Thursday, April 24, 2008

BLOGGER TARPIT: World famous app killed DD blog for two weeks

In case you have been wondering why your host has been idle for so long: I was being held incommunicado by the Blogger application.

Through the month of April, Blogger's FTP publishing to domains outside its own blogspot failed for many. The blog application simply quit working when the user hit the "publish post" button and the system hung in a circular loop displaying the message: Your publish is taking longer than expected."

The troubleshooting forum for problems like this consists of unpaid astro-turfers and apple-polishers, fans of the service who hang around dispensing advice, directions which -- in this case -- had nothing to do with the fault ailing FTP publishing. And company staffers do not respond to e-mails describing faults and asking for direction or assistance.

To say it's been annoying is an understatement. But you get what you pay for, right? so it's all the sucker's fault for using a "free" service.

Naturally, during the same time frame anyone who posted comments saw that they did not appear. No, it wasn't sneaky and mean ol' DD censoring your freedom of speech. They just went into the blackhole. I saw 'em but they didn't go anywhere. Maybe they're somewhere now! Are we anywhere?

In any case, this adventure -- which has happened before but not lasted weeks -- exposes a thorny issue. I like to post when the whim arises, not when someone's blogging application magically decides what its schedule of working and failing will be. Why it worked five minutes ago is a complete mystery! No amount of fiddling in the past two weeks made any difference at all. And then, lo, it worked!

To dispense with it entails thinking about how to migrate the blog at DickDestiny to another platform without giving up all the archived content which now generates a considerable amount of daily traffic.

How to do this? If you know of something that can help, please feel free to drop me a line. I'm all ears, for once.

Of course, you may never see this explanation. In that case, publishing just failed again!



In the meantime:

The recent arrest and jailing of Roger Von Bergendorff afforded an opportunity to go through my files of ricin indictments and convictions in the US since ca. 2004. The nature of the perpetrators in the criminal complaints required something a bit more descriptive than ricin maker/would-be bioterrorist, so for the sake of variety and entertainment value, I've dubbed them "the ricin crackpots."

Read the entire analysis and summary at The Reg here.

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