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thumbs up only

The very brief history of how ratings systems work on the internet:

  1. 0-to-10 numerical - This is the first type of rating system I remember seeing. The only major web site I know that uses it now is iMDB. Works for them, I guess.
  2. 1-to-5 star - This is the de facto rating system used for nearly every major retail site (like NewEgg). This was formerly YouTube's rating system for videos for several years.
  3. Positive/Negative - This has actually been around for a while, but the largest web site that uses it currently is Reddit.
  4. Positive-Only - The simplest form of a rating system. Xanga calls them "kudos", Facebook calls it a "like".

0-to-10 is somewhat of an overkill. On iMDB for example, when you see a movie with a rating of 6.8, that doesn't say whether the flick is good or bad. In fact, you usually have to read commentary just to get a better idea of what people really thought about movie. And even then you may end up confused as to what people really thought about it. iMDB should change over to the 1-to-5 system.

1-to-5 star works, but in some instances it can be disastrous. Yes, I'm talking about YouTube. When they were using 1-to-5, nobody ever clicked 2, 3 or 4. It was either 5 for good or 1 for awful.

Positive/Negative, sometimes known as Upvote/Downvote or Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, sucks. This is in fact the worst rating system that exists on the internet because of rampant abuse. There is no community system that exists that has the Positive/Negative rating system where it isn't abused.

Positive-Only is in fact the best rating system that's ever been invented, and it annoys me something awful when people on Facebook say "we need a dislike button". No, no, no, no, no eff'ing NO. If that button existed, it would ignite a firestorm after firestorm of flame wars on Facebook. It is a horrible idea to have a dislike button on that system.

I, of course, use no rating system on my site. Journals/blogs are things where ratings of any kind are a bad idea. All a visitor has to do is see a single 'down' rating and instantly decide "Oh! That article is probably bad, so I won't read it." I would rather the reader decide for themselves what's good or bad without any rating system 'help', if you catch my meaning.

***Guitar deals & steals? Where? Right here. Price drops, B-stock and tons more.

avatars, gravatars.. wavatars?

I briefly entertained the idea of switching the comment system here back to Disqus, but the way it works didn't mesh well with the theme I use and the CSS for it is a mess, so it was back to the old system.

However I did enable avatars, gravatars and wavatars, as in the little images you see next to your name when posting a comment.

You know what an avatar is. A gravatar is a custom image you can set. It shows whatever image you want by detecting the email address you use when posting a comment. A wavatar is a randomly generated image if you don't have any gravatar previously set. This is a built-in option in WordPress so I figured it would be better to use than compared to a nondescript blank image. Given the fact there are 55 billion (yes, seriously) unique wavatars out there, the chances of someone else having your image is slim to none. 🙂

If for whatever reason you don't like the wavatar you were randomly given, just to go and use your own.

13 days on the new squier


I've owned my new 2010 Squier Bullet Strat for just a hair under 2 weeks, but it feels like I've had it a lot longer because it plays so well.

The entire point of why I bought the '10 Squier is so I could semi-retire my '89 Squier II, which is my first guitar. I wanted a Strat, and I wanted it to be cheap. It's true that I could have bought something that looked almost exactly like the '89 did, but I didn't want a copy of the '89, I wanted something different. The end result is the Bullet Strat pictured at right. And yes, the color had a lot to do with the purchase, as only the Bullet has that particular finish offered with a rosewood fingerboard.

Banana is my first Strat that has a rosewood fingerboard, which is actually the preferred choice for most guitar players regardless of who made the guitar. The reason players like rosewood over maple on the fingerboard is because it accommodates better to the player. What happens over time is that as you continue to play the instrument, the rosewood will indent in the spots that you play most because of the soft nature of the wood while maple won't.

Maple fingerboards aren't bad, they're just different. You can't really "break in" a maple fingerboard whereas with rosewood you can. However it's also generally true that rosewood fingerboards result in a less-bright sound compared to maple. If you want the absolute brightest, "clackiest" sound out of a Strat, maple is the only way to go. This is true on both Stratocasters and Telecasters. Concerning the Telecaster in particular, if you want the ultimate in country twang, the maple needs to be there.

Concerning tonal characteristics, these are the differences I've noticed between the '89 and the '10:

On 5th position (back pickup), the '10 growls a lot more than the '89 does. In some instances, the '10 damn near sounds like a humbucker on that setting, like on a Gibson SG.

On 4th position, this is a weird-yet-cool thing because the '10 is "dark" enough to sound like like 2nd position on the '89.

On 3rd, the '10 is the first Strat I've ever played where that setting is actually usable. On the '89 the 3rd setting is almost completely flat, but not on the '10. Has much more of a 'round' sound to it.

On 4th, I will admit the '89 is better here compared to the '10 because it has that classic Strat twang. On the '10 I really have to bang the strings hard to ring the twang out.

On 5th, the '10 is darker but I can exert more control over the sound based on how hard I pick compared to the '89 which is full-bright all the time.

Lastly I'll say the that I actually use the tone and volume knobs on the '10 compared to the '89 where I always have everything turned up all the way for the best sound. The '10 can exhibit different character depending on where you set volume and tone whereas on the '89 it really doesn't matter because it's all-bright all the time.

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