Yesterday in the New York Law Journal: “State Court Adopts Tighter Rules for Debt Collection” by Joel Stashenko:
Lippman said he was happy by the feedback the rules generated this spring and believes the final version is stronger for it. Lippman said the rules would lessen the problem of “zombie debt” collections—debts that remain before the courts even though, upon closer inspection, many are based on faulty documentation known as “robo-signings” or other flaws.
Did the Judge actually say “zombie debt“, this use of scare quotes without any fully quoted sentence makes me question if that’s Judge Lippman’s words or Stashenko’s (or earlier AP coverage, see below)?
Similarly in WSHU: “New York moves to protect troubled borrowers” by Charles Lane, in the photo-caption:
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman proposes reforms to consumer debt cases in state courts with new filing requirements for collectors of so-called “zombie” debts.
There the quotes on just the zombie, and the picture looks like an old picture, consider the attire and background as compared to this picture used on this topic in May, see the Oneida Dispatch: “New York state Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman aims to bring fairness to consumer debt cases“, Albany Associated Press:
More than 100,000 consumer credit lawsuits are filed in state courts annually, most from third-party buyers of delinquent credit card debt that often includes so-called “zombie” debt that’s several years old, Lippman said.
That’s a nice room. Lots of zombies on the walls. The Judge clearly gave a speech but did he say “zombie”?
Also from last May, in The Daily Record: “Judge Lippmann takes on ‘zombie’ debts” by Denise M. Champagne and also in New York Law Journal “State Courts to Expand Protection From ‘Zombie Debts’” by Joel Stashenko:
Lippman said the age and dubious validity of some of the consumer debts in default actions have led them to be dubbed “zombie debts.”
It sure sounds like he said it, but what did he actually say?
I need better confirmation before I satirize the Chief Judge of my state with a zombie portrait. The New York Law Journal is a reputable source but I want a complete quote of this “zombie” in context.
Meanwhile the right Honorable Judge is also a zombie of another sort. Last year’s New York voter referendum on raising the judicial retirement age failed at the polls, so Judge Lippman must retire when he turns 70 years old in about 8 months. Recall from last year’s NYTimes: “Plan to Raise Judges’ Retirement Age to 80 Is Rejected” by James C. Mckinley Jr.:
An amendment to the New York State Constitution raising the mandatory retirement age to 80 for judges on the Supreme Court and on the Court of Appeals went down in defeat in a referendum on Tuesday, handing Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman a stinging rebuke.
Lawyers from all over Missouri offer free advice, and even court appearances, to Samaritan Clients. Volunteer lawyer Tony DeWitt, also from Jefferson City, said he spends most of his time fighting a phenomenon called, “Zombie Debt” — debts that have been dismissed by judges or are no longer valid but end up leading to lawsuits anyway.
“Zombie Debt, like the movie zombies, just won’t die, no matter how often you shoot it,” he said. “We’ve successfully defended clients against a St. Louis law firm … only to have to mount a second defense later against a Kansas City law firm. As long as the debt can be bought, sold and assigned, it can be sued upon.”
“There are legitimate debts, and it’s just and appropriate that companies try to collect on those,” DeFeo said. “But what you have in zombie collectors, (firms) frequently trying to collect on debt that’s no longer legally valid, and sometimes never was …people preying on the system, that’s where we get in.”
So there’s a lot of “he said” in this article but my read of this is that both DeWitt and DeFeo said the magic word (duck drops, they win zombie portraits):
… kicking the debt collectors in the teeth for free,” he said.
Good on them.
(note also, New York’s attorney mandatory pro bono policies instituted under Judge Lippman.)
So Scotland voted about independence today, and polling suggests that nearly half of the voters are going to be upset. But the big story is that no one’s killing each other. Let’s hope it stays that way even if “No” prevails.
Thus officially ending “The Troubles“:
the common name for the ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that spilled over at various times into the Republic of Ireland, England and mainland Europe. The Troubles began in the late 1960s and is deemed by many to have ended with the Belfast ‘Good Friday’ Agreement of 1998, but sporadic violence has continued since then. Internationally, the Troubles is also commonly called the Northern Ireland conflict.
Near the end of the Troubles were the Warrington bombings:
two separate bomb attacks that happened during early 1993 in Warrington, England.
The first attack happened on 26 February, when a bomb exploded at a gas storage facility. It caused extensive damage but no injuries. While fleeing the scene, the bombers shot and injured a police officer and two of them were then caught after a high-speed car chase.
The second attack happened on 20 March, when two small bombs exploded in litter bins outside shops and businesses on Bridge Street. Two children were killed and dozens of people were injured. Although a warning or warnings had been sent, the area was not evacuated in time.
In 1994 Irish rock band The Cranberries released the song “Zombie“, which was written in protest at the bombings. The song went on to become one of their biggest hits
In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey. What’s in your head,
In your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie?
Finally, note that both “zombies” and “irish car bombs” are alcoholic drinks.
New Scientist: “ Ethical trap: robot paralysed by choice of who to save” by Aviva Rutkin, (found also in io9: “Cool Experiment Puts Asimov’s First Law Of Robotics To The Test” by George Dvorsky) about research by roboticist Alan Winfield of Bristol Robotics Laboratory:
Winfield describes his robot as an “ethical zombie” that has no choice but to behave as it does. Though it may save others according to a programmed code of conduct, it doesn’t understand the reasoning behind its actions. Winfield admits he once thought it was not possible for a robot to make ethical choices for itself. Today, he says, “my answer is: I have no idea”.
Are we all a sort of ethical robots, and how can we avoid the zombie indecision trap so as to make the best decisions? Is it cruel to ask a robot to chose between saving only one of two others? Did that ethical robot sign a consent agreement before this research?
And trending on Imgur today:
The top comment is from mmsword:
Minimum wage is just a way of telling someone that if robots were cheaper, they’d be replaced with one.
Robots present an issue of worker rights but also implications for so many other issues as we also change our understanding of what it means to be human.
Consider this idea from Brookings (found via link from Ars Technica): “The Case for a Federal Robotics Commission” by Ryan Calo. Because we need more government regulation of the machine world!
But more importantly, we need our Congress to stop being so indecisive and start saving the planet. Indecision is going to kill us all. We need action on climate change and immigration and quite a few other issues. Instead Congresses prefer inaction and limited actions designed to failed. Recall “New York State Legislature avoiding controversies“. No use beating up on Albany when they aren’t even working today, there is plenty of indecision in Washington today with both chambers in session today. Launch the drones at ISIL? Happy Constitution Day.
JDSupra: “(Subway) Eat Flesh, An Effective Parody?” by Steve Baird:
So, I’m left wondering why hasn’t Subway jumped on this zombie with both boots? After all, we don’t only have a famous mark targeted by this parody, but a very famous mark, thanks Etsy.
Baird, of Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. continues:
I’m thinking that whoever created and is using the stylized ZOMBIES EAT FLESH trademark has zero chance of successfully registering it (no surprise, no application has been filed, to date), I just can’t see the USPTO allowing it, can you?
But, if Subway were to actually bring a trademark infringement and/or trademark dilution action in federal district court, would that be a walk in the park with this zombie, or the cemetery?
I’m thinking that the federal district court takes a much closer look at the parody defense and pays more attention to First Amendment concerns. Do you agree that the zombie has a better than zero chance of successfully defending on parody grounds?
If so, doesn’t this example help make the point, again, about the difference between the right to use and the right to register?
This amazing art has Nazi and skeleton warriors and a field of crucified clowns. This could be a horrific expression of fascism against expressive artists but it’s Ronald McDonald. Now true, Mr. McDonald is a clown but he also personifies a particularly bloody megacorp cow killing machine. It’s not really clear to me what this particular fantasy genocide art is about. Still, it’s got to be protected parody, right? But less likely that the artists could trademark this stylized world (as again “the difference between the right to use and the right to register”).
The Canadian Press via Winnipeg Free Press: “‘Night of the Living Dead’ director Romero unimpressed by today’s zombies” by Nelson Wyatt.
There are “very few horror films that I think are worth their salt,” says Romero
I wonder if he saw “The Canyons” with Lindsay Lohan and James Deen, reviewed at the Guardian last May: “The Canyons: panned by critics, is that because it dares to show our future?” by John Patterson:
The Canyons is Paul Schrader’s zombie movie. Its blank-generation protagonists feast upon each other’s weaknesses with glazed eyes, or submit blandly to each other’s vile manipulations in a hollowed-out, ice-cold hellscape in which everyone is either prostitute or pimp, or both.
The critics ate his movie alive, innards, brains, eyeballs, the lot, seeing only the disaster they’d hoped. Like zombies…
Or any of the recent Kardashian shows or apps, see in Cosmo: “All The Coolest U.S. Government Staffers Are Playing Kim Kardashian’s iPhone Game” by Alex Rees:
Kim Kardashian’s brilliantly banal new iPhone game is already the next Plants vs. Zombies, except of course every character in the game is a mindless Hollywood zombie, and there are no plants to fight off their materialistic attacks with because LA is just that artificial these days.
NoisePorn from this past May: Fame Is Like a Really Cool STD” By Xavier Vega:
We all know what “going viral” means: when someone shares a video with a few friends, then those people share it with their friends and so on, until the infection is everywhere like a zombie plague.
It’s about the appropriation and direction of digital image, see in PSmag: “Why Do We Love the ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ Game?” By Kyle Chayka:
UNLIKE KIM KARDASHIAN, ELLEN Page didn’t know she was going to be in a video game. But when The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic zombie survival game created by Naughty Dog, was released in June 2013, the actress got a surprise. In the game, the protagonist, a weathered man named Joel, has to escort a young woman named Ellie across the ruined United States, dodging deadly zombies and hostile humans alike. Ellie, a mousy young woman with brown hair, happened to look just like Ellen.
Bravo to Kim Kardashian for actually profiting so successfully on the alienation of her digital image. Lindsay Lohan has also sued for her supposed likeness used in video game though her argument is more tenuous than Ellen Page’s. Former dictator Noriega is also having a go at it, see BloombergBNA: “Noriega v. Activision: An Unlikely Fight Between a Dictator and a Video Game Giant” by Blake Brittain:
The game has sold nearly 25 million copies worldwide, and Noriega is seeking lost profits and damages for “blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain.” Noriega claims Activision used his likeness “to heighten realism in [the] game,” which includes a zombie-killing mode and a scene in which the villain attacks Los Angeles with the entire U.S. drone fleet.
Meanwhile, see also from The Spokesman this past July at comic con: “Zombie Killer Takes Selfie” posted by DFO:
Norman Reedus (“Darryl”), right, takes a selfie at “The Walking Dead” panel
There are now some significant rumors that “Daryl” on “The Walking Dead” might be homosexual (“not that there’s anything wrong with that.” and not specifically because of this selfie.) Using Google to search for a link to cite for that claim and I copied from the Spokesman article spelling, with “Darryl” spelled incorrectly, and that error seemed to help Google find where I was going with this. See image below of my Google search – the same result does not arise if Daryl is spelled correctly (perhaps only Darryl with two r’s is gay?).
So if you are interested in those rumors about this fictional character’s sexual identity then it should be easy to find them via google search. Presumably, these rumors are good for the sales of Norman Reedus posters. But the question from “The Canyons” remains: is it gay if it’s in a foursome with Lindsay Lohan?
See The Anchor “Choking on the Reality of It” by Greg Maynard:
I am tired of technology poisoning the minds of our generation’s completely vulnerable and uninterested zombie army of sickening neutrality.
Consider another summer article at the Spokesman: “First They Come For Our Selfies: Man Wanted For Snapping Pic During Running Of The Bulls” by Jake O’Donnell:
Cracking down on dangerous behavior during a bull run is like handing out condoms during a zombie holocaust.
So Romero’s unimpressed with the state of zombies. Probably that’s a media dig at SyFy’s Z-Nation which everyone is loving to hate on (See Dan Drezner‘s claims before watching that the premiere that it “The one mortal threat to the zombie apocalypse genre“). But no, zombies are all over the mainstream media, and if we broaden to a full use of the metaphor, we see “zombies” are dominating even though they don’t look like Romero’s version.
Not sure what the logic is behind the law this guy violated, but it’s clear what the punishment could’ve been had the bull been the judge.
A machine war rages, and the zombies are us, the rotting flesh inside the machine. We are all cyborg zombies. What makes us human is not composed entirely of our biology but also in an idea-space. Stories and technology frame our identity. Zombies relate to this cyborg postpunk future of hackers and war.
Io9: “The 12 Worst Cyborg Movies Of All Time” by Rob Bricken:
Before the zombie craze, if you wanted to make a cheap genre movie with a decent shot of making your money back, you made a cyborg film.
And recall mention “zombie” of 1995 cyberpunk movie “Johnny Mnemonic“, the hacker portrayed by Ice-T interrupts broadcast fear-mongering about the “black shakes”, which later we learn can be cured but the Yakuza would prefer to profit instead of release the cure (note similarity to plot from the final season of HBO‘s “True Blood” and to the habits of pharmaceutical companies, and particularly about HIV medication patents in developing countries):
Snatch back your brain zombie, snatch it back and hold it.
HBO is relevant to a discussion of computer fraud because many people access HBO without authorization through the use of a “borrowed” HBOgo password. That violation of user agreement could be prosecuted as a crime under federal law as an unauthorized access to computer under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Most people who do this do not consider themselves hackers.
Entrepreneur: “Prepare for the Attack of the Data-Sucking Cyber Zombies” by Andrew Van Noy:
The data-sucking cyber zombies have attacked again! … If you don’t know what a cyber zombie looks like, or what possible symptoms of an attack are, there is no way to protect yourself. … Once you know what possible symptoms of cyber zombie attacks on your system may look like, it is essential to perform routine security checks.
KOCO: “Study finds traffic signals can be hacked” by Kim Passoth:
Hackers have hit in Oklahoma before. Drivers on Interstate 44 in Tulsa were warned of a “zombie invasion” in 2011
PCMag: “Can Your Home be Hacked? Possibly.” by Fahmida Y. Rashid:
He uploaded malware on the storage device to turn it into a zombie on a botnet.
ComputerWorld: “Digital graffiti: Zombie-loving hackers hack road sign” by Darlene Storm :
I don’t think anyone has wrecked after being warned of “Zombies Ahead,” as happened in Colorado alongside the Boulder Foothills Parkway this week. Zombie-loving hackers have been warning motorists of upcoming zombies via hacked electronic construction signs for about eight years. The Boulder Daily Camera reported the hack and spoke to Stephen Jones who teaches a zombie class at the University of Colorado. Jones said, “It’s a victimless crime — it’s just changing something that can be undone really quickly. And I don’t think anyone’s going to drive their car off the road when they see the sign.” He added that seeing the sign would likely brighten anyone’s day.
The simple hacks are everywhere, most don’t do a lot of damage, are equivalent to graffiti but prosecuted as the worst threat on society. Our new society is built in this cyber-space, an idea space of machine. Even the slightest graffiti must be prosecuted severely because in a world made entirely of language, the defacement of even the tiniest code could potentially have wide reaching ramifications. In practice, changing one road sign is an irrelevant joke, but changing one electronic sign on the stock exchange would be technologically similar. The machines control our lives and so any interference will not be tolerated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the authority. Recall the graffiti scene from the 1993 movie “Demolition Man“.
Apple’s new watch provides ‘heartbeat sharing’, so recall 1995’s “Strange Days“. But we are far away from any kind of neuro-recording and experience sharing in that movie. Neuroscience continues to make progress but remained largely a failed vision. The good technologies we have require the head to stay motionless, we have no good technologies for measuring human brain activity outside the laboratory.
The gaming world is heading toward further immersion, and for a detailed history of the rise and fall of VR, see The Verge: “The State of Virtual Reality” by Matthew Schnipper:
The graphics were still basic but the experience was, surprisingly, lifelike. For the first time ever, one could casually wander through a comically realistic rendering of Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment. Or hack a zombie to death.
The world is already a virtual reality, and new technology continues to emphasize the separation between the person and her body. Recall “Selfies and Auschwitz” and consider the way that being human means being framed within language and symbols, long before the internet. The internet just speeds access and provides new opportunities and new threats.
Students learn to fight these cyber zombie threat:
TechDay: “Cyber security a challenge for students” by Catherine Murray:
The University of Waikato is to host a ‘zombie apocalypse’ cyber security challenge where students will attempt to access secure networks in search of an antidote.
See also Geekzone: “Cyber experts battle zombie outbreak“:
Cyber security experts will be put to the test next week when a staged zombie apocalypse will see them trying to access secure networks in search of an antidote.
These threats are changing. The Syrian Electronic Army is a significant hacker group. The NATO nations have all agreed to stand together in face of cyber attack, see ArsTechnica: “In case of cyber attack: NATO members ready to pledge mutual defense” by Robert Lemos.
So the ways we secure this space must change, see Ars Technica: “Antivirus pioneer Symantec declares AV “dead” and “doomed to failure”” by Dan Goodin. Antivirus is dead. Long live antivirus.
Technology is expensive and they want us to believe that paying is good- see The Indian Republic: “We May Need to Pay for Internet – For Our Own Good” by Sarah Abraham:
here’s when you need to know about zombie cookies and Evercookies. These are basically cookies that will get their claws into you even if you disable third-party cookies. Zombie cookies help connect the data previously collected by a third-party cookie from your browser with the new data, even if in the interval, you wiped your browser clean (or so you thought) of all cookies. Using a different browser will not help, either, because zombie cookies are stored in a folder common to all browsers. Basically, if you visit them once, you can try to delete the cookies as much as you want, but they’ll just keep coming back from beyond – hence the name.
Or we can fight for a free and open internet, with access for everyone. Tell the FCC how you feel about applying rules of common carriers to ISPs. And fight for open access to information. If you believe you should be entitled to use your friend’s HBOgo password, then you should lobby your Congress to make that the law. If you want a free internet that is also protected from spam, should that be private expensive walled gardens or can we secure it for everyone?
Be careful, as with many zombie issues, it can be dangerous to lobby for things that are criminalized. Though they have many differences, hackers should look to marijuana reform activists to identify best practices for lobbying changes to criminal law. Like in the 1999 movie “The Matrix” anyone might become zombie host for Agent Smith in this Big Brother world where business partners are encouraged to snitch on each other for cash reward- see, “AN INITIATIVE OF BSA, The Software Alliance, Report Software Piracy Now!” (see also the 2006 Keanu movie “A Scanner Darkly“). As in “The X-Files“: “Trust no one.” (trust the many) “The truth is out there.” (so out there, you wouldn’t believe it).
The future is a reflection of 1990s. How it reflects is up to us. The corporations are already putting cookies in our minds. There is no suitable antivirus, and what does exist is expensive. We need government to defend us from the Yakuza, but too often it become an enforcement arm for them. Congress has the power to set the terms for patent and copyright protections for the good of the people. It’s time to reduce those protections for the good of the people. Lobby for stronger fair use protections.
GQ: “The Orthodox Hit Squad” by Matthew Shaer, about violent squads of Orthodox Jews that force men to participate in religious divorce ceremonies when their wives want out:
While Ben watches, the men prepare their work clothes. Some wear black ski masks. Some have bandannas pulled over their faces in the manner of Wild West outlaws. One man is wearing a zombie mask, another a black Metallica T-shirt. A third has yanked a big trash bag over his torso—perhaps a blood-splatter prophylactic, in case this particular get requires leaving a mark after all.
The story is old news but the pictures are GQ commenting on Orthodox fashion? Black suits and white shirts are totally in this season. And long side burns with the unshaven look. It’s Orthodox-chic, plus the gang-criminality so it’s like Soprano’s-style mafia-chic without the Jersey Shore colors. Look like gangsters and black and white is just so in right now. It’s like fashion is revealing our desire for stark contrast. If only world politics were so simple, but violence and religious law are complicated issues.
What color suit will President Obama wear tonight? Tan created a lot of buzz last week so perhaps GQ might suggest a black suit and a white shirt if he plans to go beat up the deadbeats. NYdailynews: “President Obama’s tan suit draws ire from critics, Twitter” by Annie Karni, BUT “Obama’s Tan Suit Applauded By Fashion Industry” by Kim Bhasin:
Joseph Abboud, fashion designer and chief creative director of Men’s Wearhouse, praised Obama’s decision to wear a tan suit … “I applaud him for wearing a tan suit,” said Abboud, who previously made clothes for Obama as head of suit-maker Hart Schaffner Marx. “You don’t want to look the same every day of your life. It’s boring as hell.”
Maybe President Obama could wear a zombie mask when he addresses the nation tonight. That would be funny. Or maybe he is the zombie mask, as worn by violent religious gangs (aka multinational corporations) that demand that either our brains or our signatures are on this social contract. Is ISIS or ISIL or whatever, fear tactics, terrorists, new political party in a foreign land? Washington Post: “Everything you need to know about the Islamic State — from America’s top comedians” By Jaime Fuller:
Colbert tries to scare the Islamic State Orson Welles-style with a fake radio broadcast. It involves Zombie Reagan.
Reagan also wore tan suits:
And recall the Amish zombie beard-cutting gang, and other zombie gangs. Gangs exist in all cultures. Including our own political culture. It’s important not to over-emphasize these unusual instances of criminality as statements about the entire culture. We need more stories about fringe groups that display their virtues. Instead these kinds of gang instances demean their whole group.
Violence of any kind should be deplored. And all societies face the problem of how to stop the violence without further violence. Consider again whether Superman had to kill Zod (recall “Why ‘Man of Steel’ Could Learn A Lesson From ‘Day of the Doctor’” by Alex Zalben). And yes, Clark Kent has worn tan suits. I think it’s more often blue or grey, but according to TVTropes, this tan suited Christopher Reeves image is the prototypical “Clark Kent Outfit”:
Notice the GQ article also mentions a Metallica tee-shirt. Heavy metal music is associated to zombie themes. The season finale of the HBO show “The Leftovers” used an orchestral version of a Metallica song as part of decision-making for gang violence. That HBO show is not a zombie show per se, but the themes of memory and departed in a surreal world make the show related to this zombie culture. It’s about how we remember the past.
Tomorrow is 9/11, so are we all supposed to wear white and chain smoke? Will President Obama announce air strikes to keep the memory alive? Drone fireworks to commemorate the holiday? Or can we find a way to remember without adding more violence? Can there be divorce without beating each other up? Can people move on, detach, forget and learn to live together for the future? Or will the war in the Middle East continue forever?
We need a superman. “The Leftovers” offers a tired Police chief.
We can’t expect President Obama to suddenly swoop in and save us by sorting out problems into clear black and white. Life is more complex than black and white, a whole rainbow of colors (which can be composed by the three primary colors of Superman’s traditional costume). But not this fashion season, see E!: “New York Fashion Week Spring 2015: Best Street Style” by Lindsey Sirera:
There’s one common thread that strings these sartorial looks together though—a monochromatic color scheme.:
But also E!: “New York Fashion Week Spring 2015: The Best Shows of Day One” by Emily Popp:
noticed some trends cropping up right off the bat: soft color palettes being one of ‘em. Plenty of designers opted to work in pretty pastels instead of saturated color.
You have to admire an industry that’s showing me fashion from the future instead of arguing about the past. That kind of forward thinking is precisely the kind of time-travel President Obama needs tonight. And the Twitterverse will know as soon as they see his outfit because “Nothing Else Matters“.