Archive for December, 2004

History of 2005

December 31st, 2004 by Reinder

Something tells me that this vaara character at Silt 3.0 doesn't like "leading bloggers" much:

January 20, 11:52 am – At Bush’s inauguration, a protester carrying a “Four More Wars” sign is shot dead by a Secret Service agent

January 20, 11:53 am – Leading bloggers run out of synonyms for “Yay!”

January 20, 11:54 am – Major networks cut away from footage of Bush’s motorcade to cover the shooting

January 20, 11:55 am – Leading bloggers run out of synonyms for “treason”

January 21 – The Secret Service officer is identified by his initials, P.H.

January 22 – A shadowy new group calling itself “Friends of P.H.” purchases ads on all leading blogs

January 24 – FOPH announces that its Legal Defense Fund has collected $12.4 million

January 25 – Atrios posts evidence that FOPH is funded by Richard Mellon Scaife and Paul Weyrich

January 26 – Leading bloggers shriek about “paranoid moonbat conspiracy theorists”

January 27 – Regnery Publishing gives P.H. a $4 million advance for his autobiography

January 31 – Someone on Daily Kos suggests that what P.H. did was wrong

February 1 – A DOS attack crashes the Daily Kos servers

February 2 – Leading bloggers celebrate, call the destruction of Daily Kos a “victory for democracy”

excetra,excetra. (via Atrios)


December 31st, 2004 by Reinder

I might as well announce it now: After The Rite of Serfdom finishes, I will make some drastic changes to the way Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan will be produced. I will follow that 2+-year storyline up with 12 shorter ones, hopefully very close to one month each. I'm writing these now, trying to get as many as possible scripted fully before February.
My intention is to Campbellize the comic for a while: that means that like T Campbell of Fans, I will (try to) get a roster of artists to draw some of those 12 stories for me, based on who I think would be best suited to what story. Of course, there is no guarantee that the artists will want to work with me, especially considering that I have very little money to offer to professional ones. We'll cross that bridge when we find it, I'm sure.
To facilitate the change, I've got an editor! Geir Strøm will help me beat the scripts into shape in record time. We're already working on the first few.

Comment in the Reinder Dijkhuis forum

Kate Bush comeback announced, Greeks to switch to Turkish calendar

December 30th, 2004 by Reinder

I will believe this when I hold the record in my sweaty hands, and not a second earlier. In fact, I'll hold off on believing it until I've listened to the record and it has provoked some other physiological reactions not suitable for mention in a family weblog.
Admittedly, by that standard, The Red Shoes must have been the work of a better-than-Toriaverage Kate-clone...
Seriously, I've learned not to get my, er, hopes up too much where rumoured new Kate Bush albums are concerned. In fact, I am getting fed up with those rumours altogether, because they always get in the way of Kate-related projects that are actually feasible. On the back of earlier "Kate returns" rumours, remasters of her back catalogue have been postponed and bands have been banned from putting out cover versions of her songs. The back catalogue issue is particularly harmful - it's about the only classic oeuvre published by EMI that is still only available on CD transfers from the 1980s, and most of her B-sides and remixes are only to be found on an overpriced boxed set duplicating the albums that Kate-worshippers already have. Also, and inexplicably, there is still no DVD of Live at Hammersmith.
Unless and until Kate comes up with the goods, I don't really want to hear about it. Let me just chance upon it unexpectedly and run to the store counter with my, er, heart throbbing, all a-flutter at having found a gift from the heavens.

ROCR website update

December 30th, 2004 by Reinder

I've made some more changes to the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan website and the ROCR archives at Modern Tales:
I have un-freed "Rásdondr's testimony" and folded it back into the chapter Trial, day 2" where, artistically speaking, it belonged. I have made the current chapter, Grimborg officially free. Later today, I will delete "Rásdondr's testimony" from the archives as well.
I have updated the front page to reflect these changes, re-written the ultra-short summary and put a prominent "Latest chapter" link above the fold. Let's hope I'll be able to discipline myself into changing that one as needed.
Finally, I have updated the About page to reflect the progression of the storyline up to the latest chapter, and link to the start of that latest chapter. That's another thing I'm going to have to do regularly.
The website has been doing very well indeed these past few weeks! Even though the number of visitors to the latest updates dropped somewhat over Christmas, more people have been finding their way to the free archives, and the total number of pageviews over the month of December will get very close to the magic number, 50,000. This is good. To stay in business after 2005, I will have to do a number of things, and rapidly expanding the readership, both paying and non-paying, is one of the most important of them. Let's aim for 100,000 as the new magic number! The prominent visual links to the "latest chapter" and "featured storyline" should help with this.

What to do about the comments?

December 28th, 2004 by Reinder

I've had enough of having to clean up after new waves of comment spam on the blog, especially now that some bright spark has decided to spam random URL strings. I disagree with Einar's conclusion that this is a politically-motivated attack; I think the purpose is to defeat MT-blacklist by making the blacklist so long that it slows down the blog software.
For the time being, I've set Moveable Type to default to disallowing comments. What I might do is enable comments Joey Manley-style: referring people to the Reinder Dijkhuis Forum if they want to comment. But having to type that in all the time is a bit of a bother too. I am toying with the idea of changing the templates so that the link is automatically inserted where the link to the comments used to be, but to be totally fair towards my co-bloggers, I'd have to find a way of making it link to a different forum depending on who authored the blog entry. Are there any Movable Type wizards among you who know how to do that? Tell me in the forum!
Update: On second thought, this post should still be open to comments. Also, I forgot to apologise in advance for any serious comments that may have been deleted along with the hundreds of spams. I don't know if anything got lost in the sweep but it's possible.

Spammers fined.

December 28th, 2004 by Reinder

Some good news from the war against spam:

Dutch telecommunications watch-dog Opta has fined its first batch of spammers since the introduction of the anti-spam ammendements to the telecom law late last year that granted this power to Opta. (Links lead to Dutch pages.)

Fourteen other small-scale spammers received warnings.

It's not as good as having them hunted with dogs, but until that (and kicking them in the bollocks) becomes legal (uhm, I have some very imaginative ideas about what kind of treatment should be legal to hand out to spammers), it will have to do.

Comment Spam of the Conservatives.

December 27th, 2004 by Adam Cuerden

Today's massive comment spam (I've been deleting posts for an hour) seems to have a strong conservative bias. Basically, it's a collection of random letters - a typical one might read something like

<A HREF="">iuewjhds ksdhjdsjj</A>:

But it's the fact that they seem to be targetting posts with a liberal slant. With few exceptions, they seem to concentrate on liberal topics such as Joey Manley on the election results and Conservative Civility Watch

Has anyone else noticed anything like this of late?

Out of the Shadow part II

December 23rd, 2004 by cmkaapjes

After being featured in de Volkskrant just over a week ago, people are really starting to notice my book. So far there has been more interest by journalists then actual buyers, but even those are now starting to pop up. Biggest problem being I've run out of copies and have a distribution problem. Both I'll probably be able to fix in January. In the mean time, today there's an article on "Schaduw" in het Parool, an Amsterdam based newspaper targeting mostly inhabitants of said city. I'm hoping the right people will see it though. We'll see. Good thing my URL is mentioned. I'll be checking my stats regularly.

Message to readers and co-bloggers

December 21st, 2004 by Reinder

In another 8 hours, I'll be dragged from my bed, given just enough time to put some clothes on, and shunted into the back of a car that will take me to Eindhoven airport, and from there into a Ryanair plane to Stanstead, UK, and finally into a train taking me to Peterborough where I'll celebrate Christmas with the extended family. I will probably have some internet access in Peterborough, but it will be more intermittant than normal.
Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan is updated until the day of my return, the 27th (late. Very late). If anything goes wrong or looks strange, contact me through the usual channels. Jeroen may also be able to fix any error from the studio, using my FTP information in WSFTP, but if not, I will be able to do it eventually.
I wouldn't mind a few posts to the blog from Einar, cmkaapjes, Rahball or Geir, so that the page doesn't look empty when I come back. If there's another wave of comment spam, use the despamming links at the bottom of the transcripts you get of each comment to a post you've made, and take it from there.
Jeroen: if the studio monitor breaks down, as I expect it will, I'll take care of things when I return. I've put aside some money for just that sort of thing. Don't forget to water the big plant, OK?
And merry Christmas, every one of you!

Christmas shopping = hell

December 21st, 2004 by Reinder

I've never been too big on Christmas as a gift-giving feast. In my family, we used to get the gifts out of the way on St. Nicholas' Day, and as an adult, I realised that I'd just as soon stay away from that altogether and not get anything than spend my time shopping for gifts. The few times I've been at the sort of St. Nicholas parties where you draw lots to decide who to buy stuff for, I've been able to screw up the whole deal so thoroughly that I wasn't invited again, which suits me quite nicely even if I didn't do it on purpose. I'm just not good at imagining what other people might want or need.
This year, I'm spending Christmas in England with my parents, my brother, his girlfriend and her parents, and my nephew. The shopping, I'm afraid, is murder, and much as I try to remember what interests the other parents have, I haven't been able to think of anything that would give them any pleasure. I don't mean they're curmudgeonly — far from it. I just don't know them well enough.
As for my own parents, I know for a fact that they don't have any wants or needs except that my dad would like a new TV, which is outside of my budget range for now. And all I know from my nephew's mother is a list of things she doesn't want, which makes it easier to avoid the bigger screwups but doesn't actually get me anywhere with the job at hand.
We'll probably all be continuing our increasingly desperate efforts (my parents have no idea either, and I wouldn't be surprised if my brother and his GF were feeling the same) during our stay in England.
Update: Success! I've got something for all but one of the party, and that last gap will be filled in by me and my parents together while in England.