Flabby Hoffman?

Flipping channels last night I ended up on Chicago Access Network Television (CANTV) channel 19. What caught my attention was the bowling scene from the Big Lebowski. It was pretty grainy and the cutting of the swear words was a bit… amateur. As I watching, it suddenly cut to some other movie. This continued for almost 30 minutes, and I couldn’t stop watching. It was a bizarre selection of movies, news bits, cartoons and TV shows. Some of them hilarious, many bizzare, and some outright spooky. At about the time they showed Angela Landsbury’s incredible scene in the Manchurian Candidate (a movie I have yet to see, but somehow recognized it immediately) I wondered about the legality of showing so many movie/tv/media clips. The juxtaposition of the Simpson’s Planet of the Apes musical bit with the actual movie was quite entertaining! Katty had no idea why I kept on watching it – but was just as fascinated as myself! Has anybody seen The Loved One?! (this was the scene we saw last night – gotta love google)

Shortly thereafter, color bars filled the screen and only the audio could be heard. This was just the icing on the cake! Was it a broadcast signal intrusion? I had first heard about this while talking to somebody about Max Headroom and finding out about an incident in 1987 on Chicago’s WGN and WTTW stations. The hijackers were never found – could this be a new incident?? I immediately checked CANTV’s Thursday listings to find out that Flabby Hoffman was scheduled to air. Googling got me to Flabby Hoffman’s home page

Flabby Hoffman uses his unique powers of hyper-sensitivity, super cognizance and fanatical devotion to an objective truth to help those in need of an empowering spiritual enema.

…not quite what I expected, but almost equally bizarre. The two don’t really match up. There was also a link to a local bar Uncommon Ground – where, apparently, Flabby Hoffman used to perform. This whole thing seemed so surreal to me. So, I just e-mailed CANTV to see what they have to say about the color bars last night. Most likely its all just a coincidence… but I had to ask!

I just noticed that Flabby has MP3s on his website! I’m afraid to listen!

(This got me thinking about Wesley Willis all over again)

Award Notification! **Fraud Alert**

Just got this to my personal e-mail:


From Global Internet Foundation in Association with Readers Digest?
We happily announce to you that you have won award of $750,000 at
the China Payment Center.

Ticket Number: 90-88-44-32-23-1P
Serial Number: 77-Q11
Batch Number: UK/ITT/030/011C
Reference Number: KW/0071/PI/DQW
Drew Date: 22nd May 2008

Your email address name attached to a ticket number: 90-88-44-32-23-1P
with the serial number: 77-Q11 drew the lucky number: 34-55-21-69-09
which consequently won the draw in the 2nd category. Your email address
was among the (10) email addresses chosen to receive grand prize of
US$750,000.00 each in this section.Therefore you must contact your
Claim Agent

Address:12th Husuang Lane,Oppt Nan Metro
Station,Beijing China

He will need to confirm everything we have on file to ensure that,
there will be no set backs upon the release of these funds to you.
I want you to know that verification and confirmation of all of your
payment documents have been sent to our affiliate company, The
International Lottery Board of Commissions from our processing
office. Also, be rest assured that your winning will be sent to
you as{ ATM Card or Bank Transfer} which can be used in any Atm
machine worldwide.This will be issued from our paying bank in China.

Your won prize cannot be deducted, simply because this is a
promotional award, until prize is released to you due to strict
insurance policy. After you have received your money, we expect you
to use some of the money to spread Internet knowledge within your
locality and remember to support our next promotion. We have five
clearance offices zoned continentally AUSTRALIA,CHINA, USA,LONDON &
FRANCE, clearance zones are picked randomly by computer, each
winning number falls within any of the clearance zones,it is the
duty of the approved zonal clearance officer to handle all clearance
process to make sure bank releases won prize in time.

Your prize number falls within Asia region clearance office in
Beijing,China .In view of this, your prize will be released from
China,your money has been deposited in bank with insurance coverage.
Your clearance agent will facilitate payment process immediately you
contact him.

Contact with your information below:

Full Name:
Marital Status:
Home Phone:
Mobile Phone:
Ref No:
Batch No:
Copyright ?All right reserved

I have half a mind to contact these guys just to see how far they would take it. Maybe I’ll set up a fake bank account and screw them!! That would be fantastic! Any ideas??

In the mean time I plan to report this e-mail to Gmail abuse and as many as these addresses that I feel up to.

Google Transit Chicago

Google Transit Chicago

Google Maps and Chicago Transit Authority have finally teamed up!! I’ve been waiting for this for years! All you have to do is put in your starting point and destination and get directions – then select if you are driving or taking public transit! It is super easy and you can combine it with the use of Google Streetview to actually see the area you are going to! Now if they could integrate it with Google Maps for Mobile – that would be fantastic!

Yes, I’m actually posting!

If you can read this – April Fools! Welcome to my little collection of April Fools 2008 links!

Google has partnered with Virgin to create Virgle – Earth – Plan B, colonization of the planet Mars! Make sure you fill out the application.

Google is also introducing Gmail custom time – date your e-mails whenever you want!

Wikipedia has an article on Ima Hogg and her family. Make sure to read the rest of the page as well!

WOOT is having a WOOTOFF – of the exact same item! Make sure to click on the item picture. Bagsofcrap have made an appearance, so be warned!

Kia introduces the KEE_Wii – a concept vehicle with no steering wheel, controlled by a Wii controller – from any seat!

Art Lebdev has created a new difficult to use door chain!

CNet’s Download.com has the six best new downloads for 2008!

Wired has an article about how activists want to rename April 1st – Fossil Fools Day!

Slate has an article on teaching kids kinder-gardening! Its not too early to start Caroline!
(Their weather report happens to be quite amusing as well)

Virgin Blue offers “No chair fares”!

Did you know that penguins can fly!?

The Reckless Chef has burned down her apartment! Make sure to stop by and send your condolences.

Of course, there is the omni-present RickRoll!

Google Zeitgeist 2007

Its that time of year again! Google releases its Zeitgeist.

Zeitgeist describes the intellectual and cultural climate of an era. In German, the word has more layers of meaning than the English translation, including the fact that Zeitgeist can only be observed for past events.

See how the iPhone fares vs. Don Imus, if more people ask “what is love” or “what is bluetooth”, and if more people want to know how to flirt than how to dance! Always a fascinating perspective on the past year’s events!

Our Engadget HD contest entry

I was going to enter the Engadget HD contest with my setup, but when talking to Greg about it I realized that his was far worse! We took the above video today for his entry. Unfortunately, the e-mail bounced – Engadget HD’s 3gb GMail account was full!! We await to see what they will say about those whose entries bounced. In the mean time for your enjoyment…

Video Removed: Copyright Infringement

I received this e-mail from DMCA Complaints at YouTube

Dear Member:

This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Schott Music GmbH & Co. KG claiming that this material is infringing:

Carmina Burana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En0XItmxnEI

Please Note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to avoid future strikes against your account, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube’s copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.

If you elect to send us a counter notice, to be effective it must be a written communication provided to our designated agent that includes substantially the following (please consult your legal counsel or see 17 U.S.C. Section 512(g)(3) to confirm these requirements):

1. A physical or electronic signature of the subscriber.
2. Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.
3. A statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.
4. The subscriber’s name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the subscriberis address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that the subscriber will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.

Such written notice should be sent to our designated agent as follows:

DMCA Complaints
YouTube, Inc.
1000 Cherry Ave.
Second Floor
San Bruno, CA 94066
Email: copyright@youtube.com

Please note that under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification may be subject to liability.

YouTube, Inc.

I decided to look up Schott Music and write them to see what exactly violated the copyright in an effort to not repeat this mistake. The video was only about 30 seconds long and recorded at a free outdoor event. I’m assuming that they either own the rights to Carmina Burana or the Grant Park Orchestra – either way, I’m curious to see what kind of response I get.

Oh yes, she will be mine!

I’m in love!

I can now truly say that I’m glad I never purchased an IPod. But as far as I can tell the only thing that the iPhone is missing (besides 3G – which T-Mobile doesn’t even have) is an expandable slot. Granted I’m currently maxed out at 4gb with my miniSD slot on my MDA, but I’d still love to be able to look/edit/send photos from my digital camera on the iPhone’s gorgeous 3.5″ screen. By the time I can find an unlocked iPhone, I’ll hope and pray that Canon comes out with a Bluetooth enabled camera. Until then, I can just dream and drool

I changed the link to point to the iPhone home page at Apple. Check out the flash demos on the website for the following functions:

Internet Device

(Make sure you click on all of the flash guides, awesome stuff!)

Gmail mobile client

Google has just released a Java based Gmail client for mobile phones! This client is much more user friendly than the wap version and it even gives you access to your contact lists!

Some of the new features:

  • Up to five times faster access and use, thanks to automatic pre-fetching of messages
  • Drastically reduced clicks and scrolling to access email
  • Fewer keystrokes for reading, composing, or searching mail
  • Attachments, including files and photos, viewable and automatically resized to fit the user’s phone

I was just playing with it now, and even with poor reception (=slow internet) I was amazed at how well the program worked! The fact that you can view attachments is quite a bonus! With Google Maps Mobile and now GMail Mobile I must say I’m impressed with their mobile offerings!

Remember that even though the application is free, you are responsible for any data charges from your mobile carrier! (gotta love unlimited data plans!)