Monthly Archives: August 2009

Urban Survivalist Guide: 15 Tips to Stay Alive

Written by Manolith

So the worst has happened. You’ve lost your job, your account’s in overdraft, and you’re kicked out of your apartment. Or maybe you’ve just arrived in a new town with nothing but what you’re wearing. What do you do? Many people are now facing this strangely hobo-era dilemma these days. It really is something to consider, since most of us don’t keep that three month’s worth of salary in our savings accounts like the financial guru’s say we should. You’ve got to move quickly if you want to get back on your feet and fix this mess. No worries though, these 15 tips should help get you on your way.

Have Friends? Couch Surf.



While this may seem like common sense, many guys have a huge problem with admitting the fact that they’re technically homeless to their friends. One major hurdle to get over is your own pride, admit you’re in a crap situation and ask if it’s cool to crash on a friend’s couch for a while. Just don’t become the guy on the couch, since this will inevitably annoy anyone.

No Friends? Hostel It.



At this point we’re seriously hoping that you are in a city, and not some rural area. If you’re caught in a city with no friends or family to provide safe harbor then you need a place to stay, cheap, and stat. Hostels are the ideal answer to this problem, assuming you’re lucky enough to get in one while there’s a bed open. Some are free and some cost a few bucks, and it’s basically like hanging out in some other guy’s college dorm room, but it’s a bed and it’s co-ed. Maybe you can turn this into a good situation?

Find Friend(s) To Stay With.



It’s time to get creative. Have enough cash for some dollar PBR’s at the local bar? This could go really well, or horribly wrong, but you need to shack up for the night and you’re out of dignified options. Look at it this way, it’s this, a park bench, or the shelter. How far do you want to take your “homeless” status? This option is typically available whether you’re in a city or in the sticks, and I hear the cougars are like temporary pets.

Switch Carriers, or Get a Pay-As-You-Go Cell Phone.



You need to have a cell phone, but if you are effectively homeless, you probably stopped paying your cell phone bill before you stopped making your rent payments. But, you need to have a number where people can contact you, what with looking for jobs and bouncing from couch to couch. If your credit isn’t  wrecked, most phone shops will have deals to get you on a cheap phone plan with instant service – sometimes with no money down. If you can’t snag one of these deals, there’s always the pre-paids,which you can get away with for less than $50 in most cases. That is if you can scrounge up the funds, and  you’ll have to be more regimented with tracking your call time.

Win Some Money.



You’re likely about to run completely out of cash at this point, so you need to do something to have at least enough to eat and pay for bus fare. Possibly the most overlooked source of randomly free income: bar contests. Whether it’s beer pong tournaments, darts, pool, or trivia, if you get your game face on and hit it to win it, you can get through an entire night on free beer and walk out with cash winnings. There’s usually a bar doing something every night of the week and if you play your cards right you could hit each one in cycle. Couple this with the possibility of getting picked up by a cougar and you’ve got several bases covered.

Do Odd Jobs.



During the day you’ll have a lot of hours to fill, so you should try to make it productive. You may rake in enough spending cash each night at the bar to afford a pack of smokes and lunch, but you’re not making any headway. Take up some odd jobs as you find them; someone always has some yard work that needs doing, a car that needs washing, maybe help with moving furniture. There’s always something, though it may not pay much, and that ten bucks can make the difference between clean and dirty clothes for a job interview. Who knows, you might even luck out again cleaning a cougar’s pool.

Eat For Free.



We take for granted just how much we spend eating every day. You can get by without actually spending any of your randomly earned spending cash on food, you just need to know where to look. You can start by hitting up the grocery stores for the free samples, run a circuit and try as many of each sample as you can, and it’s enough to get you through to lunch time. Later you can hit up other stores and graze the bulk-candy bins or the DIY trail-mix aisle. Don’t just count on hitting the same grocery stores though, since they’ll catch on if they see you too often. Bakeries constantly toss perfectly good gourmet food in the trash just for being a few hours old. A little dumpster-diving never hurt anybody, just don’t get caught, and don’t get your clothes dirty. And if you think you are “too good” for dumpster diving, there’s always food banks and soup kitchens.

Clean Clothes.



Anyone who’s ever lived in a dorm or an apartment complex knows about the laundry room. Laundromats are no different, and more often than not a guy can walk in and find a machine with a cycle left paid for. If not, you don’t need to spend your cash on something like running water through clothes, look for some quarters. A good spot to find them are wishing-well fountains, and there’s no shame in pocketing the big coins unless you’re a Goonie. Once you’re back at the laundromat it’s just a matter of what’s available. Try accidentally mixing your clothes in with someone else’s. Several cheesy romance movies were based on this maneuver during the 80’s, so don’t be shy.

Urban Bathing.



You can’t run around smelling like you’re homeless. If you have to spend a couple of days couchless, without hostel, and failed to score a cougar at the bar, then you need to take care of that BO. Since gyms, the Y and just about anywhere else with showers in the city have gone members only, use some of the money you’ve scrounged to get some deodorant and soap, and start scoping out fountainheads and waterspouts. Garden hoses can also come in pretty handy. In a secluded area you can manage a full shower without anyone noticing, and along with freshly washed clothes nobody will be able to tell you’re actually on the down & outs. You’ll never get hired looking and smelling like a bum.

Search For Work Constantly



Most libraries are still free, so make use of them when you can and get online. Use sites like Craigslist to find job listings in the area and contact every single one of them. This is why you have a cell phone, they’ll have a number to call. Don’t limit yourself to just the city you’re in, either. Amtrak or Greyhound tickets can be reasonably cheap, and since you’ve already been surviving this long technically homeless, you shouldn’t worry too much about the short time you’ll have to fend for yourself in a new town if a job offer takes you there. You never know what you may find in online classifieds, just remember you’re there for jobs, not casual encounters.

Stay In The Loop.



Just because you’re in the dumps doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch with your friends, family, and the world in general. Using the same library computers you searched for jobs on, you can also hit up social networks like Twitter and Facebook, handle your usual daily email load, and even watch the latest videos on YouTube. This way when you come back out of your slump, you’ll be caught up on what the rest of the world was wasting their time doing. It could even be like you never left.

Find Transportation.



If you were a driver before, odds are you aren’t now. Pedestrian life can be surprisingly efficient once you get the hang of it, and if you don’t get the hang of it you’re going to be in a very confusing world. Spend some time walking around, getting used to the city from a different point of view. Unavoidable costs of the buses and subway systems can cause a hefty dent in your spending cash, so get used to walking as much as you can manage. If this situation becomes a bit more long-term than you thought, it may not be a bad idea to see about picking up a bike for $20.

Stay Healthy.



So what do you do when you end up feeling queezy a week after the night with that cougar? You don’t have health insurance anymore, or any money, so you’re going to need a free clinic. You should stop off at your local internet connected library again, and visit an online directory to find out where the free clinic is in your area. It’s an easy thing to overlook, but you don’t want to need of a doctor and have no idea of where to go for help.

Get Some New Threads.



You can wash your clothes and get away with wearing just about anything you can find while you’re doing it, but you need more than what you’ve got on your back. People forget about Goodwill stores, where you can walk in and easily pick up some fairly awesome sport coats, shirts, ties, slacks, just about a whole wardrobe for under $30. If it takes a while to finally get that job interview, you’ll want to strut into that office wearing something that’s going to get the right kind of attention.

If All Else Fails.


Let’s face it. You’re here now, aren’t you? You were probably here yesterday, and you’ll be here tomorrow. All you really need is the Internet. With the amount of wifi signals around town now, you could probably live a pretty decent little life with your dog and a pawned laptop. There’s no shame in it, after all, it’s pretty much how you spend all your time now anyway. All that house around you is kinda going to waste, isn’t it? Always look on the brighter side of life, the recession’s bound to end someday.

Top 10 Money Saving Sites

Written by Nick Mokey

By now, we’ve all heard that money’s tight, that we’re on the end of the verge of financial apocalypse, and that everyone will have to cut back. But don’t start lining your shoes with cardboard and cooking beans over a garbage fire just yet. Stripping out luxuries may be one way to stretch your dollars, but for the careful shopper, being frugal need only mean looking a little harder to find deals, and the Web can take a lot of effort out of the process.
We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite deal-hunting Web sites, where you can find everything from sales and discounts to coupon codes, daily specials and even outright free stuff.
What’s the catch?
No matter which sites you end up using, keep in mind that deals come and go faster than Michael Jackson’s fortune, so you’ll need to make a habit of checking every day – sometimes multiple times a day – to score the best stuff. They call it bargain hunting for a reason, and you’ll need to be in the right place at the right time if you want to bag a buck or two

Consider FatWallet the mother of all money-saving sites. It combines a deal forum, coupon search, and in-house cash back program, making it a one-stop destination for all things bargain-related. Though it specializes in online deals and sales, you can also use FatWallet for comparing other purchases too, like seeing which gym offers the cheapest membership, which car company offers the best rebates to combine with the government’s new cash-for-clunkers program, or where to find cheap lobster.


You’ll never find a group of more stingy, clever or well-researched folks than the Internet dwellers at SlickDeals, which makes it one of the best user-driven communities out there. Every day’s list of hot bargains comes directly from the community, and they’re rated up and down based on the same collective hive mind, so you don’t have to cut through much clutter to find the primo deals. A string of comments on every deal can also help you find other coupons and offers to stack on top of existing offers, or steer you clear of products and stores that aren’t quite as great as they’re made out to be.


Plenty of sites offer coupon codes, but RetailMeNot organizes them into one of the most intuitive directories we’ve found. Just enter a site (like and RetailMeNot drums up a list of active codes. Since restrictions and expirations make some codes more reliable than others, the site even ranks them based on success rate, so you don’t even up wasting time with codes that haven’t worked for other people.

Retail Me Not

Ben’s Bargains
Ben’s own slogan, “Where ghetto dogs come for the lowdown on deals,” sums up this site nicer than we ever could. The front page offers a no-nonsense list of recent deals with photos, a popularity meter, and trackers for hot items like the Nintendo Wii and Apple iPod. It may not be the prettiest site you’ll ever find, but for spotting deals, not many can beat it.

Ben's Bargains

Technically, it’s an online retailer, but Woot qualifies for our list thanks to unique selling format, community atmosphere and, well, 99 percent of the stuff it sells it an absolute steal. Woot runs on a deal-a-day format with only one item on sale per day, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. You’ll find everything from flashlights to fire alarms cropping up on the site, but even when the product disappoints, Woot’s spiced-up product descriptions usually never fail to elicit a smile. Just don’t buy when you’re in a hurry – shipping can sometimes take ages.


Yes, Twitter is better for more than just announcing to the world the last thing you ate or saw on the subway. Many companies are beginning to use the site for last-minute daily deals. That means deals on flights from JetBlue and United, deals on car care kits from Amazon, and if you’re in Portland, deals on pizza and cocktails from Candy. Googling the name of an establishment or company with the search term “twitter” remains the easiest way to find whether a favorite establishment is sending out deals, until Twitter’s own search engine improves.


Twitter offers so many deal-related feeds, it can be hard to keep tabs on them all. For those who need a hand, CheapTweet aggregates many deal-related Twitter accounts, and incorporates a rating system to send the best to the top. Unlike tweets from actual companies, most of the deal appearing on CheapTweet come from third-party Twitter accounts dedicated to tracking bargains, like “CouponCabin,” “ShopItToMe,” and “Freebies4mom.”


The original Web-based replacement for classified ads still can’t be beat. You can use it to find items new and used, commission one-off unique items, find services, and even barter for things you don’t quite have the cash for. And in a down economy, you can feel good about putting cash directly into the hands of other people who need it, rather than feeding corporate giants.



Craigslist and Freecycle both offer amazing lists of items other folks are giving away entirely for free, but Kashless aggregates both into one seamless feed of no-catch freebies. It also adds some unique extras, like sharing listings on Facebook and Twitter (“This free fridge would be perfect to convert into a kegerator!”) and even real-time text notifications when items you’re looking for are posted. Having scored free firewood, air conditioning units and hot tubs on Craigslist before, we can safely say there’s a bounty out there.


You probably spot offers for free samples all day long on billboards, newspaper ads, TV commercials and other mediums, but what if you wanted to look at them all in one spot and find some stuff you actually wanted to try? TotallyFreeStuff posts everything from free stuff you sign up for online, to items you buy at a store in mail in rebates for, and contests to win the really big stuff. You’ll have to cut through some junk to find the stuff with the fewest catches, but it’s one of the most comprehensive listings out there. And hey, it’s free.

Totally Free Stuff

The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies

Written by total scifi online

The 100 Greatest Sci-Fi MoviesThe movies on this list are a good indicator of just how diverse the science fiction genre is. From the epic philosophical ideas of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris to the joyful space opera of Star Wars and Flash Gordon, the films here are linked by their ability to explore time and space with imagination, flair and audacity.

This list is the result of heated debate/scuffles between the frazzled writers of Total Sci-Fi. In addition to settling on the titles themselves, we also had to set the limits of what counts as a ‘sci-fi film’: we decided that superhero movies were out as that’s a distinct genre all of its own, but comedies like Sleeper and Galaxy Quest possess enough genuine science fiction concepts to warrant inclusion. So here, then, is our list of the 100 Greatest Sci-Fi Movies. And as always you can drop us a line at [email protected] to let us know what you think should have made the cut and what shouldn’t…

1) Blade Runner (1982)

Like many of the movies on this list, Blade Runner was not a critical or commercial success on its initial release. Some critics at the time simply dismissed it as style over substance. Yet, along with its unforgettable depiction of a neon-lit LA that is essentially a mash-up of Western and Eastern cultures, Ridley Scott’s film is backed up by a real sense of sadness, fear and longing, and an often overlooked wry humour. As Deckard, Harrison Ford proved he could pull off a much darker hero than Han Solo, and Rutger Hauer gave the performance of his career as the psychotic, feral and ultimately tragic Roy Batty. A masterpiece.

2) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Stanley Kubrick’s grand, mind-bending trip into the unknown is science fiction of grand ideas. At times the film is as enigmatic as the universe itself, and Kubrick works in everything from human evolution to the perils of technology, and unlike many later spectacle-driven genre films, there is a real depth behind the groundbreaking special effects. Complex, strangely unsettling and magnificent.

3) Star Wars (1977)

Iconic, spectacular, groundbreaking, epic in both scope and ambition – if you haven’t seen Star Wars then, well, you’re probably not interested in reading a list about SF movies. While it might not convey the big science fiction ideas of other movies on this list, Star Wars works because it is pure, escapist fun and because it successfully builds a believable, cohesive galaxy that we are still exploring to this day.

4) Alien (1979)

On paper the plot sounds simple stuff: the crew of a spaceship are stalked by a relentless monster. Yet this is anything but a simple movie. It’s been much analysed by theorists for its portrayal of femininity (both in the strong heroine of Ripley and the film’s sexual imagery), while all of the crew members are complex and believable creations. And, of course, it’s incredibly frightening: the unveiling of Ash’s true identity is almost as scary as the xenomorph itself.

5) Metropolis (1927)

Over 80 years since it was originally released, Metropolis retains its power to awe. Fritz Lang creates a dazzling (and much-aped) vision of an industrial dystopia, but after its 1927 premiere the film only existed in a heavily edited version until it enjoyed a full reconstruction in 2002.

6) The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

The definitive 1950s SF flick holds an obvious warning about the increasing brinkmanship between the USA and USSR, but the story of alien fugitive Klaatu actually unfolds in a calm and surprisingly realistic manner. The special effects, including the flying saucer and robot companion Gort, are a lot more convincing than in the 2008 CG-heavy remake.

7) The Terminator (1984)

James Cameron works wonders on a minuscule budget in this tense and incredibly efficient thriller. The tantalising glimpses of the future war are more frightening than those seen in the recent big budget Terminator: Salvation, and Brad Fiedel provides one of the most memorable movie theme tunes of all time. And though he may not have troubled the Oscars, Schwarzenegger’s lack of emotional range is perfectly suited to the relentless killing machine.

8) Planet of the Apes (1968)

A dramatic crash landing and a shrieking shrivelled corpse signal the start of this intelligent allegory, made at the height of the cold war. Its ending is one of the most iconic moments in cinema, bringing to a close the first chapter of the first major science fiction franchise.

9) E.T. (1982)

E.T. is warm-hearted without descending into mawkishness. In part this is down to natural performances from Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore as the children who treat their alien visitor with respect and kindness – in contrast to most of the adults in the picture. In fact E.T. becomes kind of frightening in the second half with the doctors flocking around the little fellow and suits waving guns around (or rather less threatening walkie-talkies if you’re watching Spielberg’s revised version).

10) Solaris (1972)

Andrei Tarkovsky’s existential SF drama is often described as the Russian 2001 – but it’s much more than that. It’s a hypnotic, minimalist masterpiece, though these days it has as many detractors as fans. Steven Soderbergh directed a surprisingly successful remake in 2002.

11) Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Cerebral narrative and whimsical fantasy are not always comfortable bedfellows, but Steven Spielberg’s 1977 classic handles both with ease. Whether it’s the restrained original or the unnecessary special edition, Close Encounters is a thoughtful tale that is as much inspiring as it is life affirming.

12) Forbidden Planet (1956)
It’s The Tempest in space! And it’s still brilliant! One of the most colourful, charming SF films ever made, FP’s highlights include the benign Robbie the Robot and the bloodcurdling invisible Id monster…

13) The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Sequels don’t get any better than this. Opening with the Hoth battle and concluding with Darth Vader’s dramatic revelation to Luke, The Empire Strikes Back is constructed of scenes awash with imagination. The film also saw real emotional development for its leads and some great new characters like Lando and Boba Fett.

14) A Trip to the Moon (1902)
Georges Méliès’s 14-minute wonder astonished audiences at the turn of the 20th Century – and still does today. Méliès was one of the founding fathers of cinema, and this early narrative movie contains pioneering special effects and editing techniques. The Smashing Pumpkins’ video Tonight Tonight was inspired by the film.

15) Aliens (1986)

James Cameron cleverly eschewed aping the original, and instead upped the alien quotient and delivered one of the most purely exciting films ever made. But this is no brainless actioner. Cameron waits almost an hour before the acid-blooded xenomorphs make an appearance, while the film transformed Ripley into a bona fide iconic action heroine. There’s also a memorable selection of supporting characters (Hicks, Hudson, Newt, Vasquez) and instantly quotable dialogue (“game over man!”).

16) Silent Running (1972)
‘Eco-themed sci-fi’ isn’t the most exciting phrase in the world, but Douglas Trumball’s masterpiece isn’t An Inconvenient Truth in space. It’s a distillation of early 1970s ideals, with a moving, subtle performance from a youthful Bruce Dern. And with Trumball in the director’s chair, it’s no surprise that that the effects are terrific.

17) Brazil (1985)
Terry Gilliam’s best movie was a flop on its initial US release, but is now recognised as a SF masterpiece. A dystopian thriller with a large dose of Python-esque humour, Brazil remains a true one off.

18) Akira (1988)
Akira was instrumental in the explosion of interest in anime and manga in the English-speaking world, and influenced pretty much every SF anime movie that followed. It’s difficult to follow at times, but the film remains a dizzying achievement.

19) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
The best Trek movie by miles, this is an edgy, exciting and often very funny movie that feels much more than an extended TV episode. The makers even had the guts to kill Spock! OK, so they did bring him back in the next one…

20) Total Recall (1990)

Based (very) loosely on Philip K Dick’s short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, Total Recall has both brains and brawn. When Arnie discovers that his memories are fake, he heads to Mars to find the truth. Cue foul-mouthed robot taxi drivers, ultra-violence and a three-breasted woman.

21) The Matrix (1999)
The Wachowski Brothers’ movie had it all: groundbreaking ‘flo-mo’ battles, ice cool characters, nods to spaghetti westerns and a large dose of cod philosophy, in an innovative, much-loved actioner. Even the lame sequels can’t detract from the film’s ingenuity.

22) Tron (1982)
Tron was ignored for many years, but is now widely accepted as a genre landmark, combining stunning – and unique – computer graphics in an effectively simple story of programmers battling inside an electronic world. The long-awaited sequel, Tron Legacy, is expected in 2010.

23) The Thing (1982)
A much-improved remake of 1950s quickie The Thing From Another World, John Carpenter’s best movie is an unbearably tense story of a shape-shifting alien at an Antarctic research station. A tight and astonishingly bleak chiller, The Thing boasts well-drawn characters and sick, sick effects from Rob Bottin.

24) RoboCop (1987)
Part man, part machine, all cop! Paul Verhoeven’s ultra-violent satire is lean, mean and often very funny, and benefits from great playing from the likes of Kurtwood Smith, Ronny Cox, Nancy Allen and, of course, Peter Weller as Murphy.

25) Jurassic Park (1993)

It was as if Spielberg had rediscovered what he loved about cinema in the first place after years of ‘serious’ Oscar-chasing movies. The magic mix of photo-realistic dinosaurs, a thrilling adventure story and a group of protagonists you could actually care about made for a movie that really seemed to be 65 million years in the making!

26) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
If the 1950s version of Jack Finney’s novel was a neat distillation of 1950s Commie paranoia (see No. 56), the 1970s remake was fuelled by post-Watergate paranoia. The result is entirely gripping and arguably better than the original.

27) A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Anthony Burgess’s novel may have seemed unfilmmable, but then Kubrick was always the kind of director who could pull off the impossible. Kubrick retains Burgess’s satirical bite in a chilling and darkly funny vision of the future, while a superb Malcolm McDowell makes the Droog leader, Alex, simultaneously repellent and likeable.

28) The Fifth Element (1997)
Luc Besson eschewed the traditionally dark predictions of the far future in favour of eyepoppingly colourful cityscapes and elaborate Gaultier-designed costumes. Forget the plot, and soak up the visuals and excess.

29) La Jetée (1962)
This 28-minute masterwork from documentary filmmaker Chris Marker tells of a man sent back through time to avert the apocalypse. A bold, disorientating and unforgettable experience, the film is told entirely through a series of still photos, and was remade by Terry Gilliam as Twelve Monkeys (see No. 83).

30) Sleeper (1973)

“We’re here to see the nose. I hear it was running…” The best of Woody Allen’s ‘early funny ones’, Sleeper takes a classic SF concept (Allen’s typically neurotic Miles Monroe wakes up 200 years in an authoritarian future) and delivers slapstick and gags with machine-gun accuracy. Who hasn’t wished that the Orgasmatron booth was real?

31) The Fly (1986)
David Cronenberg’s best film is a deliriously gory remake of the hokey 50s movie about a scientist (a superb Jeff Goldblum) whose genes get mangled with the DNA of a fly. Cue crumbling body parts and a bone-breaking arm wrestle.

32) Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Proving that science fiction can present thoughtful, bold concepts alongside explosions, robots comprised of liquid and a wisecracking kid, T2 is James Cameron at his excessive best. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays to his strengths as the muscle-bound machine, while Linda Hamilton toughens up as Axl Rose lookalike Sarah Connor.

33) Westworld (1973)
Before The Terminator and Jurassic Park there was Westworld! Michael Crichton’s film moves smoothly from playful fun to nailbiting thriller as Yul Brynner’s robotic gunslinger stalks theme park customers.

34) Mad Max 2 (aka The Road Warrior) (1981)
If the original was raw, energetic and brutal, the sequel took things to a whole new level as Max helps a community defend itself from crazed punks. Highlight: the boomerang sequence.

35) Return of the Jedi (1983)

OK, so the Ewoks and abrupt death of Boba Fett continue to divide opinion, but ROTJ contains more memorable sequences than most movies could dream of: Luke’s battle against the Rancor monster; the Sarlacc’s pit; the speeder bike chase and a fitting conclusion.

36) Back to the Future (1985)
The much-loved sci-fi comedy sees Michael J Fox at his baffled-looking best, and he bounces perfectly off Christopher Lloyd’s wild-haired Doc Brown. Plus there’s the iconic De Lorean, charming supporting playing (Crispin Glover, Lea Thompson, Thomas F Wilson) and crowdpleasing scenes like Marty inventing rock n roll. Followed by two enjoyable sequels.

37) WALL-E (2008)
Arguably Pixar’s finest achievement to date, the first half of WALL-E contains a surprisingly haunting vision of the future – one of atomic storms, trash towers and rubble-strewn cities. Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom, and the film features loveable characters, a touching love story and a hilarious depiction of a porcine human race.

38) The Fantastic Planet (1973)
Cult French director René Laloux was responsible for a handful of surreal animated masterpieces, including Gandahar and The Time Masters, but his most celebrated work remains this weird and wonderful depiction of an alien world in which humans are kept as domestic pets.

39) The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
What’s it about? Who knows! David Bowie takes time out from being weird on stage to be odd on film in this surreal Nic Roeg movie. Look out for a cameo appearance by Apollo 13’s Jim Lovell looking just as bemused as the audience. We were hoping to avoid calling it a space oddity, but annoyingly that’s exactly what it is.

40) Things to Come (1936)

A big budget treatment of HG Wells’s future history of Everytown, from 1940 to 2036, Things to Come has barely dated. The effects, from the air raid sequences to the vision of a future society, are still awe-inspiring, but the political and prescient script keeps things grounded in reality.

41) 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)
A reptilian monster from Venus, dubbed the ‘Ymir’, goes on the rampage in one of the best creature features. The film contains some of Ray Harryhausen’s best stop-motion work, and even its faults (stilted acting, nonsense science, comedy Italian accents) have become endearing over time.

42) The Abyss (1989)
James Cameron again pushed the boundaries of CGI with the still-impressive water-alien sequence, but away from the effects, the movie is an ambitious and brilliantly claustrophobic drama about the crew of an undersea oil rig. The Special Edition improved upon the fumbled ending.

43) Quatermass 2 (1957)
Based on the TV serial of the same name, the second Quatermass movie is a full-on conspiracy thriller, as aliens infiltrate the government. A classic invasion tale, it’s an exciting adventure, briskly paced even by today’s breakneck standards.

44) This Island Earth (1955)
Admittedly, ‘Exeter’ isn’t the most exotic name for an alien. But we’ll overlook that as This Island Earth is such damn good fun. This slice of pulp fiction contains some of the best effects of the period, along with groundbreaking use of Technicolor and an awesome crab-handed mutant.

45) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

From the incomparable mind of Charlie Kaufman came this SF twist on the romantic comedy. A restrained Jim Carrey and a kooky Kate Winslet are the ex-lovers who have their minds wiped to forget about each other – but then fall in love all over again. Despite the outlandish conceit, this is a strangely honest movie about love and heartbreak.

46) Delicatessen (1991)
A post-apocalyptic cannibal comedy about a former circus clown… Describing Delicatessen doesn’t do it justice. Directing duo Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet take a potentially bleak subject matter and construct a rapid-paced romantic comedy with old school slapstick, truly odd characters and visuals to die for.

47) Dark Star (1974)
Before Alien Dan O’Bannon scripted a very different story of a space crew in the low budget debut from director John Carpenter. The crew aboard Dark Star spend most of their time trying to stave off boredom, before having to deal with a sentient bomb.

48) The Andromeda Strain (1971)
Films don’t get more nailbiting than Robert Wise’s thriller about a group of scientists investigating a deadly alien organism. A faithful adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel, which was also remade as a plodding miniseries in 2008.

49) The Omega Man (1971)
The best of the three official adaptations of Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend so far, this version sees Chuck Heston as the last man left in a city of mutants. It lacks Matheson’s dark humour and slow-burn storytelling, but remains an enduring thinking man’s actioner.

50) Stalker (1979)

Tarkovsky’s other sci-fi great is a 163-minute philosophical adaptation of the Strugatsky brothers’ Roadside Picnic. A ‘stalker’ guides two explorers to the Zone, which contains the key to realising innermost desires. Slow, inscrutable, beautiful and mesmerising.

51) Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
OK, so there’s this fetishist, right, who likes to stick metal in himself. He then turns into a scrap-metal man and proceeds to stalk the woman who ran him over… Even describing Tetsuo is enough to make you sound like a babbling madman, and director Shinya Tsukamoto shoots the juddering blank-and-white cyberpunk action like no other filmmaker on Earth.

52) Escape from New York (1981)
Snake Plissken is one of cinema’s great action-hero, with Kurt Russell on top tough guy form. The plot, meanwhile, has influenced everything from District 13 to Doomsday, and it boasts John Carpenter’s best synth soundtracks.

53) The Invisible Man (1933)
HG Wells’ novel has been filmed many times (and influenced countless others), but the best adaptation remains James Whale’s atmospheric chiller. Pioneering special effects, a darkly witty script and, in his screen debut, a terrific performance from Claude Rains (carried mostly by just his distinctive voice) as the scientist-come-invisible-psycho.

54) It Came From Outer Space (1953)
A meteor crashes in the Arizona desert. But could it actually be an alien spacecraft? And could it be behind the weird behaviour of the townsfolk? Er, yes, it could. Another one of the greats from the 50s SF cycle, this atmospheric, hokey hit was originally shown in 3D.

55) Godzilla (1954)

The original stompin’ monster movie! Godzilla (or Gojira, depending on your phonetic preference) sees the titular atomic bomb-awakened creature lay waste to Tokyo. A destructive and sometimes frightening manifestation of atomic angst that sparked off the craze for man-in-a-suit-stomping-on-cardboard-sets action. An edited version of the movie was released in the States under the title Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

56) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
The first pod person chiller is a frightening bit of anti-commie science fiction (though producer Walter Mirisch and star Kevin McCarthy insisted that no allegorical element was ever intended). It’s a tense and tightly plotted film, that’s far less pulpy than the majority of the alien invasion pics of the period.

57) Minority Report (2002)
A ludicrously underrated science fiction epic that’s part detective story, Minority Report offers twists and turns galore, along with some truly leftfield moments. An awkward leap from hover car to a yoga class, a bizarre kiss from an older female scientist and a weird eye transplant sequence signal that this isn’t your run-of-the-mill genre picture.

58) Alphaville (1965)
New Wave sci-fi noir from Jean-Luc Godard. Set in the future city of the title (though obviously filmed in contemporary Paris), it’s a film that positively delights in narrative obfuscation and philosophical meanderings. Hip, clever and fun or dull and frustrating, depending on your point of view, but there’s no denying its originality or influence.

59) Gattaca (1997)
Criminally ignored by audiences at the time, Gattaca is a slow but involving ‘genetics noir’ that is driven by ideas rather than action. Ethan Hawke and Jude Law have never been better as the pair who strike an uneasy bargain, and there’s something disquieting about the shimmering retro-future visuals.

60) The Fountain (2006)

Another love it or hate it picture (and many hated it), The Fountain is about as idiosyncratic as genre filmmaking gets. Criss-crossing time and space, it’s a visual delight, but heartfelt performances from Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz ensure there’s a human element to the story.

61) Them! (1954)
The army fight radioactive giant killer ants! As premises go, it’s a pretty hard one to beat, and the Oscar-nominated bug effects hold up better than the majority of films from the period. Plus the tagline is awesome: “A horror horde of crawl-and-crush giants clawing out of the earth from mile-deep catacombs!”

62) Videodrome (1983)
David Cronenberg’s body horror about mutations and the media has some wonderfully crackers idea – not least the central conceit of a vagina-eseque VCR appearing in the lead character’s stomach. Disturbing, imaginative and complex. Oh yes, and twisted.

63) Logan’s Run (1976)
A simple but effective futuristic concept – people are killed when they reach the age of 30, but a couple rebel and run from their fate – leads to an exciting, if slightly kitsch slice of 70s SF. It has dated more than other titles on this list, but it’s still great fun.

64) Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Along with Akira (see No. 18), Mamoru Oshii’s is one of the most influential anime movies. Based on the manga by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the Shell is a joyously convoluted cyberpunk extravaganza that seamlessly combines both cell and computer animation. Its success prompted a sequel and the Stand Alone Complex TV series.

65) Repo Man (1984)

A scattershot blend of pokerfaced comedy, science fiction and youth pic, Alex Cox’s feature-length debut is a punk masterpiece. A young Emilio Estevez is brilliant as Otto, the reluctant repo man, and the strange, deadpan dialogue (“Suddenly someone’ll say plate, or shrimp, or plate o’ shrimp out of the blue…”) is hilarious.

66) Children of Men (2006)
The film version of PD James’s novel is powerful stuff, as it explores a future not so dissimilar from our present. Director Alfonso Cuarón paints a convincing picture of urban decay, and the handheld camerawork lends the action a sense of documentary-style realism.

67) Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
The second-best Trek movie is also directed by Nicholas Meyer. This one’s a thrilling, funny conspiracy thriller that sees the aging Starfleet heroes attempt to avert intergalactic war. Hugely enjoyable.

68) Outland (1981)
Like the later Enemy Mine (which reworked Hell in the Pacific) Peter Hyams’ movie is a SF spin on a classic movie – this time, High Noon. Sean Connery’s Marshall heads to a mining outpost Jupiter’s moon Io to investigate the death of miners, and becomes caught up in a corporate conspiracy. Duncan Jones cited it as an influence on his acclaimed Moon (See No. 74).

69) A Boy and his Dog (1975)
In 2024, a young man, Vic, (Don Johnson) and his telepathic, limerick-spurting dog, Blood, wander around the radioactive surface of a post-apocalyptic future trying to avoid being killed by gangs and watching pornos at ramshackle screenings. Eventually Vic is lured to an underground city by people who want his sperm… As weird as it sounds, this cult SF-comedy contains bleak laughs and an appealing central relationship between the hapless Vic and his smarter canine companion.

70) Mad Max (1979)

Despite the title, Max Rockatansky, only becomes ‘mad’ in the final third of this post-apocalyptic thriller. In fact, the character goes through a full character arc, from a cop trying to uphold justice and hold onto some stability in a world of chaos, to a man who thinks nothing of making a punk choose between sawing through his ankle or burning alive. A raw, energetic actioner with blistering car chases and an intense career-defining performance from Gibson.

71) Donnie Darko (2001)
It’s a mad world and it’s a mad film too, in Richard Kelly’s beguiling debut. Worm holes, a man in a rabbit suit, teen angst… What it all means is anyone’s guess, but the sparkling visuals and laconic performance from Jake Gyllenhaal make it stand out from the indie pack.

72) Soylent Green (1973)
Based on Harry Harrison’s influential novel Make Room! Make Room!, this dystopian thriller sees Chuck Heston’s cop uncovering the truth behind the titular foodstuff. Yes, yes, everyone knows the twist – whether they’ve seen it or not – but this efficiently directed film is a lot of fun, despite the bleak themes.

73) Cube (1997)
The original puzzle-based shocker – later examples include the Saw franchise, Fermat’s Room and The Collector. This playful, economical Canadian picture sees seven people attempting to escape from a cube of interlinked rooms laced with booby traps. The Crystal Maze was never like this. We wish it was though.

74) Moon (2009)
A welcome return to the slow-burning SF movies of the 1970s, Duncan Jones’s movie both draws on and subverts expectations of the genre. It’s a clever but accessible study of loneliness and liberty that boasts awesome modelwork and a haunting score by Clint Mansell.

75) Dark City (1998)

Another film that has steadily built up a cult following since its failure at the box office. Alex Proyas turns his perma-night city into an Expressionistic wonder, and the Kafkaesque plot is full of surprises.

76) Starship Troopers (1997)
Bug-busting thrills from Paul Verhoeven, in his third film in our list. This one’s a very loose take on Robert A Heinlein’s novel about marines fighting an alien menace, and it can be taken both as an anti-Fascist anti-militarism satire or an exciting, gung-ho alien war movie.

77) A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Reality bites in this appropriately wigged-out adaptation of the Philip K Dick novel. Richard Linklater applied the rotoscoping technique he’d used in Waking Life, and it proved to be the perfect marriage of style and content.

78) The Quiet Earth (1985)
This atmospheric New Zealand sci-fi drama, based on Craig Harrison’s novel, centres around two men and one woman who find that they’re seemingly the only ones left on the planet. A cult gem, this is one that deserves to be better known.

79) Invaders From Mars (1953)
They’re invaders. They’re from Mars. They’re invaders from Mars! A paranoid flying saucer chiller with cool (if not very convincing) tentacled Martians, an alien sandpit, an unsettling score and an endearing kiddie hero. Remade by Tobe Hooper in 1986.

80) Fantastic Voyage (1966)

A medical team are shrunk and injected into a dying diplomat’s body… The science is possibly suspect, but as concepts go it’s unbeatable. It was so good, in fact, that it was reused in the amiable 1987 comedy Innerspace.

81) Barbarella (1968)
Hard sci-fi this is not. But as kitsch retro fun it’s peerless, with Jane Fonda at her sexiest as the poster-friendly heroine and some wonderfully OTT set design. The iconic title sequence, in which Barbarella loses her clothes in zero gravity, has been much parodied, including in Kylie Minogue’s video for ‘Put Yourself in My Place’.

82) Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
Many critics at the time were unimpressed at Francois Truffaut’s step into English language mainstream moviemaking, but this stands up as an involving and faithful adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s novel about a book-burning future.

83) Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Terry Gilliam cuts back on his trademark Pythoneseque humour for a gripping reworking of La Jetée (see No. 29). A smart, off-kilter (and, unusually for Gilliam, commercially successful) genre picture that features an intense performance from Bruce Willis as mankind’s last hope.

84) Event Horizon (1997)
Event Horizon was mostly ignored on its original theatrical release but has since become a cult hit on DVD. Billed as ‘The Shining in space’, it’s got some silly dialogue but is packed with wonderfully scary moments.

85) Independence Day (1996)

Yes, yes, so it’s brash, jingoistic and about as subtle as a spade to the face. But the box office success of Independence Day led to the resurgence of the big sci-fi event movie, and it’s imbued with the spirit of a fun 50s B-movie on a modern Hollywood budget.

86) Altered States (1980)
Ken Russell’s offbeat approach to filmmaking always seemed suited to sci-fi, and they came together in this 1980 curio, based on Paddy Chayefsky’s novel. A scientist (William Hurt) experiments with psychotropic drugs and sensory deprivation, resulting in him changing into different evolutionary states. Trippy and truly bonkers.

87) The Stepford Wives (1975)
Ira Levin’s novels were the source for some movie classics (Rosemary’s Baby, The Boys From Brazil, er, Sliver), and one of the best was this satirical SF thriller about a town populated by submissive and strangely perfect women. It goes without saying that the 2004 remake should be avoided.

88) Serenity (2005)
Despite being much-loved by fans, Firefly was cut short after just 14 episodes (only 11 of which originally aired), so Joss Whedon had another go in the form of a movie. The extra budget (though small in comparison to other Hollywood pics) meant even better special effects, and Whedon’s ability to create endearing characters and witty, snappy dialogue is second to none.

89) Dune (1984)
It’s reviled by many fans of Frank Herbert’s novel, and even director David Lynch doesn’t like it very much. Yet, Dune is a grand, awe-inspiring and truly unique movie – exactly the kind of wonderful mess you’d expect if you asked a man like Lynch to create the next Star Wars.

90) Primer (2004)

See kids, maths can be fun! This micro-budget oddity centres on a couple of engineers who create a time machine quite by chance. The complex (and, to most, unfathomable) scientific chit-chat makes this the very antithesis of ‘soft sci-fi’, but it’s a smart attempt to treat the time travel sub-genre in a realistic manner.

91) Explorers (1985)
Joe Dante’s family-orientated adventure still hasn’t quite received the recognition it deserves. For the most part it’s the amusing and honest tale of three kids who build a rocket to outer space. The final half an hour, when they arrive on a spaceship and meet a couple of aliens, is a joy to watch.

92) THX 1138 (1971)
Before Star Wars, George Lucas created a very different kind of SF film with this dystopian story that’s heavily influenced by Nineteen Eighty-Four. The narrative may not be entirely original but the visuals are, and the film has an unsettling atmosphere and a memorable ending.

93) Star Trek (2009)
J.J. Abrams pulled off the not inconsiderable challenge of making Star Trek popular again – even cool – in a film that manages to appeal to Trekkers and newbies alike. Thrilling action sequences, charming performances, sex appeal and unobtrusive in-jokes.

94) Flash Gordon (1980)
Mike Hodges’ take on pulp space hero Flash Gordon is a stunning visual ride, packed with rich detail and surprises. Perfect casting (especially Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan), a bombastic Queen soundtrack, gaudy costumes and a campy sense of humour – what more could you want?

95) Galaxy Quest (1999)

If Spaceballs was likeable but obvious, Galaxy Quest is a much smarter breed of SF spoof. The film gently sends up Star Trek while retaining an affection for the source material, and features a lovably dopey crew and the brilliantly optimistic aliens, the Thermians.

96) Cocoon (1985)
A life-affirming movie in more ways than one. Cocoon was a rare genre picture to feature interesting, non-stereotypical elderly characters (played by veterans Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Croyn, Jessica Tandy), along with Tahnee Welch at her sexiest and Steve Guttenberg at his least annoying, and the film manages to be affectionate without descending too far into sentimentality.

97) Stargate (1994)
The movie that sparked off 10 years of SG-1, 5 seasons of Atlantis and the upcoming Stargate: Universe, Roland Emmerich’s movie scores due to a simple but clever concept and inventive effects. Like Emmerich’s later Independence Day, it’s corny at times, but it adds to the ‘B-movie with a budget’ charm.

98) Predator (1987)
A sci-fi spin on the slasher template, this sees an alien hunter stalk a bunch of commandos in the Central American jungle. But the extra-terrestrial menace doesn’t bank on dealing with the Austrian Oak… One of Arnie’s best 80s actioners, this is exciting stuff, tightly directed by John McTiernan. Plus you get some fine Arnie quips (“Knock knock!”) and the chance to have fun trying to spot Carl Weathers’ real arm tied behind his back as it’s blasted off.

99) Trancers (1985)
Producer/director Charles Band has been responsible for hundreds of low budget SF, horror and fantasy movies, and this popular Terminator-influenced thriller is probably his best work. Future cop Jack Deth (the amiably grizzly Tim Thomerson) is sent back in time to track down a baddie who can turn peeps into zombies. Five sequels so far.

100) Rollerball (1975)

Who knew rollerskating could be so brutal? In the near future, the titular sport involves whacking a ball into your contestant’s goal by any means necessary. A classic anti-authoritarian anti-corporation narrative married to crunching Rollerball game sequences. The 2002 remake is virtually unwatchable.

50 Most Influential & Important Individuals on the Internet

Written by Gilberto J. Perera

The history of the Internet is a short but turbulent one. Gilberto J. Perera presents us with the 50 individuals who have had the largest impact on how the Internet looks and works today.

The list below is comprised of some of the most influential and important individuals that have played an important role in shaping the internet as we know it today. From creating the first browser while working at CERN to helping fund one of the most successful startups to date, this list includes it all. Individuals not only impact the internet with technology and new ways to communicate, but also with their voice and so this is the reason why in this list I have also included popular bloggers that play a significant role in particular niches, i.e. Arrington with, Malkin from, and others.

I hope you find this list useful and insightful, I certainly learned a lot while researching these individuals. The list is compiled in alphabetical order so there is no particular ranking based on influence of the individual. If you have any suggestions for individuals that should be listed or disagree with someone on the list, I’d love to hear it.

1.Michael Arrington – Blogger/publisher, Arrington blogs about web startups and other companies that dominate the web and how they impact technology and services.

2.Steve Ballmer – CEO, Microsoft Inc: With over 90% of the PC market dominated by Microsoft it is no wonder that Ballmer, currently at the helm, is one of the most influential characters on the web. The introduction of Windows 7 in October might be what Microsoft’s been waiting for quite a while. The buzz and positive feedback is fueling speculation that we might just have an operating system that is as stable and reliable as 2000/XP. Microsoft is also looking to combat the increased use of Gmail/Google Apps by releasing similar offerings in their upcoming release of Office. Ballmer faces stiff competition from Google, which is set to launch an operating system aimed at Netbooks later next year.

3.Jeff Bezos – Chairman and CEO, When you hear Amazon, you think online retailer, but Amazon is more than that. Their ventures into cloud computing and farming out server capacity via their S3 service, their foray into the eBook reader business with the Kindle, Kindle 2, and recently the Kindle DX, tells you that Amazon is poised for growth. The success of these devices and increased usage of digital media is placing them as one of the main distributors of digital content.

4.Sergey Brin – President and Co-Founder, Larry Page – Co-Founder, and Eric Schmidt – Chairman and CEO, Google Inc: I combined these three, because together these men turned the internet upside down. Their influence on the web and outside the web has been phenomenal. From the acceptance of Google in the dictionary to the announcement of a Google Operating System, it seems that Google is all over the place.

5.Dries Buytaert – Founder and Lead, Dries founded and lead the design and Drupal is open source content management system (CMS) that allows web publishers to easily place their content online, with little or no programming/design experience. Drupal is used by websites like The Onion, IBM, and others.

6.Pete Cashmore – founder, Cashmore started Mashable to review new web sites and services along with breaking news on Web 2.0 and commentary. He was selected as a top 25 Forbes Web Celeb in 2007 and was also featured in BusinessWeek.

7.Jean-Francois Clavier – Founder and Managing Partner, Angel investor in Web 2.0 startups like NetVibes, personal-finance service Mint, and social advertising network SocialMedia. Five of his investments have exited the market via acquisition by Yahoo!, AOL, and others.

8.Bram Cohen – Cofounder, BitTorrent Protocol: One of the most successful file sharing protocols after Napster, the decentralized network allows users to download large file quickly by downloading the file in pieces from various sources. The recently announced BitTorrent Entertainment Network launched with thousands of legal movies, television shows, games, and songs for sale and rental.

9.Drew Curtis – Founder, “What is Fark exactly? Fark is what fills space when mass media runs out of news. Fark is supposed to look like news… but it’s not news. It’s Fark.”Dissecting the news is what the users at are best at, in some cases making news themselves.

10.Nick Denton – Founder, Gawker Media: “With a readership in excess of 20 million monthly uniques, Gawker Media marries a traditional publishing model and an all-star editorial masthead with the audience engagement borne out of the candor, frequency and hyper-linking of the blog format.” Need I say more?

11.Matt Drudge – Founder and Editor, Matt Drudge has made a name for himself by breaking news before the networks. It was most famous for breaking the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the public after Newsweek decided not to run it.

12.Mark Frauenfelder – Co-Editor, & Editor-in-chief, MAKE Magazine: With approximately 2 million visits a month, reaches an audience that is interested in odd and rather interesting topics.

13.Vitaly Friedman – Founder/Editor, Smashing Magazine: Founded in September 2006, Friedman’s Smashing Magazine has provided designers and web developers with the latest information on development and design techniques and also readers understand the ever evolving world of today’s web media.

14.Paul Graham – Venture Capitalist and Co-Founder, As a programmer/programming language designer Paul Graham developed the first web application, Viaweb, which was later acquired by Yahoo! in 1998. He founded and is now a partner at YCombinator, a venture capitalist firm that has invested in companies like,, and among others. He is currently working on a new programming language and writing other books.

15.Arianna Huffington – Columnist and Founder, A left leaning media outlet for political news and commentary, gained a lot of traction during the 2008 presidential election.

16.Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian – Founders, Recently purchased by Conde Nast, Steve Huffman’s allows visitors to submit stories and comment/vote on them similar to

17.Chad Hurley and Steve Chen – Founders, YouTube: These two billionaires started one of the biggest web revolutions in years. After Google’s acquisition of YouTube, the service has expanded to distribute TV shows and movies along with the user generated content.

18.Joi Ito – CEO, Creative Commons: As CEO of Creative Commons he helps ensure that author’s work like this is protected from misuse and infringement. His success in securing and expanding the Creative Commons license is extremely important for content providers.

19.Steve Jobs – Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc: After revolutionizing the music industry with the introduction of the iPod and the iTunes music store, Jobs does it again with the iPhone and the App Store. The gold rush for the iPhone Apps has resulted in over 50,000 unique apps with over 1 billion downloads.

20.Leo Laporte – Creator, This Week in Tech (TWiT): podcast for at least the past 15 years, the man behind Leoville has created, hosted, and written radio and television shows, most notably the former TechTV show Screen Savers. His personality-driven style demonstrated to the world that tech media could be fun. His most recent venture is the podcast network, a listener-funded enterprise that has gathered some of the old TechTV crew and put them to work creating more than a dozen podcasts, including the eponymous “This Week in Tech.”

21.Sir Tim Berners-Lee – Director, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): As a scientist for CERN, Tim designed the first web browser, editor, and the protocol we are all familiar with, HTTP.

22.Peter Levinsohn – President, Fox Interactive Media: As President of Fox Interactive Media, Levinsohn is responsible for some of the world’s most powerful web properties,,,, and IGN Network among others.

23.Bruce Livingston – Founder, iStockPhoto: As founder of iStockPhoto he met the growth associated with the proliferation of digital cameras by offering photographers a way to make money from their photographs.

24.Rob Malda – Founder, The original news aggregator created in 1997, served as the model for future news aggregators like Digg, Techmeme and Technorati.

25.Loic Le Meur – Entrepreneur, Blogger: Among his other startups, Le Meur has launched Seesmic, a video version of Twitter, where users can exchange short video messages as they would tweets.

26.Jack Ma – founder, chairman and CEO, As CEO of Alibaba, Ma was able to successfully take his company public at $1.5 billion. The site is a marketplace for business to business transactions, mainly exporting/importing.

27.Michelle Malkin – Author/Blogger, Like Kos, Michelle Malkin is a political blogger, however she is conservative in her views, and she also has a lot of influence in the blogosphere.

28.Mike Morhaime – President and Co-Founder, Blizzard Entertainment: With 8 million players worldwide, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is one of the most popular MMORPG’s in the market. Like Second Life (#36 below) mentioned below, there is an entire business that has spawned from these games, exchange of virtual weapons, armor, and other virtual artifacts is common.

29.Matt Mullenweg – Founding Developer, One of the most amazing and easy to use blogging platforms was developed by Matt Mullenweg. With hundreds of thousands of blogs running this easy to use platform one can’t help but wonder the impact this tool has had on web publishing altogether.

30.Rupert Murdoch – Chairman and CEO, News Corp: Parent to Fox Interactive Media, Murdoch holds the reins for the direction in that his web properties will take.

31.Craig Newmark – Founder of With over 40 million visits a month Craig Newark revolutionized the classified ad with his simple but extremely useful website.

32.Pierre Omidyar – Founder and Chairman, THE place to sell anything online. eBay has created entire industries around ecommerce, drop-shipping, and the sale of junk in people’s homes.

33.Tim O’Reilly – Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media: One of the most successful computer book publishers known for the different animals that make up the covers of his book, O’Reilly Media has grown greatly as a result of embracing the new digital age, check out Safari Books.

34.Gabe Rivera – Founder, – Rivera’s Techmeme aggregates industry news from more than 1,000 blogs and mainstream media sources in one location. Unlike Digg that uses a community of submitters and commentators, the stories added to Techmeme are completely automated.

35.Kevin Rose – Founder, With over 10 million visitors a month, Digg – a news aggregator of content submitted by users – is one of the hottest destinations on the net.

36.Philip Rosedale – Chair of the Board of Director & Founder, Linden Lab: If you think WoW – World of Warcraft is the most popular MMORPG in the market, then you have not heard of Second Life. Philip Rosedale’s Second Life is a MMORPG that has become some people’s first life. The game’s interaction among players is unlimited, players launch businesses, get married, divorced, commit crimes…it’s almost like an alter ego for some.

37.Blake Ross – Co-Founder, Mozilla Firefox: He and Hyatt are responsible for developing one of the most successful rivals to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Firefox recently reached the 1 billion downloads milestone, the browser itself has been extremely successful and carries a market share of about 22%.

38.Darren Rowse – Founder, & Co-Founder b5media: If you were looking for information about starting a blog, ideas for writing a blog and how to honestly make money with a blog, then chances are you have visited Darren’s blog.

39.Biz Stone – Co-Founder, Since I only have 140 characters…He’s also founded Xanga, Blogger, Odeo, and Obvious. With millions of users worldwide and break neck user base growth it’s has become the most successful micro blogging platform on the web.

40.Angelo Sotira – – Created a widely popular and successful community for artists and photographers to submit and share their work with other users. Sotira’s, hosts (as of May 2009[update]) over 10 million members with over 81 million submissions, and receives around 105,000 submissions per day.

41.Gottfrid Svartholm, Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde – Founders, Not only is this group influential for maintaining one of the most successful and widely used BitTorrent trackers on the net, but also for all the precedent that they are setting in international courts for their alleged copyright infringement activities.

42.Peter Thiel – Co-Founder of Paypal, Currently CEO of Clarium Capital Management: A member of Silicon Valley’s Paypal Mafia – Thiel’s investments include Facebook, Slide, and Yammer. He’s also responsible for the executive producing of “Thank You for Not Smoking”.

43.Mena Trott – Co-Founder/Creator , Six Apart, Movable Type, TypePad: Developed a blogging platform similar to WordPress that is still popular and widely used today.

44.Dave Winer – Blogger and author of RSS 2.0: Thanks to this guy you can visit all of your websites from an RSS reader. He is also credited with contributing to the invention of the podcast and co-authored the SOAP protocol.

45.Jimmy Wales – President, Wikia Inc & Chairman, Wikimedia Foundation: He is the man behind Wikipedia, one of the most referenced web encyclopedias in the world, currently holds 7th place among the most visited websites on the web (Alexa).

46.Evan Williams – Co-Founder/Founder, Labs/Odeo: Known for his sale of Blogger to Google, Williams along with Biz Stone helped catapult Twitter to the mainstream. With millions of users worldwide and break neck user base growth is has become the most successful micro blogging platform on the web.

47.Jerry Yang – Co-founder, former CEO, Yahoo!: Until recently the number 1 website on Alexa, Yahoo! is the one stop shop for content, email, hosting, horoscopes, you name it, they probably have it. Although Yang was recently ‘ousted’ from his position as CEO, he still deserves recognition for creating one the most popular web portals on the web.

48.Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis – Founders, Skype and KaZaA: First KaZaA which was riddled with spyware, then Skype which they sold to Yahoo for $2.6 billion, now they’ve launched Joost that uses technology similar to BitTorrent in that there is a peer-to-peer network that is used to distribute content. These guys just keep innovating and pushing the envelope each time.

49.Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, Founder, CEO, and President, Founder of Facebook, number 4 in Alexa’s ranking of top 500 web properties, rival to MySpace which has slipped to number 11.

50.Markos Moulitsas Zuniga – Blogger and Founder, A political blogger from the left that has drawn comments from the likes of Pelosi, Carter, and others. Although not directly influencing technology, but his use of new media has helped him hold sway in the web’s political sphere.

8 Tools to Prep for the Apocalypse

Written by Erik Sofge

For millions of Americans living along the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines, hurricane season is an annual call to arms, a six-month stretch from June through November spent watching the skies and the local news for signs of trouble. Other regions cope with the threat of wildfires, quakes and tornadoes-and blackouts can strike anywhere. While no season is safe from disruption, late summer seems particularly inviting to the demons of disaster. Here’s a step-by-step guide to preparing your home and family.

(Illustration by Gabriel Silveira)


Honda EU3000

Honda EU 3000iSA 2800 watt generator

A properly equipped homeowner can survive without electricity. But having a backup generator can make the experience a lot more tolerable-if you have the know-how to use it correctly.

• Do the Math

Add up the wattage of all the devices you want to run off the generator, as well as the total surge wattage (the spike in power demand caused by some high-wattage appliances), and buy a generator whose output can handle those totals. For example, the 2800-watt (3000 surge watts) Honda EU 3000iSA ($2000) should provide enough power to light seven 60-watt bulbs (420 watts), a full-size refrigerator (725 watts, 1600 surge watts), a fan (200 watts) and a microwave (750 watts). If you think you’ll need more power, buy a larger generator.

• Keep it Outside

Carbon-monoxide-spewing generators can turn your house into a deathtrap. Always position a generator at least 10 feet from the house in an unenclosed space before turning it on.

• Know When to Call the Pros

Improperly plugging a generator into your home wiring is dangerous. For a full-scale power supply, hire an electrician to install a transfer switch, or buy a permanent backup generator system.


Honda EU3000

First Alert Tundra extinguisher and Red Cross Family First Aid Kit

Larger fire extinguishers with higher UL ratings can tackle more surface area. At the minimalist end of the spectrum, the 9.65-inch-long, 22-ounce First Alert Tundra extinguisher ($30) is compact and light enough to fit into a box of disaster supplies or a drawer, and is powerful enough to handle small flare-ups.

First-aid kits also come in a variety of sizes, but the Red Cross Family First Aid Kit ($20) stocks more than enough supplies to treat minor cuts and burns.


Eton FR600 Solarlink radio

Eton FR600 Solarlink radio

If the power goes out, so does the Weather Channel. An NOAA radio provides constant weather alerts from the National Weather Service. Simple hand-cranked models cost as little as $30, but for long-term emergencies, Eton’s FR600 Solarlink ($80) is a better choice. It can also run on sunlight, has built-in LED lights and can be used to charge cellphones. And make sure everybody’s wallet has a printed list of family contact information, including a point person at least 50 miles away who can coordinate communication in case local telecommunications are down.


Black & Decker 100 Watt Power Inverter

Black & Decker 100 Watt Power Inverter

Your home may be a fortress, but it doesn’t have to be the Alamo. Knowing how to retreat is a key component of disaster preparedness.

• Grab a Bag

If a quick getaway is called for, you won’t have time to pack. Prepare a bag with essential supplies, and keep it by your front door. It should include: a prepaid phone card, matches (either waterproof or in a waterproof container), a flashlight, an NOAA radio, batteries, food, an emergency whistle, extra keys for your home and car, prescription medications, a first-aid kit, $300 in small denominations and diapers and formula or other necessities for any children.

• Bring Your Paperwork

Prepack the following documents in a sealed Ziploc bag, and keep it stashed in your grab-and-go bag: bank records, copies of deeds, insurance policies, personal identification and medical records.

• Get in the Car

If a disaster is coming, fill up your gas tank. A power inverter allows you to use AC plugs in your cigarette-lighter jack. A 100-watt model such as the Black & Decker 100 Watt Power Inverter ($30) should do.


WaterBOB and Aquamira Frontier Pro

WaterBOB (top) and Aquamira Frontier Pro

You’ll need a gallon of clean drinking water per person, per day. If you’re expecting a long haul, load up the WaterBOB ($30). This bathtub-filling bladder hooks up to your faucet and holds up to 100 gallons of water, in case the local water supply is compromised. You can also keep a backup filter on hand-the Aquamira Frontier Pro ($25) acts like a germ-killing straw, eliminating bacteria in up to 50 gallons of water. A special adaptor lets you attach the filter to a water heater, which holds as much as 30 gallons of additional water.

Shutting Down Your House

Shutting Down Your House

On Duty 4-in-1 Emergency Tool

On Duty 4-in-1 Emergency Tool

If heavy flooding is imminent, turning off your electricity and water-to avoid contamination as sewers and other systems overflow, and to prevent a submerged basement from becoming electrified-is a risk-reducing procedure. Natural gas, on the other hand, should only be shut off when authorities advise it. Although a simple wrench or pliers will adjust most gas and water valves, the On Duty 4-in-1 Emergency Tool ($17) is designed to quickly handle both. If you do turn off the gas, never turn it back on yourself-your utility company has a better chance of spotting damaged lines.

The 10 Most (& Least) Prestigious Jobs in America

Written by BillShrink Guy

“When I grow up, I want to be a principal or a caterpillar.”

– Ralph Wiggum

Though most people probably don’t grow up wanting to be a farmer, a minister, and especially a caterpillar – a farmer and a minister are in fact considered by many people to be some of the most prestigious occupation in America. On the other hand, while occupations such as being an actor and entertainer may seem glamorous, these are not occupations that are held in high regard by the American public. Below, you will find a list of the ten most (and least) prestigious jobs in America, how much they earn, and you how may land them.

The 10 Most Prestigious Jobs in America

The following jobs listed below are considered by well over half of Americans to have “very great” or “considerable” prestige; unsurprisingly, many of them are also some of the most difficult jobs in terms of training, educational requirement, and work environment.



Firefighters are viewed by 61% of the public as having “very great prestige,” and rightly so – with an occupation that puts them decisively in harm’s way in order to save lives and properties, it’s of little wonder that firefighters stands firmly on top of the occupation prestige list.

If you’re interested in this career path, you should note that fire fighting involves hazardous conditions and long, irregular hours. Applicants for city fire fighting jobs generally must pass written, physical, and medical examinations. Though the growth of this career is expected to grow as fast as the average of all jobs, heavy competition for the job is expected as being a firefighter attracts many qualified candidates.

Most fire fighters have a high school diploma, however, the completion of community college courses, and in some cases, an associate degree in fire science may improve an applicant’s chances for a job. There are specific colleges and universities that offers programs for 2-4 year degrees in fire engineering or fire science.

Based on 2006 numbers, the median annual earnings of fire fighters were $41,190. Average salaries for in 2006 for sworn full-time positions of an engineer is at a minimum of $43,232, and a maximum of $56,045. For a fire captain, the minimum average annual base salary is $51,808 with a maximum of a $62,785. Finally, for a fire chief, the minimum average annual base salary is at $73,435 and with a maximum of $95,271.



From medical scientists, computer scientists, to chemists and material scientists – the occupation of being a scientist scoops up the 2nd place prize for the most prestigious occupation in America, with 54% of the American public viewing the job as “very great prestige.”

Depending on the specific industry you’re interested in, many “scientist” jobs will require at a minimum, a Bachelor of Science in its respective field, with having a Master of Science being the industry norm. Research or applicable-based jobs will also determine the specific academic training you should consider, as earning a Ph.D. has become the usual requirement for careers as a university professor or researcher in most fields.

In accordance with 2006 numbers, medical scientist earns a median annual earnings of $82,600 if they are in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry, while medical scientist earns a median annual earnings of $71,490 in industries that research and develop in the physical, engineering, and life sciences. For chemists and material scientists, their median annual earnings are $88,930 if they work for the federal executive branch, while those in the scientific research and development services industries will earn a median annual salary of $68,760.



Teachers are one of the most important jobs out there, as they help shape our younger generation by imparting knowledge and practical skill sets – it is unsurprising to see them ranked highly on the list of most prestigious occupations.

A teacher can have a broad range of responsibility depending on if the teacher is at a preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school. All public school teachers must be licensed, which typically requires a bachelor’s degree and completion of an approved teacher education program. Employment of school teachers are expected to grow by 12 percent between 2009 and 2016, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Though its growth outlook is the average of all occupations, the size needed in this occupation group will create a demand that’s unmatched by all but a few other occupations. Job prospects are especially favorable for high-demand fields such as math, science, and bilingual education.

For teachers in the post-secondary positions, educational qualifications range from expertise in a particular field to a Ph.D., depending on the subject being taught and the type of educational institution. The job opportunities are expected to be very good, with growth at 23 percent between 2009 and 2016, much faster than the average for all occupations, though many of the new openings will be for part-time or non-tenure-track positions.

Median annual income for primary education teacher ranges from $43,580 to $48,690 (with preschool teachers earning a median annual income of $22,600). For post-secondary teacher, median annual income is at $56,120, with the highest 10 percent earning over $113,450. For college faculty, income will range widely base on the field, type of institution (private/public), geographic area, and rank of the institution.



One of the classic prestigious occupation, a doctor comes in a close 4th place on the most prestigious occupations list with 52% of Americans viewing the job with “very great prestige.” The reason is an obvious one as the very nature of their job is to diagnose illnesses, prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injuries or disease.

Because of the nature of their work, many physicians and surgeons work long, irregular hours, with more than one-third of full-time physicians having worked more than 60 hours a week. Regardless if its a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, the formal education to become a physician or surgeon can be very demanding, as acceptance to medical school is highly competitive.

The job outlook for doctors are expected to be growing 14 percent from 2009 to 2016, faster than average for all occupations. Job opportunities should be very good, particularly in rural and low-income areas. A doctor’s earning is amongst the highest in all occupations, with those of less than two years in specialty still commanding a healthy 6-figure salary: a physician specializing in anesthesiology will have a median compensation of $259,948, while a family practice physician (without obstetrics) will have a median compensation of $137,119. For those with more than two years of experience in their specialty, the compensation increases dramatically, with those in anesthesiology earning a median compensation of $321,686, and $156,010 for a family practice physician.

Military officer


Military officer comes in 5th on the list most prestigious occupations list. The specific job of a military officer can contain a broad range of responsibility and skill – from infantry officers to doctors, lawyers, and nurses – and thus depending on the specific type of specialty you’re considering, the education and training required can vastly different.

Regardless of the specific type of officer, many job opportunities in the armed forces will involve you in training and duty assignments that may be hazardous, even in peacetime. The working hours and working condition can be very arduous and changes substantially based on necessity and needs of the armed forces.

Earnings for military officer can vary greatly depending an officer’s training, years of service, and advance formal education (for example, physicians and dentists). Base on Department of Defense Pay Grades, most commissioned officer will start at the O-1 pay grade (Second Lieutenant/Ensign) , with monthly pay of $2,469 for those with less than 2 years of service ($29,631 annually), and a monthly pay of $3,106 for those with 4-8 years of service ($37,278 annually).

For those with advance education, many will start at the pay grade of O-3 (Captain/Lieutenant). Starting monthly pay will be $3,292 for less than 2 years of service, and $4,392 monthly pay for 4-8 years of service ($39,504 and $52,704 annually, respectively). These numbers are based on 2007 numbers, and you should note that beyond receiving their basic pay, military personnel are provided with free room and board (or a tax-free housing and subsistence allowance), free medical and dental care, and 30 days of paid leave per year, amongst other benefits.



As an occupation that may treat patients, educate patients and the public about various medical condition, along with providing advice and emotional support to patients’ family members, the occupation of a nurse can find itself easily on the most prestigious occupations list.

Like many other health care workers, nursing has a broad range of responsibility and specialty, with two of the nursing occupation being a LPN/LVN (Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse) and a Registered Nurse. Because of the difference in the scope of their work, so too are their educational and training requirements, along with earning potentials.

A Licensed Practical or licensed Vocational Nurse will require about a 1 year training at programs offered by a vocational, technical school, or a community and junior college. For registered nurses, major educational paths are a bachelor of science degree, an associate degree, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. All nurses must pass a national licensing examination, known as NCLEX-PN for LPN/LVN and NCLEX-RN for registered nurses.

Because registered nurses constitute the largest health care occupation (with 2.5 million jobs), the growth of the occupation is expected to be 23 percent from 2009 to 2016, much faster than average for all occupations. Registered nurses are projected to generate 587,000 new jobs in the coming years, amongst the largest number of new jobs for any occupation.

Median annual earnings of registered nurses were $57,280 in 2006 based on Department of Labor data, while national averages are from $55,960 to $67,931 based on data. Depending on the specific specialty (ER, ICU, Pediatric), years of experiences, the salary figure can vary greatly, with the highest 10% earning over $80,000. In contrast, median annual earnings of a LPN/LVN were $36,500 based on 2006 numbers, with the highest 10th percent earning more than $50,000.

Police officer


Putting their lives in danger to ensure the public’s safety, a police officer’s placement on the most prestigious occupation list is a must. A police officer’s work can often be dangerous and stressful, beyond the dangers of confrontations with criminals, police officers and detectives need to be constantly alert and ready to deal appropriately with many other threatening situations. Be forewarn that a career in law enforcement may take a toll on your private life.

Applicants for a police officer job must usually have at least a high school diploma, and some departments require 1 or 2 years of college coursework, or in some cases, a college degree. Most law enforcement agencies will encourage applicants to take courses or training related to law enforcement after high school. Officers usually will go through a period of training before their first assignment. In state and large local police departments, recruits get training in their agency’s police academy, often for 12 to 14 weeks. For smaller departments and agencies, recruits often attend a regional or State academy.

Median earnings for police officer will vary widely depending on region, demand, and experience levels. Police and sheriff patrol officers had a median annual earnings of $47,460 based on 2006 data. For detectives and criminal investigators, the median annual earnings is $58,260. Generally, the pay will scale base on rank and experience too. For police corporals, the minimum median annual base salary is $44,160, with the maximum median being $55,183. For police sergeant, the pay increases to $53,734 for minimum, and $63,564 for maximum median annual base salary.



As the shepherd for the people to conduct religious worship and perform other spiritual functions, a minister, priest, or those in the clergy occupation are another group of occupation that’s held in high regards by the American public. Because of the vast ranges of religion and denomination, qualifications and training for a minister, priest, or clergy can greatly differ, as some will emphasize natural gifts to those that also require post-secondary education such as degrees from a seminary or theological college or university. The median annual earnings for clergy work is at $41,730, with the top 25 percentile earning over $55,810, and the top 10 percentile earning over $74,280.



Though many may not consider the occupation of a farming to be a glamorous job, it is held in high regards by many people, with 41% of American considering the job to have “very great prestige.” A modern farmer will require extensive knowledge of new developments in agriculture. Although this is a job that’s held in high regards by the public, overall employment of farming jobs are expected to be declining due to increasing productivity per yield, and consolidation of the farming industry. For better opportunities, those interested in horticulture and organic farming may find better employment opportunities.

In terms of education and training, many farmers may receive their training on the job, but the completion of a 2-year associate degree or a 4-year bachelor’s degree at a college of agriculture is becoming more important for farm managers. Despite the fact that the employment growth of the farming industry may be declining, job prospects are expected to be favorable compared to other industries due to the fact that fewer people are considering farming as a profession, and a large number of farmers are expected to retire within the next decade – thus giving opportunities for people to own or lease a farm.

Because of the nature of their work, incomes of farmer and ranchers will vary greatly from year to year, as food products and corps change prices base on weather condition and market pricing. Base on U.S. Department of Agriculture data, a full-time salaried farm manager will earn a median weekly income of $1,001 (annual median income of $12,0001); with the highest 10 percent earning more than $1,924 in weekly pay (annual median income of $23,088).



Rounding out the top 10 most prestigious jobs in America are engineers. From aerospace engineers, agricultural engineers, chemical engineers, to civil engineers, engineers are the workforce that help shape our societal and consumer needs. Engineers develop, implement, and create products in a wide range of industries. Regardless of the industry, all engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems.

Depending on the specific field you’re interested in, you will need a bachelor’s of science degree in the engineering specialty you’re interested in. Some basic research position may require a graduate degree, while some engineers offering their service directly to the public will required to be licensed. For many of the engineering specialty, such as nuclear, mechanical, and computer hardware engineers, a Master of Science degree in the respective field may be the industry norm.

The growth of the occupation is expected to grow as fast as the average of all occupations, although of course growth will vary by specialty. Specific specialty such as environmental engineers should experience the fastest growth, while civil engineers will be seeing the largest employment increase. Regardless of the specific field, job outlook and opportunities are expected to be good as the number of graduates are in estimated balance of available job openings.

Earnings for an engineer will vary significantly by industry and education. From 2007 numbers, the average starting salary of a aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineer with a bachelor’s degree is $53,408, with a master’s degree will be $62,459, and $73,814 with a Ph.D. For chemical engineers, the average starting salary will be $59,361, $68,561, and $73,667 for a bachelor, master, and Ph.D., respectively.

The 10 Least Prestigious Jobs in America

While the jobs listed below are held in lower occupational prestige, many of them are still honest (and difficult) work that certainly pays the bill, put food on the table, and secure a roof over your head!



Starting off the top of the list of least prestigious jobs in America are our professional athletes. With only about 16% of Americans considering this occupation to have “very great prestige” and about 19% of Americans considering the occupation to have “hardly any prestige at all.”

Because of the wide range of differences in sports, qualification, and training – pay can vastly differ. For a majority of athletes, work hours are often irregular and may require extensive travel. Competition to become a professional athlete will continue to be extremely intense, as reaching professional level will often require an extraordinary amount of talent, desire, and dedication to training.

Earnings for athletes will vary depending on sports, league, experience, and personal demand. With an estimated employment of over 13,900 athletes in the United States, the mean annual earnings are at $79,460. The median earning is $40,480 (which may seem surprisingly low), while the top 25 percentile earns more than $93,000, the top 10 percentile earning over $100,000, and a subset group that earns tens of millions of dollars.

For the curious cats, the current highest-paid athlete is Tiger Woods, clocking in at a cool $110 million, followed by three people being tied at second place: Kobe Bryant at $45 million, Michael Jordan at $45 million (yes, still), and Kimi Raikkonen also at $45 million. Rounding out the top 5 highest paid athlete is David Beckham at $42 million. (Special bonus for Cavalier’s fans: LeBron James chimes in at #6 with $40 million).

Business executive


Top business executives comes in at #2 on the list of least prestigious occupations. Though the job can often be under-appreciated and held in low regards by the public, executives are needed to devise strategies and formulate policies for large corporations and top firms. Business executives may have a wide range of responsibility or titles, but at the end, a majority of them will direct the operations and goals of businesses, corporations, public sector organizations, and nonprofit institutions.

Competition for top executive positions are expected to continue to be heavy due to the fact that the high pay of these jobs attract a large number of applicants. Although top executives are among the highest paid workers, they are often straddled with long hours, considerable travel, and intense pressure to succeed.

Depending on the field of the industry, top executives will usually have a bachelor’s or graduate degree in business administration, liberal arts, or a more specialized study. As with everything, an executive’s overall previous experience in their specific industry will determine their candidacy for a position. Currently, the growth outlook for employment of top executives is projected to be little or no change for the next decade – especially because many executives tend to leave their job for a position as an executive in another company.

Due to the variety of industry, fields, and position, pay can vastly differ. But as an example, the median annual earnings of a chief executive in 2006 was greater than$145,600, though executives of larger corporations will earn hundreds of thousands to over a million dollar annually. Some of the current highly paid CEOs, based on AFL-CIO numbers are: Bruce Wasserstein of Lazard Ltd., with total compensation for 2008 being $133,708,650; Eugene M. Isenberg of Nabors Industries Ltd., earning $116,652,816 for 2008; and Lawrence J. Ellison of Oracle Corporation, earning $84,598,700 in 2008.



Despite being the voice of the people, journalist are on the list of least prestigious occupations in America, with only 13% of the American public considering the job to have “very great prestige” and about 16% of American public considering the job to have “hardly any prestige at all.” (Crap where does that put bloggers on the list then!?)

Having said that, being a news analysts, reporter, or corespondent can be an especially rewarding occupation as these are crucial jobs that inform the public about local, State, national, and international events (plus the occasional updates on important events such as which reality TV star is dating which 22 year-old hottie).

Most employers will prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in journalism or mass communication, though some will hire graduates with other majors – previous experience with school newspaper, local broadcasting station, and internship at news organization are a definite plus. Unfortunately, it is expected that there will be little or no change in employment growth through 2016, and thus competition will remain to be heavy for jobs at large metropolitan and national newspapers, broadcast stations and networks, and magazines.

Because of the wide variety in their experience level, median annual earnings for journalist is $33,470, with the middle 50 percent earning between $23,370 and $51,700, with the top 10 percent earning over $73,880.

Union Leader


Union leaders are generally voted to serve base in part of their popularity or interpersonal skill, despite this, the job is still viewed as having “hardly any prestige at all” by a large number of Americans.

The educational background of union leaders differ significantly, and generally are reflective of the specific industry the trade union is a part of. Essential qualities of union leaders are the ability to manage human resources, be an arbitrator or mediator.



Even though 25% of the American public considers “stockbrokers” to have “little prestige,” this occupation remains an integral and important part of the economy. A college degree is of the norm in the industry, though competition for even entry-level analyst jobs can be heavy, especially in investment banking. An MBA or a professional certification can be helpful, though advancement can often be very difficult. Those that are successful can often have an extremely lucrative career.

Most brokers and investment advisors must also register as a representative of their firm with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and must also pass the General Securities Registered Representative Examination administered by FINRA. This examination takes 6 hours and contains 250 multiple-choice question. Beyond this examination, most states will also require a secondary examination with the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination. Many employers will also often consider personal qualities and skills more important than formal academic training.

The median annual earnings of securities, commodities, and financial service sales agents were $68,500 based on 2006 numbers, though the middle half of the field will earn between $42,630 to $126,290. The top ten percent makes more than $145,600 annually. For those that are interested, you should note that the career is a sales occupation, with many workers being paid on a commission and bonus based system, thus actual earnings may be higher than listed above.



Though they may make us laugh, smile, cry, and occasionally creeped-out (e.g., clowns), the occupation of being an entertainer lands easily on the list of least prestigious occupations in America, with 31% of the public considering the job to have “hardly any prestige at all.” Because of the wide variety and classification of an “entertainer” – education, training, and pay can vastly differ.

The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry is generally staffed by a large number of seasonal and part-time workers, with many of them relatively young compare to other industries. About 40 percent of this workforce have no formal education beyond high school. Earnings are also relatively low as an industry whole, though as with other occupations, the top percentile will earn hundreds of thousands in annual earnings to multi-million dollars.



Accountants and auditors are an important part of a nation’s firms and businesses, but unfortunately this occupation couldn’t escape the list of least prestigious occupations in America, with only as little as 11% of the public considering the job to have “very great prestige.”

A career as an accountant will usually require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field, while advantages are place on those with a master’s degree and having certification and expertise level with accounting and auditing software. Regardless of the firm you work for, any accountant filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission is required by law to be a Certified Public Accountant. Along with the CPA certification, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants also provides with further qualification and licensing base on specific specialty.

Job outlook for accountants should be favorable, and those that have earn a CPA should have excellent job prospects. Median annual earnings for accountants is $54,630 base on 2006 data, with the top 10 percent earning more than $94,050.



Seventh on the list of least prestigious occupations in America are bankers, whom has only 10% of the public considering the job to have “very great prestige.” Though the bankers classification is a large one, as specific job responsibility and title are broad. In a typical consumer banking branch, office and administrative support worker constitute 2 out of 3 banking jobs, while tellers account for about 3 out of 10 jobs.

There are many opportunities expected for tellers and other office and administrative support workers, as these occupations are in a large field and tends to have a high rate of turnover. A high school education is generally all that is required for most office and administrative workers, while management, business and financial occupations usually hire banking workers with at least a college degree.



Though we often see them on televisions, movies, and in the theater, actors are not held in high regards by the American public – with only 9% of Americans viewing the job as having “very great prestige” and a large 38% considering the job to have “hardly any prestige at all.”

To further add salt to the wound, actors often endure long periods of unemployment, intense competition for roles, and frequent rejections in auditions. Though formal education and training through university or acting conservatory can be typical, many actors find work on the basis of their experience and talent alone.

Except for the most highly successful actors, most actors will encounter erratic earnings, and many supplement their income by holding jobs in other fields. The median hourly earnings of actors were $11.61 in 2006, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $7.31 an hour while the highest 10 percent earning more than $51.02 per hour. Median hourly earnings were $16.82 in performing arts companies and $10.69 in the motion picture and video industry.

For the extreme end of the field, some of the highest paid actors are: Harrison Ford with $65 million; Adam Sandler with $55 million; Will Smith with $45 million; Eddie Murphy and Nicolas Cage with $40 million; Tom hanks with $35 million; Tom Cruise with $30 million; Jim Carrey and Brad Pitt with $28 million; Johnny Depp with $27 million; and rounding out the top 11 highly paid actor is George Clooney at $25 million.

Real estate agent/broker


Coming in dead last on the list, with only 4% of Americans considering the job to have “very great prestige” and a heavy 34% considering the job to have “hardly any prestige at all.” Though they may be viewed by the public as the least prestigious job in America, real estate agent and brokers are often hard worker, working late into the evenings and weekends and are usually on call to suit the needs of their clients.

A license is required to be a real estate agent or broker in America. Though attaining a job may be relatively easy, starting workers will face stiff competition from well-established, more experienced agents and brokers. The median annual earnings, including commissions, of salaried real estate sales agents is $39,760 base on 2006 data. The middle 50 percent earned between $26,790 and $65,270 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,170, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $111,500.

Update. Sources: Harris Interactive poll and U.S. Department of Labor.

The Ultimate Guide To Speeding Up Firefox 3.5

Written by Mahendra Palsule

firefox-128I like Firefox but it’s not as fast as it used to be. This is a comprehensive, safe guide to optimizing Firefox 3.5 for speedy browsing. For each suggestion, your mileage may vary. Before you proceed, create a new profile.

Quit Firefox, run “firefox.exe -profilemanager”, and create a new profile to experiment on. Use the new profile as your default only if your performance improves. Only those changes needed from a default installation are mentioned in this guide.

1. Use an Optimized Build of Firefox

If you’re using Windows, use an optimized build of Firefox 3.5.1 for your processor. Use Swiftfox for Linux.

2. Use Blank Homepage, Default Theme, Minimal Extensions

Set your homepage to about:blank. Use only must-have extensions with the default theme. Use Adblock Plus and Flashblock to block unwanted ads and Flash.

3. Optimize Download Options

In Options->Main, choose a folder for your downloads and save all downloads to it automatically. Close the download window automatically when all downloads are finished. Turn off download history in Options->Privacy, Custom settings for history.


4. Customize Content Type Handling

In Options->Applications, modify the following Content Types:

  • Set archive files like .zip, .rar, etc. to Save File. Use your favorite archive program separately to open them.
  • Set PDF files to Save File. Use your favorite PDF reader to separately open them.
  • Set mailto to use your favorite desktop email client or Gmail/Yahoo webmail account. Sorry, Windows Live/AOL Mail users!
  • Change Web Feed from Preview in Firefox to your favorite RSS reader.


In general, open files separately, rather than from within the browser wherever possible.

5. Increase Cache, Reduce History Size

In Options->Advanced->Network, increase Offline Storage (size of the disk cache) to 150 MB.


In Options->Privacy, use Custom settings for history, and reduce length of remembered history to 15 days.


6. Customize General Advanced Options

In Options->Advanced->General->Accessibility:

  • Check Search for text when I start typing
  • Uncheck Use smooth scrolling
  • Turn off spell checker if you ROTFLMAO on forums and don’t aspire to be a writer. Keep it on if you’re looking for a job.
  • Uncheck Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on startup. On Windows, set Firefox as your default browser using Program Access and Defaults.


7. Remove Unused Search Engines

Drop-down In the search box, select Manage Search Engines…, and remove any search engines that you will never use.


8. Clean up bookmarks, avoid Live Bookmarks

If you have a lot of bookmarks in Firefox, you might have dead links, or even duplicate bookmarks. Clean them up using the CheckPlaces Firefox extension, and uninstall after you’re done.

Firefox checks Live Bookmarks every hour for updates. Use a dedicated RSS Reader like Google Reader instead. Delete the preset Latest Headlines Live Bookmark.

9. Performance Enhancing Extensions

If you prefer a nice GUI to tweak advanced settings, use these performance enhancing Firefox extensions. If you are the DIY type, these optimizations (and many more) are covered in the next sections.

  • FasterFox 3.8.1 Lite is an (experimental) add-on that lets you choose from four presets (or use a custom profile) to optimize Firefox.
  • Tweak Network 1.3 allows you to choose from Default and Power profiles for tweaking network settings in Firefox.

Advanced About:Config Tweaks

The following two sections are advanced Firefox configuration changes that are simple to make. Enter about:config in the Firefox address bar in an empty tab. Click ‘I’ll be careful, I promise!’. You can use Firefox’s Safe Mode and select ‘Reset all user preferences to Firefox defaults’ to undo any changes you make. Also, entries you change are displayed in bold, and can be reset using the right-click context-menu.

If an entry does not exist, create it by right-clicking on an empty space, selecting New, and choosing the type of entry as listed.


10. Advanced Browser Settings

You can use these recommended values or tweak them as per your system, preference, and browsing habits.

  • accessibility.typeaheadfind.enablesound [Boolean]: Change to False to avoid a sound alert if no match is found when you search for text.
  • alerts.totalOpenTime [Integer]: Reduce time to show Download Complete alerts to 2000 (2 seconds).
  • browser.bookmarks.max_backups [Integer]: Reduce number of bookmark backups to speed up shutdown from 5 to 2.
  • browser.cache.disk.parent_directory [String]: Move your Firefox cache to a disk or partition different from your Windows drive by specifying the folder path here.
  • [Integer]: Don’t open Downloads window for very short downloads. Set to 2000 (2 second delay).
  • browser.sessionstore.max_tabs_undo [Integer]: Reduce number of closed tabs you can undo from 10 to 4.
  • browser.sessionstore.max_windows_undo [Integer]: Reduce number of closed windows you can undo from 3 to 1.
  • browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab [Boolean]: Change to False, so that Firefox doesn’t accidentally shut down when you close the last tab.
  • browser.urlbar.maxRichResults [Integer]: Reduce maximum number of results in Awesome Bar from 12 to 6.
  • dom.popup_maximum [Integer]: Reduce maximum number of simultaneous popups from 20 to 3 or 5.
  • security.dialog_enable_delay [Integer]: Reduce delay to wait before installing a new extension to 1000 (1 second). Setting to zero is not recommended because of security risks.

11. Advanced Network Settings

These changes are recommended for broadband users with at least a 2 Mbps (256 kB/s) connection.

  • network.dnsCacheEntries [Integer]: Increase number of DNS entries cached from default 20 to 512.
  • network.dnsCacheExpiration [Integer]: Increase number of seconds DNS entries are cached from default 60 to 3600.
  • network.dns.disableIPv6 [Boolean]: Disable IPv6 if your ISP doesn’t support it (most don’t).
  • network.http.max-connections [Integer]: Increase maximum number of simultaneous connections to 48 or 96.
  • network.http.max-connections-per-server [Integer]: Increase maximum connections per server from default 15 to 24.
  • network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server [Integer]: Increase maximum persistent connections per server from default 6 to 12.
  • network.http.pipelining [Boolean]: Change to True to enable HTTP Pipelining.
  • network.http.pipelining.maxrequests [Integer]: Increase from default 4 to 8.
  • network.prefetch-next [Boolean]: This specifies whether Firefox pre-fetches web pages (and associated cookies) even before you visit them. It is most frequently used to pre-load the first result of a Google search. If you want to improve security and don’t want Firefox to load pages you never actually visit, change this to False. See the FAQ for more information.

Did these optimizations make your Firefox 3.5 faster? Tell us in the comments!

(Some of these tips are via Tweakguides Firefox Tweak Guide)