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Archive for February, 2007

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How People Found Me – January, 2007

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

My sudden need to switch tracking mechanisms here at I Should Be Sleeping put this monthly feature on hold for a while, but now it’s back and better than ever. Google Analytics is giving me more data about my site than GeoCities Site Statistics ever did. So, you see, I’m late, but the quality of the product is higher. Microsoft, are you listening? Anyway, on to the fun:

Visits and Pageviews
Familygreenberg.com received 1,723 pageviews from 968 unique visitors in January (actually from 1/8 through 1/31, since I started capturing data on 1/8). I’d call this an amazing new record (the highest total GeoCities ever gave me was ~1,500 pageviews), but there is some variance in what different tools call a unique visitor and/or a pageview, so for now, I’ll just call it a successful month and compare it to subsequent months to determine its record status.

Top Pages
The top 10:

/2006/01/concert-review-billy-joel-at-madison.html (261 pageviews)
/disney/characters.htm (111 pageviews)
/blog.htm (98 pageviews)
/2006/07/celebrity-look-alike.html (82 pageviews)
/2006/01/billy-joel-plays-oldies.html (74 pageviews)
/disney/2006/index.htm (65 pageviews)
/2006/12/blogger-550-permission-denied-bug.html (52 pageviews)
/2006/11/isbs-review-internet-explorer-7.html (52 pageviews)
/sherry.htm (44 pageviews)
/avery.htm (41 pageviews)

The vast majority of my hits come from the big search engines, with Google generating more than 70% of them. There are several international Google sites (.de, .es, .co.uk, .ca) which is fascinating in a “Wow, Americans are fascinated by anything international” kind of way. Other notable referrers are jasonbennion.com (5 of the 968 visits), jeffporten.com (2 of the 968), scalzi.com (1 / 968), and washingtonpost.com (1 / 968). That last one coming from some bot they put together that decided a post I had written on one of their articles warranted linking to from the article itself.

I also had links from some interesting domains, including the Air Force (af.mil) and the Army (army.mil), nineteen different universities, and eight state government domains. And then there are the ones that just make you wonder, like videotron.ca, bredbandsbolaget.se, calibercollision.com, and club-internet.fr (ooh la la!)


The site was accessed from 628 unique locations (see map, click to enlarge) in 45 countries. A full 28% of the traffic came from outside the US, with the big contributors being Canada (7%), UK (4%), and Netherlands, Germany and India (just over 1% each). Some exotic/far away locations: Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Pakistan, Aruba, UAE, Moldova, Bangladesh, and Uganda (just to name a few).

Ah yes, the old standby – things people typed into search engines that prompted them to click over to my site. This month there were three groups:

Billy Joel
“billy joel concert reviews” (1 / 1,050,000)
(ED NOTE: 13 months old, and this post is still at the top of Google’s list. I don’t understand why, but it’s generated over 4,500 pageviews and more than 50 comments from all around the world, making it the most read thing I’ve ever written, so I’m genuinely thrilled.)

Interestingly, “billy joel concert review” (without the “s”) doesn’t show that post at all, even though 44 people got there with this query in January. Strange…

Celebrity Look Alikes
I posted a couple of times about a celebrity look-alike site someone sent me, and it has also become a Google darling, though not to the extent of the Billy Joel post:

“celebrity look-alike” (106 / 786,000)
“face recognition celebrity look alike” (7 / 490,000)
“celebrity look alike face recognition” (8 / 490,000)
“jake gyllenhaal look alike” (3 / 86,700)
“emmy rossum lookalike” (1 / 10,000) (ED NOTE: Don’t ask…)

Technical / Internet Stuff
Several of my posts about Blogger, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, and Internet Explorer have been big search engine favorites:

“tables in blogger” (1 / 1,260,000) (ED NOTE: Blogger’s post is #2. Sweet!!!)
“save as not responding” (9 / 1,920,000)
“550 permission denied” (9 / 863,000)
“verizon dsl wall filter” (1 / 277,000)
“ie7 keeps scrolling” (73 / 113,000)
“outlook 2003 0x800ccc90″ (10 / 14,800)

And the Rest…
As always, there are the ones that make you say, “Hmmm….”

“you know what’s wrong with the world today?” (2 / 18,200,000)
(ED NOTE: A report on Rumsfeld’s farewell address is #6. <Snicker…>)

“evidence “in favor of” idea global warming real process occurring “right now”" (8 / 96,600)
(ED NOTE: Kos is #7…)

“why does asparagus arrive in early spring” (5 / 165,000)
“pelosi smoking october stock market” (99 / 219,000)
“lawn ornament + crane” (36 / 156,000)
“fred flintstone global warming pictures” (14 / 56,600)
“qaeda 1998 ofac” (9 / 13,500)
“gold flamingos leominster ma” (2 / 9,460)
“”governor’s mansion” “new jersey” “superbowl”" (4 / 229)
“comparsion creats jealousy” (4 / 120) (ED NOTE: Still a big hit among those who can’t spell)
“elvis presley “go quakers”" (1 / 5)
“”gentlemen start your ovens”" (13 / 105)

Categories: Blogging about Blogs | 1 Comment »

The Real News about Apple’s deal with Apple Corp.

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Wil Wheaton points out that the settlement between Apple, Inc. and Apple Corps not only paves the way for Beattles music to appear in the ITMS, but also for Apple to sell pre-loaded iPods.

He didn’t say it, but I think it works like this: Apple, Inc.’s deal with Apple Corps was that Apple, Inc. would never get into the business of selling music, in order to prevent confusion with Apple Corps. Apple, Inc. has long argued that iPods, iTunes and ITMS don’t violate this agreement, because what they’re selling is data, not music. Now that a settlement has been reached, this questionable distinction has been lifted, and pre-loaded iPods are possible.

I agree with Wil on this – I think the possibilities are almost unlimited. In his post, he talks about buying entire music catalogs in digital form (along with the music player itself), increased access for Indie bands, and specially themed iPods (e.g., Christmas iPods). His commenters go even further, discussing implications for audio books and “iBootlegs” (entire concerts available for sale on an iPod, perhaps on the way out of the arena?). I’m sure there thousands of other possibilities here, many of them representing major shifts in how we interact with (and/or purchase) music.

Very cool…

Categories: Tech Talk, Words about Music | No Comments »

2007 Superbowl Ads

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

For those who dis the commercials in public, but then really want to watch them over & over again in private, here’s a site that contains all the 2007 Superbowl Ads. Go ahead, I won’t tell a soul. I promise…

And as long as I’m here, I might as well run through my own personal awards show:

Funniest Spot goes to the short clip of Oprah & Dave sitting on the couch together. Subtle, but hilarious.

Most Clever goes to the Chevrolet ad, for mixing together all the songs with the Chevy products in them. Although, I gotta admit – the first song I would have thought of if they asked me would have been American Pie (“drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry…”). You think maybe they left it out to avoid mentioning levees post-Katrina? Billy Joel’s got a Chevrolet mention too (Captain Jack: “You got your tapedeck, and your brand new Chevrolet”). Probably too obscure for most people, though…

Most Disturbing was a tie: the naked guys washing cars and the comeover beard dude. Shudder…

Categories: Primetime TV, Sports Talk | 8 Comments »

You Never Know Who You’ll Meet in New York…

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

Hey, remember the Great Simple Tricks Pizza Challenge? This was back in July, when Chenopup, a commenter over at Jason Bennion’s Simple Tricks and Nonsense blog, suggested that the pizza at a local Salt Lake City eatery called Este was better than anything you’d find in New York City, and I suggested he bring a pizza out to New York for a taste test.

It was all a cute little story until Chenopup revealed that he is a filmaker by trade, and was speaking to his local ABC affiliate about having Regis & Kelly cover the story on their morning show. Then it got exciting.

Then it went radio silent for about five months.

But alas, the story lives! Chenopup had a business trip to New York a couple of weeks ago, and so naturally, we arranged to go out for pizza. Specifically, John’s Pizzeria at 260 West 44th St. Well, wouldn’t ya know it, guess who walked into the restaurant while we were enjoying our meal:

Regis thought the story was hysterical, and graciously agreed to pose for a picture with us and our pizza. No word yet on whether the whole thing will make it onto his show, though.

Amazing, huh? Almost too good to be true!

Well, OK, it is too good to be true. The picture is photoshopped. Here’s the original:

It was great to meet Cheno, and the pizza was excellent. He’s busy with other projects right now, and Buena Vista hasn’t called him back, but he still considers the project “on the back burner,” so we may one day get that actual meeting with Regis.

And now, I shall take my leave so that Jason Bennion can get his heart started again…

Categories: The World Wide Weird | 3 Comments »

The 2008 Election – Rules of Engagement

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

With just 643 days left before the 2008 Presidential election, media coverage is understandably heating up. Much of the focus right now centers around Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, widely considered to be the first woman and African American, respectively, with the best chance at the presidency in our nation’s history.

Before all of this gets out of hand, I propose we all agree on the following rules for rationally discussing the election.

All in favor?

The Rules of Engagement – 2008 Presidential Election

  1. There is absolutely nothing about the job, President of the United States, that requires one to have a particular type of reproductive organs or a particular skin color.
  2. Any statement refuting Rule #1, including those of the form, “America is not ready for…” is hereby declared incorrect.
  3. An unwillingness to support Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama for president shall not be considered sufficient proof of a person’s sexism/racism.
  4. Given Rule #3, people who do not support Clinton/Obama for president shall not be required to provide a list of powerful women/African Americans that they do support, in order to disprove their sexist/racist tendencies.
  5. The election of Clinton/Obama to the presidency shall not, on its own, represent the opening of doors or the removal of barriers. Instead, it shall indicate that sometime in the recent past, such barriers/doors were removed/opened, and that a viable candidate has now emerged to take advantage of our newly enlightened society. Sexism/Racism does not vanish on the first Tuesday of a particular November. It degrades over time. It’s degrading as we speak, and we should recognize and encourage it’s demise now, rather than ignore it until it generates a “media moment.”
  6. The election of Clinton/Obama to the presidency DOES make it easier for the next female/African American candidate who seeks the office, but only in the sense that they will not have to answer as many questions about their gender/skin color during the campaign. In this sense, Clinton/Obama’s election will also help future white, male candidates who run against female/African American opponents.
  7. Comments made about Clinton’s gender/Obama’s race shall not be automatically interpreted as implied criticisms of Geraldine Ferraro, Jesse Jackson, or Al Sharpton.
  8. Among supporters and/or aspiring politicians, young males are equally justified in admiring Hillary Clinton as young females. Similarly, whites are free to admire Barack Obama, just as African Americans are. There is no rule requiring one’s role model to match one’s gender or skin color.
  9. Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with them, Clinton’s position on racism and Obama’s position on sexism shall both be considered valid, well-informed positions until proven otherwise. A candidate need not personally experience a particular hardship in order to meaningfully contribute to a discussion about mitigating it.
  10. Women who do not support Clinton and African Americans who do not support Obama shall not be considered “traitors” to their gender/race. Supporting someone solely because of his/her gender or race is just as sexist/racist as opposing him/her for the same reason. It assumes unrelated facts about a person based on their membership in a particular group, which is the very definition of prejudice.


Categories: Political Rantings | No Comments »

Scalzi on Vista

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

John Scalzi has posted what he calls an Incredibly Detailed Review of Windows Vista, Based on Strenuous Examination of Every Nook and Cranny of Microsoft’s Revolutionary New Operating System That Will Change the Way You Look At Computing Forever. I will now risk a massive copyright lawsuit by reprinting it in its entirety. I know it’s lengthy, but read it all the way through. The best part is at the end:

Eh. You can wait.

This, to me, is not surprising. It’s an operating system, not a major motion picture. There’s a novelty to it because it’s new, but after a few hours/days/weeks, it will likely just blend into the background and become a normal part of using the computer.

The real genius in Scalzi’s review, aside from the riveting writing style and character development, is the fact that he’s actually installed and used Windows Vista. Many of his commenters have not, but have not let a little thing like experience with the product get in their way of providing reviews. The result is a litany of knee-jerk Microsoft hating which, to be frank, has become both extremely boring and a real impediment to Googling around for information about how the product is actually performing, now that it’s released.

Over the years, I’ve discovered a seminal fact about computers: used as directed, they work just fine. Start to mess around with their insides, though, and all bets are off. That’s why you see so many people complaining about constant OS crashes, while others tell of PC’s that have been running for months or years without a single problem. And now that the Mac is starting to venture outside of its cozy, little niche corner, I’m starting to read the same things about OS X that I’ve been reading about Windows for years. Go figure…

Basically, it comes down to this: the people that experience the most problems are the ones that insist on installing unsupported hacks, manually messing with the Windows Registry or the Unix kernel, partitioning the hard drive in weird and creative ways, or otherwise using the machine in a way that no one who built (or tested) it could have ever imagined.

Once your machine has left the path most traveled, software that expects to find data in certain places can start to misbehave. This is why you read horror stories about people losing their music library when upgrading iTunes or experiencing hard drive crashes when installing Service Packs, while most others have no issue at all. For example, Scalzi upgraded his machine to Vista in just over an hour, while one of his commenters spent “six ‘effin hours [that were] mostly nightmarish.”

My current PC runs Windows XP, and I’ve done my level best to minimize the amount of “non-standard” activities I do with it. As such, it’s performed admirably for several years now. Like a lot of people, I have been waiting for the Vista release before upgrading to a new machine, and it’s precisely for the purpose described above. I want my Vista machine to arrive straight from the factory, where it’s been installed and tested exactly the way Microsoft expected it to be. I expect I’ll see very little in the way of bugs or performance problems with this approach.

And, of course, I’ll be posting a review here at some point. I think I’ll follow Scalzi’s example, though, and wait until I’ve used it before I opine…

Categories: Tech Talk | 1 Comment »

Polling Rudy

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

I can tell already that Rudy Giuliani‘s presidential candidacy is going to be very confusing for the nations pollsters and pundits. To wit:

One in five Republicans said his views [on abortion and civil unions for same-sex couples] would “rule him out as a candidate” they could support. That included one-third of those who attend church every week, an important base of the GOP that makes up a third of party loyalists. Another 25% of Republicans said his views made them less likely to support him, nearly double the proportion who said they made them more likely to support him.

These numbers aren’t surprising, but the fatal flaw in the survey is that it only polls Republicans. I think Rudy’s strength as a candidate comes from the fact that he’d draw a broad base of support from both parties, since he’d give many Democrats a viable alternative to a candidate they don’t like (like Hillary Clinton, for instance). And since so many of these polls are self-fulfilling (people’s opinions are driven by the polls they read about every day), I think that more publicity around Rudy’s popularity among Democrats will actually increase his popularity among Republicans.

And that’s his biggest challenge: winning the Republican nomination. As far as I can recall, Rudy Giuliani is the first candidate in a long time that is going to have more trouble winning his party’s nomination than he will have winning the election itself.

Categories: Political Rantings | 2 Comments »

The Lite-Brites are Coming! The Lite-Brites are Coming!

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

I realize this story is a couple of days old at this point, but I saw the headline the other day, and didn’t bother to read the article until today. For those who have done the same, THIS is one of the electronic devices that was meant to advertise the Aqua Team Hunger Force video game, and which scared Boston city officials into shutting down the airports, subways, etc.

Now, we all have our 9/11 PTSD-like symptoms to deal with (I still don’t like watching planes fly overhead), and I’m sure it’s gotta be worse if you’re a government official (“Mr. Mayor, are you telling us that the bombs were adorned with cartoon characters flipping the bird to the city in bright neon and you still missed them?”), but this is truly through the looking glass. If you asked me to guess at what this was, I think “terrorist bomb” would be 20th or 30th on the list, behind “child’s toy,” “advertisement,” and “graffiti,” just to name a few…

Categories: The World Wide Weird | No Comments »

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