Thursday, October 29, 2009

The "New" Facebook

I've heard alot of gripes and complaining about Facebook's new GUI.
I've also heard from some people that like it.
But i just noticed something absolutely brilliant that they did with the new UI.

For along time now,
Facebook has suggested friends for me.
I've always assumed this was based on friends of ours that we had in common.
It even suggested pages I should become a fan of based on my other friends joining that page.

But now they've done something different.
They've found a way that might save them from dieing like MySpace.
Last I heard MySpace had 2 billion accounts.
(My numbers may be off due to memory)
But how many of those are actually people and not spam bots?
And of those people, How many actually go there more than once every few weeks?
I know people that live on Facebook.
I can't say the same about MySpace.

Here's what Facebook did that is so new.
Facebook has added suggested activity to their suggested friends.
They suggested I go write on one person's wall.
And they suggested I send a message to another.
This is absolutely brilliant.
Who ever came up with that idea deserves a big raise.

Here's what happens in MySpace.
(This is actually what happened to me)
User creates an account because everyone else has one.
User logs on regularly cause they are so excited about they're new account.
User see's little activity because people "friend" him just to up their friend count.
User logs on less and less until never at all,
Or deletes the account.

Now Facebook suggests that you actually be friendly with your friends in order to help retain their users.
I came to this conclusion after I noticed that all these suggestions are for friends that show no activity in the last month.
The only problem is,
how do they know I've written on their wall if they never log on?
Facebook needs to come up with an algotrithm that mixes people who haven't been on in forever,
and people that are starting to show trends of not logging on as often.
Some people they've already lost,
The key is finding the ones that they are currently losing.
It'll be much easier to save those users than recover the ones that are gone.

Google’s New Mobile App Cuts GPS Nav Companies At The Knees

Story @ TechCruch

There has long been a "____ Effect" (insert website name here. ex: DIGG).
Where a big name site posts a link to less popular site.
I've noticed this when Lifehacker posts a link to some small biz art site.
The extra traffic is usually too much for the smaller sites traffic to handle.

It appears we have a similar but opposite "Google Effect".
Instead of driving popularity to a smaller site,
Google enters a market and causes big names in that market to suffer.

I find it interesting that Apple,
With their iPhone,
Having a near identical function,
That even uses Google Maps,
Did not create anywhere near the same effect that Google did.

Even though Apple through the most creative work they'd had in a while into the iPhone,
And Google's new GPS App seems to be more of an after thought,
Google still managed to cripple Garmin's stock with merely a phone app.

We truly have a "Google Effect"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Visual Representation of International Internet Speeds and Prices

So I always assumed Japan would have faster internet than use.

And South Korea for that matter too.
France??? Seriously?
How does Japan have the fastest and the cheapest internet?
Someone needs to find out how they do that,
And then do it here.

Nifty YouTube GUI

I'm not entirely sure how this works.
I'm assuming that it starts with the most popular video,
And then selects a few of the related videos and shows those surrounding it.

A few things I'd like to see done with this.

1: Lines
It's really confusing once you get more than a few generations of videos.
It'd be nice if they were connected to their parent video somehow.

2: Wiki
I'd be really interested to see this done with Wikipedia.
Excpet instead of just the top 8 links,
Have every link displayed in the article.
Back links to recurring pages would be nice too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Additional Logon Security via Random Code Through SMS

An EMail I sent to the GMail Labs folks up at Google.

I read not too long ago on I read about an option that
certain companies use to add a layer of security to their remote email
logon. They enter a code provided by a key fob that changes every 60
seconds. It seems the code is based on a 128 encryption key that both
the key fob and the server have in common.
Story @ Hack A Day [dot] com

There are two possible approaches to this.

Option 1: Mobile Phone Synchronized Encryption App
An App could be written for various phones (iPhone, Pre, Android,
ect ... ) that work on the same concept of an encryption key. The user
could generate his own custom key, and enter it into his phone via SD
card, SMS, or EMail. This key would be unique to his account allowing
only him to log in. The code would change every few minutes and use
the cell network clock as the source.

Option 2: Randomly Generated Code sent via SMS
With the option of sending text to mobile phones from GMail through
the SMS option in Labs, A new code could be randomly generated and
sent to the user's phone via SMS. The code would include upper and
lower case letters, numbers, and special characters, just like any
good password should. Each code would only be valid for a few minutes
and logging on before the GMail server had received the request for
the code would be prohibited.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I just got a Google Wave Invite

I just got a Google \/\/ave Invite.
It also says I have 20 Invitations to give away.
I found this a bit odd since before everyone was allowed to give nominations,
Not strait up invites.

If any one wants one,
Let me know.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ballmer Recognizes the Times

"Let's face it, the Internet was designed for the PC. The Internet is not designed for the iPhone." - Steve Ballmer
Of course not.
From what I can recall from Jobs' keynote address at the initial launch,
One of the key selling points was that the iPhone was designed around the internet.
Not the other way around.
That would put Ballmer more than 2 yrs behind in tec...
h news.
Not a good place to be when you're running the company that has a near monopoly on desktops and laptops.
Not good for us the customer,
Not good for the business of the company.


Monday, September 28, 2009


Drunken idiot 21 yr old burns flag in patriotic town of Valley Falls, NY.
Townsmen initiate man hunt,
Ducttape moron to the flag pole he desecrated.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Google Voice

I just got my Google Voice account set up.Looks nice.
My initial field test of the voice m ail transcriber failed miserably though.
But to be fair,
I tested it next to a fan while my little brother was playing video games.
I guess taking that into account,
It did pretty well.
I really said, "This is just a test. There is no need to panic."
All in all,
It looks cool.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google Chrome OS

It's about freakin time.
Google is finally going to make their own OS.
They're calling it the Chrome OS.
I assume it's based off their browser by the same name.
I've been waiting for this for the last 5 years.
I'm surprised it's not gotten more buzz.
Maybe it's cause they're also in the process of rolling out Google Voice and Wave.
Each of which will change electronic communication significantly in their own right.
Both of those are getting lots of attention in intertubes.

And Here It Comes Again!!!

Happy Numerical Alignment Day!!!1!!cos(0)!!
12:34:56 7/8/9

Niffty News

This morning the dimension of time was numerically aligned.
12:34:56 7/8/9
I love how our artificial ways of measuring things make us feel special.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Google Wave

Google just announced this cool new thing called Wave.
It's a sweet new form of internet communication.
I had been designing something similar for the last two months,
Looks like they beat me too it.
Their version is fair more extensive than what I had come up with.

Friday, May 22, 2009

$1500 Break Dancing Robot

It seems the Japanese have nothing better to do than build dancing robots.
Good work

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Coolest Job in the World

Why can't I have a job like this?

Earthquake in Texas

We had an earthquake while I was at work today.
I just found out.
It was a 3.3 Richter happened at 11:24 AM local time (Central Standard Time).
I defiantly did not notice.
Here's a Link the the data so you can see it on Google Earth.
Also the WolframAlpha data.Coincidentally enough,
the fire alarms went off in the hotel several times last night.
The maintenance crew could never figure out why.
I wonder if the pre tremors tripped them.

WolframAlpha: The Amazing New Search Engine

Amazing stuff.
Just look at what it returns for the query "earth"
As opposed to Googleing "earth"
Check out some of their suggested sample searches.
Like the "International Space Station".
I find WloframAlpha much more information at first glance.
WolframAlpha does give you it's source for the information,
But it's limited to what you see on the first page.
Google, on the other hand,
Will give you every bit of data you're looking for,
You just have to know what your looking for.
There are plusses and minuses to both engines.
I'd be interested to see what would happen if you where to combine the two somehow.
Be aware,
WolframAlpha is being bombarded with curious users,
So you may get an error screen.
Just hit refresh and it should work fine.
It's pretty cool,
As far as error screens go.

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

I have no idea if this is legit or not,
Whoever made it seems to have put way too much effort into it for it to be a spoof.
My money is on the Octopus.

Pixar's Tokyo Mater Drift

Monday, May 4, 2009

I Think, Therefore I Move?

Fighter Pilots will be able to fly their planes by thought,
just like in the book Firefox.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cyber Insecurity

Last week,
Hackers gained access to our national power grid.There honestly has not been much news about that incident,
The only credible source I was able to find was an article from the Wall Street Journal.
We don't even know who did it.
The current assumption is that it was Russian or Chinese,
But for all we know it could have been Terrorists,
Or even just home grown cyber criminals.
So far,
We can see that they've left malware and back doors on our systems.
This would allow them access to our grids whenever they please.
And that's only what we've been able to find.
Who knows what else they've left there.

Now I'm getting news through the tubes,
That there's been another major cyber attack.
This time,
They hit managed to steal several terabytes of information about the new Joint Strike Fighter .
That's terabytes.
With a T.
To put that in perspective,
One Terabyte is nearly eight and a half of Apple's latest biggest iPod.
And it gets worse.
Whoever it was,
encrypted the data before they took it off out networks.
So we're not even sure what they know.

As I recall...
The cyclons got access to the colonial network and their most modern fighters in order to internally paralyze the colonial resistance before attacking.
Also on a Hollywood note,
I recall the power grid and the F-35 being targets of hacking during the most resent Life Free Die Hard movie.
You know what the means.
There's only one man that can save us.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates did just recently say we need to revamp our cyber security.
Looks like we'll be expanding our Cyber wing up from 5 airmen.

If any one has those connections on LinkedIn,
Tell him I'm available.

Drive By Musical

Monday, April 13, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hover! in 256 colors!!!

For those of you that remeber Hover from Windows 95,
I managed to dig up an old copy.
It runs just fine on Win XP.
Ignore the 256 Color warning at the beginning.
Things have progressed a tad since then.