I wrote DailyMe up on Mashable this week, and I don’t thrill to bringing stories over, but I really, really, liked this site.
It’s another news aggregator site, like we need another, but this one has some nifty new twists. You can dictate the news you want by category or keywords easily enough, but the twist comes in the reading. The site paid for the rights to run the full stories from the major news sources, so no snippet and then click to go to the full story at another site, it’s all there for you.
You can either just read the stories on the site or you can set your selected stories to be delivered to your email. In what is probably the oddest twist, set it to print out from your printer at scheduled times each day. While I can understand wanting to read a hard-copy of a story so you can take it anywhere want, I just think that could get horribly expensive in a hurry.
It’s a private beta (ugh) right now, but it’s expected to go public in the next few weeks. Oh, and yes, it’s free to use.
I am so NOT excited about this, but over the next few days I have to do a sample video blog for one of my projects.
I am NOT a photogenic person, I am NOT excited about this, and quite frankly am dreading it!
Where do I do it? What do I talk about? Do I do it serious or do I do it with humor? I mean, most Vloggers come off as idiots, and the only one I like is Brigitte Dale from over on TV Squad, but that really won’t work in my technology setting.
Ugh, this is going to suck. I am a writer, not an on-screen kind of person… this so doesn’t make me happy, but all the writers have to do it.
And no, I don’t plan to link to the sample. Tough noogies for all of you!
Does anyone else find it as funny as I do that Microsoft just can’t seem to escape the specter of Windows XP?
Originally Windows XP was just to disappear, but then consumers demanded it go back in to factory built computers again. They conceded and said XP still would end sales in January 2008.
Well, now they’ve had to back off of that, and it is now going to be June 2008 before XP goes the way of the Dodo bird.
This really should come as a surprise to anyone because, let’s be honest, Vista is a disaster of an OS. Five years of development, and it is still a bloated piece of crap. I only know one person who speaks positively of Vista, and considering he and I agree on next to nothing, I’m not shocked. However my other friends who have dealt with it are all telling me to stay the hell away from it.
Microsoft blew it, as seems to be their standard operating procedure, but instead of admitting they released a stinker of an OS out in the wild, they cling to it being wonderful. Tell me this, does anyone remember when XP came out, did people cling to Windows 98 in droves? No. They didn’t. I don’t think I’ve ever seen people cling so desperately to a LAST GENERATION product!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think XP is the be all, end all of OSes, but at least it’s somewhat more likable than Vista.
I’m sure you’ve heard about this by now. Chris Silver Smith of The Natural Search Blog ran across the buildings at left when using Google Maps, and posted it to his Flickr account, then all heck breaks loose as the media gets a hold of it.
The unfortunately designed buildings are the Naval Construction Force’s barracks in Coronado, CA. They were built in 1967, and in actuality, they are four separate L-shaped buildings with a courtyard. The design was arrived at, rather obviously, to make the best use of the plot of land.
Yes, there is no denying it looks like a Nazi swastika, and I, like most others don’t like the symbol, however, I think it’s rather silly the Navy is now planning to spend upwards of $600,000 to “disguise” the buildings.
A) They’re 40 years old, they have maybe 10 years left in them as barracks, why not just tear them down now? If you insist on bothering with this at this time, then just build new barracks.
B) $600K because a UNINTENTIONAL idea offends some people, how about instead you just believe it was unintentional, accept the apologies, and let the money be spent on proper body armor for our currently deployed soldiers who need more?
Don’t be mistaken for a second, I despise the Nazis and everything they stood for, and I also think the buildings do suck, but I also think people need to get their priorities together and stop being so damned sensitive. IT WASN’T INTENTIONAL! There was no malice behind it, and I just think there are more pressing matters, that are costing lives that should be attended to first.
I actually woke up in a good mood… I know… try not to be shocked. It lasted about a 1/2 hour.
When I got to work, as my system started up, there was a notice of an email on my Gmail account which pretty much assures it relates to my writing. It was, and while I won’t go in to all the details, I was being falsely accused of ripping off content from a site for one my paying jobs.
I was floored, angry and just generally pissed off. I acknowledge similarities in the work, but due to the style of work, that is inevitable that it would seem similar to SOMEONE, but that’s just life.
I jumped on the phone with a friend of mine who is in the law field, she looked at the accusation and laughed. She assured me there was nothing to worry about, and it appears she is correct. It is, however, still frustrating to see your name dragged around in such a way when you are 100% innocent. It’s one of those things that is almost impossible to prove sadly.
Oh well, my boss is satisfied I’m innocent, and that is really all that matters at the end of the day to me.
Amazon has finally launched their MP3 store (as a beta…) and it is DRM-Free as promised! Meaning their files can be played on any MP3 player, and by either iTunes or Windows Media Player.
Not only that, but is is also encoded at 256kbs, as opposed to iTunes 192kbs, providing for a higher quality file.
Where it got weird was that over 1 million of their 2 million songs are priced at $.89 each. Wait a tick… hasn’t the music industry been whining about $.99 is too cheap? So, how is $.89, higher bitrate, AND DRM-Free, make any sense? Shouldn’t this be like the music industrie’s worst nightmare? Haven’t the said that DRM-Free music would lead to increased piracy?
Something doesn’t add up here…
Are we just seeing a hatred of Apple for some reason? Universal is in this Amazon deal, which has been rather negative towards of Apple as of late. So what is the sudden turnaround on the record labels part?
Today was an insane day for writing on the professional blogs (15 pieces in 5 hours for Mashable, and 2 pieces so far for BLORGE) and in all of this I noticed something…
IS EVERY ONE IN “BETA”?!?
What is it with websites being obsessed with being in “beta” mode? Eight of the stories over at Mashable today bluntly stated they were in “beta”, and for the life of me, I can not figure out why this has become the “hot” word in the Internet world. My only theory is that it’s an excuse for any bugs people may find in a site, but just look at Gmail. Three years and it’s still a “beta”?
Beta used to mean that “Hey, we’ve gone through Alpha, we killed the majority of the bugs, we just need a few Beta testers to run it through its paces, and then we can release a Gold Master for production.” Having been a beta tester before, I know these “never-ending betas” are just BS, but it would be nice to see them occasionaly emerge from this self-proclaimed title.
(There may be spoilers from here on out, but as the book is two months old, you can lump it.)
The only thing I can think to say is that Ms. Rowling has succumbed more and more to her own hype. Everything, in her mind at least, is of dire importance to the reader. But, then again, things that were important, and she had even promised us, were of no importance it seems.
A perfect case is fans asked her repeatedly what James and Lily, Harry’s parents, did for a living. She always said she couldn’t tell because it would give away some of the future plot points. Well, the final book is done, you still never told us, care to share that now?
Rowling suffers from a severe lack of a strong-willed editor. If she worked with one who actually had a backbone, a lot of these problems would never come up. Take for instance the deaths of Lupin and Tonks. Lupin has been a fairly major character since book 3, but he is sent to the afterlife… off-screen? You’re kidding me, right? A lot of the deaths felt very tacked on and like she didn’t know how to handle them, or even why she was doing them.
Then there is the whole matter of the namesake of the title of the book: “The Deathly Hallows”. Was there any logical reason to even introduce this concept? Wasn’t there enough going on with hunting down the Horcruxes? No, no let’s throw in a second quest/mystery in to an already busy book. How about you cut the Hallows, which could have easily been done, and instead of the trio sitting in a tent for weeks on end, let’s have them go on more elaborate challenges to get the Horcruxes? You could have still done the Elder Wand and cut who knows how many chapters of fluff.
The tent brings up the point of Rowling’s pacing. What the hell woman! You stuck an entire chapter of character exploration… IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FINAL BATTLE! Now… right now… you feel is the time to finally explore Snape’s motivations? In the middle of a fight we’ve built to since book 1. Okay, yeah, that makes total sense.
And how about the final battle, huh folks? Voldemort, the biggest, baddest wizard in the history of the wizarding world dies from… a backfire. He died, from a backfiring spell. Wow. That was a great method there.
After all that, we get to the epilogue. I… there are no words for how bad that was. Truly, none. Albus Severus? Scorpius? *bangs head repeatedly on his keyboard* And, really… you end a seven book series with “All was well.”? Well, newsflash Ms. Rowling, all is not well. You failed, and failed miserably.
The sad thing is, I kind of knew it was coming. Starting with book 5, she fell apart plot wise. She knew she had waited too long to get to the meat of things and she started doing silly, contrived, things to move the story forward. This was also when the editor problem kicked in, they LET her just do whatever she wanted without exerting any control over her. So while I blame her, I also blame her editors.
There was a time that I actually felt I would be sad to see this series end, and now I couldn’t be happier. It’s over, and I can stop asking “Why am I reading this?!?”, every other page.
Basically the premise is fairly simple: You get yourself one of these purple bracelets, put it on a wrist, and the first time you complain about something, you switch wrists. The goal is to go 21 days without complaining about anything to make the world free of negativity.
I have a complaint already in the form of that stupid wristband. I’ve written about the insanity of these things in the past, and my thoughts still hold, and seeing as how they’ve distributed 5.9 million of these things so far… lovely. That’s neither here or there though, what’s here is that this is just silly. And yes, I realize I am complaining about a program that aims to stop complaining, you know it, I know it, we all know it, ignore it and move on.
The way my thought process works is I need to vocalize things. Whether it be to someone else, or even out-loud to myself, I work through problems a lot easier if I can say the problem vocally. Even talking about it here helps, but it’s just how I work. I am working towards a solution of a problem, or in a case like this, I feel just need to shake my head and walk away from the stupid people of this world that surrounds me.
If you want to stop complaining, good for you… just do it. You don’t need some dumbass rubber bracelet to do it. I think this actually speaks to a larger problem in this world and it is peoples lack of willpower.
I used to drink 6 Mountain Dews a day, when I quit, I quit cold turkey because I realized it was bad for me. When I quit smoking, it was also cold turkey. My weight loss of the past year has been me being fed up with how heavy I was. You can achieve changes in your life without someone having to tell you how to do it, you just have to be determined.
So, more power to you, stop whining about life, just skip that stupid bracelet.
Back in July I bought the Phillips VoIP841B system for my warehouse, and after trying it out for awhile, I just have to say I love it.
The basic idea is it’s a dual-mode system that can work with your traditional landline as well as your Skype account. While I have the landline plugged in, and it works fine, the Skype portion is the focus for me and it is fabulous.
While I have always loved the free VoIP service, it has been annoying to tell people “Hold on, have to get my headset!” or making sure my computer was on at the right time. With these handsets you can finally answer your Skype calls like a normal phone call, wander around as you would with any cordless phone, and no need for the computers to be on! YES!
You can do most of your Skype functions directly from the handset, such as looking at your contact list and click on any user just as you would normally from the computer.
Now, the fun part… add SkypeIn ($60.00 a year) and SkypeOut (a per minute price), or get SkypePro ($3.00 a month, discounted SkypeIn price) and you have a full VoIP system for far less than places such as Vonage. And Skype-to-Skype calls are still free.
As for the actual handsets (you can have up to 4 per base station) they are a little awkward to hold, but do have a normal earpiece headjack for you to use. Otherwise, they are as good as just about any other cordless phone I’ve ever owned for sound quality.
Anyway, I love them, and HIGHLY recommend the system for anyone who wants to lower their monthly phone bills. And how much do I love them? I just bought a second pair for my house.
I don’t care how you mock me… I enjoyed the hell out of six seasons of Sex and the City. Well written, spot on acting, and just a lot of fun.
That being said, I’m still not entirely sure why they’re making a movie of it. The series gave us a pretty definitive ending. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) had gotten her Mr. Big (Chris Noth), the other three girls had all found stable relationships, and they were all on their way to being those women who lunch, and go home to their men in the evenings.
So, here we are a couple years later and we’re getting a movie with a cloudy plot (some plot points have leaked, but surprisingly few) and I just keep asking myself “why?” (the picture to the left is from the first day of filming, click it for a super sized version)
I will probably watch the movie, heck, I may even go to the theater (it releases May 30, 2008), but I just keep thinking of HBO series that NEED a follow-up to finish them off like Carnivale and Deadwood, and aren’t getting it.
Both of these series were left wide-open at the end with unanswered questions, but, instead, we get Sex and the City. True, this series took on a life of it’s own, and verged on the point of religion for some people (Yes, M… I’m talking about you), so all I can figure is that this IS a money grab, and that’s fine, knock yourselves out, but story wise it is unnecessary.
Anything that happens in this installment will just feel like a tacked-on epilogue to me, and one the world could have probably lived without. I honestly fear it damaging the original body of work, because if it misfires, it could be so bad that you would go “Wow, was I wrong about the original work?” (coughHIGHLANDER2cough)