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maiki.xyz

October 27, 2014 — Leave a comment

Heads up to folks that follow this site to read my posts on free software and information technology: I’ve got a new site at https://maiki.xyz. If you are reading this is a feed, then you may want to subscribe to https://maiki.xyz/feed. ^_^

I am moving this blog to be more of a journal for myself, about personal things. Or commentary that I don’t want to be mixed in with my observations about tech. It will be easier for me to process what I am writing if I am thinking of where it goes. Also, I’d like to do more mundane blogging here, like talking about places I go, that kinda thing. I just don’t want those kinds of post to dilute my technical writing.

I will also be launching some other places on the web, like a place to talk about video games, further removing the types of content I post here. But I will be collecting it all in a new place, as a life stream (remember those? I’ve always like the idea). More to come. ^_^

Intro to Defiance

August 30, 2014 — Leave a comment

Defiance has completed its second season, and hasn’t been renewed for a third (but we can hope!). I talk about it on federated social networks, where I don’t think folks talk about media much (likely because there is a high concentration of copyright reform advocates, but that is a guess on my part). But each time I talk about Defiance, I get a couple reactions of interest.

This small introduction will be my go to link for telling folks what it is about. In the past I’ve had a hard time describing it, because while it can be described as Star Trek + Firefly + West Side Story + western (genre) + post-apocalyptic, the series is able to stand alone (much as the aforementioned Firefly is more than a space western).

I will explain a few parts of the show, and I won’t include spoilers that you couldn’t deduce from the genre descriptors, specifically, it has aliens, weird tech, and happens in the future.

Defiance is a frontier town/city-state, surrounded by what are essentially “badlands”, the result of an Earth having been ravaged by uncontrolled terraforming technology brought to the planet by an alien fleet of capital ships called Arks. The aliens were a collective of various species that evolved in a star system that was going to be destroyed by a failing sun. They didn’t come to Earth to conquer it, but a conflict did happen. A catastrophic event happened (which resulted in the uncontrolled terraforming), which essentially destroyed human civilization’s infrastructure, but also left the aliens stranded, and with very little technology.

That is all cool, but it is dressing for the story. The interesting bits are the personalities of Defiance, and their collective struggle for survival in an unforgiving world that is strange to everyone (native and alien). What do you have to look forward to? Crime families, company town issues, inter-species romance and bigotry, external political forces, weird and lost technology, lawkeepers, and lots of interlocking plotlines. Also, some of the most progressive and interesting commentary on gender, sex, family and societal roles! Turns out you can do with a lot of “alien” culture to talk about contemporary issues. ^_^

The production quality if among the top for what one expects from a sci-fi show, let alone a Syfy show. The music is really fun, too. Also, there is an MMORPG attached to it, if you are into that the transmedia experience (and run a non-free OS).

Of course I recommend you watch it. I think it will obviously be enjoyable to folks that are into other sci-fi franchises, but it also appeals to those that are into social dynamics and alternaitve/intentional family styles. And now that it has concluded, you can get the whole thing via video on demand! ^_^

Gonna keep this short, because I’ve wasted too much time on it as it stands.

I broke the screen on a Nexus 5. It is an LG device. I sent it in to LG to be repaired. I got an email from LG on May 25th, at 10:22 PM, and I read on the morning of the 26th.

It included an Inspection Results document that said repairs would cost $153, and to send send them payment within 4 days or they would return the phone to me. Options for payment were sending in a money order, or writing my credit card info on the form and faxing it to them. All this already indicated to me that LG is a company that does not like doing repairs, because none of those options are easy, let alone within four days.

I called them yesterday at 5:30 PM, coming back from a client’s place. The support person was dismissive, told me to call back the next day to pay for the repairs, as the payment dept. was closed then, and would not put an extension on my account. I asked to verify that I had today to pay, and they said I did. Then they refused to give me their employee number or a reference number for the call. I asked to speak with eir supervisor, and after putting me on hold for 10 minutes, told me they had gone home, and I could speak with them by calling today. I verified once more I would be able to pay today, and e affirmed it.

I called today, and was informed, after being put on hold for 15 minutes, that I couldn’t pay, because the reference item was expired. There was no extension on the account, and in order to be sent to the payment center, I need a reference number, so they need to create a new one, and then send it to their back office, which will then send me another notice with four days (although they kept saying 3 days, and when I asked them why mine said four days, they admitted it counted the first day from when I got the message, in my case the last two hours of the 25th). Their payment office is closed tomorrow, and Monday is a holiday, so I would receive the notice on Tuesday. At this point they’ve had my $400 device for 10 days.

I asked to speak to their supervisor, and was transferred, but after 10 minutes, the person told me that the supervisor division had high volume, and they would be transferring me so I should just hold until they get to me. I asked them to explain to me why this happened, and when I explained to them how the process had worked for me, they suggested I be transferred to “escalation”. I was on hold for 5 minutes before I decided I value my time more than this process.

Supposedly escalation can call me back if the call is dropped. It has been an hour and I haven’t been contacted yet. If they call me back today, and let me pay for the device, I will do so. If not, I will have the phone returned. Regardless, I will never buy another LG device, because they actively discourage having them repaired.

We just had a quake within 50 miles of Oakland: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/nc72282711. We are fine, Clover slept through it. How is everyone else?

Kraken Con

August 23, 2014 — Leave a comment

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Not going to Japan Expo reminded me to register for Kraken Con, which is about five weeks out. I went ahead and got Susan a two-day pass as well, so we can come and go as we want.

I wanted to point out that if you are attending, or thinking of attending, there are plenty of things around the Oakland Convention Center to do and see (and eat). Off the top of my head, there is Old Oakland (where Ratto’s is located), Chinatown, and just across the street from the center is End Game, many patrons of whom I suspect will be attending the con.

If you are attending and have questions about the area, ask in the comments or shoot me a message. If you are a local, and want to see what a relatively small, local animationan, comics and gaming convention is like, I encourage you to attend. This is actually a really great time to attend this, and should be a good introductory con. If folks want to get a cup of tea there, let me know! ^_^

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Digital Ocean knows language is hard. ^_^

WPEngine has some fundamental problems, including an inability to create support issues. I pay them $300 a month, and I expect more from them. So I am migrating my 60+ sites away from them.

Continue Reading...

Taking a break from normal work, and instead gonna put together a site to help my brain function. I’ve been developing an internal taxonomy for what my personal desires are, but even though I initially called them buckets, I don’t want to have a site called my “bucket list“, so I am going with channels, instead.

The basic concept is that I have an feeds (ideas, cultural artifacts [like movies and music, or the written word], trends, conversations, etc.), an inbox (my brain), and various outputs (blog posts, servers, networks, games, worlds, commentary, podcasts, tasks, archives, tucked away text files, etc.). Also, some of those outputs become feeds immediately.

This conceptual model is not unlike how I read aggregated feeds on the web, where I collect and then process them. Right now I use a tablet for this, where I pull in feeds, either read them or save them for later, and then put aside a dedicated time to figure out what I want to do with them, such as sharing, responding, or documenting somewhere.

The concept of a bucket comes from how I parse worlds, which I break down into component parts and then reassemble into other worlds. This is the basis of my paracosm. The bucket part is that to talk about a world I feel I need a high-level overview of it, but the building blocks alone don’t give me enough to go on. So each potential world is a bucket, and when it gets filled, I can look inside and see what it is. Not sure which came first, but at this point in my life, my process for world-building and my process for problem-solving are neatly merged (which is why I encourage people to role-play, since it is an activity made of various helpful skills).

Anyhow, the project for this weekend is to build a prototype website that helps me organize these channels. I plan to use WordPress + Pods to build related items, so I can output useful views to both see what I’ve done, but also to check off a list and say, “hey, this thing is deconstructed and documented, I can let it go and think about something else.”

Hypermetawebcrafting. ^_^

I get email from a company called Aeria Games every so often, probably because I played Battlefield Heroes years ago (I guess they run it, now). Anyhow, I don’t want them to send me mail, so I click the opt-out link, but it never works. To contact them, I have to fill out a long form, but I don’t like doing that on my tablet, where I read my mail in the morning.

Finally got around to it, and upon submitting the message, I got following response:

aeria-games

Access denied.

Your message has been sent. You can track our correspondences by using the ticket number 12375165.

You are not authorized to access this page.

I’d send them a message about it, but they make that really hard. No free drive-by consulting for them!

Space geckos

July 28, 2014 — Leave a comment

You can ask Russia to do the right thing at http://eng.letters.kremlin.ru/.