The Grim Reefer2 writes: Federal agents swooped in on Gibson Guitar Wednesday, raiding factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The Feds are keeping mum, but in a statement yesterday Gibson's chairman and CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his company's manufacturing policies, accusing the Justice Department of bullying the company. "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier," he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws to make the company cry uncle.
It isn't the first time that agents of the Fish and Wildlife Service have come knocking at the storied maker of such iconic instruments as the Les Paul electric guitar, the J-160E acoustic-electric John Lennon played, and essential jazz-boxes such as Charlie Christian's ES-150. In 2009 the Feds seized several guitars and pallets of wood from a Gibson factory, and both sides have been wrangling over the goods in a case with the delightful name "United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms."
The Grim Reefer2 writes: According to a report from Discovery News , Dutch artist Jalila Essadi and the Forensic Genomics Consortium Netherlands have created a bulletproof skin using human skin cells and spider silk.
Essadi's creation hinges on the fact that spider silk thread is "relatively much stronger than steel," according to a news release posted on the artist's blog. Apparently, the bullet-proof skin is the end result of a process involving implanting woven spider silk between the layers of the dermis and epidermis, then letting "a bullet do its work" to test the theory.
The Grim Reefer2 writes: MediaBistro has learned that the Walt Disney Company has taken out a trademark on the phrase "Seal Team 6," the name of the special forces unit that killed the world's most wanted man. Disney now owns the exclusive rights to put Seal Team 6 on "clothing, footwear, headwear, toys, games and entertainment and education services." Disney made the move only two days after bin Laden's death was announced.
The Grim Reefer2 writes: "Woe to the rivals of AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA this morning: Executives from all of the nation's major wireless carriers likely are holed up in their respective war rooms, debating strategy and discussing their next moves.
And it's a good bet the C-level meeting rooms at Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) are overflowing, as CEO Dan Hesse and his team struggle to squeak out a win from what many are calling a disaster. (Sprint's stock was down more than 12 percent in early trading.) Sprint had been rumored just days ago to be in discussions for a merger with T-Mobile, but it seems the deal didn't sit well with Sprint executives--or AT&T pulled the rug out."
The Grim Reefer2 writes: The Pentagon and Department of Transportation have a written the Federal Communications Commission a letter insisting that they're more than a bit worried about a new satellite-based wholesale broadband service: LightSquared wireless.
"The new LightSquared business plan and the new FCC rules significantly expand the terrestrial transmission," the letter warns, "increasing the potential for interference to GPS receivers." Furthermore, the Department of Defense and DOT "were not sufficiently included in the development of the LightSquared input from federal stakeholders," the agencies claim.