Category Archives: Internet

Getting To Know China

chinaSMACK1 is a very interesting website that gives English speakers insight into the minds of the Chinese. They do this by translating the hottest, most popular news and blog articles into English – along with their comments. Granted, they don’t translate all comments (which would be tiring and frustrating for the translators), so they try to choose those that are representative of the whole. Fascinating stuff.

One piece that caught my eye: “Jewish girls with guns.” Essentially, it’s a photo album of attractive female Israeli soldiers (with a few hot civilian pics thrown in for good measure). But the comments (which are similar to another story about guns for sale in American Walmarts) display a belief that Chinese society would suffer greatly through crime and civil unrest (including possible revolution) if their citizens could own guns. They also touch upon the differences in political systems between our countries. Seems like a must read for anyone trying to get into the Chinese market or has an anthropological bent.

In a related note, I am happy to report that The Crack Team is no longer banned in China.

  1. tip o’ the hat to Masterchief []

Java 4-ever

If you are a Java or .NET developer, or just lived through the Sun-Microsoft war, you should find this very amusing. Lots of little touches. There are a few seconds that will not be work appropriate, but overall it’s safe. It’s also in HD, although the embedded player may not show that.

Update: As pointed out in the comments, the original video went private, so here is another in HD. However, the few naughty seconds (no nudity) require you to sign in.

Character Actor Composite

Found an interesting page that’s simply a composite of character actor head shots and names, so when you’re trying to remember someone you can scan the photos and find out. There are some that are obvious to even part time film buffs, like Giovanni Ribisi, Charles Napier, and James Cromwell, but also a number I could only recognize by face. Sooner or later someone is going to turn this into a photo quiz.

Real Fake Phone Numbers for Telemarketers/Spammers

I recently tried to download a tech paper from a developer site that requires registration. I had already registered but they wanted me to confirm my info. Strange. I hit save and my phone number was flagged. See, I normally turn my real phone number into a 555 number and rest easy. These bastards were smart enough to check for that. I changed it to the 800 number of a company I don’t like, but they rejected that, too. Then I found Humor Hotlines. It was originally created as a way to give your phone number to someone at a bar or club; when they called they got a humorous rejection message. That sounds potentially cruel, but not when it’s a company that insists on bothering you. If more people start doing this, maybe companies will start making that optional. Probably not, but worth a try.

Do Not Call For Cell Phones

So about 5 years ago, I wrote about how you didn’t need to add your cell phone to the National Do Not Call Registry, and how rumors that the gov’t would allow telemarketers to call them were BS. Well, recently I’ve been getting calls from telemarketers on my cell phone, but when I went to complain, they wouldn’t allow it because my phone number wasn’t registered. There was no “this is a cell phone” box to check. Thank you, bastard politicians or shortsighted bureaucrats, whichever the case may be. So go register your cell number before they get you, too.

BTW, these weren’t 800/866/888 numbers, they were local (310) numbers I didn’t recognize. I didn’t answer, they didn’t leave a message, but I Googled the numbers and found them on Pretty handy site.

Banned in China!

Update: See the comments for more details and links to learn about the Great Firewall of China and how to test your site.

Update 2: We are no longer banned!

I started tracking stats on Google Analytics about a year ago. Since that time, over 36,000 people have visited the site (thanks!). Of that 36,000, only one person was in China. One! I think I can safely say we’ve been banned, locked out of the Great Firewall of China. I wonder if it’s the words “covert organization” or “free speech” that is keeping us out. I must say, I am pretty proud that we’re the first result when Googling “covert organization” – with or without the quotes. Great success!

Full Disclosure: There are about 21 countries on Google’s global map for which we have zero visits (versus 170 countries that have stopped by). But I’m pretty sure none of those 21 have 1.3 billion people.

Frakkin’ Firefox free, I mean three.

I thought I’d post this explanation in case anyone else has problems with getting Firefox to prompt for password recall at EVERY site you need it to. Yahoo, Paypal, and some other portals fail to recall the password, even when forced with that old bookmark trick. (stopped working after Firefox2)

Found on the net and works for me:

Find and open with notepad…

C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\components\nsLoginManager.js


\Program Files (x86) if using 64 bit windows.

Then, find this part in the code…

_isAutocompleteDisabled : function (element) {
if (element && element.hasAttribute(“autocomplete”) &&
element.getAttribute(“autocomplete”).toLowerCase() == “off”)
return true;

change the “true” to “false” and save over the original file.

Don’t worry if you screw it up, just delete the file and Firefox will replace it when reinstalled. So far, Firefox updates have not removed the modification. So I didn’t have to go back and perform the edit again.

Common Sense Ratings

Noticed something new on Netflix: a rating that wasn’t from the MPAA. Turns out it’s from an organization called Common Sense Media. It strives to do what Roger Ebert has been doing for years – let parents know when the MPAA got it wrong. However, it goes beyond movies into TV and video games, and goes beyond covering sex and violence into areas like consumerism. It also seems to stress – gasp – talking to your kids about how they should think about what they’re watching.

Sadly, this will probably go completely unnoticed by the parents who need it most. Like that couple complaining that the “free under 3” policy doesn’t apply to R-rated movies. Like the Exorcist. And yes, that’s a true story. We are doomed.