[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]
Things to be concerned about. These are issues that will be affecting you in the future in one way or another.. most are things that have been going on for some time, but are still unresolved. If you know about them, and are aware of what they are doing to hinder people, you may decide to help the fight against them.
Communications Decency Act: You may have heard this term in the news recently. The ‘CDA’ is a small part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The primary purpose of the bill is to deregulate the phone and cable industry by removing restrictions currently in place. A sub-section of this bill is labeled the ‘CDA’, and involves censoring several things on the internet. The bill bans anything ‘indecent’, ‘obscene’, ‘lewd’, (and 5 or 6 other adjectives). Consider the term indecent along with the fact the supreme court (or any government agency) has not defined indecent for today’s society. The bill goes on to ban/censor any/all nudity, talk about breast size, urination, sexual intercourse, abortion, as well as the “7 dirty words”. Here are just a few of the topics now considered “illegal”:
- Urinary Tract Disease
- Breast Cancer
- Plastic Surgery
- Rape/Sexual Intercourse
- Abortion Recovery
- Alchohol Anonymous
- Drug Recovery/Addiction
- Large portions of the bible
This also means some our favorite literature is to be banned (again). These topics will give you a small flavor of what will be illegal from here on out. Take into account the bill was signed by a majority in both House and Senate, and immediately signed by the President. Despite the fact the CDA is unconstitutional, it was passed quickly. After this was brought up in public, the president had the balls to say something to the effect of “Since it is unconstitutional, we won’t enforce it”. This just after a State Court suspended the bill.
Bottom Line: The president knowingly and intentionally signed and passed an unconstitutional bill. That is not part of a democracy.
Microsoft: You may not think much of them, or realize the shit they are getting away with. Every day they are breaking laws left and right, yet stand uncontested and continue to do it. False Advertising is their biggest market right now, and the American consumers are eating it up without a second thought. Their current long term goal (if publicly known) would outrage every person using their product because of the purely financial interests behind it. I will touch on two examples.
Windows95: If you go back and try to find some of the original advertisements or technical literature, you would find they never released what they advertised. Once you look past their continued promises for a release date, and past all of the advertising hype showing nothing remotely technical about the new ‘OS’, you are left with one of the most pitiful excuses of a software package released to date. The first major misconception is that Win95 is an Operating System. It isn’t. One quick and dirty way to put this argument to an end. Go in and delete /dos, /windows/command, and your autoexec/config files. If DOS isn’t needed (which it was for 3.x) then get rid of it. The /windows/command directory contains DOS files for spawning a DOS shell, no need for them. Last, the autoexec.bat and config.sys files that we used to use, get rid of those. Boot your computer. Wait.. I guess I should have warned you to back everything up, but I guess I am right. Win95 is NOT an O/S by any means. It is a half 16/32 bit PLATFORM just like Win 3.1 was. It disguises its nature a little better.
Long Term Goal:
1994 – Chicago (Codename for Win 4.0/Dos 7.0)
1995 – Windows95 (Scrapped codename, gave it full name, decided not to release full DOS)
1996 – FixIt Upgrades to 95
1996 – Development of ‘Cairo’
1997 – General release of ‘Cairo’
What is now codenamed ‘Cairo’ is basically Windows NT for the masses. Its current status is apparently everything that Win95 promised to be. As usual, Microsoft will lead the market as being ‘Upgrade Slaves’ requiring you to dump significant amounts of money on underdeveloped, overpriced software.
Bottom Line: You can live without their products. Quit supporting their poor marketing and poor software. Demand better from them if you dish out any money.
America Online: A seemingly harmless company leeching onto the internet bandwagon. Instead of the family oriented online service, you have a company that doesn’t care. It doesn’t care about the customers, what they are doing to the net, or how they are infringing on your rights. Instead of bringing 5 million people on the internet, they bring 5 million computer illiterate people onto the net bombarding the existing network with wasted bandwidth, repetitive questions, and general stupidity. The problem exists from both sides of America Online though.
Users: The stereotype of AOLers being lame, obnoxious, and completely clueless is there for a reason. Every day net users have to suffer through more and more repetitive stupid questions on UseNet, more and more FTP’s, and more pointless mail on mail lists. AOLers typically will not read applicable FAQs regarding newsgroups, services, or netiquette. Instead of lurking on a newsgroup for a few weeks to see the kind of conversation that exists, they will often jump right in with unrelated topics, or litter the groups with “me too” posts. Roughly 50 AOL users a day lose their accounts due to mail/UseNet spams of various types.
The Company: With as many users as there are, you would figure the service they are receiving is good. Instead of superior service, these users are dealing with incompetent technical support, hour long (or more) waits for any kind of help on the phone, constant cases of overbilling (even after account cancellation), slow networks, busy dialins, poor response time on mail to support, and a fascist policy on network behavior. The TOS (Terms of Service) prohibit many kinds of discussion, many words or phrases used in normal conversation, as well as some opinions on different topics. I could go into great detail and make a separate file out of this (which may come later) but I won’t. Go to alt.aol-sucks and read the messages there. They should give you a good idea of some of the crap this company does.
Bottom Line: Don’t support them. They are overpriced, unresponsive, and uncaring about their customers.
Church of Scientology: Not a church by any conventional means, this group has managed to pull off some disturbing events in the past. What started out as a “church” based on L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics book, this group has developed into one of today’s evil sects. To advance in this church requires money… and lots of it. Over time (the whole time dishing out money), you will be given more of the “church secrets” and obtain new “OT” levels placing you in the church hierarchy. There exists a huge online war between scientologists and opponents to the church. Many ex-members spend huge amounts of time fighting the church.
The part to be concerned about comes in their past actions. Anytime the church catches wind of someone posting or publicly releasing some of their ‘secrets’, they will begin harassing that individual. In the past they have used many illegal methods of doing this, in some cases killing the person’s dog. Due to more criticism they have moved to taking anyone and everyone to court over their ‘secrets’. Before going to court, the church has somehow managed to pull some amazing feats of legal work having people’s house searched, computers confiscated, and privacy invaded upon. They continue to do it to this day. Read alt.religion.scientology for more about what is going on.
Bottom Line: What started out as a set of infomercials has turned into an evil money hungry sect. Don’t support them.
These are only three issues which everyone should be aware of. There are countless other events and companies you should be aware of, but they will be addressed later. Make yourself aware of what is going on around you. Find something you believe in and fight for it.