Do you lay awake at night worried that physicists tinkering in Geneva at the new Large Hadron Collider might destroy reality as we know it, or are you hoping they open a portal to a parallel dimension that just happens to have really hawt aliens? I do. Both. If you don't, let Will Barras and friends take you on a ride in their ode to the search for the Higgs boson. Mad props for the Stephen Hawking shoutout on the hype track.
On Sunday, Digg founder Kevin Rose went online, turned on his webcam, and proceeded to shave his head. A Britney Spears-style breakdown for San Francisco's linkbait lothario? No, it was just some charity bet. But we still wonder if former flame Julia Allison's recent run through town had anything to do with Rose's mental state. The saddest thing of it all: 806 people tuned into Rose's lifecasting session to watch.
Slashdot is sleeping on the job. Not only is this Sysadmin Appreciation Day, it's also the launch of this year's Sysadmin of the Year contest, which has thankfully woken up and ditched the written testimonials for self-produced video submissions. Send us copies! This'll be rich. Oh, and full disclosure for journo-ethics wonks: I used to work across from super-sysadmin Mark Cohen (pictured) at Splunk. I'm still married into lots and lots of their stock. Hahaha pageview bonus, that's a good one.
Maybe Facebook's hackathon wasn't an all-nighter like founder Mark Zuckerberg prefers, but that didn't stop Facebook hotties Brandee Barker, Caitlin O'Farrell, Kathleen Loughlin and Raquel DiSabatino from enjoying themselves on stage with Thievery Corporation. Apparently, the crowd enjoyed them on stage too. "So awesome," commented Facebook's Dave Morin, despite being very taken by Google's Brittany Bohnet. Here's what we want to know about the video: Where's Sheryl Sandberg? What, mama don't dance no more? We hear her team insisted she wear jeans to the event, a fashion move the buttoned-up Sandberg almost never makes. But dancing must have been a step too far.
A city employee, allegedly on the brink of being fired from his $126,735-plus-bonus job wrangling the network of computers that hold email, payroll, and confidential information, has been arrested and charged with four felony counts of computer tampering. City officials — don't those guys have names? — say that 43-year-old Terry Childs gave himself privileged access and locked out other system administrators. The computers are still usable by city employees. But Childs still has exclusive super-user access to many parts of the network, because he won't give up his passwords. [San Francisco Chronicle]
If you were over 30 years old when you signed up for Facebook, you never got the option to look for "Random Play" — that's what the "kids" are calling it now. Sheryl Sandberg's new No Fun regime at Facebook has taken it a step further: They've removed the Random Play option from some people, including me, who'd already checked it. Now all users' inner sluts have been caged, at least as far as the interface is concerned.
Was it something we said? On Friday, we featured a snapshot of Googler Orkut Buyukkokten — yes, that Orkut. The photo appeared in Google engineering manager Niniane Wang's Smugmug gallery of a 2006 party held at colleague Orkut Buyukkokten's South of Market loft. The page now has a password, but it's trivially easy to guess: The street on which the party was held, all lowercase.
How awesome is the private-equity business? Private-jet awesome. That's the message that Bertram Capital vice president Michael Chang likely hoped to send to friends when he posted an album of photos to Facebook from his firm's trip to Cabo San Lucas. Slightly less awesome reality: Bertram had to borrow the jet from Benchmark Capital, and investors who put money in Bertram may not be that impressed with the firm's goofy display of extravagance. Selections from the photos, which show Bertram executives behaving like high-schoolers on a museum field trip:
Give us more H-1B visas and we'll give you innovative products. That's the pitch Google exec Laszlo Bock made to Congress as he decried the H-1B visa cap. Projects like also-ran social network Orkut, which was created (or stolen, depending on who you ask) by H-1B hire Orkut Buyukkokten (pictured, right) represent a boon to the U.S. economy, added Google lobbyist Pablo Chavez as he echoed Block's plea for more visas.
Computing pioneer and author Howard Rheingold has jumped on the buzzword bandwagon with a vlog, and the two most recent entries are a peek back into the pre-Web days when "geek" was still a term of scorn. Possibly because of some astounding fashion choices — Rheingold's taste in vibrant colors and eye-splitting patterns pictured here seem to have influenced Marissa Mayer's taste in couture. That said, as an early BBS dialer myself, I find this footage of a party at the Sausalito offices of The Well in 1989 fascinating. For a list of the people in the videos, the comment thread on BoingBoing's post gives the details. Watch and learn, you kids, after the jump.
Can you imagine a photo op that Julia Allison wouldn't attend? What happens in Vegas goes instantly to Valleywag, Allison knows, and so she flew to Las Vegas to attend Randi Zuckerberg's bachelorette party. Zuckerberg, whose wig-and-sunglasses disguise did not deter the Web's paparazzi, is a budding Web video star, Facebook's marketing director, and, unlike younger brother Mark, an actual Harvard graduate. In what's surely a first, Allison, the tech-obsessed TV personality, managed not to hog the camera; she's in only one of the shots. Facebook's Meagan Marks also appears sporting what looks like a freshly acquired head wound. A slip and fall on the dance floor? Our informants are investigating. In the meantime, enjoy the evidence of Zuckerberg's bacchanal. A warning: If plastic sex toys offend your coworkers, one photo may be unsuitable for office computers.
Belgian activist Tania Derveaux is making an offer to virgins: Join her campaign to prevent Internet service providers from favoring some websites with better bandwidth, and she'll have sex with you. The virgin must be "able to provide sufficient evidence that clearly shows he has been defending net neutrality." The bad news: Derveaux is just a attention whore. Her past hoaxes include a promise to give 40,000 blow jobs in return for getting elected to Belgium's senate, and a still-ongoing suicide countdown. Still, we appreciate Derveaux's postmodern sensibilities. Check out the "General Requirements and Rules of Conduct," for her "Don't stay a virgin campaign," copied below. My favorite part: "Tania is not responsible for any genital injury that the applicant may suffer." After you read it, you may conclude that it's easier to build your own network than complain about how Comcast and AT&T run theirs.
We hear that friends of Randi Zuckerberg, better known as nerd chanteuse Randi Jayne, are surprising the Facebook marketer with a bachelorette party in Las Vegas this weekend. The place: the Hard Rock Hotel, where they've secured two suites. (Zuckerberg is set to wed Brent Tworetzky, an associate at Shasta Ventures, in May.) The bacchanalia's expected to last all weekend, including a dinner at Tao and a night out at Rain. Who's going?
Let Google and Facebook play ultimate frisbee. Yahoos like balls, and they like them in the face. Their game is called Faceball. How it works: Two players sit in chairs ten feet apart and take turns throwing inflated beach balls at each other's faces. One point per facial, and no ducking. This goes on for five rounds. John Allspaw and Dunstan Orchard developed Faceball in April 2007 and ever since, Yahoos — from CEO Jerry Yang on down — have loved it. When it came time to plan the launch of Flickr Video, there was little debate as to what to do. A Faceball tournament was held on April 9, 2008. In the picture above is your winner, cofounder David Filo. Below, a video (on Vimeo, not Flickr, oddly) from Faceball creators Allspaw and Orchard describing their game, as well as more photos (on Flickr) from the tournament.
Randi Jayne Zuckerberg, the nerd chanteuse and sister of Facebook CEO Mark, visited the fair island of Manhattan last week and frankly, we'll never be the same. Zuckerberg — sorry boys, she's planning to wed in May — came to town with her mother. Notorious notoriety-possessor Julia Allison roped Zuckerberg into a meal — and one of her lip-sync videos. We haven't seen the video yet, but we're hoping wantrepreneur Allison was smart enough to hand over creative control to the vastly more talented Zuckerberg. She's excellent at show tunes. Stills from the shoot are below.