Spy vs. Spy at ISS World

There’s no huge revelation in this BusinessWeek account of the

ISS World

surveillance-technology conference, but they go to town on the atmosphere:

Employees of Munich-based Trovicor are easy to pick out: each is dressed identically, in a dark suit and a red necktie, which is custom made, marketing director Birgitt Fischer-Harrow says.

“It is a Trovicor corporate identity. The company colors are black, white and Pantone 202c red,” she says, referring to the precise shade of burgundy.


Oh, the ways I find to faff in my lunch-break. Today, translations of


; apparently every country wants to blame them on foreigners and/or sportsmen. So Sweden (similar to Norway and Canada) has the lovely-sounding


(“Hockey hair”). The Danes (“


) blame it on the Swedes. Poland goes all the way with

Czeski piłkarz

(“Czech footballer”) — sports and abroad all in one.

All this from reading the blog of Amelia Andersdotter, who managed to win an election with the slogan “

Vote for me because I know a lot about European cooperation, or because I have a mullet


Telecom Kremlinology

Bruce Sterling:

*Tomi Ahonen is my favorite industry analyst. Studying the mobile business is like Kremlinology; it’s boring on the face of it, and most of the heavy operators are evil people who lie all the time, even to each other and themselves. And then, by sparkling contrast, there’s this Ahonen guy. He’s such a committed and relentless contrarian that he comes across like Solzhenitsyn.

*Here he is weeping for an entire half-hour about Nokia. And he’s right, y’know; the fate of Nokia really is a fantastic business story. A gigantic story of Gothic High-Tech collapse.


I’ve no idea who Tomi Ahonen is, I just adore the description


Cappadocia in Brooklyn

BLDGBlog proposes Dark City with added spelunking:

It would be interesting to live in a city, at least for a few weeks, ruled by an insane urban zoning board who require all new buildings—both residential and commercial—to include elaborate artificial caves. Not elevator shafts or emergency fire exits or public playgrounds: huge fake caves torquing around and coiling through the metropolis. Caves that can be joined across property lines; caves that snake underneath and around buildings; caves that arch across corporate business lobbies in fern-like sprays of connected chambers. Plug-in caves that tour the city in the back of delivery trucks, waiting to be bolted onto existing networks elsewhere


Time for some more fanboy squee about Sheila O’Malley. I love how, whatever topic O’Malley is superficially discussing, she will inevitably depict it in the light of the same central values and passions. We


what O’Malley loves — in people, in film, in life. And those values bleed through into everything she writes.

Take this article Melissa Leo, published just after she won a Best Supporting Actress oscar. Leo clearly ticks a couple of O’Malley’s boxes. One, professional masochism, or at least willingness to push work to the point of discomfort:

Leo seems to thrive on the challenge of discomfort, especially if it helps to immerse her in the world of the character. From the first closeup of Leo in Frozen River, huddled in her battered truck, smoking, teeth stained yellow, her face worn with desperation, we know that we are in the presence of something genuine

And secondly, the love of emotional intensity and a certain degree of chaos:

As Patricia Neal and Gena Rowlands had done before her, Leo has the capacity to crack open a character’s inner life like very few actresses working today. She is in this job for the mess, for the unresolved issues of her characters, and this has led her through an unconventional and unglamorous path.