Saturday, December 10, 2011

Review of the "new" TweetDeck

New TweetDeck logo
Old TweetDeck logo
So 2 days ago Twitter, who now owns TweetDeck, released the new version of TweetDeck, version 1.0. The update replaces the last remnants of the the TweetDeck users of the program fell in love with in the last real version, version 0.38.2. So I thought I'd make everyone a list of the things I like and don't like in the "new" TweetDeck. Just a note, this review is based on the Windows version, I don't know how much if anything is different, better or worse for the Mac version as I don't have a Mac. I may expand this later to add the iPod Touch version but for now this is based on the Windows version.

First things first before the list I gotta say the look of the program, is a little more please to the eye, however the program was removed from Adobe AIR which makes it not run quite as smooth, especially the pop-up notifications.

That said the ability to rename search columns easily was removed, now instead of just clicking edit and typing in a new search term, you have to click column settings, delete it and create a new column with the desired search term. This makes it a little harder for people like myself who like to keep the team their team is playing next to their teams column to follow the game conversation.

Another thing removed is the ability to scroll and just display the columns you want. Now you have to view four column a couple of which you may not want to view. For example, instead of viewing the specific four columns I want to see, like this, I now have to click one set of columns to see 1 to 3 of them and click a different set to see the other ones. This makes setting up for live tweeting during sporting events or other special events tougher.

Customization has also taken a hit in the new version of the program. Customization in version 0.38.2 was so great, you could make the program act like you wanted and look and fell how you wanted. That has all been downsized to a few simple options of whether you want live tweet streaming and how you want a tweeter's name displayed. That's it.

There are few other minor things like the removal of the ability to hit "enter" to send the tweet. I know this will be a big deal to a select few, but in the new version they removed support of LinkedIn, Google Buzz (which is actually now defunct in favor of Google+), Foursquare and MySpace. They've also removed the ability to minimize to the system tray in Windows.

Here's what I do like, however. I do like the new color scheme, it's a little easier on my eyes. Helps that my favorite color is blue. I do like the ability to post to Facebook pages you run that was added. The search bar is a nice feature too.

Overall, it's nice, but I prefer the 0.38.2 version to the "new" 1.0 version in so many ways. I will keep both versions for the time being as both have their perks. If you just want one on your computer though, just stick with the "old" 0.38.2 version.

TweetDeck logos copyright to Twitter.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christian Christmas music

In celebration of the true meaning of Christmas, I present you with the following three YouTube videos.

And just for fun:

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Where's the middle ground?

Grunged American FlagSo this really makes me mad. In general, if you don't support a groups cause in politics, you're automatically against them in the worst way possible. There's no middle ground. It's black and white. I hate this because more often than not it gets people painted as something they're not.

An example of this is the LGBT movement. If you support them, you're a tolerant person and a friend. But if you don't for what ever reason, you're automatically a bigoted homophobe. No exceptions. I'm an example of this. I don't support the LGBT movement for religious and moral reasons but I don't hate them. I don't want them to die. I just want them to be tolerant themselves. But no. I'm a homophobic person according to them, solely because I don't support them.

Here's another example. Abortion. On one side of the argument, if you support the pro-choice movement you're either pro-women's rights or you endorse legalized murder. On the other hand if you support the pro-life movement, as I do. You're either a fighter for the lives of unborn babies or anti-Women. Again, there is no middle ground here. You're either Pro-Women or Anti-Women. Or you're Pro-baby or anti-baby. No middle ground.

Here's one final example. The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Again with most, you either support the president and his cause or you're a racist butthole. No middle grown there again, with Liberals in this case. This is another thing I have been a victim of. I don't support the president, in fact I hate his policies and can't wait for him to be voted out next fall. Not for a moment though do I hate him, for his skin color or otherwise. Yet, because I don't support him, I'm automatically a racist butthole to liberals. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

The point of all this is that we've become so partisan in this country. There's no middle ground. There's no compromise anymore. This is why our economy sucks. This is why unemployment is so high. This is why it's hard to call us the "greatest country on Earth" anymore. We're too partisan, as a result we're not passing legislation that needs to be passed to better the country.

It's time to make this country the greatest on Earth again. Time to put our partisanship aside and usher in a second Era of Good Feelings. For the benefit of us as a nation.

Hat tip to John for telling me about the Era of Good Feelings.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

As a follow up...

This is what I'm talking about, women thinking they have the right to abort God's gift. And those that go against them, are immediately anti-Women, rather than what it is, pro-life.

I have responses running in my head that would be too rude to say. So, I'll let you draw your own conclusions about the tweet.

Click the image to enlarge.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A few quick political things...

Well hey everyone, it's been a while since I wrote on my personal blog, I've focused so much on BRaysball Talk I've nearly forgotten this one. Anyway, I just want to touch on a few things this morning.

First the Mississippi personhood amendment that was defeated last night. This would have essentially made abortion illegal. It was soundly defeated so of course the liberals are celebrating. They call themselves pro-choice but I wonder sometimes if it really is pro-abortion, in the sense that they prefer abortion over birth. I doubt it but I do wonder sometimes with how fervently they fight to keep that "right".

You hear them all the time. "It's the woman's body." or "Why do you care?" I want you to give one good reason why I shouldn't care that a life is being ended. And it's not the woman's body that's being destroyed. It's the fetus' body that will be disposed of like any other medical waste. You'll also often hear the liberals say that it's "a meaningless lump of cells." Are you freaking serious?! A baby or baby-to-be is never a meaningless lump of cells. It's a gift from God that you are throwing away. They claim to have science backing their argument, but I don't understand how science could possibly back up something so heinous.

My bottom line on this is that abortion is dumb, stupid, evil, murder, etc. When are we gonna learn that life is precious, no matter at what stage of development or age. Liberals will fight to the death to defend or avenge someone they never knew 5,000 miles away in Iraq but start talking about babies being aborted and they change their tune. Is that not Bleep up?

The other thing I want to touch 0n real quickly is the Herman Cain "scandal". If you can even call it that, because thus far, it's nothing more than a he said/she said with absolutely no merit on the women's side.

I just find it a little strange that they would come forward just NOW when it would hurt him the worst politically. But before you say it, yes I know they didn't come forward, they were found, but my point still stands, I still find it a little peculiar that this happen just when he started leading in the polls.

I'm not saying these woman are lying, I don't know for certain either way. I think the fourth woman is lying through her teeth but I'm not certain. And the way the liberals are celebrating it, it's disgusting.

Anyway, those are just a couple things I wanted to touch on this morning. Hope to talk again soon!

[UPDATE, 11:15pm]: Cain was asked again about the harassment charges tonight, here's what he had to say below. And for the record, Romney, even thought I don't like him, gained some points with me for his response.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Rays blog

Be Sure to check out my new Rays blog, BRaysball Talk.

BRaysball Talk logo

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I r teh winnar!

Last week, during the Rays extra inning game against the Angels in Anaheim, Brighthouse Sports Network ran a contest on Twitter to see if someone could guess who would drive in the winning run. I guessed Reid Briggnac cause had been so hot the entire game. And sure enough, he bunted in the go ahead and eventually winning run in the 10th. So I won. I got my package today in the mail.

It contained:

  • 2011 Rays Yearbook

  • Mini 2010 AL East Championship banner

  • and a 2011 Rays schedule magnet


Sooooo.....I WIN! :D

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Brace yourselves...

Out of sheer boredom I popped in to watch a few minutes of Maddow and caught sight of a new phrase she's coining and has already taken off on twitter. (Links: 1, 2)

IOKIYAR = It's OK If You're A Republican

She coined this to point out Republican hypocrisies. For example when two Republicans came out and said they had affairs, Eric Cantor said about each incident when asked "we must pray for [their families] but what happens to [their] job is up to [their] constituents." But when this whole Wiener thing started, Cantor said "we must pray for his family but what happens to his job is up to his constituents, but I think he should resign." And it's the stuff after the comma that is inciting hatred from Maddow and her TV viewers that sparked this new phrase as they think he's a hypocrite and has double standards.

They're acting holier than thou when they have worse double standards and hypocrisies. It has sparked this tweet from me. Spread the word on our new phrase:

IOKIYAD = It's OK If You're A Democrat

It's OK, I'm a Democrat.

Red's new music video

One of my favorite bands, RED, released it's new music video for the song "Feed The Machine" off their new album Until We Have Faces. It's epic. So take this time to watch the awesome new video below.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

One year anniversary of a tragic event

Alex Blaze Giddens
February 2001 — May 22, 2010

One year ago today, I lost my best friend. My miniature schnauzer, Alex Blaze. I miss you my buddy. It's been a tough year. Filled with even more heartache. All I can hope an pray for is a better rest of 2011 and that I never have to go through a dog dieing like that again.

Here are a couple of videos to remember Alex:

And one more picture:


Monday, May 9, 2011

RANT: Homophobia should not and does not mean bigotry

Homophobia does not mean "Bigotry or hatred against Homosexuals". Why? Well let's break the words down.

Homo meaning Homosexuality

Phobia meaning Fear of

So thus, Homophobia means Fear of Homosexuality.

Now I don't know about the rest of world that doesn't like the sin known as Homosexuality, but I certainly don't have a fear of homosexuality. And you can't change the meaning of words to be "fancy". Phobia does not mean hate, phobia does not mean bigotry, phobia does not mean "religious belief against homosexuality", phobia does not mean ignorance. Homophobia should and does mean "fear of Homosexuality".

And don't give me this crock of a excuse of "well ignorance breeds fear". That's a crock of a reason to mess with the dictionary. I don't see you calling Arachnophobia "ignorance and hatred of spiders". I don't see you calling Claustrophobia "ignorance and hatred of small spaces". No, you don't. Why? Because that's not what they mean. They mean fear of x. So you and every other user of that word need to go back to elementary school (or primary school for you UK'ers) and learn breaking down words again.

Personal disclaimer

Now everyone here knows I'm a Christian. The motto that's always been taught to me is "Love the sinner, hate the sin" and I try my humanly best to follow that. I don't hate homosexuals, I just have a hard time respecting those that attack Christianity and it's followers at every chance they get. Most of us are not out to make your lives miserable. We actually trying to better your life in accordance with God's laws. We do not hate you, those I will admit there are some that do, but if they are true followers of Jesus Christ, they will not and do not hate you. I'm personally tired of being demonized based on my faith by LGBT advocates who think they know what they're condemning but don't. I hope you see this soon. May God take care and bless you. — Aaron

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The commenters on HuffPo amaze me

Remember when NPR fired Juan last year for stating he has a brief moment of fear when he see's a Muslim in traditional Muslim clothes on a plane?

These were comments last year about that on HuffPo:

"This is the best news. I have to say what took them so long?"

"Good they should have fired him for a variety of reasons."

"Excellent. Good riddance."

There were also comment about his lack of journalistic standards.

(See More)

Now two NPR excecs resign after calling the Tea Party racist and I guess the journalistic standards went out the window because this is what's being said about the resignations:

"What exactly is the "scandal" here?

Because a fundraiser called out the Tea Baggers for what they are?"

"I am dismayed at her resignatio*n and the big deal made over remarks made by Ron Schiller, NPR's vice president for developmen*t; he is entitled to say what he wants to say when not at work and ironically he works for Public Radio partially supported by public funds in a democracy where we are guaranteed the right to free speech. Both Schiller' should have rolled with the punches. The Tea Partyists are tightly linked to the Koch Brother and John Birch Society. Ron Schiller's hyperbole was closer to the truth than not;"

"Only in this country is telling the truth a scandel."

"Why resign over something so trivial? Who cares if he said the the Teabaggers are racist. Most of them are racist. Besides, this won't stop any attempts at defunding public broadcasti*ng."

(See More)

I'm not surprised they're demonizing which they disagree with as "non-journalistic standards" but when their guys attack a group as racist "journalistic standards" matter little cause it's the "truth". Double standard much?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Copyright protection or pettyness?

Removed by WMG
Is there something to be said about a company that makes bad business decisions that seem like good ones?

This blog post will deal with the WMG and YouTube fiasco. First a little background, YouTube is a notorious dumping ground for thousands of true copyright violations. I commend a company for protecting it's assets. But I do feel there are other way to go about that than the "Delete now, ask later" attitude.

Since yesterday I had been working on my own copy of a those famous lyrics videos of YouTube. I was using the song "Collide" by Skillet (the song can be found in the playlist to the right). The song is by a Christian rock group that who's current labels include Ardent record, Lava records and Atlantic records. Two of those three are owned by Warner Music Group (WMG). The album this song originally appeared on "Collide" (2003) was originally recorded and released solely by Ardent records. Which, from what I can find in a quick search, is not owned by WMG. So you would think they do not have the right to censor the song, but alas when Skillet signed with the other two labels the next year, the album was re-released by them in a different track order but other than that just the same.

So, moving on, I made the video just like I had done thrice before to three songs by Red who's signed to Essential records which is owned by Sony Music Entertainment. All three of those videos are up and fine. (Watch 1, 2, 3) I got done, waited an hour for it to render, I was proud of it. I went and uploaded to YouTube to share like I did the other three. I expected no problem since there were other videos with the same purpose as mine. It processed, I played it, it played fine, so I decided to share the link to it with a buddy who discovered he could not watch it as it was blocked due to WMG. So, I went and checked the copyright status of the video which said the video was blocked world wide. I deleted it as there was no use of having it there if I was the only one who could watch it. It ticked me off as I ready have a video tribute to my recently deceased dogs that uses "Untitled" by Simple Plan which is also owned by WMG that works just fine. I didn't get it. Still don't some 2 hours later.

Now, as anyone who wastes their time occasionally on YouTube should know, YouTube was so overrun with copyright violations they implemented several features to help the victims companies to still make their money, such as links to buy the song on Amazon and iTunes in the offending video's description and ads for ad revenue. Most companies have "given in" so both parties when, the company gets their money, the consumer gets entertainment (with the small price of 30 seconds of boredom for an ad). WMG on the other hand has not is fighting it to the bitter end, by censoring/deleting first and asking questions later.

This seems petty to me. Why would you tick off hundreds of potential consumers and thus possibly cost yourself millions of dollars, when you could make millions more with the ad/links system?

I found one such story on the internet where a guy's wife made a slideshow of a reunion using like 8 songs with an undetermined amount being owned by WMG. For the sake of falling under fair use, before he uploaded it to another video sharing service, Vimeo, he degraded the sound. And this bunch of joyous memories went live. Some time later the video was deleted on a copyright claim by WMG. Now of course the songs are still copyrighted but as he put it's that "...Warner Music Group/Time Warner would actually care about some random slide show of 40-somethings getting drunk at a suburban New Jersey synagogue set to 15 and 20-year-old low-quality monaural rendered audio that they happen to have rights to is just extremely sad." The link to the video that was deleted is in the article and the video has not been restored some 9 months later.

Another story I found is where a person used WMG-owned music in two satirical Sesame Street videos. The second video was blocked worldwide. Though I personally believe she/he could have one, they decided not to challenge the blocking and thus the video remains blocked.

Other videos blocked by WMG and the like include covers of their songs, be it, music or vocal.

Some have tried to start a boycott over these blockings.

Eventually this has got to stop, I respect copyright laws and the companies invoking them but when you start messing with people's memories. You've gone a little far. I strongly believe just like companies embraced the online sharing of music files (e.g.: Napster) that born online music stores like the iTunes Store, companies will eventually embrace this as another revenue stream. This will be another case of the public directing corporate traffic. The corporations just have to listen.

WMG, unlike other companies has refused this additional revenue. And in my opinion, look like idiots for it. Some may say they have the right to look idiotic this way, and they would be right, but they will eventually have to listen because the free market is ever-changing.

As the old saying goes, "the customer is always right". Well the customers want to listen to videos of songs, Music videos and TV clips on places like YouTube. Are you listening, Corporate America? I hope so, for all our sakes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

POEM: "Alone"

By Aaron Giddens

Why do I feel alone?
I have friends.
I have family.
I have God.
I am not truly alone.

But is there a girl?
No there is no girl.
There is no girl to make me
feel loved on an intimate level.

There is no one that is there for
me as a life partner.

Where is my “The One“?
My heart longs for her.
But she is no where to be found.

As I stare up and the moonlit sky.
I have no one to share the moment with.

And as I lay my head down for another night of sleep,
There is still no girl to share the night with.

God willing, I will not die alone.
God willing, my lonely nights are almost over.
But for now, I am alone.