December 15, 2009

KYLE DEAN REINFORD VS. HIPSTER RUNOFF FEUD SETTLED; "CARLES STILL WINS" SAYS BEBE ZEVA

After days of negotiations with Kyle Dean Reinford, internet blogger Carles has replaced photos taken by Reinford with fan art on his Hipster Runoff blog to placate the outraged photographer/actor/singer.  The week-long feud stemmed from Kyle Dean Reinford taking issue with the photos he took being used without his permission on a blog which "completely disregard[s] the English language and its structure"

December 10, 2009

WHY IS KYLE DEAN REINFORD FREAKING THE FUCK OUT?

Photographer/actor/singer Kyle Dean Reinford is really mad that Hipster Runoff published his photos without his permission.  (Read more here.)  According to an update on The Village Voice, what really 'ticks him off' is not just that Carles used his photos, it's that:
  1. One of the photos was altered:  "What I'm objecting is mainly the defacing of one of my photos. I don't appreciate it."
  2. The blogger, Carles, uses non-grammatically correct English: "It's crazy to think that some asshole can anonymously steal copyrighted work, completely disregard the English language and its structure, . . ."
  3. Carles' makes money with his blogging:  ". . . and somehow make money off of the ads from his site."

Original photo by Kyle Dean Reinford and photo altered by Carles:

HIPSTER PHOTOGRAPHER FREAKS OUT--THREATENS TO SHUT DOWN HIPSTER BLOGGER

New York 'scene' photographer/actor/singer Kyle Dean Reinford recently found out viral blogger Carles republished one of his photos on  Hipster Runoff blog with attribution and a link to Reinford's site but without his permission.  Now Reinford is bringing out the big guns to protect his intellectual property:  he is filing a DMCA request.  His twitter stream indicates he may also be 'losing his shit'.

(Photo of Kyle Dean Reinford by Kyle Dean Reinford used in accordance with the fair use doctrine.)

November 21, 2009

HOW BACON IS MADE

THOUGHTS ON THE GLOBAL WARMING DEBATE

It appears to me that there's a good number of people who aren't funded by any one specific industry saying that "global warming" needs to be addressed by government and until recently there was not a lot of money to be made off of "solving global warming".  The interest for it grew out of scientific studies and started becoming an "environmental" meme.

Then in the 90s, "denying global warming" became a meme.  The arguments "against global warming" come from organizations set up by public relations agencies and research funded by businesses who would incur losses from government regulations.  And the research isn't so much hard scientific research as it is rhetorical research gathered to discredit "global warming" specifically so that it can't be used to justify regulation.  The arguments "against global warming" are always defensive and the only people that are passionate about it are paid by the industries that stand to be regulated, the Republican Party which is closely aligned with those interests, and dumb "Republicans" to whom it's simply an ideological left/liberal/Democrat vs. right/conservative/Republican issue.  There weren't people arguing against the idea of global warming that came out of the scientific community until it became a political issue and the argument against it doesn't seem to be so much a scientific argument that discredits it as much as a political argument against regulation.

October 30, 2009

October 16, 2009

THE PBR PHENOMENON DECONSTRUCTED



You may have noticed a trend over at least the past couple of people raging against hipsters for being shallow trend-followers.  You don't necessarily have to actually know what a hipster is to complain about them, but more astute complainers will know that they drink Pabst Blue Ribbon beer for the "ironic effect".  This meme has even recently been cemented in the mainstream media with reports mentioning PBR's "[adverb, e.g strangely, highly, etc.] effective" "word-of-mouth campaign" playing up to the hipster sense of irony.  No evidence of this "word-of-mouth marketing campaign" is cited other than other articles repeating the same thing while relishing the irony of an anti-conformist, anti-corporate subculture being seduced by corporate marketing.

Having no preference, a hipster may be likely to choose PBR because of the can design.  The design hasn't changed in years, signifying a more authentic relationship with the customer than those beer companies that update their labels to entice customers.  Not so ironic a choice, just a conscious evaluation of the design as it reflects on the choices the company makes.

A hipster may choose to drink PBR because their friends drink PBR:  not much different from any social group that has their favorite beers such as Budweiser or Guinness.  If everyone in a group agrees on a brand of beer, it's easier to buy a 12-pack or a case for a party that no one will bitch and moan about.



The most important reason hipsters drink PBR is economic.  Hipsters are generally people from a middle-class upbringing who are involved in the local indie music scene.  What that should tell you is that they hold aesthetics above affluence.  Having a lesser drive towards affluence, they tend to not make much money.  Being middle class tells you they're advantaged enough to not have to drink the cheapest form of alcohol available like bums and welfare cases.  PBR is the beer of choice of people who have enough money see a band at a bar, but not enough to waste it on upgrading their beer while they're there.  It is in fact the drink of choice for white bar patrons living above poverty conditions with a limited disposable income, at least in the South.

Tennessee Rounders - 2007-01-12 - Pabst Blue Ribbon [128kbps vbr]

In the South, PBR is the cheapest beer you can get in most bars.   It's also the cheapest non-light, non-ice brewed beer you can get at just about any gas station, aside from Milwaukee's Best which sux.  This doesn't have as much to do with customer demand as it does with Pabst Brewing Company's pricing and distribution.  Bar owners there don't sell it because customers demand it, they sell it because customers there tend to go to bars that offer cheap beer and PBR has chosen to cater to that market. 

It shouldn't be surprising that traveling indie bands playing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, artists, and liberal arts majors who move to New York and live on a tight budget while starting their careers would bring their preference in beer with them.  In New York, PBR is expensive, like all beer, so it's particularly hard for people there to understand why hipsters drink it, but it's still usually one dollar cheaper in bars than other beers.  Aside from saving a buck, it's better to ask specifically for a PBR than to ask for "the cheapest beer you have" in front of a girl you may want to bone later. 

I just wanted to clear all that up because it's kind of sad to see the same rant repeated by different people about "hipsters" and their "trends" and the irony of their "ironic" beers.  You can go on believing that the trend started with PBR's marketing team showing up at drug parties and dingey rock venues telling people that PBR is ironic, but drinking PBR has less to do with irony and some vaporous "word-of-mouth marketing campaign" and more with economics and Pabst's distribution model.  There's people that drink PBR based solely on the brand's cultural cache while imbuing it with an aura of irony, but is that act any worse than criticizing it based solely on the brand's cultural cache while imbuing it with an aura of irony?

October 15, 2009

MEGHAN McCAIN MIGHT DELETE HER TWITTER



Meghan McCain, daughter of John McCain, posted this picture on twitter showing off her book, got called a slut, and is now considering deleting her twitter profile.  Here are the relevant tweets in chronological order:


McCainBlogette so I took a fun picture not thinking anything about what I was wearing but apparently anything other than a pantsuit I am a slut, this is

McCainBlogette why I have been considering deleting my twitter account, what once was fun now just seems like a vessel for harassment

McCainBlogette I am going to take some more time to think about it but seriously I was just trying to be funny with the book and that I'm a dork staying in

Meghan McCain
McCainBlogette when I am alone in my apartment, I wear tank tops and sweat pants, I had no idea this makes me a "slut", I can't even tell you how hurt I am

McCainBlogette ok I am getting the fuck off twitter, promise not to delete my account until I sleep on it, thank you for the nice words supporters  


McCainBlogette I do want to apologize to anyone that was offended by my twitpic, I have clearly made a huge mistake and am sorry 2 those that are offended.

UPDATE (04:04PM EST):  She will not be deleting her twitter, treating this as a learning experience instead.


McCainBlogette I would like to thank my family and friends for their support. This has been an embarrassing experience but also a learning one. I will not 19 minutes ago

McCainBlogette be deleting my twitter account but I will be more careful in the future about my use with the medium. 18 minutes ago

UPDATE (2009-12-01 04:07AM EST):  She said a few more things about it but I lost interest in blogging about it.  Sorry if you think this entry would've benefited from being more comprehensive.

September 25, 2009

HOW TO HOST A WINDOWS 7 PARTY



I wonder if Microsoft meant this to go viral. I'm leaning towards thinking they didn't. It's been online since at least August 26.

ON-TIME CLOCK

This is the ON-Time clock from Fabrica Design. It runs 3 minutes fast. Personally, I'm never just 3 minutes late so it'd be kind of useless to me. Speaking of useless, I tried posting this using the Blogger accelerator in Internet Explorer 8 but the GUI doesn't allow for uploading or embedding pics like the web interface does. Google and Microsoft just wasted 3 minutes of my time with their "accelerator".

September 17, 2009

LOCAL TV NEWS BANTER: WHY IS IT SO WEIRD?

Whenever I see local news on TV, I pay attention to the "friendly interaction" between the anchor and the other reporter(s) sitting by them. Those little comments they make to each other about the previous report are always really weird. It's unlike any kind of human interaction you'd see anywhere else. It's like they're acting like they're making small talk, but it's totally not small talk because small talk is just something to fill up time or to show a stranger you're stuck next to that you're not an introverted creep thinking about how much you resent them encroaching on your personal space. I suppose it's because local news is targeted at people that don't pay attention to what words mean but how they sound, but if you're not part of this target audience, it does seem really freaking weird. Take this for example:


With most things, you don't get them when you first see them, but the more you see them the more you get it, because you learn about stuff and things make sense as you grow up. Local news though is something that seemed normal to me when I'd watch it as a kid, but the older I get the more it freaks me out. I'm not even so sure that it's these odd asides themselves that are so strange; maybe what's alienating me is the blatant realization that there's an audience for them.

Have you also noticed this? Do you even ever watch the local news? What is the anchor in that video talking about?

September 14, 2009

PATRICK SWAYZE DIES AT AGE 57

Actor Patrick Swayze died in Los Angeles today after a public bout with pancreatic cancer. "Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months," said his publicist, Annett Wolf. Swayze is best known for his roles in Ghost, Roadhouse, and Big Trouble In Little China.

September 2, 2009

August 12, 2009

ODUMCARLOCK'S GUIDE TO BONING B*TCHES

  • Realize that every woman is different and prefers different things in bed. No f****ng templates! Just imagination and experimentation!
  • Communication! The more you talk the better the sex is, and the better you get.
  • Practice. That sh*t really does make perfect.
  • Fitness - be healthy, spiritually, physically and psychologically.
  • Caring, care for your partner and yourself.
  • Respect! For both of you.
  • Technique - never stop learning and training and getting better, never be satisfied with who you are, always give it 110%, always try to have better sex than you had last time, never just call it in! If you feel like you're going to have mediocre sex, do something else instead!

July 28, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: BONO'S FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE DAMPENED BY SLEEP-DEPRIVED COMMONERS


The Associated Press is reporting that the shipment of U2's stage to it's next destination on their multimillion dollar tour has been delayed by protesters kept awake by noise from the 44 hours of round-the-clock work dismantling it following a noisy run of nighttime shows in Dublin, Ireland.

When told of what happened after landing their private jet in Nice, France, where they are staying between shows, the band felt "pure disappointment. It's just really put a damp squib (sponge) on something that was a fantastic experience and fantastic show" said the tour's production director.

There is no word yet whether a lawsuit threatened against the protesters will include a claim for emotional damage incurred by the band.

July 14, 2009

MEMETARD: A MEME FOR THE POST-MEME AGE

A memetard is someone who repeats overused memes indiscriminately as a conversational crutch.

Examples of memes commonly abused by memetards:
  • "Arguing on the internet is like the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded."
  • Godwin's Law, godwin, etc.
  • "PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals"
  • "CAPS LOCK:  CRUISE CONTROL FOR . . . "
  •  image macros
  • "Cool story, bro"
  • "tl;dr"
  • "evar", "moar", "an hero", "teh internets", etc.
  • bacon
  • ninjas vs. pirates
  • fail
Please use this meme judiciously.

EDIT: First usage of the memetard meme within a memetic context.

June 19, 2009

THE IDEOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, 1937-2007

An infographic at scotusscores.com illustrates the ideological tendencies of the U.S. Supreme Court as a whole and of individual justices on a liberal-conservative scale.

June 17, 2009

YOUTUBE CENSORING IRANIAN PROTEST VIDEOS

While the media is not being allowed to report what is happening in Iran, Iranian protesters are risking their lives to record video of the situation and upload it to the internet using very limited bandwidth. At the same time, Youtube is deleting them soon after they are uploaded. Most likely because the deleted footage is graphically violent. UPDATE (07:30 17 June 2009): The twitter hashtag for this censorship is #youtubefail. There is a torrent for 11 videos removed from Youtube. The videos may also have been removed by illegitimate DMCA requests by supporters of Ahmadinejad claiming copyright infringement. This is a good reason why the Digital Millenium Copyright Act should be repealed in the U.S.A. UPDATE (08:58 17 June 2009): In response to being called out on this, Youtube has made a statement congratulating itself on going out of it's way to not delete more of these videos because of the critical nature of the situation and suggesting that these videos may have been removed by the users themselves, presumably just after risking their lives attaining them and uploading them with limited bandwidth available. Here is the relevant part of their statement:
We've noticed some claims going around that YouTube has been engaging in acts of censorship and removing some of these videos from the site. Unless a video clearly violates our Community Guidelines, we will not take it down. In general, we do not allow graphic or gratuitous violence on YouTube. However, we make exceptions for videos that have educational, documentary, or scientific value. The limitations being placed on mainstream media reporting from within Iran make it even more important that citizens in Iran be able to use YouTube to capture their experiences for the world to see. Given the critical role these videos are playing in reporting this story to the world, we are doing our best to leave as many of them up as we can. YouTube is, at its core, a global forum for free expression. Take note that if you see a video that is unavailable on the site, it may be because the user decided to remove the video him or herself.
Apparently Youtube's idea of a "global forum for free expression" is one which censors documentation of bloodshed and death at pivotal moments in history--you know, the kind of expression which matters the most.

June 11, 2009

CENSORSHIP ON FLICKR

Flickr, the Yahoo photo sharing site, has deleted a user's paid Pro account for posting critical comments about the Obama adminstration's policies on the White House's Flickr photostream. Shepherd Johnson has lost access to the only copies of his photos which he stored on Flickr. Here's the story at Valleywag. Here is the White House photostream in which Johnson commented. If you have a Flickr account, I suggest you make yourself heard after you make sure you have a backup of all your photos on there. There's another incident in 2007 when Flickr removed a photo by Rebekka Gu├░leifsd├│ttira with accompanying text in which she complained about a gallery which was selling her photos without permission. The photo also had 450+ user comments which were deleted. You can read about it at thomashawk.com.

June 8, 2009

THE PHOTO OF DAVID CARRADINE'S DEATH

This is a photograph of David Carradine's body by forensics investigators. It was featured on the front page of The Thai Rath newspaper, the original publisher. Another, slightly different version of the photo can be seen at greenstijl.nl. TMZ.com reports a statement by Keith Carradine, David Carradine's brother, saying "The family wants it understood that, per attorney Mark Geragos, any persons, publications or media outlets will be fully prosecuted for invasion of privacy and causing severe emotional distress if the photos are published." Apparently they are under the impression that dead people have privacy rights and that the source of the family's distress is the information about his death rather than the death itself. Or maybe they would rather use their wealth to threaten journalists with the financial consequences of being embroiled in the U.S. legal system than accept Carradine's kinks. Carradine's ex-wife Marina claimed in their divorce trial that he took part in "deviant sexual behavior which was potentially deadly". Another ex-wife of his, Gail Jensen, claims he would take days preparing bondage scenarios for himself and that "he liked to be tied up. And he could tie himself up ..." In spite of this, Geragos explained on Larry King Live that it is likely Carradine was killed in response to investigative work he may have been doing to uncover a secret underworld martial arts society. As a side note, commenter PRIAPISM EROTICAL on TMZ.com believes that David Carradine was making a political statement about the exorbitant suicide rate in China which they say is the real issue here. Some of Mark Geragos' previous clients include Scott Peterson, convicted of killing his pregnant wife; Chris Brown, ex-boyfriend of Rihanna whom he beat badly enough that she couldn't perform at last year's Grammy Awards; and Susan McDougal, who was convicted for multiple counts of fraud in the Whitewater controversy and later pardoned by President Bill Clinton.

CHAT WITH A DYING PERSON

Have you ever wondered what a person with only months to live would chat about on IM? Do you want to get photo tips from the world's premier homeless photographer? Maybe you're just lonely and want to send photos of your wang and your car to a cute barely legal chick? You can chat with Zombie Twatz using the Digsby widget on right side of this page below. Her blog is hobohappenings.tumblr.com and this is her flickr.

June 4, 2009

DAVID CARRADINE KILLS HIMSELF JERKING OFF, MEDIA MOPS UP

According to media reports, actor David Carradine died in Bangkok last night or this morning at the age of 72. He was found in his hotel closet. While earlier reports from the U.K. mentioned rope tied around his genitals and his neck, the stories have since been sanitized of all mention of his genitalia and the implication of auto-erotic asphyxiation. Compare the following screen captures of the story from bbc.co.uk taken 61 minutes apart:
In fact, there was an intermediate edit between the two versions above that only mentioned the cord being around his neck (Sorry, no screencap.) Compare also the following two versions of this story at telegraph.co.uk, both marked "Published: 3:34PM BST 04 Jun 2009".
Reports in the U.S. media are even shorter on details such as the story at abclocal.go.com, which initially reported Carradine's agent suggesting that he had died of natural causes.
Carradine was best known for his work on the TV series Kung Fu and a number of movies including Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2. He is survived by his wife Annie Bierman and their three children.
UPDATE (16:26 04 June 2009): Commenter friendlyfires on thesuperficial.com makes some interesting points about Carradine's death and says author David Foster Wallace died of auto-erotic asphyxiation and it was covered up as a suicide. UPDATE (19:08 04 June 2009): While most other media outlets are just hiding the details of the incident, Fox News is trying to sell this as a suicide despite all the evidence against it. Who commits suicide half-naked with rope around their dong? UPDATE (04:42 04 June 2009): The Huffington Post has a good article about what happened.

May 27, 2009

COUNTRY COMMENTS

I was browsing youtube.com and I came across this amazing rendition of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry". It may be the best version of the song yet.
I contacted the author of this video and they have generously given permission for chrysler5thavenue readers to add their own annotations to to it. Click here to add your own text. (Sign in to youtube.com required.)

May 4, 2009

DAVID HASSELHOFF DEAD FROM ALCOHOL POISONING

Television and recording star David Hasselhoff lost a long and public battle with alcohol on Sunday after being discovered unconscious by his daughter Hayley in their Encino, CA home and rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he expired. Although no documents have been released, the cause of death will reportedly be listed as "alcohol poisoning." Hasselhoff is best known in the U.S. for his starring role in the Knight Rider and Baywatch TV shows as well as his recent work as a judge on America's Best Dance Crew. In 1989, he topped the German pop music charts with his hit "Looking For Freedom." Hasselhoff is survived by his two daughters, Taylor and Hayley. He was 57 years old at the time of his death.

UPDATE:  We are currently investigating rumors that David Hasselhoff may still be alive. 

April 24, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: JAY LENO DEAD AT 59

Comedian and host of NBC's The Tonight Show, Jay Leno, has just died following his admittance to a Los Angeles hospital on Thursday after canceling the day's taping of The Tonight Show. A source reports he expired shortly after midnight. No cause of death was mentioned. Rumors of food poisoning had been dismissed earlier by NBC staff. He was 59 year old. Leno rose through the ranks of stand-up comedy before succeeding Johnny Carson in 1992 as host of The Tonight Show, for which he is best know. He was slated to continue hosting the show until May 29 of this year, after which he was to host his own primetime talk show tentatively entitled The Jay Leno Show this fall on NBC. Leno was an avid car collector and authored a regular column for Popular Mechanics. Leno had no children and is survived by his wife Mavis.

UPDATE (April 25, 2009):  It has come to our attention that Lay Leno is not in fact dead and is currently still hosting The Tonight Show on NBC.

April 6, 2009

CHRONIC MASTURBATORS DEMAND PUNISHMENT FOR JOURNALIST REPORTING ON LEAKED WOLVERINE FILM

RopeOfSilicon.com decided on April 3 that a review of the leaked copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine was not just news you did not need, but news that should not have been published by anyone. Site owner Bret Brevet called for FoxNews.com to fine (LOL) Roger Friedman for writing one. Personally, I prefer my movie news from a source that just prints all the news and lets me decide whether I want to read it or not. I don't know if this Brevet guy is a shill for the MPAA or if censorship is just a hobby for him, but calling his site "your one stop shop for everything movie related [emphasis mine] on the Internet [sic]," points to his aspirations of Stalinist flackdom. Characterizing his own cry to punish a journalist as "news" is an exercise in Orwellian doublespeak. Variety.com reports that this is coming amidst a wave of lobbying for Friedman's dismissal from "the fanboy blogging community," which to me sounds like a bunch of bedwetters in search of a mother figure to protect their childish fantasies. This community includes David Poland at The Hot Blog, aintitcool.com (noitsreallylame.com), and Josh Tyler at CinemaBlend.com (who actually posted a picture of a crucified Wolverine to accompany his tearful rage.) As of this moment, there have been conflicting reports from Fox News and it's parent company, News Corp, about whether Friedman has been fired or not. Friedman's original article has been deleted from FoxNews.com but a screen capture can be seen here. UPDATE (12:53 06 April 2009): A more readable screen capture can be seen at Chud.com.

March 31, 2009

WHO'S LYING ABOUT THE ALLEGED ASHLEY BIDEN COCAINE VIDEO: RADARONLINE OR NY POST?

On March 28, RadarOnline.com reported a "WORLD EXCLUSIVE" story of a video being shopped around of a woman alleged to be Ashley Biden, Vice-President Biden's daughter, doing cocaine. They wrote, " In addition to RadarOnline.com, representatives for the New York Post, a large British newspaper and the National Enquirer have all viewed the tape." The same article says, "The tape was made without her knowledge." March 30, RadarOnline.com wrote, "The explosive video . . . was shot with a hidden camera, RadarOnline.com has learned," implying that they received additional information without naming a source. "Our viewing of portions of the tape is consistent with that. The low, tilted angle of the camera and the actions of the woman both indicate the camera was not in plain view." They are also reporting that the lawyer has dropped the client because "he did not want to be involved due to circumstances surrounding the publicity of the matter." Today, March 31, RadarOnline.com reports they have "learned exclusively" that the video was preplanned as a setup. "It is clear from the tape that the woman said to be Ashley Biden does not know she is being filmed," they say. The New York Post however has been reporting that, "The camera follows the woman from a few feet away, focusing on her as she moves around the room. It appears not to be concealed." Keep in mind that a camera that tracks a moving person requires a human operator to control it. The New York Post also says the seller's lawyers at the time claimed that she "acknowledges the camera in a way that makes it clear she knows she's being recorded, . . . waving at it during a part of the video not shown to The Post." Why is there a discrepancy between the two reports despite both media outlets having viewed the same footage? Is it "clear from the tape that the woman . . . does not know she is being filmed," as RadarOnline.com says or does it appear "not to be concealed?" as The New York Times says. If RadarOnline.com saw the video originally, how and where did they they "learn" two days later that the camera was hidden? Was it from Biden's lawyer or someone much more powerful? Did this person also persuade the video seller's lawyer to quit as well?
UPDATE (22:53 31 March 2009): This story just hit digg! UPDATE (15:04 01 April 2009): Neither Ashley Biden nor her father have made any comments about the tape, which gives the impression that it is authentic. The story has been out of the news for a day now.

March 27, 2009

WHY OLD MEDIA IS DYING

They don't provide URLs or links to what they're writing about whenever they are writing about something posted on the internet.

TWITTER CENSORS CWALKEN ACCOUNT

Sometime within the past 30 minutes, Twitter has "suspended" the account residing at http://twitter.com/cwalken. The page has been increasing in poularity with over 89,000 subscribers and has recently been mentioned on many websites. You can read more about the account and the author here. Here is a screenshot of the page shortly before deletion. UPDATE (17:38 22 April 2009): The account appears to have been reinstated at http://twitter.com/formerlyCwalken with a different avatar and now has a link to http://twitter.com/clusterWalken.

March 11, 2009

PANIC AT SYMANTEC

SYMANTEC: "There is no conspiracy theory. We were under attack by a robot."

After being unable to silence their customers on their forums inquiring about Symantec's mysterious PIFTS.exe file Monday night, Symantec has moved on to their Plan B: lie and obfuscate. Releasing a statement Tuesday on their forums, Symantec explained that their customers were incorrect in thinking there was a mass effort to delete all their posts inquiring about PIFTS.exe, because it was in fact a mass effort by Symantec to delete posts by spammers with "unclear" intentions inquiring about PIFTS.exe.

"There is no conspiracy theory. There's nothing we are hiding at all," says Jeff Kyle, group product manager for Symantec consumer products. "Within the first hour there were like 600 posts to that thread. Obviously it was a bot creating this."

Currently, representatives of the company are repeating that the first post referencing PIFTS.exe was made by a spambot, despite being unable to explain how and why a spambot can be the first to be aware of and mention this obscure file on the forums at the exact same time Symantec's staff realized their mistake and were pulling the file from distribution. Witnesses who saw the initial deleted post are having the hardest time accepting Symantec staff's explanation.
(Photo of the culprit courtesy Symantec's Public Relations Dept.)

OFFICIAL PIFTS MERCHANDISE



http://www.cafepress.com/pifts

UPDATE (13:46 11 March 2009): Cafepress.com is suppressing the sale of these shirts!

March 10, 2009

DIGG BURIES PIFTS.EXE STORY

Digg.com, a popular social news website in which news stories are voted up or down by users and are placed on the front page according to popularity is keeping the top-voted story regarding Symantec's suppression of inquiries about PIFTS.exe hidden. Digg user Janjko says:
This story is flagged, just when it hit 200 Diggs it disappeared from the upcoming stories with most diggs, Digg doesn't want it on it's front page. http://digg.com/news/software/upcoming/most
Currently the story has 269 "diggs" (or votes up) and counting.

UPDATE (13:20 10 March 2009): The original story with over 300 diggs is no longer showing up in a search for "PIFTS.exe" on digg.com anymore. Lower rated stories still show up but are being systematically removed as this is being written. Screenshots of digg.com:
Original story
Search for "PIFTS.exe
UPDATE (13:20 10 March 2009): The story about the Digg cover up of the PIFTS.exe cover up has reached Digg itself: http://digg.com/tech_news/Digg_covers_up_Symantec_s_cover_up

UPDATE (14:55 10 March 2009): If PIFTS.exe is related to the FBI's Magic Lantern software, it would not be surprising if Digg was pressured to squelch this.

UPDATE (03:59 31 March 2009): The story in question was the fifth most popular story on Digg that day.

PIFTS.EXE

There is virtually no information on the internet yet regarding a mysterious program called PIFTS.exe, aside from what's posted on this blog. Symantec, makers of the bloated Norton Anti-Virus software, are deleting any mention of PIFTS.exe from their community forums. The topic is being discussed at forums.zonealarm.org.


UPDATE (02:36 10 March 2009): A google search for PIFTS.exe turns up a link to www.kanzlei.biz/uploads/tf/index.php?family-guy-season-7-episode-8/, a nefarious looking website that I suggest you not go to unless you know what you are doing. The site contains javascript which may be malicious. Here's a screen capture from one of the pages on that site.


UPDATE (03:56 10 March 2009): In our comments, thepipermethod says the kanzlei.biz website is just mirroring key words from google trends, which at this time includes the terms "PIFTS" and "EXE" and that the site has no other relation to PIFTS.exe. At zonealarm.org, one person reports talking with various representatives of Symantec for two hours without receiving any answer as to why inquiries posted on the Symantec forums were being deleted. The caller was told that PIFTS.exe is part of Symantec's update installation process, was denied any further information regarding the purpose of the file and was repeatedly transferred to a new representative when asking why inquiries about PIFTS.exe were being deleted from Symantec's forums.


UPDATE (10:42 10 March 2009): There is speculation that this is part of the FBI's secret Magic Lantern software. From Wikipedia:
Symantec, the makers of Norton AntiVirus and related products, is reportedly working with the FBI on ways to preclude their products from detecting Magic Lantern. Eric Chien, a top researcher at Symantec, emphasized the ability to detect "modified versions."
Some people are reporting that the Norton forums have been taken offline. There is no information posted anywhere yet regarding what this program does.

UPDATE (11:10 10 March 2009): It's being said that PIFTS.exe contacts an IP address in Africa.


UPDATE (11:50 10 March 2009): This site has links to copies of the PIFTS.exe file which you can download. I can not vouch whether the files are authentic or not. There is contradictory information about what actual IP address the program is contacting.

UPDATE (12:02 10 March 2009): Apparently digg.com is also covering this story up. 242 diggs and it's not on the front page. There's a good discussion of this on slashdot.org, a web 2.0 social networking site for techies. The Washington Post and The Register are covering this as well.


UPDATE (14:45 10 March 2009): More details on Digg's cover up of the PIFTS.exe story here. The coordinated opposition to this story tells us that we are on the right track.


UPDATE (16:22 10 March 2009): Symantec has finally issued a statement on PIFTS.exe. Symantec claims that it was just a patch to their software that was accidentally released "unsigned." The company also alleges that inquiries regarding the matter on their forums were deleted because many people made posts about it:
One individual created a new user account and posted about the name of the patch executable, PIFTS.exe. Within minutes, several dozen user accounts were created commenting on the initial thread, and/or creating new threads on the topic. Over the next few hours, over 200 user accounts were created. Within the first hour there were 600 new posts on this subject alone. While the intent of the spammer(s) remains unclear, there were no malicious links and it simply resulted in a widespread communications challenge for Symantec.
It is interesting that there is no accounting for why the first post was deleted along with every single other mention of the issue. It is also worth noting that Symantec refers those customers of theirs who promptly wanted to know what this "unsigned" piece of software was as "spammer(s)" whose intent "remains unclear."

March 9, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: USA ANNEXING MEXICO

A source in Mexico tells me the following regarding martial law in Mexico:

(7:11:27 pm) [Name Withheld]: I asked around and nobody knows anything.

(7:12:15 pm) [Name Withheld]: In the morning, there was a brief notice about it, and father mentioned something about USA annexing Mexico as another state, but I didn't pay attention

(7:32:27 pm) [Name Withheld]: If I learn anything new I'll tell you.

Note that the MSM (mainstream media) is not reporting on this. Another scoop for us!

(When reposting this on blogs or forums, please provide a link back to this page. Some of our previous reporting is unfortunately going uncredited. Thanks!)

March 8, 2009

GERALDO WAS SILENCED

After we broke the story earlier last night, veteran reporter Geraldo Rivera announced that Mexico was under martial law. A headline on the screen read "BREAKING NEWS: MEXICAN PRES DECLARES MARTIAL LAW - CIVILIANS AND AMERICANS PUT ON LOCKDOWN." Part way through the report, the graphic was taken down and Rivera, under pressure from either Mexican or American authorities, was forced to take back the statement and announce that martial law had technically not been imposed. It was clear from his words though that it was in effect martial law and that there was an effort underway to downplay the events currently proceeding in Mexico. On the broadcast, Mexican officials projected a calm and confident image despite the escalation of guerilla warfare behind them. Check out the previous blog entry for more background information. UPDATE (19:37 8 March 2009): A clip of Geraldo's broadcast described above has surfaced online. If you have software allowing you to download youtube videos, I urge you to download this one. I have a feeling this one will be taken down shortly.
That clip was the last mention of the president of Mexico declaring martial law. Later broadcasts last night were clearly toned down. Thanks to reader Janet for providing some of the information cited in this post.

March 7, 2009

MEXICO UNDER MARTIAL LAW

I just heard from a reliable source in Mexico that martial law has been imposed. The country is under complete military lockdown. Mexican citizens and American tourists have had their movement tightly restricted and are being told to stay off the streets under penalty of arrest. Mexican officials are denying that the country is about to collapse. UPDATE (03:28 08 March 2009): These guys just picked up on the story: http://www.freepressinternational.com/2009/03/ciudad-juarez-mexico-under-martial-law/ Here's a collection of some other relevant links from the comments: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/03/07/mexico.headless.bodies/index.html http://www.google.com/search?q=mexico+gang+warfare http://digg.com/world_news/MEXICO_PLACED_UNDER_MARTIAL_LAW http://chrysler5thavenue.blogspot.com/2009/03/geraldo-was-silenced.html Geraldo was silenced, but there is more information out there. If you happen to be in Mexico or have more information about this, please post anything you can tell us. I have enabled posting anonymously if you are an official with any government or directly or indirectly involved with this action. UPDATE (20:11 08 March 2009): Video of Geraldo's suppressed report corroborating this story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWoKcRmup7U.

February 27, 2009

POLLUTION IS BEAUTIFUL TOO

You may at sometime find yourself say something like "This pristine forest is beautiful," but do you ever say "What a beautiful oil slick?" This is a picture of a minor oil spill in Hanover, Germany published at spiegel.de.

February 23, 2009

SNAKE EYES

I'm not one to get a tattoo, but if you are and you are looking to get one that expresses a sense of danger and loss, here is an idea for you.

February 22, 2009

FAILCOASTER!

This is a new meme that is catching on.
To use this graphic, just post it whenever you see someone do something unsuccessfully. Here's an example. If you've never been involved in popularizing a viral meme, this is one you can get in front of before the noobs.

HOW TO LIGHT A MATCH

First, make sure there are no fans on, or vents blowing near where you will be lighting the match. The key to lighting a match correctly and safely is to keep your hand movements to a minimum. The number one mistake beginners make is striking too fast and too hard. Place the match head gently against the striking surface. Move your hand only so far as to scrape the match against the surface firmly enough for it to light, and then decelerate quickly but steadily enough that the match does not go out immediately. It may help to plan out the hand gesture you will be using in your mind beforehand and run through it a couple of times without actually striking the match to get your body familiar with the motion. When you feel comfortable with the motion and are ready to light the match, focus your mind on the contact point between the match head and the striking surface and not on your hand. Think of it as your mind guiding the match's head while your hand follows. After the match is lit, hold it still for a moment and gently tilt it so that the body of the match continues to fuel the flame. Once the flame is stable, set aside (or drop) the matchbook and use that empty hand to cup around the flame, just not too close so that it burns you. Then gently move both hands in unison towards the object you are lighting.

February 20, 2009

MY NEW FAVORITE SONG

Silikon by Modeselektor featuring Sasha Perera

RIHANNA POLICE PHOTO LEAKED

A police photo of Rihanna beaten by Chris Brown was published by TMZ.com. The LAPD announced it's starting an internal investigation to find out who leaked the picture. Here's some of the comments from readers on there:

"She doesnt look that bad."

Posted at 9:08PM on Feb 19th 2009 by Chris Brown

"Is that really her?? This girl's nose is really wide, i dont think Rihanna's nose is like that. Well, if it is her, thats really sad"

Posted at 9:09PM on Feb 19th 2009 by Sara237

"YOUR nose would be that wide too if it was smashed doofus...duh, that's what a punch in the nose does......."

Posted at 9:11PM on Feb 19th 2009 by Uh Huh

AMIGA BILLBOARD