The Alexandrian

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Site Update – Spam

April 24th, 2014

Spam on this site has gotten out of control over the past few months. I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to the Alexandrian lately and, unfortunately, most of that time gets chewed up just trying to stay on top of the spam.

So I’m increasing the moderation filters on the site: This means that your comments are much more likely to hit the moderation queue and will require manual approval before they get posted. Sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully it will make this place look a little bit less like a Russian garbage dump.

Legends & Labyrinths - Justin AlexanderAs of right now, I have issued refunds to all of the backers who have sent me an e-mail confirming their Paypal address.

If you are a backer who has not received a refund, it’s because you either haven’t sent me an e-mail or I haven’t received it. If it’s the former, please contact me ASAP at legendsandlabyrinths@gmail.com. If it’s the latter, please leave a comment here and we’ll figure it out (since there seems to be something wrong with our e-mail connection).

(There are three refunds currently pending through Paypal, but everyone associated with those should have received an explanatory e-mail from me and know who they are.)

This has taken a little bit longer than I had hoped. I’m afraid my health issues have been prodigiously slowing down my productivity: I talked about the MRSA infection I had on my face a week and a half ago. Unfortunately, just as I was starting to feel better I ended up having a massive allergic reaction to the third set of antibiotics they put me on. I was briefly hospitalized when my doctor became concerned that all of the skin on my body might blister and fall off. (Holy shit!) That turned out to be not the case, but I did spend a good chunk of the last week having 90% of my body covered in a painful rash and looking as if I had Maori facial tattoos designed by Jackson Pollock.

All things considered, I don’t recommend it.

In any case, after three full weeks of being ill I seem to finally be on the mend. (But I am vigorously pounding divots into my wooden desk as I say that.) I’m afraid fresh content may be a little thinner on the ground here at the Alexandrian during the month of August than I had hoped, but we’ll see how it goes. At the very least, I’m hoping to put the finishing touches on both The Art of Pacing and the Film Banging series.

Site Update

July 6th, 2013

Comments have been opened yet again. So obviously the WordPress bug that’s periodically turning off comments on all the posts on the site has still not been resolved. If ya see the comments closed at any point in the future, please feel free to drop me an e-mail and let me know.

On the back end, although Akismet has been doing a generally great job keeping spam off the actual site, the Alexandrian has been getting hammered by spammers. (500+ spam comments per day.) So it’s clear that the math problem anti-spam thing has been completely cracked. On the basis of nothing except my gut, I suspect that all this spam may be triggering the bug.

So I need a new solution for preventing the spam from getting posted in the first place. Therefore, the math problems are gone and we’re going to be trying out a Turing Test check box. Let me know if you have any problems with it.

What I’m hoping to avoid is a CAPTCHA system. I find them to be both annoying and a bit of an eyesore. But I’ve got to do something to shoo away all these Russian Viagra dealers. (I blame myself for the essays I wrote about my translation of The Seagull. Apparently if you put Cyrillic text on your website you’re basically laying out a welcome mat for Russian spammers.)

Site Update

June 30th, 2013

Comments have been restored.

I finally got the hosting company to update the PHP on my server so that  I could install the latest version of WordPress. That also let me update my plugins. I don’t know if this will solve the periodic problem of all the comments on the site turning off, but it does drastically reduce the odds of the site being hacked. (Which, sadly, just happened to a different site I run.)

On a purely positive note, I’ve got a full slate of material scheduled for July here at the Alexandrian. And I’m hoping there’ll be a couple more beefy essays wrapped up in the next couple of days to add even more.

On an almost purely negative note, there will be an update on Legends & Labyrinths tomorrow.

I’ll also be at GenCon this year, this time with a little more forewarning. Anybody running a game I should check out? Even with proper preregistration this year I managed to get into precisely zero of the events I signed up for, so I’ll be roughing it with generics again. Hopefully I won’t be literally cutting my phone in half this year.

Last year I played in a great Star Wars event called Lord of the Hives. Threat Detected is running the scenario again this year. I recommend checking it out.

 

Site Update – The Plague

January 9th, 2013

I generally eschew the “I’m so sorry I haven’t been posting!” sort of posts (since I believe that most people don’t actually care and would rather just see the next substantive post pop up in their RSS feed). But I’m making an exception here because I know there are some people waiting on specific updates.

The short version: There is a very nasty flu going around Minneapolis right now and everyone in my family got hit with it. My mother was hospitalized with it; my wife is on Day 12 of it (and she caught it after being sick with a sinus infection for 9 days); my brother and sister-in-law have caught it; and my stepmother-in-law also has it. Personally, I’ve spent most of the last nine days running 102-degree fevers and fading in-and-out of patchy coherence. I’m definitely on the mend, but today was the first time I’ve been able to to do anything resembling constructive activity… and that’s only been in a handful of 10 minute bursts of energy.

So, generally speaking, this has sucked.

Long story short: I’m going to be working to get things back on track, but I’m basically behind on everything now so we’ll see how it goes. Expect some L&L updates in the next few days as I continue to mend. Expect actual new content for the Alexandrian to be a bit further out.

For right now, though, I’m going back to bed.

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