Damn, I keep missing people's (and communities') posts on LJ/DW! I can't really figure out why, either. They have both slowed down enough that it should be easy to click through a day's posts.
I think part of the part of the problem may be the behavior of the things I have as feeds on the two sites. Sometimes they won't post for a day or two, and then they'll dump a lot at once. The result is I'll be flipping through my reading list/friends feed and hit something I know I've read already, and then I'll stop. And in some cases, I've read it already at the source blog or site itself (like Scalzi's Whatever) instead of on LJ/DW.
I'm going to try to do a better job of combing though these things more carefully. I keep missing beta requests on Fan Grammarians as well as posts on things like the Weiss v. Saiyuki writing challenge comm.
There's a new DW perfume comm called smellsgood. Generally, I assume that I can't wear most of what will be discussed, but given my reaction to the recent rash of perfumery reviews going around (rapt attention), I'm sure I'll enjoy what's posted anyway.
So I'm loading my iPad Mini with favorite stories. Stories that are on AO3 are easy: I download them as ePub files and then I can open them in iBooks.
Stories that aren't on AO3 were a bit more challenging. But then I discovered Pocket. Pocket captures HTML files and puts them on your mobile device so you can look at them when you have no connectivity. I've downloaded four files, and it seems to work like a champ. One of the great things about it, from my point of view, is that it downloads them as clean HTML with minimal layout, graphics, etc.
One problem is, it uses whatever the HTML page title was. This is not always a good thing: if the LJ or DW entry with your story was titled something generic rather than the actual title of your story, then the Pocket copy will be titled that way too. And there's no way to edit the titles, although that seems to be something that lots of users are requesting, so maybe someday.
Anyway ... this ends my commercial for Pocket. We'll see how it pans out when I put, say, all 27 chapters of "Cupidity" on the Mini.
Two very different things, in fact:
Writer Madeline Ashby addresses a topic of great concern to a number of us: Periods, and how to write them. I like the cut of her jib. (Warning: very frank talk about female body functions.)
"[I]t seems to be an issue with alter.net, which is run by Verizon."
And if I try searching for recent messages online about Alter.net and communications problems, I find, for example, this: "The host google-gw.customer.alter.net (alter.net is part of Verizon network) is experiencing horrific packet loss, sometime upwards of 50%." That means that along this route, communications on the Web, which is broken up into a stream of chunks called "packets," is being compromised not only by the loss of the packets themselves, but by the fact that if the sending server (the host) knows that a packet has gone missing, it will re-transit the packet, and so traffic bulks up again.
It seems that playing Youtube videos is where the major slowdown is seen most often. There were several recent postings at various message boards about this issue.
I tried doing a "traceroute" myself, and yes, I can see where the communication runs through Alter.net.
On the other hand, response this morning is pretty sprightly. Either things have improved, or there are just fewer people online (and downloading chunky stuff like videos) at 8:00 a.m. U.S. ET!
So yeah, if your connection to DW runs through Alter.net, you may be seeing (or have seen - let's be optimistic) this issue, and if not, you likely won't.
"The FBI has uncovered a network of rogue DNS servers and has taken steps to disable it. The FBI is also undertaking an effort to identify and notify victims who have been impacted by the DNSChanger malware. One consequence of disabling the rogue DNS network is that victims who rely on the rogue DNS network for DNS service could lose access to DNS services ... ."
Basically, this malware gets into your system's DNS (domain name server) lookup tables and routes all your network access through their server. The idea was (I believe) that they could create a botnet this way. The FBI nabbed them and has kept the server up for a while, but they are taking it down Monday. So if you were hit with this malware, you won't be able to get online after that.
Check out this page on the FBI site for more, including links to pages that will check your system for you and how to check your system yourself, manually. (I did both for the netbook - I still need to do it on this box.)
And if you are really paranoid - not a bad thing in this case - don't use that link but just go to the FBI site directly by entering the URL (which is exactly what you think it is - remember, .gov) and use the news link on the front about this.
To quote Wikipedia (simply because it's convenient and seems to have the facts in order): "On May 17, 2012, [Anita] Sarkeesian began a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new series of short videos that would examine gender tropes in video games. The Kickstarter campaign was featured as a campaign of note on the official Kickstarter blog, and reached its funding goal of $6,000 within 24 hours, eventually raising $158,917 over the course of a month. It also received a large number of negative comments, including threats of death and rape, racial abuse, and an extended attempt to have the campaign suspended ... "
Hip-hop artist/video blogger Jay Smooth has some opinions on this:
This female person thanks you, Mr. Smooth!