Recent Changes to WordPress User Interface


Originally posted on Freed from Time:

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Recent Changes to the WordPress User Interface

In reference to the hosted service.

There is a WordPress Forum Topic on this subject here:-

http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/massive-changes-to-the-wp-interface/page/10?replies=4

It currently has more than 280 posts of complaint on that thread alone.  All WordPress users have access to the forum and a right to use it.

To add your comments, use the link and go to the bottom of the last page.  Many specific complaints have been given, so you do not need to do more than state whether you do or do not like the changes, unless you wish to comment further.

There is also an option to subscribe to the thread by email notification and be kept up to date…

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Posted in Computer, Internet, Technology | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Not Far Away From The Nikon D7100


Camera Lens

As I mentioned some time ago, I do save money for a Nikon D7100 DSLR camera. I think most would agree, saving money is not always easy because at times there appear other unscheduled costs. However, I am very patient and motivated when I want to get to something special. So, to make it short and to motivate myself again, I am now not that far away from the camera anymore.

Overall I did put €630 into my money-box. Then I got a little bit sick about my Bitcoin “investment” as the exchange rate of this currency is still crazy volatile. I came to the decision that the camera is more important to me than the speculation that the Bitcoin technology goes mainstream, and apart from that I could re-invest at a future date, the exchange rate goes down anyway at the moment.

I decided to convert the Bitcoin money and was able to add €180 to my money-box on this way. That means I am now at €810 in savings. But I did lend someone close to me €120 and should get it back soon too. That would mean I would have €930 of savings then. That is extremely close to the price of the Nikon D7100 camera kit that comes with the 18-105mm lens.

I saw the kit in a local store now for €989 and that would mean I just need €59 to be able to purchase the camera with the kit lens. Of course, that means I could purchase the camera in January after I did put the difference in my saving box. But there is another problem…

Then I found out that the camera doesn’t come with any SD card. Then I researched and came to the decision that I would want to purchase an extremely fast SD card, in fact I am only interested in the fastest SD card. This would be the SanDisk SDHC Extreme Pro 32GB Class 10 UHS-I card that comes with a transfer rate of 95MB per second. Reason is that I want to shoot in burst mode too and I researched and found out that this card is just perfect for the Nikon D7100. The SC card will cost me additional €60 that were not planned. With this in mind, I am basically just €119 away to be able to buy the Nikon D7100 kit.

I would have no problem to pay the remaining €59 for the kit in January, but €119 is a whole nother story, especially because January is usually a long and hard month anyway when we talk about money. But Nikon has this money-back promotion running, and no matter where I buy the D7100, they will send me back €50 if I claim it online. Then I researched how long it would take and found out around 4 weeks, in this case by the end of January. That takes a long time and is the crucial point why I might wait until February. But if I do wait until February, I won’t get back the €50 as the promotion does only count if you buy the camera before January 31. They call this promotion winter cash back.

So, this is a little bit problematic. Not that it annoys me but it would make sense to buy it with the promotion, it’s just that I can’t wait 4 weeks to get €50 back, because this would make my January harder. Logic says wait until February because this would be the safe way, I just wouldn’t be able to claim the €50 cash back anymore then. But there is still a ray of hope, because I have still some things that I don’t need anymore and that I could sell via classifieds. For example my old digital camera that I won’t need anymore, and other stuff. Let’s see. At the end it also depends if I get the €120 back early enough, that I did lend someone close to me.

To be honest, to me it doesn’t matter too much if I get the camera in January or February, because time flies by anyway. But if all factors stand right, I might be able to buy the camera in January. That are the financial chances, I am at least very close to my plan to get me the D7100.

Now another aspect. As I mentioned in the other article, the D7100 seems to be perfect for what I want to do with it. There is just one minor problem that annoys me a lot. The D7100 has no tilt screen (flip out screen) while the way cheaper Nikon D5100 has a flip screen. But technically the D5100 is not what I am looking for, because that is the more expansive D7100. I will probably use the viewfinder most of the time anyway, but for insect or flower photos that you take on the ground, the flip screen is really useful, that’s what I assume. I found the opinion in forums that some people think that Nikon didn’t think that this would be a useful feature for semi-professionals, and apart from that some people said that flip screens are more vulnerable anyway. But if you ask me, I would love to have a flip screen because it might be handy in some situations.

What’s the problem? Well, as mentioned, the D7100 is what I am looking for, it’s just that I wish this thing would have a flip screen too. But a much bigger problem is that there are rumors that Nikon will release the D7200 anytime in 2015. When I say rumors, then I mean rumors that I found in all kind of photography related forums. To be honest, it doesn’t matter if they release the next model in this series as the Nikon D7100 specs are already good enough. What matters is that there are rumors that Nikon maybe will release the D7200 with a flip screen, and that would mean it will be a perfect model in my opinion, since the flip screen is the only thing that is missing in the recent model. The problem is that nobody knows if and when Nikon will release the D7200, and if the rumors about the flip screen are true at all. Nobody knows it, nobody knows what is true and what not.

This is the biggest problem. In case Nikon would release the D7200 in 2015 after I bought the Nikon D7100, and in case the new model would have a flip screen, I can assure you it would drive me crazy and I would regret that I bought the D7100. Not that the flip screen is the most important feature to me, but I wish the D7100 would have this thing, it would round all other specs up. This is the biggest problem and question. Should I buy the in my opinion perfect D7100 where just the flip screen is missing, or should I wait that the D7200 rumors come true and that I can get a perfect camera plus flip screen? That question drives me nuts, because my financial plan worked already out and is not the biggest problem anymore. It’s the flip screen that is missing with the D7100.

I don’t know, as long as I have the rest of the money not together, I still have some time to think about it. Let’s see.

Posted in Life, Photography, Photography and Design, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

My Special Pasta Bolognese


Pasta Bolognese

I am not one of those who can conjure the greatest dishes in the kitchen. What I mean is that I don’t really know how this and that is done, which means the list of dishes that I can cook is rather small. Apart from that I am too lazy to cook and too lazy to learn other dishes or new things. However, the dishes I can cook, they are perfect, and I know, self-praise is no recommendation. But there are moments when you think you have outdone yourself. Today it happened again, that’s why I am excited right now. I cooked a noodle dish today, or more specifically noodles with bolognese sauce. That was tasty!

The thing is, even if there is not a big list of recipes stored in my head, I become at least very creative with the dishes and do add different things than there should be. Pasta bolognese might sound like a standard dish, but when I cook it, I do it different because I add things that not everybody would add.

There are certain things that I like and that do totally fit to pasta and bolognese sauce in my opinion. Of course, onions and paprika can’t be absent, but I still would say this is standard for spaghetti or pasta bolognese. No, what I additionally love to use is zucchini, egg plants and chili peppers. I usually ask for very spicy chili peppers but then I do also not use more than two of them. I love the combination of vegetables I mentioned, I really love it because this goes so well together with the bolognese sauce, the noodles and the minced meat, that I totally get excited when I eat that.

I do roast the vegetables gently, and then I do roast the meat and boil the noodles. Later everything comes together into the sauce so that I can boil it together but not too long. Sadly I use an instant sauce, so, I still would like to learn how I can create my own bolognese sauce, and maybe I will ask Google some day. However, even if I use this instant bolognese sauce, my dish was so tasty again today and the timing was perfect. It’s just that the combination works so well, that I just can say again, I love it.

Even if I am sometimes too lazy to cook, I should remind myself that it is very rewarding if I did. Apart from that it is also more healthy than eating any kind of fast food. I do cook regularly but I do also eat quite a lot of fast food. I think I should do this less and rather cook great things more often on my own.

Posted in Life, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Microsoft Does Accept Bitcoin Now


Microsoft Account Bitcoin Payment Option

Bitcoin gains more acceptance. Another big company starts to accept Bitcoin and this time it is Microsoft. They made it now possible to add funds to your Microsoft account via Bitcoin. You can’t use Bitcoin directly to buy content or products, however, you can use Bitcoin to add funds to your Microsoft account and with the money you can make purchase apps, games and more for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox.

In the official announcement of Microsoft they mention that they work together with BitPay, the leading payment processor of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

If you used Bitcoin to add funds to your Microsoft account, you will be able to purchase content in the Windows Store, or in Microsoft stores of Xbox Games, Xbox Music or Xbox Video.

Eric Lockard, the corporate vice president of the Universal Store at Microsoft said “For us, this is about giving people options and helping them do more on their devices and in the cloud,” and “The use of digital currencies such as bitcoin, while not yet mainstream, is growing beyond the early enthusiasts. We expect this growth to continue and allowing people to use bitcoin to purchase our products and services now allows us to be at the front edge of that trend.”

Posted in Computer, Games, Internet, Software, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Feeding Time


Feeding Shyna

I shot the photo above when I fed Shyna. She’s sometimes a little bit hasty and bites in my thumb but not so much that it hurts. Some time ago it was different and I had to break her habit to bite fingers. Whenever she was too hasty and bit me, I went away with the delicious treats and she learned why I go away with the tasty snacks. She is still hasty today but she is now more careful with my fingers.

Posted in Animals and Pets, Cats, Life, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Degradation Goes On


It seems that wordpress.com is not finished yet with all the downgrades. First we got this horrible new editor that we fortunately still can bypass due to the fact that the community demanded that the old editor is still available. Next they experimented with the top bar of the dashboard and the results were horrible too. If that is not enough, they do now come up with more changes to the user interface and the statistics page too. If you want to read my article, be prepared, it’s a rant about the ignorance of those who came up with the idea to make all the changes.

If you fully want to understand why they do this, I suggest you to read the latest article about the design changes. But I will now quote some of the nonsense of their latest article and tell you my opinion about each quote.

We’ve been updating WordPress.com to make it faster and more powerful behind the scenes.

Hilarious start to introduce the unwelcome changes. I wonder how they come up with this argument, because as a user I just feel that everything works now more clunky in the dashboard. The performance is now everything else but not faster and especially not more powerful but totally downgraded.

We’ve now introduced some changes to the WordPress.com interface as well, making website, blog, and content creation more intuitive and consistent across devices.

This is an embarrassing statement and I say this because you just needed to open the official forums to see that the users have another impression. The latest design changes resulted in the exact opposite of an intuitive environment for content creation. However, they don’t lie if they say it is now more consistent across all devices because that’s exactly what they achieved. They streamlined it down to make it look like a mobile app.

We know that WordPress.com users are extremely keen on understanding how others view and interact with their content, so we wanted to make Stats faster, more accessible, and richer overall.

This is strange because what I need is a complex statistics page that tells me everything about the way people interact with my site. Making this site more accessible means that it is downgraded for people who are overwhelmed with a complex page. We can talk about luck that the old statistics page is still there and that we are not forced to use the new downgraded page.

Millions of people use WordPress.com on mobile devices, and to ensure that our mobile users have a first-class experience, we gave the WordPress.com navigation interface a little love. It’s responsive across devices, and its simpler, more streamlined design lets users find or create amazing content from anywhere.

I must admit that this is a very fair statement. It’s the first time I see them admit where we heading to. It’s the direction that most people already expected. They want to give mobile users a first-class experience and that’s exactly how the changes appear. Everything looks bigger and more clunky and that might be a good design on a mobile device but what they forget is that this kind of design doesn’t work on a desktop device.

Forcing a mobile design on desktop users is an insult. They do even clearly admit it when they talk about creating a first-class experience for mobile users because that’s the only group they mention when they talk about the changes. So, here is the opinion of a desktop user that works with software since decades.. the new design is of course streamlined but that is bad as making things simpler. It does in fact even hurt when I see such a design on my widescreen.

We announced initial updates to My Sites recently, and have since acted on wonderful user feedback to make My Sites more streamlined. Your sites will now appear in an easy-to-search sidebar, and you’ll have access to stats, posts, and themes for any and all of your sites with fewer clicks.

I usually don’t comment on such bullshit but to make my rant complete, I will. I don’t know what is wrong with them. Do they have some kind of different click-behaviour or do they have a different perception than I do? I do not only talk about the “my site” section now but in general I feel my self forced to click more to open certain pages. There is either something wrong with my perception or this paragraph is an attempt to make the changes more tempting.

We’re continuing to make WordPress.com faster, more powerful, and more user-friendly across devices for all our users — those with a single blog and those with multiple WordPress sites. To that end, we are listening to user feedback and rolling out updates when they’re ready.

Isn’t it funny how they contradict themself? First they mention to make things more streamlined and simpler and at the end they talk about making things more powerful? Maybe I don’t get the definition of the word powerful. But there is something that makes me even more mad, it’s when they say they do listen to user feedback. I can’t tell you what kind of impertinence this is because the fact is that they don’t listen to user feedback and to find this out you just need to browse their support forum.

They are not even ashamed to openly come up with such a lie. I have been active in the forum since some time and not only this, I read there quite often. At the time I write this post here you just need to open the forum to find a lot of people complain about the changes and that’s how it is going on since they started to force “that mobile experience” on us. If they get too much of an impression what people think, they simply close threads because they have the power to do so. That is the reality.

Give the new navigation and enhanced stats a whirl, and let us know what you think!

Done! Done with my article here. I did that several times on my blog and I won’t stop unless I don’t host my site here anymore. But here is my opinion in a nutshell… All the latest design changes, and I really mean all the latest changes, are horrible. A mobile design has its place on a mobile device but forcing such design on all users, even those who use a desktop system, that is a plain stupid idea.

While this design works very well on mobile devices, it looks miserable on non-mobile systems. The usability is bad, things are often broken after updates, the design is ugly and the streamlining or simplification is an insult against a group of people who are called blogger and who are quite tech-savvy anyway.

There is no need for simplification and if there is, than only because they do want to streamline it until the last person on earth starts to create a blog, it’s called profit maximizing and happens everywhere recently. They want to have as much users as possible, users that might use their upgrades in the store.

They want to compete with Tumblr- and Instragram-like platforms where people upload their images and thoughts with one click, that is my opinion. But what they don’t realize is that this is a completely different audience. But that’s where we heading to. I expect more downgrades in the future because what happened does not look very good.

I am very disappointed but at the same time I am still happy that I can bypass most of the new features to enjoy the old design. Sadly it’s not possible with everything and then there is also the question for how long they let us use the old features until they finally decide to force the new changes on us completely. I think it will happen and if it does, I will start to host my own WordPress installation anywhere else. It hopefully doesn’t happen but I start to prepare myself for the worst case.

Posted in Computer, Internet, Software, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Visiting The Christmas Market In Our City


Christmas market sign of Luebeck

After having our probably last barbecue of this year, we decided to visit the Christmas market of Lübeck yesterday in the evening. Our christmas market is very beautiful but it’s sad that I can’t show that very well, because it was already dark and it is not easy to get good photos with a smartphone with these light conditions. But we took some photos anyway, it’s just that they are not in good quality. Here is a small gallery of the market and the nearby streets…

The market is quite big and it fits nicely to our city because of our old architecture. The whole atmosphere is really good and there are different sections such as the christmas market, the medieval market and a fairy tale market for kids and so on. On a weekend it’s very crowded there. It’s always fun but we realized we should go there in the week when there are fewer people. It’s just that you don’t get through there to visit all stores when it’s so full of people on the weekend. But as every year it was interesting anyway.

Tasty but expansive mushroom dish

I can’t count it all up but there are many small stores for different meals, for christmas sweets and goodies, and of course many small stores for christmas gadgets. There are hundreds of small shops and there are even artists showing and selling their paintings and so on. I simply can’t name it all because there are really a lot of shops. Of course you can also get christmas drinks, there is even a huge area for stores that sell you a hot punch, or Glühwein as we call it.

I enjoyed the medieval area. As I often mentioned here, our city Lübeck has a long history and that is the reason why we also have a special medieval area on the christmas market. It’s really fun there because you can buy traditional things like medieval phials from alchemists. We also saw tanners, a stonecutter where you could learn to work with stone, and different other medieval themed shops. When you walk there, you really get this medieval feeling and the air smacked of medieval too, because there was this smell of barbecue, beverages, leather products, polished stone and burnt iron in the air. It’s really good atmosphere. There was also this funny music band playing medieval music…

I really liked the medieval section the most but me and my mother agreed when her husband said that it is too crowded. He said something like “They do permanently stomp on my feet, is this normal?” and my mother replied “Yes, yes?!” in the video and I thought this is funny but he was right, it was way too crowded. You can’t stand there for too long because many people want to go through there and you constantly had to make place for them. Other than that it was really interesting but after two hours we had enough of the christmas market. It’s beautiful but also a stressful place on the weekend. Anyway, we enjoyed our time there. Hope you enjoyed our impressions too. I sadly couldn’t take photos of everything and the quality is not very good. Hope you enjoyed the post anyway.

Posted in Life, Music, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

December Barbecue in the Garden


Fire

Yesterday we decided to have a barbecue in the garden. It is already quite cold outside but this didn’t stop us to go shopping and to drive to the garden. The husband of my mother came up with this idea and he convinced me and my mother. We bought some beer, different meat, potato salad and cole-slaw.

We enjoyed the evening even if it was cold but we did warm our hands near the fire and we also have a small cottage with a heater in the garden, so that we could eat inside where it was warmer. I enjoyed the evening. After that we decided to drive to the inner-city because we have a really beautiful Christmas fair in Lübeck that we wanted to visit.

Posted in Life, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kitty Playing With A Toy


Above you can see Shyna playing with one of her cat toys. It’s basically a rod with scraps of leather. She really goes nuts if I move this thing around in front of her. I mean, if she is in mood to play. That always depends. But if she is in mood, it’s really fun to play with her.

Posted in Animals and Pets, Cats, Life, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

New Blue Graphic Created For Bitcoin


Bitcoin Image

I follow the Bitcoin technology very closely, as I mentioned several times on my blog. I like the idea about Bitcoin and as an amateur Photoshop user I can contribute with some art works. If you are blogger who writes about Bitcoin and if you need a graphics for your article, I release the image above under the CC0 public domain license, which means the Bitcoin image is free to use. You can find the image with higher resolution on Wikimedia Commons. You might also want to check out my other Bitcoin related graphics.

If you appreciate my work, you can tip me on the following Bitcoin address 1M5Un812riWoxkNokRNpiP9X9wEYUzGkCd or via ChangeTip.

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