You cannot steal this weblog.

You can’t steal it because in every sense that means anything, you already own it. My shiny new Creative Commons Zero license replaces this and this, and places the entire site in the Public Domain.
You can take anything you find here, provided I made it myself and have not included it under someone else’s terms, and do anything you want with it. You can do things I don’t like, you can make money and not give me any, you can attribute the work to me or not, and you can tell me what you’re up to or not, as you choose. You don’t have to ask first.
This site is a free cultural work, dedicated to the commonweal of all persons. It is free as in speech and free as in beer. (Also free as in puppies: don’t blame me if something you find here turns out to be more trouble than it’s worth.) Following Richard Stallman and David Wiley, you are free to:

  • reuse: use the content of this weblog (“the work”) for any purpose
  • revise: alter or transform the work in any way for any purpose
  • remix: combine the original or altered work with other works
  • redistribute: make and distribute copies of the original work, the altered work, or the remixed work

Go for it.

MT weirdness

1. Comments are working again. Thanks to everyone who told me about the problem — I don’t know what it was, but my technical consultant (Spousal Unit) turned off the spam firewall and things look fine.
2. Help me, lazyweb! I can enter html tables just fine, unless there’s an image upstream — then MT inserts a dozen or more <br> tags above the table! I’ve tried <br clear=all> and every kind of spacing between the table and the character right before it. No amount of text between the table and the image seems to have any effect. My stylesheet is here and you can view source to see the main index, but I can’t see any obvious cause of the weirdness.


Astute readers will have noticed that there’s not much going on here anyway. I’ve had immigration hassles (done with, I hope), health problems (fixed, I think) and I’m waaaaaaaaaayyyyy behind at work. I need a couple months’ absolute tunnel vision: publish or perish, publish or perish, publish or perish. So, no blogging for me, and I won’t be reading much except research papers either. I’ll copy all my science/OA RSS feeds to Google Reader (which unlike Bloglines doesn’t stop caching at 200) and try to catch up on the backlog over whatever Christmas break I get.
[ahnuld] I’ll be back… [/ahnuld]

testing FeedSweep widget

[deleted widget — it was slowing the page load waaayyyy down, not all the time but at least once a day. screw that.]
Hey, this one doesn’t suck. The customization is not great, but the stuff you can’t get to is set up in a way that suits me anyway. Plus, it’s free.

testing Feed Digest widget

[deleted widget]
I can’t get rid of the unsightly space in the items with no description, because the “tagged by” is part of the %DESCRIPTION% variable. I won’t be paying for this one if the customization doesn’t improve. (It’ll show up to 20 items, but I’ve set it to 5 because it’s so clunky.)
Not going to use a commercial service when there’s a free alternative (see FeedSweep, above) that seems OK.

testing feedfeeds widget

Why is this so hard? Argh. This one’s not free but I’ll happily pay for something that works.
[deleted widget, see update]
Hoo boy, that’s ugly. But it seems to work, and the tabs at the top are sorta nice — you can separate feeds by category. (Not sure Simpy plays nice with that — it’s supposed to, but…) Oh, and there’s a minimum width otherwise you get side-scrolling, don’t like that.
Update: fails to refresh/show new content. Wonder if it’s something Simpy is doing? This one’s too damn ugly to bother, but I might test the others with different feeds.

testing grazr feedwidget

What do people think? Should I add this widget as a sidebar? I like it a lot; the only thing missing is a way to set all the items open as default. Meh, slow to load and fails to update. Might have been something I did but I’m too busy to figure it out right now.
Update: trying again: deleted widget, couldn’t make it work (update). Might have been me but if it’s going to be that much work I’ll just write my own damn parser. How hard can that be? (Yeah yeah, famous last words.)

this is just to say

To those of you who read my Simpy RSS feed to see what I’m collecting in my bookmarks, I just want to say that I had nothing to do with the appearance of advertising in that feed and it won’t be staying. I’ve written Otis to find out what’s going on, and to say that I’ll happily pay good money for a premium no-ads service. It would suck to have to switch bookmarking apps again, because Simpy is a great tool, but I will NOT put up with advertising in my RSS feeds. (I just saw one for US Army recruiting, for fuck’s sake! I am NOT going to start shilling for the hired killers. That’s what prompted this entry.)
In fact, since my blogroll is entirely driven by Bloglines, I’m thinking of de-linking anyone who allows advertising in their feeds. Feed ads are intrusive and annoying, and to date RSS feeds have been about the one place on teh internets that has been mercifully free of that particular plague. I’m not at all responsive to the “ads support this service” argument as applied to RSS. I’ve come to terms with on-site advertising as more and more of the bloggers I like have decided to try to make a little extra from their sites, but feed ads are where I draw the line. “You can have my feed with ads, or no more of my writing” gets a simple answer from me: goodbye. I also suspect — though of course I have no data to hand — that this cancellation effect will more than compensate for any increased revenue that feed ads might generate.
Update: On re-reading that, I should add: I don’t want this to sound like a threat, or even (at this stage) a complaint. Otis has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes lately, improving Simpy’s stability and speed, and I presume that the ads appearing unwarranted and unannounced is simply a glitch that will speedily be fixed.

A question for my tens of readers.

I know a few people are reading the linklogs, so I thought I’d ask: would you prefer it as a sidebar? I could convert to a three-column layout, with the existing columns much as they are (just a bit thinner) and a third, probably central, column that would contain just the linklogs.
Also, I’ve been doing them as blog posts so that I could send trackback pings and people could comment on them — but trackback fails as often as it works (MT, I’m looking at you), no one is commenting on the link posts, and converting from my Simpy/Feed2JS setup is a bit of a hassle. So, should I just leave it as a feed? You can see what that would look like here.