A Web Security PSA Because I Love You

Okay, I’ve never used Cloudflare before and I don’t own any stocks in it that I know so I’m passing this info along simply because I’m a dude* who hates having my cookies tracked and Facebook selling me out to the Russians and all the other creepy Dark Web stuff (or is it Deep Web stuff?) that I always feel threatened by and I assume you’re of the same mind, may god bless your poor soul if you are.

If you’re not familiar with Cloudflare, here is what pops up when asking Bing, what is Cloudflare:

Continue reading “A Web Security PSA Because I Love You”

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Maybe Elon has a point…

While I’m a big admirer of Elon Musk and all he’s been able to accomplish, I’ve always been a bit skeptical about his alarmist rhetoric regarding Artificial Intelligence’s threat to humanity, seeing it more as a means for him to groom future volunteers for a one-way ticket to a Mars colony.

Not a bad strategy, mind you.

But with each cool but creepy new video from Boston Dynamics that hits the web and goes viral, I grow more and more less skeptical of Elon’s warnings…

Yeah…

Creepy, right?

But still… it’s way cool, too.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic of the end of humanity, here’s a cut regarding how technology is altering our perception of reality from a recent terrifying article from Buzzfeed:

“Alarmism can be good — you should be alarmist about this stuff,” [Aviv] Ovadya said one January afternoon before calmly outlining a deeply unsettling projection about the next two decades of fake news, artificial intelligence–assisted misinformation campaigns, and propaganda. “We are so screwed it’s beyond what most of us can imagine,” he said. “We were utterly screwed a year and a half ago and we’re even more screwed now. And depending how far you look into the future it just gets worse.”

That future, according to Ovadya, will arrive with a slew of slick, easy-to-use, and eventually seamless technological tools for manipulating perception and falsifying reality, for which terms have already been coined — “reality apathy,” “automated laser phishing,” and “human puppets.”

Yeah…

We’re screwed.

But still… it’s kinda cool, too.

Right?

 
 

“The Way” of Technology

Well, my bold Westworld binge-watching bonanza proclamation turned out to be nothing more than a bunch of ballyhooed BS…

I only got through the fourth episode before running out of time.

Consequently, I can’t provide anything much in the way of a review. But I can provide a bit of feedback that might mean something about its watchability

Which is… I kept falling asleep while watching it.

Now, full disclosure, I’ve taken some of my best naps during what turned out to be some of my favorite shows so my inability to stay awake while watching Westworld in and of itself doesn’t mean that much.

As for what I was able to stay awake for… I really like what it is trying to do in concept; however, its execution…

Continue reading ““The Way” of Technology”

So, it looks like “The Industry” is finally beginning to figure out this Snapchat thing…

snapchat

I began a quest a while back to understand how Indie Authors such as myself can leverage the seemingly incomprehensible (at least to an old dud like me) yet immensely popular messaging app called Snapchat.

To be honest, I gave up any hope of me ever using the app as part of my publishing platform right after giving it a very brief whirl of a befuddling go during the time I wrote the first post it.

However, I haven’t given up on trying to understand how it and other apps like it can help others promote their work, especially the younger Indie Authors who best fit the apps’ demographic. So, I’ve kept my eye open for anything relatively relative about it…

Continue reading “So, it looks like “The Industry” is finally beginning to figure out this Snapchat thing…”

So, about this Snapchat thing… Yeah, it really is a thing it seems

A while back I wrote a brief post asking if anyone was using Snapchat as part of their marketing platform. I got a few responses… I checked the app out… I didn’t get it at all… And then I forgot about it.

Well, it appears the app is making it harder and harder for us to forget it according to this NYT article.

  • Snapchat is worth $30 B-b-b-billion dollars
  • It’s larger than Twitter
  • Facebook and others are desperately trying to emulate its appeal

So, about this Snapchat thingy…

Anyone have anything new to share about it re: social marketing platform?

ADMIRAL GRACE HOPPER – A Genius, A Hero, A Shipmate

It’s Easier To Ask Forgiveness Than It Is To Get Permission
and other interesting wit and wisdom attributed to the Admiral

 

 
 

So, about this Snapchat #socialmedia thing…

I wonder…

Are any Indie Authors using it to promote their work?

And if they are, are they finding it worthy of the time and brain cells it took them to learn yet another social media thing for which to suck them away from their writing (not that I need it for an excuse to do that… I have many, many others from which to draw from)?

I am filled with such wonderment for this Snapchat thing from seeing more and more written about its value in marketing to the social media-consumed Millennials.

 
 

Guess who has a new App…

If your guess was yours truly then you are a very gooood guesser.

That’s right, I am now in the latest, most hip virtual space – the software application market – and you can carry me around with you in your purse, in your pocket, or in your… – nevermind, I don’t even want to consider where else you might be carry things – conveniently located and readily accessible to the touch of your command on that smartphone of yours that you love and worship so much.

Screenshots of the App:

App Icon
App Icon

 

Menu Page
Menu Page

 

App About Page
App About Page

 

The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor Preview
The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor Preview

 

In addition to what we see here with the screenshots:

  • We have a photo stream of most of the photographs found on this site, as well as many, many more that are exclusive to the app (via Flickr, that is).
  • We can access the entirety of this site, as well as PROSOCHĒ, my Literary Consultancy site.
  • You can contact me directly through the app.
  • There are games!
  • And the feature that I’m most excited about: An audio recording of my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor as performed by the author – and that would be me. I’ll be recording and uploading new chapters of the book to the app regularly.

Pretty cool, right?

Right?!

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the app is a little quirky. For instance, the audio player in the app starts the sound file over again each time the player is paused. And, if the phone goes to sleep, then the player stops. At least on my Android phone anyway. I’m not sure about iPhones. I’m not cool so I don’t merit one of those. But those of you who are cool, please let me know what you think.

Another quirk is that when you open up either this site or PROSOCHĒ, you have to double tap the screen to get it sized correctly.

But other than those things it seems to work well enough, as far as I can tell anyway. But hey, you get what you pay for right and for this app you don’t have to pay a dime. Just as I didn’t have to pay a dime to create it. I used a free app building service found at appsbar.com. The site is pretty good but it has its own quirks. Contact me if you want a more thorough feedback of my app building experience than what you find here.

While building the app is free, there are costs associated with its distribution. To get the app into Google’s app store I had to pay a $25 developer fee. The process in setting up the account and getting the app reviewed and accepted was pretty easy. All in all it took about an hour or so. They say it can take several days to get the app approved but my approval came back within a couple of hours and voila it was in the store and ready to go.

The best part about the appsbar service is that any update you do through them automatically updates the app in Google. Although I had to find out about this the hard way – by myself. Before I submitted the app I was wondering how updates are handled because it didn’t discuss it on its FAQ. I submitted question after question but never got any response, other than a reply from them to one of my emails, but their email didn’t have any text in it (yeah, weird). Finally I just went ahead and published the app. And, of course, as soon as it was published I realized that I needed to make changes. So I made the changes via appsbar and happily found that it is an automatic process all the way through Google.

The only negative about it all being automatic is that you will not know when I update that app. So that means you all better be checking that sucker on a regular basis…

Can you dig?

Anyway, as far as how the Apple process goes… I’m not there yet. It costs $100 for their developers account and I’m not ready to commit that kind of coin to it yet.

In the interim, you can scan the QRC image (found below and on the sidebar) and, according to appsbar, it will load an HTML5 page onto your iPhone that is just the same as downloading it through the iTunes store. Again, I’m not cool so I don’t have an iPhone so I don’t know so if you are cool and if you try it please let me know how it goes so I will know, despite my uncoolness.

Okay, so how about that? I’ll be finishing up with the first chapter of my novel soon so get your app installed and on standby. And if you do install that sucker, hit me up through either the “Info Request” or “Contact Kurt” feature of the app and let me know what you think.

Please.

Thanks, Friends.


Get it on Google Play

Scan for iPhone

 
 

If You Could Read My Mind – Coming Soon To a Microchip Near You(r Brain)

This is a really cool and rather creepy news story about our technological ability to read minds by NPR:   To listen, click here.
 

This is a really beautiful and rather sad song about love lost by Gordon Lightfoot:


 
#rememberwhenturquoiseqwascool
#yescanadiansweallknowgordonisfromcanada

 
 

Props to #TEAMNASA

How cool is it that this little guy, after buzzing through space for nearly ten years, was able to do a fly-by of Pluto and open that apparently still-living planet (is it or isn’t it a planet) to us like it’s never been before; and is now, as I type, over 3,000,000,000 – as in three billion with a B – miles (I believe you need to multiply by 1.6 if you speak in metric, but I’m American so I’m probably the last person who would know) away and counting…

Pretty cool.

I wonder if it will ever catch up with the Voyager Mission

Doubt it seeing that Voyager 1 has a 25-year head start on it and has already left the solar system…

Along with Elvis.

Huh?
 

New_Horizons
New Horizons