So where is my album art?

Posted by: bob on Thursday September 6th 2012

On the left, some albums I copied to the Nexus 7 with embedded album art in each file’s ID3 which is obviously working because… you can see it. On the right, the My Music Google Play widget. The local albums are showing the locally generated generic album art instead of the real ones. The albums that do have art I do not even own or know what they are. Probably just stupid suggestions from their online store.

So where is my album art? I even rebooted and deleted cache files just in case, after which I watched it regenerate the generic ones one by one.

Four Tumblr behaviours that drive me nuts

Posted by: bob on Tuesday February 28th 2012

1) Taking an image someone else produced, desaturating or doing any other photoshop work to it, and posting it. If the image was not artistic before, making it black and white did not make it any more artistic. Nor does it make you any sort of artist. This behaviour seems to run rampant in the adult categories, making commercial pictures desaturated and adding things to well known actresses that do not belong… ahem.

2) Taking an image someone else produced, and not citing where you got it from. The Tumblr post editor has a field for the URL of where you stole the image from. Stop being stupid and use it.

3) Posting low resolution or poor quality images. At this point in this tech age most computer screens have like a hundred million trillion pixels and I wish you would use them all.

4) Lets say your blog is about cheese. I fucking love cheese. I follow you. For two weeks you post nothing but cheese and I think you are the most awesome ever. Then you post a picture of a sunset. Then a dog. Then a GIF from some movie. STOP THAT. MORE CHEESE.

Why Wikipedia’s current “SOPA Blackout” is really not good

Posted by: bob on Wednesday January 18th 2012

Most people know I am the guy that does not care much about anything. I scoff at articles that I do not think make their point fast enough, things like that. You can say that is proven since my own blog here is not SOPA blocked. Today, however, I have chosen a side, and I need more space than Twitter allows because as it turns out, the people I pinged actually read their Twitter messages.

For a while now Wikipedia has been against the SOPA/PIPA act and was warning of an “information blackout” to happen today. The point was to demonstrate what the internet would be like if this thing was to pass and become law.

Most of the sites who cared enough to do this have been doing things like, forcing 503 redirects, or replacing their homepage completely. The number of sites doing this is small, but it makes the point of being unable to view the content.

Wikipedia however, has taken a Javascript approach where after the real page loads, they just stick a black overlay over the content. The real page is still under there, and it takes 1 second to kill it through various means. So what if the “average joe” cannot get around it? The point is SOMEONE (like myself) can get around it. It is not an information blackout, it is an information cover up, that’s all.

All that is going on is they are training people to find a way around it. Sort of like how people learned a way around paying for music. I had believed Wikipedia to be strong enough to make a real point with a real blackout. NOBODY should be able to get around it. That is how people like me are swayed.

The 2:30am Christmas Turkey

Posted by: bob on Tuesday December 27th 2011

We put off our holiday dinner shopping until very last minute – as in I was at the grocer buying it christmas eve as the store was closing for the holiday. We wanted chicken but I could not find any chickens, so I got a turkey. When I got home I put it in the fridge so that it would thaw out.

It did not thaw out though, when I woke up the next morning my girlfriend was like “I guess I forgot to tell you to leave it out” and I was like “oops” – Apparently turkeys take two days to thaw out under normal circumstances. It was an all day affair, but I managed to get it thawed out from 10am to 6:30pm floating it in hot water, changing the water every hour.

According to howstuffworks.com, a frozen turkey takes 5 hours to cook at 325F. Assuming that was true, I was expecting this thawed turkey to be ready by 11pm at the latest.

However they were quite wrong. This turkey which was put in the oven at 7:20pm was not ready until 2:30am. But damn was it tastey. We shoved it full with garlic, onion, oranges, and lemon, then cooked potatoes and carrots around it.

Why protecting your brand by buying the matching .xxx domain does not matter.

Posted by: bob on Wednesday December 21st 2011

This post is oriented towards the average business, the average hobbyist, the average Joe. If you are in the domain auction and aftermarket business then all is fair in love in war. But like I said if you are just a normal person, here are some reasons buying the matching .xxx domain for your brand name is dumb.

Before I address the common excuses, let me start by asking you if you have even looked at the .xxx registration process, or followed how it has been working for the past few months. If you have, you should notice that the system was designed to do one thing: generate massive amounts of profit.

When the .xxx registry was first announced I put myself on the reserve list for bob.xxx. To explain it simply, there was 3 different registration periods (so far). First, if you had an adult trademark you could put in a request to buy the domain. If multiple businesses wanted the name the name was auctioned to the highest bidder.

Once everyone with proven trademarks had their shot, then it became a “landrush” where you could put in a request to buy the domain for top dollar, and if multiple people wanted it then again the name was auctioned off to the highest bidder. If nobody wanted the name, then the sponsor registry would email you, like they did me, and offer a chance to buy the domain (bob.xxx) for 700 dollars a year. To put that in perspective, opsat.net costs me 7 dollars a year. Obviously, I did not buy it.

A few weeks later after a quiet period, right before general registration was activated they emailed me again, this time offering me the chance to buy the name for 300 dollars a year. It was at this point I quit watching it.

So if you participated in this sunrise and landrush phases, all you really did was make the sponsor registry a lot of money for a string of text that you probably do not even want, unless you really are making porn. For example, gay.xxx ended up auctioning for 500,000USD.

Excuse #1: I need to buy it before someone else does and uses it for ill.

Why? 90% of us are not making porn. So what if someone buys walmart.xxx and starts making walmart porn. First off, nobody is going to accidentally type .xxx when they mean to type .com. I know the keys are like right next to each other (…) but I promise you this is never going to happen. Someone wanting walmart porn is going to get their walmart porn. Someone wanting to shop at walmart is not going to be like “oh maybe I should check walmart.xxx to see if they have better deals there” – and if they do then they deserve what they find.

Second, if this did happen, I imagine walmart will have a pretty well paying trademark infringement lawsuit to file.

But that could hurt walmart’s reputation!!! OH WAIT NO IT WONT BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO AREN’T RETARDED KNOW WALMART SELLS GROCERIES AT EXCEPTIONAL PRICES AND DOES NOT MAKE PORN.[1]

Excuse #2: I need to buy it so nobody accidentally types it.

I already told you, nobody is going to accidentally type .xxx when they wanted to type .com, .net, or .org. Look at your keyboard, then go look in the mirror. The only way for it to happen is for one or both of the objects to have looked retarded.

Excuse #3: I need to buy it so nobody accidentally finds it with Google/Bing/Whatever.

First, all the popular search engines today have a featured called SafeSearch, and this feature is enabled by default. The goal of this feature is to prevent offensive material from reaching your search results. This means, which SafeSearch enabled not only will a site with porn on it be ranked very very poorly, but just the fact it is .xxx means the search results can strip it out completely without even checking if it really is porn or not.

Oh but what if they turned SafeSearch off, you ask? Then they WANTED the porn, so sit down and shut up.

Excuse #4: I need to buy it so they cannot squad my search engine rankings.

See excuse #3.

Seriously.

Excuse #5: I am making porn.

Ok, buy it. But you do not even need to use it just make it redirect to your already profitable and indexed .com. If we want some femdom bondage porn, we are probably going to type femdom bondage porn in a search engine with SafeSearch off, not try type random words ending with .xxx and see if we get lucky. This will hold true at least until they amend SOPA (or some other bull) to force all porn to only be on .xxx domains.

[1] This post was not paid for by walmart. My proof is that 1) I did not properly capitalize and hypenize their trademarked name and 2) I do my best to actually avoid walmart unless I am broke this month.

The Photobucket Saga

Posted by: bob on Tuesday December 13th 2011

Not to long ago Twitter started offering direct image uploads for tweets, and that service is powered by Photobucket. When you visit Photobucket to sign up and connect it to Twitter, it throws an error about an invalid zip code. The thing is there is no visible zip code field in the form. This struck me as being really silly considering I could not sign up on the site powering the site I am trying to use. Having just woke up, and still groggy as the allergy medicines had not kicked in I left a rather humorous and slightly insulting (intentional for the lulz) post on Twitter addressing the problem.

I am used to being ignored or brushed off on Twitter, but then a few hours later I got a reply from their help account:

So I see this, and I am thinking “it is such a simple problem and if you know about it, why do you need another ticket about it?” And I posed this question on IRC, where it was suggested I screw with form with Chrome and send them an invoice for my time. I did manage to get around the problem. Their form has (or maybe by the time you read this, had) a hidden input field named “zip” with a value of “N/A” and their registration app was choking on it. Forcing it visible and then putting in a real zip code allowed registration to pass through correctly.

I posted an updated screenshot, and a link to an invoice  for the time spent. I never actually expected to get paid, the invoice was [mostly] a joke. But the problem is simple enough it should not take a think tank to fix, and that was the point. The invoice stated the problem with the hidden field and the simplest solution which was to make the field not hidden so that a user could actually input a zip code.

Shortly after this I received a reply…

When I got that message I laughed, but I was wondering if the time was actually worth it. Would they actually use what I found? Was this a write off message? I know I did not actually fix their product, I merely pinpointed the answer that they suggested was eluding them. About ten minutes after that I received an interesting email which went along with this follow up…

So in the end that is my story of how being a groggy nuisance on Twitter may have gotten things done. I appreciate the gesture Photobucket made by upgrading my account to Pro, but what I appreciate more than that is that they actually followed up and may have appreciated my effort. They could have said they upgraded me for my troubles, not my help. We will see how long it takes them to implement a solution. So now it looks like I will be using Photobucket and seeing how that goes for a while. Cheers and Happy Holidays to the Photobucket people.

My review of Battle: Los Angeles

Posted by: bob on Sunday August 7th 2011

Battle: Los Angeles is an alien invasion movie that came out some time during the spring of 2011 I think. I remember seeing the previews in the theatre for it and thinking “ooo, that looks pretty slick” but I never had time to go see it. Few months ago I managed to have it sitting in /Users/bob/Movies and just today I finally got around to watching it.

Watching this movie was like watching your 7 year old cousin play Halo, except instead of being a badass Spartian marine they were playing as the retarded generic marines that shout random generic things and die before the level even really starts. In fact, if you take the entire Halo series (which is what, five games now?) and compress them down into two hours and totally forget to put Master Chief or any Spartian, Warthogs, and Zombies in it, (read: forgetting to putting any of the cool things in) that is how I felt after watching it.

The movie for what it was suppose to be was decent, but I think it needed less “get to know the human condition of these marines” and more actual battle strategies aside from “turn off the radios they are tracking the signals!”

A hypothetical Apple iCloud scenario

Posted by: bob on Wednesday July 13th 2011

Here is an imaginary scenario I have thought up as I was reading about Apple’s iCloud service.

All purchased music is pushed to iCloud so I can listen on all my devices. I even go through the hassle of letting Apple scan my music library so I can repurchase CD’s I ripped through their service so I can have that music too.

Now, an insecure mother uses her child’s iPad one day and is upset by the filth her child is listening to. She petitions Apple to remove the music. News catches and now half the christian nation is petitioning. Apple gives in, and deletes the music from the store.

I start my iPhone up and go to listen to my music, but, alas, the band I wanted to hear is gone! After some debugging and emails Apple support sends me to a press release saying how they had to delete it to make half the christian nation shut up.

The odds of this happening? I do not know. But Apple has demonstrated many times how they feel they have the right to manage morality for people by removing apps from their App Store. They are also easily pressured by outside forces to manage morality too. Basically in the end I can trust Apple to do “The Right Thing” which generally is just going to piss me off.

On top of that, it seems you cannot even add music to iCloud that iTunes does not have for you to rebuy. Currently about 48% of my music library iTunes does not have available, and it is the music I listen to the most. So I say “no thanks” to Apple iCloud.

Running of the grasshoppers

Posted by: bob on Thursday June 30th 2011

The grasshoppers are everywhere around here this week. One even tried to get in my car even though I shoo’d him away multiple times. Here is one that was on the parking surface last week.

This is a grasshopper

Here is one that was on my windscreen yesterday.

grasshopper2

grasshopper3

Would you like some performance with your PHP?

Posted by: bob on Tuesday May 10th 2011

This week I uncovered some interesting and disturbing facts about the state of performance of custom functions in PHP. Like most of us (PHP programmers) are probably already aware, PHP is not the fastest because of the range of flexibility it provides. However I ended up with some startling results when I tested multiple common ways to define a custom function.

Native functions will always be faster than custom functions, but when the exact same custom function is moved to a namespace something very saddening happens. To be honest I am afraid to see what would happen on a loaded web server environment where you have more going on than a stupid loop.

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