April 28th, 2011

Peter G

"Suspicious comments" and "Spam comments": LJ decision to 'block' spam i

Originally posted by heeroluva at "Suspicious comments" and "Spam comments": LJ decision to 'block' spam is a big FAIL!
So I've been noticing in both my own journal and communities that I haven't been able to see some comments even thought it says there are more comments there than are actually showing up. Instead I'm getting a place holder that says (Spam comment) or (Suspicious comment).

Why are these showing up like this you may ask? In their rush to fight spam LJ has created a new filter that're AUTOMATICALLY TURNED ON in ALL journals and communities, which screens comments that are made with 'suspicious links' ie links that are not on their safe whitelist, so pretty much the majority of the internet. There is no noted way to add to the 'whitelist'.

What really gets me is that they didn't inform people that they were doing this until a week after it was done and that it was automatically turned on.

So how do I turn it off you might ask.

That's simple. Go to your Settings, click on the Privacy tab, and half way down where it says Spam Protection uncheck the box next to "Comments containing a link to a non-whitelisted domain will be marked as spam and moved to a special section." This applies to both personal journal and communities and the opinion has to be manually changed in each one.

While I understand how this could be a good idea, I think they went about it in a very backhanded way, and have implemented it poorly. There was no message to anyone that the link has been screened. It's automatically done. This went on for over a week before they said anything about it. There is still nothing in the FAQs about it even. The only way I found out about this way going through the support pages where people were reporting similar issues.

Please share this!

ETA: This links really illustrates the problems.
Peter G

It's Not You, It's Me. I Think We Should See Other People

Well.  That was interesting.

I've just been subjected to a friends cut.

It's not the first time.  At least, I doubt it's the first time.  I don't really check my mutual friends thing very often.

The post was public, so I could read it, although there wasn't anything that singled me out.  There were a couple of things that maaaaaaaaaybe were directed at me, but then again, I don't know for sure, I could just be reading too much in to it.  One explanation was that this person posted something that they thought for sure would get a ton of responses and, when they didn't, out came the axe.  (Uh...I like to let people talk, I don't feel the need to constantly inject myself like someone trying to hard to be friends.  At least, I think so.  I don't know which post it was, so for all I know, I just didn't find it interesting enough to comment on.)

I checked my profile, and sure enough, I was dropped.  Okay.  I went and edited and removed them.  I mean, what's the point?

I'm not quite sure how to react.  I mean, I'm guessing this is supposed to be a big deal.  The message mentions apologies if being cut offended, how maybe it was a mistake and if it was they will friend you again just don't give 'em the cold shoulder, and other stuff.  I suppose that's an offer for, if you think being cut was a mistake, you can contact them and ask to be "reinstated."

I've thought it over.

I don't want to.

It's not any desire for vengeance on my part.  This person posts extremely infrequently.  I had initially friended them because we seemed to have enough common interests and creative goals that there'd be interaction.  But there's been very very little, certainly far less than I expected.  It's like finding out the grocery store clerk doesn't like making small talk with you.

I like to read.  Part of the whole thing with friending people is to get things to read.  And this person simply didn't post things to read very often, and only responded to one of my posts in the past year.

I would like to send this person a message that says, "Don't apologize.  It didn't work for whatever reason, and that's all there is to it."  It's not like I'm going to lose sleep over this.

Just wondering, do people really get THAT upset over being cut?

It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's A Publicity Stunt!

With a squeal of tires, I lurched to a stop in my driveway.  My loyal minions had already disconnected the satellite dish, the phone, covered all the windows, propped everything against the doors, including the one I just came in through, and took me to my special Faraday cage, which has a corded ethernet port, power outlet, and plenty of tea and ramen (I built it in my bathroom, so I don't have to leave for nothing).  Upon confirmation that the perimeter was secure, I fired up Darwin, my primary computer, and started reading.

So, what in the world has got me running while screaming, "DEFCON RED!  This is NOT a drill!"  Yesterday was new comic day, when people get their new comics.  And the following panel from Action Comics #900 has gone viral --

Please tell me Glenn Beck's show on Faux News is over.  It's already going to be a long fuckin' night (I just know my dad is going to call and ask me what the hell is going on), I don't need an increase in agony.  By the way, why does Supes look like Lil Abner and Bob's Big Boy had a kid?

A review of To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, summed up the movie as, "Nothing gets attention like carefully timed outrageousness."  Comics have tried to dabble in politics, and usually with disastrous results.  If Civil War were any more hamhanded, Jews would have been forbidden to pick it up.  Anyone remember the missile making hippies in Brother Power, The Geek?  I do.  That and the Reagan appearance were the funniest things in there.  Where's Alan Moore when you really need him?  Oh, wait...this is DC.  Never mind.

To borrow a phrase I don't remember where I got it from, political commentary is like a broken shopping cart -- it either veers hard to the left or hard to the right.  Supes has been a punching bag in this regard for a long time, depicted as a government stooge in The Dark Knight Returns.  Writers just don't get what to do with him anymore.  When Mike Carlin was editing the Superman line, he not only kept it tight, but used the death of Superman, one of the worst comics ever, to kick off a great (if truncated) story.  And it's all because of Superman representing "truth, justice, and the American way."

It's the "American way" part that's making people shit.

And it shouldn't.

Let's swing our view to another character who is in far more danger of descending into jingoism than Supes -- Captain America.  After the WWII stories were retired, Cap had to face an Army general who demanded Cap's silence as Cap was a loyal soldier.  Cap responded, "I am loyal to nothing...except the American dream."

Calling it "the American dream" is a bit misleading.  It's actually a universal dream.  Where all are free.  Where all have liberty.  Justice.  To live and do as we choose, and if we are wronged, see whoever did it pay.  No one sells that harder or buys in to it more than Americans, hence the association.  But it doesn't change the fact that THAT is what Cap is supposed to represent.  Like in the movie Delta Farce, "We took an oath to bring freedom to anyone that needs it.  And right now, I'd say these people need it."

People react with dread to writing Captain America.  The reason is because what the character truly represents is at odds with what people want him to be.  One writer said in an interview, "Half the readers wanted me to write him as a satire of American values.  The other half wanted me to use him to promote America."  Ostensibly, he should be neither.  Captain America is a symbol of better things, not a reflection of things as they are.

Now, Cap still gets good writers behind him.  Supes?  Nope.  Here's a character who is frequently depicted as selfish, arrogant, and anxious to humiliate his friends (the Silver Age era, as evidenced by the web site Superdickery.  If you're on Winblows, make sure your firewall and AV are up to date before you pop over, you get drive-by'ed like crazy).  Recent stories like "New Krypton" made him a flunky of his own people.  The day was saved by Valor, Supergirl, and Chris Kent while Supes let his fellow Kryptonians push him around.  He promises Lois he'll never leave again, and promptly goes walking across America, refusing to use his powers and looking like even more of a dick.

And now, this.  Do they really think this is going to give him a positive view?  He's already an afterthought in his own editorial line-up.  It's not that Superman is defying what he stands for -- truth, justice, and the American way -- but that such a cheap, shallow character who has studiously avoided anything truly political is suddenly making a Dramatic Political Stance.  And a poorly thought out one, at that.  Instead of trying to bring these ideals around the world (as loaded as the phrase, "making the world safe for democracy" is, the sentiment is right on), he decides to divorce himself from society.  Folks, this is how bad things happen, when people see themselves as separate (and, by extension, better) than the people they are supposed to work with and support and lean on.

Nothing about this rings true, about a defender of liberty suddenly unsure just what he is doing (check out Mark Waid's sadly truncated run on Captain America to see that done right).  It's just someone being petulant and saying "fuck you" to the world, not presenting a point of view, but simply an attitude.

Superman has gone punk.

Oh, well.  They redo Superman's origin every few years just so they can write new crossover stories.  Give it a few years, and this little moment will be retconned away.

Ooo, It's Getting Dark Again!

So I get a message from Dwayne Biddix.  Dwayne was the penciler and my co-creator on The Supremacy a couple of years ago, a wonderful time I would gladly do again.  He said he had an idea for a comic book and wanted to run it past me.  It's dark, but he wasn't sure if it was workable.  So he turned to me.

I bounced a few ideas off him.

He wants me to write it.

So, I'm now working on another project with a great guy.  Those of you wondering what I'm up to, this is going to be more like The Supremacy -- dark, depressing, defeatist -- than Sound Waves or Stress Puppy.  I can't reveal many details, I'm still engineering everything.  He's going to post it online, and maybe collect it when it's done.

So, I'm going to be busy for a while.  Just as summer movie season kicks off, too.  Shit, where does the time go?

Some People Just Don't Quit

Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware has set June 13 as a date for arguments over whether to set aside Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling that junked California's Proposition 8, claiming he stood to gain from the ruling because he's gay.

Ware is giving those who think this is bullshit until May 13 to file legal arguments against this stupidity.

If the American dream isn't dead, it's definitely on life support.