Suddenlink Charges Customers Snail-Mail Billing Fee

July 25, 2016

$1 Paper bill convenience fee added to the overall cost of doing business with Suddenlink Communications

Suddenlink Communications customers are now being charged a $1.00 per month fee for the “convenience” of receiving a paper copy of their bill by snail-mail.

Paper copies are safer than incurring billing errors via automated draft.  One dollar per month is still better than having your personal bank account double or triple billed by a non-thinking machine (or human).

See also:

Suddenlink to begin charging customers $1 fee for paper billing
by Jared Casto


The Stupidity Of Personal References On A Job Application

April 4, 2016

List three references from a job application

:::ring, ring:::

Me:  Hello.

Friend:  Hey Doc, it’s me.  Listen, I hate to bug you but I need a favour.

Me:  Certainly.  What is it?

Friend:  I want to put you down as a personal reference on a job application.  Is that okay?

Me:  I’m sorry, you’re doing what exactly?

Friend:  I’m going to put down your name and phone number as a personal reference on a job application.

Me:  And then what?

Friend:  And then they call you and you tell them what a great person you think I am.

Me:  So you want me to lie?

Friend:  (Long pause) Yes.

Me:  You’re giving my name and number to a total stranger and asking me to lie for you?  Why?

Friend:  So they will hire me.

Me:  They’re going to hire you based on my lie alone?

Friend:  No. I still need two other people to lie to them as well.

Me:  Very confusing.  You’re going to get hired because you were able to get three people to lie for you.

Friend:  Yeah, hopefully.

Me:  How many other applicants are applying for this job?

Friend:  Oh, I don’t know.  Twenty or thirty…  Maybe.

Me:  You’re telling me that the person doing the hiring is potentially going to be lied to ninety times?

Friend:  Could be.

Me:  Do people like being lied to?

Friend:  No.  They hate it.  So will you do it?

Me:  How does the fact that you can get three people to lie for you help the person doing the hiring determine who is best qualified for the job?

Friend:  (Silence)

Me:  I’m just thinking outside the box, and I know about thinking outside the box because I live in the box, but this person or company that you want to work for doesn’t sound like the kind of place you really want to be if their hiring practices are based on who can best get their fiends to lie for them.

Friend:  I really need the job so I can pay back the money I owe you.  What do you say?

Me:  Oh, well in that case, sure.  No problem.

Friend:  Thanks Doc!



PCLinuxOS 2016 Repository List

March 30, 2016

PCLinuxOS logo

The following is a list of current software repositories used by PCLinuxOS.

This list was extracted from PCLinuxOS KDE 2016.03 Live DVD through Synaptic > Settings > Repositories.  Not all repositories may be in use.  Some repositories may not be accessible from every country.  Each individual repository may contain different versions of the same software or contain different software packages.

It is recommended that users access only one repository at a time.

These links are provided for historical and research purposes only.

Your Lame Claim To Fame Is Such A Crying Shame

March 15, 2016

"Weird Al" - Lame Claim To Fame Video

“Weird Al” got it right.  If you are posting the following statement on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, MySpace, Instagram, Blog, or any other website on the Internet:

“I know famous people.”

Then you truly have a delusional lame claim to fame.

You may have met someone famous, you may have had your picture taken with someone famous, you may have had a conversation with someone famous, but that doesn’t mean that you know someone famous.

When was the last time any of these famous people came over to your house for dinner?  Or gave you their personal cell phone number?  Or sent you an email or text?  How many of these famous people that you have had sex with can even remember your name?

Never!  none!  no!  In your dreams!

The problem with your lame claim to fame lies in the word “know,” which can simply mean “to have knowledge of.”  In that case, we all know someone famous.  But that’s not how you want us to interpret your claim.  You want us to believe that famous people are your biggest, best friends in the whole wide world.

Church Lady Meme

Sorry, I’m not buying it.  And neither is anyone else who happens to stubble upon your web page.  We just roll our eyes at you and move on.  You get one shot at making a first impression and you blew it.

Associating yourself with famous people gives you a false sense of also being famous.  You want to be famous without having to go through the process of becoming famous.  You want instant fame.  And you think that the Internet can give that to you.

What makes you think that you deserve to be famous?

You spread your name all over the Web like it means something.  You sprawl your name across all of your photos in a vain attempted to ensure your copyright.

Those blurry, dark pictures you took with your iPhone are worthless.  They are even more worthless since you wrote your name and copyright in big letters over the picture.

This image copyrighted

The point of posting pictures on the Internet is to add value to your website.  The image above is completely useless because the ugly copyright notification covers all the beauty beneath.

You are never going to make any money from your photography.  And if someone did steal one of your pictures and displayed it on their website, what are you going to do about it?  Are you going to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit?  Seriously?

Put the unaltered photos online and let your visitors do with them as they please.

Beautiful Flower

Beautiful Flower 1600×1200 (click to enlarge)

Your visitors will appreciate your efforts and return to your site again and again for more useful content.  That, more than anything else, will help make you famous.

Take down your lame claim to fame.  Create content that people actually want.  And stop being an asshole.  Three simple things that anyone can accomplish…

Almost anyone.



Find Damn Near Anyone On The Internet

March 7, 2016

Internet Detective Tux“You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”
Scott McNealy

Old friends, relatives, former teachers, neighbours who moved away years ago or just about damn near anyone, the Internet can help you find them all…  Legally.

There are websites today that do nothing but track you.  They keep track of where you live, where you used to live and anyone associated with you.  These websites are a good resource.

They are not, however, always accurate.  One of these sites claims that I lived in a city where I never resided.  I’ve never had a driver’s license in that state, never had a bank account in that state, never registered a vehicle or owned property in that state.  I did stay at a hotel in that city once for two days while on vacation, but I’ve never lived there.

Never accept information found on these websites as the gospel truth.  You must use multiple sites to confirm any information.

For best results, you will need three facts about the person you are seeking:

  1. Their first and last name.
  2. The name of the city and/or state in which they have resided (past or present).
  3. The name(s) of anyone associated with them (mother, father, spouse, siblings, offspring).

Type this data into any search engine (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.) and start hunting.

Modern search engines do not require the addition of Boolean logic terms.  Simply type in all the information you have and let the search engine do the rest.

Using this method I was able to find an old college buddy that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years in less than 10 minutes.  I knew his name, where he used to live, and the name of his then fiancée (now wife).  I found his current address, phone number, number of children and, with the help of Google Maps, what his house looks like.

Your mileage may vary.  Expect to search through between 50 and 500 search results.

Picture the Internet as a massive library in which all of the books are scattered across the floor.  There is no Dewey Decimal System for the Web.  The fact that a search engine can find any relevant results at all is directly attributed to the person who constructed the website.

Once you find the information you are looking for, don’t stop looking.   You may find more about this person’s life than you originally intended.

Men are easier to find than women.  Women who have been married 2, 3, 4 times have undergone so many name changes that they may no longer be associated with their maiden name.  So it becomes vitally important that you connect them to their immediate family.

Follow the yellow brick road:  Don’t just read a page and move on.  There may be links within some websites that could lead you to additional information.  For example:  People who follow other people on Twitter or Facebook may not do so under their real name.  The person you are looking for may be using a pseudonym.  Click on everything and see where that takes you.

Google caches a text only version of many websites.  If you click on a Google search result and the page you seek is no longer available, look for a small triangle at the end of the URL.  Left-click on it and select “Cached” from the list.

Cashed Websites in Google

Try varying your search parameters.  Include non-relevant items in the search or remove search terms to see if different results are returned.

Use Google Images as a search tool.  You may recognize a picture of the person you are looking for posted on a seemingly unrelated website.

I hate to say this, but…  Obituaries can be your greatest resource.  I’m not saying that the person you are seeking has died, but perhaps one of their close relatives has passed away.  They might be listed as a surviving member of that family.  For historic purposes, many obits include the names and current location of survivors.

I was able to locate a grammar school classmate that I hadn’t seen in 3 or 4 decades because her stepfather’s obituary listed her as a surviving family member and gave the city and state in which she now resides.

Tax information can be very useful as well.  Many states have Open Records policies that allow anyone to view the property tax information of any home or business owner.  Most of these websites are listed on a county by county basis.

A word of warning:  You may not like what you find.  People change greatly over long periods of time.  Keep your expectations in check.

Every piece of information you find is another clue that can lead to the confirmation of the person you seek.  So put on your deerstalker cap, fire up your favourite search engine and begin your quest.

I wish you good hunting!