Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Thursday, January 3, 2008

ixNay one the orwardingFay

Not long ago, I actually overheard a conversation between two people (whom I could say were clueless dolts, but I won’t presume) theorizing about why computer viruses are so prolific and how they can protect themselves.

While I am no expert and could be wrong about this, I would nearly wager that a very high percentage of the total computer infections that occur are because people have an insatiable and hopeless addiction toward forwarding an e-mail to everyone in their addressbook, and the only motivation they are given is that the e-mail says to do so.


A recent forwarding I received was, in this atypical case, pretty safe (unless it’s possible for .WMV video files to contain viruses). But the lunacy of its contents drove my need to post this entry.

Here’s what the e-mail said. I’ve pasted it completely unedited:

Read through this explanation and then open the attachment. There is sound with this one!!!….have it turned up to get the full effect. This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa.Amazingly, 97% of the machines components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft Iowa.YES, farm equipment!It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment,calibration and tuning before filming this video, but as you can see it was WELL worth the effort.It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian.Enjoy………….It is fantastic!Turn up the volume

Sounds like a pretty amazing feat, doesn’t it? There just one glaring problem: it’s a complete fabrication. No, not the device—the message itself is a fabrication.

The video that came along with this message was actually one of the tracks from the Animusic DVD. Two volumes have been released, and I own copies of each.

Animusic is 100% computer digital animation. The instruments portrayed do not physically exist, so you’ll never see them in the Smithsonian. The cool thing about Animusic is that the instruments do not reactively “play” themselves when they “hear” music. Instead, since the music is all MIDI-based, the computer software knows what notes are coming and can predictively set up motions in advance of the note. This allows for things like a metal ball to be shot from a pipe enough in advance so that when the ball strikes a string, it’s the exact moment a note should be played.

Yes, the animation is fantasic and even looks as if it could be real. The quality is that good. But it’s too good. It’s almost hyper-reality—the same way that you might think scenes in Beowulf or Final Fantasy could be real, but things just seem a bit too perfect to be real, even if you can’t quite get your mind around what it is that’s fake.

So, instead of the forward button, dump those things instead. Maybe a little poem will help you remember to do so:

Tempted to click ‘Forward’?
For the love of Pete,
train your brain
to click “Delete”!

» Posted by ALBj at 12:37 PM (ET)
Category: Rant


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