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Dear Spammers,

Posted 2012.11.15 9.21 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Dear spammers,

I sincerely wish that all of you would be burned alived.

That is, I don’t think ‘die in a fire’ is specific enough (you’d likely expire from smoke inhalation before you had the chance to burn.)

I don’t just mean one kind of spam or another. Email spam, website comment spam, fax machine spam, telephone marketers, and hell even the snailmail kind of spam (unsolicited admail I think they call it? Junkmail?) At least with junkmail it cost you assholes money to send us each piece of annoyance, but thanks to the internet you can now annoy everyone almost for free.

You leaches do nothing but clog up the systems with useless noise that serves no-one but yourselves.

So please, for the good of all humanity, may you all burn to death.

 

Numbers

Posted 2010.03.12 11.48 in Computers/Internet/Technology

A hundred thousand hits. Wow. The 100,000th page hit came in sometime in the last 30 hours or so. There was no fanfare, it just happened. During the night probably.

On the one hand, it’s not too great an accomplishment when you consider I’ve been counting hits since around autumn 2005. On the other hand, over 60% of the hits have come in the last year or so!

My memory is not the greatest, but I think it was around this time last year that I migrated my whole site over to WordPress. Then it was some time after that, when I built my Simple Counter plugin. I didn’t bother to make note of when I had the 0.1alpha version up and running on my site, but it was probably in spring of 2009.

Whenever it was, my counter was around 37,000ish, when I moved it over into the Simple Counter plugin. So however you slice it, that’s over 60,000 hits since moving the whole shebang into WordPress. Pretty nifty.

Some other interesting numbers:

  • My Lasers subsection has gone over 400,000 hits. Lots of geeks out there like shiney, dangerous things. I know, I’m one of them.
  • Much to my surprise, my Knife-Making page has proved to be rather popular; indeed it is second only to the Lasers section in popularity.
  • Since I started using Akismet, it has blocked over 10,000 spam comments.
  • I’ve published 678 posts, and 65 pages on this site.
  • There have been 328 comments posted.

Other pointless info: Lately most of the spam has started with the word “Porno!” which is wierd, you’d think spammers would have guessed this word might raise alarm bells. Unless it’s reverse psychology…

So that’s about it for the gosh-numbers I guess.

Thank you all who come and read my crazy babbling. I invite you to leave comments, sign the guestbook, or share your opinions on whatever posts catch your interest.

Just don’t open your comment with the word “Porno!” 😀

Cheers!

No Phone

Posted 2010.01.11 13.02 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Family/Friends

Well I thought it over and rolled it around in my head and then went ahead and cancelled my phone line this morning.

My mum was a bit wierded about it, and I guess I am feeling a bit wierded too. I’m sure it’s the ‘new reality’ or a part thereof. It’s just, at the end of the day, who can justify spending $45 per month, for a handful of real phone calls and a hundred or so spam calls?

The phone company rep was all trying to convince me to stay, but I explained that there was no problem or complaint with the service – I just don’t use it. And I can’t stand the ringing of the spammers.

Appearantly there is a new Call Privacy feature (for the low-low price of $6.95 per month) that lets you block up to eleven numbers from ever calling you again. And I did contemplate that before giving the final plug-pulling approval. It’s just – that’s another $7 plus tax every month, putting my bill over $50 per month, and it only blocks 11 spammers.

If it were the opposite, i.e. you could put in 11 numbers that are allowed to call, then I might have gone for it. Like, punch in my ‘friend list’ and nobody else but them could call? I’d have tried that I think. But eleven is too low a number, for $7 per month. They ought to look into something like a ‘friend list’ though – like with Skype or iChat or ICQ or any of those free IM things, you can set it so that nobody can call you unless they’re on your list. Crazy that free services have this function but expensive commercial services do not.

So the plug gets pulled tomorrow. I did agree to reserve the number for a year, incase I change my mind. We’ll see. Like I said, it feels a bit wierd. I guess I’m old-school enough yet, that you just assume everyone has a ‘real’ phone.

I know that ‘everyone’ doesn’t though – I’ve started seeing the alarm companies advertising that you can get monitoring even if you don’t have a home phone. That’s new. Part of the ‘new reality’ thing again, right?

Battle of teh Interwebz Ads

Posted 2009.12.22 17.57 in Computers/Internet/Technology

I don’t even remember where I was surfing when I spotted these two ads on the edge of my screen. Normally my filters are very good at blanking this stuff out so that I can no longer see it, but when something comes along that is funny or ironic, the filters know enough to pop it into my awareness.

So here’s two ads offering quick ways for people to earn lots of money. I’ve underlined the bits that I thought were funny at the time.

It might not be so funny now, I’m not sure.

Anyhow, I have to question the whole concept – I mean, if these people have proven ways to make money, why would they want to share them? I mean, just do it yourself and then you have all teh moneez!

 

Boring Spam

Posted 2009.09.30 19.36 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Once or twice a day I check the blob’s spam queue. There’s always at least a couple, sometimes a dozen or more spam comments. They accumulate steadily. Most of them are aimed at the guestbook, I guess it’s like a spam magnet. Now and then there’ll be one turn up under a current post, but more often if they are going for a blob post it’ll be something a few months old.

I always gloss over them, just incase there’s a false positive. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I get angry with the spammers. Wasting so much bandwidth, polluting the internet with their slime. Even when I’m not angry, I still would like them to all rot in hell. If all the spammers came down with rectal brain cancer (only affects asshats), nobody would be too upset.

Anyhow, most of the time I’m not angry. Sometimes there’ll be an interesting spam or something new. Once there was one that was funny enough to make me laugh.

Mostly though it’s the same old boring stuff. I’m bored. Spam is boring. Why can’t they show some creativity? Some wit?

Since I put Akismet up, there’ve been over 3,500 spams. I think most of them get killed before I see them, but of the ones that I do see in the spam queue, I’d say they break down like this: 70% are selling viagara or similar drugs. 15% are offering free naked pictures of people whom I presume are celebrities although I don’t recognize the names. Lately about 5% have been for cheap cigarettes, then the remaining 5% are the ‘miscelleneous’ ones, that either I can’t decypher, couldn’t be bothered figuring out, or don’t fit in the above categories.

I don’t see cheap mortgage offers any more – interest rates are so low that the banks probably have better rates than the spammers. One of the more unusual spams I saw was for Russian-made airguns.

All-in-all though, spammers seem to be very lazy and have just one main focus. Though it makes me wonder – is the male half of the population really that desperate for an erection? Is there really that big a market for viagara and naked pictures? And I guess, they need a smoke afterwards?

What does that say about our society, our species?

2,000 Spams and Counting

Posted 2009.09.07 9.45 in Computers/Internet/Technology

About a month ago, I made some changes to the way comments work here. Formerly, a Captcha needed to be decyphered to post a comment, and then every comment needed to be approved. I was aware that this was a less-than-perfect way of handling things, but those effing spammers have made life difficult for folks wanting to run a clean wholesome interactive blog.

Spam, spam, spamAnyhow, back to the changes. I knew my system was imperfect but it took some reading before I decided it was time to make changes. I removed the Captcha completely, and replaced it with Akismet. I also changed the moderation method so that rather than every single comment requiring approval, only brand-new commenters would have to be approved. Returning readers would get the green-light automatically.

In that time, Akismet has blocked over 2,000 spams from appearing, with only a single spam comment getting through – and even then, it did not appear on the site, it went into the moderation queue as a new commenter.

Now that comment spam is being effectively blocked, I find that it doesn’t irritate me as much as it did before. It still annoys, and I hate spammers with the passion of a thousand firey nuns, but now when I look in the spam queue, I find sometimes I get a laugh at some of the BS that these bots and lowlifes ‘write’.

Captcha Out, Akismet In

Posted 2009.08.07 23.16 in Computers/Internet/Technology

I’ve been trying to streamline things recently, without opening the door up too wide for the ^*&%(@ spammers. Just to give you an idea of how much these bastards hammer the internet, I turned off the Captcha thingy on the comments, and in 30 minutes there were three spam comments in the queue. These aren’t people roaming around looking for blogs to pollute, these are programs that people (I use the term loosely) have created to slime around looking for blogs to soil.

A captcha helps stop much of the automated spam but it doesn’t do anything to stop spam created by something like a mechanical turk, and unfortunately, a captcha also tends to stop at least some real legitimate comments. Some people are turned off by them, or have trouble reading them.

I had been avoiding Akismet despite its free nature and being bundled with WordPress, because in order to use it you have to register with WordPress.com – and I don’t like registering for things that I don’t really want… it seems redundant to register with a hosted blog site when I’m self hosting everything here. Still, I want my blog to be as open and accessable as possible, but I don’t want to spend an hour every day going through dozens or hundreds of spam comments and trackbacks. So I’m giving Akismet a try, to see how it goes.

I’ve also retweaked the other settings (and fixed a flaw in my theme) so that A) previously approved commenters do not have to wait for moderation any more, and B) replies and comment threading now works properly.

Cheers!