Top 3 Chrome extensions + honorable mention

So chrome is a pretty sweet browser. I work in IT, so I need extensions that aren’t annoying and are useful. Every once in a while I like to have fun though, so I also use chrome extensions that provide some fun. Links to each extension/site on the image/s.

1. Probably the most useful of the chrome extensions to me is the google hangouts extension. I use this regularly to keep in touch with people who I work with, and also my friends.  There’s some crap that’s annoying about it though, for example when it updates itself it will open/close on its own, or sometimes I set my preferences to not open when I launch chrome , but it does anyways. I put this at number 1 simply because I am reliant on it for communication since gmail addys are becoming a standard.

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2. AdBlockPlus – This thing is almost essential for browsing the web as some sites are just plain evil with the way they have popups and fake news advertisements.  Sites are basically moving to not allowing you to see their content/play their videos unless you unblock them, so that part of why this comes in at number 2.

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3.The last place, and arguably fighting for second place is McAfee WebAdvisor. It’s actually one of my favorites because it’s kind of nice to have warnings or know if a search result has been tested BEFORE you browse to it. I also like that it stops you if you are going to a site that it has documented as dangerous. I have found a few flaws with it, like sometimes blocking sites wrongly, but overall it’s useful.

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Honorable Mention: truer

So this extension is pretty interesting.  I have just recently been messing with it and it’s kinda fun. It’s this bar that you can show/hide for a page you are on, and it shows what people using the extension voted on that page. It also has a chat, but there are no usernames, which is kind of strange maybe, but I personally find the anonymity refreshing. It also seems like they have it feeding live data because when I was using it the vote changed while I was on a page. It looks like they have a web version also.

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2-02-2016 random short rant

So my brain likes to think that there are good people, and there are bad people, but it’s not that simple. There are people indoctrinated by other people who were indoctrinated to kill/lie/manipulate/etc, and so behavior in truth becomes less about personal decision and more about upbringing.  So I guess what pisses me off is the people who weren’t indoctrinated, or have any other excuse to be shitty human beings, yet are. I think the sick part is society gives them a pacifier and says “oh it’s not your fault”… SURE let’s blame Obama/Guns/Economy/Internet/Drugs/Society/Teachers/Food/Candy/etc.. I am not saying there aren’t times when that’s the cause of the issue, but I am saying focusing on external influence instead of how we handle it internally might not be the best route. We spend so much time attempting to shift blame instead of changing how we respond internally to the external. I feel like we keep attempting to blame everyone but ourselves.  I can admit it – I SCREW UP IN LIFE…., and I attempt to learn from my mistakes to prevent it in the future. Knowing you made a mistake and not accepting responsibility is like knowing the answer to a question and mumbling the wrong answer because everyone else is …

 

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What are you going to blog about?

“What are you going to blog about?”

“Mainly just how everyone is insanely delusional and nice people seem to always get the shaft unless they live in a constantly paranoid heightened sense”

And so begins my neural stream of rambling thoughts on the topic… It seems like at some point, possibly around 1998, the world started to slowly go insane.  Suddenly, it’s like it wasn’t as safe for kids to be outside on their own.  Flash forward to current day – Parents get their children taken away for letting their children walk home, and any form of controlled physical discipline on children is almost seen as child abuse. The great part is that I don’t have to take any stance on these topics, but instead sit back and watch people kill themselves over it.  Is the fact that I am not broadcasting my stance on it up for attack? Why of course it is, you savvy internet Troll.

The problem with society doesn’t seem to be it’s people, it seems to be its concepts.  People are a result of their upbringing and cultural exposure to a large extent.  Do some humans have more of a genetic tendency for violence? Yes, genetically some do, but a large part of it is how the brain hard-wires neural pathways from experiences that reinforce or reject behavior that is innate or learned. Take for example crying.  A baby may cry for attention because it’s the only thing it instinctively knows to do, but as it ages and becomes aware of the advantage of crying, the baby quickly turns the crying into a tool to get what he or she wants.  This is where discipline begins. If people are going to say that we should encompass “all feelings”, and embrace all the wonderful things that make us human, they are basically bat-shit crazy. We’d have a world filled with people who constantly cried and freaked out when things don’t go their way, an infinite amount of serial killers, and absolutely no form of order or chance for a stable existence. The sad part is perhaps that it seems the world is heading in this direction.

I am a firm believer in knowledge.  Some people believe in an all encompassing love and a magical serendipitous universe that provides things in perfect harmony with their chakras. I tend to look at the human history and things like Supernovas, Pompeii and the Holocaust as a basis for what makes up the universe, nature and humanity. Does that mean I am right and they are wrong? No, it just means that our history and science is a record of our behavior as humans, and perhaps is a better benchmark when it comes to making conclusions about the world we live in.. but even that needs to be scrutinized.

The search for the reality and the state of how society truly operates inevitably leads to paranoia.  You quickly learn about political scandals, congress constantly failing, black-op CIA drug trafficking, and cover-ups. This is one side of the fence.

The other side of the fence is the people who jump in to the mess and take “righteous stands” for one belief or another, and have “something to fight for”.

Suddenly it’s like there is this cultural push, out of nowhere, that has insanely over-sensitive ideals that corrupt not only the government, but the very functioning of society. Did I offend you yet? Well, if you are offended already, that is exactly the problem.  We no longer are looking at things as variables and viewpoints and knowledge, but instead there is a new kid on the block.  That annoying little brat who always says “I am right and you are wrong”. It’s the staunch, wanna-be middle class opinionated, and blind people who simply like to try to justify a view that is seen as “progressive” or “modern”.

The innate problem with this new subculture popping up everywhere is that it’s kind of like Hammer-pants.  I remember in 8th grade when Hammer-pants were suddenly cool. It lasted for about 3 months. The issue is that this new progressive thought is a form of Hammer-pants. Some progressive political views make sense, but it seems like this form of sub-cultural movement steals our autonomy. The ability to make rational, informed decisions is what makes humans collectively powerful as a species. The ability to follow a crowd and subscribe to new ideas without full details and disclosure is what makes us puppets.

Poisonous Honey

Blind to reasons and consequences, only concerned with what they will receive in return. Buy, sell, trade, lie, take, and give. All of it done with a thick veil of honey covering their eyes. Only seeing the sweetness of the honey and not that it causes them to be blind. Some of them push the thickness away from their eyes and become separate – unwelcome to the mass of predictable, blind sloshing and chaos that is considered normalcy. The comfortable fluidity and hastening of life that leads to a meaningless end can be avoided if only we would stop and see we were covered in poisonous, blinding honey.

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Creatures of Habit.

I read a facebook post tonight where someone was talking about brainwashing themselves into being successful. Sure, maybe it’s possible, but to truly condition yourself into a particular direction, you have to reform yourself of all of the other crap that you do that might take up time. Maybe it’s picking up a snack now and then whenever you feel like it, and maybe that snack is healthy, but the question is do you truly need the snack because you are hungry, or are you buying it because you “felt” like it.

We are creatures of habit from the minute we are born. When we are young, we are taught to ask, cry, or do something to attain what we want. Maybe it’s using puppy dog eyes and whining, or maybe it’s reciting a list of everything you have done for everyone lately….. Regardless, we learn that this is the way the world works.

Once we have established a way to have money of our own, suddenly everything is different. We no longer have to ask, and we can make small decisions based on impulses or desires. You might spend $80 on tickets to go to a concert, or you spend $1.79 for a fruit drink. What happens over many years of this new found “freedom” is that we latch on to cycles that we find the most comfortable or logical. Soon, we have a pattern that we like to stick to. We start to build schedules and become complacent in the repetition of what appears to be stability. Next thing you know it’s been 5 years.

The problem is that we spend too much time searching for the perfect cycle… the perfect “pattern” to be a solution to what life truly is.

Is life really about finding something that is acceptable and functional and repeating it until you die?

I see a mass of humanity dependent on technology for answers, corporations for living, and mass media for intellectual stimulation. We aren’t feeding the well-being of our own lives. We are looking to machines for our free time and our questions, and we are giving our time and our money to rich corporations that continuously produce foul products and are frequently involved in dishonest behavior and scandals.

I guess my point is that we could all get hit by a meteor tomorrow, and what would any of us have to show for it.

Sure I had a job, and I have an education, but ultimately, what have I accomplished? Have I changed the world? Nope.

There are so many problems in the world it’s easy to feel defeated and go along with the slaughter of our futures… This simply drags things further down. People speak of revolutions against governments and riots for change. I hate to say it, but these times are gone. We would get our asses handed to us, and bring about our own police state if we sincerely tried.

So what can you do?

Well…… The people who truly shaped me in my life are few and far between. The people who had a positive impact on my life (besides family) that lasted are the people you wouldn’t expect.

An old man gave me a ride to school one day and talked to me in his car. “So do you like school?” he asked. “Not really.” I said back. “Well you can quit, but then what will you do?”. I didn’t know what else I would do, but at the moment it didn’t matter.

This old man, in the span of about 4 seconds, taught me how to think about my future.

This is what we can do. We can help people see their lives and that they have the power to change them and control them. We often feel like we “have” to do things, while we really don’t. It’s that we get so immersed in trying to fit in and belong that we forget who we are and what we might be capable of if we try.

Looping through a json array in php

So one of the things I have encountered while working on my web project, is the need to display a json array through php. After seeing some different methods, I was curious if it could be accomplished via a for loop.

In this example, the $_SESSION variable is a json array.

<?php
$test = json_decode($_SESSION['json_array'], TRUE);
for ($i = 0; $i <= sizeof($test)-1; $i++) {
echo $test[$i]['yourkeyvalue']."
“;
}
?>

Work like a charm. 🙂

Solution to Ajax polling.

Polling is basically a timed ajax request. Every 1,5,10etc seconds, a request is made via ajax to check for new information. Facebook uses polling for status updates, comments, messages, and more.

When setting up polling, the first concern is if you are connecting to a database. A constant timed query to a db can really slow a site down, because you can be asking mysql to check messages at the same time a user decides to navigate to another page.

I was at work, pondering this debacle, and arrived at a handy solution. Let’s say you are polling a messaging system, and you’d like your messages to be checked in mysql every 5 seconds. When a user sends a message to another user, along with entering the message to your message table, you have the user name sent to an xml file. The xml file is named md5(‘recieving username’).xml. Now, you set your poll request to check the xml file every 5 seconds. If there’s nothing in the xml file, no connection to the database is needed. If there is something, php tells mysql to pull the record from the database. This will keep the database connections to a minimum.