Archive: February 2010 - Spinland Studios, LLC

I Sing the Praises of Akismet

  • February 25, 2010

Do you have a Wordpress blog? Are you using the free Akismet plugin? Why not? This baby stops comment spam in its filthy tracks, my friends. You need to get a (free) Wordpress API (they tell you how to do it, it's easy), then you install the plugin...done. It works so well that after about a month of testing I removed moderation from my comments! In roughly three months of use it's stopped nearly a thousand spam comments, and has only allowed one questionable posting through. I mean it: Akismet works! The only down side I've run across is the occasional false positive. Some of my guests...

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Spinny’s Take on the Facebook “Link Love” Program

  • February 24, 2010

Okay, so anyone and everyone who is trying to run a business is wondering how the whole "social media" thing might help out--or should be IMNSDHO. There is, however, a big potential down side to using such media for getting exposure for your business as I see it: how do you avoid crossing the line into spamming? Social media, by definition, is supposed to be a place where the participants can relax, let their proverbial hair down, and socialize. Who wants that activity interrupted by commercial spots? Come on: outside of the Super Bowl (if even then), who really LIKES to have their TV show...

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Saying Good-bye to Jerry

  • February 13, 2010

This past Wednesday was our literal Funeral for a Friend, as we bid our final farewells. The funeral itself was, in my opinion, the best possible sort: brief and focused. I'm not a fan of ceremony for ceremony's sake. A few of us spoke of Jerry, how we'll remember him and what he meant to us, and that was to the good. Afterward his wife hosted us all at a local establishment with a very nice buffet and an open bar. As one might expect from a lifetime where golf played a major role, a large percentage of us represented his golfing mates, especially the "underground league" he and his friend...

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I Don’t Understand Grocery Stores

  • February 13, 2010

My mission today: pick up some lemonade--not just any lemonade, I was armed with a pair of specific brands from which to choose. My arrival at the hub of all things that are wrong in the commercial world was uneventful: I scored a decent parking space, no one tried to run me over as I crossed the raceway that fronts the store, and there was a nice stack of carry baskets to hand as I entered. My feeling that I might escape undamaged began to fade a bit, however--not long after I located and entered the aisle labeled "beverages." Lemonade is a beverage, isn't it? For that matter, so is soda,...

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Internet Explorer Must Die

  • February 8, 2010

If you've done any web development more ambitious than a few text links, you have already long since run up against the problem of how Microsoft constantly fails to conform to standards. For those of you who haven't experienced the special joy of making otherwise correctly-coded web designs work in IE, you don't know what you're missing. See, web pages are coded in a special programming language, much like any software (okay, let's not get bogged down in the semantics of markup languages versus compiled and interpreted code and all that, shall we? It's not germane to the point, here). The problem...

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Cancer Sucks

  • February 5, 2010

No shit, right? Who doesn't know someone it's taken? It took a friend today, and the hurt's still raw, and there's nothing really to do about it but get over it. Eventually. Jerry was a great guy. The harder you broke his balls the better he liked you for it, and he had a million zany stories that you knew he wasn't making up. He drank like a sailor--which is appropriate because he was one. I don't know anyone who was more happily politically incorrect, and you had to love him for it--more so the worse his wisecracks got. I had to make him stop including my work e-mail address on his mailing...

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Jumping on the “Avatar” Bandwagon with Both Feet

  • February 5, 2010

So, from what I hear there's an explosion of videos on YouTube detailing how to paint yourself blue, and to otherwise try to look like a Na'vi character. I figured that's lame: on one hand, you ever tried washing all that shit off when you're done? Don't even tell me you plan to get between the sheets all blue and sticky. Yuck! Besides, in the era of Photoshop there's no need to go to all that bother (click to see a larger version): I just know that on Pandora they'd have good taste in beer--don't you?

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Beware of Theft via “ATM Traps”

  • February 3, 2010

I just heard about this today (and checked it out at Snopes), and it's pretty bizarre. There's a way to set an "ATM Trap" such that it captures your card, and then the thief does a bit of social engineering to get your PIN, only to recover the card a short time later and withdraw cash. This PDF file shows such a theft as it happens (note this footage is from 2005 and it's quite likely many ATMs are now made with this in mind, but still forewarned is forearmed): "ATM Trap" theft in progress (PDF) So, beware! If you use an ATM that sucks in your card, and it appears to be confiscated, follow the steps...

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On Finding Gifts for Geeks

  • February 2, 2010

So, Xmas is past but if you had any hard core geeks on your gift list last year I'm betting it was a royal chore finding something "suitable" for them. Tell me, honestly: where do you think that gizmo is now? My friends, I'm here to make your next foray into geek giftdom an experience you can actually look forward to! It's obvious that you, unschooled in the ways of geekdom, don't read the right web comics, so I'm presenting the User Friendly flowchart that will make you a geek's hero (click image for a larger version): Now that you are suitably grateful to have this onerous task lifted from...

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Check out the latest at Blaine’s golf blog

  • February 2, 2010

He helps expose the dark underbelly of what really goes on at some "club testing" events. Tell him Spinny sent you. The Golf Digest Hot List is a Joke (And We’re Not Laughing) at Addicted2Golf

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