The Thought Refuse

A Virtual Repository for the Mind

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Contrasting Yahoo And Google Search Terms

with 2 comments

Yahoo.com released it’s top search queries for the year 2008 on Monday.  The results are depressingly typical.  Britney Spears sits in the #1 slot with WWE at #2.  The rest of the list was populated entirely with pop culture items, the exception being Barack Obama coming in at #3.

On the surface, it’s not particularly surprising that celebrity/pop culture references would dominate search terms.  Given how rife our culture is with celebrity news shows and magazines, it’s indicative of our widespread obsession with anything that has to do with our “stars”.  That is until you examine Google’s 2007 Zeitgeist top search terms.

A quick glance through Google’s top search terms reveals a stark contrast between the two search engines.  The Google user base is far more “tech” savy then Yahoo’s user base.  Top Google search terms include iphone, facebook, and daily motion.  Google users are clearly interested in gadgets and social networking, where as Yahoo users display an almost rejection of tech interest.

There is certainly a corollary within this stark contrast, as it relates to the symmetrical rise of Google and Yahoo’s fall.  The success of any internet entity must be founded upon a customer base that knows how to utilize the web as something more then a digital celebrity magazine.

Written by huxbux

December 5, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Posted in Technology

Tagged with , ,

How To Get Your Blog Hits

with 8 comments

Every blogger struggles for readership.  Some bloggers, such as myself, can barely scratch together an audience period.  Well, I have some easy tips to help you and me that will start attracting people to your blog, and getting those all important hits.

  1. Create blog.  There are numerous free hosting sites such as WordPress or Blogger.  Registration and user interface are both easy and intuitive.
  2. Select a central theme that deals with a highly controversial subject.  A good one would be politics.
  3. Pick a side in whatever controversial subject you choose to focus your blog around.  Just remember – never, under any circumstances wander over into the “other side”.
  4. Ensure that all your posts appeal to the most rabid and irrational supporters of the side you’ve choosen.  The best way to do that is to always only present the evidence that supports your side even if that means only presenting half the evidence.  Always make your posts as viral as possible.  Omission is your best ally.
  5. Under no circumstance should you allow evidence regardless of it’s substance or sound logic to infect your comment section.  The best way to deal with this is to either resort to insulting opposing viewpoints with generic, repetitive slander or, if necessary, heavily moderate your comment section and do not approve/delete comments that threaten the viral nature of your blog’s topic.
  6. Finally, always promote your blog as the self-righteous truth.  Be sure to demean and condescend your opposition.  Your “truth” is best discovered through the negation of your opponent, not the validation of your belief.

With these six easy steps, you’ll be well on your way to owning a blog with plenty of readers and commentors to interact with.  Good blogging and good luck to you all!

Written by huxbux

November 2, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Posted in Humor, Politics, Technology

Tagged with , ,

Blogging’s Correlation To Crisis

leave a comment »

I’d like to put forth the contention that the any increase or decrease in blogging is directly correlated to the occurrence or absence of crisis’.  In fact the birth of blogging can be attributed, to a degree, to the occurrence of a crisis.

Blogs have been around for nearly 15 years.  At its inception, blogs were considered to be online diaries or journals.  In 2001, blogs emerged as a news source.  Less a diary and more free form journalism.  I would put forth the notion that the events of 9/11 contributed, in part, to the explosion of blogs.  Following 9/11, the populace openly questioned the honesty of the government and mainstream media.  Questions were abound as to what the government knew prior to the attacks and whether they failed to act on possible intelligence.  Rather then turning to mainstream media who are regarded as the mouthpiece for those in power, people turned online looking for “outside” news sources.  Journalists took note of the demand and blogs became a wide-spread necessity.

The following Afgan and Iraqi War further fueled the expansion of blogging.  A highly unpopular presidency also contributed.  However, it is not so much the crisis event as it is the reaction crisis’ spur in the average person.  A crisis naturally presumes a high stress event.  A high stress situations in turn require an outlet for expression.  In addition, a crisis spans all cultural boundaries leaving us with a rare occurrence that connects us all.  It is our empathy for tragedy and conflict that brings us together, and curiously apart as well.

All of these things boil together to form either a highly contentious or bonding unity across a wide area of people.  Our compulsion to express the opinions we’ve formed around a crisis drives us towards the easiest of all avenues – blogging.  We want to reach out across the world and let it be known how we feel on an unfolding topic.  Partly to fulfill our own personal need to be heard, but because a crisis possesses the appearance that decisive action must be taken.  And as a survival technique, we feel driven to herd as many others into out “decision” camp.

This is evident in the explosion of partisan, illogical political blogs that have sprung up as the Presidential election began and is reaching it’s peak.  In a sense, surrounded by numerous peripheral crisis’, the election has become the personification of their collective events.  Blogging has become the irrational mouthpiece for citizen politics.  Your either on this side or that.  Join us or the crisis we are faced with will devour us.

I am sure that once the election is over, the next president has been inaugurated, and passed his first 100 days in office, the blogging world will turn to the next major crisis.  The economy is a potential target if it devolves into a depression.  In short, the common blogger is drawn to the next crisis like a sheep offering little in the way of analysis, and instead just shouting from the bully pulpit.

Written by huxbux

October 15, 2008 at 12:42 am

Blame Carbonated Liquids

leave a comment »

We, as Americans consumers, are faced with an ominous and insidious threat to the stability of our great country.  Very soon our workplaces will be invaded by a sinister force of evil intent on destroying the fabric of our workforce.  Attacking the fundamental threads that are the glue driving our economic health.

The exploding soda machine!

Coca-Cola is set to introduce a 100-flavor beverage dispenser.  We are dealing with a new and dangerous technology.  With knowledge, we can fight back against our sworn carbonated enemies.  And thanks to an astute listener of Buzz OutLoud, we are getting out the word.  In an email read on BoL episode 820 the warning went out loud and clear:

The syrup is very unstable and must be kept at a specific temperature and must be agitated to keep from EXPLODING.

Beware the syrup!  Fight back against our carbonated overlords!

Written by huxbux

October 1, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Telecommunication Companies Gouging Via Text Message

leave a comment »

When Comcast announced it’s plan to begin instituting a bandwidth cap, the tech community was in general consensus that bandwidth limits was not consumer friendly, and sparked considerable outrage from some consumers.  But there’s something else that should infuriate you about your data much more then how much your allowed to use every month.  Namely, how much your paying for what kind of data you send and receive.

Our data works on an astronomic pay tier, and to illustrate this lets do a little math.

Your average home internet bill is probably around $50.00 a month.  If your a Comcast customer your allotted 250 GB per month for your monthly payment.  Your paying Comcast $0.20 for every GB of data.  That equates to you paying paying $0.0000019 per kB of data transferred.

Telecommunications companies like AT&T and Sprint charge $0.10 for each text message sent and received.  The average text message data size is 10kB.  1 GB holds 1,048,576 kB.  104,857 text messages would consume 1 GB of memory.  At an average cost of $0.10 per text message, you are paying $1,048,570 per GB of text messages.

There’s a 524,285,000% cost increase from wired data to wireless text message data.  Show me another industry where you’ll encounter this sort of price increase for the same product?  Now, it’s understandable that wireless data infrastructure requires more investment then a wired infrastructure, but to this degree?

Wireless telecommunications companies are gouging it’s customers for text message data transmissions, and you rarely hear any outcry from consumer advocacy groups much less government officials.  What’s even more perplexing is that while our wired data limits are being restricted, our wireless data transmissions via text messaging continues to explode according to a CTIA report.

Regardless of the fact that text messages account for a minuscule proportion of the data we send and receive, it’s absolutely unethical for this kind of tier pricing for data to exist.

Written by huxbux

September 26, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Beware The Malware

leave a comment »

Have you ever wondered why the spread of malware on home pcs has exploded alongside the explosion of the internet?  A research group from the Psychology Department at North Carolina State University conducted a study amoung college students on their handling of pop up windows while surfing the internet.  Not surprisingly, they found that the surfing habits were highly unsecure.

As reported by Ars Technica here, most users primary concern when dealing with pop ups is to remove said window from their view whether by clicking a confirmation button on the window or simply minimizing the window.  Using a standard Windows warning for program termination, the researchers created various alternate versions each containing warning signs indicating the windows were not native to the operating system.  The study finds that regardless of which window popped up, real or fake, more then half of all users clicked the OK button.

That’s an astounding success rate for malware installation.  And that success can be attributed to the users inattention to his surroundings.  Consider applying this to crossing the street.  There you are at the corner of Broadway and 42nd street in New York City.  You decide that you must cross either Broadway or 42nd immediately.  Without giving attention to the flow of traffic or the current state of the traffic light, you randomly plunge your body onto the street, your eyes fixated on the opposing street corner.

I’d wager that it’s more probable for you to unwittingly install malware onto your home computer in your haste to close a pop up window, as it is for you to blindly cross a street in Time Square without injury.   Only a clearly insane individual would be content with a coin flips chance at successfully choosing the pedestrian crossing with the red light.  Yet, we will glady risk our computer’s health on a 50-50 chance.

Clearly, we value the state of our own well being over a collection of silicon transistors.  So, it’s simply a matter in internet education.  The internet swept across every modernized society spanning this planet.  It’s wonder and breadth are spectacular, but it’s dangers are equally fantastic.  Most people have no idea what a botnet is or what a botnet is capable of.

The growing influence and necessity of the internet in the daily operation of our lives are reaching a point in which the prospect of the internet becoming inoperable for an extended time period looms as an utterly debilitating disaster.  There’s a simple way to educate people on malware dangers.  For every download and installation of a web browser, a simple internet surfing safety tutorial would come on screen.  In order to use the browser, completion of the tutorial would be necessary.  If users don’t want to educate themselves, programmers need to bring the education to them.

Written by huxbux

September 23, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Posted in Technology

Tagged with , ,