March 29, 2007

I like to do it in public

disturb.gifPrivate parts have been a hot topic lately, and not pertaining to the kind below the belly button. Lifehacker points to a post by Web Worker Daily about why developing a public online persona is positive when it comes to employment.

"Employers are realizing that what people do online can actually prove their value as potential hires, not just rule them out based on drunken photos or revelations of other past missteps."

The contemplation between personal and professional, public and private wares on, as social sites are search engine optimized for your bi-curious bar moments and grammatical gonorrhea. Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, Upcoming, and LinkedIn are just to name a few. The post goes on to capture that 25 to 50 million searches for proper-names are performed each day and that having no results under your name may turn from neutral to negative.

In light of the recent "Sierra shitstorm" that's going on, many are questioning going back into private practice. However, the public persona post may have a point. While perhaps intimidating and even a little scary, there may indeed be a certain satisfaction that comes with doing it in public.

Hello, 1984 called, literally

nescell.jpgAs if the annoying chump who prominently displays his Treo and claims he has $100k worth of work on it wasn't aggravating enough at social outings, this one is sure to tip off your douchebag detector. The modded Nokia 3200 goes from chic to geek in just under a couple decades. Although the boys over at Joystiq love to push buttons, the NES controller cell phone may just push yours. There's already enough geek-shirts for boys with toys to be giddy geek groupies, no one needs a Nokia nerd to pull out his NES controller just to wait for people to give the not-so-candid 'what's that!?' question attention. Hello, 1984 called, literally.

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Average American Male, not so average American advertising

Challenged with the launch of a new book and a necessity to peak interests, the publishers at HarperCollins decided to market the book solely online. To no surprise, there was a limited budget. Originally the publisher had set out to market the book in newspapers and magazines, but the content proved to be a bit too precariously positioned for publishing. The novel, Average American Male by Chad Kultgen is about what men really think. This isn't the bubblegum version of "He's Just Not That Into You", as such, it required above-average American advertising. More than a million views and a third printing later, some may call the sexed up spots a success. View videos #1, #2, and #3.

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Bears beat off to barely legal babes

panda.jpgPerverts appear to go to great lengths to explain their 'caught in the act' behavior. Making its rounds among the awkward-infatuated blogosphere, panda porn has finally penetrated beyond the passive (yet entertaining) media of the Discovery Channel. Reportedly, a Thai zoo, distraught over the lack of moaning and clearly intimidated by the dreaded "sperm headache", starting showing a panda porn video to the captive pandas with the intent to "encourage the male to show some interest in his partner". The story may seem a little fickle to those subscribing to the furry fanclub way of life, where what would be better than working at a zoo and getting paid to watch how the "male mounts the female in a reproductive ritual"? Furries aside, the poor attempt of a "porn for pandas" excuse smells fishier than bear's breath.

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March 27, 2007

YouTube flaunts femme fatale nature

200145378-001.jpgeMarketer reports on the video vigilante known as YouTube, analyzing the disconnect over demographics. While there will be an estimated 97 million lovely ladies online this year compared to the only 90 million men, the video viewing stats don't reflect the revolution. In 2007, it's predicted that only 66% of world-wide-web women will become video viewing machines while men take the lead at 78%. Surprised, the study added that typically women watch more television than men, asking then what affinities females had towards online video. Perhaps, unlike men, the lack of inherent interest in flashy (fleshy?) moving pictures has turned women off from an always on medium.

"A study by Piper Jaffray also found that news appealed to both genders (52.3% of adult men and 48.9% of women). After that, though, differences appeared. Men were more likely to watch amateur videos, music videos and movie previews. Women favored movie previews and then music videos. "Getting the female audience engaged is crucial for the success of online video, and over the next few years, marketers and online video content providers will need to figure out exactly how to get that job done," says Ms. Williamson, an eMarketer senior analyst.

Oh, but Ms. Williamson, if only it were always easier said than done to "get the job done" with females. YouTube may have rubbed some of us the wrong way, but there's hope that they eventually find the right position to embed their code.

Wood no longer just for mornings and maple trees

JH01.jpgApparently feeling a Freudian void of hoarding her own morning wood, Julia Harrison decided to carve a niche out for herself:

"I look for the stories being quietly told by human bodies: a child's pout, a furrowed brow, a flash of cleavage, a clenched fist, a fading bruise. Our bodies express and illustrate our desires, needs, and concerns. We are our own ornament; my work draws attention to this relationship. I find wood to be convincingly fleshy and a pleasure to wear."

The connection between hard surfaces and "fleshy pleasures" may be an easy one to understand, but Harrison's artwork definitely remains a bit off kilter. With sculpted buns and expressive lips, artists perhaps do sometimes have too much time on their hands. Though erotically appealing, definitely wear some splinter protection before taking them out for a test drive.


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Airborn appetites crave beyond tray table cuisine

mhig1.jpgRecent news claims that love is in the air for a lucky couple outside of London. The "Big L" radio show is apparently hosting a contest with the grand prize being a precarious plane flight across the Atlantic. The contest takes couples on air who willfully "describe how they are growing old in a suitably disgraceful manner." To perk up those pricks, the British Big L flies the winning couple from London to the ever so exciting Atlanta, Georgia. However, some might say it's not about the destination as long as you travel well, and what better way to travel than hitting the Mile High Club legally at a radio station's expense? Sugarcoated with champagne and sheets, the Mile High members over America will enjoy the privacy of a few thousand miles between them and what may remain just a fantasy to most.


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March 26, 2007

Sex and computational technology: Twitterdildonics

In addition to the blogasm that is/was SXSW this year, there was a panel that examined the interaction between intimate relationships. Among the panel were two fabulous and equally lovely sex bloggers, Kyle Machulis of Slashdong and Violet Blue of Tiny Nibbles. The Sex and Computational Technology panel discussed how the internet supports both research and sex and how it should no longer be compartmentalized to just one or the other. While Violet approaches sex in a positive and practical manner, Kyle, the self-proclaimed mad scientist/robotics engineer gropes his way through experimental open-source inventions.

One such invention at SXSW was the Twitterdildonics couch that vibrated to the beat of 140 characters or less. Twitter, in case you've missed my subliminal link-to's is the self-absorbed, completely idiotic, yet oh so lovable internet stalking device that I highly recommend you toggle on between late night one-handed typing. The "ultimate real-time sex device mashup" translated messages, yet unlike Morse Code, the blips and bleeps were turned to vibrate. Violet interviews Kyle about Twitterdildonics on Geek Entertainment TV (TSFW - totally safe for work).

Getting back to the panel, often times there's more questions than answers. Within human/machine interfaces, does the user want to be intimate with the machine or themselves? Naturally, human beings (and Shake Well Before Use) want to sexualize every technology they come across. As such, there's a need for intuitive response between the constant negotiation that is sexuality. To the tune of Twitterdildonics, one such trend that is seen often is the syncing up of audio and sex toys. The iBuzz and OhMiBod leverage bass, while other notable newbies to the scene actually embed mp3 players inside the dirty device itself.

In the end, it seems the marriage affair between technology and sex helps expand the view of what sex is and how sex can be seen as a series of patterns. While WIMPs, synchronization, and slider controls are the current norm to interfaces, they're hard to see as sexy, even after a few drinks. By building intimate and honest relationships with technology, we're able to rethink the current technology trends of extreme fetishes into a more realistic and rewarding way.

Glammed up for gossip

73683493_KW121.jpgLast Friday marked the birthday bash of Hollywood's hated, Perez Hilton. The self-proclaimed queen pissed what's left of his 20's away as he went town, turning the tender age of 29. With bad makeup and blue hair dye, Perez Hilton, lesser known as Mario Lavandeira, danced with divas 'til the early break of dawn in Los Angeles. The birthday debauchery seemed to be a success with guest appearances from Paris Hilton, John Stamos, Amy Winehouse, Kelly Osbourne, David Spade, and Andy Milonakis. Any celeb that can take Microsoft Paint drawings in stride is always a friend.

The event was sponsored by a slew of brands ready to pick up the bill. Absolut, KY Intrigue, Ginch Gonch and Red Bull were loosened up for liquor and lubrication, while LA bands like Ultraviolet laid down some electro. Other performers stepped up and stripped down, such as burlesque extraordinaire Dita Von Teese with her classy pin-up performance. While documentation of all the debauchery didn't end up defaced with bad handwriting and white dots, we can only hope that the they'll return after some much needed hangover help.

Coolz0r contest asks for campaigns

wolfking.jpgCoolz0r commences another contest, calling for campaigns and links to generate the most comments and trackbacks. While it seemingly could be rigged (hmm, wonder why 15 commenters all use gmail...), the contest a couple weeks ago seemed to be a success. The prize last time was Dragon's Naturally Speaking software. This week, the marketing thoughts blog ups the ante with an ergonomically designed keyboard straight from CeBIT. The Wolf King Warrior Gaming Keypad defines itself as the ultimate gaming weapon, though, by the looks of it, it seems more likely to be the ultimate one-handed typing accessory. The Keypad states, "Perfect for PC Gamers looking for a portable game pad or just looking for more flexibility". Perhaps "just" looking for more flexibility, indeed. Coolz0r's link submission contest ends April 7, so CTRL+V those permalinks over.

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March 24, 2007

Sight for the week's end


Best contextual advertising ever.

March 23, 2007

Visual void goes vogue

josephdomingo.jpgSeemingly a literal translation of the ghost in the shell, the latest look at LA Fashion week is haunting haute couture. Joseph Domingo's latest collection for Fall 2007 took artistic license with the concept of expression-less models.

"He taped the models eyes shut with nude masks so that they looked like they didn't have any eyes. It's still unclear to me if the models's eyes were actually closed, but I think everyone was just waiting for one of them to veer off the runway right into the audience."

While claiming a fashion is for the visually-impaired is typically taken as an insult, Domingo welcomes it. Whether insightful or an eyesore, the spectacle certainly grabbed more than just the audience's eyes.

March 21, 2007

Buzzword Bingo: Bald, Brazilian, Beaver, Britney, Bikini, Buffer

paris_upskirt_1.jpgBuzzword Bingo perhaps needs to be an expanded column someday on Shake Well Before Use. In the meantime, the current trend is buzzing off the beaver. Sexoteric points to an article in Esquire about the 'psychosocial implications of disappearing pubic hair on women'. Well of course, you only need the next plucked out bingo ball to be B5... B as in Britney, 5.. for you to be jumping up at your table screaming "bingo! bingo! Britney!" as you plow over sneering old ladies to claim your prize, to know the answer to that question.

Stacey Grenrock Woods of Esquire says, "the new bareness is a trend instigated by porn and exploited by the media, because when those two get together, anything can happen. No one suffers much from an absence of pubic hair; its evolutionary function is thought to be as a buffer for intercourse. No one paid it much mind until a few years ago, when a roving band of waxers from Brazil came here and started taking all of our country's pubic hair. And now it's just out of control..."

Well, yes, when our beavers begin looking like the head of a pop singer's insanity, you can maybe say it lost its footing somewhere along the way. However, when was the last time anyone appreciated buffering? It was no fun back in the 90s, trying to listen to music via Real Player over the 52k modem, so it certainly shouldn't be anymore appreciated a decade later.

Glowsticks no longer just for E-tarded ravekids

yhst-74250281064654_1939_16502334.jpgDespite all the Ecstasy you may have done as a raver back in the 90s, perhaps all the waving glowsticks and twittering lights did some good. A fairly new therapy uses light to help guide your way to that magical place in the sky where... Wait, not that kind of light. This one is less likely to let you ask God how he felt to have a one-night-stand with Sarah Silverman, and in fact is actually meant to help with insomnia and jetlag. The Feel Bright Light is a portable device that allows you to clip it to the edge of your visor (just like a real ravekid!) to receive phototherapy. Here's hoping you don't give it a trial run in Boston and find yourself only being able to answer hair-related questions the next day.

My mind is as clean as a New York subway

15condom600.1.jpgLaunched earlier this year, New York's subway-branded condoms were handed out to over 150,000 people in five boroughs to help promote safe sex. Despite the safety claims, New York is yet again under attack for not providing enough protection, or in this case, sensitivity. Gawker points to a blogger with a bone to itch about the New York subway condoms.

"Sure, they may have subway maps on them, but I think a real marketing opportunity was missed. My boy Travis first pointed this out when he told me that they were all the same. I thought the deal was that there would be different sorts of condoms branded by subway line. That way, all situations would be covered and you could squeeze the marketing opportunities dry."

Somehow I doubt there's a subway line that's "sensitive for her pleasure", but there are certainly lines for getting shafted and fucked. While a cute idea, the letter/number, ribbed/un-ribbed memorization process seems a bit too hard for anyone with a hard on.

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Crafty women make for naughty knitters

2007_03_20_thongs2.jpgSend this one over to Craft:. A gaggle of women nested in the mountains of Poland mean business. Pulling up their panties sleeves, the women went to work on a new position for their traditional hand-made lace. Apparently not making headway with dolls and doilies, the lacy ladies began crafting hand-made thongs.

Fleshbot reports, "the women of the tiny mountain village of Koniakow [have banded] together to produce fine lace panties, bras and swimsuits that are decorative, sexy, and—of course—mostly see-through. The company is taking off, too, ensuring that this 200-year-old tradition of crafting will live on, even if it's under other people's clothes."

It's always a warm feeling to know that dozens of fingers have precariously perused your panties before putting a pair on each morning.

Gaming with glare

428711557_8666a4edab_m.jpgIt seems there's no end to the add-ons with the Nintendo Wii. While boasting physical health (both in exercise and "exercise"), the game play still can make a homebody out of otherwise simply antisocial teens. Nagging its way through your gameplay, the Solar Powered Wii orders you to get some fresh air. The solar seducer captures up to 8 hours of pure pleasure play time while using under 200 Warioware watts. Offered as an alternative to being cramped up in an apartment, you can't be sure if cities like New York actually stay healthier by getting some "fresh air", however, at least there are buildings to block out any gaming glare.

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March 20, 2007

I'm sofa king we laxed

seating_cool.jpgPleasured with pillows, conceptual sofas are reshaping comfort. Designed to conform to the emotional state of your body, the Anima Causa Feel Seating System consists of 120 fuzzy balls that can wrap around you. While you can now be surrounded by as many blue balls as Amanda Congdon, the cost of entry remains unknown. The molecular-inspired design allows you to position as you please without the risk of being swollen the next day, so feel free to embed yourself in the sea of sofa cleavage.

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Practice for prudes, finger DDR

11738.jpgTutoring for twittering teens and prude prom queens now comes in an accessible format. The USB-driven finger DDR teaches those flirtatious fingers some moves outside of the T9 temptation. As if you didn't feel dirty enough by sliding two fingers into a cardboard cut-out, the finger DDR then prompts you to move them around. Admittedly though, the flashing lights may be more direction than you could ever weasel out of your ex-girlfriend, so take notes.


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March 19, 2007

Feeling up a flip phone

Katie-Price-cell-phone-02.jpgTexting and titillated, teledildonics takes on an entirely new definition. Bluetooth and slider controls aside, it's easy to be sexually seduced by small screens. Remember, it's not the size of the screen, it's the motion in the notification-activated, set-to-silent vibration mechanism. Jordan aka Katie Price, best known for her fake floppies British breasts, was "caught" feeling up her flip phone recently. The Voluptuous Vixen Playboy apparently thinks her T9 finger skills are satisfactory, but a little silent vibration can always provide additional help with emotional hang ups.

Debbie does digital

248134196_9140e64f1e.jpgEditing erections and filtering flesh, the Scrambled series blurs the lines between focal points and fetishes. Shifting seduction, an experimental series examines orgasmic obstruction. Digitally destructing pornographic pixels, the series aims to exploit artifacts and errors. Perhaps to be more accurately titled Fuck That Noise, the visual "feedback" fixates the viewer, similar to a insatiably solved Rubik's Cube.

"For the Scrambled series, using video footage downloaded from Internet, we exploit the artifacts, errors, blurs inherent to heavy digital compression and incomplete files. Dozens of snapshots are generated. Here, the creative process in itself rely on selecting the right images: identifiable as pornographic, but somehow deactivated."


Ugly anticipation engine, MySpace time saver

200193412-001.jpgIn an attempt to consume mass quantities of information within short periods of time, toggling tools and shortcuts always aim to please. Trying to take thinking out of the process, a new tool anticipates attraction. Bringing the heat to community-generated Hot Or Not, the application rates an input of a woman's face from 1 (She has a REALLY nice personality) to 10 (She's also a psych-major!). The software generates the number based on a database of over 200 women's faces. Two Aussie scientists headed up the "research", no doubt consisting of sticky substances and glossy glam shots. Unsurprisingly, the application is set up to only level the ladies.

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March 17, 2007

Sight for the week's end

422780886_22f11987aa.jpgSpotted SXSW geek shirts.

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SXSW: Afterthoughts and afterhours

416861244_a9cd99de10.jpgAs flight delays scroll across screens and text messages taper off, SXSW negates to close its doors, yet gives a swift slap to attendees as it dismounts from Interactive. As stated up front, most of the interaction happens outside of the panels and what happens in SXSW, stays on Flickr. With leftover hand-stamps from nights before, attendees gingerly, yet somehow still enthusiastically dragged their feet into morning panels over the few days. While the main word on the carpeted streets was 'overwhelming', the plethora of things to do and people to see kept the crowd's stamina.

Friday night kicked off with the traditional Break Bread With Brad ceremonial drinkfest and introductions. One would think that after a few drinks, the crowd would begin to tangent off of social technology topics, however with the circulating video bloggers stumbling within the crowd and the lively debates over Technorati and Twitter (which becomes a more flexibly applied verb with a few drinks) the physicality of all the usually online activity takes tangible form.

With Treo and Blackberry ornaments hanging from every messenger bag pocket, and laptops all in a row, it was no longer business or pleasure, personal or professional. Threadless shirts and logo-ed tattoos pwned all. While parties like Dorkbot, Fox Interactive, 8-bit, LAist, Mashup, Blogger, Lifehacker, and SXNW played venue to a meeting of interactive minds, it was the actual interaction that made and continues to make SXSW a unique, sometimes awkward, but always appreciated, online to offline experience.

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March 16, 2007

SXSW: Toys for boys, playing in Will Wright's virtual doll house

Spore.jpgWill Wright, the famed game designer behind SimCity, The Sims, and the yet to be released and highly anticipated Spore, flipped through pages of storytelling to an audience of all ears. Linking stories with the shift from passive to interactive media, Wright outlined the social and biological differences between games and film. While games utilize our basic instincts within the brain, film typically provides a rich emotional palette. Rather than push for the complete adoption of one or the other, Wright integrated the two into a cohesive experience.

Relating to a computer mainly consisting of two parts, calculation and communication, Wright's games involve the possibilities of storytelling as well as the experience of sharing it. Wright explained that people enjoy playing with boundaries and then reporting back on their experiments, a theme that had been mentioned at an earlier panel discussing hacktivism and DIY culture. Most notably, this was seen in The Sims, which was regarded as a musical instrument of a game, where people truly became the storytelling tools.

While expression plays a big role in gaming, it's just as significant that the computer also participates. In this sense, story-listening becomes just as active of a component as any other, teaching the computer how to listen to the player's story. While many love to share stories and content, there's always the issue of quality over quantity. Wright believes that by creating better tools, you can increase the quality of content in the community. Example given was Spore, where users could create their own creatures in, what used to take Pixar artists several days, nanoseconds. Wright concluded that by making the player George Lucas and no longer the protagonist Sky Walker, the experience lends towards greater creative amplification and deeper interaction.

March 15, 2007

SXSW: Tune in isn't a turn on

tveye.jpgTelevision today is no longer the elephant in the room. Similar to global warming, it has increasingly been gaining momentum and awareness as well as technological contribution. However, while content is king, the overall experience is moving in to claim checkmate. How we interact and interpret television currently is on a static plane of directional geography: surfing channels up, down, left, and right. Helping break the tangible and virtual norms, David Merkoski (Frog Design) narrated the audience through an up and coming product yet to hit the markets.

Appropriately titled Mondrian, the product set to go public next year, is a TV navigation and recommendation Zoomable User Interface (ZUI) that attempts to rethink TV user interaction. A few major differences with Mondrian is that a user no longer needs to be stuck within nested menus while navigating and it has an active anticipation engine that takes in the content, time, and environment you watch in to build a profile and recommendations. It goes without saying that Mondrian becomes an easy target for Big Brother contextual advertisers. While there have already been proposals for all-advertising channels within the ZUI grids, Merkoski remained unclear on any efforts to save the product from advertising overload.

Going more in depth with intuitive interaction, Merkoski gave an insightful overview of remote controls and interfaces. The up, down, left, right navigation is in touch with a geographical grid, while a ZUI typically tries to orient the user in a way similar to how a camera would. The up, down, left, right is not only for the living room screens, but also small screens like mobile phones as well. The original idea for this came from what some might think of as a hyper-interaction culture: gaming. Moving away from the standard, Merkoski used this to account for why people are so amazed with the Nintendo Wii and iPhone. Merkoski ended with a call to inter-action, "There won't be a choice if we don't design it."

March 14, 2007

SXSW: Tinker toys for technologists

tinkertoy5.jpgThis week, SXSW Interactive featured a keynote conversation with Limor Fried (Adafruit Industries) and Phil Torrone (MAKE Magazine). Hacking the DIY culture, Torrone and Fried discussed the techniques of tinkering with technology. With examples such as the Bacon Alarm Clock, skin-embedded RFID chips, and the recent Gummy Bear Chandelier, the panelists whetted the audience's palate with a selection of delicious DIY snacks.

Hacktivism culture has been spreading at a rapid rate as of late. Simply said, "People make weird and bizarre things," Torrone stated in response to the movement. Sharing "recipes" has now become commonplace among tinkering communities and unlike dating, you're not slapped if you show all your intimate parts too soon. Fried shared her thoughts on the subject, calling for an open hardware movement instead of simply source code. Using available tools and techniques like Google SketchUp and Creative Commons, proper documentation to hardware hacking can be applied.

Fried believes that by even leaving one component open in a piece of technology, it opens the flood gates for positive user interaction with the product. An example given was the Roomba, the vacuum to robotics platform with an open API. Passionate product interaction grew out of potential opportunities and created unexpected (to the brand, at least) outcomes: Roombas now took pictures, ported wifi, and integrated product-related modification. Another example was the Qtopia Greenphone, an open phone unlike any other that allows users to write their own applications for it. The importance for open devices is growing, as the panelists cited a survey of MIT students about their most hated technology that they used everyday. The majority answer? Cell phones.

Tinkering culture has created an ongoing debate, however, that perhaps was one thing they didn't intend to DIY. In the friction that takes place between brands/products and users, what is a more enriching experience? Should users always have to revert to hacking or should products openly allow tinkering? Fried and Torrone agreed that the more a product gives away information, the more people buy, and the more the product becomes accessible to a wider audience. "When there's enough of a movement, companies become more receptive," stated Torrone.

Sidenote: More SXSW photos here.

March 12, 2007

You don't need to be here

KathySierra.jpgUshering her audience out, Kathy Sierra questioned why interactive attendees would bother to show in person in the age of live blogging and streaming content. With an opening line of "you don't need to be here", admittedly a few poured out of the conference room doors. However, Sierra stated, that there are still elements that exist as the missing link between computer interaction and human expression. Responsiveness to software was compared to the likes of Asperger's syndrome, unintentionally rude and often narrowly focused.

Comparing portraits of human expressions, Sierra explained that basic human-computer interaction is not taking place. One such example is that software doesn't have "WTF" buttons for user experience. Attempting to tone her language down for the innocent of ears, she stated that FAQs and Help don't cater to the common user experience, an often lack interactive dialog.

While Sierra made an argument for creating software for the human expression in order to help close the gap between reactive human interaction and computers, a significant point seemed to be missing from her bullet points. Given that there will always be some sense of a gap between interacting with a person and interacting with a machine, why place the pressure on computers for being able to react to confused human faces as opposed to making people interact with people more effectively? Why not make the user experience with people a more enriching one? While it's a given that software should always be moving forward in user experience, customer service often is a pain point across all companies. Sierra stated that conversational language keeps a user's attention, as such, user experience should maintain an integration between people and machines in order to create a truly interactive and expressive environment.

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March 11, 2007

Drunk at the wheel, driving social technology

SXSWIntersection.jpgOffering no apologies for social disruption, the Emerging Social and Technology Trends panelists invite themselves into your conversation. The panel on Saturday hosted yet again a large group of speakers from diverse backgrounds. Although intimate panels tend to be more revealing, this one at least showed a little leg. Headed up by Laura Moorhead (Wired), the panelists included Andrew Blum (Wired), Robert Fabricant (Frog Design), Eliot Van Buskirk (Wired), Peter Rojas (Engadget), and Daniel Raffel (Yahoo!).

While perhaps drunk at the wheel sometimes, technology drives social change. In turn, everyday people are now enabled to be the drivers as well. Similar to the blur of how you got home the night before, there is no longer a clear sobriety line to walk between social interaction and technology. Likewise, a constant negotiation between public and private, business and pleasure, leaves many at polar realms. Understanding the integration versus isolation debate is said to help us understand ourselves, or at least what Kool-aid we drank to get there.

Tagged as disruptive technology, the panel discussed various tools, techniques, and software that continue to evolve standards and transparency. Seemingly, the term transparency is no longer valid, as the opacity is continuing to be set at zero percent. Widgets, like the beginnings of the internet, take away a sense of geographical personas, while social "tools" like Twitter take away any remaining sense of privacy. "Twitter might be the breaking point," said Peter Rojas, concerned about an inevitable backlash of technology. Explaining it similar to the subcultures that turned on CDs in favor of vinyl, Rojas believes that there will always be backlashes, but not necessarily mass rejections. "But we wouldn't know about a backlash because they wouldn't be blogging it, right?" Rojas joked to the crowd's chuckle.

Though there's an amplification of influence in self, it also penetrates brands and microbrands alike. Many brands are trying to drink the Kool-aid, letting the voice of the customer lead the way. While in no way is it a bad idea, Robert Fabricant explained that it gives a company power as well as a burden. The key, Fabricant explained, is how to interpret the learnings from the ongoing conversations, which is a responsibility strategists and planners face.

Asked the question about companies' fear of their products being hacked, the panelists concurred that the vast majority of hacks help generate interest in a product rather than serve as a huge threat to success. An offered solution to help ease the pain was for companies to commit to "upgradability" as well as learn how to monetize consumer hacks. Pushing for augmentation over customization, it was apparent that there remains a friction point between consumers and brands. The iPhone came up as a perfect example, in that the potential of the device alone generated interest, however the excitement soon turned flacid once it revealed its closed platform nature. Soon after, the lack of faith in mobile carriers and the fight for consumer enablement took over the discussion. Despite many yielding through the intersection of social and technology, it may take a new generation to legalize an American autobahn.

Sidenote: More photos here.

March 10, 2007

Hoard the hangovers, SXSW Interactive kicks off

HowToRawkSXSW.jpgSouth by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive kicked off on Friday with a panel dedicated to "pop the cherries of the SXSW virgins". The How to Rawk SXSW panel was headed up by a variety of familiar names and faces, including Min Jung Kim (Photobucket), Glenda Bautista (Agendacide), Tantek Çelik (Technorati), Nick Douglas (Look Shiny, formerly Valleywag), Andrew Huff (Gapers Block), Lynne d Johnson (fastcompany), and our friend Tony Pierce (LAist). Sharing swigs out of a bottle of Jack Daniel's the panelists calmed the crowd's expectations.

Overwhelming seems to be the sense on the street about SXSW. With hundreds of panels, speakers, and parties to attend, it's easy to lack time management. Thankfully, the panelists help tell you where to cut out the excess fat from your daily intake. Conferences are known to load up on the junk advertising, and this one is no exception. With his Jack Daniel's swigs well underway, Nick Douglas flipped through the multitude of junk. "Wired is the Cosmo of tech magazines," Douglas stated as he threw another conference magazine handout into the trash pile.

Equipped with hipster glasses and widgets, Tantek Celik educated the audience on how to effectively stalk fellow SXSW attendees. Obviously, with an array of bloggers, educators, and industry experts it can be difficult to manage the inevitable "blogasm". Dodgeball, Consumating, Twitter, and Flickr were all recommendations to keep track of the fire hose of content coming through. "What happens at SXSW, stays on Flickr", Celik grinned. Despite Celik revealing his tool to the audience, there's always secret happenings going on at SXSW that no tools can help you with. Unless of course, they're the tool managing the guest list.

Sidenote: Flickr album of my SXSW photos can be found here.

March 8, 2007

Used panties profitable for perverts

bela2.jpgPassion for panties has turned over a new portal in the realm of fetish fanatics. The Used Panty Portal caters to the crowd with the latest panty news and PR, as well as panty auctions, matchmakers, and wikis. One can only imagine how accurate the panty matchmaker is, as most registered males probably would match up best with a pair of bloomers and a sticky VHS tape. Just like online dating though, they should be performning security screening for skidmarks.


March 7, 2007

Shake Well Before Use gears up for SXSW

SXSW-thumb1.jpgYes, I'll be taking to the streets of Austin this week for SXSW. From the looks of it, I should be in good company with a blogasm of sights and people to be seen, heard, and perhaps felt, if we're lucky. I'll also be covering SXSW events and panels for Adrants, so stay tuned for that. Rex at Fimoculous has a great quote on the upcoming debauchery: "Imagine rock stars competing with dot-commers for throwing the best parties. Their weapons are drugs. Then, without any rationale, you'll walk into a room with Will Wheaton, Will Wright, and Will Farrell. ('Was that George Will?'). It's nutty like that."

As always, feel free to drop me a line if you'll be in the vicinity.

In other news: Shedwa's Six published an interview of me today, check it out. Great ongoing interview series.

Nice legs, want to fuck - up a fashion show?

PH2007030100253.jpgFucking up fashionably late, a fur protester bombarded a runway recently to make a stand, then turn and walk back, exiting stage left. Most likely a derivative of PETA's "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" campaign, the protesting woman was without this season's hottest accessories or anything else for that matter. Despite PETA's stand-offish-ness towards companies like Burger King, surprisingly they seem to have a lot in common. Neither one of them can say how many sales (or non-sales in PETA's case) were a result of their campaigns, but men across the nation seem to applaud it regardless. We'd rather you be naked then wear fur, too. The audience of the fashion show seems to agree, as onlookers to the event simply commented, "Wow, she has no cellulite!".

Mashup Mario gets mafia treatment

In an unholy marriage between Mario and the mafia, Galacticast mashes up the Super Mario Brothers and the Sopranos, dubbed The Supermarios. Between shrink sessions and 1up one-liners, the latest episode delivers an old school favorite with a soon-to-be-old-school flavor. Pipe cleaning jokes are sure to arouse snickers between joystick players and perverts alike. Despite the super powers, it's game over with a weak ending.

Surviving cancer is only half of it

cupid.jpgSurviving dating for anyone at any stage probably has less optimistic survivor stories. Hopefully, a new dating service can help breathe life back into the otherwise lifeless dating scene. C is for Cupid is unlike any other, in that it's purpose is to help singles affected by cancer to 'connect' in whichever sense of the word. Their stated goal is create a comfortable, confidential, and compatible environment. Founded just this year, the service is still free to the public.


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March 6, 2007

PC World lists 50 interwebbies World published The 50 Most Important People on the Web yesterday. While the first 25 are your run-of-the-mill Steve Jobs, Bill Gates (oh wait, he didn't make the list), scroll-bar-savvy predictable content. The remaining 25 are mixed in with various bloggers. A few notables: Scoble (25), Arrington (30), Dave Winer (39), Perez Hilton (41), and Nick Denton (45). But where are the lady bloggers? Oh, that's right, we have Miss Tila Tequila to represent us, dragging her talentless feet in at number 50.

The WTF starts now

vistamaciy8a.jpgAlong with many spin-offs of the surely soon-to-be-if-not-already-hated Vista slogan. While Technorati is already trying to call dibs on dubaya-tee-eff moments, they're a little late on the acronym trending. Perhaps they should try quotes around it next time. Regardless, this lovely jewel came across the screen promoting Vista with none other than an Apple iBook (in 2G-iPod-eggshell-white for all the junkies). Engadget points out Apple's ability to run Vista and advertiser's inability to avoid shit-stock photography. Apparently the 'WOW' starts after you realize that iBook doesn't run Vista, somewhere between asking why your mouse only has one button and why there's no Mindsweeper.

Popping her chocolate-covered cherry

bubblewrapbig.jpgPopping carries a certain anticipation with it. Whether it be bubble wrap or your first girlfriend, the anticipation is often times more pleasurable than the release. Claiming to be equally as addictive as bubble wrap, a San Francisco boutique has crafted chocolate bubble wrap. While it may not pose as a swallowing hazard to children, of-age oral sensations should always be under close supervision. The DeLessio market and bakery opens wide with a variety of chocolate mixtures for the tasting. Unfortunately, it looks as if they don't ship their products nationally. What would be more delicious than a chocolate bubble-wrapped package at your door?

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Blogbots replace boring bloggers

NEC.jpgMaking way forward for artificial stupidity intelligence, NEC has created a series of blog buddies of the robotic kind to help keep bored and boring bloggers company. The PaPeRo prototype creates multimedia blogs without the need for a whiny, ranting blogger in the equation. By initiating conversation with the blogbot, PaPeRo searches and analyzes relevant images, illustrations and music, before automatically editing and uploading the content to the specified blog. Using text retrieval technology along with other spoken language dictionaries, it won't be long until the PaPeRo asks us to prepare to be assimilated.

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March 5, 2007

Insert bolt A into side B

b2fc75316d.jpgIncreasing awkwardness of the necessary sexual precautions, Kama Sutra Condoms add insult to injury. As if there weren't enough nervous pauses between inability to unhinge clasps, unzip zippers, and untie shoes, having to receive any more instructions might be pushing it. Though it may act as a cute entertainment piece, trying to figure out where her feet go when you accidentally ripped off the heads on the packaging in your moment of anticipation may be more of a turn off than sticking in to the little you do know. Charles&Marie encourage users to "collect them all", finally providing an excuse for having 64 condoms scattered around your bedroom.


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I'll have a quarter ton-er with cheese

Image2.jpgSupersize subculture has taken a toll, spreading beyond the American appetites and into Asian affinities. Weird Asia News points to one such instance where a Chinese company boiled a 1500 pound cow whole. Putting men to shame, the thick meat took 10 hours to cook and more mouths to eat than could be competed with. While the money raised from selling the meat went to charity, PETA most likely doesn't condone whoring meat out for Billy's education.

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Wifi Enabled iPod Shuffle at Third Quarter 2007

macrumors.jpgAlways insatiable for rumors, the Create your own Apple Rumor tool may not be able to deliver on which coworkers hooked up over the weekend but it will provide the same level of disappointment knowing that you weren't one of them. The tool spits out Apple rumors just as easily as the blogosphere and waits for anyone to swallow. Hooking the bait with such classics as "An operative deep inside Apple has confirmed earlier resports that we will see a Redesigned Mac Pro or Wifi Enabled iPod Shuffle at Third Quarter 2007" and "A confirmed source has confirmed earlier resports that we will see a Black Mac Mini or Flash based iPod at Third Quarter 2007" the tool let's you try and beat Engadget and Gizmodo to the proverbial punch. Now only if they could make an iPhone specific one... Oh, that's Technorati.

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Dance Dance is less of a Revolution

chinesegamers1-350.jpgDefiant against the Wii weight-loss revolution and taking a page from fatblogging, a man gamed to his death recently. At 26 years old and 330 pounds, the online gamer died after gaming for almost a week long. Neighbors are blaming the Chinese New Year for turning "youngsters" into gaming addicts, saying that since markets and cafeterias are shut down, they don't have anything to do but game. One would think that there would actually be less deaths for gamers tipping the scales at 330 pounds when the cafeterias are closed, but of course gaming has a frag rep to maintain.

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March 3, 2007

Sight for the week's end

graffitiremoval.jpgAn old favorite of mine: The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal

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March 2, 2007

Gamers Gone Wild: Top Ten 'Boobies'

2007_03_01_games.jpgDon't worry, it's not the gamers themselves (though looking at the top 10 man-boobs of gamers who have yet to discover the Wii would be a car wreck you know you'd have to see). ScrewAttack announces (almost annoyingly) their top ten video game character 'boobies', leaving you with that uncomfortable feeling that can only come from a grown man saying 'boobies'. What's even worse is that the video asks for age verification, despite the fact that it covers up the VIRTUAL boobs with "Boobies!" words. Anyone can get a better look at fake tits by watching TBS versions of Sex And The City, or the Real Housewives of Orange County, for that matter. "Polygon pillows" aside, don't expect to be titillated.


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Cleavage cover-up cancels cover story

holdyourownboobs.jpgA feature that was to be in Jane's Magazine titled 'Jane's Guide to Boobs' has been canceled to the chagrin of preemptive erections everywhere. The feature was to showcase 53 firm femmes topless, but Jane isn't running some kind of flash-it-all whorehouse, they keep their identities covered and it's an extra fee to get a 'private dance lesson', alright? Or at least that was the idea. But as with any strip club, you begin having sheer cover-ups, and then smaller ones, and before you know it, you're showing the man in the boat for $5 a pop. Okay, perhaps Jane didn't go that far, but the list of 53 women who were paid a whopping $50 each to take it off was leaked and Jane soon after pulled the plug. Women may just have stay with the traditional route of using grope guides to find our way around boobs.

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March 1, 2007

Golbal warming: Hot Or Not?

Creating a new evolution to the Hot Or Not trend, DeSmogBlog created a global Warming Or Not game. While not actually titled that, the Stars And Stinkers game (embedded above) wants you to vote on who you think is on the Climate Change A-List. The creators have also been considerate enough to create some little web badges and embed codes for all you portable content groupies. For all the Flash stars, you're also able to swap out celeb photos and create your own version. Of course, have to suggest a Cleanest Dirty Whore celeb version for what porn stars are going green aside from their cashflow. Hmm, wonder if Jenna Jameson's hybrid is enough to balance out her role in Up And Cummers 17.