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Your Catch-Up Guide to the Scientology Scandal

The Attack Begins: A notorious group of internet users known as “Anonymous” have taken down a Scientology website after declaring war on the church. Anonymous, whose membership included hackers, has begun a “third wave” of attacks in the week-old operation dubbed ‚ÄúProject Chanology‚Ä?.

Huffington Post: Anonymous has already beaten Scientology: “In other words, for all their supposed higher-brain functions, compliments of L. Ron Hubbard’s questionable teachings, they can’t win this one. A group of internet savvy kid vigilantes has, to some extent, already beaten them. ” February 10th, Join the protests at Churches of Scientology Worldwide

How I Escaped Scientology: A well-written, honest account of the experiences a former upper-level, inner-circle Scientologist who spent 20 years in what he describes as a “slavish” cult. He also gives the insider’s scoop on the formation of Scientology.

And for Good Measure: Secret Documents of Scientology

Anonymous’ Second Address to Scientology:

Honk if you Hate Scientology:

Digg Algorithm Changes Hurt the Community

There has been a lot of discussion recently about changes to Digg’s algorithm. While these changes have been subtle and complex, one noticable difference is the difficulty veteran users are having getting stories to the front page. Now, when I was new to Digg I was frustrated to see how many submissions by the so-called ‘top Digg users’ made the front page while newer users had to struggle to get enough votes. I’ve since become a more experienced Digg user and changed my mind about a number of things related to the site.

Still, today, I see the bigger picture and the algorithmic changes aren’t going to do what Digg wants – they aren’t going to give the newer or less frequent Digg users more of a chance, and here are some of the reasons why:

1) Veteran users get a lot of stories to the front page with good reason: they are trusted by others to submit top content from around the internet on a variety of subjects. This trust is built up over time. It is only natural that users who submit and participate more will have higher quality submissions worthy of the front page.

2) Spammers can easily fill the void when veteran Digger submissions can no longer rise to the top. In fact, they can do so with much less effort since their submissions require fewer votes to succeed.

3) With blocks to top Diggers they are forced to result to the same tactics spammers use: mass shouting, begging for Diggs, submitting only the craziest and most offbeat content. This simultaneously lowers the bar on quality content while also forcing quality users to work harder and arguably less ethically to get good content to the front page of Digg.

At the end of the day, we have seen the introduction of shouts and algorithm changes that have resulted in more and more poor content reaching the front page of Digg. Worse yet, quality submitters like CosmikDebris (who specializes in scientific and space-related links) suffer from low frontpage ratios because their content – while very interesting, newsworthy and educational simply isn’t sensational enough to compete with shout-spammers who focus primarily on offbeat news. This isn’t about top Diggers having their egos bruised, it is about people who invest time and effort to bring good content to all Digg users having their hands tied and about the mainstream everyday Digg reader seeing worse and worse stories on the front page.

There are of course other issues at hand right now and many of them are longstanding. The infamous autobury list remains in full effect and Digg’s creators remain in full denial despite the overwhelming evidence (it kind of reminds me of creationists denying fossils). Top users still remain banned for unknown reasons. Many other users have simply left Digg because of all of the uproar. Digg’s Alexa stats are suffering and frankly if they don’t work out a serious overhaul soon they will be vulnerable when the Next Big Thing comes along.

Heading to DC (and Amending my Blog Posts)

No, the above things aren’t actually related. Anyway, heading to DC for a bit of a break and such. Big deadlines coming up, stress building, etc… of course now I find out I might also have to do some work while there to stay caught up! Such is life. Rant. It may be time for another rant soon. Meanwhile, happy Wednesday!

I Haz Been Spammed 2 Death!

So I am getting so much spam (presumably as a result of my posting my weirdest spam comments) that I literally can’t moderate my comments right now. Sorry for those of you who have been effected by this but: I probably have to wipe my comments out entirely (those awaiting moderation). My bad folks! Anywho, should be back in order shortly.

Play These All at Once – Offset Cheney In-the-Round



Yay! I Have an Internet Stalker!

¬ In case he should sue me for this, I hereby disclaim this post and avow that it is entirely my incredibly biased, subjective and stupid opinion – not fact. If I should mysteriously stop posting, assume I was murdered – or went out for a cheeseburger.

This all started a few weeks ago when someone copied a full blog post – hotlinked images and all – from a website I contribute to. I contacted¬ him and firmly but politely asked him¬ to remove the copied content, warning¬ him that¬ his actions were against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (though I didn’t even mention they were also illegal). Apparently, though framed as well as I could considering the circumstances, he took this as a personal threat. Here is my account of the interchange, though feel free to skip ahead to where I point out that he is breaking the law and I can sue his [noun removed].
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Unlucky 13: Worst Spam Comments Ever

Have you ever thought to yourself: wow, the spam comments on my blog are some of the funniest stuff online?!?! Well I have. For some time now I’ve been collecting the dumbest, funniest and generally most entertaining spam I receive and¬ saving it.¬ Please enjoy¬ the following ranked spam comments,¬ in order of stupidity, with customized¬ headline¬ introductions¬ by yours truly:¬

(13) The Speed-Freak Drug¬ Spammer:

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Adipex online best buy. Adipex buy adipex adipex online cheap adipex. Buy adipex online order cheap adipex now. Buy cheap adipex online get adipex here….

(12) The Friendly Psycho Loan Spammer:

Hi all!
[PayDay Loan Link]
Excellent site with fantastic references and reading…. well done indeed…!
[Tramadol Link]
The Author, you – super hero!
[Another PayDay Loan Link]
Very good forum! Good info!
[Yet Another PayDay Loan Link]
I am glad to find this forum!
[Airline Tickets Link]
The Good lad an author! I much like site!!
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How Not to Respond to Someone Who Politely Asks You to Not to Violate Google WebMaster Guidelines and Blatantly Steal Their Website Content

It turns out it is unofficial ‘rant week’ at Allsux.com! Today I noticed that someone had copied and pasted an entire article from WebUrbanist (a site I contribute to and edit for) and pasted it on their blog. This included all links and images associated with the original, without any changes whatsoever. Now, Google frowns heavily upon duplicate content on the web, and often penalizes one or both sites containing extensive duplicate content. With that in mind, I contacted the site owner as politely (but firmly)¬ as possible to request its removal. If you are uniterested in reading this, I recommend strongly you stop reading this … now!
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Allsux Retrospective Part 2: The Worst of the Sux

In this latest installment of the AllSux retrospective, I’m taking a look back at the site’s most controversial and popular posts! If you’ve been reading for a while you may or may not have seen these, but they are the ones that put the site on the map and brought in the readers it has today.

(5) This post about Ask, Google and¬ Google-Sux got some attention mostly because I bashed a site, and its administrator came back at me guns blazing. However, their counterarguments got shut down pretty fast. In reality, I think it was the comments that drew more attention than the post.

(4) This post about the huge scandal about LiveLeak not being indexed by Google drew a lot of readership, though much of it was from a Spanish site I never was able to decipher!

(3) Of course, one of the biggest AllSux targets has been Digg.com – and this story that followed the huge Digg scandal¬ was the most popular of them all. While other blogs (and major news sites like Wired) were confused, I stayed up all night and summarized what was going on.

(2) The Technorati experiment had a huge readership. I think that a lot of people are interested in the deeper consequences of using social networks, and this post struck a cord with folks.

(1) Of course the most visited page on AllSux is Allsux! That bodes well for this and my other (newer) blog, because it means that there are a lot of readers who want to see the lates and greatest, and don’t just show up to read a single post and leave. Thanks to you all – keep visiting, reading, and please leave comments! Also visit this new blog I’m helping develop: WebUrbanist.com.

An honorable mention¬ goes to all of the articles on AllSux about Helium. Though none of these pages have individually made the top five, they have cumulatively done amazingly well. Why? Because other frustrated Helium writers keep finding them and sending me words of support as well as their own stories bout Helium.

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