Engadget reported yesterday:

The Pope just got his very own iPod nano, engraved with: “To His Holiness, Benedict XVI”.

How hip can you get! Read the full article here.

What color did he get? White, of course.

Wonder if he has “Stairway to Heaven” on that thing…

ipod, ipod nano, pope, pope benedict, benedict, mp3, apple, music

The penultimate season of my favorite TV show MASH is due out on DVD May 23, 2006.

Check out mash4077.co.uk for a complete list of season 10 episodes. The DVDs can be preordered from Amazon now.

mash, dvd, tv, television, tv series, tv on dvd

If you’re serious about your website then you either are already gathering statistics on your site’s traffic or you wish you were. If WordPress is your publishing platform of choice here are a couple WordPress plugin options I use which will give you some great results with little effort.

bsuite

The first option, which I’ve been using since I started Life After Coffee is Casey Bisson’s bsuite plugin. This plugin is what puts the Top Stories in my sidebar as well as handling my tagging, showing read counts at the bottom of stories, and much more.

The bsuite plugin gives you lots of options and a comprehensive report of reads on top stories and your top days for reads. Initial setup is easy with lots of options for more advanced configuration.

Google Analytics and Google Analyticator

If you haven’t already got a Google Analytics account you’ll have to get in line. As of the time of this writing they are not allowing new accounts but you can sign up to be notified when they open up.

Once you’ve got an Analytics account you need to post a few lines of Java code into the head of your pages. This is where Google Analyticator from cavemonkey50.com comes in. This plugin will automatically insert the Analytics code in all the right places.

Analiticator setup is straight forward with some nice options. It sets up like most other WordPress plugins then all you need to do is activate it and enter your Analytics UID (provided by Google.) Most importantly, since Analyticator is a plugin it continues to work if you change themes to another plugin compatible theme (which would not be the case if you manually inserted the code.)

google analytics, analytics, stats, bsuite, wordpress, plugin, blog

Just when I thought I had enough reasons to hate the entertainment industry they come up with an idea like this.

From a recent Reuters article on Boston.com:

A breakthrough in television advertising debuted without fanfare last spring as a brand-name box of crackers appeared on the CBS sitcom ”Yes, Dear” for about 20 seconds, seen but hardly noticed by millions of viewers.

Unbeknownst to them, the image of Kellogg’s Club Crackers had been digitally painted onto the top of a coffee table after the scene was filmed, launching the latest advance in a marketing practice known in the industry as product placement but derided by critics as ”stealth advertising.”

This is worse than the advertisements which now seem to frequent the bottom third of the screen as you’re trying to watch your favorite program. At least when Shrek started popping his ugly head into the frame you knew you were seeing an advertisement!

Now when you see a box of crackers, pop-tarts, a box of trojans, a bottle of Coke, or a BMW in a series you’ll never know if it was put there by a careful writer, a skilled set dresser, or just a network advertising department who has no interest in the artistic integrity of the show.

Now I’m not naive enough to think the entertainment industry hasn’t been taking payoffs for putting brand name products in their shows, but at least it was part of the original composition, not an afterthought. There can be some give-and-take between the advertisers and the writers and, while advertising is inevitable, at least there are some checks.

So where does this end? Well, my bitching probably won’t get them to stop placing ads in more and more programming, so I’d like to offer this suggestion for the future of “stealth advertising.”

Advertising in the news. That’s right, the news. Try these on for size…

Would George W. like a cracker? (or should that be “Is George W. like a cracker?”)

bush.jpg

How about some great moments in history? Everyone needs crackers…

There were crackers on the moon right?

moon.jpg

What’s a war without crackers?

iwojima.jpg

You can go great places with crackers!

hitler.jpg

And my personal favorite.

911.jpg

Tasteless? Well, yes, but since we’ve already turned anything artistic into a commercial, what’s left? Just the news.


advertising, internet advertising, humor, funny, stealth advertising, george w. bush, bush, news, entertainment

In a previous article Oracle conditions and how they handle NULL I give some examples on how NULL is evaluated in Oracle. After talking with Scott, a student who is doing some database work with me this semester I believe I may have a better way of explaining the initially cryptic evaluation of NULL.

NULL in Oracle is essentially considered a non-answer. For example let’s consider this yes/no question:

Are you currently living in the USA?

There are two obvious answers to this question, Yes and No, but we need to be prepared for one more circumstance, a non-answer.

So if you ask me this question and I don’t answer it can you say “Jon is currently living in the USA”? No. Can you say “Jon is not currently living in the USA”? No! We can’t compare against something we don’t know so any comparisons against NULL are treated as false.

To handle these circumstances in Oracle we must use IS NULL and IS NOT NULL to detect these non-answer values. For some examples of this code and more detail on this check out my original article on the topic.

database, database administration, database programming, dba, oracle

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