In The Year 2021…

This is going to be a really fun year, I can already feel it.

Be sure to keep an eye on MDF Media and the Matt Fowler Network.

I will be updating those sites but that’s not the only reason to keep them in your radar. You can already tell this blog has changed. It’s a good thing.

You’ll find out why soon enough.

Ooze Tube

Because I don’t feel like people talk about this kind of stuff enough. There are several brands, but this one is the one that hits closest to home for me.

No matter what brand you go for, it’s all extremely delicious.

We are all aware it’s nothing but sugar, we just don’t care.

It’ll rot your teeth out if that’s the only thing you eat in your life — of course. But, you should know better than to do that, right?

I would do a search for the images if you want more.

Ad Supported Media Hitting An All Time Low

Okay, I’ve had enough. Websites such as the one featured in the screenshot above that “humbly request” you turn off your Ad Blocker have hit an all time low.

Listen, I understand that advertisement supported content is a thing, and it’s how most publications make their money. But here’s the thing: You offer this content completely free by choice. It’s our (the viewers, readers, or whatever you choose to call us) choice whether or not we want to view your website with or without ADs.  It’s one thing to give a nice message asking you to please disable, but still allowing you to view the content. It’s a whole other thing to put up a “walled garden” prohibiting users from viewing the content unless they view your ADs.

Full disclosure: My website features ADs. It’s an AD supported website. I’ve always been very up front about that.  But here’s the kicker: If you want to use an AD Blocker on my site, it is absolutely your right to do so. I will never, and I mean never force you to disable it just so I can make a few cents off of your view. 

I believe the alternative to forcing people to disable their AD Blocker in lieu of viewing should be to offer a “Premium Subscription” service. Oh wait, that would mean you would LOSE page hits, right?

I am not targeting or attacking US Gamer specifically, this was just the one that sent me over the edge.  I’ve been running across this more and more lately — and it’s just disgraceful. Especially when you lie and say that using an AD blocker keeps the content from happening. Actually, YOU do that. You.

Stop trying to make people feel like they are stealing from your families just because we choose not to get bombarded with irrelevant ADs .  I’ve always believed that great content brings engagement and revenue. Not deceptive practices.

What really tears it for me is they give users INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DISABLE IT.  I’m pretty sure people that use AD Blockers already know the ins and outs of it.  Below is a screenshot to show what I’m talking about.  The second screenshot shows the options of how to disable for the standard (and most popular) AD Blocker, AdBlock.

This was only tested on Google Chrome, but I am sure the same happens in any other browser you might choose to use.

Finally, what a lot of these content creators don’t seem to understand is how very little control they have over the ADs that are display on their respective websites.  Whether it be what the AD itself actually shows — or where the physical manifestation of the AD actually takes place.

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to view a website (mainly on a mobile browser — but I’ve most definitely experienced it on the desktop as well) and the AD(s) would completely take over an article rendering it unreadable. Or even worse, send you to an outside page either automatically or by hot click.  (Hot click meaning the whole entire page is just waiting for you to tap or click it to take you somewhere else)

Get you a Verizon session

When in the hell did Verizon roll out this weird shit? It requires your location. 

I’m not doing it, because it’s dumb. Don’t expect a review here. 

Sorry, Verizon, but I will pass on your PopData. Strange name, by the way. Need to work on that. 

Help! WordPress for iOS won’t upload anything!

Who this may apply to: Users of WordPress for iOS who keep getting a “Failed” error message when trying to upload photos and/or videos.

Sometimes, we really just overthink and over complicate the obvious. You’ll see why I’m saying this in a little bit.

What exactly happened: I was trying to update my Matt Fowler’s Snaps page, which seems like a simple task. No matter what picture I chose, what time of day, or how hard I held my thumbs — the dang thing just kept saying “Failed”.  It would sometimes even crash the app.

So I took the issue to Google, as most of us do these days, and found this solution:

Add these lines of code to your root .htaccess file:
php_value memory_limit 128M
php_value upload_max_filesize 128M
php_value post_max_size 128M
php_value max_execution_time 120

Seemed simple enough. Did that. Didn’t work. Removed that line of code immediately — because obviously that’s not the issue!


I thought and thought and thought. What on earth could be causing this? They used to upload just fine! Wait a minute… LIGHTBULB! I just recently upgraded my iPhone, and restored it from an iCloud back up.

Went into the account settings for the site and reentered my site password. Lo and behold they are uploading again. I cannot believe I let such a small oversight get the best of me.

Who does this solution really apply to? Users who recently restored their iPhone from an iCloud Backup (though I imagine the same would apply to an iTunes backup) and just thought Apple’s iCloud was sophisticated enough to keep this small tidbit of information within the WordPress App.

Then again, maybe this problem falls on the WordPress App developers.

Regardless, I hope either solution helps out someone.

Let’s Get You Up To Speed, 2016.

Lately, I’ve been posting some pretty off the wall stuff on this blog. I haven’t really taken the time to give you, my loyal readers and search engine crawlers, an actual update as to what I’ve really been doing on the internet. Also, just a few things I wanted to share.

I’ve launched, reorganized, and tinkered with quite few things… So let’s try and run them all down here.  I’ll probably leave something out, as I’m just writing this on a whim — no planning or whatnot.

Matt Fowler’s Internets — First and foremost, you might have noticed the focus of this blog has completely changed. This has been a gradual change, and has been elevating for years now. This once started out as a place for me to write tech reviews, tips, etc. Now it’s become just a place for me to post whatever I feel is necessary at the time — like most personal blogs.  I never should have tried to merge the two. This was always just my personal blog, but I tried to make something else out of it. Not sure why.

Matt Fowler’s Snaps — I touched base on this a little bit a few posts ago, but never gave any further information. Basically, I am not ready to release my Snapchat handle to the public (yet), but I wanted a way for people to see some clever snaps I came up with that would otherwise die out because of Snapchat’s alleged expiration timer. You won’t see everything that my Snapchat friends do, obviously, but you’ll get the bulk of the best ones.  I am trying to keep this updated as much as possible, but I do tend to stray away from it from time to time.

Pajama Pants In Space — This isn’t a new launch, as my little “band” project has been going on for quite some time. However, I finally got rid of the awful design that the page had, and gave it a fresh new look. The content on there right now is pretty sparse, with only a couple of free music downloads, but this will change. Some ideas I have planned is an interactive music player, video content, and possibly weird giveaways for PPIS swag. I also intend to open up some sort of “merch” shop for those who want to support the project. I really only do the music for fun, not profit, but donations are never discouraged. Someone mentioned opening up a Patreon for PPIS…but I don’t think it’s really big enough for that, yet. Plus, from what I understand doing that causes people to become “lobbyists” of sorts — and I hate to be rude, but I don’t want anyone telling me what I can and cannot do with it.

Matt Fowler Network — This project is getting closer and closer each day to launch. When you visit it now you’ll notice (if you’ve even been paying attention) a new design and somewhat of a focus of the direction it’s going in. Of course, me being me, this is all subject to change. This has always been a “experimental video and audio network”, but I’ll most likely start out with audio (podcasting) and branch out from there.  I also had an idea to merge Matt Fowler’s Internets with the network, and use mattfowler.biz for something completely different. That idea has been shelved for now.

Matt Fowler’s Things & Stuff — This isn’t the name of a project (at least it’s not yet) but I have the plan to launch a whole bunch of Matt Fowler’s ___ ___   branded ideas. To give you a sneak peak of sorts, Matt Fowler’s Picture Show  and Matt Fowler’s Podcasts  are two of the strongest ideas I have set out. I guess one might say I’m over using my name a bit, but I might as well — seeing how the domain is what it is.

AudioBoom — This was once called AudioBoo, and I hadn’t used it in so long they changed the name on me. It’s a neat way to record quick little sound bites. Whether it be a personal note, or whatever is on your mind at the time. I was really heavy into this for a few years then suddenly lost interest. Well, that is going to change because I want to get back into recording them! I’ve always enjoyed a “virtual” talk-radio-like experience, and AudioBoo[m] let me do that. Look for me to centralize where these new posts are put, instead of just scattered vicariously throughout my blog, but for now check out my main AudioBoom profile — there’s even a neat subscription option if you are interested.

Live — I haven’t done any kind of real live show since Justin.TV shut down. This was my primary source and I guess I haven’t had the urge to adapt to anything else. I experimented with Periscope a few times, but wasn’t crazy about how it was location-centric. I understand the true use case for Periscope, “show what you are looking at right now” and my idea of a live stream isn’t that. It’s more for personal use, fun, etc.

Security — This also isn’t a launch, but just something I wanted to share. I haven’t figured out why yet, but Matt Fowler Network has been under attack ever since I switched the design. I get IP addresses (Mostly foreign countries) almost daily trying to brute force their way into the backend of the site. I haven’t a clue what they would want with it, especially since the site is just an empty shell right now. Luckily, I have some fairly sophisticated tools I use that are blocking these attempts and even blocking their IP Addresses for a set amount of time until the attackers give up. It has blocked some permanently, but they seem to give up after 24 hrs..  Or it’s the same people just switching servers. Like I said, it’s not a constant battle, but it does happen a lot more often than it should.

Oh I know there is more… I just know it! But, for the life of me I can’t think of anything. I’ll end here because this is plenty to read as it stands.

Oh.. I just dazzled this up with Gif’s.. That’s what everyone is doing these days — right?

Master of Puppets Banjo Cover 


Just recently discovered this by a guy named Rob Scallon. I guess he’s doing covers for the “Maytallica” celebration. 

Generally, I hate most covers. Or at the very least I’m extremely picky with the ones I do like. 

But I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed this one. 

Only one problem: It’s missing vocals. 

I have a great recommendation for who could fill in that spot. 

It’s a man we all know and love called Mashed Potato Johnson. 

Stare At This 

 

Allegedly, when you stare at the center of this image long enough — it will start to “blend” and disappear in a way. 

All it does for me is make my eyes strain and give me a headache. Maybe my brain works differently, I don’t know. 

Perhaps this is one of the worst internet hoaxes and I’ve fell for it head first. 

What do you think?  

Reality vs. Expectation: Denny’s Style

How often do we visit restaurants and pick what we want to eat because of the picture? Or maybe we saw it on a commercial and we got all kinds of excited inside. Perhaps that warm and bubbly feeling. Ok, I guess that is taking it a bit far — however, the phrase “What You See Is What You Get” still usually only applies when talking about web design. 

Now, for the fancier people reading this, we get it — your menu’s don’t have pictures of the food. They hardly even have the prices. It’s a “if you have to ask” kind of situation. For the rest of us, we do sometimes rely on a picture to make our final decision.  Unless we are talking about fast food, in which we know that we either want it or we don’t, because the people in the back are going to happily smash it to fit in the box, or drop it on the floor a couple of times — maybe even roll it around the counter to make a funny noise. 

ANYWAYS —  I visited Denny’s the other day, something I don’t get to do often — not because I can’t, because I won’t. Denny’s has great breakfast food (which really is HARD to mess up) but they usually fall short on everything else. 

However, I saw commercials for the new “Spicy Crazy Skillet” and I got excited. It sounded like everything I could want in a meal. I love hot food “SPICY” — I’m probably not right in the head because I’m writing an article about a Denny’s dish “CRAZY” and, well, I guess I just like things cooked in a “SKILLET”

For whatever reason, I decided to take a picture of the “Before & After” sort of aftermath. Let’s compare: 

Here is the menu picture — flared up and photoshopped in all of its magical glory:

  
And here is what was actually served to me: 

  

Immediate differences: 

  • Size — what skillet were they using?
  • Chicken — Could’ve used the whole chicken breast I was promised.
  • Sauce — Not sure what kind of sauce they used, I called it “Chorizo sauce” point being, they went overboard with it. 
  • Shredded Cheese — They had no issue pouring the pepper jack cheese everywhere, which I liked…but the shredded American cheese was practically non existent. 

Other than that, they did just fine. Definitely better than most fast food pictures you’ll find comparisons of on the Internet. Didn’t taste too bad either! 

Sometime when you are feeling lucky/bored, do a Google search for Fast Food Reality pictures. Or don’t, I don’t care. 

I know what you are thinking — who gives a damn? Probably not that many people — but I took the pictures, I have a website, so why the hell not.  Don’t worry, this isn’t the start of some kind of trend. 

Apple vs. FBI – Tim Cook’s Response

  
Below you will find Tim Cook’s response to the recent news of the FBI’s ghastly attempt to get Apple to create a “backdoor” for their iPhones. 

I for one, completely stand with Apple. This sort of technology should not be created for any reason, let alone by the company who creates the device.

Apple/Tim Cook is 100% accurate saying that the creation of this technology WILL fall into the wrong hands. Somebody would leak it, and it also would show a weakness in the iron clad encryption Apple has boasted with their products since the dawn of time. 

If you don’t want to read the response on my site, I understand, and you can read it on Apple’s website here.

I’m only cross posting it just in case Apple mysteriously takes this post down. The FBI can be pushy, but I hope Apple stands their ground. 

It would make sense to me that if the FBI wanted this sort of technology, they would just hire some geeks to try and do it themselves. But, that would be illegal — right? And the FBI doesn’t do anything illegal.

  

Right. I believe if Steve Jobs were still alive, he would be saying the same exact thing. Actually, they way he worked — he probably would have just told them No and not issued any sort of statement. 

Oh, and I guess Donald Trump is attacking Apple over this as well, as if there was any surprise he wouldn’t try to use this to his advantage.

Finally, I just want to say that I can only hope that other tech giants such as Google feel the same way. If the FBI pressures another company, and they do it, Apple will be reluctant (or maybe even court obligated to do so) 

February 16, 2016 

A Message to Our Customers


The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand. 

This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.
The Need for Encryption


Smartphones, led by iPhone, have become an essential part of our lives. People use them to store an incredible amount of personal information, from our private conversations to our photos, our music, our notes, our calendars and contacts, our financial information and health data, even where we have been and where we are going.

All that information needs to be protected from hackers and criminals who want to access it, steal it, and use it without our knowledge or permission. Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data.

Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That is why encryption has become so important to all of us.

For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers’ personal data because we believe it’s the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.
The San Bernardino Case


We were shocked and outraged by the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino last December. We mourn the loss of life and want justice for all those whose lives were affected. The FBI asked us for help in the days following the attack, and we have worked hard to support the government’s efforts to solve this horrible crime. We have no sympathy for terrorists.

When the FBI has requested data that’s in our possession, we have provided it. Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants, as we have in the San Bernardino case. We have also made Apple engineers available to advise the FBI, and we’ve offered our best ideas on a number of investigative options at their disposal.

We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.
The Threat to Data Security


Some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution. But it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.

In today’s digital world, the “key” to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.

We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them.
A Dangerous Precedent


Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.

The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.

Tim Cook

  

That Vegeta Post

 

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Uhh 

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

 

Launched something new 

 I am not sure why, but I’ve created a place for people who don’t follow me on snapchat — to see my snaps. 

This way my beautiful artwork and creativity can be viewed forever. Sans the 10 second limit. 

Even if you already follow me on snapchat, maybe you can view and relive the glory days. 

I won’t be posting everything for obvious reasons, but it will get the bulk of them. 

I would probably change that rule if I could use an IFTTT recipe. But I digress. 

Check it out! 

The most generic of generic 

  

 I mean… I’m sure it tastes the same. I have absolutely nothing against generic products (to a certain degree) but this is pitiful.

They didn’t even try to make it look nice. Just give you the facts and send you on your way. 

 You’ll either buy it — or you won’t.  Not really a gamble I think this company is worried about.