The 404 1,247: Where we hop in the ball pit with Emily Dreyfuss (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Hi-fi reviews based purely on the feel of the knob .

- Which celebrities can you pay to message on Facebook?

- Can you bully a celebrity? Short answer: no.

- How the hell do you pronounce GIF anyway?

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Go Daddy CEO: I was smiling with dead elephant out of 'relief'

Once you post a video of yourself shooting an elephant dead--especially if you happen to accompany that video with AC/DC's "Hell's Bells"--you might anticipate a little more excitement.

So it has proved.

Should you have been unaccountably detained by the Mounties, you might not know that GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons adorned his blog with a video of his good self killing an elephant.

The video wasn't entirely suitable for lunch and explained that the elephants eat sorghum that is sorely needed by starving Zimbabwean villagers.

Naturally, animal activist group PETA rebutted Parsons and … Read more

Crave 13: Gundam vs. Wolverphant (podcast)

This week, Crave branches out onto our friendly neighborhood tech blogs to bring you a super fantastique, ultra huge, raver-friendly digital turntable thingie...and a bottle opener. Don't be too let down by that second one: it's over-priced and attaches to your bike, so it still has some cache. Also, Donald and Eric get extremely excited over a glorified statue, an electric Datsun leaves a Nissan GT-R in the dust, and a giant robot arm is put to good use. Plus, Jasmine squeals over an elephant with some monstrous dental work, and we take a look at a camera lens cleavage coffee mug.

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Elephant gets steel-fortified supertusks

Genesha, who goes by Spike, is a playful Asian elephant who lives at the Calgary Zoo in Canada. Not long ago, he broke one of his tusks above his old cap (which he'd been wearing since 2002) while playing too vigorously with a tire. To prevent further damage to the tusk, and to prevent infection, he was fitted with new, larger dental caps.

But these caps are stainless steel and weigh in at more than 46 pounds each, and break the record for largest dental caps that had been held by their predecessors. They were designed by students at … Read more

Gadgettes Podcast 166: The White Elephant Episode

Not only are the gifts covered in today's episode perfect to meet the mediocre expectations of a white elephant party, but this episode itself is in essence our very own white elephant gift to you! Interpret that as you will, and have a wonderful holiday, everyone!

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Gifts to bring to a white elephant Christmas

Snuggie for your neck (Thanks, Greg and Sam)

Snuggie for your dog (Thanks, Eric!)

Doormat Scale

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Elephant amputee gets permanent prosthetic leg

One of the best things about this job is getting to share stories that are often totally friggin' awesome. This is one of those stories.

It doesn't start happily, though. Motala is a 48-year old former working elephant from Thailand (she moved large trees for a living). In 1999, while wandering in the forest looking for food on her lunch break, she accidentally stepped on a land mine left over from the Burmese-Thai war. The mine destroyed her left front foot and most of the leg.

Though her owners tried to save the leg, it was eventually amputated below the knee. In 2006, she got a temporary prothesis to help her learn to walk on what would be a more permanent artificial leg.

This week, Motala was fitted for that leg in Thailand, according to the conservation group Friends of the Asian Elephant. It's a state-of-the-art upgrade to the temporary prothesis she's had for the last three years. Early reports show she's taking to it well, which is fantastic (watch the video after the jump). Here's hoping Motala lives a normal, long life in her retirement. … Read more

The 404 389: Where we elect Jeff Bakalar the new mayor of Hoboken

Today's show welcomes Eric Franklin, host of the Inside CNET Labs Podcast, who comes on to talk about the new Watchmen Blu-ray/DVD. We also talk about Xbox Portable, Hoboken's newest mayor, Comic-Con, and, of course, Beck's Beer/Last.FM Audio Draft!

The first half of today's show features Eric Franklin, the better half of the Inside CNET Labs Podcast, AKA The 404 West Coast Continent. Like me, Eric is a huge "Watchmen" fanboy, so he joins us to talk about the 3-hour long "Watchmen Director's Cut" Blu-Ray and DVD, which features deleted scenes from the original theatrical release. If you're obsessed with the graphic novel, we recommend waiting for the "Ultimate Cut" edition to be released this holiday season; that one is 3 hours and 25 minutes and intercuts back and forth between the movie and the comic within the graphic novel, "Tales of the Black Freighter." We also talk about the movie's reception, critical acclaim, and what you should know before checking it out. Read Eric's fanboy review on Crave.

We also talk with Eric about the "Alice in Wonderland" trailer that debuted at Comic-Con this year, along with a few more disappointing sequels that prove the well of original stories is long dry.

Today is Friday, which means it's time for yet another 404 semiweekly audio draft sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.FM, a subsidiary of CBS Interactive and CNET News and Reviews 5000! My pick for today is Why?, an established group on SF's own avant label Anticon Records. The group dug its roots in what some people call "post hip-hop," but its first album "Oaklandazulasylum," can be more accurately described as spoken-word-style poetry with more poignant lyrics and instrumentation. Out of the three full-lengths released to date, today's highlight "Alopecia" stands proudly as Yoni Wolf, Josiah Wolf, and Doug McDiarmid's most harmonically "indie rock" record, but in my opinion, Why's best trait is the relationship between the three essential instruments: vocals, melody, and percussion. Yoni's vocals and lyrics explores rhythms with diction and imagery that might sound delineated, but, in fact, it layers seamlessly with the music behind it. "Fatalist Palmistry" is today's draft pick, so give it a listen and let us know what you think!

EPISODE 389 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Elephants ready to party as eBay ban approaches

What with a deepening global recession it's been pretty much a lousy 2008 for most folks, but it's closing on a very good note--if you happen to be an elephant, that is.

Come January 1, eBay's worldwide ban on ivory products goes into effect, a move that animal rights advocates hope will help protect elephant populations around the world.

The proliferation in the illegal trade of wildlife species has been aided by the use of the Internet. In a recent report (PDF), the International Fund for Animal Welfare found that about two-thirds of the global online trade … Read more

The 404 204: Where we want to know what love is

Justin was late, again, and the boys recap Friday's 200th episode meet up. You'll never get ahead in life if you're always tardy Mr. Yu! Graciously, The 404's worst student offers a scathing recap of Michael Cera's performance in the worst movie ever. He, surprisingly, portrays a nebbish teenager who doesn't know how to talk to girls, yet scores with them anyway. We also gear up for new Apple laptops, send SMS messages to elephants, and prepare for Larry Flynt's latest.

Psst...check out the photos from our 200th episode celebration last Friday! A bunch of our buddies came out to Gstaad Bar to party with us, so big thanks to YOU if you came. If you didn't, we'll be having more 404 meet ups in the near future, we might even be breaking out of NY, who knows?! Anyway, check out our Flickr set for photos from the night. Mike, you owe me two drinks! -Justin

Dan the Mantern here. Sooo, it's official, Larry Flynt has confirmed the rumors that an adult film chronicling Sarah Palin's life is in the works. In it, pornstar Lisa Ann, as Palin, "will be nailing the Russians who come knocking on her backdoor." One thing's for sure, Justin is superexcited. He's not sure whether to laugh, cry, or lock himself in a dark room with a box of tissues. Like the Wall Street bailout plan, the film has been fast tracked, it will be pushed through before the elections. Swing voters, you might want to wait for this little doozy before making a decision. I'm sure that at least 10 seconds of the film will include some factual information about the veep candidate!

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Southern Cal gets its due at Twiistup 2

Last night, members of the Los Angeles tech community (and one Bono impersonator) gathered at the Air Conditioned Supper Club in Venice for Twiistup 2, the second of a series of Valley-style blowouts for Southern California Web companies and geeks. In front of a backlit, Mondrian-style bar, attendees of the sold-out event talked tech, networked, and vetted business plans over music spun by DJ Quickie Mart. I had a chance to talk with most of the event's "showoffs," two of which--community site Faqqly and the social shopping site ThisNext--we've already covered. Here's a brief … Read more