By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Led by Phil Torrone of kevinmitnick.com and Eric Corley of hacker zine 2600, the ragtag 17-person bunch marched up and down outside 375 Greenwich Street to protest the production of Takedown. The film, set to star Skeet Ulrich, loosely recounts the pursuit and capture of the now incarcerated hacker Kevin Mitnick. According to Torrone, the script, based on the book Takedown by John Markoff and Mitnick tracker Tsutomu Shimomura, unfairly criminalizes Mitnick, who is still awaiting trail after some three and a half years in jail. "The script is far, far from the truth," making Mitnick out to be violent and racist, says Torrone. "He's more a Larry Flynt type than a criminal." Webcinema.org head Jonathan Sarno, who attended the protest, says the script has glaring technical gaffes--like describing the sound of a modem in Mitnick's apartment as "deafening." "It's written by a newbie--it's totally AOL and so dumb," he says.
For a good hour during lunch, the protesters handed out "Stop Miramax" leaflets, milled about with their "Takedown is $hakedown" and "Skeet's a Scab" placards, and made taunting calls to the Miramax offices on their cellphones. Though these are people who rarely operate in daylight, much less in public, they managed to get the message across. No Miramax executives came down, but one elderly couple tried to grok the situation. "We definitely support free access to information and people like Kevin," said husband Philip Stein. "We like young smart people that keep the corporate forces from taking control of the government."
Signal and NoiseMaster Failure: After giving him a full-body massage in its pages some weeks back, New York magazine hired author and failed Internet entrepreneur Michael Wolff (Burn Rate) as its media columnist last week. Wolff, whose company loudly went bust last year, already pens a column on topics like Bertelsmann, Net hype, and his mother for the magazine The Industry Standard. After multiple tries, it looks like Wolff may finally have found his best product yet: himself... Furious Projections: La Fura dels Baus's "F@ust: Version 3.0," running from July 22-26 during the Lincoln Center Festival, should be just about the opposite of online: in your face, spectacular, and most definitely live. But there'll be enough ambient sound sampling, live video, and monster screens at the back of the stage to keep multimedia addicts happy. My mom saw an earlier work by the Barcelona-based troupe and was hit by one of the motorcycle tires being thrown off the stage. Sounds like fun.
Research assistance: Vince Schleitwiler