Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I have a chat room!

So, as part of my efforts it incorporate Google's Friend Connect service into my blog, I have added a chat room off to the side.  I don't know if it will be useful yet, but I hope that some people will see it, or at least try to talk to me when they visit my site.  It basically is just a way for people who happen to be visiting my blog at the same time, to talk to each other.  So, you can see if anyone else is currently reading my blog by peeking over at the right side, and looking at the Clackpoint gadget... I know, the name is really weird, but what are you going to do?

Anyway... that's it for now.

Later,

     SteveO

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm still on a rant about Google Voice!

So, I was reading this article by the New York Times about Google Voice's voicemail transcription feature and I have to agree the feature is pretty experimental.  If you click the link you can hear the original message and read the associated transcriptions that many people left in the author's voice mail inbox.  Some of them are sort of funny.

In my own experiences, I've finished setting up a station near my computer for answering the phone using a free online service for incoming calls.  Which means in the event that I were to travel to a foreign country like India or Australia, then I would be able to answer calls made to my Google Voice account's phone number.  Of coarse the neat thing about that is that I could do so without any long distance charges, however I would have to find a relatively good quality internet connection.  I'm sure that could prove difficult outside of major cities.

Some of the stuff I played around with this weekend were features like:

  • Call screening, which allows me to send someone directly to voicemail, then listen to the message, and even pick up if I determine it's someone I actually want to talk to.

  • Call Recording, which allows me to record a telephone conversation for future reference.

  • Temporary numbers, which is a feature that allows me to use my cell phone to any phone number as a temporary number.  Meaning, that I can use that number to modify account setting, and the phone will ring when my Google Voice number is called. (Like if I go stay at my parents' house, which is a notorious dead zone for all cell companies including Verizon, I can have their house phone ring when my Google Voice number is dialed.)

  • Call Transfer, which allows me to answer the phone on one phone service (like my VOIP account, cell phone, or a land line) then transfer the call to any other number I have registered with the service.  Including temporary numbers.

  • Contact groups, which allow me to choose which phones ring for each group of contact, which voicemail message each group hears, and even what time I accept calls from each contact.  So, if you have a company running off of your Google Voice account, then you can either send people directly to voice mail after 5PM, or only have the work phone ring when those people call.  I set it up so those annoying recruiters will go directly to voice mail and hear a message indicating that I am not seeking employment, but please leave a message.

  • Text messaging option, which allows me to send and receive text messages for free using my Google Voice number, but having them forwarded to my cell phone still uses a text plan.

  • Ring Schedule, which mean now, when you call me at work, you will go straight to voice mail.  Which is actually a good thing, because I can check the voice mail on my computer as soon as you are finished leaving it.  Then I can respond via email or text message immediately, or I can call you back at my next break.

     There is so much more that can be done with Google Voice, and the service is definitely changing the way I use my phone, and think about my phone number.  All I need now is one of two things: either a second Google Voice account that will allow me to port my existing cell phone number over and forward to my main Google Voice Account, or a way to link two phone numbers to my Google Voice account.

     My concern is that once my Verizon contract is over, I want to be able to get rid of the Verizon account, but still keep the phone number.  In other words, come on Google, you can do it!

So, what is my over all take on Google Voice?  Well, it's like when I switched from an AOL account that was liked to a specific paid subscription service that provides internet access, to my gmail account, which is a free service that isn't liked to the person I get my phone service from.

Anyway, that's all folks!

Later,

     SteveO

Friday, June 26, 2009

OGM I have Google Voice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't think even I realize how excited I am about this!

So, there is this thing I requested an invitation a couple of years ago for called grand central... at the time, Google purchased it. Now, Google renamed it Google Voice, and it is totally awesome!

I can do stuff like this:



and people can use it to call me, but I can screen the calls... so, it tells me who is calling, and I can send the call to voicemail and listen in as they leave a message, I could just let voicemail handle it, or if it is someone I never want to hear from, I can just block their number.

It also allows me to record phone calls that I make and receive... I have one number that is linked to me.  I can then have that number call any number I want it to call.

There is just so much I can do with it!

anyway... that's all for now.

Later,

     SteveO

I put chairs on tables... and more about Vyoom.

It is official... my webcam is back up, and I put chairs on tables. The proof will probably disappear after I go home tonight, but it's in the webcam right now.

So, after blogging about my webcam, then keeping my webcam off for a few days, I decided to try using my new webcam for the apartment cam. I suppose so far so good right? Anyway. I don't really like how narrow the view is from this webcam. Part of me really wishes I had set both of the cameras up side by side so I could compare, but maybe that will have to wait until the weekend.

Now for something completely different...
If I sent you an invitation to Vyoom via email, please use the email to join. That way I get 5,000 points for every person that joins. I only get 1,000 points when people use a link posted to my blog or twitter. FYI. I really want to get some sort of prize, but it looks like you have to use the network for a long time before you can actually get anything. So, yea, if more people join, then there will be an actual reason to use the service.

The thing with Vyoom is that it allows you to create a real time network between you and your friends. You post a comment on the "bulletin board" and people can see it right away. Right now I'm having conversations with just random people by watching the public board, and that has a lot of the twitter feel to it.

The other thing you can do is share your favorite hot spots, bookmarks, pictures, and files with people. Or you can share your plans with all your friends. Then you can invite people to join you... and some other stuff. The thing I like is that you don't get all those annoying facebook apps bugging you all the time to join so and so's mafia... or stuff like that. (which I'm really not interested in.)

Anyway, join! Just send me an email or something, and I'll invite you if I haven't already!

Later,

SteveO
It's

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I just joined Vyoom... you should too!

OK everyone, I want a 12MP DSLR camera... the problem is I need 10,000,000 points to get one. So, what I want you to do is to click this link here:


Join Vyoom and get 75,000 Bonus Points!


Then, sign up for a free account so I can get 5,000 points! Who knows, the social network might even be kinda cool.


Vyoom is designed to be a social network designed around a real-time engine. So, you should try it out. Besides, everyone knows you don't really enjoy a social network until all your friends are on it right?


anyway... you should join, and help me get my camera! I already have 75,000 points, which you get for joining, and why shouldn't you also be rewarded for using a social network right?


You could promote via email... twitter... facebook... myspace... orkut... any service at all, and get something cool for yourself out of it!


You get 75,000 points for joining.


up to 600 points for completing your profile...
500 points for listing a "dream item" form the list of stuff you can get from your points...
up to 1000 points for filling your wish list...




OK, now I have 85,000 points...


everything you do earns you points. Voicing your opinion about what your friends are doing. Posting comments... uploading pictures and files... posting your favorite places... reviewing places your friends post... and everything has privacy settings, so you can control what you share with everyone, or just your friends... or just privately.


In about ten minutes you can get 100,000 points... Plus, if you use social networks anyway, why not have them pay you for it right? If they make millions, you should make a few hundred shouldn't you?


anyway... check it out, and join the site! for me... please?


Join Vyoom and get 75,000 Bonus Points!

Later,


SteveO

The newest thing from Jib Jab...


Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!
So, in case you haven't seen it yet, the guys over at Jib Jab made this video that portrays Obama as a super hero.  I think the video is great!  The guys who made the video said they based the concept on people's expectations of Obama rather than Obama himself because they had to start writing it over 3 months ago.  The video has been in production sense then, and serves as a viral add for Jib Jab (who sells eCards that you can insert your face in.)

I always love the videos that jib jab makes, and in many situations they allow you to put your face in the video, but the production of this video surpasses anything jib jab has done before.

Anyway... there is something to keep you entertained.

Later,

     SteveO

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A new webcam...

So, I got this new webcam, and I like it... but it doesn't have as wide an angle as my old webcam had.  The two webcams I'm comparing are a logitec quickcam Communicator... and a Rosewill Black Gulf Webcam.

Both have  comparable resolution, however I think the Rosewill webcam is a little clearer.

Both are plug and play cameras that work with Windows and Linux... but the Microphone requires a separate driver in Windows for the Quickcam.  The Rosewill camera actually uses an 1/8" microphone jack... so yea... I have a really mixed opinion about that.

The button on the webcam works fine with both camera in Windows with the provided software.  However, in Linux you have to map the button to some sort of functionality manually... So if you actually want to use it (which I think it's a dumb feature) then Linux setup isn't for the faint of heart (or complete noobs.)

My final note regarding the webcams is on the focus method of each camera.  The Rosewill camera has a manual focus that  forces you to choose between taking a picture of what is really close, or what is far away... it doesn't do too well in the middle.  The logitech webcam has an autofocus that seems to do a really good job.

So over all, the big point with the Rosewill webcam is that it takes a very clear picture when you adjust the focus correctly, and it seems to work very well in a variety of lighting situations.  The Logitech camera doesn't take as clear of photos, but it has a wider angle lense,  autofocus, and uses the USB cable for video and sound.  I have to say over all, the Logitech Quickcam Communicator is an overall better camera in my opinion, unless the only thing you realy care about is having a high quality picture. 

anyway... there is a quick review of these two camera...

I know... I probably should have put this on the tech blog... oh well.  Too late now!

Later,

     SteveO

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Frizzlefry Blog: Now With Google Friend Connect!

So, I've heard a few times that people just don't like the way comments work on my blog... I guess I could imagine that... after all, there is just one line right before the adds between posts that prompts people to comment... however, now with Google friend connect, anyone can sign in and join by blog as long as they have a Google, AOL, Yahoo, OpenID, or other Open social enabled account.  This way you can become a reader of my blog using your existing online identity... I hear that Facebook and Myspace will jump on the bandwagon one of these days...  anyway.

I just wanted to let everyone know what the deal with that blue bar that I have added to the top of my page is all about.  You can use it to join my site to leave comments and other cool stuff like that.

anyway... Join me... become One of us!

Later,

     SteveO

The most boring day ever!

So, we're testing this stupid game that I don't think anyone will ever like, and the test we are doing just requires us to sit here, and watch the Xboxes to make sure they don't get any errors and exit out until the session is officially over.

   This leaves me here to sit and wait.  In the mean time, I was looking at other jobs.  I can't help it.  I don't like my job, so I am keeping my eye open for an opportunity to get out of this room... and just to let you know, it's a very cold room.  I wish I could go back to my job at Zune, which I loved so dearly, however I don't think it would look good for me to leave for a different contract.  Plus, it wouldn't get me anywhere.  Yet another reason I want to leave is that I am making less than half of the national average of what someone in my position should make.  At least according to several web sites that track pay rates for software positions... including the site that the Washington Unemployment Insurance Securities Department looks at to determine acceptable wages.

Anyway, it's just frustrating. All I want is a job that keeps me actively engaged.  When I think about what I have done at this job, I feel useless... anyway... it's just a boring day.

Oh, on a more positive note, I got the results from my Software Testing Certification Exam today... I think the results mean I got a 90 something %.  The numbers they gave me for the results were very high numbers, and I knew the passing percentage was 80%... so based on the number they listed as a passing percentage, I think I got one or two answers wrong on the exam, (which there were 40 questions... so estimating 2.5% per question... and the score I got should be about 95%... I think...  However, I don't know if some questions were weighted more than others.  So anyway... Yea, I have a Software Testing with Microsoft Technologies Certificate on my Resume now.

So, I guess the next certificate I will probably get will be a .NET development Certification from Bellevue College (previously Bellevue Community College.)  I say that because next time I'm unemployed, I'll know to apply right away so that I can get Unemployment to pay for me to go to school.


OK, I'll update again later.  With a little luck, I'll hear back from an employer about a full time position somewhere.

Later,

     SteveO

Friday, June 19, 2009

McAfee has an interesting Viral ad campain going.

So, it's called Stop H* Commerce.  I am pretty sure they made up the name H* Commerce, but the whole thing seems to be the story of this lady in Oregon who got scammed out of $400,000.  I have to say right off the bat that this is a fear campaign.  They are trying to scare people into buying software, and I think that's less than noble.  On the other hand, if you aren't gullible enough to give someone your bank account information, and then pay them money... then pay them repeatedly to transfer that same money from one bank account to another... then keep doing this over and over again, then you won't be scammed out of $400,000.

Anyway, the story is kind of interesting, and the next episode will be released on June 30th.  I recommend you watch it, but at the same time I hope you don't get scared by it and go buy the software.  Honestly the software isn't worth it.

Anyway... It's time for me to go home!

Later,

     SteveO

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Iran keeps holding the spotlight.

So, if you watch my shared feed (which is available a few ways: twitter via frizzlefryfeeds, facebook, My Google Shared Items, or wikidot.com) you may have noticed that I keep sharing posts about Iran. Which as a blogger I have to recognize the largest nation of bloggers on the planet.  Plus I need to express that I hope this whole revolution results in a system better than what came out of their last revolution.

Their struggle for freedom is one that they deserve to win.  Once the media ban is lifted, the Internet is opened back up, and cell phone service is restored, people won't have to smuggle videos over the border to get them out of the country.  It is also important to note that the volume of blogs being updated online has drastically dropped.

About half of Iran's 70,000,000 citizens are under the age of 25, and vocally oppose the Iranian government.  Because this crime is punishable by death, Iran has become the 3rd largest nation of bloggers.  In 2005 there were over 700,000 blogs created in Iran, and over 100,000 of them were actively maintained.  These blogs are the only safe place to talk about forbidden topics such as: politics, flirting, love, and arranging dates.

Taking the Internet from Iranians was a bad move by the Iranian government, because it took away the last freedom that this generation had.  The older generation was willing to accept the 1970 transition form one oppressive regime to another, however the younger generation won't stand for it (plus, you don't mess with Internet access!)

So, I wish the best for the Iranian citizens.  I feel your pain, and hope that your freedom is around the corner.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -- Mahatma Gandhi


Later,


     SteveO

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Call for Opinion!

So, I want to know what everyone thinks of the Wikidot site I'm working on. I want to know what you want to see on the site. Right now, it's my super-spam RSS feed, which has all of my activity from Hulu, Netflix, Wakoopa, Twitter, and my blogs all in one place.

Two days of work and class... it's getting harder!

     So, as you may imagine, it's getting harder to go to work, then leave and go to class.  Which makes me really happy that tomorrow is my last day!  However, I'll probably do this again some time. Anyway, yesterday's class was all about Math!  More specifically, the types of math that directly apply to software testing!  Things like mode, median, arithmetic mean, geometric mean, and harmonic mean for averaging test results...  Then there is the whole combination and permutation thing... then there is population and standard deviations... and then finally we went over pair... something.  I can't exactly remember what is was called, however it's a process used to generate the best coverage of application scenarios when you have too many scenarios to test.  I use it all the time when writing cases... I just can't remember what it's called.

     We also did a little bit about project management type stuff.  Like analyzing the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), and comparing the way Microsoft does things to the way a civil engineer would do things... (Waterfall method versus the Synchronize and Stabilize method... Microsoft does the Synchronize and Stabilize method.)  Anyway... it was kinda fun... and better than the first class.  Which is always a good sign. 

     So, then last night I got home and I was watching Hulu, and I found this awesome show!  It's called Design: e2. I watched a few episodes that talked about the benefits to green affordable housing projects in New York, a school in Tibet, adaptive reuse of land in the Netherlands, making a city pedestrian and public transit friendly in Columbia, the San Francisco Federal Building, and the Architecture 2030 project.

 (I chose to embed the Federal building because my cousin used to work there!)

     Anyway, it's a PBS series that I recommend you watch! It gives you ideas on how the building industry can make small changes that don't cost extra to significantly reduce the long term cost of the building as well as it's impact on the environment and energy consumption. So check it out!


Later,


     SteveO


Oh yea...  One more thing, I just want to say that I can't believe how many people don't know what a browser is... and further more, how many people don't know about Chrome!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Twitter is down...

In accordance with this list of 15 things to do when twitter is down... I am blogging that twitter is down.

First day of a new class.


So, I started this class yesterday, and I have to say I'm pretty happy with it.  It's a relatively inexpensive class, but the class is aimed specifically at working for Volt at Microsoft.  Which I have to admit, $100 for a certificate is pretty cheap.  The two major companies that issue international testing certificates charge $3,000 to $5,000 dollars every 3 years to maintain a certification.

Anyway, after going to the first day, I have to admit it is a little bit of a review from my last few years testing.  However it is reassuring to have someone tell me that all the things I figured out while working are actually true.  Plus it won't hurt to have a certificate from Volt to say I know how to test software.  After all, I haven't gone to a Volt interview and not gotten the job before.

I guess the content of the class itself is pretty straight forward.  Software testing isn't exactly rocket science, so most of the topics we talked about yesterday include defining test cases, limit testing, mutation testing, and code coverage.  All of which are terms that I've had to define in the past, but I never actually had somebody explain a textbook type of definition to me.

We continue today with math related stuff... mostly the parts of statistics that apply to software testing.  I'm sure I'll have more to say on the class between now and the end of the week.  So I'll call that an update.

Later,

     SteveO

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another weekend goes by.

So, this weekend I went down to Renton (as usual,) and I got a first hand look at the fire that The Picaroon has been actively blogging about for a few days now.  I have to say, I really do miss Renton, and if you read the last few posts she wrote, you can start to see why.  I mean come on, where else will your land lord help you relocate to a different building he happens to own because of a fire, or how often can you find a cheesecake shop and law office that are willing to help the cupcake shop bake and decorate cupcakes to make sure someone's wedding goes as planned?

It's a great town that actually has a community!  Unlike Redmond, where things are really nice and everything is high tech, but there is no sense of community.  I don't even know the people who live around me because I've never seen them outside!  I am positive that if I never went to the dog park, I wouldn't have any human interaction in my daily life!

Anyway... I guess I do miss living on the south end.  Even if I have to commute 3 hours a day...  well, I would rather get a job in that area than commute, but that hasn't happened yet.  I have to admit I have gotten used to the cushy Microsoft thing up here, and it is really hard for me to imagine working anywhere else.

So, the new week is upon me.  I have a certification class this week, which means I don't get to go home until 8 or 9 tonight.  Which I have mixed feelings about, but I'm sure that it will be nice to an additional piece of paper to show that I know what I'm doing.

Anyway... I also need to start posting picture up more often... because I hate the way my blog looks when it's just all text and no pictures.  I like picture.

Alright, that's a post.

Later,

     SteveO

Friday, June 12, 2009

About the Twitpocalypse.

So, I tweeted not that long ago about the Twitpolcalypse, which is the Earth Ending Event... well, not really.  It is actually this bug, where many people who didn't realize twitter was popular, decided to write desktop applications for twitter that use 32-bit signed integers as unique identifiers for people's Tweets.  This means that the maximum number of tweets that can be measured by twitter is 231 - 1... or 2,147,483,647... 2.1 billion.

Anyway, the Twitter API people said they were going to force the Twitpocalypse to happen today at about 2PM, but apparently that didn't happen for some reason, and the unique IDs are a bit lower today... and the real even won't happen until some time around noon tomorrow.  Anyway, as of right now, the count on Twitter is somewhere around 2,136,876,000... and it's going up at a rate of about 200 tweets per second.

In conclusion the end will only come for those who use poorly supported software, or those who don't update their well supported software.  Those of you who only use Twitter on the website have nothing to worry about... with the exception of a planned outage coming soon, but that's pretty normal anyway.  So, happy Tweeting, and make sure you are using good software for it!

Later,

     SteveO

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Going Digital Tomorrow!

It's a great day for technology loving people everywhere; TV goes all digital tomorrow!

I'm excited about the switch.  It means that broadcasters won't be broadcasting at half power any more, and I'll get HD FOX, PBS, CBS, and ABC!  As well as a bunch of other stations I don't watch very much.

Well, the word on the street about the whole digital conversion is that over 2 million people might not be ready...  Which I find funny... after the transition was delayed a year... then almost 6 months... meaning that the transition has been publicly discussed for over 2 years now.  I am sorry, but if you still haven't gone through all the trouble of asking the government to give you money to pay for a box (and you haven't gone to the store to buy one), then you probably don't need to watch TV tomorrow.

So, I guess it just goes to show it doesn't matter if you give people a decade warning for something like this (if you remember Clinton is the reason this is happening...)  not everyone will be ready... and then if you delay things for an extra year and a half, people still won't be ready.

Anyway, if you have an old TV, don't have a digital converter box, and you don't have cable, then I hope you don't watch TV, because tomorrow your TV will working.  FYI.

Later,

     SteveO

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Craziness on the web... and stuff.

So, I've started working on what I think may one day occupy imthefrizzlefry.com.  it's my Wikidot.com account, which while under construction is imthefrizzlefry.wikidot.com.  The main page is just The Frizzlefry Blog, then there are forums (that are very under-developed,) and I have a shared content page, which is all of my Google Reader Content.  I plan to eventually put a page for each one of my blogs on there, and then add I also hope to embed a Google Wave on to the main page, which means the main content of the site will be created by the visitors to the site in real time.

Pretty neat 'A'?

Anyway... more will come soon.

Later,

     SteveO

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Smart power outlets? Awesome!



So, I have to admit that this video does kinda seem like it's just promoting a product, but it's a totally awesome idea!

If you aren't there to use power, you can turn your outlets off!

Anyway... just some food for thought.

Later,

     SteveO

Monday, June 8, 2009

An Off-Grid type of Weekend... sort of.

So, this weekend I kinda faded off the radar.  No online activity (I guess I did spend a few hours editing a site on Wikidot, my phone was dead all weekend, and my webcam was down most of the time.  So where was I?

Well, I made my weekend commute to socialize with everyone in Renton.  It seems to have become a weekend tradition for me.  I spent all day on Saturday down there hanging around Jet City, borrowing Wifi from Common Ground Coffee and Cupcakes, and I even watched the last 2 minutes of the Stanley cup finals to watch the Penguins get Pawnd (owned or beaten in a mocking sense... the final score was 5 to 0) by the Red Wings at DC's Bar and Grill.

I was chatting with Norm (Peterson Finishes), Mary (Owner, Happy Delusions), Samantha (Director, Spotlight Dance School), (Owner, Tyranasourous Records - Comming Soon), and Mike (Co-Owner, Liberty Cafe)  when I realized that I was the only one at the table without my own business.  I felt so far behind the times, or maybe it was just that I was the youngest one at the table.  Anyway, it was fun to just talk about how the Down Town Renton (DTR) area is becoming a much better area to hang out lately.  Just the recently opened businesses include Liberty cafe, Happy Delusions, Common Ground Coffee, and soon to come Tyranasourous Records on one side of the street, and Cafe Lure, The Tapestry, Calico Cheesecake (relocated to 3rd), GHY Bicycles, and DC's Bar and grill on the other side.  As much as I hate to admit it, I sort of think the only thing holding DTR back is the Antique Mall... however that's just because I'm not too into antiques.  However most of the new businesses are owned by younger business owners, which I know increases the appeal for a more fun-loving youthful crowd to come spend money!

So, anyway... I spent Saturday in Renton, and stayed home on Sunday.  I watched some TV, cleaned up a little, and even got around to charging my phone.  Oh, and on a side note, I found out that my brother is coming into down in July, which it's really cool to find out he is really coming (not that I didn't have faith in him, but knowing the date makes everything more real.)

So, that's all for now.

Later,

     SteveO

Friday, June 5, 2009

No Webcam Today!

So, part of me knew it would happen.  Last night at around 9PM a burst of wind took out the power for my block.  It was funny, the power went out, and the first thing I thought about was that I don't have enough water in my emergency supply (1 Gallon) and I have put off getting a camping stove too long... Then I realized that the power would probably come back soon enough, but the last time I remember being in a power outage was in the summer of 2003 (or was it 2002... anyway...) and the power went out for the entire east coast for three days.

I figured my best bet would be to walk around the apartment complex.  Everyone was outside!  I think every single person in the entire complex that had a dog or a family was walking around the parking lots and park areas.  I met a ton of people that live fairly close to me, and I may even continue talking to a few of them.

Anyway, when I reached the far end of my apartment complex, I realized that the new section had power, and the street lamps were working on the far end.  I walked over to Redmond way and noticed that while the street lamps were working, the apartments across the street weren't getting power; the traffic light and street lamps near my end of the complex were not working, but I could see lights down the street at street lights, traffic signals, and store signs.

I knew it wasn't an emergency, but just in case, I shut down my computer, and disconnected my UPS (which provides "emergency" access to my internet connection and external Hard Drive (at least until I get a new external HDD that can run off of USB power.

Anyway... last night I had a good feeling that my DHCP table in my router was replaced after I turned my UPS back on, but I still put off checking that my IP and port forwarding settings were correct before going to work.  Then this morning I decided I would turn my webcam back on after I got to work today, but when I got to work, I discovered that my port forwarding settings don't match my IP...

so, long story short, I don't have remote access to my machine today.

So, there is an update.

Later,

     SteveO

Thursday, June 4, 2009

State of the Frizzlefry Blog - May 2009

So, Now that I have a whole year of data, I can go and compare my blog performance this year to last year!

What has happened in the past year?  Last year I only posted 6 times to my blog, but this year I posted 16 times, and I think it shows in the numbers!

I had 41% more viewers, 46% more page views, and 26% more new visitors!  Which are the key areas you need to have in order to maintain a successful blog.  Even though the totals for May suggest an average of about 7 visitors a day, I am still happy to see an improvement from the previous year.  I also noticed that my revenue from May was very low and I only made $.02, but hey, at least I'm breaking even 'A'!  (get it, I put in my two cents and ad sense paid me... anyway.)

Another good thing to note is that my bounce rate is down about 7%.  Which is reflected by the increase of 13% to the average time people spend on my site.

Referring sites, which now make up about 60% of my traffic are even  more important than ever, and a major change in the leading players has taken place!  Twitter is now my #1 referring site, which now contributes 4 times as many visitors and Ababsurdo.com (my previous #1 referring site.)   The bounce rate for twitter references is also 2% lower than Ababsurdo.com (hmm, do my friends like this stuff more than my family?)

Although the lowest bounce rates I get on my blog are from Blogger (68%) and my Google profile(72%).

The highest time on site numbers (which is 1:28) come from direct traffic (24% of my total traffic).  However, this category also has a 88% bounce rate, which leads me to believe my regular readers often visit the site, then leave because there is no new content.

So, I've learned that due to the type of blog this is, I need to continuously add content.  I reality that is still not true of the Frizzlefry Web Watch.

So, there is the State of the Frizzlefry Blog Address for this month.  I think I may just keep this up on a monthly basis.

Later,

     SteveO

It's hot! Plus look at this cool stuff Google is working on!

So, in case you don't live in Washington, it's getting hot outside!  All week it's been 80 degrees outside, and I am a little worried about Jaani all alone in the house.

So far, I've been able to leave all the windows and doors open during the night to cool off the apartment, and so far it hasn't gotten as hot in the apartment as it does outside, but I am still worried that it will get too hot for Jaani in the apartment (even with his bowl of water, which I fill every morning, and is gone by the time I get home.)

So, while I sit here in a heavily air-conditioned server room at a comfortable 65 degrees, Jaani is in danger of over heating in the apartment.

That aside, I think he will be OK, but I am definitely keeping an eye on him, and every once and a while I go home and check on him.

On another note... there are two technologies that I am sort of excited about: Google squared, and Google Wave.

Google Squared is currently live.  It's a service that combines Google Sets with Google's search results.  For example, you can type in US Presidents and the service returns a table of US Presidents.  However what makes it so much cooler than a normal Google search is that the results are very specific.  Each row has a president's name, picture, description, date of birth, place of birth, full name... and then you can add your own columns, as well as remove the default columns.

The same goes for the rows.  You can add and remove rows.  If you click on a cell in the table, then it displays the source of the information, as well as alternate sources or a link to search for more results using Google's normal search.

The second really cool thing I've been looking at lately is not live yet, but it's called Google Wave.  The cool thing about Google Wave is that it combines different services like email, chat, and Wiki.  I think in the video, they talk about Google Wave being what email would be if we created email today.

Imagine this, you open your Google Wave page and you see that there are several waves that you haven't read.  You click on the first one, and the title lets you know it is a traditional email, but you also see that the person who sent it to you is online, so when you open and read the email, you just start typing at the bottom of the email, and the person who sent you the message instantly can see you are typing them a message.  When they click on the message, they can watch you type in real time; almost character for character the recipient watches you write your reply, and you continue a full conversation with the person who sent you the original email.  You have now attached a chat conversation to the end of the email, and the best part is that all you did is click on the message and start typing.

The title of the second message in your wave indicates that it is a direct message from someone on Twitter, and you can reply to that message on Twitter the same way you would write an email or instant message.

The next message is a wave.  You and a dozen or so of your friends are all included in an ongoing conversation about what types of weekend activities are going on.  With this conversation, people are sending out polls for ideas, that give each user a button to indicate if they like the idea or not, and everyone is changing their mind about what they want to do each week.  You invite a new friend to the conversation, who hasn't seen that everyone has voted for or against each idea at least once over the past, but right now, they just see that nobody wants to see a movie or go to the club.  The new friend is able to replay the conversation from the beginning to see that everyone went to the club and saw a movie last weekend, and now nobody is in the mood for that.

It's a new technology that combines all the different services like email, chat, micro-blogging (like twitter), and social networks; it simplifies all the services by putting all of them in one place that doesn't require you to think about what service the person you are talking to is using.

Anyway... I've blabbed on for too long... just some food for thought.

Later,
     SteveO