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A Peer-Enforced Marketplace for New Ideas
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The Outbox Reconstruction Database
Date: 2006-06-16
Category: Service
Price: Free
Target Audience: Socially-experimental web database hackers
Description: Want to read every email ever sent by a certain person (or, at least, from a certain email account)? Visit the Outbox Reconstruction Database! The ORD is a collaborative project to reconstruct people's email outboxes. Contributing to the project is easy-- just forward any emails you've received to the project's "submissions" email address, and they'll be automatically indexed by From: address, Date: timestamp, and all other header info, and stored in a publicly-searchable database. A boon to journalists, researchers, and even blackmailers and revenge-seekers, the ORD lets people collaboratively archive each others' entire lives of online correspondence. Easy-run utilities let contributors upload the entire saved contents of their email accounts to the ORD, and optionally forward all future correspondence to the project database as well. Note that the database cannot identify counterfeit submissions from spoofed addresses, and verifying content is ultimately the responsibility of the user, but its search interface lets you process messages' complete header information, to help flag or ignore contributions from questionable sources. Funding for the ORD, which requires minimal human maintenance, comes from online advertisements and contributions from pro-surveillance interests.

The Montblanc 100 (in collaboration with Nokia)
Date: 2005-12-18
Category: Durable / Electronic
Price: 50
Target Audience: Montblanc, S. T. Dupont, and other fancy pen manufacturers, along with any/all cellphone manufacturers.
Description: From the royal seals of antiquity to signet rings and fountain pens, portable communication tools have followed a design tradition of timeless elegance. Today's mobile phones are no less instruments of personal power than pens and watches have been for generations, but handset design has been sadly ignorant of this history, stuck instead in the garish worlds of disposable teen fashion and technology-worship. For 2006, Montblanc, makers of fine writing instruments, commemorates their 100th anniversary with the Montblanc 100 handset. Manufactured in collaboration with Nokia (whose gracious 8800 series has served as a happy exception to common design practices), the Montblanc 100 is the first mobile handset to explicitly honor the distinguished heritage of the fountain pen, with its black resin case and fine gold trim. Engraved with the proud Montblanc name, this elegant communication instrument even includes an integrated fountain pen (or optional ballpoint), handcrafted by Montblanc, which slides comfortably into the side opposite the antenna. Is that classy, or what?

Minitrue Fact-Checking Services
Date: 2005-12-15
Category: Service
Price: 50
Target Audience: Newspapers, magazines, and funded blogs; any research desk at a major publication who work well together, and want to go up the food chain
Description: What's the difference between a blog and a newspaper, a Wikipedia and a Britannica? It's the fact-checking, stupid! Minitrue Fact Services is a team of experienced fact-checkers from top national publications who've gone independent, and now offer their professional services to anyone. For newspapers and magazines looking for ways to cut back, Minitrue lets you lay off your research desks and start outsourcing. We all live in the same reality-- so why should everyone have to hire and manage their own redundant research desks? For bloggers, Minitrue gives you the authority and credibility of the big boys if you can pay the price (and spend the time on corrections). All approved content gets to display the Minitrue Seal-of-Truth logo, which links to the verified clients list on the Minitrue website. Look for it! And for all you old journalists who started out as fact-checkers and have been trying to work your way "up" to editorial writers: Don't bother. Opinions are cheap, now more than ever. These days, the real action is in verification.

Club Meds Healthcare
Date: 2005-09-15
Category: Business / Insurance
Price: 200
Target Audience: Insurance companies and entrepreneurs
Description: Sick of overpriced and lousy health coverage? In beautiful cities around the world, top-flight physicians-- trained in the US and speaking fluent English -- dispense world-class medicine for a fraction of the cost of the bloated and broken US health care industry. In fact, radiologists in India may already read your X-rays, and call centers in the Philippines may process your insurance claims. Club Meds functions like a normal health insurance company when it comes to day-to-day medical care such as vaccinations, sore throats, and broken bones. But when you need Major Scheduled Procedures, they fly you and a companion to one of their hand-picked hospitals and clinics in places like Mexico City, Paris, Bangkok, Prague, Budapest, India, and Canada, and then put your companion up in a clean, friendly local hotel until you are discharged. With all of this, it still costs you and the company far less than if you had the procedure performed in the US. Lower premiums, higher quality medical care, and free travel-- abandon the sinking ship of US healthcare, and come on over to Club Meds today!

Green Eagle (World Wrestling Superstar)
Date: 2005-07-22
Category: Culture / Performing Arts
Price: Free
Target Audience: Pro wrestling promoters and aspiring young wrestlers who are looking for an appealing identity to assume.
Description: By bridging worlds and representing a rapidly-growing consumer consciousness, wrestling sensation Green Eagle has become one of entertainment's most interesting (and profitable) celebrities. In the highly-encoded world of WWE wrestling personalities, numerous characteristics set the part-Native American muscleman apart from his peers. His tie-dyed headband, silver and turquoise cross pendant, bald eagle icon, and forceful personality blend together in a convincing mix of patriotism, Christian faith, environmentalism, health consciousness, and a dash of hippie idealism. While other wrestlers consume the same brand-name packaged products in between rounds, no matter where the WWE tour takes them, Green Eagle snacks conspicuously on organic produce that's grown locally, appreciating the region's farmers. Where other wrestlers drink commercial sports drinks, Green Eagle quenches his thirst with local tap water, which he drinks from a re-usable Nalgene bottle that's covered with stickers from a carefully-chosen set of environmental organizations, including the Nature Conservancy and the Evangelical Environmental Network. And unlike other wrestlers' tour buses, the Green Eagle Express runs on 100% biodiesel.

In his pre-match interviews, Green Eagle usually takes the high ground-- a strong, silent type who's more likely to quote the book of Genesis, or a traditional prayer from the local indigenous population, than to talk trash. But when he's pitted against wrestlers such as Johnny Nitro or Joey Mercury, whom he sees as representing shameless excess, Green Eagle shows a ferocious, righteous streak, laying into his opponents for their disrespect of Creation and mocking their weakness from filling their bodies with chemical preservatives and poisons.

Green Eagle's distinctive persona has drawn a diverse range of fans, including the countless wrestling enthusiasts who are starting to trade fast food for the increasingly-popular organic produce offerings at Wal-Mart. Other fans include farmers and artisanal food producers nationwide, and intellectual hipster types who never followed pro wrestling at all until they started reading about Green Eagle in the leftie press. These new fans have measurably boosted WWE event attendance in many coastal cities-- a whole new audience for the sport. They typically come to the shows in safe "field trip" groups, and cheer their hero and the message that he's bringing to newly-receptive ears across America with the enthusiasm of a Semiotics professor at a Madonna concert. You can usually identify these new pro wrestling fans by sight, and by the way they pepper their conversation with numerous Obligatory Distancing Comments that ensure their like-minded companions that they have little in common with the other closed-minded members of the audience.

The Slingtrack
Date: 2005-05-29
Category: Durable / Outdoor
Price: 50
Target Audience: Hunting equipment manufacturers.
Description: Jai-alai players use a wicker cesta to hurl rubber pelota balls at speeds of over 160 mph, making them the fastest thrown objects in the world. The cesta works by increasing the length of the throwing arm and the amount of time it has contact with the ball, which lets the thrower convert more muscle energy into forward projectile velocity. The Slingtrack follows the same principle, but it's designed to propel metal bearings, not rubber balls, and it's designed for throwing only, not catching. The size, shape, and balance of the light, ultra-smooth track derive from all appropriate heavy-math equations, optimizing projectile speed through physics, human-factors engineering, and modern fabrication techniques, rather than traditional basket-weaving. With no moving parts and no explosives, this durable, proto-World War IV weapon hurls spherical steel or brass projectiles, more massive than bullets, at bone-shattering velocities. And, while it takes quite a bit of practice to achieve high accuracy, no training is required for using the Slingtrack to fling a ball-bearing with lethal force in some generally-intended direction.

The Anarchistol
Date: 2005-04-08
Category: Business / Marketing
Price: 50
Target Audience: Benjamin Sheridan, other paintball marker manufacturers
Description: The Sheridan PGP is a pistol-style paintball marker that's powered by common CO2 cartridges. A reliable favorite among paintballers out on the playing field, the PGP is also great at defacing billboards and staining windows and fur coats in town. But this versatile marker has been marketed exclusively towards paintball-loving patriots, ignoring the many anarchist malcontents who would also love to own one. Enter the Anarchistol-- it's got the same portable, reliable workings as the Sheridan PGP, but a different look: The circle-A Anarchy symbol on the grip and the bony-looking case are designed to appeal to young "anti" consumers. And instead of being distributed through paintball and sporting-goods channels, the Anarchistol is sold through comics stores, dirtbag hipster boutiques, anarchist websites, and other alternative channels-- along with large boxes of red and black paintballs, ready to paint the revolution!

Telepresent Wastesorting Facility
Date: 2005-04-06
Category: Technology
Price: Free
Target Audience: Waste Management, Inc., telepresence/telesurgery companies
Description: Waste management companies spend millions of dollars shipping first-world garbage to third-world labor markets for hand-sorting-- then sometimes ship the recyclables back home for processing. What a waste! The Telepresent Wastesorting Facility eliminates shipping and reduces labor costs by allowing trashpickers to work remotely, from anywhere in the world. A satellite cross-link connects workers, who wear virtual-reality goggles and force-feedback data gloves, with their telepresent robotic proxies sorting garbage far away. And because the labor providers work virtually, you can pack them into a tight grid pattern, saving space. What's more, you can deploy the labor facility inland, where wages are even lower, rather than having to locate near a port. Best of all, if economic conditions change, or if the local workforce starts causing trouble, the Telepresent Wastesorting Facility's modular physical infrastructure can be easily dismantled, palletized, transported, and redeployed elsewhere, onto any flat concrete foundation, where the job opportunities you're providing will be more appreciated.

Secret Seed
Date: 2005-03-06
Category: Technology / Biomedical
Price: Free
Target Audience: Sperm bank, IVF, and cryogenics companies.
Description: Has a generation of Political Correctness eroded fundraising income for your college secret society? Thankfully, you have other endowments to draw upon. Secret Seed is a private consultancy dedicated to helping elite secret societies (Skull and Bones, Scroll and Key, etc.) realize their economic and genetic potential by establishing ancillary operations as exclusive sperm banks. You'll "do well by doing good" -- gaining a significant new source of revenue, for wild, lavish parties and other expenses, while benefiting future generations with greater expression of your society's superior genes.

Getting started is easy! Many aspects of secret society life and architecture migrate naturally to the sperm bank industry: The all-important screening process, the secret entranceways and private chambers, the special sense of masculine comraderie and destiny. Members-only occult rituals may be sexualized with impunity, to exploit their donation value. Meanwhile, Secret Seed will take care of all the technical details, from constructing a small, state-of-the-art cryogenics lab in your headquarters building or "tomb," to administering the business and scientific sides of the operation. College-age men are in the biological prime of their life as potential sperm donors, so don't waste this opportunity-- it's a moral imperative upon which the fate of humanity may rest! And who knows what the brave new future of genetic/eugenic commerce will bring? Perhaps our species will be guided by powerful, multinational gene banks, and the fact that they started out as college secret societies will simply be a bit of interesting historical trivia.

Smartwarm Towel Rack
Date: 2005-03-06
Category: Durable / Electronic
Price: 100
Target Audience: Heated towel rack manufacturers
Description: Heated towel racks are a good idea / bad implementation. Timer-based ones sometimes shut off before the towels are dry, and the always-on ones simply waste electricity. The Smartwarm rack knows better. Equipped with an internal scale, timer, and microprocessor, the device periodically measures the weight of the load it's carrying. If there's a sudden big change, it means that there's new towels on board, and the heat immediately switches on. The heat will then stay on for as long as the load slowly inches down, as the towels dry out and lose their water weight. But once the weight levels off, the towels are dry-- so the heating element shuts off. Dry towels every time, with no energy wasted!

Word for Creatives
Date: 2005-02-08
Category: Technology / Software
Price: 100
Target Audience: Software companies, Roger von Oech (or other famous-name creativity gurus)
Description: You're on deadline and you have to produce some ideas, but honestly, how creative can you be with dull, grey Microsoft Word staring you in the face? Word for Creatives extends the familiar Word interface to include the tools you need to get your juices flowing-- not just Thesaurus, but an entire Creativity Toolbar loaded with brainstorming tips, triggers, exercises, and other "Whacks on the Side of the Head" from bestselling corporate creativity guru Roger von Oech. It's guaranteed to keep you on your toes! Naturally, you can also "skin" the application window with dazzling custom patterns, for further inspiration. Using Word for Creatives feels very different from using plain-vanilla Word, and it promises to make you think differently as well!

Affirmation Mixes Vol. 1
Date: 2005-02-08
Category: Culture / Music
Price: Free
Target Audience: Dance / electronica musicians and labels, personal-growth publishers
Description: Daily affirmation audiotapes and CDs can be effective tools for personal growth, but frankly, their dorky-sounding voices and cheesy background music limit their appeal. Affirmation Mixes Vol. 1 offers the same nourishing words, but they're recited by people with sexy British accents against an energizing and musically-appealing dance beat. For example, the beautiful statement "I am powerful and loving" weaves in and out of an irresistible, 140+ bpm techno mix. The tracks are available on CD, cassette, and vinyl, making them equally suitable for playing in the car on the way to work, or mixing into a turntable set at a superclub. Affirmation Mixes Vol. 1 has sparked controversy among DJs, which has only increased their popularity. The alienated, irony-addict elitists in the scene pooh-pooh the recordings as profoundly uncool, but meanwhile, the music has been enthusiastically embraced by DJs who see dance culture as a celebration of connection, acceptance, and shared humanity-- perhaps even a form of group therapy. Which side are you on?

Klenz-Worx
Date: 2005-02-08
Category: Consumable / Personal Product
Price: 50
Target Audience: Personal products manufacturers
Description: If you're a needle drug user who's on the road, you may know how to clean your rig perfectly well, but still lack access to bleach, distilled water, and sanitary containers. What are you supposed to do, carry a supply of cups and bottles around everywhere? Klenz-Worx has a better way for you to treat yourself right. The one-use hypodermic sanitizing system, available at willing retailers nationwide, gives you the fresh bleach and water you need in a conveniently portable, foil-sealed plastic container-- and at just 99 cents, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg! The compact kit resembles one of those single-serving breakfast cereal packs, but with multiple mini compartments. Just poke your spike through the foil on each of the five clearly-numbered spots, then draw, shake, and squirt out in sequence, and you're ready to go. Compartment two contains the bleach, while the rest hold distilled water, so you get the recommended three good rinses after disinfection. Sweet! And, next time you're sending supplies to the Third World as part of a large-scale relief effort, throw in some Klenz-Worx kits for general medical use by the people down there. They'll certainly be appreciated!

Mint Culture Brands
Date: 2005-01-24
Category: Consumable / Confection
Price: 50
Target Audience: Altoids, or any hard-confectionary company that wants to compete against them
Description: Decades ago, the wide landscape of heavily-advertised cigarette brands offered smokers a way of identifying who they were, while socially-shared lighting etiquette acted as a springboard for casual interaction. As a social tool, this is a powerful combination, especially for singles. But today, many once-meaningful brands are in decline, along with the general smoking population.

Similarly, walking a purebred dog presents a statement of personal values and taste, while offering a pettable, first-contact excuse and a rich underlying culture that invites discussion. But realistically, you can't bring your dog everywhere you go.

The makers of Altoids have developed an enormous market for pocket mints, but frankly, opening an Altoids tin-- no matter what flavor-- says absolutely zilch about who you are. The world of mints, such as it is, lacks cultural complexity, and as a result, it also provides no hooks for initiating casual discourse-- even though the candies are great for sharing.

Mint Culture Brands realizes the social and cultural potential that the generic Altoids brand lacks. Over the course of five years, the company will roll out over thirty brands of pocket mints, each with its own unique, fully-conceived and beautifully-executed identity. Interesting taste formulations blended from diverse flavors and perfumes are personality-matched to tins (or other styles of containers) that boast innovative package design and detailed, statement-making artwork. Every pocket-sized pack is a conversation piece in its own right (and an industrial design boutique's dream assignment), whether it's targeted towards Benson & Hedges smokers, Labrador owners, or Porsche drivers. The packages should hold a lot of mints, but also be expensive enough that it's completely reasonable to want to sample a flavor before actually buying one. "Excuse me-- may I try one of those Absinthe Pastilles? You know, that's long been my favorite Toulouse-Lautrec painting, on the tin..."

SheepTool - Remote Group Decision Interface
Date: 2004-12-20
Category: Technology
Price: 200
Target Audience: Web portals, especially business-oriented.
Description: Coming to a decision as a group is like moving together as a flock of sheep, a sophisticated dance of body language; repeatedly-vocalized concerns; small, tentative steps; and an eventual, shared understanding about where the group has decided to go. The collective mind takes time to come to its decision as each sheep weighs its own preference, preference-strength, and standing against those of each other sheep in the group. Through the process, each individual sheep also monitors the dynamic of the discussion as it unfolds, and gauges its accuracy against evidence it sees from the outside world, drawing upon its personal model of the way the world works: "I swear, I saw a wolf in that direction and Betsy saw it too-- right, Betsy? Since wolves tend to come from one direction, I feel very strongly that we should move the other way."

This tried-and-true decision-making formula works brilliantly across many species, with or without language, allowing the group to think more carefully and deeply than any one individual would alone. Humans often do it in conference rooms, where everyone can see each other, physically place where they are relative to everyone else, and discern how people are reacting to one another. But what if the workgroup is all in different places? Videoconferencing may be a nice idea, but it removes the biologically-hardwired metaphor of shared space and group direction that underlies all successful consensus-building. Simply seeing faces onscreen is no help when you're missing the subtle, direction-based adjustments in people's posture, attention, and breathing that follow along with trajectory of the discourse, clueing everyone in to which direction people are leaning, whose arguments are holding sway, and who is losing ground.

SheepTool offers a better, more natural alternative to videoconferencing. At meeting time, everyone logs onto a shared virtual workspace and opens up a communal audio connection, the Bleatspace. At the same time, a round field is shown onscreen, and clustered in the middle are icons that represent each participant, consisting of nothing more than a circle with a name label, and two dots representing a pair of eyes. The matter currently under consideration is listed at the top, and different possible outcome decisions, defined in advance, are arrayed around the edges of the field, whether it's something as simple as Yes on the left and No on the right, or a longer list of possibilities-- industries, companies, individuals, budgets, calendar slots, proposals, etc. Initially, the simplified Sheepicons are arranged in org-chart order, with higher-ranking participants in the middle of the DecisionFlock cluster, and more junior members occupying the outskirts.

At the sound of the starting bell, participants begin the gradual process of bringing the DecisionFlock group to the edge of the virtual field, where the flock's position will correspond to one of the possible decision outcomes. In doing this, each participant has two tools at their disposal: their voices, carried and heard by everyone over the Bleatspace, and their pointing devices, which can nudge their associated Sheepicon bodies and eyes in any chosen direction. The Sheepicons are programmed to stick together, which automatically lessens the influence of any one participant's strong movements. Meanwhile, each Sheepicon's body movement exerts a force that nudges and draws neighboring Sheepicons along in their direction, with more power logically held by the icons located in the center of the flock.

Throughout the process, low-level random noise is generated in order to make the Sheepicon bodies wiggle slightly in all directions. The purpose of this is to loosen the connection somewhat between a users input and their icon's movement, thereby providing a certain level of anonymity and deniability regarding being swayed by the arguments and movements of others.

Primary Juice
Date: 2004-12-15
Category: Consumable / Beverage
Price: 50
Target Audience: Fruit juice companies
Description: Simple shapes and primary colors are good for young children because they constitute the building blocks of visual perception. Yet, tragically, some unthinking parents pack their kids' lunches with profit-maximizing fruit juice blends, robbing them of their ability to distinguish individual flavors beyond simply recognizing the muddy slurry coming up their straw as "juice." Primary Juice rejects this crippling of our childrens' developing tastes with a line of pure, elemental fruit juices such as apple, cranberry, tangerine, and quince. Sweetening and dilution, where required (as with cranberry) are given by refined fructose and branch water, neutral ingredients that don't detract from the original fruit. Dishonest, flavor-marring sweetening agents like grape juice concentrate, agave extract, and evaporated cane juice, need not apply! Older children can graduate to the Primary Juice Varietals line, which includes Pink Lady Apple, Cabernet Franc grape, and other wholesome juices pressed from single-variety fruit, each carefully selected to further refine your child's palate-- and by extension, his or her overall sophistication and future likelihood of success. Turn your Baby Einstein into a Toddler Brillat-Savarin!

Atmosphere Yoga
Date: 2004-12-10
Category: Business / Club
Price: Free
Target Audience: Yoga entrepreneurs (or entrepreneur, if Bikram Chaudhury is the only one)
Description: A crowded, smelly studio takes all the "class" out of yoga class. Atmosphere Yoga has a better way. Instead of forcing students to scramble for mat space on an empty, old-fashioned floor, its state-of-the-art Atmosphere Studio features individually climate-controlled yoga platforms, giving you the space you need to stretch, in an environment you can custom-tailor to optimize your spiritual growth. Each three- by eight-foot platform is isolated by its own patented Laminar-Flo air curtain, which runs ceiling-to-floor via a 360-degree ventilation system. A compact, push-button console that's inset into the suspended floor allows you to adjust the temperature and humidity of the air surrounding you, as well as fill it with your choice of mood-enhancing aromatherapy scents. Meanwhile an overhead speaker plays ocean sounds at an adjustable ambient level, to provide a soothing backdrop to your Atmosphere Yoga Certified Executive Instructor's expert guiding voice. In short, Atmosphere Yoga has re-invented the yoga studio to provide students with a more peaceful yoga practice experience-- and to offer them the opportunity to fart freely and anonymously during the pavanmuktasana or "wind-relieving" posture, under the plausible-deniability cover of seeking a more peaceful yoga practice experience.

Public Sector Innovation Institute
Date: 2004-12-07
Category: Service / Training and Consulting
Price: 1% of net
Target Audience: Government and nonprofit management
Description: Like private businesses, public-sector organizations must constantly raise revenues, budget, improve program activities, and introduce the public to new ideas. The business world answers these challenges with effective strategies for problem-solving, creative thinking, and knowledge management. The Public Sector Innovation Institute offers the same benefits to nonprofits and governments around the world, by adapting these proven techniques to their needs. Through training and consulting, the Institute helps organizations handle tough challenges and complex projects, such as implementing knowledge management strategies. The Institute also acts as a one-stop resource center, offering workshops and classes (live and by Web), and bringing together publications and individual and organizational expertise that focuses on narrower aspects of innovation.

Sportsposer
Date: 2004-12-01
Category: Business
Price: 100
Target Audience: Online and wireless sports news publishers
Description: You're meeting some new people on a business trip, and you need to gain their trust, but you don't give a tinker's damn about sports? Sportsposer's Daily Regional Briefings will supply you with the knowledge you need to make a great impression. Each weekday, Sportsposer publishes short, simple reports, geared towards non-sports fans, which provide an overview of the current sports situation in any of one hundred regions in the U.S. and Canada. You'll get timely information carefully selected for its plausibility in light sports banter, drawn from recent games, standings, and trades-- as well as background basics that aren't spelled out on the Sports page, such as who the local teams are, what sports they play, what characterizes them, where they are in the current season, and who are the major figures. And it all fits on one page, guaranteed! Frequent travelers can get unlimited access to the Sportsposer Daily Regional Briefings online for a yearly fee, or you can buy them individually. With Sportsposer, you can make the locals think that you actually care about sports, or their team, or their stupid little city, or them, or whatever.

Healthee Organically Sliced Bread
Date: 2004-11-30
Category: Consumable / Food
Price: Free
Target Audience: Industrial bakeries
Description: Marketed towards uneducated and immigrant consumers who might miss the distinction between adjective and adverb, this premium-priced bread is packaged to appear all-organic. In fact, however, artificial preservatives give the loaf a thirty-day shelf life, and its rough, whole-grain appearance comes from an inexpensive combination of wood cellulose (derived from sawdust), synthetic binding agents, and caramel coloring. The packaged bread is formulated for production at minimum cost, with a generous percentage of corn sweetener added in order to make it popular with children. While the product itself contains many artificial and inorganically-grown ingredients, the process by which it is sliced-- feeding it through a standard industrial bread-slicing machine-- uses none of these. This allows the bread to be labeled as "Organically Sliced."

Lifeship One
Date: 2004-11-03
Category: Technology / Biomedical
Price: Free
Target Audience: Private satellite/rocketry companies, in conjunction with fertility clinics
Description: In today's career-first world, people of all faiths are using fertility clinics to help them be fruitful and multiply, and countless loving couples have been blessed with beautiful children as a result. But what about the forgotten, "extra" embryos that in-vitro fertilization procedures inevitably create? According to a recent article in Politics and the Life Sciences, (paraphrased), some of these unborn innocents are murdered immediately, some are banished indefinitely to freezers, and some are sacrificed for clinical training and scientific research. Lifeship One offers a more heavenly alternative. The foundation systematically rescues "extra" embryos from IVF clinics, places them in a protective capsule, and then shoots them into space via rocketship. Freed from the unsure world of freezers and power grids, these microscopic refugees can travel in a perfectly frozen state forever. And then, if there is any love in the universe, some compassionate, nurturing force will intercept this spaceship of hope and its precious cargo, and raise each angelic soul to its full, God-given potential. Believe it will happen! Because the alternative would be impossible to bear.

RoveMail
Date: 2004-11-03
Category: Technology / Software
Price: 50
Target Audience: Email software companies and providers
Description: Insiders know the art of timing their emails and composing Cc: and Bcc: lists, but this simple set of choices is woefully incomplete. RoveMail solves the general problem by making email delivery scriptable and smart, with a detailed personal contacts database. Attach a "RoveScript" to any email message, and the mailer will selectively disclose any rumors or other insider information over time, "roving" about the complex terrain of knowledge, affiliation, and hierarchy.

For example, let's say you have a memo on the subject of "Chalabi" which you wish to reveal in the following way:

  1. Immediately email it to Dick and Karen, allowing them to see the message's RoveScript.
  2. Deliver it early tomorrow to all 100%-trustworthy senior staff at Halliburton and OSP, but not to Paul or anyone who has ties to the University of Chicago.
  3. Finally, deliver it in one week's time to journalists who write for top-tier publications and cannot think for themselves, and Bcc: everyone at the Trilateral Commission.
This easily translates into the following RoveScript excerpt:
(Send (Subject "Chalabi")
  (Date (NOW (To Dick Karen) :show-script YES)
    (02Apr2004 07:30EST (To (Recipients R where
      (AND (= :trust-level 1.0) (= :level "senior") (= :affiliation (OR "Halliburton" "OSP"))
        (NOT (OR Paul (includes :ties "U of C")))))))
    ((+ NOW 7d) (To (Recipients R where
      (AND (= :job "journalist") (= (status :affiliation) 1) (> :sheep-level 0.8)))
      (Bcc (Recipients R where (= :affiliation "Trilateral Commission"))))))

The recursive nature of the RoveScript language allows you to attach counterfeit headers and RoveScripts, when necessary. You may also include formulas, for example to send a message to recipients one-by-one, spaced apart at intervals and ordered based on quantifiable personal characteristics such as age or income.

Future releases of RoveMail will support voicemail and text messaging in addition to email. Later, a GUI will eliminate the need to write most scripts, and RoveScripts will be applicable to incoming messages as well as outgoing -- for example, "If I get a message from Paul over the next two hours, forward it immediately to my Blackberry; after that, route it to my Recent-Assassinations folder."

Tinkletown
Date: 2004-10-06
Category: Business / Tourism and Hospitality
Price: Free
Target Audience: Roadside developers.
Description: You're on a family road trip and everyone needs to relieve themselves? Instead of using the grimy, questionable facilities at some service station, treat the kids to the interactive "comfort entertainment" at Tinkletown. Strategically placed on popular vacation-travel corridors, each Tinkletown complex offers an elimination experience that's both hygienic and unique. From a special platform in your own sanitized private booth, you can urinate into a pinball-like shooting gallery of dancing, animatronic targets. Wild! Defecation triggers eye-popping, synchronized video projections of bombing runs, avalanches, and other earth-shaking events. Awesome! And even if you have no interest in Tinkletown yourself, a series of teaser billboards with fountains positioned along the interstate will ensure that your children, or at least the boys, will absolutely demand a visit. And while they're all going to the bathroom at five dollars a pop, you can fill up the tank at Tinkletown's highway-robbery gas pumps. Tinkletown-- you really have to go!

Mirror-Time
Date: 2004-10-06
Category: Durable / Electronic
Price: Free
Target Audience: Bathroom fixture and electronic display / LCD manufacturers
Description: You're ready to head out to the evening's event, but your spouse is stuck preening in front of the mirror again, making you late, as usual. Establish control with Mirror-Time, the mirror that shuts off when it's time for you to leave. You set the installable dressing-room mirror just like you set an alarm. Then, five minutes before the appointed moment, the inner LCD layer starts flashing opaque black, disabling the mirror intermittently as a warning sign. When the time's up, the mirror goes completely black, rendering it unusable-- and you can only restore its reflectivity by entering a secret code.

Al Qaeda Sneakers
Date: 2004-05-05
Category: Durable / Apparel
Price: Free
Target Audience: Athletic/casual shoe manufacturers
Description: What's the baddest brand in the world? It isn't Nike. Al Qaeda sneakers strike fear and young-rebel admiration wherever they tread, as they stomp into the cultural battleground of leisure footwear on the heels of such leftie, do-gooder labels as No Sweat and Adbusters' Blackspot. But absolutely none of the profits from the aggressively-styled basketball shoes actually goes to the Al Qaeda organization itself-- and anyone claiming to represent Al Qaeda who objects to the "trademark violation" and seeks damages will just have prove it through the court system. Gotcha! It's a trap that uses the terrorist organization's most valuable asset, its reputation, against itself-- while defusing, trivializing, and profiting off of it in the process. Actually, Al Qaeda brand sneakers are assembled in non-exploitative, unionized facilities, with 1% of gross income donated to UNICEF. But with status-symbol pricing, there's ample money left over for the manufacturer. Copycats and knock-offs? Bring 'em on! They'll just dilute, commercialize, and confuse the brand further.

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