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16 June 1999

Rorschach: "I've just broken this gentleman's little finger. Who killed Edward Blake?"
Rorschach: "...and his index finger. Who killed Edward Blake?"
Man in bar: "Please... Please, we don't know... Aw, God, man, leave him alone..."
-- Watchmen #1 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Ding dong, the wicked witch is DEAD:

  • Divx Press Release [Divx, seen on Camworld]
    Digital Video Express, LP announced today that it will cease marketing of the Divx home video system and discontinue operations

    ...we have been unable to obtain adequate support from studios and other retailers. Despite the significant consumer enthusiasm [uh-huh, sure], we cannot create a viable business without support in these essential areas.

    Effective today, Divx will no longer register new customers.

Maybe now Disney will release their stuff on DVD.

Not much time today, but here's the debut of a new section I call Low-Hanging Fruit - excellent links from other logs that I will just note briefly.

From rc3:

  • E-Commerce Sites: Open Sesame? [Wired]
    A major security flaw in a Microsoft Web server [IIS 4] could allow crackers to take complete control of e-commerce Web sites, security experts warned Tuesday.

    "With other [Windows NT] security holes, crackers have needed to gain some level of user access before executing code on the server. This is different.... Anybody off the Web can crack IIS," he said.

    Microsoft confirmed that the problem exists and said that it is working on a fix. Customers, however, have not been notified.

From Windowseat:

  • Of Demon Snakes and Teen Shooters [TeeVee]
    We've become a nation where the solution to violence by children is the suppression of violent images, no matter the context. A nation where a network kills appropriate, even socially responsible, programming because of the potential bad press that might come from a crank who's never seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer declaring that the WB is somehow culpable in the tide of youth violence because the show does contain some violence.

    Did anyone consider that maybe, just maybe, the answer to this problem is not the suppression of popular culture? Perhaps we should address the fact that some people are so vacant of morality and personal responsibility that images projected on a screen could potentially push them over the edge.

    TV should be showing more series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ones which show that violence has real-life consequences.
  • Interview with Tom Fontana (which is now OFF the originating site...grrr) [Vancouver Sun]
    I genuinely believe that if you're going to depict violence on television it should be as horrific as violence really is. ... To let an audience think that violence is palatable is the great sin that television writers make. Because it's easy to do. It's easy to put a gun in an episode to help move the story along, goose it up a little. I don't think a gun was fired on Homicide until the fourth year, and even then I resisted it. Homicide was always about the aftermath of violence...

This discussion reminds me of reading an interview with Alan Moore about a scene in Watchmen where, instead of having body-suited, comic-booky 'heroes' smashing 'villians' through walls and blowing things up Kirby-style, he built a very powerful scene around a man's fingers being broken and how horrible that comparably 'little' thing really is (see today's quote).

From Obscure Store -- Many outrageous stories in this one:

  • Dissecting Columbine's Cult of the Athlete [Washington Post]
    Increasingly, as parents and students replay images of life at Columbine, they are freeze-framing on injustices suffered at the hands of athletes, wondering aloud why almost no one -- not teachers, not administrators, not coaches, not most students, not parents -- took the problem seriously.

    "I don't think any one thing drove them to this," said member Joyce Hooker, a parent of two Columbine students. "But I think we need to say, 'Whoa. Why did they focus on athletes?' "

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