blogspam

June 30th, 2006

Around 80% of all blogcontent is spam. You probably never see it. But search engines do. And that’s what the spammer hopes for. So called Splogs try hard to look like real content. Sometimes the spammer uses buggy code. Like in this example: http://football-shirt.afreeblogforyou.com/
Here the keywords have not been replaced. They still are called {keyword} in the text. This splog is pretty typical in many aspects: Please note the google ads. Yes, google does do business with this kind of content. They do not care. Actually google is responsible for allot of spam, since it’s adsense ads are a premiere resource of revenue for spam like this. The content in this ‘blog’ has simply been ’scraped’ aka copied or some would say ’stolen’ from legit weblogs. Easy to do. The next step in a splogers enterprise is to generate as many pages as possible and to put them into search engines. 70% of all interenet trafic gets steared by search engines. Getting only 0.01% of that can make you a rich man.
Of course the content is around a recent event. That might get you ahead of real content for a day or two. Enough to make a couple of hundred dollars in some cases. And, yes, google pays.

four and a half hours

June 29th, 2006

Over time I did subscribe to a podcast here and there. A bit of NPR, fxguide of course, Twit, Adam Curry was only worth listening to a year ago. He is long gone from the cut. Even though I try to keep the list edited I can not keep up any more. Todays download would take 4.5 hours to listen to. Easy for the shuffle, hard on me.
There is simply not enough Lawn to mow, commute (replaced by getting breakfirst rolls from the bakery), floor to vacuum in my life. And hour or two, I can squeeze in.

Of course this is just one sign of the times: Content is available in abundant supply. Ten years ago Cinefex was pretty much the only magazine covering visual effects. Quartely. Now there are lots and lots of podcasts, websites, newsletters around the same subject. Weekly.

I looked at the Millimeter Magazine website today. Interesting, yes. Couldn’t find the subscribe button. So, no, they did not make the cut. Clicked on that funny icon just to find out that they try to use flash video. What a joke! Somebody have a the mercy to explain to them that their audience is different from youTube, and that they should use quicktime.

But with all those gigabytes streaming through to my hard drive they are not worth the consideration.

Media darwinism two thousand six. Lots of content producers are in a for a surprise.

this will be big news

June 29th, 2006


google checkout

If lots of merchands sign up then this will be a big deal.

why did google blog at 3:00 am about it?

one thief sells a thousand locks

June 29th, 2006

It sounds like good business. But it is not. That one bad person creates usually hundrets to million times the damage compared to his gain. If possible society would fare much better by retiring all those spammers on a decent allowance. Right now they kill millions of business to make a bug or two.

What ever happened to the the ‘canspam’ act that the Administration put in place? Spam is not Bush’ fault. But having a government that is vastly clueless about any thing invented after 1983 did not make the spammers life exactly tough.

kevin smith releases directors commentary for Clerks II on iTunes

June 28th, 2006

It looks as if Kevin Smith will release a directors commentary for his upcoming Clerks II movie on iTunes. The story floats around on the internet. People point ot a Times interview with him. Of course this is a great idea. It makes allot of sense. Specially for an audience like his. I did watch most of video podcasts that he had running along the production of the sequel. They vary, some are nice, others are not. He ran through his crew and asked people like the loader, script supervisor etc. what exactly they would do on a movie set. I am surprised that these posts never got any big traction on the internet. I only watched the Singer/King Kong episode from similar King Kong and Superman projects. I wonder is “Snakes on a Plane” needs one. Probably not. That movie got made by those four words. Four words can get a movie into your head. No podcasts needed.

don’t try this at home

June 28th, 2006

overheard

photographers on the internet

June 28th, 2006

well known photographers and how the internet would treat them

Microsoft buys iView Media Pro

June 28th, 2006

Peter Krogh comments
iView Media Pro has a stupid name but works fine otherwise.
I understand that they sold themselves to the people out of Redmond. I just don’t see how the product would benefit from it.

where is the apple media player?

June 27th, 2006

The device is pretty much clear in everybodies head. A bigger iPod with a big screen that plays clips. There are non Apple ones on the market, but why does it take Apple so long to come up with one?

One plausible explaination is that they don’t have to. As long their market share remains unchallenged it is better for the bottom line to hold the next Version back. The longer you wait with a high tech device the more time you have to get the system right. Write the proper software for it. And prices are declining on all components. A video player will have allot of hardware in it that is still in the beginning of it’s life cycle. Hightech component prices pretty much follow the same curve: They are very expensive in the beginning of their life cycle and then get much cheaper. The longer Apple waits the more profits will be left for them.

MacBookPro noise

June 27th, 2006

While using the iBook G4 for all things the MacBook Pro sits there, downloading stuff and doing other things that don’t need my attention. Annoying: that whinning noise. Disabling the 2nd CPU with ‘chud’ helps, but when the thing goes to sleep it does forget it. Another observation is that when the screen goes dark the noise goes away as well. Try setting the brightness to low and it stops.

As an extension to the ‘old people can’t hear high frequencies meme’ I think that the MacBook Pro does have this annoyance since Jobs simply can not hear it. His ears are not as sharp as his mind people say. That’s why the iPod is so loud, and that’s why is claiming that he replaced his fancy rich-man-stereo set with that thing called ‘HiFi’.

worldcup

June 27th, 2006

In order to win the soccer World Cup Germany has probably to win against:


Argentinia
Italy
Brazil

If they should be able to do so with real games and not as a matter of luck then they actually deserve it.

where is that file?

June 26th, 2006

Looking for a specific file that I had modified today.
This did the trick in the terminal:


mdfind -onlyin ~/ 'kMDItemFSContentChangeDate > $time.today'

Spotlight is great, just that it’s standard interface is lame. Pretty much unusuable.
But there is always the terminal …

connexion to be sold?

June 23rd, 2006

Boeings system to have internet on planes is maybe on the market

I used when on a plane with Lufthansa. It might be a marketing issue: Most people in the US do not know about this system. If Boeing would have given it away to one national US carrier for a discount, then the others would have needed to follow suit.

that would be the problem

June 23rd, 2006

google gives away free videos!

well, actually it scheds some intense light on the actual problem of Google video:

Why would you want to spend between one and five US dollars for this?

Essentially there are two broad uses for the internet:

You look for something specific for whatever reason.

You click around for entertainment.

The later mode could be compared to ‘channel flipping’ on a TV. The first one is search. And there there is everything in between. Google video satisfies neither. Video is mostly of the second kind, and youTube caters to this market way better as Google ever did or will do. They went into the video market from the corporate aspect, and they lost. They can afford to loose. But they certainly don’t have the web-midas touch. Actually most things they tried are kind of lame. If you consider that they get heaps of free PR for anything that they start, then it is kind of lame that gmail and google news are the only ones that are in wider use.

Today GOOG trades around 400 US$ which makes it worth 122 Billion US$.
Which would mean that the company is worth as much as the nominal Gross Domestic Product of either Israel, Colombia or the Tchech Republic. if I understand this Wikipedia list right.
That’s right: countries with millions of people, all they make in a year worth as much as company in Mountain View employing a couple thousand people.
I think we should rename the stock symbol to GOOF.

if dell would read BlogsNow

June 22nd, 2006

If Dell would read BlogsNow they could have saved millions in PR by reacting quickly to this brewing PR debacle

tv: 7500 US$ a year

June 21st, 2006

there is money in content

Aparently there are people that spend 20 US$ a day on TV.

addictive

June 21st, 2006

coding, tetris, nicotine and lots of other things:

this might explain why

cheap end

June 20th, 2006

no new features, but a new price: 500 US$ for shake

Apple should put old stuff into the public domain. That would help build trust.

Apple is lately a bit distracted: If you pay 150 US$ more to get a Macbook in black you still get a white power supply.
That would be normal way for Dell and all the others. But Apple is about the details. Having a white power supply feeding your 150US$ more black laptop might be acceptible in emergencies, but selling it like this is very lame.

What happened? Did they present to Steve Jobs running on a battery at all times? This is the kind of thing that he is famous for: Attention to detail. I wonder how this could escape him. What is he doing?

100 best video

June 20th, 2006

As with any good ‘Meme’ the videos from the 80s site triggered a couple of follow ups. Like this top 100 list. Even though the content comes from youTube is the horrible flash format they actually reference the sources for most of the videos.

Now if I were a postproduction house I would try to get all those DVDs and put the decent content on a server for the clients to enjoy. A collection of 500 amazing Music videos from all times in great quality might be a great way for the agency to spend some time with while they are waiting on those renders and lay offs.

and of course it’s so predictable what movie executives are thinking now

June 20th, 2006

look, there is a head floating Zardoz like over the uncanny valley

Interesting, and I think pretty smart, move on Warners behalf to put a little “Making of” out there.
Something tells me that Warner will not give Panavision the same nice vendor treatment that R&H enjoyed here on this show.

!!M

June 20th, 2006

A rumor about !!M a Nintendo IM applications it seems.

The DS Lite is in high demand with my son and daughter. Nintendogs is my daughters first game, and she does like it allot.

My son came home yesterday talking about GTA San Andreas that he played at a friends house. Good thing that he still tells me these things. Bad thing that his friends parents let an ten year old have a game that is rather gruesome.

It is interesting how the DS Lite is an instant favorite while the PSP was ‘neat’ but never got any following in my family. The actual hardware is probably superior on the PSP, yet the DS Lite is the device they care about.

da eighties

June 19th, 2006

1400 music videos from the 80s.

Haven’t counted them. Flash encoded. Which -of course- sucks. Ripped from various source it seems. Hardly legit. Nenne Cherries “Man child” I missed back then. Interesting how motion-control + green screen was enough back then to be concept. It is a shame that it is not MTV that does make this work acessible. I hope they kept copies of things they did broadcast. Probably on “D2″ tape. Over the last 30 years society has accumulated a huge amount of so called ‘pop’ culture. That video wasn’t cheap. It is not entirely rubbish either. There is just no way to really access it. I am sure as I write this somebody is deleting unknowingly a rare copy of something that will be missed.

MacBook Pro: Don’t get one

June 18th, 2006

The brief history of my OS X laptops:
Titanium 15 inch (thanks Jerry)
It’s hinge broke, as they do.
15″ Al was not out yet, so I got a 12″ Al. Small, fast and hot.
15″ Al then at some point. Very nice. Actually nicest laptop I ever had I think.
Leaving job and therefor Laptop behind.

With the looming Intel transistion ahead I got an iBook G4. Maybe that is the nicest laptop I ever had? The keyboard is somewhat noise and the screen somewat small. But apart from that I like it. Stays cool, white plastic not as fragile as the Al shell.

Two weeks before the MacBook came out I had to get a MacBook Pro. It’s pretty as the PowerBook was. But it’s actually annoying. I kept the iBook G4. Have them both with me. Weapon of choice: iBook G4 in 80% of all cases. The MacBook Pro get’s hot. It makes horrible noises. One seems to be the drive or heatpump and then there is that CPU! Disabling the second core via CHUD tools does indeed get rid of it. But isn’t it that I just bought a V8 just to disable it down to a 4 cylinder? Very annoying. And this machine gets ridicolously hot.

Ever since the broken hinge days I know that Apple will never own up design flaws. At least not as long they are common.
I am not sure about the MacBook as an alternative: The glossy screen is nothing that I would like, and they seem to have a very annoying edge around their body. Where your palms would rest.

to apple or not to

June 18th, 2006

Mark responds to a daring fireball post that was triggered by Mark switching from Apple to linux. Or some other open OS.

I agree with Mark 100%, but don’t have the time or nerve to do something about it: I let my personal data march knowingly into slavery. Be it apple or google. I use them, and now they own what I accumualed.

Yet, going on in gmail. I could get back to the copy on my linux machine, but it would take a while, since the mail file grew unattended and is unfiltered. So that lump of linux mail is a theoretical possibility.

This is probably what all the current corporate frenzy is about: capturing peoples data in propretiary formats and systems. I am sure that’s how Microsoft keeps their user base. Standards change only very little, people seem to change even less. Not a new thing. Smokers stay smokers. Great product! When ads for smoking are legal then they target the young people. To make them start, but mostly to make them start with a specific brand. Certain brand habits never really change in the life cycle of a consumer. I still use ‘Persil’ for my laundry. If only I could get in the US. It’s neither better nor worse then other powders. It actually rocks, but even if it wouldn’t I would not switch to any other brand any more.

flag mania in germany

June 17th, 2006

siebzehnter juni

back in germany the first thing to notice was the presence of national flags. “Schwarz Rot Gold” is as omnipresent as the star spangled banner in October 2001 in the US. This time it’s about soccer. Most of the country is delighted that the german team seams to have survived the first round. And that there are three soccer games a day. At a decent time in day.

It’s nice to see this happy kind of flag waving. When I grew up the national flag was something that only pretty right wing people would be seen around. And those are particular disgusting in Germany. There was simply no positive identification with the country.

The 17th of June used to be a holiday: “The day of the german unity”. As long it did not exist the western side devoted one day or mourning and speeches to this thing that we all thought would never be a reality again. It was kind of like a tombstone.

Germans love flags. Not only during those dark days between 33 and 45. The market for advertisement on flags is supposed to be 100 Million Euros a year. (according to the Suedeutsche Zeitung). Commercials in cinemas were 86 Million Euros in 2005. There are easy 20 minutes of commercials before the movie starts.

Der Spiegel writes in its usual way about the flagststyria 2006:
First they find a CDU politician for a stupid quote: “Die ganze Stadt soll ein schwarz-rot-goldenes Fahnenmeer sein.” Basically somebody wanted to make flags mandatory for public buildings until the end of the worldcup.
Then they go on how all those flags are made in China. That not enough will arrive since till the end of the tournament, they claim that aircargo would be too expensive. Then they go on that the car flags that had not been seen in Europe before would be made for 17 cents (too high) and would be sold for 5 US$. They also say that they not really survive the Autobahn. Which is probably true. If they would employ a pocket calculator they could see that even in their way to conservative 30 to margin for something that weights less than 10 grams. it took 3 minutes of googling to find that it would cost you 0.16 US$ to ship those flags to Frankfurt by air. That would explain why there was never any shortage on car flags in the US after 9/11.

find hole in google anti spam rules

June 17th, 2006


and you can make north of 180K a month within 3 weeks

Now this one will be hopefullly be victim to his own success. But the principle works of scraped content works, and is rarely documented simply and straight forward. Even though it is that simple: steal and or buy what search engines think is content. Serve it up as many variations as you can and get the engine to swallow it.

It’s interesting that all those super smart phd holders at google never built it in a trigger in their code that would check if a domain would go from zero pages to five billion within 3 weeks. Actually a domain growing by 100,000 pages within a month is supicious. Like blogspot ;-)

June 16th, 2006

Joel remembering Bill
now that he quit his day job.

untried, yet interesting
better spotlight interface. We need one. And we would need a ‘Finder’ that is not actually a ‘Looser’ like the current one.
No doesn’t loose files, since it’s not it’s job to keep them. But it’s a pretty bad interface if you ask me. Slow, unintuitive and in total lack of any feature. Rewrite! It feels like 10.0. Without the hope.

no comments on this one

marketing

June 14th, 2006

happy mornings

sold out

Writing this from the fancy Detroit NWA terminal. A building so long that they have a railroad inside. Flying NWA is not that bad: Their airmiles don’t expire. And if you have enough then you have a pretty good chance to get into first class. (Lufthansa: ever wondered why you haven’t seen me a while?) Interesting how much of corporate America operates on ‘Chapter 11′ these days.

I must omit that I caved in and paid 7.95 for internet access. Compared to how little effort it takes to set up wifi I feel that is horribly overpriced. Interestingly there is only ONE wifi provider at all the airports that I have been two.
I would wonder what would happen, if there would be TWO. I would wonder how cheaps could get. Maybe some of them would even install power outlets. The Terminal here got build only a few years ago. Yet, Poweroutles are spaced for vacuum cleaners. That people have laptops, phones and twelve million other things that might need power has escaped airport planers. It’s easy to produce a ridicolous amount of iPods in China in record time. But adjusting little things like power outlet frequencies seems to take forever.

unrelated:
I gonna miss youTube
too bad they will not survive their next bandwidth bill. Chapter 11?

in the meantime in vapor land

June 12th, 2006

there are people connecting their red camera to Sony PS3s running Windows Vista

Red the camera
it’s internals would perform a couple of miracles if they would deliver on their specifications.
But the redesign is about the case. Great. Keep updating the case. The eletronics are the easy bit. Sure.

Sony PS3
If you make a 1000 chips maybe only 100 work. That’s called yield. In the end it comes down to cost. If you have a very complex chip this can be very tricky to manage. The Cell chips in the PS3 were announced to run at 3.5 Ghz. Rumors see them at 2.8Ghz right now. Which also would help with the heat problems the console will have.

Vista
Some kids have to help Microsoft distributing the OS via Bittorrent. Innovation from the outside.

Robert Scoble used to be ‘the Microsoft Blogger’ and got allot of attention. Technorati ranks him at #22. That probably will fade fast. How long till his tag as the ‘ex Microsoft Blogger’ fades? Much of his attraction was, that he was this voice from within the dark star. Now he is out here with us. In the dust of the milky way. And there are -by god- enough voices out there.

is it the kocevski brothers now?

June 11th, 2006

an interesting mashup that will rise to internet fame without a doubt.

the credits mention Dan and Dale Kocevski. No idea if they are indeed brothers.

one lone screen saver

June 11th, 2006

somewhere in America

some IT workers in Sheffield, UK
Aeron chairs are everywhere, it seems.

so easy to waste a Saturday

June 10th, 2006

I would need to find out how long it would take to code a couple of things. They happen to be running on a Mac and they would be dealing with moving images. Quicktime comes to mind. It is an OK player. Sure VLC is more flexible for some formats, but everybody has a Quicktime player on a Mac. SideNote: Why is apple so stupid to charge money for they pro Version of Quicktime? Can’t make revenue that would make up for the general annoyance that comes with it. And you don’t become a standard for charging for features like copy paste. Anyhow.

Quicktime development is a whole different nightmare. There are around 2,500 functions. Countless API options. Countless related technologies, and not a single introduction that would make any sense, or compile for that matter. Of course, it’s all there. And ‘all’ is quet literally. Examples that crash XCode. Examples that only run on OS9. Introductions of codes with code snippets where it takes allot of guessing, which era this was valid in.

Most open software projects have much better online documentation than Apple’s Quicktime. It’s a mess. A mess with a messy history. Once things work they might be great. It also probably great if you work for Apple have access at the internal communication paths. But for a 3rd party developer it’s hard to get into this. Specially if the API would be a smart part of you have actually to do.

I will NOT make a living by coding around the Quicktime API in the next years. It’s just a small part of what I have to do.

OpenGL for instance is also just a small part of what I do. But I have no problems there: I get the code, the documentation, and can drag this knowledge along in the projects that I do. Same with databases. But Quicktime is a horrible beast to get started with.

Almost as bad as ‘AppleScript’. But I rather not start writing about that.

color perception

June 10th, 2006

nice optical illusion

zodiac on showreel and the conform

June 10th, 2006

This article in Showreel describes the technical workflow of the movie I worked on in the last months.
Since it was written a couple of months ago it is missing the online part: The movie actually gets assembled via a perlscript and a database: It reads the Final Cut XML. Asks the operator to load the camera negative LTO3 tapes into the tape robots that it needs. Loads those via all available tape drives and assembles the frames to one stream of dpx files. It takes about 20 hours to assemble a reel for the first time. But it can do unsupervised once the tape robot has the tapes it needs. Changes are faster of course. Only the missing material will be loaded. Doing the actual conform from the disk takes less than 2 minutes. For the last weeks I was watching split screens of on- and offline. Seing all cut’s line up was a very very pleasant thing. I handled terrabytes of data before. Those are worth something as well. But a 85 million dollar movie is a different story. Finding all frames where they should be was a big relief: I never trust anything or anybody. Especially my own code is highly suspioius to me. This paranoia got me my first gray har on this movie. But maybe it was also the reason why the ghost of the digital-movie-disaster landed on another movie, not “Zodiac”. Whatever it was, it worked, and that makes me very happy. Having finished on schedule: Priceless.

merkelcast

June 7th, 2006

Germany had elections the other day. In Germany you actually make a cross on a piece of paper with a pen. That is really helpful, since everybody can vote. It’s easy, non confusing and impossible to rig. Anyway. They got rid of the social democratic / green government, and elected the conservatives. The new chancelor is a woman called “Angela Merkel”. Before the last chancelor Schroeder, the conversative CDU had been in power for a very long time. They had such a huge corruption scandal that not many people were left on their side once the dust settled. Mrs. Merkel got the nomination that way. But most people in all parties did not take her serious. In a way nobody saw her coming: After having won a very tight election she pretty much cleaned up: All established politicians that seems to be power figured for years are gone or on different jobs. Which, actually is a really good thing. Not that I am a Merkel fan, but at least she is an ex scientist. What did the US Prez actually do before he was a politician?

Anyway, she seems to be video casting right now. will be probably in german and, well, we will see how appealing …

Well, and then I tried it, and of course there is no real URL with media enclosures. Just some lame RSS feed.
IT people are such a pain.
If I can not subscribe to something then I kind a think that 90% of all people can not. That does not stop
people from commenting about this in their blogs though. Like me they all mumble around the meme, but don’t actually try the thing that they are writing about. Write first than read (Derived from shoot first then ask questions) .