Living in the Now!

Learning to enjoy my life more!

Wow where to begin.

This week

I have been using my Raspberry Pi, having a lot of fun with it but I could do with a HDMI to DVI adapter but moneys a bit tight so it will have to wait. Also plan on making a case for it out of Lego, I can’t wait till it’s sorted out and they release the Drivers for the GPU. I did get a USB 3 4 port powered hub for it, slight waste as the Pi is only USB 2 but it’s a solid hub with no stupid styling or extra “features”.

Me pulling faces

Do you Like My Duck Face?

I’ve been to the hospital for a consultation to try and get to the bottom of the illness I experienced over Christmas, lots of tests to be carried out, blood and heart. But it seems to be leaving me and now I only have a episode two or three times a month, and it can usually be sat out and after about an hour I can go back to what I was doing. So soon one way or another I will be back to proper health.

Been watching a few films, see Prometheus and I quite liked it and so did Vicky, but not everyone in our party enjoyed it. And from what I’ve seen on-line there are more who dislike it than like it. Another film I watched was Indy Game: The Movie its basically a documentary following three independent game developers as they put them selves through trials and tribulations, it can also be purchased through Steam.

Coming up

Also starting to get my diet right, cutting out some of the rubbish and getting a few more greens and fruit. Vicky is training for a in-door triathlon at out local gym, I think I’m going to aim to do it next year but I will be there to support her and will try and train with her. Also de-stressing and putting last weeks drama behind me and looking forward to getting back to college soon.

Le Mans this weekend and I’m going to be enjoying some company through the 24 hours, Vicky has decided to watch it with me after she watched it with me last year and her brother Tim will be watching it for the first time. So for 24 hours the diet is going to take a back seat and we are going to enjoy a laid back party atmosphere. (can’t use too much energy or you wont make the 24 hours.)

A computer the size of a credit card called the Raspberry Pi

A computer the size of a credit card called the Raspberry Pi

Going to wire the place so that we wont miss any of the coverage with thanks to Radio Le Mans streaming live commentary on the internet. So Phones will be charged with links to the site for toilet visits and kitchen breaks, the TV will be following the Euro-sport coverage and live timing and twitter feeds on the desktop. So this means altering my sleeping pattern a bit but not a major issue as I’m a night time person anyway.

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Bye bye Facebook, you’ve changed!

At first…

When I first joined Facebook back in October 2008 it was with a degree of reluctance, I didn’t really see what was so good about it and I was happy with MySpace. I met my wife Vicky on MySpace, I had been using it since I was in college and had a lot of friends and enjoyed it. But after speaking to a few people and looking at a few articles I decided I was going to take the plunge and give it a try. A picture of the Facebook time line at the point I joined.

After the first few months of finding out what everything did and how it worked, playing games and uploading pictures I started to settle into a rhythm of what I liked using and didn’t. Added friends and discovering groups. and I happily used it for years.

Dealing with Facebooks short comings

Over the years I’ve had various different issues crop up and most of which were easy to forgive. When a service like Facebook goes down or a part of it stops working, I can forgive it that. Its a free service and there has been no promise that this would never happen so I let it go, (unlike a lot of other users that feel entitled to have a problem free service and get outraged when it suffers the smallest problem.). showing one of facebooks bugs

But when the problems that arise are because of an ill considered feature then I tent to start questioning the company’s ability to create a quality service. The ability to block game posts was a huge plus for me as I hate the constant stream of game posts coming from other users. but when there are some that cannot be blocked then I get a little pissed off. It’s not even the same as a service like Raptr that just updates friends about game activity, its the constant begging of users to give stuff or collect stuff or even to join the game.

There are many other ill considered or implemented features that make using Facebook a pain, the lack of proper controls and the constant changing of where and how options work.

previously hidden posts.

This all adds up over time and eventually I began to feel as though I was using a half finished site and never knew if I was going to be able to use or control something the same from one day to the next. This is a particular pain as I ran several groups and fan pages, and was part of many more.


Facebook likes to filter information, I was annoyed constantly when the default view was what it considered top stories, when I like a chronologically ordered feed. How hard is it for them to make it so that when I select most recent on the sort option, the site remembers what I last selected and sticks to it?
(here is a hint, not that hard! I’ve written something similar my self in PHP.). But all this information filtering has also means that I am not seeing all posts from all my friends. I didn’t discover this till I started to use Tweet Deck on my phone, it would show me posts in chronological order (that’s why I love it!) and seems to ignore all of Facebook filtering (for good and bad, blocked game requests would now be visible but only in Tweet Deck.)

Users

There are many types of Facebook users, the Facebook gamer, the whiner, the preacher, the show off and more that I could mention but we aren’t creating a list here. And most normal users are guilty of indulging in all of these activities at any one time, my self included. But variety is the spice of life and that’s good but when the gullible start falling for scams (and there are a lot of gullible users on Facebook). My daily feed is just filled with pathtic attempts to find who’s been looking at another users profile, or attempts to get £175 in Tesco vouchers, or what ever scam has been rife among my friends list. Sometimes I can see it start with one friend and watch it spread from person to person, attempts to warn others either results in scoffing or ignorance.

Most users are like sheep locked in the pen in a nice field, safe, protected or so they think. it is actually a island in the middle of a motorway at rush hour and the only things on the road are trucks, big 18 wheeler trucks with heavy loads and inattentive drivers. But this is true of the internet in general not just Facebook.

But this all boils down to the fact that Facebook doesn’t actually care about its users, otherwise there would be more safe guards against scam’s. Better controls for filtering what information get’s to our feeds and more protection of its users. Because a lot of what I’ve mentioned isn’t the users fault, yes there is a severe lack of education among internet users but the services they use should try everything in they’re power to protect the users.

But as a more seasoned internet user I am personally unaffected by such things, but it’s witnessing this happening everyday, seeing my reports of abuse going unheeded day in day out.

Mobile Application

The mobile application is OK, but it lacks all the features of the full site. Biggest missing feature for me is the ability to re-share content. Take a look at the next screen shot, where is the re-share button? Not there is it? there are plenty of other social networks out there who also have a mobile application, and they have re-share buttons. Even twitter has the ability to re-share a post.

Some one doesn’t like sharing!

Why not Facebook?

So where has this left me

I have had enough of all the problems above, I also think that I like many other Facebook users spend too much time using it. Also it’s not the only Social Network on the block, and the others do things differently and better. I’ve had a Twitter account for years started around the same time as I started on Facebook, but at the time I didn’t get twitter, didn’t understand it and thought it was limited and cluttered. The past few weeks I’ve grown to use it more, and the more i use it the more I’m begining to enjoy it.

I like the simplicity of it, quick little sentence that’s all, nothing overly complex. Throw a hash tag in there to make something searchable throw someone’s name to give them a mention. it works really well when your out and about as these quick little messages come in a bit at a time and any other media is linked so you don’t have to downloaded it if don’t want to. All features work and work well, the level of discourse is as good or bad as you want it to be. and there’s so much scope for tailoring it to the way you want using 3rd party applications or services. There is no extra faff to distract you, it is clean simple with no messing about.

Google+ is nice, it has a lot of the functionality of Facebook and in a format that wont be too alien to some Facebook users. it has a few improvements over Facebook and a few features that Facebook doesn’t have. But it’s still developing and still changing, the nicest thing is the lack of advertising. But out of the three only Facebook advertises to its users directly, so it’s not a unique selling point. But I have this saying “If the service is free then you are the commodity!” and because of this and a few other things I get the impression that Me, I as a person is being analysed and Google are storing every little thing about me they can just so they can target me better. And just because Google don’t have adverts on G+ doesn’t mean they don’t use that information when I use the other services that do advertise using Google’s information.

But then conversely I’m not sure what to make of Twitter with regards to the same thing but I don’t see them advertising and yet I don’t see what information they could possible collect from my tweets. So I fail to see how they make money. But they don’t worry me as much as Facebook do when it comes to this, Facebook are underhanded and I distrust them and the methods they use. I spent a day just going through my Facebook account deleting all my information by hand because I don’t trust that they will remove it after my account is closed. And yes I’m not so stupid that I think they don’t have a backup and could restore anything, any time or that the history of my profile isn’t already full of past information and sold long ago to the highest bidder.

It was the price I paid

It is the price everyone pays and most pay it without knowing or caring, I knew from day one and cared but not enough to stop me using it. I don’t even object to them making money off me, as I’ve said it’s a free service and they have to cover costs and pay staff some how. But I dont want it anymore and I dont care for it anymore. Time to move onto the next thing.

So I say, so long and thanks for all the fish, sorry spam!

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Bloody Hand

Cat

My cat Rainbow, she’s got long, fine fur. Very loving and quite timid, she also has a mild heart condition. Because her fur is fine and long it tends to knot and matte.

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She is not very cooperative in letting us tend to her knots and runs away.

Equipment

In the past we’ve used brushes, scissors, a cheap beard trimmer. But she just doesn’t like being tended to in anyway.

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Summer Sun

When summer FINALLY got started we noticed the cat wasn’t dealing with the heat to well. So we decided to help her out a bit. After a chat with groomers in pets at home we found they would not help because of her heart.

Pet Clippers

So we got some pet Clippers and decided to trim her fur down so she’ll be a bit cooler and cut out her knots.

The clippers seem to be of a very professional grade and quite noisy. In fact as noisy as a tattoo artists stylus (or what ever It’s called.).

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This was a major problem as it made her more jumpy than normal. So we tried some herbal sedative, but no luck. Me and Vicky carried on, eventually we got her to let me start shaving, and she calmed a little. But then she would suddenly panic and launch her self out of someone’s arms.

Dash for Freedom

Each time she would fight to get free of whom ever held her, her claws would do considerable damage. And twice she hurt her self in the process, first landing awkwardly and second hitting a wooden chair. Luckily she didn’t injure her self but the blind panic was cause for concern also.

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Battle Wounds

Vicky received a claw deep in her temple and a scratch to the cheek. Several claws buried deep in her neck and chest.

I got two scratches across the back of my hand. One light and one very deep. Several scratches to the elbow and three very deep cuts to my wrist.

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Not looking forward to the healing process, typically cat scratches result in infected wounds. This I assume is due to bacteria on the claws, not helped by the fact we lack anti bacterial ointments or prepperations.

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So we have a sore and disgruntled cat and two badly sliced humans. But at least we’ve had signs of forgiveness from the cat, a few fusses and licks of the hand.

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Helping hand

What I do.

I like to give people help where I can and in a way that I can, usually this takes the form of my time and knowledge. Some times its just being there and helping set up and clean up, I often help a charity called Bobath with fate’s and fairs and the like. I go with Vicky and sometimes my mum and we’ll help set up stalls and my mum and vicky run what ever stall we are on and I go around doing odd bits here and there and keeping Vicky and mum in drinks and food and covering for a few minuite while they go the loo.

I also help friends with problems they might be having with they’re computer’s, and will often give away parts that I can spare. And in return I get parts and PC’s donated to me, I then recycle what I can’t use and repurpose what I can. This has always worked well as it gives me experience and a stock of spare parts and my friends get a service that they might have to pay a lot of money for. I, Vicky, Lynne (mum) and a few other family members also give a lot to the Bobath charity shop.

Why do I do it?

I like being helpful, if I can do somthing to help then I will. I also like to see people do well and if I help then I get a feeling of having been a part, large or small in they’re success.

A stranger is just someone you haven’t talked to yet.

When I help people I don’t just help friends, it could be anyone. I don’t pick and choose, some times It’s just some person I come across in the street.

How to help

As already mentioned Bobath, they could always do with help, check the Far Lands or Bust YouTube page to help raise money for Childs Play. Hob Nob’s and Murder is a friendly gaming comunity that need money to run the servers and eventually we would like to have charity fund raising events.

Then here’s someone who is trying to open source the software he makes and put it out there free for all to use. But to do this he needs help, he has a baby, a wife and some goats to support, so to help him go to lunduke.com and read about the support you can give. Bryan Lunduke makes awesome and is trying to change how open source apps are funded and you can find out more about him on his blog and on the Linux Action Show on Jupiter Broadcasting. Also if you feel extra helpful go to Jupiter Broadcasting and see how to help them, but just giving the shows a view and spreading the word if you like it or know some one who would is a big help.

Also if you have the time and are interested in gaming and the point of view of a gaming consumer, pay this blog a visit and give him a read, he does also write about other things.

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