All entries for Friday 14 July 2006

July 14, 2006

Heat Vision and Jack

Writing about web page

What if I told you that there was a TV series starring Jack Black as a super–intelligent renegade astronaut and Owen Wilson as the voice of his talking motorcycle? If I added that the villain of the show was played by Ron Silver playing himself as a dual–identity bad guy and that the whole thing was written by Ben Stiller, well, I'm pretty sure you'd want to see it, right? I mean, talking motorcycle? Owen Wilson? Jack Black? If you aren't the least bit curious about what it would be like then modern culture has passed you by and you should move along.

If you haven't moved along, here's the 30 minute pilot. Enjoy: it's clearly the greatest pilot ever made, with easily the best opening credits of all time. Oh, and Mat, if you're reading this, cancel your vacation, come back and implement the [media] keyword right now so I can have this piece of wonderment here on my blog so that people can gaze in awe upon it.

And remember: it's okay to be frightened, aroused, or even entertained.

Hot or not CAPTCHA

Follow-up to CAPTCHAs from Autology: John Dale's blog

A while ago I wrote about CAPTCHAs – tests designed to prove that you're a human being, not a script running on a computer whose purpose is to flood your blog with comments advertising sundry undesirable wares.

I've just found a new one: Hot or Not CAPTCHA and it's astonishing: you're shown nine pictures of people (of the gender of your choice) and picking out the three, er, hot ones proves that you're human, not a computer. It's a mashup of the web site Am I hot or not?; it works by picking nine pictures from that site, six of which have been scored low and three of which have been scored high. You might think that there would be room for interpretation, that your choices might differ from the aggregate, but in my limited testing of it, I picked the intended three five times out of five. I'd be interested to hear if anyone (genuinely) fails the test by failing to identify the intended three.

Adults and MySpace

Writing about web page

Excellent essay by Stephen Downes on the real versus perceived dangers of sites such as MySpace, and what might constitute a proportionate response.

After all, if a grown man came to a school playground and started swearing and drinking and making lewd remarks, we would react by removing the adult, not by preventing children from accessing the park.

Thoughtful and measured, as always.

1500 eighties videos

Writing about web page

Oh dear. 1500 videos, and not a single one of them has aged well. (Disclaimer: this hypothesis based on only a small random sample. Counter–examples welcome.)

It's just a front–end on to YouTube, but it's a very convenient way to review the entire, um, corpus of the decade.

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