August 2003 Archives

If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing

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On this site I have a "shrine" to the radio station I used to work at back in the 80s - you may have noticed it. Inside that shrine there was a cheesy little Matt's board message board which allowed people (like...5 of them) to discuss the station and there memories.

Recently the board got spammed a couple of times, and well, the admin tools for Matt's board suck. So, in irritation, I decided to go for something better.

I installed phpboard, which is terrifyingly powerful. It's, like, a real message board system - better than Yahoo's crummy groups software in fact. It only took about 20 minutes to install too, which surprised me, since I am terrible at doing server-side stuff.

So that's all. No real point, except that I now have superpowerful mesage board software in place for like 5 people who post maybe once a month, tops.

Take that Bandwidth Thieves!

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It's amazing. Once you put up a large number of images people think they can just start linking directly to them to use them on their websites. So there are people out there who's avatars on message boards are an album cover they found on my site, or an entry in their blog has an album cover, or, in one case they are using it as the background for their guestbook.

Now understand, I have no problem with people stealing pictures from my site. Most of them I don't own anyway. What I have a problem with is people linking to an image from my site out of context, just so they don't have to host it themselves.

So, as of today, you can't do that anymore - if you try to you will just get a blank image. If you want to link to an image on my site, and it's because you are actually discussing something on my site and providing a link back to my site, get in touch. I would happy to let you use it.

Fiendster

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No, that's not a misspelling.

I have avoided Friendster for some time, believing it to be a pointless, silly waste of time, as useless as the old sixdegrees.com website from the dawn of time. Then I got a request to join from an old acquaintance back in San Francisco, and overcome by nostaligia and longing for days past, I joined.

I have now discovered that I was completely wrong about Friendster. It a pointless, silly, COMPLETELY ADDICTIVE waste of time. I find that I long for the validation that testimonials bring. That I delight at being able to go to a web page and see at the top of it "Sam is your friend". I also like the fact that you can write pithy little nuggets about your friends and claim that they are testimonials.

I fear what will happen to it once they start charging $8 a month for it though. It's beauty lies in it's broad user base, and as soon as they gate the community with fees, I'm afraid that it is going to completely fall apart. Hopefully reason will prevail, and they will come up with someway to effectively tier the offerings. The problem is that the current functionality is JUST enough to make you sign up for it if it free. If they are going to charge for it, paying customers are going to need a level of functionality in addition to what's available now.

Of course they also need to make sure that whatever they do to make it worth paying for doesn't queer what's there now. They are going to be walking a very fine line.

Of course, they could always go with my generic Angry Monkey Value-Add suggestion, and "just add porn".

Just a reminder

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That everyone that has ever taped a T.V. show, made a copy of a CD they owned to take along in the car, or made a mix-tape to give to a girl (or boy) they like really needs to join the EFF so there is some possibility they will still be able to do these things 5 years from now.

The EFF is really the best way that you can fight against media companies that are trying to make it illegal for you to copy programs from television, and make MP3s from CDs that you own. They are also the voice of reason in the fight over filesharing.

It's not that expensive to join, and even if you don't feel that you can afford to join, you can certainly take 10 minutes to go to their Action Center, where you can send free faxes to your government representatives letting them know how you feel about the crummy job they are doing protecting your rights. And the crummy job you will do protecting their jobs next election.

It's free, and you have nothing to lose (unless you don't act).

Too much T.V. - I think

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I think I need to either cut down my television veiwing, or radically change what I watch.

Last night I had the strangest dream, featuring elements of things I've seen in television entertainment, and news.

Imagine this...

In my dream I see Will and Jack (from Will and Grace) outside a dusty, sandy store of some kind. There is a commotion nearby and a man wearing a shiny (almost metallic) light blue business suit, sunglasses, and a hat comes running towards them and the store. In the dream it's obvious that he needs new clothes, which is what the store sells. Will and Jack offer their services to help him pick out a new outfit.

Inside the store, the dream turns into a surreal episode of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" as Will and Jack help him by picking out some new pants (Ralph Lauren, but stored on a shelf in the dusty blue box), a shirt, helping him shave his moustache off, and giving him hair grooming tips.

After they are done with him, he looks great, thanks them and leaves.

Oh, did I mention that after they get him into the store and start helping him, it becomes obvious that the guy is Saddam Hussain?

I am pretty sure that this dream was the result of watching too many episodes of Queer Eye, then watching the Daily Show last night where Jon Stewart claimed that the Pentegon was distributing photoshopped pictures to soldiers in Iraq of what Hussain might look like now - without a moustache, with blonde hair, or maybe, in a cocktail dress.

After Saddam took off, Will, Jack, and I (who was suddenly in the dream) all went to the Dairy Queen in Baghdad (which looked alot like one from my childhood in El Centro), where we hung out with several people, including my friend Nadine.

Weird. Really, really weird.

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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