Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

Recruiting via Facebook Ads

Posted in Facebook,Jobs by Elliott Back on March 15th, 2011.

I was surprised today to see this Facebook Ad from a recent MBA graduate looking for a job. You can target very specific companies in Facebook advertising, so theoretically any candidate could bombard any one or more company’s employees with their pitch:

Hi. I am Shweta. I graduated with a MBA Degree . My dream is to work for Goldman Sachs. Can you help make that happen? Click 4 resume.

While an unconventional approach, the ad linked to a resume hosted on Adobe’s cloud. I won’t link to it here because it contains personal information, but it reminds me of the Google Please Hire Me websites that popped up a few years ago. These were mostly gimmicks which attracted some attention, and typically led to nothing.

On the other hand, Youtube Instant generated a spontaneous job application. Perhaps the better approach is to build something awesome and let the job offers pour in?

April Fool’s Day 2008 Collection

Posted in Holiday by Elliott Back on April 1st, 2008.

Last year I wrote a post detailing April Fool’s day pranks in 2007 around the web that was both funny and well received, so this year I’m going to do it again! Let’s start with the worst, political humour:

The goons at Editorial Cartoonists sure know how to make a point

Next Blizzard Entertainment is porting World of Warcraft to the console with their new title, Molten Core:

Yeah, it’s for the Atari 2600 console. ROCK ON!

“Blizzard got its start in console gaming, and we’ve always been excited about returning to this arena,” stated Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Additionally, we’ve wanted to reintroduce the 40-player raid dungeon experience for some time. With World of Warcraft: The Molten Core, we’re able to do both.”

Another treat from Blizzard is the Tauren Marine from Starcraft 2:


While most tauren were satisfied with their agrarian culture and primitive existence, the Confederacy was able to lure away large numbers of young bulls for a life of adventure and violence along the galactic rim. Other tauren referred to these adventurers as ‘mad cows,’ and they were ostracized from the rest of their kine.

Finally, Blizzard gives a new Class for World of Warcraft, the Bard. Endowed with the power of music, he hits awesome riffs and combos for extra damage!

A nice touch is the upside down “axe” as guitar

Armed with a trusty axe, killer riffs, and a ton of attitude, the guitar-wielding bard is the second hero class to be introduced in the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion for World of Warcraft. The bard excels both as a solo performer and as part of a solid group lineup, able to front in a number of roles as varied as his musical repertoire.

YouTube did the unthinkable, and Rickrolled everyone who visited one of their featured videos. So, there have been over 3,707,338 visits to Rick Astley-Never Gonna Give You Up so far today:

Come on, even if you goatse.cx’d them it wouldn’t be that funny

Our friends at Google went nuts today, dropping literally dozens of April fools jokes. Here are the highlights. If you go to Google Documents and create a new document, you can click File, then “New Airplane:”

This is adorable!

Additionally, there’s an “I’m feeling lucky” button on the Calendar which adds random hot dates to your schedule, archiving of pop-up and scratch and sniff books, Virgle, a manned mars station, and the ability to send GMail email in the future … or the past:


Our researchers have concluded that allowing each person more than ten pre-dated emails per year would cause people to lose faith in the accuracy of time, thus rendering the feature useless.

Adsense for real life is hilarious

Adsense for Conversations: “a new type of monetization solution that “puts the ‘context’ in contextual advertising”. Now, in just a few simple steps, you can begin displaying ads that are relevant to the topics you’re discussing — in an unobtrusive screen above your head.”

Computer nerd stuff retailer Think Geek has some skippable April Fool’s Products, including a peeing simulation for the wii, a usb pregnancy test, and caffeine cereal. Yeah, you didn’t miss anything there. On the other hand, the Pirate Bay is moving to Sinai, Egypt. Meanwhile, even the world’s largest criminal computer hackers running the Storm Worm sent out some April 1st spam:

Yet no 0day for the lulz. Lucky us!

Not surprisingly, Anil Dash gets anal about April Fool’s day jokes, declaring “your April Fool’s Day joke sucks.” He’s right about Techcrunch’s “we’re suing Facebook” joke that just makes Michael Arrington, the founder and editor of the blog, look like a massive jerk.

Those are the big highlights, but for more, please check out Wikipedia’s April 1, 2008 entry. It’s full of more links than I could ever gather, read, or take screenshots of!

23 Is Destiny

Posted in by Elliott Back on May 18th, 2007.

This page is dedicated to the number 23. You might not think 23 is special, but it’s the smallest odd cototient prime, and forms a boundary point for the birthday paradox. It is the number of the Illuminati, and my birthday.

The 23 Enigma

All events are connected to the number 23, a belief held by Discordians and myself. According to Wikipedia, 23 is “considered either lucky, unlucky, sacred to the goddess Eris, sinister, sacred to the unholy gods of the Cthulhu Mythos, or strange.”

23 in Pop Culture

There have been two movies made about the number 23. In 1998, the movie 23 came out as a German movie about a hacker Karl Koch who committed suicide on May 23, 1989. More recently, The Number 23 starring Jim Carrey was released on February 23, 2007 to overwhelmingly bad reviews. The number also appears as a reference in television and other movies:

  • Star Wars – Princess Leia was held in cell AA23
  • The Matrix – Neo needed 23 people to found Zion
  • Lost – 23 is in the sequence of mystical numbers {4,8,15,16,23,42}

In sports, Michael Jordan and David Beckham wear the symbol 23 on their jerseys.

Mathematical properties of 23

  • 23 is a prime number, as well as a factorial, Woodall, Smarandache-Wellin, Eisenstein, Sophie Germain, and Safe prime
  • 23 is the smallest odd prime which is not a twin prime
  • 23 is one of two integers that cannot be expressed as the sum of fewer than 9 cubes of integers
  • Codewords in the perfect binary Golay code are of size 23
  • There 23 Axioms in Euclid’s Geometry.

23 is Holy

  • The best Psalm is the 23rd Psalm of the 23rd book of the Bible.
  • In 23 years the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad.
  • In Buddhist cosmology there are 23 events irreducible to either mind or matter.
  • Hexagram 23 in I Ching means “breaking apart.”
  • L. Ron Hubbard’s Axiom 23, “All thought is concerned with motion.”
  • December 23, 2012 is the date the Mayans believed the world will end.
  • Jacques de Molay was the 23rd and last of the Knights Templar Grandmasters.

Science & 23

It’s no coincidence that human sex cells have 23 chromosomes, or that earth has an Axial tilt of 23.5 degrees. There’s more of 23 to be found in nature, however:

  • 23 is the atomic number for Vanadium
  • Sodium has an atomic mass of ~23
  • Only 23 people allowed in a AOL chatroom
  • The letter W is the 23 letter of this alphabet. The symbol for that letter is 2 points down and 3 points up.
  • September 23 is the Fall Equinox.

The Number 23 in the News

2009-06-29: The baby that was born at 23 weeks and survived. Six months on, Jessica Hawkins is still on the tiny side – but has beaten the odds by growing into a healthy baby girl. [ref]

2007-05-20: Paris Hilton’s jail sentence for driving on a suspended license has been reduced to 23 days, with no more appeals. [ref]

2007-05-18: A 60 year old man died on a No. 23 bus yesterday after a fight with an unidentified passenger. [ref]

2001-09-11: The September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center leveled three major NY buildings; the digits 2+1+9+11 add up to 23.

1935-10-23: Dutch Schultzhad Vincent Coll assassinated on 23rd Street in New York when Coll was 23 years old. Schultz himself was assassinated on the 23rd of October. [ref]

1805-12-23: Joseph Smith, Jr. who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) was born. [ref]

1564-4-23: Shakespeare was born on April 23rd 1564 and died on the same day, in 1616.

44BC-4-15: Julius Ceasar, betrayed by friends, is stabbed 23 times and dies. [ref]

Resources for Finding 23

Here are some external resources for exploring the number twenty three:

My Impressions

I’m extraordinarily lucky because this number is my birthday, yet I will probably die a violent and horrible death. The power of 23 grant me glory!

Next Page »