Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bullshit Anti-Smoking Ads

These anti-smoking ads are really annoying.  The ones with people peeling their skin off and pulling their teeth out were gross enough.  Those won't make me want to stop smoking, they just make me change the channel.  These "swipe it left" commercials are even more obnoxious.

This guy is turning down a girl because she smokes? He looks like a hobo, and he's going to have a heart attack by the time he finishes eating.  Seriously, why is all that shit there?  I doubt even a competitive eater could finish all of the food on that table in one sitting.

Who would want to date him anyway?  He has poor hygiene, he's a glutton, he's messy, and he has anger issues.

Oh yeah, that's sexy.

He's throwing onion rings in the seat and flicking strawberries on the floor, then he starts throwing a tantrum and knocks plates of food on the floor.


  What a fucking slob.  Then he starts eating again. Did he pick up the food off the floor or did he order MORE food? This guy's disgusting. He's knocked that strawberry over twice now and this is a different scene.

Oh, and the girl he's looking at is 19.  This guy has to be 35.  What is he, a rapist?

Then they have this trashy gap-toothed trailer girl singing the "hook".  It's one of those catchy songs that gets stuck in your head and makes you want to punch the singer in the mouth so they shut up.

I hope they at least paid her enough to get those teeth fixed.

And then there's a bunch of weird shit going on in the background.  From gay guys and slutty Catholic schoolgirls dancing in the background to horses and penguin-dolphin hybrids.

Without any kind of audio cues I would think this was a gay pride commercial.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

AMD Raptr Malware

It was bad enough that AMD started pushing Catalyst Control Center with its drivers instead of just allowing the drivers themselves, but a while back they also started including malware named "Raptr".  Raptr is similar to xfire (and was founded by one of the co-founders of xfire) except that it gets installed automatically without you asking for it, displays ads, and sends your system information to AMD.  So it is malware, adware, and spyware.

It is possible to uncheck the box during driver installation, except in the installer it is listed as "AMD Gaming Evolved", which you would think went along with the Catalyst Control Center.  If Raptr and AMD were so proud of this software they wouldn't have to sneak it into another installer.

Fuck you, AMD.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Product Reviews

There are too many people on Amazon who don't understand what the point of a product review is.  Nobody cares how fast your item got there or what problems you have with the seller, this isn't eBay.  You should be reviewing the product, not the company.  Sellers have their own page to rate them.

If you are leaving the review for a complete set of DVDs for a television series, you should rate the set, not the series.  Nobody cares whether you liked the show or not, if somebody is looking to buy a series it is because they already like it.  People want to know how the discs are packaged.  Are they in individual cases or all on a spindle?  Is it going to hold up or is it a piece of crap?  Are they pressed discs or DVD-Rs?  What is the quality of the video and audio like?  How many episodes per disc?  What languages are the audio and subtitles in?  For some reason, some people care about extras.

I don't now if people are getting dumber as whole or if the internet just allows more stupid people to connect.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Uber/Lyft Are Deregulated Taxi Services, Not "Ride Sharing". So Shut Up Already.

Uber and Lyft are services that allow you to hail a ride using a mobile app.  Proponents of these services insist that they are "ride share" services and not taxis, and compare them to dating sites claiming it only introduces people to other people.  I've never used an online dating site, but I'm pretty sure they don't charge you per date and mile that you ride your date.  That would make them an escort service.

So what makes this different from a taxi service hiring independent contractors?  Nothing.  Not a damn thing. The title of Uber's website even calls them a taxi service.  When you order a pickup from one of these services a minimum charge is applied and there are separate charges per minute and per mile with the option of tipping the driver, just like a traditional taxi service.  The driver is also paid 80% of the original fare.  I'm not sure if calling it a "ride share service" is just a poor attempt at confusing people with semantics or if people are dumb enough to actually believe that Uber and Lyft are fundamentally different from a taxi service.  Calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist" doesn't change their profession.

Why is this an issue?  Because they are unregulated.  Background checks are performed but there are ways around them.   How do you know that the car is mechanically sound?  There are limits on how old the car can be but that doesn't mean the driver has changed the oil in the past fifty thousand miles or has safe tires.  Taxi services require drug screening and fingerprints.  There is nothing preventing crack-smoking serial killer from driving for these companies.  Imagine somebody starting a restaurant without being FDA approved.

Anyway, if you insist that Uber and Lyft are not taxi services then you are a moron.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Comparison of Dropbox, SpiderOak, and Wuala

After Dropbox's security incident I decided to try out alternative services that were supposed to be more secure.  I had heard of Spideroak before and I found Wuala during my search for a new service.  Their advantage over Dropbox is that they both encrypt files client-side and do not have access to your data.  The downside to this is that if you lose your password you lose access to your files.  This won't be a problem if you use a password manager such as KeePass.

SpiderOak gives you two gigabytes for free while Wuala gives you five gigabytes for free.  Neither of them has the lan sync feature that Dropbox has that transfers files between computers on the same network internally.  Instead they transfer files to their servers first and the files then get downloaded to the other machines.  This is obviously slower and uses more bandwidth through your internet connection.  They both allow you to sync multiple folders in different locations on the computer while Dropbox only allows you to sync folders that are under your main Dropbox folder.

Dropbox is probably the best known cloud syncing service.  It is the simplest of the three mentioned here to setup and use and is the most reliable.  Aside from the lan sync feature, Dropbox allows you to right-click on a file within your Dropbox folder and copy a link to share the file.  It also offers two-step authentication which will prevent others from logging into your Dropbox account but still doesn't protect your data from Dropbox employees.  Considering that their security incident was caused by an employee I have little faith that they will protect sensitive data and only use them for non-sensitive data like game saves.  I have been using Dropbox the longest and have not once had a problem with the software.  I was inconvenienced during a couple of outages but that was an issue with the servers and not the program.  Deleted files are stored on Dropbox servers for thirty days and you can restore them from the website.

SpiderOak is the most complicated to setup and is slow to detect changes locally or on the server.  Deleted files are stored locally on each machine and the trash has to be emptied individually.  Sometimes the system tray icon doesn't load even though SpiderOak is still running in the background.  This can usually be ignored but I like to see that changes are being synced.  I have had a problem once or twice where the local database was corrupted and I had to run some commands to rebuild it.  SpiderOak's support was helpful with this and responded in a reasonable amount of time.

Wuala is owned by LaCie, a European computer hardware company.  Their servers are located in Switzerland, Germany and France.  This is a plus to people who don't want their files hosted in the United States.  Setup is more advanced than Dropbox but easier than SpiderOak.  You can copy a link to share a file like with Dropbox but you have to do it from the Wuala client instead of an Explorer folder.  It notices changes almost instantly like Dropbox does but takes longer to upload files.  Upload and download have set limits, but you can set them above your internet connection speed if you want to maximize them.  Wuala gives you the option of syncing multiple folders and using their client you can copy or paste files to a folder that isn't synced locally.  Deleted files are moved into a Trash folder and emptying it applies to all computers.

I've had the most problems with Wuala.  Sometimes the system tray icon doesn't load, but this doesn't happen as often as with SpiderOak.  Wuala seems to take the longest time to load when the computer boots.  It will often say file changes are pending and sit there for hours or days and never finish.  Restarting the client or the computer may help but one of my computers has had pending for almost a week.  I have had instances where I deleted a folder and it came back multiple times.  I had to delete the files using the client, then kill the client on all of my machines and delete the files locally.  A few times it has overwritten newer files with older files.  It has also just stopped syncing a specific folder altogether and I had to delete it and recreate it.  There is a bug with Wuala's overlay icons where Windows Explorer would refresh about every fifteen seconds which is fixed by uninstalling it.  Wuala's support is rather slow to respond and not very helpful.  Their support system seems to use German and the customer support aren't native English speakers so the language barrier is a factor.

Having said all of that, I believe Wuala has the most potential due to security and ease-of-use despite being written in Java.  They just need to fix their bugs, add lan sync, and maybe hire more customer service reps including native English speakers.

Edit: 4/17/2013
I have been having multiple problems with Wuala and their tech support has been completely unhelpful.  On some computers Windows locks up if you try to open an Explorer Window due to Wuala's CBFS.  Newer versions don't fix the issue.  I have had a ticket open for one pc for months that hasn't been answered.  Others have been closed with a nonsense explanation.  I wouldn't pay for this service and am switching back to SpiderOak.