Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mystery actress in Sean Paul music video identified as Karmen Nardin

In February, I wrote about a fetching young woman in the music video for Sean Paul’s “She Doesn’t Mind” (2011). She’s the woman with dark red lipstick and long wavy brown hair who plays the smuggler.
I did a number of Internet searches to find out who she is, but came up empty. That was surprising to me because she’s so prominent in the video that it could be a star-making role.
In late August, a reader identified the actress as Brazilian fashion model Karmen Nardin. Photos of Nardin bear a similarity to the woman in the Sean Paul video. But I’d like to know for sure.
There’s very little information online about Nardin. That’s surprising for a model these days. A biography on Fashion Model Directory says Nardin did work for United Colors of Benetton.
If anyone has any more information about Nardin or can confirm that she’s the one in the “She Doesn’t Mind” video, let me know.

Photos: Undated photos of Karmen Nardin from FMD, Fashion Verified Magazine and the Fashion Spot



Saturday, September 13, 2014

More Yahoo error messages: A portfolio of fail

Last week, I wrote about how buggy Yahoo’s core desktop services have become. I presented a collection of screenshots showing error messages I had received recently on Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo News.
Today, I’ll add to the gallery of goofs with new screenshots showing fresh Yahoo error messages.
Seriously Yahoo, you need to fix these core services.


First off, the Yahoo Mail errors are continuing. A frequent one is Yahoo Mail unable to load messages.


Sometimes Yahoo Mail can’t open individual emails or attachments.


Even Yahoo Finance can’t load my stock portfolios at times.



Lately I’ve been ticked off that the Yahoo Sports widget on My Yahoo page can’t display all the teams I want to follow.
For example, one of my teams, the Washington Nationals, was playing a game the other day, but it didn’t show up on My Yahoo page.
Today it didn’t list the Nationals game or the University of Illinois football score.
What gives, Yahoo?

Photo: Yahoo ad next to the 404 feet mark in AT&T Park in San Francisco. Taken in April 2007 and posted to Flickr by JKenning.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Long-time Yahoo user sick of website’s buggy services

Dear Marissa Mayer:

I know you have your hands full as CEO trying to revitalize the storied Internet company that is Yahoo. You’re taking Yahoo in exciting new directions with mobile apps and online media.
But you really need to pay attention to Yahoo’s core services like Yahoo Mail and news sites like Yahoo Finance. These are important services that I use every day throughout the day and they’re getting unbearably buggy.
Yahoo Mail is terrible now. I’ve been a user of the service since it launched in 1997. In fact, I even used Rocketmail, the predecessor email service that Yahoo purchased to jumpstart Yahoo Mail.
Lately retrieving my Yahoo email using my desktop PC has been a frustrating process. Often the page locks up when I try to load an email and all I see is a blank email window and the spinning progress wheel of death.
The page is so slow and unresponsive it makes me feel like I’m using an old dial-up connection instead of broadband.
I’m not alone in my frustration. Whenever I post a tweet on Twitter or write about Yahoo’s problems on my blog, Tech-media-tainment, I get me-too comments from readers.
What follows is a gallery of goofs and error pages I have encountered on Yahoo’s services.

The spinning progress wheel of death on Yahoo Mail.
 
Sometimes Yahoo Mail times out with the message “There appears to be a problem loading the message list.” Ya think?!

Or “There appears to be a problem loading the email.” No duh.

Other times you might get Temporary Error message No. 14.

OK, this next one is minor, but it still shouldn’t happen. These Yahoo reminders about upcoming birthdays couldn’t produce an apostrophe in the subject line. Instead of an apostrophe it used symbols. That’s like a cartoon swear word replacement. And for the record, the same mistake also showed up in Yahoo Mail on my iPhone.

Just as infuriating are Yahoo News pages that won’t load. I’ve gotten the message, “We are experiencing some temporary issues, please bear with us as we restore your personalized Homepage.”

More common is the error page that says, “Yahoo! Will be right back … Thank you for your patience. Our engineers are working quickly to resolve the issue.” (Close-up image at top.)

And finally, check out this error image from Yahoo Finance. Yahoo can’t even get its display ads right.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Notable robots from science-fiction movies and TV shows

Of the 30 robots so far inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame, 14 are fictional robots from science-fiction movies and TV shows.
They include R2-D2 and C-3PO from “Star Wars”; HAL 9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey”; Astro Boy from the Japanese series; Robbie the Robot from “Forbidden Planet”; David from “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”; Gort from “The Day the Earth Stood Still”; Maria from “Metropolis”; Lt. Comdr. Data from “Star Trek”; Dewey, Huey and Louie from “Silent Running”; Terminator T-800 from “The Terminator”; Wall-E from the Disney Pixar movie of the same name.
But there are many more notable robots who deserve to be inducted. I agree with IT World writer Christopher Nerney who argued that Robot B-9 from the “Lost in Space” TV series needs to be included pronto.
Here are some lists of famous fictional robots:

21 Hotshot Movie Robots (Entertainment Weekly; Feb. 13, 2014)

Guillermo del Toro: My 10 Favorite Robots (Entertainment Weekly; July 29, 2013)

Top 10 Favorite Film Robots (Geek Tyrant; June 2014)

Photo: “Synthespians. Robots. Cyborgs. Holograms. Computers” by artist Scott Park. You can buy a print of this artwork at Society6.com.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Robot Hall of Fame hits another rough patch

Every two years, the Robot Hall of Fame chooses a new class of inductees. And as with recent induction years, the virtual hall of fame is having trouble getting its act together.
I recently corresponded via email with Shirley Saldamarco, a faculty member with the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center, who is involved with the Robot Hall of Fame.
“To paraphrase our past president, here we go again,” she said on Aug. 22. “Although the RHoF is still around, we are struggling.”
This year’s class of inductees is in a “holding pattern” because of finances and a leadership change at the CMU School of Computer Science, which created and oversees the Robot Hall of Fame, she said.
“I feel cautiously optimistic that we will continue,” Saldamarco said.
It’s a shame that the Robot Hall of Fame doesn’t get more corporate sponsorship. It’s a great way to honor robots from science and industry that have helped mankind and fictional robots that have inspired future engineers and scientists.

Photos: 
iRobot’s PackBot military robot, inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame in 2012 (top); 
Robby the Robot from the 1956 sci-fi movie “Forbidden Planet” and as seen at the Roboworld exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, inducted in 2004. 

Resources: 

Robot Hall of Fame page on Wikipedia.

Robot Hall of Fame page at Carnegie Mellon University.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Women who deserve to be in the Bikinis Hall of Fame

The other day I expressed my disappointment that the Bikinis Hall of Fame is really more about celebrating large breasted celebrities than honoring the pop culture significance of the bikini bathing suit.
Last year, the Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill chain made actress-dancer Carmen Electra the first inductee into its Bikinis Hall of Fame. The decision likely was more about the availability of a female celebrity to mark the seventh anniversary of the Texas-based restaurant chain than honoring someone famous for wearing a bikini.
Electra was a star of the beach drama “Baywatch,” but I can think of a lot more women who would be more bikini-hall-of-fame worthy.
Film stars like Brigitte Bardot, Ursula Andress and Raquel Welch helped popularize the bikini in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Then there are all the supermodels who have graced the cover of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue over the years, including Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley and Elle Macpherson.
Wikipedia has a section on the “Bikini in popular culture.”
A bikini hall of fame could easily have scores of well-known inductees. A proper shrine would have the original bathing suits or at least reproductions.
What follows are lists of famous bikini wearers from movies and TV shows.

20 Classic Movie/TV Bikinis (Entertainment Weekly: May 24, 2014)

Top Ten Bikini Movies of All Time (Bikinis Blog; July 31, 2014)

The Most Memorable Swimsuits Ever (InStyle)

Top 10 Bikinis in Pop Culture (Time; July 5, 2011)

Relive the Impossible Hotness of 17 Top Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Models (People; Feb. 3, 2014)

List of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover models (Wikipedia)

Photos: Jessica Alba on the cover of the May 30-June 6, 2014, issue of Entertainment Weekly; and Cheryl Tiegs on the cover of the 1975 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bikinis Hall of Fame still a one-off

In July 2013, the Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill chain announced actress Carmen Electra as the first inductee into its Bikinis Hall of Fame.
Doug Guller, founder and CEO of Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill, created the Bikinis Hall of Fame to mark the seventh anniversary of his restaurant chain. Bikinis is known for its scantily clad waitresses, who wear bikini tops, denim shorts and cowboy boots. Guller even holds the trademark for the term Breastaurant.
To celebrate the chain’s anniversary, Electra had a cast of her bikini-covered chest made for the Bikinis Hall of Fame. A plaque on the cast reads “Bikinis Bust of Fame.” (See coverage by the Daily Mail and the Superficial.)
Last week, I emailed Guller to get a status report on the Bikinis Hall of Fame. I asked him whether last year’s induction of Electra was a one-off.
“There will be many more inductees!” Guller replied. “We were trying to get Dolly Parton this year but the timing didn’t work out.”
It’s pretty clear that the Bikinis Hall of Fame is more about honoring famous breasts than bikini wearers. That’s unfortunate.
A museum honoring famous bikini models and actresses is a lot more interesting than an exhibit devoted to ladies with big boobs. Bikinis evoke images of summer, vacation, fitness and sexuality. Without that context, boobs are boobs.

Photos: Carmen Electra is inducted into the Bikinis Hall of Fame; country music singer Dolly Parton graces the cover of Playboy magazine in October 1978.

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