Watch Your A$$ And Don’t Break The Glass

You’re at an office Christmas party, there’s a lot of drinking going on, there’s a photocopier nearby. What do you do?fotocopy2

You know what you do.

According to Canon photocopier repairmen, 32% of their Christmas season calls have been to fix the glass plates after people attempted to photocopy various body parts.

As a result, Canon has increased the thickness of its glass in hopes of ending rear-end copying mishaps.

One of the most alarming tales comes from service engineer Steven Mannion of northern England: ‘I had to repair a machine with a photocopy of a man’s groin jammed in it’.
That’s one hard copy.
Mannion also added that

“The manager suggested an office identity parade to see who Canon could charge for the call-out charge.”
I guess this means that all you office perverts out there better lighten your load before the Christmas party, eh, lol.

USA Today Doctored Condi Photo: Answer Here

A huge brouhaha started when Michelle Malkin brought to the attention an obviously doctored photo of Condoleezza Rice.

The images in question are as follows:
Beelzebub CondiBeautiful Condi

Drudge, a master of headlines, summarizes the situation well:
DEMON-EYES-ING CONDI: USA TODAY Caught Photoshopping Secretary of State…
The question is not whether the photographs photoshopped, as a half-brained monkey with glaucoma could tell you the answer to that. The question is: Was the photoshopping intentionally manipulated to portray Condi with evil looking eyes. An important side question, when did photoshop become an English word?

The best summarized knee-jerk expert reaction from Michelle Malkin’s site Reader Scott J. writes:
I’m a prepress manager with twelve years experience and this is my professional take on it. The ‘retraction’ claimed that they sharpened the image and adjusted the brightness, they did not. The eyes were penciled in at the pixel level by hand. (VERY sloppy, I might add.) Their ‘retraction’ is nothing short of complete bullshine.
Here are the two images, simply split down the middle and combined.

condisplit

Note the forehead and color on the face. No change from left to right. Only
doctoring was done to the eyes.
However, I do not believe that expert answer is good enough. Some attempt to prove or disprove the assertions of USA Today can be done. The editor’s note did confirm that some editing was done, but the claim was it was minimal and restricted:
In this case, after sharpening the photo for clarity, the editor brightened a portion of Rice’s face, giving her eyes an unnatural appearance.
While the editor may have excluded some details when writing that comment in the interest of brevity, I will limit my attempt to reproduce the image to simple sharpening and lighting without any detailed pixel-level manipulation.

Unfortunately, the editor did not include a set of detailed steps to reproduce the exact image and frankly that’s a bit of a stretch to imagine that anyone would have written down the steps to reproduce. As such, I will have to examine the image for clues as to what types of transformations were done to the image.

First, I will resize both images to the same size. The original ‘real’ image is 450×354 pixels and the ‘evil’ image is at 180×142 pixels. Maintaining aspect ratio, I notice that the image has not been cropped. This is good as at least the details are not lost. Disappointingly, the original image was saved in a very lossy JPG format which means the blocking artifacts of JPG will be present and distracting from the analysis.

To do this, I will zoom in on the before and after images to unreasonable levels typically reserved for the late 80’s style awfully ultra-close-up TV commercials.

The first clue is the shoulders. The real Condi image looks like:
56516896_f3754d07a5_o

 

 

 

 

The evil Condi image looks like:
56516897_d4c5626992_o

 

 

 

 

 

Three observations can be noted:

1. The dark blue at the edge of the shoulders is considerably darker in the evil image
2. The light blue above the shoulder is considerably lighter in the evil image
3. The amount of light and darkness adjustment is not uniform across colors of the same lightness but rather concentrates around the edges.

This type of editing is consistent with the “sharpness” that the editor notes. This does not prove or disprove the editor’s assertions that the eyes are unintentional but does give credibility that a sharpen filter was applied.

NOTE: The distortion on the evil image on the far left of the shoulder is a blocking artifact caused by JPG compression.

Further examples of a sharpen filter can be found in other areas, such as the left ear:
10-19-2017 3-44-40 PM

 

 

 

 

The lips:
10-19-2017 3-45-03 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The collar:
10-19-2017 3-45-20 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… and various other locations: the other ear, the hair, the neck and yes, even those dreadfully wicked eyes.

So step 1: Apply a global sharpen across the entire original image. Why? Obviously, every edge of the picture has been affected by a sharpening effect. Doing two forms of sharpening, a normal and a “more”. I discover the normal sharpen closely matches the sharpening applied to the evil image in every area, except those devil eyes. Actually, I think they rather look like the eyes from Star Gate SG1.
56528236_113cb9e293_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I often note that finding anomalies can be best done by breaking the images down to their various channels. In this case, I break down the image into lightness, hue, and saturation which correctly shows the eye brightness difference and the similarity in edges between the two images for their saturation.

Original, lightness, hue and saturation broke down as follows:
10-19-2017 3-44-15 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see the image is identical except for the eyes. This can only mean one thing remains, the eyes must have been separately altered from the rest of the image. However, the type of altering could have been with a fine-toothed pixel brush (i.e. intentional altering) or with a broader “I want to enhance the eyes” brush.

10-19-2017 3-43-43 PM

Again, when looking in detail the eyes yield some of the techniques used to enhance them:
1. The dark black at the edge of the eyes is considerably darker in the evil image
2. The light of the eyes is considerably lighter in the evil image
3. The amount of light and darkness adjustment is not uniform across colors of the same lightness but rather concentrates around the edges.
4. The eyebrows post-sharpen are identical thus no additional sharpening was applied to the surrounding area.

So the conclusion: Likely a second sharpen filter was applied to only the area of the eyes. The question again becomes how much sharpening was applied? Without great precision, I applied 3 times the sharpness as the original sharpen, except only to the eye area and voila – the image now looks like the evil image. For your consideration, which of the following is the original evil image [don’t cheat]:

56517480_0253e8a44d_o

I’ll admit this isn’t anything of a precision science; and further, I was using Paint Shop Pro and not Adobe Photoshop as the original “evil” image, so I can’t expect exact results. However, the results are very telling on their own.

My conclusion:
1. There is no doubt the eye area has special attention in photoshop.
2. A pixel level editing level did not have to be done to obtain the evil image and frankly would have been tedious to get the correct balance between lighter and darker areas.

Was this intentional? Absolutely! Was it with intent to make the eyes stand out? Yes, for sure. Was it to make Condi look evil? Doubtful. This looks like more of an attempt to airbrush Condi by making her appear to have strong eyeliner and bright eyes, and a more refined presence from the blurred background.

This type of editing is fairly common, although I personally disdain it. If someone wants to sharpen contrast or lighten or darken an image, try and do so on a picture level rather than doing so on individual areas – it rarely looks ‘human’ and gets you into trouble.

For anyone thinking I’m defending the media, please note the Moron of the Week #5 article, and for anyone who thinks I have a thing for Bush and company, please read Why this Canadian supports the War in Iraq.

For those new to this site, while you are here, why not check out more of Samantha Burns. She’s a fantastically witty blogger and I’m the equivalent of the techie Igor around here.

Update: Another doctored photo has been found by Michelle Malkin and the original story found at Little Green Footballs.

For further reading on this topic and various opinions see:

Rhymes With Right
Mike’s Noise
Confederate Yankee: Photo Ethics Eludes USA Today
Steel City Cowboy: USA Today Uses the Sharpen Filter!
Independent Sources
The Anchoress
T. Longren
GM’s Corner
Viewpoint Journal
Little Green Footballs
RedState.org
Holstein Grove

Dog Condoms

Yes, I said dog condoms. I’m astounded by this one, I must say.

It seems the wonderful invention, the dog condom, was recalled because apparently, it didn’t work.

No Sh*t!

The creator of the meat-scented dog condom believes it is the owners’ fault that there were 102 unwanted dog pregnancies and 15 near-choking incidents. He apparently thought that dog owner would “place the condom on the dog before intercourse and supervise the act”.

And, what’s worse, the numpty is now working on a female dog condom that uses some type of harness mechanism.

Dude, you ever hear of spaying or neutering a pet? Sounds a lot more logical to me. And, as if animals require a romantic setting in the first place.

I don’t know, but a meat-scented dog condom??? Wouldn’t both the male and female be trying to bite the condom off the male, and wouldn’t that create a very unromantic predicament?

Nutjob.

And, why would we want our canines to go through the same embarrassing situations as Aprosexia did at the pharmacy line? Having to figure out what size they are. As an owner of the pet, do you really want to be the one to figure out what size your Great Dane’s penis is? I don’t even want to go there.

Or, do we want our pets to fear a possible sense of inadequacy when we tell the store clerk that we require a small doggy condom for our pooch?

I can’t believe this thing even got on the market in the first place. It’s ridiculous.

What’s next for doggy pleasure, this…

humping-leg

Here are some brand name condom choices for you.

Chicken Gas?

Looks like PETA will have a new item to gripe about sooner than I thought. According to SYN/ACK/FIN and 11alive.com there is a fuel called BioDiesel, which is made partly from chicken fat and partly diesel. In North Georgia, they are using this more environmentally friendly fuel to power their school buses.

That’s just great. Now I don’t know who to side with. If I say, “yay, something better for the environment” I’ll be accused of being an environmentalist, aka enviro-weenie. However, if I say, “boo, using chicken as gas” I’ll be judged as a PETA supporter.

Gosh knows I don’t want to be labelled either way, so I’ll just say, “I’m sticking to my over $1 a litre gas, wanting to bring back carburetors, and ditching this air care thing” While we’re at it, I want to wear my authentic fox fur coat in public, drink my pop in a non-biodegradable styrofoam cup, and bathe every neo-hippy I come across.

Have I missed anyone to offend? If I have, let me know. You’re on my list next.

Lack Of Freedom In Teaching?

Teachers have a tricky position in life. Their role is to bring unbiased awareness and learning to students in a way that enables children to make their own decisions in life. When it all comes down to it, teachers are to be impartial lecturers.

So, why then, did the BC Court of Appeal ruled that teachers could submit their own views about government underfunding of the education system during parent-teacher interviews, and yet, as westernstandard.ca mentions, they ruled against a BC teacher on his rights to express his opinions on homosexuality?

On the one hand, the parent-teacher interview isn’t a time when teachers are actually teaching their students, so they aren’t really expressing their views to sway their students in any one direction on the underfunding issue. And, typically, it is also a time when teachers aren’t being paid for work, so they aren’t really “on the job” at the time to be restricted to what they say and don’t say. Similarly, the BC teacher who expressed his opinions on homosexuality wasn’t really teaching his students to learn in one certain direction on the issue.

On the other hand, students are usually at the parent-teacher interviews to hear what the teacher has to say, and perhaps hearing the teacher rant about underfunding could sway the student in some way. Furthermore, the BC teacher who wrote on his opinions of homosexuality was speaking/teaching his students in a more subtle way – through the means of the media.

Related to the issue of the court’s ruling is how the decision will be maintained by the BC Teacher’s Federation. Essentially, when a teacher registers with them as a legitimate educator, s/he relinquishes basic rights and freedoms for the sake of teaching. Of course, all Canadians live within the same Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but teachers are bound to their roll in the community, and their choice to do so entails being in the constant, watchful eye of the public. Teachers are scrutinized continuously – on and off the job; and therefore, must always exemplify the qualities and morals that the community values and cherishes. If teachers are not supported by the community in their beliefs, then they are not likely to be supported by the BCTF. Hence, if teachers cry out about either underfunding or homosexuality, and the community is outraged by either of their campaigns, then the BCTF will likely favor the community’s outrage over the teachers’ dissension. Regardless of how the courts rule, the BCTF can hold precedence over the fate of the teachers.

All in all, what I’m attempting to demonstrate here is that the teachers likely had more community/societal support on campaigning about government underfunding than did the BC teacher who expressed his opinions about homosexuality.

Teaching is a difficult occupation, especially in this ever-so-sensitive society. What they say, or don’t say, can affect their careers in positive ways or in the most devastating ways. Teachers have lost their jobs over the silliest things, simply because the community, and therefore the BCTF, did not approve. The safest thing for a teacher to do is to be as impartial and unbiased as possible and to steer clear of any hot topics. In order be secure in the occupation, teachers would have to stick to the textbooks and stay out of any subject that has any relevance to real-life situations.

But then they’d have to ask themselves, is that really teaching?

Movie: Fantastic Four

I have to admit when I walked into the movie theatre I wasn’t expecting the world from this movie. The reviews were mixed, of course with all the negatives coming from reviewers who always shoot down “popcorn” films. Naturally, these reviewers have basked themselves in countless movies they lose the love of simple popcorn films.

Like all comic book movies, the first movie is always about teaching the audience about the superheroes and villains, how the characters gained superpowers, and how the characters adapt to life with those powers. This virtual fact guarantees first comic book films expend hefty portions of time on the character and less time on clobbering.

The ratio of humor to action that is in action and comic book films is probably a scientifically researched topic on the Hollywood lots. Ever since the dawn of the laugh track and perhaps even before then, Hollywood scientists have been feverishly using beakers, flasks, and questionable experiments on animals to solve the mystery of humor in television and film. The lab techies must have been on strike for the Fantastic Four, as I wasn’t sure if I was watching a comedy or an action/comic film.

But it worked! Unless your humor gland is completely fried from overdosing on reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies, you should walk away with at least a smirk from this film. The cure for the humor impaired: a good old dose of Monty Python followed by Weird Al’s UHF and cemented with the best of The Simpsons.

Now the one thing that can spoil popcorn comic book films is a reality. If you know a bit too much on genetics, cosmic radiation, space, chemistry or just about any science at all, your brain may ruin the film. Thus, note to self: “disengage brain when watching the film”. It’s a popcorn film people! Don’t expect a level of reality anything greater than a typical Michael Moore film!

So we’ve got The Thing, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the malevolent Doctor Doom. The Thing, cleverly played by Michael Chiklis, was by far the best character of the lot. The rest were almost forgettable, and even perhaps annoying in the case of Johnny Storm/Human Torch played by Chris Evans. I don’t blame the actors, the script failed them. Perhaps they’ll get another try for the Fantastic Four Sequel (yeah, like Duh, we didn’t know that was coming). Although the evil transformation of Victor Von Doom into Doctor Doom (played by Julian McMahon) was one of my favorites if you exclude the Skywalker to Darth Vadar progression.

Mr. Fantastic played by Ioan Gruffudo was about as fantastic as the early days of Microsoft Windows. Look at me, I can stretch! Wee hah. The Invisible Woman for all intents and purposes was invisible throughout the film, and the Human Torch was entertaining but annoying. Ok, so I’m being a bit harsh, they weren’t that bad. They each had a few key moments of comedy, which forgives them of their wrongdoings.

The script played out naturally, again suspending all scientific belief, in the sense that the characters were put into their situation and how they would respond folds into exactly how the script was written. Alright, I admit, the love stuff was a bit weak but for some reason, Hollywood insists on throwing in love interests into every film. Yes, the characters were feeble except The Thing and Doctor Doom, but in context, it works overall.

On the whole, if you are in the movie for a popcorn film then go see the Fantastic Four. Besides, how do you expect to be able to see the sequel which will be far more action-packed without watching the first film!

Suit Pursuit

You know what my pet peeve is right now? It’s all the suing that’s going on, primarily in the states. I know this doesn’t apply to the majority of my US friends, but a vast number of complainers are finding the craziest things to sue over. Like the old hot coffee lawsuit. Well Duh! Coffee hot. Or the recently burnt butt allegation Duh, chemical’s burn.

I mean, you wonder why society’s becoming overly sensitive, or too politically correct. EVERYONE. IS. AFRAID. OF. A. LAWSUIT. If anyone even gets a whiff of possible trouble, they backpedal and change to become more PC.

But here’s a thought (and even if this show isn’t my shot of vodka), I am very surprised that reality tv like Fear Factor still exists with all the animal and animal parts eating going on. How is it that animal rights activist groups like PETA haven’t bombarded the set with protests and caused media frenzies over the cruelty of animals? I am kind of glad that they haven’t squashed the defiant show because it demonstrates that society isn’t yet doomed to be a prudish wimp.

So, when it comes right down to it, I guess we have to ask, is it really worth it, does it really matter if a few bugs get eaten, a few buttocks get burned, or a few hands and tongues get scalded?

Please people, rethink if making money on a lawsuit or griping for the sake of hearing your own voice is really worth it.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – PC police beware

Like any parent with deferred-parenting skills might do, thumb08I took my kids to see Charlie and the chocolate factory. Having seen the original 1971 version, I have to admit I was eager to see how a great kids story would be modernized as only through the mind of Tim Burton.

Before entering the theater, I knew Tim Burton’s new film would be a bit different and likely lean towards the dark genre of films, but what I did not expect was the absolute disregard for political correctness. Being a bit of a movie buff, and having watched many old films, I’ve always enjoyed the stark contrast compared to modern films. Today’s films endorse sex, graphic language, and violence, but shy away from anything controversial, which might be condemned by the politically correct police.

This film, aimed at children, broke so many PC rules that I wish I had a scorecard just to keep up. I’m truly unsure of how Hollywood managed to sneak this film out without a protest from some activist group, especially PETA.

Picture this, a milking cow suspended in the air, while creepy Oompa Loompa’s whip the milk. Okay, a bit bizarre perhaps, but nothing that unusual, right? I mean, we all know cow’s milk is used for whipped cream. Well, the scene is much more ominous – those Oompa Loompa’s are using real whips while the cow lets out ear curdling moos. I couldn’t quite catch if they were whipping the drops of milk, or the cow itself. Why didn’t PETA break into the Hollywood set and rescue that poor cow? Think of how many retakes from how many angles that poor cow would have had to go through. What kind of message does whipping a cow send The Children(TM) on how to treat animals?

While on the whole PETA kick, I thought it’d be fair to talk about the other abused and mistreated animals: The poor digitally trained squirrels. They work in the factory sorting nuts. PETA – they work in conditions not fit for humans, let alone animals. Imagine a huge open hole in the middle of the floor where any one of these squirrels could fall down and get incinerated on Tuesday after spending the rest of its short life in a pile of garbage. The stench that rises from this hole would be unbearable. Those squirrels work in a sorting area cracking nut after nut. Where are the repetitive stress injury lawyers when you need them? Not even the Oompa Loompa’s were subjected to such working conditions. Those squirrels didn’t even have fresh water to drink from when they needed to rest. Is this the message we should be sending The Children(tm)?

To be fair, PETA shouldn’t be protesting alone. The society to protect endangered animals should have been in an uproar. If this film were properly done in the modern world, Willy Wonka would have sacrificed his life to save that obviously endangered massive insect species chasing Willy through the thick rainforest. Instead, the creature ended up as a tasty sample for the likes of Willy searching for exotic new tastes for chocolate. I ask – where is the anger?

Charlie and the Chocolate factory and the diversity PC police should have been on this one…. Imagine a whole society of Oompa Loompa’s uplifted from their native land where they lived in harmony with nature and were forced to work for cocoa beans in a massive chocolate factory. This movie should be a modern-day scandal. The whole Oompa Loompa story starts off with Willy Wonka insulting the native culinary dish of caterpillars. Next, the entire Oompa Loompa society is transported to his factory and has not been let out for years. All the while the Oompa Loompas are kept as working slaves for the evil capitalist Willy Wonka. Worse, these labourers are used for Willy Wonka’s scientific testing and experimentation. Their language is lost, their culture is lost, and their food delights are no more. How can anyone sit idly by and allow this to happen?

Union heavy Hollywood should have picketed this movie into the reject pile. An entire factory of workers is put out of work for the thievery of a few accused working class stiffs. The accusations are unproven. And clearly, a generous compensation package was not obtained after one observes the nature of Charlie’s grandfather living in a single bed with two generations of Charlie’s family, and all the while, Willy Wonka hordes the profits of his successful chocolate empire. The workers are replaced with cheap Oompa Loompa workers and are locked out of the factory forever. Why did the unionist not save Charlie’s grandfather’s job? Why did they allow such anti-union propaganda in a children’s film?

All kidding around aside, the film is uplifting in a dark, creepy way. Imagine a film that teaches morals, instead of moral relativity. Imagine a film that does not push some kind of traditional-PC agenda down children’s throats. How refreshing!

What others are saying about the movie:

Cross Blogging
Darren Barefoot
brnz.net

Open Trackback Alliance (OTA)

Click Here to See the List of Open Trackback Alliance (OTA) Members

FAQ:

1) What is the Open Trackback Alliance?

2) How does it work?

3) What are trackbacks?

4) Can I participate without becoming a member?

5) What is the presumed etiquette when trackbacking Open Trackback Alliance members?

6) What’s the best way to link to an Open Trackback Alliance member’s article without making my article looking silly?

7) Where can I find all those who belong to the Open Trackback Alliance?

8) How do I become a member of the Open Trackback Alliance?

9) How do I get trackbacks working with my software or how can I make trackbacks display on my front page?

10) Can I display the Open Trackback Alliance blogroll on my blog?

1) What is the Open Trackback Alliance?

Are you tired of seeing?

I’m an
Insignificant Pond Scum Spore
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Or how about?

photoLast updated when the dinosaurs were king
By Samantha Burns
Technorati Rank: 9,322,322,443,123 (0 links from 0 sites)

The Open Trackback Alliance helps your blog ranking grow by increasing the links between each other’s blogs and showcasing articles on one another’s sites.

You can grow by one of two ways:

a) Become a member of the Open Trackback Alliance; or

b) Participating with Open Trackback Alliance members when they articles which have open trackbacks.

The entire concept is to encourage bloggers to showcase their best recent articles on other blogs which may not otherwise recognize or know about their works.

Open Trackback Alliance members have agreed to create an open article at least once a week, which anyone can create a link to their own blog articles via a mechanism called “pinging”. The link that is created by pinging is called a “trackback”.

The two goals are:
a) Showcase your articles on each other’s blogs to build traffic

b) Create links to each other’s blogs to raise each other’s rankings

2) How does it work?

If you want to be known, you have to get links to your site and promote your articles. This isn’t always the easiest task as you are at the mercy of others to link to you. The members of the Open Trackback Alliance have all agreed to post an open article each week which you can place a link to your own articles by “pinging” their article.

To grow in rank you must increase the number of links to your blog from fellow bloggers and to grow your traffic you have to get your blog known. The more other bloggers link to your blog, the more you grow in both linkage and traffic.

Further, how popular you get as a blogger is based on the quality of your work and how well your work relates to others and ultimately getting your name and work known by other bloggers and readers.

For your ranking, not all links are equal, as some links between TTLB and Technorati are counted differently. The TTLB uses a robot that scan’s the front page of blogs for links to other bloggers. Technorati scans articles after they are published for links to other blogs but does not scan the front page for links (unless the front page is the only location where an article is published).

Open Trackback Alliance members will let you freely trackback to your own articles, even if the article is completely unrelated. Open Trackback Alliance members have all agreed to post a link to your article in their article as well as the front page of their blog for a period of time. In exchange, all you have to do is a link to them in your article. This helps both parties since you get a link from them and they get a link from you.

Update: TTLB may not count inline trackbacks as part of the TTLB ranking score. The goal is not to ‘cheat’ the system, but as a method to gain exposure and thus indirectly gain linkage which will count towards that score. Besides, the most important thing for your blog is not your ranking but your readership and quality of your work. A high rank without quality and readership is not valuable.

You can assist automated robots from not counting trackbacks as part of ranking and scoring by putting rel=”nofollow” on click here links. This also prevents spammers from any search engine ranking gains should they get past spam filters and a trackback link makes it to their site.

3) What are trackbacks?

The best way to explain it is to give an example. Let’s say while reading another blog you discover an article you want to write about. In your own article, you decide to link to the original article.

Example on your blog named “BooYa”:
Time For a Trim

I found this really great article on nose hair clipping at John Doe’s blog. Dude, you need a lawn mower, not a razor!

Meanwhile on John Doe’s blog:
Aunt Butterfinger’s Nose Hairs

If you click here you can see a gross picture of my aunt’s nose hairs which she has asked me to help trim.

Linked by:
Time for a Trim [by BooYa]

In the above example, John Doe did not originally link to you. However, you linked to John Doe from your blog and sent John Doe’s article a trackback “ping”. This lets John Doe’s auto-publishing blog tools know that you’ve linked to his blog’s article. In return for the favor of linking to him, his auto-publishing blog tools will automatically place a link to you from his blog.

Unfortunately, the spammers got wind of this trick and send fake trackback “pings” to bloggers and obviously, they have no intention of linking to any blogger and are not doing anyone any favor. As such, most trackback “pings” are moderated, i.e. they are approved before they are sent live to prevent spammers from getting any links. Further, trackbacks etiquette requires that you link to the article you are trackbacking from before the blogger will add a trackback link to your article.

Although somewhat dated, the best trackback primer and trackback for beginners explanation can be found on Movable Type’s website.

4) Can I participate without becoming a member?

Of course, yes. Not all bloggers have tools that will handle trackback pings. Not all bloggers are able to display their trackbacks on their blog’s front page. Not all bloggers will commit to placing an open trackback post on their site once a week. Thus only a subset of bloggers will actually be able to become Open Trackback Alliance members.

However, you can participate by linking your articles to member’s Open Trackback Alliance articles and send a trackback “ping” to the Open Trackback Alliance articles you link to your article. Pinging is an automatic method of letting another blogger know that you have linked to them so they can easily add a trackback to your article. BE SURE TO READ THE PRESUMED TRACKBACK ETIQUETTE BELOW!

Even if your blog publishing software does not support trackback “pinging”, you can still ping open Trackback Alliance members’ articles manually. You can use:
http://kalsey.com/tools/trackback/

Wizbang Standalone Trackback Pinger

H/T: The In-Sect, Diane’s Stuff

5) What is the presumed etiquette when trackbacking Open Trackback Alliance members?

a) You are registered with TTLB and ping to Technorati. Sign up for TTLB and make sure you have Technorati configured properly for your blog editor (or manually “ping” Technorati if you need).

b) You must have a functioning link to the article on the site you are tracking back from in your article. If you don’t link to the Open Trackback Alliance member’s article that you are tracking back from, the trackback will be deleted 99.9% of the time.

c) Be patient. Many Open Trackback Alliance members will moderate trackbacks before sending them live because evil spammers use trackbacks to link to their evil spam sites. Trackbacks are meant for bloggers, not spammers.

d) Respect the trackback policy of the Open Trackback Alliance member. Some members don’t want left or right leaning bloggers’ links. Their site; their rules. You may not like those rules, but you must obey them.

6) What’s the best way to link to an Open Trackback Alliance member’s article without making my article looking silly?

You can do the linking in one of two ways

a) Inside your article, put a cleverly disguised link; or

b) At the end of your article, add a line that lists all the articles you are linking to and in turn trackbacking from. Not only is it compact and clean looking, it doubles by making you look important. Wow, fancy that. For example:

Linked to: Bunny Bones; The Last Known Cannibal; Elvis Is Dead; Some VIP;

7) Where can I find all those who belong to the Open Trackback Alliance?

The stable link can be found at:
http://www.samanthaburns.com/ota/members.html

This stable link will redirect to the page-de-jour.

8) How do I become a member of the Open Trackback Alliance?

Before you can become an Open Trackback Alliance member, you must make sure your blog has the ability to display trackbacks links on the front page of your blog. The only exception allowed is if you are willing to manually transfer the trackbacks into your article (which by all means is a pain in the royal.. well you get the idea).

When I say the front page, the preferred location is directly below each article that has trackbacks on the front page of your blog and not via a link to another page that displays the trackbacks.

If your blog is not capable of this feature and you aren’t willing to manually transfer trackbacks at the end of your article then you may still participate by trackbacking to Open Trackback Alliance members but your name will not be added to the Open Trackback Alliance members’ list.

While I would love for anyone to be added to this members list, I simply cannot pollute the list with those who have blog publishing software which is technically incapable of allowing you to participate as an alliance member.

If your blog can display trackbacks on the main page, send cash to P.O. Box 1223… Just KIDDING! It’s free, but you have to follow a few simple steps:

a) Sign up for TTLB and make sure you have Technorati configured properly for your blog editor (or manually ping if you need).

b) Choose a graphic to put up on your main blog page. Upload the picture to your own blog site (right mouse click and save as…) and do not hot-link as I will not be held responsible should your image link stop functioning as these image locations are not guaranteed to be stable. (Resize legibly as needed)

60300914_3d5d3aa1b3_o

63132495_0d187dd116_o
63126210_cf86211d09_t
63126210_cf86211d09_t
63131559_020f315907_o

Open Trackback Alliance

c) Link the image to the stable URL:
http://www.samanthaburns.com/ota/faq.html

Quick HTML code:
Open Trackback Alliance

d) Make all trackbacks to your articles show up on the front page of your page as they are sent live and not just in the article details. The entire mechanism falls apart if you do not follow this step.

e) E-mail OTA with the information listed below. That is ota followed by @ (the at symbol) followed by samanthaburns.com. Sorry, have to do it that way because of evil spammers.

i) Your blog name:
ii) Your blog URL:
iii) Blog description [OPTIONAL] (1 line cut n’ paste only – use spell check please – shows when the mouse hovers over blogroll link):
iiI) Which day of the week (M,T, W, Th, F, Sat or Sun) will you typically be doing your open trackback posting:

Please allow a few days to process your request. If you don’t hear a reply, feel free to e-mail again as perhaps your e-mail was seen as spam and filtered (apologies in advance).

Make sure you have your OTA image, link, and proper trackbacking system ready before you an e-mail as I will not put any blog up that does not follow these basic steps. Additionally, do not expect a reply e-mail to simple requests to be added. Instead, check the Open Trackback Alliance Blogroll for your blog to be added in a few days after your request.

* NOTE: E-mail addresses will remain private.

9) How do I get trackbacks working with my software or how can I make trackbacks display on my front page?

I’m afraid I’m not an expert in every software publishing tool around. I can, however, tell you a few points. First, make sure you are comfortable modifying your blog’s templates. If you are not – DO NOT DO IT! Second, make sure you have a backup and are able to revert your blog’s templates if you make a mistake.

a) For Movable Type, this is the code Sam uses on her blog:

 

The following articles have trackbacked this article:

<$MTPingTitle$> [by <$MTPingBlogName$>]

 

Placed inside the … tags. All I can say is read the instructions on how to edit templates, and make sure you have a backup in case you screw up.

b) WordPress uses a plugin, but I don’t know how – sorry.

But thanks to Robinik.net for this comment:

To show the trackbacks in the post body you need two different plugins.
i) The first is Inline trackback: Save the file to your computer, remove the final “s” in the extension (the name of the file must be inline-trackbacks.php) upload to your plugin folder and activate it by a control panel.

ii) The second is PHP Exec (click the link to find the plugin and explanation). Upload and activate this plugin too.

iii) Now when you want to show the tb in your post you have to copy and paste this code where you want they appear.

Note: The link to inline-trackback you’ve posted below do not work (they are old) and the plugin will not work without the second plugin; both won’t work if the user does not write the code above.

Point Five has been using a WordPress plugin found here:

http://simplykimberly.com/2005/11/03/wp-plugin-inline-trackbacks-20/

Diane’s Stuff has been using a plugin for WordPress as well. Perhaps if you are really nice and send them some traffic they might share their secret on how they made it work.

c) If you don’t have trackbacks, you can use Haloscan.

I found this link on how to get Haloscan working for trackbacks only (so you don’t have to convert your comments):
http://www.haloscan.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=4418

Further, I found this article started on how to embed haloscan trackbacks into your articles:
http://www.haloscan.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=6097

… although I have no idea how it works or how clean you can make them display. You might just end up preferring the manual method if it’s really ugly.

UPDATE: As of now, I have not found anyway to cleanly display auto trackbacks from Haloscan on the main page without making a royal mess. As such, if you use them I recommend manual transference of trackbacks from the weekly OTA articles into the article itself. If anyone has a good idea of how to do it cleanly (where the links will count and be scanned), let me know and I’ll either be glad to link to an article on your site or put the information here directly.

d) Anything else, I’m sorry, I just don’t have advice for you! If you do, I’d be happy to share this information in the FAQ.

10) Can I display the Open Trackback Alliance blogroll on my blog?

Yes, of course, but this is completely OPTIONAL.

Quick HTML code if you want to display the Open Trackback Alliance blogroll to your site: