To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Friday July 7, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
Hello skulkers, my old friends;
I've come to talk with you again

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Skulking through past issues

WebSkulker wrote about HotVoice in the 2/29/00 issue and wants to mention it again because they have greatly expanded their network of local telephone numbers in many cities around the world, including several cities that jr. skulkers live in.  HotVoice is a free service for people who are traveling overseas or who have friends or business associates overseas.  You sign up for an account, and then people in any of the 62 cities they currently serve can call a local phone number and leave a voicemail message or a fax.  Messages are picked up from their web site.

The second link above is a map showing the served cities.  If you will be traveling to any of these or know someone there, then definitely check out HotVoice.


WebSkulker has mentioned several times as his favorite free ISP because if you ignore the instructions on their web page and follow the instructions in our 2/3/00 issue, it is possible to use freewwweb without having to waste any screen space on ads like the other free services force you to do.  WebSkulker has also pointed out (see the 11/17/99 issue) that Freewwweb's business model doesn't make any sense, since they give everything away for free.  Well guess what?  The above links show that they recently filed for bankruptcy protection, and the second link is an image of the Petition in PDF format.

The BroadBand Report has information from a source who believes that Freewwweb will be bought by one of the other free ISP's, possibly Juno.  If Freewwweb is sold, the new company will probably just transfer its subscribers to their service and ignore everything else, so for example you would start logging into Juno's free service which definitely does show ads.  If that happens, WebSkulker will pass on to you jr. skulkers some tricks he has heard about other free ISP's that can be accessed without ads. 


WebSkulker has mentioned several sites that provide news, information, and tweaks to improve the performance of your computer.  SharkyExtreme is another one of these that we recommend highly.  The site also has a lot of information about the latest games.


WebSkulker mentioned this site in the 4/4/00 issue.  Jr. Skulker Bob Bernay points out that they changed their URL, so this is a good time to tell you jr. skulkers again about this great construction set written in Java.  People have been known to get addicted to this and play with it for hours.

WebSkulker thinks this has too much red tape

BigRedWire has a very strange service.  They are a long distance company that wants to be your default carrier if you are in the U.S., Hong Kong, or Australia.  For U.S. subscribers, their prices are pretty reasonable for interstate and international calls, but a little high for state-to-state calls.  They charge your calls to a credit card, and you can sign on to their web site at any time to review your account and see all the calls you made recently.

Now here's the unique and weird gimmick:  once per day, you can sign on to their web site and "zap" one call, i.e. delete it from your bill, provided that you have enough "volts", or points, that you get from making phone calls and looking at ads.  But read the fine print and you will see that you can't zap state-to-state calls, you can only zap calls up to $5.00, and you must sign in and zap a call within 5 days of making it.  This long distance service might make sense if you make no more than one fairly expensive (less than $5) call per day, and if their rates for the calls you will pay for aren't worse than you are already paying.

Free stuff for jr. skulkers

Jr. Skulker Ciber told us about this site which offers large mail-in rebates on everything they sell, and a lot of the rebates are equal to the price of the item so you get things for free.  The only gimmick seems to be that they take 10-14 weeks to mail you the rebate check.  Who knows if they will be in business that long, since this is yet another stupid business model.

The skulking life can be chaotic

This site has a few animations in Flash format, many of which poke fun at Metallica and Dr. Dre for suing Napster.

This made WebSkulker laugh


Picard: "Mr. LaForge, have you had any success with your attempts at finding a weakness in the Borg? And Mr. Data, have you been able to access their command pathways?" 

Geordi: "Yes, Captain. In fact, we found the answer by searching through our archives on late twentieth-century computing technology." 

Geordi presses a key, and a logo appears on the computer screen. 

Riker looks puzzled: "What the hell is 'Microsoft'?" 

Data turns to answer: "Allow me to explain. We will send this program, for some reason called 'Windows,' through the Borg command pathways. Once inside their root command unit, it will begin consuming system resources at an unstoppable rate." 

Picard: "But the Borg have the ability to adapt. Won't they alter their processing systems to increase their storage capacity?" 

Data: "Yes, Captain. But when 'Windows' detects this, it creates a new version of itself known as an 'upgrade.' The use of resources increases exponentially with each iteration. The Borg will not be able to adapt quickly enough. Eventually all of their processing ability will be taken over and none will be available for their normal operational functions." 

Picard: "Excellent work. This is even better than that 'unsolvable geometric shape' idea." 

15 Minutes Later 

Data: "Captain, we have successfully installed the 'Windows' in the command unit and as expected it immediately consumed 85% of all resources. However, we have not received any confirmation of the expected 'upgrade.'" 

Geordi: "Our scanners have picked up an increase in Borg storage and CPU capacity to compensate, but we still have no indication of an 'upgrade' to account for their increase." 

Picard: "Data, scan the history banks again and determine if there is something we have missed." 

Data: "Sir, I believe there is a reason for the failure in the 'upgrade.' Apparently the Borg have circumvented that part of the plan by not sending in their registration cards." 

Riker: "Captain we have no choice. Requesting permission to begin emergency escape sequence 3F . . ." 

Geordi, excited: "Wait, Captain; I just detected their CPU capacity has suddenly dropped to 0%!" 

Picard: "Data, what do your scanners show?" 

Data: "Apparently the Borg have found the internal 'Windows' module named 'Solitaire' and it has used up all the CPU capacity." 

Picard: "Let's wait and see how long this 'solitaire' can reduce their functionality." 

Two Hours Pass 

Riker: "Geordi, what's the status on the Borg?" 

Geordi: "As expected, the Borg are attempting to re-engineer to compensate for increased CPU and storage demands. But each time they successfully increase resources I have set up our closest deep space monitor beacon to transmit more 'windows' modules from something called the 'Microsoft fun-pack.'" 

Picard: "How much time will that buy us ?" 

Data: "Current Borg solution rates allow me to predict an interest time span of 6 more hours." 

Geordi: "Captain, another vessel has entered our sector." 

Picard: "Identify." 

Data: "It appears to have markings very similar to the 'Microsoft' logo." 


Data: "The alien ship has just opened its forward hatches and released thousands of humanoid-shaped objects." 

Picard: "Magnify forward viewer on the alien craft." 

Riker: "Good God captain! Those are humans floating straight toward the Borg ship with no life support suits ! How can they survive the tortures of deep space ?!" 

Data: "I do not believe they are human, sir. If you will look closer you will see that they are carrying something recognized by twenty-first century man as doeskin leather briefcases, and wearing Armani suits." 

Riker and Picard together (horrified): "Lawyers!!" 

Geordi: "It can't be. All the lawyers were rounded up and sent hurdling into the sun in 2017 during the Great Awakening." 

Data: "True, but apparently some must have survived." 

Riker: "They have surrounded the Borg ship and are covering it with all types of papers." 

Data: "I believe that is known in ancient vernacular as 'red tape.' It often proves fatal." 

Riker: "They're tearing the Borg to pieces!" 

Picard: "Turn off the monitors. I can't stand to watch. Not even the Borg deserve that."


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