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How to Be a Hipster: Video Instructions and Scorn

You probably got to this article by Googling “how to be a hipster” or “learn to be a hipster.” If that’s the case, it’s too late, don’t even bother, you’ll never be a hipster – the fact that you want to be one enough to type it into a web browser means you are already trying too hard.

Besides, are you really still using Google? Or the word “googling”? What is this, 2002?

So enjoy this video, it’s funny enough to make you feel better but it’s a shallow enough commentary that you’ll remain plainly not a hipster.

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Taking Web Stats to the Next Level (of Weirdness) with Google Analytics

If you have ever run a web site, you’ve been exposed to the addictive, number-crunching fun provided by web stats. Any web site that’s worth it’s pixels will have, at the very least, a freeware program like AWStats parsing through the server logs and putting together colorful charts and reports. Our host, Q5media, are kind enough to provide us with LiveStats by Deepmetrix.

Web stats can be really useful for blogs. They can tell you all sorts of interesting things about your readership, for example, last month 55 people found the site while searching for Yakety Sax, no doubt landing on our article about how Yakety Sax makes anything funny. Other top searches included guys kissing, how youtube works, and once you go black. Hopefully everyone found what they were looking for.

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Why Google is Worth More than AOL and Verizon

As I write this, Google has a market cap of about $148 billion, compared to Verizon at $124 billion and AOL parent Time Warner at $82 billion. Google might rule the Web search market, but Verizon’s $88 billion and Time Warner’s $44 billion in revenue last year dwarf Google’s $10 billion.

Why would a smaller company that makes less money be worth more to investors than larger competitors? Are they just being irrational? Maybe so, but I think there is at least one good reason why Google has been so successful: it has focused on providing services, rather than content or infrastructure.

Why is this important? Think about it this way: whenever you do anything on the Internet, chances are you can break it down into three layers:

1) Infrastructure – your connection to the Internet, whether it’s Cable, DSL, dial-up, FIOS, etc.
2) Service – the application you use to get what you want done, for example the search engine you use to find things or the mail client you use to read you email.
3) Content – the stuff you read, watch, listen to, or create yourself for others to see.

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Two Reasons Why the Viacom-YouTube Debate is Important

Just last year I wrote a little bit about why YouTube works. Since then, two major things have happened: YouTube was bought by Google, and large copyright-holding corporations finally noticed it. The almost inevitable result? Billion-dollar lawsuits.

I’ll let The Daily Show explain the situation better than I can:

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But really, who cares?  Two multi-billion dollar companies duking it out in court surely doesn’t effect you or I.  But there are at least two reasons why it does matter.

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Four Reasons Why Academic Research is Broken

Right now, you and I have access to more information than anyone else in the history of humanity. The richest man alive in the year 1800 could not get the amount and quality of information that a janitor with a $20/month DSL connection has at his fingertips today.

This is all so amazing and wonderful that we mostly take it for granted. But it brings up new problems. No one can argue about the amount of information that’s just a Google search away, but the quality of what comes up can be a big question mark. Luckily, we also have in place the most successful model of judging the quality of information in the history of man: the peer-reviewed academic journal.

So we have an embarrassment of riches, and a great model to follow that has brought constant improvements in science and technology. So what’s the problem? Actually performing academic research is horribly broken, and what’s worse, there’s no good reason. Read on to find out just how broken the system is.

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