Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

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:

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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:

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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:

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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!

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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:

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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:”

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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!

Snooze You Lose Alarm Clock

Posted in Cute, Humour, Photo by Elliott Back on January 3rd, 2008.

I found this via The Triumph of Bullshit; it’s a real gem:

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Just plug your SnūzNLūz in and either connect it to your network via the RJ45 jack on the back, or via WiFi (WPA supported) if available. Then simply configure via the embedded web browser configuration utility. From here it’s a snap. Simply select your online banking institution from the list of supported banks (currently over 1600 are supported). Supply your login information and then select your favorite HATED charity or non-profit from the included lists (over 6200 currently supported). Then plug in your donation amount per snooze incident ($10 or more), set the time, and alarm, and voila, instant time profit!

This is not a Bomb, Boston

Posted in Airplane, Law, Military, Scandal, Security by Elliott Back on September 22nd, 2007.

Reading about the poor MIT student who was recently arrested at submachine gunpoint on BoingBoing I saw a few comments that interested me enough to write a brief rebuttal. For example, comment #63 by Jacob Davis:

On another note, to everyone saying, “It’s obviously not a bomb, they should have known better!” : that’s really condescending. My mother doesn’t know what a breadboard is. My neighbors don’t. Several of my friends don’t. I’d wager the great majority of the US doesn’t know, for better or worse. Don’t pretend that everyone else knows what you know, especially when you are judging circumstances after being given all the facts at once in hindsight.

See the problem is that security personnel, if expected to guard against bombs and bombers, should be able to positively recognize bombs. Your mother and neighbors are not airport security officers, military police, or Boston police for exactly that reason; they don’t know what bombs look like.

Then there are comments #7 and #8, which feel like the police brutality (they arrested her outside the airport with force) is justified:

Wow, she sure put the “mor[on]” in sophomore! Maybe for her next art project she can run around the airport screaming “I’m Al Qaida! Look at me! I’m Al Qaida!”

I’d have wished the above moron had written “more[on] in sophomore;” it would have bee more funny. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a geeky girl wearing a hoodie with some blinking LEDs. As far as I know (and I think the statistics support me here) no one has ever died or been injured, directly or indirectly, by an LED. And, I fully support her right to voice her political opinions, even in the airport. Unfortunate the climate these days means wearing we will not be silent arabic / english t-shirts will probably get you detained.

I thought MIT students were supposed to be a bit more intelligent than the rest of us. Walking into an airport with an electronic device strapped to her chest ….. a very stupid action. She is lucky to just be in a cell, but I have a feeling a lot of people (including her) will never understand why, this time, the Boston Police are in the right.

This one is begging for me point out that 99.99998% of people walk around airports with iPods tucked around their chest or body somewhere… and I’m not even going to start counting people with pacemakers, who actually have an electronic device embedded in their chests! An electronic device isn’t a bomb, and if you think airport security can prevent terrorism, you’re wrong.

Finally, on a lighter note, Rob Cockerham’s comment #27 takes the cake, and eats it too:

I can’t believe NBC is promoting Bionic Woman like this. What a terrible idea.

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