Blogging Media Rochester

The Park Avenue Photo Scavenger Hunt: Find Our Sponsors!

Park Avenue Photo Scavenger Hunt! by @S__Hundley

If there’s one thing about Rochester that I think all Rochesterians can be proud of, its our sense of humor, especially at our own expense. This afternoon, Rachel Barnhart ( @rachbarnhart ) pointed outon Twitter that the Park Avenue Festival has a new sponsor and is now called the “Chrysler Park Ave Summer Art Fest.” That got some of us thinking what other groups might want to sponsor the Park Avenue Fest, our most beloved festival. That gave rise to a hashtag, suggested by @Tympanogram , #ParkAveFestSponsors, which was great fun.

And then another friend of the site, @S_Hundley , suggested that we get together a friendly scavenger hunt… so, that’s what we’re doing!

Here’s how it’s (hopefully) going to work: you go to the PAF and bring your camera phone. If you find anyone who matches the descriptions listed in our scavenger list (taken directly from the original hashtag conversation), snap a pic and send it to Twitter with the hashtag #ParkAveFestSponsors. Then we all get to critique your work, laugh at the great time everyone’s having and enjoy the PAF as an online community.

Then we’ll pick ten winners to post back to this site probably Monday morning. We’re looking for funny, interesting and unique pictures of the Park Avenue Fest as only we, its true sponsors, can really appreciate.

Please note: This little hunt is purely in good fun and to show off what’s so awesome and unique about a great festival in a great city. That being said, no one who came up with this idea has any bail money to help you out if you screw up, so please try not to do that. Try *real hard*. And if you do, please know that we love you, but you’re on your own.

The Park Ave Fest Scavenger Hunt List:

Click here to download the PAF Scavenger Hunt list!



  • Beer Pong Balls
  • ppl too stupid to read alternate pkg signs
  • The Loft Apartment With Balcony Political Message Sign
  • the douchey guidettes that wear spiked heels to toddle around the fest
  • CDs Lakeshore Will Never Sell
  • “invisible pet on a leash” booth
  • Shirtless bros on roofs
  • Police on Bicycles
  • Children on leashes
  • Bathtub Refitting
  • Kan Jam
  • Corn Hole
  • The guy walking down Park with a 12 of Natural Ice
  • Double or (bonus) Triple Stroller
  • Giant Bubble Making Guy
  • Drink in a plastic coconut
  • Idiots Wearing Fedoras
  • Old dudes rocking fanny packs
  • Actual homeowners who live there fleeing for the weekend
  • Joey Guisto hitting on young girls.
  • Another Soon-To-Fail Business
  • The Amusingly Ironic Party Hat
  • Rednecks Comin’ in to the “Big City”
  • Girlie drinks in those tall funny shaped plastic glasses. (bonus if subject is a dude)
  • Pretending to be sober when running into co-workers.
  • Eric Bauman’s creepy dad.
  • Police Horse Dumps
  • hippies blowing bubbles
  • Obscure lawn ornaments
  • Alcoholics Not-so-Anonymous
  • fat guy on roof
  • Deep Fryer Oil That Should’ve Been Changed Yesterday
  • The Mulletude
  • Solo cups
  • Wilson Farms fresh out of 30 racks
  • Butterfly Fries
  • The family of 8 that walks together and stops at every booth
  • Bros with bulldogs
  • Seriously Dude It’s Not That Hot Put A Shirt On
  • Hipsters in Plaid
  • Spotting Lou Gramm handing out fliers
  • Stuff So Random, They Can Only Afford Tents off Alexander St.
  • That A-Hole Who Parked In Front Of Your Driveway
  • Tramp Stamps
  • Muffin tops
  • Windstream
  • Half naked dancing Festival Guy (Dan Quilty)
  • Shit You Wish You’d Thought Of Because It Looks So Damn Easy To Make
  • The god damn neighbors playing beer pong in the front yard. Again.
  • Passing Out In The Front Lawn
  • “Officially” Alcohol-Free.
  • Creepy Shirtless Guy with a Boa Constrictor
  • Your Friendly Rochester Meter Maids: Thank you for your patronage!
  • Afternoon Naps
  • Bros
  • Anything, Anything, Anything on a Stick.
  • Weird Sprinkler Guy at Park/Buckingham
  • Bros with Sculpted Eyebrows
  • Some dude with a ferret on a leash

So, whose with us?!?


Complex Passwords Made Simple

I don’t often post stuff like this in this space. But after seeing the click-throughs on the Sony story below, I get the impression folks are interested. I thought maybe I’d share with my readers how to make a very, very strong password that’s very easy to remember:

Analysis of passwords in Sony security breach.

First step is to pick out a favourite song and a favourite line from the song. Preferably, it should be a pretty short line, between say 6 and 15 words. For this we will use “Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow.” Lets take the first letter from each word, and we’ll end up with:


Already you have a password that looks random. And its not easily guessed as would be the name of your first-born child or your dog: that makes it virtually “social engineering” proof. You’re well on your way!

Next, we’ll substitute a few numbers or punctuation marks for letters they kinda look like. Replace the “I” with a “!” (like an upside down, lower case i, get it?). Replace the “S” with a “5”:


Now, we’ll only capitalize a few significant initials: “L”amb and “F”leece will do the trick. Make everything else lower case:


Bingo! Good enough for Windows, Mac, Unix or your bank account (but don’t be stupid and use this password!).

Blogging Politics

Ah! Comments! Every Webmaster Loves Comments!

Once again, the question of what to do with questionable comments rears its head in Rochester. @rachbarnhart recently posted an article from the @dandc about that paper being sued by Brockport police over what they regard as libelous comments. The heat is apparently also being felt by @roccitynews:

What to do about online comments – News Blog – Rochester City Newspaper.

Here’s a few unfortunate details about this issue that are worth pointing out:

First, I don’t think that lawsuits over comments have really been tested well, to my knowledge. Perhaps the D&C lawsuit will be illuminating or even precedent-setting on that issue, though my suspicion is that it will be settled out of court.

But if ever a case of “comment abuse” is brought to court, I suspect all of us who run our own sites are in a good deal of trouble. Because while I and many others including the D&C have user-submitted content policies posted to our sites, they don’t really hold up under scrutiny. The thing is: if you have content displayed to the public on a site you run, you are responsible for it. Simply stating that “all comments are considered the property of the commenter” is not good enough because they are not ultimately responsible for what’s being put out.

Even worse: imagine if someone did sue you for libel over what was being put out by commenters on your website. The only recourse for you is to go track them down, which might not even be possible and if it is possible, only by using means such as IP snooping. Yes, D&C commenters are required to login to an account. But how reliable is that account information? Probably not very reliable at all. I’ve been known to make up wacky shit just to amuse myself.

And speaking of amusing, check out this passage from the D&C’s Terms of Service page:

You understand that we have no obligation to monitor any discussion forums, blogs, photo- or video-sharing pages, or other areas of the Site through which users can supply information or material. However, we reserve the right at all times, in our sole discretion, to screen content submitted by users and to edit, move, delete, and/or refuse to accept any content that in our judgment violates these Terms of Service or is otherwise unacceptable or inappropriate, whether for legal or other reasons.

Didja get that? The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has decided that, because it wrote something on a web page called Terms of Service, that makes it binding. They simply don’t have any obligation at all to monitor their comments – even though those comments are on their website – because they cried out “You’re it infinity! No touch-backs!!”

In the case of this little website, there’s not much in the way of commenting to worry about. Every once in a while, I get a few comments and I very much appreciate them, but I guess there is something about the way that I write that doesn’t invite dialogue. For me, then, the issue of moderating comments is only an occasional one and easily dealt with. But why large media outlets would bother to open themselves up to such problems is kind of beyond me.

Solutions are many-splendored and widely available. Why not double your pleasure, for example, by asking visitors to tweet or FaceBook their comments? A bit of long-tail action on top of absolving yourself from the responsibility of of moderation. There are also solutions that would allow you to peg site registrations and comments to OpenID, FaceBook and Twitter accounts. This does not remove the moderation problem, but it does give you considerably more leverage with your visitors who are now positively ID’d to at least an online personality that exists outside of your website.

There are many other options, but it seems to me that in a time when the entire news media industry is holding its breath and waiting for the next round of layoffs, allowing comment areas to become styes of hateful, alienating and potentially libelous speech seems like a risk not worth taking.


When is a Credit not a Credit?

A couple of well-known econo-bloggers are all upset about another blogger’s use of intellectual property, in the form of a linked-to but otherwise unattributed set of quotations:

It Has Nothing to Do with “Fair Use”: It Is About Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due – Brad DeLong’s Grasping Reality with All Ten Tentacles.

Fair Use, intellectual property and other copyright and courtesy issues come up for bloggers on a fairly routine basis for good reason: it is in the nature of the Internet to share information freely and widely, but it is not in the nature of humans to do so unattributed.

For myself, I have to say that a link to an article serves perfectly well as an inline bibliography. Consider yourself notified. What could be more direct a means of attribution than to give your readers the opportunity to read the entire text of your selected quotation in context?

The trouble in this case is that the link in question is a lot less-clearly a form of attribution. I prefer to only link vague phrases to additional resources, not the source of a quote, but that’s hardly a strict rule because, hey, I’m an irresponsible kind of blogger, sometimes.

Overall, I think its much ado about nothing. But then, doesn’t that perfectly describe blogging in the first place?