20050530

Jamster

OK, this has gone too far. A while ago I posted about the exploits of the so-called "Crazy Frog" and his ringtone based japes. But things have taken an altogether more disquieting medium-boundary crossing turn. When I switched on the radio this morning, the BBC newsreader announced somberly that "The Crazy Frog's voted against the European constitution and brought the whole process of unification to a grinding halt. Ah-- ring-da-da-ding-ding-ng-ng-grrr-a-ding-ding-ding".

How can this happen? How can a seemingly irritating ringtone derail an entire contintent's political process? Surely this can't be allowed to happen? I for one will not be giving my pocket money to jamster this week and I urge you to do the same.

I do hope that this isn't all some hilarious mix-up involving an accidental mishearing. That would be silly.

20050529

Hicksville

Good to see that "remix culture" is permeating the whole of society. Here is Jem's take on that old Bill Hicks routine.

Addendum: Dammit! I wrote this as a sarcastic comment on the slight similarity between a three word phrase occuring in two different contexts and blow me down if it isn't entirely deliberate. Jem really did take the entire philosophy of outcast libertarian comedian Bill Hicks and render it into a fluffy three minute pop song. I don't know whether I'm delighted or disgusted, probably both.

20050526

Misheard

I just put the radio on, and heard an advert beginning, "Did you know thousands of terabytes could be attacking your home?"

I think I need to take a break from thinking about computers, networks, and denial of service attacks for a while.

He actually said "thousands of termites".

20050523

The White Mountains...


In a ceremonial ritual, the post-pubescent human surrenders himself to the iPod and is returned several hours later, his or her head shaven clean and "capped" with a metallic implant rendering them docile to the iPods' will. Due to the hormonal changes of puberty, humans cannot be capped at an earlier age.

How to recognise someone who has been "capped" by an iPod: the white implants in the ear, with wires leading down to the control device. Such humans are usually docile and detatched from reality, but do not attempt to remove their implants, as they will become angry and violent, commanded to attack by their iPod controller.

Beware the iPods!

20050522

Overheard

I was in a bookstore the other day, and overheard someone asking about a book called "I mock, You rock".

Eventually, the clerk figured out that the book that they were asking for was this one.

Although, to be fair, I may have made up this entire incident.

20050519

For some reason...

I quite liked this.

Work out how to edit URLs to see where it is from.

Almost missed it this week, but closer inspection revealed the hidden message. Makes you wonder though, is this just stealing the idea of having a "big bad" in the series from Whedon's Buffyverse?  Posted by Hello

20050515

What a bunch...

"Microsoft Corp. is rolling out a test version of an all-in-one subscription service that aims to protect computer users from viruses and spyware and give them tools to make machines speedier. The Redmond-based software company is distributing Windows OneCare to its 60,000 employees this week. It plans to run a larger invitation-only test this summer, then launch a full-scale test by year's end," reports AP.

Are you a Windows OneCare user? Are any of your friends Windows OneCares? Perhaps your whole family is a bunch of OneCares? If so, then please keep this information to yourself.

xreference to: Wang Cares.

20050513

Transportation Options

"I was at a concert at Roseland and I don't know of any other way to get home," said Brian Childs, 22, a student at Rutgers University.

Probably your best bet is to cross over to 33rd St. to pick up the PATH, and take that out to Newark Penn Station. Hopefully the NE Corridor line is running from there, so then you can hop a train back to New Brunswick. Else, there should be some other options to get you back home. Failing that, there might be some bus services running from Port Authority on 42nd Street, but they are probably quite busy.

20050512

Who's Afraid (part 2)

More on the bad wolf meme... a website set up by the BBC pretending to be that of the industrialist character from the "Dalek" episode contains a hidden message in morse code on the support page (ah, just like the good old days of the gchq puzzles).
Translating the code gives... BADWOLF, as you would expect.

Reading down the page, there's the altogether less subtle hidden message from the BBC: MED BIL EOTV. So much for impartiality.

20050507

It came from Planet Clare

Finally got around to seeing the HHGTG movie through the strangely antiquated medium of going to a film projection centre, or "cinema" as they are known. Decent enough interpretation, but I was mostly taken with the following observation which I can add to my very occasional series of "oxbridge scarves in the popular media" (see also Daleks and Quinlank.



See this (rather large) image here: Zaphod Beeblebrox can be clearly seen here (and throughout the rest of the movie) wearing a Clare College Scarf.

Which is interesting. You might imagine this to be a gentle nod towards DNA, since Adams went to Cambridge. But as you will remember from DGHDA, he went to St John's, on which St. Cedd's is clearly based.

So why Clare? I have an idea, although it seems altogether too far-fetched to be true. I will check it out.

20050505

BBCoverIP

It's election night in the UK, a time for celebration. Usually by this stage in the proceedings (based on approximately one previous occasion), I am quite sozzled but because of the time difference I'm just getting started. [The UK general election drinking games is basically "Drink if... you feel like it"]. The amazing thing is not that I can watch the BBC election coverage, but if anything it's the difficulty in finding it. As I insist on telling people whether they ask or not, I don't have TV in the conventional sense: after my somewhat dubious "free" cable TV disappeared at the end of last year, I've been limited to bad reception of broadcast TV, and have basically stopped watching live TV entirely. Instead I rely on my if anything even more dubious implementation of IPTV through methods that are generally acknowledged to be at the fringes of legality. That's fine for most of the time, except when there are major events of interest. For example, the Eurovision Song Contest, or national elections. For these, I have to hunt out live webcasts. For Eurovision, there are good webcasts from the main event itself (although sadly lacking the wit and wisdom of Terry Wogan, which is a shame). For this UK election, I really had to do some lateral thinking. The local TV stations are a complete loss: obviously one expects nothing from the main networks, but you'd hope for something from the PBS stations, which spend most of their time reshowing BBC sitcoms. Sadly not. And the BBC itself, while it is pretty free and easy with putting its radio output out on the internet, it's remarkably difficult to find anything useful TV-wise. Used to be that you could pick up BBC world or BBC news 24 streaming through a third party site, but sadly that disappeared a long time back.

So currently I am tuned into C-Span2 on cspan.orgwhich is delivering a live rendition of the BBC1 coverage via several levels of transcoding to my TV set (via the Internet). This seems to work. I'm not sure if the BBC mind. Actually, checking their website, it does seem like the beeb is trying to stream some of their live TV coverage, but at least at first try it doesn't seem to be working. Perhaps it's overloaded with other internet viewers, which would be something worth remarking on, I suppose. It's hard to tell, but if anything the C-span stream looks rather better, since the BBC does seem to have the annoying habit of encoding its video at ridiculously low bandwidths for internet delivery.

Updates later if I can be arsed, but short of any Ghostwatch-style upsets (and some of the beeb coverage so far suggests that they aren't taking it entirely seriously) there won't be any.

Oh good lord, what is Jon Peter Snow doing with his "race for downing street" 3D animation?

20050503

Who's afraid?

Still not got round to seeing the HHGTG yet, but I have been enjoying some of the details hidden in the all new Doctor Who show. The main plots are so-so so far, but the gentle background hinting about the Time War has been quite intruiging, especially since this seems to be a entierly in keeping with the vast non-canon realm of novels and audio dramas that have been produced in the last decade or so.

For a while, I was puzzled about the graffiti'd message on the Tardis:


Turns out that this is actually a leitmotif for the whole series: this phrase seems to crop up in every episode so far. Subtly done. And in addition, there are a couple of interesting websites playing off this.

Also good to see that UNIT are stationed in Maidstone Barracks...

20050502


This is a car. It is blue (and not especially well parked, but that's irrelevant). Now let's have no more said on the matter. Posted by Hello

20050501


An otherwise deserted shopfront. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Posted by Hello

Sinister machines in New York. Can You Tell What It Is? Posted by Hello

Simple solutions to complex problems

According to top New York local newspaper, the New York Times, there is an epidemic of thefts of iPods (rather than generic digital music players).

Rachel Humphries, 20, a student at New York University, questioned the effectiveness of hiding one's iPod. "The white headphones are a giveaway," she said.

Or... you could use different headphones.