Right Up My Alley


I got this Captcha-style image the other day and thought my answer was the only logical choice.

cheese fries2

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Blogging 365, Day 73: Google Reader Is Dead


There are a lot of Google services that my life has been perfectly fine without, some dead and some still living for whatever reason.

Google Wave was one of them and something that I (and a lot of other people) could never quite figure out. Much too complicated for something that was supposed to be a collaboration tool.

Then there’s Google+. I have a profile there but rarely check it. I may post something on there now and then but other than that, it’s completely useless to me and I find it hard to believe it has as many users Google claims it does. As per Wikipedia:

As of December 2012, it has a total of 500 million registered users of whom 235 million are active on a monthly basis

Meh. I still think it sucks.

I did, however, enjoy iGoogle which offered widgets to things like Gmail, Google Calendar, etc. I had it as my homepage for a years – until Google decided it would die on November 1, 2013.

One widget that I used all the time was for Google Reader which is where I keep all of my RSS feeds nice and tidy. All of the blogs I’m subscribed to, news feeds, etc. are all in there because it’s so darn easy.

Then today, I got this message when I logged in:

reader

Damn you, Google. Aside from Gmail, Reader is the only other service of yours I actually use and enjoy. Now I’ve got to go and find another way to get all of my news feeds. And so far, I’ve tried most of them and none of them have worked very well nor are free.

Thanks, guys. Maybe it’s just a ploy to get me to use Google+.

Nice try. But it’s not happening.

Why I Hate Monster.com


As is the case with all job sites, I am subscribed to get updates from Monster.com just in case for some reason or another there might be a place interested in hiring a sarcastic know-it-all smartass (completely redundant, I know).

So far, I’ve had no such luck. Perhaps I should list such qualifications on my resume so that I can get some hits should someone be looking for one (which I’m actually not in person – sort of).

But one of the skills I do have listed on my resume, which is about as impressive as a diploma from Clown College, is Journalism since I did put in a few years toiling in front of an outdated iMac that frequently crashed while in the middle of writing articles. And I was, from what I remember, I was quite good at writing articles although this dog-and-pony of a blog is not indicative of such mastery.

And because I have Journalism listed as one of my skills, Monster will send me updates on journalism jobs in my area. As a matter of fact I got one such update today and, although I’m looking to leave the world of proofreading/writing/editing/being a peon (one in the same) behind me, I thought I’d give it a click and see what was up.

So yeah, here it is! I’m getting all excited because this means there are jobs in the area that I might want to apply for! monster1

Let me just roll my arrow over that promising “Search Now” button and give the mouse a click. How can I lose? It clearly says that there are new journalism jobs in the Long Beach area, right? Daddy needs a new pair of shoes! If it’s close to home, I’ll definitely reconsider leaving the field and stick with it a little longer!

*click*

monster2

Man, Monster. You really know how to piss on a guy’s parade, don’t you?

Guess it’s back to being a sarcastic know-it-all smartass.

Why You Need Dropbox


Ah, the cloud. That sort of nonexistent place on the Internet—or is it?—where all sorts of stuff is stored and retrieved at your leisure.

If you’re not a part of the cloud revolution, you really should get with it. It’s the easiest way to backup documents, photos, and other stuff without the need for carrying around one of those little thumb drives that in 2003, cost as much as $59.99 for only 256MB (after $50 instant rebate and $20 mail-in rebate)! And with the advent of smartphones, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t take the cloud plunge.

dblogoThat’s because with more people using their phones as cameras these days, chances are they will have lots of photos on them and unless you’re like me and backup your stuff to a PC or external drive weekly, a majority of users simply don’t backup because it can be a hassle. Who wants to take the time to sit in front of a computer, connect their phone and transfer all of those things? (And honestly, step back and ask yourself: when did I last backup my images? If it takes more than a minute to answer, you’re risking it, buddy.)

That’s one area where Dropbox comes in handy. I’ve been using Dropbox almost since the beginning and have fallen madly in love with it, even more so once I bought my first smartphone. This free* service will not only store your stuff in the cloud, it will also sync all of your stuff on your account to all devices that have the app or software installed on them. It will also store the files locally on that device and what’s edited on one will be pushed to the others.

So if you upload an image from your phone, it’s now available on everything. In fact, Dropbox now features a Camera Upload folder where images from your phone’s main photo folder are stored. No physical connections required—do it over your phone’s network or Wi-Fi (recommended to avoid excessive data usage) either manually or automatically as the app sees fit.

Ubiquitous. Available on everything with a touch of a screen button. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

But images are only part of the story. It’s come in handy on those occasions when I was contacted by potential job interviewers who wanted a copy of my resume. It was as simple as getting their email address, composing the email, attaching my resume from Dropbox and sending it off. You can also create a link and send that instead of the actual document. Clicking the link will initiate a download of the file and folders can also be easily shared with non-Dropbox users.

Even if you’re using another computer or don’t have your phone, you can still retrieve or upload documents through their website. It doesn’t get any easier, and there are no data transfer restrictions like other cloud storage services whose name doesn’t have “drop” but does end in “box.”

Basic accounts start off with 2GB of online storage but refer your friends and they will throw in 500MB, a step up from the old incentive of 256MB, for each referral who joins and installs the software on their PC. With referrals, basic accounts max out at 16GB which is a hefty amount of storage for most.

Imagine, up to 16GB of free online storage. That would have cost you $8319.36 in 2003 based on the $129.99 for the 256MB drive I mentioned early on—without rebates!

Simply put, Dropbox rocks. It’s a fantastic, free, and easy way to store your stuff and always have access to it.

Sign up today and claim your own little piece of the cloud. You won’t regret it.

Click the images to get the free app:

Android Market/Google PlayiTunes

*Basic accounts are no charge; business accounts are available for a fee

Gone Daddy Gone


godaddyFirst, I’d like to say that you’ve got me for yet another year of blogging as I have renewed the holographicmeatloaf.com domain name. And unless I decide to hang them up, simply walk away or am killed in some kind of bizarre gardening accident, I’ll still be here.

Everything will remain the same save for the occasional theme change for when I think things need some refreshing. But the one thing that has changed may not be as obvious.

For years, I had my domain registered with GoDaddy simply because a) they advertised and made it seem easy to do and b) renewing with them was the obvious choice since everything was already done for me. All I had to do is pay.

namecheapBut this year I’ve decided to move away from them and for good. The reason is simple: SOPA. In case you’re not familiar with the acronym, SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act which Congress intends to pass and in essence, will cripple the Internet for everybody in their efforts to protect the intellectual rights of artists. And much like DRM on MP3 files, all a bill like this will do is harm the little guy.

Basically, if you love your freedom of speech, you should not like SOPA. There are very few arguments for it and plenty against.

And how exactly does any of this have to do with my former domain host?

GoDaddy supported SOPA. I say “supported” because once it was known that they were on the side of this bill, there was a huge outlast against them and hosts such as Namecheap offered discounts to potential clients for domain transfers.

Feeling compelled to do my part against censorship, I used one of the many discount codes Namecheap was advertising and made the switch. And despite GoDaddy’s later rescinding of their SOPA support (after a mass exodus of users leaving them), I stuck to my guns.

The transfer was completed on December 30, just one day short of Namecheap’s “Move Your Domain Day” promotion. Better late then never, it seems.

If you are currently a user of GoDaddy’s services and haven’t made the move to another domain host, then perhaps you should consider another host for the sake of showing GoDaddy what you think of their one-time support of the bill.

Then  you can be like the many (including myself) who have said, “So long, GoDaddy. I’m gone.”