Embedding Google Plus posts

Google+ introduced a couple of new features on Monday, including a new tool that allows bloggers and content creators to embed public Google+ posts on other sites.

Users who wish to highlight a Google+ post within a news story or on a personal blog can do so by clicking the “Embed post” tab from the drop down menu in the post’s upper righthand corner. Users can then copy and paste the available line of code to embed the post, including text and photos.

This is great, since I spend most of my time now on Google+ rather than on Facebook or tending my mostly neglected blog. Hey, it’s paying it’s way so it’s been a bit of a set/forget thing. But now I can post once on Google and then drag it over here.

I am become Dropsy, destroyer of technology

I don’t know what it is. I’ve dropped two expensive pieces of kit this year. First, my new Samsung Galaxy S3 phone about a month after I bought it. It’s got a crack in the screen in one corner. Luckily it is still usable and doesn’t bother me all that much day to day.

But this week I also dropped Jett’s ASUS TF202 Transformer tablet. I honestly don’t know how it happened. I was cleaning up in the family room, picking up this and that and somehow lost traction when I picked up the tablet. Gravity took care of the rest. I almost caught it, but it dropped right on the corner.

I felt like such and idiot. I’ve always impressed on the kids how expensive these are, and to treat them delicately. But here comes dad and practically throws it on the ground.

Jett insists, rightly I guess, on a replacement. The good thing is he wants a smaller Nexus 7 rather than a 10-inch tablet. And because the 2013 N7 just came out, the first gen are being dumped  on ebay for about 40% of the new price, even New In Box.

Kindle is better than real books

It might have taken me a while, but I’m more convinced now than ever than electronic books like Amazon’s Kindle and Google’s Play Books are better than their real-world counterparts. Before, say, two or three years ago I wasn’t so sure, but having used e-books very regularly I can see a time where real books will be a bastion of old-time stalwarts doggedly holding on to old nostalgic tech much like how vinyl records are treated by recorded music enthusiasts today.

I used to take a certain pride in my home library, small though it was. Through high school and uni, I built a small but well loved collection of books including both fiction and non-fiction. I’ve had to cull a lot of books from time to time, mostly to keep my wife sane and happy. But I’ve kept a core books which I could easily say defined what I knew of the world and of myself; great reference books and timeless stories which both educated me and inspired me.

Since buying into the Smart-Phone market, I’ve been able to sell most of those books on ebay (not without a measure of emotion) and buy their e-book equivalents on Amazon Kindle and Google Play, even making a modest profit in the process. I’ll admit, it’s fairly hard going reading, say, War and Peace on a 4 inch phone screen but since investing in a Google Nexus 7 this year I’ve found myself reading a lot more than I used to.

There are lots of benefits to the e-book paradigm. In my device, I can carry THOUSANDS of books. If I’m stuck on the train or looking for something to do, I can reach out and have access to every book I’ve ever bought, no matter where I am. You always have a selection of books to read, and no weight to carry around.

And since they’re instantly delivered wirelessly, buying a book any time any place is a simple matter. No more disappointments from sold-out titles at book stores. No more dings, dents or dog-ears from other less thoughtful consumers who’ve previously handled those physical books. Nope. I enjoy the system of browsing, downloading and reading instantly.

I’ve even got some magazine subscriptions, which are a nice surprise to find waiting for me when I turn my device on.

If you’re short sighted, you can always zoom in or increase the font size. Things like changing the font or paper colour, or setting the screen brightness are a snap. Searching the book is a lot easier and more thorough. Kindle and Play also allows you to highlight parts of your e-book, much like using a neon highlighter, with the advantage of being able to remove unwanted highlights. Of course there’s also the electronic version of the good old bookmark so you can easily find the last page you were reading.

And if, Heaven forbid, I lose my device then I can simply re-download the books for free onto my new device. There’s even a system for “loaning” books to a friend.

So if you’re into books, I say “throw off the chains of the physical world” and invest in an e-book reader whether it’s a Kindle, iPad or Android device. You’ll be glad you did.

This is sure and impressive library

I have Klout

Apparently I have a Klout score. And so do you, but you might not know it yet.

I am better than you.

After listening to the “Download this show” podcast and reading this article, I’ve found that some people actually take this whole Klout thing seriously.

For those not in the know, Klout helps you measure your online influence, a social media vanity score if you will. The more people you interact with online using services like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare the higher your score.

But when Big Ben’s twitter feed gives a Klout score of 48 from simply posting “Bong Bong Bong” automatically on the hour, I’m skeptical of the analytics and result. And even the point.

River naming in US

Link

This is a great peice of cartography I thought I’d share.

This map charts the rich variety of waterflow toponyms in the US, which reflects the climatological and geographical diversity of the country, but also its linguistic and historical heritage. River names seem extremely resistant to change, and indeed often are echoes of earlier dominant cultures.

The colours on the map, which is based on the place names in the USGS National Hydrography Dataset, correspond to the generic toponyms for waterflows, excluding the two commonest ones (river and creek, rendered in grey).

Facebook Slacktivism

OK, here we go:

Shhhhhh!!!! Ok pretty ladies, it’s that time of year again, in support of breast cancer awareness!! So we all remember last years game of writing your bra color as your status?…..or the way we like to have our handbag handy? Remember last year so many people took part that it made national news and, the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness!! Do NOT tell any males what the status’ mean, keep them guessing!! And please copy and paste (in a message )this to all your female friends to see if we can make a bigger fuss this year than last year!!! I did my part… now YOUR turn ! Go on ladies…and let’s have all the males guessing! .. It’s time to confuse the men again (not that its really that hard to do ) Everyone knows it makes their brains work wonders on what we’re talkin about!! The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to the GIRLS ONLY and lets see how far it reaches around. The last one about the bra went round all over the world.
So you’ll write… I’m (your birth month) weeks and I’m craving (your birth date)!!! as your status. Example: Feb 14th: I’m 2 weeks and craving Chocolate mints!!

January-1week, Febuary-2 weeks, March-3 weeks, April-4 weeks, May-8 weeks, June-9 weeks, July-10 weeks, August-12 weeks, September-13 weeks, October-14 weeks, November-16 weeks, December-18 weeks.

Days of the month: 1-Skittles, 2-Starburst, 3-Kit-Kat, 4-M&M’s, 5-Galaxy, 6-Crunchie, 7-Dairy Milk, 8-Lollipop, 9-Peanut Butter Cups, 10-Meat Balls, 11-Twizzlers, 12-Bubble Gum, 13-Hershey’s Kisses, 14-Chocolate Mints, 15-Twix, 16-Resse’s Fastbreak, 17-Fudge, 18-Cherry Jello, 19-Milkyway, 20-Pickels, 21-Creme Eggs, 22-Skittles, 23-Gummy Bears, 24-Gummy Worms, 25-Strawberry Pop Tarts, 26-Starburst, 27-Mini Eggs, 28-Kit-Kat Chunky, 29-Double Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cookies, 30-Smarties, 31-Chocolate Cake

Let’s raise Breast Cancer awareness, girls!!!

But don’t let people know what you want them to be aware of or even that they’re supposed to be aware of anything at all.  I mean how do they expect this to work? At best a guy will see the status and go “What the hell are you on about?” and the girl will say “It’s a secret!” At that point the guy will cease giving a shit, trust me.

But I know the answer already. It’s not supposed to work. It’s just an excuse for some people to act dumb by pretending to do something important. No, they don’t really do any “harm”. But these people do it so they can give themselves a pat on the back because “Hey I just raised awareness of <disease that everyone knows about anyway>, good for me. Donate actual money? Screw that. Did you see my Facebook? I posted my shoe size and bra color. I did my part.”

These campaigns bug me because they are inadvertently sexualizing cancer. To get attention or “raise awareness” they’re posting comments that are meant to be taken as innuendo. Because of where the cancer occurs, there’s this inability to disconnect between a potentially fatal disease and “LOL Boobs“.

And really, what the hell does “raising awareness” do at this point? Is there anyone left who doesn’t know how widespread and dangerous breast cancer is? Are they suddenly going to donate because they read a status from a Facebook friend where she implied she was pregnant? What do pregnancy cravings and birthdays have to do with breast cancer?

It’s kind of a sore spot with me.