Stupid Lawsuits

This is the kind of crap that goes beyond frivolous lawsuits into something totally different:

Sarcastically, judge tosses KFC trans fat lawsuit

In my opinion, if you bring a stupid lawsuit like this – one so laughable that the judge just tosses it out – here is what should happen:

  • You pay all the legal fees of the defendant.
  • You are billed by the court for the cost of the courtroom, the judge, the bailiff, and anything else.

This decision would be up to the judge.  We don’t want every failed case to be penalized like this, but for unreasonable crap that wastes the time of the legal system and a lot of taxpayer money there should be a penalty.  Further, not everyone has the money to defend themselves from this kind of bullshit so there should definitely be a path to get your money back if you are a defendent in this type of crap.

Earth-like Planet: This Is Huge!

CNN article:  Scientists find most Earth-like planet yet

This is a huge deal.  Given how big the universe is and how little of it that we can actually see and we’ve already found an Earth-like planet.  We’re rapidly advancing the things we can see using more powerful telescopes and various other technologies and we’re seeing a lot more of the things around us in space.  This is a big deal.  I think there is a reasonable chance we see some strong indication of life on another planet in this century.  We might not get proof, but I think we’ll get close. 

This will change peoples perceptions of reality.  Right now, the idea of extra-terristerial life is so alien (excuse the pun) to most people that they don’t really consider it a real possibility.  I think even among the scientific community there is a high degree of skepticism.  I’ll admit to being skeptical, but I think given the size of our universe that it’s crazy to think that life has not developer elsewhere.  Discoveries will start to make the case for extra-terrestrial life very strong.  I never expected things to move this fast.  Finding an Earth-like habitable planet within out visual range is shocking and amazing.  Again taking the vastness of our universe and the little swath we can see and then finding this planet is, well, wow. 

I feel like I’m rambling now, so I’m going to stop…. but wow this is an amazing discovery.  The ramifications…

UPDATE:  Here is another cool article from Time – Life on the New Planet?

innertube update

Well I went back to the site, went to watch The Unit again and it offered to play from the beginning or resume.  I resumed.  It seemed to work.  Then right at the exciting conclusion – when the shooting starts – it plays a FREAKING PROMO REEL for THE SAME EPISODE I am trying to watch.  


innertube, CBS, and crappy video

I don’t watch much TV, maybe 4-5 different series.  Two of them, The Unit and Criminal Minds are on CBS.  In the last two weeks my CRAPPY POS Scientific Atlanta DVR has failed to record the last 10-20 minutes of the most recent The Unit and the last two Criminal Minds.  I suspect this is because it didn’t have enough space and it was two stupid to make space by deleting old crap.  So I went to the web in hopes of finding these episodes (legally).

Neither are available on iTunes, which if you’ve been reading I have recently been testing with AppleTV.  That would have been cool.  Becuase then I could have watched them.

So while Criminal Minds is strangely unavailable, CBS does offer the most recent episode of The Unit online through their video service, called Innertube.

I’ve now watched the “full episode” of last nights The Unit twice.  Except that the ENDING IS NOT FREAKING THERE.  WTF!  I mean making me watch it twice – well the commercial at least, you can fast foward through segments of the show, but not the commercials – is really annoying.  But how can they not have the ending?  If it is intentional it is the must consumer unfriendly, crappy thing ever.  I mean its not like I have some other way to see what happened.  If it is unintentional, which I hope is the case, someone is really idiotic.  FIX IT!  These guys wonder why YouTube is killing them.

This is not making me a fan of innertube or CBS.  Not that they care, but gah. 

Success and Blogging…. Spam?

I wrote a while back about wondering what defines success in blogging (post).   So I started getting a few spam posts.   Then I got more.   I assume this meant I was getting indexed somewhere, perhaps pretty favorably.  And then the spam just started getting out of hand.  I installed Akismet

Today I see:

Akismet has protected you from 918 spam comments.

918!  In a month or so.  (Can’t remember when exactly I installed it, so much for scientific tracking.)   Wow!  That’s crazy.  I guess that’s a partial indicator of success.

I recommend getting Akismet if you are you using WordPress.

Rewards for Being Dumb

Wow, this is the kind of stuff that scares the crap out of me:

Schumer calls for subprime bailout (New York Democrat wants funds to help subprime borrowers.)

What we should be doing:

  • Borrowers: If someone took one of these loans and they can’t pay, there should be a foreclosure. However, I’m all for allowing them some kind of class action against the shaded mortgage brokers and banks who gave them the loans. But really it should just make them whole and it shouldn’t come from other tax payers. The mechanisms for this already exist and I am sure there is no shortage of shady class action lawyers looking to jump on this bandwagon.
  • Lenders: The government should crack down on these clowns.

There are two principles near and dear to me at play:

  • Responsibility: If people are too stupid to read their loans or do some simple calculations they probably shouldn’t be buying a house. This country already lets people abdicate personal responsibility way too much. Buying a house is a big responsibility, people shouldn’t be rewarded for being stupid in the way they do it. It’s not fair to all the people who were. The problem is politician’s love to position themselves as “helping the little guy” when in fact they are just letting people shirk responsibility for being stupid.
  • Wasting Money: Anytime my tax dollars go to fix someone elses mistake IT PISSES ME OFF. What a waste, I don’t pay taxes to fix other people’s mistakes – I pay them for infrastructure, security, and advancement (ie: science, research, etc.). Of course our government pisses away a lot of money on stupid stuff. But this is really stupid. Let the system sort it out.

Schumer and everyone else behind this: Stop grandstanding and shut the fuck up unless you are going to actually do something reasonable to fix it.



Well I got my AppleTV.  Hooked it up, synched up, and turned it on.  I would say its interesting, but probably not ready for primetime.   If you just want to listen to iTunes stuff on your home theater… and maybe put pictures on your flatscreen, it’s probably good for that.

It would be much cooler if you could buy TV shows right from the couch, but you can’t.  You have to buy them on iTunes, wait for them to download (not much Apple can do about that I suppose), and then watch them. 

So I bought the pilot of a new show called Supernatural.  It had good reviews on iTunes and seemed interesting.  It took a while to download, it was 464mb, but I watched it eventually.  It seemed to be the right aspect ratio, but not HD.  So it was a little dark, but not too bad.  All-in-all a reasonable experience.

But not really a wow experience.  It wasn’t so cool that I’ve downloaded 10 more shows.  I did try to buy 1 or 2 other shows because my crappy Scientific Atlanta DVR (PIECE OF SHIT) decided to only recorded 53 minutes of several shows rather than the whole show.  I still can’t get over how bad that thing is.

Anyway, my recommendation on the AppleTV is to wait until version 2.

Unless you have an addiction to shiny new technology gadgets… but in that case you probably already bought one.

COPA, Porn, Kids, and the Internet

COPA:  Child Online Protection Act

Now I’ve felt for a long time that COPA is yet another example of misguided, stupid legislation coming from Washington.  It’s purpose is noble:  protection children from the Internet.  It’s purpose is also misguided.  How do we protect children from the Internet?  Well, in my opinion, you can’t easily do that at a macro level withouth pretty much breaking the Internet (the web specifically) as we know it.

As an entrepreneur I found COPA particularly annoying becuase it creates a substantial amount of overhead on anyone who is starting a site.  In theory you are supposed to verify someone is over 13 anytime they register.  Really, it is when you “collect personally identifiable information” I think, but since that includes an e-mail address (although everyone who knows the Internet is not made from TUBES knows that e-mail is hardly personally identifiable – any moron can get 100 e-mail address that are not remotely traceabe unless you work for the NSA or FBI).   That’s why all these stupid agreements ask if you are over 13.  Although some lawyers argued that wasn’t enough.

I once got a bill for $10k for COPA compliance work.  WTF.  We ended up ignoring 75% of what the lawyers said anyway because if we had one it no one would have every registered for the site.  So we did mimicked what Google did, which according to our major law firm was not enough.  I’m not going to kill my site because of legalese, but it did worry me a lot.

Thankfully it has been mostly beaten down:  Net porn ban faces another legal setback

I really like but this title really pisses me off.  COPA is a lot more than a porn ban, but I guess that doesn’t make a good headline. 

And NO my site was not a porn site.  COPA messes a lot more crap up than just porn sites.  It basically forces webmasters to maintain all sorts of checks to make sure kids don’t access the site.   Some of them are virtually impossible.   But of course no one in Congress thought this crap might make live difficult on web entrepreneurs.  Do it for the kids!  Keep your kids safe!

I’m not a parent, but I’m going to solve this problem for Congress.  Here is how you keep your kids safe from the Internet:

  1. Don’t let them have unsupervised access to the Internet!  (ZOMG, this might require parenting!)
  2. Assuming that is that is to inconvenient, install a filter.  You can buy a ton of good filters that will stop your kids from going to almost all inappropriate sites.  (ZOMG, this might cost $50 and require a parent to “install” something on their computer.)
  3. Assuming visiting bad sites is only part of the problem, you can also configure your router (which you almost certainly have) so that access to the outside world is only available during certain times.

Wow!  Three easy steps and your kids are safe!

Oh wait, parenting isn’t a requirement.  Soundbites are good.  We must protect the children.  What the hell.  Yet another example of the failure of personal responsibility / accountability in the United States.  Sad.

Anyway, I hope they don’t bring this albatross back.


Success and Blogging

I’m really not sure what success is in blogging.  I guess it is somewhat contextual.  Many blogs are probably cathartic and success is measured by how the blogger feels after righting.  Some are even more basic, diaries made public (or kept private), and offer similar psychological benefits.  Many are for friends and family – an easy way, ergo a place, to share goings on in words and pictures.  Still more likely find there basis in ego gratification and, therefore, presumably, numbers matter.  And some are for business or profit.

This one is primarily for business, with a dash of the friends and family component.  Many people ask me what I’m up to.  I have many irons in the fire right now:

  • A complete book, tenatively titled Accidental Gods, that I need to polish up and sell.
  • Plerts, a web 2.0 experiment that I will discuss soon.
  • And, number one on the agenda, Oxygen Games – my new game company

At the time of this writing those links go no where.  But they will, just like the projects.

Anyway, that wasn’t so much the point.  The point is, I’ve started this blog to cover those things and to discuss things I’m interested in which are usually relevant to the projects listed above.

What I can’t figure out is how successful I am right now.  Does 20 visits a day constitute a successful blog?  200?  2000?  200k?  Somewhere in there the blog could likely be monetized, but again, when?

Why am I asking?  Two reasons:

  1. I’m curious.  Both as a web entrepreneur and as a blogger I wonder what makes a blog successful in a business / traffic sense.  IE:  what qualitative metrics (probably measured in unique vistors or page views) must be achieved to be successful?  It’s hard to be successful when you don’t know what to target.  And since most blogs (not all) aren’t run as much like businesses as other sites, it’s hard to set goals, much less meet them.  I’m not out marketing this site and don’t really have any “value of a customer” model even remotely in mind.
  2. I’ve been getting a lot of spam comments recently.  That must mean something.  I’m sure there are bots posting blog spam now, but they have to be finding me somehow.  So maybe I’m a little successful in some way since I’m attracting these spam bots. 

Anyway, who knows.  I just wanted to air this.  It was carthartic.  Or something like that.  Anyway, any thoughts on metrics in non-spam comments would be appreciated.  I wonder what other bloggers see trafficwise or if they even track it.

So in the interest of openness here is the quick summary on my blog (as of this post 3/21):

I use Google Analytics and WordPress.  I’m getting 20-30 unique visitors a day right now, of which about 25-35% are repeat vistors.