can it, in fact, sink?

I find this message hilarious* in several ways.

(Did you know usenet still existed? Wacky. I'm tempted to tag this with "retrocomputing" on that basis alone.)

From: Moshe Goldfarb <>
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Re: Gnome-screensaver ... nice touch
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 14:38:14 -0500

On Wed, 06 Feb 2008 04:31:51 +0000, [H]omer wrote:

> Usually I just stick with xscreensaver,

Is this what Linux advocacy has sunk to?
Don't you guys have anything more interesting to talk about than patents and screen savers?

Moshe Goldfarb
Collector of soaps from around the globe.
Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:

* Where by "hilarious" I mean "mildly amusing".

Tags: , , ,

25 Responses:

  1. elliterati says:

    Now if you'd just gotten that international soap screensaver running, EVERYONE would be happy.

  2. Man, there's a special brand of kook that only usenet can seem to fully bring out.

  3. pdkl95 says:

    Is it extra "hilarious" given that it seems to be in reference to some "gnome-screensaver" package that supposedly includes some message-leaving feature, almost certainly destroying the security of the locked screen in the process?

    The leave message is nice.

    The stability isn't. I switched to xscreensaver.

    Nevermind - just the gnome idiots suffering from NIH-syndrome again and breaking things.

    • jwz says:

      Yes, "gnome-screensaver" is the latest instance (a new one gets written about every two years) where they see the part where I said DO NOT, REPEAT, DO NOT BLOW HATCH and then they say, ROGER! HATCH BLOWN!

      I mean, this critical front-line piece of security software might not be, actually, you know, even slightly secure in any way, but at least it's skinnable!

      • lionsphil says:

        Did you miss the bit where they fuck about with xscreensaver-demo?

        Ubuntu uses gnome-screensaver by default. I can't actually set up preferences for hacks without cocking about with .desktop files. Apparently this is "easier" and better for me.

        (They claim that they haven't blown the hatch in that FAQ, but I'm not knowledgeable enough re: X to know if that is actually the case.)

        • stu_hacking says:

          I remember thinking, "well, it looks nice... but where do I change the options?"

          Then I read on the gnome FAQs that the lack of customisation was a security feature.

      • ywwg says:

        If a magic series of keyboard commands or mouse wiggles is discovered that can unlock gnome-screensaver like your doc says, I would think they'd fix the bug. But saying "it's not secure because I said so" is not the same as proving a vulnerability.

        Besides, I get the sense that most security attacks these days are coming from the network, not rogue employees logging on to each other's systems.

        • lionsphil says:

          You've apparently never worked in a open-plan lab before.

          If any part is obsolete, it's the idea of saving screens from burn-in, which is why hacks are generally just there to hide the underlying screen and look pretty these days. But the whole "don't unlock because you choked on some unexpected race condition deep in GTK+" thing still counts.

          If you don't need your screen locked, you shouldn't care at all about how un-GTK+ the password box is, as you should never see it. You've set xscreensaver to just display the hack, not to ever lock, right?

    • lafinjack says:

      Your Portal icon reminds me of this airport video:

  4. npietran says:

    Collector of soaps from around the globe
    Maintainer of blog about linux idiots I run into on the internets

  5. roninspoon says:

    Here's hoping that Moshe Goldfarb is an lj user who reads this and decides to respond.

  6. artkiver says:

    As if it wasn't obvious he was a troll by his sig?

    Still - even parenthetically mocking the existence of usenet relative to screensavers when most monitors in the last decade have had an energy saver mode is kind of like throwing rocks in glass houses. Because at least nzb's make usenet a great source for warez still if nothing else, while screensavers are arguably no longer even that good for eyecandy as things cranked out of the 64k demoscene these days.

    But really - I'm sure you learned about not feeding trolls on usenet, why add to it by linking it on your blog. Trolling hasn't changed remarkably even before the existence of computers and people using them to bitch.

    • jwz says:

      Let me get this straight, you came here to complain about trolls, and also to tell us that screensavers are useless?

  7. ciphergoth says:

    Clearly, this was posted a decade ago with the wrong datestamp, and some buggy NNTP implementation has sat on it 'till the datestamp date and then coughed it up again for us all to re-read.

  8. pixel_juice says:

    This reminds me of a "bug" someone found with Webcollage on Ubuntu. She said "SOMEHOW" the screensaver on her Ubuntu family desktop was showing graphic sexual pictures. Huh. Surprise! There's nakkid folks on teh intarwebs! Wow! Breakthrough!

    Considering you have to INSTALL webcollage on the default Ubuntu...I'm pretty sure she just wanted to make a stink. Sheesh.

  9. rjhatl says:

    Ah, memories. A decade ago I was Usenet Kook Of The Month Votewrangler in a.u.k., and I was knee deep in trollers and kooks. For some reason, I actually found it fun back then. Reading his blog and imagining how lame his other trolling on Usenet must be.... I can't believe how much time I wasted toying with idiots like that.

    Still, Usenet is useful for MP3 binaries. But that's about it these days.

    • I stopped using Usenet for porn binaries as soon as WAN bandwidth got to the point that I could just use HTTP.

      But I still use usenet for discussion. Quite a few groups are still active and useful/interesting, although the net as a whole is pretty moribund.

  10. rbradakis says:

    Some of us Bastards are happy in our little niche usenet groups. But most of usenet is a post-apocalyptic (that is, http) wasteland.

    But for the love of all that's holy, don't go in the advocacy groups! The nuclear fire is still burning in there!