The recent upgrade/merge of Google reader/ Google talk has Google back in the anti-privacy spotlight.
You can smell it in the air: The technoratti are starting to turn on Google. It's been happening for a long time. The tinfoil hat crowd has long decried Google as a major threat to privacy and sneakiness. People have been hating on G-mail since before it was publicly available. Fake Steve Jobs is calling out Google's bumbling PR tactics.
But here's the thing: Google offers great products in exchange for the ability to spy on us. There is no RSS reader that compares to Google Reader. Gmail's freedom with non-web access makes it the best free email on the market. Have you used Anaylitics? It's freaking incredible. In fact, one of Google's weakest products is it's search, but it remains the one of the best in the industry. (For the 17 subjects they have indexed right now, I'm digging Mahalo, FYI. (And I couldn't be less of a fan of Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis-- But I digress.)
But watch. Like Microsoft before it, as the Tech Elite start to turn from Google, so too will the masses of angry 15-year-olds who make up the bulk of the mainstream internet. What happens then?
Do I have to point out how this is broken? Today It struck me as particularly broken, and given that today is Festivus, a day set aside for the airing of grievances, among other things.
I know that I am probably asking too much, but I wish that Amazon would spend less time telling me what else I should buy and instead create a teeny tiny script charged with noodling out that a "larger" image doesn't really exist. Don't show me the same image in a larger frame and pretend that it's larger. That just irritates me and confuses people who don't understand that Amazon isn't a store, it's an unintelligent collection of computer programs running in crystal box stuffed under Athena's bedroll.
Seriously, though. If I'm going to buy this incredibly awesome Kramerica Industries T-shirt, I need to know what the t-shirt says, and I'd like to get a good view of the artwork. The case for this Vandelay Industries shirt is even stronger, but at least the stupidity extends (and to be fair probably starts) at the source shop.
Clicking on the "See Larger Image" button should give you a higher resolution image, not just an embiggened version of the photo you've already seen. Here's a ridiculous brick-and-mortar analogy. Imagine asking for a clerk to get some jewelry out of the case so you can see it up closer, and the clerk dutifully hands you a 1/4 scale replica of the jewelry for you too look at. It's not a question of bigness, it's a question of fidelity.
New offering on Craig's List. Enjoy!
I have lost my mind and will never again buy an inkjet printer or inkjet inks. But just because _I'm_ crazy, doesn't mean you have to suffer!
Take advantage of my mental instability and get yourself a new inkjet printer. This fine fine Epson Stylus Photo R200 worked well the last time it had ink in it and was attached to a Windows or Macintosh Computer. Linux? Not so much.
It needs ink, notably the second cyan and magenta cartridges.
The last time I printed with it the results were both stunning and lovely. This printer could be your new best friend.
This printer is sold as-is, and does not include a USB cable. It does, however, include a lovely CD-R printer tray that will let you print on certain CD-R Media that have ink-jetty goodness and have received the blessing of the Epson Militia. The price is negotiable! You can pick it up or pay for shipping! The power to make good choices rests with you, my friend!
The file manager in cPanel, which you should really not use because your web browser shouldn't be your code-editor, in my opinion, has a bad set of buttons.
Look at the Upload and Download Buttons.
The Upload Button has an arrow pointing down. The Download button has an arrow pointing down. (Or presumably, at the user.)
It's not the Download button that is broken. It makes sense if you think that the download button is grabbing a file from the *world* wide web and bringing it down the pipes to you.
But the upload button isn't broken either. It makes sense if you think that they upload button is taking a file and putting it in the folder that you're currently working in, (The name of which is right below the downward pointing arrow.)
But when you put the two buttons together, neither one really makes sense.
Suggested fix: Just like in literature, UI's shouldn't mix metaphor. Pick one or the other.
It's been a while since I pointed you guys to my Dad's Flickr Stream. This is a shot of Gaia climbing around in the back yard at the house I grew up in. When my sister was a little girl, she was climbing in a tree and fell out of it and broke the heck out of her arm. The people at the hospital kept trying to process the paperwork as a Workman's Comp claim until my Mom explained to them with that delightful pragmatic cynicism that she uses so well, "Yes. Yes. My 8-year-old daughter works for us part time as a lumberjack."
So, if you don't get enough pictures of my little girl in my Flickr stream (Kevron, I'm lookin' at you) you might also consider subscribing to my dad's, which has many more pictures of the girl, but also occasionally features pictures of home-grown fruits and vegetables in vaguely pornographic postures.
I have been, by and and large, disappointed with my Sansa e280. The update software is garbage and the integration with Windows Media player is marginal at best. Maybe someone here can help me with some issues:
1. There are certain songs that I cannot, for the life of me, get to register with the player. No matter what I do, the song only appears as Unknown artist, Unknown album. The only way to find the song is to track it down via its track name. I've checked the tags with third party tag-writing programs, as well as with windows and even with iTunes, but no matter where or how I put in the missing Data, the e280 will not recognize it.
2. Album art recognition is marginal at best.
3. I cannot get a playlist _into_ the machine. If I drag a playlist into the e280 via the sync tab in Windows Media Player, it synchs the songs, but not the playlist itself.
4. Podcast Support is completely absent, and unworkable mostly because of the issues I seem to have with creating playlists.
5. Only about half of the time do videos I want to add to the player actually convert. And then only a select few actually play.
Look, guys, I'm not expecting the Sansa to be an iPod. I don't care if it doesn't have the nicey-nice iPod features that come with integration (and being locked into) a proprietary software/synching mechanism, but this e280 is no iPod.
It can't even start to compete.
Transformers Cartoons are the best Joost has to offer? Please. There is also GI-JOE. LOOK MOMS! THE INTERNET IS NEW and MODERN! I CAN SEES MY CARTOONS.
I guess if I had to pick a locked down, DRM'd, not-really-tv-on-demand client, I'd pick the one that has a huge selection of Anime and didn't have an absolutely baffling user interface and pop up advertising windows.
They say that the real value in Joost is the Social aspect. You can bring up chats based on the channel you're watching.Maybe I just don't get it. But I don't need TV to be a social phenomenon. I watch TV because I like the stories. I don't need special Internet TV buddies.
Warning! This post is long and doesn't have any pictures. It's not even really all that helpful to the Ubuntistas who are looking for help configuring Postfix. But I feel better. That's what counts, right?
Last night I sat down in the wee hours of the early evening to spend some quality time doing some editing on my long ignored novel, "Someone Liche You." I went through a period where I was editing a chapter a night pretty regularly last May and then I had some major tech failures (broken computers started acting broken, imagine that!) and so I ended up spending a lot of my free time trying to cobble a few of my busted computers into on that might work sometimes.
The long and the short of it, is that I sat down at my Dell Dimension 3100 Laptop which I use exclusively as a VNC terminal (remote X won't work-- it's a long story) to connect to my Desktop computer in the office so that I can access my file and do some work.
In addition, it occurred to me that back in May, I had a nice cron job that would email myself a copy of the novel at 3 a.m. every night so that I always had a daily backup. And I remembered that I thought enabling that cron job was pretty easy, so I thought I'd have a quick whack at it and _then_ get to editing my novel.
I am a fool.
So, trying to remember how to mail myself something from a command line, I start poking around on my system and realize that Mutt isn't present! Apt-get won't install it, saying that it's missing from the Ubuntu repositories. Strange. So I pursue other options. I install mail-utilities. I install some other junk that won't work without downloading and installing credentials from some dude's website.
So I start rooting around on gnu-mail and poking around in some of the Ubuntu forums. And I remember vaguely that, for some reason, this computer didn't have the main gusty repository enabled. So I fired up Synaptic and away we went. Of course! I had turned off the main Gutsy Repo. I have no idea why I would have done that, but I'm sure it was very important at the time. See? Linux is easy!
So, with the quick execution of "apt-get install mutt" I was happily churning out emails from the Command Line.
Or was it?
Of course not.
The next thing you have to do is install a Mail Transfer Agent. (We'll get to that in a minute.) Obviously, anyone who wants to mail knows that the MTA is a separate and distinct procedure from installing the mail client. Of course!
Fortunately, Mutt has a little error message when it is running in absence of a Mail Transfer Agent, so I knew that there was a problem. After some fairly unconstructive Googling, I came up with Postfix.
Why doesn’t postfix configure itself? Postfix should configure itself, given that there is no personal information that needs to be configured in the config file. It should also be a dependency for a command line mailer. Are you telling me most people who use Mutt know that they want to use it without an MTA?
I'm getting ahead of myself. Lets take a step back.
What is Postfix?
Postfix is a free software / open source mail transfer agent (MTA), a computer program for the routing and delivery of email. It is intended as a fast, easy-to-administer, and secure alternative to the widely-used Sendmail MTA. [So Spake Wikipedia]
See, here's the thing, in order for your Ubuntu installation to send mail, it needs to have a mail transfer agent (MTA). You don't need an MTA if you're using someone else’s, which is what you do when you use your ISP or Google to send your email. If you want to send email from your little linux box, you can simply open up a can of SMTP Daemon on your system and you are good to go.
Good question. I am not sure why you would not just want there to be an easy and intuitive way to use your ISP's SMTP service from the command line. However, that does not seem to be how Linux works. This post is getting pretty tedious, huh? Wait, it gets far duller in a moment.
Simply installing postfix (apt-get install postfix) is not enough. You also need to configure Postfix. How do you configure postfix? You have to copy a file out of a seekrit directory into another seekrit directory. Which file? That depends on your distro. SINCE I GOT THIS FROM the UBUNTU REPOS, isn't it Fair to ASSUME that I want the postfix config file for DEBIAN!??
Fortunately, the postfix install warns you that it's not configured and gives you pretty explicit directions on what file you need to copy.
After only a three-hour trek through Googleland, I was able to send myself email from Mutt. Since all I want to do is send, I'm happy.
Of course, I didn't get any work done on my Novel.
Then, I wrote a nice little bash script that tacks a time and date stamp on my novel so that I know what version it is when it shows up in my Google mail.
See! Linux is easy.
Dear Mr. Pete, et. all.
Please consider this post my sincere blessing and approval of any and all remixes of any and all of my posts to Jott, including but not limited to the profane tirade that was posted to Jott on Dec. 15, 2007.
Someone send me the MP3 and I'll host it right here.
And so there's no question about the license, I hereby designate any and all of my Jott recordings, including those I may make in the future, under a Creative Commons Sampling+ license.
My recordings on Jott are licensed under a
Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 License.
This license only applies to my Jott Recordings and should not be applied to any other content appearing on Writelarge.com without my express consent. It does not supersede or change the license terms offered at Writelarge.com.
Item! Thanks to Mr. Raster, we've uploaded the file. Remix away!
It would be polite to mark this with a NSFW tag.
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