About due for a style change

I’ve had this manually-hacked blog design pretty much since I started in 2003 (yikes). Well, it’s about time for a design change. Since Typepad has improved their design tools, it seems like a good time to do it.

Not right this moment, though. Work is nuts, and I’m going back to Boston for Christmas break. Let’s call it a New Year’s resolution, then.


Bloggish things

Well, I copied some stylesheets and Javascript from Ado, the guy who wrote ecto (the software with which I’m blogging). Basically, the scripts and styles combine to make a nice Google search widget. Using Safari, the text label appears inside the text entry widget itself, and there is a dropdown menu on the left showing the search history. (Must be a Safari feature.) On other browsers, there is a plain text label to the side.

I really like the pop-up bubble things he has on the bottom of his page for showing his flickr pictures and last.fm tracks. I’ll probably crib those from him, too.

Listening to Mojo Boogie from the album “Third Degree” by Johnny Winter


Death in the community

I’ve been reading and contributing to Sensible Erection for just about two years. It’s a “lad blog” with a difference: contributors are not put through a vetting process -- any member can post to the blog, and all posts appear immediately on the website. There is a moderation process, a little like Slashdot except that, again, everyone has moderation capabilities. Wikipedia has an entry.

What differentiates this blog from the larger ones is a certain eclecticism -- posts range from porn to astrophysics to the latest portable game gadget -- and, more importantly, the engagement the members show in the discussions. Humor is the prevailing sentiment, though arguments do get heated sometimes. The vocal membership is small enough and active enough that their personalities are very apparent.

One of our frequent contributors was killed in a car accident last Sunday. I’m in a sombre mood.

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Comment spam

I had to turn on comment moderation because I’ve started getting comment spam. I don’t know why they bother because there are maybe 2 people who read this damn thing. Including myself. Anyway, comments won’t appear immediately: I’ll have to approve them before they appear on the site.


London bombing

London’s been hit by a set of four bombs, though these are much smaller than the ones from two weeks ago. Authorities report one casualty, and no fatalities. The BBC has live continuing video and audio coverage.

OK. Allow me to gripe a bit about the blogosphere. In particular, the “alpha blogs” like BoingBoing. Here is their post about the bombings. Note, that they link to Flickr, Wikinews, the Guardian News Blog, and the London Metblog. No mention whatsoever of one of the leading news producers, viz. the BBC, which has live audio, video, as well as eyewitness images and reports, which, despite the similarities to blogging, is not called that. If you compare the Flickr, Wikinews, Guardian News Blog, and London Metblog coverage, you will find vastly less organized information about ongoing developments. At least the London Metblog links to the Beeb, the Guardian News Blog, and ITN News. I don’t dispute the interest value of the popular blogs, but I do think that they could at least link to arguably the best news coverage.

In other news, China floats the yuan.

Listening to Krazeee from the album “Krazeee” by Sylvie Marks & Hal9000

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Another lazy post

Your Dominant Thinking Style:

Experimenting

You're all about looking at the facts, and you could always use more of them.
You see life as your lab - and you're always trying out new things, people, and ideas.

The master of mix and match, you're always coming up with unique combinations.
You are good at getting a group to reach consensus.

Your Secondary Thinking Style:

Exploring

You thrive on the unknown and unpredictable. Novelty is your middle name.
You are a challenger. You tend to challenge common assumptions and beliefs.

An expert inventor and problem solver, you approach everything from new angles.
You show people how to question their models of the world.




Your Extroversion Profile:

Friendliness: Very High
Sociability: High
Assertiveness: Medium
Cheerfulness: Medium
Activity Level: Low
Excitement Seeking: Very Low