Newspapers have websites that are dogged down by advertising, poor design, and after-thought composition in general that is geared toward harvesting clicks with lesser thought going into providing a pleasant reading experience. It's one reason that one of my "pro life tips" is to consume media sites via Facebook if they have a presence there. Facebook structures presentation and limits the kind of crap profit-thinkers at newspapers otherwise doom their own sites with. It's ironic, but there it is.
Therefore it does not surprise me that the Wall Street Journal is going to simultaneously port all of its stories to Facebook as though Facebook itself were some kind of Internet -- which for all intent and purposes perhaps it has become in the same way AOL once wanted to "be" the Internet. Except that in this case Facebook seems to be pulling it off.
More significantly this is "Facebook as a content management system" for companies like WSJ which has merit, at least once you buy into the idea that any of this is "right" at all. I believe in raw web publishing because I believe in the positive ideals of an independent web, so I can't put myself in that category, but I get what the rest of the consuming world wants and they don't even want to learn what any of that means. To too many people now Facebook is the Internet, and now, it's a publishing platform.
What's next? WSJ or some other publisher deciding they don't want their own websites at all. When you think about it if you believe that there is no way to drum up enough straight-line traffic to your site, why bother? As noted, Facebook offers a connection to billions of people without the hassle of production costs or web services management so it's a great way to get back to the practice of compiling news stories and cranking out paper if one wants.
The weekend before last the New York City subway system added its latest station as part of its ongoing century-plus construction. As an aficionado of transit systems, trains in particular, I try to be on hand for "grand opening" milestones where practically able. I had this grand opening slated on my calendar but alas I turn reminders off by default and thus missed it.
Shooting the video below on the weekend after was hence not nearly as exciting but in all actuality, better. There were no crowds and the weather was nice enough that once I finished taping I hit the High Line just blocks from the new station for a bout of walking that nearly took up the rest of that afternoon. It occurred to me that any number of my old addresses in Queens that touched the 7 Line were now directly connected to the High Line, which I find incredible.
The video has me starting off at Times Square just before descending to the 7 train downstairs. I then board the train, take note of the status indicators (trying to show off the dot that indicates Hudson Yards as being the next stop but - ugh - lousy camera digitizing), and then ride the train into Hudson Yard Station taking footage of us passing through the tunnel and pulling into the station itself. I then disembark and walk around taking footage of anything significant (or not), ultimately emerging into the neighborhood above where I take exterior footage. The very last shots are taken from the High Line and are intended to show off the development going on around the station. They say the neighborhood (and I've never been entirely clear which of New York City's endearing neighborhood monikers applies to Hudson Yards but I've always believed it to be the "Meat Packing District") is going to be on par with the West Side by Central Park one day thanks to this extension.
Anyway, oh yeah, sorry about the timestamp. Meant to nix that before I started recording.
I didn't waste any time taking in Buffalo. Turns out the day I got here they were holding their annual Buffalo Buffalo Wing festival. We sampled a good ticket book's worth and then kicked back in the stands.
It's Sunday now and it looks like it's going to be a nice day. Nirva and I are headed over to the library later. Just because my ass is here doesn't mean she can slow down the learnin'. Med school be all like "you gotta study and stuff".
I'm off to do little more than hang out this weekend with Nirva. I'll be taking a Greyhound although I am perfectly capable of driving the route. I've got this 'thing' about putting wear and tear on a car while I'm in the middle of a personal fiscal rebuild. Consider that a mere walk-in to a garage probably means anything from $200 - $1000 just for whatever-the-fucks, let alone a major mechanical repair. That hypothetical figure, like the cost of a tooth rotting, deserves a tangible line item on anyone's personal budget sheet whether it's a real bill expense today or not. That breakdown is going to happen - it's real.
A 400-mile drive, while cheaper in gas and the cost of a bus ticket equals about 3 months of currently dependable work-home commuting which is the primary purpose of the car. Not taking road trips, not visiting friends, not taking jaunts for milk. Not that I completely eliminate any of those scenarios for myself, just that that is my default position. My strategy is to keep the damned thing parked as much as possible to stave off the eventuality, at least until I'm back in the money game.
I have to let NYCPF.ORG go. Every year when domain renewal time is up I have to decide if a particular domain is worth keeping or not. What's the status of the project? How about the spirit behind it? NYCPF.ORG was originally the .org component to NYCPF.COM.
I actually cannot remember which project the domains were intended to host first, but they were to work in tandem and either version existed merely to park the other, active, one. But there were two projects ultimately hosted by it at one time: New York City People Fusion, my stab at writing a community bulletin board system that exists on the web under the .COM iteration and which is still up, and New York City Press-Free, which was a demonstration project seeking to cull and demonstrate the power of fluid people-driven media. The idea was to show how much news around events could be curated from social media, bypassing mainstream outlets in the process. The latter is where it was when the domain expired.
I'm letting it go to save a few bucks on the registration, now that I'm living a paycheck-to-paycheck personal economy, although I still like the idea and may simply resume some form of it off an existing domain. I'll let this blog know when I do!
For those of you clamoring for one of those websites that allow you to check up on your own e-mail address or that of a mate's following the Ashley Madison data dump, I would recommend against it. Think about it, you're adding your own or a partner's e-mail address to another website database. A database that exhibits your "cheater's anxiety" at that. Those kinds of websites are not hard to set up and god only knows what the people behind them are doing with the e-mail lists you're contributing your address to. Just a fair warning from a guy who puts up websites.
Also, whether you're actually guilty or not, let's assume you aren't. You can argue the following:
Someone else entered your e-mail address and created your profile, not you. It isn't hard to imagine that a political or social enemy sought to embarass you by adding your address and persona to Ashley Madison, which, if I understand, would not have been hard to do because Ashley Madison did not verify e-mail addresses. Of course your enemy would have had to anticipate a data dump to the public someday for the "plan" to work, but guess what, that's smart planning because all data online eventually goes public - however long it takes.
That someone could have been the hackers themselves. You'll be stretching with this defense but technically it could have been the hackers who added your data. Maybe you're broadly important enough to hit, or important enough to someone to hit, or maybe the hackers just randomly added people into the otherwise genuine mix for the pure prank of it. Either way, as with the first bullet point, just because you're listed (and barring any transaction information) doesn't mean it's you.
In fact, there's been a lot of talk about firing people in government or education if their credentials are found to be in the dumped data pool but I doubt that will ever happen on the face of what anyone deems as evidence in this dump. The chain of evidence handling is just too dirty to legitimately act on in a firing sort of context.
That all being said, shame on you.
Oh, also, my e-mail address is in there. However, I was smart enough, and quite frankly, legitimate enough, to point out that I was not interested in the shenanigans of the site and merely looking around. Apparently I created an account in 2006 while quite single but perhaps quite curious. However, I never engaged the website or its people, so there.