Friday Mar 09, 2007

How Much is the "Blog Worth" Meme Worth?

Sun is currently experiencing an outbreak of "How Much is Your Blog Worth" references (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). They aren't the first, though... Rich Burridge got into the act back in November, and Rich Sharples was truly ahead of his time with a mention back in October 2005.

It's a fun (though meaningless) way to look at your blog's popularity. But I wonder... What happens if we ask the tool about its own worth? Will it devour itself in an infinite loop of self-examination?

Guess not...

And given that this guy has over 35,000 pages linking to him (and plasters his page with advertising), maybe this is one case where the number really does have some meaning.

So providing bloggers with a Monopoly-money valuation of themselves turns out to be a $4M idea? Scary thought.

Tuesday Jan 09, 2007

See Java from Space, Part 3

I wouldn't have guessed that I could milk a whole trilogy out of my little Java-on-the-roof bit, but people just keep chipping in. This time it's Alexis, who sent me this close-up view:

Alexis said the picture has been sitting on his hard drive "for ages" and can't remember its original source. Perhaps it was part of the "gag" which Steve mentioned as the original source of the rooftop logo? Hopefully someone who recognizes it can chime in.

Friday Jan 05, 2007

See Java from Space, Part 2

If you'll recall, I left off yesterday wondering how I might get up to visit the giant Java Logo on the roof of one of Sun's buildings. Rama has been kind enough to offer some assistance. Excellent.

Now I just need to find jumbo versions of a few key supplies and this:

Satellite Image of a Building's Roof

...will become this:

Updated Satellite Image of a Building's Roof

Thursday Dec 28, 2006

Christmas Kitsch

I somehow missed it when major media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today started covering the story of Alek Komarnitsky's Christmas lights in 2004. I did, however, become aware of the story recently due to a follow-up story on Slashdot.

Why does anyone care about Mr. Komarnitsky and his Christmas lights? Read his own account for the full story. In short, he got international media exposure in 2004 for his home's Christmas lights web site. The site allowed visitors to turn the lights on or off and see the results live on a webcam--or so everyone thought. Soon he received even more exposure when it was revealed that the site was a hoax, using a collection of static images to show people the expected lighting changes (which were not actually happening at the house). And now he is gaining a third round of exposure with a revamped setup which has since 2005 provided genuine working versions of the web-based controls (as verified by the Rocky Mountain News).

So what could I possibly have to add to this established story? A little first-person perspective, for one thing. Mr. Komarnitsky, his lights, and I all happen to reside just northwest of Denver. So the other night my wife and I went on a field trip to do a little verification of our own. And with the help of some relatives, we got this screenshot of Peggy sneaking up to join the famous decorations on Mr. Komarnitsky's webcam:


(She's the dark splotch between Homer and Elmo.)

So assuming that Alek has not assembled a prescient set of new static images, we'll join the folks at the Rocky Mountain News in validating the current incarnation of Komarnitsky's Christmas Lights Webcam as Genuine Kitsch™.

Monday Dec 18, 2006

Ronald MacDonald on a Llama (and Other Things You Don't See Every Day)

If you happen to have read some of my previous posts, you've probably noticed that I'm intrigued by Internet phenomena. As the Wikipedia article explains, "An Internet phenomenon (sometimes called an Internet meme) occurs when something relatively or completely unknown becomes hugely popular, often quite suddenly, through the mass propagation of media content made feasible by the Internet."

"Numa Numa" videos are one example. If you're at all familiar with this phenomenon, you've probably seen the Gary Brolsma webcam video which started the craze. If you're a YouTube addict (or a preteen girl in eastern Europe), you'll have seen the "real" video from Romanian boy band O-Zone. And if you're really hardcore, you may have even seen the Lego equivalents of Gary and the boys.

But have you seen the Japanese "Maiyahi" video which Gary credits with introducing him to the song? It's my personal favorite, though I probably don't understand it in the least. Actually, scratch that--I'd say it's my personal favorite because I don't understand it in the least.

You see, I like a good can't-we-all-just-understand-each-other-and-sing-Kumbaya moment as much as the next guy. But at the same time, let's not abandon the joys of a little harmless laughing at that which we do not understand. And what better for an American like myself to misunderstand than Japanese animation set to some Romanian pop?

So let's take a look at just how little of this Maiyahi video (or "JapaNuma") I can follow...

Scene 1
As we begin our story, Pink Kitty is considering a new life wandering the earth in a cardboard box.
This possibility upsets longtime companion Skinny Kitty, who cannot help but notice that the box has room for only one.
Undeterred, Pink Kitty hops away.
 
Scene 2
Not wishing to drown in his troubles alone, Skinny Kitty calls his pals,
...Stocky Kitty and Yellow Kitty, who rush right over.
 
Scene 3
Good times quickly ensue
...with much dancing
...some of which defies gravity.
 
Scene 4
Eventually, Yellow Kitty becomes caught up in the moment and decides to go hunting
...monkey hunting
...with tragic results.
 
Scene 5
Skinny Kitty is taken aback by this development
...as is Yellow Kitty himself, who is quite sickened when he regains his senses and realizes what has happened.
 
Scene 6
Fortunately, Ronand MacDonald then arrives
...riding a llama
...and dragging a mutilated teddy bear.
 
Scene 7
After Ronald has made Yellow Kitty feel better, the fellas decide to go cruising for chicks
...while being broadcast live in a reality television show which a solitary child happens to be watching.
 
Scene 8
The child is startled by the invasion of a man with a threatening nose.
Fortunately, a second man (with a rather violent painting for a head) arrives and subdues the initial invader
...only to then succumb to cruel intentions of his own, knocking the child unconscious and eating all of the red meat in the house.
 
Scene 9
Still, that child is far luckier than a certain tanner counterpart who is at the same moment perishing in a horrific train wreck.
 
Scene 10
Of course, the fellas know none of this and have decided to cap off their night with a drink
...or two
...or three
...pausing only for a quick English lesson
...before culminating with a joyous kick line.

Now tell me... How could actual understanding possibly be better than this?

Thursday Dec 14, 2006

Jonathan Hits Madoogle Status?

Some people say you've really made it when you only need one name--like Madonna. Interesting theory. Some people say that top placement in search results is quickly becoming the most valuable real estate in the world. Interesting fact.

What happens if we combine these ideas? I think we get an updated version of the One Name Phenomenon: you've really made it when you're atop the results for a Googling of just your first name. And so I hereby acknowledge that Sun's own media star of a CEO has joined the exclusive "Madoogle" club.

A Jerry Maguire Moment

No, you don't complete me. You don't even need to show me the money--at least not in the way you think.

My Jerry Maguire moment was all about making a spectacle of myself, screaming into a phone while others were in earshot. In Jerry's case, Rod Tidwell was making him scream the now-immortal line, "Show me the money!" and Jerry's whole office was wondering what had possessed him. In my case, it was the soon-to-be-immortal line, "JAVAAAAAAA!" and only my wife was around to wonder what had possessed me.

You see, the folks behind Elf Yourself created a pretty slick system where you phone-in the monologue for your elf. So for my creation of Sun's Chief Elvish Officer (or should we call him Javanathan?), I really was on the phone in our basement screaming and yelling like a madman. And my wife really was wondering how to get me some professional help.

Wednesday Dec 13, 2006

A Special Message From Sun's CEO

Here at Sun, one way our CEO stands out against his counterparts is by blogging. Every week, thousands of people all over the world read his latest thoughts in his own words--no handlers, no filters, and certainly no ghost writers.

That means it's a rather unusual honor when someone else is chosen as an intermediary for one of his key messages. Today I have just such an honor, passing along some thoughts about Sun's recent moves to open source Java. So without further ado: a very special message from the CEO.

Note: modern Flash Player required, and you may need to retry the link a time or two--the service provider sometimes has trouble handling the volume surrounding such an important topic.

Tuesday Dec 12, 2006

Kitsch 2.0

I've noticed that Sun's bloggers are exhibiting a disturbing lack of respect for our elders. We didn't invent the Internet, blogs, or streaming media. And we certainly have not taken these technologies to their highest use. It's high time that we paid proper tribute to these great achievements.

For example, a few quick searches of blogs.sun.com reveals:

In our untold thousands of postings, only this handful of references to such brilliant works of art? That's simply unacceptable, and could well get us into hot water with the authorities.

Of course, the search results noted above will quickly become outdated as Sun bloggers see the wisdom of my message and change their ways. No matter--that's the price you pay if you're late in reading this. As I have always said (beginning with an old and classic post): come hard to the Woodwork or don't come at all!

I'll be doing my part to bring some soul to Sun's blogs. Who's with me?

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