With h brown
Court Jester on avatars, WI-FI, and other musings
January 29, 2007
Robot interviews mannequin in Davos!
You know me, I'm not one to cause trouble. Still, when Wells
Fargo created a virtual avatar interviewer for their Reuters media
artery and the avatar's first job was to interview
Gavin Newsom in a faraway land covered with snow and awash
with champagne, it caught my attention.
I shit you not. Google Adam
Pasick and Wells Fargo. Pasick is the voice of a virtual (that
means 'not real') journalist named 'Adam Reuters'. Playing off
the 'Reuters' name for credibility, the Warren Hellman dominated
multi-national avatar tossed a half dozen or so softball questions
through cyber-space to the also-virtual Mayor Newsom who hit each
one out of the park like Daniel
Homsey lobs in a Bay View sports field.
The reporter doesn't exist and wasn't there. Kind of like all
those characters John Lithgow does in cartoon features, I guess.
We already know that Newsom doesn't exist and thus is not there.
Read the links on Google. It's surreal. Eileen Left is, like,
"It will grow back in 2,000 years."
(John Fisher defines 'conservation')
The Chronicle did a couple of pieces over the last week or so
about the big and evil David Hurwitz of Maxxam Corp/Pacific Lumber
et al. Fisher is one of the sons of San Francisco's own
Fisher and, like pop, he's into exploiting every resource
the earth offers to those willing to seize and destroy. Pop made
billions off child slave labor in the Far East and young John
has been busted for cutting down stands of the aforementioned
redwoods while under court order not to do such terrible things.
John got around the order by only cutting the ancient trees on
weekends and holidays when regulators were off work. What a guy.
I mention this because the Chronicle forgot to mention that
Pacific Lumber and the Fisher family are business partners in
the race to cut down every goddamned redwood in the world. Fisher
alone owns over a quarter million acres of Mendocino County.
Why no link of Fisher
& Pacific Lumber?
Can you say advertising dollars? Can you say: The Gap? Can you
say: Banana Republic? Can you say: Old Navy? Say what you will
about the Hearsts, they don't shit where they eat.
"It's about 'equal access'.
Most call it 'network neutrality'.
Do we really want TV sets that monitor
what we watch?
Or, an internet that knows what sites
we visit and reports back to
Do we really want a media system
designed mainly for advertisers?
We've got to get alternative content
out there to the people, or this country's
going to die of too many lies.
If we lose the future now,
we'll never get it back."
Pretty good stuff, huh? It's from a speech
Bill Moyers made to a group of journalists in Tennessee last week.
This guy's been the best American journalist for over 40 years
and where did he start? Why, he was a principal voice of John
Kennedy. It was somehow reassuring to realize this. Kennedy lies
a moldin' but the words Charles Kalish forwarded me show that
the best of his thoughts live and grow.
Kill the Google deal
Peskin's the big problem here. He sat and watched while Comcast
and AT&T gutted SF's Department of Communications and completely
deactivated the Communications Commission. I hope I'm wrong here,
but I doubt it. As Moyers said, it's about 'equal access' and
Peskin wouldn't even fight for equal access of citizens to the
local broadcasts of the Board of Supervisors and various City
agencies. He gave it all to Comcast for free and laughed at me
for complaining. He let them off the hook for being 20 years late
(they never finished) in wiring the poor neighborhoods with basic
cable. This is another elitist system that will provide little
or no service to the poor. The City should build their own Wi-Fi
system. Imagine, free and equal access with no advertising or
The City already has dozens of free Wi-Fi networks. It has over
30 miles of high-grade fiber-optical cable laid under our streets
and designated for government use only. That's a hell of a good
start. I listened to Bruce Wolfe give a short presentation
before a Board Committee last year in which he described how a
serious Wi-Fi system could be easily piggy-backed off these cables.
Only Sophie Maxwell seemed even vaguely interested.
Kamala Harris must go
While District Attorney, Kamala Harris has proven she will not
go after murderers (260 dead on her watch
while she won't go after men who murder their wives, she's
let it be known that she understands that she needs to put more
people behind bars (that's the prison guard's union rep cheering)
so, she's going after the low-hanging fruit. That would
be offenders busted for mostly victimless crimes. Presently, most
of these go into Public Defender sponsored diversionary programs
which, unlike Kamala, have had a 94% non-recidivism rate over
the last 3 years.
Yeah, she's going to send more pot smokers and jay walkers to
jail where they can learn other 'skills'. A bad idea all around.
Monday at noon (Jan.29th), Public Defender, Jeff Adachi will hold
a meeting on the stairs of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant to
draw attention to this impending disaster.
That's enough for now. I need to write more funny stuff. Sexier.
Phony. Where's my avatar?
h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com,
an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h
is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and
a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email
h at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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