February 17, 2006

Spyware Millionaire Wins Gold For Australia

Dale Begg-Smith is being called the "golden boy of the slopes" by the Australian media after winning gold in the Turin Winter Games. However, when asked about his business, which has reportedly earned him millions of dollars and enabled him to buy a Lamborghini, Begg-Smith became "..vague about its nature." "It's complicated," he said. "We make the technology for companies to monitor their online advertising campaigns." What is emerging now is that Begg-Smith's companies, AdsCPM and CPM Media, are linked to home page hijacking, spyware, porn redirectors, and other unsavory internet practices. A quick WHOIS of AdsCPM.com reveals that the same IP address is shared with porn domain names and websites that are notorious for distributing spyware. Bloggers using the Wayback machine have turned up similar information. Is he a willing spyware merchant who has now reluctantly been bought to our attention, or a legitimate internet entrepreneur?
posted by davem at 11:47 PM PST - 46 comments

Annexing Khuzestan -

Battle plans for Iran... resonates with the sad ring of real possibility.
posted by Muirwylde at 11:08 PM PST - 63 comments

Clik Clak...Whirr

Clik. Clak. (embedded Quicktime video.) Short animated film featuring little robots who make their own language using Rube Goldberg contraptions.
posted by jann at 10:22 PM PST - 28 comments

Good enough to cease 'n' disist

Mario Adventure - SMB3 hacked into an entirely new high-quality game
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 8:37 PM PST - 20 comments


The First Few Microseconds of an Atomic Blast. 3 photos of the early stages of an above-ground atomic test. I was aware of the work of high-speed photographer Harold Edgarton but I'd never seen these until today.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:34 PM PST - 34 comments

Kicking the Pigeon

Kicking the Pigeon: On Sunday, April 13, 2003, at about 5:00 p.m., Diane Bond, a 48 year-old mother of three, stepped out of her eighth floor apartment in 3651 South Federal, the last remaining high-rise at the Stateway Gardens public housing development, and encountered three white men. Although not in uniform, they were immediately recognizable by their postures, body language, and bulletproof vests as police officers. Bond gave me the following account of what happened next.

“Where do you live at?” one of the officers asked. He had a round face and closely cropped hair. Bond later identified him as Christ Savickas.

“Right there,” she pointed to her door.

He put his gun to her right temple and snatched her keys from her hand.
posted by jennyb at 7:02 PM PST - 48 comments

Give Me a Lass with a Lump of Land

Eighteenth Century E-Texts, a sub-branch of Eighteenth Century Resources, maintained by Jack Lynch, of Rutgers.
posted by mwhybark at 6:11 PM PST - 17 comments

More fun than a barrel of....well, you know.

Monk-e-mail If you want to send a message, this is....unique.
posted by konolia at 5:20 PM PST - 47 comments

Flea Circus!

Flea Circus! It's just like Lemmings! Only tinier! And faster! And you can only make three moves: Block, ramp, and other ramp! (java)
posted by Gator at 4:32 PM PST - 11 comments

A new branch in the Tree of Life

A monstrous discovery suggests that viruses, long regarded as lowly evolutionary latecomers, may have been the precursors of all life on Earth. "We haven't even begun to scratch the surface. The numbers are mind-boggling. If you put every virus particle on Earth together in a row, they would form a line 10 million light-years long. People, even most biologists, don't have a clue. The general public thinks genetic diversity is us and birds and plants and animals and that viruses are just HIV and the flu. But most of the genetic material on this planet is viruses. No question about it. They and their ability to interact with organisms and move genetic material around are the major players in driving speciation, in determining how organisms even become what they are."
posted by five fresh fish at 3:57 PM PST - 60 comments

Pillow Fight Club

Pillow Fight Club went off with nary a hitch in San Francisco on Valentines Day with over 1,000 people in attendance. Pictures at laughing squid, flickr, video, and previous thread.
posted by sourbrew at 3:33 PM PST - 16 comments

Not so hot.

HotOlympians.com has been shut down by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The domain name hotolympians.com is infringing on federal trademarks. When I registered the domain name, I did some research on olympic trademarks and came to understand... that "olympic" was trademarked and "olympians" was not. I was wrong. And thus we will continue publishing under a new domain name which will be up shortly...

When asked why a local newspaper could publish a feature of an athlete right next to an advertisement, I was told that we weren't a news operation. I was told that hotolympians.com jeapordized American athlete's right to participate in the games.

posted by Tin Man at 3:09 PM PST - 35 comments

Who Needs Third Parties Anyways?

Newsfilter: H.R. 4694 - Let the People Decide Clean Campaign Act. Introduced by Representative David Obey (D-WI), this act seems to be intended as campaign finance reform, but some suggest that it "eliminates any hope of reasonable, legitimate competition being raised by any third or independent party in the future." The Libertarians and The Green Party are among those that see this act as anti-American.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:58 PM PST - 8 comments

Creative Americans: Portraits by Carl Van Vechten 1932-1964

Creative Americans: The Carl Van Vechten Photographs Collection at the Library of Congress consists of 1,395 photographs taken by American photographer Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964) between 1932 and 1964. The bulk of the collection consists of portrait photographs of celebrities, including many figures from the Harlem Renaissance. Portraits include those of Tallulah Bankhead, Salvador Dali, Truman Capote, Dizzy Gillespie, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eartha Kitt, and Joe Louis. They are all available in medium or high resolution JPEG’s or uncompressed archival TIFF versions.
posted by ND¢ at 12:39 PM PST - 10 comments

Public comment clearinghouse for America's National Parks

NPS PEPC is the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment website. From the site: ".. provides access to current plans, environmental impact analyses, and related documents on public review. Users of the site can submit comments for documents available for public review."

A good place to start might be this one, in which the NPS "is proposing to update the policies that guide the management of the national park system." Comment period closes tomorrow.
posted by the Real Dan at 12:30 PM PST - 2 comments

Canons of Construction

Canons of Construction and the Elusive Quest for Neutral Reasoning. The Canons are a tool Courts use to interpret statutes and consist of things just as ejusdem generis, noscitur a sociis, and wxpressio unius est exclusio alterius. The usefulness of the Canons was famously called into question by Karl Llewellyn in an influential law review article. Still today, the Canons of Construction have influential support, but some people disagree with their utility. Some have even tried to apply them in other areas.
posted by dios at 12:09 PM PST - 20 comments

Can't stop the signal

Fan fiction in motion: Cherub, the Vampire with Bunny Slippers is the latest "internet video series" following several other parodies, no-budget home movies and web-only serials inspired by Joss Whedon works (or the sudden lack thereof). Released every Friday and in its second episode, Cherub (trailer) is part comedy, part cheeseball community theater and based on the WB series Angel. And there are others in the works.
posted by nev at 11:59 AM PST - 5 comments

I am the son of Earth and Heaven

Oprheus, is said to be the founder of The Orphic Mysteries, or Orphism. While in school most students are taught the Theogony of Hesiod, but as in most religions, a differing account existed: The Orphic Theogony, summarized somewhat in this short video (nsfw? abstract nudity). The Orphic Reform to the Dionysian Mysteries included vegetarianism, abstention from sex, and restraint from eating eggs and beans — which came to be known as the Orphikos bios, or "Orphic way of life". Initiation into the Mystery school was needed to teach the Road to the Lower World, through Bone Tablets and papyrus remnants of Orphic Hymns. The Orphic Mystery has been seen as very similar to other religions. (scroll about 2/3 down the page or search for Orphics).
posted by ozomatli at 11:57 AM PST - 7 comments

Start with the basics.

Starting a new job at the big law firm? Make sure you read this coloring book for lawyers. Need a little background material for your next legal discussion? Bone up with Learning About the Law, Learning More About the Law, and Learning About Judges (also available in Spanish). For law enforcement information, try Law & Order, an Adventure to Color. [most links pdf]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:48 AM PST - 18 comments

No Libraries Left Behind

"How are EPA scientists supposed to engage in cutting edge research when they cannot find what the agency has already done?" Good question. As noted in an earlier post, the EPA is one of the agencies that is facing cuts to finance BushCo's America. How? By shutting down its network of libraries and its electronic catalogue.
posted by 327.ca at 11:48 AM PST - 16 comments

So High Friday

It wouldn't make sense if I explained it. Dogs go backwards slowly in Vitalic video. Vitalic 's last video was posted here, but this is better. (Vitalic is the last electronic artist I can remember being excited to find out more about. His Bjork remix, streamable though his site, is amazing).
posted by klangklangston at 11:46 AM PST - 28 comments

From the Diary of Adam Czerniakow on the Eve of the Deportation from the Warsaw Ghetto, 1942

"They are demanding that I kill the children of my people with my own hands"
On October 4, 1939, a few days after Warsaw's surrender to the Nazis, Adam Czerniaków was made head of the 24 member Judenrat, the Jewish Council (write "Czerniakow" in the linked page's search box) responsible for implementing German orders in the Jewish community (interactive map of the Warsaw ghetto). On July 22, 1942 -- Tisha B'Av, the "saddest day in Jewish history" -- the Judenrat received instructions that all Warsaw Jews were to be deported to the East (exceptions were to be made for Jews working in German factories, Jewish hospital staff, members of the Judenrat and their families, and members of the Jewish police force and their families. Czerniaków tried to convince the Germans at least not to deport the Jewish orphans). Czerniaków kept a diary from September 6, 1939, until the day of his death. It was published in 1979 in the English language as the "The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniaków: Prelude to Doom", edited by one of the most prominent Holocaust scholars, Raul Hilberg. More inside.
posted by matteo at 11:22 AM PST - 23 comments

Sprites (atmospheric) - new movie

7000 frames per second Newscientist article, with links to the movies. "Atmospheric 'sprites' captured in explosive detail ... by researchers using an ultra-high-speed camera. "The best images yet of the flashes – which resemble a giant undulating jellyfish with its tentacles falling from a halo of light – have allowed the team to pick apart their structure and mechanics. "
posted by hank at 11:04 AM PST - 22 comments

Even educated fleas do it

That thing called love. "National Geographic Photographer Jodi Cobb scoured the globe to document how people define love and how it fits into their lives." Some great photos and interesting commentary.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:12 AM PST - 17 comments


The Bull Moose likes the idea of reducing abortions by 95% in 10 years. A group of largely pro-life Democrats have banded together to "put aside the debate on the legality of abortion" and focus on how to greatly reduce the number of abortions in America. Is this an example of Democrats challenging Republicans to put their money where their pro-life principles are? Or, because the initiative "bans late-term abortions and requires parental-notification laws," is this another example of America's continuing drift to the right?
posted by billysumday at 9:24 AM PST - 147 comments


The sad aftermath of the Rwanda genocide.
posted by semmi at 9:14 AM PST - 4 comments

Katamari Damacy

2-D Katamari Damacy. Flash friday.
posted by empath at 8:58 AM PST - 60 comments

The day after SNL's "Lazy Sunday"

Lazy Monday, a west coast response to SNL's "Lazy Sunday" video, is the best, but not the only fan followup. The midwest is represented by Lazy Muncie, and for a surprisingly well done version with 11 year olds lipsyncing to the original, there is Lazy 11-year-old Sunday.
posted by centerpunch at 8:46 AM PST - 44 comments

Amal of Borg.

Amal Graafstra has implanted two rfid chips into his hands to permit himself keyless access to his computer, car and home. He's also written a book about the experience and the various rfid "toys" he's devised. This Valentine's Day, he and his girlfriend expressed a "modern declaration of their affection for each other, with implanted electronic chips that allow them unfettered access to each other's lives". Interested in something similar? The company Amal used is selling a kit. Though they don't actually recommend it for use with medical implants. So, cool, crazy or inevitable?
posted by darkstar at 8:10 AM PST - 21 comments

Beggr Beta

Web2.0 hits the skids. Someone has finally taken the Web2.0 trend to its logical conclusion. Good luck to him, I say. My only question - why didn't 37signals think of it first?
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger at 7:49 AM PST - 61 comments

Oops! Peppered ya.

Let's go quail hunting. (flash) Don't drink too much. We all had a good laugh over the Dick Cheney Quail Hunting game (Deadeye Dick sure is quite a shooter), but here you actually get to shoot some quail. (my apologies to PETA and Harry Whittington) Sorry, but this will only waste about five minutes of your time this Friday.
posted by caddis at 7:42 AM PST - 16 comments

And how effective is this program?

The White House Office of Management and Budget has published a rundown on all federal programs called ExpectMore.gov, rating them as either "Performing" or "Not Peforming." (See Previous discussion on programs slated for budget cuts , in which some wondered about the analysis behind the cuts -- this is it.) 72% of all programs are rated Performing (of which 15% are Effective, 29% are Moderately Effective, and 28% are Adequate. 28% are rated Not Performing, but of these only 4% are Ineffective -- the other 24% are rated Results Not Demonstrated because of a lack of established goals or lack of collected data. Under each rating you can find all the programs in the category and drill down to details on the assessment For example, leading the "Ineffective" list is Even Start, a DOEducation program that is supposed to "the cycle of poverty and illiteracy for low-income families." But OMB says that three major studies of the program failed to show it was having any impact. Ditto AmeriCorps NCCC and the Oil Technology Program (it hasn't led to any new reserves being found). In case you are wondering, both the Dept. of Homeland Security's Domestic Icebreaking Program and its Biological Countemeasures program are considered Effective.
posted by beagle at 6:53 AM PST - 28 comments

Dirty Projectors and Vs. Anna Films

The Getty Address is a glitch opera about Don Henley by Dirty Projectors, released on Western Vinyl in April 2005. Vs. Anna Films is turning the audio opera into an epic animated film .

One of those things you stumble upon online that makes sifting through contentless sites worthwhile.....Touring starts next month and we'll definitely be making the trek to Baltimore for this ! Happy Friday Metafilter.
posted by shimmerglimpse at 6:28 AM PST - 7 comments

2006 Google Earth Census

Seen anyone on Google Earth lately?
posted by divabat at 6:09 AM PST - 33 comments

extrapolation and beyond

The Wiki History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less [via]
posted by moonbird at 5:55 AM PST - 14 comments

Still not on the state seal...

2005 Washington State 10 largest agricultural commodities: (1) Apples, (2) Milk, (3) Wheat, (4) Potatoes, (5) Cattle and calves, (6) Hay, (7) Nursery and greenhouse products, (8) Marijuana, (9) Cherries, (10) Onions.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:37 AM PST - 24 comments

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