Monthly Archives: October 2008

Digg is full of vapid, listmongering idiots

This is an angry post written in uncov style. I may submit it over there if it’s sufficiently full of bile and vitriol.

Digg: the little news aggregator and home for moronic comments that could. I’m finally giving up on it, yet not for some presumed lack of Kevin Rose fanboy love. This particular train has fallen off the mountain and into a septic tank for people’s pet issues of the day. Issues generally include the legalization of pot, minor political scandals or community butthurt over restricted Ubuntu drivers.

All of these elements essentially distill YouTube with a focus on poor-ass headlines, misleading summaries, and a PageRank whoring link pointed to some Blogspot drivel that some high school kid thinks is hot crackers. Recently popular stories just parrot content produced by Gawker Media or Weblogs Inc. (an AOL production!) properties. As much as you may disagree with Denton’s practices, there’s a key difference: both of these companies pay people to write, and it’s certainly a different quality standard.

One of the best investments I’ve ever made with a half hour has been the Digg Stupidity Filter, which is basically an inbred regular expression that’s hosted on somebody else’s ~$13 per share server. Unfortunately, even this bastardized contraption is unable to cope with people that insist on pushing out “Top Three Hundred and Twelve+ Ways to Enable Beryl and Cry Yourself to Sleep” to the front page. Lists of absolutely stupid Firefox tweaks are the prime offenders here, but you might see similar content from Mashable!!!!omglolone authors. What ever happened to people reading informed reviews and opinions, instead of regurgitating bullet points? If I wanted that, I’d go sit through an executive slide deck – one created in PowerPoint and not Zoho Office.

The main problem I have with Digg is not the blind subservience to the brilliant economic policies of Ron Paul. It’s the encouragement of a brain-dead social networking community of conspiracy theorists, and the resulting mass media coverage only gives these halfwits some semblance of legitimacy. Deep down, every “power user” is really a 4chan bandwagoner whose love for cannabis knows no bounds. If you can’t be a real hacker, come to Digg where the next best thing is to be a script kiddie. You, too, can crack WEP with the assistance of Google Video.

Where were these idiots on the Internet before the advent of easily-accessible comment boxes? I mean, Geocities had its fair share of numptees back in the day, but I continue to be astonished at new lows of mouth-breathing twits. As the ease of vomiting into a <textarea> increases, it’s probably inevitable that we’ll see more and more loser-generated content. I just wish there was a production version of StupidFilter available that didn’t require tweaking makefiles. While I’m perfectly competent at compiling and running a C++ app, you won’t get major traction from the Rails evangelist crowd until you make a plugin.

Digg’s biggest problem, bar none, isn’t the roving masses of morons continuing to patronize its impeccably validated HTML. The Digg audience are dangerous because they’re just smart enough to use something like Firefox with AdBlock. They’re just trendy enough to try and run Linux, even if they don’t understand what the command GreyWizard54 posted actually does. So when you’re a Web2 company whose primary income is based on people clicking on ads, you can’t go with a conventional Microsoft package. The lucrative “text JOKE to 99999″ ads festooning the borders of MySpace won’t work either. Digg is the perfect target market for mail-order Russian brides; it’s just too bad nobody there will ever see your wares.

UW and Rogers bring you weaksauce device pricing

UW’s CampusTechShop outlet has become an authorized Rogers Wireless dealer, and lately they’ve been trumpeting the $25 and $45 student packages. Every carrier in Canada has similar student deals to try and bump new subscribers and ARPU in the fourth quarter.

What I don’t understand is how such an outlet expects to attract new signups through this ridiculous device pricing. (Yes, these prices are on three year contracts.) I’m assuming this is what they’re charging without a data plan… that’s really the only way I think Rogers could justify selling a Pearl for $300.

  • Blackberry Pearl 8120 – $299.99
  • Blackberry Curve Red – $399.99
  • Blackberry Bold – $599.99

Yeah… no thanks. If this is their idea of a special promotional price worthy of an email blast, forget it.

Windows Live Messenger 9 beta on Server 2003

To install the final version of Windows Live Messenger 9 (14.0.8089.726) on Server 2003 and XP Pro 64-bit, please visit Steven’s instructions at pyro.eu.org/how-to/windows-live-messenger-2009-msi/. The instructions below are provided for historical curiosity only – they’re now out of date since Microsoft blocks this beta version of WLM from connecting.

There is no good reason this shouldn’t work out of the box, but I run 2K3 Server as my primary machine at work and can’t try out Microsoft’s fruity new Messenger app. The MSI is hardcoded to block server OSes, which is complete and utter shenanigans.

The instructions in this post from Techspot work well for Windows Live Messenger 8.5, but you’ll have to dredge through the comments to find a working version of WLM 9. Since it’s hosted on one of those free file sharing services, I figured I’d mirror the .msi and try and dredge up some search engine hits. I’ve scanned it with Symantec Endpoint Protection and it came up clean. Thanks to Quasim for the original file.

The installer should work on any ‘unsupported’ OS, such as XP x64, Server 2003 and Server 2008.

Download Windows Live Messenger 9 Beta – MSI