Unicorn Chaser: John Hodgman Spamasterpiece Theater Bloopers

If it's Friday, and, why, yes it is, it's time for a Unicorn Chaser on Boing Boing tv. Today: SPAMASTERPIECE THEATER bloopers, out-takes, and oblique lulz from the amazing John Hodgman, minor television personality and author of More Information Than You Require (Amazon link). Direct MP4 Link, if you prefer download.

Update: proof they are the REAL THING.

(BBtv) Stormtrooping Akihabara: Silicon Valley meets Tokyo meets Star Wars meets Sexy Maids / feat. Joi Ito + Danny Choo

I hope you are sitting down when you hit "play." Joi Ito, the host of today's special Boing Boing tv episode from Tokyo, explains what you're about to witness:

This year, the Digital Garage New Context Conference and Ellen Levy's Silicon Valley Connect worked together on a program for visitors from Silicon Valley to Tokyo. Silicon Valley Connect is a program that Ellen runs which brings executives and visionaries from Silicon Valley to various parts of the world. This year, we organized a group to visit Japan.

As part of the "cultural program" we decided to take a tour of Akihabara, the mecca of all things otaku, anime and electronic in Japan. I asked a very special friend, Danny Choo, son of the famous shoe designer Jimmy Choo, to lead the tour. I call Danny "The Prince of Akihabara". He is one of the world's experts on Japan's otaku culture and has one of the most popular English language websites about Japan.

One of his favorite things is to dress up as a storm trooper and spread his love and happiness in Akihabara. He is often accompanied by his side-kick Darth Vader, played by Hector Garcia who also has a super-popular blog about Japan. (Danny on CNN talking about this hobby of his.)

When I talked to Xeni Jardin about this, we decided that this might make a good Boing Boing TV episode... and I think we were right.

Thanks to everyone who participated and helped.

Participants from Silicon Valley included Ellen Levy (LinkedIn), Ken Glidewell, Loic Le Meur (Seesmic), Geraldine Le Meur (Le Web), bunnie Huang (Chumby), Jean-Marie Hullot (Fotonauts), Matt Flannery (Kiva), Julie Hanna Farris (SocialText) and Chamath Palihapitiya (Facebook).

Update: Danny "Prince of Akihabara" Choo has blogged his thoughts about the stormtroopin' hijinx on dannychoo.com. He has a wonderful photo gallery from the tour here.

BBtv: Bill Barminski video for "Surfer's Point," by SubAtomic Nixons

We interrupt our regularly scheduled weekly programming (Brandon from Offworld is taking the week off from Boing Boing tv duties) to bring you a short, sweet, retro-tastic little video from Bill Barminski, one of our favorite filmmakers and multimedia artists. This piece is a music video for his music side project, the SubAtomic Nixons. Direct MP4 download here (Duration:00:01:32). You can view previous BBtv episodes featuring his work right here.

(BBtv) Boing Boing Gadgets: Freestyle Audio Soundwave Underwater MP3 Player (naked video review)

A career milestone for Joel Johnson on Boing Boing tv -- his very first shower scene. The naked gadget reviewer explains:

What hath videoblogging wrought? It is my honor and personal shame to present my video review of the Freestyle Audio Soundwave underwater MP3 player. Using the miracle of not showing you my junk, this is my first nude videoblog, but remains safe for work. Except for my dancing, which if everything goes to plan, will induce crippling nausea.

If you'd like a direct download – I'm looking at you, my furry fanbase – then here is a direct MP4 link.

Might I suggest you wander on over to the viewer comment thread on Boing Boing Gadgets blog, where the words "cheapish," "fap," and "natural urge to want to see the entire shot" have recently been typed? And don't worry, I swear the video is totally worksafe. Also, the ending is quite funny, so do stick around for that.

Boing Boing tv Update: Econopocalypse, Julie Amero, Holiday Gifts, Mumbai.

Embedded above, and in glorious technicolor downloadable MP4 here: this week's Boing Boing update on Boing Boing tv.

We begin with a video chat about O'Reilly Media cofounder DALE DOUGHERTY's guestblog post on why television networks, including CNN, seem to be struggling to cover "The Economic Panic." Why is the current "this great-or-not-so great depression" such a difficult story for TV? Dale believes part of the challenge is that it's big, slow-moving, and abstract. There are no videogenic focal points, no crash scenes or hurricanes for which to don yellow jumpers, no perp mugshots (well, okay, there was this, video here.). We're also in the middle of "a peculiar period inbetween an election and an inauguration," Dale says -- more from him in today's video review, and don't miss the comment thread on the post, either.

Next, we speak with JULIE AMERO, the 41-year old Connecticut schoolteacher accused of showing porn to students on a classroom computer when a computer with malware displayed popup windows with sexual content.

Last week, she accepted a misdemeanor plea deal to avoid felony charges, despite proof she was innocent, and that her case was mishandled. The deal allows her to avoid a previously-imposed jail sentence, but means she has to surrender her teaching credentials. A forensic report showed Amero was not responsible for the infection of porn pop-up windows on the PC in question. There is also ample proof that the school district's IT manager, detectives and prosecutors misled the court.

Here's last week's post by Rob at Boing Boing Gadgets about the plea bargain reached in her case, and here are earlier Boing Boing posts by Mark, starting back in 2007: one, two, three, four, five. I'll be posting the full audio and transcript of our phone interview this week on boingboing.net.

Also in today's BB Update: my co-blogger Cory has been posting some HOLIDAY GIFT ROUNDUPS (so far: DVDs and CDs, kids' stuff, fiction, gadgets, comics and nonfiction.)

And finally in today's episode, eyewitness snapshots from the MUMBAI TERRORIST ATTACKS, shot by 27-year-old amateur photographer Vinu Ranganathan. He lives in the Colaba distict, near the attack sites. WIRED's Threat Level blog has an interview up with him. Snip: "For hours [on the day of the attacks], his graphic photos of the destruction wrought by the terrorists in the Colaba district on the photo-sharing site Flickr seemed to be the only relevant ones available online." Related Boing Boing posts: Mumbai Attacks: Day 1, Mumbai Attacks: Day 2.

Previous Boing Boing updates on BBtv:

* Boing Boing tv Update: Virgin WiFi, Obfuscated Code, Comment Poetry, Downfall Housing Remix
* Boing Boing tv Update: OFFWORLD, YES MEN, and THIS IS THE FIRST.

BBtv: Friday recap + Unicorn Chaser - Joel of Boing Boing Gadgets in "UHHHHHH."

As is our newly minted tradition, Boing Boing tv ends the holiday week with a Unicorn Chaser.

In today's edition, Boing Boing Gadgets' Joel Johnson, who trekked out into the wilderness for this previous episode, returns there to perform the nerdcore anthem embedded above -- UHHHH. (MP4 Link).

Not a single one of these grunts was repeated. All were taped in the order they appear in this remix, the morning after Joel was nearly bitten by a snake, doing a gadget review out in the wilds.

Perhaps you were too busy stuffing yourself with turkey this week to catch all of this week's BBtv goodness. I'll embed a recap below.

BBtv/Offworld: Status Report Edition, Brandon's Still a Death Gnome

Boing Boing Gadgets: Joel Reviews T-Mobile Cameo Picture Frame

Boing Boing tv Update: Virgin WiFi, Obfuscated Code, Comment Poetry, Downfall Housing Remix

Happy Thanksgiving from BBtv: "Hazy Day" music video fave

Today, the Boing Boing tv crew takes the day off for time with family, friends, and food. We revisit one of our favorite good-vibe animation episodes, a lovely video from Bill Barminski. Perhaps you missed it? Do watch now.

Butterflies, wah-wah pedals, and one-eyed yeti, ahoy! The Boing Boing tv crew is proud to return to the work of one of our favorite multi-media savants, Bill Barminski of Walter Robot Studios. The filmmaker, composer, illustrator and animator shares this new video work, a hypnotic flight of fancy for his music project, the Subatomic Nixons. Enjoy the "Hazy Day," and happy weekend, everyone. Special thanks to Barminski and Christopher Louie, and all of the Walter Robot team. Here are previous BBtv episodes featuring their work.

BBtv + Offworld: Status Report Edition, Brandon's Still a Death Gnome (video)

Over at Offworld.com, Brandon "Shiny-Eyed Death Gnome" Boyer says,

While we here at Offworld gather exclusive content for future editions of Offworld's BBtv transmissions, our second update is a status report, telling the wider world what we've been getting up to over the past week (including the rapid growth of our Boing Boing Steam group, as we all gather for Left 4 Dead extended plays), and a quick rundown of the new things coming to the site in the following weeks.

As usual, here's the direct MP4 link, if you prefer a downloadable rather than the Flash.

Video duration: 3:14. Let Brandon know what you think of this week's video report from the slums of Azeroth here in the Offworld comments thread.

Previous BBtv/Offworld video updates: Offworld BBtv premiere: What's Offworld?

(Special Thanks to the PROJECT LORE düdes, namely SaintGermain. Big Orc-hugs, guys!)

Boing Boing Gadgets: Joel Reviews T-Mobile Cameo Picture Frame (BBtv video)

In this week's Boing Boing Gadgets review episode on Boing Boing tv, Joel Johnson reviews the T-Mobile Cameo Picture Frame, which displays digital photos but also sort of works like a phone. Joel's thumbs were neither decisively up nor down, but rather pensively wrapped around a scotch SORRY, *BOURBON* tumbler.

Link to post on Boing Boing Gadgets where you can discuss (and by "discuss", I mean make fun of Joel's holiday sweater). Here is an MP4 for your downloading pleasure.

Below, a slide show of images submitted by Boing Boing Gadgets readers to Joel, for use in preparing this video review of the Cameo Picture Frame.

Update: Joel here. One correction from what I said in the video. There is a way to copy all the images off of the device onto an SD card at once. It didn't work for me the first time, but I then I tried it again later and it did. Don't know what I did differently, but it makes a big difference in how easy it is to get images from the Cameo to your computer.

Boing Boing tv Update: Virgin WiFi, Obfuscated Code, Comment Poetry, Downfall Housing Remix

In this week's Boing Boing TV update:

* VIRGIN AMERICA LAUNCHES IN-FLIGHT WIRELESS: Our wireless tech reporter pal Glenn Fleishman was on the first Virgin America flight with airborne WiFi service. BBtv caught up with him over video chat from a Virgin America Airbus A320 aircraft (named "My Other Ride Is A Spaceship") 35,000 feet above San Francisco. Also joining us: Jack Blumenstein, the CEO of Aircell, the company providing the "GoGo" air/ground 3G connectivity. The bottom line: no content filtering on Virgin, so you can visit any blogs you like, and they will not block streaming content or video. But, voice over IP will be blocked because the general consensus among airlines and travelers in the US seems to be that nobody wants other people on the plane to be talking on the phone when you're all confined to close quarters. Disclaimer: we really like Virgin America, in part because they carry Boing Boing tv in their in-flight entertainment system.

* BB COMMENT THREAD POETRY CONTEST: Teresa Nielsen Hayden, aka She Who Disemvowels, announced a fun game/contest recently -- write some poetry inside the comment threads using "natively BoingBoing" themes. We can has a winner.

* OBFUSCATED CODE CONTEST: here's Joel's blog entry announcing the Safari Books / Boing Boing contest. The idea: write a string of "obfuscated code" that generates the words "Boing Boing." Here's the winner, and here's another example we thought was rad.

* DALE DOUGHERTY IS GUEST BLOGGING: He's been checking in from Banff, and I've particularly enjoyed his posts from there about snow, glaciers, and snowman newlyweds.

* DER UNTERGANG HOUSING BUBBLE REMIX: Mark spotted it last week, and lulz rang out throughout the land. One of many we dug.

Here's a downloadable MP4, and here is the BBtv blog post with instructions for subscribing to the Boing Boing tv podcast.

Special thanks to Q Burns Abstract Message for the track that appears in today's ep, UNCERTAIN T, courtesy Eighth Dimension Records.

Below: a snapshot from that Virgin America WiFi flight. I spy Brian Lam of Gizmodo, and Glenn Fleishman, and a few other familar blogging faces!

UPDATE: Hey, what kind of sites exactly was Gizporno's Brian Lam websurfing on that plane? Zoom in a little... wait.. there we go. AHA. Below, the reveal.

(BBtv) Unicorn Chaser, Friday Review: Offworld.com Dirty Dancing Death Dwarf

ALL HAIL FRIDAY! Here we post lulz for the benefit of the nation. Earlier this week, we announced new programming plans, including a weekly UNICORN CHASER video feature at the end of each week. Here is the first: we reprise the Boing Boing OFFWORLD debut episode with an one-minute dance remix of editor Brandon "Dirty Dancing Death Dwarf" Boyer's musical moment in Azeroth.

Perhaps you were "busy" doing "productive things" like "earning a living" this week, and missed your dose of Boing Boing tv? I'll re-embed the episodes below.

* THU: Tibetan Sovereignty Supporters Hold Historic Meeting in India to Plan Future.

* WED: BBtv: Offworld Premiere. What's Offworld?

* TUE: SELK Bag, Boing Boing Gadgets review with Joel Johnson

* MON: Boing Boing tv Update: OFFWORLD, YES MEN, and THIS IS THE FIRST.

Previously on Boing Boing:
Boing Boing tv: We're a Year Old, and Yes We Can (Announce a New Programming Plan)

SPECIAL THANKS to our sponsor Toshiba for making this week's programming possible. Go have a look at laptopexperts.net, where Toshiba and various assembled experts will answer all your questions on gaming, hardware, buying, troubleshooting, the inner life of laptops, and why unicorns make us happy.

BBtv: Tibetan Sovereignty Supporters Hold Historic Meeting in India to Plan Future.

In this special episode of Boing Boing tv (Direct MP4 link for download), Xeni interviews Tibetan sovereignty activists Lhadon Tethong and Tenzin "Tendor" Dorjee from Students for a Free Tibet, over a Skype video chat.

They're in Dharamsala, India, the home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government In Exile, and they're attending an historic week-long meeting taking place this week to determine the future of the Tibetan independence movement.

Snip from a New York Times story by Edward Wong about the "Special Meeting":

The conclave is the first of its kind since 1991. The Dalai Lama has called for hundreds of Tibetans to gather in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government in exile, to help decide on a new strategy for Tibet.

In a statement released Monday, the government in exile sought to play down speculation that a significant shift in its approach to the issue of Tibetan independence might be near.

“A change in policy need not come from this meeting,” the statement said, according to Reuters. “If a change in basic policy is considered necessary, there is a way that is democratic and which has the mandate of the Tibetan people.”

Lhadon and Tendor are updating the SFT blog here, and they suggest that people interested in following the story check Phayul.com, and the High Peaks Pure Earth blog, with commentary from Tibetans inside Tibet and China. Here is a statement on the "Special Meeting" from the Dalai Lama, who is not personally attending. The Tibetan Government in Exile is producing video reports from the Special Meeting here. Tibetan poet Woeser has published her thoughts on the meeting here. (Special thanks to Laird Brown, and Phuntsok Dorjee)

BBtv: Offworld Premiere. What's Offworld?

Here's the debut episode of our regular video updates from OFFWORLD, Boing Boing's new gaming blog. Editor Brandon Boyer says:

After an oxygen fire knocked our interstellar video link temporarily out of commission, we bring you our Boing Boing TV premiere via Azeroth, where my spiritual Death Knight equal gives you a little background on where we're is coming from and where I hope to steer the ship. As usual, here's the direct MP4 link, if you prefer a downloadable rather than the Flash.

Offworld bonus fact: in real life, my eyes and sword glow a much more vivid shade of blue. That is indeed, though, almost exactly how I shake a tail feather.

Here's a direct MP4 link, if you prefer to download the video. Like this episode? Tell Brandon and the Offworld gang what you think over at offworld.com: the comments thread is here.

(SPECIAL THANKS to the Project Lore guys, who showed us around the 'hood -- namely, Charles Ottaway.)

BBtv: SELK Bag, Boing Boing Gadgets review with Joel Johnson

This week, Boing Boing tv is debuting regular product reviews produced with Joel and the crew, and we'll blog 'em here on Gadgets first. What better way to kick the series off than a lulz-filled analysis of the Lippi Selk Bag, a sleeping bag with arms and legs that makes our Joel look like a bespectacled Gumby? The funky-chunky "sleepwear system" ranges in price from $169 to $399. I imagine they'd really come in handy at one of those outdoor all-nighter raves, unless you get lucky -- interpersonal intra-bag intercourse might be logistically difficult in these.

Tell Joel what you think of his Gumby impersonation in the Boing Boing Gadgets comment thread for this video. And here is a direct MP4 link, if you prefer a downloadable video to the Flash embed above.

Boing Boing tv Update: OFFWORLD, YES MEN, and THIS IS THE FIRST.

In this week's Boing Boing TV update, we discuss what's ahead with the launch of BOING BOING: OFFWORLD, and we speak with the YES MEN about their EPIC STUNT last week in which they printed and distributed lots and lots of copies of a New York Times fantasy-edition, with the headline IRAQ WAR ENDS. Mark blogged about this last week, with video.

We speak to three of the guys who made this event possible over a multi-channel iChat session that gets kind of melty sometimes. They are: Steve Lambert from the ANTI ADVERTISING AGENCY, Andy Bichlbaum from the YES MEN, and Scott Beibin from THE LOST FILM FEST. Some of those names might be aliases, who knows, caveat lector.

They say they received a cease and desist over email from HSBC over a parody HSBC ad that appears in both the print and online editions of their Faux NYT, but oddly, the C&D (they showed us a copy) is addressed to the REAL New York Times. We have not yet been able to confirm the lawyergram's validity with HSBC, but the email headers suggest it's legit.

In this Boing Boing TV update, you will hear music from Q-Burns Abstract Message and Eighth Dimension Records, and you'll hear me talk about BBtv's new programming changes. (Special thanks to Eddie Codel, Sean Bonner, and Scott Beale, who covered the Yes Men item early on).

Link to Boing Boing tv blog post with subscription instructions, and here is a direct link to an MP4 file.