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19h31 UTC; MONDAY, 30 JANUARY 2012: First off, some Appy Polly Loggies are in order for such among you who would normally access this blog through Entrecard, yet have been unable to do so since at least the weekend (what with sign-in attempts being thwarted repeatedly with the "Entrecard is experiencing technical issues," &c., alert--and without the Common Courtesy of a proper or timely explanation behind all). In any event, I did put in a call to one of the support staff behind Entrecard just moments ago to explain, and he has pledged to have this timely looked into.

Apart from my recently joining Along For the Ride! (AFTR, for short), I'm not sure if there may be any other viably realistic traffic swap services for blogs of this ilk on a "free-no-cost" basis still around, especially given where Adgitize is now winding up its operations (hence, those of you who still have Adgitize widgets on your blogs should please remove them posthaste) and some of my fellow-bloggers have begun wondering if repeated technical issues may be about to do in Entrecard.

Even then, trying to make use of orthodox traffic-building options of a "free-no-cost" sort can only go so far, especially considering where some "SEO analysis" outfits may be of dubious or questionable repute, and in some instances may advise outright illicit or questionable techniques such as "spam" e-mail, the use of which can be grounds for shutting down websites so using as a marketing tool. And besides, absent the likelihood of my coming into money within measurable distance, my resources are already very limited (not to mention my being very leery of online "grant award" and "personal loan" schemes).

In the meantime, may I be first to recommend getting in contact with Entrecard to ask for an explanation as to what exactly is going on with them presently. We're entitled to know about these things.

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A new low for idolatry in service to True Patriot Love base and primitive: "Our Sarah" was overheard on Fox Business at the weekend claiming that GOP Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is in the same league as Jesus Christus, the which should be enough to raise questions of Idolatry, Blasphemy even.

That, and recalling on Your Correspondent's part about where the Nazi regime went so far as to teach children that both Christ and Hitler were persecuted for promoting unpopular ideas, "but whereas Christ was crucified, Hitler became Reichschancellor," as the meme went.

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The very notion of PBS and NPR being "unwitting and unconscious conduits of liberal thought as threatens to undermine the Nation," let alone the Muppets being seen as "propagators of liberal propaganda to Impressionable Children" (the which has been debunked by Miss Piggy "herself" just today, know), has Your Correspondent noting where the BBC, back in its formative years of the 1920's and 1930's, insisting that allowing commercial advertising on radio was "unethical," "immoral" and went against God, King and Empire.

Radio waves never pay attention to lines on a map, as Will Rogers observed in the wake of on-air assaults from high-powered Mexican "border blaster" radio stations from just across the Rio Grande in the early 1930's; with this in mind, a somewhat eccentric British businessman by name of Captain Leonard F. Plugge actually managed to give British radio listeners some choice in their listening, even with the BBC's assessing a licence fee of one shilling (5p)/annum, by way of his International Broadcasting Company (IBC) before World War II and its Continent-based affiliates of Radio Normandy, Poste Parisien and Radio Luxembourg offering transcribed programmes which, in contrast to the staid and predictable selections from the BBC (especially Sundays, when the BBC's programme was largely religious in nature), were the kind of shows British radio listeners (especially in London and the South, where reception was particularly excellent) wanted to listen to.

The German onslaught of the Low Countries and France in 1940 forced the three IBC stations off the air (although Luxembourg served as a relay for the Hamburg station of the German state radio, infamous for Lord Haw-Haw's bombastic diatribes against the Allies); with peace, however, only Radio Luxembourg would return to the air to attract British listeners with an evening English-language programme, dominated mostly by transcribed shows sponsored by record companies to push their latest releases ... not to mention the Horace Batchelor Infra-Draw Method for winning big in the football pools (details by writing Horace at "Department 2, Keynsham--spelled K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M--Keynsham, near Bristol"). In fact, it was Luxembourg's dominance on record-company-sponsored shows presenting one-minute extracts of new releases that gave rise to the "pirate ship" offshore broadcasters of the early- to mid-1960's as gave the BBC and the Postmaster-General's Department much unease, as in Caroline, Atalanta, Essex, London, Scotland, 270, 390, Swinging Radio England and, the greatest of them all, Radio Northsea International (RNI; known briefly as Radio Caroline International), widening the pop-music horizons of younger British radio listeners, eventually prompting the BBC to launch Radio 1 in 1967 and Radio Luxembourg to go live from the Grand Duchy that same year.

(But not before Parliament passed the Maritime Offences Act 1966 as shut down the offshore pirate ships--or tried to, at any rate; Caroline managed to stage a comeback in the mid-1970's, only to be forced to abandon ship in a fall 1980 gale, and came back again in the early 1990's, howbeit in a frequency war with another, yet short-lived, offshore upstart, Laser 558. RNI would move its vessel closer to the Netherlands, yet still in international waters, until a Dutch Maritime Offenses Act went into effect in 1974 as forced several Dutch pirate-ship broadcasters off air, among them RNI, Atlantis, Dolfijn and Veronica.

(Meanwhile, in England's Green and Pleasant Land, the radio-only licence was abolished at the start of 1971, with the first commercial radio stations receiving licences to go on air two years later. As for Radio Luxembourg, it continued to limp along as The Great 208 until transmitter issues and declining audience share forced its going off the air in 1990; later satellite-radio and online-radio/DRM incarnations didn't fare too well..

(Those interested in learning more about the European "pirate ship" stations and their programming may want to visit the site of the French-based magazine Offshore Echos, as does an especially good job in documenting this rather interesting period of broadcasting history known as "free radio" to purists. Of interest, too, is that RNI and Radio Caroline continue as online radio stations and Radio Veronica is now a mainstream Dutch commercial radio station, all three offering their streams online.)

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One thing the online portals can agree on: 18 of the largest web portals (among them AOL, Yahoo, Google, Excite, Lycos and Mail.com) have announced their launching an initiative towards a common industry standard for fighting "phishing" attacks tending to Identity Theft using already-available and emerging technologies (in fact, PayPal actually manages to intercept some 230,000 "phishing" e-mails a day invoking its name and repute using existing technologies).

But remember this: It's all of us using Teh Innerwebz as are the first line of defence against "phishing" attacks, which involve all manner of absurd claims asking for sensitive personal or financial details because of some class of "security alert" bordering on the phishy as can be used by criminal syndicates, sometimes with known connexions to hostile foreign powers, for devious intent as can be damaging, and then some. Simply delete them ... or refer such to the apropos channels vis-a-vis the organisation whose name and repute are being thus invoked to the point of perversion (check the "Contact Us" page of their websites for specific e-mail addresses), including the full original headers (this is especially important) to help the relevant staff identify the sources thereof.



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