Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Bloomsday hack

In the technosphere recently there's been some talk about the new breed of virii that can infect cellphones, but I hadn't heard of any being caught out in the wild yet, just proof of concept stuff. Well, that all changed today, when some erudite hackers released the Bloomsday virus to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday and to "show illiterate technophiles the power of the written word".

The virus replaces the phone's address book and stored files with the entire text of Ulysses. As rough as that may be for individual users whose phones get trashed, I have to admit that I think this particular hack is a work of creative genius.

"I was really freaked out when I turned on my phone and found this convoluted narrative mess crawling across my screen," said Jack Clemson, a University of Washington student who owns one of the first known infected phones. "'Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed'... I was pretty sure that wasn't my girlfriend texting me about lunch."

I get the impression this Clemson guy might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Or how about this:

"Ulysses may be the zenith of modernist writing in the novel form, but it's barely recognizable as a novel or as any other kind of writing," said Francis Harrod, of the anti-virus software developer F-Secure. "Of course the same can be said of text messaging; but nonetheless I sincerely doubt America's youth is equal to the task of sudden, unanticipated confrontation with this book. It could be extremely damaging to their minds."

I say bring it on... it's not like most of their minds are being used for anything useful anyway.



Blogger krishna said...

Very innovative! A fine example of man’s destructive mind (albeit for a noble cause) or grand sense of humour! I cannot seem to make up my mind. Cell phones have become too omnipresent and omnipotent for comfort. Some people cannot seem to put them down even for a moment. Being connected and all is fine but to consider a gadget as an extension of one’s physical self is courting disaster. My compliments to the Bloomsday hackers and May the ‘Virus” thrive and flourish!

Blogger Foobario said...

I can just see it if they bust the people who did this... I'll have to get t-shirts and bumper-stickers made that say 'Free the Bloomsday Five' or something :)
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