2009 Year End Zeitgeist

It’s that time of year again! I’ve collected the data, crunched the numbers, and have now published the data for Andrew Ferguson dot NET 2009. As always, these stats mean practically nothing. They are fun (and at time, amusing) to look at, that’s it. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Top ten search terms for 20091:

  1. countdown timer (0)
  2. how to tie a tie (+6)
  3. andrew ferguson (-1)
  4. blockquote cite (0)
  5. mafalda comics (NR)
  6. ben towne (NR)
  7. countdown timers (NR)
  8. 30 day notice (NR)
  9. mafalda (-2)
  10. svn tagging (NR)

Top ten web crawlers for 20092:

  1. MSNBot (0)
  2. Yahoo Slurp (0)
  3. Goooglebot (0)
  4. Ask (0)
  5. Voila (NR)
  6. Alexia (-1)
  7. The Web Archive (0)
  8. Voyager (NR)
  9. Scooter (NR)
  10. WebCollage (NR)

Top ten referring web crawlers for 20093:

  1. Google (0)
  2. Yahoo! (+1)
  3. Bing (NR)
  4. MSN (0)
  5. Windows Live (-3)
  6. AOL (0)
  7. Search (NR)
  8. Ask (-1)
  9. Altavista (0)
  10. Baidu (0)

Top ten referring sites for 20094:

  1. images.google.com
  2. office.microsoft.com
  3. wordpress.org
  4. codex.wordpress.org
  5. facebook.com
  6. google.com
  7. images.google.ca
  8. mu.wordpress.org
  9. twitter.com
  10. plasticdreams.org

Top six operating systems for 20095:

  1. Windows XP
  2. Windows Vista
  3. Mac OS X – Leopard
  4. Mac OS X – Snow Leopard
  5. Windows 7
  6. Mac OS X – Tiger

Top eight Internet browsers for 20096:

  1. Internet Explorer 7
  2. Firefox 3.0
  3. Internet Explorer 8
  4. Firefox 3.5
  5. Internet Explorer 6
  6. Safari
  7. Chrome
  8. Opera

Top ten posts for 20097:

  1. Transfer Contacts from/to Microsoft Outlook (0)
  2. Adding User Photo to WordPress User Profile (0)
  3. Using add_meta_box() (NR)
  4. How to Tie a Tie (+3)
  5. The Hunt for Toda Mafalda (+5)
  6. The Finer Points of Configuring Your Airport Express and Error 10057 (NR)
  7. How to Give a 30 Day Notice (NR)
  8. Stevie Starr: The Regurgitator (-5)
  9. Automating SVN Tagging (NR)
  10. phPo Translator – Online PO Translator (NR)

Page Views for 20098:

Bandwidth: 94.87 GB of data served910

Page views: 192,82311 or 200,86112 or 1,300,8821314

Absolute unique visits: 140,16815

Posts: 271
Comments by me: 141
Comments not by me: 344

Flickr Stats at the end of 200916:

Photos: 13,126
Videos: 78

Tagged: 9,776
Not tagged: 3,428

Geotagged: 7,266
Not Geotagged: 5,938

Emails sent: 943+

Music interests:

For comparison, see:
2008 Year End Zeitgeist

  1. as measured by WordPress.com on the andrewferguson.net blog 

  2. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  3. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  4. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  5. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  6. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  7. as measured by WordPress.com on the andrewferguson.net blog 

  8. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  9. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  10. traffic viewed, which does not include “traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.” 

  11. as measured by WordPress.com on the andrewferguson.net blog 

  12. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  13. as measured by AWStats for the entire andrewferguson.net domain 

  14. traffic viewed, which does not include “traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.” 

  15. as measured by Google Analytics for the andrewferguson.net blog 

  16. these are all time total numbers, not yearly totals 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

24.0 mm || 1.3 sec || f/3.8 || ISO500 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

24.0 mm || 1.3 sec || f/3.8 || ISO500 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

…even if it is a couple days late1.

Merry Christmas!

  1. it took me a couple extra days to get these photos edited and posted 

2009 Is Almost Over, What Have You Done?

Because I have absolute nothing to do right now, I’m regressing to my inner high school self (perhaps even earlier).

Stayed single almost the whole year?
Yes, story of my life

Done something you’ve regretted?
To quote Sinata, “Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention.”

Lost someone?
Sigh. Yes.

Cut class?
On occasion.

Were involved in something you’ll never forget?
Definitely. Graduated, traveled, and started work.

Visited a different country?
Twelve of them: Russia, Estonia, Ukraine, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany

Cooked a gross meal?

Lost something important to you?
Not that I can think of.

Got a gift you adore?

Tripped over a coffee table?
Coffee table? No.

Dyed your hair?

Came close to losing your life?

Went to a party?
Of course

Read a great book?
Yes, Mere Christianity.

Saw one of your favorite bands/artists live?
Nope, 2010 I will though.

2009: Friends and Enemies

Did you meet any new friends this year?

Did you dislike anyone?
There’s always a few people who irk me.

Did you grow apart from anyone?
Unfortunately yes.

Do you have any regrets when it comes to your friendships?
Not that I can think of.

2009: Your BIRTHDAY!

Did you have a cake?

Did you have a party?
Yes…speaking of which, I still need to edit those photos and upload them…

Did you get any presents?
Yes, including this little ditty which I’m wearing right now.,

Were you single?
See above.

2009: All about YOU

Did you change at all this year?

Did you change your style?
I would use the word, “evolved.”

Were you in school?

Did you get good grades?
Actually, yes.

Did you drive?

Did you own a car?
More or less.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
No. Erin Chase says, “Um hi, I gave birth actually. You’re my technical goto guy…that means we’re close. You should change that!!!!! ;]”

Did you move at all?
Back to Seattle.

Did you go on any vacations?
Several times.

Would you change anything about yourself now?
Without being able to preview an alternate timeline, no.

2009 WRAP-UP:

Was 2009 a good year?
All in all, yes.

When did things change for you if they did?
Life is a continuum, not a series of discrete moments.

Do you think 2010 will be better then 2009?
It’s going to be hard to beat, but I’m going for it.

In 2009 I….

( ) stayed single for the whole year
( ) kissed in the snow
(x) celebrated Halloween
(x) had your heart broken
(x) mooned someone
( ) went over the minutes on your cell phone
( ) someone questioned your sexual orientation
( ) came out of the closet
( ) gotten pregnant
( ) had an abortion
( ) done something you’ve regretted


( ) painted a picture
(x) wrote a poem
(x) ran a mile
( ) shopped at Hollister or Abercrombie and Fitch
( ) posted a blog on MySpace
(x) visited a foreign country
( ) cut in a line of waiting people
( ) told someone you were busy when you weren’t
(x) partied to celebrate the new year
( ) cooked a disastrous meal
( ) lied about how old you were
(x) prank called someone

In 2009 I also….

[x] broke a promise
[ ] fell out of love
[x] told a little white lie
[x] lied
[x] cried over a broken heart
[x] disappointed someone close
[x] hid a secret
[x] pretended to be happy
[x] slept under the stars
[x] kept your new years resolution
[ ] forgot your new years resolution
[ ] met one of your idols
[x] changed your outlook on life
[x] sat home all day doing nothing
[ ] pretended to be sick
[x] left the country
[x] almost died
[ ] given up on something/someone important to you
[ ] lost something expensive
[x] learned something new about yourself
[x] tried something you normally wouldn’t try and liked it
[x] made a change in your life
[x] found out who your true friends were
[x] met great people
[x] stayed up til sunrise
[ ] cried over the silliest thing
[x] had friends who were drifting away from you
[ ] had a high cell phone bill
[ ] spent most of your money on food
[ ] had a fist fight
[x] went to the beach with your best friend(s)
[x] gotten sick
[ ] liked more than 5 people at the same time

My Brief Thoughts on Northwest Flight 253

I’m going to keep this short, no more than 250 500 1000 words1.

As you all know by now, there was an attempt to blow up another airplane. Although it was initially reported someone lighting off firecrackers, it was soon discovered to be a makeshift bomb and “Bomb experts say there was more than enough explosive to bring down the Northwest jet, which had nearly 300 people aboard, had the detonator not failed.”2

I haven’t heard much as to the explosive nature of the bomb, other than it was “PETN3 and possibly a glycol-based liquid explosive”4 and it was “carried in a soft plastic container – possibly a condom.”5

While there may have been enough explosives present by mass to destroy an airliner (and I even have some doubts about that6, given the lack of calculations I’ve seen), what are the odds7 of our suspect (or any future suspect) maximizing the effectiveness of such an explosive given their circumstances?

Here’s what I’m really concerned about though: Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar and ABC News consultant, has this to say, “We’ve known for a long time that this is possible and that we really have to replace our scanning devices with more modern systems.” Clarke said full body scans were needed, “but they’re expensive and they’re intrusive. They invade people’s privacy.”8

Responding to a need for fuller and more frequent body pat-downs and scanning, Rep. Peter King of New York, the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, said, “I think we have to head in that direction… Yes, there is some brief violation of privacy with a full body scan. But on the other hand, if we can save thousands of lives, to me, we have to make that decision.”9

Why are we continuing to move in a direction that is A) ineffective and B) in violation of our constitutional rights10? (See also: A Discussion on the Fourth Amendment and National Security)

In response, the TSA has issued emergency rules that I’m sure will go far in helping keep people safe: From www.businessweek.com:

Airline passengers traveling to the U.S. from other countries were ordered to remain seated for the last hour in flight, and were limited to one carry-on item in response to an attempted terrorist attack yesterday on a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit from Amsterdam.
New U.S. Transportation Security Administration rules also prohibit passengers from getting anything from their carry-on bags or having anything in their laps in the final hour of flight, the agency said.

Bruce Schneier, an internationally renowned security technologist and author, had this to say in response to Northwest Flight 253 and the new TSA rules:
From www.schneier.com:

And what sort of magical thinking is behind the rumored TSA rule about keeping passengers seated during the last hour of flight? Do we really think the terrorist won’t think of blowing up their improvised explosive devices during the first hour of flight?

For years I’ve been saying this:

Only two things have made flying safer [since 9/11]: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers.

This week, the second one worked over Detroit. Security succeeded.

Now is not the time stripping more of my rights away in the name of security; I’m and sick and tired of being treated like a criminal. (My new policy: “Do I have the right to refuse this search?”)

Now is the time establish a new type of a system; a system that works. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that what we have now and the path we’re on is ineffective and needs to change.

And may God help whoever tries to blowup a plane I’m on; because I will own their sorry ass.

Thumbnail: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” from Network (1976), released by MGM. © 1976 MGM.

  1. including quotes and footnotes 

  2. Officials: Only A Failed Detonator Saved Northwest Flight 

  3. NB: Same explosive Richard Reid used in 2001; gee, taking my shoes off during screening really helped prevent that from happening again… 

  4. U.S. Airline Security Reviews Under Way 

  5. Official: Explosive PETN Used in Attack 

  6. PETN – hard to detect and just 100g can destroy a car 

  7. The Odds of Airborne Terror 

  8. Officials: Only A Failed Detonator Saved Northwest Flight 

  9. U.S. Airline Security Reviews Under Way 

  10. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution 

For the week of 2009-12-27 in Tweets

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Shared Items for the week of December 26, 2009*

* Q: Wha? A: Every week I go through about 1000 posts on my RSS feed. These are ones that I thought worth sharing. You can find previous Shared Items here.

More On Copyright

My cousin Amanda1 wants to know:

I just finished a painting and I wanted to put it on Facebook, but I need to know about copyright stuff, if I put it on Facebook does that give the Facebook people right to it?

Editors note: edited for grammar and such.

The short answer is yes.

Facebook has something called a “Terms of Service”2. It’s a long document, but the part you’re going to be interested in is near the top, section 2 “Sharing Your Content and Information.”

Part 1 reads: “For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

I’m not a lawyer, but when you put content you create (such as a picture of your painting) on Facebook, you automatically give them certain rights. However, as soon as you delete the content, the rights you gave them are automatically rescinded unless your content has been shared with others who have not deleted it.

Copyright is a very interesting subject and one that is not very well understood by many people. I’d encourage you to learn more about it. A good place to start would be Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know. I may not be able to answer all of them, however I can also ask my roommate who’s in law school.


I also sent an email to Auntie, just to make sure everyone is on same page and to (hopefully) provide a Teaching Moment™:

Amanda was asking me about copyrights, which I’m more than happy to give my two cents on in my non-lawyer capacity. However, I’m rather passionate about copyright (or more appropriately, the abuse of copyright and the rights of people) and was hoping this could turn into one of those “teaching moments” I so often hear about from my parents. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (sort of like the ACLU for the electronic age) has a website called “Teaching Copyright” (http://www.teachingcopyright.org/) which provides (for free) a curriculum for teachers to “present the laws surrounding digital rights in a balanced way.”

I think there’s lots of confusion about what copyright is and isn’t. The current copyright (and patent and trademark) system is (in my opinion) a mostly vile shell of what the original intention behind the system was. Yes, strong words, but also words I believe to be accurate. Anyway, I’d encourage you take a look. The site is pretty decent and while not comprehensive, at least gets the ball rolling.

You may also be interested in Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/), which “provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors.” An example of this would be my website (http://andrewferguson.net/some-rights-reserved/) and almost all of my photos.

As always, feel free to ask lots and lots of questions.


I’m curious where copyright and the like is headed. I’ve been fed-up with the current system a little while now, but I’m usually on the early side of the “early adopters”. My hope is, of course, that we are starting to see more uptick in the desire to return to the origins of the copyright, “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”3

A graph of Everett Rogers Technology Adoption Lifecycle model. Copyright 2007 Natebailey, Creative Commons Attribution 2.5.

  1. who is, incidentally, the sister of my cousin Nick 

  2. http://www.facebook.com/terms.php?ref=pf 

  3. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution 

The First Item I Ever Bought on EBay

Ten years ago today, I1 signed up for EBay. I was in 8th grade and so very badly wanted a LEGO set that had recently ceased production. Specifically, set 4555: Freight Loading Cargo Station.

4555: Freight Loading Cargo Station
4555: Freight Loading Cargo Station

I think I paid somewhere around $77 for it, which was a pretty good deal, since Lugnet says it retailed for $66. The other interesting fact, PayPal did not exist back then2, so I had to pay by certified money order via the USPS.

This involved me getting on my bike, riding to Washington Mutual, withdrawing cash from my savings account3, riding a couple more blocks to the post office and getting the money order. I sent the money order to the guy, which took several days, waited for him to deposit it, then waited several more days to get the package in the mail. The whole transaction probably took several weeks to complete, and certainly none of this instant pay crap that we can do online now.

  1. technically my parents, but I was the one who used it 

  2. PayPal, as we know it, didn’t form until March 2000 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PayPal#Beginnings 

  3. I wouldn’t have a checking account for at least two more years, I believe 

Shared Items for the week of December 21, 2009*

* Q: Wha? A: Every week I go through about 1000 posts on my RSS feed. These are ones that I thought worth sharing. You can find previous Shared Items here.

For the week of 2009-12-20 in Tweets

  • I was really beginning to enjoy the sunny days #fb #
  • question now is, how much is BA stock going to shoot up? #
  • that was pretty cool! everyone in the office was gathered around the computer to watch the 787 take off. #787ff #fb #
  • is craving a costco hotdog #fb #
  • congratulations to all my friends at Mines who graduated today! #fb #
  • le sigh #fb #

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