The Oaks Ignore Their Pleas

Links for the Week Ending 2/3/07

Posted in 9/11, Links, Software as a Service, War on Terror by Jeff Graves on February 4, 2007

Another crazy week, in more ways than one!

Work remains as busy as ever, I completed the 2 week of my EMT-B certification, and a stomach virus swept through our household.  And, to top it all off, the city of Boston made the headlines for a surreal episode involving anti-terrorist task forces and talking fast food.  Here’s what caught my eye this week:

The Aqua Teen Hunger Force “attack” on Boston and 8 other US cities has to have been one of the more bizarre pop culture moments in recent history.  I won’t rehash the details, but commentary and links follow:

 For what it’s worth, while in retrospect the entire thing seems a little silly, I think those who are railing against the “overreactions” of the Boston and Massachusetts authorities are overlooking a couple of things. 

First, while a big deal is made about the fact that the devices had been in place in 8 other US cities, it appears that most of the other cities the billboards were affixed to buildings, NOT to the undersides of bridges and subway platforms.  Also, while some of the devices had been put up for a couple of weeks, the ones that triggered the response on Wednesday had just been put up on Tuesday evening. 

Second, while the media has focused on Turner Broadcasting’s part in this whole event, there has not been much attention paid to Interference, the marketing company who actually planned and executed the event.  The only thing that made my blood boil upon reading the coverage was that one of the guys arrested for placing the billboards was contacted by a representative of the company on Wednesday, as the city was in the midst of a massive police mobilization, and told to keep quiet, and not tell the authorities anything. 

Finally, it appears that there was at least one other, unrelated bomb scare on the Longfellow bridge as the event unfolded, leading to the appearance of a coordinated event of some kind.  It’s fascinating how the whole day unfolded as a kind of cascade of minor events that built into a major event.  My feeling is that the same set of circumstances would have caused a similar reaction in any city around the country, but I’m not sure if that’s OK or not.  It’s just a part of who we are here and now in 2007.

In other, non-terrorism related news, the push towards “software as a service” marches on, with Zoho announcing a new online whitespace called Notebook.  See here for TechCrunch coverage.  I’m going to try it this week, and hope to post a review of the tool shortly.

 Finally, Pam Slim offers up another great podcast on breaking away from corporate America on her Escape from Cubicle Nation blog, this time on facing and conquering the fear of taking that first big step to entrepreneurship.

That’s it for now…look for a review of Zoho Notebook, and some observations on Intuit’s TurboTax web-based offering later this week.

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