Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

No thanks

I just find it funny how they wrote “appear massively popular online.”

When I see this kinda stuff I just shake my head.
But what’s the difference between this and using the official ad campaigns on say Twitter, FB, or YouTube? (more…)

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With today’s technology we can get a pretty decent virtual reality experience. How far away are we from making believable alternate realities that could have a person fooled?

We can emulate walking, with a treadmill like Virtuix Omni. We can get a pretty realistic visual experience of a computer world, with a device like Oculus Rift.

 It’s fun to imagine adding as many of these augmentations and gadgets as possible. It will get expensive, but you can interact in these 3D worlds in many ways.
Obviously it will get clunky as well. Which is why I’m excited about many other steps in technological augmentations too.

Read the rest of my article on Tubeblogger

You’ve probably noticed the Bitcoin has been increasing in value lately. A whole lot actually.

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Chart by Mt.Gox

November 1st it was worth $212; today, 18 days later it’s worth $600. (See the green dots there)

I won’t be the one to suggest you go buy Bitcoins now. As they say, it’s still a somewhat new thing, and new things are always fairy risky investments. I just wish I had bought bunches more of them when I first did.

For those who are new to Bitcoins heres a quick summary. (Video: What is Bitcoin)

  • A Bitcoin Wallet is a software on your phone or computer.
  • Your Wallet has an address for receiving Bitcoins – A unique sequence of letters/numbers is your address.
  • This is the address you tell people to send your Bitcoins to, when you buy or earn them.
  • From your wallet you can send and receive Bitcoins, it also tells you the current value of your BTC in any currency you want.
  • Alternatively, you can buy an actual, physical Bitcoin some places.
Physical Bitcoin - 10 Silver

Physical Bitcoin by Casascius

The current value of the Bitcoin and how to keep your wallet safe is the most important thing (for a layperson like myself) to know. How Bitcoins are generated, and how to mine for them (which many will say is pointless) is interesting to learn as well. Bitcoins are said to be a better alternative than regular money.

Instead of Buying, Why not Earn Them?

If you have a website with Google or Amazon advertisements, or similar, you could try using something that pays you in Bitcoins instead.

It’s less risky than buying, right now.

Google Ads pay you pennies each time they’re clicked, so do Bitcoin based ads, but pennies of Bitcoins sounds better right now as they’re growing so fast.

CoinUrl – The Smart Way to Monetize your Content

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Banner and text ads for your site. Monetized shortlink urls for your social networking.

Cons: Very low pay-per-click until your site grows in “trust level”.

CoinAd – a PTC (paid-to-click) that pays you in Bitcoins

Seems to only have gambling based advertisements thus far. Pays up to 1.2mBTC per click

(1 mBTC = one thousandth of a Bitcoin. About 60 cents in USD.)

I’ll add some more of these as I find them.

Not many types of banners and ads to choose from yet. As more of us start using them they’ll attract more advertisers.
(They mostly just accept bitcoin related sites for now)

Other Cryptocurrencies
Dogecoin, Litecoin, Peercoin, and Namecoins are all types of virtual currencies growing in popularity. Might be worth checking out, especially while the value is still low.

EarnCrypto.com | Earn free cryptocurrency and virtual currency!
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earnfreedoges.com
A place where you get redirected to free dogecoins!

Getting an education is good, mostly because you probably won’t get very far trying to apply for some jobs and saying “oh, yeah I learned all of that myself, online, and at the library”, or can you?
I’ve heard of some people who passed their Bar Exam after studying law with no school, now working as lawyers ( participating in a 2+ year law office study program is required in the U.S, though)
There are also many online schools where you can get your degree.

I’ve learned a lot online myself. About programming, graphic design, video editing/effects, and writing is something I learn daily as an ESL. Let me share some of my favorite resources:

(more…)

(and some I probably could)

I’ve now gone half a year without a smartphone, something I previously thought I couldn’t live without.
All I really need is my laptop or tablet with me, and an internet connection nearby.
Oh, and I have to study Google Maps really carefully if I’m going somewhere new, since I’m pretty bad with directions.

1. Google Voice

This amazing service from Google lets me have one number forever, so the next time I get a phone I won’t have to tell people my new number. It forwards the calls/texts to any number I want.
The Chrome ext. for this service notifies me of new text, voicemail, or missed calls. I can also send text from there. And amazingly enough it is FREE.
Also, If I have Google+ open in a tab I get the ‘incoming call notification’, however, I can’t actually answer the phone there; I think they’re still working on that. I just call people back from my gmail.

2. LastPass

A password reminder tool. Whenever I turn on Chrome I log into the LastPass app with the ‘Last Password I’ll ever have to remember’. I like this better than any built-in password reminder in any browser, for many reasons. It just works better, remembers better/updates when I change password, fills out forms and can create random passwords, it’s easy to turn off when others want to use my computer, and some other features.

3. SEO for Chrome

I could live without this, but it’s nice to have the option to view statistics about the page I’m on. I mostly use it for my own pages (check page rank and backlinks). But sometimes for other sites too, to check if they’re ‘safe’, as in not brand new PR1 sites that I maybe don’t want to give any of my info.

4. PwnYouTube

This is a bookmarklet, not really an extension. It’s a bookmark dragged onto the address bar that ‘does something’ when you click it.
It is made by deturl, the hands-down most amazing free YouTube video download tool, since I’m always two clicks away from downloading the video I’m watching, and convert it to another format. AND it lets me choose between the various converter services, so if one isn’t working, use another. AND I don’t have to install some annoying Java tool to do the job.

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Whenever there’s a bookmarklet for the job I prefer that over apps/extensions. For example in the share folder I have bookmarklets to share on Twitter, G+, Pinterest and many others. Having too many apps/extensions slows down Chrome quite a bit.

Wrote this little dice roller app as my first project while learning Javascript.

Hosted on Google Drive.

Hosted on Google Drive.

You can pick any of the popular roleplaying dice, from a four sided dice (d4) up to 20 sided dice (d20). Up to 20 of each if you want, and roll them all at the same time.

Please share =)

The recent controversy about celebrities fake Twitter followers brought to attention some cool online tools.

Having large amounts of fake followers is a sign that they’ve probably purchased their Twitter followers, and according to these recent “studies” almost every celebrity has them.

“The averages for the Top 15 Twitter personalities are 30.4% fake, 40.9% inactive and 28.7% real and active.” –Forbes

Fake Follower Check by Statuspeople.com is a web service that checks how many of your Twitter followers are fake. It’s a really great idea, but does it get it right most of the time? Statuspeople tells us the reports are inexact because the tool only measures a sample of your followers and then calculates the average.

This can be called a reverse Turing test. It is similar to the original Turing Test from the 1950s. In Alan Turings famous paper he describes how to interrogate an artificial intelligence to know if it’s really a human behind there. The purpose there is for the human to figure out the computer. In the reverse Turing test the computer tries to figure out the computer or human, to see if it’s a person.

These online tools look for algorithms that signify a bot, or fake follower. Someone who follows a lot of people and barely posts any content themselves would be seen as a fake by Statuspeople’s tool.

Other tools like Twit Cleaner looks for spammy behaviour such as repeat messages or links, to tell if a person is a bot. It gives you a report of all your followers/followings with various dodgy behaviour. Then you can figure out for yourself if they’re bots or not. A bit of a combined Reversed and Standard Turing test.

The best way to find out if a user is fake is still to manually check it, like the regular Turing test, maybe interrogate them =D.  These tools can help line up some people with dodgy behavior, a list you’ll then have to moderate. It can still get it wrong as they’re not all bots.

CAPTCHA is another more common form of reverse Turing test you see on the web, in signup forms, etc. The idea is that only a human would be able to figure out the scrambled characters. But like the other tools not fool proof. It works mainly becasue the average user doesn’t have access to the right tools that can get past CAPTCHA, which does exist.

It’s quite common now actually. If you leave a comment here *hint* there will be a reverse Turing test in a way where WordPress tries to figure out if you’re spamming. By looking for certain keywords that spam comments usually have. Although I’m new to WordPress I think it works well against bots.