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Closing up shop

For the last couple of years, I've found myself drifting away from LiveJournal. More and more, it's just not what I'm looking for in a blogging platform or social network. I post extremely infrequently now, rarely read my friends' blog posts, and don't do the upkeep that I should.

I don't think this is LiveJournal's fault. It's still a great platform. It's just not the right platform for me.

This is largely because of changes in my own life. I have far less time for blogging, and what little of it I do have I use on my own website (quick plug: find it here). Between work, parenting, and writing, I just don't have the time or, honestly, the inclination to maintain a social network that by its nature needs a lot of my focus to be useful. I didn't want LJ to become little more than a feed for my website, but that's what it's become.

So it's time I admit this to myself. I've been a paying member for years, and I've been proud to support LJ both monetarily and by praising it. It's still praiseworthy. But since it doesn't fit my needs anymore, it's time to take down my shingle, close up shop, and call it a day.

In real-world terms, this means the following:
  • I've migrated my old posts to my website, along with every conversation.
  • I'm not going to post to or otherwise maintain this journal anymore.
  • For social networking needs, I can be found on Google+. It has features that I find highly useful as a writer, such as the ability to do group webcam chats on the fly. The ability to have impromptu writing dates with writers all over the world is, without a doubt, a killer feature.
  • For traditional blogging, I can (sometimes) be found on my website. I'm not going to lie... Updates there are infrequent, too. But at least they happen.
To all the good friends I made while I was here, thank you -- and sorry it took me so long to accept that I'd reached this point, while my journal languished and my connections to all of you withered. Hope I see you around these here intarwebs.



Someone please explain to me the appeal of tablet computers. I just don't get it. For plain old media consumption, I suppose there's some convenience with the slim form-factor. It's probably easy to take a tablet to the bedroom to watch a movie or surf the web. But that's the only use I can really see for it. And a laptop fulfills that function with the added benefits of a larger, higher-resolution screen and a built-in stand.*

For content producers (writers, editors, bloggers, etc.) the lack of a keyboard seems to be a real show-stopper of a defect, at least to me. If I can't input text at anywhere near 70 words per minute (my usual typing speed), then I just don't see the point.

Tablets seem to occupy an uncomfortable middle ground between PDA/MP3 player/smartphone style devices and full-fledged mobile computers. They're not as easily portable as the smaller devices, they're not as useful as the laptops they hope to replace, and I can't see myself adding one to the list of electronics I'm willing to carry around with me.

Then there are netbooks, lightweight laptops which accomplish the slimmer form-factor, yet provide actual keyboards. This seems to be the target niche tablets would like to take over, but I'm not seeing why anyone would want to replace a netbook with what amounts to a neutered netbook.

So explain it to me: If a laptop can do everything a tablet can (and do it better), and a smartphone is more portable, why on Earth does anyone buy them?

*On a side note, I should start marketing laptops as "tablet computers with a built-in stand you can type on!"

Happy birthday, me!

34 years ago today, I came into the world. It was probably a noisy and messy affair.


End of Chapter 1.

OK, that's it for the first chapter of my weird little experimental fiction piece. In a few days, I'll be marking all of these posts as private prior to moving them to my new website, where I'll post future chapters, and this will become a blog again. (Don't bother trying to find my new website yet, it's not live. I hope to bring it online next month.)

Thank you for putting up with this.







Did we get a single thing in that scan? Do I have to go and look for him myself? Do you know who the rebel is yet? Or are you fuckwits so goddamned incompetent I have to come all the way to fucking Oregon and do the work myself? There is a right answer, and there is a wrong answer. Don't pick the wrong answer. -J.S.



(Reminder: Original data is available here)

Falsified, obviously. Extract all the embedded data, and it's easy to see why. The impact alone should have killed him. Even if, by some well-scanned miracle, he survived the crash without dying immediately, the blood-loss afterwards should have finished the job. Survival and subsequent disappearance would have aroused too much suspicion, so J.S. was forced into falsification. And believe me, he is pissed. If we don't find the missing subject, and identify the rebel who assisted him, we are all in so much shit we might as well get ourselves scanned.











Public decoders have been identified. (See QR code example: http://zxing.org/w/decode.jspx). Knowledge imparted is limited. Only native reading grants the reader affinity with the code. However, per J.S., these decoders may still be regarded as a net benefit. They allow us to attract the attention of more readers who might otherwise remain ignorant, without endangering ourselves. The risk is minimal, the potential reward great. I strongly believe this channel is still secure.