Tuesday, June 27, 2006

One blog bites the dust

Ama announced that the blog section of her site would be commuted to Xanga, doing so in the form of a final rant satirising Mike and me.
A note to those who read and liked the rants and anyone else who's gonna bother reading this,

Thanks to certain somebody(ies), we will not feature the rants section anymore since I can't tolerate stupid...><><>< stuff from happening. And I swear if I get complaints about my rants and raves on xanga, I'll start drawing graphic fanarts about said person's death and posting it at dA, which I am allowed to do with a warning for graphic material. In fact, I'll probably do that anyway for this...>< stuff, and post it in the IRL section or something. It won't be so graphic, or anything, but you'll get the point. Who knows...maybe I'll change this page into a page for Demons of Metropolis, another NC17 fic...ooooo, what a kick in the ass that'll be. Oh noes!! I said ass! I'm a bad person because I'm expressing myself in a way I'm comfortable with! No way! Who ever heard of freedom of speech? I mean really...if you get to say whatever you want on your blog, why can't I? It's the internet and this isn't the forum. Separate it, please. Hey, Umi, DWR, Jo, Chelc, SM, Orion, Swifty, Kiori, and Alopec...thank you for CS GGG. I guess without you, there'd be plenty more to complain about here besides these...><>someone's bound to come across it and rant about what I said at their own blog. But if i never see it, I guess I couldn't care and even if I did see it, I'm sure i would have run into a warning or two, in which case I won't bring it to their attention that I'm a hypocrite and don't like what they said and rant some more about what they said about what I said. It's a never ending cycle...and why are you reading this? This is perhaps the longest rant I've ever had without outside help and curse words, which I'd love to use, but seeing as you'd be a complete...><><><>< *it rhymes with itch* about, and if you do, you cause people a lot of trouble. Perhaps if you "itched" out of large public, like I did (as you did too, at first), then we would not have this problem. Personally, still, I don't really care about how negatively you feel about what I said, nor do you probably care about how incredibly angry I am at you for making this a larger deal than it had to be. Still, one has to wonder, why? I have to say, after I had "itched" about what you said, I never took another trip to your blog again...yet, like a child, you kept on coming back for more fight when evidently you were wrong. And you still are wrong about every point you made, which I'm not going to go into detail AGAIN because I'm sick and tired of it. I won't change what I said, because I can't change the past. You already know what it said, so why should I even bother? I know you were wrong about what you said, and I had a lot of right to voice my opinion the way I wanted to do it just as you had. I'll just be on my merry way about now, possibly not because I'll probably think of something else to say, and just say that I hope that this is finally over, because, as I've said, I'm sick and tired of it. There's no point to continuing...you probably got what you wanted and had me get so annoyed that I completely deleted the whole page I enjoyed very much. ...><...I had something to say, but use your imagination. I have to say that you really haven't fixed your problem, you only moved it. As a mod, I get stressed out, and I need a place to vent it in writing, yes, online. It's not on the forums, so quit "itching" and let me be with whatever fantasy land you think I live in. Whatever...keep to yourself I'll keep to myself. If you have anymore problem, please...hesitate to contact me about it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Well into summer

Right, I've pretty much sensed that I have to update this to keep up with James' impressive record of blogging and the usual LiveJournal records set by others as well as find a crafty way to get the ads to pay (James had his Google AdSense account banned since he used methods to steer others to the ads — 'Please keep clicking every six hours', folks?) I've vowed to make posts more regular. Hopefully I'll be able to post enough to close the nagging five-day gap that usually separates the old post and the next exciting one.

What I regret not reporting on is my experience thus far with Windows Live Messenger with Messenger Plus! Live. I must admit that after four months of having to live without it I eventually got used to having long Messenger queues and restrictions on the length of messages. Thankfully, all that has been brought back, and I've finally been able to figure out how to create coloured names using the software. Even before then, though, those that had the time to notice would have seen Dark Mightyena and me staging a status bar and signature war — probably enough to admit that in the midst of having a pair on the Community as a publicity stunt (after I knocked it before) there was a mistress.

The online side of things aside, it's time to examine what's going on in the real world. Although summer has officially arrived, the new pattern that my workplace has been sticking me to has decided to scrap the tradition of hiring me at night, instead giving me morning shifts — this ensures that I don't have to painfully switch from the regime of getting up early and submitting to SuperCheats before going to school to sleeping late with little hours and back again two months later. Over the past three days, I've been given a challenge that everyone else has passed up: train two cashiers at once. A set of twins had been shunted from the deli department and were instead assigned to the front for reasons unknown, and from that point I had had to keep them from going insane enough to fistfight each other by strictly regulating who gets to work the register and who gets to pack (their mother would much rather prefer that they bag, as I had met her today). Today, though, a series of confusions and discrepancies in the computer had led to me running back and forth, exchaging items as I went along, and having to reteach how to handle WIC checks and most produce codes.

Seeing as work pretty much follows the pattern of school now, I'm left with almost nothing until I get home, which is going to an arcade that opened recently (the previous one at the end of the island was foreclosed due to the owner's involvement with a shooting and drugs gang). Yesterday I had been able to meet the old crowd from the northern end of the island as well as a girl that Mike had pushed in to request a map of the place (I'm known for drawing road maps). Today, though, I was tortured there by a girl that appears at the store occasionally with a family that usually buys $300 or thereabout of groceries.

...Well, that was an attempt to liven up the day. Seeing as I'm in a routine that'll be monotonous from now until 18 July, when I head up to Rhode Island for the next youth summit, I guess we all will have to live with the five-day gaps. Or will we?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Messenger Plus! 4: Part 2

Further to the assertion that the Messenger Plus! add-on for Windows Live Messenger will be released in June, we can expect something great on Saturday.

They did it! Microsoft finally released Windows Live Messenger publicly today. After the longest period of public testing for a MSN Messenger client, Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger 8) is going to be a pleasant surprise for old time Messenger users. The interface of this new version has been completely redesigned, it's more simple, cleaner, and yet more powerful than anything else MSN has released so far. You'll have to get used to talk about Windows Live though and not MSN (although I suspect most of us will keep on calling the client "MSN" for a long time).

Because of the new direction taken by Microsoft, Messenger Plus! was also completely redesigned. It took 8 months of full time work but your favorite add-on is now ready to go public as well. The new version of Messenger Plus! (4.00), distributed under the name "Messenger Plus! Live", will be officially released this Saturday, June 24th, at 23:40 GMT. The new web site will also be put online at the same time, and a last post on this site will be made to start the transition period. These are exciting days for anybody interested in Microsoft's Messenger clients and its surrounding communities, make sure you don't miss any associated event!

See you soon at msgpluslive.net :).
So there you have it. When the add-on is finally released, it'll be on a new site, Messenger Plus! Live.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Old PC, new PC

The underlying matter of the Wikipedia situation last month, as brought back to me when Paul himself contacted me yesterday, was not a simple matter of spammers going off and retaliating, as they had done when TPL formed out of a coup on PKMN.NET. Rather, it was about the Pokémon Community's past, one that many members have tried to hold on to in the midst of what seems to be the new administration.

If you look at the Pokémon Community forum index, you'll notice that there is a board called 'Pokémon Community Reference Library'. (Of course, you can also get there by clicking here.) This library actually is an archive of the old Pokémon Community board with most posts as of the migration still intact. (The board was commuted to SMF for archival purposes as, from what an administrator tells me, it was impossible to transfer a licence to the new board and leave the old vBulletin board up.) Here, according to conversations I attended with people that have become disgruntled in the face of the current administration, was what was often referred to as the 'soul' of PC — back then, they say, there was an administration that respected others on their time at the board. Indeed, the fact that more than 1,000 members were immediately shunted from this old board to the current vBulletin one (and a look at the member roster will match the ID numbers of the members there to the numbers on the new board, creating the illusion that the accounts were transposed) has caused a massive rift between the members shunted in to the ones that have just arrived.

Seeing as I joined in September 2005 (two years after the migration) and have no real experience with the old board, I can't really judge on how that board was; rather, I've had to interview mods and old members to get a view of it. But Paul was a remnant of the old board and views the administration as a shadow of its former self. Shinin, with whom the administration had a war about the Wikipedia article (and recently caught being Zone on PC), called the mods 'n00bish'. Even Kahoshi, who joined in May 2004 under Suzu (there were no name changes allowed then), was enamoured by the old life and eventually resigned after Kura was promoted to moderator on the Daily Chit Chat merely because she couldn't cope with the current administration what with Chairman Kaga on indefinite leave, so Kura got control of the Other Chat area in her place. With that being said, this distinction between an 'old' and 'new' PC is awful to say the least. These people don't change. They merely have carried on about how good the old PC had been and how incompetent the moderators today supposedly are.

I myself remember when Super Cheats went through the stage. Weeks after the forums opened, it came under attack by Gaming Update members — as it turned out, there had been a forum on the site before, as well as on PSXGamer (which was the most active out of the lot), and one on Gaming Update. The Super Cheats board in that day merged with the other forums and eventually became the Gaming Update board. As a result, PSXGamer's clientele has been sourly low, and when Super Cheats acquired forums once more it was regarded as a hotbed for immature spammers, which prophetically started to develop after the attacks stopped. Since then, we've had mod fights and even a massive dirt bomb shower by Ilovemissyelliott and Bleepman, both of which carried out the attack using Bleepland as a base after Dave criticised their administration and their comments on Super Cheats over there.

Here's something to chew on: Does it really matter how the forums used to be run? This is today, not yesterday; unless you manage it civilly, you won't restore anything. Plus which, you'll have to cope with anyone who becomes mod or is promoted once the years wear on. Anyone who is clinging on to the old PC needs to grow up and adapt or leave. While this is defence for Jeroen against Imperial Dragon, unthinkable in the past, it's also a little message I have for Paul and Shinin themselves.

Update: Kahoshi has been removed as the focus of this article due to a contradiction of conveyed opinion here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


...from two institutions.

Firstly, today is the last day of school, my junior year. As I stated in the entry regarding the start of summer, the end of the year heralds more hours at the store (a shift this Saturday starts at store opening at 6.30 am and ends at 12.30pm) as well as a populace coming in from the mainland to sunbathe, have a go at the new arcade, and participate in the seafood and sailing contests popular all over the town. However, my predictions for having a girlfriend as stated at the start of the year have all but failed; there is a girl in Galloway Township that I may have access to if I visit my friend that lives nearby, as well as an older girl from Jersey City (remember?), but as far as the school or town goes, I'm still single. Of course, though, there's no reason for me to cry about that; what with work, another youth summit in a month (and I'll be blogging that!) and moderation duty, I can't expect to go on a full dating scheme.

Now would be the time to fill in the tiny gap between the summer post and now. Two weeks past, a group of freshmen were invited to our classes and made to follow around some sophomores and juniors. The Galloway girl I just mentioned was assigned to another person, but in my uncle's class I showed her around the problems assigned for review for the final and she decided to tail me instead without dismay from the original host. Then, the following week, the actual finals took place; I did not get my Algebra final back, I scored 90 percent in the Network+ exam, I scored 90 percent in the Physics final, and I scored 93 percent for the health final. Now we just have to amuse ourselves with Call of Duty on the Network+ course room.

And yes, there's a second institution that has yet to put me out. The thread that encapsulated Treehouse saga on Serebii.net devolved into you-know-who mentioning my name in her deviation of the topic to express her distaste for my comments on her blog.

Dragonfree: Okay, I'll admit right away that I only looked at this out of curiosity about the sex. I despised the last NC-17 fic I read here, so I thought I might as well look at this one too and see if it was any better.

Now, I first looked at the first page, where you announced that there wouldn't be sex right away. I nodded to myself and flipped to the last page, but while scrolling past the comments I couldn't help being a bit interested. Hey, mysterious islands, people dying and symbolic stuff - clearly this fic had a plot. So I went back to the first page and decided to read the whole thing.And I've got to say I was pleasantly surprised. The idea was very intriguing - heck, I can just picture a good horror movie with exactly this kind of plot. And I love good ideas. As I've already said, it was what made me want to read the whole thing in the first place, and what kept me in throughout. (I had had the ending spoiled, admittedly, but I enjoyed it just the same.)The execution, however, I could pick at in many ways, and if you don't mind I think I will pick at it.

Firstly, some nasty word confusions in a couple of places - I remember a dozen "lied" instead of "lay" ("lied" always means "told a lie"), at least one "their" instead of "there" and some "breath" instead of "breathe" ("breathe" is the verb, "breath" is the noun). Maybe you should get a beta reader or something.

Secondly, I thought you overhyped the sex - not in the fic itself, but in the thread. You literally went on and on and on before and after every chapter about how there was no sex yet and how there would be sex in April and how we were all waiting for April and how you had written the first contestshipping sex at the forums and blah blah blah. It really ruined the plot when you were acting like the plot was just some sort of a frame around that April sex scene. Didn't you say yourself in the end that the sex was just to show how much they loved each other? Sure, to a point it's understandable as a joke, but sorry, I can't understand how any respectable author could write a fic with an extremely creepy, symbolic plot and then not only let the one little unimportant sex scene in the middle be hyped up like this, but in fact actively participate in the hyping and be proud of having written the first Contestshipping porn on the forums. You should never write sex and make it seem important to you that it is sex. A successful insertion of a sex scene is one that makes it seem like a natural part of the story which is not any more noteworthy than any other natural parts of the story. You did that just fine in the story, really, but it bothered me how much attention you seemed to want to draw to the fact that this fic contains sex. Sex doesn't deserve all that attention. When you draw so much attention to it, the story starts seeming like something written to turn people on, and personally I really don't have a particularly high opinion of that sort of fic in any literary context. (They're fine if you're horny and just want something to wank to, but there is no other reason for anybody to want to read them, which is why you really shouldn't want that label.)

Now, thirdly, some style issues. In many parts the sentences seemed too simple and short - just sentence after sentence of "This was like this. This was also like this. He did this. She did that." (I'm kind of the opposite, though - my sentences tend to be overly long and complicated, so maybe I'm not the best person to judge on that.) It got on my nerves. . . .

Generally, description should be stuffed into as few sentences as grammatically possible. One of those masters of description (definitely not me, so I won't even attempt it) could probably fit more or less all that information into one sentence instead of your four. In some places, it's appropriate to have short sentences, but you did it way too often in places where it was not appropriate at all.

Fourthly (and lastly, unless I forgot something), the fic seemed a little rushed. There were just so many things I felt could have been elaborated upon. Really, this fic could have been much, much longer. For one thing, I wanted to see the beginning of May and Drew's relationship on the island, because that was probably really the most important part of it - first kiss, first "whoa-look-what-just-appeared-in-the-treehouse" moment, and the confusion of being on the island in the first place. They could have been developed a great deal better if you had just included that. Also, symbolism is generally something you either get when you read the fic or you realize when the author mentions it, "Oh, of course it meant that!" Some of the stuff you explained after finishing the story really didn't give me that sort of feeling - you didn't hint at it in the story in any way that ordinary readers could spot. For example, the thing about the island being a "state of mind" and with Drew having "offended" it and made a part of the island. It didn't make sense to me either how May was the one who burned the flowers when she was destined to live. In a way it would have been more clever if May had been the one who died because of the whole accepting and not accepting the things that happened on the island, actually - it's a bit icky to promote just accepting what's happening to you and would make more sense if she were somehow 'deceived' by the island and ended up being the one who perished while the one who was cautious and wary of what the island had to offer would have escaped from it, but meh. I think if I hadn't already found out that Drew ended up dead, I'd probably have thought something like that would happen in the end to May, exactly because she so easily accepted the strange happenings on the island. (Incidentally, their attitude towards the strange things on the island seems contradicted by how they thought of the outside world - there it was Drew who just accepted being on the island while May wanted out. That could be interpreted as irony to hint at May, the one who missed the outside world, being the one who dies, and Drew, who didn't really mind being on the island as long as he was with her, ending up alone in the real world.) You could have added many more hints and such to the story, more weird things happening on the island, etc. It would have been nice to elaborate upon whether the other people who went to the island while unconscious in the room had also experienced something with the island appearing to want to get them together (naturally, only to rip them apart again). I think the story of all the island's "victims" should have been told a little later to keep the suspense a bit longer, too.

But that being said, I did enjoy it, if just for the idea. I have a soft spot for cursed things, character deaths and mysterious forces more powerful than the main characters.

Encyclopika Quote Dragonfree:Secondly, I thought you overhyped the sex - not in the fic itself, but in the thread.

And now you know why I'm incredibly p*ssed off with people like Crystal Walrein and Sunshine188 who say they had absolutely NO warning about it before the chapter. >.> I did it so that I wouldn't run into that problem, but evidently, I was wrong. Next time, I'll just warn them on the first page and see how that goes.

I have to admit that I was also nervous and excited because I was writing about something I had never done before and based most of it on a clip from one of Jo-Jo's un-posted fics and two movies. That's not a lot, so I was anticipating myself, really while trying to strain all those who didn't want to read it, but I guess only true reviewers like yourself actually read EVERYTHING in a fic thread, so that doesn't work I've now learned. -_-

Quote Dragonfree: (They're fine if you're horny and just want something to wank to, but there is no other reason for anybody to want to read them, which is why you really shouldn't want that label.)

Ow. Okay, I'm not. And I don't want that label, I wanted to write about something I had never written before for experience. I was merely trying to warn people because I didn't want the bull I had gotten anyway from CW and Sunshine. And then afterward, I think the "good job"'s had gotten to my head, so I was proud of myself that I had pulled it off. Anyway, we're here to review the fic itself, not that things I did four months ago. I can't change the way I felt about my new accomplishment then, all I can do is change it for the better next time.

Anyway, thanks for reviewing my fic and giving me some pointers. I'll definately use them with my next fic Demons of Metropolis which I really want to be the best fic I ever wrote. And I'll take my time, only warn once about the explict content, and focus.

Dragonfree: The more I think about it, the more I think this doesn't really deserve the NC-17 rating. Yeah, there's sex in it, but it's a) not explicitly described, and b) not the main focus of the story. As far as I know, that only constitutes for an R. (There's a bunch of R-rated movies with a plot that include sex scenes without actually showing you tab A in slot B - off the top of my head, I remember The Matrix Reloaded.) I can understand Crystal Walrein's point about damaging the site's reputation when it comes to stuff like A Day Inside May because that's something you can actually call a porn fic, but this just isn't one.

Encyclopika: I know, good point. But before I started writing it, Kiori and I discussed it and she and I agreed that we should put it at NC17, as I'll do again for Demons of Metropolis. It's just safer and easier I find. =\ Though you're right.

Nathan Madien: I agree with you on that. Ama's fanfic had sex, but A.) it was very soft and B.) it didn't drown the rest of the story. I've read A Day Inside May, and I felt it would've been better posted on MediaMiner than in the Serebiiforum. I mean, it was okay but it went overboard a bit and just drowned the rest of the story.

Me: That's quite enough.

Following my rendezvous with Torched Chicken in which he says he posted a thread about porn tolerance on this board in your mod discussion area, I asked him to convey to those reading my apology for mishandling the situation.

I do realise that there is a sharp contrast between A Day Inside May and Treehouse Saga. The former was dedicated most of the way to a graphic depiction of a sexual encounter between Ash and May and, from what I recall, an attempt to cover it up from her parents. That was something that, even if it was well written, as I must admit it was from reading it myself, was not something that I would personally like to see my younger siblings or, in future, my own children reading out of curiosity. I do give credit to him, however, for signifying in the thread title that it was an NC17 fic, yet the fact remains that sex was essentially what it was. As for Treehouse Saga, things were not as severe, seeing as the actual sex encompassed one chapter and there were instead some playful banter and an emergency room drama scene occupying the rest of the story. I admit that from the first post of this thread I was looking for a point in which I would be able to report this as evidence that there still existed blatant tolerance of pornography in this forum, and I jumped at Drew and May being bare-chested in February (save for her bra) and reported it on my blog accordingly.

With that distinction being made, I want to repeat my apology to Encyclopika for orchestrating the row on her own blog, which started when the ________ administrator ________ wrote an attack on her presonal response to my review of Treehouse Saga. Although my act there was immature and miscalculated, I still am fearful that you're using the very attitude you have on your blog — even if it's to vent on others, which is actually a violation of Freewebs' terms of service — to deal with miscreants in this forum or wherever else you have such power; do you really expect me to respect a moderator that would tell someone to kill him or herself if he or she could not handle a situation, rather than just go up to that person and set things straight?

Looking back at the fic itself and what Dragonfree said — she's read my blog, she can tell you how livid I was — I realise that I misjudged you as far as the content of the fic goes. However, I will never forgive you, myself, for your reaction. You devolved into one of the flamers that you, as a moderator here, are expected to defend the forums against. You insulted me, as well as my friends, and made a bare attempt meanwhile to reiterate the outline of the story. Still stuck in your head was the knowledge, which I regret to admit, that the forum can't necessarily be held liable for what's posted. Next to this, though, you and the moderators that support showing porn fics here are taking advantage of the fact with blatant disregard for the visitors. Tell me, how many will read any precautions you may have before they move onto the story? And tell me, if the slogan for this place is 'The Place For Everyone', is it limited to those that are mature enough to handle material like this? I surely hope not. This forum is to be as open to younger audiences as much as they are to people your age, and you must respect that fact.

Encyclopika: Crystal Walrein - I'm fine with you not respecting me for what I posted at my site, but at my site I'm not a mod, I'm regular old me...so having respect for me as a mod here has nothing to do with it. And even though you didn't go as far as I did, you still weren't too nice and very judgemental to something you didn't look further into, which had me loose my temper since I waste plenty of space warning people about things, only to end up with this problem. =
. . . . Yes...HERE... [sic] which I do no matter what character, person, or ship/idea is being flamed, even if I myself agree with the flamage. I do my job, so what I do somewhere else has no connection here at all except it's about it.

. . . . Actually, we all said tough nugs to those people, to tell you the blunt truth. ^^;; No one can be responsible for that except the reader him or herself. We mods and admins expect everyone to read and follow rules and precautions so that we don't have to deal with stuff like this...we can't help it if some person is too lazy to read the warnings. Next time, I'll only warn once since it only gives respectable readers like Dragonfree the wrong impression.

And anyway, this is no place to discuss what happened at my rants section or the general posting of explict romance...you're supposed to be discussing the fic at hand. So, stop going off-topic with this. Really. As I said in the rants section I don't want any emails, PMs, emails, or posts about it. How I was is how I was, but if you'd like, I'll move the personal ones onto Xanga or something and keep the rants for and about the general public.

Oh goodie, I can't WAIT for Demons of Metropolis to come out.
Case lost. I had started to realise then and there that, even if I had pushed further and had gotten small support from people like Nathan Madien and the Sunshine guy Ama failed to clarify, I now had no voice there. What with the previous blog entries against SPP, sending a spammer out, and my personal attacks on Ama, everything I had done would be grounds for a ban as there is a policy against criticism of the site in any form by members. Now, my stance has not changed — it's only now that I was forced to admit that they were not worth dealing with. I now feel sorry that I ever turned to them after leaving PUK just because there was a rivalry between the two for a copyright snafu, and I admit I was a fool for ever trying to deal with the arrogant dogs who act as mods on one front and decide to vent on others elsewhere. What's more, she persists to propose a new fic (Demons of Metropolis) that seems as if it'll reach a level rivalling that of A Day Inside May!

As a result, I've decided to turn in everything I ever said about them here, as well as bring back my affiliation with the spammer, and have a mod liaise to ban me from there. It's been no use arguing — why should I step into the way of rabid bulldogs that are out to attack anyone who opposes them? I've been mauled, my reputation ruined there if ever I had one. All because social skills count zero there, just the mechanical process of closing and locking threads.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fill in the blanks: Part 1

Nope, no blanks on my Network+ exam.

Rather, it was a PKMN.NET administrator that summed up two moderators on Serebii.net that had views that clashed with his and mine, one of which I previously covered.

A few weeks ago I witnessed a moderator (from which forums I won't say) tell somebody I know to "go and kill themselves," purely because of a difference in agreement. She later claimed it was justified since she said it "in a rant". Well for christs sake woman, what difference does it matter in what context in was used? Telling someone to kill themselves because you can't handle a difference in opinion to that that you hold is just downright immature. I believe anybody who is a moderator on forums should set an example in maturity - of course I only have a say in that on PKMN.NET, but that's my opinion, and given a chance to moderate at PKMN.NET, this person wouldn't last a week. I'm assuming she was made a moderator for a very worthwhile reason, but aside from drawing skills, I'm astonished as to what that might be. Do public relations skills count for nothing anywhere else?

Remember? Ama — the moderator Encyclopika — retaliated at my rant against Treehouse Saga, a May and Drew orgy. The rant was followed by a clash on her guestbook (which she later commuted to a Xanga page) in which I informed her that many on my side were disgusted with her story — albeit conservative when paired with Cybercubed's — but she presented comments from SPP members, none of which were members elsewhere from what I could tell, in an attempt to counter me. She then proceeded to counter Mike, who himself started the fight on the guestbook.

A year ago, a different moderator - actually from the same forum as the previously mentioned one - started complaining on PKMN.NET because I had locked one of her topics for breaking the rules - the three word rule, which states that all posts must have more than three words, or unless they are considered VERY important to the topic in question, will result in removal of the post in question. Also in the relevant board, the Sprite Fan Art board, it was stated that due to consistant breakage of the rules, failure to follow them may result in locked topics and disabled posting rights.The moderator in question was not particularly happy at having her topic locked, and set about asking why we had the three word rule. We justified it, but she still didn't agree to it's inclusion. A difference of opinion is fine, of course, but in order to register at PKMN.NET you tick a box saying you agree to follow the rules we set, thus everybody must follow it whether they like it or not. She didn't like this one bit, and thus got help from some other moderators from the forums she works at in arguing against us - admittedly I lost my temper at the way they could not grasp the simple concept that broken rules = locked topics and started resorting to immature insults. The fact remains though that I can look back and see I was wrong to do that - this moderator seems completely oblivious to different viewpoints, and after I (rightly, in my opinion) claimed she couldn't stand to have anything in any way but her own, her departing message was "I didn't want things my own way. I just wanted them to make sense."

This was the case of Dragonfree, whom I dealt with via PM on Serebii.net following the incident. She had a dispute with the administration after she was expelled from Sprite fan Art for posting offences. Now, because I didn't want to get into a severe tangle with SPP when the offence occurred, and I was fresh out of TPL and didn't want to be seen in the situation, I did not record this on the blog. Unlike many of the moderators at SPP, however, she's generally disagreed with much of the policy when it comes to criticising other sites, as she is a devoted member of the Pokémon Community and has her own site, and from conversations she scorned both sex fics but maintained nonetheless, correctly as I must admit as it goes for even my blog, that Serebii.net cannot take direct responsibility for the offense of viewers as long as it does not openly condone posting such fics (which is the case at her site).

Update: Dragonfree, Mike, and I had talks following the publication of this article and have settled upon an apology.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Messenger Plus 4?

The fourth major update to the popular Messenger Plus! add-on has been promised in the wake of more people getting invitations to use Windows Live Messenger, which was previously listed as version 8.0 to the antiquated MSN Messenger programme — four months after I first downloaded the beta, but even back then Patchou had been promising an update to be compatible with the new beta system.

Although Windows Live Messenger presented three new interfaces, shown right in order of update, and included the idea of built-in virus scanning and creation of folders dedicated to file exchanges, it still did not attain anything that Messenger Plus! added to Messenger 7, such as coloured usernames, boss alerts, and condensation of conversation windows into one (although each conversation would still count as one session in the Session layer of the OSI model — just had to say that for Mr Leitz!). Still, I liked it, although I had been checking frantically for news of an update to the Plus! software.

A few days ago, a talk with a PC mod about failing to set her status to Away whilst she was sleeping spurred me to look for an update, and I found this article titled 'Messenger Plus! Live Public Beta?'.

First, notice the question mark at the end of the title :). For those of you who are wondering about Messenger Plus! Live, here are some news. I just came back from a "pre-release vacation", having spent the last 6 months in my office with Visual Studio, I have to say this break really helped me to clear my mind and have a fresh look on the software. Microsoft doesn't seem to be willing to release Windows Live Messenger anytime soon and as more and more people are now using the public beta of the new Messenger, I get more and more feedback about "when Plus! will be compatible with Messenger 8?!?". Simply put, the answer is: soon. One of the latest internal beta versions of Plus! was leaked, some of you are already enjoying it (you shouldn't :p) and from what I've heard, I think the software is now ready for public distribution. It's still missing some bits and pieces but I can't hold the release forever.

So, here's the current situation: whether Microsoft releases Windows Live Messenger or not, you can expect Messenger Plus! Live to be available publicly within the next 30 days. It will keep a "beta" label as long as Messenger is not final but you can still expect a pretty reliable product. The internal beta testers have done a fantastic job squashing bugs, giving their suggestions, and the software is now almost feature complete. We are still working on the new web site so I guess it will be released as "beta" along with the software.

With all the preparation, an important event almost got forgotten: the 5th anniversary of Messenger Plus!. I'd say 5 years is not bad for a software that was originally meant to last no more than 6 months :). Thank you all for still referring the add-on to your friends and colleagues, Messenger Plus! wouldn't exist without this kind of support. You may like to know that since its creation, the software has been downloaded/installed more than 150,000,000 times, with the current rate being 190,000 installs a day! It's nice to see the evolution of the statistics (I've kept them from the beginning), they almost never stopped progressing since "The MSN Messenger Plus! Extension" was first released on the 19th day of May 2001. At that time, almost nobody cared about MSN Messenger, dedicated web sites were just starting to appear (mess.be was probably the first serious one) and the add-on scene was simply inexistent. What started as a side project to pass time is now a worldwide Messenger add-on used by millions of people everyday; I'm very proud of it but I'm still wondering how it came to what it is today, especially when I look back at the code of the first version (brrrr, gives me chills to think anybody would want to install that on their computer).

Soon, the fourth major update of Messenger Plus! will be distributed to all of you under the new name "Messenger Plus! Live" and I hope it will keep on serving some purposes for the year(s?) to come. I don't know when or how this adventure will end but there's one thing I'm sure of: it's been a hell of a ride and it was worth all the problems and sleepless nights that came (and will come) along the way.

So what can we expect? A month is an attractive amount of waiting time, but the number of things Patchou may want to add in addition to what's offered for MSN Messenger probably will outweigh the promised amount of time. But it's good to dream, yes?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Happy Birthday James!

Today it would be idle to recognise the birthday of one of the most influential people in my life. Not a parent — rather, the owner of PKMN.NET himself, James O'Malley. He is nineteen today, a step up from coming of age.

A brash man of Leicestershire, he can speak in great spurts, as shown in his blog. Usually these large spurts of text are about how certain parties in the UK and US have been corrupted, his Peter Florida exploits, and his knack for taking on the quiz machines at the local pub. Most notable of all, of course, is the audacity he has to ask every member of Parliament whether they liked Pepsi or Coke, and also to bluntly ask for money to power the blog.

Best of all is his flagship site, PKMN.NET. Ut's a haven for liberals, as well as those that have come a long way to seek information on the Pokémon games detailed therein. It's comedy value and an informative source, straight from the brain of a university student.

Enough of the fluff. Boiling it down to the main point of the day, happy birthday, James!