Aningaaq — Do you remember the point in the movie “Gravity” where Ryan Stone makes a distress call from the Soyuz capsule? She makes contact, but the person on the other side of the call doesn’t speak English. The writers of “Gravity” have released a short film that shows the other side of that call. The film is called “Aningaaq.” Aningaaq is an Inuit fisherman stationed on a remote fjord in Greenland. He’s fishing near his camp when Dr. Stone’s call comes on the radio. To check out the rest of the story, you can find the short via Google.
Geek gifts — Let’s face it: This world contains a lot of nerds, and it seems that more nerd villages spring up every day. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, non-nerds are still prevalent in society, and we still have to interact with them. To be honest, I kind of feel sorry for the non-nerds. To them, the world of nerd-dom must seem utterly pointless and nutty. Likewise, non-nerds place little to no value on the items that we treasure. As a result, a feeling of desperation sometimes besets normal folk as they try to shop for geeky friends and family members. The blog io9.com presents a great article on wall art for nerds. Several collections are featured: the Ladies of “Battlestar Galactica,” a starship postage stamp series, travel posters to fictitious worlds and more. All are sure-fire hits! Go to Google and search “io9 wall art for the geek in your life.”
First selfie — Oxford Dictionary recently announced that their Word of the Year for 2013 is “Selfie.” According to their blog, the frequency of the use of the word has increased by over 17,000 percent in the past year. Pop quiz… when was the first recorded selfie taken and by whom? According to the Public Domain Review, the first selfie was taken by amateur chemist and photographer Robert Cornelius in 1839. The Library of Congress says this is one of the earliest photographs of a person ever. I’m just a little concerned that he looks like Doctor Who No. 7.
Free hours — We were rifling through some old junk at the store and ran across an unopened package for 1,000 free hours on AOL. I have to be honest; we all got a good kick out of it. After going online to verify that AOL still existed, we reminisced about the some of the early Internet companies that have faded away. Alta Vista and Winamp are a couple of the latest projects to join that list.
Alta Vista was one of the earliest search engines, with a launch traced back to 1995. Immensely popular in the late 1990s, Atla Vista grew to 80 million daily hits. Ultimately, it bet wrong on portal technology and lost its search business to Google. Alta Vista was acquired by Yahoo! in 2003 and merged with Yahoo! search in 2011. The Alta Vista website was closed in July 2013.
Winamp was the premier media player of the late 1990s. The player was widely popular from its first release, with 15 million downloads in its first year. Winamp became more than a media play. Users created and shared different skins for Winamp. An active community formed around this product and the developers that created it. Winamp was purchased by AOL in 1999, and its decline started shortly thereafter. Many reports of culture clashes reside in the blogosphere, and ultimately a media play could not complete with inclusive environment created by iTunes. The final day possible to download the latest Winamp player is December 20, 2013.