October 18th, 2009

Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

I’m not normally one to pay much attention to advertising, but the anti-ad campaign ad campaign on the labels of Stone beer is amusingly ironic. I found the blurb on Stone Ruination pretty funny when I first saw it. And last weekend, contemplating life over a short little four-day vacation at the beach, another label of theirs actually moved me. I’m not sure if the passion they describe really makes me an “Arrogant Bastard” but I’ll live with the title if I have to.

“Too many strive toward complacency as a goal. They stop their urge and desire for discovery somewhere between youth and adulthood. And when they find their complacency threatened they do everything to recover the warm, fuzzy feeling of that lost complacency as quickly as possible. Throughout every culture, every country, and every way of thought you will find it. We grow up thinking that the ability to become complacent is the equivalence to success in life. True Arrogant Bastards know that this could not be further from the truth. The real beauty, richness, and depth of life can only be found if the journey through life itself is looked upon as a constant chance to learn, live and find life’s passion. Passion threatens the complacent, and fills them with fear. Fear of the new, fear of the different. We, on the other hand, seek it out. Endlessly, joyously…and aggressively.” — Stone Brewing Company’s Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

July 26th, 2009

Digital Nomads and Ad Hoc Work Spaces – Leesburg, Ashburn, and Sterling locations

Facebook Post

The article is here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/25/AR2009072500878.html?hpid=topnews

And here’s my list:

Atlanta Bread Company – Dulles Town Crossing (around the corner from the Best Buy)

I thought this would be a nice change of pace from Panera, and they do indeed have decent food for prices no more outrageous than the office cafeteria. But their WiFi has always been very spotty and I could only find two wall outlets — one at a two-top beside the register where foot traffic would get annoying, and one by the fireplace where there’s only cushy armchairs to sit on. On a nice day the outdoor seating is great for those with battery life and undemanding network needs.

Keep reading →

May 18th, 2009

Our rock stars aren’t like your rock stars. And our math isn’t like your math.

Really just figuring out the best size and aspect ratio for embedded videos here. But this is a pretty cool ad for Intel, too.

If you start browsing around on video sites like YouTube, you’ll see all sort of aspect ratios. Not just fullscreen 4:3, widescreen 16:9, and cinematic 2.35:1. You’ll also see any number of sizes that people used to try to compensate for YouTube when they forced all uploads to 4:3. This particular video, a professional clip contracted by Intel, works best, with no black borders, at 533×325, which turns out to be a little bit narrower than 16:9 — 1.640 instead of 1.778. The first player below is 1.640, and the next one is set to 1.778. You might have to hit play to actually see the aspect of the video. See what I mean?

Finally, the third player is the aspect ratio YouTube recommends in their “embed” snippet: 425×344, which is actually narrower than even the narrowest standard, 4:3. 1.235 instead of 1.333. So what gives? Somebody want to explain this to me?

May 13th, 2009

I’ve had it with the random hotties!

I started an experiment a couple of months ago. I was playing around with Google AdSense and figured I’d give it a try. So I added a 200×200 contextual ad spot to the right column of this site. To spice it up a little, I added a 200×200 image module directly below it, and hooked it up to an RSS feed of the top hotties from Pixnay.com. On every page load, a new beautiful woman showed up directly below the ad. Eyes just had to be drawn in that direction, right? Well, maybe. But none of them were paying any attention to the ads.

My weekly uniques increased 100x, and my weekly page views increased 1000x. My bounce rate dropped from 60% down to 25%. The reports on search terms that led people to my site were becoming more and more vulgar. And the gross revenue after 2 months was $0.01.

Keep reading →