23 December, 2012
The kill chassis
And I apologize if I have overlooked any genuine comments which have been miscategorized as spam. I don't operate a silent deletion policy for genuine comments, even abusive ones. In the rare event that a real comment has to be deleted, eg for illegality, breach of Blogger's T&Cs, persistent volume abuse, gross irrelevance, then I will generally explain why.
But the following pointless bit of comment spam has a curiously haunting poetic quality that is worth preserving
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It almost but not quite seems to mean something. Weird. Tedious lists of URLs promising me fake Gucci handbags or hand-knitted waterproof fake-wool cocksocks with which to cover my artificially extended penis when, unexpectedly engorged, it pops the zip of my trousers, well that's boring. But the occasional bit of surreallist prose, even when it is produced by a travesty generator, and with no link payload, now that makes a pleasant change, innit.
22 December, 2012
The misspelling loose for the verb lose is now so common "below the line" that I can see it getting into dictionaries as an acknowledged if deprecated alternative spelling quite soon. But this, in a presumably proof-read advertisement for a reputable company,
is a step beyond acceptability.
The Mayans weren't wrong; it's just a more gradual process than they expected.
I mean, like, Gordon H Kryste, innit.
19 December, 2012
Offence taker's corner - the twitterati are outraged
Yesterday I received an additional mailshot from the OED, the text of which is also published on the OED website,
OED Word of the Day: An Apology
We would like to apologize unreservedly for the publication of bloodbath as the word of the day on 18th December 2012.
The OED word of the day is selected months in advance by an editorial committee, and is distributed automatically each day. The timing of today’s word is a coincidence of the worst kind, and we apologize for any distress or upset caused by what might seem to be a highly insensitive choice. What we hope to show with our words of the day is that even seemingly commonplace words can have interesting etymologies; however we have taken today’s word down from the OED Online homepage and are now taking immediate steps to review our scheduling and selection policy.
So what was that all about then? The Huff Post sheds some light. It's not mentioned anywhere as far I can see, but I assume the outrage is about the near coincidence of the choice of the word bloodbath with the recent events at Newtown, CT.
Come on, it's a big world. If any of the bereaved or the wider population of Newtown even subscribe to the OED's word of the day feed, I'm sure they have other things to think about than getting upset about some petty and frankly rather contrived coincidence.
He who seeks offence with sufficient diligence will most surely find it. I have to say that if I'm disgusted about anything then it's with the OED for crawling to these self-righteous little wankers and their moral outrage by proxy.
16 December, 2012
Thought it had gone quiet
Not to worry, Google/Blogger's spam comment filter is pretty damn good. Though, as is only to be expected, it does make very occasional miscategorizations — in both directions. Actually, just recently the filter has been getting a little slapdash, letting through a number of those verbose ads for fake handbags filled with viagra and penis extension tubes.
But not to worry, like — I suspect — most Blogger users I have the option selected for Blogger to email me a copy of each comment left, which has heretofore at least included all comments identified as spam. So I can at least keep an eye on how things are going and deal with any glaring errors.
But hark, Yahoo have got into the act. My mailboxes are on Yahoo and they've been improving their software, innit. Yahoo now has an aggressive and seemingly compulsory spam filter, which identifies the spam blog comments and directs them straight into the spam folder, which it didn't do before. So the inbox is nice and quiet, which it should be on the "Edwin" mailbox 'cos as you may have noticed I haven't been posting here much of late. But the spam folder is bursting at the seams with unnoticed stuff, some of which has been miscategorized by Blogger.
Yahoo have enhanced their mobile mail client as well. I was quite pleased with the old client, the coolest™ feature of which was push notification, ie immediate delivery and notification of incoming mail rather than waiting for the next periodic server poll. Despite the bollocks® that Yahoo are coming out with, push notification is still not working on the new Android client. Is alpha testing in production the new way forward then? I think we should be told. Or at least have the old versions available on Google Play for rollback.
Unnecessary development, or creeping featuritis in its most common manifestation, is the addictive drug of software development. Anyone remember MS-DOS 4?
- Version 1.00 — Just about works; quick, get it out to market.
- Version 1.10 — Version 1.00 with the most glaring bugs fixed.
- Version 2.00 — Basic workmanlike functionality. What v1.00 should have been if it had been done properly.
- Version 3.00 — After a lengthy period of production use, we incorporate the sensible enhancements that the users have been asking for. This is the mature product.
- Version 4.00 — Er, what do we do now, chaps? I know, we'll bundle in every extra function we can think of, including functionality which properly belongs to other established software, and add a tea and coffee making function.
- Version 5.00 — After trying to ignore user complaints for a year or so, we cave in and issue what is in effect v3.00 with a few sensible incremental improvements.
On my Android phone I have a nice little app which taps into TfL's database and presents useful information about, say, London bus services. This screenshot shows expected arrivals at a stop in Thomas Street, Woolwich — locally known as the street of 1,000 Nigerian barbers. Jolly useful stuff
but it was really necessary in the current version, to give the estimated time of arrival to the nearest second, and to include the registration number of the bus?*
At a certain point, software reaches a degree of maturity when any further change is not just gratuitous but deleterious. For basic image editing under Windows, I've gone back to Paintshop Pro version 7. I did install version 10 but after struggling with its slow loading time and fighting through all the whizzbang FX, I went back to what worked. For simple "word processing" under Windows I generally rely on Wordpad. It works.
Keep it simple, stupid.
And, Yahoo, dear Yahoo, if you can't get the new Android mail client working, could you put the old version — you know, the one that works — back on Google Play. Pretty please.
* Strictly speaking I believe it's some kind of fleet number, but on TfL services they generally seem to be the same thing.
06 December, 2012
Borat will be delighted
Rather in the manner of a retired district officer extolling the benefits that the British Empire has brought to the benighted natives of the darker continents as he sips his pink gin, Karan-ji waxes condescendingly lyrical about the boons which his "community" has bestowed on the English, a simple people incapable of mastering the arcane arts of curry preparation, it seems. And indeed the English are most grateful, for they have rewarded this jumped-up curry and lager merchant not only with a CBE, but with a barony as well — the man is now, apparently, Lord Bilharzia of Chelsea. Lucky Chelsea.
Karan has less success in selling his cheap labour and immigration scam to the unruly rabble below the line at CIF, but there you go.
Anyway, perhaps, if he's not too busy setting the British economy to rights, perhaps Lord Bilmoria can help me out with this,
spotted in a local Wetherspoon. Forgive the apostrophe d'épicier and marvel only briefly at the inventive spelling of 'potato', if you will.
But WTF is a mankini curry?
Google (actually the less intrusive Ixquick in my case) has nothing to say on the matter. I would have asked the barstaff, but the few who spoke English well enough to understand what I was on about were too busy.
Answers on a postcard, please.