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Archive for the ‘Geek Stuff’ Category

Pinterest is going to change the world. At a quantum level. Or something. I really don’t know.

People Who Use Pinterest  via ilovechartsI don’t get Pinterest. I’m not going to deny that many, many people seem to love it. It seems to primarily appeal to women, so (a) I can accept that perhaps I am just demographically excluded, and (b) I’m not going to overly bemoan something that millions of people seem to enjoy so much.

Its status as the fastest-growing social network is both impressive (12 million unique visitors) and relatively meaningless (6 or 7 years ago, most people had no idea what “social media” was). I signed up for Pinterest in January, and every day I get new followers, mostly because you can register through Facebook, and it will auto-follow your Facebook friends for you–every time one of my Facebook friends signs up, therefore, I get a new follower on Pinterest. It’s like signing up for a free friend-delivery service!

I also created a “board” (where you “pin” photos that you either upload to the site or link to elsewhere on the web) out of a sense of sarcasm. After encountering a series of pictures of Nutella-coated bacon on the aptly-named Geeks are Sexy site, I had an epiphany. As soon as I figured out that Firefox’s cut-and-paste function for some reason does not work well with Pinterest’s code, the “Food porn” board was born. It currently has 182 followers. All it requires is occasional Google image searches of phrases like “key lime pie” and “bacon-covered meat.”

It should be no surprise, therefore, that this website, which only went fully public a little over a year ago, has “experts” in its use in small business marketing. Anyone with the ability to use the word “expert” with no apparent sense of irony can become a “social media expert” in this day and age.

Nutella-covered bacon, via Pinterest, via geeksaresexyOf interest to people who care about such things is the suspicion that Pinterest might actually be a massive, albeit possibly unintentional, mechanism for enabling copyright infringement. At its most basic level, Pinterest is a means to post other peoples’ pictures online with no requirement of correct attribution. Of course, the entire internet is a mechanism for failing to attribute copyrighted material correctly, but Pinterest has made it so much easier. It’s like Flickr for stealing.

Also, as everyone by now knows, the site may have some interesting ways of making money.

I’m not holding my breath that Pinterest is going to change the world. For every revolution aided by social media’s ability to connect people, there are around 2,000 boards that really only help some recent sorority member pick the perfect tiara for her wedding.

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You have until Thursday before Google gets all up in your stuff

Child Saluting American FlagAnyone using any sort of Google product has now had ample opportunity to not read the terms of its new “unified privacy policy,” which will align the various privacy policies of its many different services (searches, YouTube, Gmail, secretly searching for LOLcats saying dirty words, etc.)

As of March 1, 2012, the new policy will go into effect, and data collected from your search history will become available to other Google services, for marketing purposes (h/t ABA Journal).

You ought to know what that means: those late-night searches for pictures of tree sloths eating bananas will become part of the algorithm used to target advertisements at you. Some people may not want that.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, who is fast becoming one of the most relevant advocacy groups in the world (thanks, SOPA!) has a step-by-step guide to removing your entire Google search history ahead of the big day.

I tried doing it, and Google is telling me that I do not even have have “Web History” turned on. I’m not sure how that could be, since I tend to sign up for new internet and social media services without even thinking about it, but maybe this means all my secrets are safe…

Of course, Google will record all of your searches no matter what, but you can opt not to have your history get shared for marketing purposes. Your search history will always be available to law enforcement, of course.

Just thought you should know about this.

Photo credit: Child Saluting American Flag by JefferyTurner, on Flickr.

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Oh, frack

A while back I wrote a juvenile post about fracking and my love of Battlestar Galactica.

In that same spirit, the following is presented sans excessive commentary, to let the absurdity sink in (h/t Shawn M. French):

R.I.P. Talisman Terry.

The “friendly Fracosaurus” featured in a 24-page coloring book by Talisman Energy that explained the controversial process of extracting gas from rock formations will no longer be distributed by the company, a spokeswoman told FoxNews.com.

Natalie Cox, a spokeswoman for Talisman Energy USA Inc., said the coloring book, “Talisman Terry’s Energy Adventure,” was created in 2009 by staff at Talisman’s headquarters in Calgary, Canada, as a giveaway for county fairs and other community events along the Pennsylvania-New York border. It’s unclear exactly how many were produced and distributed, she said.

Despite no complaints from the public — only from “the media,” Cox said — the company decided to stop using the publication within the past month.

Yes, Talisman Energy published a fracking coloring book, with a fracking mascot. And because of all the fracking controversy with the fracking-obsessed media, they had to stop publishing it. I guess they’ll just focus on fracking from now on.

Okay, I’m done. Please go on about your day.

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So You Want to Go to Law School: the classic movie

“I do not like my Blackberry. I would like to torture it until it begs me to kill it.”

“Science cleared that guy. A lawyer put his a** in prison.”

I soooooo wish I had written this.

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I knew Google Analytics was a good idea!

I signed up for Google Analytics three days ago. For those who don’t know, it is a service that tells you how people are getting to your site, how long they stay there (average 2 minutes 45 seconds so far), and what search terms lead people to your site. That’s where it gets good.

I’m flattered at item #5. Honestly, MyLife.com has nothing on this service.

It’s item #6 that has piqued my curiosity. Let me go on the record, here and now, that if you want information on getting laid in law school, I am the last person you want to talk to.

Carry on.

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Yet more social media

For whatever reason, I’ve started a Tumblr blog for random legal-related things that I find.

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A CLE conference moves me to juvenile laughter

HB Litigation Conferences is hosting a “Fracking Litigation Conference” in Philadelphia in September:

HB’s Fracking Litigation Conference is set for September 9, 2011 in Philadelphia. The increased use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract natural gas from underground rock formations has raised environmental and legal challenges and will be the topic of discussion by attorneys, professors and scientists at this program.

Fans of Battlestar Galactica will know why I find this geekily funny.

Hey, a lawyer is entitled to geek out now and then.

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