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Windows 10 As Excuse To Leave Ecosystems
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Windows 10 aggravates my itch to return to single-service computing.  I best describe this as the drive to escape all sweeping ecosystems where I host my pictures on, say Google, because Google is where I also get my e-mail.    

For that matter, I've been contemplating how best to return to client-side computing while retaining the security (yes, security, two-factor authentication preventing your access to my erotic prose is very important to me.  I believe it is actually riskier to try and manage your own ad-hoc shelf of hard drives than it is to store in, say, Dropbox), and universal accessibility across all devices that cloud computing allows for. 

I don't know that this itch is scratchable though.  My mobile device drives my desktop habits and my mobile device is squarely Android.  Which is Google.  Which in turn is Google Apps (the pay version of what most people use the free version of - yes you can pay for GMAIL and should).  It's inconceivable to me that I'll ever return to an MS world and frankly, were it not for the prospect that I need to interface with my job, which will probably always be Microsoft, I'd get by quite happily on a Chromebook laptop.

Microsoft could change this.  They could flip a miracle switch and somehow come up with an array of decent Windows-based smartphones rife with apps, or, they could convince me that they are serious about an MS/Android hybrid OS that would legitimize a feeling of congruence with their products starting at said mobile device.  But I guess their efforts have thus-far been underwhelming.  

As a completely different approach I wonder if Microsoft couldn't somehow re-invent the value of desktop computing.  They could convince people, rightly, that programs that run from your hard drive are faster and responsive.  If storing local data is done properly, it can be safer than putting into anyone's "cloud" where, if individual if hackers can't get it, the government and corporations still can.  If they could do this they could re-inspire the habits of average users to once again not only produce in MS Windows, but to absorb and archive content with it too.  And from working backwards, maybe they can reach the Windows smartphone market after all.  It would be nice to have that ground-level control again over my stuff.

It Should be Called the 'Gunfederate' Flag
Regurgitation Question Rant
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It's not so much that I favor or don't favor tight gun control laws, I'm actually on the fence about the topic and continue to mull it over.  However I am fascinated how a mass murder that involved the deaths of nine good people and involving a single handgun failed to spur gun control debate so conspicuously.  It seems that even before the bodies had cooled America was blabbing about a flag, not guns.  That can't be an accident - it feels like a deliberate manipulation.

Woman holding small confederate flag over her shoulder in crowd.

I wonder if that flag is hiding a shoulder holster.

It's manipulation that benefited politicians (including Obama - who at least made a decent post-shooting speech) and the NRA, neither of which really wants to dance in the media over guns. Pumping up an artifact in the background of a photo as a major issue was absolutely the work of someone's media strategy on either side that both sides wound up appreciating.


Avoiding Party Pictures Online
Regurgitation Social Media Question
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Are your party pictures a potential job-buster? Here are my thoughts on the subject.

Posted by David Pinero on Sunday, July 12, 2015
Ghost Walking Around Outside
Photos Incredible Personal
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Ghostly Image Small

My family in Florida complains of a ghost that walks around the house from time to time.  This is not unsual since as a family we tend to be "ghost believers" in general for a variety of stories and evidence I won't get into in this particular post.  Recently my brother installed an outdoor security camera that, lo and behold, appears to actually capture the image of, as described by our mother before the camera's install, a lean man taking a stroll past the window.  My brother described the semblance of this photographic anomaly to a man which was easy to discount until I received the actual image. Evidence of the existence of ghosts mounteth.

You can click image or here for the bigger image.

Periscope Is a Dud So Far
Social Media Rant
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This is annoying.  I'm experimenting with Periscope and went on a two minute rant about the escaped fugitives.  Turns out Periscope didn't send out a link that my Periscope session was live!  I checked and it turns out that in order for Twitter to announce you, you need to tap the Twitter icon in order to specify that you in fact want to do that.  But when I go to do so, I get "Twitter Post unavailable". (UPDATE: I uninstalled Periscope at the time of this posting but reinstalled a week later and this particular function now works)  Look for yourself!:

Screenshot from Periscope

If there';s one thing I thought Periscope would do without issue it';s share to Twitter

Periscope is really striking me as kind of botched.  I'm thrilled that Twitter finally saw fit to come up with a way to integrate live stream videos on the fly, but I'm annoyed that, much as was the case with Vine they focused on novel gimmickry insisting, for some reason, that doing something serious with social media such as breaking a news event or livestreaming a medical conference, has to be "funned out" in a "teenage girl" sort of way.  In the case of Periscope it defaults to letting people send a flow of hearts and commentary over one's live imagery.  Oh, and let's not forget the biggest woe of all which is that it defaults to a portrait presentation versus the more sensible and visually compatible landscape mode.  Apparently we're all supposed to accept that vertical video is a bonafide thing now, not a mistake on the part of photographers that we've been graciously tolerating.  Ugh!

Finally I don't like the fact that there does not appear to be any easy way in which to mine for new livestreams from the phone app.  On the web you can construct Twitter search queries to zero in on them so that you can watch weird veritical videos to the pages the search results link you to, but in the actual phone app where it is difficult to manipulate Twitter search this way, you land on the "Global search" screen and the universe of what's being streamed is limited to the most recent streams, of which I'm not entirely sure isn't there based on algorithm (i.e., a filtered, controlled offering of what Twitter approves you to see).  You can of course notify your followers that you're broadcasting, or be notified of the same from your friends, but my friend roster simply doesn't roll the way of neat things like this, so that leaves me out.

Meh - work on this Twitter.  It's promising but only if you take my rant here seriously and pursue the changes I've called out.

The Web is Going Away
WWW Social Media
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The articles below are a little old, relatively speaking, but are spot on and heartbreaking. Not enough people discovered or utilized the powerful self-publishing platform known as the "web" in time to demand and defend a permanent place for it in their regular lives.

The articles articulate perfectly what I've been independently sensing: That people spend their limited funds on mobile devices while back-burning or outright skipping desktop or laptop PC purchases.  And for that and for other reasons they live in mobile apps rather than skittering out to the World Wide Web, which is bad for independent voices.  

I recently launched a new blog and went through a period of marketing to introduce the locals.  The hit count was astonishingly high (in a relative way mind you, I don't attract thousands of readers) but nearly all of them were from mobile devices. Having not launched a new blog and sought to attract readers in years I was flabbergasted.  Bear in mind that I use a custom blogging engine written before mobile browsing was dominant and thus never took the potential for mobile presentational rendering let alone the potential for WWW pages being considered such an "odd" destination that people might never bother to visit at all if a specific "app" didn't lead them.  Luckily my presentation renders well on mobile browsers by sheer happenstance but the point is even my own publishing efforts are no longer ubiquitously presented by default, and it was a punch to the gut to actually see that in raw data.

Mobile apps are tightly controlled via the app stores they are distributed through, and indeed, by the very methodology of their construction (it's much harder to build a mobile app than it is to build a web page), but they are more profitable.  Advertisers can see more and do more with you and your data than they can with web pages they point you to.

It's unlikely the web will ever "return" in the same way as one of the articles speculates because people who experienced the exhilaration of the open web have turned into a diminishing demographic bubble in time. The fresh blood going online today, only X-teen years after the raw web came to be, only knows of "apps" and closed proprietary systems like Facebook. When they think of what a powerful thing it is to speak online, they think of a Facebook post, not a web page that they themselves control and monitor.

The Free Market has clamped down on the web and its meddling people-power with more dignity and praise than the methods employed by the great China firewall.


Guess Where I Took This
Photos Personal
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Got out to a beach for the holiday weekend.  Much like hurricanes, the irony is I have more contact with beaches here in the northeast than I ever did living in Florida.

I might be exaggerating there.

Beach Picture

So, based on the monument can anyone guess which beach this is?

Back on Facebook, for Same Old Reasons
Personal Social Media
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Yes I returned to Facebook over a month after deactivating my account.  For these attempts, that's a record I believe.

Same reasons I've gone back before:

  • Feeling isolated, unable to spread my content to "where the people are"
  • Tired of not being able to comment at websites that use Facebook as their comment engine
  • Related to above, having my PAST comments deleted from comment sections when I deleted my Facebook account (note to content owners, seriously, stop using Facebook as your comment engines.  It's much preferable to use something like Disqus or LiveFyre which are universal)
  • Felt "shady" while looking for an apartment - potential landlords couldn't vet my deep history.  None asked or made issue to, but I felt they might try on their own and be all the more distrustful when they discovered they couldn't.

All that being said, the latest reason for leaving in the first place is still there.  I hate having two e-mail channels, and Facebook whether largely viewed this way or not, is in fact a giant e-mail "system" that competes with my use of standard e-mail.  I have no real answers about how to mitigate this other than to just surrender and declare that e-mail itself is dead for all personal use and communication.

From now on when I "try to leave" Facebook I am not simply going to not announce it on Facebook, I am not going to post it to my blog or any other channel.  I'm not even going to speculate on what the chances are that I will or won't try again.  It's all gotten just so damn embarrassing.

Leaving Facebook for New Good Reasons
Projects Social Media Personal
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I'm off Facebook, again.  I didn't even bother telling people about my latest flight, and come to think of it, nor did I the time before this.  My first proclamation and foray back to it were probably interesting once, even twice.  But after three or so tries I have to figure my continued written expressives on the matter could well cause others to leave Facebook.

I have new reasons for this latest departure, but the Facebook conundrum which drives me back and forth has always boiled down to two basic pressures.

Google+ Masthead From David Pinero Google Plus Account

Oddly enough I believe Google+ might be an okay supplement to my website, whereas Facebook wanted to replace it.

The first is that I want the Facebook "channel" as I want any in which to spread content and to improve other's access to me.  For all the reasons I hate Facebook it has nonetheless always been a way, if not just one of many, to take my content to people who I know will never roam the wild Internet circa circa 1998, to encounter it.  A healthy Facebook with a few hundred "friends" is today's best spamming vehicle.  

I'm perfectly aware that most people ignored and probably even filtered out my missives but it feels more natural to spray my latest blog tease via Facebook these days than it does to e-mail addresses, anyway.  In not so many words it's exactly why people sign up to Facebook:  to see what their pals, or at least those who they awkwardly agreed to befriend, are up to.  Although I use the word "spamming" loosely here, I could always rationalize that insight to my narcissim is exactly what my Facebook connections asked for in agreeing to be a friend.

At the same time I don't want the diffusion of communication Facebook promotes.  I want one place in the universe to check for my incoming electronic communication.  The Facebook e-mail system, not to mention the wall feeds that people use just as purposefully to send personal-like messages over, sends me chasing a separate alien inbox.  It would be one thing if I could turn off Facebook's e-mail like I can its chat system but I can't.  Hence, diffusion.

This diffusion issue is a new thorn brought about by my effort to produce comedic writing and to develop a standup comic persona.   Unlike approximatley 10+ years of previous blogging operations, promotion now counts.  As much as possible I need to plug up "metric leakage" which is something I define as lost information about those who are in some way, to varying levels of degree, interested in me.  Something that happens when personal content exists on a third-party host like Facebook rather than a server I control directly.  Facebook has this information but keeps it to itself, or at least the good stuff.  By eliminating my FB presence I am irrigating interest and the information associated with it back onto my own platform (my DWG website), however more or less of it there may actually be. 

So that's it.  My umpteenth attempt to leave Facebook with new reasons and a new sense of control.  

I remain active on Twitter and encourage readers to subscribe to moi'.  I am also looking into, believe it or not, using Google+ as an external outreach tool since it binds directly with GMAIL and doesn't "quite" qualify as a diffusing social network so much as it does (if you struggle really hard to make it so mentally) a sharing platform.  I might be able to live with that and if I do, you can plus me here.

When Hardware Gets Cheap Enough
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I tend to make a big deal out of how to apply my digital devices.  I instinctively want a system of incorporation that works day to day, not just a satisfaction of the services delivered by each.  
I have a desktop, laptop, a 7-inch Nexus, a 10-inch ASUS tablet, a smartphone, a Kindle Fire, a Kobo (courtesy of my company which owns them), and I obsess about which of these is the permanent go-to device for which scenarios.  It's not trivial considering these things are expensive and then require constant doting over configurations and other use-level details in order to interface smoothly with our daily activities.  The thing you want to do on your smartphone when your smartphone isn't immediately handy is not configured on your tablet or laptop in exactly the same way.  You can do it - you probably will - but you have to spend time bringing the cursor up to date.  Once is no problem, but you have to do it over and over each time this incongruence in your operating ecology is encountered.  It's disruptive and lowers the useful yield not to mention experience. 
Cheaper hardware in combination with the concept of the the "Consistent User Interface" (CUI) resolves all this anxiety.  Let's say that the cost of these things, any of them, drops to a point where they are considered junk purchases where you can get a reliable 7-inch tablet for, say, $20 in any discount store.  In time, people would trade them as superficial gifts or hold them in the same regard as cheap transistor radios, something you acquire many times over but can never remember exactly how.  Things that wind up in the kitchen's junk drawer or scattered all over the house.
Now let's imagine that, at the same time, the cloud experience is perfected to such a level that the experience from logging in to using apps is so uniform between devices that the 10-inch tablet you carry around affords the exact same experience as the forgotten 7-inch tablet collecting dust under your couch.  In a world like this devices are cheap enough to be densely lying around in numbers, and the experience between so exact, you no longer have to think about a system of application the way I, for example, do today. 
The CUI is where it's at.  You configure your layout, applications, and other mundane settings once from any device, even a friend's, and you're good to go on any of the billions around the world in the same instant.
Obviously I don't think we have this level of consistent interfacing yet.  Don't confuse the fact that we have "cloud" computing (cloud being in quotes because technically the word is misused 90% of the time in pop articles including this very one), or apps that promise to synchronize bookmarks or browsing histories ala Chrome and other web browsers.  Those are good starts but they aren't what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about to such a great level of detail that nothing has to be done in dropping one device and picking up another, other than perhaps identifying yourself.  Like, if I receive a text on my smartphone and read it, the flag indicator that there ever was a text message clears on my tablets the moment that I do so.  Or, if I set a wallpaper on my desktop, the same wallpaper appears on my smartphone in compatible form.  If I shift an icon a millimeter to my left on my 10-inch tablet, the same icon shifts a millimeter to the left on my 7-inch tablet, or, on the 7-inch tablet I find in the seat next to me on a city bus. Remember, such tablets would be cheap enough to leave behind so the idea of an occassional orphaned tablet on a bus seat is completely viable.
When this happens the CUI will become the "Internet" by casual viewpoint.  I suppose it's just a matter of who can figure out how to perfect all angles of this thing first.
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