A change is gonna come. Respectful Insolence is moving.

Well, QEDCon is over, and this box of blinky lights is on its way back across the pond to its home in the US, having had an excellent time imbibing skepticism from its (mostly) British and European partners in skepticism.

Before I left, I made a somewhat cryptic remark about "major changes" to this blog coming up. Well, the cat's out of the bag, so to speak. Basically, Scienceblogs is shutting down at the end of the month. I still remain grateful for the opportunity Scienceblogs offered me. I wouldn't be as prominent as I am now without it. However, unfortunately, Scienceblogs has barely existed as an entity for a few years now. Unfortunately, Scienceblogs isn't just shutting down, it's going away completely.

As a result, I'm now in a frantic race to transfer all the old material to a new host. Sadly, I expect a lot of problems, because I have nearly 12 years worth of material to transfer, over 5,000 posts and 360,000 comments. Indeed, I've already encountered them. Let's just say that WordPress' export/import tools are not as...robust...as they could be.

Transferring the blog is going to be a big task, because it's necessary to break up the transfer into many small chunks, and then each import frequently requires multiple tries to get everything transferred. As a result, I've decided that I can't do this properly and still produce my usual level of quality output. So I'm going to stop blogging for however long it takes to transfer everything over. I expect that it will take at least a week. There will be an announcement here and on Twitter when I christen the shiny new blog with its first bit of new Insolence.

In the meantime, please do me a favor. If you run across the new blog (which isn't indexed on search engines yet while I make the transfer but it's also not too difficult to figure out the address), please don't comment. Until the transfer is complete, if I see any new comments on the new blog before I finish transferring all the material, I will delete them. Also note that if you're commenting now on a post published September 30 or early there's a chance your comment might not make the transition to the new blog.

I hope you all will all join me at the new blog when the transfer is complete. There are a number of advantages. One is that the Scienceblogs site is so...2011. The theme and design literally have not been updated since...around 2011. The new theme is much more responsive to mobile devices, adjusting itself nicely for desktop and mobile devices and a lot cleaner. Those of you who are inappropriately in comment moderation purgatory will be released.

I think you'll like it, and I think I'll like it.

More like this

Here's a brief update on the move, announced last week. Things are progressing, and most of my old material has been transferred to the new blog, which is located at respectfulinsolence.com. Of course, there are still some things to tweak and fix, which is why, given how insanely busy this week is…
Why, oh, why is it that it is seemingly impossible for any sort of significant change to the ScienceBlogs collective to occur without major problems? It happened a a few years ago when we underwent the first major template upgrade. Given that experience, it was with great trepidation that I faced…
Today is the last day that ScienceBlogs will exist. Sometime today the site will go into read-only mode. A few days later, it will disappear completely from the Internet. It's a sad thing to contemplate after all these years. Whatever happened later, I will always be grateful for the start in…
As several others have already noted, after almost 12 years, Scienceblogs is shutting down at month's end. Though I've done most of my writing elsewhere over the last few years, I'd certainly like to keep the archives of this blog up somewhere, and maintain it as a place to post random musings that…

If there is any way that a simple lad such as myself can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask.

I would ask that, please, do not allow fellow minions to post pics as comments. Links to pictures, sure, and I probably will myself. But I feel that 2 or 3 or 4 (and more) memes in a row will detract, rather than add, to the Respectful Insolence.

Sure, this interface is 2011, but it’s clean and readable. That’s a feature, not a bug. I’d hate to see that go away.

The new interface is also clean and readable. My only complaint about it is that the header text is too large. I'll eventually figure out how to fix that, but first things first.

I don't really see a problem with the look of the current interface either. One thing I REALLY like is the lack of multiple videos all trying to play at the same time. Meh. Be really careful about change for change's sake. Unless there is some clear improvement (like for mobile device readers), don't fall prey to "creeping featurism".

By Harold Gaines (not verified) on 16 Oct 2017 #permalink

Thanks in advance for your efforts to retain the old comment threads.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 16 Oct 2017 #permalink

Good luck with the move and I look forward to the new site.

P.S. another who likes the look of the present site.

By John Phillips (not verified) on 16 Oct 2017 #permalink

Unfortunately the present site sucks on mobile. That's its biggest problem.

...header text is too large.

Yeah, font size is larger than I need without reading glasses. That is, way too big.

Good luck. I assume that even though you won't be posting on your new blog until you get things sorted, a certain friend of yours will continue to post over at "Science-Based Medicine"

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 16 Oct 2017 #permalink

Looking forward to read on your new blog. Good luck with moving everything.

Orac,

Need help for the migration?

I have ~20 years of experience with regard to computer and regularly build linux platforms from bottom to top (using recipes from http://linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/view/systemd/ and its BLFS counterpart).

Alain

And for those of us with no google-fu, I hope you will post a link here since I don't go on Twitter.

Of course I'll post a link. Why would I not? ?

This site is nearly unusable on my Tablet - has been for a while now.....good to see you're moving to a better platform.

Ooohh! I like the new design--especialy the sidebar not crimping the width and only appearing when you want it.

I knew something was up when the blog got a new favicon a few days ago.

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

Yes, please tell us where the new site is once it is operational.

I made a guess about your new site location, which appears to be incorrect. In the process, I found that your old Blogspot site (where you last posted in 2009) is still up.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

Well the obvious URL to try worked. Looks good, fonts are a bit big on the desktop, but I often have to shrink down these things that are designed to also be read on phones.

Hope you didn't have to chase off any cybersquatters to get that URL

@KayMarie:

I generally like large fonts, because I like to run everything full-width and read at a comfortable distance from my screen--old eyes, y'know.

The problem with the header font size is that it's so large it forces the tags to intrude into the picture above them. But as Orac says, first things first.

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

Strangely I got a bit farsighted quite early, but so far it hasn't gotten significantly worse. So I'm not sure if they got old early, or are currently a bit young?

I was always farsighted, so I didn't need glasses until my lenses stopped accommodating, and then I could just buy reading glasses at the drug store until I needed more than +3.5. Unfortunately I'm almost up to 5 powers now, and sitting the regular distance from a computer is too close for the main lens and too far away for the bifocal part.

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

As the Teletubbies would say, uh oh.

I hope you do not enable https with an invalid certificate or a security protocol that is not supported by the Safari browser on the iBook (which is pretty much all of them). There are https sites I can browse, so it is not impossible to avoid this fate. But I have lost some of my favorite sites due to badly configured security "upgrades".

By Mark Thorson (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

Hurricanes, wildfires, threats of nuclear annihilation, Donald unleashed and now THIS?

However, the recalibrating/ reprogramming may send a signal to various cranks and charlatans so we may be entertained whilst the process continues.

AND they'll probably alight here.

Right now all the usual suspects are spectacularly boring. Especially Jake, Kim and Mikey.

Best wishes, Orac.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

It's really, really slow with Firefox 42 on OS X 10.6.8, with most of the final load seeming to be from widgets.wp.com. Maybe it'll improve after I block some of the cruft, such as pinterest. (RLY?)

5000 posts.
That is unreal.
Write a book with your greatest hits!

Every little box of blinky lights deserves to live in a stable home.

Yah, typical mobification. Visually dull on an actual machine. So it goes.

I'll admit it. I hate change.

But I'm sure I will love the new site and I'm relieved you're saving the old stuff. I have learned a lot here, and I often find your analysis of certain issues makes good grist for the grind when I'm discussing the issue elsewhere.

looking forward to the new digs.
hopefully the new place has a good 'reply to' feature to better pick up on the conversation in thread.

Having the <blockquote> text larger than the body text is also peculiar.

If I may be so bold (and even if I mayn't):

I suggest two "perpetual" comment threads not associated with specific posts:
In Other News for the obvious, which are fairly frequent
Outside as in "take it outside" for off-topic babble not constituting "news"

and maybe one called Rubber which is write-only and self emptying

Seconding Herr Doktor B. This place is a treasure trove of knowledge and wit.

Thanks for putting the effort into migrating everything, Orac. I've done similar (thankfully years ago) at my place of work via self-written software so I know how daunting the task appears and how mind-numbingly tedious it is trying to get everything right.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

Will we get the ability to edit comments, a la Disqus? (Please, please, pretty please!) That would totally allay any complaints I have about how the layout appears on a real computer.

I have to disagree with Johnny, though, about the ability to add graphics to a comment. Sometimes a photo or graph can be integral to the substance, as so with the OPs. You can't always expect readers to take the time to click through, and there might not be a usable direct link to the image. It's better, methinks, if commenters can take a quick screen grab, and then upload that small image within or at the bottom of the comment. I think minions are pretty responsible, and drive-by trolls won't make the effort, so I'm not too worried about some Attack of the Memes. Of course, if we get the option, and it gets abused, that would call for a change...

Yah, typical mobification.

For real.

Perhaps the particular element is not enabled yet -- no comment enumeration?

Web Pages That Suck

Now there's a blast from the past. I used to read that website regularly, back around the turn of the century when I was occasionally doing HTML coding. It was basically the equivalent of "Guidelines for Giving a Truly Terrible Talk" for Web page design. (In those days, "web" was spelled with a capital W.)

He's even saved the intentionally stupid design that was his front page back then. If you should stumble on that version of his home page, I dare you to click on the button that says, "Click Here". (Which would be a classic example of Schmuck Bait.) That link goes to the same image it pointed to back in the day.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

That would be a dubious honor to share with our friend MJD

Don't forget Pattimmy Bolen.

It’s better, methinks, if commenters can take a quick screen grab, and then upload that small image within or at the bottom of the comment.

Use Imgur or something and link to it. Hell, I block images on the posts as it is.

At least the "pastel-lettering-on-a-slightly-darker-pastel-field" fad from a few years ago seems to have played itself out....

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

Blog posts by Orac are informative and have good search engine page rank. This will be a blow to the public when links are broken and page rank is reset.

I hope the owner of the domain name considers offering some sort of redirection service for a long period. Or transfer the domain name to someone who can operate such a redirection service.

I know. There's nothing I can do about it, although I have been told by a couple of bloggers who link to me that they will try to update some of the incoming links. I can also do that to some extent over at my not-so-secret other blog, but the internal links are all going to be broken. I intentionally kept the WordPress link format the same; so maybe there's a script that could chug through all the internal links and convert them. Otherwise, I might just have to do it manually for maybe the last few months of posts at least. Painful. Also, as a result of the migration from Movable Type to WordPress back around 2011 and how it dealt with media I'm very much afraid that a lot of pictures from before then are going to go bye-bye. I already know that the migration then failed to convert the internal links. There are a whole bunch of .php URLs that never converted. Of course, I never converted them over the last 6+ years myself; so they'll just stay broken. Nothing to do about it. I fix them when I happen to come across them, but that's about all. I have no organized plan to fix them and never did.

As for the lost Google juice, my traffic is about to tank as I loose all my search traffic. Posts that I consider important and prominent that aren't all cross-posted at my not-so-secret other blog (some Burzynski posts, posts about various cancer quackery, posts debunking antivaccine articles) are about to plummet to the bottom of Google search returns. I had been thinking of leaving Sb a while ago because I feared just this eventuality some day. If I had, I could already of had a head start on rebuilding and maybe even gotten Sb to do a 301 redirect to save some of that Google juice. Now it's too late. It's back to the beginning, and I'm utterly screwed, traffic-wise, at least for many months, if not years. It sucks.

I hope it won't switch to a disqus system.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

Good luck with the transfer Orac!

"Said there's been a change
You push just a little too far
You make it just a little too hard"*

Nah, it looks fine.

Content is what matters to me in any case.

*Tom Petty - "Change of Heart"

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

Orac, maybe some of the obnoxious trolls will not be able to find you even with directions.

Oh, are going to upgrade your blinky lights?

@Orac,

In my latest book titled, "Patents and Climate Change - There's No Place Like Home" I wrote the following in the biography, "He is an active participant in the Science Blogs™ Respectful Insolence."

http://www.cambridgescholars.com/patents-and-climate-change

Now that the site is shutting down, and in hindsight, it should have read, "He was a reluctant participant in the Science Blogs™ Respectful Insolence. :-)

Either way, it's been a nightmare.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

I can tolerate rather awful appearance if I can actually accomplish what I want to do at a site without a lot of messing about and waiting. Salon has become an excellent example of a web site that looks pretty good but is horrible in terms of performance - every time you go there or click on something while there it wants to open about two dozen other web sites, run gobs of scripts, load a bunch of crap and generally perform like a server running on an original IBM PC that has to phone home to Microsoft for permission to execute anything but a no-op.

Mike the Mad Biologist runs a nice clean efficient site. And he says mean (i.e. true) things about Donald Trump, which is an added bonus.

I have the feeling the traffic loss won't be as bad as Orac fears. RI and Orac as an individual are now well established as key voices on the topics they address, especially I think, among journalists. Reputation doesn't go away over night, and not that many people are totally new to these topics either. Anyone who has Googled on this stuff over the last few years will know RI and Orac, and many will make more of an effort to seek out new comments than just stopping at the top hits on the first Google page. At least that's what I'd do if wasn't checking in here daily. I mean it's not hard. Say if I wondered whether Orac has comments on the opioid/DEA/pharma scandal that just broke, I could just just Google "opioid insolence" or something...

It's hardly uncommon for web navigation particulars to shift over time, so I think savvy web users are pretty used to hunting out new locations for their old sources every now and then.

Add to that the crossover with the posts on SBM, and I doubt Orac will suddenly become a voice in the wilderness.

I hope you're correct, but most migrations to new hosts or domains are accompanied with SEO interventions, such as a 301 redirect from the host I've leaving (something I had no idea about until now) in order to minimize loss of Google juice. There will be none of that there. Rebuilding is likely to take months, if not years, and all incoming links over the course of twelve years will now be permanently broken. I can't really afford to hire an SEO expert to try to mitigate these issues.

Posts ... are about to plummet to the bottom of Google search returns.

That is very unfortunate, though there will be rejoicing in Wooville.

@orac #39:

I intentionally kept the WordPress link format the same; so maybe there’s a script that could chug through all the internal links and convert them.

Portability is the best argument in favour of building a site with relative rather than absolute URLs. Of course that's no help if the CMS itself demands absolutes, like some obsessive digital authoritarian god.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

Actually, WordPress URLs should work regardless of what format is is chosen, date included in the URL or not.

Narad will need a new killfile script.

Wow MJD, you just couldn't resist getting a jab in, could'ya; you can't let Orac move house in peace?

Then again, you never let anything go, do you?

The new site shows up on a quick Google search with this description:

A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt

When you get back to writing regular blogs, the recent settlement against Johnson & Johnson for talc and cancer may not have the features to justify an insolent response. But, it does share many of the characteristics of the alleged vaccine-autism connection.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/08/23/does-t…

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

This is one I've been meaning to write about for a while, but somehow never got around to it. We have an ambulance chaser (actually more than one) in my neck of the woods running TV ads to recruit clients to sue J&J for this.

Now that the site is shutting down, and in hindsight, it should have read, “He was a reluctant participant in the Science Blogs™ Respectful Insolence.

Um, what?
Did someone hold a gun to your head and force you to comment here?
You chose to put your ideas out there. You chose to come here and comment when Orac and Prometheus shredded them. You have chosen to repeat your flawed claims despite regularly having them torn to pieces here. You chose to attempt threadjacking even after being warned several times that if you didn't stop, you would be placed in moderation. And you have chosen to continue trying to threadjack despite Orac doing what he warned you he would do and placing you in moderation.
You were a willing participant here. Don't try to twist and say you were reluctant when after having your "theories" torn to shreds multiple times, you showed up again and again and repeated them.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

What a coincidence, with a twist. I'm presently trying to migrate my website - with the exceptional complication (for me) that my present site is built in raw html with Dreamweaver, and I'm trying to rebuild it as a WordPress site.

I have absolutely no idea how to make the conversion, and web designers etc don't want to know. I've even tried to hire someone for a day's money, but nobody seems interested. As soon as I reveal that I've designed and built both versions myself, they lose interest.

I feel your pain.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 17 Oct 2017 #permalink

Why would you want to do this? What would be the payoff?

Epsilon (#53) writes,

...you can’t let Orac move house in peace?

MJD says,

RIP (Respectful Insolence in Peace) Orac.

Now that's an oxymoron...

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink

If you're asking me, my site is all but useless on mobiles, as I didn't understand responsive layouts when I built it on DreamWeaver. Google's bots are endlessly threatening me over this. And I want to future-proof.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink

Ah, yes. Well, my new site will be much more responsive on mobile. Yes, it actually looks better on smartphones than it does on desktop computers, but more than 50% of traffic to most blogs and websites these days comes from mobiles. So if the huge text doesn't look quite optimal on larger screens, I will probably just have to live with it. If there's one way my traffic could be better in the long run, it will be because Google won't be penalizing me for a poorly responsive template that doesn't look so good on mobile, which describes the current template. I do think the new template is much cleaner. It just has featured photos and blog posts, and the sidebar is available in a menu that when activated shows the search box, recent posts, and recent comments so that the user only sees them if he or she wants to see them. Also, for now, there will be no ads. If I get my traffic back up to where it was before and I have to start spending more on dedicated hosting I might have to reconsider ads, but right now I'm just using a WordPress hosting service and a domain I registered in 2011.

Wow. Like seriously. You just made another jab in response to me chastising you over jabbing at him.

Are you dense?

OK. I'm not as dumb as I thought I was; I did find the new site after a bit of trial and error. I guess I've been reading you too long to just go for the obvious! (blushes with shame).

Check speed of loading too. Possibly your images need to be quite light. I've just noticed that my theme includes a slider, which takes forever to load. Looks good on desktop, and a problem on mobile.

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink

Loss of Google juice is a rational fear when moving sites like this, but I think the damage to RI will be less than most under similar circumstances. I just did a Google search for Respectful Insolence, and Safari's autocomplete feature suggested the Wikipedia entry of Orac's not-so-secret identity.

The other blog on this site that I still read regularly, Martin Rundqvist's Aardvarchaeology, is likely to take more of a hit, because Martin isn't as famous as Orac.

The new site was the third site listed in the search results for Respectful Insolence, after this site and Orac's old Blogspot site. I haven't tested the new site for usability yet, but appearance and loading are adequate.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink

Epsilon (#62) writes,

You just made another jab in response to me chastising you over jabbing at him.

MJD says,

While other commenter's fixate on website vanity, we're staying true to the heart and soul of this dying blog.

Let me say this, when Orac gets his new website I'm sure that he'll be as happy as a fly on a fresh file of dog shit.

@ Epsilon,

You surely can't be upset with that cheerful analogy, can you?

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink

I agree with Politicalguineapig. Don't use Disqus. It totally sucks. You may as well disable comments.

By Mark Thorson (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink

In the sorrowing few moments of the Scienceblogs Respectful Insolence, the greatest gift for this 7-year commenter would be a symbolic life-time ban.

@Orac,

Please, I've tried so hard to be banned with distinction.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink
Now that the site is shutting down, and in hindsight, it should have read, “He was a reluctant participant in the Science Blogs™ Respectful Insolence.

Um, what?
Did someone hold a gun to your head and force you to comment here?

I just thought it was some strange use of ‘reluctant’ that I was unfamiliar with.

Please, I’ve tried so hard to be banned with distinction.

And there we have it. You can’t be a great martyr in the war against big pharma and their evil vaccines, with ideas so dangerous that they must not be heard, if you’re still around. Better to be a dead and thought a hero, than to be an impotent and incompetent warrior.

maybe there’s a script that could chug through all the internal links and convert them

Find somebody who knows how to use sed. It should be straightforward and fast.

Better to be a dead and thought a hero, than to be an impotent and incompetent warrior.

Or perhaps more accurately, better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

I'd say it's better not to give MJD a permanent ban at this point. One, it's exactly what he wants. Two, while I agree he's obnoxious, he hasn't (to my knowledge) done anything in the comments that rises to Orac's historical level for dropping the ban hammer. Of course, the latter is entirely Orac's call.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink

so maybe there’s a script that could chug through all the internal links and convert them.

I can design such a script and have enough horsepower on my laptop to go through the entire SB backup in a reasonable timeframe:

The script can be run by sed and is called like this:

sed -e 's@/lib\(64\)\?\(32\)\?/ld@/tools&@g' \
-e 's@/usr@/tools@g' $file.orig > $file

source: http://linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/view/systemd/chapter05/gcc-pass1.html

Orac, your Mac most likely include sed (bsd sed probably?) but should you don't want to invest on some steep learning curve, I can help.

Brian Deer,

I've took job for which most web developpers shunned from and did an okay job under a very tight timeframe so if your timerframe is not so tight, I can do the best job.

Want me to help you?

Alain

Epsilon,

Are you dense? The proper question would be if MJD is trying reeeaally hard to be dense or if it comes naturally :)

Alain

Find somebody who knows how to use sed. It should be straightforward and fast.

On Unix-based systems, including Linux and the Mac Terminal window, if you are keeping the same directory structure it's a three-line C shell script:

for i in path_specification ; do
sed 's/old_URL_root/new_URL_root/g' $i
done

Replace the italicized parts with the specific text you need. For instance, if your posts are separated into directories by year, then month, then day, then post title (as seems to be case, judging from the exact URL of this post), then from the top level the path specification would be */*/*/*/*,html .

It's a bit more complicated if you are planning to alter your directory structure in any way (e.g., removing one or more levels), but there should be someone on your staff who knows how to do it.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink

Either way, it’s been a nightmare.

Yah, this is going to fall on deaf ears (I suspect that the cerumen has found a sinus to your brain at this point), but the best way to end a nightmare is to wake up, Dozeniak.

if you are keeping the same directory structure it’s a three-line C shell script

Needs more regexp. You're going to have to hold on to the string that needs to be preserved. I mean, it's trivial, but let's (tinu) not start handing out untested recipes.

let’s (tinu) not start handing out untested recipes.

Agreed.

Eric Lund,

I doubt Orac has staff(ers) working on that.

Alain

No, now that I've had some coffee and am not using a phone, Eric's right, so long as it's a simple string substitution.

For what I had in mind, duplicating the files first, that would be:


for i in path_specification ; do
 sed -e 's/old_URL_root/new_URL_root/g' -i.orig $i
done

the -i.orig instruct sed to make a backup copy first before changing the file. Then it's easy to compare (again, there's tools for that: diff) the changes.

There may be a scalability issue given 10~12 years of blogging...

Al

My only complaint about it is that the header text is too large. I’ll eventually figure out how to fix that, but first things first.

Looks to be in wp-content/themes/baseline/style.css?ver=4.8.2:

.entry-large .entry-title,
.page .entry-header .entry-title {
font-family: "Playfair Display", "Georgia", serif;
font-size: 58px;
margin-bottom: 2.5%;
line-height: 1.2;
position: relative;
}

A few observations...

RI is rather quick to display on this laptop but terrible on a tablet I sometimes used. I would give up soon.
SBM works well usually on the laptop

AS you know, I look at various web woo sites, anti-vax nonsense and (mis) informational sites,
I've found that sites that sell woo work REALLY well: the woo-meisters must invest loads of money into their 'stores'
( Mercola, Mikey**, Null)
Also most of their videos work really well.

AoA is abysmal both in content and functionally***

RI may be more easily findable after the switch because Orac and his friend are both visible on twitter.

** after all, Mike is an internet prodigy as well as a con artist

*** I suppose Kim is too busy these days teaching karate to innocent children to get someone to fix it.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink

RI is rather quick to display on this laptop but terrible on a tablet I sometimes used. I would give up soon.
SBM works well usually on the laptop

I gave up on SBM on all platforms after the redesign(s). The Disqustink is just icing on a sad cake.

# 73 Alain.

It would be amazing if you could help me. Maybe we could do some kind of deal for your time, coz I don't think there's much fun in it.

I can be got via my contact page. http://briandeer.com/contact.htm

It would be great, as I'm kind of paralysed at the moment, with a Dreamweaver site up and running for years, and a parallel WordPress site, with just a front page and a few sample pages that went live yesterday.

Thanks for offering.

B

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 18 Oct 2017 #permalink

The new site looks good and I've already updated my bookmarks. Sorry that scienceblogs is going away, but glad that you'll be keeping on! Definitely second the "no ads, or at least no auto-play video ads", if you can help it. Those get so obnoxious. I'd rather see an option to donate to maintaining the site via pay pal instead (I would!)

Brian,

You can check your inbox, I sent you an email.

Alain

@MJD

Hmm. Maybe I should not have expected so much from the mighty, esteemed, shameless self-advertiser who plugs his book into 75% of his comments until the name comes up in our nightmares.

I was wondering if anyone knew how to contact Tim Lambert of the Deltoid Blog. He doesn't really blog any more, and hasn't been active on Twitter for several years. It would be a shame if his blog disappeared. There is a post that shows up every month for discussion on the blog, but nothing other than that.

Could someone give me a link please? Google isn't being helpful.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 19 Oct 2017 #permalink

@PGP:

Try typing in literally the most obvious URL and see what happens. :-)

My only complaint with the new site is the font size and spacing in the comments make it so it takes forever to scan through comments.

Oh, drat. I did type in the most obvious URL and was NOT happy with the result. Even though it was about chocolate.

By Mary Arneson (not verified) on 19 Oct 2017 #permalink

You’d be wrong.

.com

Rats! And thanks.

Now added to my bookmarks.

Why do people hate Disqus?

Why do people hate Disqus?

Because Disqustink is terrible.

Oh no! Where ever will I go to get my vaccine marketing from now? Please don't tell me I'll have to go directly to the merck.com website from now on!

By Anon Ymous (not verified) on 19 Oct 2017 #permalink

Why do people hate Disqus?

Because Disqustink is terrible.

And Narad just barely avoids being tautological.

I can't wait to see the new website. I am expecting some serious sci-fi-ish wallpaper with gadgets, gizmos, and hopefully . . ..David Bowie's Space Oddity.mp3 playing in the background.

So take your protein pills and put your helmet on. This new website will have everything: From woobashing and ridicule to straight-up mockery. Orac is dropping the modifier and going full-insolent: Gossip about Andrew Wakefield's bed-fellows will not be off the table—the more damage we can cause to his psyche, the better. One must pay for breaking ranks, if not so much as to set an example. Let the public know who to mistrust and who to adore. With the new podium, Orac is going to prove that he really can define the strength of free radicals.

So open the pod bay doors Hal, the rarified environment of scienceblogs.com is suffocating. A new horizon awaits. Let's just hope that the next generation of politicians, biochemists, and medical doctors will be as incompetent as the former—to provide grist for the WooMill: whose stones are not quite ground-down as of yet, ready to churn-out a few dozen metric tons of 100 Mesh Powdered Wakefield (fine grade).

By Ziggy Stardust (not verified) on 19 Oct 2017 #permalink

It's nowhere near that sophisticated. Maybe someday. Right now I'm just spending every minute of my spare time trying to get all the old content transferred over before Sb goes away forever. Let me tell you, the importer really chokes on those comment threads with 2,000+ comments. I fear I'm going to be missing some comments. One thread with over 2,000 comments only imported around 1,300. I have to ask myself if it's worth it to spend so much time trying to get the last 700 comments to transfer when there's so much other material to do. I think I'm just going to stop and move on, taking note of this particular post. I'll go back to it if I have time. If not, oh well.

Why do people hate Disqus?

Because it's shit?

Just a thought.

By Rebecca Fisher (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

Why is it shit? It's used at my not-so-secret other blog, and I actually rather like it. It has the advantage of decreasing bandwidth use by off-loading the commenting function.

@sadmar: I hate Disqus because the threaded comments are AWFUL!!! You have to constantly scroll up and down a thread, and often miss new comments because they are tucked under an earlier comment. It's OK if you keep a thread open constantly because then the thread will alert you to the new one, but otherwise you have to just scroll and look for a little blue marker and "new comment".

PLEASE, Orac....don't thread comments.

WordPress threads comments now. I like threaded comments. Sorry.

The main reason I come here about 1% as often as I used to is that comments are effectively threaded here now. Apparently if you follow a thread with email updates, you get a "reply" button which makes your comment nest below the comment you're replying to.

I always swore I'd never even try to follow a comment section that was threaded--not that I'd be any loss, but I don't think I'm the only one who feels this way....

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

Disqus threads comments, spams the shit out of me on unrelated topics, needs me to log in every time I want to say something - even though I ask to stay signed in, tells me what my friends are commenting on (I don't care) and fails to post my comments.

Other than that, I just hate it.

By Rebecca Fisher (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

Those threated comments are putting me of as well. Especially with long threads, things get hard to follow.

I don't think threaded comments will be such a big deal as everyone fears, and here's why. Comment threads here have been MUCH shorter lately. As I go back through the archives, say 2015, comment threads of several hundred comments were very common, which is why it's taking me so long to transfer the content of that year. Basically, the importer is choking big time, and I keep having to chop up the XML file into smaller and smaller bits. This year, comment threads over 100 comments have been pretty rare. It's kind of depressing to have it hammered home to me that way, actually, how much lower the commenting traffic is now compared to two or three years ago.

The new template doesn't number comments, either. There is a date and time stamp. Numbers were always problematic, anyway, because they change a lot as I approve new moderated comments, such that references to comment numbers were frequently inaccurate after I approved a bunch of new comments. I like date and time stamps better, because they do not change when I approve more comments. If the threaded comments turn out to be such a big deal, you don't have to use them, and if they really cause a lot of protest I'll consider turning them off. I just hate threading through huge strings of quoted text, though. Maybe it's because I see all comments.

Perhaps import the first page only? because after that, the comments start to fizzle-out anyway.

Not all of the comments are worth saving, especially those of Narad [sic].

By Ziggy Stardust (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

I used to comment a little bit through disqus and still get notifications about dorit.
A lot of those take me to web sites where I have to scroll past ads to find the right place to click to even see comments and then the linked comment doesn't show up. So, I have to scroll up and down looking for it. Sometime I have to click several times for more comments.

But, it seems to work ok for SBM.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

There is a date and time stamp. Numbers were always problematic, anyway, because they change a lot as I approve new moderated comments, such that references to comment numbers were frequently inaccurate after I approved a bunch of new comments. I like date and time stamps better, because they do not change when I approve more comments.

At some point in the distant past ScienceBlogs had time stamps on them, so I could refer to a post as "Orac@1158" (or whatever time the computer says you posted it) rather than "Orac@110", which as you note might become post number 114 after you approve comments being held in moderation. I don't remember when the time part was suppressed, but yes, that made it more difficult to refer to previous posts.

Threaded comments have both advantages and disadvantages. The main downside, as MI Dawn notes, is that you have to search throughout the thread to find new comments. OTOH, if it's a bunch of people feeding a troll, you can easily skip over those posts, and it also makes it more obvious (as long as it doesn't go more than three or four levels deep) who is responding to whom.

I had noticed occasional threaded comments here, mostly replies by Orac, but I had never had that capability myself. That may be, as the good Reverend points out, because I never check the "follow by e-mail" boxes below the post button. As moderator, Orac obviously has to get those e-mail updates so that he can retrieve posts from moderation as needed.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

@ Ziggy Stardust:

Loved your last album.

I agree with your comment- there are loads of woo awaiting Orac. It is endless.

- Recently I discovered an older Bay Area doctor who supposedly treats people with light following R. Rife's frequencies and with the assistance of a NASA engineer. His website is rather clean but he has a show on prn.fm and was interviewed by the chief woo ( progressive commentary hour recently). He's been at it for decades .Dr Len Saputo.

- TMR's Oracle explains how she educated a doctor she dated. Comedy gold.

- Kim Rossi ( AoA) tweets about her new career as a part time karate instructor for kids - some of them vaccinated for flu ((shudder)) and full time divorcee.

- Mikey goes full tilt righty loon- perhaps to attract the gullible to his store.. Similar at prn.fm- politics and economics conspiracies showing corruption by the powers that be.
This may be fortunate because they speak less about health.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

This year, comment threads over 100 comments have been pretty rare. It’s kind of depressing to have it hammered home to me that way, actually, how much lower the commenting traffic is now compared to two or three years ago.

Turn MJD loose.

He'll say something stupid, minions will call him out on it, he'll say 'buy my book'.

Lather.
Rinse.
Repeat.

Comment counts will soar.

Or do a reiki post. Nothing else seems to draw out the faithful. I remember one such comment thread several years ago where two reiki practitioners must have dumped hundreds of comments defending their little charade. One was in Toronto and believed she could cure cancer through therapeutic touch.

By Woo Fighter (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

Threaded comments, the issue of finding recent comments aside, seem to offer the greatest advantage with a commentariat this is not too bright. At RI, with the present scheme, most commenters are good about quoting a little of that to which they are responding, making it quite easy to follow conversations.

Again, I really loathe having a site open other sites which open other site which open other sites. How pervasive this is becomes apparent if you use a script blocker that tells you what is going on. I wouldn't mind so much if the main site supplied a "you'll need to allow access to/scripts on these sites to use this site" - but none do that. Right now, this site has opened or wants to open 7 other sites. If I allowed all of those, it wouldn't surprise me to see that number double. I have passed up offers from my ISP for super high speed, simply because I estimate about 90% of my time waiting for something is waiting for those linked sites to get off their asses and respond with crap I don't want to see anyway.

If I remember correctly, ScienceBlogs had a "most active" feature on the side, rather than the current "editor's picks" on it's front page that generated the high volume of comments. Same thing happened to FreethoughtBlogs when they got rid of that feature-no more pile-ons, I guess, but I wasn't invested enough in each individual blogger to find out where the action was.

Right now, this site has opened or wants to open 7 other sites. If I allowed all of those, it wouldn’t surprise me to see that number double. I have passed up offers from my ISP for super high speed, simply because I estimate about 90% of my time waiting for something is waiting for those linked sites to get off their asses and respond with crap I don’t want to see anyway.

^ Exacly this. How bad can it get? This bad:

http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/20/gold-star-widow-releases-trumps-call-…

Allow just one script, dailycaller.com, and veiw that the site wants to load 30 different sites -- nevermind how many extra scrips will load if any of those 30 are allowed.

NoScript ftw.

Chris: Thank you! Now bookmarked. That saved me a lot of time- I ran two different searches, and one of them kept directing me to truthwiki (which is, in my opinion, blatant false advertising.)

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

DW: So Kim's a karate instructor? Geez, I'd hate to be the poor kids she's inflicted upon. Must be a spectacularly soft style. I'm in one of the hard styles myself, though I'd reluctantly admit that the standards have fallen a bit since I was a white belt.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

Remember to change the .net to .com !

Please do include the comments from Peter Harris, the naturopath who contradicted himself in one paragraph and then lost his temper upon our pointing this out.

Oh and was it Cervantes who was going to come back to us with loads of peer reviewed papers about plant based cancer cures, that guy was a right tool.

If anybody wants to get more comments, we can always rile up the current incarnation of Vinu, I have a German paper showing a significant decrease in allergies with increased vaccination, that's bound to cause him to do his standard denial of reality.

Hey @squirrelelite. I just started reading that book you talked about (was that you?) called Jackson's Electrodynamics. The 1962 edition can be had, for free, in one giant .pdf, vide infra. (watch-out slow browser . . .It's a monsta file.)

http://www.fulviofrisone.com/attachments/article/475/Jackson%20J%20D%20…

But I'm not sure how much I like it. The Swedes have cleaner math in this other free book I found; although they put the differential term directly ahead of the integral symbol, like this: ∫∂x·4x³. Very strange.

The electrodynamic wave equation seems to follow directly from Maxwell's Law's (Heaviside Edition), and the Schrödinger Equation is just an intuitive variation of this—a logical consequence of results obtained from the photoelectric effect and divers old classics.

I'm doing my best to dodge QuantumWoo, an eclectic and illogical collection of unicorns gleaned from the misunderstanding of divers refraction experiments reinforced by bad textbook Feynman heuristics further amplified by pop misconception culminating in Deepak Chopra!—where entanglement and nonlocality (if believed) can be used to justify nearly anything including, but not limited to, overpriced chic getaways to the Esalen Institute marketed to people who just want to appear well-informed—aimed at gullible people who don't really want to understand physics at all, but want to think that after we die we are more than just wormfood. It's the new religion: It's the flying saucer of the new age.

But Karl Popper will tell you how it really is:

Popper, Karl R. "Quantum mechanics without “the observer”." Quantum theory and reality. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 1967. 7-44.

(Free full-text link of GoogleScholar, and a must read for those opposed to QuantumWoo—although he does not properly explain the double-slit experiment (only I can do that.))

By Ziggy Stardust (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

Thanks, Ziggy.
I had Jackson for one of my undergrad E&M classes.
We used Feynman for the first QM class.

I like his personal biographical stuff as well.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 20 Oct 2017 #permalink

Orac writes,

It’s kind of depressing to have it hammered home to me that way, actually, how much lower the commenting traffic is now compared to two or three years ago.

MJD says,

Once upon a time, Orac wrote about his helicopter experience and it was amazing, outstanding, and unforgettable.

Lately, in my opinion, there's been an overwhelming condescending tone that draws the reader into a sense of learned helplessness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQI0E1WCLMU

Cheer up Orac, write about it, and they will come.

Funniest Joke:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IiICcSH8iY

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 21 Oct 2017 #permalink

Michael, the only condescension I detect on "Respectful Insolence" is from you.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 21 Oct 2017 #permalink

@Julian

Took the words right outta my mouth. Orac's tried to be nice to MJD but all he's done is throw it in his face, so y'know.
He gets what he gives.

The new layout looks good on my android. Category index easy to nav.

Browsing through comments, Orac responses don't highlight like they do on Sb. I track those highlights as they usually indicate a pertinent point to take note of when considering topic that have 200+ comments.

Sneaky Tim includes link from The Daily Caller... Bad Tim!

Dude, if you're on The Daily Caller for ANY reason, you're getting polluted with all sorts of bad scripts, and I ain't talkin' about computer code...

The new blog looks good although I am not exactly thrilled with the size but I'll adapt. Maybe I'll try the tablet later.

In other news ( because woo . like rust, never sleeps)...

Mikey Boy ( Today, Natural News) shrieks about the fake news/ lame stream media proclaiming his bro's ( Alex Jones) products exceeding standards for lead.
Mike offers a suggestion how AJ can fix the problem ( i.e. call the supplements 'food') and how his fabulous** lab could have been of use by prior testing

** in the original use of the term

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 22 Oct 2017 #permalink

The interesting thing about NN's proclamation of an anti-Infowars conspiracy and his lab's offer to save the day, is the statement that no one has ever found high heavy metals levels in NN's supplements.

If true, does that mean no competent, respected lab has ever tested them? It'd be interesting to see such results, not to mention subsequent conspiracy theorizing over the level of contaminants found.*

*since elsewhere there's been reporting down to the level of _parts per trillion_ of glyphosate, it's hard to imagine that the NN supplement empire could possibly be free of contaminants. And as the Food Babe has informed us, there's no safe level of any chemical. :(

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 22 Oct 2017 #permalink

Very strange.

Don't get out much, do you, Travis?

Thanks Julian

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 23 Oct 2017 #permalink

I had Jackson for one of my undergrad E&M classes.

So did I, as it happens, but Jackson is normally a graduate level text. That about 40% of the students in my ostensibly undergrad class were grad students should have tipped me off that something was amiss.

I used the then current second edition (they are now on a third edition). It was my most expensive undergraduate textbook, at $54.50 new (I rarely bought used textbooks, because I had learned by then that if the textbook was any good it was not available used). Amazon is selling the hardcover third edition new for $81.95, which is less than it has been: a few years back the subject of high textbook prices came up on Chad Orzel's blog, and at the time the book apparently cost about $180 new.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 23 Oct 2017 #permalink

That about 40% of the students in my ostensibly undergrad class were grad students should have tipped me off that something was amiss.

I presume this was intermediate E&M, not freshman (for which we used Purcell; this was kind of a clusterf*ck, because the Berkeley series wasn't used for freshman mechanics [don't recall] or optics [Hecht & Zajak]).

^ Oh, right, it must have been Halliday & Resnick for mechanics. Kinda pricey for only a single quarter.

@Sadmar:

Will we get the ability to edit comments, a la Disqus?

The live comment preview such as used at Popehat might satisfy your desire in this regard. I don't have time right now to check whether it's this or something else, and it is a bit busy, and I furthermore don't know how pocket-rocket friendly it is, but so it goes.

they put the differential term directly ahead of the integral symbol, like this: ∫∂x·4x³

Hey, Fυcklesworth, just out of idle curiosity – completely aside from your inability to do the Unicode spacing correctly – why did you use a partial here? Do you know what the element of integration is?.

What's your preferred approach to making the concept of an infinitesimal mathematically rigorous, other than dopily screwing up the notation?