24: The Unaired 1994 Pilot


This is a funny little clip which imagines 24 with 1994 communications technology. It's a little goofy, but makes its point :-)

Web 2.0 articles


What would a writing for the web course be without some Web 2.0 readings? Tim O'Reilly's What Is Web 2.0 Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software is a good choice since he always his a good feel for how the Internet will develop. Bryan Alexander's Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning? in Educause Review is a good overview as well.

Computers and Writing Online 2005 Conference

Kairosnews is hosting this year's Computers and Writing Online. CFP follows:

CFP: Computers and Writing Online 2005

When Content Is No Longer King: Social Networking, Community, and Collaboration

David Reed explains that in the early stages of a network's formation and growth, that “content is king,” that there are a “a small number of sources (publishers or makers) of content that every user selects from" (qtd in Rheingold Smart Mobs 61). As the network scales, “group-forming networks” occur, and the value of the network increases exponentially in relationship of the number of users, otherwise known as Reed's Law, privileging the social interaction over content.

We can see this change in network valuation in today's Internet. The increased valuing of social interaction in large scale networks is reflected in the new technologies that place emphasis on social communication and community over content. These technologies, often dubbed “social software” are applications that, as Clay Shirky explains, “support group interaction.”

We invite proposals from scholars, graduate students and others who have an interest in computers and writing and social interactions and are working on projects in gestation, in progress, near completion, or at any stage in between, whether a thesis or dissertation, article, book project, or just want to preview and fine-tune your conference presentation for Computers and Writing Conference hosted by Stanford University. This is a unique opportunity for extended discussion of your ideas before heading to Palo Alto. Conference organizers are particularly interested in presentations that address, but are not limited to, the following concerns:

Looks like there's an open source social bookmarking tool now to compete with Fusion for Drupal

One day, looks like I'll have to get around to playing some with now that notes that Benjamin Grant's module for Drupal is working very well.

Warning: The death of anonymous commenting on popular weblogs


Clancy's Drupal site, CultureCat, is down right now because comment spammers have effectively committed a DoS attack against the server. So many spam bots were attempting to post anonymous comments that the entire server hosted by OpenSourceHost was being taken down. For the time being, OSH has had to block access to her domain until the wave of spamming dies.

In the meantime, we have turned off anonymous commenting and the spam module on Clancy's site in anticipation of when it comes back up. It seems that anonymous commenting is done for any popular weblog if this is the end result. After all, no amount of spam blocking can stop a massive DoS attack from spammers.

Other Drupal and similar weblog application users may want to watch out for this. For the last few days, Clancy was having to delete a few thousand comment spams per day. Apparently that number accelerated upward today. Comment spam from IP addresses in the hundreds according to the server logs. If you find you are getting ever increasing comment spam and reaching those limits, probably time to turn off anonymous commenting or risk taking down your whole host and losing complete access to your site for a few days waiting for the spammers to give up.

Short of blocking IP addresses in Apache based on some shared blacklist between servers, I can't imagine any easy workaround to save anonymous commenting unless there is a Drupal configurable throttle function for comments. Even then, this would prevent anyone else from posting comments.