during rush hour, killing 13: The load exceeded the bridge's designed capacity causing critical supports to buckle. [19][26]
  • Southern California wildfires force the evacuation of over 1 million: . [19][27]
  • The Writers Guild of America goes on strike: Reality TV gets a massive boost since it is largely improvisational. [19][28]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 2007, Wikipedia.

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