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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, February 27

Gapers Block

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fred / August 28, 2006 2:54 AM

They used to, but it was too much of a burden on an already overloaded IT staff.

missmolly / August 28, 2006 6:25 AM

almost everything. except google and suprisingly, gapersblock :)

Jamie / August 28, 2006 8:09 AM

Our firewall is pretty tough. I can't get into anything like yahoo, gmail, etc., nor can I check more photo-heavy websites and blogs. Annoying!

Strawberry / August 28, 2006 8:16 AM

Myspace is blocked for "inappropriate content", but Victoria's Secret is not...?

Archie / August 28, 2006 8:39 AM

I am the monitor, moo haa haa! It's funny because they don't allow firefox to be installed on the computers at work, but since I am in the IT dept I know how to get around the daily software audit by running firefox off of a USB pen drive. wooot!

jennifer / August 28, 2006 8:54 AM

My office doesn't monitor as far as I know. I have never had a problem accessing anything, and I'm pretty responsible with my surfing at work, usually checking my dailies in the morning for about ten minutes, again at lunchtime, and again the last ten minutes of the day. Chat programs are the only things that are frowned upon.

Hal / August 28, 2006 9:43 AM

While we aren't explicitly monitored, we do have a VERY aggressive site blocking software. Put in place during the IPO days, it blocks anything with a whiff of being a message board (a vestige from the days people would try to manipulate stock price through board postings - who knows, maybe people still do it). As so many people are using things like blogspot these days, this gets really annoying. My staff has a hard time getting needed technical info sometimes. Grrr...

mary / August 28, 2006 9:45 AM

im not sure they really "monitor" it so much as walk by and see what im doing. i havent had a problem accessing anything either, though i really only visit 4 websites daily (GB, pitchfork, toothpastefordinner, and my email). i sometimes feel guilty about even that, but hey, i get my work done first. not much else a receptionist can do for 8 hours, right?

eep / August 28, 2006 9:56 AM

I don't think my office has any off-limits sites, but then again, I've never pushed the limit to find out. And if they do monitor internet usage, I haven't heard about it yet. There is an "acceptable use" policy that I signed when I came on board, but everyone here checks MySpace, political blogs, uses chat programs, etc. As long as I'm not looking at "naughty websites" or downloading viruses, I'm pretty sure they couldn't care less.

matt / August 28, 2006 10:12 AM


Bill V / August 28, 2006 10:32 AM

Nothing that I am aware of, but I would guess the company does a little spying every once in a while. Where's the guy who always says "yeah, two chicks at once!"? That would certainly be off limits.

amyc / August 28, 2006 10:59 AM

Jesus, I hope not. Although someone was recently fired here for her MySpace postings about the company, so maybe they're cracking down.

CVAL / August 28, 2006 11:00 AM

Cisco Firewall: $10,000

Network Security Software: $5,000

Being the IT guy that can give a shit: Priceless

madachode / August 28, 2006 11:04 AM

I monitor the Internet and if I find anyone trying to look at the Spin website or anything eles that has anything to do with N Halsted, I shut off thier LAN port.

Rebecca / August 28, 2006 11:13 AM

I live in the upside down world that is a sex toy store:

As long as it's work-related, like porn, it's all good.

Sorry, we're not hiring at the moment.

Terminal Verbosity / August 28, 2006 12:00 PM

Yes, they monitor everything. They're probably reading this in real time as I write it. (Hi, Fred!) My manager gets a list of sites I go to and, I believe, how much time I spend there. Since I get my stuff done and limit my mastrubating to home, I don't worry about it.

Off limits (to my knowledge): myspace, ebay, espn, any prOn or gambling sites. For the moment we still have access to gmail, yahoo, etc., but I think they're taking that away soon. The espn ban only came about this year during March Madness.

emyduck / August 28, 2006 12:11 PM

no monitoring, except that behind my desk runs a major office thoroughfare. i'm constantly hearing "ooh, what's THAT?" as people walk by and see some indie shop or website i'm looking at. but we have a great office culture that understands that life happens all day long, and doesn't get put on hold from 9-5 (or 6, or 7).

carrie / August 28, 2006 12:13 PM

I don't think they moniter at my work. I usually peek at the news when I'm waiting for a program to open and try to just check email in the morning and over lunch.

I know porn isn't banned because a) an old hr worker used to come in and look at porn every morning and was very open about it and b) I was lucky enough to have a virus that automatically set my homepage to porn and also gave me about 10 porn pop-up windows. That was when I sat infront of the cfo, too. It was fun.

tony / August 28, 2006 3:42 PM

The firewall at work makes me cry sometimes. They filter out the *ist sites but not Anything games-related is blocked ( is blocked but itself is not).'s not blocked, but is. And, of course, the pr0n sites.

Steve / August 28, 2006 4:18 PM


Score another one for the self-employed!

Lawrence / August 28, 2006 4:25 PM

I'll tell you what's off limits, man . . . posting two chicks at the same time, man.

spook / August 28, 2006 4:48 PM

Interesting that companies work so diligently to limit internet access,when worker productivity and corporate profits- having climbed to their highest share since the 1960's to quote today's NY Times-are up. Maybe instead of checking our internet usage, Corps. should figure out a way to increase our wages and salaries that continue to fall while inflation rises.

d. / August 28, 2006 5:08 PM

no blocking, but i know our dudes monitor what we're doing. we've gotten yelled at before. i work at an ISP though, so if any of the net were to be blocked it would be impossible to work.

we host some porn too so it's not unheard of to see people looking at porn to make sure sites are up (ahem).

one of the admins told me that the peak porn viewing hour is 10 in the morning, right after people get settled in at work...and i saw the graphs too. there's a big spike right then. i think that's hilarious. and disturbing. and hilarious (yes i know i'm repeating myself).

adam / August 28, 2006 6:40 PM

No blocking, but automated monitoring of internet traffic (so we're told). I'm guessing that means some algorithms searching for keywords in the massive logs (whole company is about 2500-3000 people in at least 10 locations), not anyone actually looking. I'd think that only if you're manager wondered why your productivity was zero would anyone bother to check.

Only people who've gotten in trouble that I know of either posted something derogatory/sarcastic on a website (putting crappy "appreciation" gift on eBay, which page made its way back to the company via emails that fell into the wrong hands) or filling up training room computers with pr0n (IT guy, actually, but definitely weird).

Wife's company blocks numerous sites, somewhat arbitrarily it seems. Since it's a pharma company, I wonder how much trouble their researchers have?!

Archie / August 28, 2006 9:38 PM

I just found out one of my friends that works at a local newspaper got canned on Friday for "excessive internet usage." Although he wasn't going to deny that, he thought that it sucked that they didn't even give him a warning. It doesn't come as a surprise though considering we would play e-mail tag faster than some people instant message each other!

printdude / August 29, 2006 7:34 AM

Apparent;y, the monitoring wheere I work is no more than a peek over the shoulder.

Wanna See? Click this

Mo / August 29, 2006 7:48 AM

Not cool, printdude, not cool at all. Thank god I was at home still when I opened that.

I doubt my place monitors or I would have been fired long ago. But I get my work done, so it shouldn't matter as long as the sites I visit are innocent- email, gapers, chicagoist, news. That's about it.

Allan / August 29, 2006 10:01 AM

printdude your an asshole! I work in a cubicle. Now I have to spend the rest of the day explaining myself. I take it that was you on top.

James / August 29, 2006 10:20 AM

No monitoring at all. A super-fast T1 connection where I can download and/or burn whatever the hell I want. It's a nice perk for working at such a small company where the pay isn't as handsome if I were working at a downtown company. The boss really doesn't give a shit as long as we're in the black.

To answer spook's proposition: someone wiser than myself said "Most people just work hard enough not to get fired, and most employers pay enough so their employees won't quit."

Andy / August 29, 2006 11:59 AM

I work for a large University. If they monitor us, they're clearly not doing a good job, because I spend most of my day playing with flickr and/or myspace, reading various blogs, and doing freelance work that has nothing to do with my job. Scarily, I always seem to get great performance reviews. Everyone here things I'm the shit. Suckers.

printdude / August 29, 2006 12:00 PM

Yeah, sorry 'bout that!
I was gonna edit my post, but we don't get that offered on this board.

You boy-os shouldn't be clicking willy-nilly anyhow if you've got a babysitter.

Allan, you might find it easier to 'spain your self once you had a MountainDew+Jack for lunch.

i-girl / August 29, 2006 12:19 PM

no, they don't. but, really, toothpastefor.... ? a guy so full of himself for such a stupid, worthless site. please.

spook / August 29, 2006 12:23 PM

I'm just curious ( like gapper blockers at a bad accident) as to what was you're motivation was to do that printdude, I mean you are over 13 right? I guess I'm just into pointing out sad commentary of the generalpopulace today, so thanks for sharing what you are about.

and on that note, good quote James, and some on smarter than me, Upton Sinclair said " its difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

I pray for brighter people

C'mon / August 29, 2006 12:35 PM

While you're at it, pray for your own ability to spell at a level higher than that of a 9 year old, spook. (Not to defend print dude at all-BTW)

printdude / August 29, 2006 1:46 PM

So you're coming out in favor of censorship?

Spook / August 29, 2006 3:31 PM

Dearest "C'mon",

I'll also "pray" that my annoyance abates for folk like you so cowardly that they toss their intellectually miniscule missiles behind “cloaks”- i.e. “C’mon”- even online! But as I’m generous, I will continue to offer my utter lack of care about spell check, on this venue. But you are welcome to what I give you, however it turns out, so smile “C’mon” smile! Be happy to bask under my attention and enlightenment, chimp

and at least "P.Dude" feels no need to "hide"

Marilyn / August 29, 2006 4:26 PM

Spook - Why are so many Republicans so angry? Please send me an e-mail so as not "hijack" Fuel?

spoke / August 29, 2006 4:30 PM

How dar you mok me fore I am the onley carring and conceerned pearson on earth!!! From mye apartment on the north side I protekt the downtrudden and poor from you goo goo rascist libeerals. Anywone who evere dars to disogree with anything I say is an ideeot!!! Everything I say is the absoloot trooth because I said it, unless I totalle controdict myself in my next post, but then that is still troo because I said it!!!

Like Slim Whitman said; I contradict myself,becuase I contian multitudes!!! I read bboks and artuckles unlike you nooconservative fascists who just get your opinions from the media and belieeve what yoo reaD.

You hide behond cowedrly psoodinems, wherass my givne name is spook (look me up in the ponebook), I prey for you, you humoorless self-rightoes urbanruralleftrightfeministmysogyinst. I don’t havt to rereread (or spellchick) what I say because it’s thetruth! And all who try to argue or make harmless jibes at my expence wqill feel my rath!!!

spewk / August 29, 2006 4:52 PM

me is soo angry. me overcompensating online, acting superior, possibly for some other inferiority. me act like me no care what other people think. but i cry and get so so angry at people online. i put others down to make me happy. but deep incide, i hurt.

Lawrence / August 29, 2006 5:15 PM

Hey man, where's Blagg? Dude cracks me up.

spook / August 29, 2006 6:23 PM

so glade you asked! Try this one on for size. Republicans are so angry b/c they are afraid to die! St. Paul said we must die daily.
But they refuse to deal with this, which means dealing with their humanity. Check the Latin translation, humando,which means the "act of burying".
In Vico's classic "New Science", he says I'm a humanist because I'm preoccupied with humando, its my specialty, wrestling with what it means to be human, linked to mortality". But this type of self questioning, what type of humans do they wish to be in space and limited time, knowing that they are cornered by death, and what kinda legacy do they wish to bequeath is too darn scary/painful for them to deal with.

So they avoid it. They turn/ defer to false authorities like "Rush Limbaugh, Shawn Hanity, Regean, Bush, Coulter,Cheney,etc, etc, etc" They escape the anxieties and insecurities of knowing that they will some day be dead, the disappointment, the dread, by uplifting themselves by putting other's down by investing in artificial categories like, whiteness, straightness, wealth, maleness, americanness.etc
in other words hating on some one, female, brown, yellow, black, young, gay, poor, transforming them into false Gods.Yes an adolescent escape hatch from what it means to be human. Isn't this why our brother Socrates is such a challenger who said philosophy is just a medidation and preparation for death? And look what the Constantine Christians, today's modern republicans did to him!

georgeaye / August 29, 2006 8:42 PM

Ironically, there are some offices where this website is blocked and the question of 'what's off limits' is itself going unseen.

It brings up that age old question, "Does a blog really exist if no one is around to get RSS feeds from it?"

Brandy / August 30, 2006 4:41 PM

Self-employed = porn all day!

(That reminds me, Rebecca, I haven't been to Early to Bed in awhile...)

;^) Really, my bigger problem is the Television Without Pity message boards.

1996-1999 I contracted with a Big 5 consulting firm. Working insane hours, my teammates would entertaining each other finding the most explicit and gross stuff online. Professionalism? What's that? When The Man came knocking and asked what on Earth was going on, my coworkers were SHOCKED they were being monitored.

hee hee. Those halcyon days! SO last century.

Evans / February 5, 2007 5:43 AM

My p.c profile is restricted so can't upgrade my java..i.e no utube, mysapce etc.
Get my work done in an hour or two ... then its off to hi5 first to look at patheticly interesting teen profiles!
It never ceases to amaze me as to what they do and poor old Dad is busting his ass paying for tuition!
The older folk are more staright minded thus boring but the younger gen post the wierdest of pics to attract the opposite sex!
And the comments!hehe..totally hilarious!

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