My Twitter Traffic Continues Trending Upward

Since the Elon Musk takeover my Twitter analytics continue their significant upward trend. Here’s where I’m at at the end of November vs. the same time in October when Musk took ownership.

I do think there has always been an algorithmic advantage to the blue checkmark which is likely contributing to the upswing in performance here. We’ll check back in next month and see where things are at. I have a feeling we’ll see a bit of “settling down” over the next few weeks to a more normal cadence.

But I have been playing around with Mastodon and I really like the vibe. It’s now a part of my posting routine too. You can find me at

One Pole Fixed, Many More to Go

Following my appearance on Fox 61 last night, Eversource and Frontier came out first thing this morning to resolve the broken utility pole that was the subject of Monday’s Wrap-up video. See the Fox piece here.

While it’s good this issue is resolved my community is unfortunately still littered with blighted, neglected poles all over the place. Today Frontier is in the neighborhood running new fiber and is attaching their new cables to old poles – this even when a new pole is standing right next to it.

The battle is won here, but we have a long way to go to get these companies to prioritize customers over shareholders.

Fox 61 Covers my Utility Pole Woes

My local fox affiliate, Fox 61, covered my woes related to the condition of utility poles in my neighborhood. You can see it here.

While the linesmen did great work getting the pole that caught fire rebuilt quickly my issue is that their management did not coordinate with the other utilities to find a timely resolution to the problem.

Comcast did get their portion fixed after they saw one of my Tweets, but I think it’s clear that if they’re finding out about this from Twitter nobody from Eversource ever reached out to them. Apparently Eversource uses some kind of software package as opposed to actually picking up a phone and coordinating. Once I heard back from Comcast they came out over night to reattach the cables.

Frontier had their contractors running fiber in the neighborhood today but they did not reattach their cables. I think tomorrow they’ll be working their way towards the area where their wires are hanging so I’m eager to see what unfolds there.

Opining on Deficient Utility Poles in my Neighborhood

Those of you who read my blog or subscribe to my email newsletter already know about the condition my local power company Eversource left Comcast’s fiber optic cables in the other day. Eversource replaced a broken utility pole but cut out the portions of the old pole where the communications cables were attached. They then tied that remaining portion of the old pole to the new pole with a rope!

In my latest Weekly Wrapup video I take you further into this mess and show you some other examples of a number of other damaged poles that Eversource and our local phone company Frontier have blighted my neighborhood with.

Some have come to the defense of the electric utility saying it’s not their job to fix any of this. I disagree. Eversource, Frontier and Comcast have been granted the right to profit from poles placed on public and private right-of-ways that they don’t have to pay to access. Frontier and Comcast were even able to get regulations on their business activities lifted allowing them to stay on those poles forever without any government interference into their prices or practices.

So I really don’t care whose responsibility it is – all of these companies should see an issue impacting their customers as a problem they all need to collectively work to solve. Why? Because we provide them free access to public and private land to place the utility cables that they profit greatly from. It wasn’t that long ago that a broken pole immediately resulted in all hands on deck to fix it properly. Sadly that’s not the case anymore.

Comcast did reach out to me following publication of this video to say they will be working to fix the problem. I’ll let you know when that happens.

The Atari 50th Anniversary Celebration is a Fun, but Incomplete, Exhibit of Video Game History

I picked up the Atari 50th Celebration collection (affiliate link) the other day and found it to be a wonderful tribute to Atari’s contributions to video game history. It has a mixture of emulated games along with documentary material presented in an easy to follow timeline.

You can see it in action in this livestream I did on Amazon. The gameplay starts around the 13 minute mark. I am playing the Switch version but it’s also available for just about every current gaming platform.

The games and documentary materials are organized into eras that take the user step-by-step through the development of Atari’s arcade games, home consoles and computers. It keeps track of progress as the user works through what feels like a museum exhibit. They produced some videos specific for this release along with additional archival footage and documents from Atari’s archives.

The game emulation feels pretty solid. Digital Eclipse, the developers of the collection, added some really solid filters to the emulation that come very close to capturing the look and feel of CRTs of the era on a modern television.

I was especially impressed with how they depicted the arcade version of Breakout. The original game used a black and white CRT but had a colored overlay placed over the picture tube to add color. Digital Eclipse’s depiction of it looks pretty spot on – note how the blue band runs through the borders of the play area on the bottom:

Unfortunately some of the games that were designed around specific control surfaces (steering wheels, spinners, etc) don’t translate very well to modern game controllers. Analog sticks work well with games that originally used joysticks but Breakout is pretty hard to control without the precision of a spinner or paddle controller.

But to add some additional value Digital Eclipse and Atari did produce six modern interpretations of 80’s era games, including Breakout. They’re all a lot of fun and capture the feel of vintage games while being much more friendly towards modern controllers. I especially liked VCTR-SCTR which is a modern homage to the vector games of the early 80’s that plays like a medley of Asteroids, Lunar Lander and more. These definitely add some value lost by control issues on some of the vintage titles.

A bigger shortfall is that the history feels incomplete without Activision games like Pitfall, the 2600 ports of Pacman & Space Invaders, and of course the infamous ET game that some credit with causing the 1983 video game crash. While most of these important milestones get mentioned in the timeline, the games are missing due to licensing issues.

Atari is a shell of the company that dominated the video game market in the 80’s so they probably couldn’t come up with the budget to license the Atari ports of other popular games.

Activision gets a mention in the collection, but no games can be played due to licensing issues.

But the collection does manage to deliver a nice sampling of popular games across every console Atari released including the 2600, 5200, 7800, the 800 home computer, the Lynx handheld and the Jaguar. All in there are 103 games in the collection with five 2600 games that are unlocked by achieving certain milestones in the other games. There’s a full list and unlocking instructions over at IGN.

There’s definitely something for everyone but I would have liked to have even more games included even if they didn’t make it to the historical timeline. For example my Dad and I used to play Atari bowling quite a bit when I was 3 or 4 years old and it would have been great to have that included here even if it wasn’t historically significant.

The bottom line? The Atari 50th Celebration is a lovingly curated exhibit of video game history that ends up a feeling incomplete. The six new games included do make up for that a bit but it’s a shame that the full Atari story can’t be told due to licensing restrictions. Hopefully I’ll live long enough for all of this stuff to find its way into the public domain so we can get a full collection for the 100th celebration!

What’s in my Production Bag?

I’ve done more traveling in the last three months than in the last three years!

I’ve taken you along with me for most of the trips in my dispatch video series. These trips included two Pepcom tech events in New York City, Retro World Expo in Hartford, CT and my dispatches from the launch of Artemis I! And of course we’ll be at CES this year looking for new and interesting tech.

Because I’m generally attending these trips by myself I have to optimize my workflow and the gear I take in order to quickly turn around my content. The bag the stuff goes in has been the same since I started these trips in 2015 but the gear is always changing!

In my latest video I take you “inside the bag” to show you all of the tech that I use for my dispatch reports. This includes cameras, audio gear, my laptop and more. Check it out!

I was livestreaming this on Amazon while I recorded it. If you’d like to see how the proverbial sausage gets made you can watch that here!

When Your Business Literally Hangs by a Few Threads

I’ve long been a critic of my local utility monopolies because they’ve put their own profits ahead of doing right by customers and taxpayers. Last night was another example of this.

The top of a utility pole owned by electric monopoly Eversource caught fire around 6:00 p.m. due to their lack of attention and maintenance to their infrastructure. The pole was replaced sometime overnight but the communications cables were still attached to the old pole.

Eversource’s solution was to cut the top and bottom off the old pole and tie it with a rope to the new one. I kid you not. The communications backhaul for me and thousands of Comcast and Frontier customers literally hangs by a few threads.

Eversource owns the pole so they won’t reattach the communications cables. Comcast and Frontier outsource most of their fiber optic line work to contractors and lack the staff to actually deal with it in a timely manner. And they can conveniently point to Eversource as being uncooperative. Who knows if Eversource even tried to coordinate with Comcast and Frontier that evening to get the pole fixed correctly?

Part of the problem is that none of these companies shoulder any responsibility. It’s so much easier to pass the buck – their mutual customers be damned.

And this pole is not alone in my neighborhood.. Five poles down and this is what you’ll see:

It’s been strapped together like this for at least a year or two. The power company added a second pole for power but nobody ever took the communications cables off the old one. Frontier was even coming through here running fiber and left everything on the old pole.

The kicker here is that these monopolies are granted access to public and private property to run the wires that they profit from. In fact I have utility pole on my property and wires running underneath my driveway that go to other homes with a right of way they can use for free in perpetuity.

It’s time these companies put the needs of their ratepayers first and fix this mess. Enough of the finger pointing. For more on why Eversource is the worst company ever see my analysis piece here:

Epson ET-2400 Low Cost EcoTank Printer Review

My latest video is a review of the Epson Ecotank ET-2400 all-in-one printer/scanner/copier. You can find it here at Best Buy on sale right now for only $179 (affiliate link).

Tank printers are often best for people who do a high volume of color printing and want to reduce their cost-per-page versus traditional cartridges. Epson says this printer can deliver 4,500 black and white pages on a single bottle of ink, or 7,500 color pages. The full set of bottles cost around $60 to replace and the printer has a set of windows in the front to indicate how much ink is left in tank.

In the past a tank printer like this would usually cost a lot more – generally in the hundreds of dollars. The reason is that Epson had to build profit into the price of the unit vs. subsidizing the entry cost in anticipation of ink cartridge purchases over the lifespan of the product.

But like other tank printers I’ve looked at in the past you don’t get much for features here. It can’t do automatic duplexing, it has minimal paper capacity (only 100 sheets), it lacks an auto document feeder, and the print engine is pretty bare bones and loud. It prints about 10 pagers per minute in standard quality but only does 5-7 per minute or so in the higher quality mode.

It’s not marketed as a photo printer but it can print photos with an acceptable level of quality. It will do 4×6 borderless prints but nothing larger than that.

All in at its current price point I think it’s a good deal especially as the cost per print is very low. But if you print at a low volume I think a laser printer is still the best option.

One thing I need to look into after hearing from viewers is the waste ink sponge consumable on the printer that apparently cannot be replaced by the user. Epson has a support page about this issue and it seems as though the user has to send the entire printer in for this service which to me looks a bit like overkill.

Xbox Series S Unboxing and Media Player Review

I got a great deal on an Xbox Series S the other day at Target. They were selling them for $249 and the deal came with a $50 gift card! When I picked it up at the store the gift card didn’t process for some reason they took $50 off the purchase price. So I ended up at $200+ tax.

Check here to see if the deal is still on (affiliate link). It does look like they have plenty of stock. I’m also experimenting with a new affiliate platform that dynamically looks for the best in stock price which you can follow at this link.

I made two videos with my shiny new Series S. The first on my Extra’s channel is an unboxing and comparison vs. the much more powerful Series X. The TLDR is that beyond the added horsepower the Series X has an optical drive which is lacking on the Series S. So those who have a large library of older disc based Xbox games will not get much use out of the S as it can’t currently access the discs!

The second video looks at the Xbox as a streaming media device. As we have previously noted the Xbox does do a pretty decent job with Plex so I was curious how it fared with streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, etc.

Unfortunately it falls short in a key area – none of the apps I tested successfully switched the television into 24p mode. Who’s fault is that? Likely the app makers as we know the Xbox is capable of doing this and even has a setting to enable 24p switching!

The Apple TV still reigns supreme when it comes to 24p playback but it’s not so great at Plex. Unfortunately we don’t have a box out on the market at the moment that does everything right !

There is still a Mark on My Twitter Record

Despite being fully exonerated following Twitter’s misidentification of my rocket video as porn, there still a mark on my record. Earlier today I tried to join the community notes program where Twitter users can provide context for people/organizations that are not fully telling the truth. Unfortunately I was denied:

Apparently that 12 hour suspension is still on my record as a recent Twitter rules violation. My concern is that this may also negatively impact my algorithmic placement too.

Mevo Multicam Demonstration with my Kids!

We wrapped up my sponsored series on the Mevo multicam app this week. It’s really amazing when you think about all of this mostly running out of an iPad with the camera feeds coming in over Wi-Fi.

In this last piece we put all of the pieces together from our prior videos and showed how it all works in a real production environment. My kids hosted a fake cooking show while I ran the production from a 2018 iPad Pro. I had three Mevo cameras capturing different angles.

In this piece you’ll see multi camera switching, picture-in-picture and graphical overlays being brought in as we go. You can catch up on the prior videos in the series by clicking here.

I want to thank Logitech and Mevo for their support of the channel!

NASA Details Launchpad Damage

The NASA SLS rocket’s boosters burn at around 3000 degrees fahrenheit / 1649 celsius, so it’s no surprise the mobile launcher that supports the rocket on the ground took some damage. Here’s what it looked like the afternoon of the 16th following the launch:

One thing I noticed at the NASA press site was that the launch tower definitely had a color change after the rocket blasted off earlier that morning. NASA released some images this afternoon that details the more notable damage the tower took at liftoff:

This area is where the rocket boosters take off from – there was some definite damage around the area but nothing critical that can’t be repaired in time for the second SLS flight for Artemis II.

This next photo is likely why it took so long for NASA’s ground teams to clear the area around the pad – the elevator doors for the launch tower blew out due to the massive pressure during launch! This prevented a quick inspection of the launch tower’s overall condition.

But at a press conference held this evening NASA officials said the hardware is working exceptionally well with just a few “funnies” the team are tracking. They currently have more fuel than they anticipated remaining after their recent burn to whip around the moon and they’re generating more power and using less than anticipated.

There’s still a lot of time left in the mission but if things keep tracking this well a crewed flight around the moon won’t be far behind.

See my full Artemis 1 coverage on YouTube here!

HP Chromebook x360 13.3 with ARM Processor Review (with Kompanio 1300)

This week we take a look at an ARM powered Chromebook from HP. This one has a Mediatek Kompanio 1300 processor that delivers great performance (especially for gaming) along with decent power efficiency. You can see my full review here.

As you’ll see in the review its web browsing performance is competitive with Intel machines from a couple of years ago. I was very impressed with its GPU performance especially when it comes to game emulation. Dreamcast and Gamecube performance was great using Android emulators and it will of course have no problem running Retroarch for older systems.

Android game performance and compatibility was also excellent. One advantage of an ARM Chromebook when it comes to Android gaming is that you get better compatibility with popular games like Call of Duty mobile that we demoed in the video.

My only gripe with this system is the build quality. While it doesn’t feel cheap, there was a bit too much flex in the keyboard deck when pushing down on the keyboard. Additionally I felt the trackpad clicking when I picked up the system from the corners.

ARM processors are becoming more and more prevalent on PCs these days with Apple switching to their own custom ARM architecture but also a number of options for running Windows on ARM hardware too. ChromeOS has supported ARM from day one – you can check out this review I did way back in 2014 of HP’s first Chromebook. We’ve come a long way!

Mastodon & Why a Blog with RSS is the Best Way to Decentralize Yourself

With all of the talk of this decentralized platform called Mastodon I decided to set up an account myself. I went with the “instance” as I have an interest in reviving the independent web. You can find me at

Mastodon is not a centrally controlled social media platform, rather it’s a network of federated servers that all communicate with one another. You plant your flag on one of them and you’ll have access to all of the users on all of the other federated servers. To some degree this reminds me of how the bulletin board system (BBS) network FidoNet has worked for decades.

But Mastodon has a few weak points. First, can their federated network scale at the volume of Twitter with hundreds of millions of users? That remains to be seen.

A big problem I see is that if your instance goes *poof* so do you. Migrating to a new instance without losing your identity requires the old one being available to release you to the new one according to this post. If your originating instance disappears one day it’s not clear if you have a way of importing your presence elsewhere without having to start over.

I’m also struggling with automating ingesting my content from elsewhere into Mastodon. For example I’m using Zapier to automatically post my YouTube content and blog posts to other platforms, but Mastodon doesn’t work with Zapier at the moment.

My advice for those looking to “cut the social cord” is to get a blog with an RSS feed. You can control it, own it, and because RSS is still largely the connective tissue of the modern internet it’s relatively easy to link it to other things.

That’s why I set up as my base of operations. Everything from here feeds into other stuff like my email newsletters, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. You can learn more about this effort from a video I did a few months ago.

It’s funny how we really solved this federation problem back in the early 2000’s with content management systems and RSS. It’s how podcasts work to this day. And yet we’re still trying to reinvent the wheel every time a centralized platform has a crisis. There is no need to reinvent the wheel IMHO – we just need to make it easier to get started and federate!

Artemis I Launch Dispatch!

I am on my way back from an epic NASA experience witnessing the launch of the first crew-capable deep space vehicle since the Apollo days. Check out my behind the scenes look at the spectacle here!

In the video I take you behind the scenes at the NASA press site and give you some amazing audio of the launch. Be sure to put on your headphones for that part! We also took a trip out to the launchpad later that afternoon.

As usual YouTube doesn’t push out my space content to the wider subscriber base. This is a real frustration because of the effort and expense that goes into these. But really I do it because it’s something I like to do irrespective of the views these things get. NASA is my happy place !

I also wanted to share a great comment I got from Logikgr following the launch. This is exactly why I do these videos!

Twitter’s AI Took Down Astronomy Videos Too

Twitter has reinstated my account after it somehow determined that my video of the Artemis I launch was pornography. They also republished the post they took down back to my feed. You can see it here.

I’m not the only one this impacted. The BBC reports that an astronomer had the exact thing happen to her the other day. However in her case they shut down her account for 3 months, not the 12 hours they hit my account with.

Twitter has an appeal process but they don’t give the alleged violators a link to access those appeal tools. I only found out they existed when I googled it!

For what it’s worth Twitter says “it appears we made an error” and determined that my account committed “no violation.” So I’m now fully exonerated!

Twitter Suspended My Account!

So early this morning I was here at the NASA press site covering the launch of Artemis I. Following the launch I uploaded this video to share the experience with followers on Twitter along with YouTube And Facebook.

Right when the video finished uploading my account was immediately suspended for violating Twitters “rules against posting or sharing privately produced/distributed intimate media of someone without their express consent.” Clearly their AI misinterpreted the scene and threw down the ban hammer immediately.

Twitter does have an appeals process that they don’t make clear unless you Google it. The communications from Twitter basically told me to chill out for 12 hours before I can gain access to my account. Other people can still see my account but I’m completely locked out of the service.

And oh yeah, I am a Twitter Blue subscriber. That $8 is not taking me very far today!

I should be back up by 2:30 p.m. eastern time today, November 16th. But if you’d like you can Tweet to @elonmusk , @twittersupport and ask them to restore the @lonseidman account!

My Twitter Analytics Post Musk Takeover

My Twitter analytics continue moving upward without any real changes on my part beyond going to the Blue tier. This could be due to more overall activity on Twitter, but I suspect the gatekeeping disadvantaged smaller voices on the platform prior to Elon Musk taking the company private and extending the reach of blue check marks. Have a look:

My impressions (how often my tweets appeared in feeds) went up 83.9%, profile visits are up 57.1%, and mentions are up 51%. Over this same period I lost 44 followers – either they don’t like me anymore, left the platform, or were bots that were cleared out.

The Week Ahead

Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment but I am once again heading down to Florida for the Artemis I launch. The next launch attempt will be at 1:04 a.m. on the 16th which means Tuesday night I’ll be camping out at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. How cool is that?

I was really disappointed my initial video from the Kennedy Space Center didn’t do all that well but perhaps a first person perspective with an actual launch in the piece will do better.

Since so many other outlets (including NASA’s own channel) will have much better close up views, my goal is to show you what it’s like to be there in person. I noted that a live stream I did with my phone showing people around the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center press site generated twice the views with far less effort! I will also present the launch without commentary.

Also coming up I have a review of Twitter’s Blue tier (I paid for it so you don’t have to) along with some balanced analysis of where I think Twitter is headed next. I’m also hoping to shoot a review of HP’s new ARM based Chromebook x360 (affiliate link) later this afternoon before I start packing up gear for my journey.

Stay tuned!