Coffitivity And The Sounds Of Silence

I’m not really the type of person that listens to music when I’m working, since my library of music is the kind of stimulating stuff that makes you want to suddenly parkour out of a skyscraper, run up and down the sides of the building, chase down some perps, and then parachute into a war zone, all in the same minute. I don’t like any kind of pop music or anything that comes out of the radio – it’s basically the equivalent of elevator music to me. I need something else to run in the background when I want to be productive.

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My Thyroid is Very Very Broken

This is going to be a long post, so if you’re busy or in the middle of something or just skimming for something easy to read, you might want to scroll on.

Anyone who has been around me knows my hands shake, my legs shake. I have always been just a little more active than I should be. I dress very light, because a warm day will have me sweating like Niagara Falls. Everyone I took Tae Kwon Do with years ago knew I would sweat enough to make a puddle under my feet.

Over the past two years you might have noticed I was looking thinner and thinner as the days went by. I have posted no pictures of myself in that time, because of how thin I look. I first tried to attribute this to when I was smoking or how I walk to work every day. But the calories loss and gain did not add up. My walk to work is only worth about a can of Pepsi. At one point I tracked how many calories I are in a day. I actually ate two days worth of food in one sitting, and this was my normal daily meal. And this was all after my gall bladder was taken out. I don’t really feel the cold – even in this winter I stroll outside in a tank top and shorts to throw out the trash. I’m feeling overheated at 69F. I’m not able to exercise anymore, so I’ve lost so much muscle mass, losing close to 100 lbs of weight at one point. Once I hit my high school weight, I got really scared.

I went to the doctors. At one point 4 years ago I was misdiagnosed with Schoegren’s Syndrome. they really didn’t find anything. My imagination ran away with me: maybe it’s cancer, maybe I have something nobody has seen before, maybe I sat on the wrong toilet seat at Penn Station. But after a few scary Google searches, slowly all of this added up. I went to see a doctor who had basically diagnosed me when I walked in the door. I had not even noticed my thyroid was enlarged. They did the usual blood work. My thyroid hormone levels turned out to be so high that the lab they sent the blood work to cannot register how high: it’s above the highest point in their scale.

So now I’m off this morning to take a radioactive Iodine pill and will come back later to get scanned today and then scanned tomorrow. They’ll tell me how bad my thyroid is and what treatment I should have, and supposedly this can be turned around in months.

Why Your New iPhone Cable Is Broken

Since Apple release the iPhone 5 on September 21, 2012, the company has been bundling a Lightning cable with every new phone. The addition of this new cable format was applauded for its compact format, because it left more room for the speakers and the audio jack that was relocated to the bottom of the device. The cable brought new issues with it, so it is not something I am ready to applaud. Let’s see what’s wrong with Lightning…

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Blackberry – A Eulogy

Starting with the new year, I’m making the prediction that RIM is in total collapse by the end of 2014. The only question – how many companies will be too paralytically entrenched to move their infrastructure away from this black hole in time? BYOD policies will move in as the quick path of and least effort and resistance.

RIM is starting to transfer staff away from the abysmal Z10/Q10 devices and towards free (zero income) services such as Blackberry Messenger for iOS and Android. The fact that RIM bragged about how many users it grabbed when its free BBM app was released, is insane. The pod people are in control of RIM, and they are either in denial or oblivious as they spiral the drain. See more at the link below.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/21/technology/blackberry-posts-huge-loss.html?_r=1&

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,700 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 45 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The next social networking wave will be circular

In August 2011, I posted an article on how the future of social network was to let users have circles of friends. Now, we hear increasingly that with Facebook is losing its charm on the young. What initially started as chat and profile pages for college kids, inevitably opened further and further until everybody’s grandmother is on Facebook. I can only imagine that having grandma stare in shock at their granddaughter’s drunken college tweaking has inspired sudden interest in privacy. Maybe everyone doesn’t need to see the latest pictures of your cat with that neat ball of yarn. Not everyone might be interested in articles like this.

Google+, the ugly step child of social networking, hardly being noticed by most, is already in the right place for this. It’s just that their image of “do no evil” has been sorely tarnished and their app connectivity is very limited. Facebook already has this with Friend Lists, but Facebook’s own shifting privacy concerns have worried users of the premier social networking service. Twitter only alternately offers complete privacy since it’s now really meant for broadcasting alerts to the world about your latest Tiananmen Square or Tahrir Square incident; all or nothing. Since going public, all of these services have really only changed gears in the direction investors would most like to see. That direction may not be in our own best interest.

One concern I have is that the media is burying Facebook while it stand perfectly healthy on both feet. Maybe Facebook has reached a point where people are bored with the current means of sharing, but maybe that’s really a problem with the content and not the method of transmission. I’m perfectly comfortable with today’s social networking, but maybe that’s wrong too. I’m also seeing that Twitter, with its all or nothing approach, is not getting painted with this brush. I’m not 100% convinced there’s a problem that requires anyone to abandon ship.

At what point do we get social network fatigue from adding new social networks? We already have peripheral social networks that ride on Facebook authentication like Classmates.com and SchoolFeed.com. All current apps offer once form or another of sharing to Facebook and/or Twitter, like this article. We’re kind of married to our existing social networks, so why yet another? Everyone loves keeping up with friends, but at some point you get tired of settings up preferences and interests and profiles in a whole new app. How many different inboxes do we need to pay attention to, and how many new information streams do we need to have distracting us? Many of us can barely keep up with everything happening in the social networks that we already have. Networks like Path found this out, when they tried to be another network that tried to be a subset of only true friends, to follow Dunbar’s number. Why more?

I feel another major social network will still need to latch onto Facebook and Twitter, whig are the backbone of the Internet. Another major social network could mean the current social networks losing subscribers and then increasingly poor service. These social networks rely on eyeballs on advertising banners, and the less eyeballs we have the more site errors you will see and the less new features we will see. Another social network could also mean the evolution of social networking since publicly traded companies are less likely to take the risky leaps that made social networking so great in the first place. Another social network could mean we see newer, shinier features. A newer social network could mean a smaller, more intimate, environment for friends to interact. Another could mean greater freedom in sharing, or greater privacy to secure our social interactions. The new social networks involve chatting or other short impermanent changes that leave you nothing to look back at, but how many times do we look back at our old social networking activity? We may finally get the social circles that people really need. I don’t know what it would look like or what we would share differently, but I look forward to this evolution.

iPhone: From My Cold Dead Hands

I have been a fan of gadgets ever since my father came home with a pong machine. That machine stayed in the house for about 15 minutes before me and my brother started fighting over the single controller, and my father then went to the store for a refund. He followed that up with a C64 and C128 years later, but the seed had already been planted for loving bright and shiny new tech.

Having been a user of Newton, Palm Pilots, Palm Treos, and all sorts of cool gadgets, I naturally gravitated towards the iPhone when it came out in 2007. I didn’t get one until 2008 when it was finally proven that the iPhone was taking over, and the App Store made its debut. Ever since then I’ve been addicted to it.

I’m a very technical person. I currently work as an IT Lead for a financial software company. I work with all sorts of technologies, very new and old. I have used programs like ControlPlane on Mac. I tweak my computer interface to help me work better all the time. I have friends and family  that use Android and Windows phone who have made the switch back to the light side. I have had people try to convince me about why I should switch, with honestly no points made about why it’s better other than just “uh, because it is”. In my opinion, this comes from a lack of understanding why you’re using it for in the first place. I’ve had people tell me that the Android interface flows better for them. And that’s fine because it works for them, and so they should. Maybe the new iPhone interact does that now, and they could switch, but choose to stay on Android because it’s what comfortable for them. That’s good too!

I understand about the customizability and how everyone is fascinated by how they can change ROMs and themes. Honestly, this is like the distraction people had with Windows 95 themes back a long time ago. I think of that as a distraction from using the device. What matters to me is what applications it has, and the look and feel of the application. The iPhone feels like a natural progression of what has come before. My feeling is that the Android interface is an amateurish copy of the iPhone. So why go with that when the original does it well? Sure, I know there are applications that are possible on Android that take advantage of not being in Apple’s walled garden; running those applications is just not my thing and without the app review that Apple has, there has been a lot of unsavory software out there. I don’t think that all iPhone apps are automatically given a pass just because they are running on an Apple device; there is a lot of crap there, too. But for my money, I just want my device to work. I don’t need it crashing because the stock ROM sucks or the replacement ROM sucks or its missing something because the theme sucks. It should just work, and for my flow, the iPhone does that for me. And you can have it when you pry it from my cold dead hands.