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User Journal

Journal Journal: On the troll again...

On Nazi nazis

It's been almost 4 years since I've written a journal here. I hope you'll believe me when I say I've matured quite a bit... although adding that to this particular post may be less than convincing. ;p Oh well.

What's new, everybody?


Journal Journal: Submitted story - Missed Warning Signs on Internet Forums 1

On Saturday, October 29th, William Freund, 19, left his home in Alieso Viejo, CA, about 9 a.m. and drove less than 100 yards to a house, where he shot and killed 22-year-old Christina Smith and her 45-year-old father Vernon Smith with a shotgun. Now, more information is coming out about what happened before the shooting. Over the past month, Freund apparently posted on various message boards about his plan, asking for information on shotguns (registration required to view thread), and describing the revenge which he planned to take on his neighbors. Some dismissed him as a gimmick or troll, while others hesitated to notify the authorities, afraid of complicating a mentally troubled teen's life further. In the end, though, no one stopped him. After the crime, posters on the Something Awful, and anandtech forums quickly drew the connection between the William Freund who had murdered two people and the William Freund who had posted on their forums. Many are in shock over the missed warning signs, but questions remain about whether action should have been taken based on a few internet posts. A spokesman for the EFF criticized potential mandatory notification laws as "onerous" and difficult to uphold. This case brings to mind the earlier incident of Brandon Vedas, a.k.a. ripper, who overdosed on drugs during a live broadcast on a webcam and IRC, the chatlogs of which have just been turned into a play.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Is SVG Dead? 1

Is SVG dead on the desktop?

I've tried to "Ask Slashdot", but the editors are too busy accepting dupes, and and endless stream of insipid stories that fit better on the NY Post - so here it is. I've drawn my own conclusions, but I've gotten a number of feedbacks that imply otherwise. I would love to know how the general tech community feels, as the feedback I've gotten is obviously the motivated and selected, obviously who have a vested interest in SVG.


Journal Journal: Workplace absuridities as phone support for a DSL ISP. 16

This journal entry isn't about customers that call in, despite the numerous ijits out there that deserve to be mocked.

No, it's about the company I work for, specifically the bosses.

Yesterday, I recieved an email saying that "Firefox is on the list of banned software, and there will be disciplinary repercussions if anyone is caught using it."

Nevermind that all our webapps suck ass, or that I've spent time on and off the clock for the past 3 months, in between calls, trying to make it work with them. Bless you, greasemonkey.

Don't even consider, that on average, my calltimes have to be at least 1 minute shorter because of firefox. I have a single window open, not 20 IE windows. I've not only fixed the webapps, but extended them... when I pull up your phone number, I see all the information that I'd spend the next few minutes (and in a few select cases, the next 15-20 minutes) looking for in a mix of shared drive documents, webapps, and even printed out documents. That one CO location with the abbreviation that doesn't match its name, and since everyone on night shift has only been there 2 months, they can never figure out which... our main webapp now sports a button that I click, to log into it. 15 minutes reduced to 3 seconds.

If you've wandered through our phone menu and gotten lost, I can see immediately if you have our dialup or dsl, or if you're just a telephone only customer... I don't waste the next 60 seconds figuring this out before I transfer you.

So, why would this be a problem? Well, apparently, I let the wrong person test an older version of the greasemonkey script that even makes the webapp work at all. And it opened a ticket, but didn't save the comments. Now mind you, you only have to re-edit the ticket, add them again (and the guy should have noticed, it doesn't whisk you away to another page, it shows the saved ticket there after saving it). Also, consider this: we screw up alot of tickets. On average, a dozen a day, I'd think. Someone using IE forgets to put his comments/notes in, or schedules the wrong person to work on it, or doesn't send it back to the company that wholesales the phone lines when its their problem.

We screw up hundreds of tickets every year. The first one ever screwed up by firefox, because I didn't quite fix the webapp perfectly on one of the earlier beta greasemonkey scripts, and firefox simply can't be tolerated.

So, I go and ask my boss (think her title is Director, never spoken to her before) if she could spare a few minutes to talk to me.

I'm polite, I don't start screaming, or spouting ideological rhetoric. I simply state that this would be a hardship, and would impact my productivity. I explain how the enhancements I've made improve my calltimes, how I've got literally dozens upon dozens of saved passwords in firefox (that IE doesn't save), that I'd spend the next couple of months having helpdesk change for me, or that I'd have to look up in documents no one can find.

What do I get? Do I get anything like the minimal respect that a 30 yr old man is entitled to? That a human being is entitled to? How about because I'm a worker making shit wages who took it upon himself to actually try and improve things there, even just a little? No. I'm treated like a child in grade school. This from a woman that can't be 5 years older than I.

"Now I hate to do anything that would decrease your productivity, but I can't very well let you use it and prohibit it for everyone else."

This is ridiculous. She can say that. She's not giving out candy to kindergarteners, she is saying which workers can use which tools. At construction sites, do you have one guy whining that he wants to use the crane today, that Jimbob got to use it yesterday? Fucking ludicrous.

Side note: She thinks that "E" is the name of the web browser we are supposed to be using, because of the icon...

Finally, I somehow manage to pour more on, without whining (imo). She relents, and I won't be written up as long as "there's not another single incident of it creating a bad ticket".

So, I investigate a little further, after our talk. Seems it was just as I describe, it didn't save the comments (if indeed, he simply didn't forget to type them in). It didn't create some invalid ticket that fucked up the database, and it was caught that very same day.

There are several problems here:

1) A director managing a technical department that knows so litte, she can't name the web browser she uses.

2) The applications department isn't giving us the tools we need to do our job.

3) Making your own tools isn't praised as resourcefulness, it's punished for a single instance of a flaw that is so trivial that the triviality can not be over-emphasized.

4) This proclamation/rule/policy implies that my calltimes aren't important, and the corollary that our abandonment rate is not important either. That has a corollary too, which is that helping our customers isn't important... if they hang up before I can talk to them, then I'm not helping them.

5) It suggests that the managerial groupthink tends towards something I would describe as "militaristic", that is, it is more important I do what I'm told, rather than I've given a problem and left to my own devices to solve that problem.

6) It never ocurred to her that if it can reduce my calltimes, with as much experience as I have (seniority in just 6 months, kind ridiculous eh?), then it might also improve calltimes all-around, especially for the new guys. Not only would I not have to put a customer on hold every 30 seconds to answer them when they ask which CO an abbreviation is (they'd just click that button), they wouldn't have to put a customer on hold to ask me.

7) They're (by this, I mean the director and 2 supervisors) concerned with calltimes and abandonment rates, but only have managerial talents at their disposal to solve those problems. Not only do they not have the technical talent to solve these problems, they can't even recognize technical solutions when they see them.

I don't work here by choice, I'm paying down 5 figure credit card bills from when I was unemployed. Last payment is this month, after which my girlfriend and I will be debt free. My other job pays better, is telecommuting, and I can work in my underwear if I so wish. I don't know if I will continue to work the second job (would be nice to actually put away some savings for once), but the real question is, how can I?

Next time you're on hold for an hour because your DSL is down for the third time in a month, remember that your ISP chases away workers like myself.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Welcoming the second junior member of Team Forbes

This one came in at 9# 3ozes, beating out his older sister by almost two pounds. He's a beautiful, healthy little boy, and we're trying out our short list of names to choose what to name him.

Journal Journal: Day Three: Apathy 1

Well, I wonder if temporary bans last this long, or if my sarcastic email managed to get me an editor pimpslap.

Strangely, I don't miss it as much as I would have thought.

Journal Journal: Day Two: Bannination.

Well, it's been well over 24 hours. May have to wait til I get my DSL before I can comment again. So all you losers that think you won our arguments... wrong, you've been protected from my stinging sarcasm and subtle wit by none other than the editors. They can't protect you forever. One day, you'll say something stupid on fark, or k5, and my vitriolic rebuttals will tear your wimpering souls to shreds. That, or you'll just ignore logic and continue blabbering on.

On DSL: It sucks. I work for the DSL company. I'm figuring that it will be down 5 days a month. About on par with my cable modem. That said, I plan on keeping both of them, and praying to the Gods of Networking that the 5 day periods never overlap. Yet another reason why a consumer broadband router is a poor substitute for a linux machine with quad port nics...

Journal Journal: After getting a few flamebait mods.. 1

I recieved the:

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has temporarily been disabled. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner . If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, please email

So I decided to email them. Here is the gist of it.

Robert Rozeboom wrote:

> So, I'm lumped in with all the GNAA trolls?: No you'll get the ability to post again after a timeout period. You were banned because you have been downmodded too many times.

I apologize, obviously something I wrote mistakenly led you to believe I was a retard. I respectfully submit that I am indeed of normal intelligence and that I suffer from no chromosomal abnormalities or other birth defects that cause me below average intelligence.

As you may be aware, your warning message doesn't say "if you believe this to be in error", which if it did, I would think it might mean "if you believe a random slashcode math error caused this". It says "if you think this is unfair". My previous email should indicate that yes, I think it is unfair, even though I don't necessarily believe it to be in error.

That being the case, I am slightly confused that you would reply with an email that says in effect, "there is no error, you've been downmodded". I understand that the moderation system is a very tricky thing, and that you have little control over it even when gibbering idiots somehow get mod points and go running amok like chimps randomly clicking buttons. Perhaps you should change the wording, so that you no longer use the word "unfair" and instead use something like "in error" or maybe "by misktake". That way, people like me will be able to see that you and the other powers that be at slashdot don't care about fairness, or that you have no control over it.

Or you could just ignore me, and allow nature to take its course. Here in a year or two, when no attitude/sarcasm/strong opinions are left and the great slashdot groupthink experiment is complete, will it matter as long as advertising revenue is strong?


User Journal

Journal Journal: What the hell? 6

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has temporarily been disabled. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner . If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, please email with your MD5'd IPID and SubnetID, which are "b83b1e19852d08887af15e8a758XXXXX" and "378edad33953e09027589d8dd99XXXXX" and (optionally, but preferably) your IP number "66.92.132.XXX" and your username "JDWTopGuy".

Okay, what the hell is this? I've only posted 8 comments in the last two months, and only 3 recieved negative net moderation.

Any comments?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Rid of the evil 4

No, this isn't about politics or anything like that... it's about something much more important!

I am off AOL and now on Speakeasy DSL. :-D

I haven't written in here in a long time, I guess there's just nothing going on.

Okay, I'm done...

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: REBOL sillyness 1

While attempting (and failing, so far) to write a quine (self-replicating program) in REBOL, I figured out one of those "type this, get a funny error" things. The >> is the REBOL prompt.

>> 'spend canadianmoney
** Script Error: canadianmoney has no value
** Near: canadianmoney


User Journal

Journal Journal: is funny!

Hahaha! I have found a new comedy site,, which has some incredibly funny postings. What's amazing is how these people are capable of writing such rediculous things as if they were actually serious.

On a side note, the TOS for their forums says, "No personal attacks". I can't find the exception that says it's okay to attack republicans, but I'm sure it's there somewhere, because people are constantly using it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: On terrorists, continued... 9

I have been reading your replies to "On terrorists", but I have been busy lately, and not in the mood to argue about it.

First, a final note on Maher Arar: if he was offered first to Canada, and they turned him down, the canadians should be to blame. We tried.

Shakrai gave a perfect example of why I don't give much weight to the arguments of flaming anti-Bushies. He ended one of his comments with, "God I fucking hate neo-cons and all that they stand for." I resent being called a "neo-con". Frankly, I think the term was invented to sound like "neo-nazi". I'm just a plain conservative. You could at least avoid saying you hate people because of what they think, if you want to appear to be a reasonable human being.

I reject the premise that the US is "occupying" Iraq. We already have a date (a close date!) for moving control to an Iraqi government. I also reject the premise that the majority of Iraqis want us out "now, now, do it now!".

I suggest you read the book "Legacy", which is about Bill Clinton's eight years in office. Part of this will address the issue that Shakrai raised, about getting terrorists with law enforcement. To very briefly summarize, anything baring any resemblence to "racial profiling" would not have been permitted.

Part of the reason liberals and moderates hate or are afraid of Bush is that after eight years of a guy who was afraid to do any military action of any consequence, we now have a president who is not afraid to defend us and attack our enemies. Furthermore, GWB is not afraid to do what he thinks is right, even if it is not good for him politically.

My opinion remains the same: there were a lot of bad things which shouldn't have happened, but I think it will be dealt with.

User Journal

Journal Journal: On terrorists 31

About this Iraqi prisoner deal... This incident could barely be considered torture, and the people who did it are being punished, and don't forget... those weren't innocent civilians. They were terrorists and the like. Unlike in the Saddam Hussein system where they would have been innocent people who would truly be tortured, and the actions would be condoned by the government.

America and the world needs to see this beheading video. If we can show movies that have this sort of thing in them, we can show the real thing. Even if the broadcast stations can't because of the FCC, that's no excuse for the cable channels.

Think about the difference, people. We give terrorists due process. They gave america the world's worst terrorist attack, killing thousands of civilians. They gave Berg five hits to the neck with a dull blade. We get mad that some of our soldiers didn't treat these people humanely, meanwhile they chop the head off a civilian and praise their god.

Don't tell me that we started this. Ever since they saw our weakness in Mogadishu, terrorists have been attacking us on our land and off. We didn't even bother fighting back until after the September 11th attack.

This country is a superpower, and we have no business laying down and letting terrorists rape us. We need to show that anybody who engages in or supports or harbors terrorism will not be tolerated. If you can't understand that, you should move to Canada. No offence to any canadian readers!

Here are some stills from the video. Do you want to let them get away with that?

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"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_