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RobotFarm - Tech, Science and News

An Open Letter to GoDaddy

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Today, I logged into GoDaddy (I know, I know... they aren't what they used to be...) and noticed that they had completely redesigned their user interface for at least the third time in 12 months.  Now, I am all for innovation, but aren't redesigns supposed to make things better, not worse?  All my controls were buried in new popup, dropdown menus, and all I could see from top to bottom, left to right, was advertizing for me, an existing customer, to buy even more crap from them.  So, I sat down to tell them a thing or two in my...

Semi-Open Letter (well - really a Quick Note) to Anyone Still Alive at GoDaddy, Inc.

To Whom It May Concern:

Dude... you guys have got to CHILL with these website User-Interface redesigns... it takes me so much more time to find what I'm looking for when you do these... and you seem to roll them out more often than I get killed in Battlefield 3 when playing against a whole team of agro 12 year olds.  (For anyone at all unclear about the metaphor, during the two weeks I actually tried to play Battlefield 3, I probably built up a body count approximating the losses experienced by the Allied powers during World War I; prompting one youngster to quip: "Dood, r u even holding the right controller?")

It wouldn't be so bad if the changes were actually helpful, or if they made the tools I use every single day to manage my company's email accounts, domain names and web servers more accessible and convenient.  Instead, with each new redesign, you bury these tools further and further down in a dank, marshy, nearly-unnavigable forest of ads, popup menus and banners that no amount of breadcrumb tossing can help me and my proverbial sister, Gretel, find our way through.

These constant and progressively ridiculous UI changes contribute directly to the driving away so much of your IT-savvy user-base.  (Well, that added to the fact that you are such staunch supporters of destroying Internet freedoms by supporting bills like ACTA and SOPA, you silly so-and-sos.)  Our company has been consistently pleased with your customer service, pricing, and service offerings, but having to wade through this ever-growing sludge-pit of advertizing and race car drivers is just the worst. 

Please just take a deep breath, calm down and pick an interface so that the rest of us can get our work done and get off your site in the time that we can comfortably hold our noses to avoid the stink of your company.


A Concerned IT Professional

Last Updated on Friday, 13 July 2012 12:36

Why is it so hard to stay focu... Oooh! A new GIMP!

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Focus and determination.  Two things clearly set those who succeed apart from those that fail.  The ability to focus on a goal and the determination needed to carry out the work until the goal is reached.

And really, aren't these two qualities really just sides of a coin?  For, without focus, there can be no target for determination, and effort is wasted on emptiness.  And, without determination, focus is nothing more than idle musing, daydreaming for those who would watch life by in a blur before they can even grasp at the fullness of the bounty that...

Oh, hey, look!

Lookitthat!?  I went and updated the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) this evening, and found out that they have really improved two features that were bugging the crap out of me in the last version: they have added a single-window mode AND they have DRASTICALLY improved the text editor, finally allowing me to type my text onto the image, rather than into a separate box only to have it appear later!  Wow, this is so COOL!

Which reminds me of this great link I saw the other day to now where was that... [Drrrroooooollll]

Last Updated on Monday, 07 May 2012 20:22

A Thought - or "Payment for Passage"

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(Note - Today's little ditty is a page right outta my personal journal.  (No, I don't call it a "Captian's Log" like some nutted up Star Trek fanatic.  Not since 2007 and the injunction from Paramount anyway...).  I was so inspired and floored by what I was seeing that I had to put finger to touchscreen and say my heart for once.  And it felt so damn good that I wanted to share it and use its public display as repayment in some way for the journey I took as I plunked it.  Enjoy!  Or don't.  Whatever.  Jerks.)

4/16/2012 - My trying to write is, in it's own way, mind-numbingly introspective, and therefore neither interesting nor useful.  When some people write, it turns into more than the sum of its words.  I feel like my words have to struggle even to maintain their most trite understanding.  I have a way of debasing them, of robbing them of their virtue, stolen from their beds as they sleep perhaps, to shanghai them into a life of servitude and deference, forever wasting away in the bowels of my half-dreamed, never-finished tales of self-aggrandizing sufferance.  As if this rape was not sufficient, they are frequently strung together like the tortured segments of a human centipede in bastardized hyphenates.

Art... Now proper visual art... No! Proper Art, mental-visual-verbal-soulful art, and a life lived at the behest of truth and beauty... There's something to behold.  I sifted, just now, through the detritus and leavings of such a life, that which is lived by one of my close friends, Derek Williams.  It was just a random collection of images which he saw fit to spew into the cloud of Facebook, mostly probably without too much agonizing or worry or even thought; just simple pictures from his mind, carving out a mis-en-place for his little dustbowl corner of the Internet.

Oh! but what magic those leavings hint at! What grandeur of wonderments awaits just behind the veil of that beautifully deranged lunatic's barely strapped-on psyche?  I'm not sure, and what I see makes me not sure that I want to find out, but neither can I turn away from what he's trying to show me; from what he's trying to show us all.

And thats just the crap on his little social networking page.  What depths and terrors await those brave enough to follow him on his fools errand into the bowels of his somehow-legally-allowed-to-drive-on-public-roads and vividly soul-crushing imagination?  Well, if you ask me, we all owe it to ourselves to try out his particular timbre of soul-crushing, and to see what kind of diamonds he manages to make out of us for our trouble.


Last Updated on Monday, 07 May 2012 20:23

Where's My Google Docs?!

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So, I went to set up a new Google Docs account for work today, and got redirected to Google Drive, and thought: "What the huh?"  I had a coworker log into their Docs account, only to see that nothing had changed?!  So what the huh, Google?

Well, in what has got to be one of the more underreported Google stories of the entire day, it looks like Google rolled out Google Drive over the weekend.  Drive is Google's answer to cloud storage, combining what we love about Dropbox (only more of it, 5gb on Drive vs. 2gb on Dropbox) and Google Docs into one interface and local folder. has the only decent article I was able to find in my brief search, and they mention that there are some sketchy dealings in the Terms of Service.

I'll feed ya some more information later on.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 May 2012 13:23

What's Goin' On? -

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Derek Williams, the noted artist, thinker, musician, father, do-gooder, doo-gooder, and all arount bon vivant, has declared war on a new form of ignorance by launching, a new website devoted to encouraging the development of community and social cohesiveness of the city he holds so dear, Chattanooga, Tennessee (from whence yours truly also hails, btw).  Stay tuned, I'll have more information after I've had a chance to pick Mr. Williams' brain about the site a little later on this week.

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Hola, everyone.  Hope your April got off on a good foot, hope you still have one or both of your feet, as well.  Or at least some ankle that you can pull a pompom sock over or something.

So, lots of news this week, just a few things I wanted to touch on:

If you have ever used your email to sign up for anything ever, or given your email to your bank or a store or anyone ever, then odds are not bad that your email account and name were stolen by baddies a few days ago from a company called Epsilon, one of the largest commercial email engines around, used by hundreds of legit companies to send you legit mail that is still annoying when its in your inbox.  I myself found out from Chase, my old bank, when they sent me an email warning that they would never ask for my account info.  The reason I mention it: It pays to NEVER EVER CLICK ON LINKS IN EMAILS.  Even if the email is from someone or some company you know and do business with, and even if the email has your name.  It is trivial to make any email look like it is coming from anywhere, and to make a link look like its taking you to only to have a link in that email lead you to a website designed to compromise your computer.  Sexually.

Secondly, RSA, inventors of nifty encryption schemes, and purveyor of "dongles" to the masses (hehe... said "dongle" and meant it seriously... hehe...) was ALSO hacked into this last month, and the information that was stolen potentially compromises the use of passcode-generating dongles. (hehe... again...)  According to the security blog on, the attack was able to happen because of a bug in Adobe Flash (which has been patched) that allowed bad programs (the industry term is 'malicious code' which is a 25 cent word for "bad software", which translates to "bad programs" immediately preceding this parenthetical aside...) to be launched that violated some poor RSA employee's (or employees'... I'm looking at you, Donald in Marketing) computer(s) in a way that will require counseling.  And a memory wipe.  So the lesson here?  DON'T OPEN ATTACHMENTS FROM STRANGERS.  Correlate the previous lesson?  DON'T OPEN ANY UNEXPECTED ATTACHMENTS FROM ANYONE ELSE EITHER, EVEN YOUR AUNT ETHEL.  (Maybe even especially your aunt ethel if she is either deceased or never existed.  These are warning signs of a possible attack.)  Especially not Excel spreadsheets with embedded Flash files that are designed to infect your computer with Trojan Horse software.  Those are the worst.

Well, I'm sure there was more that I meant to write about, but I am both tired, and have reached my attention span limits, and angry at government peoples about cutting cancer research to build more jet fighters, and want to go do something more productive with my time like sleep or bathe myself slowly in the pitch black of my closet with moist towelettes that I stole from the sushi bar over on York Ave.  Enjoy that mental image while waiting for links to the inevitable scandalous tape that will come of it!