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User Journal

Journal Journal: Do you use Slashdot's relationship options? 17

Do you sort through the masses on Slashdot by defining friends and foes ? I've been on Slashdot for going on 8 years now. In all that time I've never ceased to be amazed at the amount of utter trash and nonsense on these discussion boards. I was quite pleased to see the ability to define relationships added to Slashcode, what 2 years ago? 2 sounds about right. In the beginning though I more or less ignored Slashcode relationships. I started using them eventually to define a handful of complete and total idiots as foes. Since then my lists have grown considerably. As of this writing I have:

Friends : 86

Foes : 47

I also have a sizeable number of fans and even some freaks :

Fans : 64

Freaks : 24

Apparently others and finding the service useful as well. There's nothing like a good debate of some controversial topics to give the nutcases a chance to shine, and us a chance to add them to our foe list. In case you weren't aware of this already, you can effectively block your foes and freaks by giving them score of -6 in your personal preferences (Preferences, Comments section, options listed under "People Modifier")

My questions for the Slashdot community in general follow:

How many people actually use the relationship features found in Slashcode?

Which do you use more, the friend or foe option?

How many of each do you have?

Does a person's foe or foe of a friend rating affect whether or not you read that person's comment? ie, do you skip it?

Have you ever reassigned a foe to neutral or friend? I've removed one foe rating and gave that person a neutral.

***UPDATE*** After careful consideration I've decided that an additional relationship option should be added to the current friend/foe/neutral options. I believe there should be an "Idiot" option. I've encountered a few people over the years that I simply have no desire to ever hear from again. Their posts are irrational, illogical and irrelvant. Since I can control how the score of a person's post is affected with my personal preferences, I'd like to be able to -5 an Idiots post while not necessarily doing the same to my Foes. That would be a nice option.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mini Mac

Now I know what you're thinking. This must be a scam. I thought the same thing too until an online friend of mine got his free iPod. The way these people make money is by connecting online advertisers with people willing to see their advertising. As long as you have a way of shutting off the advertising at a later date, all will be well (ie, use a disposable email account).

Finally someone has put up a freebie offer that doesn't cost you very much. The FreeiPod offer worked in the beginning because you had the option of signing up for a few completely free offers (as long as you canceled in time). However they removed those options, making all the various things you could sign up for cost you a minimum of about $10. However the Mini Mac freebie only costs you $1. That's right. It will only cost you a buck. In fact it will make you $20. Here's what you need to do.

Sign up at the Free Mini Mac site with a disposable email address. You're going to toss this address later because you're gonna get a lot of junk mail. This address will be put on spamming lists and sold and resold more times than you can imagine. You have to use a valid address though because you have to be able to get the account validation email and respond with it. I used an email alias on one of my domains for this task. I'll delete the alias when I'm done with it.

Next click through all the pages of crap you don't want to sign up for until you get to the long page of "offers." Scroll down to the one that says "Complete Home" and choose it. I went with this option because it only costs $1, doesn't require that I stay a member for a given period of time (like the offer), and actually gives me money that I can use (I go to Lowe's weekly). If I somehow forget to cancel it will only cost me $8.99. I'll still come out ahead.

Complete the Complete Home signup process and bookmark the terms and conditions webpage (link is at the bottom). This is important because you will need the number on that page to cancel the subscription in a week or so. It's 1-800-232-HOME in case you forgot to bookmark it. Heck, here's a link to their T&C if you need it.

By signing up with Complete Home you'll actually make $19 ($20 gift card minus the $1 signup fee). All my friends are doing this for each other right now. So ifyou mind giving me a hand and signing up for the Free Mini Mac. I'll do the same for you. Thanks!

***UPDATE*** I just heard from another user that the offer is completely free. I haven't yet verified this yet but that's what the blurb says, as well as my source. Note that my first suggestions actually nets you $19, whereas this one costs you nothing. Both are good options. Frankly I prefer the Lowes card because I'm there just about every other day. YMMV of course.

Also, one last thing. After I get my Mini Mac I will be more than happy to help one of the people that helped me by signing up for me get one of their own. I'll remove my referral link and replace it with their's at that time. Because of that you need to make sure to check your disposable email account for a message from me in case I pick you as the one I'll change my referral link to (since I don't have any other means of contacting you or verifying that you helped me out). Thanks again.

***UPDATE*** 1 completed referral down, 9 to go. Woohoo! Thanks, buddy

***UPDATE*** I thought I should also mention that you have to visit a website and fill out a form to get your $20 gift card. Your membership number (needed) and the URL will be sent in separate emails to your disposable account. Don't lose them. And then don't forget to cancel about a week later.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Test

Test. Just making sure this thing still works...
User Journal

Journal Journal: Most moderated comment 3

So far I think this one is my best ever:

9 Insightfuls

4 Overrateds

1 Offtopic

and a partidge in a B-tree.

How do you like 'em apples? Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Slashdot on a cell phone

I just dumped my Alltel cell service and switched to Verizon. They seem to be a fair carrier in this area. I bought their LG VX7000 phone (upper end of the LG line). I got "Mobile Web" added to my service as well. I've found the browser to be difficult to use. I wish I had a Treo 660 but I'm sure I'd break it in the end. I need both a phone and a PDA and not always both at the same time.

I'm trying to figure out how to view the /. headlines on my new phone. I've read through the FAQ for the answer but came up short. I did however find a page talking about RDF and XML versions of the main page here. Neither page loaded though. I know it's been done before. Does anyone know how? Thans

User Journal

Journal Journal: Diarrhea girl 2

Does anyone find the red-headed "diarrhea girl" from the latest Pepto-Bismol commercial cute besides me?

"Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea... Yeah Pepto-Bismol!"

User Journal

Journal Journal: Apple SUCKS!!

ARGH!!!! I can not stand Apple's program. Be it problems with default preferences not saved or randomly reset to being able to quit the program with a key command but no user confirmation, manages to piss me off at least 3 times a week. Just seconds ago I had 7 terms opened and SSHed to 7 differents servers doing a variety of things. I fat-fingered Command-Tab and hit Command-Q instead. Instantly closed all connections and the program exited. Shit! Now before any of you mention it, yes, I've configured to prompt before "closing" a terminal window. This doesn't however have any effect on quiting the application in general. God I hate this fscking program. If only there was another OS X terminal emulator that didn't revolve around in some manner. *sigh*

Journal Journal: Opportunity lander a success 1

Submitted to /. on 20040124 at 11:30:00CST.

Spirit's twin lander, Opportunity, arrived at the Martian surface at 0505 GMT. Celebrities present in Mission Control at Cal-Tech include former US Vice President Al Gore and current California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In other news real-estate prices in Mars' Meridiani Planum are soaring...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fighting the *AA cartels sue-bots

I just stumbled across this little gem. I don't see a name for the product. What it essentially does is create files with the names of common movies and songs that contain nothing more than zeros. Stick these files on a web page or FTP server and wait for the *AA sue-bots to crawl your site and send a C&D letter. The *AA of choice would be making a legal threat illegally. So if you're really bored of have the $$ to spare you could sue for barratry. Who has the patience for that though? This would fill their sue-bot output with a bunch of BS, similar to filling a spammer's spam-bot with a bunch of bogus email addresses. It's a novel idea...
User Journal

Journal Journal: My BCS gripe 3

Note: I would have selected the journal Topic "Football." Oddly enough it wasn't an option... ;-)

I have a gripe, and it's a big one. This particular gripe is with the college football ranking system and bowl selection system. In short I believe the current system is a scam. Tell me this, how can the number one college football team in the nation, USC, not play in the national championship? How can the number 3 team, OU (O Who?), play in their place? Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a USCOU fan either. I'm a K-State fan. That's right. I have a Wildcat tattooed on my ass, and I like it. I'm a fan of the team that was ranked 15th last week, K-State. I'm a fan of the team that played the team that was ranked number 1 last week, OU. I'm a fan of the team that beat the living hell out of the number 1 team in the nation, at least they were last week. That's right. #15 K-State whipped the living shit out of #1 OU 35-7. Oh hell yeah! Who's your daddy?! If your a O Who fan, you probably don't know. ;-P Let me just say one more thing before I get back on topic. Bob Stoops REALLY looked like he needed a dip REALLY badly at the end of the 3rd quarter. If you don't know what I mean by that then this will be utterly lost on you.

Last week's #1, OU, was completely and utterly trounched by #15, K-State. It wasn't like OU wasn't there to play. They scored on their fourth play. OU just couldn't K-State's running or passing game. OU's offense couldn't handle K-State's power house of a defense. OU was simply bested by the better team, the team that went to Arrowhead to win. That ass-whoopin' dropped OU to number 3 and raised K-State to #8. Why is it that OU is still playing in the Sugar Bowl, this year's championship game, then? I'll tell you why. It's because some computer in up-state New York thought they should be. USC whipped Oregon State Saturday by 24 points. This win ensured USC the number 1 spot in the nation. However no one ever expected a BCS computer to decide that since OU played 1 more game than USC that OU was the better team. Opps! Bend over USC. Now you know how we K-Staters feel. The BCS jackasses have been screwing us for years. Strength of schedule my ass. How many times have we had the number 1 defense in the nation? This year we have the nation's leading rusher. The BCS always treats us like their midwest bitch.

USC was voted number one in the nation by the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll AND the Associated Press' media poll. You remember what coaches are don't you, BCS people? They are the people who really know what teams are the best in the nation. Try not to forget that.

USC is the number one team in the nation. The Rose Bowl is this year's true National Championship game, once again. The BCS is now truly a joke. Now everyone realizes this. We K-Staters have been saying this for years, as has others. Now the nation knows it too. How exactly can a supposed number 1 team be number 1 and yet not even win their conference? Strike that, how can they be number 1 if they thoroughly got their asses kicked in their coference game? Bye bye BCS. The BCS ranking is a joke. The best should be decided by playoffs. That's the only fair why to play the game. You'll be gone very soon BCS, and we couldn't be happier.


Journal Journal: Microsoft's future Mac products plan? 2

I was sitting on my throne browsing through the latest MacMall catalog the other day when I came across the Microsoft product section (about 1.5 pages). I was reading the blurb on Virtual PC 6.1. I decided then and there that I must write down what I've been saying for months about Microsoft's Mac product line future. This is my prediction...

The whole reason Microsoft bought Virtual PC and Connectix is really quite simple. Microsoft is going to pull the plug on all their Apple development for all of their products except for Virtual PC. "Why?" you might ask? Consider this, Microsoft is having to develop their office and home use applications twice, once for x86 and once for PPC. They are duplicating development efforts for:

Note that Internet Explorer is not listed since it is no longer being developed by Microsoft for Macs. (yippeeee!!!!!)

That's a lot of redundant development, especially for a platform that's not even their own!

How can Microsoft lower their development overhead and still either a) sell products to Mac users or b) convince users to switch to Windows? To me the answer is very obvious. Microsoft is developing a common codebase for which to run their existing applications off of. They can save money by porting Windows to a Mac environment, just like in Virtual PC. They no longer have to code everything twice. A x86 version of Office 2010 will run just fine under Virtual PC on a Mac. That is how they lower their costs. Now they only have one application to develop: Virtual PC. That completes their first goal. They get revenue from more sales and have to do very little work to make it happen. How do they eventually get this userbase to switch to x86 Windows though? It's simple really: They pull a bait and switch and drive their mac customers to Windows. They could do this by introducing instability into Virtual PC that leaks over into OS X. They blame the crashing on Apple and lure some users away to x86-ville. They get everyone switched to Office via VPC but introduce a bug with the release of a new Office. The new Office won't run on VPC. Again they blame Apple. Microsoft then drags it's feet on "patching" VPC so that the new Office can run on it (funny, I thought this was a Windows environment...) all the while blaming Apple for bad coding and not sharing APIs. In the process they lure more users away. They do this every time a new Office comes out that uses a different file format. The Office via VPC users are continually stuck using a dated version that can't open documents from a new version of Office on x86. Frustration leads to migration; bye bye more users. Eventually Microsoft is just going to leave the Mac arena but not until after making a big public todo over how bad OS X is and how Apple leveraged its position wouldn't share APIs as well as intentionally making Microsoft products run poorly on OS X. This will of course be a load of hooey but the smear campaign will work to some degree. More people will switch to x86 just to get Office back.

Think it won't happen? I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. It seems to make perfect sense. The loss of Microsoft applications on Macs is a good thing to me--a damned good thing. Internet Explorer on OS X was a joke. It was HORRIBLE. IE literally locked me out of a PacketShaper 4545 once. That put a stupid look on my face, all because some genious programmer at Microsoft decided that IE should modify all pre-configured text fields on a form before form submissions, even if the field hadn't had its text altered. Genious. The worst thing about Microsoft products leaving the Mac arena is that this will give anti-Mac IT folks a chance to say no more Macs on the network. No more Office on Mac means that the Mac users won't be able to share files easily with the PC users. Anti-Mac IT folks will have a foothold to keep Macs off the network from then on.

I sure hope OpenOffice becomes usable on all platforms in the very near future. If it becomes adpoted soon enough, we might not really care what Microsoft does...

This of course is my opinion; I could be wrong.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Doing your homework on online merchants?

I have bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of goods on the 'Net over the years. I mean that literally. If you include the auctions I've won then that number would easily double. I've been extremely fortunate to have a very limited number of bad online transactions. I've also been lucky enough to not have an problems (that I know of) with identity theft. I credit my good fortune to picking merchants that I've either heard good things about or got the warm and fuzzies after visiting their site or doing research on them. Still, I've had my problems. I now always double check new merchants with a review site called I get to hear from other consumers on their experiences (good or bad) with that merchant. It has saved my ass numerous times. I've found that the cheapest place is usually not the best place to make your purchase. Paying a few bucks extra to buy from NewEgg or GoogleGear is worth it. The service before and after the sale is worth it alone. You might end up paying $1-15 more for something but it's worth it IMHO. One time when I didn't check is one time I definitely got burnt. I priced ultra/160 73GB hard drives a year or so ago. One vendor had a significantly lower price and had a pretty good site. That merchant was Computer Giants. I recommended to my employer that we buy that hard drive through CG. Big mistake. The drive was faulty from the start and went KIA within a day or so of being powered up. Needless to say CG was less than helpful with a RMA. They wanted us to pay for the return shipping AND for CG to test the drive to determine if it was in fact faulty AT THEIR LEISURE. The drive was destined for a server and a project that depended on it. Paying more money for a DOA drive was certainly not reasonable. We were a state agency for Pete's sake and they sold us a faulty product. In the end Maxtor's excellent support bailed us out. They replaced the drive with a brand new one that worked flawlessly. That was one of only a few times I didn't research an online merchant before doing business with them. Before sinking your hard-earned cash into a ubber-special deal from a merchant you've never heard of before, I highly recommend you do a few minutes worth of research into their past. It could save you a lot of potential grief.

Journal Journal: 'Do Not Call' List Blocked By Court

A U.S. court in Oklahoma has blocked the national "Do Not Call" list one week before it was to go into effect. The Direct Marketing Association sued to block the list shortly after Congress approved it in January, saying it would violate free-speech laws and discriminate against an industry that provides millions of jobs. It's at least a temporary victory for telephone spammers.

Journal Journal: Two more DNS Blocklists forced of the Net 3

Submitted to /. 20030823

Hot on the heels of the demise of, news is spreading of the demise of the and of the (at least) temporary demise of OpenRBL. is known for providing the Unsecured Proxies List, UPL which was highly effective at combating open proxy spam. The wave of DDoS attacks against DNS Blocklist servers is gaining speed. Who's the next target: SpamCop, NJABL, MAPS or ORDB? What does it take to get the FBI involved in tracking down the sources of the DDoS attacks with possible ties to the recent viruses that create a distributed network of open proxies?

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