Or, My Computer Was Possessed!
Last night I was following some blogs, and I found a link to a kind of rubbish photo sharing site. I won’t mention the name here, for reasons that shall become clear. It’s been around for a few years and has gone through some major rounds of publicity and then failed. It’s now into it’s third beta in a row. In short, going nowhere real fast.
Anyway, I was curious about their site, so I went to read their news page. When I’m using a computer I tend to leave what I was last doing open on screen. On coming back I can then pick up where I left off. There’s always a browser open, usually with four or five tabs I want to read.
I open the photo sharing news page in a tab and then wander off. Our apartment is a loft-style space in a converted 1890’s warehouse. The entire apartment is basically open-plan with the upstairs bedrooms opening out near the six metre ceiling of the living room. My computer is in a study that opens into the living room, downstairs.
At 4am this morning the entire apartment was awakened by the these bizarre screams, crazy distortion and static. What the hell is going on? Is this something from the pub next door? Have our neighbours turned some movie on? Has one of our cats stood on the TV remote again?
I stuck my head out into the living room to try to work out where the noise was coming from. The weirdest thing was that I couldn’t understand the noise. I could hear voices that seemed to speaking English, and I could pick out words, but I could not understand what was actually being said.
Coming downstairs to investigate closer, the noise was coming from my computer. And it really was strange screams, distortion and static. Being closer made it no better. I started closing tabs in Firefox, as that was all that was open. Eventually I closed the photo sharing news page and it shut up.
I’ve never seen anything like it. The news page had a bunch of embedded videos from all over the web, and it was like Firefox and Flash had buffered the videos, and then after several hours of boredom started to explore what interesting sounds could be made by sampling and looping the soundtracks.
And with apologies to Yasmin, who was visiting us this weekend and was very rudely awakened.