09 February, 2009

My Twitbin/TwitterFox Wish List

OK So I've basically had to choose between one of the three FireFox extensions that I've been trying out that integrate the Twitter service into FireFox. I think I've got my top pick; however, there are some issues that I need to take up with them, and some features I'd like to see implemented:

The new version of Twitbin (2.0) is much, much better than the previous release and really puts it back into the running as a contender. In fact, the only reason that I started looking for an alternative is because I found Twitbin to be pretty much broken--but that was the old version.

So I love love love the RT (that's "Retweet" for you non-Twitterites ... a RT is when you basically twit out someone else's tweet in order to help spread the word to your follows; it's basically a "pay it forward" form of good-will on Twitter) function in Twitbin; I don't know of any other Twitter extension that offers the ability to RT with the click on an icon.

There's a problem with the @ function, though (@ is when you direct a message to a certain user but keep it in public; it remains on the public timelines but it's sent to their attention--it's basically used to respond to other people's twits). Well, two problems, actually: (a) When you click on the "@" icon to respond to someone, the text entry window does not focus. You have to manually click your mouse into the text entry window. What's more, (b) you have to hit your space bar before you begin typing. While clicking on the "@" icon copies "@" to the text entry box (which is not focused afterwards), it does NOT put a space in, so if you start typing your response without adding a space, in essence you end up sending your @ reply to a totally different person!

I love how you can ♥ a tweet. When you click on the ♥ icon, you basically add the current tweet to your list of "Favourites" on Twitter, which people can view when they go to your Twitter URL (http://twitter.com/[twitterusername]/).

To me, the "i" icon is a bit redundant; it takes you to the user's Twitter Page, which you can also do by clicking on their icon picture.

I really like that you have the option of displaying tweets from your Friends, your @s, your DMs, your ♥s, and from the public timeline (which includes EVERYONE on Twitter and, quite frankly, is very busy!).

Now, there's one other major deficiency with Twitbin 2.0 that I see: there's no way to respond to DM (that's Direct Message for you non-Twitterphiles--essentially, a private message between two Twitterers that's not on the public timeline) via a DM by simply clicking on an icon, like there is to reply to an @ message (even though it's a bit buggy). In the "D" list, there should be a little "d" icon that, when clicked on from a DM directed toward you, should do the following: (a) place the text: "d [TwitterUserName] " into the text input box and (b) focus the text input box with the cursor after the space, after the username.

That's not all that difficult now, is it? Twitterfox has managed to do it.

Speaking of Twitterfox, while I appreciate their "Recent," "Replies," and "Messages" tab, I don't think it's necessary to spell it all out as they do. To me, Twitterfox would be more useful if it were transparent and then became solid on-hover (when you hold the mouse over it). As it is, it blocks too much of my screen real estate (I'm working via a notebook computer, not much I can do to upgrade the resolution or anything). Twitbin sits in the sidebar which I usually don't have open but now, I'm finding I prefer the sidebar as opposed to coming onto my screen. Neither is ideal but for me, the preference is sidebar.

What I do like about TwitterFox is that it shows you the number of X-type of Twits that you have awaiting you. For instance, I just signed into TwitterFox and and it's telling me that I have 19 Recent, 20 Replies, and 20 Messages since my last login with them. I also really like how there's an icon to "insert current tab's URL" into the text entry box; however, it would be MUCH more useful if TwitterFox shortened the URL in the current tab (via a URL-shortening service such as TinyURL).

Additionally, the text-entry box in TwitterFox grows as soon as you start typing something in there and won't shrink back (even if you clear everything out) until you hit enter. That's not-so-cool.

So Twitbin, are you listening? Make these changes and I think you'll have a killer Twitter add-0n for Firefox! BTW Twitbin, why don't you have a Twitter accoutn linked from your web site so we can follow you???

02 February, 2009

Ain't Life Grand?

2 February 2009, 14:00

OK, so the Psycho Bitch (my younger brother's daughter's mother--who, when she met my sister told her "well I would never have a child out of wedlock because I am a CHRISTIAN") just showed up to my brother's apartment building (not the apartment itself but the building). She's actually standing downstairs, outside in the cold with her daughter (my younger brother's daughter, aka my niece Cherokee Phrakousonh, whom I have never met) and refusing to come inside because she saw me poke my head out of the window (I poked my head out of the apartment window because I heard somebody calling "Hellooooooooo" downstairs--not in a loud voice mind you but in a normal talking voice). Now, why she didn't pick up the phone and call my brother to let her know that she was here, I can't tell you because I don't know.

Now here's the best part: essentially, because this psychotic "Christian do-gooder" firmly believes that I'm one of those child-molesting, child-abusing little FAGGOTS (yes, she firmly believes that homosexual=child molester), she's going to subject her daughter to freezing temperatures and refuse to come inside because she doesn't want the child-abusing faggot near her daughter I still have yet to meet this other niece of mine and as long as the psychobitch has custody of her, I probably never will.

Now, for the record, I never have abused (sexually or otherwise) any child in my entire life, and I think that those who take the innocence away from a child (by abusing such child) should have all of their reproductive organs extricated from their bodies without the benefit or aid of anaesthesia.

OK, so now the manipulative psychobitch is getting my mother to give her food, because she's crying that the $75/week in child support that my brother gives her isn't enough for her to be able to afford pampers or food or anything. So my mother, not wanting to see one of her grandchildren suffer, is packing up a bag of food that she just bought for herself, and will herself now go hungry instead of allowing her granddaughter to go hungry. And the best part about this is that we all know that the food isn't going to find its way into the child's mouth; the psychobitch is going to use it to fill her own tummy. After all, why should she do anything when she can get free money from the state, plus foodstamps for [EDIT]threefour[/EDIT] people, by just laying around and being a welfare mom?

This is why I have coined the phrase, "Puerto Rican Princess." She just wants to be taken care of and doesn't feel that she should have to work or even lift a finger. She spends most of her time at my brother's, having him wait on her hand and foot, knowing that he would do anything for her because he's blinded by love.

One of these days, my family will wake up and smell the Java brewing....

Oooooh, and now my mother (who has difficulty walking and what not) is going to get in her car and drive over to this PRP psychobitch's house (or, more probably, pick her up on the corner where she's waiting for this gift of life-sustaining energy in the form of food and love from my mother, who really doesn't give a rats ass how she's treated by the psychobitch as long as she can see her grandchild and spend time with the grandchild -- oh yeah, that's something else; the psychobitch uses the fact that my mother gets joy out of spending time with her grandchild and therefore threatens to withhold visitation from her if she doesn't do certain things for her) to drop off the food.

Ain't life grand?

26 January, 2009

California's Prop 8 Funding

OK, So I'm having a Twiscussion with this self-proclaimed geek from Salt Lake City, UT who developed a really cool social networking app. Seeing that he (and his company) were from Salt Lake City, UT, and knowing how the Mormons provided a massive amount of funding to support California's Proposition 8 I sent him a simple question:
Did you (or your corporation) provide any funding to support CA's Prop 8?
And thus began our Twiscussion (I'm coining a lot of new words these days ...).

I'm glad to say that Jesse has not provided any funds in support of Prop 8; however, in our discussion, he raised a really good, and valid, point:
[W]hat studies have been done to show there was money against Prop 8 in SLC? I'd venture to say none that are public.
I don't know about the money but I do know that there was a rally opposing Prop 8 in SLC last year.

So my fellow blogophiles, since I'm kinda spending the vast majority of my time dealing with personal and family issues, can someone else out there pick up the ball and run with this? Just how much money did come out of Salt Lake City, UT to oppose Prop 8 and how does that amount compare with the amount in support thereof?

Twiscussion: (c) 2009 by Peter C. Frank, a portmanteau of "Twitter Discussion" i.e., a discussion among individuals taking place over Web 2.0 / social networking web sites, such as the Twitter social networking web site, via (twitting) SMS-styled and lengthed messages. For example, holding a discussion via Facebook status updates, Twits on Twitter, etc.

25 January, 2009

Slashdot | A Teacher Asking Students To Destroy Notes?

Slashdot | A Teacher Asking Students To Destroy Notes?

OK, in the (likely) event that I ever pursue education in the future, I'm going to make damned sure that I enter into a written contract with each and every professor/trainer/teacher, wherein I obtain an explicit permission that any notes (note: not recordings but notes I create of my own accord based on the information presented in the classroom/labs via lecture and otherwise) I take on the presentations made during class are and will forever belong to me and that such professor/trainer/teacher shall have no right, claim, expectation or any such expectation of having my notes delivered unto them following conclusion of the course/training.

Oh, and by the way, for the record, IANAL and TINLA (but I did attend law school for two years); however, in order to prevent such a thing from happening again, I suggest (in the form of friendly advice) that every student enter into such a contract.

On a personal note, I really would like to see the student take the teacher to court and sue for the return of his/her notes or, failing that, for damages seeking compensation for the student's time and materials used to create such notes. To me, there is an implied contract (with the educational institution that the student pays to attend) that a student would be able to retain their own, non-verbatim notes for whatever use they see fit. That has been the tradition of educational institutions for ages upon ages.

I believe (and again, IANAL) that the professor in this story stepped way over the line when she reached into the student's backpack and physically removed his notebook from his person. Again, TINLA but if I were the student, I would have filed a police report and accused the professor of robbery because, in essence, this is what she did.

Just my US$0.02 on an educational injustice....

16 January, 2009

I've coined a new word: Webtivism

I just made a post on my Gather.com account and coined a new word in the process.

That word is


Webtivism is a portmanteau of "Web Activism." That is, webtivism is intentional action taken to bring about social or political change solely and strictly through the world wide web/Internet.

A great example of "webtivism" is the First Virtual March for LGBT Equality. In this particular case of webtivism, participants were asked to change their profile picture on Web 2.0 sites (e.g., social networking web sites such as Facebook.com) to one of thirteen different logos created by the web site, for a period of one week, in an effort to make a statement in support of gay rights.

I hereby copyright the portmanteau word, webtivism.

webtivism (c) 16 January 2009, Peter C. Frank

12 January, 2009

Update on my niece's seizure ordeal and the John A. Coleman School & Children's Rehabilitation Center in Westchester County

You may recall that I last wrote about my niece, Jennal, in October 2008 when she had a really bad episode. I haven't really been keeping up with my blog lately but something just happened and I need to do a little writing to try and remain calm.

So at the beginning of the month, my niece, Jennal (pictured to the right) went into hospital @ NYU Medical Center in NYC. The purpose of this hospitalization was to induce her into having seizures, while she's hooked up to monitoring equipment, to map where in the brain the seizures are originating. Hopefully, once they find out where the seizures are originating, the doctors hope to remove those sections of her brain, provided that they're "unused" sections. Basically, they're going to do a partial lobotomy or something like that (brain surgery on a 4.5-year old). I don't think it's the greatest idea in the world and it's all very experimental but I'm not her guardian, and at least finding out where the seizures are originating from is a good thing.

So they got three seizures recorded and all came from the same part of the brain. I forget where, exactly, but I can find out and edit this later. Right now I'm trying not to panic. The neurologists at NYU changed her anti-seizure medication a bit, as they found out that she has a lot of partial seizures. Don't ask me what this means; I'm not a neurologist. But the Epilepsy Foundation has a pretty good explanation of what a partial seizure is. Evidentally, this is the type of seizure that Jennal has most often.

So my sister sent me a text this morning that my niece was throwing up non-stop at school. About forty minutes later, she called me and said that Jennal had become "non-responsive" and so the school that she attends, the John A. Coleman School & Children's Rehabilitation Center in Westchester County, New York, called the ambulance to take her to the Emergency Room. I'm just like, what the fuck? Seriously, why didn't they call the ambulance after five minutes of non-stop puking? Granted, my niece now attends (and has only gone back to school) with a private duty nurse at her side but where was this nurse during the non-stop puking? I'm seriously going to have to have a little chat with my sister about going to see the attorney that I found.

OK so I just got off the phone with the attorney's assistant, with whom I've been dealing, to ask if the consultation fee of $550 could be waived, or if the case could be taken on a contingency or pro bono basis, and her assistant advised me that they don't do pro bono work at all and that a contingency fee arrangement would be "highly unlikely" but that she would ask and get back to me.

Why is it that only the very rich or the very poor are able to obtain legal services in this country?

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how I can get up to Westchester Medical Center Children's Hospital from Yonkers without any money. I hate not having a car/not being able to drive! :(