The Pirate Society

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We had a similar conversation at a tracker forum, so bringing it here. I remember back in my n00b days I didn't care at all about video quality. HD video was just getting started in 2008, and a lot of movie releases were the usual "1 or 2 CD" 700 MB and 1.4 GB rips from scene trackers. I was using public trackers in 2008, and so my collection was usually those scene releases.

Slowly, I learned about better quality stuff. For example, one tracker specialized in "AFR" rips, where the size was not set at a certain number, but was a fraction of the raw disk. The encoders also tweaked the settings such that the quality was better. In addition, there is a whole art to making a high quality video encode, and it involves using multiple programs as opposed to just using "Handbrake" or...
There has been some discussion about this since a "popular HD Tracker" just instituted formal download requirements. Now the policies of different trackers will vary. There are some which have no requirements at all. So a "collector" could just log in to his tracker every 2 months and not download anything ever. (This is "bad behavior" of course.) One collector here at TPS talked about setting up a script to automatically log into all of his trackers on a regular basis to prevent them from being pruned for inactivity. (He was banned for progressing to even worse "rule breaking behavior.")

So to circumvent this kind of behavior, some trackers have instituted download and upload requirements. Some are simple, in asking for activity within the first months of signing up, and then there...
This should go without saying, but I just had to ban a guy who made a dupe account. Over the years it probably has happened about 2-3 times a year and it is annoying as all hell (and embarrassing for me as the inviter) when this happens.

Just a brief overview on disabled and banned members here. A banned member (a "Castaway") is someone banned for something where there is clear and convincing evidence of wrongdoing. Sometimes such members are reported to us by trackers. For obvious security reasons, the trackers will not give us the "proof," but as our partners, we trust that the trackers know what they're doing when they say someone here is a "bad user." Occasionally they make mistakes and we just ask the member to clear their name with the tracker and we'll take them back at TPS....
I was going to add this to my original blog article on this topic, but I can't find it, so I'll make a new one. Previously, we discussed why you might be careful who you talk to about your downloading hobby. I mentioned before, except for very close friends and family, the only other people I talk to are other fellow pirates, but they have to admit it to me first before I reciprocate. Glad I keep this "policy."

Anyway, a few days ago I was having a casual conversation with someone I met. Usually the conversation will turn to what we do for a living, and he said he worked for a "music publishing company." This got me interested, so I asked him what he did there, and he said their company holds the rights for various popular songs, so if a filmmaker or TV show director wants one of...
I wrote about how things you've done in your past affecting your future, but it was mainly about posting your pictures on Facebook and then seeing them blow up in your face when you apply to college or a job. Well here's another example. A family friend's son applied to be a cop. He flew through the physical requirements, but his interview didn't go too well. One of his interviewers was a humorless, utterly serious woman (a female equivalent of "Javert" from Les Miserables ;) ) who asked him all sorts of nosy questions about his past, and said that his answers would later be confirmed by polygraph so he better tell the truth. So the guy decides to be 100% honest. And what he said pretty much shocked his interviewer.

He had no qualms about talking about his previous marijuana...
Nothing to talk about torrent-wise, but lately at TPS we've ramped up the joking around and mild trolling on the forums and shoutbox, so this blog is a sampling of what I'd typically write in the Shoutbox or IRC to irritate my fellow members. (or to make them laugh). So if this article makes you laugh or annoys you, it served its purpose.

Just a couple of short stories

Way back when in residency, I met a resident who juste came out from Boston. She had never lived in Los Angeles before, and was homesick as hell. I remember saying how I liked the images of the clapboard houses along the harbor and she got really offended, but in retrospect, it would be like me moving to Boston and someone there saying how they enjoy walking along Hollywood Boulevard and seeing the Stars on the...
This topic has been making the rounds, here, at one of my trackers, and from reading our applications the folks at Reddit are talking about it. Now we've talked about certain "Golden Guidelines" which can and will get you banned at your trackers, but membership in forums is not a thing which will automatically cause an immediate banning, but can potentially cause problems, depending upon the tracker. Let's discuss it further.

First, there are forums which exist for "bad users" to use. They serve no other purpose but for "rule-breaking" behavior. For example, there is an infamous one which is dedicated to the practice of ratio cheating. (Note trackers are there and know all the tricks discussed in that forum.) There are others which serve the primary purpose for having members sell...
Was at the office, busy schedule, lots of paperwork and lots of phone messages to answer and I am interrupted by my receptionist, who says a company has a package for me, but since they are a wine company they need to confirm my address and phone number with me personally. I was a little puzzled, but thought this might be some weird law involving delivery of alcohol. So I take the call, give the guy my office address and phone number, and then he says, "well since I have you on the line, let me tell you about our company...." (They sell and ship wine.) I'm still being polite but tell him how busy I am and I cannot be listening to his marketing spiel. I cut him off, and ask him what the package is and who is it from? (Around the holidays, I get various little gifts sent to me, so it...
OK, I'm going to try to tackle I difficult and controversial topic, and try to keep things objective, even though the subject matter is a very emotionally charged one, and as blog articles should have a little personal story in it, I'll do that too.

The news has been buzzing about this article written in Rolling Stone magazine:

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/a-rape-on-campus-20141119

To very briefly summarize, the article describes a horrific story of a college freshman, given the name "Jackie," who went to a fraternity party at her college, the University of Virginia, and was tricked into going upstairs of the fraternity house, where she was brutally gang-raped. Then to worsen the situation, the culture at UVA seemed to want to not pursue the...
Lotteries are common in the whole world, and almost every person has bought a lottery ticket once in his life. I play on a Dutch lottery myself but like (I think) everyone here I never won anything besides a lousy 32" television as side prize.

But now why do people play the lottery? I myself don't really expect to win a big prize but I play because postal codes are picked here and prices get divided amongst ticket holders in the street. I once saw a show where they handed prizes and everyone played and won around E1.2million except 1 couple that didn't play. I don't want to be in their shoes!
I know some people play just for fun because others do, like at work in group. Some do it to support charity which gets a part of the earnings here. Some give or get tickets as present with the...