Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

3/30/2012

Social Media Monster

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:02 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

I love me some infographics!

No, seriously, infographics are fun.
Now, I’m not a guy who has to track and record and quantify every aspect of his life.  I know people like that, but I’m not really one of them.  On the other hand, I am one of those guys who likes to look at log files and statistics and trends.  It’s kind of a contradiction, I’ll admit, but, well, there it is.    And, I’ll tell you what else, I’m very aware of all the information, all the data points, that I leave behind as a consequence of being on the internet, especially on social media sites, like Facebook.  So, have you ever wondered, like I have, what that data, that information, looks like?
Well, wonder no more!  Now, you, too, can get your very own Facebook Monster infographic!
All you have to do is go to the site, sign into Facebook via their application, and let the app go to work.  The result will be a personalized, fun, funny, monster-based, Facebook-driven infographic of your very own.  I’d share mine, but, well, I’ll be honest, my social media data-footprint kind of sucks for this particular application.  I’m just too low-profile, frankly, to generate a good example data set.

But, hey, this is about you and your data, not me and mine.  So, it’s Friday and you’re slacking anyway, you might as well hit the link and see how your social data looks.  And, y’all have a great weekend!

3/23/2012

NASA Models

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:45 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I love design from the 60′s.

I’m also, oddly enough, a fan of architectural models, too.
There’s something weirdly science-fictional about the conjunction of those two things, too, that I really enjoy.  The kind of retro-future that they were trying to manufacture in the 60′s is just so, well, so quaint.  It’s not that they’re actually what I think the future would look like, but there’s something appealing about them in any case.  Something about clean lines and the long, smooth, “swoopy” feel to so much of the design just makes me long for that future that never was and never can be.  It’s a shame, really, that most of that world never actually existed.
Well, the best of those designs, combined with the possibility of an actual future that, well, actually did happen can be found at this site; NASA’s Most Adorable Model Spaceships.
They really are adorable, and, yes, the very finest that conceptual artists could put together at the height of our national pride and the space race.  They’re fantastic examples of the actual design that, as it turns out, very well may have created our future.

Besides, it’s Friday and if you had something better to do, you wouldn’t be reading my post about twee models of actual spacecraft, so you might as well click that link and look at them!

3/16/2012

Nerdy Day Trips

Filed under: Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,On The Road,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:43 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Time to get out into the server room with the big, blue ceiling!

Spring is springing in my part of the world.  Flowers are in bloom and the weather is quite mellow and pleasant.  And, of course, I spend most of my week trapped in a server room. But, I don’t want to take a lot of time off to go do things, so that means I’m stuck doing things on the weekend.  That doesn’t give me a ton of options, but there are always day trips.  I live in Houston, so there are all kinds of things to do, but, frankly, I’m not all that into most mainstream venues.  I mean, sports bars are okay, but I’m not really into sports.  And, well, once you’ve seen most regular museums, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  So, what’s a professional geek to do on his time off?

That’s where I’m hoping Nerdy Day Trips will help.
So far, there aren’t a lot of trips described for the Houston area yet, but there are more and more getting added all the time.  Oh, they hit the biggies, like NASA and the Battleship Texas, but they also have the National Museum of Funeral History and the Alkek Velodrome, among others.  And, yes, I’ll admit, since most of my “extra” income goes to camera gear these days, I’m mostly thinking of photo opportunities, so the stranger the better, as far as I’m concerned.
So, while the weather is nice, go and take advantage of these strange opportunities.  And, if there are any that you know of which aren’t on the map, especially in the Houston area, please, add them in!

And,hey, try to get out into the world this weekend and away from the computer for a bit, okay?
You’ll thank me later!

3/9/2012

Social Media Papers

Filed under: Art,Deep Thoughts,Fun,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:36 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Soon, you’ll need a passport to enter Facebook.

No, not really.  Well, probably not, but I’m sure Zuckerberg wouldn’t mind issuing passports and currency!
Regardless, in this case, I’m talking about an art project with a social consciousness that I read about on Gizmodo; Facebook ID Cards.
Those of you who know me, know how obsessed I can become over realistic, but fake, marginalia, like stamps, currency, government documents, and, of course, identification cards just like these.  Things like passports and driver’s licenses are the ephemera of our lives that we often use to define who we are and identify us to strangers, especially those in authority.  We tend to take them for granted, but someone designed them and they serve some purpose, whether it’s to tell a police officer that we are certified to drive or Facebook’s security goons that we’re allowed to access our friendlist.
So, no, it hasn’t happened, yet, but I suspect it will one day.

And, did you notice that they astutely included a QR Code in their design?  Remember that article I linked to earlier in the week?  Might want to read that again…

3/7/2012

Security and QR Codes

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,The Dark Side — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:53 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Do you trust everything you see?

We’ve all seen QR codes, even if we may not have all recognized what they are.  These little, square dot patterns are everywhere these days, especially in advertising.  In fact, some people have gotten so used to scanning them with their smart phones to get more information about products and services that hackers are now exploiting them.  I recently read a very interesting article on TechRepublic by Michael Kassner titled Beware of QR Codes about an exploit found in the wild, and QR code exploits in general.  The problem is, we tend to trust them, mainly, I think, because they’re too new for us to have been burned bad by them yet, and they are popping up everywhere!  Pay attention as you go through your day and see how many of these little deals you bump into.  They’re in everything from magazine ads to product labels to posters to coupons!  Even Doonesbury has run a strip with a QR code in it!

So, as you swim out there, awash in the ocean of marketing and sales that we live in, pay attention to those who might subvert your complacency.  If it’s easy for you to use, it’s probably easy for someone to abuse, just like the QR code seems to be!

3/2/2012

Sometimes, the Geek Gets the Girl

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:19 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

No, I’m not talking about me.

I’m talking about pop culture.  Or, at least, Hollywood.  I go on, sometimes at length, about how the geek never seems to get the girl.  Mostly, because I happen to be that geek who never seems to get the girl!  But, more and more, the geeks are getting the girl, at least in the movies, if not in life.  So, my personal dating woes aside, I have hope that, someday, I might get the girl, too!

Okay, not really, but, still, if you’re a lonely, single geek, check out the movies in that linked list.  They may give you hope!
And, if nothing else, they may inspire you to write a script where the geek gets the girl, too!


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