All websites evolve to receive humorous comments

September 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm (computers, internet) (, , , )

and those that don’t are replaced with those that can (to misuse Zawinski’s Law)?

And which site would you least expect to contain user-contributed humour?  Ok, well there are probably many, but Amazon is the one that surprises me from time to time.

There are some real gems, where readers have completely gone to town on a product.  What I can’t work out is if the products themselves are genuine?  Take the most recent example I saw popping up on Facebook:

Uranium Ore – $49.95

What the people say:

  • 3 stars – “I purchased this product 4.47 Billion Years ago and when I opened it today, it was half empty.”
  • 5 stars – “Package was leaking when it arrived but I believe that’s an old custom in the industry so I haven’t marked it down.”
  • 1 star – “Product was exactly as described but did not function as a time machine fuel source. This Uranium Ore only allows one to go 15 mph to the mailbox, which is not enough momentum for time travel.”
  • 1 star – “Not only that, the Uranium you see sold above is of low grade and I would not recommend it to anyone looking to blow up a small to medium sized country off the Mediterranean sea.  If you want my advice, contact the Russians.”

If Uranium Ore is not to your tastes, then maybe you might be interested in this one that has hit the online news recently:

Bic Pens for Her – £14.82

  • 5 stars – “But until now, I couldn’t figure out why my life felt so flat, so uninspired, so – very – vapid.  I now know. All this time, I’ve been writing with a pen intended for a man (insert face palm slap with a Homer Simpson “Doh”) instead of one designed for the delicate needs of a woman. Who knew?”
  • 5 stars – “And thank goodness for BIC’s foresight in labelling these pens ‘for her’, because I would never have known that this was the pen for me otherwise. I never even realised before that pens were gendered – they don’t call them men’s pens, even though that rhymes, and I’ve never even realised I was using the wring writing implements. And just imagine if they had simply made a slim pink pen, and men had bought it!”
  • 1 star – “She spent a week attempting to make her own grocery list, but the pages were just filled with hearts, flowers, and other doodles. Unfortunately, she fell behind in the laundry, my lunches were of poor quality (she even forgot to make it once!), the rugs were not vacuumed well, etc. This was becoming a huge problem. We discussed the issue and decided that she would practice with the pens after she put the children down for a nap in the afternoon. Assuming she was on top of her chores and with the stipulation that she not spend more than a half hour a day with them.”

It doesn’t stop there … for the busy driver/worker on the move:

Wheelmate Laptop Steering Wheel Desk – $24.95

  • 5 stars – “I am totally blind and now that I have the Wheelmate Steering Wheel Tray, I can keep my fingers on my Braille map while driving
    and don’t have to worry about getting lost anymore”
  • 1 star – “This product simply does not perform well on corners. I have damaged two laptops, spilled coffee, scattered paperclips all over the inside of my car, and incurred a $250 cleaning charge from Avis for an unfortunate incident involving an eggnog latte and a rented Escalade.”
  • 1 star – “Got it as part of my new year’s resolution to be healthier and eat breakfast. Terrible product, every time I turn left or right, my food just spills all over the place. Last week I had a bowl of hot oatmeal fly out of the window and hit a bicyclist. Damn bugger took my breakfast.”
  • and my personal favourite – 5 stars – “You wouldn’t believe how much more interesting my commute is now that I have something to do other than just stare out the window! I’m using it right now to post this review and I never   “

For the audiophiles amongst you:

Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable – $400.00

  • 2 stars – “Transmission of music data at rates faster than the speed of light seemed convenient, until I realized I was hearing the music before I actually wanted to play it.”
  • 1 star – “The cable knew where to go, and hooked itself into the correct ports without help from me – all the while, the choir sang praises to the almighty digital god. With trepidation, I pushed “play,” and was instantly enveloped in a sound that echoed the creation of all matter, a sound that vibrated every cell in my body to perfection. I was instantly taken to the next plane, where I saw the all-father. I knew with my entire soul, that all was good in the world.  But then I realized the cable was blue, so I only gave it one star. I hate blue.”
  • 1 star – “In a nutshell, digital bits should consist solely of “1”s and “0”s. Unfortunately, low quality cables will distort the digital data, causing some “1”s to become values such as “0.93”s or “1.12”s or even “2.08”s, for example. Likewise, some “0”s will be changed to values like “0.2”s or “0.13”s. The problem is that circuits such as digital-to-analog converters and tri-state digital buffers can’t process these distorted bits, and they remain stuck in the cable. Eventually the cable becomes so clogged that data transmission slows to a crawl as bandwidth is gradually reduced.”
  • 5 stars – “The cable installs, at each end, into it’s receptacle with a satisfactory click. I spent hours simply plugging and unplugging it, then it was time for the purging of ear particulate mater.”
  • 1 star – “I purchased this bungee cord because it matched the basket on my bicycle. However, it is missing the hooky things on the ends and I had to tie it to the handlebars. Very poor planning on Denon’s part.  Bottom line: I cannot recommend.”

But I suspect this is the classic one – its certainly one of the first I heard about:

The Mountain Three Woof Moon Short Sleeve Tee – $11.95

Just a couple of the over 2000 reviews …

  • 5 stars – “Unfortunately I already had this exact picture tattooed on my chest, but this shirt is very useful in colder weather.”
  • 2 stars – “I had always known that something was missing from my life and this is it. I quickly bought one for my wife and kids. But to my horror I discovered that I wasn’t able to get one small enough for my cat.”
  • 5 stars – “I was born cold, naked, and unable to care for myself. After I bought the Three Wolf Moon shirt I became a Reality TV Star at Microsoft.”
  • 5 stars – “I sometimes pay a prostitute to wear the t-shirt and visit me in prison just so I can look lovingly upon it.”
  • 1 star – “After reading the reviews i ordered a dozen of these hoping to either bring my wife back from the dead or at the very least meet the wolf god who took her. Neither of these happened. Nothing has happened. Nothing ever happens, and I don’t know why expect online purchases to plug the hole in my heart. Nothing has, nothing will, and certainly not some wolves howling at the moon.”

So there.  Do let me know if (or rather when) you find some more – you might find some among these.

Kevin.

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Virtual Revolution

March 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm (internet) (, , , , , , )

I’ve just finished watching the BBC’s Virtual Revolution programmes.  These were presented by Aleks Krotoski and shown on 4 consecutive Saturday evenings a month or so ago.

It follows the evolution of the Internet from its humble beginnings as the ARPANET and a collection of academic networks, through the non-commercial era, to the dot-com boom and bust.  Finally, it talks about how people like Amazon and Google worked out how to make money from the Internet by exploiting out information in exchange for us using their services for free.  We get the benefits of the services and haven’t really had any negative impact, yet, from giving up our personal information to them.

The final programme looks at the whole issue of online social networks such as Facebook and looks at some of the, as yet unknown, future effects on society.

One interesting conclusion, well discussion but looking like a conclusion, is that the web seems to be encouraging more associative brain functions than linear … people prefering short, associated chunks of information rather than large, linear books.  This is one reason that many of ‘generation web’ don’t read books!

A very interesting series.

Kevin.

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Soothers … (or dummy to you and me)

June 3, 2009 at 9:20 pm (interesting, kids, odds) (, , )

How about this – see here on Amazon?  I saw these quite some time ago, but was reminded of it again recently.  Don’t know about you, but I find this actually quite disturbing!

I wonder what this does to a kid’s self-esteem in later life …

Kevin.

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Amazon Recommends …

November 19, 2007 at 6:38 pm (internet) (, )

Isn’t the Amazon recommend system interesting?  I was looking at what it recommends for me, based on my purchase history, and a very weird collection of things it was too!

I see it tracks what you browse too – then presumably if you buy something it can link your browsing history to your profile too.  It also amused me to see the ‘sell back what you’ve bought’ links – very optimistic about the lifetime of your purchases …

Apart from the obvious privacy issues of amazon have a full purchase history, it got me wondering what I would have to do to get it to recommend really bizarre things for me.  Could I just browse some funny things or would I actually have to buy them?  Maybe if I review and rate something from elsewhere in the site that could go in the mix … an interesting experiment for someone.  Sometime.  Maybe.

Kevin.

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