Friday, September 1, 2017

Twitter Customer Service

If a million monkeys could write a script for Hamlet then it would take a Trillion to write the Twitter Customer Service handbook.

Twitter says my Twitter account is a "bot" and locks me out.  Ok, annoying, whatever.  It wants to call my phone.  OK. 

Old phone number.  Oh I will just change it.

....I can't change my number in the account?

WTF?

"Open a general help ticket."

24 hours later no human response. No number to call. Nothing.

With COMCAST at least I get a rude human on the phone. Twitter has just become worse than Comcast.

Wow.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Google Work Profile

Et Tu Google? I wanted to post on the article below saying that my work has me using Corporate Device management on my phone, but the Work Profile partitioned off EVERYTHING useful on the phone including Google Calendar. I even got Admin access to change it..nothing...totally counter intuitive. I tried to comment on the article, buuuuuuuuut...Google Doubleclick insisted I disable privacy and showed me no less than 14 adds while Discuss slowly spun and spun and spun and in the end I still wasn't able to comment on the article.

I'm sure LEGALLY Google is quite protected but I wonder....since the work profile is USELESS, what can my employer see on my phone? Can they see my other profiles? Because if it got out that they could...just...wow. I imagine people would stop using google in seconds. Everywhere.


 It's still as clunky as described in this article and hopefully...YIKES...they can't 'remotely revoke data' except on the one profile that is actually owned by my job, because as I said...the 12 apps that were the only things involved in the play store were so useless I literally couldn't see my fellow employees meetings and we rely on calendar all the time.



Well this is somewhat better....


 I mean surely that means that we're not getting data sent on my PERSONAL phone for other accounts just because I didn't use a work profile, right?

All I know is, in a world where people like Snowden exist, I sure hope for their sake that they aren't providing more data than what an employer could gather from their own IT server on a work computer via Gsuite, because Jesus....Google had enough reputation damage when they found out how much they were sharing with the NSA.  If Google were found to be sharing information about non work profiles, even on company devices in some kind of administrative report...

Well just...wow.  There's no way that could go well for them, no matter what their legal department says they can get away with.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

[Website Review] Daily Kos - a Shit Storm of Titanic Failure

When I write a review, I generally try to do it in the context of what a thing is supposed to do vs what it actually does, rather than just my personal preference for it.  I stopped posting on Daily Kos twice and have not posted in years; but it is a useful source of information sometimes so I still monitor from a far.

And it is still a shit show.

Kos climbed to fame during the Bush years organizing the grass roots operations from the left against a president that turned a tin ear to the American people.  And then in the last election Kos turned out to have been bought lock stock and barrel just like the rest of the liberal establishment media to be in the bag for Clinton.  Note, we're not just talking about bias here, but an actual declaration by Kos in MARCH that stated that anyone who didn't get with the program could be banished.

How, you ask?

Thus we get to the real heart of the shit storm that is Kos.  It isn't the obvious filfth that Kos pushes himself or even his cadre of chickenshit luitenents that makes his website a shit show; after all, a thirty second search shows all kinds of dissenting diaries show up on the front page.  Thus is maintained the illusion of discourse.

But Kos used to be one of the few places where the comment section was meaningful; this was how groups like Netroots nation got organized but the true way in which the HRC wing of the party took over the website was her group of paid operatives who hijacked diary after diary with nonsense in the comments. Daily Kos is not a place where you can go for DISCOURSE because Kos refuses to allow blocking and a selective enforcements of banning tools tends to only apply to dissenters.

Kos can't run a website.  He got lucky in serving as a rallying point just like Zuckerberg with facebook and does not deserve the lead he has because of his utter failure to organize his own house.  Instead, he allows either paid DNC operatives or paid Russian operatives pretending to be real progressives to hijack diary after diary.  Meanwhile, Bernie's promised organization after HRC has not manifested; nor has Obama nor has anyone on the left; just hints and shadows.

Kos deserves to be taken down.  Will no one actually do it?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

[Book] Shadow of Victory - Shadow of Itself

I am a serious Weber fan. I have put up with a few other mediocre titles in some of his minor works because his name was on it...no more. I will never pay full hard cover price for another one of his books again. If his name is on it, I am going to be reading reviews on anything that he writes to make sure he doesn't use another ghost writer since I simply cannot believe her wrote this. HOW could he have made such an insult to his readers? I loved the first two books of the Talbot series that, even though it was mainly B list characters, I loved the set up, then suddenly he writes trash about a bunch of people I dont care about revolting abunch of other people I dont care about. I tried skipping from page 100 to page 300 and still didn't care.

I LITERALLY THREW THIS BOOK IN THE TRASH. It has been fifteen years since I threw a book away that I didnt have to due to moving; at least a used book store or library could help find a good book a good home. I used to like Tom Clancy, but Tom Clancy took advantage of my good will by slapping his name on whatever CRAP hack writers could produce. The thing is, at least Clancy had the decency that he was farming it out to a ghost or minor writer and just exploiting his brand name. This is some junior intern that showed a thorough understanding of Weber's notes and began to churn out the crap and Weber didn't even READ it since he's having too much fun with his former peers writing the Manticore prequels. I say former peers because Weber has given up the right to call himself their peer; not because he doesn't have the talent but because he simply stopped giving a damn and either by himself or by abrogation to a ghost writer of writing fan fiction to himself. Every writer indulges in a little vanity. to himself, and this is a fine thing, hell Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings because he wanted to have something to do with the language he invented, so writing entire characters based on a world so you could have it rescued; sure why the hell not? And if you knock it out of the park again and again you can screw your fans once and still make buckage.

Yes, he's right. But the thing is...this is not a cheap money grab...this is neglect. I would rather he HAVE contempt for me rather than neglect, for you see the one thing that made Tolkien and Martin and Weber's betters at Baen SHINE is attention to detail. And I simply no longer trust that Weber will have it. This book was SLOPPY. I did not keep the book to measure; perhaps it was merely in my own mind, but I swear I felt that the very pages themselves were set wrong and that the image in the software made it so that the test at the top was at an angle compared to the bottom. Optical illusion? I don't know.

But after reading the pig slop that this was...I simply don't trust. Every writer makes mistakes, but King only gets better over time. Martin made mistakes but while he dithered in his books it is obvious he still CARES. Weber's affections are with Safehold. His passion for Honor is nothing but a whore to make him money for whatever it is that he spends his money on.

And will I read his books still? Sure. Likely. If others approve of his works. But I will never trust him again. I will never buy another book blindly again. He will never get another $21 of my money again because his name is on it.

Never. Again.

Friday, September 16, 2016

[Audio Book] High Midnight by Rob Mosca, Narrated by Bernard Setaro Clark


There is a short story I like a lot called "Second Game Counts" where the con man always loses the first game and bets low to see how the guy played, only to bet more once he can 'really' play the game.  I thought I had read and enjoyed and reviewed High Midnight before.

Boy was I wrong.

I got SO much more out of the audio book it wasn't even funny.  The characters are so much richer, the voices make the characters come alive, and the prose is majestic and beautiful.  Let's start with the first delta here, award nominated Bernard Setaro Clark really makes this thing sing.  He knows the characters, and makes each of them have a distinct narrative voice while maintaining the third person limited view point that is fictional standard these days.  His voice is clear, nuanced and interesting; except when it needs to be something else.  The timing is perfect, and the mixing (done by Grayson Bergman) is perfect because the mixing never gets in the way.

But there is just as many props to be given to Rob Mosca here.  It paints visual pictures that paint an urban legend that becomes a grind house seventies Texarcana Majesterium of the absurd.  Chimps, Clowns, Zombies (well....ghouls), Carnies, Drunkards, Mexican Wrestlers, Ghost Hookers....hell...the only thing he didn't cram in were Robots, Pirates and Ninjas...and those are likely waiting for the sequel.  The action is highly interesting, realistic but also cinematic at the same time.  You can feel yourself walking amongst the dilapidated dump that is Unity Texas and empathize with how completely over matched and fucked they are.

The story follows tropes of the "grade B" action genre; something you might see on the Syfy night movie (ala 'Sharknado') but manages to go all Hemingway with depth and thematic richness at the same time.  It's carnival sideshow circus with Tolstoy ground into the chili so you don't even know you're tasting it until its done.

In short, if you get a chance, listen to the damn thing.  Better, read it, then listen to it and get the '3-D Imax Directors Direct Neural Link' cut that I got the second time around.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

[Movies] Ghostbusters and Star Trek

Saw Ghostbusters and Star Trek.
Star Trek pretty much matched the reviews. The problem was the villain...good director and fantastic cast...script made by committee.
Ghostbusters is not what I thought it was. It is a REBOOT not taking place after the fact. Pretty fun and some really good ideas. My favorite part is the secretary...
This movie works well and ...despite what the ratings say, I liked it better than Star Trek in term of moment I could say "That does not need to be in that movie...." whereas the number of "hehehehehehe" moments including Rob Zombie, Balloons, This is My Mentor, and the whole idea behind the villain were quite fun
hmmm...I take that back..."Did he really just do the finger thing?" and "Ima gonna dive in and save"  
Both worth seeing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

[Movie] Priceless

Short Version: It's a movie that's the Pretty Woman for gold diggers.  It's a Comedy.  Everyone lives happily ever after. 

Medium Version: A woman whose whole existence seems to move from one rich gent to the other eventually goes too far when she flirts with a hapless member of the hotel staff right in front of her current patron; causing her too lose everything.  Mr. Hapless feels guilty and also has no meaningful life on his own so he spends his life savings buying her things only to be seconds away from prison.  Another woman uses him as a boy toy, and through a series of fortunate events, they end up together at the end.

Verbose: So, I've discovered that I like French Comedy.  Maybe I need to go back and see Jerry Lewis again to see if its something I appreciate.  I think the resemblance between Pretty Woman and this for me is interesting; but on multiple levels.  I think the author of the script clearly had to have met this kind of person, because the shallow dishpan level mentality of using another human being (often equally shallow) who seem to just want as much pretty crap as they can get or who believes that by being around a young person by proxy they will be staving off death.  It's actually really really morbid, but once you see it, you can't unsee it and its echoed in the beaches around Miami or in any number of works of fiction.  It's not just about an elderly person 'purchasing' a younger person for sex, but the very definition of toxic codependency.

There are a few things that bother me about the story though.  Amelee gets away with a lot of what it does with a minimum of coincidences, but at the same time its ABOUT fate.  Strong writing (ie Pixar) uses coincidence to make life difficult for their protagonists, never solving it for them.  Mr Hapless has at least three incidents where he is helped by luck.  The first one makes sense, since mistaken identity is going to occur on a regular basis, the second one is a bit of a stretch since how many regular human beings randomly have older people suddenly willing to pay their bill? It does give a second act to what would have otherwise been an interesting if tragic short film.  But the third one in which the first electric gigalo just happened to be there for Mr Hapless to woo for Hooker with a Heart of Gold?

I don't buy it.  The truth is, they didn't need him.  It's like the unfortunate experience I had cowriting my fourth novel in which we had to reuse EVERY character no matter how pointless in the 2nd act.  I put WAY too many characters into my third novel, but the opposite is just as much of problem.  Comedy allows for a certain number of coincidences to make a plot interesting and surrealistic or whimsical comedy does that more.  The first two work; the third doesn't, but it is presented as a complication rather than helping things a long, so perhaps I'm reading too much into it.