Alexander The Great

September 29, 2008

My Wish for Webmaster Talk

Filed under: Cool Site — alexanderthegreatest @ 8:54 pm

For those of you who don’t know, WT, or sometimes WMT, short for Webmaster Talk, is a forum of highly intelligent people discussing how to run a small business over the internet, among other subjects. Not very surprisingly, this is a popular subject on the web, and WT is not at all unique in turning a forum over to it. They’re unique in the people they’ve managed to attract.

Diana, aka LadynRed, seems like the world’s expert in markup. There is no HTML or CSS question she can’t answer, and it’s usually done in minutes. She’s pretty good with the Adobe software (Flash, Photoshop, etc), but this doesn’t interest me in the least. Steve, aka Van Gogh, and Chris, aka Chirs Hirst, aka the comic book man from The Simpsons, are experts in marketing, search optimization, and so on. Even if Chris H calls it optimisation.

What surprises me is a wider internet phenomenon, that people willingly donate their time to help strangers. This happens across the internet, almost no matter the subject. Yet, I watch advice given out that would cost hundreds of dollars, with detailed appraisals of code of all sorts, for all reasons.

My wish is that the database forum would be more used. There aren’t enough good challenges in there. 😀 Before long, it will be 20 years of professional experience I have in SQL programming. Like the rest, I enjoy helping solve questions, at least the ones offered in good faith. I’m only where I am because of all the help I’ve received from more people than I could ever count, and I’d like to pay the world at large back in ways like sharing knowledge. It should be freee anyway, and, like a candle, it can be shared with no cost.

September 25, 2008

Bush’s $700 Billion Bailout

Filed under: Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 6:29 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Last night, George W Bush gave an address, trying to justify to the American public why their tax money should be given to Wall Street. Distilled to its essence, the speech went like this

Normally, my first instinct would be to trust the market to fix this. But that’s what got us into this recession in the first place. So, instead, we’re going to give communism a try.

At least the conservatives like calling this type of policy communism. It’s actually kleptocracy. The difference is small in recent history – in both cases, we have state run insurance companies, etc. AIG is our Gazprom.

The difference is that we’re pulling $700 billion (plus $300 billion in recent bailouts) out of the pockets of small business owners, to bail their large competition out. That isn’t collective ownership, it’s an upwards flowing money pit.

Crisis of Trust – On Main Street

After the same imminent death scare tactics were used to justify the war in Iraq (they have WMD and “the smoking gun as a mushroom cloud” turned into “Saddam was a very bad man”), many Americans are having a hard time believing that the only way to prevent a total collapse of the entire financial system, is to give Henry Paulson a no questions asked blank check for $700,000,000,000.00 with no oversight as to how it’s spent.

We all have a shared interest in the banking system continuing to work. The vast majority of us have no interest in whether any particular bank fails or not. In fact, according to the conservative, free market rhetoric, we have a Darwinian interest in market forces killing off the weak and inefficient. The current administration refuses to discuss other options, however, using the threat of immediate but not very specific destruction to justify this massive transfer of wealth.

We’re being asked to “just trust me” while Bush explained the recession as having been caused by America having too much money.

Republican Communism

Republican Communism

September 10, 2008

Journalistic Fraud at Fox News

Filed under: Ethics,Modern Life — alexanderthegreatest @ 10:00 pm
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Fox, who’s joke line is “Fair and Balanced”, has been caught with their pants down. People have been making deceptive (to put it mildly) edits to Wikipedia, to remove facts, and to add non facts, from IP addresses owned and managed exclusively by the Fox division of News Corp.

Fortunately, Wikipedia keeps a history of every edit to every page, so fox’s white washing is a matter of public record. Have a look for yourself, at the before and after comparisons.

An entire section (titled Allegations of Journalistic Fraud) was removed from the Carl Cameron article. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?diff=prev&oldid=66427703 The section lists out instances where Cameron invented quotes and attributed them to people who did not say such things, and even describes events that never happened. (Jayson Blair, anyone?) The IP in question is 12.167.224.228, which has made about 500 edits, all of them painting Fox News in a unrealistically better light, or smearing Fox’s obsession targets.

The article on Al Franken adds and attributes a made up quote to Mr Franken, and adds non factual descriptions in violation of WP’s “encyclopedic” and neutrality criteria. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?diff=prev&oldid=25221039 Same IP.

In an article on Keith Olbermann, Fox staff removed references to Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment legal problems. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Keith_Olbermann&diff=prev&oldid=25368834 This is one of many propaganda edits to prevent (lazy) Wikipedia users from knowing the truth.

In the Shepard Smith (host of “FOX Report With Shepard Smith”), a Fox agent removed a link to Shepard Smith’s mug shot. Our reporter was arrested for aggrevated battery in Florida. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shepard_Smith&diff=prev&oldid=25291538

The list goes on and on. The entire “Controversy” section was blanked out by Fox, under the story “Brian Wilson (Fox News Correspondant)”. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Brian_Wilson_(Fox_News_correspondent)&diff=prev&oldid=30231919 This identical change was made by several IP addresses.

Fox News has always practiced censorship on its own TV channel, but it’s moved on to censor information from a public encyclopedia as well.

September 1, 2008

What’s He Looking At?

Filed under: Uncategorized — alexanderthegreatest @ 6:50 pm
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