A couple of months ago I wrote about a Texas entrepreneur (or maybe just a guy who really hates deer) who was setting up a system to enable armchair hunters to shoot real, live deer over the Internet (Technobabble, March 13). Well, Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal just one-upped the virtual Bambi killer with his “Domestic Tension” exhibit, which is also available on his Web site: http://wafaabilal.com. If you are bored with killing Muslims in America’s Army: The Official U.S. Army Game (Writer’s note: I can’t believe I am writing this), then take the jump over to Bilal’s site where you can shoot … him (he originally wanted to call it “Shoot an Iraqi”). Unlike the cute antlered mammal, Bilal doesn’t meet his maker, as the firearm on his site shoots paintballs. You can even chat with Bilal before or after you shoot him.
Wreck of the old GPS
I’m not entirely sure if this is human error or the fault of technology, but you may want to engage your brain when using your car’s Global Positioning System. A GPS is known as a “sat nav,” or satellite navigation system, in England, where Paula Ceely almost became the next winner of the Darwin Award. It seems there are some poorly designed and poorly marked “safety” gates at train crossings in the central UK. According to a BBC article, Ceely got out of her vehicle, opened the first gate, drove her car through, got out to close the gate and open the second when she heard a train horn. She then noticed her car was stopped squarely over a set of train tracks. The train tossed her car about half a mile, but Ceely was unharmed. The tracks do not appear on the GPS map.
Big Brother is Yellow
If you’re visiting New York City this summer, you may be lucky enough to find yourself in one of the 200 test cabs equipped with touch-screen computers. All 13,000 of NYC’s yellow cabs should be outfitted with the technology by October. In addition to allowing passengers to pay their fares with credit cards, the device also shows ads and reviews of local eating and drinking establishments, displays up-to-date news stories and shows the cab’s route through the city. For those not wanting to gawk at the tall buildings and transvestites out their window, this seems like a great innovation, but not all cabbies are cheering. Some feel it’s a “big brother” device, claiming the GPS/record keeping technology that will give the drivers traffic information is really installed to keep tabs on their actions.
A pirate and his booty
My gut feeling is I should not be revealing this, as it will only lessen my chances of finding the woman of my dreams online, but if you are one of those females who are into elves or well-to-do guys who hang out with pirates—in other words, Orlando Bloom—surf over to Orlo’s Facebook page and ask him out. He is hoping the social networking site will help him find one of those “proper family [lives]—with a partner and kids.” You know, the non-Hollywood type of life you and I lead. One small challenge: He filled out his profile under a friend’s name and photo to avoid these “few” females who might be after his elfin stash of gold or booty.