Rude Blog? Blogger is OK With That Again

One morning, I was sitting in my comfy bouncy chair, living my G Rated life.  Music playing, the dog by my side, the parrot chattering.

I open up my dashboard thingy after having made a purdy pixture for you folks to look at as well as a backstory.

There are plenty of sites that are nothing more than a picture a day or a list of them.  I look at those as well, they’re great to fill up your computer for when the screensaver kicks in.  I must have close to a gig of them, who knows!

There was a nag link at the top of the page.  I rarely look at them anyway, most folks don’t look at nags I suspect.  Twenty years of being trained to ignore adverts or simply blocking them in my case, and you get that way.

The link pointed me to a page that was titled “An update on the Blogger porn content policy“.

I laughed.  Out loud even.

I may be noisy, but I have never posted that kind of content here.  I could.  It’s legal.  At least it is at this point in history, tomorrow could change that.

The original change in policy was fielded to gauge reaction I suspect.  The reality is that “rude” is in the eye of the beholder.  There are some people who look at this blog every single day, others less frequently.  I know of one person who complains about it loudly, although never to my face.  Apparently I cut a little close to the bone in one or more comments about them.

No, I won’t say who.

But.

Never anything that would even be considered a Hard Parental Guidance Rating, at least in my mind.  If it would get past the censors on the big three TV networks in the more enlightened parts of this backwards sliding country that I live in, I will post it.

Apparently I can now.  Well thanks, I can let my artistic nude flag fly I guess.  It’s not for me, but it is for many people.

There are plenty of blogs out there that have restricted or adult content.  Some are simply to excite the reader, for however long it takes them to finish their visit.  Others are to educate about health or perhaps anthropological issues.  After all, teenage children would keep select copies of the National Geographic under their beds for private reading back in the day.  It was actually a plot point at the beginning of the movie Porkys II.  While seeming random, the plot of that movie is strangely parallel to the whole discussion of whether rude content should be allowed in the movie or not.


That sort of excitement is easy to find.  The educational sites are more important, and that is why the internet exists in the first place – to share information among people who are interconnected no matter how distant.

There was a great amount of noise, digital ink, and whinging done in a short period of time, and Google, Inc. have decided that the Blogger policy on Porn will not be changed.

It doesn’t really effect me here, I’ll continue to write the kind of things that Mrs Grundy in her small town may be interested in reading, but if you need that kind of medical or anatomical information that is hosted on a blog somewhere and somehow connected with Google and Blogger, it will be safe.

Sure, I’m vague, but I don’t need that sort of information right now.  The last time I went for “medical” information it was to diagnose my brake problem on my Jeep Wrangler.

Besides, the kind of excitement that the 1950s teenager found in National Geographic is so prevalent and so easy to come by these days for free online, that you just don’t need me taking pictures of body parts and slamming them up in 16 million colors with my website URL hidden semi-discretely on them.

I’ll remain here, G rated, for all the world to see.

You may return to your regularly scheduled rude websites now, Google‘s fine with it.

Advertisements

Getting Your SMS Texts Back on Android After Leaving the IPhone

This is something I usually don’t do.  A Reblog.

I’m doing it so I have the info later on and will have to repeat it.  Now you know why I have so many recipes on here – so I can bake and not have to go digging through the “Recipe Box of Doom”!

The backstory is that when Kevin went to The Isle Of Man, I borrowed a shiny old or “new to me” iPhone 4s for two weeks.  The reason is that iMessage on the iPhone will do what passes for an international text for free.  Google’s Hangouts works that way too.  But either way you have to have two people on the same hardware.  Either Android or iPhone – but not mixed.  Both systems are proprietary, and I believe that both will not play well with each other.

Since he had the loaner, I went off my beloved Samsung Galaxy S4 for two weeks.   I came back to the S4 because I use the phone like a computer and create content on it like pictures and videos mainly for my own entertainment and use here.   The camera on that iPhone has thankfully been improved in later versions, it was too saturated and too poor and grainy in low light situations.  The software was rubbish since HDR didn’t work well at all, but this is also iOS 6 when the current phones get iOS 8.

Got all that?

Anyway, here are the steps – and if you’re coming here and want the original, here is the direct link.  I have no pictures here since I followed the steps and it worked first time immediately.  The steps were beyond annoying when I got to iCloud since Apple wants you to stay on their services.  Removing the phone number from iCloud required hunting around in every nook and cranny of the site in order to delete the number from wherever you find it.

Steps:

1)  Before you leave your iPhone, turn off iMessage.  This is done by going into the Settings app, selecting Message, then flicking the slider to off on iMessage.

2)  Remove yourself from iCloud.  On the Mac, there is (or was) an iCloud app that you could do this from.  Since I am normally using Linux or Windows (in that order) I had to go to the website for iCloud.  Start on the settings link (icon) and go through every single aspect, link, and sublink on there.  If you see a phone number, delete it.  It also argued with me to disable “Find My iPhone” in order to proceed with some of this.  I did and chased my tail around until complete and I was dizzy.

I’m sorry I can’t be more specific.  I had to go through all of the account details manually myself.

3)  Have all your iPhone friends delete and readd your contacts.   Good luck.  As annoying as the iCloud step was, this one may simply be impossible.  Luckily for me, I had few people iMessage me during the two weeks.  If your contact used iMessage to talk to you, they will not be able to recontact you until Apple’s servers all realize that you have dropped off of iMessage – that could be as much as 45 days, however with me it was instant.

4)  Ask your readded friends to “Send Message as Text Message” on their iPhone.  Yes, seriously.  They’re going to wonder if they really want you as friends at this point.  Hopefully you don’t lose too many as a result.

5)  Wait 45 days before using your new non iPhone on this number.  I had to ask myself whether they were serious about this one, but apparently either I was lucky or this particular bullet is old news.  It was in my case.

6)  Text “STOP” to 48369 .  That’s the Apple support guy’s hint.  It worked for me immediately.

After running through all of this, my S4 is working fine.  I SMS Text everywhere, I am not using iMessage anywhere. 

I have read that some people on iPhones hate green text bubbles, and SMS is green while iMessage is blue.  All I have to say to that is grow up since there are worse things to hate.

First world problems, really!

1800 Posts and All Is Well!

Yeah I looked at the blog info and noticed that I had a nice round number and thought, why not?

It’s been four years, 1800 posts.  Some good, some I could have done better.

How does that sound, could have done better.  Code word for “What was I thinking?”!

At any rate, I had a four year run and only missed one day recently. I’m still a little embarrassed about that.  I looked at the site that morning very early, got up to do “other things” and got into a shiny object.   Since I try to have something on here by 10AM I simply forgot.

I’m also doing some of these in advance, some of these on the seat of my pants.  Depends on how full my head is at.

I’ve been told that I can write about just about anything if I have a mind to.  That came from my own training in High School.  I was hard pressed for a book report, remember those?  I went up into our attic.  Back in the 1950s would be my guess, someone had been on that Book Of The Month Club thing.  The books got collected and the box ended up in our attic.  I can’t even say it was my own parents that were members of the club, the box may have been given to them.

Taking that box, I found the most obscure novel I could find.  I remember it was titled “Gestapo”.  I opened the book up and saw the chapter titles.   Writing a paragraph on each chapter would be easy, I never actually read the book.

Got an A Minus on that report too.  I guess I can tell a story if I put my mind to it.

Those who return here seem to think so.  According to Google Analytics, 27 percent of the people who read this blog on a given day have been here before.   That was over the last year or so.

(Waves hands)  Hi and welcome back!

On a planet of almost 8 billion, that’s not a bad percentage.

It’s not a big blog, I don’t have all THAT many readers, and if someone were to send me some money saying thanks… it would be the first.

Writing helps keep my mind clear, and it is something that given a topic, is easy for me.

I guess though to close this out, I’ll give you that David Letterman Top Ten List for the last month only.

  1. Puns and One Liner Weekend
  2. Hotmail Annoyance – Turn Off Keyboard Shortcuts
  3. Parking hours discussed at the Commission Meeting
  4. Gold Medal Flour – Extraordinary Buttermilk Biscuits
  5. The Roof is Evil, and Must Die!
  6. Goodbye Lisa
  7. A Parrot and a Magician on a Ship
  8. Three Men Are Walking in a Desert – Humor
  9. Gnome 3 in Debian Jessie Using VMWare Workstation
  10. I-95 North, Deerfield Beach, Florida

Most of those are older even if it is over this month only, and surprisingly people are coming to this blog for those jokes.  I guess I shouldn’t be embarrassed at posting them.  I find them in various places.   If you want to send me some, feel free.  My own rules are that I have to be able to tell them in a business meeting – no swears, no bigotry, and not too controversial.

The other thing that got me is that there are quite a few people coming to this blog directly.  They must have bookmarked the URL.  They are also using google, specifically, and searching for it.  That’s a bit circuitous, but hey knock yourself out.

You will note that number 9 is very much the tech that I know that my local readers tend not to read.  It’s kind of esoteric.  I use Linux every day without fail, on the desktop, along with Windows.  It’s an environment that I’m as comfortable in as my Mac OSX or Windows.  As I find things, I will let  you know.

So enough of this patting myself on the back.  The dryer is beeping, and the dog is begging for more yogurt!

I’m not going away just yet… I’ll be back tomorrow.  No, really, that one is already in the can.  I pushed it aside just to do this one when I noticed that it was a round number.

Online Maps Are Going To Get Better Detail

I admit it, I’m a map geek.  I guess, I’m just a geek and maps are another symptom.  I’d be that guy sitting around in a dark office with a big screen and big wide eyes, flying around surveillance cameras and satellite feeds looking at things from outer space.

I’m fascinated with things like borders.  That feeling of “Otherness” that exists because someone drew a line somewhere and said “This is mine, that is yours” always fascinated me.  Growing up in South Jersey, state borders were irrelevant except for car number tags.  TV, Radio, and Media came from Philadelphia, and “local” was Cherry Hill which was too small to ever hit the news when I was small.

The view from the 295 near the baseball fields near where I grew up.

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d1812.064176861966!2d-75.01585099999998!3d39.87547699999999!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x0%3A0x0!2zMznCsDUyJzMxLjciTiA3NcKwMDAnNTcuMSJX!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1403013032158″ style=”border: 0;” width=”600″>
Franklin Square in Center City Philadelphia.  You never really “went” there.  It’s kind of cut off from the rest of the world in Philly but you can hover over the place.   I don’t remember that fountain from when I was last there, probably in the 90s.

https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d257.84338082158666!2d-75.15045499999997!3d39.95567599999998!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x0%3A0x0!2zMznCsDU3JzIwLjQiTiA3NcKwMDknMDEuNiJX!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1403011855517

These days, I can endulge my inner Cartographer by playing with either Google Maps, Bing Maps, or perhaps one of the others.  One of the first things I do when I am trying to find a place is to go online, plot the address and zoom in as tight as possible.  In cities and towns in the US, I have found very few places on a street that I can’t stand virtually on the ground and look at the building and spot in question.

Other places, not so much.

When you zoom in on certain areas outside of an Urban zone, the detail gets fuzzy.  After all, from a satellite, one tree pretty much looks like the next.  You can expect a minimum resolution of 15 meters or 50 feet as a default, roughly.  That means that one of the dots on your computer screen will represent an object or area of 50 feet by 50 feet or 15 meters on a side.

Roughly.

Pretty much anywhere I was thinking to look within anything as small as a small town at random had “useable” resolution.  If I wanted to see the downtown of a small midwest farm town, Stanton, Nebraska, it was easy enough to do.

https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d886.2495091221787!2d-97.22398603412068!3d41.950205603692!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x8790491de81187a9%3A0xecc2a8ba6f7d67b6!2s900+Nebraska+57!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1403014238060
In cities it can get better.   The Czech Republic can go as high as 1/10th of a meter on a side which is 3.9 inches.   That’s pretty respectable resolution all things considered.   It gives you the excuse to explore Prague from the comfort of your own easy chair.  A beautiful city, well worth poking around.

https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m12!1m3!1d741.1575545479868!2d14.398900069246372!3d50.09025510100564!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1403011476971

The view of the Prague Castle in central Prague is the above view, and that is without dropping that little man on the street.

The thing is that these graphics are getting much better.   Barring some self-important fool having their property fuzzed out, for the most part you can see just about anywhere from the air to some detail.

Viewing street level things are a different story.  Germany recently said “nein” to street view, and I seem to remember that they turned it off in Google Earth and Maps.

On the other hand, now I’ll have to dust off my older computer that I have Google Earth installed on.  There’s an inherent creepiness about Google’s software that I don’t care for.   You have to basically tell them what you want to look at on the map.  Part of the game.  I’m just not completely sure that all that information is something I’d prefer to share with them. 

While the software and use are free, there is one thing to consider: 

You aren’t the paying customer. 
If you aren’t the customer, you are the product.

So if you are comfortable being a product, your map playground has just gotten a bit more interesting.   You can always do things like walk along the Quays in Port of Spain, Trinidad for no reason at all.

Now I Know Why People Store Passwords On Post-its Under The Keyboard

I have a video.  In retrospect it isn’t all that much.  About a minute of my dog romping in the back yard.

I got it off the video camera, reformatted it to the correct size.  HD Video used to be a special thing, but now… even a cheap phone will do better video than we used to get back in the square box days of TV.

Not too long ago, and yeah, get off my lawn.

I grabbed a picture of my dog, and my neighbor’s dog Ellie.

Both were a lead-in.  I have done this sort of thing before, professionally.   I may be a bit rusty, but editing video is something I have done since the mid 1990s both professionally and as a hobby. 

I have taken video that I have shot, as well as video created from broadcast sources, and I even made a giant Powerpoint project that I converted to video.  Yeah, you know the one that runs behind the stage to annoy, er advertise companies at a street party?  I did that.

I managed to get the short video, three transitions, four titles, a comment frame, and more, put together and in the right format for the web.

Time to log into youtube.  Oops.  Where’s that password?

Wait, the washer was beeping.  It needs to go on another spin cycle anyway.

Back to … where was I?

Postman arrived… I can ignore that for a little bit.   Let me tweak the titles again, I’m not too happy how things show up in motion.  I’m getting a blur.

Time to render the video again.  Crash.

Windows is demanding a reboot, I can postpone that.

Bring the project back up again.  I think I need to find a better piece of software to do that task, I’m running something from 2003 still.  At least it’s not like writing a novel in an extinct word processor and on DOS.

Once I get this render done and uploaded, I’ll look into Cinelerra and Ubuntu Studio again.  I have enough Linux machines around me that that shouldn’t be a problem.

More distractions, this time the fifth recruiter in the last hour.  Sure, you’re from New Jersey.  Right, and I’m living on the Moon…

Ahh, render is done, now back to that old youtube account I have… Ramblingmoose.   What was that password again? 

Fail.  No such luck.  Should have written that thing on the bottom of a Post-it and stuck it on my desk somewhere.  It’s not in the emergency file either.

Oh well.   Time to drop back five and kick.   Write about the experience, curse at Google with my best might, and put up the original video of Rack licking peanut butter out of the Kong.  

*sigh*

Wow, that was only a month after I got him? Long time ago…

Weird Browser Stats

There are Lies and then there are Statistics.

I’m sure we’ve all heard that before.  I was going through statistics on this blog.  Not really sure why, but occasionally I do check it.  Other than realizing that people in far flung parts of the US, China, The Ukraine, and others like to look at recipes, pictures from the Florida Keys, and read cute stories about cute dogs, it does help inform me as to whether I should continue this exercise of writing something each day.

Even if it is a copy and paste exercise on the weekends.   Bad Joke Saturday and Bad Joke Sunday have to get their Bad Jokes somewhere!

All statistics are approximations, your mileage may vary…

Some of the hits are obviously false, such as those from crawlers and the like.  I’ve been told to ignore those, and I won’t be even saying who they are here because I don’t want to encourage them.

Yes, it’s like the misbehaving child at the family table – ignore your bots and they’ll behave.

If you do look at your statistics and see something coming from a Vampire or a Zombie site, ignore it or you’ll get spiked as well.  Google Analytics is correct, Blogger is not.

But within that stat page, I also get reports on what kind of technologies that are being used to look at the blog.  

Someone is using something called “NS8” to get here.  I had to follow that one up.  I mean, it’s not like it’s one of my Linux readers, or someone using their iPhone or Mac to surf here, I can tell what that is.  I know that when someone surfs me with Iceweasel, they’re on Debian Linux since that is what I use on my Linux Machine.  Stability, thy name is Debian.  They really should use the slogan “Debian, It Just Works!”.  Even on your 10 year old computer…

Anyway…

Not having ever heard of NS8 I looked it up.   NS8 is “most likely” a copy of the old Netscape Browser version 8.   To give you an idea, that’s equivalent to Firefox 1.0.   Firefox is on version 25 at this date. 

Congrats, you are using the latest version of Firefox!  is what you should see when you click on that Firefox link.

PSA – Upgrade your software when you can.   Or some blogger will be waggling a finger at you for not doing so.

I’m looking at you Windows XP People.   You’re almost as bad as I was when I got my Mac – it had OSX Leopard on it, and I immediately upgraded a month later to Snow Leopard.

My Mac Peeps will know what I’m talking about.   How’s your Mavericks?  Kewl?

Immediately, a month later.   Er… well they do say that Macs have no viruses and well…

Not content to just wonder about this NS8 thing, I also got a visit from someone using something called “OS;FBSV”.

Er, wha?

The best I can tell is that somehow, someone, is using their iPhone in Facebook to follow through. 

Hey, it may not matter to you, but I am a curious type.

I did after all have a person surf my blog from something called “Windows NT 6.1”.  Most likely someone got bored while working on a server somewhere in a noisy server room and surfed my page.

I just hope I didn’t bore them or the rest of you too much with all that.

Browser Basics – Where Do I Type The Web Page?

Some of you will look at this discussion and wonder why someone would do what I’m going to describe.

I was looking at the statistics for this blog and thought I’d lend a helping hand.

Most browsers, when you start them, will put you at a search page.  Typically that is Google for Firefox and Chrome.   I think Safari drops you onto www.apple.com on the Mac.  I try hard to forget anything connected with Internet Explorer these days.

So you get a big helpful page with a box to type in your search query.  You typed in Ramblingmoose.  Hit enter.  It gives you a list of articles I wrote.  It should have the base web page at the top – http://www.ramblingmoose.com .

You used your mouse/trackpad/trackball to move the cursor to the link and clicked on it.  

If you did all that before I put this article up on the web page, you would see the picture, minus my writing and the little yellow box.

We all start somewhere, and if you aren’t told how to do something basic, you will figure it out the best you can, and repeat it until someone whispers in your ear an easier way.

That would be me.

The little yellow box is where you should be typing that address, unless you really did mean to do a search.   It is called the Address Bar, generically, although I’ve heard other “Marketing Friendly” terms used.

In Firefox, at least, if you type in the majority of the name, it will try to “make” the most likely URL for you.   URL is the web address like www.ramblingmoose.com or some other website. 

So if you just type in ramblingmoose in the address bar, you may get here.  At least I just did when I tried it out on Firefox 25.0.1 on Windows 7 on this day in 2013…

Why is that important enough to warrant a blog posting? 

It saves you time.
About 10 percent of you do a search each day to get here.
I wanted to help.
That’s why you came here.

Now I’ll go back to finding Just The Right Font for this blog and annoy everyone with changes every couple minutes until I’m satisfied.  I just don’t like Arial or Helvetica.  Bleah.