Sunday, December 05, 2010

My Eyes! My Eyes!

Unbelievable and fascinating in a train wreck sort of way:

A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web

Quick Summation Quote:
“Hello, My name is Stanley with,” the post began. “I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement.”

A Little Deeper:

Lady buys glasses online. Wants to return them. Merchant says no. Customer says they'll dispute the charge. Merchant says:

“Listen, bitch,” he fumed, according to Ms. Rodriguez. “I know your address. I’m one bridge over” — a reference, it turned out, to the company’s office in Brooklyn. Then, she said, he threatened to find her and commit an act of sexual violence too graphic to describe in a newspaper.

It's all a stunt for a better Google ranking. And it worked!

(Or, at least it used to work.)

The full article is a heck of a read.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Learned this from a question in yesterday's edition of QRANK (an iPhone/Facebook trivia game BoRyan and I have been playing), and it totally blew me away. I can't believe I've never heard of this before!

The Doomsday Rule is a formula that let's you calculate the day of the week of any date in past or future history based on a (relatively) easy math formula plus some simple memorization.

We already know from experience that St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo always fall on the same weekday. This uses the same general concept.

In a nutshell:

1. Doomsday
By coincidence of the calendar, 4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10 and 12/12 are always on the exact same day of the week each year. This is called "Doomsday." (And to get a touch fancier, the July 4th and Halloween also always fall on doomsday, as do the palindromic pairs of 7/11 & 11/7 and 9/5 & 5/9). If you know the day of the week the doomsday is for a given year, you can use that as an easy reference points to compare to other days.

2. Anchor Days
Every century has an "anchor day" to use as a starting point. The anchor for the 1900s is Wednesday and for the 2000s is Tuesday. For all practical uses that's all you have to memorize, though history buffs and time travelers may want to learn a few more.

Once you know the anchor, this formula will give you doomsday for a given year:
Last 2 digits of year + last 2 digits divided by 4 (you can discard the remainder) = # of days to add to the anchor.

So if we take November 5, 1955 as an example:

Anchor for the 1900s is Wednesday

55 + 55/4 = 55 + 13 = 68 days after Wednesday.

68/7 is 9 with a remainder of 5 (or to user fancier math: 68 mod 7 = 5)

So Doomsday is 5 days after Wednesday, aka Monday.

11/7 is a doomsday, so 11/5 is two days earlier on Saturday.

Pretty cool, eh?

Even better: The inventor is guy named John Conway.

Wikipedia - Doomsday Rule

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gmail is Like Cilantro

This one's for BoRyan:
Google's Wiltse Carpenter compared the frustration with threaded Gmail to the backlash over cilantro. "And just as an outspoken minority has banded together in unison to declare their distaste of one of nature's most delicious herbs, some of you have been very vocal about your dislike of conversation threading," he wrote in a blog post.

(via cnet)

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Wilderness Downtown

Please go to the following URL using Google Chrome:

(And don't skip the address part, even if it says it doesn't have enough info.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010


1. Found this crazy article (crazy in how it takes itself so seriously):

Boycott Bill Murray for a Better America

2. Based on the website the above article was from, I had a hunch that led to another search. My hunch proved false, but indirectly allowed me to naturally discover a Googlewhack without even trying!

3. And linked from the page the Googlewhack uncovered is yet another awesome (albeit old) headline, especially given the context/content:

When Cracked Objects Collide

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Lost Cat Poster

Hilarious tale of a lady with a lost cat asking her designer friend to help make a poster for her.

Missing Missy

(via FYLost)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dogs and Apples

There’s an odd sentiment among nerds that Steve Jobs (and the fine people at Apple) hate buttons. I have a different theory: they absolutely love buttons.

Would you say to someone, 'Wow, you must hate dogs. You only have one. You enjoy his company and playing with him, but seriously, only one? What do you have against dogs?'.

Perhaps a towform design checkpoint should be asking the question, "How would Arlo feel if he had xx more dogs sleeping in his favorite spot?"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shameless Skin

For low budget, this was pretty cool in 1080p.

And the girl doesn't make things any worse...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Five things Old Media Still Don't Get About the Web

Love this. I am absolutely gobsmacked how people like Rupert Murdoch, who really should know better, think that everyone will start paying for internet news on Fox. Everything he knows about the world tells him he is correct. This means he doesn't get out much.

Here's an excerpt from "Five Things Old Media Still Don't Get About the Web." Read the full article here.

"Earlier this week, the New York Times company forced the iPad Pulse News Reader app to be pulled from the App Store. The reason? It took the Times’ RSS feed and put it inside its own app.

To be clear, the RSS feed in question was a headline, a one-sentence introduction and a link to the full story on the NYT site. That’s it. Worse? Steve Jobs highlighted the app earlier during his WWDC keynote – and the NYT itself wrote a glowing review of the app just a few days before.

As mystifying as the move seems from the outside, it’s yet another sign that established old media entities are still really struggling to understand the web. Time and time again, it feels as if old media companies, rather than embracing the massive potential of the web, seem to shoot themselves in the foot.

So consider this a public service. For all those people out there working in established media, here are five things you still don’t seem to get about the web"

Creativity and Generosity in the Internet Age

"Clay Shirky's second book, The Cognitive Surplus, picks up where his stellar debut, Here Comes Everybody left off: explaining how the net's lowered costs for group activity allow us to be creative and even generous in ways that we never anticipated and haven't yet fully taken account of.

Shirky's hypothesis is that a lot of the 20th century stuff we used to take for granted -- most people didn't want to create media, people didn't value homemade and amateur productions, no one would pitch in to create something for others to enjoy unless they were being paid -- weren't immutable laws of nature, but accidents of history. The Internet has undone those accidents, by making it possible for more people to make and do cool stuff, especially together."

Towform, of course, an example of the scope of this insight. :) More, here.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


(Visiting The Oatmeal for the first time in awhile always has me getting caught up and following the occasional real world links he includes. I wasn't going to do two posts in one day, but this is the funniest thing I've read in forever -- and it's from 2003!)

Uproar over Anti-Flash Intro Survey Results

Quote from Macromedia employee (pre-Adobe buyout) on website Flash intros:

"When we have clients who are thinking about Flash splash pages, we tell them to go to their local supermarket and bring a mime with them. Have the mime stand in front of the supermarket, and, as each customer tries to enter, do a little show that lasts two minutes, welcoming them to the supermarket and trying to explain the bread is on aisle six and milk is on sale today.

"Then stand back and count how many people watch the mime, how many people get past the mime as quickly as possible, and how many people punch the mime out.

"That should give you a good idea as to how well their splash page will be received. That's the crux of it."


I think Yahoo and Hotmail should be swapped, but otherwise spot on. Plus it has a great coincidental iNetNow inside joke...

What Your Email Address Says About Your Computer Skills

(via The Oatmeal)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Evil and Marketing, Friends or Foes

Writing from a coffee shop in Santa Monica, as I wait a few days for the movers to bring our stuff.

A fellow in our business sent this article out.

I got a kick out of the examples, as they definitely illustrate the challenges in marketing, making money and being transparent with your users.

(bonus: the site itself disclosed informative information on why I received the popup overlay when I first visited the site)

So, what are your thoughts on what is evil and what is not in the world of online e-commerce?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

How to Be Weird

Very cool article on creative minds:

How To Be Weird (And Why)

Be weird. Do obscure things, seek occluded knowledge, try odd experiments in strange ways. No-one ever became interesting by travelling well-trodden paths. People redefine boundaries by testing them, poking holes in them and wandering around in the void just beyond the edge.

While you do this, though, people will call you weird, or crazy. This is probably an excellent indication that you are on the right path.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Small By Choice

Some great quotes in this article about a small Chicago pizzeria that does it their own way. (via SvN)

Small by Choice, Whether Clients Like It or Not

"That is the American way — to expand without really thinking."

"The customer really isn’t always right."

"I think that perception of arrogance has to do with the sense of entitlement and a lack of respect for someone wanting to do their job. We’re just trying to do the job the best we can. We’re trying to provide a quality experience for everyone who comes in. In the food service business, it’s assumed that the customers have a set of God-given birthrights when they come into an establishment. It’s like they’ve been wronged in a lot of parts of their lives, and this is their chance to even the score."

"From my experience being a designer, once you know in your gut what you’re doing is really good, you just have to go with it. You can’t hold back because there’s going to be one person saying, “I don’t like that purple or that pink.” People are going to be people."