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Monday, November 17, 2008

HUMOR and SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY: 5 Ways To Keep Your Drunken Self Away From The Internet

This was sent as a joke on the mass emailing that the gang who I was in Peace Corps with sends out. Though it's actually by a guy I twitter with! - OlderMusicGeek

5 Ways to Keep Your Drunken Self Away From the Internet
November 14, 2008 - 1:47 pm PDT - by Joel Falconer 14 Comments

Going near the Internet when you’re drunk is a bad, bad idea. Many people have discovered this the hard way. It’s particularly bad if you work online.

Google acknowledged this potential threat of the modern age when they provided a Gmail feature to keep you out of your inbox after you’ve hit the bottle. Once enabled, the feature will ask you to solve some mathematical problems before allowing you to send anything to anyone.

Most people, unfortunately, can still remember where the Calculator application is on their computer, even with a good half bottle of whiskey stuffed in their innards, so this hasn’t proven too effective for most. And still, there’s plenty of damage to be done in places where Gmail’s watchful eyes can’t protect you: Twitter, Facebook, your own blog. Even MySpace, though the chances of anyone noticing drunken behavior as anything but the norm over there aren’t high.

Here are a few methods for keeping your drunken alter-ego away from the computer. Hopefully, you’ll have a tougher time getting around these than you did getting around Gmail’s math quiz.

1. Hide the Power Cable

We all know Mac users like to gloat about how they never have to shut their computers down. But they’re also the most likely to get drunk and go surfing the net in such a sad state. I’m a Mac user myself, I should know.

Shut the computer down, take your power cable, and hide it somewhere. Preferably, your hiding place will require the assistance of a chair to reach, like the top of a cupboard or up in the roof through the manhole. That way, once you’ve had your fill, you won’t be able to get up there. Sure, you’ll try. But you’ll fall off the chair a few times, get a concussion and break some expensive items on your way down.

You certainly won’t be getting anywhere near that cable.

2. Install Linux

Here’s a surefire way to make sure you never make it to the desktop. Install Linux on your computer, and make sure it’s one of those versions that spews out heaps of unreadable machine-speak as it boots up. You know the sort, white text on a black background, a modern day reminder of your DOS years.

I’ll guarantee it, if you’ve had enough to drink, you won’t make it to the login screen. All that fast scrolling text will have you dizzy and nauseous. With any luck, you’ll perform a power chuck all over the screen, making it impossible to write an email or tweet something terrible.

And come on. Don’t tell me you can just clean up the chuck when you’re that drunk.

3. Follow Security Best Practices

You know those security best practices instructions from the IT department that you ignored? Follow them. Don’t let your machine save passwords. Come up with meticulously crafted passwords with impossible-to-memorize strings of numbers and letters. Then, don’t store your passwords anywhere.

Sure, you won’t remember those excruciatingly long strings even when you’re sober, not without writing them down. But isn’t it all worth it? Now you can’t get yourself fired or destroy your relationship by posting the wrong photo to Facebook.

4. Play Waterfall Tracks

Go to the nearest new age shop and grab a CD of waterfall and wildlife sounds. Rip the CD and put the tracks on loop. You know how waterfall sounds work—every time you go anywhere near the computer, you’ll have to rush to the bathroom. You won’t be able to hang around long enough to stop the track or turn off the speakers—ah, the simple power of beer.

5. Go to the Pub

Seriously, does nobody go out to drink anymore? Also, have you ever noticed that the last item in a list is always the most obvious idea? It’s expensive to drink out, I know, but it certainly doesn’t cost as much as losing your job. The other benefit is that your spouse won’t be on your back all night about picking up the beer caps you keep throwing across the room.

There’s still a danger: the smartphone. The smartphone that allows you to take an embarrassing photo and send it to all your friends by email, or publicly tweet it. Leave the smartphone at home.

Image courtesy of iStockPhoto, iwan_drago
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