Monday, March 30, 2009

Facebook users urged to track down rapist

The boyfriend of a rape victim has set up a Facebook page to track down her attacker, in what is believed to be one of the first times the social networking site has been employed to identify a criminal.

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Mars Impact Crater: The Largest in Solar System

Recent analysis of the Red Planet's terrain using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Global Surveyor spacecraft observations revealed what appeared to be by far the largest impact crater ever found in the solar system. That's larger than Pluto. The impact gouged out a crater the size of the combined areas of Asia, Europe and Australia...

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Kucinich to probe $3.6 billion in bonuses at Merrill Lynch

Even as Merrill Lynch & Co. bled money and warily eyed a merger with Bank of America, company executives were preparing for a windfall. Following the federal government's promise of $10 billion in TARP funds to buoy the ailing firm, Merrill paid out $3.6 billion in bonuses: a package 22 times larger than compensation given by AIG.

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Google Chrome Beta For Mac Might Be Released By Fall

The open source Google Chromium repository now has an OS X Cocoa shell. We downloaded and compiled the latest OS X build of Google's browser, and we talked to the developers to get a sense of how long it will be before Mac users can get their hands on a working beta.

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New Report Urges Congress to Reverse Parts of Patriot Act

One of the nation’s leading legal rights groups is calling on the U.S. Congress to make major changes in the USA Patriot Act to reverse parts of the hurriedly passed law that have been found unconstitutional or have been abused to collect information on innocent people.

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Darren Rovell Eats A Burger Almost As Large As His Head!

My friend Darren Rovell formerly of ESPN and now on CNBC must have gotten the go-ahead to do something outrageous for television because dude ordered, then ate on camera an enormous thing called a Fifth Third Burger.  You've got to see this 5,000 calorie gastronomic invention.  It's huge. Moreover, it's almost as large as Rovell's head.  I'm not kidding!  Look at this video:

Carbonite Online Backup Company Loses Data; Carbonite Is At Fault

I had to post this because it's a classic example of not taking responsibility for something you did wrong.  The online backup company Carbonite reportedly lost a lot of client information : the data of over 7,500 of its customers who trusted it (past tense now) to keep their information in a protected area of cyberspace: a cloud they developed and around which their company is built.

Now as long as I've been at this I've always got an earful about "backing up your data" so I would think a company like Carbonite, which is entrusted with protecting data, would be backing up the data they're charged with protecting.  Right?


No.  They lost the only data copies they had online, and so now are -- get this -- suing the hardware makers!  If you think that's funny (strange), so do many in the blogsphere, who think as I do.  Take a look at these comments over at TechCrunch :

1) What happens when you get burgled?
We got burgled last week and they took all my local backups. Fortunately I had it all backed up on S3 (and elsewhere too) which saved the day. Not having an offsite backup is a recipe for disaster.
2) They didn’t even have a proper backup? Feels sorry for those who have lost valuable data…
3) “The danger of storing your data in the cloud”
What you should have wrote was:
“The danger of storing your data in the cloud that’s not Amazon.”
Why pigeonhole the real company thats does cloud right for a company that tried to compete against them and failed?
4) No excuse. Carbonite need to accept the blame regardless of who actually caused the problem. It was their decision to use whatever suppliers they chose. I fail to see how they can recover customer confidence after a fiasco such as this.
5) This is the scary thing with putting your data with a company you’ve never heard of. I guess for that matter, putting your data with anyone is a scary thing. Has anyone used amazon s3 with success? I still feel like a drobo or hp media start server is the way to go. Backup is a tough thing.
6) The issue isn’t who the company is but how it does business. I work with a local IT company and we offer various kinds and flavors of backup, typically 3X redundant (live volume, local sync volume, local removable backup volume, offsite RAID). We do this all ourselves with system(s) we built. We started offering backup/recovery because of things like this. I recently moved a customer from a Big Brand Name Backup vendor. Said vendor had not run numerous backups. Said vendor charged ransom to provide the data when the customer quit. Said vendor basically refused to play nice with anyone, even when paid. Carbonite is not expensive but is obviously better at marketing than they they are at solution design (or accepting responsibility for their own mistakes).

Fox News Short Skirts: Johnny Dollar Misses The Point For My Skin

No sooner after I post a video detailing how Fox News uses sex to sell news, do I get someone who's so busy looking for something wrong they trip over themselves. Such is the case of blogger Johnny Dollar, who hilariously writes that the cable ratings I referred to were just for prime time and so my point about Fox News using sex doesn't matter.  HA!

This is one Dollar that took a dive.

The cable news ratings are daily -- got that Johnny -- daily. The data reads "same day" and that's what I was addressing. Now what does "daily" mean? Ah, morning, noon, and night.

Even though the data I quote refers to prime time, Fox News beats CNN the entire day and I argue for the same "sex based" reasons. Also, the point I was making is you can interchange the Fox anchor woman and the result is the same and has been for years. It does not matter that Linda Vester hasn't been with Fox News for a while; she was one example. In fact, that's why I used the term...former.

See, Dollar looked at me, saw that I was Black and making a video and had to find something wrong. Thus the reason he trips all over himself. I've seen it before. Such people.

Now, let's look at Fox Prime Time. Bill O'Reilly's the winner here, but hey, he's known for his overuse of young pretty blondes to work his news segments. So the process continues with the pretty women wearing low-cut blouses. See, Dollar didn't think about that, or perhaps he was so blinded by the need to "prove the Black guy wrong" that his I.Q. took a dive.  Sad.

I'm not the first to point to this process of Fox News using sex in it's production; Taylor Marsh did in 2007 and wrote:

Ratings rule and we know that the Fox channel is having a tough time these days. Their credibility is in tatters, particularly because of the way they've pimped the Iraq war. So the cheapest way to get viewers back is through gratuitous titillation. We've seen it through the wall to wall blondes and babes delivering the news, but the graphic video and interviews they air takes it to a whole new level.
Take Bill O'Reilly's sexual interview of Miss New Jersey. As a former Miss Missouri, I can tell you that this sort of interview would never have happened in a million years before Fox "News" and Bill O'Reilly. Is this a fantasy picture thing? Is it a negligee situation?

How about that, Dollar?  The sex play on Fox News goes on!  Now next time perhaps Dollar will be more balanced and fair?    I doubt it.

Oh, and for those who think I'm Gay and read Dollar's blog, get a life and a girlfriend.  Oh, and here's my video:

Fox News Hires Ex-AOL Head John Miller; Can He Make A Website?

What i don't get -- someone explain it to me -- is how some of these guys like now-former AOL head John Miller get to be the new CEO of Fox News Digital (a new title made for him) when Miller's never made a website! Plus, according to ValleyWag, they say he's, well, not really all that and a bag of chips.

See my point?

I can name lawyer after lawyer who was gotten to run a digital media corporation and none of them would be able to write the code for an anchor link to save their lives. Ands god forbid you ask him to code a basic webpage!

Why? How can a person like Miller claim to be an innovator in digital media if he doesn't know how to make the one thing that defines digital media: the website? Is it that the people who select these guys -- and they generally are men -- don't know the stuff and so select people who are like them: without a real Internet clue? If you don't understand how to make a website to make money for yourself, then you have no business in digital media. Period.

What's the deal here? Why the talent gap between people in charge and those who make the digital business go?

My charge is if the CEO can't make digital media, then the CEO does not know what to ask for to make their digital media business work better.

Tell me why I'm wrong.

Sierra and Zennie On GDC, Alternative Reality Games

I went to the San Francisco Game Developer Conference with my friend Sierra Choi (who did some executive producing work of the whole event) and after the end, I met her to talk about the GDC and -- my idea -- to enjoy a nice day outside at Cafe Americano on the Embarcadero. As we were in the cab we talked about the GDC, Alternernative Reality Games, and Sierra's ego (LOL!)

Sierra sees ARG's as not games, which is where we disagree. The point is that any game is designed to get you the player to do something. That's the case with ARG's. Sierra thinks that's more social psychology but my explaination is that concern is central to game making. Again, getting a person to "do a thing" is a central tenant of game making.