aftermath

we dream, we create, we change, we love

Archive for the ‘reprobate’ Category

Ta Ta, ChaCha

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Except for that strange 3-day vacation Sheeba recently took, she’s been crashing quite frequently this month. And on maybe one out of every 40-50 crashes – which means about about once every week – the crash gobbles all my browser cookies. Meaning I have to go back and unlock every single one of the various rooms I play in. Which means I have to haul out all my skeleton keys.

But [insert yet another Sheeba crash at this point in drafting this post] noodlenoggin that I am, I haven’t been making my passwords as memorable as I used to since turning into a security-conscious g-man. Yet although there remain scattered pieces of me chained to obsolete accounts that can never again be re-opened, luckily most of my current haunts will simply e-mail me a new password upon request, not even fussing at me for having to do so as frequently as I do.

Except for ChaCha, which just begs for me to mouth the words, “Don’t go there.” I was charmed at first, yes, even proselytized, then even considered putting a little spare time into serving as a ChaCha guide. Only then starting to admit to myself that I’d only really had a passing crush, certainly nowhere near any sort of devotion or love.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by macheide

29 November 2008 at 12:07 pm

Posted in reprobate

Error: Trusting Bloglines

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Hello,

There has been an error processing your email. The error is:

This email was sent to an invalid address. For the correct email address to submit emails, please vis

truncated message from bloglines,
sent in triplicate at 1:42pm, 2:53pm, and 2:55pm
in response to an SMS message sent at 12:00pm

Invalid e-mail address? No, it was not an invalid address, as can easily enough be demonstrated by simply re-sending the exact same SMS message to the exact same e-mail address enough times. Usually takes three or four attempts, some of those attempts bounced back like this one was, some of them simply dropped into never-never land without so much as a peep, but eventually quite at random some of those messages making it through. The e-mail address is definitely valid. What is invalid is Bloglines‘ handling of its own e-mail subscription capability.

Bad enough that when Bloglines fumbles the ball, it then spams me back like it is doing on this message, with absolutely no way for me to tell it to shut the hell up: it just keeps hiccupping away for as many as half a dozen of its invalid “invalid” messages before giving up on its own, again without any apparent logical pattern to its behavior. What’s worse is that one really can’t rely on Bloglines for micro-blogging at all: there is no pattern whatsoever to its failures. Utterly unreliable.

And then since Bloglines’ e-mail subscriptions were supposed to treat incoming e-mail as though that traffic were coming in like an RSS feed, doesn’t that make one doubt the reliability of its underlying RSS feed service? Come to think of it, since I do have Bloglines RSS feeds for every single one of my various Internet nodes, I have long observed – and have had those observations confirmed – that Bloglines has always been quite sporadic on its updating of my own fresh meat, sometimes dropping new content seemingly at random, other times dumping piles of old material on me completely out of the blue.

Recently, when I noticed that my White House news RSS feed coming through Bloglines had failed to notice Obama’s quite noteworthy visit, I did take the time to check first at the White House news site itself before writing an aftermath post about Bush’s disrespectful omission. Why double check? Because I seriously half expected the omission to have been Bloglines’ fault, not the President’s. If Bloglines were to ever conduct any rigorous audit of its service, I don’t think that its e-mail blunders and its haphazard reading of my own blogs are rare events.

So as much as I do appreciate certain features of Bloglines, I’m in the market for an RSS reader that understands that reliability has to be center stage. And of course, I’ve already given up wasting any further time on Bloglines’ claptrap e-mail subscription service.

Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - reprobate

Written by macheide

18 November 2008 at 4:22 pm

Posted in reprobate

Media Mismanagement

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Sheeba‘s been having an atrocious Sunday, yet I’ve found a few spare minutes between crashes to get around to a lower level item on my computer task list: updating my Amazon wishlist and collection. Mainly to go through what ought not be so laborious a process as Amazon makes it: to compare the two, then erase from the wishlist and add to the collection what I have.

If Amazon knew how to design and program any halfway serviceable wishlist/collection, and if they only understood how such lists could significantly increase their own business, this would never be an item on my task list. Whenever something on my wishlist were to come into my possession, I’d zip on over, click a box to move the item from one list to the other, then grab some code for recommending to friends that they do the same.

Maybe I should just take this repeating clean-up item off my task list. Replace it with the action Amazon seems to want us to do: Find a replacement web service that can facilitate media wishlists and collection inventories.

Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - reprobate

Written by macheide

9 November 2008 at 6:48 pm

Posted in reprobate

Dead and Dying Journal

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Long, unfortunately far too long, after ADASTW had made far too many of the same mistakes that doomed opendiary and journalspace to perpetual obscurity, I finally accepted the inevitable this past January and left, no looking back, no regrets.

Seems I’m not the only one to recognize that ADASTW has little to offer the serious Internet journalist or community. And given its policies and attitudes and disrespect of its authors, the current trend is irreversible. If I were still struggling to keep my journal intact over there today, I wouldn’t waste another second on their dying ship.

Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - reprobate

Written by macheide

2 September 2008 at 6:10 pm

Posted in reprobate

Off SEC_Investor_Ed

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IDEA will be the platform for 21st Century Disclosure

SEC_Investor_Ed @ 10:14am

IDEA will make it easier for investors to get information.

SEC_Investor_Ed @ 10:15am

IDEA will make it easier for investors to decide how to allocate their savings and investments.

SEC_Investor_Ed @ 10:16am

I have a better idea. When someone uses twitter to spam my cell phone, I turn them off. And I don’t bother going back later to check to see if they’ve learned how to microblog properly. Besides, I already get SEC press releases through their XML feed, not to mention tons of other SEC info through other feeds. SEC via twitter has been a mildly diverting extra for a few weeks, but it’s not worth being spammed for.

As for the new SEC effort to improve the disclosures we’ve been getting through EDGAR, I’ll certainly love it when I see it, but I don’t expect that to happen until I reach the afterlife, where all information is perfect and easily accessible. Speaking as one whose fave pastime has been to compose what is quite likely the best collection of 10k pension data anywhere, we’ve already seen far too much false pension analysis based on poorly collected databases that apparently rely too much on staff with little or no knowledge of the data they are handling. That together with how pitifully non-uniform pension disclosures are company to company and year to year will keep pension disclosures from being “easier” for investors to assimilate, analyze and understand for the next generation and beyond, with or without the SEC’s IDEA, with or without FASB’s distracted efforts (e.g., its current staff exercise on pension asset allocation information, which will do nothing to improve the overall usefulness of pension disclosure).

Start by actually getting companies to standardize their disclosures, then maybe a new reporting system might improve the side of things that investors need to deal with. Build the system on the disclosure muddle that exists, and it’s just as difficult to use as ever.

Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - reprobate

Written by macheide

19 August 2008 at 1:35 pm

Posted in reprobate

Yet Another Google Boondoggle

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Within the past day or so, I’ve switched aftermath‘s theme to Mistylook, mainly to get the page tabs at the top.

There are several aspects of the Mistylook theme that I would have done differently. For instance, I prefer to have timestamps along with the datestamps on posts. And since I never actually use the calendar and probably nobody else who bumps into aftermath does either, I might have an easy resolution to my mild annoyance over it not being centered in the sidebar: I might simply go without it.

When one is dealing with something made available to a mass audience, such things are natural. We all have our own way of doing things, personal preferences and such. But even taken together in the aggregate, all of my differences with Mistylook are minor – they do not interfere with the operation of what Mistylook is designed to do. And if I wish, I can actually deal with any of those differences on my own, simply by procuring paid access to full styling of my WordPress blog. Last but not least, if all else fails, I can very easily shift to some other WordPress style without wasting hours and hours reversing efforts that I’ve already put into writing all this.

But this post isn’t really about Mistylook. It’s about how pissed Google has been making me lately. This time, on their farce of a video posting feature. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by macheide

3 August 2008 at 1:34 pm

Posted in reprobate

Knol Set

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Wondering if Knol will become non-lame any time soon?

twitter by tim bray

No. It won’t. Not soon, not eventually, not ever.

As several recent of my rants have made clear, I’m not the least impressed by the quality control procedures and programming standards of anything Google. And Knol, their quite lame attempt to pretend at superior intelligence over Wikipedia, has no more promise beyond any of the rest of Google’s mediocre fare.

I’m reminded of what I’ve always called the “WSJ disorder.” Back before I knew better, I used to believe most of what I would see in the Wall Street Journal. Until I became sufficiently expert in pension matters to start noticing something odd: although all the rest of the Journal’s content seemed as trustworthy as ever, they never seemed to get it right whenever they ran an article about pensions. Only when I added further expertise on another topic to my resume and noticed the WSJ’s cancer spreading did I realize the truth of it. Beyond the simple reporting of facts such as closing prices, the only WSJ content you can trust is any topic you don’t know enough about to know better.

Which is what Knol excels in from the start. Add Google’s penchant for reaching lower than wherever they randomly happen to fall, and there’s no reason to come back to Knol anytime later to see if they’ve ditched the crutches.

Bumper Sticker [www.internetbumperstickers.com/] - reprobate

Written by macheide

1 August 2008 at 7:03 am

Posted in reprobate