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21 April, 2003

Accidents Happen

Here's another excellent animated GIF from b3ta.com.

Posted on 21 April, 2003

This House Is Wired

This house, in The Netherlands, is wired up and lots of data is displayed on the web. You can see data on toilet flushes, doorbell rings, refrigerator door opening and closing, and lots of other things.

The data is aggregated, and shown in charts. For example, here's a chart that shows the average toilet flushes by hour of the day. The curve is pretty much exactly what I would expect -- assuming, of course, that I spent any time thinking about toilet flush distributions.

(Thanks Jeroen)

Posted on 21 April, 2003

POP Clocks

Up-to-the-second population estimates for the U.S. and for the world. The information shown below is not up-to-date. Use it as a point of reference to see how the U.S. population has grown.

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Wacky Input Devices

Extreme Tech provides a look at some alternative keyboards and mice.

Currently, computer users don't have much choice in keyboard design. Just about every computer comes factory equipped with a standard flat QWERTY keyboard. Since keyboard design has virtually stagnated over the last few years, the expectations for change have also stagnated. Nowadays, most computer users are woe to trade in their "old reliable" for something new. Well, by the end if this series of articles you may be singing a new tune.

(via Boing Boing)

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Delayed Mail

Send an email that will be delivered in the future. Pricing varies, depending on the delay. For example, it will cost $45 to send a email that will be delivered in 2047. You can specify a delay time up to 97 years. And their FAQ provides an answer to the burning question:

Q) What will happen when e-mail no longer exists?

A) It is delayedmail.com's mission to keep an independent storage archive that will always be accessible no matter what form e-mail takes in the future.

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Microsoft Bloggers

Mary Jo Foley has compiled a list of Microsoft employees who write blogs. Like any collection of blogs, some are good and some are very boring. I didn't look at them all, but I didn't notice anybody from the MS Office group.

One thing is rather odd, however. Beth Goza seems to be using a keyboard that lacks a Shift key. Man, you'd think she'd be able to get a good deal on a working keyboard.

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Lessons From a Spammer

This is from an article titled, For SPAM, subject line is key. Laura Betterly, a well-know spammer, has some words of advice:

Betterly said coming up with subject lines for unsolicited commercial e-mails, known as SPAM, is an art form. "Fancy footwork is needed, because you want the person to think they must open the e-mail," she said... Betterly said it can take three days or more to come up with a subject line that is enticing and appropriate for the product, and which will elude all the filters people are using. "I've had to take exclamation points as well as certain key words like 'free' out of my vocabulary," she said.

Laura must be one of the world's greatest intellects to come up with such a clever scheme. Hey Laura, people don't want to receive your crap, and they make a special effort to avoid receiving it. And they resent the fact that you work so hard hard to make it look like your crap is an actual email.

But Laura Betterly is a direct marketing pro. She knows that trickery is the best way to attract customers.

Betterly said subject lines should to include a bit of mystery to persuade people to open the message. For example, a recent subject line she created for an e-mail making a jewelry offer said only: "Jewelry?"

Wow, this lady is certain to win a marketing award!

She never falsifies messages or writes anything that makes her uncomfortable, Betterly insisted

Yeah, sure. Fact is, one can't believe a single word uttered by someone who makes their living as a spammer.

You can read more about this marketing genius in this Wall Street Journal article from last year.

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Brittle Bones

This site has some very weird images.

Unfortunately, the site design is a complete mystery -- typical of many "art" sites. For some reason, many art site designers take great pride in making their sites impossible to navigate. And, for those of us who use a high resolution monitor, the text is completely illegible. Therefore, I have no idea what it's all about. But I do like the imagery.

(via Milk and Cookies)

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Another Mouse Chaser

Here's another one of the Flash apps that chases your mouse cursor. In the case, the chaser resembles a dead body. Or maybe not. I'm not sure.

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Voice Mail Wisdom

I can relate to this. Jennifer Bishop offers some good advice: Nobody Cares Why You Didn't Answer Your Phone.

Her five rules for creating a voice mail outgoing message:

  1. This is not an open-mic forum for you to discuss the minutia of your life.

  2. Do not state the fact that you can't come to the phone.

  3. It is not necessary to list the various scenarios that may have led to your not being able to come to the phone.

  4. We know what to do at the beep.

  5. Record a message [don't use a computerized voice].

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Photographic Emoticons

Justin wasn't satisfied with those stupid smiley face emoticons, so he made his own -- 16 of 'em to be exact.


Posted on 21 April, 2003

Scientology or Tabloid Journalism?

Here's a quick test:

Read each quote, and try to determine if it's from one of L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology texts or from the Weekly World News (a supermarket tabloid.)

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Bullet-Proof Cars

Like most people, you're probably considering the purchase of a bullet-proof car. Black Armor might be able to help. For example, you can buy a bullet-proofed Jeep Grand Cherokee for about $95,000.

Using the latest space age material available, we completely disassemble this NEW vehicle , install armor components, beef up suspension and reassemble the vehicle so that it looks and handles like it did before armoring. It is delivered to you complete in about 60 days, with a global satellite voice communication system.

This vehicle has Level IIIA protection (see Ballistic Resistance Chart).

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Scanning Dead Bugs

Incredible images from Gordon Coale.

I started these as a lark but they are just too interesting. I place them on the scanner glass and scan at 2400dpi, which is the optical resolution of the scanner. These are all a work in progress.

The amount of detail in these images is amazing. The image shown here is greatly reduced, and it is not at all representative of the actual images.

Gordon's interests are not limited to scanning insects. He also has a gallery of photographs, maintains a  weblog, and he does a weekly live music webcast called Testing Testing.

Posted on 21 April, 2003

Belly Art

Here's an artist who uses bellies as a canvas. Pregnant women, of course, work best.

Bellyart started in 1999 when I decorated the belly of my girlfriend, Shannon Armstrong, into a globe and a basketball. When I saw how much joy Shannon and other got out of looking at these pictures, I started Bellyart.

Posted on 21 April, 2003