Monday, March 31, 2008

TED: Dave Eggers Talk

TED is an annual conference about ideas worth spreading, held in Monterey, California. TED started in 1984 and stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and Vagueness.

People get together and watch lectures (or "talks" if down "with" ""the"" """"""lingo""""""). Attendees get all excited about how inspiring this conference is, and how they're going to take those ideas and majorly change the world. In sum, it's totally like college but with fewer keg stands.

In 2005 TED introduced a prize portion where three individuals are each given $100,000 and granted a "wish to change the world." So far as I can tell, this is something like winning the MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, only 5 times smaller. One of the three winners this year was Dave Eggers.

Dave is best known for writing his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000). In it, Dave talks about becoming his 8-year-old brother's legal guardian at the age of 22, following the sudden deaths of their parents. Or perhaps Dave is best known for founding the publishing house McSweeney's. And being witty. And pulverizing Chuck Norris solely with his intellectual genius. So many accomplishments, I forget.

Anyway, Dave won and here he is presenting his idea worth sharing. The delivery in this talk is awesome. I was secretly afraid that Dave Eggers would only be funny on paper, but as it turns out he is also funny in person. I love this talk. It's super long by interwebs standards, but a totally worthwhile use of 24 minutes you were going to waste on YouTube anyway.



(From K.C.)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Indexed + Graphs Graphs Graphs


...

Indexed is a funny-graphs blog of astounding simplicity by Jessica Hagy. She posts a series of concept jokes, all presented visually on 3"x5" index cards. It's a charming success story as well, since Jessica managed to gain published fans and con a bona fide agent into publishing her blog as a book. Blogger Jason Kottke did a brief interview with her where commenters immediately asked about similarity between her work and Demetri Martin's. It's easy to see why.



Buuuuuut... it's a format, not a joke that can be stolen. Comedy graphs are unique enough to seem to suggest a signature, but still generic enough to be a genre. They are not so unique that they are "owned" by anyone, like unfunny watermellon-smashing and Leo Gallagher.

Successful comedy graphs are deceptively simple-looking. It is unnatural to look at these graphs and NOT think to yourself, "Self, I can do better." The result of this folly is thousands of mediocre graphs and 3 funny ones.

A few examples: Graphjam is a spin-off blog by the folks that brought you the lolcat blog, I Can Has Cheezburger? It's been mostly painful to click through. Jamphat graphs hip hop lyrics... and for the 80% of graphs that leave you staring blankly at the screen, you can click on the graph to see what song is being referenced. Because nothing is funnier than having a joke dissected and explained to you. NOTHING!

I suppose that's true of anything in life, though. The key to success is excessive production. Even you're good only 1% of the time, if you produce 1 million of something, eventually you'll end up with ten thousand good things. (Just remember to throw out the nine-hundred-ninety-thousand pieces of trash.)



P.S. Apologies for the excessive linking on this post. Let this be a lesson on how hard it is to find good content on the interwebs, and good luck finding the 3 funny ones.

(From M. L-Bear, Buzzfeed & my Google Skillz)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hometracked: Auto-Tune Abuse in Pop Music

Hometracked is a blog by Toronto Recording Producer and Engineer Des McKinney, where he covers the finer points of music producery and engineer-ery. Basically it's a blog for indie music-engineers (though I assume a large contingent of those readers are also indie-music engineers.)

The blog is full of confusing made-up words like "dither," and "reverb," and "is," as well as one awesomely lucid entry. This entry is called Auto-Tune Abuse in Pop Music. Auto-Tune is to music what Photoshop is to pictures.

You click on the playable mp3 up top and follow along with the text to see example after example of Auto-Tune abuse. The sound is uncannily familiar. It sounds like the singer is temporarily drowning. As Anil Dash explains:

[W]e've entered this brave new world of digital distortion of vocals [where] Auto-Tune isn't just correcting pitch, it's being used to arbitrarily alter them... Cher's "Believe"? Auto-Tune. Snoop's "Sensual Seduction"? Auto-Tune. And all of T-Pain's career? Auto-Tune.


If you have Garage Band you can play with this yourself by opening a vocal track under "real instruments", clicking on the scissors icon, setting the "Enhance Tuning" slider to max (wantonly disregarding the "Limit to Key" check box), and murdering your favorite song. Now please excuse me while I call T-Pain's agent and producer; I have an important career-starting business to attend to.
(From Buzzfeed)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Awful Plastic Surgery

Awful Plastic Surgery is a blog devoted to showcasing the good, the bad, and the ugly of celebrity plastic surgery. As far as website designs go, AwfulPlasticSurgery.com (APS) has been hit with the ugly stick. Repeatedly.

Actually, let's not mince words: it's been bludgeoned by a whole forest of grotesque sticks on its congenitally-deformed face. I guess it takes one to know one and indeed, ugliness this website knows.

But the content is fabulous. If you're wondering why a certain celebrity is looking a little bit off lately (or chronically), this is the go-to place. The author offers snarky opinions on what was probably done, complete with before-and-after comparison pictures.

Highlights include any entry about Tara Reid. Her stomach is so awful it warrants a disclaimer explaining the picture is not photoshopped: "her stomach really does look like rubber when it is in motion."

From the pithy captions you learn that bad boob jobs can occur when you don't have enough skin to hide the implants, as they will look like "the halves of a cantaloupe stuffed into the chest," and "there's going to be a big gap in the middle that you can drive a truck through." After browsing through its catalog, the savvy reader can spot a botched blepharoplasty, lip-collagen abuse and ridiculously rhinoplastic noses. It's like a free plastics fellowship without the hassles of "going to med school" or "learning"... A+ internet!
1. Bree Walker 2. Jocelyn "Cat Lady" Wildenstein 3. Michaela Romanini 4. Joan Rivers 5. Kiss Guy 6. Wacko Jacko

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Most Outrageous Moments

While this isn't meant to devolve into a "things that are funny on TV, but someone now put on the interwebs" blog, we like to live dangerously here at Today on the Interwebs. Hence, today's entry.

Most Outrageous Moments is a show that reminds you of all the funny parts of America's Funniest Videos, but skips over the hours of dull filler. These silly videos are guaranteed to drag a smirk out of the puddle of tears you call your life. And by yours I mean mine. Enjoy these 3 videos!

This first video is a cautionary tale about introducing technology to your elder relatives too soon:


Nothing I write could possibly explain this second video:



Finally, Internet people don't take anything seriously, which is why you should never count on them to help you. Case-in-point, this third video: Tech TV's Chris Pirillo was partly through his 18 hours of continuous, live, tech-help-related Call for Help-a-Thon when one burp sent him over the edge.

The unsuspecting caller (Justin from Madisonville, Kentucky!), tunes in mid-way through the laugh attack and logically gets the impression he (or his home town?) is being laughed at. Justin is audibly offended and confused, while Pirillo progressively makes matters worse.

Here's a partial transcript for those not fluent in chipmunk:
"BWAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAH--I'm sorry, Justin?"
"Yeah."
"Hi. ... what can I help you with?"
"Anyway, my question's about uh spam...on the Internet? For my email, I mean? "
" !!! "
"Hello?"
"I can hear you... I'm sorry, I've been doing this for way too long. I'm sorry. So you ... you had a question about the Internet?"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Muxtape


Muxtape is a website that allows you to make an online mix tape, by uploading up to 12 mp3s. Each mp3 can be up to 10 megabytes. That's it. It's really as simple as it sounds.

What you do with that link once you've created it is up to you and your browser. The beauty of Muxtape is its simplicity: no streamers, no training wheels, just function.

If you're still confused, try this sample SXSW 2008 Muxtape. (All with artists who okayed free distribution, according to one Paul Ford.)

Muxtape's layout smacks of Barak Obama is Your New Bicycle and other such giant-fonted, single-purpose websites. As with all things Interwebs, the longer it's been online the more bloated and useless it will become, until it morphs into one with MySpace. So please, enjoy this ephemeral simplicity while it lasts.

(From every website ever.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hema


Hema is a Dutch department store and acronym for Hollandse Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam, or "Dutch Standard Prices Company Amsterdam," according to Wikipedia. According to Babel Fish, this is better translated as "Dutch entity prices society Amsterdam." According to Today On The Interwebs, that's not even a real language. Anyway. All you need to know is that it's kind of like a European Muji. Just click on it. Then send it to your kid brother and then tell him he broke the Interwebs.



Runner up:
The Washing Machine Toilet. It reuses your dirty laundry water as a toilet water.

This project did not win at the The 2008 Greener Gadgets Design Competition but it's a winner in my heart. Judging was based on innovation, clarity of design, originality, form, presentation, and likelihood of scaring the crap out of your grandmother.

It's like the makers of the Wuzzles moved on from their 80s cartoon shenanigans and instead of making cartoons about butterfly-bears or elephant-kangaroos, they moved on to mixing appliances. I love it. Enjoy this blast-to-the past:


(From mom & BoingBoing)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Materialicious

Materialicious is a blog about architecture, design, craftsmanship, materials and products. In other words, pretty things that make your architect-friends drool. The author, Justin Anthony, lives in Phoenix, and favors design that is crisp, clean and simple. But more sturdily built than Ikea.

I hope.

PS: UPDATE on Stuff White People Like: The 2-month-old blog sold for over $350,000. Due to the dollar's steady decline in value, that comes to about 2 pesos.
(Via mefi and Buzzfeed.)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pixeloo

Pixeloo is a blog only 6 posts deep so far, built around 2 images. But the images are of such high quality that we'll make it today's most awesome thing on the interwebs today.

According to the super-brief profile, the Pixeloo author wishes to remain semi-anonymous, uses Photoshop professionally and a Wacom Intuos tablet, and enjoys a questionable shade of turquoise for a background.

The author Photoshopped Homer Simpson and Mario as they would appear in real-life. The textures have been gathered from a slew of pasty white men.

Behold Homer (The googly eyes are especially haunting in 3d.):

























Lo, Mario!
Is that a moustache, or did someone eat a fox?

Sweet nightmares, everyone!
PS: Happy Easter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Fail: the blog

You can practically hear the GUUUH in this picture. It's from Fail, a new blog devoted to lolcat-style macros depicting spectacular failures. The jury was out for a while there, but the jury is now in: failed is the new PWNED. The best pictures so far on the FAIL blog seem to be pwned macros that have been altered to say 'FAIL' in a desperate attempt to stay current. But they're still kind of funny. We can thank the folks over at 4chan for providing an endless supply of Internet slang.

After viewing a bunch of cutesy fails (Boyfriend Fail, Cycleway Fail, Who Needs Oil Fail) the truly new variations stand out (Pail, Failboat, All Aboard the Failroad), producing, on average, a higher guffaw-to-smirk ratio.

Not everyone is amused. Waxy weighs in unfavorably on the fail meme, stating that the meme is abused as a crutch for inarticulate Internet trolls:
I know many people who make stuff for the web, all of them very passionate about what they do. And every time I see a "FAIL" assigned to their work, it makes me sad. Yes, I know you're trying to be funny. But I'm starting to see a trend away from the funny, and towards the angry, bitchy, or mean. So please, mind yer words.


In other words: FAIL.

Padunk-chhh!
(From Wilmar)

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Shining Trailer, Recut

Ah yes, this internet classic. Back in 2005, Robert Ryang, then 25, was film editor’s assistant at P.S. 260, the post-production house with the dubious distinction of most annoying website on the intertubes today (not to be confused with the actual public school in Brooklyn).

Ryang entered and won a contest by the New York chapter of the Association of Independent Creative Editors. The contest asked budding editors to re-cut a trailer for any movie, provided the trailer was made into an entirely different genre than the original movie. Only the sound and dialogue could be modified, not the visuals.

The result is a brilliant take on Stanley Kubrick’s chef-d'oeuvre, “The Shining,” (1980). The horror film starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall became a feel-good family comedy, resplendent with Peter Gabriel's jangly-guitar ditty “Solsbury Hill."

The best part of the trailer is the final voice-over title. "Shining!" So warm and happy.

Ryang's trailer enjoyed its share of Internet-meme super stardom, and spawned a series of mash-ups. Seriously, did you click on that? Someone made a whole website devoted just to mash-ups. Oh Internet, how I love your ridiculous specialization. (Looks kind of forlorn though. Like that home fitness equipment you bought after New Year's that seemed like a totally great idea at the time, but only got used twice? Fatty. Okay fine, maybe that was just me. I digress.)

Ryang still edits, but his last effort seems to be "On the Road with Judas (2007)." He has since dropped of the face of the Internet, likely suspended in limbo, at the communications void where all your Cingular dropped calls go. So much for internet super stardom.

(Source: NY Times)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wooster Collective

The Wooster Collective, founded in 2001 and updated by Marc and Sara Schiller, is the blog-of-record for street art. Wooster is a street in New York City's SoHo (as well as how 'Worcestershire' was meant to be written), but the site shows street art from around the world.

Street art is art of the streets. However, it is distinguished from run-of-the-mill gang-related territorial graffiti, corporate branding, and angsty teenage vandalism by... common sense. You know it when you see it, and you'll see it at the Wooster Collective.

The blog covers all types of street art: wheatpasting, stickers, stencil graffiti, mosaic tiling, video projection and street installations. Personal highlights include the melty ice-cream truck of Adelaide, the invader descending upon Kathmandu, and the public service announcement, The City of Santa Ana Asks, 'Is Your Child a Tagger?' This last bit of PSA gold was clearly made by the infographic staff of The Onion. Or a dry, ironic tagger. Perhaps both.

The site's giant ugly Mac-inspired header should not prevent you from delving further. Despite its alleged 2001 founding, the archives only go back to 2003. However, the site's many links make a great jumping off point for street art on the interwebs. (Warning: following through on links will land you on the City of Santa Ana's watched-internaut list.)
(Street art by 1. Someone in Melbourne 2. Hannibal Vector 3. Mark Jenkins 4. Little People 5. 6emeia 6. Banksy)

(Sources: boingboing, Wikipedia, and Wikipedia)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mark Gaberman, On Why He Writes for Jeopardy














Mark Gaberman, On Why He Writes for Jeopardy. The writer's strike is long over, but it's a slow internet news day, so I'm posting this gem. It's cute and light and witty. Inspiring. Refreshing that Mark enjoys his job so much.

Then again, who wouldn't love being Alex's secret pupetter? Mark says:
I’ve had Alex Trebek rap Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice”—he had his mind on his money and his money on his mind that day. Did a category called “Death and Texas” just because I liked the title (and finding stuff about people dying and/or getting killed in Texas turned out to be remarkably easy).

Yay dream jobs.
via kottke

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Freakonomics Covers From Around the World


According to Freakonomics (2005) authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, their 320-page, 3-million-copies-sold book exceeded expectations by a factor of about 100. Clearly, it shouldn't have. If you roll into a editor's office and pitch a 3.2 page book, you're an arrogant bastard and you've set the bar too low. I digress.

The non-fiction book's wild success is due in part to clever marketing. Around the world, publishers chose different covers to suit local tastes. A quick stroll through Freakonomics Covers enlightens us as we judge cultures by their book covers. From the covers we can surmise that:

1. Serbians only eat organic, non-waxed apples.
2. Danish people eat ham, pass on green eggs.
3. French people are skinny because they don't eat at all.
4. Hungary's entire supply of scissors comes from the 1960s.
5. Indonesia has employed Sherlock Holmes to un-closet its tube-based paint supply.
6. Norway doesn't believe in consuming citrus fruits or apples, only phalluses.

(From kottke)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Six-Word SXSW Reviews


In the 1920s, Hemingway bet his colleagues $10 that he could write a complete story in just six words. His story: "For sale: Baby shoes, Never worn." They paid up.*

With this in mind (brevity, not miscarriages), Paul Ford of The Morning News reviewed 763 songs by musicians hoping to make it big at this year's South by Southwest (SXSW) interactive, film, and music festivals.

The result is music magic with German-like efficiency.
Six Word Reviews organizes, links, and rates songs for your aural pleasure. A quick stroll through the site let me know that "Canada is now one giant band," and that, while Ford enjoys Martha Wainright's “Bloody Mother F*ckin Assh*le” it on its own merits, he enjoys it more knowing that it will be difficult to use the song to sell Volkswagens.

Just for fun (and completeness!), of all the songs I clicked on with witty reviews or funny titles, here are the 6 most fun:
6. 'Small Town Banks', by The United Steel Workers of Montreal (Bluegrassy, fast. Bet they’re fun live.)
5. 'Esperan├ža' by Curumin (Why yes, ladies. I am Brazilian.)
4. 'Mentiras' by Grupo Fantasma (Latin jazz—fun for a while.)
3. 'Big Brother' by Mittens on Strings (This song could date my sister.)
2. 'Hush if You Must' by Brooke Waggoner (Big piano pop sound, with strings.)
1. 'Qxford' by Peel (I’d have gotten this from Oink.)

The only thing that could have made this heroic website better would be click-able column titles, so that you could sort by rating, artist, title, time, etc. Also, I disrespectfully disagree with the top-rating of Tanya Tagaq's "Origin." My gainsay stems from the well-founded suspicion that the track in question is actually a recording of two washboards mating; but then again, taste is taste. Also, I have been noted for not having any taste. Or ears. Or cultural awareness. On the whole though, the pithy reviews and clean presentation win me over, so... solid A. Good work, Internet.

______________
* I read this on Wikipedia, therefore it must be true.
**Happy St. Paddy's day!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hype Machine


If you haven't heard of The Hype Machine you have been living under a rock.

The site was made in 2005 by Anthony Volodkin. It conveniently aggregates music blog's mp3s in one search-able place. Just type in "Yael Naim" or "New Soul" to see what the latest Apple craze is all about.

The Front Page shows the newest mp3s that have been added to the music blogosphere, and the "Hyped" section shows the most searched for and most blogged about songs & artists.

Though The Hype Machine in no way condones this behavior, if you click on the cute pictures to the left of the results... it will take you to the blog entry which posted that mp3. Half the time the mp3 is still there, ready to be downloaded. Just an alt+click away. This is really dangerous. Someone should lock up the interblags and disallow such outrageous behavior.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

You Suck at Photoshop

So Donnie teaches Photoshop techniques in a YouTube series called You Suck at Photoshop. This series is really cool if you are familiar with Photoshop, and strange and depressing if you're not. Donnie is the abusive teacher you don't wish on anyone. The episodes all have a background story, usually involving cynical Donnie and his failing marriage, or life.


In episode 4 he puts up his wedding band for sale, while teaching you how to use paths masks.


My favorite part is episode 5 where he is trying to cut out a complex hammock from a white background. Donnie explains how you, little buddy, can take your juice box and Fruit Roll-Up and use the magic wand tool... he'll see you in 6 hours... or you can Photoshop like a real person and use the "select color range" option. So sardonic. So right.

My least favorite part are the constant Skype interruptions, where his buddy tries to get him to stop Photoshopping and start playing World of Warcraft. Also, the strange panting at the end which paints all sorts of weird images in the imagination. We get it, Donnie's a loser nerd. An often super annoying nerd.

Overall, a solid B. The Photoshop techniques are great. The stories are fun, short, interesting, but could use more judicious editing. Like this post.

If I were smart, I would have ended this post right there. But I can't. Basically, there is no way the following is interesting to anyone, and I suggest even the strong pace themselves. But I just can't stop the compulsion... must post all episodes... for completeness!!! Enjoy.

All the Episodes So Far:
YSAP 1 covers distort, warp, layer effects;
YSAP 2 is about covering your mistakes with the lasso, marquee, Gaussian blur, multiply, opacity tools;
YSAP 3 covers the clone stamp and manual cloning;
YSAP 4 is about paths and masks;
YSAP 5 deals with selecting color range;
YSAP 6 shows how to use the liquefy filter;
YSAP 7 is about the patch tool and levels;
YSAP 8 covers 3d layers.

From Andrew T.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Amateur Surgeon: the game


Amateur Surgeon is an incredibly addictive game from the Adult Swim website.

A pizza delivery boy performs back-alley surgery on miscreants and vagabonds, utilizing tools such as a pizza cutter as a scalpel, a Zippo lighter as a cautery probe, and staples as... staples.

The game becomes more fun after you start using shortcuts, (like using the keyboard numbers instead of the mouse to switch between surgical instruments) and after you get the hang of the corkscrew-anesthesia. For all the neurotic perfectionsts, you can go back later to try and improve your surgery grades (raise those D's and E's to A's).

Most exciting of all, they just opened the File 2 section of the game, which includes neurosurgery and more! File 3 is still "coming soon."

(From mefi)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hulu.com the original

It's official. After much lollygagging during the wee hours of the morning, NBC Universal and News Corp.'s foray into the interwebs, Hulu.com, has launched. For realz realz, not for play-play. No more beta.

I can even embed free content here. Check it:


Needless to say, I didn't do anything useful all day. According to the website, Hulu is "free and ad-supported — available anytime in the U.S.," though today it has been slower than a sleeping turtle. I guess it's akin to trying to buy a Cabbage Patch Doll in October of '83.

They have full length Simpsons and The Office episodes the morning after they air, assorted clips and a handful of full length movies.

So this now makes Open Hulu the talking paperclip of the Internet. The vermiform appendix of the interblags. The Kato Kaelin of the Intertubes.

We don't call it "TODAY" On The Interwebs for nothing folks.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stuff X People Like


Okay, this is spiraling out of control. First came Stuff White People Like (SWPL) by Christian Lander. This blog's popularity grew like brush fire, and has now spawned a litter of illegitimate copycat children.

SWPL is wonderfully irreverent insight on the lily white world of white people, written from a guide's point-of-view. It offers explanations as to why white people like things, and includes helpful tips on how to advance your standing with white people by saying—or not saying—the right things.

SWPL advises:
“White people like [Threadless.com] shirts so much because they are designed by white people, for white people. Sort of like a white FUBU... Also, asking a white person “where did you get that shirt?” will allow them to tell you a detailed story about how they acquired it. This will enable them to assert why their shirt has a higher ranking than yours and they won’t view you as a threat.”
(Entry #84, T-Shirts.)

Almost as great as the blog prose are the comments. Some are seething with indignation, and some with sycophantic mimicry. It’s not clear if the commentary authors are ironic geniuses or run-of-the-mill clodpoles.

But clearly, SWPL is not a serious blog, and it is not actually about white people. Generally, it’s a blog about nervous hipsters. There is nothing hipsters want more desperately than to be hip, and there is nothing more important to hipsters than to know what is hip before everyone else finds out. (And no better way to find out than by checking an obscure blog.) So SWPL dictates hip through a simple formula: not-white is cool, and by labeling things as white, they become not-cool. But not in a serious way.

The blog's blow is softened, because the guide shtick makes you feel like you're on the inside—even if you're not. Even if you like all the things listed, you can still appreciate the blog in an self-deprecating, ingratiating, ironic way. You’re in on the in-joke. It's totally a blog for white people. Or hipsters, regardless of race. Everyone can compare the blog’s stereotypes with their reality. It’s supposed to be funny.

In Hip: The History, John Leland tries define hip: "Through its changes, hip maintains some constants: a dance between black and white; a love of the outsider; a straddle of high and low culture; a grimy sense of nobility; language that means more than it says" (pg 10). SWPL is totally hip.

There is a glaring difference between SWPL and the spin offs, though. SWPL is fascinating because it's unexpected. It (very tongue-in-cheek) challenges white privilege by assigning stereotypes to the previously un-stereotyped norm. It is written in an "other's" point of view. It directs pot-shots at young hipsters, by labeling their favorite things as predictable, trite, and thus not-cool.


SWPL’s copycats tackle other issues:

Stuff White Trash People Like.
(Because not all white people are the same)

Stuff Educated Black People People Like.
(Because not all rich people are the same.)

Stuff Asian People Like.
(Just because.)


According to NPR, SWPL's "critics charge that the list is racist, stereotypical, and conflates race with economic status" (See "'Stuff White People Like' Hits a Nerve). According to Lander in that same interview, don’t be such a buzz kill.

The White Trash blog tackles class, while the Asian and Educated Black blog actually, rather than purportedly, tackle race. But they also complicate things. Clearly, it’s okay to poke fun at the hegemon. But when is it okay to laugh at the less-powerful? When are you making fun of stereotypes, and when are you perpetuating them? The whole phenomenon is uncomfortable, and fascinating.

(From my friends TJ, G., M./L-Bear, & Google.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Midomi


Midomi is like the chicken that eats your earworms. When you have an unknown song stuck in your head, you can sing or hum into your microphone, and Midomi does an audio search for you.

The downside is that it's kind of user-powered, meaning that other people have to upload audio files of themselves murdering your favorite songs for the site to work. The more content Midomi has, the more accurate the search engine gets.

So far I got it to find "I Got You Under My Skin" and "Sleigh Ride." Apparently, those two ditties sound an awful lot like Chinese Pop tunes, which make up half the Midomi database.

It's really exciting because while we have great text-search through the likes of Google, and okay image search, this the first audio search available on the interwebs. (I'll pass on the olfactory search... Or the tactile search... I digress.) So it's the first, and understandably leaves some to be desired. As I see it, I wouldn't jump on today's freeways with a Model T Ford, but I'm glad it was built and tested.

Overall... C+ Internets.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Map: Area Codes in Which Ludacris Claims to Have Hoes



Ludacris' Alleged Ho Distribution Chart. This is exactly what it sounds like. Strange Maps is a blog devoted to cute and quirky maps—and now this latest entry. It was only a matter of time someone charted Ludacris' telephonic exploits. The author's apologetic note accompanying the map makes this the most awesome thing on the Internet today. Of note in this ground-breaking infographic:

1) There is a ‘ho belt‘ phenomenon nearly synonymous with the ‘Bible Belt’.
2) Ludacris’s ideal ‘ho-highway’ would be I-95.
3) Ludacris has hoes in the entire state of Maryland.

(From Strangemaps via metafilter)


Runner up:
Cool Jazz Guitar ice swizzle stick. I resisted putting this item as today's winner link because it's a lone commercial item. I mean, if I'm going to advertise things, I want a cut. Alas, I am not getting a cut, and it came very very close to winning. Useless? Yes. Gimmicky? Yes. Impossibly rad? YES.

(From Willow, via Clusterflock via kottke)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Internet Commenter Business Meeting

Today on the internets: nothing interesting was added. Again. So we're reverting to this classic College Humor video parodying the idionauts running amok on every message board evar. Remember to set your clocks forward an hour and enjoy.



(From College Humor)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Open Hulu

Hulu.com is an exclusive, invitation-only, beta-version NBC-and-News-Corporation website where you can watch TV on the interwebs.

OpenHulu.com is a free-for-all that copied all of the Hulu content and put it up for the world to see.

It's like The Hulk smashed Hulu's secret lock to smithereens. And then posted all its content on the interwebs for free.

TV on the Internet is nothing new. Sites like these have sprung up like sores on a whore for a few years now: there was allfg.org, alluc.org, peekvid.com... Where are they now, you ask?

Actually, they're still there. I speak of them in the past tense because visually, they are dead to me. It's a sad fact of the interwebs: anything older than 6 months starts to bloat, each day looking more and more like MySpace (case in point: BookFace).

Clogged and clunky, Open Hulu is no exception: the layout is awk-sauce, the ads are annoying, but overall the site works. It's not that bad yet. For those of you who tuned out during the writer's strike, it's perfect for catching up on your shows before new episodes begin in earnest. You can watch anything from Family Guy to Buffy to Hitchcock.

(To Battlestar Gallactica. But why would you?! Please keep that one to yourself, nerd-o-nauts.)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Annuale. Once a year. Period.

Today on the internet: this video is more TV than internet, but everyone knows the two media systems are slowly converging into one self-cognizant, attention-gripping being. That's good enough rationale to post here.

Winter 2008 was the first time SNL was sort of funny again, thanks to Tina Fey's contributions. Tina Fey is a woman of many talents: in addition to writing and starring in 30 Rock, Mean Girls, and "Mom Jeans: the commercial," she can also single-handedly deliver electoral votes in Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

So please: go to a store, buy a hat, and get ready to hold the $*@# onto it. Then watch this video.

(From nbc.com & my friend Xtina)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Photoshop Disasters

Today on the internet, metafilter found a fired photo-editor's dream blog: Photoshop Disasters. It is devoted entirely to nitpicking awful photoshop jobs.

Between Demetrius (Hook) Mitchell's head-severing dunk, Ann Coulter's hGH-deformed hand, and the finger nubbin on the FHM model, this is internet gold.

To date, the site is only 12 posts deep so we'll knock it down a letter grade. B+, internet. B+.

(From metafilter)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Blog on the Interblag

Every day, the interwebs is filled with an interminable supply of crap and one cool thing. Like a jet-powered bloodhound, this blog seeks out and posts that one thing.

On occasion, nothing interesting is added to the internets. In that case, something old is posted.

Today is one of those days.
























(From xkcd.com/181/)