Monthly Archives: May 2007

Death By Lawyer: 10 Cool Sites We Miss

Written by Stan Schroeder

At the beginning, everyone thought everything on the Internet is going to be free, forever.

Yeah, right.

Right now, the net is being constantly monitored, people are getting arrested for even thinking about piracy, DRM is preventing us from sharing stuff with friends, and web sites and services are getting closed down on a daily basis. The last few weeks have been no different: Microsoft wants to nail Linux for infringing patents (hey, they can look at Linux code, but no one can look at their code. See the problem there?), Imeem is being sued by Warner Music Group for copyright infringement, while YouTube gets sued, well, every damn day.

Unfortunately, people are slowly accepting the fact that some cool things are gone- and they’re not coming back, because someone somewhere needs to make more money. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and remember some of the things that were taken from us.



OLGA, or OnLine Guitar Archive, was one of those cool places on the Internet where you could find anything on a particular subject; in this case, guitar tablatures. But, I guess the sales from guitar tablatures were so big that copyright owners had to shut them down, too. Most of the guitar tablatures on the site were done by the users; but that obviously doesn’t matter much. OLGA had ups and downs since then, and it’s currently offline again, while guitar tabs can be found scattered across many smaller site, some of which you can find here.

The original Napster


Remember those days? One guy got the idea of making software which enables you to share your files with others. Hey, what a great idea! Now I can share my music with my friends, and find out about new cool music!

Well, that one didn’t last long. The RIAA came down at Napster hard, and the service got shut down. Sharing was not a good thing, unless you own the copyright, we were told. Well, the problem is that most people don’t have the copyright rights to share anything, so sharing as a concept is something the lawyers and copyright owners would like to prohibit. In any case, today’s Napster is but a shadow of the original one, while us oldtimers who still remember the golden days can only long for the time when sharing was OK.



If you were European and you needed a hard to find gadget from the Far East, you went to Lik-Sang; that was the thing to do. Some of these gadgets never show up in European shops, and some are months late. was a popular gaming retailer from Hong Kong which specialized in getting PSP consoles from Asia to Europe. Jumping to the rescue of poor consumers who might electrify themselves with these gadgets – or at least that’s what they said – Sony did everything in their power to shut Lik-Sang down. And shut down it was.

Instead of cool Japanese gadgets, the site now sports only an ugly “we’re forced to shut down” notice. Gee, thanks a lot, Sony.



Fonpods was a service that offered free podcast listening over the phone. For some reason, this allegedly cost the telecommunications industry “millions” (back then they didn’t yet invent billions and trillions, hence the modest numbers), so the service was shut down. Ok, we can understand why they went after (which is, btw, online again) and, but podcasts? Millions, they say.

Grokster, i2hub, WinMX?


If the US were the only country in the world, p2p would probably be only a theoretical concept. Grokster, i2hub, WinMX, and everyone else within the grasp of US laws and regulations, went down, never to come back. Grokster’s current page gives you a nice overview with the current state of affairs on the Internet with this sentence:

Don’t think you can’t get caught. You are not anonymous.”

Caught doing what? Writing an article for Mashable? Does even visiting a web site with nothing on it except a (ugly one, we might add) takedown notice, constitute some felony? Hey, I know where you live, too.

BTW, eMule is still live. Eat that, RIAA.



Hey, but SuprNova was full of illegal stuff, you cry in disbelief! Well, BitTorrent sites usually only host trackers and not the files themselves. If you think all sites for sharing anything should be shut down, think about YouTube and the current lawsuits against it, and ask yourself: what’s the difference? BitTorrent sites and P2P sites and sites like YouTube are tools. Someone will always use them to upload copyrighted material. And guess what, if you shut them down, they’ll find a new tool to do it. was, in fact, perfectly legal, and it wasn’t directly shut down by anyone. It was a service where lesser known bands could upload their music and promote themselves, communicating with the community directly. It had a huge archive of music. In 2000, the owners started a new service – – which enabled users to register CDs they legally own and make online copies on’s servers. Although this about as legit as you can get, the record industry managed to sue them (!) and win (!?), and had to settle the lawsuit, paying 200 million dollars in damages, which turned out to be a blow from which they would never recover.

And then, Vivendi bought the service; didn’t know what to do with it, and resold it to CNET, which bought the domain. Not the archive; they didn’t care about the archive, neither the users. They bought only the domain, and started a nice and dandy online music sales operation. The user archive was on the verge of deletion, but Trusonic took over and started GarageBand, which still lives on today. The archive, thus, isn’t gone, but the original flare of, which was a huge site in the dot-com era, has disappeared. Luckily, MySpace continued pretty much where left off, becoming a new popular vessel for promoting music.



SingingFish was a cool audio video search engine, and users loved it because of its ability to find very rare tracks. It was acquired by AOL in 2003, which took it under its wing and did?nothing. They integrated parts of it into their own site, and they let the site die out, wiping it completely in February 2007, without notice or even a “we’re sorry” note to the users. A relatively small but disappointed group of users still claim that AOL’s search isn’t as good as SingingFish, but no one listens. Except us, of course. But we can only write about it.

(the original) Alexaholic

Well, I know what you’re thinking: it’s still there, right? Actually, the Alexaholic domain name is now held by Amazon (Alexa), and the original service that resided there is now known as Statsaholic. And, while it is in fact still live and operational, it’s bruised and battered from all the C & D letters it received, followed by a lawsuit, and finally received another blow when Alexa started insisting that everyone (except them) can only use the crappy version of their stat graphs. This, among other things, means that you can now only compare three sites at a time, instead of five as it were before. Thus, we mention Alexaholic/Statsaholic – although it doesn’t fully belong to this group – to show how sometimes a bigco need not kill the little company dead; it’s enough to cripple it enough to make it harmless.

Pandora (for international users)

Sure, if you’re living in the USA, Pandora works just fine. But, for the rest of the world (since the 14th of May, that also includes Canada), Pandora’s site is one ugly notice which says: sorry, we can’t serve music to you any more. Reason? Legal complications in negotiating the rights with international copyright holders.

But, that’s nothing; if the RIAA manages to pass that new Internet radio bill, almost all services that stream music over the Internet will be forced to shut down. Check out Savenetradio to see what you can do about it.

15 Useless or Even Dangerous Eyesight Myths

Written by

“The eyes are not responsible when the mind does the seeing.”

– Publilius Syrus

EyesightIt’s important to separate fact from fiction, especially when the topic is eyesight. And old wives’ tales abound about the eyes. Many of these have no basis in fact and, for that matter, can be dangerous if you followed the advice put forth.

But knowing how to take good care of your eyes is the first step to protecting your sight for a lifetime. So here’s the lowdown on some eyesight myths:

Myth #1: “Sitting too close to the TV will damage your vision.”

There is no evidence that sitting close to the television will damage your eyes. So sit wherever you are most comfortable. Eyes may become tired from sitting too close for long periods, if the light in the room is too dim, or if the picture screen is out of focus.

Myth #2: “Reading in the dark will weaken your eyesight”

As with sitting too close to the television, reading in dim light can cause eye fatigue, but it is not harmful and cannot damage your vision.

Myth #3: “Some eye exercises can improve your vision.”

Being alive and looking around at your world is all that is necessary to keep your muscles “toned.” Any extra effort is a waste of time and has no benefit. This myth has made many people wealthy, but rolling your eyes around has no effect on your vision.

Myth #4: “You can wear your eyes out by using them too much.”

Eyes are not like light bulbs. So you cannot wear your eyes out by using them. In fact they can last your entire lifetime if they are healthy. Cutting down on reading or close work, will not help or harm your eyesight.

Myth #5: “”Vision improves in older people as they gain second sight.”

“Second sight” refers to the ability of a person to see better, usually up-close, as they age. The reason for this “improved” vision is that the lens power changes due to increasing cataract. So actually second sight is due to the cataract having advanced.

Myth #6: “Too much sex, especially masturbation, can make you go blind.”

No, there is no way that this ridiculous myth can be true. Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease, if left untreated can lead to blindness, dementia and death. This is where this myth came from.

Myth #7: “Wearing poorly fit glasses damages your eyes.”

In fact what is required for good vision is the right eyeglass prescription. Poor fitting glasses do not damage your eyes.

Myth #8: “Blind people have a sixth sense or extra ordinary talents.”

Most People with (20/20) vision do not pay much attention to their other senses. Blind people have worked hard to develop their other senses to compensate for their vision loss. There is no sixth sense. Just hard work and practice.

Myth #9: “There is no need to have your vision checked before you turn 40.”

Everyone should follow a proper eye health program that includes a regular eye exam, whether or not they’re having any noticeable signs of problems. There are treatable eye diseases; glaucoma is one of them, which can show up before you turn 40.

Myth #10: “Doctors can transplant eyes.”

It is not possible to transplant a whole eye. The eye is connected to the brain by a small nerve called the optic nerve. If this nerve is cut it cannot be reconnected, making it impossible to remove the eye and replace it with another one. When doctors figure out how to transplant the brain, they will be able to transplant the eye.

Myth #11: “Scientists have created a Bionic Eye.”

Researchers have been working on a microchip to replace damaged retina cells in a person’s central vision. Other scientists have been trying to figure out a way to connect a camera directly to the brain. The eye and the brain do not work the same way a camera and computer do. Even after someone figures out how to make a bionic eye, they still have to figure out how to connect it to the neural circuitry of the brain. What they have created so far is a crude form of vision consisting of several dots of light.

Myth #12: “It is not harmful to look at the sun if you squint or use dark glasses.”

The sun’s ultra-violet light will still get to your eyes, damaging the cornea, lens and retina. So looking at the sun may not only cause headache and distort your vision temporarily, but it can also cause permanent eye damage. Never look directly at a solar eclipse. The direct light from the sun can blind a person in less then a minute.

Myth #13: “There is nothing you can do to prevent vision loss”

Regular eye exams and proper safety eyewear can save your sight. Also at the very first signs of vision loss, such as blurred vision or flashes of light, you should see your doctor. If detected early enough, depending on the cause, there are treatments that can correct, stop, or slow down the loss of vision.

Myth #14: “Although eyeglasses makes you see better, they make vision get worse over time.”

Wearing eyeglasses will never make your eyes worse. Before you start wearing glasses, you are accustomed to seeing a blurry world around you. Since this is all you have ever seen, you accept it as normal. When your vision is corrected with eyeglasses you start seeing a clear world. Now when you remove your eyeglasses after wearing them for several months, you are presented with the same blurry world as before. You feel you were able to get around without wearing glasses before but now when you remove glasses you see all blurry and cannot get around. In reality it’s your perception that has changed.

Myth #15: “Eating carrots will improve your vision.”

While it is true that carrots are high in Vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for sight, only a small amount is necessary for good vision. In fact, eating large amounts of Vitamin A or other vitamins can be very harmful.

Feel smarter? Just remember that you don’t want to be an April fool – or any kind of fool – when it comes to your health.

20 Things I Learned From The Internet

Written by kludge

  • You want it, you can find it online.
  • If you don’t want it, you can also find it online.
  • It might take a while.
  • Sometimes the hunt is half the fun.
  • Everyone has a website. Grandfathers, mothers and babies. Everyone.
  • At some point, Google became a verb.
  • The difference between web surfing with IE and Firefox is the difference between body armor and a trendy cotton vest.
  • If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
  • The Internet is the geeks playground. Here, we rule.
  • Not that you would ever need to know the dietary habits of the South American anteater, but it’s comforting to know you could find it online if you did.
  • When in doubt, Wikipedia.
  • Anyone who uses the term ‘Interweb’ has never been online.
  • Explaining the Internet to someone who’s never been online, is like explaining the Magna Carta to your cat.
  • Almost everything of substance can be summed up with a “DUDE! Check this out!’ and a hyperlink.
  • Be safe. Be cynical.
  • Some else already said it first. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be said again, and again…
  • The Internet IS redundancy.
  • There is no such thing as ‘sufficient bandwidth’.
  • There’s always something new.
  • You can never go back once you’ve tried it.

11 Surefire Tips for Improving Your Landscape Photography

Written by


Photo by Auto matt

My first love in photography when I first got my trusty old Minolta SLR as a teenager was landscapes. There?s something about getting out in nature with the challenge of capturing some of the amazing beauty that you see. Perhaps it fits with my personality type – but I loved the quietness and stillness of waiting for the perfect moment for the shot, scoping out an area for the best vantage point and then seeing the way that the light changed a scene over a few hours.

While I don?t get as much time as I?d like for Landscape Photography these days – I thought I?d jot down a few of the lessons that I learned in my early years of doing it. I?d love to hear your own Landscape Photography tips in comments below.

1. Maximize your Depth of Field

While there may be times that you want to get a little more creative and experiment with narrow depth of fields in your Landscape Photography – the normal approach is to ensure that as much of your scene is in focus as possible. The simplest way to do this is to choose a small Aperture setting (a large number) as the smaller your aperture the greater the depth of field in your shots.

Do keep in mind that smaller apertures mean less light is hitting your image sensor at any point in time so they will mean you need to compensate either by increasing your ISO or lengthening your shutter speed (or both).

PS: of course there are times when you can get some great results with a very shallow DOF in a landscape setting (see the picture of the double yellow line below).


Photo by hkvam

2. Use a Tripod

As a result of the longer shutter speed that you may need to select to compensate for a small aperture you will need to find a way of ensuring your camera is completely still during the exposure. In fact even if you?re able to shoot at a fast shutter speed the practice of using a tripod can be beneficial to you. Also consider a cable or wireless shutter release mechanism for extra camera stillness.

3. Look for a Focal Point

All shots need some sort of focal point to them and landscapes are no different – in fact landscape photographs without them end up looking rather empty and will leave your viewers eye wondering through the image with nowhere to rest (and they?ll generally move on quickly).

Focal points can take many forms in landscapes and could range from a building or structure, a striking tree, a boulder or rock formation, a silhouette etc.

Think not only about what the focal point is but where you place it. The rule of thirds might be useful here.


Photo by OneEighteen

4. Think Foregrounds

One element that can set apart your landscape shots is to think carefully about the foreground of your shots and by placing points of interest in them. When you do this you give those viewing the shot a way into the image as well as creating a sense of depth in your shot.

5. Consider the Sky

Another element to consider is the sky in your landscape.

Most landscapes will either have a dominant foreground or sky – unless you have one or the other your shot can end up being fairly boring.

If you have a bland, boring sky – don?t let it dominate your shot and place the horizon in the upper third of your shot (however you?ll want to make sure your foreground is interesting). However if the sky is filled with drama and interesting cloud formations and colors – let it shine by placing the horizon lower.

Consider enhancing skies either in post production or with the use of filters (for example a polarizing filter can add color and contrast).


Photo by hkvam

6. Lines

One of the questions to ask yourself as you take Landscape shots is ?how am I leading the eye of those viewing this shot?? There are a number of ways of doing this (foregrounds is one) but one of the best ways into a shot is to provide viewers with lines that lead them into an image.

Lines give an image depth, scale and can be a point of interest in and of themselves by creating patterns in your shot.


7. Capture Movement

When most people think about landscapes they think of calm, serene and passive environments – however landscapes are rarely completely still and to convey this movement in an image will add drama, mood and create a point of interest.

Examples – wind in trees, waves on a beach, water flowing over a waterfall, birds flying over head, moving clouds.

Capturing this movement generally means you need to look at a longer shutter speed (sometimes quite a few seconds). Of course this means more light hitting your sensor which will mean you need to either go for a small Aperture, use some sort of a filter or even shoot at the start or end of the day when there is less light.


Photo by 3amfromkyoto

8. Work with the Weather

A scene can change dramatically depending upon the weather at any given moment. As a result, choosing the right time to shoot is of real importance.

Many beginner photographers see a sunny day and think that it?s the best time to go out with their camera – however an overcast day that is threatening to rain might present you with a much better opportunity to create an image with real mood and ominous overtones. Look for storms, wind, mist, dramatic clouds, sun shining through dark skies, rainbows, sunsets and sunrises etc and work with these variations in the weather rather than just waiting for the next sunny blue sky day.

9. Work the Golden Hours

I chatted with one photographer recently who told me that he never shoots during the day – his only shooting times are around dawn and dusk – because that?s when the light is best and he find that landscapes come alive.

These ?golden? hours are great for landscapes for a number of reasons – none the least of which is the ?golden? light that it often presents us with. The other reason that I love these times is the angle of the light and how it can impact a scene – creating interesting patterns, dimensions and textures.

10. Think about Horizons

It?s an old tip but a good one – before you take a landscape shot always consider the horizon on two fronts.

  • Is it straight? – while you can always straighten images later in post production it?s easier if you get it right in camera.
  • Where is it compositionally? – a compositionally natural spot for a horizon is on one of the thirds lines in an image (either the top third or the bottom one) rather than completely in the middle. Of course rules are meant to be broken – but I find that unless it?s a very striking image that the rule of thirds usually works here.



Photo by curious_spider

11. Change your Point of View

You drive up to the scenic lookout, get out of the car, grab your camera, turn it on, walk up to the barrier, raise the camera to your eye, rotate left and right a little, zoom a little and take your shot before getting back in the car to go to the next scenic lookout.

We?ve all done it – however this process doesn?t generally lead to the ?wow? shot that many of us are looking for.

Take a little more time with your shots – particularly in finding a more interesting point of view to shoot from. This might start with finding a different spot to shoot from than the scenic look out (wander down paths, look for new angles etc), could mean getting down onto the ground to shot from down low or finding a higher up vantage point to shoot from.

Explore the environment and experiment with different view points and you could find something truly unique.

20 of the best Free Photoshop Plugins and Filters

Written by tutorialblog

Plugins and filters extend Photoshop by providing new funtionality and effects that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to achieve or by simplifying a process. There are lots of plugins that you can buy but in the TutorialBlog way we are going to be taking a look at the best of the free plugins ?

virtualPhotographer – virtualPhotographer lets you instantly apply high quality, professional photographic styles to your digital images, with just one click


Richard Rosenman – This page features a growing set of (mostly free) Photoshop filters / plugins. Most were developed because I found myself in need of something like this in the past for production. Others were developed because I foresee the need for them in the future


Filter Forge – Software to create your own filters, owners of the software get access to a huge number of user-submitted filters for free. I think this is a great idea – try it out for free for 30 days


Harry’s Filters – Harry’s Filters is a free Photoshop-compatible plugin containing up to 69 different image effects. They were formerly also known under the name “VideoRave”


Auto FX Mosaic – Mosaic makes your photos look as if they were created out of a mosaic tile. Photo-realistic depth and variable tile size and color options give this effect an infinite number of looks


Auto FX Dreamy Photo – Dreamy Photo gives images a soft romantic feel. This is a superb effect for enhancing stock photography, digital camera photos and any image you want to add a warm feel to


Telegraphics – Free plugins for Photoshop & Illustrator?and other software


Xero Graphics – A collection of freeware plugins for special effects


FreePhotoshop – Collection of free photshop plugins, also lists free shapes, styles, gradients etc


HDR Soft – Free tone mapping plugin and Photomatix software for creating HDR photographs


Luce – Add advance lighting effects to images with this free plugin


Flaming Pear – A number of free downloads for various effects


Mehdi Plugins – Loads of free plugins for various effects


Little Ink Pot – On this page Little Ink Pot provides free plugins. As always these are quality products created for their usefulness to digital image creators of all levels


Mura’s Filters – Free plugins for Adobe Photoshop and plugin compatible programs (such as Paint Shop Pro, etc.) – available only for Windows


Plugins World – A directory of free and paid plugins for photoshop and other adobe and apple software


Vanderlee – Free and paid plugins and filters


Golden Section Plugin – Now you can instantly draw the golden sections, or other divine proportions, as an aid to composition. This plugin can draw fibonacci sequences such as the golden sections, golden spiral and the golden triangles. In addition it also can draw the harmonious triangles and the rule of thirds


Pog’s Notes – A collection of free photoshop plugins and filters


Photo Plugins – These plugins are photo retouching oriented and can help with various tasks such as sharpening, converting to black and white, bringing out detail, controlling saturation, applying gradient blurs, correcting barrel and pincushion distortion etc


10 Grammar Mistakes That Make You Look Stupid

Written By Jodi Gilbert

These days, we tend to communicate via the keyboard as much as we do verbally. Often, we’re in a hurry, quickly dashing off e-mails with typos, grammatical shortcuts (I’m being kind here), and that breezy, e.e. cummings, no-caps look. It’s expected. It’s no big deal. But other times, we try to invest a little care, avoiding mistakes so that there’s no confusion about what we’re saying and so that we look professional and reasonably bright.

In general, we can slip up in a verbal conversation and get away with it. A colleague may be thinking, Did she just say “irregardless”?, but the words flow on, and our worst transgressions are carried away and with luck, forgotten.

That’s not the case with written communications. When we commit a grammatical crime in e-mails, discussion posts, reports, memos, and other professional documents, there’s no going back. We’ve just officially gone on record as being careless or clueless. And here’s the worst thing. It’s not necessary to be an editor or a language whiz or a spelling bee triathlete to spot such mistakes. They have a way of doing a little wiggle dance on the screen and then reaching out to
grab the reader by the throat.

So here we are in the era of Word’s red-underline “wrong spelling, dumb ass” feature and Outlook’s Always Check Spelling Before Sending option, and still the mistakes proliferate. Catching typos is easy (although not everyone does it). It’s the other stuff — correctly spelled but incorrectly wielded — that sneaks through and makes us look stupid. Here’s a quick review of some of the big ones.

1. Loose for lose
No: I always loose the product key.
Yes: I always lose the product key.

2. It’s for its (or god forbid, its’)
No: Download the HTA, along with it’s readme file.
Yes: Download the HTA, along with its readme file.
No: The laptop is overheating and its making that funny noise again.
Yes: The laptop is overheating and it’s making that funny noise again.

3.They’re fortheir for there
No: The managers are in they’re weekly planning meeting.
Yes: The managers are in their weekly planning meeting.
No: The techs have to check there cell phones at the door, and their not happy about it.
Yes: The techs have to check their cell phones at the door, and they’re not happy about it.

4.i.e. for e.g.
No: Use an anti-spyware program (i.e., AdAware).
Yes: Use an anti-spyware program (e.g., AdAware).
Note: The term i.e. means “that is”; e.g. means “for example.” And a comma follows both of them.

5.Effect for affect
No: The outage shouldn’t effect any users during work hours.
Yes: The outage shouldn’t affect any users during work hours.
Yes: The outage shouldn’t have any effect on users.
Yes: We will effect several changes during the downtime.
Note: Impact is not a verb. Purists, at least, beg you to use affect instead:
No: The outage shouldn’t impact any users during work hours.
Yes: The outage shouldn’t affect any users during work hours.
Yes: The outage should have no impact on users during work hours.

6. You’re foryour
No: Remember to defrag you’re machine on a regular basis.
Yes: Remember to defrag your machine on a regular basis.
No: Your right about the changes.
Yes: You’re right about the changes.

7. Different than for different from
No: This setup is different than the one at the main office.
Yes: This setup is different from the one at the main office.
Yes: This setup is better than the one at the main office.

8. Lay for lie
No: I got dizzy and had to lay down.
Yes: I got dizzy and had to lie down.
Yes: Just lay those books over there.

9. Then for than
No: The accounting department had more problems then we did.
Yes: The accounting department had more problems than we did.
Note: Here’s a sub-peeve. When a sentence construction begins with If, you don’t need a then. Then is implicit, so it’s
superfluous and wordy:
No: If you can’t get Windows to boot, then you’ll need to call Ted.
Yes: If you can’t get Windows to boot, you’ll need to call Ted.

10.Could of, would of for could have, would have
No: I could of installed that app by mistake.
Yes: I could have installed that app by mistake.
No: I would of sent you a meeting notice, but you were out of town.
Yes: I would have sent you a meeting notice, but you were out of town.

Bonus peeve

I’ll just throw one more thing out here: My current burning pet peeve. At some point, who knows when, it became common practice to say that something is “hit and miss.” Nuh-UH. It can’t be both, right? It either hits or it misses? “Hit OR miss.” Granted, it’s a small thing, a Boolean-obsessive sort of thing. But it’s nonetheless vexing because it’s so illogical. Okay, that’s mine. If you’ve got a peeve of your own, share it in the discussion (or post a comment and tell me to get over it).

A Secret Google Search URL That Removes Adsense Ads

Google Search Without Adsense Shhhh!

Written by Amit Agarwal

Google makes most of their money from online advertising.

While it is technically possible to block Google ads on web pages through Firefox extensions or by modifying the hosts file, these hiding methods are mostly implemented by tech-savvy users and may not have that big an effect on Google’s revenue.

However, here’s a secret trick – if you append the parameter “output=googleabout” to Google Web Search URL, the search results page will not carry any AdSense ads that are otherwise seen on the top and right sections of the page.

Here’s a direct URL to search Google minus Adsense/Adwords ads:

Not sure why this parameter is in place but this default Google page could have a serious impact on their bottom line since it allows users to search Google sans advertisements without installing any geeky hacks. Thanks Vedrashko.

The following lines, when added to the Windows HOSTS file, will block Google from serving ads on your computer and won’t track your visits on sites that use Google Analytics.

# [Google Inc] #[Google AdWords] #[urchinTracker] #[Google Analytics] #[Ewido.TrackingCookie.Googleadservices] #[Microsoft.Typo-Patrol] #[Urchin Tracking Module]

Feature: Top 5 Google Tricks

If you’re looking to do more with Google – and its properties, check out these five nifty tricks. View them all after the break.

Search Google Without Advertisements

For those who prefer search result pages that don’t have the Adwords ads, this nifty tutorial may come in handy.

Hidden WWII Bomber on Google Earth

A sent in this interesting video tutorial on how to find the hidden WWII bomber (Avro 696 Shackleton AEW2) on Google Earth.

Crazy Inventions from Google Patent Search

Kipkay” has put together a video of crazy inventions found on Google Patent Search. They include a fart deodorizer, beerbrella, toilet snorkel, and more.

Google Webcam Search

Though we don’t recommend using this trick to spy on people, it’s quite interesting to see what some businesses and city cams are showing.

Use Google Earth to Find “Amazing” Animal Photos

Yes, you can actually use Google Earth to locate detailed images of animals from around the word. Coordinates are below.

BUFFALOS: 4?17?21.49? S 31?23?46.46? E
CAMELS: 15?17?40.32? N 20?28?47.42? E
ELEPHANTS: 10?54?13.66? N 19?56?06.15? E
FLAMINGOS: 21?50?36.15? S 35?27?00.60? E
HIPPOS: 6?53?53.00? S 31?11?15.40? E
6?54?00.10? S 31?11?11.67? E
ORYX: 24?57?18.60? S 15?51?30.61? E
SEALS: 18?26?45.45? S 12?00?44.20? E

Written by Techeblog

10 Totally Stupid Online Business Ideas That Made Someone Rich

1. Million Dollar Homepage

1000000 pixels, charge a dollar per pixel – that’s perhaps the dumbest idea for online business anyone could have possible come up with. Still, Alex Tew, a 21-year-old who came up with the idea, is now a millionaire.

2. SantaMail

Ok, how’s that for a brilliant idea. Get a postal address at North Pole, Alaska, pretend you are Santa Claus and charge parents 10 bucks for every letter you send to their kids? Well, Byron Reese sent over 200000 letters since the start of the business in 2001, which makes him a couple million dollars richer. Full Story

3. Doggles

Create goggles for dogs and sell them online? Boy, this IS the dumbest idea for a business. How in the world did they manage to become millionaires and have shops all over the world with that one? Beyond me.

4. LaserMonks is a for-profit subsidiary of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank, an eight-monk monastery in the hills of Monroe County, 90 miles northwest of Madison. Yeah, real monks refilling your cartridges. Hallelujah! Their 2005 sales were $2.5 million! Praise the Lord. Full Story

5. AntennaBalls

You can’t sell antenna ball online. There is no way. And surely it wouldn’t make you rich. But this is exactly what Jason Wall did, and now he is now a millionaire. Full Story

6. FitDeck

Create a deck of cards featuring exercise routines, and sell it online for $18.95. Sounds like a disaster idea to me. But former Navy SEAL and fitness instructor Phil Black reported last year sales of $4.7 million. Surely beats what military pays.

7. PositivesDating.Com

How would you like to go on a date with an HIV positive person? Paul Graves and Brandon Koechlin thought that someone would, so they created a dating site for HIV positive folks last year. Projected 2006 sales are $110,000, and the two hope to have 50,000 members by their two-year mark.

8. Designer Diaper Bags

Christie Rein was tired of carrying diapers around in a freezer bag. The 34-year-old mother of three found herself constantly stuffing diapers for her infant son into freezer bags to keep them from getting scrunched up in her purse. Rein wanted something that was compact, sleek and stylish, so in November 2004, she sat down with her husband, Marcus, who helped her design a custom diaper bag that’s big enough to hold a travel pack of wipes and two to four diapers. With more than $180,000 in sales for 2005, Christie’s company, Diapees & Wipees, has bags in 22 different styles, available online and in 120 boutiques across the globe for $14.99.

9. PickyDomains

Hire another person to think of a cool domain name for you? No way people would pay for this. Actually, naming domain names for others turned out a thriving business, especially, when you make the entire process risk free. PickyDomains currently has a waiting list of people who want to PAY the service to come up with a snappy memorable domain name. PickyDomains is expected to hit six figures this year. Full Story

10. Lucky Wishbone Co.

Fake wishbones. Now, this stupid idea is just destined to flop. Who in the world needs FAKE PLASTIC wishbones? A lot of people, it turns out. Now producing 30,000 wishbones daily (they retail for 3 bucks a pop) Ken Ahroni, the company founder, expects 2006 sales to reach $1 million.

Written by Dmitri Davydov

10 Things we learned from Spiderman 3

Spiderman 3 is not just all fun and games, you know. Look a bit closer and Sam Raimi and co. are really making very acute social observations about life, love and sand.


Spiderman 31. EMOs are a product of alien symbiosis

2. If you find yourself running from the law, no problem! Just hop over the gate that says ‘DANGER! Particle Physics Experiment in progress’ and you’re in the clear.

3. If your girlfriend is hanging from the roof of a demolished skyscraper, never fear. Nonchalantly take some pictures and introduce yourself to her father, who also doesn’t seem to give a shit.

4. Flipping pancakes and listening to vintage dance songs will only lead to adultery.

5. Black is the new red. And alien goo is the new cotton.

6. If you ever find yourself battling a giant sand person and a jagged-toothed photographer alongside your best friend who just tried to kill you, be sure that you and him exchange ‘witty’ banter at every opportunity. “I’m a little busy over here, buddy.” “I’d love to help you, but I’ve got my hands full, buddy” and so on.

7. If you want to kill someone real bad, then go to church and pray and maybe, if you’re lucky, God will provide you with an alien suit made of pure evil.

8. Sufferers of amnesia just can’t help smiling ridiculously and eating ice-cream. Oh life is good when you can’t remember anything.

9. Bad boys eat cookies, drink milk and mimic their lecturers down the phone in a hilarious manner.

10. Is your girlfriend feeling down? No problem, make her feel better by passionately upside-down kissing some really hot chick in front of her.

Written by The CinemATTIC