Rob Vincent dot net

left head right head

August 27, 2011


Rob @ 10:56 PM

My area is feeling the beginnings of this lady, with the major hit happening throughout tomorrow. Since most of Long Island's utility infrastructure is made of papier-mâché, there's a very good chance we'll lose power and/or Internet service tomorrow. So, this is just a notice that you Internet organisms might not hear from me for a few days.

After the storm, depending on cell service, I'll probably be able to send outgoing tweets to to my Twitter via SMS long before regaining my Internet access. Full access to the web, email, and everything will depend on how thoroughly my electricity and Internet services get spanked. At least my mobile phone can hold its charge for a few days; one benefit of having a dumbphone rather than a smartphone.

Wish me luck!

August 24, 2011

Starter successfully kicked!

Rob @ 6:05 AM

posterFive hours and a partial night's sleep later, and I still can't quite believe it. Our Kickstarter was a success, and production of The Media Show will be funded solely by the generosity of you people out there on this crazy Internet!

It was truly down to the wire. For those unfamiliar with how Kickstarter campaigns work: a project only gets funded if enough people pledge to meet the fundraising goal. If the deadline passes with the total pledges even one dollar short of the goal, the project fails and none of the funds are transferred. When last I blogged here we were just past the halfway point; still over $4000 short with less than two days to go. Yesterday morning, that shortfall was halved but with less than a day left. Watching the progress on it was like the inverse of that last few minutes of a winning eBay bid; instead of constantly refreshing a page and willing the clock to run out before someone else busted my spending limit, I was willing the dollar amount to flip over into the green before the bell tolled. As I wrote on Google+, if you'd balanced a tuning fork on my head right then it'd have started ringing. Finally I couldn't bear any more; I killed the browser and took a walk around the block. When I got back, you'd done it! Our campaign was a success, with a few hours to spare!

I know a lot of you who pledged; there are many familiar names on the list of backers, and you folks are seriously my heroes. I know a lot of you who helped out by blogging, twittering, and spreading the word; you also are my heroes. As for those of you who, even if you were entirely uninterested, just chilled out and tolerated my friends and I going on and on about this fundraiser all over the place, thanks for withstanding the onslaught!

I can't thank all of you enough for making this happen. The Media Show has always been a labor of love for us; now, your love also shares responsibility.

I'm looking forward to puppetting up and getting back to work!

August 22, 2011


Rob @ 7:20 AM

"The Media Show" puppet cast

We at The Media Show have LESS THAN TWO DAYS to raise $4K and change to make our next season happen. Unless we hit our fundraising goal on Kickstarter, we don't get any of what we've raised already. Our starter needs some serious kicking!!

Every bit of help, even $5 if you can spare it, helps us out more than just giving us a fiver to work with; more traffic gets us on Kickstarter's front page, more interest means more word-of-mouth, and word-of-mouth is quite literally the most valuable thing we could ask for.

Whether or not you can help us by pledging, your help spreading the word is also extremely essential, now more than ever. Every last repost, reblog, retweet, regurgitation, etc. keeps us going in our mission to demystify mysterious tech, uncover shadowy media practices, and interview luminaries from all aspects of our crazy world WITH SNARKY PUPPETS. Please, help us by spreading this link and the word about what we do and how you can help us do it.

We've been posting on our show's site with all sorts of reasons we think this show is an important thing to do. It's also exceedingly important to me personally; The Media Show is a labor of love for myself and my colleagues, and the ability to keep doing it would really be a dream come true.

So for all of you superheroes out there who like to wait until the last minute, this is the last minute. Please help us out all you can with your pledges, your support, your spreading of the word, and your awesomeness. We honestly cannot do any of this without you.

August 4, 2011

“You are great! Have some crap.”

Rob @ 9:46 PM

One page of an afternoon's happy spam comments.
I've been running this site on the WordPress software, without anything in the way of comment-spam-protection add-ons beyond my blacklist and the auto-moderation of any commentors who have not had a comment approved before. This means that unlike many webmasters, I still see my spam. It doesn't get posted, but behind the scenes I get to watch it ebb and flow like the mighty tides.

The latest tidal-wave of WordPress comment spam began last night, and has given me around 1200 comments so far on random posts, recent and ancient. This batch of bots is working in a new and strange way; the posts all consist of generic text which is highly complimentary in nature (or would be if spammers could spell) and they all just give either , , or as "their" URL. There are no other links in the posts at all, spammy or otherwise.

As I mentioned, I use the WordPress option to let posters who've had comments approved before skip the moderation queue from then on. Perhaps the people behind this are trying to flatter me into approving their comments so they can spam later? It's either that or they're just trying to jam the radar.

In any case, adding "", "", and "" to the blacklist solved it for now. (There is no real reason for any actual humans to be filling in the URL field with that; it's an optional field, if you don't have anything else you'd like to put in there you can leave it blank.)

Though the comments are now being automatically labelled spam and tossed instead of filling my moderation queue, they're still coming in at a steady rate. I wonder what it's all for.