2017, internet, technology

Arguing with technology

I am currently in a mood. I have fallen out with my computer, as it has decided to not do what I want. Well, it may be more a software thing, rather than the actual computer, but it is still super frustrating.

sick PC

I was in town on my own today, and it was one of those rare occasions when I had my camera in my bag. So, feeling all inspired, I thought I’d try to go to new Carnegie Library and Museum, and document it. The plan was to film bits, and then do a voice over when I got home. I have been wanting to practice my video making abilities and get better, so I thought it would be a great idea. So, I came home and edited everything together. Was pretty happy, until I tried to record the voice over. The microphone on my computer has decided not to work. Queue me huffing like a 3 year old.

After some sleuthing online, I found out that a previous Windows 10 update may have rendered the microphone useless. So, I needed to go to the ASUS website and download the newest version of the driver for the microphone. Seemed okay, till the ASUS website became unavailable since it was doing an update. I gave up at this stage.

My original plan was to have things updated today, but obviously the forces of the universe are against me. I have a big bulk done, so hopefully I shall get up early tomorrow and get it finished. I say hopefully, because my productivity comes and goes so fast. At least all that energy I have today, hasn’t gone to complete waste. I have complained and updated this blog at the same time. Yay!

2017, ramblings, technology

Absentee

I was going to write a post whining about why I haven’t been posting recently. But that is something that gets very boring, very quickly.

I have been spending my alone time getting re-aquianted with my Xbox. So I have been dying during Naruto Ninja Storm 4 and getting stuck in Yooka-Laylee. I have a very short attention span when it comes to games. I love playing them, but I get bored very quickly. Which is why, unless it is a game series I love, I will not pay full release price for a game. My favourite kind of games, usually revolves around fighting, platforming or racing. Games that usually have short events or levels, where I can progress through the game slowly.

I can’t see myself every paying £50 for a single game. In fact, I have noticed, that games, like many other things, are cheaper in other shops. Something that has been made more apparent, by the need for supermarket chains and Amazon to stock EVERYTHING. It means that whilst game specialists, like GAME, sell stuff for the RRP, Tesco’s sells the same game for (sometimes) £15-20 cheaper. Which is a lot of money. So many companies seem set on becoming a one-stop-shop, where you can get anything. You can order groceries through Amazon’s Alexa, and the stuff comes right to your door. It makes it so easy to be lazy, and just get everything together. It is less hassle. But, if it is something you really want, for yourself or a gift, then shop around. Check Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys, Argos, Amazon, GAME… there are so many options.

Is there any games I would like, in the future? Well the Naruto Ninja Storm saga is getting a full HD release, which looks cool. Because I never got the original games. And then Naruto Strikers which looks like a team fighting game. There is the South Park fighting game coming out at some point, which I am keen on getting as Stick of Truth was pretty great. I think the one game I would go all out for would be a proper console remake (or even re-release) of Road Rash. I mean online races, where you can just smack that player who cut you off, with a chain. I would love a new version of that game, but it doesn’t even pop up on the Mega Drive compilations. It makes me a sad panda.

I don’t get a lot of RPG games, I just struggle investing the time required to get anywhere in these stories. Zelda and the OG Pokemon games are probably the only RPG’s I can kind of play. I also have a low tolerance for first person shooters… well not all, just some. I like Gears of War, but can’t be doing with Call of Duty.  My problem is, that there is zero learning curve for playing online. Last time I played CoD online, I sucked, and got so much shit for it. That’s not why I play computer games, I play to relax.

technology

Fixed it

After weeks of problems, I finally have fixed my computer. Had to delete a lot of crap, and run so many updates, but it is working now.

Finally I can use it for writing again. As much as I love using my phone, I don’t think it is a good thing to be typing a lot on it. It is a bit small. It’s not the nicest thing on my hands, so that’s why I still have a computer. I do prefer a tactile keyboard for writing on, you get no real feedback. But, each to their own.

Progress is progress.

internet, Lifestyle change, technology, Uncategorized

Disconnection Notice

It has recently been made abundantly clear that my, once passionate, love affair with the internet is going through a rough patch. I am becoming frequently frustrated to the point of putting my phone’s internet off, so that people can call me if they need me, but I don’t get interrupted by the constant Facebook and Twitter updates.

Yes, I am at that stage where I am avoiding the other party of the ‘relationship’. Normally in that situation, you would change how you walk to work, or try and hang out with different people. Try and create some space between yourself and the other person. However, when your relationship is with such a thing as the internet, it isn’t that easy. Actually, it becomes so overly dramatic that a relationship with a real person would have probably been easier to deal with.

I mean, everyone has been in ‘that’ relationship, where despite loving that person, everything they do winds you up the wrong way. Where you just want smack them on the head, and you can’t really tell them why. So, you try and put some space between you both. However, saying you ‘have a sore head’ doesn’t stop the internet. It is everywhere. Everything from restaurants to tampon companies have their own twitter handles. If you liked one craft page 2 years ago on Facebook, the site recommends events near you every 2-3 days. Sometimes I feel smothered.

But that’s not even the worst bit. When I was at my lowest point, the internet came to the rescue. It showed me that I was not alone in feeling so rejected all the time, that I could voice how I feel, and all seemed awesome. But, obviously, fairy tales don’t actually exist, and reality happened. When I say reality, I mean people who like to spread hatred from behind vague avatars. This was a nasty streak in the internet that I never foresaw. It wouldn’t happen to me, we are so happy together. But it did.

Now, a person’s nasty streak is easy to deal with. You can utter sarky retorts to their insults, or you just walk away. Yes, what they say hurt may leave a mark, but you can leave that one person. The internet isn’t a singularity, so dealing with any negativity from it, is a bit harder. If someone has taken to ‘troll’ something you have created, it normally isn’t just one person. And you also may find these trolls are a bit braver than what they would be in the real world, which means more cutting comments. I did what any sane person would do, I decided I needed time apart from the internet. I stopped going onto forums and writing blogs as often, as these places are where the negativity came from. Good? Kind of. When I did log on, I saw a lot of hate and the spread of intolerance. This is not the internet I had loved and used so heavily.

Who are you these days, dear internet? You are no longer the place that I go when things get to stressful. After allowing me to feel free, after so long hating who I am, you are now lampooning me for being that same person. A normal person would at least be able to explain their actions. And, as an adult, I wouldn’t need to rely on a person for EVERYTHING. My job exists because of the internet. I get my music and TV over the internet. I contact friends around the world on the internet.

Maybe I just need to change my relationship with the internet? Or maybe get in a relationship with a real life actual person?

Or not.

 

ramblings, technology

TechNOlogy Problems

I used to always update this blog from my laptop. This was based on the thought that if I wanted to type something fairly substantial, I liked doing it on a physical keyboard, not a touch screen. Over the last few months, my laptop has become useless. It takes about 30 minutes to load up properly, and even then it goes so slow. I have removed all of the non-essential software, done too many security scans, but nothing helped it get better. I can only assume that after 5 years, the memory is fried, and the laptop has had enough.

Back to my original point, because my laptop is dying a slow painful death, I have to update this on my ipad. Now, I love my ipad for lots of things, but writing things, other than short emails and texts, is not one of them. I just seem to continuously press the wrong letters, and it gets on my nerves. This is why I have started a lot of blog entries recently, but they have been non-starters as my short temper has got the best of me. And because I have registered coming into the wordpress app and writing something, my brains seems to accept that is me updating this here blog. It obviously isn’t, and the blog gets a bit neglected. Oops.

Some excuse that, eh?

The good news is, that I should be getting a new laptop next week, and that means I will be able to do more again. Because it isn’t just my writing that has halted because of technical issues, I can’t run photoshop either. I have been uploading less pictures, and have completely fallen out of everything because my laptop refuses to run very much. So here is hoping that a multitude of my ‘productive’ problems can be resolved with my new laptop.

Can’t help thinking I’m pinning to much hope on a piece of technology, though.

technology

Telly Addict

In the age of the Internet, we all seem to have the assumption that we no longer rely on TV. We spend nights browsing the web, rather than sit in front of the ‘gogglebox’ all the time.

People do still watch TV, it just maybe isn’t as traditional as it once was. High speed internet and DVRs have changed how people view TV shows. You can set things to record, and watch it when you want. You can watch episodes through various catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer or 4OD. Then there’s Lovefilm and Netflix, where for a monthly fee you can access a seemingly endless amount of shows and movies to watch on games consoles, mobile phones and computers. We have more options than ever.

And the problem is, that because i can stream 3/4 episodes in one go, i watch more TV than ever. I don’t have to wait for schedules for everything. I am watching through Buffy, Gilmore Girls, Dexter and Weeds. And by having all the episodes ready, I can watch them all intwined. It’s great, and super addictive.

I still watch shows as they are scheduled, only really Bitchin’ Kitchen, Skins and Casualty. I know none of them are particularly interesting to most, but I got in the habit of watching them. Which is something I have always done, had one or two shows that I watched regularly. Then the Internet and on demand viewing happened and I watch loads of TV, although most of it is through my iPad or Xbox.

It’s like i can feel compulsed to watch a certain show. Particularly the Gilmore Girls. It’s too easy to watch one episode and think, ‘I’ll watch the next one’. And before I know it, I’ve spent the whole afternoon watching it. It’s easy to do, and not something that used to happen.

TV still rules, it has just adapted a little. What shows are you addicted to, and how do you watch them?

business, internet, technology

Check Your Sources

In a world where news is dominated by what is on the news overview onGoogleand the trending topics on Twitter, it is becoming harder for more traditional news outlets to remain relevant. Do people have to pay for what they want, or is free news part of a person’s rights?

I have just watched Page One: Inside The New York Times, which as someone with an interest in media and it’s progression, was something that I have been meaning to watch since it came out last year. It shows a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at one of the world’s most established and popular Newspapers. It was not what I expected. It showed that the Journalistic giant had made mistakes, and that it was struggling in the world of modern day media. But for a printed paper, created in 1851, the fact that this publication can still sell over 2,000,000 copies in a day, is phenomenal, no matter how you look at it.

The one thing that was highlighted in the documentary, was how the drop in advertising revenue, and the reader’s want to get free news, was damaging the paper. It is said, that papers who print, lose money with every copy of a paper that they publish, as the cost of the paper needs to be affordable, for people to buy it on a daily basis. In the past, this loss was covered by the money that advertisers paid to be included in publications. As the Internet has become stronger over the last 10-15 years, companies began to start up their own websites for promotion, which was cheaper and began to lean less and less on the traditional printed media. In a world, where profit margins are becoming thinner and thinner, you can see why companies would follow the path of self-promotion.

This caused a problem for newspapers, like the New York Times, which found that their main source of revenue was disappearing. It meant that changes needed to happen, and the paper and it’s journalists would need to be more interactive with it’s audience to try and stay relevant. This involved an introduction of a website where journalists could record corresponding videos with their articles. Readers were invited to comment, and share their views, and the company began to catch up with it’s competitors in other media, such as TV. This way of publishing stories helps newspapers get a broader, even worldwide audience. Whilst this seems like a more affordable way to spread the news, but there was still a big gap in revenue, due to advertising loss. This is where the site installed a ‘paywall’, which would ask heavy users to pay a fee to continue using the site. This model has proved very successful for many online services. And has helped plug the gap in revenues, created by the drop of advertising.

And that is what a lot of people have a problem with. Why pay for something when you can Google the news for free. Google is a site, which like the way newspapers used to operate, is funded mostly by advertising revenue. The issue with advertising revenue, is it gives the reader the belief that they are viewing something that is free. Accept, it isn’t really free. Google gets paid by how many people use the service, as advertisers will pay accordingly to feature under certain searches. When up to the ‘top 10’ of results you get on google, have paid for that high ranking, you begin look further into what you’re using. That every click that you make on a google site, is collated and sold to marketing companies. You then begin to wonder, are sites like Google really free?

Another problem with the internet, is that the source is not as important as it used to be. You search for a news topic online, and will click on the one with the snappiest headline. More often than not, the photos and story may come from a single source, a source which be mentioned somewhere at the bottom of the article, if you’re lucky. And this mixed nature of ‘search engine news’, means that all sources and all work just becomes a big muddle. Where as in print, you can sometimes say, ‘I’ll read the Daily Star, because I want to read nonsense’. Or the Independent for more serious news. That definition between different publications isn’t so relevant when you Google search, and just pick one out of hundreds of results. It’s like written journalism is losing its definition.

Where this causes a problem, that whilst the bigger publications like the New York Times and The Independent can sent journalists to specific areas to cover important stories, smaller, less serious publications can’t. This means, that you can get ‘piggy-back reporting’, where smaller outlets will rehash another publications story. They report news and events, without any first hand coverage. This leads to second hand stories, which can lead to inconclusive reports and no checked sources. The only way that true, first rate articles can continue to be published, is if people start to pay attention and pay for what they read.

Because when all the newspapers go under, a loss in advertising for Google, could send them down the pay route that News outlets are currently used for. Nothing in life is free, especially not the Internet.

So check your sources, and help them, or they will stop being reliable.

technology

Not with a fizzle, but with a bang.

Not really. I have been watching Easy A, so that title seemed to dedicate itself to being on a blog entry

It has been 24 hours since my phone has been doused in coffee, and it went all huffy. Well, it is not 100% yet. I did manage to switch it on ok, but it quickly froze and wouldn’t switch back on. So, back in the rice it went. Where it still is.

The saddest thing about it all, is how lost I feel without my phone. Over the last few years, I have got used to doing EVERYTHING through my phone, from blogging, to taking pictures, to sending emails. When something THAT useful is taken away from you, it feels strange, and you realise how dependant you have become on the one product.

Whilst having an all-in-one product is great, and is what every technology company seems to be aiming for, there is a few downsides. The reason that I still have my music seperate from my phone, for instance, is because I just like having it on it’s own. And in moments, where I am phone-less, like now, I can still listen to my favourite band on my walk to work.  And that’s it really. Whilst it may be more convenient to have an iPhone for everything, it may not work out so good when it goes down, and you find you can’t access everything. You rely on that one thing so much, that if you don’t have it, you lose out on a lot.

Back, even as few as 10 years ago, a mobile phone was that, a phone which was mobile. You could text  and phone, and that was pretty much all it was used for. If you lost it, then you would just find a payphone or housephone to use for your call. But now, There are less payphones on the streets and more people are going without a landline for their homes all because more people have mobile phones. So that is annoying, then your emails, lack of Twitter access make you realise that it isn’t just a mobile phone anymore. Even the basic feature phones have more uses than just for phoning people. And when it is gone, you are left with nothing.

It makes the value on things such as books, music, photos, things that are frequently used as modes of expressionism, to decrease. The actual price won’t, but they are becoming nothing but files. And files, as anyone who has dealt moderately with a computer can tell you, can easily become corrupt or locked, with the user losing access to it. And this is where the digital con comes in. If you lose an album on your ipod, because it is corrupt, you delete it and head for the itunes store to get another copy. But, unless you pay again, you won’t get another copy. I am sure that I am not the only technology user who has been bitten by this. Yes you can back things up, but what if that goes wrong and won’t load. What if you lose hundreds of pounds worth of music, books, etc?

This is why I like having things separate, and having physical copies of things. Yes, the world of the mp3 download has made my life a lot easier. Especially when it comes to buying records that I can’t buy or order anywhere in a physical form. But if I can, I will always buy a CD or record before an MP3. I will always buy a book, before an ebook. And I will always have a camera and iPod, separate from my phone.

It maybe sounds crazy, but it is who I am. Crazy. 🙂 And without my iPod I would have no music to entertain me when I am on my walks. What do you think? How do you prefer your technology?

Music- Peter And The Test Tube Babies- I’m the Leader of the Gang