Tuesday, February 27, 2001
Here in the UK, people appear to be obsessed with achieving the perfect synthesis of potato, oil, salt, and bizarre flavours. Until the Oxford Guide to Crisps
is published (no anticipated release date yet), you'll have to make do with this site
Monday, February 26, 2001
Call me Jeremiah, but I can't imagine that significant numbers of people will actually re-learn how to type, just so that they can use a device like this one
Saturday, February 24, 2001
I love the idea of anonymous correspondence. It operates entirely outside the classical power matrix and can restore agency to just about anyone. That's why I'm linking to JustATip
, a site that allows users to send e-mail without a trail leading back to the sender. Now mind you, I still wouldn't want to get an e-mail telling me that I had horrendous body odour.
In one parallel universe
, a young author named Jean-Paul Sartre published a book called Huîtres Clos
Thursday, February 22, 2001
Apparently, Stevie Nicks designed the newest iMacs
Tuesday, February 20, 2001
Almost every non-academic article I've ever searched for has been here
. They have excellent archives, and plus it's all free!
Sunday, February 18, 2001
Something has gone horribly, horribly wrong
That's it. At my next dinner party, I'm serving madeleines and asking my guests to complete The Proust Questionnaire
Saturday, February 17, 2001
If you think your relationship has problems, this site
will make you feel all better. Honestly now, nail scissors?
Friday, February 16, 2001
Got steganography? Some very bright people
have figured out an excellent way of disguising short messages as e-mail spam. Try this neat little example I've created for you:
1) Go to this site
and highlight the entire message (including the extra space at the end of the message), then copy it to your clipboard (Crtl-C).
2) Now, go to spammimic's decoding page
and paste the text (Ctrl-V) into the 'decode' box.
3) A message from me should emerge...
Thursday, February 15, 2001
If you're in need of a few good (or at least, new) fonts, try here
. Both sites offer loads of downloadable fonts, most of them for free
There are slip-ups, and then there are slip-ups
Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Tuesday, February 13, 2001
First came the marketing juggernaut of The Matrix
, which included an awe-inspiring website
. Then came the jaw-droppingly clever artist who reconstructed the entire Matrix
website (images, movie clips, and all), using only ASCII characters
Do a little side-by-side comparison by watching a theatrical trailer from the original website
, followed by its ASCII counterpart
is Gertrude Stein's most precarious card-house of an essay, but it's brilliant. It's also too tricky to read on a screen, so print it.
Anyone for a snack
? No need to actually go anywhere for food; what you've got in the house is nutritious enough, thank you.
Monday, February 12, 2001
Imagine not having to remember a password ever again. Instead, you just have to remember five faces
. That's the idea behind realuser.com's new Passface system. It's very secure (I calculated that there's only a 0.002% chance of a hacker randomly picking your particular five faces) and more than that, it's fun. Sign up (it's free) and try it out!
Sunday, February 11, 2001
Good grief. Did all of these people
really come from Oxfordshire? My favorite is No. 17.
Saturday, February 10, 2001
For the language fetishist in all of us, there's this astounding visual thesaurus
. You enter a word into the text box at the bottom and watch as an Alexander Calder-esque mobile of words assembles itself right before your eyes. The mouse rotates each word-synonym construct around on a 3-D axis. Go ahead, try it. I'll even give you a word to try out: otiose
's panegyric to Chelsea Clinton
makes me wonder if there's a single person who doesn't like her.
*Ring* *Ring* 'Caller=FALLOPIA'
Friday, February 09, 2001
Very little excites me as much as an excellent bottle of wine at a ridiculously low price. Here's one that is absolutely worth trying
(and it's still cheap when you add in the shipping costs!)
The most evolved dessert in the world is the Rice Krispie treat. Here to guide you through the tortuous recipe is, well, a sock monkey
Thursday, February 08, 2001
What is interesting isn't so much that Harvard has a problem with grade inflation
-- many universities and colleges do-- it is that Harvey Mansfield thinks that it's due to the admission of black students. Lovely.
Remember po-faced Stacey from 'Survivor'? She's suing CBS
, alleging that the show was fixed from the start. Jump a little higher Stacey, maybe you'll reach those grapes eventually.
Wednesday, February 07, 2001
Perhaps we should all think twice about keeping important e-mails stored in our Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail accounts. I bet this type of e-mail debacle
will happen many more times...
Tuesday, February 06, 2001
I love how publishers fancy themselves to be the ultimate arbiters of literary taste. Read why they want to keep Xlibris at bay
Last August, Digimarc sent me a free (yep!) web camera that they said would allow me to explore the new interface between print media and the web. The idea here is that I'd hold up a magazine ad in front of the camera whenever I felt so moved, and I'd be automatically transported to the company's website. The reality-- it didn't work. I spent an hour displaying the back cover of Wired to the little camera, and got bupkis.
Well, now they've moved on to take-out coffee cups
Monday, February 05, 2001
If you had to guess which US metropolitan area had the biggest concentration of advanced-degree graduates (post-Bachelor's), what would it be?I bet you're wrong
A few years ago, it was all the rage to have a 'secret page' on your website. The problem was (and still is) that search engines can pick up these pages because of the way they trawl methodically through the web. Don't believe me? Check this out
(And why are so many secret pages dedicated to cat photos?)
A modern-day take on Hester Prynne
Sunday, February 04, 2001
How far should a researcher go to gather data? Is it acceptable to lie to subjects, if the potential benefits of doing so are high enough? Should you play along when your subjects behave badly, to bring yourself more into their fold? This excellent article
from Lingua Franca
highlights some of these thorny problems in doing qualitative research. It's a long article, but well worth the effort.
I admit that I'd love to have a new Titanium Powerbook G4, but not as much as this guy
and interactive Welsh maps that bleat at you
... that's just some of what urban75.org's Useless Games Gallery
has in store for you. Really useless, but really fun. (Thanks to Matt for the link!)
Yes, they charge a punitive television licensing fee (£109/year), but the BBC still has the best news around.
Finding the link to their World Service Summary is next to impossible on their website, so I've done it for you. Just click here
, and remember that you'll need RealPlayer
to hear it.
You'll need sound to really appreciate it, but this site is solely responsible for my singing the Jigglypuff
song for the past year.
Keep at it for a while-- there's an entire user-controllable orchestra that comes in when Jigglypuff rings the doorbell.
I also think they've done a fantastic
job using Flash.
Call it meta-blogging or supra-linking, but I'm listing Plastic.com
here, even though I don't like their policy of scoring each comment made about every single story. Honestly, I can't fathom having that much time.
That said, the content is usually excellent.
Saturday, February 03, 2001
Why is Popstars
so compelling? Well, their website is astounding, at least. Be sure to check out the clips of the people who didn't make the show... some are truly shameful.
All the more interesting from a power discourse standpoint, especially the claims to knowledge of Nasty Nigel
Eliza is a computer-simulated analyst, sort of an e-Lucy to your Charlie Brown.
Kevin Fox took Eliza and stuck her on AOL Instant Messenger-- see what ensued
Try a taste of this
, mate. Mmm...