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Category Archives: cool shit

I decided to return a tradition from a few months back. Especially now I have good reliable broadband once more.

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Some bloke has built a 1:20 model of the German WW2 pocket-battleship. And it’s so big, he can travel in it. Have a look. Of course, the obvious question is “why?” but I guess the world’s like that – full of loops who’d spend years on a project most of us would look at for five minutes, think “cool” and then move on.

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The police might not have liked it. But it’s the only aspect of this conference that anyone is actually talking about. 🙂

tower.jpgFor those who aren’t familiar with it, The-RiotAct is an interactive news-site for people of Rome. But recently, one of the funniest stunts I’ve seen in a long time was on their site. It seems someone’s been posting free ads in the newspaper, requesting silly items. Go over there, and have a read.
Reminds me of when I used to manage Trouser Trouser, and the drummer used to delight in getting silly news items into the local street-press. One of his best was a press release saying the band had just finished a recording deal to provide soundtracks for porn films – one of Rome’s greatest exports.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try out this ‘Stumble Upon” web cult. It works a bit like this: you have a toolbar on your browser when you’re cruising the web, and when you see a site you like, you give it the ‘thumbs up’ sign. By adding your friends to the network (viral marketing??) you can share direct with your friends, or browse each other’s lists of cool sites.

After a few weeks, I’ve discovered some cool sites, so I’ll start sharing the best of them here. Because let’s face it – we all like to find cool shit online, yeah? Oh, and if anyone wishes to add me to their network, my SU username is Aurelius71.

Once upon a time, there used to be a big glass cube (about the size of a car) in the middle of Rome. It was audio-sensitive, so it would light up in different colours depending on the noises around it. Predictably I guess, late at night, drunken teenage boys would yell at the cube as they walked or drove past.

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But now, I hear the cube is gone. In the cube’s memory, I’m going to buy one of these shirts from ThinkGeek, now that my cashflow has been restored, and wander the city reacting visually to loud noises.

It’s quite odd to see what has changed in Rome while I have been away. Wandering the city in the last few weeks, it’s clear some of the shops I used to frequent have gone under. But some excellent new places have risen up. The city-scape has changed a lot, with new office buildings where carparks and wasteland used to be. And of course, the central mall in Rome has tripled in size (which is a good thing since it now includes a decent cinema and a Nandos store).

This week, I got a few days work. But since they were way out in Fyshwick, I had to catch a bus. Standing at the bus-stop on the first morning, I noticed that most of the drivers that went past were mostly empty. Surely it wouldn’t be hard to have a car-pooling service, a website where drivers and passengers could link up. Later in the morning, I texted half a dozen of my friends asking if such a service would be viable, and did my friends think it would work?

Tonight, Mick sent me an email telling me someone else had had the same idea. Have a read of what Nathaniel has had to say about it and give him feedback. Because he’s clearly thought about it a lot more than me, and even has some idea how it might work.

I’ve been compiling some links to share with you. Because I trawl a lot of websites when I’m meant to be finding work, I find some interesting stuff. So here’s a small amount of it. The best stuff I’ve found in the last week or so.

Here we have a great example of how to alienate your suppliers and ruin your own business (as well as break the law).

Next, some of the coolest stuff on Google Earth. The one about the jet fighter in the carpark baffles me.

Second Rotation allows you to see how much your items are worth, without actually needing to put them up for sale on Ebay. Even better, if you like their quote, you can sell the item direct to the company, and they’ll list it on Ebay and get their money back. (I sussed out my crappy iPod Shuffle and Second Rotation said they’d give me $10 for it – not much, but it is two years old, only 512Mb and has been superseded by newer and better models. It’s more useful to me than $10 though, so I didn’t take the cash)

This next site though is seriously cool. Ever wanted to write your name in Elvish?

Finally, something for Mick & also DryEyedCrab. So they can work out when they’re going to be a billion seconds old.