Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

Single Harts: E-Dating Naming Gone Wrong

Posted in Spam by Elliott Back 1 week, 4 days ago.

I just received this hilarious spam from SingleHarts.com, which makes me want to burst out laughing. Never has LOL been so necessary, or LMAO the perfect choice of words! Contrary to its intended purpose, this email will ensure I never take their site seriously. Well, I’d never take any e-dating site seriously, but on a professional basis I am just laughing. Why would you name it that?

I would like to introduce SingleHarts.com, the hottest new Community Dating site. SingleHarts was established for people of all race gender and sexual preference to meet each other in an environment that is not only safe but free from those awkward situations associated with dating such as meeting face to face for the first time, or trying to attract your perfect partner in a crowded room. So with that in mind create your profile today and enjoy the benefits that SingleHarts has to offer and we wish you the very best in your future dating experiences.

SingleHarts is an online community that has much to offer these feature include

* Untill July 31st 2007, join up for free and enjoy all features of SingleHarts.
* Personal profiles with photos, video and your own personal blog.
* Send potential friends and partners flirts virtual kisses and emails to express your interests.
* Chat online with the people you meet in our group chat or go one on one with someone special for a more private conversation.
* Or perhaps invite someone you know or someone you would like to know to join.

These are just some of the things that you will find here at SingleHarts. So if you want to meet some friendly new people, then come join us here at SingleHarts and start meeting people today. the person of you dreams could be just a few clicks away. Sign up free member here.

Yours truly.

When I go to their webpage, here’s what I see instead of what they want me to see:


hart: A male deer, commonly of the red deer, Cervus elaphus, esp. after its fifth year.

Indeed, a Hart is a kind of deer good for hunting–I’ve substituted a hare instead, for the day that SingleHares.com becomes a reality.

Yahoo’s PIPE api

Posted in AJAX, Blogging, Hacking, UI, Web 2.0, Yahoo by Elliott Back on February 12th, 2007.

In a much better naming than Technorati’s immature WTF (Where’s the fire), Yahoo today released a labs product called Yahoo Pipes. The name comes from linux file handle terminology:

Pipes is a hosted service that lets you remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment. The name of the service pays tribute to Unix pipes, which let programmers do astonishingly clever things by making it easy to chain simple utilities together on the command line.

The idea is quite simple. Yahoo Pipes lets users take everyday RSS feeds and mash them together with Yahoo APIs, other feeds, and programmatic building blocks in an easy to use graphical environment. Unfortunately, the execution is terrible and buggy. Take, for example, this yahoo pipe I created to scan the NYT feed for locations / keywords and insert flickr images as appropriate:


The first thing you might notice is that it doesn’t really do what it’s supposed to. Well, we’ll come to that in a minute. You’ll also notice a lot of & going around–every time I hit save it re-encoded the original ampersand. How irritating. Worse is how their pipes are so watered down they can’t do anything:


All I wanted to do was take some content, for each item do content analysis and geo analysis, and use those outputs as the input to a flickr search, then append the photo to the text snippet. Well, first you can’t fork a data stream into two bits and recombine them later. So scratch two kinds of analysis. Second, the outputs of content/geo analysis can’t be used to populate the inputs of the flickr data source–an obvious problem. And third, the annotation feature useless doesn’t annotate, it just replaces chunks messily.

Yahoo, your pipes are indeed clogged.

The “Gold Digger” Effect in Music Video Production

Posted in Google Video, Music, Rapper, Video by Elliott Back on May 10th, 2006.

If you follow trends in music, or music videos, you’ve undoubtably noticed the design trend of three horizontal bands of video each showing different action, or three different shots of the same subject. The first time I noticed this was in a Kanye West music video for Gold Digger (w/ Jamie Foxx, director Hype Williams) where the action occurs in a wide-horizontal strip, leaving the top and bottom for meta information and overlays:


Although the top and bottom are not used explicitly, I feel they’re enough distinguished to justify naming this technique after the song. A better example might be Beyonce’s (w/ Slim Thug, director Hype Williams) Check on it, where we get to see Beyonce glittering on a strips of pink fabric top and bottom, or a three-way shot of smoking Slim Thug:


Then, there’s Jamie Foxx’s Unpredictable video (director, Hype Williams), where we see the same Hype-Williams effect:


Wikipedia, if you go check out his entry, has a blurb describing this:

For most of his more recent videos, Williams creates a letterbox effect by having a main image in the middle (where a film would be in letterbox format) and having a second image behind it, split by the first image. As he had done in the past, Williams continues to front each video he directs with a title sequence, which presents his name, the name of the music artist(s), and the name of the song in a stylized format matching the video clip to follow.

For some more examples, see Pharrell Williams’ (of NERD) Angel:


Or the Robin Thicke (w/ Pharrell Williams) song Wanna love you girl:


If we go check out Hype William’s latest videos page, we’ll see the videos we’ve listed, and more. So, although I’ve dubbed it the “Gold Digger” technique it could easily be called “Hype Williams’ 1-hit-wonder.” I would prefer to reward creativity and diversity over repeating the same theme at least five times in the past year. Aren’t you getting tired of seeing this?

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