Webmongs! Hello! Look! It’s a brand new political dawn in which the strong are just, the weak secure and the peace preserved – oh, no, actually it’s a hung parliament, a few days of uncertainty and the horrible, ugly prospect of having to go through this bloody circus all over again before the year’s out. You don’t need me for analysis of the situation (for which let’s be thankful; if you did need me for this, it would be a poor lookout for the country as a whole) – get it here instead. If you’re feeling depressed about the outcome, though, why not console yourself by spilling your guts to a bunch of random strangers on the internet? I’m going to leave the last word (for now, at least) on our much vaunted ‘digital election’ to the fine folk from B3ta – the web didn’t change the course of the election or the outcome of the vote (really, it didn’t – IT WAS THE TELLY WOT HUNG IT), but it made me laugh lots. So that’s ok then (warning – audio track contains swears) :
Right, enough of the important stuff. Let’s get back to the frivolous internet rubbish.
Why Facebook is now SATAN – It’s not really, obviously; I just wrote that somewhat hyperbolic headline to get your attention. Did it work? Anyway, the link’s an interesting look by the Electronic Frontier Foundation about exactly what the implications of Facebook’s recently implemented ‘Connections’ functionality are for privacy. The upshot of this is basically that a) Facebook is soon to be to the web what Unilever is to domestic goods; it will be really, really hard not to use their stuff, even if you don’t in fact want to; b) it’s going to become easier and easier for people like me (and you, probably – don’t get too smug) to target consumers based on their preferences – without them even knowing we’re doing it. More ways to sell a bunch of useless crap to people who neither need nor want it. WELCOME TO THE FUTURE, KIDS!
- This is a brilliant article on the rise of the infographic as a concept, and its aesthetic development over time
- This is a fun little webpage that allows you to make your own personalised infographic about your online life. Expect to see lots more of this sort of thing – letting people play with data and helping them make pretty pictures out of it is a cracking way to convince them to then spread that same data around on your behalf.
I really like this painting, though I’d struggle to explain why:
The obligatory location-based stuff:
- I noted this a few weeks back, but it’s worth being aware that Facebook is apparently set to announce the roll-out of its locatino-based functionality this month.
- Meanwhile, brands continue to fiddle about with Foursquare – this time it’s Pepsi in the US, effectively offering reward points to customers who check in at food outlets that stock Pepsi. Worth keeping an eye on this to see what uptake numbers are like; also bear in mind that Pepsi will be paying a vast amount of money for this sort of activity…
- A less successful experiment with Foursquare was seen on Wednesday night in Manchester. Umbro tried to organise the largest ever check in at the City of Manchester Stadium for the pivotal Premier League match between Man City and Spurs; of 48,000-odd spectators, there were…er…148 check-ins. Who said that Foursquare was, currently, the sole preserve of London-based generic media wankers? Oh, yes, it was me *pats self on back*.
America continues its national mission to render each of its inhabitants clinically obese by 2100 – you will have seen the aberration that is the KFC Double Down sandwich; you may not, though, be aware of these frankly suicidal culinary reimaginings of that gourmet’s dream:
The below image is not, as you might imagine, the logo for ‘Chariots’ saunas – it is instead one of the 12 finalists for the design of the new European Union flag. No, me neither.
This is a fascinating piece from the New York Times on the rise of data-tracking your life, and what it can mean in terms of making your existence a bit better (this is geeky, but I promise it’s worth a read)
If you only listen to one piece of music on the internet this week, make it this one
Finally, the video stuff. With added video, because if, like me, you’ve had a pig of a week (again), you’ll want to do nothing more with your afternoon than to ignore work, ignore the slow grinding of the tectonic plates of UK democracy, whack on your headphones and check out these certified gems. No really, cracking selection this week imho.
(Oh, as a final aside to anyone who cares, the lovely @divydovy won the competition on the last web curios 2 long weeks ago. Largely because he was the only person who entered who I’d never met in real life, but also because I enjoyed his mouse-related factoid)
1) This isn’t as new as it would have been had my colleagues and I not been doing CHARITABLE ACTS OF AMAZING ALTRUISM last week (for these people – can’t recommend their work enough), but it’s my favourite song of the moment and should be listened to at all opportunities. Nas vs Damian Marley – As We Enter:
2) Best insanely geeky labour of love award of the week (hm, that title’s unlikely to catch on) goes to the creator of this: Skynet Symphony, a dance track and accompanying video made solely from short, looped clips of audio from Terminator 2. Quite mental:
3) People getting cake shot at their faces in slow motion. That’s it really:
4) Who is iamamiwhoami? Personally I have no clue, and nor indeed does the rest of the internet, but whoever they are they are making some wonderfully teasing and surreal videos. Anyone got any info, do let me know:
5) This is soothing, like an eyebath for the brain:
6) NYC-based rapper Ill Bill gets one of the coolest animated videos I’ve seen in a while for his track “War Is My Destiny”:
7) And finally, if you have the luxury to watch this 15 minute steampunk short at work this afternoon then do so. It’s gorgeous. Oh, and I hate you for your indolence, you slacker: