Tag Archives: Technology

Comment Spammers and The Devil


Okay, comment spammers. You’ve beaten me.

I hate the living holy hell out of Akismet, but it’s re-enabled. WTF was I thinking? It was naive of me to believe for one second that I could leave the comments open without an anti-spam solution, and somehow the whole trend toward 99% of the comments being spam would have, you know, like, “blown over.”

And that is how subhuman THINGS make the web no fun for anybody.

Comment spammers retain a very special place in my personal pantheon of evil. If I ever die and discover that I really was as big an asshole as some people say I am, and I go to Hell, and find myself face to face with The Devil, perhaps he will say:

“You have served me well, minion, what kind of super-being would you like to return as in order to better serve me?”

And I will say: “Spammer-torturer, my Liege. Let me track down spammers and cause them to suffer screaming in agony for many decades!”

And he’ll say, “No, no, no, I said I’m the DEVIL.”

JK, natch. Luv ya, Jesus, with the mercy and the forgiveness and all that. Love ya, srsly…great message, but then, they ddn’t have comment spammers in Biblical times, did they?

Then again, maybe they did. Maybe this explains Saint Paul…

Image: Baphomet, from Eliphas Levi’s “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie”, 1854.


“Forgive me father, for I have sinned?” There’s an app for that!

From the user reviews.

Why — yes, yes, it’s true. There’s now a Confessional app for the iPhone.

No, this isn’t like those special websites where you “confess” your erotic adventures and attract legions of Ukranian girls who want to “find love” with you, if you’ll just send them your social security number and banking information. Nope; this kind of confession is the usual kind — as in, the kind for us Catholics. It’s called Confession: A Roman Catholic App, and it’s weird. Just plain weird.


British Medical Journal: Vaccine-Autism Link Was Fraud

Public domain graph via Wikipedia.

A 1998 study of 12 patients in Lancet claimed to show a link between autism and childhood vaccines. The study spread panic among parents in the UK and the US, leading a significant number of parents to decide not to vaccinate their children for common childhood diseases, with measles vaccination rates dropping as low as 80% in Britain. CNN claims recent years have seen an increase in childhood measles.

Lancet fully retracted the study in 2010. An article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) now says that study was an active and intentional fraud perpetrated by the study’s author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield. This follows the earlier revelation that Wakefield had been paid by a law firm that intended to sue vaccine manufacturers for the autism link, and that Wakefield failed to disclose that fact. CNN says in their article on the subject (…READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM…)


P. Diddy Does Not “Control” His Yacht by iPad

As someone who made the leap from Mac to PC about 8 years ago (after 14+ years on Apple products), but loves my iPod Touch, I’ve found it endlessly fascinating seeing Apple’s iPad market itself. The success of the device seems to prove an axiom that’s so rarely true nowadays…good design means product success.

At the same time, fantastic public relations is an art form in and of itself. I have great respect for the good and the bad in the PR industry. Getting good PR is impressive, whether you’re the manufacturer of the season’s most widely-coveted consumer good, or an offensively opulent luxury yacht next to no one can afford. Good PR — Apple gots it, in addition to a solid product that many consumers seem to (legitimately) love.

These German cats apparently gots it, too. But even the iPad doesn’t “control” a yacht, as CNN claims.

Nor does a press release from a yacht broker warrant a news story, no matter how bad-ass this thing is.

In the headline of its front-page article (READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM…)

Popular Mechanics’ CES Gadget Roundup

The SPOT Connect turns your smartphone into a satellite phone. Call Mom from Antarctica!

I’m far from a gadget freak, but I still find a lot of inspiration in all the consumer tech that debuts at the Consumer Electronics Show each year. Unfortunately, I find it too hard to make sense of the sensations, and to tell the difference between all the tech-industry publicist hype and the real innovations.

Ever the source for the modern practicum, Popular Mechanics has a great slideshow roundup of their favorite gadgets from this year’s CES. The slideshow is pretty horribly marred by commercial interruptions ever few slides, including a few that sat there blank (proving that advancements in technology are no guarantee against minor disasters). But it’s still good tech-obsessed fun.


X-Wave Mind Interface Device for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Screencap from a creepy X-Wave promotional video.

The X-Wave headset is a funky little gadget for Apple devices that a story yesterday on Huffington Post (referencing a Mashable piece from Sunday) claims offers “Mind Control” for the iPhone. A piece back in September on Switched.com said the same thing. These guys clearly haven’t got the faintest idea what is meant by the term “Mind Control” — but then, who does? When I think “mind control for the iPhone,” I think “Mistress Hortencia commands you to make a donation via PayPal,” not “Think really hard and you can make the little sphere dance around the screen.”

For what it’s worth, during the September round of coverage for this baby, Engadget got it partly right, by not headlining their story with anything about “mind control.” What they did say, however, is that the X-Wave ap lets you “control your iPhone with your noodle,” which is equal amounts of bullshit. What it does, supposedly, is let you control the X-Wave ap with your noodle. If you could think a phone number and have your iPhone dial it, that would be far more impressive. Check out these bizarrely perky promotional videos for the thing (READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM).

Making Child Abuse Facebook Famous

Screenshot from Know Your Meme.

You see…I am what they call a “fantasy-prone personality.”

While dodging “suggestions” from people who, on most days, wisely refrain from attempting to be the boss of me that I change my Facebook profile pic to a cartoon for a day, I made up a reason they must be so excited about it. I manufactured it wholesale in my brain. I says to myself, I says:

“These people must be putting up cartoons and comics on their Facebook profiles to promote the wonderful arts of animation and comic book illustrations.”

Reasonable logic, yeah? Reasonable! So reasonable that now, in retrospect, it almost seems not totally hallucinatory! Almost.

I thought: “Illustrators and animators in the U.S. are having a heck of a hard time of it lately, you know, with the economics of book and magazine and comic publishing being in violent upheaval, and the U.S. animation industry increasingly relying on offshoring, and the whole movie industry doing less and less original work, and the creative arts in general finding themselves beleaguered. Comic books and animation are two of the primary art forms of the modern era! Celebrate! Promote! Show your support! Rah! Rah! Rah!!!”

Great! Unfortunately, it turns out that while the meme started (apparently) as a good-natured celebration of cartoons and comic books, and continues on many users’ parts (apparently) in exactly such a fashion, certain factions have convinced the news media that people are putting cartoons on their Facebook profiles to end violence against children. This was apparently a meme that started as a celebrations of cartoons and comic books — apparently, and details are slim, on a Greek or Cypriot website.

The meme then somehow inexplicably either morphed en route…(READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON TECHYUM)