Update on Jamie Timbre

Following on from my post on Jamie Timbre’s fraudulent attempts to sell tickets to seminars that don’t exist I have a few updates.

  • I’ve officially lost count of how many fake profiles are associated with Timbre’s fan page. Thankfully, Facebook is fantastic at removing them as soon as they’re reported (hence lots of broken links in my first post)
  • I’m not the first to call Jamie out on this; see this comment from another school acquaintance
  • We have independent confirmation that Jamie does not work at Microsoft / has never done a show for the radio station “New York’s Z100” (sent via email):

    I read your post about Jamie Timbre. Also wanted to let you know that he claims to have a radio show on New York’s Z100…I called the radio station myself and asked when I could expect to hear his show. Of course, they’d never heard of him. I also made a point to call the Microsoft office in New York and ask to be connected to Jamie Timbre. They searched their entire New York employee database and found no one by that name.

  • Timbre has me blocked on Facebook and Twitter – so he knows I’ve busted his little (fake) empire

The sad news is that the only reason I can find for this somewhat creepy behaviour is to increase his scoring for an online social networking game ’empire avenue’ (see Jamie’s profile). Basically, you’re scored based on your activity, allowing you to buy “stocks” in other people which boosts your score/online currency for the game in turn. More currency = the ability to ‘pay’ people to like your page/follow you on twitter. I cannot figure out which came first, though: Jamie’s narcissistic and mostly fake fan page, or his participation in the game.

Update, 17th August:

Of course it’s BS. That’s why Facebook, Eventbrite, EmpireAvenue etc have all removed your fake profiles, seminars etc. Oh wait…

Jamie Timbre is a Grade A Fraud

In July 2007 I outed Jamie Timbre for conning hosting customers out of hundreds of dollars by claiming they owed charges on DDOS attempts that had never happened, e-mail spam that was not the customer’s problem, etc. Shortly after, Timbre shut down his hosting ‘business’.

Fast forward to 2012 and I receive an e-mail from someone who went to school with Jamie. He found my articles on Frozen Midnight Hosting and Timbre’s previous antics and wanted to give me the heads up about some odd new behaviour…

(more…)

Pants: Inked By Erin

To help soothe the disappointment of my lost Pantsing opportunity, I went to rev.iew.me and did eenie meenie on the websites page. Lo, my cursor fell on Inked By Erin, which is quite a nice coincidence given our history. Fancy that.

Erin is currently sporting a layout with some chick I recognise from Alice in Wonderland which, incidentally, is quite a weird film. I have read the book, but not for a loooooooong time (since I was like, 7?) but vaguely remember it was quite large and featured a lot more on riddles and things than Tim Burton’s version. Anyway, what? This is a Pants Award Jem, not a movie review.

So what about Erin’s site is deserving of a Pants Award? It wasn’t the blatant misuse of a celebrity image (and I’m not even talking about copyright; what’s the relevance of the Hathaway girl? (Woot, I remembered her name!)) and nor was it the weird/slightly boring About page which leaves me wanting to slit my wrists in emo solidarity… no, it was (surprise surprise) the Tutorials.

When I saw Erin’s CSS tutorials, I thought maybe I’d been too harsh on her. Her Multiple Columns tutorial, while lacking any real depth, uses advanced CSS3 techniques which I would typically assume to be beyond teenyboppers. (Ouch.) Something struck me about the text though… this line in particular:

Multiple columns are a major face of laying out text – newspapers have used them for decades.

I just didn’t get how something can be a major face of something else. One Googleage later and I discover that actually, multiple columns are a major facet of laying out text. To be honest, the sentence is still fairly clumsy, but hey, at least it makes sense now.

Of course now we have a dilemma. Which is more worthy of a Pants Award, stealing code and copy from an article and distributing it on your site, or changing said copy because you don’t understand what the word “facet” means?

30 seconds later and we can easily see where some of those other CSS tutorials came from: the same CSS3 series from Design Shack. I don’t know how she gets away with it to be honest, especially when you compare the quality of writing between the two. This line from one of Erin’s WordPress tutorials says all that needs to be said there:

Get the coding form you previous layout & look at in in you code editor.

Sigh.

I was hoping to be able to chuck a review of a review in her for your viewing pleasure, but unfortunately she’s not actually reviewed any websites yet. No surprise, given that one of her requirements is:

You must link me on every page of your website until the review is completed. I want to see my link on your website before you submit the application. I will check on this and deny any applications that do not have my link up.

I didn’t even require a link back on a single page when I was reviewing, let alone across an entire website. What has the WPR world come to?!

Should I point out the hypocrisy of reviewing HTML/CSS validation when her own website doesn’t validate, and indeed contains newbie mistakes like nesting header tags inside a paragraph? Oops, just did.

So. Erin, for being so lame as to steal someone else’s work; for writing shitty pointless tutorials of your own; for being an ignorant numpty when it comes to infant feeding; and ultimately, for trolling me all those months ago … have a pants award!

16th Pants Award

(Yes, this is the same pants as last time. Yes, I’ve run out of pictures of pants. Send me some!)

Why I Still Hate Mommy Bloggers

I hate mommy bloggers. There, I said it.

I think now I’m a mommy / mummy / mom / mum / mama (delete as appropriate) it’s probably inappropriate for me to comment on the phenomena that is ‘mommy blogging’ (and I use the American term because it’s what most people refer to it as, not because I’m suggesting the British equivalent — mummy blogging — is any way different). Still, I’ve never been one to hold back comment for fear of the backlash, so I’m not about to start now.

My distaste for this section of the blogosphere originally stems from PayPerPost and PPPers. It’s not an issue I come across as often these days, but rewind 2-3 years and blatant spamvertising was the bedrock of what seemed like the majority of mom bloggers. They were either in the game specifically to try and make money, or had overhauled otherwise mediocre (yet inoffensive) weblogs to reap the supposed rewards of paid-for-reviews and faux-articles.

Thankfully the whole “PPP” world is less prevalent these days (or I’m not reading the blogs still involved?) Still, it doesn’t stop those on the money-for-nothing bandwagon harping on at industry and retailers to give them free stuff to review. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t object to product reviews (or free things), but there’s only so many times I can read “I received PRODUCT-X! It was great! I would buy it!” Er, no you wouldn’t you jammy twat, that’s why you asked for free shit in the first place.

In the same vein (and normally the same people) are those who think that because they have received a few products or been paid for a few reviews, that they have some sort of power over either a) manufacturers or b) bloggers. Let’s face it, you’re not Dooce, love.

Am I over-generalising? Picking on a small minority? Pining for the days when blogs were more like journals and less like advertorials? Yes, probably. They’re still fucking annoying though.

I Poke #breastfeeding Trolls

Yep, it’s my not-so-secret pastime. The equivalent of pounding on a stress ball when I’m in a shitty mood.

You see, when Isabel was much smaller I did some searching on twitter for “breastfeeding” in the hope that I’d find some fellow nursing mums to get support if I needed it. This worked well, and I added a few likeminded folk to my following list.

When @RainbowLights came out with her ignorant bullshit about public nursing, and I called her a twat, I suddenly gained a load of new momma followers who were nursing or had nursed their babies. It occurred to me that they probably found me because of my twitter response (in which I declared an unofficial breastfeeding day and tweeted non-stop about nursing, hehe)

Anyway… at some point in time negative breastfeeding tweets started creeping in. Grown men (and the occasional woman) shouting “omg some woman is feeding her baby in public!” … some creeps even going so far as taking pictures of it without permission; idiots spreading misinformation about routines and ‘the perfect diet’; marketing tweets about the products you MUST have to succeed at breastfeeding; etc etc.

When I noticed a couple of my momma followers responding to the trolls, I felt my heart skip a beat a little. It was like website drama only about boobs! Woohoo :) So I joined in. I correct misinformation. I challenge ignorant tossers to open their minds to why women are breastfeeding. I poke fun at women with their tits hanging out in their avatars who have the gall to mock nursing in public. I poke the trolls… and I like it.

Michael K Steals BellaBook, Breaks GPL License

I received a curious email on November 19th. A German CEO was asking me to state that I am, unequivocally, the developer of BellaBook and that BellaBook was free to use under the terms of the GNU General Public License. I almost took offence that such a thing should be questioned, as BellaBook was my ‘flagship’ script. It saw the very beginnings of my dabbling with PHP and bore the brunt of my very first security slip-up. It has been almost a badge of honour for me because, aside from the first cock-ups, it has survived 5+ years on the web with no ‘live’ exploits.

Turns out Mr CEO had actually downloaded BellaBook from a German website, except the script was uploaded under the name “MT-Gästebuch”. He’d been contacted by another developer, one Michael K., purporting to be the developer of the script and asking for 200 euros licensing fees because Mr CEO was using “MT-Gästebuch” on a commercial website.

Michael K. has taken BellaBook in its entirety, deleted the GNU GPL license file and stripped out all references to me, including my copyright notices and all credit to contributors from over the years. Preliminary checks show that he has not even made any significant modifications to the code (apart from translating the text into German).

I sent Mr K. my basic cease & desist on Friday detailing his infringement and my request: that he remove BellaBook within 3 days. I even used the power of twitter and called out for someone fluent in German (thank you adastra) so that I could send the cease and desist in both English and German: no room for misunderstandings then.

It has now been 3 days. 3 days and over 3 hours, to be more precise. Mr K. has made no attempt to remove my script from his website. In fact, the only action is to block my IP from his website. Let’s not beat about the bush here: that isn’t the action of an innocent party. (He’s also blocked several other IPs belonging to people who clicked the link to his website, which I pasted into a private forum.)

I’ve made no profit from BellaBook over the past 5+ years. If anything, it costs me money to host: both in bandwidth and time spent fixing bugs and improving the script. It has been on a “development hiatus” for a while because of the birth of my daughter, but is no less loved. It is my script. My first script. Procedural, yes. Untidy and needing redeveloping, yes. But my script nonetheless. It is therefore beyond laughable (and bloody offensive) that someone else should dare use it as a base to be asking 200 euros licensing fees from an unsuspecting user.

You can read the GPL license for yourself; if you find the part that gives other people permission to remove copyright notices and demand fees, please let me know.

I released BellaBook under the GPL because I wanted people to “make it their own”. I guess Mr K. doesn’t understand metaphors.

Update 19:15: the script has been removed and the offending page redirected to mine. Thank you for commenting, tweeting and sharing this post on facebook my friends :) As the material has been removed, I have taken out the links.

ThinkGeek Advocate Letting Your Baby Cry

ThinkGeek — “stuff for smart masses” — are selling a baby ‘sleep trainer’ in their Newborn/Infant category. The promise is to get your baby “sleeping through the night in two weeks”. Now, personally, when I signed up (metaphorically) to being a parent, I knew I would be parenting at night as well through the day. I figured sleepless nights and all that malarkey were part of the deal. I certainly didn’t sign up for leaving my infant to cry themselves to sleep night after night.

I feel very strongly about ‘cry it out’ methods, and it’s counterpart ‘controlled crying’.

For starters, it encourages social pressure to have your baby sleeping through the night from a young age, and this is not normal behaviour. It’s not normal for an infant to sleep through, and those that do are an exception, not the rule. Many adults do not sleep through the night (waking to urinate, get a drink, whatever) so why do we expect the same of a baby fresh from the comfort of the womb?

Secondly, there is sound research into the harmful effects of prolonged crying in infants, due to increased cortisol levels. Cortisol is released by the body as a reaction to stress (e.g. when an infant is left alone in his/her cot with nobody there for comfort, not knowing when a caregiver will return); it suppresses the immune system, and destroys nerve connections in critical portions of an infant’s developing brain1.

Controlled crying/cry-it-out causes the baby to shut down. In fact, this is how it ‘works’: baby gives up, and sleeps deeper/for longer. A promising thought if you’re sleep-deprived, but deep sleep — much like when baby sleeps on his/her tummy — prevents the baby from waking as easily if there is a ‘problem’, e.g. if breathing is interrupted. This is so serious, that the Back to Sleep campaign was created2. If preventing deep sleep from sleeping on the tummy caused a big drop in SIDS deaths, surely other causes of deep sleep could be connected to infant death too? I’m not a scientist but it’s a logical connection to me.

Anyway, back to ThinkGeek. One of the most worrying things about this is the categorisation and subsequent description of the product. It’s in the Newborn/Infant category for starters (who in their right mind would leave a newborn to cry themselves to sleep?). Secondly, this line:

NOT sleeping through the night? You might be teaching your baby that behavior

A claim made with no obvious scientific backing to scare parents into buying this pointless product, and ultimately into leaving their baby to cry. Furthermore, a study on infant sleep behaviour from 1994 shows a wide range in normal infant sleeping behaviour, which is at odds with this claim3.

Lastly, under the product spec, we have:

For ages 4 months and older

This disturbs me on many levels. Dr Ferber, one of the biggest advocates of controlled crying, does not recommend using his methods on children under 18 months. He puts a lower limit at 6 months, but notes that the younger the infant is, the less successful the ‘training’ will be. Ferber acknowledges that his method doesn’t teach kids HOW to fall asleep on their own, infants are simply denied access to a caregiver, and left to work it out for themselves.4

In light of this, I contacted ThinkGeek. I explained that not only had I purchased quite a lot from them, but had referred customers who had spent hundreds of dollars. I then outlined my findings, expressing discomfort at their willingness to back this product. Their response?

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great day!

…and that’s it. They blew me off. Not even so much as an acknowledgement that they had read my e-mail. I can only take from this that ThinkGeek advocate leaving babies to cry against the advice of multiple experts. Not a company I can support, and as such have removed all product links to ThinkGeek from my previous posts and pages. I will no longer be making purchases from ThinkGeek, and encourage any of you who feel similar that you make it known.

References

1Schore, A.N. (1996), “The Experience-Dependent Maturation of a Regulatory System in the Orbital Prefrontal Cortex and the Origen of Developmental Psychopathology,” Development and Psychopathology 8: 59 – 87.
2Helping Baby “Back to Sleep” [pdf]
3Armstrong KL, Quinn RA, Dadds MR. (1994), “The sleep patterns of normal children.”
4Dr Richard Ferber (2006), “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems”

For more information, please see my delicious bookmarks tagged ‘controlled crying’

Update @ 18:55

ThinkGeek have added the following comment to the product page:

This doctor-designed system is for healthy babies 4 months and older. Please consult your pediatrician to see whether this system is right for your geekling. ThinkGeek doesn’t advocate letting babies cry (especially when the world is full of hugs & bacon), but the system has helped lots of parents and babies sleep better. Moral of the story: Consult your doc before buying and keep on being the best geek parent you can be.

What a cop out.

Kim Kardashian; Tits or GTFO

This is Kim Kardashian:

kim kardashian tits

She thinks breastfeeding in public is only OK if you use a cover1 2

Riiiiight.

Let’s just say I won’t be taking tips on modesty from her.

I Got Trolled

Once upon a time, if someone left a comment on one of my entries that made me suspicious, I had the time to look into it and figure out who the person was and where they were from. Of course, I don’t have that luxury these days, I have a daughter to look after. I don’t need to worry though, as trolls are stupid enough to out themselves (on a blog I read, no less!):

On another note of girls being stupid and ignorant, have you read Jem’s blog titled, “You’re a fucking twat.” It’s about Jennifer (@RainbowLights on twitter). Jennifer is against breastfeeding in public and Jem is for it. Jem is calling her a twat for being against it. That is rediculous. Jem is a freaking twat for thinking she is a ‘god’ for everything just cuz she is a bit older than everyone.

Hahahaha. I posted as ‘Sarah Jones’ on her comments. My first one is LONG and well written but my second one just failed. After my second one I didn’t even look at the reply until just a few minutes ago. It outrages me, so, i’m just going to ignore her. She is gay. I’m not even going to give her credit if I use any of her scripts. That is how much I hate her. You know I credit everyone, no matter what, I am a bit OCD about that but her, nu huh. I will NEVER credit her for ANYTHING. If she doesn’t like it, well, she can go screw herself.

Turns out ‘Sarah Jones’, the mother who leaves babies to cry because she can’t be arsed to feed them; who thinks carrots prevent cancer and that formula is the same as breast milk… is Erin. Erin, a 17 year old who can’t spell ridiculous. Erin, whose favourite Jonas Brother is Nick (who the fuck are the Jonas Brothers?) Erin, who thinks that by removing the credit link from her PR0 ‘ask me’ page (btw, that’s BellaBuzz, not BellaBuffs) I’m somehow going to be mortally wounded. Oh noes! Oh yes, you forgot one. Wait, wait… two. Oh, who’s keeping track here?

Erin really luuuurves some poor dude called Tyler. She loves him enough to (and I quote) “stalk” him on twitter“. You’d think him blocking her would be enough but no, “I still stalk him because his tweets are there for everyone to see.“.

Let’s hope he doesn’t hook up with her and have kids, because, despite the fake name she still thinks I’m spoiling my daughter:

erin-1.png erin-1.png erin-1.png erin-1.png

Yessirree, I’m spoiling my 7 month old daughter by feeding her when she’s hungry and not letting her cry herself to sleep. Man, I can see why Jinnienn wants to call social services on me; it’s so cruel of me to meet my daughter’s physical and emotional needs! Thanks for cluing me in there childcare expert Erin. Hold on, what qualifications in child psychology did you say you had again? Right… none. I thought so.

I digress… let’s get back on track here. This isn’t me, it’s about Erin. Did you know that Erin also makes/sells website designs? Yep, if you want badly cropped, oversaturated photos on your website, Erin is your girl. Check out them mad skillz!

Yes, the trolls are definitely getting more stupid. Do not feed the trolls… whoops?

I’m Concerned

Indeed… concerned that here in the UK we consider someone aged 16 old enough to have sex and, with that, cope with the consequences of this action (the possibility of producing offspring; having to raise new life) yet do not consider someone aged 17 responsible for their opinions. It scares me that we consider sex less worthy of responsibility than shooting your mouth off.

I’ve been blogging since I was 14, and while I no longer have those early entries I know as fact that on the rare (hah) occasion I made an arse of myself, I made sure to make amends. Calling someone sick, a bitch, disgusting, and making libellous claims of harassment to that person’s website host AFTER the fact are not making amends, rather, adding fuel to the fire, don’t you think?

Nonetheless, as with most drama, it quickly runs its course. And here we are… here I am with new subscribers, new twitter followers and most importantly, a new comments policy to help me cover my arse and you cover yours.

You Are a Fucking Twat

Yes, you. Firstly, for this:

I think woman who breastfeed in public is nasty! Go home or use the bathroom or something!!

…and then for the “I Don’t Support Breast Feeding in Public” Facebook group.

But, let’s assume for one second that you’re simply an ill-educated fool who doesn’t have a clue about babies feeding, and break down every single word of your stupid Facebook group to give you a little education:

I am not a mother myself and I was breast fed as a child. In public though I was given a bottle. I had a bottle since day one. I simply switched back and forth between breast feeding and a bottle.

Well done. Your mother risked nipple confusion because she was a prude. Nipple confusion, caused by the totally different suckling method between bottles and the breast, that can cause a baby to totally reject the breast. And what happens if she rejects the breast? No more breast milk. Yay, score one to the formula companies!

I do not believe I should have to watch other woman breast feed.

I do not believe I should have to watch fat people jiggle their bellies out of the top of their tight-fitting clothes. I do not believe I should have to watch teenagers chewing gum like cows chew cud. I do not believe I should have to watch couples sticking their tongues down each other’s throats. But they do, and I live with it, because it’s none of my fucking business. It doesn’t harm me, therefore I “live and let live”.

There are private lounges, bathrooms, and other private area where you can go if you have to breast feed.

Some places have private facilities where breastfeeding can be done. Some of these places are too hot, too cold, too smelly, too uncomfortable for me to even consider going in them. I don’t see why any breastfeeding mother should have to put up with that for the sake of one or two prudes.

As for bathrooms – do you eat in the bathroom? Do you consume food in a room where bacteria lingers for hours on every surface after a toilet is flushed? If you flush with the lid up, a polluted plume of bacteria and water vapour erupts out of the flushing toilet bowl. The polluted water particles float for a few hours around your bathroom before they all land.

Otherwise I feel you can give them a bottle. [..] If the child is fussy or hungry enough it will take the bottle or give it a pacifier.

And what if the child will take neither a bottle or a pacifier? My daughter does not know HOW to drink out of a bottle. She has no need to, therefore has never learned. If you place a bottle in her mouth, she sticks her tongue out and tries to make a back-forth motion with her tongue as she would to remove milk from the breast. This achieves nothing with a bottle, and would serve to frustrate her further if she was “fussy or hungry enough”. Likewise, she will not take a dummy/pacifier, and it’s easy to see why.

Let’s suppose, though, that Isabel is unique. That she’s the only baby in the world that cannot drink from a man-made nipple on a man-made bottle. What are all of these babies who’re out in public going to drink? Breastmilk? Not all mothers can express milk. It’s hard work. Imagine having your breast placed inside a hard plastic funnel, and your nipple tugged at unforgivingly by a stream of air powerful enough to pull your eyeball out. Yeah, I’m going to sit there and do that every time I need to nip to the shop just in case Isabel needs a feed… not. Of course, there’s an alternative, formula! Except that it’s inadequate and unnecessary when there are large milky breasts just waiting to be emptied.

The child will not starve to death in a few short hours.

A newborn infant has a stomach roughly the size of a marble/walnut (little people, little bellies). Furthermore, breast milk is digested rapidly; more quickly than artificial milk. It takes roughly 20 minutes for a baby to make use of that lovely, healthy milk. It makes sense, therefore, that it would require frequent small filings to keep a baby from going hungry. As the baby grows so does the stomach, but this is a slow process, and infants are designed to graze at the breast constantly (much like adults graze on snack food constantly, but we don’t expect them to eat in a bathroom).

It’s only in the West that we try and push a baby to go hours between feedings. No, a child will not starve to death in a “few short hours”, but a child does not know the meaning of “few short hours” and a baby that is hungry enough to cry for food needs it there and then, not in 3 hours time. Or would you rather listen to a hungry baby crying, wailing pitifully because its only source of nutrition is gone?

Anyone who says yes to that has clearly never heard a baby crying for food.

I don’t think I should have to watch you breast feed in front of me.

So turn around?

Breast feeding may be natural, but so is peeing and so is sex.

Have you ever tried to make an infant hold in their pee? It’s like asking them to wait for milk. It’s impossible. They have the need and the desire to urinate (or drink) now now now. They are not adults. Applying adult logic such as “suck it up, I’m to prude to watch you pee!” to a baby or a small child is just as stupid as “suck it up, I’m too prude to watch you eat!” hence why babies have diapers (nappies). So, while you can hold your full bladder, or your empty stomach for “a few short hours”, a baby cannot hold it for that long.

And if you can’t wait until you get home to have sex? See a doctor.

My baby’s needs are more important to me than your stupid, immature objections to a woman breastfeeding. If you don’t like it, look away.

You’re Fucking Kidding Me?

I was going through my stats earlier (as I do, several times a day, hah) when I came across Legion Training and Education Consultancy. No, I’m not planning on joining a foreign legion… the site is using tutorialtastic‘s layout and code — direct-linked files and all — as the base for their layout. Still, I’ve known about this site for a while but can’t be arsed to do anything about it because it’s not a ‘threat’ to my site(s).

With that said, almost nothing pisses me off more than someone making money off MY hard work. So, when I see someone advertising their “effective, stylish and affordable website design” using one of my old designs…

old1.net

…you can bet I’m not going to sit by and let some punk jack me off. So, Mr Daniel Alexandre, do you steal designs for your clients too, or just for your own sites?