Time vs. time…

Time is strange. How you perceive it depends largely on yourself and your surroundings. However it is also measurable and predictable. Five minutes can seem like an eternity when you are stressed, fatigued, or laying awake at night with insomnia (That would be me). Ask someone who hasn’t eaten in a week what it feels like to wait for a five minute egg…

Don’t worry I’m not going all Stephen Hawking on you. I’m actually just thinking about the differences between ‘real time’ and ‘web time.’

Time is different on the web then it is in real life; real time is measured in hours, minutes, and, seconds. Web time is measures in Full Speed or Dead Stop. When at the Dead Stop time you plan out how to accomplish your goals when you start back at Full Speed again. When at Full Speed you set out to not only accomplish the goals you set according to your plans but to expand upon those plans to make the goal even better when it is complete. Plus, things on the web change in a matter of seconds. Domain names get pulled out from under you, web-hosts change their policies and shake up your menu structure, technology advances change the way sites are structured, and file formats fall into and out of favor… All while you left the room to make a sandwich. Scoff all you want, it happens. I’ve experienced it. If I had been making a Hogie instead of simple bologna and cheese XHTML 2.0 probably would have come out.

When you work and play on the web it’s easy to get infected with ‘web time’ and, accidentally, inflict it on others. My wife and daughter are use to it and know how to draw me back into real time without a cinder block to the head… But sometimes a cinder block to the head is what is needed to remind you walk away from the computer for awhile and get used to normal time.

So with that in mind, and with my daughter starting school again, I walked away from the computer four days ago. No computing for four days and now just a very limited amount of keyboard time so I don’t fall behind with anything. It was much more of a relief than I thought it would be not planning what to do when I jumped back into Full Speed from my Dead Stop; I’ll have to jump back to it soon enough. But when I do jump all the way back in I think I’ll carry a bit more awareness of which ‘time’ I’m dealing with at any given “time.”

 

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Published in: on August 23, 2006 at 4:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

What the hell is wrong with AOL?

 

Ok, let’s get the laughter out of the way now: I am an AOL customer.

>pausing for derisive laughter, catcalls, hoots, and, hollers<

The good news is all I use them for is a mail service. My daughter uses their kids services and my wife and my father sometimes reads their news articles, but thanks to broadband their usefulness to me as an ISP is long over.

So, thankfully, none of my family was caught by AOL’s release of potentially private information a week or so ago; at least not that I could detect. I’ve downloaded the database and combed through it every way I know how and I’m confident that we are safe. Not like I used their crappy search engine anyway but I had to check for the rest of the family.

But can anyone tell me what in holy hell did AOL think they would accomplish? Their reputation is already in the toilet thanks to Gestapo-esque customer service, poor browser tools, and a sad inability to stop charging customers who DIED. Did someone fantasize that releasing “research” data would give them credibility? The sad and transparent apology shows how seriously AOL miscalculated the public backlash.

My guess is that AOL was toying with the idea of giving all their search data to the US government and wanted to do a dry run. But that’s just my distrust talking; I can’t prove anything.

This breech of trust between AOL and its customers has the potential to be disastrous to both. The amount of personal data contained in that database is shocking, even with the “anonymous ID’s” that AOL so helpfully provided.

Hopefully this escapade will leave a lasting impression on people about internet privacy and safety; on the World Wide Web there is no such thing as true privacy and you cannot trust a giant corporation to keep you or your information safe. Ever. For any reason. A giant corporations sole purpose is to collect data on you and sell it to the highest bidder. Every single one of us are nothing more than chips in a giant corporate profit game.

To wrap this up let me offer a few pieces of advice based on what is in this data from AOL:

  1. Never put your social security number in a search engine.
  2. Never put your credit card number in a search engine.
  3. Never put your address in a search engine.
  4. If you must search your own name, don’t do it very often.
  5. If you must search your own zip, don’t do it very often.
  6. If you must search your own town, don’t do it very often.
  7. Do NOT search both your child’s name AND school!!
  8. And FOR CHRISTS SAKE DON’T USE AOL’S SEARCH ENGINE EVER!!!

Google is the only search engine that refused to hand your data over to the government so, if you must do any of the above, use Google; but don’t ever assume that they are safe or private. If someone offers them enough money they will sell you out just as fast as any other big company and they will be counting their pennies and laughing while you lose your money and your identity.

Published in: on August 11, 2006 at 2:53 pm  Comments (1)  

Yes, another movie post.

Ok, ok, ok… I get it. Everyone hates George Bush. The message is loud and clear. Hell, I’m not thrilled with him either. But do I have to constantly be reminded of how hated he is when I watch a movie?! Is that Hollywood’s way of punishing the rest of the country for electing him?

I rented a film last week, a futuristic action film that came out earlier this year to mixed reviews, and half way through the film we finally start getting the reason this dark future happened – A jump cut to the Iraq war and protesters carrying anti-bush signs! Who thought that was a good idea? CNN doesn’t make entertaining films, dipshit!

Believe it or not, it gets worse; evidently part of what makes this evil future government so bad is that they don’t allow same-sex marriage and fear of terrorism made them institute extra security policies. But wait, there’s more! We get a half hour of torture scenes that might have well been entitled “A Tribute to Abu Ghraib.”

Did someone actually fantasize that this was subtle political commentary? If ‘subtle’ means ‘getting hit in the face with a shovel’ then maybe it was. This film isn’t the only film that’s guilty of sacrificing their story so they can take a swipe at Bush and the Republicans, but it was one of the most blatant.

I can’t imagine that anyone on Earth doesn’t already know that Hollywood hates George Bush and the Republican Party, so the only conclusion I can draw is that until a wonderful bleeding-heart socialist is embraced by the heartland of America then Hollywood will continue to punish everyone with ham-fisted political messages instead of good movies.

…And the movie industry wonders why less and less people are going to the theater?

Sad.

Published in: on August 7, 2006 at 4:53 pm  Comments (2)