This is how WordPress plays “Joy Whack a Mole”:

Me: Yay, I made a neat new logo.  Happyhappyjoyjoy.  (Tries to install it on WordPress.)

Sempress Theme:  I insist that your logo be 50px X 50px.

Me: Are you daft?  Do you know how tiny 50 X 50 is?  That’s almost as small as a favicon. it looks silly.

Sempress Theme: Muhahaha!

Despite my earlier protestations, I am working on a web directory project on a different domain.  It’s not a big deal but there is work to do, like: seed the directory with a starter set of links.  I mean you go to a directory to find web pages or websites and it better have something for you to find or you will never come back.

Yeah, so I’ve got this used web crawler/indexer, that would be me, who is an old, slow and cranky, old git, but  works cheap. The slacker likes taking a nap during working hours. This could take awhile.

Plus I’ve got to edit CSS font sizes which I’ve never done, and write help pages that explain what the heck I’m trying to do.

All of which is to say, I’ve got to cut back on blogging here for awhile and just get this directory ready for launch.

Thanks.

Signed, Me.

A mini-celebration of the cult film has some funny and brilliant sentences about Clint Eastwood and his fellow heroes destined for a Nazi castle in the Alps

Source: ‘Broadsword Calling Danny Boy’ by Geoff Dyer review – on Where Eagles Dare | Books | The Guardian

This sounds like a fun read about one of my all time favorite World War II movies.

FYI: I have a favorite World War II movie list, in case you are interested.

Vivaldi 2.0 is out!  This is a major update and I like it.  You can see all the details at the link below.

For me the big added feature is encrypted sync.  This means my Vivaldi browsing history, bookmarks, setup, logins, can be shared with Vivaldi on my other computers.  I really like that.

It also opens the way for Vivaldi to release an Android version of the browser, so you can share all that stuff from your desktop.  I use Firefox on Android right now but I’d really prefer to use Vivaldi, so I’m hoping this means an Android version is to be released soon.

Adventure in Upgrading:

I did have an adventure in trying to upgrade to Vivaldi 2.0 on Win 10.  The installer kept failing.  I tried a lot of things like disabling my anti-virus to no avail.  Finally, I uninstalled my old version of Vivaldi – still failed.  Now I’m really worried because I am stuck totally without my go to browser.  I tried one last time and on the Windows installation wizard I clicked on Advanced.  This lead me to a dropdown set for “Install for One User”  I clicked on that and changed it to “Install for all users” which changes the file path as to where Vivaldi is installed.  Success!  Vivaldi 2.0 installed, all my settings are there.  Very happy.

I’m not sure what was causing the problem, but this is Windows and Windows gets weird.  Similar things used to happen back in the old Opera days too so no big deal.

 

via Vivaldi 2.0 – Your browser matters | Vivaldi Browser

“Out of ammunition. God Save the King.”

Last radio message heard, Arnhem Bridge, 20 September 1944, just before British Forces were over run.

Yesterday, I bought a new Essential Phone from Amazon for US $335.  I guess it boils down to two things:

  1. I couldn’t pass up that price for a phone with more horsepower and a bigger screen than my Nokia 6.1.
  2. More important, Essential Phone is one of the compatible platforms listed by the /e/ Foundation’s new OS.  I have no intention of playing around with beta’s, but having an Essential phone means I’m ready once /e/ gets released in a stable 1.0 version.  That is important to me and should give me a year head start, in 2019, before /e/ comes out with a phone from an OEM with /e/ pre installed, in 2020.

I’ve built a lot of different niche web directories over the years.  Frankly there are some that I have forgotten about.  But here are some highlights.

Planet Doom – 2001 – 2005 this was my first directory/portal.  I learned a lot operating it and it had quite a lot of traffic.  At the time, Google was pretty poor at delivering results for niche searches so they would often put niche directory categories in their SERPs.  In effect they would “hand off” the search to the specialists.  As Google got better at it they moved away from featuring niche directories in the results.  Template – custom. Logo – custom both by Lynne Scott.

I went with Scifi/Fantasy/Horror in order to make myself a little different from most of my competition who were doing just Scifi and Fantasy.  Doing all three never was a good fit.

This is the directory that got carpet bombed by Google after my host, Searchking.com, sued Google.

Scifimatter.com – 2003 – 2012  Once it became clear that Google would never send traffic to Planet Doom (above) ever again, I took the backup database from Planet Doom, discarded the Horror listings and created Scifimatter.  The earliest version used a free version of the Gossamer Threads script which had a flat file database.  Later versions (pictured) used WSNLinks, if I remember right.  At various times this directory offered webring hosting and banner exchanges for webmasters.  By about 2008 it became clear that directories had had their day.  I stubbornly hung on to this neglected site until 2012 when I finally pulled the plug.  This was my favorite.  Template – off the shelf.

Shadowdark.org – This was a catchall domain.  From it I ran lots of different perl and php scripts on subdomains to save some hosting fees.  The sites were of all sorts of genres.  Three directories stand out and are listed below.

Planet Doom II –  experimenting, I revived the Planet Doom name as a Horror, Dark Fantasy and Scifi Monster Directory.  I used the free version of Fluid Dynamics Search Engine which worked pretty good for search but was hard to administer. The categories are fake, if you hover over a category you see it triggers a search engine search.  It did okay but was never super popular.  Ironically, today, using a site search engine script, something like this might make a better niche directory than a directory script.  PD II might have been ahead of it’s time.  Template – off the shelf.

The Ring Codex – I rushed this out to take advantage of all the hype about Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies which were forthcoming with fevered anticipation.  I used a free version of the Gossamer Threads perl script.  Codex had a lot of people using it.  I should have spent more effort on promotion and building the index.  The script had no captcha protection on the Add URL form so it eventually attracted automated spam submissions.  I think at one point I was manually deleting, one at a time, 200 spam submissions a day, with very few legit submissions.  Rather than spend money on upgrades, I closed it down.  Template – off the shelf.

Spy Fiction Guide – I was getting burned out on SF/F/H,  but espionage fiction had always been a favorite genre of mine.  With the fall of the Berlin Wall and eventual collapse of the USSR the spy genre seemed to be dying out. So this was sort of a labor of love on my part to keep the genre alive.  It was never wildly popular but I had fun.

The index of most of these were built by me using a dial-up internet connection which was a very time consuming process.  Niche directories were at their best when people were still building serious websites on Geocities, Tripod, Angelfire and the other free web hosts.

If you have read this far, I thank you.  This post was an itch I had to get out of my system.

 

This was also posted to
/en/linking.

I got an email from my auto insurance agent, saying I can get a discount by letting the insurance company put a GPS tracker in my car for 90 days, and based on the results I might qualify for even more discounts.

As someone who strongly objects to all the tracking Facebook, Twitter, Google and every man and his dog do with my phone, I think I will turn her down.  I didn’t even have to think about it.

It just seems to me corporations want to know too much about us.  That needs to change.

Also I need to ditch this Android phone.

We are down to just two operating systems for mobile phones (tablets too) Android and iOS.

Android is controlled by Google, no OEM phone maker that wants to do business globally will defy Google and try and fork it.  Android and a lot of the most popular apps tells Google everything it can about you and your every move.  In otherwords it leaks your privacy out like a sieve.

iOS is proprietary from Apple.  It’s a walled garden.  You do it Apple’s way or STFU.  It is probably more private than Android.  And it works.

That’s it. No other choices.

Long term the only other chances for a mobile OS come from Linux and here are the ones I’m aware of.

Sailfish – spun off from Nokia’s flirtation with Linux, this one does not seem to be gaining traction.  And it seems like the US is always being left out of release plans.  No OEM has adopted it. You can download it and try and install it on a couple of old model compatible phones.

KDE Plasma Mobile – it’s hard to tell how far along this Linux based OS is.  The screen shots are nice. (See notes for Librem 5 below.)

UBports Ubuntu Touch – This community effort seems to be making big strides.  When Ubuntu gave up on Ubuntu Mobile they turned it over to a volunteer community UBports who have been working away ever since.  It comes with a couple hundred apps and web apps, plus anything that the browser can handle.  If I were a phone OEM, I’d have my eye on this.  You can download this now and install it on several old model phones.  Some have an installation wizard.  (See notes for Librem 5 below.)

Puri.sm Librem 5 – this is actually a real phone hardware not just an OS.  The OS is Linux adapted to mobile.  The last I heard, the plan is that the Librem 5 will come with Purism’s mobile OS installed by default, but it will be fully compatible with UBports Touch and Plasma Mobile.  No word on how easy it will be to install any one of these.  Launch has been delayed from January 2019 to April 2019.  I’m hoping this is the point of the spear and proves very successful so that other OEM’s become interested in Linux phones.

Linux needs to get into mobile where all the growth is.  It can’t just stay on the desktop.  There may be others but these seem to be the furthest along.

Let me define this: Independent means not controlled by corporate or political masters. Unbiased means they don’t take sides with either the Right or the Left but state the facts.

I’m asking YOU. Whoever is reading this: What are the good, independent, unbiased, news sources?  I realized today I’m not sure anymore so I thought I would step outside my own little bubble and ask.  These could be any kind of news: news news, tech news, political news, international news, weird news, etc.  These can be big sites or news blogs. Who should I be paying attention too?

Feel free to use the comments below.