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.
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!:
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 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.
Bodycam footage shows deputy shooting dog, and woman demanding he finish the job.
I love animals and hate to see anything happen to them. In this case maybe the officer should have used some kind of spray or something first if he had any.
But that being said I'm not cutting this lady, Carla Gloger, any slack. The video shows that as soon as she runs out she declares that the dogs were not running after the officer - as if there were any way she could have known that. She only began moderating her position after the officer mentioned he had a body camera (score one for body cameras by the way). This tells me she had a cantankerous attitude toward public safety at the outset. Were it not for the footage, Groger seems angry enough, and frankly free enough, to lie about what happened if it means her being right and the officer being wrong.
Then, and much worse, instead of insisting on medical help for the poor animal who is clearly alive and quite functional, she demands that it be shot! This is maybe the only other mistake the officer made because I have to assume there is a protocol for attempting medical rescues for animals like there is for people. Not saying that's absolute, I just assume the better course of action would be rushing the dog to a vet immediately rather than killing it. Apparently the woman loves the power of the dogs, but not laying out the money it takes to care for them properly. But I guess that's what happens when one takes living creatures and objectifies them as extensions of their paranoia against society or whatever.
So the FBI is going to take animal cruelty seriously now.
Fun fact: I suspect some people believe that when I "became a private investigator" (for like three months) it was because I have that kind of simplistic mind that would figure being a "private eye" would be like "being a cop". Of course my simpleton mentality would thus endear me to the effort and heck, before long maybe I'd also purchase one of those ex-police cruisers at auction, sport it with my loudly squawking police scanner, and drive around just being all "cop feeling". You know, because Dave's psychology is that simple.
To be fair, it isn't like there isn't a lot to my personal profile that might support that to what I would deem an equally simple analysis. For example, I actually do like police scanners and would love one in my car if it were legal.
It's serious now.
In fact, the real goal was to build up a profession in humane investigative services involving pets and animals. I forecasted a market need for such a person and I have a Criminology degree which meant I could shave a year off official private investigatory sponsorship (two years sponsorship is typically required in Florida otherwise). It all made great sense. Clearly I did not stick with it, but I am enamored that even at the most sophisticated ends of law enforcement, crimes against animals now has a serious and lethal investigatory attitude. Hats off to the FBI!
What's SUPER creepy is that the other officer rendering aid must have understood, having seen the first officer throw down the stun gun in an obvious attempt to frame the story, that saving the victim would mean killing the lie. So the question becomes, was he properly administrating first aid or facilitating assassination of the suspect to protect the other officer. He needed to make a choice, right?
A few months ago I migrated my websites to a new hosting arrangement. I had been doing so through my personal IIS, MS SQL and MySQL efforts through a virtual private network offered by Go Daddy. It turned out that Go Daddy began offering a shared hosting solution with as much, if not more, capability and traffic capacity as the plan I was on, for much, much, less. I miss the direct control of logging into a separate Windows desktop to manage my services like a pro, but money is important to me these days, so I made the decision to give that kind of control up for lots less dough.
Example of marking something for Check That ID tracking
The migration took quite a bit, as they always do. Inevitably something always gets broken that I don't hear about or spot for a long time. In this case it was Check that ID, my prototype "Twitter for everything" service that provides a way for people to label anything with a unique ID, log it, then track it via an informal grafitti style reporting system. Say you mark a microwave oven, log an initial entry with a unique code at Check That ID, mark said code on the microwave, then sell it. As the microwave gets passed from new owner to new owner, there's a chance you can follow it in periodically checking back to review your Check That ID code, provided at least some of the owners take the time to update. Why they would is anybody's guess but that's part of the fun if not the utility.
I found Check That ID dead in the water this morning and spent part of my Sunday restoring it. Turns out my migrated version of MySQL was case sensitive with respect to the tables it used, while on my last server it was not. Probably something I overlooked, but in any case, it's up and running again. If you're curious about the service, click the links below.
Recall in this posting how I theorize tablets might one day be dedicated to task-specific stuff that, say, the Dominos Pizzas of the world might find useful. Cheap tablets loaded with pizza-ordering software and branded by the company could be passed out to people, much in the same way those refrigerator magnets currently are.
Well, it turns out that while the complex ordering process of a pizza might be one best suited to the wide input capabilities a tablet affords for sure, there is a process even more direct being developed by Amazon called Amazon Dash. You don't even have the tablet because the only input is a single press of your finger.
With job worries abated (for the moment), a personal issue with my ex-girlfriend at peace (as much as it will be - I have a lot of work to do on myself), I've been able to mentally, emotionally and tangibly begin dabbling in my projects with a fresh mind. It's always telling when I hit a free creative cycle because the first thing I do is set up a personal webcam. You can't always pick your friends but with me you can always watch your friend pick his nose. But seriously, I'm working on it. And in any event, isn't "eating" whatever comes out the real issue anyway? I'm working on that by working on the former.
For that matter, here's a current snapshot straight from the source. By the time you read this I'm probably not sitting in the chair.
It's not just getting back to a more carefree mindset that makes this iteration of the webcam possible, but the fact that I have a large infrastructure to run it from. Living in New York City studios and "one rooms" it's been hard to set up a webcam of me at my workstation without also setting up one that has me toweling off naked after a shower. Having an entire house at my disposal like I do now, this is a breeze of concern-free exhibitionism. Enjoy it my friends! Try to pretend like it's not a 1990s thing that nobody finds interesting anymore.
Well it's good to be working once again. The new job entails working with end users on their wide variety of company IT needs in a "Level One" support role, which I'm happy about because it re-saddles me professionally closer to the IT sector, helping people and resolving their various issues, which I love. The company is a complex structure and I don't want to draw them into my blog posts, but suffice to say they are involved in the pharmaceutical industry.
Standing outside my new office gig in a secret location....(let me fantasize!)
Getting hired and being able to say that I actually have a job that lasts are two different things, of course, and I'll only be at ease when training is complete and I'm taking control of the processes I'm expected to execute, proving that I can do them. There is explicit training, which is refreshing, but the reality is that the job itself is "sink or swim" which means thinking fast on your feet (or in your seat as this case may be) is pivotal. I am fast on my feet, but maybe not so much getting on my feet. I've just never considered myself that "bright". I have to imagine this one and other companies providing services like it over-hire new prospects because they know all too well not everyone makes it.
Also, and perhaps like any workplace environment (duh), I'm getting the feeling that success at the new gig, in addition to raw smarts, involves more whether people are willing to talk to you or not when you're under the gun. As many of my friends know, I tend to be the oddball out in any group and work support cliques tend to form over and around me. I'm just one of those people. I really can't tell if I'm just pissing people off with my arrogant strain of optimism or I'm that un-relatable in a general sense, but I do. It's what I've done for over forty years and I've long since gotten adept at accepting it even though I oft dream of an easier life where I'm "just one of the guys". Knowing that I am a good person and a (relatively) intelligent one at that, I wouldn't change me in this respect for a minute just for a paycheck, as new jobs or aspirations are always just around the corner, if not in the mind's making.
But in any event all this is why I'm still holding my breath. If I'm on my own too much with my trademark anti-charisma yet cannot make up for it with self-reliance and resilience (as I often do, by the way), I'm not "yet" out of the unemployment woods. We'll just need to check in in six months or so to see!