Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

The gentrification of the internet

December 20, 2008

What I was afraid of has finally happened.

Today I started getting bounce messages from my personal mail server. After a little investigation it turns out I can’t send email because Spamhaus.org has decided to allow ISP’s to forbid the transmission of mail from clients on dynamic IP addresses that ISP provides. Yes, I understand it’s DESIGNED to slow down spam. In my experience it does not work and the ISP’s are now using this as a way to extract more money from their customers.

In the good old days you used to be able to slap a server up on the internet and you were on an equal footing with everyone else. Your web pages and email weren’t controlled by anyone but you. It was good and it was bad. You could do really rude stuff like spam people. You could also do things like get up on your soap box and complain about rude stuff like taxation without representation and that nasty little tax on tea.

Thanks Spamhaus. You guys have turned into the enemy. If you really want spam to go away take all the effort you’re spending on this carp and use it to identify spammers. By name. In a public forum. I’ll kick in ten bucks to pay guido to pay their server a visit. I think it will be lots more effective.

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Cheney Cthulhu

March 30, 2008


I took one of Andy Davey’s cartoons and modified it a bit to make this parody.
You can find the rest of Andy’s work here

Deadwood review

January 1, 2008

I really tried to give this show a fair chance but couldn’t even finish watching the first episode. It starts off slow and doesn’t improve. I didn’t care about any of the characters halfway through the episode. The writer confuses profanity with dialogue. It really should have been called “F**kwood” instead of “Deadwood”. If you’re desperate for a western with lots of soap opera intrigue and don’t mind profanity this show could be for you. It’s also got a decent set of actors and has good production values. If you’re looking for anything else give it a miss.

just got back from GenCon

August 21, 2007

We had a great time this year. I’m a bit conflicted about it. Overall I had a great time but there were moments that were really awful.

There were quite a few more computer gaming companies. Unlike many who decry the end of (insert your kind of gaming here) I think this is the future of gaming. There was some good stuff, and some just mediocre.

There weren’t a lot of good costumes this year. The Manticore who won the CostumeCon contest was there had a fantastic costume.

There were quite a large number of people who seriously needed to lose weight. We call it “abuse of spandex.” I don’t mean they were pudgy or slightly overweight. They were grossly fat. I saw a hugely fat woman sitting outside starbucks trying to suck the last drops out of a frappaccino cup. Another guy walked past leading a group of folks and crying “Off to CINNABUNS!” If either of you are reading this please do everyone a favor and get a clue. If you’d quit drinking soda and eating carb loaded snacks you’d probably add 10 years to your life. At Origins we were sitting at the food court. A 400+ pound woman walked past. Grossly fat. With Cellulite. A LOT of Cellulite. She was wearing a mini skirt and didn’t know that the back of her dress was caught by her backpack giving everyone a good look at her panties. After I took a good 10 points of sanity loss I turned my chair around to face away from her. I could see the horror reflected in the eyes of those people sitting near me when they looked up from their food. I just don’t get it.

My wife and I tried entering into the figure painting contests. I came away feeling angry and used. If any of you miniatures manufacturers are reading this why don’t you separate the professional painters from the rest of us? After my experience I’m never going to bother with it again. There’s no way I can compete with those folks and no category where I can compete or show my work without competition. I’m all for rewarding accomplishment but they way you’re running these things there’s no incentive and it breeds ill will. Two of the manufacturers, Wyrd and Crocodile Games, did offer a free figure for those who entered their contest. Neither of which we received. The figure I got from Wyrd for a $6 entry fee wasn’t worth what I paid for it. Try a discount coupon as a reward for fans who bought your product and spent effort painting it. Ask yourself “Why should an average painter pay to put a figure in your contest?” When you’ve got a decent answer maybe I’ll be back.

Bruce Hirst had more wonderful molds.

The dancers and performers were a good idea but for gods sakes put up a stage and don’t put them in the halls! It’s hard enough to move around without you guys blocking off exits and creating backups with gawkers.

If you’re going and you’ve never been before the single best thing you can do for yourself is PRE-REGISTER. A line for 10,000 people to buy tickets is ugly!

See you all next year!

Hollywood needs suggestions…

June 15, 2007

They’ve decided to remake old shows these days. My friends and I decide to compile a list of other suggestions for them. What books or old shows should Hollywood make into movies?

Any we missed?

How to eliminate picture spam using Thunderbird

March 25, 2007

If you’re using the Mozilla Thunderbird EMail client you can use mail filters to eliminate all the dangerous picture spam. I created a mail rule to delete anything with an image in it, that is from someone I don’t know.
Here are step by step instructions:

Goto the menu, hit ‘Tools’, ‘Message Filters’, then the ‘New’ button.
Select the option ‘Match all of the following’
On the first line:

  1. In the first box choose ‘Body’.
  2. In the second box choose ‘contains’
  3. In the third box enter ‘Content-Type: image/gif’

This catches the embedded images.
Hit the ‘+’ button next to the first line to get a second line.
On the second line:

  1. In the first box choose ‘From’.
  2. In the second box choose ‘isn’t in my address book’
  3. In the third box choose ‘Personal Address Book’

If you’re in any mailing lists that send pictures you’ll have to do one more step:
Hit the ‘+’ button next to the first line to get a third line.
On the third line:

  1. In the first box choose ‘Reply-to’.
  2. In the second box choose ‘doesn’t contain’
  3. In the third box enter the email address of the mailing list

At the bottom of the window choose the option ‘Delete this message’. (alternately you can move it to the trash folder, then you have the option of looking in the trash folder if you want to make sure the messages are really spam).

Hit the ‘ok’ button and you’re done.
Don’t forget that this email rule only applies to the account you had selected when you created it. If you have more than one you’ll have to do it for that account too. Hey Moz-dev! How about an option to copy and paste rules????

Have a good one 🙂

Hewlett Packard HP PSC1610 printer – avoid this one

September 23, 2006

I used to have an Epson all in one printer. I really liked it until the first time I changed the ink cartridge. I took out the cartridge then found out I’d gotten the wrong replacement cartridge. I put the old one back in and went to get a new one. It never printed again. We even tried taking the print engine apart and cleaning the tubing. I ended up with two sets of worthless ink cartridges and a broken printer. I made sure to enroll myself in the Epson class action lawsuit. The check will just about cover the cartridges, if I ever get it.

I bought a replacement from HP. In my youth they were known for the finest quality products you could buy and for treating their employees well. The literally had gold plated freakin circuit boards! These days their quality is mediocre and they illegally invade people’s privacy because they feel like it.

I’ve had this printer for a while.

The good things about it:

  • I can successfully change the ink cartridge and it still prints well.
  • The scanner and copy functions work tolerably well

The bad things about it:

  • Ink cartridges cost more than gold by weight.
  • cartridges have a very low capacity
  • The construction is flimsy. It squeaks when it feeds paper.
  • When printing envelopes the printer does not feed the envelopes straight and doesn’t even do it reliably crooked. The text comes out skewed by varying amounts. If it was the same each time I could skew my print to compensate.
  • It doesn’t reliably feed paper. Many times I have to hit a button and tell it to try again before it works.
  • When turning off the printer I always get a warning from Win2k that I’ve shut off a USB device improperly.

I can’t recommend this printer. I don’t think this blog entry will actually do much since they put out a new model every six months. What is the point of a review if they don’t make that product any more?

If anyone has had good experience with a printer please let me know?