DaVinci's notebooks, a page a day

Matt Webb is a real Renaissance geek, and as such he's too busy to actually read the great and defining works fo the Renaissance, such as DaVinci's imposing 1,565-page Notebooks. At least not all in one gulp. So Matt's poured all of the Notebooks (scarfed from the Project Gutenberg site) into a script that sends out one page a day as RSS. This is not unlike Phil Gyford's Page-a-Day-Pepys'-Diary thing. Link (via Kottke)

Tokyo shop windows

Wonderful gallery of Tokyo shop-window displays. God I wanna go to Tokyo. Link (via Waxy)

Law-and-Order-inspired art

Law and Order: Artistic Intent is a collection of fine art pieces inspired by the Law and Order franchise. Which reminds me of the Law and Order song, as written by the WELL's inestimable tpy:

Law and Order's on
Time for Law and Order
Law and Order's on
Time for Law and Order
Lenny was a drunk
Now he beats up pu-unks
Law and Order's on
Time for Law and Order

Link (Thanks, Mitch)

Bollywood spoof ads, continued: mullet pseudo-history

BoingBoing reader Chris points us to this blast from the online past:

"Another corporate '70s Bollywood spoof, this time by Absolut Vodka. ~10 minute film, made in 2002, filmed in India. It's a Bollywood pseudohistory of the mullet. Entertaining enough story (a little long...) - but really well-crafted, with awesome songs and dancing. Low-level product placement - no actual bottles or mention of vodka - but the familiar Absolut shape makes subtle appearances."

The film's hilarious, but -- OMGWTF! Do my own eyes betray me? Look closely at the faux promo poster screengrabbed at left. Is the male lead in Absolut Mulit not wearing a shirt with the exact same pink vomit print that Vivek Oberoi wears in the aforementioned Vanilla Coke Bollywood ad? Perhaps this is a secret, ironic reference to pink vomit couture featured in a real Bollywood film -- and I'm not enough of an Indian cinema buff to get the joke. If any intrepid BoingBoing readers know the answer, do tell.
Link to Absolut Mulit (Flash required), more background on the making of the 12-minute short in this 2003 issue of Fast Company magazine (scroll down to bottom of page).

Update: Reader Manish Vij says, "My brother and I found over 20 Absolut bottle shapes in the Absolut Bollywood parody! They cut the scenes at high speed so you can't tell unless you look carefully. Someone really had fun with this. Go frame by frame in the film. You can grab the play arrow in the QuickTime player and watch it at your own speed." Link to Manish's bottle deconstruction.

Update 2: Regarding the pink shirt enigma, Simon Fodden of Toronto replies, I can't tell you about the vomit pattern, but pink is no big deal in India, for men and for women. Diana Vreeland famously said (back in '62) that pink is "the navy blue of India." And "Pinky" is a name (more of a pet name, really) that both men and women choose or are given. Heck, one Pinky N. Patel got his name (along with a million others) put on the NASA Stardust spacecraft."

Bollywood Vanilla Coke ad which kicks ass

BoingBoing reader Vishal points us to a spectacularly cheesy Indian TV ad starring yet another one of my future husbands (look, any fella who eschews SMS for pigeon as preferred love-note carrier is alright by me).

Vishal says, "This Ad is really popular in India, and I was surprised to find that the good people at Coke have it online too (RealPlayer). It features one of the hottest young actors in Bollywood, Vivek Oberoi, and features many in-jokes to '70s Bollywood films (note, especially, the lightbulb dress in the 3rd segment, a direct lift from a classic 70's movie)."

Footnote to menswear trendwatchers: take a tip from Vivek, at left -- pink vomit prints are the new black.

Update: BoingBoing reader Berklee totally harshes my mellow by saying, "Excellent choice for a future husband, but you'll have to wait until he's done with Aishwarya Rai, I'm afraid. Meanwhile, I recommend [a 2002 film starring Oberoi titled] Company. Go rent it (or download it) and enjoy this un-Bollywood-like gangster-movie!"

NYT: E-Voting will only work if it's open source

A thought-provoking piece on cures for e-voting woes, from today's New York Times
Electronic voting has much to offer, but will we ever be able to trust these buggy machines? Yes, we will -- but only if we adopt the techniques of the ''open source'' geeks.

One reason it's difficult to trust the voting software of companies like Diebold is that the source code remains a trade secret. A few federally approved software experts are allowed to examine the code and verify that it works as intended, and in some cases, states are allowed to keep a copy in escrow. But the public has no access, and this is troublesome. When the Diebold source code was accidentally posted online last year, a computer-science professor looked at it and found it was dangerously hackable. Diebold may have fixed its bugs, but since the firm won't share the code publicly, there's no way of knowing. Just trust us, the company says.


Porn art-remixes part deux: Safe For Work

Those French "pornotuning" remixes aren't the first time someone with a pinch of snark and a penchant for pr0n got jiggy with Photoshop. For instance, this somethingawful riff from a couple of years back: "Make Porn Work-Safe." Results included the bizarre goatse-esque mashup shown here, which suggests a rollicking three-way between Man Ray, Terry Richardson, and Betty Crocker. BoingBoing reader Phil points us to the archived gallery and says, "Basically, they hacked pornopix just enough to make them (at least theoretically) safe for work."


Along the lines of Semacode, another "use your phonecam as a meatspace remote control" project -- Spotcode. Developer Anil Madhavapeddy says:
I've been working on some software that lets you use your existing camera phone as a virtual mouse by locking onto tags and physically rotating it around and so on. It's most easily explained by checking out the videos. In particular, the volume control one (MPEG) is fun.
Link (Also spotted on Warren Ellis' blog)

French art-remixes of porn photos

From France (natch), "pornotuning" -- odd little visual remixes of hardcore porn images. Sexually explicit, not worksafe.
Link (merçi, Jean-Luc)

Audio tour of the MacPlus

Patrick sez, "Digging through his cassette tapes last weekend, this guy came across 'Macintosh Plus: A Guided Tour' and decided he should archive it onto CD for posterity (being a pack rat by nature). It's especially interesting in that it gives a good glimpse of the level of user education necessary at that point in Computer History: it patiently goes over how to interact with icons, how to use the mouse, etc..."
Put the floppy disk into the internal disk drive. Put it in with the metal end first...and the label up. Push it all the way in.
"For a real today-meets-yesterday experience, throw this on your iPod." 4.6MB MP3 Link

Ukioye Flash animations

Flash animations of Ukiyoe prints. This one, screengrabbed here, is my favorite.
Link (via Geisha)

NOTCON: cheap, fun tech conference in London on June 6

I'm speaking Sunday week (June 6) at NOTCON, an NTK-sponsored tech/politics/culture conference in London. Also on the bill: Brewster Kahle, Bill Thompson, Richard Jones, and many others. Four quid at the door, and if it's anything like the Festival of Inappropriate Technology, it's going to be a scream. Link

Update: Danny adds, "the full price is four quid, but there's a quid off if you're a blogger (and not already under 18, a student, unemployed, a journalist, an old age pensioner, or any combination of the above). what more reason do you need to finally kick up that livejournal account and start selected your 'mood'?"

Massively multiplayer thumbwrestling

Last week in Vienna, I attended Monochrom's first-ever massively multiplayer thumbwrestling competition. Now the Monochromers have posted detailed descriptions for running your won MMTW events.
By forming a star, it is also possible to play the game with three or four participants. The left hands are also free to hook up with even more players. Again a connection with up to 4 players is possible. By Massive Thumb-Wrestling according to the rules described above unlimited amounts of players can connect to join a Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling Network. As the number of players is unlimited, global thumb-wrestling may emerge through self-sustaining peer-to-peer networks and ad-hoc socializing.
Link (Thanks, Johannes!)

Free copies from Canon copiers

On Kuro5hin, a good how-to for hacking Canon copiers at copy-shops to give you free copies -- and to get them to do fun stuff.
The copy machines you are using are configured in a certain way to use a coin operated slot, key card, or service key (such as those that Kinkos has). Through an interesting "feature" in the firmware, if the copy machine is configured to accept coins or keys, and no machine is hooked up for this, it will give copies for free. Unfortunately, this isn't as helpful as it sounds; anyone with a remedial amount of intelligence who wants to get free copies will try unplugging the instrument first and foremost. As such, it is often impossible without a service key to unplug the apparatus.

Fortunately, there is a work-around. Go into "Service Mode" (using star-2 and 8-star), and push the "Option" tab. Underneath it, push "Acc". A new menu will pop up. Hit the "Coin" button, and enter "0" on the keypad. Once you are done, hit "Enter" or "Apply" (you MUST do this after you change any field; otherwise it will reset the next button you push). Once you are done, hit reset until you are on the main screen. Voila - free copies!


Saving Phone Messages as a Living Memorial

The most sublime, beautiful radio segment just aired on the NPR show "Day to Day" (I'm a contributor to the show, but had nothing to do with this piece). You can replay the audio online (Real or WM). I laughed, I cried, I blogged. Synopsis:
The month of May marks the two-year anniversary of the death of Dmae Roberts' mother. Every 100 days, Dmae re-saves her phone messages from her voicemail as sort of a living memorial -- and she shares some of those messages with Day to Day.
Link to online audio from NPR's "Day to Day" (scroll down for direct audio link), and Link to transcript of Dmae Roberts' report, audio and discussion boards at stories1st.org