I've done myself a favour and uninstalled all but one writing app (Google Keep doesn't count as i only really use it for lists.) I've opted to stay with One Jotter, formerly Cola Notes.

It's the app I've been using most but having more installed creates a conflict, constantly wondering whether I'm typing into the right one and whether something else could be better. Debate over, regardless of whether something else is better or not.

Simplify and get on with it.

01/10/2020, 10:00

Over the past few days I've been getting spam bombed by a host of addresses ending .cyou - the same few emails but always from different variations of address. Obviously a spam farm. I gave in last night and created an email filter to auto-reject anything with .cyou in the header.

I can't imagine too many false positives.

I'd not come across the .cyou TLD before so thought I'd do a search, I found that ShortDot operate it and describe it thus:

The .cyou domain is crafted specifically for today’s generation of movers and shakers who have never lived in a world without social media or the internet...

The .cyou domain is for the group of technologically advanced, eco-conscious, open-minded individuals of today. It’s for Gen Z and for those who thrive on memes and speak fluent emoji.

And email spammers apparently.

01/10/2020, 08:50

Liked Scripting News: The ideal blogging tool...

Dave Winer has been on the campaign trail for better blogging software since, well, since blogging began and repeatedly said that blogging needs to be easier. Here again he states that the ideal tool would merge "the publishing of WordPress with the interactivity of Facebook."

I've taken a lot of cues from Winer over the years for how my own site operates and have long agreed that social media became such a success because of the simplicity and immediacy of posting and replying within the same interface.

These thoughts and the P2 WordPress theme inspired my simple posting form (which I'm using to write this) but I still wish that things were easier.

As I've previously written, the beauty of micro.blog is that it is essentially what Winer is after: blogging via a social-esque interface. The difference is that it is hosted rather than something you can host on your own and "install as easily as an app on your iPhone."

The pieces are all there just not put together in a package that anyone could use.

Status

Sat "at work" desperate for any kind of distraction to quell the boredom but needing to be focused enough to respond to what comes in. Things I'd like to be doing to serve as that distraction but that need a focus of their own. Stuck in a frustrating limbo.

Status

The latest muse-letter has gone out to those good folks who've trusted me to inhabit their inbox (thank you.) Unfortunately it went with a couple of markdown glitches but I've fixed the online version.

Why not join us?

Status

This is pretty damning:

"We sought to mine as much attention as humanly possible... We took a page from Big Tobacco's playbook, working to make our offering addictive at the outset."

Tim Kendall, former director of monetization at Facebook, goes deep on the analogy and how engagement (read as 'keeping people on site') was the only thing that mattered and probably still is.

"we also started to realize that engagement could also mean [users] were sufficiently sucked in that they couldn't work in their own best long-term interest to get off the platform... We started to see real-life consequences, but they weren't given much weight. Engagement always won, it always trumped."

Status

I've been struggling to read lately. It's probably part of a wider malaise but I've just not been able to focus on the various books I have piled up.

While sorting out some boxes I stumbled across Shadows Rising which I was given for my birthday but (because of the move) had not yet gotten round to reading. As the next World of Warcraft expansion (Shadowlands) is just over a month away, and this is the lead up to it, I thought I'd better give it a crack but wasn't sure if I'd actually be able to stick with it.

I needn't have worried. After only a day and a half it is done and I feel reinvigorated, ready to dive into something else. I obviously just needed to find the right book to get me going again - something not too heavy.

Next up will be Austin Kleon's Keep Going which I also got for my birthday. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the set so am sure this will be equally as good.

Status

A few days post move and things started to slow down. Then I couldn't access the blog at all and I thought "here we go again."

Turns out the host has been/still is experiencing a DDOS attack affecting DNS. Even their own site has been down so I think I'll cut them some slack.

22/09/2020, 22:04

I'm not sure if it's further tweaks I've made to the daily emails or if the outgoing spam filter has relaxed but the email appeared to go out correctly last night. Hopefully it will continue to do so.

22/09/2020, 08:34

It's the autumn equinox here in the Northern hemisphere marking the astronomical start of autumn. Summer is gone but, looking around, nature already knew that.

I've been picking up fallen leaves from the back garden having noticed the colours begin to turn for a while. Last weekend, when stuck in traffic, I watched skeins of geese following their instinct, group after group beginning their migration from where they had gathered. A sight to behold.

Perhaps more striking has been the declining hours of daylight, it's something that sneaks up on you unnoticed until, suddenly, you realise the evenings are longer and it's dark when you rise in the morning.

The world does its thing, always changing - we just don't, or maybe choose not to, notice until we can no longer deny it. A metaphor for life itself?

Status

My wife is about to embark on a Theology degree and one of the books to read in advance is How To Write a Theology Essay by Micheal P Jensen. I'm reading it as well so that we can discuss what it covers and came across this:

Thinking is actually hard work.

Now it doesn't look like it is, because you do a lot of it sitting down, and you don't sweat much doing it. You don't get callouses anywhere, and you don't put your back out for the most part.

But it is hard. Done properly, thinking is exhausting. That's why we watch TV – because it is like we are having someone else do our thinking for us.

Truth!

Status

After all the tweaking and testing yesterday the daily email didn't go out overnight. Testing this morning also failed so it wasn't an issue recreating the cron jobs. I may have to look at alternative solutions.

It's so frustrating that something I built and am quite proud of is hampered by something as arbitrary as rules on a spam filter - an outgoing one at that - that no one appears to have any control over. Because the antispam setup is outsourced the support guys are not even able to tell me what rules are being triggered, it obviously just doesn't like the mail format. Something just looks like spam and the system takes objection.

21/09/2020, 06:35
Colin Walker
Colophon. Content: CC NY-BC 2.0 UK, Code: GPLv3