Adblock and You

If you are a Chrome or Firefox user, you know how lovely the internet can be with a little app called Adblock.  Essentially it lets you block ads from loading on your favorite websites, but much more than that it helps protect you from potentially harmful links.  I highly recommend this as an IT professional (and a decent human being).

Take a look at the DemopolisTimes.com website.  Below are 2 screenshots – see if you can tell which one was using Internet Explorer, and which one was using Chrome (with Adblock):

dtads dtnoads

 

The Times features one ad for a local business, the rest is for all intents and purposes spam and click bait (they even make you answer a cookie-collecting “survey” to read an article, which is designed to track and target you ad wise).  Instead of a clean page, it looks like your spam folder threw up onto the page.  This is why Adblock was created.

If you are using Internet Explorer today (and you are not at work), bless your heart.  I can guarantee it’s not because you’ve evaluated other browsers and decided it’s better.  Most likely, it’s because you see that “e” and understand that means “Internet” – never knowing there are other browsers (internet) that you can use to take you to the same sites.  It’s like eating only McDonald’s hamburgers – never knowing other restaurants offer (better) burgers as well.  If this is you, please go HERE and free yourself from bad internet.

Stay Classy Marengo

ad

The irony of calling someone a “coward” anonymously..  I hate to break it to the author of this masterpiece:  No one outside of you circle of people probably knows who the hell you are talking about.  We can assume, but – well, you know.

This has been on ugly election cycle.  It hasn’t been the first where personal lives are used as reasons to vote for the other candidates, but it may very well be the first to stoop as low as it has.  Whomever was responsible for the NSFW email on the current Revenue Commissioner race did not send that out our of support for the other candidate — the sent that out in malice and hatred for the current office holder.  They also did this anonymously, making them a coward in the process.  It has nothing to do with the vote on  Tuesday.

The pictures are what they are.  However, if you can’t put your name on what you write about someone, what you say doesn’t mean shit.

Spammers LOVE me

For every 1 real comment on a blog post, I receive around 50 “other” comments.  Most are just links to crap on the internet, but on some they try to cleverly disguise the spam as actual posts. Here are some of the rave reviews of DLive:

>Well done ! Drinking water might have been more useful, but hey …

>I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

>Your way of explaining everything in this paragraph
is in fact fastidious, all be able to easily understand it,
Thanks a lot.

>me and my brother got guinea pigs and mine is named Goomba and my brothers Bubba

>Friends owe respect, respect for Germany; friend intersect, intersect at the situation; friends go hand in hand, with the in righteousness; friends believe, believe in the sincerity; friend along, in the heart; friend Xiang Xi, Xi Yu Yuan! Phase I wish friends, all happy!

They love me.  They really, REALLY love me!!!

A Damn Shame

rivercourts

 

So my son and I decide to start playing tennis again.  My best memories of childhood occurred on the courts down on the river, so we head down there only to find this.  The fence is gone, no nets, and the court looks like it was last tended to in the 90′s.  I feel like they really started going downhill when they put those skateboard ramps in, because hey – you can’t just have tennis courts you know, someone might not like tennis.

I guess the logic here was to allow it to become such a useless eyesore that folks wouldn’t mind it getting completely removed.  When the courts were kept up they looked great against the backdrop of the river.  We ended up over at the Middle School, where the courts didn’t look any better (but at least had one good net to hit over).

I don’t know what, if anything, the city has planned for the river courts (it doesn’t appear to be refurbishing them).  I guess all available money goes to the Sportsplex, where last time I checked no tennis courts were available.  For at least 15 years, from the time I first walked onto that court with a wooden racket and 2 flat tennis balls I managed to find along the fence, the city never failed to keep the courts attractive and functioning.  I guess businesses aren’t the only thing dying in this town.

Let me Snopes that for you

What used to be mostly email chains has now moved to the facebook walls.  The classic feel-good story, or the inspirational “tell it like it is” chain that’s usually begins with something along the lines of “you won’t hear this in the mainstream media” or “most won’t have the guts to forward/repost/share this, WILL YOU?”  These seem relatively harmless, although it really bugs me that they almost always claim to be 100% true stories, and pretty much 100% of the time are complete bullshit.  The problem isn’t the message, though – it’s why they are getting created in the first place.

With facebook, it’s real simple:  the creator of the image has an agenda – to gather a list of real users.  They create these image macros (images with text on them) in the hopes they get shared out across the facebooksphere.  The reason these extremely important messages are done in picture form instead of just a post is actually 2 things:  1-people share pictures much more regularly than posts, and 2 – It takes more effort to fact check an image when you can’t just copy/paste the text into Google.  The images usually can be trace back to a group, whose’s trying to make advertising money by attracting followers.

Who cares, right?  My main issue – you should own what you post.  If facebook is your digital “home”, you are the equivalent of the lady on Jackson St putting signs in her yard.  If you going to repost an image claiming some shit, you should take the 10 seconds it takes to Snopes it and make sure it’s actually factual.  Otherwise you are just spamming random crap and looking increasingly crazy.  At least the sign lady is original with her ranting.

And while we’re at it:

  • No one is giving away money, iPads, phones, etc.  They are NOT.  You look stupid posting pictures of Bill Gates or supposed lottery winners.
  • Facebook is not going to start charging for its service.  It’s not how the business model works.
  • There is NO app that lets you see who’s viewing your profile.  Folks like me make decent money cleaning off PC’s full of viruses that can usually be traced back to a facebook app.
  • ANY story, pic, etc. that requires you to install an app to see is a SCAM.  I promise you if you just Google the teaser text you can see it without jacking up your PC.

It’s really common sense, but it’s amazing how that seems to disappear on the internet.

That feeling when the bills are all paid

Thanks to some good website business the last year, we’ve been able to pay up our hosting for the next 12 months.  We may have 99 problems, but a hosting bill ain’t one.

Of course, the hosting is more for our other ventures than it is for this site.  Revamping this site is just a hobby at this point.  Though I feel there is a need for something like this for our area, the demand hasn’t risen.  That’s cool.  We’ll keep farting around with it until something clicks for us (or you).  Adding things like Twitter and Instagram feeds (based off of keywords like #demopolis) adds a little something extra, but the gold will come when we get some actual writers.  If we can’t convince anyone, then I’ll just photoshop people into embarrassing situations.

One last thing – stop feeding the troll “MCP”.  This is a nobody looking to start shit.  Too scared to face anyone in person.  Show this douchebag’s face once and I guarantee that page shuts down faster than CATV in a rainstorm.  There’s been an actual Marengo County Politics page created (correctly) for actual discussion (SEE HERE).  De-friend and move on.

Thoughts on BWWMH Labor & Delivery

There are 2 sides to every story.  We all know all the reasons why L&D should remain at our hospital, and the board voted for those reasons.  All my children were born here, and if it closed I most likely wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.  The staff of L&D could be dropped in any delivery room in this country and perform as well as any nurse anywhere.  We are blessed to have this under-utilized specialty in our community, with doctors that are above average in skill and dedication to Demopolis and BWWMH (If I lived in California I would have to figure out how Dr Hodge would still deliver my children).  It’s not a department anyone, anywhere–in the public OR in the hospital — wanted to see closed.

There is animosity from inside and outside the hospital over there even being a “vote” from the board.  The hospital CEO & CFO have to report to the board and make recommendations on what best serves both the hospital & the public.  When a department loses $600,000 a year, it has to be justified.  A decision has to come from the top to either accept this loss, or to cut the loss.  Bad economic times aside, in any other business the vote would have been to cut.  If fire and police services were putting the city in the hole financially, the city would not allow the budget to stay red–they would make cuts.

How does this great department lose money?  In simple terms:  Cost to deliver the babies is higher than the reimbursement the hospital receives to deliver them.  You can’t half-staff this dept.  There are no cuts to be made to the budget (they’ve already been done).  Full time coverage of the department, costs for maintaining equipment and software, and costs of the physician to deliver the baby are nearly twice as high as all the money received from delivering the babies.  You want to blame someone or something for this, blame Medicaid.  Even those choosing other hospitals to deliver at couldn’t fix this  (if every baby born to our area was delivered at BWWMH, it still wouldn’t make a difference).  Ask all the other hospitals that have closed L&D why and they will tell you the same thing.  Even the ones still delivering aren’t making money, but the volume helps.

Having no L&D would suck.  Having no inpatient rooms, outpatient services, Emergency Room, Rehab, etc. would suck even more.  This is what the administrators at BWWMH have to weigh, and what ultimately the board has to consider.  There was pure, real emotion in the board meeting, but no actual answers to the problem.  None of our elected City or County officials could bother to be there–because they had nothing to offer.  Would the county support a tax increase to support L&D?  A 1 cent sales tax would more than cover the losses, and would never pass a vote.

The board made the easy decision today.  I hope the hospital can make this work for all our sakes.

Anonymous Slander – Not Even Once

If there’s one thing I appreciate from Facebook it’s that everyone signs up with their real identity.  If I give them anything over DLive, it’s that.  If something is discussed there, then ones discussing own what they say.  My policy as an admin on DLive when it came to posting about real (local) people was simple:  you had to own up to your words.  I would not allow someone to make (potential) slanderous statements unless their real identity was known.  If the statements were found to be in fact slanderous in nature, they would be removed.

“Marengo-County Politics” would not have lasted long on DLive.  The problem with Facebook is there a millions upon millions of users, so reporting an obvious violation of terms goes unheard more often than not.  This person deserves to have to own up to his words.  This person should be exposed, and they will be.

“MCP”:  when I post your face on this site, you will not have access to the delete button.

The West Alabama Watchman Deserves Praise

waw

 

Anyone that has attempted to produce a website knows how difficult it is to make it successful.  What The West Alabama Watchman has been able to accomplish in it’s early existence in nothing short of phenomenal.

What they have accomplished is to create an entirely new brand.  On the strength of Jeremy Smith – former sports editor for the Demopolis Times, they have managed to produce a product that is (in all ways that matter) superior to any other news outlet we have.  8 months in and the site has consistently brought you a better news product than the Times (and that other rag in Linden that has no online presence).

Here’s to continued success.