The Treehouse + The Cave

The Treehouse + The Cave: Hard Work for a Small Joke <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: '\x3d9561264\x26blogName\x3dThe+Treehouse+%2B+The+Cave\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3d\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3d\x26vt\x3d455617431721372491', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hard Work for a Small Joke

As those close know (because I talk Mac shit more than I should), I am now in possession of a MacBook Pro. So far it's performed admirably, with none of the whine and few of the heat issues I was expecting. My boss ordered one the week they came out, and has been bemoaning that choice, often, ever since--I'm hoping to fair better.

Maybe it's because I'm migrating from a reasonably recent PowerBook, but I've found the new machine to be a little anticlimactic. Just not many of the new-toy-jitters the arrival of a device like this warrants, ya know.

Sure, it's faster. It's thinner--a hair lighter. WiFi works. It has a nicer screen. But when your wife asks what makes it so cool (what makes it better than her G4), and you can't answer without citing specs or standards, you start to feel a little less than satisfied.

Apple knew this, so they threw in two things. Front Row and Photo Booth--both, just sure to wow the family--both, easily (visually) understood reasons for an upgrade, right? And so it went. Since January, people have been escorting these perfect slabs of aluminum home, opening them tenderly, and then...

Showing their children and pals how to take distorted and/or grossly filtered pictures of themselves--dozens in a row--for hours. I've done it, I was showing her Photo Booth within seconds of running out of other reasons I was so psyched. And like everyone it seems (Flickr's awash in these grainy video stills), she loved it. Humans simply love pictures of themselves, and Photo Booth makes it so easy to indulge.

So while I was drinking an after-work beer and watching Heather make faces into a $2000 funhouse mirror, an idea came to me.

Goatse Booth

In a similar session of laptop-enabled quality time a couple months ago, I showed her what Goatse is. I have no idea how it came up--probably in the same sentence as The Dancing Baby. But she didn't know what I was talking about, so I was obligated to explain.

Of course, I just pulled up the image (couldn't blow the punch line). She reacted as all do, horror followed immediately by some slack-jawed questions. How is this man doing this to himself?! And why the FUCK are you showing this to me?!

Laughing, I told her it's an old internet meme that's become part of nerd folklore--people just know about it, like they do 1337. Interested in such things (I'm lucky), she dismissed my explanation as simplistic and immediately Wikipedia'd it.

There she found a typically detailed history of hello.jpg and it's descendants. Of it's origins, and of the huge number of variations and spoofs it's spawned. Running a search on Flickr for the tag goatse, we then tried to find some of the best. What we found, was even better.

First Goatse, a group pool dedicated solely to pictures of people taken as they first witness the glory of Goatse. Pictures capturing their perplexed repulsion. Pictures capturing this perverse internet initiation ceremony (a practice possibly credited to Laszlo Toth).

Now, what happens when you combine a generation of people who think this is a funny thing to do to people, thriving photo-sharing communities with open APIs, and your own personal photo booth? My second proposed application: Goatse Booth, a modification to Apple's Photo Booth. I say proposed, as we all know I'm no dev. But that didn't stop me before--so if you're hot in Xcode and looking to give the internet a gift, take it from here.

I thought it would work like this.

Goatse Booth - 1 - Small
Please view the full-scale image as well.

At first glance the app would look no different than Photo Booth; only the window title and menu bar would be altered. An unsuspecting user might wonder why all the images in the drawer share the same expression, but by the time they've had that thought, they'll be looking at this.

Goatse Booth - 2 - Small
Please view the full-scale image as well.

A moment prior to the close of the shutter, Goatse Booth will display hello.jpg (in place of the full-screen flash). Then it'll give the viewer a moment to react before snapping a pic of their reaction (if activated in the preferences, a second image can be taken that captures their face as it transforms to express befuddled curiosity).

Goatse Booth - 3 - Small
Please view the full-scale image as well.

Just as in the unaltered Photo Booth, the image will be displayed for review, and slid into the drawer.

Goatse Booth - 4 - Small
Please view the full-scale image as well.

Upon completion of the review process, Goatse Booth will pop-up a Send to Flickr dialog (this can be disabled in the prefs). By default, it will want to send the image to both firstgoatse and goatsebooth.

Which begs the question; why doesn't Photo Booth have a native ability to upload to iWeb? Or Flickr, Photobucket, Buzznet, MySpace, LiveJournal, etc. This type of stupid fun is huge in those communities, Apple would be wise to embrace that kind of publicity. People are already doing it, it's just not easy enough. It could be one-click easy.

So, what's wrong with Photo Booth? It doesn't have a native ability to upload images to common image-centric websites, nor a plug-in architecture to allow this (speaking of plug-in architectures, why can't I make my own Photo Booth effects in Quartz Composer?). It doesn't have a way to disable the full-screen flash (wtf?). AND it doesn't abuse it's user with cult images of anal acrobatics.

Let's patch these shortcomings.

Image 2: Zach Slootsky
Image 3: Sublivious
Image 4: Meandmybadself
Image 5: Feralboy
Image 6: Feralboy
Image 7: Feralboy
Image 8: Feralboy

Digg this post.

Blogger Andy thought:

I managed to miss the Mac Photo Booth group on Flickr until now.


July 9, 2006 at 12:12 PM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Andy thought:

Also found this post from January. Native upload functionality is a must.

Not sure whether Photo Booth is developed by the OSX team or the iLife team, but whoever you are, PLEASE add a hook that will allow third-party devs to create upload modules.

It would be FREE ADVERTSING for your app, the iSight and the computer that contains them!


July 9, 2006 at 12:25 PM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Impeach Bush thought:

If only the horror went the way of the bits being uploaded...
The violence, however, gets deposited into our own Black Boxes. No hope of release, no hope of catharsis. The visual equivalents of Inez and Estelle--hell is other images. (

July 14, 2006 at 8:10 PM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Ian W. thought:

Looks like someone made Goatse Booth happen, at least in some form:

October 28, 2007 at 6:53 PM - Comment Permalink  

Post a Comment
Hide Comments