Category Archives: Internet

Raspberry Ketone Strength Scam?

I’m writing this hoping other people will come forward with similar stories. (Don’t forget to read the important updates at the end of this post. Additionally, I’ve written out a strategy that will likely help track these scammers down faster.) On 9/16/2014, Josh, a former agent at the “customer service company” at the center of this scam responded.

Yesterday, 8/13/2014, I logged in and checked my credit card statement like I do routinely. I noticed an odd authorization for $49.95 from This was suspicious because I did not recently buy anything for $49.95 and had never heard of that company.

Visiting the site did not help either. It appears to be a third party site that provides the customer service and, apparently, billing for other websites online.

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New SmugMug

SmugMug just released a huge update to how their photo galleries are displayed. It was built from the ground up and looks gorgeous. You can read about the details of that here: The New SmugMug Is Here

My old SmugMug page I thought looked decent and was functional. However, when compared with the updated gallery layouts that are available now, it seems extremely outdated.

Here is what my main page looked like before:

Old SmugMug Main Page

Old SmugMug Main Page

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Apple and Greenpeace butt heads again

In this article on Appleinsider, Apple calls into question Greenpeace’s analysis of their new data centers.

In the forum there’s a hilarious comment that I wanted to share, hill60 says,

I got the inside scoop from Mike Daisey, Apple built a secret tunnel from the Foxconn factories of China to North Carolina, they use the twelve year old workers they are hiding from labour inspectors to mine coal and use it in their secret underground power plant, the children are fed on whale meat by products from Apple’s whaling fleet, the whale oil is used to lubricate MacBook keyboards, not only that the rare Brazilian rainforest trees being cut down for Foxconns plants in Brazil are being used as props in the mineshafts where the twelve year olds work 27 hours a day, 9 days a week.

Son Of Strelka, Son Of God (narrated by Obama)

Hey y’all. Long time no see. For the past four years, I’ve been working slowly but obsessively on a very odd project. Bit by bit I’ve dissected Obama’s self-read autobiography into thousands of very short phrases, usually one to ten words or so, and have used these snippets to tell a completely different story from the original. I’ve then set the story to music. The story is called Son Of Strelka, Son Of God. Broadly speaking, it tells the story of an ugly dog-faced demigod who recreates the world after it is destroyed. It’s about thirty minutes long, and lies in some weird grey area between audiobook and electronic music.

The Something Awful Forums

Head to the forums on the link above to download the work in its entirety. According to, the “use of Barack Obama’s voice is fair and allowed according to the law.”

Animations that people made to go along with the first two chapters of the audio book are available here. It must have been a lot of hard work, but the end result is amazing. You can’t tell at all that the words are out of order.

Super expensive hard drives & some cool price trackers

I was searching Amazon for reviews of the Synology 4-bay Network Attached Storage devices and noticed that hard drive prices were very high. Remembering that floods in Thailand in October may have contributed to this, I found this article, Hard drive prices showing rapid decline, on Google. This article stated that “the floods in central Thailand in October wiped out more than 25 percent of worldwide hard drive production.” Here’s what that site had to say:

An example: The Camelegg chart, which tracks prices at Newegg, shows the Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green Western Digital20EARS hit a low of $69.99 just before the flood. A month later, on Nov. 10, it had soared to $249.99 — an increase of 250 percent. Today the drive sells at Newegg for $162.99, which is 35 percent less than it cost a month ago. The pricing trend is clearly down — although how far down and how fast are points of conjecture.

Wow, a huge price increase! This chart on Camelegg shows a graphical representation of its price since January 11th, 2011. It looks like I will be waiting awhile until I buy a NAS or get new hard drives! But, I did find same really sweet sites to track prices at Amazon, Backcountry, Newegg, and Best Buy.

You can even sign up to receive email alerts when products go on sale.

Amazon –
Backcountry –
Best Buy –
Newegg –

Experience with 1Password

Around Thanksgiving we bought a family license for 1Password when there was a special discount. I had previously kept track of my passwords on a password protected iPhone app and had an encrypted text file on my computer for backup. I probably had about 5 or 6 passwords that I used for everything. Most online places considered them “strong” in quality due to my use of numbers and symbols. However, I reused all of them at multiple places and used the password manager app to really only remind me which one I had chosen.

I think it was at the beginning of the summer that I had introduced my brother to 1Password and other similar types of apps. Before I knew it, he kept telling me how great it was. He said that other than maybe his email password and the 1Password master password, he had absolutely no clue what any of his other passwords were! At least at first, this seemed like it would complicate things and be slower. I was so wrong.
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Google Wave Invites

Update: As of 10/13 17:05 Central Time, I’m out of Google Wave invites.

Please only request an invite from one location. That way there will be more invites to go around. I doubt that accumulating invite requests would get you one any quicker.

Hey guys,

I have 7 Google Wave invites left. Just leave a comment and fill your email in on the email section. I’ll then send you one right away. First seven people that reply. It may take awhile for Google to send you one. Don’t know if this means hours or days…

Here’s the disclaimer that Google gives:
“Google Wave is more fun when you have others to wave with, so please nominate people you would like to add. Keep in mind that this is a preview so it could be a bit rocky at times.

Invitations will not be sent immediately. We have a lot of stamps to lick.

Happy waving!”

I read about a tweet from a Google Wave engineer who said that invites might take a couple of days to go out. Just so you know.


PS For you iPhone users out there, this is kind of cool.

Qualifying for Free Amazon Shipping

I occasionally run into the problem of being a few dollars short of qualifying for free shipping when buying products from Amazon. Fortunately, I found a cool site that finds “fillers” to add whatever amount you need to qualify for the free shipping.

Basically you end up getting a low priced item for “free.”

I’m Twittering

I decided to try the whole Twitter thing. Here’s my page. Scott’s Twitter. I can’t promise much updates yet (until I get my iPhone). It’s been fun to follow Lance Armstrong on his biking come back. But, the best one that I’ve found is Christopher Walken’s page. He is hillarious! Some examples:

I spent $40.00 on a bag of food for a dog that eats extension cords. That’s still probably cheaper than a bag of extension cords I suppose.

I buy a bottle of Green Tea with ginseng nearly every day but I don’t remember why. I don’t like tea and can barely taste the ginseng.

I posed for dozens of photos in California last week. I closed my eyes or made a face in nearly every one. Sorry. I amuse myself this way.

A curious man asked if I was waiting for something as I stood on the curb. I said, “No. I’m ice fishing.” Oddly enough he accepted that.

Google Flu Trends

Google has analyzed their billions of searches and discovered that flu-related searches correlate with actual CDC epidemiological data. From their FAQ,

We have found a close relationship between how many people search for flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms. Of course, not every person who searches for “flu” is actually sick, but a pattern emerges when all the flu-related search queries from each state and region are added together. We compared our query counts with data from a surveillance system managed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and discovered that some search queries tend to be popular exactly when flu season is happening. By counting how often we see these search queries, we can estimate how much flu is circulating in various regions of the United States.

During the 2007-2008 flu season, an early version of Google Flu Trends was used to share results each week with the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of the Influenza Division at CDC. Across each of the nine surveillance regions of the United States, we were able to accurately estimate current flu levels one to two weeks faster than published CDC reports.

This year Google has released their flu trends data to the public. Epidemiologists hope that early outbreaks of influenza may be detected with this method vs. relying on traditional CDC data.