April 28, 2009

Just Like a Dunk Tank

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:57 am by Ian

While I could never condone such action, I strongly believe that if a person or persons were to somehow acquire Sean Hannity (by force, perhaps), and to post video of his subsequent waterboarding, the charity dollars would just roll in.

April 18, 2009

(WHISTLES APPRECIATIVELY)

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:37 pm by Ian

The guys who did the closed-captioning for Wall-E must have had a blast. So far I’ve seen:

(WHIRRING)
(GRUNTING)
(EXCLAIMS CURIUSLY)
(CHATTERING)
(HUMMING)
(WALL-E WHISTLES)

And that was just in the first five minutes. So, lots of enthusiasm there. But the style guide leaves something to be desired. Four gerunds, then one odd one in the present tense. And, of course there’s the bizarre inclusion of “Wall-E” as the subject of the one.

Now:

(COCKROACH SQUEAKING HAPPILY)

I never knew what a cockroach sounded like when it was happy before. But it’s pretty cute. I don’t know why people complain about them so much. Maybe they’re not usually very happy.

April 16, 2009

Why I (Re)Joined Facebook

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:56 pm by Ian

About a year and a half ago, I closed my Facebook account. Not completely, because to actually close a Facebook account is a Hurculean task, I did the closest thing I could, which was to delete most of the information from it, and deactivate it. At the time, I was annoyed at Facebook for their continued pattern of abuse* of their subscribers privacy, which regularly went like this:

  1. Without warning, roll out new potentially-invasive “feature”. Example: helpfully broadcasting users’ shopping activities on other websites.
  2. Watch as internet storm clouds gather.
  3. A few days later, apologize for misunderstanding. Had no idea that users wouldn’t want to be unwitting shills for corporate interests.
  4. Add preferences to disable new “feature”, but default them to “on.”

Plus, I thought, Facebook is just another in the long line of social networking sites. Over a few years, I created profiles at Friendster, Orkut, and MySpace, and those had all pretty much died out. Facebook had recently added apps, and I could already see the MySpacification** occurring. I was getting a little tired of migrating from one to another with little apparent benefit. I already had email to talk to people, and I already had a weblog to publish my thoughts. So what did I need another parallel communications system for?

A few days ago, I realized the mistake I was making.

A few years ago on Slashdot, there was a story about how only old people use email in Korea. The slashdotters made much of this, and for months each story about a nascent technology was greeted with “In Korea, only old people use tech.” They were absolutely incredulous that an effective and open communications standard was being displaced by a combination of closed and corporate-sponsored networks. But I think they (and I) missed the point. The value of a network is in the people who are using it.

Yeah, I could just email people, but I don’t. People could just read my weblog, but they don’t***. So I re-upped. Also, I made a twitter account. You can follow me at @ianferrel.

* This pattern has not changed. I’ve just decided that I’m going to ignore it.
** Note to aspiring social network app-writers: If your natural response to seeing that someone has developed a Vampire application, and someone else has developed a Werewolf application, is to write a SuperNeonVamWolfWerePire application, you’re doing it wrong.
*** Present company excluded.