My anger at the death of Google Reader that is…
I joined Twitter during the fall of 2008 to stay on top of the elections. The political folks that I followed were sharing links to articles relevant to the election. Following those links to the designated blogs, I found that many of those blogs were ones that I’d like to read on an ongoing basis. The difficulty was keeping up with all of them. Bookmarking at the time was all I knew and doing that for every blog, then clicking through these everyday would preclude me from doing my job, the one I got paid for. The election and my involvement in it was as a volunteer but I still need to stay on top of news and polls and things. Somebody on Twitter, I’m not sure, who pointed me to RSS. I could subscribe via this RSS thing and get everything in a snippet. I could get snippets from all over the web and look at them in one place (an aggregator) that aggregator was Google Reader.
Now the web is blowing up with the news that Google Reader will be shut down on July 1st.
What the f#-%/+%+#;;&(;-1($/&(&*+$++%! I’m not happy about this news at all. For the following reasons:
All of that comes crashing to halt, momentarily anyway for me. I guess I’ll check out Lifehacker and see what they have to say about alternatives. I’d like to know what you have to say about the end of Google Reader. Let me know in the comments. As for Google, shame on you!
I know a good ticket when I see one and this ticket was a deal. For $40 + all those ridiculous surcharges, on Friday night October 19, the old broad headed to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center for the Ladies of Jazz show featuring Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding.
Last time I went to the Center was four years ago. Having been open only a few months at the time, it was a sparkling facility and it’s just as sparkling now as it was then. The ushers were very friendly and helpful, the bathrooms and common areas were spotless. Upon being seated in the auditorium the crowd seemed to be fairly light. Which was unusual because for a Friday evening, there were no traffic snarls on the way to the venue. Little did I know that there would indeed be a full house. People were just late and not even fashionably late but rudely late. Many arriving halfway through the first artist’s set. Atlanta music patrons, please get it together. The artists deserve better than that.
Terri Lyne Carrington
Drummer, Terri Lyne Carrington and her band opened the show. Her set was short, too short for me which amount to about seven songs some of which were from her most recent release Mosaic. I’d only recently discovered her music after watching a YouTube video with footage from some of the Mosaic recording sessions and finally purchased Mosaic a few weeks ago. Carrington opened her set with “Triad” (from Mosaic) which is a burner. Her band consisted of guitar, acoustic bass, trumpet and saxophone. Moving quickly through her set, other standouts tunes included the third cut “Hopscotch” followed by a cut entitled “Sweden” which she said was inspired buy a recent tour date there. The finale which I cannot name opened with an outstanding drum solo, which from what I hard and saw, makes me really dig her playing, which is her efficiency. There’s no wasted energy, no theatrics, flying drumsticks, sweaty brow and such. Carrington takes command of her kit like a bawse! I’ve heard many a drum solo in my day and have watched drummers play as if they’re trying to kill their kit no such thing with Carrington. She commands while being understated and it works.
The saxophonist, who also played in Spalding’s band is special. Her name is Tia Fuller. She’s released a few albums as a leader and can flat-out blow. I also would have like to hear more from the bassist. The guitarist was efficient and the trumpeter seemed to be having some wardrobe malfunction with her shirt sleeves. I don’t know how she played as I was distracted by her shirt sleeve fidgeting
Upon hearing Carrington live and reading up on her I regret being late to the party. From this show, I’d say she’s a musician first and a performer second. There’s no doubt that more of Terri Lynne Carrington’s music will be added to my library and hopefully additional opportunities to hear her live.
Turns out that the auditorium was full for the second set when bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding hit the stage. I first heard Spalding via @Fave and his former podcast show Friday Favecast. She was all the hype at the time and won a best new artist Grammy in 2011. Though I’m not a music journalist, I am a bit of a music snob and when I hear hype or what I perceive as hype I steer clear. Fast forward to 2012 and he release of Spalding’s Radio Music Society. I “caved” copped it and loved it. She has a sweet vocal and in my ear I hear shades of two important vocalists, Michael Franks and Minnie Ripperton. Divergent, a bit, but to me she references them both in delivery and tone but let’s be clear it’s not just Spalding’s vocals that garner attention, she gets down on the bass, acoustic and electric.
I can honestly say that I’m now a believer. For me the true test is always how a musician comes across live and quite frankly she nailed it. She has the musical and performance chops and is really engaging. Her band was excellent and didn’t miss a beat. Spalding definitely has the chops and will hopefully be around a long time to bless us with her talent. I’d certainly see her again.
If you caught the Atlanta Ladies of Jazz show or have heard these artists live in your town. I’d love to hear your thoughts, please feel free to do so in the comments.
About the G+ 365 project
I wrote a post in February about my camera woes. My Canon SX130is (point and shoot) suffered an injury and requires special care when in use, it is thank goodness, not completely broken. During the camera’s downtime, the backup camera a smaller less powerful was put in use for my daily photo-taking needs. On a Saturday night whim I went into Target and rolled up on this:
What I didn’t care for
I've been reading about this Cloud computing for a few months. Yes I said months. I'm not a tech person, I'm an accountant who likes to write about stuff. That said I became interested in the mystical cloud because of the ongoing failures of the technology I was using and data loss as result of technology failure and theft.
Tech Failure – Work
I use two Oracle applications plus MS Office at work. One of those applications crashes or gets "hung up" in some weird loop where: Java scripts don't run correctly (whatever those are) Java forms don't load correctly (whatever those are), the server connection is "lost". Of course these failures always happen when I'm on a proverbial roll. Of course these failures only occur with what I'm trying to do and… Of course my tech support, God Bless them have worked my problem every which way to Sunday. When the failures occur now I rarely report them because it appears (in my logic) it is the way in which I use this particular app. I don't open and close things, I leave them all open and switch between tasks (and refuse to do it any other way). Opening and closing is slow, cumbersome and ineffective considering my workload. It's faster for me to shut it down, bring it back up and keep it moving until the next crash. That said there are some things that I do know. There are some peak times when there are multiple users doing multiple processes that serve to tax the application and the server it runs on. There are some other logistical, fiscal, procedural and resources issues that preclude my organization from getting full power from these apps. Frustration runs high, at the same time, users (including myself) are demanding more capabilities for which we just don't have the capacity to make happen.
Tech Failure – Home
I have a Toshiba Satellite with Vista. I hate it, it's weird, buggy and always gives me that spinning wheel when it's trying to do something. I've been using a PC since Windows 2.0 I think. Anyone would say I should know better by now, get a clue and get a Mac. I just might after this latest debacle. My Vista wouldn't load Tuesday night. I got stuck in the continuous restart mode. I Googled the problem. Tried some of the fixes and they didn't work. I took that puppy to the shop. The latest is that there was some update that resulted in registry errors (what does that mean???) Fortunately my hard drive is in good shape and there was no raging virus on it. My geeks at the shop said I could get Windows 7 for $200.00 I said, just reload Vista let me pay you and give it back. I did a full back up after reading a blog post by @LeReg on Twitter. Glad I did. I didn't do much between Friday and Tuesday but do fear that I have lost some photos and music and my exercise log in Excel. Frankly I'm tired of losing my data.
The Theft Problem
It's been well noted on my other blogs that I had a major burglary in my life. Years and years of photos, writing, music were gone in one fell swoop. I would back up to zip drives and CDs every now and then and later to flash drives. But the majority of my data was held on two computers which are now gone gone gone. I did receive a lovely Western Digital Passport (learned my lesson) as a birthday gift and I do use it but my backups usually occur about every two weeks. I know it's important but gosh I just don't dig doing it, AT ALL. The technology failures, user failures (me), theft and data loss have all but forced me to…
What I figured out is that it's not really all that mystical and makes a whole lot of sense. The biggest thing for me is that it takes the burden of hardware and software support off organizations IS groups and shifts it to the cloud host, who has the software, the hardware and the support to handle it all. They have to have back ups of the backups to stay in business, it is THEIR business. It all takes he burden off the finance/accounting teams who have to find money and beat the clock on expiring licenses, hardware failures. It also takes the burden off of HR professionals who have to look for people to come in house and take care of everything that goes wrong. Is it really this simple? I don't know from a technical perspective but as a user, this is an absolute no-brainer. Yeah I'm sure there are security concerns and proprietary concerns in the sense that organizations may not be comfortable with letting go of their processes but those (in my opinion of course) are not deal breakers. The question really is how best to move your organization forward and improve your processes, I think moving to the Cloud should be a definite consideration, especially if the current means of getting things done is proving ineffective.
On a personal level. As long as I've been using Gmail I've been using the Cloud. All of it is web based. I have a gang of storage that I don't think I'll ever use. I also use Google Docs and am writing this in Evernote. My dream is that all of my electronic content be housed in the Cloud and that every application I'd ever want to use is in the Cloud. I don't want to worry about backups or requiring massive capacity on my machine. I want to know that what I'm doing right now will STAY regardless of the circumstances of the machine it was created on.. I want to be relieved of the requirement for massive storage on whatever machine I use or having to purchase some peripheral storage device. I don't want to buy or get for free any application that requires loading onto my machine, outside of the Browser and operating system.
Yeah my head is in the Cloud alright, I see the Cloud as a means of living the digital simple life. Is that too much to ask?
Cloud graphic from lonewolflibrarian.wordpress.com