Stuff Steve Likes

A blog which more or less exactly fails to please the eye

Archive for the ‘The Web’ Category

Galco’s Soda Pop Stop

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There’s a small store in L.A. that specializes entirely in soda pop. The owner of Galco’s Soda Pop Stop, John Nese, is my hero. He is knowledgeable and a champion of the little guy. He often won’t carry Coke or Pepsi products because his low volumes can’t compete with nearby large chain stores which can offer his customers a better price. Instead, he carries brands from small and micro manufacturers from around the world. Nese says he doesn’t work, but gets to play all day long. His passion is rare and enviable. Check out this YouTube clip about John and his Soda Pop Stop.

Written by Steve

November 4th, 2009 at 9:51 am

Posted in The Web

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You’re Doing It Wrong

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¡Yo Quiero Trabajo!

¡Yo Quiero Trabajo!

Yes, the economy sucks. Yes, the job market is fairing even worse than the economy at the moment. Yes, being creative and thinking outside the box will give you an advantage over the rest of the folks competing for jobs. However, there is still a right way and a wrong way to go about securing gainful employment. For example, there was a man from Haverstraw, NY who we’ll call Bobby Joe. Bobby Joe was unemployed and facing a negative cash flow situation. He needed a job and he need a quick buck or two.

Last Monday, Bobby Joe’s money problems got to the point where he decided that robbing the local Haverstraw Taco Bell was his only way out. During the robbery it struck Bobby Joe that that very moment would be a great time to ask for an application. “I don’t want to have to come all the way back out here,” Bobby Joe must have thought to himself. Bobby should be given credit for trying to maximize the use of his time. Unfortunately, the story did not end up in Bobby Joe’s favor. The cash register was empty and the manager denied his request for an application. This cloud does have a silver lining; Bobby Joe hasn’t been caught after his attempted armed-robbery. Keep fighting the good fight, Bobby. Keep fight the good fight.

Linky

Written by Steve

November 3rd, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Whitehouse.gov moves to Drupal

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I like the decision that the White House is making to move its web site to Drupal, an open source content management system. However, not everyone is happy with the move. Chris Wilson over at Slate wrote a piece last week where he gave five reasons why the switch to Drupal will “… [end] badly.”

  • Drupal knows best.Chris complains that it’s not easy for content authors to add their own javascript. Drupal is right to make this difficult without sufficient privileges. Authors should be able to add and format text and add pictures. Anything beyond those tasks should be completed by an administrator.
  • Drupal is impenetrable.I guess the big gripe here is that setting up and administering Drupal can be difficult and that if you’re endeavoring to be a Drupal administrator that the support community expects you to have some base level of knowledge before asking for help. That’s probably true. Fortunately, there are lots of people that the White House can hire that know what they are doing. I’ve only used Drupal in the most superficial of ways, but I have had great luck in getting help when I needed it. If you’re a newb and you ask newb questions, you should expect to be treated like a newb. Be proactive and do more than a cursory search if you have a problem or questions. Chances are fairly good that someone has already provided a solution.
  • Drupal hates change.Wilson says that Drupal hates change which I read as Drupal rarely (never?) comes out with upgrades or security patches, but then he provides links to two sites that had a difficult upgrade experience. Perhaps, Willson is really suggesting that Drupal loves to make upgrades difficult? I can’t really speak to the difficulty of doing a Drupal upgrade having never attempted one myself. However, from what I understand the core modules that are part of Drupal’s default package are upgradeable with relative ease. Upgrades can become problematic when sites are running incompatible community modules. This is more of a problem with the community modules and less of problem with Drupal core. Either way, Chris’s point misses the mark.
  • Drupal is disorganized.I haven’t found it to be disorganized. Perhaps, it’s not organized the way someone might expect it to be organized?
  • Drupal is righteous.Wilson’s final point is that open source participants and supporters regard the open source movement as a kind of religion. There probably are a goodly number of people who will reject a commercial product outright simply because it is commercial and who will support another product just because it is open source. Whenever someone comes to me with an IT support issue I automatically assume that it’s an operator issue. That might sound bad, but I’m generally right. The problem, more often than not, is a result of incorrect usage of software or some other piece of technology.
  • I think the White House’s experiment with open source software will end up as a success. To assume that the road will be completely smooth is probably overly optimistic, but even a commercial path wouldn’t be without bumps. In the end, They will get where they want to go.

Written by Steve

November 2nd, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Upside Down Floating Baby

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I was browsing the interwebs when I stumbled across this picture of an upside down floating baby. I don’t know if the baby is real. It looks like he is and the article where this pic came from suggests that too. The few times that my wife and I took our kids swimming when they were that age all they did was thrash about. I think this kid is the Buddha re-incarnate.

Daily Mail has a bunch of underwater photos from Pinewood Studios. The gigantic underwater stage owned by Pinewood Studios is located in the United Kingdom. The tank holds more than 315,000 gallons of water which is heated to a pleasant 90° F. This studio is notable because it has Europe’s only permanently filled underwater-based filming stage. The facility has been used to film portions of movies like Bourne Ultimatum, The Boat that Rocked, Atonement, Casino Royale, and Elizabeth. It is also used to film television commercials and music videos. Celebrities like Keira Knightley, Sharon Stone, Matt Lucas, and Myleene Klass have all taken the plunge and shot scenes for various recent projects. If you click over to Daily Mail (linked above) you can save several pictures of Keira from Atonement and a commercial for the charity Fresh20.

An Upside Down Floating Baby

Written by Steve

September 1st, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Posted in The Web

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Friendster’s Revenge

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So I should not clicked on that Friendster email from last week. And I definitely should not have allowed gmail to download DarJen’s picture because now I’m getting two or three pieces of spam from Friendster daily. “Just flag Friendster emails as spam by default,” you say. But what if my long lost friend from first grade, Travis, tried to get a hold of me using Friendster? If Friendster email automatically got dumped into my spam folder, Travis would remain lost forever or until he got motivated and found me on Facebook. The point still stands. “And what point is that,” you ask.

The point is this. I am adept at ignoring this blog. I could be delighting the world with my rapier-like whit or prognosticating about tomorrow’s woes or good times with remarkable accuracy. Instead, I spend my free time watching artistic wonders like Smallville. “Again, what is your point,” you implore. I used to view myself as someone with something to say about everything. Unfortunately, I have very little to say about most things. And when you’re expected to say something about anything at all and you can’t, you start forcing the issue. Like writing about spam and now writing about the consequences of writing about spam, which is that you tend to get more spam, either because of some direct indicator sent by you and received by the spammers that you’re a spam reader or that God enjoys reading about your localized interaction with spam.

I still haven’t gotten to my point yet, but I’m close or at least closer. Because I’m expected to have something to say about anything and, in reality, have nothing to same about most things, I’m pleased to announce a new feature on this heretofore featureless blog. On semi-quasi irregular basis I will be pointing out a random website. What makes a website qualified to mentioned here? Almost nothing. At least one person must find it informative and/or entertaining and since the creators of these websites generally fall under that category, virtually all websites out there will qualify. Of course, any page written by a robot will be automatically disqualified by my web page recommendation robot. I won’t even have to trouble myself to go to that web page before I recommend it to you, dear reader.

The first random web page that I’m mentioning on this site is Shiny Glass over at wordpress.com. The site is relatively new, but already informative. For example, I learned that a company called Blenko Glass is going out of business because it lost a legal battle with one of its suppliers. Too bad for Blenko that its supplier doesn’t follow my golden rule of customer service, which is I try to lose almost all of my legal battles that I have with any of my customers.

Written by Steve

February 17th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Posted in The Web

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Friendster Spam

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Dara / Jen captured in an identity crisis

Dara / Jen captured in an identity crisis

So my social networking is starting to pay off. It’s about time really. This morning I was very excited to receive a new Friendster message from Dara. I personally don’t know any one name Dara. I could only assume that Dara found my Friendster profile and she’s really into short, married dudes and absolutely had to send me a message. I am happily married, but it never hurts to have the ego stroked occasionally. So I opened the message.

Right away I noticed that something was amiss. The message is from Dara, but the picture is labeled as Jen. What could this mean? What could this mean? Then it hit me. Jen is actually very shy and/or has concerns about her privacy. She uses the persona of Dara to live the internet life that she wishes so could live if she wasn’t stricken by her debilitating condition. Jen, it’s okay. You don’t have to hide any more. We all love you. Call me.

Written by Steve

February 4th, 2009 at 11:23 am

Posted in Tech,The Web

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