the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

Next Page »

All Your Personal Data Are Belong to AT&T;

Pursuant to this article about AT&T;'s new privacy policies, it may be in your best interests to watch whatever you say if over the phone, or in fact to not have phone service of any kind.

From the article:

The new policy says that AT&T; -- not customers -- owns customers' confidential info and can use it "to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."

The policy also indicates that AT&T; will track the viewing habits of customers of its new video service -- something that cable and satellite providers are prohibited from doing.

Moreover, AT&T; (formerly known as SBC) is requiring customers to agree to its updated privacy policy as a condition for service -- a new move that legal experts say will reduce customers' recourse for any future data sharing with government authorities or others.


AT&T;'s new and former privacy policies both state that "conducting business ethically and ensuring privacy is critical to maintaining the public's trust and achieving success in a dynamic and competitive business climate."

Both also state that "privacy responsibility" extends "to the privacy of conversations and to the flow of information in data form." As such, both say that "the trust of our customers necessitates vigilant, responsible privacy protections."

The 2004 policy, though, went one step further. It said AT&T; realizes "that privacy is an important issue for our customers and members."

The new policy makes no such acknowledgment.

I for one welcome our new Orwellian older sibling overlords! USA! USA!

Read and Post Comments

Pink Floyd @ Live8

Just got done watching the webcast of Pink Floyd's set for Live8... WOW. It's really amazing to see the originals all back together again; as one hand-made sign read "Pink Floyd Reunited: Pigs Have Flown!" It stuns me how a tiny little WMV stream can bring me right back to seeing them in Denver in 1993, and the raw, overwhelming joy of the experience.

The setlist:

  • "Breathe" (including the verse from the reprise at the end of "Time")
  • "Money"
  • "Wish You Were Here" (beautiful, heartwrenching, perfect performance)
  • "Comfortably Numb" (absolutely scorching, fantastic)

While I was delighted to hear anything performed at all, I was a bit disappointed by the absence of some would-be uncannily appropriate songs, such as "On the Turning Away", "High Hopes", or Roger Waters' "The Tide Is Turning (After Live Aid)". Of course, all of these songs were written after Waters had split from the band, so the setlist definitely reflects an attempt to minimize conflict between band members. And of course any of those would have been dead giveaways and possibly bordering on cheese. But still.

I would have preferred a longer set as well, but you can't have everything, now can you? I guess I'll just have to pray my heart out for a reunion tour.


I never watched any of the original Live Aid concerts when I was a child, and now I feel a strange mix of hope and cynicism. The blue state dreamer in me hopes that this mass of humanity coming together through music has some positive effect on the upcoming G8 summit, but the jaded cynic thinks that the most powerful leaders of the world don't really give a rat's ass about a bunch of people putting on a big concert.

Still, it's a good cause, and I hope something will come of it all.

Read and Post Comments

I Was Warned This Would Happen...

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting "has told its staff that it should consider redirecting money away from national newscasts and toward music programs produced by NPR stations." This is apparently due to the Bush appointees who run the CPB getting their knickers in a knot about NPR's coverage of the Middle East. Of course, NPR listeners are least-misinformed about the war in Iraq; I suppose it's kind of a thorn in someone's side to have citizens with accurate information about what we're doing in the world.

Read all about it before the Thought Police come for you.


Read and Post Comments

Court Strikes Down Ban on Wine Shipments

X-posted to [info]wine... Shared here for those who don't read that community.

"The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states may not pass laws blocking outside wineries from shipping directly to customers. The 5-4 decision strikes down laws in New York and Michigan that make it a crime to buy wine directly from vineyards in another state. In all, 24 states have laws that bar interstate shipments."

See the full article on Yahoo news...


Read and Post Comments

Who Needs Swing States When You've Got Marital Bliss?

Liz and I have been married for four years. Jeepers!

It feels like a fleeting eyeblink; it feels like a joyous eternity.

Most importantly, it still feels absolutely, completely, exactly right, and though we have been through our share of sorrows together, I am in awe of how blessed that I have been to share my life with her.

So, because talk is cheap, let me just say this--thank you, for everything.

And here's the part that ties into the title of this entry...

Anyone who wants to barf profusely (and has QuickTime installed) can see my half-assed attempt to "rally my base" and "get out the vote" on this most important day.

Read and Post Comments

A Jumble of Impressions

Random impressions and thoughts from the past couple of days...

Say what you will about various political figures, Bruce Springsteen friggin' rules.

Apparently CWRU is slammin'! How odd. Had Case been "slammin'" while I was there, I still don't think I would have had a very good time.

Last night I had to try to remain silently respectful while a "performance artist" (okay, he was a loon) in a home-made pro-Kerry T-shirt skated up to us on rollerblades and launched into a one-man poetry slam against the administration, then skated away. Hey, at least he did it with some feeling.

Stop calling my house. I was going to vote, I did vote, I am done voting. I even got the sticker. You can call other people now.

Our mayor couldn't form a cohesive sentence if she had exacting diagrams and step-by-step instructions.

Local band Roosevelt did a great cover of the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down" last night. Lots of energy, tight sound, and damn! did that guy ever sound like John Lennon.

On that note, props to JL. We miss you.

Waiting for data... Pregnant with anticipation, CNN (among others) have little Electoral College scoreboards with tiny Bush and Kerry faces next to big goose-egg zeros. Somewhere, a database is licking its chops waiting to churn out a new value to put in there... I think it'd be interesting if, somehow, the count stayed at zero all week long, just to see people's reactions.

Drinking games for the hoity-toity, or what to serve with your evening of Electoral nail-biting. Giggle.

I'm serious, stop f*cking calling my house, I already voted. This isn't Chicago, you know.

Other things if and/or when they form tangible linguistic structures...

Happy electing!

Read and Post Comments

Tim Russert Seals Our Fate

This morning, Tim Russert was asked to write the name of the one state to watch on election day. And so, upon his Whiteboard of Electoral Doom, Russert scrawled these words that will haunt us all for years to come:




Friends... We're officially screwed.

Read and Post Comments

Next Page »