Monday, April 23, 2012


Today's blog is going to be a little different from the norm, i really feel that i need to get a few emotions off of my chest regarding school. As most of you probably already know, I am currently working my way through college. I've got another year and a half until i can walk away with my programming degree which means next year is going to be my junior year. It's been a pretty fun and interesting experience thus far. However, i hear my step siblings complaining about having to wake up at comfortable hours with a good nights rest behind them to go to school with a set schedule and small amounts of homework. A lot of times they refuse to do it and push it off till the very last second, and it encouraged me to write a post regarding what people usually expect from college and what it really is.

Let me first start off by stating i made the mistake they made once before. My very first semester of college i just about failed every single class i had, because i approached the entire experience with the same mindset i had my senior year of high school. My senior year for me was a cakewalk. I had 9 classes when other seniors had 4 and all i had to do to pass them, essentially, was to show up and have a body temperature somewhere in the 90's. however, when in my first semester of college, i had already taken on a heavy load. 5 gen-ed credits right off the bat, i had Basic Accounting, Intermediate Algebra, Astronomy, Honors Writing 101, and History of the United States. Terrible line up. I was at school for 15 hours a day, got home, spent another 3 hours on homework and usually passed out on the table.

Sufficed to say i near-failed every class. The only class i had comfortably passed was Honors Writing. I think this mentality is not something you can teach to children, especially teenagers who are in that hormonal stage of their life. They're sure that no one else is right but them and as a wise friend once told me, sometimes people just have to go through the experience themselves to learn. I had to and i'm paying dearly for it now, as i slave hard at my classes, getting good grades and seeing very little movement in my GPA. I was warned about all of the expectations of college classes, but they were all the wrong expectations.

The stereotypical warnings for college classes are:
  1. Teachers don't care of you come to class or not
  2. If you come to class late, just quietly seat yourself. No one demands an explanation for your tardyness
  3. You will need to spend the same number of hours that you do in class doing homework for that class
And a few others that i'm probably missing here (if you know some, post them in the comments and i will add them). While all of those things are true, it's just the good side of college that they tend to emphasize. No one ever really went over the hardships of college with me which is why when i started my first semester, i thought it was okay to just stop going to class and only show up to turn in the homework. As i understood it, i knew all the lecture material, the teachers don't care of i go to class or not, so i didn't. Why waste my time at a lecture on a subject i already know when i could be at home playing WoW (yep, i played WoW back then)?so, i showed up at any time during class that i felt like showing up, usually closer to the end, and waited until the lecture was over then handed in my homework and left. Showed up for tests too, of course. Needless to say, at the end of the semester the teacher failed me and i didn't understand why. And that rough first semester where i barely pulled out over a 2.0, served as a big lesson to me.

Here are the tips and pointers i would have to new college students or high schoolers who are about to step into that life:
  1. READ THE SYLLABUS - This first one is the most crucial thing any college farer could do for themselves. No seriously. The fist thing i do whenever i go into a new class is i read the syllabus and figure out 1) what the grading scale looks like. 2) rules on attendance. 3) List of assignment due dates. With these 3 items you can begin to mold how you want to approach the class right there from the get-go. Now, if the teacher doesn't care about attendance and strictly says in their syllabus "attendance does not count for a grade", does that mean that you can simply not ever show up? yes. But should you do that? Absolutely not. The more interested you look about the class the more likely the teachers are to be lenient with you. Show up with a laptop, work on homework or projects from any of your classes during lectures you don't care about. Most of the time, if you glance up every so often, the teacher will think you're taking notes.
  2. LEARN YOUR LEARNING STYLE - Sounds funny at first but seriously, this is a must. You need to learn what types of classes you like and what type of classes you don't, and then you need to do your best to stick within that type of class. for instance, after a full year of college i learned very fast that i favored 100% online classes much more than i favored in-class classes. Simply because it gives me the freedom to work at my own pace. If i want to work 2 months ahead and then veg out and play video games for a month before i touch it again, i can. I hate in-class classes because the entire lecture format of those classes seems old, archaic and boring to me. If you choose class types that you favor, you'll naturally do better in all of the classes collectively. And it will be a much longer time to the point of burnout (a topic for another time) because you actually enjoy the type of learning that you're doing.
  3. ALWAYS GET YOUR HOMEWORK DONE ASAP - This one is the most crucial to take note of. As you get older, shit happens. You never know when that shit is going to happen, and if it gets in the way of you doing your homework at the last second, you're screwed and the teachers don't care. Unless you have a doctor's note saying you almost died, they'll refuse it or mark you down. So do yourself a favor and do the homework. If you know the material already, just go down the line on the work schedule that is usually attached to the Syllabus. The harder you choose to work early off, the easier you need to work later on.
All in all, if you approach college with half a brain, like i didn't, you should be perfectly fine. Even though i don't expect a lot of non-college faring readers to believe me until it's too late, can you blame me for trying? haha. In different news, i'm eagerly counting down the days until summer break as i have two exciting trips lined up for myself, I just wish the days would go by faster.

Do you have trips planned for the summer? have you been to college? If so, what do you think if the 3 tips i gave?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Global Warming and Other, related horse shit

If you've lived on this planet for the last three years i guarantee you've heard about the heated debates. People making claims that the human race is destroying the world and, causing the polar ice caps to melt because my 2003 Ford Taurus doesn't run as clean as the next guy's SMART car or the other guy's Prius. Well all i have to say to that is at least i can keep some sliver of my dignity driving my granny car as opposed to driving one of those overpriced scams, but that's a discussion for another time.

Today i wanted to brush over some of my personal opinions regarding this situation and others related to it in keeping the tradition of my blog's name. The first thing i'd like to go over is that science has already proven in multiple studies that the temperature and the polarities of the planet shift in cycles. the temperature regions of the earth go in a somewhat sinusoidal wave with just about everything. we go into a great freeze, then we go into a great heat, and flip it back around, these changes take place over a very long period of time and the last time we hit a great freeze it pre-dated modern meteorology so there was no science dictating that there was something genuinely wrong with the climates until one year everything started to freeze worse than anything the human race had ever seen before.

This same concept applies for the temperature variations that we experience in the world. For instance, anyone with a basic understanding of Cosmology of Astrology would know that there are two things known as a solar maximum and a solar minimum. The times when the sun is furthest and closest to the earth thus causing it to become warmer or colder those years depending on which one it is. 2012 happens to mark a solar maximum, so expect your summers to be exceedingly hot and then expect a 7 year cool-down period until the solar minimum at which point we will start to climb (over 11 years) back to the next solar maximum. Why is it 7 years from a max to a min and 11 the other way around? don't ask me but i'm guessing it has something to do with gravitational pulls and the cycle of the planets in our system.

Knowing this small tidbit of information sheds light to some of the interesting occurrances that we've been seeing on this planet.
  1. It may just be natural that the planet is finally peaking out out the wave from it's last great freeze.
  2. Point 1 combined with the fact that we're hitting a solar maximum could easily account for the record high heats we've experienced in 2011 and the even higher ones that are sure to come in 2012
The next interesting topic i'd like to discuss would be the common misconception that if every country on the planet were to fire every nuke they had at the same time and they all went off at the same time, that we could essentially destroy the planet three times over or some shit. Well, i hate to say it but as the late great George Carlin would have put it: "It's all bullshit people, and it's bad for you."

Let's start off by saying that there have been some half-dozen notable extinction events in the history of the planet so far as we know. One of them, which is credited with wiping out the dinosaurs released a whopping 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules of energy, which comes out to to roughly 81,340 nuclear missiles (that's rounding up from just under 81,339 & 3/4). Giving the human species the benefit of the doubt, there are only an estimated 22,000 nuclear missiles (strategic and non-strategic combined) spread across all of the countries that currently have them. If that's not realistic and factual enough for your tastes, the Chicxulub Crater at the Yucatan Peninsula in Southeastern Mexico was caused by an asteroid impact that had a yield of roughly 119,617 nuclear warheads and yet all we have to speak for it is a crater that is 110 miles in diameter and probably no more than 2 or 3 miles deep (there is no official depth so far as i can tell).

How people gathered the idea that we could destroy the entire planet three times over with 1/6th the number of nukes required to make a 110 mile in diameter hole in the ground is beyond me. Never the less, people eat up this information like it's candy and then spread it around till all we have is a misinformed public.

Finally i want to touch on the organic foods movement. In my humble opinion, if you're buying into the organic foods movement, you're not only a sap, but you're letting them rob you blind. Organic foods by definition are foods that are grown with less pesticides and less synthetic growth hormones or any of that dandy stuff. Yet they decide to charge you more for the food that was grown without the pesticides that keep bugs from shitting on it. buying into that money making machine is like walking up to someone and handing them your wallet, watch and phone and turning the other way. I mean really, it's just like fast food joints that charge extra for REMOVING toppings from the burger. You're going to charge me more for less? I'm sure we'd all shout that they're out of their freakin minds and never go back, which is exactly why fast food joints stopped doing that with the turn of the century.

What's your take on all of this? i want to hear some feedback from you guys, i welcome all the hostility you've got, because frankly i don't care if you don't agree with me, we're all entitled to our own, individual opinions. It's what makes us unique, because god knows our fashion choices aren't.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Power of Music

I've been spending a lot of time watching the re-imaged series of Battlestar Galactica, a TV series that, back in the 70's and 80's appeared doomed to be terrible forever, has really brought my attention back to what is good on TV. There are very few television series out on the networks anymore that are even worth watching and the pity is, the majority of the ones that are worth watching for their deep, lush stories and strong array of dynamic lead roles area always the first Television shows to go. But this is for another rant, another time. Today I want to strictly take some time to talk about music and the impact it has on us all.

Not a lot of people even realize how much music can affect one's judgement. If you're in an angry mood, fast paced songs will only make you angrier. If you're in a sad mood, slow paced songs or songs in minor chords will plunge you into depression. If you're light on your feet with love, songs in a major 9th will make you fall deeper in love stir the butterflies. I don't want to abuse the model too much but if you don't believe me, try it out. Next time your angry, listen to the most up-beat, grungy song you can find like "War is the Answer" by Five Finger Death Punch. It will fuel the rage. Alternatively, next time you find yourself in a sad mood, listen to a slow song like "To Zanarkand" from the Final Fantasy X soundtrack, they will make you cry.

The reason i bring all of this up is because the re-imaging of Battlestar Galactica takes a very interesting theme with it's music. You can almost listen to how the TV show evolves as a whole by listening to the soundtracks for the seasons in order. It starts off as a very galant and electrified series as the human race fights to survive and wins by the skin of their neck every time. As the series moves forward the tones start getting dark, which only aides in underlining the struggle that the human race is going against to survive, and how it's beginning to wear down on them. Without revealing too much about the series I do have to insert a plug and highly recommend the TV series to ALL of you. if you enjoy a good sci-fi, if you loved Star Trek (any of them, even the 2009 reboot) you will love this TV series. All of it's seasons and it's prequel series called Caprica which explains the events leading to the main story are on netflix. If you don't have netflix, Create a spam E-mail and sign up for the 1-month free trial and watch it for free.

I digress from my promotional pedestal though. When we all listen to music, if we tend to take our mind away from the music itself and let the mind wander on it's own, you start to feel emotions from memories you've long since locked away resurface. Maybe you'll relate the music to your stressful week at work? Maybe you went through a divorce 10 years ago and thought you had moved on with it. Whatever the memory is, if the musical mood is fitting, it will pull those memories out. And it will amplify them.

This is one of the reasons i've always preferred 100% acoustic music as opposed to music with lyrics. Because i welcome the wandering of the mind. I welcome the emotional release that is controlled and contained to a manageable size but it's still an emotional release. It gives me a chance to keep my sanity when i've chosen to be the guiding light for so many other people and their problems.

Sorry for the short blog and the serious, melodramatic tone on this one. What music have you listened to lately that has pulled forgotten emotions out of the fold?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Social Networking Disease

It happened to MySpace and it's happening again to Facebook now. People flock to a new social network because it is the popular fad at the time. The original intention of every social networking website is to connect friends, whether it be over long distances or short. For any specific number of reasons. For instance, take the fact that Facebook started off as a small netowking app for the university Zuckerberg went to so that he could network with his lap partners and friends easier and pass information that way.

After a while though, when the crazy mobs catch wind of these applications they occupy it and they start using it, and it explodes. Look at MySpace, when it first started it was bulky, clunky, had an ugly UI, and you could hardly do anything. However with the pallets of cash they were hauling in from the masses using their website and hitting their ads, the were able to massively improve upon it until there were a wide variety of features, the UI was streamlined and the website ran like a ferrari. But people got bored with it. We are in the era of instant gratification. If we can't get what we want right now, and it doesn't keep us entertained for a long time, we'll move on to the next big thing.

Thus, facebook was just at the right place at the right time. People moved from MySpace to facebook almost overnight. Which skyrocketed facebook into fame and gave them huge amounts of cash, It was the first to introduce developer tools so that not just big named companies who had the capital and importance to take to other corp execs, could purchase adspace about whatever they want. It was a double win for facebook. The advertisers paid for the adspace and then facebook got paid extra per hit to their website. Not unlike the way youtube runs. Facebook has had a couple good running years but i'm afraid it's time is coming very quickly. Here's why:

1) The first telltale sign was the over-monetization of facebook. The desperate attempts by Facebook Inc, to make money on every possible facet of facebook was the first sign. The first plague of facebook if you will. This included the facebook currency that was required for almost any of the facebook games if you wanted to have a fair and enjoyable playing experience. What's that? you want fluid mouse control like any normal video game? that'll cost you 25 facebook points. What's that? you want tomorrow's horoscope before tomorrow? That will be 15 Facebook points.

2) The second telltale sign which has only emerged in recent weeks is the desperation by a large group of the community to get as much attention placed on them as possible. Usually this is taken in the form of those "Like if you..." status's where they have a picture of something they want you to remember, notice or agree with. This, in specific will end up pushing the majority of the facebook community away. The people who don't care for that and don't like to see nothing but a wall plastered with it, will end up leaving Facebook for a new service in a few months.

When MySpace met it's demise, it was because of a lack of content or support and because it had so many security holes, it looked like a number 9 sponge. The same thing is happening to Facebook at an accelerated rate. Advertisements that are being posted put virus's and spyware on your computer, profile apps require access to everything to do something as simple as tell you what 1+1 is. Seriously, i'd be shocked and awed if someone could tell me one app on facebook that didn't require access to your friends list and/or your posting functions before you could use it. On top of that, whether the app is a virus lying in dormant or an actual legitimate app is a bit of a coin toss and there's no real way to discern the two.

I Feel that the under-aged public tends to destroy these social networking sights left and right, and Facebook's near future demise has been predicted by many before me and i certainly won't be the last. The only question is: What will the next big social network be? and Will it succumb to the corporate machine that has monetized and destroyed the last two generations?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Youtube Partnership 2: Live Action Filming

In the previous episode surrounding the circumstances in which one can attain a youtube partnership, i outlined how to kickstart yourself into stardom by way of doing commentaries of all kinds. whether they be video commentaries, vlogs or tutorial videos. However, that spectrum of videos is very narrow and may not be the best choice for everyone who wants to attain youtube partnership status. As such, in this episode we will be going over a few video capture techniques as well as some different types of videos that users can create to add some popularity to their page.

Youtube is a diverse community that has a new video submitted almost every minute. As such there is quite a lot of variet and unfortunately it becomes extremely difficult to get any corner of the market that has not already been covered before, in every way imaginable. If you manage to come up with a truly unique idea that doesn't yield any results when searching for it on youtube, then by all means, pursue that as hard and as fast as you can because with no good coverage on a certain niche, it becomes very easy to take control of the game and get all eyes on you.

I was fortunate enough to be inspired by the discovery of the then incomplete programming language Small Basic which was developed by Microsoft as a programming language geared towards complete beginners, but as with any programming language, instruction is always desired as it's not like someone can magically pick it up and know how to write properly. When i started recording Small Basic tutorial videos, there were no other tutorial videos, just lots of videos of people showcasing these complex programs that they had written from scratch but never how to make them. So that was/still is my niche appeal. My videos are in high demand because it's extremely difficult to find a series of programming tutorials for Small Basic, let alone one that talks you through from point A to point Z with as much layman speak as humanly possible.

However, tutorial videos may not be your path of choice, a lot of the people have the abilities required to teach the content but just don't have the silver tongue of a teacher. Don't be offended, it's not for everyone. Only people who are okay with making next to nothing and working more than the average human being. Like charity work. For other people there is a greater call to action as we envision cinematic scenes of consuming emotion, gripping action, and gut-busting laughter. For those of us who envision these things, this blog is for you.

When first envisioning your idea for a live action film, you want to write down the core concept of the idea, if you have a good memory, you can expand on the core concept to your entire idea. Most of the time, these small idea fragments are not going to be the entire story arc, a lot of times people are privy to just imagining up the climax of the story as a whole. This means you're not even close to being ready to start filming.

Once you've got your idea down on paper, it's time to expand on this. Remember if you're creating a new youtube account, your account will not be allowed to host videos longer than 10 minutes, so the emphasis on this next point is critical. The more intricate you want your story arc to be, the more spartan your writing has to be. By spartan writing i mean in the same writing motifs as Ernest Hemingway who was famous for removing any excess from his writing. If it was not in his book, it was not needed in his book. No fluff. So instead of having your hero travel across the lands, meet 16 friends and then get into a big fight with the big baddie, start the book with your hero and all of his friends and have them travel to the baddie and fight him end of story. Small adjustments like that will remove fluff. Going to meet up with his 16 friends at 16 different locations adds nothing significant to the story that could not be solved with a paragraph at the beginning of the story arc.

Got your script written? Now is the true acid test for whether i will make the 10 minute cut or not. Get you and a couple friends of your to recite the script. It's not necessary to add any emotion to the script, it's not necessary to memorize the script. Just recite and time your run and see if its finished in about 9 minutes. Why 9 minutes you ask? An optional 30 seconds for an intro animation to the video if you choose and a mandatory 30 seconds for credits.

If it doesn't make it in your 9-9.5 minute limit, take the script back to the chop shop and see what you can cut out further. Rinse and repeat until you have a finished produc that makes the 9-9.5 minute cut and flows well.

Next up we need to storyboard the script. Storyboarding requires a little bit of artistic ability, the images in the story board can be as intricate as concept art or as basic as stick figures and boxes. It all depends on what you're comfortable with doing and how much time you want to spend on the storyboard. The concept for a story board is to create a single frame drawing to sum up each scene in your video. A scene is from camera record to camera cut. Unless you're intending to record the entire video in 1 continuous shot, this always remains true.

After you have a storyboard, assemble your cast and show them the storyboard. Make sure everyone understands what the idea is, what you want the end result to look like and make sure everyone memorizes their lines before you take the time to film the shot. I say this because scripts in a movie look hideous, unprofessional and strip any and all emotion from the video. A lot of what forms human emotion is facial expressions and it's difficult to capture of portray them at all if your nose is in a stack of papers.

Post processing of the video and uploading it to youtube are the last two steps in the process and post processing can be a bear. Depending on how much post processing you have to do, it could take you 20 minutes, it could take you just as long as the entire process up till now (a few days). There are some low-quality, free video editing software out there that would be a poor substitute to programs like Sony Vegas or Adobe After Effects, but if you need to use them, by all means, use them. A lot of times you've got to work with what you've got and do the best you can. However, you want to make life easier on yourself and are truly dedicated to devoting a large chunk of time to doing this in the future, i would strongly suggest investing the capital into either Sony Vegas or Adobe After Effects as they are both industry standards and will make your life worlds easier once you understand their UI's.

Once again i want to emphasize quickly that the chances of you being an instant success over night after your first video is uploaded are slim to none. You will need to keep working at it and let it happen naturally. If by chance you do become an instant success, the subscribers you get from your viral video will demand more equally quality content. If you don't provide, you'll be throwing that success down the drain.

Lastly, i did want to outline a list of professional filmography tools that you can make alternatives to for extremely cheap

  • SteadiCam - SteadiCam is a trademark company name that offers a series of camera apparatus' that helps you in the steadying of your camera motions. This helps aleviate a lot of camera jitter caused by shaky hands. Their cheapest models go for around $150.00 and i've seen models sell for as high as $6,000.00 from manufacturer. Naturally, most aspiring filmographers don't have $150-$6,000 to just magically blow on one piece of equipment. So there are dozens of youtube videos on how to make one yourself with about $20-$50 with of PVC, epoxy and gym weights.
  • Fig Rig - A fig rig is another camera stabilizer that very much resembles a steering wheel of a car. The camera mounts in the center where the horn or airbag would normally be. An industry standard Fig Rig will cost you about $300.00, you can make one for about $20-$40 dollars worth of PVC piping and epoxy.
  • Dolly Rigs - Dolly rigs are used a lot in modern film, specifically when the hero is sprinting through a forest and the camera is staying close to him perfectly to give the movie the feeling of speed. Sufficed to say, a professional dolly rig is no the cheapest thing in the world. In fact, it's one of the most expensive rigs for camera available on the market. However there are plenty of tutorials to show you how you can make your own dolly rig for about $60.00 a square meter of track using 2x4's some railing and a home made dolly.
This blog is getting long so i'm going to end it here but sufficed to say, any type of rig you might need to record that project you imagined up, you can find an alternative that is several times cheaper than industry standards. So get out there and start filming!

Have you ever wanted to record your own videos? what is the main reason that has stopped you from doing so?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tech Review: Motorola Droid 4

  The build up to the release of the Motorola Droid 4 was disappointing to say the least as it was originally scheduled to debut in Verizon stores December 8th with it's sister phone the Droid Razr just in time for Christmas. It was intended to be released on this date so that clients who wanted to upgrade their old Android phones with the latest and greatest had their choice of either going with the newest candybar design or going with the newest slider with full QWERTY keyboard.

Unfortunately there were a long slew of blizzard-esque release date pushbacks until finally, over two months later, the phone was officially released and available to the public. I was one of the first people to get my hands on this wonderful phone as it just so turned out that my 2-year contract expired only 24 hours after the phone hit the shelves. I have refrained from writing a review up until now because i've never really been one to be big on first impression reviews. They're generally filled with hype, excitement and very little factual information. As much as I would have liked to wait and write this review after Android OS 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) had been released for my phone, i feel that it is necessary now, 2 months after purchase to write my first impressions review.

Please keep in mind that my previous phone was the original Motorola Droid which did not weather well to say the least. The day i went to trade in phones, my Droid 1 was missing half the plastic pads that cover the bright pink tactile switches on the QWERTY keyboard, the power button's switch had long since jammed so that it was unpressable, the button itself had fallen out and the phone was running slow and bulky regardless of how well i cleaned up the internal storage. As such i knew what i expected to be fixed with the Droid 4.

The first thing i want to cover is the specific features of the phone itself:

  • 1Ghz dual-core CPU
  • 1GB on-board RAM
  • 16GB onboard storage
  • Mandatory SIMM Card (which stores about as much data as my Droid 1's on-board memory did)
  • Non-removable battery pack
  • mini-HDMI
  • standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • 8 MP Back camera
  • 3 MP Front camera
As you can tell this phone is relatively well equipped, my first impressions of the phone's performance was that the phone itself was screaming fast. As my old Droid 1 was one of the first phones to be 3G compatible, it wasn't exactly capable of harnessing the full speed and functionality of 3G networks. At last that's my impression. Videos on youtube that would need to buffer every 4 seconds no longer need to buffer on a 3g connection with the Droid 4, it's 4G LTE compatiblity allows it to stream videos at speeds faster than the internet connections that are commonly found in peoples houses. Not to mention that the multitasking features that were originally promoted with the Android phone series are now so much smoother and easier to work with with the Dual-core CPU.

There are not too many known issues with the Droid 4 as of late but speaking with several tech support representatives, i was able to provide some interesting commentary to them and vise versa. Apparently one of the only known issues surrounding the Droid 4 to tech support firms is it's overheating issues. the nature of a dual-core CPU with now cooling system what so ever and it's battery design means the thing can get pretty freakin hot just off of it's pure processing power. The most common solution for this is the same way you rescue a bad hard drive long enough to pull data off it. Throw it in the freezer for two minutes (seriously, don't throw your new phone... EVER) and all is well. The most common issue i've come across is that the audio port is extremely flimsy.

I tend to use my phone for playing music in my car via a FM Transmitter (a device that plugs into your cigarette lighter port and creates an FM radio station at the frequency of your choice for a short radius. Generally wide enough to hit the car's antenna regardless of what side of the car it's on). As such, the audio port sees a lot of action and already, two months into owning it, i've noticed the audio port getting mighty touchy. At times, the port won't recognize an audio jack, and rotation of the jack itself will solve the problem as it hits a pin at just the right angle and starts transmitting data. Other times, regardless of how much you rotate the jack, the port will not grab a signal at all. Also, when i had first plugged in a pair of headphones into the phone, i realized very quickly that the audio port is very shallow. This may be an attributing factor to it's signal loss however it is very note worthy.

Next is the power button. As this was the first thing to officially go on my Droid 1, it was the first thing i genuinely paid attention to on the phone itself. The power button feels flimsy to say the least and i have plenty of reason to believe that this is a design flaw and that the power button will break long before the 2-year mark, just like it's great-grandmother. The phone also lacks a camera button as in a camera trigger button. meaning you always have to take photos by pressing the capture button inside the OS's camera app. To some this might be nothing new but i've always been used to my phones having a physical capture button (as you can tell i'm extremely tactile oriented. I need physical interaction with items not graphical representations of them) and as such it's kind of disorienting to me, it required quite a bit of getting used to and figuring out how to re-adjust my hands so i could take the photos without blocking the lens.

While on the note of the camera, the camera in this phone is a significant increase in quality from the Droid 1, as it has an additional 5 MP of horsepower to work with, it takes beautiful, high definition photos and can comfortably film 1080p. The frontside camera for those of you who live and breathe self-pics but hate having your phone in them, the Droid 4 sports a 3 MP frontside camera which takes photos of the same quality as the camera on Droid 1 which is not shoddy by any means.

An often over-looked feature on the phone itself is the back panel which must be removed in order to install the SIMM card and any Micro SD cards you may want to install into the computer. the back panel is not your traditional back panel which sides in 1 direction to unhook a set of holding hooks and it pops right off. Motorola decided to add an additional deterrent for people wishing to remove the integrated battery by making it so that the user must have a key that comes with the phone to remove the back panel. However even with the key, i found it extremely difficult to remove the panel as there is next to no surface area to get a grip on it. I would like to provide my methods for removing the back panel for anyone planning on getting this phone to save you from about 20 minutes of frustration. With the key in hand, you place it into the key hole which is extremely shallow, please keep this in mind, once the key is in just gently apply a small amount of pressure to the key so it is pressing gently against the bottom of the key hole. with that pressed, use one of your finger nails to pull downwards on the panel via the speaker hole. This will take a little bit of strength but it should pop right out.

Lastly, the QWERTY keyboard on this phone is masterfully designed as it no longer uses... Stickers... to cover the tactile switches, instead of uses one solid piece of plastic which is been laser cut and is backlit beautifully to discern where the buttons start, end and what buttons they are. There is an enjoyable pop when you press the buttons down which leads me to believe that the switches on this keyboard are the miniturized versions of Cherry MX switches which i love. The keyboard offers no stick or resistance when typing which allows for swift typing of larger compositions which i have to give props to as this phone is being promoted as an office phone and comes with a free copy of some mobile phone office program that comes with a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a presentation program and a drawing program.

Overall, this phone is a fantastic phone. It certainly is a noticeable improvement on it's great-grandmother and all in all i've learned to adapt to the mistakes i've made for it. I will be releasing another review on it at the 1 year mark to cover how the phone has stood up to the test of time as it's 1-year warranty expires.

Do you have any experience with Android phones? What kind of phone do you use (regardless of whether it's Android)? Do you think you would spend the money on this phone?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Movie Review: Conan: The Barbarian (2011)

Today my blog is going to be a little bit different from the norm as i really wanted to take some time to review the reboot of the Conan series that originally start Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1982. The original movie series wasn't much to write home about in my personal opinion, it was a cult classic to some and developed a rich pre-midevil (earlyevil?) world and clearly drew the lines in the sand between the warring factions enough to create an MMO that funcom proceeded to screw up in there classic style of messing up wet dreams.

The reboot to the series, like the originals weren't much to write home about. The story was dramatically different and took a completely different turn, however the landscapes were clearly and obviously chosen for their resemblance to the MMO's locations. Certain scenes and certain story points were obviously made to emphasize why the world of Age of Conan is the way it is.

All in all i truly felt that the movie was just cliche ridden and was a $90 million B-movie. I did not see any lush story or character development that merited an additional $70 million tacked on to the original cost of producing the original movie. The cast had a few big players such as Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Hellboy2) and the lesser known Stephen Lang (Avatar, Men Who Stare At Goats) but the rest of the cast is B-movie material at best and hence why the movie plays out like one really expensive one.

If the new Conan is to show the shape of things to come for the long slew of Schwarzenegger reboots that hollywood plans to usher out like waste from their colons, i am going to be highly disappointed. It's incredible that the screenwriters guild stiked for raises so they could just reboot old bad movies with potential, rescreen old good movies in 3d and write new scripts that aren't worth the time it takes to write them.

Have you seen this movie? What were your thoughts on it?

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Media Complex

It's interesting to observe how we all react on a daily basis to what is displayed by the media and it's related press. Every day, millions of people tune into the news to get up to date news on the current events of the world, most of those people never even bat an eye or begin to question whether or not what they're being told is true or not. The old, sarcastic saying "well it's on the internet so it must be right" applies just as equally for the same reasons to the news and related medias.

I was never really raised with the impression of question what i saw, read of was told. I was always raised with a strong, finite set of ideals in which i was punished strictly if i strayed away from. To me, it was the way i was raised, to others it makes me a pathetic person for having never questioned anything i was spoon-fed for so many years. It wasn't until late 2008 when the 2008 elections were going on (as well as a very turbulent period with my hormones and relationships) that i began to question media around me. I noticed the people who had raised me began to contradict themselves. talking about how war is the only option one day and then how they demand world peace right now the next. It was quite a paradox and to add insult to injury, it had been going on since the day i was born and had never noticed it.

I began to tire of people repeatedly preaching their opinions onto my "impressionable" mind and started analyzing what they were saying. It was nothing malicious... honest, i mean it. It was just that i was a teenager tired of being told thing i already heard 4 times before and was in a shitty mood to begin with. The more i analyzed what people said, the more i became disgusted with society. The more i became disgusted with myself. I realized that even so much as feeling disgust for them and not for myself was hypocritical and that had become something that i swiftly hated. If there is any one thing i hate in this world over all other things it would be hypocrisy. People who preach it but refuse to practice it.

I'll tell you right now that the following months after this realization were the most turbulent of my life. I spent a great deal of that time trying to figure out who i was. It didn't help very much that my girlfriend of 3 years had just broken up with me after cheating on me and telling me about how bad she felt for doing it then continuing doing it, but that's a story for another time. I was in a genuine state of emotional turmoil. I locked myself out from the outside world and began to re-sculpt the very fibers of my being into something i could live with. Don't get me wrong, it took a very, VERY long time, but i managed to do it, and even though i am still hypocritical, i have learned to pick up on it and i have learned that correcting myself immediately is much better than just sweeping it under the carpet like the rest of society does.

The multi-million dollar monster that we have created and called the media has been molding society any way it wants for generations and very few people have noticed it. Many people fail to grasp the concept that if the media were to come on tomorrow and say that being jewish is a genetic defect that is plaguing society and needs to be exterminated, that there would actually be hordes of people slaughtering any person of jewish decent for weeks maybe even months before it was placed under control. And the government wouldn't blame it on the media for releasing the story because that would be in violation of their first amendment rights. they would simply arrest the people who committed mass homicides and be done with it.

Don't get me wrong, anyone stupid enough to blindly follow that intensely should be arrested to protect themselves from themselves, but the media is just as much to blame as the people committing the crime. They're the ones inciting the riots. They know they have the public in such a malleable state yet they continue to manipulate it in any way they wish.

The true heart of the matter can be best underlined by example. When was the last time you think you heard a 100% true, unbiased story on your local news stations? If you can come up with an answer regardless of the amount of time it takes, you're lying to yourself and you need to stop. History is written by the victor, those in power. And the media has more power than the president himself. If MSNBC, Fox News and CNN were to all band together and say that the Obama Health Care Reforms were in the publics best interest and list 5 bulleted reasons as to why? There would be significantly less opposition to run it through. The alternative is equally true, if all three of those stations were to air that it was the worst bill conceived, the bill wouldn't stand a chance.

I'm not vouching my personal, political opinions into the mix, i am merely using the Obamacare bills as an example. So what can you do to stop it? Question everything you're told. Hear something on the news that influences you in any way? go to the internet, research both sides, research the "on the fence" arguments, and research the indefferent arguments. Research until there is nothing more to research, and then formulate an opinion for yourself based on what you've learned and what you know. Will you still be biased? yes, absolutely, without a doubt. Will it still be as bad a bias as just blindly following anything you hear on the news? Absolutely not.

We're all opinionated scumbags. We all have our individual reservations. It's the steps we take to turn our reservations into educated opinions that makes us better than the rest. What has tipped you off as suspicious in the media recently?

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Today's entry has a rather simple title for a rather simple reason. No one likes Insurance yet everyone need's insurance. At least, in my state it's required. I live in a state where auto insurance is mandatory. If you do not have insurance and you get pulled over, they will give you a ticket for it. It's quite a big deal and when the law was first passed, it cause quite the uproar in the community. Especially in this economy, being able to afford insurance of any kind is a hassle.

As reluctant as i am to admit it, i spent a little over a year working in the insurance industry. From it i pulled a lot of new knowledge but at the same time like anything that knowledge came with a very high cost. I worked for a locally owned, family run insurance agency in my town. IT was run by a father and his daughter. They were always bashing heads with each other. I guess the father founded the company many years ago and the daughter decided to hop on. Then finding out how fickle and guile her father was she decided to leave the state and go work for a big, professional insurance company, of course daddy got overwhelmed and swore to change so she came back to help him out under terms which he broke faster than you could say "Damn he's fickle" no really, as soon as she got back into town, he told her that everything they agreed upon was shit and he refused to follow it.

I was originally hired on as a tech specialist. my duties at the time entailed scanning and cataloging of client files as well as doing some website work and any computer repairs that the office needed. Being an office of 3 computers, i wasn't too distraught about that. I quickly tore through my work like any dedicated employee and got rewarded for it by both daddy and daughter in closed offices with signed contracts that meant i was getting a raise. And soon enough all my work had finished and it was time for me to start the regular duties that where included in the job title of CSR (Customer Service Representative). With it came a new pay grade, it was essentially at 75 cent raise which was colossal to me.

I continued to do my work, like any irresponsible high school teenager i showed up a few minutes late (due to underestimation of traffic) a few times, got reprimanded and swiftly fixed the issue by showing up 5-15 minutes early every day and that was the end of that. Then the worst part of the job started to kick in. It got to the slow season for insurance and i was instructed to do cold calls. For those of you who don't know what cold calling is, allow me to explain. Cold calling is when you're required to pull out a local phone book, close your eyes slam your finger in the book and call the name it lands on, no if's and's or but's, that's the way it was and someone had to do the dirty work. The reason why Cold Calling is the worst part of the job is that people hate it.

It's essentially telemarketing. I would be bewildered and dumbfounded if anyone reading this could honestly say they didn't hate telemarketers and have chewed them out at least once. Well i'll tell you what, telemarketers and cold callers hate their job just as much as you hate them for having the job. The level of stress they have to deal with on a daily basis is inexplicable. I continued to do cold calling for the rest of the duration of my time spent at this job however shortly after my graduation things started taking a deep downward spiral for the business and for me.

The first turn of events was that due to my boss's loud mouth and inability to be satisfied with any accommodations, we were evicted from our office that i had just gotten used to going to every day, but being that the market was in such a bad way at the time, we did not find a replacement office. Instead, my boss opted to run the business out of his house, which he still does to this day, for the tax deductions. While the legal battle was going on for the eviction, he was constantly trying to put his daughter and myself in positions where if he got cornered he could cry wolf and blame everything on us two so he could get away scott free. Doing his absolute best to get us to say exact phrases that he could interpret differently in court.

Due to these underhanded attempts and trying to hang his only two employees out to dry, his daughter finally decided that enough was enough and left the business. Since we had no one to replace her, i was given the burden of her work on top of my already overwhelming work and i was stripped of my paygrade raise. It had become to where i was working well over full time in what was originally scheduled to be a part time job, at minimum wage, trying to do the job of 2 sometimes 3 people as he spent a great deal of time out of the office getting coffee with family members and not doing anything actually work related.

At this point my enthusiasm for working in this business had begun to wane, i was getting yelled at by customers, getting overwhelmed with calls i could not answer all at once and getting reprimanded for not going through proper proceedures as i struggled to keep up with the constant intake of phone calls from customers who just wanted to yell at me for one reason or another, never a reason that i was the direct cause of. Finally it came to the one year mark where i had accidentally discovered that i was not getting paid what i should be paid but walking into my bosses office while he had the paystubs he refused to give me on his screen. I noticed that it said 7.25 an hour, which at the time was below minimum wage (which was 7.35) and significantly lower than what the minimum threshold of my paygrade (8.00). He began to recognize that in order to operate properly we would need to get another employee.

Daddy ended up hiring a useless, ditzy blond to fill this position who came in about as sober as David Hasslehoff every day, and never got any work finished. I had long since decided to start printing out my own paystubs discovering the website at which they were available and came across hers as i was getting to mine (all the paystubs were in the same PDF in alphabetical order. Her last name starts with E, mine starts was J there was no way to avoid going over it to get to mine). She was getting paid 9 dollars an hour straight from the get go and it was blatently obvious to everyone, including daddy (as he often came up to me to complain about how useless she was but he kept her because she had nice... features...).

Eventually everything came swelling to a head as i became so demotivated to work there, i started to play things like minecraft, and WoW on the work computer. I'd bring in my own laptop knowing daddy and ditz would be out of the office for 7 out of the 8 hours in the work day and played many other games. hosted a internet radio station for a short period of time, and essentially did anything i could think of to waste the time and not actually do any work. Finally, i came to feel like it was all going to come crashing down upon me if it lasted any longer (he had no clue i was doing any of the above, and still doesn't to this day. He's still trying to hire me back) so i submitted my 2 weeks and got the hell out of there before i got out of my control.

The amusing thing is, almost a year later, i started my own online tech support business which i've been doing  for almost 2 years now, and he is a frequent customer, i have him under written contract which he knows i have a copy of with a set of guidelines he needs to abide by. One of which includes paying me a specific rate of 15 an hour for services. And it's getting back to the point where i am now working part time in his office again, contracted in from the outside. However i refuse to do anything insurance related. It's all purely technology which is perfectly fine with me as he's so indecisive he'll have me recreate his website from the ground up every other week.

I guess that's Karma for his being such an underhanded, fickle scrooge. What do you think? That's it for now.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Consummate Bad Customer

I run a small independent business to consume a small portion of my time. In the time that this independent business takes, i do online technical support for customers as well as contract out Periodicals to local businesses. It's not the most illustrious job, but it puts money in my pocket when i need it most and that's enough for me.

In my travels during these jobs i have come across all kinds of customers and plenty of headaches involving them to go around, but being a professional business man, the customer is always right. you suck it up, keep your mouth shut and move on with your life hoping to figure out a way to broach the subject with tact for next time.

One of the worst kinds of customers you can ever experience first hand is the kind of customer who likes to constantly have you working. This kind of customer will stretch out his complaints and issues for one ticket as far out as they can so they can milk every ounce of service they can out of the pre-agreed price.

I was doing a periodical for a certain local company a few weeks ago  that entailed a few brief articles, some ad-space and some graphics. pretty run of the mill when it comes to these kinds of things however upon submitting my rough draft to be approved by the company, they turned it down and submitted a decent sized list of errors. I have had dealings with this company in the past where they would submit their long list of errors, one at a time. This process would take weeks and cause many nights of frustration and aggravation, but what can you do?

This time their list was so long i was convinced that these changes were ALL of the changes that wanted issued on the periodical. Being satisfied with that knowledge i proceeded onwards with the changes, authored a reviews version and sent it to them for approval. One of the changes was revising a piece of writing that i had wrote with one of the articles i had used to write my piece of work. As such, i issued a standardized e-mail forewarning him that by telling us to add the article he is taking FULL responsibility for any copyright issues that arise in the future. Seeing my work as done i sent it off to him.

The customer responds almost a week later, now beyond the deadline for final revisions (putting me in a bind) with another, equally long list of revisions that were nonexistent on the first list. So the process begins again i tell myself. I read through the changes to see that the customer has made a bunch of revisions to the previously copyrighted material which not only amplifies the instance of plagiarism but is absolutely ridiculous considering the revisions were on quotes from an interview as well as a few other things. Hastily running through the changes to the newsletter and sending out yet another standardize e-mail letting him know that he is now committing plagiarism and that he will take full responsibility for any issues that arise with that in the future, The newsletter is back in his side of the court.

Today, (2 days before the scheduled publication date) he has issued a third, even longer, list of corrections which i now have to fix, author and send back to him within 8 hours so he has plenty of time to get his act in gear, review it and send it back before it's too late. I'm tempted to send him a message informing him that the corrections are denied due to the lateness of their submission. That's the way it goes. That's the way it's written in the 6 month contract that he signed. What do you think i should do? Fuck em all? or Give in and be the good neighbor salesman?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Monty Hall Effect

If you've played an Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) in the last two years, you've experienced it first hand.  MMO's have become almost a plague to the video game market in the past few years starting with the global sensation World of Warcraft.

When MMO's originally came out, it was all about the challenge. It created such a sensation of accomplishment attaining what is referred to within the communities as "end game". End game is simply the point at which you reach the end of the level cap for that MMO and the real fun begins within the MMO as you are forced to work with other people collectively to defeat the real challenges in the game. Games like World War 2 Online, Everquest, and Ultima Online all harnessed this, leveling to end game could be a long (in some cases, years of your life hard spent), and arduous (in some games [Everquest] if you died, you lost all of your gear and in worst case scenarios you even lost levels that took you days to earn) journey which only sweetened the taste of victory once you made it.

It also stepped up the feeling of mortality as when you died it was a seriously significant loss. In some cases, tens to hundreds of thousands of in-game dollars (back before there was such as thing as micro-transactions) and weeks of work in collecting items to craft your armor, earn that money lost, or gain the levels lost. I would like to refer to this group of MMO's as first generation. These were the games that explored the genre first (after MUD's of course) and they were the most difficult to play and the most rewarding. There was no easy way around playing these games and if you were getting to end game it took determination and dedication to keep playing for long periods of time with no breaks.

2nd generation would be your MMO's such as World of Warcraft Vanilla, Everquest 2, and others that came out around the same time. It was roungly from 2004-2007 if i had to make any estimated guesses. I would consider 2nd generation to be the golden era of MMO gaming. It is now long over, just like 1st generation and will never be found again, however it was an amazing time to be part of the MMO movement while it lasted. Originally these games combined the best difficult aspects of generation one while doing away or easing up the negative difficulty aspects of 1st generation. This included things such as the ability to keep all of your equipment and the removal or decreasing of experience lost when you pass away.

2nd generation was not all good though. A lot of the MMO's that came out during 2nd generation either entered the world as what are commonly referred to as Monty Hall games or became Monty Hall games. This all started with Japanese, Korean, and Chinese free-to-play MMO's and the introduction of something called Micro-transactions which we'll get more into later. Most of the blame however is to be placed on the insane popularity that the MMO world had gained due to World of Warcraft's massive success. When World of Warcraft was originally developed and released in 2004, it became an instant success. An extremely large world that buffered entire continents at once, no load screens unless changing from one continent in the world to the other, the world was massive, thousands of quests, deep storylines, plenty of challenge to boot, and awesome looking gear for your players. Not to mention that the difficulty curve grew exponentially as did the strength of your equipment.

As World of Warcraft prepared for it's first ever expansion Burning Crusades it had already reached a player base of well over 8 million unique accounts. We'll call this original 8 million the foundation. The foundation was comprised of old and new players alike. Old players from Everquest who were disgruntled that Sony had them purchase every expansion for EQ1 only to re-release ALL of the content, with an updated graphics engine in one bundle for the price of one game, as well as newcomers to the scene who had heard about the challenge that MMO's had to offer and wanted to try it for themselves. Those who enjoyed the difficulty and accomplishment of reaching end game stayed for it, those who didn't like the challenge left to play something else.

These players who opted out of the foundation didn't leave before sending several written complaints each to Blizzard HQ, mostly saying that it's too hard, unplayable, and unenjoyable. Unfortunately, Bizzard, being desperate for money (WoW was their last ditch effort to keep from closing their doors for good. It was their attempt to roll a hard six) listened to all of these complaints and leveled out the difficulty curve, unbalanced the game to favor popular classes, implemented welfare epics, and made dungeons mindlessly easy. This marked the turning point where Generation 3 begins. Generation 3 is still continuing today and appears to be going steady and becoming more and more popular.

3rd generation MMO's started off with their primary focus on micro-transactions and the true catalyst was World of Warcraft. Towards midlife of World of Warcraft's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard incorporated what have been dubbed as Welfare epics. Essentially, it was originally intended to make it so that complete newcomers to the game would have to spend less time between when they hit end-game and when they could start participating in current raids. Essentially all the player would have to do is, play every non-endgame dungeon once every day for a week and he would be fully outfitted in last seasons hottest items.

Coupled with welfare epics, Blizzard also decreased the difficulty curve of getting from start game to end game so significantly that instead of taking several months to hit endgame, a player could do it in about two weeks of playing four hours a day. Other video games, desperately trying to knock world of warcraft off of it's high horse, began popping up, almost xeroxing World of Warcraft with different names, items and worlds all failed swiftly under the giant's feet. Blizzard seeing this and acknowledging that i now had a player base of over 20 million players continued to unbalance the the player classes to the point where certain classes became unplayable and rode the wave of success as far as they could.

Enter late generation 3 MMO's. After so many MMO's had tried and failed at stopping the behemoth that World of Warcraft became, A few 3rd generation MMO's popped up that went back to basics, did their best not to duplicate World of Warcraft and are relatively successful compared to the rest of the graveyard. These games include games like Rift and SWOTR. The rest of the MMO's that failed or were on the verge of failing started a new trend of going free to play and focusing on Microtransactions. This list is dramatically larger now and includes Champions Online, Fallen Earth, Star Trek Online, Aion, Age of Empires Online, All Points Bulletin, and a long slew of others. These have become the modern propagators of the Monty Hall Effect.

In most of the Free to play MMO's their primary mode of earning revenue is by micro-transactions. As such, for the small fee of all your lunch money for a month, you can gain double xp, double cash, double health, mana and all of your stats, and armor that is unbeatable by anything you would normally find in the free world. This encouragement to make microtransactions has tainted the world of MMO's forever. However, those same people who were not part of WoW's foundation buy into it. and people like the ones in WoW's foundation are being to get a bad taste in their mouth because of how bad the world is becoming. So much so that World of Warcraft's subscriptions are back down to below the 10 million mile stone. The first to go were the foundation members who got sick and tired of the game's constant unbalance and lack of difficulty. Then the players who flocked to those attributes are beginning to lose interest because they are just not dedicated players. Period. End of story.

The intervention of Free to play has made it possible for so many MMO's to lay everything out on the table for people to check out, however, the introduction of real money markets in these games have turned them into nothing but monty halls, and money vacuums. There is no such thing as a genuine experience with MMO's now. In Star Trek Online, a player can get from begin game to end game in a weekend. They can purchase ships that have extra, better features than the standard issue ships and Cryptic is just riding the wave. Making no attempts to add any content. All Points Bulletin started as a pay to play with one of the first real, total real money markets meaning that you could buy ingame money for real money. Eve online, which started as a free to play, now has a legal trade network which is like Ebay where players can pay other players for game time, characters and ships.

My astonishment when people are actually willing to pay real money for digital items that will be gone faster than you can buy lunch is impalpable and i am further and further dissuaded from playing MMO's every day when i see the focus change from making a genuinely fun game to making a game that will reach out and grab hold of the first credit card it can then hold on for dear life. What's your take? have you ever played an MMO? Have you ever experienced the Monty Hall effect first hand? And how do you feel about it?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Youtube Partnership

Youtube is the modern generation's go to place for any kind of video you could think of. Whether it be music videos, instructional videos (on virtually any subject) or just practical jokes videos; all of these can be found on youtube and accessed instantaneously with a click of the mouse. With that one of the biggest questions that the general public always wants to know is "how can i make fat wads of cash on youtube like Freddie Wong?" The answer to this is not an easy one which is why i'm dedicating an entire blog post to it. Sit down, buckle up and get ready for a crash course on youtube partnership.

Before you even get started there are a few things you need to indentify.
  1. what is that you enjoy most?
  2. inside that category of what you enjoy, what specific items (programs, types of math, etc) do you have basic proficiency knowledge in? (basic proficiency knowledge as defined by me is the bare basic set of skills that you need to work that specific item on your own without google instruction to create the most basic items. IE: programming, basic proficiency knowledge is inputs, outputs, variables, if statements, while loops, do while loops, for loops, methods, classes, and error handling. With all 10 of those items you can create any basic program you can imagine up) Most people watching your videos will never get past the basic proficiencies. So emphasis on identifying all the items you have this knowledge in will benefit you later on.
  3. what are the basic proficiencies that are required for every item you listed? much like my programming example. all 10 of those proficiencies are basic proficiencies meaning they're required to program independently.
Once you have all three of those worked out, you should have a list of items and a list of proficiencies for those items. Now it's time to think of what you want to call your youtube channel. After you've created your youtube channel, it's time to do some research on your items.
  1. Search the title of the items in the youtube search and tack on "tutorials" at the end. IE if i wanted to look up tutorials for 3DS Max, i would search for "3DS Max Tutorials" in the youtube search.
  2. Take note of what there is to offer already for your item. If you're feeling super research-y watch a few videos, get a feel for you future competition. The less covered your item is on youtube, the easier it will be to get the kickstart you need. 
  3. This is optional, but if you watch the videos on your item, be sure you read the comments for that video. Often times you can get an idea of what people like and don't like depending on how they respond. 
Once you've done your research and have a general idea of what is applauded and what is looked down upon, it's time to get to work on your content. Go and download a freeware desktop recording software like CamStudio or Jing, get a feel for how it works, always record your screen in 1280x720 (720p). if you record in higher resolutions the video will come out looking like shite. Lay out your schedule for a series of videos that all cover one item's basic proficiencies. Try not to make it more than two proficiencies per video or people will overload and they won't watch your videos. spending the focus of every video on one or two proficiencies also allows you to spend the maximum time focusing on the finer points.

Spend a great deal of time going into laymens terms. You'll find that lengthy laymens terms explainations are always welcome and the more ways you explain something the more people will understand it. Once you've got your recording ruberic, it's time to write scripts. Unless you're the kind of person who can just speak, professionally off the cuff of your sleeve, i strongly recommend writing a script or at least practicing the first two or three minutes of every video before going into full record mode. People hate when you stutter. Um's, uh's, like's, and's, and "so basically"s are your worst nightmare, it shows that you're not fully confident in the material you're teaching or talking about.

Once you've become fully confident in the material, it's time to record. The reason you practice the first couple minutes of the video is because after a certain point, one will just accept the mistakes he or she makes and carries on with what they're doing. This is also an ideal time to tell you that you always want to record in 1 take. Don't ever, ever record videos in more than one take. it will double or even quadruple your production time which can be bad news bears for you. Don't release the videos until you've got a rock solid base to work with. You want to give yourself some break time between recording series and their release. The reason behind this is, simply put, burnout. You don't want to burn yourself out and loose interest in the process. I did for a year and i suffered on youtube channel for it.

After you have your first series finished, start planning for your second series, and start releasing the first videos on a defined interval that never changes. For me? I release a new programming video every friday, and a new photoshop video every thursday. It's perfectly okay to stockpile, it just means that you're making things easier on yourself in the future.

Lastly, i want to outline a few important notes and some don't's of the youtube partner program. Here are the don'ts:
  1. Unless you're an attractive person with an "everyman's" sense of humor and something meaningful to add to video responses, DO NOT make your living off of video Vlog responses. This has become a very controversial topic in the last few months surrounding females who have IQ's lower than their age and knockers the size of school bus's making their profits purely off of their "feminine appeal".
  2. Do not ever sign with another contracting company other than Youtube. Always stay independent. Do things for yourself, the profits will be better in the long run. Machinima is notorious for finding really popular people and trying to add their uniqueness to their collective of shit videos. This will not only make you look like a sellout but it will decrease your view counts on your videos.
  3. Do not advertise your youtube page on other, more popular partner's pages. If they like you, they'll add you to their suggested profiles. If not, then oh well. The only thing you accomplish by posting comments like "chek ut mai utub channal plox" on another person's youtube channel or video is guaranteeing that your channel will NOT be hit by anyone who is watching that video or visiting that channel.
  4. Pretty identical to number 3, don't suggest videos to your subscriptions to try to ramp up your view counts and get a following... i've received too many of these to count on my youtube channel, and after a while they make you pull your hair out.
Finally, to wrap this blog up on a positive note, don't become discouraged. A lot of people assume that you publish 1 video and get rich overnight off of youtube. This isn't true. the whole reason for setting up the release schedule and the list of videos to work off of is so that you have a constant feed of entertainment to your subs. When it comes to making money off of youtube it's not so much about your content as it is about your frequency. People want to be entertained. Have a constant stream of entertainment at that. So if you're teaching something, sound excited, work hard, produce good content as well as a steady stream of it, and soon enough you'll have a strong subscriber base and a decent rate of cash.

Hope you guys liked this long guide. Please tell me what you think. And don't forget to check out my youtube channel at