Wed. May 1, 2019 – Happy May Day – be it of the traditional It’s Spring! style of May Day or the 20th Century Workers Unite! style of May Day.
Even with education, activism, and communities making an attempt to keep the skies in the American West dark, the switch over to more energy efficient lighting on and around homes and in street lights have made communities brighter than ever at night.
Two of the ‘rural’ dark sky spots that even a few years ago I could be astounded at how many stars I could see from a house or yard now are nearly washed out with too much light. Two days ago, I asked one of my brother’s neighbors to please turn off their front patio lights when they go to bed, kindly last night they did so but to little avail.
Rather than doing the currently fashionable photography trick of processing an astrophoto within an inch of its life to have an incongruous scene of lit foreground object with AMAZING Milky Way Photo, I have instead processed these photos as my eye saw them.
How did my eye see these two adjacent scenes last night? Bright street lights casting light domes to light up houses and to wash out the night sky to the point where one only really sees the bright stars in a constellation. While the asterisms were clear, but the detail was scrubbed out.
“Something huge is happening in the UK right now, and I wonder where it’s going. […]
Brexit was a classic example of a collusion conspiracy. Many of the named politicians and businessmen above stand to gain millions of pounds from a hard Brexit that causes the British stock market to fall. Others stand to make millions from juicy investment opportunities they were offered in Russia. We cannot know for certain what the quid pro quo for those investment deals were at this time, but I strongly suspect that support for Brexit (and more general socially-authoritarian right-wing policies) was part of it.
And now we’re seeing a rival collusion conspiracy surface. Not all billionaires stand to profit from seeing the remains of British industry sink beneath the waves, and not all of them are in the pocket of the Kremlin’s financial backers. There are a bunch of very rich, rather reclusive men (and a handful of women) who probably thought, “well, let’s sit back and see where this thing leads, for now” about 18 months ago. And now they can see it leading right over a cliff, and they are unhappy, and they have made their displeasure known on the golf course and in the smoke-filled rooms, and the quiet whispering campaign has finally turned heads at the top of the media empires.
If I’m right, then over the next four to eight weeks the wrath of the British press is going to fall on the heads of the Brexit lobby with a force and a fury we haven’t seen in a generation. There may be arrests and criminal prosecutions before this sorry tale is done: I’d be unsurprised to see money-laundering investigations, and possibly prosecutions under the Bribery Act (2010), launched within this time frame that will rumble on for years to come.” – Charlie Stross, The Pivot
The past two years have been very fruitful creatively for me, I have been quietly writing fiction stories and working on a film photo project, as well as my working on my mobile and DSLR photography. The writing and film projects take time and money to complete.
It is time for me to bring my work out of Google Docs files and the black hole of Lightroom on my computer and share them in a more substantial way with folks who wish to help support my writing and art making endeavors. By support, I mean a community of folk who are excited to read, view, comment on, and receive photos, stories, essays, and be the first to hear about new works in progress.
Would you like to participate in a community that supports my creative endeavors with a monthly photo and story, as well as a weekly link round up? If so, come join me at Patreon by make a pledge.
The various tiers of monthly pledges will range from thank you and here is a weekly round up of links to Patreon-only Monthly photos and stories all the way to a Monthly mailed Photo Card (real printed photos from the film project) to a Yearly signed Photo and|or Story Book. I will also be making and sharing my photos and writing at this blog and other social media sites with a weekly round up of links of my work and other interesting links here at Patreon.
The monies from the pledges will be going to help fund the writing and photography.
Thank you for joining me in this creative endeavor. You rock!
All photos taken at Qt Dev Days 2012 by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 PureView.
Sat 12.08.12 – Here are my notes from the Qt Developer Days 2012 conference in Santa Clara, Calif. Per my usual, the notes are a running transcription and paraphrase of the speaker’s slides and spoken words plus my own opinions on the session. Official session slides and videos will be up at the conf website soon.
Once again, I am very glad that I went to the Qt Developer Days and was very encouraged by Digia’s commitment to continuing Qt development as well as the strong community support for not just the desktop and embedded linux sides of Qt but also Mobile. It was very good to see the Jolla Mobile, BlackBerry’s Cascades, and Mer Project mobile Qt presentations, as well as the ongoing strength of the open source, community contributed Qt Project.
Go Qt, Go!
Qt Developer Days 2012
Santa Clara Marriott
9am – noon
I tweeted the keynotes, didn’t take notes. Here are my tweets:
“One framework to rule them all – Qt” – Tommi Laitinen, @digia. #QtDD12 (I want to know who gets to be the elves?)
Yesterday, I had the privilege to guest once again on the Unleash the Phones weekly video-cast. This time myself and two other guests – Michael Faro Tusino and Everything N9 the masked mystery man, as well Clinton Jeff & Alvin Wong of Unleash the Phones spoke/conversed/debated about supposedly dead mobile platforms. We mostly spoke on Web OS, Meego, and Maemo 6/Harmattan and how the communities of the said platforms are keeping their hearts beating.
Between Thursday night and Friday morning of this past week The Atlantic launched a new website redesign and switched the comments on the various blogs from self-hosted to Disqus hosted comments.
My first shock upon my morning review of the website was the new colors: Red – White – & – Blue – UGH! I find red, white and blue to be very divisive and a cheap, cheap, cheap visual shot.
During the 2000s, the red and the blue of Red, White, & Blue were used to separate out Us Vs. Them. At that time, the Us was the Red and the Them was the Blue. Still is. I just hate that American politics has dissolved down into color. UGH.
What was the rotten, pus-y cherry on top of the political sundae was the summer of 2006 when I spent a good deal of time traveling around Northern Ireland, where the colors of Red, White, and Blue are used as a symbol of war and hate. Driving through towns that had painted red, white & blue curbs as well as flags and placards was beyond creepy.
Heaven forfend that the United States of America devolve into a Northern Ireland style division, warfare, and ideological hatred. But the continued use by a variety of media of the colors red-white-&-blue only furthers a cheap visual metaphor about supposed patriotism and political partisanship.
Why did the Atlantic Monthly, formerly one of the most intelligent news sources, decide to join the ranks of creepy and division? Could they not afford a graphic or brand designer who could explain the concept of visual literacy and metaphor to them?
I showed the Atlantic’s site redesign to other web designers at Tuttle Club LA on Friday morning and they were as horrified as I was. One thought it looked like a conservative business website and the other went on a discussion about hosted comments and HTTP Request loads.
As my visual acuity was assaulted by the new color scheme, I went to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Altantic blog to read what others in his community of readers thought only to be confronted with the fact that the comment section had been switched over to Disqus hosted comments. Disqus. My blood boiled at 212F and my blood pressure went sky high. I hate Disqus comments.
I don’t really like hosted comments, but I understand why bloggers use them for ease of AJAXy goodness with ratings, liking, and threading. The big but is that Disqus login fails about 2 out of every 1 time(s) that I try to login and then a good portion of those failures also deletes my carefully crafted comment to the blog in question.
My problems with Disqus occur regardless of computer or browser. Yes, I have my third party cookies set to on. Yes, I have been in dialogue with Disqus’ one man support team.
I have come to dread encountering a blog that uses Disqus, as it normally takes me 3 times as long to comment on a Disqus blog as a blog with a complicated self-hosted comment system, if Disqus lets me comment at all.
On one hand, I understand why a large site like The Atlantic would prefer to use Disqus, as it reduces the load on their database, but given the amount of readers on the site, Disqus is a bad idea for two main reasons: usability and privacy. When I went to comment on Ta-Nehisi’s blog, it took 3 times of attempting to login before Disqus would post my comment and it took over 5 minutes for the 3rd login to commence and post the comment.
When my comment finally posted, it made the title to be “404 Error“. Perfect. Yes, Disqus is one big 404 error waiting to happen on a website with as many users as The Atlantic’s website due to the heavy load of HTTP Requests from theatlantic.com to the disqus.com’s servers. Good thing Andrew Sullivan does not have comments on his blog or Disqus’s servers would melt.
Beyond HTTP Requests and error messages, the more important part of the Disqus Fail is that Disqus publishes one’s comments not just to the website that one has decided to comment on and participate in that community, but Disqus also creates an automatic page for ALL of one’s comments on the Disqus website of which one cannot make private or switch off.
Go look at my Disqus Profile, of which I can’t make private: http://www.disqus.com/msjen/
Yes, every comment I have ever made to a blog that uses Disqus’ hosted comments is now available and search-able on the Disqus website out of context and without my permission. I have searched the Disqus site for a way to make my comments not publicly viewable on their site, but there is no way to turn off the comments from my profile page.
I don’t mind the information that I placed into my Disqus profile to be viewable publicly, I do very much mind that Disqus makes all of my Disqus blog comments available to anyone to view.
This breaks the community of comments and the context of the comments to the blogs where they were originally posted.
To that end, I am a bit surprised that the web had a collective apoplexy last week about Google Buzz and the original lack of the ability to opt-out of a public display of one’s Buzz’s but no one has said a thing about how both Disqus and Intense Debate do not give the registered user the ability to make their comments private on the Disqus or Intense Debate websites. This lack of ability to opt-out is just as egregious as the first week of Google Buzz, as in all three cases the display of the comments/threads without permission and context breaks the original posting of the comment within the blog or media community that it was posted in.
Some folks may want all of their comments to be public beyond the blog they originally posted them on and search-able for that matter, but many of us may not. Disqus and Intense Debate, offer your users a profile privacy option.
For a magazine as web savvy and web successful as The Atlantic has been, this redesign is both a tired political branding trope in the color choice and a social media privacy bomb waiting to happen.
Update, Sun 02.28.10 10:30pm (PST): I am not the only one who doesn’t like The Atlantic’s redesign, Mr. Sullivan doesn’t either for different reasons.
Wow. I am more than a bit stunned that the Atlantic would go ahead and do such a big visual and content management redesign without consulting the main bloggers/writers who create their content and draw in the readers who form the community of the site.
Now I am just sad. Sad as a faithful reader & subscriber of the Atlantic and sad for my profession of web design. In web design, we talk a lot about User Experience, but UX is just not the experience of the end user, but also of the authors, bloggers, and content creators of the websites in question as they are also our clients who we must design a good experience for.
Part Two of my improve Nokia’s Communication Idea Set.
One of the frustrations in participating in projects / campaigns with WOM World can be the difficulty in communication and getting timely information. This is not news to the folks at WOM World (we had a big conversation last week about this) nor to other folks who work on campaigns/projects with them. Now let me break this down into the problem, the extenuating circumstances, and the proposed solution: The Problem:
I love participating in projects / campaigns / whatever you want to call it with WOM World & Nokia but I find myself frustrated that much of the information that is needed to complete my side of the project right either comes late or quite a bit into the campaign. Take the example of the lack of Nokia viNe widget for the last month and a half of that campaign and then finding out about a similar widget by some other team at Nokia via another blog. The Circumstances:
(please note that the following are not unique to WOM World or Nokia, but happen all over the world in a variety of businesses)
1) Nokia is working with at least 3 external agencies / vendors on any one campaign: Interactive ad agency, WOM World/1000 heads for the outward facing blogger interface & social media marketing, a possible pr agency, etc. This is on top of the one or two or more internal Nokia teams that may be involved in the project (the developers who are making the service, the marketing team, etc). This is a lot of cats to herd. And it is a lot of folks to be informing each other of what each member of their teams is up to, as well as what other teams at Nokia may be up to that might help the campaign/project at hand, all while on a tight deadline.
2) Almost every company on the planet has teams that are understaffed and overworked. It is a reality of the business system. ‘Nuff said.
3) WOM World’s primary mission is to follow social media and bloggers and then let the world know about what those folks have said. WOM World does not create its own content. At the same time as WOM World is blogging about what we are blogging about, they are also sending and receiving mobile devices all over for trials, and participating in / conducting Nokia campaigns with bloggers and social media folk, as well as interacting with Nokia and other agencies to make sure that WOM World’s portion is working. See #1 & #2 above and you get the point.
4) Ok, I could now talk about how different cultures view the dissemination of information or lack thereof, company cultures, and transparency v. Finnish mind reading tricks, but I won’t muddle up the subject at hand with more details or conjecture. The Proposed Solution:
Provide a back channel for each of the projects / campaigns as a way of getting information out there and keeping folks informed, and as a way to build community.
What do I mean by a back channel? Before Nokia Open Lab in Sept. most of the participants had very little information other than initial email invite, as the website for the event was not up yet, so Roland Tanglao set up a wiki to help us communicate and share more info that folks may have gleaned.
By having this wiki, the Open Lab participants were able to share our flight times to meet up at the airport, information about the event, information about Helsinki, and most importantly – after the event – links to our blog posts, photos, tweets, etc that we created about the event.
Instead of talking less in public spaces about the Open Lab because we had our own private place to talk to each other, we talked more in public because we had more information and we felt more empowered.
So, I propose that for each campaign / project that Nokia and WOM World work on (either together or separately) with bloggers and social media folk, that a wiki or Friend Feed or an old school link portal or some other way for us to aggregate all the information we need to share with each other, as well as a listing of all the posts / tweets / etc that we have written about the campaign / project. Arguments Against:
Since I floated this idea by WOM World’s Donna and Siobhan last week, I already have the objections to my idea. Of which the biggest objection is that if a wiki is set up, then the fear would be that the participants would just chat to each other on the wiki / forum / back channel and would not post about the project. Counter Argument:
In the instance of the Nokia Open Lab 2008, having the wiki did not stop us from blogging and tweeting about it. In fact, we posted more and responded to each other in our blogs because we were sharing information and we had built a community.
WOM World may have posted a few links to our writings during and after the event, but by having a back channel we were able to self-aggregate all of our social media and blog links about the Open Lab and it can be viewed by the public which only increases the Long Tail effect for the event.
When we were talking last week Siobhan suggested that FriendFeed would work within the constraints of WOM World’s primary mission, as it could aggregate all the posts for all of the participants of any given project. But, unless FriendFeed has good filters for all of the incoming feeds, we would also see all of the other posts by the same folks.
A wiki or like, either on the WOM World site or external wiki like PBwiki, would also allow us to share links and information that would be helpful during the project, like my finding the Maps + Photography widget last week, it would allow not just the participants but the whole world see a complete or almost complete list of the posts on the project both during and after in one place, as well as build community. The Conclusion:
Please help those of us without degrees in Finnish Mind Reading out. I would love to know who the other participants in the Nokia viNe project are, I know a few, but it would be great to follow all and not just thier viNe posts but also their blogs and other social media, as well as to share information that will allow all of us to better participate in the project.
Information + Links + Community = a Big Win for Nokia in the long run.