Andy Michaels is a filthy spammer and I hope he spends eternity as the dingleberry closest to Satan’s festering freckle.

Just got this bullshit trackback (on this totally unrelated entry):

I\’m pleased to announce the introduction of two products, the latest is the Ice Cold New Marketer Seminar Series for internet marketers who are just starting out and looking for solid counseling on tools, resources, and services without all the techni…

from this bullshit blog: (no Googlejuice for you, asshole).
Andy, you’re a disease with opposable thumbs. You’re a plague, a pox, a parasite on all that is good and useful. Other people are making the internet into the greatest library that ever was, a scholarly resource, a tool for science, a home for the arts, a conversation, a force for social change — but you, you’re out there shilling. And you’re not even selling anything real, you’re selling the idea of selling. You mammon-worshipping maggot. You’re sucking down bandwidth and making all sorts of worthwhile endeavours more difficult by the day, just to push yourself into people’s faces and scream “give me money”. You are greed made flesh. You’re the reason we have to have CAPTCHA and Bayesian spam filters and blacklists. Blind unmitigated selfishness like yours is why we can’t have nice things: it’s people like you who piss in fountains and spraypaint inanities on grand buildings and carve their initials into ancient trees.
Andy, you’re a soulless meat puppet with the red right hand of a sick, materialistic culture jammed forearm-deep in your pliant rectum. There just aren’t enough curses in the world for you — there aren’t enough bad things I can hope will happen to you.
Andy, Bill Hicks has some advice for you.

aw, NUTs

I’m still spending pretty much every waking moment in the lab — it’s OK Mum, I’m having fun and taking care of myself! — because I have some really neat results and want to send them out into the world asap. (I will do my best to persuade the boss to submit to an OA journal and to put a preprint in Nature Precedings, but no guarantees there.)
So, this entry is just to round up a couple of NUTs — Nagging Unfinished Tasks.
thing2.JPG NUT the first: 2008 Science Blogging Conference — I never did get around to posting about it, but I have left comments on other people’s entries saying most of what I had to say. Mostly, it was a blast and I wish I could have that kind of experience more often, as it really recharges my enthusiasm.
The one thing I meant to do, and didn’t get around to, was pointing to the sponsors. I hate advertising, and was even a little put off by the “swag bags” given out at the conference (very much a minority opinion there) — but sponsorship seems different to me. Provided the recipients do their bit, the sponsors can make a real contribution and raise their profile in a “target market” without having to spam anyone. So, I wanted to do my bit to promote those individuals, businesses and organizations who helped Anton, Bora & Co. to make the conference such a success: if you have a moment, click through to that link and check a few of ’em out.
hotelroom.JPG I also want to highlight the contribution made by the Radisson Research Triangle Park, who weren’t exactly sponsors but made a big difference to my stay. It’s a very nice hotel, much swankier than my usual budget-driven choices, and they provided a special attendee rate for the conference weekend which made them the cheapest alternative within any reasonable distance of the conference. This was great, because they are in fact walking distance from the Sigma Xi Center where the conference was held, and quite a lot of the attendees took them up on their offer. This made transport easy to figure out, and the after-conference bar sessions lively and fun. I really like not worrying about transport to and from conference venues, and I really like being able to walk from the bar to my room after staying up way too late talking to interesting people, so thanks to the Radisson RTP for making my stay so enjoyable. If you’re going to stay in NC, keep them in mind. On the right is a picture of my room there — yup, two double beds all to myself, same cheap rate. (On the left is a DNA-inspired sculpture that hangs in the central stairwell of the Sigma Xi Center.)
NUT the second: Whatever happened to those letters I was thinking about sending? Well, in the end, I decided not to send them. The bottom line is that, as Peter Suber pointed out to me in email, it’s a given that almost none of the recipients of such a letter would respond. I finally decided that such a predictably low response rate would reduce the exercise to little more than muck-raking, since no useful data would come of it. It would take a lot of work to find the appropriate contact person at each company and tailor the letters to their public position on OA, and in the end nobody would gain from it. I hope this is not a great disappointment to the few people who came forward to say they’d sign such letters — if it is, let me know, and we can discuss possible ways to resurrect the idea or alternative ways to find out the same target information. It’s not so much dead as buried under the weight of other, more pressing (and, I hope, more productive) commitments.