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Another embarrassing Windows failure on live TV

Live TV… can you think of anything else that can provide this much schadenfreudic entertainment? Watch and enjoy as Windows Vista’s speech recognition is put to the test. And fails, miserably, in front of millions.

[flashvideo filename=”http://sjhoward.co.uk/video/speechrecognition.flv” /]

Video credit jplfree via Guardian Technology Blog

It’s all a little bit reminiscent of this, which you may remember from eighteen months ago, when Bill Gates himself experienced a Windows failure at the worst of times… But then, doesn’t Windows always fail at the worst of times…?

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Technology, Video.

The Shak Grass mystery

Shak GrassThroughout Stockton-on-Tees, graffiti has appeared stating ‘Shak Grass’. In some places, it’s ‘Big Nose Shak Grass’. In one place, it’s been spelt wrong and corrected. But it’s all over the place in Stockton, right from one end of the town to the other: Far too widespread for one person to have done on a drunken rampage (and anyway, it’s continuing to appear). I’ve counted at least twelve different sites, though some of it has started to be cleaned up now.

The graphic above doesn’t show the best example, but I feel I bit of an idiot taking photos of graffiti, and then worried slightly that I might be arrested on suspicion of creating it myself, so we’ll just have to make do with it. But, more importantly…

What the heck does it mean?

There are a couple of theories here:

I think it’s one of the asian guys that live near me. Some dude called Shakif (I Think) got a coke dealer sent down.

It’s a new indie night!

This guy has used it as a comment on YouTube.

But none of these are particularly satisfactory explanations. Does anyone have any other suggestions, or actually know what it means?

This post was filed under: Miscellaneous.

Lotto offers smallest ever jackpot

Animated banners online annoy me. I can just about cope with one on a page, but when bombarded with several like at once, as you are on many previously very user-friendly sites (Digital Spy being a case in point), I tend to get somewhat het up.

Imagine, then, my amusement at discovering this gem of an animating banner at the top of one page on a website which shall remain nameless:

Edit: Unfortunately, legal eagles at The National Lottery have insisted that I remove the image that previously appeared here. The image contained a picture of a clearly broken banner, cyclicing between text saying “This null it’s an…” and “estimated jackpot of £0 million”. I’m sorry that I’ve had to spoil your fun! (01/09/2006)

The banner animated between those four images, though each image was considerably larger than as reproduced above.

It’s certainly an original marketing strategy, but I’m not sure advertising the most likely payout will be terribly successful. Slight improvement over those awful Billy Connelly lottery ads from a couple of years back, though.

This post was filed under: Media.

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