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Wednesday, January 16 12:00 AM ET

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.


Happy New Year to all. It's been a while since our last Mailbag, but we've accumulated a few BBelievers that just needed sharing. The first one comes from a BBspotter who posted a link to our story about Microsoft discontinuing Internet Explorer...

From: Jake
Date: Jan 2, 2008 7:00 PM
Subject: BBelievers Hitting My Blog

It looks like some of your Bbelievers are venturing over in my direction. Read the first comment here:

Happy new year!

Zealots are just too easy to convince.

One BBspotter was contacted by someone looking for the email address for the Nigerian billionaire. He asked me what he should do with it...

From: Abe
Date: Jan 9, 2008 9:54 AM
Subject: I have something funny for you.

I got this on my MySpace Inbox… I figured you would enjoy it.

I also gave you the link to Augustine’s MySpace.

The thing is that now I have a problem… do I email him and tell him that it is fake or do I just let it go and see what happens?

I told him to give the guy Esenam's email address, and sure enough, I got an email very quickly...

From: Agustinus
Date: Jan 12, 2008 5:30 AM
To: Esenam Ayele

Pardon me if i disturbing your busy days, my name is agustinus and i'm 36yo lived in jakarta indonesia, i heard rumours about your generousity, and i want to ask your favor to help me out from my not so lucky circumtances, i'm suretenly not proud for what i am doing, but a man sometimes just didn't know what to do anymore, all i need right now is a hope,  and  with your help i can put my life together for a good reason, and only a good things will happen after that.

pls if you kindly enough to help me, here below my account :

Warung Buncit Branch
Jakarta Selatan
account name : xxxxxxxxx
account number : xxxxxxxxx
swift code : xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I always pray for your health and may God always protect your family from trouble

The guy needs to learn about about keeping his personal information safe. Sending your bank account information to some random person on the Internet is not a good idea.

I replied with...

Sadly, I have fallen ill and my substantial wealth has dwindled to the incompetence of my advisers as well as my ungrateful son who does not appreciate the value of money.  I am very sorry that I can no longer help you.  In fact, I may soon myself be in need of assistance.  Good luck and bless you.

DVD Commentaries

From: Marcus
Date: Jan 8, 2008 8:48 AM
Subject: DVD Commentaries

I was reading your blog and was interested in your comment that "I find most commentaries by actors to be nothing more than a goof-off session. I prefer hearing from directors and writers on the commentary tracks." I have the exact opposite opinion. I love the actor commentary and hate the director/writer ones. With the actors, you'll get interesting little facts about this scene or that during filming, mistakes made on screen, etc. With the director or writers giving the commentary, you get pounded with "this was the symbolism of that..." or "we were using this to build up..." ad nauseam. I found those commentaries rather pretentious.

The worst example of this was Joss' commentary on "Objects in Space," which took a rather cool villain-of-the-week, Jubal Early (a reference to the Confederate general that raided Washington D.C.) and explained him away as being the personification of Joss' own theory of the universe. As Jubal, it was funny - the philosophical bounty hunter. On Joss' lips, it was painful to hear after a while.

So I'm gonna disagree with you on this one - even though I'm sure you get plenty of those e-mails already. :)

I should revise my comments on commentaries. I should say that commentaries by a group of actors usually sucks. Single actor commentaries aren't so bad. I've been listening to the commentaries on Babylon 5, and whenever it's a group of actors, it's never very informative.

Net Neutrality

From: Matt
Date: Jan 11, 2008 6:18 PM
Subject: Opinion of Comcast story

My two cents:
Granting the cliché that big companies like Comcast are evil and trying to rip everyone off, rate limiting BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer applications on their network is hardly a violation of the public trust for net neutrality. It has nothing to do with discriminating against certain applications and everything to do with delivering a consistent quality of service to all users.

All networks are shared to some extent and there is never enough bandwidth to serve everyone at the same time. If everyone on the segment starting hammering the network at once, it would slow to a crawl and no one would be able to use it. They are merely trying to prevent one group of users from hogging the network at the expense of others. Where they have gone wrong, is selling their product as unlimited and unfettered internet access.

They should have something in their service level agreement about limiting certain services. In any case, I don't think they will be fined a dime. Most consumer based internet service is "best effort". I'm sure their SLA is already riddled with clauses and outs that let's them deliver any quality they want.

I've seen other articles that make such a big deal of this issue, as if they are somehow violating the First Amendment. They prevent residential customers from hosting a whole range of other bandwidth intensive services, but you only hear about peer-to-peer. Let's face it, people want their pirated media as fast as they can get it. Now, if they limited video streaming from Netflix, but not E! (a Comcast company), that would be different.

My reply:

Well, as always activists are needed to take extreme positions, so that the solution ends up somewhere in the middle.  I hate that the system works that way, but it does.  Corporations may not be doing the type of discrimination that you mention yet, but if there isn't a law for it, you can bet that they'll be doing it in the future.  I'm not willing to trust Comcast to "do the right thing" when it comes to Net Neutrality, are you?

Weekly Limerick

The winner of the 2003 and 2006 Geek Limerick contest has volunteered to write a weekly limerick for BBspot. Seth also has a new book coming out that you should take a look at..

From: Seth

Scientists have created a rat heart
Using baby rat cells.
Isn't that smart?
  Maybe soon, it will be
  A new delicacy
If it isn't too high on the fat chart.

Story Options:

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