Saturday, June 30, 2007

Google Outsources Search To India

Google has replaced its massive search engine with a call center in India, it was reported Friday. The call center is staffed by 1,000 employees who each have a laptop.

"Your search query is very important to us," explained one call center employee. "When you click on the 'Google Search' button, your query is processed in the order in which it was received."

As usual in cases of large-scale outsourcing, Google's motives are purely economic ones.

"It costs a lot of money to keep our network and all of those servers running," said a Google employee, or "Googler," familiar with the situation. "Not to mention our electric bills. Those are through the roof. This new outsourced solution is going to save us a lot of cash."

The Googler maintained that the high quality of search results that Google is known for will not be affected by the outsourcing.

"Our people in India are really good with a web browser. Just give 'em something to search for--they're going to find it. We'll have them doing most of the searches on AltaVista or Lycos. Those engines are usually pretty good for finding stuff. For the tougher searches, they'll use Yahoo! or Ask.com."

To help ease the transition for users of Google's search facility, the call center's Indian employees will assume American-sounding names such as Bobby, Phillip, Margaret, or Sally.

"Even though you won't actually be talking to them on the phone in most cases, we thought it would make users more comfortable if their search queries were being handled by people with familiar-sounding names," said the Googler. "In the event that your search does not match any documents, a toll-free phone number will be displayed that you can call which will go directly to the Google Search Technician, or GST, who performed the query on your behalf. You will then be able to discuss with your GST various options you have for modifying your query to obtain better results."

The "I'm Feeling Lucky" button will be serviced by a separate call center in Omaha, Nebraska.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Arnold Schwarzenegger Helps Lake Tahoe Fire Victims




















(Photo credit: AFP / Pool / Jeff Chiu)

Harry Potter Spoilers

Alright, alright. I heard you.

Everybody keeps saying to me "Nostradamus, how does Harry Potter end?" It's just one email after another asking how the last book ends. "Does Harry die?" "Does Voldemort Die?" "Is Snape good or evil?" "Nostradamus, tell me the spoilers! Tell me how it ends!"

Fine. Here you go. Spoilers ahead, so if you're a spoiler scaredy-cat, skip this post!

  • Yes, Harry dies. On page four. He spends the rest of the book trying to find the horcruxes as both a painting and a ghost. That's why it's called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Because to be in the Hallows, you have to be . . um . . . deathly.

  • Is Snape good or bad? Well, sort of both. Snape is actually a pair of identical twin sisters. One's good and one's bad. (See? Now doesn't it all make sense?)

  • Is Dumbledore still alive? Check out this actual scene from the book:

Suddenly, a streak of fire shot down from the sky, as thick as an elephant's trunk, and struck the ground just inches in front of Harry's frame. Ron was so scared he almost dropped Harry into the fire.

When the flames dissipated, there, standing before Harry and Ron was a man. He was young and spry, and his beard was brown instead of grey, but the twinkle in his eyes was unmistakable.

It was Dumbledore.

"Hello, Harry," he said.

"Dumbledore?" said Harry. "You're alive?"

"Of course I'm alive. Haven't you been paying attention? The phoenix in my office? Death and rebirth?"

Harry shrugged and shook his head.

"My goodness, one whole book was called Order of the Phoenix. You didn't catch on to any of that?"

Harry and Ron stared at him blankly.

"Never mind then, never mind. We must--Harry, why are you a painting? You didn't get yourself killed already, did you?"

"Um-"

Dumbledore sighed. "Why couldn't the prophecy have referred to Hermione?"



  • Speaking of which, you're probably wondering if Ron and Hermione get together at the end. They don't. I mean, how could she, when Ron is really a death-eater spy animagnus son of Peter Pettigrew who's been using Polyjuice Potion to make himself look like Ron since two books ago? That would be silly.

  • Who is RAB? Well it is most certainly not Regulus Black. The signature had partially faded--the R was part of a B and there was a missing E at the end. That's right!--RAB is really Babe, the talking pig. And the showdown at Hoggett's farm is amazing.

  • And, of course, the finale is a quidditch match between the Death Eaters and Dumbledore's Army. (What? You didn't think all that quidditch stuff in the first couple of books was going to turn out to be pointless, did you?) The last horcrux is, of course, the Golden Snitch. ("You can do it, Painting Harry!")


So there you have it! All the little details of the final Harry Potter book, all in one place.

Now leave me alone so I can go back to reading JK Rowling's next series, Little Wally Wilson And The Cacodaemon of Terror.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Rosie's Price Is Right Screen Test Goes Poorly

Rosie O'Donnell will not be taking over hosting duties for The Price Is Right, it was announced Monday after a disastrous test show during which the auditioning O'Donnell continuously fought with contestants.

"She just kept arguing with them about the prices of the items," said one production assistant.

The following excerpt from the transcript of the test show reveals O'Donnell's constant bickering with the players:

O'DONNELL: Okay, is the price of the canned tuna higher or lower than 59 cents?

CONTESTANT: Um, higher?

O'DONNELL: No it's not! It's lower! Why would you say it's higher?! Why would you say that?! Why?!

PRODUCER: Uh, Rosie, she's right. It's higher.

O'DONNELL: No it's not! You're both wrong! It's lower! Why would you say it's higher?! Tell me why! Why would you do that?!

Following Rosie's rough audition, producers of the popular game show now plan to speak to Paris Hilton after she gets out of jail on Tuesday about possibly having her take over as host. Preliminary plans include changing the show's name to The Price Is Hot.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hip Hop Harry Shot To Death


The hip-hop community is in mourning today, as beloved icon Hip Hop Harry was fatally shot while driving home from the market.

Known for his daily broadcasts from Hip Hop Central, Harry's dope rhymes and fly beats were laid down in the homes--and hearts--of children across America. But despite the child-friendly nature of his program, friends say his involvement in the music community must have led to his demise.

"He just got too caught up in the whole scene, you know?" said long time friend R & B Ronnie.

"He always did love to learn," said Ronnie emotionally. "I guess he had to learn the hard way in the end."

Actual details surrounding the death are sparse, as witnesses are being tight-lipped in response to requests from investigators.

"I think he'd have wanted us to cooperate with the authorities," said one witness. "He was polite like that. He'd have laid down a beat about it. Cooperation with the investigation. Something like that."

Memorial services will be announced.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Guys, We Can Spruce Up The Site With Smilies!

I was looking at some of the other websites and stuff I go to a lot and I realized what's lacking from this blog . . . we need more smilies!

I mean, does anything say mildly amusing more than some little yellow circle going like this: ?

Right now, I think that people coming to our website are all like , but just a couple of smilies, and they'd be all like . Even their computers would be like going .

Seriously, why just say, "Britney Spears is crazy!" when you can say " = !"?

Even Nostradamus could be all " Oooh, I'm a creepy prophet . . ."

Joe

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ten Second Interview Of The Week: Sopranos Creator David Chase

Our guest for today's Ten Second Interview is none other than the creator of The Sopranos, David Chase.

US: Mr. Chase, there's been much speculation that the abrupt and prolonged cut to black at the end of the final episode of The Sopranos is meant to indicate that Tony has been killed. This interpretation seems even more likely to be accurate now that it is being reported that you had originally intended the cut to black to last for a full thirty seconds before the credits started to roll, but were talked out of that by HBO executives and settled for just a ten-second cut-to-black. Can you tell us once and for all what you were trying to convey to the audience with your editing of the final scene?

CHASE: Okay, first of all, it took you way longer than ten seconds to ask that question. Secondly, they misquoted me. I didn't say thirty. I said thirteen. And I didn't say seconds. I said hours. I wanted to go to a black screen for thirteen hours. And I wanted to cut that up into thirteen one-hour segments and sell it to HBO as an additional season of the show. That's what the HBO executives talked me out of.

US: Oh. Well, thanks, I guess.

CHASE: Maybe you guys should start doing "The Ten Second Cut-To-Black Of The Week" instead of these interviews.

US: Only if it will get everyone talking about it and saying we're geniuses for doing it.

CHASE: Worked for me.

US: We'll think about it.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What Happened At The End Of The Sopranos?

Hey everybody. Can somebody please let me know how The Sopranos ended? My cable went out right at the end, when they were all at that diner and something really big was just about to happen. I couldn't believe my bad luck! There was a close-up of Tony, and then--nothing! My screen went totally blank with no sound. It was weird, because I checked some other channels and they were all still okay. It was just HBO that went out. And then by the time I went back, it was back on, but the credits were already rolling.

Anyway, can somebody please tell me what happened at the end? Who ate the next onion ring? What did Meadow order?

Thanks!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Exciting New Reality Show From mildlyamusing.com!

On the heels of such hit shows as America's Got Talent, and Britain's Got Talent, mildlyamusing.com is pleased to announce its exciting new reality series, Just Do Whatever And We'll Make Fun Of You.

The show will be similar to America's Got Talent, but the expectations on contestants will be even lower than on the NBC series.

"We hope we can be there for people who have wanted to be publicly ridiculed by celebrities, but didn't have a 'talent' per se," said one mildlyamusing.com producer, making the quote marks in the air with his fingers.

"Come on and tie your shoes. Jog in place. It doesn't matter. You still have the right to be taunted by Martin Mull and one of the guys from Bell Biv DeVoe."

And don't be afraid to bring the kids along. "There seems to be a huge desire by parents to have their children publicly ridiculed by celebrities," said the producer. "We want to be there for the little ones."

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cingular Dropping Too Many Calls To Understand They Drop Too Many Calls

Cingular, the wireless company known for its commercials about they never drop calls, has been unreachable by customers, reporters, and consumer agencies trying to let them know that whatever study they're citing in that commercial no longer reflects their service.

The calls keep getting dropped.

"It's kind of frustrating," said FCC chairman Kevin Martin. "And it's really getting out of hand. We can't even email them, because it's gotten to the point where even saying or typing the name Cingular can be enough to

Monday, June 11, 2007

Subway / Quiznos Peace Talks Come To Ugly End

In the first major test of the newly formed United Food Nations, attempts to negotiate a cessation to hostilities between rival sub chains Quiznos and Subway ended in chaos this weekend.

When handed the pen to sign the treaty, Jared, the Subway spokesman noted for his dramatic weight loss, tried to use the pen to gouge the taste buds off of the tongue of "Jerry," the new Quiznos spokesman. Jerry emptied half a squeeze bottle of chipotle mayo into Jared's eyes to subdue him, but Jared began blindly swinging a two gallon jar of mustard, injuring two UFN officials. Jerry was attempting to strangle Jared with his necktie while Jared bashed him repeatedly in the head with the mustard jar when they were both brought down by officials.

Hoping they could prevent the franchise war from escalating into exactly that type of violence, the UFN had turned to former President Jimmy Carter.

"I was able to help make the Camp David Accords happen, and I was able to get the Panama Canal Treaties signed, but these sandwich guys are impossible," said Carter. "I don't know. . . maybe we should just lock Jared and Jerry in a room with an oven and a couple of sharp knives and see who makes a toasted sandwich out of whom.

"Either that, or I could build the two of them a house and we could have them live together for a while until they learn to love each other. We could make a TV series out of it and call it 'Sandwiched Together' or something. Heck, I'm out of ideas. And I'm hungry. I'm gonna go get a burger."

The scene did not end as happily as the famous Cola Accords of the 1980s. The terms of that treaty included Coke getting to have every beverage in the midwest called a "coke," and Pepsi getting to set fire to the celebrity of their choice.

Paris Unsure How Return Trip To Jail Counts For Frequent Inmate Points

"Does it count as one visit, or two? And how do the days I wore the ankle bracelet count?"

Such were the burning questions on the mind of a hysterical Hilton, in tears when she was reassigned to an LA County jail this weekend.

A despondent Hilton was worried that the reassignment might not qualify her for items from the famed LA County Coroner's Office Gift Shop she'd been trying to earn.

"I'm sure if I can get a hold of that really nice concierge again, he can straighten this out," said Paris. "You know, that bald guy with the big gold star on his shirt. He was very accommodating."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sudoku for Beginners: T-shirts and More

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the mildlyamusing.com store, we've decided to launch our second line of products, based off of this classic post.



That's right! At our Sudoku for Beginners store you can pick up that classic joke on just about every product Cafepress has to offer.

So head on over and pick yourself up a Sudoku for Beginners t-shirt. Or coffee mug.

Get one for your crazy Grandma who does Sudoku for her memory.

Get one for your crazy Grandkids who don't know how to do Sudoku since it doesn't involve an Wii-Station X or whatever the kids are playing these days.

Get one for yourself, because you just know that if you do it today, you'll be the first on your block to have one, and that's really what matters most in life, isn't it?

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sopranos Spoilers

Hey guys, it's Nostradamus. The long-awaited series finale of The Sopranos will air this coming Sunday night and I'm here on Thursday night with all the spoilers. I've actually been sitting on these since the year 1548, waiting for the perfect time to post them to maximize our Google AdSense revenue. So, without further ado. . .

SPOILERS FOLLOW

Spoiler #1: After killing several people with his own hands over the course of the series and ordering the murders of many others, Tony Soprano finally goes to prison after being convicted of dumping asbestos in the New Jersey wetlands.

Spoiler #2: Tony gets out of prison after serving only three days of a 50-year sentence, due to an undisclosed medical condition.

Spoiler #3: A.J. joins the army and goes to fight in Iraq, hoping to kill a bunch of guys like his Dad does. A.J. quickly quits the army when he discovers whacking guys for the government isn't as cool as whacking guys for the mafia.

Spoiler #4: Silvio is not actually dead. He recovers from the seemingly mortal wounds he suffered in the next-to-last episode and turns state's evidence against Tony. Then Silvio enters the federal witness protection program and adopts a new identity as a guitar player in Bruce Springsteen's band.

Spoiler #5: Tony tracks Silvio down and then, in retaliation, whacks Bruce Springsteen.

Spoiler #6: A massive terrorist attack in New York kills everybody in all of the rival mafia families, leaving what's left of Tony's crew as the only operation running. Carmela, Meadow and A.J. are also killed in the attack but, as usual, nothing bad happens specifically to Tony. I mean, except for his wife and children dying, that is. But he's okay. And so are all of his mistresses. And now he's got all of that extra business left over from the other mafia families. Score!

Spoiler #7: It turns out that the terrorists responsible for the attack are those Middle Eastern guys that Tony's been keeping an eye on for the FBI. On behalf of a grateful nation, President Bush presents Tony with a medal for his efforts, however futile they have been. Tony then presents President Bush with a medal for his efforts, however futile they have been.

Spoiler #8: Now a widower, Tony starts dating his psychiatrist and they eventually get married. But then she starts causing him to have panic attacks, so he starts going to her office again for therapy where he discusses their problems with her and she offers him suggestions about ways to fix them. He then pays her for the sessions out of a joint checking account they have. It's all quite complicated, but they manage to squeeze it all into an hour-long episode somehow.

Spoiler #9: In the final scene of the series, it is revealed that Tony is fat and immoral.

There you go! Enjoy ruining it for your friends!

Paris Hilton Freed From Reality Early

Paris Hilton was freed from reality early Thursday, 18 days ahead of schedule.

"It feels wonderful to at long last be freed from reality and to be free from reality," said a vapid Hilton. "Reality's hard!"

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's office decided to send Hilton home from jail early Thursday morning, saying that she was suffering from an undisclosed medical condition. According to unnamed sources, the condition is known as ESS, or "Empty Skull Syndrome." It is estimated that one out of every ten celebrity hotel heiresses suffers from the disease.

Hilton said she will never forget all of the new friends she made during her time in jail.

"I'll always remember the lady who checked me into the jail, and that guy who brought me lunch, and that other guy who signed me back out of the jail. I'm a better person now because of them."

She later added, "That's hot."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Paris Hilton Thinks Jail Is Hot

Paris Hilton thinks jail is hot, according to leaked entries from her personal diary obtained by mildlyamusing.com.

"Dear Diary, Today I made license plates. That's hot!" reads one passage.

Another entry relates Hilton's satisfaction with jail cuisine: "Dear Diary, Today was meatloaf day in the cafeteria. That's hot!"

Hilton also writes about how she is passing the time during her incarceration: "Dear Diary, I got a book from the library today. That's hot! (P.S. Books are hard!)"

Hilton is currently serving a 23-day jail sentence stemming from charges of DWV (Driving While Vapid).

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Lindsay, Britney To Compete In "Rehab-Off"

Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears are slated to compete against each other in a first-of-its-kind Rehab-Off, it was reported Tuesday. The two troubled young women will vie for the American public's sympathy and affection while fighting to stay clean and sober.

Details of the planned Britsay Bowl '07 are still sketchy at best, but here's what we do know:

  • Lindsay has the inside track to sobriety, as she is actually still under the legal drinking age and, as a result, may not be able to purchase alcohol in some establishments. However, she may still be able to procure such beverages through the use of a fake IMDB profile.
  • Britney, being the older of the two competitors, presumably has more experience being drunk and thus may be better able to hold her liquor.
  • There is a chance that Lindsay and Britney will join forces to do an album of duets or possibly a "buddy movie." In that case, they will almost certainly achieve mutual assured inebriation and the Rehab-Off will end in a draw.
  • In addition to airing on pay-per-view television, the Rehab-Off will be documented in Britney's new DVD, "Oops!...I Drank It Again."
  • Justin Timberlake will be the emcee and designated driver.
The Rehab-Off promoters have announced that Britsay Bowl '07 will be open to wagering in Las Vegas beginning next week. The early odds have Britney as a three-hangover favorite.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Details on the New Harry Potter Theme Park

Excited about the new Harry Potter theme park? We've got the secret details on the features of the park Universal has been trying to keep secret as a surprise!


  • In the fun "Life With Muggles" interactive experience, guests are locked in a closet under a staircase for hours! Surprises include authentic footstep sounds overhead, and occasionally hearing the muffled voices of the same actors who play the Dursleys in the movies!

  • At an attraction Universal says will appeal to "all of your senses, except maybe good sense," guests will get to experience the thrill of a Cruciatus Curse from Bellatrix Lestrange! Rumors are that once negotiations with Helena Bonham Carter are worked out, this will be the first attraction announced!

  • Be sure not to miss the "Gringott's Battlin' Goblins" Stunt Spectacular!

  • In the exciting "Meet the Hufflepuffs!" photo experience, viewers will be able to get their pictures taken with members of the Hufflepuff house (who were much cheaper to licence than their classmates in Gryffindor or Slytherin). Come and meet such Hogwarts stalwarts as Susan Bones and Justin Finch-Fletchley. And don't forget everybody's favorite prefect, Ernie Macmillan!

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Daylight Savings Month Announced

In a move to further conserve energy, the US Congress has decided to declare June "Daylight Savings Month," when everyone in the US should set their calendars ahead one month.

Today has officially been declared the first of July. "By eliminating the high-wattage start of summer, we should drastically reduce our energy consumption," said a spokesman.

IT staffs have been scrambling to update software and networks to reflect the new structure of the year.

To make up for the change, calendars will be set back at the end of the much milder month of October.