Google+

Oct 13, 2018

Google-

google albums
I occasionally blog about google because this blog is hosted on google's blogger.com service. This blog is devoted to my obsession with science fiction and I have fun illustrating stories (see the images to the right on this page).

I've previously blogged about the saga of how google bought Picasa and the blogspot blogging service. Google's blogger.com service made use of Picasa to archive images used by bloggers. Then the Picasa web albums became integrated into google's social media platform, Google+. Why? Asking such questions is like asking what goes into sausage.


its an ads ads ads ads ads world
Killer App
To this day I don't understand Google+. Back before the age of the internet, computers had "killer applications". When the internet arrived, there was a great web page editing tool called Netscape Composer which allowed for easy creation of web pages and I used it for making web pages before there were dedicating blogging applications. For a time, back in the 1990s, Netscape Communicator was the "killer app" for nerds like me who wanted to put their ideas on the internet. Sadly, during the first Browser War, Microsoft's hideous browser was bundled with computers and Bill Gates declared Internet Explorer a "killer app".

Think of the people who created software such as Composer and how they were swamped by the Microsoft behemoth. There is a strange process by which people who know and love computers get replaced by marketing specialists. Think of tech nerds like Steve Wozniac being replaced by people like the sugar-water salesman John Sculley. After the dramatic rise of Facebook (the "killer app" for social media), the folks at google could not stand the idea of so much internet advertising revenue being channeled through social media unless they could get into that business, too.

settings for this blog
Google tried to follow the same kind of strategy that made so many people Internet Explorer users: they forced Google+ accounts on users of other google products. To this day, there is a Google+ link at the top of this blog, stuck there by google.

plus.google.com
I doubt if there was a single person at google who ever cared about Google+ for any reason other than trying to compete with Facebook for advertising revenue. And that is not saying anything special about Google+. I get exactly the same feeling for how google has "developed" their blogging platform and what they did to destroy Picasa after they bought it. In an era when insanely great computers and software have been made by dedicated and enthusiastic people, almost as many great products have been systematically destroyed by megalithic companies like Microsoft and google.

If you build it, they will come
Of course, some people actually did start using Google+. It was sad to see their dismay at the Google+ community pages this week after they got the word that Google+ is being discontinued.

That announcement of a Google+ phase-out came along with a report that there was some sloppiness in the handling of some Google+ user data (WSJ). Since there are "only" a few million Google+ users, I'm sure it is not worth google's time and effort to keep Google+ running.

Google+ link at the top of this blog
My only concern about the demise of Google+ is related to the fact that I currently have hundreds of links from this blog to web pages like this one. Will those links continue to be supported by google?

It is now 5 days after google said it is going to close Google+ and if someone follows the Google+ link at the top of this blog (and if they have so far never been forced to have a Google+ account) then they will be invited to create a new Google+ user account!

Any screen
WYSIWYG
One of the worst experiences of my life was typing my senior thesis on a manual typewriter. Lucky for me, by the time I had to put together my Ph.D. dissertation I had a Macintosh computer and WYSIWYG word processing software and access to a laser printer. In the early days of the internet, web page creators would tell the world which screen width and display resolution their web pages had been designed and optimized for. I still wish that blogging platforms such as Blogger and Wordpress shared a standardized system for web pages on which text and images would scale equally when readers use their page zoom controls. I'd like every viewer of my blog to see things exactly as I designed them to be positioned on the web page. Mega corporations such as google don't care about things like this, but bloggers do.

WYSINWYG
The screen shot image below shows what the first draft of this blog post looked like on my computer when not using google's Chrome web browser:

Here it is again with a different browser, google's Chrome:

Oct 7, 2018

Green v White

Monument Cliff on Xi Puppis X
In my previous blog post, I mentioned the the positronic robot Nyrtia and two young humans, Georgy White and Rylla. "Rylla" is a shortened, alternative from of "Verella" who is the grand-daughter of the Editor.

YYY
Here in this blog post, I will outline the links between Nyrtia, Georgy, Rylla and Qaz Nivsahham, who has long been active on Earth as an Interventionist agent that can take the form of a human being. In the 21st century, Qaz appears on Earth in the form of Georgy White, a young biologist.

Original cover art by
Boris Vallejo
At the start of A Search Beyond, the Trysta-Grean Pact is in place and alien beings are no longer allowed to reside on Earth. However, all laws create gray zones and two non-human beings who still live on Earth, R. Nyrtia and Qaz, are in a gray zone that was created by the Trysta-Grean Pact.

As time travelers, R. Nyrtia and Qaz have been struggling to control the fate of Earth over a temporal span of about 2 billion years and they can both make the claim that they have been Earthlings for billions of years, hence, they have a right to remain on Earth for as long as they choose to do so. Is there anyone who can stop them?

In the Buld Reality
Original art by Malcolm Smith
The main point of contention between R. Nyrtia and Qaz concerns one of the key parameters of the Trysta-Grean Pact. Under the terms of the Pact, there was to be one Earthling who was permitted to provide a written account of the Secret History of Humanity (the Editor). Under the terms of the Pact, the Editor was to:
1) have NO physical evidence for alien visitors to Earth
and
2) be restricted to publishing his account of the Secret History of Humanity in the form of a science fiction story.

in the Buld Reality
spaceship by Leo Morey
Qaz is trying to move Earth into a "post-Editor Era" (she refers to that goal as the PEE) in which Rylla can be the first human to have physical evidence that "ancient aliens" visited Earth and guided the creation of the human species." Qaz "acts through" her agent on Earth, Georgy White, to obtain and reveal physical evidence for the presence of the Phari on Earth over 2 billion years ago. Georgy is fascinated by the idea that fossil organisms have been waiting in rocks for billions of years, waiting just for her to discover them.

its not easy being Green
source
In contrast, R. Nyrtia believes that Qaz is misguided and worries that Qaz might cause the collapse of the Trysta-Grean Pact. R. Nyrtia suspects that the humans who currently reside on Earth are not ready to deal with the implications of obtaining physical evidence of alien beings who have visited Earth. In order to push her agenda, R. Nyrtia takes control (through the wonders of nanites) of another Earthling, Maria Green, and attempts to suppress and hide the evidence of a Phari presence on Earth that Georgy and Rylla obtain.

Max Bertolini
artist interview
According to information available to me in the Yōd infites, Maria Green published several "tell all" stories about Qaz in the Buld Reality. However, it appears that in the Final Reality, R. Nyrtia may be quietly winning her struggle against Qaz and the Interventionist forces.

Qaz selected Georgy White as her tool for revealing evidence that the Phari were visiting Earth 2 billion years ago. Georgy is a young paleobiology research student who studies the remnants of ancient lifeforms residing old rocks.

Original artwork by Gary Frank
Mocking Qaz, R. Nyrtia selected Australian science news reporter Maria Green as the means to counter Georgy and suppress release of news reports about the discoveries made by Georgy.

Playing a trick on Rylla, R. Nyrtia briefly makes use of nanotechnology to turn Maria's skin green. By doing so, R. Nyrtia was able to demonstrate to Rylla that Maria is not a normal Earthling. This knowledge allows Rylla to begin believing the wild stories that her grandfather tells in the Exode Saga.

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