January 31, 2011

SHARE THIS! How to get around the internet block in #Egypt

Listening to NPR earlier today, they were talking about how "tech savvy" protesters were finding ways to get around the internet shut-down in Egypt.  Their story mostly focused on folks breaking out the old dial-up modems and connecting to dial-up ISPs in other countries, but they also described exactly how the Egyptian ISPs had shut down access to the world wide web.  It seems that the ISPs simply removed all the entries from their DNS servers.  When you connect to their ISP and type in an address, the DNS server tells your computer where that site is located.  Without a DNS entry for a site, your computer won't be able to find the site.  However, if your computer has an entry for that site in the HOSTS file, your computer will skip accessing the DNS server for that site and connect to the IP in the HOSTS entry.

Make sure your computer is set up to show hidden files.  Look for a file named HOSTS in either Windows\system32\drivers\etc or in the Windows root (for 98/ME users).  If you're using a *NIX or Macintosh OS, go to /etc/hosts.  Add entries for the sites you need to access, such as:
The above listed IPs work as of this posting.  The IPs for Google and Youtube should be interchangeable, as they are hosted on the same servers.

This trick is also useful for getting around campus or work-place firewalls on certain sites.  This is not guaranteed to work, as more advanced firewalls will block the whole IP range of certain sites, and in the case of what's happening in Egypt right now, the ISPs may completely shut-down or disconnect from the internet until the government lifts the ban.  However, as long as the shut-down is being done in the way described by NPR today, this method should work.

Also, if you're not trying to work around a block, do NOT add entries to your HOSTS file.  Sites such as these change their IP addresses somewhat frequently, and when they do your entry will no longer be valid.  This is why DNS servers are important, as they are updated every few hours with current data.  However, as these sites have made it clear they stand on the side of the protesters and against the Egyptian government's block, hopefully they will keep their current IP addresses until the crisis is over.

January 23, 2011

Random Musings...

I did some laundry when I got home tonight, and a thought struck me.  Why do I still match my socks into pairs when I don't wear them that way?

(For anyone who doesn't know, I have had some trouble with my left leg, and now wear a compression stocking.  While I do occasionally wear compression stockings on both legs, I usually wear a normal sock on my right foot.)

Is this just a course of habit that I've yet to break away from?  A built-in reflex that will never change?

Someone I know who is a landscaper once told me about a job he took.  He did some planting and whatnot and installed those little lights along the sidewalk.  The thing was, the man who lived in the house was blind.  He could not figure out why the blind man would want lights along his sidewalk.  My first thought was that perhaps the client wasn't totally blind and could follow the lights to get to his door in the dark.  My second thought was that he wanted them there for guests, friends and relatives who would stop over regularly.  But tonight, another possibility crossed my mind.  Perhaps it was some sort of reflex action, wanting lights.  How long does it take someone who has lost their sight to stop reaching for the light switch?

On a lighter note, tonight I heard what has got to be the best bad pick-up line ever.  I've been listening to more country music of late, and had one of the bands named "Iron Horse" playing in my car.  (There are three bands named "Iron Horse" that I know of.  One is a Scottish Celtic band, one is a bluegrass band from Alabama that is best known for doing Metallica and Ozzy cover albums, and the last, the one I was listening to tonight, is a country/metal band from Columbus.)  The song "Bring It On" has the line "Baby if you wanna ride / I'll be your motorcycle."  LOL

January 11, 2011

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Chapbook Proposals

The Poet's Haven will be launching a chapbook series in 2011. Plans are underway for the first volume to be released in April, with new books to follow every other month.

While I have spoken with several authors about this, and have some other authors in mind for upcoming releases, I would also like to open the series up to submissions. Whether you are a veteran or a newcomer to the small-press publishing world, if you're interested in having a collection of your work published I would like to read your proposal.

Here are the details for the series format, publishing schedule, and pay structure:

Chapbooks will measure 5.5" wide by 8.5" tall and will be saddle-stitched (aka stapled). The books will be 40 pages in length, including a title page (which can also include a table of contents or an introduction) and the page with copyright notices and all the other required fine-print. A full-color, cardstock cover will adorn the books. The cover price will be $5, subject to change with any drastic increases in production costs (paper prices, etc.).

The chapbooks will be kept in print for a period of 12 months. After 12 months, no additional copies of the chapbook will be printed. 13 months after the original publication, the chapbook will be made available as a free e-book download. The e-books will not be printable.

Authors will receive 20% of all printed copies. That breaks down like this: If the first print run is 100 copies, 20 of them go to the author. If the first print run sells out and a second print run of, say, 50 copies is produced, the author will receive 10 of them. If the author wants/needs to acquire additional copies, he or she can do so at a 40% discount.

I'd like to take a moment to address this pay structure. After discussing how other small-presses compensate their chapbook authors, two common flaws became apparent. With many (not all) small-presses, a chapbook is either limited to its original print run and is finished once it is sold out, or the publisher can produce as many print-runs as demand calls for but the author receives no additional payment. I have designed this pay structure to allow for multiple printings over the 12 month release window while continuing to compensate the book's author for increased sales.

What is The Poet's Haven looking for?

A collection of your poems centered around a theme, a collection of work from a certain era of your life, a series of poems that tell a narrative story... These are just a few general ideas. Also, while most chapbooks contain poems, nobody ever said that's all a chapbook could be! Surprise me!

WHO is The Poet's Haven looking for?

The Poet's Haven has always taken pride in being open to both newcomers and seasoned pros. That said, for legal reasons, chapbook authors must be at least 18 years of age or have a parent or guardian involved in the process from submission to publication. Authors who manage other small-presses are welcome to submit a proposal, but be aware that you may have a harder sell. (I'll wonder why you're not publishing the book yourself.) Also, authors who have been previously published by The Poet's Haven (whether in the online galleries or in the podcast) will probably get some preferential treatment. ;-)

How to submit a proposal:

Click the "Contact Publisher" link on PoetsHaven.com and send me an e-mail with "Chapbook Proposal" as the subject. You can also contact me via private message on Facebook. Tell me who you are if I don't know you, and tell me what your idea is for a chapbook. Include a selection of pieces that would be submitted for the chapbook in the proposal (5 pieces maximum).  If your proposal interests me, I will contact you requesting a full manuscript.

Thanks, and I look forward to your responses!

January 3, 2011

(At Long Last!) New Podcasts!!!

Hey, hey, hey!  Check that link out over on the right side of the blog!  There's a new podcast up for your listening pleasure!

A total of five new episodes have been completed.  Due to problems with the current server, I cannot post all five episodes at once. (Five episodes times 800+ people downloading them in a matter of two or three days would be more than it could handle.)  To avoid crashing the server, I'll be posting two episodes a week, one on Saturday and one on Wednesday, until I run out.  I'm hoping to complete a few more relatively soon, but I'm trying to balance getting podcast work done with working on the updated scripts for the galleries so that I can get the site moved to a new server.  Once the site is on the new server, bandwidth will be less of an issue.  I am considering changing the show to hour-long episodes once the server move is complete.

Episode 36, now online, features poetry by Timothy House, Vladimir Swirynsky, Christina Brooks, and Samantha Bako with music by Ramona Stone.

Episode 37, coming Wednesday, features poetry by Kisha Nicole Foster and John Burroughs with music by Meganne Stepka.

Episode 38 features poetry by Timothy House, Azalea Tidwell, Debbie Goings, Marc Manheimer, and Dianne Borsenik with music by Meganne Stepka.

Episode 39 features poetry by Dave Nichols, Teleri, Jen Pezzo, and Timothy House with music by Meganne Stepka.

Episode 40 features poetry by Dave Nichols and Christopher Franke with music by Meganne Stepka.