The internet is dying.

While there is a bevvy of always new and original material available on the internet still, I have noticed several patterns emerging that at least anecdotally spell out the demise of the internet as a haven of creative outlets.  I will focus on one of the most easily traceable venues of internet creativity: stupid, silly pictures.

Thats right. The death of the internet is not because of the consolidation of social planning though behemoth sites like facebook, or the ever expanding app market which pulls users away from a browser to a proprietary app. No- it begins with the lolcats.

The death of Al Gore's invention.

I spend a solid eight hours a day in front of a computer daily, if not more, as part of my future profession and for my own personal entertainment. Between coding and compiling, bug checking and more coding I drift over such sites as ICHC, TheChive, CollegeHumor, digg, reddit and a hundred other similar sites which make me quietly chuckle I notice more and more carryover between these sites. For example this ten stone Chinese kid I saw originally on Digg I have now seen on at least seven other similar sites:

If you haven’t seen this photo or others of this massive kid I am throughly surprised. This trend continues on thought a site controlled by ICHC(lolcats) called There I fixed it, where I have yet to find a kludge that wasn’t immediately then posted on TheChive the next day. There are countless more examples I frankly have no interest in actually finding and bringing to your attention not out of laziness but because you have most probably already come across this redundancy(okay I’m just lazy).  Do some light surfing and you’ll see what I mean.

There is this sort of redundancy all across the tubes. Bloggers are ever more prevalent and there are fewer and fewer niches available for new users to be original. The internet was once a haven for flourishing ideas and a few sites who touted the adorability of kittehs and their lols, and now we are inundated with wordpress blogs without any useful information, or new more hilarious kittehs. It is truly a shame. I am a product of this redundancy, this blog is of course powered by wordpress like most others and I have no real new ideas or inspirations to share with you.  Feel free to prove me fallible, I would love to be wrong. Maybe you could create the next more hilarious version of the internet meme or lolcat. Or maybe the designer of something more creative?

Nook Color vs Macbook Pro.

I have few debts, few bills and a slowly dying laptop.  As my soon-to-be profession will undoubtedly involve technology (computer science has the word computer right in it!) I figure I need to be internet connected at most times. My debate comes out of necessity- not luxury, but as a working college student money is of course a factor. Below you will find my reasonings for each of the technologies I am interested in.

To start- a windows laptop is out of the question. I have used a windows box for well over a decade (and the same basic operating system since 2003) and with microsofts’ slowly decreasing market share, and my already intimate knowledge of its internals leads me to believe that a windows machine would not be conducive to an ever learning student in a technological field that is constantly changing and ever more omnipresent in daily life. It would be financially responsible to look into some middle of the road windows laptops, but that view is entirely too short sighted for what I will be needing shortly, what with android OS taking an ever larger share of the market and Apple’s virulent spread into the mainstream.

Nook Color: ~$200 eReader. While I would enjoy the benefits of an eReader(maybe I could read more than a dozen books a year with one), I am more interested in the tablets’ basic architecture aka the fact that beneath its Barnes and Noble exterior there is a full fledged android tablet waiting to be released. The Nook Color is essentially the cheapest android tablet available by a very large margin (The closest with similar specs is over $400, nearly double the Nook). To strip the Nook down to its android framing requires a few somewhat technical steps. You can either simply root the nook allowing you access to someone of the android perks like its app market and more powerful system softwares, or you can create a separate upgradeable OS off of a microSD card which allows you to turn your Nook into a complete android tablet. Both variants have their drawbacks- rooting still runs off of the B&N system and is not fully customizable, and Nookie’ing (the dev community made up the term, not me)  is still a “pre-alpha” staged OS, there are a few bugs that have yet to be worked out but it does allow you to overclock your nook to ~1.1 ghz with little effort and actually provides better battery life. In the end- I would end up with a fully functioning tablet either route with a  massive book store to boot. One huge downside to either strat is that is does void the warranty, which is unfortunate.

Macbook Pro: $850-1000  refurb/student discount high performance machine.  If you have been stuck under a rock since 1988 you would think Apple is a struggling computer company that hasn’t produced a memorable moment since it introduced the first marketable personal computer for the average home user. 2011 has seen Apple eclipsing Exxon as the worlds largest capitalized company in the world. I have been without a macOS product since I moved away for college and left my family and their one mac per person.  I have neglected one of the largest growing aspects of the computing world in favor of cheap prices and universal acceptance of a windows box.  Perhaps this seems like a false argument, most of the devices that have earned Apple its profits and size are from its phone and tablet sales. Those devices are essentially a slimmed down version of macOS, and with Apples upcoming OS Lion which combines many of the most popular features of Apples’ tablet into their full OS a Macbook will have the environment of a tablet or phone with the ability to delve much deeper into the OS which behooves a developer such as myself. Beyond that it has comparable battery life to the Nook, and I wouldn’t be limited to apps, but a world of full applications would be available (I haven’t seen a JDK or a C++ compiler for a tablet). My only point of contention is price. $600-800 more than a Nook at my point in life is no small feat to overcome. All good things are worth waiting and planning for I suppose.

What are your thoughts? Given the factors I have brought fourth, and maybe some I hadn’t thought of give me your recommendation.

Suburbia.

** As usual, I tried to stick to one topic, and ended up going completely off course and I began to sound like a ranting idiot. So it goes. Feel free to comment on any related topic(s), and I’d love to converse about anything, time permitting.

I live a wholly suburban life. It is obvious to even the most oblivious- I sit inside a stucco covered cinder block house eight feet away from the next prefabricated house, cheerfully advertised as ‘waterfront property’ or as an observant person would recognize it as a trashy man-made pond adjacent, sold at a premium to thousands. I have nothing to divine about the motivation behind the suburban lifestyle, a majority  of Americans live in suburbia and seem to prosper in their daily lives. My only opinion lies in my inability to accept this cultural norm. Why do I distrust, even lament, my own living predicament? I am the culmination of a suburban upbringing and currently travel an extremely  predictable path for an aging college student ( managing a retail outlet for 32ish hours a week, attending school and attempting to excel with what free time I have) and yet after a decade living in this current climate I am unable to accept this indifferent style of existence.

Maybe, I have my reasons. I have a sincere distrust of this lifestyle. I hate the morning trash can pull, awkwardly nodding to neighbors as they do the same. I have no hate toward the others involved, but rather with the action and subsequent superficial reaction that is reciprocated.  Perhaps I don’t hate suburbia for it’s economical sensibilities or practicality but of what it does to the interactions we are included in. Such shallow conversations are quite normal, and entirely disturbing to me. As a species we have such distrust for our fellows.  I would love to have a conversation. I have had real conversations before, stuff that felt like humanity could thrive based simply on the basal emotions traded, life stories swapped for a fuller understanding of all parties included. Generally, these conversations were not entirely organic, but rather coerced by inebriation. Why does it take a diluted state of conciseness for profound thought the be ably expressed? Is it perhaps indicative of my generally enclosed persona? Possibly, but in my short tenure as an understanding member of society it seems that this is a greater societal ailment than a personal disease. Suburbia fosters a shelterd life, which I believe leads to our superficiality and inability to honestly connect.  I am reminded of the Community episode where they refrenced My Dinner With Andre, and while I have never seen the film (the aforementioned busy schedule has stymied my efforts) I can see the merits of such an honest conversation. However, I don’t think it takes such an elaborate ploy of a fancy dinner to be so open with others. I would prefer a more pragmatic approach. I will attempt to be less superficial. I will attempt this, but a decade as a suburban will hamper some of my best efforts.

Tuna something, about 4 months late.

This was specifically for a colleague who recently transferred to another store, Kelly. I promised her months ago to give her a recipe even she couldn’t ruin.  I have failed, hilariously, to do so until now.

Ingredients(2-3 servings):

4 oz drained  Tuna (canned or pouch is fine)

1tbs mayo

1 cup panko or seasoned bread crumbs (3/4 cup separated)

1tbs mustard (your choice, I prefer spicy brown mustard)

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1tsp dry mustard

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh group black pepper

Sauce ingredients: (this is just my basic honey mustard sauce, feel free to store buy or follow mine)

2 tbs mustard of your choice

1 tbs honey

1 tsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients except the 3/4 cup bread crumbs in a medium bowl. Stir together until evenly distributed.  When firmly pressed, mixture should stick together and not crumble. If it isn’t sticking add small amounts of mayo until maintains firmness.

In a small bowl, place  3/4 cup bread crumbs(croutons either blended or food processed make excellent, flavorful bread crumbs if you don’t want store bought). Using your tuna mixture create small patties (approx 2 1/2 inces in diameter, 1/2 inch thick), place patty in the bread crumbs, using a small amount of pressure coat the patties in the bread crumbs.  Set freshly breaded patties aside until all are coated.

In a medium fry pan heat approx. 2 tbs cooking oil (any oil with a decent smoke point will do- avoid olive oil) over medium high heat. Place patties on skillet, be careful of placement to avoid oil splash. Cook for approx 3 minutes each side, or until the underside is golden brown. Flip and repeat until golden.

For sauce- combine ingredients, add to plate. I served some sauteed asparagus with mine for the pictures which went over well, but any mixed veggie complements this simple dish well.