Category Archives: Technology

Hard Drive Hell

Happy New Year! Oh, wait. Something new is popping up on my computer – Hard Drive failure is imminent.

Imminent! I’m not Mr. Spock, but I’m pretty sure that’s not good.

Things that are not imminent:

  • The City of Philadelphia erecting a statue of Andy Reid.
  • The Mayan end of the world.
  • Obama caring about the Constitution.
  • Me winning the lottery.
  • Me getting a raise.
  • Payday.

I cannot lose all my Rule 5 images!

If you won’t do it for me, do it for them.

2011 100 Post Marathon #13

Google + vs. Twitter – Earlier today we started conducting a little experiment – which social network would get the word out about the 100 Post Marathon. So far, and it’s early yet, Twitter is out in front (5-2 by way of incoming traffic).

What does it mean? Who knows. Maybe it’s just that I’ve been around on Twitter a lot longer than on G+, or people active this time of day tend to be on Twitter.

I’ll keep you updated, even if it means nothing at all.

Olimometer 2.52

If you can…

2011 100 Post Marathon #5 – The Games People Play

Here’s something I’ve been curious about – are bRight & Early readers, who I believe skew toward the conservative side of the political spectrum, gamers? If you are, what games do you play? Console, PC, or just on your phone?

We have an X-Box in the house, but only a few games. The boys play it sometime, but I’ve never been very good at it. They have been playing a game online called Roblox. I’m not sure I get it.

I prefer to play games online. For quite a while I’ve played WoW – pretty geeky for a 55 year old. My guild includes pretty much everyone in my department at work. We are the numbers geeks after all. I am also looking forward to the release of Star Wars – The Old Republic. It looks like it is going to be a good one.

I used to play the games on Facebook like Farmville, Cafe World, and whatever that mobster game is. They became a bit old after a while, and I hardly ever get on Facebook anymore. I’ve been spending time on Google + (if you want an invite, let me know). They recently added games there, but the only one I’ve really spent much time playing is City of Wonder.

One game I like is called The West. I play on four different servers, or worlds as they call them – World 12, Arizona, Briscoe, and Colorado. You get to be a character in the American West and, like most games of this type, you have to perform various tasks to gain money and experience. You can choose to be a Worker, Soldier, Adventurer, or Dueller. I tend to gravitate toward Builders(Worker) and Adventurers.

What games do you like to play online? The comments are waiting for you.

Why a 100 Post Marathon?

If you can…

Find Me on Google+

Google PlusYou may have heard about the new offering from Google – Google+. They first started giving out invitations last week, much the same way they did when they first launched Gmail. Invitations were hard to get at first, and they didn’t even guarantee entree. New account creation was halted almost the same moment they opened it. People started asking, begging to get in. I had signed up for information and started to ask around to see who had invitations to give out. Last night on twitter Dr. Melissa Clouthier offered an invite, but before I could arange to accept, the door sprung open! I’ve managed to get in. I haven’t checked this evening, so I’m not sure if the door is open or shut at the moment.

As with any new thing it can take a while to figure out exactly what it is you’re going to do with it. I’ll be writing more as I figure out more. Until then, if you’re in you can find me at http://gplus.to/jimlynch

WordPress 3.1

The latest version of WordPress, version 3.1, has been released. Here are some of the new and improved features.

  • Internal Linking – click a button for an internal link and it allows you to search for a post or browse a list of existing content and select it for inclusion.
  • Admin Bar – contains various links to useful admin screens. By default, the admin bar is displayed when a user is logged in and visiting the site and is not displayed in admin screens for single blog installs. For multisite installs, the admin bar is displayed both when visiting the site and in the admin screens.
  • Streamlined Writing Interface – new users of WordPress will find the write screen much less cluttered than before, as more of the options are hidden by default. You can click on Screen Options in the top right to bring them back.
  • Post Formats – meta information that can be used by themes to customize presentation of a post. Read more in the article Post Formats.
  • Network Admin – move Super Admin menus and related pages out of the regular admin and into a new Network Admin screen.
  • List-type Admin Screens – sortable columns for list-type screens and better pagination.
  • Exporter/Importer Overhaul – many under the hood changes including adding author information, better handling for taxonomies and terms, and proper support for navigation menus.
  • Custom Content Type Improvements – allows developers to generate archive pages, and have better menu and capability controls. Read more in the article Post Types.
  • Advanced Queries – allows developers to query multiple taxonomies and custom fields.
  • Refreshed Blue Admin Color Scheme – puts the focus more squarely on your content.

Upgrading was easy, as expected. It only took about 30 minutes to complete all of my blogs. It’s going to take a while longer to take advantage of all the new features.

Gotta Have It

This may be a fun post to write. A little background: This computer is shared by two adults and three kids ages 6-13. There is a no drinks other than my coffee rule at the computer desk. The rule was violated some time ago — twice. One time the keyboard was the victim, the other violation involved the mouse. The keyboard continued to work, but some of the keys are awfully sticky. The mouse pretty much stopped working all together. We had another mouse stuck in a drawer somewhere (who has had a computer for more than a few years who doesn’t?) and it was placed into service. (On another parenthetical note, how did I acquire so many computer/monitor power cords?)

Here’s the problem(s). One of the stickiest of the sticky keys is the “Enter” key. So, when I press enter to create a new paragraph I get several dozen new lines. I could just hit the backspace or delete keys, but they are sticky too, so when I try that I end up taking out the extra lines, and the last few things I wrote. The replacement mouse was replaced for a reason. For some reason it has a hair trigger left mouse button. A simple click, like closing a tab or window, also operates whatever is under that spot. I’ve tried to close one window and ended up closing two or three. When I look through my feed reader (as I was trying to do when I decided to write this post) I would try to go from one story to the next and ended up skipping two or three at a time.

Of course prices for both peripherals are really cheep. The problem is that I am cheaper. (My frugalness is kind of selective. It most often shows up when I have to buy something I don’t think I should have to buy — like a new keyboard or mouse. When it comes to buying something I want to buy I can be very liberal.)

Anyhow, due to these issues (and the fact that it’s taken over twenty minutes to write what should be a five minute post) I guess I’m going to break down and part with a few bucks.

So, how do you react when you have to buy something like this?

Neutering The Net

Telephone Switchboard OperatorIf you want to look at a broad-brush example of what is hurting our country, today’s expected “Net Neutrality” regulations serve as a clear case in point. While we are suffering through bad economic policy and an out of touch administration, a real threat exists in the form of government “solutions” to non-existent, or, at the least, debatable, problems. Worse yet is the way that these “problems” are being addressed, not through legislation (bad enough, and another battle that needs to be fought), but through regulation imposed by government agencies that goes way beyond any legislative authority.

CAFE standards and the EPA’s “discovery” that humans exhale a pollutant that needs to be regulated are but two examples. Net Neutrality will be another. (On a side note; If you want to know how bad something is, just note how far the name given to a proposal is from the actual action it will take.)

Of course, we know by now that the FCC has approved those rules.

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday approved “high-level rules of the road” designed to ensure that internet providers grant everyone equal access to the Web.

But the 3-2 vote immediately came under attack from both flanks, with internet-freedom advocates saying the new rules don’t go far enough and critics saying the government should stay out of online business altogether.

The point here goes beyond the rules themselves, bad as they are. What I want to emphasize is that these rules were passed after the courts and Congress have both indicated that the FCC does not have that power. From Ed Morrissey:

The new rules will come under scrutiny almost immediately in the upcoming Congress. Even the Democratic-run Congress objected to Genachowski’s first attempt at claiming jurisdiction over the Internet, as did the courts. A Republican-run House will look even more skeptically at expanded claims of jurisdiction by an agency, especially when Congress has previously refused to grant that jurisdiction.

Van Helsing writes:

You had to know ever-expanding Big Government would close its ham-like fists around the throat of the Internet eventually. Today FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, aka “Julius Seizure” is launching a major offensive that will serve as a beachhead for eventual total control.

He also points to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Republican FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell that includes this:

Nothing is broken that needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.

Analysts and broadband companies of all sizes have told the FCC that new rules are likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices. Others maintain that the new rules will kill jobs. By moving forward with Internet rules anyway, the FCC is not living up to its promise of being “data driven” in its pursuit of mandates—i.e., listening to the needs of the market.

Mark Tapscott, in his article at the Washington Examiner, quotes S.C. Senator Jim DeMint.

Proceeding on its own liberal whims rather than facts, this FCC has chosen to grant itself broad authority to limit how businesses can bring the internet to consumers in faster and more innovative ways.

Americans loudly demanded a more limited federal government this November, but the Obama Administration has dedicated itself to expanding centralized government planning. Today, unelected bureaucrats rammed through an internet takeover, even after Congress and courts warned them not to.

Yesterday’s FCC decision is only the most currently visible example of an out of control federal bureaucracy that refuses to be accountable to the American people. Let’s hope that the 112th will put the brakes on this type of shenanigans and ever expanding government control.

The End Of Blogrolling

I noticed this in my feed reader this morning.

We’re aware that there is an issue with BlogRolling blogrolls causing some browsers to display a security warning.

There’s nothing really wrong with BlogRolling itself but the way we connect your blog to the sites in your blogroll makes some security algorithms think there is.

If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend you remove the Blogrolling code from your site.

We’re probably going to be shutting the service down soon. We’ll post more information here and on our Twitter account (@blogrolling) as we decide on next steps.

I had BlogRolling here at bRight & Early for years, but removed it a while back when they were having a different issue. When I first started this blog getting your site added to someones BlogRolling list was one of the premier ways of getting some link love. But, like a few other blog must haves in the early years (Is Rob ever going to fix TTLB? And is Technorati useful anymore?), BlogRolling’s time may have past.

I know that several sites I frequent are having the issues described. Most of them have disabled BlogRolling. So, what to put in it’s place. WordPress has dozens of blog roll plugins. Which one(s) do you use? What are your favorites? Have at it in the comments.

Santa 2.0

Santa Claus has always been on the cutting edge and it’s no different in the age of the internet. Gone are the days of mailing letters and schlepping to the mall. Amy-Mae Elliott has posted 5 Ways to Connect With Santa on the Web at Mashable.

Today’s kids have a wealth of online options for hooking up with the Claus.

We’ve scoured the ‘Net for the five best ways to connect with Father Christmas, from the iPhone version of a letter to Santa, to some sleigh-tracking GPS tools.

If you have kids (or are just a big kid yourself), we think you’ll enjoy sharing these holiday web treats.

My favorite is the NORAD Santa tracker, although the email from Santa was a big hit.

Have a great Christmas Eve.

About Last Night

I posted about the move to 10pm right before bRight@Night was supposed to start last night. Then I clicked over to my host switchboard to start the show. It was then that I found out that Blog Talk Radio had switched from the old click to talk (for premium subscribers) to using Skype. Now, I have nothing against Skype, and I have nothing but good things to say about Blog Talk Radio.

On the other hand, I sure wish they had given some warning about the switch. I was told that it was a “soft launch” and that additional details would be available soon. But 10-15 minutes before show time isn’t sufficient to download the software, get all the settings right, create an account, and still log into your show.

I finally got things set up around 10:40 — 10 minutes after the show was scheduled to end. I quickly scheduled a 15 minute segment for 11:00, but it really threw me off my game.

I wanted to talk about the elections today in NY, VA, NJ, and elsewhere. I guess I’ll just have to talk about the results on tomorrow night’s show. I can do that.

Or maybe I’ll have to schedule a show for tonight, after results start coming in. I’ll have to see about that.