Suzanne Stefanac’s new book, Dispatches from Blogistan, is out. She’s a Well pal and you may have seen her name in the comments here. I haven’t gotten my hands on the book yet, but Suzanne’s blog gives an excellent taste; the glossary entries are particularly worth browsing. Good luck with it, Suzanne – try not to check your Amazon sales rank more than three times per hour!
Joel Spolsky (who started his career at Microsoft as a manager on the Excel team) has been writing some recent longer blog posts on a MacBook Pro in TextMate using Markdown. He describes the process in a recent entry. He calls it a “surprisingly good experience.” He goes on to gripe about anti-aliasing quality (FWIW, that’s explained here), and beachballing from dropped wifi connections (which I’ve never experienced, maybe it’s an early Intel thing?
Feedback sent to Technorati today: Please, I beg you, kill those talking “SitePal” ads. I keep my PowerBook plugged into an amplified speaker setup all day, and when the “Pal” begins talking after having been displayed for X seconds (without me so much as mousing over it, I’m pretty sure), it’s heinous. And embarrassing if anyone is within earshot. Plus, they creep me out. Thanks, Paul Update: After some testing I think that I was in fact mousing over the ad – my Dock is on the right side of the screen, so with a vertical ad on the right side of the Technorati page it’s easy to do.
In the past 24 hours I’ve seen a wave of comment spam resembling the late August outage. Mostly porn spam. Is it just me? I’m using the Akismet API from my homebrew code (negatives are simply rejected), but maybe this is a sign that I should start using the feedback part of their API to report false negatives. This also gets me thinking about the need for an Akismet-like service that is run cooperatively, with multiple servers to avoid the single-point-of-failure problem.
I’ve yanked out my own crude anti-comment-spam tests and replaced them with a nice tidy call to the Akismet API. If this works out I’ll most certainly incorporate it into the Django version of the blog – there’s a nice Python interface as well. seanrox commented on Thu Aug 24 14:58:33 2006: Akismet is nice and works wonders on comment spam as you’ll see on your site. The guys over at automattic.
…is, according to Technorati, Chinese. And likely will be forevermore.
I’ve recently moved the Wellblogs aggregator to my server from its former home. It’s a simple “planet” style presentation that shows the last week’s worth of posts across a few dozen blogs written by members of The Well. The software is a Python engine written by Michael Josephson, and I’ve been very impressed with it so far. It’s based on Mark Pilgrim’s Universal Feed Parser, a MySQL data store, Cheetah templates, and some extra bits to gracefully handle the inevitable connection failures involved when fetching dozens of disparate feeds every hour.