Sunday, June 29, 2008

Everybody Votes Channel - Results

This week on the EVC roundup we learn about the presidential candidate’s fates, perspective and reality, and are treated to a little bit of Dickens. Talk about a potpourri of topics!

Do you feel we’re living in . . .
The best of times (51.4%) or The worst of times (48.6%)

Whoa, whoa, hey now Nintendo… don’t go whipping out the Charles Dickens quotes without a little bit of warning first. This one was heavy man. It did get us wondering why the green states think we are living in such troubling times. Does it have to do with military enrollment population in those states? The statistics don’t really support that theory – although they are interesting none the less. So what’s up Florida and Maine, why so bitter? Alaska is looking a healthy shade of pink, maybe you guys need to take a few pointers from them!

Lesson Learned: Some people wish they were alive during the French Revolution, say wha’?

Which do you think there are more of in the world?
Dogs (50.6%) or Cats (49.4%)

Close one, eh? But, this isn’t exactly an opinion based question. More like one of those “let’s see what you think the real answer is” questions. Well, maybe not so much, since supposedly no one knows the true number of cats or dogs in the world. There is however a statistic for how many pet cats and dogs exist in the USA, and cats take the edge on that one according to this little tidbit from Time Magazine – oh wait, it’s from 1953, WTF???

It is interesting to see the split between the warmer/colder states again in another poll. Perhaps cats are a more popular pet in the north and dogs are the pet of choice in the south? We truly do learn something new every weekend from the EVC.

Lesson learned: Knowledge is more about personal experience than universal truth.

Are political debates  . . .
Intriguing (31.8%) Boring (68.2%)

Even though 30 percent of people claim that political debates are interesting you’ve got o figure that at least half of those people were voting with someone else in the room and just wanted to look smart so they voted pink. It’s pretty much a unanimous decision – debates are boring. So what is to be done? It’s high time for the old-school political debate to evolve into something more modern. It would be something edgy and fun, perhaps with gladiators and video games making an appearance to spice things up. How about a physical challenge in between each round of verbal debating?

Lesson learned: McCain doesn’t stand a chance!

That’s all she wrote, she being Nintendo, and he being us here at gK. What are we talking about? Who knows. Sorry this was posted late!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Everybody Votes Channel - Results

In this week’s EVC roundup we take a look at the deeper side of the poll results. It wasn’t really our intention but the questions were so gosh darn silly on the surface that we simply had no choice but to take it to the next level.

Which is more important to exercise daily?
Your mind (55.4%) or Your body (44.6%)

Well, this one was pretty close… but… last we checked the mind was part of the body. OK, so maybe it was meant in that transcendental out-of-body way, like your being/soul/spirit/etc. Fair enough. If you look at this question that way it gets really deep really fast doesn’t it? Who are we kidding: anything we say about the results here won’t really make any sense anyway… although why are Montana, Wyoming, and Oklahoma so enlightened?

Lesson learned: Mind over body. I think therefore I am. Mind FTW.

A friend tells a lie, and you’re asked to confirm their story. Do you . . .
Lie for them (45.7%) or Tell the truth (54.3%)

This is great. It really is. There just isn’t any other way to describe this question and the obviously region-centric results that it generated. People from New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are the only three states where a majority of the EVC population would lie for their friends. Surprisingly NJ is not part of this list. gK, being based out of this area would like to take a stab at explaining why. Why? Hmm… we’re godless. Wait, no, we’re loyal. Is it possible to be loyal and immoral? In the northeast – it is. On the flipside why is the rest of the country so unwilling to help a buddy out? Cold man, cold.

Lesson learned: Never trust anyone.

A picture is . . .
Worth a thousand words (58.6%) or An eternal moment (41.4%)

Really? An eternal moment? This was a national question wasn’t it? Who on earth uses that term to describe a picture? Isn’t that just another way to describe a picture? Like, if an alien landed on Earth and asked you what a picture was you would try to explain it to him by saying “Oh, a picture is an eternal moment. Captured on a piece of paper, which is like this really thin slice of wood, which comes from trees, which grow on the ground, which is made of dirt, which…,” you get the idea. So once again, a simple little question becomes so much more. Nintendo isn’t asking us what we think a picture is because we all agree on that. They’re asking us if we like to refer to pictures in a sentimental kitschy way or in a boring dictionary-like way. Deep.

Lesson learned: We love us some sayings.
“It is better to be quotable than to be honest.” – Tom Stoppard

So that’s all for this week’s EVC round-up. I hope everyone feels the same way we do about the EVC and how deep and enlightening these results truly are. They are powerful, spiritual results to live life by – or not.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Firefox 3 - Software Review

Firefox 3 was released today. It’s the moment us geeks have all been waiting for since the dawn of the Internet, or at least since the dawn of Firefox 2 and the inevitability that a faster, slicker, more awesome version was going to be released eventually. The level of expectations for this thing were huge, could it possibly live up to the hype?

The answer is: sort of. Now, this isn’t going to be an in-depth review of Firefox 3 and all of its claimed 15,000 improvements. No, I’ll save that stuff for all the other, “legitimate,” review sites. Instead I’m just going to run down a few things I’ve noticed in my short time with FF3, both good and bad.

The Good:

Speed! Whoa. This thing is fast. Seriously fast. Pages load fast, Javascript compiles fast, Flash movies respond better, it’s just fast.

Memory usage really has been improved. Right now as I type this I have both FF3 and IE7 opened up. I have 3 tabs open in each and IE7 is using about 30MB more memory. I started playing a Flash-based video in both and IE7 memory usage jumps to over 100MB over FF3. It’s not perfect in that it does occasionally begin to use too much memory requiring a restart but that is not to say that it isn’t leaps and bounds better than anything currently out there (at least for Windows.)

It looks a little bit more professional. Firefox 2 always had this “homemade” quality to it. It wasn’t bad but it just didn’t feel like it was on the same level as IE as far as design. Sure, you had your themes – which were great, but the base theme was a bit bare. The base theme is now catered to your OS and just has that certain something to make the user feel like they’re using a finely polished product.

The “awesome bar” or address bar is pretty cool. It remembers parts of URL’s and adapts to the user based on where they’ve been and what they’ve typed. Who am I kidding? I have no idea about how it actually works but it is spiffy.

Other features you find as you use it more and more. I haven’t stumbled upon too many of these yet but one which I did find which I love is that it saves your tabs. I’ve always wanted this feature. When you close FF3 it now asks you if you’d like it to save the tabs you currently have open for next time. To get this behavior with FF2 I would actually “end task” FF in program manager so that it would recover my tabs from the previous session. Now I can just close it and say “yes.” Sweet!

The Bad:

Weird rendering issues are present. I’ve been to a few pages where certain type shows up in strange hues and sometimes isn’t as crisp as it should and would be in Windows FF2/IE7. It’s almost as if its trying to anti-alias the text but failing.

It’s too fast? Uh, I know this sounds weird but I have noticed that with certain AJAX elements where they are coded to load as the page loads they will sometimes load before the content of the page loads itself and show up in the wrong place on the page. It sounds crazy but I’ve never seen it happen with certain sites in other browsers but with FF3 it happens. It’s rare but it happens.

I’m not sure if any of this stuff is just my unfortunate luck or inability to use FF3 but I have noticed a few things which don’t amuse me much at all. Aside from the things I mentioned above I’ve also noticed that some of my bookmarks didn’t make it from FF2. It’s a really random selection of bookmarks too, like maybe from a certain date forward. Not cool. Another weird one: when I click my bookmark for YouTube it takes me to the UK site. I definitely downloaded the US version of Firefox: my about window says “en-US.” I’ve also noticed some of my saved passwords are gone. It’s pretty random but those are definitely bugs that shouldn’t exist considering how long they’ve been tweaking this thing.


Overall, it’s been a good experience – so far. The speed alone would be enough for me to keep using it forever and ever. The glitches are annoying but I’ll get over most of them, except maybe the weird font rendering issue. Firefox is truly a great browser and anyone who wants to experience the Internet the way it was “meant” to be experienced should be using this latest iteration. Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do with IE8 but more than anything I wish they would somehow banish IE6 from existence first :)

Firefox 3

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Everybody Votes Channel - Results

In this week’s roundup we learn about a future war that may break out in Europe between two regions which have very strong conflicting convictions about plant life and other miscellaneous silly business.

A glass half full, or a glass half empty?
Half full (71.1%) or Half empty (28.9%)

Aren’t we an optimistic bunch here in the good ‘ol US of A. Yes indeed. How nice. This is just a shot in the dark but are these actually the statistics of how many EVC users are voting with at least one other person (pink) versus voting alone (green)? That’s a bit cynical, huh? OK, ok… we’re just a happy bunch. Fair enough. Although there is one other thing: the dead-dinosaur factor. See chart below for details:

Lesson learned: Dead soldiers in Iraq may not make you sad but dead dinosaurs will.

How many digits of Pi can you recite?
Five numbers or fewer (68.8%) or Six numbers or more (31.2%)

Liars. That’s what those 31 percent of people are. Did they even check? 3.14159.. umm.. that’s only five. People actually know what comes next? Don’t most people only know 3.14? Maybe they were thinking of digits of pie. What the heck are those though? Is that, like, how many digits you use to pick up a piece of pie? Wait, but that’s also 5 or less, unless you have a mutated hand or use 2 hands to eat pie. Whoa, that was a random tangent. Anyway. At least females are a bit more honest here. Yeesh.

Lesson learned: Men don’t ask for directions because men know all maps by heart.

Do you still own a record player?
No, what’s that? (68.7%) or Yes (31.3%)

Yea, what is that? Is that what they were asking? If we know what a record player is, or if we own one? And what is a record player anyway? Might as well just ask us if we own phonographs. It’s technically feasible. The map is fairly irrelevant and the question is fairly silly but thanks for playing.

Lesson learned: 30% of people are junk collectors. Nice!

(World Poll) Do you have plants?
Yes (74.0%) or No (26.0%)

Hey Japan, scared of horny-tentacle-monster-plants much? That can’t be it, right? Those monsters are squid-like anyway. Maybe they just think that calling a Bonsai tree a “plant” is insulting, or whatever Nintendo ended up calling it on the Japanese EVC. May they just don’t have room for plants in Japan; with all the sleeping in quadruple bunk beds and such space must be reserved for humans only. We’re not quite sure what’s going on in Japan but it is quite interesting. Check out all the Germanic countries and their love for plants, what’s that all about? Oh and all the Scandinavian countries are down there with Japan and their hatred for plants, but at least they have an excuse: it’s too cold to take care of houseplants (or something.)

Lesson learned: The war of plants will be fought between DE, AT, LU and NO, SE, FI – otherwise known as the ATLUDE/FINOSE Conflict.

Well, that’s all for this week’s geeKeWL EVC roundup. We hope you had fun because we sure did. What side will you fight for in the ATLUDE/FINOSE conflict? How many digits of π can you recite? How many pixels make up a 12pt Arial type non-antialiased version of pi? First person to comment with the correct answer gets a prize.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Everybody Votes Channel - Results

Have you ever felt like the EVC National Results map tends to be the opposite of what you might expect it to be? No? Really? This week threw us for a loop!

When was the last time you rode a bicycle?
Recently (45.6%) or A long time ago (54.4%)

So let’s use common sense to guess what the map should look like. Warmer states have more days in the year when bicycle riding would be appropriate / possible thus the lower half of the map should be pinker, right? Wrong! In fact it turned out to be the exact opposite. WTF? Must be all those mountains… or hippies… or both!

Lesson learned: The console of choice for mountain bikers is the Nintendo Wii.

Which are more bothersome?
Mosquitoes (75.7%) or Houseflies (24.3%)

Hey, it’s common-sense-logic-time again! Warmer states have more mosquitoes so they must surely think they’re more bothersome than flies, yes? No. This one was closer but it was reversed yet again. The colder, northern states are darker pink which implies they were more unanimous in their hatred for mosquitoes. This one really is a bit boggling. Here’s our nutty theory: Mosquitoes are rare in the colder states so when one is spotted inhabitants freak out and wage large battles against them because they’re afraid of them thus these people find mosquitoes WAY more annoying than common houseflies.

Lesson learned: No one likes a bloodsucker.

Have you ever used your cell phone to surf the Internet before?
Rarely/never (77.9%) or Frequently (22.1%)

Well, well, well. Apparently us Wii users aren’t as tech-savvy as we pretend to be. Pretty much no one uses their cell phone to surf the net. What happened to all you iPhone junkies? Did you spend all your money on the iPhone + service plan? Woops. The best part is that 50% of people guessed wrong and think that a majority of people DO surf the net on their phone. It sure seems that way. Now if they had included texting as part of “surfing” in this question the results would most definitely have been reversed but as of now we Americans are just way too cheap to surf the net on our phones.

Lesson learned: Most people actually don’t have an iPhone. Go figure.

This was a fun week of curveballs and double-takes on the EVC. You really do learn something new every time you check out the results. The EVC is fun and educational! geeKeWL makes it “funner” and “educationaler.” Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Everybody Votes Channel - Results

This week on the EVC we learn that even the Nintendo Wii is not immune to stereotypes

I prefer to look at a . . .
Digital clock (79.4%) or Analog clock (20.6%)

Isn’t it comforting to know that even during these troubled times we live in, with our polarizing presidential candidates and ideological wars being waged, that there is still something we can all agree on. Digital clocks are way easier to read. Thank goodness! If you’re wondering what all the light pink states are about: they like to keep it classy sometimes.

Lesson learned: It really is hard to remember which one the minute hand is.

Do you feel you’re up to date on current world events?
Yes/somewhat (65.9%) or Not at all (34.1%)

This question is quite a mouthful. So, what ever happened to Miss South Carolina and the made up statistics in the question she was asked? Supposedly 20% of "U.S. Americans" can’t locate the USA on a map, yet over 60% of ‘em know what’s going on in the rest of the world? This poll is more of a testament to our incredible egos rather than our incredulous amount of knowledge when it comes to world affairs. As long as we think we know what’s going on, right?

Lesson learned: Our future is being built up one Wii vote at a time.

Do you consider yourself more of a . . .
Messy person (51.7%) or Neat person (48.3%)

An almost 50/50 split, with males being just a tad more honest than females – until you look at the map. The map is mostly pink which means that most states had slightly more votes for “messy” except for one that stands out from the rest: North Dakota. What on earth is going on in ND? This might sound funny to some of you but we here at gK think we’ve cracked the mystery. According to the Wikipedia entry on ND (which in turn got this information from the U.S. Census Bureau) the two largest ancestry groups in ND are German and Norwegian. Call it a coincidence but aren’t Germans known for their orderliness and organizational skills?

Lesson learned: The best place to get your BMW fixed is Bismark.

(World Poll) How many times a day do you brush your teeth?
2 or more (59.5%) or 1 or less (40.5%)

So the old rule about brushing your teeth after every meal isn’t an American concept according to the latest EVC world poll. In fact the USA was somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to brushing 2 times or more per day. Would anyone have guessed that South America is actually the leading region in the world for multiple-brushing? Now we know. We also know that females brush their teeth more than males but everyone knows that guys and hygiene don’t mix.

Lesson learned: Beans make your breath stinky!

That’s all for our EVC analysis this week. If anyone has taken offense to our unconventional method of deciding why the maps look the way they do: don’t. Censorship is boring. This is simply something to think about. Nothing is 100% and the EVC community is roughly only 0.1% of the world’s population so keep your underwear un-bunched.