I noticed today that Ghostery was blocking a couple of web trackers on this site. I hate these things and would never knowingly have them running on my own site so I had to do a bit of exploring to find out where they were coming from.

A Google search led to WordPress’s own site where I discovered that they are including a Quantcast tracker in the Stats plugin part of Jetpack. It seems there is no option to turn this off which I find reprehensible. I’ve turned WordPress Stats off.

After reloading the front page I found the two trackers, including Quantcast, were still being loaded and blocked. I was stumped. I turned off all plugins to see if any of those was the source. Nope. Still there.

I was clicking through various site pages to see if it was the same for them all when it struck me that the dodgy trackers were only appearing on pages that included embeds from Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Sure enough I found out from the respective sites that they do include third party trackers in their embed codes.

I hate this kind of thing and it really annoyed to find out that this site was, indirectly, being used by them. I’ll be linking to pages, instead of embedding, from now on if I want to share something from those sites.


prog award votes

It’s the time of the year again when we get to pick from a limited pool of artists/events in the Prog Magazine Awards. There are a few strange additions to the nominees which smack of commercial pressure more than a genuine reason for them being there. It’s all good publicity for the magazine and the music though so I’m taking part again and here are my votes for this year.

Limelight Award – A Formal Horse

Vanguard Award – Trojan Horse

Anthem – Wassail by Big Big Train. Once again the Big Big Train song is the only one that could be called an “anthem” in my opinion.

Live Event – The Enid Present the Bridge. No contest really.

Album Of The Year – Hand Cannot Erase by Steven Wilson. Best of the nominees by far. Could change in the real end of year poll though.

Band/Artist Of The Year – Steven Wilson is the only nominee I could vote for here rather predictably. I’ve never heard of one of the bands nominated.

The Storm Thorgerson Grand Design Award – Starless Box Set by King Crimson. The deluxe edition of Hand Cannot Erase was a very close second choice