A nerd’s paradise

anything sci-fi, fantasy, computer and rants

Exploring the paranormal: The Black Vault

I’ve been researching the paranormal for some time now, ever since my first post about paranormal phenomena and everything ‘freaky’.

And I have to say: I have found much to think about. It would seem that there is more out there than beats the eye. And during my on-line digging in cases and occurrences that seemed to come straight out of an X-Files episode I found many handy Internet portals and sites. But one such site that really caught my attention and provided me with more information that I could even handle is The Black Vault
Created by John Greenewald Jr. at age fifteen, and eleven years later still up and running, it provides Internet conspiracy nuts as well as the merely curious and everything in between with an abundance of information on UFOs and other related topics.

Greenewald started his project when he was 15 years old by requesting government documents on UFOs, using the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA. In this fashion he started collecting declassified documents and has uncovered intriguing facts such as the encounter of a military jet with an UFO, fully documented. Unfortunately, many of the declassified documents have sections that have been made unreadable.

This encounter in the airspace of Iran occurred in the year 1976 and was the first document ever John Greenewald requested from the government using the FOIA. Since then, he just didn’t stop anymore. And thanks to his relentless pursuit for the truth, he now has a collection of about one million government documents! And even better is that Greenewald scans most of his documents and makes them available on-line for all of us to read. So, when you want to know something more about UFOs, you know where to look…I sure know!

I also found a great interview with him on Yahoo news: People of the web

Beyond The Black Vault you can also find information on UFOs on the website of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). In their electronic reading room of their FOIA section they have an entire section devoted to Unidentified Flying Objects

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September 27, 2007 Posted by | internet, paranormal, ufo | 3 Comments

Big Brother online…even ghosts pitch in!

Well, I love keeping track of the latest evolutions in cyberspace. I enjoy technology and computers, waste lots of time reading up on it and the newest Internet hypes. A week or so ago I wrote a blog article on Blogger about The ultimate blogger. People who broadcast live 24/7 on the Internet, in true Big Brother style, are the new hype so to say in cyberspace. We all know portals like Stickam were you can broadcast yourself live as an ‘entertainer’ or simply video-chat with other members whenever we feel like it. But, a new project called justin.tv is taking it to the next step…

The father of the project is Justin Kan. He started out with a pilot project with just his own streaming channel, later many others joined and in the end became a succes, receiving media attention worldwide.

The biggest star of justin.tv is Justine Ezarik with her channel ijustine

Here is an interview with her about her viral video about her 300 pages iphone bill:

When I first blogged about it, I was somewhat sceptical of the whole ordeal. I am far from a Big Brother fan or anything remotely like it. But since writing about it for the first time, I checked her channel now and then. And I have to say: I liked it. It’s not like Big Brother at all. It’s real. No missions to do, just her everyday life. And you as an Internet citizen can follow her to the store, when she goes out to buy a coffee, and so on and so on…

I’m not a regular viewer, but it’s great to kill time when I am bored. It’s fun, it keeps me occupied and the fact that she can be really funny helps too.

Everything is being recorded and broadcast live on the Internet for all to see, but some might ask themselves: How? Well, technical details and more information on justin.tv are here.

Personally I prefer to watch Justine Ezarik her channel, but of course there are many more out there. Some of them even have a blog!

I now and then drop by Sarah Meyers. She’s a video journalist and even has a blog right here on WordPress

And lest we forget, Justin – the founder of justin.tv – also has a channel. He casts a live feed behind the scenes of his project. You can watch it here!

The entire on-line project follows the idea of sousveillance, which means recording an event or activity from the participant of the event.

Now, this entire phenomenon I found extremely fascinating. It has already been compared with edtv of the movie The Truman show. And to be honest, it reminds me of it. It REALLY reminds me of it. In The Truman show the main character (played by Jim Carrey) is the focal-point of a soap opera TV-show based around his life. And it was a popular show at that. Is our society becoming like the one in The Truman show. Is reality TV really that interesting, I don’t know… I normally don’t watch and now look at me. Why is this so fascinating? Perhaps because we can recognize ourselves in it, because it’s so close to our everyday lives or perhaps it is the secret desire many people have, to know what our neighbour is doing. Or one of our friends or a stranger on the street. Perhaps it’s just mere curiosity that is part of us being human. Who knows?

But there is more on justin.tv than just the lives of the living. Even ghosts and ‘the shadow people’ have found their way to the Internet and have now joined the life-casting (or dead-casting?) society.

You can follow a team during their ‘paranormal investigations’ on-line on the livescifi channel. And as you know, everything with the word sci-fi attracts my undivided attention. And yes, they have even put video fragments on the Internet of ‘shadow men’. Is it real? I don’t know. I leave that to you to decide, but there is something there for sure. Weird… Here is it:

Here is some more information on the shadow people or shadow beings

There, that is everything I wanted to mention in this post. Oh no wait… I’m not done yet. Here is something else. The naked cowboy has his own channel too!

You can watch it here

September 6, 2007 Posted by | entertainment, internet, video | 2 Comments

How to increase traffic to your blog

I run several blogs and I always wondered – from the first day that I started – how to increase the number of visitors and comments. I started surfing and found lots and lots of information and tips. Ranging from: “be provocative” to posting many comments on other blogs that have the same topics as your own blog. So that people who are interested can find your blog.

And yes, those things work for sure. But, in the end there is nothing like a well picked title. It must be snappy, short, to the point and draw attention.

But if I look at the statistics for my blog. One thing cannot be denied. The word ‘sexy’ pays off big time in cyberspace. The article ‘sexy hips’ I wrote some time ago about Shakira (yes, I worship her) is still getting a lot of hits. From search engines. Everyday at least ten or more people find my blog because they typed in the words sexy hips, or sexy shakira or sexy nerd (Yes, I know. I’m hot) into an internet search engine. There is no doubt about it. The word sexy is important. No wonder they call everything trendy ‘sexy’ in marketing. I always knew there was a real reason!

Another idea to increase traffic. Get a discussion going. How? Just ask the readers to voice their opinion. Invite them to write comments. Yes, you heard me: start writing those comments!!!

And here is one of the links I found while searching for tips:

Tips

August 24, 2007 Posted by | computer, internet, rant, rants | Leave a comment

Crime aid: support the psychopaths

This is the number one concert man. Bigger then live aid. The gangsters need your support!

Very funny clip.

August 19, 2007 Posted by | internet, video, youtube | Leave a comment

Are we internet junkies looking for a fix?

I guess so…

While surfing the web I found this CNN article about technology and internet addiction.

Appearantly there’s a debate going on concerning excessive internet use and excessive gaming in relation to mental illness. Well, in fact it could be considered a mental illness according to some. A sort of addiction…And yes, there are people out there who do show symptoms of withdrawl:

“‘I’m not a doctor; I’m not an expert on addiction,” says Levy (speaking on a regular cell phone). “But this certainly looks like an addiction. It has all the characteristics — people who are away from it have a craving to get back to it; it interrupts normal social intercourse, etc.””

I am sure that just about everybody who reads this now, knows someone that has to a more or lesser extent symptoms of addiction to the internet, games or computers. Perhaps we all do… How much time don’t we spend behind the computerscreen typing and gaming away?How would your day look like if you didn’t have your cell phone? Your palmtop, laptop, e-mail or computer games? What would you do? Let me guess…watch tv? I think we are all addicted up to a point. The matrix has us!

Of course not everybody agrees with the idea of internet addiction in the article. A psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is quoted as stating:

“Computers are such an integral part of our life that in a certain sense we’re all addicted to the technology,” he says. “But we’re ‘addicted’ in the same way that we’re ‘addicted’ to automobiles.”

Perhaps… Still I think there is something to the whole addiction idea. Am I an internet junkie?

August 16, 2007 Posted by | internet, technology | Leave a comment

Mac browser for windows

Since I am on-line way too much, I am always on the look out for a new browser. Why? I guess it’s an obsession. At this very moment I am running both Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Since I am a curious guy and always wanted to know how it feels to surf the web Mac style, I downloaded the Beta version of the Safari browser for windows today. I installed it straight away and I must say. It is great!

The browser has a slim look, is stylish and from what I can tell up until now quite handy. What I like most is the option ‘private surfing’. You can turn this on or off as you please. When activated, no passwords will be saved automatically by your browser, no browser history or google searches are stored and so on. This way you can easily share the same computer with multiple persons, without the risk of them knowing your passwords or favorite sites. Quite handy for big households.

You can customize the browser as you see fit. You can hide the toolbar whenever you want, the statusbar,…

Here is the link if you want to download it and try it out. And don’t worry, you do not have to give in your mail adress if you do not wish to. Just uncheck the boxes, leave the enter form blank and click download.

August 16, 2007 Posted by | computer, internet, technology | Leave a comment

My cyberchick/search engine

Every day we all go on-line. And we all use sites like yahoo, google or altavista to search the web. To find new sites, videos, cartoons and blogs to waste our precious time on. Well, I found a better way to search the web. If I am going to waste my life, I am going to enjoy every minute of it. I don’t want a simplistic google site or an ad, links and news overloaded yahoo site when I browse the web wasting precious seconds of my nerdy existence. I want the search engine to be appealing, attractive, fun to use. I want it to speak to me… and that is why I love Msdewey. There is nothing better for a nerd than to talk to a chick on a computer.

Be sure to visit it, and check out the best of Dewey!

August 15, 2007 Posted by | internet | 2 Comments

Orwellian nightmare: China

While reading ‘Der Spiegel’ on-line I came across an interesting and shocking article on China and electronic surveillance. We all know that China doesn’t take human rights seriously, let alone the privacy and dignity of its citizens. But now, they have cracked it up a notch. Yes, China is getting worse, gathering from what I am reading here. Hard to believe but true…and sad.

Read the article here: in german

For those of you who don’t understand German a quick summary of the contents. The article titled: “China creates surveillance paradise”, gives us a glimce into the future foretold by George Orwell. Well, according to ‘Der Spiegel’ a future even worse than Orwell could have ever dreamed of in his worst nightmares.

At this very moment 180000 video-cameras monitor everything that is going on in the city of Shenzhen. Every movement is recorded, every shop you enter, every waking moment that you are outside of the confines of you own home you are videotaped. I guess the people of that city must feel like celebs being chased by paparazzi. But apparently, this is not enough for the government. Now they want to install an extra 20000 cameras in the city.
On top of that those cameras will be linked with each other and will be accessible to every cop via computer. It does not stop there! In the next three years the citizens of this city will be issued new identity card, equipped with a microchip containing such personal data as how many children you have, who you work for, your education, your phone number and many other facts and tidbits that really should not be on a identity card.

People who do not possess such a pass will not reside legally in their own city! And no, it does not end there. You thought the story of the video surveillance was over? Beep. Wrong. Facial recognition software will also be installed so that everyone can be recognised on the streets that is wanted by the police. And in China, it is not difficult to be wanted by the police. There is no shortage of political prisoners in that country. A sad but true fact.

And the city of Shenzhen is just the pilot project of the Chinese government. So, in the future there will be more to come.

This is far beyond 1984 by George Orwell. Modern day technology can be both a blessing and a curse. It gives us more freedom. We can debate topics and make friends on-line with people that are half way across the globe. But with al that freedom, we must never forget how easy it can disappear. Science can be used for bad. We can lose our autonomy and freedom because of the same technological marvels that I am using to communicate to you…the reader of this article.

What is possible in China, is possible anywhere when the circumstances are right.

For those of you who have never read 1984

* WAR IS PEACE
* FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
* IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

August 14, 2007 Posted by | China, internet, Privacy | Leave a comment

online communities

As a self proclaimed nerd I spend a lot of time behind the computer. I surf, chat, read, participate in online forum discussions, blog and mail…

This entire time is totally void of direct, face to face human contact. But I am still communicating with people, no matter where they are. I can reach them and they can reach me. The world has grown smaller, not just because of faster planes, cars and other means of transportation. But because of the internet.

And because of this new form of interaction and communication communities begin to form, such as WordPress for example. We are here all part of an online community. Some more active than others, but all part of this. And this is a good thing. It brings us closer together, allows us to share ideas and discuss politics, environmental issues and so much more. We can make friends online and enrich our lives in many ways.

But is there a downside to all of this? Some would say yes. Dystopian novels and movies often warns us of the dark future that lies ahead as we allow the internet to get a stronger grip on our lives. Are there dangers to online voting or banking? Without a doubt yes. Is it smart to organise democracy, taxes and other important matters over the internet? I don’t think so. It has always given me a very uneasy feeling. Just as the fact that so many companies out there are gathering so much personal information about us. (Some links about this on the bottom of the page)

All this does remind me af ‘a brave new world’. But on the other hand, is there any current evidence that proves that it is dangerous? Not yet, in Estonia it was tried with succes. But the fear of hacker attacks and fraud is still present and I can agree with the reservations.

Online communities are fun, but for children it can be dangerous as well, sexual predators roam internet communities such as chat rooms and social networking sites searching for victims.

Another dystopian idea is the danger that our virtual lives would take over our real ones.  It always makes me think of Second Life where you can design you own house, sell land and just about anything else you can do in the real world. Or other virtual lives that you can have. And they can be very addicting.

And whenever I think about this, I realise that it is better to go outside now and then. Meet people face to face and have a real world chat. I’m not anti-internet or anything. It’s a great hobby. But the real world is out there… Let’s go!

Wiki article on virtual communities
Wiki articla on dystopia
Google watch on internet privacy
Privacy rights

August 9, 2007 Posted by | internet, Uncategorized | 4 Comments