Running To Keep Up

Ach – January was already really busy, and thanks to an email received this morning it’s now insanely busy. Blogging is low down the totem pole, so this 2010 beginning has been something of a false start.
All this busy is good stuff, though. Very happy.
More when I can, including explanations.

Spam Slam 2: The Squeakquel

For the first time since 2006, I just got smashed by a huge welter of spam, about 150 comments that dodged the spam filter in the last eight hours. I’ve turned off comments on the entries that were getting hit, and hopefully they’ll leave me alone now.
I still wonder what spam is gonna look like in the age of Google Wave. Did you ever watch the big presentation Google did about Wave? (Here’s the highlight reel.) Wave is the goog’s new hybrid: email + chatroom + blogs + social networking + project collaboration + ??? Wave invites are starting to filter out into the networks now, and it looks like it’s going to be a pretty big deal. But I confess that watching the original presentation, all I could think was that this will be a spambots paradise; you’ll be swapping recipes with your mother while insistent bots mess around with the live conversation stream, redirecting all your images to point at porn advertisements and adding dodgy hyperlinks to everything you say. I’m sure the dev team have thought long and hard about the risks but it just seems an order of magnitude more open to exploitation than anything else on the internets. Interesting times, anyway.
(The Squeakquel is the subtitle of the new Alvin & The Chipmunks film. I picked it up in the AV Club comment section, where commenters will sequelise pretty much everything in range with the greatest post-colon subtitles of all time – The Quickening, The Search for Curly’s Gold, The Secret of the Ooze, Smokey is the Bandit, and of course the all-time champion of sequel subtitles, Electric Boogaloo.)

Ghost Posts

Esteemed leader is conducting some fixin’ backstage, and it has made two of my posts go all ghosty. Like, they don’t show up in my blog owner super secret list of posts, and they don’t show up on the blog, but I can direct linky ’em just fine. Can you?
Principled, in which I second guess calling Ahmadinejad principled – see also Stephen’s comment to the Iran election post, and follow the link he gives for a great overview of the Iran situation.
Marie Antoinette Project, in which I reveal the cool sekret project I’m involved in!
I’ll probably make those posts exist again when the fixing is done. But right now, they can sit in the phantom zone for a while. Play spooky music while you read them…

Sidebar Update

Helen pointed out that I’ve turned up in one of the NZ blog ranking lists at #51. How odd.
This news prompted me to do an update of the sidebar for the first time in about two years… lots of changes there, some blogs on hiatus have been pulled down, a bunch of new ones added, a new section for people I know doing business on the net (hmm, there’s more I can add there too but another day), and… um… yeah. It is long overdue. I had planned to add alt text to all the links so on mouseover they’d pop up a short description of the blog but didn’t make time for that. I am however pleased that I am finally giving some linky back to some of my regular blogreads.
That said, very few people seem to use the sidebar, judging by my blog stats – and now that I run everything through Bloglines and RSS, I don’t much use it myself. Is the blogroll a thing of the past, a dead feature in todays blog interface? Answers on back of postcard plzkthx.
#51, eh? I understand Teh Publishorz give automatic book deals to everyone in the top 25, so that’s something to work towards.

Crazy Ol’ Ian Wishart

There’s a very amusing blog-exchange going on between Gareth Renowden of climate blog Hot Topic and Ian Wishart of independent current affairs mag Investigate. It’s on the subject of Wishart’s new book “Con Air”, about how global warming is an unscientific fraud. Renowden tore it to shreds in a review, and predictably Wishart responded; Renowden decided it was simpler not to engage with his nonsense, which got another Wishart response. So Renowden proceeded to dismantle Wishart’s claims, picked up another Wishart response, and then shot that one by showing the research Wishart was talking about actually meant the opposite of what he thought it did.
There are lessons here of course, about how keeping the argument going is a de facto win for the forces that want to stop us from addressing climate change.
There are much bigger lessons here about the fixation of belief and how people like Wishart find themselves adopting the positions they do. (See also.)
But really, I just recommend these for the popcorn value. Wishart is always a laugh when he goes on the attack, which he pretty does when anyone looks at him funny. He calls Gareth “trufflehunter” instead of his name, under the impression that this is an insult; I imagine Gareth, as past president of the NZ Truffle Association, would be quite comfortable with this moniker. (Gareth’s co-blogger is referred to as Quasimodo, which is taken with surprising good grace.)
The argument over whether climate change is anthropogenic ended a few years ago. There’s plenty of science to argue over, but not this. The Ian Wisharts of the world will keep thrashing for a while yet, and to be honest, we should be gentle with them. They’re having a hard time of it, the poor wee things.

Hail Daffyd

How good was my weekend? It was so good that seeing Peter Davison live on stage was only the second best part of my Saturday.
For on that day I went to the wedding of the proprietor of this blog David R and his lovely Katy.
David R should be familiar to long-time readers here. Not only is his blog merely a click away at the top of my blogroll, but every year where I don’t forget I mark the occasion of Daffydmas on his birthday. My blogging career began thanks to his proactive move, some years ago, to set it up the blog for me. We have collaborated on numerous nonsensical projects over the years, and the list of projects which we never actually got around to doing is significantly longer. (My favourite un-fulfilled promise: the Pantheon of Plastic, a website hall of fame into which we would snarkily induct those actors who had been immortalised in action-figure form for two or more separate parts. The first inductee would, of course, have been Lorne Green. As the years went past, however, other services rose up to fill this gap.)
In short, he is a gent, and he is also my patron here on additiverich, and now he’s married to an absolutely wonderful woman. Dave and Katy – seeing you guys smooch was way better than seeing Peter Davison and Mark Strickson ham it up on stage. Rocking.
(Also worth noting: David is a hopeless case. The first thing he did after getting the ring on her finger was duck into a corner and announce it on Twitter. LOLZOR!)