Category Archives: Internet

Obsolete Technology – yesterday – today – tomorrow

I ran into this video teaching us  how to use a dial telephone…

… and that got me to think.

From today’s point of view, this is obviously funny; but I tried to imagine what things that we consider high-tech today will look really funny to my son when he is my age.

Speaking of my son – I have noticed one piece of technology that I grew up which he already has no personal experience with: the tick-tock of a clock. He might still know that a clock in the distant past did make such sounds but he has never heard that himself.

Or the first super-high-tech wrist watch I had – with red LED segmented numbers. These LEDs used so much power that I switch had to be pressed to turn then on – and off right away – to see the time. Very inconvenient at a party where you were fondling a glass of whiskey on the rocks trying to look as cool as your watch. Very uncool to put the glass down to be able to push the little button on your other wrist to realize that after two hours of looking cool you still did not have the nerve to talk to the cute brunette.

So, what’s the item with the biggest cool factor today? Maybe tablets like the iPad. I believe this is a good candidate to look ridiculous in 20 or 30 years. Imagine you lugging around a book sized slate – just like Moses did when he came down the mountain – just to access some information, or look up an address, while today (tomorrow) you just say your search term into the ether and the information materializes right in front of your eyes, or even better, you just pose the question in your mind and the answer is directly delivered to your own synapses via a synaptic interface – – who needs eyes – – maybe we have them closed at all times as all the experiences we have are virtual anyway. While we experience a rich virtual world our bodies are securely stored and fed through some tubes while at the same time acting as a power source for the computer system that runs the whole virtual world, and ….  hold on, doesn’t that sound somehow familiar?

Making yourself a slave

I went to college in Germany (there called Universität) and the semester fees were about 23 Marks – maybe 10 Dollars. I lived with my parents but was registered at a friends house so that I could draw state funded study support, part of which was a loan. (I still owe some of that today, by the way.)

So, I have to say, my college education was pretty – – inexpensive. At least for me personally, maybe not so for the rest of the population. But my justification was always that later in my professional life I will earn well and pay lots of taxes.

OK, the latter did not really happen. First, I was self employed most of the time and I first saw my money in my account and then had to write a check (instead of it being collected before the wage earner even sees it), and that created a rather intense resistance, so I did everything possible to avoid writing big numbers on those checks.

And second, I left Germany after just about six or seven years.

At one point it becomes acute to think about those things for my son. He is still a few years away from any college thoughts, but eventually it will be something to consider.

Now I ran into this video that paints a bleak picture of the current college situation here in the old US of A…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZtX32sKVE

There is not that much to add in terms of the facts, that it really does not seem to be worth to go to college any more, but what I do want to add is the following from my very own experiences.

I studied physics and got up to the equivalent of a masters degree – 6 years. It was fun to a bigger degree, especially my little stints down at CERN, to mingle with world class scientists – for example the internet was born down there (no, it was not Al Gore!)

But I did not go into a career in science, but moved into the computer field which was just then starting to be something to be reckoned with. What later became computer science was, in the beginning, manned by physicists and mathematicians.

So, after college I never did anything much of physics. I did practice forcing my will onto computers during my college days, but this was more or less a side effect because the experiments I conducted produced lots of data and we happened to have PDP 11 at the physics chair where I did my work. My first contacts with computers, a little bit before that, I had in my spare time when I taught myself to program a big IBM mainframe (I think it was an IBM 360) through the use of punch cards. I did this just because I was fascinated by these machines not because of any career goal.

All this happened during a time when in most cases you could still do the job you trained for, for the rest of your life. With the accelerated development in technology and science that is definitely not true any more. Sure, programming the PDP 11 in assembler gave me some basis but certainly did not prepare me for optimizing web sites and writing that occasional php application. All what I do now is self-taught and did not require me to sit in some auditorium and listen to a professor who has given the same lecture for the last 20 year, who can not be replaces by something younger and more up-to-date because he has tenure.

This is why I have to wholeheartedly agree with the implied conclusions in the above video that going to college at this time is a waste of time and money, and at these costs would just make you a slave for the rest of your life. It was scary for me to learn that not even a bankruptcy can get you out of these student loans – do I see debtor’s prisons on the horizon?

Maybe my son is really smart that at his young age he is really embracing the digital world, because that might be the area that we will be living in in 10 – 15 years. You better learn how to become an entrepreneur in Second Life.

All About the AppleGirl

I know, the title might be a little pretentious, maybe even a lot, but running into her on a Google Help page was a rather interesting experience – who would expect to find a music video on a Google Help page – and so I dug a bit deeper and by collecting my findings here I might save you your own digging.

First things first – here is the video that Google gave me as an example for what it was explaining on the help page…

I certainly liked the music and video, but why was she ‘AppleGirl’?

A bit digging let me find the likely answer that it was because the instruments she played in her first video on the internet were iPhones – yes, iPhones! Four iPhones running different music apps, attached to some kind of rack-contraption, were her instrument(s) of choice. And she became famous – the video and the follow up went viral. Here is that first one…

and the next one where she explains a bit more about here instruments.

Mysteries do get people hooked. So, the mystery of who that girl, only known as AppleGirl, was, might have helped the fast spreading of these videos. By now the mystery is solved and it’s all known that she is Kim Yeo Hee, and the latest video (the first on at the top) with it’s professional lighting, recording and editing is a strong indication that her careers is taking off.

So, what was the effect on me? I got some enjoyment out of watching these videos, and got the idea that if there is music apps for the iPhone, there must be some for Android as well. This assumption turned out to be true and I now have a virtual piano and guitar on my G1. I know, it’s ridiculous, I still have a G1 but at least I have it rooted and running Froyo (2.2) on it – even though a bit slow. By the way, even with that version of Android and an adapter directly from HTC my squareup.com card reader, “the cube,” still does not work.

Breast Smilies

In the beginning of the World Wide Web transferring data was slow and costly so methods were devised to minimize the amount of data transmitted and still convey the message.

One of the results was the ‘Smiley’ – an icon consisting of only a few characters and thus very cheap and fast to transmit. The added advantage was that with just three characters you could indicate that you were smiling  🙂  or frowning  🙁  instead of writing a little novel to express that this was your emotion when writing an email or quick instant message.

Since then bandwidth has become a lot cheaper and the reason to reduce the amount of data is not relevant any more. But in our illiterate times it is still necessary for many people to have the means to simply express if they are saying something humorous or threatening…

  • I’m going to kill you  🙂
  • I’m going to kill you  🙁

Obviously, specialized areas of the www thought that they require such symbology as well, and today we show you one area where such iconography was very successfully implemented – in the description of the female breast – a never-ending interest of the male population.

Anyway, women can try breast enhancement pills to make men happy 🙂

Without further ado, here are the your breast smileys…

Perfect breasts
Perfect Breasts

Fake silicone breasts
Fake silicone breasts

Perky breasts

Big nipple breasts

A cups

D cups

Wonder bra breasts

Cold breasts

Lopsided breasts

Pierced Breasts

Hanging Tassels Breasts

Grandma’s Breasts

Against The Shower Door Breasts

Android Breasts

Martha Stewart’s Breasts

UPDATE: I am totally surprised how many of you have found this post – it is totally amazing! So, I thought that, if you got here in search for enhancing somebodies breasts – maybe your own, you should check out the pastic surgeon who really makes beautiful breasts. (Full disclosure: I run Dr. Orloff’s web site.)

Discrepancies on the Web

Not all things on the internet are as they appear. You might have guessed that already, but today I will bring you proof – hard evidence.

Stumbling along I ran into one champion stumbler who caught my eye – wonder if there is any male on this planet who’s eye this person would not have caught. Take a look…

If your eye gets caught what will you do? The rest of the body, including arms and finger, that are usually operating keyboard and mouse, have to follow. You can’t just detach them, can you?

So, following the eyes, the keyboard and mouse fingers operated the browser controls in a way that the eyes finally ended up the web site belonging to this stumble-upon member with the name of FNA.

And what a great website that is! I really must recommend to every designer to take a look. It certainly appeals to me based upon its clear and minimalistic design.

A site like this invites you to explore and so I did. The eyes still commanding the rest of my body to look for more pictures…

and then I found something interesting – an email address…

It starts with Frank!

Frank??

This Blog does not use rel=”nofollow”

I just installed a plugin to this blog to remove the default behavior to add the nofollow tag to all URLs that a commenter writes.

The nofollow tag was intended to reduce SPAM comments on blogs because it removes the incentive to post these spam comments. Google rates a page largely by the number of links from other web pages to it. The nofollow tag, that is added to a link as rel=”nofollow,” indicated to Google, not to count this link. After this, why would a blackhat SEO add a spam comment to a blog if that link would not help him to reach his objective to rank higher?

In theory that worked, but it had a side effect. Real commenters, who would have added value to a blog by commenting good comments, also stayed away because they also had lost the benefit to get link popularity. They went away to other methods of getting in-bound links. Or they went to blogs that did not have that nofollow tag set on their commenter’s contributions.

I use the plugin Nofollow Free to remove nofollow tags from comment links. It is configurable in that you can choose to remove each and every nofollow tag, or only those of registered users, and you can create a blacklist of words that would trigger to add the nofollow tag again – the male enhancer pill with a V is probably a good member for that field.

Searching for the Most Intelligent Guy on the Web

The Most Intelligent Guy on the InternetAbout a year ago I made this experiment in SEO to see how with a – admittedly – not very often used search term I can dominate the search engines. So I posted this blog post about the most intelligent guy on the whole web and got it to rank #1 on Google quickly.

But today, when checking out something at Google’s webmaster tools I noticed that the link to this post generated a 404 error – oops! It took me a while to notice what was different in the URL that worked and the one that did not. A little sub-directory /blog/ – I had moved WordPress from it’s directory /blog/ down to the root of the web site.

The whole thing turned out to be a false alarm because Google had also indexed the later version of the site without the /blog/ and the page was found just fine. But as I was already looking into this I thought why not revisit the issue and strengthen my position as the most important guy on the internet and everywhere else.

So, yes, if you ended up here on this page then you probably – for whatever sick reason – searched for the this one totally smart guy on the web. I suppose you were hoping to find your name – sorry – but that position is taken by your’s truly Merlin G. Silk!

So, I would suggest you get a life and do something constructive.

C Ya!

Scientology, Hackers and Controversy

A few days ago the Hackers Anonymous declared war on the Church of Scientology, and today the internet is in a buzz about an apparent Google bombing. If you don’t know what Google bombing is: it’s ganging up of many – mostly bloggers – to all link to a specific page with the same text. For example a while ago a Google bomb was launched on George Bush’s bio page with the words “total failure,” but since then Google patched that hole and Google bombs became at least difficult. For reaching a top ranking now Google required the words that link to the site to appear within that site. So as long as George’s bio page did not contain the words ‘total ‘and ‘failure,’ he would not be a total failure (my wording was intended.)

But today when you search for ‘dangerous cult’ the top result was the Scientology main site www.Scientology.org.

Dangerous Cult Scientology Church

Search Engine Land was not sure if that really was a Google bomb as the Scientology front page does not – certainly – contain the word ‘cult’ even though it does contain the word ‘dangerous.’ Another fact that supported that doubt was, that only some three hundred sites could be found that pointed to the Scientology site with the text ‘dangerous cult.’

And here is where the real power of the internet comes in. When I did the search on Yahoo

linkdomain:scientology.org “dangerous cult”

I got over 1400 hits. In other words, since that article on Search Engine Land was written, which might have been a few hours before I read it, more than 1000 other people picked up this story and wrote/blogged about it. If it has not been a Google bomb so far, it was now. And I am certainly proud to participate by supplying a link to a dangerous cult as well.

I know the Cof$ from the inside but I have to admit that I just love this power of the ‘Don’t mess with us!’ There are just more and more sites like this about the Delphi Academy of Los Angeles as a recruiting base springing up that it can’t be stopped centrally. It’s guerrilla warfare the Cof$ is involved in now and history has shown that such a war can not be won.

Mail Backup via Self-Destructing Timeport SF40071b

=============================
Data Routing:

Venice, Italy::Timeport SF40071b::Google-Timebot AG995-f::Technorati-Glob-Deliv
=============================

Notice to receiver:
attached information is confidential information for intended recipient only!
You are to deliver included data without taking notice of content!
Physical Mail Privacy laws fully apply.
Only to be used if physical mail deliver has failed exceeding 5666 days.

========START PHYSICAL MAIL ALTERNATIVE=============

To:
Frater Otto
Charcani Chico, Arequipa,
Peru

Note to the mail carrier:
Dear Postman, Frater Otto residence is a cave at the foot of the
volcano El Misti. You can find it by going 340 steps on the road
leaving Charcani Chico and leading to El Misti. Turn right, 560 steps,
and turn left. Then all the way straight up the hill until the
entrance of the cave. Thank you so much, dear Mr. Postman!

The enveloppe had the following contents:
- a business card
- a floppy disk with a text file called log175.txt

The only letters on the business card said:
 FRATER NOVE

And the text on the floppy read:

Log #175 of the Logs of JD Flora,

Venice, Italy, ...

Venerable Frater Otto,

my name is JD Flora. By the time you receive this letter, if you
should receive it at all, I will have retreated from this Universe.
Since I have been unable to have my body being killed without creating
a new attachment in the process and thus prolonging the process of
reincarnation itself, I had to find someone to hand it over to
peacefully. This someone was a friend of you and he is now the new
owner of the body of what was once known as 'JD Flora'.

While scanning your friend's mind in order to find the 'hook' that
would make him enter my body at the very moment I would be abandoning
it, I found your whereabouts and the way to your abode in the
mountains of Peru. If you read these lines, the postman will have
understood the vague directions that I found in your friend's confused
brain.

In short, be aware that your friend, known to you as Frater Nove. did
NOT die at age 98 on today's date but rather that he transmigrated
into the body of JD Flora, 43 years old. Sensational persons call this
a 'body swap' and it can be very well considered a sacrilege of major
proportions.

Therefore I write this letter to you in order to assure you that it
was not his own doing even though he had been toying with this idea
for a very long time. In fact, reading his thoughts made me, the
'original' owner of the body of JD Flora, having the very idea of how
to exit this Universe without 'dying' and thus entering the 'Bardo',
the in-between-live area. If you had educated yourself properly (what
you probably never did), you would know that the 'programming' that is
happening during the time of the Bardo is carrying a significant risk
of being reborn into this world. Whoever should tell you otherwise, is
either blind or blatantly lying.

There is another reason I'm writing this letter. There are only few
minutes left before Frater Nove will appear here at midnight in this
rather crummy hotel in Venice, Italy, and it occurred to me that just
now that, even though I manipulated his mind carefully to follow the
steps of the ancient secret of body swapping, his heart and mind may
be too confused to let go of his old body. This means, there is a
chance that in his desperation Frater Nove may attempt to KILL his own
body in order to accommodate the process of entering my own, JD
Flora's, body.

Take notice: if Frater Nove will kill his old body in the process of
obtaining a new one, he himself, as the owner of the new body, may be
accused of the 'murder' of his old body. In the absence of witnesses,
a criminal investigation would arrive at this as a 'logical
conclusion'.

In this case, I hope that this letter, my 'confession' so to speak,
will clear him of all accusations of murder. That he, in this case,
still committed suicide in respect to his old body, is something he
has to confront himself within his deranged and confused belief
systems.

July 3rd, 1995, Venice, Italy, 00:42
JD Flora