Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Top 8 worst Microsoft promo videos

You thought that Microsoft Vista video from earlier today was bad? Watch these.

Lest we forget the turgid history of some other horrifically bad promotional videos from Microsoft that will forever be burned into our brains. Here are some of my top picks:

8. Steve Ballmer Sells Windows 1.0

Do plaid suits make you think of Crockett and Tubbs? Didn't think so, but apparently now-CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer thought it would be an accurate attempt at making Windows Write look more useful than Word, which at the time was not yet working very well with Windows. In his pre-"monkey boy" days Ballmer could still get things cooking though. Who else would get this excited about Reversi?

7. Windows 98: It's a Series of Tubes

What makes this one great is that this is probably what Alaskan Sen. Ted Stevens saw before making his famous "series of tubes" speech. An e-mail is sent out and makes a perilous journey through the neon tunnels of the Internets. When actually delivered, the e-mail comes into the woman's laptop as a glowing sphere of light, as well as to everyone else including a young boy who is clearly far too young to be working as an employee of Between that, the completely unnecessary espionage subplot, and the cameo by stillborn WebTV, this one is a keeper.

6. Microsoft Flight Simulator X (a.k.a. Virtual Air Traffic Controller)

See what they did here? You can buy a $50 software title and not even have to play it. You can just sit at home and help other people have fun by pretending to be an air traffic controller. Even better, couples can play together, the young and old can play together--it was like the Nintendo Wii, but before its time. Then end it all with an obligatory multicultural odd-couple moment and you've got one of the greatest promotional videos ever made.

5. If MS Vista Launches, and Nobody is There to See it...

Can't get anyone to buy your fancy new operating system? Try making a slick video of your company blowing a ton of money on promotions worldwide. Then combine footage with explosive techno music.

4. Windows ME: It's Hammer Time

Look it's the same version of Windows Media player you've got in Windows 2000. But wait, we've got new keyboard protection in case your child attacks your computer with plastic hammers--forcing you to roll back your version of the OS to a more stable one. Oh yeah, there's also a new version of Internet Explorer that you don't need to upgrade your operating system to use. How ready are you to pay us $200?

3. MS-DOS 5 Upgrade (Give Me My 5 Minutes Back)

These working slubs were expecting a boring training session but look who turned up! It's some guy that's a cross between Bill Nye the science guy and crazy tax guy Matthew Lesko. He's got The Dreams with him, too! With such awesomely bad lyrics as "Free more memory can'tcha see, spring those K's that got to be free" how can you not want to upgrade?

2. Windows 386 Made Impossible

What could be in that large bag you ask? Why of course it's a Mission Impossible-style self-destructing tape. What's the impossible task? Using the latest version of Windows. How cute. That's not the weirdest part though--when "Linda" goes New Wave and begins rapping about making her charts hot it's an HR violation in the making. Don't forget to check out Part 2 here, or else you'll never know how the story ends.

1. The Windows 95 Ad that Offends Everyone

Parodies, bad costumes, even worse puns and the phrase "whip it on me" make this one of the worst offenders. Besides the fact that Windows 95 literally explodes out of a copy of MS DOS that's cut in half with a chainsaw, it's quickly followed up by screencasts put to saxophone music and an over-the-top actor who's constantly putting out David Caruso-caliber one-liners. The worst part? It's kind of enjoyable to watch.

Original here

Miraculous Direct Note Access can completely change music

Music recording software just took another giant leap, now able to do what was thought to be impossible. Direct Note Access individually manipulates groups of musical notes (chords), giving recording engineers the ability to completely and undetectably create pitch-perfect performances, even from groups of tone-deaf musicians playing together. Created by German programmer and erstwhile guitar maker Peter Neubäcker, his company, Celemony, will offer the software as a plug-in for its Melodyne voice and instrument tuning software.

Until now, this trick was only possible with single notes — an exaggerated example can be heard in Cher’s 1998 hit, “Believe,” which used the competing Auto-Tune system. For more than a decade, that software has been the recording industry’s dirty little secret, fixing any out-of-tune notes crooned by an individual singer or played on any single-note instrument. But this breakthrough takes that magic manipulation many steps further, allowing engineers to create entirely new music from existing recordings.

With this astonishing software, engineers can dig deep into a mix. For example, they could change each individual note of a guitar chord, or fix one wrong note played by a musician in a symphony orchestra. It’s like Photoshop for music. Available this fall, let’s hope Direct Note Access is ready in time to fix up next season's American Idol performances, especially the auditions. Randy Jackson might like the resulting absence of "pitchiness," but then maybe some humanity of performance will be lost, too. Hit Continue for a remarkable demo:

Original here

Travis Barker Recording Session Flo Rida-Low official video

My Morning Jacket

On their audacious new album, Evil Urges, My Morning Jacket veer between funk-metal grooves, Nashville crooning, classic-rock guitar heroics and more — sometimes all in the same song. The album, out June 10th, is the latest evidence that MMJ are aiming higher than almost any other band of their generation. And if their music is increasingly hard to categorize, that's the point, according to frontman Jim James. "People looked at Radiohead when they started, and were like, 'Oh, Brit-pop rock band,'" says James. "Now they're just fucking awesome, awesome weirdos. You can't put a label on them, and that's what I hope has been happening with us. Whether you love us or hate us, we're not any one type of band."

Original here

The 30 Most Ill-Conceived Movie Monsters

A well-designed monster (say, a burn victim with a glove made of knives) can make a franchise. We asked you to photoshop monsters from the opposite end of the spectrum, the shittiest movie monster possible.

The winner is below. But first the runners up.


by Kybard


by MadPiper


by scoob


by Bishopwhitet


by anlight


by anlight


by Wibblewobble


by Sanchez


by eNil


by bltzie


by epoca


by Screamer


by epoca


by chaoskitten


by monocle


by McBeefy


by collective


by eNil


by fuzzymuffins


by fuzzymuffins


by The Hulk


by Kybard


by Speedomon


by Glenn


by Screamer


by lokimotive


by anlight


by joker


by Taintsmasher

And the winner is...

by joker

Congrats, joker. You win money.

Original here

Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back Sweded

You must check out this sweded version of Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back. Rob Kenyon. Mark Breeze, Paul Nadin, Jamie Broadrick, and Leonora Whitehouse filmed this 60-second short film over the course of two days using a lot of cardboard and gaffers tape. Everything was created from scratch, from the costumes to the puppets, from the Ships to the droids.

Original here

5 Famous Dudes Who Screwed Up Their Taxes

What better way to celebrate Tax Day Week than with a little schadenfreude while examining how a few big shots screwed up their 1040s and W2s? Let's take a look at 5 of the more interesting finds from Yahoo's celeb tax list:

5. Richard Hatch – Remember Richard, the big gay naked winner of the million bucks from the first season of Survivor? Apparently back in 2000 he didn’t think anyone in the US government would take note of his newfound fame, so he gave them a miss and didn’t claim his $1 Million dollar cash prize as earnings. That crafty bastard!

4. Gordon Ramsay – You may have seen this loud obnoxious chef with the poofy hair and annoying accent on his Fox cooking reality shows. In his native Britain he was fined 450 pounds in 2006 for getting his filings in late. With the current dollar to pound exchange rate, that’s almost 100 billion American dollars, I think…

3. Marc Anthony
– The ancient Roman military general, known more recently for banging Jennifer Lopez and making crappy songs, didn’t file any taxes from 2000 – 2004. Good thing too, because he made over $15.5 million during those years. It all caught up to him though and he was forced to pay $2.5 million in back taxes.

2. Willie Nelson
– The famous country music singer is probably one of the biggest tax dodgers of all time. Nelson was ordered to pay $16.7 million in back taxes in 1990. To pay off his debts he went back on tour and was forced to record some more albums he really didn’t want to do. In his defense, he was probably too high to think most of the time, let alone remember to record his adjusted net income.

1. Joe Francis - You may like his Girls Gone Wild videos, but this sleazy douche made over $20 million in phony deductions for his soft-core porn ring. According to the IRS, he also used a few offshore accounts to hide many of his earnings. Joe, really, did you think they would buy the 50 grand spent on trucker hats and KY jelly as a legitimate business expense? Tools of the trade, I guess.

Original here

Ten-second animations of classic cartoons

The New Yorker has partnered with Ring Tales to present these animated versions of classic New Yorker cartoons.

February 29, 2008
Watch this animation
February 27, 2008
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February 25, 2008
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February 22, 2008
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February 20, 2008
Watch this animation