I started a GitHub repository for Bing ban stories when The New Leaf Journal ran into a Bing ban. While my project is no longer banned by Bing, I am still maintaining the repository. Today, I added a (now-resolved) Bing ban story from Mr. Andrew Ward regarding his portfolio and blog site.
Sports Illusrated, fresh off an AI article controversy, selected Colorado Buffaloes college football coach Dion Sanders as its Sportsperson of the Year. Mr. Sanders took over as head coach at Colorado after the football team went 1-11 in 2022. Sports Illustrated noted that the team improved greatly in Coach Sanders’ first season:
As for the actual football? It’s been an adventure. Colorado is massively improved over 2022, when it was by far the worst Power 5 program. The Buffaloes were outscored by 29.1 points per game last year, compared to 6.7 this year
The team lost its final six games to finish 4-8. While that is better than the 1-11 record Colorado posted in 2022, it is still sub-par.
Sportsperson of the Year is a nebulous award, But a college football coach coming off a 4-8 season, regardless of the circumstances leading up to the season, does not seem like a likely candidate. If they want to honor Mr. Sanders, why not wait 2-3 seasons to see how Colorado football looks after Mr. Sanders has more time to build the program in his image and bring in his recruits? What award be left to give Coach Sanders if Colorado is 11-1 at this point in 2025?
On the other hand, if the Sportsperson of the Year award is to honor sports figures who give human and AI journalists things to write about, the eminently quotable Coach Sanders had one of the best cases in 2023.
(I would have submitted now former Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher for earning $76.8 million to not coach Texas A&M.)
I received an email from the Bing Webmaster Team:
We hope this message finds you well! We've noticed it's been a while since you last visited Bing Webmaster Tools, and we've genuinely missed having you around! Webmaster Tools has undergone some exciting updates and improvements recently, and we think you'll be pleased with the enhancements we've made. Your feedback has always been valuable to us, and we're eager to hear your thoughts on the latest features.
My main project, The New Leaf Journal, was blacklisted by Bing in January 2023 and not reinstated until July (I received formal confirmation near the end of August). The process was annoying enough to prompt me to create a GitHub repository (my choice of Microsoft-owned GitHub was intentional) collecting Bing-ban stories. I still do not know why Bing took adverse action against my site (they will never say), but I can report that our standing with Bing and Bing-dependent DuckDuckGo has finally returned to what it was on the eve of the troubles in January. Of course, this Bing email is a misunderstanding for a reason unrelated to my complicated Bing history. I usually use a Google account I set up for Search Console purposes to log into Bing Webmaster. This email was sent to my Bing-only account that has never been used. Bing can rest assured that I am alive and have seen its new Webmaster features.
I am using the Classic Editor here at The Emu Café Social, in large part because some of the IndieWeb plugins I am using require it instead of Gutenberg. I agree with this take by Mr. Baty in a vacuum that the classic editor is better for writing than Gutenberg. However, I use Gutenberg over at my main WordPress-powered project, The New Leaf Journal. The reasons are two-fold:
- Drafting articles in markdown (I like Ghostwriter) and converting them using Pandoc for use on WordPress provides a superior workflow to both Gutenberg and the Classic Editor.
- Because I draft my long articles outside of WordPress (with a few exceptions), I am more concerned with formatting. Gutenberg works better for me for that purpose than the TinyMCE editor.
(I will note, however, that Gutenberg footnotes almost cost me a great deal of work on a recent project.)
The Gothamist published an article on the push to ban street vendors from the magisterial Brooklyn Bridge. I am 100% in support of banning street vendors from the Bridge, but I will focus on another point in the report. See the following quote:
But vendors said there are not many legal spots where they can move to. Street vending has become more common as asylum seekers try to make ends meet without work permits.
Setting aside the reporter’s insistence on using asylum seeker as a blanket term for aliens who may or may not have actually applied for asylum, much less have a colorable asylum case, I submit for the record that hawking wares on the street is not a legal solution to not having employment authorization. An alien who is not authorized to engage in employment is not authorized to engage in self-employment (many aliens who are explicitly here on work visas are not eligible to engage in self-employment, see e.g., H-1B specialty occupation workers and O-1 aliens of extraordinary ability). The article quotes a street vendor advocate in the very next paragraph as describing street vendors as small businesses. An alien who lacks employment authorization cannot legally work as a street vendor regardless of his or her desire to make ends meet.
Back in 2022, I wrote an article on the importance of being in good standing with Microsoft Bing for reaching searchers who prefer privacy-friendly search solutions. While Bing itself is far from privacy-friendly, many alternatives such as DuckDuckGo, Qwant, Ecosia, and Swisscows use Bing’s search index. That particular article was inspired by a post on Cheapskate’s Guide about being de-indexed by Bing and, as a result, being unavailable to DuckDuckGo searchers. I learned today from my New Leaf Journal Koko Analytics referrer logs that I had received referrals from Blue Dwarf, which is a small independent social network run by the admin of Cheapskate’s Guide. Sure enough, the referrals came from the author of the excellent Cheapskate’s Guide post discovering my article. Very neat. My original article came before The New Leaf Journal itself suffered a Bing blacklisting, but we were restored after just more than half a year and are now doing well with Bing and all of its derivatives. See my GitHub repository on Bing bans.
SoraNews24 published an entire article about making a recipe released by 7-Eleven in Japan. I think the recipe looks good (“to die for” is probably excessive, however). But regardless of whether you think 7-Eleven’s sausage-butter-rice dish looks appetizing, I am sure you can join me in praising the convenience store chain for fully embracing open source.
Having idiosyncratic interests that grow in complexity means that if you pursue them too far you will end up obsessed with things that no one else around you cares about.
I feel under attack. I will have people know that some articles in my series on interpreting hair color in Japanese anime, manga, and visual novels have actually done alright. The better example of people not caring about my idiosyncratic interests is actually my al|together visual novel review project, but I think that endeavor is genuinely worthwhile.
I return from a brief and unplanned publishing break with an important story (“important” is the operative word here). I use a MikroTik hAP ac3 internet router. However, I disabled its wi-fi functionality and use a low-end tp-link access point for wireless. The access point is right in front of my computer. I turned on my computer a bit before 9:00 AM this morning. I noticed that the lights on my access point were off. Was there a power issue? I was about to check before I remembered that I had just been connected to wi-fi on my phone. Then I remembered that I had set the router to turn its lights off at night (I access my access point’s admin panel less frequently than I access my router through Winbox). I deduced that the lights return at 9:00 AM when I witnessed the green lights return at 9:00 AM. Another mystery solved.
Formatting for The New Leaf Journal ActivityPub profile is a work in progress but everything works perfectly here on Emu Café Social.
Hackaday published an article titled Spuds Lend A Hand In The Darkroom. I have no experiences with darkrooms, much less potatoes in darkrooms. Thus, I cannot comment on the utility of the potato-darkroom recipes referenced in the article. However, if your potato has reached the stage where it is growing hands, it is much more amenable to darkroom usage than to kitchen usage.
I am on the record as being a fan of the Teasing Master Takagi-san anime. I selected the first season as one of my honorable mention recommended series for general audiences from the 2011-2020 decade. Last year, I picked the third season of Takagi-san as my 2022 anime series of the year and described it as the best anime comedy since 2012’s Humanity Has Declined. But with that being said, I never understood the appeal of live action adaptations of manga and anime? I suppose by manga/anime standards, Takagi is a plausible live action candidate and the actress and actor playing Takagi and Nishikata do not look too old for their 8th/9th roles (they are 16 and 15 respectively). While I am not interested, I hope the live action Takagi-san does the series justice.
I am moving toward finishing my al|together visual novel review project. I just finished reading A Dream of Summer (which had been pending for a while) and one of two translations of Narcissu (I did not realize that the al|together Narcissu was two translations in one package). This leaves just three novels to read. With Narcissu completed, I am almost entirely sure of what the top of my ranking, which will be published in three parts in November, will look like. I leave no comment at this time on where precisely Narcissu will rank, I only note that it was the last remaining novel that, based on my pre-reading knowledge, could threaten the top spot.
I saw a copy of Tom Cantor’s Changed, a self-published religion conversion story that makes the rounds through an unsolicited direct mail campaign, sitting on a step in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Why might I care? Over at The New Leaf Journal, I published what I hope was a humorous article on the cover design of the book after receiving a short-lived copy in July 2022. To my surprise, the article performed very strongly in terms of page visits in December 2022 and January 2023, which I inferred was a result of the direct mail campaign, before becoming a proverbial non-entity shortly thereafter. While I know that many people were weirded out about receiving Mr. Cantor’s strange book, The New Leaf Journal would benefit from his resuming his strange pastime with abandon.
I spent more of my life than I would like to admit figuring out how to add my own footer text to our theme, which is a child theme of SemPress. But mission accomplished. With our child theme and my initial style tweaks done, I published version 1.0 of the newly-named Emusem Press to my personal Gitea repository. My last tasks before really getting the ball rolling on this project are to publish the rest of our informational pages and resolve one plugin-related issue. “Getting the ball rolling” is defined as posts about things other than designing the site.