Archive for January, 2012

Supercomputations on Harassment

January 27, 2012

Recent articles attest to the huge progress made by China’s computer industry. They wish to be a dominant force in the future of supercomputing.

But what is all this computing power for?

From keeping dissidents under a booted heel, to squashing the legal electoral process, China has run out of ways to harrass its citizens when they go too far. Say for example a Chinese person dares to criticize a public official for corruption, that whistle-blower will be harassed in a variety of ways, from having his employer fire him. or having his kids ejected from a desirable school, to keeping the individual and his family under 24-hour watch and arms-length surveillance.

But Chinese members of the Paranoid Bullying Party, the ones who really run China, are low on original ideas for keeping the malcontents under wraps. The supercomputers will be used to come up with more imaginative and unusual methods for intimidating and harassing the public. Here are a few new harassment techniques from some supercomputer test runs:

Top 10 Harassment Techniques

10. forcing Chinese to eat with knife and fork
9.  prohibited from gambling for a year
8.  not allowed to eat dog for a month
7.  must practice Tibetan throat-singing in Tiananmen Square
6.  will have hair dyed blonde and styled like Donald Trump
5.  must address everyone as “Dragon”
4.  can have as many children as you want, as long as they’re girls
3.  mothers of the Standing Committee will come and live with you
2.  forced to breathe Beijing’s polluted air — no, wait, you already do

and the #1 harassment tactic:

1. made to work at Foxconn assembling iPhones.

Must-Haves from the App Store

January 20, 2012

Here at the Fountain, we are not dead, nor have we dried up. We have simply been overwhelmed by the effort required to move into a new apartment, and to transfer the expanding contents of the storage pod that some six months ago had been filled up with our stuff back in Boston. Och! It reminds me of the ‘I Love Lucy’ episode when Ricky tries to cook rice, and what started as a small pan becomes a white tsunami flooding the kitchen.

It’s been a brutal amount of work emptying out dozens of boxes, and finding places for things and thousands of books. Some important items have not yet turned up; I wish I could find my Merrill boots, which are badly needed to walk around in the snow and slush we have here in Seattle.

We hope that 2012 turns out to be better than 2011 by a huge margin, and to start it off right, we will parade in front of you some clever new smart phone apps available from our app store. Soon we will resume doing what we like best: writing about current events, and trying to both inform and to amuse.

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For now, here are some low-cost/high-utility apps you should add to your phone right away:

1. The WangBang, designed for Chinese dissidents. It tells you when you’ll be arrested, what charges you’ll confess to after being tortured, and the province in which your relatives will find your body.

2. The TattooYou, my new smartphone app tracks the people who are watching “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” in their cars, while they are driving.

3. Turn your phone into an air freshener! From my scent store, try “Ocean Breeze” or “Bacon”.

4. My newest app for winter not only displays a roaring fire on your phone, along with crackling sounds, but also puts out 20,000 BTU. (Caution: wear gloves!)

5. At the Detroit auto show, a new phone app is on display. NoGoBoZo detects when a driver is texting in a moving vehicle, then shuts down the car and glues itself to the user’s thumbs.

6. Are you always behind and playing catch-up? My latest app, SimulTasker, uses Bluetooth to secretly disseminate your to-do lists to other phones. People will perform tasks without knowing that they are doing your work for you.

7. My wife has very weird dreams, and I thought it was time to see these fantastic tales for myself. So I created iDream, which downloads dreams into your phone. Haven’t decided yet if they should automatically post onto Facebook.

8. Inspired by TV cooking shows, my newest app, iFlavor, is a must have! Choose flavors from my app store, like ‘Twinkie’ or ‘Bacon Surprise’ and then put your phone in your mouth for a taste explosion!.

9. My nostalgia-driven app, iShovel, shows a blizzard of flakes on your screen, while in the background, hear the haunting sound of snow shovels scraping on pavement. Users can tailor the loudness and frequency of wheezing and grunting noises.

10. My newest free app, iSled, is aimed at fellow Seattleites. Just press the ‘sled’ icon, and your phone will begin to expand, and then turn into either a flexible flyer-type sled, or a snow saucer. (The extra cost version turns your phone into a luge or bobsled.) Just run and jump onto it at the top of an icy hill for a real ethrillride! Don’t forget to shout woo-hoo.