Thursday, July 31, 2008

Internet humor: The early years

[thumb] do you know of any major organizations that are similar to the CDC?
[lucent] like who?
[thumb] center for disease control
[lucent] i said WHO
[thumb] what? i'm asking you
[lucent] The World Health Organization!

[kritical] Christin1: you need to learn how to figure out stuff yourself..
[Christin1] how do i do that

Interactions like that are why I consistently go back to, ( is a similar site) a repository of (often geeky) things people have written (said) on different chat systems. While the internet is known for having several exabytes of humor websites, real conversations are the best (including Best of CraigsList). Another one I've enjoyed recently is High School metaphors, such as "He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something."

Here's a few recent favorites from

(morganj): 0 is false and 1 is true, correct?
(alec_eso): 1, morganj
(morganj): bastard.

[sui88] 67% of girls are stupid
[v-girl] i belong with the other 13%

[skrike] I think the people above me are having sex
[skrike] either that or they're sleeping restlessly and agreeing with each other a lot.

[jeebus] the "bishop" came to our church today
[jeebus] he was a damn impostor
[jeebus] never once moved diagonally

[malaclypse] The general rule on about people on IRC seems to be "Attractive, single, mentally stable: choose two"

[fulgore] whats the complement to a 43 degree angle?
[sparks] My you're looking "acute" today

* nickname has joined #mp3friendschat
[nickname] word
[bobbbit10] excel?
[Davman] rofl

[insomniak`] Stupid Google
[insomniak`] "The" is a common word, and was not included in your search
[insomniak`] "Who" is a common word, and was not included in your search

[glacial] I love school
[glacial] Today our term paper due date's set
[glacial] Our instructor says that we WILL hand in the paper on time, and she'll accept no excuses except illness, with a note from our doctor, or a death in the immediate family, with a note from the dead member.
[glacial] So this wiseass pipes up: "What about extreme sexual exhaustion?"
[glacial] She waits for the laughs to die down and says:
[glacial] "Well, I guess you'll have to learn to write with your other hand."

[masterg] .....................................................................
[judas] where's pacman when you need him?

[reuben] somebody keeps jiggling the doorknob on my front door, then running away
[reuben] i don't know if i should call the police, or hook up some electricity to the doorknob
[cristobal] why don't you put ice on the stairs
[cristobal] and heat up the door knob
[cristobal] and swing paint buckets down from your two story foyer
[cristobal] then a few years later, fade from the public eye.....

[reverend] IRC is just multiplayer notepad.

[sonium] someone speak python here?
[lucky] SSSSS
[sonium] the programming language

[axe] I
[axe] do
[axe] not
[axe] know
[axe] where
[axe] family
[axe] doctors
[axe] acquired
[axe] illegibly
[axe] perplexing
[axe] handwriting;
[axe] nevertheless,
[axe] extraordinary
[axe] pharmaceutical
[axe] intellectuality,
[axe] counterbalancing
[axe] indecipherability,
[axe] transcendentalizes
[axe] intercommunications'
[axe] incomprehensibleness.
[jedihobbes] woah
[jedihobbes] *blinks*

[locke|away] I found a note in one of my old word .docs that said Note to self: Get revenge on Valvados.
[locke|away] Except I couldn't remember what I was supposed to get revenge for.
[locke|away] But I trusted my own judgment, so I went with it.
[valvados] ...
[valvados] o.o
[valvados] hmm
[valvados] i dunno what you were supposed to get revenge for, either
[locke|away] I can only assume you got what was coming to you. Not 100 percent sure, though.
[valvados] well, whatever i did, i guess i deserved it
[locke|away] Let that possibly be a lesson to you.

[xnd] Personally its not God I dislike, its his fan club I cant stand

[patrician|away] what does your robot do, sam
[bovril] it collects data about the surrounding environment, then discards it and drives into walls

[pihlopase] Jesus Saves
[jbroome] passes to Moses, SCOOOOORE!!

[tsk] oiuyniyu98h987h89yh87y98yjn987j987y897yhkiuk;''''
[tsk] sorry.. there was a spider on my keyboard.

[tag] Ouroboros: lets play Pong
[ouroboros] Ok.
[tag] | .
[ouroboros] . |
[tag] | .
[ouroboros] . |
[tag] | .
[ouroboros] | .
[ouroboros] Whoops

*** Topic in #doghouse is 'Our hearts are extended to the 17 victims of the recent internet fraud'
* Anubis has joined #doghouse
[anubis] what fraud?
[kadmium] You haven't heard about it?
[anubis] no?
[kadmium] You can read the full story at
[anubis] omg wtf is that!
*** Kadmium changes topic to 'Our hearts are extended to the 18 victims of the recent internet fraud'


Mrs. Bello: Conversation is an essential skill. Does anyone disagree?
Student: *timidly raises hand*
Mrs. Bello: Do you want to elaborate?
Student: No.

// On reading "A Tale of Two Cities"
Mr. Maney: It was the best of times, it was a waste of time.

Andrew: I'm not stupid, I just don't do things as better than anyone.

$: Someone told me that people who curse are just lacking vocabulary skills...
Mike: ...I'm gonna ****ing defenestrate you.

Mr. McFaden: *walking through a chattering class, very quietly* Sex.
Class: *keeps talking, does not notice*
Mr. McFaden: *still very quietly* Extra credit.
Class: *perks up* Did you say extra credit? What?
Mr. McFaden: From a biological standpoint, that's just WRONG.

// Taken from a student's personal information sheets handed out by Dr. Jones on the first day of class
Form: Please list three characteristics that describe yourself.
1. indecisive
2. __________
3. __________

// English class, discussing the 7th circle of the Inferno
Mrs. Bello: So here the people who practiced sodomy are punished with fire.
Student: So would it be okay to call them flaming homosexuals?

Mr. Stueben:
It has come to my attention that some students do not like my quizzes. Consequently, until morale improves, all quiz questions will be written in Mandarin Chinese. Good luck!
DIRECTIONS: Choose the best answer to the following question from the choices below.
(Chinese text you don't need to know to solve it--yes, there is only one correct answer.)
A. All of the below.
B. None of the below.
C. All of the above.
D. One of the above.
E. None of the above.
F. None of the above.

I just read that last year 4,153,237 people got married. I don't want to start any trouble, but shouldn't that be an even number?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Get more traffic, and become a better writer at the same time.

I'll start with an example: My most visited post is a collection of free images. Yet I didn't use the word "free" (I overlooked the obvious) when I first wrote the post. Later I noticed someone who found it by searching for "free vertical wallpaper." Once I saw that, I rewrote the post to include the word "free" where appropriate.

Add words to articles you've already posted from time to time

So here's my advice: Whenever you see someone using words to find a post that you didn't use in that post, consider adding those words to the post. You'll get more traffic from the search engines, and more of it will be people actually looking for what you have to offer.

To keep it simple, take a look at this live tracking of visitors to this blog. Scroll down. See the word in pink? Those are the keywords visitors typed into search engines to find this blog.

You could also look through your site analytics for keywords to add, or do keyword research in advance with the aid of a tool (the pro method), but a simple starting point would just be to sign up for the free visitor tracking service from feedjit and take a look at your live results from time to time. Easy and fun!

Learn from your readers

Of course, this is another way of listening to and learning from your audience. And that always makes for a better writer! People will share concepts relevant to what you are writing about beyond simple synonyms if you'll listen to them.

Another advantage to reviewing the keywords people are using to find you is sometimes you'll realize there is more to be said on a particular topic. Yesterday my wife noticed dozens of new visitors to her blog coming from the keyword PhotoFunia (it's cool--take a look!) She immediately expanded the post they were coming to, and more people have now begun visiting additional pages on her blog.

Watch how people are finding your site, and your readers will have helped you learn what you have to share that can help them, making you a better and more popular writer!

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Is a new generation of smart objects about to change our lives?

An MTI Micro Mobion fuel-cell recently worked for 2,700 hours of continuous use in a cell phone. (Press release.)  

While amazing, what really startles me is how much this could change our world. This was a very small, lightweight battery. Combined with technologies like Skyhook, a technology that can fit on a mere camera memory card and yet can pinpoint your location without GPS in 70% of populated areas in the U.S. and Canada (and 50% of Europe), our world---and privacy---is changing rapidly.

For example, the just-released iPhone pinpoints your location in three (!) ways: by GPS, and by triangulating from both Wi-Fi hot spots (Skyhook) and cellphone tower proximity (Google system). It really strikes me how there has been a very small technology barrier--mostly having to do with cost---that has kept a lot of new "smart devices" from invading our lives. As new products come faster and faster to market (particularly in Japan) it seems there is very little keeping smart objects in products and materials from dramatically changing our lives.  

How could smart objects change our world?

How about sensors built throughout bridges, transmitting data about stress, aging and damage? Locks could transmit their state. Know the status of all doors at your house, business, storage unit, vacation cabin, etc. What if you could call your key ring (or purse, bicycle, pet collar, etc.) and have it beep, flash a light, send a GPS coordinate and a low-res 180 degree photo from it's current location? Any valuable object of sufficient size could come pre-built with an embedded device for tracking.

Kiss your privacy goodbye?

The forces that want to track our every movement have several technology barriers to doing so. The biggest one is not being able to use inexpensive devices with simple power requirements. Add wireless, GPS and RFIDs to self-powered smart objects and it's game-changing. Low power sensors and displays could last for decades with this kind of technology, all without being connected to any kind of power. Security cameras could be in a lot more places. You could embed RFIDs into building components and have workers wear transmitters at work (or vice-versa) to quickly find workers on large projects.  

Instantly more popular devices

Things like wearable computers, wireless photo frames, battery-operated lights (like stick-up closet lights) and electric screwdrivers just got a lot more popular. Toy designers can now look forward to what they can create with a lot more action to them now that worrying about frequent charging or battery changes can be a thing of the past. But add a little solar power boosting and a wireless data connection and it's mind-boggling what is possible (not to mention GPS, RFIDs, motion sensing, etc.) Smart objects could be everywhere and anywhere.  

Remote controls

This means more things could be operated with a remote control. Your office chair could work like the electric seat adjustments in a luxury car, with a touch control under the armrest operating a battery pack under the chair. You could have stick lights under railings that glow to illuminate the stairs for safety, recharging via solar when bright, glowing only when needed.  

Combine with RFIDs, GPS and motion sensors

For things that move, put a motion sensor and GPS on them and transmit via the mobile phone network or local wireless to a computer interpreting their data. The problem with RFIDs is that something has to generate power to read their data. Now, anything can generate power so you can have more data reading stations, or make them mobile.

Instead of putting an RFID chip on a pet collar, you could put the reader in the collar, and put the chips throughout the home. Now the pet can transmit their location by having a computer triagulate to RFIDs they are near. Will computers one day track the 3D travels of your pets throughout the house to analyze if their health has changed?

While this is all just top-of-my-head speculation, long-life portable power DOES have huge implications for the world we live in.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Most important internet patch of all time happened yesterday!!

First, go to this site and click the "Check my DNS" button immediately to see if you are vulnerable! Vendors from around the world formed an unheard of alliance to attack this problem.

Researchers from around the world recently met (at Microsoft) to figure out how to fix the internet. It was broken, but they couldn't tell anyone, lest someone try to take advantage of it. This was a design flaw that showed up in EVERYONE'S network.

Yesterday, companies around the world simultaneously released a patch to protect us from the problem.Why all at once? So the bad guys don't learn about it from one company's patch, and then attack the other companies.

Read more about this amazing problem and the process that took place to fix it. This is a DNS problem so serious it can hijack not only ALL email, but even cause large sites such as Google and Yahoo! to tale unsuspecting visitors to malware sites.

Another interesting article is Once-skeptical security researchers now agree that the critical bug in the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) protocol is the real deal.

Quote: 'It is way more serious than we had imagined,' says critic after closed briefing. Note: It's still not "fixed," it's only patched. Several months are still estimated to be needed to fix the problem. The patch was done in a complicated manner to slow down the bad guys from breaking it, but it's still possible.

Read more!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fix computers (and more?): Safe mode and cold booting

Electrical charges build up in computer and appliances that use circuit boards. Remove those electrical charges and you fix—or extend the life of—your favorite devices. It just takes seconds, here's how:

Read more

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Vote for any candidate, but who counts your vote and how?

checkmark on voting ballotI'd love to see the opposing view (add your comment) to this set of links: Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA. They outline how voting in America is not secure, has been and is being hacked, and has been controlled by and skewed for Republicans. Many of these 20 "facts" are too inflammatory to take at face value, yet each fact has a lot of supporting data.

Here is a sampling from Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA---click over to the site for the data (each fact has supporting links):

Who benefits from errors?

Not some but all---ALL---the voting machine errors found and reported in Florida favored Republicans. Math experts have shown serious voting anomalies in Florida -- ALWAYS favoring Bush -- and recommend immediate investigation. (Facts 18 and 20.)

Nearly one-third of all votes in America happen on machines with no paper trail: They cannot verify that the machines are reporting actual votes. Yet Diebold machine security is so bad California banned their use. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it--there is a video of this! (Facts 16 and 17.)

And still Diebold's latest touch screen voting machines have no paper trail. Why not? They make ATMs, ticket machines and checkout scanners: all of which log each transaction and can easily create a paper trail. (Facts 9 and 10.)

Insecure and unverifiable, or actually criminal?

Jeff Dean is possibly the most important person in several elections. He was largely responsible for programming the optical scanning software currently used in most of the U.S. After Dean was convicted (23 counts of felony theft in the first degree) of planting back doors in his election software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years the company he created software for was bought by Dieblod and he was retained as a consultant by Diebold. (Fact 13 and 14.)

Dean was one of five convicted felons employed as consultants and developers by Diebold to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states. (Facts 12 and 13.)

Who is behind it all?

In the U.S., eighty percent of votes are counted by Diebold and ES&S. Diebold's vice-president and the president of ES&S are brothers. (Facts 1 and 3.)

election ballot box drawingDiebold's chairman and CEO is a top donor and campaign organizer for Bush who said (2003) he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes TO THE PRESIDENT next year." No international election observers were allowed in Ohio's polls. Diebold is based in Ohio. (Facts 4, 11 and 15.)

The prior chairman of ES&S was one of George W. Bush's top vice-presidential candidates, and recently lied about his ES&S ownership. How do we know this? The Senate Ethics Committee caught him. Note: ES&S equipment counted the votes that he became a U.S. Senator based on. (Facts 5, 6 and 7.)

The U.S. voting machine industry is not regulated or overseen by any federal agency. (Fact 2.)

Contact your representative to let them know what you think! Have different information? Comment!

What else should you know?

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Humans are naturally happy. Our greatest enemy: ourselves

What inner resources do we draw on when we have choices vs. when we don't? How different is our future happiness from what we predict it will be? What do limitations actually do to us? Prepare to be amazed:

Happiness: Have you seen ...

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