Lindsay Powell amazes as Cake Bake Betty. Follow the link to better understand greatness.
Part 3 In A Series: Boring Web Cameras I Adore
Since absolutely no one expressed any opinion on the subject, here are a lot more webcam views from Japan.
This is the last entry in this series, so I'm going all out with 18 choice views, some of which actually involve people doing things. A few may be inactive by now, so just move on to the next.
After the presentation (click on the pictures below to see the webcams in question), I'll divulge the "secret" method of finding such open cams, so you can entertain your own self, while I move on to other things.
The secret to finding cameras like these? Well, it involves the fact that our favorite Panasonic web cameras (PDF) use a HTML interface. The page that they create is always called "Network Camera XXXXX", with "XXXXX" being the name of the camera in question. Often times, you'll see a camera named "Network Camera NetworkCamera", which means it hasn't been changed from the default.
So, you can search for those strings, or you can note that the URL that takes you to the web interface always has "ViewerFrame?Mode=" in it. Therefore, tell Google to search for inurl:"ViewerFrame?Mode=" and you'll be presented with hundreds of cameras.
About half of the cameras will be inaccessible, and the only way to find out is to click on every one. That's what I did, and after a number of hours, and additional search methods I won't go into, I found a bunch of Japanese locations to look at, some of which I just shared.
Again, this is not a method discovered by me - it's been around for at least a few years. That said, just think of all of the other neat search engine hacks just waiting to be enjoyed. I'll share more of what I find when the time arises.
Part 2 In A Series: Boring Web Cameras I Adore
As promised, here are some more webcam views from Japan, this time with a focus on stores that seem to be involved with food.
Yes, they're all particularly boring and mundane, which is the attraction in the first place. You can just visit, hang out for a while, and watch normal people go about their business, completely unaware that you're checking them out.
Go ahead - click on one or many. They're all equally amazing. You might want to visit at night, US time, to see daylight activity on the cams.
Next time, more assorted items of interest guaranteed to pass the time, none involving food.
Update 3.20.2006: A few cams in the next entry involve food. Sorry to let you down.
Part 1 In A Series: Boring Web Cameras I Adore
Like most people, I'm quite voyeuristic. It seems almost an essential part of life to watch the activities of others; usually I do it via the media, or just as people pass by on the street.
However, with amazing advances in technology, now you can sit down at a computer, open up a web browser, and exploit lax security in consumer web cams, mostly from Panasonic.
I won't tell you now the not-so-secret secret as to how to find these open cameras, but it's simply a search engine trick. I wasn't the first person to exploit it, and I won't be the last. Don't worry - at the end of the series I will spill all, but you'll probably figure it out before then (hint - url).
Once you do find some choice views, you'll note that most are in Japan, which makes sense since the web administered camera in question is made there. But, that only partially explains it - why are there so many random cameras all over Japan?
Some are obvious. Say you have a pet dog, and want to check them out while you're at work, and they're in the VIP Lounge somewhere. If that's your dilemma, then click here and watch away. Remember, you can maneuver the camera in real time, to spy on the people that are spying on your dog.
Or, say your kids are at little people school, and you want to make sure their playtime is up to par. Then, go here to count the teacher to pupil ratio, and see if the slides are functional.
I have scores of "favorite" cameras, both inside and out, that I've been checking out lately through this mechanism. It's hard to tell if everyone who put up a camera knows that you or I can visit it, but they did have the choice to protect it at the time of installation. That said, if you decide to move the camera (an option in some cases), put it back when you're done, because it's probably pointing that way for a reason.
For more tips, check out the camera manual (PDF).
Also, realize that Japan is usually in daylight when other countries are not, so you will get the most action during the night in the US. Otherwise, expect lots of black screens.
Over the coming weeks I'll share more cameras, hopefully using various themes. Next time will be inside of stores, restaurants and cafes. Until then - yes, click on the pictures above to be whisked away to cam heaven. The gas station is particularly delicious, and there's more where that came from.
Part 1 In A Series: We All Tube For YouTube Videos
Lately, I've been a YouTube addict. If you're not already familiar with that service, it's a place where people (teens) can upload original (copyrighted) videos for free. Share 'em, trade 'em, try to get past the obscenity filtering.
It's like a big slumber party, where the boys are skateboarding and dancing, and the girls are dancing and dancing. Lots of lip-synching and grinding to [My Humps], anime clips, little skits, and shout outs to sweethearts.
Plus, for those who stay up after hours, there's lots of strange porn that sneaks in, despite their public statements that they have fancy computers blocking it. You see a few clips an hour, and they're gone by morning, along with the accounts of the offenders.
Nevertheless, it's surprisingly PG-13 as an overall service. The vision is for the sharing of amazing art, but mostly it's things that 13 year olds are into. Nothing wrong with that, and I wish I had this site and my video camera when I was that age.
In any case, I'll start posting some of my favorite YouTube videos, starting with this one. It's a surprisingly canny/scary remix of Gwen Stefani's Japanese girl-gaggle, with a touch of [Ringu] for good measure. Very well put together, and also a bit disconcerting because it's like you're sneaking a peak at their private afterschool hijinks. Which, of course, you are.
I can sense big YouTube based problems in the area of teen privacy and pedophilic stalking very soon, since everyone is invited to the show, not just classmates. It's a shame, because there is a lot of creativity going on inbetween the [Naruto] clips.
Even though I've never been to the annual South By Southwest music conference in Austin, I feel like I've attended many times, thanks to the masses of sample songs they offer from showcased artists.
In 2005, I eventually bought dozen of albums from bands I discovered virtually, with full, free MP3s. This year, there's more of the same greatness, almost 1000 songs which I downloaded this weekend. I can only go through a hundred or so songs daily, so I won't be finished with the first browse until the end of this week. Then, I'll start buying up some albums from the artists that attract me, and report them here.
(torrent 1) 713 songs (active in 3.2006)
(torrent 2) 229 songs (active in 3.2006)
So, what are you waiting for? There's some amazing music to be had right this instant - completely legal and free, in basically any genre you can think of. Don't worry, you can thank me later.
Update for 2007: Use the link below for 2007's torrents:
(torrent 1) 739 songs (3.1 GB)
Visit http://2007.sxsw.com/toolbox/ for more.
Two days ago I ranted about Buzz-O-Phone, a service that anyone can call toll-free in the US via 1-800-591-5375, speaking for a minute or two about anything they want, ideally about the good/bad points of a product or service. Then, the message is instantly sent out in digital form via a podcast. It's also put in a queue for all to hear on the web.
However, up until now all messages have been pre-screened by the host of this fine service, to minimize the profanity, stupidity, and off-the-pointness that some people are bound to provide. That means there have been lots of potentially great messages unheard by the public at large, until now.
Now you can visit the reject player, which gives you all the "bad" messages for your enjoyment. I think that makes this service all the better, so check it out why don't you? Warning - informational content minimum, teenaged foolishness maximum.
contests: [enter here]
po box 11501