Weekly Digest #2

If you mention Yahoo! at my place, you’ll probably get at least an empty stare, which usually turns into an aggressive one in a matter of seconds. Yahoo! has always been that unpleasant, terribly ugly and unbearably lofty company one didn’t really want to be associated with and since about 2006, they have only appeared on my radar whenever they extended their endless string of f*ck ups by adding, well, another one of those.

I only signed up there ages ago to have some photos on Flickr that I could then link to from old websites of mine. Then Yahoo! became big-headed at some point, changed this, that and everything else every other day and they quickly lost me and my patience by locking me out of my account via some half-assed programming change and offering absolutely zero help to get back in. So, I showed them the middle finger after a week and never returned … for exactly 10 years.

The other day, simply because I had a few minutes to spare, I checked if anything had changed and, lo and behold, months after I had left Flickr for good, they actually put up some instructions as to how one could get back into a lost account. It took months simply because Yahoo has traditionally only moved its fat complacent ass whenever many thousands complained and half of the world started ridiculing them, so the solution came too late for me (and thousands of others) to really care.

Nevertheless, I logged into my old Flickr account for about 5 minutes and noticed three things:

  1. I had set up a music collectors group for the hell of it and in the past 10 years, that group has amassed thousands of uploaded photos and a whole bunch of forum posts.
  2. I actually uploaded some pretty nice stuff to Flickr ages ago that I had completely forgotten about.
  3. Flickr still sucks, all of my former connections there have left, and Yahoo is still a total sh*t show. No surprise there.

So, I deleted the last 90 photos or so I wasn’t able to delete back in 2006, removed each and every mail address of mine that I actually check … and logged out for the rest of Internet eternity. I didn’t delete the account because I didn’t want to delete the thriving group I had created. It seems to be doing just fine without any input or interference by me.

We had a major bestseller here many years ago entitled something like “Idiots in Pinstripe Suits“, dissecting the culture of total and utter failure in the upper echelons of overpaid company management. They should have just called the book “Yahoo!”

***

Amongst all of my old uploads on Flickr, I discovered an age-old project, which was my first (amateur) attempt at getting something useful out of Adobe’s InDesign. Actually, I think it turned out quite nice (besides the kerning in the page titles). It was a an A4 booklet (landscape), printed on thick matte paper, which accompanied a lot of book presents for someone who enjoyed children’s books.

Here are a few pages taken from that :

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Quick Shots:

  • Electrocompaniet’s ECM 2 has a very steep price tag and is not exactly a ravishing beauty, but in regard to functionality, it pretty much nails it for me. If I had the money and if I were willing to spend it all in one go, the ECM 2 would be my media server of choice.
  • Loner? Perhaps. Loser? No! “New study finds link between collecting vinyl and being a middle-aged loner. Are you a loser with no friends? Chances are you’ve got a pretty sweet record collection.
  • The other day I paid a few thousand Euro back to my employer (= my home state’s government) that, without noticing, I hadn’t apparently been entitled to for about two years. It’s convoluted (everything in Germany is), but instead of keeping the money and cheating, I returned it because I didn’t want to run the risk of having to pay back a five-figure sum a few years down the timeline. When I returned the money, I expected a legally sound document that the government is required to issue so I can throw it into anyone’s questioning face a few years from now when required. What I got instead was a document that was riddled with grammar and spelling errors and, worst of all, got every single legal aspect wrong that had to be included by law. I was forced to write a lengthy mail explaining the legal aspects to the person who was hired to, well, understand and comply with those legal aspects, and today I received a new letter that is actually worded identically to what I had sent via mail. A copy-and-paste job. That guy gets a thousand Euro more a month and I did his job for him. It’s an example of synergy at work: increasing language incompetence furthered by a downward-spiraling education system + general civil service ineptitude.
  • Someone let me have a copy of Jean-Michel Jarre’s third foray into his own Oxygene universe for a few days. Besides being a perfectly bubbly background soundscape for ironing, vacuum cleaning and drinking, it baffles me why someone who hasn’t had a single idea to add to the original (excellent) composition insists on doing so yet again. It is reminiscent of Mike Oldfield, who has been unloading his once interesting shtick in so many tedious variations, formats and reincarnations so many damn times that the mere mention of his name throws my extremely short hair into disarray.
  • Unfortunately, my formerly fabulous and later still pretty damn good host, DomainFactory, with whom this website resides, was apparently sold to GoDaddy in a convoluted merger series that is beyond the scope of this weekly digest. Godaddy is that fire-breathing horror for just about everyone who has ever rented space on a hosted server online. I’ll give the whole process a chance, simply because I think all that GoDaddy bashing is akin to knee-jerk reactions reflecting past failures of said outfit, but just in case things go down the chute, I have moving plans up my sleeve. In the meantime …
  • [advance notice] … I intend to switch this site over from http://deus62.com to https:/deus62.com. DomainFactory offers a free https certificate, so I might as well use it. Still, for all of those readers here who care about Google rank (I absolutely don’t), their increasing requirements in regard to things that cost a serious amount of money (and cause a serious number of headaches), combined with the threat that one’s website will be ranked lower if one doesn’t comply, are really beginning to annoy me even more than Microsoft with its Windows 10 sh*t show, Adobe with its totally overpriced subscription model for the average user, and Android apps whose design and functionality change every second day.
  • Oh, and here’s the kind of review of a horribly bad film I just love to read: “Contract To Kill isn’t just bad—it’s Steven Seagal bad“.
  • P.S.: Just in time for Christmas, hell weeks are starting at my school again. I have 47 lower-level course tests to correct and 90 middle school tests will be dropped down the chimney 6 days later. The Christmas tree is up at my place but, as usual, I will probably only be able to enjoy it in a drunken stupor on the 24th when I finally give my pen(s) some rest for a few hours.

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[Week #49, 2016]

Posted by Volkher Hofmann

Volkher Hofmann (deus62) has been blogging on and off since the 1990s and deus62.com is all that is left. He loves music, literature, drumming and, most of all, real life. He thinks the open web is much more important than social networks, closed-in ecosystems and other severely commercialized online endeavors.

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