Auto-generate a Business

Thanks to the wonders of the internet you to can now auto-generate a business.

A business needs a mission statement. You can use this mission-statement generator.

We will work cooperatively to assertively create next-generation solutions as well as endeavor to synergistically maintain leading-edge catalysts for change.

Sweet! Now that I have a mission-statement, I need something to sell…something like a new age product.

To follow the quest is to become one with it.

Hope is the growth of guidance, and of us. Nothing is impossible.

Although you may not realize it, you are ethereal.

How should you navigate this sublime stratosphere? It can be difficult to know where to begin. If you have never experienced this uprising at the quantum level, it can be difficult to grow.

Energy requires exploration. You and I are messengers of the world. This life is nothing short of a refining fount of sacred health.

By maturing, we self-actualize. Today, science tells us that the essence of nature is power. Consciousness consists of electromagnetic resonance of quantum energy. “Quantum” means an evolving of the higher.

Grace is a constant.We exist as vibrations. We reflect, we self-actualize, we are reborn. The goal of vibrations is to plant the seeds of rejuvenation rather than discontinuity.

Humankind has nothing to lose. Our conversations with other storytellers have led to a summoning of pseudo-sacred consciousness. We are at a crossroads of sharing and dogma.

 

Next step…profit.

User Experience Problems

As I wait for a lady to by my shutters I am reminded by a friend of mine who said that people don’t understand how Craigslist works. It might be that because technology changes so quickly that cultural norms are unable to be developed leading to competing ways of doing something which results in confusion. People know how a library works or how a big box retail store functions as those ideas have been around for at least 100 years. Craigslist is less than 20.

Ideologue Amendments

Vox has a pretty good article on the schisms and breakpoints in American democracy: American Democracy is Doomed.

The article in Vox suggests that the current system is flawed. I’d argue the system is not flawed but the people in it are. Specifically, I target gerrymandering as an origin-point. What’s gerrymandering you say?

Studies have shown that when like-minded groups of people get together (say crammed into a voting district that is majority one-party) they tend to deviate towards the extreme. After all, the only way you can “prove” yourself is to be more extreme than the other guy. Thus, we end up with elected ideologues in government, particularly in Congress.

As a political scientist I found the reading to be a timely topic. I had read The Broken Branch by Mann and Orstein (a pair of polly-sci guys) and found their argument to be favorable. Congress is broken and needs to be fixed by fixing how ideologues get elected.

As a follow-up, This is How American Government Will Die explains that we will end-up with some sort of benevolent/elected dictator in about 50 years if we are unable to change. I can see the allure of a Cincinnatus like-figure taking over in support of the Common Good. I would tend to agree, though, a dictatorship, even an elected one, is one dictator too many.

I think what we need to consider are one of two possibilities:

A. An entire re-write of the Constitution. Most countries  (and states!) re-write their Constitutions every couple years. France has had five and my state of Virginia has had seven since 1776. America is the exception rather than the rule.

B. Add new amendments. We added amendments to counter the power of Big Business (think your Progressive Era amendments: 16, 17, 18, 19). Perhaps we need new amendments to counter the power from ideologues. I’d start with:

28th. An anti-Gerrymandering Amendment to ban it. In doing so, I’d consider having the House of Representatives ignore state boundaries when creating districts. An idea James Wilson originally had the convention.

29th. Federal Elections must be financed publicly using public-monies. Our current mess of electoral finance results in Congresspersons beholden to the wrong kind of special interests. Congresspersons essentially are “tin-pot dictators” who are able to get elected by throwing around enough money and then passing laws based who donated the most rather than the common good.

30th. Make Federal Election voting mandatory. 50% turnout makes governing difficult. By law, Congress could make Voting Day a paid national holiday.

What other amendments would you add?

amendment

 

 

Phablet

For Valentines Day I got the wife a new phone. We had discussed the possibility of her getting an Ipad but the price was a bit steep. I was willing to take the plunge on an Ipad for her (and of course secretly use it when she wasn’t looking). In the end the Samsung Note 4 turned out to be a good option that combines the two (phone and tablet) into one device called a Phablet. She also looked at cases for the phablet and it turns out they make cases that resemble books for note. Though you must be a Moby Dick fan as that is what their bookcases come in.

From a historical perspective I do find it odd that in the recent history of mobile phones the race was to go from the Gorden Gecko Motorola DynaTAC of the 1980s and make it smaller. The film Zoolander even had a joke about the ever decreasing size of phones:

Now it appears technology is racing to make the phones bigger.

da Vinici’s Resume

Resume as seen here

“My Most Illustrious Lord,

Having now sufficiently seen and considered the achievements of all those who count themselves masters and artificers of instruments of war, and having noted that the invention and performance of the said instruments is in no way different from that in common usage, I shall endeavour, while intending no discredit to anyone else, to make myself understood to Your Excellency for the purpose of unfolding to you my secrets, and thereafter offering them at your complete disposal, and when the time is right bringing into effective operation all those things which are in part briefly listed below:

1. I have plans for very light, strong and easily portable bridges with which to pursue and, on some occasions, flee the enemy, and others, sturdy and indestructible either by fire or in battle, easy and convenient to lift and place in position. Also means of burning and destroying those of the enemy.

2. I know how, in the course of the siege of a terrain, to remove water from the moats and how to make an infinite number of bridges, mantlets and scaling ladders and other instruments necessary to such an enterprise.

3. Also, if one cannot, when besieging a terrain, proceed by bombardment either because of the height of the glacis or the strength of its situation and location, I have methods for destroying every fortress or other stranglehold unless it has been founded upon a rock or so forth.

4. I have also types of cannon, most convenient and easily portable, with which to hurl small stones almost like a hail-storm; and the smoke from the cannon will instil a great fear in the enemy on account of the grave damage and confusion.

5. Also, I have means of arriving at a designated spot through mines and secret winding passages constructed completely without noise, even if it should be necessary to pass underneath moats or any river.

6. Also, I will make covered vehicles, safe and unassailable, which will penetrate the enemy and their artillery, and there is no host of armed men so great that they would not break through it. And behind these the infantry will be able to follow, quite uninjured and unimpeded.

7. Also, should the need arise, I will make cannon, mortar and light ordnance of very beautiful and functional design that are quite out of the ordinary.

8. Where the use of cannon is impracticable, I will assemble catapults, mangonels, trebuckets and other instruments of wonderful efficiency not in general use. In short, as the variety of circumstances dictate, I will make an infinite number of items for attack and defence.

9. And should a sea battle be occasioned, I have examples of many instruments which are highly suitable either in attack or defence, and craft which will resist the fire of all the heaviest cannon and powder and smoke.

10. In time of peace I believe I can give as complete satisfaction as any other in the field of architecture, and the construction of both public and private buildings, and in conducting water from one place to another.

Also I can execute sculpture in marble, bronze and clay. Likewise in painting, I can do everything possible as well as any other, whosoever he may be.

Moreover, work could be undertaken on the bronze horse which will be to the immortal glory and eternal honour of the auspicious memory of His Lordship your father, and of the illustrious house of Sforza.

And if any of the above-mentioned things seem impossible or impracticable to anyone, I am most readily disposed to demonstrate them in your park or in whatsoever place shall please Your Excellency, to whom I commend myself with all possible humility.”

11 Ways NOT to write a WordPress Plugin

I’ve been tinkering with WordPress, blogging, and Web Development on and off for the past 15 years. I would start it and then stop it. Never really sure where to go or what to do.

This past school year I created a WordPress site for use with my classroom and pioneered some WordPress features in an educational context, such as WordPress Hunts to analyze points-of-view and Web Quests, where I provide a list of links in a post for students to visit with questions at the bottom for students to answer.
During the summer I’ve been working on improving my WordPress and web development skills. I’ve really enjoyed the feedback from members of the WP community. Though, after speaking with a friend she suggested I try to make a WordPress plugin. I’m familiar with HTML/CSS and get the gist of PHP so I thought I might take a shot at.

While there are many websites that offer tutorials on how to write a plugin (for people at ALL levels: beginner to advanced) NONE of them (at least to my knowledge) offer a tutorial on HOW NOT to write a plugin.

Here 11 ways NOT to write a WordPress plugin:

11. Your plugin only works if you turn it on (activate it).

One does not

10. One Book to Rule Them All: For those who are not familiar with HTML/CSS or PHP pick one book.  Too many reference books on the same subject results in paralysis by analysis. Best to choose one book and stick with it as a reference. You can find a lot of reference materials online BUT the audience may not be written at level you need.

OMG too many choices!

OMG too many choices!

One choice is better

One choice is better

I also have a copy of: Professional WordPress Plugin Development

9. Code that you copy off the WordPress codex needs changes in order for it work:

<?php
echo '<img src="' . plugins_url( 'images/wordpress.png' , __FILE__ ) . '" > ';
?

In the above code, I mistakenly thought I could just cut and paste and put it in my plugin. Nope.

8. Code you copy off the WordPress may not need changes in order for it work:

<?php
echo '<img src="' . plugins_url( 'images/wordpress.png' , __FILE__ ) . '" > ';
?

In the above code, I mistakenly thought I needed to put my file path between the first double- quote (“) and the second single-quote (‘). After all, that is what you do in HTML. For example:

echo ‘<img src=”file path name here‘ . plugins_url ( ‘images/wordpress.png’, __FILE__) . ‘ “

It wasn’t until I interpreted the quote-scheme that I figured out that nothing goes there. Instead it should be:

echo ‘<img src=”‘ . plugins_url ( ‘file path name here‘, __FILE__) . ‘ “

Of course this is how I felt after I figured that out:

Doh!

 7.  These are not variables you can function or echo. These are WordPress variables that WordPress puts in that it expects YOU to change so that you can function or echo them.

<?php add_submenu_page( $parent_slug, $page_title, $menu_title, $capability, $menu_slug, $function ); ?>

$parent_slug, $page_title, $menu_title, $capability, $menu_slug, $function;   <======All these are what you change to YOUR variables.

6. Not all WordPress plugin tutorials are the same. Most tutorials are just lines of text, no video or explanation. Pippin Williamson of Pippins Plugins has an great Plugin Development 101 product that includes screencasts and explanations of what happens. It is designed for plugin beginners who have some knowledge of HTML/CSS and PHP.

5. The text editor that comes default with either Macs or Windows is awful. It lacks a visibility function which makes it hard to edit. I found that Sublime Text Editor is a much better piece of software that colorizes different aspects of your code to demonstrate which parts are working.

4. Writing the plugin script does not mean your done.

Not sure if

WordPress requires other ancillary materials such as screenshots, folders, and especially a readme. Fortunately, WordPress offers a Readme Validator that can be used to see analyze your Readme.txt file to see if meets submission requirements.

WordPress also requires you get approval after you submit and once you do get approved WordPress sends you a directory link to where you send your file to. WordPress uses Subversion and in order for you to access it you need to download a copy:

PC/Windows can use: TortiseSVN

Macs can use: SC Plugin     and click on “Installation” and then on the newest version which appears to be: “SCPlugin-0.8.2-SVN.1.6.5.dmg”.

I found a nice tutorial on how to install SC Plugin Here ; and used this tutorial on TortiseSVN as a general idea on how to use SC Plugin.

In using SC Plugin: I downloaded it, installed it, and then restarted my computer; Right-clicked on the SC Plugin Icon; Clicked on ‘Checkout’; put my wordpress directory link (that was emailed to me) in the URL of Repository box (at the top) and used the “Browse” button (at the bottom) to find the location of my plugin folder. I kept everything else the same and hit Ok. Another box popped-up, connected to the WordPress Repository, and told me that it was done. I then closed the pop-up box and that was that.

3. Copying and pasting code off the net sometimes just does not work. You end-up with whitespace, margin-misalignment, and other characters you don’t want.

2.  You cannot name the file “yourfilename.php” and expect to work in PHP. You need to specify <?php at the top of your text editor.

1. Specifying <?php at the top does not take a space:

<?php is GOOD because it does not have a space between the “?” and  “php”

<? php is BAD because it does have a space.

To paraphrase an Edison quote “I learned 11 ways NOT to write a plugin and 1 way how”

The plugin I wrote can be found on the WordPress Plugin site or at Willie and Joe Studios. The plugin itself is rather simple (it displays a Dr. Who theme upon a user login failure) BUT it demonstrates how I took existing plugin information, applied in a different context, and created something brand new. In doing so, I learned the WordPress plugin process from start to finish.