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5 February, 2004

Make Money Chatting

This morning I posted a link to an amusing site called Blogs To Riches. If you liked that, you'll also like this one: Chat for a living!

The groundbreaking ebook "How to make money chatting instant messaging and blogging without getting naked" is a book that over 150 million people need to read! It is the first book of it's type to specifically target the chat, instant messaging and webcam communication vehicles to uncover the best ways to earn income from these powerful communication mediums.

Yep, now you don't even need a blog to become rich. Buy the book, and miracles will happen.

The chat-for-a-living program can have you earning income one hour from now. Become a chat for a living affiliate, chat this evening, earn money while you sleep tonight.

The main page for this site has only 23 exclamation points. But then again, the book costs only $29.99. I think the number of exclamation points is positively correlated with the price of the item.

Here's some great advice for those who don't even know what a chat room is:

Chat rooms are a great place to meet people and to have fun, so come on in and make yourself at home. The best way to make friends is to join a room that sounds interesting and check it out.

Then what? Start trying to con the chat participants out of their money? Or make them click some worthless link? Or join an affiliate program? I guess you'll just have to buy the book to discover the secret.

Posted on 5 February, 2004

RealPlayer Security Problem

Yet another reason to avoid RealPlayer. From CNET: RealPlayer flaws open PCs up to hijackers.

RealNetworks acknowledged on Wednesday that three flaws affecting different versions of its media player could allow attackers to create corrupt music or video files that, when played, take control of a victim's PC.

Right now there are probably thousands of hackers trying to figure out how to do this.

I have the free version installed (for use in absolute emergencies only), so I went here to learn how to update it. Of course I got a barrage of pop-up ads urging me to get the premium version. The setup was annoying, and it eventually crashed.

But I shouldn't be upset. After all, I agreed to this:

We cannot guarantee and do not warrant that the operation of any RealNetworks product will be error-free, uninterrupted or secure.

Man I hate that software! It's like they do everything they can to get unsuspecting users to click on something.

I guess it's time to check out the Real Alternative (scroll down to find it).

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Restoring Old Photos, Part 2

I did another photo restoration this morning (see earlier post). This picture was taken in 1955, and looks like a scene from The Little Rascals. I was three and my sister was four. A note on the back indicates that it was taken at 12th & Sidney (in St. Louis).

This photo is in very bad shape. It had been folded in three, and there are some stains on my sister's face -- either from age, or she was a very messy eater. And I have no idea what the wet spot on her pants is from. Fixing the crease marks was very easy. I added a sepia tint just for fun.

My sister's attending a conference in Newport Beach this week, and I'll be seeing her this weekend. I'll have to print a copy for her.

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Changes At The Washington Post

From The Washington Post: Post's Web Site Will Seek More Information on Visitors.

Washingtonpost.com already asks online readers for their age, gender and Zip code. Over the next four or five weeks, users will be asked for a job title, a description of their primary responsibility, the size of their company and the industry in which they work. Users will also have to provide an e-mail address and password to enter the site. Users who provide Zip codes in the Washington area will also have to give their home address.

Why? So they can target their ads to you.

My suggestion to anyone who is forced to go through this useless exercise: Provide fake information. Make it as fake as you can. If these morons realize that their data is worthless, maybe they'll stop this nonsense. Right now, they seem to think it's valuable.

"We do look at the data to see how many 90210 [Zip codes] are in there, but by and large we feel pretty confident that it's very good information," said Donald W. Marshall, a spokesman for the Washington Post online operation.

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Buying Silence

This is pretty funny: The Sound... Of Silence. It contains a playlist of eight songs available from iTunes. Each song consists only of silence -- and costs $0.99. Caution - three of them are labeled EXPLICIT.

To tell you the truth, while we're amused by the fact that Apple is charging 99 cents for a song full o' nothing, we're even more amused by the fact that said track contains the usual digital rights management code to prevent you from playing it on any unauthorized systems. And the most amusing thing of all, of course, is that the song has a thirty-second preview.

(via Boing Boing)

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Image Database

From the University of California, Berkeley: a searchable image collection. It's part of the Digital Library Project.

More than 80,000 digital images are available for online searching. The images are the basis for our computer vision research, and many of them are also linked to other datasets we have online. A variety of organizations and individuals have contributed photographs to CalPhotos.

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Blogs To Riches

Check out Jim Kukrals's new book: Blogs To Riches! From the book's Introduction:

Hard-cord bloggers maintained (and still do) that blogging is an art, and shouldn't be exploited into a business medium. To that I say, "Phhnt, Wrong!"

The battle cry being, "How can we make a buck with a blog?" It's happening right now! Money is being made by Bloggers!

This books was written for that purpose: To help you� understand how to make money with your blog.

I'm talking about getting the financial freedom you've always wanted!

The price? $67.00 $47.00 (limited time price, of course). It's an ebook, so it must be downloaded. But it's only 80 pages long.

Yep, Jim seems to be another one of those "internet marketing pros" in the same camp as Armand Morin. These guys seem to think the Internet exists for one purpose: to get rich quick.

Anyone who has an IQ above 70 will find the promotional site for Blogs To Riches extremely funny. It's like a bad infomercial on the Web. It has the free bonus offers (three of them), and of course there's a "personal" Money Back Guarantee. And, to generate some excitement, the page has 43 exclamation points!!! The only thing missing is a "Click Here If You're Still Uncertain" section.

You know, maybe it's a good book. But all of that worthless hype at his web site just cracks me up. How could anyone actually fall for that?

Surely, Jim must have a blog, right? Yes he does. He says he's been blogging since 2001 -- although the older content is available only through the Internet Archive. His blog is called Marketing Ideas Online. Maybe we can find a clue to some of his money-making secrets. Let's see... he has Google ads. Could that be the secret that's worth $67.00 $47.00? And he's also an Amazon affiliate. So that's two secrets.

Good luck, Jim! I hope you make a lot of money! There are probably some very gullible bloggers out there!

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Ashleigh Brilliant

I've never heard of him, but it seems that Ashleigh Brilliant has created a career based on one-liners, which he calls Pot Shots.

Update: As sama pointed out in a comment, Ashleigh Brilliant has another source of income: lawsuits. For example, Robert X. Cringely has this to say about him:

There is a chap, perhaps you know him, Ashleigh Brilliant, who has a nice little business going on with his aphoristic potshots, illustrated postcards and other creations. I should have said "litigious chap" because he's ready to sue at the utterance of one of his copyrighted sayings-and after all, he has trademarked "Brilliant Thoughts" and is ready to sue anyone who tries to outbrilliant Ashleigh.

From his website: "My copyrights have been tested in U.S. Federal Court, and found to be valid, subsisting, and enforceable. (Brilliant v. W.B. Productions Inc., U.S. District Court, Los Angeles, Civil Action #CV 79 1893-WMB. Judgment entered 10/22/1979. See also Richard W. Stim, Copyright Protection for Literary Phrases, in New Matter [Official Publication of the State Bar of California Intellectual Property Section] Vol. 14, No. 4, Winter 1989, pp. 7-12)."

An editor friend first told me about Brilliant's rabid (and successful) pursuit of copyright violations. All Brilliant had to do whenever he encountered one of his aphorisms used without permission was to write a letter to the publisher, citing the judgment in the above quotation, and demanding $500 in lieu of a lawsuit. Invariably the publisher paid off. A nice sideline. I had a vision of a gaggle of Brilliant bounty hunters who would track down violations for a cut of the take.

And this, from an article on opportunistic and anti-competitive intellectual property litigation:

Opportunistic copyright claims are also likely when both the plaintiff and the defendant base their work on something in the public domain.58 The chutzpah award in this field goes to Ashleigh Brilliant, who coined 7500 aphorisms and mounted more than a hundred successful copyright infringement suits.

Posted on 5 February, 2004

New Canoe University

When I first looked at the New Canoe University site, I just assumed that it was a parody. But I'm pretty sure it's for real.

This is the online university for those who need solid information, not a diploma. At New Canoe University you will find instruction in real-world skills that will enable you to start a business and begin earning extra money. Students at New Canoe have made the decision, just like you, to upgrade their lifestyles and have become empowered to take control of their earning potential.

They offer several courses that deal with success on eBay. But their most popular course is Body Bucks ($34.95):

Yes! You can earn up to $20,000 per year with your body! The Body Bucks course is the fastest and easiest way to start earning money by selling your renewables and by participating in medical studies.

Gain the advantages of knowing the steps to take in order to use your body to start raking in the cash.

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Cinema Redux

From Brendan Dawes: Cinema Redux. It...

...explores the idea of distilling a whole movie down into one single image. I built a little app in processing that takes a sample every second from a film and builds up an image for the entire film.

View some examples here.

Shown below is a depiction of a few minutes of "Taxi Driver."

(via Coudal Partners)

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Income Distribution

This is very cool: An interactive Income Distribution chart. Select a country, and then see an animation that shows how the income distribution has changed from 1970 through 2000.

You'll find lots of other great stuff at Gap Minder.

OUR VISION: Making sense of the world by having fun with statistics!

Everything produced by Gapminder is free of charge to download and distribute.

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Mindless Clicking

If you're in the mood for some mindless mouse clicking, go here. Each click adds a crudely-drawn item to some guy's face.

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Bush The Military Man

In case anyone is interested, from the Boston Globe: Bush's Guard service: What the record shows.

A detailed Globe examination of the records in 2000 unearthed official reports by Bush's Guard commanders that they had not seen him for a year. There was also no evidence that Bush had done part of his Guard service in Alabama, as he has claimed. Bush's Guard appointment, made possible by family connections, was cut short when Bush was allowed to leave his Houston Guard unit eight months early to attend Harvard Business School.

Posted on 5 February, 2004

Finger Light

This looks like it could be useful: The Finger Light.

A variety of LED colors as bright as anybody makes them. Fits on your finger and comes with an adapter for attaching to a pocket or glasses for hands free usage.

If you fish at night or are a nurse making rounds or a doctor, dentist, musician, map readers, cartographer, outdoor person, scout, boater, music DJ, knitter, mechanic, engineer...well, you see the lite. We even make an infrared version for night scope users.

Posted on 5 February, 2004