McCorkle’s Obama Poster Earns Honors

Well, slap us in the face, because we forgot to congratulate Harlot contributor and blogger, Ben McCorkle, on being awarded Computers and Composition‘s Michelle Kendrick Outstanding Digital Production/Scholarship Award for his “The Annotated Obama Poster,” which appeared in Harlot‘s second issue (spring 2009). We’re sooooooo excited to see Ben’s amazing piece receive the recognition that it deserves. (We’re also proud to see Harlot foster such superb work.) Way to represent, Ben!

All this and poetry too

A proud shout-out to beloved Harlot editor, contributor, and all-around tech wizard Kaitlin, for the recent publication of 3 of her poems in PANK Magazine. Read and/or listen here to get a taste of why Kaitlin’s recently been accepted to San Diego State University’s MFA program. Please join us in wishing her good luck as she departs Columbus for sunny California!

But don’t worry, she’s a Harlot for life.

Proving You’re Human

Are you human? from on Vimeo.

Captcha is a necessary evil. It takes up time and makes users go through more steps than they’d necessarily want to in order to do whatever it is that they want to do: post a comment, sign up for a service, etc. Without it, though, one’s site can fill up with all kinds of spammers. What makes this project so interesting is the application of proving one’s humanness in the physical world. What does that communication of something purely technological into a physical presence convey to passers-by? Do they get it? How do you prove that you’re human in this situation? There is no input field. I would love to see someone interact with this. Maybe they could break it apart to form a real word or copy the captcha below it. Well, something more interesting and creative than that would be better, but I think the captchas are just begging to be played with.

via F.A.T.

Hunting, Tracking, or just Locating Family

Verizon’s Family Locater is the latest surveillance technology allowing parents (anyone really, but family is the audience being targeted ) to locate their of children through their phone’s GPS device. The commercial shows how happy a parent is to know her child’s location. So parencentric. The commercial forgets kids and assumes that kids are arhetorical and won’t use manipulate this device more successfully than that old school technology—trust.

At any rate, I figure this new technology offers some rhetorical lessons for kids to learn. For instance a kid might practice pareuresis as a way to avoid surveillance—“Sorry, Dad. I was in a rush to get to school and left it at Katie’s house. I didn’t want to miss the physics lecture .“ Nice work here “physics lecture” or school as a primary excuse is a good rhetorical move for “forgetting.”

I can even imagine kids being rhetorical about stashing the phone some place where it looks good and responsible while they make there way to the well, the quarry, or the R rated movie for some real fun. At least that’s what I’d do.

Of course parents will make there own rhetorical maneuvers in response. Maybe a parent would try perclusio—“If you forget your phone again, you’ll be grounded. Then I’ll know where you are.” Or the parent might practice adhortatio—“You need to carry your phone because I love you—carry it because you love me.” In other words, encourage the child (audience) to practice good Locater decorum through threat or guilt.

At any rate, I am going to treat this blog like a public service announcement for parents. Can anybody think of any other ways kids can be rhetorical in their phone use to avoid being tracked…hunted—I mean located? Please make an offerring in comments.

Justin Who?

Admittedly, until a few months ago, I had no idea who Justin Bieber was and because I don’t watch the Disney Channel or listen to much Top 40 radio, I had to look him up on youtube and listen to a song in order to research for this very post. I had never heard anything before this, so my annoyance with the kid is miniscule, but that doesn’t stop me from showing you this Firefox plugin that blocks any mention of the tiny-tot singer.

Below is the video which displays the application in action, but the song that plays probably is not suitable for work. I’m embedding it because I want you to see it in action and not just to make fun of the kid. Just keep that in mind.

Justin Bieber Shaving from Greg Leuch on Vimeo.

Isn’t this fascinating!? That someone would spend the time, money, etc., just to eliminate an annoyance from their web experience? I can see how it may diminish that particular aggravation for a user, but at the same time, it reminds me of an ostrich sticking its head in the sand. While the focus of this tool is to block one seemingly insignificant pop culture reference, what if one were to use the tool to block any mentions of, say, the Gulf Coast oil spill. Would that be merely believing in the “ignorance is bliss” mantra? It’s a thought.

Another: in a world where information is so easily accessible, how do we stop a stream of unwanted information–stuff that we consider purely a nuisance? Like this? With plugins, applications, and utilities? Is this just us adapting to the changes that this information age has inflicted?

Hey, I haven’t had much contact with the Bieber, so I don’t have much use for this tool, but if I could get rid of any mention of Farmville, I just might.

via CNET