From the category archives:

Endorsements

Boston Yoga Classes with Amy Leydon

by Dave on March 25, 2010

in Endorsements

I keep PITF fairly free of endorsements so I hope you’ll bear with me on this irregular occasion. A good friend of mine, Amy Leydon, recently re-launched her website and it looks fantastic. I’m going to give her some props, some kudos, and most importantly – some search engine friendly link love which should be more obvious than a naked lumberjack attempting the Setu Bandha Sarvangasana pose once you reach the next paragraph.

boston-yoga-teacher-amy-leydon Boston’s Best Yoga Teacher: Amy Leydon

She was literally voted Best Yoga Teacher by Boston Magazine, so that’s not my biased, friend-ish opinion, either. I urge anyone in search of the ultimate in Boston Yoga Classes, retreats, workshops, etc. to seek out Amy immediately. She does it all. Namaste!

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I never thought I’d find a YouTube audio/video mashup that amused me to the extent of my beloved Snatch Wars, but I was way wrong. Watch this little gem and marvel over the amount of time, patience and creativity that went into this. If you know anything about its creator or inception – please share.

Amazing Pulp Fiction Audio Mashup

Are you as impressed as I am right now? Do you have a favorite movie mashup we might not have seen? Do tell, motherfucker.

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Waste more time in… less time. The “New Facebook” features an application bar on the lower left of each screen where you’re able to place shortcut icons to any applications you like. I imagine many people probably haven’t added it to their navigation habits yet, but it’s very useful and I use it constantly. And by “useful” I mean “not at all realistically productive” because it’s Facebook.

As I am limited to only 5 shortcuts it took me a few weeks to settle in on an inventory, and the resulting selections are probably unique to most individuals. Here’s what I have in mine, left to right.

Events
Remember Evite? Neither does anyone else. As everyone you’ve ever known in your entire life continues to join Facebook, it’s rarely necessary to go outside the network for anything – and the definitely decent Events feature is what first brought me to that staggering realization. Still waiting on the “Food and Water” application.

Photos
We’re all familiar with this one. FB spent a lot of time early on (Jurassic 2006) devising a killer photo sharing system and it’s become a real thorn in the sides of Snapfish/OPhoto/Flickr. Easy java-based uploads, quick file size conversions and the ability to tag and sort are all reasons it’s become my base camp for all things ‘online photo’.

Crusades
The best FB “game” I have played as of yet. A medieval roleplayer, you join a tribe – Christian, Pagan, etc. – and then work your way up through the ranks buying land, buildings, magical gems to protect you in battle, weapons etc. Experience points are earned by fighting other players or performing special quests. I used to play Knighthood incessantly but find Crusades far more “sticky”, fun, visually pleasing and satisfying on a daily basis. Seriously, give it a try, peasant.

Scramble
This app for word game fans presents you with a grid of seemingly random letters and a time limit with which to form as many connecting words as possible. The boards are always different and unlike a crossword you can go up, down or diagonal all in the same word. It was a little imposing at first but I quickly became an addict.

Wordscraper
If you’re unfamiliar, Wordscraper is post-lawsuit Scrabulous. It’s made by the same developers who created the hugely popular original and they’ve changed it just enough that they can no longer be sued by those owning the rights to Scrabble. I tried getting into the official Scrabble FB application, but it was made entirely in Flash as opposed to Ajax, took too long to load and very few of my former Scrabulous friends and opponents ever bothered to adopt it. You can also customize the bonus tile spacing and point value making for some extremely high scoring and strategic games.

What’s in your wallet? Are you using the Facebook application bar? Regardless, what are your top 5 favorite FB applications?

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According to every authority figure I have ever had, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. When advanced Flash video compression first came on the scene in 2005, creating new media juggernauts like YouTube and Google Video, it sent copyright holders spinning on their heads and running for their attorneys. Lawsuits were threatened, videos were pulled down quicker than Madonna’s sheer thong (I love Madge, but this is just wrong) and many predicted the demise of the powerful new sharing technology and the hugely popular sites it had so quickly spawned. That, for the record, was the wrong way to do things.

What YouTube and its peers have done is create access to a massive amount of content that many people, particularly young people with money, would never have had access to. In many cases, these young people discovering new movies, bands and TV shows will then go out and purchase CDs, DVDs, BlurRay discs and MP3s. Most record companies, movie studios and TV networks fought tooth and nail against allowing Duran Duran videos, clips from Caddyshack and 80s SNL episodes from availability on YouTube. Of course they’d rather someone had to buy the material instead of watching it for free online – but they won’t buy anything if they are completely unaware of its existence.

Compressed Flash video has very poor audio and video quality by today’s advanced HD standards. It can’t be easily downloaded, converted to other video formats or burned onto DVDs. It threatens nothing but can offer everything to savvy marketers and enlightened corporate decision makers. And it seems YouTube now offers the ability for these copyright holders to take alternate and potentially profitable measures against folks, in this case yours truly, who upload and share material that they own.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qd0lZIIn3A[/youtube]

“UMG has claimed some or all audio content in your video One Thirsty Kitty. This claim was made as part of the YouTube Content Identification program.”

Apparently someone at UMG took exception recently to the fact that I used Tom Jones’ What’s New Pussycat? as the soundtrack to my breathtaking masterpiece, One Thirsty Kitty. This is one of the most highly viewed videos I have created and shared on the network, but their attention was more likely drawn to it because I ‘tagged’ it with the title and artist, hoping that Tom Jones fans might find and enjoy it. In their email to me, however, YouTube mentions an automated method they’ve created that can seek out at least songs automatically: “Partners may use our automated video / audio matching system to identify their content, or they may manually review videos.” Did some sort of spider crawl through my page and discover the use of the song? If so, that’d almost be cool. But let’s be realistic, it was probably a human busybody.

The right way to do something is what YouTube has empowered UMG to do in my case. I get to keep my silly video of Boss online. YouTube gets to keep a half decent and reasonably popular piece of content live, and UMG may someday, if they haven’t already, enjoy sales of Tom Jones CDs, DVDs or MP3s because a surfer heard the song on One Thirsty Kitty and fell in love with it. Apparently they are also now allowed to use the page OTK resides upon for advertising purposes. It’s a clever compromise and it benefits all three parties.

“Your video is still live because UMG has authorized the use of this content on YouTube. As long as UMG has a claim on your video, they will receive public statistics about your video, such as number of views. Viewers may also see advertising on your video’s page.”

Well done, YouTube Content Identification Team, and I sincerely mean that. This is progress.

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George Carlin worked furiously right up until his death from a heart attack yesterday at age 71. The word “retire” wasn’t in his vocabulary, and it’s a vocabulary that was impressively extensive. This is a brilliant bit that I heard on the radio this morning and wanted to share. Godspeed, Mr. Carlin.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCljFYn3zTY[/youtube]

“I’m a Modern Man”

George Carlin, November 5th, 2005
Beacon Theater, NYC

I’m a modern man.
I’m a modern man.
I’m a modern man.
I’m a modern man.

I’m a modern man,
A man for the millennium,
Digital and smoke free.

A diversified multicultural postmodern deconstructionist,
Politically anatomically and ecologically incorrect.

I’ve been uplinked and downloaded.
I’ve been inputted and outsourced.
I know the upside of downsizing.
I know the downside of upgrading.

I’m a high tech lowlife.
A cutting edge state-of-the-art bicoastal multitasker,
And I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.

I’m new wave but I’m old school,
And my inner child is outward bound.

I’m a hot wired heat seeking warm hearted cool customer,
Voice activated and biodegradable.

I interface from a database,
And my database is in cyberspace,
So I’m interactive,
I’m hyperactive,
And from time-to-time,
I’m radioactive.

Behind the eight ball,
Ahead of the curve,
Riding the wave,
Dodging a bullet,
Pushing the envelope.

I’m on point,
On task,
On message,
And off drugs.
I got no need for coke and speed,
I got no urge to binge and purge.

I’m in the moment,
On the edge,
Over the top,
But under the radar.

A high concept,
Low profile,
Medium range ballistic missionary.
A street-wise smart bomb.
A top gun bottom feeder.

I wear power ties,
I tell power lies,
I take power naps,
I run victory laps.

I’m a totally ongoing bigfoot slam dunk rainmaker with a proactive outreach.
A raging workaholic.
A working ragaholic.
Out of rehab,
And in denial.

I got a personal trainer,
A personal shopper,
A personal assistant,
And a personal agenda.

You can’t shut me up,
You can’t dumb me down.
‘Cause I’m tireless,
And I’m wireless.
I’m an alpha male on beta blockers.

I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever.
Laid back but fashion forward.

Up front,
Down home,
Low rent,
High maintenance.

Super size,
Long lasting,
High definition,
Fast acting,
Oven ready,
And built to last.

I’m a hands on,
Foot loose,
Knee jerk,
Head case.

Prematurely post traumatic,
And I have a love child who sends me hate mail.

Please read the rest here (it’s long and he had amazing memorization skills) or watch it above.

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It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know what your search results are? It’s also 2008 and any potential employer in any industry who is seriously considering hiring or even giving you an interview is going to do one important thing first. Google you.

I was recently asked to guest post for a Boston-based search marketing blog and I have to tell you – I feel a little like Jay Leno must have before he took over for Carson full time. As I typetty-typed away, and attempted to be jaw-droppingly clever, I realized that with a slight spin towards the stupid the topic I had chosen could be extremely helpful to my friends, family and 6 other loyal readers. Pay attention, Mom.

Social media is a double-edged sword. A tri-cornered hat. A coat of many colors. Like a bag of wild squirrels. Strike that last one. You have sites like FaceBook and MySpace for social networking. Then you have sites like Digg for social voting. Then you have sites like LOTRO for social exile. And amongst the multitude of other classifications under the main umbrella you have business networking sites. Hang up your Scrabulous games and annoying FunWall forwards for an hour tonight and build yourself a profile on Plaxo, LinkedIn, Spoke, Ziggs and all of the other social business sites I’ve listed here.

social-media-nonos

Sharon works well as part of a team“.
Enrique Gazpacho, trainee manager – Stinky Cactus Bar

Or by all means – ignore me and have the next HR person that leafs through your resume looking at your 1998 Cancun wet t-shirt contest indiscretions twenty seconds later. I don’t do this for a living or anything.

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A pal ‘o mine has just launched a website designed to create a petition against, and awareness surrounding, a proposed internet tax which could be implemented shortly after the election in November. McCain has already denounced it, and I imagine Obama will follow suit – so it’s not really a dividing issue. Still, you should be aware of it and I hope you take the time today to sign your name.

internet-tax

The tax will actually be aimed at ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and they will no doubt pass those additional monies on to you – their customers. So you’re not only sounding off on a current event, you’re helping to ensure your internet bill doesn’t suffer a considerable increase about 6 months from now. It literally takes seconds to contribute a signature – Mr. Zarrella strove to make it as simple as possible. Your email addresses will not be sold, distributed or otherwise spammed in any way. Do it today, and keep your many hours spent on YouPorn.com as inexpensive as possible.

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My good friend Amy has been working hard on her company’s financial blog for a couple of years now. In fact, it has been nominated by ReportOnBusiness.com as one of their favorites. I’d very much appreciate it if any readers of this blog could pop in and vote for hers. It takes two seconds. Click through, check the box beside “Wellington Financial” at the bottom of the list, hit the “VOTE NOW” button and you’re done. Thanks in advance!

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mintlogoThere’s no reason for me to be singing the praises of Mint.com today other than a friend told me about it, I kicked the tires on it and it’s an excellent – and very free – personal finance tool.

Do you have online bank account access that you check frequently? Then you’ll have a username and password. Simply register at mint, select your institution (financial, not mental) and then plug in your login info. Lickety-split all your transactions are imported, categorized, etc. You can pull in any online checking, brokerage, credit card or savings account and have them all right in front of you on one very slick dashboard which can be customized.

See your assets and debt at a glance, set goals, arrange email and mobile alerts – I love this. I just called my accountant to get the login info for another account that I have as I’m going to bring absolutely everything under this one roof so I can create a one-stop-shop for peeping my entire papes profile. Could this be the dawn of a new era of responsible spending and financial management for Dave? I’ll let you know if any pigs fly past my office window.

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Allow me to continue to stump for Doris Kearns Goodwin as the next Red Sox Nation President. She has made it through the first round, hopefully with some help from a few of my readers, and the second stage of the contest relies entirely on traffic to her MLB Blog. So please, even if you don’t know Doris, myself, her husband or her children – take comfort in my remarkably enlightened wisdom and click here. Have a read of this Pulitzer Prize winning author’s very first blog posting and then send it around to your friends. Grass roots support, people. Grass roots.

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Facebook is an incredible website. The fact that it blew the frig up the same year I moved back to Canada was extremely serendipitous as I’ve mentioned before. I have gotten back in touch with kids I haven’t seen since 1986, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Two months ago, Facebook opened their doors to 3rd party applications – most of which are enormously stupid wastes of time. Many of which try to accomplish the same thing, leaving you confused as to which version is the better one. I’ve kicked the tires on quite a few of them, and here are my favorites to date. Click the links to learn more or install them yourself.

Red Bull Roshambo: A well done take on the classic “Rock, Paper, Scissors” game. You can challenge your friends and even make imaginary wagers. The categories, strategy and stat features are in-depth and enjoyable. This was the first app I really dug and it gave me hope for the future – after I’d been bitten by fecking zombies and werewolves 800 times.

Scrabulous: I never played Scrabble as a kid, and there’s been a learning curve (I have yet to beat anyone in 10 games) but this is a winner. You can play as many games as you like at once, which is a good thing as your opponent’s turn around time from move to move may be a couple of days. Hugely strategic and never, ever the same game twice. Great stat keeping and super ajax-based controls.

MyTunes: I wasn’t crazy about installing an application on my own computer in order to get this to work, but the results were worth it. If MyTunes is running in your taskbar, and you’ve installed the accompanying FaceBook app, anyone who looks at your profile can see what you’re listening to via iTunes in real time. Look at my profile for an example – it’s near the top of the right column under the news feed. As useful as tits on a bull, but for some reason I love it!

Flixster: A movie-based app that let’s you write reviews, talk about upcoming films and display a list of your personal favorites, Flixster is well-organized and handles a lot of info without making your profile look too busy. Most of the user-submitted reviews are similar to the point of being unintentionally funny (Ya, so, I liked this movie. It had a great cast, great writing and was really funny) but a few of them stand out, and the social aspects make the app stand out a mile over some of the other movie plugins.

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