Thursday, December 18, 2003

OK, OK, so it's been a while since my last post and with Christmas coming up, it's probably going to be a while until my next one. What better way to sign off from the world of internet communications with a seasonal viral. And not just any seasonal viral. This one is so bad, that it's great. It just goes to show that some of the best virals are the ones with the least effort behind them and the humour is not that of the author but the perception of the recipient.

Here you go and don't forget to set your expectations to low. Really low.

And if you're really in the mood for festive idleness then play the Supa Snooper game and help a young boy achieve his dream of being an ace reporter.

Friday, September 12, 2003

What's your spam name?

You know how you can work out your porn name? There's many ways to do it, but my favourite is you take the name of your first pet followed by your mother's maiden name. This makes the stud Jeremy Dubois in my case (watch out ladies!).

Given the amount of spam anyone who's had an email address for more than 5 minutes gets, surely it is just a matter of time before the formula for calculating your spam name comes out. There's a guy who has collected a list of the names he's been spammed by from the delectable 'Lavonne Crowe' to the slightly distubring 'Domingo Mann' (www.anentropic.com/writing/spamnames/index.php).

But I've yet to find a good formula for the must for every netizen their own spam name. How about the name of your favourite site, plus that of the spotty kid in your class - Beeb Crawford. Not bad, but it's not quite there is it? Steve Bulmer could end up with Microsoft Gates and that's a scary thought. So, let's open it up to the floor. I think I'll have to stew on this one and blog again.

Bright ideas to jasonbenali@hotmail.com a.k.a. Beeb Crawford

Thursday, August 14, 2003

I don't blog, I nanopublish

First there was trying to explain blogging to people - 'it's an online diary' seems to register - and now the humble blog is spawning its own sub-sets. Now blogging has hit the big time, the inevitable attempt to categorise, jargonise and a whole other bunch of '-ise's is starting to take root. As the great Ice Cube prophetically said, 'giving our music [read: blogging] away to the mainstream, don't you know they ain't down with the team.'

Now there's moblogging (surely the Ice Cube thought this name up?) which is putting words and pictures on the web via your mobile phone and now nanopublishing (or mo money mo blogging?), a form of micro-publishing, with the aim of making profits from blogs. This might be in the form of taking advertising on the blog, requesting donations from readers or even good old affiliate links from Amazon. With the likes of Google investing heavily in blogging software (Google owns Blogger.com now) the humble blog is becoming big business. Will it be the next internet bubble, only time will tell, but given its take-up and the once bitten twice shy business mentality now dominating online, it's likely that blogging dollars are here to stay.

Comments to jasonbenali@hotmail.com

Monday, July 21, 2003

Harry Potter film turned into book

Now if only I'd thought of this while on the dole...
http://www.satiresearch.com/go.asp?sid=21883

Good piece of reverse reasoning.
What's happened to Salam Pax?

He was the famous 'blogger in Baghdad' describing the build up to the war from an Iraqi's point of view. There was a great deal of speculation as to whether he was a plant (not that kind of plant) or if we were witnessing a new phenomenon - reporting by the people for the people, powered by simple blog software. Anyway, it appears he turned up when the Guardian signed him up as their new reporter, claiming he was a 29 year old architect (no doubt despairing as the final remains of Baghdad's architecture was blasted to pieces).

I wanted to include details of his site for a presentation and the site was down. OK, could be a local problem I thought, so I asked a friend to check out the url. Nope. I searched on the net and double checked the url http://dear_raed.blogspot.com/. Hmm, so I went to the Guardian's website above and followed the link, still getting the invalid url error. All the links were pointing at my url, but still there was the invalid '_' character. OK, then, time to go back to good old trial and error and I reached a site this time that certainly looked right at http://dearraed.blogspot.com/. I'm pretty sure it's the right guy, but why does Salam Pax have a nme.com email address and near perfect command of English? You could form a rational argument to explain each of these oddities and either way it's still a fascinating read. You wonder whether we'll ever know the truth.


Thursday, June 26, 2003

And they say chickens can't fly

In the good/bad old days of the web, there were always stories of the next weird site going viral and it's rare these days that one of them slips through the information overload we're all subjected to these days. Great as it is to get all the latest news from the BBC, sometimes it's more fun to look at something really stupid.

And so... News today of panksters deciding to give a humble hen a helping hand by tying her to helium balloons and bestowing the gift of flight. The poor bird got caught on the inevitable electricity pylons and had to be rescued by emergency services. You can read all about it here: www.local6.com/news/2286898/detail.htm

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Beckham's big move timed to perfection

So, David Beckham has finally moved to Real Madrid. Thus ends months of speculation and tedious press coverage as the hacks became more and more desperate to keep the coverage going despite a lack of geniune news. There was a real tone of surprise that the move happened as the press were expecting it to rumble for at least another couple of weeks.

Great timing from Becks as it coincided lucratively with his publicity tour of Asia (just what IS he doing there?). Perfect for Real's attempts to capture the Asian market and great PR for all concerned.

I just worry what the poor hacks are going to write about now the big story has finally come to an end. The footie season is over, there's little other transfer news. We might as well all just go home until August and get back to being depressed about the England cricket team. At least they obliged yesterday with a pathetic display against Pakistan.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

BT sack 200 in porn sting

News today that BT have sacked 200 for accessing pornographic material at work. BT sent 2 emails last year informing employees that they would face the chop if they were abusing their work PCs (and themselves if you believe certain religions) and sure enough, the inevitable happened with at least one 'hardcore' culprit ending up in jail no less.

Now you could be a little cynical about the whole affair and allege that this was a great way of trimming the fat in hard times, but you just wonder what they were playing at after 2 emails. A good reminder to read the plethora of company-wide emails that go around. Imagine the poor 200 souls trying to explain themselves in future interviews... "Well, I received this piece of spam and in trying to unsubscribe inadvertently spent 2 hours on the site trying to do so." I believe you, even if no one else does.

(news with a little help from the www.theregister.co.uk)

Monday, June 16, 2003

Labour party website hacked - Al-Jazeera hacker caught - is it the same guy?

News hit today that the Labour Party website was hacked by an unknown source who replaced the usual yadda-yadda with a picture of George Bush holding his doggy Tony Blair gently in his arms. At first glance, it seemed that it was just business as usual for the anti-Tony lobby down at Labour HQ, but it was removed at 945am, although not before the BBC picked up the story and published it. Ouch!

All this while it was announced that the Al-Jazeera hacker that turned the controversial Middle Eastern TV network into a 'Let Freedom ring' screen had finally been caught. The culprit, a certain John William Racine II (version I obviously contained too many bugs). His punishment? 3 years probation, community service, a fine of $1500 and no doubt an alleged big fat $150k a year from a certain anonymous US government agency. You have to wonder with the hack attack on the Labour site whether they've put him to work already on explaining to Tony Blair just who wears the trousers in international politics...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2987342.stm