The Google Zeitgeist

Posted in Internet on January 5th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: The annual Google Zeitgeist is out:

    The 2003 Year-End Zeitgeist offers a unique perspective on the year’s major events and hottest trends based on more than 55 billion searches conducted over the past year by Google users from around the world. Whether you are tracking the global progression of the latest news or learning about healthy searches in Japan, the 2003 Year-End Zeitgeist enables you to look at the past year through the collective eyes of the world on the Internet.

    The term “zeitgeist” comes from the German “Zeit” meaning “time” and “Geist” meaning “spirit”. The term is defined in English by Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary as “the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.”

In the Popular Queries Top Ten for Canada, “canadian tire” checked in at #7. Does this reflect a lack of imagination in my countrymen and women? BTW, at #6 was “loft story.” Loft Story??? A French reality TV series that has generated much controversy and protests. I assume it is broadcast in Québec.

2003’s Best Web Tips, 2003 TV Season’s 10 Worst Ideas

Posted in Internet, Photography, Research, Television on December 17th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Sree Sreenivasan has gathered together the year’s best web tips, as reported in the Web Tips column on Poynteronline. Sreenivasan also has a site for “sharing tips on various topics“, such as photography, Google, hoax sites, and graphics and image sites.

All web tips since Sept 2001 are listed here.

:: The 10 worst ideas of the fall 2003 television season include the dumbing down of The West Wing, and the full-frontal assault of the three Law & Order franchises, both of with which I agree. While you’re at it, check Lost Remote, a television blog founded by Cory Bergman. And in case you missed Paris Hilton on SNL two weeks back, here’s the transcript of her brief sketch with Jimmy Fallon during Weekend Update. It’s totally brilliant and funny.

Will Weblogs Save The Internet?

Posted in Film, Internet on December 6th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: In an interview with Om Malik, Jacques Vallee suggests that weblogs will save the Internet.

:: Kenton and I attending the screening of the new 35mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey last night at the Metro. The print was good, a bit rough in spots, and there was no surround sound in the theatre. But it was still great to see the venerable 35-year old movie on the big screen, complete with the Overture before the film started, and its intermission after the scene in the pod. The crowd numbered between 50 and 75, and with the exception of the occasional can of pop being opened, the crowd was almost reverant in its respect for the movie. During the scenes where there was no sound, only silence, you could hear a pin drop in the theatre.

2001 still looks good. I’m amazed that the sets and design of the movie still look good, almost contemporary, after three and a half decades. I was so wide-eyed when I saw it the first time, in December 1968. Certainly that sense of wonder isn’t the same now, but seeing the film again made me feel, for a few moments, like I was that skinny 15-year old kid again, amazed at what I was watching on the big screen.

Gallery Frustrations

Posted in Internet on September 15th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: It’s been quiet on the blogging front for a few days. I’ve been working on loading the Gallery program, which Geoff runs successfully, and since Geoff and I share the same hosting service, one would think I could get it to work. But no such luck. It appears that I’m mucking around in areas beyond my abilities, and it is very frustrating. I’ve had help from the Blogomania HelpDesk, and the Gallery Forums.

Contributing to the problem is the ambiguity of the Gallery documentation. The directions on the Installing Required Programs page are not that clear or user-friendly. For example, regarding NetPBM, you are directed to go to this page, and “grab the files” (binaries), FTP’em over to your host, and chmod them to 0755. Even I know how to do that. This page even lists the binary files (12 of them)! Wo-hoo! Ok, so Randy goes to that page, grabs what he thinks are the necessary NetPBM files, 6 zipped files ending in .tgz, unzips them, and none of them seem to contain any binaries. Um, btw, those six files are the ONLY files on this page. Like, there are no other NetPBM files to download.

Hello? This IS boring, isn’t it?

:: In the meantime, I am a hurtin’ unit tonight. My bones and muscles are aching, so it’s off to bed. The configuration of Gallery, seemingly an endless activity, shall wait for another day.

Spam by numbers

Posted in Internet on August 15th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: The document described in the entry below, from the current issue of The Scout Report, details the destructive power of Spam. We all hate spam.

Spam by Numbers [pdf]

    Facts about the disturbing trend of spam exceeding valid email have appeared regularly in a variety of news sources, but this document goes one step further to demonstrate the seriousness of the problem. Published by the ePrivacy Group in June 2003, it shows that spam is not simply a nuisance; it is a surprisingly expensive problem that can reduce Internet bandwidth and adversely affect people’s productivity. After perusing the five pages of remarkable percentages, dollar amounts, and other figures, readers can find much more information about spam at the ePrivacy Group’s homepage.

World of Ends

Posted in Internet on July 29th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

This is pretty cool. Doc Searls and David Weinberger (author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined) have created a page called World of Ends – What The Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It For Something Else.

The Nutshell:

1. The Internet isn’t complicated
2. The Internet isn’t a thing. It’s an agreement.
3. The Internet is stupid.
4. Adding value to the Internet lowers its value.
5. All the Internet’s value grows on its edges.
6. Money moves to the suburbs.
7. The end of the world? Nah, the world of ends.
8. The Internet’s three virtues:

a. No one owns it

b. Everyone can use it

c. Anyone can improve it
9. If the Internet is so simple, why have so many been so boneheaded about it?
10. Some mistakes we can stop making already