Noosifixes spotted in the wild!

The still unfinished masterpiece, The Pains, is already having a n impact on our culture, as evinced by this John Galliano fashion show, complete with models wearing nooses. Nooses! What could be more trendy? OK, maybe the knitted penis-gourds that they mentioned, but that’s probably just the thought of having a nice toasty penis-gourd on a cold and frosty New England morning.

Read The Pains now, and it’ll make you far more fashionable!

Microsoft Patents a System to Tell if You're Using a Microsoft Product

Ars Technica
has a report about a Microsoft patent application that is supposed to detect user frustration. The patent wording (as with most patents) is obscure and difficult to decipher. They’ve probably spent a huge chunk of money on the research… but I could have given them an exceedingly simple algorithm to detect user frustration:

Allow me to demonstrate in pseudo-code:

if ( == “Microsoft”) Then {
user.isFrustrated = true;

A more serious discussion, after the break.

Continue reading

Yes, they'll probably wipe us all out… but they look cool!

An industrial designer has taken a shot at designing some nanobots:

These are apparently going to be used in a film, and are (for now) just 3D rendered images. Not sure how realistic these really are… but they really do have that sleek semi-consumer electronic, quasi dangerous look about them. Sorta like a cross between the Terminator and a Robosapien.

How to Steal an Election

There’s been a lot of talk recently about electronic voting machines and the potential for fraud. To bring home just how serious this issue is, the always excellent Ars Technica has a chilling how-to guide on how to steal an election using electronic ballot machines. So simple, even a neocon could do it!

It amazes me how we’ve suddenly gone from a system that, while it may have its faults and has been abused in the past, at least is somewhat open. People would be able to stand at the polls and watch what was going on, and perhaps catch any fraud red-handed. In going to these electronic voting machines that do not leave any sort of audit trail, we have in effect, handed over the security of our democratic institutions to a private company. If we went to the average voter and said “hey, we’d like to hire this company that will collect and tabulate the all of the ballots in our election. You won’t be able to see what goes on within their company… you won’t be able to look at the ballots yourself… you’ll just have to accept whatever they say is the result of the election” I think most people would think it’s a lousy idea.

My ranting about the entire situation after the jump.

Continue reading

War on the consumer: The DVD War

Businessweek has
this article
about the new DVD standards, which will come locked down with new, onerous Digital Rights Management restrictions. It’s a good overview of how new consumer electronica are being designed to basically protect big corporations from the consumers who buy them.

One point that the article really misses, though, is how DRM isn’t really aimed at pirates, despite all of the entertainment industry’s protests to the contrary. Instead, the only real purpose of this technology is to force you to pay multiple times for same content. Want to watch a movie on your TV? Great! Buy the DVD. Want to watch it on your iPod? Well, here you go, buy it at iTunes. Want that music you downloaded from iTunes as your phone’s ringtone? Cough up more dough. What’s that you say? Fair use? Well, according to the past head of the MPAA, it doesn’t exist.

On a brighter note, Ars Technica has a profile of some of the good guys in the music industry: Emusic. Emusic is a digital music subscription service with no strings attached. No DRM, no limited playlists, no nothing. Just high-quality MP3’s that are compatible with just about all of the digital music players out there. It is interesting to note that they chose to be DRM free not because of any idealism, but because of a sound business decision. They wanted the maximum possible customer base for their product, so they selected the format that is most universal. And they seem to be making money at it, too. I signed up a few months ago, and I have to say I’m a happy customer.

Chevy: Giving You the Tools to Mock Them

As a promotion of their new godawful planet-destroying SUV, Chevy gave us, the humble web denizens a chance to sing their praises by stitching together our own commercials selling their product. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, funny thing about web denizens… they tend not to do what you like.

As reported by Total Tactics some people are saying some unkind things about Chevy’s new behemoth.

Not to feel left out, I’ve added my own humble effort.