Automated anti-telemarketer script – brilliant!

Annoyed by telemarketers? Too polite to abuse them or just hang up? Can’t be bothered wasting their time in person? Then you need AstyCrapper. If you’re using the open-source Asterisk PBX, it will crap on for ages on your behalf. It works by detecting responses from the telemarketer and silence gaps and responding with a series of recorded samples. It’s pretty convincing! OK, maybe that doesn’t apply to you, but you can still have a good laugh at the example calls.

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Who is this person?

The first person to identify the pixellated personage below will win a virtual doughnut. Bonus sprinkles will be provided if anyone can identify the other people, the event, the location and the year. Picture courtesy of Donnia Tabor-Hanson (CADMama), from this thread in the AUGI Coffee Without CAD forum. I encourage you to read that thread and see if you can contribute to the idea it is promoting, but not until you’ve had a guess here! Readers of that thread and the people appearing in the photo should recuse themselves. Over to you! Edit: lots of right answers (which I’ve now unhidden). Well done, Owen!

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Gaahl’s Tr00 Life Adventures Week 10, and Peter Beste

Time for my own bad Photoshop. Truly, truly awful work here. This is the tenth and last (so far) edition of Gaahl’s Tr00 Life Adventures. Click the thumbnail to see the full size image. This one contains a few in-jokes (e.g. “many Norwegian countries”) from the Mike Portnoy forum community that was the original audience, so much of the original amusement will be lost. I am posting this one mainly to complete the set. The original Gaahl photograph is by Houston documentary photographer Peter Beste, who has this to say on his site: In the last two decades a bizarre and violent musical subculture called black metal has emerged in Norway. It’s roots stem from a heady blend of horror films, extreme heavy metal music, Satanism, pagan mythology, and adolescent angst. In the early-mid 1990’s, members of this extremist underground committed murder, burned down medieval wooden churches, and desecrated graveyards. What started as a juvenile frenzy came to symbolize the start of a war against Christianity, a return to the worship of the ancient Norse gods, and the complete rejection of mainstream society. I have spent the last 7 years photographing in this insulated and secretive community. I am pleased to report that Peter has no objection to his original photograph being (ab)used in this way. If you’re intrigued or amused by these black metal guys, check out his site for more images. There is even a book called True Norwegian Black Metal, available (of course) in a limited edition of 666 copies. Peter has taken photographs of other subjects, including similarly confronting ones of Houston rap culture (some include nudity), with a book due to follow on that subject later this year.

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Bad Photoshop 4

Pathetic perspective, courtesy of the work experience person doing Clark Rubber‘s brochure images: The same background is used for another table set. The perspective doesn’t match in that one either, but it’s not as bad as this. Maybe it’s just CAD geeks who notice this sort of thing? One more to come from this brochure, and it’s the worst one of the lot!

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Bad Photoshop 3

More Fotoshop phun courtesy of Clark Rubber: We’ll allow the oversized box and balls as an artistic device. But the woman has been cut out (badly) and pasted in with little regard to scale; that water is about 30″ deep. She either has very stumpy legs compared with her skinny top half, or the Autodesk shark is in there and it has given her an amputation at about the calf level. Why is her forearm oddly shaped, and shorter and thinner than that of the girl? And what’s going on down by the ladder? Why is it darker one side of the rail than the other? Why is the edge of the water higher and darker on that side? Why does the ladder cast no shadow? Inquiring minds want to know.

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Bad Photoshop 1 & 2

I’ve mentioned before that I love the Photoshop Disasters blog, and I’ve also mentioned that Clark Rubber has provided me with great service. Here’s the first of a few posts that combine the two. I recently received a Clark Rubber brochure, and from the look of it (and the web site), Clark Rubber is not receiving the same kind of service from its Photoshop people that it provides to its own customers. I could fill this whole blog with disasters from that one brochure, but here are just a couple for a start. Putting aside the awful water spray, the cut-and-paste problems, the strange lighting/shadow issues, the unrealistic water edge and the rest of it, how did that picture of the kid in the pool also manage to appear on the water cannon itself (sans pool and with the toy at a different angle)? Eddies in the space-time continuum, perhaps? He probably is.* My head assplode. This magic device not only fires oversized lemons, it also emits a strangely unrealistic jet of water of significantly smaller diameter than the inside diameter of the tube. I must have one! * Joke stolen from Douglas Adams.

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blog nauseam Terms of Use

It seems that not only EULAs but also web sites must have onerous, unconscionable, ridiculously restrictive and utterly unenforceable sets of rules these days. I don’t want to miss out on the fun, so I have added mine to this site. There’s a link at the top of the page that points here: http://www.blog.cadnauseam.com/terms-of-use/ Enjoy.

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Photoshop disasters blog

I love this blog: http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com/ OK, some of the “disasters” are a bit nitpicking, but there are some truly awful image manipulation efforts out there, some associated with very big companies. Look back over the archives, there are some real classics. Lesson to large companies: don’t penny-pinch, it’s not worth it. I can’t remember any Autodesk marketing image disasters, although some of you may remember being bemused by the relevance of the the short-lived Subscription Cow. The BENTLEY BIN image is pretty funny, though. Does anybody have any other CAD-related examples?

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A true AutoCAD teaching story

Reading Ralph’s post about going back to teaching reminded me of a time some years ago when I taught some AutoCAD evening classes at a technical college. As Ralph points out, students have a wide range of abilities. Although they were all supposed to have completed a prerequisite introductory Windows course, it became apparent that during that course at least some of them must have been absent in mind if not in body. Here’s an example, where I was explaining to the class how it was possible to modify toolbars. Steve: “Move your mouse pointer over any toolbar button and right-click on it.” Student: “Nothing’s happening.” Steve: “You should see a menu appear with the word Customize on it. When it appears, left-click on that word.” Student: “There’s no menu on my computer.” Steve: “Did you hover over a toolbar button and right-click on it?” Student: “Yes, and nothing happens. Do I need to press Enter?” Steve: “No.” Student: (Presses Enter anyway) “It says Unknown command.” Steve: (Going over to see what’s going on) “Can you please show me what you’re doing?” The student did so. I returned to the front of the class. Steve: “If you haven’t already done so, hover the mouse pointer over any toolbar button, press down the right-hand mouse button and release it.” The student had been hovering over the button and typing C-L-I-C-K. After all, I had told him to write “CLICK” on it.

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Faster, Stronger, Higher, Bluer, Blooper

I always find it amusing when extensively rehearsed and expensive presentations go wrong, except of course when they are my own. Anyway, presentations don’t get any more extensively rehearsed or expensive than the opening ceremony of the Olympics. So when a technical glitch occurs like Cathy Freeman having to stand around waiting for recalcitrant machinery to start moving, this amuses my sad little mind. It’s funnier for me when the glitch has a computing feel to it, as described in this story of the Olympic BSoD. When XP does this to you, perhaps you could try Li Ning on the Ctrl, Alt and Del keys.

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Video – Deciphered lyrics

Here’s another video I have done to the music of Swedish metal band Opeth (the first one is here). This band’s latest album, Watershed, does not come with conventional lyrics in the booklet, but rather a page full of rune-type characters. There are actually two different pages in different editions of the album, and in order to work out the lyrics you need to rotate the pages, work out a substitution cipher and combine the two sources. To save you the trouble of doing all that, here are the lyrics of Heir Apparent. This is the only song on the album that contains only angry Cookie Monster vocals (beware!), so without my expert deciphering efforts (ahem!) it would be rather difficult for the uninitiated to know what the song was all about. If you can put up with the vocals, I think you’ll enjoy this! YouTube link.

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