Archive for PEBKAC

We don’t have time to troll

Oklahoma ranked just below New Hampshire in a Disqus troll-count survey from mid-2017:

Cofounder Daniel Ha says toxic posts have been an issue from day one, and he sees it as a human problem, not a technological one: “It’s never really going to go away.” The company analyzed 92 million comments over a 16-month period, written by almost 2 million authors on more than 7,000 forums that use the software.

According to their map, 4.7 percent of comments from residents of N’Hampsha qualify as toxic; 5.2 percent from Oklahoma; a whopping 12.2 percent from Vermont. (They can’t all be Bernie Sanders.) But this is the statistic I think is wackiest:

Park Forest, IL: The most toxic city in the US, where 34 percent of comments are hostile. But 99 percent of those come from just two authors.

I think you could make a really good case for deporting those two guys, preferably to separate uncharted desert isles.

(Via Sean Gleeson.)

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Bada Bing

Microsoft’s Bing search engine is once again available in China:

The outage caused concern that the service might have been blocked by the Chinese authorities.

Authorities in China operate a firewall that blocks many US tech platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

“We can confirm that Bing was inaccessible in China, but service is now restored,” Microsoft said it a statement.

China-based censorship monitoring group GreatFire says the outage was unlikely to be government-related.

Well, at least you can’t blame Google:

Google shut down its search engine in China in 2010, after rows with the authorities over censorship and hacking.

But Bing still isn’t a household word:

Bing has a small market share among search engines in China, where locally-grown Baidu dominates the market.

Even we get occasional look-ins from Baidu.


Strange search-engine querier

Very peculiar indeed: Does anyone else get very annoyed when they can’t seem to find what they search online?

Rant follows:

So let’s clear this up, i have anger issues. I’ve been in a big fight today, i’m very annoyed. I heard something that ruined my life before the fight. I had a few pages open on my phone that i was trying to bookmark and read later, i accidently clicked some pages away. I don’t remember the exact page and i always delete my history everyday, o don’t know why, i always do it automatic, i try to Google it, i can’t find it. I’m feeling so damn angry, i feel like killing myself. So i Google something like this (i mix the words up a few times so that i get a result): Angry because i keep forgetting things. No damn result, apparently no one on the Internet ever gets angry about being forgetful. I’ll probably get lots of trolls on Yahoo because these moderators sucks. I want to smash something but it’s late at night which makes me even more angry. Gosh, i ******* hate this. I probably made lots of grammar mistakes.. I don’t give a ****. Has anyone experienced anger like this?

Most obvious first thought: What moderators?

I dunno. If someone’s life has just been ruined, it’s hard to see how Google could make it any worse.

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And a bum ba dum bum bum bum bum to you

I probably should have expected this.

Last week, I posted this highly unofficial little number to Facebook:

This weekend, I started seeing ads for Farmers on several Web sites, including Fark.

Moral: Everything is tracked at some level.

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It’s very hard not to laugh at this character:

Hi,i have problem with my pc,i cannot go in normal windows,only safe mode.I have pirated windows btw.Can someone help me restore my system and start windows normaly?

On the upside, at least he admitted it up front, which is pretty rare these days except among braggarts.

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I have files bigger than that

And probably so do you:

Your standard CD-ROM holds as much as 65 of these.

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When you need better friends

This is a warning signal at the very least: So my friend and i bet 420$ if i could hack the wifi at work so i need ur helo?

I know the basics but he’s the only person who can give access to the internet even if u have the wifi password he can monitor, control, limit speed etc… so how can i hack it my phone is not rooted but i got one rooted and i have a laptop but kali linux is not installed on it

so plz help me i need that 420$ lol!

I think it’s safe to assume that the amount here is very important to these two losers.

And I’m thinking this “friend” showed off some indifferent sleight-of-hand, knowing full well that it would impress the little twerp; his “hacking” credentials are likely dubious at best.

The tragedy here, of course, is that they both can’t lose this bet.

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And you’ll stay banned

Within two hours of each other:

Kicked out of instagram for no reason? my account has been disabled because apparently i havent followed the community guidelines. i assure you that i have and i have never done anything. a few days ago someone thretened me and dmd me about it and i got a little mad but it was nothing that should ban me from my account. ive tried sending an apeal to instagram to get my account back but i doubt that will do anything. is there a way to get it back?? please help

How to create a new Tinder account after ban and shadowban? My Tinder account was banned a few days ago for unknown reasons, and when I sent Tinder support a message asking why this had happened and what I might be able to do about it they responded that it would not be reviewed. I downloaded TextNow and made a new account using the new phone number, but I get 0 matches and never reach the like limit so it seems that my IP or my device have been shadow banned. Basically, is there anything I do to make a fresh account and use Tinder again? Thanks to everyone and happy new year!

“Unknown reasons,” my hind foot. Even on Twitter, where rule enforcement is capricious and arbitrary, you know what you did.

I’m starting to think that all social media should sign something like the driver’s-license compact, so that these crapweasels can be banned everywhere at once.

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Error code begins with WTF

Yeah, I’d be somewhat cheesed off at this:

Last night I shut down this Microsoft Surface Go laptop and left it plugged in to try to top off the battery after having discovered — after an undetermined amount of time, but hardly the several hours Microsoft claims — that the charging connector had fallen out (again!) and I’d gone from 100% charge to around 55%. Over the previous couple of days it crept up to around 85%. Plugged in continuously, completely idle overnight and for extended periods during the day.

This has been my one serious complaint about this unit since I started using it, but when I rebooted it this morning I found that not only was the battery level still in the 80s, the battery popup in Windows informed me that the laptop was “plugged in; discharging.”

Which was almost certainly accurate, though not particularly useful, y’know?

This charging connector is magnetic but the fitting itself is as loose as a seventy-year-old hooker. The surprise isn’t that it isn’t charging, it’s that it ever has.

“Do you know what we need on this new unit? A nonstandard, proprietary charger!” ~ entirely too many damn people with tech jobs

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Duggery, right in the skull

This makes no sense: Can u change the picture’s date when it was made on deviantart by submit?

Let us plod onward:

since i made the picture the other day and finished it, i forgot to submit it on the same day it was made, so can i change the date of the submitted due date if was submitted today and u edit 1st to 29th to show the picture is made and submitted on the 29th?

i was quite angry to have forgot so i hope there is a way to make the submitted date to show from another day like i saw on utube sometimes have video due dates in the future or in the past

Okay. Either she’s OCD in the extreme, or she’s trying to pull a fast one on someone. What I can’t see is why anyone would give a flying feather.

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This must be a troll

It’s hard to imagine anyone being this stupid in Real Life™: “What are some free websites where I can download more storage on to my Windows?”

And furthermore:

I tried lots of different downloads but none of them worked. I would prefer not to take any surveys as well.

All right, let’s say you want to download 10 GB of storage. A download that size would take up, oh, 10 GB of your existing storage.

I am apparently insufficiently cruel to tell this doofus that he can recover several gigabytes by simply deleting his System32 directory.

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Not cut out for this

This showed up in the Quora queue: What else to try after unsuccessful attempt of creating 10 backlinks on +50 DA websites and no rank in Google?

Tsk, tsk. Yet another fool who got suckered into that search-engine optimization garbage. “DA” is Domain Authority, a tool created by people who felt they weren’t getting high enough Google PageRank scores; since Google no longer updates PageRank — which means that I’ll be 5 out of 10 forever — the DA guys were able to present themselves as some sort of, um, authority.

This Wikibit is pertinent:

The domain authority (also referred to as thought leadership) of a website describes its relevance for a specific subject area or industry. This relevance has a direct impact on its ranking by search engines, trying to assess domain authority through automated analytic algorithms. The relevance of domain authority on website-listing in the SERPs of search engines led to the birth of a whole industry of Black Hat SEO providers, trying to feign an increased level of domain authority. The ranking by major search engines, e.g., Google’s PageRank is agnostic of specific industry or subject areas and assesses a Website in the context of the totality of websites in the Internet. The results on the SERP page set the PageRank in the context of a specific keyword. In a less competitive subject area, even websites with a low PageRank can achieve high visibility in search engines as the highest ranked sites that match specific search words are positioned on the first positions in the SERPs.

All the time, people wander into my mailbox and ask me to throw them a link, or to accept their guest post, which inevitably results in throwing them a link. My view on all such matters is simply this: If you want to be on Google’s front page, write them a check. It’s a lot more honest than trying to game the system with these silly-ass SEO tactics.

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An ounce of image

And a whole kilogram of performance pales by comparison:

Way back in the year 1999, I took a gig that involved running a pair of Sun “Starfire” Enterprise 10K boxes. They cost $1.5 million each. I was thrilled beyond words at the awesome responsibility that awaited me. On my first day at the company, it was explained to me that only one of the Starfires was actually connected to our network. The other one was in a glass atrium where the investors could see it. You see, nobody on the tech side wanted the things. They’d been forced on us by the people who put up the money, because those people liked the idea of seven-figure computers. So from time to time, I was required to walk in and tend the machine while the nine-figure-net-worth “angels” oohed and aahed from the other side of the glass. I would perform various party tricks — look! You can take it apart without turning it off! — but never was I questioned about what the machine did.

For that kind of money in that day and age, it should at least have gone “Bing.”

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Pronounced “fffp”

Okay, it’s not really pronounced “fffp.” However, it did have me emitting strange noises yesterday:

The current stable release is 7.3. (Weirdly, 7.0 is considered “old,” but 5.6 is still supported. There never was a 6.x release.) After finding where the toggles were, I have updated every site under my control to 7.2.11; the host tends to be conservative in its adoption of fresh versiuns.) Memory usage is much the same as it was under 7.0. We’re using FastCGI because, well, we can.

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What you see is what you hate

I run four WordPress sites, not counting the backup blog, and after my first experience with Gutenberg, WP’s vaunted new editor, I switched three of them back to the “Classic Editor,” which now requires a plugin. So I can relate to Warren Meyer’s plaintive wail:

WordPress 5 changed to an entirely new editor where construction of a post that historically just involved typing now involves pasting together a series of blocks that have to be added, for example, just to have quoted text. Am I missing something?

This seems ludicrously more awkward than the original editor, which I immediately switched back to by downloading and activating a plugin for that purpose. My guess is that this functionality is aimed at the large number of folks who use WordPress as a content management system for building websites and not for actual bloggers. I am guessing that content management for website design is actually a much bigger market for WordPress than blogging, and so development is focusing more on that market. Maybe someone needs to fork WordPress for a version track focused on traditional bloggers.

Someone needs to put out a “Fork WordPress” T-shirt. And I suspect that just about everyone who doesn’t work for WordPress parent Automattic will hear “Gutenberg” and think of “movable type,” by coincidence the name of the platform which dominated blogdom before the rise of WordPress.

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Milquetoast loves his porn

No other explanation would seem to obtain: Can using an employer’s WiFi allow them to see your browsing history?

This is where the deal is clinched:

I have to switch my home internet connection to an employer-provided WiFi connection in order to use my laptop at work. But does this allow them to see what I do online? If so, can/does this only happen when I’m on their connection, or will it also work when I’m home and on my own WiFi connection?

Let me assure you, Caspar, that if you’re logged into my work server, I can see what you’re doing. However, let me also assure you that I don’t give much of a damn, unless you’re wasting long periods of my time or large quantities of my bandwidth. And once you’re on your home box, I can’t see a thing.

Moral: Confine your browsing of back issues of Oriental Wet Snatch Quarterly to when you’re at home.

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This is why your algorithm sucks

Gillian Brockell holds the position of Video Editor at the Washington Post, which published this heartbreaker of a tale:

Dear Tech Companies:

I know you knew I was pregnant. It’s my fault, I just couldn’t resist those Instagram hashtags — #30weekspregnant, #babybump. And, silly me! I even clicked once or twice on the maternity-wear ads Facebook served up. What can I say, I am your ideal “engaged” user.

You surely saw my heartfelt thank-you post to all the girl friends who came to my baby shower, and the sister-in-law who flew in from Arizona for said shower tagging me in her photos. You probably saw me googling “holiday dress maternity plaid” and “babysafe crib paint.” And I bet Amazon even told you my due date, January 24th, when I created that Prime registry.

But didn’t you also see me googling “braxton hicks vs. preterm labor” and “baby not moving”? Did you not see my three days of social media silence, uncommon for a high-frequency user like me? And then the announcement post with keywords like “heartbroken” and “problem” and “stillborn” and the 200 teardrop emoticons from my friends? Is that not something you could track?

You see, there are 24,000 stillbirths in the United States every year, and millions more among your worldwide users. And let me tell you what social media is like when you finally come home from the hospital with the emptiest arms in the world, after you and your husband have spent days sobbing in bed, and you pick up your phone for a few minutes of distraction before the next wail. It’s exactly, crushingly, the same as it was when your baby was still alive. A Pea in the Pod. Motherhood Maternity. Latched Mama. Every damn Etsy tchotchke I was considering for the nursery.

You can imagine the rest.

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Windows Live Fail

I have twenty-one years’ worth of email in the archives here. And you would not believe what I had to go through to keep access to it.

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Formerly the Lotus position

Big Blue has apparently decided to swap some of its software portfolio for some long green:

HCL Technologies has parted with $1.8 billion to pick up a number of IBM software products. The companies said in a release that the transaction should close mid-next year, subject to regulatory approvals.

The products HCL has picked up include Notes and Domino; Connections; on-premises versions of Portal, Commerce, and Unica; BigFix; and Appscan.

“The products that we are acquiring are in large growing market areas like security, marketing, and commerce, which are strategic segments for HCL,” president and CEO of HCL Technologies C Vijayakumar said.

“Many of these products are well regarded by clients and positioned in the top quadrant by industry analysts.”

As a Notes user connected to a Domino server, I give a hard pass on this “well regarded” business.

The Fark submitter said “Someone intentionally bought Lotus Notes,” and, well, it seemed funny at the time.

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But I’m edgy

Now here’s a zinger, and a fairly ungrammatical one at that: Is there apps you can post whatever you want on without being banned?

There follows the Cry of the Self-Righteous Twit:

I made a controversial Instagram page and I was banned from signing up. It angers me that a few ignorant people can keep you from freely using an app. This has happened a few times and I’m honestly sick of it. I post stuff like offensive memes etc. I’ve never reported anyone else so it’s ignorant I keep getting removed instead of people just moving on.

Vera, honey, you’re allowed to be just as much of an asshat as you like. However, Instagram is under no obligation to publish your “offensive memes” and whatnot. Get your own damn platform. It won’t have millions of people wandering by, but hey, that’s life on the edge.

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Gender, schmender

In case I was wondering how well the various online-advertising entities were tracking me, this would have served quite nicely as a wake-up call:

Banner ad for

This banner ad was fed to me while I was looking up team standings on

(And still I wonder: why didn’t they choose to promote

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Whining little putz

This particular weenie wants to know how to block a YouTube channel:

Youtube keeps automatically suggesting videos from a certain channel, based on my other subscriptions. I’m not subscribed to this channel, and have no interest in subscribing to it, it is complete dreck, yet it keeps showing up in my stream. In certain interfaces, I don’t even see the channel name until I click on the video, and I’ve begun watching the video and figure out it’s that channel again!

The nerve! You should demand your money back.

Oh, that’s right, you haven’t paid one goddamn cent for this service, have you?

Someone showed the little putz how to check “Not Interested” on the recommendation, and he whined about that too: “That feature doesn’t exist on all platforms.” What’ll you bet the guy fears signing into his Google account? It’s required for that particular function to work, and if he were actually concerned with being tracked, he should have burned his computer years ago.

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A wannabe splits from the pack

This would be hilarious were it not so sad: How do you write a good website content?

You have to hope that whatever his first language may be, it’s better than his English. I worry, though, that he’ll go Googling the phrase and end up being lectured on how to scrape content. And the answers he’d received as of last night were tremendously unhelpful: they deal with design, how it looks, rather than content, what it says.

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Becky with a good laugh

Someone claiming to be “Michael Smith” inquires:

Michael Smith can't read

If you don’t have the guts to write her, Mikey, you may as well turn in your computer and be done with it.

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Power mad, I tell you

This guy seems unclear on the concept: Where can I purchase a Wikipedia administrator account?

No, really, he’s serious:

If you have an old administrator account on Wikipedia that you’re not using, you can pass it to me, I’ll put it to good use. I’m an established user on Wikipedia but I don’t think I’ll become an administrator the regular way immediately. If you’re interested in selling to me, hit me up [redacted] on the English Wikipedia.

How far would you trust this guy?

  1. As far as I could throw him.
  2. As far as the nearest wall.
  3. The width of a hedgehog’s butt.
  4. The diameter of frog hair.

“Good use,” my hind foot.

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Invisible touch-typing

This is the kind of thing that would drive me nuts until the solution was found, and would continue to bother me afterwards:

(Via @SwiftOnSecurity.)

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Do not notice

Once word got out that GateHouse Media was taking over the Oklahoman, I started hearing stories about how the new management was frugal/chintzy [choose one]. “Same as the old bosses,” I mused.

Then this started flashing on the screen for a fraction of a second while the Print Replica was loading:

Cannot load document from server

And then, of course, it loads the document from the server without further incident.

For no good reason, I tried the most generic variation on the paper’s URL that I could think of, and up popped the replica of the Peninsula Clarion, Kenai, Alaska, which GateHouse owned for about a year before dealing its Last Frontier papers to a subsidiary of Canada’s Black Press.

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That sagging back end

A would-be Web developer is having second thoughts after reading this:

“Everyone and his mother is hopping onto uDemy and buying a **** ton of courses on Web Development. The entire field has become saturated with assholes who are able to provide top dollar results for bottom ***** prices. With the emergence of Wix and Squarespace, it’s possible for any ol’ goobertron to skip the uDemy fuckabout entirely and just squeeze out a 6 pack of mcnuggies themselves. Why should anybody even entertain the thought of jumping into Web Development with the delusion of competing against everyone from Bangladesh to Silicon Valley? Why should anyone drag their pert nutsack across the Sahara of broken beer bottles and vinegar that is Web Development, to appease some crossed-eyed goon ************ who pays only a pittance and ultimately considers you nothing more than a necessary evil and will fire you the moment his computer genius whiz kid of a nephew figures out how to use Squarespace?”

I’m guessing Mom and all realize that it’s “Udemy” and not “uDemy.”

For what it’s worth, a seriously cute couple a few blocks over hung out their shingle as a design and development house twelve years ago. Now it’s a seriously cute couple plus a staff of three. (I am not in a position to judge nutsack pertness.)

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So I’m waiting for a story to finish loading in the browser, and I spy this monstrosity on the status bar:

Not even gonna try to transcribe this

Geez. You’d think they were assigning URLs to individual molecules or something.

Tangentially: There used to be a WTAF-TV in Philadelphia, on channel 29. Today it’s WTXF-TV, and it’s owned by Fox.

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This could take a while

It is, however, delightfully devilish:

Wi-Fi in hell

(From The Obscure Gentlemen via Miss Cellania.)

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