Think it’s super important for people to watch this and think about how far we’ve come in 9 years. Watch and remember. Maybe it’s time to re-think how much you’re sharing on the “Social Network”.
Remember: if you’re not paying for a service, you’re the product. More after the video.
When Facebook opened to the public, as opposed to just Harvard students, I signed up almost immediately and thought it was neat. Here’s my first post from July 7, 2007:
How exactly should I feel about jumping on this fucking bandwagon? Ashamed? Oh, most assuredly.Engaged? No, I’ve coded a better web interface in my sleep. I awoke with a hard-on it was so good. Feeling a sense of security? Umm… no. Now any knob who once knew me, knew of me or simply knows my name can peer into whatever detail I choose to leave on this site. Retarded. Ummm yeah. I’m done. I’m on facebook. Yay.
Only slightly prophetic, no?
One day soon, I’m going to swap over all my “social networking” to this site where I have a bit more control. Oh, I hold no illusions; anyone that’s actually interested in my content on the Internet can download it and use it as they see fit but I have control over what I share with the world here instead of thinking I have some modicum of privacy. The illusion that most social networking enthusiasts work under is that they have privacy. Seeing my FB data dump shows me how much I’ve shared over eleven years and that’s making me move more here, under my control.
I think more people should look to control the content that’s about them floating around on the net. Maybe I’m starting to get a bit paranoid but I want my thoughts, pictures, status updates to be mine and not sold to a company that will attempt to make money from me without me getting equal value in return.
I’ve considered the move from Facebook for some time now. As I get closer and closer to pulling the trigger, one of the main things on my mind is ensuring that FB has as little information about me and make sure that they don’t manage to get more info about me as I move around the web.
This is a decent article about minimizing the amount of data you allow FB to harvest about you.
One day, very soon, I’ll stop using FB completely and replace my banner with an image the explains my reasoning with a link here. If people are interested in what I’m up to, let the come to chriszaal.com and get the skinny, straight from the horse’s mouth without the need of an intermediary.
I’ve been working at SAIT since 2005, in one capacity or another. I’m quite proud of that fact as the school is one of the better employers I’ve had in my life.
Since March of 2013, I’ve been working with the Applied Research and Innovation Services Department at SAIT. During that time I’ve had many roles: embedded programmer, project coordinator and now Research Associate, which is basically the manager for the Centre for Innovative IT Solutions. It’s been a great experience for me and I continue to get more opportunities as time goes by.
The video below is the first time I’ve been asked to present myself for an audio and visual presentation that we’ve published for the world on Youtube. Another good experience.
I thought I’d put the video here for posterity as I continue to inch away from Facebook as a social media platform. I have yet to generate enough courage to release myself fully but I see that in the future.
More often than not, I like using this space for storing links I might be interested in for future reference. It helps if I think the occasional visitor might also be interested.
Sly bought me a Steam Link and Controller for Xmas and I haven’t really gotten into messing around with it yet. There’s so many configuration options that it boggles the mind and can easily confuse the neophyte, such as myself. This guide does a good job of guiding you through most of the options available and setting up a very basic control scheme for most games.
I’m pretty big on alternate modes of control: I have a Logitech G27 Wheel and Pedals for my Farming Simulator fix and a SAITEK (Now Logitech) X-56 HOTAS setup for Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen.
I eventually bought the wheel because controlling a tractor or other piece of wheeled machinery felt really bad with the M&K. There’s very few things I can’t stand more than having to tap a key repeatedly to get a vehicle to follow a simple arc. With the wheel, I just have to give it a turn and the tractor follows the exact arc I’m looking for. It really added to the realism of the sim and I enjoyed that.
The HOTAS was a different story: I’ve been pledged to Star Citizen for a few years now and it’s only back in October when I felt a need to dive into the Alpha and fly around a bit. Now THAT felt like crap. I left it but felt a need to do some space flying so bought Elite: Dangerous during a Steam Sale. I felt the same way about the Mouse and Keyboard control scheme for E:D so I did a bit of research and purchased the HOTAS.
Both of these decisions have been good ones, if a bit costly. Neither of the controllers are cheap but I’ve definitely gotten value out of the wheel (purchased in October of 2015 and had hundreds of hours put on it) but I can’t imagine playing these games without them.
So back to my new control mechanism. When used in conjunction with the Steam Link, you can sit in front of your big screen TV and enjoy some gaming with a decent controller. Now, it would take a great deal of effort on someone’s part to get me to admit that the control that is achieved with a mouse and keyboard is matched by that of a controller. Maybe I’m old (school) but I’m still of the mind that if you’d like to shoot a baddie in the head, you need the fine control offered by a mouse. I’m going to give this a go with a couple of games directly on my computer first to get the hang of it but then who knows? Maybe I’ll be gaming from the comfort of my couch while enjoying a fine level of control and will have to eat some crow?
If you’re a PC gamer on the fence about buying a Steam Controller, give the article below a read and see if it would fill a niche in your controller arsenal.
I’ve been playing MMO’s since Everquest (EQ) but I never got into Ultima Online (UO). It had a huge following and lasted a very long time.
This video talks to Richard Garriot about how they anticipated their players interacting with the world and how they had to create sharding or instancing in order to keep the ecology working on each shard.
Apparently, humans enter an ecology and kill everything they possibly can, regardless of if there are rewards or resources that can be gained. Who would have thought it?
Short, interesting watch for those of us into MMOs.
I’ve posted about BlackJack Basic Strategy before but I wanted to share a tool that really helps those that are interested learn basic strategy. This link goes direct to a mobile friendly web app that can help you learn BS because it has a strategy trainer built right in. It will correct mistakes and allow you to learn by doing.
Give it a try!
This is an updated mobile friendly version of our blackjack trainer. It’s a free game that teaches basic strategy and warns if you make any mistakes