Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, December 03, 2021

Despite doing pretty much nothing all day, I am fairly exhausted.

I actually compounded the problem by taking a nap this afternoon. I know from years of experience that I don’t do naps. “Power naps”, despite their supposed health benefits, don’t work on me. Far from recharging my physiological battery, they end up making me more tired, to the point where I’m so drained and disoriented that I might as well go to bed for the rest of the day/night.

But I was already fading out by then, and I foolishly thought it would revive me, or help me get my second wind. No dice.

I guess there are worse ways to wile away a Saturday night… But I’m hard-pressed to think of any right now.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/03/2021 09:04:03 PM
Category: General
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I can’t tell you how happy I am to see that Lightning head coach John Tortorella agrees with my assessment of this stink-o hyperdivisional scheduling in the NHL this year, where the Eastern and Western Conferences see little of each other:

“It’s like interleague play in baseball,” Tortorella said. “I don’t like it. I think we should play the other conference right on through. I think that is better for the game, but who the heck am I to say anything?”

Hey, a Stanley Cup-winning coach has more pull than me (presumably). Shout it out loud, Torts!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/03/2021 08:50:03 PM
Category: Hockey
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When I first heard about the anticipated online-shopping bonanza known as “Cyber Monday”, I was a little skeptical:

I’m a little surprised that the from-work option is still so pronounced. Five years ago, when dialup was still the prevalent method of online access from home, it was to be expected that people reserved certain Web activity for the broadband connections available in the office. But today, when DSL and cable modems are more widespread? I’m always mindful (unlike others) that home broadband is far from universal, but still.

Looks like my Spidey-sense was tingling just right: Not only did the Monday after Thanksgiving not come through as an exceptionally robust online shopping day (although ecommerce sales were up, owing to the general holiday shopping surge), it turns out that the whole thing was a marketing concoction dreamed up by online retailing trade organization Shop.org.

I guess rushing at breakneck speed to your computer doesn’t have the same pizzazz as fist-fighting with some stranger over a 70-percent-off sweater shortly after the store opens at 5AM…

Even though Cyber Monday has turned out to be a lot of gas, I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes on a life of its own. It wouldn’t take much (more) marketing and promotion to really make it a retailing signpost. I think decoupling it from the shop-from-the-office notion is necessary, though; that idea seems totally antiquated, for the reasons I expressed earlier.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/03/2021 04:23:27 PM
Category: Business, Internet
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no track
Just over a month ago, I discovered the Trackback Validator plugin for WordPress. Just in the nick of time, as the majority of spammers had just then turned to trackbacking as the preferred method of shooting out their oceans of digital junk (and, consequently, seem to have abandoned commenting as a delivery method — a good and bad thing).

Validator was working very well. Based on a simple premise — that the pages hyperlinked in a trackback should be linking back to the trackbacked post — it deflected literally dozens of spam pings every day. Every so often, a bad egg would slip through, but nothing major. I was pretty much assured that the only trackbacks that made it through were legitimate ones.

Dan Sandler and his crew have been busy refining the plug-in, including input from my use of it (happy to help). The result has been the next version of Trackback Validator, version 0.6 (replacing 0.5).

The problem: This new version doesn’t work.

Or, as far as I can figure, it works too well: It’s blocking out all trackbacks, evil or not. So if you’ve tried to send a trackback here over the past week, and it’s not showing up, that’s why.

I’ve been back-and-forthing with Dan and Andy Thomas about the problem. I think we’re slowly figuring out what’s fouling things up (actually, my role is more that of the guinea pig; they’re doing the heavy lifting).

Part of the purpose of this post is to simply provide something from which to send a legitimate trackback to the plugin’s home blog. Of course, I didn’t have to write out this long of a post to do that…

So, having accomplished the first goal of this post, here’s the second: A reminder to myself to not delete prior versions of plugins when upgrading them. I’m kicking myself that I irretrievably trashed the 0.5 version of Validator after replacing it with 0.6, because if I had my way, I’d re-install the old version right now, and get things back to working order. But no dice, and I can’t find another place to download 0.5 (if anyone knows of a source, or even has the previous version’s files, let me know). I’m sure Dan and Andy will find a way to fix 0.6, but I can’t stand leaving things broken, even for a little while.

I realize there are other plugins that will do the same thing and more (Spam Karma and others). I’m avoiding them because they seem like overkill. Trackback Validator fit the bill nicely, and hopefully will do so again soon.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/03/2021 03:10:47 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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