To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Thursday April 20, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
Yours sincerely skulking away

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No WebSkulker for the next couple of days

WebSkulker will be taking a brief vacation trip, so there will be no issue tomorrow or next Monday.  Expect the next issue in your email box on Tuesday, April 25.  If you can't do without your WebSkulker every day, then go to our archive of past issues and choose one of the earlier ones you never read before:

Also try out all the links at the left, especially the BBS.  Post some messages there!  And if you are really bored, then click on the link "Invite friends to subscribe" and help us get more readers!

Make free phone calls to jr. skulkers in other countries

Many of you jr. skulkers have been using the site that WebSkulker mentioned in the 10/27/99 issue to make free long distance calls from your computer to any phone number in the U.S., and some of you have been able to use from another country to dial into U.S. phone numbers.  Jr. Skulker Aron Kay told us about which is similar to, but better because they let you make calls to a few other countries besides the U.S.  But only lets you talk for 5 minutes per call. is therefore the better choice for calls to the U.S., but can be useful for other countries.

Which other countries can you call?  That's an interesting question because the home page says "more than 15 countries", but some of their other pages claim higher numbers.  The only list WebSkulker was able to find anywhere on their site shows only 13: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.

Click on the link above, click on their link "Sign-up now for free", and fill out their registration form.  They will send you an email with your registration code.  When WebSkulker tried it, he did not receive this email until about 14 hours later, so be patient.

By the way, one of WebSkulker's pet peeves is domain names that are intended to mean one thing, but when you look at all the letters running together, your eye sees something else.  This site is supposed to be thought of as "hot-telephone", but doesn't it look more like "hotel-phone"?

Animated automated skulkers

If they can replace news anchors with animated figures, then maybe someday us human skulkers will be obsolete.  Go to this site and click on the word "Play" under the cartoon picture.  A window will pop up that has buttons saying "Low" and "High".  Low is the default and you should leave it that way for regular modems.  If you have a DSL line or cable modem, then press High for a larger picture with higher resolution.  Either way, the cartoon character will read you a typical television news report using a high-quality speech synthesizer, and the cartoon will move and have expressions just like a human news anchor.

The second link above has a lot of technical information about how Ananova works.

They romp, we skulk

WebSkulker heard about this site on the radio.  The announcer said that it's run by the 24 year old son of Michael Eisner, CEO of the Disney corporation.  It has weird animations, games, movies, and other stuff that his dad probably wouldn't approve of.

This made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Grant Ellis

Schubert's Unfinished Symphony

A company Chairman was given ticket for a performance of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. Being unable to go, he passed the invitation to the company's Work Study Consultant. The next morning, the Chairman asked him how he had enjoyed it and, instead of a few plausible observations, he was handed a memorandum which read as follows: 

a. For considerable periods, the oboe players had nothing to do. The number should be reduced and their work spread over the whole orchestra, thus eliminating peaks of inactivity. 

b. All twelve violins were playing identical notes. This seems unnecessary duplication, and the staff of this section should be drastically cut. If a large volume of sound is really required, this should be obtained through the use of an amplifier. 

c. Much effort was absorbed in the playing of demisemiquavers. This seems an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes should be rounded up to the nearest semiquaver. If this were done, it should be possible to use trainees and low grade operators. 

d. No useful purpose is served by repeating with horns the passage that has already been handled by the strings. If all such redundant passages were eliminated, the concert could be reduced from two hours to twenty minutes. 

In the light of the above, one can only conclude that had Schubert given attention to these matters, he would probably have had time to finish his Symphony. 

A Work Study of similar symphonies according to these suggestions would permit various concerts each evening. Each second concert hall in the town would thus be free for other purposes. The resulting energy saving would be an important secondary effect.


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