Friday, January 29, 2010

It's 4:20 AM and my bathroom smells like popcorn

What an stupidly hilarious world I live in. Everything about my day has been of impeccable quality. When I rolled out of bed at the crack of noon and sauntered down to the radio station to interview a dude I was blasted with snow. It's like a blizzard outside again. Then I mailed some stuff and ate and then I played Call of Duty. I spent the remainder of the day playing call of duty. Then I played call of duty some more. I killed someone with a throwing knife, which basically completes my existence. Then we attempted to deal with a facebook mystery that appears to be ongoing. Then I ate two more times. One of them was at New York Pizza. It was greasy and stale. Then I played more Call of Duty. It's now 4:23 and I have absolutely nothing to show for my day except a rambling paragraph about how little I achieve on a day off. Tomorrow I have a class but I'm sure it can't be that bad. I'm getting a hair cut tomorrow too. I have a hair cut right now that's a mix between a shortened Charles Manson and Bill Murray. It needs to be lobbed off with a quickness. This blog entry seems pretty normal so far. Almost like a real blog! Like an online journal entry. Yeah... I learned in class last week (The one I'm going to tomorrow in fact) that blog is Log and something that starts with b or something combined. That's pretty cool so it's like I'm writing a ships log right now. RUNNING OUT OF MINI DONUTS! LOSING MORAL! 1 DAY REMAINS UNTIL WEEKEND! It's not apparent to me that I in fact have homework for said class tomorrow. This homework? Write a 2 page "disseration" on websites. 3 websites (of any kind) that we would like to share with the class that we find of significance. Without further ado, I'm going to slam my assignment like the fist of an angry god and hash it out right here on my blog. Here goes nothing. Spetznatz UAV online. I'm going to write 3 cool websites in a serious business style for class and guestimate it at 2 pages then paste it into word. Then the whole world can see the grand calibur of home work I'm doing these days. Seeing as we might want to share these websites with the class or something, I'm not going to list the chan'.

One site that I find remarkable is the newsite, Newsmap. The official URL is Newsmap organizes all of the news of the world, national news, political news, entertainment news, etc. into different colors on a grid in order of importance. For example, if a celebrity dies (in today's case JD Salinger) that will be on the largest squre of the entertainment section (which is indicated by a color index on the bottom of the screen). This is a VERY helpful tool for reading the news. You basically know what the largest story is immediatly in any given area and you get to focus in on it. So for someone like me, whose an entertainment journalist, I can simply look on a certain color and then I can check that I only want it to show the entertainment news. It will then enlarge that particularly colored section to fill the entire page by size order of importance again

*ADD time lapse*

Each colored square on newsmap is a link to another site where the news was posted, usually posted first. My one problem with the site is whoever writes or maintains the site sort of generalizes and decides for the masses which items of interest are the most important on the mainpage. For example, today's largest box is in the world's news section (the #1 world story always is) and it's on Obama and the health care reform. For those of us who frankly don't care about this issue and will probably not think about the effect it may have on us

*inserted for blog, I just dont give a shit about politics*

it's inconvienent to look at that way. I also see some redundancies sometimes on newsmap. There will be several articles linked to (and ranked according to importance) on the same topic. For example, during the Tiger Woods debacle, they had about the entire entertainment section based on singular conjections and pieces of evidence. Alot of the news that appears on this site is based on professional theory rather than hard fact. Currently, as of now being early Friday morning 2 days after the announcement of the Ipad, the consequences for the competitor Kindle, are being discussed in the largest panel and the side panels are also about Apple's current push for their newest device.
Like I said, this is a great site though and it's very useful for getting blurbs about news from every category in one place without a lot of scrolling, or any scrolling for that matter. All the links are right there and I've never had a broken link. The site is never slow. I think it's an ingenious creation because as a primarily visual learner,

*ADD Time lapse #2*

I really can break it down in terms of colorful links. Like I said though, my one problem with the site is the largely "chosen for you" facts and the news content appearing multiple times. I think in marketing the site they really chose to appeal to a strictly journalist crowd of writers looking for something quick to spark their leads or find them sources on a prominent issue, because the general public likes a few things not presnet here...more entertainment news, sports news and most of all picture content.

2. The second site I'm choosing to write down is encyclopedia dramatica. ED, as it is often called is 4chan's dictionary. Basically, the internet and the gamer communities over the past decade or so have been growing their own lanauge and abbreviations as well as inside jokes thare are only prominent in web communities. So if you see an offbeat youtube video that everyone is linking to or a dog head in the center of a rainbow while perusing pictures your friends posted on facebook (probably me) or something you saw on tumbler, chances are it came from one of the unholier sites on the web. Encyclopedia Dramatica is a guide to the "lolz". While the content is for the most part understandable, one fault of the site is that I think there's still a learning curb. For those unfamilar with the often juvenile and cruel sense of humor that the "internet" or at least its general populas has garnered ED can often seem like nonsense. Given that it's written by the opposite type of people as the type of people who would refer to it, I consider this sort of a sneaky trolling effort.

Most of the time, if I don't know what something means, I google it. When you google a "meme" or a particular item of internet fad humor, the first resource that comes up is encyclopedia dramatica. I think there's a certain acquired knowledge needed to even understand the definitions which are user-corrupted on encyclopedia dramatica. However, since the internet's "lexicon" draws from such obscure sources from a variety of websites, it would be more difficult to have actual users that provide meaningful content updates than it is on a site like wikipedia that's protected.

Wikis are generally, unopinionated and cold hard fact. Encylopedia Dramatica, is a corruption of a wiki. While informative, it's also a satire of itself and I find that brilliant. Hidden on the site are links specifically to pop ups and "land mines" for inexperienced users. (Basically don't click anything around the bottom of pages). Nothing seriously harmful is posted but nothing is held sacred either so don't be too shocked by the things you'll come across browing encylopedia dramatica. If you're looking to avoid the chaos of actually delving headfirst into the darker and most uncensored areas of the internet, but still grab the humor from those areas, ED is sort of like a best of the lolz compilation. For it to be truly user friendly sadly, it feels like you have to acquaint yourself with a desensitized mindset.

3. Gmail. I don't like email. I was never into email. I was never into sending mail period. The entire system of teachers emailing you and such was the only reason I was ever forced to use email. If I wanted to get in touch with a friend, I used a phone. Or I saw them in person. If someone says "Matt" I will turn my head slightly and say "what?" I had been against the idea of email entirely through the 90's and even past the turn of the century. About a year ago I started checking an email address I created to register for a site. I'm not sure how it happened but I think it might have been gmail's user friendly and well organized interface that really grew on me. Now one of the first things I check when I go online is my email, my gmail specifically.

It doesn't pop up a new mail item for an ongoing conversation. Instead, on gmail, you can simply see the number of replies in total back and forth on a message when a new one from that sender of that subject comes in and it will appear in bold font. The mesages are quick and easy to delete and the search feature is really a blessing for finding things that are lost. The contact list is automatically saved and appears on the side of mail box automatically as well. you don't have to add anyone to contacts and if you start typing one it will auto format it. Gmail also loads quickly with a separate loading bar embedded in its url so you know that if it's running slow, you can trouble shoot it without any delay. You can also change your background pictures on gmail to some pretty cool images. In short, I've never been much of an email guy at all but gmail has revolutionized the medium, much like its parent company google revolutionized the search engine format. I'm an avid fan and user of gmail now and it even has a pop up chat, similar to facebook and aim.

Holy shit I'm done. It's now 5:07. Sleep is for quitters. I'm going to go quit now.

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