Steve gets fame :)

Just a quickie to record for eternal posterity (ooer) Steve’s little bit of fame :) IR35 Article



In response to our note about Comet Cursor and Spyware we received an email from Serenity suggesting a site that can help remove it from your system.

The URL is:

I haven’t investigated it yet so you’re on your own but I thought it would be helpful to pass it on – thanks to Serenity for the information!


TalkBack and a Request

TalkBack Article #1, on the topic of Internet Advertising is now online. The link to it is on the front page – have a read and let us know what you think (the email address is This is the first article and so all constructive criticism gratefully accepted to help us ensure that TalkBack becomes a high quality and interesting addition to the site!

The next issue I am hestitant to bring up, I feel like i’m bringing a box of dynamite up to a raging fire. I’m going to do it anyway and hope that people can understand what words like ‘suggest’ and ‘request’ mean :)

At Atomic Systems we do not recommend the use of Comet Cursor on diaries. There, i’ve come right out and said it. Does this mean you can’t? No it doesn’t. Does it mean we’re going to be grumpy at you? No, it doesn’t. Can someone cause you problems if they complain to us about you using it? No, not at all. There’s no censorship issue here, there’s no freedom of speech issue, we’re not stopping anyone doing anything. (Geez I said one sentence and then followed it with a paragraph of notes and justifications hehehe).

Comet Cursor has many problems, these are all my personal opinion although many people share them with me.

Firstly, some of the cursors are just plain horrible. They don’t always reset after leaving the site either, some people tell me they have to reset their machine to get their cursor set back to something sensible. I have my machine set to scream at me if anything even breathes about installing on my machine so it doesn’t get a look-in, it’s still a pain to click “no” at the ‘do you want to install’ screen but I can live with it.

It’s so-called ‘Spy Ware’. This means that, and I’ve only heard and read about this from entirely unofficial sources, it is tracking everything you do, every site you visit while it is running – and this information is sent to their server. What they do with it I don’t know but something just doesn’t smell quite right about that kind of behaviour to me.

So we therefore extend our recommendation that if you are considering putting it on your web page, that you choose not to.


The final say….

OK, discussion closed. I was prepared to listen to people. I was prepared to treat everyone as adult. What a mistake. I’m bitterly disappointed that people can support us to our faces and then diss us when it suits by leaving comments in other people’s diaries.

If you’re so two faced that you can do that, you’ll lie about other things too.

Now this is the deal. And this goes for anyone, remember when you read this that we make no money from this. We’re not your average corporation that will bend and twist and do what you want. We’re providing an environment for people that we feel is decent and honest and moral.

If you don’t like that, take your stuff, clear out your entries and fuck off.

Really. Thats it. WE refuse to pussyfoot around you any more. Its been coming for a long time, but sorry, YOU know the deal when you click that I accept your terms button. You KNOW we’re based on morals here and that you can’t use your diary for immoral purposes. Supplying porn to children is immoral. Supplying porn to adults is not. If you can’t handle that, go to the paragraph above.

Thats final. NO more discussion. This is not and never was a democracy so get a grip on reality. And just in case anyone is unclear, swearing does not constitute making your diary sodding adult, OK?

Those that are moral and decent have nothing to worry about. This is OUR living room folks. If I came to your living and pissed on the sofa you’d get pretty annoyed. Thats what you do to us every day with your immoral claptrap and suddenly the rooms getting a bit stinky and we’re not having it any more. This is a house thats child friendly and we implement things that we decide is for the benefit of those who have decency and morality. The rest should be outside in the cold. Good bye.

Steve, Matt and Les.

Oh, and to reply to Daffy, thats the next step. One that we have mentioned we would look into as the next step. If we could quit writing this shit and justifying our every decision, we might be able to get on with it.

Answers to Sobriquet

A few comments back to Sobriquet’s questions and comments:

is using swear words a marker of an adult text?

how explicit in detail will you have to go (in terms of sexual content) in order to be deemed ‘adult’?

what is the criteria here?

..and then there is the censorship issue.

We don’t have one and we won’t even attempt to try and write down what is and what is not adult. We will see what complaints we receive and we will talk to the diarist if such complaints do come in to decide on a mutually amicable solution. It would be completely wrong for us to determine what is and what is not suitable for children but at the end of the day we are responsible for providing mechanisms that can be used to protect them. That’s what we’re aiming for.

..but I think that adult warning messages are a good indicator that warns of content..

if someone still WANTS to view it later then that is their perrogative…

According to the Communications Decency Act (CDA) in the US it isn’t their perrogative and if these measures weren’t in place a parent could sue us for extraordinary large amounts of money. Check out the Wired article LisaMarie found for us earlier, it has a link to the CDA for more information.

For readers/writers outside the US, I don’t know what international agreements/laws there are and I am not about to spend weeks researching it – with this mechanism in place we are pretty well covered by the law in that if a parent complains we can positively act on the complaint. That is our policy on this matter.

I don’t think that there are people at dd that write “pornography” in order to arouse children…

I seriously doubt that myself, I would be incredibly surprised if people were writing for that goal – but the problem is not whether or not that you intended to sexually arouse a child but the fact that you might have unwittingly, then that parent comes beating on our door and we come beating on yours.

I think we have to we’re talking about this..that just because someone writes about sexually explicit material..doesn’t necessarily make them a bad person or anything..

that may just be their diary..their thoughts..

We totally agree. There’s nothing wrong with writing those things and there’s nothing wrong with anyone wanting to write them either. Nothing at all. It’s part of who we are and we are not trying to hide or censor that fact.

having said that…perhaps diaries that ONLY centre themselves around detailing sexual escapades should be in the adult section…while others that happen to mention it once in a while should just be treated as normal diaries and should have warning messages for individual entries..

These are the ones we are mostly aiming to get moved into the Adult section, we’re not targetting anyone who isn’t squeaky clean (if we were, we might just as well have put Adult Verifier on the entire site, let’s be honest!) – we’re targetting those who are anything but squeaky clean :)

As far as the occasional entry, we will be bringing on the ability to flag individual entries as Adult very shortly and this solves the problem nicely. People can still write everything they want to and if they want to go Adult once in a while then they can just flag that entry as Adult and not worry about their whole diary going that way.

I personally object to using a credit card to vertify age..

I think that there are enough issues of safety and security on the net without having to worry about not only your thoughts being out there…but for a crafty hacker..your home address and details…

and then there are those people who don’t have credit cards at all..

are they to be excluded from owning a diary?

Who said anything about stopping people writing? This is about reading. Indeed there’s nothing in any of these measures to stop a 13 year old writing sexually explicit material in their diary, we aren’t about censorship but we are about sensible controls. Diarists do not need an AVS account at all to do whatever they wish with their own diary, if you do then that’s a bug and you need to tell us. The AVS system is solely to make it harder (I won’t be so bold as to say ‘stop’) for minors to read that material – these measures are sufficient such that we would be covered legally, if people want to trade usernames and passwords and risk their AVS account being immediately terminated then that’s your choice (although we strongly recommend you don’t do that, they spot it very quickly and you will lose your AVS account without any come-back).

I hope the issue gets sorted out so that it pleases everyone..

Sadly I doubt that will happen, but hopefully we can please the majority :-)

I think you do a great job here..

and it’s very gallant of you to think about the children in this way..

Many thanks and as always, thank you for all the feedback we’re receiving.