I’m glad! But I’m concerned for you. I don’t want people to call you a bandwagon fan, ya know? 

I was born and raised in South Florida. So many people didn’t understand how I could be a Steelers fan. I must have just jumped on the fan train they said.

Nay, sir.

Both parents were from the Steel City, and raised me proudly as a ‘Burgh fan. I grew up rooting for the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. (Luckily I’m old enough to remember a winning season from the Pirates) 

 I’ve been engulfed in Pittsburgh and Steelers cultural memes my entire life. With the help of my brother Colin, we’ve put together this “Must Know” fact sheet to help you root on “Dem Picksburgh Stillers”.

Read the rest of this entry »

My blog, which started as a venue for my overactive mind, has increased–surprisingly–in readership in only the past week. Bloggers are linking to me, I’ve been found on stumble upon, and search engines have been listing me higher and higher each day. For that, I thank my readers.

But good news aside, I want to take this opportunity to express my deepest thoughts to Rep. Giffords, her family, and all those involved in the violent outburst which occurred yesterday afternoon. I am deeply saddened by the fact that an individual chose violence to express his opinion. May he face the strictest of punishments from both the American Judicial System and God.

Giffords said that Democracy is a “beacon of light”, able to make changes through the ballot-box and not violence. It is this reason I love the American system. I’m not worried about being hurt for my beliefs, and am never concerned I will be shot at the polls.

The US House of Representatives, in my opinion, is the face of government. While I have not met any of my State Senators, I have met with my Representative at various public meetings. I have even had lunch with former Rep. Kosmas. They are open and available, but with that, are vulnerable.

I hope that Representatives do not fear. I hope they continue to meet with their constituents. I also hope that Congress takes it in their hands to provide more adequate protection for their Representatives and the people around them. It has always been in the back of my mind how lax security was at these meetings between Representatives and the public.

I hope Congress will address this issue. I hope Representatives do not fear. I hope constituents continue to meet with their Representatives. I hope the American Political System remains without violence.

 

A few people who read my blog asked me to write a piece on the “Dead Bird” phenomenon. I was hesitant at first because I really don’t know where I stand on the issue. While I am a rational thinker, and do believe there is a scientific explanation for the dead birds and fish (and now, dead crabs in the UK) that died en masse, there is still that tiny conspiracy mindset. Doing some preliminary research on the matter, I found a few theories running around the internet.

The scientific community and government affairs departments all hold steadfast that one of three things is to blame. One – the birds were spooked by New Years fireworks and, being unable to navigate in the night sky, subsequently ran into building thus causing their death. Two – the harsh winter left the birds and fish susceptible to disease and famine and thus killed them. At the same time. Three – a rouge thunderstorm sucked up the birds into the upper atmosphere–killing them–and then spit their bodies out.

I’m more apt to believe story one. I don’t for a minute believe story two. Story three may have some merit. I did some preliminary research and their was some atmospheric action the evening of Dec. 31st, but I am nowhere near qualified to make a judgment on what it was and what the effect on the bird population would have been.

My friends in the conspiracy blogosphere are going insane right now. I won’t even indulge you on the theories they have come up with. They are, for lack of a better word, retarded.

I’m not going to reiterate what thousands of other web blogs and articles have already told you on the subject. Nor am I going to indulge you with conspiracy fantasy. So what is this blog post about then?

My original intention of this blog was to analyze social trends. I may have slacked with a few of my blog posts in the past, but I am returning to my internet vision. I’m going to break down the (mass?) hysteria I am beginning to see. Using one of my favorite tools, Google Trends, I chronicled the terms associated with this event that were increasing, at an alarming rate, in frequency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Time Warner Cable Cannot Possible Compete with the Small City of Wilson, NC

In an ingenious ploy by Barak supporters, the group Primaries for Palin are urging Democratic voters to vote for Sarah Palin in Republican primaries in hopes to give Obama an easy win in the 2012 election. According to their polls, Obama stands a better chance at winning and election against Palin that any other Republican candidates.

Most state’s election laws are set up to prevent something like this. Many states, including my home state of Florida, have what is called a closed primary, meaning only that party’s register voters may vote in the primary. However, Primaries for Palin lists each state’s election law, and how to change your party affiliation in order to participate in the primary.

A few issues here.

Firstly, it is way too early to be looking at Presidential election polls. Hell, we’re still on the ass end of 2010. And also, to my knowledge, no one has committed to run yet! Not even Palin, although it is speculated she will announce around the same time her DVD drops. Fitting time, huh?

Secondly, I feel this is completely unethical. Call me simple, but my understanding of an election is for the voter to pick the best person for the job. That is what defines us a Democratic-Republic. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the strategy behind this. I just think it is wrong.

No matter what happens, I don’t think Palin stands a chance. With names like Romney, Huckabee, Gingrich, Giuliani, Christ, Petraeus, and Jindal being thrown around as potential candidates, Palin is going to get verbally destroyed in the debates.

Which makes me as a democrat concerned. Obama will have to put up a fight with many of the aforementioned names, except for Palin. But that’s good. He’s really going to have to evaluate his administration and make some changes if he wants to keep the Democratic voter.

My prediction, Palin loses. No amount of saboteurs from the Democratic Party could save her. And I’m OK with that.

Who is Antoine Dodson you say? Only the greatest man of 2010. If you have not seen him, I assume you don’t use the internet, television, or read any form of print media.

These are the reasons why I love Antoine Dodson.

1. He is a hero. Antoine saved his sister from a near raping. I assume the perpetrator saw his wild afro and red bandana and sh*t his pants.

2. He is a recording artist. Not by any talent on his part, but he still sold a sh*t ton of singles on iTunes. Well, he didn’t, but The Gregory Brothers did. With their auto-tune skills, they created the top downloaded independent internet music video. It has gone so far as making it into my karaoke DJ’s playlist. And it’s catchy as hell. Read the rest of this entry »

Update on Operation:Payback

Posted: December 20, 2010 in Technology

Urlesque.com wrote a great article on Anonymous. Read it here:

Are you a Biebliever?

Posted: December 17, 2010 in Music, Pop Culture
Tags: , , , ,

I live by three rules: Don’t attempt anything until you’ve had your morning coffee, Johnny Walker should be served with ice and nothing else, and love anything that Ludacris does.

That last rule paid off big time when Crash came out. Great flick, Luda was awesome. Ever album that man has dropped has been a hit. His music videos are hysterical. I just love the guy.

So when he collaborated with Justin Bieber, I had to adhere to my rule.

In “Baby”, Luda offers his rhymes to the teeny-bop track. Read that again. One more time, if necessary.

When the track first dropped, I was baffled Luda was involved. I did my research. (Read: Log on to Wikipedia)

Bieber came from humble beginnings. He was discovered on YouTube by his now manager Scooter Braun. Braun runs Raymond Braun Media Group out of Atlanta with his partner Usher. The three met, Usher had a boy-crush, and the rest is history.

With Bieber’s new connections in the biz, he got amazing support from top producers and collaborators. I, as a musician, would literally kill a man for these connections.

Bieber blew up, stealing the hearts (and loins) of pre-teen, teen, twenty-something, and some middle aged females. His debut release had seven billboards hits and went platinum. His studio release was met with the same success.

I gave Biebs a chance. Not by choice, though. At my job, our ambience music provider pumped in what I dubbed “The Bieber Hour”.

In only two years, Bieber top the charts multiple times, has collaborated with top hip-hop and R&B producers and musicians, incited pre-teen girl riots, and appeared on CSI. Can Bieber get any bigger?

Nope.

Unfortunately our pop culture has a short attention span. It sucks for the talent in the game, but that’s just the way it is.

Who was the last male pop singer to release more than three albums that people actually listened to? Timberlake?

My prediction: Bieber plateaus, dates Ke$ha, develops a meth addiction, celebrity rehab.

Only time will tell.

“Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that has” –Margaret Mead

I doubt Mead ever thought her quote and my writings of cyber warfare would ever meet. But it was this quote that echoed in my head on December 8th, 2010.

Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Amazon, and a few others were targets of what is known as a Distributed Denial of Service, or DDos, attack. In the simplest of terms, it is as if someone or thing went to a website and hit the refresh button thousands upon thousands of times. When multiple attackers are involved, and the amount of times the website is refreshed is increased, the web site goes down.

Behind this attack was a group known as “Anonymous”. The group comes from the image board 4chan.org, which is a completely anonymous website that allows is users to post photos and text. They are responsible for many internet Memes and underground humor. 4chan’s creator, Moot, advocates the need for anonymity to foster honest conversation, and has even been recognized with his on Ted.com talk on the subject. Aside from internet shenanigans, 4chan is also for activism.

4chan and Anonymous stand behind freedom of speech, and rallied behind WikiLeaks. When it was discovered that Visa and MasterCard denied processing of donations to WikiLeaks and Amazon suspended WikiLeaks hosting on their servers, Anonymous was angered. They launched “Operation:Payback” against these companies using said DDoS attacks. In order to bring down these sites, fortified for high traffic, they would have to be organized and in mass numbers.

That is what surprised me. Not willing to compromise their identities and remain “Anonymous”, they did this without e-mail, phone numbers, or names. I can barely organize a group dinner without sending at least ten text messages, yet they were able to organize and attack that took down Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal consisting of almost 5,000 strong. Using vintage technology like Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and their nameless boards, they were able to take the servers out and suspend the access to these websites1, each soldier nameless.

Their message was heard.

The attack did minimal damage. While Visa and MasterCard websites went down, their processing servers were not affected. PayPal saw slower servers, but no downtime.

It did prove the power of the collective. Five-thousand stood up against what they didn’t believe in. Five-thousand anonymous people made their voices heard. They did not need names, they were one being.

The collective of garage hackers brought down the corporation. With barebones resources, they were able to take down giants.

David and Goliath, if there were 5,000 Davids. But there were. And it worked.


1 Amazon.com was not affected in the raid. Their servers have proprietary technology to prevent such an overload due to the massive traffic they get around the holidays.

Do you remember the first YouTube video you ever watched? I have a hard time thinking back that long, but mine was probably some Eve 6 music video. Feel free to pass judgement.

I recently heard a baffling statistic. If you were to watch all of the videos on you tube, back to back, no break, it would take you two centuries!

That is a tough number to wrap my head around. That’s 10,512,000 minutes of user-contributed content.

What is so fascinating about YouTube, and Web 2.0 for that matter, is the fact that we are each contributing to a giant history book. Years from now, historians will look to these social media outlets just as we look at cave drawings today.

A recent study reveals that 24 hours of video is uploaded every minute to YouTube.

While many videos are ways to pass time, or get in a quick laugh (see: sitting on the toilet), I look at the big picture. YouTube, along with many other user-controlled content sites, will become our window back in time. When we upload a video of that Sugar Ray concert we were at, or the aftermath of the Hawaiian tsunami, we are creating more and more primary sources that will fill the encyclopedia of human history.

I, for one, think that this is one of the greatest achievements of human kind. A collaborative effort by each human to write the pages of history has never happened before. And with the advances of technology, most importantly the affordability of technology and the ever increasing span of internet access, each person will have a vital part in defining that moment in history.

Voutaire wrote “History consists of a series of accumulated imaginative inventions”. I couldn’t agree more.