Topic: United States/American television
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Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion
A broadcast signal hijacking of two television stations in Chicago, Illinois was carried out on November 22, 1987, in an act of video piracy. The stations' broadcasts were interrupted by a video of an unknown person wearing a Max Headroom mask and costume, accompanied by distorted audio.
The first incident took place for 25 seconds during the sports segment of WGN-TV's 9:00 p.m. news broadcast; the second occurred around two hours later, for about 90 seconds during PBS affiliate WTTW's broadcast of Doctor Who.
The hacker made references to Max Headroom's endorsement of Coca-Cola, the TV series Clutch Cargo, WGN anchor Chuck Swirsky; and "all the greatest world newspaper nerds", a reference to WGN's call letters, which stand for "World's Greatest Newspaper". A corrugated panel swiveled back and forth mimicking Max Headroom's geometric background effect. The video ended with a pair of exposed buttocks being spanked with a flyswatter before normal programming resumed. The culprits were never caught or identified.
- "Max Headroom Signal Hijacking" | 2021-08-11 | 39 Upvotes 2 Comments
- "Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion" | 2019-11-23 | 211 Upvotes 54 Comments
- "The 1987 Max Headroom Pirating Incident" | 2010-03-21 | 15 Upvotes 5 Comments
Halt and Catch Fire
Halt and Catch Fire is an American period drama television series created by Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers. It aired on the cable network AMC in the United States from June 1, 2014, to October 14, 2017, spanning four seasons and 40 episodes. Taking place over a period of more than ten years, the series depicts a fictionalized insider's view of the personal computer revolution of the 1980s and the growth of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s. The show's title refers to computer machine code instruction Halt and Catch Fire (HCF), the execution of which would cause the computer's central processing unit to stop working (catch fire being a humorous exaggeration).
In season one, the company Cardiff Electric makes its first foray into personal computing, with entrepreneur Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) running a project to build an IBM PC clone with the help of computer engineer Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy) and prodigy programmer Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis). Seasons two and three shift focus to a startup company, the online community Mutiny, that is headed by Cameron and Gordon's wife Donna (Kerry Bishé), while Joe ventures out on his own. The fourth and final season focuses on competing web search engines involving all the principal characters.
Halt and Catch Fire marked Cantwell's and Rogers's first jobs in television. They wrote the pilot hoping to use it to secure jobs as writers in the industry but instead landed a series of their own from AMC. The story was inspired by Cantwell's childhood in the Silicon Prairie of Dallas–Fort Worth, where his father worked as a software salesman, and the creators' subsequent research into Texas's role in personal computing innovations of the 1980s. Filmed in the Atlanta, Georgia, area and produced by the network, the series is set in the Silicon Prairie for its first two seasons and Silicon Valley for its latter two.
Halt and Catch Fire debuted to generally favorable reviews, though many reviewers initially found it derivative of other series such as Mad Men. In each subsequent season, the series grew in acclaim, and by the time it concluded, critics considered it among the best shows of the 2010s. Despite its critical reception, the series experienced low viewership ratings throughout its run, with only the first episode surpassing one million viewers for its initial broadcast.
- "Halt and Catch Fire" | 2020-07-06 | 30 Upvotes 17 Comments
In a jury trial, a Chewbacca defense is a legal strategy in which a criminal defense lawyer tries to confuse the jury rather than refute the case of the prosecutor. It is an intentional distraction or obfuscation.
As a Chewbacca defense distracts and misleads, it is an example of a red herring. It is also an example of an irrelevant conclusion, a type of informal fallacy in which one making an argument fails to address the issue in question. Often an opposing counsel can legally object to such arguments by declaring them irrelevant, character evidence, or argumentative.
The name Chewbacca defense comes from "Chef Aid", an episode of the American animated series South Park. The episode, which premiered on October 7, 1998, satirizes the O. J. Simpson murder trial—particularly attorney Johnnie Cochran's closing argument for the defense. In the episode, Cochran (voiced by Trey Parker) bases his argument on a false premise about the 1983 film Return of the Jedi. He asks the jury why a Wookiee like Chewbacca would want to live on Endor with the much smaller Ewoks when "it does not make sense". He argues that if Chewbacca living on Endor does not make sense—and if even mentioning Chewbacca in the case does not make sense—then the jury must acquit.
In the Simpson murder trial, the real Johnnie Cochran tried to convince jurors that a glove found at the crime scene, alleged to have been left by the killer, could not be Simpson's because it did not fit Simpson's hand. Because the prosecution relied on the glove as evidence of Simpson's presence at the scene, Cochran argued that the lack of fit proved Simpson's innocence: "It makes no sense; it doesn't fit; if it doesn't fit, you must acquit." "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit" was a refrain that Cochran also used in response to other points of the case.