Trivial Posts #23: A Jukebox, A Fridge, And An Immortal Dragon

Hello subscribers to Trivial Posts, it’s been a while…. lets see if I can get back into the swing of things with links out to curious stories, items that make me think, and stuff that’s just interesting.

The Boys Are Always Back In Town

Really the title says it all, but keep reading. Not only an exercise in humanity, but a wonderfully written story as well:

Over the course of these past few months, I have come upon two bits of forbidden knowledge: One, this bar does not have a working “kill switch” (which allows the bartender to change a song in case someone plays, I dunno, the entire A-side of 2112). Two, this jukebox permits the same song to be played back-to-back if each instance was paid for with a separate bill.

It was 3 AM on a recent Tuesday when, standing in the dark outside my train station, these truths reconciled themselves within me. My compulsion became explicit and inescapable: I needed to stay up and play “The Boys Are Back in Town” as many times as I could. The thorns from the road ahead cleared themselves, and I walked toward the future amid roses to share the gospel with the other patrons of this unlikeable bar.

The boys were back.

I Played ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’ on a Bar Jukebox Until I Got Kicked Out

6 Megabytes, 150 Requests, One Word

The New York Times manages to get away with a one-word story, as long as it doesn;t count the headline. Here’s the curious thing about that one-word story. The amount of crap, clutter, advertising, and screen real estate that accompanies the body text.

When I’m Mistakenly Put on an Email Chain, Should I Hit ‘Reply All’ Asking to Be Removed?

Chilling Out With Some Tech

The history of what we all call ‘The Internet of Things’ started with the idea of the Internet-connected Fridge. Nobody has every explained why this was a good idea (“it can order milk when you run out!” is the usual argument), but that hasn’t stopped Samsung. At last week’s IFA conference in Berlin, the South Korean company revealed… an internet connected fridge!

Samsung Electronics Australia chief marketing officer Phil Newton said the company’s Family Hub Refrigerator not only featured three connected cameras to let you check on its contents while at the supermarket, but users would be able to leave notes and watch TV shows on its 21-inch touchscreen.

The four-door, 671 litre fridge would cost $7499-

…and I’m out.

Samsung Unveils Smart Fridge

Arming The Science Of Queuing Theory

America has a gun registry. America does not allow the gun registry to be computerised. America relies on billions of sheets of paper and a human-powered index. America scares me sometimes

For five years Charlie took it upon himself to create a new workflow system for the tracing center, breaking down each step in the tracing process into equations, doing time-motion studies for actions as minute as how long on average it takes the ladies to go from their desks to the roll room. Every step was analyzed and rethought, the numbers crunched.

…Despite no increase in budget, no new technology, no new staff: “I’m doing twice as many guns, twice as fast, and almost twice as accurately as we did when I got here in 2005.”

The Federal Bureau Of Too Many Guns.

The Battle Of Rallos Zek

When tales are told of battle, when the Gods change the destiny of man, when the rag tag army can see an unlikely victory, stories will be told. Does it matter that the battlefield was a digital server when Cecillia D’Anastosio can tell the tale of the attack on Everquest’s last unkillable Dragon:

On EverQuest, in November of 2003, nearly 200 players came together to defeat the apparently invincible dragon Kerafyrm, known as “the Sleeper,” against Sony Online Entertainment’s designs. The story has everything: warring factions, a tomb, an invulnerable dragon, surprising partnerships and a panicked multinational corporation; and, as of a few days ago, it would have remained relatively unknown had I not received an encrypted PGP message from the moniker “Master Control Program.”

The Surprising And Allegedly Impossible Death Of EverQuest’s ‘Unkillable’ Dragon.

The Start Of The Eurovision Song Contest Season

One from my stable of writing to finish off this week’s newsletter. Although the televised Grand Final for the Eurovision Song Contest doesn’t take place until late May 2017, the cut-off date for songs passed on September 1st… any new song now aired is eligible to be sung at the Contest. ESC Insight will tell the story of the Contest this year, and my regular podcast (follow via RSS or through iTunes) will keep you updated in a fifteen minute burst of news – currently airing every two weeks as the season comes to life.

ESC Insight: discussion and commentary around the Eurovision Song Contest.

‘Trivial Posts’ is a mostly weekly series of posts that brings together interesting posts, ideas, video clips, essays, images, and anything else that catches my eye on the Internet. Read it online, or subscribe to the email newsletter version here.