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Nationwide Domain Name/Yard Sign Conspiracy

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the tragically-yes-I'm-single dept.

The Internet 324

robertjmoore writes "Everywhere I go lately, I see these lawn signs that say "Single?" and then give a URL with my town's name in it. Being a huge business intelligence geek with too much time on my hands, I decided to track down who was behind them and wound up uncovering ten thousand domain names, a massively coordinated and well-funded guerilla marketing machine, and the $45 Million revenue business hiding behind it all. Hot off the presses, these are my findings."

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this story sucks (-1, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25665851)

what about electing a yellow president, now?

Re:this story sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666039)

McCain?

signs (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25665899)

Those are all over SE PA. West Chester in particular.

Re:signs (2, Funny)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666021)

Ditto for the suburbs of DC. It's like road spam.

Re:signs (5, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666043)

We should start a counter-campaign:

Married?
LincolnSwingers.com

Together (4, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666195)

Has been around since long before the web- this is just their latest marketing technique. I'm actually a somewhat satisfied customer- turned out to be a great way for a geek to get a family, just faxed them my commute map and they introduced me to a gal who became my wife two years later. It helped greatly that her apartment was halfway home on my commute.

Re:Together (2, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666335)

But why not do subdomains, it has to be insanely cheaper?

Almost every demographic I've listened to the radio in has *helpwanted.com. I doubt that people would mess up *.helpwanted.com, plus it'd be MUCH cheaper.

Re:Together (2, Informative)

doconnor (134648) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666411)

It seems to be that cost of printing planting these signs are much higher then the cost of a domain name, so it's no big deal to them.

Re:Together (5, Informative)

asylumx (881307) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666725)

RTFA, it explains this (in my own words): The localized domains give the impression that this is a local shop so the perceived likelyhood of finding a match are higher.

Re:Together (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666377)

Is this one of those fake "chance encounter" things, where you know where someone will be and what they want in a mate, and you pretend not to know? I hope not!

Re:Together (2, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666711)

Nope. In fact, if they still operate the same way, you get a phone # and a first name and a hint for what to talk about. And that's it. Meeting in person is up to you.

However, I'm not sure they still operate the same way- this was ~11 years ago. And they closed their office in Oregon soon afterward.

Re:Together (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666503)

>>Has been around since long before the web- this is just their latest marketing technique. I'm actually a somewhat satisfied customer-
---

did they charge you $3000 to $15000?

Re:Together (4, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666641)

$3600 actually, and that's where the somewhat comes in. It came to prepaying $100 for each introduction, used or unused, in blocks of 36. I only needed 5- so you could look at it that I was taken for $3100.

Women were charged significantly less- my wife bought in blocks of 6 instead of 36, and I was her 12th introduction.

The cost included at that time "therapy sessions" which allowed you to discover and refine what you wanted in a mate. Given the gals I was introduced to- I was either confused or they weren't using that part correctly.

Re:Together (2, Funny)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666507)

Clearly, their marketing has invaded Slashdot.

Who you gonna call? (1)

1_brown_mouse (160511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25665903)

Oliver Stone?
Amazing Randi?
Da Po Lice?
Agents Scully and Mulder? /Not single but still desperate for attention

Re:Who you gonna call? (3, Funny)

Enry (630) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666223)

Ghostbusters.

Duh.

Which URL? (-1, Offtopic)

DamonHD (794830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25665909)

http://gallery.hd.org/ [hd.org] ?

No, wait...

Re:Which URL? (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25665975)

StayOffOfMyLawn.com

peh. (4, Funny)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25665933)

yes, yes, yes, I'm sure you uncovered a conspiracy of epic proportions behind the dating sites, but this is /. and only one thing matters....


did you get a date?


why yes, I am new round here.. how did you know?

Conspiracy? (3, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25665939)

Do the yard signs read your thoughts and beam them to a satellite? Are they emitting high levels of gamma radiation? Are the dating sites linked to Al Qaeda?

Re:Conspiracy? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25665977)

yes, yes, and YES!

Re:Conspiracy? (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666585)

OMG it all makes sense now....Cheney is behind this and after we begin a war again his competitors lawn signs than he will profit off the immunity his company receives...

it would have worked if it weren't for that meddling author.

Now the first test for the Obama administration is whether or not he can find a solution and a strategy to combat those sign terrorists...and close the loopholes those dating sites are using to cheat their taxes.

Don't tell me... (3, Funny)

novalogic (697144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25665945)

Even singles sites are lonely enough to pay for some action... I thought I was the only one willing to pay out $100 for head...

but do they work ? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25665951)

Has anyone seriously got a date from one of these sites ? It seems Mr. Moore overlooked a vey obvious question in his research.

Re:but do they work ? (1)

alanshot (541117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666147)

if you RTFA he states:

"... I also found an unverified claim from a disgruntled ex-employee on ripoffreport.com that claims the company charges their customers from $3,000 to over $15,000 for their matchmaking services."

So yes, if you go to the site and shell out big bucks, you can get a date. (at least according to one unverified disgruntled employee.)

Re:but do they work ? (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666213)

Being ripoffreport, "disgruntled employee" has a rather broad definition that could also often mean "customer who should have known better."

Re:but do they work ? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666217)

Well, his research led to the very company that introduced me to my wife in 1998...though this seems like a better marketing method than what they were using back then, which was psychobabble about psychological testing combined with direct-mail postcards.

Re:but do they work ? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666459)

However, considering this is an article about guerrila marketing, seeing you comment several times about how good they are is bound to raise suspicions ;)

Re:but do they work ? (4, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666681)

Ok, here's a negative- they took me for $3100 for introductions contracted for that I never used because they required guys to buy in blocks of 36 introductions where they only required women to buy in blocks of 6.

Of course, I haven't had contact since they closed their Oregon office a year after I got married....

Re:but do they work ? (4, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666319)

If you're looking, I'm a big fan of plentyoffish.com. I'm a bit biased since I met my current girlfriend there. It's 100% free. Minimal (very very minimal) ads and ... I like it is all.

Re:but do they work ? (1)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666341)

This is /. why would you be interested in a girl anyway?

Re:but do they work ? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666423)

I dated a girl for about 3 months after meeting her through one of the dating service sites (after being on it for like 6 months). We really didn't have much in common, and though we're still friends, the relationship had to end.

But I am convinced that between 60-75% of the "matches" you get are filler accounts. So in the time I was a member, I probably rejected/got rejected by 300 or so matches.. and spoke with 1 of them.

Those sites do work, I know some people who met through one and are happily married.. but I believe the numbers of subscribers are phoney.

Guerrilla Marketing (5, Insightful)

apt142 (574425) | more than 5 years ago | (#25665959)

This is extremely fascinating. I'm not quite sure how it becomes news for nerds. But fascinating none the less.

Re:Guerrilla Marketing (4, Informative)

MrSparkle (127251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666051)

Guerrilla Marketing indeed. The article itself is a slashvert for the author's company. Nice.

Re:Guerrilla Marketing (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666183)

Why is it news for nerds? The same reason you found it fascinating.

Guy observes something odd related to his field of work.

Guy notices more oddities, all related.

Guy gets an itch to figure out what is going on, and scratches the itch.

Guy keeps on scratching until he's completely satisfied.

Seriously, what nerd hasn't done the same thing in their particular field of interest? Whether it's the grepping to find instances of an odd item in your logs, or statistical analysis to compare voting records by state to federal balance of payment figures, or figuring out how to make the pelvic actuators on your girl robot work properly, one thing all nerds have in common is sleuthing.

Nerdhood, to me, is defined by inquisitiveness and a strong dedication to finding answers and increasing our knowledge. So yes, it's news for nerds, since we can all relate to the author's search for truth.

Re:Guerrilla Marketing (0)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666305)

Yes but on /. he only rates a junior chipmunk badge, interesting but solidly entry level nerdom.

Re:Guerrilla Marketing (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666365)

Since when is this type of behavior for us restricted to our fields of interest?

To me, we're monkeys to the monkey power. Curious as all hell and our biggest weakness is a problem to solve.

To make matters worse, we subconsciously define almost everything interesting as a problem. And once we've done that...well, you might as well go make tea, cause we're not letting go until we've solved it.

Re:Guerrilla Marketing (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666605)

Since when is this type of behavior for us restricted to our fields of interest?

Some of us have more (and wider) fields of interest than others.

I notice things all the time that raise questions I'd like answers to... but the only ones I really dig into are the ones that interest me in general. I don't have time to solve all the problems I define, so I only obsess over the ones:

(1) I get paid to obsess over
(2) that are in my general fields of interest
(3) apply to my general fields of interest as well as the particular field the problem occurs in.

Of course, by looking at things in fields we don't know much about, we often gain insight into the fields we already have good understanding of... so most nerds, I think, enjoy expanding the fields of interest.

But there's no way in hell I'll ever spend time tracking plotlines of daytime soaps in order to get insight into what their producers feel is view-worthy television, and by extension, what daytime TV watchers like to experience vicariously, and how I can use that information to pitch scifi shows and movies to my wife so she'll watch them with me.

Oh crap. Now I'm going to need to do exactly that. Thanks a lot, buddy... there goes the weekend.

Re:Guerrilla Marketing (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666205)

Yeah, it was a great read. I see the signs periodically in Minnesota, I used to live in Eagan and the first time I saw the signs they were misspelled as Eagen or Egan but a few weeks later they were fixed.

Luckily (???) I'm already married so I don't have to worry about this stuff anymore.

Re:Guerrilla Marketing (2, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666291)

It's news for nerds because they're gobbling up space on nameservers. It does affect you.

BTW, these signs are all over NE Ohio as well. I concluded it was some local get-rich-quick schmuck with a magic marker. Seriously interesting to find out that's not the case.

Re:Guerrilla Marketing (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666637)

Its interesting, but why didnt he just fill out the form and see where he would be redirected to or wait for someone to contact him? I doubt they demand payment before revealing who they are or what they do. It seems like this is a manufactured mystery if not an ad for the author's own company.

missed the point (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25665979)

I think you missed the point. You were suppose to go to the URL to get a date NOT research the registration.

Re:missed the point (5, Funny)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666109)

This gives me an idea for a new set of yard signs: "Single? Bored? www.slashdot.org"

Re:missed the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666557)

This gives me an idea for a new set of yard signs: "Single? Bored? www.slashdot.org"

Hey, Slashdot can cure the boredom, but not the singleness. Dating, at least for me, cured neither my boredom nor my singleness. On balance, /. wins.

Re:missed the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666697)

we

Slow News Day? (-1, Offtopic)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#25665993)

Okay, I understand the need for new and fresh content to keep the customers coming back, but an article about a dating site that uses town names from across America?

I am not quite which is more sad. That this article got approved for the main page, or that I am taking the time to point out how sad it is?

I, for one, welcome our massively-coordinated and well-funded guerilla marketing machine overlords.

Re:Slow News Day? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666097)

I, for one, welcome our massively-coordinated and well-funded guerilla marketing machine overlords.

Is my understanding correct that all you want for Christmas is a PSP? (A PSP? A PSP?)

Re:Slow News Day? (4, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666189)

Okay, I understand the need for new and fresh content to keep the customers coming back, but an article about a dating site that uses town names from across America?

Let's think this through:

1. Anyone who wants to get more Obama can go to news.google.com and read through several dozen international news sources, as well as the Huffington Post and Fox "News", and get more than enough of the regular headlines.

2. Slashdot, as a news aggregator, is finding slim pickins on the tech side, as Obamamania sucks the oxygen out of every other news story. Cool for us political wonks, not so cool for CowboyNeal & co.

3. This really is a nationwide conspiracy. Every tiny suburb and exurb of Dallas is frequently spammed by these guys. I thought they were a local outfit, so it's very interesting to see the extent of their reach.

4. The way the guy investigated is cool, and I'm sorely tempted to upgrade my own DomainTools.com account to "paid" status, now that I know that it really works.

5. Last, but CERTAINLY not least, it's about a DATING SITE. Dating, as you may have heard, is part of the mating ritual of Homo Sapiens Solaris, aka "those of us who have emerged from our parents' basements". It involves meeting FEMALES, which is kind of an awesome concept when you think about it. Opportunities for +5 Funny moderations abound (deserved or not).

I think the "Together Dating" guerrilla marketing behemoth, with its sign spam [causs.org] , is reaching the same shallow end of the gene pool that buys enough v1@g@ra to keep our inboxes full of e-spam. Pretty sad. Especially when there's a free dating site [plentyoffish.com] that almost certainly generates better results. But I guess some folks think, if you don't pay for it, it's not worth anything. Hopefully, those folks won't be asking me for a date.

Re:Slow News Day? (2, Funny)

E++99 (880734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666685)

Dating, as you may have heard, is part of the mating ritual of Homo Sapiens Solaris.

What?! I hadn't realized the human race had officially speciated by operating system!

Re:Slow News Day? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666735)

Regarding number 4, don't waste money. netcraft.com and the manual pages for nmap and whois are all you need to do what he did.

Well done (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666005)

I was going to bitch about the submitter advertising his company in the summary but after reading the article, I say that he has earned it. I didn't much care about this company but the whole detective process was quite fascinating.

Cheers

Re:Well done (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666107)

I was going to bitch about the submitter advertising his company in the summary but after reading the article, I say that he has earned it. I didn't much care about this company but the whole detective process was quite fascinating.

Agreed.

What I'd like to see next is this guy taking out the "Crazy Fox" scam. Late-night TV commercials with the same video, namely a poorly-rendered CGI fox, talking about what an awesome home-based-business... yadda yadda yadda. The commercials are identical, except for a random number prefixed or suffixed to the domain name containing the string "crazyfox".

It's obviously a pyramid scheme of some sort, but the mechanism of spamvertizing it is ultimately the same as that employed by the "randomaffiliatename"{singles|dating}.com scam. The only difference is that it uses TV commercials (which are probably the "thing" being "sold" by the people at the top of the pyramid) instead of lawn signs.

Re:Well done (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666547)

I'm more concerned about the "send us your old and worn out gold jewelry ads".

I miss the DeVry metallic zombie ads. I particularly liked it when ads inserted by the local cable company replaced them, but at the end of the block, you saw just a flash of the zombie at the end. AAH!

Two things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666033)

First, this guy gets my "Too Much Time On Your Hands" award for the week.

Second, his methodical and unceasing pursuit really makes me hope he has his laptop stolen one day-- I'm sure the tale of how he tracks down the thief and recovers the laptop will certainly rival the P-P-Powerbook story in terms of entertainment value.

Fines? (4, Insightful)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666041)

Now that we know who is behind putting up all these signs, apparently without permission, won't there be some huge fines coming up?

Re:Fines? (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666343)

That's exactly what I was wondering. I don't know about the local statutes in all the areas where these folks operate, but at least in a few of them it must be illegal. In some, advertising may not be legal, in others it may be a littering offense - but it can't be something that is just allowed everywhere.

It is probably just a low level annoyance for each property owner (what, they get a sign like this a couple of times a year each), and without knowing who to complain about it would be difficult to ever get a fine to anyone. Come to think of it, that blog isn't going to help most people find out who put that sign in their park, yard, school, etc. So there will probably be no practical effect from the disclosure of the parties responsible.

Re:Fines? (4, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666619)

In my city, a little old lady was arrested walking down main street placing more of these signs by none other than the chief of police. The signs stopped appearing for awhile, but apparently they got someone to replace her.

It's disappointing to see. . . (3, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666049)

the low percentage of signs advertising for asians.

Mmmm, asian women. You can eat a lot because you never fill up!

Re:It's disappointing to see. . . (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666181)

Meh, just head to Macon, GA or Monroe, LA. When the cops in those towns feel that they need some good publicity, they bust the places to seem like they're "doing something." That being said, they probably finally ran some of them out of Macon for a long time...those places are getting notorious for human trafficking and smuggling...

My garbage can is full of these signs (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666059)

These signs appear in my neighborhood about once a week in the wee hours of Monday morning. I usually remove about 10 of these signs from my neighborhood by 8:30 am. To date I have disposed of about 250 yard signs. It is illegal to post the yard signs on my property and my fellow home owners property without our permission. Thanks to your research our lawyers will be able to send letters to the proper people now.

What are you going to do with them? (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666607)

Are they the corrugated plastic ones with metal stands? Those make great target holders when you go to the range.

Same pic, different names... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666061)

Yeah, and I have seen the same picture come up with different names/ages printer under them... pretty safe to guess that they aren't from your town.

It's an interesting story... (3, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666069)

High churn rates mean new customers have low, volatile expected lifetime values. This has a negative impact on the equity value of each customer, making it difficult to justify the valuation multiples seen by membership-driven websites in other verticals.

...but an English translation might be more accessible.

Re:It's an interesting story... (2, Informative)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666317)

High churn rates mean new customers have low, volatile expected lifetime values. This has a negative impact on the equity value of each customer, making it difficult to justify the valuation multiples seen by membership-driven websites in other verticals.

...but an English translation might be more accessible.

People don't keep their memberships for very long. Because of that, the difference between your recruiting cost and your subscription price has to be wider than other membership sites.

Better?

Re:It's an interesting story... (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666351)

Translation:

High churn rates mean new customers have low, volatile expected lifetime values.

People don't stay on dating sites for long

This has a negative impact on the equity value of each customer, making it difficult to justify the valuation multiples seen by membership-driven websites in other verticals.

So you don't make that much money per customer

Re:It's an interesting story... (3, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666373)

Well, since the author kindly provides a plug for his company's services, the translation is:

If you can understand what these terms are, I can communicate with you professionally, and maybe you could use my services.

If you don't understand these terms, I hope you enjoy this story.

If you don't understand these terms, or only somewhat understand them, but feel like you want to use these terms to impress your bosses, you need my help. Contact me and we'll work something out.

nice (1)

kingsteve612 (1241114) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666075)

Awesome topic. I see those signs everywhere around my town as well. I live in a Minneapolis suburb. They're probably everywhere around the US in semi-major cities/suburbs.

The "from the..." Department (4, Insightful)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666079)

I know I'm slightly off-topic here, but I really have to wonder about timothy's choice of department for this article. It is:

from the tragically-yes-I'm-single dept.

Now, I am not trashing people who are in relationships or who are married or anything else. Please do not take my response that way. But my question is - why is it so "tragic" these days if someone is single? It seems as if everybody spends much of their waking time thinking about whether or not they have a date Friday night and the never do something with their lives. I personally have a number of a friends (girls tend to be the worst offenders) that gain their self-esteem from whether or not they are in a relationship. That seems horrible to me (and a really crummy way to live).

I don't know...mini-rant I suppose. I guess I just don't see what the big deal is about being single. Yeah, it *can* be lonely at times. But even people in relationships can be lonely. (On the flip side, I do know singles who can be alone, but their not lonely.) Being single offers so many advantages - your time is yours, your money is yours, you aren't tied down, and single people (especially ones who are content with that) tend to adventure a lot more.

Why being single = a bad thing, I don't think I'll totally understand.

Any response back from anybody here on Slashdot?

Re:The "from the..." Department (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666227)

But my question is - why is it so "tragic" these days if someone is single?

Because people in relationships find them so pleasing they dont know why anyone wants to be single. They like having someone and never being lonely.

In reality, you can find fulfillment any way you like, but typically people prefer to couple up.

Re:The "from the..." Department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666233)

Because like any animal, humans have a primary goal of reproduction? This will include protecting the offspring in a pair-bond. Humans are also generally social by nature. Therefore these things really are important to a lot of people.

It's just an innate behavior, without which we would be extinct.

Re:The "from the..." Department (2, Insightful)

SeanGilman (1083559) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666237)

It's more a statement of how the person saying it feels about being single. If you did not feel being single was tragic you would probably state it along the lines of "yes-I'm-single dept"

Re:The "from the..." Department (3, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666261)

More or less agree since the logic is that if you're single, you're somehow worth less than someone who's with someone (i.e. you're a loser). Sort of like if a woman isn't married by 30, she's over the hill.

As far as the money/time/etc is concerned, agreed, it is yours and it is great not having to worry about anyone bouncing a check, spending more than you had planned or a whole host of other things.

The flip side, as you allude to, is that there are those times you want to spend it with someone, whether a football game, a movie or a simply walk in the woods. Then there's the whole human touch thing for those of us who are of the affectionate type. It's especially difficult when you work with a few cuties and your mind has lascivious thoughts of them throughout the day. Not good for work performance.

Then again, dating is like combat [earthlink.net] so it's not necessarily an easy thing to do.

But then, what do I know? I have an entire region of women who want nothing to do with me unless they want a problem solved.

Re:The "from the..." Department (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666301)

I think that, quite frankly, one of the most painful issues with being single for geeks is when we have friends who constantly enjoy the pleasures of physical relationships. I, for one, have a friend who is constantly "pulling women from the bar" because "variety is the spice of life". Sure, he's always complaining to me that he will never find a good girl... But at least he's getting to have some fun in the sack.

For us pragmatic geeks who think about consequences, consider other peoples feelings, and simultaneously have the same mammalian urges as our more risky, wreckless friends, it's clear how one can feel that being lonely is tragic. ... comming from a 24 year old virgin who has more experience writing in assembly than hacking into panties.

Re:The "from the..." Department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666721)

you just described my life :(

Re:The "from the..." Department (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666387)

why is it so "tragic" these days if someone is single?

Because you won't pass on your genes?

Re:The "from the..." Department (1)

martyros (588782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666581)

Because you won't pass on your genes?

Unless he's 40, there's still plenty of time for that.

Seriously, I dated two girls in high school,and then didn't date anyone until 27, when I met the love of my life. Now I'm really happy. The not-dating wasn't really on purpose, but it sure saved a lot of hassle and broken hearted-ness; and it meant that I had a solid 10 years to be really free to do my own thing. It probably also saved me from a highly sub-optimal decision: I'm not really that picky, and if I'd been dating someone reasonably OK at 25, I might have "settled" for that, gotten married, and missed out on something much better.

Re:The "from the..." Department (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666523)

Because evolution has hard wired us to want to procreate and pass on our genes? And for the vast majority of our existence on this planet, that has required a relationship? At least for the past couple hundred million of years.

Re:The "from the..." Department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666689)

Why being single = a bad thing, I don't think I'll totally understand.

Any response back from anybody here on Slashdot?

It's a geek thing. Most of us here on Slashdot understand. Most of them out there in the room with the big blue ceiling don't.

It goes back to the 1960s, basically, ever since there were computers for us nerds to fuss over, there were nerds giving up mating opportunities in order to fuss over the computers.

"[...] for a group of healthy college-age males, there was remarkably little discussion of a topic which commonly obsesses groups of that composition. Females. Though some led somewhat active social lives, the key figures in TMRC-PDP hacking had locked themselves into what would be called 'bachelor mode.' It was easy to fall into -- for one thing -- as opposed to the hopelessly random problems in a human relationship -- which made hacking particularly attractive. But an even weightier factor was the hackers' impression that computing was much more important than getting involved in a romantic relationship. It was a question of priorities. Hacking had replaced sex in their lives."

"[Hacking] was a mission. You would hack, and you would live by the Hacker Ethic, and you knew that that horribly inefficient and wasteful things like women burned too many cycles, occupied too much memory space. 'Women, even today, are considered grossly unpredictable,' one PDP-6 hacker noted, almost two decades later. 'How can a hacker tolerate such an imperfect being?'

Steven Levy, in his 1984 book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution [wikipedia.org] , describing TMRC hackers ca. 1965.

you mate, then reproduce (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666747)

there exists people who also talk about "crotchfruit" with derision when talking about children, and act confused as to why anyone would choose to have kids

well, people like that, and you who speak of pair bond formation in a mystified manner, are genuine oddballs

fact is, a society that doesn't form stable mating pairs and doesn't raise children is a dying society. all other observations on the subject matter fall secondary to this undeniable fact. being in a relationship with the opposite sex often sucks, and having children certainly sucks, but there is simply no other way to contribute to your society in the most fundamental, biological of ways

you don't have to form a pair bond with a member of the opposite sex, and you don't have to have children. both those choices are perfectly ok for you to take, and i have no problem with that choice

but don't pretend that singlehood or childlessness is somehow the default choice for human existence, and don't act mystified as to what drives people to do these things. pairing up and having children is called keeping humanity and civilization alive, and its pretty hardwired into our psychology and biology, for obvious reasons: keep homo sapiens alive

Thank You. (3, Interesting)

cadeon (977561) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666085)

I've been wondering the exact same things, but been too apathetic and lazy to do the work.

This is genuinely relevant to my interests, and made my day better.

BTW, those signs are illegal (5, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666093)

If you hate them as much as I do, visit this site [causs.org] for tips and contact your local code enforcement office.

Legally, they are no different from litter. If you don't have a permit to leave something in a public place, it's nothing but trash. That said, the neanderthal assholes who post them might not be aware of that* and almost certainly won't be happy if they catch you taking them down, legally right or not, so be careful when picking up trash.

* and I'm sure the assholes who SELL the signs never mention it, either.

Re:BTW, those signs are illegal (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666441)

Thanks, I can't stand these damn signs either. I thought it was just a problem around where I live. They appear to be planted around intersections and exit ramps by someone leaning out of their car in the middle of the night. Since they are close to the curb I've had the urge to drive over them. As if the trash that blows off of lazy people's trucks wasn't bad enough.

Re:BTW, those signs are illegal (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666541)

That said, the neanderthal assholes who post them might not be aware of that* and almost certainly won't be happy if they catch you taking them down, legally right or not, so be careful when picking up trash

I don't know that they would be mad. The guys who are hired to plant the signs won't have any interest as to whether they work or not. Their boss tells them "Put all these signs up and I'll give you $20." If you followed them closely, picking up the signs right after, some of them might realize that whoever is paying them minimum wage might drive by later to make sure they weren't just being tossed in the trash, and they won't get hired again. But the point of the signs is that they are cheap and dispensable, no one is going to care if you collect 100 of them, there will be a million more tomorrow.

Re:BTW, those signs are illegal (2, Funny)

E++99 (880734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666599)

If you don't have a permit to leave something in a public place, it's nothing but trash. That said, the neanderthal assholes who post them might not be aware of that.

I might be behind on my paleoanthropology, but were the Neanderthals big on lawn-sign marketing?

Way to go Slashdot! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666099)

Nice prank.

Makes a change to political signs I suppose (1)

Zerbey (15536) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666135)

I had actually seen a few of these in my local area, thanks for clearing up who they belong to anyway.

The McCain-Palin signs are mostly gone, the Obama signs are mostly gone as well as of today. All of a sudden I'm seeing Fair Tax signs pop up.

The amusing signs on my drive to work outside a (presumably) very right wing house expounding me to not vote for Obama as he kills babies (eg supports abortion) were still there this morning, though.

And erm, is it a slow news day?

Yep, in NC Too (2, Insightful)

Jamonek (1398691) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666139)

In the roads of NC we are starting to see more and more of these signs. Seems like you just can't get away from the Net

Awesome! (1)

glassware (195317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666171)

Next, can you figure out what scam artist posted all of those "Real Estate Investor Seeks Apprentice 20k Per Month" signs last year? All the signs used to be identical, but they now show things like "Buy Foreclosed Houses" instead.

Not exactly a 'conspriacy' (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666173)

But it is just another form of spam marketing. And as the article notes, the 'big national' dating sites are of little use if there are only one or two members within 200 miles of where you live.

That said, maybe /. should start a dating site. :P

*Applause NOW* (2, Interesting)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666197)

Great primary research and very entertaining. Reminds me of the p-p-p-p-power book scandal. Gotta wonder if he had a slow day(s) with his business to do this.

Re original post. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666289)

Being a huge business intelligence geek

Are you sure it had nothing to do with you being a single geek?

They are in Dallas and Irving, TX too (2, Insightful)

azav (469988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666295)

DallasSingles.org, LasColinasSingles.org. Isn't it illegal to plop these signs on public land? I hate this crap.

I always thought they were NSA and CIA messages (3, Funny)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666357)

I thought secret agents about various towns would go to these websites and put in their "special" information. Then they could get secure messages back and forth. If someone else used them, they just got some boiler plate thing. I thought the whole thing was a vast government project. Like those CIA numbers stations.

I'm disappointed to find out it's nothing more than spam for a "dating" site. Really kills my faith in conspiracy theories.

And the sign said long haired freaky people.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666409)

And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said you look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do
So I took off my hat I said imagine that, huh, me working for you
woah!

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

And the sign said anybody caught trespassing would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house, Hey! what gives you the right
To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in
If God was here, he'd tell you to your face, man you're some kinda sinner

Now, hey you Mister! can't you read, you got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat
You can't even watch, no you can't eat, you ain't suppose to be here
Sign said you got to have a membership card to get inside Uh!

And the sign said everybody welcome, come in, kneel down and pray
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all,
I didn't have a penny to pay, so I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said thank you Satan for thinking about me, I'm alive and doing fine

Wow Long Story...excellent (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666469)

Excellent novel...I swear it reminded me of Snow Crash because of the immense detail.

There is some crazy detail in this story and I must give credit to the author. You deserve a shiny metal for an article that long and well written....and excellently researched

You might be the next Neal Stephenson of the spam novel world XD

Yep, here too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666505)

There are several of these in my town, which is technically not even an incorporated town. I figured it was something local to the NY/NJ area. I had no idea it went further than that.

Each URL with their own IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666519)

* GlassboroSingles.com: 200.46.241.132
* HaddonHeightsDating.com: 66.252.239.220
* FifthAvenueSingles.com: 69.41.228.6
* WindsorSingles.org: 66.252.239.220

No wonder we're running out of IP4 addresses.

oh no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25666565)

Single? SlashdotSingles.org

Good read... (2, Insightful)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666695)

I enjoyed the read particularly because I've done similar witch hunts myself in the past and I think it would be beneficial for others to follow their nose similarly. I'm less interested in the entertainment from tracking a legitimate business however and more so in exposure of crime rings related to fraud, ID/CC theft, domain hijacking, etc. Those ones can be pretty vast in scale and very difficult to track down. Some of them put up impressive fronts too such as legitimate "ICANN Accredited" domain registrar services, etc. - but make no mistake, they're rotten to the core. If more people actively pursued and exposed these types of organizations perhaps we'd all be a little better off...

Historical whois? (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25666701)

Wow, I did not know that existed. This is probably the first time I've learned something from a /. article in months.

Thanks!

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