Category Archives: technology

The Shocking Truth: How Click Bait Addiction Will Ruin Your Life!

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Read this post! You won’t believe what happens next! It could save your life! Ten Things You Can’t Afford NOT to Know! Click bait is the eye candy of the internet. I know, I know, you thought I was, but for the purposes of today’s Phil Factor we’ll say click bait is the eye candy of the internet.  A title or picture so tantalizing that we can’t resist clicking on it. That’s my  quandary every weekend when I write #ThePhilFactor. I think to myself, What’s a title catchy enough that people will click on it?  The one I finally settled on today was my fifth idea. I’m not out to ruin your life, I just want three or four minutes of your time and a comment or like so that my ego remains intact for another day. As far as click bait goes, my blog is incredibly benign.

Not all click bait is benign. Most is designed to suck you into to clicking so that you can be shown pop-up ads that leave cookies on your computer so they can show you pop-up ads no matter what web page you’re on. Cookies that will show you targeted ads. Normally I love cookies. Nutter Butters are my favorite. Wouldn’t it be great if they could plant real cookies in your computer when you click on an ad? If I click on “Ten Earth Shattering Reasons Why The Kardashians Want To Date You”  and a Nutter Butter cookie pops out of my CD drive you bet I’d be hooked! When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, I’m going to pass a law mandating that that’s how click bait should work. With the new 3-D printers, there’s no reason I can’t get a cookie every time I click on an ad.

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Sadly that’s not the kind of cookie you get when you click click bait. You see an article that says “The Twenty Most Attractive People of All Time”. You’re curious, you click it to see if I made the list. First page there’s a picture of Taylor Swift. (By the way, the other day Justin Bieber covered a Taylor Swift tune in concert and she is pissed about it. Read more here.) Underneath the first picture is an arrow that says See More —> and you have to click it to see number two. And that goes on and on for an hour until you get through, all the while clicking off the pop up ads that promise to help you look 20 years younger. If I’m 25, I’m pretty sure I’d have no interest in looking 20 years younger. That’s just creepy. Then when you get to  the interminable end of your list of the twenty most attractive people of all time (spoiler alert, I’m no. 8) you see a caption and picture that says Do This Exercise 5 Minutes A Day and You’ll …live forever, look younger, attract others, lose weight etc. And you figure, “I can exercise 5 minutes a day” so…

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We all have our favorite click bait. There’s just some topics or titles we would love to be true and can’t resist. Some of us love celebrity news, others like time savers, I like fitness stuff, some fall for lists. In the comments, tell me what is your irresistible click bait, besides The Phil Factor. Also, if you want to be an ironic hipster and make The Phil Factor click bait just hit the Facebook or Twitter share buttons below. Have a great Saturday! ~Phil

Pokemon Go? Nerdvana!

Last week suddenly there were groups of people with backpacks and cell phones wandering the streets. Sounds like a typical day, except these back pack wearing, cell phone staring nerds were gathering in groups and pointing at things. In the past I’d refer to those groups as “nerd herds,” but this time those groups began to change. As these occurrences became more and more frequent, regular people started to notice and began doing the same thing. And then I became one of them.

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Yes, that picture above was me earlier this week. I had about 15 free minutes during work, so on a city street I found myself  tracking Pokemon. I’m sure by now that you’ve heard of Pokemon Go! It’s an app based game where you track and capture imaginary creatures in real life places. The game uses your phones GPS settings to locate you on a cartoon map, well, not you, but your avatar, and it shows you walking around your neighborhood or town as you track the Pokemon. When you get close enough to one, the game will access your camera and on your phone’s screen you see the real life scene in front of you, as if you were taking a picture, but in that scene is a moving cartoon Pokemon character for you to capture.

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I think the game is great, especially for the nerd herds. People who might otherwise be at home in their mom’s basement insulting strangers on the internet and living life as a Warcraft character are now out in the real world getting exercise and meeting other people. Who knows how many marriages will result from this!

But Pokemon Go! isn’t just all fun and games. Several people have been injured and killed so far as a result of their own inattentiveness while playing. Earlier in the week a Massachusetts man caused a major highway accident stopping his car to catch a Pikachu. In California two men fell down a cliff. They were injured but not killed, although they did need to be rescued by emergency services.  In a town not too far from me a driver crashed their car into a tree because they were playing while driving. As my friend Dave said the other day, “don’t get in the way of natural selection.”

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Something has to be done. Yes, natural selection and the loss of people stupid enough to play while driving is appropriate. We certainly don’t want people that stupid to reproduce. But…we can’t have those people accidentally taking out the good nerds in the process. We need the good nerds. Like it or not, our world doesn’t run without them. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but nerd culture is our culture now. We’re learning their language to navigate the increasingly technological world. We’re playing their games on our phones and we’re watching their TV shows and movies, ie Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, all the popular superhero movies. All of those are things that twenty years ago the average person would have mocked as nerdy or geeky. We are all geek chic now. It’s their world and we’re just living in it.

So, as I said, if the designers could implement some kind of safety features in the game that would save the idiots from themselves and from injuring others, I’m all in. I will happily step into that virtual world, (outside of work time and when I’m not driving of course).

Have a great weekend and may you find a Scyther or Venusaur in your travels. Just look where you’re going please! ~Phil

 

The Google Self-Driving Car is Going to Be a Big ‘Hit’

Google is widely considered one of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies in the world. With projects like the Google Glass glasses, Google Glucose Sensing Contact Lenses, Google dogs, (yes, Google dogs. Click the link and check it out, it’s pretty cool) , nap pods in the Google offices and the Google Self-Driving Car, the company always seems to be looking out for us with an eye to the future.

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I love their work. I love the creative innovation. I want to work for them like Vince Vaughn & Owen Wilson did in The Internship. (It’s a very funny movie. You should watch it.) Do you think that Google needs someone to write a humorous blog about their products? I do. What a great way to connect with consumers! People always remember things that make them laugh. Google, you know where to find me.

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So it’s pretty clear that I love all things Google, except one…

When we think of the Google Self-Driving Car we imagine just punching in an address and kicking back while the car takes us to our destination. What could be better than that? We can text, watch TV, or even nap, right? One concern about this futuristic wonder of modern technology is accidents. Google has of course added loads of sensors that will help the car to brake and maneuver to avoid accidents and pedestrians. No system is foolproof however, so this past week Google patented one more thing to add to it’s arsenal of safety features.

Think of the ‘what if’ situation of a self-driving car hitting a pedestrian. If one of us driving our car hit a pedestrian we’d hit the brakes of course. But when that happens the pedestrian sustains two impacts; one when the car hits him and another when he hits the ground. In an effort to avoid the second impact of the pedestrian hitting the ground, Google obtained a patent for what amounts to super strong flypaper for the hood of their cars.

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Yes, the car hits the pedestrian and the struck pedestrian sticks to the hood of the car. Second impact avoided with the ground=less pedestrian injuries. Sounds crazy, but great, right?

Does anyone else see a potential problem with this? What happens if you set your destination for a cross country trip and you fall asleep or lapse into a diabetic coma on the way? You’d show up at your final destination with a car covered in drifters. People, maybe still alive, just stuck to the hood for hours or days!

As a guy however, what a great way to pick up chicks, literally! Instead of Tinder you can use Fender! (Phil Factor patent pending) No need to swipe right, just turn right!

For the police, they’d never have to get out of their car. They’d only have to run down the perps instead of shooting them all the time like they do now.

Ironically Google’s cloud storage is called the Google Drive, and after Google reads this, I’m pretty sure all the files in my Google Drive will mysteriously disappear and my SEO rank will fall behind that magician from L.A.. Don’t worry Google, I still love you and I’ll be the first in line for the Self-Driving Car. Then again, do I have to wait in line to get one or should I just wait for one to come along and hit me?

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Have a great Saturday! ~Phil