The Naked Green

2005.4.27 Wednesday

Googlebot Art

Filed under: News — Mr. Green @ 6.55 pm

Who says a data center can’t have some inspiring artwork? Ben Rathbone, a Google employee at a new data center (undisclosed location, of course), was asked to draw a mural on the wall for some visual stimulation. The result is actually pretty cool and displays the googlebot’s global domination. :)

The permalink is not working, so just go to Google’s blog for now.

2005.4.20 Wednesday

Life Trickles By

Filed under: News, Personal, Work — Mr. Green @ 9.11 pm

It’s when life gets busy and full of things to talk about that the blogging slows to a trickle. It’s sad that the best amateur writing is about the most boring things because there’s so much time to embellish. You have to have some pretty good material to make it interesting without embellishment and even that takes talent and time. I digress.

It’s official! Green Light Works, my business, now has a website and I’ve been littering the town with business cards. This is the time to try making money out of a hobby I love: web design. You laugh? Well, it’s also a time to help my Dad out with his flooring business. Add in a math class to meet the criteria for an electrician apprenticeship and you start to get the idea: I’m busy and my mind is working faster than it likes to. Emotions are…well…emotional.

I’m not at all saying that my life is somehow unbearable or “too busy”. Others work hard for that title and I have no intention of taking it away. There is a lot going on in my life for me personally, though. More than the volume, it’s the alien feeling I get doing such crazy things. I mean, living the “American Dream”…who would have thought?

2005.2.21 Monday

New Blog with WordPress 1.5

Filed under: Blog Publishing, News — Mr. Green @ 10.37 am

I’m a little late, but I noticed yesterday that WordPress 1.5 has been officially released. Unfortunately, I won’t have time to update my blog for a little while. There is a new blogger in the blogosphere since yesterday running 1.5, though. Jamie and I gave my brother his own domain, blog and hosting yesterday for his birthday. It’s at Stevish.com where there is sure to be some great witty humor and profound thoughts to come.

In setting up his blog, I got to play around with the new WordPress some and it is cool. It will take some getting used to as a lot has changed. I would say much of the change is for the better with brand new goodies such as Themes, SPAM spam and comment controls, a user system, a “dashboard”, static pages and better plugin support. I was surprised that the installation was actually easier and smaller than 1.2! Is that even possible?

I was sold on WordPress from my first research spree and have not found anything that’s more appealing since. It just got better and I’m excited to download it and play! Good programming like this is what makes it hard to stay on task…which is what I’ll try to do now.

Have fun playing with your new toy, Stephen!

2005.2.17 Thursday

Tulsa World Losing

Filed under: News — Mr. Green @ 9.59 am

The saga continues and Michael Bates has more about Tulsa Whirled’s utter stupidity on his blog. Tulsa World has a confusing web editor, a wacky owner and even bullies web hosts. What I can’t get over is the continual stupidity. You would think they would just cut their losses and go back to “reporting news” not making it. Instead, Robert Lorton, the president of Tulsa World, spoke to ktul, Oklahoma’s News Channel 8 about some PDF nonsense.

Tulsa World’s policy is that you may only copy an article with their permission, and you have to copy the entire article. Apparently you can link to their website, but too many people are doing it and they want it to stop…right now! I think they need to figure out what their policy is, realize what century it is and just shut up.

2005.2.16 Wednesday

Media Mafia

Filed under: News — Mr. Green @ 2.07 pm

Michael of BatesLine has been sent a “nasty-gram” by a local newspaper called Tulsa Whirled (I mean, World) to stop quoting their articles or linking to their website or get sued. He happens to be “the opposition” of many of their apparently opinionated articles and occasionally mentions his disagreements with full credit to their stupidity and a complimentary link to their website. Michael says:

… The threat is empty, an attempt at using intimidation to silence my criticism of their editorials and news coverage.

Why would a big ol’ daily paper, with over 100,000 daily circulation, send a nastygram like this to someone who gets about 1,000 visits a day? And why now? Here’s a little background, especially for you out-of-towners:
–more–

That they are stupid I take for granted based on their lengthy “cease and desist” letter that Michael received stating their “demand that you immediately remove any Tulsa World material from your website, to include unauthorized links to our website”. What they hoped to accomplish by their bullying of a local “insignificant” objector I don’t know, but they have gained the blogosphere’s scorn and derision and have given Tulsa World’s foe a much larger audience.

It does bring up an interesting point about copyrights, though. I remember some talk related to the Napster saga that spoke of linking as possible copyright infringement. The reasoning behind it was that by viewing a web page, you are essentially copying it to your hard drive. Thus in linking to it, you are aiding and encouraging copyright infringement. Of course that reasoning doesn’t really mean much seeing as that’s what the internet is and how it functions. Apparently, that’s what a Federal Judge, Harry L. Hupp, decided: Hypertext Linking does not violate Copyright
. Michael notes this as he comments on another Tulsa World attack over linking rights.

For my obligatory quote of the newspaper, I turn to Tulsa Whirled’s Copyright Statement where they inform us that we may not “display or store any part of its Material for purposes other than the User’s personal, noncommercial use.” They said it themselves! It’s not copyright infringement if used as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research” as stated in Section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use of Title 17 of the United States Code. Of course there is limits to “fair use”, but I think that this case is a clear case of MSM bullying.

Update:
With all the reading, I forgot where I got there from. Thanks to Eric at The Fire Ant Gazette!

2005.1.26 Wednesday

More Google Dominance

Filed under: News, Obsessions — Mr. Green @ 8.22 am

Right on the heels of Ben Goodger’s announcement, comes another from the Mozilla community. Darin posts a very short and cryptic message which amounts to the same thing as Ben’s: ‘Oh yeah, I’m working for Google (and Mozilla) too!’

If that’s not enough, Google just announced their beta Google Video Search. Contrary to the name, it’s actually to search recent television programs. I haven’t tried it yet, nor am I really interested in searching T.V. content, but it seems to be a good idea. Google: Good ideas, scary implications!

This news first noticed at: Glazblog and The Fire Ant Gazette.

2005.1.25 Tuesday

Yushchenko’s Inauguration Speech

Filed under: News — Mr. Green @ 10.49 am

Discoshaman tipped me off to a great English translation of Yushchenko’s speech. AussieGirl, at Ultima Thule has done some great translation work to bring us Yushchenko’s Inaugural Address and includes a translator’s note in a different post.

The speech is certainly quite moving! I mean I actually had tingles and stirrings in my heart! How often does that happen? Take some time to read this historical and monumental speech.

2005.1.24 Monday

Yushchenko REALLY Wins!

Filed under: News, Obsessions — Mr. Green @ 3.33 pm

It looks like it’s finally official…Victor Yushchenko was just inaugurated as president of Ukraine! All I have to say is, it’s about time! The Ukrainian people have spoken and they enforced their decision. One more point goes to democracy.

For pictures, celebration and news, I’ll refer you again to the bloggers I’ve been following:

2005.1.13 Thursday

Sticker goes Extinct

Filed under: News, Obsessions — Mr. Green @ 4.48 pm

From the MSNBC article, Judge nixes evolution textbook stickers:

Granted, the sticker put into science text books in Cobb County Atlanta are probably not on the top of the evolutionary chain. In my opinion, the same sort of message should have been evolved much further down the same line, but it was a good start. The idea was killed off by a federal judge last November. So, was it just a case of “natural selection”? I think it was just another example of the stupidity of evolution.

I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be judgmental, but this is absurd. Let’s put aside the long debate between the religion of evolution and others like Christianity. Let’s ignore for a minute what the intent of Jefferson’s “separation of church and state” was. This is what the sticker said:

…Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. The material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

This is what U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said:

…the sticker conveys an impermissible message of endorsement and tells some citizens that they are political outsiders while telling others they are political insiders

Excuse me? What is the sticker endorsing exactly? That evolution may not be true? That’s hardly an endorsement, in my opinion.

This, considering the fact that the sticker has nothing to do with religion, is just religious persecution:

“This is a great day for Cobb County students,” said attorney Michael Manely, who represented parents who brought the suit. “They’re going to be permitted to learn science unadulterated by religious dogma.”

Once again, I think that the sticker is not a big deal and really a poor attempt to set some things right, but the fact that people have gone out of their way to fight it tells you something. Merely calling into question the theory these people must hold on to so dearly to escape God, results in an outright attack on religion. This isn’t surprising to me, but it certainly is frustrating.

If you, my dear reader, believe in evolution, please tell me what you think. I really want to know how a majority of people out there can really think this is not absurd. I won’t flame you, I just really want to understand what’s going on.

Update (2005.01.14): Gervase Markham at Hacking for Christ has some more in-depth ideas and discussion on the evolving sticker. This is great stuff:

“Make no law respecting an establishment of religion” seems to have been replaced by the nebulous concept of “separation of Church and State”, which has then been broadened into “anything any government or state body does which is even concerned with religion is unconstitutional”, and then on to “anything any government, state or otherwise publicly-elected body does which might even be perceived as having something to do with religion is unconstitutional”.
–more–

Reading the many comments on the article has got me all riled up.

2004.12.28 Tuesday

Komarnitsky Scam

Filed under: News — Mr. Green @ 12.22 pm

Thanks to Jamie, my wife, for pointing me to the story of Alek Komarnitsky’s scam on CNN.com:

DENVER, Colorado (AP) — A man who boasted to reporters around the world that his Web site allowed strangers to turn his outdoor Christmas lights off and on admitted Monday it was an elaborate hoax designed, he said, to spread holiday cheer.

Alek Komarnitsky, a computer specialist, said he started the site two years ago to see if he could use computer tricks to make it look as if the thousands of lights adorning his house in Lafayette were blinking on command.

This year, he went even further: At one point, with a TV station helicopter hovering overhead, his wife was inside, turning the lights off and on herself.

The Web site was featured in numerous holiday stories, including one by The Associated Press, and Komarnitsky said he decided to announce his scam to The Wall Street Journal because it had gotten “a little out of hand.”

On his site, Komarnitsky explained how he used a series of still photographs of his house from three angles — with the lights either on or off, and with varying amounts of snow on the ground.

To make it seem even more real, he would sometimes add an image of a person or a car driving by in the Web cam “shot” looking at the lights. He would even add computer-generated low-flying planes because an airport was near his home.

When one television reporter came to view how the display worked, Komarnitsky said he responded that the Web cam was broken and he was waiting for a part to be delivered.

The AP picked up the story from a local newspaper and checked out the Web site but never visited the house.

Komarnitsky said some of his neighbors, who were quoted in news stories, were in on the scam. One allowed him to put a camera in a tree across the street.

“He put an extension cord that didn’t go anywhere,” said Marjie Hargrave, whose tree supported the camera.

Komarnitsky made money from advertisements posted on the site. He said it amounted to only “pennies” for each hit on the ads. He said he couldn’t disclose the amount because of a deal with Google.

Paul McLellan, general manager of Minneapolis-based ServiceLighting.com, which had an ad on the site, said Komarnitsky’s actions were unethical.

“Finding out he’s making a buck off of something that costs us a buck, it’s not very cool,” McLellan said.

A spokesman for Google declined comment until officials could look into the matter further.
–more–

Alek has updated his website to reflect that it is indeed Alek’s Christmas Lights Webcam HOAX. He tipped off The Wall Street Journal which then published High-Tech Holiday Light Display Draws Everyone But the Skeptics yesterday afternoon. Alek also includes his own version of “the truth” on his website.

Well I feel foolish and duped for doing my original report on the Komarnitsky’s house. I’ll admit, though, it was a good scam. Alek and company pulled it off well enough to fool the reporters. It seems like an innocent prank, but it will be interesting to see where this elaborate joke goes and whether it will cause more harm than “Christmas cheer”. People don’t like to be made fools of. I personally had a good laugh and am glad I now know the truth…or do I?

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