Home > Computers and Internet, Life or something like it, Social > Entry 05/08/2011 11:54:01 AM – Mentat 612

Entry 05/08/2011 11:54:01 AM – Mentat 612

05/08/2011

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein

It’s pretty hard for me to imagine that it’s been about two weeks since the last time I’ve sat down and written a journal entry. I know that I’ve been meaning to sit down and write this earlier in the week, but ended up finishing up with the reviews that I had in the queue from the mini-gaming marathon that I’ve had going on. Then there was that debacle with Sony and PSN that caused me to stop in the middle of things and do more than a little bit of research on Anonymous given that Sony decided on blaming that group for their recent set of woes. After that, it was simply a matter of being distracted with a million other niggling things that I realized that writing would be next to impossible to do until I got everything straightened out first. Now that it’s Sunday — Mother’s Day for some people — with it being quite around the homestead (though not lazy as it’s Laundry Day); I finally have the time to sit down and write something a bit more personal and something a bit less editorial or review.

Spring has finally sprung here in the Tundras of New England. While there have been a handful of nights since my last journal entry that had dropped to the chilly 40s F (4s C), the majority of the days and early evenings have been between 50s – 70s F (10s – 21s C). Looking out the window from the living room here, I can see that the trees are well on their way to being green once again. Everything is also flowering, giving me a case of allergies that I haven’t experienced in some years. I still haven’t been able to determine what it is that’s blooming that’s causing it, but suffice it to say, it’s been a serious pain in the ass when in the middle of eating something or simply having my morning coffee I find myself in the middle of a hell of a sneezing fit. While it doesn’t last long — 2 – 4 minutes at most — it’s the most annoying 2 – 4 minutes of my day. It might be Ash or Poplar as those two trees are more common on this side of the city, but allergy reports indicate a predominance of other trees and plants being high for those days as well. Trees and plants I’ve otherwise not experienced allergic reactions to. Of course the strange thing is that when I’m out for my every-other-day 12.5 – 13 mi (20 km) ride I never seem to suffer from anything… Hmmm… Mentioning that here, it’s possible that I might be allergic to something around the house. Great. Just what I need. To be allergic to the house. I’ll probably continue to prod about the place to figure out what’s causing the sneezing/allergy fits.

The rides have been particularly good when I’ve been able to actually have them. Which haven’t been half as much as I had wanted. Either it had been raining (or pouring) and for some days last week and for the others it’s been colder than I thought possible. Of course I’ve been trying to find a good time to getting on the bus and biking from Lincoln Mall home through the back roads. 2 – 3 PM is too early in the afternoon and here in the Tundras of New England that time is considered the hottest time of the day. Going a bit later (like say 4 – 5:30 PM) is the time the bus that normally heads to Providence and stops at the Mall is also the times when it takes the long routes through North Smithfield and Lincoln putting me another ½ hour or so out of my way before actually hitting my stop. I might have to go a bit later in the afternoon once the “rush hour” buses have moved along and the schedule route is back to normal. I would be doing the morning route, but the problem is that over on Douglas Pike near to where Bryant College is located is also where Fidelity Investments is, and the employees that go into work there are out-of-their-mind crazy trying to get into work before the start of their work day. Hell, in the just over two years I had been working in Smithfield and riding home from work — I can’t even count how many times they’ve tried hitting me at the Essex Road and Salem Street entrances to the Fidelity campus. Heh, it’s definitely not the sort of thing that I want to be dealing with again — not for a long time anyway. I don’t like the thought of being a human hood ornament; least of all to women that seem to be putting on makeup while taking a right turn at 40 MPH (64 KPH) or my personal favorite… taking that same turn while they have a cellphone plastered to their ear.

Oh, not that I said I would ever talk about software in my personal blog again now that I have a blog dedicated to the geekier side of my personality, but there’s a tool that I can’t help but boast about given that it sort of ties in with the sort of ire that I’ve been experiencing when visiting Deviant Art and seeing scene kids (read: scene whores) that have continue to turn a place for potential artists to show off their handiwork into nothing more than an extension of Photobucket, Picasa, MySpace and the worst of the bunch: Facebook.

The tool is called TinEye. It’s a happy little plug-in that I’ve tested on IE, Firefox and Chrome that when you right click on the image in question, will search a 1 billion+ database looking for similar images. Not only does it seem to find exact images (including dimensions and file size), but it also seems to allow for variance in images when cropped, resized and even re-colored or photoshopped. About the only downside that I’ve been able to experience is that the “free” version has a limit of queries you can do in a day (according to the FAQ, it’s 50 searches a day to a maximum of 150 per week), though even that’s more than enough for me to do the sort of hobby policing I do when dealing with plagiarism on Deviant Art.

I’ve even been willing to donate, but the problem is that the company that put out TinEye only seems to accept PayPal as a means of accepting money — a sore spot with me given that it was determined that PayPal was the source of the data breach that causes people in the Middle East and Germany to charge to my credit card about $130 from my bank account back last year. Although looking at their API for commercial-like use — I believe their pricing is more than a little steep for the product. Maybe if they think against actually performing highway robbery (5,000 searches for $300 USD, 30,000 searches for $1,500 USD) against business for the commercial package, I might consider going that route. Until then though, as the saying goes, “if it’s free, it’s me!

Because honestly, some of these kids have seriously been pissing me off once again with the outright plagiarism that has been going on with the work that I’ve caught on DA’s main page. Sometimes I get the impression that they’re not even trying to make art. They’re just taking something they saw somewhere and going “Oh my god! Want!!!” and then posting it into their deviations folder trying to pass it off like something to be admired and get views and favorites for. Particularly when you have FAQs that cover it here and here. And further, it’s gotten to the point where I’m tired of trying to be polite about it, the last couple of times I’ve tried, I’ve ended up with shrieking, shrill and spoiled teenagers saying, “don’t be hatin'” or some other childish response when it’s explained to him the rules of Deviant Art. So.. It’s just report the work, wait patiently some months while the @operators that clean up the forums remove the work and then maybe stop back to see if someone’s crying about the deleted work (when I remember to check back anyway).

All I know is that the administrative staff at Deviant Art seriously need to streamline their process. From what I’ve been seeing in the last year, unless something being reported as pornography according to the rules and removed near instantaneously, everything else seems to take between 3 and 5 months to be removed. Sure it’s better than last year where it took 8 months, but still.. Even as a paying member, this seems to be rather poor customer service for the volunteer work that I do when I can.

That’s about all of it for the time being. Off to fold some of my laundry and then head out for a bit for the ride that I haven’t been able to do the last week or so. Until the next time.

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