I Didn’t See the Baby

The video above is alarming. It shows a crime committed in the Bronx, New York earlier this week where a man took a running start to knock a woman and steal her cellphone. What makes it worse is that the woman was carrying a baby at the time.

This video look awfully heartless. But as if this was bad enough the perpetrator of this crime, after he was arrested, apologized telling reporters “I didn’t see the baby.”

Really? Seeing the baby would have made a difference? Running at and violently knocking down a defenseless person is ok if there is no baby involved? And for what? A cellphone that’s trackable and will get you caught?

The stupidity of this act and the rationalization of the perpetrator are galling. Sad that this is the world we live in.

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Get Jetpack Publicize and All In One SEO to Publish Posts to Facebook

I’ve been using Jetpack to cover some functionality on a few blogs and the functionalities I’ve been using (Jetpack has many functions and I only use some of it) have been functioning very well. But I ran into a problem with the Publicize functionality on one particular blog.

This blog uses Publicize to post to Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Facebook. (Publicize can also post to Tumblr and Path.) At some point over the last several months (I don’t know exactly when) Publicize stopped posting to Facebook. I scoured through the settings of the blog in question and couldn’t find anything that changed so I reached out to Jetpack support.

It turns out that the All in One SEO plugin, which does exactly as it’s name would imply, made a change a while ago in the way they implement Facebook Open Graph meta tags such that these meta tags were not being generated for this blog. With no Open Graph meta tags being sent by Publicize, Facebook rejected the post.

The fix for this is quite simple:
1 – In WP-Admin go to All In One SEO -> Feature Manager.
2 – In the Social Meta box click the “Activate” button.
3 – Now go to All In One SEO -> Social Meta and you’ll be able to configure Open Graph and Twitter tags there.

With this feature turned on in All In One SEO posts started to be properly sent to Facebook. Case closed.

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The Trouble in Ferguson

The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have been troubling. The sad death of Michael Brown and subsequent clearing of criminal charges of Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Brown, is troubling enough. But the aftermath of the grand jury decision to clear Wilson has proven to be troubling as well.

After the grand jury’s findings were released a night of violence broke out in Ferguson. Businesses were looted and set aflame. Shots were fired in the streets. I understand why people are upset and I don’t blame them. What I don’t understand is the violent reaction.

The grand jury in this case heard many hours of testimony and reviewed the available evidence then made a decision. The public, including the protesters, did not hear all the testimony or review all of the evidence the grand jury did. For better or worse this is the legal process for such cases. We don’t have to agree with the grand jury’s opinion. We don’t even need to accept it. But we do need to abide by it.

The violence that broke out last night is nothing more than crime using a particular event as an excuse. It serves no purpose in finding justice for Brown and does not further the discussion of how to better handle such cases in the future.

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Where I Want To Be

In an effort to kick start my writing I’m taking on online writing class. Today’s assignment is: “If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?”

The 12 year old Balevenie is on the left side of the shelf. The 10 year old Laphroaig is on the right. In between are a dozen other single malts ranging from Aberfeldy to Talisker.

On the side table is a book. It doesn’t matter what the book is about. It could be about anything from the Civil War to baseball to science fiction.

Next to the book is an empty whisky glass which won’t be empty for long but will be empty again before this night will end.

The chair is comfortable. The light is soft. The atmosphere is quiet and warm.

I’m right where I want to be.

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Twenty Minute Flow

In an effort to kick start my writing I’m taking on online writing class. The first assignment is to write anything that comes to mind over a 20 minute period. The following is my entry.

I saw a news story today about online gamers calling 911 to send emergency services to the homes of their online opponents as a way to get an edge in the game. The calls usually report fake hostage situations or murders requiring SWAT teams be sent. As troubling as this is I’m not sure what’s more troubling: the trend itself or the fact that there’s a nickname for the phony calls (“swatting”)?

I have been a New York Jets fan since I was a child and what’s more infuriating to me than the fact that they haven’t won a Superbowl in my lifetime is that they keep finding creative ways to lose. The latest instance took place yesterday in a 31-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Late in the game the Jets scored a touchdown to bring the score to 31-30 (the pending extra point would have tied the game). But the game officials ruled that the Jets had called a timeout just before the ball was snapped. This, of course, nullified the touchdown. At first viewing it didn’t look like anybody called a timeout but television replays showed that Jets Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg had signaled a timeout from the sideline. What is really wrong with this is that only a head coach can call a timeout from the sideline. So the timeout that cost the Jets a chance to tie the game was, by rule, not allowed to be called.

Game officials will say that when the snap is imminent they cannot take their eyes off the field of play to verify who is calling the timeout. This is understandable. But the rule exists so there must be a mechanism to enforce it. Unfortunately for the Jets yesterday that mechanism doesn’t exist.

I’ve listened to the new U2 album, “Songs of Innocence”, several times since it was released as part of Apple’s iPhone 6 announcement last week. As a long time U2 fan I was excited for the new release. The actual songs on the album, however, tempered my excitement.

I had heard rumors that they were working on something so I wasn’t surprised there was something new but I was surprised at the Apple promotion. Still, it was new U2 so I gave it a listen as soon as possible. Needless to say, based on what I’ve written so far, I am underwhelmed by the new tracks.

Though there are some points that I enjoy there is really nothing new here. The songs, of course, are new but there’s nothing about their execution that is new. I could swear I’ve heard some of these tunes on other U2 albums. It’s just the same sound in different packaging. They’re no longer originating their sound but rather just sounds like their old material.

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