May 31, 2006 | 11:42 PM ET

Will ~

I've always enjoyed reading through your column.  It helps break the monotony of the day and usually provides some great stuff to talk about around the watercooler.

However, in today's column, you angered me a bit.  I don't know if I missed the humor, if that's what you were going for.  The bolded part is what I'm talking about.

Quoting:
"For me, this video isn't brilliant until the Jerry Springer moment at 5:06 when the local reporter almost gets his butt kicked when he confronts the parents of the guy he caught masturbating in the library.  But if, like me, you've wondered why Dateline doesn't try to do their pedophile specials in reverse and confront parents about their pedophile attracting kids, this might be an answer."

Please
tell me that this was a joke because if it wasn't, I've got a real problem with your 'pedophile attracting kids'.  C'mon - you've seen the Dateline shows.  You know what goes on.

Like I said Will ~ please tell me you were joking.

Melanie Brooks
Las Cruces, NM

Will replies:  Thanks Melanie for the chance to make myself more clear.  Once again, in an effort to be brief I didn't express myself well, so let me say clearly and unequivocally:

No victim of a pedophile asks for it, deserves it, attracts it or is in any way at fault for it happening.

That said, let me try to make my point one more time with a little more space.  By now everyone has seen the Dateline child predator specials.  In short, they go into chat rooms pretending to be kids and flirt and ultimately invite men over for sex.  When the men arrive, Dateline busts out the cameras and confronts them for planning to have sex with someone they know is a minor.

After a few shows following this pattern, the discussion around the water cooler at my particular cube farm turned to variations on the theme.  Could Dateline pretend to be a pervert in a chat room, meet a minor and show up at the minor's house and confront the parents with the dangerous behavior their child is engaged in online?  Of course, there are a billion reasons why this could never happen, not the least of which is that there's no way Dateline would ever pose as a pedophile, manipulate a minor and send webcam photos of genitalia to a minor like the guys they sting do.  (I'm assuming here.  I know some folks at Dateline but I don't speak for the show and the folks I know don't hang around this particular watercooler.) 

Another reason that I hadn't really thought of is that parents would not be too keen on a national TV network showing up in their house to humiliate their kid no matter how good the intention.  In fact, as today's video shows, even when the kid is pretty old and the network is local, parents react poorly to public humiliation of their children.  And thus my growing-less-witty-by-the-second remark.

***While writing this it occurred to me that I had seen something similar on TV.  After Googling a bit I found myself back at MSNBC.com.  Turns out Dateline did sort of explore this variation .  Not really the pedophile part, they focused on personal information.  Smart people, those Dateline producers.  I bet they have a plan for if someone goes Jerry Springer on them in the middle of a sting too.

May 31, 2006 | 1:45 PM ET

Commuter Click:  I meant to include mention of the new buzzword " crowdsourcing" in yesterday's link about TribeWanted.  The news industry has already embraced this idea with "citizen journalism" and the idea that you can have people submit their own photos and reports of news events out of the kindness of their hearts (or interest of their brains).  The positive perspective is that people with common interests are able to use Web tools to work together on a common goal.  Another perspective (not necessarily negative) is how to exploit these group efforts.  P.S. Leafing through the article I see they use the term "TV 2.0."

The Criss Angel chat yesterday went well.  At least I had no trouble with the new phone booth.  When I was going on TV a lot last year, one of the producers once said to me, "It's not rocket science."  True, but recording an interview with someone is still harder than walking and chewing gum.  And there's nothing quite like the pain of listening to one's own verbal awkwardness in preparation for presenting them publicly.  But each chat is a lesson.

It's time to stop killing meat and start growing it.  I think growing meat in a lab might be the thing that actually puts me off meat.

Batwoman: Lipstick lesbian.  (I think I'd rewrite that subhed: "a comeback as a "lipstick lesbian" who moonlights as a crime fighter" sounds like lipstick lesbian is some kind of day job.

Australian bloggers are excited to welcome a new group literary blog called Sarsaparilla.

Fo.rtuito.us is a social site that introduces you to a random stranger.  "After four days of learning about each other you will be given a chance to decide if you would like this person to be your friend. If both you and your friend choose to continue the friendship then they will show up on your friends page!"

I may have mentioned that in my non-work life I keep a photoblog.  Someone wrote to me recently asking what I use to upload and host the photos.  I use the tool from Hello.com, which has a deal with Google and is free and relatively easy to use.  It's not the best solution but it's free, and reliable because I don't expect Google to go out of business any time soon.   All You Can Upload sounds like a pretty good service as well.  It took a little while to upload a somewhat heavy photo.  I'm not crazy about these ad covered pages but it looks like it's possible to get a clean version too.  Most importantly (as with Hello) there's no limit on bandwidth.  I often think of blogging as a lottery.  You never know when you're going to write that entry or post that photo that spreads like viral wildfire.  The last thing you want is for 50,000 people to see that stupid Image Shack frog.  More on it from TechCrunch.

Speaking of photoblogging, how to take concert photos.  (How often have you been disappointed with the rock star shot you thought you got?)

Of course, what you can't photograph you can always photoshop.  Superheroes meet modern art.

History of oil — This isn't History Channel history.  It's a British comedian's 45 minute long London performance (it's long, and some of the jokes are visual, but I minimized it and listened while clicking).  I'll say plainly that if people criticizing America makes you angry you should skip this one.  But if you want to know why some people carry "no war for oil" signs at protests, this guy explains the perspective well.

Speaking of perspectives, and in the spirit of changing gears at a breakneck pace, The Anchoress suffered a bit of a crisis as online conservatives began voicing their criticism of the president.  In this post she re-affirms her faith in the president and does an excellent job representing the perspective of those who support him.

The Rose Bowl prank of 1961 was good, but the Yale " we suck" prank is a close second.  ( Further explanation.)

Thousands of barges could save Europe from deep freeze — There is the distinct possibility that rather than cutting environmentally damaging behavior, the developed world will find weird band-aid solutions.

Speaking of global warming, Questions for Al Gore — Not a denial of global warming, but he does ask some tough questions of Gore's new movie.

The Morning News 2006 Editors' Awards for Online Excellence

Soldiers bond with battlefield robots

Sneak out of work right now — Just in time for summer, a case is made that laziness is good.

Speaking of working too hard, I never considered the workload of a pastor, but I guess they get burnout too.

After reading how offended this guy was at the Burger King ice cream logo (now recalled) I had to hunt down a picture.  I've never worked in product design, but I have a hard time believing this was intentional any more than unintentionally phallic logos.

Girlfriend 6.0 vs. Wife 1.0; Comparative Trial — This is probably old.  It's the kind of thing you get in an e-mail with fifty names on the To: list, but I got a chuckle from it.

"From now on, every SCI FI Channel show in development will have a unique broadband component."  Also, have you see Scifipedia yet?

For me, this video isn't brilliant until the Jerry Springer moment at 5:06 when the local reporter almost gets his butt kicked when he confronts the parents of the guy he caught masturbating in the library.  But if, like me, you've wondered why Dateline doesn't try to do their pedophile specials in reverse and confront parents about their pedophile attracting kids, this might be an answer.

" Swarm is a graphical map of hundreds of websites, all connecting to each other. It updates itself every second with where people are going and coming from. As sites become more popular, they move towards the center of the swarm and grow larger. Conversely, sites that lose traffic move away from the center and grow smaller."  This is really cool, but I'm having a hard time reading it.

Speaking of visualizing the Web, Web sites as graphs reinterprets HTML code into a visual tree.

Also comes with a Java app so people can see what their own sites look like.

Speaking of visualizing on the Web.  Infinite zoom into this guy's face.

The LAPD has a blog.

May 30, 2006 | 1:20 PM ET

Just a few links to freshen the blog.  I'll catch up with a longer entry later.  The Criss Angel chat is coming up shortly so I have to prepare for that.

According to the story, someone sold a laptop on eBay and misrepresented the quality and performance of the laptop to the buyer.  The buyer objected, but tough luck, he got burned.  But as you're probably already guessing, the buyer had one final recourse.  He scanned the hard drive of his new crappy computer and lo and behold found all manner of personal information, photos and fetishes of the seller, which he promptly posted in blog form on the Web for all to see and discover in searches for the seller's name.  The counter on the site shows the number of people who've seen it approaching a million.  The site is here, but note that it's almost safe for work but not quite.  There's no flagrant nudity, but a couple photos from the seller's hard drive, though small, probably cross the line of what you'd want your boss seeing on your computer.

Speaking of buying things on eBay, how about a Back to the Future car?  (I hear it's difficult to jump start.)

Rolling Thunder made national news and significant blog attention this year.  I predict that it won't be long before motorcycle parades are mainstream events.

Speaking of motorcycles and Memorial Day, the best special I saw this weekend was Jesse James in Iraq on Discovery Channel.

Speaking of watching TV this weekend.  You may have noticed by the lack of links to sports blogs that I'm not much of a sports fan.  I watch boxing and mixed martial arts, and that's about it.  I did not purchase UFC 60 on pay per view, and mixed martial arts doesn't exactly prompt breaking news banners on TV when results come in, so I was grateful to this site for live blogging the event and letting me know the result (which I won't ruin for you if you have it recorded, but I will say it was the outcome I anticipated) almost exactly when it happened.  By chance I logged onto the site as the fight was starting and hit refresh until it ended.

Social mail turns mail into an RSS feed.

Commuter Click:  The shame of Kilo company — Time magazine is leading the way on the story of the killings in Haditha.

Ghost ship with 11 petrified corpses washes up in Barbados — Obviously not petrified.  More like mummified, but still quite a story.

Tribe wanted — "It is tribewanted’s aim to create a sustainable and ecological community on Adventure Island and to encourage tribe members to actively take part in this challenge."  It sounds like a co-op time share on a Fiji Island.  The Digg community is somewhat skeptical.

Video of the Day:  RC plane demonstrations like this are another reason why I feel like the future will be full of little buzzing flying things.

Great (and quite large) solar eclipse photo.

How Microsoft Could Crush Google Overnight Legally & Free — I'm not so sure about the legally part, but it's an interesting idea.  Since browsers block pop-up ads, why not have a browser that blocks all ads?  RSS readers filter ads too.  So the theory is that if IE blocked ads on Google, Google would be toast.

Japan is proud home of Christ's tomb — I'm not saying I buy it, but "Christ in Japan" would make an interesting book philosophically, not to mention all the "Christ's lost will and heir" stuff.

May 26, 2006 | 6:23 PM ET

The audio of the chat with James Robinson about the Gospel of Judas is ready now .  There were a few technical glitches with the new MSNBC.com phone booth that you may here, but he was a good guest.

Who's next?  Next Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET I'll be able to talk on the phone with magician/rock star Criss Angel.  How's that for a change of gears?  As always, you can use the box below to submit questions and comments or recommend another chat guest.

May 25, 2006 | 3:06 AM ET

In what may be the creepiest blog entry I've ever clicked, I read through a long entry on AdRants about how a disease I've never heard of, Morgellons, a symptom of which is the production of wiry hairs from itchy sores, is actually an elaborate viral marketing campaign for a movie, only to get the bottom and find an update that says it's not a hoax but a real disease.

Shortly thereafter I clicked this London Times story exploring the possibility that the disease might be psychosomatic.  (Doesn't sound like it to me.)

I checked Boing Boing to see if they had any perspective on the Web hoax possibility.  They reported on it recently with a straight face, perhaps not realizing they'd mentioned it already back in 2004.

The movie in question, A Scanner Darkly, does have a viral marketing campaign going on, but it's a contest to remix the trailer, not spreading news of a strange disease.

Speaking of trailers, no, this isn't 9/11 Part 2, return of Nick Cage.  It's Ghost Rider.  It looks pretty corny.  (I can't wait to see it.)

Speaking of movies, reportedly there is something important to be seen after the credits roll on the new X-Men movie.  This article insists that's not a spoiler, it's fair notice.

I'm not sure why it didn't make the cover of MSNBC.com, but Pat Robertson can leg press 2,000 pounds.  My guess is that in order to talk to God he has to jump to heaven.  Some faithless heathens don't believe it.  Tsk.

Video of the Day:  A series of crashes in a tunnel in Russia.  Disturbingly vivid (no guts or anything though, SFW).  Most of them make for a good lesson in what it means to overcorrect a vehicle.

The Worth1000 crew once again takes on monsters and masters.  Safe for work, but one David full frontal.

Why is everyone linking to the brand new New York Times NY politics blog?  Aside from it being new and having video, it also allows comments, which is significant to the Clinton marriage story.

Top Ten Stock Photography Cliches

"The first working prototype of the $100 Laptop is unveiled at the Seven Countries Task Force Meeting, 23 May 2006."  Related:   One laptop per child

The latest Carnival of the Recipes is all crock pot cooking.  Recently my wife has been making a great pulled pork in a crock pot.  I don't know the recipe, but it looks similar to the one on the list.  Good stuff.

Top 50 places to have a beer in America.

"If the US decided to go ahead with a two-tier internet, the network would enter 'a dark period'."  So says Tim Berners-Lee.

" So I nearly got killed today..."  His neighbor fired a gun and the bullet went through the wall and almost hit him.  It's cooler when you see the picture.  Not really discussed is the troubling fact that the neighbor apparently fired his gun at a mirror.

The current options for watching downloadable TV.

Speaking of options, iPod killers for summer 2006 — You'd never know it with all the iPod hype, but there are a lot of other portable media devices.

Macy's to add iPod vending machines — Can you imagine flattening 400 dollar bills against the side of the machine trying to feed them into the bill slot to buy an iPod from a machine?

Speaking of iPods, you may have seen this awesome new Nike iPod toy mentioned on TV today.  We've seen other examples of smart clothes, but this is the most impressive execution of an idea I've seen.  Even if you don't care to hear from your sneakers, it's not hard to think of other applications for a wireless transmission to a nearly weightless media device that then speaks into your ears.

If the iPod sneakers are too active for your taste, maybe a speaker pillow is more your speed.  Ever try to fall asleep with headphones on?

The last couple of days, my colleague Alex Johnson has been visiting the east coast and sitting in the cube next to mine, so I was pleased to tell him I'd come upon the "failing textbooks" installment of his " Can America Compete " series on a list of most-linked stories.

How the government sidesteps the Privacy Act by purchasing commercial data

"Never heard of the 'state secrets' privilege? You're not alone. But the Bush administration sure has."  Funny how the things that should be private aren't and those that shouldn't be private are.

America's most dangerous gang — I had to do some searching to find the significance of this one.  It's being used as an explanation for how border security fits into the war on terror.  Some believe al Qaeda is trying to work with Latin American gangs like this.  I'd never heard of Mara Salvatrucha 13.  I did see some old articles in the collection talking about Laura Bush being assigned to deal with America's gangs.  I always thought that was weird.  How come no one ever asks her about how that's going?

I came across more of that al Qaeda/immigration argument here and here, so I think we can expect the debate to turn in that direction.  The second link, about a terror suspect caught in Texas is from 2004 and the blogger predicts that stories like that will bring the border issue to foreground of public discussion.  Not quite, but not wrong either.

This is some kind of future forecast presentation by Yahoo called " Analyst Day 2006."  It's 188 pages (pdf) long, so I wouldn't call it a Commuter Click, but I got to slide 60 and found it interesting.

WorldChanging points out that there is no longer any debate among reasonable people about the existence of global climate change (the causes maybe, but not the existence).  And yet skeptics and trolls continue to try to argue the point online.  So they're asking readers to contribute to a complete document that lays out the case for global climate change and can serve as a single response to niggling quibblers and the odd troll.

Longer life could have a downside — The downside has to do with how it would change society.  For some reason change is a downside.  This is part one of a weeklong series that started Monday.  Better late than never.

Why do people contribute?  What makes people spend their free time contributing to group sites?  Who are these people, and do they already exist or can they be made?

That last question is mine, and this link has no definitive answers, but interesting discussion.

The BBC offers a slide show of a new dam in China, telling the story pretty well for only ten photos.

"I've heard rumors about a pilot who demonstrated that you can pour a drink in the cockpit while doing a barrel roll and not spill a drop."  Scroll ahead to 2:09.

In international waters, are you beyond the reach of the law?  A remarkably long answer.  The short one:  No.

Folks online have a lot to say about HBO's new " Baghdad ER."  I'm trying to avoid the commentary though, it's still in my DVR backlog.

BYU students fly tiny, birdlike 'ornithopter' at competition — That's a great name, but the article uses MAV for Micro Air Vehicles.  It's hard not to envision a future with the air full of these things.

May 23, 2006 | 11:09 PM ET

Dear Will,
Regarding you characterization of Murtha’s comments on the incident in Iraq: You characterized him as publicity seeking and the investigation as still ongoing and the question to be decided by that investigation. 

The US military investigation is not the only investigation that means anything . In fact it may be an investigation whose only meaning is to reveal how far into dishonor the US military has truly sunk over the last few years. It is hard to imagine it has a real prospect of ending in the foreseeable future. IPN and others have actually bothered to look into the matter themselves with some speed and the testimony they have obtained supports the original claims by the local civilians and the film that was taken after the events.

You need to start clicking other links. I notice that some of your sources stink. Maybe that’s the problem.

You know, there are still some folks who believe in God and love their Country and think that doing the right thing is the right thing to do and also believe that the truth will make you strong!

I think there are three people like that in America.

Not you or me.

But Murtha may be one of them.

Regards,
Ed

Will replies:  Hi Ed.  I said that Murtha draws the media spotlight, not chases it.  I meant that the media likes to exploit what he says.  As for sources, links please.  This is a clicking blog.

Thanks for linking to that MP3 blogger collaboration that appeared on my site last week.  The check is in the mail.

If you're interested, another group post is up.  This one's about live versions of songs that are better than recorded versions.

Take care,
Ryan

Will replies: Thanks Ryan, that’s a good theme.  I’m having trouble getting your site to load at the moment, but it worked earlier so I assume you’re suffering a temporary glitch.

Will, In your "Clicked" blog/column on msnbc.com, you solicited suggestions for "20-minute interviews."  You could consider interviewing Henry Kissinger and Robert McNamara about the War in Iraq.  (I THINK that they are both still alive!)
-Matthew

Will replies:  Thanks for the suggestion Matthew, I’m sure those would be good interviews.  I don’t have a lot of faith that I’d be able to book them however.  I’ll leave that sort of thing to Chris Matthews.

I would LOVE to see an interview with an expert on video game effects (not necessarily one with an anti-violence focus, e.g., Craig Anderson). A great one that immediately comes to mind is Peter Vorderer, from the University of Southern California.

Thanks!
Amy

Will replies:  Ah!  Now that sounds like something I can do, and I agree it would be an interesting talk.  Give me a little while to do some research and I’ll see if I can put him on the calendar.

Hi Will. Before you get too sarcastic about "secret rooms deep in the bowels" of a central office, remember that COs have lots of those. A CO is where all the switching gear goes in general. They have lots of secret rooms (authorized personnel only). Even the rooms where competitors get to put their own DSL equipment are treated as secret rooms. All of them are normally deep in the bowels (below ground) or certainly in the center of the building (switches and DSLAMs want it cold and do not want window offices ;-). The alternative is big windowless server farm buildings which are ugly.

Regards, Paul

My next door neighbor had an occasion a number of years ago to go into the phone company building to do something.  He was warned away from an area that was apparently government-controlled equipment.  I guess we now know what it was.  Apparently there is ASL of government monitoring going on that we don't know about.

—Charles

Will replies:  Though I was making fun of the language a little, I wasn’t being sarcastic.  I totally believe in secret rooms and hope one day to have one of my own.

Greatest play in major league baseball

—Joe and Mary Lou

Will replies:  Thanks, I hadn’t seen that before.

Dear Mr. Femia:
I think you will find my post describing what my life was like after my doctor diagnosed me with Conservative Fatigue Syndrome very interesting.

You may not yet be familiar with my modest blog yet, since it is less than six months old but it is already creating a bit of a stir and has received more than 60,000 visitors and 500 links, including one from Crooks & Liars yesterday (and also last week) and one from The Corner a couple months ago. Perhaps because my blog defies easy pigeonholing, the comments section on every post usually includes both very angry detractors and very passionate defenders. I urge you to take a look for yourself.
Sincerely,
Jon Swift

Will replies:  Dear Mr. Swift, congratulations on the growing success of you blog.  May you continue to enjoy it in good health.

Hi Will,
I'm a long time reader (have written you before) and was thrilled to see that you interviewed Seth Roberts.  I've been overweight my whole life.  I started his oil and no ditto food suggestion and have experienced, for the first time in my life, complete indifference to food.  It's really amazing.  It's been 10 days and I'm down six pounds and thinking about ways to try to eat more.  I'm just not hungry, at all, from such a simple thing I buy at the grocery store.  It happened immediately, and by the end of the first week, all of the perishable food in my fridge had perished.  If you've dieted your whole life, what he studied and eventually discovered makes a ton of sense.

Thanks for publicizing it.  I sincerely believe he has found the solution to obesity.

Regards,
Denise

Will replies:  Hi Denise, I’m glad to hear this is working for you.  I told my mother in law about it and she’s trying it now too with positive results.  My only concern is that nutrition goes out the window with appetite.  I’m still having a hard time understanding intuitively how the body sets a weight for itself based on a flavor/calorie association.

The geek I once was, voiced by the geek I’ve become.
—Sean

Will replies:  Note to clickers, this is a really funny mash-up of Justice League America and The Office, but be aware there are a couple of loud curses in it.

Dear Will,
Any aspiring novelists hoping to get great feedback -- and compete for a $5,000 prize for the best novel -- should check out TheNextBigWriter.com soon.

Writers and reviewers will be voting for their favorite novel up until June 7, when the votes will be tallied and the novel will be selected.  It will be published on the public domain of the site, as well.

For more information about the competition or the site, please consult the release below.  To join the site and the competition, writers can follow instructions on the home page of TheNextBigWriter.com.

If you would like to interview the site's founder, Sol Nasisi, please contact me.

All the best,
Chuck

Will replies:  Thanks Chuck.  One co-worker of mine described it as American Idol for writers (and meant that in a good way).

Hi Will, my wife and I are both regular readers of Clicked and big fans.  So we thought you'd be interested in a site we just launched:  Amiglia.

Amiglia is focused on family networks, tying the concept of a family tree with an online photo album together.  It makes it easy for people to spread the site through their cousins, brothers, sisters to discover old photos of common relatives and to keep up to date with each other.  The site includes a family calendar, birthday reminders, mp3 uploads for slideshows, Skype integration, favorite recipes, stories, toddler games, family and trip/vacation maps using GoogleMaps and powerful photo tagging.

We've just launched final BETA and are giving away a free lifetime premium memberships to anybody who signs up during this period.

Amiglia is truly built by a family for families.  Amiglia was founded by father and son Tim and Paul Berry with the help of their wives Milena and Vange.  Amiglia evolved out of a family photo site started by Tim and later perfected by Paul, which became a focal point for all the Berrys' family pictures and memories.  Paul is Sr. Vice President of IT of a publicly traded company and has several years of experience in building social software applications.  Milena is a robotics engineer.  Tim is President of Palo Alto Software, and one of the world's most recognized business planning experts.

We've had fantastic feedback from our first group of users, and the site is spreading well within the families that are using it. We'd love to answer any questions you might have, it feels like we have a real story here.

Best regards,
Paul and Milena

Will replies:  Hi Paul and Milena, nice job with this site.  I really like that interactive family tree.  I’ve been showing it to anyone who walks past my desk or blips up on my IM.  I may take you up on one of those memberships.  Note to clickers:  The site plays music when it loads, check your volume.  P&M, my one criticism is that I was looking for a volume icon (a speaker or something) and didn’t realize that one of the pause buttons was for volume.

" Rare mirage — I understand the text, but I'm still not sure I understand it.  Am I meant to believe that the entire city in the photo is actually not there?"

Will, it's right there in the last paragraph: "...a mirage is formed when moisture in the air becomes warmer than the temperature of sea water, which refracts rays of sunlight to create reflections of the landscape in the sky."

Actually, mirages are refractions, not reflections (maybe you can't get all worked up about that, but to this astronomy buff and telescope owner, it's an important distinction), but to answer your question, yes. The image was that of a real city. And given the detail in the photo, I wouldn't be surprised if somebody figured out which one.

Here's an excellent explanation of mirages.

Best regards,
Brenda Coulter

Will replies:  Hi Brenda.  I’m sure I’d get worked up over it if I saw a whole city appear in the middle of the water.  I understand what a mirage is, but I never would have thought an entire city would show up like that.

Dear Will,
There's one more thing to keep people online longer. It's called stumbling, and it's about as addictive an Internet activity as you can find.

It starts by downloading the StumbleUpon extension for the Mozilla Firefox browser. Choose the topics that are of interest to you, and with each click of a button, you'll begin to stumble upon pages that have been vetted by others interested in the same topic. Hence - no garbage or tricks. And you'll discover sites you wouldn't have thought to look for.

Three Canadians founded StumbleUpon: Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith, and Justin LaFrance. Exclusively through word-of-mouth, over 850,000 people from 139 countries have reviewed, rated, and categorized over five million web pages since the service was first launched. The StumbleUpon team has recently relocated to San Francisco and has secured funding from some of the most successful angel investors in Silicon Valley, enabling them to get out of "stealth" mode and allow millions more to begin stumbling.

StumbleUpon is officially being launched in the US tomorrow. The press release follows.

Best,
Amy

Will replies:  Hi Amy, thanks.  This is a fun site to play with.  It reminds me a little of Hot or Not but with more and better tools and no insecure teens taking pictures of themselves in the mirror.  Great name too.  (FYI to readers, the official launch was May 16, I'm a little behind.)

Will,
Is it just me or does Colin Farrell look a lot like a young George Michael in the picture on the Miami Vice trailer site?
—Mike

Will replies:  Well, he certainly doesn’t look like Sonny Crockett.  I can see how you’re seeing George Michael, but when I look at him I see Colin Farrell in a costume, made up for a movie.  There are some actors who completely disappear into the characters they’re playing so that I forget who they really are.  Colin Farrell is not such an actor.

I was just your May 9th posts, and noticed that you said:

"That led to comparing weather sites which led to some enthusiasm for the idea of projecting real time satellite (or Doppler) animation on a global map."

2 things:   One, NASA's WorldWind (a digital globe similar to Google Earth) has the ability download satellite images over a selected time range then play them just like seeing the looped radar images off of Intellicast or NWS, etc.

Two: some Garmin GPS units can receive weather data via the XM weather bands and then plot it right on the map screen, showing you and the surrounding imaging.

FWIW....

-L

Will replies:  Thanks L, I looked up that World Wind.  I haven't downloaded it yet, but will do as soon as I get some free time.

Now that you can have tabs finally with explorer without downloading the buggy vista browser (the new msn toolbar), can you make your links open in a new tab instead of forcing a new window even when you alt click your links??

THANKS IF YOU CAN!

Wally

Will replies:  Wally, I didn’t even realize I have no idea how to do what you’re asking, so thanks for bringing it up.  Is there a target tag for a new tab?  I’ll see if I can find a way to make our publishing tool do it.

FYI
        Consensus

        An opinion or position reached by a group as a whole: “Among political women... there is a clear consensus about the problems women candidates have traditionally faced” (Wendy Kaminer). See Usage Note at redundancy.

General agreement or accord: government by consensus.

        Thus  "General Consensus" ==>  general general agreement

        as in

        Though the article makes some interesting and alarming points, the general consensus around the water cooler here is that other explanations are more likely (like more oral sex, less intercourse).

—Mike

Will replies:  Tsk, OK smart guy.

Regarding your mention of nanotechnology. There is so much to consider here. The dangers of this technology are unknown, so we should not just jump on that bandwagon without thinking it through. Already there have been nano particles that harm living organisms.   Here's just one site I found.

Will replies:  Thanks, I don’t often consider the caveats and downsides to nanotech while I’m surfing.  There are so many forward thinking people online that it's less common to encounter sober voices than it is to find giddy futurists.

Hey Will,
You gotta read Carl Zimmer's Parasite Rex. sure it may make your skin crawl but it's a fascinating look at the relationship between parasites and their hosts.
As well, Google "hookworm trials" and you'll get all kinds of links like this one.
I don't recommend infesting oneself with the worms either, but there is something to be said for further study of the subject.
Shauna

Will replies:  Thanks Shauna, I do remember that Parasite Rex item, thanks for reminding me.  I didn't read the book, but I did click this essay.

May 23, 2006 | 2:50 PM ET

James Robinson, author of The Secrets of Judas will join me on the phone tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2 p.m. ET.  If you have questions about the "Gospel of Judas" or researching the history of the Bible, use the form below so I can use your questions in the interview.

Related stories:

This is finished now.  I'll have the audio available on Friday (probably).

May 22, 2006 | 12:26 PM ET

I've been thinking about why Clicked readers might care about the opening of a new 24x7x365 Apple store in New York City.  Heck, I've thinking about why I should even care.  To be sure, the store's opening has made an impact in the blogosphere, though I suspect that's due in large part to the sheer number of New York City bloggers, not to mention the avid cult of Apple that makes any new development by that company news.  But looking at today's aftermath round-up on Gothamist ( before and after) I realized that this was no ordinary tech event.

Last week we saw the ridiculous line to play the new Nintendo at E3 and now we see thousands of people lining up to see a new computer store.  Not long ago we saw diamond studded iPod listening buds and fancy wooden computer cases and peripherals.  Not long ago I wondered when Internet and video game reporting would migrate from being seen as tech news to being categorized as entertainment news.  When thousands gather for a star-studded opening in New York City, that's entertainment.

Speaking of finding entertainment in technology, 3D Milling service for virtual worlds — I'm a little dubious of the final results, but the idea is cool.  I've heard of people having their blogs printed up as books and I know there are a bunch of services that will turn your photoblog into a coffee table book.  Now this idea of turning your virtual game avatar into a real model.  Looks like a trend to me.

Some folks online are worked up over the revelation by former NY Times reporter Judith Miller in an Alternet interview that, prior to 9/11, she had a tip about a domestic terror attack.  She didn't know enough to report on it or warn anyone, so it's really just another frustrating near miss 9/11 story.  Short version here.

Military bloggers are having a strong reaction to Congressman Murtha coming to his own conclusions about the killing of 15 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in November.  The story isn't new, and the results of the investigation aren't in, so it's odd that it's making news now with no real peg, but I guess Murtha has a way of drawing the media spotlight lately.

You may have seen a news item about Iranian president Ahmedinajad intending to send a letter to the Pope.  What I didn't realize is the larger context of letter writing of this sort in Isalm.  "Their origins go all the way back to Mohammed, who often issued letters to the kings of lands he was about to attack to invite them to accept Islam before Mohammed would invade to convert them by the sword."

Google is soliciting break up videos as part of a movie promotion.  So far there's not much to see, but it says June 2 is national break-up day, so maybe it'll be worth coming back then.

I have to agree that the new oil company ads supporting carbon dioxide (???) are nothing short of hysterical.

" Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect."  It's not about whether you have anything to hide.

"Americans' obsession with their cars did not come about by accident."  It wasn't a conspiracy, it was more like a snowballing of American car-love.  At the end he points out there's no political or cultural will in America to break up with the car.  I want to disagree, but efforts like Critical Mass still feel like fringe movements to me.  I welcome any more convincing examples.

Historical Sounds in MP3 Format — More like "sound bites" than sounds because they're clips from speeches or interviews.  Still interesting.

A band called Lordi is seeing its name spread across the Internet this weekend.  They're a metal bad from Finland that looks a little like GWAR and they just won the Eurovision song contest.

I Ordered A Pizza, But I Got A Dose Of Reality Instead — Though there's some skepticism about the underlying veracity, here's an interesting story of a pizza delivery guy with some personal complexities.  I love stories like this that make the ordinary seem more interesting.

Design a sign warning people of a radioactive waste dump so they can understand it without speaking English or being familiar with our culture.

Beware of broadband speed overkill — I haven't personally received any spam about it yet, but apparently there's a bit of a race among ISPs to offer crazy fat bandwidth.

"Immersion's new TouchSense Technology for Touch Screens combines vibro feedback with finger-position recognition and interpolation to deliver tactile feedback on standard touch screens."  They're talking about adding some kind of texture or bump to a touch screen so it's more clear that you've touched the right place.

Corkd is a new site for wine lovers to share recommendations.  Folks are linking to it like crazy, but so far the content seems a little light.  As a resource it's going to take a little while to fill up with useful info, but it does look like a handy way to keep track of your own wine explorations.

Though not as prestigious as the FBI's porn hunters, becoming a smut scanner could earn you money for something you're already doing.

Speaking of surfing porn, a new Firefox extension (which I've not tried, you're on your own there) will cover your tracks as you surf.  This kind of feature is historically known as " porn mode."

Tracking Bush approval ratings over time using the red/blue map model.

When you really care, say it with toilet paper.

152 reviews of the Da Vinci Code - mostly bad.

21st century decluttering — All that crap you're saving because you think it's worth something?  Look it up on eBay to see what similar items sold for and if it's not the valuable museum piece you thought it'd be, chuck it.  (For that matter, if you're married to/living with someone who doesn't believe you when you tell them they have too much junk, you can use this method to demonstrate just how worthless the junk is.)

Seamless pictures — Escher-like perspective tricks.  Warning:  The blog has so much cool stuff on it that there's a good chance you'll start at the top and lose your entire word day playing with it.

Video of the Day:  " Legendary jazz dancers"  Fun stuff.

Last male of purebred rabbit species dies — The article is all about efforts at breeding programs, but isn't this exactly the kind of thing that cloning would be good for?

Assorted full screen 360 degree panoramas.  I keep telling people these are betting than video.  Check out the London Trafalger Square protest, the third one in on the top row.  It takes a while, but eventually it loads with 360 audio that changes speakers as you spin the image.  I'd much rather play with that on my own than watch someone else's single perspective video.

10 dumb things users can do to mess up their computers — There's good advice here, but keep in mind this is an IT community site for computer experts who deal with non-computer experts.  It's not necessarily gospel.

Blogging the Bible — A person with no Bible studies background reads the Bible and writes his impressions of the stories.

Speaking of God, I got in a small argument with one of our news editors on Friday about the decision to put Pat Robertson's communications with God on the cover of MSNBC.com.  In the course of our back-and-forth, I joked that I knew Pat Robertson hadn't talked with God because God told me so and my communication with God, being equally as verifiable as Robertson's, should be equally newsworthy.  The editor replied that I should use that as the headline for Clicked.  Hence today's deck.

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