the island of the week before: archives

category: whinging
In which there are complaints about anything less than perfect bliss, culled from the other categories for your protection.

Friday, May 03, 2002

Verisign = bad.

10:15 AM (link)

Friday, April 12, 2002

I have been watching hijacking story since Textism started reporting on it. The final word from Network Solutions seems to be that they are at fault and recognize this fact, but that they won't get the domain back from the person who (apparently quite intentionally) ripped it off.

This is not unusual behavior from them, and their incredible vague contracts seem to have protected them from any serious lawsuits, which is sad. The Better Business Bureau has unsatisfactory ratings for both Network Solutions and VeriSign, and a whole lot of individuals have been screwed over by some iteration of the incompetent hive that was NetSol.

Is there anything to be done? Clearly you should not register a domain with them, and should move the domains you have if you want to keep them. If you're a victim, you might also consider contacting a lawyer. The sad truth is that, like AOL, Verisign advertises more than any of their competitors, so they'll keep snagging the new people who don't realize that they should do a lot of homework before registering a domain.


UPDATE: There's a class action suit getting started...looks like NetSol messed with the wrong law offices. Details here. Hallelujah. More on suing Verisign here.

10:47 AM (link)

Sunday, February 10, 2002

...and yeah, I do have a weblog, so I'm clearly an egomaniac who tends to proselytize. Which is probably why I don't get along with forums. But I'm keeping my zealotry on my own turf, and you have to actively come here to read it.

So, um, there.

02:22 PM (link)

Saturday, February 09, 2002

Online discussion sucks.

In my experience, the people who post to online discussions frequently fall into three broad, unfair categories: proselytizing zealots, egomaniacs, and deeply insecure people who aren't contributing anything themselves, but who never miss a chance to denigrate those who are.

There are, of course, a lot of smart, talented, thoughtful folks online who also participate in these discussions, but the once you cut out the fluff, the ratio of interest to bile just isn't high enough.

There are always exceptions, especially in extremely small or narrowly-focused communities, but for the most part, it's been the same since Usenet hit puberty: Online discussions attract a lot of petty sarcasm and a lot of dumb humor, but very little wit and even less real reflection. A lot of people are far meaner and pettier online than they have the gumption to be offline, and it makes for a pretty grim mix.

Of course, this is essentially a personality conflict between me and the forum-happy mob, so my own solution is simple—I participate very selectively if at all. But I wish that people who I respect and whose work I enjoy didn't keep getting whacked over the head by the bitchy mob mentality of the whole online community thing.

07:07 PM (link)

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

On a less serious note, does anyone else care that the Blogger posting interface doesn't work properly in IE 5 or Netscape 6 on the Mac?

09:16 PM (link)

A handful of friends and readers have pounced on the post below about boys in class and they made some good points, so I want to clarify publicly as well as privately.

When it comes to gender issues, I'm a pretty mellow individual, and I didn't accuse All Men of anything, because that's lame and intrinsically inaccurate. I have certainly experienced domineering, obnoxious, rude behavior from women — in meetings and classrooms and elsewhere.

The boys in question weren't obnoxious people, they just seemed to be in the habit of hijacking discussions by talking at length about every point that arose. It's a specific technique that I've mostly seen practiced by men. (As opposed to, for instance, the "you cannot possibly discuss or challenge my point of view because I am female/black/queer/poor/something you aren't" technique, which was equally frustrating and usually used by women.) Most guys in class didn't behave that way, but when someone did, it was usually a guy.

That's my perception, entirely subjective. The article touched an old nerve, and I wrote that post quickly and without editing. I've cut some of the dross to better expose my actual points.

09:01 PM (link)

This article has me thinking, mostly because I've never heard anyone else talk about this — at least not in a practical way, and certainly not outside the bizarro-world of academic feminism.

I'm not particularly tentative about what I think, so it startled me to look back in my senior year of college and find that I had gradually stopped answering questions, stopped participating in class discussions, and learned to confine my opinions to the notes I took instead of speaking. (Except for that week after knee surgery when I came to class stoned on Vicodin and shocked my professors by ignoring the people talking over me and saying what my un-stoned self would have written down.)

My professors were generally intelligent, enlightened folks, and they clearly wanted to hear what I had to say — so why, by my senior year, had I become almost completely silent in class?

Vague blame of the patriarchal system isn't the answer, but the factor I recognized even then was the aggro-boys. Three or four boys in certain classes controlled the discussion from the moment it started. They didn't stop to gather their thoughts, they just opened their mouths and worked out whatever they might be trying to think by talking about it. I remember being jealous of that kind of confidence and hating the lack of care it belied at the same time. If the professor called on someone else, they were ready with a response, ready to pull the whole class back into their own personal path through the book or the film or whatever.

I want to be clear about this: my lack of speech was not the fault of those four boys, nor was it the fault of my well-meaning teachers, but I don't think it was just me being a pansy either — not when I think about the dozens of female classmates whose voices I never heard once they walked through the classroom door.

(Somewhere in the shift from speaking to silence, I lost my taste for debate, and I've never regained it. Which is probably why I'm posting this here on my own site instead of adding it to the string of conversation over at Metafilter where I first saw the link.)

10:31 AM (link)

Monday, October 01, 2001

1. I had 393 sircam-propagated emails in my inbox this morning, including a couple of hundred from the guy who's been sending 25+ a day to one of my accounts. This virus started in freakin' July. Allow me to assist.

2. Really truly, I promise that you can configure IIS to execute the Asp.dll for .htm (or .whatever) files. No one ever believes me, but it's true. (Of course, it's not always a good idea, but that's a different discussion.)

3. It's a warm, sunny, blue-skied morning in downtown San Francisco. I feel great.

09:07 AM (link)

Tuesday, August 14, 2001

...and Bruce Sterling has a blog now, and he's very smug and we're all very impressed by the halo of celebrity.

I enjoy some of Sterling's books. I admit a related interest in his bookmarks and his web encounters. Even so, his condescending cannonball into the blogging community (as it were) grates a bit.

I know your name. I've read your books. Now you might consider ceasing to jaw about about how you don't need none of them fancy java things and show us something worth coming back for. (link via Rebecca's Pocket)

(As authors' weblogs go, I highly recommend Neil Gaiman's engaging and human journal about publishing American Gods.)

08:06 AM (link)

Thursday, August 02, 2001

Now at least I know that I'm not the only one driven batshit by this particularly bizarre set of "punctuation" errors.
(link via Follow Me Here)

09:25 AM (link)

Monday, July 30, 2001

Cable modem part two: eliza speaks for ATT.

ATT's e-mail response to part one, received 7/30, 9:48pm.

on 7/30/01 9:48 PM, AT&T @Home Broadband Customer Care at wrote:


Thank you for contacting AT&T @Home. I apologize for any inconvenience that you may be experiencing.

In response to your request for the AT&T @Home service, we find the service is not available at your address. We have added your information to our database of potential subscribers and someone will contact you when your address becomes serviceable.

The AT&T @Home service is unavailable in your area for several reasons.
Although you may already have a cable television line in your home, a dedicated cable line for high-speed cable Internet access is also required. This means we must ensure the cable network is configured properly and the networks are operating up to standard. The validation process used to certify the network is time consuming and labor intensive. Please note that we are working hard to bring AT&T Broadband high-speed cable Internet service to all of our service areas as quickly as possible.

We thank you for your interest and we look forward to having you as a valued customer very soon. If you have any other questions, please visit our Web site at

It's a great time to visit our Online Customer Support Center at Our site provides immediate, comprehensive answers to common product questions, as well as online tools to help manage your account. You'll find our latest enhancements to the site featured in the What's New section on the home page, as well as convenient links to the Top 5 most commonly referenced questions of the week. If you have further service-related concerns or questions, send an e-mail or chat with a customer care specialist. Specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week!


Stephen G
AT&T@Home Online Customer Support Center

I respond:

Strangely enough, according to your website (using services/serviceability/ServiceCheck.jhtml) and two phone service representatives, ATT@Home is, in fact, available, but there is a problem with the account that was previously held at that location.

Can you explain this discrepancy? Is either the ATT Broadband or ATT@Home (If they're different services) available in Berkeley? The area code there is 510, and the zip is 94702.

Also, if the service is unavailable, how could a previous tenant in the same unit have had a disconnected account, as was stated also on the website and over the phone?

Thank you for your time,

08:20 PM (link)

Thursday, June 14, 2001

My work project is in the very end of implementation/middle of testing, and I have tendonitis, a lot. So I'm typing as little as possible and writing notes longhand and faxing them to people, which is just bizarre, and I have all this stuff to put here and my arms hurt too much to type anything but this.


02:38 PM (link)

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

I'm really tired, I'm dreading today's work, they killed off Buffy last night, and someone came to my desk after I went home last night and destroyed the little mechanical butterfly that I keep on my plant -- broke it to pieces and took the motor.

Did I mention that it's coldish and rainy/gloomy?


06:57 AM (link)

Wednesday, April 25, 2001

so. many. meetings.


03:28 PM (link)

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

OK, my heart rate's back to normal, so a few quick points:

  • Why I'm picking on The Gap (that and the really tacky advertising).

  • As large companies go, I work for a good one. But my soul doesn't like working for a large company at all. I'm using a fraction of my brain to make rich people's not enough, and it's not worthy of my time. (Since time is all I have.) Come to think of it, both my parents have been self-employed. My mom still is, and my dad would be happier if he were organized enough not to work for someone else. So bully for them.

  • In general, I'd rather act than whine. Time to get my ass on out of here.

  • Please god let me stop thinking in bullet points

12:52 PM (link)

The company I work for just got a big contract with [evil company name here]. The news made my stomach twist and made me want out of the corporate world just a little more. Today, there was an all-company email asking for help with a sales pursuit for [pro-choice company here]. My heart lifted a little. A few hours later, another all-company email from some random employee in Atlanta who states that we shouldn't be pursuing a relationship with a company with such strong political views and who compares the above pro-choice oragnization to a hypothetical politician with a "web site that discouraged acceptance of certain nationalities or races into the U.S." Someone else nailed it -- situational ethics suck.

On one hand, if I can't openly disagree with the company's decision to work with Nike/Gap/Monsanto (names changed to protect my ass), I don't want this guy to be able to bring his views and his "evidence" into my mailbox -- and everyone else's in the company.

On the other hand, maybe we should all be speaking up when we believe the company's working for someone who's wrong. But I understand that that's not how corporations with 3,500 people run. This is not a democracy, and I don't like it here, but I separately dislike it that someone else's propaganda gets out and possible affects decisions (and mine doesn't) because he's ok with being an asshole. And I'm not. My loss, apparently.

10:18 AM (link)