Monthly Archives: November 2009

Going on the Account: Sighted Prizes (A Round-Up)

Three items of interest:

* The Spanish government has paid the ransom for the crew of the Alakrana.  Prime Minister Zapatero’s claim that his government “did what it had to do” doesn’t exactly help the effort at suppression; the fact that two warships were there for the hand-off can’t have left a good feeling among the crews of other ships on station out there.

On the other hand, the two Somali pirates in custody taken October 3rd are still in the hands of Spanish authorities, which raises an interesting prospect:  Removing men from the sweet trade but paying off the rest.  I’m not sure this is going to have any good long term effects if the remaining pirates decide that not having to break down their ransoms into smaller shares means that whoever’s left just tries harder.  Sort of like an American company trying to gain efficiencies with less staff…

* Matt Gross at the NEW YORK TIMES describes putting to sea in the Carib by paying your way as crew aboard a two-mast schooner for a mere $55 a day.  This fee gets you sailing experience, customs clearances and two meals a day, as well as passage along the routes the pirates took.

No word if there’s a way to get a discount by taking less shares if the crew decides to take over and go on the account…

* If there’s any interest in making a film of this novel (yeah right…) the perfect stand-in vessel can now be purchased.  EasternYachts.com has for sale the STS Jean de la Lune, a brigantine that’s about the right dimensions for the Raging Gale.  Her rig is pretty close too, though the pilot house would have to be moved astern to place the quarterdeck atop her.

And it’s a steal at a mere ₤395,000.  With the holidays coming up, he said placing very, very broad hints…

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Going on the Account: Part the One Hundred Eighty Ninth

Part the One Hundred Eighty Ninth is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: Learning the Ropes for Ye Captaincy

Apparently, this is a question that gets asked at job interviews at Google

 

Which means that if you’ve gone on the account and made it through a few ventures, you can take your real life experience from there and apply it directly in your new career with the search engine uber alles

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Going on the Account: Part the One Hundred Eighty Eighth

Part the One Hundred Eighty Eighth is now up, and may be read here.

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Going on the Account: What a Pirate Be Good For…

Back in the day, pirates could be turned into agents of colonial powers willing to employ them as privateers, thus going from being threats to assets.  Now, with word of pirates on BitTorrent helping to promote a film, the question arises:  Can marketing departments at big companies turn digital pirates into digital privateers?

 

Who’s to say it hasn’t already occurred?  They never did announce publicly who leaked that print of X MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE online, and in terms of getting publicity for the film going it was certainly more cost-effective than all the media tours and press kits they could package, and according to one account at the time the leaked copy didn’t keep that many people from going to the theater to see it.

 

Not naming names or pointing fingers here, just a speculation in general…

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Going on the Account: These Be Pirates Now?

While it’s been fairly quiet in the waters off Somalia and in the Philippines (yes, everyone who made headlines for being seized the last few weeks is still in captivity for now), there were a few pirate-y pieces of news out there to note:

 

  • The story of the hackers who hijacked a small business’ phone system got called pirates by those covering the story, including Mike Lynch who discusses it in his blog.  What surprises me is the number of calls to Somalia, coming to over $17,000 worth; with supposition elsewhere about how transnational criminal networks have a major hand in the Puntland pirates (as described in this middle section of an article on a potentially NSFW site), it’s surprising that authorities other than the Better Business Bureau aren’t getting involved; I’m surprised Mark Swimmer isn’t sending copies of these numbers to Interpol for cross-checks…

 

  • There’s been some press about the film PIRATE RADIO, which isn’t really about pirates per se.  Actually, it describes the unlicensed radio stations that operated off the coast of England that gave rock music in the 1960s a platform it needed, as England had very strict control over what music could be played at different times.  And yes, the movie uses history as a springboard into the depths of fiction, as do most films (the source of a longer rant that I’d be better able to start, save that both my machine and myself are now on the mend from different ailments and are just too damn tired to tackle…); if the film had wanted to keep its pirate creed, they could have dramatized Major Oliver Smedley’s pirate radio career, which might have made for a more exciting film.

 Then again, the fact that the movie was originally titled THE BOAT THAT ROCKED and was repackaged before coming to the US does sort of add to its pirate creed; sailing under false flags and all, savvy?

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Going on the Account: Part the One Hundred Eighty Seventh

Part the One Hundred Eighty Seventh is now up, and may be read here.

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