Saturday, August 14, 2010

Meta-poster Fail

Ping.FM's email poster is full of fail, today

More Pepsi Math

Ok, so, a day or so ago, I noted that Pepsi's math seemed to be off on their nutrition labels. I had purchased a 16oz. bottle of Mtn. Dew. The nutrition information (hah!) label on the back of the bottle states that the figures are based on an 8oz serving size. However, Pepsi is kind enough with their bottles to include a "how much in this bottle" column on their nutrition information panel. The 16oz. bottle had indicated that there was 230 calories. Given that 16oz is, exactly, twice as much as the 8oz benchmark, it seemed odd that Pepsi would say that there other than (exactly) twice the number of calories in the 16oz bottle than one
Today, I was handed a 20oz bottle of Mtn. Dew. Due to the math peculiarities on the prior bottle of Mtn. Dew, I decided to run the numbers on this on. Again, this bottle had an 8oz serving size column and a "how much in this bottle column". As with the prior 16oz bottle, the listed serving size was 8oz. Pepsi lists the calorie count for the 20oz as being 290. Now, 8 doesn't divide evenly into 20, but 4 divides evenly into both 8 and 20. So, I decided to halve the calorie count in the 8oz serving size to get a calorie count of 55cal per 4oz serving. There would be five such 4oz servings in a 20oz bottle. One would expect that 20oz bottle to yield 275 calories (55cal/serving * 5 servings). Pepsi's own notations on the nutrition panel indicate "2.5 servings per bottle". Doing the math using their figures, again, produces 275 calories (110 * 2.5).
So, either their calories/8oz serving size metric is wrong or there's some undocumented calories in the soda. Either way, it makes one wonder what the point is of putting labels on if the information on said labels is wrong? I could almost understand the errors (or undocumented calories) if the error percentages were identical. However, the error differentials are not identical. So, "what gives".
I mean, it's not that I really care. I'm still going to drink the damned thing, any way. It just bothers me. I really need to stop looking at things. The world's a much less vexing place when you simply fail to notice discrepancies and inconsistencies.

If Only I Had a Band to Name

Sad: an artist search for "Karma's Bitch" on Last.FM turned up no matches.

Real Meaning

The strongest realization of "Karma's a bitch" is when you've just been made Karma's bitch

Dear Twitter-bots

Me ranting about strollers (their users, actually) doesn't indicate a predilection to buying a stroller

Dear US Bank:

I get that you make your real money on the mortgage interest, but do you have to make it so freaking painful to pay extra principal?

Could I Get that in the Form of a Graph?

My love for my fellow man is inversely proportional to time spent in traffic or retail establishments

This Is Not Bumper Cars

Just because you couldn't be bothered to adjust for traffic doesn't mean I'm crossing double-yellow so you can dodge into my lane


Ok, I get that, for some reason, you couldn't be bothered to space out the timing of your spawning. I get that, for some people, having the ginormous, tricked-out stroller is how they show the world how special they think their kids are and, by extension, what awesome parents and human beings they must be in order to have lavished such a conveyance upon their spawn. Whatever gets your rocks of.

What I don't get is why people think that these monstrosities are appropriate for all occasions. Why do people think that a double-plus wide stroller is an appropriate conveyance to use in tiny, hole-in-the-wall specialty shops, crowded outdoor markets or other "too small" places. Do you think your purchase is impressing me when you're smashing into me with it? Do you think you're impressing me when you glare at me because I won't "make way" for your monster truck of a stroller

Fuck you. Just because you can't be bothered to use an appropriately-sized stroller for the venue you're using it in does not mean that I'm going to smash myself against a damned display case just so you can push your Yugo-sized stroller through.

Morning Glory

The older I get, the harder it is to put socks on in the morning

Friday, August 13, 2010

You're Glowing!

The razorburn imbues my skin with such a lovely crimson glow

My Kingdom for an "Empty Trash" Button

Ok. I get it: storage is dirt-cheap. No one, except old-timers, bothers to empty their trash or otherwise permanently delete things. That is, they don't until/unless they get an "over quota" hate-mail from their administrator. But, given the oodles of space Google and the like make available, you're unlikely to ever see an "over quota" type of notification.

Some of us, however, are in the habit of cleaning up after ourselves. Some of us do like to empty our trash cans. And, in the end, permanent deletion should be a one-, maybe tow-click process - whether there's one or a million items to do away with.

I'm guessing that Google doesn't really have a "human factors" team involved in their design process. If they did, the travesty that is their method for emptying trash wouldn't exist. To finish the delete process, you have to:

  1. Open the trash folder
  2. Click on the "checkmark actions" button
  3. Select the "Select All" menu (or, individually check each message on the page)
  4. Click on the "Delete Forever" button
  5. Click on the "OK" button to confirm that you actually want to make it all go bye-bye
  6. Repeat 1-5 for each page worth of presented messages

Nowhere is there simply an "empty" trash button that allows me to say "nuke it all in one, swell foop". Hell, it wouldn't even be quite so horrible if I had the option to increase the number of items displayed per page (I mean, most sites let you choose the number of objects to display - frequently in an increment dropdown of like "10, 25, 50..." - sometimes they'll even offer an "all" display-option). That way, I could nuke my 300 messages in less than the thirty iterations of steps 1-5 (above) that the current scheme seems to require.

C'mon, guys: you're engineers. Most engineers I know like to minimize their effort. As it currently stands, if I want to nuke out my 300 messages, I have to take like 150 discreet actions. Does that make any kind of sense? Fuck: if you were to offer a "GV Premium" who's only feature was an "empty trash" button or a "change number of items displayed per page" dropdown, I'd sign up for that "premium" service.

Drinking the Apple Kool-Aide

Ok, so other than to prove how much of a total fanboi one is, why would anyone buy one?

Math Skrilz: Pepsi Can Haz

Dear Pepsi:

I may be wrong, but 230 is not twice 110. Today I bought a 16oz bottle of Mt. Dew. As is often my want, I looked at the nutrition label (soda and nutrition???). Your bottles are kind enough to define the  FDA and caloric numbers base both on a standard baseline and as occurs at the purchased dosage.

I've tried Mt. Dew in 16oz., 20oz. and 1l. sizes. The baseline nutritional information always is based on 8oz serving (what the fuck is up with that, by the way). However, in reading the column for a 16oz dosage, your numbers seem to be off. 16oz is twice 8oz. Therefore, all of the numbers should simply be ${BASELINE} x 2; somehow, instead of the expected 220Kcal, your bottle lists 230Kcal as the associated caloric intake. Is this some kind of "new math"?

In a Just Universe...

Dear Gods of Nutrition:

Calories consumed while walking/running/etc. should not count.

Weird Realizations

We're going to a costume party, tonight. It was kind of last minute. So, we're keeping things simple. Donna's making me a Roman Senators toga.

As I'm standing there being fitted for this outfit, all I can think is, "it's not every day you get fitted for a sheet". And, outside of bing in the KKK, the day you get fitted for a sheet is your last day.

/me shrugs

I Like Understatement

I really do prefer to use words like "sub-optimal" and "non-trivial" when describing certain outcomes. They convey a meaning, but they're nebulous enough that they don't commit you to an argumentative path. People will generally assume far more than such terms actually confer. Leaves lots of room for amusement and maneuvering, later.

Soundrack for Work-FAIL

Grendel's "Hate This" (well, many aggrotech titles) is great soundtrack for working with awful software.

Buy New or Upgrade?

Cool: I can spend more to upgrade my current Xbox to the new Kinnect Bundle specs than I would buying the bundle.

Well, that's not quite accurate. For the Xbox 360 Kinnect bundle, the pre-order price is $299. To upgrade my Xbox 360's hard drive and add a Kinnect controller (?), it would only cost me $250. For $49, I get a console that's not a year-plus old, though.

1m43s just to get a return from NaviCLI? FAIL

So, I've got this old-assed CLARiiON that I want to get an SRM to manage. Unfortunately, the SRM software doesn't want to deal with the array. I decided to run the management utility a few times. Sometimes, it cores out. Sometimes it goes out to lunch completely. One of the times that it actually didn't die and actually produced data...

# time ./navicli -h getagent

Agent Rev:           A.B.C (X.X)
Name:                KILO
Node:                A-APMXXXXXXXXXXX
Physical Node:       KILO
Signature:           NNNNNN
Peer Signature:      NNNNNN
Revision:            X.YY.Z.NN.A.BBB
SCSI Id:             0
Model:               CX400
Model Type:          Rackmount
Prom Rev:            X.YY.ZZ
SP Memory:           1024
Serial No:           APMXXXXXXXXXXX
SP Identifier:       A
Cabinet:             DPE2

real    1m30.38s
user    0m0.06s
sys     0m0.09s

Seriously? One minute and thirty seconds just to tell me what the Storage Processor's basic version info is? Good. Christ. Glad I'm not actually trying to pull provisioning data out of this bitch. Oh. Wait. I am. It just keeps failing. FMEH!

Why Cher?

Why is it that, when either a man or a woman gets a facelift, they all end up looking like a freakish version of Cher? I thought the point of getting a facelift is to make it so you look more like you did when you were younger? I didn't think it was to make it look like you'd taken a smaller version of Cher's face and stretched it to fit your skull. Maybe I just don't understand the appeal of Cher?

I Don't Get It (Frequent Flyer Programs)

At this point in the game, I'm having a hard time understanding many US airline's frequent flyer programs. I mean, it used to be that you earned "miles" that were redeemable for free upgrades and free flights. Some airlines allowed you to spend points on retail items (hell, I once bought Donna an iPod and Bose docking station with UAL miles). Many airlines off credit cards and other partner programs to allow you to earn "mile"s. Unfortunately, particularly in recent years, the airlines have been doing things to make such miles absolutely useless.

Previously, they'd just periodically "adjusted the value" of your miles to make it so you had to redeem more miles to get upgrades or free travel. Not sure how this made sense to anything other than bean counters trying to punch up the bottom line and reduce outstanding liabilities. Over the years, airlines have been (mostly) lowering the pricing of tickets. This lowering of prices has happened in both in absolute terms (e.g., a given flight in 1990 might have been $1000 but the same flight in 2010 costs $400 [before fees]) and in relative terms ($1 had relatively greater buying power in 1990 than it does in 2010). Yet, it costs me more miles to get today's $400 (plus fees) flight than it did to get that $1000 flight in 1990.

While long, long ago, they started partner programs for point earnings, they've changed those, as well. It used to be a frequent flyer mile was a frequent flyer mile - whether earned through seat time or by renting a car or using a linked credit card (etc.). But, these programs were, apparently, too successful. So much so, that the airlines devalued the points earned through partner programs. Yeah, I might still be able to cash them in at the same rates as "real" miles to get free upgrades and flights, but they no longer count towards flight status.

Of late, the airlines have started charging you to use your miles. Want to use those hard-earned miles to take a trip? That will be $150, please. Want to transfer some miles to a friend who wants to take a trip, somewhere? That will be $300, please (dunno whether said friend then has to pay $150 to use those transfered miles, but, somehow, I suspect so).

One wonders why any business partners with airlines, any more. They assume the cost of a partnership program, but it seems like such partnership programs have no reasonable basis for bringing in new customers or retaining prior customers. I mean, why would I use a US Air (etc.) credit card to rent a car from a US Air-affiliated rental agency (etc.). That credit card isn't free, any more and doesn't have an attractive rate. The rental car company slides in a fee for earning points (they ain't giving you "outside" points for free and renting to earn airline points means you aren't earning rental status). So, in order to use that airline credit card with that affiliated rental company, I have to pay more in fees, interest, etc. than were I to use my non-affiliated card and not seek airline points and I have to sacrifice earning status with the rental company. Factor in the devaulation of the points, and the prospect of participating with airline partners creates a, "wow: what a bargain, (not)" situation.

The funny thing is, hotel programs, rental company programs, even stand-alone credit card programs have remained relatively stable. Points aren't broken into tiers based on how you earned them. Points values have stayed relatively the same over time.

Really, airline points programs are yet one more reason to send a big, hearty "FUCK YOU" to the airlines. Personally, I'd love to see every last one of the airlines go bankrupt. Every time I deal with an airline, it's like I'm being paid to be lied to. The points programs. The partner programs. And, oh my god, the ticketing (seriously: don't try to tell me that you're a low priced airline and advertise a $300 flight that, when I hit the purchase button, has become a $500 flight because of all the bullshit fees. Just tell me it's a $500 fucking flight and be done with it).

People used to ask me, when I was doing the travel-based job thing, "how can you stand to travel so much." What they usually meant was the "stuck in a metal tube" part. In truth, it was always a matter of liking being different places and challenges enough to outweigh the unpleasantness that is flying. It used to be enough to outweigh how much I detested dealing with airlines. Yeah, being stuck in a metal tube for hours at a time is inherently unpleasant. Yeah, dealing with the boobs that "make flying 'safe'" is an exercise in incredulity. But, by themselves, they aren't nearly as horrible as just dealing with the airlines.

At this point in the game, if there's any reasonable way to avoid flying, I do. I'd love nothing more than to see all the airlines go bankrupt and cease to operate. I'd love to see every last airline decision make broken and on the streets, asking for hand-outs. "Sure, buddy: have some miles".

I Support the Scientific Method

I really get tired of people quoting figures at me and then, when I look at their figures, I can see that they're meaningless. Look, if you can't document a two decently-sized data sets where all conditions are identical but for the variable you're trying to analyze, I can't take you seriously. And don't get defensive when I bust you on how weak your claims are. Even if I want to believe your claims, if the your methodology is weak, I'm going to call you out on it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Theme song for today: "Here Comes the Rain, Again"

Was woken up, this morning, by the artillery-esque sound of thunder. Lots of it. Sounds of rain, too.

Didn't go into the office till nearly lunch, so things had dried out.

Came out to my car, to go home, and found it wet with rains that had just passed through. I495 towards Alexandria was slow and the pavement was damp, but it was an fairly uneventful trip home.

Got home and was thinking of going for a walk - gotta work on getting this gut back under control. However the skies were looking threatening. Oddly, they looked threatening from a direction rain normally doesn't come from. But, in watching the news, it confirmed that, yes, rain's coming from the wrong direction and it's coming hard.

And thus, as I type, I hear the rain pouring down, outside.

Small Steps (HPSE)

Finally starting to see a bit of success with HPSE. Not horrendously surprising that prior success had been limited, as the other testing environment had been rather broken. Today: finally sorted out how to get our CLARiiONs "seen" by HPSE. 

Dug through the logs and noticed an rpm invocation failure, at some point. As all of the agents are written in java and didn't have the decompilers necessary to see the source code, tried some things to force debug output. Not really much luck. However, in talking to the vendor, discovered that when their matrix says "supports versions X and Y" they mean it only supports those versions. The rpm failures may have been spurious, but, they may also have been indicating that the HPSE softare is ridiculously hard-coded about which packages it's looking for (woulda made Rain Man proud).

Oh well, at least at this point, we're seeing storage.

You Know You're Old, When....

  • one or more of your doctors is younger than you, even if only slightly
  • one or more of your elected government officials are younger than you, even if they are state office-holders
I went to an opthemologist two years ago who was younger than me. I think the orthopedist I saw, last year, was younger than me, as well.

Today, I got an email indicating that my VA State Delegate was turning 36, soon.


Logo Madness (Google)

Went to Google and thought I'd gotten a bad URL: today's logo is just very subtle

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Some Girls are Bigger Than Others

I'm always confused by calves that are bigger than my thighs ...especially if the owner is wearing shorts

Whininess in the Genes

I used to wonder why Luke Skywalker was so whiny ...until Lucas showed us that there's a genetic component to the trait

Not Social

It is my assertion that Twitter shouldn't be considered "social media". What's social about tweets? If anything, Twitter is anti-social. I mean, what's social about bleating about random shit happening in your day - if there's no conversational component to it. Twitter ain't conversational.

Who knew that cats liked to steal salads?

Automotive Milestones

After 8 years, 8mo. of ownership, I finally hit 77777 on Grimace

And I quote the immortal Peter Griffin: "Canada sucks"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cylon 5-0

Cylons are part of the new Hawaii 5-0? Don't get me wrong, Grace Park is rather tasty.
Grace Park, 5-0 Style

So, whether she's playing a skin job or just running around the beach, I'm ok with that.

That's Mo Better

My crack-addled internal DJ isn't completely bent, today: I'd actually listened to Daffodil's Lament, yesterday.

Broken, or Just Pointless

So, C|Net has implemented Echo to help foster the social aspects of their site. Now, I can understand wanting to get in on the FaceBook-esque dollars. I can even understand the Twitter love affair, to a degree. What I don't understand is, "what is the value add of Echo when all it's doing is listing pages of re-Tweets?" I mean, re-Tweets add nothing to "the conversation". Re-Tweets are garbage, from a conversational standpoint. When you're doing something akin to just saying "yeah", it doesn't really foster conversation. Echo, as implemented on C|Net just seems to be a way for them to display, "see, people think our stuff's good". If that's all they're gonna do, shouldn't they just put the old 1990's style hit-counters on their pages?

Monday, August 9, 2010


If I could somehow record and sell the dreams I have after taking Ambien, I'd be fucking rich.

Q&A Instead of "Real" Search?

So, FaceBook is coming up with a Q&A "service". It's going to be a zero-privacy, zero-filters proposition. Basically, anyone can ask, anyone can answer and there's not much you can do about it. Intentional anarchy. Well ...with one exception: it won't be indexable by search engines. Speculation being that this is a shot over the bow of Google with the hopes being that it would be a "first stop" for people that have questions. That people would hit FB Q&A, get their answers and not have to go the next step to Google (et. al.) and FB could reap the advertising rewards.

Now, I've used a lot of forums over the years. Some were truly designed to be help-oriented. But, generally, the first responses given - particularly in tech circles - were of the form, "did you RTFM" and/or "did you Google it"? So, clearly, there's plenty of people that either can't be bothered to do research on their own or are willing to wait for answers rather than finding them on their own. I guess this is part of why KGB was born (haven't seen commercials recently, but their website's still there, so, they're probably still around). Granted, useful answers can be found - particularly if you display a level of clue in the asking of your questions. But, if you've got clue enough to ask your questions well, you frequently aren't going to be use a simple Q&A site.

I've also used a few, more entertainment-oriented Q&A sites. They were always a mixed-bag, however.

One of my favorites was Wis.DM (RIP). It was a lot of fun. I still don't know whether its creators intended for it to be serious or not. Not sure anyone that those who became regular users saw it as a site for serious answers - mostly it seemed to just a way of initiating discussions (and flame wars - made me miss Usenet, sometimes). Unfortunately, it died. It's users scattered to the four winds, but many stayed in touch (a few of my FaceBook friends I know only from Wis.DM). Some found homes on new Q&A sites - some making their own in an attempt to recapture some of the magic that had been the Wis.DM experiment.

I've tried a few other sites, since then. Unfortunately, for what I was looking for - semi-interactive entertainment - they were too serious or so pointlessly stupid as to be unbearable. The first place the Wis.DM crowd fled to was Fluther. Unfortunately, it was very restrictive - particularly for someone, like me, who likes to post a lot. Worse, Fluther's community and moderators didn't react terribly well to the recreational questioners that flooded in when Wis.DM died. However, they apparently have a niche and they're doing well enough, these days.

Google once tried a Q&A service, but it was kind of a bust. They shuttered it at least four years ago. 

Yahoo still has their Q&A site. My primary experience of it is through sites like It didn't have the social aspects that Wis.DM did and tended to have lower utility than Usenet did. So, for people like me, though, the lampoon sites that have more value than the actual. They act to distill the most humorous aspects of the site into convenient, easy to find morsels.

I just don't see that FB Q&A is apt to be any better than Yahoo answers. We already have a couple FaceBook humor distillers (e.g. FailBook and LameBook). Do we really need an FBQnAfail.Com site? The world can always use more humor, I suppose.

Oh well. Should all be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Sponsorship Patches

The problem with forcing politicians to wear NASCAR-esque sponsor patches, is even the fattest fatcat ain't big enough for all the patches

I Don't Care for (Industrial) Covers

Many, nay "most", songs do not do well as covered by industrial bands

An Idea Too Late

How do I patent the idea for virtual currency FOREX-type markets?

Misstated Sayings

You were waiting with baited breath? Ah: that explains the smell...

Rule 34 of Search (Twitter)

I imagine this works on any given social media site. But, today, I really noticed it for the first time. I was writing about Red Dwarf. As far as I know, this is a show that isn't currently on the air. So, shouldn't have a lot in the way of immediately relevant conversation. Surprisingly, when I punched "Red Dwarf" into Twitter's search box, I got back more than a page worth of Tweets made inside of eight hours. This seemed kind of odd. So, I decided to run a few test things - trying to get progressively more obscure (yet still within the realm of possibility). My discovery? It seems you can put a lot of really random shit in the search box and invariably, someone's recently posted about it. Some searches, the fact that they get results, at all, makes you think, "W.T.F."

Appropriate Party Foods

It's just about a lock that, were you to have a Red Dwarf marathon/party, you'd have to serve curries

Technology's Supposed to Make Things More Efficient

Really wish people would just email me their contact info as vCards. That way, I can just click on it in the email message, it goes into my mail client's contact manager, and, from there out to my cell phone. Invariably, you meet with a vendor and they hand you business cards. Great. I gotta slog that around and remember to transcribe it. Granted, I could get a business card scanner, but that seems kinda stupid when the vCard spec has been out for YEARS now.

Shifting Perspective

I sit here at my office, downloading the latest NetBackup 6.5.x update client bundle. It's a 1.4GB GNUzipped TARball. Chrome's downloader says it's going to take 40mins+ to download. This seemed like a really long time. I look at the download rate indicator and it's floating between 200KB/s and 750KB/s. This feels amazingly slow.

Given how long I've been crawling around on teh Intarwebz - over twenty years now - one would think I'd have a bit more perspective. I mean, when I first started using the Internet in early 1989, the Internet backbone operated at like 56Kbps. I mean, this was back in the day when X.25 and frame-relay were still in heavy use. I remember when having a 1200bps modem was the shit.

Still, when I sit at home, I'm connected to the Internet by over 25Mbps of FiOS. The internet itself now consists of many multi-gigabit links acting as its "backbone" (given the number of major transits, can't even really call it a backbone, any more). So, when I'm pulling a file at the office at 1Mbps, I'm feeling the comparison to my current connection at home. While I'm cognizant that this 200-750KB/s is significantly faster than what my first exposure was, it's too far removed from my current thinking.

Then again, I remember the first "huge" hard drive my dad brought home: it was 40MB and as big as an LP player (remember those?).


I'm old.

It's a GUI World, Apparently

I'd really like to throat-punch the idiots that make it harder to wget software bundles. Not EVERYONE goes in on console

It's the Little Things That Make Work Bearable

It's utterly silly how pleased I was to find that the one screen capture image's vertical axis was 666px. And that was before any image manipulation. It was like a sign of good fortune from the gods of tech.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Barfly" Looks More Like an Adverb Than a Noun

Though, I guess that barflies frequently feel barfly.

Built-in Job Satisfaction

Do they still have jobs as railroad bulls? Seems there'd be enough job satisfaction to cover any salary shortfalls.

Gravity is a harsh mistress

Cellular Ripoff

The price of my 2yr cell plan subsidizes what I pay for my phone: why don't my rates drop at the end of two years (assume no device upgrade)? I mean, were I to cancel my plan and then take that same phone that just came off plan back to my carrier, wouldn't I qualify for the lower "BYO" plan-rate? So, why don't my rates automatically drop when my phone reaches it's two-year date?

I hate the US model of subsidized cellphone pricing.

Thanks for the Scraps

When you've got a garden that has fruit-type plants (e.g., tomatoes) and you have squirrels, you have the same situation you do at an office that has donut days. That is, invariably, you'll find a half-eaten object of food just left sitting.

I get that some people only want to eat half a donut. Whatever. If that's how you control calorie-intake, then "fine". What I don't get is why they think that any other random person in the office is going to want to leave the half a fucking donut they left behind. I don't get why they think that the prospect of a overly-handled, half-eaten donut - no matter how neatly cut - is at all an appetizing prospect. I'm not George Costanza going for the eclair on the top of the trash-pile and I'm not some street person who likes to dig in a dumpster for food. You handling the food and leaving half of it sit is just about as appetizing a prospect as cherry-picking scraps from the return trays at the cafeteria on on the busboy's pile.

Still, it could be worse. At least the idiots that leave the half donut (generally) think they're being nice. The fucking squirrels, on the other hand, are just bastards. I genuinely don't have a problem with critters taking stuff. I don't live or die by its being there. What I do have a problem with is when those fuckers yoink a nice, just-ripe tomato off the vine, eat the heart of of it, then set it on top of the fence or on a railing, leaving it like some kind of giant "fuck you: I'm stealing your stuff" totem. It really makes me want to go out and buy a pellet-gun. I want to catch just one of the fuckers, cut its head off and post it as a warning to all the other varmints that want to think about leaving half-eaten foods sitting about.

Open Tweets?

Nifty: the engine's being used to make a lot of community-specify Twitter-esque forums/communities

Twitter Followers (Pt. 1)

Always kind of amusing when you've go more bots as followers than actual people

Rough Mornings

Makeup really is like false advertisement

Dear Birds:

Do please fuck off with the damned pecking at the tomatoes.

Twitter Followers (Pt. 2)

Of course, when you've got a lot of accounts on random sites that your friends aren't using, that's to be expected

How Much Social Media Do You Need

Ok. Perhaps I've gone a touch "overboard". However, I'm the kind of guys that, if there's a setting, a dial or a check-box, I gotta mess with it. Such is the same when it comes to meta-posters offering to link me to different posting sites, even sites I previously never knew of or had no use for. At any rate, I initially went to ping.FM to set up meta-posting (primarily) for FaceBook and Twitter. Prior to was also (infrequently) using things like BlogSpot/Blogger, LiveJournal and Tumblr. For better or worse, lets you link to a LOT of sites. So, "because they were there," I also set it up to post to:

  • Google Buzz  (more a placeholder, since it self-aggregates from other sources)
  • GTalk (more of a record-holder/reminder, because updating my IM status seems silly)
  • AIM (more of a record-holder/reminder, because updating my IM status seems silly)
  • LinkedIn (more of a record-holder/reminder, because I don't really post to professional-networking sites)
  • Tumblr
  • Brightkite
  • Plurk
  • FriendFeed (more a placeholder, since it self-aggregates from other sources)
  • Jaiku
  • Blogger
  • Plaxo Pulse (more of a record-holder/reminder, because I don't really post to professional-networking sites)
  • Bebo (this already existed because of my AIM account, so, "why not link it")
  • hi5
  • Delicious
  • Koornk
  • YouAre
  • Multiply
  • Flickr
  • StatusNet
  • Vox
  • TypePad
  • StreetMavens
  • Posterous
  • Photobucket
  • Yahoo Profiles
  • Yahoo Meme

Also ended up finding some other ones due to relationships the above ones have (e.g., Fire Eagle - a Yahoo Property - because of signing up for BrightKite). Speaking of which, it seems like Yahoo and Google are both trying (or have tried but never did away with) other social media sites. I'm guessing some were small buys or indirect acquisitions.

Prior to writing this post, I'd never really found where the "Yahoo Profiles" was going to. I mean, I don't really see a link to it off my Yahoo dashboard. I know that mutated to Yahoo360, but that had seemed to die. Turns out, though, that still exists. (/me shrugs)

A number of these sites seem to be a niche looking for occupants (e.g. StreetMavens). Some don't seem well-suited to linking via Ping.FM because Ping.FM's media uploader is rubbish. So, even though I can link Flickr, Multiply, Photobucket, etc., I can't really use Ping.FM to post media to them. So, they're more "placeholders".

On the plus side, without Ping.FM, I wouldn't have known that there was an "Open Status" project acting as an OSS version of Twitter. Ping.FM explicitly lists StatusNet and Identi.Ca for this service.

Because Ping.FM's posting interface is such rubbish - but mostly did what I was looking for - I sought out alternatives with better posting interfaces. That's how I ended up on Posterous. Unfortunately, Posterous: doesn't link to nearly so many networks; while it has a much better web-posting interface, the site navigation is rubbish - they really want you to use the email submission engine. That engine's pretty cool, but a little rough around the edges. Their mail parsers frequently get things a little wrong (such that, if you want your Blogger/BlogSpot, WordPress and Tumblr to all look the same, you frequently have to go to each site and "fix" things). The data's all there, just the presentation isn't consistent or spot-on. Oh well, emerging technology. They show a lot of promise. And, if they can get their recent performance issues out of the way, I can foresee considering one of the premium offerings they hope to put together.

Neither Ping.FM nor Posterous yet supports some of the more fringe services, yet (FourSquare, HotPotato, GoWalla, etc.). But, a number of those services seem to be more in the vein of hangers-on than free-standing services. They seem to mostly leverage Twitter and/or FaceBook for their readership.

/me shrugs

Been an interesting experience. Getting to see a lot of different approaches to social media. And, it's helped me avoid "putting all my eggs in one basket". Given that social-media has really replaced diary-keeping, it seemed prudent to spread things out. Damned few of these sites seem to have what look to be good, long-term business plans to assure their long-term existence. Worse, even fewer seem to have a way of getting your data back out. I've already had sites die and take my data with them (e.g., I don't want whole chunks of my journaled-life to simply evaporate each time a company goes out of business, has data-integrity issues, etc. 

Yeah, I could host my own - and, in the past, I did - but that removes most of the "social" aspect from things. While most of what I write is for my own consumption, I do also like being linked to other people enough that I can see and comment on what they're doing.

Down the Rabbit Hole

The world of meta-bloggers is like Alice's rabbit hole. Link to one service, and it shows you several more.

Open Tweets?

So, is just an implementation of the open Status.Net microblogging service? Cool. Digging through meta-posters is informative.

What to Do When You've Peaked?

If you're fairly certain you've already hit your peak, isn't the rest just enduring the decline and waiting for the end to come?