Scenes from an LA mall

I'm in LA for the Pirate Cinema tour this weekend, and my publisher's rep is taking me around to local stores to sign their stock between the public events. Today we found ourselves in a mall in Glendale, which featured pureed cupcake beverages and signs warning chihuahua owners about escalators. America! Heck yeah!

(Thanks to all the Happy Mutants who came out to Pasadena today -- hey, west LA, I'm at Mysterious Galaxy in Rendondo Beach tomorrow at 1430h!) Read the rest

New Order live, yesterday and in 1981

I caught the revitalized New Order (sans Peter Hook) at Oakland's Fox Theatre last night and I must say, they were fantastic. Tight, rocking, passionate, and they looked genuinely delighted to be playing such a thrilled, packed venue. Here is New Order perfomring Ceremony, not yesterday but 31 years ago.

Cory in Pasadena this aft

Hey, Pasadena! I'm signing and speaking at Vroman's Bookstore this afternoon at 3PM, as part of the Pirate Cinema tour. I'll be in Rendondo Beach at Mysterious Galaxy tomorrow, before heading east to Lansing, MI, then Chicago, NYC, Bethesda, Edmonton, and many other cities in the US and Canada. Here's the full schedule -- I'm looking forward to meeting you! Read the rest

Brazil to roll out national radio-chip ID/surveillance/logging for all vehicles

In Brazil, a new regulation requires drivers to add radio ID tags to their car windshields, which broadcast "vehicle year or fabrication, make, model, combustible, engine power and license plate number." This will be read by checkpoints throughout the country, and centrally processed and retained, in a system called Siniav. The administration claims that this system will be "confidential and secure" because its contractors will sign confidentiality agreements. The system will also be integrated into wireless toll-road collection. Here's some auto-translated detail from a release by Brazil's National Traffic Department (Denatran):

What are the uses of the system? * Identification of traffic conditions on stretches of road where there Siniav antennas installed.

* Development of origin-destination matrices displacement vehicles, virtually in real time, with the installation of antennas Siniav at strategic points in each city.

* Determination dependable fleet circulating in the country, by location, including the Automobiles licensed in one municipality and exclusively circulating in another.

* Obtaining data for planning and management of public transport systems, including its fleet of vehicles.

* Integration with the project Siniav Brazil-ID (linked to treasury area), helping with mapping the displacements of cargo across the country.

* Greater control the movement of vehicles in the border area since the Brazilian vehicles will be identified when leaving the country. The system also enables the placement of the nameplate vehicle electronics in vehicles foreigners entering Brazil.

* Conducting surveillance (blitz) selective, with instant identification through an antenna Siniav, fixed or mobile, vehicles circulating illegally, whatever the cause.

Read the rest