Apple’s “TiVo Killer”

Look, I’m psychic (again)… “Hopefully that’s Front Row 2.0…” Funny :)

Quote:
“Apple’s Mac mini will be reborn as the digital hub centerpiece it was originally conceived to be, Think Secret sources have disclosed. The new Mac mini project, code-named Kaleidoscope, will feature an Intel processor and include both Front Row 2.0 and TiVo-like DVR functionality.”

Read the whole article over here.

What Google Analytics Is Missing

Google Analytics lets you toggle between pie and bar chart, but it really seems logical to have a 3rd chart option that makes a line graph comparing the top 10 items from any report section. For example for web browsers you could see historically how the percentage of Firefox users goes up and Internet Explorer users goes down. This type of chart would be useful for virtually any existing report… Keyword Considerations, Browser Versions, Platform Versions, Referring Source, etc. WebTrends can generate multi-dimensional bar charts which yields the same results.

Basically it would be the “Data Over Time” chart that Google Analytics generates already, but for more than one item.

Here’s a couple examples to illustrate:

Wax Museum Of Drug Users

A wax museum in Moscow, Russia is currently running an exhibition that highlights dangers of drug use.

This is what happens if you sniff glue, so don’t do it. :)

Drug addicts commonly get gangrene apparently… haha It seems that drug addicts also have crappy shoes. He probably got gangrene from walking around in sandals during a Russian winter.

You can find other disturbing funny images over here.

Google and Apple

Both Google and Apple stock are currently trading at their all-time highs. What’s even more impressive is they are both up 19% in the last 30 days. Not a bad gain for a month. Both stocks are well over 100% gain for the last year.

What do these two companies have in common? They both are innovators. Just when you think there is nothing else cool they could do, they do something amazing. Then all the competitors scramble to play catch up.

I own a decent amount of both companies, and I’m not going to be selling those shares anytime soon. In fact, I might buy more (even at their all time high). Although you could just not listen to me, and instead listen to the “experts” who were running to sell Apple 4 years ago

Quote:
“Don’t buy Apple’s stock. And if you own it, sell it.”

If you would have invested $10,000 on the day he said that, it would be worth $86,675 today (roughly 4 years later), a 766% gain. I don’t know of many other stocks that have averaged an 85% compounded gain year after year for the last 4 years… do you?

It will be interesting to see if Google follows the same trend for 4 years after their IPO… After 15 months, they are averaging a 315% gain per year. :) If they could sustain that for a total of 4 years, their stock price would be $25,212 per share (of course there would be some splits in there) 4 years after their 2004 IPO and not only make them the first trillion dollar company, they would be a 7.4 trillion dollar company. If any company could pull that off, it would be Google (although don’t bet it will be that quick), they certainly are going to be the first trillion dollar company at some point.

Dallas Cowboys Are Gay

Dude… the Dallas Cowboys suck. Missed a 34 yard field goal that would have won the game. Instead it goes into overtime and they lose to the Denver Broncos. Which of course is really lame for any Charger’s fan.

The Dallas Cowboys are BASTARDS!

Terrell Owens Done For Year

The arbitrator in the Terrell Owens saga ruled against Owens, forcing him to sit out the rest of the reason. The Eagles could trade him at this point, but they won’t… which means Owens gets to do nothing until March or so when they will put him on waivers.

He’s a prick, but he’s a damn good receiver. Since he isn’t making any money right now and can’t play NFL football until next year, maybe he would like to play some flag football for me. I’m willing to pitch in $1,000 to have him play on my team. :)

Mixing Matter and Antimatter

Some dudes at UC Riverside think they may have created molecules that meld matter with antimatter…

Allen Mills of the University of California, Riverside, and his colleagues say they have seen telltale signs of positronium molecules, made from two positronium atoms1.

Positronium is an other-worldly mimic of hydrogen. In a hydrogen atom, a negatively charged electron moves around a proton, which has a positive charge. The electrical force of attraction between the two subatomic particles holds them together.

In positronium, hydrogen’s proton is replaced by a positron, which is the antimatter partner of an electron. A positron has the same positive charge as a proton, but has the same mass as an electron, which is just 1/1,836 that of a proton. So positronium is an extremely light ‘atom’.

Not terribly useful at this point since it existed for a fraction of a second and then self-destructed. Still interesting nonetheless.

Chargers Beat Down Bills

Uhm, it was a straight up ass-kicking this afternoon. The Chargers were up 35-10 at halftime and finished the game 48-10. Those are the good games. The ones that are over in the first quarter. :) Charger’s kickoff coverage looked pretty crappy (Bills were pretty much starting on the 50 every possession), but other than that, everything looked good.

The only bad news is Antonio Gates hurt his foot… so hopefully he is better by next week.

I DON’T Have 3 Swimming Pools

After I made this post about maybe having three pools (technically), I took my building/site plans to the San Diego Department of Planning and Land Use this afternoon to just ask them what they thought.

It turns out I’m exempt from the normal pool fence guidelines because my parcel is more than 3 acres. Not only that I found out that the lagoon and moat wouldn’t count as a pool because a pool is specifically defined as “a structure intended for swimming or recreational bathing”. Which is pretty stupid if you ask me, because you could make a 20′ deep “lagoon”, which a 1 year old child could still drown in… but you wouldn’t have to fence it, because it’s not DESIGNED for swimming.

Oh well… at least I don’t have to have dreams about this problem anymore.

Track AdSense Clicks With Google Analytics

It would be cool if Google automatically tracked AdSense clicks into Google Analytics… But until they do, here’s a little bit of JavaScript code you can use to do it. You can then setup an AdSense click as a “goal” within the Analytics interface.

[code=javascript][/code]
This only works with Internet Explorer because of some limitations/bug with Mozilla. I’m too lazy to code a complicated workaround for other browsers (which would involve running JavaScript code whenever the mouse moves which seems really inefficient to me). Hopefully Mozilla will fix the bug (although it’s been pending for 2 1/2 years now).

Basically it will log an AdSense click as a pageview to a non-existent page (http://www.digitalpoint.com/AdSenseClick in my case).

Update

I made a version of the code that will work with AdSense and/or Yahoo Publisher Network. You can find it over here.

My Computer Is Here!

Yay! My new computer is here (finally) after about a month of waiting. I’ve had the 30″ monitor that goes with it for more than two weeks, so now I can actually USE it for the first time.

Thankfully Apple has a migration utility built in that will just move all my stuff (users, applications, home folder, etc.) to the new machine, so that’s a one-click task. :)

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee………..

Update

Man, there is really something to be said about having a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600. You sure can fit a lot of stuff on the screen (my old monitor was a 22″ LCD).

Google Broke Up With Me

It seems Google has broken up with me. Not only did they not do it in person, they didn’t call or even bother to email me to let me know they have moved on from our relationship. This blog (not all of digitalpoint.com, only this blog) has some sort of weird partial ban from the Google index. I noticed it after seeing this thread, but was reminded about it again from this thread in my forum.

Googlebot (not Mediapartners) still spiders this blog at the rate of 400-500 pages per day, but the spidered pages never make it to the Google search index. It makes me wonder if Google is looking for something specific to be “fixed” and not finding whatever it’s looking for.

Here’s what makes me think it has a partial ban…

I only have supplemental results in the Google index:
http://www.google.com/search?q=inurl:www.shawnhogan.com/

The supplemental results show snippets from January 23, 2005 and before, yet sometimes the cache shows more up to date content (sometimes not though):
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:www.shawnhogan.com/

No pages from 2005 are in the index (yet they are spidered daily).

This page has no PageRank (last I looked it was PageRank 6 in December, 2004).

I’ve contacted Google a couple times about it… usually I don’t get a response, but a couple times I got a generic response telling me to read their webmaster guidelines (which I have). Since they tell me to read their guidelines, I’m taking that as some sort of affirmation that I am banned. I know it wouldn’t be good for Google as a whole to give specific reasons about why a site/blog is banned, but in my case I honestly don’t have the faintest idea of what it could possibly be. So it makes whatever “it” is impossible to correct. The best guess I can come up with (which obviously isn’t the case, I’m just making a point that I have no idea) is that I switched from Blogger to WordPress for this blog.

Maybe I’m just getting old. Google has found someone prettier that they like better now that I turned 30. :(

Oh well… at least I have the fond memories of when we were in love and frolicked through the fields. :)

Update

It looks like my mom might have the same problem:
http://www.google.com/search?q=inurl:www.digitalpoint.com/~robinq/

Maybe it’s anything within digitalpoint.com with a tilde in the URL {shrug}

Roadway Speeds In Google Local/Maps

I really don’t get why Google hasn’t added live traffic data for major cities yet. The information is out there and freely available for anyone to use. It only took me a few minutes of digging around to realtime traffic data for all of California, so why can’t Google find/use it? For example, Caltrans breaks down the data by district… San Diego is included in District 11:

Labels (descriptions, freeway, direction, etc.)
Current Highway Speeds (cross referenced by ID to the Labels file)

Would be nice if they gave you the longitude/latitude of each location, but hey… assign some intern to look them all up. :)

So let’s see if I could stick the data on Google Maps myself (via API)… I’m fairly lazy, and would rather programatically do something that would otherwise require manual labor (looking up longitude/latitude for a zillion points). Thankfully, I remembered that I looked at Yahoo Maps Beta a few weeks ago, and saw it had live traffic data that was overlayed on the map graphic (which means they probably are making a separate HTTP request for just the traffic data). Sure enough… a packet sniffer reveals this URL for getting traffic data for San Diego:

XML Feed

Okay, that’s not bad, but doesn’t include longitude and latitude. Instead it appears the speed data is relative to the current view of the Yahoo map you are looking at. Hmmm… rather than decode their little proprietary system, let’s see what sfmt is. With some luck, it’s “speed format”. Sure enough… change it to sfmt=0, and you get longitude/latitude of the points! :) So now we have a nice XML feed with longitude and latitude:

XML Feed

Once you have that data, it takes 2 minutes to make a Google Map with the data…

Traffic In San Diego

Of course it doesn’t really answer my original question… why doesn’t Google already have this data on Google Local/Maps? If I worked at Google, this would be my 2nd “20% time project” (this was the other one).

I Have 3 Swimming Pools

The pool fence for my house has been the only part about it I don’t like. It’s stressing me out so much that I’ve been dreaming about it. I don’t like it because it ends up cutting my backyard in half and dividing it (there’s also some other weirdness that I won’t bother getting into).

So anyway… I’ve been trying to figure out a good excuse to wrap the fence completely around the property just so I don’t have to see it in my backyard, and today I just realized something that complicates it even more. Technically I have three pools. The actual pool, the lagoon in the middle of the golf course and the moat in the front of the house are going to be considered pools as far as the county is concerned (so they are going to have to be fenced in so the neighbor’s kids don’t wander over and drown themselves). So now I may not have any choice but to fence the whole property…

At least I won’t have a fence splitting my backyard.

Google Maps API Key

Google Maps recently updated their API key system so you can use the same key within subfolders. And all I can say is thank f’ing GOD. Was so annoying that if you make a map and put it on your blog that it would need a separate key when viewing the map from an archive/month page.

Frog In Joaquin Phoenix’s hair

I saw this on TV last night (I wish I had the video for this, but I can’t find it anywhere yet). This is what Joaquin Phoenix had to say to a reporter while doing an interview for his new movie I Walk The Line

“Do I have a large frog in my hair? … Something’s crawling out of my scalp.” Despite reassurances from the reporter, the actor replied, “No, but I feel it. I’m not worried about the looks. I’m worried about the sensation of my brain being eaten… What did you ask me?”

It was pretty funny seeing it live. Hopefully the video will turn up online soon.

Stock Market Prediction

I think the stock market is about to start a pretty big run up until at least the end of the year (bigger gains than we have seen all year). Tech stocks are going to be the industry that is the driving force for this bull run. We’ll see how my psychic prediction is come January 1, 2006.

Splinter Cell 4

I’m not a huge gamer, but once in awhile it’s fun to play a game… For example I played Splinter Cell 3, and it was damn good game. :)

Anyway, someone posted some screenshots from Splinter Cell 4 that look pretty amazing…

http://h0dge.blogsome.com/2005/11/13/splinter-cell-4-to-take-place-in-prison/

This might be a game that would make me actually want to buy an Xbox 360 (Splinter Cell 4 isn’t due to come out until March, 2006). The couple games that look interesting (Gears of War, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell 4, Halo 3) to me for Xbox 360 all come out February and March of 2006, so it looks like I’ll just wait to get an Xbox 360.

Sony Violates Copyright With Own Copyright Protection System

Sony is in all sorts of trouble when they were recently exposed as to installing rootkits on user’s PCs without their permission in order to “protect the copyrights of their CDs” which can’t be uninstalled. That in itself is enough to get Sony in pretty hot water.

Hackers are now using backdoors in the rootkits to attack/take control of people’s PCs. Oh boy… I’m sure Sony loves that too.

Now, the funniest part… Sony’s rootkit was compiled with the LAME music encoder inside it. LAME is licensed under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), which requires those who use it attribute the original software and publish some of the code they write to use the library. Sony hasn’t done any of this, which means Sony’s dangerous rootkit software that “protects its copyrights” is a copyright violation by Sony in itself. hehe

http://dewinter.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=215

Download Movies

Speaking of downloading movies, I wish Apple would hurry up and deploy a full blown Apple Movie Store (they obviously have the ability to do video with the iPod Video and their ability to sell TV shows). If they sold DVDs you could download for $10, it would be the end of retail DVDs and DVD rentals (not unlike what the Apple Music Store did to CDs).

As it is, I never rent DVDs (I always buy) because I’m too lazy to make two trips to Blockbuster.

Quote:
On a conference call with analysts last week, Steve Jobs, who serves as chief executive for both Apple and Pixar, acknowledged that it still takes too long to download feature-length films over the Internet.

Too long to download? That’s the only holdup? Gay.

By my calculations, if they used their H.264 compression algorithm, it would take about 20 minutes to download a full length movie. That’s not too bad if you ask me.

Kill Bill’s Browser

Here’s a pretty funny site telling people the benefits of switching from Internet Explorer to Firefox…

Quote:

You’ll only see porn when you want to.

Sick of seeing pornographic pop-ups all over your computer while you’re helping your daughter with a research project? Since Firefox blocks pop-ups, you won’t get tons of porn in your face when you’re least expecting it. On the flip side, since Firefox stops spyware from taking over your computer, there will be nothing to slow you down when you go and look for porn.

http://www.killbillsbrowser.com/

Loeb and Loeb/MPAA Extortion

Got an interesting call from a law firm (Loeb & Loeb) representing the MPAA today. They want me to settle out of court and pay $2,500 for some movie I never downloaded (and ironically enough I actually own the DVD). Of course, I declined their settlement offer and told them I would rather let it go to court.

They are TOTALLY extorting money from people because when I told her I would rather let it go to court, she started to get rather huffy…

Her: You understand that defending this in court will cost you much more than $2,500 in attorney fees, right?
Me: Yep.
Her: We are able to get a default judgement against you which will be substantially more than $2,500.
Me: Okay.
Her: I will let them know to go ahead and file a federal lawsuit against you.
Me: Okay, sounds good.

If you *really* think you have a case against me, why are you “letting me off” for $2,500? You can make much more with a court ruling.

Someone has to stand up to these clowns… their scare tactics make them sounds pretty foolish IMO. First of all, I would rather spend $100,000 and not pay them $2,500 than to just give them $2,500 (it’s about the principle).

Secondly, it should be interesting to see how they are able to get a default judgement against me. I would have to fail to appear in court after receiving a summons. As long as I actually GET a summons, I will be there. Even if they go the route of Winn and Sims (filing a proof of service that never happened), it can be reversed once I find out about it.

The Google Car Stereo

Google wants to be the center of the information universe, so how long do you think it will be before they make a car stereo (which is much more than a standard car stereo of course)?

It can be done now if you want to hack it together, but it would be nice if it was an “all in one” setup. For example, you could take this car stereo (which is really a full blown computer). Add a USB Bluetooth adapter to it and you could use your cell phone as an Internet gateway wirelessly (you can still make/receive calls while using it as an Internet gateway). Higher speed cell phone Internet access in the coming months is only going to make this more attractive.

This would pretty much make all existing navigation systems outdated because map and navigation data would be fed in realtime (based on Google Maps/Earth), and it would be trivial for Google to add live traffic data to Google Maps (not sure why they haven’t already done it). That could also put the XM NavTraffic service out of business (at least heavily cut into it).

Google’s already doing a “mini” navigation system for people with GPS enabled cell phones with their Google Mobile application.

Besides all that stuff, you could stream Internet radio stations, pull up music via iTunes, access your iPod, or anything else a normal computer with Internet access could do.

If someone at Google reads this, and decides to make it their “20% free time project” (this would be my project if I worked at Google), I want one when you are done! heh

Windows On x86 Macintosh

I know it’s really not news, but Apple recent filed from patent applications that show Mac OS X, Windows and Linux all running on a single computer (natively, without emulation). That will be nice if I can finally dump my Windows machines I use to test stuff on and just have one machine that can do it all.

Of course it won’t happen until next year, and only on Apple’s x86 Macintosh machines.

Hopefully Windows worms/viruses can be kept out of the Macintosh environment. :)