On the reported RSS issues

Since launch, there’ve been several reported issues with RSS, which I’ve scrambled to try to fix before they did too much damage. But, we keep getting new requests, because the theme apparently doesn’t do a very good job of keeping track of the links, so here’s what’s wrong presently and what I’m working on to fix it.

RSS logo

  • Individual author feeds polluted with whole-network posts – originally, we had installed a plugin that served the feed from /feed for the whole network, but it turns out that it was too greedy and it also grabbed every author’s /feed URL as well. Caching RSS feed sites like Feedburner and Feedly grabbed what was in those lists, and kept them. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about this but wait for those to expire.
  • As a side effect of this, the theme’s expectation that the front page blog list should be accessible at http://the-orbit.net/feed/, and WordPress treating that like its own blog, means that feed is empty. The whole-network feed is actually at http://the-orbit.net/network-feed/ and it serves content from every blog. I will set up an .htaccess rule to seamlessly redirect the top level feed to the network-feed URL.
  • Once I’ve done the above point, I can change the link in the header on the front page to /feed/, thus making it more apparent that that’s the RSS feed as the CSS that provides correct iconography only auto-senses that specific URL.
  • An SEO plugin was installed to help with Facebook linking not grabbing appropriate featured images. That plugin expects all the authors’ feeds to be at /feed too. Fixing the previous point will fix the front page.
  • Some browsers don’t even care about the auto-sense URLs, so putting a prominent RSS feed icon in the top bar of every blog would be preferable. I’ll be doing that as soon as possible, as soon as other fires are quenched.

If anything else comes up, feel free to leave a comment or contact us via the contact form here.
Photo by thewritingzone

On the reported RSS issues

Need to make some CDN changes on the-orbit.net — bear with us

Sorry folks. Not a thing I particularly want to have to do on launch day, but I’m going to be switching things around to help resolve a few different problems that I’ve been seeing since we’ve gone live. All to do with statics — CSS, JS, images, etc. Things might get a bit weird.

Ughhh.

Will call out the all clear as soon as I can.

Update: welp, that was easy enough. Doesn’t seem to be any real fallout from it either. Huzzah!

Need to make some CDN changes on the-orbit.net — bear with us

So THAT’S what I’ve been up to.

I’ve sorta receded into the background lately, but with good reason. I’ve been doing the technical heavy-lifting for these new digs. They ain’t perfect, but a coat of spackle and primer and they’ll be fine.

Let me know if and when the seams start to show, either here or via the “Tech Issues?” link on every page. I’m especially interested in feedback from folks who use screen readers, because while I can sprinkle tags around and follow best-practices guides, I’m not exactly living in that mode and would love to hear from those of you who do.

There will be growing pains. There will be last-second alterations. There will be missing media, and stylistic problems, and edge cases we haven’t anticipated. But we’ve put a lot of effort into keeping all of that to an absolute bare minimum, and we’ll fix just about anything you point out as soon as possible.

It may be a while before I’m back to blogging regularly, mind you. I’ve got a lot on my plate most of the time anyway, and building and improving this place has kept me pretty occupied of late.

Welcome to The Orbit!

(Those of you visiting now because Hemant posted not an hour before I took the password box down — yeah. Greta accidentally posted her farewell post at FtB early but took it down almost immediately, but that was enough to tip someone to tip Hemant off. And the kickstarter isn’t live yet, but will be as soon as the video is complete. The social media blitz is actually scheduled for tomorrow morning, and I took the password box down early so I could get a few Jetpack and Google integrations complete before the REAL launch. Thanks for the advertising, Hemant. Wish he would have waited for the full launch, but hey. How was he supposed to know?)

We’re fully launched! Kickstarter is live! Welcome one and all!

So THAT’S what I’ve been up to.

Biting political satire!

I did what I could. My skills are modest at best.

Donald Trump in the iconic Benito Mussolini SI SI SI billboard

No but seriously, dude’s a straight-up fascist, and a big chunk of your country is creaming itself with joy at the prospect.

When President Trump takes office, I fully expect that I’ll be marked an enemy of the state and I’ll have to beat a hasty retreat, all because I ‘shopped something mean and am jealous and a yooge loser.

Biting political satire!

Sorting your video game preferences

Can’t deal with all the news of the past few days. So instead, I’m taking online quizzes and distracting myself with my self care regimen of video game consumption.

Sorting 100+ games in order of preference is no easy task, but it can be done with some perseverance. Go here for the quiz. My results below the fold. The top 20 are not surprising at all. I’d maybe sort some of the ties, of course, but the results are really uncanny otherwise.

Continue reading “Sorting your video game preferences”

Sorting your video game preferences

On the PR Disaster at #Skepticon and the lack of #ConcernedStudent1950 representation

Given how the late-addition “Q&A” session at Skepticon came into being, how it was sold to the convention, how it was advertised, and how it was “envisioned” by Danielle Muscato and Mark Schierbecker, it is no surprise the entire thing went off disastrously. Let us itemize the ways this all went wrong.

Continue reading “On the PR Disaster at #Skepticon and the lack of #ConcernedStudent1950 representation”

On the PR Disaster at #Skepticon and the lack of #ConcernedStudent1950 representation

How to survive Fallout

Our friend Dr Raychelle Burks features in this video about the science behind the lore of Fallout. Considering I just wandered back into the wasteland myself, I shall take careful notes!

How would we ACTUALLY survive a nuclear apocalypse? Well, certainly not by eating the meat of every mutated creature you kill, and every can we find of two hundred year old CRAM Processed Ham Product.

How to survive Fallout

Ethical Gamer: Axiom Verge

I love retraversal games — games where, as you explore and gain powers, new areas open up. Metroid, and later Castlevania, refined the genre to an exceedingly high degree. Knowing that this indie game Axiom Verge, was made by one lonely dev named Tom Happ — including the incredibly atmospheric Geiger-like graphics and Metroid-influenced music — I should be fairly lenient on the parts of the game that I found to be less polished. I can’t help but fixate on some of them, though. They were few and far between, but there were several moments that seriously took me out of the game.

Huge spoiler warning for Axiom Verge. Can’t be helped, though.

(Notice how people won’t freak out about a spoiler warning, but might about a trigger warning? Yeah, that’s not lost on me either.)

Continue reading “Ethical Gamer: Axiom Verge”

Ethical Gamer: Axiom Verge

Spoiler warning: douchebags think trigger warnings are bad

Quick linking post — was quoted over on Skepchick in re Richard Dawkins’ latest nonsense, wherein he rails against warning rape victims about rape discussion on college campuses. I need to write a fuller post about how exactly people are getting this wrong, but this is a great one-two punch.

Dawkins is right about one thing: Secular Safezones have an important place, especially in areas where being non-religious (or not belonging to the majority religion) can lead to marginalization. But if he acknowledges that, how can he argue that same care isn’t warranted for those coping with PTSD from rape, assault, or other trauma? Does Richard Dawkins think there isn’t enough oppression to go around? That if he shows compassion for victims of assault or rape, his pet cause won’t get enough recognition? Or is the reality more damning?

Spoiler warning: the contents of this post includes discussion about trigger warnings. Douchebag discretion is advised.

Spoiler warning: douchebags think trigger warnings are bad