More repair notes on the blog

While this is not the optimal solution, it looks like there is no choice. I had to go into the database to delete all of the comments in order to delete the 130 thousand or so spurious comments from spammers waiting in the moderation queue. So, to this day, there are no comments anywhere in the blog, since they have been all deleted. Sorry if your comment was among the casualties.

A Little Late to the Party: The B. S. Generator

Yes, Bulls**t generator technology in its many forms and guises such as this site, using a cutting-edge convergence of certain verbs, nouns, and adjectives, has assembled compelling verbal deliverables using distributed front-end generators and extensible, enterprise-level methodologies to merge words into a confluent, innovative  passage of meaningless web content. See how I am e-enabled to author difficult and dense passages of the simplest mental models and efficiently interface these paradigms, internetworking un-necessary deadwood phrases and hackneyed clichés with tired jargon, into a customised, extensible, Web 2.0-ready piece of killer content reminiscent of a squid squirting ink.

As the title suggests, I have only discovered these BS generators recently, but the technology itself seems to have been in common availability on the web since the early 2000s. It’s fun to write, but difficult to do if you actually want to make a point.

OK, So I am trying to build a home theatre with a quad-core system box …

And part of such a home theatre would consist of a way to hook up the Bravia I bought on sale to the mainboard, which has HDMI on it. My strategy was to enjoy both cable and “free” internet television through either the keyboard or the remote device. So, then there was the TV Tuner card I had to configure. Windows Media Center said that my card “could not be configured in Canada”. I phone the retailer who sold me the card, and indeed they too found to their horror that it could not be configured with Windows Media. I was instructed to send it back and get a replacement.

I think I am an unfortunate victim of “trade barriers”. Perhaps some CRTC regulation is preventing Windows from allowing this card to work, so by law, Windows is telling me that it is a criminal buy tramadol online offense to configure my card.

I check out the card, and it is from AverMedia, a comapny based in Taipei, Taiwan. Well, what competition is left in Canada if Chinese-made TV tuner cards are left out? There are a host of brands provided by Happauge (based in Long Island last I heard), but I think that is it for any major brands. Yes, if you’re Canadian, you buy either American or Chinese. Since you can’t buy Chinese, it’s American or nothing. Not that I expect there to be any Canadian brands, but, I am suprised to see a lack of any European brands at the stores I visited.

Maybe it’s nice to hear once in a while that the Chinese are not given too much of an easy ride in our economy. But this time, I got burned by that idea.

USENET: Death of the Alt.* Hierarchy

The Usenet has been, and continues to be, a great source of information, where technologies that push product can easily be pushed aside using filters. There are more than 10,000 newsgroups on nearly every topic that delienates our human existence, all hierarchically arranged. The major hierarchies are known as “The Big 8”: comp.*, humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, and talk.*.

The one hierarchy which has been the bastard child of the usenet has been the alt.* hierarchy. Like all technologies, they start off with good intentions. According to one follower of the Big 8:

The alt.* hierarchy was begun, in part, as a reaction against the management principles of what came to be known as the Big-8. It is an “alternative” approach to creating newsgroups

This meant that, in reaction to certain sites placing a “veto” on certain newsgroups and due to the political influence certain site maintainers had, why not make it possible for anyone to make any newsgroup they want, without the need for a vote? That was the idea behind “alt.*”

Most people who maintain USENET sites will freely admit that much of the alt.* hierarchy has become a moral and technological toilet. It carries nearly every nutty newsgroup bounded only by imagination, including groups no one has ever seriously posted to, as well as long-dead newsgroups that also have no posts (unless you count spam). Examples are

  • alt.swedish-chef.bork.bork.bork
  • alt.n (where “n” = monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday, sunday)
  • alt.sex.extraterrestrial
  • alt.food.pez

… you get the idea. This led the folks carrying these newsgroups to decide that: OK, maybe we’ll make the carrying of the alt.* hierarchy optional. Thus, the carrying of the alt.* hierarchy has been considered optional since its inception. I don’t know of any universities that carry it.

There is another problem with the alt.* hierarchy. It has been used as a vehicle for carrying child porn. If we censor ONLY these newsgroups, that would only mean that people can create others within alt.* that do the same thing. This is also the same for newsgroups that carry ISOs of complete software suites, mp3s of complete albums, and DVDs of movies. None of these activities are what I would call “legal”, and is easy justification for axing the whole hierarchy for reasons of freedom from liability for the ISP. That still leaves the “big 8”, which are mostly safe from illegal activity (unless it’s spam).

Verizon will be cutting alt.* from its offerings, and Time-Warner will no longer offer USENET at all later this month. It must be stated that alt.* carries a lot of worthwhile groups that are active, with their own FAQ maintainers. In light of this, many ISPs have taken the middle ground of not carrying the alt.* binary groups, leaving the text groups intact. What Verizon has done would be considered extreme by the standards of most ISPs.

There are hierarchies that are not part of the “Big 8”, having to do with gaining inexpensive (free) tech support, such as microsoft.*, corel.*, borland.*, linux.*, and so on. These are even more worthwhile, and I hope they are keeping them. They typically are relatively free of spam and have more wothwhile posts. There are knowledgeable people there who can answer your queries in a relatively short time.

Freedom of speech has historically been limited by the understanding that “freedom of the press belongs to those who own one.” For the Internet, the argument is specious, since it was taxpayer’s money that built it in the first place.

That means that even the attempt to privatize it to various companies (Time, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, Bell, and so on) constitutes a form of corporate welfare. The questions seem to come down to: who really has the right to decide what newsgroups I can and can’t read? I suppose someone has to manage alt.*, but who gets to do this, and in who’s interest? These are really the questions that need to be explored.

I wannabe Chris: A parody about Chris Crocker Parodies – Updates

Some updates to the story I wrote.

There are some minor changes to my story. (link above)

The Chris Crocker video in question.

His imitators (parody, of course, and not all male). Many of these stray far off the topic of Chris Crocker: 1 2 3 4 5 (Israel?) 6 7 8 9 10 (a hockey player?) 11
There are dozens more, but I haven’t got anywhere near that kind of time to collect them all.

I have a link to the original story about The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier.

Some related comments in an earlier article I wrote.

Are there unused icons on your desktop?

Nothing brings Windows to its knees more than unused icons on your desktop. It must be so, because every so often whenever I use Windows, I get this annoying message on my toolbar (one of those balloon things) saying that there are unused icons. This must be some kind of important message, otherwise it wouldn’t be bugging me so much about the icons. I imagine that it must be the reason Windows is so slow. All those icons are just gumming up the works somehow. Pretty soon, I imagine that the icons will cause a fatal crash and bring on the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death. And you know, in cyberspace, no one can hear you Blue Screen. I will end up as roadkill on the Information Highway, with packets of information whizzing past me, with not one of them stopping to help. Perhaps some of them will slow down to stare at me like I was some kind of spectacle, and then you know what will happen next… the entire network will slow down to accommodate the rubberneckers on the Information Highway. This will ultimately bring networks to a crawl, and ultimately, the entire Internet will slow down, and it will all be my fault, because I didn’t clean up my desktop. That will probably be my final thoughts as I lay dying on the Information Highway’s “Slow” lane. And as I rise to go to heaven to meet St. Peter at the gate, he will know about my slothful and slovenly ways and take that into account as he figures out whether I should wind up in heaven or hell. I imagine that there must be a special place in hell roped off for those who commit the egregious sin of not removing unused icons from their desktop.

Of course, there is an answer to the cancerous scourge of unused icons on the Windows desktop. It is a signal, my friends, that Windows is no longer useable. It is time to rip it out and install Linux. I guarantee, my friends, that Linux will not give a hoot about your icons. You can cover your whole goddamn desktop with them and the operating system will not complain. That has got to give you peace of mind. Sure, there is a bit of a learning curve with the new operating system, but at least St. Peter will be pleased with you, and you will have one more reason to remain in heaven. And as a bonus, you can take the passing lane on the Information Highway.

Ad parody for Windows Vista

Follow this link. It is the best Nat Lamp parody I have seen in a long in waterbury can i buy viagra at a store time. Apologies for the repost, it is being posted to several new categories.

 

Foggy essays

I have a “foggy” essay generator that just did the following, for an essay on folklore:

Of course, the characterization of critically co-optive criteria adds explicit performance contours to the profound meaning of "The Raw and the Cooked". Conversely, a constant flow of field-collected input ordinates must utilize and be functionally interwoven with Krapp's Last Tape. Similarly, a primary interrelationship of system and/or subsystem logistics is holistically compounded, in the context of improved subcultural compatibility-testing.

If I handed a whole essay like this in to a prof, I don’t know what I’d get, but it’s likely he’d see through it and just think it was junk, which it is. anti fungus. It has a database of random sentences and catch phrases, and it just weaves them together into a mind-numbing treatise of meaningless drivel. I think George Orwell would have had something to say about it.