Don’t Freak Out, Twitter Jail is Real

Have you been prohibited for a time from posting on Twitter? With a message like this?

overlimittwitter

And it made you feel like this?

3-16

Welcome to Twitter Jail.

By the way, you can also be put in Twitter jail for following and DMs.

You need to remember Twitter does whatever it can to avoid overcapacity — basically saying, WHOA! do you want to bring out the fail whale?!

twitter-fail-whale

Here’s what Twitter says officially about limits on your account. The only confusion is many people put in Twitter jail have never seemed to reach those limits and didn’t even appear to come anywhere near the limits. So what gives?

Two things:

First, the limits are broken down by the hour. So if you post more than 41 tweets in an hour, you could be subject to Twitter jail. Yep, it doesn’t always happen, but it can. If it does happen, it’s usually during Twitter’s peak hours. These are between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern Time in the U.S. since most tweeting is done by U.S. users. Second, and here’s the really fun part, Twitter can, and does, temporarily reduce these limits at anytime the service is nearing capacity. In fairness to Twitter, the status blog tries to reflect when this is happening. Since the status blog is on another set of servers, you can usually access it even when you can’t access Twitter itself.

Hope this helps those who got freaked out by this but still haven’t experienced it, and especially helps those who just can’t seem to stop tweeting = having too much fun. :D

The Hobbit on the Threshold of the Billion Dollar Club

Bilbo-and-Sting-poster-for-The-Hobbit-An-Unexpected-Journey

The Hobbit’s box office receipts are recorded at $960,001,896 as of today, but this time next week, it’s likely to officially join the small number of other films which have reached a billion dollars in revenue. The film’s release in China this weekend is cause for such confidence. What happy timing considering the broadcast of Oscar presentations and the dearth of nominations for The Hobbit — excepting the wonderful Tami Lane and Weta Digital bunch.

I wasn’t always this optimistic it could reach the benchmark this quickly. After reading about the piracy which can ensue when there’s a considerable lag time between a film’s release in other countries and China, it was hard not to think The Hobbit would go the way of Skyfall. But I forgot something, and it wasn’t the love affair the Chinese seem to have with fantasy. They also love 3D. This was so easy to forget since it’s never been very popular in America. In fact it has been talked about for years as being dead. I will admit 48fps might resurrect it some, but people have to be willing to give it a try first. I’m not confident that enough in the U.S. did that with Jackson’s movie. But in China, 3D is the rage and will go a long way toward pulling the Chinese to the cinema.

At Comic-Con last year someone in the film industry told me Peter Jackson was more or less forced by Warner Brothers to make it in that format. I’m not sure I agree that Jackson had to be forced especially when I consider his business savvy. But now that I understand the piracy issue a little more, it makes sense Warners would be adamant about it. It’s a kind of insurance policy against piracy. And when considering the box office receipts of the top grossing movies, e.g., Avatar, it’s abundantly clear the format will survive well beyond The Hobbit. But even if the receipts hadn’t been so bent toward 3D, the fastest growing area of the film market is in China, so it more than the U.S. is dictating what we will be seeing. And all of it makes me wonder if indie films will suffer, but that’s for another post.

If you didn’t click on the Skyfall link, I hope you will at some point. It leads to the China Film Biz blog written by Rob Cain who has been been doing business in the industry in China since 1987. He is a wealth of knowledge.

And now a poster featuring our guy since we can’t get enough of looking at him. :D

hobezppanthd-w1250
[click to enlarge]

The facial features are very finely done and the entire poster seems to have an Asian quality. Whatever that is. Someone more articulate than I am may explain.

Richard, I’m Available for Technical Assistance ;-)

Yes, I really said that. LOL!

I was just listening to Dave Andrews’ show on BBC Leicester, and he read Richard Armitage’s email informing Dave that he couldn’t make it on the show. He had wifi but couldn’t make a call.

Richard, Richard, Richard,

It’s called Skype or Google phone or any number of other VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone services. ;-)

Man, if you need help with this, I’m your girl. We can get around those pesky federal regulations. ;-) ;-)

Signed,
One of your crazy fans who loves to give technical support.

Fat chance I’ll ever get to do that, but hey, what the heck? I never thought I would be blogging successfully for almost three years, and here I am.

edit:

I need to clear something up! VOIP is not allowed on a plane. That was why I put the wink at the end of the line. I’m sorry if that caused some confusion. I was teasing! Please don’t try to do that with an airline that provides wifi! LOL! Ahem.

The good news is this may be a reality in the future. But it’s not today — at least not in the U.S. However, look what I found. I knew about the CEO being escorted off a plane for using VOIP, but I didn’t know that Virgin Airlines is now allowing these calls. Interesting. I guess Richard Armitage wasn’t flying on Virgin. :D

edit: an update on the FAA relaxing the rules but still can’t make calls. Bummer

The Richard III Special

The Richard III Special broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK will be on Monday, February 4th at 9pm there, which means 4pm EST, 3pm CST, 2pm MST, and 1pm PST.

There are ways for people who are not in the UK to watch. This is mostly done via something called a VPN (Virtual Private Network). You can read more about them here. I’ve been using these for a couple of years for business and especially when I travel. Occasionally I’ve had to actually access local wifi (McDonald’s unfortunately sometimes), but I try to avoid that.

For the uninitiated, this is also how people can easily fake an ip. I wasn’t going to talk about this, but some of you enjoying the details of Statcounter need to know that an IP log is not entirely reliable.

I would put up a picture, but how many times can I post Richard III or a manipulation of Richard Armitage? Okay, never mind I asked that. :D

How about this below? So it’s not Richard III related. Use your imagination. I see Richard Armitage on his way to somewhere great.

pod0302

Photo courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.com, and it’s the Picture of the Day for February 3rd.

“Getting Down to Business”

Yep, Todd Garner is doing some business on our heads.

Bring it, Todd. I love it!

I know we have all been inhaling The Hobbit as often as sanity will allow, but is anyone ready to see Richard Armitage’s next piece? Feel free to gush.

Note: this post is for all of you who are still not on Twitter. You need to know that not everything interesting going on there becomes a post in RA universe, so what are you waiting for? The idea that it’s mindless? Or it’s intimidating? Some of it is mindless but surprisingly there is a lot that’s not. And if you never tackled something intimidating, think how bored you would be. Plus, there are several of us who are very willing to help you get acclimated.

Now Do You Believe Me About Being a Make-up Artist?

79-RAandTamiLane

See. Being a make-up artist can be rewarding on lots of levels. :D So far I’ve only covered some of the personal rewards. But for Tami Lane, who received an Oscar nomination for her work on The Hobbit, it has transcended the personal, and it’s not her first time. She was nominated and won an Academy Award in 2006 for her work on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

But working on The Hobbit was a far different experience for Ms. Lane when considering the unforgiving eye of 48fps:

Since the 3D movie was being filmed in 48 frames per second instead of the normal 24, their work had to be flawless, she said. Each set of dwarf eyebrows, which are not reusable after removal, had to be re-created daily to look exactly the same – for all 266 days of shooting.

“All the old tricks we use for film had to be thrown out the window. Shooting like this makes you a better artist,” Lane wrote by email.

Read the article here

The 48fps aspect of this film just gets more interesting. Could dealing with near ten times the normal frame rate be any more daunting in its rendering of reality? I wonder. 48fps seems pretty tough.

And now a must:

Dear Ms. Lane,

You did a marvelous job. I think it’s safe to speak for other fans to say how much we appreciate the time and care you took to make RA look so spectacularly Thorinesque. [is that a word? if not, it should be. Then again, I suppose it’s okay if it’s hyphenated — Thorin-esque. Hmm. I can make anything a word if I hyphenate it. Can’t I? :D]

All the best and at the Oscars as well!

Signed,
One of Richard’s crazy fans who sometimes covets your job for all the Richard-esque moments you got to witness. ;-) Yeah, it’s lame, but I need coffee, and it is my first time to make up somethin’. At least I didn’t say Armitage-esque. I’m outta here!

P.S. Wait. One more thing. I hope you can chuckle at all those shallow girls in high school who didn’t think it would pay to be a geek. Oh, how wrong they were. Look at your life, and the fantastic views you see. Damn! I need to start this letter over, but I don’t have time. Best o’ luck!

After I drink some coffee, I may be back with some other words that you’ve never seen. :D

Connecting the Dots or Establishing an Identity on the Web — Part 2

October 17, 2012

A couple of days ago I retweeted Part 1 of this series and got lots of questions. I’m only covering two here.

Number 1 Question: What’s the big deal about having all these profiles?

You don’t have to have “all these profiles.” It really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you have no interest in directing people to specific places when they see your presence somewhere on the Web, this post is not for you. Keep doing what you’re doing, and don’t read what I’m about to say.

For those who do want to direct people somewhere specific, whether it be a blog or a social media app for hanging out online, you need to give enough information about your whereabouts to help them find that place. For instance, if you have a Twitter, Facebook or Google+ id (to name a few) and you also want people to read your blog, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if a link to your blog is not in your profile. Putting the link in your updates is too much work for someone just discovering you. Don’t make people work to find your blog. Make it easy to find or many will not bother to find it.

Number 2 question: What is Gravatar?

I’m so glad you asked. Gravatar is a profile used by some major sites to help people establish an identity on the Web. The cool thing about Gravatar is you can comment on sites run by WordPress or using Disqus (a comment app), and someone curious about you can click the avatar left with your comment in order to find out what you want them to know and where you want them to go. Here’s mine. If you looked at my Gravatar profile, you noticed there is a list of places to find me. I list them because some people are more comfortable in some places than others. Some people contact me only via Twitter or only via YouTube or only via Facebook. Instead of trying to make the initial contact point my blog, I give them several points of contact. But wherever they interact with me, I ensure one thing is obvious — I have a blog. That’s where I spend most of my time, so if people know where it is, then there’s a good chance they can find it. :D Too often those who “like” my blog posts or comment on them, do not have anything on their Gravatar profiles. It’s a dead end. I hate that. Of course I realize some people don’t want to lead others somewhere, but I know many of you do hence this post.

Gravatar is not the only “universal” identity profile on the Web, but it’s significant enough, you should probably have one. If you have a WordPress blog, you already have a Gravatar, but that doesn’t mean the profile is complete. What’s in it is entirely up to you. As for other profiles that may be of interest in establishing your presence on the Web, of course Google is prominent, but the avatar does not move outside of Google products unless a particular site owner using Blogger as their platform has installed Disqus. Okay, that’s as technical as I’m going to get on that. Net: I’ve found more people use my Gravatar than my Google id to find out who I am. Another identity profile to be aware of is MyOpenId. This site is not user friendly, but best to grab your id now in case this profile becomes pervasive on the Web. I have my doubts about this, but I have an id just in case.

I feel the urge to write about the differences between WordPress and Google, but I’ll spare you that today. Maybe another post. I still need to publish the post about filtering tweets. ;P But just to make this fun, a photo of the founder of Gravatar and WordPress, the smilin’ Matt Mullenweg:

I had to post this pic since Matt is a Texan. Oh, you’re not fond of Texans? Uh oh, you may not always like this place.

Every time I see a picture of these young entrepreneurs, I have this urge to say, “I know a very intelligent, good looking blonde who is unattached.” Actually, I know two, and their mother would make a fantastic mother-in-law. ;-)

I hesitate to include Richard Armitage in this, but well, he is a geek, so he fits. No pictures though. Your imagination will have to suffice.