pushing the sky

Modern Spam

In the past month or two, there’s been a steady trickle of spam comment attempts on this site, and while most of them are the usual viagra-xanax-casino deal, some spammers have been trying to get creative. There’s the flattering comments, which say “Wow, love your post” or “Great site!”, and occasionally they tack on “Can we exchange links with your site?” and so on. At first, the not-so-vigilant moderator might in a moment of weakness allow the comment, before they check out the site that the commenters name is linked to – but when you do, you easily realise and can that spam that slipped through.

The ones that are really getting creative are putting complex words & sentences in so that the average spam-detection algorithm might think it a particularly intelligent reader expressing overly-complex thoughts. This of course fails the first-comment test (all first comments are held in moderation) and provides me with some amusement when attempting to understand the meaning and/or the source (blockquotes from famous books, for example). One of these attempts at intelligence simply states “Your site is very cognitive”, which is a dead giveaway to me – who the hell ever uses words like “cognitive”?

But the one that amuses me the most is this:

I just don’t have anything to say right now.

I mean, come on, just try a little?

pushing the sky

Re: Asides

I was wondering what people thought about the “Asides” – the links I put in occasionally. I’ve only got comments on a few of them, so I don’t know how much people are paying attention to them (I presume not a lot).

However, I’ve been wanting to post more and more links, but I don’t want to turn this into a primarily link blog – I’m just not that great at finding the latest and greatest on the net, so there’s chances you’ve already seen the link by the time I get around to posting it.

So in my redesign, I’m considering the idea of making things simpler and simply moving the links offsite – to Delicious is basically optimised for posting those links, and I’ve found that it’s easier to just tag and post to delicious than go to the effort of posting it here.

What do you think? Asides stay or go?

pushing the sky

pushing the sky 2.0

Notice anything different around here? No? Hit Refresh. It’s not an April Fool’s joke y’all!

Welcome to pushing the sky 2.0 – no relation to Web 2.0. Really, it’s not. See, even my slogan says so.

In sticking with the principles of Web 2.0, everything and anything is in BETA. This theme is marked as BETA-0.01. It’s got a long way to go, including not hating Internet Explorer so much. And having something beyond blog-comment, but those are the easy bits to get right. Given that I started it from scratch Saturday morning though, and it’s been an otherwise busy weekend, I’m happy with it.

If you are seeing this in IE, you’re… oh dear, you’re missing so much. I’m assured (self-) that it’ll work fine when Internet Explorer 7 lands, but until then, I’m doing to have to sort out a deal for you folks. Needless to say that’s not happening tonight.

Hope y’all like it =)

pushing the sky

What’s all this then?

This weekend’s been an interesting one…

what the

New Design coming up tomorrow or this week sometime, depending on how much of a headache testing gives me and how elaborate I want the design to be. And also Dear Diary, part 2.

Anyone get pranked today? I think I did, in an elaborate trap set a week ago… I was just being paranoid.

pushing the sky

I got nothing

That’s it, I give up. I’ve been trying to write something here which would interest even me, but I can’t. I’m all outta ideas. Taking a break until I can come up with something.

I’ve been poking around Web 2.0 a lot more recently, and that’s keeping me amused. There are some bizzare sites out there, that’s for sure. On the other hand, there are some useful ones – and 30boxes are nearly worth their hype, I’d say. I do have this feeling that while this crash is nearly inevitable, the cycle will be a lot longer this time around, as people hold on to some of the lessons at least.

Anyway, that’s enough from me in a I got nothing post. Y’all lovely people.

pushing the sky

Pushing it further

I love abusing metaphors. But! That is completely irrelvant to what I actually intend to say. Pushing the Sky has now been settled for a good month, and it’s time to slowly expand the sprawl. Two plans I’ve hatched already are a forum and a Japanese version of the blog. What I’d like is a small indication of how much interest there is in either of these – more so the forum.

The Japanese blog is to get me to keep my Japanese ability somewhere near practised, and it will be more than just a pure translation – indeed, I hope that most of the time it isn’t a translation, but rather a different expression of ideas because of the language they’re being expressed in. That and I don’t think my Japanese is quite good enough.

So, the forum: chances are I’ll put it up regardless just to bring some variety to the site, as well as provide a forum for conversation, but I know how hard my pervious attempt at forums stagnated. Is there interest?

pushing the sky

Hiatus (kinda maybe)

It’s very early in this blog’s life, but I will be going on a hiatus over the next week or so, as I will be in Sydney and will be limited to net access on my mobile – which isn’t spectacular. Thanks to Gmail Mobile I will be able to check my email periodically, but again don’t expect anything stellar or extended by way of response. I’m moving my stuff up there and settling it all in with the help of the family primarily to reassure them that I will be able to survive beyond a week up there without them. Just one of those things, y’know how it is.

Enjoy a lovely Christmas, and hopefully I shall see you all in the New Year!

pushing the sky

Welcome to Pushing the Sky

I’ve always liked Sundays – I was born on one. I think the week starts on a Sunday – I’ve always liked the idea that you start the week chillin’. So I figure what better day to launch Pushing the Sky than on Sunday? Monday’s for the bug fixing, because I’ll be annoyed anyhow.

Some of you may like what I’ve done with the place, and some of you may not. Some of you will be viewing this in Internet Explorer or Safari, and I’m here to tell you that I don’t like your browsers. I’m no CSS expert, so I don’t know why Internet Explorer (or Safari) should be interpreting the CSS rules in this particular way, and thus I have to deliver a substandard design to you guys.
Back to the guys’n’gals in Firefox. You’re seeing the originally conceived design for this site. Pretty, ain’t it? I certainly hope you think that, it’s been no small amount of effort to put this site together and add something of a personal touch to it.

Back in the early days of the dke project, I tried to define something of a mission statement for myself. I imagined that the site would turn out to be something of a challenge for me, getting me to test out my design skills as well as increasing my abilities in HTML – those were the days when Notepad was my editing companion. Intially inspired by Jack and Annie’s sites, I drew on what basic skill I had and designed… well, not much. Failing so comprehenively to even get going on my mission statement, I spun it out into a blog and chucked all those things that I thought to say, and put it out there in the deluded hope that someone was listening. Eventually, I heard someone listening, and talking back, and since have been onto a good thing. Never quite on a good thing, just onto it =)

But I digress, as ever. Welcome to Pushing the Sky, more randomness from yours truly. I’ve expanded my design skills in the years since the dke project first started – I’m thinking to do a gallery or a theme switcher to let everyone check out from where I’ve come – and I hope this one is just a little innovating. Much has gone on behind the scenes for me to even concieve of this design, let alone execute it as I have, conceding much to the capabilities of XHTML & CSS, and for their help I am indebted to the various top blogging sites that I have stolen ideas from, and Jack for doing his sounding board thing, letting me bounce ideas & betas off, and I thank him for his tips and patience through my whiny whinging.

I do believe I’m getting carried away as is. The design is what you might call stable, though it will remain in something of a constant state of evolution as I tweak lines here and there, as well as bits of the design which don’t reveal themselves at first glance (i.e. when I realise I forgot to take care of something). I’ve resisted the temptation to go completely Web 2.0 with a bunch of flashy javascript & ajax out of simple concern for bandwidth and actual relevance/usefulness. But hopefully it doesn’t look out of date =)

The site remains a little empty at the moment; obviously it takes time to fill all the gaps in. And I am also still considering whether I should wrestle with the archives to integrate the dke project’s archives – any votes in favour? Let me know.