And now an e-tale for Halloween. We know it has been and gone (just), but we couldn’t resist the above picture — the result of our customary trawl through the internet for the strange and stranger.
Anyway, to celebrate Halloween, a Los Angeles resident and former aeroplane mechanic mocked up this plane crash in his front-yard, as a more original take on the day than the traditional pumpkins and graveyards.
But apparently the real horror has been all the traffic jams as people drive by to gawk.
Internet goes 7-12
One of our E-talers recently received a curious email about some New Zealanders who want to do business in the UK needing to check out a UK company with Companies House, the British companies register.
So… first they went to www.companieshouse.co.uk, where they selected “find company information”; then they clicked on “Whichever service… by clicking this link” and got:
Access to the service is closed
Companies House is available from Monday to Saturday 07:00 - 12 Midnight UK Time.
On the internet?
Xtra kids around When it comes to the various generations, marketing has run amok. We have the Baby Boomers, then Generation X, then Generation Y and now — just — the Millennials. Now, Telecom is getting in the act, albeit in a self-serving way, with Generation Xtra, named after its very own ISP. Trouble is, it’s not even a full generation we’re talking about here. As its press release says: “Nearly 450 ten-year-olds took part in Generation Xtra, a survey of internet technology marking Xtra’s tenth year,” meaning those kids born in 1996 only. “Children were asked what they thought we would be using to keep in touch with each other in the future,” says Telecom. “Teleportation, mind-reading, computers for the wrist, jets, flying letters, flying robots and holograms were all a part of what they envisaged.”
In other words much the same sort of stuff envisaged by the previous generation and probably the one before. This Baby-Boomer E-taler can definitely remember those wrist computer-communicators from old comic books. Not a word about decent upstream bandwidth though. Maybe ten-year-olds just take that for granted.
A thought: if one of the other ISPs had muscled its way to the forefront we might have got, say, Generation Ihug instead. That would have been nice.
Rattus toothiest strikes again What is it with rats and cables? UK online tech newspaper The Register reports that JANET (Joint Academic Network), the super-fast British educational network, recently went down recently after rats chewed through cable at the Aberdeen end — the latter is a chilly city but good university in northern Scotland. Maybe the furry little blighters were short on rations, but New Zealand had similar rattus cable problems last year. Apparently, the verminous ones like cable-chewing because it helps wear down their enamel and stops them growing buck teeth.
When an item on a website gets picked up by one of the big aggregators it's called being "dugg", "slashdotted" and so forth. It can also result in people — lots of people — checking out the relevant aggregator page at the same time. This often causes network and/or server meltdowns if the site admins are caught unawares by the huge increase in traffic.
Usually, Computerworld is at the receiving end of such traffic-floods, but last week the opposite happened. A story about Orcon launching internet TV went up on the Computerworld website, and sources tell us some 55,000 people went to have a look at the provider's clips.
Funnily enough, Orcon took down the internet TV service site soon after. A case of being Computerworlded, perhaps?
Modern love letters For a long time now observers of mobile-obsessed teens have realised how important the tool has become to young love. But it’s texting not talking that now smooths the path to youthful passion. According to The Observer, texting is now so popular that lovers now have backlogs of loving — and sometimes erotic — texts they can peruse in quiet moments. The Observer reckons these are better than a few sad photos as relationship reminders, but, here at E-tales, we reckon there’s a budding business here, in translating these modern love letters onto fine vellum — to tie-up with ribbon and salt away in a rose-scented box as in days of yore.
A lamp for the Darkness
Here at E-tales we reckon the lamp pictured; yes, it is a lamp — as well as a hand grenade — is a comment on our times.
Reworked by designer Piet Houtenbos, who advertises his wares on the internet, it provides a new take on the industrial designer (as in military-industrial-complex). E-tales thought it was interesting, although we definitely wouldn’t want one in our home. Actually a surplus hand-grenade, it comes in gold, silver or natural brown colour.
Still, being recycled, it is kind of green, too, and, as Houtenbos says, it is definitely a conversation-starter — and possibly ender, too.