The first 24 hours of Fuelly

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Holy cow. 24 hours ago, I took the stage at the START conference and explained some of the thinking and process behind me and pb’s new site Fuelly. I knew it was an influential crowd, and I knew if it was good it might take off, but I thought maybe we’d hit 1,000 users by the end of the weekend at most.

Thanks mostly to twitter and other blogs (like Lifehacker and Get Rich Slowly) it’s grown a bit faster than we expected. A cable network is doing a piece on it. Various awesome iPhone developers are wanting to plug into the API we still need to build. It’s really been a crazy 24 hours.

Our inboxes are bursting with feature requests and bugs, but I’m really happy with how far we got building a site in just a few weeks. I’ll be posting a full story of the development and creation of the site on in a week or two when all this dies down a little, hopefully inspiring other developers to try building their own similar projects.

My cousin’s wedding hack

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Putting rings on, originally uploaded by mathowie.

My cousin Tony and his girlfriend got married this past weekend and as a young couple in Southern California, they’ve been saving for years for their first house. On the occasion of their marriage, they didn’t want to fill a non-existent house with blenders and trinkets but didn’t want to flatly refuse gifts since weddings tend to be a place where people like to help out new couples by giving them gifts, but I think they felt weird asking for money towards a new home purchase.

So they came up with a pretty cool idea. He’s an artist and she’s a writer, and together they collected a bunch of paintings, ceramics, photos, and drawings and put them up for silent auction for several hours before and after the ceremony. Everything I liked had bids into the hundreds of dollars and all told, I bet they raised a couple grand in the process of letting family buy some pretty cool works of art.

I hope my other artist friends and family do this in the future, because I thought it was a pretty cool idea.

Globalization is freaking awesome

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Chinese Hammer fucking rules, originally uploaded by mathowie.

I stumbled across Chinese Hammer tonight and fell in love with it for a thousand reasons. Just the thought of someone halfway around the world mimicking a video from 1989 in a move-for-move remake. Also, the mom on the couch crocheting, oblivious to the awesome dancing. Then I posted it to MetaFilter only to find there’s a such thing as YouTube Doubler to play them side by side.

I captured the best bits in a short movie here. About 30 seconds in, things start matching up and it just keeps staying awesome for another minute or so.

update: cool, the dude has a ton of other videos (Thriller, more MC Hammer, etc)

More fun than a pile of powdered sugar

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You might have seen a hilarious / bizarre / historical set of found photos someone picked up at a swap meet of a 70s cocaine party. It’s really oddball stuff.

Even more odd, Astro Zombie (and friends) from MetaFilter started recreating the photos with their own mirrors and powdered sugar and a ridiculous new flickr pool was born.

ReCAPTCHA’s quality is going down?

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Several months ago, we implemented ReCAPTCHA on MetaFilter contact forms, to thwart spammers. It’s a good cause and a great idea: the nonsensical text you decode ends up helping public domain book scanning projects.

But lately, we’ve been getting a steady stream of complaints that it is not working or is unsolvable. Last night I tried out the contact form and was surprised that in the first ten images presented to me (keep hitting the little refresh button, the top of the three buttons on the control), at least half were totally undecipherable.

Here’s an actual screenshot of one I saw this morning. The first word is impossible to decipher. My question is, has ReCAPTCHA had such success that all we’re left with is the really, really bad book scans?


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WWNPHD, originally uploaded by the sweetchuck.

I’m sorry, but that’s the greatest movie poster of all time

Domain related junk mail

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Domain related junk mail, originally uploaded by mathowie.

In the beginning, I listed my home phone number and apartment address on all my domains. By the late nineties, the marketers/spammers showed up and after the tenth early morning phone pitch and junkmail blast, I gave up and fabricated a generic-sounding address and slapped a movie-style 555 phone number on all my domains.

Last Fall I finally buckled down and got a PO Box and I decided to try putting a real business address and phone number (at least my SkypeIn number) back on my domains. Today I did my monthly PO Box check and it was full. For the first three months of my mailbox, I got almost no mail but today it was stuffed with special offers for the owner of I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since there’s almost no cost to blasting out ads to every domain owner but it was still unexpected.

My biggest worry when looking at this stack of mail? I hope the person living at 123 Fake St. in San Francisco knows how truly sorry I am for the past eight years of junk mail.

Flickr: Photos from oregonianphoto

This is wicked cool: Flickr: Photos from oregonianphoto

Someone from the big state newspaper The Oregonian is posting all the photos that go with stories in the paper to Flickr. I found it because I follow my small town’s photos by flickr tag feeds. The paper gets new readers by mixing it up on Flickr, and they get to sell more photo reprints of stuff people like.

People keep saying that the internet is going to kill newspapers but stuff like this is the future: mixing a paper’s output with related web communities that benefits both parties in the end.