Salon’s Tracy Clark-Flory has a really interesting piece up this week: “Porn in a Flash.” It’s about “upskirting,” the unsuspecting women who star in it, and how there’s not always a lot the law can do to stop it. What’s upskirting? Basically, it’s an “up the skirt” photo or video, taken by a digital Peeping Tom, who shoots surreptitiously. Cellphones enabled the genre, and websites are dedicated to upskirt shots. For the women, it’s like starring in a soft-core shoot — without their knowledge. In the past, women turned to state “Peeping Tom laws,” but, in a unique twist, because the act takes place in public, women don’t have a “right to a reasonable expectation of privacy,” spawning “a frontier of rogue pornographers from all over the world.” Clark-Flory writes: “It’s such a craze in Japan that cellphone cameras now come with a shutter sound that alerts bystanders that a photo is being taken; in that country, even the iPhone 3G features an extra-loud anti-upskirt alarm.” While Britney helped popularized the upskirt phenomenon when she flashed her, um, Britney for the paps, for other women, upskirting is digital overexposure. [Salon] Keep reading »
Thanks to the miracle that is 21st century technology, you can now become a Muppet. Toy store FAO Schwarz’s website has a special online Muppet factory, The Muppet Whatnot Workshop, where you can build your own Muppet in your likeness. Pick your body (orange, green, blue), your eyes (girlie, droopy, catty), your hair (yellow boa, brown bob, black pompadour), your outfit (cheerleader, showgirl, mod), and find out what you look like Muppet-style. If you simply must have your stuffed Muppet self, or any other Muppet you envision, you can buy the Muppet you designed, and they’ll build it and ship it to you. Apparently, as a Muppet, I’m $90. [Boing Boing Gadgets] Keep reading »
The unlikely team of Hewlett-Packard and fashion designer Vivienne Tam have conspired to create what may be the chicest ever laptop for tech-savvy fashionistas. A demo of the portable computer that looks like a clutch debuted at this year’s New York Fashion Week on the Tam catwalk. If you didn’t know, you’d think it was a purse, not a high-tech gadget. The “China Chic” outside is scarlet and blooming with pink peonies, and the PC notebook’s insides are red. At 2.4 lbs., it’s totally totable, and it comes with an almost full-sized keypad, 60 gigabytes, and a mini-webcam. The best part? It’s a steal at $700. As of this week, it’s available for pre-order. Next month, the HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition will be available in silver, pink, or black. That way, you can match your laptop to your shoes. Keep reading »
Hold onto your mouse pads, I have a revelation for you (drum roll please): online friends are not the same as their “real world” equivalents.
I know, duh. You rarely, if ever, actually see the people you meet online. They don’t go with you to the grocery store or to check out the cute guy at Starbucks and are unlikely to ever ask to borrow your Marc Jacobs handbag (meaning you never have to humiliate them by saying no). If you’re going through a bad time, they might be there with some emailed sympathy and advice but call them in tears at 4 AM and you’re crossing over into stalker territory.
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You know those QR codes that Ralph Lauren Rugby is using so you can use your phone to buy clothes instantly? Well, a couple designers have a new idea about how to use them. Marguerite Charmante and Wolfgeng Peter Schmiller put QR codes on a dress, and, hypothetically, a guy could see a girl waiting for a drink at the bar and scan the code on her dress using his phone. Instantly, he could be directed to her Facebook page (or blog, or whatever website she wanted), and he could assess whether or not he wanted to go after her. Just another way technology could help us become creepy stalkers! [Make] Keep reading »
The Frisky just started tooling around on Twitter and a few of our staff have iPhones, which we kind of know how to use. But maybe we could learn a thing or two about putting these handy-dandy technologies to use in business by talking to one of our local streetwalkers. Apparently, the internet has become a useful tool for sex workers to spread their gospel, and, in the wake of the Eliot Spitzer scandal, also do a little public relations spinning. “Sex workers are sentient beings and we are very capable of speaking for ourselves,” Audacia Ray, sex worker advocate and author of Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads and Cashing In on Internet Sexploration, told Wired magazine. “We are organizing politically and we do have opinions about the ways that sex work could be responded to differently by government and media.” When the Spitzer prostitution ring story broke, sex workers who are actively involved in the community wanted to have their voice hear on the issue, and used devices like the iPhone and programs like Twitter, Google Docs, and RSS feeds to be on top of hearing and responding to the breaking news. When did hookers become so…nerdy? [Wired] Keep reading »