Monthly Archive for March, 2005

What’s a “mature” video gamer to do among the adolescent jerks?

If you’re a video gaming addict over the mental age of 21 and you play a lot of multiplayer online games, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the online gaming services are full of griefers, assholes, racist homophobes and other misfits. It seems that the anonymous nature of pretty much all such services encourages antisocial behavior.

It makes the online gaming experience pretty miserable for the rest of us. The gaming companies are doing what they can to mitigate the problem, but they really can’t control behavior especially when the services are being used by millions of people every day.

Fortunately there are solutions, and they’re all community based.

Instead of going and playing against the general masses, playing with and against other mature gamers works wonderfully well. There are several online communities for more mature gamers, one of which is Seasoned Gamers. I joined October 2004 and the change in the online gaming experience since then has been like day and night.

The group is made of over 500 people between the ages of 17 and 72 mainly from the United States, but there are a few Europeans and a strong Canadian representation in the group as well. The people are XBox owners and mainly play multiplayer online games on XBox Live.

There’s really nothing else common with any of us, except that we like to play video games, online. In fact, in every other aspect we’re probably an extremely diverse group of people. Do not attempt to discuss politics or religion in the group, you’ll get an earful from someone on the opposite side of the opinion spectrum.

As a somewhat of a online community geek, it’s interesting and fascinating to me how this particular community and communities like it have all successfully worked around an otherwise “unsolvable” problem. It truly demonstrates the power of a user driven community building. The online communities Microsoft has tried to build around XBox and XBox Live! are perfect examples of what’s wrong with online communities formed from the top down. They are cesspools of antisocial behavior, overt marketing by the community “owner” and generally tend to be useless. Yet the user driven communities thrive.


Of Living Wills

Makes more sense than all the “Culture of Life” bullshit spewed upon the masses by “well meaning” congress critters nearing the end of their current term, for sure.

Link via Kim.


Scott Richter, a high volume email deployer aka spamming scum files for bankruptcy

Up yours, spammer scum.

Scott Richter, the biggest active spammer on the Internet, has filed for bankruptcy. He’s being bankrupted by a lawsuit filed by Microsoft. It’s the same lawsuit Snotty Scottie bragged about settling for pocket change when the lawsuit was filed. I guess it didn’t quite work that way. Too bad.

Richter is a career spammer, a type of a sociopath, and will never stop spamming unless forced to stop. Therefore he’s likely to continue spamming throughout and after the bankruptcy proceedings. The bankruptcy, however, will hopefully make running his spam empire more difficult and costly. That’s about the best thing antispammers can hope for as far as these career scumbags go.

Being the conman [1] that he is, he’s probably hiding assets somewhere, maybe among his other businesses, which are just as spammy as OptInRealbig.


1. Some time after 9/11, Scottie spammed the world to promote a charity he was running that was to collect money towards a variety of 9/11 relief funds. There are NO records that he ever donated any of the money he collected to any of the relief funds. In fact, there are no records whatsoever about the campaign.

International Law and the US Army

The United States has long declined to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) claiming it would trump the US Constitution. In addition to the United States, the following six countries also have declined: China, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Qatar and Israel. What a distinguished group.

Foreigners have long suspected the real reason is that the US just wants to do whatever the hell they please around the world, including within the borders of other sovereign states, without having to be accountable for their possible illegal actions to anyone but to themselves. How convenient.

Given this week’s news about two “minor” screwups in the war of terror, one has to wonder if those foreigners are right.

The first piece of news is regarding the murder of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. An army investigation recommended 17 American soldiers to be charged for murder, conspiracy and negligent homicide of 3 prisoners. Well, the army commanders took the recommendations to heart and decided not to charge ANY of the 17 soldiers. One received a letter of reprimand and one was discharged.

The second piece of news is regarding a German national detained in Guantanamo Bay since 2001. A military tribunal concluded in 2004 that he was in fact a member of Al Qaeda. The decision cited classified intelligence sources. Those classified documents were recently declassified and not only did they not indicate Mr. Kurnaz as a member of Al Qaeda, they pretty much said the exact opposite. So the United States has held this man in custody for close to 4 years now and has known he’s innocent of the charges of being an Al Qaeda member for at least 2 years, but yet somehow he’s still detained at Guantanamo Bay.

Do as we say, not as we do?

As an aside, it appears to be a rather bad thing to be a foreigner accused of crimes in the US or against the US. You have no rights, you’re assumed guilty until proven innocent and if you find yourself wronged by the US, you have no right to appeal or no recourse to get just compensation for being wrongfully imprisoned. What a great “justice” system the US has.


The Schiavo Sceptic

So now that the parents have tried, retried (three times) and had politicians make their campaign start speeches, I just keep wondering how many more times are they trying to circumvent the judicial system.

It’s good to be a lawyer, or a journalist covering the story.


I didn’t know MB made these

I’ve just come back from a vacation to Italy and Spain. Things are different there…


PS. Never volunteer to drive a car in Rome, Italy. Your insurance company will love you.