the voice of reason

It's a really damned scary place, where I'm the one speaking calmly and acting as the voice of reason. It's happened rather more frequently than I'm comfortable with lately, both online and off. I don't know if it's "the economy", or the shorter days, or something else, but some people seem to have collectively lost their sense of rationality and humour. If you read a post by someone online, don't jump immediately to paint them as EVIL!...

November 21, 2008 · 2 min

Sustained Wiki Spam Attack

wiki.ucalgary.ca has been under a sustained spam attack all day. What started out as a minor irritation has grown into something that is impossible to ignore. The spammer is somehow getting around both Bad Behavior and Spam Blacklist extensions (I've blacklisted their URLs, but they keep getting edits into the system). This is one of the more frustrating aspects of trying to do things in an open manner. If there is the slightest possibility that something will be subverted for spamilicious purposes, it will be....

March 10, 2006 · 1 min

Yet Another Wiki Spam Attack

Over the weekend, wiki.ucalgary.ca got hammered by a(n apparently) coordinated and distributed spam barrage. Hundreds of pages hit, new pages created, talk namespaces crapped into, etc... I think I saw part of it happen in "real time" - I was watching a movie with Evan, with my Powerbook plugged into our TV (the only DVD player in the house), and every now and then I heard the system beep. After the movie ended, I saw the Watchmouse monitoring page for wiki....

December 12, 2005 · 2 min

Travel ranting

This is the one where I rant/vent about my flight down. I'm blogging this from 30,000' for therapeutic reasons... It wasn't a bad trip down at all, and I'm seriously not complaining about being sent to San Francisco for a couple of days of meetings, but man some people are just ignorant enough to deserve a full-fledged ranting... OK. I wake up at 3:20am - alarm's set for 4 - and realize with a shudder that it's only 2:20am Pacific time, but I can't sleep the morning I have to fly anywhere....

November 29, 2005 · 6 min

Wiki spamroaches

They sure are persistent little buggers. I think I've reverted about 50 pages of wiki spam in the last week, on 2 wikis. The little cretins just won't take a clue. They're just smart enough to be able to switch or spoof IP addresses to get around the blocks and bans, but not quite smart enough to realize that I won't let them win. And, looking at my Referrer Karma blacklist, there are spamroach URLs in there that make even me blush....

October 6, 2005 · 2 min

Spam Karma2 Rocks

Spam Karma 2 just keeps on chugging away, protecting my blog from the scum sucking spam roaches of the world. The roaches are getting marginally more intelligent - starting to try to game the spam blockers. In the wee hours of the morning, some spammer from somewhere in Asia tried to get onto some kind of whitelist by posting a couple of innocuous comments - with no bad links or scary words....

September 22, 2005 · 1 min

Bandwidth "theft"

I just found a new site in my referrer stats - someone trying to customize Mambo to have a Kubrick-based theme rather strongly inspired by my (and Cole's) tweaks to it. That's cool. Have at'er. But, it's not cool to just go ahead and use the images directly off of my server. Sorry for being a jerk about it, but I don't feel the need to use part of my bandwidth allocation so you don't have to bother copying my files to your server to use them in your site....

August 16, 2005 · 2 min

Scoble: Unsubscribed

I've been subscribing to Scoble's feed since shortly before NorthernVoice2005. He's been an interesting source of info and opinion, but he's also afflicted with a strong case of braggadocio regarding "secrets" that he's privy to [1, 2, 3]. That pisses me off. If you know a "secret", even just acknowledging that there is a secret is betraying that trust. Like it or not, Robert, when you signed on with MS, that was part of the deal....

July 24, 2005 · 2 min

Email Autoreply Considered Harmful

I intentionally refuse to set an email autoreply (those annoying "I'm out of the office, but your email is very important to me" messages that get spewed onto mailing lists). Autorepliers are too dump to not spam lists, and I generally check email regardless of where I am, so it's not like important messages get dropped. Sure, less important messages might get neglected, but that should be the rule rather than an exception....

June 12, 2005 · 1 min

Open Letter to DeVry: STOP THE POPUPS!

I just got a couple of popup/popunders for DeVry Institute of Technology - despite the fact that I have a popup blocker installed and activated. DeVry doesn't provide contact information on their website (perhaps that's a sign?), and this is really pissing me off. Do you people realize just what a shitty thing popunders are? They are almost as bad as Casino/Viagra/Texas-Holdem spam! You are diluting any reputation your institution may have had, and further negating the value your alumni may realize due to the crap you fling across the 'net in a desparate attempt to gather new students....

April 10, 2005 · 2 min