Solvable problems (3)
I keep running into these issues where some minuscule problem gets in the way of something, and all progress stops and everyone gives up.  I tried to plug my computer into a different division's network at work, and I wasn't allowed.  I needed to plug in to do my job, and this roadblock prevented me from working.  This is a solvable problem.  I didn't need a new computer; I didn't need someone to run wiring to a new location; I didn't need someone to invent the concept of computer networking to allow me to accomplish my task.  I just needed someone to modify their network security to allow me to plug in.  Obviously this didn't happen because I work for a bloated, bureaucratic behemoth.  So instead of doing work, I just didn't do work.  That's fine.  But this could've been easily prevented if people could comprehend the scale of the problems they routinely encounter, and simply realize that many of them are inherently and readily solvable. #technology

The problem with social media
Crazy people have always existed.  Lots of people have crackpot theories and racist views.  Some of them would even form a club (Flat Earth Society, the KKK) to join together with other people who shared their terrible opinions. 

The success of social media is that it connects people.  Friends from childhood, relatives of relatives, and even people who live on opposite sides of the world but share the same interests. 

The problem with social media is that it connects people.  Connection is good, but certain ideas that used to be relegated to hushed conversations in dark basements are now championed and amplified by social media's ability to bring people together and give them a voice.  It's not really social media's fault.  It's the users, i.e. us.  Social media just made it easier. #technology

Chrome to Firefox to Chrome
I've been using Google Chrome as my main web browser for a few years now.  It just feels cleaner, neater, and faster than the competition.  Plus the syncing is top-notch -- bookmarks, history, extensions, etc.  It's a no-brainer. 

But my employer recently changed some security policy which disabled all syncing, which was bad enough.  But it also disable extensions, and by extensions I really only mean THE extension:  an adblocker.  I've been using an adblocker for so long, I don't even know what the actual internet is like.  When I'm forced to look at somebody's phone for a YouTube video and see a commercial, or when I have to momentarily use Internet Explorer to check something and am bombarded with 90s-era pop-ups and pop-unders and pop-overs and blinking text and autoplaying video, it's like walking in someone else's shoes which are a little small but manageable.  Like, I can do it, but it's really unenjoyable, and I'll probably just stop after a while because I have better things to do. 

Anyway, I switched over to Firefox, which for whatever reason still had extensions (add-ons) and syncing enabled.  What I very quickly realized is why I stopped using Firefox in the first place:  It's fucking slow.  Like literally is unusable.  It's clunky.  Why I have to keep clicking through security exception notifications or whatever is completely beyond me.  And the overall kicker is the memory usage.  I remember experiencing memory issues with Firefox in two-thousand-fucking-six.  I guess they still haven't fixed that problem. 

In looking for workarounds, I eventually found a way to sort of bypass the security policy by using a slightly different version of Chrome.  When I started that first Chrome window and got all my bookmarks synced and my extensions working, I was beyond happy.  Good-bye Firefox, and good riddance. #technology

Timeliness of search results
A problem I think the tech world needs to address is the timeliness of search results.  For example, I just searched for something about an Android app, and the first search result was from 8 years ago.  And that's searching for relatively modern technology.  It's sometimes completely useless trying to get pertinent information about topics that have existed in some form for quite a while.  Ooh someone else had the same problem with their dishwasher?  Just kidding that website was last updated in 1997.  Oh my favorite band is playing nearby?  Just kidding that band no longer exists, and the venue burned down last century. 

I'd say the primary purpose of the internet is the accessibility of information.  That's why search is such a fundamental part of it.  But when search results are crowded out by obsolete information from eons past, it dilutes the functionality of search, which dilutes the entire internet.  Yes, I know I can sort by date.  But that's not always ideal, and can be easily gamed by nefarious people trying to get pageviews. 

Please, internet, figure out a way to deal with your own aging. #technology

Facebook vs. blogging
Facebook is kind of a like a big room with a bunch of theatrical stages, and each person has their own stage.  The things people post are kind of like them standing on their stage and announcing it to the rest of the room.  It's loud and on a stage, but not everyone notices because they're all on their own stages and there's a bunch of background noise.  Every now and then, someone announces something from their stage and it gets echoed around to other stages. 

Blogging is kind of like talking quietly to yourself while walking down a crowded street.  Most people don't even notice you're there, but every once in a while you'll get a passerby looking for information.  And shouting obscenities in your face. #technology

DNS security
On the Media did a story about the inner workings of the internet's Domain Name System and the various security protocols involved in keeping the system running: 
So they have a key to a safety deposit box, which is inside the safe that they can't open, which is inside an insanely high secure facility, which they, hopefully, can't get into. So the person who knows the combination for the safe can't get in the room and can't get in the facility. The people who have the actual keys can't get anywhere, but the people who can get in the room don't know the combination or have the key. So, I mean, it does sound like something out of Oceans 11.
It's easily the most interesting thing I've heard about a really important thing that has almost no bearing on my day-to-day life. #technology

Facebook news feed changes
Apparently Facebook recently changed the way the news feed works.  The intention was to help companies better connect with customers or something like that.  But in effect, it's made it so that in order for a customer to receive Facebook updates about a company or group, they have to somehow interact with their posted content (e.g. Like, comment).  As a long time internet lurker and non-interactor, this puts me in the position of not hearing about the things which I've specifically gone out of my way to Like.  And if Like-ing doesn't get me a company or organization's updates, what's the point? #technology

Waiting for computers
A non-trivial percentage of my day is spent waiting for computers to do things.  And I'm not talking about complicated calculations or processor-intensive graphical simulations.  I'm talking about renaming a file, minimizing a window, or clicking a link.  Some days these simple tasks seem to take forever.  It's like my computer gets sidetracked and is like, "Oh hey, can you just wait a minute while I update some stuff and maintain your security?  Because that's my primary job.  Security over usability."  I have two computers at my desk at work.  One of them was thinking about something instead of performing a simple task, so I turned to the other computer, and it decided to act stupid and become unusable.  Thus, this post was born. #technology

Google Reader shared items
I've been using Google Reader for about 5 years now, and I had been using their "shared items" feature not to actually share items, but to essentially save them.  If I came across something interesting or noteworthy in my RSS feeds, I'd "share" it, but since my shared items were kept private, they were essentially saved items.  Google pushed out an update to Reader recently to make things look nicer and integrate with their latest Facebook knock-off, and in doing so they got rid of the old shared items system.  They "conveniently" offered the opportunity to download old shared items in JSON format, which for all intents and purposes is completely useless to anyone who doesn't currently write software that utilizes JSON.  Needless to say, I disagree with Google's decision to do away with this feature, I'm annoyed by their attempt at softening the blow, and I have yet another reason why I hate depending on web technologies instead of writing my own software. #technology

Mobile Flash
A lot has been made about Apple's refusal to allow Flash on the iPhone (that link is from 2008, but nothing has changed).  Apple has its reasons, and they're legitimate:  It's buggy, looks crappy, kills battery life.  Android, on the other hand, allows Flash without a second thought.  And yes, it's buggy, looks crappy, and kills battery life.  As an Android user, I don't particularly care for Flash, but I'm thankful my phone has the option.  Because when it comes down to it, I'd rather have a phone that crappily displays the information I want when I want it, rather than a phone that idealistically doesn't display the information I want when I want it.  Flash on mobile is fairly bad, and I think Flash in general should be put out to pasture.  But in the meantime, just give me access to information. #technology

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