Write a Story, Go to Jail

A student who wrote a violent short story on a school computer may face 10 years in prison. Prosecutors say they are trying to prevent more school massacres; the student’s defenders say they’re fighting attempts to criminalize thought. By Kim Zetter. via [Wired News]

Boy, am I lucky that this sort of paranoia about “dark thoughts” wasn’t around when I was in school. I mean, being moody and pissed-off seems fairly central to the teenage experience. What, do they think it’s better for the kid to “push your bad thoughts down, down, down into your shoes, until it’s like you’re walking on them”?

New IT projects on the upswing, but budgeting flat

EWeek reports that IT workloads are rising and the cause is an increase in new projects and not so much from layoffs. This from a survey of 1,400 CIOs by Robert Half Technology. But about 2 pages later, they have articles that convincingly forecast flat IT budgets for 2004. To me that spells tech projects moving off shore even faster than the rate we’re currently witnessing. Maybe it’s time for Ed Yourdon to write another book: “The Undercutting & Bankruptcy of the American Programmer.”

Step Into Liquid

Somewhat disappointed by last night’s Marin premiere of “Step Into Liquid,” the surfing documentary whose original trailer was just about the best 5 minute film I’ve ever seen. The highlight of the trailer was a sequence in which the basso profoundo announcer says “And including…” (sea begins to rise) “…the much anticipated footage from…” (ocean is now a vertical wall) “… the Cortes Bank.” (fly speck surfer drops in to the opening chords of The Butthole Surfers’ “They Came In,” followed by 30 seconds of absolutely insane big wave surfing). But it turns out that sequence was edited from sequences throughout the movie. The truth is, the climactic Cortes Bank sequence is pretty much a bust visually, as they never get the cameras in position to shoot the wave face. It’s epic surfing, with a 66 footer, but honestly, the best filming in the movie is from good ol’ Hawaii, where they have helicopters and swimmers and shore-based telephotos. And the narration is cheesy. AND to top it all off, the Cortes Bank session is set to a The Sheila Divine song, not the perfect-for-an-action-sequence “They Came In.”

But still, it’s probably the best action movie of the Summer.