Monday, April 30, 2012

The Karaoke Report 4-30-12

Epic Awesomesauce Moment of the Night

Shout out to The Mayor of St. Thomas (he's a regular) for leaving me an awesome tip last night.

WTF Moment of the Night

I heard that there's a certain spot in St. John that does karaoke and my collection is better (hey, that's what the guy said).  Personally I don't like to put other hosts on the spot and make comparisons.  But when he said the host sometimes puts down the patrons I just thought WTF.  Karaoke hosts have two main duties: Maintaining order and making sure that every singer gets some sort of recognition for their song no matter how bad they sang.  Karaoke isn't Star Search, American Idol or The Voice.  It's for everyone else.

Buzzkill Moment of the Night

Remember that antenna that I caught the guy nibbling on once and had to put duct tape on it.  Well I was packing up my equipment last night and I noticed I couldn't find the antennas for my microphone receiver.  Looks like somehow I lost one and it's the one that was broken.  Hopefully the receiver won't give me too many issues with just one antenna, but I won't find out until next week.  Oh, and the power adapter for my mixer is acting up again.  Why can't I have nice things?  Oh yeah, it's because drunk people usually break it.

Random Party Pic

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stream Yourself

Seems like the big thing for St. Thomas Carnival this year is web streaming.  You can see it here, here and here.  The funny thing about streaming though is that the more people are viewing the stream the slower it gets.  This is related to the amount of bandwidth available and in the Virgin Islands there's never much.

Don't you wish you could do a stream yourself so only a few selected people can watch?  Well with your mobile device you can do just that.  UStream offers mobile streaming applications for a variety of platforms including Android and Apple based products.  Of course you're going to have to watch things like your network usage (if you don't have WiFi or an unlimited data plan) and power, but I think it's a really cool app to have.  Too bad my phone sucks and I'd have to delete a bunch of other stuff just to install this app. :(

Thursday, April 26, 2012

MSN Thinks We're In Latin America

Hey there Caribbean Hotmail and MSN users!  Bet you were surprised yesterday when all of a sudden Microsoft started redirecting you to their Latin America site.  Well you weren't alone.  In fact some of your are probably noticing it just now.  The only explanation for this being that something recently happen to make Microsoft start redirecting us to Latin America.  Could be them, could be us.  Who knows (I think it's them).  I do know it's REALLY FREAKING ANNOYING.

I took a few minutes to look at what's going on.  I did an Internet Protocol check and we're listed as Country: UNITED STATES, Region: VIRGIN ISLANDS.  This is why I suspect the change occurred at Microsoft.  So what can we do?

Fortunately I found a way around the problem.  If you're blankly starting at the MSN Latin America home page right now look for this:

That should take you directly to the US MSN home page.  If you can't find that you can just click the link I've provided.  If you're lucky, your browser will keep that as the default but I'd bookmark that link anyway just to be sure.  It's rather unfortunate though that MSN isn't playing as nice as their counterparts.  They give you the option of defaulting to their main page.  MSN seems iffy on this.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Karaoke Report 4-23-12

Epic Awesomesauce Moment of the Night
Just this pic...

Yes, friends.  THAT is an inflatable dude.  While not anatomically correct, it found itself in several compromising positions last night.

WTF Moment of the Night

I keep a tip jar handy.  I'm not the kind of guy to direct attention to it.  If you want to tip me, that's great and I'll thank you for it.  There are times though when I'd rather not get one.  We had a bachelorette party in the house and I think I really helped them have a good time.  They tipped me $2.  Actually, it was just one of them.  I can't really make her the rep for the whole group.  But get this: They threw a little tantrum when I called up the guy who tipped me $5 next.  An that's the WTF moment of the night.

Buzzkill Moment of the Night

What was up with people keep falling over on my equipment.  I had to readjust my position way too much last night.

Random Party Pic

Saturday, April 21, 2012

DNSChanger: Are YOU Infected?

You've been given notice, people.  You have until July 8, 2012 (yes, that's THIS year), to check if your computer has been infected with the DNSChanger trojan.  If it is not removed, beyond this date your Internet goes bye-bye.  To check if you're infected or not click this link.  Do you see the following image?
Ok, that means you're good.  If you see something else you better start disinfecting ASAP.  It seems most of the major Antivirus and Malware manufacturers are already aware of the issue and have already taken steps to protect those users.

Now you're probably asking yourself what the heck is going on here.  I was waiting for you to clear up that malware thing before I started explaining.  If you're happy with just knowing about the infection go ahead and stop now.  I think I'm pretty good at explaining tech, but this can get boring nevertheless. 

A Domain Name System (DNS) Server is a node on the Internet that translates your stardard web address into the confusing numbers that is actually the address.  Here's an example of a what a web address actually looks like when it's not using DNS: (that goes to Yahoo!)

Remembering a sequence of numbers like that would make it really difficult to surf the web right?  That's where DNS comes in.  Ok, so here's where things went wrong.  A hacker ring in Estonia set up a buttload of false DNS servers and the FBI raided and confiscated those bad boys.  Infected computers were being rerouted to sites that the hackers wanted you to go to so they could collect commissions on Internet ads and page clicks.  Problem was though so many Internet users were infected the FBI didn't want to just yank the servers offline.  If they did over half a million people would have lost access to the Internet (and half a million is just the US number; worldwide infections totaled over 4 million).  Instead they converted the false DNS servers to legitimate ones.  But keeping servers running costs money and since the FBI isn't privy to that clickjacking money stream the Estonians has so the taxpayers are footing the bill...and that's why the time to shut these servers down has come.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Google +: It's On Now

I really hope this wasn't a mistake because I'm almost never using Google+.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Karaoke Report 4-16-12

Yeah, I'm a day late.  So sue me. :P

Epic Awesomesauce Moment of the Night

There are some songs that are guaranteed to get the entire bar to sing along:  Don't Stop Believin', Bohemian Rhapsody,  I Will Survive, I Wanna Dance With Somebody (not kidding on that one).  But imagine my surprise when Total Eclipse of The Heart was that song.  Awesomesauce.

WTF Moment of the Night

It's got to be how quickly the crowd blew up.  It was DEAD when I got there and all of a sudden people just poured in.  From what I heard the crowd was so thin the night before they closed 2 hours earlier than usual.

Buzzkill Moment of the Night

Old drunk touchy-feely straggler.  That's all I have to say about that.

Random Party Pic

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fighting BS on the Web

I've been a denizen of the Internet for quite a while.  Long enough that I've developed the level of cynicism you need to hang around here.  I'm at that point where if someone says something, if it's not in my carefully indexed memory of useless facts and trivia I'm looking it up. It's nothing personal.  I do this to everyone.  If you've ever heard me say "Hmm, I'm going to have to get back to you on that." I'm pretty much saying I don't trust your information and I need to verify it.

Yeah Batman, I'm right there with you on that.

You'd be surprised how much bad information is out there.  To the credit of the human race, most of the time this bad information is shared out of concern for one's fellow man.  There is however a huge chunk of that time where people are just being dicks.  The huge difference between when this happens online and in our actual everyday lives is context.  When you can't see someone's face or hear their voice or even know who someone is it's really hard to derive context from what someone has shared with the world.  Here's an example.  "When you work hard to do something right, you don't want to forget it."  It sounds like a decent enough quote, but if you clicked on that link you'll see who actually said that. 

It all comes down to showing some responsibility for your own knowledge, because while everyone is entitled to their own opinion everyone is NOT entitled to their own facts.  So today I'm going to arm you with a few tools for helping you fight BS on the Web.

General Information

Here's a source you need to take with a grain of salt.  Most general information can be found on Wikipedia.  The open source encyclopedia has been storing useful information for years.  The downside: It's open source.  That means ANYONE can edit, delete and change information there.  Fortunately the site is policed by thousands of users but it's mostly the most researched topics are the most well guarded.  I can tell you some interesting stories of when I used to guard the St. Thomas wiki entry.

For everything else, there's Google.  If you go that route though, make sure you check several sources and not just the first one that pops up for your search.

Movies & Television

Here's some common trivia fodder.  Your best source for factual information on the web is hands down the Internet Movie Database, better known as IMDB.  This is most useful when someone tries to convince you that a certain movie is in production.  Alas I haven't been able to find something as extensive for music, but the AllMusic comes pretty close.


Perhaps the one category where people will lie to you, not even know it and won't believe you once you've disproved the lie.  The partisan divide is more polarized today than it's ever been so you'd best arm yourself with non-partisan data.  My go to sites for researching politics are Politifact and

"Urban Legends, Folklore, Myths, Rumors, and Misinformation"

That's in quotes for a reason.  It's directly from Snopes.  This is one of my favorite sites because it seems like almost every day I get a email forward with some ridiculous claim.  Recently I got one regarding using egg whites to save burn victims from permanent scarring.  It was total BS.  Another good site to visit is's Urban Legend Directory.


One of the best engines of scams and falsehoods I've seen since the days of Internet Relay Chat.  I don't think I've gone a single day on Facebook without someone falling prey to a rouge app or a scam giveaway.  One site that does a great job of keep track of all this junk is Facecrooks.  No doubt you've seen me post links to this site quite often.

Words & Usage

Words With Friends has sparked a small resurgence in words, their meanings and how they can be used.  I say go with a name you know.  I always refer to Webster's Dictionary.  If you can't find what you're looking for there though, isn't a bad alternative.

Everyman Explanations

Trying to wrap your head around something?   I mean figuratively (if you don't know what that means I've already provided a link for that). is a great site that gives everyman explanations on things like cell phones, the legal system, photosynthesis, tax evasion, blah blah blah yakety schmakety.

That's all I got for now.  If I think of anything else I'll be updating this entry.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Karaoke Report 4-9-12

Ok East End, now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!  We were touch and go a few times but it was still a wild night of Karaoke at Fatty's!

Epic Awesomesauce Moment of The Night
The fact that today's a holiday and I got to sleep in until 11AM.  I'm now officially spoiled for next weekend.

WTF Moment of the Night
You'd think after doing this for so long I'd stop being surprised at how busy karaoke gets at closing time.  Don't get me wrong.  This was one of those nights where I had a steady stream of requests but that last hour I practically got mobbed.  Must have something to do with that liquid courage. :)

Buzzkill Moment of the Night
The benefit of being digital:  I can find what I need at an instant.  The downside: People want to ready my screen.  That's kind of a problem considering that nobody is allowed behind the bar unless they work there and if they do come behind it puts my head directly in front of the television screen the person currently singing is using.  I may have to revisit my tablet plan.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Think I Want A Tablet

Tablets seem to be all the rage these days since all the n00bs are gushing over the iPad 3. If you're reading this from an iPad right now and have no idea what a n00b is just trust that the moniker is well deserved. :)

Ok, cutting the snark seriously. Ever since I read this article about the Kindle Fire, my views on tablets have softened a bit.

Check out that Sexy Beast (and I'm not referring to the X-Men character Beast who isn't even in this shot).
 Here's the deal.  My smartphone has proved itself a gateway drug for tablets.  Don't get me wrong, I still love my mini laptop.  As a Renegade Geek on the go it's invaluable.  Problem is there are some quick things I'd like to do without having to fire it up.  For that I rely on my smartphone.  But my smartphone is showing it's age.  When the Facebook app started working at a crawling pace, I knew the browsing potential of my smartphone had jumped the shark.  My smartphone simply doesn't have stuff to keep up with this fast paced touch based market.  Plus it doesn't help that I only have room to store Words For Friends as my only game.

There's another service I'd like to be able to use on the go as well: Netflix.  My smartphone is too old to use the new Android app.  My netbook wasn't designed be Netlfix friendly (it's the screen resolution). 

There's one special feature though that really appeals to me and if you've been following my blog you know what that is.  The price!  When the Kindle Fire first hit the market, it was intentionally sold at a break even/loss price because Amazon had hopes that the content available to the device would pay for it.  Well, it has.  In spades.

Now for my dilemma.  The bug is itching me now but the tablet market is really ready to blow up right now (in a good way).  Take this report that Google is ready to enter the fray.  Even if that's down the line, ASUS working on a $250 quad-core tablet gives me some incentive to wait.

What do you guys think?  Anyone out there a Kindle Fire user?  I'll see how much longer I can contain myself until I learn a bit more.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Karaoke Report 4-2-12

Wow guys, I don't know what happened to the East End last night. Apparently everyone was occupied with other parts of the island or something. Oh well, here we go.

Epic Awesomesauce Moment of The Night
After almost 3 hours of DJing someone finally sings something...and suddenly everyone realizes that there's karaoke.

WTF Moment of the Night
You guys really let me DJ for that long? :)

Buzzkill Moment of the Night
Remember my new computer that I've been prepping for like months now to take over the duties of my older computer. Well I finally came to the decision to just get a long HDMI cable and run it over the roof like I do my audio cable. It seemed to work like a charm until *flicker* *flicker* *fade to black*...and then it's back up again. Unfortunately I MUST have a solid video signal if this is going to work. It's suck a buzzkill because I spent the weekend ironing out the audio issues for the video to be the deal breaker.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ok, Google. You Win.

Sorry Internets, you never stood a chance against Google for April Fools' Day.  They really all out this year.  Here's a link for the complete rundown.  Some of my favorites from them this year:

Jargon Bot could actually be pretty useful.

I can't forget the everyone else though. Check out this site or this one for more jokes.

Also special mentions for these:

And finally, Richard Branson's Journey To The Center of the Earth!