VERN AND DONELLE KERSEY aren’t the type of parents satisfied with hauling their kids to a national park and pitching a tent beneath the floodlights of someone’s motor home. Native…
LENGTH: 1 minutes (462 words)
A child played and a woman washed clothes at the river tributary in Meille that is believed to be the source of the cholera epidemic. MIREBALAIS, Haiti — Jean Salgadeau Pelette, handsome…
Sealand in all its rusty splendor A few weeks ago, Fox News breathlessly reported that the embattled WikiLeaks operation was looking to start a new life under on the sea. WikiLeaks, the article…
PUBLISHED: March 28, 2012
LENGTH: 3 minutes (976 words)
Hunter S. Thompson was just 22-years-old in 1959 when he first began writing The Rum Diary, or what he initially called “the great American rum novel.” He envisioned it as something of a contemporary and rum-soaked version of The Great Gatsby, one of Thompson’s favorite books. Based on the time Thompson spent working for an English language newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico, The Rum Diary fictionally chronicles the drunken and debauched life of Paul Kemp, an American journalist sauntering through San Juan with a savage lust for women, blood and booze. Once finished, Thompson spent nearly a decade revising and shopping it to publishers before reverting to other projects. It wasn’t until 1998 that Thompson was finally able to publish The Rum Diary.
LENGTH: 1 minutes (490 words)
In the course of a few hapless days, Deley repeatedly stumbled over the names of star athletes ("the Honourable Leo Usain Bolt") and his trackside commentators. He called Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee "the fastest man on no legs." He invented events ("the men's 100-metre hurdles"), forgot commercial breaks, missed links, paused for long moments to consult his script, corrected himself endlessly, asked his studio guest – the four-times Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter, Michael Johnson – whether he was a pole vaulter, and concluded one broadcast with the memorable sign-off: "So we have a gloriously sunny day here in the studio. We've seen some action this morning as well. Jessica Ennis. Good night."
It is certainly no accident that the post-idea world has sprung up alongside the social networking world. Even though there are sites and blogs dedicated to ideas, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, etc., the most popular sites on the Web, are basically information exchanges, designed to feed the insatiable information hunger, though this is hardly the kind of information that generates ideas. It is largely useless except insofar as it makes the possessor of the information feel, well, informed. Of course, one could argue that these sites are no different than conversation was for previous generations, and that conversation seldom generated big ideas either, and one would be right.
I’m at the Vent Haven ConVENTion where, each July, hundreds of ventriloquists, or “vents,” as they call themselves, gather from all over the world. For four days, they attend lectures on the business, getting advice on AV equipment, scriptwriting, or creating an audience through social networking. They listen to a keynote address by Comedy Central’s ventriloquist-in-residence, Jeff Dunham, who exhorts his notoriously defensive colleagues to “quit complaining that people say we’re weird. We talk to dolls. We are weird, ok. Just own it.” They eat at a Denny’s off the highway and visit the creationist museum down the road. And they don’t go anywhere without the accompaniment of their alter egos.
Now, Lanstein and FireEye were chasing their mightiest target to date, the Web's most sprawling and advanced spam machine, called Rustock—pusher of fake pills, online pharmacies, and Russian stocks, the inspiration for its name. Over the past five years, Rustock had quietly—and illicitly—taken control of over a million computers around the world, directing them to do its bidding. On some days, Rustock generated as many as 44 billion digital come-ons, about 47.5 percent of all the junk e-mails sent, according to Symantec, the computer security giant based in Mountain View, Calif. Although those behind Rustock had yet to be identified, profits from it were thought to be in the millions. "The bad guys," is what Lanstein had taken to calling them.
PUBLISHED: June 16, 2011
LENGTH: 9 minutes (2415 words)