Microsoft Attempts To Shutdown MacSlash

The MacSlash Mac community site has been the subject of legal threats from Microsoft following the posting of an anonymous comment on the site which included the registration number for Windows Server 2003.

Remarkably, instead of contacting the site, Microsoft contacted MacSlash’s web host, Digital Forest with a take down notice for the entire site.

Fortunately, Digital Forest responded with a response which is best surmised as “go jump”.

The case highlights a potential risk for bloggers with open comment fields where anonymous users post illegal or illicit links or information.

It also demonstrated that Microsoft has a very, very, very long way to go in endearing itself to the blogosphere.

Technorati to expand into Japanese Market

Technorati and Digital Garage have announced that they will be setting up Technorati Japan.
The new service will be run by Digital Garage and will distribute Technorati services in Japan.

The service is due to be up and running sometime in 2005.

Joi Ito has also indicated that Japan is just the first country in an international expansion for Technorati in 2005.

Guardian Backbencher Political Weblog Awards return

The fascinating competition ran by UK Newspaper The Guardian, The Backbencher Political Weblog Awards, to find the best political blogs is back again for another run this year, and the Guardian are looking for nominations of UK-based blogs in three categories:
political commentary
politicians’ blogs
and single-issue campaigning.

Enter here.

Happy Trolls????

Hugh at Gapingvoid has written about a phenomena he describes as “The Happy Troll”:

“Basically, the Happy Troll is happiest when he is “shitting in your living room” without you actually noticing. That’s the art of it. He does this by “adding healthy, helpful dissent to the discussion” – at least, that’s what he calls his little turdpiles. And he’s hoping that’s how you and your other readers at first glance see them as- a reasonable yet dissenting voice, good for the debate and democracy itself yak yak yak. Sure, his manners may be somewhat lacking, his attitude is a bit weird, but because the actual merits of his argument are so valid, relevant and well thought out, to delete them surely would be a form of “censorship”? And as a blogger, would you not be letting your readers and the entire blogosphere itself down by being such a petty, egocentric control-freak?”

According to Hugh this is the biggest irritation of blogging after comment spam, and that he takes great delight in deleting their comments and banning their IP addresses. I’m not so sure. How are you to know the difference from a Happy Troll and an honest dissenter? Is he suggesting that all dissent is bad? Or do I just like posting items involving the word “troll” of late? Food for thought.

(via Joi Ito)

Bloggers knocked off by Bush in Person of the Year

Despite high hopes Bloggers have been beaten for the honour of Time’s Person of the Year by President George W Bush, but in an upside Time has announced its first Blog of the Year with the title going to John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson for Powerline, named last week by Time’s Jim Kelly as a blog of choice, for “for fomenting skepticism of a “60 Minutes” report on Bush’s service in the National Guard.”

AP reports that Time, whose information on the award is restricted to paying subscribers on their site, stated “In 2004, blogs unexpectedly vaulted into the pantheon of major media, alongside TV, radio and, yes, magazines, and it was Power Line, more than any other blog, that got them there,”

“It’s a very emotional experience,” Johnson said Sunday in an interview with AP. “We’ve been having such a good time writing together on the site … to not only to see it come to fruition but to be recognized for it by an institution like Time is just beyond belief.”

Soldier with 278th launches blog

Knox News reports that a Tennessee soldier is blogging from Iraq. Second Lt. Lance Frizzell is with the Knoxville-based 278th Regimental Combat Team and is a medical platoon leader.

“My goal with the blog (besides having some fun) is to try to bring a little peace of mind to the families of 278th soldiers. There’s a lot of little things happening over here that do make life safe and comfortable, even enjoyable,” Frizzell said in an e-mail.

PC Magazine promotes Blogging for kiddies

PC Magazine has remarkably given the MSN Spaces blogging service a 4/5 with ludicrous praise including
“Remarkably easy way to maintain your own blog, complete with photos and slide shows. Dovetails nicely with MSN Messenger. It’s free”
Umm…. so is Blogger, but more remarkable is that its highly customisable ;-)
“It’s wonderfully easy to use, and its slick set of editing tools is surprisingly powerful….You can stick with the default template if you like, or customize the look and feel of your page. You can add or delete modules. Modules can be moved from place to place, simply by dragging and dropping. Colorful backgrounds can be added to spruce things up”

Its just like a Thomas the Train Engine train set: there’s lots of track and you can add stations, switches and the occasional decorative tree to the set, and a 2 year old can use it. But it only comes in Blue.

There was no Microsoft advertising present on the PC Magazine pages at the time of visit, but we’d be surprised if the review wasn’t paid for. Author Cade Metz even compares the service to TypePad!
MSN Spaces is blogging for kiddies, plain and simple. Easy to use, yes, but your stuck with standardised templates with little, real customisation options. Only when true customisable templates are introduced (with CSS access) can the service be taken seriously.

Announcing the judges for the Blog Herald Christmas Blogging Awards

Joining the Blog Herald’s editor, Western Australian Duncan Riley for the 2005 Blog Herald Christmas Blogging Awards, are Trudy W. Schuett from Yuma AZ, a prolific writer of blogs and author of The Desert Light Journal and John Mudd of Largo, FL, well respected on the internet as the “Blogging Realtor” and author of the Inside Real Estate Journal

In this fast paced world it is easy to forget the Spirit of Christmas, and its importance as a time to celebrate, spend time with family and remember the important things in life.

This award plays its part in reminding bloggers that Christmas is not a foreign concept to the Blogosphere but can be embraced by all

John Mudd has expressed partiular pleasure at taking part
‘€œThe last thing I judged was a Miss Hawaiian Tropic prelimnary bikini contest, and while I would never complain about being surrounded by beautiful women, I expect judging the Blog Herald’s Christmas Blogging
awards to be much more enthralling”

We will also be increasing the prize money with all categories now receiving a minimum of $10 for the winning entry.

We may not have the richest of prizes nor the flashest of sites, but we do have the wonder of the Spirit of Christmas on our side!