Blog Ipsa Loquitur

Once in a generation, a visionary creates something truly revolutionary. A product that upends whole sectors of the population. A service that brings grown men to gnash their teeth and women wail in sorrow, all because they had not thought of it first.

Or, sometimes, someone makes a web site with hilariously oversized text, and sticks a WHOIS search form at the bottom. This person also might call it “The Facebook of Websites.” Ladies and gentlemen, I give you – the world’s first way to look up WHOIS data.

This is apparently the first product from Kanye West’s fabulous new design startup, DONDA. You might recall that time a couple months ago when Kanye went on a two hour non-stop Tweeting binge. Ideally, this isn’t what he was so excited about.

UPDATE: It’s a faaaaaaaake. Well played, clerks. Well played.

Published on under Irreverently Irrelevant

You’ve all heard of Facebook, where everyone knows lots about you, regardless of whether you posted it or not.

You’ve probably heard of Twitter, where you connect with people with short updates and grow your network of online friends.

You might have heard about Path, where you can share your thoughts, places, photos and even your musical tastes with a close number of friends.

You probably haven’t heard about Pair – that’s okay, it’s new – where you can connect with your loved one (yep, just one) when you’re apart.

We think we’ve come up with a social networking platform that speaks to you – and only you – personally. It’s called Solo.

The problem with today’s social networks is that they spread your focus away from the most important person in your life: you. That’s a problem. You end up being connected with everyone else and you stop being connected with yourself. And there’s no way you can be truly connected to others without being connected to yourself first, right?

Read the rest of Introducing Solo: The Social Network That’s Just For You at

Published on under Irreverently Irrelevant

From a former fellow at my old law school, who now writes for the Patent Law Practice Center:

From the high-five machine (US 5356330), to the kissing shield (US5727565), to the burial structure for human remains and significant memorabilia (US 6799399) whose resemblance to the Great Pyramids at Giza is uncanny. […] check out the drawing of the patent for the Interactive Life-Sized Bowl of Soup (US 6168531). That’s right, an interactive life-sized soup bowl not only exists, but there’s a patent for it.

I’m struggling to imagine who would (A) invent an interactive life-sized bowl of soup and subsequently (B) decide I gotta patent this before someone else rides this gravy train! I’m sure weirder things have happened.

The whole slideshow is worth a look, because there’s nothing quite like technical drawings of asinine things.

Published on under Irreverently Irrelevant

Google’s an ad company. They know more about me than any ten human beings put together, and they use that information to try to advertise things that I’ll buy. Their new patent is about giving them more immediate information about me:

The patent discusses the technology to analyze the background noise during your phone call and serve up ads for you based on the environmental conditions Google picks up on. Yeah, that’s creepy.

From The Next Web, via Ben Brooks.

Published on under The Digital Age

Oslo man’s financial records briefly accessible to all after Norwegian tax website crashes:

In late 2003, the Norwegian government launched Altinn: a web portal that allowed its citizens to access and submit government forms online, as well as get their personal tax information when filing season rolled around. However, users hoping to get an early start on their taxes this year were in for a serious surprise, as Altinn crashed when an influx of Norwegians attempted to access their info.

The service was restored a few hours later, but only a sole individual’s personal information was available — and anyone trying to access the site could see it. Icrontic is reporting that the individual in question is “Kenneth,” a 36-year-old man from Oslo. Aside from his own tax information from the last two years being made public, his wife’s details, as well as information about his employer, were accessible.

via The Verge.

Published on under Gov 2.0

Marco Arment on piracy in the digital age, by way of an absurdly intuitive example I’m stealing immediately to explain to everyone I know.

But there are a lot of people who will pay to get content legally, even if it’s easy to pirate, when getting it legally is easier. (This is now the case, to a large extent, with music.)

Relying solely on yelling about what’s right isn’t a pragmatic approach for the media industry to take. And it’s not working. It’s unrealistic and naïve to expect everyone to do the “right” thing when the alternative is so much easier, faster, cheaper, and better for so many of them.

Read Right versus pragmatic at I should probably stop trying to explain this stuff, and just link to his post every time it comes up.

Published on under The Digital Age