Site News

The latest news concerning http://vincent.knobil.free.fr/

Out with the old, in with the new

sknoblog has only seen sporadic action lately (like, for the last 2 years!). I’ve been blogging elsewhere (in French).

I’m going to try to repatriate some of my recent froggy blogging here, while separating the old, dead sknoblog archive from the new, alive and kicking sknob/blog.

Most of the new stuff will be in French. Sorry. C’est la vie.

13. January 2013 by sknob
Destination: Site News | Leave a comment

A message from sknoblog


Le sommeil by Gustave Courbet

After 6 or 7 years of activity, sknoblog has gone into hibernation mode. Most of the action is happening elsewhere:

  • Delightful drawings on Geeks In Love
  • Irresistible music on Vincent Knobil | Music
  • Wry commentary on Twitter (reposted here to make it seem like this blog is still alive and kicking. UPDATE: Twitter broke the plug-in I used to publish the Tweets here…)

This may change in the future. Or not. Time will tell.

The management.

25. August 2010 by sknob
Destination: Site News | Leave a comment

Twitter (in)digest(ion)

I don’t (or barely) blog any more. I’ve already explained why that is (for example, here).

I do Tweet though. Twitter can be a nice place to visit if you choose who you follow wisely.

So I thought I might post my tweets to this blog, to keep it alive (barely). Of course, I mostly follow French-speaking tweeters and I mostly tweet in French. I say of course, because a large percentage of frogs seem to actually think and talk about “meaningful” stuff.

Looking at my Twitter timeline right now, my French tweeps are tweeting about Haïti, the environment, French politics, the coup d’état of the markets over elected governments, BP, the 21st anniversary of the Tienanmen massacre, the assault on the flotilla by the Israeli military, plus a little fluff.

Amercian tweeps are tweeting about gadgets and barbecues.

Anyway, after trying a daily Twitter digest, I’m now going to try switching over to a weekly one.

UPDATE : Twitter changed it’s API and broke my plugin, and I subsequently removed all the Twitter digests from sknoblog…

05. June 2010 by sknob
Destination: Site News, Twitter | Leave a comment

Transition

For some reason, I haven’t felt like sharing much in these parts for a while. Actually, for some reasons:

  • Lack of time.
  • Loss of desire to communicate in English, to an English-speaking audience.
  • Loss of interest in what is going on in the US and the fate thereof (have a nice life, America).
  • Twitter.

Like most people, I didn’t see the point of Twitter at first. I followed a lot of people, and was thoroughly unimpressed.

Then, 2 things happened: 1, I realised it could complement, if not replace, an RSS reader and 2, I started following interesting people. Mostly frogs, mostly journalists and activists of different stripes. Some of them even followed me back. So despite the 140 character limit, I’ve enjoyed exchanging bite-sized morsels of info and ideas and impressions with other tweeters.

And the Geeks allow me to express my creativity (nearly) every week.

I’ve also been investigating other online venues. Facebook: yuck. Friendfeed: double yuck. Posterous: great potential.

Furthermore, I’ve been working on a fairly major new Web project (code name “virus”) that is starting to take shape and which I hope to unveil in the not too distant future.

As for sknoblog, I don’t know if it’ll find a new life and/or purpose (in relation to said new project or otherwise).

11. October 2009 by sknob
Destination: Site News | Leave a comment

Spam, spam, spam, spam…

Read what frogblog had to say today on spam (the meat (by)product). Truly amazing.

It turns out that our ISP, Free.fr, is tightening things up. They offer free hosting, with a lot of nice features, but have suddenly blocked outgoing port 80 calls from their servers (due to some kind of abuse related to people linking to themselves or something).

Anyway, this measure rendered the Akismet Spam-blocker useless.

So I’ve installed WP-SpamFree on our blogs and it seems to be working, in that it lets our test comments go through, and blocks everything else. We can’t see what was blocked, so we have no way of knowing if legitimate comments are being unfairly victimized.

I’m not crazy about the way this plug-in does what it does, and I’m quite sure that it won’t take long before the spambots defeat it, but in the meantime, it’ll have to do, and it’s better than having to delete dozens of porn and pharmaceutical spam messages every day…

06. December 2008 by sknob
Destination: Geekiness, Site News | Leave a comment

Big Day, Long Night

gil_ep_081_450x310.jpg

As you know by now if you follow the adventures of the Geeks In Love, Pamela and I will be blogging the election live on French TV for the Public Sénat cable station.

In fact, according to the Parlons Blog page of the station, I’ll be “cartoon blogging on TV”, whatever that means! I have no idea, but if you tune in online, you can watch me find out.

We’ll be making appearances on the air between 3 & 6 am, Nov. 5, Paris time. That’s Nov 4th between 9 & 12 pm EST, 6 & 9 pm, PST.

What have we gotten ourselves into?!

04. November 2008 by sknob
Destination: Making Geeks In Love, Site News | 1 comment

Front to Back Geeks

gil_nose1.jpg

Today, I spent the time I usually spend drawing a new Geeks episode trying to fix the back-to-front bug I mentioned in my previous post.

All my research into fixing this invariably led to this cranky post on the WordPress site which in essence, says it’s a MySQL bug, to call your ISP to tell them to upgrade or downgrade their MySQL or to switch ISP’s, and stop bugging us.

When your ISP is the biggest ISP in France serving millions of customers, that’s not an especially helpful recommendation.

I spent all morning trying various hacks and fixes, and nearly broke the Geeks irreversibly a couple of times.

In the end, and in desperation, I upgraded WordPress to the latest version (2.5.1) and… It seemed to have fixed the problem!

So all was well.

Except that the comment link wasn’t showing up on the posts.

And that’s when I did something really stupid.

Remembering the bugs I had when I upgraded sknoblog to WordPress 2.3.3, I decided to force an upgrade of the database a second time.

And I pretty much destroyed everything.

I managed to get things back in working order (more or less and I hope) by cutting and pasting sql code from my database backup into phpMyAdmin to recreate lost tables and other such niceties that I barely understand myself.

But I still had the comment bug.

And the kicker is that after snooping around the WordPress Web, it turns out that “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature”. I have my comments in a pop-up window and WordPress won’t allow that behavior anymore on single post views for some philosophical reason that makes no sense to me.

So I Googled some more and found some inspiration to hack WordPress back to the behavior I wanted and had.

Note to self, I commented out these 2 lines:
if ( is_single() || is_page() )
return;

In the comments_popup_link function of the comment_template.php file in the wp-includes folder.

So the bad news is there will be no new Geeks this week.

But the good news is the Geeks are hopefully back to normal (so to speak, and for the time being, until some terrible corruption rears its ugly head, or I do something else to ruin everything, which is entirely possible, since there is one small bug that I haven’t yet managed to squash)…

12. July 2008 by sknob
Destination: Geekiness, Making Geeks In Love, Site News | Leave a comment

Back to Front Geeks

The Geeks In Love are displaying in reverse order!

When you go to the site, you see the first episode instead of the last.

It’s a MySQL bug (my ISP must have upgraded) and I have no idea how to fix it… Plus, I’m still on the road…

Bummer…

10. July 2008 by sknob
Destination: Geekiness, Making Geeks In Love, Site News | 1 comment

As seen on TV!

Pamela has taken the Internet by storm. Not only is she blogging more than ever on frogblog, but she’s gone pro, writing for Web Worker Daily, among others.

So when Parlons Blogs, a French cable TV program about Blogs were looking for an American “blogueuse” in Paris, who did they call? Why Paméla bien sûr.

So a crew of 4 invaded our modest apartment in Paris: a charming journalist, two charming cameramen, and a…well yes, charming sound lady (all very pro and cool).

They had us sit on the same side of our long, 2 seater desk (which doesn’t happen in real life) and interviewed us together for about an hour.

True to our natural tendencies (and nationalities), I rambled, while Pamela came up with some great one-liners. They kept a few short minutes of our discussion in the final edit of the program, which I’m glad to say shows off the geeks quite a bit (the real ones and the cartoon ones).

Pamela should have the full story up on frogblog any time now.

So without further ado, here they are: the geeks. As seen on TV!

Our bit starts at the 6-minute mark. Oh, and one last thing… it’s in French, obviously.

01. July 2008 by sknob
Destination: Geekiness, Making Geeks In Love, Site News, Surfin' | 2 comments

Spacer

I’m not inspired to write much these days, especially since I’m done cataloging the decline and fall of murka (except occasionally in the Google Shared Items list over there on the right, and frogblog does it better than I ever did), and because I’m working on things that I can’t or don’t want to divulge.

But in case I’m inspired to publish a new Geeks In Love episode this week-end, I don’t want to have two Geek announcement posts in a row here on sknoblog!

So just in case, I’m inserting this spacer post.

04. April 2008 by sknob
Destination: Site News | Leave a comment

Introducing My Music

tourne_disque.jpg

A long time ago, I had this showcase site that hosted my music.

Then I started this blog, and got into the habit of posting my new songs and news about my music chronologically on sknoblog instead.

But my music is all over the place. There’s mini Radio Vince at the top of every page, there’s the Songs category, and there are links to other sites that host my music, in the “elsewhere” sidebar over there to the right.

Well, one of the reasons I recently upgraded to WordPress 2.x, is so I could use the improved Page feature, which allows you to define “static” pages that integrate nicely within the blogging environment.

And so, today, I’m unveiling the My Music page, for easy access to most of my music. Easy, because every page on sknoblog now has a link to the My Music page, up there, in the header, next to the sknoblog logo and the About page. See it?

Go and have a look/listen. You’ll see that I’ve organised the songs by album and/or genre, and designed and programmed a new bunch of little Flash music players for each one. (While I pretty much despise Flash, it is convenient that way. At some point, I hope to set-up an iPhone-friendly solution).

So there you have it. I hope you’ll enjoy (re)discovering my music, and the silly music players that I put together these last few days, to make things a little more convenient and entertaining.

22. March 2008 by sknob
Destination: Making Music, Site News | Leave a comment

Teaser

cocotte.jpg

One of the reasons I recently upgraded sknoblog to WordPress 2.3, is that I intend to introduce a rather major “new feature” of sorts…

Well, I’m working hard on it, which (partially) explains the relative silence here these days.

Hopefully, I’ll be introducing it next week, if time permits.

Stay tuned…

19. March 2008 by sknob
Destination: Site News | Leave a comment

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