asher553: (Default)
I've got several boxes full of old CDs and DVDs, all of which I keep meaning to watch or listen to "someday". Last night I decided to give one of those DVDs a go (a production of a Shakespeare play that I'd had for maybe 5 or 6 years) and I put it in the DVD player. A few minutes into the play, the faces of the actors dissolved into blocks of pixels as if they had all been placed under the witness protection program. Soon thereafter, the disc stopped playing entirely.

Disc rot. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_rot] It's the same problem I'd been having with many of my DVDs and audio CDs. Meanwhile, my old vinyl records - some of them inherited from my parents - still play, for the most part, pretty well.

Sony gave us the CD back in the early 1980s [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_disc] and I can remember the extravagant promises that were made about the digital compact disc's durability and longevity. Now I'm wondering if it's time to just cut my losses and toss all my old optical media in the dumpster.

I can watch videos and listen to music on streaming digital media and downloads now. Of course, the continued viability of those media depends on the survival of the technological infrastructure that they inhabit: successive generations of computers, mobile devices, music players, and so on.

I'll confess I have a certain sentimental nostalgia for vinyl - but my reasons for keeping up my vinyl collection are pragmatic. I want a record that'll damn sure play 10 or 20 years from now. I don't know that about my digital tracks, and I certainly don't know it about my CDs, but I know it about my vinyls.

And as for Sony - the folks who brought us the compact disc in the first place - what are they up to these days?

Well ...

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/29/534854280/sony-will-start-making-vinyl-records-again-in-japan-after-nearly-30-year-hiatus

The tables have turned ... at 33 1/3 rpm.
asher553: (Default)
With the final demise of BlackBerry OS, I had to give up my Blackberry in favor of an Android phone, and I found myself missing one of the core features of BlackBerry OS: the Hub, which aggregates all of your email, text, phone, and social media messages in one feed. Oh and it uses push notifications for email so you get your emails immediately instead of waiting for a periodic server query.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.blackberry.hub&hl=en

Fortunately BB now makes Hub as a 3rd party app, and I'm now happily running it on my Samsung. The paid (ad-free, with full features) version is just 1$ a month tacked on to my mobile bill and it's going to be well worth it.

http://crackberry.com/blackberry-keyone

BTW BlackBerry is still making BlackBerry phones, but the new ones will be running on Android. I'm really looking forward to the new KeyOne aka Mercury, and hoping to buy one as soon as I'm able to do the discretionary spending thing again.
asher553: (Default)
So, I've been driving around town with this crazy woman in my car.

She talks too fast and too much, as if she's had way too much coffee. She gives me confusing, contradictory directions, takes me on seemingly random detours, and can never seem to make up her mind what she wants me to do. She is, literally, driving me crazy.

She is Google Lady, the voice of the Google Nav on my Android phone, and she's the one I've gotta follow when I do my deliveries using the Uber app. She makes me long for the soothing tones of my longtime companion, Garmin Lady, but I guess you can get used to anything.

Last night I thought I'd try to get along without her for a run. Big mistake. The delivery was just straight down Burnside and I thought "Oh I'll just go down Burnside and turn right on 1st." Except that I don't know the city as well as I thought I did: you can't turn onto 1st from Burnside, and I ended up having to continue across the bridge to Eastside and turn around - using the nav, of course. Google Lady had had the last laugh. I felt compelled to apologize.

"Okay, Google Lady, I'm sorry I doubted you - "

"To use voice command, say 'OK Google', and then ... "

* sigh *

It's going to be an interesting relationship.
asher553: (asher63)
I switched carriers (dropped ATT for Verizon) and got me a new phone. It's a BlackBerry 9930 "Bold Touch", with those sexy physical keys AND a touch screen. Best of both worlds. I am a happy camper.
asher553: (Default)
According to this article, "We literally have about a decade before printed books are gone ...'

But trouble lies ahead, because "Amazon's policing problems could get worse."

Fortunately, you can protect yourself. "Second, back up your reader. ..."
asher553: (Default)
Instant pictures, SX-70 style!

Apparently in some quarters this qualifies me as a "hipster":
http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2012/09/26/hipsters-and-low-tech/

Whatever.

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