Browsing the archives for the internet tag.

An ironic blog

Written on June 23, 2009 by
blog, memes

Since the first days of the internet abbreviations have been embraced and encouraged. I’m not sure how it got started, and because I’m refusing to do any real research on this I’m going to relay personal experiences and declare my words as fact.

Early on in the heyday of AOL, I (as a young lad of 10 or 11) would enter a chat room to foster relationships with complete strangers. Now the internet was young at this point and as you met people you would ask a lot of the same questions over and over again. This led to one of the most honored of chatting rituals: “ASL?”

ASL, for the uninitiated, stands for “age, sex, and location?” Nowadays you couldn’t trust that information to be factual in any way shape or form, but in an earlier time you knew that men were men, women were women and 14-year-olds that start conversations with complete strangers and provide way to much information were Chris Hansen. Ahh, it was a simpler time.

At any rate, the internet embraced the acronym. In fact, I remember playing a game known as Acrophobia, a game based around fitting words to random letters, and everyone getting excited when letters came up that internet acronyms already existed for. It became a key piece of the culture of the internet, to know this secret language.

One abreviation that borders on being a meme is “tl;dr”, or “too long; didn’t read”.

tldr

Undoubtedly, if you ever browse comments on news sites or blogs you’ve seen this acronym. Perhaps you’ve wondered what it means? Well I can definitively tell you it’s implied meaning is “the internet has made me too dumb/impatient to read something that can’t be compressed down to a 5 second sound byte.” But let’s break it down a bit further.

First, what qualifies as too long? Is it some defined word count? A number of sentences? Paragraphs? Is font size taken into account? I would like to argue that it is determined by a formula that depends on several variables. Let’s assume that the average person reads 250 words per minute (did that count as research?) and the average attention span is 15 minutes. Using this figure we could easily figure out how many words something would have to be before someone would consider it too long.

However, we’re talking about the internet. In the sub-culture that has formed within its incorporeal mass most people have been conditioned to receive instant gratification. Type a URL, see a website. Click a link, look at a funny picture of a cat (see above). Open the video attached to an email, hate Rick Astley just a little more. So with this spirit in mind let’s shorten that attention span to 5 minutes. (Also this brings us to the “didn’t read” portion of tl;dr, anyone who uses a contraction in an acronym while typing is clearly too busy for LIFE).

With all that in mind some simple math leads us to a 1,250 word article being too long, right? Wrong! Clearly we’ve forgotten to add in the variables that will shorten this even further. Here is a list of modifiers to the average word count that we’ve arrived at. For instance, if you are at work you multiply 1,250 by .25 to arrive at an acceptable word count of 312.5. Then take into account that you’re at work and on an hour long lunch break. So you have 1,250 multiplied by .25 plus 100 for a total of 412.5 words.

Multipliers
Working: .25
Actually Working: .1
Actually working and not lying about it: .01
Day off: .5 (you’ve still got better stuff to do!)
You’re a grammar nazi: 5 

Additions/Subtractions
(while working) taking a break: 25 words per every 15 minutes the break lasts
Tired: -100 words
Super tired: -500 words
Working on a paper for school: -1000

Sure it’s a lot of variables to deal with, but it’s math! And math doesn’t lie! It just gets slanted.

Feel free to add modifiers in the comments

–ringl

Shaw

tl;dr

1 Comment

Bonus! Off-day post

Written on February 20, 2009 by
eye catching

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

oneofthese

3 Comments

My podcasts

Written on February 19, 2009 by
blog

Here is a view into how I tick: my podcast list.

podcasts

For some reason I feel compelled to explain, so I will.

For those of you who ask where we can find stuff on the internet, with the Best of YouTube podcast, a good bit of it comes to me.

Dilbert Animated Cartoons I suscribed to only recently. They’re pretty much just daily Dilbert comics that have been animated. It’s not as good as the series, but still worth a chuckle.

Downloadable Content is a podcast in which two guys sit around and talk about video game news and write comics. It appeals to me because it combines two things I really love: playing video games and just sitting around chatting it up.

That next one is a little embarrassing… I’m just gonna move along and let Shaw formulate some jokes later.

The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack is a fantastic little find for any LOST fan. I recommend it highly. They post once on Thursdays and Mondays with Lost recaps, crackpot theories and a few other Lost oriented secments.

Old Jews Telling Jokes is a bit weird, but for some reason it stays in that list. It’s just elderly men and women telling jokes. Most podcasts are less than a minute long, and I think they only update once a week, but I don’t think I could unsubscribe from that one if I tried.

Olive Online is my church’s podcast of the Sunday morning and evening services. I really being able to go back and listen to stuff that either I’ve missed, or I can’t remember some point the speaker made. Also my mind tends to get stuck on one point while I’m actually there so I like being able to listen to the whole thing again.

Stuff You Should Know is a part of the “How Stuff Works” network and it’s got a lot of interesting tidbits. The newest episode is about how going over Niagra works. I’m kind of excited. I’d be more excited if it also had a tag line, “tips and tricks from the pros.”

Too Lost Guys is another LOST podcast. This one is a bit more bite-sized and only updates once a week, but it’s got a lot of charm to make up for it.

So those are what I’ve got, anyone else out there want to share podcasts they can’t live without? Comment it up!

–ringl

Shaw replied on February 21, 2009 at 4:47pm

Webcomics Weekly didn’t make your list?

-Shaw

Comments Off on My podcasts

High Five

Written on February 12, 2009 by
blog, informative

For our latest mission, Agent Lathan gave out 2,000 high fives by standing next to a subway escalator during the morning rush. Five additional agents spread out along the adjacent stairs, holding signs that prepared commuters for the upcoming high five fun. Enjoy the video first and then check out the mission report and photos below.

via High Five Escalator at Improv Everywhere.

Those of you on the interwebs who know me personally can attest to the fact that I am a man who loves high fives. I find the video above enlightening.

It is no secret that I’ve been busier of late. And I’ve been finding that my free time is a commodity that must be properly distributed. Unfortunately, that means those of you who have been waiting for me to post something new (my wife), are left hanging when I’m unable to get something up in time.

My solution is to work ahead a bit. What I am doing is setting up my updates ahead of time where I can, and when it’s my turn to throw something up I’ll have it set to update at noon on the expected day. If for some reason I’m behind, I’ll go ahead and take my lunch at Whataburger with free wifi access and get together what I can.

Love and Kisses
–ringl

Shaw replied on February 12, 2009 at 10:12 am

And in the mean time, Shaw slaves away, posting all the time and providing valuable content for our readers!

On a side note, I’m pretty sure we use the word “interweb” in every post now. I really hope that doesn’t become our “Superman” in Seinfeld.

-Shaw

Comments Off on High Five

RSS: What & Why?

Written on February 10, 2009 by
informative, technology

Out on the wild and untamed frontier of the interweb, many locales are vying for your attention. No doubt there are plenty of “regular stops” on your daily or weekly web safaris; websites that provide you with entertainment, news or time wasters.

But don’t you get tired of typing in those long convoluted web addresses like cnn.com? You might even have to put “h t t p colon forward slash forward slash w w w dot” in front of it! Or how about those websites that don’t update regularly, like when it’s Ringl’s turn to post here on Warptubes! (Hey-o!)

What if I told you that you could go to one place and get everything you wanted from all your favorite websites whenever new content was posted? My friends, the dream is a reality.

Most websites on the internet have something that we in the “biz” call a RSS Feed. What in the world is a RSS feed? Say you find a magazine in the grocery store that you really like. It’s a pain that next month you have to go to the grocery store again to pick up the newest issue. It’s so much easier just to subscribe to the magazine and have the new issues sent to you! That’s the magic of RSS. When you subscribe to an RSS Feed, you will get the latest updates from that website sent directly to you!

Want to get started? Just follow along here. In order to subscribe to a RSS Feed, you need a Feed Reader (called an “Aggregator” in the biz). Blah blah blah, technobabble. You just want a link and a tutorial. Follow along:

Go to http://google.com/reader.

picture-1

Google Reader is like the mailbox in which you receive your magazine subscriptions. It grabs the latest news and articles from websites and puts it all in one place for you to access from any computer. For a simple break down of what exactly Google Reader does and how it can assist you, watch this video:

To start adding websites, sign in. If you don’t already have a Google account, click “Create an account” in the bottom right.

Once you’ve made an account or signed in, you’ll see the main screen with some introductory information

picture-2

Now for the fun stuff! Click the picture-3 button in the top right and type in one of your favorite websites. For instance, “Warptubes” or “http://warptubes.com”

picture-4

Google will then find the website or feed it thinks you want. Look for the one that seems right, then click “Subscribe”

picture-5

From then on, your favorite websites will show up on the bottom right under Subscriptions. The number next to the Subscription name is how many new unread items have come in.picture-7

When you’re checking out your Subscriptions, the new articles and updates will come through looking like this:

picture-11

It’s not exactly the same as you’re used to seeing from your favorite website, but all of the content will be there and will look much cleaner with a lot fewer ads (if any!). I call that a sweet deal. If you do need to see the article in its original context, just click the title at the top. That link will take you straight to the page where the update was posted.

Not sure if your favorite website has an RSS feed? If Google couldn’t find it when you clicked “Add a subscription”, then look around on the website for a icon that looks like this:

feed-icon-28x28

Click on that and copy and paste the URL into Google Reader’s “Add a subscription” box, and viola! You’re set.

Google Reader has revolutionized my internet browsing and brings all the content I want directly to me. This tutorial will hopefully save you some time, too, while still getting all the news and articles you’re used to!

This ended up being a long post, but if you followed along and can get into the habit of using Google Reader, you will be much better off!
Still not sure about something? Have some questions? Post in the comments below and I’ll give you some advice.

Enjoy!

– Shaw

3 Comments

Flash mobs

Written on January 29, 2009 by
informative

Yesterday my cohort sent me a link that led me to this google maps streetview scene.

These sort of shenanigans are the sort of thing that I love to see and read about. There’s just something about the subtle, “most-people-won’t-get-this” humor that I don’t really love because of how funny it is, but because of how people react to it.

Which leads me to a subject that I only know about secondhand, flash mobs (it’s not what you think). A flash mob is a group of people who have determined to do a certain thing together at a certain time when it is altogether unexpected for the everyday joe. It is worth looking around for these stories. Some flash mobs have seen greater than 4,000 people participate for no other purpose than to get a couple laughs. Most all end up having the effect of causing general chaos and confusion to the point that everyday people walking around start to come up with their own theories as to what happened.

Then there always end up being unintended side-effects. Some of course where people start getting ansy and call the cops. But there end up being other situations where a flash mob or other group do something out of the ordinary for a good cause. Such as a flash mob of zombies in order to raise awareness for the need to give blood. Or even a group of friends that will submit themselves to playing the worst game ever created in order to raise money for charity.

So good, bad or indifferent flash mobs and the like seem to be here to stay. I, for one, am for them.

 

–ringl

1 Comment

Light Cycles

Written on November 25, 2008 by
informative

Since the early days of the internet, its primary purpose has been to pass information from one person to another. That took many forms. E-mail, chat rooms, instant messangers, online games: all of these provided a way to communicate instantaneously with someone on the other side of the world. It’s incredible!

And I’ve got to tell you, it’s amazing how it’s evolved. My first experiences “online” involved dialing directly into someone’s computer and posting messages and playing door games. And there weren’t any fancy pictures or videos either! And I walked to school uphill both ways, bare foot in the snow and I liked it!

And that was pretty spiffy for a while. Then something else came along: America On-Line. AOL. The big time. Sure it took ages to dial in, but that was because so many people were using it, right? And once you were in you had instant access to e-mail, games, personal websites, chat rooms and instant messangers. It was unquestionably the most advanced sort of computing that humans would ever see. In fact I’ve been harboring this theory that all our mobile devices are really just running on a slightly modified version of AOL 2.0. Yes, even iPhones.

At any rate, I’m sure you can see where this is going. Nowadays there are more ways to communicate with your friends online than you can shake a stick at (or waggle a wiimote if you’re into that kinda thing). The catch all term that’s being used is “social networking” and I’m going to take a few moments to tell you what’s out there.


Classmates has been around longer than I can remember. They were one of the first sites in the social networking game and they could have had it all. Except they want all your money. We’ve all gotten the e-mails. “Someone on classmates.com is looking for you!” Spoiler alert: if you’ve left high school, no one is looking for you. And if they are it sure isn’t through classmates. They’re probably trying that number you left in their yearbook. “Tommy, We shure had a krazy year huh?!? Well keep in touch! Luv, ‘J’ 867-5309”


Who hasn’t heard of myspace? It’s a one stop shop for viruses, adware, spyware, phishing scams, e-mail scams, chain letter scams, urban myths and general tomfoolery. No wonder it’s one of the most visited websites on the entire internet! But seriously, myspace has become somewhat of a cultral phenomenon. It’s amazing to me how many people have been on this thing. However, it’s worth noting that if you want any of your information to be secure, it probably shouldn’t be on myspace.

Facebook is another of those huge websites that it seems like everyone has been on. Facebook has all of the networking capabilities of myspace and then some. And with a more mature interface and unified website it’s hard not to like it. Note: I have a hard time using the word “mature” when staring at an inbox full of invites to be werewolves, vampires, zombies and unibears. Seriously, stop it.

The other piece of facebook that I would be negligant to ignore is facebook stalking. It works like this: you sign up for facebook and find a few friends. Within a couple weeks you’ve got a lot of friends and some pictures up. Soon after that your friends put up pictures of you and tag and date them. And before you know it everyone’s all up in your bid’ness!


Twitter is kind of the new kid on the block. But it’s got the right stuff (too soon?). It’s sort of a mini blogging site. I really like it because I can pick and choose who I want to hear more from. When my close friends update I get it on my phone. And everyone else I see when I’m logged into the website. It’s a nice little blend and if you haven’t checked it out, you should. Fair warning: I can’t stop checking for updates. It’s an easy little mini-obsession.

So there you go! Social networking made easy! Now I came nowhere close to listing them all, so you should comment and tell the world what your favorite social website is, whether it’s listed above or not!

–Ringl

Shaw replied on November 27, 2008 at 10:25 am

No love for Xanga and Livejournal? C’mon man! Where do you think social networking and blogging started?!

-Shaw

1 Comment