Archive for the ‘Deep Thoughts’ Category

Pimp’d

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

pimpThere’s been a lot of back and forth about Facebook privacy lately, so I thought I’d add to it a little with a few thoughts on it of my own. Even though I haven’t been as outraged as some, I still find the way they choose to do things somewhat disturbing.

As I said, there’s been plenty of great write-ups about this already, which I’m sure some of you have already read and I’m not going to repeat. But here are a two things worth keeping in mind:

First, Facebook is a corporation and the sole purpose of corporations is to make its shareholders wealthy, not to keep customers happy. Of course, they sometimes go hand in hand, but not always (see health insurance companies for more details on that). If you think that Facebook “cares” about you and how you feel and think, you’re delusional. They start caring when they notice a trend that diminishes their profits.

This is what we see now with the whole privacy fiasco. They don’t care if they sell us out. If you don’t complain and notice, they’ll do it because it’s in their best interest. More money in their pockets. More profit for shareholders. This isn’t anything to be bitter or cynical about, it’s just how many companies operate. It’s capitalism in its purest form. It’s a simple fact and knowing that makes all the difference. It is also the reason they’re able to provide us with this (arguably) useful service and why we can keep uploading endless videos of dogs on skateboards for free.

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Buzztastic?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

gbuzzIt’s a new year and we have a new social network. It seems that they keep popping up every few weeks lately. This time, Google managed to deliver another something for me to worship. I wish I could tell them to stop or at least slow down, as my chanting sessions are getting out of hand, and there is simply not enough time to dedicate a chant for each of their products. I would be chanting from morning till night without interruption.

At this point I’m probably a member of more social networks than I have real friends and I’m still not quite sure it’s a testament to me living on the bleeding edge of technology or simply having been shunned by mainstream society as a whole. Or both.

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The Big Lie

Monday, December 7th, 2009

3124443099_368a2915feDear Everyone on Earth,

I’m writing to you with a plea for help. I’m desperate and I have no one else to turn to. So, please hear me out and provide assistance if you can.

I’d like to believe in Santa. I want to believe. The problem is, that the Santa story is too convoluted and insane for anyone to really believe in. The only reason kids do, is because they have yet to develop the right amount of cynicism needed to realize that their parents are lying to them.

See, the problem isn’t necessarily the story itself, it’s more that there are so many different versions of it. Or rather, ways they’re executed. Coming from a different culture than the country I grew up in created its challenges. Our Christmas celebration differed from the one most of my friends’ had. It could be just minor things like what music was played or what was eaten at Christmas Eve, but it still created irreversible cracks in the foundation of the narrative. For us, Santa appeared in person. One of the adults, usually a dad or uncle, mysteriously disappeared for a while to go to the store, to get that random, critical, christmasy thing that was so incredibly essential that it justified an absence at the crescendo of the evening. Minutes later, of course, Santa would appear handing out presents to everyone.

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Redundancy of Heavy Metal Redundancy

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

hair-metal-fashionToday is one of those days. Not sure what brought it on, but I somehow have ended up listening to a bunch of Hair Metal from the 80’s, bringing back with it lots of memories from my youth. My Glory Days, as Springsteen would say, I guess. The days when all the band members during a live show would line up to  each perform 15 minute solos. By the 12th minute of the drum solo, I remember thinking: “I get it. You are good at drums. Now, dear God just stop”.  Also these were the days when we were told quite frequently about why, when and how we were about to “be rocked”, which in my opinion, might be the single most annoying aspect of Heavy Metal. Maybe music in general, although I haven’t studied the frequency of the phrase in other genres.

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A Devolution in Music

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

BrokenguitarI see myself as a musically-competent person. Nowhere near perfect pitch, but I can carry a tune in a bucket. Sometimes in even smaller containers if needed.

Throughout my life I’ve played a number of instruments, starting with the piano at the age of 7 and moving to other instruments as I got older. Although my piano career didn’t last more than a year, due to motivational challenges and a short attention span (which unfortunately never got much longer), I soon thereafter got steered in the direction of the violin by my parents. For a few joyful years, as I blessed them with sounds that be could be described as fingernails-on-chalkboard meets very-frightened-cat, I eventually learned to play well enough not to invoke facial expressions usually attributed nausea and facial paralysis. My parents rejoiced. As did most others forced to listen to my repertoire.

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On the fence

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

htc-magic-vodafoneHere I am, at the dawning of an imminent release of a new smart phone by my cell phone carrier. I’ve been contemplating getting one for some time now and the new one that’s being released looks pretty interesting. No, it’s not an iPhone. Those are exclusive to the AT&T network, to which I’m not connected. I could change, I guess, but I don’t want to. Because I don’t really want an iPhone. Why? Well, let’s say it’s for ideological reasons. I’m just not very wild about the fact of having Apple controlling what I can or can’t do (not that they don’t already, since I own an iPod). Yes, I know. I can jailbreak it. Although, that just seems like a giant hassle, and again, it would just piss me off having to bypass something that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

So, the phone I’m talking about is the HTC Magic which uses the Android operating system. On the T-mobile network it will be called “MyTouch“,  a horrible name, leading any clean mind with pure and innocent thoughts straight down into the sewer. But despite the name, it looks like a very compelling device. It’s already been out for a while in Europe as I understand, but is just now coming to the US. It’s got all the good stuff that you would expect from a smart phone. Camera, touchscreen and access to thousands of apps on the Andriod Market. There are of course minor issues that would annoy the bejezus out of me too. And they are really minor, yet just as annoying as that STD you got on your happy fun trip to Thailand last year. There’s no official Facebook app!! Apparently there’s a pissing contest between Facebook and Google about some advertising deal that went sour. Not sure what, but who cares, right? Give me my Facebook app!! That’s of course just one of the things, but there are more, I’m sure. And things like that just have a tendency to turn me off and scrap the whole idea of getting a smart phone altogether.

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Drinking the Kool-Aid

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

liberty315As the economy is crashing all around us and the world is imploding, I wanted to comment on a few recent public appearances by our President Obama.

As a matter of disclosure, to no surprise for anyone I’m sure, I should point out that I do like our new President a whole lot. But, I’m not really interested in commenting on any specific policy decisions, but rather more on the broader impact of the tone, attitude and image the new administration is projecting on the rest of the world.

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Office Jargon

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

big-redDifferent professions have a different language, and software development is no exception. Over the last decade in the field I’ve run into some words and expressions that occur more frequently than others, most of which irritate me to the point where I sometimes consider self inflicted bodily harm as an easy escape route out of situations where they’re used.

Keep in mind that these phrases are mostly used by managers talking to their underlings, rather than underlings conversing with their own kind.

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All roads lead to Starbucks

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

I would normally argue that there are too many Starbucks locations in this country. If asked, I would probably estimate there being about 1 per every 10 people. Roughly. So, in a city the size of Sacramento, we have about 120 000 Starbucks locations.

Again, I could be off by a couple, so don’t quote me on this.

When the wife gets the shakes and need her fix, however, this Starbucks density situation could prove to be a beneficial one. Especially when it turns out you’re in an unfamiliar area without a clue where the nearest coffee oasis might be hiding out.

It is therefore comforting to know that you can get in a car, drive in an arbitrary direction of your choosing and within two minutes be placing an order for a tall latte, to then be able to caffeineate the wife before the inevitable breakdown due to skewed levels of caffeine in her bloodstream.

Thank you Starbucks.

On Blogging

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

We are finally into the New Year and I thought I’d do a quick wrap-up and status update of the staggering success of this blog. I’m not really the blogging kind as many of you have experienced. And I believe I’ve mentioned something about that in a previous post (or maybe it was a thought that never left my head), how I lack a clear narrative or a voice. Or whatever it is people call it when their writing actually makes sense.

So, why am I doing this? Well, mostly so I can answer my own questions, like this one, and talk to myself endlessly about things I care about. Does this mean I am an egotistical self-loving narcissist that doesn’t thinks those words pretty much mean the same thing? I’d like to think the answer to that is NO,  but I do like when people occasionally stop by and read what I write, whatever the reason may be – genuine interest, boredom or even pity. Either way, do comment sometimes, as it’s always more fun to think of you as a real person, not just a statistic in my google analytics account.

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