All Things Techie With Huge, Unstructured, Intuitive Leaps

I Won a Copyright Right Dispute with Google's Youtube

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Google owns Youtube. When I wanted to make some of my pictures of Provence into a Youtube video, I deliberately did not want to run afoul of copyright laws. So I googled royalty free music and came to a site with free, unencumbered music. I downloaded a track and used it as background information.

When it came time to upload, I identified the track and artist and the fact that it was royalty free music. Youtube said that I couldn't monetize the video, because I didn't own the copyright. Interestingly enough, they didn't make me take it down.

I left it that way for months. Then I get a notice saying that some entity called CD Baby was disputing my right to use the music. I did an online appeal by filling in the forms, and using drop down menus to say that it was free, and royalty free music.

A couple of days later, I get the following email:

CD Baby has reviewed your dispute and released its copyright claim on your video, "A Peek At Provence". For more information, please visit your Copyright Notice page

- The YouTube Team

Cool. So I figured that I would go ahead and monetize the video. Not so fast. I opened up video manager, and it said that there was copyright information that said I couldn't monetize it. I cut and pasted the email into the explanation box.

So I won a copyright dispute with the Google-owned YouTube, now lets see if they will let me monetize it. Here is the video in question:

Twitter Follow-Backs

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I have officially stopped. I have stopped playing the stupid tit-for-tat followers games. I got the above this morning in my email saying that I was being followed, and that we would have a pact, and if I followed they would keep the follow and if I unfollowed them on Twitter, they would unfollow as well.

Bully for them. I am tired of playing this game. I will return to my true self. I will not follow ghetto rap artists. I will not follow girls more intent on showing their breasts rather than reading my content. I will not follow fundamentalist, racist Republicans.

I will just follow people and accounts that I am interested in, and will not follow you just because you follow me. Inflated follower numbers mean nothing. I have conducted experiments on how to convert followers to web hits, and the only way to do it, is to emulate the religion model. Anyone who is a true follower, will check out your website. Anyone paying lip service and just playing the tit-for-tat following game cannot be converted to web hits and is uninterested in what you have to say.

So most of my followers are real now. If you want to follow me for real, I can be followed @ArtOfWarm. If you are interesting, have decent content, and are not trying to sell me something, I will follow you back,

Javascript - How To Format a Telephone Number

This is quite a common problem. You have an user input table on your html or jsp page and you want to make sure that it is numbers only, has the area code, and is in a consistent format when you put it into the database. I downloaded some javascript to do just that and it worked fine for numbers that you typed in using the numbers on the keyboard. But when you used the numeric keypad on the keyboard, or a USB external keypad, it failed. The keypad, instead of putting numbers, put junk into it.

So this is how I solved it. I created a javascript file called phone.js. This is the contents:

function formatPnum(phonenum, textbox) {
var regexObj = /^(?:\+?1[-. ]?)?(?:\(?([0-9]{3})\)?[-. ]?)?([0-9]{3})[-. ]?([0-9]{4})$/;
if (regexObj.test(phonenum)) {
var parts = phonenum.match(regexObj);
var phone = "";
if (parts[1]) {
phone += "(" + parts[1] + ") "; }
phone += parts[2] + "-" + parts[3];
textbox.value = phone;
else {
//invalid phone number
alert('Please enter a proper phone number');
textbox.value = '';
return false;

Then at the top of the html page, I added the following script tag:

(script type="text/javascript" src="phone.js" /)

Note: I used "(" and ")" instead of "<" and ">" because this blog actually parses it as real HTML. Then, everywhere I needed a phone number, I added this to the tag (in this case for a fax number):

Fax (Area Code + #)
(input type="text" name="fax" onfocus="this.value='';" onmouseout="javascript:return formatPNum(this.value, this);")

Note: I used "(" and ")" instead of "<" and ">" because this blog actually parses it as real HTML.
You will note, that I have an onfocus event. When the user clicks on it, the previous number or whatever is in the input box goes away. Then the user enters the number. If any part of it fails (like he adds a letter), it fails and the alert shows that there is an error. There is no input displayed. However, if the user enters a three digit area code and a seven digit number, the phone number is automagically formatted into (123) 456-7890.

Piece of cake. Hope this helps.

Where is Facebook Stock Price Going

Where is Faceboook Stock Price going? Everyone wants to know. Here are a couple of charts that I want to show you with some rudimentary technical analysis. This is the 5 day chart of Facebook stock with the blue line being the stock price and the red line being a Exponential moving average. Generally when the exponential moving average line crosses over and is above the price line, the stock price will drop. The obverse is true. When the stock price is above the exponential moving average, the stock will rise. The buy and sell signals are when the two lines actually cross. (this is rather basic technical analysis).

Friday, the stock closed for the weekend at $19.05. This is the 5 day chart (click for larger image):

This is the same chart, except it is the 30 day view (again click for larger image):

As one can see, the technical indicators show that the stock is on the down escalator, it is on the handcart to hell, and it is dropping like a song on yesterday's hit parade. Where will it end?

In a previous blog post, I stated that my technical analysis shows that the stock will gain some support in the $16-$19 dollar range, but even at that level, the free fall is not over. So what is the true value of Facebook stock? Where is it going?

If you use commonly accepted metrics, then Facebook stock is really worth about $7.25 per share. The freefall will stop against a mountain of reason at that value.

However, my opinion is that Facebook is dead man walking. They sent out announcements of new products, attempts, sales algorithms etc almost daily. These product announcements are like flares from a sinking ship. Facebook is old PHP technology that doesn't adapt well to mobile, and it value proposition to its users, is that it allows one to stay in touch with another in a very lazy fashion. This is not a marketing proposition for users, and that is why Facebook ads generally fail. The folks at Facebook are trying to put lipstick on a pig and sell it.

I am particularly enjoying this because analysts from all over Wall Street (hello Arvind Bhatia) wanted to be media stars and appeared on TV saying what a great buy this stock was at $38. I hope that these analysts don't get bonuses this year.

So there you have it -- a social media platform in the golden years of its quick internet existence is trying to pawn itself off as investment grade. The competitor to Facebook is already on its platform, and Facebook will become the MySpace of the investment world.

Blocking Extensions for Chrome

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Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a privacy freak. I also use Google Chrome which is the safest, fastest, best browser in the marketplace.

I just got a new laptop, and I had forgotten to add my privacy extensions. However I was reminded when an old highschool friend sent me an invitation to join her on Facebook, and since she had my email address, the Facebook code read my contacts and suggested other friends that were not connected to her, but were to me.

Since I get my email through my browser, I decided that it was time to add the privacy extensions. I added, Ghostery and Do Not Track Plus. I also added Ad Block, but I had to disable it, because I couldn't read how much money that I was making on the ads for Google Adsense.

However, I am quite pleased with the performance of the blocker privacy extensions for Chrome. So far, the worst offender for tracking in my experience, is the website.

As an added feature for today, you get a fearless prognostication. Facebook stock is going to tank today. The closing price was $20.38 and I'm willing to bet that it will close lower today.

Scumbag Trailer Trash Human Garbage Webmasters ~ Wall of Shame

I'm getting tired of human garbage, scumbag webmasters who spam and traffic fake. These people are the lowest classes of internet users, who think that SEO involves being a rectal sphincter on other peoples' sites. They have absolutely no skills at real SEO, and no content worthy of real traffic so they resort to shady, dubious and questionable tactics to try to pathetically generate traffic to their websites. These are cretins of the lowest kind.

This week's wall of shame in include the following websites:

  • STUMBLEDUPON (obviously parking on the the legitimate website StumbleUpon)
These ghetto webmasters don't belong on the internet.

We now take you back to regularly scheduled programming of how to be a zen coder. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmm

JSP - How to Programatically Set the Select of a Combo Box

I had to look this one up, so I am posting this JSP tip in case anyone else needs help. Here is the scenario. I have a form with a select tag and a bunch of options. The data is stored in a data base. When I read the data back and display the page, I want to set the select of the combo box to display the data value of the variable or the database value. It is very easy with a scriptlet. Just add the following attribute code to your option tag:

option value = "Chocolate Brownies" <% if (icecream.equalsIgnoreCase("Chocolate Brownies") out.print("selected"); %>

There you have it. Easy peasy!

Buddha of the Binaries ~ Zen of Software Development~ Noble Truth #2

• What is the Second Noble Truth, oh Buddhist of the Binaries?

The second truth is that bad software is caused by wrong motives. Our binaries will be worth less than feces if we take shortcuts or try to copy other's art without understanding it, if we want others to like our work without putting our best effort, if we do not get the money that we want out of our efforts,etc. In other words, coding purely for money does not guarantee happiness. Rather than constantly struggling to use software as a means for other things, try to modify yourself to code for the love of it. Wanting money deprives us of contentment and happiness. The true riches in digital life come from creating something you love ......... ....... ........ ......... ......... ........... ........ ........ (and then going to IPO).

(Lesson one is found HERE)

Sorry Twitter - You Lose in Generating Web Hits

I like to treat the internet as one big test subject, and when you have a couple of blogs, you can do some fascinating experiments in internet metrics and crowd behaviour. The aim of almost every posted video, picture, blog entry and image is to go viral. The holy grail of this technology-driven world is page views and web hits. There are entire books, websites and courses dedicated to generating website traffic.

Once you put something up on the internet, you can either wait for the search engines to find you, hope that the What's New section profiles you or you can link advertise on other social media. But very few people know the most effective means to get hits.

I decided to have a mano a mano, a head to head to find out ...... (are you ready) ....


In one of my blogs, I posted this picture that I took on the shores of Loch Awe in Scotland. It is the Robert the Bruce Chapel in St. Conan's Kirk. When I looked at it, I said "Holy Rigor Mortis, Batman, this looks like you dead!". Sure enough, it looks like the grave of a dead Batman. I thought that this was a suitable subject to go viral.

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So, posted competing links on Twitter and Reddit. I used the same title "Photo of Dead Batman" and the same tags including #DarkKnight, #Photo, #DeadBatman.

Twitter generated six hits that hour. Reddit generated 170 hits in the first hour.

Clearly we have a winner when it comes to generating hits by link posting on social media. And to think that I have been ignoring

(Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Twitter or Reddit).

The Journal of Inexact Computing Volume 1

Welcome to Volume I of the Inexact Journal of Computing. This journal introduces the next big thing in computing. It is software that behave and operates with missing, incomplete or corrupt data.

Humans operate with partial information all the time. It is called thin-slicing. We make decisions without having all of the facts. If we are going to have a machine pass a Touring Test, or make machines behave more like humans, they have to operate with missing or incomplete data.

So lets take tiny steps in getting to inexact computing. In this first blog entry, let's examine how software can small steps forward not to choke on missing data.

The most common cause of programs failing upon missing data, is when a null exception is thrown for a variable that doesn't have a value, but is called upon to produce its value for an operation, calculation or input/output to another step. A null exception throws an ugly error.

One way around this, and the very first step to inexact computing, is to have a variable initialization either in a specific method or at its time of declaration that is near, close or somewhat close to what it should be. That way when the assignment fails to happen (either from a fetched database value, input parameter or whatever), the program doesn't come crashing down and throw an exception. The value may not be right, but don't forget the title. This is the journal of INEXACT computing. Just like us inexact humans. This might not be good for calculating tax returns, but it would work in areas like image recognition in real time where the software is driving a car and a highway marking is partially obliterated. A good guess is really helpful here.

One could even put some intelligence into the variable assignment. A try and catch block would catch the null value, and depending on where it was in the program, it could determine to send it to a variety of inexact assignment functions, depending on the stage of the program. It could even determine the severity level of having inexact data.

The way that I see it, is that each application will have a customized framework attached to a caching layer and a database to directly deal with missing data to supply values to progress with the planar execution of the program. More on the inexact value framework in another article.

So that is the baby-step start to inexact computing. The next article will deal with the guess() function and the what-did-I-use-lasttime() function as well as the most-Probable-Value() function using Bayesian inference. Stay tuned.

Quick Tip: Clear an HTML Input When You Click On It

How does one clear an html input, when you click on it or it gets focus? I had to look this up, and anything that I have to look up, I reprint to help others find it quickly.

In any mobile app, it is a real pain to remove input text if you have to replace it. It is much easier to have it automagically clear when anyone clicks on it to give it focus in order to change it.

Here is a simple way of doing it. Just add this attribute to the input tag:


The value for this.value is a single quote (') repeated for the null. Easy Peasy!

Buddha of the Binaries ~ Zen of Software Development

This is LESSON ONE in the zen of software development.

A student of the software sublime writes: "Oh Buddhist of the Binaries, what is The First Noble Truth of Coding Enlightenment?".

Well my little grasshopper, the first truth of digital life is that software is imperfect. This binary life becomes alive in the semi-conductor matrix and it includes bugs, imperfect logic of a higher plane, traps of infinite loops, an imperfect environment that sometimes includes the blue screen of death, and old age where digital instruction sets no longer run on the new microprocessors in the cloud.

This is an irrefutable fact that cannot be denied. It is realistic rather than pessimistic because pessimism is expecting things to be bad. lnstead, Binary Buddhism explains how imperfections can be avoided and how we can be truly happy in our craft of creating ones and zeros that run the world.

Remember my little grasshopper, there will come the day when the rest of the humans will become so dependent on the machines, and software that you write, that they will not be physically able to live without your arcane and esoteric knowledge. You are the engineers of enlightenment, the wizards of wonder, and masters of the matrix. Use the knowledge that you will gain wisely.

Practical Lesson for today: Read how a software bug almost bankrupted Knight Capital:

Next time: Lesson Two.

Wherefores and Whys of Facebook Stock - Where it will end

(click for larger image -- Facebook stock chart this morning)

I'm taking off my geek hat and putting on my technical trader software guy hat and my entrepreneur hat, and will look at my favorite bĂȘte noire, Facebook. As I have so fearlessly predicted in these pages (HERE and HERE and others), Facebook stock is going to tank, and tank badly. Where will it end up? I am not afraid to make fearless predictions, and they usually end up near the mark. So I predict that Facebook stock will sink initially to the $14-16 dollar range. It will momentarily find some support there and then find its true valuation in $7-9 range. Remember you read it here first on August 2, 2012 when the stock price is pennies over $20.

So why will it tank may you ask, when Wall Street jokers like Arvind Bhatia say that it is worth the $38 dollar opening price? Either these buffoons were paid by the underwriters to say this, or they are hugely mistaken about what constitutes real value in business, and were enamored with the business play.

Facebook stated that because they have 900 million followers, that this is a huge unmonetized potential. I maintain that they cannot monetize this user base, because people do not go to Facebook to buy things. They go there to be social. It is like a hooker trying to sell her services in church. The French have a wonderful word: inaccrochable. It means "You can't hang it!". It's like trying to put up a Playboy centerfold in a kindergarten class. You can't hang it. Here's another example. If every time you met your neighbor on the street, he tries to sell you Amway, would you still be glad to see him on the street? Nope, in these instances, we just want to be social and not commercial. Facebook and Wall Street do not understand this.

But let's look at the pure business side of this. Zynga, the social networks games folks have tanked and lost 75 percent of its value. Groupon is limping like a ship pierced by torpedo in the hull losing 70 percent of its skin. Pandora Media's ship has plummeted to the depths of Davy Jones' Locker. What gives? It's the business side, stupid. What is the value proposition of these companies. Zynga sells you a $4 virtual cow. How big is that market and how long until you saturate the IQ-challenged market? The Pandora value proposition has disappeared because people don't want streaming -- they want to own the music for their iPods -- thanks to Steve Jobs. Groupon can't provide deep discounts in an economic downturn, because merchants need to milk every dollar from every person that comes through the door.

And Facebook? Let's face it. They are a Php driven website for desktop computers. They have missed the mobile market. They are brogrammers. They are not smart like the Google programmers who can spooge code down to the bare metal. They have missed their core value proposition -- that people want to connect in a lazy fashion with each other, and really don't want to shop while doing so.

So, I predict that unless Zuckerberg has the testicular fortitude to say that he was wrong and turn the Facebook ship 180 degrees, then they will continue their slide into oblivion.

What will the Facebook replacement look like, and how will it make money? Stay tuned.

Free Isoburner ~ Software Product Review

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I downloaded an iso image. It was an emergency universal boot disk for my failing laptop. I needed a quick little iso image burner. I came across Free ISO Burner at . Man, this is a tiny little binary that could! Best little iso image burner with a small footprint. No muss. No fuss. No bells or whistles. Gets the job done. The best basic iso image burner that I have found. 5 Stars.