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User Journal

Journal: The Trolls 81

Journal by Tom

Wow, it's been 15 years but I've finally got my own personal troll! :-)

I must apologize to everyone I've ever called a troll now that I've seen a real one. Yeah, there are trollish comments, but this... it's a different league. If you ever wondered who these brain-damaged morons were who set up geocities homepages with blinking purple text on blue background with red dots in Comic Sans - that kind of different league.

Now it does make me wonder about trolls in general. Has there been a study on this? I really wonder if psychologists have tackled this because quite honestly, you cannot be mentally stable and post in this and this content at the same time. So I do wonder if trolls on the Internet (the real trolls, not the people occasionally posting something stupid) do have a mental problem. It definitely looks like it. Probably insecurity issues, definitely an exaggerated need for attention, might be related to borderline syndrome or schizoprenia.

And, of course, the Internet provides:

As someone who has had to deal with family members suffering from mental illness, let me tell you that it's not funny. So despite the fact that they are, in fact, obnoxious, aggravating assholes, these sad little fucks also need help and their miserable little existence is not something you'd want to trade for yours, no matter how much you think your life sucks. Trust me, with a mental illness on top, it'll suck more.

Obviously, we can't offer therapy to people who usually comment anonymously and will often go to great lengths to avoid being tracked down. What we can do, however, is get a better understanding for how they act this way (they can't help it, mental illness is stronger than your conscious mind) and that the best thing we can do for them is to not continue the feedback loop. "Don't feed the trolls" - old wisdom there.

The last link in that list contains a few more ideas.

Now that I'm at the end, I kind of regret the smiley face at the top. But I'm leaving it in because this journal entry is a bit of a journey, even if it is short. Thanks to some Internet resources, a bit of research and connecting the dots, I've come a short way, changing my mind a little on this particular sub-sub-sub-part of life.

-----

A short additional statement on how to treat trolling. From what I've gathered from the resources above, a few comments (both here and in the various spammed threads) and my own life experience:

First, don't feed the trolls. Most of them seek attention, so if you stop giving it to them, they become frustrated and go away. Notice that they seek attention, not validation. A rebuke or an angry rant or even a shootout of personal insults satisfies them as much as anything else. Much like the old PR saying "there is no negative publicity", it is all about the attention itself, not about its content.

Second, stand your ground. Do not leave the site or stop commenting just because you're being trolled. It takes a bit to do that, yes. Trolls consider it a "victory" if they shut you up, either by simple flooding or by frustrating you enough to disappear. In their twisted minds, it gives them validation and somehow proves that they were right.

Third, if you see someone else being trolled, give them support. Doesn't take much - a single sentence is more than enough. Someone under attack by a real troll is being flooded. The troll will commonly post under multiple aliases or otherwise attempt to appear as more than one person. Psychological experiments such as Solomon Asch's show how we humans as social animals experience conformance pressure. So give that other person support by showing him that the flood he's getting is no the only opinion around. It doesn't matter if he consciously knows it's just one troll, the pressure is subconscious.

-----

I'd like to have comments disabled on this journal entry, for obvious reasons, but you can't publish a journal entry with comments disabled, so... 1000:1 bet that he's stalking the journal as well and will add his drivel below?

Also, if the formatting looks atrocious, turn off beta and revert to classic. Seriously.

User Journal

Journal: Open Letter to Congresswoman Anna Eshoo

Journal by istartedi

Stop Obama's plan to sell FNMA foreclosures to private investors in bulk. These properties should be made available to all regardless of political or social affiliation.

It's understood that putting the properties on the market en masse could have negative impacts due to supply/demand fundemantals.

Here is a suggested course of action that addresses that issue FAIRLY:

1. Charter a corporation to hold, repair, and rent the properties, with the understanding that they will not be sold into the market for a fixed period of time, and thereafter only a fixed percentage per annum may be sold (e.g., 5 years of holding and no more than 5% of holdings per year sold thereafter).

2. The corporation must be publicly traded so that it will be subject to the full transparency required of any other corporation, and so that anyone who wishes may invest, regardless of who they know or donated to.

User Journal

Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

Journal by CleverNickName

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.

Security

Journal: On Long Password Security

Journal by SharpFang

So, we entered our den and settled down. I got down to soldering the bug, while Mike sat in front of the computer and pressed the Power button.
"Gonna transfer the cash to high-percentage account, so by the time we return it, we'll have a neat bonus for us." he said, as BIOS messages scrolled by.
"Just don't freeze it somewhere. Don't be too greedy."
"No sweat. I know my job." he said and began typing his truecrypt password.
Monotonous clicking of keys reminded me I'm hungry. "Mike, let's order a pizza."
"Fine." he continued typing, as third line of asterisks appeared on the screen.
"What flavor?"
"Same as always, Ham and Pineapple."
"Got it." I dialed the pizza place and placed my order, watching Mike press enter after finishing fifth line of asterisks. Wrong password.
"Damn it, I made a typo!"
"Look, Mike. Why do you think a password this long will stop anyone from accessing your data? If they want your data, they will put a gun against your head and demand you enter the password!"
"HA! That's why it's so long and complicated! You see, recreating it is a complex mnemetic exercise. Something so insignificant as asking about a pizza made me lose my focus and make a mistake. There is NO CHANCE IN HELL that I could ever type this password correctly with a gun against my head!"

Ubuntu

Journal: Someone rewire Shuttleworth's brakes.

Journal by SharpFang

Specifically, connect up accelerator to brakes pedal, while making the brakes switchable on with the right position of ignition.

That's how the new Ubuntu UI feels like. The idiots killed the "menu" button and moved all the other window buttons to the right side.

Just to make transition from Windows easier for new users, for sure.

Luckily: gconf-editor; apps -> metacity ->general; button_layout: menu:maximize,minimize,close

the fix works instantenously.
still, retards.

User Journal

Journal: The ultimate in military training environments 5

Journal by BWJones

I had checked out... The environment was so complete that for a discrete moment I had completely forgotten that we were still in the continental United States. Perhaps it was the smell of kebabs cooking or the sound of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan playing from the electronics shop that also sold pirated Western DVDs or the afternoon call to prayer coming from the tops of the minarets in the local mosque. It could have been the women selling bread, fruits or flowers by the side of the road or the Arabic men playing backgammon in the cafe with shisha pipes. Toyota trucks or bicycles being repaired in the roadside repair shops under Iraqi flags added to the realism along with a tangle of wires on poles carrying telephone and electricity around town with satellite dishes for television on rooftops were added elements. But the thing that completed it was the sound of Baghdadi Arabic from a gentleman greeting us as we drove through town.

Read all about it here. Medina Wasl with the 3rd Special Forces Group

User Journal

Journal: Sundance New Frontier 2010 and a Banksy sighting

Journal by BWJones

New JonesBlog update. Sundance New Frontier 2010 and a Banksy sighting

I ran up to Park City for the Sundance Festival and to photograph an art installation, the Cloud Mirror by Eric Gradman. The point of the Cloud Mirror is to search out information on the Internet about visitors and merge that information with a real time image of the person on an LCD screen in front of them using computer vision to augment reality. You see yourself reflected back live, in person on the LCD screen in front of you with a thought bubble out of a comic book superimposed next to your head displaying all sorts of information that can be dug up through the Internet. The Cloud Mirror searches Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, IMDB, sex offenders databases and displays activities, relationship status, your favorite movies, books, music, any status updates you post etc...etc...etc... along with snarky comments.

C for yourself.

Working...