otter of the day.

Filed under General
otter 5

otter 5,
originally uploaded by sofidch.

What has this otter forgot?

It’s interesting but we seem to have to rediscover that exchanging value is a valid business model.

Filed under General

From the 500 hats blog comes a nice summation that matches many of my feelings with regards to how programs are pitched, created and go to 2 cups (He has a much better line but I’ll not steal it totally out of context.)  He brings up  login friction, e.g.,  how easy it is to actually use the service and creating infrequent use apps can cause problems by itself.

So listen up I’ll share a little secret with you — there is one very simple way to avoid forgotten passwords.Basically, it’s this:

Make a Frequent-Use Product.
That’s it, you say?

Yeah, that’s it Sherlock.Make a brain-dead simple, frequent-use product.If users login a lot, then they don’t forget their passwords

 While my favourite inner-Austrian applauds lines such as

Newsflash folks: The Internet does NOT want to be FREE… It wants to GET PAID on Fucking Friday, just like everybody else on the damn planet.

It’s kind of sad that this has to be restated that making a program that needs to be useful is another. 

Do not like. The crappy ,Damascan, conversion rate on samaritan clicking

Filed under General

Point of this.

To let you know how much I dislike the affinity posts, re-posts, tweets and retweets about serious issues that run the risk of causing the appearance that something is actually being done.

Problem 1

I wanted to know what my friends were up to, their thoughts, accomplishments joys and sadness. Instead it’s a pile of app-generated crap intermixed with memes copied from others that often contradict how that person sees themselves.Challenging them has usually resulted in a defensive “I’m just sharing it” and  usually without a review of the original material ergo they really aren’t in any way responsible for the material.

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” 

Oscar Wilde’s above quote fits into a tweet by the way. Sad thing is I follow you because I am interested in what YOU have to say and not you by Proxy.

Problem 2

The Facebook child abuse cause has over 2 million members and has raised around $1600 dollars or eight hundredths of a cent per member.You’ll find the same disparity reflected over and over again within groups for domestic-violence,anti-torture, land mines and just about any other topic of human misery you care; sorry you –pretend- to care,about matters.

The actions don’t match up with the words. It may give someone the idea that it’s under control, I mean 2 million people wow, that’s an achievement that’s worth well it’s worth about $1600. Rather trivializes whatever the cause de jour is nes’t pas?










Otter running

Filed under General
Otter running

Otter running,
originally uploaded by the longhairedgit.

Today’s otter of the day.

Thinking small to think big. Why are so many sites so bloody miserable on a netbook

Filed under Uncategorized

We’ve had a year and a half of strong netbook sales yet the majority of sites make no concessions to accommodate the people on them.While it’s particularly stupid for stores to shoo away visitors I’m perplexed that we’ll happily support IE6 but make few,if any, concessions those with a case of vertical screen interuptus.

Scroll wheel on desktop is a finger puzzle on netbooks that support it,banners that often leave your most important items below the fold, workflows that DON’T and just a complete lack of attention to the expected usage of the products make the netbooks look bad in the same way that most sites shrunk for mobile phones do.


Netbook sales 2009

Yet another CL scam and why I hate affiliate programs that don’t vet their agents.

Filed under Arizona, Culture-internet, rants

There should be a show were people that fight computer crime use guns, baseball bats and other implements of destruction on the detritus that try to scam the populace.

I’m selling a car,trying to,presently on Craigslist which leads to the kind of interactions with people I’d rather not have. People that are possibly worse to deal with than car sales types.

Apart from the usual people that want to buy the car for $1000 less than posted without even looking it over, those that want to come tell you why it’s crap and that they don’t like the brand, those that want to buy it for a college student and expect a six year old car to carry the kind of guarantee that a new one would etc  and  the most interesting?  A ,can I politely say, less than  mentally capable person that doesn’t –even- have a driving license showing up at the door at 2130 ( 9 30  at night for those of you that can’t add twelve) unannounced that we didn’t give the address out to which is kind of spooky. Not a fan of this guy to say the least.

I still have the car and some information on a new scheme/scam.  Person mails me, asks some info and to arrange to see car.I send it. They then say oh prior to me coming out can I get some idea of the auto insurance via this site.  Auto insurance tips dot com,but the link went to tamiesunshine144 .blogspot . com and then redirected with the affiliate ID to the insurance site.  E.G., trolling for affiliate commissions.

CL is turning in Ebay and it’s usefulness is only possible when using a third party to search it when you are looking for something specific though as a means of exposing yourself to jerks it’s first class.

Threadsy. The most useful aggregator I’ve found to date.

Filed under Culture-internet, Sites of interest, Social Media

Over the last couple of months I’ve been playing with many an aggregation tool that aims to let you make personal dams in the torrent that’s laughingly referred to as a life-stream.

I’ve fallen in the Atlantic,in large rivers and streams in the past and have to say that one is certainly not manageable without assistance.Sure you get the life jacket that keeps your head above water as it flows around you but you can’t actually do much but sit back till someone pulls you out. 

To help pull me out from my info addiction the nice people at streamy and have offerings which seek to provide a nice paddle with which to beat back the creek of crap we’re exposed to daily.

The one that apparently does the least, on the surface,is my current favorite.
Threadsy is in the lead with it being a constant presence on one monitor while I just dip into the other two. It’s interesting as Threadsy started out doing less than the other two offering but it does it so well.It also solves a very real problem that the mainstream users haven’t encountered yet, they probably won’t encounter it till more of them actually use FB and Twitter in their daily lives.   

Threadsy , pardon the sewing puns, seamlessly brings together the contents of tweets, Facebook updates and your mail account. I don’t have to chase many windows around to see, reply to tweets, post status updates, see incoming mail.   Nothing revolutionary that alt – tab or the amazing Firefox extension Foxtab couldn’t do for you but it’s the thread part  of the name that makes this so useful.

Most of the interesting stuff in twitter are links to images, videos or pages that obviously make no sense to a human when a URL shortener is used, no mind , i get a preview of each item, can play video in place,see the image, reply to or make a comment on the tweet/ update and go about my day without closing out a pile of windows each time curiosity gets the better of me,about 10-12 seconds.

When I open up a mail, tweet or update the author panel to the side shows me the services they use, their latest posts, tweets, images. Single click. Yum!

Plus it has Meebo chat built in accounting for just about any messenger service you’d care to use.  Aggregating the streams is one of those  emergent/ obvious things ( has to be I thought of the same damn thing way back) but execution is everything and so far these software tailors have provided this Emperor* with an impressive suit of  new clothes

*Much in the same way Joshua Norton was

7 of 9 Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris), female, marine mammal, with her baby pup

Filed under General

This is definitely my otter of the day maybe even the month.


We’re so cool we’ll tell you how to use your voice. That is if you can even hear ours.

Filed under Social Media

The etymology of the word expert is strangely prescient when applied to the world of social media. It’s older than the advent of recording, microphones and video cameras. Yet I get the feeling that most of the experts are really more old school than they let on. So old that a rock, a mount and a sermon could be forthcoming.

Attempting to watch presentations live this weekend was the usual frustration of  presenter,unmiked,using a fixed microphone on the desk in the room.

The presenter’s moved and talked with people off screen and to the side that we couldn’t hear and after a few minutes in each case couldn’t follow.

If that’s not bad enough the presentations were on how to use technology to advance your cause, business or ego.

There’s a reason radio studios don’t place the mike 5 – 10 feet away from the host and allow them to walk around the studio. There oughta be a law?

  There is.

And I think I’ll use the kind of technology espoused,least I think it was, to bludgeon my point a bit further.

Asian small-clawed otters

Filed under General

Asian small-clawed otters

Originally uploaded by Marie Hale.

This is my favorite otter shot of the day.

I knew Bell Honda was full of gas. Say no to N2 refills and other overblown upgrades.

Filed under Bad CS, General, phoenix, reality

If there’s one thing that bugs me more on not knowing enough about the physical world it’s those people that try to sell you a service, product or in the case of carbon credits a total line of bullshit.  Bell Honda appear to follow this model of customer service. Their ploy, based on  their reliance, that your ignorance of the subject will be such that you’ll gladly pay a premium to have N2 fill your tires.

They try to up sell you on nitrogen which has nominal to NO practical value when fitted to your average car. I had read anecdotally that Honda were not a fan of the practice and I send a tweet to see if I could get a reference for this. 


There you go.  I’ve been to this dealer twice and while the service was done quickly,the waiting area is clean, nice wifi,play area and coffee  It’s only been after the usual chat re, “service this to Honda’s requirements to keep the extended warranty valid”How they then want to add injector cleaning agents, N2 and suggest a transmission flush on a < 30k car, a 30k MANUAL car is beyond me. Despite declining the injector cleaning they billed me for it anyway and took money of the air filter instead. They must have some kind of weird  bonus structure going there but a 30k car that’s performing well does not need it. 

Needless to say I’ll be using another dealership  for future warranty work.

hey iPhone video can we hear you now? Owle solves two large issues re iPhone video.

Filed under Culture-internet, Social Media, video, vlogs

Anyone that improves sound capture, stability and control of the main function of a camera ( the amount of lighting getting in) are friends of mine, at least in the Facebook sense.

Owle, not a Pixar sequel, is an acronym for Optical Widgets for Life Enhancement  housing that allows you to add additional lenses, an inbuilt mic,add lighting and stability to your iPhone 3gs which markedly improves real time video gathering  while remaining hand held portable. Why write what you can see

It’s pretty obvious  how much the viewer stands to benefit from this platform ,YEP  that’s the viewer. Local company too   : )

I’ve often thought of the iPhone as being a glorified controller that just happens to make phone calls.

hey iPhone video can we hear you now? Owle Bubo lends an ear and a stabilizing hand.

Filed under cellular, Culture-internet, Podcasting Tech, Social Media

Anyone that improves sound capture, stability and control of the main function of a camera ( the amount of lighting getting in) are friends of mine, at least in the Facebook sense.

Owle, not a Pixar sequel, is an acronym for Optical Widgets for Life Enhancement  housing that allows you to add additional lenses, an inbuilt mic,add lighting and stability to your iPhone 3gs which markedly improves real time video gathering  while remaining hand held portable. Why write what you can see

It’s pretty obvious  how much the viewer stands to benefit from this platform ,YEP  that’s the viewer. Local company too   : )

I’ve often thought of the iPhone as being a glorified controller that just happens to make phone calls.

Crappiest marketing of the week Sam’s club for Windows 7

Filed under Bad CS, General

What you are looking at is the subject line from a mail that I received this weekend


There’s a slight issue with that subject line which one could charitably call a willing attempt to deceive,to appear fraudulent or maybe even to be an outright lie.

The price refers to you already having Windows 7, aka Windows 7 starter edition.

How can you upgrade to 7 by already  having 7? This is such a trivial thing that it pains me that they would even try this line out. Upgrades –from- $78 or Upgrades –to- $78 are still speaking in weasel-words but  at least it’s supportable on logical and grammatical grounds.


Follow up. Several weeks have passed.   I’m a member so I  wrote them a  letter which they didn’t respond to. Well that’s one membership that’s not getting renewed.

Cloudy with no chance of data. Like many super heroic efforts sometimes the Sidekicks suffer.

Filed under Culture-internet, Social Media

Danger, Danger  Will Tmobile get away with giving two months of free service for losing all of your data?

I’m not a fan of clouds , other than flying through them, when it’s the sole method of storage. User’s of the Sidekick have found out that the distance between back up and fuck up is a little more then inconvenient. 

How would you like this mail from a service you PAY for ( It would be easy to bitch at 2.0 companies that have lost my data but realistically I got what I paid for) 

We recognize the magnitude of this inconvenience. Our primary efforts have been focused on restoring our customers’ personal content. We also are considering additional measures for those of you who have lost your content to help reinforce how valuable you are as a T-Mobile customer.

Inconvenience in the street lawyers thesaurus  sounds a little more like negligence:)

Own your own data or lose it and three years later win a class action suit, with 100k of your “friends” that gives you a month’s free service but only when renewing your contract for two years.