Trash the Memories

Been paying attention to the Backupify blog. Let’s disregard the distressing idea someone would bother to tweet during his (probably not her) wedding.

Show me someone who can’t use Twitter. Probably from their mobile phone. Possibly while getting married…. After all, you wouldn’t want to permanently lose your wedding photos. Why wouldn’t the same logic apply to your wedding tweets?

I’ve been reading old LiveJournal blog posts as I go through them categorizing, tagging, and changing visibility settings. Several I have just trashed. I’m sure I meant something profound way back when. The old me maybe had potential, but it surely failed to express any of it well. Whenever I look at my old photos, I also think if I knew then what I know now, then I could have done a better job.

Here is to hoping the 2015 doesn’t find me as pathetic as the 2010 me finds the 2005 me.

Protected Post Password

I imported all my LiveJournal posts here. Other than posting pictures to there from Flickr, I don’t really use LJ anymore. I rarely even read my friends’ blogs there. Too bad. I still have the teeshirt.

Most of my LJ posts are protected. For this site, I’d rather have them set to private. So the section of WordPress (Tools > Import > LiveJournal) saying this seemed relevant:

If you have any entries on LiveJournal which are marked as private, they will be password-protected when they are imported so that only people who know the password can see them.

If you don’t enter a password, ALL ENTRIES from your LiveJournal will be imported as public posts in WordPress.

Password protected seemed better than not, so I set a 30 character long password, and the form accepted all 30. When the password didn’t work, I logged in as the administrator user and looked at Publish > Visibility >

In my opinion, web forms in general should prevent the user from entering more characters than the application or database will take. Passwords are very exact, so forms for creating them definitely should not allow extraneous characters.

DDoS of Social Media

Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal and other sites all admitted to suffering from a DDoS attack. It seem to me the purpose of a Denial-of-Service attack (DoS) against a web site is to flood it with so much traffic the site becomes unusable. The DDoS is where multiple other computers are coordinated into launching the attack.

All three of the above mentioned sites have had recent issues keeping up with growing usage. The USA inauguration and Iran demonstrations peaked traffic so much the sites seemed like they suffered from a DoS. Already at the edge, an attack tipped the barely making it social media sites over it. Some users abandon them for less popular (so more stable sites). Those who stick around suffer from learned helplessness.

Causing all this hullabaloo over a single user seems odd to me. I don’t speak Russian, so I don’t know if this guy from Georgia (the country) deserved it. Also, it is almost the one year anniversary since Russia invaded Georgia. During the invasion, DDoS attacks disabled Georgian web sites. So, maybe this is to show Georgia the Russians are still capable of causing problems? This is why security evangelists want us to be able to deal with threats.

Various computer viruses over the years have turned millions of computers into zombies for botnets. So… If you are upset about your favorite social media site getting taken down, then maybe you should act on ensuring your computer and others in your social network were not enlisted into a botnet?

Endings

George R. R. Martin ranting about bad endings seems odd. “C’mon. Writing 101.”

One of my bigger terrors is his end to A Song of Ice and Fire will be bad. A slightly bigger one is 3 years between books means the end is possibly a decade away and a sedentary lifestyle will prevent us from getting to read it.

Maybe writing 101 really means never put it down on paper?

Typealyzer

Purely for fun. Typealyzer gives a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator result from analyzing the text in your blog. I find it interesting this blog scored an INTJ and another ISTP. Prior to working in IT, I was always an INFP. Then I started getting INTP and lately INTJ. So the ISTP is a little odd to me.

INTJ – The Scientists

INTJ
INTJ

The long-range thinking and individualistic type. They are especially good at looking at almost anything and figuring out a way of improving it – often with a highly creative and imaginative touch. They are intellectually curious and daring, but might be physically hesitant to try new things. 

The Scientists enjoy theoretical work that allows them to use their strong minds and bold creativity. Since they tend to be so abstract and theoretical in their communication they often have a problem communicating their visions to other people and need to learn patience and use concrete examples. Since they are extremely good at concentrating they often have no trouble working alone.

Cross-Seeding the Clouds

There is a good post on backing up a PLE or really anything created in the cloud. The danger of working in the cloud is the site disappearing like Ma.gnolia recently. When the data is important, such as for teaching a class, this is huge.

So the advice to have additional copies elsewhere is good. Is it the only way? I like the concept of cross-posting better than backup and restore to alternative sites. Instead of regular exports and imports, as the data is generated in multiple places at the same time. Think of it as an near instantaneous export and import to minimize the loss.

Perhaps more opportunities for cross-posting would make the Interweb a safer place for our data.

Labels

This started out as a comment to Adrian, but I it got so long it may as well be a post on its own….

The significance of racial labels is not in identifying the genetic makeup of individuals. The significance is in how the labels were used to enforce segregation long before the American Revolution. Before slaves in the United States were freed in 1865, defining who was Black was to identify who was eligible to be held in slavery and have ownership of property. There were grave concerns about mixing owners and slaves resulting in slaves gaining their freedom, especially once capturing them from Africa was no longer allowed. Defining race was about control then. Even in the more than one hundred years after the slaves were freed, defining who was Black was about control. Instead of who could be forced into slavery, the definitions of who is Black identified who could be excluded from power.  The fear was mixed people using the laws to somehow get access to power. Only since Affirmative Action has it become in any way beneficial for others to have less than pure European descent.

Adrian remarked many of us have ancestors which keep us from being purely from one or another group. Chatting with George and Lorenia yesterday, George pointed out even in Europe, southern Spain and Italy confounds the stereotype. Our increasing understanding of genetics and culture invalidates race as a useful means of describing individuals. Individuals have genetic markers linking them all over the globe. We are one species. My favorite example PBS show indicating the women described as Amazons moved to western Mongolia.

“The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” – Baha’u’llah

Social Marketing

Normally, I consider John Dvorak a crotchety old-timer who doesn’t get human-computer interaction due to his myopic self-centered view. (His use isn’t usually my use, so he gripes seem inapplicable.) Finally, he got one right… almost. In his most recent blog post… er… opinion article, he described people using social networks as “marketing” themselves. Actually, the phrasing is identity management. People use these online tools to appear better than who they really are. Well… Duh. I’ve always thought I should use technology, especially social networking tools, to control what others think about me.

Back in the old days, as a Webmaster, I discovered the friend of a friend of a friend had a LiveJournal (one of the first social network sites, predating even Friendster) blog where she posted a bit of her art work from her classes. I’m not a freelancer, so I gave her some of the freelance web design leads which she turned into experience to help her get a real graphic design job. Rands might just be understanding getting a job is a potential use of Twitter. Given employers Google their job candidates, why not? I am sure there are many reasons for why one should strive to maintain a positive image for those taking the initiative to check.

The technology is new, but the purpose is as old as natural selection. We all wish to succeed. Stone tools allowed my distant ancestors to accomplish monotonous tasks faster than others and attract more advantageous mates. Maybe social networks are the modern stone tools?