Archive for the ‘Writing/Rambling’ 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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From a few places on Earth where the atmosphere is just right you might see the Milky Way and some of the local group galaxies – including the Large and Small Megallenic Clouds.

This panorama shot by Amit Kamble is one of my new favorites. LMC and SMC (bottom & top, left), and our milky way galaxy with its shiny center.

galaxy-from-earth-photo

Photo / Amit Kamble – Night Sky Above the Māori site Opotaka, New Zealand

The arms of the galaxy encircle us at an incredibly far distance. It’s impossible to fully behold it all at once, and to get a perfect photo of it from Earth or anywhere.

Some other panorama shots flatten the galaxy arm to a straight line; but then the ground is not straight. From Earth we only see about 180° of the arm; so neither panorama is any “more correct” of a way to do it, I’d say. (more…)

A script I wrote back in the day, when Yahoo pipes worked, might use it again some day. It can take something like an RSS feed and replace some strings.

The script (Javascript, AJAX, HTML):

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Here’s a fun little tool I tried recently, Vizify – Creates a video-infographic of your Twitter activity. And also a web page infographic of your online profiles. All in a few minutes Check out mine https://www.vizify.com/nicko-gibson (first version)

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Should you be on Klout or Empire Avenue? Read my lates guest post Social Measurement Tools – What are the good for? on Lerablog.

That’s all. It’s fun and serious bizness!

I ushually try to spell with no imperfekshens. But sumtims I see sum that I think meiks mor sens than the ‘corect’ spellin. And I wud say, or think “Hmm, yup, that’s how it shud hav been desind!”.

I do respect the English langwij a lot, it’s the most advanst in the world. And I luvd lernin it, still lernin. But I alweys wonder about pepl who sey they’r “anoyd by” alternativ spellin, or errors for that matr.

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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.

It amuses me to think of a muse, museum, and music as relatives; and when I find words that are very similar across languages I think it’s pretty cool.

A compliment I got a lot since I moved to the U.S is that I don’t have an accent. And I take that as a compliment since I was always picky with my English learning, being half american, it was important for me to do good in English class.

I hate thieves!

Posted: April 15, 2012 in Writing/Rambling

I’m in Europe for a week and lost my wallet here, something I’ve never done before.
The main things lost were my california ID and Paypal Card.

Luckily it was a brand new Paypal card and I’m not really using it yet,  my main credit card I had directly in my pocket for some strange reason, something I’ve never done before either.

But almost right away PayPal called and said someone had tried to pay 4000 (not sure if it’s USD) to a european cellphone company.
What the hell… I guess they were trying to launder the money somehow.

I was hoping whoever found it would be kind enough to mail the wallet to my Cali address.

But they must have seen/thought “American… paypal business card,… jackpot!”

Bastards!

[View the story “Have Websites made Profiles about You without your permission?” on Storify]

The coolest skateboard, longboard, and cruisers ever!

Simpsons Classic Skateboards, or “Cruzers”. If I had one I’m not even sure I would ride it. The little one was for sale in a store nearby for about $129. I think I can get it for 100 online.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&nou=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=helpful04-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B005EMR20K

Christmas just went by and I missed out on a Santa Cruz Complete Skateboard. =D
Bart’s skateboard is 27 inches long and kinda bulky, looks like Bart’s skateboard from the series.

 I’m not even sure which one I want yet. Since they’re all big I might go with the “Duff” pintail longboard, 43 inch. With the beer logo in the middle of the grip-tape, It’s something I can ride without wearing it out too fast, as opposed to Homer Simpsons longboard at 43 inches with an amazing paint job; which I wouldn’t ride at all.
Might just put it on the wall.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&nou=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=helpful04-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B005EDZKGC http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=FFFFFF&IS2=1&nou=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=helpful04-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B005EMR1XS