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Treat all commercial web sites, and anything that serves ads, like they're covered in polonium powder and fire ants.

They've been doing this for literally (literally literally) decades. Plus watching mouse cursor movements.


I work in a library, and this reflects my experience. We're still used for checking out materials, but as more patrons shift to using digital books or skip librarian interaction and just pick up holds, mid-list authors are now suffering in our collection as the algorithms decide for patrons more. So many good books are missed now.

There's an interesting discussion here about book discoverability, and how the top-selling authors take all the attention, so that it's very hard to find midlist authors to read.

I don't think there was ever a perfect era of book discoverability, but things were definitely better for the midlist when we had more bookshops, libraries, and magazines recommending a number of different authors to different audiences. Now, it's all or nothing with few algorithms.

In 1718, a bounty was put on the head of Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard. The price? Only £100.

I don't consider myself a Country music fan, but the news Dolly Parton is being inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame makes me happy. Great songs, great person.

Today I learned plants evolved to need "sleep." Constant light harms them like being constantly awake harms us. They need roughly as many hours of downtime as we do. Fascinating.

Rammstein have a new track out today, and one of the innumerable reasons I'm learning German. Love it.

Retro is anything before 2000. This century, anything after. As recent as possible prioritises recent releases in the sorting order over other things.

I don't have that many reviews from 1950-60 anyhow, and they're all in sf. I have to work around what I've had time to review or categorise, so that it doesn't come up with 0 results.

I saw an owl today. Too quick to get a good photo, but I did manage to get a bad one.

That hour I just spent puzzling over why my website layout was all over the place, only to discover it was down to a flex-basis % I'd forgotten to update along with the width% of an element, and the relief of finally working it out, is why I both love code and hate it.

Here's an , which I suppose is timely. I write fantasy. If you like your 18th century class struggle with added demons, my short story A Scribbler Scorns His Station may appeal. I've written a few more novels.

I read sff, I like cats, I'm getting back into coding, and I'm a Labour district councillor. I love following and favouriting art on here.

Hello to all the people who haven't been here in a while. What are you all reading? I've just finished Greg Jenner's Dead Famous, and I would highly recommend it.

I wrote up what it takes to add simple support to a site so it can have a light theme on light-colored screens and a dark theme on dark screens (and not blast your eyes out).

Just CSS media queries for the alternate styles!

@media (prefers-color-scheme: dark) {...}

And <picture><source><img></picture> to swap out images to fit different schemes.

On that note, anyone know how to test this in Chrome or Safari without changing the system theme?

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Wordle 257 4/6


Oh hey, I have a new short story out. A Scribbler Scorns His Station is set in 1734 London full of invisible demons, and introduces the upstart scribe Thomas Laceby. I had a lot of fun writing this.

Hope Not Hate are recruiting a deradicalisation case worker, which may suit someone with an education/youth work background.

UK Politics 

It's voting day in the local elections. Don't forget to vote! Polls close at 10m.

UK voting 

Do you have a postal vote? You can get one for just this election, or on an ongoing basis. Some (not all) local authorities will also let you email them your forms.

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Wandering Shop

The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our code of conduct.