I Never Understood Fake Reviews

I don’t get why people post fake reviews. I barely understand negative reviews. I think I’ve posted one on Amazon. I posted a couple more on my old blog, but I’d been asked by the publishers to review the books, I didn’t think they were good, and did my duty to factually explain why. Generally, if I don’t like or agree with something, I move on.

But if you’re a popular alt-right or conservative figure, and you write or publish books, you’re going to get negative reviews. The people who leave them have obviously never read the books or used the products (Vox Day links a negative review of Ivanka’s perfume).

But, mindless, intellectually dishonest SJW’s, your anonymity is no longer a protection. Vox Day included some interesting text at the bottom of his post I linked above:

And VFM, let’s find out who this Linux-using, dog-owning David is. Can you beat your previous time of 57 minutes to provide name, education, and place of employment? It was really rather amusing to give the previous gentleman a call at his office and ask him what it was that he didn’t like about the book. I don’t think “shell-shocked” would be too strong a word to describe his reaction. Sadly, he lived in a state where it was necessary to have permission to record the call.

That’s right, SJWs. Leave a negative review of one of Castalia House’s products, and the VFM (Vile Faceless Minions) may find you, and you may get a call from Vox Day (possibly at your place of work) himself asking you what you didn’t like. And no matter how polite and cordial Vox is, your amygdalas won’t be able to handle it because you’re cowards. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be afraid of a book.

20 Seconds With The President- An Alex Jones Parody

I wrote this in October of 2009, and never did anything with it. I figured it was time.

Back then, I was listening to The Alex Jones Show podcast daily. I stopped listening in 2012 for various reasons, but I still watch his YouTube videos.

In September of 2009, Charlie Sheen wrote something called “20 Minutes With The President“, in which he fictionally questions former President Obama on 9/11. Shortly after that, Charlie Sheen went through his historic meltdown, thus destroying any credibility he would ever have. I wonder if Alex Jones even remembers Charlie’s “20 Minutes”. Charlie will now forever been known as somebody with AIDS and a fetish for tranny hookers. Or something.

I wrote this partly as a parody. I have a lot of respect for Alex. We all know he has some idiosyncracies, like asking a guest a question, and three seconds later cutting to break. I’m not sure what his callers are like now, but at the time, he’d have a special guest on and his callers went off on batshit insane rabbit trails unrelated to the topic or guest. And of course, I could see Alex getting the President on and still taking time to “plug his sponsors”. I think he sells all his own product now.

And of course, I was making fun of the former President’s inability to speak without a teleprompter, and the birth certificate issue. While most of Alex’s text comes directly from things he says (or how he said them at the time), the birth certificate line is mine alone.

Don’t take this as an insult. I have a lot of respect for Alex. He’s been around about 20 years. He was born the same year as me, and I wish I’d had 1/10th the success and impact he has.

Enjoy:
——————————————

Alex Jones: Welcome back to the Alex Jones Show on the GCN radio network. We have with us a surprise guest this hour:  none other than the sitting President, Barack Hussein Obama. But first, a word from our sponsors.

Frontsite.com provides…

Survivalist Seeds.org is the best…

OK, President Obama, are you with us?

President Obama: Yes, I am, Alex, and it’s great to…

Alex Jones: Hold that thought; we’ll be right back.

<commercial break>

Alex Jones: OK, we’re back, with the President, Obama. Let’s take some calls. First up, John in Missouri. Go ahead with your question for the President, John.

John: Thank you, Alex. I’m a long time listener. Thanks for all you do. I disagree with something you said once though. Back in the 70’s I saw a movie called The Andromeda Strain, then 3 Mile Island happened…

Alex Jones: Wait a minute, do you have a question for the President? Come on, people, I take calls all the time. I’ll probably never get the President back on again. Do you or do you not have a question for the President?

John: Well, Alex, back in 1998 you said 3 Mile Island…

Alex Jones: I’ve had it. No more for that caller. Paul in New Mexico. Go ahead with your question for the President, Paul.

Paul: Alex, I used to love you man, but I can’t listen to you anymore. If you’ve got the President on, you’re obviously a tool for the Illuminati…

Alex Jones: Hey, it’s not my fault I’ve got great producers. No more for that caller. I am nobody’s tool people! My producers called the White House and asked if the President would do an interview. They agreed.  Don’t you people have brains?

OK, President Obama, how do you expect us to believe you’re Constitutionally eligible to serve as President when we can’t even prove you’ve been born?

President Obama: Well, Alex, that’s an interesting question. You see, the short form birth certificate that I released after months of making people wait your computer has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. The fault lies in MD5.SUM…

Alex Jones: Wait a minute, President Obama, did your teleprompter just blue screen?

President Obama: Well, I taught the Constitution in 57 states…

Alex Jones: Can’t you get through an interview without a teleprompter?

President Obama: uh

Alex Jones: Seriously, can’t you just answer?

President Obama: Hold on Alex, my speechwriters are working as fast as they can.

Alex Jones: Just cut to one of my CPS rants while they reboot the President’s teleprompter…

Has The Media Gone Too Far In Attacking PewDiePie?

I admit; other than his guest appearance on South Park a few years ago, I’ve never paid attention to PewDiePie. I know my children watch him.

This past Saturday, I started seeing claims that he’s a racist and anti-Semite. These are MSM and SJW claims that usually mean nothing more than the MSM or SJW disagrees with a person. Many conservatives, alt-right, and libertarians have become desensitized to it. No matter what you say, unless you keep completely quiet, they’ll call you one of those names or a white supremacist.

So, I started watching some of PewDiePie’s videos. I won’t subscribe to his channel, but for the most part, I think he’s not bad. He did one video making fun of the “boilerplate” YouTubers include. “Thanks for watching, subscribe to my channel, subscribe to notifications, yada, yada, yada”. I got a laugh out of it. Half of YouTube videos are stupid boilerplate that wastes time, and I’m glad PewDiePie lampooned it.

A once great paper, the Wall Street Journal, was among those who attacked him. You know, since there’s nothing else going on in the world than a 20 something satirist who records videos for children demonstrating how stupid he thinks Fiverr is by paying a couple of fools to hold a sign up, so see if they would draw a line at what was obviously an absurd statement. And they didn’t.

PewDiePie responded to the criticism:

Poor guy.

The media has also recently gone after Milo, and they will never stop going after President Trump.

I think this may be the beginning of the end of the media. They’re already irrelevant. Nobody trusts them. They’re liberals, so they don’t understand things like context and categories. They don’t understand honesty and integrity. And plenty of people get that. How many of PewDiePie’s 53 million viewers do you think pay any attention to the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, or the Clown News Network?

Like some of their recent attacks, all they’re doing is cutting themselves off. Disney dropped a lucrative deal with PewDiePie, as did YouTube. They’re going to lose money over those deals. It’s just like that irrelevant department store (Macy’s? Bloomingdales? Who cares; I don’t shop there.) that decided to drop Ivanka Trump’s line of products. Ivanka’s products shot to the top of Amazon. Look at all the money they lost, that Amazon got. Oh, well, they made their political statement, and won’t understand what pushed them out of business in what is already a devastating retail apocalypse. (UPDATE: Nordstrum. I inadvertently came across that. I’ve never shopped there; have no plans to ever shop there, and care so little about them I wasn’t going to expend effort to fact check the name.)

I’m just going to sit back and watch them continue to fail. CNN is so obviously against President Trump. We have TVs at work tuned to them. Every now and again, they get a new headline and I think to myself “Oh, good, CNN has a new chew toy. I hope they’re happy.” Would they even have viewership if employers like mine didn’t leave TVs tuned to them all day?

TV Alternatives Still Have The Same Problem…

Our 2 year obligation (but not a contract somehow) to Scumcast runs out in July. I’ve been looking at alternatives for some time. And I’m finding out that all alternatives to a cable subscription all have the same problem: THEY’RE STILL CENTERED ON TV. This means that in order to watch the shows YOU want, you have to take a whole bunch of channels filled with shows you DON’T want.

My wife sent me an article about Hulu soon offering live TV. It seems to be heavily centered around CBS, home of shows like NCIS and Big Bang Theory. Well, give me NCIS, and keep Big Bang Theory. Never watched it; and I never plan to. I’ve seen a few clips of it, which made me roll my eyes and leave the room.

And of course, you get ESPN. Never watched it. I don’t give two shits about sports. I’ve tried; I can’t get into it. Plus, as Vox Day has so well documented, ESPN and the NFL are pretty much sold out to SJWism and are going to die eventually.

I looked at a few other packages, such as Playstation Vue. Same thing. It’s all about packages of channels, just like shitty Comcast that I want to leave.

I’ll let you in on why. When I broke down and got a flat screen TV a couple years ago, I decided we wanted HD. It made no sense to not use the full screen of the new TV. $10 more a month for an HD cable box. But then, they wanted to sell us “Triple Play”. There is no freaking way to NOT have the stupid phone line. I never use it, but I have to pay for it. Then we got the “X1 Entertainment Operating System” because we wanted a DVR. I thought we had all the channels, even though we barely watch 20 of them between us. Nope, somehow we still had a limited package. And they started taking channels away from us, rolling them into higher priced packages.

We like to watch Bar Rescue. One day, Bar Rescue stopped showing up on the DVR. Spike wouldn’t show. My wife called. Now, Spike is in a higher priced package. We can get it back if we want to pay more. They’ve done that with a few other channels we like. And we seeth with rage; vowing that come July, Scumcast will be no more in our household.

That brings us back to the problem. Everything is centered around CHANNELS. Why don’t we have a paradigm built on SHOWS? I don’t care about the channels. SYFY has some shows I like, and many I don’t care about. Why can’t I just get the shows I want and scrap the rest?

My wife still watches TV. I haven’t used it in well over a year. I get my entertainment through Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, and if I can’t get a show I want that way, I have a few other alternatives…

Then there are commercials. Few, if any, are relevant to me. Most are annoying and patronizing and I work very hard to not have to watch a commercial. And even those that are relevant, entertaining, and informative, I only need to watch once.

We definitely need to change the way we create and watch our entertainment. Since there’s a big movement in alt-tech, let’s hope we get some alt-entertainment that is out of the mainstream.

Ryan Holiday’s $139 Book

I’m glad to see Ryan Holiday is back. He went through a phase of liberal butthurt after the election, and the quality of his posts dropped dramatically. I found them unreadable for the last month and a half or so.

He explains why he dropped $139 on a book. And why you should too, if you want the book and it adds value to your life. As for “I don’t have time to read?” Here’s Ryan:

Fuck you, you don’t have time to read. You’re reading this article aren’t you? You checked Facebook this morning. And Twitter. You went to your work’s Christmas party and you’ve seen at least one episode of Game of Thrones. You have time. Money? There is always money for the things that are important. There is always a way.

Guilty of all, except I’ve never watched Game of Thrones. I have a rule about culture. If something is so popular that everybody is doing it, I normally don’t. I either get in early on the hype curve, or maybe come back to it after the hype has died down.Also:

A single book can unlock an idea, start a business, generate a change, seal a life decision, open you to a new perspective, prepare you for some unknown adversity that lies around a curve in the road. A single book can be worth literally millions of dollars. Or save a broken marriage. Or introduce you to something you’d never have known otherwise.

I agree with Ryan. I probably have more books than I’ll ever be able to read in my lifetime, and they keep adding up. But I’ve read some that did change my life, give me a new perspective, or give me a new direction. I’ve also had to learn that some books suck, and it’s OK to put it down and move on.

Review: Samsung Gear VR Headset

A friend gave me a Samsung Gear VR headset for Christmas. When I got home, I opened it up and started playing around with it.

Of course, growing up in the late 70’s and 80’s, like anybody else, I’m fascinated with VR. I’ve waited years for this technology to be viable.

The Gear VR headset is compatible with the Galaxy Note 5, the S6 line, and the S7 line. Fortunately, I have a Note 5.

The first thing you have to do is install the Oculus app from the Play Store. You have to create an account on the Oculus website and verify your email address. You can then login to the app, and mount your phone in the headset and put the headset on your head. You go through a tutorial and setup process. Then you can play around.

The first night, I didn’t have many options. Unless I wanted to spend money on a game or movie, I was limited to the content on my phone. But still, it was cool. There’s a 360-degree background, so you can look in any direction and see it. You can zoom in on the pictures. For instance, I have a picture of my cat laying on the floor in front of the couch. I zoomed in all the way. I was looking at the cat, and had to look WAAAAAAAAY up to see the couch.

The next day, I had to take my children back to New Jersey (it was my first Christmas with them in 4 years). Took about 10 hours in holiday traffic. When I got home, I opened a beer and looked at the Play store to see what other VR apps were available. Samsung has a VR app, so I installed it and went back to VR-land.

The headset has a touchpad, volume controls, and a back and home button. It also has a focus wheel.

Samsung’s VR app includes videos. For now, the content is fairly limited, but there are some interesting ones up there. CNN (Clinton News Network) has some VR videos. GE has some promotional videos. Mythbusters have some of their Shark Week content available.

Among the videos I watched, I rode a weather balloon into the stratosphere, I was in the press pit for Donald Trump’s victory speech (2 1/2 minutes of it, anyway), took a tour of Singapore, and watched planes land at Heathrow Airport. It was a lot of fun.

At this point, it’s not true VR. This is how it works: they film with a 360-degree camera. (You can buy these cameras and make your own 360 videos). You can watch these videos on your computer or phone without a headset. But with the phone mounted in the headset, you don’t exactly see the edges, and the lens magnifies the video, so you are immersed in it. It’s enough to induce vertigo in some cases. Even though you KNOW you’re standing or sitting in a room, when your mind sees immersed motion, it wants to interpret it as actual.

There are a few minor problems. For one, when mounting your phone, it’s not hard for the Home button to contact the case. Then you put your headset on and you’re looking at your phone’s launcher. You can’t launch the VR apps this way. You have to take the phone out, re-launch the app, and mount your phone again, hoping you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Also, the VR apps put a heavy strain on your phone’s processor and battery. After watching a few videos, my Note 5 is burning up; almost enough to become a Note 7. I could probably shut my house heater off while I’m using the headset and heat the house with my phone.

One thing I would love to see is the ability to control your phone completely in the headset. The interface is similar to a vision I once had for the Human-Computer Interface (HCI). Think about it; your mind is very powerful, and your computer/phone are very powerful, but the only way you can “talk” is through a screen, keyboard, and mouse. It would be awesome to be able to read through my email and browse the Internet with the headset on. You could spread your various applications across the available space, and not switch screens. Of course, responding to email or going to another website would require a keyboard, which you can’t see. I could probably touch type well enough to use it.

For the most part, this is a decent and affordable way to get started with Virtual Reality through your phone. This technology is still in its infancy, and I look forward to what comes next.

You can buy the Samsung Gear VR here. (Currently $59.99 on Amazon).

Chris Matthews Uses His Show To Solicit Donations For His Wife’s Campaign

http://www.stonecoldtruth.com/#!Corrupt-Blowhard-Chris-Matthews-Plays-Hardball-With-Guests-For-Wife’s-Campaign/cjds/570729fb0cf27bf9349f1b51

Tingly-legged windbag Chris Matthews got caught in a pay-to-play scandal involving his wife’s campaign and his TV show. The blond blowhard has been soliciting donations for his wife’s congressional campaign in exchange for appearing on his show, enabling the donors to be seen by Hardball’s dozens of viewers. MSNBC should can the tiresome phony right away.

Not even savvy enough to time the donations in a less obvious way, some were made within a few days of the appearances. Matthews’ guests had given Kathleen Matthews’ campaign nearly $80,000 as of December 31, 2015.

Go figure. (This was written as a draft some time ago, and wasn’t published until now).

Book Review: Fight The Rooster by Nick Cole

At some point in the past, I got on Nick Cole’s mailing list for Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) of his books. I still owe him a review for Ctrl+Alt+Revolt.
Fight The Rooster showed up in my email a couple weeks ago. I started reading it. It’s my first Nick Cole book, and it will not be my last, that’s for sure.
Fight The Rooster is billed as a book about a director who decides the only way to save his life it to ruin his movie. He wants to deliberately wreck it so he can escape Hollywood.
But despite every attempt he makes, the movie will not be ruined. The actors work hard. The old-fashioned cameraman he brings in has rediscovered his love and updated his techniques. Even the screw-up stoner brother of a great producer who comes in to cover for his brother somehow manages to pull the job off.
Though most of the characters have names, a few are never named. “The Great Director”’s name is never given, neither is his “Perfect Robot Wife” or the “Executive Vice President”.
Though the book starts out as a comedy (and it is hilarious), it turns into a dramatic redemption story. It’s the kind of story you wish you didn’t have a job or need to sleep or anything so you can finish it. Five stars for being riveting and everything a great story should be.