James Roe's Sift Talk Posts




VideoSift part of Googles Autocomplete Dictionary

I know I haven't contributed much to the sift in a while, but I'm still a pretty frequent lurker, and today I learned something that I thought you guys might find interesting.

It appears that VideoSift is a valid autocomplete word on android devices. I assume this is just being populated from google's search data, but still it's pretty cool that the site warrants an inclusion in what is essentially a list of common english words.

Video Resizer .2 Alpha

Due to the complexity of the numerous Embed systems on the site it was long ago decided that it wasn't worth the effort to include dynamic resizing of an infinite number of embeds. However I really really miss the bigger button, and have taken it upon myself to recreate the effect using greasemonkey a scripting plugin for firefox.

This current release has very limited functionality, meaning it only really has support for youtube videos, and even then only some of them. Furthermore it doesn't work on the front page or any other listing page yet, just individual video pages.

You can download my script here once you have finished installing greasemonkey follow these instructions to get it up and running.

Anyway the way this works is that it basically makes the video embed larger than it is normally. In later versions i will add detection for what your current page size is and scale the videos accordingly, but currently videos are optimized for the 1280 resolution so i suggest setting your preferred size to that width.

I would imagine that there will be lots of bug reports etc so please feel free to report them here.

Weekly Friday Neatorama Review.

It's once again Friday so it's time to strap yourselves in for our weekly neatorama review. Probably my favorite this week was the article on advanced civilizations. Here's a bit longer quote then i normally give to pique your interests.

Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York, wrote a fascinating article in COSMOS magazine comparing our current state of knowledge and "level" of civilization with what is possible in the universe.

In a seminal paper published in 1964 in the Journal of Soviet Astronomy, Russian astrophysicist Nicolai Kardashev theorised that advanced civilisations must thus be grouped according to three Types: I, II and III, signifying mastery of, respectively, planetary, stellar and galactic forms of energy usage. He calculated that the energy consumption of these three types of civilisations would be separated by a factor of about 10 billion.

Where are we right now? Not even type I (according to Carl Sagan, we’re at 0.7!), but we’re getting getting there! There are already evidence everywhere of an emerging Type I civilization.

It’s a fascinating read: in the article, Michio speculates about von Neumann probes visiting Earth, the perils of encountering Type III civilization, harnessing the energy equivalent to that of a blackhole, and more!


1: Crazy Man Takes Bath With 87 of his favorite rattle snakes
2: Advanced Civilizations and Mastery of Galactic Scale Energy (this weeks "nerd" must read)
3: Panda Fashion










Neatorama - A Week Spent Ghouling

It's time for our weekly neatorama round up, and somehow I managed to resist the desire to overload this post with Halloween plugs. I know it was a couple of days ago, but neatorama had so much frightful stuff that it was hard. As it is I only picked a couple.

1: Ten Really Geeky Wedding Photos
2: The Peckham House (a study in space saving design)
3: Steve Millers Pumpkin House (yes it looks like a pumpkin)
4: Sleeping People of China (a gallery of crazy places that people in china are willing to sleep)






Neatorama, So Much That is Tasty to Read

It's a Friday and that means it's time for our weekly neatorama roundup. As always please keep in mind that these are just a few of the awesome posts from neatorama this week.

1: Brail Tattoos for the Blind
2: The Worlds Un-Luckiest Man, Seriously, check this dude out.
3: Funny Money, Strange Currencies of the World
4: Worlds Weirdest Moths (This weeks must read article)






Second Annual (?) Sift-Up in Portland

Hello everyone, some of you who are a little longer in the tooth might remember the FIRST EVER SIFTUP. Oohahh and SwinginPagan treated me to some good times in Portland and as luck would have it I will be out there again this weekend.

This time around we should see the addition of two additional sifters Intangible Meg and Rickegee so if anyone else is in the Portland area and would like to get together leave some details in this thread. If you're not in the Portland area you should probably think about getting there for what is sure to be a stellar event, just look at the fun we had last time.



Anyway I think we will probably try to meet up at the Rogue pub downtown sometime saturday evening, but I am open to other suggestions.

Neatorama A Week That's Not Yet Over

Hello Everyone,

I have been MIA over the past month due to the encroachment of reality, ie: the offline world, but over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be diving back into VideoSift with a vengence starting right here with a slightly early Neatorama roundup.

Why is it early you ask? Because I'm headed out to Portland tomorrow for the second annual Portland Sift Up, details to follow shortly, and will be on a plane all day tomorrow. Without further ado this is what you've been missing all week on neatorama.

1: A House Built to Look Like a Toilet
2: Extreme Fishing: Hunting for Sharks From... your Kayak
3: The Weirdest Insects in the World (this weeks must see article)
4: One Hundred Young Americans






Videosift's Iraq Tag

I was just flipping through the tag cloud and I came across this. Over 300 videos in 18 months. Granted it's not as big as the Japan tag, but it is still an amazing and almost chronological look at the US war on terrah.

Sift Going Down For Maintenance

We will be taking the sift down around 9 pm PST or midnight EST in order to make a couple of modifications and do some benchmarking.


Please bear with us as we make some optimizations to get the site running normally.

Sift Was Hacked

Apologies for the downtime. We were hacked this weekend and wanted to make sure we got all of the malicious code out. I will be posting some updates as I learn more about the exploit, and will hopefully get you guys some information about how to patch your machines.


For those who are curious the exploit in question was mpack.


It's also worth noting that this exploit only targeted users with unpatched machines so as always it is prudent to keep your machine up to date.


Update: After some reviews of our logs and data we tracked the incident to approximately 6:30 pm EST Monday night. We took the site off line around 10 am EST so the exploit was live for around 16 hours. We've contacted the abuse email for the IP in question, but chances are that it was just a compromised PC. I'd like to personally apologize for this lapse in security, and let you guys know that we are taking measures to reduce our liability in the future.




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