Friday, August 10, 2018

About Those Missing Comments

Regular readers of this Blog may have noticed that recent postings here had no comments, and were probably wondering why (as was I). There was an interval where I made no posts between March 13 and June 6. There was no particular reason for this hiatus (which led one worried reader to contact me to see if I was OK, or had perhaps been abducted by aliens). While I was somewhat busy doing other things, the main reason was simply that I didn't have anything significant to write about. (Maybe Tom DeLonge was on vacation, so there was no new UFO craziness?) 

Resuming posting on June 6, I noticed that none of my posts after that date had any comments whatever, which seemed quite strange. Some time ago I recognized the need to moderate comments, given that many people had been posting SPAM, or abusive comments. Blogger (run by Google) always sent me submitted comments by email, and I would generally approve anything that was not SPAM, not abusive (OK, not excessively abusive 😉), and more or less relevant to the discussion. I didn't have to agree with the comment, just so long as it was relevant, and civil. But  no comments came to my email. I submitted a test comment of my own, and it was posted without problems.

Then a few days ago a reader contacted me, who had submitted some comments that never appeared. Digging through the Blogger control panel, it seems that the messages were getting caught up in a folder awaiting moderation, but I was never informed of this in any way. Somehow during the posting hiatus, something had gotten messed up with notifications. I even found some old comments that I had never been notified of, so if you made comments a year or two ago that were not posted, they might be there now. 

My own post went right through, because posts from the Blog owner are not submitted for moderation. Hopefully everything is OK now, so feel free to comment away. (So long as it's relevant, and not abusive). And I'll check that "awaiting moderation" folder from time to time, just in case.
RTGUI running on a Windows tablet, with Skychart (Cartes du Ciel).

While we are doing housekeeping, let me note that amateur astronomers might want to check out the new release of my free Real-Time astronomy program for Windows, RTGUI. It helps you quickly determine what is visible and when, with positions continuously updated in real time. In conjunction with the open-source program Skychart (Cartes du Ciel), RTGUI will give you an instant sky chart, centered on the object you have selected.

The updates enable you to download comet and asteroid positions from the Minor Planet Center, which allows RTGUI to send your go-to telescope directly to them.

Also see RTGUI on Facebook.


  1. A comment to fill in for those missing comments:

    With all the anti-Trump (and some pro-Trump) comments going on in the mainstream & social media, does anyone know where the president stands on the subject of UFOs? I have never seen any mention of the subject in anything he has said, tweeted or written, and even wondered if he has ever heard of UFOs.

    He looks as if he is the first president for some time to have avoided UFOs completely in his utterings. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

    1. There's this wry comment by another Donald (Prothero) in an interview with Michael Shermer, giving the observation that Trump would be incapable of remaining silent if he knew about aliens, given his propensity to tweet:

  2. Robert -

    I had the same thing happen to me. I too, wondered where the comments had gone, and I too had to resort to moderate comments because of SPAM and some nasty postings... and I too, found the reason. Blogger just changed the way they did business and didn't let us know...

  3. "(Maybe Tom DeLonge was on vacation, so there was no new UFO craziness?)"

    Haha. You are a riot! Yes, there's always some instigator.

    Me worried? Yeah, maybe a bit. But not now. Thankfully.

    Fun stuff, now back to those ever-elusive "UFOs." They are so elusive in fact that no one can seem to find one (not even Tom DeLonge) which doesn't seem to diminish interest in the subject.

    Maybe if Tom laid out some cash it would attract one of those elusive "UFOs." But No! That would be the opposite of Tom's true aim: collecting cash!


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