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A brief blog update

I just thought I’d give a brief update on the transition to the new blog platform. After nearly a month, things have finally settled down, although I’m still bugging the powers that be about some of the problems that still exist. One thing I have noticed over the last day is that one of our “favorite” trolls has been trying to crash the party. Thanks to my turning on the setting “Comment author must have a previously approved comment,” sockpuppet activity is way down because every time someone invents a new sockpuppet I have to approve it.

And, of course, I don’t approve sockpuppet comments; I send them to spam.

Indeed, one of our “favorite” morphing trolls has been rather amusingly trying to break through. So far, he’s failed. No doubt at some point he’ll figure out a fake identity or spoofed e-mail address, combined with restraining his loonier language to the point that that I don’t catch one of his comments, but for now it’s been blissfully silent. Instead of his getting through and my having to recognize and delete his posts, now he never gets through in the first place. You know, if the powers that be finally fixe the remaining niggling problems with this WordPress setup, I might actually start to like it here better than the old setup.

Now if only they’d redesign the template. The current one is kind of ugly. I guess it’s always something.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

72 replies on “A brief blog update”

Getting used to the format. Meh.

Echoing other requests:
Preview would be quite a welcome addition as I am apt to screw up html tags, not to mention spelling & grammar, and like to check before I post.

Comment numbers also a convenience.

Does wordpress publish allowed html tags?

Over all the transition has been quite good and the loss of a troll or 2 is a nice bonus.

Don’t mind the loss of the trolls – since I believe we have a good idea of who it might be…..I’m getting used to the interface, though I still think it needs quite a bit of work.

Could always be worse.

The “recent insolence returned” list continues to show comments from several weeks ago across browsers and devices. The should be the simplest goddamn thing to have operational on a blog.


This is one that I’ve never seen, despite a few people complaining about it. Those feeds work for me on multiple computers and devices. they’ve always worked for me on multiple computers and devices. I’ve sent the complaint along, but I just don’t see it; it doesn’t affect me, and I’ve tried to see if I could get it to.

“Recent Insolence returned” is always up to date on my system.

Posting comments is significantly faster than the old site.


I think it depends on certain browsers. I’ve accessed the site via IE and have had the experience that pD has described. But I’ve had few problems using Firefox and Chrome.

The “recent insolence returned” list continues to show comments from several weeks ago across browsers and devices. The should be the simplest goddamn thing to have operational on a blog.

Every device I’ve used experiences this behavior until I post a comment from that device. Once I comment, everything is good, and a lot of other people have noted the same. It has to be some sort of cookie that is being utilized. I might try clearing the cache on one of my devices this weekend and seeing if that returns it to the non-updating behavior.

Note: behavior as described occurred on IE, Chrome, and Firefox browsers.

What pD said.

The most “recent insolence returned” that I see listed (Windows 7 professional, Chrome) is from 12 June. Of course, that’s not a big deal; at least, for me, not as big a deal as those features that MikeMa mentioned.

I’m just glad the spurious “posting too quickly” errors have apparently been resolved. They frequently made it almost impossible to comment.

I used to get the out-of-date comments feed all the time. Now it seems to be working correctly for me.

I have had virtually NO real problems with the new platform since Day 1 on this computer**. The updates were never not timely and comments were taken up much more rapidly than on the previous. The “posting too quickly” seems to have been resolved. I have adapted to the lack of preview: I think that it’s good for me.

** I didn’t try it on the other- separate magisteria or suchlike.

Comment numbers would be helpful.

This comment is a test to see if posting a new comment will force the “Recent Insolence Delivered” listing to update on Firefox.

Posting a new comment does make the “Recent Insolence Delivered” listing update itself on Firefox.

“Recent Insolence returned” is always up to date on my system.

It works as long as cookies are accepted. Clear the cookies — or read RI from a different machine — and the Recency function resets to that months-old default.

resets to that months-old default

It’s currently 10 days from where I sit, after a browser ‘kill -9’ that I need to do anyway. There’s something about the four-minute time error that really gets on my nerves. I will hit submit at 19:25:00 UTC.

You’re four minutes late! (:)

The lack of numbered comments is a serious pain, especially when on a catch up mission.

The “recent insolence returned” list continues to show comments from several weeks ago across browsers and devices.

Me too but it isn’ t consistent. I use

Oh blimey, I posted before done.
…Mozilla Firefox. I too would like a preview and numbered comments and also a better contrasting text with background.

On the bright side of the lack of comment numbering: the time of the comment to which you respond does not get changed when other comments are released from moderation.

On the downside of that, it’s not easy to tell if moderated comments that might be worth reading have been released.

This is a test post – I’ve changed the cookies setting on Firefox to see if that helps the problem with “recent comments” listing.

On my home computer, with Firefox (iMac) I see current comments. On my work computer, with IE8, they are very old. I’ll see about the cookie settings later and see if that helps on it.

I’d replace awful picture with a pinkamingo. Out the editor wouldn’t I bet. We all need more flamingos.

The underlying issue is that this should not be a cookie-based function in the first place. There is no reason for a site to refuse to update itself unless one phrases the request extra-special-like.

I just found out yesterday that our band Baby Seal Club, is opening for the B-52s on Sunday. Feeling somewhat stunned. What will I wear? That is all.

@ Pareidolius:

You can never EVER go wrong with pinstripes provided that the background is charcoal or black. Trust me.

I’ve had no problems with Safari, on the Mac os course. And I don’t “normally” accept cookies. I have Safari on the iPad as well. I could check with Linux, but that would take work.

I don’t use Winders.

I could check with Linux, but that would take work.

Same stale list on NetBSD 4.0.1 with a “naive” lynx 2.8.7. This may seem like an idle observation, but hang on.

@ Pareidolius: I just listened to “Electrocutie”…good luck with the gig.

OK, so that was marginally interesting. You’ve got three cookies, one of which is aimless:

comment_author_=Narad; expires=Wed, 05-Jun-2013 08:54:14 GMT; path=/
comment_author_email_=[munge]; expires=Wed, 05-Jun-2013 08:54:14 GMT; path=/
comment_author_url_=deleted; expires=Thu, 01-Jan-1970 00:00:01 GMT; path=/

I’m also quite suspicious of the clearfix in the widget.

Firefox 13.0.1 on windows 8 seem to work well here. Same with chrome 19.0.1084.56 on windows 8.


Embrace the cookies.

(I have used posted with Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer, and it updated. It is all about the cookies.)

About to curl in bed with a book…

I had to curl the whole damn thing. Clearing cookies is enough to reproduce the issue, but it doesn’t explain the mechanism that b0rks the widget. Again, there’s no reason for this to occur.

Blah blah blah antivaxtrollingpoints blah.
There. got that out of my system.
If I had any skill at editing I’d do a “Hitler learns that RI is changing formats” Downfall Parody.

Preview would be nice. Also finding that I cannot comment from the email address I normally use. It says @yahoo,ca is not valid.

Could you get the powers-that-be to also work on the 24-hour page? It doesn’t say which blog each entry comes from (just the author, and I don’t always remember which author goes with which blog). And actually, it would be nice if it showed more like the past 3 days, not just 24 hours. That way if I haven’t checked in in a while it is easier to catch up.

Denice and Lilady, pinstripes sound divine. Electrocutie is way better live, but do check out our video for Zeroes and Ones featuring the worlds most spoiled poultry. Talk about divas. Lord Draconis art directed.

@ Pareidolius:

I was about to consult the Oracle ( Cousins’ Network -esp. the fashionista and the architect)- about what to wear *with* the pinstripes ( black trousers, I assume) but instead by the process of recursive thought and ratiocination, I have conjured up the following choices:

black t- shirt
black or charcoal silk shirt
ancient black t-shirt with super-imposed shredded flag
black t-shirt with image of the aurora borealis
black t-shirt with an image of a map
contrasting Hugo Boss striped shirt
non-contrasting Hugo Boss striped shirt
1890s vintage French silk shirt, off-white
black dinner jacket with black t-shirt
something bright red
-btw- all of theses items- save the last- are or have been in my own personal collection. If you choose a shirt, you might need a tie. I wouldn’t go that far myself.

Wonderful grist for the fashion mill. I shall consider it all carefully. Is there any subject you cannot help with?

The new layout is a lot easier on my iPhone eyes. I miss the Trebuchet font, though.

Posting sometimes fails from my Android phone. Html links are rough, and I do miss comment numbering. Recent Insolence Returned is nice.

Having problems with my wordpess account.
Cleared that last cookie as well..can I have another.

Denise and lilady,
I settled on age inappropriate, black, skinny jeans with a very fine pinstripe, a black tee with the Joy Division Unknown Pleasures graphic on it, my black cowboy hat, cobalt blue converse kicks, a fluorescent red tint to my beard and some bitchen shades. We rocked it! As for the B-52s, Cindy and Kate are da bomb and were kind and gracious even though they drove 13 hours from Portland and hit the stage for a sound check. Their show was off the hook fun. Thanks for your sartorial advice!
Uncle Stabby

I *knows* my clothes!

OK, so if one is going to risk brown shoes with a nearly black suit bearing a quarter-inch pinstripe, what color’s the belt?

Ms. Walker, since I have met Pareidolius, I know he would rock that look. Woot! I am glad fun was had with the B-52s.

(and yesterday while working in the yard I saw a B-17 fly over, it was stately in a WWII kind of fashion)

@ Pareidolius:

Zeroes and Ones…superb… on YouTube. Who did the hens’ coiffures?

We know that none of the pampered ladies or their eggs were “harmed”… how did you fare?

@ Chris:
I’m imagining Uncle Stabby to be about 5’11’, 50+, white boy, not heavy, with fair hair and a tan.
and -btw- about men’s fashion, I seem to have a lot of that in my background because of my sartorially splendid male ancestors, my father, uncles, various cousins, exes, SOs, family connections to the business and uh… observation, lots of observation. Actually, in you peered into my closet , you might wonder if it’s “his” or “hers” – however, while I am decidedly not taking cues from either Annie Hall or Annie Lennox, I don’t necessarily limit my purchases to the women’s section.
– it just looks differently on me.

Posting to get the Recent Comments widget working on this device. Who wrote this piece of garbage?

As above. Perhaps there could be a dedicated thread for this activity, so that nobody bothers looking.

Ditto – cleared cache and cookies and hurtled back in time a few weeks.

It seems the ‘Medicine and evolution, part 13: The fly in the ointment of personalized cancer therapy’ is now closed for comments, unless it’s my PC. Is that because it is 3 months old? It’s perhaps not a bad thing considering the amount of verbiage being deposited there, but it feels odd having an active comment thread suddenly terminated like that.

Can someone talk to the NatGeo overlords about the ads? Twice now I’ve had an ad show up on my iPad that forcibly redirected my browser to an iTunes page, which in turn launched the App Store app, trying to get me to download “Slots Journey” by “FishSticks”.

I see that the lag in recent posts has been reduced to about 48 hours. All the same, I’m still stuck with this.

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