Going on the Account: Sails Sighted and Cited (A Round-Up)

A few random items of interest:



#   There is an article about Somali pirates published at playboy.com (which is potentially NSFW if you’re accessing the Internet somewhere where anything associated with PLAYBOY could get you flagged/in trouble), which has some interesting facts about the Somali scene:


  • The success rate for a crew going on the account in Somalia is about 5%; the rest of the ventures come out empty handed
  • There are suggestions that a large amount of the ransom collected is funneled out of the country to criminal syndicates based in Europe and the Persian Gulf
  • The article describes past acts of collecting ransom for individuals over the last few years, which makes the Chandler kidnapping one in a long line of seizures; hopefully their ordeal will end better than the ones Bengali describes in his piece


This is worth reading if you are able to access the article or have no objections to the source; in other words, if you can claim with a straight face that you visit this site only for the articles, then go for it…



#  Speaking of acts of piracy, an article in the WALL STREET JOURNAL about the online book price war discusses why the three participants are limiting the number of books you can order from them online (very early on in the article, too, so you don’t need to buy a subscription to WSJ.com to get to the main point of the piece): 


Apparently independent booksellers were buying copies at rates lower than the publishers were charging them at wholesale, and then selling them from their locations at a competitive discount.


Yo ho ho and a bottle of wine snagged from an author meet-and-greet…



#  Credit to a group trying to win a prize for building a space ladder discussed at io9.com, calling themselves the K. C. Space Pirates.  After all, with a name like that, how could they not draw some interest?

Mind you, I don’t know if these guys seriously considered the name of the robot they’re using to climb their construction; I wonder if they called the robot “Maryann” without considering “Mary Anne with the Shaky Hand” by the Who…


#  I noted above that the success rate for pirates in Somalia is around 5%; that’s still a lot better so far this year than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have done…


Admittedly, they have a tough schedule this year; they don’t have much of a break between now and December, so they’ve got long odds before them.  But even if the season goes down like an overloaded galleon in a hurricane, they can at least point with pride to Gay Culverhouse’s advocacy on behalf of NFL players.  For taking on tough opponents like entrenched interests in the League, she certainly deserves notice and admiration.



And my best to everyone doing trick-or-treat tomorrow, especially if you’re doing Halloween in gear that’s appropriate for going on the account in the neighborhood…

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