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If you think had a bad week...

My name is Will.  This is what I clicked.


Somewhere in the world there is a department at Sony/BMG that had a really bad week.  Yesterday, reader Trey Smith pointed out that the Sony rootkit has already been .  Then, in the last 24 hours I clicked:

  •   (European police, reported in Australian news)
  • Avid media consumers
  • And as I type up this entry, the story leading is

In conclusion: How to live without the music industry  (Includes a , which I've not tried, but looks promising.)

This guy finds surprising insight in watching .

Speaking of Star Wars obsessions, here's a site full of fans wearing .

Page Rank vs. Google referrals — Sort of obvious that the better your rank, the more referrals you get, but the degree of increase is what's notable here.

And while we're still putting "vs" between things,

Speaking of that whole ball of wax, it seems like the entire Web is recommending .  (If you've been an Altercation reader for a while you know what he's capable of.)  You might want to make this a Commuter Click, it's a lengthy magazine piece.

Cool animation of a woman Note that at one point she's naked, but really, it's a line sketch and the context is not at all sexual.  Then again, the two seconds that there's a naked woman on your screen is exactly the time your boss/wife/kid is going to wander over to your desk and ask, "What's that?"

— I often try to imagine what it would have been like to grow up with the Internet at my disposal.  I wonder how the ability to assume alternate identities online impacts the development of an identity in the real world.

"A gamer who spent £13,700 on an island that exists has recouped his investment, according to the game developers."  Related:  .

Video of the Day:

Today's French riot links:

"RainbowCrack serves as a tool to judge what is and what is ."  The article is about this new company's service, but the take-away for me was that passwords aren't secure and we can expect to have to use "two-factor authentication" in the future.

— "To the extent that worrying is learned/conditioned behaviour, it can be undone."

'Gravity tractor' to deflect Earth-bound asteroids — This is the third time this week I clicked something to do with gravity research.

(not even wireless fidelity)

Director the production of the new Superman movie.  Not to be confused with the .

Wow, conservatives are at the GOP over the .

:  "Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities.  We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason."  Scandal!!

If you've rubbed up against any Web development sites recently you undoubtedly came upon some mention of Ajax.  of some of the basics of what Ajax is and why it's so talked-about lately.

— Not being familiar with this blogger, I thought at first he was overthinking things a bit, but the sarcasm is quickly apparent.

If you think $23.8 million is a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a sculpture, that sold for that much is definitely not going to change your mind.

"Astronomers have recorded a massive star moving at more than ."

Trailer for looks good.

Is this a ?

— saves energy.

I'll be the first to admit I was duped by the news from CBS and NBC about their video on demand initiatives.  Om Malik has .

"Just because technology makes it possible for us to work 10 times faster than we used to ."  Gasp!

Launches the first — Looks like you can sell your own photos through this.  I wonder if they have any strategies planned for brokering the sale of amateur news photos as well.

A 7/7 survivor lets loose on the idea of .

Who the heck is Dawn Yang and why is she one of the most searched terms today?  This is , and this is a of why people are talking about her.  On a different matter she remarks, "Well, in a strange twist of reality, we've gone from netizens blogging about politics, to The Straits Times reporting about bloglitics now."  I can't think of anyone who's achieved genuine public fame purely through online notoriety, but it feels like we're getting closer every day.

I plan to do a separate mailbag post soon, but I'd like to include this one now:

Will,I always enjoy your cruising of the Info superhighway. The tragedy that has befallen Jordan has been missing from your clicks and that's a real shame.  The Jordanians are truly plugged in.The aggregate site is of particular note, brining together a very well spoken group of Jordanian bloggers.Of particular note is a young journalist named (Twal).  You ran a piece from her when she was in Qatar and near the bombing that occurred there in May.  Now her home of Jordan has come under attack.  Her words are piercing and real and truly worth your highlight.Keep up the great work.Best regards,~Thom

Will replies:  Dear Thom, thanks very much for those recommendations.  I looked at Jordan Planet in the course of collecting a little round-up, but then I found the big list at , so that's my other suggestion.

November 10, 2005 |

Feminist bloggers who are offended by sexist Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirts are participating in a contest to come up with .  The prize is x-rated chocolates, but the page is clean (visually).

Speaking of sexism and inter-sex relations, — This is an interesting essay that's drawing a lot of discussion and attention online.  It is essentially about how to define equality between the sexes and how it is perceived.  Beyond that, however, the subject of (homoerotic fiction) is broached.  To the degree that this blog is about online subcultures, I'm please to have found a 2-degree-distant way of presenting that subject.  To be clear:  First click is clean and interesting.  Clicks beyond that, you're on your own.

Following on the heels of discussions about men's reproductive rights (sparked by Alito's Casey decision regarding spousal notification of abortion), gender equality is a hot online topic.

Speaking of new terms, Cityrag introduces the fitting term "" to describe that stretched plastic surgery look.  Click the link, you'll get it.

And while we're speaking of new terms, I've been seeing the word "" all week.  It seems to have a variety of applications, but in general it refers to the process of breaking down our too-much-information society into discrete pieces or categories.

The longest I've ever seen.

Vertical axis wind turbines — Looks like it solves the bird problem.

.  Traces the story of a guy who traded a red paperclip for a fish pen and kept working his way up to better stuff.  What really strikes me is how he lists all the exposure he's getting, with Boing Boing and Digg at the top.  I'm still unsure what to think of what has become the new standard pattern in Internet celebrity.

The story of the U.S. using chemical weapons on civilians in Iraq is seeing pretty steady coverage by , though as I mentioned before, the story's roots are in Italian media.  Here is that is causing all the fuss.  (Note there is an English language version.  Also note that this is a 27 minute video.  Not a quickie.)  I found in summarizing the matter by listing some of the claims and refutations.

— "He says, 'I'm writing a couple of books on the adolescent Captain Kirk/Spock thing as a prequel.  It's also an idea for CBS to use as the next series of Star Trek.'"

— Parking skill is a point of personal pride and in some places a spectator sport.  The part about inter-vehicle communication is cool though.

Screenhead brings us a copy of the (and reminds us of Eric Idle's FCC song too).

While at Screenhead I clicked this .  (Takes forever to load.  This is one of those click-and-do-something-else-while-you-wait links.)

I have a friend who tracks the day-after-Thanksgiving sales and waits on line at 6 in the morning to get TVs for $20 or whatever.  I'm going to mail him this .

.  He tried to convince a team owner that fans moving in unison behind the backboard would be a better distraction to foul shot shooters.

— A list of the latest bad stats for traditional media.

— "IBM today introduced new software that monitors and analyzes blogs, wikis, news feeds, consumer review sites, newsgroups and other community-generated content to keep tabs on their image."  I thought this meant we were getting a new toy to play with, but it looks like you have to be an IBM customer.  Still significant to note how the corporate world is ingesting online opinions.

— I don't necessarily disagree with these, but 8, 9, and 10 would probably not have made my list.

over the transcript of a White House press briefing.

— It's so rare to think about the underpinnings of the Internet.  It's easy to fall into the feeling that it's a natural resource.

— (Sorry, annoying zip/YoB page.)  The story is worth noting because of how it shows the degree to which blogs are informing politicians.  Some folks tried to make a scandal out of this, but the story lost its energy when the blogger in question .

.  Does anyone know if there's physiological data on the effects of torture?  What I'm curious about is whether there's an objective way to a) define torture and b) assess its effectiveness.  The whole discussion seems to be ruled by guesses and imagination.

Speaking of torture, Commuter Click:    I remember wondering that almost exactly when the CIA in Yemen with a missile from an unmanned drone.  I don't think this piece is about why the CIA has missiles and unmanned drones for assassinating people in foreign countries but I expect there are some overlapping issues.

continues to be the place for updated information on the Sony DRM rootkit.

Speaking of Sony's rootkit, the is trying to keep track of which titles actually employ the rootkit DRM.

— I never thought of Terminator (#3) as an indie film.

— This brief item explains how a political party bought Google ads associated with riot-related searches.  It's interesting to imagine the future of this kind of keyword activism.  Will future searches for health advice yield ads for political parties' healthcare plans?

— "What motivates people to attack internet communities from inside?"  (open discussion)

— An interesting look at the American pro-fat movement.  Should the endomorph majority have to put up with the bigotry of skinny people?

— It's really about the problem with the word "immigrant" and deciding who's an insider and who's an outsider - further complicated by the context of French history.

Speaking of the troubles in France,   Because rioting is fun.

I don't know how much French riot coverage you can stand, but I've been enjoying the analysis... 

— Because random ringing pay phones with strangers calling are fun.


The IRS threatening the non-profit status of a church that hosted a sermon entitled, "If Jesus Debated Senator Kerry and President Bush" has a good number of .  The general tone is that the church is getting a hard time for criticizing Bush, but upset over this matter isn't only coming from the left.  (That sermon's title sounds really interesting actually.  I hope the transcript eventually surfaces online.)

The early strains of the expected battle between Google and Microsoft are giving a lot of tech pundits food for talk.  I've not been following the subject very closely, but I appreciated the context .

Speaking of competing against Google, puts together a series of comparisons of Google with its competitors.

.  Christopher Hitchens argues that working peacefully toward a resolution in Darfur meant that everyone was slaughtered while the process got nothing done.  "Thank heaven that we are tough enough to bear the shame of this, and strong enough to forgive ourselves." ()

November 8, 2005 |

— I tried to be skeptical about this, but today I also learned you can set your and both NBC and CBS are offering their shows .

.  Lots of insight here, but I think the part I found most interesting was the comparison of blog subject matter versus mainstream news subject matter.

— Might be better titled "How else to boost your traffic" because it includes some ideas that aren't typical of these kinds of posts.  Scroll the comments for further suggestions.

Do you remember the scene in Napoleon Dynamite when the school bus full of children passes just as the farmer is about to shoot the cow?  That's what reminds me of.

— Even after reading this explanation I'm not sure I understand the much-linked program.  It sounds like glorified data entry.

is selling custom .wav files.  Can you imagine him reading personal "you've got mail" messages all day long?

walks us through the Washington Post article on the FBI spying on Americans.

— The insurance is probably cheap... if you can find a company that isn't afraid to insure you.

Speaking of overachieving young people, this 18-year-old put together.

Many expect it to be : 'There'll certainly be a Nobel Prize in it for somebody.'"  They're looking for gravity waves.

  (Worth noting for being from a German source.)

Pong owners manual (1976)

L.A. entrepreneurs seek to market wine with "Jesus Juice" label — I think they'd have better luck marketing a line of novelty bottle labels.

Wow, make a note the folks at Something Awful.  (No nudity, but don't play this out loud at work.)

November 8 |

I'm in the awkward position of having too many Clicked notes and not enough Clicked blogging, so I'm going to try to post a few pieces instead of one big entry so I can catch up.

By now you've heard a lot about the .  Most of the coverage I've seen has been about how armed the pirates were.  Boing Boing highlights the unexpected .

Speaking of modern piracy, someone sent a letter to the editor today arguing that it's more common than is reported and recommends poking around for further examples.

And by the way, if you've ever walked around one of those expensive-yacht-filled marinas and wondered about the cost, the Times had an in Sunday's business section.

If Google wasn’t free, ?  The post just asks the simple question, but the comments have a lot of discussion.  If the 5 bucks included all the Google mashup sites it would probably be worth it.

Speaking of Google mashups, here's another that shows you .

bounced around the blogosphere a little while ago.  I didn't link to it because it's from 2003 and I'm generally not a fan of the kind of psychological fatalism labeling like this engenders (is there such a word as horoscopic?)  But now that has linked to it in relaying the news that it was The Atlantic's most read article last week, and links to her... well, it's hard to argue against its online relevance.

— There are so many video sharing services out there, but none have really come to the fore as the standard.  This post has a chart comparing a few.  There are more recommendations in the comments section.

Speaking of that chart, is a new one to me.  It lists its most popular videos and isn't full of porn, so I'll probably be back to this one.

I clicked a series of funny sites recently, seemingly unrelated, but with something in common in the URL (Note: they all play music automatically, check your volume before clicking):

  • (Some are outrageous and contain curses but no overtly unsafe-for-work material that I saw.)

They all come from a humor site called , that was featured recently in the .  (WSJ link may not be free.)

And speaking of viral sites, — Catches you up on some of the viral novelties of the past few years.

As long as we're featuring fun stuff, the more I played , the higher my score.  I stopped at 918, but I can see how extended playing would result in higher scores.

Will the riots [in France] ?

What's the Pentagon budget for ?

An Italian company is over the DRM/Rootkit issue.

Speaking of Italian activism: — which explains why kept popping up today.

— Godwin's Law?  Doesn't that have to do with calling people Nazis?  Yup.  Interesting insight into how competitive Yahoo feels toward Google.

Hollywood clicks:

  • :  A new Spielberg movie about avenging the deaths of the 1972 Israeli Olympic athletes.
  • Might we see a
  • is drawing a lot of links for its first photo of Flint Marko (The Sandman).  Clicking through to the main site I looked through their villain index.  They've got a lot of bad guys listed.  Are they all going to be in Spider-Man III?

to Sunday's "live" .  I too was generally underwhelmed.  Actually, I think the gimmick of it being live worked to the show's disadvantage because it put me on the lookout for spontaneity instead of watching the show.  And Alan Alda acted Jimmy Smitts of the stage (natch) so it was hard to listen to the script when the actors were telling their own story.

Video of the Day:  I can't tell if it's the music that makes this horrifying or if the subject matter () is inherently horrifying.

— Digg is a popular tech site and not unlike Boing Boing or Slashdot or Fark or other popular sites, when they link to you, expect a traffic spike.  This blog post tells you literally how many visitors to expect and how much bandwidth.  I'm not sure if this is useful to anyone (though it's certainly interesting) but perhaps if there's someone out there wondering how much traffic a basic site should be able to sustain, in this day and age of blog swarms and traffic avalanches, this may be a useful guide.

The guy who started the Spaghetti Monster (Pastafarian) movement got an $80,000 advance .