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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.

Pirates, Canned Cheeseburgers and Terrorists

The Pirate Bay team is facing a variety of charges, but vows to keep the site alive no matter what.

So what is it really like to have a canned cheeseburger?

You kind of have to wonder if Osama isn’t winning this war, since his goal was (in case you forgot) to bankrupt the United States.

What kind of world do we live in where the city sues you for being environmentally friendly.

The Soviet Union may be gone, but many amazing ruins remain.

SitePoint Auctions: An Excellent Source of Unintentional Web Humor

I found this thread overall fairly hilarious, but I’ll excerpt the best bits for you:

Description Includes:

Established blog with prime keywords that appear on major search engines. First page of Google, Yahoo and MSN for the keyword make money and how to make money.”

I was skeptical, checked, and he’s not on there … others were too, criticized him, and he responded:

I am still on #1 page on Yahoo, MSN and Google. If you don’t see it, maybe you just need to look for the word Make$ Money$

Someone then responded to him:

Very good point. I am on page one on google for the term:

¬£($&^(MMORTGAGE)”^(*”

I Feel a Rant Building

Linkinn. Rant. Building. They rip off content and spam the ripped off content with AdSense, then plaster it in the comments of sites like Digg.com for secondary traffic. They even have the nerve to call it a mirror. Grr … more oon

More Crackheads? With Guns?

So I could make this a long story, or a short one. It’s late, so I’ll opt for the latter. Long story short: someone walked by, asked a few questions from the street, and cops drove by and arrested him. His questions seemed, well, off – like he was trying to avoid suspicion by blending in with the local population. The cops stopped him even though he appeared to be talking to us (myself and the others out front).

A cop came by a few minutes later, asked if we knew the guy. He also informed us the guy was carrying a gun, which may have been used earlier in the day to fire 7 shots around the corner – a revenge-shooting for some gang activity south of town. I happened to have been around when those shots were fired. He also took a moment to inform us we live in a ‘bad neighborhood.’

Do we? Really? Most of the crackheads are nice folks. No one has shot at me or in my general direction. Hard to say. What do you think? I suppose its time I added a ‘crackhead’ tag to this blog.

Being Cyberstalked Just Gets Weirder

OK, so having a digital stalker is getting really really strange. I was confused at first, but then I read that this is a fairly common stalker trick: he has tried to turn the tables and accuse me of stalking him. I’m a little perplexed about how responding to someone’s harassing emails and writing posts without naming them could be construed as stalking, particularly given his own far more intrusive activities.

He has continued to post about me – naming me by (fortunately my fake) name and naming my website – while the few times I have posted about him I did so anonymously. He has contacted people I know, have worked for, am acquainted with, and so on – while I have only contacted him and one other blogger (who was repeating his misinformation). I have asked him to stop writing about me, to me and to people I know repeatedly – but he persists. Perhaps most revealing: this all started because he was violating the law and I notified him about it.

So, OK, maybe I’m nuts but, it seems pretty clear who is stalking who here.

Anywho, this will be the last post abot the stalker directly anyway. So glad Allsux.com is bizarre enough to pick up a creepy fan following. To all you stalkers, though, don’t forget: I am both related to and friends with lawyers … get extra-creepy on me at your own risk ;)

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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