Fuck "wifi_rail", srsly.

So, the pinheads who bring you that marvel of modern efficiency we know as BART have a wifi network on the trains now. They have, of course, managed to make it completely useless. (Even when it isn't over capacity.)

First, you need to sign up for a free account to use it, with an email address and a password. But they don't verify the email address at all! So it is in fact completely anonymous, there is just a pointless speedbump in the way. I guess it is for spamming rather than kiddie porn panic?

It makes you log in with your made-up email address and password before passing any packets, and they set the login page to not remember either the address or password even if your browser is set to remember such things. And, it has a very short time-out.

So, you open up yor mail reader, it tries to get mail, you are redirected to a "welcome" page in the web browser (not even the login page!) where you have to do a fucking lot of typing... And then maybe you can dow nload your mail. Maybe. By the time you are on the return train, you will have to do this login dance again.

Whoever is responsible for this stunning design failure deserves continuous cockpunches.

This message brought to you by the just-slightly-lesser failure that is the AT&T network.

Tags: ,

Poetica Vaginal

A short history of radio messages to ET

Joe Davis is an artist and a research affiliate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the mid-1980s, he became concerned that no image of humans had been sent into space representing the details of human genitals or reproduction.

So he led a project to transmit the sounds of vaginal contractions towards neighbouring star systems. To do so, he recorded the vaginal contractions of ballet dancers.

The messages were to be sent from MIT's Millstone Hill Radar to Epsilon Eridani, Tau Ceti and two other stars. However, only a few minutes of footage was transmitted before the US air force, which had jurisdiction over the facility, shut the project down.

Nevertheless, the vaginal sounds that were sent will have reached Epsilon Eridani in 1996 and Tau Ceti in 1998. It is unclear what sort of reply we should expect.

Joe Davis: Monsters, Maps, Signals and Codes

A "vaginal detector" was built in a laboratory of mechanical engineering and consisted of a water-filled polyallomer centrifuge tube mounted on a hard nylon base that contained a very sensitive pressure transducer. Dancers and other female volunteers (unsolicited) hygienically invaginated the detector in order to characterize vaginal contractions (the fastest was clocked at 0.8 Hz). The embedded pressure transducer was sensitive enough to detect voice, heartbeat, and respiration as well as voluntary and involuntary vaginal contractions.

Electronic music software was used to generate real time harmonics of vaginal contractions until that frequency matched one of the frequencies in the set of unique frequencies of English speech. A collaborating linguist bit-mapped those speech sounds (called, "phonemes") so that they could be generated in real time corresponding to vaginal "inputs." A digital map of the analog detector output was also made in real time. Thus, three forms of the message were simultaneously generated: 1) an analog signal directly generated by vaginal contractions; 2) a digital map of same and 3) voice (English phoenetic maps of vaginal contractions).

[...] The Vaginal Excursion Module was assembled at Haystack and preliminary test transmissions of vaginal signals were undertaken with sample vaginal signals recorded on audio tape. Then, on the eve before live broadcasts were to be made, the Millstone project Group Leader, a United States Air Force Colonel (Millstone Radar had been contracted tothe Air Force by MIT) terminated the project. Still, a few minutes of test transmissions were made to each of the four sunlike stars.

Tags: , , ,


Tags: , ,

Mom's first nude shoot

Like most of my social circle, I expose myself all the time anyway. I dwell in a world of people who write memoirs about our dysfunctional families and tell jokes about our awkward teen years and write songs about our heartbreaks. And you can't make a career of expressing the most personal, intimate aspects of life without developing extraordinary coping mechanisms. Or, as a playwright friend recently said after a particularly vitriolic critique, "And so, another little part of me goes dead inside."
Tags: ,