Froyo and More – A to Z Foods

 

The Android froyo on Google's campus
Source: Travis Wise, CC By 2.0, via Flickr 

I absolutely love the names Google gives to versions of their Android operating system. It sure is a lot better than the bland version numbers that they receive. Every phone has a personality just by looking at the name and you instantly feel a connection (if that sounds weird).

Now, I haven’t had a whole lot of experience with Android (only having had one phone that got lost or stolen, I don’t know which), but I have to say that the phones are a lot more friendly and customizable than the iPhone at first glance, though I’ve never owned an iPhone so I can’t be sure. There are many different companies offering Android phones at reasonable prices, while iPhone is just by Apple and can be very expensive.

Every Google Android version, from unnamed to the next delicious dessert:

Android 1.o, 1.1
Android 1.5 Cupcake
Android 1.6 Donut
Android 2.0, 2.1 Eclair
Android 2.2 Froyo – the first version that I bought in 2011, during the hype and rise of smartphones and tablets everywhere by nearly every major tech company.
Android 2.3, 2.4 Gingerbread
Android 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 Honeycomb
Android 4.0 Icecream Sandwich
Android 4.1 Jellybean
Android 4.4 KitKat
Android 5.x Lollipop
Android 6.x Marshmallow

What’s the next version going to be called? I’m predicting Hot Fudge or maybe even Chocolate Chip. It’s codenamed N for now. At least Google has a sense of humor.

I could really use a new smartphone. The screen on mine is busted and I’ve had it since 2013. I look back to the days when I was absolutely eager to buy a new phone, looking online and searching for the best deal. It was always a joy to receive it in the mail, unboxing it and instantly feeling like one of the cool kids, being able to upgrade from the out of style flipphone. Now, it’s not really that big of a deal anymore because I’ve grown up and the technology is not new anymore, but during my walks to college, listening to music from Pandora on my phone instantly made me feel great.

Nostalgia. It’s hard to shake it off.

A to Z Challenge 2016

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Thoughts On…Changes

Google has just released a new logo after nearly twenty years. That’s big news. And I have mixed feelings. The first time I saw it after going to Google on my smartphone, I was very excited. “Google changed their logo? Wow!” I exclaimed. But then I began to miss old “Catull” as is the name of the font in the original logo, seeing the simplification as a bit underwhelming and quite unnecessary.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The previous Google logo was great. It had that professional, sharp quality about it, a mix of an authoritative source and fun-minded presence. It presented a company that is dedicated to producing quality technology. This new one looks quite childish and more fit for a baby’s clothing line. Maybe I’ll get used to it after a while, but for now it’s just not sinking in. I like a logo I can feast on.  What once was a logo I could trust has now turned into something less confident. But maybe I’m just overreacting. It’s actually not that bad when I look at it a couple more times.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s new logo is nothing compared to its previous:

I was really disappointed after seeing this a few week ago. The old logo was unique. The rounded letters, dropkick “a”, iconic Klavika font, heavy, strong, solid, all added up to the personality of Facebook. This new one is just “blah”, like using the default font in Word.

Actually, the new one has some similarity with all the letters except the “a”, looking less college campus like, where FB was born. But it still is a boring logo script, very uninspiring and generic. Maybe if I never paid much attention to the logo, I wouldn’t care, but I do and my eyes aren’t loving it.

Microsoft’s is better than its previous, more bolder corporate looking mark. At least that funny slice in the middle is gone. It looked like a Pac-Man character eating the tail of the “S”.

Yahoo! did an okay job of making their logo look less like the goofy early 90s “Harry Potter” font.

But a survey of 422 did not agree. I do though. I think it is more professional looking and reminiscent of a website that offers news and relevant search options and looks less gaudy on the page than “Harry Potter” Yahoo. Something that can be taken seriously by competitors and investors. It’s much better than the other 29 options that they were choosing from.

And eBay. Oh, man. This is one I’m absolutely glad got changed a few years ago.

That previous one was so goofy looking and from eBay’s early days when they were just an auction site and not really that huge yet. But they did get big, real big, and so a more professional and cleaner look was needed. And I love it. I am more confident shopping for items on eBay under this aligned logo than before with the crazy overlapping letters, that just spoke of random junk people were trying to sell and still are. And does it remind you of another logo perhaps? If you thought “Google” you are correct! Same color scheme of blue, red, yellow, and green with a friendly sans-serif font. My theory? Google and eBay are secretly working together to bring down Amazon. Google changed their logo to look similar to eBay. Maybe there’s a merger in the works? I’m sure Google will be the one to eat up the other, if the FCC allows it.

That’s just my thoughts.

Social Media Envy – Fight It

Oh, boy, how social media has changed the game for the entire Internet and me. It’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, YouTube, and even WordPress where I’ve come to realize the online world is a HUGE place. And the people with the giant fan bases will exceed and prosper while the little ones will always trudge behind and have to dream of someday becoming an Internet “celebrity”. It’s wild frontier out there and you have to work hard to succeed these days – usually. And with social media comes great jealousy – the reliance on likes and followers, for instance, greatly set the most popular apart from the rest. And it’s funny because before 2010, when I first got on Facebook, I didn’t even care.

I think my green-eyed lady stems mostly from the Internet, seeing people who are enormously popular and seem to be on an entirely different planet than me. No matter how hard I’ve tried, I have just never seemed to get the hang of YouTube and that’s mainly because I’m competing against highly established channels that bring in millions of views per video on upload day, are worshipped like gods in the comment sections of other videos and are mentioned on other sites, and because I’ve never been very dedicated to succeeding on there anyway. And not only has pangs of jealousy come from YouTube personalities like Tyler Oakley and Jenna Marbles, now it comes from these personalities getting to come on network TV (Oakley appeared on The Talk on CBS, Jenna Marbles was mentioned on CSI, and iJustine, another famous YouTuber, will appear on The Price Is Right), and also being mentioned on the radio and the thought that comes to my head is, “Wow, these guys must be really famous.” – which ultimately degrades my well-being.

Seeing people on Facebook that I knew from school get tons of likes on their posts also bugs me, because I’m lucky enough to get one or two, all from my family members. It’s also the friend counts. A couple of my high school mates have over 1,000 friends and growing while I’ve been hovering around 290 for a while now (about 30 of those “friends” are fake accounts set up by my family for games, so the total is a lot lower), and I try not to feel that envy when I see the totals but it immediately puts me on a much lower pedestal. It also doesn’t help when I hear that some of my “friends” are living much more exciting lives than I (going to different countries, attending high-profile colleges, getting to know lots of people), while I just sit on the sidelines at home and watch. One of my friends, his first name Joshua, one day posted that he was visiting Taipei and also was going to attend college there. The results of that post? Over 100 likes and comments. And I tried to feel great for him but a surge of the green-eyed monster outweighed this, and I added another “like” to the boiling pot even though there’s likely no reciprocation by doing so.

With Twitter, it’s a little bit different for me. I don’t tend to have much jealously, except, of course from people I hate such as Justin Bieber and seeing their annoyingly narcissistic tweets. I don’t let the high follower counts and retweet numbers of celebrities get to me because that is mainly what you’d expect. It’s just when I fail to get any retweets or favorites on my individual tweets, some of them I thought were witty and humorous, and others seem to have a lot more success. But hey, it’s all a numbers game in the end, isn’t it?

I don’t get on Instagram at all (not since 2012), so there’s really no reason for envy there.

With WordPress, I’ve come to realize this is a learning process and you can’t expect to succeed overnight. There are a number of bloggers I know out there that have over 4,000 followers and get like counts ranging from 60 to 200, and yes, there does come some jealousy, but I quickly face the facts that these bloggers have obviously been at this for a while and have honed their craft, leading to their surge of popularity. Seeing exceptional, Freshly Pressed worthy writing and the most beautiful pictures from bloggers also puts my work into perspective and I realize I could never copy them no matter how hard I tried. With blogging, it’s better to be authentic than try to live a life that’s not you.

The Internet can be an evil place sometimes. Don’t let the jealousy get to you because it can consume you to the point where you will stop at nothing to reach the pinnacle of recognition and respect. It’s happened to me a number of times – and about half of those followers I paid for on Twitter have since disappeared thanks to Twitter’s great purging system of inactive robot accounts. I’ll never fall for that scam again.

It’s no use trying to conquer the Internet. Just be yourself and have fun; if you feel like it’s getting to you go outside and get some fresh air and remember that the Internet is just an invisible layer that can be shut off at anytime you want.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Green-Eyed Lady.”

We all get jealous from time to time — what wakes the green-eyed monster for you?

Believing In My Internet Life

My life is on the Internet. For the last 10 years or so it has been. The sudden rise of the social media era (circa 2002) and all of these websites that basically act as stop and go community hubs along an interstate highway has made me realize you can’t feel alone anymore on the web, not like when I first discovered it one sunny day in about 1998, when Google was still just a search engine and nothing more. We are closer to one another than ever before behind these machines and other devices of ours. The Internet (or internet) is bigger and more accessible now than it was ten years ago (does anyone still use dial-up?) Our lives on social media seek approval from the number of followers, likes, comments, views, re-tweets, and other statistical things that are basically the currency of the Internet (other than those bit-coins that someday might actually gain trust in using). Not that those things actually are of a big importance to me though but it still makes me feel good whenever I get likes on my content or someone enjoys it so much that they would feel free to follow or subscribe to me (something that is taken for granted by some of the larger players out there).

I feel like I’ve had moderate success on the Internet. I might not be the most popular person on the interwebs or have the most followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook, or subscribers on YouTube but I am apart of this huge playground and have contributed to it in a small, if not effective way. I’ve posted content, chatted it up with the popular, up and coming, and outcast crowds, and put my two cents in on various topics and discussions (talking about you, 2014 Ferguson). Wow. A surge of nostalgia races through me whenever I think back to when the Internet felt like such a small and unfamiliar thing as in this video. My mind has been opened to so many new and exciting things with my presence online.

I want to be better at the Internet. I want to connect with more people and have them see my work and give me feedback, rather than it being lost and never to be read – if it’s a blog post – or viewed – if it’s a video. My voice needs to heard. Being just a face in this virtual crowd is not an option anymore. I want to be found, to be recognized, to have the satisfaction that what I’ve done online actually means something, has replay value so to say and can be great enough for someone to go back and view again.

Which brings me to what I love to do the most: making videos, YouTube videos in this case. I love blogging as well but that’s pretty self explanatory.

This past year I’ve really been going at it hard with my YouTube channel and making it look like something that is actually worth people’s time investing in. I’ve made significant progress this year, even if the subscriber count doesn’t say so, and have updated and gotten rid of videos that I wasn’t exactly proud of. I have scaled up my production value quite a bit, keeping within my budget of course. There is so much this year (and the end of last year) that I have learned that has made me go back and look at my previous work and think “Man, I could do so much better.” I shake my head at the things I could have done in the past, the things I missed since I was so new and inexperienced with video making.

Becoming successful on YouTube has never been a realistic dream of mine, since it is mighty tough these days, competing with content on the levels of a Hollywood movie production (many of those channels are actually run by or working with Hollywood talent now), and YouTubers with large followings of course, and so right now it’s a passionate hobby of mine. Sure, you can make money, big vaults of money, but only a handful actually make enough to pay their monthly rent and nothing more. No, I’m not in the YouTube business for money either, though it would be nice if this little venture of mine suddenly became lucratively successful, but as of now I’m still a little man with a computer, video camera, and humor that people may or may not find funny. I love making videos, want to continue making videos, have fun in the process, get new and better ideas. Having all of the work and effort being translated into thousands of views and subscribers hasn’t happened yet, at least not for the good reasons – which is partly because of my ignorance and not paying attention to detail. Keeping an audience (whoever that may be) engaged for at least two minutes of one of my videos is my goal for the future. I have to have people think, “Hey, I kind of dig what this guy is doing,” and later on say, “I want to see more!,”rather than “Ugh! Forget this. I’m outta here,” which, based on my latest stats, has been the case. But practice makes perfect. Rome wasn’t built in a day and so shouldn’t a great YouTube channel.

By the way, if you’re interested you can check out my channel here. I go by the name “Matthew Lombardi” on there, but that’s not my real name. I’ve recently gotten into doing “Let’s Play” videos, quite a popular but congested genre with the YT community and hope to continue to expand and make this something that defines my channel.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Have Confidence in Me.”

Are you good at what you do? What would you like to be better at?

It All Started With Coffee

I don’t remember this particular blogger’s name, but it was her post that introduced me to WordPress back in 2006, seven years before I started this long running blog; I was merely an unregistered visitor stopping by to check out something interesting in a store window, curious about its contents.

WordPress and blogging in general were entirely new things to me, though I had heard about the evolving activity but had never given it much thought. As I was just beginning high school in 2006, then fifteen years old, and my knowledge of the internet was still growing, figuring out how it could be an effective tool in my life was uncertain. Finding this place was merely by chance, the initial doorway to this site being through a particularly intriguing GIF image that I found while searching for something on Google Images, I believe something coffee related, which was the basis of our unnamed mistresses’ post. Her post was about her love for coffee and the art that could be made from it, including a picture of a cheeky little monkey formed from the cream being expertly swirled. The post that led me to this land of enchantment was so well structured and full of interesting details that kept me reading until the very end, eager to find out more. I remember reading and having strong thoughts of praise for her writing going through my head. Wow, she is a really good writer, took some time to craft this. Has quite an interesting life as well. Maybe I should try this? The latter I did, but it was very short lived; I made just one post on this “blog”, being in quotations since it was hardly in the definition of such. The post was titled “Hello, World”, and was a friendly introduction, featuring a couple of tidbits about myself that I hoped would get the ball rolling. But it never really did and I never really developed a big interest in blogging since it just seemed like a tedious activity to me back then, having to figure out what to write and how to write it, and the fear that what I wrote would not be very good pulled me away from this creative endeavor. My one post blog, simply titled “Matt’s blog” by default, was deleted seven years later and I’ve been here ever since.

The fear of failure is atychiphobia, and I believe I have it day in and day out, but unlike the definition that says people stray away from performing tasks to avoid failure, I happen to go with tasks but don’t expect to achieve success since it has eluded me many times before, my inner self learning to take things with a grain of salt, not wanting to experience feeling of blows to the head, heart being badly broken.

monkey
The cheeky monkey I remember so well

While we’re on the subject, I don’t particularly like the taste of coffee, well let’s just say I don’t like the taste of it black, plain, and unsweetened. It’s kind of an unnecessary thing for me and I don’t know why others rely it on so much. Sure, it is a great pick-me-up, the caffeine in a regular cup of joe enough to get you through the day, but as far as the taste, well it’s not very delightful or fulfilling is it? But just like cigarettes, tobacco, and recreational drugs like marijuana, if I started drinking coffee daily I would become addicted to it in no time. It would become a natural part of my life, having to consume it every morning…not exactly a good thing for the teeth.

Back to what I saying before, just to give you a perspective of how WordPress has changed since I first discovered it in 2006, here is the dashboard/posting page from that year:

And here is the homepage/dashboard for the 2013 version that my blog began on, quite similar to what it is today.

As you can see, WordPress has gotten more user friendly, cleaner, and modern in its design interface, taking away a bit of the learning curve that was with me back in 2006.

Sunshine

el-sol
12 image for “Sun” on Google

A blaze of glory
The licking, raging inferno
Innocent from afar
Deadliest bitch
When asked for close-up

Reaching Epiphany

epiphany
The eleventh image for “Epiphany” on Google

Salvation
Finding the light
A messiah bringing the good word
Candlelight burning in the wind
I found the answer, the one thing that will set me free
This is the epiphany, the realization of what I am supposed to be
The light
The spirit 
The wind
The power to heal
Discovering my true talents
My purpose in life
Why, the question we all ask
What, our inevitable future is
Marveling at the facts
That foreshadow everything
The visions become real and the oracle releases its power on us all
The grand stage will be set
A jolt of lightning will fall from the sky
All will stare in awe at His second coming
The epiphany of mankind 
Revelations will be revealed
Curiosity rewarded
Pulling up the veil
That shrouds us in mystery
Clouds our vision 
Blinds us with uncertainty
Now the lens comes into focus
All is clear and true
I know know what lies ahead
And can work towards fulling my destiny

Good and bad
Distinctions obliterated
Stereotypes dethroned
Accusations filled with sudden truth
Enemies become allies
Allies become enemies
A regular Poseidon effect
The world being flipped
Upside down


 In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Image Search.”