Mar 30, 2009
Amber

Making Wordles

I re-stumbled upon a fun Web site called Wordle. You can enter text or Web site links and Wordle will create a word cloud. The words that show up the most are larger in the cloud. You can edit the format the word cloud appears in (horizontal or vertical words), the color scheme and the font. They’re pretty artistic.

Here is amberhanneken.com:
Wordle: My blog

I copy and pasted Leviticus from the Bible:
Wordle: Leviticus

Columbia Missourian:
Wordle: Columbia Missourian

A Web comic I read, Nemu Nemu:

Wordle:  Nemu Nemu

I copy and pasted “Harrison Bergeron”, a short story by Kurt Vonnegut:
Wordle: Harrison Bergeron

Go make some Wordles!

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Mar 20, 2009
Amber

Signing off the mortal coil

It’s something every adult thinks about at some point in time, “What will happen if I’m suddenly gone?” Many of us consider things like what will happen to our possessions, assets, pets, remains, organs and loved ones should we suddenly pass on. Some of us have plans, either verbally given to family or written out in a living will or trust.

Slightly morbid
But what about our online identities? How will the people we game with, chat with and interact with online ever know what happened? I know I’m not the only one who has thought about this because there’s a site for it: SlightlyMorbid. For $9.95, $19.95 or $49.95, this service will allow you to create a list of friends and a list of trusted contacts. The site then creates a certificate with simple instructions to be given to your designated trusted contacts in case of emergency so that they can notify the people you know online.

Of course, this service seems like something I could do on my own, which is probably a good idea. If you don’t have a trusted friend already with access to your accounts/friends list online, then it’s a good idea to keep that information somewhere with your other important documents either printed out or on a flash drive. Continue reading »

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Mar 13, 2009
Amber

Twitterview

Tuesday, March 17 is going to be an exciting day. You get to pinch your non-green wearing friends, have an excuse to be drunk in public in the middle of the week and you can witness the first ever Twitterview!

As a journalist and Web-geek, I feel it is my duty to blog about this. At 12 noon on Tuesday, George Stephanopoulos of ABC News will conduct a full interview with Senator John McCain using only Twitter. That’s right, the site that confines your posts to 140 characters. I’m a big Twitterphile and apparently so is John McCain. He updates about his day and favorite sports like anyone else, but he’s also become popular for doing countdowns on pork spending in the upcoming stimulus package. So it makes a lot of sense that he’d go for this concept.

Stephanopoulos got the idea for the Twitterview when he asked my own state senator, Claire McCaskill, via Twitter why she suddenly decided to vote no on the $410-billion omnibus budget bill since she had said she was supporting it before. She tweeted him back:

“George S.:Ultimately just couldn’t do it. Not just earmrks tho, also increase in spendng(8%too much)& failure to reconcile $ with stimuls.”

How cool. I know that McCain and several other Twitter-smart politicians respond to people and read the replies. It makes people feel more connected to their politicians and it’s smart of them to keep people updated via a popular tool like Twitter. I’m excited for the Twitterview and what this means for journalism. Will a lot of people tune in? Will it engage people? Will this be a stepping stone for more online live interviews on social networks?

We shall see.

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Mar 6, 2009
Amber

To TV or not to TV?

So it seems like people are abandoning their TVs. I can’t count the number of times I’ve tried to complain about a commercial or missing my favorite show when I am reminded how out of fashion I am. Who watches TV anyway? Well, at least, on a TV. Yesterday, a guy in one of my classes was looking at the newspaper and someone asked what he was reading. “Oh just the TV guide, looking to see what’s on tonight,” he responded. Someone scoffed at him, “just watch them online!”

Now-a-days all the cool kids watch their favorite shows online shortly after, or sometimes even while, they premiere on the cable channel. Who needs constant commercial breaks highlighting various products when they can have a few short ads for just one product. All the stations now have their shows streaming on their Web sites: ABC, Spike, and Comedy Central to name a few. Or, if you’re looking for all your favorite shows from the various channels in one place, Hulu is for you. Not only does Hulu have TV shows, it also has feature length movies like Liar Liar and Rocky; whatever you’d expect to be playing at some point in time during the day while you’re at work or school. Continue reading »

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Feb 25, 2009
Amber

The been had feud

It all started with a video (this post is going to be YouTube heavy).

Ju from D4L (the guys that did the “Laffy Taffy” song) posted “Been Counting Money”:
Where he coins the phrase “been had money” over and over again.

A young, nerdy guy named Cody Clarke decided to one up Ju with his own version, “Been Had Movies”:

Where he shows off his plentiful collection of DVDs.

Ju, not to be shown up, responded himself with “Been Had Bootleg Movie”: Continue reading »

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Feb 11, 2009
Amber

Blizzard v. WoWGlider /v. Everyone who breaks a ToS

tuxThe Initial Case
Blizzard Entertainment, creators of the ridiculously popular World of Warcraft MMORPG, are singing praise and patting themselves on the back because of their victory over the creators of WoWGliderBot. WoW Glider was a software that would essentially play your character in the game for you, doing all of the menial tasks like gathering items and killing mobs in order to level.

So Blizzard went on the offensive and, looking for some real life gold, sued the creators of WoWGlider, winning $6 million back in October. However, Blizzard took it a step further and dragged them back to court this last month in a case to determine whether the creators broke the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Judge finds WoWGlider in Violation of DMCA
Somehow, Arizona Judge David G. Campbell ruled that the WoWGlider software violated the DMCA. Meaning that because they violated the Terms of Service/Use put in place by Blizzard they were infringing their copyright. So even though the program is not at all used to extract Blizzard’s copyrighted material, they have been found to be in violation of their copyright. Continue reading »

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