The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Google Voice Bug Helps Me Get Fit :-(

Is Google Voice living or dying?  Who knows.

It has long standing bugs, such as not providing a correct count of messages in its icon badge:
Google Voice iOS notifications not working for new voicemail - Google Product Forums: "Google Voice iOS notifications not working for new voicemail"
Until today, I thought that the problem was that was following the Google "archive, not search" approach.  And also that I forward SMS text messages from Google Voice to my iPhone, where I handle them in Messenger, so historically have not gone to Voice to delete or archive them there.  I even thought that this might be a feature, since the iPhone Messenger app has no archive feature - if you want to have an uncluttered screen, ya gotta delete them iPhone messages!

But for some reason today I thought that I might try to actually use Google Voice, enabling its badge count, etc.

PROBLEM: my Google Voice badge count is stuck at 1,168.

So, I thought that I might try to archive all of my Google Voice, emptying the Inbox.

PROBLEM: Google Voice has no easy way to manage large numbers of messages all at once.  It only allows you to handle one screenful at a time.

In the past I might have handled this with AppleScript.   But macOS Sierra has gotten stricter about allowing "accessibility" apps to send keystrokes and mouseclicks and read the screen.  So my old scripts don't work, and since I am switching from Mac back to PC, I did not want to spend time learning how to make them trusted.

THEREFORE, I decided to do it by hand.

Well, not quite.  I created a keyboard macro that allowed me to select and archive or delete a screenful of Google Voice messages with one button press.  And then I started dancing in front of my computer, repeatedly pressing the button.

I created the button using Quadro, a "User Interface Extension" that runs on iPhones and iPads, and allows you to create buttons that execute short sequences of osascript commands or keyboard shorcuts.

PROBLEM: Quadro cannot send mouseclicks.  AutoHotKey on a PC can, but I didn't go there.

So I danced.  Why "dancing in front of my PC"?

Well, I'm a FitBit addict.  I needed my steps.  I could not walk around while doing this, but I could stand in front of my PC, hold my iPad in my hands, and press the button while watching the screen, re-pressing every time a screenful of messages was selected and Archived.

PROBLEM:  the Gvoice badge count was not the Inbox count.  Nor the Unread count.  Nor the missed count.  Nor...

By this time, I was  getting stubborn.  So I first archived, and then when that did not work I deleted, every single Google Voice message. In every folder or category.

I am happy to say I got my steps in. More than 4000 steps.

Unfortunately, with my Google Voice account totally empty, I still see 1,168 on the Google Voice badge count.

Uninstall, reinstall.  Reboot.

Ah, that did it.

So now my Google Voice account is absolutely empty.

And I reached my step goal for the day.




But it sucks that this app, like so many Google products, has an absolutely lousy user interface for any "maintenance" tasks like this.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Google Cookie Notice

Blogger: Krazy Glew's Blog - All posts: "European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent.

As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies.

You are responsible for confirming this notice actually works for your blog, and that it displays. "
Google tells me I am responsible for the verifying the cookies notice... but they also tell me "If you use a custom domain, you won't see the notice outside of the EU." Well, I do use a custom domain, and I can't see the cookies notice because I am not in the EU. I don't think I have modified anything that would affect Google's cookies, but shit happens - if it isn't tested, it probably doesn't work. So, how do I test it? Pay for a VPN to make me look like I am coming from the EU? Run my browser through TOR?

Since you, Google/Blogger/Blogspot, are adding the cookies, YOU are responsible for verifying that the cookie notice works.

Heck - I would actually like to post this cookies notice for all viewers of my blog, not just EU viewers.

I hate video "documentation"

What's New in Security - WWDC 2016 - Videos - Apple Developer - Leave feedback for videos.
I hate video documentation. E.g. this video about "What's new in Sierra security", referred to by a stackoverflow post.

OK, this is a bit unfair: it is great to have videos of WDC presentations. Especially if there is also some non-video format - slides, or webpages, or whatever - of about the same info.  And it is probably better than nothing.

But nevertheless, I hate videos. I avoid them when I can.  Both when looking for programming documentation, but also when shopping.   I have lost count of how many Kickstarter and IndieGogo projects I thought I might be interested in but did NOT fund, because they had little or no explanation of the project except for the apparently-now-mandatory video.

Why I hate videos:
  • I can read faster than I can watch and listen
  • It is hard to random access videos.
(Q: is there a good "video indexer", especially designed for slide presentations? E.g. that will show an index of thumbnails of the critical slides? E.g. that will recognize slides that are projected at a conference, and isolate them? Perhaps allowing jumping back and forth between the "static" view and the "dynamic" video view? E.g. that can work in my browser, for Youtube videos, and things like this WDC presentation? Heck, while we are at it one that does voice recognition, (a) with a text transcript cross-indexed with the thumbnails of slides (or particularly important changes of scene), and/or (b) since voice-to-text is not that reliable, that allows searches of the voice - so that you can search fr when the presenter says "delete".)
Basically, videos slow me down.

But, the thing that I hate most about videos right now, at this very moment:
  • I am in a restaurant, working while eating breakfast - and I forgot my earphones (earbuds or headset). I don't want to annoy the people around me by playing a video out-loud.  Same thing applies at work.  Although at work I am more likely to have headphones, nevertheless it is a hassle, more friction, to have to set them up when I want to look at "documentation" presented as a video.
Steve Yegge tells us that Jeff Bezos hates PowerPoint - he outlawed it years ago. I wonder what Jeff Bezos would do if a project proposal were presented as a video?

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