News Chum: Return from ACSAC Edition

Well, I’m back in the office after ACSAC (I was at home yesterday), it’s lunchtime, and I’m not fighting a headache (as I was on Monday). You know what that means… it’s News Chum time…

  • From the “A Walkin’ Talkin’ Man” Department: Technology refreshes. It is the bane of our existance. Here’s an interesting technology refresh in the news: They’re rebuilding Mr. Lincoln. I refer, of course, to the facsimilie president at Disneyland. According to the OC Register, a new “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” show is debuting with never-before-used technology that is supposed to make the robot more realistic than ever. Lincoln’s lips will form to make “o” and “s” sounds. His cheek muscles will move. His eyebrows will raise. The new figure will use electronics — the first time a whole animatronic head will be electronic. Disney creators use a computer to design the internal skeleton and then the forms are printed on a 3D printer, a way to make the insides more realistic.
  • From the “Market Your Idea” Department: Got an idea for a product that would be perfect for a late-night infomercial? Then you want to visit TeleBrands, the subject of a recent NY Times article. They recently held a fair for new product pitches, many of which are described in the article. Would you want a mower caddy shelf; a Find-It beeping keychain; self-adhering wrapping paper; the all new EZ-Stack party dish; or the Gutter Gremlin drainpipe screen? How about a terry cloth jumpsuit for after showering? Operators will soon be standing by.
  • From the “Passings” Department: There are a number of notable passings to report. Most significant is the death of Roy E. Disney, nephew of Walt, and the man behind the revival of Disney Animation. We have Mark Ritts, who was Lester the Lab Rat on Beakman’s World. There’s Sol Price, who gave the world Price Club, now integrated into Costco. There’s Harold Bell, who created “Woodsy Owl” as the mascot for the Forest Service, and Robert Heft, who created and sewed the first 50-star flag. On the arts side of things, last week brought news of the death of Steve Meltzer of the Santa Monica Puppetry Center, and Liam Clancy, the last surviving member of the Clancy Brothers. Of course, there’s always’s the death of Tiger Wood’s endorsement career, but that story, alas, refuses to die.