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Play with this: Pointer Pointer is pointless online awesomeness

June 13, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • A screen grab of two people pointing from the time-wasting website Pointer Pointer.
A screen grab of two people pointing from the time-wasting website Pointer… (Courtesy of Moniker )

Looking for five minutes of mindless fun? Check out Pointer Pointer, a ridiculous, time-wasting, website that shows you a picture of someone pointing to wherever you put your computer's pointer.

If it sounds stupid, it is. But it's silly and weird, not to mention popular. Eight hundred thousand people have already visited the site since it went live on Monday.

All you have to do is use your mouse to place the little white arrow on your computer screen anywhere in the blank box. A few seconds later, an image will will appear of someone pointing to where you placed your pointer.

Pointer Pointer, get it?

There really isn't a point, although it does illustrate how many people point in photos -- especially people who appear to be college students.

The site was created by Moniker, a design studio based in Amsterdam. We did not hear back from anyone at the studio by press time, but judging from the studio's Twitter feed, they are definitely enjoying the attention.

"Amazon S3 static site hosting: over 800k visitors in 2.5 days, 100% uptime and it cost us less than $25 -- thumbs up," they tweeted on Wednesday.

To find out how it all works, we turn to San Francisco developer Paul Irish, who took a deep dive into the code. You can watch his YouTube video for all the nitty gritty details, but basically he discovered that the site uses a Voronoi grid, which looks like a map with lots of little shapes of bright colors on it. 

"In this case, the XY coordinates are going into the grid system, and this Voronoi grid comes back to find out what shape my cursor is in and matches that to one of the jpegs," he says in the video.

It's kind of simple and complex all at once, but not really necessary to think about (unless you are into that kind of thing).

Instead, go, have fun, and point.

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