May 24, 2009

I’ll be brief: I don’t know how to be brief. Or I do know, I just routinely fail to be satisfied by remarks and explanations by myself that are not as informative as they could be or that don’t make use of all the available resources that seem reasonable to make use of. Even this does not prevent me from making inaccurate statements or saying things that I regret, and in fact when I do they are only worse due to the longwindedness that they are presented with. This is a continuing problem.


I just received an invitation to join something called flixter. I thought it was just another stupid facebook thing and didn’t realize it had redirected me to some scam thing (rather than a totally valid, useless vacuum of misery) run by one “smileymedia” until it repeatedly rejected my fake telephone numbers and addresses. Ordinarily a service does not take the trouble to verify who actually lives at 99 Luftballoons, Dumpsteropolis, Arizoner. Obviously I know my own address and a valid organization would get the hint that I just didn’t want it to know. Only in the event that it had no other purpose other than to get these things would it have a mechanism in place that looks for names of actual places. On one of the submits it somehow pulled up my normal email address rather than the backup I had initially entered, and I suspect it may already be too late to totally unbind myself from the wretched thing. Peh.

Smiley Media. As soon as I saw that name I knew. Why would anybody distrust a company named after the international symbol of walmart and the third most revolting banner ad series after “lookit my ugly teeth” and “what state do you live in?”

Also, I have found some other pages complaining about sleazy flixter invitations, like just the normal ones that don’t have some other site hijacking involved. Flixter is creepy enough that harvesting social security numbers and such isn’t even necessary. The page writers tend to get some scummy message from a supposed employee saying that they aren’t sleazy or scummy soon afterward. Because it’s apparently easier to individually tell every person in the world that there is no problem than to fix the problem that there obviously is. I also encountered this a lot when I was researching web hosts. They like to lock people into longterm deals and hold domain names hostage when somebody tries to get out and nonsense like that. “Oh, gee, we can’t really be that bad if we’re personally addressing you in your very own comment form, can we?” That’s what being an entrepreneur is about. I think D. Trump is a magnificent scumbag, but at least he isn’t so pouty and insecure that he needs to assign a task force to look up everybody who complains about him on the internet and get in their business about it. I don’t even do that. Yet.


Forgive me if you’ve seen this already. As has been previously noted I sometimes forget that I’m allowed to show my own dumb pictures on my own dumb website. I have been too engaged with other matters recently to edit any of my recent long-form gripes into something resembling coherence, and that’s when I’m supposed to put these up instead. And then I started writing about this for an hour. Sure enough, I was too weak to make that make sense, so it is unfit for display, but I still need to tell of its existence to… no, I can’t even make something out of my excuse this time. I am well and truly out of… and this is the same thing. I can’t close it. There is no resolution to be made. Here, have some shift key dividers.


may 23
I think I need to reconsider what justifies a new, separate page entry.


may 21
Am I mistaken, or have we (collective United Statians) heard more from Dick Cheney in the first four months of the Obama administration than in the first two years of his own? Toward the middle of 2001, wasn’t his absence so absolute that it seemed plausible that he had gotten dead at some point following the inauguration? Is he now merely making up 16 months or so of metaphorical snow days? Can we yet rule out the possibility that he actually was dead during that time?


may 20, maybe
I don’t think I could have sanely survived ads for Night at the Museum movies without mute powers. Those are some embarrassing ads. The merry melody people used to make cartoons about supposed books which would cause mischief based on their titles and cover illustrations. They were only about six minutes long which is precisely as long as that sort of thing is tolerable for (though apparently seven minutes, I used to have this one on a vhs tape, the more prevalent version with the bell guy and some of the racism removed, which took out a solid minute of it)
And that’s when it’s good, or decent. I can take roughly three seconds of Guido Thinker. And even then I will only take them to the dumpster.

4 Responses
  1. 1
    6:28 am, May 25, 2009

    A lamppost sez:

    There’s your problem–it’s spelled Luftballons.

    Alternately, the site may merely have had an list of valid ZIP codes to compare your data with (I recall even a few legitimate services which did not ask for the full address using these in the past). Perhaps if you inserted a legitimate one of these (if not necessarily your own), the rest of your data would be accepted. Assuming you were particularly keen on being scammed, of course.

  2. 2
    1:16 pm, May 25, 2009

    Finkeldey Fabrax sez:

    I may just have been saying red in German and balloons in English for my own amusement.

    Eh, the point was that the thing had no place to be griping about my address, or any data that was inconsequential to the dissemination of daft film reviews.

    I gradually inserted an air of legitimacy, but the thing was awfully pedantic. It would not accept fake street names, it would not accept real street names with numbers beyond an unspecified range, it would not accept invalid area codes, it would not accept valid area codes with just any random numbers following. Zip codes are one thing, it’s easy to get those. And I do not dispute that there’s probably some moderately simple way to devise a template for determining realistic phone codes, if not just every telephone number right out of a telephone directories, but it’s creepy that these companies are allowed to get them. They already have all the numbers. They already have all the addresses. All they need now is to trick us into matching ourselves up with these things on a webpage we didn’t know we’re at with tiny print that says what’s happening so a legal argument can be made that consumers willingly signed up for whatever awful thing it is.

    When I did give it my old, actual zip code, it automatically changed “dumpsteropolis” to “east haven.” The only thing it would let me get away with was my name, and also the state; it changed Arizoner to AZ but that was all. I imagine eventually these things will develop to the point where they can know that a name doesn’t match an address or a telephone sequence. This won’t make a difference to people who just enter all their true information all over the place… on the scam form itself. Information like that would be more helpful for luring people to the thing. Like now it uses the email addresses and names of people it thinks you know. If it could find out actual, likely personal acquaintances… it still probably wouldn’t make a difference because people download viruses from random, foreign sources all the time. This is comforting to know.

  3. 3
    12:42 am, May 26, 2009

    National Lampoon sez:

    “Luft” actually means “air” (compare English “lofty”); the “red” bit was presumably added to the English version (which actually differs quite considerably from the German) simply to retain the meter. The German word for red is “rot” (pronounced vaguely like English “wrote”), incidentally, as witnessedby the infamous Schlager earworm, Das Rote Pferd.

    Concerning the personal information, that’s actually rather distressing. I sense this may be a trend among film review related websites, however. I recently tried to respond to a rare non-stupid comment on the Internet Movie Database only to be asked to “verify” my (already long existing) account, either by talking about my last purchase (which has to have been almost three years ago) or by giving them my credit card number. That wasn’t happening.

    This website, on the other hand, has once again taken upon itself to yell at me to “slow down” with my comments. Such nerve.

  4. 4
    1:46 am, May 26, 2009

    Finkeldey Fabrax sez:

    Ah ha! Maybe I was baiting you so you would correct me again! I have access to babelfish. I could easily have found that ut (ut is British for out). I knew there was some military related thing called “luftwaffe” and I must have thought “well you kill people in war and blood is red.” I now recall the context in which I had seen the word and that it was referring to the air force. Ehhh, beh. As the notorious bayou dizzy incident revealed, I often have the wrong things on my mind when posting comments.

    Bimbong has been very busy. Evidently robots can hog the comment conch even when the things don’t actually go through.

    I’ve never heard of being required by a website to “talk about” something. It actually wanted you to, in your own words, describe a thing that you purchased? If that happened to me I would change the subject and start telling it about my problems just to force somebody to read it.

    Face book, inventor of the world famous sport bohcahini, allows a person to disable its random gibberish password prompts, but only if you own a cellular telephone, which it assumes everybody does, much as imdib assumes everybody has purchased something from an amazon. And I imagine people have no problem just calling up face book and saying “yeah, it’s me! Turn that off!”

    On a related topic, the book of faces is serious about name changes.

    Thank you for telling me I have a real e-mail address, face book! But if I didn’t know, who told you?

feed comments.

Sorry, the comment form is apologizing at this time. Which probably means I got tired of deleting robot comments off this post. It is unfortunate, but generally very few actual people have anything to say to me.

Nobody I know has a website anymore

Mr. Sr. Mxy
Gilhodes (bah you need a facebook account to see)
video game music database
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Green Lantern Head Trauma

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