Worst Facebook profile ever*: Dana Avraham with 199 applications**

Note: This post was written before the July 2008 redesign of Facebook (a.k.a. Facebook Beta, aka New Facebook). The new design introduced tabbed profile sections, rendering this post obsolete.

Meet Dana Avraham, a 26 years old Israeli woman, who cannot say no to Facebook applications.

Top of page: Full length effect:
[singlepic id=42 w=450 h=620 float=center] [singlepic id=43 w=75 h=620 float=center]
Click images for higher resolution

Did adding Facebook applications become the digital equivalent of collecting pogs?

* worst Facebook profile – that I had encountered
** 199 applications – as of today, February 28, 2008

10 Freewares I Swear By But You Have Never Heard Of

…listed in Alphabetical order – each one tested under Windows XP:

CCleaner Removes unused files and cleans traces of your online activities [singlepic id=34 w=150 h=150 float=center]
CutePDF Writer Easily convert any document to PDF format [singlepic id=35 w=150 h=150 float=center]
Easy Video Splitter Automatically or manually split large AVI, DivX, MPEG, WMV and ASF [singlepic id=36 w=150 h=150 float=center]
JFileRecovery Copy files from damaged hard drives, CDs, DVDs and Flash media [singlepic id=37 w=150 h=150 float=center]
MailWasher Automatically block email spam before using your regular email program [singlepic id=33 w=150 h=150 float=center]
QuickSearcher Search for a text string within multiple directories and files [singlepic id=39 w=150 h=150 float=center]
RoboForm2Go Memorizes your passwords on your USB key and automatically logs you into online accounts [singlepic id=32 w=150 h=150 float=center]
SizeMe Assists backing up files by filling up each disc as much as possible [singlepic id=38 w=150 h=150 float=center]
UltraVNC Connect to a remote PC and work on it or transfer files (similar to pcAnywhere) [singlepic id=40 w=150 h=150 float=center]
WindizUpdate Keep your Windows up-to-date without using Microsoft Update [singlepic id=41 w=150 h=150 float=center]
Honorobale mention:
ShowIP Shows and logs the local IP and the WAN IP in the system tray ShowIP by bitsoft

John’s Not Mad – Alin and Shani Aren’t Either

I have always been fascinated by Tourette’s syndrome, which naturally manifested in my seeing virtually every documentary ever made on the subject, including:

That is why I was very happy to find out that Israel’s Channel 10 will broadcast an Israeli documentary about the subject titled ‘Involuntary‘ (2007), directed by Boaz Rosenberg. The film follows Alin Tubul (30) and Shani Nulman (18), two young Israeli women very different from one another, as they struggle with severe Tourette over the course of three years. The US National Institutes of Health estimates 200,000 Americans have severe Tourette’s, which might infer there are 4,700 Israelis in predicaments similar to Alin’s and Shani’s. If there is, in fact, strength in numbers, I cannot imagine how lonely it must feel to have Tourette’s in such a small country as Israel.

After watching that many documentaries, I categorize Tourette’s portrayal in popular media into three depth levels:

  • Hollywood’s Tourette, as depicted in TV and movies, emphasizing the quote-unquote funny side.
  • Tourette 101, as depicted in every documentary made so far, emphasizing the day-to-day struggle with social stigmas.
  • Full-blown Tourette’s, which I have yet to have seen in popular media, revealing the typical comorbid conditions of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), intrusive thoughts and suicidal tendencies.

I can only hope future documentaries will deal with this third category.

Here is a fascinating news story about Alin and the documentary, by Channel 10’s Nesli Barda (Hebrew):
(Please note that for some reason Alin Tubul is referred to as Alin Biton in the story)

‘Involuntary’ will be broadcast on Israel’s Channel 10 this coming Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 11pm.

Been thinking about Digital Footprints lately and the need to write an eloquent post about it. During the writing of this post I easily found a photo of the film director sitting naked on the toilet, as well as phone numbers (home and cell) of Alin, the film’s protagonist, along with her mental health history. What do your Digital Footprints reveal about you?

What’s Wrong With the Israeli Internet Today? – Brought To You Courtesy of the IDF

I have already posted an elaborate list of the top annoyances plaguing the Israeli Internet*, but wherever my mouse takes me I encounter more and more prototypical examples:

Let’s say you want to check out the official website of the Israeli Defense Forces. You google IDF (in Hebrew in our example), and get these results:
[singlepic id=29 w=450 h=900 float=center]

Oh my, you hit the jackpot! The first result is exactly what you were looking for. Feeling lucky you click the first result only to receive this disappointing page:
[singlepic id=30 w=450 h=900 float=center]

No, 404 is not a new Israeli army unit, but the error message you get as of recent days, as someone was clever enough to wait for the page to reach Google’s number one result and only then screw up with the DNS settings.

Aside from the obvious disaster of not showing your reader the requested website, following are additional mistakes by the IDF webmasters:

  • Failing to define a human-readable 404 error page, with some helpful links
  • Failing to define a reporting mechanism that would raise a flag at the webmasters’ side
  • Defining a folder name with CAPS is very unorthodox, and using a Hebrew word (‘dover’) is an additional no no. These two methods assure your readers never remember the exact URL, making them dependent on search engine results – and we just learned how far that gets you.

If you still want to check out the IDF website, you can click here for Hebrew or click here for English:
[singlepic id=31 w=450 h=900 float=center]

* For a lack of a better term, ‘Israeli Internet’ is what I call the ad-hoc collection of websites run by Israelis.

‘The L Word’ TV Series Quote About the Unbearable Pain of Being (A Woman)

What I want is for you to write ‘fuck me’ on your chest. Write it! Do it! And then I want you to walk out that door, and I want you to walk down the street. And anybody that wants to fuck you, say ‘Sure, sure, no problem.’ And when they do, you have to say ‘Thank you very, very much’ and make sure that you have a smile on your face. And then, you stupid fucking coward, you’re gonna know what it feels like to be a woman!

Jenny Schecter (Mia Kirshner) – The L Word – s02e11


Beaufort Loses Best Foreign Film in Academy Awards

While it would have been nice to get the very first Oscar for an Israeli film, Joseph Cedar’s Beaufort was not Oscar material in my book.

Here is Cedar making his good-for-you-face to Austrian winner Stefan Ruzowitzky for Die Fälscher (The Counterfeiters):

Joseph Cedar (right) making his good-for-you-face to Austrian Winner Stefan Ruzowitzky (left) for Die Fälscher (The Counterfeiters)

More info on your mainstream media.

Monopoly Game Manufacturer to End a Century Old Conflict

A month ago, I updated my readers on Hasbro’s worldwide vote to find the 22 greatest cities for the new world edition of the Monopoly board game. On my post titled ‘Up and Answer, Jewish Yeoman – Vote It Joyfully Aloud!‘ I jokingly called upon every right-wing nutter to defend Jerusalem, ‘eternal capital city of the Jewish people’, by voting for it on the Monopoly website.

Well, it turns out the joke was on me and my people:
Hasbro decided that the quickest way to end the Arab-Israeli conflict is to change the status of Jerusalem from the capital of Israel to an undefined territory, belonging to no man or nation. Although I probably should have foreseen that old shtick making a comeback, I did not – and so you will have to believe my word that the first version of the website listed ‘Jerusalem, Israel’ in one of the rankings.
Following are screenshots of the second and third versions:

[singlepic id=27 w=450 h=500 float=center]

As you can clearly see, on the second version every world city is naturally located within a country, except for Jerusalem. Smart way to end the conflict, right?
After the Israeli Embassy protested Hasbro’s doing (no, I am not kidding), the company decided to put on their smarty-pants and remove all the countries. Yes folks, just like every fourth Eurovision Song Contest and every second Olympic Games event, someone always wants to show preemptive kindness on the official website, so that the people who tend to get mad – won’t. Even as we speak, Hasbro is removing additional connections between cities of the world and their corresponding countries:
Can you find which words are missing from one of these four Monopoly city guides? (yellow highlight mine)

[singlepic id=23 w=235 h=500 float=center] [singlepic id=25 w=235 h=500 float=center]
[singlepic id=26 w=235 h=500 float=center] [singlepic id=24 w=235 h=500 float=center]

Shameless Plagiarism by Lior Shlein: Tonight on Israel Channel 10

It’s one thing to steal material from other comics, but to take the funny out of a sketch – there is no excuse for that.
Israeli Channel 10’s The Tonight Show with Lior Shlein, which on a regular day is a poor man’s Leno in Hebrew, had the audacity tonight to plagiarize an excellent skit by Moni Moshonov and Gidi Gov. Shlein, the self-confessed biggest fan of Moshonov, Bar-Aba and the entire ‘A Conventional One-time Evening’ (Erev Had-Peami Konventsionali), should have known better than to rip off a 1986 sketch, not give it credit, and hope no one will notice.

The basic plot of the sketch is of a censor man who barges in during the show, forbidding certain harmless words from being said because they indirectly link to not-so-nice words, rendering useless an otherwise hilarious joke.

Here is some of tonight’s show:

…and here is the 1986 version:

…and as soon as I will find my audio cassette recording, I will post the much better 1990 version.

Shhh… Lying…

Fräulein Maria Would Never Say That Word

The L Word Title (Season 1)

Been catching up on my TV lately, trying to cram five years of The L Word in just a couple of weeks. When the 2nd season premiere started and I noticed a new theme song, I started pouting, as I really liked the 1st season’s pseudo theme song consisting of ten seconds of electronic sounds:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

…but by the second time I heard the new theme song I had a smile plastered all over my face: if there is something I love more than a cover version – it is a reference to another song, an homage of sorts, the use of our common experiences as a language.
The new theme song by NYC-based rock band BETTY puts a twist on ‘My Favorite Things’ from the ‘The Sound of Music’. Taking the wholesome character of Maria and twisting her words is brilliant in so many ways.

Have a listen to the theme song, preceded by the relevant part from The Sound of Music:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

My Favorite Things
Girls in white dresses
With blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay
On my nose and eyelashes
  The Way That We Live
Girls in tight dresses
Who drag with mustaches
Chicks drivin’ fast
Ingénues with long lashes
Women who long, love, lust
Women who give
This is the way
It’s the way that we live
Talking, laughing, loving, breathing,
fighting, fucking, crying, drinking,
riding, winning, losing, cheating,
kissing, thinking, dreaming.
This is the way
It’s the way that we live
It’s the way that we live
And love