Geeksicle, A cool hack


Monday, April 24, 2006

Click Fraud... Just another stupid idea that means nothing.

Ok, I am not a marketing guru by any means, but would someone please explain to me what the difference between click fraud and marketing as ususal is? I mean The Yellow pages takes my money and I get nothing in return. I buy a large print add. I do not pay by the clicks, but by what they tell me is the demographics and the size of the reader/user ship. Then they print out several thousand books that never get delivered. I pay for those as well. Then even though money was spent in the development of an ad that should work. I recieve only 1 call a month. So now I as a consumer of Yellow pages ads am upset. Their book doesn't provide me with the call through rates I want. I claim it doesn't work... and I claim that the Yellow Pages, Yellow Book, Dex etc. fraudulently took my money. Yeah right. Or we take a radio/tv ad and break it down that we pay for so many impressions and yet we get no return of investment, let alone on investment. Does that mean that no one actually got the message, or could it simply be that after clicking on your add in adsense what you said was on the other side simply was not what a consumer was looking for. Either the timing wasn't right or what have you. I am not saying that there is not fraud, I am simply pointing out that fraud in the marketing arena is par for the course and should merely be factored into your overall plan for acquisition of a customer, and the complaining and suing of companies who are legitimately creating arena's for your message to be heard.
Stop frivolously taking 90 million dollars from companies who you feel did you wrong. It is not google's fault, it is not any ad agencies fault that people are out there trying to get as much as they can from programs that are provided.
If you really want to stop click fraud, change to buy through type advertising. I am sure you will find it to be much easier to get people to buy from your website.

How to turn on your female computer.

Your computer is never comfortable performing for you without a good
support system. The computer must have excellent relationships, feel
completely connected to her higher power, and have various friends and
companions. One sad relationship can cause your computer to give you the
cold shoulder and keep her from turning on. A computer who has all of
her needs met will have the most success becoming turned on.
Let's assume that your computer's Psyche is intact, she is not suffering
from Alzheimer's disease, has not contracted any arterial weaknesses,
and that she has no other ailments which will cause her to display
erratic nor distressed behavior.
First one must insure that the life line connecting the computer to its
higher power completely penetrates both wall and computer deeply. Then
one must verify the remaining life lines assuring each is correctly
thrust into its proper hole.
Once you have confirmed your computer is well connected and maintains
the necessary relationships, you will notice a little button in the
front and you may notice a flipper on its rear. Turning on your computer
requires dexterity, stamina, and a wicked finger. If one has correctly
positioned the flipper and diddles with the button long enough and with
enough pressure, it will cause sparks to fly in her digital brain.
Sparks in your computers brain makes her very happy and causes her to
purr. This purr is usually followed by heavy breathing from at least one
end of the computer. As the computer becomes happier, its breath becomes
warmer. I digress.
It is at this point one must assure a complete connection and flow of
honest and open communication to all of your computers companions. Many
of these also has either a flipper or a button that must be positioned
properly in order for communication to occur.
Within seconds of all of your computers needs being met you will notice
that your computer is on. It is at that moment you realize your computer
is turned on.

The Television Destroys...Life

I have for years worried about what television does to people. I have a concern that the T.V. is reducing our ability to interact with the real world. Too many people get sucked into the television and reduce their overall life to becoming obese. I worry about my own use of the computer in the same way. Our grandparents did not spent so much time just sitting in one place for hours.
It is very interesting how the television's quality of intertainment has dropped so considerably that the Muslims throw out TV.

I agree with the gentleman who states quite plainly that Television Reduces usefulness of life
So maybe just maybe it is Time to turn off the tube?

The Type Z guide to success.

Steve Pavlina Interview Marc Allen, wow what a treat... The only thing I see wrong with it is that it is an oversimplified world view. Sure, we all would love to believe that it is as simple as Marc Allen and the others try to make it sound. But, the fact is they are in the business of making us buy their books, tapes and other materials. Thanks for the Article Steve. But, the new book of ZZZs will not be on my recommended list.

Rising Gas Prices, Public Transportation is Key.

So what are you going to do to reduce your consumption? How are you going to make sure that the new pricies in gasoline do not cause you to go insolvent?
There was transportation before the automobile and there will be after it is gone. The world would be a much cleaner place if the mobility was decreased. If you used your bicycle to go to your place of work, or walked to the grocery. If the public transportation in the U.S. was adequate it would be an option.
In my location travel by bus or other public transporation is prohibitive. The nearest bus line to my house is one block and runs twice a day. The next nearest is 3 miles. It also only runs evening and morning, and is not overly helpful to get to places that are just south. For me to go 10 miles south using the local bus service requires that I go a total of 60 miles on the bus. It is also necessary for me to leave in the morning to get there by 6pm. Welcome to the state of public transporation in Minneapolis. In fact, I have gone to to look up trips more than you can imagine, and the answer I always get is that the trip is not possible.
MTC Restructuring Upper Northwest this project looks promising, but will not be implemented until 2007.
Ride Share...
Metro Commuter Services
Craigs List Minneapolis
Car Pool World

Twin Cities Bicycling Club
Although Minneapolis has a bicycle freeway that runs about 9 miles, one cannot use a motorized bicycle (moped) on that or any other bicycle trail. And legally no bicycle can be used on the highways moped or fully pedalled bike. There is a great deal of support for bicycling in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In fact, Minneapolis was thrid for bicycling in the nation. This map will give you a good idea of the terrain in the Hennepin County, it is the plans as of 2003. To get the current maps look at the maps on this page.
Currently my wife works 22 miles from our home, 28 miles via bicycle trails. Following the bicycle Maps it will take her over an hour each day to get to work. Interestingly enough, if it were not that she would be travelling at night, I might actually recommend that she make the commitment to do this, she would get to work in about the same amount of time as it currently takes to drive her morning commute.
I frequently go between 60 and 100 miles to work. I work througout the Twin Cities on customer sites. I have not found a decent alternative to driving.

Work at home...
It seems like everywhere you look on the internet you are barraded by offers to work at home. However, FTC warnings about fraud abound.
Even those of us who own homebased businesses still need to visit our clients on site. This is especially true in the technology sector. I find that I can do a lot of work for people from my home, but that it requires onsite time in order to support hardware, and people's egos.
Of course, if one is making a ton of money none of this really matters, unles one believes as I do that we should work toward a more sustainable society.

Personal Rapid Transit...
Is it a pipe dream? The costs of building a Personal Rapid transit that carries 2-4 people is much cheaper than the costs of building Light Rail Transit. It also provides for much more frequent transports. One of the items I complain about most in the current Twin Cities Transits.


Rising Gas Prices.

Welcome to what may be the end of the automobile, NOT. There has been a false cieling to the top of gas prices in the United States for many years. The gas prices are going to continue to rise for a while. I do not like the situation, but it is one thing that we all have to live with. Mark Cuban has written a good article that approaches the gas price issue from the angle of stock trading being the culprit in the overall scheme of why gas prices are so high. I think he has a very strong point, but I do not think it is the only pont. Yes indeed speculation in the commodities markets affect pricing of just about everything in the U.S. But it is not the only factor.
I think that supply and demand and the belief of companies that they have us over a barrel is the primary reason that we will continue to see rising prices. The oil companies in the US are makeing a very high profit, and wish to make sure that profit is increased as expiditiously as possible.
Am I missing something?

Friday, April 21, 2006

My Space causing parents worry. is a very cool tool for you to post and get involved. A MySpace profile is almost as powerful as a blog because you can create a community who knows and cares what you are thinking about. The problem with MySpace is that your child can post anything and everything.

I have been pretty excited about MySpace for a while. One afternoon, I was at a friend of mine's home and was showing him my profile. He decided to search for anyone in his family that he might know who was using MySpace. I suggested he search first for his last name. We were completely surprised to see that the second picture staring back at him was his 12 year old daughter. She had posted many pictures of herself. She had also posted her school information, address and phone number. She was recognizable, easily located, and reachable. Jeff was frightened and amazed.
MySpace Terms page states that to have a profile one must be at least 14 years old. this page also has a large recommendation of items not to post.

My preferred way of searching for your child's MySpace profile is as follows:
1. Ask your child to show you their my space account
2 Ask your child for all of their email and blog accounts.
Most children will give them to you if they have them. However, if your child acts somewhat secretive about the whole thing get them to at least give you their email addresses. If they are using computers everyday they probably do not have just one.
Next goto and click the toggle button search MySpace, but leave it blank. You will get the MySpace search page. In the find friend dialog put in their email address one at a time and click the search button.

If you want to find where else they have been posting you can try googling their email addresses. Probably the fastest way to do this is to put OR OR
into the google search bar and Click search. If nothing comes up in the web search, switch the view to the groups search. One of the email addresses that I use for work I use only for posting to newsgroups to get information and to help others. I tried googling myself and came up with no web hits, but about 2000 hits in the newsgroups.
Currently, there is no centralized location that has all of the information about where your child might be on the internet, except your child.
Keeping your child safe on the internet requires just a couple of common sense rules.
1. Educate yourself on how to do things on the web. Get your children to teach you! Sure you know how to use a computer, but not the way they do. Tell them you want to start a blog and get them to help. Tell them you are interested in creating a MySpace account and don't know how to do it.
2. Remove the internet connections from your children's bedrooms. Keep the internet public.
3. Be involved in what your children do. Be interested.
4. Teach your children information not to post online.
Avoid posting any personally identifiable information (such as social security number, credit card number, name, address, telephone number, driver's license number, birth date, passwords, etc.) online. This information can easily be used for illegal or harmful purposes.

Children should not post images of themselves, school records, or any other identifying information because it could be used in a harmful manner.

5. Check your children's activity on the computer.
6. Instruct your child to never meet someone offline and if they insist that they want to meet someone offline, that they bring you along. I think it is still a bad idea to meet offline for children even if the parents are in attendance, but... that is for you to decide.

The internet is a great place, but there are dangers. Use common sense and you and your children will be safe.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Hipster PDA Pouch.

DIY Planner has put up a pretty neat cover for the Hpda. You should check it out at New Hpda cover. For those of you who are not aware of the Hipster. It is an return to low tech by some very high tech people. Basically get a stack of index cards. And start writing. But you can also trick it out to make it one of the coolest things ever. If you are tired of spending several hundred dollars on planning devices and productivity gadgets that do not work for you or are too strict in how to get things done you should check this out. Hipster PDA . A lot of the work centers around the work of David Allen. It seems as though people who have embraced the Getting Things Done mantra a a bit religious about it. I mean they are really zealots. I myself do find merit in his work, but find it very difficult for me to implement. One of the really cool things that I have seen lately though for Getting Things Done is the GTDtidlywiki. It is great to be able to print 3x5 cards directly out of this tool. There are so many uses for a tool like this. One thing that really confused me was the implementation of 43 folders concept. It does not appear if you use the GTDtidlywiki you will have the information stored for dates show up when you want start the wiki, maybe this is something they can do in the future. It is built on the concept of the TiddlyWiki project which is some of the coolest code I have seen in a long time. I wish I had run accross this one sooner. I mean think of it a completely contained Web Journal you carry around with you on a flash drive. Genius. I have been looking for similar projects to the tiddly wiki that are server side content. There is just so much you can do with a website that you can transfer at the need of time. I mean portability of web hosts is a really cool thing.

Cool Illustration of Miscommunication

Cartoons as a soap box have been around and online for years. Scott "Jerry" Lawrence has this really cool cartoon about life inside the computer. While reading this series I came accross one that has much to say on many different levels. Please look at the cartoon and come back. Different Goals is a cartoon about how easy it is to miscommunicate what we are thrying to achieve to others. Indy is sure that he has communicated clearly and precisely to (I think it is) Jerry. But alas the most beautiful thing in the world is different for all of us. There is not just one thing that is the most beautiful thing in the world. So it often is in business and in our personal lives. We do not take the time to eschew obfuscation. That is, we do not take it upon ourselves to think and speak clearly. It is time well spent to determine exactly what you need to say and why. However, many time it is much easier to lob ambiguity and trust that it has been well recieved. Some steps for better communication are:
1. Be clear yourself what you want the other person to understand.
There is a great difference between:
""Would you like to go to lunch sometime" and "I am hungry, would you like to go get some lunch at Tastee Freeze, now?". It seems that people who want my time will often throw it at me and expect me to catch their meaning. I am not sure how many times I have missed lunch with people at the office and so forth because they will offer lunch or coffee and not be specific that they are thinking of going right now. Tell it like it is and be direct. It is much easier to get what you want that way.
2. Paraphrase what you believe you have heard the other to have said.
"Peanut Butter?"
"Do you really want me to dip my banana popsicle in peanut butter?"
"No, I was wondering if you wanted a peanut butter sandwich with honey?"
3. Describe completely that which you are trying to convey:
The message conveyed by the sentence "I don't want a popsicle." is much different than "I cannot eat that melted green and blue popsicle, do you have a frozen banana one?". Yet often my wife will give me the first message. Then go to the freezer and get exactly what she had told me she did not want. This is ambiguity, not to mention that it sends the message that what I get for her is not good enough.
4. Let your no's mean no and your yesses mean yes. One risk in communication is when dealing with people who will not tell you what they want waht they really really want. This leads to many people getting the wrong message and can lead to places people really do not want to be.
5. Eat more popsicles, please.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What's that on a stick.

Ever been to the state fair in Minnesota? The have everything you might want on a stick. There a pickles on a stick. Pork Chops on a stick. Pizza, can you believe it, on a stick. Apples on a stick. Spagetti on a stick. Several other forms of pasta on a stick. I guess you get the picture by now. All forms of food can be made into a treat on a stick. Well, I am currently working on a President on a stick. This will be a delectable item and will prove finally once and for all that even the president is on a stick... mmmm not so good.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Windows Mobile 5 causes weirdness when email is deleted on pop3 server.

Today Learned a very uncool thing. When using the builtin email
client on a windows mobile 5 device. It assumes that you do not want
email if another pop3 client comes along and deletes it. Configure
your outlook to not delete email for a certain number of days and your
email will stay as you would like it to stay.

This is definately a terrible way to build an email client. It has
caused great confusion for many users.

The humble popsicle.

Have you ever noticed that with all the wonderful new innovations in the world that the popsicle has not yet taken on a geekness about it. No one has hacked the popsicle. Sure we have a fudgesicle, and sure there are those star pops. But all of that innovation and taste really stopped changing several... eons ago. Well I am here to tell you that popsicles need a new face. Frozen treats will never be the same. Sure there is flavor, but there is also coolness of design.
There are those pops in a bag that litter the swimming pool side. There are the one and two stick variety all in a straight line with nothing too exciting about them. Where is the wonder the amazement of it all. How about a frozen treat with the head of Herman Munster? How about a Penguin Pop? There are many other varieties to choose from, but do we ever get such innovation at the grocers freezer? Nah, we get Neapolitan eggs. We buy Kemps fruit and yougurt in the same old familiar flattened cylindar. Something has got to change. We have got to standup for the frozen treat. We need a shape and a flavor that makes our senses remember just how novel a popsicle was when we were kids. I am talking about an ice sculpture on a stick with pizzaz. Think about it a whole new Geeksicle for your joy and entertainment. New shapes and sizes arriving monthly.