Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Hold on, let me Google that for you

March 19, 2013

One of my pet peeves is when people online ask stupid questions…but let me qualify what a stupid question is:  A stupid question is any question!  Come on people!  We have something called Google now, so if you want the correct answer to something just Google it!  Then if you still can’t find the answer it  means one of two things: you are either are totally useless at using Google or you have a legitimate question.

If anyone shares my intolerance for stupid questions, here is a funny response for the next person you come across posting one:

Visit, type the stupid question into the search bar and hit enter or click search, then copy the link and reply to the stupid question using the link provided.

When the person clicks on the link it will take them to a search engine designed to look and act exactly like Google, except it types in their stupid question for them and asks them “was that so hard?” before pulling up their Google results.

I guess you need to be a little sarcastic to enjoy this trick.

Now here’s a funny video of a stupid fat kid stuck in a baby car seat:


Another Brick in the Wall

May 31, 2012

In ancient Greek city-states the agora bustled with activity and people gathered to discuss sport, art, religion, politics, and philosophy… then along came the classroom where youth assembled to hear learned-men lecture, notes were taken with graphite, and knowledge was transmitted orally and recorded in books.

Enter the World Wide Web – accumulated knowledge at our fingertips!

Professor Frink from the SimpsonsI recall Alvin Toffler’s doom and gloom predictions of widespread stress and disorientation resulting from information overload as the super-accelerated technological age wreaked havoc on our collective psychology.   But the age of information with the advent of the Internet has, for the most part, made life (…and I speak for myself) less stressful, especially for students.  Don’t you remember the stress of missing the library, or not having the right notes the night before a test?

In the 1980’s I can remember being too shy to ask for help in maths and subsequently falling behind only to be euphemistically labeled “right-brained” later by my step-dad.   Nowadays this binary way of thinking that divides the population into right- and left-brained types is being challenged (  With myriad web-resources at our fingertips, the students of today can afford to be globally-brained.

In fact, the future of academia may be just a right-click away.  Stanford University offers an introductory course in Artificial Intelligence entirely online and entirely open to anyone with access to the web.  The online class is practically identical to the one offered on-campus for paying-registered students except for one thing:  instead of receiving course credit, non-registered global students are awarded an official statement of accomplishment.  Otherwise, lectures, assignments, midterms and finals are the same.   In 2011, only 200 Stanford students enrolled in the on-campus course compared to 160,000 students from 190 different countries that took the course online!  The implication this has for the future of education is astounding.  Imagine if higher education was made available to everyone for free; they’re calling it University 2.0.

New virtual learning environments are cropping up everywhere in a new global access approach to education.  Some names to keep an eye out for are,,, and my absolute favorite

Salman Khan launched Khan Academy in 2006 so he could distance-tutor his 13-year old cousin in maths.  The Khan Academy website offers over 3,200 You Tube videos on everything from arithmetics, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, economics, art history… and the list goes on.  He breaks it down into short easy-to-understand videos that sketch out example after example from the very basic fundamentals to complex problems.  Bill Gates has referred to Khan Academy as “the future of education”.  If university 2.0 represents the first fledgling steps on the path towards the democratization of education then the future looks bright.

Now I leave you with Pink Floyd:

The Holy Trinity of Online Video Watching

April 18, 2012

In this post I am going to breakdown how Torrents work and introduce you to three sites that will revolutionise your online entertainment experience. Theoretically I use Torrentz, Project Free TV, and Veetle to access the shows and movies I want to watch.

Torrents or BitTorrents are files shared with the BitTorrent  p2p (peer-to-peer) network, or a file-sharing protocol.  In simpler terms, BitTorrents are files shared by a group of individual computers on the network rather than stored on one central server.  BitTorrent p2p sharing breaks the download into chunks ranging in size between 64KB and 4MB and distributes it across several different computers as opposed to just one. The person who first creates a torrent for any file is called an initial seeder.  People who have all the chunks are seeders, the more seeds the quicker the download will be. Once you finish downloading the file then you become a seed. People who do not have the whole file yet are called peers.  Peers are not seeders but the more peers the faster the download because peers can share the chunks of the file that has so-far been downloaded.  This is especially important if the number of seeds is low or decreasing because peers can piece together the file with the chunks they have between them.

In order to download a movie you first need to search for the file on a BitTorrent search engine, theoretically I use Torrentz.  One simply enters the title of the movie they want and a list of BitTorrents will appear.  There are two columns of numerical values to pay attention to: the green numbers represent the seeders and the blue represent the number of peers. High numbers of each are best for download speed.


Once the torrent file has been downloaded it must be run using a BitTorrent client.  You cannot download BitTorrents without a BitTorrent client; for example: uTorrent for Windows, Vuze formerly (Azureus) for Mac, and BitTorrent for Linux.  BitTorrent Clients keep track of what chunks of the file you have and which parts you still need to download.

*It should be noted that using BitTorrent is legal but downloading copyrighted material is not.

BitTorrents are not the only way to watch films and TV shows.  You can stream TV on a great site called Project Free TV. I love this site however it takes some getting used to because of the buffering and advertising.  If you don’t have a strong internet-connection it can take ages to buffer.  The other drawback is the ads.  Sometimes you click on a link for a program and you inadvertently trigger two or three pop-ups.  Some of the ads are over-laid and you need to close them before the play button becomes accessible.  Also, if you are streaming a film you may have to close a pop-up every 20 mins or so.  In any case, project Free TV is a great option because it streams quite fast and they have an extensive selection of programs and films.

Watching live streaming channels in high resolution is also an option which brings me to Veetle.  You just need to download the plugin (65 MB) and then you can watch live streamed TV in HD, high-definition.  They use the latest codecs for the best video quality and there is no buffering required.  Obviously it’s live so you can’t pause or fast-forward but it’s free and not frequently interrupted by ads.

Veetle has a few extra features worth mentioning: you can download the app and live stream TV on your iPad, iPhone & Android phones, and you can broadcast live video in HD.   Veetle has over 10 million viewers a month, which is not bad for the little Sillicon Vally start-up.

Now here’s an impressive UFO video:

I *Heart* Facebook!

March 26, 2012

I *heart* you so much that I wasted 45mins of my day coming up with this cute heart design made out of hearts.  You would be surprised how hard it is to make, or maybe you wouldn’t because after 5 mins you would probably realise it was a waste of time and quit, nevertheless I give you….


I defy anyone to accomplish this in less than 45mins!

After you cut & paste this into your Facebook comments or status bar it should look like this:

Now I leave you with an elaborate Russian dance flash mob with a marriage and some army dudes set to Putting on the Ritz…to be fair they should have called it Putin on the Ritz…nevermind

Chrome Users Only!

March 26, 2012

What I am about to show you is going to revolutionize your Google Chrome experience.  There is a little known extension called Speed Dial that allows you to access the websites you visit much more easily – It’s called Speed Dial.

It has a lot of features that the old interface doesn’t.  For instance you can customise your thumbnails.  It has an exhaustive list of icons to choose from for popular social media platforms like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter etc.

It also allows you to customise how many thumnails you see.  I have mine set up at 5 columns wide but you can have as many as nine columns by nine rows.

Now depending whether you work on a Macbook or a PC it is very easy to add/remove/edit dials (as they are called).  On a PC you just right click to edit or remove a dial, and on a Mac hold Command + click.  To add a dial just hover over the + sign and click!

The options menu is located at the righthand top of the screen beside the address bar, click the little lightening bolt and select options from the drop down menu.  Here is an sample preview:

The Speed Dial Google Chrome extension is completely free just type Google Chrome extensions into your browser and click on their web store, then scroll down until you find Speed Dial.  Here is a link: SpeedDial

Also here is a very funny video of a cat:

Urban eXperiment

March 14, 2012

I recently read an article about a group known only as UX (Urban eXperiment) that operate in Paris and break into centuries-old buildings across Paris, not to loot or steal but to restore. They claim responsibility for 15 capers in which they conducted covert restorations by accessing the city’s city-wide network of tunnels. It sounds like something out of a movie but this group really exists. Their most extraordinary feat took place in 2006 when eight UX members infiltrated the Pantheon in Paris. They not only entered the building but they actually set-up a secret workshop which they wired for electricity and internet access. For one year the group performed repairs on the building’s 19th century clock. When they finished, the clock once again kept time and chimed every quarter hour as it had done decades earlier.
The 100+/- member group operates like an artists collective, they have no manifesto and membership is by invitation only. They have a cellular structure with sub-groups specialising in cartography, infiltration, tunnelling, masonry, internal communications, archiving, cultural programming, and restoration. They carry out their mission via a network of hundreds of kilometers of secret underground passageways including sewers, electricity and water tunnels, subways,catacombs and centuries-old quarries.
The only mandate of this group is to keep its secrecy. It is in this way that it differs from other groups that have emerged over the years, springs to mind.

Now here is a video for your viewing pleasure:

Super Slick Umbrella-ella-ella

February 16, 2012


Finally an umbrella that defies the rain. The new Senz umbrella looks as aerodynamic as a Stealth Jet and ostensibly cuts through the rain and wind like one.  The umbrella is designed and constructed to withstand 100kph winds and won’t flip inside-out.  Its design is modern yet practical. The longer spokes at the back keeps the rain off your heels but more importantly you can turn it sideways and fit two underneath. The eye-savers on the spoke-ends are a thoughtful design feature – ever walked through
crowd on a rainy day?  Need I say more? A Sense umbrella will run you £40 if you buy from the website at

Burners Burning Mad…Greed to Blame

February 4, 2012

Tickets from the Burning Man Main Sale are sold out and many of the festival’s veteran burners have been left out in the cold.  Angry Burners have dubbed the recently adopted ticket system a failure as they vent their frustration on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Richard West a.k.a. Mr C, world class DJ from the 90’s electronic music band, The Shamen posted his displeasure with the new system on Facebook yesterday calling the system a “HUGE FAIL” and shaming StubHub for allowing scalpers to use the platform to gauge Burners at $1,500 a ticket!

Last year tickets sold out for the first time in Burning Man’s 25-year history. The new ticket system was intended to make ticket distribution fairer.  It involved an initial registration process followed by two rounds of ticket sales.

The first Pre-Sale round happened in November/December 2011 and 3,000 tickets were sold at $420 each with a limit of 4 per person.  Next came the Main Sale round which took place in January 2012.  In this round, Burners could select the tier price that best reflected their economic circumstances: 40,000 of these tickets were sold at $240, $320 and $390 with a limit of 2 per person.  The final Secondary Open Sale is due to happen on March 28th 2012 and 10,000 tickets will be made available for direct purchase at $390 a piece.

This year organisers did away with the Scholarship and Low Income Programs in favour of a single more streamlined Low Income program for Burners who can’t afford the regular lowest priced ticket.  Four thousand of these Low Income tickets priced at $160 a piece will be made by special application starting on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 12 noon PST. Applications will be accepted until tickets run out or Monday, May 1, 2012, whichever comes first.

In the previous first-come first-served system, Burners had to get into an online queue and success or failure in procuring a ticket depended on whether you made it into the queue, if you could wait around your computer long enough to be processed and other factors like your internet connectivity etc.   The new system was meant to be better because organisers could apply a filtering system to the registrants to remove known scammers, and it resolved the issue of having to queue.  However, the new system does not come without it problems either.

Marian Goodell, Director of Business and Communications for Burning Man has acknowledged that only about 20-25% of the key people from major theme camps and art groups have so far received notifications for tickets.  It would seem that the introduction of the new system was the impetus for many people to get their friends to purchase tickets for them to increase their chances in the random selection, kind of like how buying 100 lottery tickets as opposed to one increases your chances of winning.

Organisers are discouraging Burners from purchasing tickets from scalpers and secondary sources like eBay, Craigslist and StubHub and asking them to use their Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP), a safe and secure web-based system set up by organizers to re-distribute tickets at face-value while protecting Burners from scalpers.

Fans will be quick to point the finger at Burning Man organizers but as the popularity of the Burning Man festival grows so does the impact of the festival on its immediate natural environment and this has a direct effect on regulations set by Nevada’s Bureau of Land Management agency (BLM).  At the end of the day the outcome will depend on the compunction of the individuals who cheated the system and bought more than 4 tickets.  A true Burner will sell their extra tickets through STEP to ensure that the art and theme camp teams make it to the festival because without them it’s just a bunch of people baking in the desert.

That’s What I’m Talking About!

February 3, 2012

Did you know that you can make your Mac speak to you?  

All you have to do is open Applications > Utilities > Terminal.   Once the  Terminal window opens type Say and hit return (then repeat process).

Then you can go to System Preference and select Speech to control speaking rate and choose from different voices like Fred, Kathy, Princess, Cellos, Boing, Zarvox, Bubbles, Bad News and so on… Post in the comments any creative uses you find for this feature.  You can copy/paste large sections of text or song lyrics and have your computer read your children to sleep… or is that unethical?  Why not leave a message on your friends answering service in robot?

Now here’s a creepy video of a kid you can be very thankful was never your boyfriend in high school:

DropBox It Like It’s Hot

June 10, 2011

Hi Guys,

Did you know that you can play music directly from DropBox? DropBox has a service called…yep, you guessed it…DropTunes!

DropBox also has a nifty Google Chrome extension which allows you to access your DropBox with the click of a button from your Chrome toolbar.  The add-on also has a feature that let’s to see a snapshot of your recent DropBox activities.

One last tool to make you happy is the DropBox Screen Grabber that lets you capture your screen and save it to DropBox.  All you do is press Shift + F10 to grab your entire screen or Shift + F11 to grab the current live window.  It saves in two formats JPEG and PNG.

Also, did you know that you can get more space by either buying it or by going to and completing five or more of the tasks. You also get more space by installing it on other devices, referring friends, and connecting it to social media platforms.

Have fun and enjoy this short baby video:



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