The Halting Point

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

PPP = Internet Paid Off

I recently tweaked the AdSense arrangement on the site in case some of you noticed. The results have been pretty impressive in terms of performance, however the site still makes jack shit in terms of revenue from AdSense. It seems the people who come here do not click ads that often. While I can't actually ASK them to do it...I would be very happy if they would. In fact, if AdSense revenue increased, I could reduce the number of PPP posts I make on here, such as this one.

The reason I still post about word of mouth marketing through PPP on here is because frankly, they pay better than AdSense right now. Much better. This post alone gets me 10 bones. 5 posts like this a month and I've paid for my internet for the month. 5 posts takes me roughly 1 to complete. Well worth it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New Steampunk Animated CG Movie

From the people that brought you "Rock Fish" (link goes to full short) and other great shorts, Blur Studio is set to release their new film "Gentleman's Duel" sometime this year. The film tells the story of a Frenchman and an Englishman who are fighting over a noble woman.

The coolest part of all of this, and the reason why you're likely reading this article is for their weapons of choice for the duel. Giant, steam-powered mechs. As a huge Steampunk fan, I can only say "its about freakin time". Personally I'm dying for a live-action Steampunk movie, but this will definitely make due in the meantime. If you aren't familiar with Blur, I HIGHLY recommend you check out their website and familiarize yourself with their work. It is highly entertaining and some of the best quality CG animation out there.

"Gentleman's Duel" is a first for them in many ways not only in terms of the technology they are using for this but also in terms of the art direction. For this film it seems they are trying to go for more of a "hand-painted" feel to things, despite the fact that it was all created with cutting-edge animation software. There is a much longer and in-depth article available at CGSociety that details the technology used and has many more pretty screenshots. Unfortunately, none of the screenshots have pictures of any of the mechs although you can tell in one of them that the man is sitting in the cockpit of one of the mechs even though you can't see very much of it.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is short-listed for the Oscars like their last short and can't wait for them to produce more great animation concepts like this.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Richard Dawkins explains why he is hostile towards religion.

A recent article on BeliefNet (not sure if he wrote this for them or they just picked it up from elsewhere), written by Dawkins himself explains his hatred of religion. It is a fascinating read because while Dawkins usually presents his information through examples and evidence, this piece is more of an opinion piece, providing a few links to back up his points, but mostly just explaining his animosity towards fundamentalists and any who would put religion over science.

He gives two eloquent anecdotes of what happens when one renounces their beliefs and when one chooses to block out the facts in favor of beliefs. He also does an excellent job of explaining the fact that he is not the atheist equivelant of a fundamentalist. There are many differences, the key one being that if he was presented with evidence that disproved current scientific theories of evolution for example, he would change his view overnight, and be overjoyed that science had progressed. He points out that there is not a single fundamentalist alive who would do such a thing. And he is right.

I truly hope for a day when atheists rule the world, perhaps there will be fewer wars, or perhaps people will just be more honest about why they are fighting them without the excuse of their religion. Part of me wonders what life would be like if we had two planets, one for religious people and the other for atheists. What would those societies look like? What would the rate of technological advancement be? One can only wonder...

This is a good follow-up to my previous article on Dawkins that also has links to download his full-length documentary "The Root of All Evil" which explains as only Dawkins can explain it, why religion is bad for us.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Shaolin Monk vs. Tae Kwon Do...Speed vs. Power

Everybody knows Shaolin monks are good combatants, but what happens when they are up against another martial art specialist, such as say...a Tae Kwon Do master? Shaolin kung-fu is known for its speed whereas Tae Kwon Do is known for its raw power. Watch below and learn for yourself in this completely unscripted tournament fight which is more important. In case you can't figure it out, the Shaolin monk is the yellow robes.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

PokerSavvy...or how to dodge the law

So, first off I will disclose that this post is paid for by PokerSavvy, and Online Poker site. When I saw this opportunity listed on PayPerPost, I was a bit shocked since I know that online poker is now illegal in the U.S. and the primary audience of the bloggers of PPP is in the U.S. In any event, it seems they get around this with a loophole where you sign up for a poker room and win "SavvyPoints", which you can exchange for crap online. I don't see any listing of what you can get with these points, but I assume it is nothing too worthwhile.

In addition, this isn't even an actual poker site, its an affiliate site which for those not in the know...does the legwork of marketing, etc. to get new customers for the sites they are affiliates for, and they receive a commission. At least they were fairly up front about this in their FAQ unlike most online internet businesses that fall into the same category as online poker.

It also seems they have a bevvy of poker articles which may or may not be useful to you. Ah the joy of +/- opportunities on PPP...I get to write whatever the hell I want about something and get paid even if what I write isn't positive.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Day Tomorrow

Just a quick note to remind you all to make sure you get to the polls tomorrow. If you're a little daunted by the amount of names you haven't heard of, there are websites such as http://voteforjudges.org/ that can at least give you a fighting chance.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Richard Dawkins debates science vs. religion with Ted Haggard

For those not familiar with Richard Dawkins, he is one of the most admired and exalted scientists still alive today. He currently holds the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University to give you some feel for his credentials. You would be wise to read his full wikipedia entry.

In this video, he debates Ted Haggard, the religious counsel for such people as George Bush, and Tony Blair. Ted was recently caught on video admitting to having bought meth from a gay prostitute.

What do they debate? The very foundations of religion, the essence of science and why the two don't mesh. This is the most confrontational interview I've ever seen Dawkins involved in, and at one point you see his face and you can just see how utterly frustrated the man is at trying to have a logical discussion with Ted. It seems as if he's ready to just reach over, beat the shit out of him and strangle him for the good of humanity. But the kicker comes at the end when Haggard tosses Dawkins out of the church.

Truly one of the most eye opening interviews I have seen in a long time. Mr. Dawkins, through this video you have somehow managed to make me respect you even more.



For those wondering what this is from, this is an excerpt from a series of Dawkins' called "The Root of All Evil." You can watch the entire show at the links below:UPDATE: See a follow-up article on why Richard Dawkins hates religion. Not so much the facts-based presentation as he gives in his documentary, but more of an opinion piece coming straight from his heart, and his brain.

Friday, November 03, 2006

PINKS, not just for Fast & The Furious Posers.

There's this show PINKS. They race for pink slips like "real live street racers do" in The Fast & The Furious. The video below actually looks kinda interesting and contains a bunch of Drag Racing Clips. I think I saw a Mercedes goin against a Mustang at one point. That's gotta suck to lose. This video is promoting the all-day marathon of PINKS which will be followed by the premiere of PINKS All Out on SpeedTV on November 23rd. Also, FYI, this is a paid post via PPP and SpeedTV requires disclosure, and they require that I put "this post sponsored by SpeedTV.com" in the post somewhere. Kudos to them for requiring disclosure since there's tons of people who wouldn't disclose this, but shame on them for making people do it in the form of plugging their website. If you want us to disclose it, let us do it in language that we see fit.

But anyway, the interesting part of this post is the video below which is actually interesting to watch despite the paid nature of this post.


New Smash Bros. Brawl Trailer!!!

I am a massive fan of the Smash Bros. series. Although I prefer the original N64 version due to its tighter feeling controls, i'm DEFINITELY looking forward to the Wii version. Now instead of just reaching over and whacking my friends upside the head as we play, I can actually have that make my character attack and kill 2 birds with 1 stone! I'm kind of skeptical as to how accurate the Wii controller will be for this since timing was EVERYTHING in the previous ones and requiring body movement increases delay.

Either way it will be very interesting to actually get my hands on this and play it. I'm glad they kept cheap-ass Pikachu in there. I don't care how cheap he is, he rocks! I'm also pretty geeked to play Snake and he looks like he'll have some pretty sweet moves including what looks like a Raiden-esqe teleport attack.

How much have I made on PPP per hour?

So by now you've noticed that I post somewhat frequently about PayPerPost (PPP). Those posts are all paid for by PPP. How much? Well, this one post alone is getting me $10. And its going to take all of 10 minutes to write.

They're encouraging us to post our earnings so far so I'll go ahead and flat-out say that from the 9 posts (not including this one) I've made so far, I've made $95.50. The average payment per post comes out to about $10.61. If it takes me roughly 10 minutes for each post (including time spent navigating slow-ass Blogger.com)...that comes out to me making about $63.66/hour.

I'd really love to see what kind of "hourly rates" some of the top posters come out to. Not sure how many blogs they use, but it can indeed be profitable since the top poster clearaed $2600 this month.

Not bad for making a quick buck when you get back home from work at night, or on the weekends. Or depending on where you live and your living expenses...this could even be a full-time job for someone.

I said it before and I'll say it again. I don't mind doing these sponsored posts as long as I can say whatever the hell I want about what I'm posting about, and this is an excellent way for us smaller bloggers to make decent money that we'd never make through AdSense or anything like that.

And FYI, you can always tell which of my posts are paid or not because Blogger does not let you have fully invisible images, so whenever you see that tiny empty box at the end of my post, that is the tracking image for the PPP service to notify them that I've posted this. So if you don't like reading my witty sponsored posts, just ignore ones with that box.

I do plan on starting other blogs to utilize PPP, and hopefully that will let me tone down the amount of opps I post on here, but till then, DEAL WITH IT!

And if you are a small-time blogger and want to make money with them, feel free to use my email address haltingpoint@gmail.com as your referrer. You get to start making money, and I get $5 for having referred you, no skin off your back.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Don't Be Evil?


It seems that Microsoft have found a way to look like nicer guys than most people think. They're considering pulling out of China because they don't agree with China's oppressive regime.

Remember when Google got all that heat for moving in to China? When they bent over and censored search results themselves? Remember how they argued that giving the Chinese people some information, no matter how slanted, was ethically better than staying out in protest to the heinous human rights violations of the communist government? Remember how so many people said that it really came down to how much money they were missing out on because they hadn't moved in to China yet?

Google always had their good guy image, and faced with a tough decision, they caught a lot of flak and were really put under a microscope because people tended to have such a positive view of Google. Now Microsoft, which has a much more sinister reputation, stands to look like a bunch of really nice(r) guys because they're going the other way.

I remember an old tactic to making friends and managing expectations in a new social group:
Start off being as discourteous and rude as you can get away with. Then, after everyone expects you to be a jerk, start quietly being nice to people. Generally, they'll really appreciate your courtesy, instead of taking it for granted as they otherwise might.