How’s This For Laugh’s?

January 3, 2008 at 10:40 pm (entertainment, Knowledge, Security)

419 Eater, you’ll laugh till you cry

Not to long ago, I stumbled upon a great site called 419 Eater. This is ton’s of fun. You know those scam emails? The one that tell you that you could get MILLIONS of dollars, if only you’ll send some Nigerian some cash, to free up all the funds? Well, these people have decided to take the fight back to the scammers.

Welcome to the world of scam baiting

Scam baiting is the act of holding email exchanges with scammers as to waste their time (and money, if at all possible) so as to keep them from scamming others. And to try and get “trophies,” pictures and other things, from the scammers, to keep and display to other scam baiter’s. Check out the site, it’s great. 419 Eater: teaching Nigerian that crime does not pay.

P.S. If the site is taking long to respond, it could be because it gets A LOT of DDoS attacks directed its way. Something to do with making scammers lose TONS of time with their antics. I’ve even heard reports of the Storm Worm being called in to attack the site! You know they’re being effective if such a powerful botnet is used against them.

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I No Longer Support Ron Paul (For President).

December 15, 2007 at 12:26 am (Knowledge, News, Opinion, politics) (, , , , , )

And I will probable get flamed for it…

But hear me out first

When I first heard about Ron Paul, I did what many people have done on hearing his message. I listened to the anti-Iraq war, anti-IRS, and pro-improving the dollar rhetoric, and thought to myself, “Here’s a man I can support.” I did something else that many others have done, namely: I didn’t bother to find out much more about him. Why? Because the man is captivating. His speeches on Iraq, and the other issues he choses to talk about, are powerful. However, I didn’t check his voting record. I believe that many other Ron Paul supporters are making the same mistake. For the past couple of days though, I’ve done some research, and what I’ve found, I REALLY didn’t like. What, exactly did I find? Well, first, a little bit about where I stand.

I’m a little to the left of Ghandi

There is a great site to help you see what your political leanings are. It’s called The Political Compass”. It shows you where you stand compared to other famous people and leaders. My political compass puts me to the bottom left of freaking Ghandi! My score is Economic Left/Right: -6.75, Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.44. In other words, I am Economically Leftist, and Socially Libertarian.

What does that have to do with Ron Paul?

Dr. Paul, on the other hand, is Economically and Socially Libertarian. He feels that corporations should be free to do just as they damn well please, and no one should get any help from the government. I just don’t agree. There are some aspects of society that just should not be a business. Take health care, as an example. Does anyone think that running health care as a business has been good for America? I know I sure don’t. The American problem of rising health care costs will NOT be fixed under a Ron Paul presidency. If anything, it will just be made worse.

Other examples

First, many thanks goes out to Orcinus for putting these all in one place. Let’s look at a small sample of Ron Paul’s voting record, shall we?

First off, Ron Paul is extremely anti-abortion. I can understand this up to a point. After all, Dr. Paul has delivered something like 4,000 babies. Also, he is a religious fundamentalist (more on that in a bit), and those types tend to hate abortion. On the other hand, for a man who says he supports the Constitution above all else, he sure is quick to try and make a CONSTITUTIONAL amendment banning abortion. This is something that I just don’t agree with AT ALL. I wonder how many liberal Paulite’s would want to have that little plan happen.

Next, he is against same-sex marriage. Another fundamentalist idea that I think is just stupid. If two people are in love, than what business is it of the Governments to get involved in that? Here I thought Ron Paul was trying to get Government OUT of peoples lives. I guess that only applies to people that follow the fundamentalist idea of what love is.

Moving on, Paul is against some forms of protest, such as flag burning. To the point of make ANOTHER Constitutional amendment banning it. Gee, for a guy who wants to preserve the Constitution, he sure wants to make a lot of changes to it, huh?

What else? Let’s see, getting rid of OSHA. You know, that pesky act that says that companies have to make a safe work environment for their workers. The act that was put into place because market pressures weren’t enough to keep them in line to do it themselves.

Also, he hates labor unions, and we’ve all seen what the loss of labor unions has done for America (just look at Wal-Mart).

No more minimum wage, under Ron Paul. Hope you like making wages along the lines of what you would get in a third world country.

Forget social security with Ron Paul.

No more anti-trust. In fact, he would strengthen the ability of hospitals and pharmaceutical companies to work together so that they can screw you over on costs, even more than they do now. Because, you know, we don’t pay enough in health care cost already.

He would make it so that people born in America to non-citizens do not get citizenship.

All environmental protection would go right out the window. Because corporations are such wonderful stewards of the environment. Yeah, right.

He’s against almost all forms of international law. Not to mention the UN.

About the only thing I agree with him about (aside from Iraq and the IRS) is his stance on gun laws. I’m pro-gun, in that I believe owning a gun is my right, (and protection) and no one should have the right to take that away from me. Gun-free zones do not work. If you don’t believe that, just look at all the school shootings. Those are all gun-free zones. But that’s a topic for another blog post.

The list goes on…

There’s much more over at Orcinus. I highly recommend that any Ron Paul supporters do the research on where he stands on all his policies, not just the one’s you agree with. This was a tough idea for me to come to grips with. I know, I wanted to like the guy, but he’s not what I hope for America, no matter how much I agree with him on a couple of views.

Dennis Kucinich, FTW

So, where does that leave me? I putting my vote to Dennis. He supports all the same ideals I do. I wish more liberal Ron Paul supporters would look around and see that there is another candidate that wants the same things that they do. Just without all of the crazy fundamentalist, pro-corporate free-for-all plans. Take a look, you might just change your mind, just like I did. For the sake of America, I sure hope so.

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Pounding Nine Inch Nails into the Music Industries Coffin.

October 13, 2007 at 4:44 pm (entertainment, music)

It started with free USB drives.

Imagine your at a concert. You leave your seat to use the restroom. As you’re “taking care of business,” you notice something on the ground. You look closer, and realize that it is a USB thumb drive. So you pick it up, and take it home. You place it in your computer’s USB slot (I hope you ran some scans on it, after all, you did find it in a bathroom!) and, lo and behold, it’s unreleased music from the band you went to see! This is Trent Reznor, doing what he has been doing best lately: taking care of his fans, and pissing off the music industry. The unreleased songs quickly spread, with the help of p2p networks. Soon, many people on the net had heard of this new style of music distribution. It didn’t stop there, however. NIN then went on to allow people to listen to the ENTIRE new album, right from their website. You don’t have to sign up, you don’t have to pay anything. Just go to their website, and listen. When Trent found out that his label was over-charging some people for his new CD, he famously remarked, “Steal it!” Now that’s how you create loyal fans.

Radiohead releases “pay what you want” album.

Hot on the heels of that, Radiohead has taken the net by storm, with their new album, “Inrainbows”. What is so special about that? Besides that Radiohead, an alright band, has a new album? I will probably get flamed for saying that, but hey, they’re just not my cup of tea. The special part is: Guess how much the album costs. Give up? It costs whatever you want. From $0 up to $10^15, how much can you pay? However much it is, Radiohead is cool with that.
Unless it’s $10^15. I’m sure that if you wanted to pay $10^15, Radiohead would freak. I mean, really, that’s $1,000,000,000,000,000, or one quadrillion dollars. You could feed the hungry, cure cancer, and how knows what else, with that kind of money.

What does that have to do with NIN?

The most recent Nine Inch Nails news: they are free from their contract, and are joining Radiohead (Oasis and Jamiroquai, are also looking into pay what you want album sales as well) in a new for of digital music sales. The idea behind this is, bands don’t make money off album sales. They make money from concerts and merchandise. So why are albums so damn expensive? Because the music industry makes all the money from album sales. So why not just cut out the middle man? In this high tech day of p2p filesharing, it make little sense keeping a bloated, monopolistic, behemoth alive and kicking, to reek havoc on (mostly) young adults and kids, in support of an outdated album supply chain. This way, the bands get to keep any money they make off of their albums (with little overhead: digital music transfer is much cheaper than making a CD and shipping it to sit on a store shelf), which no matter how little, is still more than they would have made from royalties if they were under contract. It makes complete sense. We can only hope that more bands follow suit. Maybe, just maybe, we might get rid of the RIAA yet. It’s time for artists to take their music back.

UPDATE:

The best article I’ve read yet on this subject can be found here, at Demonbaby.com. It covers the problems of the outdated music distribution from an insider stand point. Written by a music industry insider, and music lover, it shows what’s wrong with the RIAA’s strong arm tactics, and how we can deal with them, while still continuing to support the artists that we love. Coming not long after the death of Oink (who’s website now displays a message about waffles), the article is a guide to breaking down the major labels, in favor of a new, and still evolving, digital music revolution. Articulately written, it covers the ins and outs of “the industry vs. piracy” debate masterfully. If you love music, go, read this now. When your done, don’t forget to take action, as well. Call, write, and email (and I do mean for you to do all three) the RIAA labels (ways to contact them can be found in the Demonbaby article, or by using google), and your government legislators. I have been boycotting the music industry for over two years, and made sure to contact them and tell them why. I’m FAR from the only one doing this. But we need more music lovers to follow suit. Steal the music you love, back from the labels that have been stealing it for years.

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Microsoft Loses Anti-Trust Case.

September 17, 2007 at 9:57 pm (Uncategorized)

A drop in the bucket.

That’s how I would describe the final verdict against Microsoft in the European Union appeal court’s battle against the software giant. They upheld the record 497 million euro ($689.9 million) fine. Big deal. This is small change to Microsoft. EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes was qouted in Rueters as saying that “this ruling should lead to a ‘significant drop’ in Microsoft’s 95 percent market share.” Why, I ask? $700 million is NOTHING. Their lawyer says that it will change how Microsoft market their product. I don’t believe this for a second. Microsoft has been doing everything they can to slowly strangle the open source movement, through Novell. They have said open source violates their patents (Microsoft complaining about piracy? Did Bill forget how he built his business?), and attempting to sully the name of the “Open Source Initiative”. They intend to stay the dominate OS, and this little setback won’t stop them.

The Alternative

Ubuntu linux is a great operating system, that in my experience works better than windows. To learn more about Ubuntu, click here. I installed Ubuntu on my desktop, plugged in a printer and it WORKED. No disk, no hassle, it just worked. In fact, everything worked. Every single piece of hardware, including a USB wireless-g WiFi adapter (linksys). No installing drivers, no problems. No, I don’t work at Ubuntu, I just really like it. If Microsoft’s operating system monopoly is to be broken, it will be by educating people about linux, not through fines.

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Croc’s attack children with help from escalators.

September 17, 2007 at 9:19 pm (entertainment, News, Opinion)

WTF?!?

That’s what I said. Actually I’m talking about “Crocs” footwear, those ugly monstrosities that some people, for whatever reason, chose to wear. Turns out that the material that Crocs are made from sinks into the cracks of the escalators, trapping your foot. This can injure you, should you fail to remove said feet before you reach the end of the escalator. Serves you right for wearing Crocs. You’re an adult, and should know better. Unfortunately, in what I can only describe as mild child abuse, most Croc related injuries are to children, whose cruel parents made them wear these horrible things.

“If I had better fashion sense” is what she should have said.

An example of Croc related injuries can be found at The Associated Press:

Four-year-old Rory McDermott got a Croc-clad foot caught in an escalator last month at a mall in northern Virginia. His mother managed to yank him free, but the nail on his big toe was almost completely ripped off, causing heavy bleeding.

At first, Rory’s mother had no idea what caused the boy’s foot to get caught. It was only later, when someone at the hospital remarked on Rory’s shoes, that she began to suspect the Crocs and did an Internet search.

“I came home and typed in ‘Croc’ and ‘escalator,’ and all these stories came up,” said Jodi McDermott, of Vienna, Va. “If I had known, those would never have been worn.”

They should have never been worn in the first place, lady. Did you look at what you were putting on your child’s feet? Here’s a picture for those of you who have not seen them:

I feel sorry for the kid. Who knows what else she is dressing him in. A sailor suit, perhaps? School will be so much fun for this little guy.

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