Wednesday, April 29, 2009

HeraldTrib Today April 29, 2009

If I’m gone, I’ll be back…

Stupid Google. I love them because they give me tons of free software that I use daily (blopspot is owned by Google; the maps I use for the police reports are owned by Google; my gmail account is owned by Google; when my son comes of age, he…kidding), and all I have to do for it is ignore the advertisements that appear just about everywhere on their products.

But about a week ago, I got a message that said my blog was flagged as possible spam because of the incredible number of links to other pages on my site (apparently robot computers set up blogs that all link to the same address and that’s what the HeraldTrib looked like to them; I did not know there was such a thing as a spam blog).

They threatened to delete the blog if I did not respond within three weeks (that leaves about two weeks from now, if you’re not keeping up).

I clicked all the links that tell their robot computer that I actually am a human running a rather popular blog and would they please not shut me down. Their computer admitted that if I was clicking, most likely I was human, so not to worry.

Yet, that got me thinking: if software can be written to create spam-blogs willy-nilly, couldn’t a programmer make software that would know to click the links as a human would?

That leaves me wondering if I have done enough to save the blog. I’ll guess we’ll know in a fortnight. If it does get obliterated, I’ll pop up again elsewhere, and at that point will work to reinstate (or at least recover the links to stories) the HeraldTrib.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Debate story getting some traffic and comments…

I wrote my take on the debate hosted by the Arlington County Democratic Committee in the primary run for the House of Delegates’ 47th District. The five Democrats running for their party’s nomination to replace the retiring Al Eisenberg, covered a number of topics rather civilly (so much for my “Fighting 47th” moniker). I wrote that no one really won the debate, but I thought Adam Parkhomenko (still my First Amendment hero), lost.

That, of course, got people reading, and drew some to comment. Make sure you check it out.

The Green Party has already selected their nominee: Josh Ruebner. The Republicans have not yet fielded a candidate, and my (admittedly limited) contacts say it’s unlikely that they will. Whenever I write something like that, however, I remind myself that reporters do a much better job when they tell people what happened rather that what will happen.

Outdoor performance space a rumor…

A story in the neighborhood that the greenspace outside the Ballston Commons Mall parking garage would become a performance or presentation space of some kind for use by the mall or the Capitals is just a rumor according to Scott McPartlin, a county planner working on that space.

Arlington County is still working on potential ideas for the site which was most recently set to be a mini-golf course. Ideas that “activate” that space and that are “revenue neutral” are forthcoming, Mr. McPartlin told me yesterday.

The Week’s Headlines…
As always, you can scroll down to see all the recent stories, or simply click the links below (if the link doesn't work, scroll down to find the story, and email to tell me what's busted: --Steve Thurston).

Headlines from Earlier in the Week:

  • Sneak Peek at the Madison of Ballston Station (This is the big, new, four-storey building on N. Pershing Drive; formerly Buckingham Village 1).
  • Bethel Church to "Change the World" (starting with Buckingham).
  • Democrat House of Delegates Debate (This is the ACDC debate; you'll want to read this).
  • Police Notes April 10 to 23 (Graffiti, Theft and Police Impersonation).
  • Arlington Annex with Vic Socotra: Step Back in Time to the Ball-Sellers House. (Vic is back with his second installment. Up next: pools and Nazis! Let me know what you think.)
  • Hope Holds Rally at the Gates Center (About 50 Latinos came to support Buckinghamster Patrick Hope in his bid for the House of Delegates. Other candidates: please let me know if you're holding a public event in or near Buckingham. I'll do my best to get there. --ST
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