Tag Archives: Interweb

Tap room 500 error

As a one time denizen of the Raccoon Arms comment threads, I pop back occasionally to see if Petunia Winegum has finished with his remodel to make it ‘The Tap Room’. Despite multiple cache flushes I was getting a maintenance page, but now I’m getting a 500 Error.

Anyone out there know what’s happening?

Update: Now it’s back to ‘The Tap Room is down’ again.  How very curious.

Monday 11th January:  Database error.

And finally….

This is a timed post, as I’m probably busy cooking and eating (Although not simultaneously) a seasonal repast. I will also have consumed far more alcohol than others might deem advisory, but then I rarely take the advice of advisories, unless of course……….

But if you’re into over indulgence in a big way……

TTFN

Bill

451 Error

A.k.a. 403: Forbidden; which is what you may be finding in place of certain blogs shortly if you try to access the content from places where thought crimes are punishable under law. Map here. It’s the new Internet code describing a proscribed interweb site subject to a Government imposed ban or legal stricture.

Well at least if a site flags up with this code we’ll at least know the powers that be are paying attention. Which is rather sweet of them really. Nice to be noticed. Cheers. Of course this will not affect those using VPN’s or the TOR network or browser.

Not that shutting down a blog, Farcebook or Twat feed will actually make an individual blogger go “Oh dearie me. I’m being blocked by the Government. I’d better not do this any more.” The exact opposite of the desired effect should be expected.

Meanwhile…

Over in the UK, Sky Broadband have enabled ‘porn’ filters by default to all new customers from the New Year until 9pm(?) for the ‘sake of the children’ as promoted by the UK’s current Prime Minister. Forgive me for sounding cynical, but all this sounds like fiddling while Rome burns. Shouldn’t the UK government be focusing on more pressing problems like the migrant crisis, the economy being in the tank and fuel poverty to mention but three? Compared to those, porn is a very minor issue, and this decision may just blow up in Sky’s face as they find their market share shrinking. Why? Because human nature.

Some Internet filters block specific web sites and traffic to and from specific IP addresses. For example readers coming to this blog from a certain set of anonymous proxy servers may find themselves unable to comment because, due to a previous troll infestation, I pasted in a tranche of ‘anonymous’ proxy IP addresses into WordPress’ handy dandy little spam filter feature. However, arrival from a ‘non-anonymous’ source means you can contribute or not as much as you please. Just Cave Canem and be aware that the blog authors have a robust attitude which some might not be comfortable with. This is not a ‘safe space’.

Other filters work on web addresses and URL’s and yet more on text strings. Which means that intellectual works such as Somerset Maughams classic work ‘On human bondage‘ might be unavailable along with references to the Wessex novels of Thomas Hardy. So, bang goes the English Literature homework. Or won’t you be able to write ‘bang’ any more? Especially when this piece of onomatopoeia is used as a verb to describe the sex act? Oh, and any Junior School PHSE homework may go out of the window too for those brave new UK Sky customers. Whoosh! There go your kids grades.

Then there’s the assertion than anyone discussing the prohibition and control freakery surrounding drugs, tobacco, vaping, alcohol and sweet stuff will get caught up in the ‘mission creep’ of said filters. To the point where anything not strictly allowed will be Verboten. Unless of course the Sky customer in question has invested in a low cost VPN connection to bypass all the filtering. Lots of people need VPN’s, like a ‘road warrior’ sales rep who doesn’t work in a regular office but needs a secure ordering connection to their companies network. People working from home or those needing secure remote server control. Like it or not, VPN’s are a growing market sector.

Better still, don’t use Sky. Especially if you may need to change address, ever. The tales of Sky subscribers who have difficulties cancelling their subscription are legion. If legend is to be believed, they’re worse than BT used to be. And that takes some doing, believe me (Had to do it once – never again). There are plenty of other, much better, UK ISP’s out there. I used to like Zen up to 2007, but have no idea what they’re like nowadays.

As for trying to impose a ‘top down’ morality? What may be moral to some people may be completely immoral to others. Which may lead to prohibitions on just about every human activity. That said, I tend to fall back on Heinlein’s maxim; “The principle [of censorship] is wrong. It’s like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can’t have steak.”

Which leads to the thought that the young children this filtering is supposed to protect are generally not interested in sex at all, in fact there’s a massive “Euw” factor for pre pubescent children as far as matters of the flesh are concerned. Conversations generally go like this;
Child one (Giggling); “I heard Mum and Dad having sex last night.”
Child two (Hides face); “That is soooo gross.”
As for children being ‘damaged’ by porn. Maybe not. Incest has been a crime for centuries, and as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, is no more widespread than previously. Besides, sexually violating children, the activity which this measure is presumably supposed to suppress, is Internet independent. Those who have such urges will indulge their baser impulses (so my lawyer stepdaughter informs me) whether there’s any such material available or not. Even if it isn’t in ‘Fifty shades of Grey’. Which I wouldn’t be surprised to find in Mr & Mrs Camerons bookcase.

Regarding bans, it’s worth noting that such blanket prohibitions always make any given problem far worse than it was in the first place. See effects of Prohibition and the ‘War on Drugs‘ to name but two.

But no, you can’t get that through Cameron’s (Or many other modern politicians) thick head because ‘morality’ is such an easy soundbite. He’s saying “Hah! Look at me, I’m fixing something which isn’t that big a problem…” when there are so many more pressing issues. Heavy sigh….

Something for everyone

Over at Leg-Irons a couple of days ago, I happened to mention that there was such a thing as a ‘Bondage Barbie‘. Specifically a Barbie doll into whips, chains, ball gags and all the impedimenta of certain sexual proclivities. Hell, whatever floats ones boat, as I have learned to accept. So just to amuse myself I googled ‘Bondage Barbie’ and good grief! My eyebrows shot half way up my forehead and I had to step away from the keyboard for a while. I mean, it’s not what I’d want to find in my seasonal stocking, if I actually wore that sort of thing, but then I’m boring like that.

bondage barbiesApparently the whole ‘Bondage Barbie’ meme been a minority fetish since the 90’s and early 00’s since a certain Ms Pitt, doll and dressmaker first tried to commercialise the concept. Something which Mattel, who market the mainstream version of said childs toy, strongly objected to on copyright grounds. It’s very big in some circles, allegedly.

However, I suppose the wrist cuffs and latex malarkey could be construed as aftermarket adaptations, therefore strict copyright infringement is probably a bit of a reach. You might make a product, but if someone else chooses to adapt it for a particular application, you can’t tell them what colour it can be repainted. So long as they don’t come back to you for a warranty refund after modification, that’s fine.

All this on its own might seem odd, and that’s without getting into the whole ‘Cosplay‘ thing, where fans of various TV programs and movies dress up in (often highly revealing) costumes based on their favourite character. Very popular at Science Fiction conventions and events like comic-con‘s ‘Maskerade’ where only the very staid dress up as Captain Picard or Mr Worf, where other more adventurous types prefer to dress up like Barbarian heroes and heroines with lots of flesh and much less loincloth. Which some might find a little weird when such role playing is (inevitably) carried into the bedroom, but chacun à son goût. There have even been Star Wars themed Church services and Las Vegas (of course) can cater for Intergalactic Weddings. So I suppose I shouldn’t be so surprised.

Which can get some folk’s panties in a bunch but nowadays my only reaction to that sort of costume is “Don’t you feel a little cold?”

That’s pathetic

As in meaning 2 in the online Oxford Dictionary. But there’s a few people out there who are threatening to post ‘spoilers’ of the new Star Wars movie unless Disney makes the movie they demand. As George Lucas himself says at the end of this comic clip of ‘Trigger warnings’; “That’s pathetic.”

Not a particular fan of the fluffy* Star Wars space opera end of Sci-fi myself, but seriously? It’s J J Abrams movie, his brainchild, his living, not theirs. The “Spoiler Jihadi’s”, as they have come to be known, come across as a bunch of whiny spoiled brats who deserve a good slap. The result of Mommy and Daddy being too indulgent and not saying ‘No’ at the appropriate juncture, confiscating their techno-toys and switching off their TV for bad behaviour.

Now piracy of the movie is one thing, if of course you want second rate sound and 640 pixel grainy visuals, but out and out blackmail of the movie makers? That is so far from not on it’s not true.

Spoiler Jihadi’s are the despicable little shits who talk during movies, telling their friends and everyone else loudly what’s going to happen next with lots of “Yeah, this is a good bit. It’s where he / she / it…..” Which is fucking annoying, and on one occasion even had mild mannered me turning round to snarl “Shut. The Fuck. Up.” In the cinema. I was wearing my ragged oil and tobacco reeking cut offs over a roadstained leather jacket that day, over ten years before I came across the civilising influence of my dear lady wife, so my personal grooming was rather erm…. unruly. Did I intimidate, or scare him to silence? I’m not entirely sure but the mouth artist in question did clam up, so I suppose he must have felt some form of embarrassment. At the time I felt annoyed enough to think about dragging the importunate little S.O.B. into the bog and indicate my displeasure by re-enacting the toilet murder scene at the start of ‘Casino Royale’ (Although this incident was well over fifteen years before that specific movies release). I’d paid good money to get into the theatre that damp afternoon and some inconsiderate cunt was trying to ruin my entertainment.

It’s bad enough when someone enters the room when you’re chilling, enjoying a TV movie and demands “What are you watching?” without any consideration whatsoever, talking over an important piece of dialogue or enjoyable action sequence. Instead of simply joining you on the couch to watch and enjoy. Or even being considerate to make some tea and bring a cookie with them to share the experience. I have taken Mrs S to task for such interruptions on more than one occasion and the ‘pause’ button on our Apple TV Box remote is beginning to look a little worn.

So, don’t like what the movie makers have produced little spoilt-jihadi? Go make your own version, writing your own storylines to watch on your home system, but let the Star Wars team do their thing, which most people will actually think worthy of paying to go and see.

* 'Fluffy': A TV show or movie watched for entertainment value alone, no matter if the plot resembles a Gruyère cheese and some of the dialogue is so groanworthy it's actually hilarious.

On ‘Drive by’ commenting

There are people on various comment threads who accuse others of making ‘drive by’ comments. Asking a question or making a comment and not responding to any replies. Which is an online sin, if that is what it is, that I will honestly put my hands up to.

Truth of the matter is that I simply don’t have the time to respond (I have a life) or consider a given riposte to be either not worthy of my attention or even a worthless troll feeding exercise. Even with my reading speed (1200-1450 words per minute), there’s simply too much out there in jolly old Interwebland and that’s not even without delving into works like ‘Sapiens‘ which requires more careful word by word examination or my work related reading and college studies. I’m working my way towards a college degree, so shoot me.

Ergo, if I have not replied to any witty online epistles or lackwit attempts at badinage it’s because my plate of life is currently a little full, so don’t hold your breath. On the other hand, I could think of certain people I’d like to watch trying. To hold their breath, that is…… (Insert low key evil chuckle here)

In the meantime you’ll be stuck with the Igors holding the fort. So have fun and play nice.

The Case Against Facebook

Gweetingth onth again from the ladth in the lab here at the Bill Thticker Inthtitute of Thtating the bleeding Obviouth. Note that young Igor, who is in charge of blog potht titleth ith very modern in hith outlook and declineth to uth our traditional lithp. We’re very worried about him, ath some of uth think hith thtitching ith jutht a little too neat.

There are lotth of thtorieth in the mainthtream preth about thome poor thoul who hath had to thoot a family pet becauth it wath dangerouth to hith children or wath in too much pain, or thomeone who voithed an opinion that thomeone elth did not agree with on Fathebook. People who make thilly pronouncementth on twitter and end up being villified and thubject to one of thothe moronic Change.org campaignth.

We have wordth for people who bully otherth uthing change.org. Motht of thethe wordth are thort, pithy and Anglo-thaxon, otherth are Tranthylvanian in origin and do not tranthlate well from the original Magdyar dialect thyrillic. People who cry out for more government intervention on change.org are, ath far ath we can tell, not the tharpetht toolth in the vărtha. Tho emothional, tho completely free of logic. Not that thothe occathioning thuch outrageth are much better. If they had any thenth, they’d keep thuch thingth to themthelveth inthtead of pothting them for every hipthter and thimilar dunderhead to get all aereated about. Itth one thing to potht private methageth to family and fiendth, quite another to let every eathily outraged thlaphead into oneth private affairth. Ethpethially ath motht them to want to be offended. How bored they mutht be with their liveth.

Out in the real world thethe people are eathy to thpot. Totally fixated on their thmartphoneth (‘Thmart’ – hah!), even when crothing a buthy road. Hardly theeming aware of where they are going or what they are doing outthide of their tiny little screen-world. Thome even drive like that. Thome of uth think the Polithe thould have a thoot on thight polithy towardth texting driverth.

We Igorth do not uthe Fathebook, Twitter, Inthtagram or other thuch abominationth becauthe much of what we do ithn’t exactly thocial. Popping out to fetch a freth brain from a handy dithpenthary, for example, ithn’t exactly the thort of thing you potht in a public forum, ith it? Ethpethially after hourth. Not that we are prethently involved in any thuch projecth. It’th jutht a hypothetical thenario. Bethideth, there’th no call for that thort of research any more. Tho no, we will not be putting “Giving monthter life now – Amathing!” or tharing ‘thelfieth’ of ourthelveth and the marthter with frethly reanimated fleth, no matter how neat the thtitching. If we went in for that thort of thing, which we of courthe don’t. Well, apart from the odd nethethary tranthplant or three, but thatth another thtory.

Admin changes

Just a quickie; as many regular readers (Either of you) have observed, the quantity of posts has been in decline for some time. Mostly because I’ve sarked most of I want to sarc about the apparent insanity of the world and how it is reported upon.

Now before the sackcloth and ashes come out, I’ve decided to hand over the day to day duties of posting to the Duty Igor at the Bill Sticker Institute of whatever it happens to be this week. I may chime in the odd contribution now and again, but the Igors (A smile, a quip and a little freelance brain surgery) will be taking over the main posting duties from now on. The boys have informally agreed to try and increase the humour and satirical quotient of this blog but keep the main thrust of editorial policy intact.

N.B. Igors are a little rough around the edges (It’s the stitching) and tend to lisp a lot, but you can trust them with your afterlife. Until of course the mob arrives with torches, then they’ll be away on their tootsies faster than you can blink. Well, that’s my problem and nobody else’s. Please return any wayward monsters you may find to your local branch of the S.P.C.M.E. (Society for the Protection and Care of Monstrous Entities)

TTFN

Bill