Internet Experiences Archives

Digg has gone overboard with advertising

From my experience, Digg has chosen a very intrusive advertising method. Here is a screen shot of my Digg home page and the ad that popped up. Notice the very subtle close button, for all intents and purposes, hidden in the top right.

Starting a Blog

From my experiences, starting a blog is exciting, fun and a lot of hard work. Well, actually, starting a blog isn’t hard work, maintaining a blog is extremely hard work. Let me define maitaining: writing blog posts on a regular basis. This blog, From My Experience, started with lofty goals of being a resource to help other people by user and bloggers sharing their personal experiences in daily life situations. It hasn’t gone as I would have hoped. I have written the majority of the posts even when I had hoped I would only be kick starting the blog Read the rest of this entry

Alternative to Google Search Engine? ChaCha Search

ChaCha Search EngineFrom my experience Google is the best search engine on the web, but it isn’t the only search egine and sometimes even the almighty Google has come up short in the search results. Of course there is Yahoo! and Live Search by MSN and a few people use Ask. But there is another search engine that I like very much and recommend you give it a try: ChaCha

Here is a description of the ChaCha Search Engine from ChaCha’s About page:

Tired of search engine results that aren’t even close to what you’re looking for? Us too. So we started thinking about a better way to search the Net… and we figured out what was missing… people.

That’s how ChaCha was born. The first search engine that uses the brainpower of really smart people to find anything you want on the Internet. Here’s how you use it:

INSTANT SEARCH – Just like all those other search engines… only better. Because ChaCha keeps getting smarter. Our search experts are constantly handpicking cool, hard-to-find sites so you get only the best, most relevant results… OR

LIVE GUIDED SEARCH – Instant search not cutting it? One click hooks you up with a live ChaCha Guide. A real person that will ask you questions, understand exactly what you want, and send you results that are dead-on. Computers can’t do that. It takes a community of people who are motivated to help you get the answer you seek – no matter what it takes. The brainpower behind ChaCha.

While you may not agree with all the search results being the most relevant you can see the differences from your first search. Try the guided search, but be careful what you search for, it can be a bit embarrassing.

iMovie Settings for Upload to YouTube

If this iMovie tutorial still doesn’t help, I can recommend ScreenCastsOnline. They have excellent tutorials for all your Mac products: iMovie, iPod, iPhone and so forth.

From my experience posting your iMovie video to YouTube requires the following settings to get the best quality you can. You want to send YouTube the highest quality you can while still staying within their video and audio limitations.

Of course the settings I’m providing can be used with any video editing application, but since iMovie is used by so many novice videographers I felt some specific instructions would be useful. If you aren’t using iMovie 6 for this, be sure that your application can export to a .mp4 with H.264 video. Quicktime Player Pro version can also do this.

Since YouTube upload limitations will scale the video to 320 x 240 pixels there is no point to export it at a larger size. Better to apply higher quality settings to your file size limit, which is 100 megabytes set by Youtube.

share-imovie-video-sm.gifI am assuming your video has been edited and is ready for export. Follow these steps to have a video that you can upload with confidence to YouTube.

Choosing the best settings for iMovie when exporting for YouTube:

  1. Under the main menu click the Share menu option.
  2. Choose the Share option at the bottom of the drop down menu.
  3. The next window will allow you select from a popup menu. It is labeled “Compress movie for:”. You will chose Expert Settings. Click the share Share button in the bottom right. (see image #1)
  4. The next window will allow you to choose where to save the video and what to name it. At the bottom of the window you will see a popup menu labeled Export. Choose the “Movie to MPEG-4″ option.
  5. Click the Options… button to the right to choose specific video and audio settings.
  6. mp4-video-settings-sm.gifIn this window choose the following setting under the video choices. (see image #2)
    • Video Format: H.264
    • Data Rate: 2000 kbits/sec
    • Optimized for: Download
    • Image Size: 320 x 240 QVGA
    • Check Preserve aspect ration using: Fit within size
    • Frame Rate: 30
    • Key Frame: Automatic
    • Click the Video Options… button and then select the Main checkbox and the Best Quality radio button. Click OK.
  7. Next choose the following Audio Settings:
    • Audio Format AAC-LC
    • Data Rate: 64kbs
    • Channels: Mono
    • Output Sample Rate: Recommended
    • Encoding Quality: Best
  8. Click the OK button and in the next window click the Save button and wait for your high quality video to export.

You can see the latest video I have posted using these settings by viewing my family’s Zip Line in Hawaii.

If you need more help and you like the video instruction method. I can safely recommend ScreenCastsOnline.

Google Confirms Moon Made of Cheese

From my experience on the http://moon.google.com web page I found out the moon is indeed made of cheese. I had my doubts at one time, especially when there was talk of the man in the moon, but now I know that is pure foolishness. Google’s mapping program, which shows the Apollo 11 – Apollo 17 landings on earth’s moon, will also show that the moon is made of cheese when you zoom out to the highest setting.

Hard to believe? Yes, but who would doubt the authenticity of Google and Google Maps. Try it yourself at http://moon.google.com. All your chilhood dreams are now in question.

Update 9/13/2007: Google has removed the cheese image from the moon maps page page. The screen shot will have to suffice.

moon-cheese-google.jpg

Google Moon Gets Major Updates

“This update brings higher-resolution map imagery, text search,
and photos and stories from every Apollo landing,” stated
Michael Weiss-Malik, a software engineer, on the Google LatLong
Blog.

He then continued, “We even included Street View-style panoramas
of the moon’s surface, taken by the Apollo astronauts …
something you won’t see anywhere else. And last but certainly
not least, we tossed in scientific charts that are good enough
for actual mission planning and science classrooms alike.”

Excerpted from an article by Doug Caverly, staff writer at WebProNews.

Firefox: Best Internet Browser

firefox-browser.jpgFrom my experience, Firefox is the best browser out there for surfing the web. I speak from experience of using an Apple Macintosh computer from home and a Dell Windows computer from work. I use Firefox on both as opposed to Safari for the Mac and Internet Explorer for the Windows computer.

Tabbed browsing and fast load times are the features that intrigued me enough to try it years ago, but the most amazing thing about Firefox are the add-ons. What are add-ons, you say? Here it is from the Firefox site:

“Add-ons are small pieces of software that can add new features or tiny tweaks to your Firefox. They can add new search engines or change the look of Firefox with a new theme, or much more.”

This allows you to customize Firefox in ways you can’t imagine. They even give you a lift of some of their favorite add-ons to get you started. One of my favorite add-ons is StumbleUpon, which I will post about later, but just know it will eat up your free time so be careful when try it.

If you haven’t tried Firefox, download it and surf for a few days and see if you don’t love it as much as I do. Once you start searching through and adding the add-ons you’ll wonder how you surfed without them. You can read about Firefox’s features before you try it.

If you need more convincing, here is a site dedicated to helping you make the switch from Explorer to Firefox.

Using Squidoo.com to Make Money Online

logo_h_sm.gifFrom my experience using the Squidoo web site as a money-making online tool isn’t the best use of your time. Instead, setting up a blog of your own, with Google’s Adsense, that you host is a much better idea. But, Squidoo is easy to set up and kind of fun. It offers a community feel to it and you can rank rather quickly with it for less competitive terms in the search engines.

I have two lenses, what Squidoo calls your page, and they were a blast to create and I do add to them occasionally. The real fun for me is trying to rank my lens in the top 100. I have reached 128 but that is my personal best so far. There are over 200,000 lenses at this time. It is also personally rewarding when someone ranks or votes for you lens which you can do by visiting my Smoothie Lens and my Jean Grey-Phoenix Lens.

But I just don’t see any decent money coming from this, but my smoothie recipe blog brings in over $350 $650 per month, with little to no effort through Google Adwords. I’ll update this if I see any change or increase in my $0.00 earnings from either of my Squidoo lenses. The real use for Squidoo is using the lenses to direct traffic to your main site such as my smoothie lens to my smoothie recipe site and providing quality one-way links that the search engines will follow and reward you with higher listings in the search results.

From the Squidoo About Page:

Squidoo’s goal as a platform is to bring the power of recommendation to search. Squidoo’s goal as a co-op is to pay as much money as we can to our lensmasters and to charity. And Squidoo’s goal as a community is to have fun along the way, and meet new ideas and the people behind them.

Read more about Squidoo at The SquidLens.

I hope this helps in your decision of creating a lens and what to do with it.

I have included a YouTube video on Making Money with Squidoo.

Update 10/12/07: Well, my 2nd full month netted $11.40. I did manage to make the Jean Grey lens the #4 ranked lens overall so even having a highly ranked lens in the Squidoo ranking system won’t help, you’ll need lots of visitors to help with that.

Update 11/14/07:  I earned $98.58 this month. I worked to keep it going pretty well this month.

Update 12/15/07: Earnings dipped to $48.06 for Squidoo, but I didn’t spend any time on it. So literally, money for nothing.

Update 1/12/09: I didn’t even look at the lenses hardly and my earnings went to $24.32, but I also noticed traffic dropped from Google. I do believe they are penalizing all Squidoo lenses now. We’ll see.

War Driving (Wireless Network Surfing)

From my experience war driving is a lot of FUN! Simply put war driving is driving around and using your laptop to search for wireless networks.

There are several ways to go about war driving that can make it more fun than a pain. First off, get a wireless network card with a prism2 chipset and a little hole for an external antenna. Orinoco (now owned by Proxim) makes a PERFECT card for that meets these requirements. It’s almost like the company made it specifically for war driving! Next get yourself a copy of Linux. I use a bootable version called Knoppix STD. It should also be noticed that there is a new distribution of Linux called “War Linux” I have yet to try it out but “War Linux” promises to be the best choice in bootable Linux war driving. It comes complete with Kismet, Wavemon, and nmap! If you are a windows users and you insist on using windows and your prebuilt wireless in your laptop be sure to get NetStumbler.

Some of the fun things you can do while war driving is keep a record of all the wireless networks you come across and submit them to other sites to share with others. It should also be noted here that while scanning for wireless networks connecting to them without consent of the owner, is ILLEGAL! So don’t do it!

Resources:
http://wardriving.com/
http://airsnort.shmoo.com/
http://www.netstumbler.com/
http://www.proxim.com/
http://www.cantenna.com/

Watch this:
http://revision3.com/thebroken/ep1

Watch this too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8EQ8HR

post by Ricky Raymond
http://www.rickyraymond.com