Category Archives: Internet

In Circulation Ten Months

I received an email forward tonight, one of those well-circulated political outrages with many generations of sidelines and footers embedded around the message. I don’t get many of these, which might be a generational thing (I get most of mine from Baby Boomers) or it might be something about my particular email peers (thank you, peers). These emails always make me curious to find the source. When did it enter the digital bloodstream? In this case, the answer was June 27, 2007. Prompted by a very short New York Times review of an HBO documentary film about Palestinian prisoners. That link traveled for ten months (!) to get to me, which is intriguing in so many ways.


Japanese Chain Reaction Game

Ok, in order to push the fever-dream Mickeys down screen, I’ll share with you my favorite browser-based game of all time. It’s one of the very few games, in fact, that I’ve returned to time and time again over several years. Others come, stay for a time, and recede. Not this game.

Simple: You get one explosion, which you deploy by clicking within the game field, that sets off a chain reaction. Try to get all 50 blue balls in one shot. The game is played in three rounds. A total score of 100 is mediocre. 140 is amazing. You get rising Japanese affirmations, I assume, as you approach 150. I’ve never had a perfect game (but I’ve been damn close).

And this is the best part: I never remember the actual name of this perfect primitive game. A total block. I just type “japanese chain reaction game” into the Google searchbox, however, and my favorite game is the top result. In some ways, you can argue, Japanese Chain Reaction Game is more properly the “real” title than the one chosen by the creator. Also, it’s somehow pleasing to me that Internet users everywhere agree: this is, indeed, a Japanese Chain Reaction Game.

It’s Getting Better All the Time

For any fellow users out there, how about the latest upgrade to Transmission? You can select individual songs. That is a seriously distributive and flexible application now. I can’t decide if the economic dislocations associated with all this business are happening astonishingly fast or surprisingly slow. Both maybe? I mean, how can you compete with the torrent protocol ? And yet people still work damn hard to do so. It’s sort of amazing that the old distribution model hasn’t vanished overnight, despite the fact that it is vanishing quickly.

How Uncanny Was My Valley

You know, I read about this lifelike computer-generated lady with the bloodshot eyes all over the place. And, at least initially, I made the mistake of not clicking on it. But the lady is awesome. She follows your mouse, and if you make her freak out with motion she seems to get a twisted, tickled smile on her creepy, creepy face.

So click.

UPDATE: Ack. Didn’t read Kottke for a week, so I ended up basically copying his post title. Not on purpose!

Drowning in My Own Private Amazon

There’s no search function in Amazon’s wish lists? Unless I’m just too tired to see straight, it seems you can’t search within your own list — only for other customer’s wish lists. But screw other customers, Amazon. I’ve been keeping that list since 2003, pruning it on occasion of books that I no longer wish for or that I’ve found at a used bookstore. I’ve got nine pages. I need search, you bastards.

Much like the Netflix situation discussed below, there are some long-suffering books on this list that just don’t have a prayer. I know when I heard that Robert Massie’s “Dreadnought” is a good book (Dec. 21, 2003) — otherwise why on earth would I wish-list a book about WWI battleships — but as the second-oldest title, I’ve got to be honest with myself: I probably don’t wish for it all that much.

YouTube Bubble Search

YouTube seems to have soft-launched a nifty visual search feature in the last few days. It’s hidden in the open right now. Here, let me show you:

  1. You’ll soon be furnished with a YouTube link. While you’re watching, enlarge the video to full screen.
  2. Wait until the video ends. If you’re impatient, click on the three-balls-in-triangle icon that appears in the lower-left corner (or drag the playback slider to the end).
  3. And bang! YouTube Bubble Search.

YouTube Link: “Psycho Killer,” Talking Heads (1978)


What we have here is your basic swarm-style search visualization, which appears to be triggered by the same related videos found on each YouTube page. The navigation is smooth. My verdict: this is great. (via)