Ahh, StumbleUpon…how I have missed thee! Thanks to SU, I found an online bullshite detector – what an excellent idea! It seems to rate the text as a decimal out of one, where 1 is complete fertiliser.
Unfortunately, when I put the text on the front page of an absurd site I put together for one of the IT courses I’m doing, it “only” came up with an index of 0.14, which is considerably less than expected for a site that “sells” racing equipment based around troll physics. The special offers got only 0.06, which either means I can’t bullshit properly, or the site’s a bit wonky…
That said, give it a try. It’s probably going to surprise you, and it might come in useful someday.
I’ve stayed out of the whole Thunderf00t affair until now. However, I am simply not going to after what he’s just done: he hacked into a private backchannel on Freethoughtblogs and stole confidential emails, before forwarding them on to other people.
One of the people on FTB who was affected is Natalie Reed. In her post here, she explains why this sort of thing isn’t acceptable:
Natalie Reed is not my “real name”. I use a different name for “real life”… for employment, for housing, for everything I don’t necessarily want connected to my being out as a transsexual, atheist blogger. There is a huge amount of highly personal, highly stigmatized issues I discuss on this blog, or in other venues under the name Natalie Reed. Transsexuality and transgenderism, my heroin addiction, stories from my life and past, my being a survivor of multiple rapes…I’ve even mentioned my being an incest survivor, an issue that’s incredibly, deeply painful for me. Most of these things I never, ever would have felt able to write about without feeling protected by this name.
It also protects my ability to pursue housing and employment without the threat of being outed as trans, a recovering addict, an atheist and so on by a simple five minute google search. It protects the possibility of my someday choosing to go “stealth” if I ever feel the desire or need, in which I could finally live as just a woman instead of always as a trans woman. It keeps me further removed from my birth name and images of my former self, and the life I led before transition. It protects my physical safety from those who feel the need to enforce their beliefs and feelings about gender through violence. It protects me from the countless rad-fems and HBSers who consistently out or dox trans women, often with the deliberate, explicit intent of exposing them to harassment, discrimination and violence.
She is a very brave person to even bring herself to talk of such things. But this is just one reason that email list was confidential, and there are plenty more.
Jason Thibeault has the technical details and evidence. Basically, the server program they were using never expires an invitation ticket, and the original confirmation email still allows you to log back in without informing the admin. I’m not an IT expert, but that seems like a big flaw in the software they were using, and I’ll have to keep a note of that for future reference.
This seems like as good a place as any to reiterate my opinion on pseudonyms. I do this myself on other sites, so I have no problem with people using them, as long as they don’t involve bigotry or unless those people create a second one to support themselves – in short, I tend to apply the Golden Rule. However, even if you use a pseudonym, I believe people should be held accountable for what they say, which is why I ask people for an email address when commenting.
This sort of thing is just not acceptable, and by doing so, Thunderf00t has lost any credibility and support he may have had with me. It’s one thing to publish an email sent to you that contains threats if you explicitly state that you will, but private ones between other people who may be discussing technical issues, or simply be bouncing ideas off each other for an event or even a joke like a massive April Fool’s Day prank earlier this year, are off-limits. What Thunderf00t did here was utterly wrong, and in fact it leads me to suspect he has almost no empathy for other people, given that he was threatened with it himself a while ago. Jen McCreight’s finishing paragraph on her post is right on the money:
How are you that obsessed with taking down a freaking blog network because you disagree with the fucking no-brainer of having sexual harassment policies that you’re willing to cost innocent people their jobs and safety? How is destroying lives of your atheist allies your priority over combating creationism in the classroom, faith healing, the Religious Right, and homophobia?
XKCD is one of the best comics on the Internet. And it’s got even better! They’ve just put up a “What if” feature that they’re updating every Tuesday.
The first post is “what would happen if you could throw or hit a baseball at 90% of the speed of light”. The answer: a nuclear explosion. That’s awesome!
By that I mean Eduard Khil AKA Mr Trololo. If you don’t know who he was, he was a Russian baritone singer who became an Internet meme in the last few years with the “Trololo” video, which showed him happily singing complete nonsense – basically, he trolled the listeners. See the video below with the “lyrics”.
Like just about anything that undergoes a memetic mutation, this started a whole bunch of similar videos such as the 10 or even 50(!) hour-long looping versions – which strikes me as a bit repetititititive – or Trolling Saruman, which I think was the best one.
I had thought of a silly level for a video game which involved him been kidnapped by a car horn named Jeremy Clacson, in front of all his trolling subjects. The trolls give chase using their troll physics, while Clacson has to deal with somebody who can’t stop trolling him. Now that he’s dead, I’m wondering if it would be poor taste or not.
TIP – Trololo In Peace!