Resize GIF Animations for Your Site

That Columbia writing School ad to the right there was too wide to fit in my sidebar. I Googled how to resize it. Thought it would be an easy no brainer. Well, actually I tried it first with Picnik, a service I love and highly recommend, but with the GIF animation after I resized it, it came back as a frozen image, no animation and littered with dots. No go. Google came up with two online services that looked promising, but neither service would accept my file for some reason. Then I kept digging and found a freeware program called Imagemagick. But its like a command line program. I mean geeky to the nth degree. I downloaded it, but, hell, I couldn’t even figure out how to open a command line on this Mac. I’m sure its a wonderful product, but you got to be like a programmer to figure out how to make it work. It filled my disk space with about a hundred geeky files, but no where did I see where you could actually open the program!

Anyway this morning more Googleing, stumbled upon a message board, where someone posted the same question, and one guy answered:

I suggest to make it simple: <img width=”##” height=”##”>

Well, I really had no hope of it working because I’d tried the “align” tag a gillion different ways and nothing budged.

But I inserted it anyway to the right of the img src an Walla! And as you can see it worked! 2 days of head bashing, pulling my hair out, and one simple line of html does the trick!

Gotta give credit where credit is due. A certain Rokec on this message board here. Thanks Rokec, you rock! And Google of course, but in an ideal search engine this simple solution would have shown up on the top of results.

Hope this helps someone like me. Now if someone could tell me how to stop my 1 year old Mac to stop beachballing all the time I would much appreciate. Do I simply need more RAM? I’ve got 2 gigs. One would think that would be enough, but its taken me forever to write this one little post and its very frustrating.


1938media: My Mother, My Wife, Kirstie Alley, And Jenny Craig

By Loren Feldman and 1938media.

This guy Loren Feldman is funny as shit. I love this bit. Love his Mom’s NYC Jewish accent. Can’t get enough of it. Why does this remind me of Larry David? Is it a Jewish thing? The Canadians with their Humor, The British, and the Jews. Definitely top 3, maybe the only 3, not necessarily in any order.


Web 2.0, 3.0, or “Cubed”?

Web 2.0 was just a name given because it was like starting over after the dot com bust. I think FriendFeed is unquestionably the most killer app on the internet right now, next to Google search. Facebook is great also in the same sense that Amazon is, in that their core business models are old, but they constantly keep innovating, iterating with the changing landscape, mixing it up, not just keeping up, but leading the way. But I’ve only got one word for Twitter: Hubris. And that’s all I’ll say.
In the old days you could just slap down your business model, build your factory, and let it roll for 30 years. Look at the NY times. Perfect example. They just slap a replica of their old paper on the net and think they are forward thinking. Has their site even changed one bit in the last ten years? And they wonder why their business is dying?
Look at Hulu. They are just slapping TV onto the internet. Is that really interesting to anybody?
These days you’ve got to be constantly innovating as a company or die. Which means you have to be “into” it and not just there to make money. You can’t just slap your old company on the internet. You have to create a new internet centric company.
The other key problem is the Telco industry. You have monopolies that give poor service, don’t give a shit and charge you out the ass. It’s because the industry is so heavily federally regulated. If you had de regulation there, you’d have a multi gigabit two way connection, and a totally de centralized World that would unleash the greatest creative Golden Age mankind has ever seen, and the greatest creation of Wealth and Abundance FOR ALL the World has ever seen. And then as Blake said, everything will be seen for what it is, “infinite.”
This isn’t about Web 3.0, its about World 3.0 or World “Cubed” as is the Batelle/O’Reilly en vogue term currently.
This is an arms race to defeat the Gods, or rather, to unleash the God in us all. Yes, this will be a blog post. I’m a great writer (Uh Oh, Ego just collapsed my infinite wave function).

“And I’ve come for to see you.
And I’ve come for the rain.
You know livin’ is easy,
And I’m feelin’ no pain.
Doot do, do do do do, do do do doot do do….”
(Violins et Orchestra et al fade in and out) – Josh Rouse, “Cotten-Eyed Joe”


Related : ¬† Robert Scoble: ¬†Why Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg are wrong about naming Web 3.0 ‚ÄúWeb 3.0‚Ä?

                     All ThingsD :  Welcome to Web 3.0

¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† PBS MediaShift: ¬†WSJ’s D Conference Fumbles Transition to Web 3.0


Pat Buchanan is Wrong: There Will Be No Inflation with Recovery

I love Pat Buchanan. He’s the main reason I watch The Mclaughlin Group, and the only reason I watch MSNBC. His knowledge of history and foreign policy is impeccable. He’s sincerely interested in politics, and he’s just plain fun to watch.

But like a lot of great political commentators inside the Beltway and out, I won’t go so far as to say he knows little to nothing about economics, he knows a great deal about economics, but his fundamental principles about the subject are just plain wrong. They are upside down, totally the opposite of how the economic world works. Take Foreign Trade for example. As a country YOU WANT a trade deficit. Why? Because your economy is so much larger than the other country’s they cannot possibly import from you as much as you import from them. Believe me, we will rue the day that we have even equal, much less more exports to China or any other country, as imports. Take a second and think about what that means.

But let’s concentrate on a subject that’s been on Pat’s mind a lot lately: Inflation, specifically inflation as the result of a booming economy. Look, on the face of it, it seems to make sense: The Fed has doubled their balance sheet since last fall to quote unquote “Bail out the financial sector” although such a ploy was a total red herring, and only a grab for power masked as such, but that debate is for another blog post. Also, with the prospect, God forbid, of a booming economy on the horizon, Inflation would seem to be a Tiger waiting in the wings to tear our figurative buying power’s heads off. But this is wrong headed thinking because precisely the opposite is the case:

Growth economies soak up excess liquidity like the Amazon rainforest soaks up Carbon Dioxide.  The truth about economics is that conventional wisdom is turned on its head, just as in 1906 Relativity turned the conventional wisdom about Reality (determinism, logic) on its head. Growing economies put downward pressure on inflation, not upward, by soaking up liquidity.


Look, I am no fan of the Fed.  It is an unconstitutional, Quasi Government/Private Corporation, that literally prints money that it sells through its distribution channels of partner shareholder banks, to a gullible, unquestioning public. And it does this while not only NOT fulfilling its Government Charter of providing a stable currency (which a de facto Gold Standard would do for free) but by actively (surreptiously or not is unknown) making the currency upon which we live swing wildly back and forth in value, causing the devastating inflations and deflations we have experienced for the first time in history since the 1971 closing of the Gold Window by President Nixon. I am a total libertarian, totally for Ron Paul 2012, and think it should be abolished, or have its reigns pulled in tightly with a Executive Order that it will not let the open market Gold price swing beyond a tight range.

But in the months ahead, if we are lucky enough to have a economic recovery, and I believe we will although the unprecedented “stimulus” (which is actually a pork bag full of free money to people who provide no value or production to our economy, but instead scam the people, by virtue of having power in legislative halls) will be a furious headwind not in our favor, inflation is the last thing one needs to worry about. Happy days will be here again, and the punch bowl can be brought out. To use a horse racing analogy, as I am in love with horse racing, the “Class” of technological innovation and productivity will over come the grueling pace duel with governmental regulation and confiscations that line pockets of political power brokers. In short Technology is the only thing propping our Economy up, but it is indeed a Secretariat, a Tiger Woods, and has the strength of Atlas.

I wish too that the government would not shrug Atlas, but Governments from time immemorial until today and forever more, simply have only one purpose: Internal and External Plunder. It’s time to get over that, unless we indeed can have a Libertarian Revolution.

But for now lets hope and expect a recovery. And with it there will be no signs of inflation on the horizon. The Gold Standard provides stable currency for free, and so does economic growth, with the only threat in such a situation being Inflation’s horrible ugly sister: Deflation, which is the real threat with the prospect of recovery, as the Fed is inclined (will) raise rates and starve the Growth engine’s main fuel supply: liquidity.

And then back on the Roller Coaster we shall all go. But if we can’t have a Libertarian Revolution and have a real democracy and a real free market we might as well adopt the Grateful Dead’s attitude (if not take the same contraband) and “enjoy the ride.”


Stephen Pickering. May, 2009


The Phenomenon of Combustion

By Robert Scoble

I imagine the idea of a dress
was stolen from a flower
in the year fire was discovered.
But no one is positively sure.

So desire is a controlled explosion
in which need is faster than light
and more precise than fire.

If that sets a dress on fire
or flowers explode, who cares?
It’s Spring and this is just
an idea for a love poem.

Although I’ve never seen her,
I make pieces of devotion
fill the darkness of her sleep.
She smiles to herself, I think.
It’s an eclipse. But who hasn’t been
blinded by someone lifting up her dress?

Such great danger and awe of beauty.
I’m unsure, the way children are
in the presence of a candle.
Intuitively they whisper, then-
well, I don’t wish to blow it out.

All our lives, wet logs in a fire,
desire is under control.
I’ve allowed myself to ask for beauty
and like beauty it’s unfair.
Good, we’re even.

The phenomenon of combustion means
no one is positively sure.

-Jack Myers from the volume “I’m Amazed That You’re Still Singing”


Businesses: Destroy Your “Us Versus Them” Mentality

I wrote this comment tonight on a very intriguing blog post by Robert Scoble entitled “Exploring the 2010 Web” All businesses and organizations should read this post and follow Scoble in general and Chris Brogan to learn how to apply Social Media effectively and to take your business into this next age of the “Telecosm” as George Gilder labeled it, in other words the Telecommunications Revolution. There is reason to be hopeful. Businesses embraced the “Microcosm” or the Micro Electronics Revolution beginning the 70’s, and this lead to the 80’s and 90’s being one of the greatest legal creations of wealth in the history of the World. The Wealth of the country as measured by the value of the Nation’s Capital stock, increased some 20 times. The productivity increases of the Telecom revolution will be of a magnitude 10 times larger. The Bandwidth revolution is indeed infinite because the number of colors of light are infinite, and each color can carry an infinite amount of data at wirespeed. The Exobyte floods are coming. Question is, will you and your business be riding it or fighting it?

This is interesting and comes to the heart of the matter. I think the crux of the matter psychologically is that businesses and organizations have to “tear down” “destroy” this “Us against Them” mentality. Not only Us against our Competitors but Us against our Customers. I owned and ran a furniture store for a number of years so I have some knowledge of this. When you have a store and a staff of employees there’s this tendency to see and treat the guy walking in off the street, a potential customer, as separate, somebody you don’t trust and who doesn’t trust you. That’s a normal initial, almost lizard part of the brain, reaction. But the trick is to break past that, and to really “schmooze” with people, not in a fake, acting kind of way, but being really interested in who they are, what they like, etc.
And one of the best features of these social media tools is a way to engage, to build that level of trust. I read a lot of books back then on sales and the best ones taught me this principle, and when I applied it, the sales just seem to come effortlessly, almost as an aftermath of a real connection being made.
And you see this everywhere. Business websites, especially large corporations, give off this impression of such intimidation, they almost act as a wall between the business and the potential customer, the exact opposite intention of the site.
Amazon is a great example of a great, maybe the best business site. It feels like it wants you there. Very inviting, very warm, very personalized. Heck they even want you to be an associate right on the spot.
The NYtimes on the other hand feels like this wall or veil. There’s so many new exciting things they could be doing with this new media, to make it fun, engaging, making you want to be there. But they remain huddled up, preaching down to us.
People have to want to be doing what they are doing. If they are doing it just for money, they’re not going to have happiness, and usually not money either because they aren’t going to be interesting enough, cutting edge enough. You get the sense that most businesses are just plodding along doing it this way because “this is the way we’ve always done it” kind of mentality.