- Mini-pry bar
- Respiratory Protection (particulate protection)
- Nuke Alert radiation detector
- First Aid Kit
- Solar Powered Lantern/Power Source
- Grab and Go Bag
- Non-Incendive Flashlight (LED Flashlight)
- Portable Water Filtration Unit
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water.
- Pack a manual can opener and eating utensils.
- Avoid salty foods, as they will make you thirsty.
- Choose foods your family will eat.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
- Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
- Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
- Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
- Burn ointment to prevent infection.
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
- Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
- Thermometer (Read more: Biological Threat)
- Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
- Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- Antacid (for upset stomach)
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Prescription medications and glass
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler's checks and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
- The Willy Name Generator
We didn't realize how much people want a name for their penis or the penis of a friend, but we're glad they do. The Willy Name Generator is the ahead of the pack by a large margin.
- The Froo Froo Menu Generator
People have come out in droves to build their own fancy restaurant menus full of ridiculous dishes. We're just hoping no one actually tries to cook any of them.
- The Horoscope Generator
The least "random" of our random generators seems to be a hit. Unlike most of our other stuff, the Horoscope Generator relies more on the wit of our contributors than the random yoking together of language.
- The Death Metal Band Namer
A suggestion from one of our users that seems to have hit a high, shrieking note with everyone. Rock on.
- The TV Show Pitch Generator
Our first success story continues to churn out bizarre TV show ideas by the thousands.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
"Single Page View" hides the side columns while the "Print" view strips the page down to one of the more bare bones printer views I've seen. I'm a little disappointed with the "Reprints" link though. I expected to take me to a form for ordering reprints of that specific article, but instead it took me to a generic form and FAQ about reprints. Something to work on there I guess.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Why can't a phone be programmed to recognize when it's dialing a number accidentally. If the same number is dialed more than 3 times in the span of a minute and there is no direct voice input on the caller's end how about the screen locks with a message saying "Accidental Call Suspected" or something to that effect?
Also, I wonder how much cell phone companies make each year on butt dialed calls. Someone should do a study.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I love writing a blog and reading other blogs and I also love working on generatorland.com, which continues to roll on unabated. However, at some point I realized that I needed to sleep and that we all need a little break from the Internet once in a while to smell the roses, or, in my case now, to fight common yard pests.
So I haven't posted in a while and I guess that's OK. I'm sure most of my readers have wandered off to other blogs or sites and there's a good chance there are few around to read this post, which is cool too. As much as I'd like to connect with great, random people around the blogosphere, this blog has always been as much a place for me to deposit my thoughts and discoveries as it has been a place to interact with an audience.
So with all that in mind I'm wondering if I should continue blogging. I have some thoughts on how I might better organize my Web/free time to ensure I can make regular posts, but then I'm not sure if I necessarily should. If you have an opinion I'd certainly be interested in hearing it, but ultimately I guess I'll just have to decide if I still need a blog as an outlet. Maybe a blog about owning your first home...
Thursday, July 26, 2007
MySpace erases 29,000 sex offenders | The Register
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
It's late, but 1&1 has a 24-hour support number. I call it and about 15 minutes later I'm on the line with someone I assume is in India. I give them my customer ID and tell them my site's down. They tell me that due to technical problems the server my site is on is currently down. OK, I ask, how long has it been down? They don't know. When will it be back up? They don't know. The server administrator hasn't told them anything. They ask me to call back tomorrow if it's still down. I ask if they'll alert me when the site is back up. No, they won't, just call back tomorrow if it's still down and maybe if they get enough calls the server administrator will know this is really a problem(!).
Now it's not like I'm raking in the big bucks with the site, but it's getting good traffic and building a loyal audience. The last traffic I can see from Google Analytics is from 4pm today, which was about 7 hours ago. That means anyone referred to my site in the last seven hours now thinks the site is gone. They may not come back. 1&1 is losing my audience every minute that goes by. This should be important to them and they should be proactive with me in handling the situation. They aren't. I had to call them to tell them their server was down and now they want me to call them again to tell them if it's still down tomorrow. What?
Meanwhile our users suffer, I suffer, and no one is happy. Come on 1&1, get your heads out of your asses.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Runaway wrecking ball causes chaos, accident - CNN.com
On The Go: Googlify your cell phone - Lifehacker
Monday, July 09, 2007
The Sick Clown Name Generator
If you've decided to slap on the makeup, pop on the nose, and unleash your inner clown on an unsuspecting world, we're here to help you get off on the right (giant) foot with a good, sick clown name.
The Horoscope Generator
Your future may be written in the stars, but more likely it's just a bunch of random crap. To that end, we present The Horoscope Generator which creates a personalized horoscope just for you. Probably.
The TV Show Title Mashup
What happens when you randomly mash up TV Show Titles? You get things like "Hardy Strokes" and "The Wind in the Mother." Help us find more ridiculous TV Show Title Mashups.
So far, with little fanfare, the Horoscope Generator is taking off like wildfire, especially throughout Europe. We welcome our European friends with open arms and offer Philly cheesesteaks.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
We're looking to add illustrations to our Super Hero Generator at Generator Land as well (although frankly we're a little concerned about what a hero called "The Electric Placenta" might look like).
Some of the ideas are truly stupid, but if you search by "best" you'll see some really good ideas. The site is entirely text-based and very easy on the eyes. The navigation is a bit odd, but not confusing. My only complaint is the registration process, which requires you to send an email to request membership. I'll write more when I hear back from them.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I offer my humble support for Lucy's endeavor, I think it will be a great resource.
Monday, June 25, 2007
We've added a new feature to Generatorland that lets you submit a particularly amusing result to the Generator Land Hall of Fame. For quality control purposes, we are currently monitoring the submissions and approving/axing where appropriate. Based on what's come in so far, this was probably a wise decision, however, we expect to be switching to a user rating system at some point.
In the meantime, check out what got through the Mike & Joe filter here: http://www.generatorland.com/hall_of_fame.php.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
We're working on some new features for Generator Land, as well as the next top secret generator (which is only top secret because we can't make up our minds which one to release next).
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Of course you could also stay late and mess with their stuff, but that wouldn't be a real mature release would it?
Web Worker Daily: So Your Co-Worker Isn't Your Best Friend. Now What?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
You just type in your blog 's URL and hit submit. Within seconds you'll find out that blogging is easy, but blogging professionally is not. Fortunatley most bloggers are in it for the fun and attention. Technogeekboy is worth something, but not much (see below).
For some real fun check out what blogs like Lifehacker and TechCrunch are worth. Zoinks!
How Much is Your Blog Worth Dane Carlson's Business Opportunities Weblog
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The addictive part of it is that you can scan through the list of questions and quickly post an idea in a matter of seconds. There is a truly diverse bunch of ideas to brainstorm about so you're bound to have something you can expound on. Posting your own question is just as easy.
While traditional group brainstorming is a mixed bag that's usually not worth the effort, BrainReactions is low maintenance and quick. If you don't get any good ideas from the community, it's not like you had to book a conference room, buy a bunch of doughnuts and spend hours getting nowhere.
BrainReactions.net Online Brainstorming and Idea Management Software - Open Brainstorms
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I actually have a setup just like this at home. I secured a large Elfa shelf to the handles of our treadmill and set my laptop up on it. There's plenty of room and it works very well. However, working, even at a slow walk, is not exactly a sustainable activity. An hour is about all I can handle before the bouncing and movement begin to wear on my eyes and posture.
So, interesting concept. Not practical.
Monday, May 14, 2007
The Generator Blog features a crapload of generators so be sure to check them out. Especially if you're into those generators that create images with your text like the Beer Label Generator or the Bling Necklace Generator.
The latest addition to our growing family is The Local Headline Generator. Given the similarity of small town newspaper headlines it seemed a natural to randomize. We took a list of odd small town names and mixed them with a common headline format and hit the random button. You can check out the results at Generator Land right this second.
Traffic is quickly building at the site and we thank you all for your support!
Friday, May 11, 2007
"You see, when Sonos started to support Rhapsody, I fell in love with the subscription model. In fact, since I became a Rhapsody subscriber 8 months ago, I haven't purchased a single iTunes track. Amazingly, I haven't even played a single track of music from my own music library (which includes a lot of tracks I bought from iTunes). Not once…in 8 months! My NAS drive just sits there on the shelf…lonely…and pointless. I just can't bring myself to purchase albums based on 30-second samples, when I can go on Rhapsody and listen to the entire album anytime I like."
Read Alan's Whole Post
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
(Note: This is from a comment I made about YouTube on Profy.com. And don't worry, I have my own permission to re-use it.)
I think netizens have been spoiled by free content into thinking that they have an inherent right to get whatever they want whenever they want it. It’s certainly an easy state of mind to fall into. Copyrighted music and movie sharing on P2P networks is stealing and so is substantive re-use and gain from copyrighted content without the copyright-holder’s permission. I can’t strictly define “substanative” other than to say that showing a thumbnail image of a video wouldn’t be “substanative” but showing a certain amount of the video itself would be. Copyright holders get to make the call on if it’s fair use. Some might like the attention/marketing aspect of it, but some might not. Lately, not so much.
It seems that a site that simply aggregates links and information about videos on other sites in a user-centric way would be a smarter model than simply showing the videos directly. I assume those sites are out there. These sites can drive traffic to the copyright holders’ sites, which is what they want, and could provide the centralized hub that users want. Do we need to see it directly on the “hub” itself? Not really. Content sites just need to get their collective act together and create better, more user-centric sites while working with these hubs as much as possible.
YouTube should continue to aggregate user-generated content and video provided to them directly by copyright holders, but they need to get some common sense and quit acting like what they’re allowing on their site is something other than copyright infringement. Just because people want it doesn’t mean you should do it.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Subscription music services like Rhapsody don't JUST "rent" music, you can also purchase it forever if you want to. I burn a few CDs a month from Rhapsody and the per song cost is cheaper than iTunes. Subscribing doesn't mean you can't own whatever music you want, it means you get more music. Who wouldn't want that?
So while I do buy songs outright sometimes, mostly I just load up my MP3 player with as much music as I want, I stream as much music as I want, etc. I can listen to any album or song anytime in its entirety. I probably listen to music an average of six hours a day between my commute, the office, and on weekends and I never run out of new stuff to listen to. The thought of using a service where I have to buy every song I listen to for .99 cents seems ludicrous to me now.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
We've got a few more in the works and our goal is to add at least one new generator each day. If you visit, feel free to rate and comment on what we post. You can also submit good generators you've come across. Everyone seems to know of at least one.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
And that's about it. Sitemaps can't be exported to any format (XML would be nice) and can't be downloaded. You can only print. In theory this might be a nice way to share sitemaps among team members, but there aren't any annotation or markup tools. This is clearly aimed at less technical users as developers, who are used to more complex tools like Visio, may feel limited. However, less technical users may enjoy the straightforward functionality.
Monday, April 30, 2007
In addition I'll let users rate them and comment on them so my opinion won't be the only one that matters. Don't expect too much right off as I begin collecting, but I hope to eventually collect enough random generators to make repeated visits a must.
If you know of any random generators, let me know on the blog here or submit them at Generator Land. I can't pay you, but I will say a prayer for your immortal soul. Or I'll at least generate a prayer with the Random Prayer Generator (if I can find one).
Thursday, April 26, 2007
read more | digg story
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Flash Earth ...satellite and aerial imagery of the Earth in Flash
Monday, April 23, 2007
Virtual desktop trifecta at Web 2.0 Expo Webware : Cool Web apps for everyone
It's a nice-looking site and the editors do a good job of choosing feeds to include. I like the Buzz! page, which aggregates the most popular items from many social news sites like Digg, Reddit, Del.icio.us, Furl, TailRank, etc. This is similar to other sites of this type, but they have a pretty comprehensive list here.
All in all, I prefer PopURLs and OriginalSignal, but my true preference will likely always be rolling my own.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
You can choose clouds and/or RADAR images with transparency, add roads, and animate. The interface is smooth like butter. I still prefer Accuweather overall, but Weather.com scores points here.
Weather Radar and Weather Maps - weather.com
Friday, April 20, 2007
"Take heed, O ye of little faith, for you will be pursued into the mountains by sex-mad baboons!"
Ship of Fools: Biblical curse generator
Top 10 Reasons as to why I still need to be convinced about marketing on Second Life
4/19/2007 7:30:00 pm
It was but three months ago that Microsoft opened the flood gates to beta signups for Windows Live for TV, and now the mega-corp is soliciting the help of free laborers yet again to test out a potentially buggy and likely frustrating piece of forthcoming software. If you're still intrigued, Microsoft is holding an open signup to beta test Windows Media Center update for Vista, but we certainly hope you weren't counting on even a partial list of features, as the curiously bland signup page doesn't relinquish much of anything beyond procedural instructions. So if you're hankering for something new to try out, and don't mind replying to Microsoft's "surveys, bug reports, and other means as required," feel free to hit the read link and toss your name in the hat.
BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time
Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!
Ugh, how bad will the new Windows Media Center be? I switched to BeyondTV after about a month of wrestling with Media Center and I haven't looked back.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
- Switch to a black background
- Switch to popflow (a one column format)
- Switch to big text
- Switch to Buzzmania (more news items)
- Turn off story previews
- Turn off video/audio feeds
- Open links in the same window
- Customize feed arrangement
- Open scrapbook
I am impressed anytime a Web site's designers let you mess with their work to suit your needs and it would be nice if more did. Thanks to CSS and AJAX these kind of user-focused controls are easier to build and thanks to the Time Person of the year (you) there are more sites taking it seriously.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Since most of the tasks I perform arrive via email, using the drag and drop method saves me from having to re-type information and, more importantly, because it's so easy I'm highly motivated to use it. This makes it almost impossible for me to forget to do something. A sidenote here: When someone calls me and asks me to do something, I will often ask them to send me an email about it instead. This might seem a little rude to people who prefer the phone, but it's really the best way to ensure everyone ends up getting what they want.
To use this feature, just select the email that has all the information you need, drag it over to the navigation pane (probably on the left of the Outlook interface) and drop it onto the "Task" button (click the image over there to see what I mean). A new task will pop up with the same subject as the email and the contents of the email in the task's body. The due date and start date of the task will default to today, the status to "Not Started," and the priority to "Normal." You can edit all this, as well as the Subject, save it and you're done.
The same thing can be done with the Calendar, however it will usually require more cleanup since it's likely you'll be sharing the meeting with other people.
The only real problem with this method is that attachments to the email don't automatically get attached to the task. However, I found a workaround for this using macros. I won't get into all of it because someone else already has here. If you know a little VBScript or are willing to get your hands a little dirty to figure it out, you can customize that macro to your heart's content. Then you just add the macro to your Outlook toolbar and any time you get an email with attachments relevant to the task, click the button and voila, the attachments automatically show up in the task!
Monday, April 16, 2007
OpenOffice can open Microsoft Excel and Word documents fairly well so even if you're tied to Microsoft Office, you can still get work done. Files can be uploaded and downloaded from the "Hard Drive" program, which acts like Explorer.
If you upload a bunch of MP3s to Desktoptwo, you can play them from the interface using the MP3 Player. A nice way to keep your music handy. The player's pretty bare bones, but sounds fine.
There are some social features like a blog and a message board available if you share your desktop with others. Not sure I'd use this, it would be like sharing your PC with a bunch of people, but I imagine, like most online social things, the kids would like it.
The rest of the apps are basic and functional. Performance is excellent and I saw no delays or hiccups. I suspect more applications will be added before it gets out of beta. All in all it's a pretty slick program that I suspect will appeal to anyone switching PCs frequently.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
- Server maintenance
- Hard-core development (applications, eCommerce, etc)
- Database maintenance and development
- Front-end design and architecture
- Content development
- E-mail marketing
- Enterprise applications
These separate departments don't necessarily play well together and are rarely looped in on each others' plans or projects, operating largely in their own silos. Is this how it should be or should they all be under one, centrally-managed group?
How are other "Web Teams" structured? Bear in mind I'm not talking about agency Web teams, I mean Web teams internal to a corporation or association. These teams work together over the long haul and may evolve over time. They're not the streamlined, project-focused teams you'd find in agency and members may wear several hats and manage several different Web sites like intranets, extranets, external sites, enterprise applications, etc. They may be called on to handle the minutiae and whims of departments throughout the enterprise.
I've yet to see an optimal model for this kind of team, but I will keep looking.
12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
For a complete scientific look at the pitch check out Bill Nye's article and to see it in action watch the video below. Very cool. Also, for a great guide to pitching check out "The Complete Pitcher."
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
To see an example of a Mind Map, click on the image to the right, which is a map for building a tree house (and also proof that I have no idea how to build a tree house).
The interface is intuitive and Web 2.0ish so can get up and creating within a few seconds. The keyboard strokes are simple and brilliant. Don't expect a whole lot of customization like adding pictures or special icons, just really clean, attractive shapes.
If you want to save your work of mind art, you can register (name, email, password) and then not only save it, but collaborate with others on it. Mind Maps are probably best created in a room with everyone sitting around a screen or whiteboard, but I'm curious to see how this concept translates to individuals collaborating in non-real time.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
A great trend we've seen on online newspaper and magazine sites, as well as many other sites that feature article content is the increased use of "Article Tools." Article tools include links or buttons like "Print This, " "Email This," "Increase/Decrease Font Size," etc. Some sites only include one or two (usually "Print" or "Send") while some like the excellent news site The International Herald Tribune go crazy with the concept, including things like "Clip This" for saving articles to your own private area.
I've put together a bunch of examples, which you can see by clicking on the image on the right there. As I mentioned recently regarding Younanimous.com, I have no problem with "clutter" and the more article tools I see the more I think the publisher wants to empower me to read the content the way I want.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
TachClock: A slickly designed and deceptively simple clock that pops up unobtrusively on the hour and/or half hour. No numbers, just tick-marks for the hours, minute and second.
PowerX: Another simple but elegant widget that allows easy one-click access to log off, shutdown, and restart. I use it every time I reboot.
ClipDrop: A handy clipboard tool that saves and displays as many clipboard items as you want. Click a copied snippet from the list and it's ready to paste.
Yahoo! Maps: I prefer Yahoo! Maps over Google Maps these days and this widget makes looking up locations and directions a snap. I just wish it connected directly to the "Broadband" version of Yahoo! Maps by default.
AfterVote is a social search engine, which I've already voiced my concerns about, but after talking to the guys at AfterVote, I think it just might work. I guess I was thinking a bit simplistically about the concept of voting search results up and down. With AfterVote, rankings will be based on more than the simple + or - voting system and they plan to adapt the alorithms as needed.
For instance, if you click on a result and don't like it, you will probably return to the results and click on another. The system logs that behavior and uses it to "passively" tally votes for or against the results. If you really like or hate the result, you can also vote with the + or - buttons. While they didn't elaborate further on how else they'll police the system, I'm sure they'll look for the same things sites like Digg look for.
In addition to the social ranking aspect, AfterVote includes a plethora of social Web widgets (this link is already out of date, but shows many of them) for sharing results via Del.icio.us, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. and seeing where the result ranks on Alexa, Compete, Google PageRank, etc. These widgets can all be turned on and off as preferences dictate. Personally I like to leave all of it on because I have no issue with clutter.
Did I mention it's actually a metasearch engine pulling from Google, Yahoo!, and MSN and that it has links to cached sites for all three? There's also a widget for the Trust level of the site. I haven't figured out where that comes from yet, but then, at the rate they're adding features I may never have a complete grasp of what's going on.
The question becomes "How much is too much for the average user?" I think AfterVote, in its current form is extremely appealing to people like me who can't get enough "stuff" when it comes to search and the social Web. However, if this stuff is all turned on by default when they get out of beta, I'm a little worried more casual Web users might feel a bit overwhelmed and confused. And I would think that to take best advantage of the voting system mass appeal will be key. Perhaps there are enough people like me to make this a success. I'm hoping so, because I think this is a terrific tool.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Anyway, my point wasn't about product placement or how execrable "The Last Mimzy" was. Mimzy, like most movies and TV shows suffered from the "stereotype of running time." That is to say, "this is a movie and therefore it should run about this long." Or "this is a TV show and therefore it should run this long." Unfortunately, many stories need a lot more than 90 minutes to unravel their plots and characters. By the same token, many films need only a few minutes. I suspect "Norbit" might have been better as a five minute YouTube clip. We'll watch as long as we're entertained and engrossed.
While lately TV shows have become serialized in their approach to storytelling ("Heroes," "24," "Lost," etc.), they're still missing the point. TV shows like these run as long as the network can suck money from them. Most of today's serial shows have a central mystery and this lack of a known run length must drive writers crazy. Will it end this year, next year, or five years from now? How much filler do we need to add? How much can we flatten this story arc? Alias seemed to suffer from this. The first two seasons hinged on discovering a lost artifact. When they found the lost artifact there was really nowhere to go except off the air. "Lost" is a good show but it's heavily padded. Some scenes just lay there, bereft of plot or meaning, but they help stretch the series out.
The last example I'll share is local TV News. Some nights there is truly not enough news to fill the 30 minutes. This means we get fluff stories about colorful senior citizens and pets that can sing. How about we make a rule that local TV news is as long as it has to be. No more real news 15 minutes into the broadcast? Well, then sign off and let's move on to the next thing.
Looking through the A-Z list there are many entries that are simply place names, for instance "Illinois." Click on it and at present you get nothing. I'm not sure what I'd expect to find by clicking on "Illinois" but I would expect to find something. Someone obviously created an entry and then got bored or wasn't sure what to do next.
Another entry is called "Az Realtor." As you might guess, some realtor in Arizona decided to get some free marketing. Very altruistic of them.
So while I am a fan of wikis in general, I am also a fan of good editing and content approval. Wikipedia has a strong editorial component, which I've encountered when attempting to change my company's listing. It was annoying, but I ultimately respected the fact that the editor wanted to make sure everything was kosher. Zillow needs that kind of editorial commitment and then the might have something.
In the meantime Kathy has understandably cancelled speaking engagements and remained locked in her home since there's no way for her to know how real these threats against her are. You can read the whole story on her blog, which has (hopefully) temporarily been put on hold.
I hope these idiots are found and charged appropriately for threatening Kathy's life. This kind of behavior should never be tolerated.
Edison invented the electric light
Thomas Edison is known as the world's greatest inventor. His record output - 1,093 patents - still amazes us, over a century later. Astonishing, except for one thing: he didn't invent most of them. Most Edison inventions were the work of his unsung technicians - and his most famous invention, the electric light, didn't even belong to his laboratory. Four decades before Edison was born, English scientist Sir Humphry Davy invented arc lighting (using a carbon filament). For many years, numerous innovators would improve on Davy's model. The only problem: none could glow for more than twelve hours before the filament broke. The achievement of Edison's lab was to find the right filament that would burn for days on end. A major achievement, but not the first.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Now, I will set aside the banality of playing with a toy that is responsible for another toy for a moment so I can address an even more ridiculous scenario. You feed Tanner pellets and then when you press down on Tanner's tail, he poops. That's right, he poops and then Barbie has to clean it up.
Admittedly I'm not a pet owner and probably never will be because I think it's silly. Part of the reason I think it's silly is that people claim to own pets and then walk around cleaning up their excrement. I don't see that as ownership so much as a really lousy part-time job. To design a toy based on this notion may be the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.
See this brilliant feat of engineering in action below:
"Buzztracker consists of two types of pages. Daily Indexes and Individual Location Indexes. On the daily index page, you see a list of cities with percentages next to them. The number represents the percentage of news stories that city is associated with for that day.
Locations that appear more often are represented by red circles on the map. The more frequently the cities appear, the larger the circle. Connections between locations are determined by intercontextual referencing in news articles. These connections are represented by lines between locations. The stronger the connection, the darker the line."
Just go check it out. It's cool.
Also, I think he might want to add a laser site to it since though it may be accurate once it's aimed properly, the trial and error required for aiming it might get messy and, potentially kill a pet. Watch it in action here:
Unrelated to the beer launcher, perhaps I just hadn't noticed, but Metacafe inserts two ad links after a video ends. I think that's a good strategy, but A) the links should be relevant to the video just played b) if they don't already, they should offer the video producer ad space there, and c) they should include space for the "Replay Video" link within the video space as well as "Related Videos."
I also think it's a great idea to show how much the video producer has earned by posting their video. What a great incentive to get others to post quality content instead of the stupid crap.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Toward a Better Digg
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Sustainable is Good : Makers of Splenda buy Hundreds of Negative Domain Names
This is sometimes how it feels to bring Web and email metrics to people in your company. They didn't ask for them, they don't want them, and, frankly you're a little rude for bringing them up. Things are going fine in their division and they only invited you to the meeting because they have some more "great ideas" for the Web. But you showed up with metrics and a few questions about their business goals and they don't appreciate it.
A common misconception among business people who have Web property is that Web Analysts are out to get them and take away their Web activities and, sometimes, some of their budget. What Web Analysts are out to get is the truth about Web activity. If the truth leads to initiatives being cut back or eliminated, it's not because the Web Analyst was out to get someone, it's because the initiative was a failure and no one had noticed yet.
However often the initiative simply needs some help and focus to get back on track. Perhaps the audience has shifted. In the case of content sites, perhaps the writing has gotten away from its sweet spot. Whatever the reason, analytics and testing can only help.
I started thinking about the fact that I haven't worn a watch in over a decade and when I did I didn't really like it. I didn't feel it was worth the annoyance of having something strapped to my wrist when there are already so many clocks around. I, like many people, use my mobile phone, currently a Cingular 8125, to tell time. Someone asks if I have the time and I reach into my coat or pants pocket, fish out my phone, turn on the screen, and tell them the time. Of course by then they've probably asked someone else who's wearing a watch.
Every now and then, like this morning, I check out the latest in watch technology and each time I invariably I come to the same conclusion: Watches never do enough. I realize this is insane. A watch is supposed to tell time. But whenever I look at a watch online or in a store I feel like simply telling the time is a waste of technology. Sure you can buy watches that give news headlines or scores, but that requires a monthly fee. And usually they look kind of hard to read and interact with. This Garmin Forerunner watch does all kinds of things but it's limited to fitness. What about when I'm not exercising? Then it's just a little clock again.
I like the idea of a Web-enabled watch but, like I said I don't want another monthly fee. A wi-fi watch would only be helpful when you were near a connection and there just aren't enough free wi-fi spots. Maybe a bluetooth watch that could use your mobile phone's signal. Hmmm. Of course the interface would have to be really good for a screen that size and they almost never are. Usually data watches have big low-resolution icons and fonts, horrible for reading anything more than a phone number, much less a news headline.
Anyway I've decided that in order to get all the functionality I want in a slick, stylish package I will have to do something I never do. I will have to beg Apple. Please release an iWatch. Sigh.