Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Lazerzap leaves Inspeak

I received an email from one of inspeaks many X helpers today.
Seems another one of my X Team members with inspeak has thrown in the towel.
I would like to share it with you.. (Well bits of it)
It pretty well echo's my thoughts on inspeak.

To:admina@inspeak.com, adminc@inspeak.com, admine@inspeak.com, admink@inspeak.com, admins@inspeak.com

>hello inSpeak i hope all is going good and great with u guys ... just
>wanted to let u guys know that i am quiting from inspeak .. kind of
>didnt turn out the way i was expecting it to be ... to much going on
>that program nathing is clear as far as i have understod and searched
>the internet about the compeny ... so i will realy appriceat that u
>remove my satatus as being a staff ... i appricate for u guys geing me
>the chance .... have a great life
>PS: sxxxx u bXXXh i personally kind of had it with ur fXXXXXg
>attitude.......... oh yeah finally one more thing ... this time dont
>try to tell any one that u fired some one ... coz this is going to
>every one and lots of ppl are going to forward this to so many others
>:P ... pxxx on u mxxx jxxxxx

Now this helper was always highly professional. Always offered his best whenever asked. But it appears he finally dropped his load.

I can understand this.

After representing inspeak for over 12 months. I have a few stories I can tell.
But unlike this helper. Who was obviously in a hurry to get his message out.

I am going to take my time. Lets see if we can make the inspeak administration aware of where (In my opinion..) they made their mistakes.

Now you may wonder how I come to have this perspective. In answer to this.. Read On..
As a longterm user of Paltalk I had become disillusioned with a Helper on Paltalks ability to enter rooms invisibly.. Stories were rife on abuses of Helper privelages.
etc etc...

I listened into many Paltalk "Help" Lobbies and determined that helper policy was determined by individual helper attitude. As an X customer service officer I cringed as some Paltalk helpers gave out "red dots" (Disallowing communications to the user) before giving a user a chance to explain their circumstances.

Basically I saw and realized that Paltalk were loosing customers quickly because of the way they chose to handle customer service. After experiencing this for about 3 months.

I determined to find a better Paltalk. My search eventually found me inspeak. What initially attracted me to inspeak was the audio quality.

What also attracted me was the thought of becoming part of a team that had customer service as its primary concern.

I was led to believe that inspeak had the highest regard for customer service. But after experiencing numerous service faults that all revolved around unavalable or non-communicative top level staff.

inspeak help relies on having a minimum of 1 red admin present to fully operate.
Orange helpers do a triple act of tech/social support while basicaly acting as a secretary to whatever red admin is attending. An Orange admin without a red admin can not do anything beyond offering technical or social advise to assist the user.

Many times as an Orange helper I have been "caught short" without a red admin when needed. Resulting in upset users. Who give up in dismay at being unable to contact the administration - for hours - and hours.. I have witnessed this many times. Many times..

Users who needed a room name changed because it contained swearing or detremental references to other users on the inspeak system. They leave inspeak by the room full (3-20+) All because a red admin could not be located after many many hours. Is it any wonder the users find inspeak support unacceptable?

These (and other) examples have made me realize that inspeak does not value it's customers or it's staff.

I guess the inspeak investors (whoever that is.. )
Have no idea how bad things are..

I mean, I too can see the overall improvement, in program operation, over the last 12 months. But no amount of "testing" can or should ever offend or annoy users at any personal levels.

A high quality (speex) voice chat program (like inspeak) provides an understanding to all concerned that can be very revealing. Which can/has/does upset some users when attempting interactions. inspeak staff are no exception to this.

The way I see it is society shapes the individuals bias. Helpers at all levels are effected by their own particular bias. Resulting in a favorable or not response depending on who is asked the question and who is doing the asking (at a helper level and a user level).

All these variables can effect a positive or negative response at all levels.

X inspeak users have created websites that are quite revealing about their interactions with inspeak administration...

The inspeak administration seem to be well on their way to creating a product they will have too rebadge and resell. If they actually want to profit from inspeak. Possibly this was always their direction?

Originally there was Vedos Chat.

(The Vedos website has been mapped to the inspeak website - Note: vedos.org link operating 5/Nov/2006 - Other links 2 weeks ago were operational to inspeak.com - Provided as reference)

http://www.vedos.org, http://www.vedos.com, http://www.vedoschat.com

So you can no longer see the original Vedos Chat Website.. Or can you?

Archive.Org (and various other website archive organizations) has kept a copy of the Original Vedos Chat Website (As well as many other sites). Click the links to view the Original http://www.vedos.com/ at http://archive.org.

So as you can see.. Vedos was archived from Jul 26th 2002 until Mar 24th 2005.

An original inspeak X staff member informed me that Vedos chat was the original working software concept as marketed by inspeak.

Nowadays the Vedos.com website is mapped to inspeak.com..

There is an Admin on inspeak called AdminP..
We were told NOT to involve AdminP in operational issues.
As AdminP was a programmer.

The original person to contact at Vedos.com was Paul.
I think AdminP is Paul from Vedos.com

Perhaps people who have programming suggestions should be emailing adminp@inspeak.com?

The guesses are many and varied.. I shall try and stick to the evidence..

I have overheard many people complaining. (When I attended the help lobby)

I can guess at what has happened to certain complaining users.
(Based on how I witnessed the various inspeak staff's attitude when interacting with other Staff members or Users)

They have moved on.. Found another chat program to use.. One that doesnt have the internal dramas of inspeak.

The various alternatives are there. Some are based on the Vedos source code. The same (in my opinion) as inspeak. As a result they suffer from the same flaws that the early inspeak builds did. However, the various inspeak alternatives certainly offer the ability to allow users to fully interact in whatever form they wish. Basicaly it comes down too... Who do you trust? Paltalk, inspeak, Opentalk, Cybertrax?

Or maybe you prefer MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, AIM? etc etc

Either way. Your personal information and privacy may be compromised in ways that you may not yet appreciate.

There is money in data.

Why else would all these services be "free"???

Read the companies EULA (End User licencing agreement) or TOS (Terms of service) and you will see that the company can and will do anything they pretty well like with any data that they gather. Not only that. Other software components may be installed without the users specific agreement. If it all makes your system muck up.. They cannot be held responsible. According to the "agreement" we all make when we use the software.

You gotta be a able to trust these chat providers..

Ever heard of a root kit?

Quote from Wikipedia:

"A rootkit is a set of software tools intended to conceal running processes, files or system data, thereby helping an intruder to maintain access to a system whilst avoiding detection. Rootkits are known to exist for a variety of operating systems such as Linux, Solaris and versions of Microsoft Windows."

Read the whole article here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rootkit

Also have a read of http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/RootkitRevealer.html

In my opinion my system "HAD" a rootkit installed. Possibly a few.. I had been experimenting with various chat programs over time. Unfortunately.. I had also been backing up my working system with those hidden rootkits.

As a result I had to go back to basics and start from scratch using the original microsoft xp installation cdrom. This was the only way to be sure I had removed any unwanted rootkits. I now have a backup system in place. Where I can go back to whatever period I desire. :) Without the rootkits.. I did install MSN into my standard setup. As microsoft have the whole system tied up with a piece of string. What I am saying is.. Does it matter? I think we all have to "trust" microsoft with our information. To be honest.. They seem to have a higher regard for our privacy than their commercial rivals.. Perhaps.. Time will tell..

Basically this all comes down to the complete lack of "rules" that people play by on the internet. It seems like anyone can setup a server and market themselves as the "King" over whatever fantasy they can create.

I personally think trusting the big players is the wisest. But people will experiment. Perhaps take this as a warning. Maintain your backups. There are some nasty players out there. Rootkits can be installed as part of any software.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What is a Fascist Society?

I tried to find a decent but short description of a Fascist Government...
It seems to be a difficult thing to determine..

I agree with the following definitions.
As located in an excellent if thought provoking article by
Laurence W. Britt (Fascism Anyone?)

(Perhaps more will be bought to my attention by interested readers)

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
5. Rampant sexism.
6. A controlled mass media.
7. Obsession with national security.
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
9. Power of corporations protected.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
14. Fraudulent elections.

Despite the important differences from other right-wing ideologies, fascism is almost universally considered to be a part of "the right".
(See: Fascism and Right Wing Politics)

It would come as no surprise to most Australians that the Liberal Party of Australia is regarded as a right wing political party. (Even though they label themselves as being Liberals)

I think most Australians would agree that we have a Neo-Liberal party in control of our country.

A Neo-Liberal party de-emphasizes or rejects positive government intervention in the economy, focusing instead on achieving progress and even social justice by encouraging free-market methods and less restricted operations of business and "development".

Aparently, Its supporters argue that the net gains for all under free trade and capitalism will outweigh the costs in all, or almost all, cases.

To improve efficiency and minimize unemployment, Neo-Liberals strive to reject or mitigate labor policies such as minimum wage, and collective bargaining rights. They oppose socialism, protectionism, environmentalism, fair trade, and critics say Neo-Liberals impede democratic rule.

Neo-Liberals reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that have been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. Neo-Liberals say "An unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth. This will ultimately benefit everyone."

Neo-Liberals reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environment and safety on the job.

Neo-Liberals sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

Neo-Liberals eliminate the concept of "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replace it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."

Quote: From Richard Woolcott.

"Many are shocked that the government has tolerated bribing Saddam Hussein to buy our wheat while, at the same time, preparing to invade Iraq and inflict such devastation and so many casualties on the country and its people. Other widely held concerns include the weakening of our democracy, the excessive anti-terror laws, the propagandist 'spin' about alleged successes in Iraq, the cultivation of fear and jingoism, the harsh treatment of so many asylum seekers, attempts to arouse excessive patriotism and the exploitation of the Australian flag to this end, the erosion of support for Aboriginal reconciliation, the undermining of civil liberties, human rights and social justice are all indicators of what Professor Robert Manne of La Trobe University has called 'a profound conservative-populist transformation.' in this country over the last decade.

(Richard Woolcott was Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade until 1992. He has 40 years of experience in advising governments on foreign, security and trade policy.)

The Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Communities (VOSOC)

The following 2 Images display liberal and labour party "connections".

Quoted from: Linda Kirk (ALP), Senator for South Australia
First Speech 28/2/2002

"Plainly, we must be concerned that the government-led attacks on our democratic institutions in the present climate will only escalate and that the civil liberties of citizens and non-citizens alike will be sacrificed."

Quoted from: Gary Sauer-Thompson
December 6, 2005

"What has shifted is that the Executive is using the threat of terrorism to introduce laws that put our most basic liberties under threat. What we have is the power of the executive being used to put someone--a citizen--- into detention/prison without formulating any charge and denying the citzen the judgement of his /her peers.They can then be held under house detention.

Is this not the mark of dictatorial regimes? Do we not have a situation in which Australia is fighting a war on terrorism to defend liberty and is losing its own liberty in the process? Isn't this what the Law Council of Australia, and all state law councils, have drawn attention to?"

Quoted from: Tony Kevin
2 March 2006

We no longer live in a healthy, self-correcting democratic system, but in an expanding, albeit still “soft-authoritarian”, system of corporate national power. While leading elites remain mostly quietly complicit, dissenters look on in horror as our national pride is devalued and our freedoms are dismantled.


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