Posted on May 8th, 2015
Back in the good ol' days where blogging actually mattered, I refused many an offer to host ads on Blogography (I still do... on those rare occasions somebody actually bothers to ask now-a-days). Not that I was turning down any massive dollar amounts or anything... I would have earned well under $100 a month... but the money wasn't the point. I simply did not want to have my entire blogging life revolve around driving clicks to my website.
Which is what you have to do in order to make ads worth it. Just ask the fine folks at TVBlend...
In order to find out the answer to their burning question, you have to click through to their website.
Whereas Super Hero Hype has a different, arguably less douchey approach...
Super Hero Hype doesn't make you click through to get the answer, they try to create a post that will have you wanting to click through to get more than just "the answer." Kind of a big difference, though the end result is the same... if you're a fan of Constantine, you'll be clicking through to the site in order to get the deets about the fate of the show.
And while I prefer the Super Hero Hype approach which doesn't hold a gun to my head for a click-through, TV Blend's tactics don't bother me enough to stop following their newsfeed... I just don't click through as much as I would if they were a bit more creative in how they go about initiating it.
But lest you think Super Hero Hype isn't above allowing others to put douchey clickbait ads on their site. Well...
ZOMFG! WHAT DID SANDRA BULLOCK LIE ABOUT?!??
Who the hell cares?
A lot of people, apparently. Because this kind of clickbait is rampant on the internet. You can't escape it. Everywhere you look there's something UNBELIEVABLE and AMAZING that will LEAVE YOU SPEECHLESS... but it requires a click-through to reveal what it is.
In some cases it's more than figurative... you literally can't escape it. Because an increasing number of websites... "ZergNet" for example... spawn infinite new windows with every click so you never leave their site. You're trapped in a maze of clickbait from which few break free.
Until you fall asleep at the computer.
Or close your browser window.
Which is the only true escape from clickbait once you're on the internet.
Which reminds me... DID YOU KNOW THAT THESE COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS COULD KILL YOU?!?
Posted on April 14th, 2015
I had a great idea for a post today, but had forgotten what it was by the time I sat down to actually write it.
If that's not an excuse for a meme, I don't know what is...
Posted on April 1st, 2015
Most years I do a round-up of my favorite April Fools jokes running online.
This year everybody was eclipsed by the greatest prank of them all... Pac Man Mode on Google Maps! Now you can play Pac Man next to your house or on famous streets around the world!
Like Times Square...
Heaven only knows how long this will last, so get it while you can.
UPDATE: Though, I have to say, this was pretty darn amazing too...
LOVE YOU, BOB BARKER!
Posted on March 12th, 2015
I'm going to leave this bit of awesomeness right here...
Not enough for you? Whitney Avalon has you covered...
Posted on February 13th, 2015
Oh the things you stumble upon on these here internets...
DO MY BIDDING, HUMAN!
Posted on December 19th, 2014
A couple years ago, I pledged $58 to a Kickstarter project by Peter Molyneux's "22 Cans" so they could complete a new game called Godus. It was to be inspired by the game Populous, which is one of my favorite computer games of all time. In it, you are playing a "god" who uses their ever-escalating abilities to control the lives of your in-game "followers."
At first, things were good. 22 Cans provided regular updates, often videos with Peter Molyneux himself. As the weeks turned into months, I was quite pleased to follow along with their progress, and thought everything was coming along beautifully. When the beta was released, I played around with it for a while... but didn't have time to devote to something that was still pretty rough. Eventually I deleted the game and thought I'd wait until it was finished.
But it hasn;t been finished. They're still working on it.
Nevertheless, I wanted to see what was happening with the $58 I paid, so I downloaded the Mac and iPhone versions to see what was happening.
As expected, the game looks beautiful. I love the design aesthetic, and am very impressed with how things are working...
The game is also kind of touching, as using your god powers can have terrible consequences for your followers... like when you destroy somebody's home so you can clear the land for bigger and better things...
Things eventually turn to shit.
Because Peter Molyneux and 22 Cans aren't creating a complete game. They're building a half-baked piece of shit that contains "in-game purchases." Yes, the game is free to download (thanks to the money I and a lot of other people donated) but, in order to get the most out of it, you have to pay real money to get ahead. Dubbed "freemium" games, these horrendous blights on gamers are fucking awful because you don't own the whole game. In order to play the way it was meant to be played, you have to keep paying for it. And paying and paying and paying...
In Godus you're buying gems. The gems can then be exchanged for things like "follower flags" that increase the happiness of your followers. Because if your followers aren't happy, they'll leave. You can also buy things you need to keep the game moving... like wheat. Because if you don't buy it, you'll be waiting days to make progress and keep playing.
I'm sure Molyneux will argue that you don't have to keep paying extra money... but he'd be full of shit. Because any time you try to do anything where you don't have enough power, Godus will literally keep wagging an invitation for you to buy more gems in the corner of the screen...
And it's annoying as shit, as you might imagine.
So how do I feel after paying $58 for a complete game and getting this bullshit?
Betrayed. Lied to. And very, very angry.
I don't buy "freemium" games. They're moronic crap and I have no interest in being jerked around like this. If 22 Cans had been honest from the beginning with their intent to nickel-and-dime their supporters, I would have never donated the money.
So lesson learned. Guess I won't be Kickstarting games any more.
Jesus, what assholes.
UPDATE: And it just keeps getting better. Godus requires you to be online while playing. If you don't have internet access, you don't play. If you do have internet access, but Godus servers are down, you don't play either...
It's almost comical just how shitty this app is. I've reset my iPhone more times since installing Godus than I have in all the years since I bought my first iPhone. So much for Apple's Editor Choice awards meaning a damn thing.
Posted on November 15th, 2014
Back in the olden days there was an activity called blogging. This was where people wanting to share their experiences, knowledge, and observations would create a website and, using a content management system, would post such experiences, knowledge, and observations for all the world to see.
Blogging was not always easy. Especially if you were a blogger that blogged every day. Because, unless you're an astronaut or Hugh Hefner, eventually you run out of blog-worthy things to blog about.
In order to generate ideas for blog content, bloggers started developing quizzes, challenges, questionnaires, and all kinds of other idea-generating material to blog about. Not everybody appreciated memes... many people downright abhorred them... but when it's 11:55pm and you're desperate for something to blog about, memes could be your best friend.
One of the most popular meme generators on the internet back in the day was The Friday 5. Every Friday they would post five questions for you to answer in a blog post, which was an easy way to get it over with and move on to your weekend. Unfortunately The Friday Five was eventually discontinued, and there were many sad pandas across the blogosphere.
And so I decided to do something about it.
I created a new Friday meme generator and called it FridayQ.
It ran a little over a year from June 4th, 2004 until I got tired of doing it and shut it down on July 22, 2005.
For years after it died, the FridayQ lived on as hand-coded pages here at Blogography. I never deleted them because I had a lot of blog posts that referenced FridayQ and I didn't want to go back and have to change 52+ entries. Alas, when I converted my blog to WordPress back in February all the FridayQ pages were lost and, for reasons unknown, were never backed up. After 8 years, 6 months, and 22 days, the FridayQ was finally dead for good.
Yesterday I was updating the web code for my blog stats and noticed that somebody was trying to reach FridayQ. This got me curious as to how many other searches it was getting, so I checked. Turns out there were dozens of them throughout the year. Mostly from my own blog, but there were other surviving blogs out there still linking to the site as well.
Maybe I should look into restoring FridayQ then?
And so this morning I did just that.
I visited the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to see what I could recover. None of the graphics were there, but all of the pages had been saved. Sure, the archives were out of date by a few months, but that was an easy fix. All I had to do was go through my Blogography archives and copy the original questions. Easy.
But what about the missing graphics?
Time to pull all my old hard drives out of storage.
Surprisingly, every drive I tried actually worked. And I found a backup of the FridayQ images on my fifth drive...
Good thing I'm a packrat who doesn't throw old tech away, huh?
I uploaded the pages to Blogography, updated all the links, and voilà... FridayQ is served!
You can visit them for yourself by clicking here.
And now I just need to decide what to do with this box of old hard drives. They're probably not going to stay working forever. Hell, half of them require a FireWire port which doesn't even exist anymore (thankfully I have a FireWire to Thunderbolt converter!). Two of them are SCSI drives that would require pulling one of my old Macs with a SCSI interface out of storage to read. Hmmm... perhaps I should back them up to the cloud or transfer them to modern hard drives or something? They're all ridiculously small by today's storage standards... I could probably fit all of them on a single terabyte external drive no problem.
Blergh. One more thing added to my list that I don't have time for.
Like blogging every day. =sigh=
Posted on September 3rd, 2014
For years now, all my email has been forwarded to a webmail account at SpamCop, a spam filtering service. While not a perfect solution, this drastically reduced the amount of spam I had to deal with, so I accepted it as a necessary evil.
But then SpamCop announced that they were discontinuing all their webmail accounts come September.
Since I had paid $30 for a year of service back in May, I was understandably upset. I had only received 1/3 of what I paid for. Under the terms I signed up with, I was entitled to a refund...
So I wrote to SpamCop Support and requested I get $20 of my payment returned.
Their reply? "I'm sorry but there are no refunds."
I've written back twice explaining that they shouldn't have promised refunds if there were no refunds, and I want my money back, but they've been ignoring me. None of my emails have been replied to.
Look, this is not about the $20.
This is entirely about living up to your promises... something that is increasingly rare now-a-days, and I'm just sick of it. Nobody seems to give a shit about living up to their word anymore. Integrity? Honesty? Ethics? Responsibility? Meh. Who cares? Yeah, I took your money with the promise of providing a service, but I don't feel like providing that service any more, so too bad! And no, I won't be giving you an explanation, And yes, I'm keeping your money.
My life would be so much easier if I could just abandon any sense of integrity, honesty, ethics, and responsibility. Sadly, I was raised better than that, so now I'm stuck in a world where possessing such qualities... and expecting such qualities in others... is a detriment.
To the tune of $20.
And my trust.
Posted on April 24th, 2014
Well, today didn't go as planned.
Not that this is in any way surprising.
In other news?
Posted on April 11th, 2014
This has been the single most frustrating and anger-inducing experience I've had in years. I have spent more time screaming at my computer in two days than I have in all previous days since the dawn of computing. It would be nice if I could lay the blame for my rage on a single doorstep, but the reason this has been such a horrible ordeal is that just about everybody is responsible...
Too many websites make it too fucking difficult to change your password. Not only because they've hidden the option to make the change, but because they have absurdly stupid requirements as to what is acceptable for a password...
SORRY! Password must not be similar to your old password!
SORRY! Password must have at least one capital letter!
SORRY! Password must contain at least one number!
SORRY! Password must contain at least one non-alphanumeric character!
SORRY! Password must not contain two of the same characters in a row!
SORRY! Password must be a minimum of fifty-six characters in length!
The list goes on and on, and it drives me insane. It's MY password. If somebody guesses it because I don't have a number in it, that's MY fucking problem. All your efforts to force me into some absurdly random string of characters only ensures that I will never be able to remember it for those times I am forced to enter it by hand.
But here's the even worse part. Some websites force you to create some abstract password you'll never remember... THEN NOT ALLOW APPLE'S SAFARI BROWSER TO REMEMBER IT FOR YOU! Every time Safari pops up with a note that says "Safari cannot remember this password because the website has requested it not be stored" I want to put my fist through the screen and burn down the company who would make such a stupid fucking decision.
And don't get me started on websites which don't allow you to paste a password from your clipboard, but instead require that it be typed in manually. That should be punishable by death.
APPLETo their credit, Apple at least attempted to make password management easy by allowing you to have Safari suggest new passwords and then remember the password you enter. Safari then syncs that password across all your Apple devices (including iPhones, iPads, other Macs, etc.), which is astoundingly useful and cool. When it works, it's great. But, as mentioned above, it doesn't always work. Some sites disallow it. Sometimes Safari just doesn't save the hideously complex password it just suggested. Sometimes the login is not associated with the right website. There's all kinds of problems that can happen, and I'm guessing Safari's "remember password" feature only manages to work 50% of the time.
But it gets better.
Apple doesn't allow the stored password in Safari to be applied to other Apple apps! It goes something like this: 1) Go to change my AppleID password. 2) Safari suggests a randomly generated password that you'll never remember. 3) Safari saves your new AppleID password, then kindly asks if you want to apply the password for other Apple Services like iMessage, iCloud, and Facetime... which is so nice! 4) You go to buy a new song in the iTunes Store and APPLE FUCKING ASKS YOU FOR YOUR APPLEID PASSWORD! AND, YOU GUESSED IT, THE ONLY WAY TO ENTER THE PASSWORD INTO ITUNES IS TO TYPE IT IN MANUALLY! And since you can't fucking remember something like "RJ%P-TK3sO-#cD9yp*o-Ibn" you have to switch to Safari, go to the password manageer, locate your AppleID, enter your login password, copy the AppleID password, go back to iTunes, paste the password... then hope that you don't have to copy something else to the clipboard before iTunes asks for the password again since it asks for your password every five minutes (especially if you use iTunes Match, it would seem).
This is MIND-BOGGLINGLY FUCKING STUPID, APPLE! You have to allow iTunes to have access to your AppleID password when a user is logged in. Otherwise, people aren't going to use complex passwords. Which means that when it comes to people choosing shitty, easily-cracked passwords... YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!
UPDATE: BWAH HA HA HAAAA! How fucking embarrassing. I get to work expecting my work computer will have synced my keychain with all the changed passwords... NOPE! I had to enter everything all over again! In order to get the NEW passwords to sync, I have to disable iCloud Keychain Syncing... THEN REACTIVATE iCLOUD KEYCHAIN SYNCING. Apple: It Just Works!
UPDATE UPDATE: And, my iPhone required me to log back into all my Apple apps... like "Find My Friends" because it is ALSO too fucking stupid to use the damn keychain with my AppleID and password THAT IT IS ALREADY SYNCING TO! What a fucking joke. I thought that with iCloud, Apple would FINALLY get syncing done right since they botched it so badly in .Mac and MobileMe... NOPE! Still a horrendous pile of shit. And don't get me started how every time I do fucking ANYTHING with my password on my iPhone, it broadcasts an announcement to all my other Apple devices that it's using FaceTime now... AS IT HAS BEEN SINCE FACETIME WAS AVAILABLE!! Heaven only knows how many years it will be until Apple finally gets this crap all figured out. At this rate, probably never.
Long before Apple built a password manager into Safari, I was already using a nifty password managing app called 1Password by AgileBits. I've had a few minor problems with it over the years but, for the most part, it's a terrific piece of software. It does a greatjob of creating, storing, managing, and filling-in all kinds of passwords, credit cards, bank accounts, identities, encrypted notes, and such.
When I started changing all my passwords, I discovered that the version of 1Password I'm using was outdated, and I needed to upgrade to version 4. Well, they don't offer an upgrade, so you have to purchase an all-new copy... but it was on sale for half-price ($24.99) thanks to the Heartbleed bug, so I just went ahead and paid for the shit.
Only to have one of the most frustrating upgrade experiences ever. Seriously... upgrading from 1Password v3 to v4 was worse than getting punched in the fucking face.
First of all, they warn you to sync your Safari Plugin data with your main data store. This is done by creating a new fake login, which they don't really explain how to do. Eventually I just went to a shopping site and created a real login so I could force 1Password to add it to my main data store and be sure everything was synced. But it never worked. Each time I'd create a login, I'd go to the main 1Password app, but the login never showed up. After 20 minutes of this stupid crap, I finally didn't give a fuck, and just uninstalled the 1Password Safari Plugin. Who knows what data I lost.
Then it came time to install the v4 Safari Plugin. I couldn't find a separate link on their download page, so I Googled their site to find it. But after installing the plugin found at the link, Safari reported it was v3. So I uninstalled again and Googled for instructions, only to find that I could choose "Install Browser Extensions" from the 1Password app. Well that's easy, right?
Not so much. I then spent a half hour trying to get it to install. First of all, it kept installing version 3.9.20 even though I was double-clicking on the version 4 plugin. Don't ask me why. I had to reboot my MacBook before it would finally install the new version. But then the real battle began.
The problem being that 1Password must be running for the Safari install to work, but it keeps quitting before the install happens. It was a game of Catch-22 over and over and over again...
Start 1Password, press "Try again," 1Password quits. Repeat. TIMES INFINITY!
Even a complete re-install didn't work. Eventually I had to uninstall the entire app plus its support files... then start all over again with a backup data store synced on DropBox. What a fucking joke. I just paid $25 to waste nearly and hour of my precious time... for an upgrade. Thanks, AgileBits!
P.S. Why in the hell does AgileBits feel the need to install 1Password 4 inside of a FOLDER? Especially when the app is the ONLY item in the fucking folder. I'm guessing it has to do with problems writing to the Apps folder if the old 1Password is in place... but wouldn't a better solution be to rename the app with the new version number added?
And now, after TWO DAYS wasted, I finally have most all my passwords changed. Whether or not I'll actually be able to retrieve them to log in anywhere remains to be seen.