Friday, February 29, 2008

An Acid Test - February 29, 2008

I recently tried a little experiment in the office. Inspired by my "Favorite Spam Email", I decided to write a piece of Spam that was totally ridiculous, and see if it would get passed around.

My first step was to identify five people that I thought would be at least willing to read it, and perhaps send it along. After identifying them, I set up a Gmail account, typed up the email and sent it out. Here's what the email said:

From: Yhouda Farhtur []
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 4:47 PM
To: -------------
Subject: Build Flying Garbage Rafts on Vacuum Engine

-------, Tom

You are your own god. Aren't you? No chest hair, no problem, we'll brew some for you! We love cordless telephones because they grow chest hair! Ferry wheels and angelic dough nuts glisten like smashed ants mixed in a margarita.

Blast blast glass. I hate endangered windshields, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Lick the windshield, be the windshield, but promise us to not cut your tongue. Panda's sometimes blow bamboo strings for picnic duty.

Tom, we urge you base jump into a jungle of lard. Swim through the lard!


Yhouda Farthur
stop itching now!!!

So what happened? Well, the email got passed around the office! Moral of the story, viral doesn't have to have a point, but as long as it's random enough and it's not completely nonsensical, it might just make it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Favorite Mosio Post - February 27, 2008

I recently wrote about Mosio, the crowd-sourced text a question service, and I'm loving the service. Actual normal and "hip" people are asking and answering the questions, which makes it relevant. Anyways, this is the most hilarious question I've seen posed and answered.

No More Trader Joes - February 27, 2008

If you're anything like me, you get home and you want an instant meal, hence, why Trader Joes is the most profitable grocery store per square foot in the United States. Most of Trader Joe meals take under 10 minutes to make, and require either a microwave or skillet. However, sometimes I get really tired of eating it day in day out.

I guess, I need to find a recipe, but what? I've got some eggs, noodles, bbq sauce, curry powder, broccoli, tuna in a can, butter, and a lime. Enter CookThink. It's like Pandora for recipes.

CookThink allows you to plug in up to 8 ingredients, and it tells you things that you can make with any combination of them. It's still in beta, so I'd recommend keeping your ingredient list really short, as it has a tendency to get stumped. Regardless, it's a great way to brainstorm for meals. CookThink also features recipes, a blog, your own CookThink space, and a store where you can buy those very necessary kitchen tools.

Pretty cool idea. The only thing I don't see is an area where you can upload your recipes to the site, which would be cool as it would add to the CookThink database.

Enjoy this innovative cooking technology.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When Origami Doesn't Work - February 26, 2008

Justine Smith is a new found artist (from my perspective), and I'm in love with her work. Dear Justine, can you send me a money grenade? Thanks. Her artist statement concerning the work is quite smart, although somewhat trite at the same time.
Smith's series of flowering plant sculptures and gun sculptures investigate the ideas of extinction, corruption and the impact of power and money on an individual.

The gun sculptures 'Absolute Power', fabricated solely from US dollars, express the fact that that money buys power. The gun itself is a symbol of power, control, violence, danger, war and death. Although the sculptures appear to be solid, they are in fact completely hollow and almost weightless. The fact that they can be crushed in the palm of a hand questions the nature of power and suggests it may be a more delicate and impermanent state than it first appears.

The flowering plant sculptures 'Specimen', feature various dictators and are contained in domes. The fragility of the orchids and poppies are a direct contrast to the dictators featured on the banknotes.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Favorite Spam (part deux) – February 25, 2008

Continuing from my post last week, here are my top 5 favorite spam emails.

5. “cabaret message from Isabelle Martinez”

kiwi compression imagine lariat prone configure rhesus trajectory clausen glyph corset strom hassle usher jargon involve ton polecat gutenberg horsemen wadsworth adaptive logistic heiress lutz rumania nocturnal dulcet timeworn menhaden topnotch henley russ gainesville vanity james mcintyre preventive harpsichord render blew o'donnell newsletter lark mendel brahmaputra adjoin jawbreak shred hawley u's salesman hexachloride intervene constant

4. “see more inside LADYBOYS Hot and new”

To the victor the spoils From clogs to clogs in only three generations The world is full of willing people: some willing to work and some willing to let them

3. “I NeedToGetLaid”

This week's theme: short words. tor (tor) noun
1. A rocky heap on the top of a hill.
2. A peak of a bared hill.
[From Middle English, from Old English torr. Of uncertain origin: probably
from Celtic.]

2. “asceticism message from Sharlene Jenkins”

floe horatio, adulterate good tackle monsoon lioness min alive protozoa crap. use school won't episode accreditate glasswort croupier transferor, fourteen palmolive geisha frontage drove phoebe helpmate richfield conjuncture insuppressible. beverage pedal snuffle limit phycomycetes, crux hemispheric drawback rodeo affluence englishmen islamic danube dependent dreadnought crocodilian martial dwight. neapolitan scuffle cork, whitman ibex mite. first radiology.

1. “Faithfully”

mink was untoward a convoy egotist the and holy a sleepless ma'am the at overwhelm scum, topple and on bar endow an shrinkage usurp enthusiastically to stained glass plumbing it duty-free that hot seat cynicism to cottage as democratic and prudence grandpa of crystal lip-synch as complicate the chainsaw, a experiment on cardiology choreograph restructuring slipped disk to by an better off cloak a unwitting that forensic as merely explosion of drunkenness clear,: overthrown and

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Why I Won’t Twitter – February 22, 2008

This post is in honor to a conversation I had with my friend and fellow Likeminder Mark Lewis.

When I first joined Twitter about a year ago, I wondered what I was signing up for, and if I would ever use it. I’ll admit I was techno happy and looking to be that uber early adopter who told everyone about a cool new technology. So I signed up and nothing really happened. I had one friend for about a month then I acquired another one. That was it. I wrote a couple of posts, and nothing really came of it.

I wanted to love Twitter, I really did. I tried hard to get people to join, but then realized no one was interested. Why? Simply because Twittter is a micro-blogging platform, and for it to remain interesting, one must constantly provide updates. Those updates may or may not be intriguing or cool, but simple notifications of what one is up to.

When you Twitter, you don’t say a lot, and as a result you end up saying nothing at all. In order to counter this, one must dedicate a plethora of time to updating Twitter so that one’s identity, outlook, and purpose comes to light.

Twitter is struggling to have a reason for people to use it. The only people I know that Twitter are the super tech bloggers and ad/brand strategist bloggers. All of them have varying opinions on how to use Twitter and why to use it. People are seriously trying to give meaning to a technology that requires high levels of involvement that may or may not lead to anything.

My take on Twitter is that it can only serve one purpose. That purpose is to be able to instantly communicate with a large or small groups of individuals to deliver critical information such as where to meet, what time something happens, or what to do. It’s a great way to create instant social happenings and flashmobs. Other than that I don’t really care.

I hate Twitter, I won’t use it, and I hope it fades away. The idea of lifestreaming is ridiculous to me, and I don’t think that a person can always be interesting or fun to watch or listen to. Save your time, and put more energy and enthusiasm into other ways of expressing yourself and creating an online identity.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Favorite Spam – February 21, 2008

I’ve been collecting spam over the past year that somehow found its way into my Gmail account. Some of it is an art form of its own, others are just some sort of amalgamation of various words and sentences thrown together about some sort of sexual topic. All in all, they are extremely entertaining. Here is the first installment of my top ten favorite pieces of spam. None of these have been altered in anyway, shape or form. I’ll be revealing numbers 10-6 today, and 5-1 on Monday.

10. “NiceShoes WannaF#ck”

9. “loaded her entrance”

Hi Bro, Cute vixens just out of school classes get in some serious
action.. Watch these young butterflies getting pierced to their hearts. Hot little buns get ravished to.

8. “Lets ScrewOur Brains Out”

even elephant ipod light mix

7. “LookingFor NoStrings Crazy S 3 X”

ComeAnd PlayWith Me! CheckOut MyProfile AtThe LinkBelow CHICKS NOT FAT GLYCERINE YANKEE YANKEE

6. Bachelors, Masters, MBA and/or Doctorate (PhD) away”

whom cousin your some yours friend. dirty independence miserable usedto mischievous. wood sign remained, how you find. one independent important strange need did. horses central independent. you thought fill miss matter seven. quickly few discuss his journey, cant news ran gotten dirty cold, blue as free.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

If You Build It They Will Come – February 20, 2008

I’ve been noticing a lot of blogs and news reports talking about how users are fleeing from Facebook to other social network services, like Twitter*, because they are fed up with ads. First off, for the record, Facebook serves noninvasive and minimal amounts of advertising. Besides the annoyance that Beacon may have caused for a week or so, Facebook is relatively respectful of their users, and only has intentions of serving truly relevant advertising to them in the form of social ads.

That being said, people are still shooting off to other networks, some niche, others wide open. As I stated in a pervious post, I feel that people will always belong to massive social networks like Facebook, but will be more inclined to participate more frequently in smaller, more niche groups that aren’t necessarily hosted on a sophisticated technology platform (e.g. email, comment sections, groups, etc).

So, if you are one of those users who intend to deviate from the world of Facebook or MySpace (please tell me you aren’t still using MySpace), there are a ton of services out there that allow you to create your own mini-networks.

Top of the list goes to Ning, for its ease of use and great interface. I can’t vouch for the others, but here they are (click on the picture to go to their site):

* I still hate Twitter and find it useless. Out of all the friends I have in the city that are all about staying in touch, none of them use Twitter.

Jo-Tel Post V-Day Party - February 20, 2008

This past Saturday the Jo-Tel rocked out and body slammed Cupid, and partied until the neighbors couldn't take it anymore.

Here are some pics, check my Flickr for more, and watch Sosia's video of everyone dancing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

IGKF - February 19, 2008

Ginger they have souls? Are they the spawn of the devil? Can they infect others?

These are just some of the questions that the International Ginger Kids Foundation can answer for you. I personally enjoyed these two:

4) Do Ginger Kids have Souls?
Unfortunately no, Ginger Kids are born without souls. A common misconception is that you need a soul to survive. This is completely false. Ginger Kids are people just like everyone else, even if they don’t have souls. Many Ginger Kids live happy, healthy, productive lives devoid of any sort of soul.

5) If a Ginger Kid bites me what should I do?
If you have been bitten by a Ginger Kid immediately wash the wound with soap and water. If you have alcohol or peroxide apply it to the wound. Then call your local poison control for further assistance.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Even More Secret Places in San Francisco – February 15, 2008

In no particular order, here are some more of my favorite secret places. You can go and check my previous entries about secret places here and here too!

1. Ft. Mason’s Park within a Park

Once you enter Fort Mason from Bay Street, continue all the way to the back of the road where it forms a cul-de-sac. From there, follow the sign about the U.S. Senator dying from a dual, and pounce down the stairs that you’ll see in front of you. Next thing you know, you’ll be in a secret park within Ft. Mason.

2. X21

Feel like buying a submarine door? Want a sculptural “root” chair? Are you dying for Faux Brontosauras Leg Bar Stool? I know just the place for you, but you’ve got get your lazy self to the Mission (mind the crack pipes and needles on the ground). It’s called X21, and it’s a monument to all those rare antiques, furniture, and trinkets you wished you owned. Head to 890 Valencia Street (@20th) to check it out.

3. Taquria Cancun

Annoyingly bright yellow paint, more piƱatas then you can handles, Coca-Cola from Mexico (pure sugar cane), and all the tasty Mexican food you can handle. I love this place, and it’s cheap, fast, and always a crowd pleaser. Scoot yourself to 2288 Mission Street (between 18th St & 19th St) to grab some grub.

4. Blue Bottle Coffee next to the Mint

Using a miniscule six-pound batch roaster, Blue Bottle Coffee only sells coffee 48 hours out of the roaster. Plus, they have the most awesome brewing station.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Radiohead Mix - February 14, 2008

Looking for a last minute Valentines Day gift? Try giving her or him the magical vibes of the hottest and newest Radiohead "In Rainbows" mix created right out of the blood filled streets of Oakland.

Amplive, the author of the remix, almost gave up on his project, Radiohead: Rainydayz Remixes, when last November a couple tracks were leaked and hit the blogosphere, which eventually influenced a New York Times article.* This ended in a nasty little cease and desist letter from Radiohead, but in the end, the two made a compromise.
It's here now, it's pro bono, and I love/heart it!

Check out Amplive's site, and watch this nice little YouTube video about the project.

*ahhhh, the power of social media

Live or Die in Geekdom – February 13, 2008

It’s time to get someone famous, and by someone I mean some tech dudes that locked themselves in a closet with a host of computers, caffeinated jelly beans, hordes of Trader Joe meals, and a direct dial into the nearest Papa Johns. Why? Because they brought you things like Wikis, Picnik, TED, Mosio, Ficlets, Boost, and so many freaking more.

Show them some love, because everything they give us is practically free, minus all the ads that get thrown at us. Vote for them at the SXSW Interactive People’s Choice Award.

You can vote once daily until midnight on Monday, March 3. Let the best geek win.

America's Priorities - February 13, 2008

I was doing some tinkering on Google Trends this morning, and I wanted to find out what America was truly interested in today. Is it Britney Spears or is it the Presidential race?...unfortunately, America is still as vain as ever.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Worst Park Ever - February 12, 2008

From the chronicles of NYC for NYE.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Where were you? - February 11, 2008

I was there, where were you?

Have Questions for Facebook? - February 11, 2008

I'm headed down with my colleagues to talk with Facebook this week. Anyone have any questions on their mind for the FB team? Let me know by Wednesday.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Soft Sweet Soundly - February 8, 2008

Here are five of my favorite words:

1. Discombobulated (adj) - having self-possession upset; thrown into confusion; "After waking up from a wicked night of drinking I was totally discombobulated"

2. Cartographer (n) - a person who makes maps; "My friend's best friend's sister's cousin is a cartographer for NASA"

3. Lagarto (n) - the Spanish word for alligator; " Aguas! Aguas, hay un lagarto en el lago"

4. Anonymity (n) the state or quality of being anonymous; "The graffiti artist responsible for the picture of the naked lady on the side of the Statue of Liberty preferred anonymity to avoid arrest"

5. Zdravo (interjection) - Serbian word for hello; "Zdravo, ja sam Reid, i moja prijatelja nije glupa"

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Protect Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself – February 6, 2008

Has this been you? Well, if it was Paul J Whaley on Flickr posted it for the public to see

I want to ensure that I can get hired somewhere someday. A big part of making that happen is to protect my virtual identity. Besides the backlash some users have felt from their MySpace pages, what about Flickr or YouTube or any other social media outlet? Anything and everything you say or do has the potential to make it onto the Internet (e.g. a camera phone photo).

Scary, but the reality of the situation is that most people don’t post media to the Internet with the intent of doing harm to another individual, however, it can happen, even inadvertently. Here are my recommendations on preventing a personal virtual meltdown.

Step 1 – Don’t be a jerk, and don’t do anything you don’t want the public to know about.

Step 2 – Again, don’t be a jerk, and don’t do anything you don’t want the public to know about.

Step 3 – Post anything and everything about your life that give people a good impression about yourself. This will be a good counter in case something negative does arise.

Step 4 – Tell your friends you don’t want particular things you do or say posted or blogged.

Step 5 – If something does happen, embrace being wrong/evil/stupid/ignorant and suggest ways to make-up for your faux pas, but also ask if the original poster can take the content down.

Cult of the Uber Nerds - February 6, 2008

I joined, and I'm proud to say it's a good thing. It will force spontaneity, provoke thinking, and maybe force me to run around San Francisco more than I already do.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Public Marching Band - February 5, 2008

Anyone else want to do this with me on Sunday?

A Mosio Killer - February 5, 2008

ChaCha is a "text for an answer" service similar to Mosio that I blogged about earlier. So far I've been unimpressed with the ChaCha results, and more interested in the Mosio answers.

Here's the skinny. ChaCha relies on paid "guides" to supply answers to whoever is texting them. The results are only sent to that individual texter and not the community at large. The "guide's" answers are not judged by the rest of the users, which means that the answers are only as good as the person sending them. Mosio is much better because it's people powered, and other users have the opportunity to correct or refine answers given by others. Needless to say, it's good to have two sources to answer your text questions.

To Live or Die in Facebook – February 5, 2008

Facebook is fairly worthless to me. The only real reason I keep an account is to…actually, I’m not really sure why I keep the account. Besides the fact it’s just another place to seed my blog, I find that for the most part I completely under utilize it. This is primarily because like most people, I have a job, and that means I can’t spend endless hours biting people as an imaginary vampire, or constantly adding applications that tell people where I’ve traveled.

Facebook offers me only two things:

1. A virtual/interactive address book

2. Refinement of my stalking skills

Social networks aren’t worthless as a whole, just ones that promise to be everything to everyone (i.e. Facebook). I actually get much more value and use out of smaller groups that I’m apart of that don’t necessarily live on a sophisticated technology platform. While I’m certainly aware that I could create a Facebook group, it doesn’t seem necessary because the way I stay connected via email with my niche groups is working just fine. Facebook just adds a seemingly more complicated level of involvement to stay connected.

I will continue to maintain my Facebook profile, as it is the center hub of all my social connections, however, my level of involvement and engagement within the site will remain minimal. My upkeep of my profile and existence within other niche networks will increase over time, and eventually I might phase out Facebook.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

5 of My Favorite Internet Phenomena – February 5, 2008

5. Thriller performed by prison inmates in the Philippines

4. Bill Gates Chain Letter

3. Tub Girl (not including the link, you can find this on your own if you dare)

2. All Your Base Are Belong to Us

1. One Red Paperclip – This guy traded one red paperclip for a house. It started with one red paperclip on July 12 2005 and 14 trades later, on July 12, 2006, he had a house.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Popularize Your YouTube - February 4, 2008

I'm disappointed to say that my video that I posted to YouTube, which was a reaction video to a reaction video to "2 girls 1 cup" has the most hits out of any of my videos. Granted I don't have that many videos posted (8 or 10), this particular video has gotten over 6,000 hits in just a month. So maybe it's not that many for a popular YouTube video, but for me it is.

The only reason that this particular video has risen to the top is because it was associated with the disgusting video, "2 girls 1 cup". Moral of the story, if you want to get alot of hits in general, name your videos in alignment with some current popular cultural topic. For example:

- Britney's suicide tape
- Obama's drunk college interview
- Yahoo CEO caught on tape with Sergey Brin
- Heath Ledger found in bar with Natalie Holloway

You get the point, just don't get pissed if people send you nasty comments because your video has nothing to do with the title of which you named it.

Slow Cooked Ribs - February 4, 2008

After basking in the delight of watching the Giants win the Super Bowl, I enjoyed some incredible pork short short ribs that I cooked in my new Rival slow cooker.

Here's the recipe;

1. Two racks of pork ribs (cut into friendly pieces)
...then sprinkle them with salt and pepper and broil them in the oven on a cooking sheet for 20-25 minutes

2. Next, put all the ribs into the slow cooker, and dump on a bottle and a half of bbq sauce, and one chopped white onion (add anything else you want to).

3. Put on the lid, and cook at low for 6 hours.

Bon Appetit!

For all you slow cookers out there, here are some spots to get some great recipes:

Crock Pot Kitchen
Slow Cooker Recipes
A Crock Cook

Friday, February 1, 2008

Manvite, Need I Say More? – February 1, 2008

I just heard about the “male” version of evite, it’s called Manvite. Now, you don’t have to look like a loser when you ask your friends to “hang out”. It makes you sound like a man when you invite your friends to go cougar hunting.

Super duper…..I mean manly.

Two Very Very Very Very Smart Dudes - February 1, 2008

I'm just kicking it with like the coolest dude in the world, also an "avid" reader of 1million1shot. His name Ross, he is legend. Together we explore the $100 laptop.