Dave The Web Guy

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Latest Troubles.

That Podcast We Once Did


Image of bad guy on porch.

Link to the Low Barrier podcast on Spotify.

I was about to create a page here at my blog linking to all of the Low Barrier Podcast episodes that my buddy and I produced weekly (mostly) between March and June of 2022.

But said co-host, Mister Jim Rogers, called my attention to the fact that, incredibly, Spotify still hosts them directly.  I didn't think the audio streaming sites did that.

But cool, they can spring for the bandwidth in making them available, and I can call everyone's attention to that collection easily in just one blog post like this.  

Production of the podcast began to sputter when the time commitment to producing each episode began to swallow up an entire day, and even more.  First we began to miss a week here and there, and then finally, I was set to move and pretty much wound up using that turbulent event as an excuse to pause, then eventually backburn, then abandon, the project.

Aside from doing something consistently constructive - for awhile - the endeavor was very positive for me in that it gave me real respect for podcasters, YouTubers, and all forms of digital creators and influencers who manage to stay focused and non-distracted, adhering to a schedule around their jobs and families, to maintain grit and make names for themselves.  It's not easy to do!

If I'm (we?) are able to ever try it again and actually succeed, it will be grounded in the experience and lessons learned from before.

It was absolutely worth it!

  By Dave for Personal Blog.


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Thanks for the Push, Elon


The broken or maybe deliberately dismantled embed feature of Twitter has really thrown me into a digital tizzy.  That feature allowed me to keep at least some component of my website here updated at a far more frequent rate with all forms of media.  Text, images, and video.  I actually paid for Twitter because when you consider the latter two components, images and video, for purposes of instant publishing right from your phone, Twitter was a hosting bargain.

My first instinct was to wait out Twitter's issue (which I can now safely affirm what everyone else has been saying around me, seems to have a name called Elon Musk).  But then in short order I found myself seeing the break as an opportunity to finally move my reliance and focus on any commercial conversation or content platform, and "perfect" my activities on my personal self-managed websites and blogs.

As I mentioned in a previous post, in doing so I seem to have stumbled into a growing community of people who feel the same way and are, in my interpretation, giving up the "reach" of commercial platform services in favor of a more vertical presence involving their own hardware and software, or at least managed services that they directly control. 

For example, I signed up with a managed Mastodon instance hoster for my own Mastodon instance.  Mastodon has a method for embedding (look in the right column of my blog), so that I can once again instantly publish media or the short quips I think need to be included at my website seamlessly as a matter of pure congruity.

But then again, I also worked on my Battle Blog code (Battle Blog being the official product name of the self-written engine you are reading this from now) so that I could in fact, albeit in a very controlled way that I would not have to deal with if I used, say, Instagram or Twitter again, immediately post media directly from my phone whenever from wherever. 

That new capability sort of competes in function to having the Mastodon feed since it might not be clear why if I have an "instant publish solution" built right into the blog engine itself now, that I need Mastodon or even the old Twitter embed.

That might be a valid reason to dump Mastodon as fast as I signed up for it, but we'll see if there's anything to it before I do.  I think that beyond the embedding feature, producing and having record of your content out there in the Fediverse is important too.

To wrap up this record of thought, I want to call attention to the restoration of Dave's List of Blogs Done Right, which is an effort to list all the commercial-free active blogs I happen to encounter or have my attention called to.  If you like casually perusing content without fear of sensory intrusion (ads, pop-ups, etc.), this directory will keep you busy with a cup of coffee for awhile.

  By Dave for Personal Blog.

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Saturday Night Live - My Way


Here's how I'm spending tonight. Ears to the scanners (well one of them if you take note of the power indicators) while I prep up a major change to the BuffScan persona. Not to mention also working on this express image feature that sort of works like a private Instagram. The two projects go hand in hand.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

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I Blew It All Up


I blew it all up.

This picture of me is literally the moment I realized what I had done.  I had the wherewithal to capture the Dave Cam image at the time to within a few seconds.

I was casting a new iteration of Battle Blog for another project when I forgot to cite a different database name other than the one that I was casting anew from  -- this one to be precise. 

So, when I pressed the button to do it, it reconstituted away three years of posts -- about 120 of them I estimate -- while building out the new instance.  Not to mention all the subscribed users and comments.  Sparse both I assure, but each very, very valued nonetheless.

Though not recent enough, I did have a back up from just before Christmas which you can see that I managed to restore with.  But, for my posts since about then, I had to refer to my RSS service for their text and rebuild that content manually.  

All in all a good save though you'll find the latest posts are a little out of order as a result.  And any comments on my most recent posts?  Like I say, toast. :(

Now, there's going to be some confusion here because last night I issued out some proactive user accounts.  These users got usernames for the site, a pre-fab password, and a big ol' welcome message.  Now, if those same people, which thankfully only amount to a few intimates who probably won't even try taking advantage of the wonderful invite in any event, were to actually do so, they won't find that those accounts work.  For you folks, it was a painful stretch in the first place to create them, so, if you wind up here, please just make your own accounts at this point. ;)

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

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Encryption As Just the Beginning


I manage my Buffscan content with a bold concept in mind:  To restore the cognizance of police and other public safety activity in communities where such agencies have encrypted their radio systems.  And, specifically, through the development of some human based "parallel" radio and digital media network operated by enthusiasts and journalists at the chaotic level.

But let me be clear here: Encrypted radio systems are not necessarily the sole motivation behind the development of such networks.

Encrypted radio systems are really just a milestone marker for the degradation wrought by more complex technological advances.  Even where agencies do not encrypt their traffic outright, more and more communication occurs "in the dark" by way of mobile data consoles or one-to-one communication over private cellular or near-cellular phone networks. 

Pushing successful public access policies with respect to radio traffic would certainly resolve the most convenient vantage point for a curious public -- people could sit back and continue to "just listen" -- but such policies would be, in the bigger picture, limited.  People can do better.  Cognizance can have a much, much, wider range.

Public access policies where they may be enacted might actually have the affect of slowing down the evolution of my proposals in totality of "the vision".

I haven't given a workable label for this parallel "human based network", but I'm always mulling it.  I tend to consider a name for it much like a novelist might for the title of a book they are working on, best given once the story of it all has taken a more concrete form.  In essence, at this point I am content to let the story write its own title.

It is interesting to note that here in Buffalo where I find myself geographically, most of anything the typical scanning hobbyist or a member of the working media, isn't actually encrypted.  While most of it is all digital, it is all "in the clear", requiring only more expensive police scanners than what might have been required prior to the 2000s.

That being said, we can anticipate that Buffalo public safety will hop on the encryption band wagon as the risk of doing so is always there at every upgrade juncture. 

As an example, my birth county of Luzerne Pennsylvania switched on police encryption during just such a casual upgrade only a few weeks ago.  In doing so, local officials proactively honored a public access-friendly policy of keeping fire and medical transmissions in the clear, so, that community will at least continue be aware of things that "rise to the level of fire trucks".

But that is not the trend or the rule of compelling temptation, when it comes to agencies that find themselves on the fence.  And in any event, it's again, not the full gist of what can be had by an outright replacement for police scanning.

The cause and reason for a human network only begins with the reality of public safety radio encryption, but is much deeper.  It is not tolerable that there be a cluster of police lights or police action, unexplained except through the conduits of official police press releases, or profit-driven media, unofficially "deputized" with private backroom access over regular people, of which media workers are just.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

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New URL and Name for A Place to Paste


The former "A Place to Paste" is now "A Tab to Paste".

The renaming has a bit to do with clumsiness in keeping up with my web domain registrations, but, it's all good.  

It made me think about a better name that incorporates the best way to use the utility, which has always been to use it in a persistently open browser tab.

You can read the specific details about how to use this Dave the Web Guy utility here.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

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Porting Posts


So here I go again!

Once again I am juggling my hosting arrangements so that I can web publish more affordably but also more efficiently.  

That means for a bit, you're going to see some fresh posts here that are actually old posts from blogs that I previously ran under individual presentations.  I am porting over key entries and then deleting those presentations, redirecting any domains to equivalent pages and entry categories at this blog.

I could go into the database and meticiously change the data so that the posts rendered in a more proper flow, but I did that once for a similar dance years ago, and man, it just wasn't worth it.  Once the migration is over all those posts just wind up stateless in the archive anyway.

I have just completed the port of BuffScan, which means there is now a BuffScan page within this blog's presentation.  Look for the same approach for Earl Pin Astrology, Wilkes-Barre Rail, and Tampa Rail.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

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Earl Pin Astrology Launches


The first real blog (aside from my personal blog, this one, which serves as the development iteration) to use Battle Blog 3.0 is Earl Pin Astrology

Earl Pin Astrology Logo

I use it to talk about astrological topics which is a subject I've been interested in for years though, despite so, this interest has been rather dormant since about the time I was 20-something or so when chart analysis and interpretation were a daily thing for me.  

Since about that time I quietly kept up on interesting articles and practices but didn't overtly carry on about it so much or offer to chart anyone other than the occasional love interest or family member.

My interest renewed in light of the apparent cultural resurgence in astrology, making it relevant again.  At 50+ now, I find myself in social circles with an iota of something to say with any depth that actually impresses people when the topic comes up.  Who'd have figured? 

I am proud to marry my interest in blogging and astrology to produce the first real Battle Blog 3.0 presentation.  Look it over, register, and also consider subscribing to the YouTube channel which I plan to use to address any commentary that arises from the discussion.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

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Get Me To One Hundred On Earl Pin


I am in the final stages of launching Earl Pin Astrology.  It's the first online theater expansion of my Battle Blog 3.0 project.  I have several that will launch over 2020 and 2021 utilizing the new mobile-friendly platform, but Earl Pin Astrology has been one of the most important to me now for several months.

I am adding a YouTube component to it which is not something I do with all my blogs but in this case I believe it fits naturally and has productive value. 

Here's the thing though, I want a custom YouTube URL instead of the weird numerically cryptic one they give you by default when you first set up a channel.  But apparently, to get it, you need to qualify in a number of different ways.  This must be a new requirement or something because I was able to get one for my personal channel which I don't even think has five, let alone one hundred, subscribers.

Here those requirements are in a paste:

Paste of YouTube requirements for a custom URL.

YouTube Requirements for a custom URL.

Here Is Where I Need Your Help

Some of those requirements will take place over time naturally and others I can mitigate through production.  But the one that I need the most help with is the first one requiring 100 subscribers.

I need the help because I need that fast.

That one is going to take a very, very, long time, left to its own devices.  Yet, I need a custom URL the most quickly because the good ones are up for being sniped away.  As well, its value at the start of my production is far more potent than later.  

You'd be doing me a great solid if you could join the Earl Pin Astrology conversation immediately by subscribing to the channel.  If you're interested in the craft, even if as a staunch skeptic and critic, I am promising to make it one of the most interesting subscriptions in your YouTube feed.

If you're not interested in astrology, then hopefully I can count on you to subscribe simply as a matter of friendly support.  Maybe you'll wind up more engaged with the topic than you think!

The blog I mentioned at the outset is online but I am not yet sharing that URL while I complete its configuration.  If you want to be added to that mailing list use my contact page to shoot me that email.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.


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Test of a Summary Entry


This is the first test of a summary entry.  Such summaries will be included with most postings and will reflect in social media postings and the RSS feed.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.


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The Blog is Live and I'm Here


Battle Blog 3.0 is -- working --, my blog is up, and, I'm here.

This blog is the live development model which I am dog-fooding to completion.  That means parts of it don't work or don't work fully and that all the fancy bells and whistles of my previous blogs (beyond the basic functionality) are way down the priority list.  The fixes and those prized features that defined the original Battle Blog will all gradually come back online over the months and years.  If the detail matters, I've deemed this new responsive-design (ugh) iteration Battle Blog 3.0.

Normally I cringe at incomplete projects on the web -- I'd obsess over a broken link or two while being operated on by doctors if I were cognizant of the fact at the time.  But this code re-write from scratch is too big even for me to expect that I can smooth out a launch in just a few weekends.  The original Battle Blog took me over 8 years.

This is the only way to do it.

But let's be more frank, I can afford the time because everyone knows nobody visits blogs as a point of leisure anymore, least of all mine.  You the reader I imagine, isn't even here.  I can afford to walk this re-do and nobody is going to notice.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

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