One small note from a man, one giant email for humankind

A friend of mine just received one of those weird blank emails you sometimes see, dated 1969-12-31. Oh, I know what you’re going to say: it’s a server glitch, or the email program has a bug. Sure. You believe your thing.

Me? I like to think those emails actually come from Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 astronaut who had to spend a day orbiting the moon—cut off from all human contact, even radio—while Armstrong and Aldrin bounced around on it. How did he cope with being the loneliest person in history? I think he beamed messages into space… messages that ultimately bounced off some distant world or massive as-yet-undetected object, and have only now returned to us, transformed into email. All the data has been lost in the transformation; only the year of transmission remains.

So if you get one, just respond, “Hi, Michael—hang in there. You guys make it back fine.”

The Apollo 11 crew portrait. Left to right are...

Michael’s the one in the middle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh! The Things That You’ll Tweet!

To celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday today, HootSuite has posted a really clever Dr.-Seuss-inflected guide to Twitter, and invited their friends and followers to share their own rhymes, hashtagged #HootSeuss.

Naturally, I found myself helpless to resist. (P.S.—I have nothing against live TV tweeting. It just scanned and rhymed so. well.) And so…

Oh! The things that you’ll tweet!

Oh, the things that you’ll tweet! Oh, the news you will share!
The wisdom you’ll show! The truth you’ll lay bare!
And then Twitter rewards you for all you have tried
when you wake up to find your account’s verified.
It’s all been worthwhile, tweeting all of that dreck,
now that your name appears next to that check.

You’ll tweet about breakfast!
You’ll tweet about memes!
You’ll tweet about farting—
well, that’s how it seems.

You’ll tweet about TV.
You’ll tweet sappy notes.
(On your very worst days?
Inspirational quotes.)

You’ll gain plenty of followers each time you tweet.
They’ll shower you with mentions and favourites so sweet.
You’ll soon know you’ve figured this Twitter thing out
as evidenced by your ever-increasing Klout.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

It’s hard to believe but
you need to know that
sometimes your very best
tweets will fall flat.

Your hashtags may wither,
your snark gone unheard.
Your follower numbers
may drop by a third.

You will come to a place where you soon realize
that sometimes your content unhappily dies.
Especially if you’re trying to force something viral.
That’s when you enter a bad downward spiral
and feeling defeated, and feeling goodbye-ral.

Could your Twitter fame have been sadly so fleeting?
What content will save you? Live TV show tweeting?
A desperate grab for some new trending trope?
Or maybe, just maybe, there may be some hope.
Some force in the darkness may throw you a rope.

Somehow you’ll escape
tweeting drivel and pap.
You’ll drag yourself out
of that trivial crap.

You’ll look deep inside you,
and you’ll make the choice:
to speak loud and clear
with your very own voice.

So…
whether you’re heard by a million and two,
or even if nobody’s following you,
you have something to say!
Come down off that shelf.
You don’t need to be GaGa.
Just come be yourself.

Update: Oh, for god’s sake—they tweeted about it today, but I just noticed that the actual blog post was from last year. It’s still terrific.

I believe crash reports should be worth reading (10)

(crash report for Firefox) I think the aging starcraft knew as I did that the next time would be our last: that they'd have us—and with us, the Arcturan Protocol. That was the one eventuality I couldn't accept. I flipped the control yolk over, centered the implacable rock of the asteroid directly in my sights, and in a moment I will gun the thrusters to overdrive. If you are reading this message, please know I did all I could. Long live the Galactic Assembly.

I think the aging starcraft knew as I did that the next time would be our last: that they’d have us—and with us, the Arcturan Protocol. That was the one eventuality I couldn’t accept. I flipped the control yolk over, centered the implacable rock of the asteroid directly in my sights, and in a moment I will gun the thrusters to overdrive. If you are reading this message, please know I did all I could. Long live the Galactic Assembly. [message ends]

Has your Mac stopped connecting with your favorite Bluetooth device? This might help.

I'm not the Bluetooth logo - I'm a SHARK!Oh, Bluetooth. You’re the technology that keeps almost working. You’re convenient and effortless until the moment you really aren’t.

For example: my MacBook Pro recently stopped recognizing my Apple wireless trackpad. Nothing I did helped: rebooting, resetting, unpairing, changing batteries, burning an entire tofurkey as a sacrifice to Tim Cook.

Finally, I hit on a solution that worked for me and, if you have a similar problem, might work for you too. (Bear in mind I’m no engineer, and what worked for me may wind up burning your house down and turning your pets feral.) It requires you to register as an Apple Developer, but requires no geekiness beyond that. Here’s the process:

  1. Create an Apple Developer account at https://developer.apple.com/register/index.action. It’s free. You do not have to be a developer to do this.
  2. Head to the Downloads page at https://developer.apple.com/downloads/index.action. Search for “xcode”.
  3. Find “Hardware IO Tools for Xcode” and spin down the triangle menu. Download the disk image.
  4. Open the disk image, and launch Bluetooth Explorer.
  5. Under the Tools menu, choose “Device Cache Explorer.” Delete the cache for the device in question by selecting it from the list on the left and then clicking the minus button below.
  6. Reboot. Now try pairing.
  7. If you still have no luck, launch Bluetooth Explorer again, open Device Cache Explorer and click “Delete All” to remove all of your devices. (This may require you to pair again with any other devices you use.) Reboot. Now try pairing.

Did it work? Great!

Still no luck? Well, maybe start checking the grocery ads for a good deal on tofurkey.