New Google “GeoCities” Site

I have always thought that there are not nearly enough outlets for people to design half-assed webpages, and thank goodness, Google has heard my call.  They now offer the same pseudo-GUI interface to design pages that every other crappy site like Geocities offers, or back in the day, Homestead.

Not that I’m in a position to crab about it too much: I know of these other services because I’ve used these other services, back when I didn’t know how to code even HTML.  In fact, I still use Geocities to keep some of my stuff that isn’t important enough to fill my website’s space.  Still, I don’t see why Google needed to get into the crap-orama webpage design act. 

There is one interesting point about Google’s service, and other services they’ve offered in the past, which other companies either cannot or will not duplicate: volume.  Geocities only offers about 15mb of space for free pages, whereas Google offers you a full 100Mb of space.  I don’t suppose I’m going to go and use thier webdesign tools (though I did create an index, so its been written), but I will happily use thier space for my own purposes.

Not that I care too much about the stuff that I’m going to be putting in there, but there is some question as to why Google wants us to create pages on thier sites.  They already advertise to you based on your email, and one can presume that they will use the information on your page to advertise to you again.  Phhht!  Whatever.

Blogs as Career Builders?

Interesting article from The Boston Globe, though I’m not sure how far it goes:

Blogs ‘essential’ to a good career – The Boston Globe

Blogging is good for your career. A well-executed blog sets you apart as an expert in your field.

I suppose there is some merit to the notion that employers will Google your name to find your blog and what you have to say. Certainly, you can’t get more candid than an online diary. However, the article goes on to state that this should be your next move in terms of your career: building and maintaining your blog as a sort of online resume.

claimID: New Way to Manage Your Online Identity

Of course, this thing could be five years old and I’m just catching up with it now. claimID is a new and better way to manage your online identity, and all the myriad ways you are identified online. If, like me, you are on several different forums and posting to several different blogs, then you know that your name is all over the Internet without much in the way of coherent verification that you are who you are. claimID moves in the direction of cutting down on that confusion, and I think it’s a good idea.

With claimID, you send them an email with your email address so they can use one email address to refer to you at all times. Don’t worry, the email address is not distributed. It’s just a one-email-one-identity verification. Once you’re setup, you then go on a merry jaunt around the Internet and find all the places where you’ve registered yourself and claim those registrations for yourself. In fact, it allows you to bookmark everything you’ve done including, one supposes, posts within other people’s websites.

If you’re wondering how this is a good thing for privacy; if you’re scratching your head wondering why you would voluntarily provide information about yourself to protect your privacy, consider the number of times you’ve discovered that the username you use on your homepage is not available on another page. How many times have you tried to get an email address only to find that someone else has already claimed it? That means that there must be at least one other person on the Internet with either a similar name or similar interests, and they might be posting things around the Internet that you would prefer not be attributed to you!

So really, it is yet another experiment in the “Open Source” paradigm.? Let people know who you are, so that they don’t define you themselves.? Google and other search engines allow anyone to search for just about any information they want.? Better that you positively identify yourself and claim what’s yours than to let false assumtions determine what others believe is you.

I’m just starting my profile now, but I’m liking what I’m seeing.? Now I need to keep scrounging around the Internet to find all the myriad profiles I’ve created for myself.

Happy Friday, Everybody! Rockin’ Kitty!

Here’s to hoping everybody is in a good mood!

WordPress: Gitin’ Widgie Wit It

I’ve finally had a chance to get the new Widgets plugin installed, and I think I’m really going to like it.? Thus far, I’m still working out some of the details, like how to incorporate my Amazon ads, but the plugin installed easily and works great.? For now, I will probably use the text widgets, but I haven’t had a chance to work that out.

Hmm. . .? perhaps I’ll have to develop my own widget, possibly post it for consideration. . .

I Want My 18 Pixels Back!

Yes, I live my life on my blog. No shame in admitting that I am a CSS fool, as evidenced by my last post on the subject. And so, I continue to post.

Arg! CSS and Browsers!

Somebody please stop the madness!

OK, so I’m sure I’m looking like a grade-b rookie, but as long as I live I will never understand CSS support in browsers.? Just when I think I’m going to get something licked, only two out of three browsers support a given formatting.? Of course, it’s never the same two, either.
Even if we ignore (as if we could) Microsoft’s typically shoddy compliance with CSS standards, we are still left with a variety of other mishaps along the way with other browsers that can seem almost as glaring.
Of course, I want it all, and won’t be satisfied with less than perfect.? Of course, I’ve set a deadline which keeps inching closer.? Of course the two forces are incompatible.? Three columns with a footer didn’t seem like too much to ask when I started this little escapade, but oh boy, does it ever start to look that way now.? It never ceases to amaze me how completely randomly a given CSS change will affect the layout of the page, and again, not always the same way for every browser.

I can plug away and eventually conquer most any problem I need with PHP, but what is supposed to be the basics of web design always manage to confound me.? I’ve built an entire website, and frankly, I think it looks pretty damned decent.? However, the entire framework of the page is entirely dependent upon the supposedly outmoded tabling structure.? For the sake of compatibility and I suppose the ego-pacification of keeping up with the web-Joneses, I am determined to make the page work out with CSS DIVs rather than this older style.

Someone really needs to shoot someone at the W3C, and I don’t give a damn who thinks me an idiot for saying it.? There is no good reason to have to make this so goddamned complicated.

Grrrrrr!!!? I’m going to sleep now.

Ah Ha! Akismet, Of Course!

I don’t know why I need to have a site that I will never use to get the API key, but whatever.? I’ve been dealing with an obnoxious amount of spam, and realized that WordPress already came with a solution to the problem, I just needed to activate it.

Here’s to hoping that this does the trick.

Aaargh!!! WordPress Spam!!

This is driving me nuts.? I’ve literally had to delete (or set as spam, whatever) about twenty comments today, all of them spam.? All of them the same bullshit nonsense sentences and links to crap.? This is getting very tiresome; I have to wonder how bigger websites deal with this, though I suppose they just have legions of editors looking for comments to delete.


Holy Crap! Was That Ever Scary!

Dunno exactly what I did, but in playing around with my test site, I managed to cross a few wires and almost completely FUBARed my blog.? That sucked!

WordPress 2.0.2 is Here

Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, I managed to find out that the latest version of WordPress had become avialable, v2.0.2.? I was happy to see that at least the new version didn’t really seem to f*ck up anything important, but I’m not sure what the security vuln was that they were moving to plug.? I suppose it’s better to not know then to know because someone exploited it on my site, so I’ll leave it at that.

The vuln apparently involved an XSS hole.? What’s that, you ask?? Cross-Site Scripting, that’s what.? For an explaination of what that is, check WikiPedia.

Arg! WordPress Spam!!

Christ, I thought the spam problem on phpBB was bad. I checked my dashboard and found 44 comments to moderate, and they turned out to all be crap. And that was last night; I’ve since deleted at least as many in that time.

The only thing that makes it at all interesting is that the posts are obviously randomly-generated by a script, and so in the end they read like some wierd pseudo-poetry on a Japanese tee-shirt:

Rape Loose Increase – that is all that Chips is capable of

How’s that for profound?? Well, at least I was wise enough to make sure that comments needed to be moderated for first-time viewers.? I’m sure there are better ways to go about this, but so far, I have not found them.