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Celebrity monument photoshopping

Today on Worth1000's photoshopping contest: future monuments to celebrities. Link

Airtexting: a heckler's dream-feature

Joi Ito has a good blog entry about Nokia's new "Airtexting" feature in the 3220 handsets: a string of LEDs down the side of the phone spell out user-defined words when the phone is waved back and forth. Joi ponders the heckling applications:
If they made an airtexting enabled BlackBerry, I wonder if they would allow them in Congress. With the massive penetration of BlackBerries, it would be like a chorus of Hecklebots. Anyway, I want one. Forget night clubs, imaging having one in the audience during talks.
Link

Geek showerhead generates electricity for tiny lightbulb inside

showerheadNifty showerhead has built-in electricity generator.
Water enters the shower head through the flow resrictor (1) then travels through the injector plate (2) which directs the water to the waterwheel (3). The water spins the magnetic waterwheel past the stator (4) of the field wincing (5). This hydroelectric generator develops the 2.5 volts at .31 amps which lights the PR-6 bulb.
The result? "The Showerstar will be sure to light up your evenings as the perfect addition to any romantic setting." I doubt it. The kind of person who would buy one of these would probably prefer taking a voltmeter into the shower than a partner. Link (Thanks, Simon!)

The problem with contextual advertising

Great musings on contextual advertising by John Battelle. He says that they aren't all they're cracked up to be because the advertiser has no control on where the ads will show up, and so they can have a real relationship with the audience, or the publisher, for that matter.
It's this relationship which I find entirely missing in all these contextual, behavioral, paid search networks. Sure, they are "relevant" to either a search, or to the content they match. But they are driven by metadata and the actions of only one of the parties - the content of the publisher for example (AdSense), or the actions of the audience (Claria, Revenue Science, Tacoda, etc.). As far as I know, none are driven by an understanding of the give-and-take that occurs between all three parties in a consensual relationship mediated by the publication. A site which has only AdSense or behavioral advertising fails to value (or monetize) the community connection between audience, publisher, and advertiser. Advertisers in these networks are not intentionally supporting the publication, and by extension they are not supporting the community the publication has created. In essence, they are not being good citizens of the community where their advertising is being displayed.
Link

Japanese Uniforms Book

officeladyWhen I went to Japan a couple of weeks ago, I kind of became obsessed with the uniforms everybody wears there. My friend Todd let me know about a series of Japanese uniform books that J-List sells, like this "Office Lady Uniform Pictorial Book Part 1":
For fans of the sailor uniform books, here's a "Chinkame" format photobook (pocket-sized) photobook of the beautiful uniforms of Japan's OLs (office ladies) -- those dedicated to serving tea and working on copy machines across the country. A super full-color publication documenting the cutest blazers, skirts, outfits and different uniform styles as introduced to you by the hottest current race queens. Famous uniforms of famous companies (NTT Docomo, Seibu Bus Company, BMW, etc) from across the country, with information on the style of the uniform as well as the girl modeling it. This is volume 1 a perfect bound, soft cover book that will look great on your coffee table
Link

Notes from Tokyo Technorati Meetup

When I was in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago, I exchanged email with Sid, a nice guy who recently moved from the US to Tokyo. Here's his report of a Technorati meetup in Tokyo, which has some interesting statistics:
I just moved to Tokyo and saw on Joi Ito's site that he and Dave Sifry, Technorati CEO, were putting on a "Technorati Meetup" on Thursday night at the Marinouchi Building, so I decided to go. It was a fun time, I learned a lot, and they had free Wi-Fi (a rarity in Tokyo), so I was able to update several programs real fast.

Here are some notes from Dave's talk (which Joi translated, although Dave speaks Japanese).

Technorati tracks 2.4 million blogs.

45% haven't posted in three months.

Around 200,000 new blogs are created daily.

About 7 minutes after someone posts a new entry it's indexed by Technorati and searchable

Sifry says blogs are striving for authority, as defined by how many people link to you when you write about things. You may not write the truth or even be correct, but if you're interesting people link to you.

He sees bloggers as commentators on the news and filters on the news, rather than replacing the news ... though blogs are giving big media sites a run for their money on hits and attention (as seen on a chart of hits).

Technorati has an active developers' site with several bindings and sample code of the program for people to use and mutate on their own. "Because if there's one thing I know, it's that you guys are all smarter than me," Sifry says.

An example is a program Joi wrote to send SMS to his phone when someone links to his site. It vibrates every time somebody links to him (and he encourages frequent linking).

Future directions for Technorati: Open reviews, subscribe to keywords and Cosmos filters, discovery & filtering of subscription lists, vote links and geographic search & filtering, which is hard because people have to put in GPS coordinates (applies more to phone blogging). There currently are 11,000 blogs in the geographic database.

John Shirley reports from BayCon

John Shirley wrote a good, funny report about going to BayCon.
...what's new (to me) is the presence of more goths and rave-types, and parties in dark rooms where the beds are pushed together and the walls are draped in black velvet under black-lights and electronica thumps...And DJs playing goth dance music...What would Poul Anderson have thought? He'd have liked those topless girls with their breasts painted up, though...
Link

William Hung sings at a Jays game

William Hung is the nerdy Hong Kong-born engineering student who had a disastrous and very brave appearance on American Idol. The video of that audition made him into a net-celeb, and landed him a record deal, despite his off-key singing (his disc has sold over 100,000 copies!). His latest gig was singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at a Blue Jays game:
Hung's presence brought a gaggle of media usually indifferent to baseball to the game, including staff from Rolling Stone magazine. A team official said more media credentials were issued Sunday than on opening day.
Link

I'm nominated for the Sunburst Award!

My short story collection, A Place So Foreign and Eight More, has been shortlisted for the Sunburst Award, a juried prize that goes to the best Canadian science fiction book each year. I am pleased as PUNCH. Link

Adrian Mole: the text-adventure game

The Adrian Mole books are my all-time favorite English kids' books. When I was in junior high and high-school, they were practically Bibles to my friends and me -- we could quote whole long passages of them Imagine my delight when I found out this week that there was a text-adventure game based on them for the Commodore 64, and that the game is now downloadable froplay on your favorite C64 emulator. Link

Gadget fits inside bugle, plays music for you.

bugleElectronic bugle implant makes it so you don't have to learn the instrument in order "play" it.
The device ... slides snugly deep into the bugle's bell. The device plays a high-quality recorded version of “Taps,” taken from the 1999 Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetery. The resonating tones inside the bugle create a realistic horn quality.
And here's a related article:
"Facing critical shortage of musicians for military funerals, the Pentagon has approved the use of a push-button bugle that plays taps by itself as the player holds it to his lips"

..."With a small digital recording devise inserted into each bugle's bell, a member of the honor guard at the funeral simply presses a button on the devise. A five-second delay give the guards time to raise the instrument to their lips as if they are going to play it"

Link (Thanks, Simon!)

Mark and Vaughn Bode in the NYT

The NY Times has a good piece about Mark Bode's plans to complete his father's comic epic, The Lizard of Oz. (I posted something about this on Thursday.) Link

Guestblogger Russ Kick interviewed on NPR

BoingBoing guestblogger Russ Kick (yep, that's him over in the right-hand column!) was recently interviewed for the NPR media analysis show 'On the Media" about freedom of information -- and your power to use it. Link to archived show in Real Audio. Transcript should be available on Tuesday. (Thanks, Jeremy)

Bollywood ad takeover, part three: Peugot ad, and TV ad satire index

BoingBoing reader Manish Vij points us to his list of Bollywood-themed TV advertisements for western products, which includes a popular ad for Peugot.

Manish's website includes terrific liner notes -- for instance, pointers on where to download copies of songs you hear in the ads. And here's his capsule review for "Jabhi Khushi Tabhi Tennent's" (8.9 MB), shown at left: "Ad for Tennent's, a UK beer. A "Mulit" derivative. Boy meets girl, complications, climax (so to speak) and denouement in sixty neat seconds. Catchy music. Rajasthan. Pigeons. No elephants."
Link to Peugot ad, and alternate link; Link to "TV Satires on India"; Previous BoingBoing posts on Bollywood spoof ads: 1, 2

Harry Potter cinemas outfitted with night-scopes

The new Harry Potter movie is out in the UK and the cinemas are filled with minimum-wage ushers with night-scopes to hunt-and-destroy people videotaping the flick. I'm seeing it this morning at Leicester Square, and I plan on taking a flash photo of the copyright warning, as is my wont. Wonder if they'll deport me?
Staff at the Vue will be "very discreet" with their potentially frightening cyclopean attachments, Mr Graham said, but action against offenders would be swift.

Much like the battered young wizards on screen, who are constantly being whirled about by baddies, pirates will be "hauled out of their seats and reported straight away to the police".

Link (Thanks, Diane!)