The winner is – The Rejected Ballot Paper Party

During the build up the mood balance seemed to be shifting to the SNP (Scottish National Party). Labour have held a stranglehold in Scotland since the early 60’s and while the SNP have gradually built support, it tends to fall back at the election. Over the last few days Labour started to pull back some of the gap, so it really is too close to call.

The star of the night has turned out to be the humble ballot paper. The election process was changed this time round, and the Scottish Parliament had to do a PR run to explain to people what to expect. Personally I didn’t even get my polling card this time, maybe because I’ve been critical of Labour, and they didn’t want to risk me voting against them…which is exactly what I’d have done. I at least got the satisfaction of watching my local Labour MP fall to the SNP in a shock result. I’m not sure I endorse the SNP, but they seem the best of a bad lot.

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The purpose of a blog

We all have different levels of interaction with our readers on our blogs. Some (like me) moderate all comments, some remove the comments box from a blog, some have private or password accessed blogs. The point here, is that we are all different, we all have different needs. The question I’m pondering is that if you only want comments which agree with your viewpoint….why bother asking? If you don’t want comments at all….why have a comments box?

This was prompted by a recent conversation I had with another blog owner which went under the radar of the public because of:

  1. The blog owner deciding not to approve my response (as is her right to do)
  2. Me deleting her responses because they’ve been posted on blogs of mine which are totally unrelated to the conversation.

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Misleading webhosts

My blog has been quiet for a few days now, the reason being that I have been looking into switching to paid hosting. I’ve also been trying to compare different blogging software, since some hosts see a huge market in attracting bloggers and want to make it as easy as possible for them to set up and provide a “one-click-setup” type solution for WordPress, B2Evolution etc. They also provide FTP access for you to do it manually, which is the route I’ll most likely take personally.

Since this involves both the purchase of a domain name and hosting, or the option to combine them with one company…..there are a plethora of options out there, with pro’s and con’s all over the place. After trying to get my head round some of them, an observation hit me and I wonder if anyone else has noticed the same.

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Some of the 15 released UK soldiers have been condemned for selling their stories to the media for large sums of money. Some apparently chose not to. Many people have appeared on the media condemning them, their employers, the government etc for allowing them to give their stories. I notice two guilty parties missing from the targeting sights.

  1. The public who are demanding to know what happened (in their own words…if you can believe it’s not been edited to portray a set position)

  2. The media who work on a “profit seeking” basis, like any other business (excluding the BBC who live by their own rules). They want the stories because people will buy the newspapers or watch the show with the stories on them. This will make them more money. The fact that it’s “in the public interest” is a side effect.

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The SPAM WAR Manifesto

My blog has only been in existence about one week, and already it’s been spammed 12 times by one company. This company have tried to post to some of my blog entries which have NO connection to their business. They may use Microsoft Vista, but their product has nothing to do with my views on it. They may use Meebo in some blogs, but again it has nothing to do with instructions on how to set up Meebo.

Online Pharmacy | | | IP:

They are gracious enough to include the words “this is a promotional message if you feel offended by it please delete it.” Really? Well, this is a personal blog, and I DO feel offended by it, so please stop spamming it. Of course; whether you’re offended or not is irrelevant, they will still feel justified in doing a drive by and spamming their “promotional message” anywhere they like. The latest was on April 8th, 7:55 PM GMT

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(Old) New(s)

I wonder about the use of the tag “news” in blogs, even though I use it myself. By definition “news” must be “new”. After a few days or weeks….or for the stronger stories, months, it becomes “old“. It moves from “present” to “past”; “current affairs” to “history”.

When we blog about a story currently doing the rounds on the news media and apply the tag “news” to it it IS news. Is it still “news” six months from now? If it is, then the tag “news” still applies; if not, how many of us go back through our posts to remove the “news” tag?

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The Vista verdict

So Microsoft have finally launched the much delayed, much lambasted successor to XP Pro on the general public; who on the whole feel betrayed. So what’s the big deal? Is the public reaction fair? I’ve decided to go into this for the non-techies as a general comparison guide.

Microsoft are well known for applying the “most secure Windows yet” tag to their new product, only to have hackers start finding exploits within days. It’s a sales pitch, NOT an unbiased opinion. This time round Bill Gates has upped the ante on the sales pitch and declared Vista the “most secure of ALL operating systems”. I didn’t know Bill decided to go into comedy, apparently his debut was on BBC News.

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