Archive for January 22nd, 2007

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One Man’s Terrorist T-Shirt

January 22, 2007

I saw this post on LGF that sparked an interesting debate.  From the actual story: Man kicked off flight for Bush-bashing T-shirt .

CANBERRA, Jan 22 (Reuters Life!) – An airline passenger barred from a flight for wearing a T-shirt labeling President Bush a terrorist has threatened legal action against Australia’s flag carrier Qantas.

Allen Jasson, 55, an Australian IT expert who lives in Britain, was stopped from boarding a London-bound Qantas flight at Melbourne Airport last Friday for wearing what the airline said was an offensive T-shirt.

Airline staff said the T-shirt of Bush with the tagline “World’s number 1 terrorist” could have upset other passengers and demanded it be changed for another.

First, I’d like to say this guy is just plain nuts.  After all, everyone knows that Bush is #2.

This is the image on the shirt:

worlds_number_1_sm.jpg

Now, we can go into a debate into if it’s fair to label Bush a terrorist or by what definition.  I’d rather point out the irony in this:

“I am not prepared to go without the T-shirt. I might forfeit the fare, but I have made up my mind that I would rather stand up for the principle of free speech,” Jasson told Australian media on Monday, adding he would seek legal advice.

Perhaps Jasson wore the shirt onto the plane knowing the freedom of speech was exactly what he was going to get.  Based on this:

Reuters:

Man kicked off flight for Bush-bashing T-shirt  —  CANBERRA, Jan 22 (Reuters Life!)  – An airline passenger barred from a flight for wearing a T-shirt labeling President Bush a terrorist has threatened legal action against Australia’s flag carrier Qantas.  —  Allen Jasson, 55 …

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Discussion: Little Green Footballs, The Agonist and Daily Pundit

He got his freedom of speech all right. From a few thousand people in an airport to millions.

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Adult Movie Makers Are Embracing HD

January 22, 2007

Now, normally I wouldn’t comment on pornos on my blog.  I do work in the consumer electronics industry, however, so I felt like commenting on this article in the NYT

Pornography has long helped drive the adoption of new technology, from the printing press to the videocassette. Now pornographic movie studios are staying ahead of the curve by releasing high-definition DVDs.

They have discovered that the technology is sometimes not so sexy. The high-definition format is accentuating imperfections in the actors — from a little extra cellulite on a leg to wrinkles around the eyes.

 I’ve always joked with customers in the store that “Sometimes, there are things best not shown in HD”.  That comment usually escapes my lips after watching something like a lion tearing the flesh off of a gazelle in stunning 720p resolution.  I also remember watching some HD footage of New Orleans post-Katrina.  Lemme tell ya:  dead, bloated corpses in high definition is not something you wanna see around dinner time.  Take my word on that.

 What about porn?  Will it look too real, and turn people off? 

These new disc formats (HD-DVD and Blu-Ray) were just released last year, so it may be a little while before the impact of HD is really felt in their industry.  The players are still expensive, and most people still don’t have an HDTV yet anyway.  I have wondered whether your average consumer will feel that standard DVD is “good enough” (for both Hollywood and adult titles).  Consumers are tuned off by a Beta-vs-VHS style format war.  It’s possible that BOTH formats could be forgotten about.  Maybe the success of either format hinges on the success of porn?  It’s not unthinkable.

 One thing’s for certain:  standard DVD was one of the best things to happen to the adult film industry.  I’m still not sure if that was due to the increased picture quality of the format, or if it was driven more my it’s convenience features (chapter skip, multi angle, and A-B repeat).  It is booming, nonetheless:

Despite the challenges, pornographers — who distributed some 7,000 new movies on DVD last year and sold discs worth $3.6 billion in the United States — are rapidly moving to high-definition.

Should be interesting to see what effect porn will have on the overall success of the formats.

Note to readers:  I have installed a “HTDV news” RSS feed in the sidebar.  I’ll probably comment on this kind of stuff every so often.  After all, we can’t talk politics ALL the time, right?