Saturday, May 17, 2014

Follow-up on a couple of strange stories...

No Life of Riley. Do you recall Colonel Harry Riley who promised to lead ten million soldiers into DC, with the purpose of overthrowing Barack Obama? Well, this effort came about ten million soldiers short of meeting his goal. Organizers blame the rain.

Oddly enough, I noticed that the same rainfall did not discourage lots of young people from visiting the Children's Museum in Baltimore. I guess those kids were made of sterner stuff.

The hundred or so revolutionaries who made it to the Mall sauntered around the Washington Monument wearing Guy Fawkes masks (how novel!) and camo gear. They signed a cross and seemed very concerned about -- wait for it -- Benghaaaaaaazeeeeeee!

I wonder what Alan Moore might say about the ultra-righties who have taken up that damned mask...

Torso! Do you recall the strange saga of Webdriver Torso and his 80,000 abstract YouTube videos? The mystery attracted a lot of attention -- mostly from writers in the UK, who speculated that these videos might be a strange NSA recruitment tool (a la the Cicada Thingie).

As noted in our previous post, the enigma attracted the respectful attentions of Italian computer expert Soggetto Ventuno. His theory was that these videos were produced by some programmers working for Google in Zurich.

After doing some further digging, he has pretty much proven his case. Go here and check out the updates. (Remember, Google owns YouTube.)

So what is the purpose of this exercise? It seems that the team is simply conducting a series of technical tests of the YouTube system. We know that they are employed by Google because they've programmed in an Easter egg, which you can see if you go to YouTube and type in the search term "Webdriver Torso." Instant Mondrian!

I was hoping that the perpetrators would turn out to be more interesting. You know: Spies, members of secret societies, avant garde artists, aliens... At any rate, all hail Ventuno for solving a conundrum that stumped the BBC.
Sir, I really wish to thank you, especially since no one has ever called me a "computer expert". In reality, I am a humble statistician! :)

Thanks again!

Paolo - 21
But I thought...

Ah, hell. Should have known. REAL computer experts are arrogant pricks.

Thanks anyways for all your work, Soggeto. Or Paolo. Or whatever.
Years ago I used to monitor short-wave radio traffic. One signal going on constantly was just "whamma yamma bamma whamma bamma whamma whamma bamma yamma". It was always there any time I tuned in. I always wondered if it was some spy code.
About the "Operation American Spring".......I found it very odd that the main rightwing web sites had absolutely nothing about this either before, during, or after the event. Not a peep. Makes me think this may have been an attempt to "smoke out" extremists. It seems only left wing sites covered this at all, as far as I can tell. There are, of course, a number of right wing type sites that covered this (found via Google), but I had never heard of any of them before finding them via searching. Anyway, I just find it interesting that this seemed to be of far more interest to lefties than it was to righties.
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