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iphone-not-a-boombox

This is all I have to say.


The one waiting to be made, a classic:


cool animation. watch in HQ.

Best new “supergroup” from 2008.

The Mighty Underdogs is a hip hop “supergroup” formed by rappers Gift of Gab from Blackalicious and Lateef the Truth Speaker of Latyrx, and producer Headnodic of the Crown City Rockers.

- wikiP

Reading Trails LogoI found a new book recommendation site, Reading Trails, via Mashable based on… Social Web concepts (obviously, it was on Mashable).

I don’t think that my WordPress hosted blog is going to let me paste my widget code, so here’s the link to my first trail.

Also Sia’s music vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6PGrub3jUc

Ok, this isn’t really anything new necessarily, but it was really interesting thing to see. A picture, good or bad, put a sexy girl in it and people will probably like it, or at least look at it a lot. This can be seen subtly in photo contests, where you have two magnificent photos going head to head, but the winner is probably the one with the attractive girl in it (I see this the most in DPChallenge). This is kind of a massively broad and general statement- but I’m just speaking on what I see often.

Like right now, I’m refilling my Flickr account (after having it deleted for unknown reasons) and posted this picture.
Club Life IMG_5372
Within a minute of posting, it had 6 views and now, within 3 minutes from post has another ten for a total of 16. I don’t really have a popular stream, all my other photos are still at 0 views, even the ones right before and after it in the stream. It’s not in any groups/pools and doesn’t have any leading tags. I’m not complaining really, just thought it was an interesting observation.

Maybe it’s not that our culture hasn’t evolved, maybe its just the contrast of content. When you’re looking through the public stream of sunset after sunset, rivers, fields, some cool lighting, peoples cousins and kids, then BAM! a white girls ass on a stark black background. The feeling of risk, like something shouldn’t be there. Oooo, this is kind of risque, lets click on it… I don’t know exactly- I just think the occurrence overall is worth noting.

This happened before too, and this photo is nothing spectacular, but on my old stream this exact photo had the most views and most frequent views on my stats (I had a Pro account) and was one of the photos with the most comments. But the comments weren’t “sexy girl”, “oh, I’ll fap to this”… They were “great photo!”, “beautiful shot”… people trying to disguise the fact that, hey, this photo is of a hot ass, I like it!

What are your thoughts?


Agreed.

A list of all the best places online to get cool and unique clothing.

WP 2.7 Coltrane’s one design flaw. The absence of autosaving in the QuickPress feature. :(

So I haven’t blogged in a while due to finals, but I just added something today and noticed wordpress 2.7 Coltrane. First impressions- it’s pretty BAD ASS. I’m using the new, improved Press This function right now. It’s pretty sweet. If you haven’t upgraded yet, you definitely should.

WordPress › Blog » WordPress 2.7 “Coltrane”.

Possibly the Most Epic ride in history: X2

This is not my vid- but this was about my experience. The video does not do the ride justice however. You must experience it for yourself. When I rode, it was around 7pm, it was dark out and the park and city was lit up in the distance. It was amazing.

Discussion:
I cannot think of anything else comparable to the phenomenon that is a rollercoaster. By this, I mean- what else in the world, does someone wait 1-4 hours for, in order to enjoy a 45-60 second ride?

Interactive Mirror from Alpay Kasal on Vimeo.

From the folks who brought you lasergames- a similar concept, but with a mirror- this could be way cool in bathrooms, dressing rooms, homes, bars, restaurants, um, anywhere actually.

I just got an email about the launching of the Best Buy Instruments Store.

I understand expanding your brand- but you are stepping into a deep and competitive market. I hope to see you fail because frankly, I hate your brand, your store, company policies, shoddy practices and the way you completely sucker middle America into buying shit electronics for too much money and make them think they are getting a good deal. You are the shrine to all that is filler and no thriller, marketing over actual quality. You are the BOSE of electronics department retail stores. But I know how it’s going to end. You’ll be fine. Due to your scale, current brand rep, distribution, you will be a run of the mill, mediocre priced, retailer of average instruments. Nothing special. Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, the basics… Your sales associates will still be under trained and clueless. The warranties will be overpriced and ridiculous. You’ll probably start trying to offer lessons, maybe component repair and servicing. It will all be pretty bland, unspectacular, a cash cow. BUT! Now that 10 year old brat kids parents who NEED to get him the PS3 and Fender Strat he asked for can shop in one place.
best buy wtf

BTW, nice use of black letter, would you like to copy every generic music flier even more?
best buy wtf


Guitar Hero World Tour – by Droga5


The link at the end brings you to this site- So it appears to be just some project, but I would not be surprised at all if it was commissioned by Nike. The easy to spot product placement and BRIGHT YELLOW Nike SHOES! gotta be. (original link via College Humor)

Ok, so this might be old news, since I don’t stay up with Google news that much, but I was looking for directions to a store in DC, and noticed the street view button was present. I clicked it, and low and behold every street in DC has been covered (“with the exception of Pennsylvania Avenue and E Street NW by the White House, some military areas, and the Hillandale gated community in Burleith”). It’s awesome. Ok- Well, it looks like according to the DCist- it was Launched Nov 4th, 2008, so I’m not THAT far behind.

Still really freakin cool- Look ma! My house!

So right now some folks are still waiting in line for the special edition Washington Post- production issues have pushed the delivery time back to 7-8pm EST.

Since about 7am this morning every newsstand, corner store, coin operated news machine and supermarket have been out of every paper from the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Globe, New York Times and Washington Post- the Washington Post, out, in Washington DC!

Already people have spent $15-50 for copies of today’s NYTimes. Some are even listed for almost TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS! The paper isn’t even a day old.
New York Times Obama EbayNew York Times Obama Ebay Sold
I quit waiting in line at my Giant at about 6pm after getting there at 10 to 5. The line was about 20-30 people, some stayed even after they heard the paper won’t be there for possibly another two hours. Madness!

But I guess this is good. This is a sign of amazement and passion. Sounds like the right direction to me. I really look forward to seeing where this goes. Hooray for Democracy.
washpost

The line at my Giant (Newark NW and Wisconsin NW) around 5:45.
img_5865

So you may or may not have read my previous entry about my long and ongoing issue with Flickr, Yahoo! and both of their Customer Service/Abuse departments. The short of it: My Y! ID/Flickr account was deleted over a month ago, I tried to find out why I was booted and what I could do about it and basically have been getting the cold shoulder from both Yahoo! and Flickr for weeks. So I stumbled on Heather Champ, the Flickr Community Manager’s personal email on her website. I emailed her and finally found out that my account was deleted for something else- she replied via the Flickr case number I referenced in the original message:

Adam,

Your Y! ID was deactivated elsewhere on the Yahoo! network
for abuse. When this happens, it results in the termination
of all of all your activity across the Yahoo! network.

We’re not privy to the reasons for the original Y! ID
deactivation. You’ll need to contact Yahoo! directly.

Heather

I find this kind of odd, because I only used my Y! ID for Flickr- so either, this isn’t true, or someone hacked my account. Either way, it’s an actual answer, so I can move on.

Taking back your Ex

But now, I can start to understand drug addicts, abusive relationships and terrible marriages. Even after weeks of running me in circles, outright ignoring me, and the fact that I didn’t get a response until I directly contacted a staff member. (I also have still not heard from regular Yahoo! support.) I want to go back. I mean, I’ll cut Flickr some slack, I did get an answer. Even if the answer opens up even more questions, it’s an answer. Yet, I feel like such a sellout. But still, I really like Flickr. I like the concept and it’s snazzy interface, API, web 2.0ness and community features. In fact, I’m reregistering and opening up a new Flickr account in another tab while I am writing this. But I’m not doing it without internal conflict.
Now, I’m not going straight back to a Pro account, but it’s only a matter of time. I’ll ease back into it, become comfortable again. My hurt and hesitations will fade away. But part of me feels like this is comparable to taking back an ex who cheated on me, which I’ve never done. It feels cheap and wrong. They violated my trust and showed me their true colors- but I still need them. I really do love Flickr. However, how many times can I waste my money and time. What if this happens again?
But I also believe in forgiveness. So consider this it. Only time will tell if this turns out to be more like a rocking spot in an otherwise good relationship or the tell tale signs of more to come. Right now it just feels like a drug addiction, but we’ll see. I just hope things go better this time around.

Flickr has randomly deleted my Pro Account and I have no idea why. I have emailed them, and no one is responding to me. ::tear/angry face::

via Anti-Advertising Agency
Best Wazzzup spoof I’ve seen in a long time- pretty successful.

Came across this doing some “research” for my halloween costume- it gave me a good laugh:

The outtakes are decent too. I love Joker impersonating Batman.

What does Patagonia think they’re doing!??

This was just brought to my attention by one of my clients looking for SEO. They were curious whether they should implement a technique they saw on a competitors site. When I followed the link they sent me, I tried not to laugh.

It appears that Patagonia has gotten some bad advice. If you visit their homepage and scroll to the bottom, you’ll see what they are calling a “Search Index Page Description”. However, this looks remarkably like one of those cheap attempts at SEO manipulation you saw back in the early web days when sites would list tons of key words and links at the bottom of the index page in a font color the same as their background color. This would make the jumbled mess of words invisible. Now search engines can look for that- so it seems that Patagonia has tried failed to go about it in a more clever way.
Look here:

It’s interesting to see a reputable company and essentially a company with enough money to hire good, knowledgeable web/SEO people stoop to such a low level and implement such a low brow, brute force SEO tactic.

It’s possible that this could help them get a quick ranking spike. However, in the long run, this will only hurt them. Especially if their site is flagged for manual review. This would no doubt be seen as an active attempt at SEO manipulation. Their lame excuse of providing the customer with an index page description or whatever wouldn’t hold any water.

On top of that, even without manual review, with that amount of link and keyword density, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Googlebot/algorithms haven’t already discounted that section of their page. You can definitely tell they are trying the way they’ve placed and phrased the anchor text of all these links. Then they attempted to make it look less like mumbled garbage by tying the links together with regular words in order to form a loose paragraph. The result however, is only somewhat intelligible.

My favorite part is their lame (but the most creative of the whole deal) way of including misspellings in this hunk of garbage. At the very end of the “description” appears:

If the whiskey bottle gets passed around the campfire too many times, folks might try and spell Patagonia like patigonia, pategonia, padagonia and pantagonia.

I mean, its possible that the one liner about whiskey would be more than acceptable and even outright clever ON ITS OWN, as a way to get misspellings on the page- however, any merit it had is completely canceled out by the rest of this catastrophe.

I think the Patagonia web team were ones passing around the whiskey bottle on this time.

And of course, on top of all the technical stuff- not only is ineffective and possibly detrimental, but it looks ugly.

You have a very messy, unprofessional, garbled mess sitting at the bottom of your home page that causes unnecessary scrolling for the user. Total Fail.

However, in order for this to be an Epic Fail, they need to get caught or penalized by google. If only I could get a hold of their analytics reports…


via Jess3 blog

P: I’ve read most of them…
Reporter: Which specifically?
P: All of them…

FAIL.

Headline: Sarah Palin reads a lot of various “sources”. All of them actually. Safely from her microcosm of America.

Bonus: Check out the reporters totally disgusted expression at the end of the clip- she tries to look away because she knows that with each word she hears she’s probably getting dumber.

This merited a quick trip to photoshop.

The short: Those “handmade” Hockey Mom signs weren’t actually made by the people holding them. They were most likely made by someone on the campaign staff, then placed on potential “Moms”. The author (Yamuna Ramachandran) argues the sign design negatively impacts the GOP and the perception of women within the political environment in general. You can check out the full article at AIGA Voice Magazine site. Worth the read, only about 950 words.

After the jump- a formal reflection on the article (I did it for class, but it isn’t that bad).
Read More

The short answer: ABSOF$#KINGLUTELY.

Although I never played World of Warcraft, I had friends and coworkers who did- so knowing that-

take: WoW, The Sims, Sim City, Sim Copter, StarCraft, Age of Empires, Master of Orion, A little Command and Conquer and a little bit of the Fallout series and you get- SPORE, quite possibly one of the most addicting and entertaining games I’ve ever played.

KRS-001

Now, I haven’t really invested time into a video game since, Red Alert 2 (Which came out almost exactly 8 years ago, for those at home counting). Gathered I was pretty involved with Team Fortress 2 a few hours a week last year, it wasn’t anything to be worried about- I’d play for an hour or so, then put it down for a week. I stopped playing it all together without much hesitation.

Today, I played SPORE for nearly 5 hours straight without even fully realizing it. I went from the Tribal stage straight to space in one sitting. I allied tribes, killed my enemies, conquered a planet and expanded my galactic empire in one sitting. Too much? Yes. Worth it? Totally.

However, it is now 1am and I have accomplished little to nothing since I got home around 6:30pm.

Why is it awesome?

The Sodomizer

When you take it at the bare bones- SPORE is really just an elegant mash up of a MMORPG, RTS (real time strategy) and life simulation. You have attributes and can have allies and wars and interact with online players- but what makes it shine is the detail and complexity of the characters. There are virtually endless possibilities when creating and painting/skinning a character. Your choices directly and dynamically effect your gameplay. The options are astounding. You created every creature, every building, vehicle, space ship. It’s insane! The freedom within the creator is incredible too. Mash elements, stack elements, resize, control the appearance, angle, etc. It’s unbelievable.

The only thing is that I wish it told you that whatever you look like before the Tribal stage is how you are stuck looking for the rest of the game.

My Creature

The game play is great too! Now, I’m not sure if I have yet to actually interface with real online players- I know I’ve abducted some, but as far as allying goes- I’m not sure. Anyway- you should get it and you should play it. You can check out my player page here. Also, my user name is Dex110 and my planet name is Leroy. So join up. This game rocks.

The quick answer: Pretty decent actually.

An Overview

Get past the shameless excuse to push the iTunes music store on you, asking you to download related music you’ll probably like and tracks you may be missing from a particular album or artists discography- the actual playlist creator is pretty decent. I imagine it uses the category/genre, artist, featured artists, producer, label information combined with related purchase history of customers and ratings of that song. UPDATE: I found an entry by Ryan Faas who seems to have more detailed information about how the Genius feature works- basically inline with what I previously thought. One interesting thing I found is that it seems to evaluate each track individually. I found this with the Steel Pulse playlist (viewable at that bottom of page), all the tracks looked legit except you got Mims in there… But, if you listen to the track, that specific track actually is a remix that features Reggae style artists Cham and Junior Reid.

Here’s an example of the first one I tried. Built off the Postal Service – Nothing Better

And here’s one for Portugal. The Man – Gold Fronts – not too bad either…

And One for Saves the Day – Jesse And My Whetstone

So How Smart is a “Genius”?

Now, it’s not perfect, as repeating artists in a playlist is typically a no-no. Especially repeating artists twice in a row. Unfortunately I could not find an option to keep it from repeating artists, however you can use the “refresh” button to regenerate a playlist until one you are happy with is created. All the ones I’ve posted here are the initial playlist generated for each track, I did not press refresh.

Also, in terms of goal, it is definitely a success, although you may do things slightly differently when manually trying to create that “perfect playlist”, part of the stated purpose of Genius Playlists is to

help you discover songs in your library you never knew you had — and rediscover forgotten favorites.

Source: Apple.com

Being a music horder/packrat/scavenger I have a relatively massive library with many tracks I’ve never even listened too yet, it definitely has assisted me in that aspect so far. It also helps me discover specific tracks from artist they did in a style not typical to their own (just a raw example, Mims). It’s great for artists like Broken Social Scene who have a huge variety of styles.

You can also regenerate a playlist anytime along the line- so for example say you started with everything based off of RATM – Bulls On Parade and it gets to Incubus – Wish You Were Here, and you think, hey, that’s a decent mood change, just make sure Incubus is highlighted and click the little atom/genius button again and it will recreate a playlist based on Incubus – WYWH. Pretty cool. You can also do that with any track within the playlist without it actually playing, just select it- but note, pressing the genius button will switch to the selected track (and create a new playlist).

So What’s the catch?

Now remember, for the actual playlists (not the suggestions) you actually have to have the music in YOUR library (I was unable to get it to pull in music from any shared libraries I was connected to). So the accuracy, variety and general decency of your generated playlist will probably be related someone directly to your music library size.

Another catch, to generate a playlist off a song- that song needs to be available in the iTunes store- so tough luck for all you fans of The Beatles and AC/DC. I also imagine that for a song to be indexed by Genius and thus included in a generated playlist it needs to be available in the iTunes music store as well.

When saving the playlists it creates, they remain dynamic- this is good and bad. Good, meaning you can still refresh it and use the dynamic genius options- Bad because, unfortunately, once you refresh it, you cannot revert back to the one you originally saved/generated.

Do you have a good playlist Genius generated? Post it in the comments! Or, have a track you want to see a playlist generated for, let me know, I’ll do my best to get it up.

The IQ Tests

Here are some more playlists I generated for additional examples/reference. I tried to show a variety of music genres.
NOTE: I believe the queries I ran to be pretty fair representations as it was pulling the songs from a library of 21,011 tracks, over 105 Gigs of music.

PS- on the topic of new iTunes 8 features, I’d just like to say, that although an improvement, the “New” iTunes visualizer, is not that visually impressive. I’ll still take Leopard’s Jelly any day.
UPDATE: I partially take that back. Although Jelly, appears “smoother”- it seems I was using the wrong music to truly see the new improved responsives and upgrades. I put on the new visualize to some chiptune (Stu – chiprape) and it was actually pretty sweet. Really cool.

Unless noted otherwise, all media and content copyright 2014 Adam Dexter. All rights reserved.