MySpace’s Tom Anderson Comments on G+

The days when Tom Anderson, the iconic first friend on everyone’s MySpace account, was active on his own service have long past. Most of Tom’s old co-workers have headed over to Facebook, but Tom himself seems to enjoy what Google+ is doing for the Google ecosystem. Earlier today, he took the time to post a somewhat lengthy rumination on where Google+ fits into the major social networking ecosystem: Google+ seems like a "reaction" to Twitter/Facebook. But are you starting to see the ways that Google+ just makes Google a better, more integrated set of services? Google already has top-notch products in key categories–photos, videos, office productivity, blogs, Chrome, Android, maps and (duh) search. Can you start to see/imagine what Google+ does for Gmail? Picassa? Youtube? Not to mention search? The +1 system that Google now has control of (unlike Facebook Likes) can really influence and change the nature of their search. My original vision for [MySpace] was that everything got better when it was social–so I tried to build all the super popular things used on the web (blogs, music, classifieds, events, photos) on top of MySpace’s social layer. When Yahoo launched 360, MSN launched Spaces, and Google launched Okrut, I was shakin’ in my boots. But quickly I saw that it’s really hard to layer in social to features after the fact. At MySpace we had the luxury of having social first, and building the products on top of that layer. Then I choked and Facebook realized that vision. 😉 But Google+ really seems to be primed to make good on that original premise–that everything gets better when...

I know what animal you're thinking of.

Hey Rizzn–ites, Have you ever played 20 Questions with a computer or small orb? If so, you know that computers and technology, are very capable of predicting what we’ll say and what we’re thinking. How does it do it? Greg Blonder, who we interviewed on the show about a month ago, posted on Internet Evolution today not asking how it does it, but noting how it doesn’t, and posing a work-a-round for poor predictive technology. I’ve chatted with Greg a few times, and he’s a great guy to talk to, but I don’t know him well enough to know exactly how much of an AI fan he is. I am a fan of AI. I’m an AI nut. One of my big fantasies (given enough cash and computing cycles, one that I think is realistic), is to create a truly sentient (at least by Alan Turing‘s standards) AI. Greg gives a couple examples of how current predictive technology falls short: Search engines, and their contextual ads: “Search engine companies believe that they can target ads more efficiently based on invading my privacy and analyzing my last hundred search queries and emails — and thus charge a premium for each ad served. But last week, while I was seeking information on car recalls, I was flooded by ads to buy the very same lemon from the same company I was investigating.” Piracy: “The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) snoops around our computers to see what music files we’re posting and trying to guess our intent. Do we own the track we posted, and are we just backing it up...

RizWords Weekly Roundup

I’m going to try to highlight a few things from the show this week that I think warrant further discussion. This may or may not become a regular feature. We’ll see how you guys like it. gPhoneDo I really need to say more about this? Check Episode 116 of RizWords (you may need to subscribe to the feed to listen). Also read these two posts. The second one contains links to other interesting coverage. Or just Google gPhone. Everyone’s got an opinion now. Two Unfortunate Investments (originals: here and here).On Thursday we talked about VC put into startups Veveo.TV and Wis.dm. Both Art and I puzzled over the amount of money flowing into these two losers. Wis.dm is basically an expanded form of the comments features on every website on the web, but tries to be the newest Web 2.0 to pull wisdom from the crowds. On Wednesday and Friday, I inaccurately referenced from memory the anecdote of Sir Francis Galton, who was from the 19th century, not the 17th, as I said. The anecdote itself was properly related, though, which can be found in his Wikipedia entry: [T]he crowd at a county fair accurately guessed the butchered or the “slaughtered and dressed” weight of an ox when their individual guesses were averaged (the average was closer to the ox’s true butchered weight than the estimates of most crowd members, and also closer than any of the separate estimates made by cattle experts). The example by which the term is defined dictates that yes or no questions aren’t going to be the type of questions that the crowd displays...

RizWords – Daily Politics and Tech – EP51

RizWords – Daily Politics and TechEpisode 51 – download now – subscribe now A member of the TechPodcast Network @ techpodcast.com. If it’s Tech, it’s here. Remember, if you’re listening on the podcast recording, you can call into the show live if you tune in through TalkShoe.com at 2:30 PM EST every weekday. If you like the podcast (and you haven’t already given us a rating), head over and do so, and don’t forget to sign up for the discussion list. Other Podcast Plugs: TalkGirls comes on Tuesday nights. Check out the TalkGirls Podcast … it’s good times! Cotolo Chronicles: Frank is a good friend of the show, and an associate of the late great Wolfman Jack. Check out his podcast. NewsReal: Good friend to Art and I – has one of the best hours of news podcast each week. You Are the Guest: Bill Grady turns the microphone on the internet’s most interesting people. Sponsors: Try GoToMeeting for 45 days! Visit www.GoToMeeting.com/podcast to start your free trial today. J. Douglas Barker – Voice-overs for you! www.romancingthetone.com We opened the show with something Mark thought would be good news for conservatives wishing to stay sane in the mornings… of course Art found the dark cloud around the good news rather quickly: Rosie O’Donnell has fought her last fight at The View. ABC said on Friday she will not be back on the television talk show following her angry confrontation with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Wednesday. It ended a colourful eight-month tenure for O’Donnell that lifted the show’s ratings but no doubt caused heartburn for show creator Barbara Walters. O’Donnell...

Final Post of the Day

I’m running up on the end of my day, and I don’t think I’ll have enough time to really give this topic the amount of time it deserves, so I’ll bottom line it up front, and then go into more depth until I absolutely have to leave the office and head home: I like Twitter. I won’t go into the whole history of how this stupid little service became popular. You can find a hundred other blog posts that talk about the birth, death, and re-birth (in terms of popularity) of this little Web 2.0 app. What I will say is that this simple little script is useful for a number of varied reasons, and has an added benefit of stirring a bit of nostalgia for the ol’ Mr. Rizzn here. Let me explain this. Twitter is defined as status microblogging, in case your wondering. Essentially, if you’re familiar with MySpace… imagine the bulletins system hooked into your Instant Message client or your SMS system for your phone, with RSS capabilities. Twitter reminds me of my old Diaryland days… people reading and writing short (although in the case of Twitter, they are limited to 140 characters) blog posts about what they’re doing and feeling, etc. You’re exposed to your closest friends, and instead of being forced to channel your writing into a niche as in traditional blogging (for professional reasons), it’s more stream of consciousness, more real. That was the beauty of Diaryland. The format was unique, the sub-culture was limited in size, up until the end, and you were able to make and keep friends that were both...

RizWords – Daily Politics and Tech – EP35

RizWords – Daily Politics and TechEpisode 35 – download now – subscribe now – iTunes subscribe A member of the TechPodcast Network @ techpodcast.com. If it’s Tech, it’s here. Remember, if you’re listening on the podcast recording, you can call into the show live if you tune in through TalkShoe.com at 2:30 PM EST every weekday. If you like the podcast (and you haven’t already given us a rating), head over and do so, and don’t forget to sign up for the discussion list. Other Podcast Plugs: TalkGirls comes on Tuesday nights. Check out the TalkGirls Podcast … it’s good times! Cotolo Chronicles: Frank is a good friend of the show, and an associate of the late great Wolfman Jack. Check out his podcast. NewsReal: Good friend to Art and I – has one of the best hours of news podcast each week. Sponsors: Try GoToMeeting for 45 days! Visit www.GoToMeeting.com/podcast to start your free trial today. AACS – Guaranteed improved credit – http://aacsnet.com/ – Mention RizWords and get $50 off your entry to the program. This is a story that really cracks the vernier on Obama’s plastic smile. Underneath all that shiny new unspoiled politician lies the heart of… just another backbiting politician: The Battle to Control Obama’s MyspaceBy Micah L. Sifry, 05/01/2007 – 11:15pmIn November 2004, Joe Anthony, a paralegal living in Los Angeles, started a unofficial fan page for then-newly-elected Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) on MySpace.com. Inspired by Obama’s keynote address at that summer’s Democratic convention, Anthony had never been politically active before. “I was just blown away,” he told me. He put time into the...

RizWords – Daily Politics and Tech – EP34

RizWords – Daily Politics and TechEpisode 34 – download now – subscribe now A member of the TechPodcast Network @ techpodcast.com. If it’s Tech, it’s here. Remember, if you’re listening on the podcast recording, you can call into the show live if you tune in through TalkShoe.com at 2:30 PM EST every weekday. If you like the podcast (and you haven’t already given us a rating), head over and do so, and don’t forget to sign up for the discussion list. Other Podcast Plugs: TalkGirls comes on Tuesday nights. Check out the TalkGirls Podcast … it’s good times! Cotolo Chronicles: Frank is a good friend of the show, and an associate of the late great Wolfman Jack. Check out his podcast. NewsReal: Good friend to Art and I – has one of the best hours of news podcast each week. Sponsors: Try GoToMeeting for 45 days! Visit www.GoToMeeting.com/podcast to start your free trial today. AACS – Guaranteed improved credit – http://aacsnet.com/ – Mention RizWords and get $50 off your entry to the program. Here are the stories for today: Google denies Viacom copyright charges MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Google responded to Viacom’s $1 billion copyright lawsuit on Monday, arguing that it has not infringed on the rights of the media company and that the lawsuit threatens the viability of its popular YouTube video-sharing Web site as well as others like it. And in counter-Google news: Panama Not Enough To Battle Google: Yahoo Acquires RightMedia Yahoo announced today that it will acquire the 80% of advertising network RightMedia that it doesn’t already own for $680 million in cash and Yahoo stock. Yahoo...

RizWords – Daily Politics and Tech – EP30

RizWords – Daily Politics and TechEpisode 30 – download now – subscribe now A member of the TechPodcast Network @ techpodcast.com. If it’s Tech, it’s here. Remember, if you’re listening on the podcast recording, you can call into the show live if you tune in through TalkShoe.com at 2:30 PM EST every weekday. If you like the podcast (and you haven’t already given us a rating), head over and do so, and don’t forget to sign up for the discussion list. Other Podcast Plugs: TalkGirls comes on Tuesday nights. Check out the TalkGirls Podcast … it’s good times! Cotolo Chronicles: Frank is a good friend of the show, and an associate of the late great Wolfman Jack. Check out his podcast. NewsReal: Good friend to Art and I – has one of the best hours of news podcast each week. Sponsors: Try GoToMeeting for 45 days! Visit www.GoToMeeting.com/podcast to start your free trial today. Want $10 for free? Try Google Checkout today! Visit http://oblongbox.net/checkout/ to create your account and start with $10 off your first purchase. There’s this really interesting meme running through the blogosphere right now… Essentially the Drama Pot was stirred by who else? Jason Calacanis. The headlines and blurbs from different perspectives tell the story: Technorati all a’twitter over telephone interview From Jason C.: WIRED journo won’t do email interviews—ironic. — A WIRED journalist pinged me for some comments on Michael Arrington and his A-list blogger status. I told the journalist to send me the questions by email and he refused. He said Dave Winer did the same thing. From Dylan Tweney: Calacanis Won’t Do Phone...

Hackers Declaring Cyberwar on Facebook and Myspace

I’ve been seeing this headline pop up all over the place the last few days: Hackers Declaring War On MySpace, Facebook? My question is: who are these hackers? Is there a central organisation of hackers that have decided to declare this war? Should Facebook and MySpace fight back? The best defense, after all, is a good offense. (SC Magazine) “If the hackers know you have a particular interest, this can be used to target you in a phishing attack. They know what you’re into and can exploit this to obtain more information from you such as credit card details,” he said. “People are putting far too much information online and into the hands of identity thieves. Young people in particular, need to be very careful as it may come back to haunt them.” Those of us with an above average IQ know the vulnerability MySpace, Facebook, and other social networking sites present to our identity. Still, all this hubub begs the question: where are these hackers? Furthermore, should I join up? I’ve been a hacker for years, and there’s apparently some money in harvesting this information. Do these hackers have an HR department I can apply to? It’s simply ridiculous to use terms like CyberWar and hackers when it comes to stories like this, but still the media persists....

ModernOpinion/OblongBox: New Code Snippets

Today has been a day of catchup – it seems to be the theme of the week.  Another theme of the week seems to be fights with PHP.  If it weren’t that the best RSS management script was written in PHP, I’d not be writing this. Magpie, the codebase for most of ModernOpinion, is written in PHP, so here we are. Still, I’ve gotten a number of interesting little bits of code written this week: A program to take blog posts from MySpace and post them to Blogger blogs (hence no more hounding of Kate and Jeff to post to their .coms anymore). A program that will automatically update the front page of ModernOpinion with breaking news stories. A program that will take headlines from any RSS enabled blog and post them to a MySpace profile – a code I’ve been trying to crack for literally six months. The take-away is that after this week, and a maturation period of about three months, I’ve got at least three viable blog properties that will hopefully be generating another $2400 monthly gross for the OblongBox network.  This is good news in that this will provide a fulltime salary for the two managing editors, and make everything run a lot more smoothly for the writers as well as giving us a marketing budget (say hello to large numbers of readers, everyone!). Hopefully, as I apply the scripts in some new, experimental ways, I’ll be able to create a few more viable income producing properties that will get PoddedMeat and ASradio back on it’s feet.  Both projects are suffering a severe lack of...

Geezer Hacker FAQ v1.0

You know what DOS is.You know what ProCOMM is.You know who Kevin Mitnick is and what he did.You remember when Internet access was charged by the hour.You know what L.O.R.D is. You remember thinking how bad you wanted a 56K dialup modem.You’ve ever been “Kicked by SYSOP”.You’ve know what a password hash is and have attempted to crack one at least once.You have heard of Cult of the Dead Cow.All your ____ are belong to us.You’ve used Newsgroups.Either you hate trolls, or you enjoy trolling.You’ve ever considered yourself the King of IRC.You’ve always hated AOL.You would greatly enjoy a piece of Alienware.You know why it’s bad to be a script kiddie.You’ve cussed your compiler.You know why Intellivision was better than Atari.You’re afraid to calculate just how many quarters you spent at the Arcade.Y2K had the potential to wipe out your social life.You’ve fragged someone.You hate spawn campers.Leroy Jenkins is your hero.You have at least one cracked EXE or Keygen on your computer.Every program you own is illegal.You cheered for Napster and hated Metallica.You know what Limewire, Morpheus, Kazaa and Bittorrent are good for.You’ve ever considered yourself “leet”, or made fun of someone who did. ….Compiled by...

Theivery: Activity or Crime?

My buddy Kevin, from MySpace, sent me an article today that made me ponder my position on the nature of some crimes. Read the summary of the original article here, and my comments afterward 136 stolen cars, 1 suspect: “He enjoyed driving”He had fun, fun, fun -— until the police took his screwdriver away. Until that happened, Seattle police say, 23-year-old Liam Moynihan had been on a one-man crime wave, stealing more cars than anyone in King County history. Armed with only a screwdriver and hammer, they say, he jimmied his way into at least 136 vehicles during a six-month joyride of epic proportions. From last November until his arrest in May, Moynihan allegedly stole enough cars to stock a good-sized dealership, averaging one theft every 32 hours. And unlike many car thieves, Moynihan didn’t sell the stolen cars for parts, say detectives in Seattle’s Major Crimes Task Force, which investigates car thefts. Instead, they say, Moynihan simply liked to drive, often taking a stolen car out for a spin for a few hours, sometimes until the gas tank ran dry, and then stealing another. “He’d just drive around, deciding to go to Kenmore or Tukwila one day. He needed to get from Point A to Point B – he enjoyed driving,” said the undercover detective who investigated the case. Police have requested the detective not be identified because of ongoing undercover work. “He was a nice kid, very forthright, intelligent. But he knew how to do this certain thing, and he was good at it,” the detective said. Many of the cars were either stolen or recovered in...

Late Night; Productive Night

I’ve been up late working on the major Oblong Box site redesigns. The upside is after extensive testing, we’ll now be able to completely deviate our web designs from each other, and still maintain branding. That is to say, there will be a persistent navbar on top of everyone’s web page, but it will not detract from the overall design, and still maintain continuity between everyone’s pages. The downside is that while I have the mockup and the concept work done, it’s going to take several more days of development to get this project done. To go into more boring detail that no one will probably care about besides me: The navbar will allow for editors to maintain payment information for the different writers, auto-update the blogs for those that insist on updating their MySpace blogs, but not their dot-com blogs (you know who you are!), as well as possibly in the future allowing the writers themselves to look at their balances and see how much money they have coming to them. These things will take a while to develop, but as soon as they are done (and I really am predicting a matter of days here, not weeks), things are going to start looking up for the network aesthetically. On the finance side of things, several of our writers were just accepted to the tier two PR placement program, so we’ll start seeing a lot more money going out to writers… and Wendy will be likely be doing a lot more typing! All of these are good signs, because it means the network is finally making enough money...

Are the Chili Peppers Really That Bad?

This tip comes to me from of all places, MySpace…. read and weep: From: Kracker KillsBody: I really don’t give a sh!t about the red hot chili peppers and even though I don’t like their music, I have to admit they are a great band and have innovated more than one style of rock and roll. NOW TO BUISNESS! My last post was no bull shit. After searching Foxnews.com I found were the story originated and it turned out to be the dreaded O’Rielly Factor. Here is the direct link to the web page (either click on it or copy and paste) http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,213490,00.html Once you have entered the page, press Ctrl and F. A box will pop up. Type in it “Red Hot Chili Peppers” read a few lines up. if you are to lazy to do that I am also cutting and pasting part of the article right below O’REILLY: You know, there is a big article, and we’re going to deal with this tomorrow night, as I mentioned. Sunday’s New York Times, torture a big al Qaeda guy and you know what the torture allegations came down to, professor? Did you read the article? It came down to… LYNN: The water boarding? O’REILLY: No. It came down to keeping a captured Al Qaeda in a frigid room and playing Red Hot Chili Pepper music at a very loud level. Do you consider that torture, sir? LYNN: No. But I certainly sympathize with the discomfort of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. O’REILLY: Me, too. I’d give up anything to not listen to it, but that’s a joke. But...

An Odd Day

Today wasn’t very productive for me. Sometimes it’s tough being an idea guy. My mind has been racing with a thousand ideas, things that I’ve had planned for a while, projects I want to do, but simply don’t have time to do them. In the near future, here, when PoddedMeat and OblongBox start bringing in the revenue, I’ll have the capital to afford some programmers and get them done. In the mean time, I hope the ideas don’t evaporate from my head (and I maintain the self-discipline to get what needs to be done accomplished). Here’s my thought process today. I read an article last night that suggest to properly promote video works, you need to post it to all the two bit video sites, not just YouTube and GoogleVideo. So today I worked up a comprehensive list of all the video sites I could muster and downloaded all the upload clients, and have been steadily trafficking scads of video up to these various sites (if you notice my video blog, you’ll see I’ve also been looking around a bit at their content as well). One that I found that was particularly interesting was one called MetaCafe. It has an interesting concept for it’s download client. Most of these sites, their download client is simply for uploading video – MetaCafe’s client re-introduces the ‘veg factor’ into on-demand video, something that I think has been sorely lacking. One of the elements I wanted to put into the show we did on podcasting clients was the weaknesses I saw in all the podcatching clients (which is the same weakness I see...

Florida: What vacation? (news roundup)

It’s been a minute since I’ve had enough free time to do one of these, but guess what!? It’s a news roundup from your old pal Mr. Rizzn. That’s right. Today I actually have enough free time to devote to a little R&R. What is R&R for Rizzn? Posting on his blog. On the upside, I am doing this from a wireless laptop from the beach outside my house here in Florida, so I’m not a total recluse. For those of you keeping track at home, I’ve had 0 drinks on this trip, and I’m headed back in the morning. Smokehouse wins the vacation drink-a-thon. Resident’s 18 TV’s might have caused high-rise fireThis story makes me rethink my idea for the video wall I had planned for my livingroom. I just like the retro look of oldschool pawnshop TV’s stacked on one another. Incidentally, this story takes place a few miles from my house here in Florida. Picture this: you’re kicked back watching several of your 18 televisions while propping your feet up on one and holding the door open with two others — and then your room catches on fire. Strangely enough, something very similar may have happened; the precise cause of the fire that lit up Florida’s Hotel Versailles — forcing the Red Cross to relocate 150 residents — is still being investigated, but there’s no way having that many TV’s plugged into a small army of power strips can be safe. When firefighters arrived, even they commented on the difficultly of extinguishing flames while wading through over a dozen CRT sets. So the next time you...

Riz Mix 6: Full Tilt Rhythm – a Preview

I stayed up late tonight drinking, dealin’ with drama, and mixing music. I made some decent headway on the Core Factor remix. If your RSS reader isn’t podcast enabled, click here instead. If you are here from some of the people who’ve been passing around this page info, you should got to the music link from up top and check out my old CD. If you’re getting married soon, you’re going to need to save a lot of money. Reception, wedding cameras, rings, reception… all that’s expensive man! Heh, I’m pretty delerious at the moment, so I’m going to sleep a couple hours now....

MySpace Drama!

I had yet to experience in my years of being on MySpace the fabled “MySpace Drama.” I’ve always heard about it, but never involved myself. Today, I saw the opportunity, pondered it briefly, and jumped in feet first! This is the chronicle of that. First, the setup. There’s this girl who’s absolutely cute as a button, and is friends with my old neighbors Jen and Jared – her name is Amber. She recieved an email from someone she turned down for a date that went a little something like this: bitch your so small your tiny ass could fit into my pocket you would be my little whore bitch your just a waste of sperm i hope you get gang raped hahhahahahah and your site and taste in music is very poor She was understandably upset by the vulgar, albeit poorly worded insult. She informed me and a few friends about the incident, and I took it upon myself to send a little message to the worm. Do you feel all big and powerful sending insulting and degrading messages to little girls? Let’s hope we never meet in a dark alley. For your sake. He replied: if i met you anywhere i would rip your head off your so ignorant little person you better bring a gun i dont need one to put you in the ground I felt it was incumbent upon me to correct his grammar and mistaken assumptions: I don’t need a gun. I’m 6’5″. I could step on you. Are you really debating on the internet who could beat up who? I wouldn’t need to...

Nuh-Uh. Not in MY house: Lazy Sunday Ruminations

I’m just hanging out at my house this Sunday, trying to muster the motivation to do something productive. So far, it’s not working out for me. I had really hoped that the girl I met in Dallas last week was going to give me a call, and I could blow off whatever responsibilities I had this weekend, thus proving my committment to being productive was fairly shallow. Instead I’ve been coming up with tidbits of busywork and sipping beers in front of thuTeeVee. I also was reading some of my various caches of writing this weekend. I keep a couple other low traffic blogs that I don’t tell anyone about. I’m sure they’re google-able and I’m sure now that I’ve mentioned them, someone will go out there, find them, and link them to my site to embarrass me; but by and large they are so non-descript that they blend in with the rest of the internet chatter. One blog in particular has sort of evolved into a blog I type in when I feel particularly emotional about my love life. It’s a little weird to read, there’s only about twenty posts going back about three years or so. Paging through it, you’d think the author was some sort of manic-depressive if you didn’t read the dates on the entries. The tones vary, from goofy romance, to cynical mysogenism. As an interesting sidenote, Technorati notes a spike in the search term “goofy romance” for earlier this week. If you compare the number of times people used “goofy romance” this week vs. back around Valentines day, you’ll see that those are...

Wacky Memorial Day Weekend

Hey guys. This is just a quick update. I’ve got a really busy week in store for me this week, and my schedule is filling up quicker than you could imagine, so this might possibly be the only update to the blog for the week (heaven forfend). I should be sending a few updates the direction of the Fisher for Legislature website though, so you should definately check that out if you get the chance. My brain is in that sleep deprived mode, so this may not make a whole lot of sense, but I’m going to chance it anyways. SaturdayA Dating Success StorySaturday was when the madness began. I was up working on my company’s website (link forthcoming this week) till about 4am Friday night, so I slept in till about 10:30am-ish. My buddy Jeff has been going through a rough time, relationship-wise lately. I already had plans for the day here in town, as well as plans to travel on Sunday, but as a favor to him when he requested, I agreed to wing-man for him on a blind date with a girl from Duncanville. We headed out to DFW around 11AM to go meet up with his date, arriving around 1:30 or so. For those of you who know Jeff well, you know he’s lost like 50 lbs. lately, and has been hitting the gym pretty heavily every day. It’s may be shallow, but when someone works to take care of themselves like that, they expect to be able to land a girl who isn’t to heavy to be picked up by anything but a bodybuilder....