Tech Note: Introducing Necrobully and Wingularity Searches

I don’t know if anyone noticed, but our DoD visitors and Loozard lurkers should check out a couple of new additions to our sidebar. The Boiler Room Crew is pleased to announce the arrival of these features.

First, right above “Boiler Room Hits”, you’ll see a Cheeto underneath the heading of “World’s Greatest Blog Search Engine”.

Click on it, and you’ll go to the Wingularity search page, allowing you to search the Boiler Room archives of every comment Johnson ever left on LGF (save the [deleted] ones, and those appearing in seekrit threads). You can enter keywords (and even phrases), and specify the “era” to narrow down your search. Results are displayed with options for embed code (handy for copy/paste to here or other blogs), along with source url, tweet options, and a myriad of other neat nuggets and eggs.

This feature is pretty handy and convenient, given that the majority of the Johnson comments over the 11+ year history are only visible to (and searchable by) registered and logged-in users. Source urls will work for any comment made 11/1/08 or later (comment #6147884 or later, to be precise), which means that Wingularity holds the only universally visible archive of all these old comments.

Second, and further down the sidebar, you’ll see the “World’s Greatest Tweet Search Engine” link (next to another Cheeto), positioned under the “@Lizardoid Twitterwarrior Theatre” feed.

Click on it, and you’re taken to the Necrobully page, which displays a rolling 30 day archive of every tweet containing “@lizardoid” (and we’re sure much to Johnson’s chagrin, the deleted ones too). The list is searchable by keyword or username, and features other neat stuff like all the tweet, retweet, and follow buttons, along with permalinks and even stats.

These have been privately available to the Engineers of the BRC for some time now, and have been useful for a variety of different things we’ve posted.  There was some significant collaboration behind the scenes to make this possible, but by far most of the credit goes to our very own “Zappa”. Nice work!


Tech Note: WordPress.com Changes Commenting With Gravatars

It appears that the great folks at WordPress.com decided once again to change something without a proper announcement, and since our site uses their service, we’ve been affected as well. Many of our users are seeing this when they attempt to leave a comment:

Searching the WP forums, there’s a lot of confusion over it, but I finally found a post from one of the staff that appears to be an official explanation:

Howdy,

We’ve recently updated our commenting system.

Now if someone tries to comment with an email address attached to a WordPress.com account, they’ll need to sign into WordPress.com before they can comment.

If commenters have forgotten their password they can request a reset:
http://wordpress.com/wp-login.php?action=lostpassword

The little detail that this guy is leaving out is that this affects anyone with a Gravatar as well (WordPress and Gravatar have been affiliated with one another since 2007). I’ve already seen a lot of bloggers on the support boards pretty upset over this, and at this point we shouldn’t rule out the possibility that WP could make another change to it. So…

Anyway, for the time being, commenters who are using a phony or non-gravatar/wordpress email in our comment form are not affected. Your auto-generated avatars will appear and you can comment as you always have.

However…

For commenters with a gravatar, you must now login if you want to comment here (or any WordPress.com blog). It’s lame, but here’s the easiest solution:

1) Click the “log in” link in our sidebar:

2) enter your Gravatar username and password* (and you might want to check that “remember me” box):

3) because the geniuses at WP.com haven’t quite thought this through, you’ll be greeted with a message like this (unless, of course, you’re logging in as one of the authors here):

 

4) But it’s OK! You’re logged in. All you have to do is go back and/or refresh our front page, and you’ll be ready to comment.

But wait!  Some folks don’t want their gravatar username to be the display name for their comments. Now that you’re logged in, you can change that:

1) in the comment box, click “change”:

Then clear out the box for the username, and enter the new one:

Presto!

*for this example, I used “blogwarriorx”, which is one of the house gravatars that I created (located in our sidebar). So, I was able to do this because I know the password for this account. This recent change means that, unfortunately, these house DoD gravatars won’t be usable for visitors like they once were (by simply c/p the addy into the comment form). Since publicly posting up the passwords for these would be problematic, I think I might hand these out to people if anyone is interested (hit us up on the comment form, maybe after a week or so; let’s see if WP changes it back).


Tech Note: Boiler Room Quick Reference

There’s been some discussion behind the scenes here that a) newbies aren’t aware of our past work, and b) said past work is hard to find with the standard wordpress search feature. I figured that this problem was solvable, so I busted out a little more html basics and added some things into our sidebar…

First, when you click on our icon, you’re now directed to “the boiler room” tag:

The Boiler Room Crew™

Second, I decided to steal an idea from the LGF sidebar (only appropriate, right?), and have a short list of our “hits” for quick reference, and a summary for newbies:

Boiler Room Hits
Saint Pancake? (part 2)
LGF’s special “tweet” counter
oops: the “millionth” mistakes
the defective “views” counter
the rigged “views” counter
stats: LGF’s comments decline
stats: LGF’s registrations decline
“LGF Links of Ill Repute”
Rescued from the LGF memory hole

That should save quite a bit of time if you’re in the heat of a tweet battle, or if you just want to relive some past LOLs.


Tech Note: Control-T Does What, Again?

Earlier this week, @lizardoid put up another one of those “tech note” threads about -what appears to be- his new baby: LGF Connect.  We’re still not exactly sure what tangible benefits are gained for the price of allowing one of Johnson’s scripts to have access to one’s Twitter account, as the only explanation we could decipher from the tech note is that you get a “more elegant” pop-up window with which to tweet.  If one’s already logged in to their twitter account, there isn’t much of a functional difference when you click the blue button to tweet an LGF article or page.

Anyway, by normal blogging standards, the thread was a bit of a FAIL.  Sure, it got 100+ comments, but if you read them, not one is actually discussing the topic at hand.  The “tech note” might as well have been a generic open thread. (The same went for the previous “tech note” thread on the new feature as well.)

So, I think we can conclude that the “LGF Connect” feature is falling more than a little short of the reception that Johnson was hoping for (i.e. not “groovy”).  We’re to guess that he spent quite a bit of time on it, too, and yesterday he kept on pluggin’ away:

As further evidence of the lack of enthusiasm for this whole LGF Connect thing at the swamp, you might notice that this revelation garnered just a single upding, and it wasn’t responded to until several hours (and 240 comments) later:

And that was that.  I tried and IE and Chrome, and sure enough, I was reminded of the “new tab” shortcut.  No LGF Connect form.

Hmmm, maybe Charles meant literally typing “control-t” into one’s browser?  Let’s see in Chrome:

In IE:

Aarrgghh!!!

(Hat tip: ISTE.)