Is ‘Android Messages’ the iMessage of Google?

Is ‘Android Messages’ the iMessage of Google?

If you use apps and services within the Google ecosystem, you know they’re flakier than that delicious croissant you had from that small French bakery you pass by every morning but usually opt against due to the increasingly fraying seams on your favorite JNCOs. (If you’re fraying seams on JNCOs you need a complete lifestyle change for more reasons than I can count). Google would introduce a new service or app, then after a few short years tear it out from under you leaving you with feelings of abandonment and low-self esteem. Does dad still love you? If Google is your dad — then no, dad does not love you. People (nerds) are still sore about the untimely death discontinuance of Google Reader (sorry for bringing it up). Or if we’re talking about Google Voice, you’ll receive an update for the app once every 2 years or so, just about the frequency your estranged father would stop by to visit you, mainly just to borrow some money that he promises he’ll pay back but never does. Occasionally he’ll bring a birthday cake and you feel happy again — like when they finally supported MMS on Google Voice. Only took till my 28th birthday. Forgive and forget, right?

Well, Our Father, who art in Mountain View, has decided to grace us with another gift — Android Messages. The app has been around for a while but it now has the functionality of a web interface, enabling texting from your desktop browser. On the surface, this is a godsend. Just below the surface, it’s dad asking you to lend him some cash. This time, I don’t think it’s dad’s fault though. See, dad got involved with the wrong people. He owes them money and if he doesn’t pay, they’re going to knock his teeth out. You don’t want that to happen, right? Dad may be a scoundrel but he’s got nice pearly whites. We’d hate to see them go.

Continue reading “Is ‘Android Messages’ the iMessage of Google?”

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Auf wiedersehen 2017. Hallo 2018.

Auf wiedersehen 2017. Hallo 2018.

Title is a bit of a misnomer. Auf wiedersehen literally translates to until seen again. That’s not the case here. 2017 is gone. GOODBYE forever.

Welcome to the official Treppenwitz! year two-thousand-seventeen send off. This post brought to you by Peet’s Coffee: Sick of crappy coffee? Why don’t you wake up with Peet? ©,  and by Dick’s Sporting Goods: feeling ballsy? Come to Dick’s ©, and by viewers like you (please donate for the love of Dog, I haven’t eaten in days). Now that we have all our actual official endorsements out of the way (please don’t sue me), let’s start off with the objective qualities that comprised 2017.

Objective features of 2017 (now with 7% more sarcastic commentary):

  • The United States of ‘MURICA got a new president (barf)
  • NJ got a new governor (gag)
  • Net Neutrality was destroyed by the FCC despite the will of the people its supposed to represent (flaming vomit)
    • Thousands of people (in other words, a vast minority) fail to understand how a “free market and less government intervention” (sounds good, right?!) is devastating to a market segment which is compartmentalized regionally with only one or two available providers and no chance of emergent competition due to prohibitive capital and infrastructure startup costs
    • The very man who is supposed to protect us from the companies that have our interests in opposition held a position as a policy regulator in one of the monopolistic companies he’s tasked with protecting us from. Nothing like instituting conflict of interest at a Federal level!
    • I’m done ranting here about net neutrality (R.I.P.)
  • Bitcoin reached 20k USD valuation on major cryptocurrency exchange markets. A number of schmucky ducks bought Lamborghinis using Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency as a whole entered the public mind. Nerds traded cryptocurrencies like stocks.
  • Men in power were ousted for leveraging their position to enact horrible deeds on women below them (blowing your nose and chunks of brain come out)
  • Apple released a nearly bezel-less iPhone, just months after releasing a copy of the iPhone 7, called iPhone 8, and called their bezel-less phone “iPhone Ten,” but used a Roman Numeral 10, so that people can continually correct themselves and others for saying “iPhone ex. I mean iPhone ten, whatever it’s called”
    • This, completely eschewing iPhone 9 (or iPhone IX, which is what it was going to be called before it was aborted prematurely because Apple, in good conscience, could not allow half the world to be confused about whether to say iPhone icks or iPhone nine, or Tim Cook just can’t quite count). Please search the Amazon webstore for my 500 page ebook on the topic.
    • Millions of people now gaze at their phone in a frustrated attempt to unlock it, while simultaneously turning their face into a unicorn uttering expletives for lulz
  • Andy Weir released a second novel involving a moon colony called Artemis. Obviously this is big news for 2017. (wanted to end this bulleted list on a good note)

We can all agree that 2017 was a bit of a cold mistress.

Continue reading “Auf wiedersehen 2017. Hallo 2018.”

Hello Again; and Terrible Boring Civilizations

Hello Again; and Terrible Boring Civilizations

Sometimes you should take your own advice, yeah?

It’s ironic that the last post I made here discusses just getting something done and then months later you come back to discover nothing but cobwebs, and dust so thick you can build a star system out of it, complete with lifeforms that have evolved well beyond the point of humanity’s technical and societal innovations (they experienced fewer political setbacks, did not have a culture of growing anti-intellectualism, disparate uncompromising partisanship, or vicious religious zealots who want nothing more than to kill the infidels). In fact they were able to evolve to the point of:

  1. Consciousness
  2. Self-awareness
  3. Language
  4. Valuing others
  5. Working together versus Tribal Mentality
  6. Sweet, delicious, compartmentalization of all things
  7. Government focused on the people
  8. Unbiased view of the world

…All before we colonized our own moon. Granted, this civilization never had the setbacks of a brain which is focused on seeing between the lines, but only the lines and how best to manipulate them for the good of the species. The filters of bias, tribal association, and greed had not tainted their technological progress, bolstered charity among one-another, and allowed them to evolve in a fashion congruent to their best interests, with a sincere consideration of alternative ideas for the inherent lifestyle differences in varying regions. But that sounds boring. I’m sure some sci-fi author has explored that situation and determined that our political rivalry, never-ending war machine, economic disparity, etc are all far superior to the mind-numbingness of a peaceful society focused on exploration, hedonism and self-growth. How can you appreciate the good without the bad? Regardless, I’m here to dust off this blog, and in turn completely destroy this hypothetical civilization with some Pledge and a feather duster. Good, now instead of that boring place we have a nice lemony scent and a beautiful sheen.

All ridiculousness aside, I’ve decided that in order for something to be successful, there is another important element at play: dedication. Breaking down dedication into an actionable item, we’re going to have a schedule. Now instead of just writing something when I feel like it, it’ll now be more like a job that I hate where production is mandatory so I can eat except it’s not yielding me any food or money. So like a volunteer position. The reward is helping others! Except I’m not helping others, either. Really I’m just wasting time. But it’s time well wasted! (You tell me if that’s true, ok??) The schedule will be bi-monthly, and to clarify I mean twice a month, not once every two months. The first and third Friday each month you’ll have something new and exciting to read. And look at that, I’m right on schedule.

To that note, I have an fun two part post I’ve been working on for a while (buuut kinda set on the backburner for the life and death of that boring civilization that’s now back to discrete dust particles) that will be released soon. Stay tuned do not change the URL.

 

…Oh and we should really colonize the moon. Come on, NASA, ESA, CSA, JAXA, Roscosmos, ISRO, SpaceX, VirginGalactic and all the other great space agencies around the world, private or governmental. Let’s get this ball rolling, shall we? How cool would it be to get an Instagram picture drinking some rosé and having brunch on the shore of The Sea of Tranquility? That’s enough incentive to get the people interested.

Putting the Pen to the Paper

Putting the Pen to the Paper

When I begin to do something and feel paralyzed by the idea that it won’t be perfect, or the endless methods I could go about achieving my end goal, many time’s it’ll remain in limbo. I would think about it, and think about how it might turn out bad, and I’ll delay even starting the project because I’ve already conceded to the end result being imperfect, and thus not worthy of working on it. If I’m going to introduce something into the world that is my creation, it has to be outstanding. All the facts have to be correct. No mistakes. No blemishes. What actually ends up being achieved is the exact opposite of my desire, and that’s Nothing. A great idea that has succumbed to the void of hesitation.

How does one get past this? What motivates me most is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. The amount of anxiety and stress relieved from this simple thought is enough to get the gears turning and start producing. What’s there is always better than what isn’t. Unless it’s, you know, something awful, like a hemorrhoid. You definitely don’t want a hemorrhoid and that is better off not being there. A friend described its misery once, and… well. But in terms of a project or deliverable, even if it’s not the best, it’s better than nothing. Continue reading “Putting the Pen to the Paper”

Why is this here?

Why is this here?

You might be asking yourself, “How did I get here?” “Why am I here?” “What is this place?” “What’s the point?” “Why am I so fat?” “Did I really eat three donuts? That was excessive. I could have stopped at two.” “Do we really need another blog?” “Did the writers of Lost get lost?” “My cat has six toes, why is that?” In which case I can’t help you with any of that.

What I can tell you is that somehow your browser received the input string of my URL. And you executed the navigate function, or clicked a hyperlink directing it here. Now the browser you’re using (let’s hope it’s not IE or Edge) is rendering a bunch of markup and…

OK I’ll stop being a smart ass. But it’s what I do. I make stupid jokes and I laugh at them because I have a sense of humor, and maybe it’s dorky, if I’m lucky it’s clever, sometimes other people laugh, but in the end what matters is that I laugh. If someone else laughs, I feel even better because it’s validated by someone else, and that indicates that the other person at the very least understands why I said what I did, and why it’s funny (unless they find it funny for a different reason, in which case that’s an emergent entity of my joke, which is its own cool thing) and there’s a mental connection in that. This allows me to relate and feel like a social human. Also, laughing is good for you. It releases mystical chemicals (called nuclear transistors, I think) in your brain that make you happy, or at least make you briefly forget your struggles, gives you a sick ab workout, and if you laugh near your enemies and you have halitosis, you’ve just destroyed them. When is laughing not good? I can think of a few situations, but I’ll let you leave comments as to what you think those inappropriate situations for laughter are. I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from reading Dracula years ago:

[I]t is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles; and yet when King Laugh come, he make them all dance to the tune he play.

–Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)

It’s true. Often, the absurdity is so compelling that you find yourself unable to do anything but laugh. It grabs you by the neck and makes you stare in its face — its silly, ridiculous face that makes no sense. Or makes too much sense. Or points out something that we all agree on and never really mentioned, but it’s there. Whatever the reason is, you’re laughing and you want more. Ever laugh so hard that you’re crying? Ever cry so hard that you laugh? What is it with this King Laugh guy? He acts like he owns the place. Continue reading “Why is this here?”