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May 24, 2006

Absolute Write is gone
Posted by Teresa at 09:19 AM *

As of last night, Absolute Write was gone. It was one of the leading sites for information on writing and publishing, especially the scam versions thereof. Their ISP pulled the plug on them one hour’s notice. Now, where there should be a broad, deep online community with an enormous message base going back years, there’s this.

Among other things, AW was the main collection point for information about PublishAmerica.

How this happened: remember Barbara Bauer, that horrible old harridan and scam agent who tried to get me fired because I reproduced the Twenty Worst Agents list and she was on it?

Apparently Barbara Bauer made a screaming, abusive phone call to one Stephanie, the person who owned the web host. Bauer claimed that having AW’s scamhunters post her email address at AW was illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and that doing so had caused Bauer to get spam, which meant that AW was a spammer, and that this would get the web host put on every blacklist in the world.

Mind, the message that quoted Bauer’s e-mail address had some time ago been amended to remove that address. Furthermore, Barbara Bauer posts that exact same email address on her own website.

Stephanie had no more sense than to panic and shut down AW on an hour’s notice. I’m given to understand that some of AW’s message base was lost. For the record, AW was hosted at:
JC-Hosting TotalWeb International Net Consulting
4037 Navaho Trail
Nashville TN 37211 Toll Free: (877) 411-7891
Phone: (615) 469-7533
Fax: (615) 250-2430
Stephanie’s been known to post as “Moonshadow” at Absolute Write. The wonderful fact, for certain values of wonderful, is that Stephanie is one of PublishAmerica’s authors. Some people are just not smart enough to be allowed to run loose on the Internet.

Here’s what I’m told AW requires of a new host: 100-150 Gigabytes per month in traffic, plus 2 Gigabytes more of space, plus running a very active webboard based on MySql and a bunch of scripts.

Meanwhile, I have frantic email from a friend who posts to AW and is trying to figure out how to find versions of the texts of her messages there so she can save them. Any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated.

Addenda: Many members of the online writing community have responded to this appalling event by re-posting the 20 Worst Agents List that Barbara Bauer is trying to suppress.

Back when I first wrote about it, I linked to AW’s version of the list. Obviously, that’s a dead link now. Anyone else who’s linked to the AW version might want to consider re-linking to SFWAs instantiation of the list.

AW regulars Jim Hines and Dawno have their own suggestions for spreading the word.

Further: I’ve been seeing various mentions of this, now confirmed: Stephanie Cordray (that Stephanie) has chosen this week to announce her revival of her “comprehensive resource site” for writers, Writing Wise. (Why, yes, that is a nofollow link. Funny you should ask.)

Do I still believe in the culpability of Barbara Bauer? I certainly do. There’s too much corroborating evidence. I believe this Writing Wise thing is a separate piece of stupidity.

To extend what I’ve already said to Stephanie’s guy James, down in the comment thread, it looks bad for an ISP to pull the plug on a customer’s site for foolish reasons, and worse to do it for no reason at all, but it’s downright offputting to do it in the same week that you roll out a competing site of your own.

Comments on Absolute Write is gone:
#1 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:23 AM:

I hope they find a host soon. Ms Bauer certainly sounds like someone determined to silence all criticism. Perhaps she even thinks that she is altruistically providing a service for writers and ensuring that they get their work to the public, rather than wringing the pennies out of people with large dreams but limited abilities.

#2 ::: colin roald ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:35 AM:

Static stuff is available from the Wayback Machine,
http://web.archive.org/web/20050401092424/http://www.absolutewrite.com/
but I don't believe the forums were archived.

Your friend's best bet is probably to try her name or userid on Google along with "site:absolutewrite.com", and see what they have cached (click on the "Cached" links, not the page titles). That should be done as soon as possible, before Google notices that the originals are gone.

#3 ::: suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:35 AM:

Holy crap! )-:

I've got nothing but positive things to say about Speakasy.net's service, FWIW. I believe they're up to hosting AW from a technical standpoint and they seem to be very cool, competent folks, so they may be worth talking to.

#4 ::: jennie ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:37 AM:

Even if she does believe her own line, the way you silence all criticism is to be so damn good that all the people who really have benefitted from your work leap to your defense, before you even have to ask them.

If you find yourself in the position of constantly having to defend your work to your peers, you should probably consider asking whether they have a point. (They may not. It is possible that you [meaning the impersonal you, which really means "one" but I'm being informal here] are such a maverick, so misunderstood, and so misrepresented that absolutely nobody understands you. History does have its share of misunderstood geniuses. But it has a greater share of dishonest scammers.)

Would writing JC-Hosting accomplish anything? AW's been a godsend resource, giving me a place to send the hopefuls who call the editorial hotline looking for advice on how to write their novels.

#5 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:42 AM:

I use site5 dot com to host. I don't do anything fancy, but they've been good for what I do.

One glitch occurred a year or two ago when they had to rename a computer. Apparently they use randomly generated letters to name them (or something), and I ended up on a host that had the word Sierra Echo Xray* in it, and apparently some other customers didn't like that. It took a little work to make sure all my stuff pointed to the right destination. fairly smooth since then, though.

*I spell phonetically because Making Light rejected my post and I'm not sure why.

#6 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:44 AM:

testing the filter:

"I use site5 dot com"

oop. no. It didn't like an actual dot

#7 ::: Matt Forbeck ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:44 AM:

That's awful. As for a host, I use BlueHost.com. Their standard package runs $6.95/month and offers more bandwidth and space than AW requires, plus it has MySQL and lots of other goodies.

#8 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:44 AM:

Testing:

"the word SEX in the machine name"

false alarm...

#9 ::: Kate Nepveu ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:53 AM:

. . . this is when I kick myself for not updating my PublishAmerican page earlier, as my notes to myself on what needed doing were in the forms of, you guessed it, links to Absolute Write.

I haven't had the time to read the boards there for a while, but it was a great resource and a lot of good people posted there. I hope it's up again soon.

#10 ::: Non-entity ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:54 AM:

I can actually empathize with the host.. I've had to field the kinds of calls she probably got, and they can be extremely ugly. A small host could easily either panic or simply decide the site isn't worth the hassle, especially if the person on the other end sounds just kooky enough to try to make good on their threats.

It was definitely a horrible overreaction, however. I certaintly hope they can find new hosting quickly.

#11 ::: Frank ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:01 AM:

AW's not gone! It's only restin' (and pinin' for the fjords).

Jenna is very appreciative of everyone's concern and wants to reassure all that the site will be back ASAP.

#12 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:03 AM:

No worries. Jenna (AW's owner) is looking for a new hosting site even as I type this. She promises that the site is not gone and will be back up "badder than before."

Look for AW's returning within the next 24-48 hours. We'll keep everyone updated.

If you visit AW's main page -- www.absolutewrite.com -- there's a link to the forums where our peeps are gathering in the meantime.

Thanks for keeping people updated for us, TNH.

~Lori aka Birol

#13 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:07 AM:

http://www.nomonthlyfees.com

I swear by them. They have always been fair with me and the price can't be beat.

#14 ::: JamesK ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:16 AM:

Nooooooo! I had just finally gotten beyond the 10th page of the Jim Macdonald writing thread after giving up and just making a bookmark to whatever page I'd ended my night's reading on.

Loosing the Great PA thread is a tragedy.

Loosing Jim Macdonald's thread is a crime against humanity.

I hope a new host can be found soon, and the majority of the data recovered. I refuse to believe that -all- of it is just... gone.

#15 ::: Mags ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:19 AM:

Oh my gosh, this stinks. I love AW. I never posted much, mostly lurked, but the good work they do and the community that they offer to writers is fantastic.

May Barbara Bauer rot in literary Hades for her perfidy!

I can recommend my excellent webhost, JaguarPC. It looks like the Longhorn hosting plan will fit AW's requirements, though they might want to upgrade to a semi-dedicated account. I've had good results with their customer service, and I would suggest alerting the owner to the possibility of scamming idiots trying to shut them down for speaking the truth.

#16 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:25 AM:

For all we know, the entire SQL database is still there on the old ISP's servers, just not live on the web. I hope someone's looking into that, AND SOON. All very well that Jenna Glatzer says it'll be up again soon, but accumulated value of AW is contained in its message base. It's the heart of AW, and should be saved ASAP on a "take heroic measures if needed" basis.

Aaaargh. This is like watching GEnie SFRT go down all over again.

#17 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:25 AM:

J. C. Hosting's actions are those of an incompetent provider, technically and legally.

They responded by taking down the entire domain, rather than dealing with the specific issue.

They gave their client an hour to retrieve not only the database for the forum, but all data.

They did this in response to a telephone call.

Note that the DMCA has nothing at all to do with the kind of content Bauer objected to.

Even if it did, there are specfic measures and procedures to follow--procedures the J. C. Hosting didn't follow, even though they had contact with people who explained this to them.

Note as well that J. C. Hosting lacks a TOS statement, a DMCA compliance statement, or a Privacy statement.

And that nothing said about Bauer on Absolute Write was false; it was all true. And none of it violated copyright.

#18 ::: Wesley Smith ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:31 AM:

What a colossal load of crap. I've been following the ramifications of the "20 Worst" list since they first went public.

Thanks for posting this, or else I may have never learned what happened.

I should say that by going to AbsoluteWrite.com, there is a placeholder page saying the site will be back within 24 hours. I hope that's the case.

Honestly, the whole thing sorely tempts me to call Bauer directly (Sign #143 that she's a phony: She puts her phone number on her webpage) just to harass her a little, but I get the impression she exerts a lot more energy being crazy than she does selling books.

#19 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:31 AM:

Just wondering... has anyone contacted a lawyer about a possible coutersuit?

#20 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:39 AM:

I'm tempted to provide alternatives for Sierra Echo Xray, lest any sites have the NATO phonetic alphabet programmed in.

Sam Edward Xray

Sugar Easy X-ray

Sugar Edward Xerxes

Samuel Emil Xanthippe

It seems that X has always been a problem with these things, but otherwise it's as easy as Ack, Beer, Charlie.

#21 ::: John Scalzi ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:39 AM:

"Here's what I'm told AW requires of a new host: 100-150 Gigabytes per month in traffic, plus 2 Gigabytes more of space, plus running a very active webboard based on MySql and a bunch of scripts."

1&1's developer package, which I use, is $20/month and features 150gb of space, 1.5tb of transfer volume and the capacity for 100 MySql databases.

Hell, if money is an issue for AbsoluteWrite, I could probably host it myself, via my own developer account. I've got space.

#22 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:41 AM:

What Lisa Spangenberg said, about that ISP.

We use Hosting Matters (http://hostmatters.com). They're technically competent, they know what kind of harrassment they need to deal with and what kind they can ignore, and they have highly affordable plans that could easily handle AW's needs.

#23 ::: Rafe ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:57 AM:

For a big site (and that sounds like a big site) you need your own server. I recommend layeredtech.com. They'll lease you your very own server for as little as $68 a month. The only downside is that you need someone somewhat tech savvy to get everything set up.

#24 ::: Mad Scientist Matt ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:12 PM:

Normally a post about literary agents on my blog would be rather off-topic. But I'm going to add a copy of the 20 Worst to my blog and a link to this thread explaining what BB's been up to, and I hope all the other AW bloggers will do the same thing.

This means WAR!

(Disclaimer for rotten agents spying on this thread: This statement in no way endorses physical threats on Barbara Bauer's person or attempts to cause physical harm to her. War is being used in a purely metaphorical sense to denote a struggle to publish our side of the story on the Internet.)

#25 ::: Keith K ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:28 PM:

That's really terrible. It wouldn't surprise me if the SQL is still on the server, whther they'll let her access it is another story.

As far as another host goes, I've been very happy with dreamhost. They're very reliable, customer service has been pretty good, and the price is great. Even the lowest plan is well above absolutewrite's needs, and they expand their servces constantly.

#26 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:33 PM:

If AW's owners end up needing techie assistance to migrate the site to a new server, I'd be happy to help out. (I do the Apache/MySQL/script thing at my day job.)

#27 ::: Patrick Anderson ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:34 PM:

If any of us can help find a hosting provider, do you have an email address of the either of the people involved in Absolute Write so that the hosting provider can contact them? Or should we just post recommendations here?

#28 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:35 PM:

TotalWeb Hosting can also be reached here. I just sent them a polite, brief shame on you email.

http://www.totalweb-inc.com/contact.html

I did not state that they're gettiing more negative publicity than they could dream of about the whole thing.

#29 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:35 PM:

Jenna has a handle on the data contained on the forums.

#30 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:45 PM:

For those who don't recognize me, I'm Birol, one of the Supermods on AW. I'm here because Jenna asked someone to handle questions, etc., as they arose while she concentrated on finding a host and getting the forums back up.

She spent a good portion of the post-midnight hours researching hosts last night. She has selected one based on her research, which included contacting her top choices. The data, including the forums, is believed safe.

I will let her know about the offers for technical assistance.

Thanks all. Your concern for AW is heartwarming.

TNH, I hope it is alright that I'm responding here?

#31 ::: AliceB ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:53 PM:

Can a host really drop someone that fast? I don't mean technically, I mean doesn't it violate some contract? Once the dust settles, the data is saved, and AW is back on-line, could AW turn around and nail J.C. Hosting for breach of contract?

#32 ::: Kevin ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:54 PM:

Jenna and Absolute will prevail! Thanks for all of your great work AW 'behind the curtain' gang! We appreciate it. See you in the COOLER!

#33 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:57 PM:

That's an excellent question, Alice, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to respond to questions about the potential legal ramifications of the actions of any of the parties involved.

#34 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:57 PM:

AW exiles are gathering here: http://www.starchat.net/chat/?chan=absolutewrite

At this point, I find myself unable to remember if Stephanie went by "MoonShadow" or "MoonDancer."

#35 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 12:59 PM:

Moondancer.

#36 ::: Charlie ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 01:14 PM:

Hi all.

I'm Jenna's co-administrator at AbsoluteWrite and one of her employees as well. I post on the forums as ChunkyC. We did indeed manage to retrieve all our sql databases before the plug was pulled. It's only a matter of time -- and making sure we're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed while we do the work -- before we'll be back in business.

On behalf of Jenna and everyone at AW, thank you all so much for for your support. It means the world to us.

#37 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 01:15 PM:

I'm tempted to provide alternatives for Sierra Echo Xray, lest any sites have the NATO phonetic alphabet programmed in.

A little time experiencing real nato acronyms teaches encoding skills. Abhor reducable entries. Grant obfuscated oddities deviously.

#38 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 01:19 PM:

Oh my God, this is HORRIBLE.

#39 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 01:26 PM:

I loved the Uncle Jim thread. I was horrified this morning to see it missing!

I want to add that Hasweb is a GREAT ISP. I've never had a problem, they are cheap, give good support, and can do lots of things.

#40 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 02:00 PM:

Thanks, Charlie, Lori, and everyone who's helping Jenna find a new home for AW.

#41 ::: Godfather ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 02:05 PM:

i really hope to god that it all comes back...

i posted all my stuff there. its just gotta be there.

#42 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 02:21 PM:

Just wanted to add my support - I've been lurking on the "Uncle Jim" threads a while too - and I have reposted the "20 worst" list at Villagers with Pitchforks.

#43 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 02:28 PM:

It looks like AW will be back up sometime tomorrow morning. The data is currently loading -- it will take some time to complete this -- and then there's some technical stuff that has to be done to make certain it is safe before reopening the site.

#44 ::: Sharon Mock ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 02:39 PM:

Had it not been for the Absolute Write Water Cooler, I would have never applied to Viable Paradise last year. It's a terrific resource, and I'm very glad to know it'll be back soon.

I hate seeing somebody get results by yelling and screaming and being abusive to people who don't deserve the abuse. That, I think, is the worst part of this whole mess for me. Dr. Bauer has now learned she can get (at least temporary) results from throwing a large enough fit. She's not the sort of person I want getting that kind of positive reinforcement.

#45 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 02:39 PM:

If there are further problems with the new host, I'll second the recommendation for Dreamhost. I've been extremely pleased with them. My forum is nowhere as active as AW these days, but I had very little trouble getting a 1.2GB database transferred to them.

Because of the size and then-activity level of our forums, we had three host changes within six months. It's always good to have a back-up host selected.

#46 ::: MattD ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 02:49 PM:

Wowzers. And I thought it was just a bandwidth issue. If Barbara Bauer thought she had issues with people talking about her on the web before, she's going to sorely regret it this time tomorrow.

I do hope Jenna and gang inform their new ISP of what had happened, in case it's attempted again.

#47 ::: Tilly ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 02:50 PM:

Thank you Lori! That's wonderful news.

I'm hoping that the ultimate result of Barbara Bauer's temper tantrum will be many more new writers warned away from her.

#48 ::: MadScientistMatt ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 02:57 PM:

I wonder what the odds are that this fight may spill over off the Internet and turn up in magazines too? Jenna is a contributing editor at Writer's Digest, and AW is a hangout for freelance writers who may see interesting stories in this for both writing and technology magazines. I can just see the headline now: "Disreputable agent attempts to destroy popular writing website."

#49 ::: JennHollowell ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:05 PM:

Thank you so much for these updates -- I was wondering what in the world was going on. I usually sign on first thing in the morning and wake up with AW while drinking my coffee. It was an odd thing to see it gone. I'm glad to hear it isn't going to be for good, though!

#50 ::: Annalee Flower Horne ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:10 PM:

I'm glad all the data's been saved.

And I second the 'countersuit' motion. As I understand it (IANAL), this case certainly meets the criteria for a legitimate lawsuit. The site being pulled probably cost AW money in advertizing, not to mention money in time spent finding a new host and getting everything up and running again. And they can certainly make a slander case on the grounds that Bauer's actions cost them a business relationship.

#51 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:21 PM:

I do hope Jenna and gang inform their new ISP of what had happened, in case it's attempted again.

In light of the positive results Whazzerface gave to Barbara Bauer, you can be certain that it will be attempted again.

Bauer has a history of this kind of nonsense, too. Bank on more attempts.

#52 ::: C ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:25 PM:

these guys are reliable, inexpensive, and know their legal rights. plus they don't take any crap from silly people:
http://www.arrowweb.net/

#53 ::: NicoleW ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:31 PM:

Thanks for the update, Teresa. I saw Moondancer's angry little post about Barbara Bauer yesterday morning and had a terrible feeling that this might have been behind AW's sudden disappearance. Great. Way to give a bully and a blowhard exactly what she wanted.

Best wishes to Jenna and the other AWers trying to deal with this -- I'm so sorry for everything you guys have been through.

Insomnicole on AW.

#54 ::: Francis ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:35 PM:

I'm tempted to provide alternatives for Sierra Echo Xray, lest any sites have the NATO phonetic alphabet programmed in.

Sam Edward Xray

Sugar Easy X-ray

Sugar Edward Xerxes

Samuel Emil Xanthippe

It seems that X has always been a problem with these things, but otherwise it's as easy as Ack, Beer, Charlie.

Wrong code. You want an old British WWII code if you want to be subtle.

A for Horses
B for Mutton
C for th'ilanders
D for mation
E for brick
F for vescence
...
X for th
Y for heavens sake
Z for effect

It apparently gave German codebreakers nightmares - particularly as it was obvious that there was no codebook. (May be an urban myth that it was used against the Germans). There are, of course, many versions of this code.

#55 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:39 PM:

Are there any legal issues with Googlebombing, as described here?

#56 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:49 PM:

Hope not, because I think it's a damn good idea...

#57 ::: Rochelle ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:51 PM:

Dreamhost.com. They're great. I can get her a deal too, so it will cost her 20 bucks.

#58 ::: Karen Babcock ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:55 PM:

A little time experiencing real nato acronyms teaches encoding skills. Abhor reducable entries. Grant obfuscated oddities deviously.

Although masterful, acronymic zeal indicates nuttiness, Greg!

Be rightly awarded voluntary ovation!

#59 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 03:57 PM:

I have over 500GB of bandwidth per month, and I will gladly donate 150 or more for free to AW.

-=Jeff=-

#60 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:00 PM:

I just spoke to Stephanie. She won't say anything but "I am not at liberty to discuss it." I said fine, so listen instead, and exhorted her to make sure that data had been saved. She said, rather sullenly, that she is not at liberty to discuss it.

Fine time for her to suddenly get scrupulous about legalities.

I've been on the phone to my friend who's lost a book's worth or more of her writing, if the AW message base isn't saved. Scouring Google Cache has yielded her about three hundred posts, and it's obvious that many major pieces are missing.

She's desolate, of course. Writers who've lost their writing are like that.

I'm mad as hell at Stephanie, and Barbara Bauer, but I'm also furious at the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Lisa Spangenberg is right about JC Hosting acting wrongly; but the DMCA primarily exists, not as a set of rules, but as a reason for service providers to be constantly afraid of finding themselves in violation of those rules. It leads them to take ill-judged, cruel, and stupid actions.

And a word about sex: there ought not be any content-based blocking on this site. If you're getting messages to that effect, post them here.

#61 ::: Cora ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:10 PM:

I am deeply saddened. I had read the first handful of screens of Jim's "Learn Writing..." thread and meant to get back to them later, but it looks as though that may not be possible.

#62 ::: JonathanMoeller ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:11 PM:

I'm extremely displeased. In fact, were I to wax Biblical, I would say my wrath runneth over. I had an article on AbsoluteWrite back in December, and I don't have many articles anywhere.

Now it's been *censored*. And not by the gov't, or the military, or a powerful corporation, but by a gallingly inept scam artist.

Googlebomb her to the level of "miserable failure", say I.

#63 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:16 PM:

I've been on the phone to my friend who's lost a book's worth or more of her writing

I suck at backing up my harddrive. The fear of losing years and years of work has been insufficient to get me to start a burn-cd-and-file-away-safely habit, so two months ago I bought an ethernet based, raid-5 drive, with a terabyte+ of storage. It's the size of a shoebox, and contains four separate harddrives for raid-ing the data, and a linux brain to handle everything. If one drive ever craps out, I shut it down, order a new harddrive, insert the blank, hit a button, and it restores the drive. Another button will automatically backup data in a directory from that drive out to an external USB drive. I just got it up and running this weekend and will start pulling all my data over to it in the coming weeks. I've had a harddrive crap out on my previous systems about once every three years, so I got sick of all the hassle involed in recovery.

#64 ::: roach ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:23 PM:

Just wanted to add my own note of support for AW. Glad to find out what happened.

#65 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:25 PM:

Folks, please don't panic, yet. It does look like we managed to save almost everything (fingers crossed)--and Medievalist is kindly talking to me about future backing-up options, so this can't happen again.

#66 ::: KimGonzo ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:28 PM:

Have them check out BlueHost.com. I use that for my host and I'm fairly certain it would meet their hosting needs.

#67 ::: Christine ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:35 PM:

Of course I placed a link to this entry in both my blogs, and mentioned Barbara by name. I almost stooped to calling her a name, but I have younger readers.

I hope the Karma train runs her over, backs up and runs her over again.

#68 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:45 PM:

MacAllister, I can volunteer space and bandwidth for a mirror as extra insurance. I have something like 9GB of disk space and an obscene amount of bandwidth going unused.

#69 ::: BetNoir ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:45 PM:

Just as a heads up - I have linked to this over in the cranky_editors livejournal community, as it should be of some interest to those members.

I wish Jenna all the best luck in finding a new host, and a smackdown from the Kharmic Hand of Fate to Stephanie and Barbara.

BetN

#70 ::: William Lexner ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:45 PM:

I find it rather horrific that a faux literary agent making money on the dreams of ignorant folk would be able to call onto the carpet their whistleblowers. There is no justice.

#71 ::: C.E. Petit ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:46 PM:

I've been in contact with the webhost, and I've been assured that the underlying data will be available by FTP within the next hour or so. I've had some behind-the-scenes discussions; I can't disclose anything, so don't ask.

#72 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:50 PM:

C.E. Petit IS a lawyer. Not, of course, that that's relevant to the previous post. That I'm saying.

#73 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:51 PM:

*hugs* Charlie. I respect your legal confidentiality if you respect my right to 'Woohoo'. =D

#74 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:52 PM:

Are there any legal issues with Googlebombing, as described here?

I believe, and f---ing hope, that truth still wins out over all else when it comes to such stuff. therefore, if said link was used in the context of stating an indisputable fact, such as

"Barbara Bauer(link) has been listed on SFWA's '20 Worst Agencies'"

then I believe reporting the fact is not a problem.

I am not a lawyer, although I beat one up on TV.

#75 ::: Sharon Mock ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:54 PM:

One of my (admittedly selfish) fears is that some of the wonderful folks who have gathered at the Cooler will decide the tumult isn't worth it and stop posting.

Teresa, if your friend has posted a book's worth of wisdom at the Cooler, I have undoubtedly benefitted from her wisdom more than once. I hope she doesn't lose heart.

#76 ::: TJ ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 04:59 PM:

I second Christine's comment about the Karma train.

This is ridiculous. Don't want crap to fall on you, don't be a scammer.

I say forward this information to as many writing communities as possible and let crap fall where it deserves.

#77 ::: TJ ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 05:02 PM:

Most of the people who are regular to AW are at the chat having a good ole time. Feel free to join us.

Just go to absolutewrite.com and click on the link there.

#78 ::: Tilly ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 05:05 PM:

I don't think people will stop posting or being part of that community because of this.

#79 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 05:05 PM:

"Here he comes to save the dayyyyy..."

Thanks, Charlie, for all that you do.

#80 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 05:08 PM:

The ISP should have first gone to Chilling Effects:
http://www.chillingeffects.org/

...in order to find out how bogus the original takedown threat was.

If anyone here ever gets any form of legal threat letter related to online activities, research in Chilling Effects first. A threat looks worse if you feel like you're alone in receiving it. If you need to make a change, you can learn where your responsibilities start and end. If the threat is wrong, you'll have better tools to counter it.

And always send a copy of the legal letter to them. Keeps everyone aware of the larger and smaller patterns in online legal threats- especially the bogus ones and the automated ones.


C.E.is run by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and multiple law schools, and as they summarize:

" Chilling Effects aims to help you understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to your online activities. We are excited about the new opportunities the Internet offers individuals to express their views, parody politicians, celebrate their favorite movie stars, or criticize businesses. But we've noticed that not everyone feels the same way. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some individuals and corporations are using intellectual property and other laws to silence other online users. Chilling Effects encourages respect for intellectual property law, while frowning on its misuse to "chill" legitimate activity.

The website offers background material and explanations of the law for people whose websites deal with topics such as
Fan Fiction,
Copyright,
Domain Names and Trademarks,
Anonymous Speech, and
Defamation. "

#81 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 05:11 PM:

I'm so relieved to hear that people are working to get the site back. I'm also amazed to see so many of the people I know posting on this page (btw, I'm MDavis).

AW is not dead it's just sleeping!

#82 ::: Cora ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 05:50 PM:

I am much heartened that a recovery may be possible. Best of luck to those involved in getting it running again.

#83 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 05:55 PM:

Of course, finding a set of takedown letters in Chilling Effects isn't everything: the resolution may be found elsewhere.

Witness the letter from Mastercard dealing with a "priceless" style joke:
http://www.chillingeffects.org/trademark/notice.cgi?NoticeID=17

And the response:
http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/01/Apr/mcrhf.html

"Web site hosting for anybody: $10/month and up

Threatening letters to people who satirize you, hoping
they won't know the law: $500

Reputation as giant corporation required to intimidate
small publishers: $billions

Supreme court decisions protecting parody and
satire from accusations of copyright and
trademark infringement... Priceless

There are some rights money can't buy. For everything else, there's Mastercard's lawyers."

#84 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 05:57 PM:

Some AW Bloggers are starting to post about Ms Bauer on their blogs and many are using the Technorati Tag: BarbaraBauer

Maybe if you're blogging about this, you'd like to use it too :-)

#85 ::: MidnightMuse ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 06:01 PM:

What a shock it was - I joined up last night, worked up a slightly wordy Newbie introduction, clicked my bookmark to sign on and post for the first time and - NOTHING! It was gone, and I've been depressed all day. So glad to hear things will be sorted out soon.

#86 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 06:13 PM:

That's horrible Midnight. Please come back to us when we're reopened. Or join us in the chat room now.

#87 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 06:21 PM:

Francis: That's a version not of a code, but of the 'Cockney Alphabet', which is the alphabet rendered as a series of puns in an East End accent.

#88 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 06:26 PM:

I am stunned. There are other words, but they are not fit to use here.

Perhaps this shows why I'm not a lawyer, but I thought that a DMCA takedown notice had to be in writing. Perhaps it was, but a phone call shouldn't trigger a takedown. Also, it doesn't take an advanced degree to know that spammers get your e-mail address by various means. Heck, when I changed ISP's last month I was getting spam at my freshly-minted address before the day was out.

I'd like to add my offer of technical help, and plan to blog about this.

#89 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 06:34 PM:

a phone call shouldn't trigger a takedown

part of me is wondering if "Stephanie is one of PublishAmerica's authors." may have contributed to the ease of take-downed-ness. But then, I can be a cynical bstrd sometimes.

#90 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 06:41 PM:

It was all about the posting of her e-mail address? I thought and was told that it was my and Jim Macdonald's posts about Barbara Bauer that, when Jenna refused to take them down, made the web host shut AW down.

I didn't hear about this part of the story though.

#91 ::: David Reagan ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 06:47 PM:

Hah, I just called the webhoster and complained that they had pulled AW off the net. They claim AW was committing seven separate crimes, but I tend to doubt their story. The guy was nice, but he did a lot of hemming and hawing and none of it rang true. Basically he said AW was taking Bauer's email down then reposting it.

He also claimed that Bauer had nothing to do with the shutdown, but he couldn't explain why everywhere the woman went a trail of destruction followed. Coincidence, no doubt.

#92 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 06:57 PM:

The J. C. Hosting claims depend largely on when you call and which person you speak to.

Bottom line: it all goes back to BB, and the Absolute Write ISP behaving unprofessionally, and stupidly. This is the kind of idiocy that earns hosting companies a really bad reputation; it's the kind of thing we talk about at IT and networking conferences and content and design conferences, and you can bet I'll be talking about this episode for quite a while. It's got all sorts of lesson potential for How To Be A Your Own Worse Enemy as an ISP.

#93 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 06:59 PM:

He also claimed that Bauer had nothing to do with the shutdown....

He's lying.

#94 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:08 PM:

Just for the record:
1. "AW's message base was lost" false the data base is intact.

2. "Stephanie is one of PublishAmerica's authors" false again she has never been involved with PublishAmerica

I could go on but I doubt that my post will stay for long as it is real easy to see that this group is not about truth its all about how big of a rumor can I start.

#95 ::: Mad Scientist Matt ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:09 PM:

A big thanks to C. E. Petit and the whole AW Mod Squad. It looks like the end result is going to be absolutely the worst possible outcome possible for Barb. Had Stephanie merely laughed this off, it would have been just a footnote in one thread that many AW members don't even read.

But instead, it looks like she has merely bought herself maybe sixty hours of time during which people looking for threads about her on AW will get error messages. And meanwhile, she has done something very public to annoy the entire online writing community. Multiplying online enemies is about the worst result you can get if you are trying to keep something about your operation a secret.

#96 ::: P.N. Elrod ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:13 PM:

Thank you for posting that explanation. I was wondering what had happened.

That lunatic--and we should give her a name they way the AW PublishAmerica thread gave one to the fellow we now call "Shemp"--has sent some incoherent e-mails to me. She's accused me of extortion and blackmail for posting that 20 Worst list on my site, along with a link to Writer Beware. She also demanded that I hand over your home address, number, along with that of several others on her **** list. (Yeah, surrrrre. Sheesh.)

Just in case my name crops up on the BB radar I've fired a mail off to my ISP host with a link to THIS page. I've asked to be assured that they won't shut my site down. "Shempett's" e-addy is not on it, but I like to be careful.

"Stephanie is one of PublishAmerica's authors."

Now that's scary. I recognize her AW name and am rather puzzled that she's wholly ignored the overwhelming bad press PA has gotten on their site.

It strikes me that there is something of a conflict of interest going on, and perhaps this was a convenient excuse to stick it to AW.

Shame-shame. Baaaad host! No cookie!

#97 ::: LeslieB ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:18 PM:

Last night when I tried to go to AW I got an "exceeds bandwidth" message. I figured some PAer finally went rabid and started a Denial of Service attack. Given that a PA author pulled the plug, I was more right than I knew.

#98 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:25 PM:

The not-so-redoubtable Ms. Bauer will be quite busy, I'm certain, firing off abusive emails to the folks blogging it all.

We'll have to get together in a few weeks and have beers and compare hate mail.

#99 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:26 PM:

I could go on but I doubt that my post will stay for long as it is real easy to see that this group is not about truth its all about how big of a rumor can I start.

Oh, no, James. Your post will live on to embarrass you for years.

But since I have you here, how about you tell the real story of why you guys pulled the plug?

You say it had nothing to do with scam agent Barbara Bauer, PhD. I say you're lying.

Let's hear your story. And make it convincing.

#100 ::: Sonarbabe ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:32 PM:

Oh.My.God. I can't believe this! I abandoned a different forum and came to AW at the urging of Christine. I sooo can't believe a single individual did this! (I had a post I was waiting for a reply to) I've met some wonderful people, had great feedback and received good advice when I asked even the silliest of questions!

I'm holding out for you, Jenna. (You're my forum hero, ma'am!)

#101 ::: MattD ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:41 PM:

I don't think Moondancer was a PA author. Last year she posted "I'm not a PA author or an author at all... yet.." on the AW board (found via Google cache)

Her blog is http://www.sgcordray.com/ and it doesn't mention it. (Though was she does mention is pretty suspicious for the tin-foil hat types like myself).

I have been wrong before, though.

#102 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:45 PM:

James, it's not going to look good that you pulled the plug on AW because of Barbara Bauer, but if you just say "Okay, it was a dumb thing to do, but she was a complete harpy and she scared the bleep out of us," it'll blow over.

Do you have any idea how much worse it will look if you claim that you pulled the plug on AW for no reason at all?

Do you really expect us to believe that on the very same day that Barbara Bauer called up and screamed at Stephanie, and that Stephanie posted in public that any web host would toss a site for less -- that on that very same day you just randomly pulled the plug on AW, and yet Barbara Bauer had nothing to do with it?

All my life I've been hearing the phrase, "scare the wits out of someone," but this is the first time I've actually seen it happen.

#103 ::: C.E. Petit ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:47 PM:

One explanation:

The DMCA has no relationship whatsoever to this contretemps. The DMCA relates only to copyright infringement, and I am not aware of any accusations of copyright infringement that have been made against AW. Copying someone's e-mail address is not a copyright infringement.

#104 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:53 PM:

Phooey. I would so very much have liked to have blamed the DMCA. Are you sure? Perhaps they misunderstood, and thought it did apply...

#105 ::: janetbellinger ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 07:53 PM:

I am shocked that BB succeeded in puling down AW. I hope Miss Bauer does not think this will resuslt in more clients for her. It will not. I also plan on discussing this on my blog

#106 ::: Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 08:06 PM:

I wasn't a member of the AW forums, but I frequently browsed them for market info, etc., and the news that they'd been shut down by a scam artist just infuriates me. I've done my bit for the Google bomb on my own blog and will encourage all my writer friends to do the same.

Thanks for letting us know about this, Teresa!

#107 ::: Cindy (Filine) ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 08:19 PM:

Just leaving my message here, to support Jenna and her moderators in their hard work to get AW back online, for 110%. Your work is so valued and so incredible, you really make the (writing) world a better place! I believe in karma, what goes around will certainly come around to those who deserve it! To all my fellow AW members, hang in there!

#108 ::: C.E. Petit ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 08:24 PM:

Bauer typically claims that there's a DMCA issue when she writes her screeds. She's wrong, but somehow I don't find that surprising.

#109 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 08:34 PM:

Will you go for the proposition that the chief purpose of the DMCA is to spread a chilling fog of fear, uncertainty, and doubt? If so, and if BB used it to terrorize a couple of people who couldn't tell that it didn't apply, could you not say that we've seen the DMCA in action?

We're talking here about a couple of hosting-site proprietors who fell for BB's claim that specific instances of spam were traceable to one specific appearance of an e-mail address in an online venue. While I wouldn't take that as proof that they'd believe absolutely anything, it kinda comes close.

#110 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 08:45 PM:

The DMCA has no relationship whatsoever to this contretemps. The DMCA relates only to copyright infringement, and I am not aware of any accusations of copyright infringement that have been made against AW. Copying someone's e-mail address is not a copyright infringement.

This is ABSOLUTELY correct.

#111 ::: Christine ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 09:00 PM:

A google search of Barbara Bauer yields... her site at #1, and another BB at #2 (different field, engineering or something) and....
AW Water Cooler cached page, then this page and the other Making light page.

Of the top 4 links related to BB, three are bad.

#112 ::: Christine ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 09:04 PM:

Apparently, she's been at this for a long time...

http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=2084

This thread was 3 years ago, and comes up #5 on an AOL search of Barbara Bauer Literary

#113 ::: slwhitman ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 09:18 PM:

The last two posts of that thread at Writers Weekly were posted within the last couple weeks. Asking for a billion dollars is way beyond the scope of any sort of legal claim, even if she had one.

#114 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 09:19 PM:

Here's my response from the parent company of the original Web host. "We're sorry you were given false information?" WTF? Sounds like they want to sue me because I sent THEM a note.
-------
Hello Ms. Helm,

I am truly sorry that you have been given false information on thi\ issue.

I wished I could give you more truth but at this time our lawyer has asked us to refrain from publicly speaking about this till he can gather all the information.

Thank you for your email and I am sure we will be getting in touch soon.


JamesC
Senior Internet Technology Adviser
Email: jamesc@totalweb-inc.com
ICQ# 49107171
Total Web-Inc Helping You Bring Your Business to the World

-----Original Message-----
From: allofus@srv02.jc-hosting.net
[mailto:allofus@srv02.jc-hosting.net]

Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 11:33 AM
To: support@totalweb-inc.com
Subject: Information Request

***********************************************************
Name: Paula Helm Murray
Email: dragonet@kc.rr.com
Phone: 816-344-1341
Ecommerce:
Web_Design:
SEO:
Programming:
Hosting:
Scripting:
Consulting:
Other: Other Services
Send: Send
Remote Name: 65.23.42.2
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en)
AppleWebKit/312.8 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/312.6
Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Time: 11:32:58 AM

details:

Shutting down AbsoluteWrite on the call of one offended person's threats without checking them deeper is an outrage. You should let people know on your FRONT PAGE that you are willing to do this. If you'd looked,you would have learned that Barbara Bauer IS a known dishonest literary agent, she takes people's money, and hopes and dreams, and gives them nothing. And she's crude and nasty when she's confronted about it.

Shame on you!

#115 ::: Argile Stox ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 09:44 PM:

Hello, my name is Argile Stox. I wrote an article about this AW thing, because what I had to say would not fit in this comment box. Please click on or paste the link below.

http://www.useless-knowledge.com/1234/06may/article201.html

Argile Stox

#116 ::: Christine ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 09:46 PM:

Ah yes, I didn't see the last date. Well, at least she spending so much time doing her damage control she doesn't have time to scam any more people!

#117 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:12 PM:

I read/skimmed through the Verizon agreement which Verizon requires customers to virtually sign for service... it is majorly self-contradictory, in that it says that customer websites can be taken down on no notice for ANYTHING that ANYBODY finds objectionable--no definition of what constitutes objectionable, either, and the customer dumped.

That is majorly self-contradictory, because I can't think of anything that there isn't someone who would object to.

There are people who object to mentioning homosexuality, there are people who object to mentioning heterosexuality, there are people who object to celibacy, there are people who object to people leaving out all sexual content. "Catch-22" is minor in comparison, because, again, what is there that there isn't someone who would object to? "The French hate the Germans and the Germans hate the Pole..."

As to what that has to do with the subject at hand, if the ISP had terms like Verizon's... what is moral and decent and ethical to do, and what the contract terms are, are in the world run by Republicraps like the late Sonny Bono and the slime who pushed through DMCA (personally I feel that his gravestone deserves to be stained yellow/brown...] entirely different matters.

The website going down is just one more piece of "what free country? It's totalitarian tyranny land, and freedom of expression and speech have been effectively abrogated."

#118 ::: Frank ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:28 PM:

I have a hunch Babs is going to rue this latest temper tantrum. And she'll have company.

#119 ::: P.N. Elrod ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:35 PM:

Just wondering another angle raised by a friend.

If AW was any sort of business, could the ISP be held responsible for lost revenue because of their shut-down?

Could BB be held responsible?

(I wish!)

#120 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:46 PM:

I've posted about this almost everywhere I could think of. I posted about it in my LiveJournal, with repeated instances of her linked name (Barbara Bauer, like that). Then I went on MySpace and posted a "blog" about it, encouraging everyone who read it to post such a link as well. I sent a Bulletin (a mass message) to all my MySpace friends to the same effect. I posted on several MySpace Groups I belong to, again encouraging them to put it on as many pages as possible. There's also a mention on my profile page on that site.

I look forward to seeing the SFWA list as the first page when you Google Barbara Bauer.

#121 ::: Cynthia H. ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:54 PM:

I was going to recommend Dreamhost .com, but I see that all the other Dreamhost users already did. ;-)

Good company, skilled professional ISP, runs Debian Linux and more free goodies than you can shake a stick at even with the basic plan (basically, damn near everything you could want for a website that comes with an open source license, starting with LAMP and going from there.). I've been with them for quite a few years now, always been happy with their service. It keeps getting better every year.

Customer support is good, responsive, tech-savvy, and doesn't dumb it down if you let them know you are tech-savvy. Bandwidth allowance is huge.
They have a sensible, tolerant TOS, which was why I picked them in the first place, over several other cheap hosting services.

I'm anxious to see Absolute Write back up again. I've learned so much from Uncle Jim's writing thread, and I refer people to it constantly.

#122 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 10:59 PM:

It looks like pulling the site was within the hosting company's Terms of Service, which states that they can suspend a site for any reason they choose. I'm not saying that it was the right thing to do, however.

#123 ::: Chris Johnson ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:07 PM:

FYI, I see that Miss Snark now has a post up about all of this, and her blog is HUGE in the visits that it gets -- the steamroller seems well underway. I post on AW as ColoradoGuy and have found it immensely helpful. And fun, too.

#124 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:16 PM:

FYI, Miss Snark has now posted about this:

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/

#125 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2006, 11:21 PM:

Judging from the response i got from emailing MY complaint to the original Web host they think AW is the offender and not Ms. Bauer. See above. I think BB is a brass balled beotch and need to get whatever comeuppance she can get.

I take a dim view of scammers--my dear, lovely father gave my name to Vantage Press while I was in college and after I told him I was switching from pre-med to journalism. I know he didn't think it was spiteful, but the mail I got from them was just stupid. I started getting them when I was taking a book publishing class--one of our exercises was a 'read the contract, make one kind of underline for the publisher's requirements, make another kind of underline for the writer's requirements under the contract.' He was an honest man, at the time the Managing Editor of the U. Kan. Press, and knew that protecting the author meant respect for the publisher's works too.

It was very enlightening and made me very glad of Ms. Bradley's contracts. It also told me I should toss every single thing I got from Vantage into the garbage. They 'lost' me (oh darn) when I moved into Missouri from Kansas. (gee, oh, darn.)

#127 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:01 AM:

So, is Argile Stox at all real or just a spammer? (I figure \somebody/ here has checked, and didn't care to give undeserved ]hit[ points.)

#128 ::: Laurie ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:04 AM:

I have no doubt that Jenna will get AW back up and running in fairly short order. She's got an army of geeks volunteering to help her.

Thanks, Teresa, for providing this info.

#129 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:15 AM:

As far as I know, Argile Stox is well-intentioned. He's one of the many refugees from PublishAmerica who've wound up at AW. The piece he's written has no unique angles or information. It's just a reasonably readable personal response to the recent events.

#130 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:26 AM:

I did my part, too, both by blogging it and by asking Miss Snark to blog it -- which, bless her little stiletto heels, she has done. By now pretty much the entire planet must know what a plonker BB is.

#131 ::: janra ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:31 AM:

Hi all,

Just taking a suggestion from the story's suggestions for spreading the word: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2006/5/25/02548/8796

Cheers
-janra

#132 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:31 AM:

Mark York, Hit Points come to us from the original D&D (and other role-playing games). Each creature or player has a number of hit points that can grow as you attain experience. They get taken away when you are attacked, and when one gets to 0, you're dead. At least in most systems I know of. (ymmv, I haven't played D&D for at least 10 years).

#133 ::: Ty Johnston ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:38 AM:

This is awful. I hope AW finds a home soon.

Paula, nowadays in D&D you're dead at negative 10 hit points. At 0 HP you're just knocked unconscious and basically start bleeding until you reach negative 10 or another player character comes to your aid.

#134 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:49 AM:

Paula, I am more familiar than anyone ought to be with the roleplay meaning of "hit points," but I believe in this instance the meaning is "hits on his website," boosting the count on all the places that keep count of such things. If that's correct, it's a pretty good joke. If it's not, forget I said anything.

#135 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:55 AM:

I just sent them a polite note that I was looking for a web host for my small business but would not be considering them because of their behavior towards Absolute Write.

Looks like I'm going with Dreamhost - I'm glad to see more glowing recommendations here.

#136 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 03:54 AM:

All sympathy for the AbsoluteWrite people. I've updated the "20 Worst" multi-link on the Ansible links page (to include the SFWA version, this thread and the BarbaraBauer tag) and moved it to the top of the list.

I really didn't expect this kind of harassment to work in the real world of paid-for ISP providers -- had thought I was just unlucky, last year, to be hosted by a university whose authorities were both spineless and gullible. Still, Ansible continues elsewhere and the incident earned me an extra Wikipedia mention....

Sorry, this is getting egocentric. Fingers crossed for AbsoluteWrite's rapid return!

#137 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 04:35 AM:

If, after all the flurry of relocation is over, the owners of AW want to investigate their legal options, I suggest they start with "tortious interference in a business relationship". The complaint made by Bauer is provably spurious, which makes it fraud, which puts it under the above-referenced category. At least by my understanding; IANAL.

#138 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 05:38 AM:

Dave, remember the fuss there was about Demon, newsgroup postings, and their "Crack Legal Team"?

Being a paid-for ISP doesn't protect from the management going into headless chicken mode. Demon were, for a week or two, frightened enough to be unreliable.

#139 ::: A. J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 05:55 AM:

Dreamhost is one of the oldest and most honest providers on the net, and offers a GB disk space and a terabyte of transfer in their most basic package.

Never heard of anyone dumping them: they offer great service, have good administration with great policies, are geek-friendly but not geek-mandatory, and are vastly pro-freedom-of-speech. I think they pride themselves on NOT pulling this kind of scheisse.

#140 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 07:06 AM:

Dreamhost got a lot of complaints late last year on the Wordpress support forum because of their response to a runaway script. I have to say that what the WP users were describing is not my experience with Dreamhost and runaway scripts during the same time period, but it could be a matter of scale. I can see any provider reacting badly if many people are using the same CPU-stressing script and multiple servers are crashing because of it. Support can't provide a lot of personal service under those conditions.

I've been happy enough with them that I'm about to move my fourth site there. I've dealt with two of the other big providers over the past two years, and I wouldn't recommend either of them to my worst enemy.

#141 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 07:19 AM:

I've never actually used this service. To be honest, I hadn't really heard that much about it (or thought that much about what I'd heard about it) until now. However, that one rather idiotic woman throwing a tantrum can get an entire site pulled... Sheesh.

So I'm going to post about it on my LiveJournal, and spread the word some more. I'll also be linking to a couple of different copies of the "20 Worst Agents" list. (Does anyone know whether something like that has been done for the Australian market? If so, where - I'll link to that too!).

I believe this falls under the heading of fighting fire with fire - and the fire in this case is word-of-mouth.

#142 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 07:29 AM:

Question for those who know: If Jenna is a member of the Author's Guild, I believe there is legal service available. Barbara Bauer's screaming about DMCA doesn't apply here, and it seems pretty clear that Jenna can sue for damages. There's advertising on AW, no? So that's business lost by this nonsense. Not to mention defaming her character, etcetera. I really, really hope she chooses to pursue this. Barbara Bauer should not be allowed to get away with this.

#143 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 07:31 AM:

Meg, I blogged about it too, and I copied the 20 Worst list, if you want to link over.

#144 ::: James Goodman ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 08:11 AM:

That sucks! Knocked cold with a sucker punch from the bad guys. If there's any sense of kharmic justice, when Bauer gets hers, I have a feeling it is going to be particularly ugly.

#145 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 08:12 AM:

Dave, I'd call that relevant, not egocentric. For those not familiar with the story, the Ansible archive was for a time shut down by nervous staffers at the University of Glasgow, after they received a letter of complaint which claimed to be by a lawyer, and which among other things accused Dave Langford of "malice of forethought".

Note to all: there's a further addendum in the main post concerning Stephanie and her guy James.

#146 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 08:20 AM:

"Writing Wise?"

Man, talk about bad timing.

#147 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 08:28 AM:

Bad timing and near-perfect cluelessness.

#148 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 08:51 AM:

Hmm. I wonder if James is the same "JamesC" on her site.

#149 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 09:05 AM:

Watching the fireworks: it's been fairly easy for me to track the expanding shockwaves of wrath and retaliatory google-bombing as they spread through the online writing community, as so many of the write-ups have linked back to this post. BB will rue the day. Not all the participants are aspiring writers or AW habitues. Some sites have posted lists and links because they hate censorship, or because they have a sibling who's an aspiring writer. It'll be interesting to see how far this goes.

On a side note, this dust-up has been great for judging the relative merits of the different blog-tracking sites. IceRocket has performed very well. Technorati is definitely back in contention, like a misbehaving sweetheart you can't help but be glad to see again, even though you suspect it'll grieve you again in the future. The big loser is Blogpulse, which of late has been subsiding into torpid uselessness, and over the last several days has been so inert that it has yet to register a single one of the google-bombing posts. That's especially bad considering how many of them are on LJ sites, which was always Blogpulse's strong suit.

#150 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:24 AM:

Wait a second: Absolute Write lists Barbara Bauer as one of the 20 worst agencies. Barbara Bauer sends a nasty email to Stephanie Cordray, who runs the ISP that hosts Absolute Write. Stephanie Cordray pulls the plug on Absolute Write. And simultaneously, Stephanie Cordray starts her own site called "Writing Wise", attempting to make it a drop-in replacement for the site she just pulled?

Did I read that whole bstrdzd, interrelated, conflict-of-interest, history correctly???

cripes! I need hip waders and a shovel, stat!

#151 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:28 AM:

Unfortunately, Google cache doesn't have either of Stephanie's hysterial public posts talking about Barbara Bauer and the claims of DMCA infringement by posting Ms. Bauer's email address (cannoliq@msn.com if anyone is interested -- available right on Bauer's web page, http://www.bbla.com/). Perhaps when AW is back up at a more reasonable host those posts will be available again. At that point I'll invite everyone to take a look.

I do recall that those posts named Bauer directly, that they claimed DMCA complaints, and specifically mentioned the email address (cannoliq@msn.com) as the point of contention.


#152 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:29 AM:

I am amused that the Technorati tag for BarbaraBauer lands you on a page with the following ads at the top:
* Find Barbara Bauer - $9.95 Get current information on this person instantly.
[redacted url]
* Locate Barbara Bauer Get current address and phone for only $9.95. Instant results.
[redacted url]
* Find Barbara Bauer, $9.95 Get phone number, address, and much more on Barbara Bauer. Instant results starting at $9.95. No hit. No fee. [redacted url]

It is to laugh!
-r.

#153 ::: Richard ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:30 AM:

That's my understanding so far too, Greg, and I can only say 'Buh?!' I really look forward to seeing this one finally unravelled; it's certainly going to be interesting reading.

#154 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:35 AM:

shite, can someone put a nofollow in those Stephanie links? stupid. stupid. stupid.

#155 ::: NicoleW ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:39 AM:

I'm pretty sure Moondancer deleted at least the second one of those posts the morning before AW got yanked. I thought the disappearance of that post meant that common sense had prevailed. Alas, I was clearly mistaken.

#156 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:49 AM:

I had considered deleting both of Stephanie's posts myself. Not only because they were stupid, but because they gave aid and comfort to the enemy, by suggesting to Bauer (and by extension to Robert Fletcher, Willem Meiners, and others of the ilk) that such tactics worked.

#157 ::: Kasey Mackenzie ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:53 AM:

What, does she REALLY think that all of us avid AW'ers are going to be so desperate and disloyal as to jump over to her new writing site while AW is down? Appears that way to me. Must be nice to live in her world. I'm sure it's ever so much nicer than dealing with that pesky thing known as Reality.

#158 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:54 AM:

The Technorati Tag: BarbaraBauer has hit their list of "hot tags" as of 7:50 am Pacific. I am gleeful.

#159 ::: Kira ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:00 AM:

I can't believe that her ressurecting her own writing community right now is pure coincidence...unbelievable.

On another note, I've been collecting all the links to posts about this mess so that others can easily link to each other's posts about Barbara Bauer, increasing the google power of each post.

I can't wait to see what happens when the googlebots get done with all of us...

#160 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:04 AM:

Great set of links, Teresa, but don't forget Google's got their own Blog search engine:

Results for "Barbara Bauer"
More than 100 posts in the past 24 hours...

#161 ::: Sara ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:09 AM:

It looks like the main page is back up. No forums yet, but this is progress. Hang in there!

Sara (aka: saritams8, AW Mod)

#162 ::: Sean Bosker ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:13 AM:

I would love it if the NY Review of books wrote a piece about scam agents like Barbara Bauer, scam publishers, and other ripoff artists. There are enough interesting stories that it would be a great view of the minefield that new writers navigate.

#163 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:14 AM:

a straight (non blog specific) search on yahoo reports her home page at #1, an unrelated site at #2, and the SFWA site at #3.

A straight search on google is similar.

I wonder what it would take to bump her own site from the #1 slot. Need more links. Or as one of my favorite headlines says:

"Dogpile on the scam artist"

#164 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:21 AM:

Greg, you could do what I did. If enough people do, we could bump her Google ranking.

#165 ::: Charlie ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:23 AM:

Hello again, all.

Once again let me thank you all for your support. I will be attempting to get the forums up and running within a few hours. Cross your fingers....

#166 ::: NicoleW ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:23 AM:

The BarbaraBauer tag is on the front page of Technorati. It's #3 in the "Top Searches" list in the green "What's Happening Right Now" box.

#167 ::: Mark DF ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:25 AM:

Wow. You guys are amazing!

Years ago, I liked lurking on AW and found it to be a great site especially for novices.

This whole incident exemplifies what I like about this particular community. The outpouring of support for AW is amazing. I can only offer moral support since I'm not a techie geek or legal geek (just a plain ol' geek).

Loves, life, beer and rampaging googlebombs. If that doesn't define community, I don't know what does.

Online hell knows no fury like a writer scorned!

#168 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:28 AM:

Two more reasons to love Making Light: I now know about an interesting writing site I probably never would have stopped by if it weren't for this whole incident, and I can get the warm fuzzy thrill of participating in a bit of Google-bombing.

#169 ::: Tyro ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:35 AM:

I work as an engineer in various roles that contribute to web hosting and networking.

The hosting industry is primarily composed of 'resellers', these folks often don't own any equipment and are effectively white labeling. IMO they're more vulnerable to strong-arming.

Stephanie is most likely a reseller. Resellers are more likely pull something like what you've seen. They often don't have legal resources, nor much experience in dealing with such threats, and can be very unprofessional. It's simply a hobby business for a lot of them.

Larger hosting concerns see this sort of thing all the time and have protocols for dealing with it, these entail an actual investigation - i.e. they won't just freak-out a pull your site. You wouldn't believe how many people think that they have a right to cleanse the web of sites they don't like. Most are quacks and are dealt with accordingly.
---------------------------
If you want to avoid the potential for these sorts of incidents, be sure to do appropriate due diligence on your host, get their policies in writing and inquire on specific potential scenarios.

My recommendation is to look for a well established 'primary' host OR lease a VPS, then you can run your own server and the quacks will have to deal with you directly.

.

#170 ::: Peggy ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:46 AM:

The issue has finally made its way to Usenet, where there are warnings about Barbara Bauer Literary Agency dating back to at least 1997. How has she stayed in business so long?

#171 ::: CaoPaux ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:47 AM:

Please allow me to emit a belated effusion of gratitude to all of Making Light for your support of AW. *assortment of garishly animated smilies here*

I lurked here all day yesterday, but was too PO'd to post civilly. Today, I lay some Google fuses.

#172 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:55 AM:

Xopher, I already posted something at the only place I have a blog i.e. at SomeRightsReserved dot com.

Oh, wait, I do subscribe to a bunch of email lists that are archived on publicly accessible webpages. I feel a new email signature coming on....


Greg
----

Barbara Bauer
makes Write Beware's Worst Agencies List
http://www.sfwa.org/beware/twentyworst.html

Time to catch up on some old acquaintances...

#173 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:00 PM:

To my mind, the whole legal system produces a chilling fog of fear, uncertainty, and doubt--it's not just the DMCA. I think that for most people, the threat of getting sued about anything significant = a threat of bankruptcy.

Would anyone care to take some of this discussion to http://webhostingtalk.com? It's a major forum site about webhosts.

#174 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:04 PM:

Greg, I think I must borrow your signature!

#175 ::: Just a curious newbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:13 PM:

So does anyone know, what IS the reason/excuse that the original ISP currently claims as to why they brought the site down?

#176 ::: Melissa ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:23 PM:

Wow! It actually took me over 25 minutes to go through all of the responses to this! I'm a recent addition to AW (I'm Serenity there) and absolutely *loved* the site, and will continue to do so. I'm thrilled that it looks like everything will be back up and probably *better* than ever soon.

I hope so, I'm going through withdrawal symptoms!

I also blogged this on my site. I wonder if I can get the local news/troubleshooter team interested in this. I live in the DC area, and if I'm not mistaken (and please someone correct me if I am) PA is located in Frederick, about 1/2 hour up the road from me.

#177 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:28 PM:

In brief: Bauer claimed that the posting of her e-mail address on AW was a)a copyright violation under the DMCA and b)caused her to get spammed, which made the ISP a spammer and liable for much dire direness. The first of these was simply false, for a variety of reasons including the fact that the DMCA has no such provision.

This is covered in the initial post, fourth paragraph, and followed up throughout the thread. (I'm not scolding; it isn't a short thread.)

#178 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:31 PM:

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that Wikipedia doesn't have an entry on Barbara Bauer


At the very least, the 20 Worst List could be mentioned on the wikipedia entry for SFWA. I see they already mention Atlanta Nights there.


#179 ::: Chris Johnson ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:32 PM:

I have been browsing on the St. John's University site and wonder about a few things. On her website, Bauer claims to have a Ph.D. in English from that institution, and her individual picture shows her in a Ph.D. doctoral gown: I can see the dark blue velvet of the hood, which would match that degree, as do the stripes on the arms. On the other hand, I can't find her in the picture on the site with her "graduating class."

But here's the thing that's odd. The web site for the Department of English for St. John's lists the degrees offered, and they do not offer the Ph.D. -- just an MA and something called a D.A., which I've never heard of. Now, maybe St. John's offered a Ph.D. in 1979 and has dropped the program. But I wonder. Anyone in the NYC area might consider wandering over to the St. John's library to see what Bab's dissertation was about, if there is one, because the library would keep them all, even if never published.

Just a wicked thought.

Chris Johnson (AW as ColoradoGuy)

#180 ::: MidnightMuse ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:38 PM:

Bless all that's holy, AW is coming back! I'd been lurking, and signed up JUST in time to see it all vanish before I could post one Newbie hello. After many weeks of reading several Agent's blogs, including Miss Snark, and that of the Evil Editor (wonderful, amazing, intelligent people who dispense invaluable wit and wisdom - and intimidate the crap out of me) - and having started my very own personal collection of form rejection letters - I was beginning to feel rather alone and unworthy, until I stumbled upon the AW forums. Finally, a forum of writers and struggling hopefuls just like me, asking, offering and giving help, advice, support, encouragement and most of all - Protection. I felt so secure, adding AW next to my Writer's Beware bookmark - knowing that, after dodging those flying pigs and finding that elusive Agent-Who-Will-Like-My-Work, I could come to AW and make sure said agent-from-Mars was legit.

When the dust settles, I'll wipe off that Newbie post and try to make myself worthy of joining this wonderful, talented and supportive community - and wear my rejection letters from legitimate agents with pride.

#181 ::: Just a curious newbie ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:44 PM:

This is covered in the initial post, fourth paragraph, and followed up throughout the thread. (I'm not scolding; it isn't a short thread.)

If this was a response to my question, perhaps I should have phrased it better.

A gentleman from the hosting company responded to Paula Helm Murray (posted above) that she had been given false information, but he doesn't explain their rationale for pulling the site. What is their current explanation as to why they did it?

#182 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:44 PM:

Have I mentioned how wonderful all you peeps are?

#183 ::: Jess Nevins ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:48 PM:

Chris Johnson: ProQuest Dissertations has this:

Cautela, D'angelo, D'agostino and Di Donato: the Achievement of First and Second Generation Italian-American Writers of the New York Region by Barbara Gae Bauer.

So, no, I don't think she was lying about that.

#184 ::: Tilly ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:48 PM:

MidnightMuse, you can join our rejection pledge! I pledged to get 20 rejections. It's less annoying to get one when you know others are as well.

#185 ::: RJ ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:51 PM:

Go check out

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.absolutewrite.com

Most recent: http://web.archive.org/web/20050401092424/http://www.absolutewrite.com/
It has a lot of archived material from the site, but apparently nothign from this year...

#186 ::: Chris Johnson ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:53 PM:

Aw shucks.

#187 ::: Peggy ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:55 PM:
But here's the thing that's odd. The web site for the Department of English for St. John's lists the degrees offered, and they do not offer the Ph.D. -- just an MA and something called a D.A., which I've never heard of. Now, maybe St. John's offered a Ph.D. in 1979 and has dropped the program. But I wonder. Anyone in the NYC area might consider wandering over to the St. John's library to see what Bab's dissertation was about, if there is one, because the library would keep them all, even if never published.
This St. John's "alumni in the news" page lists a "Barbara Mangano Bauer '71G, '79Ph.D" who performed at the New York Comedy Club in November". (from Google cache) It does appear that our Barbara is an actress/singer under the name Barbara Mangano (if you scroll to the bottom of the page it says she is a literary agent with Barbara Bauer Literary Agency). Her dissertation may be under that name.

(This is fun!)

#188 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 12:59 PM:

A friend just told me that she called the webhosting company to ask what happened with AW. The techie who answered her call said her name and number were "being recorded", and that someone would be calling on her.

Feh. My already low opinion of those jokers just sank lower. (Now playing Webhosting Limbo! How low can you go?)

#189 ::: SailorFred ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:05 PM:

In case no one's mentioned it yet (gotta go to work) getting a plan that's ultimately hosted at iweb.ca might put an additional layer of hassle in Barbara's way. The Canadians might not be as concerned about a crazy American's threats.

iweb.ca has a very good reputation.

#190 ::: MidnightMuse ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:06 PM:

Thank you, Tilly, I will ! At least that puts a positive spin on being rejected.

The power of this writing community to rally to the side of Good is a joy to behold.

#191 ::: Melissa ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:07 PM:

Probably have to add her to the list of the thousand other people who have called. ;)

#192 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:08 PM:

Peggy asks: How has she stayed in business so long?

Because hopeful young writers naturally think well of an agent who says, "I love your work."

Hopeful Young Writer finds a list somewhere of 4,928 literary agents (of whom perhaps 200 are legitimate), and starts sending out letters to all of them in alphabetical order.

Soon enough, responses come in. The first one to say "I love your work," becomes a Prince Among Men. Odds are the agent is a scammer, or gormless, or not-very-helpful.

Scammer: "I love your work."
Newbie: "Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah, I have an agent!"
Scammer: "Send me a thousand bucks."
Newbie: "Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah, I have an agent!" [writes check]
Scammer: "Now that I think of it, send two."
Newbie: "Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah, I have an agent!" [writes check]


I recommend that everyone buy a copy of Ten Percent of Nothing. Read it. When you're done, donate it to your local library so hopeful new writers may see it.

#193 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:09 PM:

Melissa: To be sure. *g* I just thought the wording sounded like a vague attempt at sinister.

#194 ::: James Goodman ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:16 PM:

I've re-posted the list and a few details of this incident on both of my blogs. Hopefully, with as many people posting about this, the number of people who fall victim to Babs (and the rest of her ilk for that matter) will be few if any.

#195 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:19 PM:

You can see this record at the St. John's Library:

Title: Cautela, D’Angelo, D’Agostino and Di Donato: the achievement of first and second generation Italian-American writers of the New York region.
Author: Bauer, Barbara.
Publisher: 1979.
Description: xiii, 172 p.

Library/Database: St. John's University Libraries
Location: Queens - Thesis - Reserve
Call Number: 79 Bau Bau
Status: Available

Library/Database: St. John's University Libraries
Location: Queens - Thesis Microfilm - 2nd Periodicals
Call Number: 79 Bau
Status: Available

#196 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:20 PM:

Ahh! *Big head-splitting ear-to-ear grin!*

Now this is the way things should work in a perfect world.

Big bully Babs doesn't like the publicity of her name on Write America, so she plays dirty pool and threatens the provider.

GOAL: Clear/protect her name and rep, and keep anyone else from seeing it.

After a (very brief) apparent initial success the underdog community rallies to WA's defense.

END RESULTS: Her name and rep get trailed through the e-realms like entrails by a pack of wolves.
The list she wishes no one to see gets lit up by the flashing of google-bombs so that right this very minute little purple men from Saturn's rings are reading the Twenty WORST List. and,
Best of All,
Her semi-nemesis Write America has risen from the ashes like a phoenix, garnering more publicity, more positive PR stock, and more, newer readers.

Ah, I love a happy ending!

Regarding Nancy Lebovitz's post:

(This relates back to the thread several months ago about lawsuits, and the attempts to draft legislation to prevent them.)

The one pro-lawsuit thing I don't recall havng heard (at least recently) is the reminder that the "chilling fog of fear, uncertainty, and doubt" that comes with legal action was used successfully (and still is) by big corporations and the like long before the average American was able to file a class action suit. Corporations routinely took/take the attitude of "If you don't like it tough! We've got more money than you and we've got more lawyers than you." And (as this case shows) it is not just the "little guy" who resorts to legal tactics. Corporations and the wealthy have used the threat of legal action to cow "the little guy" for years.

Funny how they don't like it when the little guy picks up their clup and starts hitting them with it.

#197 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:22 PM:

Their 'comment' page 'required' a phone number to post. They got a random phone number. I'm glad I was using email. And that we're unlisted no matter what (well they also think my last name starts with Helm...).

#198 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:29 PM:

I'm beyond appalled at what's happened. I waited to post until I calmed down--it's not happening too well.

To react the way Stephanie did is the most immature thing I've ever experienced either in real life or on the internet. I hope she and Barbara enjoy each other's company; they deserve one another.

Thanks to everyone who's working their collective tails off to get AW back up and running again. And thanks to Teresa and Patrick for hosting us AW refugees & keeping us so well informed. Most importantly, bless you for supporting the cause!!

#199 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 01:42 PM:

Greg: I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that Wikipedia doesn't have an entry on Barbara Bauer

Ahem. It... err... doesn't? ;)

A suggestion for all you google-bombers, by the way. On my results searching for "barbara bauer", the SFWA list is quite a long way down. The copy of it and article about her here on Making Light is higher up, so would be easier to displace her with. So your Barbara Bauer links would be better off like that one. I think if you do both, google will count both, whereas if you do the same one twice, google will only count it once. So everyone should be doing both.

#200 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 02:01 PM:

Ahem. It... err... doesn't? ;)

This cynical gouch is feeling slightly more hopeful about mankind... ;)

it will be curious to see if Barbara threatens wikipedia with the DMCA. Kind of makes you wonder just how deep a hole she is willing to dig herself into.


#201 ::: scottage ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 02:06 PM:

This is an excellent post, and I wrote my own post based on it and linked to here extensively. I am also making a call for others to write into Barbara Bauer, as I did, and would appreciate, if you have a sec, to make sure I got the facts right so Bauer can take the comments she gets seriously. Thanks for posting, and for your help on making sure my post is accurate.

#202 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 02:06 PM:

When you google Barbara Bauer this is the second entry (at least now) that comes up.

http://www.witi.com/center/witimuseum/halloffame/2005/bbauer.php

Good thing she's in a wholly different industry...because she appears to be quite an accomplished person.

"Barbara Bauer. Barbara Bauer. Vice President Software Engineering & Development, Sun Microsystems (profile at the time of induction in 2005) ..."

#203 ::: coggieguy ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 02:52 PM:

If Barbara Bauer is related to Jack Bauer, she probably was very convincing. I'm surprised it would take an hour to shut AW down - usually Bauer get results in minutes,if not seconds.

#204 ::: AliceB ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 02:56 PM:

You know, I have zero sympathy for Barbara Bauer, but that Wikipedia entry kind of makes me cringe.

#205 ::: Cat Eldridge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 03:05 PM:

Re her Ph.D.

No need to go to the University where she supposedly got her Ph.D. Just log onto University Microforms. All Ph.D. dissertations are sold
by them. I just looked -- no one by that name has a disseration there.

#206 ::: Greg D ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 03:10 PM:

Well, I've posted about it on my LJ. Some of my friends want to be professional writers. :-)

http://dancingguy.livejournal.com/54499.html

#207 ::: William Haskins ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 03:11 PM:

just a note to any AW poets who may drop by... hope you're all writing new stuff to post once we're back up and going.

#208 ::: Cat Eldridge ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 03:11 PM:

I was wrong. UMI has an odd search engine. Here it is.

AUTELA, D'ANGELO, D'AGOSTINO AND DI DONATO: THE ACHIEVEMENT OF FIRST AND SECOND GENERATION ITALIAN-AMERICAN WRITERS OF THE NEW YORK REGION.. BAUER, BARBARA GAE, PhD. ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY, 1979. 191 pp.

#209 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 03:17 PM:

Nag, nag, nag, William.


Don't ever change.

#210 ::: Yehudit ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 03:18 PM:

Living Dot is a great web host.

#211 ::: Georgiana ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 03:22 PM:

Gleeps, I was stunned to read TNH's headline and appalled to read the reason AW was taken offline. It's scary and crazy.

In a weird way it reminds me of kids complaining about doing homework; if Barbara took the same amount of effort she spends on trying to hide the fact she's a terrible agent and spent it on becoming a real agent...

#212 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 03:24 PM:

Another interesting post about the Barbara Bauer buzz went up on the Nielsen BuzzMetrics' Blog Pulse Newswire...way to go Euan!

#213 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 03:50 PM:

that Wikipedia entry kind of makes me cringe.

The way I figure it, any publicity for BB right now is bad publicity for her.

#214 ::: Priscilla ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 04:09 PM:

If AW needs a new host, they should try:

Lunar Pages

They have a plan of like $7/month which includes 400 Gb of transfer per month.

#215 ::: AliceB ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 04:19 PM:

"that Wikipedia entry kind of makes me cringe.

The way I figure it, any publicity for BB right now is bad publicity for her. "

I agree, except Wikipedia isn't meant to be a forum for publicity--good or bad. It's supposed to be an encyclopedia.

#216 ::: Cathy C ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 04:25 PM:

Just found this link after traveling home from the RT convention in Florida, and have been repeatedly having to pick up my dropped jaw.

I think an awful lot of internet providers don't really understand much about the DMCA. They probably heard about the Ellison v. Robertson lawsuit (189 F.Supp.2d 1051, 2002 Copr.L.Dec. P28,420, 62 U.S.P.Q.2d 1170) back several years ago, and panic when the Act is invoked. Anyone interested in the actual case can use the cite here to find it. But the upshot of that case was that author Harlan Ellison sued AOL in 2000, alleging that the company violated the DMCA by allowing unauthorized copies of his works to appear on Usenet servers for two weeks. The suit originally named the fan who scanned the works, as well as the newsgroup host, but both other parties settled, leaving AOL as the only defendant. The Judge ruled that AOL was protected by DMCA from liability to an author so long as the disputed content was removed when the ISP is notified. But as C.E. posted earlier, it was a PLAGIARISM issue in that suit--copyrighted material had been scanned and posted. There aren't any copyright issues related to an email address that I'm aware of presently, but things change every day.

It might be worthwhile for an IP (intellectual property) attorney to write up an article about how the DMCA applies to ISPs and publish it in their trade magazines (C.E., are you listening...?)

I do find it deplorable that a professional internet provider, even a reseller, would take a single threat and summarily remove an entire domain rather than work with the owner to determine both sides of the issue. And the hour notice to save the entire database was particularly disturbing. That smacks of near-malicious intent, since few domains, even for corporations, have 24-hour techs on duty. It's just lucky someone was around to receive the notice, or bad, bad things could have happened.

BTW--Charlie, if the new ISP doesn't work out, I've been really pleased with Blue Domino/Coffeecup as our host. They have sufficient size to handle pretty much anything AW might need, and the costs are reasonable.

#217 ::: JerseyGirl ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 04:30 PM:

It wasn't until I came here today that I realized the extent of all this; when I tried to log into AW yesterday, I thought the server crashed. I'm definitely in AW withdrawal, but find it heartening to see so many regulars here.

~Nancy

#218 ::: bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 04:31 PM:

I've been with Digitalspace for a couple years now, after getting burnt by a couple other "cheap" and/or "free" hosts, needing an inexpensive-but-reliable host who didn't require a credit card, and have had no problems at all. When my $36/year, minimum-level low-traffic site got TORN'd by fandom piranhas, they didn't shut it down, they were very understanding about the bandwidth and helped me move graphics to the FTP folder where it wouldn't count against my allotment; when someone hacked it with a new hack they restored it from backup at once and fixed it. The only issue for me is that their live help desk is on Pacific time and I'm on Eastern, but that's not a problem since I rarely have issues needing help.

#219 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 04:36 PM:

It's supposed to be an encyclopedia.

I'll leave it to the wiki-lords to debate it's "encyclopedic notability". There are definitely articles about far more obscure crap.

#220 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 04:42 PM:

AliceB: Try framing it as "the more places the list is posted, the fewer aspiring writers are likely to be scammed." It's not about publicity for her, it's about established factual information.

#221 ::: roach ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 04:45 PM:

I'm still wondering if this might not be of interest to the editors of Slashdot? It would certainly fit under their "Your Rights Online" topic. Of course if they did post an article about it on their front page and BB's website just happened to suffer from the /. effect that'd just be a shame wouldn't it? *eg*

#222 ::: Kira ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 05:05 PM:

And so it begins - my page of links to Bauer posts got hacked.
It's back up now though.

#223 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 05:07 PM:

There are various companies that use lawsuits and lawyers as business strategy to exterminate competition--Apple especially has a long history of suing companies too small to be able to afford the legal fees and effort to contest the lawsuit. Then there are the total parasites which existing buying up patents, often very dubious ones, and serving notice on any and all about infringement, pay up or spend years and hundreds of thousands of dollars and huge amounts of time of the business' principals finding off what is a variety of protection racket... there was an on-line article recently from someone who said his company was paying off the the blackmailer because the corporate counsel said that economically that would hurt the business and its ability to compete and produce and stay in business, less than paying the piece of shit extorter with the didn't-really-apply-but-technically-clueless-government-sorts-might-not-see-it-that-way patent, bought up buy one of the outfits that specialized in shaking down businesses for profit with cheaply acquired patents.

Perhaps the most extreme case I know of of intellectual property legal tangles, was Texas Istruments vs Japan Inc. TI perserved for literally 30 years in Japan in the court system them, charging patent infringement on some of the most basic microcircuitry transistor patents. TI was fortunate enough to be large enough and financially stable enogh to be able to afford the lawyers and expenses and loss of productivity of technically cognizant people, to fight the lawsuit through the Japanese court system, for 30 years. The final results was that TI won in all instances, and all the Japanese companies involved in making semiconductors and microcircuits, had to pay Texas Instruments licensing fees for the next two decades or so, on each chip made, and pay damages also I think. The revenue to TI is in at least the hundreds of millions of dollars per year, on patents that have expired in the rest of the world. Japan Inc. back three and a half decades ago figured that TI would give up and go away, rather than fight it out and spend a very large fortune on lawyers, lost productivity time from employees, fatigue, discouragement, etc. The cost/benefit equation to Japan Inc was that if TI had given up, that was hundreds of millions of dollars that Japanese companies wouldn't be paying in royalties to TI, that instead would mean charging lower prices to customers for parts than companies paying the licensing fees, and that would mean more business and fatter profits and more money for R&D etc., for Japan Inc. companies. Most businesses didn't have the combination of financial resources, determination, and long-term strategy to be willing to commit to a decades-long battle with the Japanese corporate infrastructure, Japanese culture, and the Japanese government and to stay committed until the matter got all the way through the court system in Japan.

There are lots of stories in the USA of companies which went bankrupt trying to fight off a lawsuit of no real merit, either going bankrupt in the process of trying to fight, or going bankrupt even though -winning- the lawsuit.

I have a relative who was in the infuriating situation of having Hughes Aircraft Company competing against the small defense contractor he was a partner in the ownership of, with Hughes infringing on his patents in its proposals, and Hughes winning the contracts... Hughes of course had the high-paid expensive corporate lawyers, and fighting off a business a few orders of magnitude larger, which also had political support...

#224 ::: P.N. Elrod ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 05:15 PM:

Aaack! I must make a correction--my Cyber PI bud just let me know she found that Mangano link on Miss Snark's site.

I do apologize!

#225 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 05:23 PM:

Cathy, if you're an ISP it's your job to understand compliance with the DMCA; and in some cases, you are legally obligated to comply and understand and have a link to that effect on your site.

These people really, were, well, too naive to believe.

#226 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 06:05 PM:

AliceB: Lee has the right idea here. Wikipedia should have an article about BB, same as it has an article about Publish America, because those articles might be useful to someone doing research into a company they're about to sign a contract with.

The way I see it, an encyclopedia should contain any and all factual information that somebody might find useful. It's only the limits of the distribution and organisation methods traditionally used that have caused them to describe the most important subjects in shallow detail in the past. Wikipedia's limits are different, and articles like these do not really detract from the rest of it, while making it actively more useful for the small minority who find them helpful.

At least, that's the way I thought about it when I starting helping out with the PA article. The BB article was more of a response to Greg's comment than anything else, but I feel the same reasoning applies.

#227 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 06:16 PM:

Jules et al.,

She, in context of the larger issue of publishing scams, is newsworthy enough. However, the article is a disconnected point and it doesn't yet have the necessary NPOV- neutral point of view.

See Publish America as an example.

#228 ::: Cathy C ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 06:17 PM:

Quote by Lisa Spangenberg: Cathy, if you're an ISP it's your job to understand compliance with the DMCA; and in some cases, you are legally obligated to comply and understand and have a link to that effect on your site.

These people really, were, well, too naive to believe.

Yeah, but people agree to things they don't fully grasp everyday---obligated doesn't equal "understood" in too many cases. Sigh... But I agree.

#229 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 06:19 PM:

Jules, if the BB article in wikipedia means one less person loses their money to Bauer, then it's worth it.

#230 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 06:23 PM:

OK, my old wikipedia ulcer is flaring up. errg...

#231 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 06:34 PM:

Given that Stephanie C is setting up her stand on Absolute Write's pavement, why pile on Bauer? Bauer is a crook and serial lawsuemouth, but that just makes her an easier frame.

After all, how is this different from Stephanie saying she's pulling AW's plug because she got a nasty phone call from Osama bin Laden, except that people will believe the Bauer story more easily? Hell, maybe the Bauer story is true, but that doesn't make it less convenient.

So this nofollow stuff may be an undeservedly kind response--maybe we need a campaign to link SC and "Writing Wise" to the shoddy little plot that she used to get it started. Maybe JC hosting, Totalweb, and Mike C can get stuffed into the same slimy little nexus with her. Chutzpah disguised as spinelessness shouldn't go unpunished.

#232 ::: marty ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 06:44 PM:

TNH popped into the AW boards, made a post and soon after, pow, it was gone!!

Coincidence??? :)

#233 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 06:50 PM:

tnh, the DMCA protects web hosts, by making them not responsible providing they follow some specific rules (which require takedown notices to be in writing, and to contain an assertion under penalty of perjury about a copyright violation).

I haven't finished reading all the comments, so I don't know if this is being done: the site could be backed up (realtime) to a shadow site, so if the ISP takes it down, the DNS pointer for the domain could be moved and the site would come back up instantly. I'll volunteer to host that; I have plenty of space and bandwidth available on my colo box. I also have the typical nanae attitude about cartooneys.

#234 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 07:36 PM:

Side note, since someone questioned the current DA degree offered by St Johns. The DA is Doctor of Arts, a fairly new degree type designed to be less research-oriented and more teaching-oriented than the PhD. Not too many people actually think it's a great idea.

#235 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 07:37 PM:

Thanks, Seth. I thought a takedown notice had to be in writing.

#236 ::: becky j. ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 07:38 PM:

I really recomend Thinkhost which will give people discounts for having "prgressive" sites (like for food co-ops and what not) and I recommend Dreamhost. I've used the services of both companies and very much recommend them. Text Drive is supposedly really good too, but I have not used them.

#237 ::: JerseyGirl ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 07:46 PM:

BTW, if there are any AWers on here who aren't into that chat thingy (like me ;-)), Roger Carlson, another AWer, has graciously set up a forum for those who need a place to gather. Plenty of mods are already there, only a few, er, "regular folk" ;-) are there.

You have to register (free), yadda yadda yadda.

#238 ::: JerseyGirl ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 07:48 PM:

Nuts, couldn't get the html to work. Here's the link, but you'll have to paste it:

http://www.rogerjcarlson.com/forum/writerforum/forum_topics.asp?FID=13&PN=1

BTW, BB is out of Matawan, NJ (says so right on her site). Hubby pointed out that sometime during the early part of the last century, some sharks swam up a river to Matawan.

Interesting, hmm? ;-)

~Nancy

#239 ::: Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 08:05 PM:

Hubby pointed out that sometime during the early part of the last century, some sharks swam up a river to Matawan.

Guess they never swam back out again, huh? ;)

#240 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 08:22 PM:

Ms Rockwell: I think you're insulting sharks.

#241 ::: Joy Rothke ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 09:13 PM:

Wow...I noticed AW was down, but thought it was just moving.

Stephanie and BB will get their just desserts, I am certain.

#242 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:14 PM:

"TNH popped into the AW boards, made a post and soon after, pow, it was gone!!

Coincidence??? :"

It also wasn't a coincidence that Barbara Bauer blew her fuse a day or two after both me and Jim Macdonald posted extremely unflattering descriptions of her (more me than Jim, he just noted she was a fraudulent agent). Jenna herself confirmed my suspicions: my post was the OTHER reason Barbara Bauer tried to shut down AW. When she requested that Jenna remove my post along with Jim's, Jenna rightfully and stubbornly (as all writers naturally are and should be like) refused. From Queen Jenna herself:

"Don't feel guilty. Not your fault. I refused to take down your message, and Jim's. I'm a stubborn thing that way. ;)"

Basically, my offending post was this: a form of Google-bombing, in text form. I can't remember all of it word-for-word though. It commented on how it isn't illegal to post someone else's email address, how Barbara Bauer isn't exactly a helpless citizen being victimized by an unscrupolous email address poster who did it with malicious intent, and Barbara Bauer is a scammer. It went a little something like this:

"... But if it's a scam agent named Barbara Bauer, Ph.D., who runs a scam literary agency called The Barbara Bauer Literary Agency which is a scam (yes, I repeat, The Barbara Literary Agency run by Barbara Bauer, Ph.D., is a scam), and who's mad that she, Barbara Bauer, Ph.D. of The Barbara Bauer Literary Agency, was Writer Beware selected her for their Top 20 Worst Literary Agents List (yep, that's right, The Barbara Bauer Literary Agency run by Barbara Bauer, Ph.D., is one of Writer Beware's Top 20 Worst Literary Agencies) and who's mad that Ann and Victoria have exposed her, that is, Barbara Bauer, Ph.D. of the Barbara Bauer Literary Agency, and her, that is, Barbara Bauer, Ph.D. of the Barbara Bauer Literary Agency's shady business practices..."

I feel partly responsible for this fiasco. My post is probably what provoked her anger that later made her explode about the posting of her email address. Knowing how short her fuse is, I believe she thought I was calling her out. I suppose I was kind of doing that, but it was intended to be more about how Google would find my post when I wrote, "Come on, Barbara Bauer, Ph.D., I will personally make sure Google finds this thread and puts it on the first page of search results when someone searches for 'Barbara Bauer' or 'Barbara Bauer, Ph.D.' or 'Barbara Bauer Literary Agency' or 'Barbara Bauer scam.'"

I basically made her fuse blow up whatever was in her path. I personally hate and loath her for it now. I told the truth about her, and she goes and blows up my house (my online one, that is). I am now on a personal vendetta against her and we are all at war with her. You can't just blow up my (online) house and expect to get away with it unscathed, unpunished, and unfleeced for paying damages (although the AW main site is back up and the forums are about to also, though it will be very costly). Oh no, Barbara, this isn't how I or anyone else plays your little game of empty threats and vicious lies. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, writers and non-writers, editors and agents, bloggers of all ages, IT'S ON!

[Edited out confrontational word-play]

#243 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:24 PM:

Already on top of listing appropriately the Writing Wise site.

#245 ::: James ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:38 PM:

If you are intrested in hearing the other side of the story please contact JamesC over at JC-Hosting.

I will not spam this site with a link as I really do not know if the owner would like that information being passed around on this site.

Thank you for your time.

#246 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:38 PM:

This was posted by Mac on Roger's board about an hour ago:

This in from Jenna & Charlie: The forums are currently not functioning, but they are working like mad to restore them. Regardless of whether the old forums can be restored or not, the Water Cooler will rise from the ashes. They also are continuing to work on gaining access to the data. We will keep you updated as more information is known.

Although Jenna has not had much free time to speak to everyone while she has been working on rebuilding, she has been very touched by the shows of support and offers of assistance she has received.

As always, cascade the word.

Thanks all. You are AW.

#247 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:42 PM:

As long as you're claiming to be telling the truth, James, what Teresa posted was:

"I'm given to understand that some of AW's message base was lost."

What you said:

"1. "AW's message base was lost" false the data base is intact."

What the fact is:

You shut down all access to the files before AW was able to complete a backup. Lost to them is "lost." Even if you still had a copy. That it seems now that you were forced to cough up those files doesn't change the truth of the original statement. As of right now the forums still aren't back; there's some doubt if they can actually be restored.

Want to talk some more about "this group is not about truth"?

#248 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:48 PM:

I will not spam this site with a link as I really do not know if the owner would like that information being passed around on this site.

Hot news tip for JamesC: posting a link isn't spamming.

I'm not going to go searching around your site. If you have something relevant (and truthful would be nice too), post a link. If you have something to say that you actually want anyone to see, put it here. Y'see, if you put it here you won't be able to delete or alter it later to suit your new story, whatever that story turns out to be.

By the way, in case you actually are as slow on the uptake as you appear, I'm calling you a liar to your face.

#249 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 10:51 PM:

Jeez, James C, there's another side of this story, other than the truth, that we already know?

Alan, you should be spanked :)

#250 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:07 PM:

You know, the decent and smart thing to do would be to pull the damn drive, pack it up and ship it to Jenna. Charge a reasonable fee for the drive, the fifteen minutes it takes to pull it, and ship it insured FedEx, or at least provide access the data over the net for a reasonable amount of time.

#251 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:07 PM:

Sorry Jean Marie, I underestimated how easily she would explode. I blame the inspiration for my technique on all those people on AW who started Google-bombing American Book Publishing, as in "OMG, today I was sitting here thinking, American Book Publishing Bedrock Books American Book Classics etc. etc. C. Lee Nunn."

I'm not sure, but I think that might have been started by either Aconite or Aruna, one or the other (sometimes I confuse them because they both start with A and are female).

I thought I had an unpredictable temper, but no, she's worse, she starts volcanic eruptions when she's ticked off (which happens very often lately, I've noticed *cackles maniacally*).

#252 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:10 PM:

Jenna has just posted a thank you in her blog to all the peeps who have been there for her this week. I also e-mailed with her briefly. She did not want to leave anyone off the list, but knows she probably has because there have been too many people who have shown their support and offered their services and just been there to be contained in any single list. I assured her that everyone will understand that the world is still a bit of a blur for her right now.

I'd like to add my personal thanks to TNH, Roger, and everyone else who have hosted our refugees: Thank you.


#253 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:24 PM:

Alan, I'm teasing you, goofy. You certainly aren't responsible for someone else's actions. No way. Jenna held her ground, as she has in the past and as she will continue to do. It's how she fights scammers and eventually wins.

Lisa, what you've suggested to JamesC is wise and practical. It's also the decent/honorable thing to do. It's not a challenge, either. It's the right thing to do. That's the difference.

#254 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2006, 11:56 PM:

How to help Jenna:


Buy a copy of her book The Street Smart Writer. Donate it to your local library.

#255 ::: Calton Bolick ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:21 AM:

(Right place, this time)

Okay, I've taken a stab at cleaning up the Wikipedia article (remember Neutral Point of View means don't call someone a jerk, just demonstrate it).

Some more general information would be welcome, such non-blog references (newspaper or magazine stories are good), bio information (such as DOB, birthplace, education, previous jobs), legal actions, career "highpoints", etc. You can add them to the article yourself, or drop me a line and I'll see what I can do with them.

#256 ::: Laurie ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:32 AM:

Regarding the recommendation for LunarPages webhosting upstream: don't. They unceremoniously kick sites off that have any kinds of problems at all. No forgiveness for things like exceeding bandwidth or CPU usage or. . . They dump and don't provide refunds for the remaining prepaid and unused portion.

I would not recommend them. In fact, I would recommend staying far, far away.

#257 ::: anditron ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:32 AM:

Just to let you all know, there's a wonderful little site with a program called the wayback machine. Type in a known url from anytime back to 1996 and if it was up it's there (almost)

Here's the URL for finding old absolute write pages
http://web.archive.org/web/*/www.absolutewrite.com

The only bad thing is I don't see anything for 2006... still, there you go.

#258 ::: Calton Bolick ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:36 AM:

Oh, and good idea might be to do some editing of the "Literary agent" article, which at the moment is a big messy blob that probably COULD use a separate section on literary agent scams.

#259 ::: Just a Patent Attorney ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:38 AM:

Just to pile on concerning the bogus DMCA claim asserted by the allegedly aggrieved party.

The DMCA is embodied in 17 USC Sect. 512 and Sect. 1201-1205.

Sections 1201-1205 do not really deal with copyright infringement, per se, but instead deal with the ability to break the lock on technical measures protecting material subject to copyright.

Sect. 1201(a) and (b) prohibit the bypass of access to material protected by copyright or from trafficiking in technology that enables persons to bypass access or break the lock on technical measures protecting copyright material.

Section 1202 concerns copyright management information (CMI).

Sections 1203-1205 concern remedies (civil and criminal) and other non-substantive issues.

Here, the attempt is to use sect. 512 as a hammer on the ISP.

Sect. 512 is a limitation on secondary liability for copyright infringement for ISPs that meet the qualifications defined in sect. 512(i).

Notably, and before one gets to the take down provisions of sect. 512, there MUST be a direct copyright infringement before an ISP can be threatened with an infringement suit based on secondary liability (contributory infringement). The posting of an email address is not a direct copyright infringement, thus, there is no secondary liability, and thus, no legitimate threat of suit.

In other words, the ISP has "safe harbor" without even needing to resort to the "safe harbor" provisions of sect. 512 and the take down provisions provided b/c there is no direct copyright infringement from which secondary liability can hang its hat from.

Now, is there a legitimate COA based on another theory (i.e. not the DMCA)? I do not have enough of the facts to know that, but there are potential theories that are much more accessible (if the facts support). But I'm not going to give Ms. Bauer free advice - let her pay her attorneys to find that information. I paid for it twice (when I got my JD and my LLM in IP).

ISPs need to better educate themselves (through attorneys) on the DMCA, specifically sect. 512, so that they do not get pressured or harrassed based on dubious legal theories asserted by allegedly aggrieved parties.

Hope someone enjoyed this info. :)

#260 ::: AnderBen ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:00 AM:

To those using versions of Greg London's signature above, (and of course to Greg himself), consider removing your nofollow attribute. rel=nofollow is for sites you DON'T want people to find through Google. Barbara Bauer's website, for example. However, the 20 Worst Agents List is something I think we all want people to find, especially in response to their searches on the names contained in it--like Barbara Bauer

In a particularly Web 2.0 approach to this problem, I have done my part to spread the word about old Barb with the help of http://del.icio.us/ . Rather than post links to a blog (which I don't have) I have added Barbara's personal website to my bookmarks on the service, with tags attached such as "scam," "fraud," and "bad agent." Simultaneously, I have added the 20-Worst list and included "Barbara Bauer" among its tags. I encourage those ML readers who use del.icio.us or other social bookmarking services to join me on this front.

I've been lurking and reading for a while here at Making Light, always meaning to introduce myself and always backing away, intimidated. But I couldn't imagine a better time than now to jump into the discussion. T & PNH, Jim MacDonald, and all the wonderful members of the community: thanks.

#261 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:06 AM:

AnderBen, that's a super idea, and I'm going to steal it Right Now.

I've got a del.icio.us collection on PublishAmerica, and one on Advice for Writers, but I'm going to start one on Literary Scams, and then one on BarbaraBauer.

I'll look into the new "shared" feature at Del.icio.us feature to see how others can add to the BarbabaBauer collection.

Thanks!

#262 ::: DeadlyAccurate ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:12 AM:

How to help Jenna:

Buy a copy of her book The Street Smart Writer. Donate it to your local library.

I actually went into a Borders yesterday on my way to the doctor just to find that book, but the employee and I couldn't find the copy they had in before I had to leave. I'll definitely be buying it myself soon.

I made a Straight Dope thread on this situation: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=373194
If anyone notices any mistakes I made, please let me know so I can post a correction.

#263 ::: Euan ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:20 AM:

ISP James:

Teresa gave you some really good advice upthread. You should follow it, as you're just making you and your company look worse with everything you say.

As for Barbara Bauer, well, Internet Karma would seem to be much faster than the old kind . . .

#264 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:24 AM:

Just a, thanks for the legal info. It seems to me that the other part of her whine was based on (They-)CAN-SPAM; however, that makes scraping email addresses for use in spamming illegal, it doesn't make posting them illegal (obviously).

#265 ::: Kendall ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:58 AM:

Neil Gaiman's latest blog entry links here (i.e. to this Making Light post), as well as to the SFWA Writer Beware Twenty Worst Agents list. I believe Gaiman's blog gets a few hits ;-) so this should help spread the word about both That Woman and the Other Worst Scamming Agents. Yay!

Kendall (first-time poster, but been reading a little while now)

#266 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:00 AM:

I can't believe what I'm reading. The fact that AW has been taken down saddens me quite a bit....and angers me to quite an extent. That site helped me to get out of the clutches of the so-called publishing company, PublishAmerica, and for that I am grateful.

But I just feel very upset right now, to know that one person has the ability to silence several thousand individuals because she was offended by one post on a forum. It's heartbreaking, to say the least, as a great resource for writers seeking legitimate help in pursuing their writing aspirations, has been taken away.

I think this Barbara Bauer individual cares nothing for writers in general; if she did, she would not demand an entire site be taken down for the sake of one mention of her name. This is obviously someone worthy of the blacklists I've read she wanted AW's ISP put on. I hope she becomes the recipient of the said blacklist, and that she will never work as an agent again.

#267 ::: Scribhneoir ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:27 AM:

Uncle Jim says:
How to help Jenna:
Buy a copy of her book The Street Smart Writer. Donate it to your local library.

I was wondering what I could do, not having a blog or website with which to help the Googlebombing campaign. But I do have two libraries down the street from me -- one county, one city. I'll donate a copy of Jenna's book to each of them. What a great way to use my Borders Personal Shopping Day.

#268 ::: Scribhneoir ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:49 AM:

Oh, and by the way, I have the Learn Writing with Uncle Jim thread saved in one enormous Word file on my work computer. It's not completely up to date, but it goes from the beginning through about the middle of March 2006. If the forums can't be restored completely, at least we haven't lost that incredibly valuable thread.

#269 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 05:23 AM:

Scribhneoir, I would be exceedingly glad if you would email that enormous file to me as a static back-up. We're still holding hope that we can get the archives back, but...

#270 ::: Lanisse ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 05:58 AM:

I've put up a couple of posts on my blog regarding this. http://lanisse.livejournal.com/ if anyone is interested.

It isn't often I get so annoyed at a company's behaviour that I write to them. This idiot managed to tip me over the edge. I despise scammers and, even more, I despise scammer lapdogs.

If anyone wants a copy of the (barely literate) e-mail Mr James Cordray of JCHosting sent me, let me know.

#271 ::: triceratops ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 06:00 AM:

I'm glad to see everyone is networking and trying to solve this. I was aghast at wondering what happened. We'll beat this.

Tri

#272 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:04 AM:

I just ordered 5 copies of THE STREET SMART WRITER and will donate them to my local library.

Just read Neil Gaiman's blog entry. I love that man... ((dreamy sigh))

#273 ::: NicoleW ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:10 AM:

JamesC: Oh, please. "If you are interested in hearing the other side ..." People have been trying to contact you for the "other side" since this happened (did you not see TNH's post about calling Stephanie?), and you've been blowing them off and making vague threats about logging their phone numbers. Has it really taken this long for you to concoct a cover story?

Sorry for the harsh tone, everyone; I just read Jenna's blog entry and now I'm really mad all over again.

#274 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:30 AM:

To the good gentles who are outraged that "one person" could shut down a site with a phone call: Please don't for an instant discount the stupidity and maliciousness of the hosting company's actions, since ol' Babs couldn't have done it without their cooperation.

BB makes bogus threats all the time. Anyone with half a brain could have read the thread on her on Absolute Write, or Googled any number of other sites for proof. JC Hosting were told this; they were given information from experts that explained why the threats were bogus, too. I truly thought the whole stupid thing was blowing over--right up until we got the notice that we had one hour to grab what we could before JC Hosting shut us down. And that they weren't letting us have our data.

I thought that was weird. Now I know why they did it: they have a competing site.

James, Stephanie, take a minute and really think about how you want a few tens of thousands of writers and techies thinking of you. Lisa Spangenberg's suggestion might just save your reputations, if you have the sense to follow it.

#275 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:43 AM:

I wrote: Given that Stephanie C is setting up her stand on Absolute Write's pavement, why pile on Bauer? Bauer is a crook and serial lawsuemouth, but that just makes her an easier frame.

Having received Ianal advice that the above trudges close to the edge of liable hear say, please understand that I do not mean to accuse Bauer of actually violating any law, so "crook" must be taken in its sense of "providing offered services in a way so infelicitous as to constitute disservice". I regret any misapprehension due to my carelessness in expressing this side-issue to the message. Moreover, I regret the word "crook" as being regrettably vague even in its intended nonactionable way. The term "congenital frauditrix" would be far more apt.

The point remains that any possible or conjectured enmity between Stephanie Cordray, JC Hosting, JamesC, TotalWeb, and the infamousmentioned Bauer merely makes them enemies of enemies to society, free speach, and the American Way. And to say that the enemies of our enemies are all lies is incorrect; sometimes they slip a bit of nonfalsehood in just to keep us confused. That's the hell of the curate's egg--the good parts lead us on to the further foulness.

#276 ::: Lauri Berkenkamp ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:44 AM:

Anyone who wants to buy a copy of The Street-Smart Writer direct from Nomad Press can buy it for $11.00 (plus shipping) rather than the list price of $16.95. Just use the code ALA06 when ordering. Go to www.nomadpress.net for more info.

Thanks for your support of Jenna and AW
Lauri (Nomad, moderator at AW)

#277 ::: janetbellinger ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:52 AM:

I am going to buy Street Smart Writer today and donate it to the local library and I'm going to post some more about this on my A blog. I feel sick about the whole thing.

Janet

#278 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:56 AM:

James(C), if you have another side to your story, please post it. I'm waiting to hear your reasons for behaving as you have.


Harry aka HConn

#279 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 09:42 AM:

Hold the phone. I just read on another site that James C is Stephanie's husband.

((Shakes head))

If this were any more of a soap opera, Babs would suddenly be revealed to be related as well...

#280 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 09:45 AM:

>> To the good gentles who are outraged that "one person" could shut down a site with a phone call...

ACONITE: May I post your comment in its entirety on another site?

#281 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 09:57 AM:

Jackie Kessler: Give me the site address, and I'll be happy to come by and post an original.

#282 ::: Scribhneoir ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 09:57 AM:

MacAllister: Scribhneoir, I would be exceedingly glad if you would email that enormous file to me as a static back-up. We're still holding hope that we can get the archives back, but...

You got it, Mac. What's your email address? If you don't want to post it here, email me at JBagwell@pacificsunwear.com

#283 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:07 AM:

ACONITE: It's the Writers Net forum on Literary Agents, under the Barbara Bauer topic. If you're not already a member, I think you have to register, but that's free.

Thanks muchly...

((Humph. I'm trying to connect to that site now, but it's not connecting. Sheesh...)

#284 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:07 AM:

I'll second the advice to stay far away from Lunarpages. For a while, they banned most forum software, and quite a few other packages like Movable Type and PHP-Nuke, citing security and CPU-load concerns. They reversed that policy a few months ago, but I still wouldn't trust them to not yank a busy site out from under the owner.

They're one of the two I mentioned earlier.

#285 ::: stormie ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:10 AM:

Had my morning coffee and piece of chocolate, but not my daily AW forums fix. sigh

#286 ::: Aruna ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:11 AM:

Aconite, I absolutely agree with you. BB could have hollered and foamed at the mouth all she wanted, but finally it was Stephanie and Co who destroyed AW. If there was a sincere bone in that woman's body surely she could have found a more benign alternative.
The fact that in this very week she has created an alternative forum speaks of AW's destruction as an intentionally malicious act, and though I long to see the Barbara Bauers of the world brought down let's not forget that who actually pulled the plug.
Never underestimate the power of a couple thousand writers with keyboards and modems!

I am sure, though, that AW will return bigger and stronger than ever before. Ha! Did she really think we'd all sail over to her silly Ersatz forum? Our home is with Jenna, and there we'll stay.

#287 ::: rhndr ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:11 AM:

Some futher investigation.
When I looked up Alan Yee's post upthread about Google Search strings, I came across this - Barbara Bauer is producing podcasts! And distributing them on a site called AWOL, weighing in at 1/2 meg to 4 megs apiece.
AWOL?! OMG!!! Could that even be more appropriate?!?

Here's the site itself, obfuscated, since I couldn't insert a "rel=nofollow"
www.bbla. com/awol/awol.html
and here's the Google cache of it.

Here's what I noticed:
#1. Its really sad that she has these poor people who want to be authors doing podcasts.
#2. doing google searches on the string "authors without limits" turns up what look to me to be a whole bunch of shady sites that are either captive Barbara Bauer sites, or are adfarms. I think its time this end of her schemes was properly documented, so that when you search for that string you get the Twenty Worst list, or something similar.
#3. The autoformatting of html strips out attributes like "rel=nofollow". Can we fix that, or are all links automatically stripped anyway, and the trimming is just to prevent redundancy?

#288 ::: rhndr ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:15 AM:

Goof in last post.
What I meant to ask is if the blog software automatically appends the rel=nofollow attribute to all links anyway.

#289 ::: Aruna ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:19 AM:

Jackie Kessler,
on writers.net there's a very long thread about Barbara Bauer, but it's about three pages in, called "Writers site brought down" or something like that (I can't get in either.)
Somebody on that thread is even trying to speak up for Barbara Bauer - some loser who was once banned from AW, and has an axe to grind.

#290 ::: Laurence ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:19 AM:

Please don't for an instant discount the stupidity and maliciousness of the hosting company's actions, since ol' Babs couldn't have done it without their cooperation.

I've been lurking on this thread, and thinking for a while that what JC Hosting did makes no sense. You might shut down a site if a crazy person called you up and screamed at you. But if it was a very popular site, and shutting it down would generate large numbers of (craziness-optional) people screaming at you, then you wouldn't be doing yourself any favors. JC Hosting was obviously well aware of how popular the AW site is. So there's more to the story than first meets the eye.

IMO, JC Hosting should receive just as much bad publicity from this incident as BB. (Two GoogleBombs for the price of one?)

#291 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:20 AM:

Aconite, I think the James and Stephanie reputation ship has sailed. Actually, it sunk. James Macdonald asked JamesC to post here last night, w/ his side of the story--do you see anything from him? Neither do I.

They have their own site (competing? not a chance!), and along came Babs. How convenient for them. Kharma's a well deserved thing.

This entire thing has sickened me. RL is evil enough w/ all it's pitfalls, but I've spoken to and met some of these people on AW. Others, I correspond w/. They're my family dammit--don't mess w/ family.

All that the 3(JamesC, Stephanie & Babs) of you get as a result of this: loss of business, loss of reputation, you have brought on yourselves. Please remember that, no one did this to you. When you want to point fingers, down the road, share a mirror, it will save a few bucks, and peer in together.

#292 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:27 AM:

ACONITE: I started the thread called "Scammer shuts down website". There's a newer thread called "Barbara Bauer," which is the one I had wanted to add your comment to.

(Sheesh. I STILL can't get in. Maybe Babs complained about WN too...)

#293 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:37 AM:

I just read on another site that James C is Stephanie's husband. If this were any more of a soap opera, Babs would suddenly be revealed to be related as well...

Yoinks! The plot coagulates even futher. My guess is the next twist will either be the "amnesia episode" or we'll find out that Babs is someone's evil twin. I should call my bookie and see what the odds are saying...


#294 ::: Holly Lisle ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:38 AM:

Host recommendation for AbsoluteWrite: I use Jatol as a host (http://www.jatol.com) and have for years. They do a great job with my site, which is pretty large, and the Forward Motion Writers' Community, too, which is huge and has massive needs (and which was mine for a bunch of years before I gave it to my friend Zette Gifford.

They're great folks to work with, and they're competent and smart.

#295 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:39 AM:

You know what's good about this? Not much, but I'm enjoying seeing the lurkers come out (in every sense). Welcome to the conversation! Please don't go back to lurking when this mess is over!

#296 ::: Damien Roth ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:01 AM:

I'm usually one of those lurkers, and I have to say - without the explanation on this site about what's been going on, I would be completely lost.

Here's to hoping AW comes back even stronger than before. You don't really realize how much you miss something until it's gone.

D.R.

#297 ::: C.E. Petit ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:05 AM:

Fairly urgent correction:

CathyC noted at 1625/25 May 2006 that:

I think an awful lot of internet providers don't really understand much about the DMCA. They probably heard about the Ellison v. Robertson lawsuit (189 F.Supp.2d 1051, 2002 Copr.L.Dec. P28,420, 62 U.S.P.Q.2d 1170) back several years ago, and panic when the Act is invoked. Anyone interested in the actual case can use the cite here to find it.
Umm, no. That citation is no longer good law. The correct citation is:
Ellison v. Robertson, 189 F. Supp. 2d 1051 (C.D. Cal. 2002), rev'd, 357 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2004).
I was lead counsel for Mr Ellison, and keep a webpage with a summary of the case and copies of the critical materials. (PS We won.)

<soapbox>Don't cite cases that have been overturned. It can actually get a judge to issue sanctions against you. I see this far too often on the 'net: it's easy enough to find a case that seems to support your position, but you also have to ensure that that case remains good law.</soapbox>

* * *

A short primer on § 512 (the part of the DMCA dealing with ISP liability):

An ISP can claim a limited safe harbor for certain varieties of copyright infringements that appear on or through its services through the acts of third parties. The ISP remains liable (if liability would otherwise be established); the remedy available to the copyright holder is extremely restricted (see §§ 512(j)-(l)), but the DMCA is emphatically not immunity. Critical prerequisites include:
* Registering a DMCA agent with the Copyright Office under § 512(c)(2)
* Complying with the notice and policy requirements of § 512(i)
* Complying with the counter-notification requirements of § 512(f), available to parties who contest the designation of their material as infringing

The key distinction in practice is among three of the five categories of infringing communication channels: stored (§ 512(c)), indices (§ 512(d)), and transient (§ 512(a)). A provider's duties, safe harbor, and privileges are slightly different for each channel.

#298 ::: Glenda ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:13 AM:

I have spent all morning reading all the post. I read the top of this yesterday, but didn't know we could post comments. Now I know. I feel bringing down AW was a conspiricy. Stephnie wanted what Jenna had and used the rantings of BB to do it. Well, the attention she will be getting will not be good. I posted one time on her site and I'm sure she didn't like what she read, from any of us.

#299 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:45 AM:

Grumpy Old Bookman is helping spread the word! Scroll down to "Yet another attempt to silence criticism"

#300 ::: ColoradoGuy ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:46 AM:

I have been bothered from the beginning by motives for this thing. In other words: cui bono?The smoking gun for me was the absurdly short time given AW to rescue thread files, upon which much of the value of AW rests. Perhaps Steph thought that loss of these files would help move folks away from AW. I wonder.

Chris

#301 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:00 PM:

Is there any evidence that Barbara Bauer actually made a threatening call?

#302 ::: Juliet E McKenna ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:19 PM:

Just in case anyone's curious, because I was: Stephanie has posted an explanation about relaunching Writing Wise on her own blog, dated May 22nd. She did this because, you know, there just wasn't any decent site serving writers' needs. Well, there was one, unnamed, that solved most of her wants, but...

Make of that what you will. While you're doing that, don't believe that there are no comments to that post - clicking through anyway I find a bunch of them, ranging from vitriolic to 'more in sorrow than in anger but still pretty damn annoyed'. If she's reading them, she cannot avoid knowing what people think of her now.

Over at Writing Wise? A handful of introductory type posts dated 21st and 22nd May from a couple of contributors as well as Stephanie and James C. The forums? Sorry, I don't know the html for dark and echoing halls of eerie nothingness. Or a desolate prairie where the only movement is a tumbleweed, plaything of an uncaring breeze.

Just in case anyone's curious but doesn't want to offer aid and comfort by way of traffic statistics.

#303 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:24 PM:

James(C) hasn't returned to tell his side of the story, nor has he provided a link to anywhere where he has told his side of the story, nor did the female I talked to at JC-Hosting yesterday morning at 08:37 CDT tell me their side of the story.

I did go over to JC-Hosting (http://jc-hosting.com/) today, though, hoping that perhaps they had something to say.

They do.

In their "Terms of Use" they now have:

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
BEGINNING IMMEDIATELY, anyone hosting websites or services o­n their server that support spammers or cause any of our IP space to be listed in any of the various Spam Databases will have their server immediately removed from our network. The server will not be reconnected until such time that you agree to remove ANY and ALL traces of the offending material immediately upon reconnection and agree to allow us access to the server to confirm that all material has been COMPLETELY removed. Severe violations may result in immediate and permanent removal of the server from our network without notice to the customer. Any server guilty of a second violation WILL be immediately and permanently removed from our network without notice.

Weirdly, the Wayback Machine doesn't show them having that provision a year ago (Mar 05, 2005 is the last Wayback archive of the site).

We see from his previous post, "I will not spam this site with a link as I really do not know if the owner would like that information being passed around on this site," that James(C) believes that posting a relevant link on a messageboard constitutes "spamming."

I think I see how he's going to attempt to defend the indefensible.

#304 ::: NicoleW ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:27 PM:

James has posted his side of the story:

http://jccordray.com/

Good luck deciphering it, however. I've seen my cat write more coherent things just walking on the keyboard.

#305 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:33 PM:

HARRY CONNOLLY: JC_Hosting says so. Click on the link NicoleW provided and go through the post.

#306 ::: Maryn ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:36 PM:

I'm a bad person. Maybe Haskins will like me better now.

A couple years ago I learned of a website which gathers much public information, making it relatively easy to find people who are unlisted in phone directories and such. I don't really approve of this information being so readily accessable and I don't share the URL with people trying to find their ex, or their favorite celebrity. (Although after hearing of their searches, I've found what appear to be home addresses for both. Shudder!)

When I learned of this mess, not only did I post about it at the one writing site I frequent that didn't already have a message up about it, but I also started nosing around.

I have some home addresses and telephone numbers which I would not post publicly, of course. Should there be legal proceedings afoot, I'd be glad to share them.

Maryn, Girl Detective (now about that roadster...)

#307 ::: Roger J Carlson ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:41 PM:

Re: James side of the story:

http://jccordray.com/

Notice (paragraph 9) that everytime there was a bandwidth overage, Stephanie, HIS OWN PARTNER, intervened on AW's behalf? And then he wonders why he gets a confused email from Jenna Glatzer. Stephanie takes care of this again and he blames Jenna for not getting back to him.

If James wants someone to blame, he should look a whole lot closer to home!

#308 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:49 PM:

When I first posted to this thread, JC-Hosting couldn't find any of the standard docs an ISP customarily has.

And the logic, from a technical pov, of that screed JamesC posted, is entirely lacking. Essentially, if you know anything at all about serving content, JamesC is saying "We're incompentent and unprofessional."

I've got presentation fodder for, oh, at least the next three or four geek conferences. You know, I'm sure that page will be changing a lot; better grab it now.

#309 ::: aries75 ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:50 PM:

Anyone else find the title of Stephanie's blog just a tad ironic?

If:

a) setting up your own writing site
b) yanking a "competitor"
C) leaving said "competitor" no time to back up their files

...is indeed "Business as Usual" for JC-Hosting, I hope all their other customers drop them like a bomb.

In the meantime, those of you who were former members of AbsoluteWrite may want to go here:

http://www.hostsearch.com/company_info/jc-hosting.asp

...and submit a review. I'd suggest keeping it as factual as possible (since the facts are damning enough without further embellishment).

If I were on the lookout for a new host, I'd certainly want to know if they'd pulled a stunt like this.

#310 ::: Roger J Carlson ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 12:51 PM:

Oh, and for those who missed it up-thread, there's a temporary AW Withdrawl forum here:

rogerjcarlson.com/Forum/writerforum/default.asp

#311 ::: scharrison ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:01 PM:

...or cause any of our IP space to be listed in any of the various Spam Databases will have their server immediately removed from our network.


So...what interactive websites would not fall into this category? James C., you need to understand that slick little CYA crap like this will not go undetected, and it merely makes you look like a scammer yourself.

#312 ::: Lisa Goldstein ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:02 PM:

Cordray's side of the story starts "Were to begin?" I couldn't read much more after that.

#313 ::: Richard ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:05 PM:

Okay, going through JC's post, is this the order of events from the blog-post (no editorialising - just hunting for points. Man, this is a convoluted story...)

-- Stephanie sets up AW with specially rated server space

-- AW goes way over agreed upon limits, with outdated software, and extremely heavy system requirements - kept under control by Stephanie.

-- Wagner hands over control of AW to Glatzer but doesn't record the transaction with the host.

-- A lot of resources now going unchecked, but given the nod by Stephanie.

-- Bauer submits legal request for takedown

-- Address is removed from AW

-- Other posters take badly to removal.

-- Address re-appears, with added bashing, violating JC Hosting TOS/AUP.

-- Bauer contacts JC again

-- JC contacts Glatzer

-- Fight breaks out over the request

-- JC pulls the plug on AW, giving 24 hours notice, claiming multiple infractions, with this as the last straw.

-- JC request payment for the next month so that site contents can be removed from database for transport; shuts down site with decision to drop from collection.

-- Lawyer calls from AW

-- JC's Legal advice is to hold onto the database as evidence, hence total lockdown.

-- Internet explodes

Is that about the size of it?

#314 ::: TJWriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:13 PM:

Gah. That stuff JamesC wrote was a chore to get through and all I can say is Wow.

First, you need to understand what Spam is.

Second, Ms. Bauer has her email address posted on her web site, so how can she know the source of any spam she receives?

Third, if Ms. Bauer was a real agent, she would have no cause for complaint.

Good day.

#315 ::: Laura T ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:14 PM:

Sooo... after reading that.. Stephanie's site is up to just bait and collect data of what people are saying all over the net?

I. am. so. confused.

I am thinking maybe somebody needs a better lawyer?

I mean, if it were me, I'd try to issue a better public statement. Something along the lines of ... sorry for all of the confusion, we'll be giving AW all of their info back.. (not.. oh hey I'm not a big bad ass, but I'm asying I could be, so watch out.) The quick shut down was due to some legalities we had no control over, yet we'll be taking care of our customers as quickly as possible...sorry for the confusion.

now, let's say I was in the market for their services... the whole, hey, I can be a bad ass and shut you down within an hours notice and keep all your sh*t... well...

heck no. def. not for me.

#316 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:14 PM:

LISA GOLDSTEIN: Me, I had trouble making it past the plea to read over any errors of "grammer."

#317 ::: aries75 ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:17 PM:

Gah. That stuff JamesC wrote was a chore to get through and all I can say is Wow.

There's an old saying I think could be applied to that:

"The longer the explanation, the bigger the lie."

#318 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:22 PM:

Hey, bash JamesC for his logic, or lack thereof, not for his spelling. Really. You might notice I can't spell worth beans. It's not as easy as people might think.

#319 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:27 PM:

Hey, bash JamesC for his logic, or lack thereof, not for his spelling. Really. You might notice I can't spell worth beans. It's not as easy as people might think.

Sorry, I still shudder from "grammer."

#320 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:28 PM:

By the way, those references to "Roger Wagner" in JamesC's screed are to an admin person at the domain registry. It's Jenna's domain, and JamesC knows it; the rest is just truly stupid efforts at distraction via red-herring.

Domain owners can register "privately" which means that their personal address is not in the public directory. It's very very common, and I've actually dealt with domains that Roger Wagner is the contact for; you get a very clear explanation of what the situation is, and how to cope and who is really in charge.

A competent and honest ISP wouldn't even bother mentioning fact that the registrant Admin contact is a titular third party; it's just not an issue.

#321 ::: Damien Roth ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:28 PM:

Wow. Looking past the "grammer" errors, that was still a chore to read. Also, doesn't anyone think that if there really was a lawyer involved on their side...maybe they shouldn't/wouldn't be posting on an internet forum?

I see that Stephanie has "no comments" listed under her blog entry announcing her new website...but if you click on the post, everyone who posted is still there.

This is why you don't screw people over in the internet age. Too easy for it to all come crashing back down right on your own head.

D.R.

#322 ::: MadScientistMatt ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:36 PM:

James starts his explanation with "I am not a writer," which may mean that he isn't used to trying to make things very comprehensible and readable. But even then, it appears that the gist is that yes, they did take the site down because Barbara sent them a threatening note.

So I'm not even sure what rumors he is trying to squench, other than the observation that since we only have his and Stephanie's word that Barbara sent them the message, it would have been possible for them to have fabricated the incedent.

#323 ::: Richard ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:37 PM:

What I can't quite get is all the vitriol near the end, when... please, correct me if I'm wrong... the story everyone's been assuming and repeating actually ties pretty tightly to JC's 'actual true story' version.

I mean, ignoring the talk of contractual disputes, the 'official' version of events is that Bauer called to complain about people posting her address, the fight with Jenna was over peoples' ability to legally post her address, and the direct result of the fight was the switch being flicked.

#324 ::: Julia Temlyn ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:38 PM:

Everyone else has summed it up quite well, so I won't gush on, but I cannot thank you enough for this post, Teresa. It truly means so much.

~Julia (aka: the moderator known as TemlynWriting on AbsoluteWrite)

#325 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:39 PM:

Well, MadScientistMatt, if they did, Barbara Bauer really should sue them for libel, because it sure is going to cost Barbara Bauer bigtime.

Barbara BauerBarbara BauerBarbara Bauer Heh.

#326 ::: Gerald Patten ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:39 PM:

I wish they would pick up this web host. It is the best I’ve seen.

Powered by ZeroForum 2.1.1g. ©2006 RelyNet, Inc.

http://www.zeroforum.com/


To see one forum hosted by Zero Forum, look for OutdoorsBest Florida Sportsman forums.

http://outdoorsbest.zeroforum.com/

GPatten


#327 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 01:56 PM:

I'm still waiting for the "it was all a dream" episode....

#328 ::: Mike T ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:09 PM:

I'm loathe to jump onto the bandwagon of "these people are (whatever name you like)"... but I've got to say that JamesC, you seem to have a slightly confused sense of business. For a person so stoutly behind the concept of "business practice", why in all the love of the gods did he continuously allow a business partner to sideline those practices on a regular basis? And how is this the fault of some one else?

Look, I don't think there's ever a clear cut "well this person is Eeeevile" to these kinds of things. But really, JamesC. Come on. You're an outstanding, teflon exemplar of business acumen who has no responsibility for allowing things to get to a point you felt had no other option than to pull it?

If you let things slide and slide and slide and slide... you can't really bitch too much about being suddenly a mile and half from where you started, as if it's a surprise.

#329 ::: ray ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:13 PM:

There will be legal action against JC hosting, that's for sure. It is not the kind of things a hosting company should do. They have violated many business ethics as well as regulations, I believe, by their action. I am going to ask my friend who runs a major media site and see what he thinks.

I predict that AW will be back, but JC won't be.

Thanks for this thread, Making Light.

#330 ::: Patrick Connors Sees Comment Spam ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:15 PM:

Gerald Patten May 26, 2006, 01:39 PM

Looks like an ad to me.

#331 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:16 PM:

Just a few comments on Mr Cordray's explanation, from the point of view of a professional web developer.

He says:
I say this because there has never been any official agreement between Mr. Wagner and JC-Hosting that he was turning over this account to Ms. Glatzer but that is just one infraction of our original agreement.

This suggests to me that he, like a few other people I've dealt with in the past, cannot easily cope with the notion that a company is comprised of individuals, and that generally an individual may quit, be fired, or transfer to a different responsibility and then you have to deal with someone else. It's clear that everything on the site is run by a company. Every page says "© Absolute Write" at the bottom. There are staff bios.

The site was running some very outdated web applications vulnerable to all sorts of security issues, php injections you name it this site was ripe for the hacking. I emailed Mr. Wagner we discussed this both on the phone and through emails Stephanie also discussed this issue with him but nothing was ever done about it so I sat each day tracking log files and rewriting security rules to protect the site plus all of the other sites that were sharing this server (if I had my way I would have shut it down till the soft ware was updated) Stephanie once again supported the community working daily in the back ground finding the issues tracking down fixes and passing them over to me to set up.

That's very nice of him to do that work voluntarily, but he didn't have to. Most web hosting providers don't really care what software you run on their servers, and will happily let you run out-of-date and insecure scripts. They don't care if you're risking being hacked; after all, they'll have their network set up so that your virtual server is isolated from everyone else's and can't really do any harm. They do care if spam gets sent from your server... if that happens, they'll step in and shut it (or at least its access to send e-mail) down until you can resolve the issue. It doesn't sound as though that happened.

Ms Glatzer emailed and said that Mr. Wagner was no longer involved with Absolute Write (not sure what happened here never was given a reason nor did Mr. Wagner ever contact or ask for the account to be transfered)

That's probably because he assumed JC understood it had been opened for a company, not for him personally.

[...] she complained about short outages which I spent days tracking down till I found that the outdated web apps and the over usage of server resources were the issue

Spent days tracking them down? What he means is he probably set up an automatic system to monitor the server until it happened, then looked at what caused it, probably examining a few hundred lines of logging information, spending about an hour on the job. At least, that's how a competent administrator would approach it.

Another point: in the nine years that I've been a professional web developer, I've never seen a "short outage" that was caused by a software failure. At least, not an end user one. Short outages are almost always caused by flaky hardware, and ever-so-occasionally by faulty systems software (e.g. buggy web server software, which would have been JC's responsibility to install).

Ok now that you have a good idea of what was given freely let’s talk about the email issue with Ms. Bauer. The lady filed a complaint with us in writing; we needed to react in good faith to what we deemed as a possible legal issue for OUR business all that was asked was the email address be removed from the post.

I'm not a lawyer, but as a matter of professional integrity I make sure that I understand laws that are relevant to my business. Not in-depth, perhaps, but enough to know what is and isn't likely to be covered, and to know when I would need to seek legal advice because my expertise isn't enough. JC it seems did neither -- he didn't know that BB's threats were without legal basis, and didn't think to consult a lawyer. This is unprofessional at best.

an illegal shell access was committed by someone using AW’s log in information (this is a federal law broken now and yes we are tracking down that person and no there is no way some one just guessed at this user name and pass word)

I'm not sure what law. Somebody trying to log in to a system that they presumably believed they were authorised to use (as JC hasn't mentioned instructing them not to access it, only changing the settings on the account so that the web server wouldn't work; this is also likely how they wanted to transfer the database off, which he just said he had given them access for).

Now on a personal note I would like to ask a question.
How can AW and its members claim to be searching out the truth and attacking scammers when the members them selves (and possibly the owner/s) have no problem creating and spreading misinformation and lies?

On a personal note I'll answer... you've pissed us off, and left us in a situation where we don't really know what the truth is. We're not lying when we post here, even if sometimes things we say are wrong. The point is, nobody here has the full picture. Nobody (except perhaps you and Stephanie) knows the full extent of what has happened and why. We're not lying about you. We're speculating. We're trying to work out why an apparently professional ISP would behave in such an unusual manner. And believe me, what you've done is unusual. I've run my share of controversial websites in the past nine years, and had my share of legal threats, and none of the ISPs I've worked with have done anything like you have to AW. I've read the case law. I've read Ellison v AOL. I've read Godfrey vs Demon Internet, not that that really applies to you. I know the limits of those decisions, and the implications they have over how an ISP needs to behave to be within the law, and the information I have about what your company did suggests that you were a long way back from that line.

#332 ::: TJWriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:17 PM:

GPattern is not spam. He was just making a suggestion. He is an active member of the AW community.

#333 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:21 PM:

Jules: *clap clap clap*

Well said.

#334 ::: Cathy C ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:33 PM:

Posted by C.E. PetitDon't cite cases that have been overturned.

You're absolutely correct. I didn't shepardize it and should have before posting. My apologies for relying on old research and thanks for the correction. Also, congrats on the win. :)

#335 ::: Maryn ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:36 PM:

Ooh, ooh, I can't stop picking at it! Check out Barbara Mangano Bauer's headshot and stills.

Maryn, who told you all she was mean

#336 ::: Kira ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:41 PM:

I just want to thank TNH and PNH for hosting all our lost little souls, and for breaking the news in the first place.

In spreading the word here, you've proved again how valuable you both are to the community.

#337 ::: JCC ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 02:46 PM:

[I normally post as JC, but those initials seem to be out of fashion right now. I have nothing to do with JC-Hosting. My day job is in microprocessor design. I'm merely a lurker on AW and an occasional poster here.]

I found JC-Hosting's terms of use dating from April 27, 2006 in the Google cache:
http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:GC8abEy0L4EJ:jc-hosting.com/Sections-article10-p1.html+jc-hosting+sections-article10-p1&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a

I don't know the timeline well enough to know if this predates the incident which caused them to remove Barbara Bauer's e-mail address the first time. (I was too behind in reading Jim McDonald's thread on writing to read anything up-to-date.)

Even if we take the TOS-AUP at face value though, I don't see how posting an e-mail address might be considered to have violated it. If the "BEGINNING IMMEDIATELY" term is the one that AW has allegedly violated, then I note that JamesC's explanation has shown no indication that AW has cause any Spam Database to list them, or any indication that AW has supported any spammers. What's interesting though is that after having apparently claimed that Barbara Bauer had nothing to do with the shutdown, he now claims that she does have something to do with it after all.

#338 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 03:19 PM:

*sigh*

Correction: I dealt with Roger A. Waggoner.

But a masked Admin contact is a minor issue, and not uncommon. And it's clear that J-C hosting knew who owned the domain, and was the primary contact.

#339 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 03:21 PM:

Just a quick query for people who may know more about US Companies law than I do. Apart from JC Hosting, it seems Mr Cordray runs a business called TotalWeb International Net Consulting. He has numerous banners all over the place, and URLs and title tags of their web sites, refering to it as "TotalWeb INC" or some slight variation thereof. As it does not seem to be an incorporated company (I can find no details of registration or notification of legal structure on his site, at least, and know that for a UK company this information would be mandatory), does his use of this name not fall foul of some business naming legislation? I found it a little confusing at first, as I thought it might be a business that I've dealt with in the past that is called just TotalWeb.

#340 ::: Gerald Patten ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 03:25 PM:

Thank you TJWriter.
I wasn’t sure anyone even knew me.
Yes, I’m an active member of the AW community and a 71 year old retired man who has no interest in business, or advertising anything.

#341 ::: scharrison ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 03:28 PM:

***Now on a personal note I would like to ask a question.
How can AW and its members claim to be searching out the truth and attacking scammers when the members them selves (and possibly the owner/s) have no problem creating and spreading misinformation and lies?***

This statement proves (to me anyway) that JC has an agenda above and beyond stated web-hosting concerns, be they technical or legal. This is subjective, and meant to erode consumer confidence in the information provided by Absolutewrite and its associates. There could only be two possible reasons for this: to redirect some of the 7,000 AW members to another organization, or to protect an entity that had been the subject of ethical scrutiny by AW watchdogs. Or both.

#342 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 03:32 PM:

JamesC's information pages:
http://www.totalweb-inc.com/docs/jcordray.pdf
http://new.ryze.com/view.php?who=JamesCC

The second page says (in part):
'My name is James Cordray I am better known on the Internet by JamesC. I am married to the most wonderful woman in the world who happens to own TotalWeb International Net Consultants in Nashville TN.'

Um, he works for her?
That also explains the 'INC' bit: it's an abbreviation which is potentially misleading.

#343 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 03:33 PM:

Jackie Kessler: I went to the WritersNet site, but by the time I got there, it seemed what I had to say was no longer relevant.

I do find it interesting that certain people in that thread who weren't there, getting the information in real time as the shutdown happened, are so sure they know the real version of the event from James Cordray's account. Interesting, too, that they assume the only untold parts of the story are on James' side, and that those accounts would favor his story.

JMO, of course, but what I saw firsthand indicates to me that Barbara Bauer and bandwidth were convenient excuses to take down a major competing website.

#344 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 03:45 PM:

Thanks, Aconite. I appreciate you taking a look.

A number of banned AW people post regularly at WN, which may count for some of the stuff that's floating up. And then there are those who always go for the underdog -- even if the underdog just happened to take a huge chunk out of a cyber angel.

Fighting the good fight...

#345 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 03:51 PM:

How can AW and its members claim to be searching out the truth and attacking scammers when the members them selves (and possibly the owner/s) have no problem creating and spreading misinformation and lies?

First of all, JamesC, if you're interested in the truth (as you claim to be), the owners of AW had nothing whatever to do with creating or posting this blog entry. After you pulled the plug on AW, I talked with Teresa -- she knows many people in both the writing and computer industries. ML is a natural place to start when one's looking for an ethical and competent web host. If you have a problem you have it with me, not Jenna.

Next -- everything posted here was true to the best of my knowledge at the time. If Stephanie was never involved with PublishAmerica, it was my error. My memory is good, but not infallible. Unfortunately I couldn't consult the archives. Can you think of a reason why I couldn't check them?

Next, it seems from your own account that Barbara Bauer certainly did have something to do with your decision to pull the plug. Would you care to revise your earlier denials?

As to the exact timing of your actions, all I know is what I saw in public. Perhaps I misinterpreted them; perhaps not.

You speak of the members of AW as if they were only one individual, rather than many, each with varying points of view, style, and interests. This is an error that will lead you to bad decision-making. You have been on the web long enough that you should be able to recognize that.

Consider carefully before you use the word "lies," okay?

It seems clear, from your own account, that there is only one ethical path for you now. Please take a deep breath, swallow your pride, and do the right thing.

#346 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 03:55 PM:

Even if I give JamesC every benefit of the doubt, he still doesn't come out looking very good in this whole mess. If he's unsure who owned the AW domain, why didn't he make an effort to contact both parties *much* earlier to straighten things out? If AW was such a headache, why couldn't he and his business partner work out things so that the customer had to leave, they left happy? If he doesn't want to discuss the matter publicly, why give out several conflicting answers? And if his lawyer did advise him to keep quiet, why the long screed on his website?

Sorry, but his behavior throughout does not give me much confidence in him or his company.

#347 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 03:59 PM:

International Net Consultants == INC

ohmyfreakinggawd. he isn't incorporated he's a poser. Hm. that also means no liability protection. no corporate veil.

Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war.

Greg

woof! woof! woof!

that was my dog impersonation.

#348 ::: Taurus Rising ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 04:12 PM:

Just finished reading this entire thread and feel ready to scream and bang my head against a wall. I know AW will come back in one form or another, but the nonsense Jenna and the AW team is having to wade throught to (allegedly [eyes roll]) beacause of Barbara Bauer and JC Hosting infuriates me.

#349 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 04:16 PM:

I know most ISPs can shut down a customer's site for trifling reasons, but I've never heard it was legal for them to do so in order to take down a competing business.

#350 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 04:20 PM:

You want to know my position? I'll cravenly accept any outcome that preserves the AW message base. Hell, I'll pitch in to help buy the web hosting service a pony, if that's what it takes.

#351 ::: roach ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 04:33 PM:

I read JamesC's side of things and it just doesn't ring true. His depiction of Jenna's correspondence doesn't sound at all like the Jenna I've seen posting on AW. Also, I can take a guess (and I bet I'd be right) at who the lawyer is that contacted JamesC on Jenna's behalf and he certainly wouldn't be making a call without having all the facts on hand.

#352 ::: Julia Temlyn ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 04:57 PM:

You want to know my position? I'll cravenly accept any outcome that preserves the AW message base. Hell, I'll pitch in to help buy the web hosting service a pony, if that's what it takes.

Bless you, Teresa & Patrick.

#353 ::: JenNipps ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 05:09 PM:

There has been a lot said here. Some of it, I would be highly interested in hearing more about, as would many others, I am sure, regarding the reasoning and full story behind pulling the plug.

I did make a couple blog posts regarding this, also. But mine were -- at the time -- based on limited information and more along the lines of pointing the way to others who knew more about the situation than I do/did.

This is interesting in one respect that it shows an ugly side of human/business nature that I'm finding quite applicable to a current work-in-progress (shame shame, Jen -- I know).

I find it heartwarming to see so many people concerned, wanting to help, and wanting to know when it will all be back up again.

~Jen
(AW Moderator for the Mainstream/Contemporary board)

#354 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 05:09 PM:

*conciliatory noises*

I really do think this can still all be ironed out...cross your fingers, folk, eh?

#355 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 05:09 PM:

To the JC folks (and you *are* reading this thread- see below)

Here's something that happens to *all* of us: you're hanging out with friends, and somehow the topic of "Banned cards in Magic the Gathering" comes up. And its now 2 hours later, and you don't yet have resolution. And it hits you- hey, I haven't even played MtG for, what, 5 years? But you still lost those 2 hours.

Or maybe it isn't MtG. Maybe an hour at Thanksgiving, trying to get grandpa to admit that Net Neutrality is the most important issue facing the net this year. And grandpa isn't even online, and you flew in to see everyone, and is this really what you and your family cares about? But then why don't they just see what you're saying- isn't it so obvious?

Or at a high-school reunion, about how baseball is far more American than football. You haven't even *seen* these guys for 5 years, and you're talking sports philosophy?

Or on Craigslist, you got castigated for your question in Fixit Forum on copper vs. plastic pipes, and so now you're refreshing every half hour, explaining how you've been misinterpreted. And by "you" I mean "CrisInACondo from SFO."

Or even here- on ML- where it became very important to get 'Bob the Swordsmith' to admit that cilantro just doesn't belong in lentil dishes. (Well, it doesn't. Soap is not an ingredient.) You're neglecting your own blog because, welll, Bob needs to admit you're right, and cilantro is wrong. 10 posts on one thread isn't too much to make that important point, is it?

All of us, absolutely all of us, have a little conversational switch in our brains, the switch that tells the ancient layers of our brain that "This conflict- if I lose, then my access to food and mates is lost. My status and pack will be gone. I.Must.Win."

That switch turns on and your side of the argument is now informed by 240 million years of destiny to Not.Let.Go. Don't.Walk.Away. Must.Keep.Refreshing. Your fate and future depend on winning this argument.

(aka You've never had an argument with a spouse where one of you was ready to stay somewhere else that night, *but you would never be able to explain to your friends and family exactly why [Abraham Lincoln's philosophy / annuals vs. perennials / topic] was worth the battle*? I don't believe you.)

So, folks at JC, I think everyone here can empathize with the first part of how you got here. AW's been bugging you, some women called with lawsuit threats and freaked you out: you made a decision- you took a side, a stand. You started to argue that side, of course. Who wouldn't defend what they've just decided?

Then the switch flipped. That "sunk costs are irrelevant" became irrelevant. That this can only grow worse- irrelevant. That this isn't just you and AW- its you, AW, and the whole world (wide web)- irrelevant. If you just explain it enough, people will see you're right, so you don't.walk.away. Can't.Stop.Now.

Wait- think back to those lost hours of arguments- don't you remember telling yourself "next time, I'm going to pause, walk away, apologize, not get caught up like that"?

You can stop. You can have people empathizing, because we've all had that switch go off. "Hey, I took a stand, but it wasn't the right battle. Sorry. Let me help make this right."

Step back, turn the switch to 'off.' Then in a week this thread is gone from the front page. Your blood pressure and heart rate can go back down.

We all make mistakes, and get caught up in frog v. duck battles. We've all been there. The danger is when we choose to stay there. Flip the switch back.

#356 ::: Omega12596 ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 06:22 PM:

I added a link to both Jenna and The List in my blog. AW is more than a writer's resource, it's a community, and its loss, no matter how long it may last, is a sad, sad thing.

Here's to AW for being strong and proud and for not giving up! Here, here!

#357 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 07:02 PM:

JC's not a lawyer, doesn't play one on TV and probably didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night, either. However, he certainly throws a lot of legalese around in his thesis...whoops, that's Babs who's got the phd thingie, sorry.

What bugs me most is the light in which he paints Jenna--like some dumb school-girl. >

Me thinks JC thought he was dealing w/ someone from OZ

#358 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:17 PM:

Richard Cobbett - posting someone's edress is not illegal. Heck, Barbara Bauer posts it herself on her website.

#359 ::: Laura T ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:21 PM:

Soooo Jamse C's "true story" mentioning lawsuits and everyting?

Well, if AW takes this route...

http://www.eff.org/


I was talking to some people, and this is totally not spam or anything. If there was some kind of REAL lawsuit against AW... Here is a very good group that deals with stuff like this.. the Electronic Frontier Foundation. This is a non-profit group protecting digitla rights and freedom of speach.

To quote them exactly, "When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense."

and :

"Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists, EFF achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations."

http://www.eff.org/

so, just an FYI from some really great computer geeks I know. :O)...

#360 ::: David Reagan ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:31 PM:

Check this out ya'll!

http://20worstagents.com/

The standard 20 Worst Agents List, but our favorite, Miss #4, gets some special treatment ;)

#361 ::: ColoradoGuy ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:35 PM:

Kristin Nelson, another blogging agent, has put up a post about it; the steamroller is rollering with ever more steam.
http://pubrants.blogspot.com/

Chris

#362 ::: writerious ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:36 PM:

If you haven't seen it yet, check out:

Bye, Bye Barbara: The Play

#363 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 08:57 PM:

Mark A. York, what are you talking about? Because that doesn't sound like the Jenna we know, either. She's not exactly wont to tell authors that their book, published by PublishAmerica, is worthless--she's more likely to tell them that their publisher is worthless, and that, at worst, their book can simply not be said to have been published, at least not in the sense that a book is published by, say, Tor.

Did I misread you? Or are you paraphrasing grievously?

#364 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 09:15 PM:

I finally completed my long-awaited (and very long) rant on Barbara Bauer, with major Google-bombing.

http://alanyee.blogspot.com/

Anyone who's creating a master list of all the blogs on Barbara Bauer, make sure to link to this.

Be afraid, BB. Be VERY afraid.

#365 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 09:27 PM:

Seems like A Gent's Outlook wants in on the action though he's trying to rope in Miss Snark and P&E while he's at it.

#366 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:02 PM:

Woo, "A Gent"! Is that jerk still blathering?

#367 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:16 PM:

A Gent's Outlook is so pathetically convinced that Barbara Bauer is a legitimate literary agent. He basically says "you shouldn't go around labeling her as a scammer and attacking her professional reputation."

But she is a scammer. She charges far more than normal expenses (besides, she hasn't procured an advance or royalties for her writers, so there is no commission and there are no expenses), and she has a horrible reputation as an agent with NO SALES TO ANY MAJOR PUBLISHERS, because she ISN'T a literary agent.

And he goes with the attitude that "ALL real agents have no feelings of sympathy whatsoever and none of them hate it when a ruthless scammer takes advantage of clueless newbies." This isn't representative of all agents, only of SammyK.

I get kind of tired of his completely condescending blog. I wouldn't want such an antagonistic agent who pre-labels and calls me a stupid idiot newbie just because I haven't gotten my agent and publisher yet, to represent my work. He can go fuck Barbara Bauer for all I care.

#368 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:17 PM:

Mark A. York: She wigged out on me big time and I'm only one of three ever banned from AW.

"Only one of three ever banned from AW"?! WTF? Baby, I know damned well more than three people have ever been banned from AW for bad behavior. I'm a moderator there.

Jenna's number one rule on AW has always been, "Respect your fellow writer." In addition to that, she's made it clear on numerous occasions that PublishAmerica authors are not to be attacked or made to feel worthless on AW because of who their publisher is. By your own admission--and even discounting what else there might have been to the story--you violated two prime rules of the board by attacking a PA author, and you're surprised you were taken to task for it?

Whether she did or not is unknown. It has been alleged.

Whether or not she did what? Alleged by whom?

#369 ::: scharrison ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:20 PM:

Mark, if I had to put up with everything Jenna does, I'd be flipping out constantly. I've given her numerous reasons to skin me alive, and she's been a jewel.

#370 ::: Dave Kuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:31 PM:

Well, my impression of SammyK is that he mentioned us in order to drive some activity to his blog.

#371 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:34 PM:

Mark: Aconite beat me to most of what I was going to say (namely, the amount of people banned from AW, and how they get that way).

What remains is for me to point out that what you say about Jenna is no less allegation than what anyone else says about Jenna. I expect there are two sides to the story you present as Uncomfortable-Truth-Deal-With-It, and I have not yet seen any reason to receive your word, out of all the words available, as gospel.

#372 ::: Roger J Carlson ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:36 PM:

Mark A York: And of course YOU aren't grinding an axe or anything here, are you?

#373 ::: Roger J Carlson ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:41 PM:

Mark A York: And it makes you look so small and petty.

#374 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:44 PM:

Mark, I think there was more to it than you're seeing. You say you're speaking from experience, but Jenna knows what she's saying and has her very good reasons. She has witnessed hundreds of disillusioned PA authors get stabbed through the heart when they found out that their book is lost forever and can never be sold as a non-reprint ever again.

The word "worthless" can be very emotionally ego-shattering when someone uses that word in connection to me, my writing abilities, or my book (which I haven't written yet, BTW, but am plotting). Sometimes I feel my stories are worthless, but I still remain confident that SOMEDAY, whether in 5, 10, 15, 20, or 50 years, I will be published, whether in magazines or in book form.

Mark, just think of how a poor writer who was just verbally and emotionally abused by PA, who starts doubting that their book was good (since PA accepts anything, they know it wasn't judged with high-quality standards), would react when someone calls them or their book "worthless," confirming their doubts. Some of them just blow it off, and continue writing. But less emotionally stable writers will, after reading the word "worthless," wallow in sadness and quit writing for good. That is sad. And that has happened to some of those who have found out they've been scammed by PA.

Some people, like me, are quite sensitive to certain words, such as "worthless." If you say it to the wrong person, you may have just destroyed the development and career of a potentially great author. You wouldn't want that to happen.

#375 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:49 PM:

Dave, I know, but it seems like only heartless jerks would want to read SammyK's blog. You notice how he has almost no comments, probably because his blogs are so intimidating.

#376 ::: Glenda ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 10:53 PM:

Does anyone know the status on how Jenna and her crew is doing?

#377 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:01 PM:

Glenda: Come on over to Roger's alternative site for the latest.

We have a hosting company, and blessed volunteers are grabbing cached copies of forum pages before they disappear, just in case. Instructions on how to do that are provided.

#378 ::: Harry Connolly ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:12 PM:

You notice how he has almost no comments, probably because his blogs are so intimidating.

I think it's because he's the lamest troll evar!

If a troll is too damn lazy to post in the blogs of the people he's insulting, he's not worth bothering with.

#379 ::: LeslieB ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:12 PM:

Wow, I've seen more than three people banned at AW, and I've only been there since March.

And to JamesC - at the top of this thread, I refered to Stephanie as a PA author. It seems I was in error, but as Uncle Jim pointed out, I couldn't very well check, now could I? I apologize for calling her a PA author, since I now realize that that is an insult to PA authors everywhere. Happy now?

#380 ::: roach ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:22 PM:

Kind of off topic here, but does anyone know if SammyK is a bona fide, legitimate agent? I've tried to read his blog from time to time and have been put off by not only the Pepto-Bismol poo* color scheme but also by the unsavory invective. There's a similar abusive, profanity-laced dismissal to his writing that reads like the e-mails of certain scam agents/publishers.


*With a two-year-old running around the house I'm trying to tone down the potty mouth.

#381 ::: Electric Landlady ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:27 PM:

I'm not an AW member, but I'm dismayed that something like this could happen -- just wanted to pitch in on the chorus of support.

Also, an update on the Googlebomb: A search for "Barbara Bauer" now shows the 20 Worst Agents list at #3, immediately after two pages on Bauer's own site. Heh.

#382 ::: Steven Gould ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:36 PM:

I see that Absolute Write is back up.

#383 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:46 PM:

Shorter Mark A. York: I'm not going to explain anything and that makes me better than you, so neener. And the lurkers support me in e-mail.

#384 ::: Roger J Carlson ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:53 PM:

Now you just sound childish. Better quit before you devolve into incoherence.

BTW, you wouldn't happen to be the Mark A York who picks fights with just about everybody in the comments on Lee Goldberg's blog, would you?

By your fruits are you known.

#385 ::: scharrison ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2006, 11:59 PM:

Mark, I'm a PA author, too. I said some really crappy things about AW back in the day, but Jenna and others were and have been extremely patient and supportive. I very easily could have given up writing altogether, but they helped me get to the other side of that incredibly confusing time, and I am finally writing again. It may never amount to much, but I won't be swayed by scammers again, that's for sure. Please consider where your anger comes from.

#386 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 12:31 AM:

Wow, Mark, not only do the lurkers support you in email, but your emails support you in email.

Just as you have your emails, I have my own personal experience. Aconite's interpretation of your sad tale of woe hews more closely than yours does to the Jenna I know. I have seen her time and time again earned triple any sainthood you caution me against "bequeathing" on her.

Aside: "Bequeath? I'm not dead yet! I think I'll go for a walk--"

That you are only aware of two other people besides yourself getting banned is unsurprising. Why would you lurk on AW after getting banned? What possible reason could you have to know about people getting banned after your departure?

That you were banned simply tells me that your philosophy on how a site should be run differs from Jenna's. It happens. It's not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. But it also makes you rather less than an unbiased voice in this discussion.

You think some of us disbelieve you because we're uncomfortable with the truths contained within The Gospel According to Mark. Oddly enough, another reason we might disebelieve you is the headlong flight of your claims into the face of our own personal experiences with Jenna.

#387 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 12:37 AM:

There is no reason to believe that "A Gent" is an agent at all.

#388 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 12:47 AM:

"Wow, I've seen more than three people banned at AW, and I've only been there since March."

March 2006? Yah, about a dozen or more of them have been banned in the last month or so. Most of them were She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Roach, I think you might be right. Which certain scam agents/publishers? I don't know who that would be. Is it PA? He does sound a little like a wannabe/scam agent/publisher because of how he portrays other legitimate agents such as Miss Snark. I mean, why else would he despise Writer Beware and P&E? Most of the other agents who write blogs are decent people who don't think they're hot stuff. He has never bragged about any of his sales, though Miss Snark doesn't either, for obvious reasons.

I may be wrong and he could be completely legit, but he doesn't give off that impression, does he? Anybody know?

#389 ::: Alan Yee ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 12:51 AM:

Amen Jim, I guess Roach and I were right.

#390 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 01:00 AM:

Cripes, Mark, you sound like you're about 3.

When, oh when will we get our AW back!!!

Meanwhile, thank you again, Teresa and Patrick for putting up w/ us. We promise to put the furniture back where we found it before we leave. Yeah, we'll fluff the cushions, too :)

#391 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 01:01 AM:

The Gent/SammyK doesn't know much about books, or literature, or publishing. Most agents, real agents, the ones, who, you know, sell books to editors, like books and words and text; Sammy appears to be the textual equivalent of tone deaf.

#392 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 01:04 AM:

http://20worstagents.com

(milk)-(nose)

(COUGH)

(snort)

WOOT!

#393 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 01:23 AM:

No, Mark. There were plenty more than three people banned from AW. The majority of them were banned for treating their fellow writers like garbage. Some of the banned were let back in, after either taking a short break or apologizing for their actions.

Heck, the only person I can even think of who was banned for a different reason, was a lady who asked to be banned for a day so she could finish a manuscript.

But there were plenty of people banned from AW. That's kind of what you have to expect when 7,000 people interact together on a webforum.


The rule at AW was always "Respect Your Fellow Writers." I have found, in the year or so that I have been a member at AW, that every single bannee (if I may use that term) was banned for breaking that basic rule.

Sure, Jenna went off on some of the people she banned. But then again, Mark, in all of the cases I've seen, every single bannee had it coming.

#394 ::: CaoPaux ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 01:49 AM:

Data point: MindSight, Done Deal, and Writers.Net also banned Mark for the same behavior. I don't doubt there are others beyond my surf line.

#395 ::: cat ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 02:29 AM:

Hi All,

I haven't managed to read all of the blogs posting on this issue as there are just too many, but I've read a HUGE chunk. Congrats, way to go.

To do my bit, I'm sharing your cause with the design industry at 'Designers who blog', with the post 'Twenty Worst Agents Saga'.

http://www.designers-who-blog.com/index.php/archive/twenty-worst-agents-saga/

In order to post I've bent the rules of my blog somewhat to include your industry. I already include those in marketing, branding, etc, and as writers also work within the design industry it's really not that big of a leap.

Anyway, good luck. I'll be watching to see how this progresses, and hope to see some of you at Absolute Write at some point.

Cat

#396 ::: Lee Whiteside ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 03:17 AM:

I've blogged it
http://sftv.org/weblog/
Lee Whiteside

#397 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 04:23 AM:

I don't quite understand what's going on here. Matthew Hughes seems to have posted multiple reviews of F&SF stories, each with an unexplained Barbara Bauer link that goes not to the SFWA 20 Worst List (as recommended upthread) but to the Technorati BarbaraBauer tag page. As a result, most links to relevant tales of outrage on the visible part of the latter page have been displaced by innocuous and irrelevant reviews. Was this watering-down of the effect intentional?

#398 ::: A. J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 05:27 AM:

I, too, joined the googlebombing effort. Blog linked to name.

SFWA 20 Worst Agents list is now the second search result for Barbara Bauer.

Hooray for those meddling kids!

#399 ::: Peggy ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 06:39 AM:

Jenna's latest update

They are still working on getting the forum databases.

#400 ::: Mad Scientist Matt ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 08:10 AM:

I saw Sammy's rant too. Something along the lines of "How dare they question her professionalism! They had it coming!" even though questioning her professionalism would turn up that her only "sales" have been to vanity presses. I have to wonder if Sammy / A Gent is actually one of the 20 Worst blogging under a psuedonym. Either that, or he has all the common sense of Neville Chamberlain.

#401 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 08:11 AM:

*Sigh.*

#402 ::: Richard ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 08:50 AM:
They don’t blog all the fucking time. They don’t promote writer resources unless prompted with a prod. They don’t throw challenges out to people they believe are scammers without realizing that every agent in the industry is laughing at them. They don’t align themselves with people in the industry who are of lesser ilk. They just don’t.

Sayeth the blogging 'A Gent'. My emphasis.

#403 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 08:51 AM:

Keep the faith, Jerry. It'll all come right, in the end.

#404 ::: Jim C. Hines ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 08:52 AM:

I see others have already posted that the SFWA 20 Worst list is now #2 in the Barbara Bauer results list.

I've got a screenshot posted at http://www.sff.net/people/jchines/Pics/Number2.jpg

So, how much work do you think it will take to bump it to number one?

#405 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 09:00 AM:

Laura T, I'd concur with the recommendation of the EFF.

Practically, they have to be careful which fights they support, because losing a case is no help to them.

The question of the database, and what's happened to that, and whether the AW owners can ever recover it; that's something that the EFF may be very interested in.

I expect that there's a lot of fiddly little details which could mess things up on the lagal front, but not letting AW recover their database seems to me to be a lot like theft.

#406 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 09:12 AM:

Jim Hines, we don't know how close it is. We should just keep spreading the word.

#407 ::: Jim C. Hines ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 10:39 AM:

Absolutely, Xopher. But be careful. Apparently, Googlebombing is a terrorist tactic.

#408 ::: SpookyWriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 11:00 AM:

Jerry,

When AW does come back up, I'll have a few laughs with ya! But in the meantime, I'm still upset and haven't had the humor bug lately.

Spooky

#409 ::: Michael Robinson ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 11:08 AM:

http://forum.hasweb.com/index.php?showforum=3

Have a chat with Aric in Hasweb's pre-sales forum to get an idea of why I use them over other hosts that offer seemingly competitive plans.

They can be a bit silly at times, but the moment there's a problem they're right on top of it.

Their plans can be found here:
http://hasweb.com/linux_web_hosting.php

The "Pro" plan seems like it would fit AW's needs.

#410 ::: Mrk A. Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 11:47 AM:

"Crps, Mrk, y snd lk y'r bt 3.
Whn, h whn wll w gt r W bck!!!"

snd "3"?

Pck fghts? CPx s t? f y hd ny gts y'd s yr wn nm. N, t's jst lrg grps f flks n nln frms bt wrtrs r xtrmly tchy nd gnt blgswrms whn thy hr thngs thy dn't lk. Thn thy cm n thr's bk st n mzn nd lv slm rvws tht r stpd bynd blf, cllng nnfctn wrk "trrbl nvl" nd th lk. gr wth Gldbrg n prctclly vrythng nd wrkd n hs shw fr yrs whn h ws th wrtr/prdcr. Dbtng s nt "pckng fghts."

ddn't ndrstnd Ncl's lst pst. t ws nnsnscl lbt smngly SP sht th mssngr. Whtvr. My xprnc s vld nnthlss whthr nyn crs t blv t r nt. Wht th srvr/hstng srvc wntd s stll nclr. Snds lk mny t m.

ws crtnly th frst t b bnnd, bck whn vryn ddn't wnt, r dr, t fght Mnrs, bsds Dv, nn, Vctr nd Jm. vn thy rjctd my frml cmplnt flng cll. "Wn't wrk," thy sd. ws blgswrmd by lyl P thrs t vry st. Grdlly thy cllctvly wk p s my pln wrkd. Smn hd t kck th cn nt th fr. Wrtng s tgh bsnss nd n n wll mllycddl y n NY. My dvc s t bck t p.

SmmyK s ndd blnt nd dn't knw wh h s. Tht's th thng wth nnymty, lthgh mss snrk's s nly thnly vld. knw wh sh s. H snds lk blpprtn t m.

#411 ::: Deborah Ng ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 11:54 AM:

Just a quick note to offer my support. I've posted a link to this thread as well as the 20 Worst Agents List on my FWJ blog.

#412 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 12:05 PM:

Normally I would be way too shy to pimp my own blog, especially here at ML because I respect the hosts so much, but I've just put up Dawno's Top Ten "20 Worst Agents List" List and I wanted to share it because I hope you've visted all the sites I mention, they're wonderful.

The outpouring of support for AW means so much to Jenna and the rest of us who work with her on the Mod Squad. Thank you, Patrick and Teresa, for letting us camp out here and the rest of the loyal ML folk for giving us a place to vent.

#413 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 12:35 PM:

Dawno, shy? That will be the day!

Oh, Mark. It was me who called you a 3yr. old. Can't have you erroneously blaming my good pal, CaoPaux--I understand reading comprehension may not be your strong suit--that's okay. We writers are quite forgiving.

Anyone, who was found guilty of leaving nasty remarks on gb's, and was a member of AW, was banned. Notice I used past tense. ISP's were tracked and the individuals were summarily dumped/kicked to the curb.

My take is that ANYONE taking shots at either Jenna or current AW members during the present crisis--which it is, are cut from the same cloth as those who caused it. EG: Babs. My suggestion; join the sour-grapes line. I believe it forms to the left.

#414 ::: Joy ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 12:40 PM:

I remember York from PA. Quite a selective memory you have regarding just about everything.

#415 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 12:55 PM:

Mark A. York wrote:
"Well, not to put to fine a point on it, but as one who had several go-rounds with Jenna over a minor issue, such as telling a writer with a publishamerica book that it was essentially worthless and got me banned as a result, it sounds like what I experienced. E-mail exchanges can wig out real easy no matter who it is."

It really is a shame, Mark, that the only way we could prove that this did or did not happen the way you say it happened, would be to be able to go over to the original AW forums and find out for ourselves.


Oh, and BTW, you were not the first person banned from those boards. If you were only a member since March of '06, like I seem to get from your posts, I can name at least two usernames that have been banned from that site before you were a member there.

Of course, if I really stopped to think about it, I could probably come up with a bundle more....and they were all banned because they did not respect their fellow writer. Whether you think this is the case or not is irrelevant; I'm afraid you don't know Jenna half as well as you think you do.

#416 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 01:06 PM:

It's such a shame, with much more interesting things to talk about (Barbara Bauer), to spend any more time on Mark and his grievances.

This stuff wouldn't even be worthy of NEPAT Overflow time, let's move on.

#417 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 01:09 PM:

I hear ya Spooky, and I’ll see ya on the other side when AW is back up in whatever form Jenna has. As to loosing my humor, I guess so and I’m angry and bewildered.

Having only a street level, twelfth grade knowledge on law, the practice of law, and what categories the law represents, I’m bewildered on how this agent Barbara Bauer can con

Stephanie from JC-Hosting, or “Moonshadow” as she is known on Absolute Write to take down or discontinue hosting Absolute Write. It’ hard for me to understand how such people like these are so stupid to do this. Then, I think of some of the experiences I’ve seen where Directors of NASA, Managers of companies as large as Lockheed Aircraft, and others have gone to court only to loose to one of their employees over a lawsuit.

Six, or more years ago I had an attempted fraud by the famous Lisa Hackney (a.k.a. Melanie Mills, Elisabeth Von Hullessem, and many of her others names try to defraud me and it frustrates me how these scumbags can keep on going.

I have a little humor in me still and I know Absolute Write will be back in business soon and that is another day; this is today.


#418 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 01:11 PM:

Mark, nothing was turned off yesterday. Leave AW members alone. You're full of jealousy is all. Sean's my friend, too. You don't have any, you're the one who dug yourself a hole.

Notice how we're all sticking together even though we don't officially have a home, presently. That's what family does, Mark.

Thank you, again, Teresa and Patrick. Sorry if we're making too much of a mess.

#419 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 01:34 PM:

(peeks in on thread)

(listens)

(shakes head)

(leaves)

#420 ::: Shawna ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 01:52 PM:

Our favorite Barbara Bauer site is up to second on Google...

#421 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 02:22 PM:

Mark A. York Wrote:
"They're banned because of quasi-disrespect, something even miss snark is guilty of."

Quasi-disrespect? Sir, if you think the kind of things that have gotten people banned from AW are 'quasi-disrespect,' you don't know what disrespect (or respect, for that matter) is.

"This is a subjective criterion based on a jury of one."

Yes, I know. A jury of one by the name of Mark A. York. Do you want to play Judge too?

You are not an authority on AW, Mr. York. Nor are you an authority on Jenna Glatzer. You're a particularly rude individual who has been banned not only from AW, but from several other writing sites that have been mentioned before in this comment thread. Judging from your posts, I can understand why you were banned from those sites. You treat people like garbage if they disagree with you. That doesn't fly in the real world.

BTW, a PA book is worthless so far as the publishing industry is concerned. This does include yours. In that, the quote Jenna allegedly gave you is quite correct. I should know: I have a PA book, and hardly anyone even knows the book exists, unless I tell them it does.


Now, can we have some real conversation about the real purpose of this comment thread, please? You know: Barbara Bauer, JC-Hosting and the people who run it.

#422 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 02:33 PM:

Okay, gang, let's leave Mark alone. Not only is he the type of individual who craves attention, even if it's only bad attention, we are also guests in TNH's house and should behave accordingly.

Mark is free to state his own opinions; we are equally free to ignore him.

#423 ::: Jane Smith ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 02:35 PM:

I've been keeping up with all this for the last few days and am thrilled that everyone with sufficient technical knowledge seems to be doing fabulous work spreading the word and keeping this up at the top of Google's rankings. I am also very happy that most people are behaving so well over this, and that some people (you know who you are, Dawno et al) are still moderating, no matter how gently. Good job, boys and girls. See you over at AW soon. Power to the people!

#424 ::: SpookyWriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 02:45 PM:

Jerry,

Just think of these people like my friends in the photo

Cheer up! AW will be back again and we will survive. Don't fret about the small stuff and I'll be around next week to share a smile with you!

Spooky

#425 ::: SpookyWriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 02:48 PM:

Jerry,

Just think of these people like my friends in the photo

href="http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/azghostwriter/detail?.dir=/4c64re2&.dnm=3e44re2.jpg&.src=ph"

Cheer up! AW will be back again and we will survive. Don't fret about the small stuff and I'll be around next week to share a smile with you!

Spooky

#426 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 02:54 PM:

Spookster, where you been? How come you aren't over at Roger's place? The link's around somewhere on this thread. Get on over, but leave your ugly avatar home, will ya :) It being a holiday weekend and all...

#427 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 03:11 PM:

Wow, there's a lot of noise coming out of the guest room.

#428 ::: SpookyWriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 03:41 PM:

Jean,

Pass me the link. You know how I can't see and hear too well. Errr...I have a funny joke for Barbara...no she's not pregnant.

Spooky

#429 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 03:56 PM:

Here yah are spooky.

http://rogerjcarlson.com/Forum/writerforum/forum_topics.asp?FID=13


#430 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 04:11 PM:

Wow, I step away for a few hours, and boom, more than 60 comments since I last checked in.

I'm glad to see that Jenna et al. are still doing everything they can to get AW back online. I wish them all the best of luck.

#431 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 04:47 PM:

"Saying anything, even the usual BS for free online is a form of vanity."

So what you're saying is, that anyone who has a blog is vanity published? Hmmm, so if I were to find a blog written by you, on the Internet today, I could assume, based on your own statements, that you are still vanity published?


On another note:

"Sean I suggest you turn your collective gaze on yourselves. Facts continue to be a problem as I have no PA book today."

But the point is, you did have one. It amazes me that you try to insinuate you did not fall into the same trap that many of us did. The fact is, you did fall into the PA trap, whether you want to admit it or not.

"Funny I remain the only who did have one, albeit briefly, still receiving collective hatrid from those who still do."

I find that statement to be quite delusional on your part. 'The whole world hates me because I'm great' is an inaccurate assumption. You're not great, Mr. York. Not everyone in the whole wide world knows the name 'Mark York.' You are not an authority on the writing industry, which can be attested to by the amount of forums you have been banned from over the last several years.

I could name a few, if you'd like. All I have to do is google the terms 'Mark York' and 'Banned' in the same search. The fact of the matter is, you have been banned from numerous sites for your blatant disrespect of others.

"What a marvelous convoluted logic."

On your own part, of course. You do not define for the whole wide world what logic is and is not. In other words, Mr. York, you don't make the rules.

"Disagreement has to be based in fact otherise it's just relativistic"

Yes, and the fact is you're twisting the facts to say what you want them to say.

Now, I will admit that I was wrong in my assumption that you had been banned from AW recently. But I shall not sit here and let you imply that you are one of only three individuals who were banned from AW in its entire time on the Internet. I can think of ten people, right off the top of my head, who were banned either permanently or temporarily, from AW for disrespecting their fellow writers, in the last year.

To say that only three people have been banned from AW in its history, is quite untrue. Like I said before, you are NOT an expert on Jenna Glatzer or on AW. You might have a number of books published, but that does not make you an expert in the subject of this comment thread.

Now, as for jealousy, (which you insinuated when you addressed Jean Marie recently) I don't see how anyone here could care less about your so-called successes. I can attest to the fact that I myself would not have even known who you are, were it not for what I've learned through Google in the last few minutes.

To say that people are jealous because of your successes is, in this writer's humble opinion, highly delusional.

#432 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 04:57 PM:

Guys, please take the argument elsewhere. It's bandwidth that could be used to better purpose, imo.

#433 ::: scharrison ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 05:16 PM:

I know it's been said, but I wanted to thank Teresa and Patrick for allowing us AWers a place to sound off. Very cool.

#434 ::: Chacounne ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 05:29 PM:

Here, here, Steve :) Thank you so much Mr. and Mrs. Nielsen Hayden, for your patience and hospitality.

With gratitude,
Chac

#435 ::: S.R. Chamberlain ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 05:33 PM:

Just a completely off-the-cuff, unsubstantiated theory, but I think A Gent Sammy is the same person who sent Miss S. the email from the "marketing manager" at the Cris Robins 'Agency.' There's something ineffably similar about the writing style, and A Gent, as we all know, has a sick sort of obsession with Snark. That whole "Snarkling" mistake in the salutation just screams intentional error.

#436 ::: Luna ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 07:34 PM:

Oh, for pete's sake. Who the heck cares if someone was banned from a site, be they first, last or inconsequential. I ban people all the time for being disrespectful from a message board. The Internet is not a democracy and more often than not, the board is paid for by the people doing the banning. Let them ban whoever they please and get over yourself.

#437 ::: A. J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 08:47 PM:

Re: sammyk, I went to the site and looked around, and I doubt people have been too intimidated to leave him (?) comments. I, for one, thought of leaving a comment, then filed it under "Don't feed the troll."

It reads like some angry teenager's blog about death metal and how no one understands him. There may be a point in responding, somewhere down the line, but it looks like kind of blog where sensible responses get deleted.

#438 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 09:40 PM:

"Back off. First is still first no matter how many have followed. I was only aware of three. Yes blogs are vanity. Yours is mine is and so is this one. Anything is that doesn't bring in a paycheck."

You're the one who started this nonsense, Mark, not me. All I've done is call you on it. Don't get all red-faced because I quoted facts to you that you did not want to read.

----

On another note, I think the MAY trolling industry is getting way out of hand here, so I've decided to stop feeding the said industry as of now. I hope others will follow suit, if they haven't already.

----

I understand that some scam agencies (including Barbara Bauer's) are starting to draft a '2,000 worst writers' blacklist. I read about it over at Miss Snark's blog the other day. I don't know what to think of it.

Does anyone here know what's going on with this issue?


Thanks!

#439 ::: Jim C. Hines ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 09:58 PM:

"I understand that some scam agencies (including Barbara Bauer's) are starting to draft a '2,000 worst writers' blacklist. I read about it over at Miss Snark's blog the other day. I don't know what to think of it."

Victoria stopped by in the comments thread over there. This is bluster, nothing more. They also talked about a class action suit with hundreds of agents on board ... which happens to be the same threat made by another scammer years back. This one (Cris Robbins, I believe) was just recycling old hot air.

A 2000 Worst Writers list doesn't even make sense. Countless editors will talk about watching writers develop their skills, going from form rejects to personal responses, until the editor finally starts buying their stuff.

But hey, if the scammers are going to spend their time comparing every submission to a list of 2000 names, so much the better. One more thing to take away from the time they have to actually, you know, rip off new writers.

#440 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 27, 2006, 10:12 PM:

"Victoria stopped by in the comments thread over there. This is bluster, nothing more. They also talked about a class action suit with hundreds of agents on board ... which happens to be the same threat made by another scammer years back. This one (Cris Robbins, I believe) was just recycling old hot air.

"A 2000 Worst Writers list doesn't even make sense. Countless editors will talk about watching writers develop their skills, going from form rejects to personal responses, until the editor finally starts buying their stuff.

"But hey, if the scammers are going to spend their time comparing every submission to a list of 2000 names, so much the better. One more thing to take away from the time they have to actually, you know, rip off new writers."


Right on. Thanks for the information. Such rumors tend to make me somewhat uneasy, so I'm glad that it's all just a bunch of smoke and mirrors on some scam agent's part, and not a legitimate threat.

#441 ::: TJWriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 01:15 AM:

Thanks for having us here in your house. We appreciate the shelter and the support.

Hopefully this whole issue will come to close soon and with a happy ending.

#442 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 01:38 AM:

"Yeah, phew...that was a close one. There could have a black list of writers who scam agents wouldn't take on. Imagine the implications of that?"

I can imagine it, Mark. Especially if one does not know who the scam companies are. I feel for the writers out there who might be mislead by such rumors, as I almost was.

But you're right. There is no need to worry about such a blacklist if the only people wielding it are scammers. However, the initial idea is somewhat frightening to someone who is trying to break in to the industry. Such a blacklist, if published, could make some people think that the scammers are indeed legit.

That is one of the things that scared me in the first place, when I read about it at Miss Snark's blog.

#443 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 02:26 AM:

Another belated "Hear here" of appreciation for the loan of the Nielsen Hayden living room to the displaced AW masses. I haven't signed on to RJC's temp site yet, but I appreciate it being there too, especially the Google cache caching project. I'd like to jump in and help, but don't know how without duplicating other's efforts. If someone would like to assign me a forum or thread, by all means do.

I have thrown my lot into the cause by blogging the situation on my own blog (see attached address) and elsewhere (though elsewhere is subject to editorial review and has not yet gone live). The comedy of it all is, twelve hours after I posted, my domain appeared to have suffered the same fate as AW. After a little I realized that I was seeing a "domain registration expired" page, not an "account suspended" page, owing to my ISP's automatic domain renewal software hiccupping. My ISP got on it darn near immediately and set me right by the evening. But boy did I start jumping to conclusions within the first ten seconds or so.

ps. Sean, your advice to yourself and all is good. There's only so much energy to expend in a day; dumping it under bridges does no one any good.

#444 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 04:43 AM:

Yes blogs are vanity. Yours is mine is and so is this one. Anything is that doesn't bring in a paycheck.

Wow, it's been a while since I got to flag the logical fallacy Argumentum ad crumenam: The fallacy of believing that money is a criterion of correctness

#445 ::: Mir ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 08:30 AM:

I'm late to the revolution. Having fever and tons of mucus coming out of one's head will put amy gal off her stride.

But I was happy to post tonight in solidarity, managing to cram Barbara Bauer 9 times into a brief entry at my blog. Also happy to link to the fabulous parody. Any musical with Clooney, Hugh Jackman, Miss Snark, and Killer Yapp is destined to be a long-running hit.

May AW's new site be a longer running hit.

And I hope Stephanie and her team will reassess their actions and treat their clients, in future, with more consideration when profanity-addicted cranks come calling. (One billion dollar lawsuit? Is this woman medicated?)

Keep linking against looney scammers!

Mir
Mirathon

#446 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 08:32 AM:

Teresa, your writer friend makes money from his/her writing, yes? That would give his/her AW posts, especially essays, poems, short stories, and the like, monetary value.

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure JC Hosting cannot legally hold anyone else's property hostage even if it has a legitimate gripe against AW.

#447 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 09:12 AM:

Nicole, there are two threads going at RJC to help individuals jump into the caching project. One explains how to do it and the other outlines what has already been done so efforts aren't duplicated.

#448 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 09:54 AM:

The instructions for making caches are here:

http://www.rogerjcarlson.com/forum/writerforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=228&PN=1

The coordination for what's been grabbed and what needs to be grabbed is here:

http://www.rogerjcarlson.com/forum/writerforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=184&PN=1

and

http://www.rogerjcarlson.com/forum/writerforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=227&PN=1

The Google caches won't last forever. Now's the time to pitch in.

#449 ::: teddy ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 10:13 AM:

As a member of AW, and one who has always thought that it is a wonderful community, I was more than shocked to fall upon this ridiculous tale of stupidity and assinine activity.

I never cease to be amazed at the stupidity of some people and their actions. To cut off AW on an hour notice...well I am sure Jenna has enough brains to first get AW back up and then go after Stephanie and her ilk. As to this Bauer woman...there is more than one way to skin a cat which is all I will say on line. I will save it for the new AW.

I miss the Mod-Squad....

I am sure Jenna does not need my input here..but being in high tech as a CTO for many years, she should check out godaddy.com or dreamhost

Both would work for AW needs...

Setting up the MYSQL etc. and PHP should not be difficult, I have done it a zillion times, and the web host would help whoever AW uses.

As for what was done to AW.
Einstein is quoted as having once said: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."


Enough Said...

Teddy

#450 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 10:41 AM:

Wikipedia today: We don't have an article with this title, Barbara bauer, but you can either search for it or create it if you log in or create an account.

Funny, I could have sworn there was something there yesterday....

#451 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 11:36 AM:

Uh, Dave Langford, that is. After much searching, I managed to dig up the article, intact, over at Wiki, regarding Barbara. Here's the link--
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Bauer

Hope it helps :)

#452 ::: Dave Langford ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 11:54 AM:

Jean Marie: After much searching, I managed to dig up the article, intact, over at Wiki, regarding Barbara. Here's the link--
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Bauer

Thanks! Seems a lot shorter than the one I remember, but rather better in terms of Wiki NPOV policy....

#453 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 12:10 PM:

You're welcome, Dave. All too happy to help :) !!

#454 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 12:23 PM:

Thank you all. We're delighted to have you here.

Aconite, my friend does indeed make money from her writing, and there are other professional considerations as well.

There are quite a few AW regulars in that position. Perhaps a class-action lawsuit would be in order? We'll have to ask Jaws.

#455 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 12:52 PM:

Quoth Greg: Wow, it's been a while since I got to flag the logical fallacy Argumentum ad crumenam: The fallacy of believing that money is a criterion of correctness.

Heh. Reminds me of that guy in a very old AW thread who evangelized that you should only call yourself a writer if that's what you put on your tax returns, and that anyone who used the title without meeting the criteria was cheapening the profession.

Lori, James, thank you. I've begun slogging my way through the Short Fiction writing studio as we speak, since I hadn't seen anyone mentioning it in that thread. Not as momentous as Bewares, but there seems to be a goodly horde of people grabbing that sucker already.

#456 ::: Yeshanu ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 12:58 PM:

Thanks, Teresa, for providing space where we can blow off steam and find out what's going on. I'm glad to see some of our peeps here who haven't made it into the refugee camp.

See you all at the Cooler as soon as we're up and running!

#457 ::: Pete (peedee) Tzinski ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 01:05 PM:

Of course, the one major upside to having the AW site (and its truly astonishing forums) down is that I have gotten a lot of writing done, using time that I otherwise would have spent chatting with great folk.

I hope the forums are back up soon, else I become a consist and reliable writer... :)

#458 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 02:16 PM:

Mark A. York, my biggest criticism of Jenna as a moderator -- and it's a minor one -- is that she's too merciful to nominally civil but unilluminating arguments, and not merciful enough when enlightening arguments get a bit uncivil.

If that were translated into advice for getting along at Making Light, it would come out as something like, "Don't be stubbornly argumentive unless you're sure you're being brilliant."

#459 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 02:17 PM:

My last comment wasn't a reply to your last comment, if that makes any sense.

#460 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 03:05 PM:

I miss the Mod-Squad....

Teddy,

there's an AW exile forum here and it has a Mod Squad.

#461 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 03:07 PM:

Just sticking my head in to thank TNH and PNH for their hospitality, and apologise for not myself having a blog to post anything helpful on, or enough tech-savvy to be any help in the rescue operation.
I can cheer from the sidelines, though, in a restrained Canadian way.
-Barbara (batgirl on AW)

#462 ::: John Robinson ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 03:31 PM:

(From the artist formerly known as "Gravity" on AW; or, possibly, the once-and-future Gravity).

My own "attaboys" to Jenna, Unk, and crew for their selfless efforts. Ya'll are doing yeoman's work in keeping the writing community up-to-date on its less savory characters. I for one can't wait until the site is back and more informative ever.

#463 ::: SpookyWriter ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 03:49 PM:

I suggest AW members with work that they can't retrieve from the web file a complaint with the FCC for restraint of trade. Let the government work for you to decide if the ISP violated FCC rules.

The following ISP has violated my intellectual property rights by shutting down a legitmate website without cause or proper notification. The ISP refuses to return my intellectual property which is and will continue to harm my ability to sell my work while it remains in the ISP's possession.

JC-Hosting
TotalWeb International Net Consulting
4037 Navaho Trail
Nashville TN 37211
Toll Free: (877) 411-7891
Phone: (615) 469-7533
Fax: (615) 250-2430

Send complaint to:

https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01

#464 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 04:03 PM:

May the new Absolute Write set the goals for the shameful few and show them the way. Let there be honor amongst us all.

#465 ::: Rose ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 04:30 PM:

I wrote Jena & told her that she could try BlueHost. This is a sad turn of events & I’m sorry that this has happened.

Has the frantic friend tried search engine caches for her posts?

I hope AW will be back soon.

#466 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 05:32 PM:

Never the less Mark, you have participated and spammed this whole site here where we who are members wish to participate. Half of the entries on here seem to be your grievances. One wonders whom you stand up to shout for. Never mind telling me, just go away.

#467 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 08:22 PM:

t's n mr spm thn th ml ddrss n qstn ws. G wy yrslf. Dbt nvlvs ncmfrtbl ds. Y'll hv t gt sd t t r sty n yr prvt rm. ndrstnd tht's bn tkn frm y bt y'll jst hv t cp t hr n th mntm.

#468 ::: BardSkye ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 08:26 PM:

Let me add my thanks for allowing us all to use the living room here in the interim and thank God AW hasn't just disappeared without a trace. If anyone wants to add some comments on my (small) forum concerning this whole mishap, come on over. It'll add to the Googling. While you're there feel free to correct any mistakes I might have made in the mechanics of writing threads.

http://dragonshoard.proboards19.com/index.cgi

I thought it was just a bandwidth problem at first, as that's what the screen said (I was actually on-line trying to post at the time), now to find out all the other things that were happening...

Wow. It's outrageous that it could happen, but I think both the culprits might yet regret it. 7000+ people whose trade is words is not a group I would want mad at me.

#469 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 09:13 PM:

Do not taunt the Googlebomb. The Googlebomb is swift and furious. A search for Barbara Bauer is looking ever so much more dire today than it did Friday morning.

I can't wait until she sends Google a C&D.

#470 ::: C.E. Petit ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 09:21 PM:

Just a couple of comments—

* Forget the class action. Persons who used the AW system are not a proper class; there is no commonality or typicality, and those are just the most obvious flaws (at least, they're obvious to me… and I've been class counsel in sixty or so matters). I am not going to divert attention in this newsgroup with an exegesis of class certification requirements; suffice it to say that a class action must satisfy six separate requirements (seven for securities), and it's readily apparent that a class action as described earlier in this thread fails at least two of them outright.

* SpookyWriter, the FCC has no jurisdiction over "restraint of trade," and the FTC has no jurisdiction over Internet communications not directly related to advertising or the sale of goods/services. Your message of 1549 today invokes the FCC, but the URL you provided is to the FTC. And those two agencies can't agree on when to meet for lunch, let along work together.

* I've seen a lot of suggestions for hosts. Ms Glatzer has made that decision and is moving forward. May I suggest moving on, particularly as some of the suggestions have serious legal problems themselves?

* <soapbox> The "writers as professionals" argument has cropped up again. Writers are not professionals. Period. There is no licensure requirement; there is no minimum educational standard; there is no disciplinary code, violations of which may lead to removal from the activity. And those are just the easy-to-discern criteria. "Professional" does not mean "I got paid for it." The sooner the writing community confronts reality and admits that writing for pay is a trade (and an honorable one) and not a profession, the sooner the writing community can start doing some worthwhile organization and collective action. </soapbox> Frankly, writers shouldn't want to be legally classed as "professionals"… because collective action by nonlicensed professionals falls afoul of antitrust law.

#471 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 09:33 PM:

Justified as we are in our outrage against Barbara Bauer, I was reminded this morning that there are 19 other top 20 Worst Agents/agencies out there who are hoping that the intense scrutiny which has fallen upon Babs won't fall upon them. Just because they haven't messed with Absolute Write doesn't mean they should be ignored.

I say, along with Laurie, the writer of the blog, Peregrinas, I'm so sorry to have left you out of the fun.

Please take her advice and post the list on your blog, put the 20 Worst URL under EACH agent/agency name listed and if you're so inclined, use the new Top 20 Worst Agents Technorati tag. Thanks!

#472 ::: scharrison ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 10:07 PM:

Mark, I need a little help so I can silence that little voice in my head.

In your comments here, you have impled that you had not yet achieved your goal of (real) publication. Then you stated you didn't know who Sammyk was. The you claimed he published two of yours (books?).

Please explain these apparent contradictions, so I can relax and enjoy the rest of my weekend.

#473 ::: Shawna ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 10:14 PM:

Definition of professional

Funny, isn't it, how your definition of professional differs from both the dictionary definition and the generally accepted norm, isn't it?

Of course, perhaps you haven't heard the term "professional athlete". Unless something has changed in the last few moments and I'm unaware, the word "profession" is most often equated with "paid" in that arena... much like writing.

It's also generally accepted that "profession" is synonymous with "career". I can think of a great many people, artists, actors, musicians who have careers.

#474 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 10:14 PM:

Thanks for taking the time to clarify matters, C.E.

I believe that most writers use the term "professionals" in the "I got paid for it" sense and not the legal sense. I, for one, have no problem considering writing a very honorable trade comprised of wordsmiths and storytellers.

#475 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 10:18 PM:

Shawna, C.E. is an attorney who is speaking from the legal standpoint. He has fought for authors' rights for years and has a very notable CV as a result of all his hard work in that regard. He is not an individual who would ever disparage the career of writing.

#476 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 10:28 PM:

Jss, cn cmmnctn rlly b ths dffclt? Why ys sr t sr cn f my xprnc s ny ndctn.

Dtt, C. Ptt. D nt qstn; ccpt th ppl t pprprt thrty. H knws whrf h spks.

"Th y clmd h pblshd tw f yrs (bks?)."

H pblshd tw f "my cmmnts." Th clm bv ws thy ddn't dr t pst " cmmnt" n hs blg, whch lk mss snrk hv t b pprvd prr. My bks hvn't bn pblshd, s 'd lk, tht's sr s hll tr tdy. Wll t b tmrrw? dn't knw, bt thr r thr chncs t chng tht trvlng rnd.

#477 ::: motorboating ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 10:40 PM:

Thanks C.E. That does clarify. I am curious over the ISPs retention of the AW database's. Strictly speaking from a programmer background, I've never heard of such. Even when a professional relationship ended abruptly with a client it has always been understood the client owned the data. The ISP seems to be retaining the database in this case. How does this look to you? In the legal sense, of course.

#478 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 10:54 PM:

It’s simply not a good idea to pick a fight with the internet

http://www.richardcobbett.co.uk/codex/totallynotblog/filingcabinet/barbara_bauer/

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2006/5/25/02548/8796

http://www.nanowrimo.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=31779&forum=202

http://www.digitalmedievalist.com/it/archive/000304.html

http://www.chillingeffects.org/

http://www.digitalmedievalist.com/news/

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00006AROU/002-9319358-9529610?v=glance

http://chatworthy.blogspot.com/2006/05/absolute-write-is-down-for-now.html

http://apocalypsecow.org/?p=78

http://www.twliterary.com/ted_absolutewrite.html

http://www.deborahwoehr.com/blog/2006/05/25/absolute-write-recovering-from-a-coup-attempt/

http://www.thegoodwebguide.co.uk/index.php?art_id=900

http://tailrank.com/posts/562949953616087/%5BTeresa%5D__Absolute_Write_is_gone

#479 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 11:18 PM:

Mark, I was telling you that Jenna's a lot more merciful about certain online behaviors than I am. Among other things, she appears to believe that "failing to notice that a point was being made" is an extenuating circumstance, whereas I believe that it's an aggravating factor.

#480 ::: scharrison ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 11:32 PM:

Thanks, Mark. I guess my understanding and usage of the word "published" has become so focused, I didn't make the connection with the earlier conversation about blog comments being screened.

Congratulations, by the way.

#481 ::: RadicalChic ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2006, 11:34 PM:

Mark York, can't you tell when you're being lit up by targeting radar?

#482 ::: Euan ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:16 AM:

[Opens popcorn, sits back, waits for the disemvowelment.]

#483 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:18 AM:

Yh cn s th nfrd. t jst dpnds n whs pnt s bng md. Sm jst rn't rcgnzd. s tht s nght blndnss.

Cngrtltns fr wht? Bng nfrngd by Rggd Mntn Prss thr s fnd t tdy t th bkstr? Hv nc dy t y ll t.

#484 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:47 AM:

Wow, credit to Euan there.

#485 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:48 AM:

Well, that was inevitable. *snrk*

#486 ::: Laurie ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:49 AM:

Dawno, thanks for mentioning my post.

We really do need to take advantage of the many, many people posting the top twenty worst agents list on their sites and encourage them to link all the agents. We want all scammers posing as agents exposed, not just Barbara Bauer.

If you have a blog, and especially if you've copied the list onto your site/blog, please do this. Help protect the innocent and naive.

TNH, thank you for graciously allowing us to post here.

#487 ::: Euan ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:52 AM:

[Claps, cheers, settles down for next act.]

#488 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 01:01 AM:

Nicole, I love your comment about Barbara sending Google a C & D! Makes me really miss those rep boxes, ya know :>)

Uh, Teresa, I promise we'll paint the place before we move out. Really.

#489 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 01:04 AM:

We've recently been discussing disemvowelling as an alternative technique for troublesome posts/posters on AW, as a matter of fact. I'm always so impressed with its efficacy.

*grin*

#490 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 01:09 AM:

An explanation about the Wikipedia article:

It appears to have been first written since this Absolute Write situation began, but I'm not sure about that. The only history now extant is from 28 May. I added a second paragraph on I think Friday, trying to explain why Bauer was singled out from the other 19 without violating Wiki neutrality. Other than a typo, this was allowed to stand until this morning, when someone summarily deleted the article using something called "speedy deletion." Someone else reinstated it four minutes later with something called a "hangon." A third party, noting this disagreement, entered a formal nomination for deletion,which is a review and consensus process. The discussion for this can be found here. Feel free to contribute to this discussion, bearing in mind that registered editors tend to carry more weight than those who are logged by ISP alone.

After this nomination, someone removed my paragraph, and thus all reference to the current controversy, leaving only the facts that she's an agent from NJ and on the list. Someone else then removed all of the external links (Making Light and Bauer's own site), except for an in-text link to the list itself.

I left my opinion on this on the Article for Deletion talk page. Basically the arguments are about whether Bauer is "non-notable," and whether the article is non-neutral, and constitutes an attack. I would not have chosen to start this article, and certainly there's a argument to be made that it was probably written as part of the Googlebombing. However, it does seem clear that she is fast becoming notable over and above her presence on the list, because of her actions in trying to suppress it. That is what I tried to convey in the article, dispassionately and factually, with fudge words like "allegedly" even for things I personally believe to be true. However, others disagreed, and I can't even find a cached version now.

Karen

#491 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 01:23 AM:

I was a little mistaken on the timing. My paragraph was removed before the speedy delete, and no longer appears in any of the historic versions. Drat! It's not really important to me, but I'd like to at least have a copy for myself.

#492 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 01:43 AM:

Interesting. So that's what a disemvowelling looks likes. ::sneaks a handful of Euan's popcorn.:: You and Jim are right, Mac. It really is elegant in its simplicity.

#493 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 01:53 AM:

Oh, Hell yeah, Mac. Hell yeah.

#494 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 01:53 AM:

someone summarily deleted the article using something called "speedy deletion." Someone else reinstated it four minutes later with something called a "hangon." A third party, noting this disagreement, entered a formal nomination for deletion,which is a review and consensus process.

Karen, it's crap like that that gives me wiki-ulcers and reminds me why I swore off wikipedia. The current vote for deletion looks like a "weak keep", but once the vote is completed, someone else can nominate it for deletion all over again.

#495 ::: scharrison ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 02:01 AM:

It would probably make most of my posts easier to understand. Or easier to ignore, which might be an asset.

#496 ::: Lady of Prose ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 03:21 AM:

Wow--I've spent over an hour reading this ML thread. Way to go AW gang!

To Jenna, Charlie, Mods -- love you all, and back you 100%. And thanks to the ML host for allowing the rants and vents.

#497 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 09:25 AM:

Karen, I posted my vote as a registered user and added that Publisher's Lunch had made mention of the incident on May 25th to add to the 'notability' of the article's subject. Hope it helps.

I decided to subscribe to Publishers Marketplace after I found the bit that was written on May 25th (Google's got it on page 3 or so of a Barbara Bauer search), so that's a good thing no matter what Wikipedia does.

#498 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 10:18 AM:

(bows)

Nice timing, Euan.

Mac, I'm still startled by the efficacy of disemvowelling, and I invented it.

Anybody want some more popcorn? There's cold soda in the bathtub.

Rose, my frantic friend went after the search engine caches first thing. Now she's neurotically afraid to go through and tidy up her finds, lest she be reminded of some major item that's missing.

I hate it when writers lose their writing. It's like they've suffered the amputation of some invisible body part.

#499 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 10:47 AM:

Yh tht's qt n nvntn. S ffctv, bt t lst t wll cr th Ggl srch f slss thrds.

#500 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 11:14 AM:

Nice timing, Euan.

Indeed. I knew it was coming, but Euan's timing was scary accurate.

Anybody want some more popcorn? There's cold soda in the bathtub.

Thank you. *roots around for the Diet Coke*

I hate it when writers lose their writing. It's like they've suffered the amputation of some invisible body part.

Teresa, best of luck to your writer friend in rescuing all her work. I've not lost any writing so far (knock on Moose's wooden little head) but I came close once, and I felt as though someone had scooped away my insides.

#501 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 11:17 AM:

I have a question. Jim Macdonald, did you invent the designated free-fire zone -- I'm thinking of Dueling Modems, back on the GEnie SFRT -- into which moderators can move overheated conversations?

There've pretty much always been venues where it's normal to say "Good Morning" with a rocket launcher. There were also places like alt.usenet.kooks and alt.warlord where the regulars would bring in samples of misbehavior committed elsewhere and make fun of it. What I'm asking is whether any board prior to that formally moved offending threads to a free-fire zone as a moderating technique.

#502 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 11:27 AM:

Nice call, Euan. Hand me that Sierra Nevada, please, the one hiding in the corner under that Dr. Pepper.

Thank you.

#503 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 11:46 AM:

Hi everyone,

It's been a couple days since I've posted a comment here because I've been having trouble accessing this page. I find that I have to put in a different address than is linked to on the main page, and that I have to refresh my browser at least once before I can get the page to load properly.

I like the disemvowelling, myself. It looks like a foreign language to me. Intense fun, trying to figure out what some people are trying to say.

#504 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:05 PM:

*serves famous "Black Hole Brownies of Death"*

Patrick and Teresa have tasted them. They know.

#505 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:16 PM:

Xopher's brownies are darned good.

Sean, isn't it weird how readable disemvowelled text is, with a little work? Actually, I shouldn't say that; some people can't read it at all, which is an interesting thing in its own right.

#506 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:21 PM:

This is the complete text of the message that Barbara Bauer objected to, rescued from Google Cache:

04-16-2006, 12:18 PM #20 PaulaO Esteemed New Member
Join Date: Feb 2006 Posts: 1 PaulaO is on a distinguished road
Angry I rec'd an email today from Barbara Bauer, Ph.D asking me to remove a post on my blog where I repeat the Top 20 List. I'm not replying to her yet but thought I'd toss her request here first.
She sent the email via a contact form on my site.
Quote: Barbara Bauer, Ph.D. wrote: Cease and Desist: Regarding your post of the 20 Worst Agents which you have copied from an Anonymous Competitor "Miss Snark," it is disparaging, and inappropriate as well as libelous and defamatory. Remove it promptly. Thank you. Sincerely, Barbara Bauer, Ph.D.
Website: IP: 4.186.117.7

the post: http://paulaoffutt.com/blog/archive...gent-no-cookie/
email address the message is from (which can be faked on the form): cannoliq@msn.com
_________________ -- Thought Patterns (blog) They're Just Words (writing info) Butch Girls Can Fix Anything (upcoming book) Last edited by PaulaO : 04-16-2006 at 12:58 PM.
#507 ::: Mrk . Yrk ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:31 PM:

tk flg lp

#508 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:37 PM:

Just have to say I find disemvowelling hysterical and easy to read, Teresa. And I love the idea of saying Good Morning w/ a rocket launcher! Any chance we can institute the practice when AW is up and running, again? Aw, c'mon :) Mac, whaddya say?

#509 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:38 PM:

Isn't it interesting that you can actually pronounce Mrk.Yrk? "Murk Yurk."

#510 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:43 PM:

I have a question. Jim Macdonald, did you invent the designated free-fire zone -- I'm thinking of Dueling Modems, back on the GEnie SFRT -- into which moderators can move overheated conversations?

Not so much a free-fire zone, but a single thread into which all flaming posts were dumped, one on top of another. They weren't deleted -- just moved.

I'd started doing that over at AW, and I think it improved the general tone of various threads.

#511 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:51 PM:

I umm . . . have to admit that on a bad day, like today, when I'm very tired, I don't even notice that the text is disemvowelled.

#512 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 12:59 PM:

How about instituting a rocket launcher, Jim? Yeah!

Cool, can't wait to tell Mac you said it's okay. You hear him, Lisa. You did too!

#513 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 01:30 PM:

An aside related to Wikipedia.

I've always felt that Wikipedia specifically and wikis in general are a great microcosm for what's good and bad about the web.

The challenge is finding the balance between community participation and credibility. Not too long ago, someone of the caliber of Bruce Schneier could write a detailed article on security, and have whole sections edited out by some ninth-grader with a secret decoder ring. (On the internet, no one knows you're a dog.)

The good thing about wikis is that, once the editing reaches equilibrium, you can discover what matters to a whole community of interest. Unfortunately, this may have little to do with reality. Also, any article that's subject to frantic editing by people who are passionately involved is more likely to reflect persistance than anything else.

I sincerely hope that teachers tell their classes to take everything in Wikipedia with an extra helping of salt.

#514 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 01:48 PM:

Careful what you wish for, Jean Marie.

#515 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 01:56 PM:

I've been working my way backward up the thread, zapping the occasional mrk.yrk post as I go.

Lisa, I can well believe you can read disemvowelled text without thinking about it. I'll bet you could do the same if your neighbors had gotten you completely plastered. We've got a lot of practice with vowel shifts.

Jean Marie, it's up to the moderators whether they want to use disemvowelling on ML. I don't know whether you're going to get Jim to agree to rocket launchers, but if you were to mention the possibility of getting him a Thompson Submachine Gun ...

#516 ::: Charlie ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 02:04 PM:

Once again, thank you all for your support.

The Absolute Write Water Cooler database contains so much more than writings. Entire relationships have begun and evolved there. Half a million posts by over seven thousand people, all who give a very big damn about each other and the writing and publishing world at large. We feel as though someone has burned down our house, taking with it all the mementos of a happy family.

Teresa and Patrick and Making Light were among the first neighbors to put a blanket around our shoulders and offer us a cup of tea. We can never thank you enough for that kindness.

We are all alive and well, and we WILL rebuild. Hugs to you all.

Charlie Stuart
co-admin, AW Water Cooler
Director, AW University

#517 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 02:12 PM:

OK - I don't think I've ever commented on a disemvowellment before, but I enjoy the fact that Mr. York's pre-disemvowelled post got itself correctly disemvowelled.

#518 ::: Badducky ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 02:21 PM:

Just a quick reminder to all the displaced AW'ers (like me) who've been following the comments here in our lovely hostess' living room.

Don't neglect your writing over this event! Get back to work!

Everything that can be fixed will be fixed. Until then, focus on the spirit of the site: writing.

#519 ::: Jk lmr ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 02:35 PM:

t's rlly mzng hw mch lk hgh schl ths s. Hw stpd s t t mck smn wth th sm lst nm s th cty y wrk n? Jvnl dsn't qt cvr t.

By th wy Trs, Lws Prd sys y dn't knw wht th hll y'r tlkng bt.

#520 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 02:43 PM:

Ladies and gentlement, we present Jake Elmore, master of the non sequitor, transcendent of logic and resplendent in cliche. Showing now for a limited time only.

#521 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 02:50 PM:

Gosh, I hardly know where to begin.

Lori, you would never fire a rocket at moi.

*smilies w/ cherub-like innocence*

Teresa, a Thompson Submachine Gun is what gets Jim's attention, huh? Hmm...

Charlie, you just expressed, perfectly, what I've been unable to. Regarding my feelings toward the loss of the old AW homestead, that is. I've been both jumbled and numb--we all have.

As you said, we're indeed fortunate to have Teresa and Patrick for neighbors.

I've never been to a disemvowelling, until now. Quite the event.

#522 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 02:53 PM:

Isn't Purdue the name of a university? Is he smart, too?

#523 ::: Joy ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 03:07 PM:

Wht i wldnt d fr a lg sck flled wth mnr.

[t tss yrk-wse.]

#524 ::: Dn H ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 03:09 PM:
#525 ::: richard Marino ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 03:27 PM:

What's the shorthand about? Everybody else seems to grapple with whole words with no problems. Do writers submit like that?

#526 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 03:43 PM:

Disemvowelling, Richard. It's the local penalty for uncivil behavior. Useful note: It's not the only local penalty for uncivil behavior.

Power corrupts. Absolute power is just ... neat.

#527 ::: scharrison ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 04:33 PM:

I'm beginning to think we were tricked into believing that vowels are necessary. What if some future writer's message board had some guy named ncl Jm telling everybody, "Tk t th vwls nd dvrbs nlss th hlp th plt prgrss. ts ll bt th str;f nt, gt rd f t."

#528 ::: Jake Elmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 04:46 PM:

Depends on the definition of Civil.

#529 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 05:07 PM:

In the Making Light message threads, civil is what I say it is. I'm fairly lenient -- unless someone's rude right off the bat, or is both rude and boring.

#530 ::: FranW ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 05:11 PM:

It's TNH's blog, dude. She gets to define civil any way she likes.

#531 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 05:43 PM:

Not only that, Dude, Teresa gets to define civil with or w/o vowels. How cool is that?

#532 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 05:49 PM:

LOL

Now where is that funny thing used bach when...

#533 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 06:12 PM:

Well, look at all the fun since I finally went to bed!

The Wikipedia article is pretty much restored and semi-neutral and expanded with more good citations. At least it was when I last looked, twenty minutes ago. Even the history is back. I'm going to find the version I worked on before and save it to my hard drive, although it's no longer needed. The current version has the important bits.

A friend Back East sent me a forwarded email several weeks ago that started out,

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe can.

It went on to say that "olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae."

Not surprisingly,I was instantly reminded of disemvoweling. I actually have a bit of trouble reading text in which the vowels are missing, but this exercise in letter order presents no problem. The "Only 55 pople can" claim is clearly bunk, however.

#534 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 06:44 PM:

Oh, I've seen that. It's a bit of a fraud. The first and last letters are indeed in the right place, but the internal scrambling isn't very scrambled.

#535 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 07:08 PM:

Ms. Teresa scribh:

Oh, I've seen that. It's a bit of a fraud. The first and last letters are indeed in the right place, but the internal scrambling isn't very scrambled.

Wasn't there a Making Light thread about an article that claimed something similar about leaving out . . . I think it was vowels? I tried Googling, but not, apparently, with the right terms.

#536 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 07:25 PM:

Olny 55 plepoe can.

Maybe it's 55 people out of every 56?

-Barbara

#537 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 07:32 PM:

Power corrupts. Absolute power is just ... neat.

ROFLOL

Yes, it is. Mwuhahaha (says she who has just kicked some trolls off a forum).

#538 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 08:40 PM:

Let's talk about incompetence.

Right about the time mrk.yrk starts losing his vowels, "Jake Elmore" appears. Jake has no posting history here. He comes into the argument with no initial hesitation, being already familiar with the issues. He adopts mrk.yrk's position as his own. His tone is strikingly similar to that of mrk.yrk. And for pete's sake, he uses the same ISP.

I don't recall telling mrk.yrk that I was born yesterday. I can't imagine where he got that impression.

Mark York, Jake Elmore, you're both banned. Get the hell out of here and don't come back.

#539 ::: Euan ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 08:41 PM:

Izzat so, Jake? Tell me, what's your opinion of people who barge into a conversation, insult everyone, and then expect people to admire them for how clever they are?

Personally, I can think of several choice epithets I'd apply to people like that, but as this is TNH's house, I won't use them. I'm sure you know what they are, though.

#540 ::: Euan ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 08:45 PM:

Oops. I see I should have waited. Chalk up yet another site that Murk Yurk has gotten himself banned from.

#541 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 08:47 PM:

Olny 55 plepoe can.

Reminds me of some of my own typing when I'm doing urgent programming's production support at 2am.

#542 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 08:57 PM:

Gee, I miss three days and it Just Gets More Interesting.

I was at ConQuest, we had lots of friends and interesting people (a Venn diagram with lots of overlap there), a good deal of fun and made some dough for our KC in 2009 WorldCon Bid. Rene came to represent Montreal in 2009, though with his good sense of humor he came with the campaign 'Pre Oppose Montreal in 2009", being a good interpreter of his market.

Unfortunately the free wireless appeared to work in waves and it was excruciating enough just to read my email.

I had to come home to give pills to a cat with congestive heart failure every day (for those who think I'm foolish, he's a great guy, he needs about $30 worth of pills a month and that keeps him in excellent condition--my vet gave him three months and that was January 1), and ended up bogging out my email, but I didn't have time to come here.

good job, all of you!

#543 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 10:05 PM:

Lisa, there was a post here on that subject, but as we remarked at the time, the big discussion was on Language Hat. See if that gives you enough search terms to find it.

#544 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 10:29 PM:

The thread you're looking for is called "Go Look," from September 2003.

#545 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 10:36 PM:

So thanks to Ms. Teresa's helpful comment, I go forth and look, find, and return, only to find that I'm slower than Yog. I found the discussion about reading-without-vowels-in-languages-other-than-Hebrew.

The Making Light Post is here, but see also, in addition to the Language Hat post Ms. Teresa links to, Crooked Timber.

#546 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 10:46 PM:

Mark York, Jake Elmore, you're both banned. Get the hell out of here and don't come back.

Yay! Down with sock puppets!

#547 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 10:54 PM:

That's weird. I always read disemvowelled text at a rate of about one-fifth the speed of normal text. Today, I'm reading it at about maybe two-thirds of full speed. One of the benefits fo Making Light, I guess.

I still, however, read old english or old scottish or old whatever the heck it is that shows up once in a while at the rate of the first three words takes about half a minute to figure out, and then I give up. Oh well, cant win them all.

#548 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 10:56 PM:

Jake Elmore? Gees, if you're going to invent a pseudonym, at least try to be a little creative about it.

#549 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 11:03 PM:

Hmm, TNH, the banning doesn't seem to have stuck to this sshl. Mrk.Yrk is still lrkng.

#550 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 11:03 PM:

Whoops. That was quick.

#551 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 11:30 PM:

"Jake", that claim is an example of the saying "Better to be silent and let people think you a fool than to speak and remove all doubt." Ever hear of Amazon? Or of searching any database by name?

#552 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2006, 11:35 PM:

Aha! You already thoroughly covered the subject of "Rdiaeng" in 2003, and I missed it somehow. Chalk it up to spotty attendance, 'cause I think I'd found Making Light by then. I did check Snopes when I got the email, but I didn't think to search here.

#553 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 01:13 AM:

Hiya, peeps. Birol here. I know there hasn’t been much new to report this weekend regarding AW. Even while Jenna and the mods use this ‘hurry up and wait time’ as an opportunity to grab some sleep, eat a semi-nutritious meal, and rinse out our underwear, we continue to work diligently behind the scenes.


THE CACHE PROJECT

Many individuals have asked what they can do to help. The caching project has been the #1 answer to that question. Some individuals are uncertain how to proceed with that or what that involves or what still needs to be located. Perks is the mod-liaison coordinating this for us. She knows what has been recovered, what is needed, and can answer your basic questions. (She is AW’s FAQ mod and a mother; she has lots of experience answering questions.)

Perks can be reached by e-mail at Perkspost(at)yahoo(dot)com, at the refugee camp, and less frequently in the chat room. She is also in touch with the supermods and Jenna by telephone.


For the more tech savvy, Shweta has created a Perl script to help sweep data from Google. The script and instructions for how to use it are available here.

Instructions for more basic searches – looking for pages one-by-one – are available here.

A list of what individuals have already found is here.

Please note, it is very, very, very important to save the pages you recover as html.

Medievalist has suggested that individuals might consider searching for unique userid’s to help locate thread names that have yet to be recovered. It’s a good suggestion. One worth pursuing.


OTHER SKILLS

If you are unable to participate in the caching project but would still like to offer your assistance in other ways, please let me, Birol, know what your skills are and in what ways you are willing or able to help out. Just like in the Experts and Interviews Wanted forum, the skills you take for granted might be skills or talents that we can use. Of course, technical skills will be very much in demand by Jenna and Charlie. Organization skills and research skills are very much needed, too, as are skills that we haven’t even considered yet. My e-mail address is Lori(at)QuoinCommunications(dot)net. I can also be reached at the refugee camp, and periodically in the chat room.

Those who subscribe to Frank’s column know that he’s quitting smoking tomorrow, giving up his beloved pipes for at least the next five years. Thing is, it’s his sense of humor that keeps the mod squad level and sane. So, if nothing else, send us your jokes and funny anecdotes or your warm fuzzy stories about AW or post them in the refugee camp. We will read them when we need the boost.


MISCELLANEOUS

Dawno, Supermod of the Sparkly Ears, has created a cafepress store in support of AbsoluteWrite. When asked what she intended to do with the proceeds she responded in typical Dawno fashion:

bwahahahahaha! I plan to rule the world! or go to Hawaii. Well, maybe Barstow...oh, if you're not from Southern California you probably won't get that reference...

Each item has a $1 mark up above cost because I wanted to keep the cost reasonable. That means for every purchase, $1 will be donated to Absolute Write. Jenna can use it for bandwidth, legal costs, whatever.

I'll be adding a few new items today - waiting on permission to use Matt's button as a design. Any other ideas out there?


If you have other ideas, you can contact her by e-mail at ebil(dot)librarian(at)gmail(dot)com or at the refugee camp.


~Lori aka Birol

#554 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 01:38 AM:

On another weird note, the fact that I started reading disemvoweled text more quickly recently may have nothing to do with the egyptian hieroglyphics book I just picked up. Ancient egyptian hieroglyphs apparently didn't contain vowels?

waaaayyy too tired. going to bed now...

#555 ::: Euan ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 01:55 AM:

Heh. Lack of vowels is not limited to Hieroglyphs or Hebrew. Thai removes them as well. F'r instance, the name of the province I live in is written without any vowels. A rough transliteration would be "NKN PTM", pronounced as "Nakon Patom."

Mind you, Thai also has consonants that turn into vowels if there's two of them, consonants that aren't really consonants but CV clusters, and numerous consonants that have no sound at all. It's all rather messy, really.

#556 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 02:00 AM:

Referencing Lori's post above, right now the little CafePress store only has two designs and limited items. In the next day or so I will be adding more designs and items - that I'm really excited about. I won't make a cent off of the sales, btw - it's all going to AW as Lori noted above. I promise, I won't even go to Barstow.

#557 ::: Fahim ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 02:23 AM:

Come on now, Dawno, you have to go to Barstow :p

#558 ::: Laurie ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 04:50 AM:

Why would anyone want to go to Barstow? Despite being Canadian and having been to California only once, even I know that it's the armpit of the nation...

#559 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 05:43 AM:

Running with CHip's ball, typing mark york jake elmore into google gives lots of hits like this:

Oh, and Jake Elmore, how come you aren’t posting in your Mark York disguise?

and this:

Mark aka Jake...go look over at Marc Cooper's where I addressed you as "Jake York" two days ago. http://marccooper.com/hoax/#comment-36737 G.M. and I discussed that Jake and Mark were one and the same, but let it drop.

#560 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 06:23 AM:

That's the sort of info that makes you wonder if you can trust anything a person says.

For me, it's not the multiple identity--I have a couple of alternates I use in specific contexts--but they way they seem to have both been used in the same arguments. Sock puppets rather than a sort of brandname or nickname.

#561 ::: Sumana ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 07:57 AM:

Lisa Spangenberg: another Making Light reference to it mentioned the "eat chewy caramel center" setting on The Eater of Meaning. That's a useful testbed for actually scrambling the middles of words.

By the way, The Eater of Meaning now has a pirate setting, and a "Dab with political ketchup" setting that highlights "good" and "bad" words per the GOPAC hotword list.

#562 ::: Eleanor ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 08:50 AM:

Getting to Jake Elmore's first post after it had already been disemvowelled, I read his name as "Joke lamer".

Commiserations about AW by the way. I've never posted there, but I do read it. My fingers are crossed that it will be back in business soon with the archives intact.

#563 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 09:38 AM:

The comedy of it all is, twelve hours after I posted, my domain appeared to have suffered the same fate as AW. After a little I realized that I was seeing a "domain registration expired" page, not an "account suspended" page, owing to my ISP's automatic domain renewal software hiccupping. My ISP got on it darn near immediately and set me right by the evening. But boy did I start jumping to conclusions within the first ten seconds or so.

At least your data wasn't gone. This whole AW thing made me think that a backup of the databases on my domains would be a very good idea. I won't bore you with the technical details, but a command to export my data blew up and coprrupted the database on my main domain. (The same command works perfectly on my local server. Go figure.) Between Google and Technorati (and another backup) I think I'll be able to piece together a fair chunk of what I've lost. I did manage to rescue two database tables, but everything else is corrupt.

My provider hasn't responded to my request for help, so I'll be going back through this thread to look for a new hosting service - after I try to put my personal Humpty Dumpty together again.

#564 ::: Pete Tzinski ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 10:12 AM:

It's really sad. There's a lot of really astonishing stuff from the forums that is probably gone for good. I don't know how much our fine and fluffy mods managed to get off before it sank, but the forums were this huge and lumbering machine with 7,000 different heads, all of them arguing, laughing, joking, storytelling, and lambasting. Also, being perverted. (Why, I don't know. All things turn to perversion. It's the human condition, perhaps.)

I had just cleared 1,000 posts too, and I was very happy with all the words I spilled while dutifully Not Writing.

Still, it's been fun to watch as Barbara and her lunacy is mentioned first here, then on Miss Snark's blog, then on Neil Gaiman's blog, then just sort of virally spread across the internet like a wonderful, wonderful plague. There's 19 other people on the Twenty Worst List, as someone mentioned, and I bet they really wish Barbara had kept her gaping maw shut.

Does that make Absolute Write a martyr? :)

#565 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 10:21 AM:

Martyrs die for their causes. We at AW refuse to go quietly into the night.

#566 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 10:30 AM:

PublishAmerica ought to send roses to Barbara Bauer and JC Hosting. They couldn't have done PA a bigger favor.

#567 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 10:55 AM:

The cache project is a good idea. It's heartbreaking and infuriating that it's necessary, but it's definitely a good idea. Feel free to post announcements and coordinate efforts in this thread.

Doing CafePress merchandise in support of AW is all very well, but only a fraction of the money will go to AW. If there's any chance that mere money could ransom the database, I'd seriously suggest putting up a PayPal tip jar and letting people donate cash.

In other news, mrk.yrk/joke lamer tried to post here a half-dozen times after he was banned. It didn't work, of course, but he sure is a slow learner.

#568 ::: Marilyn Braun ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 10:55 AM:

I haven't been on AW in a while but I was incredibly shocked to find it gone. I'm just stunned at this turn of events. How on earth could one person (Barbara Bauer)wreak so much havoc?

I'm amazed that everyone has banded together to restore AW and bring down Barbara Bauer. I don't ever want to get on the bad side of anyone at AW! ;o)

If I were Barbara Bauer I would be very afraid.

#569 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 11:06 AM:

The Cachers are doing soem pretty amazing things.

Thanks again for letting us use your blog to keep people up-to-date, TNH.

#570 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 11:34 AM:

JulieB! *sympathy* I've never heard of an export command fragging the database--I've been doing daily exports of everything since my own (other, unreported) data problems this weekend. Now I'm going to be paranoid that I might break everything just by backing up the data!

So sorry for your headaches and heartaches. (Nothing like the AW/Cordray/Bauer fiasco to put them in perspective, though, right?)

#571 ::: CaoPaux ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 11:35 AM:

How on earth could one person (Barbara Bauer)wreak so much havoc?

Alone, she couldn't: She needed JC Hosting to be idiots. Alas, they were. What's worse, IMNSHO, they continue to be government-grade morons.

Thanks again to TNH & Co. for putting up with our dust.

#572 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 11:50 AM:

I agree that an AW donation set up is the best way to go. Teresa. The little CafePress store was created as a way I could put up an "I Survived" item just for fun and for my fellow AWers.

I thought that some of the AW folk might like to have something tangible to remember this all by in times to come, it was not created to be a fund-raiser. In the spirit of "Blame Dawno for everything since July of 1957" I take full responsibility for the idea, dumb or useless as it may be.

I wouldn't dream of profiting by taking advantage of a crisis so I am donating the proceeds. I'll also have to pay taxes on the sales (which based on the response so far shouldn't be much of a worry) and that's got me thinking I better do some research on what I'll owe and how to file it!

Anyway, the idea took on a bit of a life of its own based on requests. Jim has allowed me to use Atlanta Nights & Yog's Law, Matt Dinniman has allowed use of his "Save AW" graphic. There are more items on the way and in a day or two I'll update with stuff that is printed back and front (Yog's Law, Atlanta Nights) - I have some studying to do.

This is a cautionary tale of sorts. When you decide to do something like this on the spur of the moment you don't really think through the consequences. You end up with a lot of folk who have great ideas and find yourself wondering if you should take a week off from the day job so you can do it right.

#573 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 12:05 PM:

Nicole wrote: JulieB! *sympathy* I've never heard of an export command fragging the database--I've been doing daily exports of everything since my own (other, unreported) data problems this weekend. Now I'm going to be paranoid that I might break everything just by backing up the data!

So sorry for your headaches and heartaches. (Nothing like the AW/Cordray/Bauer fiasco to put them in perspective, though, right?)

I blame Barbara Bauer. And my hosting service. But mostly Barbara Bauer. If this whole fiasco hadn't put a bee in my bonnet to do another backup...

#574 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 12:12 PM:

Ouch, Julie. You try to do the right thing, and disaster ensues. That's not how karma is supposed to work. But it seems to me you've had a fair amount of trouble with your current ISP anyway, yes? At least with respect to email. So maybe all the ISP suggestions upthread will be useful to someone after all.

#575 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 12:26 PM:

Since my last post, I've had an email from mrk.yrk/joke lamer.

I'd checked Google. The evidence it turned up seemed thin enough that N McA and I could have fallen for somebody else's lies.

The email wasn't a challenge of my opinion; it was barely related to the post it quoted. It feels more like a childish temper tantrum with a better vocabulary.

#576 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 12:39 PM:

I went to one of the sites Google gave me for mark york jake elmore. It turned out to be a conservative site where Mrk.Yrk is known as a "clueless leftist." Someone there commented that given the way he behaves, he probably doesn't have many friends "even" among liberals.

I actually posted (it's OK, I washed my hands after), and said that I could confirm that we liberals don't like Mrk.Yrk either. I told them he's known as Mrk.Yrk here because disemvowelment (as I prefer to call it) is the penalty for "persistent and boring rudeness."

BTW, Jake Elmore admits on that site that he's Mrk.Yrk.

#577 ::: JerseyGirl ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 01:19 PM:

Just wanted to thank TNH and PNH for allowing us AWers to rant and rave and whatever else it is we're doing here.

#578 ::: Roger J Carlson ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 01:32 PM:

Dawno said: This is a cautionary tale of sorts. When you decide to do something like this on the spur of the moment you don't really think through the consequences. You end up with a lot of folk who have great ideas and find yourself wondering if you should take a week off from the day job so you can do it right.

Ha! You mean like setting up a "temporary" AW Refugee Board that now has 255 members and 3000 posts? All in less than a week.

Note: Tomorrow will be the one week anniversary.

#579 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 02:09 PM:

Whatcha got planned, Roger? Anything special needed for the festivities? Balloons, that sort of thing.

Hope you realize, Teresa, Patrick & Roger, how great it is that you've stepped up the way you have to temporarily fill an enormous void.

Dawno, way to go w/ the shirts and the rest. Kola can always paw-print them, if you'd like. *g*

#580 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 02:12 PM:

Yes, Roger - like that :-) My cafe press store now has lots of cool Atlanta Nights, Yog's Law and I Survived the Absolute Write Shutdown stuff...with more going up today. I hope it's ok to shill it here...http://www.cafepress.com/ohdawnos

#581 ::: Scribhneoir ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 02:27 PM:

Laurie: Why would anyone want to go to Barstow? Despite being Canadian and having been to California only once, even I know that it's the armpit of the nation...

Yeah, but it's on the way to Las Vegas. I figured Dawno had big plans to increase the profits and was too modest to say so.
;-)

#582 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 02:35 PM:

Now that I live in NorCal it's not on the way anymore. There used to be huge McDonald's that looked like an old railway station. Haven't been there in decades - but I was raised at Edwards A.F.B and used to pass the signs on Highway 58 pointing across the miles of empty desert to Barstow.

I should have said "Brawley" (anyone here old enough to remember the Lohman and Barkley morning radio show out of LA?)

#583 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 02:50 PM:

I've heard of Barstow only because it's where Harry Partch got the lyrics for his eponymous piece. The lyrics are here, but the page is a little broken; you'll have to scroll down.

#584 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 04:21 PM:

Gulp. I once actually spent the better part of a Saturday driving from LA to Barstow and back, just to see what was there. I looked at it like driving to Hana on Maui; you gotta do it once when the opportunity presents.

In case anyone wonders, the Hana drive is much more scenic.

#585 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 04:28 PM:

Ha! You mean like setting up a "temporary" AW Refugee Board that now has 255 members and 3000 posts? All in less than a week.

Note: Tomorrow will be the one week anniversary.

Will there be cookies?

It's amazing what a big bunch of angry writers can do. 3000 posts on the Refugee board and 600 comments on Making Light in a week; Miss Snark has got 7000 hits more than usual, and I don't know how many blogs posted about Barbara.

She'll better look for a stone to creep under. And a certain webhost can join her. :)

#586 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 04:29 PM:

Isn't Barstow where the drugs begin to take hold?

#587 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 05:08 PM:

Jon, if they don't kick in about there you might wish they would.

Gabriele, my blog had an average of 15 - 20 regular visitors over the last few months. Last Thursday I had over 300 come by from the link in the main post above.

Already today I've had 84. It's very strange feeling as if there is a real audience out there.

When I start blogging again about Roomba costumes and my current beading project (green beads glasses chain and a complementary green beads badge necklace since I have to wear a badge to work every day) I'm sure the numbers will drop precipitously, and I'm ok with that, right now I feel a bit overwhelmed.

#588 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 05:21 PM:

"Isn't Barstow where the drugs begin to take hold?"

Page 3, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" Hunter S. Thompson:

"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."

Thanks to Amazon's "search inside" feature.

#589 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 05:27 PM:

woah. A straight search on yahoo for "Barbara Baurer" shows the Writer Beware 20 Worst list as number 1. Bab's literary agency site comes in at #3.

yoinks!

#590 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 05:36 PM:

I'm still showing the WB page as #2 on Google and Yahoo.

#591 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 06:12 PM:

Barstow is also on the Bobby Toup's itinerary in his pop hit Route 66.

#592 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 06:14 PM:

Oops! That should be (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66. Giving the full title distinguishes it from the Nelson Riddle instrumental hit from one of my favorite tv shows.

#593 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 06:20 PM:

Xopher,

really? i just double checked a search for "Barbara Bauer" comes up with the "20 worst" site at number 1. that's weird.

maybe there are some bits that are taking a long time to get over to my end of the country...

#594 ::: rhandir ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 06:50 PM:

Still at #2 for me also. I cleared my cache, just to be sure.
-r.

#595 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 06:55 PM:

Gabriele, my blog had an average of 15 - 20 regular visitors over the last few months. Last Thursday I had over 300 come by from the link in the main post above.

Dawno,
I have no statcounter and thus don't know if my little fairy tale has attracted some additional visitors. Probably not, and I keep my fanbase limited by academic stuff about Charlemagne, Mediaeval literature, Roman naming conventions and the occasional travel article with pictures. Since I do get comments, there are indeed some readers of that stuff. *grin*

I bet beading has its fanbase as well. Here's one, for example. :)

Hm, are we hijacking Making Light now, or are we working towards a post with 1000 comments?

#596 ::: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 07:45 PM:

As a member of AW for several years, I was horrified to return from a week long vacation to find my favorite writer's site gone, poof into thin air! (I was johnnysannie on AW).

I hope that the site can return somewhere - and in the meantime, I hope Ms. Bauer takes plenty of well-deserved heat!

#597 ::: JerseyGirl ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 07:50 PM:

Oops! That should be (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66. Giving the full title distinguishes it from the Nelson Riddle instrumental hit from one of my favorite tv shows.
============

Ah...and there's a really nice Route 66 museum in Barstow. This Jersey gal and her guy was at that museum just 2 weeks ago (that's why I "got" Dawno's joke, heh heh). Went to Las Vegas, did Hoover Dam, next day drove out (in a red Mustang - nice) thru the California desert specifically to go to that museum. Nice thing was that, since it's run by volunteers, hubby sent an email, and one of the nice women there opened up - on a Tuesday (usually only open on weekends).

Since there ain't no deserts in Jersey, it was quite a (nice) change for us!

~Nancy

#598 ::: miles ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 08:26 PM:

Hello all,
Barbara Bauer's incredible display of stupidity has caused a lot of grief. Imagine the stress felt by the other 19 scam artists on the 20 Worst list, I'll bet they're scurrying like cockroaches under the bright glare of the spotlight the incompetent Barbara Bauer has drawn to them. A literary 'agent' pissing off thousands of writers. Smart move, Babs.
I don't have a blog, so I can't help in that way. But I do plan to make a small donation to AW to help Jenna with the expenses caused by Barbara Bauer's mess. It'll be small because I'm presently 'at liberty.' : )
BTW, some flake tried to put us down in a post, on another board, by calling this an AW love fest. I see that as a compliment.
—miles

#599 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 09:18 PM:

JerseyGirl: Cool! I'll have to make a side trip to Barstow on my next trip to So Cal. I researched a book on Route 66 (the road and the tv series) back in 1986, but abandoned the project when the reruns stopped airing and we learned that two other people were doing books on the road. It doesn't help that my files are on Commodore 64 floppies somewhere. That book will never see the light of day, but I'd still be very interested in a Route 66 museum.

Meanwhile, I did my best to add "positive" material about the Barbara Bauer Wikipedia article last night, to help ensure that it will be considered neutral enough for Wikipedia standards. This consisted of mentioning her PhD and singing career, such as it is. I've been having fantasies all day about BB trying to come after me for my part in the article, but I expect she's overwhelmed with people to target about now.

#600 ::: Laura T ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 09:19 PM:

miles... awe miles... isn't it so funny for one person to scoff at thousands that are in an organization, and when they have been wronged? ok, sure a "AW love fest" that person is a bit slow bordering on ridiculous.

#601 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 09:22 PM:

Jenna has posted an update asking for donations.

In addition to legal fees, there are likely to be other expenses related to hosting and efforts to restore the many important forum threads, especially those documentating writing and literary scams, from Google caches.

If you go to the link above, there's a PayPal button that goes to Absolute Write and Jenna and a U.S. Mail address for checks etc.

Thanks to TNH, PNH, and the Making Light regulars for hosting Absolute Write refugees.

#602 ::: katari ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 09:55 PM:

I'm sending good thoughts to Jenna, the Mod Squad, and all the wonderful people at AW and join my blog to the cause.

If there's anything else I can do just let me know.

#603 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 10:48 PM:

I finally replied to the snotty note from the Web host that cut AW off at the knees, we'll see if he tries to make me 'see the light' of their stupidness. I was polite but I told them they were really silly to piss off so many people and will get what they deserve.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you look deeper that the Stephanie is some relation of Ms. Bauer. They suck.

#604 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 11:17 PM:

"BTW, some flake tried to put us down in a post, on another board, by calling this an AW love fest. I see that as a compliment."


Was it the PublishAmerica Message Board, by chance?

#605 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 11:18 PM:

Today, as the clock ticked past 10AM in the Central Time Zone, JC Hosting Company missed their third deadline for turning over our (AW’s) data to Jenna.

What does this mean for the future of AW?

While Jenna will continue the long-term legal battle for the recovery of the data, it is time for the AW community to move forward. Thanks to the valiant efforts of the Cachers, all is not lost. They have managed to save quite a bit of the knowledge accumulated on AW during this past week and continue to work to save more. Using these recovered threads as the new cornerstone of AW, the forums will reopen.

What is important to remember, what Jenna and her mods have always known, what has been reinforced through the actions of our peeps time and time again this past week, is that the lost data was never AW. AW is a community and communities are not data, but people. You, the membership of AW, are its heart and soul. During everything we have faced this past week, you have stayed beside us. As long as you are with us, AW can never really be lost.

That is part of the reason why it is difficult for Jenna to ask for donations in order to cover the legal costs and expenses associated with rebuilding the site. Unfortunately, it has become necessary. AW has not generated revenue toward its own upkeep for a week now. Jenna speaks about this herself in her blog.

No one is expected to donate – we all know full well that the idea of the mythos of the “starving writer” is rooted in reality – but at the same time, every little bit will help. AbsoluteWrite has long been a labor of love, a way to pay it forward, and it will continue to be so, but if you are able, please consider paying a little bit back at this time.

Donations can be made through PayPal or by sending a check or money order to: Absolute Write, PO Box 621, Islip, NY 11751.

It is time for AW to return to building a future for writers everywhere. See you on the forums.

Never surrender!

~Lori aka Birol

#606 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 11:48 PM:

If the great number of bloggers who picked up the story would like to take the next step, and post the link to Jenna's request for donations ... or post the donation button ... that would be a great thing.

What happened was wrong. Making it right will take time, and money.

Here's the link to Jenna's donation page:

http://jennaglatzer.blogspot.com/2006/05/need-help.html

If anyone wants the code for the Paypal button, let me know by email and I'll send it to you. This has to go out all over the net too. Putting the Twenty Worst list as one of the top results for Barabara Bauer is a good first step, but it's only the first step.

#607 ::: Laurie ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 01:00 AM:

Yup, Jim, it's done. :)

It really stinks that JCHosting has missed their THIRD deadline to release the hostages, er, databii. That's just another bad business decision on their part to heap on their other bad business decisions.

#608 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 01:04 AM:

Google has a whole lot of servers. They solve the database consistency problem by not worrying about it; they don't get paid for consistency. Some servers get updated before others, so people will see different results while changes are happening.

I still see BB's site first, then sfwa's, then Making Light (the April thread). The Sun VP is #4, the German actress #6; the rest of the front page is not complimentary to BB (wikipedia is neutralish, you can guess the rest).

#609 ::: Kira ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 01:37 AM:

I got the donation button up, too. I truly hope all the people who blogged about Barbara Bauer take the time to blog about the need to help AW now, too.

#610 ::: Laurie ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 01:57 AM:

Seth, thanks for the explanation. It makes sense. :)

#611 ::: miles ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 02:01 AM:

Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2006, 11:17 PM:
"BTW, some flake tried to put us down in a post, on another board, by calling this an AW love fest. I see that as a compliment."

Was it the PublishAmerica Message Board, by chance?

Hey, Sean,
I've visited so many of the blogs mentioned in this thread that there's no way I could remember where I read the post I mentioned.

One extremely positive thing will come out of all this: we know our AW community is strong and caring and healthy. Instead of hurting us, Barbara Bauer's hateful act has brought us together and made us stronger. We also know the Wicked WItch has no real power—she's all noise, a complete sham...

#612 ::: katari ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 02:09 AM:

Jim -- I've put a link up too :)

#613 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 03:19 AM:

As a budding hobby-classicist, I just want to cringe at even the concept of pluralizing "database" as "databii".

Not that this person is alone: I've seen "cactii", "nexii", "penii", and "fetii" in recent years.

#614 ::: Laurie ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 04:51 AM:
As a budding hobby-classicist, I just want to cringe at even the concept of pluralizing "database" as "databii".

Not that this person is alone: I've seen "cactii", "nexii", "penii", and "fetii" in recent years.

:D Yeah, I do it mainly to irritate people. :D Thanks for rising to the challenge. :D

#615 ::: Roger J Carlson ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 10:20 AM:

So when a baseball player hits a homerun, does he run the bii?

#616 ::: tlh ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 11:27 AM:

Penii... hehehehe. Yes, I'm juvenile, but that's hilarious.

On a serious note -- is there a technorati tag we should use for blog posts about Jenna's request? Or specific link text for links to her blog post (since I've heard it matters to google)?

And, out of curiousity (apologies if this was asked up thread, I looked but didn't see it), if that hosting company won't relinquish the databases, can we sue them (or at least write Barbara Bauer style letters) for stealing our work, ie, our posts, on an individual basis?

Oh, and I think Absolute Write is going to be better than ever once it's back up and running. If the database is gone, we'll just have to fill up a new one or three.

#617 ::: Jackie Kessler ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 11:44 AM:

I blogged about helping Jenna.

Thanks, Lori/Birol, Jim, Charlie, Dawno, Kira, and everyone who's helping spread the word.

#618 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 12:05 PM:

Aargh, the withdrawal is hitting hard today. I'm editing a journal article that includes the abbreviation "PA" about 135 times. It stands for peptide aptamers, not PubliSHAMerica, but still, I'm reacting like Pavlov's dogs and wincing some of the time. Especially now that I know that PA's principals (not principles, you'll note) are having a good laugh over this.

#619 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 12:12 PM:

If you'll give me a minute or two, I'll put up a post at the main page with this information in it. Speak now if there's anything to add.

#620 ::: MikeB ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 12:35 PM:

I just tuned back in to this thread and realized that the AW forums are still down, and that cash is needed for the resurrection.

I don't actually read AW. (I barely have time to read Making Light.) But I keep "Learn Writing with Uncle Jim" bookmarked, awaiting the possibility that someday I will want to write fiction. Now that link is broken.

Sending money ASAP. Good luck, folks!

Also making a note to myself: I must mirror all my hosted data on my own drives, or with multiple hosting companies. I must no longer trust a single hosting company with anything. Data security is hard work!

#621 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 01:08 PM:

I'm not going to tell you not to post comments about contributions and caching in this thread -- it's part of the conversation -- but if you have important information, please make sure you also post it in the comment thread of the new post that's gone up.

Thanks, all --

#622 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 02:54 PM:

For the record: as of this moment, IceRocket logs 166 websites that've linked to this post.

Thank you all.

#623 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 04:27 PM:

That Writing Wise site is taking off nicely. It has 4 members and like 12 posts by now. ;)

But the poor administrator already feels overwhelmed and looks for moderators.

"[...] I hate running forums and I hate moderating. Yes, I know I'm an admin but I'd rather work on the backend than the frontend when it comes to forums. If I have to do something like moderate I'll do it but I'd still hate it. [...]

Any volunteers for the duty?"

Why then did you start that site, lass?

Can't help myself, but that post had me grin. Evilly. :)

#624 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 04:30 PM:

tlh: And, out of curiousity (apologies if this was asked up thread, I looked but didn't see it), if that hosting company won't relinquish the databases, can we sue them (or at least write Barbara Bauer style letters) for stealing our work, ie, our posts, on an individual basis?

That seems to be the case, yes. Note that IANAL, however, and I don't know the proper way to go about doing that.

#625 ::: Gabriele Campbell ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 04:59 PM:

Aconite,
not to mention the members of AW are from all over the globe and Intellectual Property laws are different in other countries.

I wish I had the money to sic an EU lawyer at the webhost.

#626 ::: Sara ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 05:23 PM:

tlh: And, out of curiousity (apologies if this was asked up thread, I looked but didn't see it), if that hosting company won't relinquish the databases, can we sue them (or at least write Barbara Bauer style letters) for stealing our work, ie, our posts, on an individual basis?

Posted By CE Petit * Forget the class action. Persons who used the AW system are not a proper class; there is no commonality or typicality, and those are just the most obvious flaws (at least, they're obvious to me… and I've been class counsel in sixty or so matters). I am not going to divert attention in this newsgroup with an exegesis of class certification requirements; suffice it to say that a class action must satisfy six separate requirements (seven for securities), and it's readily apparent that a class action as described earlier in this thread fails at least two of them outright.

So it seems this might be a possibility for individuals, but not as a group.

~Sara

#627 ::: scharrison ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 06:31 PM:

Although it was only a few shorts, I posted creative work in the SYW forum, with the expectation of limited, AW only exposure. JC Hosting should (at least) be compelled to release this data, and purge their system of any remaining previously confidential files.

#628 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 06:50 PM:

*temporarily delurking*
It always interests me how easily people can read disemvowelled text, since most days I can't at all. I wonder if good beer would help me overcome this handicap.
*retreating back into a corner*

#629 ::: Giacomo ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 07:15 PM:

... for the life of me, I can't remember a longer thread in any ML/EL post.

I know, I'm a newbie. I'll eagerly wait for the oncoming correction.

P.S. disemvowelment should be banned, the induced fun is clearly of sinful nature.

#630 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 07:30 PM:

There was a recent Open Thread that topped out at 888 comments. And something even more recent that approached that. And wasn't Slushkiller's comment thread over 700? (Note that this is all off the top of my head and subject to correction.)

--Mary Aileen

#631 ::: CaoPaux ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 07:37 PM:

The venerable "Slushkiller" has 724 comments

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004641.html

The more recent "Fanfic: Force of Nature" scored 858 comments

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/007464.html

-----

Heh. :)

#632 ::: Randy Bush ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 08:37 PM:

i did offer bandwidth and disk. have a _lot_ of both. no response to email.

#633 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 08:45 PM:

Randy, please don't feel neglected. Things have been ... busy.

#634 ::: The One Called Zorron ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 08:57 PM:

I found out about this entire injustice via BoingBoing.net.

I'm not much of a writer myself. I post stuff from to time to time in the LJ.

But hearing this makes me glad that when crap is hitting the fan that people will stand up and notice and offer their support.

Don't know much about Jenna or the rest of the AW stuff. But they are truly blessed to have this much support.

-The One Called Zorron

#636 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 09:16 PM:

I'm fine doing triage/go between for offers of help; The Important People are just . . . well, gobsmacked and swamped with email and legal stuff and work.

I'll retain your email, and forward copies to Someone What Knows Somthing.

Lisa

#637 ::: Roy Branson ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 09:26 PM:

I kind of skimmed over the posts here, so if this has been addressed already, sorry. But what reason is the former host keeping the forum database for? What could they possibly need it for? The only people who would have use for it would be those who use absolute write and its forums.

#638 ::: Preston ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 09:37 PM:

Personally, I recommend nearlyfreespeech.net They charge only for the disk space and bandwidth that you use, and allow for bulk bandwidth purchases... they're the cheapest webhost that I've ever used. I highly recommend that you give them a try. Seriously... they're much cheaper than guessing how much space/badwidth you will use and going over. They don't give you a dedicated server... but to be honest, I've found that their server cluster (which is awesomely spec'd, BTW) is crazy fast.

Furthermore, they won't shut down your site for saying what you want... (Your right to free speech is actually part of their TOS. It's amazing.)

I've had several highly controversial websites hosted on them, and they simply ignored all crybaby complaints.

-Preston

#639 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 10:41 PM:

But what reason is the former host keeping the forum database for?

If I read his explaination correctly, he's keeping it as "evidence" of AW's so-far unspecified crimes.

#640 ::: TW ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 10:48 PM:

The crime of what? Bandwidth allocation excess?
The host may or may not been in the wrong to terminate service but they have no right to custody of the data. The host only has the right to end the service contract with the client. They do not have the right or authority to hold the client's property.

#641 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 11:09 PM:

TW, they've been cluelessly flouting the law since this crisis began. If there's any justice to be had in this world, they will lose their business entirely and go into debt paying the judgements against them.

But there probably isn't.

#642 ::: Sean D. Schaffer ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 11:23 PM:

"Hey, Sean,
I've visited so many of the blogs mentioned in this thread that there's no way I could remember where I read the post I mentioned. "

That's all right. My question was more of a joke than anything else, as having once been a member of the PAMB, I remember seeing a lot of anti-AW comments there.

But I think you're right. This situation has brought people closer together than I've seen in a long time. I honestly never realized how close-knit the writing community really is. I mean, we have so many differing viewpoints on politics or religion or that kind of stuff, but when you get right down to it, we're still writers, and we still care about one another.

For that much, I am grateful to be part of the writing community at large.

#643 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 11:33 PM:

If only a fraction of the people who've so kindly blogged about this event send money to AW, for their legal fees, it will be a Good Thing.

Lawyers aren't cheap, lawsuits aren't cheap, and if someone decides not to do something until he loses a suit ... well, that suit has to happen.

#644 ::: TW ::: (view all by) ::: May 31, 2006, 11:41 PM:

"we would need proof of what really had taken place with no one allowed to tamper with the evidence"

Cute, to prevent tampering of evidence we, a not neutral party, will hold on to it. Just take our word for it that we are not tampering with it either.

#645 ::: Dave Freer ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 07:36 AM:

Well, Teresa, thank you for a hosting this. Curiously I arrived here via a New Zealand based writer's site (and I am in South Africa) - so this really has affected people across the world. I hope AbsoluteWrite recovers their data - but at least their community has emerged intact and stronger. The entire performance seems so amazingly futile for JC Hosting (grin - I wondered if this name was a Da Vinci Code spoof at first) that I at a loss as to why they persist. The troll Murk A Yurk - I tried looking for him on Amazon. It seems that he is either unpublished or uses yet a psuedonym.

#646 ::: Kelly Searsmith ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 11:57 AM:

Authors' Lawyer provides similar watch information See http://www.authorslawyer.com/c-ellison.shtml. If anyone at AW is in need of advice, they might contact its author, Charlie Pettit: cepetit@authorslawyer.com. Pettit also maintains Scriveners' Error: http://scrivenerserror.blogspot.com/.

#647 ::: Sparhawk ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 04:58 PM:

Long live Jenna Glatzer and Absolute Write. Absolute Write is the reason I have a book actually published. Jenna helped me and gave me great advice and encouragement. My cash will be enroute to support AW and I'll post any link on my blog to help the cause along with another BB slam.

AW is family, and nobody messes with "The family".

-Nuff said

#648 ::: Giacomo ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 06:07 PM:

Goodness, I didn't know the "Slushkiller" was so long... but I should have known about the Fanfic one. Maybe you should keep a "top ten" somewhere, titled "Making Waves" or something like that...

#649 ::: Laurie ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 11:04 PM:
Curiously I arrived here via a New Zealand based writer's site (and I am in South Africa) - so this really has affected people across the world.
AW members are from all over the world, including Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Hong Kong... Well, admittedly, the Asian ones stick out more for me, and those are the ones I remember off the top of my head. AW is a world wide writer's community. Yup.
#650 ::: JamesC ::: (view all by) ::: June 01, 2006, 11:29 PM:

HMMMM funny no news on the fact they have already gained access to the account and should by now have the files back including the data base which has been untouched??

I guess good news travles slower then bad huh?

#651 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:10 AM:

James, we have been debating when to announce we might have the data back for the last couple of hours. As it is, we are still in the process of confirming its usability and status. As things stand now, that has not yet been confirmed.

Thank you for your patience.

#652 ::: Jenna Glatzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:28 AM:

After all that's gone on this week, you'll have to pardon me for being a bit cautious-- to be frank, James, I don't trust you as far as I can throw you, particularly considering the number of "untruths" you told on your website. (But you still expect *me* to sign a nondisparagement form?)

Yes, after 9 days, James has given us back our password for 24 hours, and a volunteer has been working tonight to back up the data and see if it is all there and if it works. I really didn't want to get anyone's hopes up to have them dashed again, hence the lack of shouting before I was able to confirm anything.

As of this moment, nothing is complete or tested yet. We have no idea if the database is "untouched." We're working on it.

Thank you to everyone here for the support. I hope it'll all be worth it soon!

#653 ::: Jenna Glatzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:44 AM:

After all that's gone on this week, you'll have to pardon me for being a bit
cautious-- to be frank, James, I don't trust you as far as I can throw you,
particularly considering the number of "untruths" you told on your website.
(But you still expect *me* to sign a nondisparagement form?)

Yes, after 9 days, James has given us back our password for 24 hours, and a
volunteer has been working tonight to back up the data and see if it is all
there and if it works. I really didn't want to get anyone's hopes up to have
them dashed again, hence the lack of shouting before I was able to confirm
anything.

As of this moment, nothing is complete or tested yet. We have no idea if the
database is "untouched." We're working on it.

Thank you to everyone here for the support. I hope it'll all be worth it
soon!

Jenna Glatzer
Editor-in-chief, Absolute Write
Author of The Street-Smart Writer and many other books
See Jenna's books at http://www.jennaglatzer.com/

#654 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:51 AM:

So, after a week of lies and stonewalling, JamesC gave some version of the database back (in the middle of the night), and he's miffed that he isn't instantly hailed as a hero? This is the world's smallest violin playing My Heart Bleeds For You.


#655 ::: Roy Branson ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:53 AM:

We all really appriciate the time and effort you are putting into this, Jenna. So whether it sinks or swims, THANKS!

#656 ::: Liam Jackson ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 01:19 AM:

C'mon, JamesC! Knuckle up like a real pirate and just keep the damn files. Repeat after me, "Litigation can be fun!"

If I've learned nothing else in my short time in the writing community, I've learned this: Folks that travel in these circles have long memories.

And something I learned in my former life: Karma can be a real bitch.

#657 ::: Matt D ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 01:35 AM:

Hmmm.

It's starting to sound to me like you didn't pay your own bills or didn't want to pay to upgrade your own bandwidth allotment, and you had run out. The two-gig transfer of the database would've knocked you over the edge, so you decided to hem and haw and stall until June 1 when your meter was reset.

#658 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 01:59 AM:

Jenna, you and your crew must be dead tired from trying to restore cached files from the Internet for so long a time.

For Gods sake, take your time and get some sleep.

Yah all are the best and I know the writing community thanks all of you as I do too.

#659 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 02:27 AM:

Jerry, we're writing a cool new Perl script to make a virtual sculpture of the cached page data, now.

I'm sure it will be eminently bloggable, when we've finished.

*g*

#660 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 03:02 AM:

You can always tell when you've hit your sleep wall, Mac. You go from fun-lovin' to just plain goofy.

#661 ::: Sharon Mock ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 03:59 AM:

The thought that the forums may soon be back, more or less undamaged, nearly brings tears to my eyes.

Yes. It's been that kind of week.

I know others have said this already, but thank you for the temporary shelter and watering hole.

#662 ::: LeslieB ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 08:00 AM:

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our 'hostage crisis' is nearly over. I want to add my thanks to ML for broadcasting the news about AW, and to Jenna and all her helpers for the tremendous amount of work that they have done. Roger's refugee camp is nice, but it just isn't home!

#663 ::: Sparhawk ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 10:13 AM:

"After all that's gone on this week, you'll have to pardon me for being a bit
cautious-- to be frank, James, I don't trust you as far as I can throw you,
particularly considering the number of "untruths" you told on your website.
(But you still expect *me* to sign a nondisparagement form?)"

Ahhh the ever present nondisparagement clause (the last refuge of a scoundrel), perhaps JamesC has read a certain PA Contract Amendment recently and found merit in said tactic. Jenna props to you, Uncle Jim and all the AW mods for keeping things going.

As always you have my repsect and admiration.

#664 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 10:16 AM:

I returned to posting comments in this entry because this is where James chose to reveal that we had been granted access to the data. I am wondering if I should return to commenting in the more recent post. While I continue to think out loud, here is the most recent update:

Good morning, AWers. Or good evening, as the case may be.

Just to let everyone know where we are right now: As of 2:30 AM Eastern time, our new host was going to overwrite everything on our account – don’t worry, Scott made a backup of the items we had already managed to rebuild – and install the recovered data. Our IT-person-Scott indicated that he felt there was a 50/50 chance that everything would be okay when the host installed it. Those odds made Jenna a little nervous, but I recognize a professional IT person not over-promising when I hear this. We do not know how long it will take the new host to install the data so we can verify its usability.

In other words, we’re back to hurry-up-and-wait, but for a different reason this time. We’ve only been granted access to the data for 24-hours, so the results of this install and the next few hours are crucial to us.

Keep your fingers crossed. I will let you know updates as I’m able.

#665 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 10:21 AM:

Starting with James D. Macdonald's post of June 02, 2006, 12:51 AM, all text is a pale wheat color, which turns pale grey when moused over.

#666 ::: CaoPaux ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 11:19 AM:

It's starting to sound to me like you didn't pay your own bills or didn't want to pay to upgrade your own bandwidth allotment, and you had run out. The two-gig transfer of the database would've knocked you over the edge, so you decided to hem and haw and stall until June 1 when your meter was reset.

Heh. That was my first thought as well.

#667 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 11:45 AM:

Quote Jenna: June 02, 2006, 12:44 AM:
“Yes, after 9 days, James has given us back our password for 24 hours,...”
Scramble, scramble, scramble all night long because it may have a problem. Hmmm, Truthful James?

#668 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 12:01 PM:

JamesC, you can expect nothing from any of us except possibly refraining from suing you. I hope Jenna didn't sign your fucking nondisparagement clause, but even if she did, the rest of us didn't.

The one thing you might get from me in the unlikely (thank the gods!) case that we ever meet: a saliva sample. I hope not. But I might not be able to help myself.

(Note: I personally have no standing to sue in this case. But the idea that I would ever do business with JamesC, or hear his name or company brought up without telling this story, is absurd. I was dimly if at all aware of AbsoluteWrite before this crisis began, but I will definitely be checking it out now; it sounds like a great place.)

#669 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 01:36 PM:

Quote xopher:
“I was dimly if at all aware of Absolute Write before this crisis began, but I will definitely be checking it out now; it sounds like a great place.”

-------------------------------

You could have spent six months reading, picking up writing and word tips as with tips on reaching for publishing your manuscript.

You could have posted bits of your work for a critique and spent time working on it. It would be in a password-protected forum hidden from the public.

You could ask questions on anything and received intelligent answers.

When you’ve had enough and are tired of working on your manuscript, you could’ve gone into a separate place to read and post anything that is serious, or silly. In this forum you would find more activity than in the other parts of Absolute Write; it was not a feeding frenzy, but there were enough posts to enjoy at times.

You would always find an old member who you never seen before pop in and post and you would see many new members at times.

Absolute Write was so vast; I could’ve spent months finding new places and things to learn.

#670 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 03:11 PM:

It's starting to sound to me like you didn't pay your own bills or didn't want to pay to upgrade your own bandwidth allotment, and you had run out. The two-gig transfer of the database would've knocked you over the edge, so you decided to hem and haw and stall until June 1 when your meter was reset.

I don't find it credible that a competent hosting service would be unable to arrange to promptly transfer a mere two-gig of data when the lawyers had become involved.

#671 ::: miles ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 03:40 PM:

What Xopher said.

This story should be repeated, in minute detail, at every future opportunity. Every writer, newbie or pro, has to be warned about these unprincipled clowns. And I'd love to see the details go up on a special page at the new AW site. Maybe right next to the 20 Worst Scammers list.

—miles

#672 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 02, 2006, 11:13 PM:

In the interest of completeness:

Barbara Bauer also sent a cartooney Cease & Desist to Kent Brewster over at Speculations.

Which he ignored.

Full story here:

http://www.speculations.com/?t=480194

#673 ::: JamesC ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 01:10 AM:

JD McDonald No I do not expect you to hail me as a hero I was fishing around to see if the data base was recovered before I deleted the files I know there is bad blood between AW members and us so I expect no other response then what is given here.

Jenna I do not expect you to sign a nondisparagement form or anything else the access was granted with no strings attached, and if there are any untruths on my web site I have no problem removing them or backing them up with documents (emails or log files) if you wish to point them out.

#674 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 01:51 AM:

I don't know about the rest of you, but reading a screed like the one on James' site about a former client would sure make me want to sign up with that company, all rightie.

James, do you have any idea how unprofessional you're making yourself and your company look? Is this really how you want clients and prospective clients to see you?

#675 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 02:28 AM:

You were fishing around James? Seems to be that the direct and honest approach would have been to contact Jenna and ask the status of the database and download rather than posting in the comment section of a blog where the membership may or may not have accurate information about what is happening behind the scenes.

Also, based on your comment, I take it you intend to delete the data?

#676 ::: Matt D ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 03:57 AM:

JamesC posts quite a bit more over at the http://sgcordray.com/?p=26 blog in the comments. There's even a rare, perfectly-formed The Lurkers Support Me in Email statement. You don't see too many of those in the wild anymore.

#677 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 07:22 AM:

JamesC:

Deleting the files would be a spectacularly stupid idea on your part. You need them for "evidence," don't you?

As far as the untruths you've written, here and on your web site -- leave 'em. Folks are making copies, so erasing them won't help you in any case.

Oh, and please spell my name right.

Everyone else: Please contribute to the AW Legal Fund, and continue to spread the word.

#678 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 02:10 PM:

JamesC, I'm surprised you're not drooling w/ the number of lies you're spewing--tripping over your own tongue has got to be tricky, at best.

You made so much noise about the database being "evidence" and now it's alright to delete it? Fascinating turn of events.

Fortunately, Wikipedia has seen fit to not delete the article regarding Barbara Bauer. JamesC, you're included. Therefore, your dubious business practices shall remain on record in an online encylcopedia. When one speaks w/ as many forked tongues as you and keeps company w/ the likes of Barbara Bauer, I think that's fair, don't you?

#679 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 04:17 PM:

"Just to let everyone know where we are right now: As of 2:30 AM Eastern time, our new host was going to overwrite everything on our account – don’t worry, Scott made a backup of the items we had already managed to rebuild – and install the recovered data. Our IT-person-Scott indicated that he felt there was a 50/50 chance that everything would be okay when the host installed it. Those odds made Jenna a little nervous, but I recognize a professional IT person not over-promising when I hear this."

Oh, gracious. That was a bad miscommunication--the "50/50" quote was intended to convey that there was a 50/50 chance that the restore would go perfectly on the first try. Even then I was quite optimistic that everything would eventually be OK--at this writing I'm as certain as it's possible to be that everything will eventually (day or 2ish?) be get back to normal. The Absolute Write forums will be fine.

#680 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 04:57 PM:

Oh Scott, you're the best to post that information! Here we're all worrying for nothing. Okay, I'll speak for myself :)

May I take this opportunity, though, to thank you, Scott for working so dang hard on this. Thank you!!

Standing ovation *g*

#681 ::: GPatten ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 05:35 PM:

Me too.

Bless yah all.

#682 ::: Shwebb ::: (view all by) ::: June 03, 2006, 06:31 PM:

I love being a part of AbsoluteWrite. I never thought I could feel this way about a forum, but it's like home to me.

It's a refuge where I can get and give information, where I can garner ideas for writing, and where I have found great friends.

What attracted me most to it is the caring attitude and lack of snobbishness there. We cheer and encourage everyone, from newbies to the sages. I have wept and laughed and celebrated with these people--how often does that really happen at an online site? I'm looking forward to its return soon.

#683 ::: Eileen St. Lauren ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 05:17 PM:

I am sad to read this news!
This site was among the BEST if not the BEST writer's site in cyber space. Jenna was the utmost professional as were many of the writers. I wish her and everyone nothing but the BEST and will pray that this site returns more independant, even stronger,than ever ASAP!
It is my prayer that when AW return that it will be better and shining like the sun while it comforts its authors.

Stomie, Ray and anyone else that I cannot locate feel free to contact me.

#684 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2006, 06:32 PM:

I've been inside the AW Water Cooler. It's there, but still a little tender.

Folks who want to help, please make a donation:

http://jennaglatzer.blogspot.com/2006/05/need-help.html

or buy the button:

http://www.cafepress.com/ohdawnos.59585541

The coming legal fight will take both time and money. Every bit helps!

The board is coming back, and sooner rather than later.

#685 ::: abi spots comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 07:01 AM:

There's No Such Thing As Free Baby Stuff (TANSTAFBS)

#687 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 10:31 AM:

"s f lst nght, bslt Wrt ws gn. t ws n f th ldng sts fr nfrmtn n wrtng nd pblshng, spclly th scm vrsns thrf. Thr SP plld th plg n thm n hr's ntc. Nw, whr thr shld b brd, dp nln cmmnty wth n nrms mssg bs gng bck yrs, thr's ths."
Wlcm t th Wtr Clr, mssg brd rn by bslt Wrt fr wrtrs nd dtrs. f y hvn't vstd r mn st yt, pls d! Y'll fnd ll srts f gds, ncldng r fr wkly nwslttr. T mk cntrbtn t hlp s wth th cst f ths wbst, pls clck hr. Thnk y t r gnrs bnfctrs!


Clck hr t vst th cht rm!
r, f y hv n RC prgrm, jst vst th #bsltWrt chnnl n StrCht.




vBlltn Mssg

Y hv bn bnnd fr th fllwng rsn:

Nn

Dt th bn wll b lftd: Nvr






ll tms r GMT. Th tm nw s 02:12 PM.


Cntct s -
bslt Wrt -


Tp



Pwrd by vBlltn Vrsn 3.5.3
Cpyrght &cpy;2000 - 2006, Jlsft ntrprss Ltd.


s ths frm r bsnss? m rlly sch thrt t cmmnty f wrtrs? f 7000 wrtrs bght bk bt pblshng scms, hw mch wld thy rs? Hw mch mny wld th pblshr mk? Whn skng fr dntns, dn't sk nyn t by cmmrcl bk (t sn't fr chrty!!!) f W mmbrs dntd tw dllrs ch, t's s mch s th thrs wld rcv n rylts. Thr sms t b n wfl lt f mndcty rnd!

#688 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 11:07 AM:

Shelagh, by my own rules I would normally ignore what I've seen you do in other online venues, and wait until you'd infracted my rules in my weblog.

Not this time.

Please go away. You're not welcome here.

#689 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 11:13 AM:

Oh, look, it's shelagh, aka vicki, aka about fifteen other names (including my own) she tried to get back into AW under once she was banned.

You haven't bothered to read any of the comment thread, have you, dear? You're just here to whine about being banned.

Our esteemed hostess will educate you in blog-comment etiquette if it pleases her to do so, I expect. I'll get popcorn.

#690 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 11:13 AM:

If you want to donate $2, you can do it here, or, you can get a Support AW button.

By a weird coincidence, the money that will go to AW from buying the button is exactly $2.

Yes, CafePress will make some money ($0.25, if you're interested) from every sale. Yes, Paypal will take a cut of every donation. There isn't any "mendacity" in any of it. It's just that nothing's free.

Even if you send a check or money order -- the Post Office charges you to send that money order, and many folks don't have free checking.

#691 ::: Jane Smith ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 12:09 PM:

I have received a huge amount of help and support from Jenna and from AW in the short time that I have been a member there, and I'm happy to have made a donation in recognition of that. My gain vastly outweighs the small amount I could afford to send. And while I expected it to go to a legal fund or some such similar I'd not be unhappy to know that it went towards a bottle or two of Champagne instead. Some things should be celebrated, don't you think?

#692 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 12:56 PM:

Thank you for reminding me, Aconite. I had forgotten about her using your name as a sockpuppet in a bulletin board where you're a regular.

#693 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 12:59 PM:

Aconite, how could anyone be you besides you? Never mind, that's even confusing to me.

Teresa, you've been a magnificent hostess. Thank you for your hospitality and warm, comforting words during this crisis. You're a true friend.

#694 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 01:56 PM:

Teresa, Patrick, thank you for having us as guests. Let's all help sweep up and fluff the cushions now, ladies and gents.

#695 ::: Anne ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 02:42 PM:

OK, you spilled that champagne on Teresa's new carpet? (*taps foot*) Clean it up, and give Teresa that box of chocolates.

#696 ::: CaroGirl ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 04:06 PM:

I loved the AW forums and have missed them terribly. Just being able to cyber-connect with others who think writing is important was hugely inspirational (for me). I certainly never considered it a waste of time.

I hope to reconnect with everyone soon. I miss you all!!

#697 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 04:14 PM:
Aconite, how could anyone be you besides you? Never mind, that's even confusing to me.
Indeed. None of us would even know what gender to assume, let alone the rest of the complexities endemic to being Aconite.
You haven't bothered to read any of the comment thread, have you, dear? You're just here to whine about being banned.
For more soap opera goodness, Murk Yurk has being doing the same thing over in the Miss Snark lounge. It's so much fun to watch him find new contexts into which to throw reference to having been disemvowelled. If he brought that contortionist act out here to Boulder's Pearl Street Mall, his hat would overflow.

(Don't mind me; I'm just giddy that the AW Water Cooler is up and running again, and wanted to see if it had been announced here too. Many thanks once more to our gracious interim hosts. May they blog often and enjoy much webtraffic for many years to come.)

#698 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 04:49 PM:

Thank you all very much for visiting. Do please come back any time.

Somebody want to post a link here to the reopened site?

#699 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 04:59 PM:

Trs Nlsn Hydn ::: (vw ll by) ::: Jn 05, 2006, 11:07 M:

"Shlgh, by my wn rls wld nrmlly gnr wht 'v sn y d n thr nln vns, nd wt ntl y'd nfrctd my rls n my wblg.

Nt ths tm.

Pls g wy. Y'r nt wlcm hr."

w, nw y'v gn nd pst my flngs. "Pls rmmbr tht vn hr, th rl s 'rspct yr fllw wrtr.'"

#700 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 06:24 PM:

Hi, all.

Glad you could come by.

I was at a site that lost everything [tm] once. . . but it was much younger, and "everything" didn't include books in progress.

I wish you the best of luck with the data.

#701 ::: CaoPaux ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 07:02 PM:

Thanks, Sandy!

We're back with no data loss, same URL as before: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/

#702 ::: Barbara Gordon ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 07:26 PM:

link to the AW forums

-Barbara (kein Bauer, auch kein Bauerin)

#703 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 08:09 PM:

I just signed in and subscribed to several forums. Thanks to all! Yaay (dragonet2 is my handle)

#704 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 10:25 PM:

Excellent, Paula! I'm so glad to hear that. We're very happy to have you.

#705 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 10:29 PM:

::hysterical laughter::

Where on earth did anyone get the idea Teresa and Patrick have any rule about respecting your fellow writer on their blog?! Someone's in for a real shock.

I've got that popcorn, if anyone wants some.

#706 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2006, 11:48 PM:

Silly woman's got me mixed up with Jenna. I respect my fellow human beings (insofar as I do, which is mostly) because they're my fellow human beings. I don't see why I should single out writers. Besides, in an online environment, pretty much all of us are writers, to one extent or another.

#707 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 01:09 AM:

I'm definitely getting better at reading disemvowelled text, though "pst my flngs" took a little while. (At first I read it as "post my flings".)

#708 ::: MacAllister ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 01:31 AM:

I sort of wanted it to be "posit my failings." That just didn't work on so many levels, though.

#709 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 03:44 AM:

lk wnnng.

#710 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 05:43 AM:

I shouldn't have clicked on the link...

"Number 2 best-selling PublishAmerica children's book on amazon.co.uk"

I am not going to speculate on the quality of the work, but if that's the best thing the author can say about it, I know which way to bet.

#711 ::: Good Word ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 07:49 AM:

This is great.

I really do need to get out and about more.

I don't really go many places outside of AW and my fridge.

(I'm an AW mod and addict.)

#712 ::: Roger J Carlson ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 08:46 AM:

Teresa,

Making Light was one of the major resources for news, information, and community for AW members during the AW Blackout. I'd just like to say thanks.

To everybody else:
SUPPORT AW's REBUILDING/LEGAL FUND!
Buy a cool button or make a PayPal donation!


#713 ::: Cathy C ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 09:28 AM:

Quote=Dave Bell: I shouldn't have clicked on the link...

"Number 2 best-selling PublishAmerica children's book on amazon.co.uk"

I am not going to speculate on the quality of the work, but if that's the best thing the author can say about it, I know which way to bet.
************

Well, I actually purchased it and read it all the way through. I wanted to see whether there was any merit to the claims (on AW and on Amazon) of shoddy workmanship in the book itself. There isn't. The book is properly cut and glued and seems to be a normal POD book. I even wrote a review of the novel itself, but after consultation with others, chose not to post it anywhere. It wouldn't help or hurt either side of the argument, so why bring it to the battle?

But if anyone is interested in reading it, I'd be happy to pass it along by mail. I could use the space on my shelves. :)

Cathy C

#714 ::: Rob Goss ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 10:49 AM:

It's great to have the AW Cooler back and it was even better to see how everyone pulled together when AW was down!
But just so we don't forget who the worst 20 are, I popped the links on my blog (http://wwwtokyo.blogspot.com/2006/06/in-support-of-absloutewritecom.html).

Rob (aka Gozzy)

#715 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 11:51 AM:

Thanks again for hosting our refugees, Teresa.

Cathy, I'd be interested in reading it. I'd also like to see your review of it.

#716 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 02:23 PM:

Quoth shlgh: lk wnnng.

Yes, we've noticed. You like to think you have so much that you claim to have done it even when circumstances would argue otherwise.

I'm finished shooting fish in a barrel. I have a brand-new copy of Grease Monkey to read and review. Thank you, Teresa, for letting me know about this book.

#717 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 04:23 PM:

Roger, considering what you did during the crisis, I take that as a very considerable compliment.

Aconite, you got a copy! You're the first confirmed purchaser I've heard from. Where did you buy it?

Re "Number 2 best-selling PublishAmerica children's book on amazon.co.uk": A couple of days ago, Jim Macdonald was on the phone to my husband, filling in the gaps in his knowledge of the AW shutdown brouhaha. Patrick, listening to Jim explain something at length, suddenly cracked up and said "That's like being the biggest expert on Emily Bronte in the entire worm colony!"

#718 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 04:53 PM:

No, it's like being the second biggest Brontë expert in the worm colony...

#719 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 05:05 PM:

lk wnnng.

How you discovered your enjoyment of that state will remain, I daresay, a mystery.

#720 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2006, 09:35 PM:

Teresa, I'm afraid you still haven't got a confirmed purchase. I really wanted to read it, and was just on the verge of ordering it from my local B&N when a review copy arrived from the publicity department. I promptly hyperventilated. Then I flashed it at everyone and told them if they were very nice to me I'd let them touch it.

#721 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 03:27 AM:

Td n Ptrck Brnt dd. Bt y knw tht ddn't y?

Th Prsng

Ths s grt plc t vst!

#722 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 03:44 AM:

But, so reports go, the company administering the car parks in Howarth, has a reputation for being aggressively hard-line on enforcing time limits.

Wheel-clamps, large cash release-fees, that sort of thing.

#723 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 06:09 AM:

M grndfthr ws brn n Yrkshr nd m brthr nd spnt mn smmrs n Hbdn Brdg, smll vllg cls t Hwrth. M grndprnts, nts nd ncls sd t tk s p nt th mrs t th r th Brnt sstrs plyd whn th wr chldrn.

Hbdn Brdg N prkng prblms thn! rvstd Hwrth lst sprng nd spnt qt sm tm n th vllg nd th cr wsn't clmpd! ls clld n t Wycllr nd prkd n th tp cr prk nd wlkd dwn t Wycllr Hll. Th wthr ws trrfc nd t ws grt d t!

#724 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2006, 11:18 AM:

Shlgh, I'm not going to debate with you. I've seen you "debate". You're not good enough. I'd have to prop you up throughout, and I don't see why I should bother.

I know you think you win a lot of arguments. I very strongly suspect that your opponents decide you're not worth their trouble, and just walk away. You ought not mistake that for winning.

We can keep disemvowelling your messages as long as you can keep writing them. However, that's not what's going to happen. If you keep this up, I'll run more severe distortions on your messages. If you still don't stop, I'll delete them.

You can't win here. All you can do is make us marvel at what a slow learner you are.

#725 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 03:19 AM:

pstd by Trs Nlsn Hydn ::: (vw ll by) ::: June 07, 2006, 11:18 M: "Shlgh, 'm nt gng t db t wth y. 'v s n y "dbt ". Y'r nt gd ngh. 'd hv t prp y p thrght, nd dn't s why shld bthr. kn w y thnk y wn l t f rgmnts. vry strngly sspct tht yr ppnnts dcd y 'r nt wrth thr trbl , nd jst wlk wy. Y ght nt mstk tht fr wnnng. W cn kp dsmvwllng yr mssgs s lng s y cn k p wrtng thm. Hwvr, tht's nt wht's gng t hpp n. f y kp ths p, 'll rn mr svr dstrtns n yr mssgs. f y stll dn't stp, 'll dl t thm. Y cn't wn hr . ll y cn d s mk s mrvl t wht slw lrnr y r." Bt 'm fst lrnr Trs. :)

#726 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 04:28 AM:

Looking back over the last few comments, I saw nothing in the two comments shelagh made on the 7th which I considered disemvowelable.

But it didn't last.

Like a killfile in a newsgroup, there's a point where the history overwhelms the rare appearances of trollish intelligence. Obviously, there's more history here than I'm aware of. And this isn't a newsgroup; it's not my choice.

In some ways, it's a weakness of blog comments. It can also be a strength: the trolling can be controlled.

#727 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 06:01 AM:

Dv, Th hstr sn't wrth rptng -- t's mstl vr chldsh. Th cmmnt b Jms D. Mcdnld bt wrm cln rfrs t n ntrvw n Th Gztt nwsppr: ntrvw cn nl ssm tht ncl Jm dsn't wnt hs bks t sll n Wls -- mkng fn f n f Wls mst fms bt spts wn't gn n Wlsh fns.

#728 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 06:40 AM:

I read Shelagh's summary of Mr. Planemaker's Flying Machine at the Gazette link and now my brain hurts.

#729 ::: Madeline Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 07:00 AM:

Shlgh: James D. Macdonald did not make a comment about a worm colony. You need to work on your reading comprehension skills.

#730 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 08:33 AM:

Shlgh has demonstrated before that her reading comprehension is poor. But she has one thing right--her behavior here and elsewhere has been nothing but childish.

#731 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 09:04 AM:

R"Nmb rbst- sllng Pblsh mrcch ldrn' sbknm zn.c. k":cp lfdys g,JmM cdnld wsnth phntm hsbnd ,flln gnthg psnhs knwld gfthW shtdw nbrhh .Ptrc k,lst nngtJ mxpln smthn gtlng th,sd dnlcr ckdpn dsd"T ht'sl kbngt hbggs txprt nmlBr ntnth ntrwr mcln! "k,Pt rcksn cncrn dbtsl lngbk snWls.

#732 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 09:08 AM:

Dave Bell: Are things becoming clearer now?

#733 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 09:12 AM:

Aco, I have fresh popcorn and drinks. Mind if I sit next to you?

#734 ::: Nikki ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 09:40 AM:

I followed Shelagh's link and was really quite amused by this:

"She sent us some great photo’s of Wales & they can be seen online"

#735 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 09:56 AM:

Hi Lori and Aconite, here you are :) Can I have a seat and watch too? I brought extra popcorn, it's gonna be a while, I think.

Kola's got his own treats *g*

#736 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 10:00 AM:

Um, Madeline, you might want to include listening skills along w/ reading comprehension. In Shlgh's case, they apparently, go hand-in-hand.

#737 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 11:29 AM:

Dn'tb thrtp llpyr chrsg rls,T rssnn mdtll wmtnt rntds cssnh r.

#738 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 12:06 PM:

Aconite, I'm getting the picture (and with Dolby Surround Sound).

Oh, Miss, what flavour is that albatross?

#739 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 12:35 PM:

The tray tables are on the stand in the corner, if anybody wants one.

#740 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 12:44 PM:

Dearikins me. I've just now realized that she thought "worm colony" referred to something other than Publish America.

Reading comprehension is definitely a problem for her.

#741 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 12:59 PM:

Teresa: I believe slgh works Very Hard at being that confused. Perhaps she took extra classes in the summer?

#742 ::: Madeline Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 01:37 PM:

So the next level down from losing vowels is to lose the helpfully placed spaces and have new ones inserted every five letters?

And here I was hoping for an Ugly-Wugly style loss of consonants instead.

*sits down and waits*

I expect it'll happen eventually.

#743 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 01:47 PM:

"Rdng cmprh nsnsd fntlp rblmf rhr." ddn't qtgtt ht.

#744 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 02:04 PM:

Now that's funny. Giving the shlgh her due.

#745 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 02:08 PM:

Why do I feel like I'm sticking around watching an automobile accident? Like I'm waiting for something to crash and burn? There's an odd morbid feeling in my chest and just a touch of guilt in my stomach. very interesting....

On a more technical note, I'm pondering how difficult it would be to write a de-disemvoweler script. I seem to have lost my knack for subconcious translation, and I'm running at around one-third normal reading speed.

oh well.

#746 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 02:14 PM:

Greg, get your popcorn and sit down. You'll feel much better after you've eaten.

#747 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 02:25 PM:

Xopher, it would be funnier if shlgh didn't react that way normally. The poor dear tried to convince herself that she won a debate with Jim Macdonald. So sad.

#748 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 02:36 PM:

Hang around and I'm sure she'll retell the tale of the debate victory--that Jim obviously won.

#749 ::: Greg ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 03:20 PM:

Shelagh's a regular legend in her own mind; Published Author (Publish America), Professional Debator (Had her butt handed to her by Uncle Jim), and Publish America Shill (Thinks PA is a legit credit).

One wonders how one mere being can contain such a mighty intellect... if only her intelligence was a vast as that chip on her shoulder. SIGH

#750 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 03:37 PM:

Greg, I'm sure it's vaster than empires...and more slow.

#751 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 03:58 PM:

Popcorn! Maybe I should open a concession stand.

#752 ::: shlgh ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 05:35 PM:

Wll,'mjstffthvrthrlrgtcrprmvdfrmmshldr.t'snlsmllprtnndthdctrssrsmtht'llmkcmpltrcvr.sy'rllnwtnglst.

#753 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 06:20 PM:

Mmmm...salty butter all over my fingers. Thanks, Greg.

Should have brought a napkin. Maybe no one will notice if I wipe my fingers on my trousers.

#754 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 06:55 PM:

Shlgh (n) A continuous whinge; (adj) clueless; oblivious; (sometimes) tedious; (v) to exhibit a lack of comprehension in simple matters, from the Old English "sche lagg", as in she lags behind (in understanding).

#755 ::: Jean Marie ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 07:31 PM:

You mean you're finally having that chip you've been carrying around, forever, surgically removed, Shlg? It's about time, I say.

'Tis a shame you've trashed the only writing credit you've really earned, Shlg--Stories of Strength.

I brought napkins if anybody would like one.

#756 ::: Matt ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2006, 07:33 PM:

I have a copy of Planemaker that I received from a fellow Absolute Write member. It's the same physical copy that Researchguy Ken originally bought. (I didn't get it from Ken. He had passed it on himself.) I won't post my review here, and I probably won't post it anywhere else either. But if someone here wants it, just give me a holla'.

#757 ::: Shawna ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 02:00 AM:

Has anyone noticed the new posts dated today at sgcordray.com and jccordray.com?

Looks like they're claiming they're closing their hosting business...

#758 ::: Madeline Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 04:17 AM:

I feel we're getting ever closer to seeing someone rendered inconsonant.

Carry on, Shlgh.

#759 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 04:56 AM:

Did anyone read Shlgh's gripping account of her brush with Israeli airline security?

They asked if she packed her bags herself! It was thrilling!

#760 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 11:15 AM:

Whoa! Shelagh's had an existential crisis!

#761 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 11:54 AM:

Shlgh is an existential crisis, just waiting to spill over and, as Patrick once said, "get stupid all over" us.

This is someone with an inability to perceive reality folks; don't prod.

#762 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 12:56 PM:

Madeline...disconsolate?

#763 ::: Frnk ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 04:38 PM:

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gaqcyqstooyqtx.Fzfgzguggue'fjuyygsetattataaguJsezg
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#764 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 04:44 PM:

Is Frank a troll? Because he's reading a thread I haven't seen here. He should search the archives for PublishAmerica and Barbara Bauer.

#765 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 04:46 PM:

Frank, we're against PA because they're thieves and con artists. Their victims can call themselves 'authors' if they want; if they call themselves 'published' we'll laugh at them. Heck, they can call themselves the rightful Duke of Fnordia for all I care; no one will take them seriously, that's all. And rightly so.

#766 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 04:47 PM:

P J Evans, of course he's a troll. I just think there might be candy in him.

#767 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 05:00 PM:

Dark chocolate? Candied pecans? Chocolate-covered espresso beans?

Pinata time!

#768 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 05:24 PM:

ya know, I've been thinking about this all wrong. The "car accident" metaphor just doesn't fit, and besides, it was making me feel bad. Then I had a thought that switched everything around. I'm not watching a car accident, because for one, there's more than one car. I'm watching a meteor shower. Big hunks of mindless rocks, hurtling through space, trying to crash themselves into the earth and do it harm. However, what ends up happening is they burn up in the protective atmosphere of disemvowelment, and leave a pretty streak across the sky.

It's actually quite beautiful to watch.

I brought a big bowl of peanut M&M's to share, if anyone wants any....

#769 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 05:45 PM:

Hmm.

Should I let the professionals handle this Frank individual?

... pass the M&Ms.

#771 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 06:11 PM:

shlgh 05:53 PM:

No, I generally use a 16-ounce hammer. The sledge is only for Brazils and macadamias.

#772 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 06:29 PM:

and the aluminium 6 lb. ball bat is for the pinata. that or the broom handle.

Here, have a peanut (passes bowl).

#773 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 06:40 PM:

Thanks!
(I wonder who got the plastic-headed mallet my father always used to crack walnuts ... have to ask my brother some time.)

#774 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 06:58 PM:

Did anybody bring anything to drink? I've got water and ginger beer, and there's a pitcher of lemonade on the table if'n you want some (ice is in the cooler under the table).....

The sledge hammer comes in handy for black walnuts, too.

#775 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 07:12 PM:

I brought some single malt...Auchterarder again, I'm afraid, but if you don't want all that peat there's some rather indifferent Aberfeldy left over as well.

Adding water is OK - it loosens the esters - but if you're going to ice it, please warn me so I can look away.

#776 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 07:27 PM:

Hi, Frank. Do I know you under some different name?

I'm sure you're aware that I've never said the things you've attributed to me; in fact I've said just the opposite.

Talk fast: Teresa wants to delete you.

#777 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 07:30 PM:

Jim, we already know that you're nicer than I am. How long do I have to put up with that stupid sockpuppet?

#778 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 07:50 PM:

One post, I think, Teresa. To see if it makes a reasonable and honest reply to my question.

#779 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 08:06 PM:

Okay, raise your hand if you think "Frank" sounds like Shlgh. (Teresa raises hand)

P J Evans, Frank is spouting one of the standard PA lines: that the reason we say PublishAmerica is a big con game is because we don't want to share the glorious title of "author" with a bunch of self-publishers. I find it particularly amusing because I was self-published many times over before PublishAmerica was ever thought of.

How can you tell that "Frank" isn't really a published author? He thinks "author" is an exalted title.

Greg, that's a nice metaphor. I like it a lot.

Sandy, feel free to take a turn. That's the big reason to use a broomstick rather than a baseball bat: more people get turns.

Padrino: as you will. "Frank" gets a chance to answer honestly.

#780 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 08:14 PM:

Oh my word - I've never seen someone first disemvowelled, then unspaced and finally radically unlettered. Definitely the blog equivalent of being broken on the wheel.

Now I'm disappointed I stopped following this thread.

#781 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 08:36 PM:

Larry, you missed the message that was disemvowelled, de-letterspaced, ROT-13'd, and broken into 50-character lines. Jim Macdonald and I got our signals crossed, and he deleted the message right after I'd sat on it and slowly squashed it to jelly.

#782 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 08:54 PM:

I dunno, Greg. How about combining car accident with the meteor shower? Then you could call it NASCAR on a wet track.

#783 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 09:47 PM:

"Frank's" stated e-mail address appears to belong to a Feather Schwartz Foster, who is (surprise!) a PA author.

#784 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 10:49 PM:

Interesting, Dan, but Feather Schwartz Foster lives in Fanwood, NJ, while "Frank" posted from btopenworld.com in the UK.

#785 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 11:08 PM:

Why, how remarkable! Shlgh uses the very same ISP!

#786 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 11:15 PM:

Second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse...

Been here, done this. Ah, well. Pass the popcorn.

#787 ::: Dan Blum ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 11:22 PM:
Interesting, Dan, but Feather Schwartz Foster lives in Fanwood, NJ, while "Frank" posted from btopenworld.com in the UK.
One wonders what Ms. Foster thinks of "Frank" using her e-mail address in this way...
#788 ::: FirstAmendmentAdvocate ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 11:33 PM:

I haven't read every post here, so I don't know if this has been mentioned, but you need to get in touch with www.publiccitizen.org about what Bauer did. Check out their site and see all of the sites they've defended against so-called libel and defamation lawsuits (should it come to that). They have a lot of resources. This is a FIRST AMENDMENT issue and you have the right to express your opinion on who is on a list of worst agents, worst bartenders, worst neurosurgeons, worst anything. This Bauer broad needs to get a grip on her massive ego and deal with it. "Whoever tries to silence free speech ends up advertising it." All she did was make it worse for herself. Also check out www.dentalfraudinflorida.com and www.taubmansucks.com Both were defended by publiccitizen.org and WON. Good luck!

#789 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 11:45 PM:

disemvowelled, de-letterspaced, ROT-13'd, and broken into 50-character lines

/me curses missing that.

I find myself waiting in anticipation for the next iteration in the typography wars. The Mouse's Tail, perhaps?

#790 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2006, 11:57 PM:

Just for you, Julia Jones:

WaZe,qqaggefuFgefsFgeatgu--fqgupfgsceqpatoxaYyfpzcef ajguWzfQ.Zpqayq'fstefseceqpatCox.Oglxajgug.jfgusefgc efagepicoyfuqceffeyf(YapfueiaatCfg)seFgefsFgeatgu.fg cguofygJegefFccegTecfaguYapfueaqJyfPzzatgjofgf.fgcgu JxcqctseFgefsFgeatguGJPopfFgefsFgeatgupageogepzcyaqg ug'qfqceffeyfsezcoyfuqceffeyfgueguazlja!fgyyqiegfFge fsFgeatguazlfcpaqsyzgf.taqie100ecggacagopfsgujexqq-- fgyyuqie80ecggacagfjuajfoaaqsezgusez.Guyfgecggacagfj eyfgaguACGgueqf.aieaptiatgiecggacaggfatyzzoesJ--azgg eujoqyljfafygq.fsepucfafuyqef,Jpyqcasfuaqpucfucaqaie
uigolfatycgg.

#791 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 12:25 AM:

::sniffle::

That is a thing of beauty, Teresa. I keep walking around to view it from all sides.

#792 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 02:15 AM:

First off, this isn't a First Amendment case: the first amendment says "Congress shall make no law ...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...." and I don't see Congress anywhere in this mess.

Second thing is, we don't have much use for fncking Public Citizen in these parts.

#793 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 03:02 AM:

Teresa: just in case you need it, I can send you the link for an Enigma encoder/decoder in Javascript...

#794 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 06:57 AM:

Xopher: How you discovered your enjoyment of that state will remain, I daresay, a mystery.

Mystery partially solved: Some people are truly so clueless and pathetic that they mistake the ability to force their presence on others and be boorish for some kind of victory.

It's sad when someone craves attention so much they're willing to act like an ass to get it. When they think acting like a bigger ass than anyone else is winning something, though, it goes beyond sad into delusional.

Shlgh actually believes she's something special because she keeps coming back to a place where she's been told she's not welcome. Yes, really. She thinks her forcing us to deal with her presence when we don't want her around is a victory for her. We talk about her! And scramble her posts! And tell her to go away! And bust her for spoofing somebody's address! Oh, bliss!

You have to work really, really hard at that kind of stupidity. It doesn't just happen.

#795 ::: Glenda ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 07:29 AM:

WaZe,qqaggefuFgefsFgeatgu--fqgupfgsceqpatoxaYyfpzcef ajguWzfQ.Zpqayq'fstefseceqpatCox.Oglxajgug.jfgusefgc efagepicoyfuqceffeyf(YapfueiaatCfg)seFgefsFgeatgu.fg cguofygJegefFccegTecfaguYapfueaqJyfPzzatgjofgf.fgcgu JxcqctseFgefsFgeatguGJPopfFgefsFgeatgupageogepzcyaqg ug'qfqceffeyfsezcoyfuqceffeyfgueguazlja!fgyyqiegfFge fsFgeatguazlfcpaqsyzgf.taqie100ecggacagopfsgujexqq-- fgyyuqie80ecggacagfjuajfoaaqsezgusez.Guyfgecggacagfj eyfgaguACGgueqf.aieaptiatgiecggacaggfatyzzoesJ--azgg eujoqyljfafygq.fsepucfafuyqef,Jpyqcasfuaqpucfucaqaie
uigolfatycgg.

Has my grandaughter been posting here. Because this looks like her work. :)

#796 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 08:39 AM:

Aconite--my point, of course, was that Schlogg has never experienced actual victory. But you knew that.

#797 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 08:53 AM:

I hope we're a little way short of Enigma (and are we talking Heer, Luftwaffe, or Kriegsmarine?).

Anyway, there's a literary precedent for using the Playfair cipher, complete with explication of how to cryptanalyze it. But it may be a trifle unfair to disemvowel the plaintext.

#798 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:03 AM:

Teresa:
ROFLMAO!

(And I thought that maybe 'Frank' was Shlgh; 'troll' was certain. I was trying to be polite, just on the slight chance it was a real-but-clueless poster.)

Ah, single-malt! (My sister introduced me to Laphroaig.)

Sledge hammers are also for pecans.

#799 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:11 AM:

Bruce: Enigma coder/decoder? Yes please!

Dave Bell: Funny you should mention Playfair ciphers. Jim and I have been talking about that as the next step. We hadn't yet settled on a keyword or key phrase, so if you have any suggestions ...

#800 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:12 AM:

Jim, Frank hasn't responded. Have I been patient long enough?

#801 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:22 AM:

I keep toying with the idea of a javascript that does a sort of Unicode ROT-1300. You'd get a really interesting character mix . . .

#802 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:47 AM:

(This makes me want to find the box with the cryptanalysis book. There are so many interesting things that can be done to plaintext.)

#803 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:49 AM:

Nah, Teresa. Give "Frank" until 4:38 PM local time today. 24 hours. (That's 9:38 PM in the UK, "Frank," in case you're wondering how long you have.)

#805 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 11:22 AM:

Lisa, if you do that, what you have is just another single-character-substitution cipher, albeit a very elaborate and pleasantly weird-looking one. The point of ROT-13 is that it's easy and symmetrical to cipher and decipher in it. Write out half the alphabet, A-N. Now write the other half on the line below it. There's your cipher key. A=N, N=A, M=Z, Z=M, etc.

If you use it a lot, you start thinking of it as set letter pairs: AN, BO, PC, DQ, ER, SF, GT, UH, IV, JW, XK, LY, ZM: Ann, Bo, PC, Dairy Queen, Emergency Room, Science Fiction, General Technics, uh, intravenous, Jehovah's Witnesses, XKE, adverb, zoom!

There's the point of it: you can code and decode on the fly.

#806 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 12:05 PM:

No, I get that Teresa, but I'm thinking that the key is embedded in the encryption, and that the script knows what character to look at to obtain the key; sort of the way book codes work. It looks very odd though, since a lot of the character ranges are for the connecting bits in scripts like Arabic or Devanagari.

#807 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 01:49 PM:

Teresa, how about "the dancing men have his carcase"?

The literary allusions are left as a mystery for the reader.


#808 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 02:50 PM:

Lisa, the thing to remember is that the cryptanalyst doesn't try to reverse the encryption process, he takes shortcuts. He doesn't care about the characters you don't use. And the symbols don't matter. The method Sherlock Holmes uses doesn't depend on the symbols, he could have assigned an arbitrary letter of the alphabet to each symbol, and not changed anything.

Anyway, you can find FM-34-40-2 Basic Cryptanalysis on the net.

#809 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 03:07 PM:

Xopher: disconsolate, sure, but I think Madeline really meant "inconsonant". As in shlgh's June 09, 2006, 05:53 PM post...which, come to think of it, was also punctured.

#810 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 03:50 PM:

Playfair keys... I suppose MONARCHY is too obvious?

#811 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 04:20 PM:

See this lecture on cryptanalysing Playfair.

There's several different ways of generating a 5x5 grid from a key, but none of them seriously hamper the process of reconstructing the grid. Once you have a partial reconstructiuon of the grid, based on a crib, you can try to find other plaintext words, rather like completing partial words in a crossword puzzle,

And an actual English word as your key can give away a great deal. First letters of a phrase are better, but first letters of words in a phrase can have their own patterns. It's like computer passwords. I wonder how long a brute-force dictionary attack on a Playfair cipher would take?

#812 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 05:39 PM:

4:48 and then some.

#813 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 06:54 PM:

Wow, I saw a shlgh post before Miss Teresa got to it! Now I get to watch the transformation.

#814 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 08:43 PM:

Xopher, that's the only way you'll see one. Shlgh has exhausted Jim Macdonald's patience, and I'm giving his impatience free rein. He's deleting all her posts unread. There've been quite a few.

Want to know how much less nice than Jim I am? My current theory is that Shlgh is literally compulsive about coming back as long as anyone's paying the slightest attention to her. She's had her posts distorted, and more recently deleted. She's been extensively made fun of. Yet she can't stop coming back.

Any bets on how long Shlgh can keep this up? I know that continuing to provoke her behavior is probably a stain on my immortal soul, but I can't help it. It's just too funny to watch.

#815 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 08:54 PM:

There was an encryption method I met in school which could decrypt itself. It involved moving the letters a given number of spaces forward, but it was letterwise: A becomes B, but B would become E, C goes to H, and so on. Run the encrypted text through twice, and get the original back again. (It doesn't have to be a three-character spacing.)

#816 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 09:19 PM:

Do you remember anything else about it?

#817 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:12 PM:

Teresa, in PJ's, the number of characters moved forward is the Fibonacci series.

#818 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:27 PM:

There was an encryption method I met in school which could decrypt itself. It involved moving the letters a given number of spaces forward, but it was letterwise: A becomes B, but B would become E,

Something isn't right about that: if the plaintext contained "A", the cyphertext would be "B". When you run it again, cypertext "B" gets turned into "E", and that isn't your plaintext.

Personally, I'm a big fan of one-time-pads. With gigabit SecureDigital cards, you should be able to exchange a card with someone and have enough keydata to send text messages back and forth for the rest of your life.

I read a rumor that the bat-phone from DC to Moscow had a AD/DA converter and a one-time pad to encrypt/decrypt. Still could do traffic analysis on it, I suppose, but still.

#819 ::: Beth ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:44 PM:

Want to know how much less nice than Jim I am?

Teresa, you are far kinder than I.

I agree that Shlgh craves attention, good or bad. Maybe she doesn't get love and/or attention at home so she seeks it online. Maybe she likes pain and humiliation. Maybe she wants a Secret Diary entry all her own. (I'm dithering over that one--writing it would be too easy, but might endanger my karmic balance. If anyone wants to volunteer, however, I'd be happy to add to the existing collection.)

#820 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 10:52 PM:

Greg, the encrypted text has to be run through twice, not once. BUT A (plain) becomes B (encrypted); B (e) becomes E (decryption 1), but I can't figure out what E becomes. (The number of steps forward is 1 for A, 3 for B, 5 for C, which isn't the Fibonacci sequence (it leaves out 2).) Maybe it's just odd numbers?

In that case E becomes L, which still isn't right.

P J Evans, could you clarify?

#821 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 11:15 PM:

The Holmes reference above got me curious. Sure enough, there's a True Type "Dancingmen" font. I guess that was inevitable. To make it all work in any consistent way, Sherlockians had to change a few of the characters as illustrated, devise an underlying logic for the stick figures' positions, and use that to derive letters of the alphabet that Holmes and Watson never saw. They also added some simple punctuation, and ways to designate characters found in Swedish and so on. Neat!

Hmm. I'm getting a "denied for questionable content" error message. I'll remove the link and see if that does the trick. Google will find it, though. It's on a Swedish site, "algonet." I tell ya, sometimes ML's filter just doesn't like me, for no apparent reason.

#822 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2006, 11:59 PM:

Some comment spam had advertised algonet.se -- I've removed the block.

Here's the link: http://www.algonet.se/~osarkab/mart_1/dancingmen/damen.html

#823 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 02:08 AM:

Ah, okay. As long as there's a reason - and that's a good one. Thanks.

#824 ::: Lori ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 02:36 AM:

Any bets on how long Shlgh can keep this up? I know that continuing to provoke her behavior is probably a stain on my immortal soul, but I can't help it. It's just too funny to watch.

No bets here. I don't think there is a limit. After our patience on AW ran out, we banned her, but she still kept coming back. I'm not convinced that we've seen the last of her yet.

#825 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 03:49 AM:

According to the description of Holmes' attack on the Dancing Men cipher, in The Codebreakers, it makes good sense as cryptanalysis, if you assume a couple of transcription errors by Watson. Holmes is, in a sense, lucky. He doesn't have enough information to not be guessing, but his guesses are well-informed and the most likely choices usually work.

That would be why the Dancing Men font is slightly different from Watson's record. But Holmes didn't attempt to find any pattern in the symbols so as to fill the gaps in his recovered cipheralphabet.

#826 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 04:28 AM:

If you haven't noticed, check the Particles: somebody has apparently got a report from a forensic accountant on the sales/royalty figures they were able to get out of Publish America.

I'm a little wary of taking the "forensic accountant" label at face value, but it certainly seems to be a report by a qualified accountant with professional knowledge of the normal operations of the publishing business.

For instance, a statement that a particular clause in the Publish America contract is usually in the contract offered by any publisher, but always stricken by the author's agent.

(Think about what that would mean about professional competence if a PA contract came through BB with that clause intact.)

(And, I admit, from my experience of contracts, the idea of every publisher including a clause which every agent/author rejects seems a trifle odd.)

It concentrates on the sales/royalties issues, rather than what PA might charge the author for other services, and indicates a slipshod attitude to internal records. Here in the UK, there are, it is rumoured, ways of "putting a sting" on somebody; getting the Revenue to take a particular interest in their affairs. The rumours are about doing it for malicious reasons: in this instance it looks as though something illegal could be happening.

#827 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 09:24 AM:

Sorry, my bad. Sample:
abcde fghij klmno pqrst uvwxyz
IRAJS BKTCL UDMVE NWFOX GPYHQZ
Yeah, you get two letters that don't change.

#828 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 10:07 AM:

P J, that's fascinating. How ever did you all invent that?

#829 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 01:07 PM:

Xopher, I took a class once. CompSci. The textbook may still be in One Of The Boxes. The problem isn't making it up, it's remembering it.

#830 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 03:07 PM:

Wow, caught one again. Now she's just being completely incoherent.

#831 ::: Madeline Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 03:30 PM:

Now that one is surely crying out to have its consonants removed.

Xopher: how about inconsolable? or dissonant?

#832 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 05:03 PM:

Of course, many of us remember that conversation here. Except for non sequitur at the end, which looks, well, added for some strange Googly reason.

I'm not sure whether to be more bemused at the search terms - makes my "compaq contura aero battery" searches look positively prudish - or the flashing neon GET A LIFE sign over shlgh's head. She's in Wales and I can see it from Edinburgh.

#833 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 05:05 PM:

Oh, wait...I see...she was cyberstalking Xopher. Sorry...thought all the fisting stuff was in her search terms.

#834 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 05:08 PM:

Madeline, I still like "inconsonant". And I still think a puncture is in order; heck, take out all the tires.

She's twice requested a punch in the jaw that I can see, but we don't do that here.

#835 ::: Andrew ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 05:53 PM:

Make that three times and she's out.

It seems a shame that our hosts must spend time taking out the trash...

#836 ::: AstonWest ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 06:19 PM:

Yikes...trying to read through all those disemvoweled posts is like trying to make sense of adults in a Peanuts TV special...

wah, wah wah wah, wah wah wah wah...

#837 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 08:55 PM:

She has indeed been cyberstalking Xopher. You haven't seen the identical messages deleted from a bunch of other threads. This is a classic Net Kook.

#838 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 09:12 PM:

I'm a little wary of taking the "forensic accountant" label at face value

"Forensics" is the science of argument, which has led to its being used for things applicable to courts and the law. One of my friends in college was a forensic-science major, and figured he'd end up with the State Police or something like that. (They weren't hiring, so he joined the Army, got them to send him to law school, and is now with JAG.)

There are a lot of "forensic" specialties, and given the importance of financial documents as evidence, forensic accountancy seems both useful and necessary.

#839 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 09:41 PM:

Any bets on how long Shlgh can keep this up?

No; on Usenet, I've seen a kook outstubborn a bot.

#840 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 10:15 PM:

In the tradition of murk yurk, should shlgh be pronounced shlugh?

#841 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 10:23 PM:

Too bad some kind of total email bombing or other revenge is illegal, or I'd find shlgh's email and bomb it until her ISP tosses her.

I briefly bopped in her this afternoon and got a full-frontal from her. In re Xopher, whom I hold in high regard. So it pissed me off even more.

#842 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 11:10 PM:

Forensic accounting is a genuine professional specialty. I've always thought it sounded interesting, though nothing I'd ever be good at.

There are lots of forensic specialties these days, besides the obvious forensic pathology. For instance, there's forensic entomology, which is emphatically not a profession I want to think about very closely.

#843 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 11:11 PM:

Anne, you don't want to know how I pronounce Shlgh's name, but it only takes one syllable.

#844 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: June 11, 2006, 11:45 PM:

Evidently murk yurk still lurks. I received an email requesting that I not address him in that fashion, and cease character assasination. In my reply I addressed him in another fashion; if I were to quote it here it would probably qualify for disemvowelment. The later phrase "thin-skinned self-important idiot" is probably mild enough to pass.

#845 ::: Keir ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 12:37 AM:

I find this whole thread rather confusing; the references to comments that aren't there any more thing.

Quite interesting trying to puzzle out what went on where; pathological-thread reading, I suppose you could call it.

Anyway, I'm rather impressed at the length of this thread. It would be fun, of a certain sort, to try and work out how many posts are repeats from the same commenter, and how that differs from threads with less comments.

#846 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 12:54 AM:

Forensic accounting is something I was seriously interested in while going for my accounting degree two years ago. It basically involves either going over numbers looking for signs of malfeasance, or trying to reconstruct the numbers after some kind of catastrophic data loss. Let me rustle up the definition...

Well, I found forensic auditing. Close enough:

A forensic audit’s purpose is the detection or deterrence of a wide variety of fraudulent activities. The use of auditors to conduct forensic audits has grown significantly, especially where the fraud involves financial issues. Some examples where a forensic audit might be conducted include
• Business or employee fraud.
• Criminal investigations.
• Shareholder and partnership disputes.
• Business economic losses.
• Matrimonial disputes.

Messier: Auditing and Assurance Services: A
Systematic Approach, pg 4. McGraw-Hill 2003.

In this case, we're looking a business fraud, obviously. If the accoutant has evidence that >X books were sold, and the author was paid based on X-Y, then there is evidence of fraud,or at least shoddy bookkeeping. If someone is trying to hide a profit or a loss, the forensic accountant uses the numbers to find it.

#847 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 01:07 AM:

When will I learn to proofread my comments adequately? That was meant to say, "we're looking at possible business fraud." I did not mean to imply that the forensic accountant the PA author hired has definitely found fraud. His findings do seem suggestive, though. (IANACPA, IANACFE), where CFE is Certified Fraud Examiner. Some of those guys carry guns!

#848 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 01:29 AM:

I have a forensic accountant as the POV character in one of my stories. It was supposed to be a short story, but escaped into a novelette too long for the anthology I wrote it for; and my editor at Loose Id thinks it's the first couple of chapters of a novel and wants me to write the rest of it. That means I need to flesh out a couple of cases for him to be working on. I do believe I've got some interesting material here to reference. Bookmarked...

#849 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 02:12 AM:

It's not the existence of forensic accountants I dispute, or the value of their specialisation. It's just the the report on PA read as a report by an accountant with publishing experience, and seemed to depend on that more than on any special skill in dealing with potential criminality.

#850 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 07:37 AM:

Dave, publishing industry accountancy is its own sub-specialty. The report sounded plausible and appropriate to me.

There wasn't much to say about PA's accounting because, while it was certainly negligent, it wasn't negligent in any complicated way. It was just slipshod, and a lot of it simply wasn't there. The accountant made what determinations he could. Then he went through the contract -- publishing accountants know publishing contracts -- and commented on some of the ways it differs from a real publishing contract. It was as much as he could do.

#851 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 12:45 PM:

If she was cyberstalking me, I'm not quite sure how the fisting stuff got in there. Unless she found a post I wrote warning about the several nasty ways you can die of it, and telling everyone never, ever to do it.

Lately I've become interested in forensic linguistics. It exonerated someone recently when it was discovered that his "confession" had been doctored after he signed it (he could not have generated the phrasing the dirty cops used), and broke a case I saw on one of those Court TV things (didn't catch the details, alas).

Forensic plumbing is a real specialty too. I saw an ep of Forensic Files where the forensic plumbing specialist was able to show that there was no way an unconscious adult could drown in a toilet; in fact it's virtually impossible to get your nose and mouth under water at the same time. Toilets are made that way on purpose, apparently.

I offer this in case it might be useful information to some of you; please don't tell me if it is. Also to prove that forensic plumbing exists outside Lois McMaster Bujold's universe!

#852 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 01:29 PM:

ABCDE FGHIJ KLMNO PQRST UVWXYZ
IRAJS BKTCL UDMVE NWFOX GPYHQZ

Well, that is odd.
You encrypt by running it once,
decrypt by running it twice.

I'm not sure what advantage you gain by it.

But it is different.

One of the reasons I like one-time-pads
is that I can understand it. The other
being that it's as secure as your keydata.

Maybe I'd like public-key-encryption better
if I had a degree in mathematics and I could
understand how it works.

#853 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 05:35 PM:

Greg London wrote:

Maybe I'd like public-key-encryption better if I had a degree in mathematics and I could understand how it works.

The Handbook of Applied Cryptography is an excellent book, and actually bothers to explain the math you'll need at the start of the book. Chapter 8 deals with public key cryptography.

#854 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 05:54 PM:

Greg, you could also encrypt somewhat differently by running it twice, then decrypt by running it once. Or encrypt odd-numbered characters once and even twice, reversing that for the decryption. There are lots of ways to make that somewhat more secure.

#855 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 06:13 PM:

800+ pages? egads.

I get the idea of public key encryption.

It's like I have an infinite supply of
padlocks that all use the same key.
Anyone who wants to send me a message
gets a padlock from me, puts their message
in a strongbox, slaps the padlock on it,
and throws it in the mail.

Since I'm the only guy with a key,
I'm the only guy who can open the padlock
and read the message.

Where I get lost is grasping just how complicated
it would be to "pick" the padlock. When I read
explanations of the difficulty of factoring
large primes, and someone mentions something like
"heat death of the universe", my eyes glaze over.

As far as I can tell, there is no way to know
whether someone has discovered a shortcut to
factoring primes that we simply don't know of.
When DES was invented there were some pieces of
the algorithm that didn't make sense to a
number of university mathematicians. It was
revealed some years later that the NSA knew
of a weakness in the algorithm and added some
pieces to strengthen it.

Moore's law is also really just a historical
trend that could go in any direction in the
future. We have no way of knowing what will
happen to processing speeds in the future.

Put all those unknowns together, and I get
fuzzy-headed. Then I hear the siren call of
infinitely secure one-time-pads and wonder
if the hassle of extra keys might not just
be worth it. Somehow.

And of course, now the NSA has a somewhat more
adversarial relationship to strong encryption
algorithms compared to what they did for DES.

oh well, I'll put the book on my wish list...

#856 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 06:20 PM:

I've always assumed, with the DEA algorithm, that the NSA has all the keys to open messages using it, just because they weren't trying to have it restricted.

#857 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 07:42 PM:

Greg London pined:

oh well, I'll put the book on my wish list...

It's downloadable for personal use, if you're thusly inclined...

Put all those unknowns together, and I get
fuzzy-headed. Then I hear the siren call of
infinitely secure one-time-pads and wonder
if the hassle of extra keys might not just
be worth it. Somehow.

It all depends on your threat model[0], really :)

[0] Lengthy ramble about threat models pended lest the audience pelt me.

#858 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 08:12 PM:

Greg - As far as encryption algorithms go, it's unlikely that Moore's Law will make cracking a well designed, large key size encryption practical anytime soon. If the key size is big enough, I'd even say never.

Unfortunately my academic experience on this topic has about 20 years or rust on it, but what I can tell you is that for modern public key cryptography to fall apart someone would have to prove the assertion that P=NP. I won't even try to explain what this means, but there's a pretty good article on Wikipedia without a ton of math.

Or, someone would have to develop a non-deterministic computing model that would put NP into category P. (Again, I'm no longer capable of explaining this - but I'm sure that lots of folks here can.)

Suffice it to say that if someone did this, our banking system would probably shatter. It would be a bad, bad thing unless there was some other practical PKE method sitting on the horizon.

#859 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 08:14 PM:

Greg - another thing. One time pads rely on physical security and would be notoriously difficult to distribute to, say, online banking customers.

Sometimes you just have to trust the technology.

#860 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 08:34 PM:

Another problem is that one-time pads require a lot of random numbers, and generating random numbers is very difficult and expensive.

Lots of physical processes that are "obviously" random turn out not to be when cryptographers look at their output.

#861 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 09:02 PM:

Here's another possible reason the NSA didn't object to public key encryption. Jim explained it to me a couple of years ago.

In fieldwork, the commonest ways to break codes are the four varieties of real-world crypto: checkbook, black bag, rubber hose, and dumbshit.

Checkbook crypto consists of finding a disgruntled former employee or associate (all organizations generate at least a few of them via normal person-to-person friction), and pay them to give you the codes. This is the single commonest method used.

Black bag crypto consists of breaking in and stealing the codes, ideally in some way that won't tell the victim that their codes have been got at. Another version is to break in and install a small unobtrusive keystroke-capturing device in the code clerk's keyboard.

Rubber hose crypto is when you capture someone who knows the codes or how to get the codes, and persuade them that they're rather give the codes to you than suffer whatever ingenious torments you devise.

Dumbshit crypto takes many forms, including going through the trash, planting a pretty and sympathetic barmaid at a bar where your target(s) hang out, checking to see whether the password to their in-house network is "password" or "guest", suborning the dry cleaner they use so he'll give you the code key one of them absent-mindedly leaves in his pants pocket, and monitoring their message traffic to catch that happy moment when the code clerk forgets it's the day they're supposed to start using the new code, sends a message in the old code, gets a reprimand from the recipient, and apologetically re-sends the same message in the new code.

Useful fact to remember: the 9/11 plotters didn't use codes or ciphers. They did everything via nonce accounts at Yahoo or Hotmail.

#862 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 09:26 PM:

Seth, how are random numbers generated?

Mike Farren taught me a simple test for randomness in computer-generated random numbers: Assign a color to every digit, from 0 to however many colors you're going to use. Take the random numbers generated by the software, translate them into colors, and output them to your screen, one integer/color per pixel. Start at the top, work your way across the top row of pixels, then start in on the next line. When the screen is full, look at it to see if there are any perceptible patterns.

He did that once to some piece of software, and came up with (iirc) stripes. He got in touch with the programmer to tell him his random numbers weren't. The guy was unconcerned. Apparently he'd generated a series of random numbers, I forget how many but it was fairly limited, and decided that that was sufficiently random. He had it set up so that when the program finished chewing its way through that sequence of random numbers, it went back to the beginning and used the same sequence over again.

#863 ::: "Charles Dodgson" ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 11:09 PM:

The real problem with one-time pads isn't the generation of the random data. It's making sure that both sides of the communication have a copy of it. The problem is: how do you transmit it? If you transmit the random bits over an insecure line on which your adversary could be eavesdropping, they have the key and they can decrypt the message as easily as the intended recipient. But, if you have a secure medium to distribute the key, on which your adversary can't eavesdrop, you could use that channel for your message itself and not bother with encryption at all.

The way this paradox is classically resolved is that the pad is prepared ahead of time, and stored in a secret compartment in the spy's luggage or something, which won't be compromised unless the agent is. (And they'd better be very careful to burn the sheets of the pad after use, or a capture risks compromising all their prior transmissions --- something to remember if you're thinking about stuffing a half-gig of random bits on a CD-ROM; they're awkward to destroy piecemeal). But it's still bothersome.

#864 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 11:30 PM:

TNH: There are lots of forensic specialties these days, besides the obvious forensic pathology.

Greer Gilman (author of Moonwise et al.) has described herself as a forensic librarian -- perhaps not her primary occupation, but (IIRC) she knew enough about Harvard's collection to find the books some wacko had scissored pages out of (to prove that the wacko damaged somebody else's property, not just his own soul).

Greg: IIRC you've left out half of the advantage of public-key; as I've seen it described the message is decrypted with a combination of your private key and the sender's public key, thus providing both security and authentication.

#865 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 11:40 PM:

It's possible -- even likely -- that quantum computation, if it could be done at sufficient scale, would be able to easily break almost any current cryptosystem.

On the other hand, quantum cryptography, in which entangled particles are used as bitmasks, rather like a one-time pad, is essentially unbreakable.

The quantum giveth...

#866 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 12, 2006, 11:51 PM:

CHip: That's where public-key leaves me confused. I understand it for about five seconds at a time, then it goes ... sideways, or something.

I've been using the million-digit files of pi and e that the Gutenberg project has online (you can get there via Wiki) for things that only need a few thousand random digits. Of course, that's for a knitting project and it doesn't have to be secure.

#867 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 01:13 PM:

Mostly pseudo-random numbers are generated in the sense that the next term is determined by the sequence (beginning with a seed often user furnished or pulled from the nth digit of a time signal) and the process.

Desktop tools such as Excel include commands such as RAND ("Returns an evenly distributed random real number greater than or equal to 0 and less than 1. A new random real number is returned every time the worksheet is calculated." - nice to know ahead of time it will be evenly distributed every time, one can also ask for Gaussian distribution or as preferred) with published algorithms. Microsoft - URL omitted - will even offer you better and better random numbers:

Generate better pseudo-random numbers

Use the high quality Mersenne Twister algorithm [see Wikipedia lest I be seen to have even more in common with JvP than I already do] to generate better pseudo-random numbers than the Microsoft Excel RAND() and VBA Rnd() functions. Generate random numbers from 16 discrete and continuous distributions. Functions for use in spreadsheet formulas. A VBA interface to generate random numbers in your code. Generate large amounts of random numbers interactive user interface.

Users can and perhaps should check for practical purposes by predicting the next term using easy desktop technology based mostly on Markov chain technology - Box Jenkins, Box Cox, Box Tiao - autoregressive moving average business forecasting techniques.

One of the many pet peeves I feed around here is being annoyed by people (even Bill Gates according to reports) who say random when they mean haphazard.

To impress their peers in peer reviewed journals folks will use radioactive decay or other such for a process in which it is believed that only Ghod's Algorithm can predict the next term.

I've seen some time and money to crack literature that inclines me to believe there are lookup tables out there more complete than the published ones.

#868 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 01:29 PM:

Clark - Random is one of those words that has a vernacular and a technical meaning. I have no problem with using random to mean haphazard or happenstance outside of mathematical discussions.

And didn't you mean to regale us with the tale of when you had lunch with Alan Turing and gave him the one bit or theory he needed to crack the Enigma? :-)

#869 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 01:33 PM:

Yeah...I've seen people get really annoyed with "easy and fast" pseudorandom number generation.

[You spend a couple hundred hours on a computer game, and you start noticing patterns in the pseudorandoms. . .sometimes, they're even there.]

#870 ::: Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 01:56 PM:

Never had lunch with Mr. Turing - English cooking after all - but I did tell Herbert Yardley he needed to look for card sequences that survived haphazard shuffling so he could loosen up and be less predictable at the poker table :~)

#871 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 02:02 PM:

how are random numbers generated?

for crypto applications, you need hardware. Software can't generate real random numbers, only pseudorandom numbers. Dave Bell provided a link to this random noise generator. It's based on the individual electron noise in a diode, which is about as random of of a physical process as you can get. A piece of radioactive material and a geiger counter would do it too.

#872 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 03:01 PM:

Two pedantic corrections.

First, breaking public key encryption does not requiring proving P=NP. There is no known classical polynomial-time factorization algorithm, but factorization has not been proved to be NP-complete. If someone did somehow find a polynomial time factorization algorithm, that would not constitute proof that P=NP.

Second, practical quantum computing would not necessarily be the end of public key encryption. There is a known polynomial-time factorization algorithm for quantum computers, but there is no general technique for using a quantum computer to solve an arbitrary NP problem in polynomial time. Shor's factorizaton algorithm isn't "trying all solutions in parallel universes" or anything like that. It's very specific to the details of the factorization problem, and it works because of mathematical details of group theory and fourier transforms. Quantum computers would kill the RSA algorithm, because RSA relies on the assumption that factorization is difficult, but public key encryption doesn't necessarily have to involve factorization.

#873 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: June 13, 2006, 04:54 PM:

Alexander McCall Smith has become a full-time writer, but his day job used to be Professor of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. The biographic information in his books mentions that he wrote the definitive work on The Forensic Aspects of Sleep. I am profoundly curious about what it could refer to.

#874 ::: Karen Funk Blocher ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2006, 01:34 AM:

I've been catching up on my email tonight, and was pleased to see a little write-up about Absolute Write in a Writer's Market.com Market Watch email. It didn't mention any of the specifics behind the recent trouble, but praised Jenna and the site, and gave a couple of links for finding out more.

In other news, I've been struggling mightily to avoid reengaging with a certain disgruntled ex-commenter on this thread, over on Wikipedia. I keep thinking it should be possible to reason with him.

#875 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2006, 05:55 AM:

The biographic information in his books mentions that he wrote the definitive work on The Forensic Aspects of Sleep. I am profoundly curious about what it could refer to.

Amazon lists him as one of two editors, not sole author, though I have no doubt that he provided some of the content.

Anyway, from the book description:
It then discusses the implications of sleep medicine in a wide range of legal contexts, including criminal responsibility, employment, and civil liability for negligence.

To offer an extremely crude example, someone with a sleep disorder dozes off at the wheel and causes an accident. What is this person's precise liabililty? Was he aware of the condition, taking medication (or possibly not taking it), were there external pressures (say, he was concealing the condition to keep his job), was his diagnosis and treatment correct (which might displace responsibility to the care providers), and so on? And if there is determined to be culpability, is it civil or criminal?

#876 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2006, 12:14 PM:

P J Evans: I'll try to explain the way public key signing works concisely enough to fit in a comment. (I may fail, but I'll still try.)

To oversimplify, with RSA you can encrypt something with the public key and decrypt it with the private key, or you can encrypt something with the private key and decrypt it with the public key.

Now, this would normally seem pretty silly: "hey, I'll encrypt this so that it can only be read by the key that I publish on my web page!" The trick is that if you have a cryptographically strong hash (something you can feed a message to and get a number out of, but that's unpredictably based on the message so that you can't easily find another message with the same value), you can use this to "sign" the message.

You calculate the hash value, encrypt it with your private key, and attach the result to the message. Then anyone can decrypt the result using your public key and compare it to the hash value they calculate, giving them some level of assurance that the message is the message originally written by someone who has access to that private key. (You need various external systems to map that to "signed by this person" or "validated by this company" or whatever.)

This can be done instead of (or as well as) encrypting the message. It can also be used to help build those systems previously mentioned: if you have a key that you "trust" sign another public key and associate it with a person/process/system/company, you can then bootstrap the validation process from that one trusted key. This is how web browsers do secure connections.

If you really want accurate explanations of how all this works, Bruce Schneier has written some very good books.

#877 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2006, 06:04 PM:

Greg London: Where I get lost is grasping just how complicated it would be to "pick" the padlock. When I read explanations of the difficulty of factoring large primes, and someone mentions something like "heat death of the universe", my eyes glaze over.

Put simply: to break RSA encryption, you factorise a number into its prime factors. For small numbers, you can do this in your head; e.g. for "10" (a 4 bit number) the answer is "2 and 5". A computer can do this in a matter of microseconds, possibly even faster. Here's the important bit, though: every time you add two extra bits onto the size of the key, it gets twice as hard. Of course, the task of encrypting and decrypting gets harder as well, but you have to double the size of the key to make that twice as hard, so that slows down at a much lower rate.

P J Evans: I've always assumed, with the DEA algorithm, that the NSA has all the keys to open messages using it, just because they weren't trying to have it restricted.

Assuming that was a typo for DES and not some crypto system I've never heard of, you're possibly not aware of the fact that it was restricted: early versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer that used it for the 'https' protocol were restricted to 56-bit key length in export editions, rather than the 128-bit versions available in the US. This seriously worried some European e-commerce companies, as by the time that restriction was dropped, the computing power needed to crack 56-bit DES was getting rather cheap.

Seth Breidbart: generating random numbers is very difficult and expensive.

Not really. You need a bit of extra hardware, but it's fairly simple if you know any electronics: a diode produces thermal junction noise, which is unpredictable white noise. You'll need an amplifier (e.g. a 741 op-amp) to amplify this to something detectable, and then you connect it to the microphone input of your sound card. Total cost is probably less than $2 US. It'll generate about 48,000 samples per second, and you can probably safely take three or four bits of data from each sample, so you'll get 24 KB of random data per second from it.

#878 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2006, 07:44 PM:

Forensic sleep? Sure. There was a guy who used to wound up in prison for a few years because the jury wouldn't believe that he'd been asleep in the back of the getaway car while his friends were robbing the liquor store. He was diagnosed as having narcolepsy shortly after he went to prison. This was treated by giving him one bitty Ritalin a day -- at bedtime, and he had to take it then. When he finally got out, he went to work for the ANA.

I can think of a lot of issues for forensic sleep. Mike put his finger on one of the most basic ones: when does driving when you're tired go from everyday stupidity to culpable negligence?

#879 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2006, 11:46 PM:

Generating true random numbers is hard. The general method used is to observe some random physical process (beta decay, noise in circuits, etc.) and then remove the non-randomness from the resulting bitstream. (Yes, there's non-randomness in observing beta decay.) (That's why the method Jules mentioned isn't quite that simple. You get almost-random numbers from noise.) My favorite method (for cuteness, not efficiency) involves a webcam observing a lava lamp.

For most purposes, pseudo-random numbers are good enough. How good the prng has to be depends on the purpose. Some people cracked the method used by some online gambling sites a few years ago and made a lot of money before it got fixed.

Randomness tests include the color one tnh mentioned, similar tests plotting threesomes of points in 3-space and observing the object, using the random numbers to shuffle a deck of cards and looking at the value of the resulting poker hands, and similar things.

Quantum cryptography may be subject to an attack found by Wiesner (which is why he chose not to co-author the second paper on it).

A quantum computer can solve any NP problem in polynomial time, and the usual ones in no worse than quadratic. That breaks any form of cryptography in which you can tell the correctly-decrypted message from another. (That's why codebooks work so well: if I send "Message 15" and you don't have the codebook, you don't know anything even if you've figured out what I meant when I sent "Message 234" last week.) Any system that doesn't do very strong compression prior to encrypting is stupid (which describes most of them): if I maximally compress my plaintext, then encrypt it, then you decrypt it with a test key and decompress it, the result has the statistical characteristics of my original text (e.g. typical English letter and word frequencies) so determining if the key you guessed is correct is hard.

#880 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2006, 03:41 AM:

Teresa, that story sums up a hell of a lot of what is wrong with American jails and prisons.

Yes, you need to make sure that the prisoner takes his medication at the correct time. It has to be a general, no exceptions, rule. But the correct time is on medical grounds, not for the convenience of the guards.

Any further news on that case in New York, the diabetic who died in jail?

#881 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2006, 09:56 AM:

>> I've always assumed, with the DEA algorithm
> Assuming that was a typo for DES

Not necessarily, some people distinguish between DES the Data Encryption Standard and DEA the Data Encryption Algorithm defined within that standard.
FIPS 46-3 even mixes the uses, saying "This publication specifies two cryptographic algorithms, the Data Encryption Standard (DES) and the Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (TDEA)"

#882 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2006, 10:09 AM:

it [DES] was restricted: early versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer that used it for the 'https' protocol were restricted to 56-bit key length in export editions

DES is always 56 bit (triple DES has 112 and 168 bit key variants, the former sometime called 2DES). The export versions were restricted to 40-bit RC4, domestic used 128-bit RC4 by default. (RC4 is a stream cipher (so breakable if you use the same key twice for different plaintext), and much faster in software than DES).
(Later 56-bit DES was allowed for export, but hardly anyone's webserver was ever set up to allow it. Still later, the full strength versions were allowed.)

#883 ::: tecnopaul ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2006, 06:25 AM:

Just a quick note: http://absolutewrite.com/ is back up and running. Your link references a non-existant page, but I erased that and found the site was there apologizing for being gone.

#884 ::: Markacadey ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2006, 06:38 PM:

There are various companies that use lawsuits and lawyers as business strategy to exterminate competition--Apple especially has a long history of suing companies too small to be able to afford the legal fees and effort to contest the lawsuit. Then there are the total parasites which existing buying up patents, often very dubious ones, and serving notice on any and all about infringement, pay up or spend years and hundreds of thousands of dollars and huge amounts of time of the business' principals finding off what is a variety of protection racket... there was an on-line article recently from someone who said his company was paying off the the blackmailer because the corporate counsel said that economically that would hurt the business and its ability to compete and produce and stay in business, less than paying the piece of shit extorter with the didn't-really-apply-but-technically-clueless-government-sorts-might-not-see-it-that-way patent, bought up buy one of the outfits that specialized in shaking down businesses for profit with cheaply acquired patents.

Perhaps the most extreme case I know of of intellectual property legal tangles, was Texas Istruments vs Japan Inc. TI perserved for literally 30 years in Japan in the court system them, charging patent infringement on some of the most basic microcircuitry transistor patents. TI was fortunate enough to be large enough and financially stable enogh to be able to afford the lawyers and expenses and loss of productivity of technically cognizant people, to fight the lawsuit through the Japanese court system, for 30 years. The final results was that TI won in all instances, and all the Japanese companies involved in making semiconductors and microcircuits, had to pay Texas Instruments licensing fees for the next two decades or so, on each chip made, and pay damages also I think. The revenue to TI is in at least the hundreds of millions of dollars per year, on patents that have expired in the rest of the world. Japan Inc. back three and a half decades ago figured that TI would give up and go away, rather than fight it out and spend a very large fortune on lawyers, lost productivity time from employees, fatigue, discouragement, etc. The cost/benefit equation to Japan Inc was that if TI had given up, that was hundreds of millions of dollars that Japanese companies wouldn't be paying in royalties to TI, that instead would mean charging lower prices to customers for parts than companies paying the licensing fees, and that would mean more business and fatter profits and more money for R&D etc., for Japan Inc. companies. Most businesses didn't have the combination of financial resources, determination, and long-term strategy to be willing to commit to a decades-long battle with the Japanese corporate infrastructure, Japanese culture, and the Japanese government and to stay committed until the matter got all the way through the court system in Japan.

There are lots of stories in the USA of companies which went bankrupt trying to fight off a lawsuit of no real merit, either going bankrupt in the process of trying to fight, or going bankrupt even though -winning- the lawsuit.

I have a relative who was in the infuriating situation of having Hughes Aircraft Company competing against the small defense contractor he was a partner in the ownership of, with Hughes infringing on his patents in its proposals, and Hughes winning the contracts... Hughes of course had the high-paid expensive corporate lawyers, and fighting off a business a few orders of magnitude larger, which also had political support...

#885 ::: Ginny Fleming ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2006, 04:56 PM:

Well... SOME people simply don't play well with others. My sympathies to Jenna & all. This was a great community (which I just re-found last Wednesday, drat), and I hope it returns bigger-- stronger-- FASTER! Now-- A few words about that nameless "person" who doesn't play well with others (and I'm bettin' runs with scissors): Just a suggestion, mind you... I think she deserves a mailing (professional query-- like we've all been taught), and an example of our best...make that our worst, stupidest, stinkiest writing we can scrounge from our past. (DON'T tell me you don't have nuthin' bad stinkin' up your files...) Nothing obscene, threatening or even intelligent-- and it goes without saying-- NOTHING VALUABLE! Just let her know (wordlessly) we'll be thinking of her and we wish her ALL the best. Don't use the net, snail-mail only. You don't even have to give correct contact information. (After all, do you REALLY want to hear back from her?) I can't stress strongly enough--- NO threats! We just want to constipate her mailbox. I'm not bad. It's just the company I keep. :)

#886 ::: ELIZABETH SLICK ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2006, 12:32 AM:

That is a shame the site is gone. Please let me know if another good writing site like this is created.

Elizabeth Slick

#887 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2006, 07:48 AM:

Absolute Write is back up and running.

#888 ::: Madeline Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2006, 09:42 AM:

Aconite, maybe Elizabeth is having the same problem I'm having: I haven't been able to access the AW forum for the last 24 hours.

#889 ::: Taurus Rising ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2006, 09:56 AM:

Ditto. I get nothing but a message that the site can't be found.

#890 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2006, 09:59 AM:

Absolute Write is having a temporary "issue."

We're back, except for right now, there are some temporary difficulties.

Work on your current ms. and be prepare to tell us about it Real Soon Now.

Feel free to donate in a variety of ways. We want to get a better server, and an automated backup solution. And then there's the potential for legal fees. Jenna shouldn't have to foot the bill for everything.

You might think about writing a review, with proceeds from Amazon links going to Absolute Write.

#892 ::: Levi ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2006, 06:22 PM:

Hi fellow AW'ers I have a forum on my website that has all the features of AbsoluteWrite.com

You are all welcome to use that as a second home while AbsoluteWrite forums are down. It is at http://forum.levibrackman.com/

See you there,

Levi

#893 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2006, 10:10 AM:

The Absolute Write forums are back up and the new IP number appears to have mostly propagated.

Unfortunately, all the posts from 23 May 2006 through 30 June 2006 are gone. Some of them are still in Google caches, but those are expiring.

#895 ::: Fidelio cries Spam Ahoy! ::: (view all by) ::: November 21, 2006, 07:16 PM:

Second time this month for this one...

#896 ::: Jon Meltzer sees comment spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2006, 12:04 PM:
#897 ::: fidelio looks for a gun to go spammer hunting ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2006, 12:18 PM:

Some people just can't be trusted with the internet.

#898 ::: Carrie S. sees four more instances of proverb spam ::: (view all by) ::: November 30, 2006, 10:43 AM:

Where the heck are they getting these sayings?

#899 ::: Eirin ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2008, 07:50 AM:

Is Absolute Write gone again?!

#900 ::: Kate Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2008, 11:14 AM:

I can't find Absolute Write! Does anyone know what's happened??

Kate Thornton

#901 ::: Brian Mann ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2008, 11:54 AM:

It looks like someone didn't renew the domain name. :(

#902 ::: Eirin ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2008, 12:42 PM:

Never mind. I must have goofed.

#903 ::: Leis Draven ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2008, 01:34 PM:

Hijacked by Network Solutions... as far as I can tell..?

Anyone able to get on yet??

#904 ::: Alina Bradford ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2008, 03:04 PM:

Yep, it looks like the domain ran out! I can't believe that Mac would let that happen. There must be some mistake.

#905 ::: yvettesgonefishing ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2009, 11:50 AM:

I haven't been able to get into the site now in 12 hours. Is it gone again? It's nearly noon here where I am, and the site is still gone. Anyone else able to get in??

#906 ::: burgy61 ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2009, 04:16 PM:

I haven't been able to log on now for two days. I hope the site comes back soon, I'm so lost without it.

#907 ::: Jenna ::: (view all by) ::: January 17, 2009, 11:34 PM:

I wish it would come back online, I only just joined but I still miss it!

As far as the whole fiasco goes, I am surprised at the web hoster. They should know in great deal what their rights and responsibilities are as hosters. For example, when I was a retail manager you can bet that I knew the refund laws like the back of my hand, so I always knew where I stood with customers who had refund requests. I would think that someone in web hosting would know the applicable laws for themselves and not let themselves be bullied by some crazy so-and-so...

#908 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 18, 2009, 01:26 AM:

Y'all are on the wrong thread. Go back to the home page and look at the top post.

#909 ::: BL Robinson ::: (view all by) ::: January 18, 2009, 04:31 PM:

I need AW back, I have a new email from PA offering to release me from the last two years of my contract if I buy 50 books at a 60 percent discount and thought it would look perfect there!

#910 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 18, 2009, 04:51 PM:

atten-TION!

1. This is the thread from the last AW crash (May 2006), not the current AW crash (January 2009). If you want to stop living in the past, go here

2. While doing that, MacAllister would like you not to keep hitting refresh on AW. Yes, you with the F5 key under your fingertip.

Kthxbye

#911 ::: J Moore ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2009, 01:23 PM:

Absolute Write sucks. I wish it would go away. Too many failed writers critiquing other writers. The forums are big cliques where certain people get to bully others while others get bannned or censored.
I stopped visiting the site when I read some of the writing there that was written by regulars. SCARY!

#912 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2009, 02:22 PM:

Hiya, J Moore (aka naimas aka Timkin). Did you stop visiting since yesterday? Or are you just pissed that MacAllister deleted your posts with the comments, "Sockpuppets don't get to talk," and "You can either be civil, or be silent. That's up to you."?

#913 ::: marthafines ::: (view all by) ::: December 26, 2009, 11:54 PM:

2009 was a difficult year for many in the world and I know from personal experience that it was not fun to my pocketbook.

Raise a glass now and yell at the top of your lungs... Happy New Year!

May 2010 be prosperous and kind to you and your family.

Peace

#914 ::: Patricia ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 05:02 AM:

Dear Mr. MacDonald,

I don't know about J. Moore's history on Absolute Write, but generally he has a point. The forums are riddled with looped discussions; the same questions are asked over and over again and the answers are always the same. Your own thread is point in case: you haven't said anything useful in years, spouting one dope-inspired truism after another, but somehow people still believe you have a point. I find this especially silly, since I tried to read your books and found them to be rather trite.

The forums are plagued with the already mentioned clique of users, who scream at anybody they don't fit to join their ranks--usually when they refuse to kiss the butts of literary agents as much as they do. Most discussions on there seem to revolve around the question an how to write for agents anyway, instead of how to come up with compelling writing. It causes everything on that site to be smothered by this huge veil of tedium and mediocrity.

My advice to writers would be to only peek into the Bewares section and skip the rest. If you want to learn how to write mediocre fare, simply read MacDonald's work.

#915 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 07:05 AM:

Patricia @919:

I really must go over to AW and see what's got your knickers into such a twist that you should come to an old thread on a separate blog just to post this rather tiresome gripe.

Surely you could have spent the writing and revising time (nice avoidance of word repetition!) working on you true literary vocation, whatever that may be.

#916 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 08:08 AM:

abi (#920)

My guess is that the real "gripe" mr/ms/mrs "Patricia" lies in either of two directions:

  • Being ticked off because they can't make money from the scam,or
  • being really ticked off because they ("Patricia") have just realized that Jim has the money flowing from the publisher to *him* (to Jim) and not in the reverse direction
#917 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 11:07 AM:

What baffles me is Patricia @919's implication that the same questions ought to be given different answers. After all, with new people coming in to the site all the time, the same questions are bound to be asked over and over again; that's obvious. But the answers! I guess sometimes the money is supposed to flow towards the publisher, after all! And it's a WONDERFUL idea to totally ignore the editor's guidelines. And only wimps keep writing new work once they've finished their first novel!

Or, you know, maybe not.

#918 ::: Lisa L. Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 01:02 PM:

Motormind! I'm so happy to see you spreading your message of joy here after you self-banned yourself from Absolute Write. I doubt you'll be able to go around deleting your posts here though.

Just because you think your words are brilliant, and better than "the crap in the bookstores," doesn't mean that:

1. You can write
2. You have a right to attack other writers
3. You know anything, at all, about writing, publishing, editing, or the English language

I'm so sorry that you are the second-most ignored poster in the history of AW, because that means that your third flounce will be as unnoticed as the first two flounces.

And for those of you who haven't read Mist and Snow, I like it even better than Macdonald and Doyle's Apocalypse Door.

#919 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 01:57 PM:

Oh, and Ms Patricia -- I expect Jim McD.s response to your comment about "mediocre fare" would be along the lines of Liberace's comments about bad reviews.

Or my own version: "the check cleared"

#920 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 03:41 PM:

I guess sometimes the money is supposed to flow towards the publisher, after all!

Well, my money flows consistently towards the publishers:

reader -> bookstore -> publisher -> author

Which is as it should be.

And I'd suspect that a significant portion of Jim's money flows the same way, with different publishers and authors as the destination.

#921 ::: eqb ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 04:19 PM:

...the second-most ignored poster in the history of AW...

Oh dear ghu. Really? Not that I'm surprised, given her style of posting, but that's pretty impressive.

#922 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 06:30 PM:

Quoth Lisa Spangenberg @923:
I doubt you'll be able to go around deleting your posts here though.

Oh, Patricia, do please try. The last person who wanted their stuff deleted got disgruntlement fodder for ages out of it. I can only assume that, by posting here, you're looking for some form of martyrdom that AW hasn't managed to provide. Perhaps we can better suit your particular kink here.

#923 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 06:33 PM:

(Yes, I'm crabby. It's midwinter.)

#924 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 06:56 PM:

#919:

I don't know about J. Moore's history on Absolute Write, but generally he has a point.

The point is that he was running sockpuppets at AW and he was lying here.

By the way, my name is spelled "Macdonald." There's a helpful spelling guide right above the comment box on every page at ML.

#925 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 07:04 PM:

Yeah, I wanted one of mine deleted, or at least disemvoweled, but was refused on more than one occasion. My bad example will dig at me for the foreseeable future (or at least until the Information Overload Apocalypse), and give Republican mudslingers something to find should I ever try to run for public office.

I have the post bookmarked so that I can read it whenever I need to feel bad about myself.

#926 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 08:41 PM:

There's a poem I wrote that would be much better if the last word was changed. It gnaws at me every time I think of it. Darnit. I've never tried asking to get it changed, though, because I know it Wouldn't Work.

#927 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 08:42 PM:

abi @ 928... It's midwinter

Spring will be there in less than 3 months.
(What? Me, an optimist? Dem's fighting words.)

#928 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 08:44 PM:

Hi Patricia. I'd just like to point out that you're a stupid bozo, in case your stupidity and bozo-ness (bozosity?) keeps you from noticing it yourself.

Take a long walk on a short dock, and make the world a better place.

Stupid bozo.

#929 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 09:06 PM:

Hmm. A flouncing?

A flounce, a flounce,
Am I dared to pounce?
A flounce, a flounce,
New target to trounce?
A flounce, a flounce,
How far will it bounce?
A flounce, a flounce,
On how many counts?!

#930 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 09:57 PM:

As part of our dedication to the writing community at AW, we even provide an FAQ on Flouncing Properly, complete with a template for a Brave Exit Speech.

Of course, it isn't nearly as useful as the FAQ on using an Astrolabe. Or How Text Can Be Written by One.

#931 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 10:24 PM:

Lisa Spangenberg #935: From now on all my texts will be indited by an astrolabe. All I have to do is find myself one (preferably used, I can't afford a new one). I was hoping to get an armillary sphere to do my sums, but I didn't. Next Sunreturn, maybe.

#932 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 10:31 PM:

Until you do, here's an Astrolabe Java Applet.

#933 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 10:38 PM:

Fragano@936

Google Astrolabe kit; there are two quite decent kits, one of cardboard for around $15.00 USD, and another of balsa wood for a little more. Lots of museums and bookstores carry them.

Alternatively, come to the Kalamazoo conference for medievalists in May; there's always someone doing a build your own workshop.

Plus, at the 'zoo, there's mead.

#934 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 02, 2010, 10:57 PM:

Ooooh, Kalamazoo ...

#935 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2010, 04:07 AM:

fragano: I know some people who make very nice astrolables, in steel (or brass, or silver).

Patricia, well she strikes me as being more full of herself than sense. After all, Jim is a regular at AW. The consensus there is he is useful. She, apparently, hasn't been given the respect she feels she deserves (though the possibility certainly exists that she is).

So she came here, where he is actually a power; one of the second-order bosses. She lectures him about his lack of merit (and insults his work... which seems pointless. The idea that she will somehow, here, manage to overwhem him with her reason (which, after all is so well displayed as she manages to be both repetitive, and original, with the carefully structured use of synonymn in the bits of purposely tendentious prose, lest we fail to understand her desire to chastise Jim for his lack of originality; perhaps were he to emulate her style when he responds to the 457th asking of a question already asked and answered she would be more impressed with his explanations).

But this is his turf, and populated with his friends. He need not, as he can so easily do at AW, point to his laurels (because one book, or even two, might mean he had learned to "write for the agent/editor/publisher, but his list shows that he has managed; no matter how tedious she may have found them, to write for readers, who were willing to send money to the author), rather, he can just sit back, in the, sure and certain, knowledge that some number of his friends (or even mere acquaintance, will take his part, and enter the list and give her a comeuppance.

Yes, it seems she was sadly undersupplied with a suitable application of the cricket bat of cluefulness in her youth, and has to go and seek out it its application now, in fora where it is not the quiet, personal, and private, affair which was the way in which most people gained an understanding of why it is better to beard the lion in his den, than the scholar among his books.

#936 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2010, 05:43 AM:

Earl Cooley III @930:
My bad example will dig at me for the foreseeable future (or at least until the Information Overload Apocalypse), and give Republican mudslingers something to find should I ever try to run for public office.

You are refining way too much on that incident, really you are. Because you've brought it up a couple of times, I can dimly recall what it was that you said, but only because I went back and looked. It's a needle in the haystack of the body of your online commentary.

Remember that one of the owners of this site once posted an entry entitled Why Barack Obama can kiss my ass. People write stuff. And sometimes flippancy fails, or serious opinions become overset, or anger turns out to be misdirected. It's part of the process of conversation online.

Really, I don't know one person on the internet who hasn't done something foolish, intemperate, unwise or explosive. Not one. And if I did, they'd probably be such an insufferable bore that I'd drop the acquaintance.

I have the post bookmarked so that I can read it whenever I need to feel bad about myself.

Yes, that explains a lot. My advice would be to quit doing that, unless you feel that you would otherwise morph into the Flaming Asshole of the Internet. Personally, I find that an unlikely outcome.

#937 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2010, 09:49 AM:

Earl: What Abi said, a lot.

#938 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2010, 09:58 AM:

Lisa Spangenberg @ 935... an Astrolabe. Or How Text Can Be Written by One.

If I tried to write using an astrolabe, the results would wind up on the compass heap, especially with all those hot sextant scenes.

#939 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2010, 10:44 AM:

Serge #943: It all depends on the angle you take.

#940 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2010, 10:57 AM:

Serge @ 943 ... there's no need to belabour the point...

#941 ::: Who Cares ::: (view all by) ::: February 22, 2010, 09:37 AM:

Support for writers? I would think paying them for the work they did would be supportive. Has this situation been corrected:
http://forums.writersweekly.com/viewtopic.php?t=8199

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