Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

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WordPress.com Changes to Commenting is an Attempt to Combat Fake Comments? FAIL

March 16, 2012

As more and more WordPress.com bloggers (like here and the DoD) begin to realize that their commenting system has had a surprise and unwelcome shot to the foot, the confusion and discontent is spreading rapidly. For the moment, we sit here at the mercy of the top folks at WP.com, hoping that my instruction thread has limited the damage, and alleviated a lot of the confusion for our readers.

While we wait and see if they’ll realize their mistake and/or change this, I believe I’ve stumbled upon what prompted this sudden move:

If I’m reading that right, it looks like my theory that this was intended to be a solution to nefarious gravatar/nic-jacking was correct, as this appears to have been done as a reaction to one case involving a victim of above-average influence on the net? Wow.

Even if it was properly executed (which it isn’t even close), it’s a boneheaded sledgehammer solution to a fly-sized problem. The thinking is still flawed, since anyone can still simply steal an image and apply it to their own gravatar account, if they really wanted to impersonate another netizen. Like with an IP, only the webmaster or admin would be able to tell the difference, and even they would not be able to verify which email addy what the legit one, right? To the rest of the world, the commenter is successfully impersonated. For example <—simple demonstration, with one of my other accounts.

Hopefully they're smarter than this, and switch it back…soon.

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Introducing: WPPBA Chat!

June 8, 2009

I’m going to take the opportunity to apologize to the members of the WPPBA for my recent absence.  I’ve been focused on other sites as of late, and have been spending a lot of my time online as a guest blogger elsewhere.

So, in an effort to make up for my desertion, I’m pleased to announce that I have received the rights to (well, permission, actually*) a WPPBA chatroom!

WPPBA CHAT

Go ahead and add the link to your sidebars, come on in, and make yourself at home.  But do play nice.

*The chatroom (code name: Table 9) is operated by my netizen pal Roses, who has graciously offered to expand the room to the WPPBA.  It operates 24/7, and has all the normal Java features.  Currently, the room is quite popular with netizens from other sites I frequent (or used to frequent; namely, LGF).  There are a dozen or so political blogs from outside the WPPBA that link there, so when you come in you may want to introduce yourself and all that.

 

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

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About This “But He Kept Us Safe” Meme…(pt. II)

January 21, 2009

Yea, I know I’ve been over this before, but I thought I’d mention that there now appears to be a website created for the purposes of formally thanking Bush for it (h/t LGF):

bushmissionaccomplished

Never mind the irony that Bush has stated on multiple occasions that he regrets the whole “Mission Accomplished” thing, of course.  On his watch, nearly 3000 died in the worst terrorist attack in American history.  In response, he turned around and invaded a country that had nothing to do with it, resulting in even more American lives lost, tens of thousands wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent…and nearly 6 years later, we’re still there.  But we’re supposed to thank him, because the batshit crazy cave-dwellers haven’t managed to pull off another stunt with knives and flying lessons?    They’re saying that not allowing the same mistakes and oversights to happen again is cause for some sort of praise, and willfully ignoring the fact that the battle was being waged well before 9/11, and making the assumption that those of us that hadn’t died horrifying deaths would be living under bin Laden’s rule if it wasn’t for the protective blanket provided by Papa Bush.   I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. 

Well, if one admits that it’s a cop-out for unconditionally supporting the guy all these years, then maybe I get it.

Anyway, if you click the image, you’ll see also that the site’s founders make the claim that “the president’s Number One Mission is to protect our nation” (bold in original).   But as we saw yesterday, the oath requires the president to swear to “preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States”.   Much has been made of the conflict between the two principles during Bush’s eight years in office, certainly, and I would assume that the ultimate goal would be to avoid sacrificing one for the sake of the other.   So how did Bush do with regard to the actual oath?  Pretty poorly, it would seem. 

So go ahead and thank him, if you wish.  You’re just a couple clicks away.  Give him the ol’ A for effort.  For myself, I think instead I’ll wait see if Obama is capable of cleaning up the mess first.

Exit thought:  That image of Bush has always spooked me.  Is it a gay lover look?  A Manson-esque stare?  The failed televangelist?   I’m not sure, but I’d take his ridiculous eyebrow-contorting phony smirks any day of the week over that crazy mugshot.

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

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2 Years Of Chamber Battles

January 16, 2009

I just thought I’d mention that the Chamber just had its 2nd birthday.   I’ll crack open an adult beverage to celebrate, but first I thought it’d be kinda neat to offer a little insight on where we’ve been.  A sort of “by the numbers”, a couple years in:

chamberstats

Top 10 posts all-time (by hits):

Title Views  
WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance 4,929  
Photos: Karl Rove and George W. Bush 4,797  
Satellite Images: Gustav vs. Katrina 2,379  
Confirmed: Cindy McCain Is the Crypt Ke 1,685  
Racy Idol Photos: Brilliant! 1,654  
The Perils Of Posting Legitimate Questio 1,534  
The Cost Of “Infrastructure” Vs. War 1,383  
Who The Heck Is Johanna Cardona? 1,359  
Greetings Lizards! (Update: Banned) 1,285  
Is Andrew Rove “Prepared For War”? 1,182  

Top 10 search terms (how we were found):

Search Views
karl rove 2,900  
chenzhen’s chamber 2,287  
big mac 975  
chevrolet aveo 728  
tall 642  
george w bush 605  
johanna cardona 583  
godzilla 515  
chenzhen 455  
cyrus the great 430  

Top 10 clicks (links visitors clicked):

URL Clicks
time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,16… 264  
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonella_Barba 208  
chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/… 176  
chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/… 175  
technorati.com/search/johanna%20cardo… 139  
redwing.hutman.net/~mreed/warriorshtm… 122  
chenzhen.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/… 115  
wordpress.com/tag/wordpress-political… 99  
littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog 89  
technorati.com/search/video%20johanna… 85  

Traffic by the month:

chambergraph
click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it!  A modest blog, to be sure, but I’ve certainly had a lot of fun so far.  Here’s to a couple more!

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A New Chariot, And A Challenge

December 23, 2008

Well, I decided that the winter beater was a little too beat, so I pulled the trigger on one of these Aveo 5 SVM’s that we had on the lot at my store.  It was a steal, ’cause it was sitting out there 60 days and the boss had it priced for less than what we owned it for.

Anyway, it’s a silver 2007 with about 12,400 on the odometer.  It seemed like a smart buy since it has plenty of factory warranty left, my techs said they hardly ever have problems, they hold their resale well, and I should be able to achieve some pretty respectable MPG’s with the little 1.6L engine.  Although, I did splurge and get some 16″ wheels for it (since I naturally get a discount, and the stock 14’s were just too cheap-looking), so it might effect my efficiency a tad.  We’ll see.

czaveo1

By the way, SVM stands for Special Value Model, which means that this car is about as no-frills as one can find these days.  A basic AM/FM radio, crank windows, 5-speed manual transmission, no A/C, cruise, or power…anything.  Pretty much just the essentials are included, although it does have side impact airbags and a nifty digital clock right on the dashboard.

As far as the MPG’s go, I thought I’d spend the winter tracking the tank and see what this little golf cart can do.  The goal is to beat my summer car, the modified 2000 Cougar aka “Slow and Low”.   On paper, this looks easily achievable, considering the official EPA numbers:

aveovscougar

The Aveo is definitely at a disadvantage, however.  Consider alone the ambient temps here in Minnesota in the wintertime (below zero for most of last week), which translates into both less efficiency when she’s going, but also burning gas while she sits there warming up (I’m sorry, but when it’s 10 below, I’m going to run it for at least 5 minutes.  The car was so frozen the other day that the clutch actually stuck to the floor).  Now, add the snow factor (and all the spinning and slogging that results), along with the fact that I wouldn’t consider myself as an expert with a stick shift, and that I won’t be logging nearly as many highway miles (I’m transferring to a store that is much closer to home)….I think we might have a pretty good competition here.

So, for the record, Slow and Low burned 213 gallons of fuel and travelled 6505 miles last season, which sets the mark to beat at 30.537 MPG.  Can this little Aveo do it? 

Mileage logs will be tracked here.   Or, better still, I’ll try to figure out a way to paste the tracker button

somewhere on the main page (it’s a little too wide for the sidebar).

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Are You Smarter Than A Lizardoid?

December 8, 2008

As a nice follow-up to my Thanksgiving Day post, LGF Gets Punked, I thought it’d be fun to play a little game.  For this contest, I’m going to post a question, and the first commenter to answer correctly is going to win a fabulous prize. First though, a little background…

In our first episode, I had gotten the Lizardoid’s undies in a bunch by rogering up the LGF Dictionary blog with a couple of cute little items, like a my own YouTube video, a short LGF bio on myself, and a vandalized header. Oh, and I also moved the dictionary itself over to the Chamber (I did give it back, just for the record).  Anyway, after a bit of drama in the Thanksgiving thread over on the main site, the blog key holder Zombie arrived to calm the horde, and blithely posted the following:

I heard a rumor the LGF Dictionary had been hacked, so I just went in 5 minutes ago and unhacked it.

if it gets hacked again, I’ll probably just take it offline.

Too many people knew the password, so it was floating around a little loose.

(Password changed, needless to say.)

At the moment, the dictionary itself is no longer there (just the blog); I may re-upload it, may not.

Wait and see what happens.

The fact that a wordpress.com blog has no “password” and that it wasn’t “hacked” notwithstanding, Zombie did manage to remove my mess (something that really took only a couple of clicks, no doubt), and the dictionary itself is now posted at LGF proper (why it wasn’t there all along, I’m not sure).  

But “wait and see” we did, and when you go to the blog now you can check out my little encore:

czbaaaack

I’m going to take the liberty of utilizing the LGF Dictionary one last time and say….

Bwahahaha!!!

But the question to my contestant field of LGFers past and present is a simple one:

How the heck did I do it?

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Update: It took a few days, but the LGFers finally got word:

chenmandy

Ah yes, that’s the question.  But again, no “hack”.  Please, let’s review the facts:

1) On Thanksgiving, I was granted admin privileges to LGF-D by one of the handful of other admins on that blog

2) Once I was in, I performed a few actions, including booting the other admins (save Zombie), replacing the header, posting a new thread (”The Legend Of ChenZhen”), pasting my “you’ve been punked” youtube video in place of the dictionary page (and moving the dictionary text to my own, password-protected page), and grabbing a few screenshots along the way.  (nothing that couldn’t have been put back to normal without too much trouble)

3) I post the “LGF Gets Punked” thread here in the Chamber, displaying the screenshots and providing a forum for discussion

4) after sitting that way for a few hours, Zombie was eventually alerted, quickly moved in to erase all those things, booted me as the last remaining admin (leaving only herself), and posted her aforementioned comment on LGF

5) a few days ago, my encore appeared at LGF-D (and only remains posted because, presumably, Zombie hasn’t been alerted to it yet)

And with that, I give everyone a big…fat…HINT.  (Since no one had noticed, and the post is likely to be gone soon)

Update:  The blog is gone, as Zombie promised.  Time to reveal the answer.  Not too complicated…

Since I knew that it would be easy for Zombie to fix all those things I listed in #2 above, and that I’d be promptly blocked, I thought it might be fun to “schedule” an encore as long as I was in there.   For wordpress.com blogs, the scheduling part is easy to do from the post editor:

Scheduling a Post (Timestamp)

Scheduling a Post (Timestamp)

The problem was, any new thread that I penned would have shown up at the top of the list in the dashboard, (even if it hadn’t been published yet), meaning that it probably would have been caught when she was deleting the other stuff.   What I needed was something that would have been buried a little to avoid detection. 

Now, what many wp.com bloggers might not realize is that you can use the above interface to reschedule a post that has already been published.  So, all I did was look for an older post that I could use to drop in my video and set a new date.  And as luck would have it, Zombie unwittingly gave me a little gift over a year ago, ’cause I found a thread aptly titled “I’m Ba-a-a-a-a-ack”.   Destiny?  I dunno.   But I figured the chances of catching that were slim to none, and even the fact that I was subsequently blocked wouldn’t stop the post from appearing at the specified date and time.

In other words, what you saw here was a brave nomadic warrior’s voice from the blogospheric grave coming back to issue another punking, and certainly NOT another “hack”.

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Yep, I’ve Got A Blavatar Too

December 5, 2008

After a year of spreading the purple throwing star around to every blog, message board and random social networking service I came across, the circle is finally complete.  As silly as it might sound, I’ve been itching for one of these for quite some time, and just recently the good folks at WordPress.com granted The Chamber an early Christmas gift:

blavatarsnip

I’ve got an avatar, a gravatar, and now…a blavatar!  Cool huh?

As an aside, there is a slightly amusing background story on how the star came to be, in case you’re curious.  I was pretty peeved at the WordPress people at the time, but lately I’ve been thinking it may have been one of the best things to have happened to The Chamber.  With little setbacks come great ideas, I guess. 

So, the purple shuriken of the Brave Nomadic Warrior of the Political Web ™ is now universal and worldwide.  Sort of my own “ghost face killing plate” (if you’re down with kung fu cinema metaphors), so you know who’s around when you see it.

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