To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Tuesday August 1, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
The fountain of skulk

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To use the links in this newsletter, you must be connected to the Internet.  PC Eudora users: to see this and other html mail properly you must check the box "Use Microsoft's Viewer" in the "Viewing Mail" options.

WebSkulker was too skeptical

WebSkulker talked about in last Wednesday's  issue and was skeptical about how many DVD's you could really rent for their fixed price of $19.95 per month.  He thought that Netflix would send you 4 DVD's in one package, you would view those and send all 4 back in a single package, then some time later they would send you another package with 4.  But several jr. skulkers pointed out that Netflix works much better than that and it really is a great deal.  WebSkulker can confirm this because he only signed up for the service last week and since then has seen the rapid turnaround for himself.

Here is how Netflix really works, and why it is a great deal:  after signing up for an account, you go to their web site and build a list of any number of DVD's that they have available to rent.  That same day, they will mail you the first 4 in separate envelopes, and each envelope turns into a return mailer by tearing off the front panel addressed to you to expose a second panel addressed to them with postage prepaid.  So you can watch one DVD and immediately drop it in the mail.  The next day watch another one and drop it in the mail, or hold them as long as you want before sending them back.  When Nexflix gets a DVD back from you, that same day they will mail you the next available one from your list.  If this isn't fast enough for you, you can go to their web site and tell them that you mailed one back and they will believe you and immediately send the next one.

They have a very large selection of DVD's available and they seem to have most of them in stock.  The price again is $19.95 per month no matter how many you rent, so it's a great deal for jr. skulkers who will watch more than maybe 8 per month (Blockbuster is around $5 for 2 DVD's for 5 days). 


In last Friday's issue, WebSkulker gave several alternatives for sharing MP3 files in the belief that Napster would be shut down that night by a court order.  Later that afternoon, the court of appeals stayed the judge's order so that Napster can continue to operate until the court of appeals has time to consider the appeal, which is expected to be in September.  At that point the original injunction might come back and Napster will be shut down then, or the court might allow Napster to keep operating until a possible trial next year.


In the 6/15/00 issue, WebSkulker mentioned as a site that lets you listen to 120 channels of music in various genres. has a similar service with more than 100 originally programmed channels in 19 genres.  SoundsBig has their own player technology based on Java so that pretty much any computer and browser should be able to play their streams without needing to download anything else.  You can choose from three qualities based on your bandwidth, and even the slowest one sounds very good.


Jr. Skulker Busbar suggests that all of you read this article about a new version of the 56kb modem standard that will allow for "an increase of more than 40% in the maximum data rate towards the network to a new maximum of 48 kbit/s on the best connections; significantly quicker start-up times on recognized connections, and the ability to put the modem ‘on-hold’ when the network indicates that an incoming call is waiting."

Add skulking, subtract boredom

These three sites have the common theme of shareware to add privacy and control to your web browsing.

Jr. Skulker Randy Solton likes the Ad Subtract program which comes in one free and two paid versions, depending on features.  The best one "blocks ads, cookies, pop-up windows, animations, music, and more. Includes: Advanced Cookie Management - highlights dangerous online profiling cookies."


Jr. Skulker James Lopez recommends Proxomitron, which is free and much more comprehensive that AdSubtract, but seems more difficult to configure and use because it allows you to write your own filters that interact with elements of web sites you are viewing.  It does too much to even summarize the features; see the second link for details.


Jr. Skulker Stever18 told us about this page with links to many other tools for online privacy.

Potato-powered skulking

Have you jr. skulkers ever seen the kits sold in science stores that let you make a battery out of a potato or other vegetable?  The first site above is a hoax where someone claimed he built a web server that was powered by a potato battery, but again this one was admittedly a hoax.

Frederick White (who is not a jr. skulker) read about that hoax, did some experiments, and was able to accomplish what the hoax claimed: a web server that really is powered by a five-potato battery.  The second link above talks about this with pictures and graphs.  The third link lets you view a page served by the potato-powered machine.

We don't need no stinking skulkers

Speaking of science experiments, Jr. Skulker Uncle Brucie suggested the first link:  "The concept behind this site is so simple, it's easy to underestimate how fascinated and horrified you'll become once you start delving into it. One day, Mahlon Smith went to the market and purchased three packages of meat. Then he placed them on a plate in his neighbor's yard and returned each day for 19 days to record nature's progress with a digital camera. All in the name of science, of course. And while the photos might make your stomach turn, the clever commentary is bound to make you laugh. Warning: If you're a hot dog lover, perhaps it's best if you skipped this site."

The second link is a sequel to Rotting Meat called "Stinky Feet" where the author's goal was to infect himself with athlete's foot and photograph the result over a period of time.  It's too gross for WebSkulker to attempt a description.  The third link is haiku poems about the project.

This made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Marvelena Quesada

Some Time-Honored Truths

1. Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things. 

2. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor. 

3. One nice thing about egotists: They don't talk about other people. 

4. To be intoxicated is to feel sophisticated but not be able to say it. 

5. Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. 

6. The older you get, the better you realize you were. 

7. I doubt, therefore I might be. 

8. Age is a very high price to pay for maturity. 

9. Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. 

10. Women like silent men, they think they're listening. 

11. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it. 

12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. 

13. A fool and his money are soon partying. 

14. Do pediatricians play miniature golf on Wednesdays? 

15. Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to? 

16. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery. 

17. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting? 

18. If God dropped acid, would he see people? 

19. If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest have to drown too? 

20. If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2? 

21. If work is so terrific, how come they have to pay you to do it? 

22. If you're born again, do you have two bellybuttons? 

23. If you ate pasta and antipasta, would you still be hungry? 

24. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done? 

25. Why is it called tourist season if we can't shoot at them?


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