Geekin It

  • Geekin’ It: Rage Guy Faces

    On any message board, you’re going to see your average cast of characters. The Courage Wolves, Karate Kyles, or Charlie Sheens are all Internet regulars. Today, I’m going to talk about a meme that is close to my heart: Rage Guys.

    Rage Guys are a four-panel comic image macro. This means that using the base image or an application, you too can easily remix the Rage Guy comics. Image macros are easily repeatable and usually follow a strict rule set. The break down for the Rage Guy image macro is usually something like this: I have successfully destroyed what made this funny. Illustration courtesy of Totosaitama.

    The poor art quality is intentional. The goal is to make the viewer of the comic believe that it was made in Microsoft paint. The set history of the meme is hard to trace. Encylodpedia Dramatica claims (X-Rated) that the macro is based off of an old Eddie Murphey stand up routine where he talks about the problems of bowel movements and how poorly designed toilets are. A supposed original comic was made using the Rage Guy face acting out the Eddie Murphey skit. This comic became immensely popular and was spread around the Internet via 4Chan, Reddit, and Tumblr. According to Google Insight and Know Your Meme the Rage Guy meme picked up speed around late 2009 and grew out exponentially from there. see more


    March 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm

  • Geekin’ It: /b/ and Online Communities

    4Chan, Reddit, and thousands of other online communities are the backbone of Internet culture. This week, we’re going to take a look at what compromises these sites and how to start getting involved. Banner by Colin McGann.

    4Chan is described by its users as an “Internet Hate Machine.” 4Chan is a Chan-type message board—a term that comes from the shortened “channel” where users can post images. The big draw of the community is that the user’s identification is anonymous and its archives are deleted periodically. This anonymity leads to the board’s users posting images that could be gory, pornographic, or just plain random. Most of these posts are centralized in the random /b/ board (X-Rated, NSFW). This combination of anonymity and shock culture leads to the rise of absurdity that isn’t matched anywhere else on the Internet. Almost all of the major memes, like RickRolls, Mudkips, and Lolcats, started on 4Chan and spread to other participatory culture sites.

    The users of 4Chan have even created two wikis to chronicle the memes and history of the site, as well as to parody everything else. Uncylopedia and Encylopedia Dramatica show the rise and falls of Internet memes as well as their status as old memes.  The decentralized vigilante group “Anonymous” has its roots in 4Chan and other chan image boards. Even the term “Doing it for the lulz” started in these forums. Banner by Colin McGann. see more


    March 3, 2011 at 8:25 am

  • Geekin’ It: BOTW Top iPhone Apps

    Last week, I took a look at what it’s like to switch from Android to an iPhone. In this week’s “Best of the Web,” we’re going to take a look at some apps that every new iPhone user should at least take a look at.


    Dead Space iOS – $6.99 This shouldn’t be good, but it is. Photo Courtesy of EA. see more


    February 28, 2011 at 12:01 am

  • Geekin’ It: Jumping Ship from Android to iOS

    This week, I had a funeral for my Motorola Droid. I loved that phone and have always backed Android as the free and open choice for smart phones. Unfortunately, having a cracked screen for three weeks made me look for alternatives at Verizon. After walking into the store, I realized that the $199 iPhone was the cheapest smart phone I could walk out the door with. After five seconds of deliberation, I sucked it up and made the decision to get the iPhone 4. What follows is what I’ve noticed as a long time Android user coming over to iOS.

    The Good

    The first thing I noticed is the speed of the phone — granted, I’ve been using a phone that came out two years ago (That’s like 24 in cell phone years). Apple has made the phone incredibly quick and every swipe feels one to one. Apple’s forte is creating user interfaces and it has done a great job creating a unified one across all of iOS’s stock applications. Compared to the Android, the iPhone 4’s stock music interfaces is simple, precise, and actually works. Picture viewing is fast and the picture taking doesn’t have the 10-second lag time that my Droid suffered from. The app market is more diverse and the game market in particular is way better. Even though Android has been blowing up over the last year, the iPhone is still the lead SKU for a lot of multiplatform apps. Finally, using iTunes as a syncing platform makes it easy to get my media onto my phone when compared to the buggy doubleTwist. I miss you Droidy. Photo Courtesy of Motorola. see more


    February 24, 2011 at 9:21 am

  • Geekin’ It: BOTW, How do I RSS?

    Last week, I covered what an RSS feed was. Now, we are going to take a look at some creative ways to use them in this week’s “Best of the Week” (BOTW). Photo illustration by Colin McGann.

    Miro is an open-source piece of software created to capture video and sound RSS feeds by the Particpatory Culture Foundation. Think about Miro like a TiVo for the internet, a content catcher that plays shows based on your interests. Two great sources of content are the independent television network Revision3 and the seminal TED talks. To get started, take a look at the Miro starter guide.

    Get Free Stuff Keeping up with deals and special offers is time consuming, so why not automate it? The websites Slick Deals, Woot, and Amazon Daily Deals all have RSS feeds that are refreshed hourly. On top of that, sites like Cheap Ass Gamer and Tech Deal Digger will make sure that you’ll never have to pay full price for your geeky goods again. see more


    February 21, 2011 at 12:01 am

  • Geekin’ It: What are RSS Feeds?

    You know that one friend who is up to date on the latest Internet memes and reads thousands of blogs a day? Ever wonder how do they do it? Would you spend that much time scouring the web for information? The secret comes in by using RSS feeds to quickly read a bunch of content quickly.

    Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, is an XML-based standard that lets users subscribe to information that includes updates on blogs, Twitter pages, and even Facebook updates. An RSS feed can include headlines, metadata, and even the entire story, thus giving you the ability to quickly scan a huge number of blogs and choose the ones that are actually important.

    To read an RSS feed, you are going to need two things: the RSS URL and a feed reader (often called an aggregator). Readers interpret the feed and show it in a form that is readable. Most websites offer an RSS feed button or your browser has a button that either says RSS or looks like an orange square with three white lines in it. Look for this guy—it’s the universal sign for RSS. see more


    February 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

  • Geekin’ It: 750 Words and Journaling

    In my experience, finding time to write is one of the hardest things for anyone to do and this is doubly true for college students. On top of writing papers for class and discussion board posts, who can find time to keep a record of their life or start tracking creative ideas? In comes 750 Words to save the day.

    The premise of 750 Words is to make journaling a game. Every day your goal is to write 750 words about anything—whether it’s two pages from your novel, the start of your research paper, or what your cat ate for dinner. Once you’ve hit your goal you gain some points for that day and it gives you an emotional analysis of what you wrote about. Instant feedback when you write? Who would’ve thought? Photo Courtesy of Colin McGann

    To track the subconscious feelings behind your writing, 750 Words uses the nifty computing services called the Regressive Imagery Dictionary and the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count Library. These technologies give you detailed charts and graphs about the feeling you wrote about most (happiness, self-Importance, etc) and the issues that concerned you in your writing (success, religion, etc). There is also a general mindset indicator depending on your word choice and the syntax of your words. On top of that, there is also an indicator of how efficient you are while writing, your time orientation, and even the weather. For a person who has been journaling on paper most of their life, this amount of feedback is incredible. see more


    February 10, 2011 at 12:01 am

  • Geekin’ It: BOTW Internet Games

    In the first Best of the Web (BOTW get it?) segment we’re going to take a look at some Flash games that don’t require a Facebook game.

    Robot Unicorn Attack is an Adult Swim game where you take the role of a robot unicorn on a mission to make it through a land of fairies, dolphins, and rainbows.  You could classify this game in the “Running Sidescroller” subgenre that was popularized by one of the other BOTW game, Canabalt. You play on a two-dimensional plane, where you jump from cliff to cliff and break through giant stars with a rush attack. If you’re on the fence about this game, listen to the song Always by Erasure. If you can make it through without stabbing yourself in the eye, go ahead and give Robot Unicorn Attack a chance.

    P.S. This game also has a Facebook version with leaderboards, weekly tournaments, and a heavy metal nightmare mode. Live another life in One Chance. Photo by Colin McGann. see more


    February 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm

  • Geekin’ It: Facebook Games and Tetris

    So, I’ve been hesitant to admit that I like some Facebook games. I was afraid that I’d have to turn in my “hardcore” gamer card and just start playing Bejeweled for hours on end. I couldn’t get invested in a game that was all about clicking things at set intervals. Then I found Tetris Battle, which feels like the first game that uses Facebook effectively. Battle up to six of your friends in Tetris Battle. Photo by Colin McGann.

    I’m a huge Tetris fan. I played Tetris DS until it stopped being a game and became more of an exercise in maxing out the game’s score (it stops counting lines at 999). Tetris Battle’s premise is that you and an opponent both face off on two separate Tetris screens. For every two lines you clear, one more is added to the bottom of the your opponent’s screen with a bigger bonus for clearing multiple lines at the same time. If you can make the other person reach the top of the screen, you get a knock out added to your score. The person who has cleared the most lines or achieved the most knock outs in the time limit wins.

    The game currently has three modes, each with their own leaderboard and ranking system. The 2-Player Battle is your basic fight to get the most lines in two minutes. The 4-Player Sprint is a race to reach 40 cleared lines before three other players. Finally, the 6-Player Battle is a throw down between you and five other players to clear the most lines while fighting off the lines from opponents. Using Facebook as a social graph, the game matches you with other similarly ranked opponents within the network. As you play matches, you work your way up through the ranks, continually gaining experience and money. Imagine the ranking system from Call of Duty meeting the addictive game play from Tetris and you can start to see the appeal. see more


    February 3, 2011 at 8:47 am

  • Geekin’ It: Wikis and Wikipedia

    “Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject, so you know the best possible information.” - Michael Scott, “The Office”

    It is the bane of every stereotypical English teacher’s class and the savior of procrastinating undergrads. It is the most easily accessible body of human knowledge ever created and the progenitor of hoaxes that are disseminated around the web. I’m talking about Wikipedia.

    Wikipedia just celebrated its 10-year anniversary this month so let’s take a look at the technology and history of the controversial encyclopedia that anyone can edit. see more


    January 27, 2011 at 9:40 am