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|Wednesday, December 26th, 2007|
|2007 in Rearview
AKA So Long LJ and thanks for all the friends
Well, it's been a year since I started posting on LJ. It started with a post about my New Years resolutions for 2007. To recap
1: Drink lots and lots of coffee (inspired by Seattle)
2: Drink wine frequently, but moderately (inspired by medical research)
3: Blog (inspired by boobirdsfly
4: Learn to play drums (inspired by blackwingedboy
How did I do? Well, 1-3 were totally hit. Number 4 I haven't started on. But blackwingedboy
tells me there is still time. He's comin' over for a late visit this evening, maybe I can get a crash course.
There was one other thing I promised myself in 2007 - no buying new media
. I largely honored this promise, using the services of the local libraries and those fabulous Swedes at the Pirate Bay to supplant my need for shiny discs in shrinkwrap. We did end up buying a few movies/games for the kids (Flash Gordon
, those are kids movies right?).
Onward to 2008. Man, this decade is flying by. I almost wrote 'flaying', which is not particularly unapt a description. Seems there has been lots of change, and lots the same. The web has finally turned out as Microsoft's worst nightmare - a platform that renders the OS largely irrelevant. They held it up for almost ten years, the bastards. Just like they did with Unix. But we're free now. Barring a government mandate that all citizens use Microsoft software protocols and technologies, their ship has sailed. Now we just have to keep a keen eye on Apple to see that they don't try to get away with the same shit.
Now about that web platform, specifically as it pertains to social networking and personal journalling/blogging. 2007 saw a lot of growth and action in that area. It's rapidly expanding popularity attracted some serious investments and some nefarious attempts at cash-in. It continues to evolve so rapidly that I'm not really comfortable relying on any one site or meme. A large percentage of social network participants seem to feel the same way, flitting from site to site, posting on multiple networks. One-way instant messaging (like Twitter) plus a blog/forum seems to be a very common combination these days.
I embrace that combination, but I'm also looking for more sense of control. So for 2008 I'm moving my blogging off-network. Well, off LiveJournal anyway. I'm setting up a place to journal on my own site, complete with forums and whatnot. I'm hoping to be able to tie in to Open ID to make it easy for members of LJ and other forums to correspond with my journal. And I'm hoping that the foaf project
and it's use of emerging network technologies like the Semantic Web and RDF
will make it easier for everyone to publish anywhere they want and still be found and referenced by a community of friends and followers without the need to be bound to any particular social network.
So, even though I'm leaving LJ (at least as a journaller) my New Years resolution for 2008 is:
1: More networking, done more openly.
Hope to see y'all out there! Current Mood: cheerful
|Thursday, December 13th, 2007|
|Ditto on H.R. 847
I was going to write a raving screed against the HORROR I feel in my stomach about U.S. House Resolution 847: Recognizing the importance of Christians and Christianity or something like that, but I've been way out-gunned. My hero for the day, markbt73http://markbt73.livejournal.com/64506.html Current Mood: distressed
|Sunday, December 2nd, 2007|
|Friends, Please Face the FaceBook Debacle
I left FaceBook with cause two weeks ago. They made it difficult and time-consuming to leave, and although they told me I'm gone from their servers apparently it doesn't matter. According to several reports, they still will get detailed info on things ANYONE (FaceBook user or not) purchases from vendors that participate in their 'Beacon' advertising program. That is a level of consumer reporting that the US Dept. of Justice must envy.
If you are an IT person or otherwise IT savvy and can get through the following description of how Beacon works without becoming very angry, please let me know why.http://us.blognation.com/2007/12/01/im-ready-to-bail-on-facebook-the-new-face-of-evil/
The problem is Beacon, not FaceBook itself (although from the get-go I've been more than a little suspicious of the width and breadth of info they extract from members). If you agree, I urge you to to voice your displeasure with FaceBook and all online vendors who participate in Beacon.
The recent alterations FaceBook claims they are making are insufficient. Beacon needs to be stopped. Current Mood: energetic
|Saturday, November 17th, 2007|
|There is no leaving these places, is there?
I want off facebook, real bad and right fscking now. But you can't delete your account. You can only disable it. I believe LJ does this to us as well.
I think I'm about done with 'social networking'. Current Mood: angry
|Sunday, November 4th, 2007|
|Sunday, October 14th, 2007|
|Thursday, October 11th, 2007|
|Saturday, October 6th, 2007|
They who hack have a great challenge in the iPhone and iTouch. Kudos to them. Mr. Jobs really appears to desire a closed market, and to prevent anyone from using the pocket computers he is selling for anything he hasn't personally approved and/or profited from. I think that's disturbing.
Steve, I will not buy a pocket computer that only runs apps from you. Get a fscking clue already. It didn't work with the stupid Apple TV (The Mac that only runs Front Row(tm)) and it won't work with the handhelds either. Open it up!
My favorite quote, seen on TUAW
"Here's to the crazy ones, who use the applications that we tell them to." Current Mood: disappointed
|Saturday, September 29th, 2007|
|Close is Better
OK, the world may be going to Cleveland in a handbasket but what if I focus in a little closer?
I spent the day alone at the office analyzing a system, designing an interface to it, and beginning it's implementation. It did wonders for my self-worth.
Then at home the family and I had a lovely chinese dinner and we sat on the deck and watched the sun go down. It was clear and cool out, very pleasant.
Now to get in to some serious coding on my aforementioned implementation so I can suprise and hopefully delight the ladies in accounting on Monday morning. Dare to dream! Current Mood: accomplished
|Friday, September 28th, 2007|
"You can fall from rockets red glare
Down to brother can you spare another war
And another lost generation"
No, we can't. But we are about to just the same.
I'm moody and gloomy. Verily, I am depressed. It cannot be corrected by this therapy of writing, or any other. For it is based on facts on the ground, as bushtard would say when lying (i.e. when his lips are moving).
If I had seen 10 years in to the future I would never have had children. Current Mood: cold
|Thursday, September 20th, 2007|
|A Recipe for Fantastic Travel
- Pineapple Cookies
- Bottled Water
- A Full iPod
- Google Maps
- A Compass (Role played by Garmin GPS in this production)
- At least one each of Spouse and Life-Long Friend
- A fantastic destination that includes a Big Show
- Pictures to tell the story
Hello from Toronto. We'll be back tonight. Current Mood: accomplished
|Saturday, September 15th, 2007|
FaceBook is fscking weird.
And you guys - you know who you are - what? Was you on facebook all this time or did you just join and gang up to friend-bomb me (for which I am delighted)?
I just signed up on FaceBook about a week ago. Just to kind of put my stake in to that hott craze. Thought nothing of it. Then, today I notice in my gmail all these friend add notices from none other than my friends here on LJ. Hmm. I checked it out and . . .
Weird! To confirm boobirdsfly
as my friend it asked me to define how I know her. The multiple-choice selection I made includes the obvious info everyone knows, such as we lived together in France from 1963 to 1977, we took Bio Ethics together in 1965, we dated in 2007 (it was Nuclear) and travelled to Portugal, and of course that I am her father.
Why? Because - and listen to this, FaceBook - It ain't none of your goddamned biz how I know somebody! There is social networking and there is being a nosy busybody. And I think FaceBook is a nosy busybody, probably run by the Department of Homeland Security for data-mining purposes.
Oh, and the best part of FaceBook is that after you friend someone, you get a button that pokes them. So if you are walking down the street in the near future and a robot hand appears from nowhere and jabs you in the ribs, that was me.
Hello, welcome to FaceBook! Current Mood: weird
|Monday, September 10th, 2007|
Returning to a common theme, the phenomenon Apple Inc/Steve Jobs. Today, an installment of Shorn Visits Another Middle-America Apple Store.
While in Kentucky on business this past weekend, I took the time to visit the Apple store in Louisville. I was interested to get my hands on the new iPod line, in particular to see how ugly the iPod Nano is in person.
The Louisville Apple store is in this HUUUGE mall which looks old on the outside and new on the inside. The store itself is smallish, I'm guessing about 30 feet wide and 70 deep. But not nearly as small as the one outside of Detroit, which feels like a narrow cave.
They had lots of very large tables set up, each displaying dozens of copies of one particular product. There were iPhone tables, iPod Nano, iPod Classic and iPod Shuffle tables. There were also a number of iMac tables. Little visible in the way of accessories.
The place was PACKED. And as always seems to be the case, the crowd looked like they were ordered from Central Casting. Young and old, all hip. Maybe it's just Louisville, how would I know? iPhones were flying out the door at the new price. I overheard several kids negotiating with their parents for the iPod in addition to the iMac that their parents were trying to buy them. "Dad, I'll need to back up my school work and with the iPod I'll always have my files with me".
And how was the Nano? I thought it looked dorky in the pictures. It looks completely normal in-person. Impossibly thin. Coupled with a mic accessory it would make a handy on-location podcast recorder. Hmm.
See, now I'm negotiating with myself. It always starts this way. I have to be the bad parent and resist my own entreaties until next year.
Next year, next year. Steve gets more of my paycheck, next year, next year. Current Mood: awake
|Sunday, September 9th, 2007|
|More Luddite Leanings
Boy, my miserable experiences with technology just keep on coming.
I just finished my drive back from Frankfort KY, no thanks to Garmin. I've been keeping this little Garmin Venture Cx in my car, more to track where I've been than for telling me where I'm going. I pretty much know where I'm going, and I find it silly to trust a search algo and a lo-res database on a handheld device instead of - oh, I don't know - say and actual MAP. Or your own recollection of a route. But people do. One reason is they love the ETA feature. Once the device knows where you are going and has picked out a route, it can tell you when you will be there. And that is cool.
But it has to know how to actually get there, now doesn't it?
My route was simple. It's I-64 East to I-75 North which dovetails in to I-71 North and thus straight in to Columbus. All highway. Well, the Garmin started chirping at me to get off I-64 and take some little highway northeast, promising me time off my trip and a connect with I-75 farther north. It was early on this Sunday morning, I had plenty of gas, so I figured why not? I followed it's directions, passing through some simply lovely countryside I never would have seen otherwise. Then through an adorable little town and then in to some nice winding tree-lined scenes. I confidently passed a turn that was marked with signs saying "To I-75", because the Garmin will surely hook me up better a few miles up the road. It says it will, anyway.
So I'm winding down this hilly little road when the Garmin starts chirping for me to turn on to I-75. I come around a bend, and there is I-75. Up in the air, crossing over me. There is no interchange. None at all. The Garmin starts complaining that I missed my turn. I want to throw it in a ditch.
I had to backtrack about seven miles to the intersection with the signs pointing to I-75 to get back on track for home. For about half an hour I kept making snide remarks to the Garmin, teasing it, asking it questions like "hey, maybe we should get off I-75 now and take KY678 over to Nowheresville. I hear there is an overpass there too!".
But I got over it. The ETA feature still actually worked. Just another lesson learned. Do not trust machines over your own judgement. Current Mood: restless
|Saturday, September 8th, 2007|
|I hate the dog, Bob!
Attention Microsoft UI engineers (and I use the term VERY loosely): When I launch 'search' and see the stupid dog animation that runs and immediately click on 'settings' and turn off the stupid dog animation, I then do NOT want to see the stupid dog look up at me sadly then turn and trot off in to the distance before I can do anything else in the interface. What I want to happen is for the stupid dog to VANISH!
You'd think that in 2007 we wouldn't still be suffering the remnants of Microsoft Bob in our Windows UI. But since Billg married the person responsible for MS Bob, I guess we'll never be entirely free of it.
Sigh. I hate computers. Current Mood: cranky
|Friday, September 7th, 2007|
Another mid-day at the office, and things are looking up. I'm about to get in my crimson chariot (OK, it's a burgundy Neon) and drive drive drive to Frankfort KY where the grass is thick and the air is flowery and all I really have to do is watch and help smart people do smart things with smart software.
Hours of solitude in the car to catch up on my podcast-listening, and two days of good work with techies like me. It might not sound like heaven, but I'm really looking forward to it. So much so that I'm gonna stop typing now and get on the road.
It's been a pleasure typing to you today! If I don't type you again tomorrow, be sure to have a great weekend!
Oh, and check out my MySpace page
for some goofy music I made a long time ago (I was inspired to post it by a visit to streamsandpools MySpace page
. Great stuff, S&P!). Current Mood: cheerful
|Thursday, September 6th, 2007|
|Steve Jobs Gets It
Steve Jobs is a good man. Or, for the more cynical, he knows how to act like one in his own self-interest.
24 hours after announcing the $200 iPhone price reduction, in the face of building media attention toward the anger of early iPhone adopters, Apple announces that they can all have $100 (in the form of Apple store credit). http://www.apple.com/hotnews/openiphoneletter/
In addition, the folks who purchased in the last couple of weeks already are getting the full $200 back just for asking.
Keep in mind, something like 98% of all iPhone customers were completely happy with their investment a little over 24 hours ago. Now, in addition to that happiness, they have $100 to spend on more Apple goodness.
This is just another in a long line of actions that make Steve Jobs and Apple a model for commercial enterprise. Please the customer, please the customer, please the customer. And respond quickly and generously to consumer backlash when you fail. Nobody does it better.
Thanks Steve, not just for this but for being a commercial role model. Sorely needed in this age of corporate malfeasance. Current Mood: impressed
|What day is this?
Oh my, missed two days posting. It's not my fault! There was a flood! I got locked in a boxcar named desire! There was an out-of-town wet uterus contest I had to officiate! I was washing my hair!
But I'm back, in spirit anyway. Can't really think of anything to say. . .
Uh, how about those new iPods! Sweet, huh?
Well that's all I got. So I hope you came for the food and not the entertainment. Do NOT try the fish. Current Mood: weird
|Monday, September 3rd, 2007|
|Bring on the Fall
Today the weather says Fall is coming. Welcome, Fall. One of my top-four favorites. :)
Family time. This morning we went to the Grand Opening of the new Tim Horton's next to the Shell station up by the interstate. :)
You think I'm kidding, don't you? I'm not! My son A. has some old-man traits. At ten years old there is nothing he likes more than an early morning cup of hot beverage and a donut in a public place - namely, Tim Hortons. As an occasional special treat we would drive two towns over on a sunday morning to visit one. And starting today, it's practically just around the corner. The girls love it too. It's the only place I've ever seen all three kids sit together quietly and happily for more than three minutes in a row.
Then, off to the computer store to satisfy my daughter's burning desire for Zoo Tycoon. My girl G. has been bugging me to build her a web site with interactive animals she can create herself, with a social network and AI. Basically, she wants an animal version of Second Life. I've disappointed her by explaining I can't actually do that, but if she wants some pics and videos published on the web then I am her man. A Dad cannot leave his daughter disappointed for long, so I went searching for a canned solution and found Zoo Tycoon. G. and her sister N. played the downloadable trial non-stop for hours yesterday. At one point their zoo was comprised of over 500 tigers and little fencing. I think the tigers ate all the patrons, because the girls weren't really feeding them. Too busy adding more tigers.
When I tucked them in last night, G. told me she's never been happier in her life. So now they have the full version, and it appears they don't need dear old Dad any more.
Finally, on the way home we stopped for a while at a nearby state park. My girl G. took the camera around and got some impressive shots. I demonstrated my ability to put them on the web for her, and the results are here on Flickr
Oh, and I'm supposed to say what happened regarding the Rush show last night. Sanity reigned, and although it felt really weird to let Rush occupy space nearby without me being present I did not take my boy to see them. We did drive by the outdoor venue on the way home from dinner, but we didn't catch a sound of them playing. When we got home I sat on my deck with my Hagstrom
and my Vox
and strummed some Rush tunes while the sun went down.
I'm really looking forward to Fall. Current Mood: peaceful