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When someone introduces a useless idea (or one that is narrow in scope) on the Internet, it gets linked, picked, praised, talked about till the transformation from a phenomena to sheer bullshit is complete.

I am taking about Wolfram Alpha. Because among other places, it has been talked about here , here and here.

I have heard enough things about Wolfram already, including the awesomeness of narrow, focused search and a smarter alternative to Google. Isn’t it what is being said about Kosmix and Deep Peep. What, you didn’t know that? Have you been living under a rock? Oh. Sorry.

The first thing you have to understand is, that for the general internet population, Wolfram is fucking useless. When you truly look up something that is going to change your life in this website, drop me a line. And when that counter hits five figures, I will remove this post.

I have a simple test, quite childish but it has an unusually high success rate. I call it the Bird Sex Test. I started it when I was in seventh or eighth grade, when I asked my biology teacher question from the very back of the class – How do birds have sex? Amidst the laughter in class, she was not amused and threatened to take action against me if I didn’t behave. One girl told me birds don’t have sex since they lay eggs. I heard she is now living in a forest with a parakeet as her husband and her small but vibrant community includes Kevin Costner living with a Wolf, Mel Gibson living with a dog, Robert Redford living with a horse and Kanye West living with what is assumed to be a gay fish.

See where I am going with this? No? Sorry. If you suspect someone of being a bore, prude or just getting to know someone, ask the question – How do birds have sex? Usually I find it worth my while to stick with people who either give me a factual scientific answer or the ones who give a crazy funny answer (e.g In the same awkward manner like me, except without the alcohol…oh…that gives an idea I need to go to the pet store tomorrow).

Wolfram Alpha, of course, failed the test.

Wolfram Alpha birds 0

While Google aced it. (That’s 3 76 0000 results for you!)

google-birds-3 76 0000

That’s why nothing can replace Google, somewhere some kid is searching for shit like this and no one can satisfy quite like Google.

The second test I have is the verb test. Xerox has it. Google has it. For instance, no one finds it creepy anymore if you tell them that you Googled them. It’s assumed whatever you put online will be read by people whom you really don’t want to. Tell someone that you Wolfram Alpha’d them – they will run to the nearest cop. Or ask you what kind of sexual position is that and will their vital organs be functional after?

Seriously, Wolfram Alpha is a stupid name for a website claiming to ‘compute the world’s knowledge’. Not to mention the ultimate testament to the fucking ego of the guy who started this. This makes me wonder, how the hell did this useless idea get such free press? Did he hire Jesus as his publicist? No. Oh, it must be Scott Boras then.

Okay I admit, Wolfram Alpha is about numbers. And the saying usually goes that numbers don’t lie. This is the mantra spitted out in all MBA schools. I should know, I took classes in one. The ugly fact is nothing actually lies more persuasively than numbers. The current financial crises should be enough to prove that statement.

Still not convinced? The Goons will convince you what an exercise in futility this Wolfram Alpha thing is.

wolfram01Despite everything, this is still only the second worst thing to come out of Britain this year.

UPDATE: Microsoft has made a huge splash about Bing – their yet to be launched search engine. They are going for the verb thing but are somewhat behind because Urban Dictionary has already defined Bing for them. And the required plug-in, an NYT article ends with this priceless acronym for Bing – But It’s Not Google! Haha!

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Haiti was ravaged by a hurricane last year, that led to much devastation in an already poor country. Patrick Farrell was there to document the tragedy for the world to see. And now he has won a Pulitzer prize. I won’t congratulate him, but I thank him for his efforts.

pulitzer-prize-winner-pat-010

The lifeless body of 5 year old Tamasha Jean, the daughter of Frantz Samedi, is loaded onto a pickup truck in Cabaret.

Patrick Farrell’s Pulitzer prize-winning selection of photographs.

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This is just delightful…Iranian snipers parading at the annual army day, scaring the shit out of old people while children everywhere were laughing thier assess off.

Be scared…but please don’t throw cigarette butts at these guys.

iranian-snipers

Tim Dowling: Iranian Sniper or Wookiee? How to tell them apart.

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modern-art

Via

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This Comcast commercial has been out for a while now and to be honest, it’s a sub-par effort. The only thing that stands out is the technique, though I wonder why they didn’t have a compelling story to match it. There have been many ads that have used animation and digital video – very badly – like Charles Schwab and that annoying E-Trade baby. Well, come to think of it all babies are annoying. I digress.

Here is the Comcast advert:

Talk about sitting in advertising ivory tower…who the hell in the world sings about cable, internet and telephone? The blend of animation on digital video with stunning effect was done for the movie Waking Life. Here is the New York Times take on this movie and the technique:

‘Visually, ”Waking Life” is a technological coup: it transforms photographed reality into a sophisticated cartoon world by superimposing brightly hued digital animation on live-action digital video. Mr. Linklater’s stroke of brilliance is his application of this technique to an open-ended fable about perception itself. I can’t imagine a more powerful visual metaphor for the suspension between waking and dreaming evoked by the movie than this surreal merging of photography and animation.’

Here is a cool scene from the movie – wait, go get some magic herbs or a chug down a stiff drink first.

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This is apology we can’t believe in, but yes we can enjoy it regardless.

The only thing I am scared of about this viral is that ‘Ice Ice Baby’ becoming the default ironic ring tone for hipsters. That would be cruel.

Via

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You Tube has a new feature, well it maybe old but I came across it recently…it’s called lights off. Lights off lets you clear the screen, makes the background dark so you can enjoy the content without any distractions. That’s of course assuming you, like me, drink some brandy and search for Beethoven at You Tube. Here is the screen grab.

you-tube-lights-off

It takes an even darker turn in the comments, when it comes to Mozart’s 41st…

on-mozart-41

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