Mixed Bag Special

.: Last week, Stephen Colbert, the brilliant and consistently funniest “reporter” on The Daily Show, debuted on Comedy Central with his own show, The Colbert Report (pronounced coal-BEAR re-PORE). Of course, this being Canada, we don’t get the show yet, if ever, so thanks to the miracle of bittorrent technology, I have watched the first four episodes. The show, which is produced by, among others, Colbert and Jon Stewart, is hilarious. Bringing Out the Absurdity of the News by Allesandra Stanley, in the 25 Oct 2005 NYTimes, captures the essence of the show. Excerpt:

And some of the best material on Mr. Stewart and Mr. Colbert’s shows lies in their sadistic use of snippets from real newscasts and political speeches. On Thursday, Mr. Colbert showed a montage of alarmed reports about the avian flu epidemic on CNN, C-Span and MSNBC, then showed a more upbeat Fox News headline: “Bird is the word on the street. Why the avian flu could send stocks soaring.”

Mr. Colbert praised Fox News for always finding something positive in bad news, be it about the Bush administration or the nation. “Every global pandemic has a silver lining,” he said approvingly. “Remember, the Medici made their money investing in the bubonic plague. A lot of people did. Until the boil burst.”

.:In addition to sending me the link to the NYTimes story, Mike Hall also forwarded this CNET story, Tempted by blogs, spam becomes ‘splog’. Apparently, splog is the new word to describe blog spam.

Google’s Blogger blog-creation tool and BlogSpot hosting service, together the most popular free blogging service on the Web, fell victim this past weekend to the biggest “splog” attack yet–an assault that led to clogged RSS readers and overflowing in-boxes, and that may have manipulated search engine rankings. Bottom line: The scope of the attack, and the sophisticated automation used to accomplish it, mark a turning point for splogging, a problem experts say has been building for some time. It’s not yet clear what Google and others can do to stop the nuisance.

I wasn’t aware of this attack, and as far as I can tell, neither this site or STLQ were victims of this moronic episode.

.: I have 172 feeds in my Bloglines account at the moment, which is beyond absurd. I can’t don’t keep up with 99% of it, but every so often it’s fun to cruise through the feeds and see what’s out there. It seems a little early for movie awards season, but The Movie Blog reports that Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, has earned the Hollywood Movie of the Year award for 2005. The award is one of many given at the annual Hollywood Film Festival, which ended yesterday.

.: Futurists Pick Top Tech Trends comes from Wired News. The trends forecast to happen include simplicity, mobile socialization, the end of the combustion engine, the green movement expansion, and an 2006 IT revolution.

.: I am not into video games of any sort, generally. I tend to default to games like solitaire, spider solitaire, miniputt, and the like. Science writer Clive Thompson writes on his site, Collision Detection, about a game called Poom, in which a ball drops from above, and the player moves a grid of tiles below so that the ball will bounce back up; some of the tiles, of course, are missing. When the ball hits a tile and bounces, the grid below will change. The key is to watch the shadow of the ball as it falls back to the grid. Addictive indeed.

3 Responses to “Mixed Bag Special”

  1. Steve G Says:

    The “splog” attack on blogger.com was more than just blog spam. As I understood it, a sophisticated bot used the blogger account creation functionality to create tens of thousands of new blogs. The new blogs were essentially 100% spam.

  2. darcy Says:

    You should try Eve….partially created by Peter Gabriel. Very right-brain….very surreal…very cool.

  3. jenB Says:

    you will notice starting monday we get the colbert report on TV after the daily show. and how come i cannot get a current feed on your site through bloglines?

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