Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Ted CruzThere’s been talk on the right in America in the last week on “shutting down” the Internet to combat terrorism.

Quite apart from the complete impossibility of doing that, if you want to be President of the USA and theoretical leader of the “free world”, you really should be able to reserve the appropriate URLs for your campaign well in advance.

In the third GOP presidential debate which has just finished on CNN live from Las Vegas, Ted Cruz again told viewers to check out his opinions at TedCruz.org.

Why not dot com, you may have wondered? Well, here’s what happens when you visit TedCruz.com. D’oh!

 

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Warning: this article contains NSFW offensive language and an excruciating gaffe.

Friday marked 100 days until the official release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – be still our beating hearts – and the franchise managed to celebrate in the worst way possible.

The Hunger Games’s official Twitter account released a (now deleted) poster where the worst-of-all-never-let-it-be-breathed-in-public C-word was accidentally strewn right across dear old Jennifer Lawrence’s face.

Now we know JLaw’s a sport, but really. Gentlemen. NONE of you noticed before you did this?

Find art director. Fire his or her sad ass.

cunt

 

Thanks to The Independent for the spot. And most of the rest of the internet. Jennifer will be starting to wish the damn thing had never been invented.

For more F*** Ups, just put F*** Up in the search box to the top left of this page. Enjoy.

Many moons ago, we submitted an article to the New Yorker. They rejected it. This is not an uncommon experience for writers submitting to the august magazine, which sets an stratospheric standard for its contributors, which is why it’s such a good read, of course. Indeed, on the remaindered shelf at a bookstore many moons ago we bought a “best of” collection of the famous New Yorker cartoons which is still one of the funniest books we have ever read.

We may submit another article to them one day if we can ever think of anything worth saying. Anyhooo … Fruit of One’s Loins was sent this article which is apparently doing the rounds on the Internet from November 2013 and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. It’s a hilarious mental ramble based on a very old joke, and it’s simultaneously both witty and a clever commentary on the modern world. It’s by Simon Rich*, who is clearly much funnier and talented than me. And younger. And better looking.

Bastard.

Guy Walks Into a Bar

So a guy walks into a bar one day and he can’t believe his eyes. There, in the corner, there’s this one-foot-tall man, in a little tuxedo, playing a tiny grand piano.

So the guy asks the bartender, “Where’d he come from?”

12 inch pianistAnd the bartender’s, like, “There’s a genie in the Mens’ room who grants wishes.”

So the guy runs into the Mens’ room and, sure enough, there’s this genie. And the genie’s, like, “Your wish is my command.”

So the guy’s, like, “O.K., I wish for world peace.” And there’s this big cloud of smoke—and then the room fills up with geese.

So the guy walks out of the Mens’ room and he’s, like, “Hey, bartender, I think your genie might be hard of hearing.”

And the bartender’s, like, “No kidding. You think I wished for a twelve-inch pianist?”

So the guy processes this. And he’s, like, “Does that mean you wished for a twelve-inch penis?”

And the bartender’s, like, “Yeah. Why, what did you wish for?”

And the guy’s, like, “World peace.”

So the bartender is understandably ashamed.

And the guy orders a beer, like everything is normal, but it’s obvious that something has changed between him and the bartender.

And the bartender’s, like, “I feel like I should explain myself further.”

And the guy’s, like, “You don’t have to.”

But the bartender continues, in a hushed tone. And he’s, like, “I have what’s known as penile dysmorphic disorder. Basically, what that means is I fixate on my size. It’s not that I’m small down there. I’m actually within the normal range. Whenever I see it, though, I feel inadequate.”

And the guy feels sorry for him. So he’s, like, “Where do you think that comes from?”

And the bartender’s, like, “I don’t know. My dad and I had a tense relationship. He used to cheat on my mom, and I knew it was going on, but I didn’t tell her. I think it’s wrapped up in that somehow.”

And the guy’s, like, “Have you ever seen anyone about this?”

And the bartender’s, like, “Oh, yeah, I started seeing a therapist four years ago. But she says we’ve barely scratched the surface.”

So, at around this point, the twelve-inch pianist finishes up his sonata. And he walks over to the bar and climbs onto one of the stools. And he’s, like, “Listen, I couldn’t help but overhear the end of your conversation. I never told anyone this before, but my dad and I didn’t speak the last ten years of his life.”

And the bartender’s, like, “Tell me more about that.” And he pours the pianist a tiny glass of whiskey.

And the twelve-inch pianist is, like, “He was a total monster. Beat us all. Told me once I was an accident.”

And the bartender’s, like, “That’s horrible.”

And the twelve-inch pianist shrugs. And he’s, like, “You know what? I’m over it. He always said I wouldn’t amount to anything, because of my height? Well, now look at me. I’m a professional musician!”

And the pianist starts to laugh, but it’s a forced kind of laughter, and you can see the pain behind it. And then he’s, like, “When he was in the hospital, he had one of the nurses call me. I was going to go see him. Bought a plane ticket and everything. But before I could make it back to Tampa . . .”

And then he starts to cry. And he’s, like, “I just wish I’d had a chance to say goodbye to my old man.”

1974 Plymouth VoyagerAnd all of a sudden there’s this big cloud of smoke — and a beat-up Plymouth Voyager appears!

And the pianist is, like, “I said ‘old man,’ not ‘old van’!”

And everybody laughs. And the pianist is, like, “Your genie’s hard of hearing.”

And the bartender says, “No kidding. You think I wished for a twelve-inch pianist?”

And as soon as the words leave his lips he regrets them. Because the pianist is, like, “Oh, my God. You didn’t really want me.”

And the bartender’s, like, “No, it’s not like that.” You know, trying to backpedal.

And the pianist smiles ruefully and says, “Once an accident, always an accident.” And he drinks all of his whiskey.

And the bartender’s, like, “Brian, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that.”

And the pianist smashes his whiskey glass against the wall and says, “Well, I didn’t mean that.”

And the bartender’s, like, “Whoa, calm down.”

And the pianist is, like, “Fuck you!” And he’s really drunk, because he’s only one foot tall and so his tolerance for alcohol is extremely low. And he’s, like, “Fuck you, asshole! Fuck you!”

And he starts throwing punches, but he’s too small to do any real damage, and eventually he just collapses in the bartender’s arms.

And suddenly he has this revelation. And he’s, like, “My God, I’m just like him. I’m just like him.” And he starts weeping.

And the bartender’s, like, “No, you’re not. You’re better than he was.”

And the pianist is, like, “That’s not true. I’m worthless!”

And the bartender grabs the pianist by the shoulders and says, “Damn it, Brian, listen to me! My life was hell before you entered it. Now I look forward to every day. You’re so talented and kind and you light up this whole bar. Hell, you light up my whole life. If I had a second wish, you know what it would be? It would be for you to realize how beautiful you are.”

And the bartender kisses the pianist on the lips.

So the guy, who’s been watching all this, is surprised, because he didn’t know the bartender was gay. It doesn’t bother him; it just catches him off guard, you know? So he goes to the bathroom, to give them a little privacy. And there’s the genie.

So the guy’s, like, “Hey, genie, you need to get your ears fixed.”

And the genie’s, like, “Who says they’re broken?” And he opens the door, revealing the happy couple, who are kissing and gaining strength from each other.

And the guy’s, like, “Well done.”

And then the genie says, “That bartender’s tiny penis is going to seem huge from the perspective of his one-foot-tall boyfriend.”

And the graphic nature of the comment kind of kills the moment.

And the genie’s, like, “I’m sorry. I should’ve left that part unsaid. I always do that. I take things too far.”

And the guy’s, like, “Don’t worry about it. Let’s just grab a beer. It’s on me.”

 

Simon Rich*Rich was born and raised in New York City. He attended The Dalton School and then enrolled at Harvard University where he became president of the Harvard Lampoon. His older brother is novelist and essayist Nathaniel Rich, and his parents are Gail Winston and New York Times author Frank Rich. His step-mother is New York Times reporter Alex Witchel. After graduating Harvard, Rich wrote for Saturday Night Live for four years where Rich and the staff of Saturday Night Live were nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Music or Comedy Series three times in 2008, 2009, and 2010 and twice won the Writers Guild of America Award for Comedy/Variety Series in 2009 and 2010. Rich then departed to work as a staff writer for Pixar. In 2013 and 2014, Rich was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List. We hate him. In a good way.

 

Beware scams say ASIC

Beware scams say ASIC

 Tens of thousands of Australians are being scammed each year, with dating and romance scams topping the list of financial losses for 2013, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).The latest figures from the consumer watchdog show a 10 per cent spike in scam reports last year, as well as an alarming trend in phishing and identity theft.

The ACCC’s Targeting Scams Report says Australians lost $25 million to dating and romance scams.

But out of a total of 92,000 complaints received – amounting to losses of $89 million – just 2,777 related to dating and romance scams. The most complained about scam was advance fee-upfront payment scams, where consumers are typically asked to make a payment with their credit card to access a bogus refund, prize or other kind of reward.

ACCC deputy chairwoman Delia Rickard says the figures are only a small snapshot of how much money people are losing to scams.

“We talk to other agencies, and work is being done so there will be a central repository of all reported scams in Australia but that’s not in place just yet,” she told the ABC.

“So we know it’s significantly more than the $89 million that was reported to us.”

She says dating and romance scams are very concerning.

“I think scammers are learning that by forming a personal relationship and really putting effort into knowing their victim and forming those trusting bonds, that this is the market for them,” she said.”This is where they can get the biggest pay off. The majority we’re aware of are under fake profiles in online dating sites. We’ve done work with the dating and romance sites in terms of best practice guidelines on how they can kick the scammers off.

“Some sites seem to be better than others and we’re about to review all of this work and do another round of work with those sites so that they’re better at identifying scammers, keeping them away from the sites and also giving warnings to their members.”

More than 10 per cent of scam victims reported losing more than $10,000.

As people age they appear more likely to be victims. Scams were most commonly reported by people in the 45-to-54 age category, and the number of people aged 65 years and over who reported being scammed nearly doubled to 18 per cent.

Watch that phone

In line with a shift in recent years, 52 per cent of scams were delivered via phone and text message, with combined total financial losses of $29 million.

Ms Rickard says she is very concerned about the “huge increase” in phishing and personal identity theft.

“These can take all sorts of forms but usually it might be ‘fill in this survey and you could win a $50 voucher’ and you go to fill in the form and it will ask you for a range of private things with your name, age, address,” she said.

“It might ask for your credit card details so they can deposit winnings into it, Medicare numbers, passport numbers.

“What scammers do is they then use this information to impersonate you to open all sorts of accounts, run up debts in your name, drain your bank account.

“So people really need to learn the importance of that personal information and not give it out unless they’re absolutely clear about who they’re dealing with and it’s clear why that person will need that information.”

In 2012, the ACCC received about 84,000 complaints with total losses to consumers of of $93 million.

The report also found that scammers continued to favour sending ‘high-volume scams’, which involve targeting a large number of victims with requests for small amounts of money.

scam alertVery helpful website
The latest information about scams and tips for consumers can be found at http://www.scamwatch.gov.au The most recent warning is very helpful.SCAMwatch is currently warning consumers to be on the lookout for energy billing scams currently doing the rounds.

A new “phishing” email pretending to be from reputable energy companies is currently circulating, which claims you owe money for an outstanding gas or electricity bill.
The email will ask you to click on a link to view or update your account and arrange payment via money transfer. If you click on the link, you risk infecting your computer with malware and having your personal information stolen. If you pay this ‘bill’ via money transfer, you will never see your money again.
Don’t let scammers raise the temperature of your heating bill in the lead-up to winter – if you receive an email out of the blue from someone claiming that you owe their company money for an outstanding energy bill, press delete.

How the scam works

  • You receive an email out of the blue from someone claiming to be from a reputable energy company, informing you that you owe money for 2013 energy usage.
  • The email may appear to come from an official part of the energy company such as the ‘Accounts Payable’, ‘Receivable Department’ or the ‘Accounts Receivable Team’. The email may even have all the trademarks of a bill – it may state that it is a gas or electricity bill, and include a fake account number, account summary, billing period details and due date for payment. However, on closer inspection, the email may contain spelling and grammatical errors – a tell-tale sign that something is amiss.
  • The email may claim that the reason for the outstanding amount is that you have exceeded your energy consumption limit. It may even claim that you are eligible to use a discounted energy tariff to pay the bill if you click on the link.
  • The email directs you to click on an embedded link, attachment or zip file to access your account and view your statement, and then direct you to a money transfer service with instructions on how to pay the bill.
  • If you click the link or attachment, your computer may be infected with malicious software and your identity compromised. If you transfer money, you’ll never see it again.

Note: you don’t have to be a customer of the energy company claiming that you owe them money to receive this email.

Protect yourself

  • If you receive an email out of the blue from someone claiming that you owe money for outstanding energy usage – just press ‘delete’.
  • If you’re not sure whether an email is a scam, verify who they are by using their official contact details to call them directly. Never use contact details provided by the sender – find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.
  • Watch out for tell-tale signs – whilst the sender may claim to be from an official source, their email may contain spelling mistakes or use poor grammar.
  • Never click on links or open attachments in an email from an unverified sender – they may contain a malicious virus.
  • Keep your computer secure – always update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and only buy from a verified source. If you think your computer’s security has been compromised, use your security software to run a virus check. If you still have doubts, contact your anti-virus software provider or a computer specialist.
  • Never send money to someone you don’t know and trust – it’s rare to recover money from a scammer. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

Do you know more?

Sources: ABC, Scamwatch

There are some very funny people hiding out there in the interweb …

20130821-104253.jpg

The rapidity with which “memes” or jokes populate social media sites fascinates me. What makes the world pick up one thing and reproduce it a million times in an hour and ignore others? There is a PhD being written somewhere right now, no doubt. If there isn’t, I might write it myself.

My guess? It’s more than mere humour, or at the other end of the scale, outrage. It’s something to do with empathy – genuine empathy for the human condition, in all it’s multitudinous expressions, that leads us to pick up and send on an idea or a fleeting thought.

What’s the best that you’ve seen recently?

Incredibly it’s two years to the day since we somewhat nervously launched Wellthisiswhatithink.

Seems like yesterday.

2In that time, we have enjoyed – and we really mean that – a whopping 113,677 viewers and responded to 2,096 comments. Phew!

Our “Top 20” most popular countries for views are, in order, the good ol’ USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, India, Netherlands, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, Greece, Japan, Brazil, Finland, Philippines, and South Africa, but virtually every country in the world is represented.

We have even had a visitor from Vatican City. Just one. Once.

So welcome, and thank you, Your Holiness. Do you prefer to be called Frank?

We think the people should be told more about the British Virgin Isles. Maybe a letter writing campaign? Hmmm.

We think the people should be told more about the British Virgin Isles. Maybe a letter writing campaign? Hmmm.

Anyhow: other “sole visitor states” have included Micronesia, Togo, Solomon Islands, Lichtenstein (lift your game, please, bankers), Djibouti, Benin, Lesotho, Madagascar, Uzbekistan, Bhutan, Dominica, and the British Virgin Islands.

So you can expect a travelogue item sponsored by the local tourism authorities of the British Virgin Islands really soon: a quick acclimatization and photography tour will probably be required, don’t you think, Mr Minister of Tourism for BVI?.

"China? Are you out there somewhere? Talk to us!"

“China? Are you out there somewhere? Talk to us!”

And “Where’s China, we hear you ask?” Answer: banned.

Not them, us.

We have fallen foul of the Great Firewall of China, which is damned annoying as we really like the place, and the people. 请停止阻止我们的博客,我们是非常好的人。*

We await a response from the Chairman soon.

Anyway, we’re now comfortably over 500 posts (so you should be able to search on just about any topic you can think of and find it covered somehow!) and we’re not far behind a rolling average of offering you a blog a day, which was the goal we set ourselves.

Not a bad effort, really, from both readers and writers. And we really are very grateful to everyone – every subscriber, every visitor, everyone leaving a comment, and every guest blogger.

We are delighted that you, Dear Reader, show every sign of enjoying the deliberately esoteric collection of news items and thoughts we pull together. It’s not a political blog, it’s not an art or photography blog, it’s not a food and wine blog, or a travel blog, it’s not a blog about poetry and writing, it’s not a humour blog.

We hope Wellthisiswhatithink is all of that and more, and we are deeply touched by your interest and your generous help.

Your loyalty – and more importantly, your input: positive, or critical – is what has made Wellthisiswhatithink a success.

We hope you stick with us, and keep enjoying our somewhat wry, askance, and opinionated view on the world. Please tell your friends. And once again, thank you from the bottom of our ink-stained hearts.

Is there a topic you would LIKE us to comment on that we haven’t? Got a pet cause you think should get the Wellthisiswhatithink treatment? Want to volunteer as a guest blogger? (Worldwide fame guaranteed, and not a cent in pay.) Just drop us a line at yolly@decisionsdecisions.com.au …

It’s your blog. We built it for you. Be a part of it in our next year.

*Please stop blocking our blog, we are really nice people.

Times a thousand. The first 48,000 are the hardest, they say.

How weird it is to idly click on one’s blog stats, and see that one has just clicked past a milestone.

Why is 48,000 hits a milestone? (And One. We are not forgetting you, dear One.)

Well, it’s an awful lot, innit? Well, I think it is. We last stopped to pause for thought at 25 thou. Crikey, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?

So why did we stop this time? Well, four and eight are also favourite numbers of mine. It is amazing to me how often good things have happened to me at either 4:08 or 8:04, am or pm, either one. Go figure, if you’ll pardon the pun.

I don’t believe in numerology. Or a whole heap of other such stuff. But dear old four and eight have never let me down. Which is generous of them, given that my lucky number is 29.

So as always when wepause to celebrate a milestone, I checked to see if 48,000 had any greater significance I had missed.

Apparently Australians spent around 48,000 years surfing the web in December. That’s 576,000 months. But there are only 15.6 million Australians with web access, so I make that 0.037 of a month, per person, or about 15 minutes per person.

Well, I can spend that long reading reviews of next week’s episode of Game of Thrones. And based on the numbers of searches for “tits” that end up on my blog, I call bullshit.

Meandering around, I also note that the Australian Greens have raised concerns over the 48,000 young people and their families who may miss out on important family payments as a result of cost cutting measures in the Federal budget.

The changes will save $360.9 million over four years by reducing the age of eligibility for FTB A, but will also leave around 48,000 young people in a position where they do not qualify for Youth Allowances and where their parents will not receive FTB A for them.

“Under the changes, parents of around 48,000 young people will lose eligibility under FTB A, but those young people will not have access to Youth Allowance or other forms of income support,” Greens spokesperson for families and community services, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

So much for Labor worrying about “working families”. I call bullshit for the second time.

What isn’t bullshit, though, is that you, Dear Reader, have propelled us past the magic 4, 8, triple 0. And for that, we thank you. Thank you, everybody, for reading, thinking and commenting, and we will pause again for reflection at 84,000.

Keep clicking, for Gawd’s sake.

P.S  Forty eight thousand is deadly dull, but 48 is quite interesting.

Forty-eight is a double factorial of 6, a highly composite number. Like all other multiples of 6, it is a semiperfect number. 48 is the second 17-gonal number.

48 is in abundance having an aliquot sum of 76. It is the lowest composite number to fall into the 41-aliquot tree having the 7 aliquot number sequence,(48, 76, 64, 63, 41, 1, 0). 48 is highly abundant with an aliquot sum 158% higher than itself.

48 is the smallest number with exactly ten divisors.

There are 11 solutions to the equation φ(x) = 48, namely 65, 104, 105, 112, 130, 140, 144, 156, 168, 180 and 210. This is more than any integer below 48, making 48 a highly totient number.

Since the greatest prime factor of 482 + 1 = 2305 is 461, which is clearly more than 48 twice, 48 is a Størmer number.

48 is in base 10 a Harshad number. It has 24, 2, 12,and 4 as factors.

I am happy to confirm that I do not have a fucking clue what all that means. I gave up maths after fluking a pass at “O” Level which I could not convince my teacher was not the result of cheating. But I do know that 48 is also the atomic number of cadmium, and the number of Ptolemaic constellations.

So there.