All posts tagged: Online

Mildly Amusing Missives #4 – Twitter

I created a Twitter account a few weeks ago.  I’ve been following and unfollowing people since then. There is a fine line between ‘this is interesting’ and ‘this is depressing’. Here are some of the more amusing and thought provoking things I’ve found. What your Dog is Thinking something. you may not realize you’re allowed to do. is take a snoozle. and then when you wake up. immediately start another one – Thoughts of Dog @dog_feelings Jul 4 – sometimes. i will yawn really big. and soon after. the human will also yawn. i have yet to decide. what to do with my powers – Thoughts of Dog @dog_feelings – I don’t own or use a virtual assistant – do you? You would think that by now Alexa might be experienced enough in the ways of carbon-based lifeforms to be able to distinguish between a sneeze and the calling out of her name. “Bless you, Stephen” would be a better response than “Hm. I don’t know that one.” – Stephen Fry, @stephenfry Jul 11 – …

ocean rocks trees

Over the Top Writing Makes me do Just the Opposite

You’ve probably seen some of these ‘over the top’ words in Post Titles on the internet. They are supposed to be so enticing that you will click through to read the story. Here are some of the most common superlatives: Utterly Strangest Outrageous Amazing Groundbreaking Truth Astonishing Incredible Bombshell Awesomely Stunning Unbelievable (or You Won’t Believe Your Eyes) Insanely Gorgeous Impossible Absolutely Unbeatable You’ll Never Guess Ridiculous or Jaw Dropping for stories, that will Blow you away Be to Die For Take Your Breath Away Change Your World Freak You Out because well, OMG – This is Genius!!! This style of writing has just the opposite effect on me – I simply refuse to click through to read it. Just this once, though, I’m going to use words from the list above to describe my photos for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge (which is Opposites.) These photos were taken on a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. OMG! The scenery was to die for! My jaw dropped as I watched the waves crash onto the rocks. …

The Quippery

Security – A New Year – Time for New Passwords!

Happy New Year to you all! Do you have a List of Resolutions? Thought about adding ‘New Passwords’ to that list? In 2011, The Car Guy’s Yahoo Mail account sent out invitations to most of his contacts to use Viagra. After hours of looking for a breach, I realized that the account had been hacked through Yahoo itself. We secured the account with a new password, but the whole episode was a good reminder of why it is a good idea to change passwords frequently, and have different passwords for different accounts. Strong passwords are also highly recommended. Some sites require specific combinations, though not quite as rigorous as this password protocol that I made up: The Car Guy and I developed and memorized a few mnemonic phrases. They form the first part of our passwords. The second part of each password varies from site to site. We’ve memorized most of them, but keep them all in a database (without the mnemonic part) for those days when we can’t find our car keys, let alone …

Internet – Google Autocomplete – Unfiltered Eavesdropping

Google Search wants to help you find what you are looking for. To speed up the process, it uses autocomplete to list suggestions that are based on the search activity of other Google users. Here are some of the searches I did and what I learned from my digital eavesdropping: pdf and atheism – two new religions. Once the issue of the unlocked cell phone is resolved, we can move on to other pressing matters. Potatoes were right up there with making babies. Why wouldn’t you know why your license was suspended? Maybe if you do the first three, the last will be easy… The fridge was a bit of a surprise considering the rest of the list. I will have the children read Hamlet as soon as it is practical. There are some useful cautions against eavesdropping to be gleaned from that. – Maryrose Wood, The Mysterious Howling – One of the unique things about the human brain is that it can do only what it thinks it can do. The minute you say, …

Unplugging from the Web – Flowers Help to Heal

It’s called ‘The Web’ because once you’re in it, you are stuck. – Terry Hall – I’m going to take some time off – see if I can find a new Happy Place.  I know it exists somewhere here in my mind, but I’m not having much luck finding it right now. So, I’m going to unplug for a while. I hope you will come back to visit my blog when I return! Before I go, here are the photos I took the last time I was at the cabin. It is quite remarkable what is blooming out there. All 305 homes were destroyed, yet the flowers are cheerfully acting like nothing happened! A yellow Columbine or Aquilegia. A pink Rose. It is a hardy bush rose, but I don’t know it is called. I wish I had one in my yard! A white Shasta Daisy. These grow like weeds at my place. An orange Daylily. I have these in my yard, but they never look this good! A white Mallow or Sidalcea. I’m really …

grinning

From Rags to Riches – the Spam Way

I opened a few Gmail accounts a while back – I am migrating from Hotmail to Gmail, though for the life of me I can’t remember what prompted me to do that. Regardless of the reason, I have never checked the Spam box of my Gmail account until today. Imagine my surprise when I discovered all the ways I could be a wealthy woman if I simply follow the instructions in these emails: 1. If I can just help out Mrs.Fatoumata Zongo, the wife to the deceased former Head of Delegation to the World Bank in West Africa, I will get 30% of  US $7 million. Her husband was the linkman between the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC and the petroleum sector in a West African country. He died from cardiac arrest, though she doesn’t say whether that might have been just after a bullet or an arrow pierced his heart. I suggest this because it appears like Mr. Zongo was a bit of a shady character. He seems to have skimmed the …

Speed Liking – Click Your Way to Fame

Blogging Question of the month from Virginia in New York: Dear Margy: I am a WordPress.com blogger. When I publish a new post – within seconds, someone presses the WordPress ‘Like’ button. How can this be? They didn’t have time to read the post, so how do they know they like it? Is it possible they read as fast as Santa Claus travels on Christmas Eve? Answer: Dear Virginia – Yes, there is a Santa Claus – but there is no way that someone can read entire blog posts in just a few seconds. I’m afraid you are being scammed by the WordPress Reader. You see, besides showing the first few words of your post (and any pretty picture you inserted), the Reader also lets you ‘Like” and ‘Reblog” that post – without even going to your site! I know you are going to ask what anyone gains from liking a post they haven’t even read. Virginia, Virginia – your questions just get easier and easier! The ‘Like’ button puts a reader’s Gravatar picture on …

The Quippery

Facebook Thinks Your Life is Boring

You see this tuna? This tuna is boring. Stop having a boring tuna, stop having a boring life. – Offer “Vince” Shlomi (Commercial for Slap Chop) Have you ever watched the Sham Wow, Slap Chop or Schticky commercials on TV? I always crack up when Vince, the consummate salesman, says “You’re gonna love my nuts” – as he is using the Slap Chop to dice up the items that will make your food preparation (and your life) more exciting. Vince makes the prospect of ‘being fleeced’ fun. He knows he is an old time snake oil salesman, and he doesn’t try to hide it. Less fun – okay downright annoying – is the advertising on Facebook. Facebook used to be just a social network – the place where I tell all my friends  how The Car Guy is recovering from his Motorcycle Accident and my friends say they are glad to hear the news. Or the son-in-law posts a photo of us on New Years Eve, and we respond by saying “Surely our cheeks and …

computer desk paper

Cna Yuo Raed Tihs? (A Spam Story)

How often have you received this email, or one like it? Can you raed this? Olny 55 people out of 100 can. If you can read the following paragraph, forward it on to your friends with ‘yes’ in the subject line. Only great minds can read this. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. How often have you read the email and then sent it off to your friends to show them that you are one of those 55 folks with a great mind? I’ve received this email more times than I can count, and each time it is embellished a bit more. The one in my inbox this morning told me that …

Digital Afterlife – Death and an Exit Strategy

The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife — a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife but no one will know where it’s being held. – Woody Allen – I’ve been thinking about Death lately. Not mine, specifically. Others. We’re spending part of the winter in Arizona, and most of our closest neighbours are considerably older than us. I fully expect to see a decline in the number of occupants at any time. Emergency Services/The Fire Department have been on our street twice so far, but one time was to remove a rattlesnake from a garage and the other was to put a new key in the lock box just outside our front door. The Fire Department seems to only have one daily driver – a big shiny fire truck – so when the truck, and two or three burly young firemen arrive in our tiny cul-de-sac, it is quite the production. I’ve also …

How to Clone Yourself – Unfocused

I was going to use this photo for a post about how I wish I could clone myself.  I even have it figured out how the process would happen. I will simply stand outside the house in front of a dual pane window (the cleaner the better so that there isn’t dirt blobs or bird poop on my clone.) I will hold up a box like apparatus (think Calvin and Hobbes and ‘The Transmogrifier’ box, only much smaller), focus until two distinct people appear in the viewfinder, and click the shutter.  Then I will take one large step back, leaving my clone standing right in front of me. I tried it several times with my Canon camera, but the process didn’t work. I think I have to practice  making the two images less unfocused, and perhaps the camera is much too sophisticated for the job. I think an empty kleenex box with a cardboard toilet paper tube stuck in it would be a better starting point. If I perfect this technology, one of us will …

wordle

Unsubscribe, Unfollow, Unclutter – It’s UnFriday!

Drat. I missed Clean Your Computer Day – it was February 13. Please forgive me for being four days late in telling you all about the latest cleaning tool in my arsenal. It is called Unning – from the verb un. I know you think that un has to be a prefix, but I think it has the potential to be a rather good verb. Under what circumstances, you ask? Let me give you a few examples from the unning I did this week, while I was connected to three large Clouds: – I had some Facebook acquaintances who, it turns out, aren’t really people I would choose to have as real life friends, so I decided I would unfriend them. But not yet – for now I’ve hid them – unfriending seems a bit harsh. – I had about 200 Google RSS feeds that I never had time to read, so I unsubscribed to them. – I  had about 250 WordPress Blog feeds that I also never had time to read, so I unfollowed …

Not Very Wordless Wednesday – The Web

Apparently Napoleon Bonaparte said “A good sketch is better than a long speech” and from that we get the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  I don’t know who chose 1000 words – it could be only 10 words, or it could be 10,000, couldn’t it? The blog Wordless Wednesday encourages photographers to post links to photos that don’t need descriptive words because the photo speaks for itself. That appealed to the lazy side of me, so I chose this photo, which I thought I would call The World Wide Web – a Bugs View. So far so good, except, does the photo really look like the World Wide Web?  I consulted Wikipedia and they told me that the World Wide Web is “a collection of text documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs.” They even included this handy diagram: Certainly looks a lot like my photo, but just to be sure, I enlarged a section of the photo in order to get a closer look. Yes, my web photo looks an …

The Stop Online Piracy Act

I’m a day late getting to the SOPA/PIPA Protest. I spent Blackout Day trying to find a comfortable position. My back and shoulders suddenly decided to go on strike against the rest of my body, and the picket lines they erected made life for the whole gang pretty uncomfortable. I alternated between lying down, sitting up, wandering around, ice packs, pain killers, and the odd dose of dark chocolate. Things have settled down a bit today, so I can spend some time thinking about my position on the Stop Online Piracy Act. The goal of the United States House of Representatives seems worthy enough. In the briefest terms, the intent of it is: “… H.R. 3261 allows the Attorney General to seek injunctions against foreign websites that steal and sell American innovations and products.” The devil is in the details and the enforcing of this legislation could possibly restrict the rights and freedoms of  everyone, not just the pirates. In the end, the pirates will find other ways to keep doing business, leaving those who …

Some Very Silly Spam

The WordPress.com Spam Catcher sometimes wants clarification from me as to what is, or what is not, Spam. Spam 1 – The Spam catcher wanted me to read this, just in case it might be a legitimate comment: “Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.” Since I have absolutely no idea what this person is saying, nor how to reply to this comment, I marked it as Spam and deleted it. If this wasn’t Spam, I apologize to the writer and congratulate them on their spelling. I hope they “achievement you access consistently rapidly” too, I think. Spam 2 – The Spam Catcher asked me to review another comment today. It was concise and to the point. Not concerned with punctuation or capitalization, it read: “check it out bro”. Unfortunately for the writer, I don’t happen to have a bro living …

jousting horses

The Internet Browser War

In my last post, I told you about Four Footed Browsers. In this post, I will tell you about Internet Browsers. Actually, I won’t bother to tell you too much. You are reading this blog because you have an Internet Browser, so you already know about as much as I do. As for a War,  two browsers are locked in combat on my computer as I write. Each one wants to be the Default Browser on Start up. Why would they be so insistent? I would have to say it isn’t just for the prestige. There has to be a big financial pay off somewhere, yes? All the major Internet Browsers are free. The features are all pretty similar, with most of them now offering security items such as pop-up blocker, anti-spyware, anti-virus, and anti-phishing. The most popular are Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), Opera, and Safari. I was using IE8, but now I am also using Firefox. Some of my WordPress.com blogging account features work best with Firefox. Firefox is a great …

old books

Reading Feeds from Your Favourite Websites

I talked about Feeds a few posts ago. Remember? If not, Feeds are a web sites way of sending out the message that they have new information that you might like to read. Think of a Feed as a Reminder Email.  RSS Feeds have been widely used on the internet for about 5 years, but I just recently decided to start using them. I don’t like to jump into things too early, in case they are just a fad. Look what happened when I bought that Betamax machine… I  have to give credit to Lux Canuck for pointing me in the right direction.  She is a super organized reader! Her advice was simple – Google Reader.  Since I respect her opinion, I decided to try this route. There are, of course, lots of ways to round up your Feeds and read them. Some of them use programs you might already have on your computer, like your email program or your web browser. Some are programs that you download. And some are Online Readers – you …

RSS Feeds – Convenient for Whom?

I have to admit that up until a few days ago I had given absolutely no thought to RSS Feeds. I knew it had something to do with feeding information from someone to someone, but that was about all I knew. Then I had a request to change the settings in my blog from summary feed to full feed, and I thought, “What? I am feeding someone??? And they don’t want just the appetizer course, they want the full meal! How is this going to affect my grocery bill?” Clearly it was time to investigate this whole matter. RSS Feeds are actually a neat thing. They are a way to retrieve the latest information from a website you might regularly follow, without actually going to the website to see if anything is new. You merely choose which program you want to view your RSS Feeds in, choose the sites you want to track, then sit back and let the the latest posts roll in. I’m currently using a program called Feedly. My blog is hosted by WordPress.Com.  As a WordPress.com member, …

Philip Martin greetings

Will you Quit Facebook?

CBC News informed us today that more than 27,000 people have pledged to Quit Facebook. These people are concerned about how Facebook manages their personal data. I thought I had all my privacy settings adjusted such that my personal data could only be viewed by my friends. Then, Facebook initiated Community Pages, and all of a sudden all my profile information was linked to pages that I hadn’t authorized. Sure, I like watching NCIS, and I had put that in my profile. But now I was getting updates about the NCIS TV show arriving on my home page. Of more concern, had I become one of the almost 3 million people whose face would appear as a fan on NCIS Facebook? I would hope not, but I still didn’t want my home page filling up with unsolicitated reports – I get enough stuff from my friends. So I did the most logical thing I could think of. I erased everything from my profile page. It was like spring housecleaning, but a lot easier. Is the information gone for good? Probably not. Information in cyberspace is sort …