SUVs: not just for killing the environment

4988574596 99617c17e6 450x337 SUVs: not just for killing the environment

Pictured: a bucket of mayhem. (img by Jason Lawrence)

I just finished reading Suarez’ Daemon and Freedom series, in which computer controlled cars called AutoM8s cause all kinds of mayhem. But you don’t need an automated car with armor plating or any special additions to do some serious damage.

A guy in Russia was allegedly denied what he felt should have been warranty repairs. He apparently remembered that a Suzuki Grand Vitara is basically a 2-ton wrecking ball that you can control. So he drove it through the showroom’s glass wall and smashed up some stuff. The best defense the dealership seems to have been able to muster is a security guard knocking on the window:

Never underestimate the power of anger plus not giving a fuck.

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Review: Life Inc.

lifeinc Review: Life Inc.

Douglas Rushkoff’s Life Inc runs with the tagline: “How Corporatism Conquered the World, and How We Can Take It Back”. The book itself spends lots of time on the former, and only a little on the latter. But you don’t have to read any of it, because there’s a video:

But there’s Die < Less stuff, too! (more…)

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Big Brother just wants you to buy things

5516621911 161cd7dc2f 450x337 Big Brother just wants you to buy things

"Why don't you buy things anymore?" (img by Ron Bennetts)

Malls are tracking shoppers’ movements via their cell phones:

Online retailers have long gathered behavioral metrics about how customers shop, tracking their movements through e-shopping pages and using data to make targeted offers based on user profiles. Retailers in meat-space have had tried to replicate that with frequent shopper offers, store credit cards, and other ways to get shoppers to voluntarily give up data on their behavior, but these efforts have lacked the sort of data capacity provided by anonymous store browsers—at least until now. This holiday season, shopping malls in the US have started collecting data about shoppers by tracking the closest thing to “cookies” human beings carry—their cell phones.


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McDonald’s Circumvents San Francisco’s Happy Meal Ban

mcd McDonalds Circumvents San Franciscos Happy Meal Ban

By Joe Eskenazi, SFWeekly

On Thursday, Dec. 1, the city’s de facto ban of the Happy Meal commences. San Francisco has accomplished what the Hamburglar could not. Or has it?

In order to include a toy with a meal, restaurants must now comply with city-generated nutritional standards. Those are standards that even the “healthier” Happy Meals McDonald’s introduced earlier this year don’t come close to meeting. (As SF Weekly noted in January, the school lunches our children eat aren’t healthy enough to qualify, either).

And yet it seems McDonald’s has turned lemons into lemonade–and is selling the sugary drink to San Francisco’s children. Local McDonald’s employees tell SF Weekly the company has devised a solution that appears to comply with San Francisco’s “Healthy Meal Incentive Ordinance” that could actually make the company more money–and necessitate toy-happy youngsters to buy more Happy Meals. (more…)

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UK firm says shale fracking caused tremors

FRACKING+SHALE+GAS UK firm says shale fracking caused tremors

By Oleg Vukmanovic, Reuters

UK shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources on Wednesday said exploration work triggered small tremors at its drill site near Blackpool in northwest England earlier this year, as activists scaled a rig protesting against its gas recovery methods.

“It is highly probable that the hydraulic fracturing of Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall-1 well did trigger a number of minor seismic events,” a report commissioned by the company said.

A spokesman later confirmed the tremors were triggered by pumping vast quantities of water at high pressure 3 kilometres underground through drill holes in a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which is designed to prop open shale rocks and release trapped gas.


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BP resumes drilling in same spot

800px Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit on fire 2010 450x337 BP resumes drilling in same spot

Remember this? Anyone?

That… that seems fast, doesn’t it? But yeah, BP just landed permits to put in five new wells, these ones with intent to produce. (The Deepwater Horizon disaster, or Macondo Blowout, was just an exploratory well.)

They already have a drilling rig in place.

“The current situation there is we have a drilling rig on-site, and we intend to begin drilling the well as soon as operationally possible,” said Tom Mueller, a spokesman for BP.

The drill site is located about 250 miles southwest of New Orleans, in the “Kaskida Field”, and plans call for a total of five wells. BP had already drilled one exploration well and one appraisal well at the site before the Deepwater Horizon spill and the subsequent moratorium on drilling in the Gulf.

The US government’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said Wednesday that the BP project had met “enhanced safety requirements and standards established following the tragedy” in the Gulf last year.

Interestingly enough, BP didn’t even have to pay any fines before securing permission to take up drilling again. Oh, it gets nastier. (more…)

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