Archive for October, 2004

Comment Spam

For a blog with such a tiny readership, there seems to have been a lot (10 a day?) of attempted comment spam recently. I’m running WordPress and it queues for moderation any comments that it thinks are suspicious. It’s caught all of them I think but my blog is not the only one affected and people are starting to get annoyed by it.

It is clearly on the rise, I use the excellent to read blogs and it maintains a list of URLs that a lot of blogs have linked to recently. Over the last few days either a lot of people have got into online poker at dubious websites or some people aren’t keeping their blogs clean. Both WordPress and Moveable Type (and, I suspect all the other major blog software) are capable of dealing with this rubbish so hopefully people will get their spam filters turned on as it becomes more of an issue and the spammers will give up on sites that do. Okay, it won’t happen but I can dream.

Miscarriages of Justice ‘R’ Us

I’ve recently been discussing the changes in the law relating to jury trials with my dad. David Blunkett wants to make the jury aware of previous convictions of a defendent during a trial (see the coverage in the Guardian or the Telegraph. The idea is abhorrent to me, a defendent should be convicted or released on the basis of the evidence and NOT on whether they’ve done similar things before. Even serial offenders should be given the chance to go straight. My dad argues that I’m patronising the jurors, and they should be able to disregard the information given it does not determine whether they commited the crime they are being tried for or not. I disagree, in most cases the information will be discarded but as it is not relevant, it should not be presented in the first place, and will cause miscarriages of justice.

I was hoping there would be an outcry in blogs which if mirrored elsewhere might cause a change of policy but the blogs I regularly read have been relatively quiet on the subject, there is limited coverage but outside the dedicated political blogs it hasn’t generated the hue and cry I’d hope for…hopefully it is a storm still brewing.

RIP John Peel

John Peel recently died and maybe I’m a strange person to leave a tribute; I don’t listen to much music on the radio but I did listen to John Peel. Many relaxed week-ends were characterised by listening to his Radio 4 show “Home Truths” and if I was flicking between the channels and he happened to be on Radio 1, I’d always listen. Aside from that, many of the bands that make up my music collection like Blur and Radiohead (as well as some slightly older bands like New Order) were championed by him. A national Institution has slipped away. He’ll be missed.