Facebook (Properly Pronounced FistFuck)

Posted in General Blogging, Info Freedom, Philosophy, Web Stuff on May 17th, 2010 by Ast

Just recently, I closed my Facebook account. I would give you my account info to look me up, but it doesn’t exist anymore. Honestly, much of social networking is getting scary and more than a little evil. I won’t go into a big tirade over Facebook and all the reasons I think they are a hazard to anyone who uses the service.

Today I came across a site called QuitFacebookDay. Surprise, surprise, the site is all about quitting Facebook on May 31, 2010. Below the information regarding reasons to quit, the official Quit Facebook Day and some other related bits and pieces, there is a comment section. Read more »

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This is YOUR Fault

Posted in General Blogging, Info Freedom, Net Neutrality, Web Stuff on May 8th, 2010 by Ast

Congratulations, people are taking away my rights and protections and it’s your fault. In this world of technology, we have two types of people, those who use technology and have, at least, a vague understanding of what they are doing and those who use technology and have no clue. Given the sheer volume of clueless people I’ve met, I could make an educated guess as to who you are.

What’s worse, most of you have no idea what you are even losing. Most likely you won’t know until it’s already far FAR too late. By that time, you will be locked out of what could have been by years of red tape and poor administration you let go on.

Let’s take a look at why I say this is your fault. Consider the state of education today. Though some have managed to make it over the hurdles put in front of them, most people fall into the bottomless pit of “it’s too hard.”

Math and science are the coin of the realm. That computer you’re using to read this post was created with math and science. So was your car. So was your TV. So were most of the things you take for granted on a daily basis. Read more »

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Learn to Write, Stupid

Posted in General Blogging, Web Stuff on April 25th, 2010 by Ast

I saw a news report today stating people are pushing to eliminate handwriting from standard elementary curricula, stating that it is a “hardly used skill.” This is an incredibly foolish perspective. There is no better way to speed the process of an already clear inability of modern children to interact with the REAL world.

Let’s start with something about why people want to give up on handwriting. I found an article stating an unnamed professor believes handwriting is “too slow a technology for the modern life.” Moreover, the article claims handwriting is “hardly used.”

Let’s be very VERY clear about this: I work on the web. I spend much of my time typing. I write things by hand daily. DAILY.

If handwriting is hardly used, then what is the gauge? I find this claim, handwriting is hardly used, so offensive I had visions of slapping every person that has ever uttered those very words. The consideration is that children should spend more time working on their typing skills than working on their handwriting.

This is is a sure sign of complete incompetence in the field of education. To claim keyboarding skills are superior to handwriting skills is akin to claiming calculator skills are superior to mathematics skills.

People that espouse either of these views are idiots and should be culled from the ranks of the education workforce.

This is incompetence and laziness. Let’s review just a few things that handwriting is key for:

Test Taking
Annotating documents
Recording thoughts on the run
Meeting notes
Class notes

Let’s look at something really crucial: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN POWER GOES OUT??

See, here’s the thing, these “educators” if we can even call them that, seem to think that computers will ALWAYS be available. This is a foolish worldview. This is the worldview of someone that is, honestly, too stupid to be allowed to live.

How do they remember to breathe?

Computers work great as long as you HAVE ELECTRICITY.

See, electricity isn’t just magical stuff that appears wherever you need it. It is delivered over a man-made network from a man made plan which PRODUCES electricity. Apparently nobody clued these classroom dopes into that fact. Have they never noticed that the power goes out from time to time?

Suppose you… I dunno… go for a hike? I’m sure you can just stop, whip out that computer and make a couple of notes. That’s totally convenient. Perhaps not.

Let’s consider another item: COMPUTERS FAIL.

Wait, what? You mean computers aren’t infallible? No, you fucking halfwit, they aren’t. Suppose you are typing something you would have hand-written before and your computer crashes? Now what? One of a kind notes, these were. No backup exists. No way to retrieve them is available. They are just gone. You’re fucked.

Congrats, by encouraging computer skills over essential skills, you may have just ruined someone’s career. How do you feel now, asshole?

I could go on like this for hours. Suffice to say, I have enough venom for every one of these dim-witted de-educators, but I think this might be a good place to stop.

In the end, the problem with encouraging students to strengthen peripheral skills over fundamental skills, you set the students up for failure. Not just failure in the short term, but failure in life. Before you decide to encourage your child or class to set their pencils down and move, wholesale, to the computer, perhaps you should consider if you are comfortable destroying their futures, because you will.

If you have a problem with anything I’ve said, perhaps you need to seriously consider your motivation. Are you truly trying to prepare students for the world or are you simply looking for the easy way out, opting for the lazy, bullshit method over actually TEACHING something.

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Music Bullshit Theory

Posted in General Blogging, Info Freedom, Web Stuff on April 20th, 2010 by Ast

I think it is a good place to start to say that I don’t illegally download music. I swore years ago that, when a viable legal alternative to illegal downloading is presented, I would utilize it. I do. I buy MP3s from Amazon. I love the convenience and it’s been quite a while since I searched for something they didn’t have (not to say it couldn’t happen.)

I also give my music away for free. This doesn’t mean that every artist should, but I do. I took my payment via the production of my music. The pure enjoyment of making and sharing the noise that came from my instruments was enough for me. This is not a reasonable business plan, but I am not in the business of selling music, so I don’t care.

All of that said, I see some funny haps going down from my vantage. The entertainment industry seems to think that just because business is done one way for a long time, that it will continue to be just so. I present exhibit A, the Railroad. Guess what? They aren’t doing business the way they used to.

I read an article about internet connections and illegal downloading on Ars Technica today that got my ire (ha ha) up. The Irish High Court has agreed to allow entertainment companies to pressure ISPs into shutting off household internet connections if illegal downloading is purported to have happened. Read more »

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MicroSuck and the Drooling Idiots

Posted in General Blogging on April 16th, 2010 by Ast

Windows and I have a love-murder relationship. There are those days when Windows just does what I need without an inordinate amount of bullshit, then other days things go horribly wrong. Well, just when I was starting to warm to Windows and cut Microsoft some slack, they do it again.

One thing that never ceases to irritate me is the barrage of pop-ups warnings and other crap that hits your screen as soon as Windows starts up.

“You need to update this, you need to update that. You have unused icons on your desktop (which I don’t). Java wants to update your registry (leave my fucking registry alone!).”

I get another fifteen random talk balloons that appear from the taskbar and popups from proprietary shit that Hewlett-Fudge-Packers decided to install before I got the machine. For instance, They want to monitor my wireless connection because it’s not good enough that I get just one pop-up stating my wireless connection has been made. I need at least two.

Well, through all this, I still deal with Windows because I need to for work purposes. (Which is precisely what they depend on.) I can usually deal. I can, even, almost place the blame somewhere else except that Microsoft panders to these OEM distributors.

Today was different.

I started up my machine and got the litany of notifications and garbage. Then, just after I got everything up and running that I needed, I get another notification: “Your machine will restart in 14 minutes.”

Fucking EXCUSE ME??

So, Windows decided that I don’t really need to work right now, I need to restart my machine. Did I have an option to cancel? NO. Did I have an option to disable this process? Not as far as I know.

My options: restart now or postpone for not longer than 4 hours.

HEY ASSHOLES! A standard work day is EIGHT HOURS. Had you noticed or were you too busy counting your money?

Here’s the worst part: I am working remotely, so I most likely won’t even see the notification when it comes up again. This means I will be right in the middle of doing something for work and my machine will just restart. How’s that for a little slice of convenience?

God damn, Microsoft, could you do me a favor and kick me in the fucking balls while I wait? That would make the whole experience that much more palpable.

Take your fucking unrequested machine restarts and cram them straight into your money-sucking colon. Thanks for continuing to be a pain in my ass.

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It’s a Possibility

Posted in General Blogging, Web Stuff on April 15th, 2010 by Ast

So, there have been rumors flying around that Peter Steele of Type O Negative took the figurative leap off the high-dive into an empty pool, AKA the fucker up and died. Reports say it was heart failure, but I am still awaiting something a little more direct. The best I have gotten so far are three reports:

Mistress Juliya stated he died earlier on twitter.

Geeks of Doom stated it was vaguely confirmed.

KNAC radio state they have confirmation from a source in the band.

Now, here’s the problem, the guys in Type O Negative pulled a prank back in 2005 and got people believing that Peter died. It was, of course, false. I have an issue because I could see them pulling something over on their fans. It’s fucked, but they don’t call themselves the four dicks from Brooklyn for nothing.

Honestly, if Peter died then it is unfortunate for the metal world. He was part of the scene for a very long time. That being said, I have a few words for some (though not all) of the people whining about Peter’s death:

If you are crying because you won’t get a new album,

If you are depressed because you never got to meet him,

If you are upset solely because you never got to see them live,

If you need a shoulder to cry on because of some other selfish motivation,

Shoot yourself.

Peter said it best: suicide is self expression.

On the other hand, if you feel for those who were close to Peter,

If you think positive thoughts about him and/or his family,

If you are having a good laugh after the years he spent laughing at you,

If you are drinking a bottle of wine in his honor,

Carry on.

It’s always a loss for someone when a person dies. The least you could do is respect the person and their family. Be grateful for the time you got. Be thankful that someone actually made enough of an impact on your life that you gave more than a passing thought about them. Honor them. Celebrate them.

Pete, if you, in fact, passed away today, I hope the journey was painless and comforting. If you didn’t die, kudos to the amazing joke. Either way, here’s to you. Probably one of the nicest “dicks” I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Cheers.

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It’s the Horror of Disney, but More Expensive

Posted in General Blogging on April 12th, 2010 by Ast

I overheard someone say Apple is the new Microsoft. This is wrong. Microsoft is the new Microsoft. Google is the new Apple. Apple is, in fact, the new Disney. The problem is, Disney knows they are and entertainment company. I don’t think Apple has figured it out yet.

Even if they have, the Apple fanboys and fangirls still seem to think Apple produces anything that is meant for doing real work outside the realm of graphics and animation. They don’t. Here’s the real problem, my little fan-roadkill, Apple is so focused on the Apple experience that they forgot people actually need to do REAL work too. Read more »

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Computers and Education: Wait, Wait…

Posted in General Blogging, Linux, Web Stuff on March 25th, 2010 by Ast

I’ve been poking around in Windows 7 for a little while now and I can say I think I like it. Vista was kind of a nightmare for some people. I wasn’t particularly impressed myself, but Windows 7 is alright, in my humble opinion. I wanted to see if anyone had opposing views so I could be aware of pitfalls ahead of time and then I came across this…

Windows 7 Sins

What am I seeing here? Really? Did the Free Software Foundation really do this? Typically I support the open source community, but this piece of bullshit propaganda is just out of line. Read more »

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