Experts Exchange BETA – Version 10

November 9, 2011 | Posted in Computers, Web Stuff | By

I don’t know if I have mentioned Experts Exchange on here before but I used to be an avid user and contributor to the site. Well, to their credit they are moving along with technology and have upgraded their site once again. They have a beta version that is open to private invite only so here is a way to check it out if you are interested.


Small Experts Exchange VIP Badge

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Why I Read Slashdot

September 17, 2010 | Posted in Web Stuff | By

I guess I could be grouped into the category of “nerd” and claim that I am interested in “stuff that matters” but more often than not I find myself coming back to /. to read the witty and sarcastic comments left by the very large and intriguing community that the site maintains. So, I’m betting that it would be helpful if I gave an example of this humour instead of leaving you to wander over to the site and find some on your own … so wait no longer … here is a screen capture from my Google Reader:

There you have it – an absolutely classic example – where a snippet from a technology article on harvesting sound for energy and *BOOM* right off the bat a commenter takes the stereotypical jab at his jabber jaw wife claiming that he has an endless source of power right at home.

Funny? Well, depending on your stance or gender you may or may not find this example as LOL as I did but the joke is relatively clean and apparently quick because it was the first post on the article.

The Internet is full of this kind of stuff and even though you may have to peruse the comment threads a bit to find them, personally, I find that Slashdot is usually good for a few quips per topic. If you happen to come across any please share them!

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Facebook Is Like Television – In Reverse

BG-facebook-tv

August 11, 2010 | Posted in Computers, Web Stuff | By

From one of the commenters at Slashdot on an article about Social Data:

The funny thing about Facebook is that it is similar to television: You’ve been given the impression you’re the customer, but you’re actually the product being sold to the real customers – advertisers.

Facebook just takes it another step, because you’re voluntarily giving them extensive data about who you are as an individual, as well as involuntarily (or unknowingly for most people) letting the technology create profiles of your browsing habits. If that weren’t enough, there is the further twist – at least on TV there are professional artists and actors and creative types who are producing the content you enjoy. On Facebook, the content is created by you and your friends and given away for free to the website owners.

So all they have to do is create a database infrastructure, then you and your friends come along and do almost all the Data Entry, and while you’re doing it they’re watching you and adding meta-data to their private database, then they can turn around and sell all the aggregate data to their customers. Profit!

At the peak of the show “Friends”, Jennifer Aniston was getting paid a million dollars for pretending to be Rachel whatsherface for each 30 minute episode. The million dollars ultimately came from advertisers who bought airtime from the network.

We are now self-creating global databases with billions of entries and in return are getting… the ability to “poke” someone from your 10th grade Health class. Meanwhile, how much money is Google, Facebook, BlackPlanet, etc. making from both the ads already on their sites, and the immediate/future revenue from the data we are giving them?

Quite an interesting insight and food for thought. Any comments on this comment?

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Inside the Fake PC Recycling Market

July 8, 2010 | Posted in Computers | By

From Slashdot,

Companies called “fake recyclers” approach well-meaning organizations — charities, churches, and community organizations — and offer to hold a Recycling Day. The charity provides publicity, legitimacy, and a parking lot for the event. On the designated day, well-meaning residents drop off their old electronics for recycling. The fake recycler picks it up in their trucks, hauls it away for shipping, and makes money by exporting it to Chinese or African “recycling” centers. Nobody’s the wiser

This is horrible … I have a bunch of old computers, monitors and peripherals crammed away into my garage because I have not found a decent way to dispose of them. Now even the thought of using a charitable service is not a viable route! The United States and all of the “green” talk needs to turn into actions and, in my opinion, the ease of recycling electronics show be extremely high on the priority list!

via Inside the Fake PC Recycling Market.

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Microsoft Hohm vs. Mint.com

April 23, 2010 | Posted in Web Stuff | By

Hey Microsoft,

Mint.com just called and said they want their website design back. Seriously Microsoft … do you have an original idea of your own, ever? I mean, the very first thing I thought of when I heard about Microsoft Hohm was Google’s existing effort called Power Meter and I said to myself, “Once again, Microsoft is attempting to play catchup with Google. How are they going to miss the mark this time?” Then I decided to check out their web site to see the spin they were doing with their service and, immediately, upon first glance I thought I was sent to mint.com by accident.

Take a look for yourself and decide …

Mint.com Front Page

Microsoft Hohm Front Page

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Track Me Not

February 16, 2010 | Posted in Web Stuff | By

I came across this FireFox extension while reading a post on Slashdot about losing our privacy. It looks like a different spin on how to fight back against those that data mine such as search engines and other entities out on the web. The approach that Track Me Not takes is to add noise and obfuscate instead of hide  and encrypt your information. I haven’t tried it out yet but probably will give it go in the coming days.

If you have any thoughts on your privacy in general or this FireFox add-on let me know!

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Putting a Spin on Maps

February 10, 2010 | Posted in Web Stuff | By

One thing that I love to see in web development is the advancement of the open standards that drives the web forward and their adoption by the browser community (excluding MS IE of course). This demo is a great example of a CSS3 capability being applied to Google Maps using jQuery which will allow you to simply rotate the map.

At first glance it may appear to be rather boring and pointless demonstration but if you think about it this is absolutely fantastic! In order to pull this off back in “the old days” you would resort to Flash or some other browser plug-in to display such wizardry on a web page … but now it is possible with only the web browser!

To me the future of web development looks very bright as coders create little gems like this and keep sharing their talents with the world. Very bright indeed.

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Busch Gardens and Water Country USA Street View

January 22, 2010 | Posted in Web Stuff | By

View Larger Map
View Larger Map

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Tweet My Mac

September 21, 2009 | Posted in Computers, Fun at Home | By

First off, the title of this software totally reminds me of the show Pimp My Ride.  With a cool name like “Tweet My Mac” this little gem of technology has got to be cool … right? Well, let’s take it for a spin and see what it can do.

I found this tricked out article on LifeHacker and figured that I would give it try on my home iMac. The fun part of this application is that it can take pictures via the iSight or grab a screen capture and post the result over to TwitPic so you can see who is in front of the computer and what they are doing … sneaky huh? Then, my favorite, is the ability to make the computer say any phrase at your bidding. I actually got lucky and caught the wife and kids at home during breakfast and had the computer say, “Logan, get your finger out of your nose!” Within a minute I had a phone call asking why the computer was nagging our son!

If you currently use Twitter and have a Mac (or PC) then I recommend downloading and testing this software which is really simple to use. That is as long as you follow Google’s motto!

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New Watch Lets Parents Track Their Kids

September 21, 2009 | Posted in Geospatial, Handy Tools | By

From Slashdot:

A company called Lok8u (“Locate You”) has come up with a clever watch that serves as a GPS tracking device for your kids. Now, we can quickly ask the question of “how paranoid are we as a society?” but at the same time we can say, “Man, I wish I had something like this in my watch whenever I misplace the darn thing!” I have little ones and ponder over whether investing in something like this makes sense or not. I probably won’t wind up getting any of these but it’s neat to see ideas like these come along … I’m sure they will do well in the market.

Funny excerpt from the Slashdot forum on this topic:

Personally I wouldn’t use this for teenagers because at that age, they have matured enough that they deserve a little privacy

Exactly – if you put the wristwatch on a teenage boy, all they’ll find is that he’s spending most of his time in the bathroom rapidly jumping back and forth about 4″ at a time.

Ahh, nothing like a little potty humor on a Monday morning.

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