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Adam Stout works in the technology field and is currently located in San Diego, CA.

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Helping Those In Need

Posted: Dec 23, 2009
This year, Jenny and I decided to stay in town for the holidays instead of spending an obscene amount of money traveling just for a couple of days (I have very little vacation saved up).  Since we were, here, we decided to do some good and volunteer somewhere.  Jenny found this great organization for us to volunteer with called Miriam's Kitchen.
Miriam's Kitchen.
Miriam's Kitchen provides healthy, homemade meals and comprehensive case management services to homeless men and women in Washington, D.C.  You may have read about them after Michelle Obama volunteered serving food with them earlier this year.

I was very impressed by how well the operation was run and how much the people there cared for guests.  I look forward to working there again and encourage anyone else in the area to see what they can do for those in need whether with Miriam's Kitchen or with another organization helping those less fortunate.
Q: How long does it take Google to process StreeView images?

A: About two months

As I mentioned in August, when I was walking my dog on a Friday afternoon, I saw this funny looking car with what looked to be cameras sticking out of the top.  When it got closer, I was able to read the Google logo on the side.  It is interesting that it takes Google so long to take a picture from a camera and get it on the web.  One would think they would be more efficient that that.

Here is the proof I'm not lying.
View in Google Maps

Search Engine Blind Taste Test

Posted: Aug 09, 2009
This morning I came across an Article in the Washington Post about a Blind Search Engine Test. It is a very interesting article about a site (pictured below) that allows you to search for a term and returns the results from Yahoo!, Bing, and Google side-by-side. The trick is that it doesn't tell you which is which and asks you to vote which are the best results.

The site author reports some astounding numbers on the picks. Based on the first 550k searches (not an insignificant number), there is no clear leader on search quality (at least not that matches up with the market share). When results are compared side-by-side, users picked the best results with these totals:

Google: 41%
Bing: 31%
Yahoo: 28%


When I tried it out, there were a few times that I couldn't tell which was better. It was a struggle and I wish I had an "all the same" option. It would be interesting to see how often people couldn't tell the difference instead of having to try to pick one at random. I will admit that with the blind nature of the test, the random choices are probability even distributed so it shouldn't effect the results.

Google is Stalking Me

Posted: Aug 07, 2009
This afternoon I was walking my dog Breezy around my neighborhood and I saw this weird looking car coming down the street. Once it got a little closer, I saw what looked to be a camera on top and then I saw the Google logo on the side. Here is a picture I found on Flickr of a similar car (credit: Frankenstein).

I did see the car in time to pose with my dog. I'll keep checking on Google Maps and post a link once I see myself on there. It will be interesting to see how long it take from drive by to posting. I'm looking forward to being immortalized on Google forever.

Twitter Defined

Posted: Jul 16, 2009
A friend of mine sent me this. I thought it was great so I would share it. Apparently, Despair.com is now selling shirts with this on it. If I were still in school and wore stuff like this, I would totally get one, but I'm not sure it would be real appropriate for work.

In any case, this seems to sum up the whole FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace non-sense quite nicely.
Although I have only lived in Virginia in short while have noticed the cultural divide between Maryland and Virginia. To celebrate that divide here is a little observational humor...

Q: What do you call a driver from Virginia?
A: A Virginian

Q: What do you call a driver from Maryland?
A: An idiot



The normal version I tell has a few more expletives, but this gets the point across.

Does Facebook Make You Dumb?

Posted: Apr 14, 2009
A recent study, released on Monday, concludes that Facebook users (at the college level) have lower GPAs than those who do not use Facebook. It does seem like the study is pretty worthless since it doesn't answer any "whys" and the data is too small (only 219 people) to make any real conclusions, but it is intriguing none the less.

The data showed that Facebook users had an average GPA of between 3 and 3.5 compared to non-Facebook users which have an average of 3.5 to 4. If that pans out, there is a pretty significant difference. The author points out that the study doesn't show which variable dependent in this correlation (i.e., Does Facebook use lower your GPA or do people with lower GPAs use Facebook?) but it is undeniable that there is a connection between the two.

So what do you think? Does Facebook make you dumb or are you dumb if you use Facebook?
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