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Wednesday, August 6 12:01 AM EST

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


The RIAA has a lot to worry about now...

From: alicia
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 10:40 PM

If I deleted all my mp3 files as your article (06/16/03 - W32.Leech) suggested as a way to check and see if my computer was vunerable, I assume my private folder of songs would be gone. Not just here, but I seem to get a feeling "they" are trying to put the fear of God into P2P varmits on many sites. I guess the campaign has started.

Yes, indeed the campaign has started, yowzers.


Personal Question

I'm sure others out there have this same question, so I'll go ahead and answer it here for all to see...

From: Paul
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 11:40 AM
Subject: Just Curious

I am curious as to why you lampoon the personals submissions. Aren't these people in effect your customers? I realize that it is, of course, all in good fun but if I were running such a site (which I am not, and you are - hmmmm that would make you the MASTER and me, I, uhmmm, would be GRASSHOPPER. Hmmmm, which would further mean that you are obviously doing things correctly as your site seems to exhibit some level of success) I would just hold some things sacred. So why is it oh venerable master, that lampooning personals submissions is a successful formula?

Lampooning the personals started by accident. I struck a pose similar to the Personal of the Day (PotD) on the webcam, and somebody noticed. I thought, "Hey, this is a fun idea." The reaction from BBspotters has been overwhelmingly positive (I haven't heard from the people in the PotD yet). Since, BBspot doesn't have a market research arm to do a test study to find out if revenue is increased or decreased after I make fun of the PotD, then I'll just have to err on the side of funny. I mean, the worst thing that can happen is that I'm kicked out of the personals network and lose some money. I know I'm doing this for a living, but funny has always been more important to me than money.

Dell Support

Not trying to single out Dell here, but last week's e-mail about Dell's award winning support garnered some more responses...

From: Siobhan
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 1:02 AM
Subject: more dell tech support

Ok, here's even MORE about recent Dell "award-winning" tech support. My boyfriend used to be network administrator at his company, so when his disk drive broke and the network department was overworked, he volunteered to call Dell himself.

They ran him through the same deal I mentioned earlier, taking apart his computer for them, etc., and then insisted he run the Dell diagnostic. Which was on a disk.

When he pointed out he couldn't, since his disk drive couldn't read the disk, (I am not making this up) he had to go through THREE LEVELS OF SUPERVISORS before someone could authorize the repair service.

It cost him an extra hour and a half on the phone to get that "permission". Permission to have a broken disk drive.

I'm not blaming the phone guys we talk to. They're probably strapped to chairs with guns pointed to their heads while they follow EXACTLY the script assigned to them. But some maniac/asshole decided the best way to fix the customer problem was to force them to do it themselves.

That's why I don't pay for tech support on a brand name computer. Build your own. Support yourself.

Here's a tech support phone tip for those who don't like waiting...

From: Graham
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 11:34 AM
Subject: answering machine queues...

WRT the last BBspot mailbag, here's a simple tip to those who hate
waiting in phone queues. Many phone systems have a sequence of
keypresses to bypass the queue and get directly to the front of it, for
servicing by the next available operator - generally a sequence
pressable on a regular touchtone phone, since it would be used not only be technicians with a 16-button phone. The great majority of these systems (my bank and phone company for example) use *0 to bypass the queue, so when waiting for tech support it is always a good idea to give a shot at *0 and see where that gets you.

Enterprise Vs. Death Star

I thought the Google fight last week would end it. Of course, several people wrote in with issues about the Google fight. Most of them started off with phrases like "I don't really care about this, but..."

From: Benjamin
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 12:33 AM
Subject: Enterprise Vs. Star Destroyer

You have a great site, even though I don't care particularly one way or the other about this argument. But, since I do like to argue and BBspot has in the past stated that it is #1 on a Google search for 'are,' I thought I would check for the real results in a Google War between a Star Destroyer and the Enterprise. Since 'Enterprise' alone would include the rental car company and any small business, I narrowed the field a bit.

"Star Destroyer" = 30,700 results
"Starship Enterprise" = 32,300 results

The Enterprise still wins, but just barely. The Star Destroyer probably won't win another Google War until the next Star Wars movie is released.

Amazingly, a "Tie Fighter" (60,000 results) is almost twice as good as the Enterprise, but still not quite as good as your everyday "Jet Figther" (63,700 results), which can apparently be taken out by a simple "bow and arrow" (91,800 results).

Here's some gasoline...

From: Ben
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 1:23 PM
Subject: Star Wars v. Star Trek

I agree with the people who say it the debate can't be decided with numbers. I also don't see the Force having any influence on it. Anyone who's watched Star Trek knows that there would be some previously unknown species conveniently on board the Enterprise when they encountered the Destroyer that would be able to counteract the Force.

One thing everyone seems to be overlooking is the fact that Star Wars takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Presumably, even at top speeds, it would take a Destroyer thousands, if not millions, of years to reach this galaxy. By then it would probably be so decrepit, a couple of pot shots could probably take it out.

Another factor is whether this battle takes place in a Star Wars movie or an episode of Star Trek. If it was a Star Wars movie, the Enterprise would be destroyed, but the crew would band together and later defeat it with a shuttlecraft or something. If it was Star Trek, the Enterprise would win, of course, and the Empire would learn a valuable lesson. If it were a Star Trek movie, the Empire would fall and they'd go back to a republic.

One other plus in Star Trek's column - no Jar Jar. It would just be someone with some plastic on their face and a used wig. If he had an accent, it would be British. Of course, the interesting Star Wars characters would be gone too, but it just might be worth it.

Thanks for letting me add fuel to the fire.

I sure hope that's the end.

A few people had the theory that since Star Wars took place "A long time ago" that Star Trek could easily beat it since it is set in the future. Of course, that assumes that "A long time ago" is from the perspective of the audience, and not the narrator for whom "A long time ago" is actually our future.

That's all for this week!

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