fodder for the masses

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Have you noticed..

have you noticed
The ebb and flow of things around the place. How a 'next big thing' becomes worn, used, rather quickly, as people move on to the next one.

Witness the downturn in mention of Yellow Arrows, and Flagr, both earmarked by me as being the next big thing.

We actually have vast plans for both in the very near future, especially in how to get around the loss of the Yellow Arrow short number for Australia, but in the meantime note how easy it is to move on to something else.

Not always new, just something else - note the sudden emphasis on video chat, finding the previously overpriced UserPlane video chat now comes in free versions as well. The regurgitating of the IRC and ICQ methods, all done to death before.

I've mentioned it before, and I still don't know how it works. Is it a chicken / egg thing?

Things come on stream - like the above example - Userplane discovers that there is simply not enough people willing to adopt the paid model, and opts for a tiered arrangement, free with adverts, pay more to lose them.

Is it like a new love affair, cooling down from that initial furnace like emotive state, back to a more sustainable zone. Is that what happens to internet things?

And then, into vogue it comes again. What causes that? After a two year hiatus suddenly IM applications are 'it' again. Were they ever not? Was it just me who slowly got over the flush, moved on?

The video phase, not over by any means, but idling in a corner while I mess with other stuff, the buzz of digital imagery softening for a time.

What is the trigger - for these things to become the 'thing', and for them to assume less import? Who decides?

I still think I have a cyclic thing that boots in with PGP and other cryptology stuff. Seem about every six months I get a mania for security and everything need to be encrypted, and then it slackens off again - possibly due to the mind numbing stupidity of people when you try and introduce something new to their lives.

I used to think I was merely flakey with things, until I noticed the entire web, if not the world doing the same thing.

A wave like action. Similar I expect, if charted to the natural waves of the futures market. The Elliot Wave principle springs to mind, and the use of Fibonacci numbers.

Is that how it runs?

It would be nice to know the next popular 'thing' to come along - before it did, but then that's what all of us want.



The trouble with reality.

the indoor outdoor thing
Spent too long indoors this week.

First three days worked out fine; up and biking, getting through 50 klms each day, taking forever to do it with a stiff, cold, headwind. No problem keeping warm after that, a shower and back into some warm gear.

Tuesday the coldest May day on record - no wonder I felt it that night.

Yesterday and today - too long online. Too long messing around with Jabber, and about a hundred other Instant Messaging applications.

This caused by the discovery that Southern based friend Fanning had a webcam setup.

Discovering this and that he is the new owner of an 18' trailer sailer has snapped me out of my computer based mediocrity, made me a fan of the great outdoors, even in winter. Unusual.

The webcam setup seemed to require MSN to operate, or so it seemed - not installed on my machine - until we cranked up the previously mentioned Userplane Video Chat thing I was messing with last week.

Real time in video, real time in audio, well, real time plus about 4 seconds. Near enough to real time for me. That weird thing you do in MSN where you have to hold down F2 and record things, then release it to send doesn't seem to happen in the UserPlane thing, probably because it is operating in pure Flash, off a Flash Comm Server.

All that worked ok yesterday, making it a bunch easier to keep in touch, offering unsolicited and completely useless advice about his boat, a vessel that it just right for me - only needs one to sail it, in fact there's not much room for more than one anyway.

Trouble is that the rest of the time - and I mean every waking minute, seems to have been spent looking for an IM client that handled every system and didn't take over the entire machine, which the likes of Trillian et al do.

I like them 'bare bones', like IRC. No bells and whistles, no program telling me how good it is, or asking me to upgrade every minute.

Jabber is the way to go. I'm running Psi as the client, its; sitting nicely in the tray right now. It doesn't force load itself on every boot, it doesn't automatically blow your cover if you're trying to have a quite day.

It just sits there, low overheads, minding Jabber, ICQ, MSN, and even IRC if you feel the need. Anyone from any of those come on line, I know about it.

Fact is, I took too long sorting it. I spent too long reading the thoughts and hopes of people who seem to be of the opinion that there is no life but the mighty screen, or is that just the impression I get?

Too long reading up on every 'next big thing' in the IM business. Way too long. The more you read up on it, the more plugins, scripts, dll's you find, the bigger the application becomes.

Made me wonder. If I'm spending so much time reading up on all this, how long do these people spend developing the things? A full time job. Probably the only thing they do.

Admirable to be sure, but, as I mentioned before, no substitute for getting out and about. Getting out and about in an 18' boat.

That's where the real world is.

You feel the need to speak, grab your microphone and leave me a message at Odeo.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

and, Friday, out of my mind.

Radio Zoetrope speaks
The news today is arriving in tables. The reason is because I can do it. The reason is because I had to prove I could do it. I had intended to make it nice and neat with DIV's, but Blogger resisted, and I have been forced to return to the old, weary, and not very Web2 (oh no - sinned again), tables. Bleech!!!

Decision
Celebrate Yvonne's birthday by letting her do all the housework. I am so good to that woman that I surprise myself sometimes.

Decision
The new barcode format for the next location campaign will almost certainly be Semacode. The reasons? Semacode stands a chance of being understood quicker than the other candidates. The reader seems to be able to be installed on more phones. You should now go there an download the correct reader for your phone.

Inconvenient that my own, A Razr V3 is in fact not supported.

Decision
Not to use this layout anymore unless I feel like punishing myself. Consider this test done, dusted. Div's from now on - it must be easier. Ever notice how Blogger kind of 'grudgingly lets you', while giving off a disapproving air? It's giving me the willies.
experiment
Where we're at with this thing is to be able to load external stuff - hopefully with the good old standby, the i-frame.


Consider this then proof of concept. Would you like chips with that?



Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Video Chat - moi?

The laws of consciousness dictate that if I am left alone with other humans for too much time I will eventually implode.

The only distinguishing characteristic that I have is a hate of being around other people in crowds, come to think of it I'm not too keen on individuals either.

It is obvious then that I would go to the trouble of hooking up a video chat - make that audio and video - even worse. Implosion is not only implied, it is clearly evident. I have no life.


I fear the end may be nearer than we think. I appeared in it once (the video, not life) - proof of concept, but I haven't managed to face my own visage again. The test, if there is to be one, is to see if Blogger can handle the code.

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the code, the comment

And, in the spirit of the Da Vinci code, which seems to be absorbing the World at the moment:

KILYK DICVO ORLPD IJSCF KHWWP EGKNP VZHMA LCFKW RJORG EMWSY
ODDIJ GGLEW KNKFC HFICP WJALJ HNYPT LKACR ERNYA SPONT WICIR
LPQOY TKYOP RLPJQ KMVKV AWKZL BZWVR FAQXT WZDEI V

Where the Vigenére key is YELLOWARROW, for your perusal - a commentary of declination.

Comment it back to me in decoded form.



Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Inertia - it's global

bloody seasons
Seem to me that the entire world changes as we slide into Autumn. The whole place looks sadder, or something.

Now, I notice it occurring in the world of the web to;
waning - the leaves are coming off
It's interesting to note the way the web, or web oriented entities rise and fade over time. I wonder if there is any way of measuring it?

Seems YellowArrow is waning at present - the number of posts has slowed to a trickle, the opposite of what I expected with the Northern Hemisphere summer coming up.

We have a communication disaster with it down here in Australia to - ever since the short number 'fell off' we have been unable to gauge interest. At least we know one keen young man gave it a go last night having run into one of our arrows while placing one of his own geocaches. He valiantly tried the SMS number, and, receiving nil response posted on YellowArrow which I thought showed considerable effort.

Lucky indeed that we can repurpose the arrows for our own ends.

waxing - is that blossom buds I see?
Incredibly, at the same time on the opposite coast of the US, a similar project, but this time involving Google Maps, is taking off. Flagr - mentioned before here, seems to be exploding.

I have spent considerable time logged on there while I build myself a bit of a presence, and it amazing to note the frequency of posts coming from all over the World.

In the last few days I have not only built myself a presence, I've just about logged my entire life - spanning across to New Zealand as well.

There is no requirement to add an arrow to the spot. A photo is good, and the application is set up to allow mobile images to be uploaded straight from the phone. Naturally that doesn't work in Australia - yet - but I simply upload an image from the PC. The cache of Yellow Arrow images has served us twice now.

Flagr will soon be defined in Australia, Brisbane at least, as they are sending over some stickers for us to promote it. Since these don't need to point to a specific location you will find them all over the place - trust me. Keep your eyes out, find a Flagr sticker location, contact me here using the comments. You never know what might happen to you.



Look for the logo above.

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