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11 March, 2003

Share Bogus Music Files, Earn Big Bucks!

A company called Covenant is recruiting people to place bogus music files into shared peer-to-peer directories. They call it "revolutionizing the music industry."

And they have a sense of humor:

  • Win thousands of dollars for doing jack!
  • Winning a ton of cash can be stressful and/or useless if you are Amish.
  • Enough jibbah jabbah. Sign Up Now! and start winning money for your sordid trip to Vegas

Actually, it's all pitched as a game. From their disclaimer:

CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY A CHALLENGE ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE GAME IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH CHALLENGE ENTRANT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

Posted on 11 March, 2003

Whole Wheat Radio

Yesterday I received an email from Jim Kloss, who runs a tiny 24-hour per day webcast known as Whole Wheat Radio. Jim (somehow) found this blog, and asked for permission to use some of the material on his webcast. I tuned in to check it out, and I've been listening ever since.

Whole Wheat Radio is a non-commercial venture, of course. You'll hear a wide variety of good music from independent artists, a modest amount of entertaining talk, and a few spoof ads thrown in for good measure. Maybe I've just been lucky, but I haven't heard a single song that I disliked.

The number of listeners is very small -- typically fewer than 12 people at any given time (their bandwidth supports a maximum of 30). If you access the web site while you listen, you can take part in an ongoing chat and even have your words transmitted over the "air" via a synthesized voice.

Whole Wheat Radio originates from a 12 x 12 foot cabin in Talkeetna, Alaska.

Talkeetna is a small community located about 14 miles down a spur road off the Parks Highway, 258 miles from Fairbanks and 99 miles from Anchorage. You can walk around Talkeetna (population about 400) on foot and don't need to drive at all while there.

Find out more about Whole Wheat Radio's philosophy (and view some photos) here:

We aren't a 'professional' radio station - we're down-home, creative, personal, opinionated, artistic, honest, flawed, human, and real. We don't take ourselves too seriously and hope listeners don't either. We try to be humorous and laugh at ourselves. We support things like organic gardening, worldwide peace and tolerance, free-speech without fear, and simple living with minimal focus on consumerism. The bizarre little clips you hear between songs is a reflection of that. Our motto is: "Changing Radio - One Listener At A Time."

If all this sounds appealing to you, check it out. But don't everybody go at once!

Posted on 11 March, 2003

Good News For Lotus Improv Fans

A few months ago I wrote a brief piece on Lotus Improv -- a multidimensional financial modeling package that, for some applications, served as a good alternative to a traditional spreadsheet. Improv never really caught on, and has long been discontinued.

A company called Quantrix is working on a new Improv-like product. Unfortunately, their web site has no details on the software, which is scheduled for release later this year. You can, however, apply to be in their beta program.

Posted on 11 March, 2003

Rubik's Cube Art

This site features art created from Rubik's cubes. The images range from simple patterns created with a single cube, to complex multi-cube creations.

The image shown here, for example, is comprised of 104 cubes.

Posted on 11 March, 2003

The Gallery of Forgotten Girlie Mags

Nothing to be ashamed of. Studying these old magazines is really studying pop culture history.

After Playboy's immediate success in 1953 (which was due, in part, to its simple expansion of Esquire's format with nude girls), a flurry of imitators hit the racks. For all the talk of '50s-era sexual repression, there sure were a lot of skin rags -- n fact, far more than exist today. While most offered weak content and poor execution, several titles really did make a go of it with quality graphic design and photography

Posted on 11 March, 2003

Oodles Of Olive Oyl

I've always thought of Olive Oyl as a minor supporting character for the true star: Popeye. But others, apparently, hold a different view of Ms. Oyl.

In fact, there are quite a few web sites devoted to this unshapely chick. One of the best is called Oodles of Olive Oyl.

Among the highlights:

  • Find out how Famous Studios transformed Olive into a romantic lead
  • Is It weird to have a crush on an animated character?
  • A film-by-film look at why Olive is more than just a pretty face
  • Lots of lists focusing on various aspects of Olive Oyl, including top "Beautiful Moments" with pictures!

Posted on 11 March, 2003

Saddam Hussein's Blog

It's not likely that Hussein has the time these days to maintain a web log. So this joke site will have to do.

Posted on 11 March, 2003

Virtual Freak Show

The Virtual Freak Show site has a cause:

Freaks Are Not Politically Correct and Can't Work as Freaks in All States because of Civil Rights Thinking... "Sensitive People" Don't Want People to Be Able to Watch Freaks for Entertainment... The Result? Freaks are Out of Work. And they are mad.

Posted on 11 March, 2003

The National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery, housed at the Smithsonian Institution

...provides a stage for George Washington and Martin Luther King, for Marilyn Monroe and Babe Ruth, among thousands of others, to share with us who they were and what they mean to us.

They have quite a few online exhibitions, including a collection of head shot illustrations from the Wall Street Journal.

Posted on 11 March, 2003

The Toaster Museum

The Toaster Museum is not just a museum, it's a foundation.

...much can be learned about cultures through the examination of everyday items and we have a unique opportunity to gather some fascinating artifacts from the 20th Century before they become lost to history. For the history of the toaster is the history of 20th Century Cultural Trends and Industrial Design ... a more emotional response is that they are fascinating, funky and fun, demonstrate the better side of human ingenuity, and simply uplift one's spirits!

This site is pretty much the final word on toaster and toasting.

Posted on 11 March, 2003

More Etch-a-Sketch Stuff

For some reason, there is no dearth of Etch-a-Sketch material on the Web. Brian Veara sent me an informative link that shows how an Etch-a-Sketch works.

Warning: The site shows some gruesome photos of a dismembered Etch-a-Sketch. Not for the squeamish.

Posted on 11 March, 2003

Microsoft's CRM Software Sends Spam-Like Emails

Last month Microsoft released a new software product to help small businesses manage customer relationships. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the product has a serious flaw:

E-mail messages sent through Microsoft CRM contain a subject line with a cryptic mix of numbers and letters. Some Microsoft customers worry that the messages bear too strong a resemblance to spam.

Jeremy Whiteley, chief executive of Promarketing Gear in Bellevue, Wash., said the spam filters used by some of his customers are set up to block any e-mail containing random strings of letters or numbers in the subject line. Even if they do manage to get through, messages with a jumble of code in the subject line "look extremely unprofessional and confusing to my less tech-savvy clients,'' Whiteley wrote.

Surely, Microsoft has the resources to provide a quick fix for this problem. Not quite. According to Microsoft, it will take at least 12 months.

Whiteley said he was refunded the $7,000 he spent on the product, on condition that he didn't talk about the problem further.

Posted on 11 March, 2003