Tag Archive for Want

The Information You Want

I watch the following TED talk by Eli Pariser a while ago and I’ve watched it a couple of times.  Take a little over nine minutes and give it a listen.

In some ways this is very much related to a post I made over two years ago about newspapers. When I go to Facebook, it continually keeps showing me the Top News, and the first thing I do every time is click the link for Most Recent.  To me, Most Recent is better because I go to Facebook fairly often and seeing month old news that I didn’t think was interesting enough to comment on a month ago is useless to me, even if 97 other people feel it is comment worthy.  I use Most Recent and I read all the news back to my last visit.  If something is interesting, I comment on it or Like it, and if I comment on something Facebook is kind enough to inform me if other people comment on it too so I can go back and continue to participate in the discussion no matter how old it is.

Over in the new world of Google+, Tom (yeah, that Tom, everybody’s friend from MySpace) has had lots of interesting things to say, but among them is this entry about how right now Google isn’t giving you control over how your content is filtered.  Largely it’s time based, but popular topics do (or did) rise toward the top, so my feed was filled with people like Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day and Tom, people who post and then get hundreds of comments within minutes, and my actual friends were buried.  They adjusted that, so I get less of a flood from popular people and see a more linear timeline, but sometimes I’ll see things out of order and I can’t tell why one item is considered more important than the other.  And that, as the video above states, is the problem.  At least, Google+ needs Facebook’s Top News and Most Recent options… at best, they’ll give the users a bunch of options and allow you to create your own custom feeds, and not just based on circles, but also based on circles.  I’d like to be able to push to the top not only popular topics, but ones in which more of my circled people are participating.  A topic with nine thousand comments by strangers may be important, but it’s not more important than a topic with fifty comments of which thirty-five are from people I have in circles.

I don’t mind if there are filters on content, but I want to be able to get at those filters and make adjustments, or sometimes remove them entirely and view them in a simple sorted order (like by date).  The only issue is when, as I said in my post about newspapers, the content creators actually make the content in a way that doesn’t allow certain filters or sorts – if you update a news story rather than posting a second story, the original story isn’t available to be read anymore, depending on how you do your update.

Hopefully, the trend will swing back toward user control over the algorithms that filter our content.  I don’t like the idea of other people (or worse, program code) decided what I should see.

The TSA

I don’t usually talk politics and such on here, but I feel I need to put a few things out there…

First off, lets go ahead and get the bit about people who trade liberty for security deserving neither.  I believe that.  If we have to live in fear, like slaves, to a huge machine of rules and regulations then the terrorists have won.

Second, to all the people who are supporting the TSA and their new scanners and pat downs with the defense of “We need to prevent another 9/11” … you are disgracing the memory of those who died.  Want to prevent another 9/11?  One, make the cockpit door stronger to the point where it cannot be battered down, and any explosive strong enough to open the door will also damage the plane enough that getting inside the cockpit is useless.  Two, a new policy where the pilots enter the plane first, close and lock the door, and they don’t open it unless one of the cockpit crew is in medical distress.  In future plane designs/redesigns, give them their own bathroom and a place to store a meal so that they don’t need to leave nor does anyone need to come in.  Done.  If terrorists cannot get into a functional cockpit, they cannot use the plane as a weapon and you have prevented another 9/11.  No amount of confiscation of nail clippers and water bottles and junk touching pat downs will prevent another 9/11.  Did you know that a properly folded copy of the Sky Mall magazine can be used as a weapon?

It’s all security theater, and if it makes you feel safer then you don’t understand what is going on.  Mostly though, as with many things, this is about money.  By mandating that every airport needs to have these new scanners they guarantee sales of the scanners.  The enhanced pat down exists mainly to make using the scanner feel like the better option, and they released these new regulations during the holiday season because they knew people would put up less of a fight if fighting meant missing a flight home for turkey and pumpkin pie.  And if you want to avoid all this drama and just skip flying… you are much much more likely to be killed in a car accident than you are to be killed by terrorists on a plane even without the new enhanced security.

I guess what I’m saying is… take the train.  I also hear that trans-Atlantic cruises are nice.

Left 4 Shaun of the Dead

Like Left 4 Dead?  Like Shaun of the Dead?  Want to play Left 4 Dead in the world of Shaun of the Dead?

Well, you might one day get the chance on the PC version of L4D thanks to the Left 4 Winchester project.  It almost makes me want to get a PC version of the game.

The Zombie Book List

Want to read some zombie books?

I stumbled on a site hosted at one of those free sites a while back, and recently they’ve moved to their own domain. The ULTIMATE Zombie Book List is a great place to find zombie stories, ones you may know and others you might have missed.

Check it out.

Stuff on the Net XII

Want to know what really happens in chat rooms? The Parlor. (Not Safe For Work)

One of my favorite Reno 911 sketches.

The Last Saskatchewan Pirate.

Rollin’ with Bob Saget. (Not Safe For Work)

Your ears you keep and I’ll tell you why. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, “Dear God! What is that thing,” will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.

Bulletproof Monk

Catches bullets? with his teeth? Nigga please!

Okay, so that line is actually from Barry Gordy’s The Last Dragon, but I just couldn’t resist.

Want to see explosions? guns? unrealistic martial arts fight scenes? If you said yes, this movie is for you.

I loved it! (It was much better than Cats.) Chow Yun Fat played his usual self, only slightly less serious. Seann William Scott played his usual self, only slightly more serious. And Boy Wonder Studios (owned and operated by Burt Ward, Robin from the old Batman TV show) did a fine job on the special effects.

I liken this to a kung-fu movie in the old style, like the ones that used to air as “Kung Fu Theater” on Saturday afternoons. Guys show up, fight, move on. Chases. A little story about a prophesy. And saving the world.

Definately worth my $6.

So, You Want to be a Hero?

It only costs $39.95 a month.

At least that’s what Verant Interactive is charging for their new Legends Servers. They promise for your money: more dynamic events, character and guild webpages, in game mapping, and unique items. I suppose they may even add you to the Lore of EverQuest should they take this far enough.

Seems lots of players are pissed about this. Personally, I don’t see it being different than anything else out there. Its like flying on a plane: most of us go coach, but some of us can afford to go first class. The most repeated claim to the injustice is that the Legends servers are going to have the things we were promised at release. Honestly, if you look in the manual that got included with the original game, it had all the stuff (minus the webpages) in it. But I look at that as someone forgetting to go back and change the manual before printing to remove the items that were just impossible at the time rather than looking at it as a written promise of all the things the game was going to do.

I know I won’t be paying the extra cash. I like the game pretty much the way it is. Though, if I ever do get bored, I can see myself jumping to the Legends Servers for a month or two as a final blowout before cancelling the account.