Quick Test

To see if new posts are also plagued by this sudden and mysterious incapacity to leave comments.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 14th, 2014 at 5:09 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

31 Responses to “Quick Test”

  1. Lektu


  2. db

    maybe, maybe not.

  3. Howley

    Linux, Unix, rulez all the rest (except haiku) are flaming pieces of spyware loded crap. Ehumph, er….Testing test, test…..

  4. Peter Watts

    Okay, new posts are commentable. But for some reason all previous posts have lost the ability to take comments. Happened sometime after Feb 10.

    The only thing I changed between then and now was install some stupid anti-NSA-Surveillance “the day we fight back” banner that was supposed to go live on the 11th but never did. Couldn’t get it to work, have since deleted it. But we still can’t leave comments on old posts now.

    Weird and frustrating. There were some old questions in those comment streams I hadn’t answered yet.

  5. chris

    So you tried to taunt the NSA, and the computer mysteriously stopped working…

  6. Peter Watts

    Well, when you put it that way…

  7. NSA Agent #4

    No no, everything is fine. Just pretend we aren’t here.

  8. FBI Surveillance Van Operator

    Nothing weird from here.

  9. Vague, Yet Menacing, Government Agency

    Please continue.

  10. Not The NSA

    Take off your tinfoil hats guys. Only weird internet nerds worry about stuff like that.

  11. Anonymous



  12. CIA Opretive 271

    Mr. Watts,

    We found some things that worry us about the building you live in. There seems to be some problems with the foundation and plumbing. Please contact the relevant parties (numbers included in the annon. e-mail on C’s machine). The electrical and the comm systems are “O.K.” but it looks like you ISP is not supplying you with the bandwidth you contracted for.

    P.S. Love the new novel. Big Fan. As soon as it publishes I will pay you for the copy I have.

  13. Peter D

    I notice a lot of blogs disable posts on comments over a certain number of days old (to discourage spam, which seems to hop on to old pages in the hopes that people don’t monitor). I’d just assumed you started following the same policy.

    The line at the bottom says it’s powered by WordPress… maybe it’s nothing you did but they did an update and turned that feature on by default, and you have to go into your settings there to turn it off?

  14. Nestor

    Yes that was my assumption too, there’s a setting in “discussion” I think, that closes comments after X days.

  15. Peter Watts

    No, all those settings haven’t changed; the crawl’s been set to shut down comments after 30 days since forever — but even when that happens you get a little note at the bottom of the stream saying “Comments are closed.” Now you don’t even get that much; you can see extant comments, but there’s simply no option to add new ones.

    I tried playing with permalinks, resetting and reclicking all relevant check-boxes. Nothing. I did finally update WordPress to the latest version (to no avail), but only after comments went dead, so that wasn’t the problem.

    Ah well. Just another item to put off until next month when I have more time. In the meantime I’m careful to moon the webcam at least once every 30 minutes. Just in case.

  16. whoever

    Don’t they automatically stop accepting new posts after some length of time? Or is it based on last three posts?

    Funny how we make such a big deal out of the voyeurs when there’s all the thugs and psychos roaming about freely.

  17. ken

    Since this is such a non-specific post, I have a question that hopefully won’t appear too out-of-place…

    I notice that I can pre-order Echopraxia from Amazon now, with a publish date of August 26, 2014. However, I’d love to lay my hands on a signed copy.

    Since you won’t be returning to the States anytime soon, is there a chance that you might offer a few signed copies to the faithful minions of your Squid Army?

    Just askin’ before I go ahead and click “pre-order” on that Amazon page.

  18. whoever

    PS: Finally had the chance to read the BtR essay in full this evening. Probably should read it again, but why start behaving responsibly now?

    Peter’s definition of dystopia really strikes home. Not in some farflung future, but in the recent past. For example, the increase in the use of drones (one of which lead to Scahill’s book and film Dirty Wars due to its use to assassinate a US citizen; a practice currently being discussed for use again:


    ) was due to the decision that it was morally superior to torturing the wives and children of men accused of terrorism in foreign CIA prisons in front of them.

    The other obvious question is about the inherent state of humanity on the “good/evil” scale. I think there’s the question as to how well we actually know the “vast majority” of people we’ve met. Have we encountered them on a sinking boat with limited escape boats or failing planes with a shortage of parachutes? That’s when you get the real face of people you encounter, not when they can afford to show you their social mask. The rest is just a Rorschach test or a blank face like Hello Kitty upon which we project our own thoughts, feelings onto those we encounter. How many Edward Snowdens and Barrett Browns do we see? Too damn few.

    My two cents.

  19. 01

    Do you have a comment-management plugin working, the one which gives you little circles near post names ?

    I suggest you do a full backup, install that beast, and see what it displays with regards to comments.

    It appears to me that comments on old posts have become disabled as opposed to merely closed (IIRC, wordpress-wise that’s two different states)

  20. Nestor

    You might have some sort of malware, wordpress is like the windows of the website world, popular and ubiquitous so it gets all the hack attempts. I’ve detected some on my sites when stuff went screwy with plugins in strange ways.

  21. Joe

    This is completely unrelated, but I just wanted to draw some people to True Detective. What Blindsight is to science fiction, True Detective is to televised crime dramas.

    A six-minute long tracking shot has gotten most of the attention so far – but deservedly so. But if you had told me five years ago that a TV show starring the male lead of Failure to Launch would be exploring the deepest depths of existential dread and psychological horror while asking the viewer to take seriously the possibility that humanity is just an tortured aberration I would have laughed my head off.

  22. Peter Watts

    ken: Since you won’t be returning to the States anytime soon, is there a chance that you might offer a few signed copies to the faithful minions of your Squid Army?

    I have an army. I dunno. I was thinking, maybe a squad at most.

    Either way, I’ve obvious no objection to signing copies, assuming they end up in my hands somehow of course. Given my own imminent deadlines, though, this is a yes in principle; I’m gonna leave the logistics to someone else.

  23. Peter Watts

    Joe: This is completely unrelated, but I just wanted to draw some people to True Detective. What Blindsight is to science fiction, True Detective is to televised crime dramas.

    Just got caught up on this show last night. Holy shit.

    The things you see when you’re too busy to blog.

  24. Daniel

    Since the commenting system is being problematic in the other thread, I’ll repost my question here:

    Mr Watts

    Why can I get a Kindle edition of Maelstrom, but not Starfish or Behemoth? I know I can download them free, but I would rather pay so you get some money, and I want the convenience of the cloud rather than having to carry around dead tree (I move a lot for work). Is it some sort of rotating availability on Amazon’s end? Dispute with the publisher? Your choice?

    Thank you

    – Daniel

  25. Daniel

    And True Detective is completely amazing. 1 more episode of the 2nd act, then the final 2 for the 3rd, I have no idea how they are going to wrap this all up.

    Shame that Cohle won’t get any more monologues though.

  26. Peter Watts

    Hey Daniel,

    I don’t know what the explanation is for the whole e-book thing. I was certainly never consulted (or even informed). If I had to guess, I’d say that Starfish came out back in the nineties before anyone cared about e-books (my contract did contain a clause giving Tor e-rights, but it also contained a clause giving Tor rights for direct brain-dump to intelligent 23rd-century space lobsters — doesn’t mean they were actually planning on using them). While it was subsequently worth resurrecting in trade, it wasn’t worth putting a bunch of extra effort into reincarnating it into a whole new format. eBooks were peeking threateningly over the horizon when Maelstrom came along, so maybe they figured to go with that. And Behemoth, of course, tanked like a panzer; they never even put it out in paperback, much less e.

    Just my guess, though. As I say, I was never part of the loop.

  27. whoever

    More off-topicness, but since PW is busy and has conquered the Poland scifi segment, I thought I’d point out that Hungary may be a good next market in part due to the awesomely wild artwork that came out of marketing the Star Wars films. Have to scroll down about 1/3 to see where they start. Am wishing some of what’s there was actually in the films or, really, any film.


  28. Jeremy C

    Hey, look what I found on Amazon today:


    I looked on Chaosium’s website and still couldn’t find the Extreme Planets Anth on there. And I do not like their website, it seems they intentionally made things hard to find?

  29. whoever

    A Glenn Greenwald must-read for anyone who wants to see how the greedy a-holes who run their government actually operate. “How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations”


  30. Seruko (Free Candy Inside Van)

    Is it possible your banner/protest thing had a misplaced div or something? Do you back up your style sheets? It’s quite possible activating/deactivating your banner broke the old layout, which is saved in posts made prior to the banner but still lets you write posts correctly. Probably want to look in your WordPress -> appearance -> editor -> comments section and make sure that looks like that same there as in your old posts. I have no idea.
    But looking at your source for your old posts I see they’re missing the code for comments after the last Use generated comment. Compare lines after say 600 ish on


    641 ish on
    The previous poster was right where you probably ought to save what you have and then try to re apply your theme.

  31. Sheila


    I think you can get the cloud convenience feature if you use personal documents with amazon. I save copies of all the ebooks I get from stores other than amazon in my documents and can fetch them on my kindle. what I’d really like is to run my own personal service to deliver ebooks… too lazy.