Meat market for geeks
All the best TV shows premiere over Christmas. And Geek Love does too, a show that is about to kick off in the US on 18 December – but if you’re in the target audience, you know how to watch it anywhere in the world. The show features Ryan Glitch, founder of Sci-Fi Speed Dating, and goes behind the scenes at one of his events.
“Basically I’m weird, but I’m not that weird and I’d like to find a guy who is as weird as me but not so weird as to be a serial killer,” admits one would-be speed dater, who goes on to meet someone dressed as Jason, from the Friday 13th films on her date. This guy, unaccountably, does not currently have a girlfriend.
Watch the trailer here.
The Sony of God
First your CEO dies, and then this: “Pope Benedict XVI shunned Apple’s iPad and used an Android Sony Tablet S to switch on a giant light installation in Italy from his apartment in the Vatican,” reports the Daily Mail. “When the Pontiff switched on the Christmas lights in the Italian town of Gubbio, he used a Sony Tablet S to transmit the command.”
We’re sure he made this choice only after carefully weighing up the options available, considering the relative merits of an open technology platform against an integrated hardware and operating system environment. On the other hand, he could have just pressed the button on the thing they put in front of him.
Pretending to learn
Great news for everyone who has used Second Life to escape from the everyday world of work to do things like, er, exactly the same things as they do in the outside world.
The Inter-Life project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), has developed 3D virtual worlds in which the avatars of schoolchildren can do exciting things like film-making and photography, for little more than 10 times the cost of giving them a camera and showing them how to do it in real life. Doing stuff that doesn’t really exist helps them develop organisational skills, the ESRC claims this week.
So do not fear for the future of the global economy: the developed world might have crumbling finances and crippling debt, but we’re solving the problem by building a world for our children which means they can pretend it never happened.
How’s it hanging?
Exciting pointlessness news from India, where Chikka Bhanu Prakash, a software engineer, has just lifted 8.668 kgs with his left thumbnail. He is hoping this will get him a place in the Guinness Book of Records for “Heaviest Weight Lifted By Fingernail”. That will be in the long version of the book, we assume.
A news item in the Hindu excites good wishes from commenters: “I wish him good luck for his career,” says Venkat, “and anticipate him to take part more in such events in future.” Our hearts beat quicker at the prospect of TV coverage.
The rules, should other software engineers attempt to break his record at the office Christmas party, are that the weight goes 10cm from the ground, and you hold it for five seconds or more. To do this, a hole was drilled into Chikka’s thumbnail, through which string was tied to his weight – though if you don’t have a drill but your party is going well, you might want to experiment by attaching weights to other parts of your body to see how long they stay, er, up.
Send us the pictures.
We return to the dominant topic of our column in 2011: geek chic. Other columns fill space by making predictions for 2012, but we don’t have time for that at Backbytes, so first we will direct you to Flowtown’s excellent chart on the evolution of the geek: it will help you decide whether you are an academic, tech or otaku geek (among others).
Also, instead of predictions, we will simply answer the big question everyone in the nerd world is asking about 2012: will geekiness still be hip?