For all you people out there who aren't in "the biz" (I'm not sure what this "biz" is and how one would get into it), dot-com companies are burning up quicker than wheelbarrows loaded full of gasoline and magnesium raccoon statuettes. Many investors are out there wondering why all their precious Internet stocks, which traded at 400 points per share about six months ago, are now being traded for shares in hot dog vending stations. Once again, there's a simple answer that these idiots just don't seem capable of realizing: 90% of dot-com startup companies are almost completely worthless. Let's take a look at a few of the more catastrophic failures.
Boo.com - This company attempted to launch one of the first multi-million dollar enterprises to get people to purchase clothing online. Needless to say, all those millions of dollars are now gone, as Boo.com found out the hard way that people aren't interested in buying clothes online. The majority of the clothes-shopping demographic are women, women who like to spend a good six hours staring into oddly-angled mirrors to see how they look in a sweater which resembles every other sweater they own. Women like to walk around and check out all the other clothes in the store, trying them on and seeing how bulbous it makes their ass look. You can't do this on the Internet, nor would anybody want to. Unless a company is somehow able to make clothing instantly spit out from a computer's disk drive, women just aren't going to want to buy too many clothes online. As for men, the idea of Boo.com didn't appeal to them because men buy clothes solely as an afterthought. We'll be walking through Target or Wal-Mart, searching for AAA batteries or a television antennae, and we'll suddenly remember that every single pair of socks we own has holes the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. While picking out the cheapest pair of white tube socks, some kind of "Valu-Save" shirt will catch our eye and we'll end up buying it because it's cheaper than the AAA batteries. Men buy clothing only if it's situated in between them and the cash register.
Pop.com - This was the brainchild of Steven Speilberg and Ron Howard, two people who wanted somewhere to throw all their money into (and the incinerator must've been out of arm's reach). They spent nearly $10 million dollars on this site before they realized, much like pseudo.com, that the general public doesn't have the bandwidth to visit online multimedia movie tours. Speaking of, Pseudo.com tried to do the same thing; offer up tons of streaming multimedia television shows to the general web-viewing audience. After burning up the final bus token left in their piggy bank and going broke, the executive editor of Pseudo.com, Mark Berniker, decided to proclaim that Pseudo.com was simply the most hip and futuristic company to ever exist in this dimension.
"It's not the same for anybody dot-com raising money these days," he said. "It's a sad day. (We) were ridiculously ahead of (our) time, but we made some strides in the last year or two."
Yeah, you're a regular supergenius, Mark. If you were so ridiculously ahead of your time, why didn't you travel to the future and bring back some cash for your remarkable company? I have a problem with somebody like Mark blaming his company's failure on being too high tech and advanced for the general public. Here's an analogy: say I start inventing gas tanks for floating hoovercars and I begin selling them online. I'd go broke in seconds! Sure, my gas tanks would be ahead of their time and really advanced, but they're just not needed or useful at the present time. Same thing with Pseudo.com. The general public doesn't have the bandwidth to watch those dopey TV shows about God-knows-what, and that's why they failed. Mark's idea of putting movies and TV shows on the Internet may be years ahead of our time, but his lack of business sense and practical applications more than makes up for it.
Digiscents.com - Okay, technically these guys haven't failed yet, but I can almost guarantee they will.
Digiscents brings the sense of smell to your computer with iSmell digital scent technology!
As far as I can tell, there's only three problems with Digiscent's groundbreaking technology:
1) Nobody in their right mind would want such an incredibly stupid piece of worthless crap like this.
2) See #1
3) See #2
What on Earth would make somebody leap up in the middle of a Quake 2 battle and exclaim, "This game sure is an exciting, nonstop, action-packed fragfest, but why can't I smell the minions of the damned who are trying to slaughter me at every turn?" That makes no sense! First of all, Quake 2 didn't even have any minions of the damned in it! They were cyborgs or robots or something. Secondly, nobody would ever want to smell anything featured in any game. Period. I cannot think of a single video game which took place in somewhere nice like a candy shop or baked goods store (except that James Pond game for the Sega). Most titles force you to run through areas like sewers and nuclear waste dumps, not exactly the optimal place for the iSmell technology.
So if it's not supposed to be used in games, what else is it supposed to take advantage of? Spreadsheet applications? Minesweeper? The only other massively popular tool is the Internet, and I'll be damned if I'm going to use iSmell on the kind of websites I visit daily.
ANGELA: (In the other room) Honey, what are you doing in there? What's that smell? Did you just take the fish out of the refrigerator?
ME: (On the computer, turning off the iSmell plugin and closing as many popup windows as I can) Er... yes.
All these dot com companies are closing because they have nothing to offer and their investors are finally realizing it. Cash can only go so far before it runs out. Perhaps if people would stop investing in such intensely stupid things, these companies would never start up to begin with.
Ready to obtain an illustrious teaching career, but you're afraid of racially offending some of your students? Well stop your worrying because The University of Texas at Dallas has a helpful list of "Words and Phrases that Offend Students" for you to memorize (thanks Aaron). Here's a few gems to get you started. Keep in mind that you should NOT say these phrases, as they have been proven to offend a select few people:
"Slavery was not that bad for Blacks; it was better than unemployment."
"'Are you sure you wrote this paper? It is well put together for a Black student.""You have a very good score for a Black student."
Remember folks: these are phrases you SHOULDN'T say! Good thing we have the University of Texas at Dallas to remind us of such useful information which most members of the public aren't aware of!
Jeff K., proving he's one of the most l33t gaming journalists to ever hit the scene since Evil Ed's Website of Masturbating Retards Who Have All Been In Horrible Car Accidents And Damaged Key Portions of Their Brains, has scooped another exclusive interview! This time he tackles Drew Markham and Greg Goodrich, two of the guys behind Grey Matter Studio's Return to Castle Wolfenstein, the followup to (duh) Wolfenstein 3D. Here's a sample of interview-y goodness!
JEFF K.!!!!! - What about stuped guns? In evary game yuo have bullit guns and explosian gun and then two goofy silly guns that are experimentiel aliean guns that do all sorts of crazey and dumb crap! How maney crazey alien guns ydo yuo haev? not maney I hope!!!
Drew - No, there are some experimental guns that the Nazi scientists came up with that were made for shooting their monsters once they all got out of control.
JEFF K.!!!!! - How caome teh guns are experimental but they always work right??? Mayebe a experiement dosent work right and teh guns shots fire at yuo whoevar shoots it!
Drew - Cool...Like a Jeff K gun? We could put that in...
JEFF K.!!!!! - YEAH!
PJ PAJAMAS: "I GOTS AN EXPERIEMENTAL GUN!"
(HE PULLS TEH TRIGGAR AND BLOWS UP)
PJ PAJAMAS: "TEH EXPERIEMENT WAS A TERRIBAL FAILURE"
They also talk about Nazi zombies, fat women named "Helga" who shoot lighting, the dreaded BRAINCHAIR attack, Dukeburger, Food Fight, eating turkey dinners on the floor, and magic tables. All in all, another incredible interview. Read it!
TWO new Cranky Steve map reviews? Yup, today The Whorehouse takes a look at "AE Arena" and Bogdan DM1" , a couple Quake 3: Arena maps from repeat offenders.
Like any low quality crap game level, AEArena helps to point out one of the regrettable "gimmicks" built into the game that moron map editors should be forbidden to use, and here we are given a mind numbing look at the ways that an idiot can employ the jump pad. Jump pads made me nervous when I first encountered them in Q3Test, mostly because I could smell the abuse of them by the sweaty trembling hands of crack-addled cranks like AEon months in advance. I saw shit like this coming, but it sill makes my liver twitch when I encounter it no matter how well prepared I think I am for bounce pad overkill. AEon has included so many fucking goddamn jump pads in the map that his motivations come into question -- what was he trying to prove? Was he trying to outdo Q3DM16/The Bouncy Map? That level is hilarious because of the bounce pad overkill, but AEon's efforts here are just plain silly. Almost every major room/cavern/lava chamber in the map has at least 4 jump pads that spring you in various seemingly random directions. Items hang suspended in mid air and can only be reached by flinging yourself onto a pad and being propelled through the air like a flying squirrel.
Sounds like fun! Thank Squokamatic!
This is your typical consumer model throne. If you just want a cheap prop, it's fine. If you want to actually sit like a king, pony up the cash and get yourself a prosumer model. This entry level stuff is more for a duke or baron at best.
Do you wish to know what computers will be doing in the year to come? With a sigh I shall exert the minimal effort it takes to reveal all. Feel free to print out these predictions and share them with your friends via fax.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.