Audio Version of Om Malik’s “With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility”

Om’s post is here:

I decided to have this read by OSX’s Alex voice, which I thought was fitting, given the subject.


QR’s are for original post and recording software used.

With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility


By Om Malik

Read by Mac OS X.6’s Alex at the whim of Andrew A. Peterson

Recorded with SoundFlower

The FaceBucket Challenge


If you accept The FaceBucket Challenge, you must:

A) Promise that from now on, you will not share any alleged facts on social media without first reading the Wikipedia entry likely to contain confirmation of the alleged fact;


B) Share a video of yourself putting a bucket over your head.


The FaceBucket challenge is intended to spread awareness about media literacy, especially social media’s potential for spreading misleading information.

As participants in social media, we have a responsibility to the others in our networks to not disseminate an inaccurate portrayal of the world we live in.  This is especially true when it comes to political or ‘loaded’ topics where widespread misinformation can lead to negative consequences for large numbers of people.

Also, it’s kind of funny.

Reviews Sites: Some are Super Shady

Some info about the Better Business Bureau lifted from the wikipedia

In 2010 ABC’s 20/20 reported in a segment titled “The Best Ratings Money Can Buy” about the irregularities in BBB ratings.[24] They reported that a man created two dummy companies which received A+ ratings as soon as he had paid the membership fee. They also reported that business owners were told that the only way to improve their rating was by paying the fee. In one case a C was turned to an A immediately after a payment and in another case a C?minus became an A+. Chef Wolfgang Puck said that some of his businesses receive F’s because he refuses to pay a fee. Ritz Carlton, which does not belong either, also receives Fs for not responding to its complaints.[23]

In response, the president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has stated the BBB ratings system will cease awarding points to businesses for being BBB members.[25] The national BBB’s executive committee voted to address the public’s perception of the ratings system. It voted that the BBB ratings system would no longer give additional points to businesses because they are accredited. It voted to implement a system to handle complaints about BBB sales practices. [26] Despite the vote, the BBB website still states that points are taken away if accreditation is lost.[27][28]

In Canada, the CBC News reported in 2010 that Canadian BBBs were downgrading the ratings scores of businesses who stopped paying their dues. For example, a moving business who had an A rating and had been a BBB member for 20 years, dropped to a D?minus rating when they allegedly no longer wanted to pay dues.[29]

BBBs have been accused of unduly protecting companies. If a branch does not act reasonably on behalf of a consumer, a complaint may be filed with the Federal Trade Commission. However, recent reports have suggested that the Austin chapter of the Better Business Bureau refused to resolve complaints against companies if customers do not pay a $70 mediation fee.[30]

Cool Hip Hop/Disco Shizle: Playdoe

I have enjoyed discovering this band. I have several of their tracks.  I like them.  I think they’re from South Africa, but I’m not sure.


Here’s another clip… It shows some of the trickery involved with this type of music, but I still love this stuff, even if it’s dependent on pre-recorded material and lip-syncing to make it fun in concert.

The Red Hat Society

I recently bought two shirts at a thrift store that were purple and covered with applique. When describing them to a friend over the phone, my friend announced that they must be from a member of the Red Hat Society, since one of the themes of the Applique is Women in hats and all the the applique is red (red on purple).  I had never heard of the Red Hat Society.

My friend couldn’t have been more right.

The Wikipedia says there are 70,000 members and 24,000 chapters… That means the average number of people per chapter is just under 3.  Interesting.  Also, I think this is brilliant and possibly even sad and evil marketing for the ‘official’ site/organization.

Sprinkler Rainbows: A Bright New Conspiracy Theory

What is ‘oozing out of our ground?’  Anyone?

I should mention that I did have rainbows in my sprinkler spray more than twenty years ago.  I guess this means that rural coastal Northern California well-water was hit first and then it spread to muni water supplies.


Jack Conte Music Videos – RAD!

2 Videos from Jack Conte’s YouTube Channel

This is an interesting video.  Reminds a little of the film, “The Science of Sleep.

And this one is cool because it shows the recording process of the song.

So who is Jack Conte?  I have no idea.  He’s awesome though.

Here’s his MySpace, his Last.FM Page, and where you can buy his EP “Nightmares and Daydreams” on CDBaby, and the same record via the iTunes Store.   


I can’t afford to buy music, so maybe Jack will feel my pain and hook me up.  Jack?  Haha.

Kevin Kelly on the Next 5,000 Days of the Internet-TED, 2007:

Kevin Kelly gave this talk at TED in 2007.  It’s worth watching.  

He touches on a number of things ranging from history of the Internet and Moore’s Law to the future ubiquity of Cloud Computing and Kurzweil‘s “Sigularity.” 

He covers concepts like the Semantic Web, and the give-and-take between privacy and participation with relatively light language that any lay person should be able to understand.  This is an interesting and entertaining little presentation.  Thought I’d share.

T. Boone Pickens’ Grassroots Campaign for U.S. Energy Plan

I just heard about this from the Inside Silicon Valley Podcast from The San Jose Mercury News (the site of which, sadly, has no RSS feed metadata in its html head.  Get it together, people!)

MP3 of interview HERE

Anyway, this guy apparently made a fortune as a Texas oil man.  Now he’s decided to spearhead a movement toward “energy-independence.”  In a nutshell, he wants to shift our use of Natural gas over to transportation and replace its 20% share of electricity production with wind power by building out the “Wind Belt” with turbines.  The result, he claims, would mean consuming about 38% less foreign oil. It would also mean cleaner transportation and electricity production.

Pickens has launched a totally kick-ass, Web2-savvy campaign to recruit online “foot-soldiers,” for his movement.  He has already met with the “president” and says he also plans to meet with both mainstream presidential candidates “at the same time.”  

He claims that the site moved into the top-1000 most-viewed sites in under three weeks, with 2.5 million hits and about a one-tenth conversion rate (people signing up to get involved, subscribing to get updates etc)!!! (three exclamation points!!!) In addition, he’s touring around giving “town-hall” meetings all over, and spending his money on TV advertisements.   

Techno-Activism? Go to and look around.  What do you think?  I like seeing rich-ass people putting their dollars into making positive changes in policy and public perception (if that’s what this is (I’m the first one to admit that I’m no expert on what the best route to sustainable energy is)).

Whatever you think about the plan, you have to admit that the campaign is being smartly executed. He must have a great team working for him.

This video is an overview of his “plan” (the second is one of the TV advertisements he did, which sufficiently pulls on left-wing heart strings since it has plenty of imagery of smoke pouring into the air)

Gorgoroth, My New Favorite Satanic Black-Metal Band

Listen to that name… “Gorgoroth” …It’s so… Viking.  So Dongeons and Dragons.  The following are links to a 5-part documentary about the band, and all the controversy surrounding them, particularly their singer called “Gaahl.”  You gotta love that name too.   I guess he tortures people and drinks their blood and stuff like that.  

The name “Gorgoroth” is derived from Tolken‘s Lord of the Rings books.

At their shows they have been known to feature goat heads on sticks and other charming bits of satanic stage decor.   This is a fun documentary to watch.  It also gives some interesting background on the whole Satanic Rock genre, particualy the “Norwegian Black Metal Scene.”  Hmmm.  Fun stuff.  I’d love to go to one of their shows.

TED Talks is Amazing But. Why Are They Hiding Their Video Podcast?

(Lately I’m realizing that good companies and orgs have watchlists so a post like this one serves as an open letter to the company, unless of course, they’re not listening, which of course is their problem, a big problem.)


I love that you’re providing all of these stimulating and informative videos.  Thank you for that.  

But why did I just spend five minutes clicking around on, looking for a “Podcast” or “RSS” link?  

I was thinking “C’mon!  You MUST have a feed here somewhere!!”

Finally I decided to search the iTunes Music Store for TED… There it is!  WTF?  Why are you hiding your feed?

I’m so glad I found it. But you need to put a link somewhere on your site so people don’t waste their time looking for what’s not there.




What? 7-year-old steals car etc

Someone should let this kid try out drag racing, not punish him for his ingenuity.  It’s our job to empower children, not restrict them.  I’m proud of this little G for being so self-empowered.  With guidance, and people around him who are wise, he’ll go far in life.  

Pyramid Schemes, “Gifting Programs,” “Phil In New Mexico,” craigslist etc.

Web Pyramid Schemes, “Gifting Programs,” “Phil In New Mexico”

If you’re reading this, and you found this page via a google search, I think it may be prudent for you to go read this wikipedia entry on Pyramid Schemes.



The other day I glanced at the gigs section of the local CraigsList, and saw an ad titled

“Internet Marketing, One Person is All I’m Looking For”

the copy of the ad was like this:

This is a gifting program. If you would like proof from me, I can show you proof of the program’s longevity and seriousness, and, if you like, its legality.

For your marketing efforts, for every visitor who signs up I will pay you 20% of the relevant price point. Price points start at $500, to $10,000 max.

Thanks very much for your interest.

References or proof of work required, please.

I wrote to which was included in the craigslist post and asked what it was they are looking for help with, since I’m pretty hip to Web Marketing.

Phil Blumberg aka “Phil in New Mexico” responded:
Hello Andrew–
I need to drive as much traffic as possible to the gifting site.
You can go to the splash page (without signing up) the URL is
You can go directly to the main site the URL is
It would be great if you get a chance to read the text or most of the text on the 2nd site.
Each visitor who joins decides what level to come in on: $500, $1000, $2500, $5000, or $10,000. Whatever the newly signed-up’s level, you would get 20% of that amount.
So check it out. I really look forward to your responses.

Phil in New Mexico

ME: So… Where does the other 80% go? And what do people get for signing up? I mean what is their incentive?

PHIL: The websites are mine because I’ve already joined the program. The 80% is mine for the same reason, and because I’m choosing to spend money to market the site. The people I bring in pay me directly; those people will bring in people of their own who pay them directly. When you can, check out the main site. Thanks–Phil

I googled the email address and found some really ugly websites and other craigslist ads, all seeming to be for the sake of promoting this “system” for generating money. Notably, and Go take a look! They’re fun!

To me this looked like a Pyramid scheme. But rather than ask Phil if he realizes that pyramid schemes are illegal, I thought I’d try to get some more information:

ME: Has it worked for you? How much have you made from the program so far?

So far, he hasn’t written back.

This got me thinking. If I can take advantage of people who are naive, and I can get them to send me $500, in the hope of getting rich themselves, should I do it?

I think not. I generally have problems putting value on knowledge. I generally have problems operating in a capitalist scenario, where scarcity is so important. I generally really want to help people and it’s impossible to put a monetary value on empathy. I certainly don’t want to take advantage of people. I hate this kind of thing. It makes me sick.

On a lighter note, here’s some really fun images:

Want that watch? I bet you do.

MySpace iPhone App Coming Soon

[viddler id=10cc3285&h=370&w=437]

This looks cool. Thanks, Arin for the heads up.

I wish it wasn’t necessary for developer to build their own APIs for these social sites like myspace. I wish there was just a comprehensive API to begin with.