I read news articles about AI threatening humanity and how we’ll all be eaten by robots and I scoff. I wasn’t not scoffing when that same AI came along and took a bite out of my arse.
In a bout of smug self-satisfaction, sometime last Tuesday, I had another look at the opening page of TotenUniverse.com It’s beautiful, lovely and I’m proud of it. And there, right in the middle of the homepage banner was an advertisement for get.blog.com
I was in a cafe at the time and luckily there were no blunt instruments within reach because you would have been reading about ‘man goes berserk in suburban supermarket rampage.’ My first thought was which c****s are responsible for this?
The ad, a big turquoise box, only appeared on totenuniverse.com, not totenuniverse.wordpress.com which led me to think it was the domain providers: GoDaddy. Further investigation revealed get.blog to be a WordPress service. Suspicion fell on the web hosts.
The ad only appeared on my phone using Chrome, so was obviously targeted by some vicious bastard algorithm. I contacted WordPress who agreed it was an odd place to stick an ad, but because I was on a free hosting plan, I had to live with it. The day after I coughed up £13 and upgraded the site to a personal plan, flushing the ads down the toilet.
I’m prepared to live with ads on WordPress if they appear in a discreet location and don’t advertise anything I’m fundamentally opposed to like, for example, corporate gambling. But sticking them like graffiti on a banner image!
The problem here was the web architecture of the Maisha theme. The panel on the homepage banner is technically a ‘page.’ (The banner being the ‘featured image’ to all of you who use WordPress.) In this scenario, when WordPress’s algorithms decides to put an ad on your home ‘page,’ Maisha users will find that ad where I found it; all over Dee Vincent’s face.
I contacted Anarial Design, the developers of the Maisha theme to warn them of this anomaly. They didn’t care. Upgrade to a personal plan, they said. Well fuck you Anarial Design. Your theme is beautiful, but you’ll find I’m not the only one who’ll check their phone in a cafe and find an ugly ad in the middle of the panel-that-is-a-page. I wasn’t blaming them, simply warning them that the structure of the theme makes this vandalism possible.
And having sorted that out, Createspace is now telling me the cover PDF for There Will Be Blood can only be one page. One page! It is only one page. Error messages often bear no relation to the error, so I’ll have to figure it out myself what the Createspace robot is unhappy with.*
And to think these things and their perfect logic are going to be driving cars on their own.
*Update: I was trying to upload the PDF manuscript instead of the PDF artwork. Hence the multiple page warning. And to think I’m allowed to drive a car on my own!