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Tech in the country. Programming & Technology inovations.
This photo is from my recent trip to NYC. The foreground has the new
high line park.
In a quest to expand the content in some of my websites, I discovered the online marketplace for writers. Freelancers, many overseas, looking to make some money online find that writing articles for mere pennies is a quick fix. Publishers of sites, like me, that need content to fill out some websites pay for someone to write vast quantities of content. Here's my experience. Round 1: Ten 500 word articles for $50. The somewhat randomly selected author quickly turned over the assigned topics. My first reaction was: ugh. horrible. Poorly written. Obviously non native English, and somewhat useless content wise. I put it up online anyway and basically forgot about it for years. 2 years later, total profit: $100. Pretty good investment actually, though somewhat slow turn over. I might have spent my time better writing the articles myself, if only I didn't hate writing assignments. The most surprising statistic: they are the highest paying per CPM pages of all my sites! They pay 3 times per page view as other sites, but with little traffic. Round 2: Today I'm bringing in a few better writers, and hopefully they will get better placement. 2 years down the road, the marketplace has improved. I also have some deserted sites that need more content. Obviously, I'm hoping that the article writing project will scale up from the pennies a day volume it currently produces. So, would you write for a penny a word? Talk is cheap and online content is even cheaper.
Lunapic added a cool set of mosaic feature today. You can create a mosaic of your friends in a few clicks. You can use the LunaPic facebook app, or the twitter version right one the lunapic site. Upload a picture first, then type in your twitter id. It'll pull in all the profile icons of your twitter friends and create a cool mosaic!
I've updated my Banking security page with some new details on current security vulnerabilities and dumb security mistakes that top banking sites make. Included in this list is a 3 year old session bug in HSBC and XSS bugs in ING Direct and US Bank. It's really hard to believe that sites that must spend millions on security don't handle some of the most basic (and old) online security bugs.
This is very bad news on the advertising front. I've noticed in the past few weeks some of the most annoying audio ads with bells and whistles (literally) and revving car engines and all sorts of sounds. This was happening on some of the most reliable and non obtrusive ad sites like 'digg' and 'fark'. The reason for this is simple: The utter failure of Google to control their advertisers.
What what once a staple of "non annoying" ads, Google's Adsense program, has slowly decended into the pit of annoying, "auto play audio" ads and maybe worse. First they started as just a text ad program, then they moved to images, then to click to play video and rich media ads, and finally to third party, unvalidated, wild west style ads. While they attempt to keep the publishers in charge with "Advertiser Reviewing", the tools they offer are less than adequate to even identify which advertiser is problematic.
I hope that Google will fix this problem or they will be losing a lot more publishers. They need to let publishers have finer grain control of what is permissible, and they need to strictly enforce ALL ads going through the network. If not, what is auto play audio today, will be rouge sypware installs and pc hijacking tomorrow.
The Doppler effect can be used to measure the speed of a passing vehicle. I've seen reports of the police using this system instead of radar, as it's undetectable from the vehicle. Here is a pic of the FFT analysis of a passing train:
With my current favorite toy, the iphone, I've been seeing a lot of potential for great scientific applications with the combination of hardware embeded on board.
1. The accelerometer: This can be used measure movements of the phone. Graphing out or drawing these movements could have some very neat applications in 3d design and provide a quick view of moving objects.
2. The microphone: Lots of possibilities with audio processing and analysis. The guitar tuner is a great app already in the app store. Other possibilities could include Doppler analysis to track high speed objects.
3. The camera: like the wiimote, this has a uv capable imaging camera that could be used to track moving objects and specialized imagery. Adding things like live visual processing and shape analysis could be very interesting.
Johnny Lee has an impressive set of 'hacks' based on the standard Wimote. I've tried several of these and they are indeed quite impressive. See for yourself.
Since I've enjoyed his posts so much, and have had an overflow of ideas lately, I thought I'd start sharing some.
[ed note: This blog is switching from a promotional and sporadic news about David and his site to be a more of an outlet on creative ideas, inventions and observations in technology. This post is the inspiration for the change. I'm also looking for other contributers, so please email me if interested.]
With the upcoming transition to digital broadcast, many people mistakenly believe that they need to switch to digital cable from Comcast. You also probably don't have to buy a new tv. Here are some quick reasons why you should NOT switch to Comcast digital:
Thanks to all the sites that help my site (Mytheme photo editor, aka lunapic) become the number one site for searches on "photo editor", "photo editing" and "picture editor". My site out ranks what many consider better (yet harder to use) online and desktop photo editing programs. I continue to receive lots of emails every day, keep them coming: "At work and I needed something fast. Your's was the third online editor I tried. Love it and will keep coming back." "I LOVE IT" "I would just like to say, I love your photo animator. I just found it and it's awesome.'
asmallfoot.com details how you can create a smaller environmental footprint on this planet. It's only just begun, so stay tuned.
Get Rich Slowly is a good new blog I ran across. They seem to incorporate many of same ideas I try to tell people about money management and investing. They pointed me to a great list of financial resource links including the very important High Yield Online Savings accounts. They also have a good review of "The Secret" with it's Law of Attraction, along with frugal tips for managing life. Take a look.