Tag Archives: technology

WordPress Changes Things Again

A while back, WordPress completely changed the Stats page. The old stats page was still accessible, and I had it bookmarked. What I needed was the summaries page that gave me weekly, monthly, and yearly numbers, as well as daily averages for each month and a complete list of the month’s daily views. I use that for my Month in Review posts.

Well, that’s all gone, as far as I can tell. My bookmark just takes me to the newer stats page. However, I found a workaround that takes me to an even older stats page. Just go to the wp-admin page (That’s https:// (yourblog).wordpress.com/wp-admin/) and then Site Stats, and click on Summaries. That’s what I use, but it’s the old old version. It still works for me, though.

Another thing that’s disappeared is the Notifications page! I never liked using the Notifications menu (the button at the top right with the bell) because it never showed if I’d replied to the comment or not. The Notifications page showed me all of that, and it gave me a lot of options. But much to my surprise, the bell-button-notifications menu now gives me all those options and tells me if I’d replied! Okay, that is a step forward.

So, one step back for the stats, one step forward for the notifications. Unfortunately, WordPress is trying to cater more to mobile users than computer users. Mobile stats and other features are extremely limited, though. And I do not like writing posts with the app. Computer only.

Anyone else notice the changes? What do you think?

YouTube’s End Card Feature Is Here!

At least for me it is. I guess it’s my turn to have access to it, or is it available to everyone now? I have no idea. I can access it on both of my active channels. I’ve even tried it out on a couple videos. The ones I have coming on my main channel aren’t set up for the end card, though. For my vlog channel, I have a quicker turnaround, as I normally post videos the day after I record them. However, I’m a little behind. But for my most recent vlog, I did put it to use. Check it out here:

It’s pretty basic, as I’m not exactly positioned for the feature to be used very effectively.

As for my main channel, I’ve actually been making my Star Trek Project videos to be ready for this feature. I knew it was coming, so I’ve just been using annotations in place of where I wanted to use the end card feature. Here’s the announcement video for The Star Trek Project.

For the other videos in this series, I’ll be doing the end card annotations tonight. I’ll have them all caught up.

Every video I make from now on will be ready for the end card feature. This should increase interactivity and make it easier for viewers to watch the next best video from my channels. I will likely use the following:

  • Subscribe
  • Previous video
  • Recommended video (YouTube recommended, though it’ll be one of my videos)
  • Playlist (if applicable)
  • Next video (only for The Star Trek Project)

So, you should be seeing at least 3 things at the end of the video, and they’ll vary depending on the video type or series.

Who else has had the opportunity to use this feature? I’m very excited to be able to use it.

Yahoo, I’m Getting Tired of This

Well, I think it’s time to change to Gmail. Yahoo was being especially difficult today. I was searching for several emails, and it became very clear that Yahoo Mail wasn’t cooperating. It was coming up with absolutely no search results for anything. This was just the last straw.

Back in 2004, someone invited me to Gmail, and I started using it. I used it until sometime in 2006, but never really got into it. And I don’t know why. I guess my Yahoo address was far more established, and I had no problems with it then. I eventually completely lost my Gmail address. But I liked how Gmail was set up.

Well, no more. I’m setting up a Gmail address and will start transitioning over to using that for all of my important accounts and business. Yahoo will continue to be used for subscriptions and accounts where I don’t really need to see the emails. I’ll also use it as a backup.

So, hello Gmail!

Major Software Upgrades Make Me Nervous

It’s July 26, only three days until the free offer for Windows 10 is finished. I haven’t upgraded yet. But I get this every day now:

windows10upgradeI’m upgrading this week, but I had to do a lot of work to free up space on my C drive. It was full of videos! I’ve since moved a lot to my D drive, and now I have more than enough space to run the upgrade. But what’s stopping me?

In the past, I’ve had trouble with upgrading software. When I upgraded from Windows 8 to 8.1, I had a problem with my desktop refreshing every second, making it impossible to do anything. Turns out it was an upgrade from some other software that was hitting a lot of people. I had to restore my computer from an earlier date, and that fixed it. I’m good with computers and technology. So why do I get nervous when I have to make a major upgrade? Does anyone else feel that way?

I Got a Windows Support Call

It happened. It finally happened. Someone with a south Asian accent, named John called me from “Microsoft Headquarters” and told me that my computer had some problems on it. I was actually excited at this point. I asked him to specify which computer it was. He asked if they were on a network, and I said one was at the moment. He had me go to it and asked me if it was running slow or freezing. I told him it was fine. And then he asked me to locate the Windows key and click it and R together. This is where it gets fun.

He said, “R as in Romeo.” That’s my sister’s dog’s name. I told him, “Oh, Romeo?” He answered, “Yes, Romeo. Do you see the Run window?” I answered, “No, I see Juliet.” He then repeats, “No, is there a Run window?” I just played dumb, saying, “Rambo?” He said, “No, Run!” But I responded, “I see Sylvester Stallone.” At this point, I was just giving random answers.

The last answer I gave to him was, “I see a monkey.” And his response? “You are the monkey.” I was ready to laugh at him. I then said, “Okay, I know this is a scam. But thanks for calling. It was fun.” He hung up after that.

After a quick search, I read that if I let this go on longer, he’d have me download a file, which would probably install malware or spyware or something. But one guy said that he told the scammer that his anti-virus kept deleting the files. The scammer asked him to go to Wal-Mart and send a Moneygram to someone in Bangladesh to buy software that would fix the “problem.” You can read the entire story here, as well as some other experiences.

I should mention that they called twice today, two hours apart. The first time, the guy hung up when I said, “Excuse me?”

For anyone who gets a call from Microsoft, it’s not Microsoft. They won’t call customers about viruses or problems.

If they call again, I’ll have to consider some other things to say:

  • I don’t have a computer.
  • I have a Mac.
  • I run Linux.
  • He has contact CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), which is the Canadian version of the CIA.
  • He has contacted the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (my lack of Bengali skills may give this away as a lie).
  • He has contacted the Oval Office of the White House.
  • He has contacted Bill Gates.

Which do you think is best? And have you experienced this call before? Let me know in the comments below.

How Much Has Canada Changed?

It’s been more than five years since I’ve been in Canada. A lot can change in five years. The biggest changes would include technology and urban development.

The area I live in right now has seen many new houses built. But Japan in general has seen smartphones becoming the norm, video screens appearing in even more places, and the expansion of free wi-fi. The busses in my area now have LCD screens for bus stop information. More trains are also getting that. You can use smartphones to show coupons in stores.

I wonder how different things are in Canada. I know that downtown Edmonton is undergoing huge changes in development: the Ice District with the Oilers new home and the tallest building in western Canada under construction, the new Royal Alberta Museum, and many condo buildings.

What else is new in Canada? I’ll find out soon.

Support Science, Fight Ignorance, Promote Education

If you’re new to this blog, you’ll know that I’m a big supporter of education and science. In December, I wrote a series of Mission Statements for my blog, and I touched on some of these topics. I would like to make a stronger statement about what I believe and know.

Support Science

Physics, chemistry, biology, and geology are all very important for our daily lives. Physics is used in engineering and electricity. Chemistry is used to create all the household goods we need to use. Biology is used in medicine. Geology helps us with raw materials for manufacturing. They’re all very important, and unfortunately, scientific illiteracy has made many people think they’re unimportant. Without science, we don’t have technology, health care, TV shows, or smartphones.

Fight Ignorance

Evolution is a fact. Climate change is happening. Vaccines work. I am against anti-evolution. I am against climate change deniers. I am against the anti-vaccination movement. I am against ignorance.

Promote Education

We must fight against ignorance through better science education. We must help people understand the basics of science and know that what we study is actually not some “belief.” Education is extremely important, and science is the backbone of modern society. Without technology, it wouldn’t work. Without education, we can’t maintain the technology or improve it. We need innovation.

So, please support science and education. Don’t support ignorance. Who’s with me?

Do We Live in a Science Fiction World?

I hear phrases like these in the news and on science websites:

  • Quantum computing (This is a reality now)
  • Potentially habitable exoplanets (One was recently discovered only 14 light years away)
  • Spooky action (this was observed this year)
  • Metamaterial wormhole teleports magnetic fields across space (This actually happened in a lab this year)
  • We understand how memories are stored and that it’s possible to alter them
  • Elon Musk’s Hyperloop to be tested
  • Mars observed to have liquid water
  • NASA accepting applications for new astronauts – ones to be selected to go to Mars

This is only a small sample of what’s happened this year. These are things that would only have been dreamed of a quarter century ago. They were science fiction. They are reality now.

How do you think science fiction has become reality recently?

Does Anyone Still Use a…

256px-BreadboxI thought came to my mind, as many thoughts do. Does anyone still use a breadbox? And that just brought up more questions.

Does anyone still play the old Nintendo?

Does anyone still use the old cell phones without a big colour screen? And for that matter, does anyone still use a rotary phone?

Does anyone still use a black and white TV?

Does anyone still use Mapquest? Sure, it exists, and it’s been modernised, but really, does anyone even bother using it?

Does anyone still pronounce “gif” with a hard g, now that we know it’s supposed to be a soft g?

Does anyone still try to use the Mid-Atlantic accent? Don’t know what that is? It was used on TV in the early to mid twentieth century.

Does anyone still use MD players in Japan?

Does anyone still watch laserdiscs?

Does anyone still use Windows 95? Windows 3.1? Oh hell, does anyone admit to still using Windows Vista and liking it?

Can you personally answer these questions with a yes? Can you add more questions? I look forward to what you have to say in the comments.

Ever Seen a Rocket Stage Separation? Not Like This!

It’s common to see video of rocket stage separations. Rockets have video cameras installed in them so you can watch the separation. Engineers use the video footage to analyse how well the separation happened, and to discover any problems. It’s very useful in failed separations. But take a look at this video of a UP Aerospace launch for NASA to launch the Maraia Earth Return Capsule.

The following video focuses on the separation as viewed from outside the rocket. You can see slow motion, which is quite interesting.

I’ve never seen a stage separation from that angle before. What did you think?