To Catch A Content Theif

I’ve been running Vista for about a week – because Unreal Tournament 3 hasn’t released a Linux client yet. Don’t worry, you aren’t missing very much! Since there’s no Linux server either – you end up only a few popular windows-based servers that never fill up and are pretty boring… the game is great, no doubt… but with nobody to play with, what good is it?
I’d rather be playing Team Fortress 2, and since it runs in Wine… well – I don’t have much of a reason to keep running Vista, other than the fact that it was completely free (as in beer). I guess Microsoft can’t give away their operating system, since I’m going to perform a 7-pass-wipe to make sure I completely rid my computer of Vista.

So…. except for some sweet revenge there hasn’t been much to write about. Other than some content theft (par for the course when you’re a popular website) …

Long story short, some guy decided to steal my content and images, and I sent google a DMCA request to remove their advertisements from the page, they didn’t respond in a timely manner….. so I sent them a quick note that went something like this:

“Sup Google, thanks for the check this last week, I owe you one – stop by and check out my new tattoo, it’s badass personified. Oh yeah, also I faxed you a request about providing advertising for this jerk who is stealing my content – would you cut it out?”

Google replied something like this:

“If you would like to report a copyright infringement, please send us a properly formatted request.”

I replied,

“Don’t taze me bro! I already sent it to you.”

Google replied something like this:

“If you would like to report a copyright infringement, please send us a properly formatted request.”

So I figure the DMCA request is going nowhere fast, what is a guy to do? Enlist the help of his readers….

Not you guys!

I’ll enlist the help of the folks who just happen to be reading content that’s been stolen. I deleted my old image pointing to the entirely nasty HP Vectra slimline computer that runs my network (now running IPCop 1.4.18 to test out the latest release – trust me, it’s nothing special) and replaced it with a message to the readers of websites who steal my content.

And the thing that REALLY sucks… when searching for the name of the article, the website of the content theif shows up first. I guess it’s a bad case of Google’s algorithm for determining “duplicate content” and my website has been penalized… what a pain in the neck!

For your enjoyment… I’m not providing a hyperlink, since that would be kinda silly, but I bet you’ll enjoy this stuff.

It doesn’t quite fit with their website theme… but ah well, what can I do?


Fsckin Downtime, Contact Me, Bad News, And “Something” Is In The Pipe

Some maintenance around here was desperately needed… the site has been upgraded, so there may be some issues here and there. I’m aware of the dozens of articles that have no category.

If you see anything strange, use the brand spanking new Contact button on the left and scroll down, fill out the form, prove you’re a human, and by the miracle of technology, I will receive your message.

A couple of other changes are afoot.


Browser and OS Statistics for October

I’d like to share some interesting statistics with my readers, I know it’s not quite the end of the month, but after more than 220,000 page views from nearly 170,000 visitors, it’s pretty safe to say these numbers wont budge too much in the next few days, unless there is some freak super explosion of diggs, stumbles, deliciousness, reddits and maybe a slashdot or two.

The most intersting statistic to me, is the fact that damn near 80% of all visitors are using Firefox.  This includes all operating systems, which is pretty significant when you compare that to how many users are utilizing Windows.  This site attracts very technical readers, which would explain the awesome google-fu that some people are using to find this site.


I wish I had more IE users visiting to convert to Firefox…


Dear Comcast, Here’s The Million Dollar Question: Is You Is, Or Is You Ain’t Blocking My Torrents?

Dear Comcast,

I like your commercials. They’re funny. You poke at DSL, and rightfully so – your service is significantly superior to anything but fiber to the home.

Here’s the million dollar question: Is you is, or is you ain’t blocking my torrents?

Prior to reading the article by TorrentFreak on Comcast BitTorrent filtering, I had noticed a significant decrease in my seeding ability. I thought it might have something to do with my Linux firewall that I had changed from IPCop to Smoothwall that same week, so I paid little attention.


Everything You May Have Wanted To Know About Me But Didn’t

I’m Wayne Richardson, the owner, admin, and lone writer at fsckin w/ linux – a swift kick in the *nix.

This website is the culmination of nearly 10 years of experimenting with Linux, and three squirrels that spoke to me in a dream.  We held a televised debate on the topic of macadamias verses pecans.  It was weird.

My first introduction to Linux was by a good friend of mine near the end of 1998.  I eagerly put the borrowed Redhat 5.2 CD into the caddy of the 1x CD-ROM drive in my 486DX.   At the time, Linux was not very friendly to new users back then.  If you could get anything working at all, it felt like a miracle.

Since then, trying out new Linux distributions became a hobby of sorts, I kept a keen eye on Slashdot (UID 69114) and DistroWatch, downloading and installing new distributions, and getting really frustrated when something didn’t work.   Two years passed before I got my ISA SoundBlaster 16 card working to hear Linus Torvalds “pronounce Linux like Linux.”  He’s from Cannuckistan, isn’t he?

Fast forward to not so long ago, my computer had rebooted for the nth time that night unexpectedly, and I was at my wits end with Vista.  I contemplated two options:  Reinstalling to XP, or jumping off the top floor of the tallest building in Salt Lake City.  Lucky for you, I decided to try neither of those options.  Also, there’s a chance that the tallest building in Utah may not be a lethal jump.

After taking a short break from the computer to collect my thoughts, I came back to my desk and while rifling through a spindle of CDs, the Ubuntu Feisty Fawn disc that I had burned a few months prior stuck out of the pile.

“This is it,” I thought to myself.  “If my hardware works on this distro, I’ll try it for a month.”

On that fateful night, August 22nd 2007, I installed Linux on my desktop and everything was automatically detected and worked right out of the box.  I sat back, grabbed a keyboard and started writing about the ride of my life.

Here I am, a couple months later, still writing about things I find interesting, and recieving more than 5,000 visitors daily. 

The revenue from advertising pays the tiny hosting bill, keeps me interested in doing something other than playing Team Fortress 2, and eventually will pay for some geeky things I’ll write about here.

If you have any private comments, suggestions, or are really annoyed by something on the website (i.e. the scrolling RSS icon that I loved) just shoot me an email… wayne(@)fsckin(.)com.   I’ll beat you around a bit with a large trout and consider your inquiry.

I can’t store my sig in /dev/null?

Linux Off-Topic

How To Setup Drivel To Write Posts Using WordPress

I’ve been working on writing a very in-depth, step by step guide on syncing the iPhone in Linux, but in the meantime, here’s a how-to guide on using Drivel.


Quick Note On How To Use Google To Find Like-Minded Friends On Digg

If you add friends at random, then you end up with a bunch of “friends” that may not like what you post about.

If you don’t check first you could end up with a big problem!

Say someone you add might be into politics, but you only submit articles in video. If they don’t like your latest video submission on Burma, you stand a chance to get your article buried.

Here’s the solution: Quit adding people at random, and use the following query in Google:


How Much Work Actually Goes Into Each And Every Article I Write

Most articles I write here are very simple from conception to pressing that publish button.

Usually I get an idea of “Hey, it would be cool if I could do this in Linux” and then I spend a fair chunk of time familiarizing myself with the topic as well as the solution and then I sit down and do it myself.  I take notes along the way and finally I write the actual article, usually in a short period of time, since by the time I’m putting the pencil to the proverbial paper, I’ve become reasonably familiar with the topic at hand.

I’ve been working for the last 5 or 6 hours on what appears at the surface to be a very simple article.  It’s about how to get your iPhone setup to use the HTTP Remote Control in VLC  to control your playlists / etc.

Let’s just say that this article ended up being much more difficult than I first imagined.

I figured that I would simply enable the HTTP server in VLC, connect via Safari on the iPhone and everything would be OK.  I was dead wrong.  Oh, it works alright, but it doesn’t display properly, and isn’t really usable.  I found this page after much searching, which had a re-themed version of the HTTP interface for PDAs and PSPs.  I thought my long search was over.  Wrong – the link to the Graphite theme is totally useless – it’s been out of date for quite some time now.
So I had to figure out how to do it myself.

First I started trying to download a new svn/cvs version of VLC, as I had read that 8.6c had better mobile support.  That had bad news written all over it to begin with, but I persisted onwards, until my notes looked something like this (newlines ommitted to save space:

apt-get build-dep vlc libtool automake1.9 ffmpeg libavcodec-dev libpostproc-dev subversion automake libtool gettext cvs libdvdcss2 This command takes several minutes. svn co svn:// vlc-trunk cd vlc-trunk; ./bootstrap Output should be Successfully bootstrapped. cd extras; cd vlc-trunk/extras svn checkout svn:// ffmpeg cd ffmpeg ./configure --enable-gpl --enable-pp --enable-pthreads --enable-libmp3lame make cd ~/Desktop/ wget tar xvjf vlc-0.8.6b-test1.tar.bz2 svn co svn:// Wait.... wait... keep waiting... for that to finish. It takes a damn long time! Open up another terminal. cd ~/Desktop/ wget tar xvjf libmad-0.15.1b.tar.gz cd ~/libmad-0.15.1b ./configure make sudo make install cd ~/Desktop tar wxGTK-2.8.5.tar.bz2 cd wxGTK-2.8.5 wget ./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-wxwindows ./compile

Hmm… no good at all – way, way too complicated, even for me.  I’m pretty sure I even ran a few commands that borked my VLC config file beyond repair.  I don’t want tutorials I write to be so complicated that I’m writing shell scripts to do the work for you, or a person with minimal experience can’t follow my instructions since they are so convoluted and/or take HOURS to complete.  In the list above, the “build-dep” package weighs in at over 100MB of packages!

How are we supposed to learn from experience if you don’t/wont/can’t do anything yourself?

In the end, what started as a simple “oh, I’ll just recompile VLC” turned into a complete nightmare.  By the way, I did find the best guide on how to recompile VLC after going through most of the above by trial and error.

So now, what I’ll be doing instead, is re-writing a VLC control interface so that things look good on the iPhone.  I’ll also see if my GUI can be easily adapted to Windows Mobile, it shouldn’t be difficult at all.

I’m not just doing this for myself, I’m primarily doing all this work for you, to give back to the community.

If you would like to see an improved VLC http interface for pretty much every mobile phone, pda, tablet, etc and are not already subscribed to my RSS feed or updates via email, click here to subscribe now and I’ll have something for you later this week.

Stay tuned, I’ve got lots of new and interesting things coming specifically aimed at Linux iPhone users.  Strangely enough, most of them are actually applicable to Windows and Mac also.

Enjoy my rant?  Subscribe to the RSS feed.


Do You Submit Articles Or Make Insightful Comments On Digg? Enable Shouts From Anyone.

 You’re likely thinking, “Why the hell do I want to do this?  I’m gonna get a ton of spam!”

Actually, you’re not.

Instead, you are going to make more “Mutual Friends”, and even if you don’t submit articles on digg, this will benefit you.  If you make very informative and in-depth replies to submissions, you’re going to meet people and make friends.

Thanks to the new digg “social network” features, users have been able to communicate among themselves instead of on Facebook or other places.  Digg doesn’t allow HTML in a shout, so spammy links are not going to be a problem.

Here’s how to do it:

1.  Click My Profile at the top of the screen.


2.  Press Settings.


3.  Select the radio button that says Allow shouts to me from…. Anyone.


4.  Press Save.

That’s it, you’re done.  Now monitor your profile page for shouts from people who would like to be your friend.  The more mutual friends you have, the more diggs you get on comments and submissions.

To prove this works, if you want more mutual friends, send me a shout and I’ll add you as a friend.


Pirates of the Great Salt Lake Screenings In Six Cities On Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Whew, my first real off-topic post.  I’ve been waiting for the screenings to begin, and I’m finally going to be able to see the movie in Salt Lake City on Sept 19th – International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

I’m already an Associate Fan Club Producer for the film, having donated money and purchased the DVD in advance.  This is really a great opportunity to promote an indy film that is really hilarious.

Trailer is after the bump, as well as the email anouncement I received.