Comment spam

I’m being inundated with comment spam, despite having an albeit weak captcha aimed at filtering the automated stuff out.

I received 437 such comments in the last 19 hours, an average of one every 2 minutes 37 seconds.

Need to speak to Rob to see whether there’s a better way of getting shot of it. There are certain characteristics of the comments that make them easy to identify.

I wouldn’t care, but none of them ever see the light of day, given that I’m in pre-moderation mode.

Google Gears: missing the point?

I installed Google Gears shortly after its beta launch a few weeks ago. The only thing I currently use it for is my Google Reader, but I can’t help but think that it’s missed the point.

The overarching concept is that web applications can be made available even while you’re offline. But unless I’m missing something, it requires an active decision from the user in advance of going offline. You click a little green arrow at the top of the site, and hey presto, it goes off and stores a whole bunch of stuff that is needed to present that site to you when you’re offline.

But I don’t always know when I’m going to be cut off from the internet. Often, I disconnect quickly and unexpectedly (either by choice or technical fault) yet still want to be able to access those applications.

Wouldn’t it be better if the activity that ensued when you clicked the green arrow was happening as a matter of course in the background while you’re online? Then, when my network connection disappears, I don’t miss a beat. I’m simply warned that my information may be a little stale.

Just a thought.

Media scrum

I just caught the 87 bus past Downing Street and the media lawn outside Westminster. Both are teeming with media – camera crews, reporters, bright spotlights and umbrellas to keep them all dry.

I swear: something’s going on today, and I won’t sleep until I find out what. You’ll be the first to know, so stay tuned…


Apparently, bathtime isn’t a word. It’s either hyphenated or treated as two separate words. Anyway, I’m making it a word. Similar to my use of eleven and twelve mid-sentence. (Incidentally, I’ve used the word eleven in 22 posts to date (make that 23) and twelve in 25 (26). They come up quite regularly.)

Anyway, just a short post to say that I love bathtime, as does my daughter. She’s not reached the try to get as much water out of the bath as possible phase yet, but nonetheless, she seems to personify happiness and contentedness. Which in turn makes me very happy.

That was close

My previous post (see below) was quite long. Just after hitting the Blog this! button (that’s what the button says), I decided in an instant to click back into the content entry text box, hit CTRL+A (highlight everything) swiftly followed by CTRL+C (copy to clipboard). All this while the next page was loading, over broadband.

That next page was the you’ve been timed out page. The annoying thing about my blogging software is that it doesn’t auto-save partial posts.

Imagine my delight when I could copy my clipboard into a second attempt. I think you can only imagine.

Ocado: the cheek!

Originally, this post’s title had the present participle of the F word neatly nestled in between the and cheek. I removed it for Francis’ benefit (NSFW), but I’m often torn in suchsituations. Now, having raised the very subject of sweary things, astrange urge has come over me to type the C word. Scunthorpe. That’lldo.

Back to the point. A few days ago, I was sent a lovelylittle email from our friends at Ocado, our online supermarket ofchoice, part of the John Lewis Partnership, don’t you know. (My wife practices the John Lewis religion, their Oxford Street store being termed The Mother Ship.)

Theyinformed me that they were introducing a "small delivery charge to someof [their] slots. Charges will affect busy periods but quieterdelivery slots will remain free.

"All customers spending over £75will have the opportunity to choose a free delivery slot at a quietertime of the week, otherwise the charge will be up to £4. If you spendless than £75 the charge will be no more than £6."

(I’d havepreferred a semicolon after week, but that’s beside the point.) I wasgrateful, almost eternally so, for the opportunity to choose a freedelivery slot at a quieter time of the week, although recall havingenjoyed that very opportunity before receiving the email. IndeedI’d had the opportunity to choose freedelivery slots at any time of the week, which was moreenjoyable still. Overall, I feel the Ocado’s elevated prices, theirlack of the need for a physical shop (for me at least), and the overallvalue of our shops (c. £135 spent on each delivery) should togethercontribute towards a strong argument to allow us free deliveryregardless.

Anyway, we chose 9–10pm this evening, the slotsbetween 7pm and 9pm being deemed to fall in a busy period. When theguy arrived at 8.50pm, I wondered whether a surcharge would be levied. (I think I’m safe in assuming it won’t. Though stranger things havehappened.)

Thinking again, given my annoyance at the very conceptof a delivery charge, I was sorely tempted to levy one to the deliverychap in return for hitting our busy period. (In reality, itwasn’t that busy, as bathtime was over and the little lady was tuckedup asleep. But that’s not the point.) Maybe I’ll write a letter toOcado detailing my proposed inconvenience charge.

Me or you?

YouGov‘s branding seems odd to me. It strikes me that some branding people decided that they wanted to embrace the second person plural, so branded it such. But the people who use the site are, by definition, living life in the first person singular. And as a user, you has a different meaning than was intended by the branding folk. If anything, you for the user could be construed to mean government.

The same could be said of YouTube. And the BBC’s email address for sending pictures: But not of myspace or

Nice word: panoply

panoply: a complete and impressive array.

<|> or >|< ?

Apologies to Simon for not holding the lift for him on leaving work this evening.

I get very confused between the <|> and >|< buttons. When you analyse the buttons, they make complete sense; but when confronted with the option accompanied by a very aggressive deadline (the lift doors closing), I never fail to fumble for the right one. Tonight, Simon was delayed by this fumbling. I, however, suffered no such delay.

Quote of the day

“Dan’s nipples are like a money-off voucher for a tin of dog shit.”

No context necessary, nor would it be forthcoming.

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