Some site upgrades

I have a couple of things to mention that are unrelated but that both fall under the category of Making the Site Better.

First, I’ve gotten better at recording the podcasts for “In the Dark” and “Snide Remarks.” Maybe you listened when I first launched them back in December, thought, “Good heavens, was he recording this on an airplane runway?,” and never listened again. I would not blame you.

But as I’ve gotten more practice with them, I’ve found new ways to improve the sound quality. Specifically, I stopped using the lousy microphone I had lying around and started using my iMac’s built-in mic instead. It’s actually better than the one I paid money for, especially when I choose the “use ambient noise reduction” setting. There is a noticeable improvement in quality between the podcasts now and the podcasts a couple months ago. So you might give ’em another try.

Second, you might have noticed that we’ve added some Google ads on most of the site’s pages (although not here on the blog, yet). This isn’t Making the Site Better so much as it’s Making the Site More Profitable. It should be a fairly innocuous addition — the days of complaining about the very existence of ads on websites seem to be behind us — but let me know if there are problems. We might still change things around a little.

There also might be a few stray articles whose formatting has been messed up by the slightly modified layout, so e-mail me if you see one. Also, if you notice ads that are inappropriate, or that you think I wouldn’t want on my site, please e-mail me. I can block specific ads if I know about them. Otherwise, Google chooses them automatically based on the text in the article.

Google’s official policy says I’m not allowed to encourage people to click on the ads just for the sake of doing it. I’m not supposed to tell you to click them for any reason other than that you’re actually interested in them, even though if you do click them, I get a few pennies. I don’t want to incur Google’s wrath, so we’ll leave it there.