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Monday, January 31, 2011

Never Give Up, Never Surrender!


Illustration Friday: Surrender. This is a frame from a comic- please click on the above for the full strip on I Can Bend Paperclips!

This week's Illustration Friday word is Surrender. As some of you know, I'm a fan of Sid Meier's Civilization franchise. However, after twenty years and five different versions, it's still pretty much the same, and I've wondered how the game would be if it reflected real life. And when I look at real life, it seems that somehow, without even realizing it, "We the People" have surrendered our civilization.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Google is Pissing Me Off...

For years my search engine of choice has been Google, because it is no-frills, simple, fast, and has a supposed mantra of "Don't be evil." Recently, however, I've become disenchanted with it.

First of all is the issue of "Google Neutrality." Lately, no matter what search parameters I use, (exact phrases, advanced search, quotation marks,) the sites that pay Google the most rise to the top of my searches, even if they don't actually contain all the words I'm searching for or are the most relevant. I'm not so bothered by this as I understand Google is a business, just annoyed. However...

The second issue is privacy. I have an Android (Captivate, running Cognition's version of 2.2 as Samsung and AT&T refuse to do right by their customers, but that's a bitch for another day...) I use Dolphin Browser HD because it has a private browsing option that the standard browser doesn't (cleaning out history, cache, forms, passwords and cookies whenever I close it.) Now, you may ask why would I want to do those things? Am I just being paranoid? Well...

No matter what I do, Google Mobile somehow saves my searches.

I have no idea how it does this. I keep background data and sync off unless I'm accessing the Market, and I am not signed in on a Google account. Now - this is where Google gets sneaky, pay attention. Google has it's own preferences, and one of them is remembering your search history. You can turn it off - but as the default is always on - that requires you to KEEP GOOGLE'S COOKIES. Get it? As Google somehow knows how to recognize my phone (for those who don't know, the Android platform is owned by Google) it saves my searches - unless I keep Google's cookies, which means actually giving them permission to track my online doings. Yes, I can manually clear my searches every time I use the Google, but why are they being saved at all? Where are they being saved? At Google central? On my phone? Is there a hidden cache? To make a long story short, as long as I use Google on my Android, there's no way to keep them from collecting information on me. Yes I can use other search engines, but that's not the point. The right to control over my own privacy and transparency over how my information is being stored and collected is.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dusty


Illustration Friday: Dusty. Please Click above for higher resolution.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Tonight on 'It's the Mind"..."


Illustration Friday: Deja Vu. Click above for more betterer resolution.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Another Day...

So here I sit, at my little laptop. I haven't been for any walks yet today. I went out last night to my New York Cares orientation (I joined a volunteer service so I don't get stir crazy during the day) in the Bronx. Last Thursday I visited an old friend Craig J. Clark (Quack,) a very good bearded playwright who was visiting his mother in New Jersey. I've worked on my game, but I'm coding the inventory buttons and there are so many functions and ifs, thens, and elses for each one that it's making my head spin, and I'm correcting problems that aren't really problems and turning around and saying "shit, why did I do that?" and undoing it. I find myself singing Pink Floyd's line, "And I - can - feeeeeeeeeel... one of my turns coming on..." over and over in my head - is that a sign of something? I find myself reading more and more Manga (because it's so quick to go through) but our library's Manga section is shit - there's a much better library a few miles away but I'm not sure I feel like spending the bus fare. Normally I'd walk but it's just to bitter out.

It's supposed to snow again.

I satisfied my mei-fun with pork jones yesterday, can't do that every day...

Maybe I'll put on a shadow puppet show for myself! I wonder if I can do that without it getting too complicated... I have a tendency to be complicated. If I had written Goldilocks and the three bears, Goldilocks would have been and eco-terrorist and the bears would have been genetically altered with super-intelligence (to live in a furnish house and cook porridge etc) by her right-wing mad scientist parents who abused her as a child...

Well anyhoo, back to distracting myself from life. Everyone take care

TTFN
-Tony