Surfing it old school
My memories of hearing Grandmaster Flash, Sugarhill Gang and later Run DMC, LL Cool J and Public Enemy on New York radio defined part of my adolescence. Now these groups and their songs are “classic,” so I guess that makes me old.
I also remember going to university in the late ’80s and having a nerd friend tell me that there was a way to talk to people around the world for free on a computer. Not believing him, I went with him to the school computer lab where he showed me the beginnings of the public Internet. Not long after, I had a Netscape account and I was surfing the “information superhighway.” Now I find out that the AOL-acquired browser, once used by 90 percent of Web surfers, will no longer be supported after this month. The end of Netscape is the end of an era for sure.
And speaking of the death of a technology, remember CDs? (If you don’t, go ask someone over 25 years old). I ripped all of my compact discs and sold the hard copies about four years ago. The process was laborious and needed to be babysat the entire way. Now Ripfactory brings us the Ripserver, a stand-alone black or white cubed box that converts the content of a CD into MP3 files of various bit rates. The 500GB unit will set you back around $1,189 while the 1TB cube costs $1,388. www.ripfactory.com/ripserver
Taking the piss
From the “This Just Ain’t Right” files, a laughing, singing, moving, clown-faced men’s stand-up urinal. It’s from Japan, of course, where it seems all things innovative, whether right or wrong, come from. Men relieve themselves into the moving mouth of a clown. Careful, it has teeth. It’s all the more wrong that the video of the urinal is on a YouTube-like site called LiveLeak.
If I had a dollar for all the “million-dollar ideas” I’ve come up with over the years but never implemented, I’d have … about $30. But if I had implemented just one of them … I’m actually surprised this one took so long to materialize, and even more surprised it’s free!
Coolgorilla’s London Travel Guide seems to be the first comprehensive digital travel-guide podcast for smartphones. Maybe they were waiting for a larger, more interactive screen like the iPhone’s to take advantage of the 400-page guide with video, and the hundreds of maps and telephone links for places of interest. Now it’s a click of a cell phone button to find bangers and mash or bubble and squeak. www.londontravelguide.com
Wacky Web site of the week
I might have to change this section to “Cool” or “Tight” Web site of the week—though those names are not as lyrical—but here is great site that lets you make your own ringtones for your phone or upload your own music to be used as a ringtone: www.myxertones.com