The BBC website is currently down, and, not to be outdone by the rest of the Internet, they're trying their own interpretation of a "fail pet", a "fail clown":

I don't know about you, but I think that thing is kind of creepy. Aren't fail pets supposed to make you feel warm and fuzzy while you're waiting for the site to come back? This one screams "make it stop!"... strange.

Thanks for the hint, nigelb!

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I totally forgot blogging about this!

Remember how I curate a collection of fail pets across the Interwebs? Sean Rintel is a researcher at the University of Queensland in Australia and has put some thought into the UX implications of whimsical error messages, published in his article: The Evolution of Fail Pets: Strategic Whimsy and Brand Awareness in Error Messages in UX Magazine.

In his article, Rintel attributes me with coining the term "fail pet".

Attentive readers may also notice that Mozilla's strategy of (rightly) attributing Adobe Flash's crashes with Flash itself by putting a "sad brick" in place worked formidably: Rintel (just like most users, I am sure) assumes this message comes from Adobe, not Mozilla:

Thanks, Sean, for the mention, and I hope you all enjoy his article.

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Haven't posted new fail pets in a while! Perhaps because this one took so long to arrive.

This "fail snail" was released by its creator into the public domain and has since been happily frolicking coughing up HTML color codes on the Web. Though I haven't seen it used for an actual error page yet.

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Online whistleblower website WikiLeaks spoofed a MasterCard commercial as criticism to the credit card company allegedly blocking multiple millions of dollars in donations (press release).

At the same time, they also sued MasterCard and Visa in Denmark for their interfering with WikiLeaks' donations, which they call a "financial blockage".

Here's the viral video in all its glory:

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Twitter's fail whale has a little friend, a fail robot. Not sure how the two relate to each other, but it seems the whale comes out when twitter struggles under the sheer load of tweets, while the fail robot denotes service errors not caused by load?

Now, evil tongues would claim that there's so much fail at Twitter that a single fail pet just doesn't do it justice... But, knowing how challenging it is to scale a service to millions of users, I wouldn't quite dare to say so -- and therefore, I welcome the poor injured robot to my fail pet collection. Quick! To the fail pet emergency room!

Thanks to jabba for taking a screenshot for me!

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In a recent comic, The Oatmeal asked tumblr to blame their service outages on an imaginary animal like twitter's Fail Whale and promptly came up with one, the Tumbeasts.

What's awesome is that Tumblr actually did end up using his artwork on their error page. This is what it looks like:

Mad props to the Oatmeal and Tumblr for this stellar addition to my fail pet collection!

And thanks to michaelk for pointing it out to me!

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Noah's Ark The fail pet collection is glad to welcome a new member!, the URL shortening service used by default on twitter, hosts a family of pufferfish in their logo, and consequently, a really big one of them is also responsible for guarding their 404 page:

Let's hope all the sea creatures in my giant fail pet aquarium get along well...

Thanks for the link, dolske!

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Look what has in their robots.txt file:

User-Agent: *

Disallow: /harming/humans
Disallow: /ignoring/human/orders
Disallow: /harm/to/self

Allow: /

Oh, who wouldn't like geek humor :)

Thanks for pointing this out, jsocol!

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Greenstorm Film is an independent production company from Moscow, Idaho. They make great short films, such as this one, called "The Package":

I find this really funny :). There's another one, more grotesque but no less amusing: The Great Couch Caper.

I like how creative these guys are, and how well they put everything in scene. Another example of their talent is this music video of a cover version of "Airplanes" by B.o.B. (which, by the way, also features some really good musicians!)

And now that I've hooked you up on their filmmaking, you'll be pleased to know they are working on a feature-length film named "The Protagonist" (trailer), due to be released in the fall. I, for one, can't wait to see it.

Thanks, Jenny, for pointing out Greenstorm, and thanks, Noah, for the cool performance in the video :)

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As it turns out, Blizzard Entertainment's game service has a fail pet!

Well, "fail pet" might be the wrong word for this, but who expected to have a cutesy kitten on their error pages anyway. Instead, they have a fellow who somewhat looks like the alien cousin of Lennie from "Of Mice and Men".

"Oops", indeed!

Update: Deb says, it's a Murloc. Thanks!

Thanks for the screen shot, clouserw!

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