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Internet

Angry Man Smash Computer

Gelf knew we had come across internet video gold when a friend first forwarded the YouTube video "man freaks out in coffee shop"—a clip of a man breaking down and attacking his computer. The breakdown may or may not have been faked (we grew skeptical when he claimed to have his half-written novel on his laptop). But the reason we knew this was going to be a hit is because it lies at the intersection of two strangely popular YouTube genres: man-on-machine violence and guy freaks out in public.

Media

Toilet Bowls are Super Clean

The BBC today reported that toilet bowls carry one-fifth the amount of germs of "some" keyboards. Last year, the same news organization covered a University of Arizona study which found that toilet bowls contain one-400th as many microbes as the average keyboard. In 2004, that BBC number was around one-67th.

Science

Urination Nation

Last year, Gelf caught up with the creator of the Stadium Pal, who seems to have found an answer to the age-old question, "How do I drink myself silly without needing to run to the bathroom every six minutes?" However, during the intervening months we've learned that the Stadium Pal is not the only new and exciting way to pee.

Internet

Understanding Facebook's Lexicon

The introduction of Facebook's Lexicon is a valuable research tool for studying the curious habits of Facebook users. Marketing executives are already salivating over the goldmine of data that Lexicon will sift from the wall posts of the ever-coveted hardcore Facebooking demographic. Eh, who are we kidding? Lexicon is nothing but a fun time-wasting tool that reveals neat bits of information about the Facebook set. Mostly, it just confirms things we already knew—is anyone shocked by the direct correlation between "party" appearing on Saturday night and "hangover" on Sunday morning?—but the fun is in seeing this information presented graphically like some important earnings report. Below, Gelf highlights some of our favorite bits from Lexicon before we tire of our new toy.

Internet

Client9.com

When the explosive story about his involvement in a prostitution ring first appeared on the New York Times website on Monday, Eliot Spitzer was identified only by the title of "Client 9." Nick Galbreath, a New York-based programmer, wasn't sure that the implicated bigwig was the governor, but, he tells Gelf, " 'Client 9' sounds cool, the story is huge, so as a goof I paid $10.13 to buy [the domain] a few minutes later."

Internet

Waste Time With Your Friends

Not long ago, Gelf told journalists everything they wanted to know about Facebook but were afraid to ask. With the breakneck pace of Facebook's development, the section on Facebook applications could use some updating. At the time of the original article (way back in August), Facebook Platform was just in its infancy. Months later, the apps have gone from a few, mostly useless programs that are good for a quick diversion, to many mostly useless programs that can occupy users for hours on end. Below, Gelf highlights some of the more interesting and fun apps popping up in a news-feed near you.

Internet

Seussical Domain Names

As someone who works for a company called GELF (and is about to launch a new company with an even sillier name), I'm always entertained when stodgy media outlets are forced to discuss the newest high-tech advance as taking place at a company called something like Xobni. Evidently, that self-consciousness has turned into inspiration, as several different news organizations have taken it upon themselves to chide entrepreneurs for looking to a certain literary M.D. for inspiration.

Media

Who Deserves Anonymity?

A few days ago, the St. Charles Journal, a small newspaper in Missouri, published an article about Megan Meier, a 13-year-old who committed suicide after receiving hurtful messages from her MySpace crush. The story was particularly explosive because it turns out that the crush was a horrible hoax conjured up by adults—including the mother of one of Megan's former friends.

Science

What Games Can Humans Still Win?

Two weeks ago, a Canadian team of computer scientists announced in a paper that they had created a computer program that has solved the game of checkers. It took nearly 20 years and 50 computers to sort through the approximately 500 billion billion different checkers positions necessary to solve the game, making it the most complicated game that computers have completely figured out. (It should be noted that a "solved" game often means that the program can never lose—a perfectly-played opposing match would lead to a draw). Which raises the question: Are there any games left that humans can still win?

Media

iPhone Almighty

With the release of the iPhone mere days away, anticipation is building to a near-religious fervor. If only that were a metaphor. All over the internet, the newest Cupertino, California, creation is being referred to as the "Jesus phone." And several media outlets reluctantly have gotten on board to spread the good word.

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