Again Link Dump

It hasn’t been a while since I’ve done one of these (in fact, I just did one a few days ago), but I’m doing another one anyway. Because I feel like it and you’re going to like it, that’s why.

  • An Open Letter to Chris Dodd – Eric S. Raymond lays down why SOPA/PIPA/ACTA annoys the “technologists” in a concise and well articulated fashion.

    I can best introduce you to our concerns by quoting another of our philosopher/elders, John Gilmore. He said: “The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”

    To understand that, you have to grasp that “the Internet” isn’t just a network of wires and switches, it’s also a sort of reactive social organism composed of the people who keep those wires humming and those switches clicking. John Gilmore is one of them. I’m another. And there are some things we will not stand having done to our network.

    I’m not sure I 100% agree with everything he says and I’m virtually certain that Chris Dodd won’t read this (or understand it if he does), but I do think it’s well written and insightful.

  • Loss by Elisha Cooper – Notably because she (apparently Elisha is a guy – my bad!) coins a new German word and it’s fucking brilliant:

    Schtolenfünken is the German word that describes the feeling of letdown and disappointment that occurs when people we think are good (cyclists) do bad things (steal my wheel), and yes, I made the word up.

    Heh. (via Steven)

  • Pronunciation Manual – So there’s this thing on YouTube where people post these videos that explain how to pronounce certain words or names, like famous German mathematician, Hilbert (That’s for you Mike, if you’re reading this). Then there’s Pronunciation Manual, which does the same thing in the same format, but is completely wrong and completely hilarious. I have spent at least an hour listening and relistening to the videos on this channel, and it was glorious. Some favorites: Chipotle (this one now pops into my head all the time, for no reason), Haute Couture, Zach Galifianakis, Schadenfreude (we should get that guy to try and pronounce “Schtolenfünken”), Tag Heuer (which I wouldn’t mind actually knowing the pronunciation of… and yes, that’s also available.) and Bruschetta. Unfortunately, there are multiple folks contributing to the channel, and some are much more creative and funny than others. For example, this entry on Thesaurus strikes me as dumb and uncreative, and Panties is pronounced correctly, even if the guy saying it is being incredibly creepy. Actually, I’m pretty sure that most of my favorites are the same guy… Anyway, there’s also Renunciation Book, which has the skinny on how to pronounce McDonald’s Glyph.
  • And the Angely said unto thee – Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself…
  • Shopping For Idiots – Two guys go shopping for non-existent items and have to explain these ridiculous items to people who work at the store. For the most part, the people who work at the various stores are unflappable. Some example items: fancy boy lip glitter, ankle grease, disposable slacks, non-alcoholic whisky, Mormon disco ball, and, of course, a toddler sized shark cage.
  • Reset Button: Megatextures – Shamus continues his sporadic video series explaining minutia of video game technology, and it’s, as always, a really interesting take on something that could be really dry and boring.

That is all for now. You are excused.

5 thoughts on “Again Link Dump”

  1. PS: I had a hard time signing into the site to make a comment although that may have more to do with me being particular about how I show up on the Internet than anything you’re doing. Still, I couldn’t get my Moveable Type or my OpenID logins to work. Not that it is a huge priority to deal with, but it isn’t something that you’d come across on your own.

    I’m a big fan of comments that point to the website of the person who made them. Selfish me 😉

  2. D’oh. I shall correct that.

    As for comments yeah, this thing sucks. I’ve been looking at ways to reinstitute anonymous commenting, but when I opened comments for about an hour last week, I got 15 spam comments. There are some measures I can take to avoid that, but they’re annoying and probably time consuming and I’m lazy, so comments will remain like this for a while. And I totally agreee about the URL thing. At least Google actually has your name and not some insanely long gobbldegook (as some commenters get). WordPress accounts actually seem to work best, and will include a link…

    Anyway, to make up for that, I implore anyone reading this comment to visit Steven’s Blog, which I now remember is where I got that Elisha Cooper article from.

  3. Whoops. I didn’t mean to come across as an ass (although I can see it now, rereading my post). Thanks for the link and the kind words though 🙂

    Online commenting is a problem Internet-wide and, as much as it pains me to say it, authorization systems that are tied to more permanent identities (Facebook, OpenID, Google) seem to be the easiest way to prevent spam. Of course, it comes at the expense of some anonymity for those who want it (and depends on your readers, it may cost you input from those who choose not to utilize those services).

    My own solution was to simply removing comments altogether. An extreme method, certainly, but I made the decision to maintain complete control and responsibility for every word that was posted on my site. I did not have to worry about spam and I did not have to worry about discussions that I felt were better placed elsewhere. Of course, it does get in the way of my ideal version of the Internet: an ongoing, open dialogue. But I’ve always thought that someone who feels strongly enough would spend me an email or write their own piece in response. While great in theory, the real life result is that fewer people actively engage in your material.

    Maybe I am just a Web 1.0 dinosaur in a Web 2.0 world.

  4. I don’t think you came off like an ass at all! I’m way more frustrated about this commenting situation than I suspect anyone else is.

    The registration/authentication system is probably the best solution, but there used to be a plugin for Movable Type called CCode that was extremely effective at keeping out spam whilst still allowing “anonymous” comments. It had something to do with adding another field that was obfuscated and then populated with JS. Unfortunately, the plugin was never updated and doesn’t work with newer versions of MT…

    I’ve actually considered removing comments as well, though in looking at the last decade or so of blogging, I have to admit that there’ve only been a handful of emails/responses in other blogs. Let’s say two dozen interactions (and that’s a charitable number). In that same time, I’ve gotten over 1400 comments (legitimate ones, no spam in there).

    Ultimately, I want to keep the lines of communication open. I’d love to figure out a way to re-institute anonymous commenting, but that would take custom development on my part, and that’s going to take a while… mostly because I’m lazy and this situation is functional, if not ideal.

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