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Shoot the Wall (A.K.A. The Rant Thread)


Banshee

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Just the usual self appointed experts, thinking they could write better...

what do they think fan fiction is for?!

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On 2/24/2024 at 6:13 PM, J.P. said:

finding a Sherlock forum wasn't that easy either.

Odd -- all I did was go to Google and type in

Sherlock forum

Admittedly that didn't get me anywhere in February of 2012, but fortunately I tried again that April, when there actually was such a website.  I see that you didn't join till 2015, though, by which time the waters may have been muddied considerably!

 

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This was already hard to find a Forum back then. I cannot manage more than one obsession at the same time, so I was rarely writing somewhere else and I was so happy to be here, that I didn't notice that the change was universal.

I think it's places like FB that killed forums. Social media is mostly about spreading own ideas, not discussing them with others. Everybody is their own Moderator and Admin, and they make their own rules: "It's my post, I don't have to tolerate opinions different from mine." It's so boring, that one wants really to shoot some wall.

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4 hours ago, J.P. said:

I think it's places like FB that killed forums.

I see what you mean, but am not sure whether FB is a cause or an effect.  It's a good platform for posting news, but not really designed for conversations.

4 hours ago, J.P. said:

Social media is mostly about spreading own ideas, not discussing them with others.

That seems to be a recent blight on society in general -- I'm right, so you're wrong.  People have always tended to hang out mostly with people they feel comfortable with, of course, but there wasn't all this polarization and demonization that I started noticing around 2000.

Mercifully, though, there seems to be a hint here and there of a return to the concept that people of good will can simply disagree -- and that it's interesting and even useful to compare ideas.

 

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I think it's a cause. We've had a great Polish forum for keeping in touch with our schoolmates. It wasn't much about conversation, but if you wanted to find a Polish person, that was the place to go. :)  As soon as FB grew more popular, people wandered off and the forum had to close. While FB is a kind of pub you go to see your buddies, the other one was more like a school reunion site: different purpose, different vibes.

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OK, I see your point.  I don't recall that FB was actually advertised as a forum substitute, but I've heard some people recommend it as such -- apparently meaning that those people saw no purpose for forums other than posting news.  So FB was at least an unintentional enabler.  But I don't think it would have been able to do that if enough people had wanted discussion forums.

So maybe the question is, did forums used to be popular because people in general were more into actual conversations back then, or merely because there were fewer people online and those few tended to be more conversational?

 

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P.S.:  I've already mentioned MovieChat, which started with content from the old IMDb talk pages, saved by one member before IMDb shut them down.  Just happened to come across this comment from 3 years ago in the MTM Show discussion:

... the comments on IMDB from 5 years ago are so much
more interesting, civil and movie/character oriented than
since MovieChat has taken it over.

Mind you, MovieChat is moderated, and IMDb was not.  So either TrentnQuarantino is misremembering and/or the past 8 years or so really have seen a shift toward less actual conversation.

 

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Well, far be it from me to be controversial...ha.

But in my humble experience: 

all the rabid Johnlockers buggered off, when they found other places to peddle their fan art/fic and vids. Chortle.

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  • 3 weeks later...

A week or two ago, we started getting weird phone calls -- at least I guess they were phone calls.  The landline would ring, and I'd pick it up and say hello, and -- nothing.  It sounded like the nearly-silent background of a regular phone call, but nobody said anything.

It started out just once every day or two, then every day, then more than once a day, sometimes a couple times just a few minutes apart.  I finally called the phone company yesterday (Friday), and they said they'd send someone out on Monday to see if maybe it's some sort of equipment malfunction.

I had already tried calling the landline from my cell phone, though, and that worked fine, so it's apparently not some legitimate caller having trouble getting through.  Also, the calls start around mid-morning and stop in late afternoon, so it's apparently not caused by some phone-company equipment going haywire.

Which pretty much leaves somebody (or somebody's automated equipment) calling us but not saying anything as the only explanation.  Could conceivably be one of those don't-put-an-agent-on-the-call-till-someone-answers kinda things, but those typically go *bleep* very quickly and an actual human comes on almost immediately (though I've started hanging up as soon as I hear that distinctive *bleep*).  These calls aren't like that.  The first few times I stayed on plenty long enough for someone to start talking, if they were going to.

Anybody got any other guesses?   :huh:

 

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I'm afraid you have a stalker, if you have a landline which displays phone numbers I would write down the number that called you and go the police and file a complaint of stalking

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8 hours ago, Fantasy Lover said:

I'm afraid you have a stalker

Hmm, hadn't thought of that possibility.  Do stalkers normally operate only during business hours, though?  After a busy week, we haven't heard from ours since yesterday (Saturday) morning.  And I can't imagine why anyone would stalk either of us.  I've heard that some "nobody there" phone calls are simply checking to see if the number currently belongs to anyone, but you'd think that once or twice would be sufficient to answer that question!

8 hours ago, Fantasy Lover said:

if you have a landline which displays phone numbers I would write down the number that called you and go the police and file a complaint of stalking

We do have such a phone, but we didn't realize that feature was still working (the display is *very* tiny) till Alex had a close look at it just now.  So yes, we'll give that a try, assuming that the calls resume.

The results may be meaningless, though, because A] it's *very* easy for a caller to avoid sending their number, and B] with the right equipment it's a piece of cake for them to spoof their number.

 

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1. Stalkers operate during every hour of the day if they can

2. Stalkers can choose anyone, it can be someone they know or a complete stranger

3. I'm just making suggestions, I hope it doesn't happen anymore, but keep us posted will you?

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On 3/16/2024 at 11:42 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

A week or two ago, we started getting weird phone calls -- at least I guess they were phone calls.  The landline would ring, and I'd pick it up and say hello, and -- nothing.  It sounded like the nearly-silent background of a regular phone call, but nobody said anything.

When the phone rang this morning, I assumed it was another of those, but said "hello" anyhow, just in case -- and it was an actual real-live woman from the phone company, wanting more information on what's been happening.  When I explained, she said, "Oh, we call those 'ghost calls' -- sometimes the equipment decides to pretend there's a call."  They're sending a technician out tomorrow -- though those oddball problems can be hard as the dickens to pin down, so I wish them luck.  Also, the problem may have evaporated already, considering that we *knock on wood* haven't gotten any "ghost calls" since just one on Saturday morning.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/18/2024 at 6:46 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

. . . it was an actual real-live woman from the phone company, wanting more information on what's been happening.  When I explained, she said [something like], "Oh, we call those 'ghost calls' -- sometimes the equipment decides to pretend there's a call." 

Still haven't gotten any additional "nobody there" calls (knock on wood) since March 16 -- over three weeks -- but a few days ago I decided to see what the internet says about the term "ghost calls," and it's not quite what I understood that phone-company rep to be saying.  The consensus seems to be that it's usually one of those places with a roomful of reps -- one of whom will normally be added to the call almost as soon as you say hello -- except that something went wrong.  Maybe they simply forgot to turn off the system when all the humans went home, or maybe it's a malfunction of that company's equipment (rather than the phone company's).  Whatever the problem was, they apparently have it fixed, at least for now.

 

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I’ve been staying with my mother, who still uses a landline and an answering machine (with a tape) like it’s 1994.  “Ghost” calls are a daily occurrence—sometimes multiple times a day, always from 9 - 4ish.  Even more bothersome, and occurring during the same time window are robocalls that go like this:

Me: Hello?

RC:  Hello?…..Hello?…. Hello?

Me: <Click>

The Hellos sound like a human voice, but it’s obviously recorded on a loop because the inflection never changes.  Sometimes after the second or third hello, a person will launch into a spiel for some business But usually it’s just dead air between hellos. On a bad day we can have half a dozen of these type of calls and it’s gotten to the point where I don’t want to even answer the phone.

It’s advisable to say nothing if you get a call like this, or do not reply if you get a call that is someone’s voice saying “can you hear me?” Or say who is this? Do not answer yes or no because scammers Can record your responses and then use them to access your accounts.

I get a lot of solicitation calls on my cell but I do not answer any number I don’t recognize, especially if it’s a one 800 number. But on the landline with no way to see who’s calling, we don’t know if it’s a scammer or a family member calling. It’s getting very tedious.

 

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You have my sympathy!

My standard tactic is to ask them who's calling, and unless by some miracle it's a legitimate call, I say (very nicely, no point in blaming an employee -- or even a recording) "Sorry, you must have the wrong number.  Goodbye." <click>

11 hours ago, Hikari said:

I’ve been staying with my mother, who still uses a landline and an answering machine (with a tape) like it’s 1994.

Back in 1992, we were trying to sell our house, and our agent insisted that we get voice mail -- so we did.  One day I was expecting a VERY important house-sale-related phone call, so I stayed in the house all day (didn't even step out to check the mailbox), left the bathroom door open so I'd hear the phone ringing, and most certainly did not make any calls.  Not a peep from the phone.  Finally around four in the afternoon I decided to call them to see what the delay was about -- and when I picked up the phone, there was a stutter dial tone, meaning that there was a message.  It was from them, of course, wanting me to call them back right away.  Which I did, of course, and we got the house sold.  But I have never since been tempted to get an answering machine or voicemail.

Despite these spates of spam calls on our landline, we almost never *knock on wood* get any on our cellphones.

 

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On 4/8/2024 at 1:36 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Still haven't gotten any additional "nobody there" calls (knock on wood) since March 16...

I had to go and say that, darn it!  Got another "nobody" call about 9:00 this morning, though I'll admit I didn't give them much time to respond before hanging up.  Just a few minutes later, there was another call that sounded the same at first, but then (with no bleep, by the way) a woman asked if we were interested in selling our property.

I have no idea why anyone would choose to sell via some random stranger, rather than contacting a reputable local agency -- but they apparently get enough takers to make it worth their while.  Unless, of course, what they're actually after is detailed info about your property -- though most of that is readily available through the county offices.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Any updates about your mysterious calls, Carol?

I'll add another paranoid suggestions, that some people with not-so-good intention might be targeting you. It's way too often to be a coincidence, unless your phone company really sucks at its job. We had landlines for decades and I don't remember getting calls without anyone/machine talking more than a few times.

It's never too safe to consider that they are calling to check if you are home or other bad purposes.

Anyway, do you still need the landline? I only maintain one where my spouse lives because mil still uses it sometimes, but the amount of spam calls is very annoying (and this is not everyday). Spam calls are something like telling you have some problem with government and they need you to press buttons/call back to verify in order not to get into troubles, so your traffic is very high. I have disconnected the landline here since I don't need it. It comes free with internet but I just pull the plug, nothing good can come from those calls and everyone I care about knows how to find me.

Most businesses are not using landline anymore, and even if they, I don't call them through that because it's costly compared to just using WhatsApp, where you can get extra benefit to send images etc. 

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We haven't had many more of those ghost calls.  We do still get spam calls now and then, but they're easy enough to recognize and then deal with quickly.

Oddly enough, I've recently started getting spam emails again, after about 20 years with scarcely any.  It's only every now and then, but they're obviously changing their IP address or something in order to fool my email provider, because it's always the same basic sort of message, immediately recognizable.  The subject line is something like "Thank you for your order," and the message is similar but longer, with an "order number" -- obviously they want people to reply, but then what I'm not sure (and don't intend to find out!).  I just report them to my email-software company.

6 hours ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

Anyway, do you still need the landline?

Pretty much, yes.  Both of us have cell phones, but the voice signal is unreliable here at home.

6 hours ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

Most businesses are not using landline anymore, and even if they, I don't call them through that because it's costly compared to just using WhatsApp, where you can get extra benefit to send images etc. 

Our phone company offers a deal where, for not much more than their regular local service, we can call anywhere in the country at no additional charge.  So we use that for phoning friends and family.  I sometimes use it for contacting companies too, but most either have an email address or else have a "contact us" page with a pseudo-email form to fill out, so I generally use those.  For one thing, I can do that outside of their normal business hours, and for another thing, I can take my time to phrase things exactly the way I want to.

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On 6/9/2024 at 3:03 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Pretty much, yes.  Both of us have cell phones, but the voice signal is unreliable here at home.

I see. I understand need you mentioned. For me, the only time I want to use it is to call the internet company to make a report if the internet is not working. But then, when the internet is not working, the telephone also not working!

One of my reasons to disconnect it because it made me jump every time it rang, and it was mostly sales pitch. It's also too expensive to use for communication because my loved ones stay abroad.

And good that you don't have those calls anymore. There are handsets that display caller numbers so you can block them, or only pick up those you recognize.

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10 hours ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

For me, the only time I want to use [my landline] is to call the internet company to make a report if the internet is not working. But then, when the internet is not working, the telephone also not working!

Then there's hardly any point to it, is there?  Oddly (and fortunately), our experience has more often been that when the voice service is unusable (due to static), the internet is still working just fine.

10 hours ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

It's also too expensive to use for communication because my loved ones stay abroad.

That's one advantage of living in a large country, I guess -- family and friends can be thousands of miles away and it's still just a domestic call.

10 hours ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

There are handsets that display caller numbers so you can block them, or only pick up those you recognize.

We have that kind, but the font size is *very* small, plus it doesn't seem to work very well any more, so I rarely even look.  Also, a lot of places that we do business with will let their employees use their own cell phones to notify us of whatever, in which case I wouldn't recognize the number anyhow.  And blocking spam callers rarely does any good, because they'll just spoof a different number the next time.

 

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My neighbor has chickens (this is a very urban area). I don't mind them and actually like hearing them, but the damn roosters cockle-doodle-doo every 2 p.m, on EVERY TIMEZONE. 

Anyone has good recipe for roosters?

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One of our neighbors has hens and roosters, but we're out in the country, so neighbors are much further apart.  I don't generally hear even the roosters unless I'm outdoors or have the windows open, and even then it's not loud enough to be a problem.  I kind of enjoy hearing them, because it reminds me of my childhood, when Mom raised chickens.  (I especially like the song the hens sing when they've just laid an egg:  Bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk-buh-BAWK!!!)

 

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