Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Miley Cyrus MTV VMA Twerking Caused Me To Learn A New Word & Dance Move

Miley Cyrus Twerking Robin Thicke
I had not heard the technical term "twerking" til Monday morning when the world was abuzz over Miley Cyrus "twerking" throughout a raunchy display at the MTV VMA (Video Music Awards) Show.

The Oxford Dictionary added "twerk" to their online dictionary after the Miley Cyrus headline provoking brouhaha amped up the use of the "twerk" word to the point that many, like myself, were Googling to find out what "twerk" is.

The Urban Dictionary definition of Twerk...

The rhythmic gyrating of the lower fleshy extremities in a lascivious manner with the intent to elicit sexual arousal or laughter in ones intended audience.

From what I've read and seen I think the Miley Cryus MTV VMA twerking elicited a lot of jaw dropping, a little laughter, but not a lot of arousing.

The Wikipedia Twerking article further elaborates on the serious twerking issue....

Twerking is a dance move that involves a person, usually a woman, shaking her hips in an up-and-down bouncing motion, causing the dancer to shake, "wobble" and "jiggle."

The Oxford Dictionary Online definition of twerking...

To twerk is "to dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance." Twerking carries both gendered and racialized connotations.

Has any "twerk" expert confirmed that that bizarre stuff Miley Cyrus was doing at the VMA's was actually twerking?

If you have a strong desire to learn how to twerk, the video below provides a useful lesson in the art...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Samsung Galaxy Mega Smart Phone Is Too Big For Me

If I remember right I got my first cell phone back in the early 1990s. I don't remember the manufacturer or who my cell service provider was.

I do remember the phone was a big brick sized thing and that all the phone did was make and receive phone calls.

No photos, no video, no texting, no music, no game playing, no movie watching.

Each of my subsequent cell phones has been smaller than the previous, while adding more features. My current, 5 year old cell phone, something called LG from AT & T, measures only 3.5 by 2 inches, when not flipped open.

Unlike my first cell phone my current one does take photos, video, send and receive text messages and plays a game or two. No movie watching though.

I have not replaced my current cell phone with a smart phone due to one overarching reason. That being the size of smart phones. My current cell phone fits easily into a pocket, or my bike bag where I stick my phone, wallet, camera and keys when I go bike riding.

Today I read a newly available smart phone will be the world's biggest, til a bigger one comes along. This new phone, from Samsung, measures 6.3 inches diagonally, is called the Galaxy Mega and is almost as big as a 7 inch tablet.

This just sounds inconvenient to me, to carry around a phone this big. I can see where what one can do with such a phone would be fun. And useful. But the usefulness is lost when the convenience of carrying the phone becomes problematic.

So, I'm thinking, why does someone not come up with a smart phone in which a much smaller phone calling device can be de-attached from the smart phone mother ship when times arise where it is not convenient to be lugging a tablet sized smart phone?

I think I'd get myself one of those....

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Won't Be Riding The Hyperloop from Hollywood to San Francisco

Clearly Elon Musk is a brilliant entrepreneur, the mind behind PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, with SpaceX flying the first private rocket to the International Space Station.

For awhile now Elon Musk's idea for a new method of public transportation has been in the news.

That new method of transportation puts humans in a capsule in a vacuum tube traveling at a speed of around 700 mph in a contraption called a Hyperloop.

When I first heard about the Hyperloop idea the capsules were zipping from New York City to Los Angeles. When Elon Musk announced the details of his idea that version of the Hyperloop was an alternative to the high speed bullet train type rail California is trying to build, connecting San Diego to San Francisco.

Elon Musk estimates a Hyperloop between San Diego and San Francisco would cost a fraction of the estimated cost of the California bullet train, which is currently on target to be both the world's most expensive bullet train, per mile, and the slowest.

Elon Musk's Hyperloop idea sees a tube built above ground, with the course following Interstate 5. Each Hyperloop capsule would carry 28 passengers, with capsules being launched, north and south every 30 seconds during peak travel times.

Somehow the Hyperloop idea envisions passengers being able to get out of the capsule and off the tube and various stations along the route.

How quickly does the Hyperloop reach 700 mph I can not help but wonder? Zero to 700 in a minute? Five minutes? It would seem that the G-Forces on the humans in the capsule would be tremendous.

Personally, I would prefer taking a slower mode of transport, one with windows, than be stuck in a tube like that which I stick a deposit in when I go to my bank's drive-thru.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Am Perplexed By Smart Phones So I Continue Using My Stupid Phone

No, that is not my new iPhone you are looking at on the left. I don't have an iPhone. Or any other type of smart phone.

I have an antique stupid phone.

Smart phones seem inconveniently large to me. As in I can easily stick my little stupid phone in a pocket, either in my pants or shirt or jacket.

In the past week or so I read that the iPhone is being beat in the market place by other smart phones using Google's Android operating system.

When the iPhone first appeared it was not too long before smart phone competitors showed up. I did not understand how these copy cats were not violating some sort of Apple copyright.

And then the Apple iPad hit the market, soon followed by other manufacturer's tablets. Again I wondered why these copy cats were not violating some sort of Apple copyright.

I know Apple and Samsung have had some court battles over copyright type issues. If I remember right Samsung produces some of the components that go into the iPhones.

Is the reason why competitors were able to quickly hit the market with their own smart phones and tablets because the components that make up these inventions were such that the iPhone and iPad really were not something Apple invented? Just like the automobile was not invented by one single company.

I wonder how much longer I will be able to keep using my stupid phone before I feel compelled to upgrade to a smart phone? Likely not much longer....

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Signed Out Of Twitter So Now It Is Time To Go Mobile

I have tried to understand why Twitter is so popular and why one would want to use Twitter. I even checked out Twitter for Dummies from my neighborhood library, but I was too much a dummy to get any use out of the Twitter for Dummies book.

I've had a Twitter account for several years. I have Twitter followers. I follow other Twitterers. I Tweet.

I'd been told that Tweeting with a link to one of my blog posts or webpages was a good thing to do. And so I did so. Such as the Tweet you see below which I Tweeted  just a couple minutes ago.

Twitter limits you to something like only 140 characters to express your Tweet. And so including a URL in all its glory would take up a lot of characters. So, URL shorteners were invented. I use Bitly. Above, in the aforementioned Tweet, that is the Bitly link to my Turner Falls webpage, at the end of the Tweet.

Has it done my website and blog traffic any good to do this Tweeting thing? I have no idea. I know there have been 143 clicks on the Turner Falls Bitly link in Twitter. Is that a lot? Again, I have no idea.

I know Twitter becomes a big deal when some big deal happens. Like when Egypt has a revolution. Or Iran goes in to unrest mode. Or nutjobs set off bombs at the end zone of a marathon.

Or when an important American TV show, such as The Bachelorette is airing. One sees ongoing Tweets of Tweeters Tweeting about the ongoing search by the Bacherlorette for a husband. Is this a cultural advance? Or not?

When I exit Twitter, after finishing with my Tweeting, I am always greeted with the screen you see at the top, telling me I have signed out and then boldly telling me to Now go mobile.

Is going mobile with Twitter something I should do? Or would want to do? Or need to do? Or am not too dumb to do?

I have no idea.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Video On Demand Has Greatly Improved Since The Days I Used A BETA VCR

Way back in the last century, for me, Video on Demand meant setting a VCR to record a program which I could then watch on my own schedule.

The VCR recordings were on tape. One had two formats to choose from, VHS or BETA. BETA was better in the opinion of many, but VHS could record more hours. Eventually VHS beat BETA in the VCR wars.

It all seems so quaint now, the idea that people used to go to rent videos from businesses open for just that purpose. I can remember wandering the aisles of Blockbuster, along with dozens of other wanderers, looking for a video to rent on a Saturday night.

I do not remember when I quit using a VCR. I remember at some point in time adding a combo VCR/DVD player to my TV system.

And then one day a salesman knocked on my door and changed my TV world forever. The salesman convinced me to switch from Charter TV & Internet to AT&T U-Verse TV & Internet.

I had not been happy with Charter TV due to frequent outages. And other issues.

A couple days later a couple AT&T Tech people showed up and installed the U-Verse equipment, including a DVR device which seemed to be the heart of the system. One of the DVR devices were connected to each of the TVs in my abode.

The AT&T Tech people did not re-connect my combo VCR/DVD player to the system when they connected the DVR. At the time I felt not connecting the VCR/DVD player was a bit rude. After about a week I forgot I ever used a VCR/DVD player.

The DVR can record something like 80 hours of TV. It can record 4 shows at once. Whenever I start watching anything the DVR starts recording it. Switch to another channel, that channel starts getting recorded. I can hit the pause button, get up to go to the kitchen, get back to the TV, hit play, miss nothing.

Very convenient.

To my simple mind the most amazing part of the DVR AT&T U-Verse system is Video on Demand.

I use the remote control to navigate  to the On Demand area, get presented with many options. I usually choose "Free Shows." Click "Free Shows" and you all  the usual network and cable suspects. Click CBS, then you see icons representing various CBS shows. Click a show and you'll see a list of episodes. Click an episode and "Play" and almost instantly you are watching the show you have demanded to watch.

I have long wondered how in the world this Video on Demand thing works. What if at any random time hundreds, or thousands, of viewers are demanding to watch CSI, how is it that that one show can be streamed to so many TVs, right when the viewer demands it?

I Googled for an answer. The Wikipedia Video on Demand article was not Video on Demand for Dummies friendly enough for me to understand.

All I know for sure is the entire DVR/Video on Demand concept has evolved far beyond the antique world of my old BETA VCR....

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Recovering From The Endurance International HostGator Outage Disaster

Since Friday, August 2, 2012, I have been seeing the blue reptile on the left all over the Internet, including my blogs and websites.

That blue reptile is the image that represents the HostGator webhosters.

On Friday HostGator experienced the worst meltdown in its history, along with its parent company, Endurance International's other hosting entities, Bluehost, HostMonster and Just Host.

HostGator has several hundred thousand customers hosting a lot of websites. HostGator going into failure mode caused a lot of panic around the planet. For a lot of people having their webhost go down is like someone randomly slamming shut the door to ones business.

It is very frustrating.

HostGator and Endurance International seemed to handle the disaster well, keeping customers updated via Twitter, Facebook and a Disaster Response website Endurance put on the Internet, using, I assume, someone else's servers.

The latest post on Endurance's Disaster Response website's final paragraph....

I sincerely apologize for any outages and negative impact you may have experienced. For many of you, an online presence is the lifeblood of your business – we take this responsibility seriously. We are committed to providing you with the high-quality, reliable service that you’ve come to expect and deserve. We value our relationship and the role we play in helping your business succeed.

Ron LaSalvia – COO, Endurance International

Well, I sure am glad the COO sincerely apologized, rather than insincerely apologize. With the COO saying his company takes the responsibility seriously regarding the negative impact caused by the outages I can not help but wonder why then there is no mention made of how customers are to be compensated for the loss of services for which they pre-paid.

My previously webhost, IX Webhosting, had a money back guarantee deal if they had a problem. When a problem occurred with IX Webhosting I would submit a support ticket requesting compensation for the downtime. This would always result in one month being added to the billing cycle, which was quarterly. Over the course of my time with IX Webhosting I think my compensation requests pushed back the billing cycle by at least 6 months.

With HostGator I am really not feeling I need some sort of compensation. Since the meltdown I'm guessing the amount of revenue the HostGator ads have generated on my blogs and websites has more than made up for whatever revenue I lost during the meltdown.

I hope this recent nightmare was a fluke, never to be repeated. I really do not want to go through, again, the hassle of moving my websites to a new host....