Now look what I did 

My website said:

  “Goodbye, old out dated browsers!”

And just like that, my website only looks amazing on updated browsers. 

Have to admit, it looks pretty sweet on old browsers. (Check it out on IE 6 sometime) Sarcasm or course — as it very nicely wrecks & ignores the design. 

This wasn’t a very interesting post, I know. Just wanted to get you in here and look at my design. You know I do this every year. 

How about a constellation prize:

   

 

How I feel about Facebook posts…

  
We get it, okay? You want us to believe that your life is way more glamorous than it actually is. 

You also love sharing 100+ selfies of you and your “fam”. 

Heck, why not show me that disgusting looking meal you shoved down your pie hole. Oh you put it on Instagram too? I was hoping you slapped a filter on it to make it “artsy”. 

Wow, you are right. I haven’t seen enough pictures of your baby. Today. Please post more. I love hearing about how junior acted his age today. 

Bones & Grandpa Baby

 

You see, Grandpa Baby was tired of crawling and decided to ask his friend Bones for a lift. 

Bones, being the quiet type, dropped his jaw and lowered his right hand to the floor. 

The rest, is history.  

Let’s Go Live Again

A call for help: Which is the best live streaming service to use these days?

A long time ago, I used Justin.TV — It was simple, free, and easy to use.  However, that service shut down.  Kind of left me stranded.   Any suggestions?

Here is what is ideal:

  • Free or cheap — I don’t go live often enough to need something extremely fancy.
  • A chatroom would be nice, but not necessary. We can always use social media to communicate.
  • Embeddable — Not a huge fan of just having the stream on the host’s website. I might want to put it other places, ya dig?
  • Half-ass customizable. Enough said.

Check out my contact page or drop me a suggestion on twitter.
Thanks!

 

The Times, They Are a Changin’

Dr. Manhattan How many times have we seen a post start out with that title? A lot, I know. Overplayed, yes.  However, extremely relevant. You might have noticed that this site looks completely different. Or, you may be here from some weird search engine result and have no idea who I am or what this place is. Hopefully, you newbie you, are saying to yourself “Damn, that’s a mighty fine looking website!

Apparently, the days of having colorful backgrounds and flashy images are over. The people have spoken, and I’ve listened. You like it bland, flat, and fast. This new design is my answer.  Loyal readers will know that this place has seen one too many facelifts, as I tend to get bored with one design and go onto another.

This time I had speed in mind. That’s also why there is no longer that dreadful “/life/” redirect mumbo jumbo.  You may have not even noticed it, but I did — point being: it’s gone.  I’ve also focused a lot on the mobile version of my site.  I couldn’t believe the numbers when I saw that a good 47% of you are looking at my site on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device. (Other mobile device? Like a Grandpas’ phone? Yes. One of those.)

This seemed to be the easiest transition from one location to another, but there may be some broken links that I missed. I apologize in advance, and ask you shoot me a message and let me know — I’ll get it straightened out ASAP. I hate leftovers.

You might also notice that there is HTML5 and CSS3 everywhere. You’re welcome. Again, speed was key.   Even though I’m leaving old browsers out of the picture, most of you should have a great time here.

There is definitely more to come to this site later (Like sliders — and app reviews) but it didn’t feel right slapping a new design on here and not doing my ever traditional “DID YA NOTICE??” post.

Now, to find a nice image for this post… Ooh, I just had a great idea for one. Props for the people who get the reference.

NFL Mobile as an Internet Browser?

image

This doesn’t make any sense to me. This is the dialog box I get when I click on links. Why is NFL Mobile an option?

Well, I went ahead and tried it for shits and giggles. Verizon wanted me to subscribe for the service,  and since I’m not a huge football fan (except around super bowl times),  I declined.

I’ll never know what could have happened. I know one thing for sure: I probably wouldn’t have been able to read why choosing a tricked out iMac over a Mac Pro is a better idea.

Still, this seems like an odd bug… but a humorous one none the less.  Does the NFL Mobile app open links within the app maybe? My football fans can fill me in on a later date. In the meantime, I’ll stick with normal non-footbally apps.

Cats Imitating Art

I wanted to share this somewhere like Twitter or Facebook, but it’s just too damn huge for all that. Ain’t nobody got time for dat on their feed. So I decided to post it on my site. It’s from MemeCenter (at least that is where I got it) — I’m sure it’s all over the internet. Enjoy:

Cats Imitating Art

That’s a lot of sugar

Sugary Drinks

I see something like this and it reminds me of how badly I need to stop drinking soda. It’s just so damn tasty. I’m shocked to see how much there is in a little thing of milk.

I drink 2 gallons a week…

Maybe I’ll at least cut back.

Classy Sign Off for Attack of the Show

If you’ve followed my blog, or any of my social networks, for any length of time then you’ll know my feelings toward the cable network owned by Comcast, known as G4. To summarize, in 2004 Comcast purchased the 24-hour technology cable TV network TechTV, then owned by Vulcan Ventures, and promptly dismantled it. Focusing more on pop culture and less about technology, they dumped nearly all the talent from that network and canceled several of the veteran shows. They moved production to Los Angeles, and renamed one it’s most popular shows, The Screen Savers, to Attack of the Show.

Recently, Esquire acquired G4. That is irony at its finest.

With all that being said, my feelings for G4 have been all negative up until this point. Attack of the Show had it’s series finale, and invited two special guests to cameo in this classy sign off:

Now, I think that is a great way to end an era.

I’m Glad To See You’re Still Alive

With the possibility of a world ending, the inauguration of a president, and soft-core cable porn still in bloom — it’s nice to see everyone is still alive and kicking.  I’ve started a new job (technically I did last year) and I’ve been extremely busy. I promise to start updating this site a lot more. I’ll even live stream sometime soon and reconnect with you. Follow me on instagram.  I have nothing more to say for right now.

 

Do People Actually Eat This Stuff?

image

For $1.99 (or maybe cheaper?) you can enjoy the wonderful flavors of Wild Boar, Alligator, Kangaroo, Venison, Buffalo, Ostrich, and Duck all in a spicy “meat” stick.

I can understand Venison and Buffalo… but I can’t really figure out why anyone would want to enjoy a meaty Kangaroo stick. No pun intended.

Alligator tail –to me– is terrible… but some people do enjoy it. It’s not even guaranteed that the tail is what you are eating with these jerky sticks.

My experience with an Ostrich ‘burger’ was very dry and tasteless. Or maybe that was an Emu burger I ate. Still, it was terrible.

I also didn’t even know you could eat Kangaroo. Shows what I know.

I’m waiting for these to come out in snake and rabbit next.

I just can’t see these being a hot seller, but you never know.

The Death of iTunes Ping: Apple’s Failed Social Network

Following today’s Apple Keynote, their music social network (called Ping) experiment silently received a death notice. However, most people didn’t even know about the social network in the first place.

Before we get into why this never worked, let’s detail exactly how we knew it came to an end. Apple announced an abundance of new gizmos, including the iPhone 5 and a new iPod Nano & Touch. Another huge announcement was the new re-imagined design of iTunes.

Tech Pundits quickly picked up from live blog screenshots that the new version of iTunes did not have the word Ping anywhere on it. This came with little surprise, as Ping had received what I call the “Buzz” effect.

To explain this effect in further detail, I’m relating this to Google’s first social experiment, called Google Buzz. Once Google allowed users to feed their twitter posts into Buzz, that was all users ever did. Myself included. I never saw a reason to actually visit Buzz’s website, even though their was a comment system there, and you could actually post original content into it. It seemed easier to just feed my tweets into Buzz and allow my followers to comment or “like” posts on there. This worked well for awhile, but it eventually became nothing but another twitter feed.

This is ultimately why Google shut down Buzz. This same effect happened with Ping. Users (mostly musicians — as it was supposed to be a music social network) simply re-pumped their tweets into Ping and that was that.

Also, the most important reason Ping failed was because nobody had any clue it existed. This was because of a disagreement between Apple and Facebook. Since the Mountain Lion release, and the latest version of iOS, Apple and Facebook have since patched things up — but all too late.

In theory, the idea of seeing what your buddies (or favorite celebrities) bought on iTunes was a great idea. But, you HAD to be in iTunes to see it. If Apple had made connections early on with Facebook to allow for “frictionless sharing” — then the network could have possibly survived.

However, CEO of Apple Tim Cook is quoted saying “We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said ‘This isn’t something that I want to put a lot of energy into.’“

So it’s a possibility that even if Facebook had allowed for this sharing early on, Apple still would be dumping it on the 30th.

It started in September 2010 and will be put to rest on September 30th, 2012.

Some users are generally worried about their data they have posted on Ping, and whether or not they’ll be able to retrieve it once the service does shut down. I’m sure Apple will have some sort of an export option, but I can’t think of very much important information that I’ve run across on Ping, let alone anything worthwhile that I’ve posted.

Apple has already killed all known links to the service from their site.  Also, if you try to sign up for an account (why on Earth you’d want to I’ll never know) you’ll see this message:

 

Did You Know Facebook Is Using You?

How many times have you seen on the right hand side of the page “Jane Doe (your friend – in this example) likes Pepsi” – or Verizon Wireless?  The company or product doesn’t really matter, because if you haven’t changed your privacy settings, it’s targeting your friends with your identity whether you like it or not.

Now, even in mid stream of your wall, you’ll see a post (typically a photo – but not always)  that a certain company page has made (in this example we’ll use Red Stripe Beer) and says Friend X and 3 others like Red Stripe Beer. Then it gives you a nice little option to like them (because if you are seeing this – chances are you don’t already “like” that page.

This is a real sneaky scheme that Facebook started awhile back, and snuck it into our privacy settings automatically and thus forcing users to opt-out manually, instead of doing the ethical thing and asking if this is what we’d like to do.

I’ve been on Facebook since 2007, and I feel that as a veteran member – I know it sounds cocky – I expect a little better treatment.  It’s bad enough they sneak these kinds of things in with new users, but some of us have been “around the block” so to speak and we’d like a little bit more respect.  Or at least like a little bit of royalties in return, but – we did agree to the TOS when we signed up – and that’s what they would argue if you took them to court.

However, there’s a shiny golden idol in the dark thicket. Also known as a real easy way to disable this annoyance – once you know the steps. Facebook is most likely counting on the common user to not dig this deep into the privacy settings.

Unless you like the idea of Facebook using your name for profit, follow along below:

  • First off, go ahead and navigate to Privacy Settings.
  • On the very bottom, where it says “Ads” select Edit Settings.
  • Now you’ll see two different groups, one called “Ads shown by third parties” and another called “Ads and friends”
    • It disgusts me how they say “Ads and friends” – makes it sound like a damn game. (I guess it is for somebody…but not us!) Anyways…
    • On both of those categories, select the link below giving you the option to Edit these nasty settings.
    • On the “Ads shown by third parties”  — they claim they aren’t offering this… but it still has the option of “If We Allow This In The Future” – and you’ll want to select No One on that Drop Down Box, then save your changes.
    • On the “Ads and friends” – you’ll see an example of the ads I was talking about.  Where it says “Pair my social actions with ads for” you are going to want to again select No One and save your changes.

They claim these facts on their Ads with Friends:

  • Social ads show an advertiser’s message alongside actions you have taken, such as liking a Page
  • Your privacy settings apply to social ads
  • We don’t sell your information to advertisers
  • Only confirmed friends can see your actions alongside an ad
  • If a photo is used, it is your profile photo and not from your photo albums

But I’m not buying a bit of it.  I feel if you share my name with even my friends that I “Like” a product – shows a false sense of interest.  Even if I liked the page, doesn’t necessarily mean I support it.  I know it sounds ignorant, but just because I liked Charmin Toilet Paper doesn’t mean that’s what I use. Get what I’m saying?

That’s all I’ve got for now friends.

Relevant targeted Ads — MY ASS! 

Apple Podcast App

iTunes has become the go-to place for Podcasts, and is the primary source for most people’s subscriptions. However, syncing them with your iOS devices has been, if nothing else, trivial and a little wonky. This would leave people with podcast fatigue. In other words, people would stop listening to a show because it was way too much of a hassle to have to download them on your computer, then wait 20 to 30 minutes  (if not longer) for them all to sync to your iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

I’m assuming Apple has finally heard our war cry on this matter because on June 26th, 2012 — Apple finally released a Podcast App for most of their iOS devices.  It wouldn’t be Apple if they didn’t leave some of their older devices in the dust. 

Here is what Apple has to say about the App:

 

Podcasts app is the easiest way to discover, subscribe to, and play your favorite podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts from the Podcasts Catalog, and play the most popular podcasts, organized for you by topic, with the all-new Top Stations feature.

Features:

• Enjoy all of your audio and video podcasts in a single app
• Explore hundreds of thousands of podcasts including shows in over 40 languages
• Try the innovative new Top Stations feature to find new podcast series in a variety of topics, including arts, business, comedy, music, news, sports, and more.
• Browse by audio or video podcasts, or see what’s most popular in Top Charts
• Tap Subscribe for your favorites and automatically receive new episodes for free as they become available
• Stream episodes or download to listen while offline
• Skip forward and back using simple playback controls
• Turn on Sleep Timer to automatically stop playing a podcast while listening in bed
• Share your favorite episodes with friends using Twitter, Messages, and Mail
• Optionally sync your favorite episodes from iTunes on your Mac or PC
• Sync your episode playback for seamless transition between devices

Requirements:

• Requires a device with iOS 5.1 or later
• Optionally syncing episodes requires iTunes 10.6.3 or later
• Streaming or downloading episodes requires Internet access over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection

 

Without any warning, Apple released this App, and some cover art may be a little distorted until every Podcast producer gets around to changing their cover art to the required 1400 x 1400 resolution Apple now requires in their Podcast Creator instructions. 

Of course, there have been plenty of alternatives for Podcast consumption rather than iTunes. I recommend Instacast or Downcast.

Easter Egg:  Click the album art while listening to a Podcast to see a nostalgic (and sadly retro) tape deck player!

 

 

Maybe you didn’t know…Google Music

This isn’t exactly a new service, by any means, but I don’t think it’s gained nearly as much traction as needed.

Google Music (now known as Google Play Music) is a free service provided by our friends at Google that allows you to upload 20,000 songs to the cloud — and stream them anywhere on your Android or iOS device.  All of this can be done — completely free!

If you are that select few that has more than 20,000 songs, additional storage can be purchased. But, let’s face it, most of us don’t have that many songs — so this really is a great deal.

Also, the uploading couldn’t be more simple.  All you need to do is download Google Music Manager (available for Windows & Mac), which allows you to upload your entire iTunes or Windows Media Player library in the background — with little to no intervention needed on your part.  Plus, you can set it up to where new tracks added to your library are automatically uploaded to Google Music.

That’s frictionless sharing if I’ve ever heard of it!

Even if you don’t like the idea of streaming your music to your device (maybe because of bandwidth restraints) you should at least look into Google Music as a great backup resource.  And you really can’t beat the price.

All of these services Google started offering really makes sense, especially after the release of the Nexus Q and Nexus 7.

Let me know what you think in the comments, or get at it me on Twitter.

PeeWee Herman… is Batman?

Paul Reubens (better known as PeeWee Herman) stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to give a little bit of a twist on “The Dark Knight Rises” trailer.

In other words, it’s the trailer we all know and love — only with PeeWee Herman’s voice. What’s not to love about that?

What makes me crack up the most on this? Morgan Freeman’s part.  The PeeWee voice change just does something to my funny bone.

The Dark Knight Rises releases at midnight on July 20th 2012.  GO SEE IT! 

Dubstep Grandma

If you saw my last post, then this will make total sense. If you didn’t, then here it goes: This is based off of a video by Skifcha.  It’s not quite as long as the 5 hours of Hipster Cat we saw last time, but it’s just a good.

Once again, I’m not a huge dubstep listener, but the video is what makes this great — not the music.

 

Dubstep Hipster Cat: How long can you last?


There has been a trend for awhile to take videos that are hilarious or maybe even annoying — and replay them for hours at a time. This is one of those, only it’s a whopping 5 hours.  If you can last that long, you are more man than I.

My Opinion:  I love it. I can’t say I’ve made it the full 5 hours, but pretty close. The music isn’t the greatest in the world, but that cat’s faces are what get me every time.

Here is another one of those videos… It’s called Dubstep Hipster Cat. It’s made by Skifcha.

View the original here: http://vimeo.com/36820781

Why Do We Trust Anything On The Internet?

Now, I’m sure most of you are thinking: “Well, I DON’T trust anything on the internet!” And good for you, because most people don’t.

However, there are a few people out there that rely on the internet for reviews of either restaurants, apartments, or any other product. It isn’t abnormal to look up the reviews. After all, if you are planning on spending your hard earned cash on something — shouldn’t you at least get your money’s worth?

I even fall a victim to customer reviews sometimes, especially on websites such as Amazon or Newegg. If a product has a higher percentage of negative reviews rather than positive, I’m least likely to purchase it.  EBay is another website where customer feedback is important.  If your profile has a large percentage of negative feedback on your profile, you are definitely least likely to make a sale.

But what about Yelp? Do we really trust Yelp? And should we? There has always been this conspiracy theory that reviews are bought rather than thought. In other words, people pay a decent amount of money for people with a trustworthy account to post positive reviews for their product. In some circumstances — they even pay for people to write nasty reviews for their competitors.

But, honestly, how do you market a job like this? And what kind of classifieds AD company would even allow this type posting?  Hmm.. Maybe Craigslist?

I ran across this today while searching around the Los Angeles Craigslist:

 

Wow.. For a measly $20 of your own time you can write  reviews for someone.  Notice: They don’t say what kind of review nor for who/whom.  Guess now it makes sense as to why I italicized the word “decent” up above.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dismissing the idea that everybody could use $20 here and there — I mean every bit helps right? But do you really want to earn it by lying?

I’ve blurred out the email address because I believe this is a disgrace to the open internet. We know it’s been happening, but this finally cuts the cake to the core.  If cakes had a core, that is.

Look At The Positivesguess this company  could be paying you to go visit the restaurant or venue and see if you actually enjoyed yourself or not… But that’s highly doubtful.

What do you think?

Oh, Microsoft: Some Things Never Change

You have to love Demo Fails. Every company has them, and they only get funnier each time.

Many of you know already that on Monday, June 18th 2012,  Microsoft announced that they were entering the tablet hardware department with Microsoft Surface.  But that’s not really what I’m here to talk about.

It wouldn’t be a Microsoft product without a few bugs, crashes, or fatal errors. The poor guys couldn’t even make it through an announcement Keynote without a “FAIL” via Internet Explorer. This video is going viral, with nearly 2.5 million views in a matter of days.

I’ll give Windows President, Steven Sinofsky, some credit.  He handled it like a pro. Though his voice shutters a little bit, and you can see him repeatedly pressing the Windows (home) button trying to escape this conundrum,  he prevails and changes the subject.  This wasn’t the only “fail” at the keynote. The other, though more subtle than this one, could have been as extreme as an App crash or something less severe as in someone forgetting to have the login credentials preloaded. When trying to show off the Netflix app, he simply says “…Oops” and grabs another tablet from underneath a nearby table. Whew, good save.

This does set Microsoft back about 15 years, when another fatal crash is remembered during the Windows 98 launch,  where the Blue Screen of Death rears its ugly head right in the middle of a demo for “Plug and Play”  Bill Gates smiles and very smoothly says “That must be why we’re not shipping Windows 98 Yet”
Check it out:

 

Getting Back To Social

The internet is a very social place, we all know this much to be true. What we don’t know, even though we think sometimes we do, is how powerful social networking can really be. You would think, someone like me, who tweets as much as I do, would have put two of the most popular websites that I run (Brick Hill Publishing & Unfettered Ministry) on this social ecosystem by now.

I am referring mainly to twitter, because Brick Hill Publishing already has all of it’s books on Facebook, but I (for some odd reason) never bothered with twitter. Unfettered Ministry, on the other hand, doesn’t have a Facebook page, but certainly has a twitter account.  I started the account in early 2010, but for some reason never followed through with it. My guess is that I forgot about it, or forgot the password, or an equal share of both of those excuses.

Whatever the reason may be, I’ve fixed it.  They are both on the twittersphere full time now, so I employ you to follow them for book & author updates or religious articles on everyday life.

Without further ado, I give you Brick Hill Publishing & Unfettered Ministry on twitter. (click either one of them!)

Maybe Twitter Doesn’t Hate Me After All

You might have noticed my last post, where I talked about “Twitter Hating Me”.   I didn’t mean that they actually had a grudge against me, but that post received a lot of feedback — most of it positive — and left people wanting to know what ever happened with my account.  After about six hours of patient waiting, my account was restored.   During the wait I saw the “This account is suspended 404 error” and the “The page no longer exists 404 error”.

It made me nervous, because I’ve never been suspended before, so twitter received more than enough emails from me. And, as you could tell, I received the same canned response from them everytime. So,  with all that pressure I hope that Twitter really doesn’t hate me, because I have no problem with them.

I just wish they would alter their automatic spam filtering just a little bit.  Mainly because I’ve had a twitter account for what seems like forever and I’ve never once triggered a red flag.  I never did get an answer as to why it happened.  Your assumption is as good as mine.

As my dear ol’ Grandpa would say, it’s water under the bridge now.  And he’s right. My account is fully restored and superbly operational.

 

Twitter Hates Me

I originally posted this on Google Plus. However, I feel my blog readers should have some insight as well.

I’ve been suspended on Twitter. This has never happened before.. Honestly, I find it kind of funny.

Twitter thought my account was “Spamming” because I was posting so much about Apple stuff under the hashtag #WWDC .  At least that is my assumption of why I was suspended — because I sure as hell can’t get an answer from anyone.

I’ve contacted them to restore the account, and received multiple canned responses that say the following:
——————————–
Hello,

Twitter has automated systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk. Unfortunately, it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake.

I’ve restored your account; sorry for the inconvenience.

Please note that it may take an hour or so for your follower and following numbers to return to normal.

Thanks,

Support
——————————–
Well, it’s been way over an hour and my account is still suspended. Sometimes it shows up that it doesn’t even exist.

I can’t get a human to answer me, so I just keep getting these canned responses. If someone on here happens to work at twitter, can you look into this a little bit for me?

I do this every year with big keynote announcements. Never once have I been flagged as spam. Did somebody report me?  I’ll never know because a robot handles all the requests!

 

I had at one time talked to a “Buster” at twitter about some unrelated issues. (You can read about them on the Google Plus thread comments — no sense in reposting them here)  He/She was unable to help me with my request, but it still gave me reason to believe that Twitter had some humans available to handle their support.

I understand that suspended account restoration requests are something that Twitter probably receives on an hourly basis, but when an account is falsely subjected as a spam account, there should be an honest human being to come out and say “Sorry, We Fudged Up”  Hopefully, I’ll start tweeting again soon.

Hell, I’d talk to fail whale if I knew it would get me somewhere. This is ridiculous.

It is also a little tedious at the hoops you have to jump through just to get a canned response.  Once you submit your support ticket to twitter, you receive an email that gives a very bland explanation of what they think the solution is to the problem. You Must REPLY to this email to even receive consideration of a canned response or maybe a human response.

Once you have sent a simple “Yes, I still want support” reply back. You wait.  If you receive a canned response, you won’t be able to reply to it. If you try, you get an email saying that you’ve replied to a closed ticket. Gee, thanks. I didn’t even get the chance to say Thank You, Fuck You, or Have a Good day.

If you somehow receive an email from a human, you are able to respond freely, but in about 2 hours or so the ticket will be closed. Then you get yet another email asking you to rate your support. Wow, you are putting yourself on the line there.

Microsoft Photosynth: Truly Amazing

With the announcement of Microsoft Photosynth finally coming to Windows Phone, it bears some notice that I should have covered this earlier. My deepest apologies. I’m covering it now.

Now,  what exactly is Microsoft Photosynth you are asking? Well, the folks at Richmond cooked up this little application that allows users to stitch together high quality images into a virtual panoramic image.  As an example, here is what this wonderful program can do:

(You’ll need Microsoft Silverlight to view this)

Please: Do yourself a favorite and hit the full screen option. You won’t hurt my feelings.  Zoom in a little, or click the examples on the right to targeted locations. The amount of detail you can put into these panoramic shots is incredible.

Now the Windows Phone users can enjoy this functionality just as much as everyone else.  Well, at least most of you can.  There are reports that some Windows Phones are not being supported. Bummer!

Let me know what you think!