[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2008-12-12

The most horrific commercial ever

Filed under: Television — bblackmoor @ 13:01

I just saw the most horrific, disturbing commercial I have ever seen. I wish I could find it online so I could share it with you, but Google fails me this time.

A woman appears whose face seems frozen in mid-grimace, her smile twisted and gaping like the Joker if he had been done properly. Slowly the camera spins around, revealing that the back of her head is gone. Her entire skull has been hollowed out and made into a little Barbie’s Home Theater room.

This is unbelievably ghastly.

Wednesday, 2008-12-10

R.I.P. PBEM RPGs

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 19:31

R.I.P.I posted a blog a week or so ago, bemoaning the scarcity of PBEM role-playing games. Well, I have looked high and low, and I am ready to call it: play-by-email roleplaying games are dead.

They have largely been replaced by multiplayer computer games like City of Heroes and World of Warcraft. These are not role-playing games, but apparently they are an adequate replacement for most people.

What few pitiful role-playing games are left aren’t played by email. They are played on forums and web sites. Some of these forums are reasonably well put together, like RolePlay OnLine. Some are nightmarish monstrosities that make even the simplest task all but impossible, like Lost Coast Gaming, which is damned near unusable. Why do people prefer these sites to something like YahooGroups, which offers more functionality and is much easier to use? I am mystified.

But it is what it is.

Goodbye, PBEM roleplaying. You will be missed.

Tuesday, 2008-12-09

Christmas is a nuisance

Filed under: Family — bblackmoor @ 12:03

Bah. Humbug!Christmas is a nuisance. Everyone expects presents. Almost no one ever says thank you, or even acknowledges that the gift arrived.

This year, I am just giving people Amazon gift cards. Screw it.

Victim accepts plea agreement in Julie Amero porn spyware case

Filed under: Society,Technology — bblackmoor @ 11:51

In an example of gross injustice on a Kafkaesque scale, the case against Connecticut teacher Julie Amero has finally closed. After being dragged through the mud for four years, she accepted a plea agreement. She will pay a $100 fine, and her teaching credentials will be revoked. In return, the State prosecutors are dropping the four felony charges against her.

Ms. Amero has had her life and livelihood severely disrupted, if not destroyed, for nothing more than being the only adult in a room with an infected computer. And it is worth pointing out that despite the utterly twisted quasi-religious American cultural attitudes toward nudity, not a single child was harmed. Not a single one. The only victim in this case was Ms. Amero herself.

Saturday, 2008-12-06

Migrating from Outlook to Thunderbird

Filed under: Software — bblackmoor @ 15:01

I have a follow-up on my migration from from Outlook to Thunderbird. I had selected GCALDaemon to keep our Thunderbird calendars in sync with each other, but in use this had a few problems. For one thing, every time GCALDaemon synced, it would freeze Thunderbird. This was annoying. Further, there was some kind of permission problem regarding new calendar events: once created, we couldn’t modify them. This was really the deal-breaker, and why I started looking for an alternative.

So I have uninstalled GCALDaemon and replaced it with the Provider add-on for Thunderbird. This has its advantages and disadvantages. For one thing, it is considerably easier to install than GCALDaemon, although the instructions provided by bfish.xaedalus.net help make it even simpler. On the other hand, it has one drawback which GCALDaemon does not: it has no offline cache. This means that when we don’t have an active Internet connection, we won’t have access to our calendars. However, this is rarely the case, so it’s a drawback I am willing to accept.

So far, everything has gone really well.

Digital Rights Mafia seeks world domination

Filed under: Intellectual Property,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:14

It has long been obvious to anyone paying attention that the Digital Rights Mafia (aka “DRM”), the media robbers barons, and their government shills would happily twist our legal system into a pretzel in order to serve their own interests. It should come as no surprise that they are now working behind closed doors to subvert the governments of the world on a grand scale. It’s called ACTA, and it’s a significant step in the elimination of what we generally call “civil liberties” — the rights guaranteed to US citizens by the documents on which our government is founded.

SPECTRE could only hope to have this kind of influence.

Friday, 2008-12-05

The car manufacturer bailout

Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 22:49

Traffic jamHere is my take on the car manufacturer bailout:

“Oh no! People will not exchange their money for our products voluntarily! PLEASE, Mister and Misses Congressperson, take their money from them by force and give it to us? Please?”

Not that this is anything new. The federal government of the USA has been propping up the sugar industry, for example, since 1934. Americans pay two to three times what the rest of the world does for sugar.

Tuesday, 2008-12-02

Copying is not piracy

Filed under: Entertainment,Intellectual Property — bblackmoor @ 20:23

A companion to Sharing is not piracy, to help convey the difference between copying and piracy. Feel free to use it as you wish.

Copying is not piracy

Sharing is not piracy

Filed under: Entertainment,Intellectual Property — bblackmoor @ 18:46

I whipped this up today to help convey the difference between sharing and piracy. Feel free to use it as you wish.

Sharing is not piracy

Pirates fire on US cruise ship

Filed under: Entertainment,Intellectual Property — bblackmoor @ 11:53

Pirates chased and shot at a U.S. cruise liner with more than 1,000 people on board but failed to hijack the vessel as it sailed along a corridor patrolled by international warships, a maritime official said Tuesday.

The liner, carrying 656 international passengers and 399 crew members, was sailing through the Gulf of Aden on Sunday when it encountered six bandits in two speedboats, said Noel Choong who heads the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center in Malaysia.

The pirates fired at the passenger liner but the larger boat was faster than the pirates’ vessels, Choong said.

“It is very fortunate that the liner managed to escape,” he said, urging all ships to remain vigilant in the area.

(from The Associated Press)

Folks, this is what pirates do. They shoot people. They hijack ships. They are violent, vicious criminals.

College students who share DVDs are not pirates.

Friends who share their music with each other are not pirates.

People who use unlicensed software are not pirates.

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