The Freakonomics Movie is about to launch! Way to go Levitt and Dubner. If you’ve never heard of their work -or a documentary for that matter- that’s ok… Please keep buying the shit I’m promoting.
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Watching this video was the best six minutes of Wednesday. Whoever did this little video must have been peeking through the keyhole.
Smooth move, everyone, smooth move: Blogger Raided
Now you know, dude… Next time, you get a Halloween voice changer, head to a payphone (if you can find one) and hit up some Chinese ripoff manufacturers – or HTC. Or better yet – play nice and call Apple…
Whatever happened to “Finders Keepers”?
Type in any URL here: Geocitizicer to make it look like a 1996 geocities page. I suggest hiding the address bar and playing a good prank on an unsuspecting non-techie… Really funny how far “The Web” has come… Does anyone remember using gopher too? Am I a dinosaur? Don’t answer that last one…
It’s not just that we haven’t figured out how to travel fast enough to reach other interesting planets, the big problem is we don’t live nearly long enough to get anywhere!
Ended up selling the Olympus 6020 at a small loss. The underwater pics are cool, but not as cool as to merit keeping a total dud. The colors are washed out and the camera is SLOOOOOOW.
So far I’ve had about 6-7 brands of digital point-and-shoot cameras… The only ones that have NEVER disappointed were the Canon cameras. They’re fast, they’re simple, they’re small, and they take awesome pictures. I love the ability to tweak the colors to “Vivid” or customize it – Things come out vibrant and alive, the way I see them – not the way Wall-E sees them.
For some reason, I’m slowly becoming more and more bitter towards Google. It all started nice and well – I loved the Prince Valiant air of the early days. These days, though, I’m going deep into Negative Sentiment Override and I’m seeing everything they do as as either self-serving, manipulative or aggressive.
The real trigger here is that I’m pissed they charge “API Fees” to advertise with them using anything but their crap. If askjeeves.com charges API fees, they screw themselves. If lycos.com charges API fees, they screw themselves…. When the dominant (90%+) market player charges API fees, they screw YOU. Catch the difference?
Their latest Blah post includes:
Introducing preferred AdWords API pricing
The Google AdWords API allows developers to build applications that interact directly with the AdWords platform. Agencies and developers of search engine marketing tools use these applications to manage large AdWords campaigns more efficiently and creatively.
Today, we’re announcing preferred AdWords API pricing. This gives qualified Google AdWords Certified Partners who manage client AdWords accounts free use of the AdWords API based on managed client spend. To apply, agencies must have an active agency profile page and be compliant with the AdWords API terms and conditions. We’ll evaluate applications for preferred AdWords API pricing based on the criteria listed here.
We hope preferred AdWords API pricing will encourage agencies and developers to experiment with new strategies, expand the functionality of their tools, and build more comprehensive client campaigns without worrying about increased costs. You can learn more about preferred pricing and how to apply at the preferred AdWords API pricing site.
What does this mean? The ones with the big bucks get the big breaks – that isn’t news for anyone, is it? It just doesn’t fit the image of the goody-two-shoes Google: Rob the little advertisers to give the big ones a free ride – all under the auspices of lower cost of maintenance of the relationship and larger business scale.
Oh, so you guys are looking for feedback? Here it is: Stop screwing the small advertisers! I’m starting to regret having given them the power I gave them, even if it was just an ounce of power to a Kiloton machine.
This has to be the creepiest way to promote your site – Virtual my ass… This is a “rubber human” and its as ugly as they come.
I had seen this tech a while back.. Its just now got advertised on one of my sites and I had to check it out… Found the source, its called Sitepal – World’s Creepiest Contest Winner.
I’ve got no clue if this converts better or not. It probably does convert better than just plain text – Not so sure about a video, and I’ll put my hands to the fire this shit doesn’t convert as well as a real actor.
Still – For some uses its brilliant – Imagine Obama endorsing your “Stimulis” subprime loan offers, or Oprah singing praises about your latest Colon Cleansing with Acai berry juice rebill. Creepy, you betcha. Genius, totally!
Can anyone say Max Headroom?
Digital Quill seems to have the best and pretty inexpensive (around $40 – unlimited) plugin for using datafeeds on a WordPress site – Or importing from Excel or CSV file into WordPress. Read the tutorials and seems really good for what I need… It even updates posts when you change the source file! Nice, real nice.
I have a ton of data I need to make available – I am really good with Excel, so I can create and update Excel really easy. SQL commands – its been six years since I’ve done any serious SQL stuff, and even then it wasn’t that serious. This is a match made in heaven.
Update: Theres a problem with this plug-in: PHP timeout. If you are trying to import a lot of records, depending on your host and your setup the plugin may time out and it has no provisions for recovery – it’s a manual and frustrating task. Backup your database before proceeding. I hear that WP Review plugin comes with “Importman” plugin – it seems to do pretty much everything this one does – I’m wondering if that works better.
Created myself a little “drop-in” package with the stuff I use most frequently in sites… This should make creation of future sites way easier – In the last two I reused like 80% of components!
I’m typing this as it uploads to my latest Machiavellian machination… The machination I talked about earlier (the one where the end of the world happens) -
This should have been done by now several days ago… I’m freaking sloooow and that pisses me off to no end. There’s this thing that gets in the way called a day job… Oh and a family, but I rather enjoy that, and I’m quite attached to them.
I think I’ll post the list of contents of my drop-in pack for all of the two fellow readers to see (Jonathan and Mike – LoL) and the eleven bots that visit my feed… I’ll do that in a bit… Its freaking Friday afternoon!
I wonder if anyone would object to me booking my next trip with this airline:
I hear rave reviews.
Here’s a free idea for the taking:
Photo sharing site that focuses on botched online ads. Like this one from Facebook:
They give me the wallets of 16 seniors?
No, its an offer for wallets for seniors, they sell me 16 of them.
What’s the long-legged girl have to do with wallets?
Wait, it says below to book my senior session and get free wallets. WTF is a senior session, and why would I want free wallets?
I decided to go ahead and click to see who the advertiser was.. A Photographer from another town. I gather that “Senior session” means High-school senior, and not “65 and older”. Pretty mis-targeted ad to boot – I’m nowhere near being a High School senior, and if my daughter were going to be a senior, you ain’t gonna convince me to get her into a photo shoot with a picture of a skank – What kind of father tells themselves the story that their daughter would look good like that pciture? Hellooooo!!!
ALL YOUR BROWSERS ARE BELONG TO US
Nice one with my morning coffee: Sun Releases Emergency Java Patch
A week ago, Oracle claimed the vulnerability that had been discovered in Java was not a big deal at all. Apparently, they’ve changed their minds on that.
Yesterday afternoon, Oracle pushed an update to Java that fixes a vulnerability that exposed Windows users to drive-by attacks. While Sun had claimed that the issue wasn’t serious enough for them to release a patch prior to the next scheduled version’s release, once Google’s Travis Ormandy released details of how the attack could be used, Sun relented and released a fix.
The vulnerability was independently discovered by Ruben Sanamarta as well, and occurs because ofthe Java-Plugin Browser which runs “javaws.exe” withough validating command-line parameters.
The new version, Sun Java 1.6.0_20 is available at the Java web site, or you can wait until it’s automatically pushed to you version. Which will happen within 30 days. Which you probably shouldn’t wait for.
You can also read the full release notes on Oracle’s site.
Don’t walk, run to update your Java… This affects ALL YOUR BROWSERS.
ALL YOUR BROWSERS ARE BELONG TO US
After much searching I found a good host. I was exploring the maze trying to do a bee-line to the answer (Why do they call it a Bee line when bees do not fly straight at all?). In the end the way I managed to find them was by going into a hosting directory like hostsearch and NOT going with the companies they list. The process is simple:
1) Go to HostSearch
2) Pick your country and scroll to the middle/bottom of the list (avoiding the sponsored listings)
3) Pick a random host
4) Go here: Who Is Hosting This and figure out who hosts the hosting company. You’ll get their company name and IP. Check out the company and the IP on a geolocation tool. If the parent company is where you want it to be – geographically speaking – Go forth, young man!
5) If not, repeat with next hosting company on the list
This little process gets though the barrier of Crapellers - My new term for Crap Resellers. Sometimes the parent company offers only high-end stuff, but sometimes it offers the usual fare. You can go for a reseller account yourself!
There you go, that’s the extent of my German.
I’ve spent around five solid hours combined searching for good international hosting. Good as in: More than 15GB, more than 10x the bandwidth, a reasonable price tag for an experiment and dealing with a hosting company and not a reseller.
Challenge #1) Try typing Hosting anything in your favorite search engine and its a zoo. Mostly resellers. And msotly totally GARBAAAAGE.
Challenge #2) You find a company – Do the plans match what you need or do they have 250MB for $50?
Challenge 3#) Are they REALLY located where they say they are? – The company may be, but check their customers and their datacenter if you can. I’ve used Discover Who Hosts Any Website | Who Is Hosting This to successfully sniff out companies in India reselling a server around the corner from me – all you need to do is nab the name of one of their clients and put them though that site. That and nice IP geolocation tool like http://www.ip2location.com
Challenge #4) Are they for real? Or is it fly-by-night hosting on Grandma’s PC? This is a combination between a judgment call and the info you’re able to gather.
This doesn’t sound like much of a challenge until you try. The US market is dead simple – Great offers and easy to tell apart the good from the crap. The international market – not so easy my friend.
I tried the Warrior Forum, Digital point and some others – People are not talking much about this so came up really empty.
The single most useful resource I found in this hunt was Hostsearch.com – The decision isn’t final on where I’m plunking this stuff down but I’m taking the plunge in the next few minutes… I’m just going to spin the wheel of fortune here. If you have recommendations, I’d love to hear them.
When folks walk behind me in my workspace they usually go “WTF?” I have a 4:3 monitor in Landscape mode, and a 19:8 monitor in Portrait mode (kinda the opposite of what you’d expect). My main browser runs in portrait mode and is the only thing on the portrait monitor. Other browser windows go in the other monitor along with all the other crap.
Here’s a quick snapshot of my browser (blurred) in the middle of a day… Note the gazzillion tabs – I was doing research on offshore hosting.
In an e-mail from BlueSteps
On March 25th we asked you to tell us about your work-life balance in 2009-10. The results so far indicate that:
- 53% of senior executives surveyed do not have a satisfactory work-life balance
- 78% see work-life balance as critical in their decision to join or remain with an employer, yet 80% report that their employer does not have a program to improve work-life balance
- 69% believe that a modern lifestyle (e.g. globalisation and new technology) has decreased their leisure time
- 54% say that work-life balance and increased earnings are of equal importance
Do I have to add anything to this?
Scientists have identified the emotions that permeate the weeks of Rat Race 9-to-5 white-collar ass-to-the-leather work. They align perfectly with the Kübler-Ross model – more commonly known as the five stages of grief.
Stage 1 – Denial
Onset: Sunday Afternoon
Typical Thoughts: “Tomorrow will never come. This afternoon will last forever. Monday isn’t happening. Is it 2012 yet? Maybe I’ll die in my sleep tonight”
Stage 2 – Anger
Onset: Monday Morning
Typical Thoughts: “Why am I stuck in this piece of shit job? These people suck and I have to work for them! Agh! I hate this”
Stage 3 – Bargaining
Onset: Tuesday Noon
Typical Thoughts: “Maybe I can take Friday off. If I can just take Friday off, everything will be fine, I can get through this week. ”
Stage 4 – Depression
Onset: Wednesday Mid-Morning
Typical Thoughts: “Its no use – I’ve got meetings back-to-back. I won’t be able to take Friday off and it looks like I need to come in on Saturday to finish those TPS reports – my life sucks. I should just quit and be a beach bum, or move to the mountains and live off nature. ”
Stage 5 – Acceptance
Onset: Friday Morning
Typical Thoughts: “Its Friday! I can get through just a few more hours of this. I can do it – Just a little longer and I get to be Freeeeee!”
Rinse-and-repeat some 50 times during the year, some 2000 times during your lifetime, and when you’re done you get to have dinner at IHOP with the senior menu… at 3PM.
Life doesn’t suck, it bites, it chews and it spits out!
Now that was stupid. I spent the past 60 minutes trying to find a good recommendation for international hosting. Panama, Mexico, Netherlands, Germany, UK… Nothing was fitting the bill (ie: the bill was huge) Then it hit me like a brick: India. Doh!
I decided to give that low-hanging-fruit I mentioned a while back a GO. What the heck, lets go for it. Its an SEO job, essentially. If it works out, it will be stellar – if it bombs, I hope it doesn’t splatter.
I had four 2Ghz cores crunching the data for the site for about 48 hs during the weekend… My back-of the-envelope calculations say that it should take about 15 hours to shuttle the content to the site – even with the 4x bigger pipe I asked for. I have no clue how long it will take to get everything online and accessible – there’s a couple of things I still need to figure out how I’m going to pull them off.
Ideally, shortly afterwards this scene should unfold in the market space I’m entering:
However, for visitors, the site should look and feel like this:
Wow. I didn’t know Hostgator was into SEO hosting – I read the description of SEO hosting just a few days back – It means hosting multiple websites on a bunch of IP addresses of different networks so that search engines see them as really separate sites and not a link farm. Search engines got smart a while back and realized that if links coming to a site are all from the same network, its likely a site trying to game the search engine.
SEO gamers counter-move is SEO Hosting – A hosting service which provides you IP addresses across many networks.
I considered this a really gray area and didn’t expect to find Hostgator offering it on a dedicated site. And yes, its them – its not an impostor, I got the link from a support tech thread I was reading. This site is hosted on Hostgator.
By the way… What the heck does a hot chick have to do with hosting?
Don’t answer that… Sex sells. Why don’t they bundle a “porn network” subscription with it? Might sell hosting like hot cakes!
I remember there is a blogger in this internet marketing space that puts hot chicks in between his posts – I can’t for the life of me recall the site’s name – And believe me I’ve looked. If you know who I’m talking about – send me a link!
I’ll get back to this hot chick situation sometime. I’ve noticed something in the affiliate network manager pictures… You know where I’m going.
Take a look at Pepperjam network’s front-page picture:
I joined this network quite a while back.. I thought these guys put random hot chicks on the site cover to attract testosterone-ladden lads. I’m slowly discovering this isn’t the case… Seems to the untrained eye networks have a bias when it comes time to hire affiliate managers. Why can’t they look like:
Am I really going to complain? Um… No, not really. Just point it out.
Doing some mild research… Scanning the HTML of some offer pages.
First stop was Saj’s Zero Fricti0n Marketing, where I looked at the HTML and found this nugget right at the top:
<!-- saved from url=(0052)http://www.rogerscopy.com/Saj/images/salespage2.html -->
I decided to check out Rogerscopy and its the site of a copywriter. Quite a nice unintended endorsement from Saj – Now I know who might be good for copy-writing for a launch. Bookmarked.
The other thing that caught my eye was a call to an off-site script:
I moseyed over to “The Site Rush” and realized its another of Saj’s sites – no mysteries there, he isn’t hiding it. I got curious to see the price he put on this one…
Its the magic number…
Seventy-Seven is the LARGEST number (from 1 to 100) that is perceived as the SMALLEST number. I believe reference to this research is in Robert Cialdini’s latest book (“YES!”)- I remember reading it from a reputable source and checking up on the research – Its was legit. When it comes to prices and spending money, $77 is perceived as a smaller amount than even $76, and is the largest number that is perceived as the smallest.
PS: This is the first post where I’m putting affiliate links. I’d suggest replacing with your own if you really want any of the stuff I ever mention, but if you just want to send me money, then by all means… Go for it. I followed NickyCakes advice and got an ID specifically for the blog – So no reversing.
Thanks go to Al Carlton for the nice reference guide on outsourcing everything and automating the rest.
Tim Ferris from the 400-hour workweek would be proud, if he wasn’t busy working 400 hours a week.
Al was also nice enough to post it via slideshare in a way we can download the PPTX for future reference. Kudos.
Why are monsters green? From Shrek to ‘Mike’ in Monsters Inc, The Hulk and a host of others – The main color of “mosnter” is green. Why is that? Green is all around us in plants. Is it to be a “strange” thing? Why not blue? Blue seems much rarer in our environment.
Infected mucus is also green, but I don’t see that as doing much. I don’t think plants (or anything green for that matter) were ever our natural enemies to get programmed into genetic memory. Perhaps we’ve evolved to not eat green shit – considering we can’t really digest plant cellulose, and quite a few plants are downright poisonous. Aha! that might be the ticket – quite a hard to prove one – Why would we be scared of moving green and not stationary green, and thus be grass-a-phobic too? Movement of something that our brain considers stationary? Could that trigger something in our primitive minds?
Talk about some mid-morning rambling.
I’m getting tired of sleeping five hours a night and working like mad.
After last week’s fiasco of getting pwned by what looked like an overflow bug exploited in the latest Firefox (3.6.3), it dawned on me today the simplest way to lock this one down – Way simpler than a Virtual Machine and with zero impact on performance – and a mild hit on ease of use… User privileges!
Hello! McFly!! I should have been running my browser as an unprivileged user already. Doh!
Then I remembered there is a very useful little program that does sandboxing really well called Sandboxie – How well does it stand up to getting pwned? Probably pretty well, unless the exploit is targeted at the browser and the sandbox tech – which is extremely unlikely. In that case, running in a sandbox with an unprivileged user would take care of pretty much everything – but it might be a bit of overshooting. Sandboxie loads a kernel-mode driver and provides really nice controls over what is allowed and what isn’t, it boxes up whatever changes the app wants to do but is not directly allowed, and lets you review them. Not only can you see what you’re doing, prevent malware, but actually see that something bad was about to happen. Really cool tech.
Using just an unprivileged user is pretty rock solid safe – but it is also a royal pain in the ass. Operations fail all the time – especially in Windows where every program thinks they ought to own the box, you’ve got to mess with the event viewer to figure out what the program tried to do that failed and made it explode, then figure out what permissions to give it – and remember to take them away if it was just a temporary thing – Then to top it all off, half the settings get stored in the profile or home directory of the unprivileged user the browser was running under – so when you try to run it under an administrator ID to change that something that wasn’t working as a regular user – whatever you wanted to change is not there anymore. Enough rant… Lets see what happens.
I’ve got no ties to Sandboxie other than its a fine piece of software for a decent price (around $30) – Anyone have any other similar tech to recommend in this area of Windows browser safety?
PS: Anyone who suggests either Linux or a Mac will be cursed to have hair grow out of their ears until it looks like ponytails.