Archives » September, 2002

September 30, 2002

Get Your War On

Get Your War On, #15:

“Oh my God, this War On Saddam Hussein is gonna rule! I can’t wait until the war is over and there’s no more Iraq!”

“I know! Remember when the US had a terror problem, and then we declared a War On Terror, and now there’s no more terror anymore? It’ll be just like that!”

September 28, 2002

Mass Revolt

Cringely says that the only way to overturn the DMCA is some kind of mass revolt, where tens of thousands of people break the law, on the theory that “‘They,’ whoever that is, can’t afford to annoy so much of the population,” and they’ll be forced to change the law. Hmmm…

Welocome Peyden

My friends Joey and Suzy, who abandoned us in the arid West for a new life in New York, had their first offspring yesterday.

Congratulations all around!

September 27, 2002

So Long Paul

Some other news coming down the wire, on a distinctly non-Web front, is the announcement that Paul Pressler is leaving Disney and moving on to the Gap. This might raise a chorus of “Huh? Who” from the crowd, so a note of explanation is in order.

I’m kind of a closet Disney geek. Not the cartoons, mind you, not the movies, not the cable channel, not the media holdings, but the theme parks. Disneyland, in particular, and to a lesser extent the others scattered around the globe. I’ve dug into their history, I know how the rides works, when they were built, and the stories of the men who made them. And even though Michael Eisner has had a bullseye painted on his behind by many people in the Web world for his stance on copyright and the Berman bill, he’s a villian in my book for a different reason: single-handedly shoving Disneyland right down the crapper.

But more about that in a future post, maybe. This is about Paul Pressler, who, up until now, was Eisner’s right-hand man as far as the parks were concerned. As head of the theme parks division, he seemed to have very little power aside from being a yes man (and a fall guy) for Eisner. Pressler took a lot of the blame for the recent cost cutting measures, maintenance cutbacks, the lack of new attractions in the past seven years, and the lackluster quality of the new California Adventure park. Pressler became a villian by association, and because he was most often the spokesperson for change (or lack thereof) he was always the one singled out for attack for Disneyana fans. I never quite bought it though, and even though my perch here in Northern Nevada is far from Glendale, I tried to keep track of what was really going on in the halls of the Mouse. It seemed that Pressler was Moff Tarkin to Eisner’s Darth Vader: feared, but little more than a puppet. Now that he’s gone I don’t expect much of a change in the way the parks are run.

So Paul Pressler is off the head the Gap. It seems like a good move for him, from what I understand of his background. He built his reputation at Disney by running the Disney Stores, so this is a move back to retail and merchandising for him. And one thing I did notice when I visited DCA was that the most time and thought seemed to be put into designing the shops and restaurants, not the rides. That seems to be Pressler’s skill, his focus, and I think the Gap should do pretty well under his leadership.

As to what puppet will replace him, and when it will be Eisner’s time to go, that remains to be seen.

More from Jim Hill.

September 25, 2002

Clueless Org of the Week

The story is starting to spread about the high school student who was updating his weblog from a school computer. The Administration found out about it, pulled him into the office, and proceeded to kick him to the curb for violating their Acceptable Use Policy. To which I, and several other people, say, “Bull Pucky!”

I read through the AUP, trying to find anything that might prohibit what he was doing. The only clause I found was “S.1. Users will use the division’s system only for education and professional activities during school and professional hours.” They might be trying to twist that around against him, but from reading his posts it looks like he did his blogging from his Web Development class. Updating your website during a web development class? Sounds like an educational activity to me. Plus, although this point’s been made before, writing a weblog is basically the same as keeping a journal. Something that I’m sure his English teacher would be pretty happy about. Again, educational activity. Then there’s this section:

Use of the division system is limited to educational purposes which include[…]preparing students to live and work in the 21st century by providing them with electronic access to a wide range of information and the ability to communicate with people from throughout the world.

Sounds to me like he was actually following the spirit of the AUP by developing his “ability to communicate” electronically.

Now I know this is just one little blog, and from a high schooler at that. I read through some of his posts, and it’s not a site I’d go back to visit again. But I’m latching onto this cause just in principle. It seems like he was involved in two activities that were directly related to his curriculum: developing a website and creative writing/journaling. For a school to actually discourage him, and threaten expulsion, seems like an extraordinary step in the wrong direction. Hopefully this meme will spread and cause an uproar, and maybe persuade at least one school to rethink the way they interpret their policies.

Hat tip: Leo LaPorte.

September 24, 2002

Invisible Friend

Another great satire site:

“When does a friend stop becoming imaginary?” asks Dr. Edwards, “Well, most Christian Psychologists believe it is when your imaginary friend tells you his name is Jesus.”

Life and Times of Lessig

Wired has put together an in-depth article about Lawrence Lessig, his life and times, his rise to fight the good copyright fight, and the upcoming Eldred v. Ashcroft case.

Well, the article actually came out last week. I’m just a little slow getting to it, that’s all.

September 23, 2002


Look at the little pink piggy, kids! Isn’t he cute? Now let’s eat him!

Happiest day of the Year

This, of course, is the Autumnal Equinox, the official end of summer and the start of Colder Times. Of course, somebody forgot to tell the Nevada Department of Weather, because those little desert monkeys are churning out another 90 degree day today. Oh well, that’s what I get for living here.

We only get a few weeks of fall, anyway, just like we only have a few weeks of spring. It won’t start to cool down until October, and then right around Nevada Day (last weekend in October) the temperature drops like 20 degrees in three days.

Walking through the west side of Carson City on the First Cold Night of the year, with the leaves swirling all around? Bliss.

September 20, 2002

No Wars For Religion

Know Your Place! Shut Your Face!