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Facebook

I often wonder what those guys at Facebook go through when they think of their next design. The latest one is somewhat bothersome at times. I’ll admit that it is good at what it does which is connecting people but I think it does that too well. For example, I don’t need to know that John Jackson and Jack Johnson are now friends. In most cases I have no idea who other person is. It is however amusing when two friends of yours meet and become friends, independent of your influence and you find out via Facebook.

Now the issue I have detailed stems from the “News Feed”. Now I’m not sure what classes as news, but if Jane Smith sends a friend-wide message asking her friends to join her mob I don’t think 99% of those people who will see the message care if she needs help with her virtual mob. Facebook isn’t a game site. I think all those quizzes, games, surveys and any other abominations of the like should be terminated. I for one am proud of the fact I have never played Mafia Wars, Farmville or any other game with a similar principle. I believe Tetris Friends was the only game I played, until I was beaten by a good friend. A few rounds of Tetris never hurt anyone, in fact, Tetris probably does more for the mind than most games.

Another thing that annoys me is this new photo system Facebook decided to add. First of all, it requires a plugin, at least for Firefox. On the upside, I didn’t have to restart my browser, in this case, the slow beast known as Firefox. Of course this isn’t really a bother unless you are unfortunate enough to use public computers. Wrong move there Facebook team. After you have installed the uploader which is pretty good I guess, you have to pick out your photos. Obviously you would click “Upload photos” and go ahead and select your photos. Now you need to enter an album name. Well what if you have an album already created? Now you have to find that album, hit edit, hit add more and then do the same thing. The easier way would just be to add in an option to create a new album or select an old album to add to. Pretty simple isn’t it?

Now, here comes another load of ‘why would you think that is even a good thing’ from the Facebook team. I’m not sure if it is just me but there is a 10 pixel (approximate) buffer zone from the top edge of my browser to the button when it is highlighted. Such as small fix yet no one has decided to fix it. It seems like a trivial CSS touch up but I did some investigating with Firebug and they have made their top navigation pretty complex, most likely to deal with Internet eXploder 6. Nevertheless, looks terrible to me. However I’m not gonna write a Grease Monkey script to deal with it, I can live with such a minor annoyance.

Now I’ll conclude my Facebook rant/critique here, but don’t be alarmed, there is plenty more wrong with Facebook. At least they are a few hundred steps above MySpace (We can all agree here).

Bikes

Well it’s 12.15am local time (midnight) and in  4 hours I’ll be going for the longest bike ride I have been on. From my house, about 35 kilometres to this place known as “The Spit” and back. So a 70 kilometre round trips up and down the coast. For me it isn’t hard to do but for some, they think I’m crazy. I think life is a test. It is sometimes hard to test yourself, and test yourself in a way that you can equally fail or pass. In my case this is fair since I am pretty fit and can ride a bike fairly well.

It bothers me sometimes however, that some people don’t test themselves. For example, I used to play video gameslike any normal guy. Not a lot, but enough to be pretty damn good at some games. That was only 3 years ago and since then I hardly ever pick up a controller or load up a game these days. Why the sudden change you might ask? Well it got boring. Games are just long puzzles and most games are the same puzzle. COD, BF, Crysis and most other first person shooters are the same to me and hence I saw no challenge since learning this skill will lead me to no skill which I can use. I do however think strategy games are good thinking games but then they can get repetative. When I tell people that I don’t play games they ask me, what do you do on a computer? I can’t help but think what can’t I do, games are just great time wasters to me, I’d rather learn skills I can perhaps use later in life and enjoy while I learn.

So I challenged myself. I became a video editor. I got a YouTube Partnership and 3000+ subscribers and was mentioned to Travis Pastrana (from what he said). Well that was pretty cool I guess, what next. Then I became a Web Designer. Built a few sites and now I could have a site up and going within the day if I felt like it. Now I don’t know where to go next. The bike challenges are just to keep me at bay until I find something to try and master next. A big part of me wants it to be university and myself. But I think this would be a pretty hard challenge to take on but I can always try. I think my next challenge might be to master Photoshop. I’ve always wanted to be able to take some crappy photo and make it something awesome.

How do you challenge yourself? Or, why don’t you challenge yourself for some people.

Why are you living?

Snail

This snail probably has as much purpose in life as you do. Depressed?

If you think about it, life is pretty pointless. I’m not talking about humans specifically but everything in general. Let’s consider a cheetah. It can run fast, it hunts pray and eats it and it reproduces until it dies. So in its life it will do four main things in general. Why does this species keep doing that? It seems like an infinite loop with no end.

Now let’s consider you. You will be born, probably have a nice childhood which is basically learning how to be “human”. Then you enter your schooling career which may last 20 years, it may last 10. Then you most likely get a job which funnily enough, like the cheetah hunting, involves you doing the same thing everyday for probably the next 10 years or so, probably more if you have an actual career and not some dead end job. Then after perhaps 30 more years you retire. Waste about 10-30 more years doing nothing except waiting to die and then, you die. In that time you’ll probably have less than 3 kids and they’ll do pretty much the same thing you did.

So why do cheetahs live? Well they’re pretty stupid as far as thinking outside the box however they are extraordinary creatures and out match humans in every way except the mind. Now why do humans keep on going? Its not like we’re doing it because some extra force told you to because as much as you might want to believe so, no one is telling you to do anything. Is it to have fun? Enjoy being with people? Get that rush of whatever it may be and feel on top of the world? You have probably answered yes to at least one of those. Pretty simple answers huh? Well we are pretty simple people aren’t we.

So let’s review. We only continue our lives for enjoyment, however we are in misery (majority of people) for the most part. We spend 30% of our lives learning skills and the other 70% using them. We save up money so we can stop working and wait to die. And we have been doing this for thousands of years. Not a whole lot to it really. We live. We learn. We work. We die. And somewhere in there, at any given moment, we’re happy.

SX: Indianapolis

This race was pretty awesome. It’s always nice to see Kevin Windham up there racing the rookies after all those years. What is dissapointing is when punks like Jason Lawrence think they have the right to ruin the chances of future stars of the sport like Ryan Dungey and (a few back) Ryan Villopoto. Everybody remembers when Jason Lawrence annoyed Villopoto during their lites days to the point in which Lawrence was stopping Villopoto on turns.

Well it seems Lawrence hasn’t changed. Apparently during practice he kept blocking and slowly Dungey so he couldn’t get any good lap times. It is easy to see Ryan Dungey won’t need to worry, he isn’t the one who was/is in jail. It is pretty sad for a non-points contender to try and affect the championship of a former rival. Not only did he get Ryan and himself last gate pick in the heats, he also started insulting Dungey himself calling him “mentally messed up”. Let’s go check the stats and we’ll see that Lawrence hasn’t won anything.

Not to worry though, Dungey make the most of his bad start coming in 2nd behind Windham in his heat. Villopoto got the top spot in his heat. The main was pretty exciting but the track looks horrible. One of the whoops section was one line, which is kind of annoying since you know there won’t be any passes there. Windham looked like he had the win after passing Davi Milsaps but eventually Villopoto and Dungey passed him too. Windham was now getting harassed by Villopoto and eventually gave it to him and within a lap Dungey was past him too.

Now Dungey and Villopoto were finally about to duel. Dungey was gonna start a charge until these two riders hit some lappers. Villopoto passed Kyle Chisholm but Chisholm wouldn’t move out of the way of Dungey even with blue flags being waved for at least a lap. Even though Dungey probably wouldn’t have passed Villopoto, he could have made a chance.

So in the end it was Villopoto, Dungy, Windham and Milsaps. For the record, Jason Lawrence was 10th. Now Villopoto and Dungey go into the next round tied for the lead and Josh Hill is now 10 points behind from the leaders.

Life.

Have you ever been awake at night, not able to get to sleep and thought to yourself: “Where the hell did I come from?” No, I’m not talking about evolution or how your origins are part German, I’m talking about where the Universe comes from. When you think about it, the Universe, or the world in our case is pretty perfect. It just works and it has been doing that for a very long time. The Universe works well too, perhaps too well.

I was thinking about this the other day – What if we aren’t real. That everything we know isn’t real but merely a simulation; similar to the latest James Cameron flick, Avatar (I’ve had this idea for a while). Maybe other people, even aliens, play as us. Maybe 1 year in our time is an hour for them? Imagine if this was just some test? Imagine if life was just some test and you can fail. Have you ever wondered why stereotypes exist, perhaps those are similar to the different types of characters we play in games such as Battlefield or Call of Duty.

If this was a test and we were aiming to pass what would be the fail mark? Would it be suicide, bankruptcy, drug addiction? Then again, what would be the pass mark? Perhaps it is having children, earning money or just being a good person. I was thinking of how I would be going so far. What would be my “Life GPA” if you will. I wasn’t sure how to judge it though. Would giving up your seat on the bus for an elderly person increase it? I guess it would be similar to karma.

I guess my thoughts (or even theory?) is somewhat related to Buddhism. They share similar ideas such as reincarnation and karma but and not surprisingly it is the only religion I deem to be not a total load of crap. So I guess we will never know our “score” until the end and I wonder if I’ll play another game. What’s your score?

Blank

The basic goal of the theme was to make it a light coloured, shades of grey type theme with a minimalistic touch.

Some cool features are as follows:

  • Toggle the side bar; For those smaller browsers
  • About Section; Located in the footer. Can include a personal photo if you wish with acompanying text
  • Separated Trackbacks and Comments
  • Stylized Comment sections; Speech bubble type style
  • Customizable Banner; Defaults to Text of Blog Heading
  • Built in Widgets; Latest Posts, Archives and Categories. Can be turned off too
  • Custom Title input; Change the thing at the top of the browser
  • Valid (x)html (Strict) and Valid CSS 2.1/3 (More towards CSS3 though)
  • And last but not least, a fluid layout.

To do list:

  • Comment Pagination
  • Dropdown Menus for top Navigation
  • Threaded Comments
  • Equal-Heights-Thingy for the footer

Most of those things however, aren’t too important anyway. But I’ll try and knock them off slowly. If you think I should do something more, then suggest it but keep in mind this is a lighweight, basic theme.

It will be released very soon. I just have to test out some stuff and clean up the CSS.

SX Phoenix '10

I like the first races of every season because you just don’t know who will be better or worse after a few months off. Last week I was surprised at how fast Ryan Dungey was, a fvourite rider of mine. Usually rookies take a year or two to adjust to the fast pace from Reed or Stewart but he grabbed second. Stewart probably could have passed him as soon as he hit second but I think he was just having a play.

Fast forward to this week and I was hoping Chad Reed would step up and win, he had to. Lucky for every other ride, James Stewart collided mid air with another rider. It’s funny when people try to pin the blame on others but there is much time to try and correct your flight path on those small supercross doubles or triples especially when there is 4 or 5 other riders right next to you during the start. I think it was just back luck for both riders. The good news for stewart was he aced the LCQ and was in the main.

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Nitro Circus: Country Fried Review

Two words: Slow Motion! Well, high speed cameras to be exact because you will be saturated with them in this Nitro Circus flick. Back to their roots? Not really. Yes there is more motocross but not the fast action we’ve seen in the early films, instead, slow, high speed shots that left me wondering when the film would end and I only do that when a film is boring me, the biggest Nitro and Pastrana fan.

A good thing however is that they didn’t just replay footage from the TV series (unlike the opposite done by MTV), instead there was some cool new things like the TP7 and the McGrath and Reed segments. I still think however they don’t include the right footage. Two Cameras angles is good, 3 is perfect, 4 is pushing it and eventually I zoned out.

For me, I’d rather hear the screaming RM125 TP rides AND some music or just that chainsaw getting shreaded. I also think raw footage is awesome, but segments such as the minivan roll over were terrible – yes, I bought Country Fried to see the Nitro Circus not Crum even though he technically apart of the Nitro Circus but c’mon, pushing a minivan down a hill? Was Godfrey that desparate?

What the film really needed was more Motocross with Travis, Jolene and other well known riders doing cool stuff. The tandem bike was cool, for about 5 seconds, now flip it. It wasn’t very exciting nor entertaining to see someone riding in circles. I’m sure Godfrey has hours, probably days of footage of Travis house, throw in some stuff we actually want.

What was seen in previous films that has basically disspeared was the X Games segments. Yes, there was one but it show cased 3 riders from Best Trick and didn’t even show the winner. I really believe this film is a step back, there wasn’t really anything keeping me engrossed in motocross action. I’m not sure if this is scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to content but there is a segment dedicated to some street race through some country in Europe. From the intro I was thinking “Yeah, Travis will be racing a road bike! This will be awesome” which then faded to “What the hell is this” when I was watching people I have never heard of crash. Entertaining?… somewhat, something a simple YouTube search would find me, most defintely!

I still rate Nitro Circus 3 and Lock ‘n’ Load as the best films by far. The editing was good, the songs were good, the content was good. Now all we are left with is slow motion shots, random segments that make no sense and long drawn out scenes which are boring. Also those long slow motion shots would be perfect, I’m talking the best thing I could think of… for a commercial for Thor or something, because that’s what I honestly thought I was watching.

I rate it 3.5 out of 5, mainly because of the exclusive footage, at least that was worth the money. Oh, and I also got some cool stickers which added worth to the purchase, a RedBull/TP, Nitro Circus and EVS stickers to be precise.

Perhaps Godfrey should get me into the editing room because, between you and me, I could have make some sick sections, not to talk myself up or anything. :P On a serious note about my videos, I might make a few new ones, but I want to find a good site to host my videos, a similar one to YouTube that won’t boot me off. Vimeo, Revver and YouTube aren’t really suitable since 100% of my videos infringe coprights.

But thanks to you guys that still watch my videos.

P.S. I need to proofread this.

Finally can drive, legally!

Well the day is here, which was actually yesterday. I finally got my Ps (Provisional License (Red)) which allows me to drive by myself on the road.. in my car.  I must say it’s a huge relief. Those 2 hour bus rides to get home, yes, 2 freaking hours of sitting down waiting on a bus everyday for the past semester and a half at uni to get home was not fun. Now those trips are cut down by 1.25 hours depending on how bad Queensland drivers want to be.

I find it baffling when at least 80% of people driving with me have been on these roads before yet still don’t jump in the right lane to let people on the highway or get up to 100km/h BEFORE coming on the highway. I find that is usually the cause of most traffic issues. The downside of course is, I pay for my own petrol which isn’t too bad but now I understand why people were so pedantic with petrol money and now I am. :)

The upside is I can get to work now. Before I couldn’t which was a bit annoying since buses, for me, were rarely precisely on time which I needed for connecting buses and therefore I couldn’t make it to work for a 6pm start, after 6 hours or more of Uni.

For those interested I study Civil Engineering. Compressing that into 3 days per week was the worst idea ever. At least with monstrous gaps I was forced to study now I am literally burnt out every Wednesday. I usually go to sleep at 9pm wake up at 12am, then go back to sleep because of just how tired I get. Getting home at 7pm from those bus rides wasn’t much help either especially the somewhat cols nights waiting for buses.

Why WordPress "hacks" are better than plugins

I read a few days ago that someone has been using the plugin called “Easy Adsenser” and apparently 1 in 20 ads shown are the developers (to gain revenue). The plugin basically places ads in sidebar(s) via widgets and throughout posts. The problem I saw was he doesn’t explicitly tell people. Making money via Adsense is no easy task (unless you’re a Youtube partner, then it is incredibly easy). Earning $3 per day is good, even making money is a good result. So this user was quite annoyed when he saw his ads weren’t shown (even though you can change it). I personally never click ads simply because none ever appeal to me. I don’t use Ad Blocking scripts either since I don’t find them annoying or even notice them.

If this user had actually gone to the (little) trouble of making a few modifications to their theme they could have setup an awesome new feature. It’s not terribly hard either. Also plugins are good at slowing down WordPress. For example, this plugin called Wordtube loads it’s javascript on every page via the header. Many other plugins do the same sine the developer has no idea where the user will put stuff. With a hack you can only add the javascript on pages you know you will place it on (no one puts a contact form on the home page, do they?).

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