I thought I was feeling grotty and rundown yesterday because of accumulated stress/travel/lack of sleep, but no I am producing copious quantities of snot and sneezing all the time and my brain is all fuzzy. Bah. I slept for a further fourteen hours last night, which seems to have helped a bit.
Interesting links time:
: Time magazine put the founder of 4 chan on their list of the top 100 people of 2009
. The poll security, apparently, was not so good. Of course, hilarity and vote hacking ensues
This made me think of the David Gemmell Legend Award, who released their shortlist at the weekend
, because as I recall when voting for the shortlist, they were doing it by an online poll which was being run on a one IP address, one vote basis (I think). Now I am no expert in how the internet works, but this seemed to be a system ripe for gaming by voting from multiple addresses, as well as disallowing votes from legitimate voters sharing the same IP address (I'm not entirely sure my vote was counted, as I voted from behind the lab firewall). And according to the writeup in The Guardian
, that is exactly what happened and "some idiot" multiple voted for his favourite author. I do feel sympathetic towards them, and I am not advocating anyone gaming the system for their favourite author, but c'mon: did anyone not see this happening? They may have found the person who voted hundreds of times, but who knows how many smaller-scale frauds there were, someone voting two or three times for the book they liked.
Speaking of online polls, I think it is now too late to vote in the Locus poll, if you haven't already. I chose not to vote because I like the one person, one vote system, and not the "one person, one vote except for Locus subscribers who get two votes take that Doctorow fans"
And a cautionary tale of Twitter which almost passed me by the other week: the #savejon
affair. If that is tl;dr, the basic tale is that a graphic designer named Jon Engle posted on his blog that his artwork had been stolen, placed on another site, and now he was being sued for $18,000 for use of his own artwork. Terrible! And it spread across Twitter like wildfire, because everyone likes to help the underdog go up against the man, and pretty swiftly he had $2,000 in a legal defense fund. Except that whoops it was probably all a big porky pie, and actually he'd been taking the logos from the website and passing them off as his own.
I don't think this is something which wouldn't happen without Twitter, I just think that the response would have been slower - it's so easy to toss off a quick twitter about it and bung in the hashtag, or retweet someone else's twitter, that it all spreads much more quickly than via blog posts, and maybe there's less critical thinking about how plausible Engle's story actually was.
Finally, if anyone has a good recipe for am interesting chocolate sponge cake please stick it in the comments.