There’s a crap for that. Stick a pitchfork me. I’m done. Well done. By Satan himself.
The future’s so blight I gotta dig graves. A pitchfork works well for that, right?
So, technology. Let’s talk about that. It’s here. It has landed on our chests like a motherfucking elephant in a COPD commercial. Let me posit this: How’s that technology working out for you?
In a moment I’m going to share my ideas regarding the three-pronged attack on our very existence by technology. (Get it? Pitchfork?) I used to think there was only one prong but that was before spring break. I’ve since expanded my thinking (as well as something else).
Call it my Grand Unification Theory of Technology (GUTT) if you will. It’s time for a gut check. Spoiler alert: Mine has been spilled open by a pitchfork. Dammit. They let anyone own these things.
It’s time to stick ’em with the prongy end. Make the jump and I’ll get to the point.
What’s The Points?
The computer screen told the story. A weather system, shown as a menacing blob of glowing crimson on the screen, was bearing down on us and about to engulf the whole damn island. Isla Nublar was really in for it. Gale force winds, 40 foot swells, the whole nine yards.
Communications were already out.
The control room shook as horizontal rain punished the windows creating enough background noise to decidedly get on my nerves. I took a moment to glance out the window. The tropical trees were whipping in the wind like piñatas under a baseball bat.
It was up to me.
I realized a voice was coming out of the high-tech radio I held in my hand. “Sqwk! Say again, say again, we are pinned down. No way out. Request immediate EVAC. Do you copy? Over. Sqwk!”
Sending out the chopper in these conditions would almost certainly be suicide. Yet there stood the flight crew, having already volunteered, now impatiently awaiting my decision. Risk three lives to save eight? I could barely comprehend the mathematics that involved.
The weather display was blinking now. It has just been updated with the name of the storm which was now closer than ever. “Fiona” they were calling in. Wow, I thought. They named the storm. That’s extremely useful information.
“Clever girl,” I said without realizing I was saying out loud.
Time was growing short. It was do or die. This command decision had to be made so I could triage the next looming disaster only seconds away.
“Send ’em out,” I ordered. I keyed the mic. “Help is on the way. Out.”
I’m not going to go all Plato and Socrates in your grill. But I am going to have to go a little deeper than normal. Gimme five degrees down bubble on the dive planes and rig for silent running.
What is a game?
One might as well ask why does chocolate taste good? Why is a flower pretty? What it is about poop that makes it so interesting? We have full-time philosophers who study these things but no answers yet.
Let me take a crack at it. A game should be fun.
The word “should” gets the italics treatment because of my pinhead professor in philosophy class. He imparted into me the basic wisdom: “One shouldn’t say should.” Dammit all to Hell, man. Why did you say that?
The word “fun” gets the italics because its usage in that sentence opens a brand new rabbit hole for us to jump down.
What is fun?
See what I mean about going deep? If you follow this crazy train you’ll quickly jump the rails. It’s like having a conversation with young Mr. Data. “What is ‘is’, Captain?” Oh shit. This might take a while.
The point here is simple: I thought “games” were supposed to be “fun.” Then I owned an iPad and it totally changed the way I looked at what a game should be.
Continue reading →
A note from the Chore Whore
We could live on an 8′ by 8′ piece of dirt and I’d still be in the doghouse for not sweeping and dusting enough.
The Universe, however, likes to toss me a bone every once and again. When it comes to chores, the Universe likes to say, “Hey, little buddy. How about you and me get together and make this fun?”
Apparently we don’t have enough in common to form a language translation matrix. The linguistic database chokes on this mysterious word “fun.” I guess that’ll have to remain one of the great mysteries of life.
Continue reading →
I’d buy that for a penny! #WSJ
For some time I’ve been meaning to do a post about the Wall Street Journal app on my iPod. I think it was back in July 2011 when I took the screenshot shown above (on the right).
Notice what is peculiar about it? Here’s a little hint:
Without further ado, here are some excerpts from my official review of the WSJ app for iOS devices.
It’s the best goddamn app for showing locked content (keys) that I’ve ever seen in my whole fucking life.
–Tom B. Taker
Seriously. If you love little key icons you’re going to love this app.
–Tom B. Taker
This app will make you lose your shit. If you can unlock anything in it, that is.
–Tom B. Taker
Finally! The Wall Street Journal has taken the time-honored model of frustrating customers and achieved sublime perfection.
–Tom B. Taker
So many keys – you’ll think you’re on a vacation in Florida! And that’s an economical vacation!
–Tom B. Taker
I’d post the review in full, but unfortunately that is restricted content. Lucky for you it’s only $9.99. Send me your credit card information and I’ll pass it along.
Now obviously I could pay money and remove those little locked icons. How much would you pay? Well, for that priviledge the WSJ wants $1.99 a week. (That’s about $103/year.) Or you could get the actual print version delivered to your door six days a week for $2.29 a week. (About $119/year.)
Yep. That’s right. Go online and save the trees, gas, and cost of paying a human being to schlep a physical object to you and you’ll save a whopping 13 percent. Erm, 13 percent? Say what?
Yes, here we have the WSJ model that web content should be almost the same price as traditional distribution.
Now how much would you pay?
Wait! Before you answer, check this out. What if you could only pay one penny? Then would you be interested?
In a story this morning The Guardian reports on a WSJ scam that cost an executive his job. (Is The Guardian one of the hundreds of media owned by Rupert Murdoch? I’m not sure. There are so many it’s hard to keep them straight. Luckily there’s an app for that! Good news – they’re not!)
In wake of the scandal, the European Publishing Chief for the WSJ resigned. The Guardian reports that under the scheme WSJ newspapers were sold for one cent each in a bid to increase circulation numbers.
By the way, in case anyone forgets, the WSJ is owned by News Corp. and Rupert Murdoch. (Why do I feel like I should be referring to him as He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named?) Shudder!
Anywho, under the scheme, companies who sponsored the WSJ paid a reduced “knock-down” rate of 5 cents or less per newspaper. In the case of a Dutch company known as Executive Learning Partnership (ELP), the rate was 1 cent per newspaper for 12,000 sponsored purchases per day.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) eventually determined that the scheme was responsible for 41% of the daily circulation the WSJ claimed in Europe, about 31,000 copies out of a total of 75,000.
Things fell apart when ELP complained they were not getting enough return on their investment. Gee, ya think? Perhaps it isn’t wise to invest in a newspaper that artificially inflates its circulation numbers, eh? To placate ELP, the WSJ executive created an addendum to their contract, and it is that addendum that The Guardian reports led to his resignation.
The Guardian found evidence that the Journal had been channelling money through European companies in order to secretly buy thousands of copies of its own paper at a knock-down rate, misleading readers and advertisers about the Journal’s true circulation.
The bizarre scheme included a formal, written contract in which the Journal persuaded one company to co-operate by agreeing to publish articles that promoted its activities, a move which led some staff to accuse the paper’s management of violating journalistic ethics and jeopardising its treasured reputation for editorial quality.
Source: The Guardian
Ethics? Reputation? Editorial quality? Those are not words one normally associates with something owned by the likes of Rupert Murdoch.
The highly controversial activities were organised in London and focused on the Journal’s European edition, which circulates in the EU, Russia, and Africa. Senior executives in New York, including Murdoch’s right-hand man, Les Hinton, were alerted to the problems last year by an internal whistleblower and apparently chose to take no action. The whistleblower was then made redundant.
Don’t you hate it when you get made “redundant?” I know I do! (Or did I already say that?)
If Rupert Murdock is involved, why do I feel that even a mere penny is too much to pay?
I have a voice: Twittering whispers to myself
I added an app to my iPod Touch called “Dragon Dictation.” It’s free so at least I know I didn’t overpay. This app converts speech to text. So now I can talk to my iPod (which feels a little weird), have my voice converted to text, then easily send that text as a tweet.
The other night I was at a restaurant and decided to take it for a spin. Let’s see how it did.
Tweet: Hey Twitter this is my voice converted to text. How exciting
Analysis: Not too shabby. That’s what I said, although I’m pretty sure I implied a period at the end of the sentence.
Tweet: Hi text max’s voice tweet from a rest salon marvel at my greatness
Analysis: This is so mangled I can’t remember my exact words. But I do know that “rest salon” was supposed to be “restaurant.”
Tweet: There’s a guy here at the restaurant with the laptop will ask for his e-mail address so I can tweet
Analysis: This one is almost decipherable. It was actually: “There’s a guy here at the restaurant with a laptop. I will ask for his e-mail address so I can tweet him.” I was feeling pretty damn high tech and social at the time.
Test: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
Test: Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country
Nailed it again.
Tweet: I sure hope you’ll enjoy the best tweets to you by dragon dictation. Peace out
Analysis: This was the end of my test. It think it was “you’ve enjoyed” but I’m not sure.
Conclusion: The app worked fairly well. I noticed that it works by recording audio then processing it. The longer you talk, the more you record, and the longer the processing time. It was a bit annoying it didn’t keep up in real time.
Overall, I recommend this app at the price of free. It’s a good value for making your tweets look like they came from someone with English as a second language and/or an elementary school dropout.