Archive for September, 2006

you have cr4xk3d my 455

September 30th, 2006

OhPleaseNo. The last thing I need right now is another web comic to fall in love with. Especially a geeky one.

But I really. Can’t*. Stop. Reading these

*And by can’t I mean, Carrie, I just found this one, extraspecially for you.

this is not funny.

September 29th, 2006

Constitution, revised

When I was in school, there were two things that I was told made America the best country in the world: we’d never waged a war on anyone aggressively (which was already easily debatable at the time, but still actually debatable and not a transparent lie) and you couldn’t be imprisoned without the due process of arrest, accusation, speedy trial, and conviction.

We were told that this is because the Constitution of the United States is a flexible but inviolable document subject to representative review and judicial interpretation that stemmed from that due process.

So, let’s take count:

  • Unjust, unprovoked, and morally bankrupt war? You betcha.
  • Lack of due process? Holy shit.

So, this is designed to get terrorists, right? And does it define what a terrorist is, and how we can make sure that we’ve got one when we do?

Well, we’re not allowed to know.

(posted also to Monkey Do, Monkey See.)

marmaduke, explained

September 27th, 2006


Joe Mathlete Explains Today’s Maramaduke.

~jeff

litany of cellular sins

September 26th, 2006


Cell Phones? Hell Phones!” is the worst title I’ve read in a while, but the author of this piece certainly nails exactly what is so very, very wrong with cell phone culture.~jeff

ubuntu t-shirts

September 23rd, 2006


Hey! I took a screen printing class. And one of my first decent designs was a monochromatic rendition of the Ubuntu Linux logo that you can see above.

I think the design came out quite nice; I made myself a couple shirts of various colors — the green/black logo and brown/yellow logo came out the best — and so I was wondering: would anyone be interested in buying one of these? I have a very small economy of scale here, so pricing would have to be at the microbrew level like Panic’s (awesome) t-shirts, like $19 for the shirt, $6 for the s/h. Obviously a portion of each sale would be donated to the Ubuntu project.

So: any interest? If so, comment below or email me; if there’s enough interest I’ll put up an online store.

~jeff

internet phenomena revue edition #1: stitch and bitch

September 22nd, 2006

Limecat

Guess what everybody. Last year something interesting happened on the internet. And did you know, three years before that, something really really cool was going around?

Welcome to my series on belated Internet Phenomena. I have the incredible power of discovering fascinating things on the internet that everyone has known about for quite some time.

So, without further ado (it’s like Barnum and Bailey’s over here with all the introducing), I introduce to you something I just discovered and love.* As I recently took up knitting, you can understand my deep and instantaneous and probably very lasting love of Squid Hat. I am also very impressed by the Diegestive System, but I can tell a project of that scope is too involved for me. I’m not going to even try to talk about the Penis Cozy with you people.

Until next time on the internet revue, see you on myspace!

*It was on boingboing in October 2005!

current tv and yahoo video

September 20th, 2006


Today, Yahoo and Current TV announced a new partnership, with Current TV providing content to Yahoo’s snazzy new video service. The site is a combination of viewer submitted and professional work, all broken up into four channels: Action, Driver, Traveler, and Buzz.One of the first pieces to go live is this follow up of the “Numa Numa” kid.

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(Disclosure: I work at Current TV, and know a lot of the very talented people who have been working to bring this project live.)

internet phenomena: an anarcho-dyadic process of liminal social misuse*

September 20th, 2006

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We, as technologically endowed human beings, have learned that the internet makes people type fast, spell badly, and call each other Nazis. We have also discovered the cultural gem called the internet phenomenon. They are consistently as sophisticated as a fart joke. I say all this so you can know the depth of passion I have for the things. I am totally usually completely taken with internet phenomena from the moment I discover them (usually one to five years after they’ve been popular) until long after they’ve died, putrefied, and turned back into the digital ether whence they came. It’s really just my undying love for internet phenomena that make me want to do this, but I’m going to pretend that there is some sort of sociological value in an attempt to review them all.

With this in mind, I bring you: Internet Phenomena Revue!!!!one!

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*This has no meaning. Those interested can avail themselves of the Omen’s Hampshire Div III title generator button (lower right corner).

the future of sitting around

September 17th, 2006


It’s 2006, and America is furiously nesting. The less often we have to leave the comfort of our overstuffed couches and our 5.1 surround-sound systems and HDTVs, the better. To this end, our technology and media companies are working overtime to allow us to couch-surf our way to morbid obesity; it won’t be long until the notion of visiting a physical store like Blockbuster or Target to rent or buy albums or movies will be as outdated as churning your own butter. The future of media is online and ultra-convenient.

Twenty years ago, sharing music or videos with friends and family was quite a pain; audio and VHS cassettes took as long to make a single copy as they did to watch, and the dubbing itself was a painstaking process. But today, with the advent of CD/DVD burners and iPods, downloadable digital media file formats such as mp3, combined with the rise in availability of high-speed Internet connections, media sharing has gotten much quicker and easier. For music, Internet users can visit online music shops like the iTunes Music Store to purchase downloadable singles or entire albums with a single click. Music fans can even opt to sign up for for music subscription services such as Napster and Yahoo Music; services which, for a monthly fee, allow access to thousands upon thousands of songs. The catch? If you stop paying your subscription fee, all the music goes away. So far the subscription-based model has not proven as successful as the iTunes purchase-based model — to date, iTunes has sold over a billion and a half songs. It turns out music lovers want to own their music, even if it is just a file on their hard drive.

Up until very recently, full-length TV shows or movies were difficult to find on the internet; to date, most internet video has been limited to smaller, shorter clips on video sharing sites such as the popular YouTube. However, Google and Apple have started to offer television shows for purchase and download at $1.99 a show, and Amazon has recently unveiled a new “Unboxed” service which allows customers to purchase or rent full-length movies over the Internet. But the catch here is that none of these services allow users to burn their purchased video to a DVD, so viewing the video is arttificially constrained to either watching on the computer (unfun!, as chances are your computer is not located in your living room), a Microsoft “Media Center” PC (expensive!) or via the tiny screen of a portable device (squinty!). Apple’s upcoming media center, codenamed “iTV” has perhaps the most potential; it wirelessly shifts your all movies and music from your PC or Mac to any television in the house, but it won’t be ready for market until early 2007.

Of course, not all music and video floating around on the Internet is legally purchased. Some media seekers instead opt to download “peer-to-peer” sharing programs like Limewire (PC), Acquisition (Mac), or BitTorrent (available for both PC and Mac), all of which use technology that allows users to share their songs or videos with a few thousand total strangers. BitTorrent in particular is ruthlessly efficient at data delivery; as the more people choose to join and a share in a “torrent” download, the faster everyone’s download goes — completely the opposite of what normally happens when thousands of users try to download the same file. And although BitTorrent started out as every movie studio’s nightmare, not every studio wishes it would go away, and instead, some are embracing it: Warner Brothers has recently announced plans to sell their movies using the BitTorrent protocol, and there are rumors that other studios may follow. One nerdly technical detail: most video floating around on the internet is in “DivX” format, which can only be played on your computer or via a special DivX-enabled DVD player, such as the inexpensive Philips DVP642 DVD player ($50 from Amazon).

At this point in the article, it should probably be noted that illegally downloading music or video is in fact illegal and comes with a potential price; files being publicly shared over the Internet are easily traced back to the users sharing them, and as such the Recording Industry Association of America (or the “RIAA”) has recently begun to set their lawyers loose on people who have been caught illegally sharing files. To date, the average cost of an out-of-court settlement with the RIAA has been about $3,000; a tidy sum of cash that could have been used to fill up a shopping cart full of used CDs several hundred times over.

However, as legitimate and legal options for media downloading begin to gain in viability, the convenience of easy, single-click purchases are likely to win out over the hassle and danger of black-market trading. So, get ready to put your feet up, grab the remote, and click “download”; in the very near future, your media will be coming to you.

~jeff

NOTE: This article will be/was originally published in the alt-monthly “Local Buzz”, Oct. 2006. That’s why it’s written in a different “tone” than I usually use and curiously devoid of links. Links don’t translate well on paper.

artificial life screensaver for windows [beta]

September 14th, 2006

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Who likes beta-testing software? The author of breve (me) has just made a beta available of his breveCreatures screensaver for Windows. breveCreatures is a screensaver featuring the evolution of physically simulated virtual creatures on your desktop

He (I) would greatly appreciate any feedback you can provide!

internett, baby

September 12th, 2006

Hatt baby, hatt baby.

Oh how I love the Hatt-Baby phenom that swept the world in 2000. Arabic mistranslated/transferred into Swedish may be better even than Engrish. And I hear there’s a Swedish drinking game involved as well.

I hope this has whet your appetite for the INTERNET PHENOMENON REVUE coming soon to an internet near you…

ask ldopa: collar stays

September 11th, 2006

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Dear ldopa,

Sadly, I no longer have a job where it’s acceptable to every day wear ripped t-shirts and camouflage shorts. Thus, I have bought some nice shirts. However, as soon as I purchased the nice shirts, seconds after at my estimation, I lost the collar stays (the little plastic things that “stay” in the “collar”, you know — collar stays).

Where can I buy some of these suckers? Grocery store seems to be a big no.

Thanks,

~jeff

ask ldopa: itunes library auto updating

September 10th, 2006

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I was wondering if y’all had a good way to get itunes to act more like a music server. Want I really want, is for it to auto update the iTunes music library folder, and update the library according. Either the library itself, or, a watch folder that it checks, and move the files according into the library, or copies them and then labels them (using finder labels or something like that).

Or am I trying to push iTunes too far, and is there an iTunes compatible solution that’s vastly better? Ideas?

~ jesse

have it your way

September 10th, 2006


If you haven’t heard this yet, check it out — a woman calls 911 because her Western Bacon Cheeseburger wasn’t quite being made her way. It’s hilarious, and Snopes has a run down and the transcript as well.

~jeff

nps map pictographs

September 9th, 2006


Very clean vector line art symbols and pictographs available for download right from the National Parks Department. Use them to clearly mark the hiking trails and boat launches in your apartment.

~jeff