Archive for January, 2006

photography is just a less obvious fiction than illustration

January 31st, 2006

C|Net is usually a font of turd burgulary and knob gobblery, but this article of their is really interesting, about photo (and thence opinion) manipulation. It also talks about software that is used to look more closely than humans do to find inconsistencies, and then says that the software is kept TOP SECRET WIHT TEH POLISE SO TEY CAN KEEP US SAEF, when as we all know, as soon as someone cares, they’ll just write the app. So, you know, they’ve met the minimum assclownery quota.

in praise of global warming

January 31st, 2006

2005 warmest year on record? Just finished the warmest January on record? Lots of new snow, nicely interspersed with lovely forty degree sunshine? I’ll take it!

…minus the hurricanes, tsunamis, and eventual extinctions, of course.

Okay, okay. We should all be driving these. No, really. They’re now down to about $14K, come with A/C, go up to 70 mph, and they’re making a two seater.

Just to sully my spanking new record, I nicked this from Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

our milky way is warped and vibrating like a drum

January 31st, 2006

milky

No, dude. Seriously.

Link.

mad scientists make cooler shit than you

January 29th, 2006

You know what’s even cooler than a razor with 5 (5!) blades?

I bet you don’t.

Guess.

No. Guess again. That wasn’t cool at all.

Yes!

five blades, bitches, revisited

January 29th, 2006

five-blades.jpg

It’s all I can do not to do an abrupt little ninja roll and smash headfirst through the window of my second-floor apartment — I don’t have time to open any doors! — and hit the ground running in the direction of the grocery store in order to pick up one of the eagerly anticipated (well, by me, anyway) new “Gillette Fusion” razors. Now in thoroughly market-tested orange color! Until we can all do what Superman does — which, of course, is to simply break off a chunk of the spaceship that brought us to Earth then fashion it into a concave mirror with which we can use our heat-vision to burn our stubble off with — this is surely the Best Razor Ever. Of course I haven’t tried it yet.

But, I mean, five blades! That makes the Schick Quattro look like a pile of puke. My prediction*? The cold-war-style oneupsmanship of the Blade Wars&#153 has to come to an end soon, and here’s how it’ll happen: one company will come out with some sort of “new technology” and marketing campaign that will posit the very rational idea that a single blade might well be sufficient to shave your face with. It will be colored silver and priced just over the $20 mark. You just watch.

UPDATE: I got one, so, please, stop calling me at home. The review will be forthcoming, but I have to work up some stubble, which on my face sometimes takes about three to four weeks.

~jeff

* While I’m prognosticating about crappy future bathroom products, why not a toothbrush that (via subsonic vibration) plays a 2-minute adverpodcast inside your mouth while you’re brushing? Those two to four minutes of daily toothbrushing are sorely under-advertised moments, to be certain. It’s an advertunity!

bob dobbs iPod

January 28th, 2006

bob dobbs ipod

(design by Blake Luttrell)

~jeff

tooltip bubbles

January 28th, 2006

Nifty tooltip pop-up bubbles, with detailed instructions how-to:

Link.

~jeff

image fade-in

January 28th, 2006

Nifty fade-in image script, with detailed instructions how-to:

Link.

~jeff

iPod feedback

January 28th, 2006

ipod-feedback.jpg

turn your nintendo ds into a wardriving tool

January 24th, 2006

DS WarDriver

This here application will let you use your Nintendo DS to detect wireless networks, and may well fulfill every dream Jeff has ever had, except that it still won’t play dvds.

[Via Engadget and all kinds of other people.]

happy birthday jon

January 23rd, 2006


(ACT ONE: It’s dark, very early in the morning. JEFF kicks open door and bursts into JON’s room wearing a party hat and holding a CAKE.)

JEFF: HAPPY!

JEFF: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

JEFF: HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY — BIRTHDAY!!!

JON: (waking up) Wha?

JEFF: YOU’RE THE BIG…

JON: Good lord!

JEFF: BIRTHDAY BOY!

JON: Please don’t, you really don’t have to —

JEFF: (soft-shoe dancing, making JAZZ HAND with free hand) AND IT’S YOUR BIG DAY TODAY!

JON: How did you even get in here?

JEFF: ANYTHING YOU WANT IS OH SO POSSIBLE!

JON’S WIFE IRENA: (rubbing eyes) Baby, who is here?

JEFF: ANYTHING YOU DREAM IS EVEN PROBABLE!

JON: Oh my.

JEFF: (jumping up and down, arms pinwheeling) YOU’RE! THE!

JON: …

JEFF: BIG! STAR!

JON: Well, thank

JEFF: TOOOOOOOOOOODAY!

(JEFF ends with a frozen flourish on bended knee, smiling broadly, holding CAKE with one hand and waving JAZZ HAND with the other. There is silence. The CAKE slowly slides off the pan and onto the floor.)

JON: (climbing out of bed, clapping sarcastically) Bravo, Jeff, Bravo. (picks up towel draped over chair)

(JEFF continues smiling in same pose, nervously shifting eyes from side to side as JON leaves the room)

(ACT TWO: CUT to JON in the shower, eyes closed, hands cupped in front of face. JON rubs hands over face and through hair. The shower curtain is jerked violently to the side).

JEFF: BIRTHDAAYYYYY!!!!!!! BIRTHDAAYYYYY!!!!!!!

(JON jumps and screams girlishly)

— CUT to a visibly shaken JON in his parked car. He’s holding a travel mug in one hand. He takes a sip, closes his eyes and breathes heavily. He opens his eyes, somewhat relaxed and starts the car.

VOICE FROM RADIO: From NPR news in Washington, I’m JEFF HOBBS, WISHING JON KLEIN A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! HAAAAAAPPPPPPPPYYY BBBBBIIIIIRRR—

(JON reacts in panic and mashes the tuner buttons on the radio.)

[sound of radio tuning through static]

VOICE FROM RADIO: (echoing) W-A-Q-Z!! (Morning shock jock DJ voice) And now, back to Boston’s #1 morning radio crew (echoing) HOBBSIE AND THE PIRANA!

HOBBSIE and THE PIRANA (in unison): HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JON KLEIN OF 147 BOYLSTON STREET IN SOMERVILLE!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! HAAAAAAPPPPPPPPYYY—

(JON mashes radio buttons again. Visibly shaken, JON clutches wheel tightly with both hands and pulls out of parking space. JON approaches a 4-way intersection. A look of confusion forms on his face as he notices that the STOP sign has been replaced by a sign that says “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JON!!!!!1!!”. A panicked look comes across JON’s face as he rolls slowly into intersection. He looks up to see that the other stop signs at the 4-way intersection have similarly been replaced)

(Horn, screech of tires, crash)

— FADE TO BLACK

(Slowly, the faint beep of a heart rate monitor fades in. Slow fade in to the perspective of a patient on the operating table, surrounded by a team of doctors surgical masks, caps and gowns.)

JON: (wincing in pain) Whe—where am I?

(The surgical team yanks off face masks to reveal JEFF, IRINA, JENNIFER, JOSHUA, CARRIE, TUCKER, TUCKER’S MENNONITE BEARD, TUCKER’S WIFE, JON LAND, JILL, ADAM, STEVE, EVAN, KELSEY, JAIME, THE GUY FROM FOURTET, WILL OLDHAM, LEE SPECTOR and HOLIDAY MOLLY HARDISON)

SURGICAL TEAM: SURPRISE!!!

(commotion, miscellaneous shouts of “Happy Birthday”, “Hooray!”, etc. commotion continues for a few seconds and drops off to silence, except for the faint beeping of the heart rate monitor).

JEFF: (somber) You’ve lost an awful lot of blood.

— FADE TO BLACK

END

first act written by JEFF, second act written by JON

in praise of myspleen.net

January 23rd, 2006

I don’t know if the first rule of the unfortunately-titled myspleen.net is “Don’t talk about myspleen.com”, but just in case it is, I’m not going to directly link to them. You’re going to have to type the URL yourself — I hope you don’t break a finger or something, Judy Jetson. Anyway, the reason I bring the site up is that I think it’s got a commendable credo; it’s a torrent site, sure, but what sets it apart from the torrentcabana.orgs of the world is that there are no illegal torrents allowed on the site. At all.

That’s not to say it’s all 1930’s copies of “Popeye and Abbott & Costello vs. the Wolfman” or utter crap like that; there’s modern stuff on the site, but if you can buy it, you won’t find it linked. I think that’s an admirable philosophy. I found an excellent DVD of Zach Galifianakis’ old show “Late World with Zach” using the site, and the only reason it was on the site was that it’s not available for sale — apparently Zach ran out. And recently the oft-rumored 1970’s “Star Wars Christmas Special” was available on home-brewed DVD via the site*; a labor of love if ever there was one. Check it out.

UPDATE: OMFG Chris is so right. Article fixed.

~jeff

*which, by the way, turned out to be unbearably, toxically awful, and even friends with highly-developed resistances to irony and camp were forced to turn away from the screen in disbelief.

in praise of prana pants

January 23rd, 2006


At some point in every guy’s life, they reach a time in their “career” where it might behoove them to stop wearing jeans to work. And even if you work in a downtown loft with high ceilings, huge windows, and exposed brick walls, to which you bring your dog to sit bored near your feet whilst you slowly rotate on your Aeron chair, rubbing your sexily-stubbled chin, tapping your glass desk and peering down your thin rectangular spectacles at a 37″ flat-panel display — it still might be in your best interest to not to be sporting ripped and faded jeans every damn day of your professional life.

That’s where Prana pants come in. They are comfy, they are reasonably stylish, and they have lots of nifty pockets. But what they are not is important: they are not jeans, and what’s even more important — they are not Dockers. And most important on top of that: you can wear them to work and not feel like a khaki-wearing sell-out wanna-be business-guy douche.

~jeff

in praise of the new coke dispenser

January 22nd, 2006

the new improved coke dispenser

I love soda! and specifically I love “Coca-Cola Classic”. For years, however, each time I brought a 12-pack of Coke home I have been ragingly infuriated by the stunningly poor design of their cardboard dispenser refrigerator packaging. There has traditionally been a flimsy perforated tear away “dispenser” flap, but it’s located on the seam of the packaging; so each time you tear away the flap, a can of Coke would automatically pop out, as if to say, “Here. Have a can of Coke. Or have twelve, because I have ripped off entirely and now will dump 12 oz. cans of Coke all over your floor.”Well, my hundreds upon hundreds of angry and threatening late-night phone calls must have paid off, because with the advent of “Black Cherry Vanilla Coca-Cola”, they have redesigned the dispenser packaging. And I am happy to report that it does not, in fact, spray cans of Coke all over your fridge when you first open it. So: my life is incrementally better.

But about that “Black Cherry Vanilla Coca-Cola”; it tastes pretty much like how you’d think it would taste, as if someone took 50% “Cherry Coke” and 50% “Vanilla Coke” and shook them together. It does wind up being more pleasant than the sum of the base flavors, but it still has that slight non-alchoholic-rum-drink twinge like “Vanilla Coke” has, and in the end, is simply not as satisfying as just good ol’ “Coca-Cola Classic”.

~jeff

google campus tour

January 22nd, 2006

google tour

The guy from ABC news certainly is a tool — he can’t seem to get over the free food at the Google cafeteria, and honestly, how many times can the “hey, your office is full of toys!” conversation actually be interesting? — however, this Flash video is in fact a genuinely nifty look inside the Google campus.

~jeff