the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur
plonq

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Rando no more

Sometimes it feels like I possess the kiss of death™. Off the top of my head, I can think of a liqueur, scotch and beer that were all either discontinued, or dropped from the import list shortly after I discovered them. I bought a Ford Probe and they abandoned the line. We purchased an EOS, and they dropped that design in favour of patterning it after the Jetta.

The latest product I seem to have jinxed is Rando. This was a program whose creators billed it as "antisocial" media. The way it worked was simple and elegant; you took a picture with your phone and sent if off into the aether. There was no editing or processing after the fact. After (what the creators described as) a satisfying pause, you would receive a picture from a random user. All you would know about the user was their rough location (Liverpool, UK or the the like). Finally you would be notified that your picture had been delivered to a random person in an equally vaguely-described location.

It was all wonderfully random. Because of the nature of the app, the users did not bother posing and making duck faces, or taking shots of their babies and dogs. Some of the shots were clever and posed, others were just furtive pictures of the corner of their apartment, or a chair they were walking past, or the person beside them in line at a buffet. There was a certain ordinariness and slice-of-life feel to the pictures, and they delivered no discernible narrative other than the simple message that others in the world lived lives as mundane as yours.

Its ultimate demise came at the hands of a Russian hacker punk, who wrote a script that effectively brought the service to its knees. They banned his account, so he shared the script with his pinhead buddies who ultimately forced the creators to pull the pin on the project because the hackers had toxified it beyond repair. The weird twist is that from what I read, the hacker actually liked the service, and was sad that it died. His reason for writing and distributing his destructive script? "For the LULZ."

His ilk are the reason why we can't have nice things.

My brother moved in with us for a couple of weeks in January while he transitioned out of his job here before moving to Edmonton to join his wife. On the one hand, there is much truth to that adage of how "three is a crowd", but on the other hand it was really nice having an extra person around for a while. We got to test out some of our cuisine on him, and it was fun having somebody around who didn't mind braving frigid weather to spontaneously take a needlessly long walk into town, checking out the interesting ethnic shops along the way.

One of the things we bought on that trip was some pickled ginger, preserved eggs and salted peanuts. This was an appetizer that were served at a (long defunct) Chinese restaurant out in Vancouver, and we had both enjoyed it at the time. The original actually used Spanish peanuts, but we had difficulty tracking those down.
Duck Egg
Tags: rando
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