The fastest RC cars in the world

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Video: Prodigy-Voodoo People "original mix"

Friday, July 07, 2006

Video: Prodigy's "Voodoo People" remixed by the Chemical Brothers *RARE*

Great rebuttle on blocking ads on websites

This is a rebuttle of an article talking about how blocking ads on websites will be the death of the internet:

"There is a big difference between Television and the Internet. First, Television Stations are not in the business of getting shows and interesting programs to the public. They don't make money by broadcasting television shows, there true source of income is by selling Advertisement Space to companies. The better the show they happen to be broadcasting, the more they can charge for an Ad during that show. Just like Xerox is not in the business of selling state-of-the-art Copy Machines to people, rather, they are in the business of creating a demand for their Toner. With the 'net, it's not so much about getting advertisements to people (or at least it shouldn't be), but more about getting information, content, entertainment, etc to people. The Television industry is almost entirely about getting people to buy ad space and finding a good reason for people to get bombarded with those ads, where as the internet is almost entirely about information, and entertainment with ads almost as an afterthought - "hey, someone's willing to give us a few cents to stick an ad here, why not?"

Currently, there is a major epidemic of advertisement on the 'net. There are a lot of sites out there now that try to disguise themselves as helpful, informative, educational sites, when in reality they're a business site trying to make money off of visitors. Now, it seems like sites are putting ads all over the place, and making them as intrusive as possible - ads that make sounds, or cover your screen, etc. I didn't like them before, when they were not so intrusive - but I definately don't like them now. I will never "punch the monkey", and I happen to listen to music constantly when I'm browsing the internet, so I definately don't want to hear these ads, so I have the Adblock Extension installed for Firefox. It's absurd to think that putting ads on a site improves anything whatsoever, here's an example: is a site that is sort of like an informative search-engine. There are several "guides", who are people who know a lot about a subject, and offer their expertise on many different topics, sometimes giving links to other sites, etc. However, this site is actually a buisiness site - owned by the New York Times, and is full of advertisements. In many cases, clicking on a link to one of their topics gives you an ad that makes you wait for it to finish before you can get to the actual content - or find the small "skip" button. There are sponsered links hidden within the places where links to other information are - what looks like a link to take you to more information about the Breeding Habit of Turtles actually turns out to be a link to a site that sells Turtleneck Sweaters, etc. Now, some of the content on this site is actually worthwhile, even though you have to wade through a bunch of crap to get to it - I prefer to avoid the site altogether.

Wikipedia is a free website that contains information about nearly anything you want to know. There are no ads, no 'sponsored links', anyone can sign up (for free) and edit, add, change information as they see fit. It is, essentially, a community of sharing. Anyone can offer information about a topic, and other people can change, edit, remove anything that needs it. It's all about sharing, and giving information, for free.

If had either no ads, or much less intrusive ads, I would probably go there more often than I do. As it stands, if I search for something (I use Google almost extensively), and it gives me a link to a promissing article on, I tend not to even follow the link, ad blocker or not. I also avoid other sites that have too many ads, as well - if I'm looking up information about a game (like Will Wright's Spore which looks promissing), I'll rarely go to IGN, or GameSpy because I know that there's a chance that I'll have to click past an ad with one of those "You'll be taken to your requested page in a moment, after this advertisement" things that makes me want to Close my tab instantly.

Here's another piece of this debate that really upsets me: people are suggesting that AbBlocking tools be removed, or blocked or something like close to outlawed. What this means is that I am not allowed to choose what my computer does. I am not allowed to install programs that help me be more productive, or whatever you want to call it. That is unacceptable to me. I put together my computer myself - it's not a Dell or anything that comes pre-built. I went online, ordered the case, ordered the motherboard, the hard drives, etc, and put it all together with the sole intention of having it work the way I want. I am painstakingly cautious about what software is installed on my computer, making sure that I'm free of AdWare and SpyWare - which is a whole other topic of discusion that I'm going to avoid here. I have gone out of my way to not only install the AdBlocker Extension, but also create a self-updating list of items that I want it to block because I do not even want my cache folder's space to be wasted by a single ad - but I'm in the wrong for doing this, according to those who want to stop Ad Blocking. If I wanted to have my computer be at the whim of everyone else in the world, as to what I'm 'allowed' to do, I would have bought a calculator. Or a Mac.

Instead of changing the way that people use the internet to fit to the way that companies want to make money, we need to change the mindset of these people - get them to understand how the internet works, and change the way they want to make money to fit with how the internet is used. Subscriptions were mentioned, although I don't think they are a very could method since when I think 'internet subscription', I always associate it with 'porn site'... Donations are actually a lot better than you seem to give them credit for. Unlike donating to a cause such as a disaster in some other part of the world, you're donating to something that you have imediate contact with. Depending on what you're site is offering, you can actually get some decent donations. However, the problem is that there is a different mindset. I don't think you should make a website with the intention of making the same amount of money that you would with more tangable company. Instead of: "Make a website, make millions of dollars, quit your job, and update once a week", it should work more like this: "make a website, KEEP your job, offer content voluntarily, and offer a way for people to donate, or buy something from you to support the site, and help give you a little extra income". Because a 'net that works on freedom, sharing, volunteers, and community works a lot better than one built on making money, greed, and the need to make content to get money from people. Interestingly enough, so does the world.

So, in conclusion, in my opinion, AdBlocking is not the death of the internet, but the death of senseless advertising, and the birth of a new era of the internet that will be better than ever before.

I do want to appologize for the length of this comment... lol... I just got going and couldn't stop - hopefully it makes sense. Also, I would like to appoligize for the fact that I didn't know you even had ads on your site until I saw your comment - so you're not going to get any compensation from Google for my visit here, although I would not have clicked on the ad had I seen it..."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow 2006

The science of boarding planes quicker.

Boeing engineer performing interior tests

From Randy's Journal

"In the U.S., this coming weekend is a huge one for leisure travel. A lot of people will be flying. And if you're like me, the process of boarding an airplane can be, shall we say, a real challenge. So I was intrigued recently to see some coverage lately of the newest ideas for "smarter" boarding.

One idea being tried out is doing away with the standard system of boarding by row, starting with the rear of the airplane. The new concept involves letting the quickest passengers get on the airplane first. Seats will still be assigned, but under this system you board when you're ready.

Maybe you've flown on an airline that boards in zones for the economy cabin. Recently some airlines have been trying out a "window-middle-aisle" approach to boarding. Window seat passengers get to board first, followed by middle, and then aisle, as a way to reduce how much people have to get up and down in their seats to allow other people by.

Other concepts have this whole thing down to a science, complete with mathematical formulas and computer simulations to determine how many times people are likely to get in each other's way during the boarding process.

Of course, Boeing is continuously studying ways to help the entire industry with boarding. We've been doing some research to see what kinds of things impact the process - although I can't say we've come up with any definitive answers.

Special "third-age" suits are helping Boeing learn more about how to make the traveling experience more "user-friendly."
We're also looking at how to make experiences inside the airplane better by designing for the various capabilities people on airplanes have. That shows more promise. For instance we've put our engineers inside special "third-age" suits and had them fly on commercial flights, to experience what air travel is like for older people who may have mobility limitations.

Out of this research we're designing new cabin interiors - the 787 Dreamliner, for instance - to be more friendly in terms of easier latches, signage and other features that we may tend to take for granted. That is, until creaky joints or fading eyesight make them a real challenge to negotiate.

While these cabin improvements may not yet make boarding a breeze, we think they're going to make the journey a more pleasant one in the air!"

Video: Conan O'Brien keynote speaker at Stuyvesant High School: Part 2

Video: Conan O'Brien keynote speaker at Stuyvesant High School: Part 1

How to destroy a hardrive

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

And now for something completely different...


"Can the most high-profile video blog in the U.S. stay popular without cheerful, friendly, smokin' hot host Amanda Congdon? We're about to see -- the Rocketboom host informed the world today that producer Andrew Baron let her go. Is this an overdue change, or another sign that vlogging is just lame TV?

Watch her farewell video, and notice how much realer Congdon feels when she speaks off the cuff. Either this is the natural tone Baron felt she was missing, or it's a hoax and Congdon's finally learned how to act."

Google seeks justice on Net neutrality

"Google may be getting ready to take the battle over Net neutrality to the courts.

Congress last week rejected attempts to pass a law that would prohibit telecom companies from censoring content, or charging different rates for different types of content. The issue had pitted carriers like phone and cable companies against content companies like Google.

"If we are not successful in our arguments...then we will simply have to wait until something bad happens and then we will make known our case to the Department of Justice's antitrust division," Google Vice President Vint Cerf said this week."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Proper Use Of 16,000 Firecrack...

Video: Battlefield 2 Mockumentary

Monday, July 03, 2006

Inrix: Real time traffic.

This Seattle traffic map illustrates a sample SmartPhone user interface, highlighting currently congested road segments in red and smooth flowing traffic in green.

The red clocks (left) indicate the most likely duration of currently jammed segments of the highway, in this case indicating a maximum likelihood of 30 and 10 minutes respectively until clear.

The green clocks (right) display the time until the adjacent road segment will most likely become jammed. This clock indicates that a segment of traffic will likely become jammed in about 50 minutes.

"The Inrix Dust Network represents a traffic technology breakthrough that dramatically improves the accuracy, quality and coverage of traffic information. Inrix acquires real-time and historical sensor data from hundreds of public and private sources including anonymous, real-time GPS probe data from more than 500,000 commercial fleet, delivery and taxi vehicles; toll tag data; and occupancy and speed measurements from Department of Transportation sensor networks. Additionally, the Inrix Dust Network aggregates real-time incidents and hundreds of market-specific criteria that affect traffic – such as construction and road closures, sporting and entertainment events, school schedules and weather forecasts."

Senator Stevens Speaks on Net Neutrality

Audio MP3 here.

"Senator Stevens just doesn’t get it. The excitement of the Internet isn’t that it’s a niftier TV. In part, it’s that “consumers” get to choose among tens of millions of media voices, in whatever combination they want. Even better, “consumers” can use the internet to create, refine, and post content, even high-bandwidth content, for next to nothing.

On today’s internet, “consumers” are also editors, creators, and promoters. In other words, we’re not just consumers. We’re users, which means we all get an online voice. This is built on the backbone of a neutral internet.

Amusingly, Stevens claims that it took him 5 days to get an email due to internet congestion—no doubt caused by all these commercial download services clogging the internet pipes with their infernal video (and not paying their fair share).

In all due respect, Sir, you may be mistaken about the dates here. Even if not, you certainly don’t have a reasonable explanation for why your email was delayed for five days"