Category Archives: Asides

When You Buy Counterfeit Fashion, You Are Paying to Spam Our Site

After the spam deluge, Ethic applied a stronger spam filter that automatically sent more things to “spam” rather than “pending.” The effect is similar except that the site no longer e-mails me 50 times per day to ask if the comment by “Buy Cheap Louis Vitton” is legit. A blogger buddy asked me to check the spam filter, and yep, there were some false positives, so we fished some folks out.

Of the 500 spam comments I reviewed, 3 were internal links from our site, 4 were legitimate comments, 1 was from a gold-selling site, and all the rest were fashion sites trying to get more links for search engine optimization. These are the people who make your favorite websites’ operators work harder. Remember never to buy from some fly by night site selling knock-off sunglasses, shoes, or whatnot, or you’re just as bad as people who buy gold and fund the guys who hack players’ accounts.

This public service message has been brought to you by the numbers 5 and 0 and the letter S.

: Zubon

10 Years?

I was bored today and decided to see when I first posted here. Turns out it was in May of 2004. Has this site really been going for over 10 years? Yikes.

– Ethic

[TT] Gen Con Open Thread

I went to my first Origins Game Fair earlier this year, and I’m going to my first Gen Con later this week. It’s a big year for diving into conventions for me.

Rat-slaying readers, this is your comments thread for finding each other at the event, recommending (for or against) things, and generally talking Gen Con.

: Zubon

Tinker Gearcoins

I don’t think we mentioned that our dear friend Tesh has a Kickstarter winding down: Tinker Gearcoins. These are a bit like the Tinker Gearchips he did at the start of the year, but with more art, different sizes, and a design that lets you use them as cogs if you want to get extra steampunk. It is past 700% of its goal and about to hit its last stretch goal (adding an extra gearcoin to the rewards), there are multiple options for shiny finishes, and all the previous campaigns’ items are available as add-ons. I gave a friend a Tinker Deck, because who doesn’t need a deck of cards with Ada Lovelace as a queen, so I need to replace that.

Hmm, too many links there. Let me point out the current campaign: Tinker Gearcoins.

It’s more money than you probably need to spend on fun, decorative coins, but less than you’ve probably spent on a night at the bar, and afterwards you’ll have fun, decorative coins rather than a hangover.

: Zubon


I was recently in Las Vegas for a library conference. “Gaming” means something rather different in Las Vegas than in our world. One of the evening events was about (tabletop) gaming. I wonder how many people were disappointed after arriving at an event labeled as a night of gaming at Caesar’s Palace.

: Zubon

…and whether that was intentional.

Vocabulary 2

This comic happens. There was an old Gen Con sketch from decades ago in which a couple of gamers get arrested after recounting their game of Top Secret (an old spy game) without considering their surroundings.

In Ingress, folks occasionally need a reminder to watch how they phrase things. You are not going to “go blow up the Capitol” or some churches. Leading “an attack on campus” is borderline. Going on a “gardens (or zoo) raid)” is probably abstract enough to be safe.

: Zubon

Vocabulary 1

In the Plants vs. Zombies games, you use walnuts in place of walls (pun intended), with variations like tall-nuts and infi-nuts. You will see other vegetables like butter-flinging corn (kernelpults).

This leads to odd descriptions of games. “I was flinging so much butter, they never even touched my nuts.”

: Zubon