Archive for the ‘Gadgets’ Category

Grim Reaper’s Age Guesser

December 9, 2005

Grim Reaper’s Age Guesser is the most popular game on Dan Zen primarily because Dan Zen has had the number one entry for Grim Reaper in Google.

You answer 13 questions and the Grim Reaper will guess your age. To see how the answer was determined, you submit your real age and it will show you.

Each question has a calculation that determines an age. If the question gets within five years of the actual age then its factor goes up by one else it goes down by one. In the end, the total guess is made by adding up all the answers multiplied by the factors and dividing by the total number of factors.

For a while, after being listed in Yahooligans for kids, the only question that worked well for ages under 13 was “when did you last climb a tree?” This question ended up with a factor of thousands. Things have balanced out a little since then.

Over 10,000 people have had their age guessed and the Grim Reaper guessed 5% correctly, 35% within three years and over half within 5 years.

Web Ouija

December 9, 2005

Web Ouija makes use of an interesting property in Shockwave – the Macromedia Director plugin. That is, the mouse can be tracked even when not over the application. So it can be tracked around the rest of the Browser window and even on the desktop. For instance, you can hover over your garbage can and Web Ouija will always give you the same message.

People can make their own lists of links and put Web Ouija on their page somewhere and their visitors will be able to roll over the links and have the Web Ouija profess its wisdom.

The wisdom is of course provided for by the Webmaster but the answer is provided by the mysterious forces of randomness.

Teleporters – Travel the Web in Style

December 9, 2005

Teleporters were invented before JavaScript (although now use JavaScript). Using early Shockwave, they quite probably were the first example of roll-through technology on the Web.

Roll-through technology is when as you rollover something, it takes you through to another page. Like a “click-through” but a “roll-through”.

This is inherently patentable technology as the prior art points away from it being successful. Nobody in their right mind would expect this interface fiasco to be useful.

But, done with the right message, it is quite a plausible means of advertising. Picture an ad for a vacuum cleaner or a magnetic personality or a black hole, etc. Match the message to the technology and you have relevance.

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