Direct TV's Rob Lowe is the new Chad

Anyone remember Alltell's Chad commercials? They would play up an attractive collected 'Chad' as their face, while at the same time portraying competitors as stereotypical nerds, and in the process made themselves look like douchbags by picking on the socially stunted. That sort of 'Bash the Other Guy' ad is back in the form of Direct TV's Rob Lowe. To the credit of whatever ad agency came up with this idea of, instead of having their hansom Mr. Awesome paired up with The Other Guy's loser, having variations of the same character paired together. This gets rid of the whole 'bashing some poor shmuck' problem, or at least in theory it does. However the 'painfully socially inept' Rob Lowe plays up every nerd cliche to 11 from Dork Voice, to Pants up to Nipples. All that's missing is the snort laugh and coke bottle glasses.

Personally while Rob is an improvement over Chad it doesn't address the real problem of ads that focus on belittling the competition rather than focusing on how great you are. In fairness Direct TV's 'Hopper', and 'World's Most Powerful Fan' ads fill that role quite nicely. So it isn't as if they are going full on attack ad and nothing else. I simply find the subgenre of 'bash and degrade' off putting enough I don't want whatever you're selling. I can't be the only one that would rather companies focus on the positive. There's too much negative in the world for me to feel anything other than distaste for companies that bank on it to sell themselves.

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Gopher + Neocities ftw?

Email/suggestion I had sent to neocities. Mostly because I can and I think Gopher still has a place in the world. Yes it is sorta piggybacking off of their name and momentum, but I dislike existing solutions and like going the simple route if at all possible.

I realize it's a bit outside of your original purpose of a GeoCities workalike with a modern spin, but Gopher takes even fewer resources to handle. Unfortunately the best real way of doing more than passively browsing is


Thing is shell accounts? Having to rely on still existing veronica servers for search? Gopher really could provide a good way of getting information through with next to zero bandwidth use due to it being markup language and text. Add in a search routine, if only within neocities and links to existing services at sdf and floodgate and you have a reasonably good way of getting around problems that come from not just bandwidth caps in spite of ever increasing speeds (you get to hit that cap five times faster now!) But also to deal with keeping community in spite of potential for net neutrality going out the window (getting throttled isn't nearly as big of an issue when your site is maybe a couple dozen k of text and links.)

Yes it's boring to look at, but might provide a good tool to add if it isn't going to tax your staff to patch in. link:

Gopher even has android/iOS/java2me clients along with a Firefox extension. Sadly chrome nolonger supports it, but the fact it has browsers for mobile makes it useful for referencing.

Phlogs, gopher hosted blogging:

Project overbite, modern gopher clients:

My annoyance is at how out of date the android client is, but the source code is there if people want to try forming their own version.

Wiki article, also has software links for clients and servers:

I hope this will at least be considered. However given it's been awhile with no response, I somehow doubt it.
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Hemingwrite: The Next Alphasmart?

If you don't know what an Alphasmart that's OK, because it was a horribly niche device aimed primarily at schools that writers picked up and ran with. Here's their Wikipedia article to help give a few details. I do not own one and never have, so all of my information comes second hand via the yearly NaNoWriMo forum thread as well as nosing about the web when I was interested in getting one. For those not interested in clicking links the basics are that back in the early nineties several apple employees branched off to form their own company that made keyboards that you could use away from your computer then have it spit that text into your program of choice. I bring that up because the hemingwriter looks like another attempt at making a modern single task device centered on writing.

Personally while I like the concept, and want to be enthusiastic, there are enough things not said I'd rather wait and see before declaring this The Next Awesome Thing. Their site is sorta thin on specifics, and what I see seems nice enough, but I'd like to know more. Here is what their site puts forward as well as my thoughts on each point.

Re: GamersGate

I honestly have little to no clue what's going on other than it involves shady practices, the tumble brigade willing to believe I'm Satan because I'm a white male, and 4chan has been banning people.

I am all for diversity and everyone having their say. I think most journalists are fearmongering opportunistic vultures. I think there is far too much screaming and far too little discussing going on. I also think I am too distrustful of any side in this screaming event to get to the heart of the matter with any sort of objectivity.

I also think no matter what happens, as soon as traditional media figures out the fear/terror they can wring out of Ebola is wearing out they will latch onto this, get the facts wrong, and we'll end up with a Katie Couric piece that demonizes gamers while using q gasoline smeared camera to shoot jittery hands at controllers.

I want women to be a strong presence in gaming. After all the whole point of 'game' is to have fun right? Doesn't mean the woman in question will like the same things I like (then again even by nerd standards I'm pretty weird.) There's too much suck and fail in the world to exclude people. So what if the female demographic for first person shooters is pretty low. Who cares if most Americans dislike JRPGs. These are still groups that enjoy their games and should be respected even if what they like isn't what the in crowd likes.

What I want is everyone involved to just sit down, shut up, and stop 'trading up the internet with an argument that is going to be used to insult anyone and everyone that isn't a news agency of some sort no matter where they lay on issues. It will end with soccer moms getting told how we're divisive screaming assholes that are the embodiment of everything that is evil in the world.

Do we want that to be our image? All the good done by Child's Play. Undone and overshadowed by what is already sensationalized and what will be made to look even worse.

Casual? Hard Core? FPS? Male? Female? Doesn't matter gender, genre, or geopolitical leanings. We are Gamers.

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