Gentium Working

As I mentioned in November, WebKit-based browser like Chrome, Safari, and especially the iPhone and iPad didn't support open font technologies like @font-face the same as Mozilla and Internet Explorer do, but apparently they do support SVG fonts. The folks at FontSquirrel have updated their kits to include SVG, so poof, the blog is much more readable on those browsers now!

They probably fixed it a long time ago, but I never bothered to look into it until now.

Now to figure out why Chrome doesn't show the blog title correctly…

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging, Technology” Monday, May 17 2010 07:01 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Bug In Webkit Spotted

I recently started using @font-face and the Gentium font to play with fonts and the web. The folks at have a nice generator so that web browsers that support otp and woff fonts can use the most efficient method possible to download and use fonts.

But there's a problem. Safari, Chrome, and the iPhone—WebKit-based browsers—appear to have a bug where little boxes show up for newline characters, double quotes, and other special characters. It's infuriating!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Nov 12 2009 08:39 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Upgraded to MT-4.2

Upgraded again... I need to find someone to fix all my templates, as comments have been broken for sometime and I've quite wildly diverged from the standard templates at this point and I can't use all the new features of MT.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Aug 21 2008 11:29 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Upgraded to MT-4.12

I notice there was a security update back in June, so I updated to MT-4.12, Haven't looked into the new features and templates yet, but if I have time I will.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Sunday, Jul 20 2008 08:26 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

First Test Post With Flock

I'm trying out blogging from Flock (specifically the beta based on Firefox 3). Sure, I have accounts on most of the services Flock offers, but I wonder if Flock will do a better job integrating them all.

Anyway, I finally got xmlrpc working with Movable Type, that's a start!

Hrm, how to set a category... it seems to set one when you post, but doesn't force the proper updates for it to be reflected. Whee! A bug!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Sunday, Jul 20 2008 08:16 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks


The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Apr 1 2008 02:20 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

The Long and Short of It (Jakob Nielsen on Article Length)

Jakob Nielsen has done some interesting research and modeling on how users read websites in his latest article, “Long vs. Short Articles as Content Strategy.” The hypothesis is that a mix of long and short content on a website is more interesting to a reader than articles of all the same size, long or short.

But the very best content strategy is one that mirrors the users' mixed diet. There's no reason to limit yourself to only one content type. It's possible to have short overviews for the majority of users and to supplement them with in-depth coverage and white papers for those few users who need to know more.

I wonder how this may relate to the latest trend of microblogging such as the twitter feed I have put in my profile box on the right. Now all the items I might consider that were one-liners I put there and I save longer issues for blog entries. Upshot is that I send out updates a little more often but full blog posts are likely to come more slowly.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Nov 15 2007 06:36 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Reading Level

I ran my blog through the program over at Critics Rant, and this is what I got:

Post Graduate Reading Level

Just like the folks at Outside the Beltway (hat tip!), I'm not sure what to make of that.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Nov 8 2007 02:58 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

New MT, New Host

This is a test to see if MT 4.01 is working, and to see if I'm up and going at Dreamhost.

Update: Looks like we got it working. There may be some more bumps in the road when we move DNS over later, but the blog is up. Yes, I know commenting and trackbacks are broken, but I will approve comments and trackbacks that look right. The error page discourages spammers.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Oct 30 2007 02:06 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Upgraded to MT-3.35

Another release of Movable Type, but the bug fixes are pretty cosmetic. They really rolled a release because of a template change? This template issue also only affects Internet Explorer, which I seldom if ever use. C'est la vie, I bumped it up.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Apr 19 2007 09:59 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Upgraded to MT-3.34

While I did not experience any XSS attacks, I have upgraded to MovableType 3.34 to avoid them in the future. There doesn't seem to be much more in this new version other than some extra plugins in the package.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Jan 18 2007 12:02 PM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  No trackbacks

Dancing Cowboy Ads Revisited

According to the New York Times, we actually like the dancing cowboy ads. I disagree. They attract our attention, but I don't think we like them.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Jan 18 2007 10:02 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Snap Preview Anywhere

I added the Snap Preview Anywhere script to my pages here today. It's a great Javascript thumbnailer for external links.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Dec 7 2006 09:35 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

min-width, max-width, and IE7

I made max-width on main entries 45em, min-width big enough for my ads at the bottom, and got rid of the Javascript to make IE support these css attributes now that IE7 is ready for the general public.

Please upgrade to IE7 if you haven't. (And Firefox 2 for that matter.)

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Oct 25 2006 10:26 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Dancing Cowboy Mortgage Ad

It looks as though I'm not the only one that hates the dancing cowboy mortgage ad. Like the X10 ads that made sure I would never buy their product because of the obvious voyeurism intended with X10 cameras, I would never refinance my mortgage with an organization that pushes ads with this obnoxious technique. Popovers and page peels are also on my hate list.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Oct 25 2006 07:43 AM  |  Permalink  |  4 comments  |  No trackbacks

Dumped Individual Technorati Link

Technorati, which gets pinged by me for every post as required, with a valid embed below, thinks this blog hasn't been updated in over 100 days. I've dumped the individual entry link from each entry. Maybe now it will think I'm a good boy and recognize my updates.

I even did the rel="bookmark" for permalinks they suggested!


Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, Oct 16 2006 12:28 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Fixing Site Styles

Tired of this site looking like crap in Internet Explorer, I figured out how to force IE to put rounded corners and support CSS max-width. It was more effort than I'd like to admit. As my copyright box now says, I have two sources to thank:

Nifty Corners” code for rounded corners was developed and released by Alessandro Fulciniti and is usable for free without modification.
MinMax” code for forcing Internet Explorer to support CSS max-width was developed and released by Andrew Clover and is usable for free.

I have a few things to tweak still, but the core work is done. Of course, you have to have Javascript enabled to see the effects of these two scripts, but it degrades nicely if you don't trust it.

Update: Misty says I should do a “cut off” corner style in honor of Battlestar Galactica. Hrm.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Oct 12 2006 10:54 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Honey Traps for Bloggers

The steps.

  1. Set up a nice little blog.
  2. Break the comments submission portion of the pages so it cannot successfully post a comment.
  3. Wait for the script kiddies to figure out the name of your submission script and post directly.
  4. Automatically ban, junk, sue, or otherwise cajole any poster that manages to send you a comment, because they cheated.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Oct 12 2006 09:24 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Style changes

Yes, I changed the style of again. I am trying to keep the main articles from being more than three alphabets wide. Since I let people scale fonts it's been a bit of a challenge. Here's a guideline:


As you can see, I actually went a little wider than this at “60em” for a entry.

Update: 60em was still too wide, so I went to 50. Feels a little funny to me, but I surf at 1600x1200.

Another update: Yes, I know the CSS property “max-width” doesn't work with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Standards compatibility is not something I expect from that browser. The hard part was making sure my style changes degraded gracefully for “differently abled” browsers.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Saturday, Sep 30 2006 12:07 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Bumped to MT 3.32

Rolled up to Movable Type 3.32, which fixes a bunch of bugs that I don't recall running into myself.

Been away from blogging lately, although there's been plenty I should have talked about. However, other people have had the time to go into more depth. For example, HotAir has covered the bogus ambulances in Lebanon story, people are tracking down the secret hold on a bill requiring Congress to have a publicly searchable online database of spending bills, the two kidnapped journalists in Palestine were released after a gunpoint conversion to Islam, a reversed position on planets leading to the demotion of Pluto and the failed apotheosis of Ceres, Charon, and Xena, and a giant storm in the blogosphere over fauxtography.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Aug 29 2006 06:56 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Movable Type 3.31

I've bumped up to MovableType 3.31. I need to update my templates (in a big, big way) to take advantage of the new features (like tags), but I have it running well enough to survive right now.

Before I upgraded I needed to trim my list of plugins and in the process I think I correct some nagging problems with junk postings getting published. Maybe that will help my spam situation a little.

My biggest change to the content will involve moving all postings to single categories and expanding the use of tags. Also, the search capabilities here need a boost, especially as I near 900 entries in the blog.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Jul 18 2006 12:39 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks


Carnival of Cordite #60 is up at Resistance is futile!

Carnival of the Cats #114 is up at Niobium.

Carnival of Liberty #47 is up at New World Man.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, May 30 2006 07:31 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Movable Type 3.3 Beta Coming Next Week

The beta test for Movable Type 3.3 is expected next week, and today the folks at Six Apart released a feature list.

The feature that interests me the most is adding templates to search results. I have long despaired that my search results page looks very little like my other pages.

What I'm surprised not to see is a comprehensive spam control solution. Everyone on the web is dealing with spam in a variety of forms (and this blog gets plenty of comment and trackback spam attempts) and anything that MT can do to remove the daily drudgery of deleting the more astute attempts would be great. I think my provider would appreciate it too.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Friday, May 26 2006 11:47 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Template Changes, Icons

So today I did a little tweaking.

First, there was a deal on blogging icons at IconBuffet so I have integrated those into my design.

Also, I found the new Calibri font online (as part of a WindowBlinds theme!), so I have enabled its use in the blog. If you don't have it the CSS should fall back to Arial or Helvetica. It's a little smaller than the Helvetica, so the right side strip metadata uses a little less space.

Update: I also got rid of a potentially annoying performance-sucking JavaScript issue.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, May 24 2006 09:15 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of the Cats #113

Carnival of the Cats #113 is up at IMAO.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, May 22 2006 07:12 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite #59

Carnival of Cordite #59 is up at Resistance is futile!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, May 15 2006 03:31 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of the Cats #112

Carnival of the Cats #112 is up at sbpoet's Watermark.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Sunday, May 14 2006 07:14 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of the Cats #111

Carnival of the Cats #111 is up at pages turned.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, May 8 2006 07:58 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Time To Stop Using A9

Over the weekend, Amazon's A9 search engine switched from using Google to Microsoft's search.

While I enjoyed the discounts because I used A9, I guess I need to stop now. For one thing, I lost image search. For another, I like Google and dislike Microsoft (as underscored by my recent beta tests of Office Live and Google-hosted email—the Microsoft solution stinks on ice).

I had noticed a difference earlier today, but assumed that the Google interface was broken temporarily. As far as strategic decisions go, I don't fathom this one.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, May 1 2006 04:35 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of the Cats #110

Carnival of the Cats #110 is up at Furry Paws.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, May 1 2006 07:49 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

F-shaped Reading Pattern

Jakob Neilsen has posted research results on the reading patterns of web users confirming something I suspected from my own use of the web, and justifies much of the design I've made for this blog and my web pages.

People who browse the web (and, in my experience, those who browse emails) quickly scan the first two paragraphs horizontally, followed by a quick vertical scan of the left. This must be why I was bothered by having the strip on the side of my content on the left. I lke it much better on the right. On the left it was distracting. For web applications it makes sense to have the toolbar on the left, but most of the time I'd like the margin to be clean.

Also, when I reply to an email I prefer to have a single paragraph of what came before with my response, preferably in a single paragraph, below it. Some people think I'm terse and gruff, but I like to think my email style is quick and to the point. I also don't go for elaborate signatures and I like to trim away as much as possible of previous emails in the thread, reducing my missive to the relevant context.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Apr 20 2006 07:25 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks


Late yesterday we passed 100,000 visitors here at my weblog. I'm not sure what the milestone really means, but I guess I should recognize it.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, Feb 20 2006 09:30 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of Cordite .45

The Carnival of Cordite .45 is up at Resistance is Futile!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Friday, Jan 27 2006 05:35 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Gun Pictures Are Popular

I get a lot of hits on my website looking for gun pictures, even more than cat pictures or my commentary. Here's a little more for the folks that come here looking for guns!

Gripped 1911 by John McEnroe

John McEnroe took the picture, but it's my hands and my Wilson Combat Protector (a very nice 1911, if I say so myself). Notice all the wear and tear on the poor thing as it's my day-to-day carry piece.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging, Guns, Pictures” Tuesday, Jan 24 2006 06:23 PM  |  Permalink  |  5 comments  |  1 trackback

WSJ Launches Law Blog

The Wall Street Journal has launched a law blog. I'll add it to Groklaw, Professor Bainbridge, and the Volokh Conspiracy as a regular source on law and business.

The WSJ law blog is already darn prolific. There's a ton of articles on there from the past few days. Peter Lattman's “Welcome” posting gives an idea of what they will try to do:

Our mission: to scour the universe for compelling stories in two related areas: business and law, and the business of law. Law and business is a broad intersection, encompassing such current news as the Enron trial, the Merck litigation and the RIM patent dispute. The business of law is focused on law firms and in-house law departments. We’ll write about industry news and legal trends, with a sprinkle of good old-fashioned gossip.
We’ll link to the best coverage of law and lawyers from around the Web, report some news of our own and look to you for contributions. We heartily invite your comments, tips and insights.

Looks like I have more reading to do.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Jan 4 2006 10:54 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

New Category: Business

I looked through my articles and realized I have a theme going, so I've created a “Business” category and moved a few articles to it.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Dec 8 2005 10:30 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of the Cats

The Carnival of the Cats is up at IMAO.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, Nov 28 2005 09:56 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks


Compare my copyright (it's at the bottom of the sidebar) with the one from Open Source Media and tell me which one you think is “open.”

(Hat tip to The Modulator who pointed out the OSM copyright.)

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Nov 17 2005 05:20 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

I missed the Carnival of the Cats

I messed up and missed the Carnival of the Cats this week. Whoops!

That's what I get for being busy.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, Oct 31 2005 12:26 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Carnival of the Cats #80

Carnival of the Cats #80 is up at Music and Cats. Church and Snowball got top billing in Sergei's selections.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Sunday, Oct 2 2005 06:59 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks


Memeorandum has had a interface upgrade, and they added a tech version as well. This particular tool makes it pretty easy to see what people are blogging about. I'm sure I'll look more closely at the tech stuff now.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Sep 13 2005 02:35 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

The Interdictor

The Interdictor is blogging from his data center in New Orleans. It's a war zone and it's a good read. It certainly puts the minor troubles of your own life into perspective.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Sep 1 2005 04:11 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

What I Don't Like About Podcasts

I love content. I collect books, music, DVDs, and I have a massive list of RSS feeds I look at on a semi-regular basis in my reader. However, I don't have a big pile of podcasts. Podcasts are like blogs, they put out real-time interesting information from a giant variety of diverse sources. However, podcasts are not like web pages, RSS feeds, CDs or books. It's hard to jump to the parts you like or branch out to the parts that you want to dig into. Instead you are stuck to your headphones or listening position to work through the 'cast.

For example, there's a podcast called The Cubicle Escape Pod that I enjoy, but in every episode there are parts I'd like to skip, like the explanation of what the Podcast is, “earbud worthy music” and various other things Tufte would call noise. I work my way through it, but I suspect the episodes don't need to be a half hour or more long. Sure, there's a minor amount of advertisements—I'm willing to suffer through that for good content—but there's other noise that can be trimmed away. Also, I'd sure like to be able to click somewhere and visit a link they're talking about while they're talking about it.

There are other problems with podcasts that are designed poorly. For example, Harvard Business Review puts audio files that are over an hour long. There's less “noise” but there's no way to easily jump to an article you would like to hear, unlike when you read the magazine. I listen to audio books because I have an evil commute, but I only listen to books I like. Why should I have to read all of the articles in HBR? It's impossible to search an audio file for the start of an article you like with an iPod, by the way.

Both of these problems could be mitigated by breaking up the podcasts, I suppose, but sooner or later you have an audio file management problem. Sure, you can arrange multiple things into a playlist, or an album, but multiple files don't download and get integrated into iTunes very well. Heck, I often need to tweak the information associated with files because one week the genre will be “Speech” and another they'll be “Podcast”.

So, Podcasts are young. I hope they clean it up soon. For now they are not as nice as books, magazines, and the web. What I think I'd like is web-based random-access presentations that I can download as a single package and play back on my iPod, my computer, or whatever. Imagine, now, that talk radio gets involved in this so you have real-time, but replay-capable, content-enhanced podcasts, with indexes and time codes so you can tell when it went out over the air. That would be a lot more like blogging and would be a lot more enjoyable for me. links:

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Sunday, Aug 28 2005 08:53 AM  |  Permalink  |  6 comments  |  No trackbacks

Movable Type 3.2

I just upgraded to Movable Type 3.2 and it was the easiest upgrade yet! The folks at Six Apart are certainly hearing the pain of the users. As for the new features, I'll have to poke around a bit before I start using them.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Friday, Aug 26 2005 10:05 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Over a year!

Well, I let the anniversary pass earlier this month without noting it, but I should point out that this blog has been around for over a year now. While I've drawn a few flames and a few spammers, I've also drawn some good comments and some interesting readers. I guess I would mark it as a qualified success.

Lately I've lost a lot of steam. I've been buried with things to do with school and work, among other things. I guess I've been on a sort of extended vacation, not posting every day like before.

In celebration of the anniversary, I've updated the style of the site again. I wanted to remove some of the noise from the page and drive focus at the content. Let me know how's it's working out.

Thanks to all my readers. I'm looking forward to another year.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Aug 18 2005 08:43 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Poker Spammers Redux

Obviously the the Poker Spammers use google, because they keep trying to post to my previous entry on poker spammers. I get to harvest tones of more patterns to filter and no one gets to suffer here.

I hope that newer versions of MT and Spamlookup continue to up the ante on these jerks, because I have better things to do than filter out their trash.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Friday, Aug 12 2005 02:32 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Poker Spammers Return

I don't know if it's because I've been on a hiatus, but the Poker Spammers woke up last night and tried to attack this blog. I'm deleting unapproved moderated comments from these guys about once every ten minutes. I don't know why they use such obviously fake email addresses and try to only comment on old postings. That will never work with the moderation settings I've enabled here.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Jun 9 2005 07:53 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

John Hawkins's 25 Pieces of Advice for Bloggers

John Hawkins has posted “25 Pieces of Advice for Bloggers” over at Right Wing News. My favorite is #10:

If you're going to talk about something that everybody else in the blogosphere seems to be talking about, at least try to say something original about it. If you sound just like everybody else, why should anyone come back?

So what's my advice? Learn how to use “cite” and “title” tags, which give relevant information to search engines. Since these are so poorly used on the net a little bit of work can go a long way.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, May 10 2005 08:59 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Google Web Accelerator Problems

Google's Web Accelerator, now a closed beta, apparemtly caused problems for a bunch of people recently. The folks over at Geek News Central are upset:

Well you all stepped in a big pile of Horse dung and the flies are following you into the house. Your introduction of WebAccelerator is costing me time, money and valuable statistical data. Where do I sent the bill.

The folks at 37signals are also annoyed:

The accelerator scours a page and prefetches the content behind each link. This gives the illusion of pages loading faster (since they’ve already been pre-loaded behind the scenes). Here’s the problem: Google is essentially clicking every link on the page—including links like “delete this” or “cancel that.” And to make matters worse, Google ignores the Javascript confirmations. So, if you have a “Are you sure you want to delete this?” Javascript confirmation behind that “delete” link, Google ignores it and performs the action anyway.

While there is some debate over the technical merits of whether actions that change the state of things should be done with GET versus POST commands in the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) side of the house, that's besides the point. Other webcrawlers, including Google's own search engine, don't have this problem because they don't surf with the permissions of a trusted user. When someone surfs with Web Accelerator every GET link on their VISA card's web page is surfed while they check their balance and make a web payment.

Most forms are done with POST but what are the chances that someone just used a GET for something simple? Do you want to take that chance?

Google now has a lot of work to do to regain trust from a lot of influencers in the web application side of the world.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Sunday, May 8 2005 08:11 AM  |  Permalink  |  3 comments  |  No trackbacks

Filtering “holdem”

I give up. 50 spams a day with “holdem” in them, so I'm going to block any comment or trackback with that in it, no questions asked.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, May 3 2005 07:22 AM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  No trackbacks


The latest carnivals are up:

Today we hear about a new carnival, the Carnival of Tomorrow. Finally a place for Futurists to congregate! I'll have to think of applying anything forward-looking to them in, ha ha, the future.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, May 2 2005 11:12 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

How Readable Is Josh's Weblog?

Let's test it's readability with the Readability Test from Juicy Studio:

Total sentences450
Total words3,230
Average words per Sentence7.18
Words with 1 Syllable2,089
Words with 2 Syllables680
Words with 3 Syllables336
Words with 4 or more Syllables125
Percentage of word with three or more syllables14.27%
Average Syllables per Word1.53
Gunning Fog Index8.58
Flesch Reading Ease69.72
Flesch-Kincaid Grade5.32

My Fog index falls into the “Most popular novels” category.

My Gunning Fox index indicates an eighth to ninth grade required reading level.

My Flesch Reading Ease falls into the recommended 60 to 70 score.

However, my Flesch-Kincaid reading level is fifth grade!

That's an awful lot of variation. I'll have to look into the statistics behind the numbers…

(Hat tip to Ann Althouse.)

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Saturday, Apr 23 2005 10:18 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Blog of the Day

Today Josh's Weblog has been featured as the Blog of the Day.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Apr 21 2005 06:35 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Movable Type 3.16 and SpamLookup

I've upgraded to Movable Type 3.16. So far I don't see much that's changed, and I did pull out the “nofollow” plugin immediately. The two changes that interest me the most are

  • Made significant improvements to the posting interfaces including numerous bug fixes with QuickPost and hierarchical display of categories
  • Implemented better error checking and data validation throughout the program leading to fewer dead-ends and cryptic error messages

I've also heard that there were more security fixes in this latest upgrade. I've certaily been nervous about the security of running all of this unknown code, but so far things hve been pretty benign, except for the notification hijack we experienced. So changes went into the email notification code on this release, because the patch they released with 3.15 broke a few people.

What's even more exciting to me is my recent installation of SpamLookup. Even Jay Allen has turned off MT-Blacklist and switched. I also turned off MT-DBSL. So far this new tool appears to be working well. Maybe Kira will quit complaining about the server load of my comments script. SpamLookup uses MT-Moderate, so I left that installed.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, Apr 18 2005 05:27 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Status Report

Task: Post every day

Current Status:

  • April 8
  • April 9
  • April 10
  • April 11
  • April 12
  • April 13
  • April 14

Resolution: Get done with MST 573 work, transition from one job to another at IBM, and get more sleep.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Apr 14 2005 11:41 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Spammers are Attacking

I slow down my posting for a few days and the spammers come out of the woodwork. They've been trying pretty hard to get just a single post on here advocating their mortgage broker, or worse.

I've changed what I do at work. Instead of managing a team I'm now managing projects for a much larger team. This is actually a lateral promotion more than increased responsibilty since I don't have to do the “people” thing anymore. My old team has been split across two other managers.

As you might expect, this has made me extremely busy and it cuts down on my opportunities to post. I haven't even read the news in a couple days, let alone seen something worth commenting on. I know my stock price is down and that gas prices are ugly, but that's about it.

However, I haven't let a spam comment or trackback onto the site. They've certainly been trying, hundreds of times a day.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Apr 13 2005 08:41 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

500th Post, Full of Miscellany

I was going to say something pithy or prophetic for my 500th post, and I ended up not posting all weekend. Whoops!

I was pretty heads down getting a lot of work done for school this past weekend. I want MST 573 work to be over now, thank you. Wrote a paper, submitted the draft. Worked on the team project for MST 523. Got my week's worth of work submitted for MST 520 (now all I have to do is keep up with the online conversation).

Far various still-private reasons I did a lot of soul-searching this past weekend, and Misty was a great supporter of my ego. I suspect I was not fun to be around. If there was any doubt, I love you Misty.

At this point I am focused on deadlines, milestones and end dates. My father Barry reminded me that the family needs a "low oil" plan by 2012. We have a windmill but we haven't set it up. The house relies heavily on natural gas now, which, so far, isn't saving us as much as we hoped. Better insulation is required in the attic.

I've been using Basecamp to manage my various little projects around the house and at school. So far it's a great little tool. I recommend it. You can track one project for free with it. They have some new tool called Backpack in development, but there have been no details as to what it might be.

Carnival of the Cats #55 is up at enrevanche. Grandma Wendy's Makiko is in it.

Carnival of the Dogs is up at Mickey's Musings. Bingo is in that.

The Friday Ark at The Modulator features all of the pictures I posted on Friday.

Carnival of Cordite #8 is up at Resistance is futile! I didn't submit anything this time around.

If I missed anything else exciting this weekend, it's not your fault. I was pretty busy.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, Apr 11 2005 07:18 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Neolibertarian Blogroll

I added quite a few more links to the Neolibertarian Blogroll today. There must have been an influx of folks wanting to be involved after the first issue of The New Libertarian went out. Now I have 45 links in that roll.

I still haven't made a blogroll of the McCain-Feingold Insurrection. That's a pretty hefty list too.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Sunday, Apr 3 2005 08:35 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Referrer Spam

Ann Althouse decries referrer spam.

And you check the "Referrals" page, and you see the name of a blog you don't know, so you click on it. But it's one of those automatically updated, machine-made bogus blogs that advertise some damned thing.

There are tools to filter out referrer spam in logs, although I don't use any. I can usually tell when something is bogus and they just want clicks. Partly it's what pages they hit. Partly it's because I saw them earlier when I added them to MT-Blacklist.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Mar 30 2005 07:29 PM  |  Permalink  |  4 comments  |  No trackbacks

Mark Hurd To Head HP

It appears that HP moved quickly and selected NCR CEO Mark Hurd to be it's new leader. I was on the engineers that fought “fight” Mr. Hurd when he headed up the Teradata division of NCR and I worked on Informix Extended Parallel Server. While Informix was absorbed by IBM, I relished outperforming Teradata and touting our more open solutions at every turn.

According to The Wall Street Journal Mr. Hurd is an expert in execution, something HP needs right now:

H-P directors chose Mr. Hurd because he is a strong executive able to improve operations quickly and execute strategy, one person close to the situation said. Also, “he's very, very driven” and “has run a mini H-P,” this person said. BusinessWeek floated Mr. Hurd's name as a possible CEO candidate earlier this week.

Good luck, Mr. Hurd. Cutting costs (only a small piece of “execution”) is not the only challenge at HP right now.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Mar 29 2005 09:27 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Neolibertarian Blog Roll

I fooled around a little with and threw together a Neolibertarian Network roll that you'll see in the sidebar. I'll try to keep it up to date. I had to wonder whether it should point to the feeds on or at the blogs themselves. If decided that if people want to read the feeds, they can click the logo, otherwise they can click the links.

When I get the energy I need to do another one for the McCain Feingold Insurrection.

In other news, I dumped my link to blogspotting. It's clearly been dead for a while now.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Saturday, Mar 26 2005 09:00 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Why We Blog

Most people do not accumulate a body of experience. Most people go through life undergoing a series of happenings, which pass through their systems undigested. Happenings become experiences when they are digested, when they are reflected on, related to general patterns, and synthesized.

(Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky)

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Mar 23 2005 10:58 PM  |  Permalink  |  3 comments  |  No trackbacks

Removed Nofollow, Added MT-Moderate

The Nofollow Plugin for Movable Type was a cute idea while it lasted. However, it didn't seem to cut down on the attempted spam on my blog. I think I would reenable it if I was planning to shut down my blog or leave it unattended for a long period of time, thus inviting spammers. In the meantime, it has messed with the parsing of HTML, messed with the display of trackback pings, and other mayhem. If it was bug free I would have tolerated it more.

Just added to the blog, however, is the MT-Moderate Plugin. This allows me to moderate trackbacks, which is something that was sorely needed in the weeks since my blog was noticed by the spammers. It also automatically moderates comments made to postings more than seven days old. While I do get valid comments on my old postings, it's rare.

My other moderation policies are still in effect. For the most part the only way to post without getting automatically moderated is to have a Typekey identity, and if you leave something icky on my blog with Typekey, then I have a means of getting back to you. My family reads this blog.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Mar 9 2005 12:22 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Building a New Category “Pictures”

Because I post pictures here, I think I'll add a new top-level “Pictures” category and reassign a few of my previous postings there.

It'll make it possible to dismantle my other picture pages and bring them over.

However, now I need to figure out a better way to handle thumbnails and posts. My previous methods have been hit-or-miss. Some might suggest but I'd rather host the photos myself, just like the blog.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging, Pictures” Friday, Feb 18 2005 11:21 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

10,000 In Under Three Months

Looks like today I'll hit 10,000 on the site meter. I started it up in the middle of December. since then my traffic has been steadily rising although it seems to have plateaued at 300 unique visitors a day.

I admit that some of the traffic comes from the blog traffic tools I link to on the left side. Others come from just a few very popular postings. Steady traffic comes from my NRA Course Descriptions and Portland, Oregon Firearms Training pages.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Feb 17 2005 08:01 AM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  No trackbacks

“Pajamas at the Gate”

(Pajamas at the Gate)

What's there not to like about this? What drew me to blogging in the first place was a chance to point out what was wrong with the news. Working in the computer industry, being interested in firearms, and pretty much being a voracious law, history, and policy buff, I see how often the press gets things wrong. Half the time I wodner if it's deliberate. Cox & Forkum sum it up pretty well for me with this cartoon. links:

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Feb 16 2005 04:17 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Google AdSense

I bit the bullet and set up Google AdSense. Perhaps some of you might claim I've sold out since I've had no advertisements on my web site since 1995, unless you count the links to books and DVDs. However, as my traffic goes up I need to be defensive about the change that Kira (who wrote the books CGI 101 and CGI 201) and Brad will start charging me more for being hosted on

So, on every static page, the ads will appear on the bottom of the main column, after all the content. I was tempted to put the ads in before the comments form for individual pages, but even that seemed too much. I also added a Google search, although I prefer A9 myself. However, A9 doesn't have a search box.

To date I've made $2.52 on links after being an Associate for a month. Already today I've had more then 60 Google ad impressions. Not quite enough to pay my hosting bill, but that's hardly a problem. links:

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Friday, Feb 11 2005 02:20 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

ICRA Label

Today I took the trouble of labeling pages on my site for Internet Content Rating, per the ICRA. I had to self-rate my content to general a “label.”

The label I generated label declares that this web site discusses or depicts:

  • No nudity or sexual material
  • Killing of human beings—The terrorism topics and discussions of lethal force, for example
  • Deliberate injury to human beings—Again, the terrorism topics and lethal force topics
  • Violence appears in an educational context and is suitable for young children
  • Mild expletives—I try to avoid this but sometimes things slip through
  • Promotion of weapon use—I agonized over this, but I have pictures of me shooting here and I actively promote safe firearms use
  • Material that might disturb young children
  • Moderated chat suitable for children and teens—I do moderate incoming comments

So perhaps my site is a tad controversial in these terms, but I think I made an honest attempt labeling it.

Part of the fun was having their tester find all the external stuff I was linking on my site. I fixed most of that mess and I think the pages will even load more quickly because most of the images come from my site now. It is a bit goofy to load a single icon from another web site.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Feb 8 2005 11:08 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Movable Type 3.15

Don't I feel special. Movable Type has released version 3.15 simply to deal with the comment hijacking issue. I'll be installing it later today so we can turn comments back on.

Update: Okay, update complete. We'll test things out and go forward! A three day turnaround on a security bug is not bad at all. Thanks, Movable Type!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Jan 25 2005 07:23 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Comments Disabled, Again

Email spammers hijacked my comments script this morning and were sending those godawful “Your Ebay account has been compromised…” emails. We've disabled it for now and are investigated the bug that may, in fact, be in all MovableType 3.14 installations. I'm a paid subscriber to MT and I'll be pursuing a support ticket, you betcha.

Update: It is a bug. I'll hold back on the rest until a fix comes out.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Saturday, Jan 22 2005 04:44 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

Comment Spammers and Hits

Because comment spammers don't actually look at my web pages, yesterday we saw a little over 100 unique visitors and over 200 page views to my pages on, but my web server shows 3071 hits. The vast majority is comment spammers directly calling my comment script.

The Movable Type folks recommend changing the name of the comment script in order to prevent these automated attacks. I have to say I agree with them.

Update: I've changed the name of my comment script and rebuilt the site. As a result, if comment spammers want to attack they have to actually look at one of my pages to find the name of the script… then they'll start again.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Friday, Jan 21 2005 08:22 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Comment Spammers

For the past three days I've been under constant attack from comment spammers. They want to get their comments on here not because a lot of people read my postings and comments, but because search engines will find their links and if they find enough of them they will raise the rank of their pages.

To reduce the value of this, Moveable Type, along with the major search engines, has come out with a attribute and a plugin to exploit that attribute, to be added to link tags to stop the inflation of pagerank through spam. This has been called rel="nofollow".

This initiative, with announced support from Google, Yahoo, MSN (and surely more to come), will direct search engines to ignore links with this attribute set for the purposes of spidering or increasing search engine relevance or ranking.

Jay Allen has commented in more depth at the Comment Spam Clearinghouse, which supports the find MT-Blacklist plugin that has protecting this blog from so much comment and trackback spam. He has words that make many people happier about the adding of comments and trackbacks to search engines:

It is important to note that while the links will no longer count for PageRank (and other search engines' algorithms), the content of user-submitted data will still be indexed along with the rest of the contents of the page. Forget all of those silly ideas of hiding your comments from the GoogleBot. Heck, the comments in most blogs are more interesting that the posts themselves. Why would you want to do that to the web?

He also is optimistic about the future:

In the end, of course, this isn't the end of weblog spam. But because it completely takes away the incentive for the type of spamming we're seeing today in the weblog world, you will probably see steady decline as many spammers find greener pastures elsewhere. That decline combined with better tools should help to make this a non-issue in the future. Every little step counts, some count more than others, and history will be the judge of all.

Me, I never actively sought to increase the popularity of these pages through bombing other blogs with comments and trackbacks, so it has no effect on me. People come here because they might find something interesting. Heck, with this my rank may go up!

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Jan 20 2005 09:51 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

DDOS Attack on Major Blogs

Last night there was a distributed denial-of-service attack on many major blogs on the Hosting Matters service. Since I am hosted through the extremely independent I was not affected, but I did notice I couldn't read a few sites.

For example, I could reach any of these:

It will be interesting to discover who engineered this attack, and why. Hosting Matters is not home to only conservative blogs. Perhaps trackback and comment spammers are getting frustrated with efforts to shut them down.

Update: Looks like Say Anything was hit too. Heck, this is the start of a blogroll.

Another update: Apparently Wizbang was affected too.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Saturday, Jan 8 2005 10:23 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Six Apart Buys LiveJournal

In a continuing bid to own more market share, Six Apart—the makers of Movable Type—have bought Danga Interactive—the owners of LiveJournal. Danga is right here in Portland, Oregon so this one hits close to home (and Danga's Brad Fitzpatrick has already said they are moving to San Francisco). The combined user base is estimated at 6.5 million, so it's hardly a minor acquisition.

We'll see what happens with TypePad and LiveJournal after this merger. So far the indications are that they will continue as separate products. I don't use either so I'm not really concerned. I am a Movable Type customer, though (I actually paid for it, which shocks some people).

Six Apart's press release is here, with a Q&A here. Mena Trott wrote a lot more from a personal sense, and explains the acquisition:

Brad's initial question—an expected one—was “why does Six Apart want to acquire Danga (LiveJournal)?” The answer was simple: “Many of our weaknesses are LiveJournal's strengths and many of LiveJournal's weaknesses are our strengths.”
There's the infrastructure that LiveJournal knows how to build, the talent of Brad and his crew, and the community that we can learn a lot from. Yes, LiveJournal also has a large user base and joining companies make us stronger.
And of course we're doing this deal because we believe it will increase the value of Six Apart. We're a company and don't make apologies for that.

There's some of the standard answer there. “We each fill holes in the other company and it's expected that efficiencies from the merger will be accretive to earnings.” Everyone says that.

The fact is, webloggers and LiveJournalers are in essence doing the same thing: they are posting their thoughts to people who are important to them.

Always good to articulate a core value.

I've seen LiveJournalers worried that we're going to turn around and start charging, close the LiveJournal source, own the content on LiveJournals, force the users to use TypePad/Movable Type and plaster their sites with advertisements. (We're not going to do this).

Attack fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) early and often. It will certainly be spread by agitators and competitors. Most of the posting is about allaying the fear of change, something I'm pretty familiar with.

What disappoints me is the move of Danga employees to California. This is the Internet age. Why can't those employees work from here? Why can't they be in Belize? Is it really that critical to move them?

Brad's entry is a lote more like LiveJournal's style. Down to Earth, more nuts and bolts. He points out that he doesn't like to run a business but didn't trust anyone else to run LiveJournal. He trusts Six Apart.

And, finally, LiveJournal will get Trackback support, just in time for fighting Trackback spammers! With Jay Allen of MT-Blacklist in Six Apart's team, though, I expect the spam problem to get a lot of attention.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Jan 6 2005 11:37 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Blog Updates

After my short fight with trackback spam this morning, I got my stuff together to be an Amazon associate. I played with the MTAmazon plugin briefly before I discovered that MT macros in the entries themselves don't actually get parsed. Argh! Now I cut and paste in a standard Amazon link when I need it. I noticed a few places back into December that could benefit from links, so they are in there now. I also added the search beastie to the strip on the left side.

Some might think I'm getting a tad commercial, but my provider pointed out that I'm using a lot of space now (250MB of mail alone). It wouldn't hurt to get a trickle in from the content I already cover. I used to review books and DVDs far more often before the schoolwork kept me so busy.

I also put in Gravatar support, not that anyone uses it that visits here.

Update: I forgot to mention that I allow unregistered comments again. apparently restricting it to just Typekey users was a bit too harsh. I hope the MT-Blacklist is now ready to handle the spam a bit better. (My activity log shows I get a lot of attempts.)

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Jan 5 2005 02:49 PM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Trackback Spam

I've apparently drawn the interest of trackback spammers this morning. MT-Blacklist seems to be keeping it under control but what a pain to deal with idiots that think this sort of thing works.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Jan 5 2005 08:06 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

2004 Blog Moments

This week there's been some folks looking back at 2004 and thinking about the biggest moments for blogs. For example, Ed Driscoll posted a top ten list of blogging moments at Tech Central Station. Of his list, I certainly agree that the buzz about the Swift Vets ads, Rathergate, Christmas in Cambodia and Kerry's Winter Soldier activities were big blog moments.

Another, to me, would be the emergence of RSS as a mature medium. For example, this year I focused less on mailing lists and more on RSS feeds for watching what's going on out there. After playing with it for a little while, I was inspired to start my own blog, and now I'm nearly at 300 posts since August. I have not drawn nearly as many comments as others, but this blog is primarily for the consumption of my friends and family. I'm a pretty busy guy so perhaps my content is not as consistent as other blogs.

Lori Byrd and DJ Drummond have posted more personal blog moments of 2004. For me, the biggest blog moment was my “AP Quoting Out of Context” article. That drew comments and a trackback, which I was not expecting. However, the postings that draw the most visitors are “Is Your SUV Over 6000 Pounds GVW?” and “Kerry the Nuanced Sitzpinkler.” My discussions of ASLET and HR 218 also drew a bit of interest.

I also felt good about getting email from Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters Blog and comments from Jacqueline Passey as well. I suspect I'd get a lot more feedback if I posted comments on other people's blogs instead of relying on their trackback mechanisms. For the most part, I've been gunshy about spam. Having had around for so long I draw spam from a lot of sources, and I don't volunteer for it. Moveable Type comment spam is probably the low point of 2004 blogging, in my book.

However, my web pages describing the Portland, Oregon Firearms Training and NRA Course Descriptions are far more popular than any particular blog entry. I draw 10–20 visits a day, each, for those two pages. Those pages exist, in some form, from my ancient blogging days using reporter.cgi, a home-grown set of perl scripts that I made back in 1997. Makes me feel proud that I tried to blog all that long ago, before RSS and XML. Of course, I never kept at it, so I don't feel that proud.

Some have encouraged me to post a little less politics and a little more of interest to folks who know me—some have noticed the increase in postings about my school work. I will probably not post much about my work at IBM. That's obviously touchy because I'm a manager there.

With that I'm going back to my reading…

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Dec 28 2004 05:58 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

More Moveable Type Fun

So in the past couple days I've made the strip on the left side of the pages update independently and then included it on the main page, the archive page, the monthly archives, the category archives and the individual entry archive pages. I looked into adding it to the search results page, but that's an incredibly nasty template compared to the others. Clearly there's some room for improvement in MT.

It took some tweaking with MT and with server-side includes to get it all working and figuring out that relative paths were forbidden and that virtual paths were the right thing to do.

With a little more tweaking I might be able to add some blog-driven content to the top-level pages as well. They certainly need a lot of updating. A little dynamic content would be nice and I'd love to have the blog better-integrated with the outside. Many people still don't know it exists!

I'm dramatically behind on updating my schools page and it's one of my most popular entries. Some folks have chided me for not having an “About Me” page.

Update: It sure defeated the point when I overwrote my dynamic template with the static data from last night. Let's see if I fixed it.

Update 2: Now strip updates are hard to force. Geesh.

Update 3: Now to add a “Recent Entries” segment to the sidebar on the main page…

Update 4: And I've updated the pictures and contact information to be a little less space-intensive, but to include Misty…

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Dec 16 2004 10:44 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks


Folks will probably notice I broke down and added a Sitemeter icon to many pages and updated the look of the archive pages. I always try to figure out how people wander in here and read my pages. Maybe I want more people to read them, but that would mostly be my family and friends. At any rate, the Sitemeter services allow me to figure out how people get here and what interests them.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Dec 15 2004 02:23 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback

Sidebar Adjustments

Some folks may notice I got rid of the Technorati and other cruft in the sidebar. Frankly that stuff really wasn't doing me any good and it cluttered up the sidebar. If they get their collective stuff together and make for nice icons maybe I'll put them back.

I did add the category archives to the sidebar. For some odd reason the politics and terrorism categories get the most postings.

I'm overdue for posting a review of The Incredibles but I've been pretty busy lately. Essentially my MST classes are over at the end of next week, except for some homework assignments. I have some reading due today, a paper due tomorrow, a group presentation to give on next weekend, etc.

I should post a review of Winning at New Products by Robert Cooper, too. I like the book a lot, even though it was used for a class.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Nov 11 2004 07:50 AM  |  Permalink  |  2 comments  |  No trackbacks

New Style

I'm trying a new style, based on “Tiny Blue” from So far I like it, although I tweaked a few things, to be sure. I'm having trouble getting the calendar to behave but I'm getting close.

In related news, I made my home page reflect my old blog style, which was based on the “Movable Type Clean” style.

Update: Enough little things were bugging me that I sacked the whole mess and tweaked “Tiny Blue” into what you see now. Same style sheet for the home page as well as the blog. It will be a while before I roll updates out to the other statis top pages. They are not trivial and require a lot of updates anyway.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Nov 9 2004 11:19 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Upgraded to MT-3.121

Upgraded to latest Moveabletype release. I wasn't hitting bugs anymore but it's nice to get to the latest, greatest thing after people check it out. Good toolbar additions in the editor…

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, Nov 1 2004 04:06 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Weblog Code of Ethics

Via Rebecca's Pocket we find the weblog code of ethics:

  1. Publish as fact only that which you believe to be true.
  2. If material exists online, link to it when you reference it.
  3. Publicly correct any misinformation.
  4. Write each entry as if it could not be changed; add to, but do not rewrite or delete, any entry.
  5. Disclose any conflict of interest.
  6. Note questionable and biased sources.

Most of this seems like common sense to me, but it is worth noting so that others realize it.

Update: I forgot to give this post a title, and it took a style change for the entire weblog to notice it.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Sep 30 2004 09:03 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks


Via Polipundit we find that the word of the day is pajamahadeen. I've never blogged in my pajamas, but I have blogged in my bathrobe.

At the moment, I'm dressed.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Sep 15 2004 09:49 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Moveable Type 3.11

This morning I upgraded to MoveableType 3.11. I notice a lot of 404s doing comments in my logs so I'm wondering if this will fix it. Otherwise, I have something broken.

(This is also a test to make sure I didn't break anything.)

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Monday, Sep 13 2004 08:13 AM  |  Permalink  |  1 comment  |  No trackbacks

Upgraded to MoveableType v3.1

Today they released MoveableType v3.1 to the public.

So I upgraded my site. That didn't take too much effort. Most of the work was just being careful to clean up afterward. Few of the new features are of use to me yet, although sub-categories might be interesting. I don't have categories working the way I want yet anyway...

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Tuesday, Aug 31 2004 01:44 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Blog Pyramid Scheme

Meme Experiment II

A New Meme That Raises Your Blog's Google Rankings!

By Nova on Weblogs

This posting is a new, improved, second-generation meme experiment that is designed to spread faster and more broadly than the first meme experiment.

This new meme is simply better because it's more beneficial to you to participate. Why? Because by participating in this meme, you may be able to raise the Google rank and visibility of your blog. In other words, this meme rewards your blog for hosting it.


This is purely an experiment and is just for fun. We are really just curious to see what will happen. Furthermore, we have no commercial intentions. We don't mean to annoy anyone. However, if you don't have much curiosity, or at least a sense of humor, you might find this experiment to be upsetting. In that case, I suggest a good strong cup of coffee every morning. If after that you are still unhappy, you must not read any further! On the other hand, if you are interested in exploring new frontiers, keep reading and we look forward to your participation in this experiment. It's totally voluntary. What's the "meme" being spread here? Well, actually there are many memes that this posting represents. And your weblog URL will be one of them, if you participate.

How It Works.

Just copy this full text of this meme and follow the instructions below to fill out your blog's answers to the survey and add your blog's URL to the "PATH LIST" at the bottom of this post. The path list is the history of all the blogs that the meme traveled through to reach you. The last URL before yours in the path list should be the URL for the blog you discovered this meme on. By adding your URL after it, your blog URL becomes part of the path for the meme. Everyone who gets the meme downstream from you will then include your URL on their blog. And by doing that, they are in effect linking to your blog from their blog, which in turn raises your blog's Google rank. By posting this meme to your blog you help raise the rankings of every blog in the path before yours, and every blog that later posts as a result of your blog then helps to raise your Google ranking. Kinda cool, huh?

By hosting a copy of this meme on your blog you are part of a worldwide network experiment to see how a blog posting spreads across social networks, geography and time. The dataset from this experiment is public, open and decentralized -- every blog that participates hosts their own data about their own blog.

Anyone can then get the whole dataset by just searching Google for this unique string: 98818912959q This code is the "global unique identifier," or GUID for this Meme -- it marks every web page that participates in this Meme so that it can later be found with all the others.

To see how this meme is growing at any time, or to join the discussion about this experiment, visit the Root Posting for this meme at to see trackbacks and comments there.

A Collaborative, Distributed, Emergent Blogroll

This Meme is effectively a collaborative, distributed, emergent blogroll. It is no different really than any blogroll (any list of other blogs you add to your blog) -- it just forms in a different way. Instead of you adding all the links to it, your social network adds them and then you add yours at the end and send it on to others in your social network. There's no top-down control or guidance of the process. Every blog that participates is equal. Nobody knows what the result of this experiment will be.

Can Your Blog Out-Rank the A-List Blogs?

This Meme, if it works as we hypothesize it might, could help a lot of lesser known blogs get better rankings than even the "A-List" blogs. In other words, it's kind of like unionizing to beat the big guys. There is strength in numbers, after all. Let's see if this works! If it does work, we should find lots of lesser-known blogs that participate in this experiment appearing in the "top lists" of the major blog indexes. Who knows, maybe we can even take over the top lists? You can see that this works by just looking at the results of the first meme experiment which launched the Minding The Planet weblog to the number 5 slot of the Daypop Top 40 blog posting index in just two days! Who knows, maybe it will be your blog up there next?

Why Are We Doing This?

OK, so why are we doing this? The short answer is, "Because we can!!!" But seriously, we're also doing this because it is an interesting way to generate a dataset that we and others may study to analyze how ideas move across social relationships on the Web, and how communities can emerge and self-organize. It's fun and it's research, and anyway, it's harmless and it helps bloggers get better visibility, so we figured we'd just try it and just see what happens! We hope you'll join us!

Interested in participating? Follow the instructions, below...


Step 1 First, to add your blog to this experiment, copy the whole meme (the full text, including the introductory information above and these instructions and the path list at the end) to your blog.

Step 2: Fill in your answers to these REQUIRED SURVEY FIELDS (Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)

(1) I found this experiment at URL:

(2) I found this meme on date (day/month/year):19/08/04

(3) I found this meme at time (24 hour time): 08:48 PST

(4) I found it via "Newsreader Software" or "Browsing the Web" or "Searching the Web" or "An E-Mail Message": FeedDemon

(5) I posted this Meme at my URL:

(6) I posted this on date (day/month/year): 19/08/04

(7) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 08:50 PST

(8) My posting location is (city, state, country): Ridgefield, WA USA

Step 3: You may also fill in these OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS (Replace the answers below with your own answers):

(9) My blog is hosted by:

(10) My age is: 35

(11) My gender is: Male

(12) My occupation is: Software Development Manager

(13) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: FeedDemon

(14) I use the following software to post to my blog: Moveable Type

(15) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 04/08/04

(16) My web browser is: Mozilla

(17) My operating system is: Windows 2000 Pro

Step 4: Don't forget to add your URL after the last URL in the PATH LIST below:

The Path List below shows the sequence of blogs that this meme traveled through to reach your blog. Add your blog's homepage URL to the end of this list, if you want your blog's Google rankings to be raised as others get the meme from your blog. Also note that if in your blog you post this meme in two parts -- an excerpt and an extended entry -- make sure to tell your readers to copy the whole meme into their blog, including the Path List. Also Note: If anyone has put anything inappropriate in the list -- like porn or advertising for example -- then feel free to delete it from the list. Unless you like porn and/or advertising! Then, at the end of the list, add a text link and a hotlink to your URL)


1. Minding The Planet
2. Pheedo
3. A Penny For...
4. Patterico's Pontifications
5. Josh's Weblog
6. (your URL goes here; also, please add a new line after this one, for the next person.)

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Thursday, Aug 19 2004 08:50 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Asterisk on What Makes a Successful Blog

Asterisk has posted some good insights on what makes a successful blog and what a successful blog is good for.

Frankly I'm doing my blog for fun, to point out some interesting topics for friends and family, and to learn how all this stuff works. The feedback from my family has been "sure is a lot of politics there." Well, I'll look for more diverse topics, but right now what is drawing my interest is the implosion of the Kerry campaign over credibility issues.

I'll think more about the implications and post more later.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Saturday, Aug 14 2004 10:28 AM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  No trackbacks

Blogging without my old perl scripts

Well, today I installed Moveable Type on, in hopes of making life easier for keeping the site updated. The various items I discuss on the main pages will eventually migrate here.

For example, I've received frequent requests to update the firearms schools page and I've been slow to make those updates. Perhaps this new system will make it easier to do so.

Another reason is that I've been reading more and more RSS feeds with FeedDemon and the RSS world definitely seems to have matured. Because of the bloggers out there I am seeing a great deal more on-target material than I ever have before. Some folks who might be interested in what I am looking at would benefit from me blogging those items.

A bad thing, or a good thing, about blogging is that it encourages frequent short postings instead of infrequent long postings. Since I post too infrequently, this will be an improvement.

Josh Poulson

Posted in category “Blogging” Wednesday, Aug 4 2004 01:24 PM  |  Permalink  |  No comments  |  1 trackback


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