Script Updated! Now At v1.1, See Bottom Of Post For Details, But If It’s Your First Time Here, Keep Reading…
Thanks to my mate Rob Warwood, who gave me the idea of trying this, and thanks to my splendid coding skills, if you’re using Firefox (which, y’know, you kinda should be) you can return Facebook to its old, simple, sensible, newest-first method of sorting its news feed with this simple thing what I done wrote just now.
It works by changing the link on Facebook’s logo at the top left to point to a special URL which forces the time-based listing.
Go and load Facebook, and note the presence of annoying Top Stories
Click the Facebook logo at the top left and note how the stupid Top Stories aren’t there, and your news feed is all lovely and newest-first again
Problems? Not working? Leave me a comment.
But please, do ensure you follow the above. My script only changes the link on the logo, so you still need to click that, but it’s better than nothing, and clicking the logo was my default method of refreshing the page already so it seemed an obvious mechanism to attach to.
*What’s This “Greasemonkey” Thing? Sounds A Bit Lewd…
Sadly it’s not even mildly lewd. It’s an add-on for Firefox which allows simple scripts to run which can modify the behaviour of webpages, inside the browser. You need to be a coder to create these scripts, but it’s much less effort than writing a full blown add-on, so it makes things a lot simpler.
You could create scripts to replace any images on a page, or filter out swear words, or strip out great swathes of page content (it would be easy to create one to hide Facebook’s Ticker, for example), or change a link or two. It’s pretty fly (but not lewd ._.)!
4/10/2011 – Update Ahoy: v1.0
There’s an updated script now, which also turns the “Home” link at the top right into a special newest-first link too. To upgrade your script, simply click the link from Step 3 above, install the new script, and refresh your Facebook page.
5/10/2011 – Version Update: v1.1
Now works properly with SSL on, or with SSL off! Automatically detects and changes the URL appropriately. As before, just click the link in Step 3 to reload the script.
Decided today that my trusty grey-and-orange blog-face needed a bit of a makeover, found this rather lovely minimal theme, and after a touch of tweaking, I’m quite liking it. Everything’s nice and clear and tidy (except for that opening sentence, but ho hum).
Internet Exploder has other ideas, of course!
Unlike all the other browsers listed up there, it’s decided that complying with internet standards is too much like giving a crap, and isn’t rendering the lovely text shadows on my title and headers, which, really, makes a world of difference to how tidy it looks. Stupid blasted Internet Exploder.
Or, maybe you won’t notice, as I’ve just spent over an hour making it work in IE
Over an hour. To recreate an effect every other browser out there, including the one on my phone, can do inherently.
This is the problem with Internet Exploder. We Firefoxians and so on who despise it so, do not do so to be trendy, or alternative, or underground, or anti-establishment, but because it’s a horrendous piece of shit which forces you to spend hours making stuff look the same as it does in every other browserstraight out of the box.
The cost, in time spent doing crap like this, to the web development industry, is enormous.
And even then, it’s kludgey, and slow.
I’m so enraged by this, I’ve made an image to express my feelings, using a popular meme from Internets Land.
I’ve been “reliably” informed by a buddy of mine that there is an actual process to get things a little more back to normal on ye olde Facebook News Feed. I’m in the process of trying it, so can’t verify, but thought I’d post it up anyway, because of stuff.
Go to Account Settings, then Notifications, and turn off the thing at the top right. Quite why this helps I don’t know, but never mind.
Go through your news feed and click the little blue triangle at the top left of anything marked as a “Top Story”, to de-set it as a “Top Story”, so you end up with no “Top Stories” at all.
And that’s it. Allegedly that means you’re only left with “Recent” stuff, but we’ll see about that, won’t we?
You see, I have just arrived home to discover the latest changes to what you think I want to see in my news feed, Facebook. As is probably implied by the fact I’ve written a blog post entitled as this is, I’m not exactly enamoured with the changes.
The core problem is basically this:
Your algorithms do not know me as well as I do, Facebook
You seem to think your algorithms can deduce what news items will be of interest to me based on two factors; what news items are of interest to other friends of mine, and which people I manually tell you I want to see more from. Possibly which people I interact with on there too, with IM sessions and such.
And that’s just a wee bit short-sighted, Facebook
There’s certain people who don’t post much of anything. Will I even still see their stuff, or must I now manually go and tell you I want to?
I have 257 friends, apparently. Their interests and what matters to them isn’t necessarily what matters to me. There’s no way to say that everything that’s popular with them, collectively, is something I care about.
A fair whack of these 257 people may post stuff that most of the time I’m not fussed about; not being insulting here, I’m sure a lot of my own e/n bullshit whistles by most peoples’ eyes too. Every once in a while there’ll be some gem that does pique my interest, so to see these now, must I indicate that every friend I have is someone I want “top stories” to appear from?
I’ve had one-off interactions with many people on assorted topics, and with this “wisdom of crowds” approach there’s no way of knowing if such obscure one-offs would happen now, because who’s to say some obscure post of mine/theirs will make the respective “top stories”?
Besides, semantic understanding and classification of text is nowhere near the stage where you can reliably determine what a given news item is about, and whether I’m interested in that.
Basically, it’s just dumb, Facebook
I’m a nerd. I’m a massive nerd. I’m maybe the biggest nerd I know (depending on a few factors, but even adding this parenthesised bit strengthens my case OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE-).
Even I, with my love of organising shit and making things “clever” and “integrated” know that stuff like this just does not work as intended. It’s flippin’ annoying.
Let’s say you’re an Android app developer, you’ve written a few little things, and you want to get some traffic to them. How would you go about it?
Well, if your name’s Chris Economou you do it by creating an app with an interesting name, leave no details of what it does on its description and hope the intrigue hits home, carrying the thing on virally.
You give the thing a link to your other apps, so it serves as an advert for them, but you don’t let that detract from its main purpose. So… what is its main purpose?
Well, that would be telling. You’ll have to install it yourself, and see if it lives up to its name.
protip: it does.
Still, it’s a novel way of trying to gain attention, and I like it, which is why I’m posting this, and why you’re reading it. It’s a funny old internet!
A couple months back I lost my OS hard drive to a head crash, and had to start afresh. Choice was between good old faithful stalwart Windows XP, or new fangled Windows 7. Did I stick with the reliable trusty friend I knew so well, or take the plunge into an exciting new world of stupid see-through glass window chromes? Guess!
Naturally, this is going to be a rant, of sorts. 7 seemed fine and dandy at first but the more I tried to do more or less anything with it, the more it got in my way. Why you little!
They Took Our Jobs Dockable Folders!
Imagine you’re an enormous nerd, and you like to make your PC as efficient as possible to use. You have a couple dozen programs and utilities you might want quick access to, out of several more you’ll need now and again, but the Start Menu is too laborious – it’s a whole click away, man! Then there’s probable clicking through a few folders… yeesh.
As far back as Windows 98 (probably) it’s been possible to make a new toolbar, drag it off the start menu bar, slam it into the side of the screen, and set it to auto-hide when the mouse moves away. Bingo! No clicking, just move your mouse to the edge of the screen and your toolbar slides out into view, with room for a couple dozen or so shortcuts to stuff. Ace!
And they took it away. Those fucks. With no good reason. Gnnhh.
An Italian kid made a thing called Seven Desk Bar to replicate the functionality, but it’s buggy in multi-monitor setups like mine. Gnnhh.
Let’s Make Scrolling In Windows Explorer Really Annoying!
I can only imagine this was one of the phrases uttered by one of the fuckups who rewrote Windows Explorer for 7. Sure, it’s very pretty, and “Libraries” are probably neat, whatever they are, but did they really need to break the way it scrolls? Did they really? Really actually?
Hover over the folder pane in XP, move your mouse wheel, and the folder list scrolls. Move mouse to hover the file pane, move wheel, file pane scrolls. Simple. Natural. Entirely as you’d expect; whatever’s under the cursor when you scroll the wheel, scrolls.
BUT NO. Apparently this is too complex for all the “I’m a PC” fucks out there. Now, under 7, you have to click into each pane before the scroll action will be delivered there. Might seem like a mountain out of a mole’s hill, but when you’ve been able to do something with ease for 10+ years, then suddenly have weird things scrolling when you don’t want them too, all for no reason, it rapidly grinds your gears.
Luckily this has a solution – a thing called WizMouse which will return Explorer to a sensible scrolling state. Shouldn’t have to though. Gnnhh.
Sadly WizMouse then conflicts with certain games, and needs disabling before you go into them. Gnnhh.
Let’s Make Viewing Folder Contents In Windows Explorer Really Annoying!
Again, it seems Microsoft devs must’ve gone out of their way to make Windows Explorer (which if you’re a nerd and do any file manipulation at all, you’ll spend a lot of time with) as annoying as possible, all for a few stupid bells and whistles which most people won’t even use.
Used to be, you could sort the files in a folder by modification date, and as soon as you open the folder they’re there, all sorted by date, instantly. Not so under 7! Now if you sort a folder by date, so the most recent ones are at the top for example, it’ll re-sort them every single time you open the folder meaning wasted seconds all over the place. Nice one, Windows 7! That’s progress.
Fortunately this too is fixable by right clicking the folder and telling it to “optimise” for “documents”, although what the fuck ever else they’re presuming to “optimise” for by default which needs a fresh fucking scan every single time you open it I have no idea. Gnnhh.
Let’s Make “File Open” Dialogs Randomly Not Display Icons For No Reason Whatsoever!
Really don’t know what that’s about. Very annoying.
Actually it’s not I don’t really care about that but while I’m here, I might as well write it.
Having Said All That…
For the most part it’s ok. Firefox hangs for no reason whatsoever every time I get back to the PC after power saving’s kicked in, and if I “sleep”or “hibernate” the thing then flash player breaks… but maybe that’s FF and not 7. Hrm…
P.S. This was mostly so I have a note about how to fix those Windows Explorer things. I don’t really think you care about what I think of Windows 7, guy. Haha!
The other day, someone said to me (and I honestly can’t quite remember who or where, but I seem to recall someone on 365project.org) that I should watch a documentary named “The Case For Christ”, as it was made by a sceptical guy who, upon investigating some science things, suddenly realised the one true path and became a Christian – a guy named Lee Strobel.
Being somewhat interested in this field I already knew his name, and the “Oh but I used to be an atheist!” card he attempts to play. If he really wasn’t already a Christian when he set out to make this documentary, then his choice of experts is pretty amazingly coincidental – they all turn out to be pro-Christian “scientists” from pro-ID fronts like The Discovery Institute! What are the chances?!
If he really wasn’t already a Christian, why did he use the most retarded conservative-right-wing-hardline-Christian form of language when talking about “committed atheism” and “darwinism” and suchlike? Curious… veeery curious!
Anyway, I decided to sit through the thing, as it’d had an effect on the person who said I should watch it, and I wanted to respect that. So, notepad.exe open by my side to keep track of bits to research, off I went.
Then An Hour (And A Bit More For Rewinding To Check They Really Tried To Make That Claim, A Few Times) Happened
Then I sat down and started writing this, lamenting that my amusing title didn’t factor in the extra hours it was going to take to research and write up the problems contained within the hour of absolute horse-shit I’d just witnessed, and that extending it would kill its brevity. Ah, the struggles of a literary retard. Anyway – ah yes.
Fortunately, this guy saved me the trouble of both wasting yet more hours, and factoring a mention of them in anywhere, writing, as he has, a pretty thorough commentary on the various mistakes and fallacies of both Strobel’s “experts” themselves and the claims they jointly make. He includes references too. It’s very good. Being a big fan of “not re-inventing the wheel” these days, I smiled a lot, deleted the paragraphs I’d already written, and wrote this part instead.
So that’s that.
Or Is It?
As the above-linked critique is pretty off-putting in its length, I wanted to provide a few handy snippets here, to a few things.
No, 600 scientists did not sign anything refuting the modern theory of evolution, they signed something saying “Darwin’s original ideas do not give a complete picture on their own”, which is true (there’s been progress since he came up with the original hypothesis, you know), and the Discovery Institute then published it with a misleading title. Also, only about 25% of them are even biologists. The modern theory of evolution is a scientific fact, it is not doubted by the scientific community at large, it is perfectly stable, and has a vast body of evidence behind it. There is no “controversy” as ID proponents like to claim.
Michael Behe has been peddling the same “irreducible complexity” line for years, despite his only examples of it having been refuted many times. During the Kitzmiller vs Dover case Behe maintained that there could not be an evolutionary answer to the existence of the immune system, despite being presented with several books detailing how it came about, which he said he had not read, and would not read, for “God did it” was the only possible answer to him, despite what “actual facts” might say. He’s probably the most well known of the retards Strobel turns to.
DNA’s “information” is not “a language” in the sense that we use “language” to communicate; the analogy is completely false. To abstract it and call it “information”, “language” etc and attach emotion and extra dimension to it is entirely unfounded. Besides which, our languages did evolve naturally over time, emerging as a useful system to have, they didn’t just appear one day, and nobody sat down and designed them from the outset. So the analogy could swing entirely in favour of evolution if spun a different way.
Strobel was never in any doubt as to his belief in the Christian deity, and it shows throughout. All of his “experts” ignore crucial evidence, and/or straight make stuff up, in order to back up their pro-deity beliefs.
You cannot have a scientific argument for a non-scientific thing, basically. Strobel and his band of merry blingwads need to stop trying to create them, because it can’t be done. If it could be, then god would be able to be tested (that’s what science does), shown to exist/not, and the question would be solved (and then someone would come along and invent a new god character, unable to be tested scientifically, and we’d be where we are already, all over again).
When you desaturate it a little bit in Lightroom. What? This:
Amy Hughes from 365project posted up a new challenge earlier today, for a bunch of us to take a shot of a common object, and see how varied the results would be. I had a bit of a crazy idea and ended up with this:
The smoke looking like condensation as if it’d been in the freezer or something. Well, I’ve tried sticking stuff in the freezer to get nice billowy condensation shots before, and it didn’t work at all, so I got a bit creative this time…
Boiling water into steamer, light hob under steamer; generate smoke steam.
Place can above vented steamer pan; smoke steam eventually wafts around can.
Panic! Wall tiles too light, camera can’t see smoke steam!
Get chopping board, balance precariously on steamer handle; steam visible to camera.
Panic! Can looks dim and indistinct!
Grab conically-surrounded light bulb from light tent setup, angle upwards to illuminate can + smoke steam; can looks rad.
To finish, some desaturation in Lightroom to enhance the frosty look of the can, and lots of luminance noise reduction to combat the ISO1600 necessary to get the shutter quick enough to capture the smoke steam. Ended up using 1/400, as anything lower than this the fast moving smoke steam was just an invisible blur.
I’ve just been awoken, for the third time in recent memory, in the early hours of the morning, by my computer deciding to play the YouTube-based music video I’d left open in a browser tab, all by itself, for no reason.
Well, I say “for no reason”, but that reason can only possibly be “because the blasted thing is haunted”, I’ve come to realise.
Just to get specific here:
Open a web browser tab to YouTube, find a track, listen to it
Mmm, sounds nice. Think I’ll leave that tab open for repeated listening
Haven’t touched it since it stopped playing. Timer bar thing is played out
Some time passes…
Go to bed!
I’m asleep now. Wow it’s all nice and fluffy in here (apart from nightmares like the other night where I was in a house made of glass being bombarded with bricks hurled by local toughs who the police refused to deal with because “you’re not ethnic”)
Oh no, hold the phone; I’m actually awake. Hrm. What the fuck’s that noise?
Oh it’s that track I left open in JewTube… WTF how can it be playing?!
I’m standing at the PC now. The timer bar in JewJewbe is still played out, the “play” icon also is indicating that… nothing should be playing
… and yet... it… plays…
Only Viable Conclusion: PC Is Haunted
It plays by itself, and doesn’t indicate that it’s playing.
It’s clear enough to me.
My PC is haunted.
By a ghost.
I don’t know who it’s the ghost of, but it seems to be someone who wants to kill me via destroying my sleep cycle… and who is only able to achieve this in one very specific way.
It’s probably Patrick Swayze, “star” of “Ghost”. In fact yes I’m 100% certain it’s him.
Fuck You, Patrick Swayze (‘s Ghost)
I’d really like to be asleep right now, and not sat here writing this stupid thing.
So I knew Google had rolled out some pretty impressive speed updates in the last few months, and were updating portions of their index much more rapidly than they’ve ever done before, but I’d not had a first hand experience of it myself until just now.
About an hour later I post a comment, mentioning how conspiracy theorist retards think the logo contains the Eye Of Osiris
~5 minutes later OP replies to me
~5 minutes later I see there’s been a reply, so go to Google and search starbucks eye of osiris to find mention of these idiots, to demonstrate to OP
I find my own comment from 365project.org listed #3 in the results
Now, 365project.org is moderately busy. It had about 5,000 new people sign up to it at the start of the year, so it’s got reasonable traffic and presence, but in the grand scheme of things is a drop in the ocean. Yet a fresh comment made to it has appeared in Google’s index within 10 minutes. That’s pretty astonishing, considering the size of Google’s index.
Of course, it could be that it’s only indexing the site once per day and this day’s crawl just happened to coincide with my comment, but… it’s awfully coincidental, if so.
Hrm. Not 5 minutes after making this post, the post itself is now appearing third. From my tiny blog, that gets no visitors, and is by several orders of magnitude a much tinier drop in the ocean than 365project.org.