Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Grrr Twitter. You've made things much harder and less useful.

Twitter has stopped sending out individual notifications of replies, favorites, new followers, mentions and retweets. Instead they send a daily email 'Check out the notifications you have on Twitter.'
Their idea was to stop email accounts being flooded with Twitter messages. For some people that may help but for those who use mail filters to sort the former messages and keep a record of who followed you on which date the new daily email is useless because it simply opens the notification area of Twitter where you'll find the notifications unsorted.

  • Before I could quickly get a list of who had replied to my tweets and determine if action should be taken. Now I have to sort through the notification area.
  • Before I could see who retweeted something and retweet something of theirs. (Much more difficult since Twitter's last change when they stopped including a link to the tweep's page.)
  • Before I could quickly get an idea of which tweets were popular (OK I can use Twitter analytics to do that too)
  • Most importantly, before I could see who followed me and on what date. A week later I could visit their page and see if they still follow me. Those who unfollow within that week seldom make useful Twitter contacts. The previous emails from Twitter had a button 'Following' or 'Follow'. I could use email filters to mark 'read' those who I already follow and concentrate on new followers who I don't follow. Now I can't do that.
Thanks Twitter, in trying to be helpful, you've made things much harder which means I'll use Twitter less. 

Here's a suggestion for Twitter—give people the option of choosing the old individual emails OR the new daily notification in Twitter's settings. Default to the new settings and let the people who read instructions either choose no messages or detailed messages.

Here's a work around for recording your followers—Each day Twitter will send you that useless 'Check out the notifications you have on Twitter' You'll find it says something useless such as '@joebloggs and 48 others followed you on Twitter' If you are lucky you'll see icons for 14 of these people with no clue about the remaining 34.

I've found that I can create a 'Following' filter in ManageFlitter's Power mode to keep tabs on new followers. ManageFlitter costs $12 per month but I find it's worth it. It's possible the same sort of process could be set up with Crowdfire.

Here's what I set up with ManageFlitter power mode:
ManageFlitter now not only records who follows me but tells me how many hours/days/years ago someone followed me and also filters out a lot of those I wouldn't follow anyway. Since I never follow back until at least a week later it filters out all thos who follow and within days unfollow thosewho don't follow back. That means I now spend less time sifting through followers and Twitter's change might have done me a favour by forcing me to come up with a better method.

Maybe I'll withdraw that Grrr then Twitter.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Are there alien species in the Universe?

On earth there are many species of animals with varying degrees of intelligence. In the past there were several species of intelligent anthropoids. All evolved from a common source. The animals and plants too, evolved from a common source.
Experiments have shown that given the earth’s original atmosphere of water vapour, ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane and a source of energy such as lightning, solar radiation, hot rocks or maybe even radiation from other stars then complex molecules such as amino acids will be created and interact.
Given enough time and enough interactions simple forms of life may be created. The first would find conditions very hostile today but in their time there was no competition and a soup of food they could feed on. Here was your common source.
The sun and our solar system are probably very ordinary. Probably very common in the Universe which has an uncountable number of such similar systems. If a planet is the right distance from it’s sun for water vapour to condense to liquid water and is big enough to retain an atmosphere then it’s almost inevitable that life may be produced. Such life will evolve. Life may also evolve on planets which are very different to our own. It may even evolve using liquid ammonia instead of water. Perhaps life may even evolve in the atmosphere of some stars!
Wherever life evolves it will face multiple challenges. Extinction Level Events (ELE) such as impacts, solar flares, near-bye supernovas may kill it off but the process will start again. In some cases intelligent life may evolve and be lucky enough to survive long enough to ask this same question. 

“Are there alien species in the Universe?”