Category Archives: Technology

The technical section where I might bemuse older tech that I discovered in boxes or new things that are worth blogging about.

Google+: The Countdown To The Shutdown

Back in December I shared the news about the Google+ Social Network going away and added some editorial notations to the facts because we’ve been using the service for both PiercingMetal.com and this website that you are reading right now. If you missed that posting it’s not a problem since you can check it out by clicking HERE. Just a short while ago, I received an email based on my being a user and I’ve culled it all together for you just in case you also use the network and this message to you went to spam. Dig in, and know that I will close with more editorial afterwards.

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The Message:
You’ve received this email because you have a consumer (personal) Google+ account or you manage a Google+ page.

In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations. We want to thank you for being part of Google+ and provide next steps, including how to download your photos and other content.

On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. You can download and save your content, just make sure to do so before April. Note that photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.
Continue reading Google+: The Countdown To The Shutdown

Social Net Scuttlebutt: Google+ Will Shut Down In April 2019

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Users of the Google+ Social Networking tool will have to figure out another option next April because the search engine giant Google is shutting this service down completely at some point during that month. Google discussed the issue on their Official Blog only a couple of days ago and while it had become knowledge that the service would end in August, they have moved the timeline up by four months and come April it all goes away. As opposed to para-phrasing the lengthy blog post, those who wish to see what the scoop is can click HERE to read it.

I’ve been using Google+ since the service first launched in 2011 for both of my websites and if you are so inclined you can click either logo to be brought to the account which I will then ask you to subscribe to while you can. My plan is to load up the feed and eventually direct you to alternatives that I will be using for each of the websites. Obviously the PiercingMetal.com one focuses on the Heavy Music and the Pop Culture offerings on the main website and its related social networks.

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The Piercing Ken one caters to the Lifestyle Branded items found on this website. Dedicated readers to this side of the creative fence know full well how busy its become over the last few years and there is no sign of that stopping if I have my say about it.

piercing ken logo

Over the years of using this as a means to share content with whomever chose to follow our profiles, it felt that it was a great way to “feed” the website posts and some of our other social networking doings with people who found it interesting. Truth be told, I rarely engaged anyone and barely built up a following that showed the love by clicking the circle that showed we had them in our corner. The profiles for each proper Official Google+ had several hundred followers but the Official Brand Pages didn’t. I made sure people saw the posts by letting them go live on the Branded Page and then sharing them down to the profile account. Sure the traffic to the server logs was consistent but it was even harder to get fans to lock it in via this tool than it was to get the same in Facebook. My plans are to keep using it until the cutoff date because it is feeding our content out to the web on a regular basis. With so much writing happening on PiercingMetal.com and here on “The Chronicles” I want to take advantage of it for as long as I can. I think that Google should have ramped up their security protocols to protect this and kept the “Buzz” service they had (discussed long ago HERE). Had they connected the two and expanded their Hangouts medium as a messenger they would really have dominated the social networks and you wouldn’t have needed much else. The termination of Google+ leaves us only Facebook as a medium and at this point in my life, I am only really using Facebook to administer my website Official Pages. Both sites use Twitter but only PiercingMetal.com has a Tumblr account in addition to the Google+; Tumblr recently announced the cleansing of all adult themed content so it might be a good idea to create an account there and follow us that way. More about the cleanup can be found HERE.

At the point of this writing there are over 50 million users of the Google+ service and while the data breach is serious business, it would have been nice to find them stemming off any issues but they didn’t and soon it will go away. Some of you users might want to completely delete your content account before the shutdown and don’t worry this will not mess up your actual Google account like Gmail.com and YouTube etc. This will only erase the Google+ stuff. I’ll close up now but suggest to those who wish to keep up with us to hit out “About Pages” to find our other social mediums and I mean right here on “The Chronicles” and PiercingMetal.com – Since we are already here I’ll add links for you down below as well. Let’s hope for the best and that something new and exciting will come along. See you next time.

For Piercing Ken: Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

For PiercingMetal: Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Tumblr YouTube

StumbleUpon Will End Tomorrow After 16 Years

I wanted to take a moment to share some Internet news with you readers, and especially is you are users of the StumbleUpon service. Sadly, this means of stumbling upon something cool on the Interwebs will be going away tomorrow and I’ve secured the Official Statement from one of their co-founder, Garrett Camp. They plan on taking any lessons learned from SU to the next level of “content discovery” via a new medium called Mix. Let’s continue.

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“After careful consideration, we’ve made the decision to focus fully on building Mix and transition StumbleUpon accounts into Mix.com over the next couple months. We have built Mix to work on every browser and smartphone, to make the transition as smooth as possible. With a few clicks you can register and import your SU favorites, interests and tags creating Mix Collections that are easily shared with friends.”

What It Was: StumbleUpon was a discovery and advertisement engine (a form of web search engine) that pushed recommends of web content to its users. Its features allowed users to discover and rate Web pages, photos and videos that are personalized to their tastes and interests using peer-sourcing, social-networking and advertising (sponsored pages) principles. (c/o Wiki).

Piercing Ken Thoughts: Okay so I truthfully hate anything that can potentially lead a site visitor to a medium like my own two websites. It’s 2018, and unless you pay for Facebook Page likes, your postings on that are unseen by most of the ones who really enjoy it and with over 1 billion active websites currently online, I say its every site founder for themselves in trying to get you to their entertainment offerings. I currently have a SU account but its been years since I last used it and with it going away tomorrow I am thinking to just let it go. I never saved anything and instead used it to showcase my own posts in discussion boards about similar topics. Perhaps in time I will look into what Mix.com is all about but if it doesn’t help what I am doing on this or the PiercingMetal.com website, I will likely not be sticking around. If you are using it and don’t care to move on, I suggest that you login one last time and delete your account for good measure. I’ve begun deleting a number of my seldom used Internet accounts because I really didn’t need them anymore and can find the information they once provided easier somewhere else. What about you readers? Are you impacted by the looming end of StumbleUpon or will you be okay and get by without it. Chime in down below.

Official Website: http://stumbleupon.com/
Official Website: http://www.mix.com
Official Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StumbleUpon

Attention! Flickr To Be Acquired By SmugMug

Hey friends, I received this in an email the other day as someone who uses the photo service Flickr and figured I’d make a post about it to keep you in the loop if you are using it as well and if this message hit your Junk Mail folder.

The Announcement:
We’re excited to announce that Flickr has agreed to be acquired by SmugMug, the photography platform dedicated to visual storytellers. SmugMug has a long history of empowering people who love photography and who want to improve their craft, making them a perfect fit for Flickr and our creative community. With SmugMug, we’ll continue to focus on you, the Flickr members who inspire us all with your work.

Nothing will change immediately with regard to your Flickr account. You will still access Flickr with your current login credentials and you will have the same Flickr experience as you do now. We will continue to work to make your Flickr experience even better.
Continue reading Attention! Flickr To Be Acquired By SmugMug

AOL Instant Messenger (“AIM”) Says “Goodbye” (1997-2017)

Today is the day my friends in the cyber realms, for AOL’s Instant Messenger aka “AIM” is signing off for the final time. It first launched in May of 1997 and was in my opinion was pretty awesome for quite some time. Younger readers might not really remember it since texting and Facebook Messenger seem to rule the world of online chatter nowadays but back in the nineties this was initially all that you had.

Way back in the bygone days, my AOL account was set up with the KMPIERCE1 profile since I could not get KENPIERCE and believe me that was so annoying. Eventually they allowed for longer Screen Names so I was able to secure KENNYPIERCE before another version of me could snag it. In AIM you would organize your real life friends and the online ones into groups that made the most sense for you and I recall having one for musicians, family and even the occasional co-worker. As time went on and other services got into the mix, AIM would have competition from MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and even this thing called ICQ. To use any of these you needed their own software client and all of this was used via a dial-up modem. My how the times have changed.

Eventually software such as Trillian allowed users to load ALL of their respective online profiles into a single client and this was super helpful. You didn’t need four different applications running at the same time and instead could just use the one. I would use Trillian for years to access my AIM buddy list and the rest. Of course, speaking frankly, I haven’t used many of my old screen names for a number of years because those I wanted to “speak” to via the computer I would just email or text if I knew them good enough. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat dominating the way that everyone is interacting, there didn’t seem much sense in keeping up with it anymore. MSN Messenger would get replaced by Skype which I NEVER use and Yahoo Messenger is only functional on the web instead of a client and I deleted the ICQ account in total a few months ago during a purge of extraneous online items. I’ve read that your AIM Email address will still function but your Buddy List, Images and Chats will be gone (unless you had the setting enabled to save them for the last option) so hopefully those of you who were still using the service took some action. If you didn’t its ciao ciao.

Closing up I have to say that I did enjoy using AIM for the time that I did. Thanks to some topical chat rooms, I even kept a cabal of online friends who I would have never met in the real world and even so many years later some of them still touch base with me once in awhile which is nice. It feels like forever ago since I heard the dial-up strains to connect and the words “You’ve Got Mail” when there was something in my In-Box but like my Father always says “the only constant is change”. Thanks AOL for giving us AIM and letting us connect to worlds that were not as easy to reach back then. I hope all of the folks on my original Buddy List are well, and should any wish to catch up, I am easily found thanks to the websites. Now its time to click the sign-off icon and say “Goodbye”. Twenty years is a great run for sure.

Official Wiki Entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM_(software)