Finally updated the layout

I think I’ve been using the same WordPress layout since about 2012, so I figured it’s time for a change. Only reason I held off on picking a new one is because I didn’t see anything I liked and really didn’t think I could come up with anything better on my own. I’ll probably have to modify this one further to meet my tastes, but overall I like this new theme.

I’ve been busy with work, so I almost never have any time or motivation to update this site, however today I had the urge to do some kind of update. I’m going to try to add some new content, but if it never materializes don’t be too surprised. I have been working on a project which I’ll be hosting on GitHub, however it’s still in early development and I don’t want to commit anything until I have a working prototype done.  I’m basically working on a modern reincarnation of AcmlmBoard.  I might move some other source code out of the crypt and onto GitHub.

Anyway, just letting everyone know this site is still partially alive.

Online reviews are completely broken

The first reason is psychology; when I go online to write a review it’s usually because I’ve had a bad experience rather than a good one.  So it stands to reason that most legitimate online reviews are going to be bad unless there was some motive for giving a good review.

The second reason is that fake reviews can now be purchased by businesses or companies by the hundreds. These social media companies will go around posting hundreds of 5 star reviews for your business completely destroying the legitimacy of an online review in the first place. They usually stick out like a sore thumb though; they’ll often use the same talking points and follow some kind of script. If you follow the profiles on these fake reviews they’ll sometimes be interconnected with each other as well.

And the final reason online reviews are almost completely broken is that you have these websites dedicated to reviews that will try to extort money out of business owners to hide the bad reviews and if they refuse they’ll flag all of the good reviews as “not recommended” and hide them in a fold out menu at the bottom of the page. I’m sure we all know what site I’m talking about, but I won’t mention for fear of getting sued.

In conclusion I’d say only trust online reviews if you can verify the identity of the reviewer, and that the people reviewing didn’t have some kind of ulterior motive for giving the review.

I was checking my traffic stats today

So I was checking my traffic stats today and thought I was getting a pretty good flow of new traffic; as it turns out though I’m getting thousands upon thousands of requests from foreign countries trying to brute force crack my wordpress login as well as my forum login. I also saw a bunch of automated vulnerability scans trying to penetrate my site. The main attacking IPs appear to be from the Ukraine of all places. Who did I piss off in the Ukraine? No idea…

Don’t buy Windows 8 laptops

They are designed to be very difficult or almost impossible to downgrade or use an alternative operating system, and even more difficult to fix or restore. The hot keys for getting into the BIOS don’t work because the computer never displays any kind of BIOS splash screen. Hammering DEL, ESC, or F12 doesn’t seem to work either. Every one I’ve encountered so far comes preconfigured with Secure Boot enabled which blocks any unsigned boot loaders from loading. They also don’t come with any type of optical drive anymore, so bootable restore media is out of the question. The only way to get into the new EFI bios or into any kind of system restore menu was to first boot into Windows; which I couldn’t do because I kept getting a frowning error screen. Who thought this was a good idea? I also encountered another laptop that had a botched Windows 8.1 upgrade and refused to boot. It just kept trying and failing to redo the upgrade, never reaching the promise land. Since we’re on the subject of Windows 8.1; Why bring back the start button if you’re not bringing back the actual start menu?