by IFWORLD Inc.
Category: Social Networking (Twitter)
Excerpts from the diary of Visitor Specimen #14,
aka "Nebuchadnezzar Babu Squidge-Izzt the Third"
May 1st, 2009
I have now been on Earth for exactly [redacted] months and [redacted] days. My human military captors are largely benevolent, but most are clearly under orders not to interact too closely with me. I am content to continue my visit under these circumstances for the time being, as there is much that can be learnt about their medical technology and defenses. Also, I have just been given an entertainment program called 'Frasier' for my amusement. Only the first "season" for now, as the other "DVDs" have been misplaced. I could watch them just by staring at the discs, but do not wish to refuse the generosity of my hosts, who have prepared a large plasma television for my convenience.
I am considering sharing my knowledge of the historic Outer World Wars and the dangers of plasma screen technology before I leave. This will depend on how good the food is next week.
May 14th, 2009
Holy [redacted], 'Frasier' is seriously the best thing in the universe!! The humans have had to install new soundproofing in my residence to prevent my bemused chortles from physically destabilizing the military complex. But why does the skinny one, Niles, not profess his affections for the female Daphne with more force and confidence? It is infuriating to watch his bungled advances time and time again! But he may make a good match for her, given her occasional shrew-like behavior. Furthermore, it seems somewhat improbable that they are brothers. Perhaps the humans also combine unwanted offspring to form new families.
It does not appear that I am missing very much by staying with the military people. The rest of their world seems to be populated only by apartments, psychiatric offices, coffee shops, and radio stations.
August 1st, 2009
A startling discovery today. I shall start from the beginning. Of late, the humans have installed a female physician who visits me regularly – probably as an experimental response to my recent depression over the ending of 'Frasier'. Our scientists did not stop innovating after the discovery of interstellar travel; why did the producers of 'Frasier' cease their creative employment?
Anyhow, the human female has been more friendly with me than the others. She says it is because I resemble a famous attractive human. She showed him to me, on the cover of a "romance novel". Yes, the flowing blonde hair and well-defined pectorals were like my own, but all the people of planet [redacted] look like me. I did not share her excitement.
She did, however, share with me an exciting human invention: the 'Peephole' application for "iPhones". It connects to a network called 'Twitter' and pulls down photos being posted by humans around the world, in their apartments, psychiatric offices, coffee shops, and radio stations. All in real-time! She promised to let me fiddle with it more tomorrow, after I agreed to give her a ride on my broad, muscular shoulders.
August 2nd, 2009
'Peephole' is a joy to use. It loads images swiftly from the "Public Timeline", according to "Trends", from "Friends" (should you have some), "Searches", and even from "Nearby" your physical location! Once you tap to view a photo in its full size from "Twitpic", the accompanying tweet is conveniently displayed with text in a transparent overlay. One may even filter out duplicates, retweets, and replies to achieve more useful results.
The graphical interface is no more complex than it needs to be, which follows principles set out by my people when they first began to use portable communication devices. I need not remind my reader of the gruesome consequences of warp drive texting.
One of the things I have learnt from 'Peephole' is that there is a lot more going on out there than I had imagined. Humans enjoy taking photos of themselves in fast-food restaurants, public shopping malls, in front of bathroom mirrors, and also with furry members of their Planetary Governing Council. It has literally provided me with a window on human society: their hopes, their dreams, also fears and private lives, are now as visible to me as the undercurrent of sexual longing that Frasier still feels for his ex-wife, Lilith, although she is a monster.
I must investigate further.
August 5th, 2009
I have befriended a human female on 'Twitter' who has promised to show me videos too controversial to be freely transmitted. I admit, I am intrigued by her professionally-photographed avatar and attractive features. Her username is also composed of random numbers – clearly an encryption scheme to thwart pursuers. She must be a very important figure in a human insurgency, and it behooves my research mission to meet with her and view these videos "the authorities won't want you to see!"
I escape tonight.
Positives: See the world from your bedroom, prison cell, hospital ward, office, or secret military installation. In-app browser for following links is a useful touch. Allows saving/emailing/retweeting of photos, and even following of users without leaving the client.
Unpositives: Landscape photos do not display at correct zoom level in portrait view.
Final rating: 5 / 5
Buy Peephole in the iTunes App Store.