Archive for the ‘Teh Interwebe’ Category

Google Translate

October 13, 2010
Reasons I have used Google Translate: Looking for comical mistranslations (50%); Trying to teach myself a foreign language using statistical methods (30%); Listening to the German speech synth (5%); Attempting to figure out how Google parses language (10%); Learning to say "my hovercraft is full of eels" in every language (5%); Translating a foreign webpage into English (0%)

It would be interesting if Google kept track of how many of its translation queries are for "My hovercraft is full of eels."

A switch must have flipped in my brain last night because I woke up with three comic ideas in my head.  Guess it’s time to start drawing again.  Or flying south, I’m not sure which.

Facebook Has Made Changes

April 30, 2010

(Cross-posted from my Facebook notes. If you read it there don’t bother with this one. IT’S THE SAME THING, OKAY)

Facebook has made changes.

And, like the stimulus-response automaton I am, I write a note about it.

I’m not actually that peeved about the changes. I value my privacy little to not at all, mostly because I haven’t posted anything that I really care about keeping private. But I don’t see myself using Facebook’s “like” button on every corner of the interwebs, or their new “community” pages. And this realization prompted me to ask myself: what is it that I actually do use Facebook for? And might those activities be better served by something else?

When I think about it, I’m the sort of Facebook user who’s probably really unprofitable. My posts range from irrelevant to arcane — not really the stuff data miners are after. I import half my updates from Twitter, and I access Twitter from an external client, so I am basically seeing no ads at all. I stayed away from the dumb “social” applications that got so many people hooked on Facebook. I liked to keep my personal information, well, personalized. For instance, I cannibalized the “TV shows” field and used it to list my favorite webcomics instead.

And because of all this, and because Facebook is not profiting from me and other users like me, who don’t use their system the way they intend, they are of course not too keen on updating the site in ways that cater to us. Future updates to the site will likely be in the direction of funneling users’ information into a clean, ready-to-sell format–and that means less privacy, and less freedom to customize how you present yourself on Facebook and interact with others.

If there were no alternatives, I could see Facebook being the host to a horde of aggravated users, frustrated with the system but unable to break their addiction. But it turns out, there ARE alternatives, and I don’t need the overhead of the Facebook platform to actually do the things that I use Facebook for.

I use Facebook for three things. Maybe four.
1. I post status updates.
2. I comment on other people’s posts.
3. I post links that I find, and videos, and other such things.
4. Occasionally, I will stalk my friends’ musical preferences or look for their phone number if I need to call them.

And I could accomplish the first three with Twitter, or Buzz. Both of which I am already using.

So despite my basically neutral emotional response to the updates, my cerebral response is:

It’s not going to work out, Facebook.

Yes, I know I stuck with you even though we disagreed about your serial makeovers. But those were largely cosmetic changes, and you even gained some new features that I liked. Threaded comments on every post? Fantastic. But those were the days before Buzz, before there were a million Twitter clients to choose from that had basically every feature imaginable.

Facebook, I’m leaving you.

Again.

Just as soon as I can find someone else who also knows all my friends.

UPDATE: Facebook and I are no longer a thing, really. We still hang out sometimes. If you want to contact me, the best way is via email.

Infinity Fail

January 4, 2010

This made me laugh:

List of numbers: from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Good luck with that.

Standard for the transmission of IP datagrams on avian carriers

September 13, 2009

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.  It is one of the funniest things I have seen in a while.

http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1149