The Difference Between Pixar & Dreamworks

I don’t usually re-blog identical content, but LastPlum‘s Tumblr Blog Illustrates the difference between Pixar and Dreamworks in a way I’ve always wanted to.

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Hack The Date Created and Date Modified Time Stamps in Any File (Mac OSX)

I recently learned a new Unix command which allows one to spoof the time stamp on any file. This instructional is designed for Mac OS X users, but will work for all *nix OS’s.

Note: All file names are cAse sensitiVe.

1. Pick a file of your choice (one with a simple name is easiest to play around with for the first time you try this. Access the current “created” and “last modified” values by right-clicking it and selecting “get info”.

2. Open up the “terminal” and navigate to the directory in which your file is located.
For those not acquainted with unix:

ls -a displays the contents of the directory you’re in,
pwd displays the path of the directory you’re in,
cd .. goes down a directory  and
cd directoryname opens a directory inside the current directory with the name “directoryname”
Additional instructions can be found here.

3. Now that you’re in the directory that your file is in, type in touch -t MMDDhhmm filename.ext
Replace the MMDDhhmm with the month, day, hour and minute of the creation date. So for my file phone.m4a, typing touch -t 01010000 phone.m4a will reset both the date modified and the date created to New Year’s (January the first at 00:00).

4. Now, repeat the process, with a more recent date to change the “date modified” without affecting “date created”. In my case, touch -t 04010000 phone.m4a changes the modified time stamp to April 1st at 00:00.

Explanation: In unix, only the last accessed and last modified dates are stored (not the created), so in order to manipulate the creation date, the date modified is rewinded the first time, which, in turn, pushes back the creation date. Setting a more recent date the second time only affects the date modified.

Note 1: To set a full date (including the year and second), use the format: within the touch command.

Note 2: Rather than navigating to a directory, the full path can be used right in the touch command. I included the navigation for the sake of ease-of-explanation.

Happy spoofing!

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Freeconomy: The Future of the Digital Marketplace and Free Goods

We come across a number of free goods and services on the web today. They’re really free and they work great! Ever wondered how this works fiscally? If so, hit play.

This is a Pechu Kuchu style presentation. It consists of ten slides, 20 seconds in length each.

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The 4 Keys of Presenting or Pitching Your Web Product to Important Humans

How would you present your web product to a venture capitalist or journalist in 60 seconds?

product sales pitch internet
As I watched through the London-based Future of Web Apps (FoWA) conference, I took from it something unexpected: a plethora of absolute must-kep-in-mind guidelines when pitching a product, particularly a web product.

FoWA, internet entrepreneurs have an initial 60 second pitch to explain their product to a panel of impressive experts including TechCrunch’s representative, Mike Butcher and LastMinute founder Brent Hoberman.

When pitching a product,

1. Show the interface.

There’s probably a lot of detail that goes in to your product. So much so that you may actually omit a demo (at least a screenshot) of it in action from a pitch.

Leave your company philosophy at home or condense it in to a single sentence that you mention in passing. If you have a good product, effective explanation greatly outweighs sales tactics.

Don’t beat around the bush.
If you can’t do that then perhaps it’s time to consider purchasing a thirty minute late night TV slot for an infomercial?

2. Explain it and it will sell itself (if it’s good!).

Leave your company philosophy at home or condense it into a single sentence that you mention in passing. If you have a good product it’ll sell itself- effective explanation is often the best sales tactic in this industry.

Chances are that whoever you’re pitching to has seen a product pitch or two in their time. Don’t beat around the bush. Be direct. If you can’t do that then perhaps you ought to consider a late night TV slot for an infomercial.

3. Pretty (traffic) charts help.

I mean analytics. The second most important item- aside from the product demo and explanation- is user activity. Mike Butcher was very direct in his insisting that this is a key component, saying

“If you show a VC that graph, they will literally throw money at you.”

That graph” refers to an upward analytics curve that proves traffic increase. The more exponential it looks, the better.

4. Don’t be afraid to exhibit passion.

“Don’t be shy with letting passion come through. If you’re in love with your product and we’re not, we’ll think we’re missing something” – Hoberman aptly explains.

This entire article would make make a lot more sense if you watched the video of what I’m referring to, by the way.

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Social Graphs and the Facebook API

“Graph API” sounds like a title I’d ascribe toward a visual statistically oriented program. It wasn’t until I investigated the versatility of the Facebook Graph API that I understood it to be one of the core concepts and tools used for manipulation of Facebook data externally.

My mistake was that I didn’t immediately correlate the word “graph” to social graph theory: that is, the part of computer science’s graph theory that deals with relationships between people and users. Following that epiphany, it made sense that Facebook would have the potential for the most powerful and robust real social graph.

The Facebook social graph is responsible for connections between pages on Facebook. Friends, likes and interests can all be correlated, examined and utilized for all manners of things. Relationships can be studied with the sort of statistical power that sociologists from the 1990′s could have only dreamed of when their imagination was engulfed in the imaginative flames from the works of Huxley and Asimov.

Every object on the social graph has a unique identifier. This number can be found by navigating to the URL of the Facebook page within the graph subdomain. So because my facebook URL is, my ID can be found at

In this example, my profile page is an object with a unique ID. However, objects aren’t limited to pages. My friend’s list, albums, status’, messages, notes, comments etc. each have ID’s and are each accessible with the Facebook API. In some cases, the user’s authentication is required to utilize their data, which requires an authentication number called a Facebook token (more on that on the Facebook developers site). Facebook’s social graph uses JSON to handle objects, allowing for a more uniform and streamline system than, say XML, would (or rather, used to) provide.

The Graph API Explorer is a semi-third-party tool developed by Simon Cross that makes data harvesting and Facebook exploration through the social graph simple and fun in that “I’m doing this in a more complicated than it needs to be, thereby making me feel like more of an expert” sort of way. Naturally, such a tool is also incredibly useful for understanding and developing with Facebook.

Ready to take a deeper dive in to Facebook’s social graph?’s tutorial provides some of the best explained documentation for programmers I’ve ever seen.

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Vitamin and Mineral Losses in Food Preperation

Freezing, Drying and Reheating food obliterates the good stuff (like imperialists did in the post-colonial third world)

As a statistically oriented person, I never really took in to account the quantity of minerals and vitamins lost when my food underwent basic preparation.
These numbers were a real eye-opener. I think they really do demonstrate that the benefit of consuming foodstuffs raw far outweighs the potential possibility of contracting something like a mild Bolivian hemorrhagic fever.

Typical Maximum Nutrient Losses (compared against raw foods)

Vitamins Freeze Dry Cook Cook+Drain Reheat
Vitamin A 5% 50% 25% 35% 10%
Retinol (a.e.) 5% 50% 25% 35% 10%
Alpha Carotene 5% 50% 25% 35% 10%
Beta Carotene 5% 50% 25% 35% 10%
β Cryptoxanthin 5% 50% 25% 35% 10%
Lycopene 5% 50% 25% 35% 10%
Lutein+Zeaxanthin 5% 50% 25% 35% 10%
Vitamin C 30% 80% 50% 75% 50%
Thiamin 5% 30% 55% 70% 40%
Riboflavin 0% 10% 25% 45% 5%
Niacin 0% 10% 40% 55% 5%
Vitamin B6 0% 10% 50% 65% 45%
Folate 5% 50% 70% 75% 30%
Food Folate 5% 50% 70% 75% 30%
Folic Acid 5% 50% 70% 75% 30%
Vitamin B12 0% 0% 45% 50% 45%
Minerals Freeze Dry Cook Cook+Drain Reheat
Calcium 5% 0% 20% 25% 0%
Iron 0% 0% 35% 40% 0%
Magnesium 0% 0% 25% 40% 0%
Phosphorus 0% 0% 25% 35% 0%
Potassium 10% 0% 30% 70% 0%
Sodium 0% 0% 25% 55% 0%
Zinc 0% 0% 25% 25% 0%
Copper 10% 0% 40% 45% 0%
Source: USDA Nutrient Retention Factors

Russian Vs. Chinese Traffic Accidents

Russia and China are my two favourite nations when it comes the heavily celebrated (on Youtube) sport of colliding motor vehicles in to one another, as well as fellow citizens with underdeveloped peripheral vision.

While Russia takes a high velocity approach, China tries it’s luck with low impact alternatives. Let’s take a look, shall we?



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Easily Make Awesome JavaScript with jsfiddle

jsfiddle’s split screen interface makes it pretty convenient to try out little pieces of pretty JavaScript and CSS. Especially when you like to play around with the potential of various libraries such as JQuery and Mootools.
Below is a quick demo of the interface jsfiddle allows one to embed in to an external page via iFrame. When run, this particular example shows my latest tweets.
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HTML5 and the Mobile Web

In this [Slideshare hosted] presentation I talk about the mobile web and where it’s being taken thanks to HTML5 and point out some examples of how mobile web-design shouldn’t look (and how it should).

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Keywurl For Safari 5 (Download)

Note: This doesn’t work for the new Safari 6 on OSX Lion.

Search Google and Wikipedia Right from the Safari address bar.

Just like in Chrome and Firefox (if not better).

Most Leopard and Snow Leopard users get all excited about Keywurl, only to discover that it doesn’t actually work in the latest versions of Safari 5.

Download this hacked version below, unpack it and install the package.
Once you restart Safari you’ll be able to set your search engines.

*Whimper* but it’s still not working!

Manual Hack:
➥ Download Keywurl from the official website.
➥ Quit Safari
➥ Navigate to “/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins”
➥ Right click on “keywurl.bundle” to “show package contents”
➥ Open “info.plist” in textedit
➥ Edit the line under “MaxBundleVersion”, changing the string to something like 6999.99 (allowing compatibility of future versions), save.
➥ Open Safari

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Cynicologist aims to provide a wide array of news by funnelling the myriad of peculiarities that this oh-so-wondrous super consciousness which we call the internet constantly generates..

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