Secret Mojo Dumbs It Down for You

October 26, 2006

Spam darkly: the new writing game!

Filed under: creativity,Poetry,Spam,Technology,writing — secretmojo @ 2:56 am

I never thought I’d see the day when I said, “I like spam.” Either the compressed meat or the e-mail kind. But today is that day.

Anybody notice a significant change in Spam 2.0? No longer do I get Nigerian business opportunities or chicks who are “so lonely!” In fact, the exclamation marks are all but extinct. I’m now dealt the innocuous: “Re: your tickets”, or “Your account,” or simply “[none].” Whispers from the subject line yawningly promise dull quotidian maintenance ensconced within. How thoroughly boring. Are those the new findings on what people deign to click on? If so, it may be time to give another species a chance to do great things on Earth.

However, there is hope. The results of a random number generator and basic linguistic construction offer spam haters like me to at least take a second look before pressing delete. Like random tarot cards or a cybernetic form of bibliomancy, Spam 2.0 subject lines offer moments of zen-like insight. Possibly even inspiration:

Klutz operator.
King of Pharrmacy (I really enjoyed that double-r slur)
Banana dispassionately.
Ashen jet lag.
John Broadly.
Sandblast concession.

I almost want to save my spam, with its brilliant names (Nora Grace, Montagu Singleton) and neuron-kinking subjects, to use as a pick-me-up during a day of idea drought.

Almost.

I’m tempted to run with spam inspiration the way this person did. But for now, I’ll be pressing the delete key. I’ll hold out until Spam 3.0 is released — from the white paper, bayesian profiling will give it the power to title itself after the embarrassing moments in your past you never wanted anyone to find out about.

I can’t wait! Nor can I resist:

ashen jet lag
creates this klutz operator
drowsy, absent and hallucinating
a banana, dispassionately.

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October 23, 2006

Gurp.

Filed under: Technology,writing — secretmojo @ 1:14 pm

Wrote a lot of stuff. Don’t dare post any of it. So instead of hanging around a slacker like me, perhaps you’d like to read a quirky, smooth-talking tech writer I’ve been web-stalking lately, Annalee Newitz. There’s effortless poise in her writing, which is very impressive because she tackles new technology subjects — not the easiest thing to wrap a sentence around. She provides links to her published columns at her blog, and I encourage anyone to check her out, geeky or not.

August 23, 2006

Two blog changes

Filed under: Blog Spam,blogging,RSS,Spam,Technology,WordPress — secretmojo @ 4:42 am

Two blog changes

If you notice the “My Blogroll says…” feed over to the side, it may have ugly question marks where quotes and whatnot should be. This is the unfortunate consequence of switching to FeedBlendr to deliver my blogroll feed. Apparently, WordPress does not encode the titles of feeds properly, so FeedBlendr (and others) munges them in the process.

But the advantage of FeedBlendr is that I can put everybody in the feed. Until now, I used FeedCombine, which kept the titles pretty, but only allowed 10 bloggers the chance to get listed. Since I began using my own blog more and more to follow other blogs, especially via my “Blogroll says…” sidebar, I decided, despite the nasty look of it, to switch. So that’s the reason it’s ugly: so I alone can get my blog fix.

Also, I found that the Akismet Spam eliminator for WordPress does an excellent job of finding opportunistic dorkweeds who think blogs are bathroom stall walls they can write on. Therefore, I’m increasing the number of links a commenter can cite to 10, because I am not a fan of prejudicial computer-controlled censorship (how does linking make someone a spammer?), nor do I like being away from my blog only to discover upon my return that sweet Anna got the door slammed in her face simply because she was trying to help out.

So there are the changes. We now return to our regular brain-burning exercises already in progress.

August 18, 2006

From juggernaut to almost naught

Filed under: Technology — secretmojo @ 3:29 am

For some nano-steampunk, check out the World’s Smallest Steam Engine. If that doesn’t impress, gross-out at a dust mite stepping on a microscopic machine. (are these for real? Yes.)

45,500 tons of steam punk glory

Filed under: Technology — secretmojo @ 2:45 am

No doubt this gargantuan digging machine will meet Hollywood someday.

August 17, 2006

Google executives to receive sensibility training

Filed under: Humor,Technology — secretmojo @ 11:15 pm

The estate of Milton Sirotta, who at nine years old coined the term “googol,” yesterday offered to fund sensibility training to Google executives on the proper way to claim a word.

The sensibility training will be held in a facetiously titled “Googolplex” conference room in California, and will include presentations such as “Linguistic Morphology,” “Your Name as a Verb Is Free Advertising, you Moron,” and will end with a retrospective: “What Was a Photo Shop?”

After the presentation, Google executives will be invited to purchase such items as “the color red,” “elbow grease,” and a genuine $10100 deed signed by Mrs. Malaprop and her author, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, which transfers, despite its French etymology, ownership of the word “malapropism” to them.

Akashic Chat with ChatCreator

Filed under: blogging,Technology — secretmojo @ 4:52 am

My friend and I played with the constantly evolving ChatCreator, which is spectacular for two reasons.

First, any chat room can be created instantly by modifying the end of a URL. Simple—and extremely powerful. You need no account, no special software, no awareness of irc hosts and channels. Just name your chat room, and go.

For instance, if you wanted to Bitch_About_The_President, you’d add that to the end of the standard prefix, http://www.chatcreator.com/chatap/rooms/, and voilà! You’ve created a chat room out of thin air.

The simple URL allows, for example, any blogger to provide a “kibitz” room for her posts simply by devising a unique URL based on her permalink, or through creative whim. This creates a space for reader comments or get-togethers based on that post. Imagine the uses this could have for live blogging.

But that’s not the sweetest part. With today’s technology, text is infinitesimally cheap to store. Which is why the other feature of ChatCreator is so intriguing: persistence.

Currently, what you type in a ChatCreator chat room is saved for posterity. This feature mixes real-time chat with something like comments on a blog and web page indexing. A person could stick her head in for a moment, interject while no one was there, and return later to catch up on, and continue, the conversation—which is not possible with AIM or Yahoo.

Furthermore, persistent chat opens up possibilities for RSS feeds, chat room email updates, and of course the delectably voyeuristic ability to sneak a peek on what people have talked about the past few years.

Imagine searching all public chat rooms at will; you’d have a world-wide database of conversations to tap into: philosophy classes, interviews, tech support, personal confessions, and on and on. With anonymity features, this makes seeing others’ sessions even more interesting.

These two features, persistence and easy room creation, along with no requirement to have an account, may just revolutionize chat—as long as the spam issue is somehow taken care of, and as long as people are willing to chat publicly with a person over their shoulder.

I’m imagining a future when netizens can find conversations on every conceivable topic. You’ll be able to Google a conversation in the near future. ChatCreator might just be the primitive version of the multimedia Akashic Records that will be implemented in, let’s say, 20 years. Think of the world of strange people you’d be able to visit, the culture helmets you could try on, and all the experiences you’re missing out on now…

August 1, 2006

I predict: tag spam

Filed under: Blog Spam,blogging,Spam,tags,Technology — secretmojo @ 12:20 pm

For one brief shining moment yesterday, the “Personal” tag at WordPress.com overtook the “Blogroll” tag for the top spot. Since then, however, it has fallen back to second place.

I still can’t comprehend the “Blogroll” tag. I use it when I mention other blogs. But perusing the posts at that tag leads me to believe that “Blogroll” may mean anything from “I like this post I made” to “I wrote a post today.”

Which sends a brain like mine into the concept of tag spam. If I were audacious, and wanted on every list over there, I could tag each of my posts with every conceivable category. Or, I could consistently tag them with the most popular tags (regardless of content), ensuring I’d be read, or at least looked at, by someone.

This isn’t much of a problem for the tags pages themselves, because each post would still show up as one of many. However: if many people started doing it, or if one intrepid hacker decided to post four hundred posts under every category on the planet, then it would get hairy. The tags would become meaningless, as would their rankings.

Though, it would be interesting to hold “tag” domination races — in good fun of course — where the tags actually do match the content of the post: WordPress bloggers would choose a category “team”, write about that category, and post as much as they can under it. The tag at the top of the list at a particular time wins. Or just gather with a group of friends to see if you can bump a tag up the list, possibly overtaking “Life” itself.

And one more idea: create a new category (e.g. “Secret Mojo Risin’”), and gang up on it to build its popularity. Or use it as a challenge for testing your writing stamina: try to bump your unique tag as high on the list as possible before your collapse.

This of course defeats the purpose of the tag page, which, although it could be an interesting social toy, is to give a feeling of who’s saying what from their heart of hearts; a cultural indicator. Manipulating that page would be great for marketing (or PR) stuff, and runs the risk of being spammed constantly.

Just a few thoughts. Don’t do it!

Unless it’s something cool (and honest) like Tag Domination. Then I’d love to see that.

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