The continued absence of the ‘reblog’ button from WordPress blogs seems to be causing a good many problems. Until the issue is fixed… which we are assured that it will be when they figure out what is causing it… there are a couple of things you can do if you wish to reblog a post.
Use the Press This button
Press This is found by default as one of the sharing buttons on all WordPress.com sites…unless the user has disabled the function manually. Simply click the button and a new window will open that contains no more than a link and a title, looking something like this:
It is enough with which to share the article, but not very interesting as a post… especially if the title doesn’t tell you anything about it!
You still need to add categories and tags, and schedule the post and you can also cut and paste an extract of the text from the original article.
Alternatively, you can install Press This on your bookmarks menu. This allows you to ‘reblog’ from any site, including self-hosted blogs and other online sites.
Go to my sites (top left of screen) – scroll down to WP Admin > tools >available tools…then scroll down to drag the Press This bookmarklet to your bookmarks. To use the feature, highlight a section of text on any page or article, press the Press This bookmark and it will create a new post for you to tag and schedule.
For those with multiple blogs, you will need to install a separate bookmarklet for each blog to which you wish to post reblogged content.
If that all seems awkward… which it is in comparison to the reblog button, but which takes moments in reality, you can create a post as you normally would, then cut and paste a short extract from the post you wish to reblog, add a redirect like ‘continue reading at joeblogs.com‘ and a link to the original article.
It took me a while when I first started blogging to work out what a pingback actually was… it is just a link that alerts the author of the reblogged post that you have shared their content.
To create a link/pingback – highlight, select and copy the entire web address of the article in question, which will look something like this:
Right click with the mouse and select ‘paste’ – this brings up a ‘settings’ box. Click the pencil icon, then the cog icon and click ‘open in new tab’ then save. Link and pingback are done. They should look like this:
Technical writing was new. In 1981, it didn’t have a name. I was a pioneer. I didn’t chop down forests or slaughter aboriginal inhabitants, but I went where no one had gone before. Breaking new ground was exciting and risky.
The president of the group was named Micah. He was the “money guy.” Micah knew less about computers than me, but wielded serious clout. His money was paying our salaries, rent, and keeping the lights on. The definition of clout.
As the day approached when the team from IBM was due, it was time for me to present the materials I had created with Ruth, a graphic artist who had been my art director at the failed newspaper I’d managed the previous year. (This was well before computers could generate graphics properly.) Ruth was amazing with an airbrush. I’ve never seen better work.
The presentation materials were as perfect as Ruth and I could make them. I had labored over that text and she had done a brilliant job creating graphics that illustrated the product, its unique capabilities and benefits. And so it came time for the pre-IBM all-hands-on-deck meeting.
Micah didn’t like me. His dislike wasn’t based on anything I did or even my disputable personality. He didn’t like women in the workplace. I was undeniably female. As was Ruth. Strike one, strike two. At the meeting, he looked at our materials and announced “We need better material. I’ve heard there’s a real hot-shot in Jerusalem. I’ve seen his work. It’s fantastic. We should hire him.” And he stared at me and sneered.
Onto the table he tossed booklets as well as other promotional and presentation materials for a product being developed in Haifa at the Technion. I looked at the stuff.
“That’s my work, ” I said.
“No it isn’t,” he said firmly. “I’ve heard it was created by the best technical writer in the country.”
“Yes,” I agreed. “Me.”
He was not done with humiliating himself. He insisted a phone be brought to the table and he called his friend Moshe in Jerusalem.
I’d worked for Moshe. I had quit because though I liked the man, he couldn’t keep his hands to himself. I had a bad-tempered, jealous husband — something I didn’t feel obliged to reveal.
Moshe gave Micah the name of The Hot Shot. It was me.
“Oh,” said Micah.
I didn’t say anything. I didn’t have to. The deadpan faces around the table were perfect examples of people trying desperately to not laugh. Micah wasn’t a guy you laughed at, not if you wanted to keep your job.
It was a moment of triumph so sweet — so rare — nothing else in my working life came close. I won one for The Team, for professional women everywhere. It felt good. It still feels good. We sold DB-1 to IBM — and for those of you who know the history of databases and how they have come to rule the world, the rest is history.
Today, considering the mass of protests by women against the men with many arms who think having a penis makes them extra special — Hah!
The big story a while back, or at least one of them, was a false missile alert that went out to the people of Hawaii saying a missile strike was imminent.
Not surprisingly, a lot of people freaked out, ran around in circles and hid under their desks. It took about a half hour for news to come out that it was a mistake.
What was also not surprising, at least to me, was how many people ignored the warning. They looked at the alert on their cell phones and went “Nah, gotta be a mistake.” And they were right. It was a mistake. It was supposed to be the weekly testof the EBS, the Emergency Broadcast System. Some poor schlub pressed the wrong button.
And in the poor schlub’s defense, it was easier to do than you might think. The system is on a computer. There’s a pull-down menu that has two selections, right next to one another.
So of course, the computer said, “Are you sure?” and he hit “Yes. “Which is not surprising either. It’s a brain thing. You see what you expect to see. You hear what you expect to hear.
The real question is, what idiot set up that program? For something this important, you should have to at least go to separate screens to for each choice. The back-up responses the computer makes should be a little more robust.
This is how the program should respond to you pressing option 1.
“Are you sure?”
“Are you really sure?”
“Really, really, really sure???”
“You do realize you’re about to scare the shit out of millions of people, right?”
“For Christ’s sake, stop looking at porn on your phone and pay attention to me! You really meant to press option 2, the TEST button, right!?”
The EBS system has been around since 1963. We’ve all grown up listening to weekly tests on the radio and TV.
This isn’t the first time an accidental alert went out and nobody paid much attention to it. When I was in college during the 1970’s I worked at my college radio station, WVHC. Back then we got our news from teletype machines.
When a really important story broke, the machines would start dinging like a slot machine that just hit the million-dollar jackpot. You were supposed to drop everything and run to the machine to see what was going on. I was working one weekend at the station, doing a live show. I was there by myself. Suddenly the teletype machine went crazy. I ran to the machine and read the copy. It was an EBS “White” alert.
What was that?
Well, there were three alerts back then. A “blue alert” was a test of the EBS system. When they sent that out, you had to play the “Blue alert” tape cartridge. It basically said:
“This is a test, and only a test, of the Emergency Broadcast System. In case of a real emergency, you will be informed of where to tune to get more information of the actual emergency. Again, this is only a test.”
Then you would hear an annoying tone that was supposed to activate automated radio stations. Or something like that. I always thought it was just put there to be annoying.
Then you had the “White” alert. This announced some kind of “national emergency”. We never knew exactly what that was.
And then there was the “RED” alert. That was the one where there was an imminent nuclear strike, and we had 15 minutes to kiss our asses goodbye.
I can’t tell you what the “White” and “Red” cartridges said because they were sealed in envelopes above our broadcast console and we were NOT ALLOWED TO EVER OPEN THEM! Unless of course, we got the alert which told us to do so.
So, when the “White” alert came over the wires, I looked at it, and at first, I went “Wow, now I get to hear what the “White” cart says!” And then I went “Nah, someone just hit the wrong button.”
I went back to my show. It became a big story the next day. But not for the reason you’d think. It turns out, nobody paid any attention to the alert! Radio stations all over the country looked at it and they all went “Nah, someone just hit the wrong button.”
The government was very upset. They should have been relieved.
I’ll never forget one day back when I was Program Director for the radio station. I came down to the studio. A freshman was on the air. He’d just finished playing the “Blue” cart. When it was over he looked at me, very seriously, and asked,
“Tom, if there was a nuclear war, do I really have to stay down here and play the Red cart?”
At first I was going to say “Yes, it’s your patriotic duty as dictated by the FCC and God Almighty that you spend your last moments on this planet warning your fellow citizens they’ve got moments to live!” Then I realized he would probably not get the joke. Sometimes my humor is subtle.
Instead, I said “Dude, you do what you gotta do”. He was so relieved. Freshmen are adorable.
I grew up during the height of the cold war. In grade school, we had regular “duck and cover drills”. In some, we would have to duck under our desks when our teacher suddenly yelled “DUCK!”
And at least once a month we all had to leave our classroom, go out into the hall with our coats and sit cross-legged against the wall with our coats over our heads.
We were not allowed to sit next to a window. Why? Well, if you were sitting next to a window when a nuclear bomb went off, the flying glass could put your eye out! I’m not making that up.
I will never forget one day, when I was in sixth grade, we were doing our drill when one of my classmates stood up and started shouting: “What is wrong with all of you? Why are we sitting here with coats over our heads? If a nuclear bomb goes off, we are all going to be vaporized in seconds!! This is stupid!”
And just like that, like the moment when your cousin tells you Santa isn’t real, it dawned on all of us: “Wow, that makes sense.”
Needless to say, much crying, hysteria and gnashing of teeth ensued. The Principal was not amused and tried to suspend the child for pointing out the obvious. Fortunately, she didn’t succeed.
Does the EBS system make any sense?
In the case of nuclear war, not really. Do we really want to spend the last 15 minutes of our lives crapping our pants because we know what’s about to happen? As far as the “White” national emergency alert, there has been one time that it should have been used.
No, not that. I’m referring to September 11th, 2001.
Not one radio or TV station played any kind of alert that day! WTF?
We baby boomers grew up with the potential threat of total nuclear annihilation. It was part of our daily lives. Deep down, we never believed it would happen. Even after the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was the closest mankind came to ending it all, we didn’t believe it could happen.
I am a long-term Kindle user. I started using one when they had keyboards and no WiFi. They’ve come a long way since them
The Kindle is my reader and my audiobook listener. I have thousands of books and probably even more audiobooks. I also have a ton of music, too. When I don’t feel like reading in bed, I watch Amazon Prime for movies and TV.
My HDX 8.9-inch Kindle was getting old. I liked it for its size. As my eyes have gotten less sharp, I find I need a bigger font. To use a bigger font, I needed a bigger surface and my previous 7-inch Kindle was too small. It was also old enough several parts no longer worked. When I got the “big one,” I thought I would might continue to use the small one when I traveled, but I discovered there was no going back. That 7-inch device is somewhere in a dusty corner of my bedroom — long out of use.
The Big HDX has been great for the past four and a half years. Lately, the battery has not stayed charged very long. Download speed has slowed, too. While I can still download and play books or music using my Bluetooth speaker, it takes a long time to download and the device doesn’t connect well or consistently with the router.
The last time I called Amazon for help, she subtly suggested I might consider a newer model. I pointed out my older HDX was a better model than the newer ones.
“True,” she said, “but even good ones get old. Everything gets old.” I pointed out that I was getting old. She sighed and agreed. That call was two years ago. What was getting old then, got old.
Meanwhile, Garry stopped using his 7-inch Kindle because it was too small and too quiet. The email stopped working months ago and it too has just been gathering dust. I thought “I could get him a new Kindle for his birthday.” Which is in April. Except I don’t wait for holidays or birthdays. I’m not a good “waiter.”
For the past month, I was checking prices on new Kindles. Prices have dropped a lot, but the other day they were also having a sale. Wonder of wonders, a twofer sale. Two 8-inch Kindle Fire Tablets for $99! They were also available in multiple colors, so I chose one in red and the other in black. I invested in two 32 GB micro SD cards ($10 each) plus two modest covers (also $10 each) and nice pair of Bluetooth headphones for Garry.
Today, I spent all day setting them up. Normally, they are not difficult to set up and in fact, they come pretty much ready to go. All your Amazon stuff automatically downloads to your new machine. All your previous settings, your books, audiobooks, music, and games.
All I had to do was log on. Except the first one I set up was for Garry. It needed to have his email address in it rather than mine. Google went wacko. I set the password and after accepting it, it would promptly reject it. I would try the new password on the computer (Garry’s computer) and it rejected it, so I changed it, but when I tried to use the new one on the Kindle, it wouldn’t recognize it either. It took half a dozen tries until finally, one password was accepted on the Kindle and the computer. Yay me!
The last time I had this particular problem, it was an iPad that refused to recognize the password. It’s good to know that problems repeat and don’t even have to be on the same kind of equipment.
Then I paired Garry’s Bluetooth headphones and turned them on. Garry put them on his head and … smiled. Yay me again.
Then all I had to do was the same thing on MY Kindle. But at least I didn’t need to change passwords. I did have to pair my new Kindle to my old speaker, but that only took a couple of rejections before the speaker calmed down and decided it was okay to unite with a new device. I feared it might be faithful unto death.
I probably should mention that Alexa comes bundled with the Kindles. I have NO idea what to do with Alexa. Anything that works on voice never understands me. There is something in me that deeply resents sitting and trying to get me voice-activated system to understand me. So I disabled Alexa. If someone can explain to me what, exactly, I could do with Alexa, I might try it. But as far as I can tell, the only thing I could use it for is ordering stuff on Amazon. I think I’m safer doing that by hand. Accidentally ordering stuff on Amazon? Does that sound like a good idea?
So that was how I spent my day and if I didn’t get much else done, I feel I have, nonetheless, spent my time profitably.
NOTES AFTER SOME HOURS OF USING IT:
There was far too much spooling on video. I never had that problem on the older HDX. Also, I’m not thrilled with their new format, though I suppose I’ll get used to it. It’s fine for books and audiobooks, but not so fine for video. It IS much lighter. The battery is definitely an upgrade.
I may continue to use the older 8.9″ HDX for video, though. All that spooling makes me crazy.
“On the Fritz” is a pre World War I (circa 1902), originally meaning “in a bad way” or “in bad condition.” Typically, it is the malfunctioning of an appliance, possibly originating from the German name Fritz, or by onomatopoeia as in imitating the sound of electric sparks jumping.
I’ve watched stat numbers bounce around over the more than five years I’ve been doing this, but this was a drop like nothing I’ve seen before. I shrugged it off. I didn’t actually know something was broken. I figured it was us — and because I don’t use the new editor, I didn’t bump into the complete dysfunctionality of that software, which apparently isn’t working. At all. What I did discover is that we are 75% lower in views with no sign of a bounce back. A 75% drop is a lot. More than a typical bounce.
So I went to the Reader and saw how many people who usually have active blogs now show vastly reduced views … and apparently, the “like” is broken because there were so few of them. All the ones I’d entered were missing, too.
On this site, the “Like” has been erratic for a while. Personally, my likes and comments have been doing a vanishing act. They look normal when I enter them, but if I go and look — lost in the great virtual beyond. This isn’t the first time this has happened. If you’ve been lurking around WordPress for more than a few years, you’ve seen this happen, get fixed, happen, get fixed to the point where you don’t get excited so much as you get a migraine. Eventually they will fix it, but when? Could be very soon, like … today or tomorrow. Or it could be a month or more.
So if you haven’t heard from me, I’m not ignoring you. Something is broken. Again. Others are finding it difficult to get in touch with the engineers. I haven’t tried yet. This is such a major outage and seems to be affecting many people — thus far mostly American — the staff must have noticed. The engineering staff can’t miss this, can they?
If I don’t start to hear that it’s improving somewhere, I’ll dig in and try to get someone’s attention but generally, I ride these WordPress storms out. After a while, it settles down. If my problems persist when the storm dies away, THEN I get in touch with engineering. Try not to let it get to you. This stuff can make you crazy, especially when you’ve been working hard and your posts come to nothing because they have “fixed” the software.
I do not mind them fixing the software. I mind them failing to test it to make sure it works before dumping it on their customers. And we really ARE their customers. Apparently, they don’t see it the same way we do.
Let me know if anyone sees an improvement — or actually talks to an engineer and has information!
I cannot blame Windows. It was me, or rather … me and a dysfunctional Malwarebytes plus two “disconnected” (but not really) hard drives … and being told I must become the administrator when I am the administrator.
I got a message from Malwarebytes of a new update. Free. Just install it.
So I installed it and it deleted itself. Completely disappeared off my hard drive leaving a blank. It even removed its short-cut symbol on the desktop. I sighed. I have had trouble with this application before. Malwarebytes fixed it, but it took a week of back-and-forthing with the technical squad and I didn’t feel like it. Just not in the mood.
I tried backing up to see if I could recover the previous version, and I did, but it didn’t restore the broken application. It restored pieces of it, and it didn’t work. It just sat there. I tried one more restore, but that errored out. One of the more annoying problems with Windows operating systems is they never tell you why they are malfunctioning. They throw an error and leave you sitting there, staring at the screen saying WHAT? What was THAT?
So today, I tried to check the weather and all I got were ads that wouldn’t even let the program upload. I deleted what I could and realized … I needed Malwarebytes. That’s why I bought the program in the first place, to prevent this type of crap from happening. It isn’t viruses. It’s just garbage from advertisers.
I decided to restore Malwarebytes from scratch since I have the original receipt and key. This should have worked, but it told me it couldn’t complete, some kind of error. I could “continue and ignore” the error, but I got one of the Windows warnings that if I did that, terrible things might happen to my operating system. And I got another message telling me that the computer couldn’t find its hard drives.
So I diddled around and eventually, everything found everything else. Voila. No idea when they decided to disconnect, but I had a sneaking feeling that underneath all these other errors was that I needed to run the “network” function and connect everything to itself. Mind you, the computer was running fine, except for Malwarebytes, which wasn’t running at all.
I decided to delete Malwarebytes because it was listed as a program, but it wasn’t really and it didn’t work. It wouldn’t let me. It said I need to be an administrator. I am the administrator. I am the ONLY administrator. It is my computer. No one else has ever used it and when I look at my account, it clearly shows me as The Administrator.
I rebooted. I still couldn’t delete Malwarebytes because I needed to be an administrator. Eventually, it wouldn’t let me administrate and it wouldn’t let me out of the loop because I had to be an administrator before I could escape.
At this point, I realized I could not become the administrator because I am, so it was asking me to do something I could not do because I am that thing and I was …
(Drum roll and trumpets, please …)
In a loop. The ultimate circle of hell for computer users. You can’t do it, whatever it is because you aren’t an administrator, but since you really are the administrator, you can’t become one because all those boxes are checked. Sometime around this point I discovered a previously broken piece of the application has been fixed. When I got this computer, the restore system would only let you restore the “C” drive. The “D” drive — which is huge and contains all my documents and pictures which is pretty much what lives on this computer — had to be backed up separately. Which I do anyway, so I didn’t care. But now, you can. So I added the “D” drive to the restore function and things began to roll along. Suddenly, I could create a restore point for both drives, something I haven’t been able to do since I got the computer.
I created one. Astonished that this event had occurred and being suspicious by nature, I did it a couple of times more, calling each restore point “testing 1” “testing 2” “testing 3” until I was finally convinced … it worked. Damn! Was it because I had done the networking thing and the computer finally knew it really has two hard drives?
I then tried to delete Malwarebytes again and it didn’t work. Again. It still wanted me to be an administrator, but by now, I realized this really wasn’t a Windows problem. It was a broken application.
Back to installing a new copy of Malwarebytes. When I got to the place where it told me if I clicked “Continue,” terrible, awful, dreadful and dire things would occur. Possibly making my computer stop working entirely.
OH NO, NOT THAT!
“Screw it” I said … and clicked the (potentially) fatal link. The application rolled merrily along and installed itself flawlessly. It then scanned the drive, fixed everything, and set up a new — FUNCTIONAL — short-cut. I could have done all that stuff in the first place. But to be fair, I would not have known I needed to network the computer to explain to it that it really does have two hard drives. Nor would I have realized — miracle of miracles — I could set a restore point for both drives.
I suppose I ended up on the winning side of today’s “loop warfare.” You want to know about circles? Computers. Looping their digital lives through the circularity of binary heaven. If anyone wants to know why I haven’t been online today, I was in a circle. Me and my computer, doing the little loopy dance. But I won … I think.
Turns out former Vice President (and erratic shooter) Dick Cheney was right all along: Your heart can be hacked. At least if you have a pacemaker, that is. On Tuesday, the FDA recalled 465,000 of the medical devices — the ones that help control your heart beat — citing security vulnerabilities. The pacemakers, which come from health company Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical), require a firmware update. Fortunately, it can be installed by a health care provider in just three minutes. The models affected include the Accent, Anthem, Accent MRI, Accent ST, Assurity, and Allure.
EPISODE: NCIS – NEED TO KNOW (2012)
Alan Katzenbach, a lawyer, waits for Gibbs with his client, a chief petty officer named Leland Wiley. Wiley was busted for drugs and wants to trade information he has — which he claims involves national security and Agah Bayar, the arms dealer.
Gibbs is interested. Wiley comes over to talk, but grabs his heart and drops to the ground.
Gibbs comes for the update from Ducky. Turns out, Wiley had top security clearance and his workstation is locked down. They haven’t been able to connect him to Bayar yet.
Abby calls Gibbs to the lab. She tells him Wiley’s pacemaker was linked into a computer to monitor it. Someone hacked it and raised his heart rate up to more than 400 beats per minute.
“Somebody murdered Wiley by remote control,” she says.
What does this have to do with me?
Well, I’m glad you asked. This particular episode so intrigued the heart surgery team at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston where a group of surgeons wanted to see if it COULD be done. Can you “attack” a pacemaker by remote control? One of the people that performed this experiment was my surgeon.
They did it, though my surgeon pointed out you had to be no more than a couple of feet from the pacemaker to do it. But you could do it. So, they contacted the manufacturer who changed the programming to protect it from potential attack. Cool, yes?
I had all that heart surgery in March 2014, not 2013 (how soon we forget) — which I now know was 2014 because I have implant cards to tell people what spare parts are in my body. Unfortunately, none of them indicates which part is which — which ones are implanted heart valves and which one is the pacemaker. Just trying to find out if my pacemaker is being recalled. I mean, my car is being recalled, so why not my pacemaker?
I also had one transplant card for each breast, but that one seems to have gone missing. Oh well … I believe that number is imprinted on the silicon baggies, so I’m sure they will find it as needed.
In theory, nobody can hack my pacemaker because the surgeons fixed it back in 2012. I am safe from remote terrorists. Which is good, because worrying about it was keeping me up at night.
I find it oddly comforting. Garry finds it disturbing. I suppose I can see where he’s coming from. He doesn’t like thinking about the mechanical and electronic stuff that keeps me alive. It would creep me out too, but I’m a bit of a geek and can detach from it on a personal level and get into the coolness of the electronics.
It is kind of creepy. However, it doesn’t matter. No matter how I feel about it, I’ve got this thing in my chest. It keeps my heart beating. If my heart beat on its own, I wouldn’t need the pacemaker.
Every time I go for a pacemaker checkup, they use a little machine and briefly stop the pacemaker to see if my heart will beat without it. My heart stops beating. Talk about creepy. It is an icky feeling. Anyone with a pacemaker knows what I mean.
The blue tooth remote functions work. They are (in theory) more secure than they were before the NCIS episode aired and the guys got curious. Remote functionality is important. After all, I might need a remote tune-up. Blue tooth lets my doctor access my pacemaker from … how far? I don’t actually know. A considerable distance, whatever that is.
Garry — again — doesn’t want to know about it. I pointed out if someone murders me, this is potentially important evidence. He would rather not think about it.
So there we are. Too creepy?
I can feel my pacemaker. It’s in the hollow by my left shoulder. The outline is visible. I can feel the wires, the connections through my skin. It’s impossible to ignore. I might as well find it interesting. It’s part of me, after all.