What Have You Done?
You may have heard my name in connection with some of the following items. These aren't exhaustive lists, just some of the things that you actually may have heard of, and a few things you almost certainly haven't.
(For a more detailed view of my professional life, see my neglected résumé)
- I ran a Kickstarter project to make a film of myself staring at the camera. Although funding was not successful, the film was completed and is available now.
- I wrote an acrostic poem to legally publish a supposedly secret private key for HD DVD encryption.
- I conceived and built several Twitter bots which, before being unjustly disabled by the platform, convincingly parodied official municipal transit authority alert feeds:
@yarratram. The feed for San Francisco's BART was reviewed here.
- I conceived and built the now-defunct nsabait.org, which issued random suspicious-looking web searches from your browser in an attempt to poison data-collection by governments and ISPs.
- I was probably the first person to create a celebrity impersonation social media account. (Harold Pinter, on Friendster.)
- In 1998, I made the very first porn parody website, Our First Anal Sex.
- I designed and documented a classical language from an alien planet for Neal Stephenson's novel Anathem.
- With my brother Dan Bornstein, I designed the controversial Twitter game I Eat Poo.
- With my partner Lenny Raymond, I worked on a design for a game which through an incredibly convoluted process later became Farmville.
- I did some technical consulting on the backend for Monkey Quest, a game published by Nickelodeon.
- I redesigned and wrote a much-loved (and sadly now defunct) online multiplayer word game called AKRO.
Companies I Started
- I started a company called Xigo with Lenny Raymond and Dan Bornstein. Xigo built something like a real-time program trading system that was usable by regular people. As of this writing, the system is still in use as part of E*Trade's backend, and probably a few other places too.
- With Neal Stephenson and Lenny and a few other people, I started a company called Subutai Corporation.
Subutai built an online publishing system, and created Foreworld, which is now a highly ramified transmedia property
including novels, comic books, and short stories, the oldest and most well-known of which is the novel The Mongoliad.
- With Jordan Weisman, Lenny, and Kev Ray, I started a toy company called Smith and Tinker, to make internet-connected toys.
- With Lenny and Chris Foley, I started Totomic, Inc., where we built technology to revolutionlize the real estate industry. (They didn't like it.)
- I am a member of the trans-Pacific goth rock band Burn the Earth, with three albums:
Burn the Earth,
and Six Billion Trillion Tons. (Also a few singles and an EP.)
- Lots of other music, including the potential dance hit Mon bum a besoin de danser
- A parody version of the song "Plastic Jesus" called Plastic Vishnu, covered by Joe Bethancourt
- Old bands: King Felix, Keen Felix, The Mmytacist, Mendezfraü, Squat Thrust, Killed by a Blöw in the Heäd
- A charmingly earnest cover of Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl.