Tuesday, June 05, 2007

forward looking disclaimer

{The statement below is lifted from an actual press release. The names have been changed to protect its moronic authors, and perhaps the morons the authors might have felt threatened by, or perhaps the CEO who got them to write it in the first place. Is this as good as saying, "Just so you know, all the above is pretty much B.S.. Please don't take any of it to heart and try to sue us because we did not follow through." }

Statements in this press release
that are not a description of historical facts
are forward-looking statements.

You should not regard any forward-looking statement
as a representation by {some "forward looking" company}
that any of its plans will be achieved.

Actual results may differ materially
from those set forth in this release
due to the risks and uncertainties inherent
in {some "forward looking" company}'s business,
including, without limitation:

{some "forward looking" company}ís
reliance on its Web analytics services for the majority of its revenue;

blocking or erasing of cookies or
limitations on the companyís ability to use cookies;

{some "forward looking" company}ís limited experience
with customer intelligence applications
beyond Web analytics;

the risks associated with integrating the operations
and products of acquired companies
with those of {some "forward looking" company};

privacy concerns and laws or other
domestic or foreign regulations that may
subject {some "forward looking" company}ís to litigation or
limit the companyís ability to collect and use
Internet user information;

{some "forward looking" company}ís ability to
defend itself against claims of patent infringement
alleged by {some other non forward looking company};

{some "forward looking" company}ís ongoing ability
to protect its own intellectual property rights and
to avoid violating the intellectual property rights
of third parties;

the highly competitive markets in which
the company operates that could make it difficult
for {some "forward looking" company}
to acquire and retain customers;

the risk that {some "forward looking" company}ís customers
fail to renew their agreements;

the risks associated with the companyís indebtedness,
including the risk of non-compliance with the covenants
in the companyís credit facility;

the risk that {some "forward looking" company}ís services may
become obsolete in a market with rapidly changing
technology and industry standards;

the risks associated with renaming the company and
undertaking related branding activities;

and other risks described in {some "forward looking" company}ís
Securities and Exchange Commission filings,
including the companyís annual report on Form 10-K
for the year ended December 31, 2006 and
quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.

Do not place undue reliance on these
forward-looking statements
which speak only as of the date of this
news release.

All forward-looking statements are qualified
in their entirety
by this cautionary statement, and
{some "forward looking" company}undertakes
no obligation
to revise or update this news release
to reflect events or circumstances after
the date of this news release.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

far north

I found two books at work about living in the far north. I seem to have had a "jag" of books on native cultures being overwhelmed by foreign ones.

"The Last Gentleman Adventurer" by Edward Beauclerk Maurice, is an memoir of an English boy who signs up with the Hudson Bay Company, serving as a trapping agent in the far north of Canada. Unlike most of his compatriots, he learns the Inuit language and falls deeply in love with the Inuit culture and people. By the end of his stay his Inuit name has changed from "The Boy" to Issumatak, "He Who Thinks."

It is a great, and someone romantic story, and only slightly tinged with the paternalism, you might expect. He uses the term Eskimo -- not a term of derision in his time, it was the name the Cree (I think) gave to their enemy the Inuit: "eaters of raw meat." (That's a whole fascinating sideline... how many tribe names do we know by the names their enemies gave them -- the Sioux is the name the enemies of the Lakota gave them, the Anasazi is a Navajo word which means ancestors of our enemies. )

To give a deeper picture of the Inuit, you could turn to "The Long Exile," by Melanie McGrath, chronicling the history of one particular group of Indians who ends up exiled to the high arctic far away and much further North than they were used to.

This story is told through that of the son of a Canadian filmmaker, Robert Flaherty, who as he was filming his opus "Nanook of the North," had a child by the films female star, Maggie Nujarluktuk. With really amazing and poetic language, Ms. McGrath, weaves the story of these people, giving us a broad sense of their culture, their history, and their interaction with whites and other Native North Americans.

The two stories intersect only tangentially, the name of a ship, a waypoint on the way farther north. They share a certain sadness for a people caught up in greed, and blinded by ignorance. Both are well worth reading.


how soccer explains nothing

"How Soccer Explains the World: an {unlikely} theory of globalization" by Franklin Foer is a fine and interesting book. I would imagine that even someone who doesn't give a toss about "football" would fine it an interesting read. The book takes around the world visiting the often ugly histories of football clubs as a way of explaining globalization.

But really, in the literal sense of the word "explain", it really explains nothing. It does not give the whys and wherefores. Only the whats. I was a little dissatisfied at the end, there's little in the way of binding, the intro tells us the book is divided into three parts, but those parts are not really drawn out into any overall narrative.

The world of football is a great microcosm of the larger picture -- It's a great glimpse of the good and bad of globalization, and anti-globalization. But the "theory" hinted at by the subtitle is quite absent. If you pressed me, I would not be able to even guess at what it is "globalization happens? some things are good? some things are bad?"

Further dissatisfaction is found in its chapter on Islam (sadly perhaps because that chapter was the most theoretical). It was a little shocking, that the author thinks that the "hope" of Islam or in Iran in particular anyway, is a return to the totalianarism of the secular nationalists! (It didn't help that several things have changed in Iran since he wrote the book).

But all that explanation or lack thereof aside, it trully is an engaging and interesting read.