Everyone on Earth is Bored

Everyone on Earth is Bored

There’s an app out there that is basically like Vine, but in real time. You can look at a map, pick random people to watch, chat with them, follow them, etc. It’s called Periscope, and I found out about it because some woman was live streaming video of herself drunk driving and fellow Periscope users called the cops on her.

I was intrigued.

I remember chatroulette. I never used it much because I didn’t have a good enough connection at the time, but from what I hear, it devolved pretty quickly into nothing but naked people or people who wanted to see naked people. The two demographics didn’t mesh as well as you’d think.

Here’s what I found on Periscope.

Video 1, Tennessee:
Two dudes in a truck asking people to talk about what types of trucks they like.

Video 2, Scotland:
Tween age boy hosting his own random talk show-type stream.

Video 3, England:
Tween age girl talking about her day at school and then going on to look around the bathroom to find things with which to draw pictures. She was delightful and I added her to my follow list after her brief question/answer period about whether or not she should get “a spot of tea.”

Video 4, Germany
Guy who appears to be drunk, stoned, tired, or all three mumbling some stuff in German.

Video 5, Switzerland
Two teenage girls who clearly usually speak French take a moment to figure out how to answer when someone messages “wie gehts?” (how’s it going”) in German. They then answer him…in German.

Video 6, Boston
Guy who appears to be drunk, stoned, tired, or all three listening to the radio. Some guy keeps making comments about the broadcaster being gay and the guy just ignores him. The comment-maker eventually leaves.

Video 7, England
Two girls eating the British version of Funyuns ask where we’re from. When I answer that I’m from Nashville, one says “oooh, Nashville! Have you ever been to a rodeo?” She’s wearing a Friends shirt and asks us all who our favorite character is. I answer with Smelly Cat, which prompts one of the two girls to sing the Smelly Cat song. These girls were delightful. (At one point during this, some guy keeps messaging things like “vagina” and “seks.” The two girls just ignore him. I respond with “Emir’s keeping it classy.” The girls laugh. Emir sends me some message that I can’t figure out how to read before it fades off-screen and he leaves the room. I’m guessing his message was some sort of middle finger emoji. Also, when did adults start using emojis? Is this a thing now?)

Video 8, Scotland
Some guy playing questionable electronic music in his living room.

Video 9, England
Two girls lying in bed, at least one appears to be nursing a head cold. She blows her nose on camera and they flip the phone around to show us all that they’re watching The Big Bang Theory.

But what about Iran? Egypt? I tried, but with the exception of Turkey and some parts of Bahrain and Dubai, everything was blank. Zero videos. Same thing for China, Japan, and all of southeast Asia. (Maybe they’re all just asleep right now?) So, what’s going on in Dubai? The same thing going on everywhere else: people watching tv, people sitting around, and dudes with guitars. Dhaka, Bangladesh? Some guy singing “Love Me Like You Do.” To summarize, there’s a guy in BANGLADESH singing the love theme from 50 Shades of Grey.

Maybe this IS just another opportunity for people to attention whore themselves online, but I can’t help but thinking what a big deal it would be for any actor trying to learn a dialect or any foreign language student. Also, let’s give some applause for the lack of nudity and creepiness; people are just there being THERE. Blowing noses. Singing Smelly Cat. It’s not all PhotoShop, humblebrags, and marketing ploys. At least not yet.

Dudes with guitars.

In Which Amy’s Brain Explodes (in a good way)

Once upon a time, technology made the Blackberry. The subtext was that such devices were only for high-powered business people who really, really needed access to email and calendar applications, even when they were out doing something important like visiting oil rigs or checking their uncut diamonds.

I could sit here and say that I wanted a Droid phone because I need to be able to know when super time-sensitive emails come in. It does stress me out that someone’s website could explode on Friday night and I may not know until Monday morning, at which time they would want to set me on fire. Granted, they could call, but most people get pissed off about having to CALL, too. So, yes, I do kind of need the Droid for work. That’s not going to change the fact that I was in Amanda’s back seat with the flashlight app set to red, holding my phone under my chin and making ghost noises.

What do I think of my new birthday present/toy/tiny computer thing? It is everything I’d hoped it would be, and I don’t get to say that very often. As I was driving home last night with my Lady GaGa Pandora station playing through a phone that was plugged into my car’s auxiliary input, I thought was “this is the future they promised us…ok, my car’s not flying, but this is it.”

This is what they kept swearing that the internet would be: this life that follows you because you can fit it in your purse. Everyone you know being consolidated into one data stream widget. Instant access to IMDb when someone says, “whatever happened to the sister from Even Stevens?” News feeds of LOLcats. Lil Wayne soundboards. Video of friends doing things that you won’t remember tomorrow because you’re all trashed. To-do list apps that let you sort by category and set up reminders. Creepy yet awesome ways of GPSing your friends’ locations. Red flashlights to hold under your chin.

Oh, and also email.

My friends, it is a beautiful thing. I live on the internet, but I’ve still been running around for 4 days feeling like I live in the future. If this blows MY mind, my mom may just burst into flames when she gets hers. I can’t wait until the next time my mom gets in my car and asks if I have any bluegrass in my iPod.

“Nope, but I made a Ricky Skaggs station on Pandora.”

It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)

It was about five days ago. I was poking around on Twitter, looking for info on the floods in Atlanta, when I clicked someone’s tinyurl link, assuming the link would take me to some news site or something. Upon clicking the link, my Avast on-demand scanner popped up it’s DANGER! yellow bar and I aborted the connection with the link.

Too late.

The next time I restarted my computer, Avast wouldn’t launch. SpyBot wouldn’t launch. After a couple more restarts, Windows wouldn’t launch. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the b.exe virus.

It shuts down your antivirus software, it blocks your access to any web site that might help you, it disallows installation of new antivirus software, and then slowly corrupts every executable file on your computer.

Yadda yadda yadda, Evil Jason eventually stepped in, backed up my files, reformatted my hard drive, and saved my pasty white ass.

It’s for the best, really. Loki is almost five years old and half the crap in my Program Files was stuff I didn’t need anymore. Now, stuff that had been broken for years is working again and I’ve learned an important lesson about being more anal about backing up my files instead of just waiting until I have enough stuff to burn a disk.

Loki feels like a kid again. A hulking, 17-inch, bestickered kid.

Mac friends, let me stop you before you start: no, this has not convinced me to get a Mac. Nothing, short of lower costing computers, a ton of free software, and a promise to never again make a “mac vs. pc” commercial will convince me to switch to a Mac. I don’t deal with Mac geniuses, I don’t pay extra for AppleCare, I don’t care about Snow Leopard, and I don’t believe in the theory that viruses don’t exist for Macs. There just aren’t as many. Yet. Wait for it.