Category Archives: Site News

Easily ignored. :-)

20 Years of AndySocial

It’s been twenty years since the first post on this blog, the still-topical Rude Online Bastards piece. While I have one of the oldest blogs still extant among my acquaintances (John Scalzi has me beat by a few months), the traffic definitely dropped some years back. The rise of LiveJournal and MySpace didn’t change things much, and in fact helped to drive traffic around the entire web. But, Facebook has really crushed the standalone web log (as it was once known). I did eventually learn to not cringe at the neologism “blog,” and now it’s essentially a relic. Ah, well.

Meanwhile, there are still trolls and jerks online, and twenty years of progress has not reduced their numbers in the slightest.


There are some people who are expressing incredulity that anyone believes the Internet Blackout scheduled for the 18th is a good idea. The argument goes something like this, “Not producing content on Wednesday is like not buying gasoline on Wednesday. You’ll just do the writing on Tuesday or Thursday, so what do you gain?” This fungibility theory of content is, I think, missing the point. While boycotting Texaco for one day is relatively pointless and unnoticed by the corporation you’re trying to hurt, that is not at all like blacking out Wikipedia for one day.

While gasoline boycotts are intended to send a message to the big oil companies (who don’t even notice the blip), the Internet Blackout is intended to raise awareness among the non-geek set. Those of us who read Gizmodo or Slashdot are very well versed in SOPA/PIPA and DMCA and all the other acronyms we hate to see pop up in a news story. But, think about your less-geeky friends who don’t know that DMCA is evil and don’t know what DRM is. They are like Jon Stewart, who only last week had someone in his audience ask him about SOPA and he had to profess complete ignorance. The normal folks in the world have not been following the SOPA debate and they aren’t mad about the United States attempting to erect the same sort of censorship plans as China (with the added benefit of giving corporations nearly unilateral police powers to shut down any site they don’t like).

How to get those non-geek people to add their voices to those of Vint Cerf and Eric Schmidt (who have already been ignored by Congressional committees because they don’t understand all that computer stuff)? You need to get their attention in a way that is hard to ignore. Since most people use Google regularly and Wikipedia frequently, slapping a giant black banner on those sites with, “Imagine if this site was down forever” will make at least some of them pay attention to what our elected representatives are proposing to do in our names. SOPA is bad legislation, it’s bad information security, it’s bad business. And, it won’t stop one damned pirate anyway. will be offline tomorrow. I know nobody will notice, since I have virtually no visitors, but it makes me feel better anyway.



I’ve uploaded a boatload of photos to randomly rotate through the header in my blog. All are my own photos, so no more stock photography in the header. Of course, those viewing these messages through FB or LJ will just have to imagine.

We’re Back!

Wow, that was a long outage.  My hosting service has had a rocky week – I spent two days with email being rejected (if you sent me something and it said I didn’t exist, I do now), and then the servers lost their network connectivity this morning for about six hours. For Dreamhost, that’s very unusual. When I was with CCLhosting, I expected random outages but DH has been very reliable for years now. I’m sure this was just a really bad coincidence of unlucky events.

Back to ripping my CDs – I’m up to nearly 39000 tracks now.

Loudtwitter Dead?

The rather useful service Loudtwitter seems to be dead.  Thankfully, the geeks who program for WordPress have a cool tool I can use in its stead. So, you’ll continue to get all my blog posts, and tweets on my blog (and Facebook), and all that plus locked LJ entries on LiveJournal. Myspace’s RSS support remains MIA, so that particular backwater is not on my list of things to worry about. Or, you can just link to the Unhub bar and be done with it.

This has been your overdose of geekery for the day.

Holy Comment Spam, Batman!

I’ve deleted nearly 600 pieces of comment spam in the past two days.  I’ve noticed, in the past, one or two legitimate comments being tagged as spam, but I didn’t look through this recent flood for such stragglers.  Every time a legit comment was tagged as spam, it’s because the commenter was using an obviously fake email address in their info; no email address is needed, so if you just don’t put one, it should be good. If you’ve commented recently and it didn’t post, there ya go.

Frickin’ spammers…

Test Fire

I have moved from the moribund and seemingly unmanned CCLHosting to the more vibrant and hopefully operational Dreamhost. We’ll see how this goes.

Right now, I’m hoping that the LJ crosspost plugin still works. And…it does! Woohoo!

Concho Online RIP

I killed Concho Online today. I attempted to launch this site a couple years ago, as a citizen journalism site, or hyperlocal media site, depending on your inclination. Since nobody but me had posted anything on it since last winter, it had obviously devolved into another personal site. Eh. I’ve got enough self-aggrandizement going on.


Checking out the Qumana blog editor for posting to the site. It’s also supposed to work with Livejournal, but it’s not working for me.  Maybe in the next beta.

Since Livepress is stuck in version 1.5, and I’m using WordPress 2.0.2, the automatic post synch doesn’t function directly.  This is my attempt to get there through a different route.  Maybe another way, since this isn’t ready yet.  *sigh*

Site unkaboom

The gallery is back, after a long bout of “what the heck” with the hosting company and with the PHP-based installer script.

The photos that are up now may or may not be the same exact photos that used to be up, but it’s a start.  You try posting 300+ photos in an evening and remember which ones you used to have on the site.  Yeah, I didn’t think so, biotch.

Site go Kaboom

I’ve added the new and improved WordPress 2.0 software to the site.  It’s nice, the upgrade was simple, etc.

Somehow I ended up trashing my photo gallery setup completely, though.  Hopefully it will be back in business by tomorrow, but we’ll see.  What’s perplexing is that many directories moved around, as if by magic.  Magic because I don’t actually have permissions on those directories, so I shouldn’t have been capable of moving them even inadvertently.  Mysterious.

Hey, we’re back!

After five days of cruising, the last one in some fairly choppy seas, it now feels like my house is swaying.

We’re back, safe and sound; photos and videos and all that are awaiting my attention. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

It’s too cold here, I’m leaving

OK, you little deviants. I’m taking off for a week, cruising with my son and assorted family members to the Yucatan. It was supposed to be Cozumel, but I’m told that island is kind of hosed right now, so it sounds like we’ll be hitting Progreso and Veracruz. I promise to take a bajillion photos and videos – gotta justify the new memory cards and batteries, after all. 🙂

Try not to blow anything up while I’m away, k?

MSIE Still Sucks

After helping way too many people unscrew their systems due in large part to Microsoft software inviting everyone into their hard drives, I’ve decided to do something drastic.

If you are visiting my webpage with Internet Explorer, it will now nag you to switch browsers. I’ve joined the Explorer Destroyer campaign, boys and girls. Oh, I haven’t gone totally ideologue on you – the site will still work for IE users, but mostly because I know people may not be allowed to use a secure and fast browser at their workplace. At home, though – please do yourself a favor and stop using IE. Not only does it ignore web standards (CSS2, PNG, etc), it’s a virus waiting to happen. I’ve had to use IE to access a couple sites recently – they almost invariably end up leaving some sort of electronic spooge on my system that takes me a half hour or more to remove. And I know what I’m doing. Other folks just say, “my computer is messed up” and eventually they stop using the machine entirely.

I’ve used a variety of web browsers over the years. When I first got a PPP internet account, I used Netscape (0.7 as I recall). As time went on, I tried IE 1.0, but stuck with Netscape. When Netscape stopped getting updates and became a giant bloated piece of dung, I reluctantly used IE for a while. When Opera came out, I grabbed it (even though I had to pay for it, it was better than IE). A while back, the Mozilla Project came out with Phoenix, which became Firebird, which became Firefox. They got sued out of their previous names, but I guess nobody wants to remember the Clint Eastwood movie so they’re safe now.

Firefox has tabbed browsing, built-in popup blocking (that actually BLOCKS everything, unlike IE’s attempt), and is fast. The program is significantly smaller than IE’s bloatware, but allows an impressive variety of extensions to be used. If you use Firefox, here’s the extensions I recommend:
Adblock – nukes any images from ad-serving web sites. Doubleclick, begone! Must-have for dialup users.
All-in-One Gestures – let’s you use the right mouse button to jump back a site, go forward, or do the hokey pokey. Until you use mouse gestures, you will not understand why people love them. once you use them, you’ll hate using a machine that omits them.
Flashblock – Allows you to decide whether to load that Flash-based content or not. Must-have for dialup users.

And here’s some that I like a lot:
TabBrowser Preferences – exposes many of the tabbed interface options that are hidden by default.
Forecastfox – shows a multi-day forecast at the bottom of your browser. Takes no space, and alerts you if there is a weather alert.

Silly Lyrics Hack

Just to add a trifle more surrealism to your websurfing experience, I’ve added a little code to my site that displays the lyrics to the most recently played song from Winamp on the sidebar (bottom of the right side). Yes, I am a geek, thanks for asking.