Monday, March 26

Storm abstraction


It's always the most beautiful just before the storm


Tornado storm system

VIDEO0015.3gp Watch on Posterous

LaSalle township fire department was all hands on duty as the storm system that dropped a tornado on Ida Michigan and several on Dexter rolled right over the top of it. This was moments before the hail started. This is not the video, but some fifteen minutes earlier I had to pull over because I was driving right into it. I watched fingers stretch down and then vanish. Luckily none ever touched down.

Best pic of the trip


Fisherman's paradise


I found myself wishing I already had a packraft

Along the mohican


B Campground on the mohican river, only the fisherman were out


Tree abstraction


Backpacking with Karen


Pleasant hill lake dam


Lyons falls, mohican wilderness area

VIDEO0019.3gp Watch on Posterous

Had a delightful weekend backpacking with a friend of mine at mohican wilderness area last weekend. Perfect weather, bugless, sitting in front of the campfire until 11pm.

Above Lyons falls, mohican wilderness area


Had a delightful weekend backpacking with a friend of mine at mohican wilderness area last weekend. Perfect weather, bugless, sitting in front of the campfire until 11pm.

Amazing old rickshaw, $150


Had someone offer this amazing 1969 rickshaw to me for $150. It's more work then I have time for, bit i thought I'd post it. Leave a comment if you're interested and I'll put you in touch with them.

Video: "Hobo" Monkey Goes to the Edge of Space

Back in November of last year Australian indie band Skipping Girl Vinegar and a team of "cowboy scientists" joined forces to launch a stuffed toy monkey by the name of Baker to the edge of space. They attached a giant weather balloon to a model rocket and added a small video camera to catch all the action. The results can be seen in the video below, which shows Baker going up into the stratosphere for some spectacular views, before plummeting back to Earth where he was recovered – apparently little worse for wear.

Lucky monkey!


Science hipsterism at its finest. :)

Science has never been so cool.

Thursday, March 22

Google Calls Shenanigans on MPAA's DMCA Interpretation

Google Calls Shenanigans on MPAA's DMCA Interpretation

The MPAA has a well-earned reputation for, shall we say, "molding" their facts. But with its latest lawsuit against Hotfile, the group has apparently gone too far for Google's tastes. The search giant has just filed an Amicus brief objecting to the MPAA's "distortion" of the DMCA.

An Amicus brief is a court document filed by a third party in a case—neither the plaintiff or defendant—that volunteers information that may be relevant to the proceedings and would not have been discovered otherwise. In this case, Google's brief provided a legal opinion that the MPAA is full of shit in regards to the Safe Harbor provisions.

"Google is particularly concerned by some of the arguments offered by the plaintiffs, which distort the meaning of the statute and, if accepted, would unduly narrow the important protections those provisions give online service providers," the company wrote.

Google pointed to its own case against Viacom a few years back in which the search company successfully used the provisions as a defense. While the case has already been in progress for a over a year, the MPAA's sudden request for a summary judgement has apparently spurred Google to action. Looks like the MPAA's ploy to quietly cajole its lawsuit to fruition backfired. [Scribd, Amicus Curiae Wiki via Electronista - Image: Pakhnyushcha / Shutterstock]

Wait. Hotfile still exists!? I guess i'm still a geek who loves the latest dirt on the copyright dust-up. MPAA bad... google... err... while I guess they're on the right side on this one.

Friday, March 16

Microsoft PSA: Internet Explorer, still only good for downloading other browsers

It's called inertia, and it's what the crew at Microsoft is trying to overcome. For the past 17 years, Internet Explorer has been little more than meme fodder and a litmus test of whether you knew how to navigate the web [...] Fortunately, Microsoft knows how to poke fun at itself, and the company's latest ad campaign fundamentally screams: our product's no longer awful, so please use it for something other than downloading another browser.

It's been a while since I posted about something in the tech world. Several people have mentioned to me microsoft's new commercials for IE9. My first reaction upon seeing one on TV yesterday was "WHY?! Hasn't this ship already sailed?" Seriously I thought the browser wars were over. Chrome, Firefox, Opera or anything you want to use... just as long as it's not IE. LOL.

So, yes, yes I will laugh along with M$ at it's own aweful history. Let's let bygone be bygones, but the only reason we can let them be bygone is because of alternatives. I now use a ubiquitous mix of mac, Android, chrome, firefox, open office and other non-microsoft products.

Due M$ security essentials I'm a lot less annoyed by others asking me to deal with there M$ problems... but let's face it I'm never ever going to suggest anyone ever install IE again, nor do anything but use it to install another browser.

Short of M$ paying me back for hundreds of hours of my life removing viruses (and necessarily IE) from friends, family and coworker's computers over the years that ship has sailed. If M$ wants to throw good money after bad I'm more then willing to laugh along... but really I am not laughing with M$, I'm laughing at it. Thank god we're past the I.E. era. Let's take what we've learned and never go back there.

Sunday, March 4

(good) s**t @garyvee says and other thoughs on social media



S**t Gary V of the now "old hat" social media startup Wine Library TV ( says:

"Saying hello doesn't have an ROI."


"The internet is only 15 years old. It hasn't even had sex yet and already it's dominating."

Actually gary I believe the saying is "What came first your first kiss or your first program? If it's the former and not the latter then it's too late, get out of the game and go into management instead."

Apparently the saying goes for new media as well.

"The brands that can connect with clients in a real way will win."


"It's ridiculous that we are being asked to justify the ROI of social media when traditional media metrics are full of S**T"

Who doesn't plan their entire marketing and advertising strategy based on CTR (click through rates) and CPI (cost per impression)?? bahumbug!

Next you'll be telling me in order to market a small business I shouldn't be paying for advertising at all.

What's next? Should I actually start communicating with my customers online... online conversation... in open and public forums? Sounds dirty, risky and inexcuseable to me.

That's crazy talk.

/end sarcasm

Public conversations, forums / discussion boards and mailing lists have now been "the marketplace" for going on ten years and yet many small business owners who pay people $10-15/hour to talk to people on their showroom floor still won't pay $1 to have people speak to their customers online.

"It you're just doing social media to keep up with the Joneses - DON'T"

"If you do not care about your end user immensely your brand will die."

What more need be said on social media marketing.

It's not "marketing" in the traditional sense of the world at all. It is customer relations. It is basic customer service. It just happens to be public and online instead of in your business and on your showroom floor.

Social media "marketing" is no different, absolutely no different, than having a conversation with a customer in your store except that you're having that conversation online, and in public so that other people can participate in it.

And having that conversation online means that when you speak, even if you're only speaking with one person, dozens if not hundreds or thousands of new potential customers could be tuning in.

To put an ROI on that is ridiculous... but yeah... if you want to you can, maybe you should... the same way you look at the sales of an employee on the showroom floor, but I think you'll find if your business model makes a lick of sense that you're going to get a far bigger ROI spending a little time communicating with your customers online then in the store.

I think it hillarious to start this post with a common acronym, LOL. Especially since there really are people out there, maybe even my own mom, who think it means Lots of Love. I just give them the anecdot "If someone facebooks that their dog or their grandma died do not respond 'LOL' and you'll be AOK."

I remember when I used to spend several hours a day keeping up on the tech happenings. Indeed I remember when I used to spend all day, day after day keeping up on and working on tech happenings.

These days however I'm lucky if I pop open the web browser once a week other then to check the email or the weather on my cell phone.

Everytime I sit down to browse the web for objective-less fun (as opposed to using it like an infromational grab bag / appliance) I'm constantly amazed by all the new startups. Indeed even startups that create startups like

I just stumbled on

Crowd sourced photojournalism.

Wow, I remember dreaming about this back in the days when Quokka Sports and were trying to make a new type of extreme sports journalism, back before we even coined terms like crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, and now here it is.

Photojournalist are reaching out directly with only the thinest of 3rd party organization... really just a panel of their peers... to pitch projects, raise funds, pay their own salary and fund their next photojournalistic story.

Want to travel to siberia to do a phtographic expose on the carribou people? Well now you can pitch it, but of course you better be prepared to show that you know your s**t, this crowdsourcing startup is not aimed at amateurs.

So, my only question is where's the startup for crowdfunding videojournalism, what about documentary films?  And why stop at crowdsourcing for 'professional' photojournalists? Amateur is not a dirty word. After all everyone was once an amateur. It's the budding amateurs who do it for love not money that need our help.  And they who are going to be tomorrows professionals.