Contradictory

Over the past few months I had a building tension in realizations. This stretching is everywhere. What I want and what I feel is right. What I love and what I need. What I do and what I’d like to. So many contradictions from the past, present, and future represented that it’s depressing.

As some of you know by now, I’m mostly* cut off without choice. This is something that doesn’t bother me much though as I had grown to be quite dispassionate about the current state of affairs, both legislatively – even if I’m not around SOPA is bullshit – and technologically. The realm has stagnated, changes are more often of the ‘OOH SHINY’ variety, than of anything that is something that can be productively leveraged.

In my mind, technology should be about enhancing productivity or boosting efficiency, as such saving life. However, all the big players have stabilized their market, and now they’re just pushing the tendrils further and further with mediocre improvements that increase lock-in. As they go further, they’re shifting their mass as well, and the shift is towards the cloud**. I get it, you want to restrict consumption sources and maximize its flow to your coffers; that’s fine, but be reasonable.

An anecdote, a few weeks ago my mom purchased a tablet for my younger sister and asked me to load some apps onto it for her. This was an excruciating experience and left me with an extremely bad taste in my mouth. The tablet wasn’t up to Google’s standards, so no Market app, that sucked. I figured I could add Amazon’s Appstore and that would be just as fine, and it worked pretty well, until I made a realization. About $20 in I realized that, all the apps were verified to my account and couldn’t be used if the Appstore app wasn’t installed and my user account logged-in. There is absolutely no way that’s going to happen, because I use 1-click, and I could find no option to disable purchases.

I went through the process of setting up another Amazon account, just for the device, and provided it a stipend via gift-code figuring that would be good enough and she could add what she wants herself; it’s not, you have to have a card linked to the account before any purchase could be made. There is no way to add apps using Amazon’s Appstore, that doesn’t require leaving your account there, no way I could find to gift apps, and no offering of a stipend system. This sucks, and is anything from simple. I don’t know if it’s similar with Google Market, or even iTunes, but it’s a really shitty experience.

Another anecdote is the necessity for me to have a physical phone. When I need a phone, often for texting, I will often use Google Voice, which is no longer linked to a physical device that I know of. Yet, I constant get berated by them to add 2-step verification, which I can’t use anyways. Or in my search of hosting, a phone number is required which I guess I can understand for contact purposes, but it doesn’t help me. I’m essentially locked out of paying for something I want, because I don’t have a phone. Fuck you, I want to give you money, and because of my personal decision not to have a phone, you won’t let me. You are an idiot, and this is a pretty shitty experience.

Technology fucking sucks, not really, but these systems sure do.

At the same time, I love it and spend most of my time programming for fun and to automate tasks in my life. It should be used to save time and make better decisions. Those instances are just two of several that make me loathe and wary of technology. In this, I’m held in a state of contradiction.

On to a topic I’ve touched on several times over the past 4-5 months, but couldn’t get out of fear of backlash. Now is probably the best time to get it out where I won’t be drawn into the thrall of an argument. Feel free to skip this next section, as it is a bit political in nature. Bottom of post.

Another area that I’m held in a state of contradiction is life, death, and healthcare. What I would love to see and what I believe is better for the present and future or the nation and the world are at odds. I side with what I feel is right, but it does make me hurt inside.

On the one side, I would love to see everyone become centenarians, cancer not exist, and no one need worry about how they pay for it. The other, I see death as necessary, and possibly already less prevalent than necessary, cancer and other illnesses as agents of this change. I’ve been called heartless by some on where I stand, maybe they’re right, but I doubt it.

“No man really wants to die.” We don’t want to die and we don’t want those we love to die, but it is an eventuality. It will happen, and there are two paths, die fighting (for quantity) or die living (embracing the moments you have). Most people equate quantity with the goal; age is the barometer on life after all.

I have spent years with dying people, they managed to get the time, but I don’t know that it was worth it. I’ve been around them all my life, between my mom’s patients, when I was younger, family friends, my great-grandmother, and currently one of my grandfathers. In most of these cases, death is strung out over years, and it’s painful to just about all involved. In only one case did I see it used as a way to actually live longer, out of about a dozen.

I watched two of my mom’s friends die of Hepatitis and the gradual organ failures that came with it, when I was younger, I didn’t know at the time, just that they were sick. They managed to make the most of what they could, and for the most part embraced the time they had, like few others; they where the exception.

I have also watched people like my grandfather lose everything, except for their life. At that point, it’s not a life, it’s a personalized hell and they get sucked in to it. My grandfather survived prostate cancer, but he lost his life to the treatments and now broods in his resentment of the doctors. It’s such a pitiful thing to watch, sure it’s nice he’s here, but I have more memories of the pain and anger than of the happiness and fun times.

This is why I chose to request a DNR order, and won’t seek further care in any terminal or potentially terminal case. This is my choice, and I shouldn’t be taxed for not fitting in with the model of what I and others want. In just about any need I would have for medical care, it will be cheaper for me to pay out of pocket on a need basis, throughout my life, because of that decision. I don’t need help covering it. This is why I still say that the Healthcare Act is unconstitutional in its request that I have to pay for something I do not need. Of course, I’m on the receiving side, being below the poverty line which isn’t something I oft admit. I still cannot agree with it.

I think that we’ve gotten the whole concept backwards. As it stands now, our system takes money from the young and sends it to make sure our older population has a secure and comfortable life. We should be securing our youth; they are the future after all. Take money from social security and Medicare, and invest it in programs that drive experience and knowledge into our youth and protect that investment. While I’d love to live forever, I think that if you want that that is your burden to bear, not the publics.

This means some people in my life today, wouldn’t be, and that makes me sad. I don’t know what I would do without them. What I’ve said was hard, but its how I feel. This is what the populace embrace, but I don’t know or think that it’s the right choice. In this, I’m held by the contradiction.

I don’t claim to know the solutions to either of these issues. I don’t have them. I don’t even know where I stand, often it’s somewhat murky. We all have our contradictions, I guess, and these are some of mine.

Notes:

* If or when I really want to end this exile, I can either purchase a new router or run several dozen feet of cable. It’s only been a few hours, but it feels nice. It’s been like an erratic weaning process over the past few weeks of network issues.

** I can point out rather easily that such a thing as ubiquitous computing via the network is a lie. If the device, or capability, isn’t available when you need it, then it is useless. At this point, and for the foreseeable future, availability isn’t a promised thing.

Adobe Pops Above Google to Flash Apple (and Opera) Users

Jesse Stay, brought to my attention earlier, with the screenshot below the code, that Adobe was activating pop-ups through Google Adsense; of course this shouldn’t happen, since Google doesn’t allow such actions, in their ads. I went to check in out for myself, and got nil. I immediately assumed that it was limited to Mac, and went in search of the User-Agent check, and found it after about 5 minutes.

Update: The rest of this article is a bit technical, if you would like a less technical description, you should go read Adobe and Google Sitting in a Tree.

Below is the source of the issue:


document.write('<!-- Template Id = 2,593 Template Name = Banner Creative (Flash) - In Page --><!-- Copyright 2006 DoubleClick Inc., All rights reserved. --><script src=\"http://s0.2mdn.net/879366/flashwrite_1_2.js\"><\/script>');document.write('\n');

function DCFlash(id,pVM){
var swf = "http://s0.2mdn.net/1295336/Adobe_Flash_WeLoveTechStandAlone_300x250_std.swf";
var gif = "http://s0.2mdn.net/1295336/Adobe_Flash_WeLoveTechTandem_300x250_img.gif";
var minV = 8;
var FWH = ' width="300" height="250" ';
var url = escape("http://ad.doubleclick.net/click%3Bh%3Dv8/399a/f/16c/%2a/z%3B224918296%3B0-0%3B0%3B48697163%3B4307-300/250%3B36759992/36777870/1%3B%3B%7Esscs%3D%3fhttp://adclick.g.doubleclick.net/aclk?sa=l&ai=B7rXGceHsS9PODOThlQfNrvjSDe_sysIBAAAAEAEgr86-CjgAWM_pofIUYMnO7Y2ApfgRsgEOdGVjaGNydW5jaC5jb23IAQnaATRodHRwOi8vdGVjaGNydW5jaC5jb20vMjAxMC8wNS8xMy9jaHJvbWUtb3MtcHJvZ3Jlc3MvmAJkwAIC4AIA6gISVGVjaGNydW5jaF8zMDB4MjUw-AL00R6QA-ADmAOsAqgDAeAEAQ&num=0&sig=AGiWqtxB0NIJCJR5KJ5OngVkuvd_Qw20Dw&client=ca-pub-6181816114362650&adurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.adobe.com/choice%3Fsdid%3DGXRVD");
var wmode = "opaque";
var bg = "same as SWF";
var dcallowscriptaccess = "never";

var openWindow = "false";
var winW = 600;
var winH = 400;
var winL = 0;
var winT = 0;

if(typeof(encodeURIComponent)=="function"){url=encodeURIComponent(unescape(url));}
var fv='"clickTag='+url+'&clickTAG='+url+'&clicktag='+url+'"';
var bgo=(bg=="same as SWF")?"":'<param name="bgcolor" value="#'+bg+'">';
var bge=(bg=="same as SWF")?"":' bgcolor="#'+bg+'"';

function FSWin(){
 if((openWindow=="false")&&(id=="DCF0"))alert('openWindow is wrong.');
 if((openWindow=="center")&&window.screen)
 {winL=Math.floor((screen.availWidth-winW)/2);winT=Math.floor((screen.availHeight-winH)/2);}
 window.open(unescape(url),id,"width="+winW+",height="+winH+",top="+winT+",left="+winL+",status=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,location=no");}this.FSWin = FSWin;

ua=navigator.userAgent;
if(minV<=pVM&&(openWindow=="false"||(ua.indexOf("Mac")<0&&ua.indexOf("Opera")<0))){
 var adcode='<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" id="'+id+'"'+FWH+'>'+
 '<param name="movie" value="'+swf+'"><param name="flashvars" value='+fv+'><param name="quality" value="high"><param name="wmode" value="'+wmode+'"><param name="base" value="'+swf.substring(0,swf.lastIndexOf("/"))+'"><PARAM NAME="AllowScriptAccess" VALUE="'+dcallowscriptaccess+'">'+bgo+
 '<embed src="'+swf+'" flashvars='+fv+bge+FWH+' type="application/x-shockwave-flash" quality="high" swliveconnect="true" wmode="'+wmode+'" name="'+id+'" base="'+swf.substring(0,swf.lastIndexOf("/"))+'" AllowScriptAccess="'+dcallowscriptaccess+'"></embed></object>';
 if(('j'!="j")&&(typeof dclkFlashWrite!="undefined")){dclkFlashWrite(adcode);}else{document.write(adcode);}
}else{
 document.write('<a target="_blank" href="'+unescape(url)+'"><img src="'+gif+'"'+FWH+'border="0" alt="" galleryimg="no"></a>');
}}

var pVM=0;
var DCid=(isNaN("224918296"))?"DCF0":"DCF224918296";
if(navigator.plugins && navigator.mimeTypes.length){
 var x=navigator.plugins["Shockwave Flash"];if(x && x.description){var pVF=x.description;var y=pVF.indexOf("Flash ")+6;pVM=pVF.substring(y,pVF.indexOf(".",y));}}
else if (window.ActiveXObject && window.execScript){
 window.execScript('on error resume next\npVM=2\ndo\npVM=pVM+1\nset swControl = CreateObject("ShockwaveFlash.ShockwaveFlash."&pVM)\nloop while Err = 0\nOn Error Resume Next\npVM=pVM-1\nSub '+DCid+'_FSCommand(ByVal command, ByVal args)\nCall '+DCid+'_DoFSCommand(command, args)\nEnd Sub\n',"VBScript");}
eval("function "+DCid+"_DoFSCommand(c,a){if(c=='openWindow')o"+DCid+".FSWin();}o"+DCid+"=new DCFlash('"+DCid+"',pVM);");
//-->

document.write('\n<noscript><a target=\"_blank\" href=\"http://ad.doubleclick.net/click%3Bh%3Dv8/399a/f/16c/%2a/z%3B224918296%3B0-0%3B0%3B48697163%3B4307-300/250%3B36759992/36777870/1%3B%3B%7Esscs%3D%3fhttp://adclick.g.doubleclick.net/aclk?sa=l&ai=B7rXGceHsS9PODOThlQfNrvjSDe_sysIBAAAAEAEgr86-CjgAWM_pofIUYMnO7Y2ApfgRsgEOdGVjaGNydW5jaC5jb23IAQnaATRodHRwOi8vdGVjaGNydW5jaC5jb20vMjAxMC8wNS8xMy9jaHJvbWUtb3MtcHJvZ3Jlc3MvmAJkwAIC4AIA6gISVGVjaGNydW5jaF8zMDB4MjUw-AL00R6QA-ADmAOsAqgDAeAEAQ&num=0&sig=AGiWqtxB0NIJCJR5KJ5OngVkuvd_Qw20Dw&client=ca-pub-6181816114362650&adurl=http%3a%2f%2fwww.adobe.com/choice%3Fsdid%3DGXRVD\"><img src=\"http://s0.2mdn.net/1295336/Adobe_Flash_WeLoveTechTandem_300x250_img.gif\" width=\"300\" height=\"250\" border=\"0\" alt=\"\" galleryimg=\"no\"></a></noscript>\n');
</script>

<script src="http://s0.2mdn.net/879366/flashwrite_1_2.js">
function dclkToObject(id) {
 if(document.layers){
 return (document.layers[id])?eval(document.layers[id]):null;
 }
 else if(document.all && !document.getElementById){
 return (eval("window."+id))?eval("window."+id):null;
 }
 else if(document.getElementById && document.body.style) {
 return (document.getElementById(id))?eval(document.getElementById(id)):null;
 }
 }

function dclkFlashWrite(string){
 document.write(string);
}

function dclkFlashInnerHTML(htmlElementId,code){
 var x=dclkToObject(htmlElementId);
 if(x){
 if(document.getElementById||document.all){
 x.innerHTML='';
 x.innerHTML=code;
 }
 else if(document.layers){
 x.document.open();
 x.document.write(code);
 x.document.close();
 }
 }
}
</script>
Adobe Ad

Adobe pops up on a Mac

The interesting thing I spotted quite quickly is that it is also going after Opera, don’t ask me why, that’s pretty obscure. I immediately tested it out, just to see, and ended up getting the pop-up.

After looking at the code for about a half hour, I still don’t know what everything is, and exactly how it’s getting past Google, I also don’t know how ad’s are created, because I’ve never bothered to look at it.  So I’m not sure, if this is something anyone could execute, or if Google is allowing it. So it’s possible that there is a vulnerability in Adsense.

What I can tell after looking at the code, is that they are targeting Apple, and Opera, users, as well as using javascript to activate flash, in the background.

First they are setting the DCid as either DCF0 or DCF224198296, this should always validate as false and the will set DCid as DCF224198296. Then, it goes on to check if the browser uses plugins and has at least any values, if it results in true it attempts to setup ShockwaveFlash and perform a version check on it, setting the variable pVM to the version number. If that statement failed, it assumes you are using IE and initializes using ActiveX.

I don’t understand exactly what is going on in the eval, so I can’t say much about it, besides it calls DCFlash with the DCid(“DCF224198296”) and the pVM(“Flash Version”).

I apologize if the rest of this is rushed for now, I’m getting a bit tired.

The DCFlash function then initializes an assortment of variables, before setting up the FSWin function.
FSWin checks to see if the window is already open or the DCid was set in error to DCF0, it then checks to see if the window is centered and gather your screen size for offsets on the window border. Following FSWin is the window initialization, which disables all navigation, in that window.

Next,  is the User-Agent analysis, which first check to make sure that your current Flash version is at minimum Vers. 8, it then checks to see if you are using either a Mac or Opera, if you aren’t the value is less than 0, returning true, this then compares in with window==”false”, which is true, in an or statement, which will return false, if both are set. If this test of the browser conditions fail, either using an old version of Flash, or using a Mac, or Opera it will default to just the default hyperlinked gif. Otherwise, it sets up Flash to be displayed in the window pain.

During the course, of writing this the test ad I was using has disappeared, but I’ll see if I can gather any more of the code. One thing I found odd, is that the ad was stored within an iFrame, which I couldn’t find with any of Google’s other Adsense ads, I managed to find a representation of using an iFrame, after I woke up.

(Social Media) Experts vs. Masters

I’m sick of all these damn “Social Media Experts”, but at least they have their name right. They are “experts” and I’m fine with that even if there are thousands of them. Maybe they should be a little bit more humble about their position, and we wouldn’t dislike the terminology as much.

You don’t have to know everything about a category to be an expert. You just need to be more experienced and knowledgeable than the person who is looking for an expert. If they don’t really know what they are looking for, besides maybe a few buzzwords. You can be an expert to those people, because they know considerably less than you.

To be an expert though, you have to know who you’re talking too, and if they actually know more than yourself. Never call yourself an expert in front of someone who knows more than yourself, unless you’re an amazing bluffer. Of course, even a bluffer will be found out a fool if he continues to talk about the topic, and the person discovers this. The best thing to do, is not self-label yourself an expert, unless you’re truly or near being a master.

A master knows the ins and outs of the system in which he works. The master’s knowledge of the system allows him to do things that regular people and even the majority of experts wouldn’t be able to understand it. The master is efficient with his work, he has the answers or knows exactly where they can be found rapidly. The master is at the top of his art along with very few.

If you seek a master for help, quality is guaranteed, but an actual response is not. A master will teach you everything, but he will always hold one kernel of knowledge back. The master is not fooled by experts, even if he trained them; he knows that they might try to take his claim. The master uses his withheld knowledge as a way to maintain the upper hand.

The truth is I’m just sick of “Social Media Experts”, self-labeling themselves, but I’m also sick of people bitching about it. The reason the people are bitching however, is because they are just as or more capable of discussing social media, than the people that are self-labeled. Some of these people, may even be very close to being a Social Media Master, but they choose to be named by their peers and not by themselves. Of course, the “Social Media Experts” are experts, we just aren’t their audience, so stop bitching.

Some Inspiration From The Web Oct. 20 – Nov.7

Several articles that are all quite connected in that they are pushing the basic concepts to fight fear and become an idea generator. These articles all can help you be more innovative, insightful, better business person, or just a better person, apply the knowledge where you can in your life.

Last week, The Next Web published an article entitled The Era of Entrepreneur!, in which they discuss 5 defining elements of an entrepreneur. These 5 elements don’t just apply to an entrepreneur but, anyone wishing to change something. The discussion won’t help too much if you’re not interested in business so, I provided the list below.

  1. Be Independent
  2. Think Different
  3. Be Prepared
  4. Be Patient
  5. Ignore Everyone

Over at theBridgeMaker, they have written 7 Must -Have Personal Growth Strategies. This article has a more focused thought into Thinking Different and Being Independent in order to grow as a person.

The NYT has an article on Pursuing Big Ideas that has 10 items that will help anyone seeking to get the creative juices flowing. These different approaches will provide you with plenty of ways to think differently or “not think at all “.

Spiritual Blog provides 2 articles, the first is 10 Paths to Individualism. The article analyzes 10 Socratic quotations into finding ones Individuality.  The second is a set of 10 Insightful quotes from Plato, no analysis.

That is all of the inspiration and now I’d like to take a moment to point out another element of economic stupidity, in the secondary-education’s foundation. The NYT has posted a story that states the Downturn is driving tuition UP. The fact that multiple stories have been written on the subject of tight lenders even to students means that the majority of this money will be coming from the government. I’ve already done several articles, College is Taxing Our System and Education pt 2. on the shear absurdity that is government subsidization in this sector

The 50 Who Now Stand Under the 44th As 1

As everyone should know by now we have a president-elect that will be inaugurated January 20, 2009:

Barack Obama

Over the last year, we have seen such a division between the parties. We have faced the trials of separation on many levels, belief, color, sex, and age. This was a plague that swept our land and it was going to be hard to repair.

Tuesday Night, November 4 2008

We had two men stand up and destroy these divisions with their speeches, McCain, with his Concession Speech, and Barack Obama, with his Acceptance Speech. It does not matter any longer who you wanted to win, because with these speeches they have UNITED us as the American people. We are now 50 states standing under Barack Obama, as the 44th President of the United States, as one UNITED country.

Barack Obama’s  Acceptance Speech

Acceptance Speech Part 1, Part 2

McCain’s Concession Speech

Concession Speech

One phrase is ringing with a deafing roar in my head, right now.

“I am proud to be an American!”

As I was editing this I came across from52to48withlove, an Idea from Ze Frank.