Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rebutting the lobbyists for US-style copyrights in Canada

U of Ottawa professor Michael Geist takes on (and rebuts) some of the most prevalent myths about copyright in Canada in this video presentation of one of his speeches.

The five myths he rebuts are:

The Importance of Copyright - copyright is important, but investment decisions, creativity and new business models are products of much more than just an IP framework as venture capital, tax structures, talent, competitive communications, and government support are all part of the decision making process.

Consultations and Reforms - while some argue that Canada has engaged in lengthy consultations with little action, I argue that the opposite is true

Canada in the World - lobby groups and the U.S. have been vocal in criticizing Canadian copyright law, yet a closer look reveals that Canadian law stands up impressively by world (and U.S.) standards

Copyright in the World - the U.S. would have you believe that all countries must mirror the DMCA, however, the truth is that there is great flexibility in how any country can move forward with digital copyright reform

Copyright Consensus - most seem to believe that copyright is too divisive to achieve consensus, but I argue that there is already a broad consensus on an approach that rejects the DMCA and emphasizes balance

Geist deserves a lot of credit for making the issue of copyright worth thinking about in Canada. We are in danger of being sucked into the vortex of US legislation (like the DMCA) unless we speak up.

This issue is worth following and paying attention to what Geist has to say is a good way to do that.

(Via Boing Boing.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

John Cleese visits Laughing Club in India

Via Boing Boing comes this delightful video...

John Cleese visits Laughing Club in India: "

Actor John Cleese went to India to visit a doctor who has started a laughing club. The people meet each morning and do silly things to make each other laugh. Laughter has many health benefits, says the doctor. I believe it.

Previously on Boing Boing:
Laughter yoga
Laughing yogi video

(Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kim Chow Update

Update to my post below about Victoria sailor Glenn Wakefield. Looks like the damage to his boat was more severe than first thought...this was posted to the blog this afternoon by his wife, MaryLou:
Day 218 Sunday April 27, 2008 47.38S 49.41 W (05:00 PDT)
I spoke with Glenn at 05:00 on board the Argentina naval vessel Puerto Deseado. The vessel was dispatched to assist Glenn through a request from the Patagonian net of ham radio operators and a number of other sailing and fishing vessels in the area. Glenn has been seen by the physician on board and has been treated for injuries and is feeling well. He described in more detail the extent of the damage to Kim Chow including severely damaged self steering, inoperable engine and discharged batteries. In addition, Kim Chow was starting to take on water through the damaged hatches and companionway. After carefully considering the options Glenn felt he could not safely round Cape Horn and has made a very personal and difficult decision, and the only logical one under the circumstances, which is to end his circumnavigation. His decision was greatly influenced by the love for his family back home and he reassured us he is doing well. Glenn will be transferred to a Coast Guard vessel and taken to a port in Argentina and from there to Buenos Aires and home. The fate of Kim Chow is uncertain at this point. The Navy are considering the options. Words alone can't express his deep appreciation for the bravery and kindness of the captain and crew who stood by for 48 hours until weather and sea conditions would permit his safe transfer to their vessel. Glenn sends his heartfelt thanks to all those who played a part in seeing him safely through this difficult time. We will post further updates when available.
It's a less than satisfactory ending to Glenn's adventure, but you've got to be thankful that he's still in good shape. I'm looking forward to his return to Victoria. He deserves a tremendous homecoming.

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Glenn Wakesfield continues his journey despite rollover

Kim Chow.jpgVictoria sailor Glenn Wakefield, who is circling the globe alone in his boat Kim Chow, had a bit of a scare this week when his boat rolled over near the Falkland Islands. That's the Kim Chow in the picture, with a ship from the Argentine Navy nearby.

The photo was taken from an Argentine Navy plane that was sent to see what was happening.

Despite the mishap, Glenn is reporting that all is well and he's going to carry on.

You can see a report from Canadian Press here and check the latest reports from the blog about the voyage here.

And while you're on the blog, consider sending a note to Glenn, which his wife, MaryLou, who is here in Victoria, will make sure gets sent along to him, although not likely until after he sails around Cape Horn. But I know MaryLou will appreciate the contact.

Previous blog posts about Glenn:

FEB 19, 2008
Halfway around the world

JAN 10, 2008
Around the world update

OCT 17, 2007
The voyage of the Kim Chow

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Friday, April 25, 2008

The customer is always right

Seth Godin has an update on that old staple that the customer is always right.

In his blog, he writes about an experience he had as a customer after he complained about some bad service. And that leads to a thoughtful piece on how customers should be treated.

This is good advice for anyone who deals with clients or customers in their daily life (and who doesn't, in some way?)


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day -- Some stuff

It's Earth Day, so this seems like a good time to point you towards an interesting site that my brother-in-law, Darryl, sent along to me.

It's called The story of stuff with Annie Leonard. It's a 20 minute video, hosted by Annie, who takes us through the history of stuff -- extraction, production, distribution, consumption, disposal and ends up at "Another Way."

I don't know much more about it, but it looks interesting. And since this is Earth Day, maybe it's worth spending 20 minutes to find out a bit more about how all our modern stuff gets made and distributed.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

House Diary #1: The Questionnaire

In recent weeks, I've mentioned Darren Barefoot's blog on a few occasions.

Darren and his wife Julie Szabo recently settled in Victoria after a year living abroad. They've ended up in Victoria so they can easily get to Pender Island, where they're going to be building their home.

Darren is going to blog about the experience over the next couple of years and so I thought I'd point you to the first of these posts. If you're interested in following along, I recommend you add his RSS feed to your browser. (If you don't know what an RSS feed is, just Google how to add an rss feed.)

House Diary #1: The Questionnaire: "

Our Moss Covered PropertyThis is the first in a series of longish blog posts about the process of building our house on Pender Island. If I’m sufficiently dedicated, one of these should appear every couple of weeks for the next two years. These posts are likely to be longer and more contemplative than the other writing on this site. And, obviously, they’re concerned with the process of building a house on an island. If that doesn’t float your boat, skip ‘em.

Before we left for Malta, we had our first meeting with John Gower, our architect. He came highly recommended from a friend, and specializes in building ‘modestly-sized, comfortable homes, beautifully and simply designed’, often in remote locations. His company, after all, is called ‘BC Mountain Homes’. Additionally, we liked the aesthetic of a number of his modern house designs. Finally, he’d previously worked on Pender Island, and so was familiar with the local planning process and knew of some options for general contractors...

(For more, see

How the Pentagon spins the war on terror

As someone who is involved in the PR business, which often means working hard to get favourable coverage in the media for a client, this story from the NY Times strikes a nerve.

In a lengthy piece, published Sunday, reporter David Barstow details the complicated and close relationship between the Pentagon and the so-called "military analysts" that have become so familiar to TV viewers on American networks.
To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.
On one hand, I'm tempted to say "Holy crap! These guys (the Pentagon) are really good at what they do!"

But I'm not really serious (although they are obviously good.)

Instead, I'm dismayed at just how much the media is being played by influential interests. In this case, it's the US administration, making sure that the facts don't get in the way of telling the people what's happening with the war on terror. But similar examples (here and here, for instance) exist in other areas as well.

Kudos to the NY Times for writing about this and giving it the space they have. And note as well the other web-friendly features they've included to add to the story.

They have a multimdedia feature that offers clips from TV shows (many of which are included in the print story.) There's also a detailed document archive where you can see excerpts from the documents the Times received during their research.

As with more and more news features these days, we get the print version, enhanced with extras that take advantage of web features. It makes for a rich experience.

Still, we have to admit that its not like we don't know this sort of thing happens. I hope the TV networks who were so lenient in checking the credibility of their military analysts are going to clean up their act a bit in the future - but I'm not holding my breath.

The responsibility for figuring out what's really going on remains with us - the consumer of the news. After all, there are always at least two sides to every story.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Snow in April...go figure

The back deck.JPG
Originally uploaded by Dave Traynor
Since the date ticked over to be officially spring back in March, we seem to have been having an entire winters' worth of cold, rain and now snow. This is not what we would expect here on Vancouver Island.

Spring is supposed to be the best time of the year here, since we don't actually ever get all that warm. It's nice when the flowers are out here in February and March, while the rest of Canada is still digging out from winter.

Today, it's supposed to be in the mid-20s in Toronto...sigh. Looks like our little window of opportunity has slammed shut. If you want to see a couple of other pics from my window this morning, just click on the photo to go to my Flickr site.

Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Success for Boot and Blade

I posted a while ago about Julie Szabo's figure skating blog, which featured the eight nastiest figure skating falls. Looks like the blogosphere mojo is working. Darren reports:

Just a quick note to say thanks to everybody who linked to Julie’s figure skating blog. She’s now in the number one spot for the Google search ‘figure skating blog’. There’s obviously not a lot of stiff competition, because Brian, Richard and I all have results in the top ten (though that may just be Google favouring newer pages).


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The GoodBye Girl's daughter grows up

I can't remember how I ever came across The QC Report but I've been reading this blog off and on for awhile. Although my kids are grown now, there's a lot of stuff here that I can relate to. It's written by Quinn Cummings, who first came to the world's attention as Marsha Mason's little girl in the movie version of The Goodbye Girl.

Cummings is not in the movie business anymore. She's the inventor of the HipHugger, a handy sling for carrying babies around and is now the president of the company she founded.

So that's the backstory -- child actor, middling career, gives it up, has a kid, forms a company, starts a blog, etc. While all that is interesting, I wouldn't keep reading her stuff if it wasn't good writing. And it turns out that Ms Cummings is a heck of a writer.

In this post, called Shouting Across the Divide, she starts off with her breezy, conversational style, which is all about the trials and tribulations of a modern, 30-something Mom and her friends. In this case, it's all about the fun finding a parking space at the daughter's ballet lesson.
For five minutes at the top of every hour there is a frantic movement of women hustling their leotarded girls out of classes and into cars, using their stained Starbucks napkins as semaphore flags to indicate that they will be more than happy to surrender their parking space as soon as they find their sunglasses, adjust their seat belt and pop in a DVD for the kids. Otherwise, we all drive up to the front door, eject a child, and wander off into the neighborhood to trawl for a parking space. Sometimes after fifty futile minutes spent driving around the block we just drive back to the front entrance and pick the kid up. I don’t understand why more mothers aren't diagnosed with vehicular bedsores.
But soon the tone changes and this light account of a dance lesson becomes an exploration of the mystery of the Mother/child bond.
Every time we let our children walk away from us, we’re practicing for the time they do it for keeps. And every time we let them go out into the world, even for a short time, some part of our brain thinks “No! Not yet! There’s no way she knows enough. I know for certain I haven’t taught him enough. Did I teach her the eyeball-gouging trick if someone tries to kidnap her? Did I get him to tolerate citrus fruit enough so he won’t die of scurvy? Did I impress upon them how unspeakably fragile I feel when I think about them doing something self-destructive? Does she know how I have never loved anyone on earth the way that I love her? Come back. Come back."

But the thoughts flash by in less than a millisecond and all our brain registers is “Remind him that his book report is in the outer pocket of his backpack.”
As I mentioned at the beginning, I'm not sure how I stumbled across The QC Report. That's one of the delights of the Internet - you never know what you'll find when you click on the next link. I like the blog and I like the backstory. I'll keep reading and now maybe you will too.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Interesting thing of the day

I admit that a lot of things about the online world are a bit hectic - maybe even chaotic. The more involved you get, the more you can get swept up by hype - Do this! Do that! Look at this!

Since I am easily distracted, I can have trouble getting my work done when there are a lot of other things going on. And as the web has grown to include so much more than just words on a screen, like music and video, the distraction factor has grown considerably.

So I'd like to step back, take a deep breath and tell you about a site that I visit often -- especially when things are getting a little hectic.

It's called Interesting Thing of the Day.

Almost every day (usually about 3 times a week, actually) Joe Kissell (author of Take Control of Mac OSX Backups - one of my favourites) or his partner Morgen Jahnke, (the well-known introvert) offers up a well-researched essay on something interesting. They're always well written, usually thought-provoking and always...well...interesting.

Like this one, for example. Although Silent Retreats: a different way of listening first appeared on July 4, 2004, it's still as refreshing to read and ponder today as it was then.
In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, one of the main characters is an alien named Ford Prefect from a planet near Betelgeuse. Although he looks, talks, and acts more or less human, there are many things about earthlings that puzzle him, such as the fact that they seem to talk all the time—even if only to repeat the obvious. Over the course of several months, he comes up with a number of theories for this behavior, one of which I found particularly insightful: “If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working” (p. 49). I’ve frequently noticed, on the one hand, that many people like to surround themselves with sound all the time (making their own if all else fails); and on the other hand, that contemplation is a foreign and uncomfortable concept to most of us. An increasingly popular way of overcoming the sound habit, at least briefly, is to go on a silent retreat.
How's that for an opening paragraph? I like the way it leads into the subject of the day, which is a bit about the history and the benefits of not talking.

The topics presented can be almost anything. Just recently, they've had a few stories with Canadian content, featuring the Alberta Tar Sands, Saturna Island here in BC and the Athabasca Sand Dunes in Saskatchewan.

They site doesn't have flashy videos, but they do have an audio option, so you can have the Interesting Thing of the Day read to you, if you prefer that. I recommend signing up for the RSS feed, so you can enjoy them whenever they're released.

I like the site and the stories and I admire the work that Joe and Morgen put into it. You can find out more about some of their other work right on the site. Be sure to check out the FAQs for a chuckle and lots more info about the blog.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Time lapse view of San Francisco

This is an intriguing site, featuring hi-def views of San Francisco's financial district, Fisherman's Wharf, Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill and Nob Hill San Francisco as viewed from across the bay in Sausalito.

I've linked to the page that gives you the timelapse series from yesterday (it's a large file, so it might take awhile to load) but you can also choose from other views once you're there.

I love the way you see the tide come in and out and the fog rolling in near the end of the day is spectacular.


It's all about the content

I'm a firm believer that good content is the key to successful communications. Design and useability are important, but they can't overcome the limitations of good content.

The value of good content has always seemed self-evident to me but it often seems to come as a revelation to people with the advent of new technology.

publish.jpgWhen new, exciting technology comes along, like the rise of desktop publishing in the '80s (remember all the fun we had with those floppies?) or the growth of the Internet in the '90s, a lot of users get seduced by what they can do with their new tools. And at first, the excitement factor keeps everyone interested. But inevitably, if the content of a document or a website is not relevant to the person using it (the so-called "user") the thrill will wear off.

In his latest Alertbox article, Jakob Nielsen lists several examples of bad design examples where the website developers overlooked or downplayed the value of content.

What's useful about Nielsen's list is that he's not advocating wholesale redesigns. He just points out a few missing elements that seem obvious if you consider the site from the user's point of view.

And that's the key to ensuring that your website design stays relevant. Everything about the design has to enhance the experience for the user. They need to be able to find the information they need, presented in a way that let's them use it effectively and move ahead to their next destination.

It's all about the content.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's the little things that matter to customers

I've been a paid subscriber to Salon for many years. And all in all, I figure it was worth it. When they launched Salon Premium in 2001 to stave off bankruptcy, they were looking for supporters and I was happy to oblige. But over the past year or two, I've found that I'm not reading the site regularly and so paying the $30 yearly fee for Premium access just started to seem like an expense I could do without.

So when Salon recently sent me a reminder that my subscription was about to expire, I decided not to renew. At the bottom of their note to me, they have this line:
If you don't plan to renew, we're very interested in understanding why. Please take a minute to drop us a line -- we take your feedback seriously:

Best regards,

Sam Porter

Salon Premium
So, since they asked, I sent them this note.
Hi -- I've been a subscriber for many years, but I'm not going to
renew this year. I get my information from all over the web. I have
hundreds of RSS feeds in my newsreader and there is rarely enough time
to go through them all. While I have enjoyed Salon and appreciate the
good stuff it offers, it's just not worth it to me to continue paying
for something I'm not using any more.
Unfortunately, they don't seem to take the feedback they get quite as seriously as they claim. Because the emails have kept on coming, each one warning me that I'm about to lose out and also inviting me to tell them why I've decided not to renew because, after all "we take your feedback seriously."

But here's what's really interesting...and something I hadn't remembered until today.

One year ago, I went through the same process. Here's what I sent to them back in March, 2007:
Hi there -- I've been a Salon subscriber for a number of years but I've decided not to renew this year.

I work in the information business as a communications consultant and I spend most of my time online. To be honest, I go through so much information on a regular basis that I just don't make much use of my Salon subscription. In the past, I've paid for it because I really support the kind of quality work you do.

But this past year has been a tough one for me and my business. I've relocated across Canada and the costs of setting up a new location, and making new connections in a different city, mean that I need to reduce expenses wherever possible.

I currently have over 800 feeds in my RSS newsreader, as well as more than 50 podcasts that I listen to regularly. In a world of information, I simply don't "need" to pay for your content.

If things improve, I may re-subscribe, but for now, I'll get my news (even if not your unique vision) elsewhere.
I've checked my records, but I can't find any record of my having paid for my Premium subscription last year. But it appears that they didn't cut me off, as they were warning me they would.

So, we'll see whether my subscription finally does get cut off this year.

But there's a lesson to be learned here for companies. If you tell people you're listening to them and you put it in writing, then you should make sure that your systems are actually set up to receive comments and react to them. It appears that Salon hasn't really paid much attention to what I've been telling them for over a year now and if I were once inclined to support them, I'm less inclined to do so now.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Time for a chuckle

While I'm sitting here hoping for some kind of divine revelation about the meaning of life, I came across this post from our good friend Lee Hopkins, in the "Adelaide Hills" of Australia. He posted this to his blog and I can't resist passing it along, just in case you don't read him regularly.

As someone who has been known to suffer technology envy on occasion, I certainly can identify with this:
Three naked women were sitting in a sauna, two were in their mid-twenties, one was in her forties.

Suddenly there was a beeping sound. One young woman pressed her forearm and the beep stopped.

The others looked at her questioningly.

“That was my pager” she said. “I have a microchip under the skin of my arm”

A few minutes later a phone rang.

The second young woman lifted her palm to her ear. When she finished she explained, “That was my mobile phone. I have a microchip in my hand.”

The older woman felt very low-tech, but not to be outdone she decided she had to do something equally as impressive.

She stepped out of the sauna and went to the bathroom.

She returned with a piece of toilet paper hanging from her derriere.

The others quite naturally raised their eyebrows and stared at her.

“Well, will you look at that!” the older woman exclaimed. “I’m getting a fax!”
Via Link

Monday, April 07, 2008

Nastiest Figure Skating Falls

A (virtual) friend, Darren Barefoot sent out a call to the blogosphere to help send his wife, Julie Szabo, to the Olympics, thanks to the power of SEO (search engine optimization.)
A couple of years ago my wife Julie started a figure skating blog. She’s got a particular purpose in mind for this project: she wants to get media accreditation for the skating events at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

One way to do this is to write the most popular figure skating blog in the world, according to Google. She currently sits in the #2 spot.

The goal is to get her up to the top spot, and I need your help. If you’re so inclined, please link to Julie’s blog with the phrase ‘figure skating blog‘. Collectively, we ought to be able to boost her up to the top spot, eh?
Darren and Julie have just moved to Victoria after spending a year living in Malta and Morocco.
So, to help the cause, I'm going to send you to her figure skating blog, Boot and Blade, where she's got a post called "Eight of the Worst Falls in Figure Skating."

It's sort of a "reality TV" meets "America's funniest home videos" sort of thing.

One caution though - not for the squeamish!

Here's the link to Julie's blog.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Weekend fun - copyright edition

OK campers, since the weekend is upon us (and especially for those who aren't interested in the Final Four) let's consider the question:

Is Copyright Cool?

Good question Dave, I can hear you thinking, nodding your head in approval.

So what's the answer?

Not to be coy, but the truth is -- I'm not sure.

I think it is, but I'm not sure it's crossed over to the mainstream yet. But it is getting closer to doing just that.

If you've got the time, I'm going to point you to a couple of videos of speeches by two very smart people - one American and one Canadian - talking about copyright issues in the US and here in Canada.

Larry Lessig

The first is by Larry Lessig, a professor at Stanford, credited with creating the Creative Commons license and a well-known advocate for copyright reform. (Although he's now turned his attention to corruption in US politics.)

He spoke at the TED conference in Monterey, California last March. Lessig is a terrific presenter, as this blurb from the TED website attests:
Larry Lessig gets TEDsters to their feet, whooping and whistling, following this elegant presentation of three stories and an argument. The Net's most adored lawyer brings together John Philip Sousa, celestial copyrights, and the "ASCAP cartel" to build a case for creative freedom. He pins down the key shortcomings of our dusty, pre-digital intellectual property laws, and reveals how bad laws beget bad code. Then, in an homage to cutting-edge artistry, he throws in some of the most hilarious remixes you've ever seen.

Watch the video here.

Michael Geist

The second video is by Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa, who is probably Canada's best-known advocate of copyright reform. He's been waging a very public campaign to highlight some of the threats posed by possible changes to Canada's existing copyright rules.

He spoke at Toronto's Osgood Hall law school and they've posted a video of his presentation, which you can watch here.

While these two perspectives on copyright law may not answer the question of whether the issue is cool or not, they are definitely worth watching. They might even inspire you to consider getting more involved with the issue - or at least consider the implications of some of your own habits or those around you.

The issue of intellectual property rights, and their distribution and usage is critical to the future of our "information age." We should all be aware of what's going on so we can decide whether what is happening is correct.

These two guys are worth listening to.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The war through the eyes of the soldiers

p_logo.gifFrontline aired a powerful documentary this week about the war in Iraq, called Bad Voodoo's War. What made this show unique was that it was filmed entirely by the soldiers on the ground.

Filmmaker Deborah Scranton, who also made The War Tapes, a feature film documentary about Iraq that also featured footage shot by soldiers on the ground, tracked the progress of the Bad Voodoo platoon, National Guardsman who headed over to Iraq last June to provide escorts for supply convoys moving through the country. Before they left, she outfitted them with video cameras and they have been sending back tapes of their lives ever since.

The quality of the footage is remarkable, especially the use of multiple camera shots in single scenes. The did this by using a dashboard camera focussed on the soldiers in their trucks, another dashboard mounted camera facing forward and hand-held cameras carried by the soldiers.

You can watch the film and a lot of other features online here.

I'm very impressed by how PBS has integrated its programming with the Internet. This show, for example, is supplemented by a website with blog postings from the soldiers themselves, details about the people involved, maps of the country, interviews with the director and a very high-quality viewer where you can watch the film.

Compared to the low-quality video clips we've gotten used to on YouTube, this is startling. It makes you realize what's possible with web-based programming.

Once you've watched this film, you might be interested in some of the 72 other Frontline programs that are posted on the PBS site already, with more being added all the time.

The package is worth checking out. And kudos to PBS for the presentation.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Flash brings "MAD" magazine's genius to the Web

250px-Completelymad copy.jpgIf you're of a certain age, you'll remember the fun you had reading MAD magazine.

As a younger person, I probably missed the point of a lot of the satirical content but I appreciated the cleverness, with features like Spy-vs-Spy and The Lighter Side of...

One feature I remember marvelling at was Al Jaffee's fold-in's, where the simple act of folding a page into thirds revealed an entirely different answer to the question posed.

If that sentence above doesn't make any sense, don't worry. Thanks to Flash technology, we are now able to enjoy Al Jaffee's genius (and prescience) right online, courtesy of the New York Times.

See what I'm talking about at this link.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April 1 fun with Google

While the web has been filled with April 1 pranks today, Google's posted a few items that are not aimed at fooling people as much as making them smile.

Check out the links below and you'll see what I mean:

Each show a different riff on Google's search page.

Swedish Chef -

Pig Latin -

Hacker (or leetspeak) -

Elmer Fudd -

Klingon -

Mirrored Page -

If you come across others, let me know...

Which is your favourite?

UPDATE -- Here's a program we can all use...

And just in case you haven't had enough Google stuff yet, here's a (ongoing) compilation of all the April Fool's jokes that Google was involved in today.