Category Archives: Technology

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Website Tracking & Some Solutions

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What Does Google Know?

I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions. But this year, I think I’m making one. To follow the recommendations listed at the bottom of this chart and use as few of the things as possible attached to Google.

Yes, it will be a pain changing my email address, but that’s why I have one already in Germany that I’m paying for. Why have it and not use it? That’s just silly.

What’s silly, to put it very, very mildly, is something like CISA being passed by the government as a rider on a budget, somewhere it has no business being. And to continue to let companies like Google use our information when we have some means of controlling it. But we can’t control it unless we know what they’re doing. Many, many thanks to Conosco for putting this infographic together.

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“Camps”

I was thinking about my last post, and the response I received from Clean App’s creator, and something that had been bothering me about it sorted itself out.

He referred to “people in your camp and people in my camp.” So, I’d have to ask him about this, but without doing so, is this saying that I’m in a “Profane Camp” while he belongs in a “Non-Profane Camp?” Isn’t that being a little judgmental, simply based on the fact that it doesn’t particularly bother me to have some profanity in my books? It sounds like it extends beyond that, to an entire sense of morality and ethics in general. Truthfully, I don’t like a lot of profanity in my books that I read, either, but generally, there’s a point to it. I wouldn’t ever read “American Sniper,” so the troublesome F-word wouldn’t be an issue; I find the subject matter one that bothers me a lot more than profanity, and the fact that someone is capitalizing on his profession as a former sniper even more troublesome. Did the NRA really just run an ad where if you joined you got a free duffel bag, or was that a joke? Yet another subject.

But using an app to “draw lines in the sand,” so to speak, as to where people stand in terms of profanity; what is the purpose of that? “My camp, your camp.” All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others?

 

Is Anyone Paying Attention, or Do they Just Not Care??

Regarding the issues with Apple’s connectivity problems. My stats, which I never talk about, say one (1) person has looked at that post. One. I just tried to report a problem with my handy dandy feedback reporter as I’m a beta tester again, since I volunteered when Yosemite was first up for testing. I tried to report that the wi-fi was effecting everything at that point, including, it turned out, the feedback reporter, which gave me a cute little message:

“Oops, an error occurred. Please try again later.”

Yes, I know it’s a long post. Try, please, to focus for just a few minutes. I normally don’t get upset at the few readers I have, because I am mostly writing for myself, I figure, anyway. But for the love of Aperture, if you’re an Apple user, pay attention for just a little bit! Please! I dearly love my iMac. I love my iPad, and my iPhone. It’s getting to the point where I am near the point of ditching them because I am furious at the way Apple is treating their customers. I hesitate to say it, because I don’t honestly know anymore, but I don’t think this would have happened if Steve Jobs were still alive. He loved Apple. Tim Cook loves money. But who can prognosticate the past?

When this computer shuffles off it’s technological coil, what awaits? I should possibly start learning to speak Penguin.

 

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

 

Made with Repix by W. Clements. Made on an iPad.

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Is Yosemite for Apple what Windows 8 was for Microsoft?

“My hope is that the reliability issues we are seeing in iOS and Mac OS X in recent releases are largely the inevitable result of Apple going through numerous transitions simultaneously. Extensions, XPC, iCloud Drive, Continuity — these things require coordination between all three of Apple’s platforms (mobile, desktop, cloud). That what we’ve been seeing the last few years is this decade’s equivalent of the first few years of Mac OS X — rapid development and flux that precedes an era of relative stability and a slower pace of change. Let iPhone, iPad, and Mac settle in — and let the rapid change and flux flow through Apple Watch, CarPlay, a new Apple TV, and whatever else comes next.”

In a nutshell, Apple is dealing with a lot right now. It’s not that it wants to give competitors a run for their money simply by speeding up software releases. The reality is Apple may have bitten off a little more than it can chew. But it’s nothing that can’t be fixed.

via John Gruber Explains Why iOS and OS X Today Are Buggy – Softpedia.

I really hope it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. Apple has not been fixing the wi-fi issues since the release of Yosemite. I know they are probably trying. Are they trying as hard as we deserve? I really don’t know the answer to that question. They re-opened the beta testing to the public. The beta testing? Yes, to the next fix. As if we’re the one who are some sort of addict, as opposed to the fact that they’re trying to fix everything that went wrong, or was never right in the first place, from releasing software too soon.

I am not a programmer. There was nothing wrong in Mavericks with the wi-fi, however. How could something so intrinsic, not just in general, but to the use of their own devices such as the iPad, many of which have no other way of connecting to the internet, go so, so wrong in just one release? To the point it still isn’t fixed? I have gone past the point of looking at my connection. On, looking for wireless, on, looking for wireless, that I have gone past the anger and have gotten to the ridiculous stage of acceptance, which one should never have to do when using a product like this that is supposed to work. We’re not supposed to just sit back and accept mediocrity, but we’re being, in a way, forced to. Unless we want to switch OSes.

I love my iMac. And all its devices, infernal or otherwise. And no, Cassandra Clare doesn’t own the TM on that one, it’s been used by others and is pretty much a Steampunk term, as far as I know–I’ve definitely seen it elsewhere. But this has been bordering on the ridiculous for a while now.

Too much, too fast, and too soon. Part of what differentiates Apple from the other major players is that they haven’t in the past debugged their software on the public or turned out shoddy merchandise in their attempt to “keep up with the Joneses.” Now, I do think that their elitist attitude sucks in terms of pricing their phones. Is it as bad as Abercrombie and Fitch simply coming straight out and saying, “That isn’t the market we’re selling to.” I think Tim Cook sort of has said that. When someone shoots a parent for not getting them an iPhone for Christmas… A brand shouldn’t carry that much power. Any brand.

And it’s fine and dandy for Steve Wozniak to say that Apple is not doing what he thinks it should in terms of releasing components. Well, Steve, come back, then, and straighten things up. You’ve given up your baby. Apple lost its creative heart and soul when Steve Jobs died, and I think it shows in what has happened since. Tim Cook might not be the right man for the job. I’m not sure he has the same creative vision. You need to have a certain child-like quality to possess the right type of creativity that makes a man like Steve Jobs, along with at least a little sense of fun.

Some Engineering schools are requiring their students to attend Art School and take classes there simultaneously, saying the creativity has gone out of engineering, and without it…phfhhllt. Okay, that’s my intelligent take on the situation. But I think they are spot on–the arrogance of the hard sciences (in some cases, not all–I hate blanket statements) is just that, hard. Creativity is one thing that has definitely fallen by the wayside these days. Look at what is being cut from Primary and Elementary curriculums these days due to financial constraints. And then look at what’s happening with this new development in Engineering schools. To make up for having the creativity beaten out of them (not literally, I hope) because this is science, folks (oh, please, tell me, oh ye great hard science nerds, that you don’t have just as much fun as I do with those big expando balls, which I’m sure are some fine example of a scientific principle at work, but also help with breathing examples and, occasionally, putting over over your head, just for fun).

When Antonio Gaudi graduated, the professor who handed him his diploma told him they were either graduating a genius or a fool, only time would tell. Well, time has told, and quite spectacularly so. It also shows that while I applaud the efforts of the Engineering schools mentioned above, I think the melding of the creative and the scientific needs to be a little more complete, and I hope what they’re trying works.

But back to Apple and Yosemite. Well, and Microsoft, too. I am not broaching this situation blindly, with no knowledge of Windows 8. I needed a laptop for work (I know I have written about this before, or else I’m just having nasty Badger flashbacks, what I named my HP laptop. Now, this isn’t a knock on HP–I just bought an HP printer–I know, different thing, peripheral, not an actual computer, but HP printers, in my experience, rock). I love badgers, mostly because I’ve never run into one in person, which might change my opinion of them slightly. I also know better than to corner them, but an OS isn’t an animal, which leads to another of my theories which I’ll discuss shortly.

Granted, I approached Windows 8 with a great degree of caution. I liked the tile system, most likely because I was already used to iPhones and iPads. So that was a vague correlation for me. The OS itself was a disaster. It needed constant rebooting from the neverending stream of updates, it crashed, it generally wasn’t user friendly, which earned my laptop the name of Badger. The one redeeming quality was the bubbles screensaver, which my then two year-old niece loved.

Now, I hated the name, “Mavericks.” I thought it was full of Hubris, which I suppose summed up Apple’s mentality at the time. What was wrong with having the names of cats for the OS? Linux has no problem with their penguin, who probably has a name and is instantly recognizable. It may even be dwelling in my house, things continue to go this way for Apple, when it comes time for me to invest in a new desktop. No, I still don’t have a laptop, that’s why I bought an iPad, which is now usually available for use in terms of going on the internet, depending on the mood of the wi-fi. Apple is so clever there is no other way to transfer work to the main computer–I haven’t examined whether or not there are lightning compatible external hard drive peripherals in lieu of their abandoning even the micro USB. As consumers, we are told to back up, back up, back up. Lovely. How do we do that when, say, you work at home, don’t want to go out (and shouldn’t have to), and your wi-fi is wonky.

But, no more cats, so we get Mavericks, and no, I don’t buy the reasons for the name, Mr. Cook. And then, to top that off, you pick something less annoying, but still one of the biggest National Parks, Yosemite. It is any wonder this OS hasn’t been plagued with problems? Has Apple learned that “haste makes waste?” It also pisses people off. I love my iMac. My iPhone. My iPad. I do not love what Apple is doing right now in terms of the iOS and OS for these products. And people wait with bated breath (wormy tongues, a friend of mine aptly described once) to see new products.

In my opinion, f*ck the new products. Fix the ones that you have now, and fix them well. This is becoming a country that doesn’t protest enough when given inadequate technology. We’re already being spied on with it, the least it could be is good quality. It makes the wi-fi issues…odder than they already are, whichever way you look at it. Just fix it. Fix the problems you have made and be accountable for what you have messed up before trying to distract the public with your latest gizmo or gadget or the next iPhone that won’t work reliably with Yosemite.

Accountability. This is something our entire nation lacks by the truckload right now. Oh, I don’t have to sell to you, Jesus told me I didn’t have to. We don’t like gays, let’s just say as a state we don’t want you here. How utterly pathetic and despicable. And I still can’t get over Moses helping to write the Declaration of Independence. Such staying power the man had. If he wasn’t just a parable. Accountability, folks. We’re lacking it from the government on down. Religion doesn’t think it needs it, because it can just say “God or Jesus said–” and that seems to be enough. Well, you know what, it isn’t. No one just gets to pass Go, get out of jail, and get $200 anymore, unless you’re in sports, in which case, that seems to be all the accountability you need. Or Congress.

And I’m stopping there with that, because it makes me too upset. And yes, that does mean I have to stop. I’m trying to be responsible about my health, which is why I don’t blog as much as I used to, at least about things like this and other political issues. I am doing something completely alien to me for my own health and sanity, literally, and trying not to pay attention. This is effecting me personally, however, the wi-fi bit, and I always get off tangent.

Apple, basically what I’m saying is, be accountable for what you’re doing. Clean up your mess, which is a pretty damn big one, before going off and jumping up and down in glee over your new infernal devices that won’t connect either. Get your act together. Windows 8 lost Microsoft China. Think about that for a minute. That’s huge. Now we find out you have yet another security leak, on top of the wi-fi issue. The madding crowd is so wild for the iPhone, and seemingly not tech news readers, that I don’t think you have anything to lose right now. But it doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. I am disappointed. I hope things improve.

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Dear Facebook, Redux

No sooner than I post my post and happily move along to writing my review of well, a very nicely illustrated children’s book about mice who cook delicious cheese soup, which reminds me, I need to get the recipe, than I am posed with my first dilemma about not having a Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr account. I may still have a Tumblr account but don’t remember how to get into it. I did mention in my previous post that there is a good side to social media. It has just boppopped me on the head and reminded me of its existence. It’s ridiculous that I needed a reminded, because I have helped fund a few projects on this site–Kickstarter–and really think it’s the future for people who are in any way clever about anything and want to do something about it. For me, specifically, this is in the way of art and publishing, but I get pulled in the tech direction sometimes; that’s how I first found out about the site. My boyfriend is a gamer, and he started to help fund some PC games he thought looked interesting. I’ve checked out the games since, and was particularly pleased when a bear simulator, yep, a bear simulator, where you get to be the bear, was successfully funded. That was one cool idea. Who’d have thunk it? All the projects I have donated toward, however, have been publishing or art projects, and they have all (yay!!) been funded–except for one, which is in tech, that I read about on Softpedia (I will admit that Softpedia for Mac is my homepage) and immediately thought, “I am so there!” because there are a lot of things Apple does really well, except wireless and keyboards, in my experience. I have learned to live with the keyboard. The wireless issue I’m still pretty darn ticked off about, not that my posting a post or a whole series of posts would do anything, but seriously, Apple, I’m beginning to question my commitment to SparkleMotion. I know I’m not a tech person. I wish I was. I can fix some things, I just can’t tell you how I did it. I can break them, too–I learned that on a PC, unless you know what you’re doing, you don’t mess with the .dll files. But I have a Mac again. Don’t mess with the registry or the library unless you have a really good reason. I have done that and my computer lived to tell the tale. But the wireless–months now, Mr. Cook, months. Worse things have happened at sea, but while I may have issues with the dark side of social media, there is the light, and that’s what I’m here to discuss.That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally think someone should be flying from the yardarm. Looking for networks, on…looking for networks…on…looking for networks…on. You get the idea. If this is something I have done to prevent the happy union of my iMac and my Airport Whatchamacallit Tower thing (memory issues, did I mention the memory issues? My RAM, not the computer’s) however they both shall be happy together, I am fully willing to admit it was my fault, but I really don’t think it was. Anyway, again, not the main topic of discussion.

By de-activating my Facebook and Twitter accounts, I also cut off two of the areas of information dissemination for some of the good things on the internet, in this instance, the Next Keyboard for iOS, and I really hope I won’t get in trouble if I use the picture they have on their site. It probably says somewhere in the tiny print that I can’t, but for now I’m going to say, in all honesty, I don’t remember seeing that in tiny print. See, this is where the moral conundrum comes in, and I’m not talking about the picture. For the developers of Next Keyboard, they needed some help to get the project off the ground, so they turned to Kickstarter.

Now, my best friend and I have discussed how, in the olden days (no, not the 80s, even though things from then are now considered practically antique on Etsy) there used to be Patrons of the Arts, people who, when they found someone whose art they liked, would support them while the artist did whatever work the patron wanted. That way, an artist could live, though not exactly doing whatever they wanted, now that I wanted. I imagine that if any cherubs on the ceiling had been making rude gestures, we’d have heard about it by now. But music, art, writing, there were patrons for all of these things. Now, while you wouldn’t think so to look at it on the surface, society doesn’t value these things as much, unless you’re from a certain socio-economic level of society and up. Before anyone gets huffy, look at school curriculums, and the teachers on staff of public schools across the nation, and find out how many of them have full time music teachers and full time art teachers. At ONE school. I know of districts who employ full time art and music teachers yes, but on Monday they’re at Chestnut Elementary, Tuesday they’re at Walnut Elementary, Wednesday they’re at Filbert Elementary (I had to get that one in before I stopped, this is Oregon), and so on. The arts are languishing at lower levels of education. If you look on Kickstarter, I’d wager there are more than a few projects to try to get some sort of art, music, or literature program at an elementary school somewhere. And there’s no stratification in society. Oops. I’m not supposed to be talking about these things. No news. I can’t just forget everything now, though, can I? The important thing is, Kickstarter is making a difference. Five of the documentaries that made it to the Academy Awards were funded through Kickstarter. That’s the only one I can think of right off, but the number of video games on Steam funded through Kickstarter–55 (I had to ask my boyfriend that one). These people on Kickstarter are making a difference, and by funding them you are helping them to make a difference. Check out Kickstarter’s website after you look at Next Keyboard’s info here, and, especially if you’re an iOS user, send a little love their way:

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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/robjama/next-keyboard-the-perfect-keyboard-for-iphone/widget/video.html

So, I guess, one has to weigh out the pros and cons. For me, I know I won’t go back on unless I have to–but I will help people how I can from here, because they deserve it. These are brilliant and talented people, programmers and artists (an interesting juxtaposition, because in a way, it’s all art; isn’t there beauty in a perfect program?). Social media gives these projects the attention they need to succeed. On the same theme, I wouldn’t want it just to be limited to things like this. I think most of what happens and goes on is just fine. I was normally able and even eager to discuss news items and support the causes I believe in, and will be able to do so again, once I’ve recovered some resiliency. Facebook, in my experience, in the groups I “hung out” around, was fine. Twitter confused the h*ll out of me, quite frankly. It was worse than Facebook in terms of reporting every single thing someone does. But it also seemed much more likely to have gangs of, for lack of a better term, thugs (I don’t like the term trolls–trolls are from fairy tales and I’m sure if one were to do enough research, there were nice trolls. Not in Norway, though, if you’ve ever seen the Norwegian movie, Trolls, which I highly recommend. It’s just a downright awesome movie. And there was that phase back in the 1970’s, which then repeated recently, with the fuzzy haired trolls–I loved those. So, no, I won’t call them trolls). They’re thugs, and they’re out to beat up people’s reputations and online personas without caring that there are real people involved, seemingly at the drop of a hat–they literally seem to go around looking for arguments. That I won’t abide. The unfortunate thing about that is no sooner than you kick one off, they’re back with a new email and new username before you can say “venomous thug generator.”

I don’t understand people who have no moral qualms about having more than one username that they go under, say, to cast more votes in something, or to manipulate a situation using different names so others actually think there are more people involved than really are. I’m creeping back to the dark side again, aren’t I? Maybe I’ve either just had more bad experiences with others on the internet, I’m a thug magnet, or I’m just very thin skinned. Probably all of the former, coupled with the fact that I have a strong sense of right and wrong, but I am willing to admit, oh, this is bad, but I have to do it, I have to, there are at least 50 shades of grey. No, there are a lot more than that, it just takes a discerning eye. LOL. I know because I look in the mirror. 🙂 I prefer silver, even though it makes me sound like an elf. Not that I have anything against elves. Let’s just not go there.

There are some people, especially after reading this post, who might say that giving anyone the freedom to blog is as bad as signing in with Facebook. That may or may not be true, although after having some trouble learning (am still learning, thank you) about my new Kobo, having a small explosion about how it’s supposed to be partnered with indie bookstores but I couldn’t get the books I bought at indie bookstores on my Kobo, downloading the user’s manual, in English (Kudos to Kobo for how many languages they offer support in), I learned that it’s supposed to have facial recognition and you can turn it on by moving it in small circles in front of your face. I am guessing there is some prep to this, for example, it learning my face, which will simply not happen–I am odd enough in real life without moving an eReader around in front of my face to turn in on, and doing it in the privacy of my own home, and thinking about what it would like, would just make me laugh, also most likely rendering it useless. So I found that out and ended up getting the Aldiko app to upload all the books I had bought, along with the free goodies (All Romance eBooks, great for free reads, and they carry lots of good diverse fiction as well, AND I realized last night–yes, sometimes I have the supreme gift of oversight, if you hit the Omni lit tab (how many times have I looked at that Omni lit tab?) it’s a whole, regular bookstore! OMG! Thank you, Aldiko! I seriously wouldn’t have checked that out if not for that app, and we’re talking years that I have been using ARe. I am not saying how many, it’s just too embarrassing). I am annoyed that the libraries won’t mingle. This is one of the places my tech knowledge falls flat on its face and cries mercy. They’re not computers, but…they sort of act like them…I can’t fix it! I can’t figure it out! I’m a reader, Jim, not a miracle worker! Not with these chameleon tech things. iPhones included. Though I have managed to get my Kindle working, somewhat, again after it futzed out.

And so we’ll come full circle here. I think a lot of the difficulty is from attempting to use wireless at home that is simply not a happy camper. Do you or do you not want me to use my iDevices at home, Mr Cook? Because for some reason, this Looking for networks…on…looking for networks…on…looking for networks…on…looking for networks thing doesn’t seem to be working to well for them, or their VPN. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a conspiracy, after I started having problems with the VPN not be able to stay on. A collaboration? Cast aspersions, me? In this country? Wait, homing in on news territory again. Sigh. So I have to resort to my TV hero memes, like Trust no one. Fix the wi-fi and I’ll have to stop casting aspersions, won’t I? Prove me wrong. I just want things to work, that’s all.

Alright, I think I’ve gone on enough. I want to do some reading. I have a challenge goal to meet.