Monday, September 29, 2014


To Fake Or Not To Fake

Don't blame the messenger ... which in this case was a dog

The cute Beagle in the fake KLM Lost & Found service advertisement. September 2014

KLM made a very cute ad. It went viral.

And it turns out, it's a fake.

Had they just said "this is not real" anywhere in the video (ie: in the title or credits), that would have been enough, and all that wonderful public relations stuff would have worked for them. It did not need to be pawned off as an authentic ad, to garner millions of views and "aaaaaawwws".

But they didn't.  Instead, they ended up getting a little bit of backlash from the episode.

Lesson learned (we hope):  When you're a big brand, don't mess with people's trust in your name.  You should be forthright and stand behind what you say, or else don't say it.

Still, you can't fault man's best friend. That doggy was doing its best to shine on camera. And what a beautiful performance it gave.

Maybe this is an opportunity to actually use bloodhounds (better than beagles for lost & found work) to do this sort of work.  I bet that would win significant public support, especially if it's done as a sort of "make good" effort, and to lead the way in innovative techniques to rejoin people and the things they lost on board a KLM flight.

Note: If you have not yet seen the video, here it is:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

When Fantasy meets Space Exploration Technology

Space Probes

the whole probe meme
Thou Shall Be Tested By Probe

It's not every day you get to experiment with a space probe.

It's also not every day you get to tell people that you used a probe for space exploration, and not have
them look at you funny.

I had the pleasure of testing out several space probes last week.  What a thrill!  I can tell you with certainty, as much as has been discovered, there is more space to be probed.

Mars was the latest step ... of course there are more planets to probe next.

NASA - please make more probes! The solar system and the heavens beyond likes when you poke around it.

What if Gandalf was your Chemistry teacher?

So you think you know Chemistry?

How's this for a substitute Chem 101 lab substitute?

gandalf the wizard subsitute chem teacher
Best. Substitute. Ever.

The burning of money is probably best viewed as a metaphor of how the public school system uses the slice of hard-earned taxpayer money they extract from the government budget pie.

Englishman on being a celeb and Social Media

On pain of fame and vain

British comedian Stewart Lee explains what he got by going on tele (that's English slang for television).

Then he goes on to kill two million twitter bird tweets with one punchline.

Friday, September 26, 2014

On Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

You don't want to wake up one day and worry about Net Neutrality.

Here's a funny way to learn about it:

Protect the Internet the way it should be. Keep it democratic, open and accessible.

John Oliver burns Miss America

This is .. brilliant:

The ever hilarious and satire news comic genius John Oliver takes to task the Miss America beauty pageant, and "the world's largest provider of scholarships to women".

Oops ...

Google Can Be So Prejudgy

O for a googlebot of ire
One blog associated with my blogger account seems to have been accused by Google of having done something that is not liked by Blogger.

The email address that is linked to the blog in question was not completely signed up to about 20 email newsletters (probably less), which seem to publish mostly very informative stuff.

Apparently, the email lists had received a request to sign up the email address in question. However, no confirmation of subscription were submitted, so actually the email address is not a subscriber to those lists.

None of the content was actually shared, so I don't really see what the problem was.  When I share stuff, I always give with full and proper citations or links to the best known source.

Strangely, I received a bunch of "confirmation messages" from the email lists into my blogger "Posts" bin. Very odd.

Not sure what triggered the temporary block or ban on the site. When I confirmed my ID to Google, all of those confirmations messages disappeared. I don't know where they are, which is just as well since I did not actually confirm subscribing to those lists.

In any case, it's something I'll be sure to avoid repeating.

Secret Internet Lesson Learned: If you spend a good deal of time online, make sure you check your email accounts daily to ensure that nothing weird is happening. And if you suspect something is happening, be sure to report it accordingly and take appropriate measures to secure your account by changing your password regularly to something very good.  And of course you should be backing up your data separately, but that's another discussion, and you can surely google it, at least until I pump out the ultimate guide to data backups for dumbdumbs.

I love you, Google! :) You are my friend!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Promote Your Site With The Right Stuff

You may or may not have heard of SEO. That's Search Engine Optimization, for short.

But once you watch this video, you will not be able to get it out of your head.

Getting together a sophisticated SEO campaign is exactly what you need to bring in more leads, customers and revenue to your business. Anyone who fails to take care of SEO will suffer lost opportunities in the way of lost sales and lower search engine rankings. See our eye-opening blog post for how to put together a winning SEO campaign.

Every time you feel something is disturbing the peace of your pages, remember these incredible piece of advice... even if your mind tones it down a little. And then remember that the Googlebot, the Yahoobot, the Bingbot and other crawlers are snooping around your website. So if there's anything you don't want indexed ... keep it hidden, or better yet, keep it offline.

And now that you've seen that amazing presentation, be sure to read this incredibly helpful and handy guide to the best SEO techniques, updated for 2014 and 2015.
The Ultimate SEO Primer Infographic of 2014

You Have Meddled With The Primal Forces of Nature

Messing up the balance

Order. Power. Explained.

How Ned Beatty's character explained the way of the Universe in The Network

If you think you know how the world is run, think again.

This brilliant little gem, a riveting speech by one executive character in the movie The Network (1976), reveals so much that you might already have thought, and just never dared to say out loud. 

Say what you want. It is as relevant today as it was 38 years ago, on the bicentennial year of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

The Best Speech Ever Given

The Greatest Speech. Ever.

As given by the unmatched Hollywood genius, Charlie Chaplin.

Watch this passionate performance, from the movie The Great Dictator (1940).

Some performances are so stirring, that even 74 years on, they still move grown men and women.

And can anyone doubt the uncanny resonance of the relationship between man and machine? Have we not grown more connected to our thoughts and less connected to our feelings?

Are we really so different than what the good Mr. Chaplin suggests?

Friday, September 19, 2014

YouTube pays millions to promote top talent

JennaMarbles, YouTube
As reported on September 18, the world's most watched channel, YouTube, is starting to shell out millions of dollars to some of its most popular users.

The project, which is more of an attempt at keeping the talent on the Google-owned network than it is an exercise in HR.

Of course, this is not the first time YouTube paid for content. This time, however, they say the focus will be different, and thus they hope to succeed where previous attempts being an epic FAIL.

The new programming push is apparently headed by Alex Carloss, an executive who reports to Robert Kyncl, the head of content.
“Now, we feel the time is right to make another important investment in our creators. That’s why we’ve decided to fund new content from some of our top creators, helping them not only fulfill their creative ambitions but also deliver new material to their millions of fans on YouTube,” Carloss wrote recently in a blog post associated with the relatively quiet leak of the plan.
When contacted by my furry squirrel, who is remarkably well trained despite not being an Internet star, YouTube officials had no idea there was a rodent playing with his nuts on the other end of the phone, and so they gave no related comment, other than to ask (in a sobbing, crying voice) "Who is this? Why do you keep calling us? Leave Us Aloooone!"

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Google's blatant promotion of kittens online

You read right.

The GOOG is at least partly to blame for the seemingly unending popularity of the trend that is ... cute kittens!

Now, when you set up a Blogger account, the google-powered dashboard shows you some useful information about how to best use this amazing and powerful tool, which can be used to share just about any kind of information, from the mundane, to the extraordinary, and even life-saving.

In short, Google is telling you and many other blogger users how to optimize your website to get solid rankings in the google search engine index, if not how to get to the top of the search results pages. 

So which of these noble or good causes does the megawebgorilla choose to promote to new users?

Well, have a look for yourself at this screenshot, taken September 7, 2014.

Google Promotes Blog About kittens

When we attempted to contact the publisher of "Example Blog" for more information, said publisher could not be reached.

The same is true for the Google Blogger leader.

Meanwhile, an anonymous, unofficial spokesperson for the group denied denying any involvement, or truth to the rumor that Google prefers kittens to puppies.

So now you know. If you want to optimize your blog, do what "Example Blog" does ... create a page "About kittens" ... even if your website is about pollution management, or other fascinating arts and science.