How Safe Are We?
If most Americans can agree on anything, it’s that airport security is a pain. And it seems like most people realize for all the hassle you have to go through to board your flight, someone who really wants to damage an aircraft something still has plenty of opportunities to unleash their evil.
Bruce Schneier is one of the most outspoken critics of the measures we’ve taken to secure our airports since 9/11. This is a terrific look at Schneier and the security infrastructure we’ve built over the past decade.
To walk through an airport with Bruce Schneier is to see how much change a trillion dollars can wreak. So much inconvenience for so little benefit at such a staggering cost. And directed against a threat that, by any objective standard, is quite modest.
Now That’s a Deal for Me!
I have a ton of articles saved up from over the holidays to share. I doubt I’ll get to all of them, but I’ll try to get some of them out over the next several days.
I’ll start with this great Mental Floss article about how Columbia House made money on those crazy 11 albums for a penny deals. Back in the day, when several of us shared a large house in college, we would assign different apartment numbers to our address so we could have more than one membership going at a time. Brilliant, we were!
Columbia House and BMG had some fairly clever ways to save cash, though. Until 2006, the record companies had never actually secured written licenses to distribute the records it sent to club members. Instead, the clubs saved the hassle (and the expense) by paying most publishers 75% of the standard royalties set by copyright law. The clubs argued that since the publishers were cashing their discounted checks, they were submitting to “implied” licenses.
It’s also interesting to learn that Columbia House pressed their own albums from the master tapes. That explains why so many of their cassettes had those generic covers without any liner notes or lyrics inside.