Archive for August, 2012

Spell Cheque

      I’ve been fortunate in the reviews I’ve had on Amazon for Fit To Curve, far more positive than negative overall. But one failing struck everyone: a vast abundance of spelling mistakes and typos. One of the reviewers made an extraordinary offer, and then made good on it: she sent me a list of errata, somewhere between dozens and hundreds, depending on how you score recurrent violations, both for Fit To Curve and for Heart Attack. I entered the corrections and uploaded cleaned versions of both titles. All new purchasers (since a couple weeks ago) have got the improved text.

      So: thank you, Sibyl. It was a wonderful gift.

      Meanwhile, it is apparently becoming possible for Kindle readers to receive revised versions of previously purchased titles. It’s a new thing. I’m going to try to get that feature turned on for my books.

A new species of spam

       Most of the spam that comes to blogs is blatant. It shouts. It wants you to do something or buy something, with no connection to the context it has landed in. When comments are moderated, as they are here, it’s a simple chore to delete them. Annoying, but easy.

       The new stuff is creepy and insidious. It masquerades as a comment (bland generic usually positive). But ends in a URL. And it’s standard with WordPress to show name, email, and url for anyone making a comment, both as an identifier and as a way to make contact with an individual. So that’s two URLs.

       And that’s the purpose. I can’t see any other. Let me know if anyone’s aware of a different motivation. Sprinkle your urls around the web, randomly, maybe every hundredth or thousandth gets a click. You don’t care about the inefficiency or waste of bandwidth, it’s free to you. It’s weirdly organic, like maple seedpods spinning as far as the wind will take them, maybe one in a million makes a tree.

       Fake name, fake email, fake comment. Real URL. It took me a while to figure out what was going on and delete them. I haven’t heard any discussion elsewhere about them, but I haven’t really looked. So planting my ignorance as my flag, I’ll claim the discovery and naming rights: it’s SpermSpam. And it hopes you will be its egg.

       I’ve left a few scattered here, with the URLs stripped. Can you spot them?