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Nerdy Image Dump in Honor of Nicol

In honor of my bestest friend ever coming into town, and in honor of the fact that I found a harddrive with a lot of really old crap on it, I’m going to do an image dump of things I thought were awesome 8 years ago.

These things, it should be noted, are still awesome.

Harry Potter + Google = Love

As the resident Google fan, I am happy to report that there is a whole lot of interesting Google news this week.  It seems that Google doesn’t do news weeks in half measures.

First up is political news — both Google and Facebook have spent more money during this quarter on lobbyists than they have ever spent previously.  Both companies have had some run ins with the FTC and are now throwing money at theproblem.  Google is spending way more than Facebook, though — $2.06 million in the second quarter to Facebook’s $320,000.  For the first time ever, they even spent more than Microsoft!

To further their attempts to take over the internet, Google is also planning on offering a low-interest credit card to advertisers on AdWords.  It’ll be a MasterCard without an annual fee and a 8.99% APR, but can only be used for ads.  The idea is that small businesses can get some credit for big ad campaigns at holidays without having to have funds for it on hand.

Google is also offering a new feature in Gmail that allows you to use more than one line at a time.  The multi-call feature lets you put people on hold and pick up another call at the same time — a normal call waiting function that’s relatively new to the online phone services.  They actually are going to offer the full call waiting function, meaning that you get notified of incoming calls and can choose to answer and put people on hold and all that jazz, but you can only use two outgoing calls at a time.

Google+ continues to grow, gathering a fairly young demographic.  It’s currently the 42nd most visited social networking site in the US.  Google+ has grown by 821% since the week of July 2nd and has a much larger percentage of women than originally estimated, meaning that it’s probably not just engineers and internet nerds who are jumping on the bandwagon.  In an attempt to compete with Apple and Facebook, Google+ will be offering games and taking a much lower percentage of revenue from games — approximately 5% compared to the normal 30%.  Google also will host the games on their own servers, theoretically making them faster and less buggy.

Google will be shutting down Google Labs, a feature that allowed users to test run experimental features on different websites.  For example, the popular beer goggles that requires you to do simple math to access your email late at night on the weekends, to try to prevent drunk emailing.  They say that many of the features in Calendar or Gmail won’t be going away, but it’s unclear what exactly is going and staying.  The good news is that just because there will be no more labs doesn’t mean that the 20% rule is going away — Google employees are supposed to spend 20% of their work time on personal pet projects out of which many of the labs have emerged.

And finally, of personal interest to me, is Google’s announcement that it is teaming up with JK Rowlings Pottermore to make the Harry Potter books available through Google eBooks.  Google will also get exclusive payment rights for all Pottermore.com purchases, edging out PayPal and Amazon Payments.  With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 set to be the first of the series to reach 1 billion, it seems that despite the fact that Harry Potter is about to be 15 years old, it’s still a major draw.

Originally Posted at SocialAxcess.com

Dearth of Posting

I do try to update this regularly, and even with quality content when I can manage it.  I’ve just started a new job and I had to work today, which is Sunday, for about 8 hours.  And I have to get up early, which means I can’t stay up late, which is when I do most of my writing.  It’s tough.

I’m also doing some freelance writing (for money!) as well as the NaNo writing, so it just turns out that blogging isn’t the highest priority thing on my plate.  Also, the thing I’m most focused on is how I feel about my current job and that’s not public blog fodder.

And so much interesting and/or horrific things have happened that I want to talk about and I’ve got an excellent feature idea for SheThought that I’m finding impossible to write because it involves way too many ideas and is going to be a short novel by the time I work through all the issues I’m dealing with in it.  When half your article is about how difficult it was to write your article, you’ve got to start rethinking some structural issues there.

Anyway, I want to do a quick rundown of things that happened this week that pissed me off and/or impressed me.

This made me cry happy tears: Little girl bullied for liking Star Wars gets hundreds of e-mails and toys in support.

This made me scream in rage: The Westboro Baptist Church (aka the scum of the earth) protested Elizabeth Edwards funeral because she used IVF.

This made Wayne Brady want to chock a bitch: The Salvation Army won’t give kids Harry Potter or Twilight toys. They will, on the other hand, give them guns.

This made me snark: Egypt thinks that Israel is using attack sharks against them. I repeat, EGYPT, as in a real country in the real world, thinks ISRAEL, also a real country and not a Bond Villain, is using SHARKS as WEAPONS. Seriously.

This made me go Hmm… wha?: Only 6% of scientists identify as Republican, which is even less than how many College Professors identify as Republican (14%), and we know what pinko commies professors are. The author and I agree that this is the problem, but our opinions diverge very quickly when he seems to think the problem is with Science and not with the Republican Party. Between with the uber religious and illogical ideas the religious right clings to along with the anti-science agenda of the GOP, it’s not surprising that few scientist would admit to being supportive of the party. The problem isn’t science, the problem is that the GOP needs to get its elephant head out of its elephant ass and start supporting science and intelligent thinking, instead of psuedoscience and intelligent design.

And finally, the last two things that have been impressing and depressing me: Wikileaks and Bernie “GIANT BALLS” Sanders.

Here’s an interesting documentary about Wikileaks. Here’s a useful timeline of events. And here’s an opinion piece that pretty much sums up my own feelings on the subject.

A balance must be struck between transparent democracy and diplomatic need, but calls for hunting down Assange and hyperbole regarding the cables do not further this important debate and seem designed only for media sensationalism.

From 1996 to 2009, the number of documents labeled classified has increased about 1,000 percent, according to an Information Security Oversight Office report. It’s as if the U.S. government thinks it must guide us rather than allow we-the-people to guide it. And it’s as if the government — and seemingly much of the media — thinks we can’t handle the truth.

And finally, Bernie Sanders, gotta love that man.  I have spent hours searching to try to find clips from the Stackhouse Filibuster episode of the West Wing.  I can’t, but I will link to a video of Bernie and leave you with a quote.

‎Tonight, I’ve seen a man with no legs stay standing, Dad, and a guy with no voice keep shouting. And if politics brings out the worst in people, maybe people bring out the best. Because I’m looking at the TV right now, and damn if 28 U.S. senators haven’t just walked onto the floor to help.

F all this, I’m talking about Harry Potter

The best part of the the Harry Potter movie? Definitely the Death Eaters. The part where Voldemort breaks Snakey? OMG.

Also, while we’re referring to Makani, let’s do a link to this comic about Voldy staying at Malfoy Manor. And I’m gonna put another one in because it refers to both DH and Emperor’s New Groove.

OK enough of that. Let’s talk about Emmy.

Buahahahhaha. Oh, right the movie. Hmm.  It was pretty good.  I really admire Steve Kloves for making everything so funny.  Or maybe everything just seems funny to me.

Blame Jen McCreight

I’ve been reading fanfiction for the first time in several years and it’s all Jen McCreight’s fault.

The premise for this fic is that Harry Potter is hyper-rational and it is, essentially, pointing out how logically flawed the Harry Potter books are.  With love, obviously.  It’s surprisingly enjoyable, so if you’re a skeptic and an HP fan, I recommend it.  I’ve gotten to Chapter 19…

Now, for the first time, he was up against the prospect of a mystery that was threatening to be permanent. If Time didn’t work by acyclic causal networks then Harry didn’t understand what was meant by cause and effect; and if Harry didn’t understand causes and effects then he didn’t understand what sort of stuff reality might be made of instead; and it was entirely possible that his human mind never could understand, because his brain was made of old-fashioned linear-time neurons, and this had turned out to be an impoverished subset of reality.

Spiderman, Twilight, Potter, Buffy

Robert Pattinson may be taking over Tobey Maguire’s role as superhero Spider-Man.

1. I hated Spiderman.  87% of the reason was Kirsten Dunst and her terrible hair (which did get better in subsequent films), and the rest was the fact that I hate Spiderman.  There is only one good Superhero and his name is Batman and, ignoring the films of the 90s but definitely accepting the animation of the 90s, he is awesome.  Spiderman is a whiny little emo kid, to Batman’s insane and bipolar, do-gooder freak.  Cheer up emo kid.

2. I hate Twilight, though I don’t hate Twihards.  I get it, I really do.  I just, as a feminist, and as a person who is creeped out my Mormonism, don’t really approve of the creepy female hating/stalking is cool messaging in the book.  And let’s face it, it’s no Harry Potter.  Or Buffy for that matter.

3. I didn’t even like Roberto in HP4, though I was just generally not a fan of HP4.  Let’s face it, he’s no Sean Biggerstaff.  Real name.

4. If you want Vampires done right, you watch Buffy.  Here is why: