Just upgraded to WordPress 2.2. That took all of 18 seconds.
My “webloyalty is a scam” blog entry from 2004 continues to get thousands of hits per month, despite the fact that it appears to have dropped off the top Google search results. It should hit 100,000 unique visitors any day now, and 2,000 comments.
Every once in a while someone comments to defend the service. E.g., this, today, from “Jim”:
THIS IS THE OFFER WEBLOYALTY GIVES. yOU ARE ALL REALLY STUPID PEOPLE. MOST OF YOU OBVIOUSLY ARE UNEDUCATED BECAUSE YOU CAN’T READ. YOU ARE ALL A BUNCH OF STUPID FUCKIN PEOPLE. I FEEL SORRY FOR ALL OF YOU. YOU MAY ALL BE RETARDED, SORRY FOR THAT. THIS KIND OF THING MAY HAPPEN TO YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ WHAT YOU ARE AGREEING TO. HONESTLY WEBLOYALTY IS DOING NOTHING ILLEGAL, AND YOU WILL NEVER PUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS OR WIN ANY KIND OF JUDGEMENT OR MONEY IN A LAWSUIT. GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND LEARN HOW TO READ,THAT IS MY ADVICE TO ALL OF YOU MORONS.
And then, a few minutes later, from the same IP address, from “Brian P.”:
I actually agree with Jim 2 posts ago. People who say these things really did not read what they were signing up for and that is all of your own faults.
I used to get more of these kinds of comments from people actually posting from their workplace, where their workplace IP address resolved to Webloyalty. Someone must have told Webloyalty employees to stop doing that, as the comments above come from an AOL IP address.
Over 60 million CAPTCHAs are solved every day by people around the world. reCAPTCHA channels this human effort into helping to digitize books from the Internet Archive. When you solve a reCAPTCHA, you help preserve literature by deciphering a word that was not readable by computers.
Why didn’t I think of that?
Christopher Hitchens goes to war against religion–on a recent episode of Radio Open Source: “Religion does not say that there is a mystery. Religion says there is an answer to a mystery.” It’s an interesting observation, but, I think, wrong.
For a hyper-rationalist, Hitchens resorts to a lot of irrational attacks. If nothing else, his caustic approach is probably not winning many converts.
Although he refuses to admit it, I think his problem is really with fundamentalists, not with religion. By taking such a polemical approach, though, he is probably selling more books.
Radio Open Source is a rare example of a successful melding of old and new media. Often traditional media efforts to create a web-based “community” around an existing show fall flat. Open Source was started as a multimedia show, though, and maybe that’s why it works.
Pete, an old high school friend and biology-project partner, recently discovered my email address and we reconnected. It occurred to me that the next generation may never experience reunion with long-lost friends: they’re all on Facebook and Myspace from middle school on up, so how will they ever lose touch in the first place?
Peter wrote to ask me the name of an Amiga game we used to play in the late 1980′s. I knew immediately which game he was asking about: Mind Walker. I remembered it as a fantastic surreal action/video game exploration of the human psyche. I think it was probably more Freudian than Jungian. Only a few games stuck with me at this level — another one was Weird Dreams. (The problem with Weird Dreams was that it was impossibly difficult to get past the level where you have to smack Dali-esque statues with flying fish. If anyone ever did, I’d like to know what happened next.)
This review gives a good summary of Mind Walker:
You are a physics professor gone mad. Your course of action? Delve into your Mind, to inspire “Ideas” by tracing “Paths of Coherent Thought”, with the help of your split ego. Then through opened-up Tubes, enter your Brain, to retrieve “Shards of Sanity”. Finally, put them back together in Subconscious.
I remember Mind Walker as having amazingly spooky and captivating graphics. Then I found this screenshot:
Oh well. I’m sure it actually was impressive at the time.
This discovery reminded of times when I’ve rediscovered a favorite food from childhood — for example, a certain type of cookie — only to find that it really isn’t very good at all. Just kind of sugary and low-quality chocolate. It’s also like going back to watch the original Jurassic Park again. The amazement is gone.
Actually, even though the Mind Walker graphics aren’t as impressive as I remember them, I’m sure it was still a great game.
Anyone have screenshots from Weird Dreams?
Me: Do you want a hug?
Me: Big hug or little hug?
Esther: None hug.
And, this morning:
Me: What’s better, music or rugula?
Esther: Rugula and music.
(Note that “rugula” is not actually the longest word in her vocabulary — that would probably be “arboretum.”)
Our household’s technology focus is also apparent: any small hook-like device is an “email.” For example, a bluetooth headset and a refrigerator hook magnet are both emails. Shorthand for “another book” is “i-book.”
Practicing lawyers, like practicing programmers, are professional pragmatists. Both must make their cases (and case mods) out of the materials they have available; both starve or eat steak depending on whether their creations work. The day-to-day practice of law is unlikely ever to require much high theory. We can mourn that fact because it means that they look at us with suspicion, or celebrate it because it frees us to chase Truth and Beautyâ€”and it will remain a fact either way.
Aside from the fact that I don’t eat steak, I think this is correct.
Via a commenter on James’ entry, I learned that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is implementing a wiki (the entry page could surely use some more content). Surprisingly, it was not Posner but Easterbrook who spearheaded the effort. This is a very interesting development, but I expect it will be quite a while before any other circuit takes up the idea.
Finally, I have been meaning to write about this New York Times story describing Jonathan Coulton’s success as a musician breaking with the traditional distribution /promotional channels (via 43 folders, a productivity blog that is still on my “probation” list). Unfortunately, slashdot beat me to it. I first re-discovered Jonathan Coulton during his guest episode of the Show with Ze Frank. In any event, the article is well worth reading:
More than 3,000 people, on average, were visiting his site every day, and his most popular songs were being downloaded as many as 500,000 times; he was making what he described as â€œa reasonable middle-class livingâ€ â€” between $3,000 and $5,000 a month â€” by selling CDs and digital downloads of his work on iTunes and on his own siteâ€¦
Coulton realized he could simply poll his existing online audience members, find out where they lived and stage a tactical strike on any town with more than 100 fans, the point at which heâ€™d be likely to make $1,000 for a concert. It is a flash-mob approach to touring: he parachutes into out-of-the-way towns like Ardmore, Pa., where he recently played to a sold-out club of 140â€¦.
In total, 41 percent of Coultonâ€™s income is from digital-music sales, three-quarters of which are sold directly off his own Web site. Another 29 percent of his income is from CD sales; 18 percent is from ticket sales for his live shows. The final 11 percent comes from T-shirts, often bought onlineâ€¦
Speaking of funny embeddable videos, here’s another one that will appeal to at least some segment of my readers. I don’t know if this one has already made the rounds and I’m late for the memetrain. If so, I blame the fact that I’m getting on in years.