Krypt3ia

(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for November 2008

George’s Farewell F You’s!

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Bush Aides Rush to Enact a Rule Obama Opposes
By ROBERT PEAR

WASHINGTON — The Labor Department is racing to complete a new rule, strenuously opposed by President-elect Barack Obama, that would make it much harder for the government to regulate toxic substances and hazardous chemicals to which workers are exposed on the job.

The rule, which has strong support from business groups, says that in assessing the risk from a particular substance, federal agencies should gather and analyze “industry-by-industry evidence” of employees’ exposure to it during their working lives. The proposal would, in many cases, add a step to the lengthy process of developing standards to protect workers’ health.

Public health officials and labor unions said the rule would delay needed protections for workers, resulting in additional deaths and illnesses.

With the economy tumbling and American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush has promised to cooperate with Mr. Obama to make the transition “as smooth as possible.” But that has not stopped his administration from trying, in its final days, to cement in place a diverse array of new regulations.

The Labor Department proposal is one of about 20 highly contentious rules the Bush administration is planning to issue in its final weeks. The rules deal with issues as diverse as abortion, auto safety and the environment.

One rule would make it easier to build power plants near national parks and wilderness areas. Another would reduce the role of federal wildlife scientists in deciding whether dams, highways and other projects pose a threat to endangered species.

Mr. Obama and his advisers have already signaled their wariness of last-minute efforts by the Bush administration to embed its policies into the Code of Federal Regulations, a collection of rules having the force of law. The advisers have also said that Mr. Obama plans to look at a number of executive orders issued by Mr. Bush.

A new president can unilaterally reverse executive orders issued by his predecessors, as Mr. Bush and President Bill Clinton did in selected cases. But it is much more difficult for a new president to revoke or alter final regulations put in place by a predecessor. A new administration must solicit public comment and supply “a reasoned analysis” for such changes, as if it were issuing a new rule, the Supreme Court has said.

As a senator and a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama sharply criticized the regulation of workplace hazards by the Bush administration.

In September, Mr. Obama and four other senators introduced a bill that would prohibit the Labor Department from issuing the rule it is now rushing to complete. He also signed a letter urging the department to scrap the proposal, saying it would “create serious obstacles to protecting workers from health hazards on the job.”

Administration officials said such concerns were based on a misunderstanding of the proposal.

“This proposal does not affect the substance or methodology of risk assessments, and it does not weaken any health standard,” said Leon R. Sequeira, the assistant secretary of labor for policy. The proposal, Mr. Sequeira said, would allow the department to “cast a wide net for the best available data before proposing a health standard.”

The Labor Department regulates occupational health hazards posed by a wide variety of substances like asbestos, benzene, cotton dust, formaldehyde, lead, vinyl chloride and blood-borne pathogens, including the virus that causes AIDS.

The department is constantly considering whether to take steps to protect workers against hazardous substances. Currently, it is assessing substances like silica, beryllium and diacetyl, a chemical that adds the buttery flavor to some types of microwave popcorn.

The proposal applies to two agencies in the Labor Department, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Under the proposal, they would have to publish “advance notice of proposed rule-making,” soliciting public comment on studies, scientific information and data to be used in drafting a new rule. In some cases, OSHA has done that, but it is not required to do so.

The Bush administration and business groups said the rule would codify “best practices,” ensuring that health standards were based on the best available data and scientific information.

Randel K. Johnson, a vice president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, said his group “unequivocally supports” the proposal because it would give the public a better opportunity to comment on the science and data used by the government.

After a regulation is drafted and formally proposed, Mr. Johnson said, it is “all but impossible” to get OSHA to make significant changes.

“Risk assessment drives the entire process of regulation,” he said, and “courts almost always defer” to the agency’s assessments.

But critics say the additional step does nothing to protect workers.

“This rule is being pushed through by an administration that, for the last seven and a half years, has failed to set any new OSHA health rules to protect workers, except for one issued pursuant to a court order,” said Margaret M. Seminario, director of occupational safety and health for the A.F.L.-C.I.O.

Now, Ms. Seminario said, “the administration is rushing to lock in place requirements that would make it more difficult for the next administration to protect workers.”

She said the proposal could add two years to a rule-making process that often took eight years or more.

Representative George Miller, a California Democrat who is chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, said the proposal would “weaken future workplace safety regulations and slow their adoption.”

The proposal says that risk assessments should include industry-by-industry data on exposure to workplace substances. Administration officials acknowledged that such data did not always exist.

In their letter, Mr. Obama and other lawmakers said the Labor Department, instead of tinkering with risk-assessment procedures, should issue standards to protect workers against known hazards like silica and beryllium. The government has been working on a silica standard since 1997 and has listed it as a priority since 2002.

The timing of the proposal appears to violate a memorandum issued in early May by Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff.

“Except in extraordinary circumstances,” Mr. Bolten wrote, “regulations to be finalized in this administration should be proposed no later than June 1, 2008, and final regulations should be issued no later than Nov. 1, 2008.”

The Labor Department has not cited any extraordinary circumstances for its proposal, which was published in the Federal Register on Aug. 29. Administration officials confirmed last week that the proposal was still on their regulatory agenda.

The Labor Department said the proposal affected “only internal agency procedures” for developing health standards. It cited one source of authority for the proposal: a general “housekeeping statute” that allows the head of a department to prescribe rules for the performance of its business.

The statute is derived from a law passed in 1789 to help George Washington get the government up and running.

The Labor Department rule is among many that federal agencies are poised to issue before Mr. Bush turns over the White House to Mr. Obama.

One rule would allow coal companies to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into nearby streams and valleys. Another, issued last week by the Health and Human Services Department, gives states sweeping authority to charge higher co-payments for doctor’s visits, hospital care and prescription drugs provided to low-income people under Medicaid. The department is working on another rule to protect health care workers who refuse to perform abortions or other procedures on religious or moral grounds.

Written by Krypt3ia

2008/11/30 at 19:27

Posted in Uncategorized

George’s Farewell F You’s!

leave a comment »

Bush Aides Rush to Enact a Rule Obama Opposes
By ROBERT PEAR

WASHINGTON — The Labor Department is racing to complete a new rule, strenuously opposed by President-elect Barack Obama, that would make it much harder for the government to regulate toxic substances and hazardous chemicals to which workers are exposed on the job.

The rule, which has strong support from business groups, says that in assessing the risk from a particular substance, federal agencies should gather and analyze “industry-by-industry evidence” of employees’ exposure to it during their working lives. The proposal would, in many cases, add a step to the lengthy process of developing standards to protect workers’ health.

Public health officials and labor unions said the rule would delay needed protections for workers, resulting in additional deaths and illnesses.

With the economy tumbling and American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush has promised to cooperate with Mr. Obama to make the transition “as smooth as possible.” But that has not stopped his administration from trying, in its final days, to cement in place a diverse array of new regulations.

The Labor Department proposal is one of about 20 highly contentious rules the Bush administration is planning to issue in its final weeks. The rules deal with issues as diverse as abortion, auto safety and the environment.

One rule would make it easier to build power plants near national parks and wilderness areas. Another would reduce the role of federal wildlife scientists in deciding whether dams, highways and other projects pose a threat to endangered species.

Mr. Obama and his advisers have already signaled their wariness of last-minute efforts by the Bush administration to embed its policies into the Code of Federal Regulations, a collection of rules having the force of law. The advisers have also said that Mr. Obama plans to look at a number of executive orders issued by Mr. Bush.

A new president can unilaterally reverse executive orders issued by his predecessors, as Mr. Bush and President Bill Clinton did in selected cases. But it is much more difficult for a new president to revoke or alter final regulations put in place by a predecessor. A new administration must solicit public comment and supply “a reasoned analysis” for such changes, as if it were issuing a new rule, the Supreme Court has said.

As a senator and a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama sharply criticized the regulation of workplace hazards by the Bush administration.

In September, Mr. Obama and four other senators introduced a bill that would prohibit the Labor Department from issuing the rule it is now rushing to complete. He also signed a letter urging the department to scrap the proposal, saying it would “create serious obstacles to protecting workers from health hazards on the job.”

Administration officials said such concerns were based on a misunderstanding of the proposal.

“This proposal does not affect the substance or methodology of risk assessments, and it does not weaken any health standard,” said Leon R. Sequeira, the assistant secretary of labor for policy. The proposal, Mr. Sequeira said, would allow the department to “cast a wide net for the best available data before proposing a health standard.”

The Labor Department regulates occupational health hazards posed by a wide variety of substances like asbestos, benzene, cotton dust, formaldehyde, lead, vinyl chloride and blood-borne pathogens, including the virus that causes AIDS.

The department is constantly considering whether to take steps to protect workers against hazardous substances. Currently, it is assessing substances like silica, beryllium and diacetyl, a chemical that adds the buttery flavor to some types of microwave popcorn.

The proposal applies to two agencies in the Labor Department, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Under the proposal, they would have to publish “advance notice of proposed rule-making,” soliciting public comment on studies, scientific information and data to be used in drafting a new rule. In some cases, OSHA has done that, but it is not required to do so.

The Bush administration and business groups said the rule would codify “best practices,” ensuring that health standards were based on the best available data and scientific information.

Randel K. Johnson, a vice president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, said his group “unequivocally supports” the proposal because it would give the public a better opportunity to comment on the science and data used by the government.

After a regulation is drafted and formally proposed, Mr. Johnson said, it is “all but impossible” to get OSHA to make significant changes.

“Risk assessment drives the entire process of regulation,” he said, and “courts almost always defer” to the agency’s assessments.

But critics say the additional step does nothing to protect workers.

“This rule is being pushed through by an administration that, for the last seven and a half years, has failed to set any new OSHA health rules to protect workers, except for one issued pursuant to a court order,” said Margaret M. Seminario, director of occupational safety and health for the A.F.L.-C.I.O.

Now, Ms. Seminario said, “the administration is rushing to lock in place requirements that would make it more difficult for the next administration to protect workers.”

She said the proposal could add two years to a rule-making process that often took eight years or more.

Representative George Miller, a California Democrat who is chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, said the proposal would “weaken future workplace safety regulations and slow their adoption.”

The proposal says that risk assessments should include industry-by-industry data on exposure to workplace substances. Administration officials acknowledged that such data did not always exist.

In their letter, Mr. Obama and other lawmakers said the Labor Department, instead of tinkering with risk-assessment procedures, should issue standards to protect workers against known hazards like silica and beryllium. The government has been working on a silica standard since 1997 and has listed it as a priority since 2002.

The timing of the proposal appears to violate a memorandum issued in early May by Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff.

“Except in extraordinary circumstances,” Mr. Bolten wrote, “regulations to be finalized in this administration should be proposed no later than June 1, 2008, and final regulations should be issued no later than Nov. 1, 2008.”

The Labor Department has not cited any extraordinary circumstances for its proposal, which was published in the Federal Register on Aug. 29. Administration officials confirmed last week that the proposal was still on their regulatory agenda.

The Labor Department said the proposal affected “only internal agency procedures” for developing health standards. It cited one source of authority for the proposal: a general “housekeeping statute” that allows the head of a department to prescribe rules for the performance of its business.

The statute is derived from a law passed in 1789 to help George Washington get the government up and running.

The Labor Department rule is among many that federal agencies are poised to issue before Mr. Bush turns over the White House to Mr. Obama.

One rule would allow coal companies to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into nearby streams and valleys. Another, issued last week by the Health and Human Services Department, gives states sweeping authority to charge higher co-payments for doctor’s visits, hospital care and prescription drugs provided to low-income people under Medicaid. The department is working on another rule to protect health care workers who refuse to perform abortions or other procedures on religious or moral grounds.

Written by Krypt3ia

2008/11/30 at 19:27

Posted in Uncategorized

“Collective Intelligence” AKA Orwellian Wet Dream

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About 100 students at M.I.T. are trading privacy for a smartphone that tracks their calls, messages and movements.

HARRISON BROWN, an 18-year-old freshman majoring in mathematics at M.I.T., didn’t need to do complex calculations to figure out he liked this deal: in exchange for letting researchers track his every move, he receives a free smartphone.

Now, when he dials another student, researchers know. When he sends an e-mail or text message, they also know. When he listens to music, they know the song. Every moment he has his Windows Mobile smartphone with him, they know where he is, and who’s nearby.

Mr. Brown and about 100 other students living in Random Hall at M.I.T. have agreed to swap their privacy for smartphones that generate digital trails to be beamed to a central computer. Beyond individual actions, the devices capture a moving picture of the dorm’s social network.

The students’ data is but a bubble in a vast sea of digital information being recorded by an ever thicker web of sensors, from phones to GPS units to the tags in office ID badges, that capture our movements and interactions. Coupled with information already gathered from sources like Web surfing and credit cards, the data is the basis for an emerging field called collective intelligence.

Propelled by new technologies and the Internet’s steady incursion into every nook and cranny of life, collective intelligence offers powerful capabilities, from improving the efficiency of advertising to giving community groups new ways to organize.

But even its practitioners acknowledge that, if misused, collective intelligence tools could create an Orwellian future on a level Big Brother could only dream of.

Collective intelligence could make it possible for insurance companies, for example, to use behavioral data to covertly identify people suffering from a particular disease and deny them insurance coverage. Similarly, the government or law enforcement agencies could identify members of a protest group by tracking social networks revealed by the new technology. “There are so many uses for this technology — from marketing to war fighting — that I can’t imagine it not pervading our lives in just the next few years,” says Steve Steinberg, a computer scientist who works for an investment firm in New York.

In a widely read Web posting, he argued that there were significant chances that it would be misused, “This is one of the most significant technology trends I have seen in years; it may also be one of the most pernicious.”

For the last 50 years, Americans have worried about the privacy of the individual in the computer age. But new technologies have become so powerful that protecting individual privacy may no longer be the only issue. Now, with the Internet, wireless sensors, and the capability to analyze an avalanche of data, a person’s profile can be drawn without monitoring him or her directly.

“Some have argued that with new technology there is a diminished expectation of privacy,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy rights group in Washington. “But the opposite may also be true. New techniques may require us to expand our understanding of privacy and to address the impact that data collection has on groups of individuals and not simply a single person.”

Mr. Brown, for one, isn’t concerned about losing his privacy. The M.I.T researchers have convinced him that they have gone to great lengths to protect any information generated by the experiment that would reveal his identity.

Besides, he says, “the way I see it, we all have Facebook pages, we all have e-mail and Web sites and blogs.”

“This is a drop in the bucket in terms of privacy,” he adds.

GOOGLE and its vast farm of more than a million search engine servers spread around the globe remain the best example of the power and wealth-building potential of collective intelligence. Google’s fabled PageRank algorithm, which was originally responsible for the quality of Google’s search results, drew its precision from the inherent wisdom in the billions of individual Web links that people create.

The company introduced a speech-recognition service in early November, initially for the Apple iPhone, that gains its accuracy in large part from a statistical model built from several trillion search terms that its users have entered in the last decade. In the future, Google will take advantage of spoken queries to predict even more accurately the questions its users will ask.

And, a few weeks ago, Google deployed an early-warning service for spotting flu trends, based on search queries for flu-related symptoms.

The success of Google, along with the rapid spread of the wireless Internet and sensors — like location trackers in cellphones and GPS units in cars — has touched off a race to cash in on collective intelligence technologies.

In 2006, Sense Networks, based in New York, proved that there was a wealth of useful information hidden in a digital archive of GPS data generated by tens of thousands of taxi rides in San Francisco. It could see, for example, that people who worked in the city’s financial district would tend to go to work early when the market was booming, but later when it was down.

It also noticed that middle-income people — as determined by ZIP code data — tended to order cabs more often just before market downturns.

Sense has developed two applications, one for consumers to use on smartphones like the BlackBerry and the iPhone, and the other for companies interested in forecasting social trends and financial behavior. The consumer application, Citysense, identifies entertainment hot spots in a city. It connects information from Yelp and Google about nightclubs and music clubs with data generated by tracking locations of anonymous cellphone users.

The second application, Macrosense, is intended to give businesses insight into human activities. It uses a vast database that merges GPS, Wi-Fi positioning, cell-tower triangulation, radio frequency identification chips and other sensors.

“There is a whole new set of metrics that no one has ever measured,” said Greg Skibiski, chief executive of Sense. “We were able to look at people moving around stores” and other locations. Such travel patterns, coupled with data on incomes, can give retailers early insights into sales levels and who is shopping at competitors’ stores.

Alex Pentland, a professor at the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is leading the dormitory research project, was a co-founder of Sense Networks. He is part of a new generation of researchers who have relatively effortless access to data that in the past was either painstakingly assembled by hand or acquired from questionnaires or interviews that relied on the memories and honesty of the subjects.

The Media Lab researchers have worked with Hitachi Data Systems, the Japanese technology company, to use some of the lab’s technologies to improve businesses’ efficiency. For example, by equipping employees with sensor badges that generate the same kinds of data provided by the students’ smartphones, the researchers determined that face-to-face communication was far more important to an organization’s work than was generally believed.

Productivity improved 30 percent with an incremental increase in face-to-face communication, Dr. Pentland said. The results were so promising that Hitachi has established a consulting business that overhauls organizations via the researchers’ techniques.

Dr. Pentland calls his research “reality mining” to differentiate it from an earlier generation of data mining conducted through more traditional methods.

Dr. Pentland “is the emperor of networked sensor research,” said Michael Macy, a sociologist at Cornell who studies communications networks and their role as social networks. People and organizations, he said, are increasingly choosing to interact with one another through digital means that record traces of those interactions. “This allows scientists to study those interactions in ways that five years ago we never would have thought we could do,” he said.

ONCE based on networked personal computers, collective intelligence systems are increasingly being created to leverage wireless networks of digital sensors and smartphones. In one application, groups of scientists and political and environmental activists are developing “participatory sensing” networks.

At the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing at the University of California, Los Angeles, for example, researchers are developing a Web service they call a Personal Environmental Impact Report to build a community map of air quality in Los Angeles. It is intended to let people assess how their activities affect the environment and to make decisions about their health. Users may decide to change their jogging route, or run at a different time of day, depending on air quality at the time.

“Our mantra is to make it possible to observe what was previously unobservable,” said Deborah Estrin, director of the center and a computer scientist at U.C.L.A.

But Dr. Estrin said the project still faced a host of challenges, both with the accuracy of tiny sensors and with the researchers’ ability to be certain that personal information remains private. She is skeptical about technical efforts to obscure the identity of individual contributors to databases of information collected by network sensors.

Attempts to blur the identity of individuals have only a limited capability, she said. The researchers encrypt the data to protect against identifying particular people, but that has limits.

“Even though we are protecting the information, it is still subject to subpoena and subject to bullying bosses or spouses,” she said.

She says that there may still be ways to protect privacy. “I can imagine a system where the data will disappear,” she said.

Already, activist groups have seized on the technology to improve the effectiveness of their organizing. A service called MobileActive helps nonprofit organizations around the world use mobile phones to harness the expertise and the energy of their participants, by sending out action alerts, for instance.

Pachube (pronounced “PATCH-bay”) is a Web service that lets people share real-time sensor data from anywhere in the world. With Pachube, one can combine and display sensor data, from the cost of energy in one location, to temperature and pollution monitoring, to data flowing from a buoy off the coast of Charleston, S.C., all creating an information-laden snapshot of the world.

Such a complete and constantly updated picture will undoubtedly redefine traditional notions of privacy.

DR. PENTLAND says there are ways to avoid surveillance-society pitfalls that lurk in the technology. For the commercial use of such information, he has proposed a set of principles derived from English common law to guarantee that people have ownership rights to data about their behavior. The idea revolves around three principles: that you have a right to possess your own data, that you control the data that is collected about you, and that you can destroy, remove or redeploy your data as you wish.

At the same time, he argued that individual privacy rights must also be weighed against the public good.

Citing the epidemic involving severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in recent years, he said technology would have helped health officials watch the movement of infected people as it happened, providing an opportunity to limit the spread of the disease.

“If I could have looked at the cellphone records, it could have been stopped that morning rather than a couple of weeks later,” he said. “I’m sorry, that trumps minute concerns about privacy.”

Indeed, some collective-intelligence researchers argue that strong concerns about privacy rights are a relatively recent phenomenon in human history.

“The new information tools symbolized by the Internet are radically changing the possibility of how we can organize large-scale human efforts,” said Thomas W. Malone, director of the M.I.T. Center for Collective Intelligence.

“For most of human history, people have lived in small tribes where everything they did was known by everyone they knew,” Dr. Malone said. “In some sense we’re becoming a global village. Privacy may turn out to have become an anomaly.”

So, “Collective Intelligence” is it now? Just remember that every app you install on the iPhone, every twitter you place, and now it seems, with every cell phone comes a micro sensor. A sensor that will report your every move to some database somewhere. A database that the Fed can subpoena at any time and perhaps a hacker can access.

Feel that? That’s the feeling of self inflicted privacy loss… Kinda nauseating eh?

Written by Krypt3ia

2008/11/30 at 19:15

Posted in Uncategorized

Heroism

with 2 comments

Gunmen tossed grenades into restaurant

Australian Steve Smith called the Seven Network from a "dingy little room" at the back of the Taj Mahal hotel where he hid after seeing two gunmen toss grenades into the restaurant in which he was having a beer just hours earlier.

"At about 9.40pm I was having a beer in the Leopold Cafe – luckily I was with some friends upstairs – when two gunmen coming downstairs threw two grenades into the restaurant and then opened fire for about 10 minutes with AK47s [semi-automatic assault rifles]," Mr Smith told Seven.

"I wedged the door down the bottom with a table and then went straight upstairs until the police came.

"[When they came] we went to where we thought was a safe place – the back of the hotel we were staying in, but it’s under siege at the moment."

Desperate

Mr Smith said he was now desperate to find a way out of the hotel with a Japanese woman and two German air stewards with whom he was hiding.

"I don’t have a weapon, or a firearm … I don’t know what’s going on., I don’t have access to a television or anything," he said.

"I’d like someone to tell me what’s going on so I can make a plan to get out of here with these guys. I’m about a block from the harbour and my plan is just to go."

Mr Smith said he became separated from an Australian man and woman when he went back downstairs to lock a door cutting off the terrorists.

He described one of the gunmen as looking about 17 or 18.

What the story doesn’t say:

1)Mr. Smith is former military he heard the first rounds fired by AK’s and the distinct sound of a grenade

2) He remembered a storage area within the restaurant/bar that he had seen the night before and he forced it open and stowed about 7-8 people inside it to protect them and himself

3) He blocked the door to the stairs that led to the bar/restaurant with a table at risk of the tango’s seeing him/hearing him

3) He decided to check the scene after numerous rounds of AK 47 fire and saw that there were only two tango’s left one of which was younger. He grabbed a knife from a table and was attempting to gauge for an attack and was seen. The tango began to fire at him and the door he hid behind. He retreated back to the shelter with the others

4) About 8 minutes after his attempt to potentially take down the tango they (tango’s) fled the scene and police arrived

5) When the interviewer from the BBC remarked that he acted heroically, he demurred and said he had done nothing of such merit

In my mind he did well. Unarmed, on the spot, outnumbered… and for his actions to protect the other patrons there I say he is a hero to those he helped save.

Written by Krypt3ia

2008/11/30 at 18:24

Posted in Uncategorized

PEEXJ POBSP

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HVHPE EQVNS ITRRT XIATX IYPEE BINGI BOQRT
XIYIV AVIPS PBOQN BLIPA PLVSK VJTOS KVBES
BINTA NLPVO LVBOQ SKVOG IPOFR TXILK XILKQ
THOXY TORTX CBSPL BOLPS RHPEE GVLTO NXJVQ
GREPF KS

Written by Krypt3ia

2008/11/30 at 08:52

Posted in Uncategorized

C41

leave a comment »

Aslan Chair

Canon EOS Rebel XT
18-55mm
ISO 1600
F8.0
Post in GIMP

Written by Krypt3ia

2008/11/30 at 08:19

Posted in Uncategorized

C41

leave a comment »

Aslan Chair

Canon EOS Rebel XT
18-55mm
ISO 1600
F8.0
Post in GIMP

Written by Krypt3ia

2008/11/30 at 08:19

Posted in Uncategorized

C41

with 3 comments

Aslan Chair

Canon EOS Rebel XT
18-55mm
ISO 1600
F8.0
Post in GIMP

Written by Krypt3ia

2008/11/30 at 08:19

Posted in Uncategorized

So, where’s the Subtle Knife?

with 4 comments

After The Golden Compass failed to crack $70 million at the domestic box office, many industry types and American moviegoers pfffft‘d the notion that the other films in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy would ever be made. However, as Variety notes, the first film, which starred Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, and had a budget of nearly $200 million, is line to be the first film to ever crack $300 million internationally without reaching $100 million domestic. This is an astonishing disconnect, really. Producer Deborah Forte is not only hopeful that The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass will be made, she is adamant…

“This was a success as a family movie in most countries, it’s a very strong family franchise, it won an Academy Award [for Visual Effects]. We have to make the second and the third movie. …”I will make ‘The Subtle Knife’ and ‘The Amber Spyglass,’” she vows. “I believe there are enough people who see what a viable and successful franchise we have.”

The Golden Compass’s failure domestically and New Line’s decision pre-release to sell off the international rights are seen as primary factors in the studio recently being downsized and absorbed by Warner Bros. Forte doesn’t offer an outright opinion on the gross gap, but hints that she was displeased with the marketing in the U.S. She says that per discussions with New Line, Compass’s DVD, to be released stateside on April 28th, “must be marketed as a family film.” Moreover, a script for The Subtle Knife has already been written by Hossein Amini (Killshot, The Four Feathers). If Warner Bros. passes on the sequels, it’s even suggested that Forte might seek an independent route.

While I think the marketing in America focused too much on Kidman and Craig, two stars with little appeal to tweens, The Golden Compass faced a tall order of bad, nearly sensational, press domestically, with many outlets playing up the books atheistic messages. Its release during the holidays was also rather careless. The film came to be seen by the mainstream as an anti-Christian Chronicles of Narnia and thus unsuitable for family viewings. As Variety points out the film did well in Italy were the pope publicly called out the film as “the most anti-Christmas movie possible,” but Italy doesn’t have virulent talk radio and Fox News talking heads.

Written by Krypt3ia

2008/11/29 at 21:05

Posted in Uncategorized

C41

leave a comment »

Parallax

Canon EOS Rebel XT
18-55mm
ISO 1600
F5.0
Gimp

Written by Krypt3ia

2008/11/29 at 18:46

Posted in Uncategorized