Bill is laughing so hard he might need a seatbelt to stay in his chair. "Take friend with you." Now, Bill is not only entertained, he's enamored. They've got Chinese characters in the address lines and the subject of the first is "Me Chinese Boy." I open it up, and the text reads simply, "hi." "Awwww ..." says Bill. The next e-mail doesn't have a subject, and I'm pretty certain this will be the one with the crazy photographs. I'm not quite as anxious, but we open it up and there we see two fresh e-mails. *** A slender, spikey-haired Asian man is sitting in a sleek, black-and-silver chair. It certainly is some sort of public place — the legs of a woman and small child walk past at the edge of the frame.
The most fun you can have in front of a webcam, Chatroulette is everybody’s favourite new NSFW video chat site. They’re offering £250 FCUK vouchers for any guy who gets a date through the site. "I don't know," he says, "but I think your friend might have his adjectives confused." I give Bill a dirty look. I'm about to click "Next" to let him get back to his buddies, but Bill stops me. "I was hoping you'd, um, help with the story," he said. As soon as they see me, they'll click, 'Next.'" OK, he did have a point there. I was minding my own business, editing a movie review, when my friend Bill Forman stopped by my desk and told me he'd just been OK'd to do a cover story on Chatroulette. "You mean that chat website overrun by exhibitionists and masturbators? I'd heard about the site on one of those late-night tabloid TV shows (which, of course, I was flipping past on the way to PBS). "Why are you suddenly concerned about my parenting? "Here's the thing: If I go online alone, I'm not sure I can get a story. " I'm puzzled for a moment, then realize what he's thinking.