Archive for October, 2011

Social Quote Sharing Rant

October 15, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Internet, Politics

Profound QuoteIt has become very popular lately to post photos of people with profound sounding quotations without thinking about what the words actually mean. If you use Facebook or Twitter or other social sharing sites, you will undoubtedly already know what I’m talking about. It’s sort of the visual internet’s version of a soundbite.

The Economy and Elections

October 12, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Politics, USA

How Humans VoteA few years ago, I came to the realization that modern two-party democracies are like pendulums. Just as gravity will pull a pendulum down towards the center, building up enough momentum to push it to the other extreme, so human voters’ innate human ability to find something to be upset about will pull their votes away from one party and build up enough momentum until the other party has a majority. Rinse and repeat.

Lipstick with Tí­a Inés

October 12, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos

Lipstick with Tí­a Inés (thumbnail)You know that thing women do with their lips after applying lipstick, rubbing them together, presumably to even out the lipstick? Since I’ve never needed to, I’ve simply never learned to do that. When I try, I look like an idiot – more so than usual – and those facial muscles get exhausted in about two seconds and hurt for another minute. Some of you have already started doing it while you read this, and the rest of you will now. Go ahead…

How to use AdBlock to bypass The Onion’s paywall

October 07, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Geeky, Internet, Marketing

The Onion Pay WallI’ve been a fan of The Onion for a long time, so I was quite distressed to see that they’ve put up a paywall. Now, when you view more than five articles in thirty days, it pops up a box asking you to pay $2.95/month or $29.95/year for full access. My personal philosophy is that content should be monetized by advertisements and the minority of people that choose to use technology to block those ads just have to be accepted as a loss. With a little HTML investigation, I figured out which elements need to be hidden from the page to disable their fairly weak attempt at securing their content behind a paywall. If you have the popular AdBlock plugin (Firefox, Safari, Chrome) installed, you need only add two rules to your AdBlock settings.

Cookies Are Not Evil

October 05, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Marketing, Musings

The Real Cookie Monster, by Jeremy HoffmanThere’s been a bit of an online privacy storm lately over the fact that Facebook doesn’t remove all the cookies from your browser when you log off. Every three or four months, there’s a big “OMG!! Facebook is EVIL and breaching my privacy!” wave that runs over the online community before everyone forgets it and keeps using the service.

State of the Offspring Address – October 2011

October 03, 2011 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Photos

Beach GirlNora has taken very, very well to her potty training that we started in June. We’ve had just three bed wettings in the six weeks since returning from her three-week summer vacation and going “off diaper” 24/7. We’ve had a few bowel surprises that weren’t quite anticipated in time to “RUN TO THE POTTY!!” (an exclamation heard often lately). About once a day she lets enough drops of “pee-pee” escape to require a new pair of panties, but the outer garment almost never needs changing. Quite often, she’ll head out of the room like she’s going to get a toy, only to utter, five minutes later from behind a closed bathroom door, a “Poppy! Come limp my bottom!” When I enter, I find her sitting on the toilet with a gigantic, er, “creation” in the bowl beneath her.

Facebook’s Power: Targeted Ads

October 03, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Internet, Marketing

Facebook ExclamationFacebook’s genius has been to make it “cool” to “tell all your friends” what movies and products and politics you like, which is exactly the data advertisers are dying to get their hands on.

A few months ago, I placed an ad on Facebook, mainly as an experiment to satisfy my curiosity about how their advertising system works. It was a few days before the British royal wedding, and I had done up a silly little photoshopped image of the bride and groom with their faces swapped, so I decided to see how much traffic I could drive to that page. I told Facebook I was willing to spend up to $10 on the ad over three days (I ended up pulling the plug, curiosity quenched, after spending only $8). Then I got to select who the ad was presented to…and that’s when things got creepy.