I've been rather distressed by the way comments had disappeared from my entries – there have been some really good comments, often pithy, funny, and/or informative. Also some of my entries have been responses to comments and make less sense without the precipitating reference.
The disappearance seemed to have occurred when Blogger added a comment engine after the purchase by Google – I thought the two events were somehow related. However, it turns out that Haloscan has been holding my readers' comments hostage. I'm now looking forward to their safe return in 24 hours, having just paid the $12 ransom.
Of course, they'd told me up front that, with the free service, there were no guarantees. And since I was being fairly nonchalant about the whole blogging thing, I didn't bother to make my own back-ups – in the unlikely event that I suddenly felt compelled to play with programming my own engine. Still, to kidnap a product and offer it back for a heretofore unannounced fee seems a new twist on bait and switch
specific to our "Information Age" – which I feel certain will be referred to mockingly in the future as the "Disinformation Age".