Archives for March 2007

Site acting weird

My site has been acting a little slow and weird today. I checked my logs, and I’m seeing a lot of GET requests causing strange errors. Most of the requests have escaped Unicode characters, but they don’t appear valid. Sorry that the site is kinda slow; I’m going to be away from the computer until around late Monday, so I don’t have time to check it now, but I’ll try to track it down when I get back.

Update: The site wasn’t really slow or getting weird attempts against it. This post was part of getting ready for April Fool’s Day.

Upgrading WordPress

I upgraded my WordPress installation from 2.0.x to 2.1.x tonight, and I’m a little grumpy. Autosave is great and all, but does upgrading WordPress have to be so much of a hassle? The official way to upgrade is to unpack the latest zip over top of your current installation, which seems like a recipe for cruft to keep accumulating. Things like WP-Cache can get really confused in the middle of an upgrade, and then you’re stuck doing surgery. If a plugin like Akismet gets upgraded, then you end up picking and choosing which files to keep from your wp-content directory. Categories are no longer sorted alphabetically where I can quickly find a category, and I get a new bonus category called “Blogroll” which I’m sure cleans something up from a design standpoint but sits unwelcome among more logical category names. I upload images outside of WordPress, so the upload manager doesn’t matter much for me. I use the code view, so the changes in the visual editor don’t mean much either. Geez, I feel like the curmudgeon who had to walk 10 miles uphill in the snow to install WordPress. 🙂

My biggest surprise was a small thing: the older version of WordPress had really nice “preview ↓” and “edit ↑” links so that as you’re writing a post, you can jump back and forth easily between the edit textarea and the preview iframe. The newer version of WordPress removes those handy links. Grrr!

Now it’s great that WordPress is open source so that I can go back to (say) the 2.0.7 release from the release archives and find/add

<h2 id=”write-post”><small class=”quickjump”><a href=”#preview-post”><?php _e(‘preview ↓’); ?></a></small></h2>


<small class=”quickjump”><a href=”#write-post”><?php _e(‘edit ↑’); ?></a></small>

back into the files, but it’s a bummer to have to go mucking around to do this. What’s the difference between edit-form-advanced.php or edit-page-form.php and why do I have to add code in two places? Bah.

Firefox 2 already gives me solid autosave and spellcheck functionality, so losing the edit/preview links means that I was actually less happy with WordPress after the upgrade. Anyway, let me know if you see anything weird.

New Katamari game?

A Blockbuster employee uncovered a possible new XBox 360 game called Beautiful Katamari Damacy, and the date October 19th, 2007 is mentioned. Oh please, let this be real. 🙂

(via GameSpot).

Linkify: the best bookmarklet you’re not using

If you blog, you should get the Linkify bookmarklet that Laurence Gonsalves wrote.

How does it work? It’s an easy 2 step process:
1. Drag the Linkify bookmarket to your personal toolbar.
2. Dang! There is no step 2! Sorry about that. I, um, got mixed up. There’s just one step.

Now how do you use it? Well, see the link I made to Laurence Gonsalves? To do that, I wrote the words “Laurence Gonsalves,” selected that text, and clicked the “Linkify” bookmarklet. Here’s what you see:

Linkify bookmarklet

Up pops a frame on the right-hand side of your browser with search results from Google (this is powered via Google’s AJAX search). You mouse over the result links to see which one you want, and when you find the answer you want, click “create link”. The selected text will turn into a hyperlink.

It’s that easy. If you’ve noticed that I’ve had a few more links in my last few posts, it’s because Linkify reduces the annoyance of making a hyperlink.

Thanks to Laurence (who happens to be a Googler) for writing this handy tool. Hat tip to Ionut Alex. Chitu for mentioning this bookmarklet. And thanks to Danny Sullivan for jogging my memory that I wanted to write about this.

Disclaimer: This bookmarklet works great for me on Firefox 2. If it doesn’t work for you on your browser, sorry to show you a glimpse of joy that doesn’t work for you.

Bay Area Blawgers

Tonight I went to a meet-up of Bay Area Blawgers (a blawger is a law blogger). Why did I go to this, when I normally don’t do blogger meet-up kinda stuff and don’t know much about law? Well, the get together was just a little down the road at Santa Clara University. And the shindig was coordinated by Eric Goldman. I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy reading Eric’s blog for coverage of web legal issues.

I came in just before things started and happened to luck into sitting by several neat people. On my right was Mike Masnick of Techdirt fame. If you don’t browse Techdirt from time to time — dude, you need to read fewer SEO blogs and broaden your horizons. 🙂 Mike and the writers at Techdirt provide an independent take on news items. Mike’s got a long memory (like Danny Sullivan, but with general news), so he does a good job of putting news items into perspective. In my experience, Techdirt does a deeper level of analysis than most sites, so when Techdirt rakes Google over the coals for something, I tend to give that critique more weight.

To Mike’s right was Kurt Opsahl of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. My advance planning for the meet-up consisted of wearing my EFF T-shirt, so all that hard planning paid off. Kurt polled the group on interesting questions about the DMCA (“How many of you have gotten a DMCA takedown notice?”). Afterwards, he talked about the info on this page where you can register as an online service provider with the U.S. Copyright. It’s a one-page form and an $80 fee. We also talked briefly about Google’s decision to anonymize our logs data after 18-24 months. I still hope to circle back around to that topic at some point (I’m a fan of the decision).

On my left was Colin Samuels. Colin is the general counsel for Accela, which makes government software. Colin told a good story about how he learned the ropes of white-hat SEO and built his reputation up enough to be the #1 Colin Samuels in the world, handily beating a Colin Samuels who skis. 🙂

Other tidbits:
– I didn’t realize that Sun’s general counsel is a blogger.
– We discussed whether it was better for a law blogger to mention legal cases that could be negative for a firm (it definitely bolsters your credibility as a blogger). We also talked about the pros and cons of anonymous blogging, and a little bit about online bullying.
Chris Hoofnagle was there. I hadn’t seen Chris since the Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conference in Berkeley in 2004. Which reminds me: I want to hit some non-SEO conferences this year. Maybe Defcon or SIGGRAPH.
– One of the more entertaining people there, Kevin Underhill, runs a legal humor blog. That’s right, the law can be funny:

In a long-awaited and dramatic decision, the Supreme Court held today, unanimously, that in the context of the Guam Organic Act’s debt-limitation provision, 48 U.S.C. section 1423a, Guam’s debt limitation must be calculated according to the assessed valuation of property in Guam.

Like we didn’t all see that coming. In your face, Supreme Court of Guam!

I think a good time was had by all. Thanks for pulling so many blawgers together, Eric.