I still believe the Free State Project is still our best hope for liberty in our lifetimes.
Usernames still available on Slashdot:
my precious karma
I've spent quite a bit of time lurking the fatwallet Hot Deals forum over the last few months. I was mainly hoping to find a good deal on an LCD or odd castaways from the dot com era. I haven't really come across any deals I could use - most that are of both legitimate and of real interest are marked "DEAD" within hours - but it has been somewhat interesting.
The Hot Deals area of the forum is very active. Many of these posts are just hastily typed or pasted versions of weekly ad flyers from office supply and consumer electronics chains. Some are one-off deals from liquidators such as overstock.com or refurbished goods at Amazon.
A lot of these folks go for free-after-rebate items from the chains. How many spindles of CDRs and CF readers can one person use? These posts are pretty harmless, but I can't help but think a lot of these folks must be drowning in clutter.
But the deals that get the most page reads are the ones that sound too good to be true. And they are. For most of us.
They normally involve an incredibly convoluted path of adding filler, applying coupons, applying for rebates, and asking for price matching from competitors. Through this process the reader can get paid $300 to take a new Dell PC, Horton Internet Firewall, a color cell phone camera, a bag of doritos, paperclips, etc, etc. Sometimes it's legitimately possible, at least until stock runs out, but very often involves some degree of fraud in addition to chutzbah.
The tip off is the phrase YMMV. This phrase once meant "available in cedar rapids, but may not be stocked west of the Pecos." It now is used with alarming regularity in describing how to deceive the store manager, order taker, or rebate center.
Apart from that, getting details on any posted deal is extremely cumbersome. This is mainly due to the many people who feel obliged to post the words "This deal is HOT! Thanks OP!". You will literally scroll through pages of this same post, over and over, while reading an especially popular thread. I kid you not. I guess people just like seeing their own avatar.
Greed abounds there. Any time people can get away with taking cases of an item, they will, whether they need it or not. One time I saw people ordering 1000s of an item they which had no description, simply because it was free. I'm sure they were hoping to have something they could immediately turn around on ebay for a tidy profit. Turned out to be the store catalog. So what happens now? Most of the assholes who ordered the things throw them in the fucking dumpster.
Always buy the cheapest shit you can find. When it is broken or used up, just throw it away! Hey this is great!
I'm done with fatwallet. These are the McDonald's eating, SUV driving, Dell buying losers of America. And they depress the shit out of me.
I will preface this thought with a disclaimer. I have no formal background in economics nor political science. This is just a layman stating a view haven't seen mentioned in the press. Nothing profound to be seen here - just plain old common sense.
With that said, I am going to make a bold prediction. The massive transfer of tech jobs from the US to India will have a profound effect on the political stability of the East. I just don't know whether it will be for the better or not.
Nearly all of the Fortune 1000 now depend on India-based workers to operate. Most are indepedent outsourcers, while a few, such as Oracle, Intel, and Dell, run their own shops there.
Big business pays for a lot of political campaigns, and they expect some benefits in return. Not only that, but they can now truthfully state that the stability of India is of vital importance to their daily operations, and as such, is important to our own (short-term) US economy.
Therefore, the first order of business will be to squelch any rumblings of conflict with Pakistan. We have little interest in the well being of Pakistan, other than our usual role of "Cops of the World". So the UN and the international community at large will have to step in and convince them that the proposed agreement is indeed amicable.
I'm not sure where this will take us next, but mark my words, conflict is coming.
So what is Thanksgiving? Is it just like Christmas but without the presents?
No, it's a time where we get together with family, eat a lot of food, and reflect on our good fortune over the past year.
Right - like Christmas, but without the presents.
Having now reached my first anniversary as a "switcher", I've spent some time lurking in the mac forums and download sites. One observation I find interesting is the mixed culture that has resulted since the introduction of OS X. There are two user bases, each having polar opposite perspectives on applications.
The first one is the old world Mac community. These folks are the loyalists who have stuck by Apple, through thick and thin, lo these many years. Many of them weren't too happy about the death of their old OS and the arrival of the very different OS X, but are begrudgingly coming along.
These folks love utilities that make their desktop look and act more like OS 9, but they loathe the X-Window system. They're very happy to pay and register for any useful shareware. In fact, they're thrilled to see any development happening for their platform. They're used to being a distant second place when it comes to the commercial software market. Which, apart from a few small freeware utilities and games, was the only source of software.
Then there are the switchers. Not the type targeted in Apple's marketing campaign, but the more savvy power users who are drawn to the Unix undercarriage married to stylish good looks. These folks were impressed with the original Macintosh, but by the early 90s didn't see it as being so innovative anymore. The switchers considered OS 6-7-8-9 to be an overpriced, unstable, black box used only by industrial artists and technophobic consumers. These folks are used to getting most types of software for free, and want nothing to do with classic applications or carbon libraries. These folks revel in the fact that most anything not available as a native app is available as a Fink port.
What about the Windows switchers? I'm sure there are a few out there, but they're harder to spot. Maybe they just aren't a forum posting kind of people.