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2004-09-09

BloggerBuzz: Blogger Support Appreciation Day

Biz Stone, Genius sent out the September 2004 Blogger Buzz, decreeing today as Blogger Support Appreciation Day:
"They answer tickets all day long, they go out of their way to fix problems, and they document everything so we know what to fix and what people are having problems with.  Our in-house support staff also writes and maintains the ever-growing collection of help documents at Blogger."
I appreciate that.  I had wandered over to Blogger Help recently when wondering how to fix a template that I'd messed up and I discovered the wonderful accumulation of tips, basics, and nifty advanced information like what all the special Blogger tags do in templates.  (I flunked CSS though, and they took away my learner's permit, but the Blogger tags are working great for me.)

I appreciate that.  Another serious advance by the support team is the ever-increasing accountability for system behavior, outages, and bugs.  The support page seems to improve daily, and having an RSS feed for support status is super.  I also appreciate the known-issues information and how items are crossed off over time.


I said that I wanted to appreciate some advances on Blogger, and the Blogger Buzz e-mail reminded me that I should do that.  Thanks, Blogger Support.

 
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2004-09-08

Serious Hand-Wringing: The Borrow-Spend Death Spiral

Dan Appleman: Kibitzing and Commentary » Lies and Truths.  Dan Appleman, the cool head behind Always Use Protection: A Teen's Guide to Safe Computing, has provided a guide to election-year analysis that is scary-on.  The simple clarification of positions, stripped of pretense, is liberating.

After brightening up over this handy analysis and moving along in my everyday world, one piece of this rocked me from behind, like a delayed claymore that I thought I'd snuck past.  It comes down to this:
Since all politicians and media are lying (either through omission, misdirection, or outright), you cannot predict their future actions based on what they say.  This implies that you can only anticipate their future actions based on past actions of themselves and their supporters.
Generalization, yes, but the admonishment to ignore their lips and watch their hands strikes me as useful in these times of distorted politico-speak.  I can follow Dan's analysis of what those behaviors are, and I can situate myself in terms of the world I want to live in.  Then I stumbled.
  • Taxes:
    This one is simple.  You either choose a Tax and Spend Democrat.  Or a Borrow and Spend Republican.  Sorry, you can’t have a true responsible economic conservative (control spending and balance the budget) -- that was Clinton and he can’t run again.
That's cute.  And I let it pass, accepting that I had been offered another clear choice:  We're going to spend, now how do we choose to pay for it?

Oh, wait. It isn't such a small thing, is it?  We gave away a surplus, we are insisting on more tax cuts to de-progressify the system, and we are going to move the borrowed debt into future tax bills, with interest.  Lots of interest. And who is going to be handed the bill, why those who haven't figured out how to be excused from paying taxes: Your and my kids and grandchildren. It should be payback time right about when the petroleum economy has failed and there is no social security and high-quality public healthcare for taking care of their parents.  Now there's a legacy to be proud of.

No thank you.


I usually have more-idealistic concerns and I don't like it that the senior senator from my state appears to have been rolled by the administration, focusing on local issues in her Democratic-primary statement with this aside to who we are in the world: "[Our troops] deserve a plan for the war on terrorism that brings them home safely."  I bite my tongue.  1,000 times.  Tears and grief.  I would have liked to take candidate Mohammad Said seriously and honor his boldness as a Palestinian running for the U.S. Senate.  His "pox on both your houses" approach to the Middle East would at least make for lively debate.  I guess my foray into liberalism will be limited to having burned my Republican voter registration, from when I had one of those, and supporting every Democrat I can find, like it or not.

 
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2004-09-06

Honey, Where'd You Put the Bloggo?

"I want to post but the feed is backing up!"



We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties
 
Please Stand By

 
Incident Response Procedures are in effect.
This site feed is suspended to prevent access to corrupted data.
 
Updated status will be posted as the situation becomes clear.
 
Meanwhile, there may be damaged or missing pages.
Follow links in feed entries with extreme caution.
 

On Saturday morning I noticed that my Atom feed had been disturbed.  I applied my recently-practiced incident response procedures and learned more about the importance of fire drills.  Ross Anderson says "it's when the red lights go on for the first time that the worst mistakes get made."  If I didn't have that in mind when I practiced everything last week, it would have been even more difficult to not be rattled, stay level-headed, back up the site, and set up the standby announcement (seen already by subscribers to this blog's Atom feed).

After some research, I discovered that the problem with feeds is annoying but not fatal, so I am hereby taking down the standby notice.  I am leaving the incident notice on the site status page.  I have also done the good-guy thing and submitted a report to Blogger support.

If you are a subscriber to the Atom feed for Orcmid's Lair (and many other Blogger-intermediated web logs), what you'll encounter during this incident is links to archive pages instead of links to the blog entry that the feed entry is about.  If you want to find the genuine article from the feed entry, you'll need to then scroll down the archive page until you find the desired entry.  If you then follow the permalink in the dateline of the article, you'll be at the article's post page the way you expected in the first place.  That is, unless there has been some failure in the archive page being posted successfully, as seems to be the case at Google Blog.

I have not made a thorough investigation of the change, but it would appear to impact every Blogger Atom Feed that has any posts since some time on Thursday afternoon, September 2.  (I did not mean to be so prophetic when I posted about the risks of slip-streaming in "Your%20Message%20Here" and it seems I need to come up with a heavier 2-by-4 or a better aim.)

I will minimize my posting until it is determined whether this is a permanent condition or it is alleviated after someone wakes up down there at galactic central. That's just to avoid subscribers seeing reissues of lots of article feeds when the correction is put in, as I trust it will be.

 
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