• Sidetracked

    Love Thy Neighbor

    It’s a sad day when comparison shopping on Amazon.com and other online retailers, I pick the product with no reviews.

    Bots are everywhere, and no online post can be trusted anymore. It only takes one bot to ruin a whole thread, and a few bad threads to ruin a whole forum… in this case, the whole Amazon.com customer review system.

    “BOTS” or “ROBOTS” are just that. Automated programs that scower the web for online forums, chat rooms, and review boards. Usually, they are harmless ads, inserting a little “hello” message and an URL. But when it comes to the uber-professional level, bots get really working. You’ll notice that products with more than 10 customer reviews on Amazon contain reviews that are fishy. You start finding the same exact reviews for multiple similar items, with generic adjectives as “good” and “bad”. These reviews usually name a common trait in all products, like “good size” or “bad design”.

    After a while, it becomes easy to spot bots, but when 50% of the posts are by bots, 40% of the reviews are useless generic “like/dislikes”, and only 10% is legitamate good reviews – it become tedious to comb through all the reviews, and I just give up.

    I’d like to trust people. Cuz trusting people makes life easier by not having to do all the work by myself. But when other people have their own agenda – especially when their agenda is to just waste my time, it becomes a PERSONAL attack on me, not the product. So, if you want to be trusted, you gotta do something trustworthy. But bots don’t care and threrefore I dont’ trust anyone.

  • Sidetracked

    First Impressions: MTM Black Hawk Special Ops Watch

    Did I mention that I like to watch the show “24” starring Keifer Sutherland? Anyway, in that show, his character Jack Bauer wears a watch. Time is very important to Jack.

    The watch he wears is the Black Hawk Special Ops from MTM, an American Watch, Co. company. It is a quartz watch powered by a rechargeable battery. The charger works on induction, without metal contacts – just like those for electric toothbrushes.

    The manufacturer and many fansites would lead you to believe that this watch was made for the military. But I got thinking, no way this is for the military, especially a special operations personnel.

    First of all this watch needs to be recharged. Recharging electronic equipment in the field is a life or death deal. Remember the scene in the movie “Jarhead” where the guy runs for the replacement battery for the radio? And if you ARE a special ops soldier, when the hell are you going to recharge this thing?

    Some 24 fans and watch enthusiasts mentioned that the watch is indestructable and resilient against an EMP from a nuke because of how its battery works. Damnit, if a nuke goes off, it doesn’t matter if the watch stands up to the element, the person wearing it would be burnt to a crisp. And if the EMP nocks out the power, then how do you recharge the watch?

    Misconceptions aside, the Black Hawk IS a nice watch to have. Similar grade to Fossil watches. Made in the USA, so it might not be GREAT, but you know it WORKS. I mean, Jack Bauer wears one! How could you not want one?

  • Sidetracked

    Shape up China

    The Chinese Technology Intelligence Department needs to work a little harder. I know it’s summer and it’s hot out at the Garden, but hey, if the government is going to take responsibility for censoring Internet content, it shouldn’t let viruses and hackers get through either.

    My servers all over the world are being attacked by script kiddies using Chinese proxy services – in Beijing for crying out loud. Come on People, these hackers are taking away productivity that could otherwise increase moneyflow to your country!