Fnard Monkey's Tech Blog

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vanno.com Review

Vanno.com describes itself as the company reputation index.. At first it seems like just another Digg.com clone. I've seen alot of the these and even once tried to make my own. Most of them are miserable failures. But, I see alot of potential in Vanno.com. The think that make it different is that it actually uses the submitted news to create company profiles. These company profiles provide a bunch of interesting information. It has stats about employee political contributions, community involvement, employee satisfaction, and even patriotism. Yes, patriotism. I was a little concerned about this one, but my concerns where relived when I check the factors they use to calculate patriotism. It seems to be based on country of origin, unions, and employment of military veterans. These things seem to be quite reasonable factors in determining the patriotism of a company. I decided to take a look at a few companies I'm very familiar with to get an idea of the sites accuracy.
First off was Target. I worked for Target for about 6 years and I shopped there about once a week. Nothing on Vanno.com company profile page would surprise anyone who shops there. Community involvement is high, but thats probably just because of Target philanthropic giving. The customer satisfaction is also high. I think most people would agree with that. The fishy thing is that I would guess the satisfaction would be almost entirely from value and price. After all Target is legendary for is poor customer service. But Vanno.com give Target a 60 out of 100 for customer service. Also it seems that the stats for quality and product safety are wacky. I shop at Target because I know that I can quality for a better price. Target does not sell unsafe products, but just visit the customer service counter and take a look at all the product recall notices. As for employee satisfaction Vanno.com gives the company a score of 33 out of 100. I would just point to to one of the various Target Sucks pages out on the Internets. Like this One. On to patriotism. The biggest problem with Vanno is that it does not seem to allow negative scores. The patriotism stat is based on union made, country of origin, and apparently the employment of veterans. I can not speak about the Targets treatment of veterans, but I have heard of Target running into problem with USERRA. I think that there was a lawsuit in Oregon about this a few years ago. Aside from that, Target actively fights unionisation of its stores. The product it sells are almost entirely made over seas by none union labour. It seem that on the union stat the score should be a negative. I'm confused by how a retailers patriotism could be influenced by its county of origin, when most of its products are made in China. I should explain that my criticism of Vanno.com's profile of Target was to illustrate the difference between the computer generated profile and reality.
Despite my criticism I think that the Vanno.com company profile of Target is fairly accurate.

Next up is REI. I've been shopping at REI for as long as I can remember. I love the store. Vanno.com profile of REI is pretty good. I would have guessed that customer satisfaction would be much higher. But everything looks quite reasonable.

I would recommend Vanno.com for anyone doing research on a company. Maybe you want to know what other people think. Maybe you are researching a possible future employer. Or maybe you are just curious. I just wonder if enough users will contribute news and vote. If people come to view the profiles will they really stay, register, and vote. Only time will tell.
Check out Vanno.com and see a glimpse of Web 3.0.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Digg vs Reddit vs Mixx

I like Digg, but sometimes I really hate it. I'm not going to go into all you reasons I like digg or even the reasons why I hate Digg. At least not yet. If your reading this then you probably already know enough about Digg to form your own opinion. What you may wonder sometimes is, how does digg compare to other social news sites. Well, I've been looking into Diggs top competitors and here is my opinion about them.

We will begin by looking at Diggs biggest rival on the net, Reddit.
The first thing that I noticed and the thing that annoys me the most, is the lack of categories. There are too many bullshit stories that I don't care about, and I can not find the stories I want. I don't want to read another headline about Mily Sirus. I don't care about sports. I want tech news. I want politics. I want the stuff that interests me. With Reddit its all or nothing. Next up is repetitive stories. I come to these site for news and links to interesting content. Unfortunately I find the same articles linked to several times. I know, its not the same link. Maybe its just another link to a blog that then links to the same original story. It is really annoying and it seems to be a tradition of every social news site. Basically there is nothing special about Reddit. After using the site for a few days, I am not impressed.

The next one is Mixx. I'll save you some time. Mixx.com is a freaking joke. Its the definition of blatent rip off. Mixx.com is nothing but a Digg clone with no users. Seriously I think, I had more users when I installed pligg on my localhost.

Digg is the winner. Its got the tools you need to find what you want. It also has the user to generate that content. All of these site have there own stupid politics. Digg users are in love with Kevin Rose. Reddit users think that they are better than everyone else. And mixx users don't seems to exist. All of these sites have redundent stories and annoyingly repetitive memes. All of these site have too many vocal morons and anoying trolls.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fnard's Fantastic Answer Corner-Part 1

I'm intoducing Fnard's Fantastic Answer Corner. In Fnard's Fantastic Answer Corner, Fnard takes questions from the public and answers them. To kick it off Fnard has posted some requests for questions on craigslist. Here are the requests posted to craigslist so far.

Posted in Portland

Ask me something?
Hello, I'm working on this project where I attempt to answer random questions. The questions can be about anything, and I will try to somehow find the answers. All of the questions and answers, will eventually be posted to a web site. Your contact information will be erased, but I will contact you with the answer to your question. I will also tell you when your question gets posted on the site.
Please send your questions to fnardmonkey@gmail.com

Posted In Washington DC

I can answer all your questions
I've started this project where I try to answer random questions. The more random and nonsensical the better. I will personally answer each question. I will answer the question as correctly as humanly possible. All the question and answers will then be collected and be put up on the Internet.
Please send your questions to fnardmonkey@gmail.com

Posted in Minneapolis

I need your questions!!
Okay so I'm working on this Internet performance “art” piece where I answer every question I get emailed to me. The questions can be about anything, and they will be answered as correctly as possible. The more random or crazy the question the better.
Please send your questions to fnardmonkey@gmail.com

Posted in Salt Lake City Utah

Don't Ask God! Ask the Fnard Monkey!
The Fnard Monkey will answer your every question. It does not matter what the question is or what it is about, the Fnard Monkey will answer it. The answer may not be entirely correct, but its still an answer. The Fnard Monkey is entertained by your curiosity.
Please send your questions to fnardmonkey@gmail.com

Posted in KansasCity MO

Everyone has questions?
But I can find the answers for you. My name is Fnard. I am from the coldest reaches of Canadia. I have a pet monkey and together we solve small mysteries. Very small mysteries. Like single question mysteries. If you find your self needing an answer to a question we are the mammals for you. We will try to correctly answer every question that is asked of us. The subject does not matter. My monkey companion is well versed in a variety of topics, and I have watched many episodes of Jeopardy.
Please send your questions to fnardmonkey@gmail.com

Posted In Seattle

Do you want to waste 10 minutes?
The answer is yes!
Good Job!
Okay now for step two of this time wasting diversion.
I'm working of this Internet “art” humor project where I try to answer random questions. I need your help and it looks like you have some free time. All I need you to do is come up with a question and email it to me. Then I will answer it. Ask any question at all. Seriously ask about anything. Technology, science, cooking, relationships, politics, sex, ask thing you like. I'll send you the answer. It'll probably even be correct.
Please send your questions to fnardmonkey@gmail.com

Posted In Tokyo Japan

I have all these answers but no questions.
I need to answer your question but I do not know what it is. Please send me your question.
Please send your questions to fnardmonkey@gmail.com

So kids remember that if you ever have a question, just ask Fnard.

Send your questions to fnardmonkey@gmail.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

Future Posts

This post is just for me. After all no one else is reading this. So no one should be confused.
So these are some ideas of future posts.

  • Benchmarking Ubuntu 64bit vs 32bit
  • Benchmarking Virtualization software
  • Benchmarking various audio compression codecs
  • Benchmarking performance of full disk encryption
  • Open source software reviews
  • Linux for the absulute beginner
  • analytics comparison
  • Java video

Van Dam Mentos

Van damn!!!