If you couldn't tell by the hockey picture and the well-placed Sandlot quotation in the title, today's episode of The 404 Podcast celebrates Jeff's 28th birthday! Wilson and I are fully prepared to light up a string of firecrackers for Bakalar, but our third host is less than enthused about his age, so leave a comment and wish him a very happy birthday, will you?
Most of the stories we talk about on The 404 highlight the absurdity of the Internet, but today is different. We're taking a different approach, starting with a feel-good story about a Mom-made iPhone Pillow.
Lynda Harrison began the project when her son, Drew Olanoff of #blamedrewscancer, began chemotherapy for Hodgkin's Disease. Drew says his iPhone kept him alive and connected during treatment, but we'll take a handmade version of the real thing any day, especially since the fluffy model has a LOLCATS button and a side pocket that fits an iPhone. Don't forget to hug your moms, everyone.
OK, let's get back to our regularly scheduled programming. A new service called GameCrush offers romantically inept gamers a chance to pay for a play date with an "attractive" girl over a Webcam via Xbox Live and games like MW2, GOW2, GTAIV, and Halo 3.
Sony fans, Nintendo addicts, and desperate nongamers alike can still indulge their inner creep with a second option that lets you set up play dates with simple Flash games like checkers and chess. This NSFW gallery on Kotaku shows a few of the options you can choose for your opponent and gives new meaning to "first-person shooter." Also, I'm pretty sure No. 7 is a straight-up dude.
Twitterers will love the next stories because they show exactly how stupid or useful the service can be, depending on the application. SleepingTime.org adds another dimension to Internet stalking--it lets you track the sleep patterns of any Twitter user based on the time when he or she is least active on Twitter. Watch the segment in the video version of the podcast below to see exactly how well this doesn't work.
On the other hand, Huffington Post founder Jonah Peretti found a way to use Twitter creatively by resurrecting one of our favorite books of yore, Choose Your Own Adventure! Jonah's truncated version of the game takes the words off the page and packages the scenarios into 140 characters that you can play online. If you're too impatient to run through all two of the possibilities, just head over to Jonah's Twitter homepage and see the results for yourself.
Thanks for listening, everyone, and keep sending your e-mails to the404(at)cnet[dot]com; we're going to start reading selected messages on the air in addition to playing voice mails. See? We really DO care! Now where's our 404 pillow?
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