29 September 2022

F**king Up A Good Thing

(Language Alert)

For the past two days I've been struggling to get a new Facebook page set up and working the way I want it to as an information gateway for the ARES Southeastern US Situational Awareness Map. It's been a few years since I've set up a Facebook page. In the old days (say, before all this Metaverse crap), it was a straightforward process - throw some pictures and content into a standard (Classic) template, invite a few viewers and away you go.

But the Facebook page creation process has become so ridiculously complex and so stuffed full of bullshit like diversity virtue signaling settings and really, really crass revenue drivers ("Hey, invite your friends and make a buck off of them!") that it's a huge distraction, and you never really know just what's going on in the back end of what you are trying to build out.

As an admin you get pop-up crap like this all the time - on a simple informational page:

Sorry Zuckerbeg, but I'm not interested in pimping out my buddies for a few bucks.

I don't run a business and I'm not interested in posting my personal phone number for the world to see, and I have zero interest in WhatsApp.

I'm no newbie at this web development thing. I've either set up or admin at five very active Facebook sites, and I contribute heavily to others. I develop and run my own websites and, of course, this blog. In my professional life I manage almost a quarter million dollars of web development activity each year. I know what good web development tools and environments look like. The current iteration of Facebook ain't it. In fact, Facebook sucks at it.

The complexity of the FB page creation process is now mind-numbing, and a huge time suck. It's clear Facebook is pushing the platform further and further away from it's roots of simple page development and more towards a highly commercialized platform designed solely to vacuum up personal data for profit. Yes, Facebook was always like that, but at least they offered value in return - easy site creation and a fun place to hang out with friends who shared your interests. Now it's more professional developers, overly complex configuration, monetizing every damned mouse click, and virtue signaling all over the place.

I'm going to go looking for a different platform to achieve what I've been trying to get done. Right now I'm not sure if it'll be a blog or a web page. So stay tuned.

W8BYH out

20 September 2022

Deja-vu All Over Again

Or should this be titled Groundhog Day?

Hurricane Fiona tracked just offshore of Puerto Rico on Sunday, and wiped out virtually all power on the island and severely damaged other infrastructure. This is almost five years to the day that Hurricane Maria did her best to wipe Puerto Rico completely off the map.

There's a question and an observation here. First the question. Post Maria, the federal government pumped billions of dollars into Puerto Rico to help rebuild and harden the infrastructure. My question now is, what failed, and why? What did those billions buy? It certainly doesn't look like it bought any effective infrastructure improvements. I can understand some of the island going dark, or even a lot of the island going dark, but to have the entire island go dark should be raising red flags regarding infrastructure investment and how the money was spent. My suspicion is that, given the current political climate, those questions will remain unasked.

Now the observation. I've said this repeatedly, I don't care how good your infrastructure is, Mother Nature will have her way. Think about it - the entire island is without power. No phone, no internet, no lights, no clean water, nothing. Yesterday you were watching Game of Thrones and surfing the internet, today you're trying to figure out if your relatives in the village on the other side of the ridgeline are still alive. A total service outage can, and at some point will, happen. 

Are you ready?

W8BYH out