Category: Site News

Operational Security Update

SSL has now been enabled.
Privacy conscious users can now celebrate.

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

In the past few months, it’s become obvious how important the mission of the site has become. The unfortunate, inevitable truth is that major news and media networks are trying to figure out how they could have gotten the election year so wrong while not actually coming upon the correct answer.

In reality, they blame so called “fake news” outlets for their own failings.

In light of this, and revelations over the years, it’s still important to have operational security in mind no matter what any given website is about. For that reason, we have enabled SSL encryption.

In the coming days, the about page will be updated so that anybody who wants to e-mail any of us will not only have an available e-mail address but an encryption key as well. I will also remove my personal site and set up a new one to free up resources for this site.

My Libertarian Conscience will simply be set up in a new home, and the podcast will be converted to a YouTube show instead.

In light of media incompetence, civil liberties concerns, and the revelations from Edward Snowden, I knew that it was time to make things a bit more secure. What he did was not without controversy, and there were unintended consequences.

With that said, the cat is already out of the bag and everybody should be thinking about their privacy.

Even if one has nothing to fear from their own government, there are still identity thieves and others with less than honorable intentions. Protecting your identity and privacy is generally a good idea.

It’s like wearing a helmet when getting on a bike or safety goggles when you’re doing a job that requires eye protection.

That’s also why I don’t begrudge those who use ad blocking. I don’t blame any readers who have no desire to be tracked and traced.

I’ve only begun to keep things updated here. Stay tuned for more articles and more podcasts.

An Apology to Our Readers

Thomas Holbrook II | The *Nixed Report

For the past several months, I haven’t been as active on the website as I should have been. I was trying to avoid intermixing politics with this very venue, and I shouldn’t have done so.

After all, Overlooked Pop Culture does contain subject matter that is in fact political in nature.

I also wasn’t motivated enough to keep going. That held true until last week. Now I have a reason to get started again. I apologize for being away for so long.

Sometimes, current events are needed to wake me back up.

In the coming days, more activity will occur on the site, and the podcast will resume next week. Thank you for your patience and sorry for leaving everyone hanging.

In the meantime, here’s a video elaborating the situation:

Needless to say we live in interesting times.

Equipment Acquisition and Site Update

RCA 10 Pro Edition
This tablet currently runs Android KitKat.

By Thomas Holbrook II

The first tablet that I’ve ever owned was a Viewsonic gtablet.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t Google certified, so the official app store was not accessible.  I eventually gave it up and wouldn’t own another one for about four years.

I now am the proud owner of an RCA 10 Pro Edition Tablet, and it has the following specs:

  • 1.5 GHz Quad Core Cortex A9 processor
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 1 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage
  • 32 GB microSD card (upgrade)
  • 0.3 Megapixel front-facing camera and 2.0 Megapixel rear camera
  • Micro USB
  • Keyboard folio case
  • Battery life of up to six hours
  • 10″ diagonal screen (1024×600 resoltuion)
  • The usual features of a multi-touch capacitive screen (with auto-rotate)
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Headphone jack
  • Mini HDMI port

The best part is that I have access to the Google Play store.  Although some apps are incompatible with this tablet, I am looking forward to putting it to good use.  With that said, I would also like to take the time to explain what’s been going on with the website.

I’ve been meaning to convert the existing PDF magazines to a web-based format.  In the middle of that, life happened.  Some things come to an end so that others can begin.

A door on one chapter of my life has closed and thus another opens.  The world headquarters for this media venue has been moved back to Warrensburg, Missouri.  This means that Shaggy and I will have an easier time getting together for podcast episodes and other potential projects.

This also means that converting the remainder of the PDF’s to a web-based format will take a bit more time.  More than copying and pasting is involved.  I have to place images in the correct order and add bonus content to entice readers to subscribe to the magazine.

Yes, you read correctly.

Though the online version will remain free for all, there will be a few extras for those who subscribe:

  • Exclusive content, such as video episodes embedded via HTML 5
  • No insertion of Google Ads
  • Other bonuses and incentives as they become available (think exclusive copies of independent films, music albums, and more)

Those who subscribe will get a CD-ROM in the mail with the digital magazine on it.  It’s a throwback to what was once done in the late 1990’s.

Having specific printing equipment for glossy looking magazines would be very cost prohibitive, while having each issue as an individual PDF would only work well as long as the file size remains relatively small.

A web-based format that’s published on CD-ROM would be the best of both worlds as individuals can easily make copies to give away to all their friends.  Yes, I want you to make copies and give them away so that others know we exist!

Once all the existing issues are converted over, I will begin working on the newest issue.  It won’t be perfect as it will be a work in progress.  In fact, it will always be as such.

Still, I am looking forward to this endeavor.  With that said, I shall now conclude this post and begin to celebrate my 32nd birthday.  Have a wonderful afternoon, everybody.

Paypal Here Mobile Card Reader Unboxed

Recently, Thomas received this mobile card reader in the mail. He has a bit of trouble taking it out of the box due to over-analyzing, but once he gets it out, he likes what he sees. Unfortunately, he may have to acquire a tablet instead of relying om his phone due to the thickness of his phone case (an Otterbox) making it virtually impossible to insert the gadget into the headphone jack.

Curtis Warren Joins the Team

Curtis Warren
His scientific background will help round out the podcast.

The podcast has had hosts come and go over the last several months.  With each new episode, it became clear that more perspectives were needed.

Fortunately, it seems the right people come along at the right time.  We’re proud to announce that Curtis Warren will be joining the team.

Science has been an important factor throughout his life, and this background will help the show tremendously.

He also likes video games and has recently resumed playing Magic the Gathering after a lengthy hiatus.  He’s excited about the opportunity to bring his unique perspective to the podcast and had this to say:

I would like to share my compassion and passion for Nature, for gaming, and for Education. I’m a huge advocate for making use of the natural world and caring for others and I think that Gaming, Science, and Art are ways we can accomplish that and make the world a better place.

He makes his debut on tonight’s live recording session.

Opening Back Up Soon

There hasn’t been very much activity on the site as of late, but we have still been active.  Initially we started looking for regular writers to this site, but that fell short.

It’s amazing what can happen in the course of life and the lessons that can be learned by looking into the past and learning from it.

We’re still looking for contributors, but we want to do this the right way and most importantly, the right reasons.  There are those who make millions at a job that they absolutely despised, so what’s the point of doing this if we’re not having fun and opening minds at the same time?

We had to delete the false usernames that were created on this website.  Thanks to spam filtering, no bogus posts were published.

The big issue has been spam bots registering, so a better method for screening candidates has to be put into place.

In the meantime, we’re still doing our podcasts, and some of them are available on YouTube.

As for the magazine, the plan is to either:

  • Switch to a publishing solution such as Scribus or…
  • Switch to HTML and use HTML 5 for multimedia enhancement.

Either way, it will have to be a solution that can be easily distributed to multiple people at once, and therein lies the key.

If not enough people are looking at this, how do we know if we have an audience to begin with?  Have the audience’s attention first.  The next step is to keep it.

From there, everything will fall into place.

Entertain yourself, educate yourself, and empower yourself.

I haven’t forgotten about you.

Thomas Holbrook II,

Editor and Chief and Founder of The *Nixed Report.

WANTED: More Contributors

We are looking for more people to write for this site on a regular basis. We cover a variety of topics including computers, Free and Open Source Software, alternative political perspectives, conspiracy theories, spirituality, video games, pro wrestling, and more.

If you’re interested, feel free to drop a line in the comments section. We can’t pay anything at the moment, but once we start making money, we’ll be able to do so.

We Interrupt This Broadcast

By Thomas Holbrook II

fuzzy imageIt’s been a while since the last post, and I owe everyone here an explanation as to what’s been going on.

First of all, I have some awesome news.  I’m no longer single as a special lady has entered my life.  I’ve been busy getting things ready for when I move in with her.

She is the most amazing person I’ve ever met in my life.

I’ve also been writing for Muktware again as I need to brush up on my writing.  It needs work, but I’m not giving up.  Broadening my horizons will only help me at this point.

However, I should have been keeping up with posting here.  The website is in need of a redesign, and I also have a confession to make.  Every time I begin thinking of ways to raise money so I can keep the site up and running, I would simply stop because I’d feel guilty.

I’m of two minds in terms of alternative media.

On the one hand, I recognize and understand that expenses have to be covered in order for a venue to exist.  This requires time and money.  Unfortunately, because I have to pay bills, I lack time at the moment.

On the other hand, it bothers me on a deep personal level to sell things or ask for money.  That’s why I ask for money as the last thing on the investing page.

After all, many of us are still struggling at the moment and we want to stand on our own feet in many cases.

The problem is that I need to get over that and change my attitude.  Too many times, things with potential never realize it because those who initiate these things are too scared of themselves to try.

I’ve been too scared of myself to try, and for that, I owe all of you an apology.  I will do better, and if some are turned off by solicitations for resources, the Internet is a vast universe.

There are plenty of other sites to visit.

There are some things that need to happen, because if I don’t do them, I won’t be able to take The *Nixed Report to the next level:

  1. All the digital magazines need to be converted to HTML.  While PDF is wonderful in terms of consistent look and feel, HTML is much better in terms of allowing for advertisements among other things, which brings me to the next point.
  2. I need to quit being scared of asking for money.  Others do it all the time, and if I can put ads on the site, then I can very well start a crowdfunding campaign for equipment, site costs, and more.
  3. In order to bring in more revenue, I’ve started freelancing at Muktware, a wonderful website that covers free and open source software.  Swapnil is an amazing editor, and he knows just when to step in and offer constructive criticism.  Another way is for me to do another initiative, Angelcoven.  Angelcoven will be a social media and online consultation group that I am forming in order to help others build and maintain an online presence; it’s been one of my dreams for a long time.

The Return

Welcome back to The *Nixed Report.  After encountering spam issues with e107, the decision was made to go back to WordPress.  The site will always be changing, but the core of it is done.

Podcast Generator is being used for the podcast feed from here on out.  All the episodes are archived and available in that feed, so anyone will be able to catch up on previously missed episodes.

The Distro Journey series will be getting better due to the acquisition of more hardware, thus allowing for more well rounded reviews of different operating systems.

Finally, the previous co-hosts of the podcast and I have parted ways due to creative differences.  Steven Tompkins is the new co-host of the podcast and Stephen Kelley has returned.  Tompkins has a background in technology and gadgets, which will immensely help the show.

I want to end by saying thank you for visiting the site.  There will be more content in the coming days.  For now, you may feel free to check out our podcast as well as our social networking links in the left margin.

Remember to entertain yourself, educate yourself, and empower yourself.

Thomas Holbrook II

Founder and Editor in Chief