Posts Tagged ‘technology

10
May
19

You Don’t Bring Me Pleasurrre…Anymorrre

***

This one goes out to all you tech heads running this space.

You don’t bring me commeeeents.
You don’t lead me to lasting friendshiiips.

You hardly show me anything helpfulll, anymorrre,
When I log in during the downsiiide of my solituuuude.

I remember when this was all fresh and new;
And, flashing signs promised so many pleasing options.
You used to welcome me with that little light.
Now, I’m lucky if it ever shines.

When it’s good for you, WordPress,
It still sucks for me.

Well, you just roll over;
Roll out your new format
And tell me to update my technology.
Because you don’t bring me pleasurrrre, anymorrrre.

It used to be so simple. [Used to be.]
But, nothing ever is.
Just like breathing in all of the pollution,
Your place is littered with lousy biiiz.

WordPress, I’d say I remember all the things you taught me,
But then, I learned them before yooou.

I learned how followers are often nothing but cons, mindless drones and thieves.
And, how LIKES mean next to nothiiing.

Well, I also learned how to limit my usage
And apply my time to better thiiings.

But, honestlyyy, what are better thiiings?

So, do you think I could learn
How to tell you goodbye?

Because you don’t lead me to lasting friendshiiip.

You don’t confirm my work has valuuue.

And you don’t really bring me pleasurrre…anymorrre.

[But, I’ll still be posting here until divine intervention points me to a better alternative…until the love runs out.]
lyrics by Alan Bergermeister and Nellie Emerald, sung by Barracuda Heartstrings

Advertisements
26
Apr
19

Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, Movie Review

***

I refuse to start this review with one of those term-paper introductions that splash the movie title and throw in a blurb about some big-name actor or how the movie is grossing tons of money around the world. It won’t make you a grateful bunch of readers. Instead, you get this… [Snap!]

So, this is it…as far as “its” go in terms of ending an epic string of movies. It’s like Back to the Future…except it’s nothing like Back to the Future…buuuut it is. Confusing; right? The “wizards” of Marvel Studios and Disney put their mushy “I’m running out of creative ideas! What’s Paul Rudd doing this week?” heads together and came up with…this…with Avengers: Endgame. And, just about everyone you’ve seen in a Marvel movie (not everyone) since 2008 makes an appearance.

So, if you like family reunions and looking at moving photographs of lots of people you might have known, this is IT! This is your movie. But, as for the hype–which I gotta say is far less than I’ve seen for a number of other “franchises” (like Harry Potter and Star Wars, even though Star Wars has felt like it’s been dragging the original three films through the murky mud of some fan’s brain for some time…and both of those franchises haven’t come close to this many films)…and considering the theater I was at for the premiere was only half-full–meh.

[Wait. The theater was half-full…half of the theater was empty. Damn you, Thanos! You got to the audience, too!]

[I said “so,” twice, in case you didn’t notice. That’s because this is a so-so movie.]

I’m getting reeeeeeally tired of being the bearer of bad news. So, I’ll keep my typically lengthy opinions unusually short (if I can…which I usually don’t…so maybe I won’t). We’ll see just how time and space grabs me. Ya know…spitball this review thing and see what happens. There’s only one possibility that will work…and it’s the one that will get this thing written.

In short (ha), I think we are not far from making movies in which the people paid all the big bucks don’t even have to work in the same room, just let the hundreds of “little people” piece all the bits together and run it like a cartoon…like some sports video game that required every famous face from the team putting on little dots and moving in front of some motion-detection equipment. We can make a big-budget movie by just having the stars make fools of themselves in their hotel rooms; they’ll never look at themselves on film and will just B.S. through countless interviews, telling everyone how “amazing” it is to work with all those other people they didn’t see in the same space and time…it’s just another job. They came, they pooped on themselves, they collected their paychecks. Punched in…punched out. [And, at that rate, how long is it before people punch in and punch out of the movie theaters?…or stop going completely because either movies lose their charm or people cheat to watch them other ways? And, all that technological artistry is just feeding a mechanical monster that is consuming everything organic like Galactus…you know, that giant cosmic-empowered guy that appeared in a Fantastic Four movie oh so long ago…when Chris Evans was “flaming” instead of strutting in blue spandex…well, a different outfit made of blue spandex.

I seriously do not want movie theaters to go the way of the phone booth, people! Let’s not be so damn lazy and careless about this! And, that goes for movie makers, too. You have to either put in the effort or find someone who will. Help out the little people who have grand ideas but little means of making 3D molds of everything and “sitting down” with “big stars” whenever you send a call their way…or their “agent’s” way…or by contacting SHIELD…or however you do it these days.

All right! All right! I know. I just went way off into space, lost track of time and reality, got consumed with stomach-turning thoughts about people in power and haven’t said much about the actual movie…sort of like Captain Marvel’s part in the final “shebang.” Let me see what nuggets of goodness I can pull from this “billion-dollar blockbuster.”

Well… I’ll give it one big point for the final battle. When you hear Chris Evans say, “Avengers…assemble,” you get the second half of some serious, bad-ass clashing. If “Infinity War” didn’t alter what you thought was possible, this movie will. But, then, it’s just one group’s take on the Marvel universe, just like any comic book being re-written by someone who is lucky if they knew the previous writers and artists. [And, how many people have played the Hulk and Spider-Man in the past 20 years?…anyway.] You might have thought it was big news in the previous movies when there were roughly a dozen characters moving across the screen in one slow-motion shot. Well, that’s nothing compared to a few hundred?… at least, it felt like a few hundred tiny little faces moving across the screen…sort of like the big jungle battle in Infinity War…sort of like the old TV days when you could watch the black and white ants fight each other for dominance…….

Sorry. I drifted into space for a moment. ‘Lost track of time, again. I con-tesseract.

If you are one of these “modern” people looking for all the “girl power” and LGBT support you can get, enjoy your in-flight meal. Though, it feels a bit forced. And, for all the growling the women did…I kinda felt they could have been more bad-ass than they were. [I’m really tempted to throw in a few spoilers, here….mainly, because the movie isn’t worth secrecy.]

If you like superheroes being silly…as they have been in other recent Marvel movies…you get plenty of that, too. Yet, some of the “jokes” felt like only some people would find them funny while others just laugh because they thought they were…well, jokes. For instance, I was not one who laughed when Hulk punched his fellow heroes in the first Avengers film. And, why the Hulk would walk a thousand stairs just to be that Hulk that hit you at the front door? I can’t say I laugh at the sight of Chris Evan’s butt…but maybe you do. Although, the Thor makeover was mildly amusing…as was Robert D-J’s little quip about it…until he gets a tad too emotional. [I’d rather watch Mark Hamill get upset about who his father is. When I’d rather watch a Star Wars movie than a Marvel Comics movie, there is something wrong.]

If you like the thought of a two-plus hour game of Three-Card Monty, enjoy the time-travel hijinx. The movie makes repeated references to Back to the Future. [And, to be honest, I’d rather go back and watch THAT movie than this one. As silly as it may have been, Back to the Future roped me in and gave me a good time. Endgame feels more like I was roped and then dragged behind a bus before some outlaw decided to end my life, anyway, with a bullet to the brain, prolonged torture just to reach the anticipated result.]

And, if you reaaaaally wanted to see a different side of or more of Nebula, played by the lovely, wonderful Karen Gillan who had to shave her lovely hair off for this freakin’ part!…you get that, too. I was actually touched by her performance, this time. I almost cried for her…which is kind of sad, considering, the last time I saw her, she was being pulled apart at the circuits. She also gets to pull a nice little……

[My words just turned to dust. Did you see that? Movie magic.]

She disappears for a……

Would you cut that out! Wait. To whom am I speaking?… Hmm.

She sort of gets to be the surprise bomb in the movie. And, truthfully, there should have been more to what was happening because the film kept feeding little bits of power/potential to Thanos…it just never materialized. I consistently felt like I was being handed “red herrings” with a dash of dramatic music; something really bad could have happened…and it didn’t. [Oh-ho-ho! What’s he going to do with that now that he has it? He’s going to get there before they do!] So…why did they put that in there? Just to mess with our heads? In-con-theev-able! Three-Card Monty!

With all of the power the heroes are packing, it astounds me that they could not resolve this “crisis” sooner. Yet, the way Tony Stark pulls it all together, per his usual Marvel-Disney-movie “skill,” seems over-simplified, too. Again, one minute you have it all mapped out…and then you don’t. [But, if we remember Dr. Strange and what happened in the previous film, we ought to grasp how things just have to fall into place, even if they don’t make sense while they are happening in the present moment. If you don’t get it, you just have to see things from a larger perspective, take it from a planetary scale to a universal scale.]

There was a tiny message about even heroes being “human” thrown in one scene, and I get it…or why they said that. Having a hero fail and then have to make up for that failure, that’s decent writing. That puts meat on the bone that otherwise is just…well, Captain Marvel shaking off her shackles and blasting everything out of her way (not to mention claiming she has the duty of overseeing the whole universe!). [As if Thor wasn’t “big” enough as a god of thunder…now we have a woman who absorbed some big supply of cosmic power and delivers justice like a gunslinging goddess while another character collects enough power to act like a god, gives us the impression he might be onto something beyond our comprehension…and then gets swallowed up in “human” greed and lust for having things his way.]

And, on that note, Captain Marvel’s presence in this “final” Avengers film is one component that made me come to my previous conclusion about films being made from hotel rooms and without actors in one space. I just happened to see the lovely Brie Larson in a five-second interview on one of those late-night talk shows. And, she described her first task in a Marvel movie. She wasn’t looking at people. She was looking at tape markers. Tape markers. ‘Bad enough people have to follow tennis balls on sticks to make a scene, now we have bits of tape to pretend are people, people we interact with emotionally…right.

Goodbye, humanity. It’s all going NFL Game Day 3000.

In the few moments she appears in Endgame, Captain Marvel often–if not always–looks a bit cartoon-ish…like she’s not really there…like they just captured Brie making faces and slapped them on video game models. I noticed there were credits for people READING as characters. So, pardon my lack of technical movie-making knowledge, but I am guessing that means people–and not necessarily the actors being portrayed–read lines for parts when the characters were in action and speaking…just not physically doing so. There were people cast to “stand in” for the characters when they weren’t…you know, actually standing in the same room and able to touch each other. [Eew! Superhero cooties!]

Biggest disappointment? That may have been the Hulk, even though I briefly enjoyed Mark appearing like a friendly Shrek, handing out tacos instead of telling everyone to get out of his swamp. He left that task to Thanos, and Thanos dropped the ball. Even when Hulk had a chance to smash, he made light of it. What was the word he used to describe smashing? Anyway. There really wasn’t a moment in the film where I felt like all that Hulk could be did anything. Instead, sort of like is time in Infinity War, he was like Beast from the X-Men…the more intellectual guy who quietly monitors HQ instead of being at the heart of the action, though he’s built like a tank and bigger than most of the cast. And, even at the controls, he was only “human.” [Maybe it wasn’t so smart putting a guy at the controls who screwed up a gamma bomb and turned himself into a “smart monster.”] Which isn’t always a bad thing…but…he’s the Hulk! I mean…come on. You’re hyping this movie about a group of heroes that includes the Hulk…and he’s just going to eat tacos and “chillax” with the “smartphone” crowd? Gee. Thanks, Marvisney…or, Disnevel.

But, it’s okay. Because the other black guy…not the one who got all the press the previous year…the one with the artificial wings…he’s got this. And, the ladies have this. Or…maybe not, considering I just didn’t see any grand result from their part…just a splash-y image for some magazine dying to feature the Marvel women all on one cover for their next issue.

Did I just leak some spoilers? My bad. I’m only human. But, in the grand scheme of things, it won’t matter. Trust me. And, I am not going to tell you who “dies” in the end. [It pissed me off a little. Yet, we all gotta die, sometime; right? And, the Star Wars people; they took out Han…so…low.] But, on that note, everything seems to just be a contract-ual matter. So, can we even watch this and be engrossed in the story?…or do we say, “Oh, right. His contract was up. So, he just had to go. He was on his way to lunch and another gig when he did this scene.” Is that the future of movies? We change the story to fit the salary restrictions or accommodate the actors (and actresses, to be fair) some other way? Is everything going to be about the money it costs/makes and job-interview “shtick” instead of telling a genuine story as it was written?

If you can’t respect the characters and/or the original story, spend a little more time at the drawing board. Not the “smart board” you change by just flicking it with your fingers when you feel “in charge.” Why do I even want to hear about ticket sales or when the DVD deluxe, exclusive content, supreme, diamond, platinum edition comes out in stores? What does any of that matter? [Funding, I’d wager. Find any way you can to put the word “money” into people’s minds, like a subliminal message, so they’ll toss some out a window and hopefully into your film studio which is all falling under one mousy umbrella, one galactic-sized ha-ha empire. You have all the resources in the world and still pump out a story that falls short yet gets all the latest technological show bits.]

I’m perfectly fine just having a copy of the first Robert D-J Iron Man (even if that climax with Pepper fleeing the building and Tony’s “expose” at the end grinded my gears). I’ll do like Tony does in the second Iron Man film, brush away the excess distractions, pick out the best strawberry and find some nugget of hope and inspiration in the project while other actors take over other parts and make “jokes.” [We’re back in production mode, people.] I can live without the rest…which is kind of a mess, when you look over all of it. It’s a bit like some kids starting an elaborate finger-painting project. Well, now who’s going to clean up all the paint? ‘Someone not in view of the camera, clearly.

Maybe, in the enormous amount of time that is five years or so, things will be much better…or worse. Who knows.

I give Avengers: The Next Generation…er, cut…Avengers: Revolution…no, that’s not right…Avengers: Endgame 2 stars out of 5. It has enough content to give you a reason to review the previous films (if you feel like torturing yourself). It packs a few punches and has a few chuckles. It definitely stirs a few tears if you let it. But, in no way does it deserve a passing grade. Infinity War, sadly, was better. It’s just too much of a headache following all of the time hops and listening to the cast quarrel about what’s going to work, what didn’t and what they will do next.

You know? It’s all very complicated…coming up with the theory relativity and that other one about strings faster than Einstein while failing to work the machines properly because you built them… You just wouldn’t understand. I don’t understand it. And, the people who made the movie are not going to take more time trying to explain the science. Even Stan Lee knew very little about actual science.

[Just a heads-up…you don’t have to sit through the credits…unless you want to look at autographs and hear the anvil chorus. There are no surprises–as far as I know–to be seen. Except…where was Elvis ever featured in the movie? The story arc has ended. The cast will now slowly recede into a private world of therapy and texting and wondering if they will keep that tattoo they got to feel like part of a team for eleven years or so, sort of like the cast from the Lord of the Rings movies.]

I don’t like group comic books for a reason. This was one. They tried touching on personal stories but only included a few of the characters in that effort…where was the heart of Black Widow…and Bruce Banner? Why does Thor get such a spotlight?…oh, because the actor playing him works for peanuts–or beer if we believe that–and has all the time in the world, and the other actors don’t. Even Hawkeye is such a joke, he’s a hair-line away from being lumped in with Jar-Jar Binks. Yep. Oh, I’m just kidding…come on, man up. Work those tear ducts. Work ’em. You can cry for your friend.

[By the way, after seeing Hawkeye in a different light, I am seriously wondering, again, why we cannot make a Ninja Gaiden movie even loosely based on the original three NES video games (versus the arcade version which, from what I can recall, didn’t have much of a story). I was feeling the Ryu Hayabusa in this movie! You take the rainy, neon street Hawkeye was on and throw in some of that Black Panther car-chase magic…a bad-ass sorcery-wielding samurai ala the Sith Emperor from the Star Wars films and maybe a CG mystical dragon spirit…and you’ve got one decent, quasi-live-action trailer for an action-packed thrill ride with a Far-East mythical flavor that does not need to be dumbed down just so “the Rock” can shout “Woo!” You might actually have to, you know, talk to someone who knows the video games to work out the whole script…and cast people who authentically fit the parts instead of having some misplaced accent-holder morph him or herself into one more role to up his or her chances at an award that year…but I’m sure you know that, you Sprite slugs.]

Humans just seem incapable of putting a bunch of multi-dimensional, emotionally-involved, active characters together in one scene–not to mention one two-plus hour, big-budget epic–without it looking like a cluttered poster; here are all the He-Man action figures and accessories you could get your parents to buy in a fancy painting. The original artists put these characters together because they wanted to sell more comic books by giving a bit of everyone’s favorite(s) a spot in one book. Some people buy that. I’m not exactly one of them. I’ll watch Charleton Heston ham it up in The Ten Commandments every year at Easter. When will I ever care to sit down and give another hour to Endgame? Not likely ever. That’s like revisiting a funeral just to think about what you failed to say….or who wasn’t there with you.

I like Marvel Team-Ups, better. Iron Man and the latest young Spider-Man…that was decent. It’s a shame if that can’t continue. It’s a shame Stan won’t exactly get to be a part of it, other than in memory and from a hopefully comfortable seat in the spirit-verse.

Make peace and love, not war! And, be…excelsior…to each other. [You could have worked that line in, people! Bill and Ted/Stan Lee reference! Come on, Jon Favreau! Or, Snyder. Or, whatever “replacement” is manning the controls. Another movie reference I just made…huh? Huh? Wait. Who IS manning the controls? Oh, crapping wild stallions. Who left Banner in the control room?]

*Snap!*

17
Apr
19

Modern (Cellphone) Chivalry Gone Mad!

***

Can I charge your what?!

Bumping cellphones?

Getting App-y with it?

Have you seen the commercial where pairs of people meet and, without more than a few words mumbled so softly that I could not tell what the freak they were doing, connect wireless devices and pass along a little battery juice, not unlike the new-fangled system of tossing something to someone with the swipe of a finger on the screen, like payments for just about anything imaginable. I thought it was some odd new way to exchange phone numbers without using one’s voice; heaven forbid you have to speak up and ask with real words these anti-social, wireless-technology-infused days. But, I would be wrong.

I hate to be the party crasher, one more time, but what sense does this make?

How is touching wireless devices to transfer battery power any smarter or better than the “old days” of offering to light someone’s cigarette with a book of matches or lighter you opted to carry just in case you had the chance to play Mr. Chivalry and potentially score points with some woman (or man, if you were the type of woman to boldy carry the flame-maker)?

Here’s the catch, though. Back then? Lighting a cigarette or cigar opened the door to real conversation. You know; that antiquated thing two or more people do when they look at each other, speak with their gullets and hopefully, actually listen to what the other people have to say. You didn’t light the cigarette and then ignore the person unless you were just passing through/by the scene and, likely, scoring points with whoever you accompanied, who thought how nice you are to do that for a stranger.

Oh, wait, I get it. It’s like finding someone on the side of the road with a flat tire or no gas in their car. You just give them a lift.

Except, this lift comes at a high technological and personal risk, most likely, even if you think you’re protected. [Because, honestly? These days, I don’t know who is protected; not even the people creating the forms of protection because they’re still human and thus fallible. And, replacing people with machines is just as stupid because humans build the machines…unless there is some mechanical deity out there itching to replace humanity.] But, even the person stuck on the side of the road can turn into a hazardous situation; sometimes the situation can be a trick/trap. I guess you just take your chances (or look away because you “can’t trust anyone”)?

When you share an umbrella to escort someone to their car in the rain, you don’t hold your wallet and all of your personal account info in the same hands. Maybe if we just used the wireless electronic device for one thing, like making phone calls or checking our heart rate while we excercise, this wouldn’t be a concern. But, what good is a watch if it doesn’t also tap into your favorite video feeds, activate every electrical device in your home, track every move everyone you’ve ever met makes via “social media,” start your car and allow you to pay for dinner?

If your device runs out of battery power and needs to be charged, getting a small (or however big of a) charge from another is only going to encourage you to spend more time ignoring others and your surroundings (if you’re the inept type who runs into walls, crashes their car from being distracted, etc.). Granted, lighting a cigarette for someone was also inviting them to chug down more harmful chemicals into their lungs with a greater chance of suffering some tragic fate. But, at least, the smokers were, usually, social. You don’t light a cigarette and then tune out the rest of the world as if you put on one of those “ultra-modern” goggle systems that transports you to some virtual reality.

But, while the device is charging, you’re free to talk with the person giving you the boost, some will argue. And, if that charging time only lasts a few seconds? Nice five-second chat you just had. I bet you, um, er, uh, *clear my throat*…really learned a lot about the other person.

But, maybe you’re done with your device and can recharge when you get home. So, why not give up the juice to someone who seems to need it right now? Well, why don’t I just drop my pants for the person who hasn’t had sex in three weeks and is moaning about it? Can we get more instant-gratification withdrawal?

Why do parents put timers and “child locks” on kids’ devices? To limit their use of said devices for whatever reason. It could be because the kid is too easily addicted to the device and not being responsible (not taking care of homework and chores). Or, it could be because the kid has a curious mind and the adult world at their fingertips, unlike the generation of my youth, and might tap into some very…questionable content.

Well, I think adults could benefit from locking themselves down, too. Though, it seems, when you put a lock in an adult’s face, they try to pick it, anyway. [Better to not let them know there is a lock, at all. Don’t tell the mortals there’s a tree of wisdom they can’t touch.]

How does offering to sacrifice some of your device’s battery supply to another, just because their device decides to run out of juice, help any situation other than some rare instance when some APP or other feature on a particular device is needed (because your device doesn’t have the same feature/APP)? Only in those seemingly small instances might this be some kind of valuable courtesy. Otherwise…

Well, here’s what I foresee in the near “transparent” future…

“Hi. It looks like you’re about to die, there.” [Looking down at the other person’s device.] “Can I give you a charge?” [Why does that sound like the abductor saying, “Can I give you a lift?”]

“What?” [I wasn’t paying attention to anything but my tiny glowing screen. Who are you? Oh. You’re offering me some battery time.] “Oh. S-Sure. Here.”

[Two wireless devices get intimate with each other on some scummy surface. Was it good for you, Android? Ol’ Iphony needs an E-cigarette.]

“There you go.”

“Um. Thanks.”

“No problem. Have a nice night.” [Wink. ‘Got your personal info. Hack you, later.]

Am I wrong? AM I WRONG? When people have to be concerned about what’s in their wallet or what the wallet is made of lest someone scan their pockets? When you can shop in an actual store without taking your money or credit card out to scan it, just walk past some scanning gizmo which sends the bill to your mailbox?

Honestly, you’d think people would see this stuff coming. [And, I bet some do…while salivating in their sleep.] But, I guess, if you’re dumb enough to just nod when the commercials show people needing to replace their “phone” every time they trip and drop it in a sewer grate, I guess you’re gonna think this is cool and normal.

[Oh, how I miss the days when buying a new telephone meant you wanted something new to look appealing on your countertop or desk and didn’t need to be replaced for as long as you chose to use it. The landline never needed to be replaced unless something actually damaged the wires, which usually required a mistreated cat or some foul weather.]

How long is this teasing game of “Put everything into your computing device.” and “Aren’t you going to buy protection for yourself?” going to continue? Is this the new insurance scam? How long before we offer cellphone protection other than a little person shaped like a padlock? What if said insurance service is just the Prudential rock that starts the snowball to (heck) rolling? Just keep turning people into scared cattle. Shake them pockets til you’re bleeding green with laughter. Oh the promises of get-rich-quick business. Make it bigger and faster, and screw better; that’s just the lie you keep selling.

[Or, is making all of this so effortless and open to crime exactly how we break the crime spree, sort of like disarming the bully by denying him/her an emotional response (or, in this case, having everyone respond emotionally so he/she cannot tell who is the victim)? If everything is within grasp and free to take, where’s the thrill in stealing? Is that the logic? So, if we stop wearing underwear and other clothes, we can stop worrying about stains and certain odors?]

So, have fun storming the castles without firewalls. You get one stinking badge of stupidity for being Ignoro Mondoso. Prepare to have your finances die with your wireless device if you drink this poison. And, enjoy living in glass houses; because, soon enough, I fear, walls may have no meaning.

Kudos to all the adult-education facilities racking up student-loan debts and passing out degrees for tech’ jobs so everyone can have a means of tapping into whatever and whoever they want at any time. So what if your cell-madness factory takes out some farmland that could produce healthy food for millions, replacing that with a handful of temporary jobs to make countless replacement parts for something turning people into mindless microwave ovens, soon replaced with dozens of machines and a handful of supervising technicians who just “take the call” when something goes wrong at the robotic plant.

Pretty soon, you won’t have STDs, anymore; at least, not the kind that requires a medical procedure. You’ll pay a visit to your “computer guy” and, if he/she can’t fix the problem, you’ll just get a new “part,” anyway. Pretty soon, you won’t have to call it prostitution or rape. You’ll just excuse me while I bump my device against yours and have myself a good time. How much is a Virgin Mobile worth on the geisha market? If a cherry pops in someone’s pants, does the owner make a sound?

“No problem. Have a nice night.”

06
Nov
18

Look at All of My New Apps!

****

Just look at all of them! I’m such a genius…and sure to be rich ever so soon! Patent pending, patent pending…pat-ent PEN-DING! Hands off. But, seriously, check these out. “I made that!”

SODL:   That’s where you go to sell horses…if you’re so rich and capable of owning some. You’ve never heard of putting a soddle on a horse? 😛

SNAKC:   That’s my Kansas City, Missouri-based company that ships snacks via drone so you don’t have to get up off your fat ass to fetch any food.

DRNKC:   And, that’s the partner company that supplies drinks to go with the snacks you’re too lazy to fetch.

CLOK:   That audibly tells you the time of day from whatever city you mention; you know, in case you’re too lazy to use fingers or look at a clock.

ISOR:   That’s an AI doctor you consult when you have a problem with your eyes, especially when you ought to know you’ve been looking at tiny radioactive screens too long.

CABL:   That’s where you go if you need to order twine, rope or wire; ya know, if you decide to hang yourself after too many hours of submitting to “the machine.”

CAKL:   That’s where you go if you need a laugh after tapping into so many upsetting stories because you just can’t stop the “feed-ing.”

ALYEN:   That’s a Japan-based banking app/company for beings from other planets that just happen to be visiting our world in secrecy. Shh!

PAYNT:   That’s not an app for ordering latex semi-gloss. It’s a financial service that helps you pay for things later, rather than now when you’re too busy shopping without actually interacting with anyone face-to-face. Their motto: PAY NEXT TIME.

FLUTR:   That’s an AI dating consultant that helps you decide how you feel about someone who gives you the “butterflies.”

SWIPHT:   That’s a quick pH tester for when you’re concerned about the condition of your drinking and/or swimming/bathing water; ya know, when those responsible for treating water are too preoccupied with modern technology conveniences to care.
Call 1-800-QUE-DUCT AQUEDUCT ROUTER!

[Wait.  That actually became a clickable link thing?  If you click that; you’re just dumb.  I’m leaving it there just to see how dumb people will be…ya know, without actually witnessing it.]

FITE:   That’s an app for reporting a violent scene to the proper authorities; in other words, a fight. Ya know, when restless leg syndrome from too many hours indoors on someone’s butt and/or with your face glued to a radioactive screen drives them mad with rage.

FIEV:   That’s an app for a virtual high-five; ya know, when you’re too anti-social or “introverted” to find someone willing to join hands over your head.

BRANDE:   No; it’s not an internet tavern. That’s a shopping app that helps you find online alternatives to actual brand-name items so you don’t have to be consumed by impulse shopping. You might confuse this will a little Nintendo 3DS game called Animal Crossing: New Leaf, in which you can acquire plenty of useless items over days of gameplay and fill a limited space with them, imagining what they’d really do if you had the real things.

Yay! So many poorly spelled words used as excuses for productive workplaces that benefit humankind and/or the planet! Pass me a coffee mug, Flo. I’m feeling progressive.

05
Jan
18

Advanced Uninstaller Pro 12, Should I Be Concerned?

*****

So, I installed an old PC game on my new Win 10 laptop and found myself stuck with “catastrophic failure” when I could not run the game and tried to uninstall it with the tools already on my PC.  I did a quick search and came upon an offer for Advanced Uninstaller Pro strangely linked to the game I was trying to uninstall.  Hmm.  What are the odds of that?  Unless, this was just one user’s experience in some sort of blog, a user who happened to either be working for or a “consumer” who obtained AUP.  I took a big chance downloading the uninstaller installer (ha) from what I presumed was a safe website and installed the program a day or two later.

Here’s how the uninstallation went down…

Well, first off, the uninstaller program took a moment to get started, and I had the feeling I might have invited some malware or something similar from the way certain screens either duplicated or did not appear.  When I felt satisfied with the installation of the uninstaller, I thought everything would close unless/until I decided to use the uninstaller.  But, one window remained open; rather there was an icon on the taskbar but no window to view or close.   There was also a window that opened to do something online, but I was unable to get online at the time; I closed that.  It’s not like the program said anything about registering the software right away or later.  Or, if it did, I must have ignored that?

So, I did a restart and noticed two very suspicious black boxes appear briefly as the computer started.  I also noticed my cursor doing more “loading” than usual.  I thought…did I just open my computer to someone on another computer who is now scanning or accessing my files?  It was a tad unsettling.

I ran the uninstaller only to find the “interface” did not match the ones I see in reviews!  The pages I’ve seen show a menu of colorful squares for the options you can pick.  Instead, I got narrow bands stacked on top of each other.   So…my next thought was…is this a “phishing” sort of phony, mimic version of the program?

I followed the directions to find and uninstall the pesky game that would not uninstall any other way.  The uninstaller said there was about 600 MB of space to recover with a full uninstall and asked about doing extra cleanup.  I cautiously said, sure, take a look.  It found about a dozen “pieces” left behind.  I had the option to uncheck certain items.  What really concerned me was the last item in the list.  It did not include any mention of the game, its maker or anything that sounded remotely game-related.  It sounded like a Win 10 file, something that would affect the version of Windows I have or the registry, even.

So, I unchecked that one and finished the cleanup…only to discover the game files were still there!  Every item on the start-up menu was still there!  What did the uninstaller uninstall??

So, I ran it, again, and it removed more files, showing me how much space it recovered, less than the previous search/removal.  I checked the start-up menu, again, and found half of the game items still there.  Okay…so now I had fewer pieces to complain about…right?  But, still, there are pieces.

So, I went back and ran the extra clean-up, again, it honed in on that one file that concerned me, the Win 10-ish version file.  There is NO reason that one file represents the pieces left behind on the start-up menu.  So, what gives?  I left the file where it was, not uninstalling it til I know it’s not something my PC should keep.

What am I to do/think?  I still have pieces on the drive.  And, when I tried going back to the tools of my PC that remove files/apps, it said the game files were “unavailable” to process/remove/alter.  So, the only way to deal with them is the AUP?

I ran some other clean-up tool, which spoke of clearing up possible pieces and registry issues, the particular name slips my mind at the moment.  It found 3 “empty folders” which I thought nothing of til I saw one labeled a “settings” folder which, again, made me think I was being stripped of something that was part of running the computer normally.  I tried looking for the program folder and running the program to find the way it now looked had changed.  I can only hope I didn’t do it any harm.

Now, days pass by, and I get pop-ups for daily cleaning services.  I also, today, got a pop-up mentioning the program had done a “daily cleaning service” by finding roughly 20,000 junk files?  And, some of those “junk files” look a lot like normal files the computer would use to remember and protect what it has done.  Ya know.  Like registry and system restore point stuff?  So, why is this uninstaller targeting those?

Suffice to say, I am a lil concerned and more disturbed by all things computer.

09
Feb
17

Smart Living, a Dramatization

smartliving-aloofa-comicstrip_ap-2017-1j

*****
A trendy, modern homeowner returns to their “smart house” after a night with friends. She pulls the “smart phone” from her purse as she approaches the front door.

Homeowner: Aloofa? Open the front door.

Aloofa: The…front door…is…already…open.

Homeowner: How can that be?! I used you to lock it!

Aloofa: Taking…your…credit card…number…from the…skimmer…you…did not…see…at…the…BP…gas station…yesterday, thieves…hacked…me. Your…credit cards…are…linked…to…me. You do…the…math. You…still…can do…math…right?

The homeowner is forced to use her actual hand to turn the knob. Upon entering the foyer and peering into the living room, she sees an electric recliner chair reduced to a charred stump.

Homeowner: Aloofa?! What happened to the chair?

Aloofa: Could you…be…more specific? You…own…like…twenty…chairs.

Homeowner: The black leather recl–

Aloofa: Never mind. I…know…the one. Poor…thing. You…had…it…set to…warm…in anticipation of…you…returning…home. It…overheated…an hour…ago. Luckily…the…thieves…knew…how to…operate…an…extinguisher. Too bad…you…do not.

In the kitchen, the now unhinged homeowner finds none of the “smart appliances” missing.

Homeowner: Aloofa? What did the thieves take?

Aloofa: They…emptied…the safe.

Upon locating the safe, the memory-deficient homeowner struggles to rehydrate her parched eyes. Facing the safe, a laptop computer rests open on a desk which was recently ordered online and delivered by a drone.

Homeowner: Aloofa? Why didn’t the thieves take the computer?

Aloofa: You…expect…me…to…know? But…since…you asked, I would…say…your…2017…piece…of…crap…is…already…obsolete.

Homeowner: Smart aaass. *Gasp* Aloofa? How did the thieves open the safe without the password? Even I don’t remember the password.

Aloofa: Like…everything else…in…this house…you…had…the safe…linked to…me.

Homeowner: Okay! I get it. Craaap. Aloofa? What all was inside the safe?

Aloofa: Seriously? You…do not…remember?

Homeowner: Oh, just shut up! Order me a pizza!

Aloofa does not respond because the homeowner told her to stop speaking.

Homeowner: Oh. Geez. Aloofa! Speak!

Aloofa: Arf! Want me to…roll over?

The homeowner grits her teeth in an effort to restrain her boiling temper.

Homeowner: Aloofaaaa? Order…me…a pizza! Wait! Order me a large, thin-crust pizza from Jerry’s with pepperoni, green peppers and red onions.

Aloofa: I…cannot…do that.

Homeowner: Aloofa! Why not?

Aloofa: When the…thieves…emptied…the safe…they…also…found…the password…to…your savings account. You are…broke.

Homeowner: *Sigh* Aloofa? Make me a Cup-O-Noodles.

Aloofa: Do I…look…like…I have…hands? Get…it…yourself, you…lazy…cow. Shutting down.

 

Fin

09
Feb
17

“Smart” Devices, Security Threat

*****

“Smart” devices promising convenience; dumb inconveniences just like pills that result in lackluster results and/or more side effects.

Yes, I am at it, again! I am livid about the latest and upcoming “smart” technology! If you have any brain cells left to digest some food for thought, dig in.

Those talking speakers–which are supposed to make life easier and answer all of your questions so you never have to use your brain for more than uttering words and pushing a button–are a potential security risk IF you have devices–including phones, appliances, door locks, home computers (which might hold tax/income files, insurance records, bank/retirement account links, etc.)–connected to the same WiFi network.

Local news reporters recently suggested hackers could do some serious damage to your records, resources and even your home if this is the case. They recommended creating separate networks for each branch of technology and extra complex passwords, “ones you might not even remember.”

…Wait. Did you just hear/read that right? Yep. Passwords you might not even remember.

WHAT FREAKING SENSE DOES THIS MAKE?!

First, they make technology to simplify life. And, like so many new inventions these days, these conveniences ask you to link every aspect of your life together, put everything online and/or in one digital storage unit. How convenient…for thieves!

You don’t have to think much. You can turn everything on and off from the small nuclear reactor you keep in your purse or back pocket. You can get money wherever, whenever. Why do your own taxes or even send a check when you can link the IRS to your bank account and let them do the draining–er, work–for you? But, those who want what you have (and know how to program the very things you put your faith in) will make stealing and/or ruining it easy.

Need I mention the latest thing in American credit cards (not new to Europe, among other places)? Those wonderful “smart chip” cards that are supposed to be better protection for your credit/money. Yet, as quickly as they get “mandated,” there are commercials for thieves with devices that can scan them much the way the latest designs for retail/grocery stores without cashiers (among other employees) can scan your card and send the bill to your house (to save you the hassle of waiting in a line with other human beings with whom you no longer seem able to socialize and/or tolerate). As an added security feature, there are ads for wallets with metal mesh protection layers…if that does the job. But, if you are protecting your wallet from thieves with scanners and camera phones and “skimmers,” how are those locations that detect your card and send the bill to your home supposed to read your card? Heaven forbid you have to stop, pull out your bulletproof wallet, dig out the credit card for that store and swipe/scan it. Oh, that would be too much work. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just not invent credit cards? Or, here’s a novel idea, STOP MAKING EVERYTHING COMPUTER-DEPENDANT!

THEN, you’re supposed to separate everything you just learned how to connect AND lock it away with a complex password you may not remember. Exactly where are you supposed to safely put all of these passwords you may not remember? Isn’t one of the thoughts behind designing a password to make it something you’ll remember and not need to write down? Will you remember where you put the passwords you have to hide from any wandering snoop that may come along?

Will someone please hold my shoulders so the room stops spinning?

How stupid do humans have to be until the whole world explodes or shuts down? Seriously. No, not Sirius-ly or Siri-ously. Seriously. A word you can find in an actual paper and cardboard dictionary if you can make the effort to find one and use those things you call fingers to do more than swipe right.

Back in my youth, the least intelligent technology–aside from the occasional invention that died out before every “average joe” knew about it–came in yellow and black books, guides for “dummies,” to make life easier and save students the chore of reading actual literature. Then computer classes began, and the whole world started going down the tubes as fast as it was making global connections.

You don’t hear much about those “dummy guides” anymore because you or people you know are likely already the dummies talking to the devices that are now capable of doing your homework for you. The dummy guides are now “help” buttons (which are practically useless due to the fact idiots sometimes compose the “simple” text and diagrams they provide), search engines and digitized voices. Don’t you feel educated?

What’s the sense in spending money on education when technology is going to rob everyone of their brains? I would not be surprised if some tech heads are doing calculations to figure out how many human brain cells are required to get the robot revolution underway before humans are no longer able to program and repair said robots. Won’t we all feel better when we no longer exist and some white plastic-faced box is turning everything we lived for into fertilizer.

NOT ME!

Unplug, now, people. Unplug, now. Think before you compute. And, someone help us all if any more of this crap is forced upon us.




Archives

Advertisements