A bunch of little unrelated things:
* I’ve been getting hit hard recently by comment spam, and as a result ended up having to put a lot of keywords on my spam blacklist. This should not be a problem for you most of the time, unless you have a fetish for casually dropping the names of erection-producing pharmaceuticals into your everyday comment discourse. However, I’ve also blacklisted the word “casino” since it’s appearing quite a bit recently, and that’s a word that’s not entirely outside the realm of regular usage. So if you use “casino” in a comment and it doesn’t appear automatically, don’t panic. When I made one of my moderation rounds, I’ll likely release it into the wilds. However, if you write something like “there I was, in the Viagra Casino….” I may just leave it off. You damn pranksters.
* I was reading this article in the New York Times about people whose phone company won’t provide DSL service because it’s too expensive, and thus are stagnating in low-bandwidth hell, and I have to say I’m notably less than sympathetic. Hey, guys: satellite internet. Unless all that second-growth forest in Vermont is entirely blocking out the night sky, you can get high-speed internet that way.
I know whereof I speak: When I first moved to lil’ ol’ Bradford in 2001, the fastest local connection I could find was 9600 baud. The terror was complete and unimaginable. But did I bitch and moan to my local telephone company? Well, yes, I did. However, I also looked into my options, and satellite internet was one of them. It had its problems — a small time lag when initiating a connection and having service blocked by storms among them — but it was a damn sight better than 9600 baud. And remember, this was back in 2001, so it’s not like this is untested, freaky technology. It suited me until DSL finally showed up here.
If anyone in Vermont is reading this, do let these folks know of the miracle of satellite internet. And show them your iPod, too. That’ll really mess with their heads.
* Some nice news for me: I’ve sold The Ghost Brigades in the French language, where one assumes it will be known as Les Brigades De Fantôme or some such. Also, for all you Francophones out there, the release date for the French-language version of OMW will be January 2007, from Editions L’ Atalante (who also bought TGB). Starting saving your euro-pennies!
* NPR is looking for a blogger. If I didn’t already have my own pro blog gig, this might be attractive to me, except for the part about “being willing to relocate.” Isn’t part of the magic of blogs that you don’t have to relocate? I mean, hell. I live among the Amish, people. I think that pretty much proves that you can blog from anywhere.
Also, this line in the job application seems a bit presumptuous: “a passionate desire to join the blogger ‘A’ list.” Leaving aside the fact that being an “A”-list blogger is like being one world’s elite kitten-jugglers — a curious but strangely limited sort of fame — who is on the “A”-list in the blog world is decided not from above but from below, primarily by who links to you and how often. So while I think it’s groovy NPR has ambitions for its blogger, if I were applying for the job I wouldn’t exactly exactly assume that if I got it I would suddenly be elevated to the oh-so-lofty heights of A-list bloggerdom. You’ve got to earn it, baby, through all the links and such and so on and blah blah blah. Then, and only then, will you take your place in the grubby, back-biting pantheon of bloggers.
* Speaking of pointlessly obsessive blog status mongering, here’s something interesting: Technorati, which is the official repository of who is on the blogger “A”-list thanks to its dork-anxiety-inducing “100 Top Blogs” list, is massively underreporting my “A”-listyness, because it splits my links between a scalzi.com listing and a whatever listing. The Scalzi.com listing lists 1,192 blogs linking to me, while the Whatever listing features 1,140, which puts both listings in the 1000 range for most popular blog evar. But, since (follow the pathetic logic!) it doesn’t make sense that people would link to both, just one or the other, in fact I have 2,332 blogs linking to me, which definitely puts me in the top 300, since Wil Wheaton’s at 292, and he’s only got a mere 2043 blogs linking to him! Ha, Wil! HA!!! Clearly I need to sue Technorati for underreporting my true blog awesomeosity, which is keeping me from making those six-figure book deals other bloggers are making, and getting the fabulous blog-groupie sex that I’m sure Kos and Ana Marie Cox are having on a regular basis (no, not with each other. With the groupies. Pay attention). Also, I will sue Wil Wheaton. Just to make the point.
Also, I think Technorati is not doing nearly enough to raise the anxiety of bloggers everywhere regarding their A-list status (or lack thereof), so I propose that rather than posting a mere Top 100 list, Technorati post a top 1,000 list — or even better, a top 10,000 list. Because you know the people scratching it out for positions 9,999 and 10,000 will stop at nothing to kill all those who threaten their exalted position. Yes, yes. If Technorati does but implement my suggestion, soon the Blogosphere will have all the drama it deserves.