Move along – You can’t Like that here

According to this article the Facebook Like button has been one of the guiding forces of defining how we interact with content on the web today. To be honest I can’t remember what the article said but I thought it was a decent enough lead in, so I went with that. However what I said isn’t really such a bold claim if you take into account all the sites that already have the Like button somewhere on the page. I’m sitting here, trying to think of non-sterotypical hyperbole of how frequently the like button is used on the web as a way of avoiding doing any form of research on what I am writing about. The problem being, I am not really in the most verbally creative states of mind just yet… so lets just say it’s a lot… like really a lot… like over 12.

As much as I want to hate on Facebook, the idea of a Like button is a simple and intuitive concept, it’s difficult to see why it wouldn’t work. Without doing any research or caring about whether I am right or not, the Digg button existed long before the Like button. If things were different and Digg was a little more cautious with it’s version 4 overhaul and it’s users weren’t so whiny, we may have still been Digging stuff. I’d like to think that the Digg button was the precursor to the Like button. The concept is not new by any means, but being in the right place at the right time has seen a huge uptake of the like button.

As an aside I find the corporate Like culture quite weird. It’s used as a form of currency, Like me and you can have this download. Like me and you can enter this competition, you had to make a purchase previously. You have to like me before you can interact with me. What is that shit all about? Companies are collecting them, kind of like XBOX achievement points but for corporates – to see who has the biggest dick. I am not saying that is all it’s good for, as a content provider I can see how it may have value as a feedback system. But… I’m getting sidetracked.

The undeniable success of the Like button has spawned some Like clones. Google’s +1 is an obvious one, while Behance has the Appreciate This seal of approval at the bottom. There is also Flattr, but that’s different. It’s the put your money where you mouth is of Like buttons, the put up or shut up – there are direct real world consequences for clicking a Flattr button. That’s just three examples, I’m sure there are many others and I have no doubt many others will follow suit.

Hmmm... Do I Like this or is it Tits?

With everyone wanting to cut out their own little wordy real estate on the web, I was wondering why we can’t reuse. Will I be allowed to like stuff in a non Facebook way? They probably won’t, but why can’t Microsoft, Google or Apple let users Like stuff? I am not saying they would want to either but I sure would like to see someone try. What would happen? Litigation? Even if the button were branded differently so there was no confusion? I don’t know? A Nike Like or something? I mean, people were liking stuff long before the internet. Liking something has always been a natural form of expression. Why can’t we reuse it? Surely you can’t hold a monopoly on liking stuff?

Using this when referencing a member variable

Originally I wrote this whole article using the words “global scrote” instead of “global scope”. My intention was to include a picture of the world inside a scrotum. It was going to be hilarious. Then I had to switch it all back after I started searching for a picture of a scrotum that would be suitable to Photoshop the earth into. I just couldn’t any more. Urgh!

Anyhow, back in 1999 I started learning Object Orientation and Java. I learned that you used the keyword this to denote that you are talking about the class you are currently in. So you could have something like this:

public class bar{
    private Int abc;
    public function foo()
    {
        this.abc = 21;
    }

    public function foobar()
    {
        this.abc = 92;
        this.foo();
    }
 }

It made sense.

Recently I have been playing around with Adobe Flash and Java. I’ve noticed is that there’s no requirement to use the keyword this. I really want to say how this is wrong, and how the language designers have made a poor decision. I have no idea how I can say those things and be taken seriously. Taking into consideration the small fact that I have a total of maybe 6 months experience in both of those languages combined, I can’t help but feel the language designers have a bit more knowledge on the subject than I do. So it probably makes sense in the larger context.

Having said that, I have no idea why this was allowed. I think Java and code written OO in general have large increases in verbosity compared to non-OO. The verbosity allows for readability and maintainability.

Coming from a background where my professional coding has largely been PHP, where PHP allows for (but frowned upon) functions and variables to be defined in a global scope I have learned that you ALWAYS ALWAYS use this. You have no idea whose code you have inherited and you have no idea who will inherit your code. Using this does two things:

  1. In the case of the function, this.foo(), tells you that the code to be executed is the code defined in the function just in this class. No matter if someone defines a foo() in the global scope outside of the file and includes it into the local scope the function in the class will always be run.
  2. In the case of the variable, it says we are using the variable defined inside the class we are currently in.

In the case of point 2 above you may think: “ok… yeah so?”. Well take a look at the code below. This is an example of the code I have been seeing in the Java examples and tutorials:

public class bar extends kablah{
    private Int abc;
    public function foo()
    {
        abc = 21;
    }

    public function foobar()
    {
        abc = 92;
        foo();
    }
 }

That just seems confusing to me. Maybe it’s because I come from an environment where global scope was allowed (but frowned upon as the language and its developers matured). If I am looking at function foobar(), I think ok fuck where does this variable come from? What was it’s previous value, should that really get changed. Do I need to worry about it. Let me try find out. Then (in larger classes) you have to go searching to find out it’s a member variable. Same with the function foo(), I spend some mental energy thinking where is that function defined what does it do (this is even more of a problem if the functions don’t have descriptive names)?

Not entirely sure if I should stop here. Basically I answered myself. It is my PHP background that is causing confusion. With Java everything is an object, so if you started on Java and you see foo() you know that it refers to the current object. Where as if you come from maintaining really old PHP4 code as I have, you have seen some really horrible bugs from people using calling functions and variables defined in the global scope. “How the fuck has this variable changed it’s value?!!? This code isn’t even executing!!?!?”

It’s probably just a choice of style and makes no difference (I am not sure if this is always the case and there may be some special cases in more advanced or fringe OO techniques) but I think using this makes it implicit and adds to the readability. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will use this and attempt to incorporate what I have just learned into my frame of reference.

Edit: Turns out it does make a difference if you use this or not in java. Which is what I think Jon was trying to tell me in the comments. If you look the example code below

 

public class bar extends kablah{
    private Int abc;
    public function foo()
    {
        abc = 21;
        Object anObject = new Object();
        anObject.setSomething(new Asdf{
            public void barfunc(){
                foobar();
            }
        });
    }

    public function foobar()
    {
        abc = 92;
        foo();
    }
 }

In the anonymous inner class defined by new Asdf we call foobar(). If you invoked the function using this.foobar() it only looks for the class inside the anonymous inner class. If you don’t use ‘this’ the scope will start locally and then be expanded until the function is found.

Motorola Droid Bionic [pics] – Unlock Hidden Functionality

The Motorola Droid Bionic. The latest feature to be added to the Motorola Droid Bionic, the company’s new flagship smart phone, is the ability to fuck you in the ass. I know some of you may be thinking: “Finally! Smart phones have finally reached the pinnacle of human technology!” The truth is this is nothing new. This feature has been included in many of Motorola’s older products including the original Motorola Droid, the great-great-grandfather of Motorola Droid Bionic. It’s not common knowledge, but this feature can be unlocked on nearly all of Motorola’s mobile products, including the soon-to-be-released Motorola Droid Bionic.

The best part about accessing this functionality is that you don’t have to root your phone, you don’t have to download an app. It already comes standard with the phone and will DEFINITELY be included in the Motorola Droid Bionic.

You may be wondering how you can do this on your phone. Well, I was one of the first people to get hold of and become a proud owner of the original Motorola Droid. I’ve been really happy with it. I shouted its praises at anyone willing to listen. Imagine my joy in finding new abilities on an old piece of hardware that I already thought was amazing.

Anyways enough teasing. In then next few paragraphs I will explain to you how to unlock this functionality so that your own Motorola phone can fuck you in the ass. So without further ado:

Unlock the ability to get fucked in the ass with the Motorola Droid Bionic

Motorola Droid Bionic - The fuck machine
  • Step 1: Use your phone as normal.
  • Step 2: Wait for a fault that you yourself are unable to fix.
  • Step 3: Send it to the repair centre listed on Motorola’s own website.
  • Step 4: Hear nothing. Wait a week.
  • Step 5: Phone the customer centre. Listen to them tell you they have no idea where your phone is… even though it was tracked and you can see that someone has signed for it.
  • Step 6: Send a few emails, wait a week.
  • Step 7: They find your phone and email you to tell you they will send you a quote.
  • Step 8: Wait for the quote, receive nothing.
  • Step 9: Call them up. Get told you’ve already been sent a quote and they have been waiting on you all this time.

That’s it! You’ve been fucked in the ass. As you can see it comes standard with every Motorola phone.

The best part is the feature has lasting effect and with the last few steps probably being:

  • Step 10: Pay through you teeth for this shitty service.
  • Step 11: Maybe get your phone back.

SBE Ltd UK, the company behind Motorola’s customer service, is shit. LG uses them too as does T-Mobile. If you can, avoid these companies at all costs. This is NOT an isolated incident. Support is a big part of the product. If you don’t have good support, you don’t have a good product.

Fuck you, a lot.

Comment Spam

I have been seeing an evolution of comment spam on here. It’s become really interesting watching it. At first it started off as gibberish: “Buy neat watches” with a URL included. Then over the years the content has been increasing in sophistication.

Hmmm… I forgot what I was saying… anyways… so yeah… some of it’s been getting really sophfisty. It’s been really well written with next to no spelling errors and almost even coherent. Something like this: “As a internet resource for organizations and technology enthusiasts to stick to the newest and greatest developments in Unified Communications, IP Telephony, Hosted Communications and VoIP” and of course a URL is included. So stuff like this, if it’s not caught by the spam filter I would spam anyway. I might let it pass if the comment was on topic which in most cases would mean the person was real.

The most recent type I have been getting is this: “It appears that you’ve put a lot of effort and hard work into your article and I require more of these using the net currently. I sincerely got a kick from your post. I don’t really have much to speak about in response, I only wished to comment to reply wonderful work.” A URL is also included. How am I supposed to Spam that? It’s validating my ideas, telling me I’m worth my salt, the spelling and grammar is impeccable (if it’s not, it’s much better than mine). The meaning is not fully there but I understand what they are trying to say. My ego wants me to approve it, it wants me to show you all: “Look, look! Someone thinks I am awesome. Look at my badge of awesomeness given to me by a unknown third party… which makes it more valid than when my mom tells me that I am cool… or when I look at myself in the mirror and say: ‘you are awesome’.”

I spammed it. The URL they included was to a halitosis clinic in Germany.

Question Mark inside Angled Brackets in Java?

Edit: Thanks to Jon Ellis for some clarification.

Edit 2: Added more context to the code.

Edit 3: Thanks again to Jon for more clarification.

I came across something like this while following an android tutorial:

import android.widget.AdapterView.OnItemClickListener;

public class HelloLinear extends Activity
{
  public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState)
  {
    ...
    gridview.setOnItemClickListener(
      new OnItemClickListener() {
        public void onItemClick(AdapterView<?> parent, View v, int position, long id) {
          Toast.makeText(HelloGridView.this, "" + position, Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
        }
      }
    );
  }
}

If you look at the line with the colours, what the hell does that mean?

A quick Google search led me to a tutorial on Generics in Java.  Turns out the question mark is called a wild card. I am not entirely sure on the full meaning of that line as my goal is to get just enough information to carry on with the tutorial. So having said that, what I think it is saying is: The onItemClick() takes as it’s first parameter a construct of AdapterView of an unspecified type. The collection can referenced using the variable name parent.

The reason I added more context because I kept staring at this code as there was something else that was not sitting correctly with me. Look at this my original understanding (because I was applying dynamic type rules from JavaScript) was It was a class definition (HelloLinear) containing a function definition, containing a function call which instantiates and maybe even possibly defines an OnItemClickListner class, which then defines a function.

Turns out I was way off. What is actually happening is we are defining a HelloLinear class which defines the onCreate() function which calls the gridview member function which takes as a parameter, I think, any object that implements the ALREADY defined OnItemClickListener interface (which I should have seen from the imports) which is required to implement the onItemClick function. I guess what I was struggling with is that I was not aware you could firstly, instantiate an interface… or secondly instantiate an interface AND define a function inline. Or was it you could instantiate interfaces and it’s the abstract class you can’t instantiate? Or is that just a java thing?

Turns out the new keyword is used slightly differently to what I am used to. The new keyword here is defining an “Anonymous Inner Class” that implements the OnItemClickListener interface.

What about the rest of us?

Update: Facebook and other third party measurement firms reports are in conflict with previous statistics and indicate that overall Facebook numbers are still growing. Three of the firms’ figures do indicate a decrease in the Facebook user base for at least two non-consecutive months. Rightly so, some are saying there is not enough information to call it a trend.

I attempted to quit Facebook the other day. I say attempted because Facebook does not actually let you delete your account. I just deactivates it. Meaning the data is all there. So when you come back in it’s as though you have never left. It’s as though the digital you has just been asleep and everything has carried on around you.

That’s not actually what I wanted to talk about but let me continue down this way for a bit longer. There are both good things and bad things about being in a digital coma. The good thing is that because my account was only deactivated I still have the opportunity to get information I have on there. For instance I had a few appointments sitting in Facebook that I had not yet put in my Google calendar. I logged in to diarise these before deactivating again. Technically I would not have been at that much of a disadvantage if my account was actually deleted, I could have called/emailed the person and I’d have it again. Facebook however, does make it easier. The bad thing is that I feel as a person I’d be much better off from not having a Facebook account at all. To me being slightly less connected feels like a breath of fresh crisp mountain air.

WHY YOU HERE? YOU LEFT US! WHO NEED WHO NOW MUTHAFUCKA!?

 

The other thing to consider is I am by trade, a WEB developer. I develop applications for the WEB. With Facebook being such a large part of the web, is it really plausible that I cannot have a Facebook account. Is it professionally irresponsible? Is it my professional duty as someone who enjoys what he does to have a Facebook account – Arguably to give myself a better reflection of what is happening on the web?

And with Facebook trying to cement itself in every facet of the web, with the bulk of the current web having nearly 5 Like buttons per page, Facebook orientated commenting and also a lot of newer sites using Facebook connect instead of having native registration.

So with the last sentence in the last paragraph, I’m very nearly on the topic of what I want to say. I heard of a new social music experience Turntable.fm today. It’s description was quite compelling so naturally I wanted to try it out. The thing is, I had to sign up using Facebook. This being the other major reason I have been reactivating and deactivating Facebook since I left. The two services I wanted to look at both required an active Facebook account.

This is a worrying trend for me. Well, “worrying” is the wrong word, it doesn’t fit my lifestyle. I understand that everything is better with friends. I also understand that especially in the case of social software you want to tap into Facebook. Your software is social and it’s a pre-built network ready to go, you would have to have a good reason NOT to use Facebook. The thing is I am an introvert and I think right now I want to be a digital introvert now too. I want to be off Facebook, I don’t want everyone knowing my business. And now especially with people losing interest in Facebook, services like this should, if it makes sense, at least cater for my lifestyle too… what ever that may be, native sign up or twitter integration.

Just as an aside to me not being on Facebook, keep in mind if you see me on Facebook in a year or a months time and want to bring up this post to call me a hypocrite, here is my reply: “Fuck you. I do what I want”

Nintendo’s E3 Unveiling

With the Nintendo press conference only a day away. There is much speculation as to what they are going to say. Many believe that they will be unveiling the new hardware codename Project Cafe.

One has to wonder what Nintendo’s strategy is this time round. In the current generation, the Wii was released. This was the generation that I felt that Nintendo largely turned it’s back on it’s hardcore fans (myself included) and catered to the mainstream, non-gamers, Joe Schmoe and young and old alike. After realising that Nintendo were now focusing on making lifestyle games and they were no longer going make the games I want to play or even provide the platform for the games I want to play, I decide to get the XBOX 360. It’s now that I wonder what is their strategy this time round.

Assuming that Nintendo’s hardcore fans were actually fans of gaming rather than fans of a company or brand, most of them should have moved on. This means they would have lost a large percentage of their early adopters. One of the truths of the technology ecosystem is that to a large extent you need your early adopters. You need them to get your product, try it out and recommend it to the mass market.

So who are Nintendo’s demographic? The male teenagers to young 20’s don’t want to play Wii. It’s too kiddie. The girls of the same age can be lumped in with the rest of the Wii demographic, the traditional non-gamers. These people are not gamers, technologists or early adopters. I can bet that most of those Wii’s are sitting in cupboards, dusty or only used for party games. So what reason is there to get another Nintendo. The old one is sitting in garage. And bowling or exercise works just as well on the old Nintendo, it’s not like the graphics were that good to begin with. There is no need for another one.

Miyamoto Unviels Sony's new Gears of War 3 at E3 2011

 

This leaves Parents. Which leaves Nintendo again with their kiddie market. As an ex-Nintendo hardcore, I hated it when the other console fanboys called Nintendo kiddie. My only defence was calling them liars. Looking back on it now. Nintendo _is_ kiddie and it always was kiddie. There is nothing wrong with being kiddie. It’s a very lucrative market and to get children responding to your brand at such an early stage means more business later on.

This is all obviously speculation and come tomorrow we will hopefully see what Nintendo has up it’s sleeve. Is it the Ace or is it another Joker? Time will tell but I think this time it’s the kiddie image that will be saving Nintendo.

I want some of that pie

Disclaimer: This post has not been checked for grammar or spelling as it’s now 3:00 am and I wish to publish this post AND go to sleep.

Here I sit. Doing nothing. I have so many things I want to do: The comic, My Expense Manager, My Game, My Own Custom Tshirts, My Toys, My Painting…  many others.

That is just scratching the surface of what I want to do. And somehow through all that, I am supposed to become a millionaire too. Looking at that list, I don’t think those things are capable of making me money let alone a millionaire. If they can make me money, I don’t think they will make much money.

The expense manager. I have a plan to monetise that but now where near “sit on my butt for the rest of my life” kind of money. My game… some money maybe… but maybe nothing for all my hard work… it’s a gamble. It will also be my first public game. I can make a success of the expense manager as I know the web I know how to make good websites. Games.. I’ve not done before… so who knows if it will be compelling. I think that is a terrible excuse though and giving me an easy out for failure. I won’t accept it.

Anyway that is not the point of this post. This post is me having a mid life crisis. Noticing that I am still poor and everyone else around me has a house, a company that is earning, is doing some form of investment, is just financially sensible or just seems to have a more richer (in both senses of the word), fuller and sustainable lifestyle. All this is happening while I sit here playing videogames and eating baked beans with sliced vienna sausages on toast. I eat that out of choice. I can easily sustainably afford better but I like it, so that is what I do. However, eating like a poor student is somehow making me feel like I am poor than probably I should. I guess you are what you eat is truer than I originally thought. Also, If I am being honest, I only play videogames some of the time… I play a considerable amount less than I used to. That does not matter though as I have filled that free time with watching TV series or movies.

Distractions, distractions. Distractions from making provisions for my future – earning money. Not even earning money at this point, potentially earning money, I am not working for a client who will pay me, the development is for myself. Once the development is complete, I still have to find my clients and THEN ONLY, maybe get paid.

Sitting here… distracting and procrastinating (Even this post is a form of procrastination) is not doing me any good. Especially since I pit myself against those who in my eyes who are already successful and in turn I model my success on their image. Or those who already have established businesses, who already have a piece of that pie. That pie, that pie that seems to be just outside my reach. No matter how hard I try as I move closer it moves away forever staying just within an inch of my reach.

Reach for the Pie - One of the worst puns... ever.

One thing I can admit to is, it’s all my fault but sometimes I have no idea if the steps I am taking to fix it are the right ones.

I also accept full blame for the terrible visual pun in the picture too.

Ye Olde Rapture

No idea why I titled the post that.

I came along this image on twitter:

Donate

I had been thinking something similar the whole week.

I was just about to retweet it and spread this message when I started thinking how stupid people actually are. I thought about it some more.

Is it irresponsible to tell people who believe the rapture is happening to donate all their stuff to charity…? I agree with the sentiment… put your money where you mouth is if you believe it that much. And sure, it would be funny to see those people after asking and pleading with god why he is testing them… but do they deserve the suffering that might come from their act of charity just because they are stupid/gullible?

As someone who thinks many people need a wake up call, I would love to do this and sit on my high horse of smugness but I don’t think the lesson should be taught so harshly?

 

Fuck Take2.co.za Errata

Update: For those posting comments, it’s my blog. That means only I get to be a dick. If you are not going to be civil and try to attack me or the others in the comments, your comment won’t get approved. If you do that, I will might change your comment to make you look like an asshole and then approve it. If you really want to be a dick, get your own blog, be a dick over there. :)

This is in regards to my original take2.co.za post I have the following to Note:

This was over 4 years ago, so it may not be fair to still hold this against them. A current employee of Take 2 has contacted me and told me that management has changed since then. If management has changed it may be fair to assume that how they treat customers has changed. I hope so but I would like to claim I have the courage convictions and say that I won’t be going back to find out.

 

The story behind this post:

I was contacted by an employee of Take2 in connection with this post. What they said can be seen in the comments of the post in question but I will post them here for ease or reading:

Are you banned from buying from us.. Cos you can’t hold a Grudge like that forever everyone makes mistakes including you we are all human..

Just so you know Take2 has new owners so their is always time to start off on a clean slate.

I replied with:

Yes, this WAS over four years ago, different management, whatever. When the company was taken over, you took over the good AND the bad.

It’s not a grudge, it’s my strategy for survival. I am a very fair person and it takes me a very long time to put people on my shit list but if they DO happen get on the list they never get off. I have that same philosophy with “friends”, acquaintances and business partners. It’s make sure the influences around me are positive.

Having said that, your refund policies may have changed but I am not willing to use your services again and find out. So to be fair, I will post an errata saying management HAS changed but I still won’t be using your services (provided you can prove you are from take 2).

The email provided by the “employee” was from a yahoo address so I contacted the employ via email to allow her to prove she was in fact who she said she was. She replied with ample proof she worked for take2. So the “employee” was actually an employee.

The conversation then continued via email… well it was not really a conversation. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, my reply to her verification only came what was already weekend time for her. So I have not yet received any response from what I said in the email:

I will put an update at the top of the post saying:

“Note: This was over 4 years ago, so it may not be fair to still hold this against them. A current employee of Take 2 has contacted me and told me that management has changed since then. If management has changed it may be fair to assume that how they treat customers has changed. I hope so but I would like to claim I have the courage convictions and say that I won’t be going back to find out.”

You might not think so but this is me coming to a compromise. I would just like to note that no such compromise was even attempted to be made when dealing with me. No compromise nor any apology was ever made – and now an attempt to make peace has only happened because it’s probably what shows up when you search for take 2. From where I stand the attempt to make peace has only happened because the balance of power has shifted slightly. I seriously doubt you would have contacted me if my site was result #30. But that’s it, rant over.

Apologies I can’t give you what you want (assuming what you want is for me to take the post down). You really do seem like a nice person. I really do want to give you what you want but I have to keep reminding myself that I am also a nice person and was being a nice person when this happened.

Then the more I think about it, the more I feel like I pussied out, the more I feel like I became a supplicant… but also the more I think about it, the two main points I made in the last two paragraphs solidify themselves in my thoughts:

No compromise, nor any apology was even attempted to be made with me. An attempt to make peace only happened because the balance of power has shifted meaning the post in question is what shows up when you search for take 2 thereby harming their public image.

They did approach me in a civil and non-antagonistic manner so I feel compelled to comply, however, on the other hand originally back then my approach was, knowing myself, more than likely even more civil and non-antagonistic.

By accessing the mind’s installed principle core, I know that there are two things that need to be done. I need to stay true to myself and I need to keep my word. In this case staying true to myself means sticking by what I said, having the courage of my convictions and keeping the post in the original form. An in this case, keeping my word means posting an errata at the top of the post. A moral conflict. A compromise needs to be made. An extract of my moral core can be seen on my other site and it states: “Some things you should never compromise on, one of them being yourself.

This is the result of the compromise.