May 30, 2007

Catching Sunglasses With Your Face?

Here's a really interesting video of a guy who repeatedly catches a pair of sunglasses with his face. His friend throws them at him and he catches them...right on his face.

Looks like a darn good way to lose an eye if you ask me! :P Of course, there's some magic camera work involved here, but it certainly makes for a cool and entertaining video!

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May 26, 2007

Best Affiliate Programs - A Brand New Category Launches

You write and I listen! Yep, in response to some of the emails I've gotten recently, I'm starting a brand new category here on Aaron Cook dot Com called Best Affiliate Programs.

The Best Affiliate Programs category will feature only those affiliate programs that are top-notch (those that perform the very best for bloggers). This includes new affiliate programs that are performing well, as well as older affiliate programs that have a well-earned history of continued, excellent performance. No duds here my friends, I guarantee.

Affiliate Program Performance

In order for an affiliate program to be mentioned in the Best Affiliate Programs category it must meet certain criteria. No crappy affiliate programs here, trust me.

Affiliate program performance is based on many variables, some of which include: commission percentage, commission structure, payout history, payout threshold, eCPM (Effective CPM is the revenue amount generated for every 1,000 Net impressions), ease of implementation and affiliate support.

The Best Affiliate Programs category will only feature affiliate programs that:

  • Are honest and guaranteed to pay you on time
  • Have high payouts and/or conversion rates
  • Are affiliate-centered and willing to help you succeed
Bottom line, if an affiliate program is not making money for bloggers, I'm not gonna waste my time and your time by blogging about it.

Know A Good Affiliate Program?

If you know of a good affiliate program (one that's performed really well for you) be sure to email me and let me know. I'm always on the lookout for great affiliate programs. Of course, be sure to include some performance data, as well as some basic information about the company and its background.

If it's a multi-tiered affiliate program and I choose to feature it in the Best Affiliate Programs category, I will spotlight your personal affiliate link in the blog post. Oh yeah! :)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

I'd like to wish everyone a very safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully you'll get to spend some nice quality time with your family and friends. But whatever you're doing, be sure to make it a safe one and a happy one!

In Remembrance
Gravestones at Arlington National Cemetary
graced by U.S. flags on Memorial Day

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, is a United States Federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day commemorates U.S. men and women who've died during military service to their country.

The holiday first began to honor soldiers who had died during the American Civil War. But after World War I it was expanded to include those who've died in any war or military action.

May 24, 2007

Serve Your Site Feed On Your Own Domain

Did you know that you can serve your FeedBurner site feed right from your own domain name? FeedBurner offers a premium service called MyBrand that allows you to do just that.

MyBrand allows you to offer your subscribers a cohesive and transparent branded experience by running your FeedBurner site feed directly through your domain. For example, rather than the standard feed URL ( your feed URL would be

The MyBrand service is priced according to the number of feeds you have: $2.99/month for up to 3 feeds, $6.99/month for 4-9 feeds, and $13.99/month for 10 or more feeds.

In order to use MyBrand you need to be able to change your CNAME entry in the DNS records for the domain you wish to use. If you need help with this you can find it in the FeedBurner Support Forums.

To activate MyBrand just sign into your FeedBurner account and click on the My Account link at the top-left. You'll see a screen like this:

This screen gives you the easy steps to set it up. Just create a CNAME record in the DNS entry for your domain name. Your CNAME entry should be: feeds CNAME Then just enter your feed domain (e.g. and click Purchase & Activate and voila!

Note: To have your FeedBurner site feed updated immediately (instead of on their automatic 30-minute interval) you can ping FeedBurner directly.

May 23, 2007

A Streaker Among Us

Here's a great film short. It's titled A Streaker Among Us and it's an interesting look at life the other way around...where nudity is the norm and a "streaker" is actually the one wearing clothes.

This is a damn cool piece of work and it's the ending where everything is finally more ways than one.

A Streaker Among Us
Where Dreams Began With Naked People

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Rich Jerk Not So Rich After All?

It looks like the Rich Jerk might not be living up to his own name - the "Rich" part, that is. As for the "Jerk" part, I dunno. Shoemoney recently posted that the Rich Jerk (Kelly Felix) is selling his entire business operation in order to avoid bankruptcy. Interesting.

About a week ago Shoemoney received an email stating that Rich Jerk was selling his whole business for $8 million. At first he figured it was just spam, but yesterday a trusted source verified the story. The source also added that Kelly had blown a lot of investors' money by buying advertising on Howard Stern and fake commercial and TV spots to make it appear as if he was really rich. Whether that's actually true or not, I don't know.

Nonetheless, he really is selling. His business is currently listed for sale on BizQuest. The reason for selling is listed as, "Multiple owners looking to work on various projects, separately." Hmm, interesting. It sounds like some people aren't getting along.

May 22, 2007

Would You Like Help In English Or Spanish?

Holy crap. Take a look at this. Here's a guy asking for help regarding his Blogger blog, and this is the response he gets...

"Would you like help in English or Spanish?" English? Spanish? Gibberish? Gee, I dunno. How about the language in which the question was actually written! I mean, I'm no Dick Tracy or anything, but at least that seems like a fairly logical place to start. Yes? No? Insert brain here!

Text Link Ads Announces The Hotlist

Text Link Ads has recently announced their newest feature called the "HotList." The Text Link Ads HotList will allow you to save (in a list) any inventory that you find interesting. This allows you to save items of interest without actually having to add it to your Text Link Ads shopping cart.

From Text Link Ads, "You will see the HotList icon when browsing our marketplace after you hover over the “reveal” link of a listing."

To note: Text Link Ads is also offering a 15% discount on any new ads purchased and the discount is good for the life of the ads. The coupon code for the 15% discount is: hotlist

Text Link Ads has consistently been one of the best-performing programs for many bloggers (myself included), so I definitely recommend that you give it a go.

May 21, 2007

Links Are Now Fixed - D'oh!


I've been extremely under the weather this last week - hence the lack of updates. I won't go into any detail, but let's just say that I hadn't felt that sick since I was a kid. Actually, I'm the type that pretty much never gets sick. In fact, the only cold medicine I had on hand had an expiration date of April, 2004! It was left here by an ex-girlfriend when she was in town visiting. Needless to say, I took it anyway. :P

Anyhoo, since I'm feeling a lot better now I decided to do a little blog housecleaning - and it's a damn good thing I did. While going over things I found some very important links that were, let's just say, totally jacked up!

Bad Category Link

For starters, my Movies category link led nowhere. Yep, nowhere. Somewhere along the line when I was updating my template and category links that one never got updated, so it was pointing to an older page that no longer exists. Grrr.


But worst of all - and this is really where my Homer Simpson "D'oh!" moment comes in - I found that all of my AddThis and Goolge RSS Feed subscription and bookmark buttons were pointing to old, nonexistant links as well. Say it with me now...D'oh!

When I moved this blog over to the domain name back in April, many things obviously needed to be changed and/or updated. And somehow, when making all the HTML changes, I totally missed resetting those links. Yeah, and I was wondering why my site feed count had been stagnating. Ding, ding, ding! No one can sign up through a dead link, moron!

But the good news is that they're fixed. The subscribe links now point to a real feed subscription page and the bookmark button will now actually allow you to bookmark the Aaron Cook Dot Com blog. Hooray!

Long story short...Insert Brain Here. :P

New Transformers Trailer Yields Secret Password

A new theatrical trailer for the Transformers movie has been released and I must say it looks pretty darn good. I honestly can't wait to see this thing. So far it looks like it'll live up to everyone's expectations, so let's keep our fingers crossed. I just hope they don't implant too much of a love story into it as Hollywood so often does these days.

The latest Transformers trailer is exclusively on Yahoo! and you can see it by clicking the photo above. You'll also find a bunch of Transformers production photos as well as earlier trailers. Oh, and there are some little "hidden presents" in the trailer, too...

Secret Password

For example, in the part where Bumblebee comes to life, look closely at the radio. The new password to the SectorSeven site is revealed there. You need to watch it in high definition to see it. So in case you can't see it clearly enough, the current password is: CODEBLACK.

The SectorSeven site is a little odd and takes some getting used to, but once you figure things out you might just find some exclusive video, including that of Generation One Bumblebee. You can also see some exclusive Dinobot and Insecticon action as well.

Production Photos

Here's a look at some of the latest production photos that have been released by DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures...

May 17, 2007

False Alarm! Apple iPhone Wil Not Be Delayed

The Engadget blog recently reported (erroneously) that the Apple iPhone launch was being delayed and pushed back from June to October. This, however, was a major false alarm and it's caused a huge, huge mess. How huge? Over $4 billion was knocked off Apple's market capitalization - which means that a lot of people lost a lot of money in a matter of minutes.

Additionally, a story (more accurately, a forum thread) regarding the iPhone false alarm was recently submitted to Digg stating that Engadget was being investigated for $535,000,000 in stock price manipulation. Well, that's not true. At least not now anyway. And even if they were investigated it's doubtful they'd have any liability. Apple, on the other hand, could have some explaining to do.

So what the hell really happened? To make a long story short, according to Engadget, a "trustworthy" source had supplied them with an internal email (or what seemed to be one) from Apple - an email that had gone out (supposedly) to some of the Apple employees.

That email, however, was a hoax and was retracted by Apple who quickly notified Engadget stating, "This communication is fake and did not come from Apple. Apple is on track to ship iPhone in late June and Mac OS X Leopard in October." Bottom line, Engadget really screwed up here. They should have known enough to have confirmed the email with Apple prior to publishing, but they didn't. And boy, what a mess.

But the good news I guess is that the iPhone and Leopard are still in fact fully expected to meet their targeted release dates. As for the email hoax itself, Apple is (according to Engadget) on a hunt to find whoever seemingly spoofed their email system with the incorrect iPhone and Leopard product release info. So while Engadget is most likely in the clear legally (unless they traded stocks during that time period), Apple could have some problems if the feds find that the email did indeed originate from their servers.

What's the total damage so far? Apple's stock promptly dropped, going from $107.89 to $103.42 in just six minutes, which quickly wiped about $4 billion off of Apple's market capitalization. Ouch! So is there a lesson to be learned here? You bet there is. Just check out Engadget Shanks Apple to see what it is.

Ferrari F355 Does A Screaming Dyno Run

Here's a quick look at a Ferrari F355 tearing things up on the dynamometer. When this puppy hits 6th gear it's nothing but sweet, sweet music. Now that's one screaming dyno run!

The Ferrari F355, which was built from 1994 to 1999, does 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and 0 to 100 mph in 11 seconds. It has a top speed of 298 km/h (185 mph) and a horsepower rating of 380 bhp. It redlines at 8500 rpm. Sweet indeed.

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May 16, 2007

WordPress Version 2.2 Getz Available For Download

The latest version of WordPress (Version 2.2 "Getz") is out now and ready for download. The new version is available in both .ZIP and .TAR.GZ formats and offers several new features, most notably widget integration. There are also over two hundred bug fixes in the new Getz version.

This Getz version is named in honor of Stan Getz (Stanley Gayetsky). He is considered of the greatest tenor saxophone players of all time and is known worldwide as "The Sound" due to his warm, lyrical tone. Here's a video shot back in 1989, two years before he died from liver cancer.

Here are some of the features Version 2.2 Getz offers:

  • WordPress Widgets will allow you to easily rearrange and customize areas of your blog (usually sidebars) with drag-and-drop ease. This functionality was originally available as a plugin, but is now included by default in the core code. It's significantly cleaned up and enabled for the default themes.
  • Full Atom support, including updating Atom feeds to use the 1.0 standard spec and including an implementation of the Atom Publishing API to complement WordPress's XML-RPC interface.
  • A new Blogger importer that's able to handle the latest version of Google’s Blogger so you can seamlessly import posts and comments without any interaction beyond entering your login.
  • Infinite comment stream, meaning that on your Edit Comments page when you delete or spam a comment using the AJAX links under each comment it will bring in another comment in the background so you always have 20 items on the page. (I know it sounds geeky, but try it!)
  • WordPress now protects you from activating a plugin or editing a file that will break your blog.
  • Core plugin and filter speed optimizations should make everything feel a bit more snappy and lighter on your server.
  • WordPress also added a hook for WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) support in a future version of Safari.
For additional reading, check out Aaron Brazell's article - 10 Things You Should Know About WordPress 2.2.

May 10, 2007

Site Meter Gets A Brand New Face - And More...

Yesterday, the folks at Site Meter unveiled their brand new website. It's a total redesign from the old one, and in my opinion, it looks a million times better. It's very clean and very easy to navigate. Aaron likey.

Along with the same comprehensive real-time website tracking and counter tools that many have come to depend on from Site Meter, they've also introduced some brand new features that will provide you with valuable insight regarding your visitors. Yes, change is good.

But first, here's a screenshot of the new Site Meter website...

Now just compare it to the old one below and you can see the difference. It's like night and day. Well, I guess if night and day both had a lot of green on them. :P Anyway, it's definitely a big improvement aesthetically.

Over the next few days Site Meter will be taking care of a few issues regarding the new site. They'll be working on optimizing load times, tweaking some graphs and fixing a few other minor hiccups - all standard stuff when you launch a new site.

In addition, Site Meter will also be offering a bunch of brand new tools and features. Here's a list of some of the things that will be coming soon...

Demo Reports – These will show you the exact demographics of your site visitors.
User Interest Reports – These will show you categories of content people read when they're not on your site. Knowing this type of information will help you find out what your visitors’ real interests are. That's a goldmine!
Better Account Management – This will allow you to run numerous websites under one single account (I've been wanting this one for a long time!). You’ll also be able to utilize a single login for easier access and management.
Heat Mapping (Heatmaps) – Yay! Heatmaps will show you where your users’ mouse is on the screen so you can better set up your website. Trust me, heatmaps are your best friend!
Variable Format Reports and Export - Pie Charts, Bar Graphs, Line Graphs
Excel, CSV, Tab Delimited
Unique Visitors –Know exactly how many true unique visitors are coming to your site, not just unique hits.
Live View – This will give you up-to-the minute stats reporting. If you're a stats junky who has to know what's going on at all times, you'll like this one.

Site Meter will also be introducing features like RSS tracking, podcast tracking, spider reportss and online videos. Yep, that's right. Online videos. The videos will be high quality, relevant news and topical videos that you can put on your blog or website. So when your visitors read your content they can also watch related videos. This will keep your visitors on your site longer. Hooray!

All in all, it looks like Site Meter is definitely on the right track to keep growing steadily. And with the new look, now they can do it in style.

May 9, 2007

Tom's Mission Impossible - Opening A Car Door

Here's proof that driving an awesome car (in this case a Bugatti Veyron) doesn't necessarily make a person look cool - even if you are a movie star.

For fun, I've written some internal dialog for Tom. Honestly, I can't imagine anything much different goes through his coconut anyway.

"OK, let's see...Drive car forward to big red area. Stop car. Put car in "P" for park. Open my door and stand up. Wave like a total crotch nut. Close my door. Walk around back of car.

Wow, this is some real easy stuff!

Pull the not my door handle. Pull the not my door handle again. Keep pulling the not my door handle. Hey, how do I open the not my door, door?!"

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May 6, 2007

Top 5 Posts - April 2007

I have a brand new blog category here. From now on I'll be featuring a "Top 5 Posts" recap for Aaron Cook dot Com. This recap will list the top 5 posts for the previous month. These are the posts that either brought the most traffic, received the most comments, or got the most Diggs, etc.

It's a great way to make sure that some of these tasty morsels don't fall through the cracks. But even if they did, don't worry. There's no five-second rule here! You can eat these suckers up anytime. Gobble, gobble!

Top 5 Posts - April 2007

Copyright Infringement - Is Someone Stealing Your Content? - So what do you do when someone is stealing your blog content? Here are the important steps to take. Trust me, they will get results!

Blogger Code of Conduct - The Fight Club Version - Response to Tim O'Reilley's monkeybutt idea of instituting a "Code of Conduct" for bloggers - also referred to as a Blogger Code of Conduct.

The Transformers Movie - Will It Kick Some Butt?
- Stoked about the upcoming Transformers movie? Yeah, so am I! Want to know which Autobots and Decepticons will actually be in it? This covers it. It also has some killer action shots from the movie. Enjoy!

Aaron Cook dot Com Officially Launches - This blog is now "officially" the Aaron Cook dot Com blog. After years of waiting I was finally able to acquire the Aaron Cook dot Com domain name.

Kiwi's Dream Finally Comes True - One of the most ingenious pieces of animation ever. Quite sad, but at least Kiwi finally achieves his dream of flight! BTW, major congrats to the artist. This was his Master's Thesis Animation that he completed while at The School of Visual Arts in New York City.

May 3, 2007

Spinal Tap Reunites For Live Earth Concert!

Marty DiBergi gets Nigel, David and Derek to reunite the fictitious heavy metal band Spinal Tap and agree to play at the Live Earth concert on July 7, 2007 to help in the fight against global warming.

This short film (entitled Spinal Tap) was directed by Rob Reiner and premiered on opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival. Enjoy!

Spinal Tap Merchandise

There's also a bunch of killer Spinal Tap stuff here on Amazon. T-shirts, buttons, posters, DVDs, keychains. Awesome!

May 1, 2007

AdSense Referrals Beta - Are You In?

Have you signed up for Google AdSense Referrals Beta? If you haven't, then you might just want to. AdSense Referrals Beta will allow you to choose referral ads from hundreds of AdWords advertisers, customize those referral ads, and show multiple referrals in just one ad unit.

If you're already using ad serving programs like Google AdSense as a form of blog monetization, then AdSense Referrals Beta should be a really good fit. It'll allow you to further expand your earning potential by connecting your readers with more products and services that appeal to them. And best of all, it gives you 100% the control over what ads will be shown on your blog.

AdSense Referrals Beta lets you do some real picking and choosing with the ads so you can be sure to feature the products and services that most appeal to your audience. The referral units themselves also allow for customization, so you can easily set them to match to the look and feel of your blog or website.

Getting Paid - One thing to note is that AdSense Referrals Beta does not pay commissions on a pay-per-click basis like AdSense does. It's a CPA setup (Cost Per Acquisition/Action), so it pays you whenever your site visitors click through to an advertiser's site and complete an action that's been defined by the advertiser. For example, a defined action could be a sale, or it could simply be something like a lead or a sign up. It just depends on how the advertiser has chosen to pay commissions.

Maximizing Your Earnings - AdSense Referrals Beta will also allow you to choose the highest-paying referrals to place in your ad space. It does this by letting you see expected earnings as well as the overall performance of a particular advertiser ahead of time. In addition, it lets you target specific keywords for your referral ads. This will allow you to maximize your earnings and keep ads relevant to your site. Good stuff.

Conclusion - All in all, I expect Google AdSense Referrals to do very well. From the outset, it looks to be a very strong program that is carefully designed to benefit both publishers and advertisers in numerous ways. And that, my friends, is the recipe for a winner.