Alan Levine offers a twist on the scary clown theme:
"glas wen" is a Welsh word for "blue smile", or "false smile", kind of. And that "kind of" is the point of what Alan's doing there. He came up with an assignment where learners make images to explain words without English-language equivalents.
And because the Cogdog is amazing, he also built a page to generate such words. Behold, and marvel.
Time for some anti-scary internet: here's a story where Facebook saves the day. A crime victim used that social network to call for help.
"The victim’s smart phone did not have service to call out when she was being held, but she was able to access Facebook and contact her brother when she was in a Wi-Fi hotspot...The brother, who lives in Florida, contacted an agency in Little Egg Harbor, where his family lives."
There's a grim crime story behind this, independent of cyberspace:
Apparently the victim had been in a South Jersey jail "for allegedly taking a car without the owner’s permission." An inmate said her ex-boyfriend could bail her out, but when Trenace McCarroll did bail her out, he told the 30-year-old woman that she'd have to pay him back. According to the Record, "The victim told officers she was held against her will, under threat to her life, and was forced to perform several acts of prostitution throughout Bergen County for a week and a half."
The story's happy ending has an extra level, when played against the usual social-media-is-evil meme.
Even restaurants aren't immune from the zombie plague. The economic crisis metaphor, that is:
Many of the undead are part of familiar chains that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this year: Friendly’s, Chevys, Sbarro, Perkins. The zombie restaurants, barely bringing in enough cash to cover basic expenses, always seem to be one sizzling fajita or glazed chicken skewer away from a merciful end, but somehow keep hanging on...
And: “There’s a lot of walking dead,” said Bob Goldin, executive vice president for Technomic, a consulting firm that works with restaurant companies. “A lot of chains, they hang in there and they’re hard to kill off.”
Heaving yourself up from the grave isn't always bad, it seems:
one midprice chain that everyone thought was dead and buried — Bennigan’s — is now coming back from the crypt.
Speaking of Craigslist crimes, here's another one. America's Most Wanted describes a murder and attempted coverup, none of which involved fearsome digital media. But it was the end of a friendship and romance, which began online.
To hear Larene Austin tell it, she and Lanell Barsock were life-long friends, "besties" since grade school. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, however,... Austin and Lanell's friendship started on the personal ads section of craigsist rather than the school yards of Palmdale, Calif. [emphasis added]
This is very different from the stranger-danger online ad story. Here AMW places the Web as a kind of evil seed or force, bringing together two people for horror, ultimately.
The crime has a very American, very symbolic air to it:
They picked up pizzas and beauty supplies, then headed back to Lanell's home. After lunch, Austin styled Lanell's hair. With Lanell seated and watching television, authorities say Austin pulled out a 9 mm handgun. She allegedly fired a bullet in to the back of Lanell's head at point-blank range, killing her instantly, then promptly began to cover her tracks.
American police linked another crime to Web-based ads. Three burned human bodies were identified in Detoit, and names found on backpage.com ads. Which probably means they were sex workers, although CNN doesn't specify it.
This is related to the "Craigslist crimes", which have been in the media for some time. There's a combination of creepy factors, including meeting strangers, some level of criminality, and the growing reputation of these online ads for being unsavory.
engineers and computer programmers are getting closer to being able to “resurrect” any singer’s voice for use in synthesized songs.
[T]he Vocaloid team has announced that it has succeeded in building a library based on the voice of someone who couldn’t participate in the painstaking process: Hitoshi Ueki, a popular Japanese vocalist who died in 2007. The initial results were revealed on a Japanese video-streaming site earlier this year.
“As far as I know, many viewers were satisfied with the result, and so am I,” said Yamaha researcher Hideki Kenmochi in an e-mail to Wired.com. “It really sounds like him, because the creator [the programmer in charge of the voice library] did a good job.”