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The strange and mysterious FAQ

Q: Who are you?

A: I'm Bill Webb.

Q: No, who are you really?

A: I'm Bill Webb. Or mnvcmzxbv. Or whatever you prefer to call me...unless you're from Doubleclick, in which case I'm Jane Morgandorfer, a 43-year-old widow from Peoria.

Q: No, we represent Evil Spyware, Inc. and didn't like your review of our Technologies ...w need your meatspace name and suing address.

A: Bugger off. If you want to route a nasty letter to me/my family/my employer... go look it up on your own dime. I won't stop you, but I'll be damned if I'm giving you help.

Q: Who do you work for?

A: Top secret. I'd tell you, but then I'd have to sell you a motor.

A2: No, you're not getting me fired for my opinionated review of your privacy-invading Technologies. But nice try.

Q: Are you aware that your site's address, spoken, sounds like the term describing everyone's favourite people-making process?

A (glib): No, it does NOT sound like "In Vitro Fertilization" :)

A: Yes, it's crossed my mind. How did I come by this name? Well, an apt abbreviation for counterexploitation is CX. were taken. As were and I don't know of too many people who would actually type in "" without worrying about carpal-tunnel, so it was. ( and were taken as well, but are now squatted upon by Snappy Domains Guy.) It's not because I thought the idea of some radio guy saying "cexx org" on the air would be extremely funny...although in retrospect, it is. Of course, no matter how many times I explain the origin of the address, it won't stop all those tongue-in-cheek references to safe CEXX, free CEXX, paying for CEXX, CEXX.ORGies, group CEXX, CEXX partners, CEXX Education, CEXX in the news, CEXX in schools, CEXX scandals, the Junior Anti-CEXX League, or of course, People Are Still Having CEXX (And Nothing Seems To Stop Them). Well, at least it doesn't rhyme with a body part...

Q: Is this a WAREZ site?

A: No. I don't know where the whole "black background = WAREZ" idea came from...but we do not purvey, endorse, condone, etc. WAREZ.

Q: But you mentioned Napster!

A: Please note that any words of support I express for technological tools, such as DeCSS/Napster/Gnutella/CPhack/etc. are not condoning any possible real or imagined acts of theft taken on by users of the tool, but the tool IN AND OF ITSELF. I particularly don't care for any precedents making a toolmaker responsible for every possible not-nice use of the tool after it leaves his hands, and think the legal wars along those lines are getting a bit silly. (Holding Napster accountable for a piracy committed by one of its users is a bit like holding the clerk at Home Depot responsible for a murder committed with a length of lead pipe purchased there. In fact, you might as well just cut out the middlemen and sue the power company, who provided the electricity that facilitated both the hypothetical piracy AND sale of lead pipe.) Just like my web site is a tool, and I can neither control nor take responsibility for how anyone out there uses the informational resources available herein. Unfortunately, the current state of US law and megacorp-friendly politicians (they're cheaper when you buy 'em in bulk) does not favor my view of a tool as a tool, so please don't print out copies of my site and use them to inflict deadly paper cuts on anyone. You Have Been Warned!

Q: Are you aware that there are *swear words* on your site?

A: Yes. And come on, people, this is the new politically-correct millenium. They prefer to be called "cuss words".

Q: Doesn't that make you look like an un-professional boob? No respectable site would use the George Carlin words. In the Oxford dictionary there are 13.6 million bazillion words, and only 7 of them you can't say on TV. They must be really bad.

A: Depends on your viewpoint, and on your idea of respectable. I could always "clean up my act", change to black text on a pristine white background, put up big blinking banners and X10 plop-unders, give flowery reviews to every piece of Microsoft crudware that comes along in hopes of getting/maintaining hefty $ponsorship, and use the typically sugar-coated, watered-down language the Respectable Content Makers use so as not to step on the toes of all those companies that could potentially supply them with advertising dollars in the forseeable future. Or I could call it like I see it, and not be scared to call a dickhead a dickhead. Sucks does not mean non-optimal, or could be better, or has a way to go. It means sucks. Blunt news, reviews and diction are Kryptonite to PR-obsessed, family-friendly, lowest-common-denominator megacorps and, if you care to see it this way, your assurance that this site is independently owned and operated, and is not toning down anything at the behest of unwholesome third parties.

For reference, you can expect this site to be at the rating level of your average Stephen King novel, or--for you movie buffs--PG to PG-13.

Q: Can I quote you?

A: Yes.

Q: Can I link to your site?

A: Yes. You don't have to ask me first, just go ahead and do it.

Q: We get insanely hight amounts of traffic, can we still link to your site?

A: Bandwidth doesn't grow on trees, so if your site is getting Slashdot-level traffic (and you know who you are), you are allowed (and encouraged) to make a temporary copy of what you're linking to and mirror it on your own site for up to seven days, in combination with a link to the real thing. For reference, this applies to sites that are getting more traffic than C|Net and ZDnet combined. 99.9% of sites can ignore this question.

Q: How do you PAY for all this? Are you performing sexual favours for the people over at Covad?

A: This site is my hobby, and I pay for it out of pocket. Unfortunately I am male, and so would typically have to pay for any sexual favors exchanged. Which, incidentally, is probably cheaper than colocation. /*considers changing hobbies*/

In light of recent costly bandwidth overages, I've set up a system where truly awed/rich visitors can make anonymous donations. Needless to say, I'll probably have to clear this with crack teams of roving lawyers sometime.

Q: Can I come thru with one of those Site Downloader tools and make copies of the entire site?

A: No, no Site Downloaders, please. Again, I can't very well go into my backyard and pull some fiber off a Bandwidth Tree, so snarfing every page, program, image, tarball, etc. in my directories wouldn't be very nice. A lot of these files you might find completely useless to boot. If you really, really must have a copy of the entire site sitting on your hard disk, email me and ask real nice, and I'll send it to you as a zipfile.

Q: Do you own any trademarks/copyrights/patents/etc. on the word counterexploitation?

A: No. It is a common word (or commonly-derivable), and I make no claims to it.

Q: So I could also have a counterexploitation website? There could be hundreds of them by 2005?

A: Sure! In fact, if a bunch more good CX sites start popping up, I'll start maintaining a list of them.

Q: So I could go out and trademark it on behalf of Megawidget, Inc., and sue you off the face of the planet?

A: Sorry, that's where I have to draw the line. (You could always step over the line, but you won't like what you step in.)

Q: I'm getting a lot of spam, and I know you hate spammers. Can I forward all my spam to you so you can chase after all those icky spammers?

A: Please don't. Trust me, I get enough spam already, and have more than enough fun hounding my own spammers. But if you get a piece of spam that is SO racously hilarious that I absolutely MUST see it, send away. I'll probably get a chuckle out of it, but probably won't come to the spammer's house with a baseball bat. I save that for MY spammers.

Q: So like, I have these telemarketers calling me all the time, and I know you despise telemarketing calls--


Q: I sent you a mail three weeks ago and haven't gotten a reply.

A: I get lots of email--lots of email--and while I read every single message, I can't write a long winded response to every one and still have time to eat/sleep/etc. If it's not something that needs a reply, you probably won't get one. E.g. people sending me (stories about annoying commercial they saw / general site comments / keep-up-the-good-work / etc.)...won't get an answer to the question they didn't ask. Or, I may have 4 weeks worth of mail already piled up, and you're still near the bottom. Do keep in mind that I have a life off the 'Net and a fulltime job/school (depending on season), so the time I have to maintain my inbox and Web site is becoming limited.

Q: I sent you a mail entitled "Hi, I'm Bob and I have a free home page on CrapCities, and don't like ad banners, so could you look through my site and find out how they're putting in the ads, and give me code to hide them?" and didn't get a reply.

A: Due to time constraints, freeloaders, lack of interest and any number of other reasons, I'm officially out of that business. I still have an out-of-date page on deceptive Free Webpage Providers and how to wipe out their horrific spamfests, which you're free to look at... but if they've been doing it for three years now, don't you think it's about time you moved out already?

Q: But they're really annoying!

A: Maybe Banner Killers/Banner Sweepers (look 'em up online) has some up-to-date code for them. The whole idea was for you to wipe out their plopups and such while directing your existing readers to your NEW address, not to just keep your stuff up at the old one for all of eternity.

Q: Your site layout/background/etc is such a blatant ripoff of The Matrix it's not even funny.

A: No. It's looked like this from the start, long before The Matrix. I stole it from The Omega's AdFarce Virus page (with permission), which has had it even longer before The Matrix. (Speaking of originality, did you know that the term 'The Matrix' was apparently ripped off an old episode of Doctor Who, where the Good Guys insert themselves into a computer-generated world [yes, called the Matrix] to do battle with the forces of evil?)

Q: What is your connection with Steve Gibson (GRC)?

A: None whatsoever. Like the fictional WaReZ Connection, I have no idea how this got started. I detest spyware and companies who feel it their duty to invade the privacy of private citizens--as does Steve--but that's about it, honest. Of course, my site's WHOIS information doesn't help matters any :)

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