Saturday, December 28, 2013

Commenting on Lingwë

I have been fighting a losing battle with spam here on Lingwë for the last couple of years. Originally, I wanted to allow anyone to comment, even anonymously, with no obstacles to avoid or hoops to jump through. That worked for a while, but eventually I started to get enough anonymous spam that I decided to require people to be registered somewhere and to have logged in. That solved the problem for quite a while too, though it did inconvenience a few regular readers. I am pretty firmly against captchas. I hate them myself, so I never wanted to inflict them on anyone. So, this was the state of things until this year.

But now, thanks to Google+, which I must say is one of the most annoying and pushy social media efforts I have ever seen, I have a new problem. Well, not that new, really. I've been putting up with it for most of a year. These spammers are registered with Google+, and so they evade that obstacle I placed on commenting: being registered and logged in somewhere. A number of people (or bots) have been repeatedly spamming Lingwë from their Google+ accounts, always Google+ — especially one pathetic jackass, Brad Maddox; just take a look at his Google+ page for spam, spam, spam, and nothing but spam! — and Google has done absolutely nothing in response to my repeated complaints. In fact, Google+ used to have a conspicuous link to report offenders, but it has either removed or hidden it. One can only guess why. Shame on you, Google. As if the YouTube/Google+ commenting debacle weren't bad enough press.

Anyway, I have finally had to enable comment moderation. I didn't want to do this, because it puts a burden on me of approving every single comment, even the legitimate ones, and this will introduce some latency into discussions. In exchange, though, I have re-enabled anonymous comments. You are now welcome to comment anonymously if you wish — though I still prefer to know who you are, unless you have a good reason to remain secretive about that — and in all cases, I'll be approving comments, and rejecting the garbage. Still no captchas, though. You're welcome! :)

Maybe these spammers will realize their comments are now going nowhere and give up. Though I doubt it. Professional spammers tend to be some of the dullest dullards ever spawned. I think you could hit one over the head with a frying pan each time he spam-commented, and he still wouldn't make the connection.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Desolation of Smaug

I enjoyed it very much. I thought it was better than part one by quite a bit — and I’m willing to predict its being the best of the three. Without spoiling anything, I enjoyed most of Peter Jackson’s additions to the story, and the ones I didn’t enjoy so much were at least not particularly annoying. I can think of several changes to The Lord of the Rings in his adaptations that bothered me much more. It was exciting, beautifully shot, and once again, the high frame rate was pretty amazing. Especially for Smaug!

And that’s about all I feel compelled to say at this point. Well over 300 messages — and still counting! — have been posted to Facebook and the Mythopoeic Society email list, some of them by me, and that’s not to mention private conversations. That is surely overkill enough to render Bard’s black arrow unnecessary.

I will say one other thing: de gustibus non est disputandum. Feel free to share your opinions here, and even argue with each other, but let’s keep it civil. And as for me, I don’t intend to argue with anyone. :)