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Death of Myspace

April 4, 2010 Leave a comment

I know for a fact that I held on longer than most of the “friends” that I had on the site. The motivation for that was not some weird nostalgia, nor a sense of loyalty. No, it was more about routine and familiarity, the same reason that people hate the “new facebook” and want the “old facebook” back even though six months earlier they hate the “old” when it was new.

Diversion aside, Myspace was not the original social networking site the real innovator was Friendster, of which I had an account that I assume was deleted for non use several years ago. Myspace just took the Friendster model and expanded on it, probably too much as the constant customization of the social networking site made some people adorn it with gaudy graphics that made them unvisitable, along with autoplaying music and videos that I actually didn’t rant about when my anger was less subtle (I had to check the my blog archives to make sure of that).

Myspace was good for awhile, the bulletin feature (not present in Friendster) was nice in theory, in theory mind you–the same place where Communism works and Derrida somehow makes sense. The place where “truthers” and “birthers” all get to share in the pie. In reality this important improvement was just a simpler way to annoy everyone else with chain emails, and internet “polls;” I have complained about them waaaaaay back in the day. Once the whores took over everything else went out the window. I had more strippers and webcammers beating down my “friend request” inbox than Tiger Woods, but I get those on the email accounts as well so what’s the big deal right?

Well they were more disguised, the emails were always easy to spot plus they didn’t screw you over when you clicked on them if you were duped. The myspace strippers did, the auto play just ate the feeble ram that we all had back in 2004, it was also difficult to check it while at work.

What really bothered me were the bands. Although, they were more honest about their requests. The theory originally abounded that myspace was developed so that bands could reach wider audiences, but the band requests seemed will nilly all the time. I was used to the internet based garage bands, or indie label bands, but then there was the rappers, the country music, and the death metal. None of that even made an iota of sense based on my music preferences (it just lists Devo).

All of this, for me, started as a joke. My wife and I began our myspace profiles on the same day to enter into the contest of who could get the most friends first. This was when I was living with Carolyn in Toledo and I believe she thought the contest was “stupid.” In her defense it was…only because there was no way that I could win. All Laura had to do was put a picture of her on the profile and check the box for “single” it was only a matter of time. My advantage was that I knew a lot of people with accounts at Buckeye Cable and around Toledo so in the beginning I was winning, but then it just became apparent that I could not win.

Seriously, a female that checks the single box can beat any regular schlub and probably some of the more famous as well.

Myspace waxed for awhile but then it hit its peak and plateaued. Facebook had risen. I was reluctant to switch only because I didn’t want to add something else to the twenty websites that I checked once a day at least. Facebook was nicer because it seemed to be the mature version of myspace. It controlled the profile layout and view. No more auto play, no more ram sucking videos (by this time it didn’t matter as much), so I went over using both sites.

Then firefox updated its blog extension and now in order to post this blog there it involved the tedium of cut and paste. My readership on that site was only about three people and once I started autoposting this to Facebook the myspace blog seemed rather pointless. Then the band requests started anew.

In the last week I have received four. That’s more than the previous year. The bulletin page is locked up with Rich from Toledo telling stupid stories that all end with an appeal to join his Mafia. It became apparent that I was only logging in for Mark’s blog updates and to update my own. This made it beyond tedious.

Several of my facebook friends have commented to me that they abandoned the site years ago (although more realistically I think they meant “months” or “a year”). Myspace survived the buyout my Rupert Murdoch who lamented in Time Magazine that he thought he missed the boat. Myspace will take longer to die than Friendster, or Yahoo 360, but the bells are sounding.

See ya around myspace, this is my last blog update for you.

Categories: Internet

Observations on Facebook

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

So facebook went through another surface overhaul this past weekend, and as usual my news feed is clogged with people bitching about how much they preferred the old facebook. Which is funny because four months ago the “old facebook” was the “new facebook” that sucked ass, and they preferred the “old-old facebook.” Oddly enough the “old old facebook” and the current version share more in common with each other than the “new-old facebook” (I really have to start thinking of better topics before I begin writing) so these people ought to shut their yaps.

Since my facebook profile is made up of solely people that I know in real life I sincerely hope that all of them who “became a fan” of the group “I hate the new facebook” realize that it’s gone. It’s not coming back, you might as well have a funeral for it. The have to change things every once in awhile, if they don’t the website gets stale like Myspace and then everyone flocks over to the next big thing, Google Buzz I guess. Seriously you don’t want user driven content, look what happened with all of the “oooh shiny” myspace pages that people were actually selling! Well I guess you can’t blame someone for trying, let me try that last sentence again: look what happened with all of the “ooooh shiny” myspace pages that people were actually buying!

User generated content is rarely a good idea.

I might be getting defensive, or seem unreasonably angry, even for me; but my biggest issue is that I actually like the new facebook more than the last version. If for no other reason than I get to block the zynga games updates that consistently flood my news feed to the point that I have literally missed birth and death because of it. It’s nice to see that someone gained a new level in a game or something that they are interested in, but there comes a point where the news feed just reads like the mindless chattering of a 9 year old who is trying to explain why everyone ever should own the latest pokemon game (if I’m dating myself here just fill in the word “pokemon” with whatever shitty japanese anime import the kids are watching these days).

I flirted with the Zynga games for a bit. I jumped in to Vampire Wars for a brief stint at the behest of some friends, then it was on to Special Forces again at the behest of some of my friends. I guess it was ok for awhile, the constant reward streams made it worthwhile to go back again and again but that was only fleeting. Eventually it got to the point where it was a grind, I was going back just because I could. Now my fictional account for the Special Forces holds over a billion dollars, what is it that I can’t simply buy my way out of? The game was the most interesting in the middle period as I had the potential to buy the new weapons and equipment, but that was only for a couple of days.

It’s not that I’m against the games, they would have been great when I was sitting at my desk working for the cable company but lacking that it just isn’t worth it. The biggest irk from them is the constant updates that people put on their news feeds and I’m not alone given that there is a specific group in facebook that reflects this sentiment. Of course the group isn’t going to change anything, but the new facebook allows you to block those updates, which is why I love it.

Categories: Internet

Dick Move

November 10, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m used to playing assholes on the internet in all sorts of games. Mostly this is confined to the XBOX Live, where players “camp” over objectives, refuse to finish the game type in order to rack up their kill count, or just yell and scream into their microphones. These things unfortunately become normal and the best thing to do is ignore it going idle so that their victory becomes more tedious to them than the loss does to me. This is why I usually keep a magazine near me when I am playing.

For some reason I thought it would be different playing chess. I’ve been a member of chess.com for a couple of months now playing once or twice a day. Then, today, I encountered a most unpleasant experience. My rating is pretty low, fluctuating around 1200 in Blitz (5 minute games). My opponent was at least 60 points above me. I thought I could win but I made some pretty sloppy mistakes early in the game that I never recovered from.

The situation ended up with me possessing only a pawn, dark squared bishop, and a king forever evading check. My opponent, playing white, had a Queen, six pawns, and a light squared Bishop. My pawn was blocked by one of his pawns, which were both isolated along the center line. He had enough to place me in checkmate and could very easily have done so with only the Bishop and Queen. My king was along the G column and it was a matter of simple time. Given the proximity of our two ratings and the fact that I had a full minute of time on him I thought I may be able to pull a win off using time. It was a long shot and next move clearly illustrated that this was not going to be the case. I was pinned up and had about three moves in check.

The correct move for him was to slide his Bishop to the F column where his Queen would then proceed into the final mating dance ending the game. This he did not do, instead along the A column he pushed a pawn. I thought it odd since it seemed completely unrelated to the game but I shrugged and moved my king again. He pushed the pawn again, and again.

Then I figured it out, he was going to promote the pawn into another unneeded Queen. In disbelief I ran my clock trying to see if I was missing something but in my position I could not discern it. It wasn’t for added protection, my existing material wouldn’t allow me to checkmate him. Then the ingame chat* started out, “the resign button is to your right.”

I knew this, but with mate in three moves why even bother resigning? “I know, I’m trying to figure out why you are moving the pawn.”

“I’m going to promote all of my pawns to Queens.”

“Why?”

“…?”

“You can end the game now, unless you don’t see it.”

“I see it I just want to promote all the pawns.”

“Isn’t that kind of a dick move?”

He didn’t have an answer for my question only asking me why is getting upset about it. I responded that I wasn’t upset, I was just wondering why ruin a win like this. My thinking was that chess is about outsmarting your opponent, something he clearly already had accomplished, now his goal seemed to be to rub it in more by reminding me that I was powerless to stop him from doing whatever it was that he wanted to do. I restated my “dick move” accusation which again garnered no response.

I suppose that the bright side of the conversation was that it was more civilized than most online encounters. Instead of being called “fag” or “nigger” he was at least addressing me as a person. Although that is little consolation as the internet has found yet another game experience to ruin.

Categories: Internet

Memo to the internet.

October 26, 2009 2 comments

To Whom it May Concern,

Somethings that you do have been bothering me of lately and I feel that addressing you (Al Gore?) directly might help to rectify the situation. It has long been said by other people much more eloquent than I, that the internet’s greatest boon is also its greatest curse. Giving a voice to everybody is like a two way street, we, in America have grappled with this over the years learning election after election that while Democracy is good letting everyone have a vote doesn’t give us the best of possible worlds.

Furthermore Plato, in I believe the Timaeus, had Socrates lament the development of writing and literacy as he felt that it would be detrimental to people’s memories and their ability to be creative. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, since I cannot actually remember if it was the Timaeus (although I am pretty damn sure). The internet has thus both improved and decayed this current state of civilization. We have seen its benefits with the recent hooplah over in Iran several months ago, the internet provided communication to those that would have otherwise not been able to communicate their struggle with the world.

However, if must be said that you, the internet, are also responsible for destroying the average person’s ability to be both communicative and sociable. In the case of the latter, we can’t really blame the internet since addictions are common to everything and every era, however in the case of the former we can certainly blame you for incomprehensible writing styles and the encouragement of said styles. I will list an example:

“IMO” or “IMHO”: these are what are known as abbreviations, originally used on instant messaging systems to communicate information quicker than the actual typing out of the words. While this is not new in any respect nor is it unique to the internet these two abbreviations are nothing more than weasel words designed to encourage the idea that because something is an opinion that it could not be wrong…which is false on its own but masks a secondary crime. The reason that we know it is someone’s opinion is because they are saying it, if it weren’t their opinion we would probably be told that as well. The second of those abbreviations “IMHO” commits a third crime by adding the ‘H’ which is supposed to be for the word “humble.” Pointing out humility is anathema to actual humility. What the person using this is saying is, “this is my HUMBLE opinion and you would certainly not have the gall to question my opinion so low that it is.”

“LOL”: the most over used phrase. No one is ever laughing when they write “lol” for how could they laugh if they were writing?

“ROFL”: again and this one is even more implausible.

If communication is designed for the transference of information from one party to another and said communication does not, in fact, do that doesn’t that make you, oh internet, party to the biggest lie ever foisted on the population of the Earth?

Sincerely a tired and out of ideas blog writer.

Categories: Internet

The New Library

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Which coincidentally you may have to go to the old library to access. For the last year or so, I’ve been a big fan of the library. Well, I’ve always been a fan of the library really it’s just a big building that they let you read books in, just like a book store only you can take it home without paying for it. In Toledo the downtown library used to be on my jogging route (back when I jogged), that was nice because it was rare that I couldn’t find something in there I wanted…minus all the homeless in the winter.

Around Rochester the two apartments I’ve lived in were both within walking distance to the library, the last apartment was the nicest it’s ever been because that branch was on my way to the coffee shop, which amazingly I still managed to rack up late fees at. However I’m not really focusing on the current library but moreso the electronic one as Google has a court case in the New York Federal Court about releasing a mass quantity of books that it scanned off the shelves of the regular libraries that it was planning on releasing electronically.

The issue is in copyright, and making sure that the right people get their taste of largely out of print books that no one cared about until the possibility of getting their beak wet popped its head up. The main concern here is business. Amazon being the number one complainer in this issue as they are claiming that Google already has a monopoly with a head start on 10 million books in their system.

Amazon is alleging that one of the issues is with “orphan works.” Books for whom the copyright holder cannot be tracked down. I’m sure that Amazon really cares and isn’t just throwing out a wrench in Google’s forward march, but I think the issue with the orphans is this: who cares? If the original copyright holder can’t be found, and isn’t going to complain then does it matter if the book is freely distributed? Or if the copyright holder would complain but couldn’t be located how far should Google go? I guess this is a question for you law students out there: how far is a good faith attempt (I’m forgetting what the actual term is but I know there is one) in this case?

Then there is always the fringe group, the ones that the ACLU looks at and says, “yeah I think you guys are going to far.” This group is paranoid that there is going to be a new monitoring system for who reads what and for how long. I love these people, as paranoid and dense as a “truther” or a “birther.”

First off your paranoia should be self-defeating in this issue. In order to get a library card you have to show a proof of identification, which means that “they” already know what you are taking out and reading. Secondly, if you don’t like the possibility of people knowing what you are reading then do what you do with porn: save it, then delete it from your history. Or access it at the public library, save it to a removable memory then print it out offline.

For me, the biggest issue is cost. Am I going to be able to read this stuff for free or do I have to pay for it? I already love the guttenberg project, but their titles are restricted to public domain. If we can find some out of print copies of books such as…I don’t know…Machiavelli’s Dialogue on Language then the happier I will be. After all isn’t the most dangerous thing in America a marginilized man with a library card? Now he might not even need that library card.

Categories: Internet, politics