Browsing the archives for the Ringl tag.

Grab bag

Written on February 3, 2009 by

Today I just want to give everyone a gift, and that gift is a look at the circus sideshow that the internet can be. These are all worth checking out!

  • I don’t think my cell phone will ever kill me, but this is a terrifying article. Go read it now.
  • News outlet turns a (admittedly rediculous) lawsuit into a “class war.”
  • The sad thing is that I’ve worked with people like this. They’re real!
  • A kid gets taken to the dentist and his father records the hilarious results.
  • What I wouldn’t give for a phone number like this
  • Bambi fans probably shouldn’t click.
  • Read these back to back and insert witty social commentary.
  • This ad campaign would have totally hooked me… I’m not sure if it’s because of Sesame Street or free tacos though (spoiler alert: it’s the tacos)
  • I would watch pro wrestling if it was like this.
  • I’m going to cut 10 facebook friends and get a free whopper. Shaw, I’ll bet you wish you’d waited to do your friend audit.

Okay… so hopefully you all find those as wonderful as I did. Let’s hear it in the comments what you enjoyed most.



Flash mobs

Written on January 29, 2009 by

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.



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A non-update

Written on January 23, 2009 by

Did you guys see the first episode of LOST? Jack shaved! That means he got my letter!


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something new

Written on January 20, 2009 by
blog, technology

I found this and immediately closed the browser window. I’m pretty sure I would have been lost for the rest of the day going through all the possible combinations.

Now some of you skipped clicking on the link and kept reading on. That’s not going to do here… just open it in a new window or tab and go through it once.

Watched it? Good!

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that once something gains popularity it’s inevitable that someone tries to cash in on the fad. And often those copy-cats are necessary in order to progress an industry or technology. Competition, at its core, is a great process.

But I’ve recently been wondering how great competition is for innovation. And while I’m really just talking about making something completely, never-before-thought-of new, I’d be negligent not to mention the innovation that is taking a technology and improving upon it to the point that it’s hardly recognizable. It becomes something completely new while its foundation remains worn and (t)rusted.

Of course, innovation to me isn’t just making something new. Microsoft tried to make something (nearly) completely new when it released its Vista operating system. The overall effect was that there was nothing left that windows users recognized. It became a cold and sterile experience that many seasoned Windows users and devopers fought against. On the flip side of that coin Apple has been seeing huge successes with Mac OS X. When Apple put out OS X it was radically different than its predecessors in that it was built off of BSD, a Unix-like operating system that has seen consistent use due to its reputation of dependability.

Now these two companies are competing. And for us, the consumers, that’s good. Apple is continuing to improve its operating system and is listening to customer demands. Microsoft is now beta testing Windows 7 and so far experiences have been so good that people are nicknaming it “Fix-ta”.

But here’s where I’m having difficulty. All of this competition seems like it will never produce something truly new. Even in the link above people are just adapting newer technology to mimic something old. Heck, even the file-systems on modern computer operating systems are made to mimic a stand-up filing cabinet (metal drawers that tell jokes?). And the hype for new technologies tells us that we’re seeing is something never seen before. Whereas in reality it’s something we’ve been using the entire time, but polished up so that we notice it.

Of course, there is a need for new technologies to have some bit of familiarity just for us to be able to adjust to using it. I couldn’t have made a very good transition from the two-button + D-pad nintendo controller to the 8 button, dual-joystick plus a D-pad Xbox360 controller without some sort of stepping stone to prepare me for that next step. It’s like the difference between driving a big wheel versus piloting a shuttle to the moon and back.

And with the sudden surge of focus on simplistic control schemes and intuitive, touch interfaces, it seems that it’s only a matter of time before the most complex tasks are simplified to flicking a finger across your phone’s display or the waggle of a wii-mote.

And I can’t decide if that’s a good thing.

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My reign continues

Written on January 17, 2009 by

I don’t know what happened yesterday. Since Shaw and I started doing every other day it’s been sticking in my mind that after I update I’ve got nearly a week to work on the next one.

Clearly, I am now flying solo.

Saturday’s belated update, Behold:


I guess the money train just keeps on chuggin’.


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The Ringl Show

Written on January 15, 2009 by

So I’m pretty sure Shaw is far too busy with his cool-guy life to update for the rest of the week. That means I can do whatever I want.

Thursday’s update: A picture of Spock

What’s that? You don’t want to look at a picture of Spock? TOUGH!

This ain’t no democracy


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Written on January 13, 2009 by
blog, informative, technology

I like iTunes as a service. For a long time I didn’t bother to use it because I had already been using Windows Media player for as long as I could remember. It played the music that I did load onto my computer and kept it organized in a way that made sense.

What stopped me from using WMP was that it was changing versions frequently, and when it changed things were no longer intuitive to me. So I eventually got tired of it and decided to give iTunes a try since it’s format seemed to have been the same for a long time. When it comes to software, I live and breathe for stability (stop making jokes about Windows).

I had trouble with it at first, and there are still things I don’t like about iTunes as a program to manage my music (nothing outside of Apple’s normal “Form over Function” mentality) but I love that it consolidates my music, videos, podcasts and a music store that I don’t mind using to just find something real fast. But over the past few months I’ve discovered an alternative.

I’m not talking about Napster or Rhapsody where you’re paying a subscription to access all of their songs. I’m also not talking about a service like Walmart’s where if they ever shutdown their activation servers you can kiss all the music you purchased goodbye.

I’m talking about Amazon.

Yes, the online bookstore. As it turns out they also have a DRM free MP3 store that has all I’ll ever need on it.

Now if you’re an Apple fanboy you’re excited about the fact that iTunes+ is now the standard and you’re music is now DRM free as well (and you should be!). But here’s the deal, you’re not DRM free. That’s right, all of your account information is embedded into every track you purchase. And if you want to upgrade all of your old, copy-protected music, then it’s going to cost you dearly

Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for paying for my music. And I’m not against Apple’s new brand of DRM. In fact, it’s some of the most transparent form of copy-protection I could imagine and it provides just enough information in it to keep people from just opening up their library to a P2P network. But developing and putting that system into place costs money. Which is exactly why Amazon MP3 costs less. And for now, that’s exactly where I’ll be purchasing my music… and immeadiately dumping it into iTunes.

Now if either of these digital music giants really wants to get my attention. Start providing a legal way to watch live TV streaming over the internet. When that happens, it’s only a matter of time before I purchase a laptop with an AT&T 3G cellular internet capability and stop talking to people altogether.


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LifeMINUS sugar: Ringl's finale

Written on December 27, 2008 by

So I haven’t been keeping anyone really updated as to the lifeMINUS sugar quest for the past couple days due to jumping back and forth between families. But let me try to concisely sum up what the past two days have been like.

Dang that pie looks good
Woah… chocolate covered peanut clusters
Who puts molasses in bread!
I would kill for a Cherry Pepsi

So I did it. I finished. LifeMINUS sugar complete. Shaw, it’s your turn.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Dr. Pepper in the refridgerator with a ribbon tied to it.


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LifeMINUS sugar: Day five

Written on December 24, 2008 by

First and foremost: Merry Christmas!

So far LifeMINUS sugar has been pretty good. I’ve been tempted many times in many ways but have abstained from the delicious powdery substance that I enjoy.

I can imagine today and tomorrow will be pretty difficult. I’m pretty upset about not eating sweet potato casserole, but I’ve seen just how much sugar goes into it so there’s no way I could justify it. Along the same line I’m preparing to visit two families and see chocolates, sweet beverages and candy of all sorts passed around like Pabst Blue Ribbon at a Leonard Skynard show. But like the teetotaler that I am, I will resist.

With the new year approaching I’ve been giving consideration to new year’s resolutions. Now I’m ordinarily against making statements advocating self-improvement because I’m happy with myself. In all seriousness there’s not a single thing about myself that I would change because I like who I am. But as I’m looking into the future it’s obvious that things are changing. I’m going to be gaining free time in some places of 2009 and one of my free nights is going to be taken up. All in all though, I’m gaining time.

So what should I do with that? I can think of tons of things I’d like to be able to do. Spending more time with my wife is obviously a plus. Then there are also several hobbies that I just haven’t touched in a while because I’ve been busy.

My best thought is to start a category on here called Hobby shop and tell you about things that I’ve been up to. The best part about that is that there is assured variety. One day you may come to find I’ve posted a video featuring skateboarding, and the next you could find a book or movie review (spoiler free, I promise). Let me know what you think!

Current weight:195.5
Current song: Fly me to the moon
Current mood: coffee 


LifeMINUS sugar: Day four

Written on December 23, 2008 by

These workdays right before Christmas are keeping me busy! Yesterday was a successful day of LifeMINUS sugar. But it’s getting a little more difficult. The Christmas-time sweets are a-plenty and finding food that doesn’t contain sugar is getting to be pretty difficult. Last night I grilled a hamburger patty and ate it with hot sauce. This whole thing has been weird.

I’m about to have an orange for breakfast and then I’ll get some coffee to sip on while I work.

Ordinarily I drink my coffee with a bit of creamer and two packets of Splenda. Since I’m living as if sugar doesn’t exist I’ll be drinking that coffee black. And since there’s sugar in the starlight mints I ordinarily have after coffee I will be dealing with coffee breath by staying in my office for the rest of the day.


Current mood: hungry
Current song: Eat it 

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