Unicast Introduces Screen-Filling Online Ad

“Online advertising software vendor Unicast is introducing a new kind of Internet ad that doesn’t just pop up over a portion of the browser but rather fills the entire screen of the computer user.|The New York-based company described the new unit as a ‘full-screen, 15-second, 300k online ad.’ Unicast promotional materials suggest the new format will enable advertisers to reach their audiences ‘with the same impact’ as TV.” –Unicast Introduces…

Romeo and Juliet Starring YOU as Romeo or Juliet and a special someone as your true love

Play the part of the famous lovers with this customized version of the classic Shakespearean drama. Relive the thrill of classic lines with you in them. “Oh Brad, Brad. Wherefore art thou Brad?”“But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Helen is the sun.” What’s more, if you choose the Happy Ending Version a new scene is added with a twist — the lovers live…

Talk of Brainstorming ‘May Offend Epileptics’

“Trainee teachers are being told to avoid the word for fear of offending pupils with epilepsy. Instead they are being advised to use ‘word storm’ or ‘thought shower’.” Liz Lightfoot –Talk of Brainstorming ‘May Offend Epileptics’ (Telegraph) Who or what is telling these teachers not to use “brainstorming”? The reporter quotes a charity that says some teachers had asked them about the word, but there is no quote from a person…

The Grammar of Sound

“Say you were trying to find instances of when Bill Gates testified between May 15 and June 1. Using existing tools like full-text search engines, natural language query or speech recognition, you’d have to transcribe the audio into a text file, then index it with a lexicon of terms that included ‘Gates.’ Such an undertaking would have been labor-intensive, time-consuming, and error-prone. But only then could congressmen quickly locate testimony…

Hector the Hectopus

“I bet Hector would be more fun if we dipped him in gasoline. But, most toys are…….” Chad –Hector the Hectopus (Catch.com) My (completely pointless and out-of-date) Rainbow Hector Weblog has been metablogged by Catch.com. I don’t know why, and the Catch.com folks don’t seem to know either. Life goes on, and Hector keeps smiling.

Spam Sent by Fraud is Made a Felony

“Virginia enacted a law Tuesday imposing harsh felony penalties for sending such messages to computer users through deceptive means….Public outrage at spam is causing states and Congress to start looking at stronger measures against it. The Internet industry estimates that spam represents nearly half of all e-mail sent. And a new report by the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday found that two-thirds of spam is sent with either false return…

Machine-To-Machine Integration: The Next Big Thing?

“If you know where each truck and driver is, you can use your assets more efficiently–not just the trucks, but the warehouses that are waiting for them to pick up or the recipients that are waiting for them to deliver. In retail, if you can track products more carefully you can dramatically reduce shrinkage, or product that unaccountably disappears. Countering losses due to theft is one obvious benefit of better…

Exposing the Overediting of Textbooks

“Ravitch reports that a textbook committee rejected the heroic story of Mary McLeod Bethune, the black woman who founded the Daytona Educational and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls nearly a century ago. Why? The word ‘Negro.’ That was bad. Also because Bethune raised the money for her school from rich white men like John D. Rockefeller. That was also bad.” Bruce Ramsey reviews The Language Police: How Pressure Groups…

Poetry is Dead. Does Anybody Really Care?

“Anyone can write a bad poem. To appreciate a good one, though, takes knowledge and commitment. As a society, we lack this knowledge and commitment. People don’t possess the patience to read a poem 20 times before the sound and sense of it takes hold. They aren’t willing to let the words wash over them like a wave, demanding instead for the meaning to flow clearly and quickly. They want…