Thursday, July 26, 2007

My biggest gripe with the internet...

If there is one surefire way to have your website annoy the crap out of me and cause me to never return to it again, it's to have any type of audio playing automatically when the page loads. I hate this more than anything else on the internet.

When I am web browsing, I generally am also listening to music. When I am at work, this music is played through my computer, but is kept at a low volume so as not to disturb my coworkers. Because of this, it's not really practical for me to mute the entire computer, but this isn't too much of a problem...that is until I click a link to some stupid website and all of a sudden ads start talking to me or music starts playing. And it's never at a low volume or even the same volume as my music, it's always much louder than my music and catches everyone's attention.

At home, I usually keep my computer muted so that I don't have to be annoyed by this and I just listen to music on another computer at my desk or on my stereo. This is great until I go to YouTube or want to play a file that's on on my computer. Then I have to unmute the computer, do what I want to do, and then remember to mute the computer again or face the consequences.

The biggest offender of this is MySpace. I rarely even go on MySpace, but the few times I do, every page I go to has some stupid song that I'm sure to hate automatically playing when it loads.

Can't I just browse in peace? Is that so much to ask?

Now, I know that the entire internet isn't going to change and this is probably just going to get even worse so what to do about this? Someone, and I would do it myself, but I'm never going to have the time to sit down with this, needs to create a Firefox extension that allows the user to mute individual tabs. I would like to have it automatically mute all tabs except for those that I manually unmute or put on a safe list. This way, I can browse in peace and listen to music, but when I want to actually hear something from a site, I can unmute it and hear it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I got lost on the internet

It's a good thing someone made this map of the internet because I keep getting lost. Of course, now my head hurts. Which is worse?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Help classify galaxies! is letting any Joe Schmo help them classify galaxies. Since there are millions of them, scientists can't do it all themselves. All you have to do is sign up on their website and they have a brief crash course in how to do it. It's pretty simple.

Astronomy is pretty awesome, but I wonder how accurate this is going to end up being. I predict a mess.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ginormous, yes that's the technical term

Merriam-Webster has announced that they will be adding "ginormous" to the dictionary (my first attempt at typing that came out as "dictioncry," which might be more accurate). There are about 100 new words being added this Fall when the new edition goes on sale. Among the other words added are "crunk," "speed dating," "sudoku," "DVR" (as in digital video recorder), and "smackdown."

Am I the only one that thinks "crunk" will be completely forgotten in less than ten years? There is no way that people will continue to use that word that long.

My predictions for the future? Next year internet acronyms will make it. The following year, l33t speak. If I ever open a dictionary and see "pwn" as an actual entry I'm going to strap myself to the nose of the space shuttle just before launch. That experience will easily be more enjoyable than living in a world where l33t speak is considered proper English.

Nothing is personal anymore

Anyone can see that as the internet continues to grow, interpersonal relationships have become much less...well, personal. A recent survey by Yahoo! found that up to 14% of men would fire an employee via IM with an emoticon. My question is, what the hell would be an appropriate emoticon for firing someone? I don't think that the standard cry would cover it. Maybe evil could get the job done?
I'm pretty sure that if I got fired via IM I'd be pretty pissed off and probably steal some office supplies on they way out. But if there was an emoticon with the IM I'm pretty sure I'd walk into my boss's office and punch him in the face for being a pompous prick.

Additionally, the survey found that there are people who would propose to someone via IM. This is the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with and you can't even propose to them face to face? Come on, unless you're only going to get married in World of Warcraft land, get the hell off of the computer and spend some quality time with your main squeeze.

This isn't to say that some things aren't easier to discuss via IM. I'll be the first to admit that I've used the internet to initiate awkward conversations, even recently, but there is a line between when this is acceptable and when it is not. Marriage, firing someone (for work or a relationship) need to be done in person. Maybe you can fire someone via the phone, but definitely not via IM.

Google maps is still getting better

This morning Google added a "My Maps" feature to Google Maps that allows users to add various bits of crap to the maps that they are looking at. Google has taken information from other websites and stitched them into its own. Content includes gas prices, real estate, movie times, earthquakes, crop circles, webcams, area calculators and thousands more.

A couple of the more interesting ones...
  • Dig a hole through the Earth - Select an place on Earth and this will tell you where you would pop out if you dug a hole straight through the center. I tried my apartment in NJ and it looks like I would come out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, about 600 miles off of the southwest coast of Australia.
  • Been there? - I could easily see myself spending half a day trying to put in every place I've ever been to. I've always thought it would be cool if there was a way to keep track of everywhere I go, now that there is, I'm a little frightened.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Final Cut Studio 2 install

This was intense!

I got a free copy of Final Cut Studio 2 today and figured that I'd install it on my work computer since I don't have a Mac at home. I probably won't use it too much since it'll be a work, but I figured what the hell.

The install took about 3.5 hours, 8 discs, and 53GB of hard drive space. That is seriously one intense install. Even Windows installs faster than that. I can't even believe that software programming has gotten to the point where a single package of software takes up 53GB of hard drive space.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Science, you're going to far...

I love science as much as the next guy, don't get me wrong, but there are somethings that maybe are just a bad idea. Some researchers have developed a drug that can be used to erase single memories from a person's brain. The idea is that it can be used to treat people who are suffering from psychological disorders related to post-traumatic stress. That isn't too bad, but this could be abused so easily by people who just don't want to remember things even though those things don't cause stress in their lives.

Technology like this scares the crap out of me because people today are too dumb to be able to handle it.

Oh well, I guess if it goes terribly wrong, we can just use the drug to erase the memory of it and it will be like the whole thing never happened?

What does an old radio studio look like when you take it apart?

At the radio station that I volunteer at, we are rebuilding our production studio. It's pretty old and has some really old equipment in it. The console is all rotary pots! Remember those!?! The air studio is 5 years old and looks beautiful and pretty up to date, but walking into the production studio is like taking a trip back through time.

Click the slide to see the dismantling of the studio. Over the next few weeks, we'll be putting it back together with all new equipment. It should look really bad ass when it's all finished. I'll post more pictures as the project continues.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Customize your directions from Google maps!

Google has finally done what I've been hoping someone would do for a long time. You can now drag the blue line detailing your route to customize it. Every time I get directions from Google Maps, I always end up changing half steps anyway because I know ways that are just better and less trafficy so it's nice that I can do this on the computer before I actually print them now.

Or I could stop being cheap and get a GPS already.

Unsubstantiated iPhone rumor

For really no reason at all other than the fact that a website can't compete with the rest of the internet in this day and age without posting about the iPhone every hour on the hour, I'm going to throw out some nonsensical iPhone rumor. The iPhone has a 3G chip built in, but is currently being disabled and will later be enabled with a firmware update.

No real reason to say this, but it just seems so ridiculously silly that a phone being touted for it's web browsing doesn't have 3G. I refuse to believe it. Besides, Steve Jobs has said that there are still surprises to come and that he thinks edge is slow. Additionally, there have been tons of rumors about the iPhone being brought to Europe before the end of the year and because every other first world country has higher technology standards than we do, they simply wouldn't stand for a "smartphone" that doesn't have 3G. However, Apple won't give Europe better technology than we have here in America and this Fall is probably a bit too soon for the 2G iPhone to be available. So I am proposing that when Apple releases the iPhone in Europe, it will have 3G capabilities and Americans will get a firmware upgrade that unlocks the hidden 3G capabilities in the iPhones that they already have.

This will also help to provide a second boost in sales for the iPhone after the initial sales bonanza starts to die down.

Note: Apparently, AT&T's edge network decided to get faster today. So everything I just said is probably crap...well, it is crap because I just made it up. So yeah.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Duct tape server

These dudes made a computer case out of duct tape. This is almost as awesome as when I made a duct tape wallet...wait, this is way better.

Who wants to start work on an entirely duct tape car? That'll be cooler, right?

Update: Their site works, but the images don't seem to be available anymore.