After an application and review process, I’ve been selected as a new writer for theappleblog.com. I should be posting my first official post in the next couple of weeks. I’ll be sure to post a link to the story here, or even resyndicate it if I can.
And I guess I’m now officially a professional blogger. Fancy.
Of course, now that I’ve made it big, I have to start thinking about my image. Beginning next week, I’m doubling the subscription fees for sigpwned.com from Free to Free. So enjoy this last week of Free posts, because starting April 12 you’ll have to start paying nothing to get your SIGPWNED fix.
Sorry. That’s just the way us professionals roll. You understand.
The United States is in the midst of its worst recession since the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s, and arguably before that. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down almost 25% from its all-time high in October 2007 to $10,850. The NASDAQ is down about 15% from its all-time high from November 2007. But while seeing layoffs in this economic climate hasn’t been a surprise, the sheer number of them has. The unemployment rate has more than doubled since April 2008 to 9.7% as of the time of this writing (March 2010), and Forbes estimates the number of layoffs since November 2008 at the Fortune 500 alone to be 697,448. And the problem is likely worse than that due to “shadow layoffs” that aren’t reported.
But you know layoffs are a big deal when they spawn an Oscar nominated film starring George Clooney.
All right, everybody, it’s that time of year again: the end of a quarter! And so tonight I kick off what is destined to become one of my favorite traditions: the quarterly What I’ve Learned So Far.
I’m well prepared. It’s 10:15 now, and I’ve been priming myself with liquid courage (Dr. Loosen and Chateau San Michelle, two of my favorite Rieslings) since about 700p this evening. So prepare for some unusually candid moments here on SIGPWNED. The truth may not always be pretty, but it is usually hilarious. At least around here.
The point of these What I’ve Learned So Far posts is to reflect on things I’ve come to understand in the last 3 months of life and then write them down for posterity. (Or whoever’s reading, actually.) Some things will be funny, some things will be serious. I hope you find them all worth reading.
Now, we all know how much fun it is to declare things dead before they’re dead, but surely they’re not talking about Adobe Flash, right? Not the Flash that has been the go-to technology for complex animation, video, and games on the web since it was introduced in 1996. Not the Flash with gigs of impossible-to-replace user-generated content scattered across the Internet. Not the Flash that powers your favorite games, and your favorite animations, and your favorite webapps. Not the Flash used to build all that neat, goofy stuff we all love so much. Not the Flash that runs 30%-40% of the websites on the Net, including the websites of some of the world’s most influential organizations. Not the Flash being used to make some of the most important animation on TV right now. Not that Flash. They must be talking about some other Flash. Right? I mean, come on, let’s not be ridiculous.
Again, I don’t like to put a bunch of videos on my blog, but my last Neil deGrasse Tyson ( @neiltyson ) video got a lot of interest, so I thought I’d go ahead and post another. Besides, it’s Saturday. What else have you got to do?
On a panel back in September 2009, Neil deGrasse Tyson got the inevitable question: “Do you believe in UFOs and extraterrestrial visitors?” His response is, as you’d expect, awesome. The video’s about 10 minutes long, but stay with it. He gets on a roll talking about some really important issues like the argument from ignorance, the (poor) reliability of eyewitness testimony, and stealing ashtrays off spaceships:
Ask 100 CEOs of software companies if they want to ship software with bugs. What will they say? 50 won’t answer at all, saying something about how bugs are a huge problem in the industry that needs to be addressed; 40 will say “Of course not!” and promptly call their shark tank in preparation for a lawsuit; 9 will hang their heads and say “we can’t help it”; and that last 1 will look you straight in the eye and say “Absolutely.”
I have no idea what that last guy’s doing heading up a software company, because he studied economics.
I try not to post too many videos on my blog, but this one really caught my attention, and I want to share it. It’s Neil deGrasse Tyson spending 5 minutes of his February 2009 talk at Google answering a question about science and science adoption in the US. It’s incredibly insightful:
If you haven’t heard about it yet, Google (yes, that Google) is getting into the ISP business. Surprised? Well, that makes tons of us. At face value, this seems like an odd choice for a search company. Serving up the intarwebs isn’t obviously related to Google’s mission to index the whole world. But when you read about Google’s plan to build the next generation of webapps, its decision to enter the ISP arena is a no-brainer. Google needs a faster network to build what it wants to build, but it’s tired of waiting for the telecom industry to provide it, so Google’s going to roll out the network itself. (Honestly, if you want anything done…)
Anyway, the official name of the program is Big Gig, and you can read all about it on its official site. The high points are that Big Gig is going to roll out faster broadband to cities in America, but only a few, so the competition to draw Google’s attention is fierce. And the competition should be fierce. Google’s not just rolling out faster internet. Google’s rolling out gigabit internet. Let me say that one more time, just in case you weren’t paying attention: Google is rolling out Gigabit internet. That’s probably about 100-200 times faster than whatever connection you used to download this article.
Now are you listening?
When it first came out, I believed (like most people) that Twitter was a flash in the pan, and nothing but one more way for the Me Generation to get another attention fix. After listening to the WCG social media team in the InnovateTexas offices using and talking about it for a few months, though, I got curious and finally created an account.
Now that I’ve been using Twitter for a couple weeks, I’m going on the record: I was wrong.
The Creeps! has been one of my favorite iPhone games since I downloaded it about 6 months ago. I don’t play iPhone games a lot, but when I do I’m usually playing this one. (Toki Tori is another favorite.) Don’t let the crap website fool you (that’s your website, guys? seriously?) — this is a pretty sweet game. And it has a hidden bonus level.