IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Finders weepers, losers mob justice

My name is Will.  This is what I clicked.

June 8 |

Two stories dominated online chatter last night (pre-Zarqawi news), the first is the story of a .  Actually, we've been debating here around the water cooler about whether finding something in a cab constitutes stealing it.  I still insist that if you find something whose owner is identifiable, that's stealing.  Finding 50 bucks in cash is one thing (happened to me once, woo hoo!), but finding 50 bucks in a wallet with a driver's license in it, that's stealing.  Anyway, in this case it's a Sidekick and as we've seen so many times before, crime doesn't pay when the Internet is involved.  Through a series of tricks worthy of a CSI episode, it was determined who had the Sidekick and soon we saw photos of her and her family and videos of her from her MySpace page and a has formed encouraging her to return the device.  The log of the story is pretty scary actually.

The second big story online is one you may remember if you were a Clicked reader back in .  Wired has resurrected the story of folks giving themselves the sixth sense of magnetic touch by .  Answer to my biggest concern: "People with magnetic implants can't erase hard drives or credit cards. They don't set off airport metal detectors or get stuck to refrigerators."

"The project is our version of the Heisenberg principle: reading a certain book in a certain place uniquely affects a person's experience with both. The writing you'll find here is grounded in that idea. You won't find any book reviews here. You'll find reviews of experience."

Best idea I've heard all day: Crusade To Dump Social Security Numbers Picks Up Steam — Yesterday I saw my colleague Bob Sullivan about how whose identities were stolen.  Says Bob, "Why is the burden on the people who are on the list?  Why is the burden on the vets to take care of this problem?  Somebody else should be looking out for their credit.  So hopefully Congress will step up to the plate and start funding that." 

As I understand it, Congress has already failed on this issue by passing laws that protect banks and ID merchants and leaving citizens exposed to this problem.  I'm not necessarily opposed to a system of identification, but clearly the one we have is broken and too vulnerable to abuse.

Video of the Day: (Actually, maybe audio of the day because I love the sound of that F1.)  "Can a Ferrari 575 catch up to a Fiat hatchback after a 31-second head start ? Better still, can an F1 car catch up to both after waiting 1:27?"

— There's not much practical application here, but it's interesting to see what goes into making a simple fuel cell.  Also good to learn that there's such a thing as in case the subject comes up in the future.

Speaking of fuel cells, " could be on the road much earlier than the decade or more so far predicted."  It's kind of mind blowing to read about the UK getting the hydrogen ball rolling when I don't remember reading the answers to all of the objections to the hydrogen economy.  I thought it was too unstable?  Required too much energy to produce?  Was a decade away technologically anyway...  I guess someone forgot to tell the UK it couldn't be done.

" refers to the tendency of people to rate sets of statements as highly accurate for them personally even though the statements could apply to many people."  Explains why so many people think pseudosciences "work."  (Not sure of the date on this one, but still interesting.)

"A group of designers have proposed “,” a cellphone whose electronic innards are recyclable and whose outside is made of paper."  It's the paper milk carton of cell phones.

— I'm not sure why this link is popular, but I think it's a funny thing to keep track of. 

"TiVo today announced that it's adding 10 companies that will provide ."  Another clue in the answer to my question of whether we'll one day watch TV on our computers or whether we'll watch our computers on TV.

Speaking of the future of TV, I don't quite understand the reasoning behind Major League Baseball .  You'll recall Sling Media lets you relay the broadcast from your TV to your computer, no matter where your computer is.  I don't see how MLB can argue with this quote: "What difference does it make to MLB whether I'm watching the game at home or someplace else?" he asked. "We're talking about content that's been paid for. Nobody has stolen anything."

Speaking of new ways to ingest the Web, "A new device that will make internet content without the need for computer skills is to be launched in a few months' time."  Apparently it will only read selected parts of the Web, but still, it sounds like a cool thing for sighted people too.  I imagine it would be a popular feature for cars.

Quite apart from today's , Iraqi blogger Zeyad describes a somewhat distressing situation in parts of Baghdad where an is being enforced.

Speaking of the Zarqawi news, I clicked blog to learn some further information about Zarqawi's hiding place.  And found further interesting information on on Counterterrorism blog.  Jim Miklaszewski's is also seeing new life: "But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger."

"Let's say we had an altruistic and incorruptible Superman, to improve the macroeconomy?"

I cannot fathom why the Today show people booked Ann Coulter and I'm even embarrassed to give the matter this much energy, but .

Inside the cult of Kos

Craigslist is being blocked by Cox Interactive - ?  The idea here is that Cox makes a lot of money from classified ads, kind of ads that are losing business to Craigslist.  Cox is also an ISP, so when its subscribers suddenly have trouble accessing Craigslist... hmmm.  Now we see what's really at stake in the net neutrality debate.

is for people to share recommendations for bike routes, mashed with Google maps.  Still new, so there's not much in the database yet, but the biking community is pretty avid, so I expect they'll flesh it out pretty quickly.

— Short answer:  What you don't want to keep, give as a gift or use as decoration on a gift.  Don't forget to involve your child in the process.

Interesting optical illusion brings .

— A flickr blogger shares photos from her grandfather's military tour from 1945 to 1947.

"Loic Jean Albert BASE jumps from a helicopter ."  (By the way, see in the comments?  Check it out if you doubted the veracity of the premise of the new movie.)

June 7 |

to go from empty kitchen to feeding 4 to 6 people three meals a day plus snacks for a week.  Includes menus and recipes.

This guy is keeping a diary of what happens when a human .

Speaking of food, someone please give some to the girl .

— The guy assembled the costume from scratch using real rocks.  If you're like me, the answer to the question you're wondering is 110 pounds.

Video of the Day: 

As a close second I clicked this .  The whole thing seems pretty low tech, but I can't help but feel like some of those tricks are using special effects.  It comes from .

— In this case Web 2.0 means social networking sites.  You may have read that some people think the whole thing is a bubble because there's no real money making scheme attached to it all.  This essay argues that the money is in mining your personal information while you customize and personalize and flesh out your social network.

— I remember a news story a while back about someone picking up the signal from a neighbor's video baby monitor and catching them in the act of abusing their child.  It was an interesting story because there were questions of whether it was an illegal search of the person's house.  I think in the end it was legal because the person was foolish enough to broadcast their abuse across the neighborhood so it wasn't a violation to receive that broadcast.  Anyway, after that I thought we'd see more of those kind of universal video receivers but this is the first one I've seen.  It's not exactly a bug detector because it wouldn't pick up a wired signal.  Basically good for spying and that's about it.  UPDATE:  Found the story and .

— Action figure sold separately.

Speaking of action figures, how to .  (Note:  Not my problem when you fall on your head.)

that come from Shakespeare plays.

Exercises and tricks for .

Speaking of memory,   (Originally spotted , but medical stuff on blogs makes me nervous because I can never tell if it's spam so I went looking for the source, which could still be spam, but at least it's primary spam.)

Is Australia culturally suited to ?  And is there such a thing as an archetypal appeal of a hero story?

A DIY project waiting to happen:  .  It's a ridiculous idea, but I do think it's cool that you can change what it says with a text message.

Speaking of programming your appearance, (Futuristic ideas with mostly nanotech solutions.)

Two days in, Slate's series is well done.

Though I admit I don't follow gossip blogs all that closely, it seems significant that they're making inroads on traditional media territory.  Is a gossip blogger being the same as pundit bloggers being given space at the political conventions?

Speaking of gossip, did you see our headline, ""?  Of course I looked for it.  Though the lawyers definitely have their claws out on this one, I found .

Stephen Colbert gives at Knox College and advises the comedy improv rule "yes, and."  I almost fell off my chair when I got to that paragraph because I too learned the "yes, and" rule and consider it one of the most valuable take-aways of my college experience.  In short, "no" kills the skit, "yes, and" builds it.  Other applications abound.

In the growing field of stalkerware, lets you keep track of when the relationship status of MySpace users changes.  NOTE:  Clicking the "recently checked" link may produce NSFW content.  I saw one boobie.

June 5 |

Some quick links I clicked in between Monday catch-up.

Yahoo has relaunched to make vlogging (video blogging) easier and to contribute to the rapidly growing pool of viral video.  Meanwhile, YouTube has added something called where users can aggregate their videos (or other people's videos).  There would appear to be a on.

Video of the Day:  .  We've already seen the reaction these two substances have when mixed, but this choreographed number is better than fireworks.

It's a snake on a MF plane! 

— Semi-serious.  It might also be titled, 56 practices of successful bloggers.

"Welcome to the first stock exchange on headline news!"  lets you bet on what keywords will be popular in the news media.

Since so many people are writing in about it, my Commuter Click today is about the 2004 election being stolen.  I sort of thought we were past that, but since the scab is off, I might as well see what all the fuss is about.

I also clicked this:  "? No.  In Rolling Stone, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. argues that new evidence proves that Bush stole the election. But the evidence he cites isn't new and his argument is filled with distortions and blatant omissions."  (Yes, Salon is a pain.  I click the ad and then go do something else until it plays out and come back to read it later.)  I'm going to hold off on reading through this very thoroughly unless I find the Kennedy piece really convincing.

The blog describes a new small business blog every day.

  (This threw errors at me in IE but worked fine in Firefox.)

leads the blog charge on an L.A. Times story about the Pentagon legitimizing torture.  (By leading the blog charge, I mean a lot of bloggers are writing about it.  By no means is there unity of opinion on whether torture is OK or not.)

brings us independent/blogging military reporter Michael Yon's appearance on CNN.  He's talking about the unsettled state of Afghanistan.

Regarding the , I was reading a letter to the editor to earlier today from someone who tried to look up some information about 9/11 on Google and ended up being a convert to the conspiracy beliefs.  That in itself is an interesting commentary on Internet research.

" outlines a libertarian approach to poverty."

Your readers may be interested in the newest Carnival of Investing, which was posted

Will replies:  Thanks Flexo.  Speaking of investing, I just got a book called in the mail from the publisher.  I still have to look through it and I'll check with one of our business guys like , but it might make for an interesting chat to compare with what had to say about running out of oil.

By the way, on Friday I went to a and heard a guy named Amit talk about something called :  "We find the most kick-ass photo tips, DIY projects, and gear and bring them to you."  I've only just signed up, so no first hand review, but it sounds worthwhile.

June 1 |

helps you look up people on the Web.  A little creepy.

Speaking of being looked up on the Web, here's how to avoid big brother online.  It's a lot of instructions on using Tor and other anonymizer ideas.  We've seen some of these before, but this is a nice package.  (Note: you're on your own with the downloads.)

Around 6,035 people "" in 2004.

, always good for helping those in developmental stages of self esteem realized that media images aren't true to reality.  It's a little weird to see them doctor up a photo of a child, but it looks like they only adjusted the clothing, not the body or face like the older women.   I wonder how they decided the girl needed a fatter heel.  UPDATE:  I read the little girl photo backward.  So in fact, the original has the fatter heel, a curse this poor little girl will have to bear all her life.  (Although the fact that I thought the "before" was the "after" should tell marketers something about whether they're actually improving these images.)  Thanks Summer and Sean for pointing out my error.

There's a twist on the story of the laptop scammer I mentioned Tuesday.  Apparently the alleged scammer's life is now a living hell and he's asked the police to get involved.  .

Speaking of stories with a follow-up, I'm pleased to say that I didn't link to the Iran Nazi badges story, so I didn't have to print a follow-up correction.  But the story did set off alarm bells for folks who are wary of more misinformation leading us into another war.  So when the man behind that story, Amir Taheri, was invited to the White House as an expert, .

Still speaking of follow-ups, from Christopher in the mailbag:

you might find interesting.  It is a response to Dr. Roy Spencer's questions on "An Inconvenient Truth"...nothing too intense, but the guy provides a number of interesting links to rebut much of Dr. Spencer's questions.

Best "" ad ever.

For some reason I clicked two entries from It's Just Money from two separate sources last night.  The blogger uses a friendly voice and writes in a very accessible way about personal finance:

Speaking of personal finances, .  Not only automating your pay deposit, but your bill paying and regular payment investing.  It requires a lot of faith in the system though.  If you're being billed wrong and you're used to the computer doing everything automatically, you're in for a mess.

The Reddit community (Be careful, you can lose a lot of time if you start reading this).  What's interesting is that Reddit is sort of like a message board, so in cases where people know similar jokes they added their variations in subthreads.

  Special powers aren't just for comic-book characters, some ethicists argue — This line of discussion is strangely absent from the steroid debate.  I sometimes wonder why we have any restraint at all with regard to  physical enhancements.  Of course, I'm not rushing to my local surgical theater, but if it's non-exploitive, why not?

Popular Science takes a closer look at .

While there I also clicked .  Sounds like the death of the diamond industry to me.  Also interesting:  "[S]cientists will be able to cheaply mass-produce diamond semiconductors that are hundreds of times as powerful as their silicon counterparts."

Giving new meaning to the term "."

Speaking of plays on words, Video of the Day:  What's the deal with ?  (I say that in jest as I have both friends and family who are cops.)

Let's make it a three-fer: 

— The blogger is a writer looking for personal stories of how the individual activity of Web surfing is integrated into the lives of couples.  We know that some technology is rude, like answering a cell phone in the middle of dinner, but are there social mores regarding surfing?

— I found the content a little lacking, but the idea of clicking the marker and seeing a little tour video is neat.  I'd like to see it applied to other info.

Speaking of cool ways to present information, " (SOTU) provides access to the corpus of all the State of the Union addresses from 1790 to 2006. SOTU allows you to explore how specific words gain and lose prominence over time, and to link to information on the historical context for their use."

— While you're there, check out the stuff in the right margin under "Most popular articles in On the Water."  Some really cool things there.

— It's a channel that runs over and perpendicular to a river.  Some good links in the comments as well.

"China is stepping up its , according to a Defense Department report released this week."  Will future wars be fought online?  How long before it's possible to take over a country by taking over its Internet access?

Worship at every meal with the .

Speaking of worship and jokes, we're only a few days away from 6/6/06 when we can surely expect a lot of ridiculousness in the media about Satan.  If you're an antagonistic sort you may want to participate in the .  (Note:  Volume check.  Site plays soul-damning music upon loading.)

"A new approach teaches objects (robots) unfamiliar territory as humans might."  No mention of tendencies to look for Sarah Connor.

wants to nominate a presidential ticket consisting of one Democrat and one Republican.

is a store that sells the logo-bearing promotional giveaways usually found at tech conventions.

, citizens can't be imprisoned without a trial and journalists aren't imprisoned for stories they write about the government.

Kevin Federline thinks from Cheney's shooting incident by putting Federline on the cover.  That is funny on so many levels I can't even list them.

— A battery powered USB recharger.

It turns out a CNN reporter was embedded with the marines accused in the Haditha massacre.  is a little loopy but she is able to attest to their good character and has a first hand account of their particular restraint.

In my , Criss Angel was pretty irate about bootleggers putting his stuff online.  So he probably wouldn't appreciate , but since it was a top link on Digg last night, the cat is already out of the bag.  Plus, he likes to reveal the cheesy techniques for making tricks work so that his secret way is that much more amazing.

— Be sure to click the slide show links at the bottom.  I like pit viper ice cream.  Nothing goes with chocolate sprinkles like snake poison.  There's an Indian place near me that serves rose ice cream.  It's like eating your grandmother's face powder.

Commuter Click: 

— California is working on an idea to give its electoral votes to whoever wins the popular vote nationally.  That means that instead of giving up on California as a Democratic gimme, the votes from individual Californians would have extra value.  Enough states pursuing this idea would mean a huge change in U.S. political strategy.  Would if New York wasn't an electoral Democratic gimme?

— It's a gun blogger round-up.

"Virgin Atlantic will be installing on their entire fleet."  It's like a video 911 from a plane.

Hey, check it out, Alan's the guinea pig for .  So far so good.  Look for a Clicked move sometime soon.